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As the sun comes up I can’t help but reflect on what transpired the day before and how I am expecting this day to begin... Yelling? Anxious? Disharmony? Tears? Will I be tripping over toys and (those wonderfully sharp) Lego’s? Will there be forgotten backpacks, trumpets, homework? ...and if I have to pick up those dvd’s all over my floor from my two year olds fascination at opening them and chucking them everywhere like a ninja, I am seriously gonna lose it.

Can anyone relate?

I am 42 years old with 3 beautiful children from the ages 2-15. I have experienced time going by so fast, I have a 15 year old already. YIKES! Is it too much to ask that I want peace, harmony and unity with my family (I know, so maybe I was a hippie in a former life) But my expectations are real! I want less time yelling, more time smiling and enjoying. Family means team. We are a team..And this team is NOT gonna win if we are not in harmony working together.

So, I had an epiphany this bright early morning and I want to share before the chaos begins.


Lets think about this for a moment..Let it marinate.

The word CHORE...how does it make you feel? I know how it makes me feel and what memories come with that word. Reflect: I am 16 years old and my chore was to come home from school and vacuum. Did I? Oh I pulled the vacuum out and ran it up and down the rug a few time just to create the lines in the carpet but I never turned the thing on. (If it wasn't about ME, it didn't matter.)

Now, lets think about the word ACCOUNTABILITY..how does that make you feel?

Vulnerable? Instantly it becomes about ME! Unfortunately, I feel that this is a word not many of us are willing to confront. Who wants to be left accountable? The world uses it in such a negative way, but it’s not a negative word..It’s a positive word and more people should take pride in accountable. It builds character. It’s respected and honored. 

Now back to my epiphany...

Get out your colorful markers, your chart paper, your dry eraser board, your magnets..whatever. (I know you have em’, cause you’ve been making these silly charts for years)

Lets create ACCOUNTABILITY charts! (for the FAMILY, not just the little ones) Yup, we are all gonna hold ourselves accountable, let them see your faults. We are not perfect and our children need to see this first hand. We can ALL work at this team thing together making progress. (Hey, if the work together, as well as the coach)


Is there money involved? Maybe. Are there activities involved? Maybe. (whatever you chose that would work for your family..could be different for each member) I know my 15 year old is motivated by money, but my 2 year old is motivated by ice cream and my 10 yr old loves time spent with me.


Start with 3 things..Let them choose what their responsibilities will be in helping out the family. Three and under ideas:

1. Consider picking up toys with supervision

2. Assist in making bed

3. Sorting laundry (a good learning experience)

Pick 3 things for yourself as well, mine will look like this...

- making dinner more often (instead of eating out)

- spending at least 15 quality min with each child a night (not including two year old jumping on me during that time)

- getting up 15 min earlier than everyone else to do a daily devotional (some well needed God time)


At the end of each week you gather around your beautifully designed charts as a family and you go over it one at a time..Discuss and praise each one. (family time, harmony, positive...see my expectations weren’t too far off)

This is an example of what I am going to do, but you have to do what works for your family. For example, the conversation might look like this:

“So, Skylar how do you think you did this week?” Maybe you say something positive to initiate everyone else in this.”Sky, I know I saw you vacuum twice this week. Good Job! I also know you said (put it on them) you would vacuum all 5 days. How do you think you did?”

“Are there areas you need to work on? Cause I know I didn't make dinner all 5 days.”

Their incentives come with what they accomplished, not what they didn't. Everyone needs room to improve.

So if Vacuuming is $2 a day for the week and they did it all 5 days they get $10. If dusting is $3 a day and they only did it 3 days they get $9, but they had an opportunity to make $25 when they only made $19.

Are you following me?

Speaking the word ACCOUNTABILITY into our children's lives early on will achieve more responsible adults holding themselves accountable for their actions. In the end we are building some pretty important character qualities in our children that I personally feel they will be grateful for later on, along with their self-assuredness.

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We are ‘LEAPING with LOVE’ and excitement for the month of February!

As we enter the month, the preschoolers will be gathering materials for introducing our Buildings Study. We will be talking about various buildings, how tall they are and how they are made. We will even build some ourselves.

