Reduce Daily Overwhelm w/ Memorial Day Intervention

May 25, 2009 at 7:09 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
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Happy Memorial Day
And Motivational Monday


If you find this interesting and helpful please
pass it along to your friends.

Again thanks to those who emailed me
with your concerns and issues.
It’s still important to email your concerns-
You joined GEM Parenting because
need help with your parenting.
You want to understand and develop
your parenting, reduce your stress and
overwhelm, and let your kids grow up
with natural high self-esteem.

And you certainly don’t want the national hazard
of having a brat for a kid.

And for some reason that just isn’t so simple.

Send in your concerns and issues.
Get your guidance.
And help others who are suffering with your issue,
but not quite ready to share.

I will send you a personal response and
for those who are willing to share even more,
I will put our Q & A on the blog-

Of course with your personal stuff removed.


Today is Memorial Day here in the USA.

What does that mean to you?
Why is it so important?
And what can you do today, this week to enhance
this day for your children?

I think one thing that we do for Memorial Day is to
think this is the beginning of summer,
a day off work, a day to have fun and relax.

Why is it important to have this kind of day?
Rather simple: we have the right to pursue happiness.

Yes, this simple idea, just a few hundred years ago
was unheard of.  Only a very small portion of
the population was even allowed to “think”
this way. And here we are: Knowing that
this is our right.

With this right has come better living standards, better health,
better education, better roads and transportation,
better communication, even better religion.

And more and more toys than we can imagine.
That’s the catch that is not part of our constitution:
There is responsibility that comes with the pursuit
of happiness.

Some say we have gone overboard with our pursuit of happiness.
And yes we sort of have.

For you as a parent here is how you can keep
Memorial Day present and reduce your
own stress at the same time.

Take time to think about “How will this purchase,
this program for my kids, this pursuit of happiness
actually help in my pursuit of happiness?”

This simple tactic can help you make decisions
with a criteria for your family.  You will reduce your
overwhelm.  Give it a try and let me know
what happens.

Today take a moment to remember and thank
those who thought you deserved your
party, boat, TV, cars, house, bar-b-que,
clothes, travel, pets, makeup, books,
ipods, computers, phones, comfy sofas,

Many risked their lives so you can pursue your happiness.
Happy Memorial Day

On My Home Front

(By the way- Any better ideas of a name for this section?)

This past week I took my 16-year-old daughter to Lake Placid
for training in aerials skiing.
On Tuesday evening we went to our last yoga class together for five months.
I silently cried through most of the class.  On the way home
that daughter lashed out at her youngest sister , then me.
Totally uncharacteristic of her.

I knew what was happening.  It was so hard for her to leave us,
even though following her dream and talent is so special,
that by getting mad at us would make it easier to leave.

I told her that.

When we got in the house
she broke down and sobbed.  We had
a family sob fest for a while.

When we got up to leave on Wed we were
all much better.

She is there, loving her training, and we will see her
at the end of June.

And I do miss her terribly.

On the other hand I am in the midst of giving my 12 turning 13
her birthday party.

It’s a 24 hr sleepover- with 18 kids to start- 3 went home before the sleepover.
Tie dyed tank tops,
Relay races
Tank top signature pass
Swim at town pool
Man hunt- kind of flashlight tag
Asleep by 11:30

I am up with the birds.
The kids are asleep.
But when they get up
Birthday Breakfast-
Waffles, vanilla ice cream, crushed fresh strawberries and whipped cream-
My mouth is watering just writing this to you.

We have no real activity this morning
other than that.

They leave at 12:00.

Great to chat.
Love to hear what is going on at your house.

Time for me to crush strawberries and you to
Parent with passion, purpose and integrity,


PS:  On Wednesday check here for:
How to Use Positive Intervention With a Lying 13-Year-Old.

Parenting the Hungry Horrors

May 18, 2009 at 6:59 am | Posted in attitudes, Families, Motivational Monday, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Happy Motivational Monday

If you find this interesting
And helpful please
pass it along to your friends.

Again thanks to those who emailed me
with your concerns and issues.

It’s still important to email your concerns-
You joined GEM Parenting because
need help with your parenting.
You want to understand and develop
your parenting, reduce your stress and
overwhelm, and let your kids grow up
with natural high self-esteem.

And you certainly don’t want the national hazard
of having a brat for a kid.

