15 KIND WAYS TO BEAT “THE BOREDOM BLUES” THIS SUMMER

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Summer is quickly approaching, which means the kiddos are on break and ready to be entertained. When they’re so used to going, going, going, having time off inspires an endless stream of “I’m Bored”s. We have compiled a list of fun activities to do this summer, as a family.

1. Go on a hike. (smile at strangers!)

2. Prepare lunch and go out for a picnic. (surprise someone with their favorite snacks!)

3. Tie dye pillowcases. . . (and promote more peace!)

If this is an activity that your children will enjoy, here is a handy how to guide: http://plainvanillamom.com/2015/06/tie-dye-pillow-cases.html.

4. Create and eat homemade popsicles. (share them too!)

Here are some delicious homemade popsicle recipes: http://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/g1597/popsicle-recipes/.

5. Visit your local zoo. (give love to the animals)

6. Make a sundial. (get outside and get grounded)

Learn how to make your own sundial here: http://www.learnplayimagine.com/2014/05/how-to-make-sundial.html.

7. Have a water balloon fight. (well, just be nice!!)

8. Play the water balloon phonics game.
An alternative to the “have a water balloon fight” idea is to make it educational. You can read all about the water balloon phonics game here: http://www.messforless.net/water-balloon-phonics-get-ready-for-k/.

9. Visit your local library and spend the day reading. (or volunteer to read to others)

10. Play an outdoor game of Twister. (stretching and laughing in the sun always feels nice)

11. Paint like Jackson Pollock

For inspiration on this one, check out this link: http://www.happinessishomemade.net/homeschool-kids-art-lesson-jackson-pollock/.

12. Follow the life cycle of a butterfly. (and plant some pollenating plants!)

You can order a live butterfly kit here: https://www.amazon.com/Live-Butterfly-Kit-Caterpillars-Now-Hanging/dp/B00B7PNHBG.

13.  Grow flowers. (cut them and give them to someone)

14. Make your own sidewalk foam paint and decorate the driveway. (use kind words such as smile, love, hugs, and peace

Find out how to make your own sidewalk foam paint here: http://thetiptoefairy.com/2016/05/diy-sidewalk-foam-paint/.

15. Go on a camping trip. (spend time with family and friends)

All of the above listed activities can incorporate kindness. Your children can invite others to join them on adventures or teach a friend how to do one of their newfound activities. Their homegrown flowers, tie-dye pillowcases and homemade popsicles can all be shared with others, as well.

A great way to make a habit of teaching your children about the practice of kindness is through Get it Going Now’s monthly kindness box. Each month, Get it Going Now subscribers receive a box which contains instructions, materials and cool souvenirs that result in a project to perform a good deed. By subscribing to Get it Going Now, you will feel inspired by your monthly opportunity to practice kindness.

Learn more about Get it Going Now here: https://www.getitgoingnow.com.

Let us know what your child’s favorite summer activity was in the comments section below.

WHY BEING COMPASSIONATE TOWARDS THOSE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM IS SO IMPORTANT – BY SAVANNAH SLONE

April is Autism Awareness Month and, as a mother to a child with autism, I wanted to share my perspective on compassion and how it relates to how you treat those on the spectrum.

Autism spectrum disorder is currently present in 1 out of every 68 children in the U.S (https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0327-autism-spectrum-disorder.html). These numbers have increased exponentially over time and will most likely increase, if the pattern continues. With rates having increased 30% since 2012, we need to increase autism awareness so that children can begin receiving the help that they need as early as possible.

My now three-year-old son was developing normally until he hit a regression at 15 months. He became more serious and rigid and began toe walking, flapping his hands, spinning in circles, and lining up his toys. He lost his 10-word vocabulary and his interest in other children. This happened basically overnight and inspired me to do some research. With a concern of autism, I discussed his behaviors with his doctor. She recommended looking into getting a diagnosis and beginning early intervention services.

After my son received his diagnosis, at 21-months, he began speech, occupational, and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy. He has since made incredible progress and mainly only struggles with social issues, transitions, and a slightly lesser vocabulary than his fellow three-year-old peers. He is now in an autism specific preschool program and absolutely loves it.

