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Parenting Skills: How Laughter and Praise Promote Optimism in Kids

  Girls painting
Promote Laughter and Optimism in Kids

If you laugh and praise your kids, they'll be optimistic. Our parenting expert and yoga leader, Angie Lindenau, has 5 parenting tips for raising optimistic children.

1. Praise, praise, praise. if you're not sure what for, start with “being your kid.”

2. Find ways to help develop the kid's own interests, giving them as much room as feasible and responsibly possible.

3. Be involved with kids and share fun activities like laughter exercises.

4. Let kids take responsibility for something s/he's interested in while overseeing that kid is not overtaxed by the tasks involved.

5. See and repeat point 1!

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Let's give a big THANKS to Angie Lindenau.

Angie is the "Laughter Yoga Leader at Angie's Laughter Yoga MD at Beat the Blues."

You may connect with her at:  http://ie.linkedin.com/pub/angie-lindenau/18/201/118

Bonus Article:

How to Teach Your Family Love and Respect with Love Notes

http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/feature_article.asp?fa_id=118 

Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids learn to be optimistic? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/ and receive 80 fun activities to play with your kids.

******* If you liked this blog post, please send it to your social media icons below.


7 Parenting Tips: How Silence Benefits Parents and Kids

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If you'd like 7 parenting tips for increasing silence and enjoying your kids more, eNannySource has answers. In their article, 7 Reasons Silence is Important for Kids, they offer the benefits we all can use. Here's their advice:

"Quiet time can be hard to come by in a house full of children, but it is important for your kids’ well being.

Whether the time is spent relaxing and decompressing from an eventful day or focusing on homework, your children should have an uninterrupted block of time worked into their daily routine where they can find complete silence.

Turning off televisions, cell phones and MP3 players should be strictly enforced, and here are some of the reasons why.


First ~ Kids Worry – Though many adults idealize childhood and think of it as a carefree time, for many modern children, this simply isn’t true. The American Psychological Association conducted a survey indicating that children worry about their family’s financial situation and their grades, with older children showing marked stress over issues such as college acceptance and funding. This survey also showed that parents consistently underestimated the stress level of their children by 12-24 percentage points. 

Second ~ Silence Helps Symptoms of ADD/ADHD – In order to properly concentrate on schoolwork, kids with ADD/ADHD need an uncluttered and quiet space to unwind and focus on the work at hand. Outside stimuli can greatly affect your child’s ability to keep their mind on one task; blocking out noise that can distract them and hinder productivity is a must.


Third ~ Silence Encourages Independent Interests – Quiet time is a chance for your child to explore self-contained activities and interests, boosting their independence. In the absence of video games and cartoons, your kids can focus their attention on reading, working on artistic projects or other relaxing hobbies. The ability to entertain themselves with limited outside stimuli will serve them well later in life.


Fourth ~ Silence Improves Sleep Patterns – A child that spends their day being bombarded by over-stimulating noise and activity will often have trouble decompressing before bed without the aid of quiet time. This sleep disruption can affect everything from their mood to their physical health; setting aside a period of winding down before bed can help kids relax  instead of jumping into bed with a racing mind.


Fifth ~ Silence Helps Parents Remain Sane - Your children are affected by your mood and stress level, and you are just as susceptible to the crankiness that comes from constant over-stimulation as they are. While your children are enjoying their quiet time, you’ll have the opportunity to decompress a bit as well; as a result, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the minor crises that crop up throughout the day. Keeping your cool in high-pressure situations will help them to do the same, so everyone wins.


Sixth ~ Silence Helps Family Time – Instituting a policy of “Quiet Time” in your household doesn’t have to mean that everyone retreats to separate rooms to isolate themselves. Spending your quiet time together can be just as relaxing, and it will help you maintain your connections to one another. Younger, excitable children may need the occasional reminder to be calm, but everyone can benefit from peaceful time spent together.


Seventh ~ Silence Helps Older Kids Deal with Younger Ones – Older children can be taxed by the rambunctious behavior of younger siblings, causing them to act out of anger when they’ve been pushed to their breaking point. A period of quiet time can give your older children a much-needed break from the little ones, helping them to treat them better and enjoy interacting with them more as a result.

