Tag Archives: kids

Give Thanks and Receive Thanks

thanksgivingIt’s our last week of November, and people are busily preparing to gather around the table. Many are fantasizing about their favorite side dish, and more than happy to let everyone know what that dish is! If you haven’t gotten your supplies… good luck to you, because the lines have already started to back up a few days ago.

Besides the food though, we must reflect on the actual thing being celebrated! Thanksgiving! Grace was given to those pilgrims all those years ago by tribes that saw the need to help. On a daily basis we give thanks to people that bestow on us small favors. Holding a door open, let a person get into traffic, stop for people walking across the street, saying good morning, or even offering a smile. These are all gifts, however minuscule they may be, they are all significant and help to make a person’s day better. You can’t help but pass those positive gifts forward onto another, and hopefully they will do the same.

I put “Give Thanks” first in the title above, because we so often don’t see or let it sink in, when we receive these small favors.  “I woke up, so did every member of my family. No one is coughing and we all feel good. Yay!” Thankful… YES! Employment, roofs over our heads, food in our refrigerator, clothes on our bodies, and a country with FREEDOM! Thankful… YES!

thankful 2The list of examples of things to be thankful for can go on and on. They will also vary for different people. What’s important is knowing that when life seems so down, there is always something to be thankful for, even if it’s for something simple as the air you breath.

If you are reading this, and subscribed to Discover! Children’s Museum, you are most likely around little ones or have great hope for our future generation. It’s important for us to teach children about being thankful. We have such a wonderful opportunity in our country to be able to teach our children about this wonderful tradition.  As they learn how to do so daily, they also become content, and are well likely to proceed to extend their hands out to share that contentment with others.

There are many simple ways of doing this, and not to mention oodles of articles on the subject.  So we’ll share a link about that too!

  • Be an example: If your child sees that you are thankful they will also mimic that same behavior.  Point out what there is to be thankful for. The air we breath, family, food, flowers, sun, etc. Say why you are thankful for them. “I’m so thankful for fresh air, it makes me feel so good, and thank goodness the trees make air for us to breath!”
  • Give Thanks and Receive Thanks: When you see them do something nice, thank them for it. Or just simply thank them for being themselves. They in turn will do the same to you as well to those around them.
  • Take in the life around you: When kids are taught to observe the joy and positive things around them. They will start to seek out those things where ever they go.
  • thankfulShare what you are thankful for daily: We often do this, it’s simple and yes we sometimes forget. I often ask the kids what was the best thing that happened in their day, and we’ll also asked what they didn’t like. This helps to keep me aware of what’s going on and expand on any positive or negative things. It also helps them too, to know that even if they had a very miserable day that something good was in it too.
  • Point out what’s good about the world around us: Now there may be some out there that say, “Well there is a lot of BAD out there too.” To which I say, there comes a time and a place as well as a different blog entry for that. So for now, talk about our freedom and the vast array of cultures/people/environments/celebrations.
  • Read books about gratitude: There are so many out there and if you don’t have the money. Well… fancy that! You can borrow them from the library! Yet another thing to be thankful for.  Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson is one of our family favorites!
  • Practice: Practice makes perfect, and we are teaching our kids to do so on a daily basis. We teach them to thank us after they have been passed the salt, handed a spoon, or given a treat. We also can teach them how to write a thank you note to someone that has given them a gift. Plus they get to see us in action when we have received something as well.
  • IMG_3880Craft Gratitude: We blogged a couple of weeks ago about making a Thankful Tree. There are oodles of other ways to use crafts to teach children about it, and most likely you have seen them come home with the results from school, church, or other clubs. Like adults, kids like to see things come together, and they also like feeling like they accomplished something when they’ve created their masterpieces. So praise them and add that you are so thankful that they are thoughtful and aware of the blessings they have had.

For more helpful articles & craft idea, check out our Be Thankful Board!

So with all these tidbits of advice. We at Discover! Children’s Museum wish you a very VERY happy Thanksgiving. We are very thankful for your support and will be even more happy to give thanks to all the little faces when we return. For now be safe and happy Discover! Friends!

 

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves… Compost!

The past two weekends have been beautiful! We even have a couple more days that are supposed to be wonderful.  People are out and shaping their beds up, or perhaps more like “turning the sheets down” so their gardens may go to sleep.

This is the first year that I have had to get rid of HUGE quantities of leaves.  I really am not over exaggerating! I mean BIG! So big I used the largest kiddie pool you can get… You know the one with the steps and hand rail. I filled that thing up eight times, and that was only the back yard.

DSC_5308So what are some of the fun things that you can do with leaves and kids? There is the obvious, like running, jumping, and scrunching them.  Which was exactly what we did, but what about a science project!

