Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rainbow Resolutions for the New Year – Make a Colorful Plan!

Rainbow New Year's Resolutions
Rainbows are some of my favorite natural displays of color. Rainbows have inspired me more than once, appearing in the sky with a dazzling display of beautiful hues. I remember learning the colors of the rainbow in school. Mr. Barlow jumped on top of his desk and practically shouted the name "ROY G. BIV" with amazing enthusiasm as he taught us about this memorable natural phenomenon.

As another year approaches, I have decided to try something new, creating a resolution for each color of the rainbow, using the letters ROYGBIV as a guide. These resolutions are general, but one might also add specific ideas for how one plans to move toward the goals.

I have included my own printable rainbow resolution sheet and also a blank rainbow sheet on which one might wish to individualize colorful plans for the new year. I hope that each of you has a new year filled with joyful discoveries, meaningful relationships, wise decisions, and a peace that passes all understanding.

Additional articles
To print
  1. Click on the image to enlarge.
  2. Select file-print. 
Rainbow Resolutions for New Year

Colorful New Year's Resolutions

Friday, November 28, 2014

Katrena's Christmas and Advent Hymns Scavenger Hunt – A Child is Born!

Free Christmas Scavenger Hunt
The seasons of Advent and Christmas are made more full and memorable through a wealth of beautiful hymns, many of which have survived for over 100 years. I play the piano for my church and always look forward to playing these songs! After completing this scavenger hunt, you might want to try singing each of the hymns.

The music inspired me to create a scavenger hunt with a Christmas and Advent hymn theme. This hunt includes twelve riddles or clues, answers, hints for finding the riddles, and a printable message, which is A CHILD IS BORN. This scavenger hunt can be played by any number of players. If you have a group of people hunting, you can print letters for the message for each player and place the letters and riddles in an twelve envelopes – ensure that each envelope contains all matching letters.

If the player(s) are having a hard time arranging the letters for the message, feel free to give hints and feedback when they get it correct, like:
  • What words have only one letter?
  • What words have only two letters?
  • That second word starts with a blend that also starts the word "church."

Preparation (while players are elsewhere)
  1. Print the graphics below - click on the image to enlarge and click file-print.
  2. Cut and separate the riddles and letters and place one letter with each riddle - place the letters in the correct order to spell the message or mix up the order to make the game more challenging.
  3. Keep the first riddle and letter.
  4. Hide the remaining riddles in the location for the next one. (The second riddle is located at the location given for solving the first riddle...the third riddle is located at the location given for solving the second riddle...etc.)
  5. Place the full page message board in the location for solving the last riddle.
  1. Give the first riddle and letter to the player(s).
  2. Player(s) read the first riddle and fill in the blank. (You may need to give hints such as looking at the rhyming word or humming the tune.)
  3. Once the player(s) correctly fill in the blank, give a hint where to find the next riddle.
  4. Continue until player(s) have located all letters and message board.
  5. Player(s) arrange letters to spell the message A CHILD IS BORN!
Thanks so much for visiting my Wildflower Bouquets blog. Feel free to read more of my articles:

Rhyming Riddles for Christmas Hymns Scavenger Hunt

Answers and Clues for Finding the Next Riddle in Katrena's Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt Message - A CHILD IS BORN

Message Board for Katrena's Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Katrena's Indoor Scavenger Hunt #14 Famous Firsts

Famous Firsts Scavenger Hunt with Rhyming Clues
The first day of school is coming to my neck of the woods with lightening speed! I decided a scavenger hunt featuring famous firsts was in order for the occasion. This scavenger hunt features twelve famous firsts with clues that incorporate a variety of skills and topics, such as reading, grammar, sports, history, geography, study skills, life skills, and more.

I have designed twelve riddles with rhyming clues. The rhyming word is in red. Although this treasure hunt is designed for older kids, younger kids may be able to figure out the clues if you cut the answers and let them choose the rhyming word. Many of these riddles might spark additional conversations such as discussing more about air travel or various positions in baseball.

The directions for where to find the next clue can easily be altered to fit your individual needs. I chose places that were loosely connected to the topics in the riddles that might work well at home or at school. If you tweak, make a note of the changes.