And for some reason that just isn’t so simple.

Post or email your concerns and issues.
Get your guidance.
And help others who are suffering with your issue,
but not quite ready to share.

I will post  a personal response to share.

Of course with your personal stuff removed if you emailed me.

It seems like I’m my one biggest enemy and I am the one who needs to change in order to become a better parent. And I really struggle w/that. But I do want to be a good mother and I love my children very much. My daughter has a similar personality than I do. Both of my children are very active. We are a creative artistic family.  So organization is not our strength. My dd (6 years old) has a strong will, that can be frustrating. What is the best response when I tell her to do something and she simply refuses? Or she simply says, “No I don’t want to”. I tell her that that is not ok. And she often gets mad when I make her do something. Sure she has a strong will. How can I deal w/that? I started homeschooling her in fall, that goes pretty ok. I don’t know how much hunger and being tired has to do w/ it. Thanks Friederike


The first and foremost thing to do is not beat yourself up about your parenting.  You are doing the most important thing- loving your children.  I know it seems incomprehensible, but there are some who actually don’t love their children.

Second, because you see yourself that you need to get our of your way, you can actually get going on your positive parenting journey much easier than those who think it is some outside force holing them hostage.

Lets start with the basics- I think hunger and being tired have tons to do with kids (and grown ups) getting mad and exerting their strong will.

In my house we have a term for this:


And my youngest (8) and oldest (25) are the worst.  The best way to combat this is to have food like apples, grapes and carrots available at all times.  My kids love the big carrots that aren’t even peeled.  And we eat lots of hummos with our carrots.

Its pretty important to stay away from ANY kind of food
that is processed.  These may abate the hunger for
a short time, but will actually make the Hungry Horrors come back
with more strength and power.

Now we do eat some crap, but NEVER when we are having the hungry horrors.

And yes kids get tired, but just like it can take years to get potty training to
be accident free, it takes kids even more years to regulate getting
enough rest time.  And our culture is really pushing no rest to the limit!

When I was a kid- way back in the last century- it was pretty normal for kids to have a rest time IN SCHOOL with a blanket to lie down on and everything- till about eight years old.  And I was in an innovative- hip school.

We are all so busy now keeping up with all that there is to offer, what with internet, programs, books, electronics, easy connections on all fronts.  So make a rest time- and as a family rest.  Put it as a priority.  The rest does not have to be sleeping- it can be looking at picture books, reading, coloring, listening to music, you reading to the kids, just please no electronics.

Because of the older kids busy schedules my youngest had much less rest time when she was six and seven than any of the others- and it really showed. We put back her rest/quiet time and she is much calmer, less stubborn, and able to hear what is asked of her without flying off the handle- well at least not everytime.

Even with all this, your DD will still be stubborn and willful.  As a general rule give her options.  “You can clean your room now or in 15 minutes.  When do you want to start?”  Then turn the timer on for 15 minutes, as she will most likely think she can get out of it. When the timer goes off, be ready to calmly and continually repeat, “Its your time to clean up now.  This is your choice.”  Be sure to use the word “your” as much as possible.  This gives the ownership and responsibility to her.  And REPEAT with the same words, same calm tone.

I have done this- with my last mind you- for up to thirty minutes.  She would scream, yell, storm out of the house, only to return and have me repeating calmly to her that she had to do what ever it was.

After a few of these sessions, she began to get the picture. She would have to follow through with her choice.

Oh one more thing- when she wised up and said’  “ I don’t want to do either.” I said that wasn’t a choice.  And repeated her choices.

New section of the Motivational Monday:
On my home front:

Last night my friend invited my girls and me
to join her at a circle dance.
It was an evening full of energy and joy.

Today and tomorrow we will be getting
my 16 DD ready to go to Lake Placid.
She will be training there for about five months.
(with some training trips to snow and a vaca with us
slipped in)

We take her on Wed.
As a mom I am in the complete mix of
total WOW pride
and thrilled that my daughter is
doing this fantastic and amazing thing and
with every breath I am feeling the sadness of her going away.


Have a great week.
Be a parent with passion, purpose, and integrity,


PS: If finances are an issue, parenitngpodcasts at
are $6.

Scroll through and find the one you want.

Parent to parent
I wish you strength and courage.
Now be your best parent with
Passion, Purpose and Integrity.