What Leaves Can Do

Leaves are a wonderful source for gardeners, and as long as you have leaf bearing trees that are in the ground and producing leaves each year, consider them a part of your team! Leaves are an organic resource, and make a wonderful mulch for your garden.  Each year they are pulling up minerals from your soil, which in turn, when you use them in your garden they feed earthworms and little microbes in the dirt.  Leaves help to break up heavy soils, and retain moisture in sandy soil.  They also helps to balance nitrogen in your compost pile. They also are handy for the plants you have in your garden whose roots may need a little protection from the cold winter.

compost_in_binsMany gardener’s or Green Thumbs love this time of year to get a jump start for their gardens next year.  They usually have a pile or bin that they have grass clippings, leaves, dirt, coffee grinds, as well as fruit and veggie scraps that they’ve been setting aside during the year.  They will spend the winter going out and turning it over from time to time, to help the contents break up more easily. When spring rolls around they will have a pile of incredible compost to use for their garden.

So how can kids do this? Simple, it’s like cutting a recipe down for two instead of a big family.  Check out our fun project below!

DSC_5302What you’ll need!

  • 16 oz cups with holes in the bottom
  • 1 large bowl
  • Compost items: Leaves, grass clipping, vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grinds, etc.
  • 1/4 cup soil or dirt
  • 1-2 teaspoons of water
  • plastic wrap
  • rubber band
  • large spoon
Pillbugs
Pill bugs help to eat decomposing plant materials and turn it into compost.

So go ahead and go outside and have some fun with your kids.  Find all your outdoor materials and add them to the bowl.  While doing so you might come in contact with some of natures helpers. You can also add some pieces of paper if you want.

Compost_CupWhen you have stirred all your ingredients, you can divide the contents of your bowl in the different cups. (Make sure your holes are already punched through.  Then add your saran wrap on top and then you can place your rubber band around the brim of the cub and saran, so it’s sealed.

Now find a place to put it.  Also make sure you put something underneath, since there are holes.  It will need a spot where it gets sun and shade.  Add 1 teaspoon of water periodically, and after doing so, give it a little bit of a shake.  Both the water and movement will help the materials inside it break down and turn into compost!

What does the sun and shade do?

Bacteria and fungi love the heat, and they are also what helps to break down all the materials you threw in the cup.  Whereas the shade will help to cool down the compost so the moisture won’t all escape.

Now that your compost cups are all ready, it’s time to keep and eye on them and watch what happens.

wormsWhat do worms do?

Worms are actually called an organism, and they eat the leaves, grass, and any other decomposing material. When they do so, they actually are producing compost too. Now for this project, you won’t need to add them, but in big compost bins, these little critters are a huge tool in breaking down the leaves, grass, or whatever else is in the compost bin. Worms are not the only all stars in the dirt however, pill bugs or what I like to call “rolly polly’s” also help.  Along with many other bugs!

What do you do with the compost?

After the ingredients you have made have turned into compost (which may take several weeks), it should look dark, crumble easily, and look like soil. You can now add it to your garden.

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Making a large compost bin.

For more articles on composting as well as how to make a large compost bin, visit our Pinterest Board Fun in The Garden.

Happy composting Discover! Friends!

 

Pillbugs

Halloween Trick-Or-Treat Safety Tips

trickortreat“The time has come,” the walrus said. Or in my case… Snow white. I have pulled out the costumes, pressed my own, gathered the bags, and purchased the glow in the dark necklaces, as well as contained my own excitement until this very moment.  It’s Halloween Eve! It’s almost here I can almost taste the incredible amount of excitement, and smell the distant sugar crash from a mile away!

All of the parents out there have probably been thinking where they are going to be taking their little ones, some may have already had their first Halloween festivity at a harvest party. Which I must admit I’m heading out in a couple hours for.  So I’m going to make this quick! Safety Tips!!!

Eat a meal or a snack! To avoid your kiddos from eating too much candy and getting sick, it may help to fill their tummies first.

pile-of-glow-in-the-dark-bracelets-e1411147762467Light them up! It is handy to be able to see kiddos, since many of them will be trick-or-treating in the dark.  Flash lights, shoes that light up, reflective tape, glow in the dark necklaces or bracelets.  Or if you are incredibly talented check out this adorable tot costume.

Where are you going to go? You will save a whole lot of time and have less whining if you know where you are going to go trick-or-treating and which route you’ll take in doing so.  Of course your location may change based off of how old your child is, but try to think of places in advance.  Also check out to see if there will be any events, stores, communities that have several spots for trick-or-treaters to go.

Shoes, shoes, shoes! No one likes sore feet.  No matter how much a certain pair of shoes compliments a costume, people need to remember that they have to walk… A LOT! So try to wear something comfortable.

Trick-or-TreatLit porches are a go! Usually the rule of thumb is that lit porches are a spot where kiddos can trick-or-treat.

Costumes Do’s and Don’ts

Do

  • Make sure your little one will be comfortable and warm
  • Put name and phone number on the inside, encase your child gets away from you
  • Make sure props are short and flexible so they don’t poke other kiddos
  • Make sure costume are flame retardant
  • Be aware of whether or not your kiddos costume is bathroom friendly.