Players can assemble the prize at the end to spell "FAMOUS FIRSTS." Hide the letters with the riddles in order, or you can create more of a challenge by scrambling the order.

While players are in another area...
  • Print the graphics below - one of each page and one prize sheet for each player.
  • Cut out the riddles.
  • Place the letters for FAMOUS FIRSTS with the riddles in order or scrambled - ensure that you provide one letter for each player with each riddle. All letters should be the same with each clue. For example, if you have two players, place two Os with a riddle.
  • Keep riddle #1.
  • Hide riddles #2 - 12 in the location for the answer for the previous riddle.
  • Give players the first riddle.
  • Once the players solve the riddle, provide a hint for finding the next riddle and letter.
  • After all riddles are solved and all letters are found, have players assemble the letters to spell FAMOUS FIRSTS.
I hope you enjoy my Famous Firsts scavenger hunt and thanks so much for visiting my Wildflower Bouquets blog!

Additional articles:
Rhyming Scavenger Hunt Riddles

Scavenger Hunt Clue Answers

Places to Hide Clues for a Treasure Hunt

Prize for Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Is Your School Environmentally Friendly?

Schools and the Environment - Graphic by Offiikart
As July melts into August, many parents begin back-to-school shopping. The lists are overflowing with the usual items like paper, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, and the sort; however, many school lists now add more and more additional products, such as cleaning supplies, cheap toys, and candy.

Many schools teach students about recycling, protecting the environment, and being prudent with resources. But are those same schools demonstrating environmentally friendly living? I remember a time when food was served on a plate that was washed and used again the next school day. I recall a time when messes were cleaned with a spray solution and cloth that was washed, a time when a smile and sincere kind words or a special activity, rather than toys or candy, were offered to those who gave 100% effort.

Yes, I know that times are different. Some children have food allergies and the risk might be too great for those children to eat on plates that certain foods have touched. Many of those kids already pack food from home. Disposable plates should be available for children with special needs, but does everyone in the school need to eat on a disposable plate? Do kids really see the value in composting when they are instructed to throw their scraps in the garbage at school? I realize purchasing plates and dishwashers would be a big investment, but that investment might contribute to saving precious resources that our kids deserve to enjoy when they grow up. Can we afford to wait for the landfills to reach capacity before we decide to change habits?

Convenience carries a hefty price tag. It is much easier to serve foods that are pre-packaged rather than serving freshly cooked, healthy foods. It is quicker to clean a mess with a pre-moistened product. But is that convenience truly necessary? Do we want children growing up thinking that they should eat pre-packaged foods – many of those convenience foods are less healthy and may contribute to numerous health issues in the future. Do all spills require costly clean-up, or could a rag and spray bottle be just as effective while costing less?

What about rewards? Some reward systems are fraught with issues. Consider, for instance, the ones in which children simply earn opportunities at a raffle. What if an exemplary student goes through all of his or her years at the school without ever winning that raffle? If a child receives junk food for doing a good job and is forced to walk laps for a mistake, will she continue to reward herself with junk food and punish herself with exercise as an adult? How special is that toy that breaks or gets lost before it gets home? Will the growing mound of toys increase stress at home? Will that child who becomes a young adult expect to be rewarded with a piece of candy if he arrives at work on time?

One of our most important jobs as adults is to prepare children for life in the future. Sure, we can suggest that kids reduce, reuse, and recycle; however, our actions typically speak louder than words. Are we teaching our future leaders that being environmentally friendly is a good idea on paper but not applicable to the real world or are we demonstrating true commitment to our planet?

Additional articles:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fun Ways to Enjoy Birding with the Family – 3 Favorite Tips

How to Make Education Fun and Enlightening - Photo by AcrylicArtist

We are fortunate to have a wide variety of birds where we live. My family enjoys the striking colors of the cardinals, goldfinches, and blue jays; the artful tunes of mockingbirds and sparrows; and the antics of the chickadees and mourning doves. Sometimes we might even be surprised by a hawk, quail, or a peacock! We call our youngest family member the Turkey Whisperer because she always gets an enthusiastic response from our neighbor's turkeys when she says "Gobble gobble!"

