Saturday, October 31, 2009


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

15 Minutes : Play It : Ghost Puppets

Puppets are a great imaginative activity any time and these ghost puppets are supper simple to make. Just take a white paper napkin, two small ponytail holders, two black dots with a marker, and one cute little hand. Simply secure "arms" with rubber bands on the pinkie and thumb and let the little ones start hooting and howling. I had dancing ghosts in my yard all afternoon.


Monday, October 19, 2009

15 Minutes : Read It : Humbug Witch

image via

Humbug Witch, by Lorna Balian, is a funny, old Halloween book. Don't be taken aback when the witch starts undressing--I promise that this one has no bathroom humor, only clever, innocent silliness.


Friday, October 16, 2009

1 Hour : Make It : Halloween Paper Dolls

image via babalisme

This is so sweet and I know my daughter would love to find another reason to cut up paper. I'm thinking she would even make more outfits out of scraps of patterned paper.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

15 Minutes : Play It : Hide The Mini Pumpkin

image via google

Do your kids love hide-and-seek and hot-and-cold games? Mine do. This season make your game a little more festive by hiding one of the mini pumpkins you have hanging around. This is a great activity for toddlers to work on their listening skills.


Monday, October 12, 2009

15 Minutes : Know It : Columbus Day provides the following helpful information about this lesser-known holiday. (In the state where I grew up, we always had school off.) In addition to telling your kids a bit about about Christopher Columbus, you can find short quizzes here and here.

Also, here are some coloring pages for your kids to work on today.

Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October. (It was formerly observed on October 12.)

The holiday honoring Christopher Columbus' sighting of America on October 12, 1492, is observed in the states of the United States and also in parts of Canada, in Puerto Rico, and in some cities in Italy and Spain. Although Columbus was not the first explorer to set foot in the Western Hemisphere, his landing at San Salvador Island in what is now the Bahamas was very important. It opened the way for the settlement of America by Europeans. It is probable that the first celebration honoring the event was held in 1792. Columbus Day became a legal holiday in the United States in 1892, 400 years after the famous voyage. It was then called Discovery Day. Many cities and organizations sponsor parades and banquets honoring the holiday.

October 12 is celebrated in Latin American countries not only as Columbus or Discovery Day, but also as the Day of the Race (El Día de la Raza). It honors the many different peoples of Latin America. Schoolchildren in the larger cities parade. Fiestas, sometimes lasting several days, are held in the areas with large Indian populations.


Friday, October 9, 2009

1 Hour : Make It : Paper Pumpkin Ornament

Came across this cute kid friendly Halloween craft from three wheels turning, a paper and design company. Now these were the types of projects I was making when I was in elementary school. Maybe that's why I love them so much.
Click here for the directions.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1 Hour : Play It : Chores in a Bag

image via here
We have several ways to do chores on Saturdays (our big day for cleaning). One way that has been a hit since my oldest was just a little tyke is this: With the kids we write a list of the chores to be done, then cut them into strips, and place in a plain paper bag. Taking turns, we pull out the jobs and do each one as a team. We also include some fun chores to keep things on the light side.

Here's a peek at some chores we often have in our bag:
Make beds (again, as part of the game, we do each one as a team.)
Wash three windows
Unload dishwasher
Pick up playroom
Pick up back yard
Read a book
Vacuum (I do this one, while the kids try to beat me on finishing the next job.)
Have a snack
Organize mudroom
Wipe doorknobs


Monday, October 5, 2009

1 Hour : Know It : Incentives

image via here

I'm not usually a fan of money-based reward systems, but I just read a very interesting article that explains how to "pay" for behaviors in an appropriate, temporary way. Here are a couple of the suggestions:
  • Use monetary rewards as a last resort solution.
  • A small amount--even a nickel or quarter--is often sufficient to motivate.
  • Use incentives in combination with teaching about the principle (eg., delayed gratification).
I can think of one specific, ongoing issue at our house where these ideas might help: staying up way too late reading. Maybe a quarter for on-time lights out? I may try it.


Friday, October 2, 2009

October Giveaway

Congratulations to the winner of this month's giveaway...Kim Johnson.

Be sure to check RedRoko daily to try for other giveaways, and for great activities you can do with your kids.


15 Minutes : Make It : Wolf Mask

I have a small collection of Martha Stewart: Kids magazines (no longer in print).
There is a lot of stuff in these magazines that is not available these wolf masks.

For that reason I have scanned them in for your convenience. Just print and cut...and tape (a craft stick).

I know I're welcome :)