Relay races, with a twist!

relay race activities for kidsRelay races are a camp classic – a fun activity most everyone enjoys. And, the great thing about relay races is that the variations are endless!

If you have more than five or six people together, you can divide into teams, otherwise you can work together as one team to complete the relay in the quickest amount of time. Enthusiasm and involvement from the adults/parents will set the tone for the kids’ participation, so don’t be afraid to play and be goofy with this!

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Backyard campout tips

backyard camping tipsGetting into the spirit of summer doesn’t require months of planning or have to cost a small fortune. Memories can be made in the comfort of your home and camping can be done right in your backyard (or living room)!

Have the kids help with the planning and let them choose some fun activities. A great way to commit to the idea of camping, while still at home, is to limit or eliminate the use of technology devices. I’m not talking about roughing it and not using indoor plumbing, but make a rule (one that all members of the family can abide by) that phones/TVs/iPads/etc. are not to be used during the campout.

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A family affair

Mother-daughter duo attend conference for brain anomaly that’s affected three in their family

It’s been 14 years and six surgeries since the Korcal family learned the phrase “Chiari malformation.”

The anomaly of the brain is characterized by a protrusion of a small part of the brain through the bottom of the skull and into the spinal canal.

First, eldest son Andrew Korcal was diagnosed at age 14, and then they realized it was also the reason for teen daughter Amanda’s lifelong struggle with headaches. Once her children were stable, mom Layna went to get her diagnosis, but her Chiari likely won’t require a surgery. She’s hoping her youngest son continues not to display any symptoms.

Chiari2

“Andrew and Amanda had different complications, but they both had really good outcomes,” Layna said.

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Swimming pool scrabble

mott blog - clv 2015 - swimming scrabbleSchool’s out for summer, but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Summer gives us an opportunity to put extra focus on the fun in learning. Here are some great word games you can play in the pool. These work with both large pools and small kiddie pools. So have fun and get wet!

Letter jumble

For this fun activity, you just need some simple kitchen-sized sponges, scissors and a permanent marker. Cut the sponges in half. On each sponge, write a letter (you can write a letter on one side and leave the other blank or write different letters on each side). Choose letters that can be easily assembled to create words (vowels and consonants like B, D, G, H, L, M, N, S, T, R).

Now for the fun. Toss the sponges into the pool. Have your kids swim and collect the sponges. You can start by having each person collect 5 sponges to see if they can create a word from their letters.  Each person can draw more letters as needed to create a word, similar to how you’d play Scrabble.

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Build your own (breakfast) taco!

Breakfast tacosKids love tacos, and kids love hands-on activities.  This recipe combines both for a fun way to tackle the most important meal of the day – breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Eggs – one per person
  • Shredded spinach leaves
  • Shredded cheese
  • Guacamole or sliced avocado
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Other toppings, such as pineapple, mushrooms, diced red onion, diced peppers, etc.

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Hiking with kids

Tips for hiking with kidsSummers in the Midwest are a great time to get out and enjoy nature. Hiking with kids is wonderful exercise and a fun family activity. Just be sure to follow some basic safety tips to make sure everyone has a good and safe time.

Planning the hike

Hiking is a fun way to explore new areas. You can start by taking a few minutes to prepare so everyone has a good time. Continue reading