Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2014

We all want to make better health and lifestyle decisions for ourselves and those we love. We want to lose some weight, have more energy, use greener products, create nutritious meals for our families, get fit, and feel confident that we’re doing all we can to prevent serious diseases.

But it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the masses of healthy living advice out there – to the point where we’re frozen into complete inaction instead!

That’s where The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle comes in. For the ridiculously low price of just $29.97 (for the PDF version) or $39.97 (for the eReader version), you can get access to a carefully curated collection of eBooks and eCourses with a total combined value of $1,030.

The bundle contains a wealth of information from the very finest healthy living writers out there – but there’s no risk of getting overwhelmed! A useful Getting Started Guide is included with your purchase, which will help you identify the most valuable resources for your specific health priorities.

The Ultimate Bundles team has done all the hard work for you – finding the top experts across a number of healthy living fields and combining their products into one essential collection. If you want to take control of your health, there’s no better way to start!

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59pm EST on Monday, September 15.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 30,000 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

You can buy with confidence because your purchase is covered by the Ultimate Bundles one-year guarantee: you have a full year to enjoy all the books and courses in the bundle, and if you don’t feel like it’s made a huge difference to your family’s health, you’ll get your money back in full!

Click here for more info or to buy now.

As if this great collection of eBooks and eCourses wasn’t enough, the Ultimate Bundles team has also partnered with 10 fantastic companies who’ve each agreed to give a special bonus to every buyer. The bonuses have a total value of over $200 – more than 5 times the price of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle itself!

The bonuses include free goodies aplenty: a bottle of Healthy Mouth Blend from OraWellness, a baltic amber bracelet from Sweetbottoms Boutique, and a starter culture from Cultures For Health. You’ll also get gift sets from Made On Skin Care Products and Homegrown Collective.

There are virtual goodies, too – a 4-month membership to StayAtHomeYoga.com and a 3-month premium membership to meal planning service Tradishen. And as if all that weren’t enough, there are also $15 gift certificates for TheJoyfulGiraffe.com, Strawesome.com and Trilight Health. There is a nominal shipping charge for many of the bonuses, based on each company’s standard shipping rates, and is usually $3-5.

Here’s what you need to know about the sale:

When? 7 a.m. EST Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, September 15

What? 73 eBooks and 7 audio & eCourses, PLUS over $200 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

**MAKE SURE YOUR AFFILIATE LINK IS IN THE TEXT LINK BELOW, THEN DELETE THIS LINE**

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth $1030, and it’s selling for less than $30. Sweet deal, right?

**MAKE SURE YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS ARE IN THE TEXT LINK AND BUY NOW BUTTON BELOW, THEN DELETE THIS LINE**

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Want to know exactly what’s included in the bundle?

Take a look through the categories, as well as the full list of eBooks and eCourses.

We think there’s something here for everyone, and don’t forget… our Getting Started Guide will show you exactly which resources cover the topics and health concerns that matter most to you!

Alternative Health & Home Remedies

Audio Courses & eCourses

Fitness

Gardening & Homesteading

Green Cleaning

Healthy Children

Meal Budgeting & Planning

Natural Beauty & Skincare

Real Food Recipes

Seasonal

Special Diets

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 7 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, September 10th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, September 15th.

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

 

Super-Duper Flip-Flop Flapjacks and Lessons on Growing Up

What do my kids want to be when they grow up?  In Charge!

This month the Poppins Book Nook is about exploring what we want to be when we grow up.  Lately my two older boys have really been into planning their future lives as independent adults.  They are planning their dream houses, dream cars, and dream jobs.  Most of all they are looking forward to living alone, away from mom’s “overbearing” rules.  This behavior reminded me of a book my mother-in-law kept from when my husband was a little boy:  If I Lived Alone from the Sesame Street Library.

Super-Duper Flip-Flop Flapjacks, A Poppins Book Nook Activity

affiliate links are used below

Super-Duper, Flip-Flop Flapjacks - Reading Together

Bebop reading If I Lived Alone to his brothers.

