Build a Mini Planetarium Together in Your Home

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish, I wish tonight…

Are your children curious when they look into the sky and see those little blinking stars, or the moon? Children are always asking questions. You’re probably used to hearing “Why this?” and “Why that?” pretty often. Children’s willingness to learn is incredible, and this time in their lives is crucial to their brains’ development (and your sanity, of course – we all know the “why” questions can get a bit draining!). It is never too early to start teaching them about the twinkling lights in the sky. Even though little ones may not fully comprehend astronomical theories, you can introduce them to basic concepts like stars, moons, planets, and constellations.

One fun way to ease the curiosity and get the kids thinking is to build a miniature planetarium in your home. By simulating the night sky, the little ones can develop an interest in space and properly grasp where and why planets are in the sky. Don’t be surprised if your child wants to become an astronaut and fly to space after this project! Learn how to make the mini planetarium here.

Leafcutter Ants Song – Just for Fun!

Check out this fun song from JumpStart – sing along and learn about leafcutter ants!

Fourth of July Parfait

Your child can enjoy their own independence in the kitchen with this kid-friendly dessert!

The time to celebrate our nation’s independence is fast approaching! While your little ones may not fully understand the history behind Fourth of July yet, that doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy the holiday. For many of us, Fourth of July has become synonymous with backyard barbecues and spending time with friends and family. And who is better to help you plan your barbecue than your own little patriot?

A perfect way to end your barbecue is to plop down to watch those fireworks with a delicious patriotic parfait that you and your child made together! You can even turn the grocery shopping into a learning experience for your child. While picking out the fruit for the parfait, ask your child which colors you need to represent the American flag. Then, it can be a scavenger hunt to find the berries that have the appropriate color and taste appeal for your family. Learn how to make patriotic parfaits here!

Cuisine Critters: Part 1

Bake, barbecue, blend, and beat, cooking is a great way to become more engaged in your child’s development.  Cooking is not only a great opportunity to spend time with your child, but it is also a great way to develop school readiness skills.  These skills include vocabulary, a better understanding of numbers and letters, working with fractions, and even precise coordination.  To make cooking a little more fun and exciting, we decided to offer you a few fun animal recipes that are healthy and enjoyable to cook.

Chocolate Spiders

What you need:

  • 1 (8-oz.) chocolate bar
  • 1 package of fried noodles
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 package of miniature M&M’s

Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together in the microwave. Your child can now mix in the fried noodles and stir until they are completely coated. Drop teaspoons of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet. Use M&Ms as eyeballs.

Learn how to make more cuisine critters here!

Festive Fourth of July Decorations

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain! For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain… Our ode to you, America! How much we love your magnificent colors of red, white, and blue. Oh, and your purple mountains, of course!  (My little cousin’s favorite part of the song, only because the thought of purple mountains makes him giggle.)

With all these fun Fourth of July projects, the little ones will be sure to feel the American pride in their big hearts! Don’t be frightened if your front yard gets mistaken as a government helicopter landing because of the astounding amounts of red, white, and blue plastered all over! In all seriousness, these simple projects are sure to inspire love for our country in the heart of every neighbor and innocent passerby.

Patriotic Pinwheel

A bouquet of pinwheels!

A bouquet of pinwheels!

Learn how to make these beautiful pinwheels and a hanging Independence Day firecracker!

Come On Down…To Family Game Night!

The idea of having a family game night is nothing new. Families have been playing together since they could place stones in holes. However, modern families are competing with video games, Web surfing, and of course, television. Board games are no match for a virtual character traveling through time and space, collecting gold coins! It may take some convincing to bring your kids on board, especially the older kids. After time, however, you may find they look forward to this designated family time, and you’ll no longer feel jealous or guilty as you walk down the game aisle of your department store!

Here are some reasons why family game night may be beneficial:

  1. Family time, of course! This is time taken out of your busy life to enjoy the company of loved ones.
  2. Playing games together teaches and monitors sportsmanship and good healthy competition.
  3. Playing together promotes communication. By disguising communication practice in fun games, parents and kids will not even notice the discourse with each other improving over time!
  4. Family game night is inexpensive! It definitely beats the cost of going out for dinner or buying video games.
  5. You get a chance to create life-long memories with one another. When all family members participate and really get into the games, laughter, friendly competition, and family quirks are sure to make an appearance!
  6. Lastly, family game night allows for good, old fashioned fun and time to relax!

Learn how to play Family Game Show here!

Introducing JumpStart’s New and Improved YouTube Channel!

Hey JumpStart fans,

Come check out our new and improved YouTube channel! We’ve put up high-quality versions of our videos, added descriptions, and made the whole channel easier to use. You’ll also find our playlist of fun, educational songs that you and your kids will love to sing along with, like this one:

You can subscribe to receive updates when we post new videos, and feel free to make us your YouTube friend! Check out our channel here.