I fondly remember when a speech therapist was checking for speech patterns of one of my kids. The therapist showed my daughter pictures and asked her to say what she saw in each picture. I couldn't help but smile when the therapist showed her a picture of a red bird. I know the therapist was trying to assess her ability to say blended sounds in the word "bird," but I found it so sweet that my three-year-old called it a "cardinal!"

Yep, we've been watching birds for quite a while, so here are a few of my favorite tips.

Tips for Birding with the Family - Photo by mrmac04

Tip #1 Provide an Inviting Environment

Fresh water in a birdbath and food in a bird feeder will often attract birds to the yard. If you don't want squirrels terrorizing your bird feeder, use only safflower (NOT sunflower) seeds in the feeders. The squirrels are not at all interested in those white safflower seeds, but many birds love them. We also make food for hummingbirds during warmer months. You might have your kids to make some crafty bird feeders, help pick out a feeder at the store, or ensure that the feeder and birdbath are full.

Research what plants in your area attract birds. Gardening with the kids can provide quality time together, and playing in the dirt to me has a sort of healing quality. Flower gardens might also attract a nice variety of bees, butterflies, and other wildlife in addition to the birds.

Good Bird Guides on the Internet - Photo by ren

Tip #2 Learn How to Identify the Birds

If you don't already know the names of the various birds in your area, don't panic. This can be a fun learning opportunity for you and the kids. Libraries often carry a nice array of bird field guides with added information such as preferred diet and flight patterns. Oftentimes the male is much brighter and easier to identify, and field guides often feature pictures of both the male and female.

The Internet has some great resources about birds as well. This is just a short list, but here are a few of my favorites:
Learn About Birds - Photo by AcrylicArtist

Tip #3 Make bird education fun and personal

Research your area's birding trails, and involve the family in planning to visit some of these places. If your family likes to hike, this is a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature and get a little exercise while watching for various birds. Some people like to pack binoculars. Bring a camera and encourage the budding photographers in the family. See if anyone in the family can carry on a conversation with a bird through whistling or other noises.

Learn how to protect our feathered friends in simple ways. For example, keeping roadways clear of trash can lead to fewer injured birds on the roadways. Birds of prey in particular are at risk if they spot a mouse headed for a cigarette butt because they zero in on their prey and often do not notice approaching vehicles. See and learn more about birds and how to protect them while vising a zoological park, raptor center, state or national park, etc.

Make a chart of common birds and plan to watch a particular area for a certain period of time, marking each bird seen with tally marks. Then use the data to compare numbers, create a graph, or make predictions. Math skills learned in the classroom often make more sense if you can develop a learning activity at home that utilizes those skills in a practical way.

Hone artistic skills by providing bird coloring pages or have the children to draw birds they have seen. Make a bird sculpture or write stories about the birds. Study birds of other areas of the country or world. Learn the name for bird in several different languages and practice saying the words together.

Enjoy Birding with the Kids - Photo by juditu

Birding is a great family activity that can be done without any special equipment. A pair of watchful eyes near an outdoor area is the only requirement for watching birds. All of the other stuff is just lattice on the pie! Enjoying nature together is a unique experience in which no two days provide exactly the same experience. We hope your bird watching experiences are full of happy surprises and delightful memories.

Additional articles:
Thanks for reading my article! Find more of my articles on my blogs:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

5 Money-Saving Tips for Summer Vacation Planning

As June comes steaming down the track, many parents prepare with many summer activities for the kids for those months when school is out. Finding meaningful activities that interest the children can quickly become a daunting, and rather expensive, task. Here are five tips for planning a summer vacation without putting the piggy bank on the chopping block.
How to Save Money on Summer Vacation Plans - Photo from Wikimedia Commons
#1 Determine your budget...and stick to it

Before looking at camps, activities, and travel ideas, step back and determine how much money you plan to spend during the summer. Include preparatory costs, such as application fees, parking fees, uniforms for summer sports, preventive maintenance on the vehicle, and the cost of gas. Recognize that gas prices may be higher in popular vacation spots and during summer months.

How much money have you saved? What are your specific plans to cover the extra cost? Making plans without having a clear financial plan is like jumping out of a plane and then looking to see if you have a parachute. You are likely to regret the lack of planning somewhere along the downward spiral of credit card debt.