Don’t

  • Check that makeup on your child’s arm, to make sure that it doesn’t cause rash before applying to their face
  • Be careful that masks don’t block airway
  • If your child is wearing a mask, see how well they can see in it.  Sometimes their vision is limited.  If so make sure that you are by them when crossing roads, and explain to them that they need to be extra careful.
  • Try to avoid really dark colors, especially if your child is old enough to go out on their own.  They may not be seen very easily, so take precautions so that they will be.

Look out for the little ones around you. This one is not one that everyone may think about right off the bat.  However, it is just as important as the other tips! A harvest party we attended last night, there was one little four year old who ran out the door and about fifty feet from the door and three feet from the road as we and another party got him to stop.  Thank goodness he listened. If you are in a busy area, it can be real easy for a little one to run through a crowded sidewalk, but not so easy for his or her parent. It can also mean that a child can separate from their parent or chaperon and get lost and afraid.  So if you see a child unattended and looking for help, do what you would hope someone would do for your child.

candy checkCandy inspection… Parents favorite part! Yes we tend to like this part, the kids might not, but it is important.  There have always been tales of tainted candy and in most cases most parents have not found any funny business in the Halloween bags.  However, just make sure that the candy looks like it hasn’t been tampered with (discoloration, pinholes, or tears), and that the wrapping appears to be made commercially. Candy that is intended for very small children should have gum, peanuts, hard candy, and small toys removed.

We hoped these tips helped, and that you all have lots of fun!  Happy Halloween Discover! Friends!

It’s Pumpkin Time

Have you been to the pumpkin patch yet this year!  Some may be saying yes, or you may have had some keepers in your very own garden, or perhaps you were given some from somebody.  All of which leads to one very fun event!  Pumpkin carving!  We thought we would create a fun board on Pinterest that is full of pumpkin fun!

Come check them out by clicking on the green link below!

Halloween Pumpkin Fun

Here are some pumpkin patches too, in case you are still looking for a place to pick that BIG pumpkin!

DSC_4860
The BIG one at WillyTees Pumpkin Patch

WillyTee’s Pumkin Patch ~ 3415 Jackson Hwy. Chehalis, Washington 98532. Open from 10 am-6:30 pm Monday through Sunday.  (360)880-5411

 

WillyTees
Get a free Caricature to remember your visit

At WillyTee’s the kids will have fun going through the fields to find the perfect pumpkin.  They will be able to explore a fun farm where they have face cuts out and even several spots set up for you to take some fun fall photos.  Plus Moms… there is a wonderful area that is full of holiday decor that you can’t help but want.  You also get to leave with a special souvenir to remember your visit with, a custom caricture made just for you… for FREE! The staff is awesome and the prices are family friendly.

 

IMG_6817[1]
These adorable minions welcome you on arrival
The Pumpkin Patch~ 518 Goodric Centralia, Washington 98531. Open from 10 am-6:30 pm Monday through Sunday. (360)736-8603 or (360)269-1783

At the Pumpkin Patch, your kiddo will find a pumkin and also be able to explore the grounds.  There are many fun face cutouts, huge hay bale art, corn maze, straw pit, and a few animals that they can check out.  A hay ride is available, which gives you a tour of the fields.  At the front of the farm, you will find an area set up where you can purchase gourds, squash, and cranberries.  They also have some beautiful potted arrangements, that include sunflowers and winter cabbage, to spiff up  and brighten your fall arrangements on your porch.

DSC_0077506Parkerosa Farms Pumkin Patch ~ 292 Chilvers Rd. Chehalis, Washington 98532. Open from 2 pm-6:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 9am-6pm Friday through Sunday. (360)269-2861

DSC_0082511
One of the little critters from a few years back

Parkerosa offers a field of a variety of different pumpkins.  There is a petting zoo, corn trails, and refreshments available.  There is also a wagon ride that give you a tour of the Parkerosa farms, where you will see some themed buildings to spark the imaginations of your little ones.  There is also some holiday and rustic themed decor available in their gift store too!

 

Flannery Publications
Area pumpkin patch open and ready for the Halloween season ~ Flannery Publications

Story Book Farms Pumpkin Patch5050 Jackson Hwy, Toledo, WA 98951. Open Monday through Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm.  (360)864-4388.  

Rows upon rows of pumpkins are available for you to choose. Story Book also offers a hay ride, bounce house, and games.

Please feel free to suggest more local pumpkin patches as well as pictures.  Also we’d love to see your carved pumpkins.  Send us some pictures!

We hope you have a fun time celebrating this spooky time as well as fall harvest with your kiddos!  Happy carving time Discover! Families!

 

 

The Dark Cloud of Childhood… Bully

Big blue eyes stare at me with huge tears falling down his cheeks. It surprised me and then made my heart sad. What started off as watching a new movie for the family, turned into a sad little boy telling me about something that had happened last school year, and now worries him for the future. So I asked what had happened. He called him his arch enemy, the biggest bully he’d ever seen. He would follow him and push him down time and time again.  When he finally told the duty, the bully said that he was lying, and guess what… She believed him. He then said he spent the rest of the year trying to avoid him, and when things did happen the duty would still not believe him.