Great Weekend Celebrating 80 years-

November 10, 2008 at 11:04 am | Posted in dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Happy Motivational Monday,


It’s been one terrific week for me.  The first thing I want to do is thank everyone who sent a birthday wish to my mother.  She was so honored by your responses.


Second I want to share what a week it has been. 


On Monday my 16 yo started her winter training.  This means she had to be in a number of places over the course of the day, but we were never quite sure where and when.

And the regular stuff of schooling my other girls, my work, and dance and hockey in the afternoon.


Tuesday brought on all of the Monday stuff and the addition of my eldest flying in from CA.  The airport is a 3+hr roundtrip.  Of course there was the election and results, which we all stayed up till 1 am to watch.


On Wednesday we had all that I have said going on + my eldest applying for jobs in NH.  (Which means she is serious about coming home to live.)


And during all this time I was making costumes for the relatives who were not so creative or handy or had enough time.  (That was the big laugh because I certainly don’t ever have time).  And getting messages from my sister about what we still needed to do for the party once we got to Plymouth, Mass.


Then came Thursday- First thing we (all of us) were off to the physical therapist to be sure my back would be OK for the weekend.  And as we went the car decided to go no faster than 45 mph.  I knew the car was a bit off.  I have gone 160,000 in it.  So after physical therapy we took it to the shop.  And had to find a ride home- 10 miles. 


In the afternoon it was confirmed the transmission was blown.  So added to everything was renting a vehicle. 


We rented a pick up.  My eldest was offered 4 positions in her field.  Everyone got to their programs and training.  My 16 yo got packed for her training out west.  Just the costumes didn’t get done.  And I was WAY over stressed.


Friday I worked on the costumes, while my 12 yo organized and packed the truck- we not only had our party stuff, weekend stuff, but both my eldest daughter’s traveling stuff, and we had my mother’s 80 years worth of pictures.  The pictures of course got to be in the cab.  But it was just ready to rain.  So the stress didn’t slide off as we went south.  After 2 hrs the rain came.  Not too bad, but enough to have to stop and get the 2 backpacks in the cab.  Now everyone but me had their knees in their ears to travel.  But we only had one more hr to go.


And when we got there everything was wonderful.  We had the pre-party at the hotel, where we all ate, took pictures of costumes, and talked, talked, talked. 


The real party was at the Plimouth Plantation itself.  My family went a little early.  We got the pictures set up; the tables decorated, and were ready when everyone arrived. 


After the dinner we had the skits and songs.  Lots of laughter, lots of memories, and lots of love.


And my mother blew out ALL 80 candles in one breath!  Yes she is very strong.


Saturday we toured the plantation, had lunch together and went on board the Mayflower II.  After all that I had to take my 16 yo to Boston airport to go out west for training.  I got back in time to join my mother, her 2 daughters (me being one of them), her 2 son-in-laws and all her five grandchildren went out to eat- just her immediate family. 


After dinner the 2 eldest grandchildren and my sister and brother-in-law went out dancing, while the rest of us went back to the hotel.


Sunday I had to take my eldest to the airport, and I drove back to NH with my two youngest.  Guess what?  I went to sleep just as soon as we got home. 


This morning I am thrilled to be able to remind you that you are just as amazing as my mother is.  You see, in her 80 years everything was not all roses.  She had so many downs you might think that she would have lost heart.  But she knew better.  Each time she fell off her horse, she jumped on another one.  She learned each time how to ride just a bit better, how to let go when necessary, but how to hold on to what was necessary.  Her life was a prime candidate for depression, remorse, whining, and complaining.  Boy, could she have been “the victim.”   She made the choice every time. 


So if you are off your horse today, out of sorts, not quite in gear, go get another horse.  Walk a while if you need to.  Keep your head up and love each of your children.  Someday they will be grown up and on their own.  


Choose this day so when you are 80, you and your family will rejoice and celebrate.


Take your time to parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity today,



How to Make Time Stand Still as a Parent.

July 17, 2008 at 6:38 am | Posted in 1, children, dads, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Feature Article: How to Make Time Stand Still as a Parent.
 Find this article valuable? Please forward it to those in your network who may benefit from it as well. 

Please add “” to your safe senders list or address book in your email program, so that you can receive future issues without a glitch!

Interested in joining the free Pearl membership and get articles delivered directly to your email box every Thursday?  Just click on the link on the right and sign up for the Pearl membership. 



