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.

Creative Workshops for Kids

Often time when kids begin school, their learning focus is on fundamental subjects like English, Math, History, Science and other tradition topics. For that very reason, summer gives parents the opportunity to approach learning differently and allow kids to explore interests outside of the classroom. One way of helping your kids develop new skills and learn to express their unique perspectives creatively is by taking them to local creative workshops. Often hosted by community centers and even a few stores and businesses, these classes are an amazing tool in increasing your child’s learning potential this summer.

Photo by: mandaroo63

Think of creative workshops as classes. While the topics might not seem like those fit for the classroom, the activities themselves will help expand your child’s scope of knowledge and also allow them practice important developmental skills – motor, cognitive, and more! What interest your kids most – painting, acting, craft building, drawing, dancing, gardening, knitting, cooking or any other creative types of ventures?

Do your research and learn what options are available in your area. Other popular nationwide stores and business that hold workshops for kids include: Michaels Arts and Crafts, Joann’s Fabrics, and the Home Depot. But don’t feel restricted to these options. There might be day camps and other resources available in your community that you just don’t know about yet.

Get involved this summer and talk to other parents from your kids’ school or head to community centers, local museums and other public works organizations that might be able to better connect you with a few summertime creative workshops for kids!

JumpStart’s Worksheet of the Week

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Happy Independence Day, Jumpeez!

Help us celebrate this historic day by joining Frankie and friends in the JumpStart World. Just in time for all the festivities and fireworks, we have kicked off our own celebration with red white and blue decorations, updates FunZones and more!

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How will you be celebrating the 4th of July? Whether you have all kinds of fun family activities planned like BBQs, Block Parties and larger than life fireworks shows, don’t forget to make time to wish you Jumpee pals a happy holiday weekend too! While in the game you’ll be able to enjoy all of the festive summer features like the updated scavenger hunt in MainStreet, DownTown, and Adventure Canyon!

And MOST importantly make sure to listen carefully this season. At the sound of our special signal, you’ll be able to enjoy our summer time fireworks spectacular in certain areas of JumpStart. Check the messages on your ‘About Me’ page for more information!

Independence Day: A Festive Family Parade

Is your neighborhood hosting a festive block party or are you simply looking for a fun activity to increase family bonding time during this long summer weekend? Then, consider planning a 4th of July parade with the kids to show your patriotism. This is not only a great way to pass the time but it will make for great memories and family photo ops that you will cherish throughout the years. All you need are a few red, white, and blue decorations, your family, and their bikes, permitting that they already know how to ride them and a festive fun loving attitude.  Follow our tips for creating a holiday parade that will take your neighborhood by storm this season!

Photo by GoHomeKiki

Come summer your kids are probably already riding around on bikes with their neighborhood friends. And if they aren’t, there’s probably no better time than while they’re out on summer vacation to teach them how to rule the roads on a two wheeler or easy to ride tricycle (If you’re littlest ones are still at that ‘big wheel’ stage). Any wheeled mode of transportation will do. Start by lining up everyone’s bikes in the driveway or yard. Each bike can be treated as the corresponding family member’s own unique parade float.

Before starting to decorate, remember to keep safety as your top priority. As much as you want to deck the bike in the most festive gear that you can find., it will still need to function normally as a bike so steer clear of attaching anything that might create an unnecessary hazard for your child. That means nothing should be able to get tangled in their pedals or wheels or block visibility while they’re riding on the roads. While your goal is to have fun  during the holiday weekend, one thing that would put a major damper on this would be to have a run in with an avoidable accident.

From there gather your decorations. Tinsel, streamers, bows,  flags and any festive attachments will do! Then plan a route through the neighborhood and an order for people to ride in. Let your neighbors know about the event a head of time so that they can watch or possibly get involved themselves. The more people you have, the more options you’ll have for activities like performances or other parade like traditions. You might even invite some of your more experienced riders to carry more around a small mobile speaker to play music that the family can sing along to or simply enjoy while riding through the streets.

A fun time is sure to be had by everyone in your neighborhood when you family’s parade passes through!