The story starts with a little girl romanticizing what it would be like to live alone.  No one to tell you to be quite.  No one to share your toys with.  Eating ice cream for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.  But living alone also means you have no one to garden with, read stories to you at night, and no more of daddy’s super-duper, flip-flop flapjacks.  To celebrate this fun book, we decided to make our own special flapjacks.

Super-Duper, Flip-Flop Flapjacks - Getting Ingredients

In keeping with the spirit of independence, I had the boys do most of the work.  We used my dairy free pancake recipe with a few special ingredients added.  Magoo is used to helping me cook breakfast, so he knew where we kept most of the basics.

Super-Duper, Flip-Flop Flapjacks - Boys Helping Mix

The boys took turns measuring and adding ingredients.  Don’t tell them this also counts as a math lesson!  I did have to keep a close eye on Doodad to prevent our flapjacks from becoming a sensory play experience.

Super-Duper, Flip-Flop Flapjacks - Cracking Eggs

Cracking the eggs!

Super-Duper, Flip-Flop Flapjacks - the secret ingredient

Our secret ingredients.  We’re not just making pancakes here, these are super-duper, flip-flop flapjacks!

Super-Duper, Flip-Flop Flapjacks - Adding Sprinkles

The boys each added sprinkles and chocolate chips to their flapjacks.

Super-Duper, Flip-Flop Flapjacks - Cleaning Up

Keeping with the spirit of the book, the boys did all the clean up.  After all, they would be responsible for all the chores if they lived alone.

mini rainbow color bar

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

For more book based activities, stop by this month’s co-hosts:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool†~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~†Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids†~ Simple Living Mama


Clip Art by Melon Headz

For more Poppins Book Nook fun join us at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, on Facebook, or on Pinterest

Pirate Themed DIY Treasure Chests

It’s Pirate theme with the Poppins Book Nook!!  The boys and I have been looking forward to this theme all year.  Pirates are a regular part of the boys’ pretend play.  At least once a week they explore the house hunting for treasure.  Right now all three boys share a bedroom, so they do not have much individual space.  I’ve wanted to create a place for each boy to keep their special trinkets.  A few weeks ago Grandma and Grandpa brought the boys wooden treasure chests from the craft store.  They are perfect for my boys treasures, and perfect for a little DIY crafting!

DIY Treasure Chests - Pirate Theme Craft

affiliate links are used below

Bebop has a chest slightly larger than the little boys, but all three are very similar to this wooden treasure box on amazon.  I’ve seen these all over both Michaels and Hobby Lobby, so they should be very easy to find for your little pirates!

DIY Treasure Chests - Doodad painting

I gave the boys a little bit of washable tempera paint.  To prevent our crafts from becoming a big brown mess, I only give the boys two or three complimentary colors.  In this case I gave them blue, yellow, and green.  Doodad painted a little bit with each color, then mixed them all for a marbled green finish.

DIY Treasure Chests - Magoo painting

Magoo was a bit more particular and did his best to keep the colors separate.  He painted each section of his chest a different color.

DIY Treasure Chests - Mom helps paint

Doodad was working pretty slow, so I helped him paint.  Do you see the red and blue chest in the corner of the photo?  I had intended for all three boys to paint their treasure boxes, but Bebop had other plans.  One day during quite time he embellished his chest with colored pencils.  If you are looking for a non-messy craft, the colored pencils worked just as well as paint to give bold colors.

DIY Treasure Chests - Final Product

The final product!  Eventually I will seal the chests with acrylic spray (I really like the Modge Podge brand), but there has been talk of adding glitter and sticker to the chests first.  The boys all love their individual treasure chests.

