Fun Fitness Videos For Parents and Kids

Even though I have not had time to post in a couple of weeks since I am in the process of moving, I did find these really cool videos on YouTube about child fitness. The ideas in these videos are a great way to encourage your kids to stay fit and healthy. They are things that people at any age will enjoy (even the grown- ups).

“Fitness & Fun with Kids” – Christian Fitness -Faith Based Wellness

By Alisa Keeton

I love this series of games for two reason. The first is that it’s a great way to bond with your kids, and will help teach trust and teamwork. Second, she incorporates key verses from the bible into their routine.

Cool Games & Fun Warm-ups

By GymSmarts

This game is not only fun, but it is very funny. The more people you can get to play, the more fun it is. There is no limit to how many people can play at once since it’s not really a “competitive” game.

Focusing Fun for ADHD – Games to Help Kids Practice Focus

By Yoga Calm

I especially like this one because it is a game we used to play a lot at my elementary school. At the time, I thought any teacher who wanted to play this game was the coolest, but I now realize that it was probably more fun for them since it was NICE AND QUIET!

Which of these are your favorites? Comment or Tweet me some of your favorite YouTube videos for families.

Like this post? Click that little like button below to let me know you want more. And share the LOVE with your friends! 😉

More About Encouraging Healthy Habits:

http://www.pbs.org/parents/food-and-fitness/sport-and-fitness/family-fitness/

http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/outdoor/get-active-games-kids-families/#page=1

http://merissawrites.com/2014/11/13/5-fun-tag-variations-for-all-ages/

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10 Random President Facts and Games To Play With Them

Today is the day (some) of us celebrate our past and present Presidents. Last year, on President’s Day, The Huffington Post wrote an article with at least one surprising fact about every one of our United States President’s to date. Here are some of the most surprising facts you can find on that list.

  1. George Washington’s teeth were not wooden.
  2. Andrew Jackson had a cursing parrot. Wow!
  3. William H. Harrison had a pet goat.

    Ulysses did WHAT?!
  4. James Buchanan is the only president who never got married. No way.
  5. Ulysses S. Grant got a $20 speeding ticket for “zooming” down the street too fast on a horse. YOU GO DUDE! (Not).
  6. William McKinley was the first president to use a telephone to campaign. Back in the super- duper EXTREMELY “olden days.”
  7. Herbert Hoover and his wife spoke Mandarin around The White House to prevent other people from knowing what they were talking about. What do you think they were hiding?
  8. And lastly, our current President, Barack Obama, likes his comic books. Mr. President, why do we have “Captain America?”

    Comic Nerd?! Hahaha!
  9. Ronald Reagan used to do a stand- up comedy show in Las Vegas!
  10. President George W. Bush used to be a cheerleader!?

All of these facts seem useless, but what if you could turn them into fun indoor games for kids?

Presidential Telephone

Materials

  • 3×5 cards
  • Pen or pencil

How- To Play

  1. Put each fact on its own  3×5 card.
  2. Sit in a circle and turn each card face down on the floor in the center (make sure you don’t know which card is where).
  3. Have the first person start by drawing a card and whispering the fact into the ear of the person to his or her right.
  4. Continue like this until everyone has hear the “secret fact.”
  5. Have the last person in the group say out loud what he heard from the last whisper. Photo "Kids" by Marcin Bartkowiak http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/browse-author.php?a=34949

A Game For Younger Kids!

For younger kids, help them pick one of these random, “useless” facts and her tell you a story as if she were that president. This is a great way to help your child develop their storytelling skills as well as her ability to relate to other people.

To read the rest of ” 44 Presidents, 44 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know” from the Huffington Post click here. 

9 Best Ways To Explore Color With Preschoolers

It’s color week on Merissa Writes. This week’s posts will be all about color and fun things to do with it. Below are nine of the best ways to have fun with color. No matter what time of year it is, you can find fun indoor games for kids and fun outdoor games for kids.

Colors -Are-Fun

Colors

1. Crayola color game-The Crayola website has a great way to explore colors with your kids online on their “explore colors” page. First you pick your favorite color and then you pick your favorite shade. This is a great way to introduce the concept of shades to your kids.