Personal note from <!–[if supportFields]> CONTACT _Con-3EF05DC31 \c \s \l <![endif]–>Grace <!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>

Its already Thursday, I just can’t believe how time flies in the summer.  Here we are in the middle of July and I am thinking it is still the middle of June.


I understand that happens to all of us.  And we all wonder, “Where has the time gone?” 


I am really thinking this today as yesterday I took my dog to the vet for a check up.  He is sixteen years old!!!  He is in pretty good health, but has some fluid on the lungs. 


But I think about that little girl who was my daughter then, who is now an adult living in California by herself.  The time does pass and it goes quickly. 


That brings me to the feature article.  How can you hold time just a bit longer?  Let it linger a while before racing forward?




Feature article:


How to make Time Stand Still as a Parent


Time is so elusive.  There are times when we think can’t it ever just stop and then there are times when we want it to speed up and be quicker.  Of course what we want to stay put is what we love.  And what we want to pass quickly is what we are frustrated, confused, overwhelmed, and hurt by.


And here is the dilemma.  Most times people teach you how to prolong what you like.  But leave off anything about what you don’t like.


When this happens you can have a good idea of helping the parts of your life that you love be longer and they do over run parts of your life that cause you stress.  But with this method you do not get rid of all your stress.  You are replacing some, yes.  But what is left often is magnified.


What I want you to do is work on the part of your life that causes you stress.  Put it in perspective of time – Of forever time, not just today, this week, this month, or even this year.  Put it in perspective of your life, of time unending.  When you look at the stress causing incidents that are ruining your parenting right now are they going to be part of your life forever?  Will they disappear as your children get older?  You finish breakfast?  They head off to camp/school? 


Most everything that you stress and agonize over will be gone before you can even finish the worrying part.  Rather than be so preoccupied with these annoyances and problems, turn them into the basic process of parenting.  Allow the to be just what happens.  Teeth are somehow hard to get brushed., squabbling does happen, and being over tired exists. 


Take the pressure off yourself.  Be imperfect.  Allow your kids their imperfections. 


When you change your attitude to this, you actually give yourself more time.  You do not try to overrun the negative with the good.  You actually allow what has been the negative to be changed to neutral.  It is part of being.  Just like breathing, heart pumping, and yes going to the bathroom.  We do all these things without a lot of thought or effort. 


By living with these stresses as part of life rather than always trying to escape from them you not only have more time, you reduce the power of the stresses.  


The results are you enjoy your kids and parenting more.  And you reduce stress, thus improving your over all health.


Enjoy the summer, know that one day your kids will be grown and out of the house.

So be sure to

Parent with passion, purpose, and integrity.




Upcoming Events


The problem that GEM parenting is having is to get others to know about this unique parenting style.

We are setting up a tell a friend contest.

Each week the person who has the largest number of invites to sign up for the Pearl membership will receive a free podcast form GEM Parenting.

The person who accumulates the most over a month will get to have a free one-hour coaching session with Grace.

What you do right now is begin to think of who you want to invite.

Helping Children with New Years Resolutions

January 5, 2008 at 9:06 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Are you already suffering from New Years Desolution?

It seems that no matter what we try to do about a New Year’s Resolution it seems to slide into a desolution.  Somehow we just can’t get a grip on how to go forward with our great ideas.  Before you totally give up in despair, lets try a few ideas out and see how you can really change your life.  

  • First thing you need to do is be sure you have actually written your resolutions down. If you have not written anything down then follow these instructions on how to write resolutions that will work.  And if you have written something down you will need to get more paper so you can add to what you have already done.
  • When we write resolutions we write what we want to stop doing, have more of, and/or change.  But we rarely write down how we are going to have these life altering changes take place.  And that is where the downfall happens.

So what I want you to do is take your paper and fold it in half.  On the left side you write your resolution as you normally would.  “I am going to loose ten pounds.  I am going to stop yelling at my children.”  Then on the right side you right down what you will do to make the changes happen.  “I will not have seconds and I will walk twenty minutes three times a week.  I will join GEMParenting Secrets to learn tactics to stop yelling at my kids.”

This sets in motion the ability to change.  Without the way to change you will stay forever in that limbo land of wishing rather than being.

