Halloween Safety: Glowing in the Dark

The following post was written by editor Kara Fleck and has been revised since the original 2010 publication.

This October, my family is heading to our local Zoo Boo.  We love this event as an addition to traditional trick or treat and attending gives the kids a chance to dress up in their costumes more than once during the month of October.

Before we take our little trick or treaters out in the the night, I”m taking care to add an extra element of safety (and fun) by helping my kids to glow in the dark.

Well, okay, the kids themselves won”t actually be glowing, but I am adding in two simple elements to help their costumes glow.

1. Reflective Tape

Found in the automotive section of our local big box store, a package of reflective tape cost me $2.07 for 30 inches.

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Staying Connected with Far Away Family

The following post is by contributor Catherine Way.

I live in Darwin in North Australia.  My in-laws live around the corner from us.  My parents live in Canberra, in the south of Australia. My sister lives in Singapore.  My sister- and brother-in-law live in California, USA.  In today”s society, this is a common arrangement. Many people live far away from their extended family.

How can you stay in touch when your family is spread around the country or around the world?  Does this mean that your children miss out on important connections with family?

There are plenty of ways to stay connected with far away family.  And as an added bonus, while you connect with family around the world, your children have an authentic reason to learn about geography and cultural differences.
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Wanted: A Plethora of Apple Ideas for Autumn Days

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” as the saying goes.  Of course, at our house we eat apples more for their delicious taste than for health reasons.  Baked in a pie, sliced and dipped in peanut butter, or devoured fresh from the tree, apples are a kid (and grown up) favorite at the Fleck house.

There’s also apple fun to be had beyond eating them. We look forward to our annual trips to the local apple orchard each year.  Pulling the little red wagon around, gathering our favorite varieties, and enjoying some time at the orchard store are a part of the year’s rhythm we never miss.

We do a fair bit of crafting with apples, too – from apple stamped tee shirts using the actual fruit, to arts and crafts inspired by the apple.  It is a versatile, wonderful material to work with.

The Apple Star

Take an apple round and red
Don’t slice down
Slice through instead
Right inside it you will see
A star as pretty as can be!

Push a corn-sticker into an apple sliced in half and you’ve got your very own apple stamp, perfect for making prints. Slice it in half, there’s a pretty star.  Slice the apple length-wise, you’ve got an apple shaped stamp.

Set a bowl of shiny apples in a variety of colors on the table and you’ve got inspiration for both artwork and a snack.

We love apples!

I know we aren’t the only ones who love apples and want to celebrate and enjoy apple season. So, I thought it would be fun to create an apple round-up:  a plethora of apple ideas for the Autumn days ahead.

I’ll get us started with a few apple crafts and recipes that I have discovered.

I’d love it if you’d leave me a comment or a link with your favorite apple ideas, too.


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Weekend Links

Simple As That: The Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of Autumn

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck and originally appeared in October 2010.  I’ve updated it for 2011 with some new ideas and links.  Happy Autumn!

Last week I mentioned my personal goals for this Autumn.  Part of that is to be mindful of slowing down and being aware of what is going on around us – indoors and outdoors.  I want my family  to experience this time of year, not just as dates on the calendar, but as an opportunity to use all of our senses to really savor the season.

I thought it would be fun to list some of the different ways we can experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of Autumn with our kids.

What Does Autumn LOOK Like?

The hallmark of Autumn is the changing colors of the leaves, of course.  This provides opportunities to create leaf rubbings and other leaf related crafts. We can rake leaves together, which naturally leads to jumping in leaf piles!

Yesterday, we made a map of our backyard. The kids and I have been talking about the trees in our yard and what they look like now versus what they looked like a few short weeks ago.  We wonder what they will look like in the Winter time.

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