-Did you know?
The tallest skyscraper in the USA measures 1,776 feet.. Its the “Freedom Tower” in NYC.

February is also National Children’s Dental Health Month!

-As a school we will be focusing on dental health and healthy habits.

-We will have 2 local dentists coming to speak to our children!

-This years campaign slogan is called “Sugar Wars” focusing on effective ways to defeat the effects of sugar as we learn to maintain good oral health.

We celebrate Chinese New Year on the 8th.. learning which animal each of our birth years represent and sampling some cultural goodies!

-Do you know what animal yours is?

I learned that I was born in the year of the Ox (I will refrain from sharing what year that is)

On Wednesday the 10th, we are excited to celebrate 100 days of school!!!!

Finishing that week with our Valentines Day Party on Friday the 12th! (The kids have worked so hard on their Valentines Day bags.)

2016 is also Leap Year. We get an extra day this year to love on our kids.


You don’t have to be sitting at a desk in a classroom for a moment to be teachable. As a parent you are the best teacher!  

Here are some things to do and ideas you can share with your children this month! 

*Instead of reading a bedtime story..share family stories and loving memories.

*Replace that box of chocolates with homemade chocolate chip cookies made with LOVE. Valentineʼs is a perfect time to show your children how to bake. 

Bernards Township Library, Basking Ridge
-Valentine Drop in Crafts: Feb 13th, 10:30 (materials provided) 

Somerset County Park Commission
-”I Love Horses” Valentine Trail Ride: Feb 14th (mini lesson with instructor)

Environmental Education Center at Lord Stirling Park, Basking Ridge
-Maple Sugaring, Feb 20-March 13

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. 


Clip Art: Dental Hygiene B&W - preview 1



We are celebrating at Sunshine Preschool and Infant Care by having two local dentists visit our school to teach our preschoolers all about dental health!

For the first visit, preschoolers were treated to a puppet show, a story about losing your first tooth, and they even got to pretend they were teeth! We are looking forward to our second visit next week.


Fun Facts

Childhood dental disease is the #1 chronic childhood illness

But, good news!  It’s also the most preventable!!


Follow the 2-2-2 rule! :

Visit your dentist TWO times a year, and brush and floss TWO times a day for TWO whole minutes!


Here are some tips to encourage dental health:


  • Make it fun! Put on some music and have kids brush until the song is over.
  • Brush your teeth with your kids, they will see you doing it and want to be just like you!
  • Reward them with a new toothbrush for doing such a good job!


For more information you can visit

American Dental Association


Mouth Healthy Kids


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Happy New Year!!!


If you are anything like myself (and everyone else in the world) one of your New Year's resolutions is to become a healthier version of yourself in 2015. There are many ways to go achieve this goal, from starting a new active hobby, to signing up for a gym membership, or resolving to eat better and make healthier choices for you and your family. 

One of the most fun and effective ways to stick to a New Year's resolution is to partner up with someone, and who better to partner up with than your family!

PBS.com has some great tips on how you can do this. I'll briefly summarize for you, but you can find the link to the full article at the bottom of this page.


1. Be a good role model for your family. 

  • Chances are that as an adult, you are making the decisions about what kind of food enters the house and what gets cooked for dinner. If you set a good example for your family by eating right and remaining active, they are more likely to mimic that behavior and live a healthy lifestyle as well. 

2. Find fun ways to incorporate exercise in your every day routine. 

  • Whether it's playing basketball, doing yoga, or putting on some music and dancing around the house, these activities all get your heart pumping and you get to have fun while doing it!

3. Limit tv and electronics time.

  • Unplug. Go outside and play. Go for a walk. Play catch. Anything that gets you and your family off the couch and moving. If tv is an important part of your nightly routine, make a game out of it. Every time a commercial airs, use that time to get up and get moving. Jog in place. Play a game of tag. Practice yoga poses. 

4. Keep healthy options available around the house. 

  • If you and your family only have fruits and vegetables available for snack time, chances are that's what you will be eating. What you bring into the house will get eaten, including cookies and sugary snacks, so choose wisely.

5. Have fun!

  • No matter the activity you choose, make sure you and your family enjoy doing it. The more fun they have, the more likely they are to stick with it!



