Mothers’ Day is Sunday, May 12th!
• A mold – about 12” X 12” to 15” round or square. (see options, right)
• 1 bag Vinyl Concrete Patch (available at hardware stores)
• Assorted Decorations: Decorative flat stones, marbles, shells, small tiles, Scrabble letters to form names or phrases (search thrift shops for this one!) large glass beads,
• Small plastic gloves for kids – and big ones for adults (hands are sensitive to concrete!)
• color pigment for concrete, if desired
• cooking oil, silicone spray or liquid wax
First you will need to find a mold. You can buy one in a craft store. A five gallon bucket works well if you can have someone safely cut the top off, leaving only about 3 ½” height. Another option is to search the aisles for a large plastic pan that is made to go under a plant. You want sides that are perpendicular to the bottom (not angled sides) and about 3” deep. You can also build a square frame by nailing 4 – 14” boards together. “Grease” the mold with a thick layer of cooking oil, silicone spray or liquid wax.
Place out a tarp then lay out your mold on a flat surface with approximately ¾” of sand smoothly and evenly over the bottom. (if mold is open-bottom, lay on a flat surface that you are not worried about hurting, like an old piece of plywood, then place sand inside.)
Adult: Mix Vinyl Concrete Patch as directed, adding color if desired; add last bit of water slowly, stopping to make mixture thick so decorations will stay on top when applied. Pour over the evenly laid sand, carefully reaching all corners. Now with gloves on, let children place tiles and other decorations on top of the stone. (No worries if they make a mistake, you can pull it out, smooth it over and let them try again.) Help kids press items flat or just below surface so they do not break when stepped on.
Smooth the top with plastic glove and set aside to harden for about six hours. Then tip mold over and tap lightly. Allow to harden overnight before placing in garden.
NOTE: Encourage kids to practice designs on the ground or on paper before using wet cement, as time is limited to the drying time of the cement.
Taking kids on a road trip? Try playing these fun games in the car!
Story Book Game
This game is fun, pretty soon everyone will be laughing! This game involves imagination. . . Start off with a sentence of your choice, go around and have everyone add a sentence on to the story. To make it interesting add something silly, or a sentence that doesn’t even make sense!
For shorter waits, guessing games can work, especially for kids who get bored or frustrated easily. Normally, they are based on yes or no questions… Like, is it an animal? Is it big? Is it a food? If you want, you can even create some cards with names on them, with famous people, animals, or the places you are visiting.
Tongue twisters always get a great laugh! Come up with any sentences, that twist up your words. An example could be: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood! Have everybody try to say it 3 times in a row, quickly.
This game is great for a quiet place. One person draws, with their fingers, on another person’s palm, while they have their eyes closed, and the person guesses what letter they drew. Alternate from person to person, except the driver, of course.
Pass a whispered message or sentence from one person to the next. You can only tell them the message once. As it goes around, it will probably end up getting mixed up. It will give the family a great laugh.
‘I spy with my little eye something…’ This game is great when kids start to get bored. Look for an object, then give give the people slight clues on what the object is. An example: “I spy something with four legs.” Items spied can be inside or outside the car.
Be sure to bring along Ellie’s word find on page 32 to keep the time passing!
Mix up a nutritious smoothie! If it is tough to get the kids to sit down to enough servings of fruits and vegetables, try preparing some fun! For 4 or 5 to enjoy: Fill a blender 1/2 way up with ice; Add milk to just about 1 ” over the ice. Add 1/2 cup yogurt, a banana and your choice of strawberries, blackberries or raspberries. Go ahead and sneak in a little extra nutrients from the health food section.
Makin’ Pizza Pie! All kids love pizza and they will love making their own. Lay out some whole grain English muffins opened on a cookie sheet (foil line it for easy clean up). Mix up a can of tomato sauce with garlic salt and Italian seasoning (to taste). Grate jack or mozzerella cheese and place in a bowl. Fill several bowls with healthy sides such as thin sliced vegetables including mushrooms, olives, diced broccoli, spinach and a favorite cooked meat such as ham or ground beef. Now let the kids spread on some pizza sauce with a spoon, sprinkle a little cheese, add ingredients, and cover them with a bit more cheese. Mom or Dad can pop them into the oven at 375º for 7 minutes, then to broil at 450º for a minute or two, until slightly brown. Cool and serve.
