Posts Tagged With: parents

DIY: Mom & Me Journal!


In the photo, Captain and I are BOTH inside my shirt..

Here is our version of the “Mom & Me” journal!  Basically, it is a composition notebook with a label on the front for you and your child to write notes, letters, share pictures, etc. I made this one morning, wrote a note inside inviting Captain to share notes with me, anytime we feel like it, and left it on her bed. She was thrilled and sat in bed for a long time with a pencil, drawing pictures and writing notes. We have had it for about 6 months already and both love it. Sometimes we forget about it and a lot of time passes before one of us adds something to it, and that is just perfect. There is no pressure to do anything but tell each other little things…  She has written notes to ask me to make her favorite dinner, which I love! There are so many “I love you’s” and pictures of our dogs. It is also surprising how some honest, hard to talk about, things can come up. There is something safe for kids to be able to write down some feelings and ideas that they have a hard time saying in person. They KNOW their mom (or Dad) will see it, but don’t have to talk about it, just yet.

I think this notebook idea could be adapted to boys simply by changing the colors and making it suit their personality more. It would be really easy to make a “Dad & Me” notebook as well! Because it is a solid book, clearly marked, it doesn’t get lost in all of the other paper and notes that seem to fly around our cabin!  I am especially looking forward to reading it again one day when Captain is all grown up. What a wonderful keepsake! I got the idea from Mama Jenn on her blog, and she got the idea from another, who got the idea from another…

I do hope you try this.  It is fun and pretty special.

Here’s to good memories (and notes that state that a certain someone would rather NOT clean up her room, complete with little, drawn, grumpy faces… love it!)

Cheers, Karen

Categories: Family fun, Homeschooling Projects, Positive Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A Great Day to Hug a Rock!


Good thoughts for a beautiful weekend to all!

Categories: Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Plan an Exciting Treasure Hunt For Kids to Find The Mysterious Black Cat’s Eye Diamond!


Care to excite your kids into hunting for treasure? This is a perfect family activity for summertime! I would like to share our method for cooking up some delight for Captain. This activity takes a bit of planning, but is well worth the efforts! Burn the edges of some paper, create some clues, and find a cool treasure to hunt for (how about THE BLACK CAT’S EYE DIAMOND?), and your kids will be busy little pirates and full of imagination for an entire week 🙂


Here is a giant, glass jewel that I purchased at Michael’s Craft Store for $4.99.  It is big, heavy, and very sparkly. You can use this idea, or find another treasure that would excite your kid/s. I tried to find this online to leave a link here, but they only sell them in the stores. They are usually on rack at the end of an aisle, near the flower vases. They also come in pink, red, blue, green and clear. I like the black one with iridescent colors in it and named it “The Black Cat’s Eye Diamond”. If there are multiple kids then perhaps some smaller jewels, coins, or something like that…


You will create 7 “main clues” that will be left for the child to discover when they wake up each morning, and 6 “hints” as to what the treasure is. The “main” clues will guide them to a location, preferable outside somewhere, where they will discover the “hint” in the form of a little puzzle or clue as to what they are searching for. The main clues can be written on any paper, but a kind of tan paper give it a bit more of an “antique” look. Burn the edges of the main clues with a lighter (you may find yourself burning paper in the night after everyone is asleep 🙂 The main clues can rhyme, or not. We also threw in a little math and some word scrambles. Our clues can be seen here below. They probably won’t make sense to everyone else, as they are custom to our kid, but she was delighted:

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Once your child figures out the main clue that you left them in the morning, they will race right off to find the treasure hint. Basically, on a little piece of paper, I left a fun clue as to what the treasure is, and for the last treasure-hint-clue, I told her what it was:


Every morning Captain raced right to the counter to find her main clue! She talked about it all week and was really into it. On day six, when she discovered the scramble clue that mentions The Black Cat’s Eye Diamond, she was almost too excited to sleep….

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For the 7th day main clue, guide them to the place where “X” marks the spot.  Basically I dug a hole and buried the jewel in a burlap sack that was tightened with twine into a bundle.  (Kids love little realistic details, and when she uncovered a dirty ball of burlap, she gasped.) I covered the treasure with two sticks shaped into an “X”.


She found the “X” and started digging…


It’s in here!


