Simple Kids Music Review: Dance for the Sun by Kira Willey

The following is by music reviewer Jennifer Brown.

This month I’m continuing my “wish list” series from January with Dance for the Sun by Kira Willey.  I purchased this album during the dark days of winter and it continues to be a source of brightness as the summer sun shines bright through my window as I write today.

Dance for the Sun

I was initially drawn to Dance for the Sun after hearing the song “Colors” which some of you may recognize as a Dell advertisement theme song.  I was pleasantly surprised that we love the rest of the album just about as much as “Colors”—an adorable song about expressing how you feel based on which color you are today.

I am still taken with the idea of being “bright and happy purple,” “chirping with joy green” or “hopping mad like a playground ball red.”

This song is a terrific example of how Kira’s lyrics are packed with vivid and descriptive imagery, and I almost always ask to repeat this song when it comes on in our car; it’s really that beautiful and captivating.

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Getting Outdoors for Family Fitness (guest post on Simple Mom)

I’m filling in for Tsh over at Simple Mom today, writing about three things our family does to get outside for family fitness.  I’d love it if you came over to say hello and let me know your favorite outdoor family fitness activity!

In an era where more and more families are getting their exercise from video gaming systems, it is more important than ever to encourage outdoor family fitness. Yes, any exercise – even “plugged in” exercise – is better than no exercise, but with a generation of kids spending less time then ever outside, we need to remind our children that fitness and fun are possible without a TV screen and a video game controller.

Getting outdoors to exercise gives kids a chance to unplug from the television and air conditioning and get out into the fresh air and sunshine. Finding outdoor games to play that encourage family fitness gives Mom and Dad the perfect excuse to revisit some of their childhood favorite games, too.

Some of our family’s favorite activities that combine exercise with the outdoors include hula hooping, playing tag, and jumping games.

Read the rest at Simple Mom ….

The Family Meal: A Place for Common Ground (guest post on Simple Mom)

Contributor Rae Grant is guest posting on Simple Mom today while Tsh is on maternity leave.

When I look back on my family memories as both a child and as a parent, some of my fondest recollections revolved around our traditions for the family meal. It was the daily ritual of our family meals that pulled us all into the same orbit at least once a day, all week long. It was a place for common ground.

A good family meal is nourishing, restorative, allows for conversation and simple exchanges to take place. It marks a beginning and an end to a day of work and activities, and it allows families to touch base, tell stories, connect, laugh, and be supportive about the day ahead.

In our fast modern times, slowing down for a family meal can be a bit of a challenge. Busy schedules, longer work days, and eating on the run can deprive home life of this special time. Here are a few tips that encourage this time-honored ritual and help to keep the family meal running smoothly.

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Simple Activities to Help Your Child Explore the Natural World

The following is by contributor Catherine Way of Adventures With Kids.

There are plenty of great reasons for getting your children outside to explore nature, from encouraging physical activity to a link to improved concentration, but the best reason is that children love being outdoors and exploring their world.

There are some simple things that you can do to encourage your children’s explorations and deepen their understanding of how the world works.

Here are some nature explorations that you and your child can work on together.  I’ve tried to include something to do in the areas that I find are are of greatest interest to children – animals, plants, weather and the world under the water.

Choose one of these explorations and get started finding out more about the natural world:

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Your Local CSA: 3 Reasons You Should Join

Simple Kids contributor Emily Carter is filling in today over at Simple Mom while Tsh is on maternity leave.

This spring our family decided to try something we have never done, or even heard of before. We joined a local CSA.

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, that means you have a local farm that is supported by community members who purchase a “share.”  Typically, shares are picked up weekly and contain a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Why Should You Join?

We have had such a positive experience with our CSA.  Here are my top three reasons you should look into joining one in your area.

[Head over to Simple Mom to read the rest ... ]