While my son has made amazing strides, I worry over the possibility of another regression in the future. I also fear how his “normally” developing peers will treat him in the future. According to a study conducted by the Interactive Autism Network, “A total of 63% of 1,167 children with ASD, ages 6 to 15, had been bullied at some point in their lives” (https://www.iancommunity.org/cs/ian_research_reports/ian_research_report_bullying). Knowing that the majority of children on the spectrum have been bullied breaks my heart for my son.

The most effective way of lowering this tragic statistic is through educating our neurotypical children on what autism is and what an affect their words can make on a person. “Autism”, as defined by Autism Speaks, “refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences” (https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism). According to Psychology Today, children with autism are 28 times more likely to attempt suicide (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/201303/new-research-autism-and-suicide). If those with autism felt more accepted, I have no doubt that this statistic would be lower.

One form of educating your kids about autism is through children’s books on the topic. Below is a list of seven titles to read with your children.

1. “My Friend with Autism” by Beverly Bishop
https://www.amazon.com/My-Friend-Autism-Enhanced-Coloring/dp/193527418X

2. “My Brother Charlie” by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete
https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Charlie-Holly-Robinson-Peete/dp/0545094666

3. “Everybody is Different: A Book for Young People Who Have Brothers or Sisters With Autism” by Fiona Bleach
https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Charlie-Holly-Robinson-Peete/dp/0545094666

4. “Hello, My Name is Max and I Have Autism: An Insight into the Autistic Mind” by Max Miller
https://www.amazon.com/Hello-Name-Max-Have-Autism/dp/1496922980/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491247470&sr=8-1&keywords=Hello%2C+My+Name+is+Max+and+I+Have+Autism%3A+An+Insight+into+the+Autistic+Mind

5. “I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism” by Pat Thomas
https://www.amazon.com/See-Things-Differently-First-Autism/dp/1438004796/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491247497&sr=8-1&keywords=I+See+Things+Differently%3A+A+First+Look+at+Autism

6. “Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book” by Celeste Shally
https://www.amazon.com/Since-Were-Friends-Autism-Picture/dp/1616086564/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491247507&sr=8-1&keywords=Since+We%27re+Friends%3A+An+Autism+Picture+Book

7. “All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism” by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer
https://www.amazon.com/All-My-Stripes-Children-Autism/dp/1433819171/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491247517&sr=8-1&keywords=All+My+Stripes%3A+A+Story+for+Children+with+Autism

By talking to your children about autism, and other developmental disorders, they will understand that they ought to be treated with respect as equals. Raising compassionate kids can truly save lives.

SIX KID CRAFTS THAT TEACH KINDNESS

Teaching and practicing kindness is vital to raising compassionate children. Creating and sharing art is an excellent way to bond and learn alongside your kids. Below are six crafts that offer opportunities to teach kindness.

1. A (Paper) Chain of Kindness

http://sugarspiceandglitter.com/paper-chain-kindness/
2. Kindness Postcards

http://growingbookbybook.com/writing-activities-kindness-postcards/

3. Decorate a Kindness Jar

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/10849/peaceful-parenting-kindness-jar

4. Mail a “Hug”

http://lovenloot.blogspot.com/2013/01/kindness-craft.html

5. Cards for Care Packages for Sick Children

http://capriplus3.com/2015/02/teach-kids-kindness-make-cards-sick-children.html

6. Paper Plate Flowers

http://www.theresourcefulmama.com/paper-plate-flower-craft-for-kids/

To bring the teaching of kindness into your kindness craft sessions, you can share the finished products with local friends or those in need. Sharing homemade creations is an expression of love and giving.

A great way to make a habit of practicing kindness is through Get it Going Now’s monthly kindness box. Each month, Get it Going Now subscribers receive a box which contains instructions, materials and cool souvenirs that result in a project to perform a good deed. By subscribing to Get it Going Now, you will feel inspired by your monthly opportunity to practice kindness.

