Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Strawberry Banana Smoothies

It looks like a milkshake, but this strawberry/banana smoothie actually gives kids a couple of servings of fruit! Most kids like to be involved in making smoothies because the blender is oh so fun. Kids with sensitive hearing, however, may want to stay outside while the blending happens.

1 cup vanilla soymilk
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 banana, sliced and frozen
2 Tbsp. sugar or honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Blend it all together and pour it into two tall glasses or 4 or 5 small kid-sized cups.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Paper Dolls

Need a last-minute coloring activity to keep kids busy? You can print loads of paper dolls off the Internet. Lay out the printed pages on your kitchen table and supply the kids with crayons, markers, colored pencils, and scissors. If they get very attached to some of their creations, cover them with contact paper or glue them to used file folders and cut them out. The file folder backing will keep them from getting dog-eared so quickly. If you don't want to deal with the little flaps that hold the clothes on the dolls, buy a package of Sticky Tack, and let them just stick the clothes right on their dolls. The Sticky Tack won't damage the dolls like Scotch tape would, and you can reuse it next time you pull out the paper dolls. Check out these links for printable paper dolls.:

Making Friends Paper Dolls
Ballet Paper Doll
Bill Bear 4 Kids
Little Miss Shirley
Sugar and Spike
Tina Paper Doll
Betsy Rose
Adopt-a-Baby Paper Doll
Eddie and Amy and their clothes and friends
The slightly strange Katie Doll
Anime-inspired Kawaii
Dolly Dingle's Baby Brother
Betsy McCall, 1951
Meg, teenage doll with horse
Sabrina and 5 pages of clothes
Judy Garland, 1941
Six Wives of Henry VIII
Luke Skywalker and his clothes
Princess Leia and her clothes
Mission Mars Crew Dolls

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Babysitting Co-op Basics

What is a babysitting shift and how does it work?

Each co-op member comes to the planning meeting with a specific day and time when they'll be available for babysitting. This day & time represents a co-op shift and usually equals a 4 hours segments of time.

Once all the co-op members have identified their shifts, the shifts are then written down onto the co-op calendar and will rotate on a weekly or bi-weekly basis depending on how many people are participating in your co-op.

The co-op calendar then is projected out for 3-4 months in advance providing all the co-op members with guaranteed babysitting options for weeks to come.

The really great thing about setting your shifts up for weeks in advance is that it allows parents to commit to future appointments. This system ensures that parents will always have a co-op member available to watch their children when they need to be away.

Babysitting Co-op Basics

Why Organize a Babysitting Co-op?

A babysitting co-op is a great way for families to save money for childcare. As a stay-at-home parent, or a part-time working parent, there are many times when you can't (or don't want to) bring your little ones along for various appointments/errands.

A co-op provides parents with peace of mind when they need to be away from their children. Parents can go about their activities and take comfort in knowing that their children are receiving safe, competant and reliable care in an environment that they know and trust.

Babysitting Co-op Basics

How am I compensated for my time?

The babysitting co-op operates on the exchange of tickets vs. cash. These tickets represent time and act as the currency for the co-op. Tickets are broken up in to half-hour and on-hour segments.

Thanksgiving Read-Alouds

Reading aloud is a great way to soothe kids missing their parents or settle down kids who are bouncing off the walls. Next time you're at the library, pick up a stack of Thanksgiving picture books to use during your November co-op shifts. Here are some of our favorites:

A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness
Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit by Norman Bridwell
Arthur's Thanksgiving by Marc Brown
Pilgrim Cat by Carol Antoinette Peacock
Rivka's First Thanksgiving by Elsa Rael
Silly Tilly's Thanksgiving Dinner by Lillian Hoban
Thanksgiving Day by Gail Gibbons
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
Turk and Runt: A Thanksgiving Comedy by Lisa Wheeler