Making this School Year Successful

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My friend Tatanisha, over at A Worthey Read recently wrote an awesome post titled, “This school year, I promise to…” all about what she’s doing this school year to make sure her kids have a successful school year.

I really, really, really love this idea. So, I decided to do a similar post here on The Mom with Moxie. My goals revolve around three categories: Schedules, Involvement and Homework.

Schedules

I will create and stick to schedules for morning routines, as well as after-school routines. We often have a hard time getting out of the house on time, and with minimal headache – in the mornings. For the longest time, I’ve been meaning to create a schedule for us to stick to. I find, that with Dylan’s ADHD, schedules are super important when it comes to him staying on task. I plan on typing it up and posting it in his room and around the house so it’s always front of mind for him. I plan on doing the same for the after-school hours as well so bath and bed times aren’t such a struggle.

Involvement

I will be more involved in school-parenting activities. Since I’m a full-time work-out-of-home mom, I can’t be involved in daytime activities like being class mom and volunteering for field trips. However, I will volunteer in any evening and/or weekend activities I can.

Homework

I will make sure Dylan gets all his homework done, before the night before the due date. At his school, they hand out homework packets on Monday and the kids are expected to get them completed and turn them in that next Monday. My goal is always to divide the homework up over the week, so it’s not such a large amount. However, we don’t always make sure that happens and then he’s spending all day and night on Sunday getting it done. Add in time for checking and correction and you have a very stressful Sunday. Also, since he has a bit of trouble with math, we’ll be getting him a tutor to help.

Despite it being more hectic, I’m actually looking forward to the school year. I can’t wait to put my goals into action.

Do you have any school-year goals for your kids and/or yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

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8 Things to do with your Kids Before Summer is Over

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My friends, even though we’re in the dog days of summer, the end is near. Some of your kids have already started school. But, for those of us whose kids won’t start until after Labor Day, there’s still summer fun to be had.

Here’s a list of 8 things to do with your kids before summer is over:

  1. Go fishing
  2. Go fly a kite
  3. Go camping
  4. Go for a walk
  5. Go for a bike ride
  6. Go to the beach or lake
  7. Have an outdoor scavenger hunt
  8. Have a water balloon/water gun fight
What kind of plans do you have for the reminder of the summer?

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Snoopy’s birthday is coming up. Let’s celebrate!

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August 10 is a wonderful day in the Glenn household, my friends. Not only is it the birthday of my super-awesome little boy, it’s also the birthday of Snoopy – you know, Charlie Brown’s hilarious pet beagle.

I’ll be posting Dylan’s birthday post on Monday – the big day – but I wanted to share the details of the celebration PEANUTS has planned for Snoopy. It’s a fun activity you can do with your whole family… Learn how to draw Snoopy! I’m kind of excited about this, especially since Snoopy is me and Dylan’s favorite character and the kid loves to draw.

Here’s how you and your family can join the fun:

1. Watch this video of The Peanuts Movie director Steve Martino showing how he draws Snoopy.

2. Post a picture of your penciled (or penned!) puppy to your favorite social channel using hashtag: #DrawSnoopy.

It’s that easy! I can’t wait to do this with Dylan. Be sure to follow my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and keep an eye out for his drawing.

Also, don’t forget that the new Peanuts Movie comes out November 6!

Disclaimer: NOT a sponsored post.

Create a book character that looks like your child!

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As a minority, growing up my parents were hard pressed to find books with main characters that looked like me. Even now, there aren’t many books with diverse main characters. And, I’m just talking about race. Now, imagine you’re a child with a disability. How awesome would it be to find a book where the main character has the same disability as you?

Tim Osterbuhr, Kai Schmittat and Friederike Geiken at Crayon Crunch have done just that. Their book, My Magical Adventure is a gender-neutral, personalized printed children’s adventure story set in an imaginary world. In the book, the lead character can be customized to look like any child, including all ethnicities and disabilities.

Some of the lead character customization choices include:

  • Name
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Hair Color and Style
  • Eye Color
  • Skin Tone
  • Facial Features
  • Clothing
  • Special Needs like Wheelchair, Glasses, Prosthetics, Cane, etc.

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I am so excited for this book and I think kids will love it. The story is about your child who finds a magical box in the attic with a keyhole in the shape of the first letter of their name. Because the key is nowhere in sight, your child goes on an adventure where they meet many interesting characters that help them find the key. When your child finally unlocks the box there is a surprise. Inside the box is a personal letter from a parent, family member or friend who purchased the book.

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Now that you’ve read all about this wonderful book, the creators need your help. I’m sure you know, making a book isn’t cheap. Crayon Crunch has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. So, if this book sounds as cool to you as it does to me, head over and donate.

15 Awesome Android Apps for Kids

15 Awesome Android Apps for Kids

Last year, I switched from the iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy sIII. Let me just say… I love it! The kid loves it too. And, like most moms, I use it to keep him busy, when we’re somewhere that requires a wait.

Unfortunately, sifting through all the apps available can be a chore, and a bore. No worries, though! I’ve done the work for you… Here is a list of the top Android apps, for kids that we’re digging, right now (some have a minimal cost):

Educational

  1. Kids Math
  2. PopMath
  3. Smart Kids Games
  4. Pop Science Kids Game Free
  5. Kids ABC Phonics Lite

Games

  1. Temple Run 2
  2. Angry Birds
  3. Ant Smasher
  4. Fruit Ninja
  5. Candy Crush Saga

Creative

  1. Kids Doodle – Color & Draw
  2. How to make Paper Airplanes
  3. Funny Kids Cams
  4. Christmas Story: Elf Adventure
  5. Kids Piano

What are some of your kids’ favorite apps?

