Sitters Unlimited of Southern CA

safe, licensed, prescreened babysitters, pet-sitters & adult companion care

Archive for the ‘Teens’ Category

Jun
25

Don’t Let Your Rainy Day Be a Waste: These 6 Indoor Activities Will Help Your Child Learn While Having Fun

Posted by admin

When a lot of people think about rainy days, they think about things getting canceled or lying around wasting the day away. But inclement weather doesn’t have to ruin your day or keep your kid from learning. There are plenty of fun and educational activities that work perfectly indoors. If you want to make the most of your rainy day, here are 6 activities to get you started:

1. Math Activities

There are several ways your kid can improve their math skills while indoors. One fun architectural exercise is to have them draw up a floor plan to scale of any room in the home. Such an exercise will teach your kid proportions, ratios, estimations, and other skills. If you want to go the extra mile, you can have them continue their design on a computer-aided design (CAD) program. Cooking is another way to work math into their everyday life, as it involves measuring and weighing food, converting temperature, changing quantities, and so on.

2. Science Activities

There are also countless science activities that can be done when your kid is stuck indoors. And the best part about it is that many of them require only a few ingredients from the kitchen and minimal equipment. For instance, have your kid make their own glass of lava and observe how the oil and salt reacts with the water. Or they could try to make edible glass, in which they would watch melting sugar turn into a glassy and translucent substance.

3. Online Music Tutorials

Another activity to consider for your kid is an online music tutorial. There are numerous options for free beginner lessons, and online lessons that are catered to musicians of all levels have gained popularity over the years. Whether it’s a combination of free videos or a live consultation with a teacher, learning from the comfort of your own home is hard to beat on a rainy day! Whether your child is learning to play the guitar, saxophone, or flute, make sure to research instruments before buying.

4. YouTube Exercise Videos

YouTube is an excellent source for all kinds of free education, but it also contains a lot of helpful exercise videos. If your kid prefers yoga and meditation, Yoga with Adriene provides a variety of videos that are sure to satisfy.

5. Storytelling Circle

If your kid has friends close by, invite them over to the house for this activity. Storytelling provides kids with the opportunity to exercise their imagination, creative thinking skills, verbal skills, and social skills. Check out this article with various storytelling exercises that cover subjects from English to history to business marketing. The exercises can be applied either to a classroom or at home.

6. Scavenger Hunt

Another fun and educational indoor activity to do with a group of kids is a scavenger hunt. Hide a variety of items throughout the home, make a list of the items, and give each kid a list. To make the experience more educational, add a couple items that will require the kids to do a little extra reading, identify atypical colors, do some counting, and so on. Making the last item hard to find is a good way to build excitement toward the end. It can also be fun to offer a reward to the winner, such as a movie ticket or gift card to a store in the mall.

So, there you have it; you don’t have to let the next rainy day be a waste! Introduce your teenager to some of the many math and science activities, online tutorials, and exercise videos available. Invite some of their friends over for a storytelling game or scavenger hunt. Inclement weather is an opportunity for your kid to find new ways to be fun and productive.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

 

Sep
21

Homemade Book Cover

Posted by admin

Construct a cover for a homemade book from salvaged cardboard. You can wing it or check out the ideas on the web sites below:

http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/book/cover.html

http://www.geocities.com/jackiekoller/publish.html

Sep
21

Kids Craft: Using Outdated Jewelry

Posted by admin

These kids craft projects are super simple. Instead of throwing away outdated or broken bead necklaces use them to make any of the following kids craft projects.

Candle Tray

Glue large beads of the same size to the four corners of a piece of tempered glass or under the bottom of a clear drinking glass. If you wish you could also glue beads along all four edges of the top side of the glass piece to create a lip for your tray or along the top edge of the glass for an embellishment. Set votive candles or tea lights on glass tray or inside drinking glass.

Light & Fan Pulls

Remove the cheap-looking metal bell at the end of your light and/or fan pulls and replace them with beads which have a hole large enough for the chain to fit inside. Squirt a little glue into the hole and insert the chain. Secure with tape if needed until glue dries.