Here are some healthy, and kid friendly, approved meal ideas that you can make together!



Link to PBS Article : 

Encouraging Family Fitness & Healthy Habits



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One of my favorite things about fall is all of the fun fall flavors and recipes! From squashes to pumpkins to apples, there are so many things you can do with fall produce. Cooking is such a great bonding experience between children and parents, and kids really enjoy having a hand in preparing and eating the foods they help to create. With the weather cooling down I turn to a few favorites that I thought I would share with you.





This granola recipe would be great for a make ahead, grab and go breakfast.



Another breakfast (or breakfast for dinner) recipe. Serve with apple cider for an extra fall twist!



Chili is one of my favorite fall dishes to make. It's so versatile that you can add almost anything to it and it will turn out beautifully.
This vegetarian chili can easily be adapted for meat eaters by adding ground beef, turkey, or shredded chicken. Bonus: you will have plenty of leftovers for lunches!



And last but certainly not least, dessert. Growing up, my mom would make pumpkin chocolate chip whoopie pies every fall,so these hold a special place in my heart...and stomach.
This recipe calls for the chocolate chips in the cream cheese filling, but you could also add them to the "cookie" batter and they will be just as yummy!


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Fall is officially here and school is back in session!  One of the best things about fall are the many outdoor activities available to celebrate the season.  At Sunshine Preschool & Infant Care our months of October and November are always packed full of activities such as hayrides, pumpkin picking, healthy feasts, and costume filled parades. 

Outside of school there are many local events that parents can do with their children to help celebrate the season.

Many local farms offer pick your own options where families can take a hayride together, pick some apples, pumpkins, or other produce, and often times also be able to see farm animals.

  • English Farm right next door to the preschool is open for visitors. 
    Check out the market where you can purchase fresh produce, eggs, and fall decorations. 
    Stroll around the farm to see the animals, try the corn maze, or take a weekend hayride to the pumpkin patch. 
  • Hillview Farms in Gillette offers families apple and pumpkin picking opportunities in the month of October. 
    Hayrides to the apple and pumpkin fields are provided free of charge every Saturday from 9:00am-5:00pm.
  • Ripple Hill Farm in Basking Ridge
  • Wightmans Farms in Morristown

    Along with the ongoing farm activities there are a number of local events geared towards families with young children.  Many of them are free or cheap as well.
  • Snyder Farm Fall Festival
    Sept 27th – Oct 25th on the Weekends from 11am-6pm
    Hayrides, corn maze, food, facepainting.
    $10 per person, children under 2 are free
  • The Lord Stirling 1770s Festival
    Sunday Oct 5th 10:30am-4:30pm
    Return to the past and experience daily colonial life and craft industry at this annual festival. 
    Children of all ages will enjoy hayrides, clay crafts, stenciling, tin piercing, and colonial games.
    Snacks, lunch, and cold drinks are available.
    Suggested donation: $5 per person
  • Dewy Meadows Day
    Saturday Oct 11th from 11am-3pm
    The Merchants Association of Dewy Meadow Village invites you to attend Dewy Meadow Day Basking Ridge.
    Children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes and participate in a Costume Parade, as well as complimentary pony rides, petting zoo, face painting and much more!
  • By the Ligh of the Moon
    Friday, Oct 17th 6:30pm-9:00pm
    Environmental Education Center
    Listen for animal sounds. Make sparks fly. Hone your night vision and more as you traverse the swampy trails with a Naturalist beneath the stars.
    Indoor activities may include live critters, face painting, and more! Cookies and cider top off the night.
    Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. We recommend wearing your boots and leaving your stroller at home due to wet, dark, and uneven terrain.
    $6 per person
  • Brick Fair for Lego enthusiasts
    November 1st & 2nd from 11am-4pm
    Pre-purchase tickets, children under 3 are free
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Tagged in: at home autumn outdoors

Friday is here and with this beautiful weather around Basking Ridge we can just about taste summertime!