Learn more about Get it Going Now here: https://www.getitgoingnow.com.

Let us know what your child’s favorite kindness craft was in the comments section below.

TEN TITLES ON NETFLIX THAT TEACH KIDS KINDNESS  

Teaching kindness is an important aspect of raising compassionate children. One way of doing so is through witnessing others who are successfully practicing kindness. Below are ten Netflix titles that display kindness through friendship and standing up for what is right. Visit www.netflix.com to begin your first month free.

The Fox and the Hound

This film has profound messages of friendship and teaches the importance of appreciating the differences in those separate from our selves.

Mulan

This movie teaches children to never doubt or limit themselves.  The overarching theme of girl power brings an important gender expectation focus to the table, as well.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

This movie teaches kids not to judge people by their appearance. This film encourages standing up for what’s right and wanting to brighten others’ lives.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

This film is all about friendship and being selfless. It teaches children how rewarding it can be to be a helpful and giving person.

Zootopia

This film defines stereotypes and displays the negative side of playing a role in stereotyping others. It also inspires children to be kind and stand up for others.

Babe

This movie exhibits the difference between right and wrong and the prominence of resistance. Themes of friendship, compassion and more have a large presence in the film, as well.

Finding Dory

This movie focuses on differences and disabilities. By increasing awareness and empathy, children are more likely to understand and accept and be inclusive toward the peers that they don’t have too many similarities with.

Home

This movie concentrates on diversity and why it ought to be valued.

Kindness is Contagious

The title of this film gives away the importance of viewing it. This movie played a huge role in the inspiration of this list.

Bully

This is a film that we would suggest showing to your older kids, as it is rated PG-13 and handles sensitive, emotional subjects. It is a very moving, important film, but we suggest that you pre-screen it yourself before you decide whether or not it is age appropriate for your child to view.

To bring the teaching of kindness into your movie night, you can conclude the night by discussing the global themes and lessons learned from watching each feature.

A great way to make a habit of practicing kindness is through Get it Going Now’s monthly kindness box. Each month, Get it Going Now subscribers receive a box which contains instructions, materials and cool souvenirs that result in a project to perform a good deed. By subscribing to Get it Going Now, you will feel inspired by your monthly opportunity to practice kindness.

Learn more about Get it Going Now here: https://www.getitgoingnow.com.

Let us know what your child took away from these Netflix titles in the comments section below.

SUMMER CAMP ALTERNATIVES FOR YOUR KIDS

While summer camp can be a highly enjoyable and memorable part of childhood, it isn’t always what’s best for every family. Whether the reasons are financial or otherwise, there are still many ways to make the most of your child’s summer break from school.

By exploring your community’s events and resources, you can plan out a summer equally as fun as any given summer camp. Libraries often host free readings, workshops and classes. National (and local) parks have educational opportunities for children, as well as adults. Your local YMCA and churches most likely have classes and activities for your child, as well. Browse online or in a local newspaper for volunteer opportunities at a local farm, one day workshops, child focused concerts, theatre in the park and so on. Swim lessons and play dates are excellent alternatives, too.

Summer camps are memorable because of their foundations in fun activities and socialization. By creating your own activities and keeping your social calendar full, you can easily make this summer one that your child will never forget.

For even more summer fun ideas, read our blog post titled, “15 Ways to Avoid Hearing “I’m Bored” This Summer” here :https://www.getitgoingnow.com/ourblog/2017/4/10/15-kind-ways-to-beat-the-boredom-blues-this-summer.

Your children can invite others to join them to these enjoyable events. By being inclusive, your child will make new friends, while simultaneously practicing kindness. A great way to make a habit of teaching your children about the practice of kindness is through Get it Going Now’s monthly kindness box. Each month, Get it Going Now subscribers receive a box which contains instructions, materials and cool souvenirs that result in a project to perform a good deed. By subscribing to Get it Going Now, you will feel inspired by your monthly opportunity to practice kindness.

Learn more about Get it Going Now here: https://www.getitgoingnow.com.

Let us know what your child’s favorite summer activity was in the comments section below.