Involve the kids in the planning process. Although you might have always gone to a certain place or done a particular summer activity in the past, sometimes traditions become stale and the money might be better invested in something else or a new tradition. Give your family permission to assess and evaluate what is working and what is not and plan accordingly.
How to Avoid Spending Too Much on Summer Vacation © Katrena
#2 Plan months ahead

Those who have limited financial resources may find it particularly prudent to look at summer camp and activities months in advance. Many camps for children may offer scholarships. Early applications might be more successful because funds may be more readily available. Those who wait until the deadline might find that the scholarship funds have dried up.

Some campgrounds and hotels fill up months in advance; it helps to lock in reservations as early as possible. This also enables you to have more choices regarding room and campsite location. Weather is never guaranteed, so it helps to have indoor and outdoor plans in place so you can enjoy the vacation whether or not it rains.
Save Money on Food While on Summer Vacation - Photo by Jon Sullivan
#3 Limit eating out

The food portion of the budget can rapidly add large expenses to an already strained budget. Although it takes more planning and work, cooking while on vacation can be a cost effective way to keep costs down. Take advantage of free meals, such as a complimentary breakfast at a hotel if possible. Learn how to cook over a fire if you plan to camp in a tent.

Ensure that you have all supplies for cooking if you are planning to prepare meals while you are out. It is easy to forget items such as an oven mitt, can opener, sharp knife, spices like salt, condiments like catsup, or pots if you are used to eating out for all meals while on vacation. If you forget those items, you might check to see if there is an inexpensive discount store nearby – those items tend to have inflated prices at campgrounds and convenience stores.
How to Find Discounts When Traveling with Kids - Photo by Missvain
#4 Research options

Many people who are traveling may be drawn to the big ticket tourist attractions, but those areas often have a great variety of "unsung" entertainment options as well. The area's Chamber of Commerce may give you tips about these less expensive travel ideas. Checking with social media friends may give you added ideas for local places to visit and avoid – be careful not to announce to everyone when you will be traveling for safety reasons. Rest areas, particularly those when entering the state, may provide loads of brochures about fun things to do within the state.

Some amusement parks and other attractions may offer discounts to various populations such as teachers or those in the military. Season passes tend to be cost effective for those who plan to visit an attraction several times during the year, and other facilities may offer reciprocal programs for those who purchase a season pass or membership to an affiliated facility. Online prices may be less expensive than purchasing a ticket in person – be careful to protect your privacy when making online purchases.

Save Money by Staying Home - Photo by Jessie Eastland
#5 Enjoy the moment and local activities

The local library is likely to have a summer reading program and a nice variety of speakers and activities. Playgrounds are often free and fun. County Parks and Recreation departments might offer free movies, entertainment, and even fireworks in the park. Churches often provide engaging activities for children for free or at a low cost. Some area attractions offer discounts to local residents.

A sunset might look as beautiful from the back yard as it appears from an expensive amusement park. Enjoying music, games, taking a walk, or scavenger hunts together may be a great way to connect and enjoy being together without the stress and added cost of traveling. Children may value simple times together with family and friends over money spent on extravagant vacations...and the lines are likely significantly shorter!

Additional articles:
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Katrena's Scavenger Hunt #13 Traditional Indoor Treasure Hunt

Katrena's Free Scavenger Hunt #13
Having a variety of indoor activities can help keep the kids away from the electronic devices and interacting with one another. Scavenger hunts are a fun and entertaining way to encourage reading, teamwork if more than one child is playing, and offers that mysterious quality that keeps everyone engaged!

This is my thirteenth treasure hunt in this series. It features twelve clues, answers, and printable awards at the end. If you have more than one child playing, you may wish to print multiple copies of the clues or have the kids to take turns finding one set. You can always make scavenger hunts easier or harder by how you hide the clues.

