Kick Off the Back-To-School Season

While summer might have been a blast for your family, it is probably no surprise that a few of you parents are ready to kick off that back-to-school routine. Make the end of summer extra special by regrouping with some of the parents from your kids’ school at a fun and festive back-to-school themed party. A gathering like this will allow everyone to catch up on each others adventures from the past season and reconnect before all the hustle and bustle of the school year picks up. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for an end-of-summer or back-to- school bash!
backtoschoolNot sure where to start? Stop by our official Pinterest board for a few helpful ideas and areas to address when planning your gathering. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find!

Themed foods
Packaged meals in brown bags and lunchboxes
Make creative and clever food labels

Décor
Turn classroom décor into party décor
Send out invitations printed on college ruled paper

Activities
Back-to-school family photo booth (set up a camera and a themed background)
Educational Yard Games or trivia sessions with prizes

Giveaways
Candied apples – after all apples are a symbol of the school scene
A few simple school supplies – colored pencils, crayons, and more

Battling Summer Boredom

While in school, kids are actively engaged in learning and developing new skills for a good part of their day. Whether it is a textbook topic or more in the realm of socialization, it is as if they always have something to do and people with which to chat and play. As a result, it is as it they are almost conditioned to expect the same level of activity year-round, which makes fighting boredom in the summer months quite the challenge. With Labor Day and the start of school just around the corner, here are a few fun family activities to help make these last few days of summer really count!

summercrafts

Find activity ideas at JumpStart.com

Plan a ‘Staycation’ – Are you able to get away from work for a day or two and enjoy a long weekend? Plan a short getaway with the family to a local historical site or nearby city. Exploring a new place, will give you ample opportunity to teach the kids about local history, wildlife, and more! the extended time spent bonding together as a family will be something to cherish year round, especially when schedules pick up at school and work.

Organize a Block Party – Make the ‘end of summer’ season or chose a ‘back to school theme’ as a reason to celebrate, eat and socialize with your friends, family, and neighbors. Designate a location, some activities and a menu. If you want to avoid doing all the extra cooking, consider having a potluck and inviting your guests to bring something to share.

Create a craft – Crafts, art projects and even fun science based experiments and activities can really quench the kids thirst for something fun to do. Best of all they’re easy to organize and a practical source of entertainment that is low maintenance for busy families. Tailor a few crafts to your kids interests and make sure to provide them with the proper materials to complete them. If you’re stumped on ideas, remember that JumpStart.com is riddled with activities, worksheets, and more.

How will you be making these last days of summer count? Share some of your favorite end of summer traditions for fighting boredom, here on the blog!

S.P.L.A.T. Alert: Send in a Status Update Stat!

Where are you in your TOP SECRET adventure to unlock access to the hidden nest of Voltage Dragon eggs? S.P.L.A.T. wants to get a status update and see if you’ve been able to decipher anymore of these clues.

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Check back for more clues! We’re counting on you!

And more importantly, we have some news to share. Can you guess what it is? That’s right, Jumpeez – we have a few more clues to share! Two more clues have been put together , which means it’s time for you to head out into JumpStart to locate more map pieces!

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Clue #4 – Where could it be?

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Clue #5 – The top of what?

Need any help following these clues? Let us know in the comments below! And good luck Jumpee – we’re counting on YOU to keep JumpStart safe.

S.P.L.A.T. Alert: Tangorra has Returned!

That’s right, Jumpeez – you heard right! Tangorra has returned to JumpStart to once again cause all kinds of trouble for Frankie and all of YOU adventure-loving Jumpeez. This mischievous character is once again after our precious Egglings for a trouble making potion!

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Map pieces are hidden around JumpStart!

To keep JumpStart safe from harm, S.P.L.A.T. (the Special League Against Troublemakers) is looking to YOU to help us locate the special and extremely rare nest of VOLTAGE DRAGON eggs! Frankie and the team here at the blog will be providing you with all of the latest intel from our friends at S.P.L.A.T., so stay tuned throughout the week for more information, starting NOW! Here are the first three clues to get you to the map pieces.

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Clue #1 – Can you figure out where the next piece of Intel has been hidden?

Click here to read more!

August is Family Fun Month!

Summer might be winding down, but that does not mean that the fun has to end so quickly for your family. Make these last days of summer vacation count by celebrating Family Fun Month! There are all kinds of exciting and engaging ways to continue making memories that will last your kids a lifetime. Strengthen your bonds by planning for a few of these popular summer activities that everyone in your family will enjoy.