Poppins Book Nook is supposed to feature a book with our theme each month.  This month we couldn’t pick just one!  A few months ago, I wrote a post for the Library Adventure blog with our top 10 favorite pirate books.  Most of these books are easily available at our local library, so there is usually at least one at home with us.

mini rainbow color bar

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

For more book based activities, stop by this month’s co-hosts:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for LearningEver After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Clip Art by Melon Headz

For more Poppins Book Nook fun join us at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, on Facebook, or on Pin


Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review

I’m a planner dropout.  I’ve tried many, many planners with most being pre-printed and bound planners that you see all over the place when stores stock up with back to school supplies.  Usually about a month into using a planner I find they don’t quite fit my needs.  I get frustrated and stop using them.  A few weeks ago I saw an opportunity to try Lessontrek free and though I’d give it a shot.  After using this planner for almost 6 weeks to plan next year for my boys, I’m still pretty happy with it!

This review is sponsored by Lessontrek.  All opinions are my own.

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review

About a week into using Lessontrek I discovered I could copy and paste links directly into the assignment boxes.  This is a big deal for me!  For Magoo and Doodad, I try to use as many free resources as I can from various blogs and education websites.  Its often hard to keep track of the links or remember which kid I intended a particular activity for if I don’t take notes.

I’m still deciding exactly what I will do with the boys next year, but I’ve started grouping things into basic themes like letters, numbers, and shapes.  I’ve been keeping track of links by creating a single assignment each week or two for the themes I think we’ll use this year.  Assignments can easily be moved around within a week or bumped to a future week using the drag and drop feature.  It gives me great flexibility which I really need for my preschoolers.

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review - Keep track of idea by placing links inside assingments

I created profiles for each boy and two for the classes I’ll be teaching in our co-op next year.  Bebop and Magoo will both be doing the same memory work for our co-op so I may create another profile for the group work.

Each student profile is color coded, has its own specific assignments, and can track grades and attendance.  I have not used the grading features yet because my boys are so young, but I did play with the setting.  It seems to be pretty easy to navigate, just like the rest of the planner’s features.

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review - Organize assigmnets by name or by subject

In addition to color coded profiles, I can also color code assignments.  You can keep the colors the same across all students or give each profile a different coding system.  Right now Bebop’s assignments are color coded to match his books.  The little boys are the same color for right now.  Its very easy to change the color codes within either the student profile or the assignment information section.

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review - Color Code Assignments

Lessontrek allows you to create templates to quickly copy and paste repetitive assignments.  I did this with Bebop’s first week of assignments (in the above graphic).  I set up all the information for handwriting, copied the assignment and just had to change the page numbers.

Since its still summer and we’re only focused on two subjects right now, Bebop’s lesson plans look pretty light.  I was able to copy and paste the entire week, just changing page numbers, to fill in all the days until our co-op start up in September.  Between now and then I will be adding subjects.

We’re only 2 weeks into first grade and already we’ve had to adjust our homeschool lesson plans.  With Lessontrek, I am able to quickly drag assignments we did not complete to a future day.  I can see this feature being very helpful as we encounter the typical sick boys and snow days!

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review - Copy and Paste Assignments

Lessontrek has a printing option.  I have not fully explored this option, but I really like that I can plan out the whole year and print a copy.  Then at the end of the year after I’ve added my notes and journaled our experiences, I can print that out too!

I got the idea for using Lessontrek as a homeschool journal from Sheri Graham.  I plan to use Lessontrek as a preschool journal for Magoo and Doodad.

There are a few features I’d like to see added or adjusted.  For example, the grade names start with kindergarten.  I would like to enter the little boys as preschoolers.  I submitted my suggestions to Lessontrek and received a very prompt reply.  I’m very impressed with the customer service!

Remember above how I told you I discovered Lessontrek through a free offer?  That offer is still available!  You can sign up for a FREE 14 day trial by visiting the Lessontrek website.  I also have a coupon code for my readers that gives you an entire year of using the Lessontrek planner for just $30, that’s a savings of 50%.  Use the code 2IOL50 in the payment info section.  (This coupon is only good for the first year, additional years will be charged at the full price if you choose to renew).