  1. Have the players go to another area while you print, cut, and hide clues.
  2. Click on each image below to enlarge - you may fit two pages on one sheet of paper.
  3. Click file-print to print desired sheets.
  4. Cut out each clue and the rewards.
  5. Keep the first clue - hide clue #2 in the answer for clue #1, hide clue #3 in the answer for clue #2, etc. and then hide the reward(s) in the answer for clue #12
  6. Give the players clue #1 and let the hunt begin!
I hope you enjoy this scavenger hunt. You might wish to read more of my articles:
Clues for Fun Scavenger Hunt
Rhyming Clues for Treasure Hunt
Fun Indoor Activities
Rainy Day Play Ideas

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter Scavenger Hunt Based on the Gospel of Mark

Easter Scavenger Hunt
I designed this Easter scavenger hunt to help children to learn more about the Biblical Easter account in Mark 14 through 16. After reading the chapters together, you can help the kids to see what they remember by using this scavenger hunt.

This scavenger hunt is easily adaptable to church groups - simply tweak the hints for where to look to suit the location.

Set-up for the Easter Scavenger Hunt:
  1. Click on the images below to enlarge.
  2. Print and cut out the 12 questions.
  3. Print the answers to the questions if needed.
  4. Print the suggestions for hiding the letters or modify as needed.
  5. Print and cut out the hidden message letters and "the" (1 set for each participant or team)
  6. Place one letter in each egg (or simply hide the letters if you prefer not to use eggs) and place in the designated area ensuring that each participant will have the opportunity to find each letter - mix up the order of the letters for an added challenge. I recommend hiding all eggs with one letter in one location and then move to the next location and hide the next letter, etc. You can easily make this scavenger hunt more or less challenging by the way in which you hide the letters/eggs.
  1. Read the first question - when participants answer correctly, tell them where to look. (Consider pairing younger kids with older ones or have participants rotate reading and answering questions.)
  2. Repeat for questions #2-12.
  3. Once participants have found all 12 letters, give them "the" and have them assemble the letters to spell "Jesus the Messiah"
  4. If time allows, have participants glue the message on a piece of paper and encourage them draw a picture of the Easter story.
  5. This would be a good opportunity to discuss what a Messiah is and have everyone talk about the Bible passage and what it means to them.
Related articles:
See printables below. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I hope you'll enjoy more of my resources at the Wildflower Bouquets site map.

Clues 1-6 for Easter Scavenger Hunt

Clues 7-12 for Easter Scavenger Hunt

Answers for Easter Scavenger Hunt

Suggestions for Hiding the Letters

Jesus the Messiah Message for Easter Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Inspirational Videos With an Anti-Bully Message

Good Videos about Stopping the Abusive Cycle of Bullying
Bullying. Most of us have experienced one side or the other or perhaps both sides of the issue. As a parent, one of the toughest challenges is equipping a bullied child with helpful and realistic resources, helping the child to avoid the temptation to define him or herself through warped lenses, and encouraging that child to recognize the reality of his or her innate, unique worth.

Bullying can have serious far-reaching and long-lasting effects. Situations are often unique, and I don't think there is an easy formula to prevent and deal with bullying in every possible instance. Life is complicated, but knowledge can be powerful.

I decided to compile some anti-bullying videos that might help various ages through different approaches. Some are more suitable for older ages while others are geared toward younger children. Several of these videos have gone viral with their poignant messages with good reason.

I hope you might find something here that may be helpful.

Anti-Bullying Videos

Famous Failures (1:16) Lucille Ball was considered too shy. Michael Jordan was cut from the basketball team. Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination. This video has captions that highlight famous people who were told they lacked potential. They proved the critics wrong!

Jennifer Livingstone - CBS WKBT News Anchor Responds to Negative Comments Related to Appearance (4:20) A woman who has several daughters seeks to demonstrate to them and to others how to stand up to a bully as she encourages people to recognize the people in our lives who support and nurture us. This was her response on air after receiving an email that indicated she was not fit for the public eye because she was overweight.

To This Day - Shane Koyczan (7:36): This video talks about various types of bullying and how the system often fails to protect those who are bullied. Although those who were bullied still struggled with issues as adults, he encourages people to break free from negative thoughts that often last many years even after the bullying stops.

Nick Vujicic - No arms no legs no worries (4:10) How does someone with no arms and no legs live a fulfilling life? Mr. Vujicic talks about how the storms of life may be challenging but people can rise above it and see the amazing value of the true self within. His ability to laugh is contagious! Near the end of this video is a link to his web site where you can order his complete videos and other products.