Conclusion for the Benefits of Silence:

Tailoring your Quiet Time to the needs of your family is essential to success; there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Working out a schedule and guidelines can be approached as a family, giving your children the chance to give their input as well. They’re more likely to respect a plan they helped to create.

Let's give a big THANK YOU to http://www.eNannySource.com  This blog post is from: http://www.enannysource.com/blog/index.php/2011/12/19/7-reasons-silence-is-important-for-kids/

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 Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids to benefit from silence? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/ and receive 80 fun activities to play with your kids.

******If you liked this article, please send it to your social media sites below.


Special Needs Kids ~ 4 Ways Parents Can Boost Optimism

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Boosting Optimism in Special Needs Kids

Whether you're a parent of special needs kids or not, you can use these 4 ways to boost optimism in kids. Our guest blogger, Lorna d'Entrmont, is sharing 4 fine ways to help kids be optimistic. Let's find out her parenting skills suggestions.

 
1. Give a hint to his teacher about his interests and skill in certain areas will help the teacher know how to shine the light on your child to let him experience success to build his self-worth.

2. Do not compare his results with his peers, with his siblings, and even with his progress in other areas. He is his own man, strengths and weaknesses.

3. Give genuine appreciation for his efforts as well as his results will goes a long way in the overall happiness and success of your child.

4. Celebrate small steps, reward daily effort and progress and do not wait for the big ending or there will never be one. Many special needs parents have coined a new word ‘inchstone’.

The following are points from my two part post on our Special Needs Blog.

Raising a Confident, Capable, Contented Child


Part 1http://kidcompanions.com/archives/4718


Part 2 http://kidcompanions.com/archives/4719

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Blog Optimistic Lorna d'Entrmont
Lorna d'Entremont

Let's give Lorna a big THANK YOU for her 4 ways to boost optimism in all kids.

You can connect with Lorna d'Etremont at:  http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/lorna-d-entremont/19/5a2/698   

Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids feel optimistic? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/ and receive 80 fun activities to play with your kids.

******If you liked this post, please send it to your social media sites.


Hopeful Research for Parents of Autistic Children

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Parents of Autistic Children Wonder Why

If you're the parent of an autistic child, you may have reason to be optimistic. In the Fox News article from Reuters, Extra Brain Cells May Be Key to Autism, Study Says, dated November 09, 2011, there appears to be hope. Here's the article:

Children's Health - HEALTH

Children with autism appear to have too many cells in a key area of the brain needed for communication and emotional development, helping to explain why young children with autism often develop brains that are larger than normal, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

Their study suggests the condition starts in the womb because brain cells in this area known as the prefrontal cortex typically develop during the second trimester of pregnancy.

The findings could help narrow the search for a cause of autism, which affects one in every 150 children born today in the United States, or about 1 percent of the population.

"We found a really remarkable 67 percent increase in the total number of brain cells in the prefrontal cortex," said Dr. Eric Courchesne of the University of California San Diego Autism Center of Excellence, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Courchesne and colleagues carefully counted the number of brain cells in tissue from seven boys with autism who had died and six boys who did not have autism at the time of their deaths.

They focused on the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain which is thought to grow too large and too fast in children with autism.

"It's a part of the brain that's important for social, emotional and communication functions, and it composes about 25 to 30 percent of the cerebral cortex," Courchesne said in a telephone interview.

His team was first in 2003 to link rapid growth in head circumference in the first year of birth with autism.

He said the finding of excess brain cells in the prefrontal cortex explains brain overgrowth in autism, and hints at why brain function in this area is disrupted.

"This isn't just a simple increase in neurons. It means a huge increase in potential connections and, therefore, a potential for miswiring which would lead to abnormal function," Courchesne said.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com, said the data from this study is very clear and could be very influential to future autism research.

“Clearly this research is very well analyzed and shows that there is hyperproliferation of brain tissue in key areas of the brain which is involved in communication,” Alvarez said. “One key question is why does this happen?"

Alvarez said he thinks this study could have a large impact on future autism screening.

“This research could lead us to think out of the box and perhaps start screening for the autism spectrum in utero. To read the rest of this article go to:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/11/09/extra-brain-cells-may-be-key-to-autism-study-says/

 

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What are your opinions? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/ and receive 80 fun activities to play with your kids.