Rice Pudding: Heat leftover whole-grain rice with chopped apple or raisins, nuts and cinnamon with a dash of sugar sprinkled on top.
Dipping is Fun! Vegetables do taste good when you dip them in a favorite salad dressing. Try a sweet poppyseed dressing or some ranch. Give each child their own small cup of dressing as double dipping may be a reality. Cut vegetables in thin slices and in sticks for easy dipping and ease of eating.
Whole Grain Pinwheels: Spread a whole grain tortilla with low fat cream cheese. Sprinkle with finely chopped: olives, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Now roll it up so you have one long roll. Now slice the roll in 1/2″ pieces; lay them out on a platter. Spread a dab of cream cheese and top with an olive slice. Perfect served with small cups of 100% juice or with an herb tea party.
Often when kids get grouchy, it is because they are hungry or thirsty or tired. Have some of these snacks on hand to make snack time fun. When traveling or out doing errands, be sure to pack water and snacks. It will make for a much happier time.
If you are not a serious dirt bike enthusiast you may not even know that Ross Neely, 18 of Chester just did it again. I had the privilege of standing there as the our local rider passed by even the best of riders to win the Virginia City Grand Prix for the second time. He also took first place when he was 16. This time everyone seemed to take extra notice of this young rider, especially when he was interviewed with champions Kawasaki factory rider Justin Soule and Irving Powers, who took 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. While this race is not part of the (W.O.R.K.S), which provides point standings on the pros, it is still an easy view into the future for this rider according to the many race enthusiast I spoke with. Moto Mouth with these three guys staged high above the crowds called Virginia City’s top three winners the next regime.
It was fun to be part of the local group on hand to see this apt-to-be historic interview. “Moto Mouth” the well known announcer each year at V.C. hurled questions at Ross like, “So, no private school? No home school? You’re just a regular kid doing homework at night?” Ross smiled humbly as he agreed that pretty much summed it up. That and riding every chance he gets, working out, that kind of stuff.
“Where on earth do you ride that prepares you for a race like this?” asked the rugged voiced announcer from the announcer’s stage now lifted high for all to see. (The Virginia City Grand Pix held each April is over 150 miles.) Ross explained that he was currently snowed in at home, so he was riding in the Doyle area a lot. Ross rides with his dad often and a bunch of hard core motocrossers who love riding the rugged mountain and desert terrains with Ross. Ross’s parents, Pete and Michelle Neely, have dedicated the tons of time and resources needed to help their son rise to the winners circle and Ross showed his appreciation to them for all to hear.
On May 16, Neely competed in a W.O.R.K.S. race at Honey Lake Motocross track in Milford, CA. He took second place in the Pro 2 event, and 12th overall within the Pro 1 and Pro 2 class combined. Justin Soule who placed 2nd in V.C. took 4th place in the Pro 1 class at Honey Lake. Good luck to our local rider Ross Neely!
Does Music Make My Child Smarter?
Yes, of course it does. When learning a song, a musical instrument, or a dance step, your child experiences the unique integration of body and mind that music provides. Sensory integration is a crucial factor in children’s learning readiness for school subjects such as reading, writing, and math. Music improves spatial-temporal reasoning according to research by the MIND Research Institute, a neuroscience and education research based no-profit corporation. Music assists in a neurological process needed to understand mathematics. The best way to enhance your child’s learning with music is to encourage listening to and learning music throughout the child’s developmental years. Do it in a variety of ways that are enjoyable and fun, then let your child’s own interest and aptitudes guide your choices of lessons and activities.