National Fresh Veggies Day

Introducing kids to healthy eating habits early can define some of their more long term perspective on health and fitness. That is why it is especially important to make sure they develop a taste for delicious and nutritious snacks like fresh veggies from a young age! After all, June is the month in which some observe the practice of celebrating ‘National Fresh Veggies Days.’  To get your family to join in this annual tradition and to start keeping healthier food options in mind, here are a few of our favorite snack ideas for kids and adults.

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If your kids do not naturally like to eat their veggies consider paring some of the ones that they do prefer with a moderately sized dip of a condiment, sauce or topping of their choosing. Visit our official Pinterest board for National Fresh Veggies Day fora number of fun ways to plate some of these popular veggie based snack ideas! Carrots and hummus, celery and peanut butter, cheese sticks and tomatoes, veggie platters and ranch dressing, and bell peppers with guacamole are only a few of the combinations that you can work up.

Get creative and start serving up some of these top treat or let us know more about some of your favorite easy of eating fresh veggies!

Summer Styles hit DownTown!

By now you’ve probably noticed that summer is in FULL swing here in JumpStart. And any seasoned Jumpee knows that kicking off a new time of year comes with some other spectacular surprises too! Can you guess what Frankie and the team have in store for you? New summer styles have been delivered to the DownTown Threadz and Ridez stores!

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Head there now to give your Jumpee a super cool look to beat the summer heat! From hairstyles and facial features to tops, bottoms and everything in between the Threadz store is your one stop shop for all of our custom cool avatar items.

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But, if you’re going to be off on adventures, you’ll want to be rolling around in some summer flare too! And lucky for you, some of our most popular Ridez have just returned. Cehck them out now and let us know about your summer style in JumpStart!

JumpStart’s Worksheet of the Week

Count the Mangoes - Free worksheet for summer

Celebrating the 1st Day of Summer

Summer has a way of creeping up on us each year. Before you know it, the kids are out of school and you’re looking for new ways to fill hours of vacation time so that there isn’t a moment to spare. But in all there is to do, how do you plan on marking the first official day of the season this year – June 21st. Here are a few indoor and outdoor activities to help you dream up the perfect ways for your family to celebrate the first day of summer.

Photo By : Amy.Gizienski

1. Erect a lemonade stand – summer jobs might be something to consider when the kids are older, but it’s never too early to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in them even at a young age. Lemonade and baked goods like cookies, cupcakes or the classic brownie can be simple products the kids can whip up and sell to your friends and neighbors.

2. Camp Out or Have a Picnic – Get the kids to enjoy some of the summer weather by planning a daytime picnic in a local park or a evening camp out. Camp outs can be taken to real sites or made easy to fit your backyard. Nothing quite says summer than these outdoor activities.

3. Attend Local Community Events – depending on where you live, some cities and community organizations will plan events surrounding the start of summer, also know as the summer solstice. From festivals to other outdoor events like street fairs and outdoor movie screenings, community activities not only give you the opportunity to spend more time with family but also bring you closer to those in your neighborhood or city.

4. Host a Block Party – Fire up the BBQ and gather your neighborhood friends to celebrate summer together. See who wants to get involved and together you can start planning for food, festivities, and games that people will be able to compete in. If possible, consider having some sort of entertainment like a local band or performer.

5. Summer Activity Wish List – Let the kids take some of the guesswork out of your planning for summer. Challenge them to create a wish list of things they’d like to do. Set parameters to help give them direction – locale, price, etc.

Happy Father’s Day!

Fathers play a special role in a child’s life, so don’t forget to show your dad how much you appreciate him today! Plan a special day filled with surprises like hand crafted presents or home coked meals. Thoughtful acts like these are ones that dad will always treasures and most of all he’ll cherish the time spent around loved ones like family.

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At the end of the day, if you’re still looking for a fun and fantastic way to gather the family with dad, head into JumpStart and make some memories playing games for simply good time.  And finally, don’t forget to wish dad a Happy Father’s Day from JumpStart!

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