Lizzie Velasquez - How do you define yourself? (13:10) A photo of Ms. Velasquez when she was 11 years old was voted the world's ugliest woman on the Internet with thousands of incredibly negative comments below it. Her response was to use those negative things as a ladder to accomplish her goals, one of which is a motivational speaker.

You are Beautiful! (3:36) This message includes multiple Biblical references as the speaker reminds girls that they are beautiful, regardless of their outward appearance or their own thoughts. He challenges listeners to take that knowledge and change the world.

Charlotte & Jonathan - Audition on Britain's Got Talent (7:30) Jonathan (age 17) and Charlotte (age 16) try out for a TV show that features amateur singers. Jonathan talks about being bullied due to his size. Their music teacher thought the two might work well together as Charlotte helped to boost Jonathan's confidence. The judges and audience do not look impressed before the two start singing; the performance and standing ovation speak for themselves.

Erik's Opera from Happy Feet 2 (2:07) - This scene from the animated movie highlights how a little penguin who struggles to dance stands up for his father by singing a touching opera. Heroes don't have to be multi-talented - they just need to show someone true love.

Break the Chain (4:28) This musical message includes women dancing to an empowering song with lyrics that demand the end of violence toward women.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches (3:00) An artist sketches women based only on their self-descriptions. Next, the artist sketches the same women based on the descriptions of them provided by someone else. The experiment indicates that others often see us in a better light than we see ourselves.

Kids React to Bullying (8:57) Kids (ages 7 to 13) watch and share their thoughts about a video of a child who is bullying another child. The victim eventually decides that he has had enough and fights back. The kids who are interviewed talk about various issues related to bullying.

Tired of Being a Bully (5:18) People who bully others are often insecure and lack effective communication skills. This video offers specific suggestions for incorporating Dicy McCullough's picture book related to bullying while teaching and interacting with young children regarding the subject.

Related articles:
Thanks for reading my article! Feel free to visit my Wildflower Bouquets blog for scavenger hunts, printables, and much more.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Katrena's Scavenger Hunt #12 – Going Green to Save the Earth!

Conservation Scavenger Hunt by Katrena
Doing our part to save the earth is a daily choice. Adults and children can make a huge difference in how we conserve energy and use resources wisely. This latest scavenger hunt is a "green" one that has twelve conservation tips.

If you wish to save paper, feel free to pull up the riddles on the computer screen and read them. If you are printing, each page is designed to fit on half a piece of paper, so you can turn it around and print the next page on the other half. You might also print on the back of paper that is ready for recycling.

Here are some additional resources related to conservation:

  • Click on each image below to enlarge.
  • Print the riddles, clues, and hidden message using file-print.
  • Cut the letters of the hidden message and hide in the twelve locations (scramble the order to add difficulty). You may wish to print enough for each player to have one of each letter or have all players share and work together.
To play...
  • Have players read and answer each riddle.
  • When answered correctly, give them a clue to find the hidden letter.
  • Players assemble the twelve letters to spell the secret message: CONSERVATION.
  • You may wish to discuss ways in which your family and/or class works together to conserve our resources and how you might do more in the future.
Here are the first six riddles:
Green Treasure Hunt on Conservation

Here are the last six riddles:
Scavenger Hunt about Recycling

Here are the answers to the twelve riddles:
Fun Ways to Teach Kids about Recycling and Conserving Resources

Here are the hints for finding the letters of the secret message:
Creative Teaching Aids

Here is the secret message:
Scavenger Hunt for Teaching Children

You might also like some of my other resources such as:
Check out my site map to see a list of all articles on my Wildflower Bouquets blog.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

3 Tips to Avoid the Trap of Multitasking and Missing the Moment

Investing in the Things that are Important - Photo by Joonas Lyytinen
Multitasking is a skill in which many people in our society excel. Take, for instance, the parent who can cook a meal, help with homework, and check email all at the same time. Or the employee who can impress clients and the boss through displays of amazing efficiency and innovative thinking while driving in rush hour traffic. Just because we are in the vicinity does not mean that we are present in the moment.

