How your kids can use safe words

How your kids can use safe words by WTDWTKKeeping your kids safe is a priority for every parent and with the recent spate of sexual assaults and inappropriate actions, primarily against young women; it has become a popular issue.   It’s important that we teach our kids to avoid being in a bad situation but sometimes it’s unavoidable and that’s when the use of “safe words” can help protect them.

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A Valentine’s Celebration That’s Fun and That Won’t Stress Kids

Happy Valentine's Day from What To Do With The KidsValentine’s Day is the most over-rated “non-holiday” ever. Were sure that there is a reason why adults celebrate it by buying overpriced flowers and chocolates but for many kids, it can be stressful and embarrassing but since it seems that it’s here to stay, What To Do With The Kids has a few suggestions to make it fun for the kids.

First try not to emphasize the “I love you” or boyfriend/girlfriend aspect. Young kids do not understand while the older kids may feel awkward and uncomfortable. Use the Valentine theme as an excuse for a party. Something to do, just for fun. …Continue Reading

How to Find a Babysitting Job

Advice on finding a Babysitting JobBeing a babysitter is a great way to earn a few dollars but it is serious work since you are responsible for the life of another person.


Most never have a problem but when there is one, they are responsible for making sure the kids are safe.

 

Babysitting however can fit almost any schedule especially if you’re a student.  The trick however is not just finding a babysitting job but the job you want.  

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Top 10 Classic Books That Parents Should Read to Their Kids

 

Top 10 Classic Books Parents Should Read to their KidsA few years ago hundreds of people from around the world sent in suggestions for over 300 different books through Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and direct email.  Many of these submissions included stories of how they enjoyed the books as a child and how their own kids are enjoying them today. 

After reviewing this list, it was decided that the selections should stay the same.

The most common response submitted was “anything by Dr. Seuss.”  Unfortunately, we couldn’t count that but quite a few of Theodor’s titles were submitted.

 

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Babysitting Offers Teens an Advantage in Life

Babysitting offers teens an advantageBeing a babysitter is one of the most successful forms of leadership training available to a teen today.  The skills learned and developed by being a sitter will help them to become productive and responsible adults.  It can also be a great way for them to make some extra money.

For parents, having someone watch their kids so that they can leave their home is like having a mini vacation.  It’s a chance to enjoy a few hours with their significant other or with other adults, have a few laughs and to relax.  For many others, a sitter or nanny is needed so that they can go to work to earn money to pay their bills.

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Sledding Can Kill Your Kids

Sledding can kill - an article from What To Do With The KidsFor many of us, tobogganing or sledding, is a great childhood memory.  Once you were able to make it up to the top of the hill, you were ready to fly.  The 10 – 20 seconds of pure speed were well worth the 10 minute march uphill and you didn’t always need a real toboggan or sled.

Some kids had a Crazy Carpet (a sheet of plastic) or a Flying Disc (a round piece of plastic) while some would fly down on a large piece of cardboard.  Others would use a type of snow bicycle that had small sleds for wheels but would never really work and usually bent after the second crash. …Continue Reading

Young Inventors Challenge 2017 Recap

Young Inventors Challenge at ChiTAG

The Young Inventors Challenge is open to all kids between the ages of 6 – 18 years of age from anywhere in the United States or Canada who has designed or created a unique toy or game. 

In November I had the pleasure of being a judge at the Chicago Toy and Game Week’s Young Inventors Challenge and I’d like to tell you what I saw and explain why you should have your kids enter in 2018.

First, it’s a great opportunity for kids to show their creativity and their ideas of how toys and games should be designed and played.  Some have made slight variations of existing games while others have created new games with interesting themes. …Continue Reading

Before you start fighting for the latest gifts

Before your start fighting for that gift from What To Do With The KidsWith Black Friday kicking off the holiday shopping season, many people are sharpening their elbows and bulking up waiting to make the mad dash to some big box store to get the latest toy or gadget for their kids but maybe they should just take a moment to think about what they’re doing.