What are you waiting for?  Go sign up for your FREE trial!

Back to Homeschool Giveaway (13 Winners!)

Are you ready to get back to homeschooling? We are! We’re extremely excited about blessing 13 families (YES 13!) with a chance to win over $1,000 in prizes, this is the perfect start to a new school year!

This month’s giveaway will be focusing on some great homeschooling resources. Let’s take a look at the prizes…

 

Enter to be one of 13 winners in our AMAZING Back to Homeschool Giveaway! @ IntoxicatedOnLife.com #Homeschool #GIveaway

The Prizes

Homeschool Kit (1 winner – $98.99 value)
Sponsor: We Choose Virtues

Win this we choose virtues giveaway kit in the Back to Homeschool Giveaway!

This Kit was assembled with everything a Homeschool parent needs to effectively teach 12 Virtues. It has 5 beautiful posters, a 100 Day’s of Virtue achievement chart with stickers, flash cards and so much more. The Parenting Cards included in this set were created to help you inspire and demonstrate each Virtue and turn your home or home classroom into a place where Virtue is demonstrated with both attitudes and actions!

Homeschool in the Woods Package (1 winner – $103.80 value)
Sponsor: Homeschool in the Woods

School time is nearly upon us! Got all your history resources ready to go? Never fear! At Home School in the Woods, we ignite a love of learning in YOUR child!

HISTORY Through the Ages Historical Timeline Figures help put the puzzle of history together. They allow you to follow across eras of time using illustrated figures to represent people and events key to world history. Our “Creation to Christ” set of wall-size figures cover many people and events of the Bible, Sumer, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece, and the Rise of Rome to the time of Jesus Christ (over 250 figures).

Leave textbooks and workbooks aside and bring your child right into the adventure with Time Travelers history studies for American history! Our first in the series, “New World Explorers,” contains 25 lessons that can spread across 5-10 weeks, incorporating notebooking, lapbooking, games, recipes, creative writing, authentic crafts, and so much more.

Or, pack your bags and grab your passport – take a trip through history and discover cultures at another era of time in world history with Project Passport! Included are 25 “Stops” that can spread across 8-12 weeks, where you will witness exciting events and meet interesting people of “The Middle Ages. (All text, masters, directions, teacher keys, photos, and resource lists for the Time Travelers and Project Passports are provided on CD)

Perhaps you just want a lap book? Our Hands-On History Lap-Paks provide reading text and printables to make your lap book mini-study complete! And now we are introducing K-2 Lap-Paks for younger learners, with coloring pages in the text and an audio narrative included on the CD! Learn about a man who stood out as not only a founding father, but as an inventor, an author, a scientist, and a diplomat, to name a few of his many talents. That man was “Benjamin Franklin!

The Reading Game (3 winners – $34.95 value)
Sponsor: The Reading Game

The Reading Game is a groundbreaking learn-to-read series that using play to teach children to read. Geared towards beginning and struggling readers, each of the 6 stories are told using 30 new words. The student then learns to read these words by playing a simple word matching game. This prize is going to 3 winners!

College Prep DVD Set (2 Winners – $129.85 value)
Sponsor: College Prep Genius

SAT-college-prep-genius-DVD-set

 

FREE College can happen to you! Raise your SAT scores as much as 600 points! Colleges go up on their rankings based on test scores, the higher your score-the more money you get! Don’t fear these tests-they are merely logic tests with tricky questions that even many smart students have bombed. Good news is that every question can be answered in 30 seconds or less. Learn to find the hidden recurring patterns that point you to the answer! Finally see your scores soar by not falling for the appealing wrong answers or subjective phrasing.

Our program is not only award-winning, but has also been featured on Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, WE, TXA21, ION, UShopTV, The Homeschool Channel and more. “…BEST option”-Cathy Duffy, “VERY Impressed…”-Heidi St. John, “Highly recommended…”-Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

This prize has 2 winners!