Although technological advances hail the potential to save time, how much time do we gain to enjoy the priorities in our lives? Many of us find it easy to do so many things at the same time that we fail to appreciate the moment and the other people in our lives with whom we are sharing those moments. Here are a few tips to ensure that more of our moments have lasting meaning:

Time Management for Parents - Photo by dhester

#1 Cut the Fluff on the Calendar

Many of us find it tempting to overextend on a regular basis, turning us into people who are constantly moving at breakneck speed and rarely have time to enjoy the journey or even the destination. Has our lifestyle become so expensive that we have replaced living with merely existing?

If our family is our priority, should we schedule time to be with and focused those we love? If our faith is high on the list, do our commitments agree? If we seek to be true friends, how much time do we invest into those relationships?

Some of us tend to fill our schedule with other people's priorities or involve the kids in so many activities that none of those activities are enjoyable any more. The kids will likely learn how to schedule their adult lives by watching us. What are we teaching them?

Tips for Connecting with the Family & Unplugging - Photo by Paolo Neo

#2 Unplug

It's okay...really. Electronic devices are sort of like dust and dirty dishes. If you ignore them or turn the switches to off, they will very likely be waiting for you when you are ready to pay attention to them again. Do we need to talk on a cell phone while driving down the road? Is Call Waiting necessary? Do we truly need to watch and read every post on social media sites? Is it necessary to be available or in front of a screen 24/7, even while eating or sleeping?

Scheduling time to disconnect electronic devices can free the rest of the schedule for connecting with people in face-to-face interactions. If we are in the business of teaching our kids to interact and engage with others, it stands to reason that we should give them ample opportunity to practice. Picture this as an investment in the family's future.

Will the decision to unplug be popular and met with great enthusiasm by the ones you love? Maybe not initially...but the potential benefits may far outweigh the risks.

Engaging in Activities that Really Matter - Photo by Chief Journalist Rick Chernitzer

#3 Beware of iWMT

It's the greatest and latest craze that has overtaken much of the world. The iWMT promises to bring us freedom from numerous tasks and connect us with people we didn't know we even wanted to be around. It can consume us with worry or turn completely absorb our time to the detriment of everything around us. Yet, engaging in it is often what people regret when they check the rear view mirror of their lives.

What is iWMT? I'm Wasting My Time.

Even if we believe we deserve more, it matters not how old or young, rich or poor, brave or timid, intelligent or intellectually challenged we are...we are each given 168 hours each week (unless we're changing the clocks up or back an hour). We might try to sleep faster, but that line of thinking eventually takes its toll. Multitasking only goes so far. If we take an honest look at what we do, we may discover that we may be wasting large portions of it.

Choose wisely. Consider a long contemplated risk. Learn to play an instrument. Further one's education. Befriend someone who is lonely. Adopt a healthier lifestyle. Enjoy a sunset or gaze at the stars. Write a book. What can we do that might make a difference ten, twenty, or more years from now?

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Katrena's Scavenger Hunt #11 – Snow Fun!

Free Indoor Scavenger Hunt for Snow Day
Today the meteorologists are predicting several inches of snow where we live. Of course, we had to stock up on important things just in case we are snowed in for a few days. My kids all agreed that I needed to create a snow-themed scavenger hunt as we prepared to hunker down. I agreed, so here it is! This winter-themed rhyming scavenger hunt is perfect for a snow day with the kids!

This treasure hunt includes:
  • 10 rhyming clues
  • answer sheet for solving the clues
  • 10 letters that spell the hidden message
  • Suggestions for hiding the clues
  1. Print and cut out the clues and hidden message letters. Click on each image below to enlarge and then select file-print.
  2. Place one letter with each clue - scramble the order if you want to give the kids an extra challenge.
  3. Hide clues #2-10 in the location for the previous clue.
  4. After the kids have solved all clues and found the letters, have them assemble the letters to spell the hidden message.
I hope you enjoy this snow-themed scavenger hunt. Once the hunt is completed, you might want to try cutting out paper snowflakes or color hexagons to create wild snowflakes, make a special treat to eat, or read books with winter themes.

Additional articles:
Find more of Katrena's scavenger hunts, printables, and articles at Wildflower Bouquets.

Rhyming Clues for Treasure Hunt

Winter Themed Scavenger Hunt

Snow Themed Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Fun Indoor Activity for Snow Days