Kidz Corner

  On this page I will try to have postings that offer hints, deals, activities, and pretty much anything I feel is “child” relevant.  I will include things that have worked for me in the classroom and at home with our 15 year old, 2 year old, and 6 month old.  Also included will be any tips I learn from family, friends, etc. I welcome any tips and ideas you may have so please comment freely!  Also, please note that you can also visit Kids Corner HERE for deals and coupons directly related to children or Kids Frugal Fun HERE for frugal and educational crafts.

Adding and Subtracting Money

As we all know, teaching is not a profession you enter into for the salary. Therefore, for my first few years as a teacher, I also waited tables at night at Applebee’s. In my years as a server and a teacher, I was aware of student problems with adding and subtracting money, but I also found myself in disbelief that adults (both customers and fellow employees alike) still struggled with giving correct change. I decided to make a money center a permanent fixture in my classroom. The center was easy to make and you can create it for next to nothing in your own home or class. I went to the Dollar Tree (every teacher’s fave store) and purchased 3 sets of play money ($3). Then I took a few take out menus from Applebee’s (free) and laminated them (free at school; you don’t have to laminate your menus but for the classroom, lamination is a must). I then sat down and typed out a few different scenerios. One example was:

Clyde went out to eat at Applebee’s. He picked the grilled cheese off of the kids menu for $2.99. After dinner he ordered dessert for $1.99. When the server gave him his bill, it had tax of $1.19. Clyde paid with a $10.00 bill. What was his change?

Now that problem is advanced as it requires several steps. You can make it easier by only “ordering” one thing and not calculating tax. I had the kids always play this in groups of 3, with 2 being customers and 1 being the server/cashier. They LOVED this game. They thought that using a real take out menu from a restuarant they visited was the coolest thing ever. You can visit any restaurant and ask for a copy (or 2) of their take out menu with no problem, so be sure to pick the restuarant your child will be most excited about “eating out” at for dinner!

Where Do Kids Eat Free in Va. Beach?

One of momondealz’s followers said she would love to have a list of restaurants that have kids eat free (or pretty close) and since I aim to please, here is a list of some restaurants in Virginia Beach that have “kids nights”. All places that I called said that all of the kid deals (free or reduced) are after an adult meal has been purchased. It seems that Tuesday is the day to be a kid in Va. Beach!

Mondays: Could not find any deals for kids

Firehouse Subs
Lonestar Steakhouse
Chick Fil A: meals are $0.99
Fazoli’s: meals are $0.99; They also have games, crafts, and other activities; call for details
Taco Loco:  Kids eat for $1 and have free face painting

Ninja Hibachi (Landstown Commons) kids eat for $1
Buffalo Wild Wings: kid meals are 1/2 off

Thursdays: Capt. D’s

Fridays: Could not find any deals for kids

Denny’s- all day

Moe’s SW Grill: Kids eat for $1
Qdoba Grill
Tropical Smoothie

Take the Pledge!

There is nothing I love more than being outside on a beautiful day.  There is also always something to see or talk about with my family.  We are really enjoying this spring as Will is at the age where everything is fantasically new and amazing to him.  We can point out things and he will try to say what we are saying; it’s great (and so much better than plopping him in front of the TV)!  I received an email from the National Wildlife Federation asking me and others to take the pledge to go outside; to help our families enjoy and learn from the great outdoors.  I am taking the pledge, won’t you?  Go HERE to sign up!
Awesome new blog I found!
I constantly search the internet for ideas to use with my family and to post on this blog.  I found this great blog that is all about healthy nutrition for your kids.  I love it!  It currently has great ideas on how to build a healthier Easter basket for your children. 

Red Plum has been advertising a Spring Break Survival guide for a couple of weeks now and has finally put the information up on the site.  They did come up with some pretty cute ideas and I wanted to share them with you in case you missed the ad on the top of the coupon insert.  Visit the link HERE to get 5 activities to help you and your kids survive spring break!

Easter Egg Science Experiment
Seems like I am on a science kick uh?  I thought that since it’s about the time for science fair projects in school and almost Easter time I would share a really cute idea that a fellow teacher did with her class one year.  She had all the kids color Easter eggs and then they used them for an experiment to test toothpaste.  They “brushed” all of the colored eggs with different brands of toothpaste to determine which brand worked best at removing the dye.  The result was actually pretty surprising.  Bottom line, the class had a GREAT time learning the scientific process with a really cute experiment.  In case you need the steps to the scientific method, I have included a link below:

Making Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

What?!?  Oh yeah, not only does it taste good but the best part is that your child will be doing a science project where they will learn and have fun at the same time!  Check this site out for the instructions!