Magic House Prize Pack (6 Winners – $77.52 value)
Sponsor: Magic House USA

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Magic House is giving away a huge prize pack to 6 winners! Our family loves these amazing pencils. With these auto-feed pencils you’ll never have to stop to sharpen or click a pencil again. Yes, the pencils self-advance as your pencils moves across the paper. They are super cool!

Each winner will receive:

  • 2 bookstands
  • 3 Pencilboxes
  • 5 Auto-feed Pencils
  • 3 Refill Lead Tubes(each tube contain 12 leads)
  • 10 Golden Edition Auto-feed Pencils
  • 3 Bio-ink Pens

Enter the Giveaway Below!

Who Pooped in the Park? Exploring the Great Outdoors with Kids

Who Pooped in the Park - Exploring the Great Outdoors with Kids

We live on the opposite side of the country from our family.  We are very intentional about teaching our boys where all the extended family lives and the natural and man made wonders near by.  Last summer when Jared’s Grandmother came to visit, she brought along a book for the boys from Glacier National Park - Who Pooped in the Park?

Affiliate links are used below.

Who Pooped in the Park? is a series of books written by Gary D. Robson set in various national parks across the United States.  We have the Glacier Park edition that follows Michael as he camps with his family.  Michael learns about the scat (poop) and tracks left by an assortment of animals.  Using this book as a guide, we are teaching the boys to identify and classify poop and animal tracks they find. 

Exploring the Great Outdoors - Checking Under Rocks

We are a big outdoor family.  Every nice weekend throughout the year you’re likely to find us hiking or camping somewhere.  Since reading Who Pooped in the Park? with our boys, its become a game to see who can find evidence of animals first on one of our hikes.

Exploring the Great Outdoors - Animal Tracks

Bebop was extremely excited to find deer tracks on a muddy trail.

Exploring the Great Outdoors - Frog Eggs

In early spring, we found frog eggs in one of our local ponds.  The boys thought this was the coolest thing ever.

Exploring the Great Outdoors - Finding Frogs

A few short weeks later and we started seeing frogs everywhere!

If you are new to hiking, or have a reluctant hiker in your group, the Who Pooped in the Park? series is a great introduction to the amazing animals all around us in the Great Outdoors.

mini rainbow color bar

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

For more book based activities, stop by this month’s co-hosts:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Clip Art by Melon Headz


For more Poppins Book Nook fun join us at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, on Facebook, or on Pin

10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids

School’s Out! As a homeschool mom I feel a little strange announcing the end of the school year. Our co-op has ended and the nice weather entices us outdoors most days.  The daily schedule is completely different than it was even two weeks ago. I have several goals for my boys this summer, one of which is to encourage them to find their own creative voice. These are my top 10 tips for encouraging creativity.

 10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids

1. Create a Place to Work

Everyone likes to have their own space right? For kids to truly be creative, they need a space specifically prepared for the kind of messes that creative pursuits can often make. While I haven’t make any major changes since I showed you the basic set up in our house tour a few months ago, I have been intentional about keeping things clean and inviting for the boys to work.  Doodad loves the chalkboard wall in the playroom.  There’s something about drawing on a vertical surface that kids just love.

2. Provide Supplies

We just finished spring cleaning the school room and basement (Thanks Nana for all your help!). All our art and craft supplies are organized and available, in age appropriate ways, for the boys to use. The two big boys have colored pencils at their desks and crayons available on a higher shelf. There is an area set up in the basement for painting, glue, glitter and other messy crafts. Bebop especially loves getting up first thing in the morning and working quietly at his desk with his own stash of paper and colored pencils.

 10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids - Provide Supplies

3. Turn Off Screens

Nothing distracts my boys more than the hope of a movie or a few minutes to play games on the Wii. Our rule is no screens until after 3 pm, and after chores are done.  This includes mom!  If the boys see me on the computer all they can think about is playing games too. While we do make the occasional exception for a special movie day, when the boys know screens are not an option they will come up with other ideas to entertain themselves.