It’s real!  The Black Cat’s Eye Diamond is REAL!


Showing Dad her treasure.

Friends, I can’t tell you enough how worth this activity is!  Coming up with some clues and hints wasn’t difficult, and it was fun to see my kid’s imagination go crazy and her patience grow. Most fun activities are over in a day, but this one stretches over a week, and I was surprised how patient she was. She seemed to like that there was no quick end to it.  I also recommend writing up your clues ahead of time. I left the first clue for her on a whim, and then would find myself trying to whip something together at night for the next day 🙂 My husband and I had some sweet time together burning paper in the night, when I finally caught up with myself and got the rest done for the week…

If you decide to plan a treasure hunt for your kids, I would LOVE to hear about it.  What treasure would you use?  What would you name it?

Until then, happy adventuring. Remember being a kid during the summertime? These days of magic end so quickly. I try to remember to scoop them up, close to my heart. Some day I will wish that I could plant jewels in the ground and go treasure hunting with my sparkling child.

Here’s to the good ‘ole days of now!  Karen

Categories: Family fun, Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

For Balance, Tricks and FUN: Slacklining Rocks!


If you have two suitable trees, springtime is awesome for setting up a slackline for the kids (and big people too!)  It is simple to do, and we couldn’t believe the difference in muscle tone our kiddo had after about a week of playing on this one.  Balance, coordination, and self-esteem are all stimulated in a beautiful way with a slackline.  We had a roll of sturdy, nylon rope that we had gotten at a discount tool place (Harbor Freight Tools in CA) for about 8 bucks.  We strung one line between 2 trees (it is recommended that they be at least 8″ in diameter) and held Captain’s hand as she would wobble across.  It dawned on us that she needed a second line up above her, to hang onto so she could play independently, and voila!, she was ripping across it, bouncing and jumping all by herself. The first few nights after playing on it with the 2nd line she did complain that her sides and legs were hurting, and we realized it was because she was using so many muscles in her legs and torso, neck, arms, well everything.  It is truly great exercise and fun, fun fun!

I recommend reading this bit from Wikipedia, if you don’t have another source to look at.  They share a lot of of info and ideas and also recommend using a wider strap instead of the rope, as it is easier to walk on and you can build up to doing more tricks etc.  For now, we had the rope on hand and are going to stick with it, but we will probably graduate up to a strap when she is ready to play around without holding the upper rope.  This is great for body and soul!!

Slacklining is a practice in balance that typically uses nylon or polyester webbing tensioned between two anchor points. Many people suggest slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut (although it is still under some tension); it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line’s tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is usually flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping the slacker’s footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for tricks and stunts.”

Without a lot of research, it looks like slackline kits start at about 45 bucks. Like I said, we may go for the better strap at some point, but for now, it’s a DIY-with-what’s-around thing, and it is working great!  If you don’t have the trees available, it would be worth finding a friend or neighbor who does.  It is fantastic!

Spring is in the air and getting outside is what it’s all about!

Cheers!  Karen


Categories: Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Kids Road Trip Keepsake: Postcard Photo Book!


A 99¢ photo book and post cards is all kids need to create their own keepsake book

On our last big road trip, Captain enjoyed collecting keychains as we drove cross country.  Mom and Dad also get her one when we go somewhere, and it’s fun because we always end up talking about the places we have been because of the souvenirs we have collected.  One time, Captain’s dad went to Amsterdam and because of the keychain he brought back, we ended up doing a little homeschool unit on Holland and learned a bunch of cool stuff!

On this trip, we knew we wouldn’t be stopping a lot to do adventurous things, as we are trying to get cross country quickly, so we decided to try something new.  I purchased a little 4 x 6 album for less than a dollar and we have found that the small postcards (barely) fit in it and have been collecting them along the way.  The book is full of fun postcards from California all the way to New York.  We missed a couple as not as many places sell postcards as they used to, but it has been an inexpensive, delightful way to make a little keepsake book of our trip.

I would LOVE to hear of more ideas for fun activities on the road!  A couple of my plans were failures, like bringing a small roll of aluminum foil to color on and make little animals out of.  Captain was very clear that this was NOT a good idea…  But, she did remind me to take the big ball of foil out of the trash bag and put it into the recycle bin and that was success all on its own!

Good Thoughts! Karen

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