Ice Cream in a Bag

Educational Activity “On the Go”
As a teacher, it’s kind of embedded in me to try to find the smallest task educational.  I also want to try to squeeze in educational activities into the shortest time frames (that may have something to do with the fact that teachers have so much to teach in so little time during the school day..LOL).  At any rate, I wanted to focus on phonemic awareness in this post.  That is just a fancy way to say our ability to hear, think about, and manipulate sounds in words we speak.  This is an extremely important skill for children to learn as it helps them to read and to spell by laying the foundation to learning letter-sound relationships.  One of the  activities/games you can do “on the go” to help with the skill of phonemic awareness is the  “Question Game”.  This is a very simple game that can go on forever.  All you have to do is ask questions relating to words you use everyday. Examples are:
*”What is the first sound in two?” (t)
*”What is the last sound in foot?” (t)
*”What sound is the same in the beginning of dime, down, diaper?” (d)
*”Which word doesn’t belong in this group…door, plate, desk?” (plate)
*”What is the word smile without the ‘s’?” (mile)
*What word do you hav eif you add d to rip? (drip) w to in?” (win)

This game could go on for hours, or at least until you get through the line at the post office.


Easy and affordable phonic/reading game

Who said you have to go and buy the expensive magnet sets they have in stores?  Simply go to your local Dollar Tree and buy a set of plastic letters and a cookie sheet and you have your own learning game for much less money!  Of course this one doesn’t sing and speak the letter sounds but isn’t it much better quality time with your child if you do the speaking and singing?  Use this tool to review letter sounds and create words and messages with your child!


Free Eco-Friendly Materials for Your Child

Go HERE to get free posters and kits from the Enviromental Protection Agency.  It’s never too early to teach your children to respect our enviroment.

  More Pampers Village Coupon Codes.

 I tried all of these today and they all worked; worth 10 points each!


Potty Training Party

This made me laugh out loud.  Some may think it’s a crazy idea but I love it!  Check out what JollyMom did to help her son get potty trained.  Go HERE for details and pictures.

Free Bible Reading Bookmarks

Free Birthday Message

Go HERE to join Madeline’s Birthday Club. Once you are a member you will be signed up for a free personalized birthday message for your child.  

Save the Date

Children’s Cosignment Sale March 18th in Virginia Beach
More Details coming soon…..
Free Huggies Potty Kit!!
Go HERE to sign up

Homemade diaper rash treatment

Ok, we’ve all been there…a nasty diaper rash on our baby.  We wonder how it got there and how to make it go away.  My son never got one until we started solid foods; specifically apples and tomato sauce (to the horror of my italian husband).  I tried everything from Desitin to breast milk (suggested by the doctor; it actually worked a little) but nothing would make the rash go completely away.  So I did what many of us do, I hit the internet.  While searching I came upon a home remedy chat room and found my cure to diaper rash. 

Mix equal parts of vaseline and corn starch to make a paste.

It’s that simple and inexpensive!  My son’s diaper rash was gone in 24 hours and now anytime he looks like he may even be getting a slight one, I use the mixture and it’s gone after that diaper change!  Not only do I love love love this solution because it works and makes little Will’s bottom all better, it costs next to nothing when compared to popluar products such as Desitin (although I still use Desitin as a preventive).  For those of you wondering, this mixture is doctor approved.  It is a little messy to make but the benefits far outweigh the mess. 

When and What to Buy?
So the Carter’s store by my house is having a huge sale right now until the 15th of this month.  I needed to buy something to send as a shower gift to my brother in law, plus I had a 15% off coupon so I decided to check it out.  There was soooo much on sale!  I ended up getting 12 items for $34.00 after sales and coupons (not all for my niece).  They had shorts and T-shirts on sale for $5.00 a piece and just about everything fall/winter was $4.99 or less!  I was so excited and could have bought more but decided not to.  There were a couple of reasons for this; One, I didn’t want to spend that much money.  Two, I was unsure about what sizes to buy for Will.  The items I was tempted to buy were $1.99 each (crazy good deal) but there were all winter.  So the question is, do I assume he will be 2T, 3T, or??? by next winter?  What do other moms do.. skip the awesome prices or make a guess?  Is there some formula that I don’t know about?  Am I over thinking the whole process? 

Helping New Readers

When our 14 year old son was around 5, we wanted to help him to be able to recognize printed words for items around the house.  I made index cards labeling everything from the front door to the television to the fridge.  It only took about a month and he was recognizing these words in books also.  This is a trick I learned in college while getting my education degree and it worked great!  We intend on doing it again with Will.