  • A second way to help your resolution become a part of your life is to treat it as a new habit.  And the best way to add a new habit is to replace an old with the new.  If your resolution is to stop yelling at your kids, then you need to decide what you will do instead as above.  Then in addition to writing it down you actually set a time and place that you will make the change.  For instance if you know you yell at your kids every night to go to bed, then set up a reward chart for yourself.  If you do not yell then you get a sticker.  If you get five stickers then the kids can stay up an extra thirty minutes.  You now have a change of the pattern.  You are still in charge, but the kids actually get the reward if you don’t yell.

When you take these kinds of changes and set them into motion in your life you will begin to have real changes that last more than a few days.  You will change your thoughts, your behaviors, and how you and your children interact with each other.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.


Family New Years Resolutions

January 4, 2008 at 8:53 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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When you think about New Years there is always that thing called Resolutions.  And it now considered a very bad thing to set up these resolutions.   The reason is because we seem to be unable to accomplish them and then we feel worse than we did before we even thought of the resolution.  I have to say I disagree. 

The thing is that we are making resolutions that are geared for external reinforcement rather than for internal gratification.  Things that others can identify and notice do not have a strong internal power.  As a parent why not start your children understanding resolutions to be ways of expressing gratitude.  This year on New Year’s Eve or New Years Day set aside time to have a special resolution making session. 

  • Have your whole family think about what they are most grateful for.  Talk about these ideas.  There is no idea that is too small, immature, or silly: especially if this is everyone’s first time doing grateful resolutions.  After you have been talking for a while then have everyone write down at least one thing that they want to spend some special time each day being grateful for. 
  • Then hang these up in some prominent places.  And whenever you and your children have a moment to be grateful then do a dance, say a little phrase.  As you do this your children will have a gift of understanding that what is happening on the inside is more important than what happens that is noticed by others.

You do not need to have a resolution to change to become different.  You will be different if you use your resolution to be grateful.  And your children will learn a life of inner strength.  Peer pressure will be a nonentity. 

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.


Focus Friday: Vacation Activities Q&A

December 28, 2007 at 12:46 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Fun Activities, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, toddlers, travel, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to our after Christmas and before New Years edition of Focus Friday.

Reader Question:

I understand the idea of trying to make a home vacation be special. But is this really possible?


Absolutely.  As long as you don’t mind spending some time to make it special.  And you can have the time setting up be part of the process of having a vacation.  The most important part of the home vacation is doing things with your children. But don’t overload this.  You and your children will want to have some time apart.  And this will be good for the rejuvenating part of the vacation.

One thing to remember is that it is not the activity itself that will be special it is the attitude you as the parent bring to the activity which will make it special. 



I love your ideas of the home vacation, only I really think I have house full of doubters and that thye will sabotage anything I try to set up.  Is there anyway to get them involved and past the “Poor me, I have to stay home” stuff?


What you do is have your attitude of comfort and pleasure of being at home.  Get things set up so that you can pull out the activities each day.  Pretend you are the counselor at a fun camp.  Be enthusiastic. 

AND instead of assuming they will sabotage your fun ideas you need ot change your own attitude.  Your family will follow what ever attitude you send out to them to do.  You are the parent and the leader.  Know this and set the stage for enjoying the home vacation

You need to do this with ease.  You cannot force yourself, spouse, or kids into ease if you are tense.  Roll with the process.  Relax and know you will have a fun and special home vacation.



I read about the going away vacation and would like to better understand about the special to do stuff.  How can I keep my son from getting into it all at once? 


To keep children from getting into everything all at once put each activity in a separate baggie and label.  You can use labels for each day, or if you are wanting this to be for the actual travel portion of the trip them label with hours into the trip.  Either by first hour, scond hour, and so forth.  Or by time of day.   If your child is totally interested in the activity then give them an extra ten minutes.  But after that have them put that activity away and start the next thing.  This keeps them having fresh things to do.  If your child is bored with the activity then you can interrupt with a “New Flash.”  And start some very trivial news of what is happening on the trip.  Interview our correspondent in the other side of the world- well maybe just the back seat of the car or right next to me in the plane.  Play this mindless but silly game for a while.  Add songs or have one activity that is the fill in.  For instance, this activity can be a journal of the trip.  It can have coloring and/or writing.  But don’t pull out the next item till the time comes.  This gives your child the pleasure of anticipation.  It means that they will realize that they it is better to enjoy the activity that is there than rush through everything and have nothing at the end.

