Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Break Survival Guide: More for the Indoor


We are halfway through our Spring Break Survival Guide week!  How's the extra parenting hours going?  I hope you had a chance to try some of the physical activities I shared earlier in the week.  School breaks can be a lot of extra work in the parenting department, especially if you don't normally have all of your children home with you everyday.  Here are 5 fun, cheap and simple things for indoor quieter activities you can do with multiple age groups.

Spring Break Survival Guide: More for the Indoor

Chaos can ensue in only a matter of minutes when all three of my boys are home all day.  I've learned if I have a basic plan for the day, then I succeed a little bit better.  So here are a few fun things to add to your day plan that will keep your kiddos engaged for at least a little while.


SLIME!
Seriously making slime is super simple, easy, cheap and so fun for the kids to play with!  Most times it can be re-used as long as it stays off the floor, doesn't get licked (this is a problem in my home) and you have your kiddos wash their hands before they play. There are only one billion slime recipes on Pinterest.  I posted a super fun one earlier this week on my Facebook page.  Here's another recipe that is Borax free and looks like you can dye it any color kool-aid you want!
This easy recipe:
  • 1 tbsp of Metamucil with Psyllium (generic fiver supplement will also work as long as it contains psyllium)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Optional: Kool-aid packets for scent/color or food dye for richer color
With instructions can be found here on this Growing a Jeweled Rose Blog


Car Wash (barbie wash) Station:
Need a few cars or Barbies (small toys)
Metal tray or pan with sides
Tooth brush (new or old, not to be used again...)
Little bowl or cup with a small dot of dish soap and water
Small wash cloth to dry
Towel under it all for just in case!
Line up the cars (toys) for a wash!
This Activity in Pictures on Jennifer Fischer's Blog!



Boredom Busters:
Oh my WORD the Dating Divas nailed it on this one!  These ideas are so super fun and I think you would either have a very cheap, short Michael's run for some paint etc. Or no cost at all!  These activities are mostly for preschool age and up. So if you have a baby, depending on the age, they could do modified activities based on their skills.  Maybe on Friday you could devote some fun time to pick out some of these 60 activities to do as an end of week celebration!  Maybe make it a family affair?
Find these super fun ideas here at Dating Divas

Some other random fun ideas for indoor fun:
Create a "book nook" for quiet time.  Take a large card board box, have your kids help decorate it, cut an entrance hole in the front.  Set a pillow inside, give child a flashlight, snack and some good books to look through or read. (I wish I could make an adult sided version of this!)

Set up a "photo booth" Have your kids use props around the house (costumes, silly hats, dads tie etc..) Our you can make it a trolls booth then watch Trolls or play the music in the background (it is the most fun soundtrack!) Use your cell phone to take the pictures unless you are awesome and have a real camera!

Indoor Hop Scotch is a fun movement activity for inside.  Use masking tape or painters tape to create the squares. You can make it an educational activity by putting words, letters, shapes, numbers or math problems in the squares.

Write letters.  This is a lost art that many people appreciate.  We live far from our family here on Ferrell Farms, so often we do not see grandparents and family for a long time.  Sending them cards, notes and drawings from the kids is always fun.  Put stickers, different writing utensils, stencils, stamps and fun paper out on the table and let them create!

Balloons entertain kids for hours. Blow up a few balloons, set them up with a safe space and see how long they can work together to keep the balloon from touching the ground.  My brothers and I used to do this for hours!  You can also use painters tape to draw a line for them to hit the balloon over. Want to get crafty? Take large Popsicle sticks and paper plates to make paddles to hit the balloons with!

Find more activities here on my Activities For the Kids Board on Pinterest!

All this to say, try to plan something to do every few hours to keep their attention and ward off whining.  Throw some chores in there and make sure they are helping clean up to keep it as stress free as possible.  Take a deep breath, give your grace and enjoy some extra time doing the most important job you have, working with God to raise your children to know him and see him in their lives.  It's not easy, but it's the greatest calling on our lives as parents.

GO, HAVE FUN!

Much Love,
Chrystan

Like what you're reading?  Follow my blog for more inspiration each week!  Also, I'd love to see pictures of you doing these activities, send them to chrystan.ferrell@gmail.com or comment below!





Monday, March 20, 2017

Mom's Spring Break Survival Guide: Let's Get Active!


Momma friends, it is that time again; SPRING BREAK! and most of us aren't packed up and headed to the beach (sigh).  Here we are, just trying to survive a week with some extra tasks on our hands.  I want to help us all with some easy, cheap/free things to do to keep the sanity. I'm not always the super fun, all the cute crafts mom, but we do have some fun out here on Ferrell Farms despite my lacking in adorable cutesy projects.  Let's do this Spring Break week together starting with three ideas for getting your kids MOVING!

