Category Archives: Emotions

Fall Preparations

First The Photo:  Throughout history Autumn has always been a time for organizing and preparing for the winter months ahead.  A century ago, facing a winter unprepared could mean devastation for the entire family. Name the time-period when you believe this farm was in use as a bustling home.

Second The Question: Can you identify each structure in this photo and what it was used for?  In the dark of night how would you find your way around this farm?  What would happen in a blizzard when you couldn’t see structures even a few feet ahead of you?  Can you plan-out some of the things that families needed to do to prepare for the harsh months ahead? Are you glad that you no longer live in that era or would you enjoy these challenges?

Third Next Step: Autumn, with all its hustle and bustle of back to school activities, continues to make it a wonderful time for families to prepare a routine of organization for the busy months ahead.  Even simple things like: a weekly family meeting to go over the upcoming events, will help everyone in the family to feel less stressed and more prepared. Put together a chalkboard or dry erase board and set aside a few moments each Sunday evening to sit together as a family and list out daily and weekly activities. Discuss any stresses that any family members face in the upcoming week.  This is a great time to organize rides, plan the menu, set goals, discuss chores and provide encouragement. A few minutes of family organization can ensure a smooth-running week for the whole gang.

 

Celebrating the Seasons of our Lives

First the Photo: Can you locate all of the areas on a globe that get snow?  How many of those areas are located north of the equator and how many are south?  Did it surprise you to learn the differences in the seasons for each hemisphere?

Second the Question:  Spend some time brainstorming all of the things that make you think of winter.  Make sure to include aspects from all of your senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and the way it makes you feel.  When you think of winter do you think of a time of harshness?  Do you tend to spend time inside or outside during this season?   What sorts of things do you do during the wintertime?

Third Next Steps:  What is your favorite season?  Ask the members of your family what their favorite season is.   Spend some time thinking about each season of the year.  Make lists of the things you associate with each season.  What activities do you do during each season of the year? If we think of spring as a season of new beginnings, summer as a season of growth, autumn as a season of gathering in and winter as a season of hardship. Do you see how this reflects the stages of your life?  Are there similar seasons throughout your life?  Does it make you feel better to see that our lives are ever-changing?  They flow through seasons as well.  Nothing will stay the same forever. A wonderful way to begin a conversation about the Seasons of Change is to share the sixth book in our Explore Galore Series as a family.  To order one of your own..follow this http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/. Or visit the Make it Your Own section of our website.

Seasons of Change

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First The Photo: Name each of the seasons you see in the picture.  Can you list the seasons you experience where you live?  What months do those seasons include?

Second The Questions: Which season is your favorite?  What do you enjoy about that season?  How does the outside world prepare for each season?  What do animals do?  What do trees and flowers do during each season?  What is the weather like in your area during each season?  For many people these seasonal changes outdoors affects how they interact with the world.  Do you have activities that you do only in a particular season?

Third Next Steps: What feelings, sights, sounds and smells do you associate with each season?  Write the words: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter across the top of a page.  Under each heading list all of the things you think of for each season. Draw a picture for each season.  Try to include a few of the items you listed and share those pictures with others.  See if they can guess what season you are trying to portray simply by your hints in the drawing.  Our daily lives revolve around subtle changes outside.  We sometimes don’t even notice the pull of the days but they shape our interaction with the world.  How we live, what we feel and what we do.  Think of it as a dance where the weather leads and we modify our steps to each of the tunes it sings to us.  Go outside today and listen to the seasons around you..Dance to the music of today.

Looking for more ways to embrace the Seasons of Change..Try our new book in the Explore Galore Kids Series:  seasons-of-change-cover  Click Here to order your copy today

Heroes Among Us

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First the Photo:  This fountain is in a large city on the east coast.. Do you know where it was taken?  Notice the water in the fountain is dyed pink.  Can you guess why?  For a hint look at the color of the trees in the background.  What month do you think we took this picture?  Does that help you know why it is pink?

 

Second the Question:  October is breast cancer awareness month.  All over America we celebrate the people who have battled this disease.  These people are heroes. Not because they got cancer, but because of the way they choice to fight it.  Do you know anyone in your life who has been touched by breast cancer?  Or any kind of cancer?  It is a life changing event to battle an illness of any kind.  Have you ever been to a hospital?  Had a surgery? How did you feel when you were sick? This is the time when you need courage and support.  Those two things are the most important medicine in the world. 

 

Third Next Steps:   How can we help share our support for people struggling with an illness?  There are simple ways to show people that we are thinking of them as they battle to overcome the challenges of a disease.  Stories of support are everywhere look for ideas on line or at the library.  You can do outdoor work for someone who is home bound with an illness, or help with indoor chores.  There are stories of groups who shave their heads to show their support of someone who is losing their hair to chemo.  Simple things like bringing a home cooked meal to someone or offering to help take their kids out for a day of fun.  Or even just listening to them talk about their battle.  Celebrate the strength that they have to deal with these trials.  Show them how much you honor their courage.  Heroes come in all ages, shapes and sizes.  Help someone walk their road and find the hero inside of you!