Hope your holiday season is as wonderful and stress free as possible!

Check out the Activities for Family and Children podcast full of unique ways to have family fun with your children during the Christmas season.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.


Christmas Activities for Children and Families

December 25, 2007 at 10:34 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Fun Activities, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Merry Christmas.  Welcome to the Special Christmas edition of GEM Parenting!

Here are a few activities to try today.   Or if you are checking this out after Christmas you can still enjoy them.

Wrapping Paper Ornaments

What you need:

Wrapping paper- it is fine from presents if it is not too wrinkled.
Tacky glue
String or pipe cleaners

What you do:

Cut the wrapping paper into circles that are about 3 inches in diameter
Cut a slit to the center point of each circle
Make a cone shape with the circle-
WITH THE colored side on the in side of the circle

Repeat till you have about ten cones

Now glue the cones together with points in the middle

Add the string or pipe cleaner so you can hang the ornament
Take the time to sit with each of your children
Ask them about their presents. 
What do you like about this one?
How will you use this?
Why do you think you got this?

What I don’t want you to do is
Ask your children what is their favorite. Have your children say what is their favorite.
Or order them in any way.

Allow your children to enjoy each gift in its own unique way.
When you do this, your children can learn that every gift is truly a gift.

And there is the old saying, “It’s the thought that counts.”
Along this line, if you have your children order their gifts they loose perspective of gracious receiving.

Christmas Activities are here!  Check out the Christmas Activities for Family and Children podcast full of unique ways to have family fun with your children during the Christmas season.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.


Motivational Monday: Christmas Eve Activites

December 24, 2007 at 5:22 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, Fun Activities, Holidays, moms, Mothers, Motivational Monday, parents, Self Esteem, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to a Special Monday Motivation…Christmas Eve edition!

  • Create your own Christmas pageant:
    use props, dolls, neighbors, grown ups,
    a book to read from or make it up as you go.

Take as long as you have time to do this. 
And remember this story is both about Jesus and the love that each and every one of us have for our children and life itself.

  • A fun craft is:
    Taking the tin cans from your recycling.
    Clean them out and make them be safe on the edges.

Use bits and pieces of wrapping paper to cover the outside of these.

They can be used as last minute gifts for all the adults and children around. 
Or you can fill the bottom with sand, dirt, or pebbles and put candles in them.

Of course be careful about the paper and the flames!

Ready for the ulimate Christmas Eve Activity fun?  Check out Christmas Eve Fun podcast full of unique ways to have family fun with your children during the Christmas season.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Creative Crayon Club: Vacation Activities for Families

December 22, 2007 at 12:13 am | Posted in children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Families, Fun Activities, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, travel, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Here are enough things to help you have a really fun vacation at home.  Nothing is expensive!!

It is important to remember that expensive vacations do not emphasize lots of electronics.  And some down right don’t have time for them.  So when you are doing your home vacation remember to stop electronic

The other important thing to remember is that expensive vacations are not about the product, but the experience.  So when you do some of these activities (and others that you think of yourself), do the activity for the fun of doing it.  The product, the result, does not matter. 

Food Related

Jell-O fish tank

What you need:

  • Jell-O mix
  • Gummy fish and other candies that can be used in fish tanks
  • Clear plastic cups that can hold boiling water

What you do:

  • Make Jell-O mix.
  • Put it in cups
  • Let cool
  • Add gummy fish and candies to look like aquarium

Even after Christmas, cookies or brownies are always fun to make Home made pizza:

What you need:

  • Pizza dough form the freezer section
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Other yummy toppings

Fun Ideas for Children: 

  • Have a restaurant
  • Let your children wear an apron
  • Set the table specially
  • Make a menu
  • Seat you
  • Take orders
  • Serve the food
  • Clear the table
  • Usually the restaurant stops being fun here,
  • But if you can, let them do the dishes.

Make a Lasagna: 
It takes about an hour or two.  The result is delicious and can take a good bit of vacation time to make.  The thing about lasagna is not just how good it tastes, but that you actually have a great time making it. So remember that it is as much about the process as the product.

  • Lasagna noodles
  • Ground beef
  • Pint ricotta cheese
  • Pint shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Cup Parmesan cheese
  • Three eggs
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper taste
  • Two jars tomato sauce
  • Olive oil

Boil water to cook lasagna
Lay flat on waxed paper, or tin foil to keep separated.