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Parenting Tips: 6 Positive Ways to Encourage Optimism in Kids

Mother Pointing with Kids

If you're looking for tips on ways to raise optimistic kids, look no further, our parenting expert, Erika Stroh, knows how. Let's examine her 6 parenting tips.

1. Affirm Positive Thinking

I too have two optimistic children, most of the time. By that I mean it is an everyday task to affirm positive thinking and shift our mindset in order to see people, situations and circumstances from a new, even enlightened perspective.

2. Be Compassionate

Compassion is also a helpful characteristic that allows my children to think of how others may feel and it creates an opportunity for optimism to see the ways they may help others or practice an attitude of gratitude for the goodness in their own lives.

3. Model and Speak

Optimism also comes directly from my husband and me modeling and speaking in terms of "forward thinking" rather than dwelling or complaining about things that are out of our control.

4. Write and Set Goals

Writing and setting goals are key, as well as having realistic expectations and aspiring for more!

5. Live a Balanced and Healthy Life Style

I realize that it is challenging as parents to be mindful enough of our own actions, interactions with others and communication skills on a daily basis.

I work really hard each day as a mother of two extraordinary children who rely upon my attitude and outlook each day, to keep myself balanced and healthy, in order to be at my best and make thoughtful decisions that will nurture myself and my family.

6. Coach and Encourage Others

I work equally hard at coaching and encouraging the parents I work with to do the same!

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Blog Optimistic Erika Stroh

Erika Stroh, Educator, Facilitator, Parent Coach at Parent From The Heart

Thanks for your inspiration, Erika. You have given us 6 fine ways to raise optimistic kids and build character too.

Please connect with Erika at: http://blog.parentfromtheheart.com/ 

*****

Bonus Article:

Goal Setting for Kids – 1 Secret and 3 Examples that Help Kids Reach Their Goals

at:  http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/feature_article.asp?fa_id=36 

Parents, it's your turn to take the stage: 

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids become optimistic? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/ and receive 80 fun activities to play with your kids.

******If you liked this post, please send it to your social media sites.


Holiday Warning: Parents, You Must Teach Kids This Stress Technique!

  Christmas Candles
Help Kids Relax at Christmas! 

If you'd like stress free kids during the holidays, you'll love this stress technique. Our parenting expert, Lori Lite, shows us how. While listening to this creative method, consider using it for yourself as well as your children.

Holiday Relaxation Breathing For Children

Santa, relatives, parties and the mall can make children nervous or even tremble with fear. Relaxation breathing for children is an effective self-soothing skill they can use before or during their visit with Santa and relatives. Any child with anxiety, Autism, Aspergers, or Sensory Processing Disorders can benefit from this technique.

All children can use deep breathing for stress management, anger management, and falling asleep. Practicing breathing prior to stressful events empowers children. Please enjoy the following excerpt from my breathing book  Sea Otter Cove: A Relaxation Story .This story is also available on the Indigo Ocean Dreams CD and in Spanish. It is fun to learn relaxation breathing with a sea otter and sea child.

Excerpt:

The sea child told the sea otter to breathe in through his nose and out through his nose.  He focused all of his attention on the tip of his nose.

They both did this breathing together.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose.

In 2, 3, 4… out 2, 3, 4. In 2, 3, 4… out 2, 3, 4.

The sea child told the sea otter that he could breathe this way whenever he felt angry or scared or nervous. He could focus on the air moving in and out of the tip of his nose, and he could feel calm. The sea otter placed his hands on his belly, and felt it lift up and down as the air moved in and out. For a few moments they both did this breathing together.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose.

In 2, 3, 4… out 2, 3, 4. In 2, 3, 4… out 2, 3, 4.

The sea child’s mind began to wander. She imagined that her thoughts were a feather as she blew them away with her next breath out.  She focused her attention on her breath again as she drew in a breath of warm fragrant sea air.

She liked the way it felt to quiet her mind.

She focused on the way the air felt moving in and out of her nose. She felt her belly lift up and down as the sea child and the sea otter continued to breathe together.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose.

In 2, 3, 4… out 2, 3, 4. In 2, 3, 4… out 2, 3, 4.

In 2,3, 4…out 2,3,4.

 (A powerful variation of this breathing technique is to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. The Ahhhh sound can also be added to the exhale. Angry Octopus uses this type of breathing)

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Lori Lite
Lori Lite

A grateful THANK YOU to Lori Lite for this very helpful relaxation technique. It will help parents and children cope with the holidays and have much more fun.