Hey metro #Detroit parents, your kids into building stuff? Check out @TheRobotGarage!

Hey, metro Detroit moms… looking for something to do with your kids this summer? Are they into engineering, robotics and/or architecture? Well, I have a very inexpensive solution for you.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a “media moms” open house for The Robot Garage, a local business that aims to “provide a year-round PLACE for LEGO® and robotic enthusiasts of all ages.”

The Robot Garage has all kinds of blocks to build with.

The Robot Garage tons of blocks to build with.

 

The Van Gogh was build with LEGO®  bricks!

The van Gogh was build with LEGO® bricks!

The Robot Garage works closely with leaders from the robotics and education community and focuses on hands-on S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) experiences that are fun, educational and engaging.

The building is a converted warehouse, with added “garage bays” that section off to offer different things at once. The Robot Garage has 20-foot ceilings, brightly colored walls, and an unstructured studio setting with everything you need to spend a special morning or afternoon together with your children. I can’t wait to take the kid. In fact, I think we’re going to take him and a couple of his cousins next month, for his birthday.

They also have a store where you can buy LEGO® and robotics kits.

They also have a store where you can buy LEGO® and robotics kits.

 

All those itty bitty pieces are just begging for little hands to dive in.

All those itty bitty pieces are just begging for little hands to dive in.

The Robot Garage offers birthday parties, classes, workshops, summer camps and unstructured play (a drop-in program where children can come and play, for two hours, for just $8 per child).

Because the people at The Robot Garage are so awesome, they’re offering a discount on July summer camps. Just use promo code “mediamoms” and save $50 on regularly priced July camps*.

The Robot Garage is located at 637 S. Eton St., Birmingham, MI 48009. You can reach them at (248) 723-9100, via their website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Their summer hours are as follows:

Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Friday 9:00 a.m.  – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Closed Sundays during the summer

 

The kids at last week's camp built this - from scratch.

The kids at last week’s camp built this – from scratch.

*Offer subject to availability and only while seats remain available. No cash value. Not redeemable for other goods or services. Register online at TheRobotGarage.com or call 248-723-9100.

 

25 Ideas to Keep Kids Busy During the Summer

Summer is hard for kids.

Yeah, you heard me. Even though they’re out of school for the season, it’s hard. They’re always looking for things to do, and often there isn’t enough to keep those active little bodies and minds busy. And, when they’re not busy, they get in trouble. And, that’s no fun.

As a mom who works fulltime, outside the home (with a spouse that does as well), it’s super hard for me to find things for the kid to do, that fit into our work schedules.

25 Ideas to Keep Kids Busy During the Summer

Since summer is in full swing, I’ve been knee deep in “find things to keep the kid busy” research. Here’s a list of 25 ideas I’ve come up with so far.

  1. Story Writing
  2. Field Trips (Zoo, Museum, etc.)
  3. Bike Rides
  4. Puzzles
  5. Roller Skating/Blading
  6. Bowling
  7. Library
  8. Hide and Seek
  9. Reading
  10. Painting
  11. Drawing
  12. Coloring
  13. Swimming
  14. Make a Fort
  15. Build a Tent
  16. Have a Water Gun Fight
  17. Have a Nerf Gun War
  18. Play Dress Up
  19. Play Computer Games
  20. Have a Scavenger Hunt
  21. Make Paper Bag and/or Sock Puppets
  22. Put on a Puppet Show
  23. Water Balloon Fight
  24. Architect (LEGO® bricks, Blocks, etc.)
  25. Board Games

So, there you go. There’s my list of ideas to keep kids busy, during the summer (or anytime, really). Feel free to add to this list, in the comments section below.

A Day Out with Thomas at Greenfield Village

Disclosure: I was provided free tickets to attend the Day Out with Thomas event. All opinions are my own.

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The  Day out with Thomas: The Go Go Thomas Tour 2013 provides kiddos the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas as well as participate in Thomas & Friends themed activities.

Thomas the Tank Engine pulled into Greenfield Village this past Saturday, the hubs, the kid and I were there to take part in all the fun. We had a wonderful time. The kid really enjoyed himself. And, since he didn’t remember the first time we went, four years ago, it was like his first time!

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Kids, and their families, are invited to take a 25 minute ride around Greenfield Village on Thomas, meet Sir Topham Hatt, and enjoy a day of Thomas & Friends themed activities including arts & crafts, model trains, storytelling and more.

Day Out with Thomas 3Day Out with Thomas 4

Day Out with Thomas 5

From April 27-28, May 4-5 and 11-12, little engineers and their families are invited to take a Thomas the Tank Engine rides depart every 30 minutes, rain or shine. Departure times begin at 9:30 am through 5:00 pm each day of the event. Tickets for the Day out with Thomas: The Go Go Thomas Tour 2013 are $11.75 for members, age 1 year and older and includes free admission to Greenfield Village. Ticket prices for non-member children age 1-4 is $11.75, youth age 5-12 is $27.75, adults age 13-61 is $33.75 and seniors age 62 and up is $32.75.

Tickets are on sale now by calling The Henry Ford at 313-982-6001 or visiting www.thehenryford.org.

For my readers not living in metro Detroit, click here to see if Thomas is coming to your area!