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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Active Games Your Family Will Love

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

Summer is a wonderful time to get outdoors and active with your family.  My family loves to go out in the early evening, as it starts to get cooler, and kick the football or play a game or two.  And if there are any friends around, they join in – the more, the merrier.

These games are fun for everyone, require minimal equipment and can be played in your backyard or a nearby park.

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eBook Review – Art not Craft: The Process of Learning Creatively (and a giveaway, too!)

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

Have you ever wished you had some new ideas for art experiences beyond playdough, drawing with crayons and painting on an easel?

Do you ever wish art wasn’t so messy and time consuming?

Have you ever wondered how to motivate your young child to get involved in art experiences?

This giveaway has now closed.  The winner will be announced soon.

The ebook – Art not Craft: The Process of Learning Creatively – can help with all these questions and more. The book, written by parenting blogger and early childhood educator, Christie Burnett of Childhood 101, is full of ideas to inspire you to look at, talk about and make art with your child.

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Frugal Family Fun

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

My family has had a hard time financially in the past year.  My husband started his own business and we had to cut costs in many areas.  But we found that there are plenty of ways to have fun as a family without spending a lot of money.

Here are some frugal ways for your family to enjoy time together at home or out and about.

Stay at Home Fun

Staying at home and making your own fun will always be cheaper than going out.  There is less temptation to spend money on food or other treats and there are no travel costs when you stay home.

  • Cook together.  Some foods that offer a fun eating experience and easily lend themselves to lots of helping hands are pizza, pasta, sushi or spring rolls.
  • Have a movie night. To make it more exciting make some tickets and sell them at the box office.  Create a theatre atmosphere by dimming the lights.  Appoint an usher to escort people to their seats.  Serve popcorn in individual paper cones.   Simple Mom has some suggestions for family friendly movies.
  • Hold a game night.  Play with just your family or invite some other families to join the fun.  Choose from card games, parlour games, sports or board games.  Family Education has a page dedicated to fun games for the whole family.
  • Write, film and edit a movie starring your family or if you don’t have a movie camera, write a short story and take photos to create a personalised book.
  • Camp out in backyard.  This can be as simple as taking some blankets and cushions out, making some hot chocolate and stargazing before heading off to bed.  Or you can pitch your tent, get out the bbq or fire pit and spend the night in your backyard.

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Creating a Family History Book (and a giveaway, too!)

The following was written by contributor Catherine Way of Adventures With Kids.

This giveaway is now closed.  The winner will be announced in Sunday’s Weekend Links post.  Thank you!
I’ve always enjoyed reading and learning about history.  When I was pregnant with my first child, I became quite interested in our family history.  It was whilst I was pregnant, that my husband’s grandmother died.  The thought that my son would now never know his great-grandmother prompted me to create a book for our child about his family. This would give my son a little information about his family heritage.

A Family History Book

To create the book, I compiled a list of questions and sent it to the members of our family to answer. I chose to use written questions rather than an interview, because our family is scattered around the world.  Using written questions also gave people the option of choosing which questions to answer and what information to reveal, without pressure.

I also collected photos of family members at significant stages in their lives: as a child, when they were married, while traveling and so on.

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