Some years ago, parents decided that their kids had to get the hottest, latest, coolest toy or gadget for Christmas or else they would be labelled a terrible parent.  Marketing has done an incredible job in convincing parents that they HAVE to have it for their kids because if they don’t, their friends won’t play with them which will result in their self-esteem dropping so low that voices will pop into their heads telling them to hurt themselves. …Continue Reading

Introduce your kids to the library

Introduce your kid to the Library from WTDWTKLibraries have almost become irrelevant since the internet arrived but it’s still a great resource and it does offer a lot more that a Google search could ever do. 

Some of us remember spending hours at the local library researching material for a school project.  Looking up books in the index card file by sorting through hundreds of recipe card size pieces of card stock, searching the aisles for the right twelve digit code and hopefully finding the book where it’s supposed to be on the shelf.

Once you found the books you wanted, you had to find a table where you can sit and read, read and read some more just to find the information you needed or at least parts of it.  Then when you found what you were looking for, you had to write the information into your report or project.  …Continue Reading

Talk to your kids now and they may talk to you later

Talk to Your Kids Now by What To Do With The KidsTalk to your kids now and they may talk to you later.

One of the most common complaints from parents is that they feel they can’t talk to their kids and their kids won’t talk to them and it’s pretty safe to say that it’s because the parents and the kids had never really talked before.  They’ll talk at them but not with them.

Parents are always telling their kids to do things and to not do things and when parents do try to talk with their kids, it’s because something has happened and it’s usually bad.  If you’ve never talked with your kids before, what makes you think they’ll want to talk to you now?   …Continue Reading

Introducing a new trend in entertainment – board games

Introducing Board Games from What To Do With The Kids

If you are over the age of 50 then there is no need to read this article.  For those younger, read carefully.

Video games are amazing and have come a long way since the days of Pacman at the local arcade.  Video games are pretty realistic now as they make you feel like you are actually killing and bludgeoning innocent people and violently stealing cars for points.   You can even be partnered with someone thousands of miles away to wreak havoc on some unsuspecting village from the comfort of your living room.  There is however a style of game that is interactive, challenging, fun and designed for various age groups and is played in real time.  It’s called a board game and they are available almost everywhere.

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Teach them to cook and you’ll never hear “there’s nothing to eat” ever again

Teach Them To Cook from What To Do With The KidsWhenever my kids started the “there’s nothing to eat in this house” whine as they stared at an open refrigerator, I usually responded with “there’s a ton of food, just some assembly required.”  Of course, that would only make them grunt and leave in a huff, only to return a few minutes later to stare at the fridge yet again.

If you don’t want to hear them say that again, you should teach them to cook for themselves.

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How to pick teams fairly

How to Pick Teams by What To Do With The KidsNo one wants to be the last kid picked for a team and for those of us who have experienced the stress of lining up and saying a silent prayer; it’s not a lot of fun especially if you’re the very last one.  They won’t even call your name.  All they do is point and you slowly walk over.  But there are a number of ways to pick teams without anyone feeling left out. 

For most sports you can divide up the teams by shoes.  Everyone removes a shoe and places it in a pile.  One person then hold’s their breath and starts dividing the shoes into two other piles, one at a time.  Once the piles are made, everyone searches for their shoe and that’s the side their on.

If you’re playing ice hockey then it doesn’t make any sense to have everyone remove a skate so a great alternative would be to use hockey sticks instead.  Throw them in a pile and then divide them up as well. …Continue Reading

Top 50 Fundraising Events for Your Kid’s School, Team or Organization

 

Top 50 Fundraising Events from What To Do With The KidsAsk any parent of an active child and they’ll tell you that almost everything their kids do costs money. There are lessons, team fees, trip expenses and much more that can easily add up to the equivalent of a mortgage payment and that’s when parents turn to fundraising to help pay these bills.

Sponsorship has always been a great way for local businesses to support amateur teams but those dollars are quickly drying up. People however are more willing to give money when there is something that they can get in return. The best example is when those cute Girl Guides show up at your door with those delicious cookies.