Photo by: Yaletown BIA © 2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

Outdoor Movie Nights – Do some research to see if your community has any scheduled out door movie screenings that are family friendly. If you can’t find one, consider screening a movie in your backyard using a projector or by simply moving a television outdoors on a warm summer night. This will allow the kids and your friends to picnic under the stars as a unique spin on an average movie night.

Picnics – August is also known for being National Picnic Month. Head outdoors to any local whether it be a park, the beach or any family friendly outdoor setting and share a meal with your loved ones. Pack a basket and cooler with some of your family’s favorite foods and bring along a few games and other activities to keep everyone engaged in some good ole’ fashioned bonding time – away from social media, electronics, and the internet.

Scavenger Hunts – Have your kids learn more about the place where you live by planning a city scavenger hunt with them. Use this as a tool to introduce them to historical sights and check out fun local haunts. This challenging activity will have everyone coming together to bond over a single goal, so make sure that your prize is enticing enough to merit the work that your family puts into the hunt.

Visit Zoos, Museums, and Aquariums – Encourage learning through first hand experience outside of the classroom. Taking a new approach to education can assure that your kids are able to quench their curiosity for the unknown through interactive and more memorable activities. After all kids learn through all kinds of different styles . Not to mention they will surely enjoy seeing animals and other classroom topics up close and personal.

Planning a Backyard Carnival

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor festivals and making exciting memories with friends and family. But limited time county fairs and weekend long community events are not always the most convenient options for busy families during the summer. Take the time to plan your own event, on your own time and terms.

Photo by: Hoyasmeg

With a little bit of planning and a whole lot of creativity, you could host a memorable summer carnival of your very own! Here are some areas to pay special attention to while planning your next backyard carnival -

Activities: Gather supplies for face painting, crafts,  ring toss, and any park type of games that will be fun but don’t take up too much space. After all you don’t want to pack your space with so much that it doesn’t leave room for you to enjoy it all.

Space: Clear out an open area in your backyard to set up. Look out for any possible safety hazards as your backyard is not really made for hosting events like these. Planning ahead can help you avoid any unnecessary accidents.

Food: Make it feel like a real carnival by supplying fair themed foods – popcorn in striped boxes, peanuts, cotton candy, hot dogs, and more! Having more than enough food and drink will keep the party going if you don’t have a scheduled end time.

Decorations: Create hand craft banners and labels for food and games to give your carnival a special rustic backyard feel. Remember the more color and activity that you produce visually, the more realistic your event will feel.

What are some of your favorite carnival activities? Don’t feel too limited by these top tips and areas to cover – make this event your own!

Planning Day Trips with the Kids

Summer vacations do not have to be to be too time consuming. After all, planning for long trips with kids can get a little complicated. There are schedules to line up, supplies to pack and all kinds of extra expenses that might pop up. Do not let these common obstacles stop you from taking the family on the road for a quick and easy day trip this summer. Day trips can be just as exciting and convenient for your family during the summer months as any large scale summer vacation plans.

Photo by : Socram_yar

Here’s how to get started when planning a summer day trip with the kids -

Do your Research: What fun locales are not too far from where you live? To make sure you have the chance to see something a little bit different from your everyday norm, you’ll want to see what opportunities are within driving distance or even accessible by public transportation. Museums, nearby towns, amusement parks, outdoor festivals, hiking trails, county fairs, and more – the possibilities are endless! The over aching theme is to find a location and or activity that you can get to and enjoy within a single day.

Put it to a Vote: After you have lined up a few potential day trip locations, make sure that you end up choosing a trip that everyone will enjoy. Get the family together for a fun dinner and while everyone’s eating present some of your ideas to them and pitch them on the options that you have already screens and deemed appropriate, fun and within budget. To keep it fair do a blind vote by having each family member discreetly write down their choice day trip and slip it into a box so that you can calculate votes and settle on a locale. Letting the kids get their voices heard in this process will make it extra special.

Pack Supplies: Day trips often require spending some time in the car and on the road. This means you might want to think ahead and pack snacks, navigations tools, first aid kit, road games, and more or even DVDs if you’re able to play them in the car or through a portable device of some sort. Other things to consider packing include pillows and blankets for comfort, sanitizing wipes and paper towels, chargers for mobile electronics, music, a camera, and quick cash as you’ll be out and about all day.

Hit the Road: once everything is accounted for, your priority can switch from planning to simple having fun! Hit the road an start making family memories to last a lifetime.

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