A Journey of Wonder

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First the Photo:  The wonder of the Christmas season knows no specific place. Every town has its share of touching holiday displays. It is so amazing to drive through the neighborhoods in a hushed car and enjoy the holiday lights before coming home to hot cocoa and Christmas cookies.  However, this image is taken of a chapel that is a reproduction of one in Germany.  It is lite year round at the largest Christmas store in the Nation. (or so they advertise)  Can you guess the name of the town or the store?

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Second The Question: Christmas is a time of journeys..Some begun by a message sent from an angel urging Mary on a path that would change the world forever.  Or others that started with the Wise Men, venturing off into the blackness searching for an elusive star that they hoped would guide them to a ruler of men.  We are all on a journey every day. Sometimes our journey is from dark to light.  Sometimes we start new friendships. Sometimes we embark on learning new skills or sometimes we grow our family.  Many times we are pulled along our path, not wanting to follow a road of challenge or strife. Do you remember the last journey you embarked upon?  Can you imagine wondering through the dessert in search of a promised child, led by a message you received in a dream?  What would be your response if you were 9 months pregnant and you were told to pack up, perch yourself on a donkey and travel to a bustling city, with no money, away from your family and friends, to register for taxes?  Would you go?  What feelings would you have?  Can you imagine a time when you are stripped bare of every luxury that provides you comfort?  You don’t have warmth, a bed, food, medical care, or security?  Can you think of a time when you were journeying and you were lost or your plans fell through?  Sometimes when all of the expect things are far from reach you open yourself up to wonder.  Imagine Mary getting ready for the birth of her baby, when nothing is certain, sometimes EVERYTHNG becomes possible.  We open ourselves to the wonder of things falling into place, or of strangers offering comfort.  We then glory in amazement of the simple things: health, kindness, safety and being together.

Third Next Steps:  Become intentional about sharing this holiday season.  Gather many slips of paper and write on them messages like:  Share your favorite holiday tradition, Share a memory from seasons past, Describe the holiday keepsake that has the most meaning to you, What is your favorite food of Christmas, Where would you be on Christmas morning if you could choose, Who would you bring back to sit around the table with us one more time this year, Which was your favorite Holiday Season, How old were you when you received a gift you still remember, What has been your favorite holiday play or concert you have seen, What do you dream about on Christmas Eve night, What is your favorite weather for the Holidays, What is your favorite holiday movie, What is your favorite Christmas Carol?  Add more questions and spend some time gathered around the tree picking slips from the jar and sharing of yourselves this holiday season.  Keep replacing the slips back into the jar so that everyone from, youngest to oldest, gets a chance to share their special memories of the Christmas Season.

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Do you have a Mentor?

First The Photo:  Do you recognize where this lighthouse is from?  Hint number one:  It is located in the state that has the most lighthouses in the country.  Hint number two: It is not on an ocean shore.  Have you figured it out?

Second The Questions:  Do you have a person that serves as a guiding light in your life?  Someone who guides you in your decisions?  Talk to an adult and learn about the mentors in their life.  Most people have learned from someone else along the way.  Mentors can be very important people who support and encourage us along life’s path.

Third Next Steps:  Our third Explore Galore Kids Book:   The Guiding Light of Others available here, is a wonderful, in-depth exploration of the mentors in our lives.  It helps children of all ages begin to talk about the people in their lives who love and support them.  This book is a moving journey for parents to take with their children as they begin to explore how mentors can serve as guiding lights throughout our entire life.

Discuss:  Look up where lighthouses are located.  Talk about why they exist.  They were meant to show weary travelers that land was close by, but navigate with care.  What do you think people on ships were feeling when they finally saw the light of land?  What do you think life was like living for many weeks and months in the close quarters of a ship? Can you imagine the important role that lighthouses served back in the day of ocean travel?  What do you think it was like to live in a lighthouse?  How was there light in the tower before electricity was discovered?  Don’t know the answers to these questions?  Look them up?  Go deeper, learn together.  Find the closest lighthouse to your home and plan a road trip.

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

For the Love of Learning!

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First The Picture: Can you guess where this was taken?  A place celebrating the history of a nation.  A quote from a learned forefather of our country.  If you can guess that place, great, if you can narrow it down to the monument, Wonderful!

Second The Question:  What is your favorite subject to learn about?  Do you enjoy it because it comes easy for you, or do you enjoy it because it challenges you? Do you love the idea of school or dread it?  Besides school name, some other ways you learn… What things do you learn about outside of a traditional classroom?