Fundraising is also known as commission sales. You purchase a product at a discounted price and resell it to the end user at a higher price. The difference in your cost and what you sell it for is your profit or better known as “funds raised.” …Continue Reading

Airport Security and Your Kids

Airport Security by What To Do With The KidsUnless you’re under the age of 13, you probably heard about what happened on September 11, 2001.

The death of thousands of Americans in New York, Washington and in Pennsylvania as a result of terrorists hijacking planes have changed the way we travel. Airport security is strict, slow and as far as I’m concerned, effective since there haven’t been any planes hijacked in the United States or Canada since 9/11.

Since then, people have had to stop bringing sharp instruments like the deadly nail clipper and bottles filled with liquid with them on the plane. People have had to remove their shoes, belts, empty their bags and purses, brushed with a wand and at some airports experience a full body scan. It’s just as much a part of commercial flying as is complaining about the size of the complimentary peanuts you get in the middle of the flight. It will not change in the near future and this is where your kids come in. PREPARE THEM. …Continue Reading

Bicycle Riding Parents May Get Their Kids Killed

Bicycle Riding Parents by What To Do With The KidsBicycle riding is a great way to get exercise, a cost effective way to get around and a chance to enjoy the great outdoors but it may kill your kids!

Of all the bicycle riders I have seen in my city over the past few years, only a tiny fraction of them have actually come to a full stop at a stop sign.  They usually slow down, take a quick look to see if there are any cars and zoom right through.  Others will slow down, make eye contact with the driver and zoom right through the intersection even if they don’t have the right of way.  It’s just pure laziness.

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Don’t let crafts be intimidating

Don't let crafts be intimidating by What To Do With The KidsCrafts can be intimidating for some parents especially if they feel they have no artistic talent but they don’t have to be. 

The purpose of doing crafts with your kids is to spend time with your kids doing something together that will ideally contribute to their happy memories. 

Making a craft with your kid doesn’t have to be complicated or even expensive since many of the items you could use are available right in your own home. 

There are a number of items that you will need to buy and a few that you may not find around your home but will come in handy.  They include: glue; kid scissors; colored paper; crayons; craft sticks; pom-poms; water based paints; and brushes. …Continue Reading

Why Camping With Your Children Is Always A Great Idea

 

Camping with your Children is written for What To Do With The KidsWith the summer holiday months looming you are no doubt trying to plan what to do to keep the children entertained and prevent them from being holed up in their rooms, glued to the television or their mobile devices the whole time.

Camping is a fun and cost-effective way to get the whole family together in the great outdoors and to build some wonderful memories. Even if it rains a camping experience still creates a wonderful story for the family to share and laugh about for years to come.

As well as beating holiday boredom, there are many benefits of going camping for your children, as it provides several different but wonderful opportunities, the most obvious being that they will be outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.

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The Joy of Podcasting for Kids

Another guest article written for What To Do With The KidsIf you spent any part of your childhood in the 1970s or 80s, then the chances are, you had at least a few attempts at trying your hand as a DJ, with the help of that old cassette player and a blank tape. Who could resist creating their own radio show, complete with music, the latest news and razor sharp interviews with local celebrities? Often the reality was not quite as  grand as you might have dreamed, and the biggest celebrity you were likely to hook was the postman or the woman next door.

It is easy to think that the simple pleasures we had as kids in our own youth are all consigned to the past, but this particular pastime is now bigger, better and easier than ever before, thanks to the wonders of the podcast. You’ve probably listened to plenty, but have you ever considered the benefits of podcasts for kids? Or even better, what about helping them to create their own? It’s easier than you might think.
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Ways to keep your child safe on the internet

Another guest article for What To Do With The Kids Ways to keep your child safe on the internet

Like all things, the Internet has a downside. Certain websites and content can pollute children’s minds, introducing them to adult ideas at too young an age. Concerning online pop-ups, spam, and misinformation are unfortunately difficult to avoid when spending time on the computer. Now that many children are required to do homework assignments and connect with their classmates online, it is increasingly important to safeguard their devices as best we can.

As adults, we need to be mindful of the screen time our children spend surfing the web. Monitoring their every click will probably lead to some arguments, but fortunately there are numerous ways to teach Internet security.

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