An Alternative to Video Games

 

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Ok, it might sound like I am anti-technology but I do allow the kids that I watch some time on the computer, tv an with video games. I just think there are other, more stimulating, activities for children to do.

Recently, I was talking to a fellow blogger about what to do since the little boy she watches has become consumed with video games. My response: Comic books.

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Not only does it promote reading and imagination, but it allows kids to still get their adventure and favorite character fix. Then I was asked what kind of comics to buy for an elementary school kid. Well, lets face it, kids go through lots of stages. Jay, one of the kids I watch, has gone through an animal, zombie, soldier, and superhero stage since I’ve been his nanny. BUT, there are comic books for everyone! I am personally a fan of the classic Superman and Batman series but for younger kids here is a list of 10 Great Comic Books for Children Under 12 by GEEKGIRLCON.COM.

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What comic books do your kids read? What was your favorite growing up? Let me know 🙂

Happy Thursday!

 

 

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Enriching the Future and Preserving the Past:Day Trips for Kiddos

I live in Southern California which is basically the the only place in the world where you can be at the beach, in snow covered mountains, in a freakin’ hot dessert or the metro of Los Angeles in about an hour. Pretty cool huh? It makes nannying here a whole lot easier too! I love taking my kids on field trips to local museums and zoos. The occasional beach day or snow day is fun too. It doesn’t matter where we go, because we are getting out of the house and that is totally cool with the kiddos. Today I am checking out the Getty Museum and Villa. Museums are a great way for children to learn history visually through art, photographs and storytelling. Since I am a nursing/science major, I love taking kids to the L.A Science Museum. They have a hands on kids center full of fun activities for every age group…even college age nannies haha 🙂

I know I know, you are probably asking…how can you afford to take kids to all these places?? Very simple. I research free days or community days. Most museums have them. Zoos, aquariums and family fun centers also have discount days. Here are a few SoCal places to go with children. They make for great family days too!

  1. San Diego Wild Animal Park and Zoo– They offer free kids admission during the month of October in honor of their anniversary. As a San Diego county resident you can get great discounts on year passes too!
  2. San Diego museums– I love Balboa Park in San Diego. It is home to several big museums like the Air and Space museum (for aspiring pilots and astronauts), the Museum of Man is perfect for little nurses and doctors. They also house art galleries and history museums. Best part? They offer FREE days for residents of San Diego County every Tuesday! Not a resident? Some Bank cards, companies and grocery stores offer free admission on certain days.
  3. For older kids the Holocaust Museum is really inspirational. The museum is donation only so it can make for a really inexpensive day. My high school used to offer a field trip to the Holocaust museum but after budget cuts, it got cut. :/ I would HIGHLY recommend that everyone see this museum.
  4. The Getty Museum and Villa. Both the Museum and the Villa are free for admission, parking is $15. I have heard great things about this place and the Villa is located in Malibu, so hittin’ the waves after visiting it is radical dudes!
  5. The Huntington Library is located in Pasadena California. Home to one of the Gutenberg Bibles, ethnic botanical gardens and an expansive art gallery, this is an all in one kind of place. They offer free limited admission on the first Thursday of every month but you have to reserve your spot online about a month in advance. Still, if you plan ahead it is pretty inexpensive day! BONUS: Pasadena is home to the Rose Bowl stadium for sports lovers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for little astronauts, and Old Pasadena for a walking trip through history. All have tours!
  6. The Beach– always free, always fun and always full of sand 🙂 need I say more? California has over a 1000 miles of beach and coastline! Take your pick at which beach you would like to go to. My favorites include Oceanside, Doheny Beach and Malibu. Orange county and San Diego Counties have some of the cleanest and most family friendly beaches.  Check out one of the famous California piers while you are out. Santa Monica pier is one of the most famous, with its rides, food and vendors.
  7. Family Fun Centers– There are several in So Cal like Boomers, Castle Park, Mulligan’s and Pharaoh’s Lost Kingdom. While each is priced differently most offer $1 ride specials or $20 all day passes. Family Fun Centers have arcades, mini golf, go carts, bumper boats and more.
  8. Knott’s Berry Farm– Ok so this isn’t free or as cheap as the above options but.. we gotta live a little! Granted I don’t do this often, but I have taken a family here. After getting online discount and free tickets from Ralphs (buy one get one free) each ticket came out to about $15. You can’t always get prices this good but if you look for deals they will find you. Can’t get amazing deals like this? Ask your employer if they would pay 1/2. My employer once paid for my Disneyland pass in exchange for me watching the kids for the day there. Not a bad deal especially because the kids were so fun to be around.
  9. Six Flags, again not cheap but!! For $60 you can get a year pass! So, if the family goes multiple times, the ticket pays for itself again and again!
  10. Plays.. I’m not talking expensive productions at the Pantages, kids love local community and high school theaters. Check it out! They are usually under $10.

Hope this inspires you to take the kiddos out of the house. With spring and summer break upon us, its the perfect time to take a day trip.

Can’t wait to see the Getty today! Don’t worry you will get a full report tonight 🙂

The Bored Jar- Reposted from The Vintage Wren

The kids I nanny for are on a strict schedule. We come home, eat a snack, do homework and finish chores. If they finish all of that I often hear “I’m Booored”. So we sat down and made a Bored Jar. Inside were things the kids could do if all of their stuff was completed with good behavior. The catch was, whatever they picked out, they had to accomplish it. Here are some examples of a similar jar made by The Vintage Wren at http://thevintagewren.blogspot.com/2011/12/our-bored-jar.html.

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The jar can be made from any jar or plastic cup. The kids had a fun time decorating their Bored Jar.

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We made ours more personalized, like “go to Pinkberry frozen yogurt” and “Shop at Dollar Tree for 1 item for someone in the family”

 

Hope it works for you!! 🙂