2. Sort colored candies- Stuck inside the house all day? Get out some brightly colored candies, like M&M’s or Skittles, and have your child sort them, line them up and even make a rainbow. The best part about these types of indoor games for kids is that they are educational and you get to eat them afterward.

3. Play- Doh- Play- doh is often forgotten when it comes to teaching your kids about colors as it is more associated with sensory activities for preschoolers rather than for colors. You can make all sorts of things with Play- Doh. The YouTuber SuishyBall makes some fun and colorful things with Play- Doh. So play, mold, create!

Shades

4. Organize your crayon colors by shade- If you have young children, you are sure to have a bunch or crayons, markers and colored pencils in the house. One of my favorite things to do as a child was organize my crayons by color and then by shade. I spent hours first organizing them lightest to darkest, and then darkest to lightest. This is a fun way to keep your kids busy on their own while you get some other things done.

5. Color in a bag- This one of my favorite indoor games for kids because it is both mess- free, and it is a creative way to pass the time. Just put two or three drops of different colored paint in a clear, “zipable” baggy, tape the ends to a table and let your little one squish around the paint with his fingers. Not only is this one of the many great sensory activities for preschoolers about color, but it can also be an introduction to shade and color mixing.

Science

6. Make colored flowers- Have you ever been to the grocery store, or flower shop and seen all those vibrantly colored flowers? Take your son or daughter to get some plain white flowers. Take them home, and put them in a vase with a few drops of your favorite food coloring and watch the petals change colors throughout the week. This is also an easy science experiment for kids.

Colorful-Snow7. Rainbow snow- Use several different spray bottles with water and food coloring to spray the snow outside on those snow- filled winter days. This is fun, even for adults, and it’s a creative way to teach your kids about snow and the way water melts.

Writing

8. Rainbow writing tray- Here is an idea that I love and has several ways you can use it. Just tape brightly colored duct tape to the bottom of a shoe box or shoe box lid, pour some salt so that it covers all of the bottom and hand your child a dull pencil or a paint brush and have her write or draw things in the salt. This is a fun way to introduce letter writing to your preschooler. It makes a really good transition from colors and shading to shapes and letters.

Food

9. Food coloring in food- Use a few drops of food coloring in your cookie dough, or make vinilla milk and color it with food coloring. Blue, red and green colored vinilla milk and cookies will always be a kid favorite.

Whatever you do, make sure it is fun for you and your kids. Be creative! Colors are so much fun, even for the grown- ups. If you try any of these ideas, please remember to tweet me (@merissawrites) pictures or comment below about how they work for you. I love to hear from my readers.

I got many of these ideas from Parents.com and learning4kids.net. If you check out their websites, you can find even more fun things to do with color.

10 Winter Break Essentials For Kids

It is officially winter, which means that winter break is just around the corner. That means more time to spend together as a family, and more time to keep the kids occupied. But don’t worry, if you have these winter break ‘must- haves’ at home, keeping them busy will be a breeze (well, as breezey as possible).

1. Christmas themed travel kits- If you plan to travel, this is a must. Travel kits with toys, crayons and coloring books will keep the little ones busy while you are driving.

image
Taken at The General Store in Goldendale, WA

2. Card stock- Try to keep several colors of card stock around for making cards, which is a great way to teach your kids about giving.

3. Lots of colored construction paper- It’s important to have plenty of construction paper of all different colors, especially red and green. There is so much you can make: a Christmas card, perhaps, or maybe a colorful Christmas chain.

4. Board games for the whole family- Be sure you have games the whole family can enjoy. If you have a little one, don’t leave him out. What about a matching game? Matching games are easy to find for any occasion, and are a big hit with preschool and kindergarteners. You could also easily make your own.
5. Christmas cookie recipe book-

image
Taken by John Sullivan http://www.public-domain-photos.com/food/cookies-free-stock-photo-4.htm

You can use the internet to find awesome recipe ideas, too. There are a lot less advertisements, if any, in a recipe book than online. Advertisements can be very distracting to some kids. But online, you can find many more ideas.