Shade Pulls

Remove the tacky plastic pulls from your window shades and replace them with several beautiful beads. Secure with a knot under the bead or a drop of glue.

If you have your own ideas for a kids craft project, please share it with a comment.

Aug
21

Make Your Own Shrinky-Dinks

Posted by admin

Get ready for a cool crafts for kids project, which is a great indoor activity for children. Remember Shrinky Dinks? Well did you know you can make your own Shrinky Dinks from styrofoam trays that are packaged with supermarket meat and veggies. That’s right, those trays make a great styrofoam craft project.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and dry your tray(s). Draw simple pictures on the bottom of the tray. Coloring pictures with permanent markers is the easiest way to do this but you could also use colored pencils. Don’t color with crayons though as they will melt in the oven. Cut around the outline of each picture and place each shape on a cookie sheet or piece of aluminum foil.

Place shapes in the oven for a few minutes. When they stop shrinking take them out of the oven.

You can make your own jewelry by by punching or cutting a hole in the top of each shape before putting them into the oven. When your shapes have cooled thread the Shrinky Dinks onto yarn or colored string.

Note: You can use a Styrofoam plate instead of a meat tray, however it will curl up so that your picture is inside. This can be half the fun though, when you end up with a secret picture inside a tube that you can see when you hold it up to your eye. Tip: you can cut away the turned up edge of the plate before placing it in the oven and it will not curl up.

Now that you know how to make your own Shrinky Dinks you’ll never throw away another styrofoam tray again. Right?

Aug
07

Kids Crafts Projects Using Old Appliances

Posted by admin

In the interest of home safety for children, before starting this kids craft project, make sure to check all pieces you’ll be using in this kids craft project for rough or sharp edges and do not give children anything that is small enough that it could be inserted into their mouths, ears, noses, etc. That said, an old appliance can be a treasure chest for the artist within you or your child.

Use the “inards” for craft projects such as:

  • Toddlers can stick the parts into balls of clay to make “machines” or “aliens”. Make sure that you wean out any parts that are sharp enough to hurt a child.
  • Glue parts to inexpensive frames to decorate a techie’s room.
  • Glue parts around the edge of an unframed mirror.
  • Attach jewelry backing to parts to make brooches, barrettes, necklaces, earrings. You can find jewelry backings at craft stores or use your own jewelry that you no longer like.
Aug
01

Credit Card Crafts – Crafts For Older Kids

Posted by admin

More fun kids craft projects at Fave Crafts Blog! If you’re looking for crafts for older kids this article on how to re-use all those unsolicited credit cards we all receive in the mail will give you lots of ideas for crafts for older kids. Check out these ideas: Credit Crunch Bracelet, Mosiac Picture Frame & Guitar Picks.

Jul
28

Kids Craft Project Using Recycled Paper – Make a Bookmark

Posted by admin

Here’s another fun craft for kids using recycled materials. In my opinion the best kinds of craft projects for kids are those that use recycled materials. Your little reader will have fun making his or her own bookmark using recycled paper cardboard.

Using a ruler and pencil, draw lines on your cardboard 1 ½-inches to 3-inches apart. If your cardboard is longer than six inches draw a line at six inches to mark the length of your bookmark.

Place the cardboard on a surface that will not be damaged by a knife, such as a cutting board, a piece of thick cardboard, or a pad of newspaper. Use an Exacto or craft knife to cut along the lines you’ve marked.

Decorate and leave as is or cover with clear contact paper to protect your design.

Optional: punch a hole in the top of the bookmark and attach a tassel, a charm or a button on a length of several strands of embroidery floss or thin ribbon.

Jul
20

Soda Can or Juice Box Insulated Wrap

Posted by admin

When you clean up from a picnic or party, do you find dozens of half empty cans? This quick sewing craft project will keep drinks cold, help guests identify their cans so that they will (hopefully) finish one can before opening another. This is also a good project for an arts and crafts party. Have everybody bring their scrap fabric and glue guns and go to it!

You can use the same technique to make juice box wraps. Although the green thing to do would be to encourage you not to use individual juice boxes we all know that this is not a perfect world and we are all doing the best we can and sometimes we just need the convenience of juice boxes that the little ones can serve themselves straight from the fridge, that won’t break and that we don’t have to wash.

