Tuesday, June 19, 2018

FUN Rainy Day Activities for Kids

Guest Post by: Jenny Wise

Photo credit: Pixabay

Banish Rainy Day Boredom With These Online Activities
 Is rain in the forecast for your area this week? Rainy days with kids don’t always need to include endless hours of Netflix and video games. You can use those overcast days to provide some engaging, educational experiences for kids while they’re stuck indoors. Here are a few ideas to makeover your rainy day routines:

Practice Skills in the Kitchen
To survive a rainy day with kids, you’re going to need some tasty snacks. Why not get kids in the kitchen with you and have them help whip up some delicious treats? Cooking involves measuring, a practical use for math and can even include science. Look for recipes that are simple for kids to prepare and tutorials to help sharpen their chef skills. While you’re in the kitchen, be sure to go over food safety and how to handle kitchen emergencies. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby if you’re using the stove or oven and always supervise little ones when they are using knives and appliances.

Use Simple Ingredients for Art
Painting and drawing are perfect ways for kids to pass the time, so if you have some art supplies get them out. Stuck inside with no paints or pencils? Not to worry. You can make art using a few basic ingredients from your kitchen or bathroom. From shaving cream puffy paint to colorful conditioner clay, you likely have everything you need to unleash a child’s inner Picasso. To keep messes minimal, be sure to throw down a trash bag or newspaper and try making an artist’s apron from an old T-shirt to protect clothes. You can also create audible art with online music tutorials.

Teach Some Life Lessons 
Learning doesn’t have to revolve around traditional subjects. Teaching children about matters that will come up later in their life such as buying a home will better prepare them to make smart decisions. Real estate is a perfect topic to cover on a rainy day.

According to real estate brokerage site Redfin, “Real estate is a complex field that requires skills in math, science, English, social studies and home economics. By incorporating real estate-based lessons into your curriculum, you can help students gain valuable skills in practical math application, presentation giving, forming a persuasive argument, earth science and so much more.”

Set Up DIY Science Experiments
Science should be a part of any comprehensive lesson plan. Kid tend to absorb information better if they can get their hands dirty, so use those rainy days to complete some science-centric lessons. With a few simple items, you can teach children about a variety of scientific reactions such as edible glass. Use a paper airplane to learn about aerodynamics or create your own weather with a soda bottle tornado. Or, make some giant, foamy fun by whipping up some  elephant toothpaste. Kids will love watching their homemade “toothpaste” grow and expand into a monster pile of foam.

Talk About Weather 
If you’re stuck inside because of the weather, why not make weather the focus of your lessons? Weather can be an interesting subject for children to discover. Have children countdown between lightning and thunder to learn how light and sound travel differently. Set a chair near a window and have them observe the clouds in the sky. They can document every detail from size, shape and movement to better understand how weather moves around our world.

Burn Off Excess Energy 
Engaging young minds can help keep them focused, but you still need some ways to use excess energy. Clear the floor and have them follow along with some YouTube exercise videos. Give them a brain break by tuning into a channel that will teach them a simple yoga practice or get their bodies moving with some fun dance. Online workouts are a great way for anyone to stay in shape when they’re stuck inside, but kids can especially benefit from an exercise break.

A rainy day doesn’t have to mean a whole day is ruined. With an Internet connection and some ingenuity, you can put together some exciting, educational activities that kids of all ages will enjoy. So when those skies start to turn grey, get out this article and give kids memories they’ll always remember.

About the Author:
Jenny Wise is the owner and blogger at specialhomeeducator.com. She is a stay-at-home parent to 4 beautiful children. Her and her husband made the decision to home-educate when their oldest was four years old. During this journey, they have expanded their family, and faced many challenges along the way. With every challenge, they have experienced great rewards. Follow Jenny's homeschooling adventure at specialhomeeducator.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Preparing for Parenthood When YOU Have a Disability

Guest Post by: Ashley Taylor

Preparing Your Life and Home for Parenthood When You Have a Disability
Image via Pixabay

There is nothing quite as rewarding as being a new parent. The bond you share with your children is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. You get to watch them grow into their own personality with hopes, dreams, fears, and interests. They, in turn, learn from you as you teach them life lessons based on what you’ve learned in your own life. Together, you are a family that supports each other in hard times and celebrates accomplishments during the good times.

When you live with a disability, the rewards of parenting are still there. However, there are certain preparations future parents with disabilities should take to make sure they are ready for parenthood in their unique situation. Doing so helps simplify life so you can enjoy your new life as a parent without excessively worrying about things such as money and accessibility. Below are a couple of ways you can prepare your life and renovate your home for parenthood when you have a disability.

Preparing Financially
The best things in life may be free, but healthcare and diapers are not. The average cost for raising a baby runs around $12,000 just for the first year. By age two, it can cost a family $12,500 per year, and that number increases as they grow. Plus, as a person with a disability, you may have extra healthcare costs associated with pregnancy. For many parents living with a disability, these costs can become a big problem.

A survey paid for by the Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research (NIDRR) discovered that families that include at least one parent living with a disability are more likely to live below the poverty line than families who do not. Factors such as difficulty finding work, additional medical expenses, and lack of financial assistance make it difficult for some families to make ends meet.

Below are just some of the financial preparations future parents can make to ensure they are able to handle the costs of raising a child.

 Establish a workable budget that covers daily expenses while still allowing you to save.
 Pre-pay your bills before going on maternity or paternity leave. Having those expenses covered beforehand allows you to focus on nesting and a healthy birth.
 Scale back on luxury expenses like cable; you’ll likely find you don’t have as much time to watch TV once the little one is in the house.
 Apply for parenting grants and federal assistance for people with disabilities to help cover birthing costs.
 Look into college savings plans that will help you put aside the money necessary for your child’s future education.

Preparing the Home
While your home may already be renovated in some ways for accessibility, take into consideration the additional mobility you will need to keep up with a growing child. All parents go through a nesting period where they decorate and babyproof their home. As a parent with a disability, it may take a little more time and money to complete necessary renovations. Some renovations you should consider include:

 Zero-step entrances that can make it easier to navigate around the house when you are juggling your baby and belongings.
 Skid-resistant flooring to prevent slip and falls.
 Consider installing expandable hinges to add clearance to doorways.
 Set up a dedicated area for play where the baby can move around freely, and you can move around safely.
 Install a loop or lever faucet to make bath time easier.

Being a parent is incredibly rewarding, but it is also expensive and a lot of work. If you are a parent with a disability, this is even more true. Prepare financially by budgeting, paying expenses like bills before maternity/paternity leave, and setting up a college fund. You can make your home safer and easier to navigate with renovations such as zero-step entrances, skid-resistant flooring, and lever faucets in the bath.

About the Author: 
Ashley Taylor is a disabled mother of two wonderful, amazing, energetic children. She met her husband, Tom, while doing physical therapy. Tom had suffered a spinal cord injury due to a car accident and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Ashley and Tom knew they wanted children and knew they would have to adapt their lives and home in order to make this dream come true. Ashley is happy to say that they are the proud parents of two healthy, wonderful children and their disabilities haven’t stopped them from leading a happy, fulfilling life. Connect with Ashley and get more great parenting tips on her site at disabledparents.org.