Our Pre-K graduation at Sunshine Preschool is coming up in a few weeks and as we reflect on the amazing growth and development of these students, it is so rewarding to see their bright imaginations coming out in their schoolwork, free play and group activities. Encouraging a child's imagination is a key part of giving kids the best in their early years. From the infant and toddler rooms all the way to the Pre-K students, we encourage exploration and curiosity in our classrooms and learning environments so that students go beyond just achieving certain skills to truly embrace learning and discovery.

b2ap3_thumbnail_toddler-art.jpg   b2ap3_thumbnail_image7.jpg  b2ap3_thumbnail_math-center.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_Girl-dressed-up.jpg

You can help your child's imagination continue to grow outside of school in a variety of ways. To get you started, check out this great blog post from a Kids Activities Blog that we came across recently. If you give some of them a try let us know how it goes!

For more great ideas, check out their Pinterest Boards!

Growing Creative Kids

Science Experiments for Kids

Preschool Play & Learning





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Last week we released our butterflies! The preschoolers gathered on the back lawn and excitedly watched as the beautiful butterflies spread their wings and flew away. Some of the students were understandably sad to see their new friends go, but they squealed with delight as the butterflies started to fly around and enjoy their new world.

Together, the preschool classes have studied the life cycle of the butterfly and watched them change and grow through all the stages. It's an amazing picture of God's design in our world and the kids loved watching the transformation. We are committed to this type of hands-on, experiential learning throughout our programs! A tour is the perfect way to learn more about our programs and school. Click here to schedule yours today!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Preschool-girls-butterfly.jpg   b2ap3_thumbnail_Preschool-girl-2-butterfly.jpg   b2ap3_thumbnail_Preschool-girl-butterly.jpg   



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b2ap3_thumbnail_Sports-Squirts-Collage.jpgWe are thrilled to host Sports Squirts here at Sunshine Preschool & Infant Care this spring! The kids are having so much fun participating in this weekly program that engages them in learning new skills in a positive and upbeat environment. With our fields and park-like property (plus an indoor gym in case of inclement weather) our partnership with US Sports Institute is working out great!

This week the kids were introduced to lacrosse. They played together in two teams trying to feed their "hungry, hungry Hippos" (the goals). The coaches do a great job of creating a game-like experience that is facilitating new athletic skills and an understanding of the various sports.

As part of our focus on holistic child development, we offer a variety of supplemental programs throughout the year. In the past we've offered cooking and gymnastics and we're exploring options in music and foreign languages for next year! Want to learn more about our camp and year round programs? Click here to schedule a tour.




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The Summer Camp at Sunshine Preschool is almost full! We have created a unique camp program that lets preschoolers experience summer the way it should be!

Lots of outdoor play and learning - start the day under the big tent with large group time that includes music, themed games, hands-on activities (extra fun during science and space exploration week!) and a Bible story. Daily swim time rounds out our day. Under the supervision of certified, experience lifeguards, we are offering swim lessons for 2014!

Indoor activities - snack, arts & crafts, and age appropriate rest times give preschoolers the chance to unwind and then re-energize for their next activity. And in case of inclement weather, our large facility is equipped with a variety of indoor play spaces including a gym and activity room!

Special events - the 4th of July parade, a trip to the farm, Carnival day, and weekly visits to the Sweet Shoppe are just a few of the highlights of the Summer!

Parents tell us that they love our flexible schedule options, affordable rates, and the quality of the program. If you have older kids, our sister program, Day Camp Sunshine, is conveniently located on our property as well offering a one-stop solution for busy families.

Register today and give your child an amazing summer experience! Still have questions? Contact us at 908-604-2707 or email camp@sunshinepreschool.net

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This week our preschool classes have been exploring the fascinating world of dinosaurs! As is tradition, Friday was show and tell and many of our students shared their favorite dinosaurs. A few of them even gave us their best dinosaur roars as you'll see in the pictures. Next week we are on to Easter and our annual egg hunt!


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http://www.kids-cooking-activities.com/images/boystirring.jpgThe kitchen is one of the best learning environments for children! We're currently offering a supplemental program for our preschoolers in partnership with Chef It Up 2 Go because it affords such great hands on development opportunities. Here are some quick and easy ways for you to use everyday cooking as an interactive learning experience with your child!