While noodles are cooking,
Brown the meat in olive oil.
Put in a bowl

In large bowl mix
Cheeses, eggs, and parsley

In lasagna pan spread thin layer of sauce
Place layer of noodles
Spread cheese mixture over that
Sprinkle ground beef
Spoon sauce

Repeat till there is nothing left.

Try to have noodles with sauce for the top layer

If things don’t get put in the right order it won’t matter
It tastes good anyway.

Cover with tin foil
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes
You can take off the tin foil for the last five minutes and sprinkle more parmesan cheese on top if you like.


Painted T-shirts/Boxers

  • What you need:
  • T-Shirt or boxers
  • Fabric pens
  • Puffy fabric pens
  • Fabric glue
  • Sequins
  • Cardboard

What you do:

Cut the cardboard to fit inside the T-shirt or boxers
This keeps the paint and glue form going through to the other side.
Paint and color one side of the clothing.
Add sequins with glue.

Let dry completely-hairdryer can speed up drying

Do the backside.
Wear and enjoy
Wash-usually in machine
Dry- Hang dry

Paper Snowflake

What you need:

  • Pieces of paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape

What you do for Snow Flakes:

  • Cut paper to be square or round
  • Fold the paper in half
  • Three times so you have a triangle.
  • Cut small pieces out.
  • Unfold to see beautiful snowflakes all different from each other.

This is traditionally done in white, but you can use different colored paper .  Or scribble on the white paper before cutting out

Paper Christmas-Tree Chain:  Paper Doll Chain

What you need:

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

What you do:

  • Fold paper in accordion fashion
  • Draw a tree or child with some part
  • On each side attached.

With trees use bottom branches
With girls use skirt bottoms and hands
With boys use hands and toes

Cut out.
Color faces or ornaments  
Christmas Collage Village

What you need:

  • Old wrapping paper
  • Christmas Cards
  • Anything that is small and is Christmassy
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Boxes from presents
  • Markers, Crayons, Paint
  • Optional book to get in the mood -Henry and Mudge and the Long Weekend by Stevenson

Use all your stuff to make a Christmas Village.  Do not hurry.  Take a day or so to set it up.  Leave it set up for a few days.  Have as much fun making it as playing in it.  And add to as you go along.  You can make this for dolls or action figures or for yourselves to play in.

Art work Weaving

What you need:

  • One piece of poster board per child
  • Two pieces of firm white paper OR- two pieces of old artwork that can be cut up
  • Crayons or makers
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors Ruler

What you do:

  • Make designs or pictures on the two pieces of firm paper.  Be sure to explain that these will be cut up. 
  • Label them piece A and Piece B or choose two pieces of artwork, piece A and piece B, which you are going to cut. They should be the same size, and they should be on paper and in paint, marker, or crayon (pencil could smear).

Measure equal increments along the length (the top) of piece A, and draw lines forming strips on the back of the piece. Number each piece in numerical order on the back.

Measure equal increments along the width (the side) of piece B, and draw lines forming strips on the back of the piece. Letter each piece in alphabetical order on the back.

Cut along the lines of pieces A and B — forming two sets of strips.

Using masking tape, tape the ends of the strips of piece A onto a piece of poster board — reassembling the artwork. Use the numbers to help keep the strips in order.

Carefully weave the strips from piece B into piece A — tightly. Use the letters to help keep the strips in order.
When finished you can either laminate the finished piece or wash over the painting with some watered down white glue.

This is a list of activities that you can use as a starting point.  Be creative and remember one of the places kids love to be no matter what the weather is outdoors

Make a snow fort/house

When playing in the snow bring out some old scarves, or other used clothing items.  Your kids can find great ways to embellish the house.
Use drops of food coloring to have colored snow as well.

Add neighbors

Set up a store outside

This is great if you are in a warmer climate-
Collect some old cartons and cans-carefully taped with duct tape along the top to avoid any cuts.  Let your children figure out how to create the shelves, the check out, the freezer.  Again, there is the possibility of adding dress ups, dolls and neighbors to this game 

Go sledding

Take a nature walk-on your walk, try to find the alphabet. 
Look for birds and count how many birds you see
Silly fun

  1. Use face paints
  2. Do finger painting
  3. Twister
  4. Dance time
  5. Play tickle monster

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