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Ten More Fun Activities For Kids May 6, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Nature, Sustainable Living.
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1.  Build sand castles or sand sculptures at the beach . . . then watch as the waves erase your creations.

2.  Catch (and release) little critters ~ minnows, tadpoles, butterflies, and fireflies ~ putting them in a clean jar to admire and photograph before letting them go.  Or go on a Nature Walk and see how many different types of birds you recognize.

3.  Go Green!  Plant a garden in a small corner of the yard, or in a large container.  Grow your own radishes, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and basil.  Or plant some beautiful flowers and watch them grow.

4.  This is a Stick Up!  Make kid-friendly fruit kabobs on wooden skewers.  Alternate pieces of cantaloupe, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, banana, and orange sections on bamboo skewers.  Serve with a fruit sherbet or a yogurt dipping sauce.  Or create veggie kabobs with broccoli, carrots, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, and snow peas to eat raw or cook on the grill (with adult supervision).

Pluto-Happy5.  Set up a lemonade stand to raise money for a good cause ~ like the local animal shelter.  Or hold a bake sale to raise money for the local food bank.

6.  Eat popsicles and save the sticks.  Wash them in soapy water and let them dry overnight.  Use non-toxic washable markers to color the clean sticks in vibrant shades of lime green, tangerine orange, and turquoise.  Use the sticks and some construction paper to create colorful Pop Art mobiles, flowers, or picture frames.

7.  Have a seed spitting contest with watermelon!  See who can spit the farthest.  Or set up a target and see who has the best aim.  Tip: this works better as an outdoor activity.

8.  On hot days, play Duck, Duck, Splash ~ using a clean, wet sponge, tap the “ducks” lightly with the sponge . . . then give the “goose” a good soaking by squeezing the sponge dry.  The goose becomes “it” next.

9.  Write a letter to your grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins to let them know how you’ve been spending your summer.  Include some artwork and a few photos of you “in action.”  If you’ve heard a good joke, share that too!

Sally-Brown10.  Read a good book, or write your own story or poem.  See how far your imagination will soar.

More Ideas:  Wondertime * Family Fun * Parents * Teachnet * Ten FREE Activities To Enjoy With Kids * Ten Almost FREE Activities For Kids * Top Ten BETs

Check Mate! May 6, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
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Hand-moving-chess-pieceEvidence suggests that playing chess increases our thinking and problem-solving ability, as well as boosting math and reading test scores in students.

I’m not surprised.

The single-minded focus required by the game shuts down all the extraneous chatter in our brain.

We are in the moment, doing battle, pawn against knight, bishop against rook, king against queen.  Check Mate!

No wonder kids (of all ages) love to play!

Don’t believe me . . . check out the U.S. Chess Federation‘s soaring  membership roster for kids 14 and younger.

Chess is actually pulling kids away from  TV and video games long enough for them to learn to think, and concentrate, and strategize.

Want to give it a try?  At chess.com, you and your kids can:

Chess* Learn the basics
* Improve your skills
* Pick up strategies
* Play others worldwide
* Download a free app to play (or watch matches) on your mobile phone

Resources:  Chess (Wikipedia)  *  Chess ~ Rules & Basic Strategies