4. Schedule Unstructured Time

I’m a planner and it is extremely hard for me to schedule down time. The freedom to choose activities is very empowering to my boys. When I let them decide to create something, they have a stronger pride in their work than when I plan an activity for them.

10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids - Prepare a Space for Kids to Work

5. Let Your Kids Get Bored

I’ve noticed intentional boredom is a huge trend right now. In our overscheduled, screen filled lives it’s really hard to find even 5 minutes without something entertaining adults and kids alike. While I know it’s good for my kids, the idea of a bored preschooler frightenes me a little bit (it’s why we started homeschooling at such a young age). But when you have taken the time to create an environment ready for creativity and provided supplies it’s amazing to watch your kids imaginations run wild.

6. Create With Your Kids

I’m a crafter. I love to make things. Nothing inspires my kids more than when I pull out a box of my special supplies and let them work alongside me. Lately all three boys have enjoyed making beaded jewelry with me. (Shhh, don’t tell them we’re also working on fine motor skills!)

10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids - Create With Them

7. Learn Something New

Not a crafter? Try learning something WITH your kids. Any possible craft you can imagine has at least one YouTube tutorial. Many times my boys have asked to make something elaborate and we go to google to figure out how. Even if they change their minds a hundred times before the project is complete, researching new techniques brings out a burst of creativity.

8. Teach A Skill to Someone Else

Bebop loves to teach things to his little brothers, especially when it comes to art. It’s so much fun to watch Bebop and Magoo sit together and mix paint colors or plan a Lego project. Teaching requires you to move toward mastery of the subject and unlocks new levels of creativity.

10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids - Let Them Choose Activities

9. Invite Friends Over

A new friend to share your new art kit with is just plain fun! In the summers we get together with friends to do the really messy projects, like tie-dye and sidewalk paint. My boys still talk about some of our craft play days from the past few years.

10. Make a Gift

Making gifts requires you to consider someone else. What they like or dislike. My boys each have their favorite colors and would always make things for themselves exactly the same. When I challenge them to make something for Grandma or a friend, they use colors and textures they might not touch otherwise.

schoolsout-2ndannual-button-500

 

Be sure to stop by the other blogs in the Kid Blogger Network for more ideas to make the most of summer now that school is out!

Linked up with: b-Inspired Mama,

Vestibular Sensory Play

Vestibular sensory play involves movement, balance, and spatial orientation.

Vestibular Sensory Play - Finding balance beams in nature

The vestibular system primarily involves the vestibular receptors in the inner ear and sends signals through the central nervous system related to movement and head position. Auditory (sound) and visual (sight) contributes to vestibular input as well. When there is conflict between the auditory or visual input and the vestibular receptors in the ear, feelings of disorientation, falling, floating, or nausea occur. Secondary receptors located in the finger tips and soles of the feet also provide information to the vestibular system. If the input from the inner ear is disrupted, the secondary receptors can help and individual maintain balance. That is why we naturally reach out to a wall for balance when dizzy.

Vestibular Sensory Processing Disorder

Just like I talked about yesterday with tactile input, individuals can have disruptions in the way sensory input is received or interpreted by the brain. Vestibular sensory processing disorder can present as over or under sensitive to input.

Vestibular Sensory Play - movement play

A hypersensitivity (over responsiveness) to vestibular input may manifest as a dislike of motion (swings, ladders, slides, etc.), fear of heights, dislike of uneven surfaces, or loosing balance easily. Babies who are over sensitive may not like baby jumpers, swings, or being placed on his/her stomach.

A hyposensitivity (under responsiveness) to vestibular input can be characterized by constant movement; jumping, twirling, swinging, or hanging upside down. Individuals likely will crave intense movement and be identified as thrill seekers or adrenaline junkies.

