Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fun April Fools Day Ideas

April Fools' Day is a great holiday to be funny and silly with your friends and family.  You get the chance to play fun pranks and outrageous jokes on people in your life - and you don't get in trouble for it! Here are some safe but fun April Fools' pranks you can pull on your friends and family.

Got Milk?

If your milk comes in a cardboard container, ask Mom or Dad to help you add a few drops of food coloring. It's harmless April Fool's joke but the results are pretty colorful.

What's That in Your Apple?

For a fruity April Fool's practical joke, get a few gummy worms and carefully poke them into fresh fruit, particularly apples. Give mom or dad a wormy apple for lunch and leave a few apples on the table for friends and family members to snack on

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kids, What's Your Favorite App?

Kids worldwide on smart phones, iPods and iPads.  Do your parents let you borrow their iPad?  OMG, or do you have your own?  That would be very cool.  Well, here are some fun games you can play on your iPad.

1  "Dora The Explorer: Coloring Adventures"   Take a break from Dora the Explorer on TV and sit down and color with the whole gang including Boots, Backpack and Swiper. Learn Spanish while you’re choosing scenes, adding characters to your setting and then touching colors to sections on the iPad to fill it in as you would on a coloring book. If you're addicted to all things Dora, you won’t want to miss out on this accessory either.
2  Super WhyFans of the hit PBS Kids TV show will love this app. Kids play by finding missing words and rhyming words and also by spelling words and tracing letters.

3 Fuji Scene   Children's game that has user select one of six backgrounds to create a customized scene. The scenes will contain characters which can be dragged and dropped into the creation. The animal characters are colored pandas, bunnies, penguins, hamsters, and other sea animals. The user can then add favorite foods and toys and props to the scene. All the items are Asian inspired. The user can than use dialogue boxes to give the characters some text. The creation can have a banner heading and be e-mail, sent to photos or sent to the ONCEKids site to be highlighted in a gallery. The user can restart at any point.

If you'd like to read more about Fuji Scene, click here

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Friday, March 18, 2011

How Kids can Help during a Tsunami

Did you know that a ten year old girl, Tilly Smith, was able to save her family and other people from a tsunami in Thailand because she learned the signs of a tsunami in geography class?

It's true.

The Fujimini Island Adventure Series is dedicated to education, entertaining and empowering kids.  CEO and author Eileen Wacker, herself a parent reacts to the Japanese devastation and how it can affect children, "An event such as this will be remembered by the children forever. Knowing the Japanese people, they will raise their children never forgetting this incident and using it as motivation to build a better future. Our thoughts and prayers are with all, but a special blessing for the children." 

When bad things happen, like a tsunami, adults tend to take charge for the overall family's safety.  But kids can help too.  It is important to know what a tsunami is and what it can do so that you can protect yourself and your family and friends. Here are some important things to know about tsunamis:

Waves in a tsunami travel very quickly; much faster than your family's car can! They can travel up to 800 km / 500 miles an hour from the depths of the ocean.

If you live next to the sea, how will you know when a tsunami might happen? Nature gives us some very clear warning signs:

1.  The sea suddenly pulls back and leaves bare sand, making the beach seem a lot larger.
2.  Your pets may behave strangely - they may suddenly leave, gather in groups, or try to hide, getting into places they normally would not go.

Whether you are at home, school or playing on the beach, if you see or hear these warning signs, immediately leave and go to higher ground. 

If you live in an area that is at risk for a tsunami, it is important to be prepared. Your school should already have a tsunami emergency plan. You can also ask to make it as a class project. Your school or home emergency plan should cover:

1.  Where it is safe to go - somewhere that is no more than 15 minutes on foot.
2.  Making a safety pack with supplies to help you survive.
3.  Practicing a tsunami evacuation regularly (a practice drill).
4.  Learning the warning signals and systems that your emergency services use.
5.  Learning basic First Aid and knowing who in your community is a doctor, nurse or health care professional.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fun St. Patrick's Day Ideas

St. Patrick's Day is a fun chance to dress in green and play with your friends and family.  But it's also about Irish Culture and Heritage.

Here are some quick questions you can answer to learn more.  Each correct answer is worth one point.  (Answers are below)

1.  How many leaves are on a lucky clover?  3, 4, or 7 ?

2.  According to Irish culture, what are you supposed to do to your friend who forget to wear green on St. Patrick's Day?

Pinch them gently?  Pull their hair?  Make them say the alphabet backwards?

3.  Where does the largest St. Patrick's Day parade take place?

Dublin?  London?  New York City?

Out of 3, how many points did you score?

Answers: 4, pinch them gently, New York City 

As a reward, here's a fun St. Patrick's Day activity:

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by creating a green Shamrock collage.

Go on a scavenger hunt around the house for small green objects to use in your collage. 

What You Need:
  • Several small green objects in various textures and shapes
  • Poster board or construction paper
  • Glue
  • Hole punch
  • String
What You Do:
  1. Start by figuring out how to lay out the collage. Ask your child if she wants to lay out the objects in random fashion or assemble them within a pattern, such as a shamrock. 
  2. Help your child arrange and glue the items onto the poster board or construction paper, encouraging her to explore the way things look and feel.
  3. To maximize this experience, you can add a sorting element by dividing the collage into different visual sections. One section could be dedicated to tactile objects of various textures such as smooth and rough; a second area could be used to identify shapes such as circles, lines, and stars; and a third could be used to differentiate colors such as light vs. dark green.
  4. Let the glue dry.
  5. Once the glue is dry, it's time to hang up your collage for everyone to admire! Simply punch two holes at the top of the collage, thread string through the holes, tie a knot and hang it in a prominent place in the house.

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