Is this hard to hear? Yes! Is it something that I wish he had told me before? You bet!

My son has a big heart. He is the kid that will watch the movie and hope for the bad guy to turn good. Hence his love for Darth Vader and the celebration that he turns back to the light. He prayed for the Denver Broncos to make one touchdown (even though he’s a total Hawks fan), because Peyton Manning looked sad.  When they did, he stood up and hollered and said “Yes, I prayed for that!”  Even though his father and I looked at him in shock, we were proud that he was looking out for the other team.

He’s one of the youngest in his class and gets easily excited, over energized, easily distracted, loves to hug, and forgets his size is intimidating, and he wants to be everyone’s friend. He can be easily razzed which I know is not a good trait to have around other kids.  Which is why I have always feared for him having this problem, and bummed when I find out that he has.  However, as his ever adoring parents our biggest fear is him feeling that he is alone in all this and not letting us know.

After he told me the whole story, I assured him the best that I could. I talked to him about the things I encountered as a kid, and then said how many people also have experienced being bullied. I also talked to him about things that we saw in this particular movie was a made up story, and the chances of the exact thing happening to him wasn’t likely. I can’t promise him though the particular experience wouldn’t happen again, so it made me think what I need to do to help him through the years. Be there, listen, support, give advice, and step in when needed.

This particular topic is probably fresh in many parents minds this month, and being that Discover! wants to help relay information that can help, here we find ourselves. October is an official month to become aware of bullying, therefore we plan on doing a mini series on it.  So let’s get started!

What is Bullying?

Most people know the answer to this question.  Everyone has been teased by a family member or friend in their life.  This teasing is usually not harmful because it’s meant to be playful or funny and both or all parties are enjoying it.  However when the teasing is done to hurt a person, or becomes constant, and needs to stop… then it is bullying.bullyingBullying is when a person targets another by either physically, verbally, or psychologically attacking them.  Pushing, name calling, forcing a person to hand over money or other items, threatening, ganging up on, and spreading rumors are all ways that we have witnessed this nasty process taking place. Now children don’t even need to be around each other.  The internet has broadened the playground in a virtual way, causing the same emotional damage, allowing bullies to pick on people they may know through school or perhaps perfect strangers.  However, there are no duties or fences to limit their reach, and unfortunately the boundaries are endless and supervision is almost nil.

Don’t Brush it Off

Bullying is to be taken seriously though. Many parents look at it as something that kids just go through. In many ways that is true, however children today deal with it and are exposed to it far differently than we ever were.

When we were young we were around our bullies at school every day. We got breaks from them though! We didn’t see them at the end of the day after school or sports, nor did we see them on the weekend or when we were out for school breaks. Now there are kids on social networks, they have cell phones, and they are able to talk or communicate with their friends all year long.

Those that may not be on social networks are not any less likely to be exposed to it. They may be in a neighborhood, daycare, live with, or be involved in another group setting where they find themselves in the proximity of a bully all the time as well. No matter the method, we have seen tragic things come about in some incidents, where children have taken their own life or lives of others in a desperate attempt to escape it.

What are the Signs

If your child doesn’t let you know, then here are some things to keep an eye out for.

  • Your child may start acting differently. They may have a loss of appetite, become anxious, lose sleep, and stop enjoying the hobbies or activities that they usually enjoy.
  • Their attitude may have changed. They may seem more easily agitated or depressed, and start to avoid situations like saying they are sick and can’t go to school, or not want to ride the bus, or want to quit a sport or club.
  • You may notice it yourself when you see them interacting. A bully may try hiding often from your child. They may purposely break, hide, or take your child’s toys. You may notice your child asking them to stop and the other won’t listen. Your child may start to stop play and seek you out, either for help or act as if they don’t want to play with them any further. You may also notice that when in a group setting that your child’s typical best friend starts to exclude them while playing.

Why do Kids Bully?

It can be very hard to understand why kids do this to each other.  Child development researchers have said this. Some children look for other kids that are weaker or different so then they can feel important, cool, or more powerful. In some cases, they also may be bullying because they are mimicking how they have been treated themselves. They may live in an environment where it is common to argue or call each other names. It’s also common to see bullies on television. They can see how people are treated or talked about, which in-turn promotes them to do the same.

Why Kids Bully

Why Do Kids Not Tell Us?

  • Children often feel guilty, embarrassed, or ashamed. They may worry that you will be upset or disappointed in them.
  • Sometimes kids think that it is there fault. They may feel that if they started acting differently the bully would stop.
  • They may be afraid to talk, because if the bully gets confronted or in trouble, they think the bullying towards them will get worse.
  • It’s also possible that they may think that you won’t believe them or you won’t do anything about it.
  • They may also be afraid that you would urge them to fight back when they are too scared to do so.

depressed child 4What do I do?