Vestibular Sensory Play Ideas

Vestibular sensory play is a new idea for me. I have incorporated some balance activities, but not on a regular basis. All three of my boys have developed gross motor skills and coordination within the normal ranges, so I think they process vestibular input normally. Since I’ve started to really pay attention in the past few weeks, I have noticed all three seem to periodically crave short periods of intense vestibular input such as making themselves dizzy. I think that’s a normal kid thing.

Vestibular Sensory Play - Explore a playgound

Opportunities for vestibular sensory play are as close as your local park or playground.  Just get moving!  Almost any active movement involving balance and coordination will engage the vestibular system.

Vestibular Sensory Play - Balance Beam

In the winter we are stuck inside most of the time, so I try to create gross motor movement play for the boys.  Only recently did I figure out its also vestibular sensory play!  As pictured above, we used an old 2×4 to make a quick indoor balance beam.  The boys also love to make obstacle courses for each other.  Recently we purchased a small gym mat that fits perfectly in the hall way for basic tumbling.  Bebop and Magoo are teaching their baby brother to do somersaults.  Now that I know the importance of vestibular sensory play for developing balance and coordination, there will be a whole lot more of it in our house!

Tactile Sensory Play

Tactile sensory play is exploring through touch.

The skin contains many sensors that provide information about light touch, deep pressure touch, temperature, and pain. Nerves under the skin receive sensory input and send signals to the brain through the central nervous system.  Dr. Montessori observed that young children made greater developmental jumps when they had an environment that provided a variety of tactile exploration.  She concluded that the connection between the hand and the brain is one that fosters a desire to learn.

Tactile Sensory Play - messy play favorites

In some people, the messages sent from the skin receptors to the brain are not received or processed correctly. This is referred to generally as a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). A tactile sensory processing disorder occurs when someone is hyper(over) or hypo(under) sensitive to one or more type of tactile input. For those with SPD, a light touch or cold water can be interpreted as an extreme irritation or even pain. SPD can also present as under sensitive to touch, where an individual craves tactile sensory input.

Tactile learners are able to focus best and retain information when material is presented with a hands-on exploratory component. Most little kids seem to be very tactile oriented, wanting to touch and manipulate everything in their environment. For this reason, tactile sensory play is the most common and easiest to implement in our house…. 

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Sensory Play

Sensory play is quite the buzz word lately, especially on pinterest. There are hundreds of photos labeled sensory that show kids playing with bins of things, often making huge messes. We do sensory bins weekly and it is one of my favorite activities for the little boys when they are board. For a long time I thought of sensory play as just tactile exploration, but that is just one type. Sensory processing involves the way your body and brain input and process sensory experiences. Sensory play is intentionally creating opportunities for kids to explore various sensory input.

6 Types of Sensory Play - A Series From For This Season

This week I’m joining several other bloggers for the 6 days of Sensory Play Blog Hop. We will be posting resources and ideas for six types of sensory play: (as my posts go live I will link them below, for now I’m just posting my definitions).

Tactile is the things you touch: exploring texture, temperature, pressure, and vibrations.

Vestibular is gross motor movement involving balance and the inner ear.

Olfactory is the sense of smell. I also include taste in this because most of our olfactory experiences happen in the kitchen.

Proprioceptive involves body awareness through input from joint and muscle tissue. Proprioceptive sensory play is often called heavy work for the joints and muscles.

Auditory is the things you hear. How well can you pay attention and process verbal instructions.

Visual is the things you see. I’m a big believer in a prepared environment for kids, especially finding a balance of visual input in play and learning areas.

When I started working on this series, I had no idea how many different types of sensory play there actually are. It’s been fascinating! I’m far from an expert, but I have found in the last few weeks that being aware of the different types of sensory input has helped me understand my boys’ behavior more. As I plan for our preschool co-op this summer and the next school year, I will be incorporating these 6 types of sensory play often.

How do you use sensory play in your home?