TrainToRead.com

May 25, 2013
by Admin
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Kids Crafts – Let’s Go Sailing!

How to Make a Toy Sailboat
This one is a really old pastime, but tons of fun. Get a plastic
bottle and cut it in half lengthways. 

Make the sail from a wooden Kebab stick and some paper.

There are tons of other household items that can be used, so look
around and use your imagination.

Make sure you hang some weight to the bottom of the boat to make
sure it doesn't keel over. 

A lollypop stick with some oil based play dough will work for a 
short while. 

(Practice in the kitchen sink to see what works best for you.)

Once the boats are ready, walk to your nearest pond or stream, or
even fill up the bathtub and go sailing. 

Hours of fun for free!

May 23, 2013
by Admin
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Charge Cell Phone in 20 Seconds, Girl Powered

This girl-powered technology was created by 18-year-old high-school student Eesha Khare.  Her invention, in which a cell phone is charged in 20-30 seconds, also has a potential application for car batteries. She’s chosen Harvard after being accepted from MIT and several other Ivy League schools. Now she has Google’s attention too.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/teen-device-charges-phone-20-135544039.html

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/family-life/great-kids/teens-invention-charges-cell-phone-in-20-secs.html

May 17, 2013
by Admin
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Fun with Ribbon Sticks

For this you need nothing more than some strips of wide ribbon
and some bamboo sticks. 
 
A few 4ft sticks will do. Snap them in half and tie a length of 
ribbon to one end. 
 
Make the ribbon length no longer than what the kids can handle. 
 
Make sure they each have a different color ribbon so there is 
no arguing about who's stick belongs to who otherwise what 
is the sense (lol).
 
Let the kids loose with the sticks and tell them to try to make
shapes, circles, and snakes, etc., just like the gymnasts do on T.V.
 
My friends 8 year old who has ADHD absolutely loves this one, and
it's one of the few things he'll actually do for longer 
periods of time.

April 19, 2013
by Admin
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Help Children Cope with Crisis

“Limit TV, Watch Your Own Behavior, Encourage Them to Do Volunteer Work.”

This facebook post from Save the Children can help children during crises, such as the recent tragedies in Boston and West, Texas. Children are affected by our reactions, news coverage and a feeling of hopelessness. Save the Children gave some expert tips on how to help children cope in times of crises.

Limit TV

Listen to Your Children

Reassure Them

Watch Your Own Behavior

Notice Any Significant Changes in Their Behavior

Give Them Extra Time and Attention

Help Children Return to a Normal Routine

Encourage Them to Do Volunteer Work

I have discussed the sorrowful events with my oldest son, and think that seeking volunteer opportunities is a humbling lesson.

 

 

March 24, 2013
by Admin
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West Valley Eagles: Lose the Race. Win the Battle!

In a recent post, I admitted to taking away my son’s toy trains for constantly earning his name on the naughty kid board in kindergarten. It didn’t work. Noah’s name became routine in the classroom, to be expected like the pledge of allegiance and lunch. Ugh, lunchtime. That was when he’d earned his spot on that infamous board by telling a friend to explode a milk carton. Fist down, milk everywhere, very unhappy teacher. Noah’s punishment: one week sitting alone during snack and lunch times.

That first day of punishment, I showed up with my sandwich and juice box and sat with my Noah. My presence was met with sympathy from the teachers, who admitted they felt bad, but we all agreed he needed creative discipline—and taking away the trains hadn’t worked. For the rest of the week, Noah completed his punishment alone, although I did put a special note and sticker in his lunch bag. He taped those notes to his bedroom door every night, insinuating that perhaps he’d learned his lesson—not!

There are many theories to explain poor behavior in the classroom:

  • Advanced children get bored – Negative, his test scores are high, but not off the charts.
  • ADHD—No, I approached his pediatrician about his active behavior years ago who negated my worries.
  • Nature, meaning boys are naturally very active—Yep, that’s it! After a heart to heart with Noah, he simply said, “I have too much energy Mommy. We sit all day in class, and I can’t even sleep at night because I still have energy.”

On Track with West Valley Eagles

This confirmation earned Noah a spot on the West Valley Eagles track team. Three times a week he runs a combined total of one mile during practice, in addition to sprints, lunges, high knees, you get the idea—the coaches wear ‘em out. Not to mention weekly track meets. An added bonus: the coaches don’t play. Meaning, no talking or goofing off, none whatsoever. Any kid who steps out of line gets a thunderous ear full from the coach and is ordered to run a lap, sometimes two laps. When coach yells, “Do you understand me?!” The kids reply, “Yes, Coach!”

My son does not win races. In fact, he comes in dead last in many of the distance runs. It doesn’t matter. The discipline he’s getting has eased tension in the classroom and at home. He’s better behaved and addresses adults as he’s instructed to do at practice. “Yes, Mommy!” is music to my ears. What’s more, this is the first activity he hasn’t quit because he doesn’t win.

It’s hard to express how beneficial track is for our family. In just a few weeks, Noah has matured by leaps and bounds, and his name hasn’t been on the naughty board once! In my eyes, he’s won the battle.

Now if I could just get my three year old to stop dashing and darting through the stands at West Valley Eagle track meets—ugh.