Two-year-olds are learning to use the large muscles in their arms. Try activities such as:
 scrubbing vegetables and fruits
 carrying unbreakable items to the table C
 dipping foods
 washing and tearing lettuce and salad greens
 breaking bread into pieces

Three-year-olds are learning to use their hands. Try activities such as:
 pouring liquids into batter (you measure first)
 mixing batter or other dry and wet ingredients together
 shaking a drink in a closed container
 spreading butters or spreads
 kneading dough
 washing vegetables and fruit
 serving foods
 putting things in the trash after cooking or after a meal

Four and five-year-olds are learning to control small muscles in their fingers. Try activities such as:
 juicing oranges, lemons, and limes
 peeling some fruits and vegetables (bananas and even onions)
 mashing soft fruits and vegetables
 scrubbing vegetables (potatoes, mushrooms)
 cutting soft foods with a plastic knife (mushrooms, hard-boiled eggs)
 pressing cookie cutters
 measuring dry ingredients
 cracking open/breaking eggs
 beating eggs with an egg beater
 setting the table
 wiping up after cooking
 clearing the table after a meal

*information courtesy of http://growing-minds.org/documents/cooking-with-children-in-licensed-child-care.pdf

Image courtesy of http://www.kids-cooking-activities.com/kids-cooking-lessons-assistant-chef-intro.html

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It's finally here! After a very long winter, the first day of spring has arrived and we are anticipating a wam(ish) and sunny day! Weather like this usually means the preschoolers get to go outside and enjoy their playground, do sidewalk chalk, and take walks around our park-like property. Even the littlest ones will get fresh air on their buggy rides now that the sun is out. Our three year old classroom just put up a bird feeder right outside their window that we're hoping many feathered friends will enjoy!

b2ap3_thumbnail_springpostbboard.pngAs spring rolls in, we'll be doing a lot of seasonally themed activities here at Sunshine Preschool & Infant Care. If you'd like to continue the learning at home with some fun, quick and easy activities, we'd suggest trying out one of these from Mike Stelzner over on mykidsadventures.com. He recently posted an article on the top indoor and outdoor spring activities for busy parents who want to create meaningful moments with their kids without adding more stress to their already super busy lives.

Don't miss the ideas about making your own bird feeder at home (and the info on bird watching) and how to take chalk art to the "next level". Let us know which ones you tried, or better yet - send us a picture with you and your child having a fun with one of these great activities! Happy Spring!

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Are you looking for something fun for your preschooler to do this summer? 
Consider Jr. Camp Sunshine in Basking Ridge, NJ!

Our 9-week fun filled summer camp is high energy and set-up to be perfect for 3-5 year olds needing a summer adventure!  Each week revolves around a unique theme, which is explored through the morning puppet show, as well as the daily art projects, games, and activities.  We provide a nice balance of indoor and outdoor fun for the comfort of our little ones. 

Every afternoon we have a rest time, and then change and head to our preschooler friendly pool for our afternoon swim time.  At the pool, the children are carefully watched by the camp staff, as well as the addition lifeguards on duty. 

Throughout the week, there are special events such as a stop at the Sweet Shoppe on Thursdays and a weekly big event, which fits the current theme.  This event ranges from a parade for Independence Day, to visiting a carnival help on the camp property for our “Under the Big Top” week, to exploding a volcano during our science week. 

Families are welcome to sign up for the whole summer or pick and choose the weeks and programs that work best for their busy summer schedules.

Check out our website for more information or click here if you would like to schedule a tour.


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Dr. Seuss

Read Across America

Last week the preschool learned all about Dr. Seuss, finalizing the week with a Green Eggs and Ham morning snack.  Dr. Seuss week is one of the many ways that Sunshine Preschool & Infant Care intentionally works to install a love of reading into each child who comes through our care.

As parents, there are many things you too can be doing at home to increase your child’s early literacy skills and love for reading. The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child. 

Reading Tips for Parents of Babies

It's never too early to read to your baby. As soon as your baby is born, he or she starts learning. Just by talking to, playing with, and caring for your baby every day, you help your baby develop language skills necessary to become a reader. By reading with your baby, you foster a love of books and reading right from the start.

Snuggle up with a book
When you hold your baby close and look at a book together, your baby will enjoy the snuggling and hearing your voice as well as the story. Feeling safe and secure with you while looking at a book builds your baby's confidence and love of reading.