1. CosmicKidsYoga- this YouTube/Online yoga program for kids is the most fun!  I even joined in a bit!  We know getting kids moving is super important not just for health but for sanity (I'm a boymom, my kids must expend energy!)  So last week I had my kids home more time than normal and Cosmic Kids Yoga saved me!  They take the kids through a yoga story adventure (we did the pirate one).  The host leads them through a body active story time that had my kids giggling and have a great time! I mean they rowed a boat with their legs and talked on a phone with their foot, adorbs!  You can find all the Cosmic Kids Yoga goodness here. Highly recommend!


2. Obstacle Course- this is our family JAM!  We love obstacle courses!  We do this outside but it can also be modified to an inside activity if it's still cold weather outside for you or a rainy day.  Kids of all ages can participate, but probably 2 and up with modifications for age groups.  As a "family" we set up a "course"  including but not limited to the following tasks one right after the other:
1- hop over a row of sticks or logs
2- do 10 jumping jacks
3- crawl under a row of chairs
4- spin around the bat 5 times
5- kick a ball in the goal
6- climb up our landscaping wall/bear crawl up the hill
7- Run as fast as you can to the end
We count out loud (good way to integrate counting practice and watch reading work too!) to see how long it takes us and try to beat our own times the second time around. This is great family exercise and the kids always get into it trying to created great obstacles for us. Also, another benefit is EVERYONE is getting exercise even mom (if she can participate!) Family exercise is beneficial on all levels, just ask my friend Mendy Shriver, she runs a fitness business completely based off of moms and their babies you should go check it out!



3. Playground games- guess what...this new generation doesn't play foursquare!!! My eleven year old did not know how to play foursquare, I mean I was shocked and slightly disappointed in our public school system! What kind of world do we live in where kids don't know how to play foursquare!!!! So I took immediate action. The other day we were playing outside and I began to teach my 5 year old how to play foursquare (preschoolers can hit a ball over the line and they think it's pretty fun and it's pretty easy) and then all three of my kids joined in.  We had a blast and we kept it simple, just hitting the ball over the lines into each other's "square".  So, you could all play a game together or you can send them outside to play 3 rounds of playground games.  Foursquare is an easy option because you can square off any area, concrete, gravel, grass etc. You need a bouncy ball. You can also have a jump rope station set up and your other activity can be something you already have available.  (basketball, soccer goal, swings etc) Set a timer and have them play each activity for 10 minutes.  This is all depending on your age of kids.  My kids play outside by themselves now (also we live in the country so it's very safe) if you need to be outside with them, pull up a chair and a whistle and be the ref, while sipping a nice beverage and flipping through a magazine!  Playground games are sure to be lots of fun and can be so simple!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your bodies.

Our children are greatly lacking in PLAY and childhood obesity is off the charts!  Outdoor play offers fresh air, energy burning, sunshine (mostly) and has lots of opportunity for imagination and success.  Let's start this Spring Break week and make a change for our kids.  Eyes off of screens and onto to play, with little work from mom and no money spent!

Have fun!

Much Love,
Chrystan


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pursuing Lent

(photo:unsplash)
 Lent, the time when religious people come out of the woodwork and give up things.  Apparently the act of great sacrifice, doing without things like coffee, wine, bread, meat, shopping…and on and on.  Lent, I believe, could be so much more than that.  We could be in pursuit instead of promoting self. Here is my Lenten creed…

For Lent I will be in pursuit.  I don’t want to give up I want to give in. I want to give in wholly to who I am at the foot of the Cross. I want to give in to His desires, His will, His way.

I want to die to myself so I can live a life that is pleasing to God. That honors Him. That says yes to community, to loving well, to serving, to teaching, to mentoring.  A life that says yes to abundant grace and mistakes and tears and joy. 
(photo:chrystanferrell)

This Lent I will celebrate each day by opening the word, by giving up my time for His glory. I will celebrate the journey to the Cross by giving up my will, to honor His.  I will celebrate the life and death, by dying to my selfish desires to instead desire time in prayer and repentance. 

This Lent may we all by more willing to give up our lives for the glory of his, than we are to give up a food, a beverage, or an activity. This Lenten season may we look for the face of grace instead of the “obligation” of living without.

Forty days with the God of grace at the helm of this ship sounds better than anything else I could pursue today. Let the creator guide the created.


You are beautifully made by the creator of the universe who died for the sins that you refuse to let go of.  Let that sink in a minute, then lay down your life and follow HARD after him.  May this be the Lent season where we give up what He is truly asking for, our hearts.

Isaiah 44:22
"I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you"

Much Love,

Chrystan

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