How to connect with Lori Lite at StressFreeKids:

 This story and more can be found on the Indigo Ocean  Dreams CD/mp3

 Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit  Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook

Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids learn ways to relax? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/ and receive 80 fun activities to play with your kids.

******If you liked this article, please send it to your social media sites below.


Who Else Wants Solutions for Protecting Kids with TV Ratings?

If you're a concerned parent who wants to protect your kids from inappropriate TV shows, keep reading. Cable TV Providers may have the solutions you want. This post is from their article, 10 Good Reasons Parents Want TV Show Ratings.

Helping Parents Filter Out Programs:

"Households are now capable of receiving hundreds of different channels with the advent of cable and satellite TV. This is an overwhelming number of television shows for concerned parents to monitor. How could they possibly filter out inappropriate viewing for their young children while still being able to watch the more mature shows they enjoy after they’ve gone to bed? In 1997 TV Parental Guidelines were implemented to help parents filter out television programs they don’t want their children to watch.

Here Are 10 Good Reasons Parents Aant TV Show Ratings:

1. Helpful tool – Even though these TV ratings are less than perfect, they are a helpful tool for parents to use. By examining what the different ratings are and what they stand for, parents have a starting point to work from when determining which shows they will allow their children to watch.
 
2. Watchdogs – The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board are the ones determining how the various shows are rated. This means there is a panel of watchdogs reviewing these programs for the parents. The panel consists of experts from the television industry and public interest advocates and are available to receive complaints from concerned parents who may not agree with their ratings.
 
 3. Volume of shows – The sheer volume of shows available on television make it impossible for parents to review them all. The ratings system helps to sort through a multitude of programs by age group. For instance, any show with a rating of TV-MA means that it is intended to mature audiences only and not appropriate for children.
  
4. At a glance – Once parents are familiar with the various ratings, they can tell at a glance whether the show should be safe for young children to watch or may need further review. The ratings appear in the upper left-hand corner of the TV screen at the beginning of the program and again after each commercial break.
  
5. Saves time – The TV show ratings system saves precious time for busy parents. As mentioned before, nobody wants to take the time to review the massive number of shows available. The ratings are visible at a glance and whole groups of shows can be blocked using the V-Chip technology built into most television sets.
  
6. V-Chip – Since the year 2000 television sets have been equipped with what is called V-Chip technology to help parents filter out programming they feel is inappropriate for their children. The V-Chip receives and understands the different ratings and on screen programs can be used to block whichever ratings parents choose.

7. Can’t always be there – Since parents can’t always be there when their children are watching TV, blocking adult programming gives them some control even when they’re not at home. Although the system isn’t perfect, it can be improved with monitoring and adjustments.
  
8. Can be used for discipline – Parents can even use the TV show ratings as a form of discipline. The various ratings can be used for either punishment or rewards. Parents can block violent shows for kids who get into a fight or unblock them as a reward for staying out of trouble.

9. Flexibility – The seven different ratings and the five different content labels give parents a wide range of flexibility when determining which shows may or may not be appropriate. Each family has different values and concerns. What may be considered taboo for some parents could be ok with others, so these ratings take that into account.  
10. Peace of mind – Parents who are diligent about using the TV parental guidelines can have more peace of mind about what their kids are watching even when they’re not being supervised.

Many television and movie producers use violence, explicit sex and foul language to compete with each other. Parents need to have some form of control to limit the amount of this content their children are exposed to. Very young children are simply not capable of making good distinctions between what is real and fantasy on TV. Although some kids may not be happy about how their parents are using the ratings system to control their television viewing, it’s a valuable tool for families to use."

A big THANK YOU to Cable TV Providers for contacting me about this informative article from November 30, 2011, in cable tv, by admin

  Find out more at: http://www.cabletvproviders.net/

Parents, it's your turn to take the spot light: 

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids deal with television programs? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/ and receive 80 fun activities to play with your kids.

******If you liked this post, please send it to your social media sites.


4 Best Character Traits for Parenting Optimistic Kids!

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4 Best Character Traits for Raising Optimistic Kids

Today's best character traits for parenting optimistic kids come from our parenting expert, Shoshana Hayman. I asked her for her favorite optimistic tips and this is her response:

"Your question brings back warm memories of my parents, who were both very optimistic people. They never "taught" me to be optimistic, but I became optimistic because of their personal example of how they lived their lives.