Keep books where your baby can reach them
Make sure books are as easy to reach, hold, and look at as toys. Remember, a baby will do with a book what he does with everything else — put it in his mouth. And that's exactly what he's supposed to do, so you may only want to put chewable books within reach.

Talk with your baby — all day long
Describe the weather or which apples you are choosing at the grocery. Talk about the pictures in a book or things you see on a walk. Ask questions. By listening, your child learns words, ideas, and how language works.

Encourage your baby's coos, growls, and gurgles
They are your baby's way of communicating with you, and are important first steps toward speech. Encourage attempts to mimic you. The more your baby practices making sounds, the clearer they will become. Go ahead and moo, woof and honk!

Develop a daily routine (and make reading a part of it)
Routines can soothe a baby, and let a baby learn to predict what will happen next. The ability to predict is important when your child is older and is reading independently.

Check out the link for more tips: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/23798

Reading Tips for Parents of Toddlers

Being a toddler is all about action. Encourage continued language development and interest in books and reading by keeping things lively and engaging. Everyday experiences are full of opportunities to engage in conversation and develop language skills.

Don't expect your toddler to sit still for a book
Toddlers need to move, so don't worry if they act out stories or just skip, romp, or tumble as you read to them. They may be moving, but they are listening.

Recite rhymes, sing songs, and make mistakes!
Pause to let your toddler finish a phrase or chant a refrain. Once your toddler is familiar with the rhyme or pattern, make mistakes on purpose and get caught.

Choose engaging books
Books featuring animals or machines invite movement and making sounds. Books with flaps or different textures to touch keep hands busy. Books with detailed illustrations or recurring items hidden in the pictures are great for exploring and discussing.

Encourage play that involves naming, describing, and communicating
Set up a zoo with all the stuffed animals. Stage a race with the toy cars. Put your toddler in charge and ask lots of questions.

Play to their favorites
Read favorite stories again and again. Seek out books about things your toddler especially likes — trains, animals, the moon. These books may extend a toddler's attention span and build enthusiasm for reading.

Not having fun?
Try a different story or a different time during the day. Reading with a very young child is primarily about building positive experiences with books, not finishing every book you start.

Check out the link for more tips: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/23794

Reading Tips for Parents of Preschoolers

Read early and read often. The early years are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading.

Read together every day
Read to your child every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close.

Give everything a name
Build your child's vocabulary by talking about interesting words and objects. For example, "Look at that airplane! Those are the wings of the plane. Why do you think they are called wings?"

Read with fun in your voice
Read to your child with humor and expression. Use different voices. Ham it up!

Be interactive
Discuss what's happening in the book, point out things on the page, and ask questions.

Read it again and again
Go ahead and read your child's favorite book for the 100th time!

Point out print everywhere
Talk about the written words you see in the world around you. Ask your child to find a new word on each outing.

Get your child evaluated
Please be sure to see your child's pediatrician or teacher as soon as possible if you have concerns about your child's language development, hearing, or sight.

Check out the link for more tips: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/7833

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Preschool age appropriate crafts & games give parents options for surviving winter

This winter has been a doozy! With so many snow days, the cabin fever is setting in. Thankfully we’ve got the amazing athletes of the Winter Olympics to inspire us right now. Has your child discovered their favorite winter sport yet?

Here are some fun ways to keep the kids minds and bodies, active and engaged on a snowy day:

  • Create your own Olympic rings and display them in a busy part of your house. 
  • Sometimes a snow day means extra time for breakfast. Put an apron on them and have them help you whip up these Olympic-themed pancakes from the Food Network!
  • Create your own parade of nations with these fun printable flags and let the kids march around the house with fun music announcing their country.
  • Bundle up and head outside with spray bottles filled with the colors of the Olympics. Just use cold water and food coloring to create the colors. Create your own set of rings, mark out a “skiing course” and do races, or have them try to write their name in the snow.
  • Serve up a pizza that the kiddos can help create. We thought the one this mom made was pretty clever – “blue” cheese!
  • Wrap up the evening with a great book. Here’s a good list to get you started.

We’d love to hear about it if you try these out with your kids. Share a comment below or send us a picture! Stay warm and have fun!

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