Third Next Steps:  Start a pen pal or e-pal relationship with an older relation or mentor.  Start with a fun introduction of yourself.  Some creative ways to introduce yourself in writing include: try to write a poem about yourself.  Or write out your full name and attempt to use each letter as  a trait that describes you.  (see below) Once you do a fun intro, start a dialogue with your pen pal, by asking questions about their likes and dislikes, memories etc.  Feel free to use the questions from this blog.  Or if it is easier simply do the blog with them in writing.  Share your answers of each post and then invite them to send back their responses!  It is a great way to build a long distance relationship with a loved one!

Example:(here is one I did with my daughter’s name)

  • M: Miracle of watching you grow up each day
  • A: Adoring and kind, in so many ways
  • D: Dramatic and darling, our dainty spitfire
  • I: Intelligent mind, a little live wire
  • S: Sweet Maddie girl, always gentle and caring
  • O: Outgoing and fun, good at leading and sharing
  • N: Natural born traveler, you love someplace new
  • E: Enthusiastic and happy, people gravitate to you
  • L: Loving to others, from human to beast
  • I: Imaginative mind, with a memory that won’t cease
  • Z: Zany and silly, you’re a crazy young girl
  • A: Adventurous spirit, out to shake up the world
  • B: Bright shining star with a world to explore
  • E: Energetic and motivated, always pushing for more
  • T: Tender and loving to your sweet baby brother
  • H: Heart of an angel, there can never be another, Madison!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

 

The Colors of Me

 

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First the Picture:  For this photo don’t focus on where it was taken, instead try to guess what is happening in this photo?  Have you ever been to a similar event? Have you ever seen such brilliant color?

Second the Question:  Think of the colors in your life.  If joy was a color, which would it be?  If anger glowed a brilliant hue what would you imagine it as?  If you tried to describe your feelings as colors can you name each emotion and a matching shade?  Sometimes it is easier to discuss feelings if you can identify them as a color and then try to describe or show their intensity through color.

Third Next Steps: Summertime is a time of brilliant colors; in flowers, butterflies, birds, sunshine, translucent waters and intense greens.  It can be a wonderful segway for kids to see colors in the world and use them to identify their feelings.  Start by taking a walk out through nature.  Notice the colors in the world.  Point out each color and try to talk about what emotion each color represents to you. Use lots of descriptive words and then help then identify what emotion each color represents for them.  There are no wrong answers, and even the youngest children can add in their input.

Create:  When you get home make a color jar..take an old recycled water bottle or a small jelly jar.  Fill it half way with oil..any type: sunflower oil, vegetable oil..or baby oil is the best since it is virtually clear.  Then add a few drops of food coloring.  Let your child pick the color.  Once you have the oil dyed the color they like.  Fill the rest of the bottle with water.  Glue on the top.  This is a great “emotion bottle”  When your child gets angry or upset have them shake shake shake the bottle until the water and oil blends.  Then tell them to hold the bottle, sit quietly and wait to talk until the colored oil and clear water completely separate .  This is a great visual way for children to “count to ten”  It basically gives them time to calm their emotions and bring themselves back to center, while giving them a distraction to watch that is calming as well.  Enjoy!

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Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Hello world!

Jump On Board

 fountain

Explore        Engage       Imagine       Share

Hello! Welcome! The purpose of this blog is for parents, families, caregivers, teachers and anyone in a relationship with a child to: Share it, use it, and expand from it…

After years of lecturing general medicine, being a student of brain development in children & facilitating parent education I have learned that there is one KEY part of healthy child development and that is: a rich open & engaging relationship with a loving adult. Technology often serves as a barrier to parent-child interaction and I am hoping this blog will offer an option to share technology with your child. My goal for the blog is for you to use it as a tool for you to BUILD on. Blog time, should be parent-child interaction time.

 

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FIRST the photo: the photos serve as a visual jolt for the senses that takes you on a virtual scavenger hunt to find its source. Where was it taken? Pull out a map? Look up other people’s guesses? These are all photos I have taken on trips with my own family.

SECOND the question: Then use the questions to jumpstart conversations, memory sharing and relationship building. Bring in friends and family members. Share fun responses on the blog for others to engage in.

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THIRD the ideas: take these as a road map for wonder! Continue the fun and learning far beyond your living room.    So sit down with the children in your life..pull up the blog and get ready to share. Let them type..Pull out a map, an atlas and your imagination. Ask the questions and then LISTEN(there is a wonderful old proverb that says..We all have 2 ears and just 1 mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk) and when it comes to building a relationship with kids that is vital! And remember..there is NO wrong answers here.

The blog can be used by anyone looking to build their relationship and learn about: themselves, a loved one, the world! So jump on board and travel through the world of your imagination with your most important team of navigators.: your kids!

Creator: DM Devine

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/