  • Tell your child that is is okay to let someone know what it happening. That they can tell you or another adult they trust.  Like a teacher or counselor, family member, or a family friend.
  • When they are telling you what has happened, listen calmly and comfort them.  They may fear that you have a bad reaction, and even if you react angry with the bully, they may think you are angry with them.  So be calm.
  • Let him/her know that you are so grateful that they shared what happened with you.
  • Tell them that they aren’t the only ones going through this and that everyone goes through something similar at some point.
  • Make sure to point out that what the Bully is doing is very bad behavior and that it’s not your child’s fault.
  • Assure them you are there for support, and that you will help them in any way to figure out how to get through the situation.
  • Contact the school, daycare, or club about the situation. Depending on the age of the child, and the extent of the bullying, your actions may be different.  Working out a solution with someone, such as a principle, counselor, or teacher is advisable.
  • Some parents may want to speak to the bully’s parents, as tempting as that may be, it’s better to have the school officials do so or have them present if you decide to contact them.

What Kids Should Do

It’s tempting to tell kids to defend themselves.  However this can lead to more trouble for both your kiddo and possibly yourself.  So what should you tell them to do? I know I’ve told my son to avoid them, and to make friends with other kids that are nice and hang around them all the time, you know the term “you are more safe in numbers.” I know I have also told him to let someone know.

So here is what you can tell your little ones.

  • Use the buddy system: If your child finds that it’s common for the bully to always approach them in a certain place try to find ways to avoid those situations, or have a friend that can come with you.  Also tell them to do the same for their friend.
  • Don’t give a rise: It’s natural to get worked up when something is happening that you don’t like, but chances are that is exactly what the bully wants to see.  Seeing your child upset makes them feel like they are more powerful or cooler then they are. Help your child to not react by crying or looking upset. Suggest that they walk away, breath, count, or find a calm quite place to sit and write down how they are feeling.  These are all ways to help not show the bully that their feelings are hurt.  This may be a time that you also teach them about the “poker face,” where they just walk away with a face that looks like nothing happened until they have been able to get away from the bully.
  • Ignore and walk away: Let your kiddo know that it’s okay and that they are allowed to firmly tell the bully to “Stop!” and then walk away. However, if that method does not work they can pretend that they didn’t hear or are uninterested in what they said. When they ignore the bully, they are basically conveying that they don’t care what the bully does or thinks. Eventually the bully will get tired of being ignored and hopefully become uninterested.
  • Tell someone: In order for something to be done, they need to know that it’s okay to tell someone.  Teachers, principles, counselors, parents, and many other staff workers can all help stop bullying.
  • Let’s talk: It’s okay to talk about it to an adult you trust, sibling, or other family member. They can help you with advice and help you feel better.

Make them Feel Strong Again

As mentioned before, the emotional damage that happens from bullying can be deep and hard to recover from. You can help them by letting them know that true friends are ones that are kind to them and make good choices. Also encourage them to take part in extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, church groups, or other activities they may enjoy.

Most importantly listen! Find out what happened in their day, both good and bad. Discuss ways that they can tell you something is going on without explaining, like a code word. When I was growing up my mom always told me that I could say that I wasn’t feeling well when something was wrong and she’d come and get me. Believe me I used this when I felt out of place on a few occasions, and I was grateful for knowing that I had my mom to bring me home. This will help them to learn that you’ve got their back, and knowing that they have a strong relationship with you, helps make a strong foundation for their well being.

Here’s our first article on bullying.  We know that it’s a lot of info to process and we hope that it has helped.  Hug your kiddos tight Discover! parents!

 

Rescources National Association for Child Development, Helpguide.org, and Kidhealth.org, and PBS Kids

 

 

Imagination Yoga for Kids!

Untitled-1
Kids doing their best impersonation of a fierce T-Rex

Thanks to Melissa Fox, Discover! Children’s Museum has been offered a fun opportunity!  Imagination Yoga!  You might be asking yourself what is Imagination Yoga, or you may be thinking that you will go right past this blog post.  I must say that if you choose the latter you will be missing out on a very fun adventure!

Imagination Yoga is for kids! So you may ask what is the difference between regular yoga and kids yoga? Imagination Yoga creatively integrates yoga poses by using your imaginations.  Each class is based on a themed adventure, where the instructor slowly describes where they are going.  The adventures could take kids through space or on exhibitions to see the largest dinosaurs via time machines.  Whatever the adventure, you can bet that even the youngest minds remain attentive and willing to participate in the fun!