6. Crayons and holiday coloring pages- Always have a variety of fun Christmas coloring pages handy, especially if you have kids who love to color. You can buy a coloring book, or you can just print them off as you need them.

7. Holiday puzzles- These are a great way to help keep their minds active while they are out of school.

8. Miscellaneous holiday toys- What kid doesn’t like to get in the holiday spirit through play? Get out your Santa toys or holiday playdoh. You can even use your nativity set to help your kids act out the story of Jesus.

9. Lots of books- Books are a great way to spend quality time together during winter break. They are also a good way to keep the kids busy while you bake, or on long trips. Make sure they have lots of colorful pictures.

10. Several christmas movie favorites- “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a great movie to have out during the holidays. You can even read the book, and then watch the movie. In fact, all those classic Christmas cartoons you watched as a child are a great way to bond. Let your kids know which movies you used to watch.

*EXTRA TIP: Get these supplies before winter break starts so you won’t have to go even one day without them.*

How To Have A Mommy and Me Princess Party

It is so much fun to pretend to be a princess for a day. So how can you use your daughter’s natural desire to look pretty and act dainty to bond and get to know each other? Have a “princess party,” of course! “But, Merissa,” you ask ” how, exactly does one go about having a “princess party?” Well, you have to look the part- like a princess. You can’t be hungry. And you have to be invited to a ball. Don’t worry if you were not invited to a ball, though, because you are going to throw one. So slip on your glass slippers and get out your fairy godmother, because here is the most comprehensive checklist for the perfect princess ball.

STEP 1: Dress up in a pretty dress.

What kind of princess does not have a frilly gown? Get out the pretty princess dresses and model them for each other. It is important to have the perfect gown for the perfect night of ballroom dancing. If you do not have a princess dress or costume laying around, grab one of your pretty blouses and a scarf. Have your daughter put on the “dress”and the wrap the scarf around her waist. Another great way to make a pretty dress is to wrap a shimmery piece of fabric around her and use safety pins to make it stay.

STEP 2. Do each others hair and make- up.

wpid-20141022_130200.jpg

What is a beautiful dress without a fancy hair- do and some make- up to accentuate your look? Put your little princess’s hair in a dainty braid and wrap it into a bun. Or, if you have time, you could curl her hair and put it in half pony tail. Paint some glitter on her eyelids and a little bit of blush. Then add some pink sparkly lip gloss to complete her look.

Now that she is almost ready for the ball, it is your turn to get all gussied up. Let your daughter do your hair and make- up. Make sure you tell her thank you! Give her just the right make up, and help her put it on your face. Be sure to let her do most of the work. With opportunity comes practice, and with practice comes ability. (She will get better with practice). But for now, you have a ball to get ready for and you mustn’t be late!

STEP 3. Paint nails.

wpid-20141022_125953.jpg

It is always fun to paint your nails. Sometimes there is not enough time, but if you have time before the ball, you should. Painted nails is a great way to complete your look. Hey, how many balls will you be attending, anyway? Probably not many, so don’t miss out.

STEP 4. Have the “pre- ball” meal.

wpid-20141022_133440.jpg

What is a ball without a meal? Whip out the peanut butter, the bread and the jelly and work together to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Then cut the sandwiches into the shape of a crown. Take out a whole carrot and use a paring knife to “whittle” it into a carrot flavored scepter. Enjoy!

STEP 5. Dance until the clock strikes twelve.

Now for the moment both you princesses have been waiting for. It is time for the ball. Get out some dolls and stuffed animals for your “dates.” Put on some pretty princess party music, and dance the night away. Use your favorite mix of songs, but make sure that everybody has a turn to choose a song.

Okay, okay, so it might be hard sometimes to do all of these things in one day, but it is important to pretend with your daughter and the kids you take care of. Pretend is the way they learn to deal with real world issues. And what little girl wouldn’t love to be a princess for a day? The little girl I babysit is four years old. She is an all out girly girl. She loves pink and dresses and make up. When she did a really good job of helping out and obeying last week, we had a princess party. It is a great way to reward your little princess, too. It is well worth the effort, and we had a blast!