Click on over to About.Com for a free pattern with instructions. Tip: For a no-sew project, use fabric glue or hot glue instead of sewing.

Jul
15

Simple Weaving Loom Made From Recycled Cardboard

Posted by admin

A great way to recycle a cardboard box or piece of cardboard is to make a simple kids weaving loom. You can use this simple weaving loom to make tassels, squares for a lap blanket, a doll blanket, potholder, trivet for hot dishes …

Weaving loom instructions:
Using a ruler mark the slits for the loom. If you’re going to be using thick yarn mark each 1/4 inch down the length of the cardboard. For thinner yarns mark every 1/8 inch. Now use the ruler to mark a line across the width of the cardboard 1-inch from the top edge and 1-inch from the bottom edge. With a craft knife and using the marks you’ve made cut a 1-inch long slit at the top and bottom edge at each of the markings.

Use a sturdy cotton or linen yarn or string for the warp threads. Secure your warp thread by tying a knot on the end of the yarn or taping in place. Slide the yarn into the first slot and pull until the yarn is secure. Pull the yarn tightly but gently down to the corresponding slot on the bottom and slide the string into this slot. Pull the yarn up the back and slide into the second top slot, and then down to the second bottom slot. Repeat until all slots are full. Tie off the yarn or tape end and trim away any excess.

You are now ready to weave.

Weaving:

A header is woven at the beginning of a project. Any type of scrap yarn can be used as the header is removed once the project is finished. Use a similar weight of yarn as what you’ll be using for the rest of the project. Use a knitting needle or a small stick to pick up every other warp thread. Leave the needle/stick in place while you weave the header yarn over the first warp thread and under the next leaving 3 inches hanging off the loom on each end, continuing until you reach the last warp thread. Remove the needle/stick. Use the tines of a fork or comb to gently press the header into place evenly across the edge of the loom.

You’re now ready to start weaving. Use the needle/stick to pick up every other warp thread, starting by picking up the thread that you left down for the header and working your way across the loom so that each warp thread that was left down for the header is now up. Leave needle/stick in place while you weave the first thread of your project leaving 1 to 2 inches hanging off the end of the loom. Weave this end piece of yarn back into the project to secure. End each row by wrapping the yarn around the last warp thread so that it won’t show when the project is done.

After each row use the tines of the fork/comb to gently press the row into place evenly across the loom.

For the next row, pick up the alternate warp threads with the needle/stick and weave the yarn across. As you are weaving, if you wish to change colors tie the new color to the end of the old color making sure the knot is pushed into the back of the weaving so it won’t show.

End by weaving the end of the yarn back into the project for an inch or so. You might have to go back and weave a few lines across the very bottom of the project to make a nice solid edge.

Remove the header.

Slide the project off the loom.

Variations:

It takes a bit more planning but if you plan out a design you can achieve it by weaving a piece of yarn partway across then using another color and so on to fit your pattern. Carefully knot each piece of yarn at the back of the project if the back won’t show. If you need a cleaner back for your project leave an inch or two free and weave the yarn back into the project at the back.

Your simple weaving loom may just be the start of a whole new thing for you. Be careful, it can be addictive.

Jun
12

Family Friendly Movies – Parents Movie Reviews

Posted by admin

Have you thought you were taking your children to see a family friendly movie only to run screaming from the theater? Or maybe you would love to recommend a movie you and your family really loved? Well this is the place to post your comments.  With parents sharing their movie reviews, we can build a family friendly movie guide you can use prior to heading to the theater, to BlockBuster or Netflix.

To make it easier for other parents to find your recommendations please structure your comments IN THE ORDER LISTED BELOW:

  • title of movie
  • age range of children movie is intended for
  • rating of movie
  • your comments

Look in our Resources For Families posting for places to post your comments regarding children’s books, DVD’s, games, toys …

Now for the legal stuff: While Sitters Unlimited of Orange County, CA & San Diego County, CA enjoys providing a way for parents to share their views we are not providing specific recommendations or endorsements for any of the movies listed here.