Monday, June 25, 2012

Parenting Tip - A hearty laugh

I wrote a blog post last year about the value of laughter (see the side bar and click on laughter).  Recently I’ve been hearing more about different groups embracing and encouraging laughter. Did you know there was a Laughter Yoga class you can take?  They are offered in many different countries around the world.

Here are some quotes about laughter:

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.  ~Woody Allen

Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg.  ~Author Unknown
(Yeah, we loved to do this to my little brother!)

When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other.  ~Alan Alda
(Hey, a new sibling rivalry technique!)

A hearty laugh gives one a dry cleaning, while a good cry is a wet wash.  ~Puzant Kevork Thomajan

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.  ~Abraham Lincoln

It is bad to suppress laughter.  It goes back down to your hips.  ~Author Unknown
(So that's my problem!)

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.  ~Victor Borge 

Do you know Victor Borge?  He is the funniest musician I have ever watched.  Here’s one of his famous vignettes: 

 So start laughing and if you can't find anything to laugh about, watch some funny You Tube videos of babies laughing--that will get you laughing for sure!

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Parenting Tip - Eye dropper science experiments

Someone told me a fun idea where you squeeze an eye dropper full of vinegar onto a pan spread with baking soda.  Guess what happens?   You're right!  You get some great fizzing action.  And if you add food coloring to the vinegar, the fun really begins.

What a great summer boredom buster.  I bought some eye droppers at the grocery store (two to a package for 99 cents) to send to my grandchildren.  But when I asked the pharmacist where the eye droppers were located, she said she could give me a bunch of syringes for free.  What a deal!  Now I'm sending both eye droppers and syringes to my grandchildren with a copy of cool science experiments they can do with their droppers/syringes.

Here's some of the eye dropper science experiments I found online:
1. Do hot water molecules move faster than cold ones?
2. Mixing colors with eye droppers
3. Pictures of the vinegar/baking soda experiment
4. Pennies and water with eye droppers 
5.  Water drop fun
6.  Liquids in motion
7.  More color experiments
8.  Marshmallow/syringe experiment

Have fun experimenting this summer!
Thanks for reading,


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Parenting Tip - Summer Boredom Busters

Summer is in full swing, and you might be looking for a little change to liven things up around your home.  Since I love to collect ideas, here are some I’ve found that I thought looked interesting and wanted to share with you.

Here’s a website that has lots of child friendly science experiments like making dry ice bubbles, glowing water, and making a tornado in a bottle.  Check it out.

Want to do art with your children?  This site has really easy but impressive art projects.

This site has fun art projects you do with tape-blue painters tape and masking tape.

I love this yarn art idea: It's so simple, yet really colorful.  Thanks to the Szymczak's blog for this picture.

Need some new healthy snack ideas? I know I do!
Here’s a fun muffin tin snack idea: Thanks go to the for the picture.

Did you ever make stilts out of empty cans when you were a child?  My brothers did.  I love this idea.

I'm excited about my next week's post.  It's a collection of ideas using a simple __________ oops, I almost told you.  I want it to be a surprise.  Besides I'm sending all my grandchildren these ideas with the simple _________ .  I thought their mothers might need a summer boredom buster pretty soon.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Music Tip - Summer Practice Ideas

It's summer time and this can be a really great time to catch up on piano practicing or let the whole thing drop with a crash.  I encourage you to use summer as a time to have your child get in some great practice time.  But with vacations and company visiting and just life in general, it can be a real challenge.

How do you keep music a priority?  Make it one of the first things you do each day.  I know, I know, your kids do swimming lessons first thing in the morning.  But is there time to practice first, or do half the practicing before swimming?  How about right after swimming and an energizing snack?

The important thing is to find a consistent time and stick with it.  Right after lunch?  Before their favorite tv show? Dovetail it in with their chores?  Be creative, but be consistent-- if you really want your child to learn and be proficient at playing the piano, consistency is the key.  Otherwise, you might as accept the fact that you're paying for brain tutoring--which is great, but produces no musical skills. 

Be creative and think of some fun ways to plan in practicing this summer. 

**Use popsicle sticks that have the songs to practice or directions for playing them (like play song 4 X).  And of course half the fun of popsicle sticks is that you had to have eaten the popsicles first!

**Make a fun chart to keep track of practicing.
**Have a grab bag with fun cheap rewards that your child can choose from.
**Sit with your child and be a cheerleader--and you're only allowed to give positive comments.
**Keep tv off while the practicing is on.  Siblings read books and do art work.
**Have centers, with practicing being one of the centers.
**Schedule a family recital.
**Skype with grandma and show off new piece learned.
**Video tape child with your camera and show the "before" and "after" piece that is learned.
**Let your child earn privileges for computer time or ipad time or whatever time.
**Take a trip to the music store with your child and buy some easy fun popular piano music

As one of my mothers said to me after reading a handout I had given all my parents, "It sounds like it's up to ME if my child is going to practice and learn to play the piano." YEP.  It's always the mom's job.

Have a fun, productive, musical summer!

Thanks for reading,



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