My mother believed that if you believe you can do something, you can. She fulfilled many of her own "I can..."s, which often involved working for causes such as improving education and social justice.

My father had a smile and a kind word for everyone. He expressed appreciation for all the things that are easy to take for granted.

I think that the combination of these character traits are a surefire way to live life optimistically!"

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Let's Give a Big THANK YOU to Shoshana for These 4 Character Traits: 

1. Believe, "You can!"

2. Smile.

3. Give kind words to everyone.

4. Express appreciation.

These character traits are easy for parents to model and make good sense.

Blog Optimistic Shoshana Hayman
Shoshana Hayman, Director at Life Center Israel, Center for Attachment Parenting

Please connect with Shoshana at:

http://www.lifecenter.org.il/english.php

*****

Bonus Article:

How to Create Love in Your Family with These 5 Parenting Tips at:

http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/feature_article.asp?fa_id=85  

*****

 Parents, it's your turn to take the stage: 

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids  become optimistic people? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/ and receive 80 fun activities to play with your kids.

******If you liked this post, please send it to your social media sites.


Holiday Activity : How Family Compliments Build Optimism and Closeness

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Building Character and Love with Family Compliments

If you'd like a loving family, use compliments. During this Christmas season nerves are frazzled but compliments can relax everyone and touch hearts. n our family we often tell each other why we love each other. 

It warms my heart to see my children and grandchildren express their love with ease.

Would your family feel closer if members complimented each other more often? Would optimism and love grow stronger in your members? Let's find out how to create a Family Compliment Night and build character too.

Do this at dinner or place a large bowl of popcorn in the middle of the table. For your first Family Compliment Night have a parent show how to compliment by being the first compliment giver.

To make it easy we'll just use popcorn in our example.

6 Easy Keys for Building Character, Optimism and Closeness:

1. All compliments must be completely positive.

2. Only one person compliments per night.

3. The family member who received the compliment says, "Thank you," and takes a handful of popcorn.

4. The one who gives the compliment grabs a handful of popcorn and continues going around the circle giving compliments and grabbing more popcorn along the way.

5. Discuss the results with your family and ask:

  • How did you like receiving a compliment? Why?
  • How could holding a Family Compliment Night help our family?
  • When shall we schedule the next Family Compliment Night?
  • Who wants be the next one to give the compliments?

6. End by making another batch of popcorn and playing a fun family game.

Family Compliment Nights teach members to notice the goodness in each other. Members like hearing the compliments they receive.

Family Compliment Nights increase positive praise, optimism and decrease negative communication. They bond members closer and build family character too. 

Why not use the this activity during the Christmas season?

Bonus Article:

6 Self-Esteem Affirmations ~ Use Today and Build Confidence in Your Kids!

at:

http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/feature_article.asp?fa_id=47 

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids become optimistic? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

 

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/

You’ll receive 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids

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Family Fun ~ Christmas Craft with Kids Takes 1 Hour

If you're a parent and you're looking for something fun to do with your kids, try this. It's from Disney's Family Fun website.

 

Bead Wreath
Family Fun with Beads and Wreath

Total Time Needed:
1 Hour

The wreath can symbolize the circle of friendship, which makes this decorative sun catcher just the gift for almost anyone on your family's list.

Materials
  • 16- to 20-gauge silver-colored craft wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Translucent plastic beads (with center holes large enough to thread the wire through)
  • Ribbon
  • Fishing line or monofilament
Instructions
  1. Cut the wire to a length that will form a loop the size of the wreath you plan to make plus 6 inches (16-gauge wire works best for larger wreaths).
  2. Curl one end to keep the beads from sliding off, then thread on the beads from the opposite end.
  3. Twist the wire ends together to close the circle and wrap the loose ends around the wire between the beads.
  4. Tie on a ribbon and a loop of fishing line or monofilament for a hanger.

To get more family fun ideas go to:

http://familyfun.go.com/christmas/homemade-christmas-gifts/christmas-gifts-kids-can-make/bead-wreath-661813/

 

Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids have fun during the holidays? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my Newsletter at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/ and receive 80 fun activities to play with your kids.