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Naturally Educational » Interpersonal

Cultivating a “Can Do” Attitude #DisneySMMoms

Cultivating a “Can Do” Attitude #DisneySMMoms

Back when I did theater improv, there was a “Yes, and…” rule. You could not shut down someone’s ideas with a “no.” Instead, you had to accept their idea and then build on it with your own. As parents, we feel responsible for saying “no” a lot. Of course, no, you cannot eat only chocolate all day, no, you cannot give  your baby sister to the bears at the zoo, and no, you cannot skateboard off … Read entire article »

Filed under: Interpersonal, Values Education

Organizing a Sing-a-Long to Spread the Cheer

Organizing a Sing-a-Long to Spread the Cheer

This past weekend, we brought some Christmas Cheer to a local home for the elderly. We have been visiting since my two eldest were 3 and 1.5 and we caroled with a play group. That first year, my daughter asked if she could play piano. We didn’t have her music so she just played “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Every year since then she has wanted to go back, this time with Christmas carol sheet … Read entire article »

Filed under: Charity, Featured, Interpersonal, Music, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater

25 Ways to Volunteer with Young Children for #GivingTuesday

25 Ways to Volunteer with Young Children for #GivingTuesday

Have you heard about #GivingTuesday? The idea is that we take a day after the frenzy of Black Friday (in which I do not participate) and Cyber Monday (in which I do because I can save money in my pajamas) to share our blessings with others. I know a lot of people with very charitable hearts. Once they have kids, they want to model giving. However, they do not know how to volunteer and bring their … Read entire article »

Filed under: Charity, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal

Our Gratitude Tree

Our Gratitude Tree

We made a gratitude tree out of a cardboard paper towel tube, a paper bowl, and construction paper to express our thanks for all of our blessings this Thanksgiving. This was such a simple craft and it really engaged the kids’ attention. Materials: cardboard tube (either a paper towel tube, 2-3 toilet paper tubes taped together, or a wrapping paper tube cut in half) construction paper (brown, green, red, orange, yellow) glue scissors marker craft knife Directions: 1. Wrap and glue brown construction paper … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Featured, History and Culture, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal

Bee My Valentine Pencil Topper and Magnet

Bee My Valentine Pencil Topper and Magnet

I love Valentine’s Day for little kids–everyone gets a little token of affection and extra hugs! In a few years when the holiday is fraught with emotional angst, I’m sure I will change my tune. Until then, we really enjoy this day when my daughter gets to indulge her love of all things glittery and pink and my little boy has an excuse to kiss everyone he loves–not that he needs one! “Bee My Valentine” was … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Interpersonal, Literacy

Simple Calaveras Masks for Dia de los Muertos

Simple Calaveras Masks for Dia de los Muertos

After Halloween, our friends from Latin America celebrate Día de los Muertos. The holiday has its roots in an idea similar to the Celtic Samhain and the Christian All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.  In contrast with our modern Halloween, however, Día de los Muertos is more of a celebration of departed loved ones, rather than a fright fest. In Mexico, the celebration is marked with alters containing marigolds and calaveras (skulls, particularly the popular … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Interpersonal

Delicious Democracy

Delicious Democracy

How do you communicate the basis of democracy to the under 5 crowd? With ice cream, of course! I checked in with my daughter to see if she knows who is president (she does) and how he got to be president (she did not). I explained that people vote for the president.  We skipped over the whole “electoral college” thing but I’ll explain later how you could make that a part of this activity for older kids. Then, … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Fall, Featured, History and Culture, Interpersonal, Smart Summer Challenge

Mapping a Nature Hike #SmartSummer

Mapping a Nature Hike #SmartSummer

Knowledge is supposed to enrich our lives, not just reside in dusty books (or hypnotic bits and bytes). So, we took our map skills on the road and used them to explore a “new to us” nature trail. Check out this map! Ain’t she a beaut? Most of the trail maps we encounter are faded, sad affairs. Not this one. This one has a lovely compass rose for finding directions, words for … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Ecology, Featured, Geography, Interpersonal, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

We made these fun Father’s Day photo cards with the kids spelling out “Daddy” and “Papa”.  We got the idea from the very awesome Amy of Crunchy Domestic Goddess! The kids even learn how to spell “Daddy” and “Papa”! And if you make this card every year, it will be a fun way to see the children growing and developing. For more great Father’s Day DIY gift ideas from bloggers, including a few you could whip up … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, History and Culture, Interpersonal, Spring, Summer

Our Valentines – Photo Lollipop Cards

Our Valentines – Photo Lollipop Cards

We went back and forth a lot–there were so many cute ideas for Valentines my daughter could give to her classmates.  I knew that my schedule was packed and I needed to keep it simple.  We finally decided on making photo cards with organic lollipops that I think gave us a lot of impact for the short amount of time it takes to make them. My daughter was also able to practice writing the names of … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Featured, Interpersonal, Winter