Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Life

Give them their best shot

I think about this often when it comes to my kids. While they are young and their lives are mostly dictated by Justin and me, I think its the only time we’ve got to “give them their best shot” at anything. I want them to be confident, successful adults. But I also want them to remember having a really fun childhood, and wanting to be around their parents. Yeah, so maybe that last part is a little delusional, especially in the teen years, but hey- I can dream!

My other dreams for my kids are these: I want my kids to have faith in God, be smart, eat healthy, exercise, find out what makes them happy and do it to their fullest- whatever that may be.

There is lots of parenting inspiration on Pinterest. Some of which I don’t have the energy for, but other things really look fun. I’ve found cool ideas on teaching your kids about money, preschool packsĀ  (which they love), cool sensory play ideas, and posters that help me stop and focus on what is really important.

Like this one:

I often get inspired by Joslyn’s homework too, just seeing what she is learning about in school and thinking “I should have already taught her that! How could I have neglected such an important lesson?”

One major thing that has been motivating me lately is reading. My kids do LOVE to be read to, and its just something that gets replaced with TV time (because dinner doesn’t make itself) or any other excuse we have.

I mean, whatever your dreams are for your child, reading can only help them get there. It promotes parent-child bonding. (Here’s an inspiring blog about how this parenting generation are failing at this. Its called Hands Free Mama) Reading helps you talk to your child, and helps them learn about the world. Its a win-win.

Last year she came home from daycare with a prize card from the Library Summer Reading Program. They told me that she read a required number of books/hours to earn the prizes. And the prizes were awesome!

So, we’ve decided to do the Summer Reading Program on our own this year. Its really simple (and FREE), you go pick up a game card, or print your own here. You read to your child, and do some learning activities. Don’t worry, they aren’t too strange, things most parents do with their children anyway. Examples are: look at the stars and find constellations, listen to sounds outside at nighttime, fill a bucket with sand or rocks and play in it, etc. They provide a suggested reading list, but you don’t have to read those specific books. You can check out any books, or read books at home.

After 4 hours of reading, you get a prize sheet. And let me tell you the prizes are pretty good this year. Here is the official list:

  • Free concrete from Andy’s
  • Free gelato at the Bistro
  • Buy-1-get-1 admission to 1984 arcade
  • Free game of bowling at Battlefield Lanes, Lighthouse Lanes, Enterprise Lanes and Sunshine Lanes
  • Free 8-piece nugget at Chick-fil-a
  • Free book at CPO
  • Free cupcake at The Cup
  • Free Blizzard at Dairy Queen
  • Free child admission at Dickerson Park Zoo
  • Buy-1-get-1 admission to Jumpin’ Joey’s, Jump Mania, Mediacom Ice Park (includes skate rental)
  • Discounts at Discovery Center, Firehouse Pottery, LifeWay, Republic Acquatic Center, and Springfield Park Board Pools, Vintage Stock
  • Free crazy bread from Little Caesar’s Pizza
  • Free cookie from McCalister’s
  • Two free cookies from MudHouse
  • Free 3oz. frozen yogurt from Orange Leaf
  • Free family day pas to YMCA
  • Free mini cup at Simply Yo
  • Free custom bookmark at Seriously Chic Designs
  • Free kids cooking class by Price Cutter
  • Free child admission to Wild Animal Safari
  • Two free family admissions to Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Now if that’s not motivation to read for 4 HOURS (besides all the warm fuzzy stuff), I’m not sure what is. Besides, think of all the fun you’ll have together using up all the free stuff on this list. It might keep you busy all summer!



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