Simple Elements for Backyard Fun – Even Without the Backyard

Kids need spaces for playing and exploring.  A backyard can become a pretend jungle for your young wild things, a field for soccer or baseball games, or even a three ring circus.  It is a great place for running races or games of freeze tag. Backyards are places to make messes, release energy, and engage in sensory play.

But, what if you don’t have a backyard? How can you give your kids those experiences?

Even with a limited space and resources, one can recreate some of the elements of backyard play, even without the backyard, by adapting them to the space and resources that you do have.

A Place to Splash

I grew up along the banks of a river and my grandparents had a swimming pool. We have a small kiddie pool set up in our backyard now, and my kids (and the dog) all like to run through the sprinkler, too.

But not every child grows up in a place with those opportunities for playing in the water.

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Have you heard the Buzz Buzz? Laurie Berkner, Kindiefest, and more!

The following is by music reviewer Jennifer Brown.

Have you heard the Buzz Buzz? I pulled Laurie Berkner’s Buzz Buzz up on my iPod for this month’s review because the title just sounded like spring.

We first checked Laurie’s music out on a recommendation from a friend who found her music to have good inspiration to get up and dance, wiggle and shake your bad preschooler & preschool parent self around.  I have to agree some of the tracks on this album really do make us want to dance.

And if the children in your house have a flair for acting—there are some great songs on this album for moving in “tune” with the words.  Songs like “The Pretzel Store,” “Telephone,” and “Popcorn Calling Me” just lend themselves to natural movement.

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Queen for a Day Giveaway 2011

This giveaway is now closed — head here to see if you”re the winner!

Welcome to Simple Living Media”s Queen for a Day Giveaway! Today, across the network we’ve got five giveaways full of treats to celebrate the mom in your life, just in time for Mother’s Day on May 8.

I heard a speaker recently who said that if you asked a mom what her guilty pleasure was she would probably answer you with something that was beneficial and contributed to her well-being like taking long walks, a night out, or ordering take out pizza after a busy day.  In other words, the things moms feel guilt about they shouldn”t and they don”t often pamper themselves.

While I don”t want moms feeling guilty, that collective self-sacrificing instinct is one of the many things about moms that I admire.  We”re a great group, aren”t we?

Because moms are so great and self-sacrificing, the editors of Simple Living Media wanted to do something to say thanks for all that they do.

We contacted some of our favorite etsy shops, stores, and other vendors and they agreed:  moms are worth pampering and we should do something special and fun just for them, so …. we”re having a giveaway!

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How to Involve Your Children in Planning Your Camping Trip

The following is a guest post by Stephanie Trementozzi of Always Outdoors.  I’m so pleased to welcome Stephanie, who is sharing her expertise on camping and the outdoors with us. I thought her submission was perfect timing for Earth Day and for those of you who have been observing Screen Free Week with your kids. Enjoy! – Kara

In our busy world today, our children experience many different activities, such as sports, dance, after school clubs and all kinds of lessons.  These are great for the individual, but they don’t do much to “bond” the family together.  That is why a family camping trip is perfect for bringing parents and children together in a common goal and activity.

Preparation is key to guaranteeing a successful camping trip.  Preparation falls into three main categories:  planning the trip, getting there, and campground activities.

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Screen Free Week Check-in: How is it going for your family?

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

We are half of the way through Screen Free Week (formerly known as TV Turn Off week).  So, it is time for a mid-week check in to see how things are going for everyone.

Did you decide to go completely screen free? (If so, I bet you aren’t even reading this)

Are you TV free and limiting other screens? That is what we’re doing:  we have switched off the television for the week and are limiting other screens like the computer and cell phones for adults, and the kids are completely screen free.

My kids don’t actually spend much time on the later two normally,  but my husband and I both admittedly needed a “diet” from the computer and phone screens.

I had been setting a timer for myself and limiting the amount of time I spend working on blogging tasks and on the computer.  I have been pleased to see just how much I can get done when a) I know I have a time limit and specific tasks to focus on and b) when I don’t browse Facebook or wander from site to site.  A screen diet has been good for me.

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