DSC_4387 copyWhat are the Benefits

  • Along with building muscles, Imagination Yoga improves body awareness,  increases flexibility, develops correct posture, encourages good circulation, and cardiovascular health.
  • Imagination Yoga is a social outlet for kids: Yoga helps both socially and emotionally by increasing self esteem.
  • These classes will also help teach children about drawing their attention towards something and remaining focused on that item.  During which they learn what it feels like in their body and mind to be calm and focused.
  • Imagination Yoga is also a playful place where kids can relax in this increasingly stress-filled world.
  • Children will learn how to express themselves through imagination as well as improve language development through kinesthetic learning. (Kinesthetic learning is where a student learns by carrying out a physical activity, rather than listening to someone or watching a demonstration)   We at Discover! love this aspect of Imagination Yoga! Learn through play!

DSC_4375What to Expect

The class begins with Melissa giving an easy lesson on breathing.  Teaching kids to be aware of their breathing can help them to learn to relax, which in turn reduces the effects of stress.  Then she has them focus on an item, she does this by placing it in the center of the circle and calling the kids attention to it.  The purpose of this particular exercise is to teach kids to concentrate with their eyes.  Then the next step is the adventure, but you’ll have to bring your kiddos to class to hear about that part!

melissaMeet Melissa!

Hello Discover! Adventurer’s, my name is Melissa Fox. I am a happily married wife of twenty-three years, and mother to three amazing children ages 19, 16 and 9. I was a stay at home Mom for 15 years, and I also volunteered at school and community events during that time.

In 2009 I became a certified yoga instructor through YogaFit. I have been teaching for 5 years with over 1200 classes taught. I also became a Certified Personal Trainer in 2009 through NASM, National Academy of Sports Medicine.  Imagination Yoga is a magical yoga program I just had to become involved in. So when the opportunity presented itself this summer, I jumped at the opportunity to become certified in it.

Prior to all of my training I have been active throughout my life.  At fourteen I started weightlifting and felt that it was in my blood.  Remaining active seemed like a natural process for me. So I decided that if I needed to work, I wanted to love my work. Have you heard the motto, “Do what you love, Love what you do.” So that is what I did!

That’s when Yoga found me and I haven’t looked back. Always progressing, sometimes stuck, but always finding a way home to my mat. It has been an unexpected journey for me, but one of love and passion. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share this wonderful practice, to bring awareness to one’s self, and I hope to inspire people everyday through practicing Yoga.

Imagination YogaLet the Classes Begin!

Classes Start September 22, 2014 at Thorbecks in Chehalis (91 Chehalis Ave. SW. Chehalis WA 98532.  If you have any questions, feel free to call (360) 748-3744

These classes are free, however donations made will go to Discover! Children’s Museum new permanent museum!

Monday and Wednesday * Ages 3-11 are welcome either time

10:30 ~ Ages 3-6 Years Old

4:15 ~ Ages 4-11 Years Old

Have fun Discover! Explorers

SUMMER VACATION IS HERE!

SOME DAYS “HORRAY!” and OTHER DAYS “HELP ME!”

Now that school is out everyone is pretty excited about the prospects of some fun and free time.  No more schedules, getting up early, or homework.  Time instead for playing outside, visiting friends, going to the pool, or maybe a family trip.  But eventually you start hearing those little voices:  “Mom!  There’s nothing to do.” or “I’m bored!”  It’s moments like this that strain our patience and cause us to count the days till the first day of school.  While errand jars are great and cleaning your room is always an option, there is another terrific resource available.  It’s close, it’s kid and family friendly and best of all it’s FREE!

TIMBERLAND LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM

“Fizz, Boom, Read!” 

This year the theme for children is “Fizz, Boom, Read!”, and is designed to complement the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program which has been adopted by local schools.  Specifically the summer program promotes excitement about reading, learning and exploring new characters and discovering new places – through books.

There are numerous activities planned throughout the Timberland Library system.  Just to get you enthused, here are a few that are happening in Chehalis

library front“Summer at the Library”

Fun bags will be given to children when schools let out.  These include event calendars, puzzles, word games, book lists and entry forms for prizes.

“Weekly Coupons” –at the library while supplies last, pick up coupons for  Quiznos, Rollerdome, Twin Transit, Northwest Trek, Point Defiance Zoo, Fairway Lanes, Papa Murphy’s, Centralia Ballet Academy, Hands On Children’s Museum (Olympia), Book n’ Brush, Southwest Washington Fair

“Wacky Wednesday” – Find four strange things in the library, and receive a small prize. Sponsored by the Friends of the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library.

529629_4076593189207_811326620_nReptile Man” – Thursday, June 19th at 11:00am – See and learn about 15 exotic reptiles from around the world. Scott Petersen, a zoologist and educator, shows turtles, an iguana, an alligator and numerous types of snakes. He also talks about each animal’s importance to the balance of nature. Certain animals will be available for petting after the performance.

“Family Program, Making Sense of Your Five Senses” – Wednesday, June 25th, at 11:00am -Explore the ways your five senses work both separately and together with games, activities and experiments that thrill the senses. Take-home crafts and activities will keep the fun and learning going.

fluffy dog“Stuffed Animal Sleepover” – Thursday, June 26th, all dayBring a favorite stuffed toy animal for a sleepover at the library. Tuck your animal in and say goodnight. Come back the next day to pick up your friend and find out what mischief the animals got into during their night at the library.

