Indoor Summer Fun!

One of the best parts of summer is getting to spend time in the beautiful outdoors! However, sometimes summer weather can take a turn for the worst.  Whether you’re hit with blistering 100 degree heat, a lightning storm, a hurricane or just a gloomy day, we’ve got the perfect solution!

Here are a few ways to have some summertime fun when you’re stuck inside:

Have an indoor picnic: Spread a blanket on the den floor and share your favorite summertime treats like watermelon and lemonade!

Make your own popsicles: All you need is an ice cube tray and toothpicks!  Pour your favorite kind of juice into the ice cube tray.  Cover the tray with cellophane wrap.  Stick a toothpick through the wrap and into each cube.  Place in the freezer overnight.  Voila!  The next morning you’ll have a very yummy treat waiting for you!

Go camping indoors:  Pitch a tent in the living room (use a blanket held up with a line of string if you don’t have one) and let the kids pretend that they’re on a camping trip.  Pull out the sleeping bags and even tell a few ghost stories!

Build a fort: Take apart the sofa and use cushions, blankets and pillows to assemble a secret fort that will rival any tree house!

Check out JumpStart Get Moving: Family Fitness: If you have a Wii™, playing a videogame like Get Moving will help keep kids up and active, even when they’re stuck indoors!

Do you know of any other activities that are great for spending summer days inside?  Let us know here!

Wii is a trademark of Nintendo. © 2006 Nintendo.

More Ways to Celebrate July 4th!

Last week, we mentioned that fireworks were coming soon to JumpStart.com.  Like we promised, some other awesome July 4th decorations and activities will also be showing up TOMORROW!

Stop by MainStreet to slide, skate and swim your way through a giant Fourth of July picnic!
Take a Peek!

Traffic Stoplight Treat

Did you know that today is recognized as the day the first set of traffic safety guidelines were established? Don’t feel bad, we were suprised to find out traffic laws had a birthday too!  Learning all those traffic and safety rules can get complicated, but teaching some traffic safety fundamentals to your kids early will give them a leg up on understanding the rules of the road as passengers, pedestrians, and future drivers.

One of the most fun concepts to teach young children is that of the stoplight. Red, yellow, and green lights not only drive home basic colors but also the important, associated meanings of stop, caution, and go. What better way to teach children about this traffic safety instrument than through easy, tasty treats? We’re thrilled to introduce the Traffic Stoplight Treat, an easy, little dessert that kids can make themselves!

Traffic Stoplight Treat

Click here to read how to make this easy treat.

Setting the Table for a New Year

Spilled milk, phones ringing, under-the-table-leg-kicking, a blaring television, fingers texting, over-the-table-elbow-shoving… is it possible to pack anything else around the family dinner table?  As busy and chaotic as meal time might seem, the dinner table is the perfect place to serve up some conversation family-style.

Forget what Miss Manners once said and start encouraging your kids to talk while they eat (after they swallow, of course)!  Dinnertime is the perfect time to hear about their day, their opinions, and what’s going on in their little heads.  Get past the one word answers and make your kids give you a mouthful of conversation.  While getting to know your kids on a deeper level, you’ll also be giving them practice at thinking quickly, forming arguments and opinions, and expressing their thoughts.
Click here to read some excellent conversation starters!

Winter-Themed Recipes

While it might be too cold to play outside, you and your child can keep busy by celebrating the season with these easy winter-themed recipes!

Peanut Butter Snow Balls

What You Need:

  • Regular-sized jar of peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Dry milk
  • Coconut shavings

See the instructions for this recipe and more!

SnO-J-flakes

Does OJ complete your breakfast too?  Orange juice really has some neat properties besides being refreshing.  It’s available, it’s sweet, and it’s packed with Vitamin C. But, have you tried OJ frozen before?  This experiment will give you and your child the chance to give it a taste, and to compare and contrast straight ice against frozen orange juice.  You’ll be able to see the differences between frozen liquids with and without dissolved sugars in them.  Also, your child will likely be thrilled to sample frozen orange juice!

SnO-J-flakes

Materials:

  • Two Styrofoam or plastic cups
  • Water
  • Orange Juice
  • Freezer
  • Spoon

Read on to set up this scientific comparison.

Make Your Own Butter

It’s certainly Thanksgiving when the family is cooking, the game is on, and the kids are scrambling around. Why not reel in the children and have them help you make dinner with this entertaining science experiment!

Make Your Own Butter

All you need is:

  • ½ pint of heavy cream
  • 1 clean pint jar or other similarly-sized container with a tight cover or lid, preferably plastic
  • 1 clean marble

Directions:

  1. Take your jar and place the marble inside
  2. Pour the cream into the jar and screw the cover on tightly.
  3. Butter To Be

    Three Materials and You're in Business

    Click here to complete this delectable experiment!