A Piece of Guitar Heaven Comes to Westwood
Music enhances learning and that’s why Doug Sheehy of the Lassen County Arts Council was contacted by Westwood’s Fletcher Walker Elementary School Principal Adele Emershaw to bring a piece of Guitar Heaven to students in Westwood. A show titled Guitar Heaven appeared at Lassen College the same evening featuring amazing acoustic sounds. Very interested high school kids lined the floor in the cafeteria behind the entire elementary school which did not quite fill the room. However this small group of lucky kids were able to experience an amazing show.
Emershaw, known to the kids as “Mrs. E” told us it was unfortunate that the music programs are always one of the first to go as budgets get cut. “This school has a fraction of the music program it once did under the direction of Lou Hamilton”, she said. “Music makes you think. It is a constant.”, she added, crediting the Lassen County Arts Council for sponsoring this event. She quickly added that the school has received funds from the Plumas County Arts Council this year as well. All help with music and the arts is greatly appreciated by this elementary school principal, which proved lucky for some appreciative Westwood students.
Source: http://childparenting.about.com/cs/k6education/a/mozarteffect.htm, Fletcher Walker Elementary Principal Adele Emershaw
From the FBI
Internet Safety Tips for kids
MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS KNOW THE RULES:
If your child has access to a computer, here are some very important things for them to keep in mind when on the computer at home or at school. Go over these important FBI rules with kids who go online.
* First, remember never to give out personal information such as your name, home address, school name, or telephone number in a chat room or on bulletin boards. Also, never send a picture of yourself to someone you chat with on the computer without your parent’s permission.
* Never write to someone who has made you feel uncomfortable or scared.
* Do not meet someone or have them visit you without the permission of your parents.
* Tell your parents right away if you read anything on the Internet that makes you feel uncomfortable.
* Remember that people online may not be who they say they are. Someone who says that “she” is a “12-year-old girl” could really be an older man.
To read more about new privacy rules, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Web site at www.ftc.gov. There is a special section just for kids.
A clear jar or bottle also works well for kids learning to save money.
Teach Your Children Well
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), there is plenty one can do to teach children financial skills early. This Colorado-based nonprofit foundation is dedicated to helping Americans understand and control their own finances. Their website is filled with valuable information on teaching kids the skills to help them learn with six general categories for kids to learn about. 1. Earning Money, 2. Setting Goals 3. Budgeting 4. Saving and Investing 5. Using Credit Wisely 6. Protecting what has been accumulated.
Simple steps are offered to help parents teach their kids about money. For example at age two to four years old, NEFE® says most children will be anxious to start saving coins in a container. CEO and president William L. Anthes, Ph.D recommends that parents only use a piggy bank if it is transparent. He advises choosing a clear jar or bottle because he says, “At four years old, a child can’t understand what he or she can’t see.”
Ideas are offered for establishing allowances for five to seven year olds, suggesting that considering the family’s circumstances first, the amount may correspond to a child’s age, offering for example, $6.00 per week for a six year old. Anthes said, “Be sure to present the money at the same time each week, and be willing to let the child use it without restriction. For example, a child may initially spend the entire allowance immediately after he or she receives it. Be ready to point out the mistake,” he added, “but don’t bail the child out. Allow him or her to learn from the decision.”
Anthes advises introducing your children to the concept of compound interest by showing them how much $50.00 can grow at various rates of interest, and then to do the same calculations on $100.00. He says, “When they learn about the potential of their money, children are inspired to save for the long term.”
Find out more at the NEFE® website at http://www.nefe.org/.
A fun activity to do over Thanksgiving break is making gifts. Making gifts saves money and it’s fun. Here’s and idea; make a memory box! The memory box can be made out of a shoe box. You can decorate it however you want. Here are some things you might want to use to decorate your box:
You can even glue rhinestones or something else like that on your box. You can put pictures, artwork or anything else in the box. This memory box would also make a great gift for any mom, dad, grandma or grandpa. I personally think that parents and grandparents would like this more than a store bought gift. It is also much more fun than a store bought gift. Don’t you think?