“LabARTory: DIY Craft” – Friday, June 27th, all dayDrop by the library any time during open hours for an arts & crafts activity.

Also be on the lookout for other fun, educational programs, such as;

“Experiments of a Mad Scientist” – Wednesday, July 2nd at 1:00pm

“Chris Fascione: Stories, Clowning & Mime” – Thursday, July 10th, 11:00am

“Rhys Thomas: Science Circus” – Thursday, July 17th, 11:00am

“Shaver Marionettes” – Wednesday, July 24rd, 11:00am

“Mad Science’s Spin, Pop, Boom!” – Thursday, July 31st, 11:00am

With all that’s planned by the Timberland Regional Library, and the events at the Chehalis Vernetta Smith branch – you can now prevent ever hearing that oh, so common summer cry: “Mom!  I’m bored!”

 

For more information, check out the Timberland Library website at:

http://www.trl.org

Or better yet, go on over the Chehalis Library and discover for yourself:

http://www.trl.org/Locations/Pages/LibraryInformation.aspx?lib=ch

400 N. Market Boulevard
Chehalis, WA  98532-0419

360-748-3301

For Timberland’s complete Calendar of events for all of Lewis County  (and more) Timberland Libraries.   http://events.trlib.org/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp

 

 

Discover! Crew Activity Sheets

Unfortunately we missed our blog entry last week.  One of our Discover! computers came down with a nasty virus.  Apparently even technology gets sick!

Anyways, getting back to all of you, we decided it has been a little while since we’ve had any new activity sheets for our Discover! fans.  So we decided to add a few more.

Tia’s Word Search: To print click green link below

Word Search 1

Word Search 1

Discover! Crew Jigsaw Puzzle: To print click green link below (This will require cutting)

Discover Crew Jigsaw

Discover Crew Jigsaw

For more fun FREE activity and coloring sheets, check them out at our site: http://www.discovermuseum.org/discovercrew.html

Have fun Discover! Friends!

Teaching The Little Ones to Let Go

SPRING-CLEANINGFor many, this time of year means it’s time to do some spring cleaning.  Emptying closets, putting away winter gear and pulling out the summer garb, and deep thinking sets in.  You may find yourself staring at the things that you haven’t used in months or years.  A list of people come to mind that could use them, or you may wonder how much money you could possibly get for your once treasured (fill in the blank).

Taking your items to friend, donating them, or putting together a garage sale all require time and patience.  No matter who you are or where you live there are nooks in every home where things sit and collect dust over a period of time.  Children’s rooms are no different. Most everyone, at some time in their lifetime, has gone through their belongings and rid themselves of items that don’t fit anymore or are no longer needed for that time in their lives.   What we take for granted is how healthy that is for us.  Learning to “let go” of stuff is a healthy habit for people to learn.

Involving-Kids-in-Daily-Cleaning-Chores-300x213Children learn their habits from those around them.  The way they treat their belongings, clean up after themselves, and eventually dispose of these items is also learned from their peers.  As adults we teach them how to take care of their prized toys, clean up with the multiple storage options we buy, and gently nudge them to donate/sale their outgrown toys to another kiddo that would love to play with them.

One sentimental blogger said that he would personify his belongings which made it hard for him to let go.  So when he started to get rid of things that he thought he could still possibly need in the future, for example his truck, he turned the tables and asked himself this:  “If my truck really were a living creature, it’s purpose would be to be used. Not to weigh me down. I realized I am disrespecting my things by leaving them laying around, dormant, trapped merely to serve my memories. They have a purpose that I’m holding them back from.” ~ Nicky Hajal

This advice can be easy for an adult to understand and try out, but how do you teach your kids to let things go?

pile_of_toysStart to Talk

  • Too much stuff can not allow enough room to play.
  • It’s hard to find the toys that you really want to play with.
  • Tripping isn’t fun!
  • “There are little kids that would love to play with the toys that you don’t play with anymore, and you feel so happy when you give.”  Share stories of toys you gave to younger kids when you were little.
  • It’s a sign that they’re growing up.
  • Have them pick their ten favorite toys that they love, and then let find ten toys that they don’t play with anymore.

Teaching them these habits will help them to continue to donate or get rid of things in the future.

family fun with cleaning upMake it Positive

One big thing you want to avoid is a negative experience.  There are several ways to do this.  When you are going through the process encourage them to talk about the space.  “Look at all this space, you could set up your hot wheels track now,” “Look, you have a whole cubby to put whatever you want in!  What do you think you can put in there?” Let them talk about what they can do differently in their room with the new available space.  Kids may be inspired to make their room more grown up, or the idea of donating may make them happy, and some might just love to spend the time with you.

toy storyLet it Go

There will be times during the process that they will cling to a toy that they haven’t played with in eons, and it’s your job to stay calm and walk them through a process of letting it go.   When they’re crying.. let them, sure it sometimes feels very sad to let go of something that used to be so fun to play with.  Explain that it will continue to have a good life giving the same pleasure to another happy kiddo and let them say goodbye and wish it a great life ahead.   You can do this with your own things too.  “Oh I love this hat… I wore it to Elsa’s and Jack Frost wedding, what a wonderful ceremony it was!  It’s such a shame I never wear it anymore!  I think I’m going to give it away to the little shop, where someone wonderful can wear it again!”  You showing this simple habit will be a great lesson, and is a truly good gift for their future.

