Tips for connecting with your kids
Family Features –Warm weather is characteristically associated with relaxing days by the pool and beach vacations to soak up the sun with family and friends.
Waning work days, slews of sporting activities, camp carpools and a plethora of planned play dates demand daily, detailed to-do lists to successfully coordinate the madness. With this hectic lifestyle now defined as “the new normal,” it is essential to pause and enjoy the simple, joyful everyday moments with our children.
Though week-long family vacations may not be part of the plan, Liz Pryor, life advice expert, offers simple tips for connecting with your kids.
• Turn Off All Electronic Devices – For just fifteen minutes a day when you’re shuffling your children to and from events, make a conscious effort to turn electronic devices off. Being fully engaged with your kids for a few moments each day will connect you in a way that only seemed possible during a fun day at the beach.
• Hit the Pause Button and Get the Conversation Started – After a long day of work and warm weather activities, catch up with the kids over a refreshing cup of iced Green Mountain Naturals Lemonade. This Brew Over Ice K-cup pack is quickly made at home with your Keurig brewer and will be loved by all members of the family. The process is quick and easy and kids will love being part of it.
• Plan a “Staycation” – Even though a week-long getaway may not be possible, have each child plan a one-day family “staycation” to enjoy a local park, museum or adventure in the backyard. By allowing the kids to plan the day, they’ll be extra excited and involved in family time.
• Pack a Picnic – Have the kids help pack a picnic of turkey sandwiches, baby carrots and an insulated bottle of ice cold Green Mountain Naturals Lemonade. For a sweet treat, dip a graham cracker in melted chocolate chips, lay on waxed paper and quickly sprinkle with chopped nuts, candy-coated chocolate or more chocolate chips. Allow to harden on the waxed paper before adding into the picnic basket and heading out for your next family adventure.
• Assign Superhero Homework- Include the kids in family chores while incorporating a fun spin. Over the course of the summer, give each child a daily “mission” with an exciting title, such as Inspector of Doggy Dish or Kitchen Table King. Rotate missions regularly to mix it up.
Pryor stresses each family should mold these tips and make them their own to work in a unique way that is special just to them. Every family has its own way of communicating. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long you take time to find those moments to connect. For more warm weather drink ideas and information, visit www.brewoverice. com. Celebrate science with at-home chemistry experiments
NewsUSA – Chemistry plays a critical role in most of life’s daily activities, but we tend to take it for granted, which means our children probably do, too. A passion for chemistry can lead to efficient transportation, improvements in medicine, safer environmental practices and more powerful computers. But, passion must start with an understanding of the basics.
Urge your kids and teenagers to get involved in science with at-home chemistry experiments to celebrate the 25th anniversary of National ChemistryWeek.
Parents can receive help from the world’s largest scientific society to spur family interest in chemistry. The American Chemical Society publishes a newspaper called Celebrating Chemistry for grade school students and offers free resources for back-to-school activities (www.acs.org/chemistryambassadors). These resources are full of hands-on activities that convey important lessons about chemical interactions. After all, everything is made of chemicals.
Check out the kinds of fun experiments you can do at home with your kids — this one shows how physical forces (like gravity!) behave differently when objects are very, very small:
* A canning jar (pint or quart)
* Ring part of the lid for the jar
* Styrofoam plate
* Sharp pencil
1. Trace the opening of the jar with your pencil on the Styrofoam plate, and cut it out.
2. Fill your jar with water.
3. Place your Styrofoam circle into the ring lid, and screw it onto your jar.
4. Poke a small hole into the center of your Styrofoam circle with your pencil point. Measure, and record the diameter of the hole in your data table.
5. Working over a sink or pail, place your finger over the hole, and turn the jar upside down. Ask your adult lab partner for help if you need it. Keep the upsidedown jar straight up and down, and hold it steady. Slide your finger off of the hole.Water should not come out of the hole.
6. Turn your jar upright. Make the hole bigger by pushing your pencil a little farther into the hole, and repeat the procedure. Record your observation. Record the diameter of the hole and your observations.
7. Keep increasing the size of the hole with your pencil. Repeat the procedure until the water comes spilling out. Record all diameter measurements in your data table.
This experiment can be found on page 15 of “Celebrating Chemistry” (http://bit.ly/RfgPAT). Find more ideas at www.acs.org/ncw, including details about National ChemistryWeek and its theme, nanotechnology.