Overloaded with Stuff

toy-donationWhatever you decide to do with your much loved belongings is up to you.  It may take time to build up a worthy amount of items to have a garage sale.  If you decide to donate your items there are many options.  You can ask churches if they or members of the congregation have specifics needs, local shelters (especially women’s shelters) welcome clothing and toys, and there is also a visiting nurses in Centralia and Chehalis.

Next week we will write something for throwing a garage sale with help from your kids.  Stay tuned!

Places to Donate

Visiting Nurses Centralia 222 S Pearl St.

Visiting Nurses Chehalis 749 Market Blvd.

Human Response Network (360) 748-6601

Salvation Army (360) 736-4339

Lewis County Shelter (360) 736-5140

Lewis County Women’s Shelter (800) 244-7414

Longview Housing Authority (360) 423-0140

Don’t forget to reach out to any church!

 

 

May Day Fun!

May-Day-Basket-TemplateRemember making a paper basket, adding a few flowers (real or paper creations), sneaking over to the neighbor’s porch, ringing the bell and running away?  Such exciting stuff and lots of fun!  We loved the creating, the anticipation, and the thrill of seeing happiness on another’s face.  What a tender memory for us to pass along to our children today.

In order to continue this tradition, Discover! has gathered a few resources and links.  Here you will find a short history of the day, simple crafts and other activities related to this spring celebration.  Our hope is that you will find time to involve your little one(s) in creating a May Day that will be remembered long into their adult years.

History of May Day

Many years ago, May 1st or May Day was a magical time to welcome spring.  On the night before May Day, children danced in the moonlit woods. They gathered spring flowers and  made crowns of daisies.

Some countries still celebrate May Day.  In France, May Day is a flower festival.  Delicate white flowers called lilies of the valley are believed to bring good luck.  In Denmark, sweethearts give each other bouquets of lilies of the valley.  Holland celebrates May 1 with a tulip festival.  On May 1 in Greece, the schools are closed.  The students trek into the woods to gather flowers.  In some other countries, May is a day of parades.

 

Make a Simple Basket – like the one pictured above

A May Day basket is a fun activity, because when you are done making it, you can go look for flowers to pick and put in your basket.  Kids love to display their handy work for decorations!

Supplies:
  • Construction paper
  • Tape, Glue or stapler
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or foam pieces (if you would like to decorate the outside of the basket)

Steps:

  1. Cut one of the pieces of construction paper into a square.
  2. Cut a one inch thick piece of paper from another color for the handle.
  3. If you want to decorate your basket, color or glue on your items on the square paper
  4. Loop square piece of paper around to make a cone
  5. Staple or tape together to keep it a cone
  6. Staple one inch piece of paper to top of cone to form handle
  7. Pick or make flowers to place in your basket.

Make a Spring Flowers Mobile

Contributed by Leanne Guenther

This is a simple mobile made up of single and double spring flowers.  We usually create our mobiles by using one paper towel or gift wrap roll with all the pieces tied to it. You can also criss-cross straws, or use a large plastic lid.

spring mobile
Instead of fish, you can use flowers instead.
Supplies:
  • some crayons, paint, markers or pencil crayons,
  • scissors, glue, string or yarn
  • paper towel roll
  • printer and paper
  • link to flower pattern template:

http://www.dltk-holidays.com/t_template.asp?t=http://www.dltk-holidays.com/spring/images/bdoubledaisy.gif

 Steps for Paper Towel Roll Mobile:

  • Print out the template.  You can print out as many as you want to fill up your mobile.   You can mix and match the double and single flowers.
  • Color (where appropriate) and cut out the template pieces along the dotted lines.
  • You can color the decorations with sparkle glue or sparkles if desired or use paint, crayons markers or pastels.
  • Fold the flowers in half and glue the back and front together.  Let dry.
  • Poke a small hole in the top of each piece and tie with yarn or string to the mobile you’ve chosen.
  • Decorate your paper towel roll as desired:  You can use paint, paper, stickers, etc to match your theme.
  • string each mobile piece from the paper towel roll
  • Put a piece of string or wool right through the paper towel roll  to use to hang from the wall or ceiling

 

Links to More May Day Ideas

http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/may/index.htm

http://www.toddlercraft.net/preschool-crafts/day-basket

http://www.pinterest.com/wonton37/may-day-ideas/

 

Always keep in mind that the most important goal is to have fun spending time with your child. So relax, and enjoy being together Discover! crafters!