6 Ways to Encourage Hands-On Play With Kids

My kids are at ages now (6 and 8) where they’re busy with school, activities, and play with friends instead of mom and dad. (The picture above is one of my favorites, but it’s from back from E was only 3. So tiny!) When they were home more, learning through hands on play was an all day affair. Now I’m discovering that we need to be intentional and set aside time for it. Here are some of the ways I do that.

1. Take a step back. I’m going to start with this one because even as my kids get older, I still naturally feel a pull to be involved in everything they do. While I think it’s important to play with them, I also remind myself when I need to take a step and let them use their imaginations without any parent intervention. It’s amazing what they can do when they’re fully in charge of play.

2. Give them moldable objects. Slime may have ruined my sofa (long, painful story), but the truth is it’s great for great hands on, sensory based activity. Play dough and kinetic sand are as well.   

3. Give them building blocks. Whether wooden blocks or LEGOs, building blocks are incredible for encouraging kids to be creative, and they’re great for tuning fine motor skills as well. Both my kids love playing with them, and have since they were toddlers.

4. Give them art and craft supplies. I literally pile a table with a random selection of art and crafts supplies, and they both just go to town. Making art or building a craft is an easy and incredibly effective way for kids to learn with their hands. My son make something – from books out of printer paper to instruments out of mac and cheese boxes – every single day, and the older it gets, the more intricate they get. It’s fascinating to watch


5. Send them outside. I’m not an expert, but in my opinion, there is no better way to learn from hands on play then by just going outside. Riding a bike or scooter, playing backyard baseball, running barefoot in the grass, playing in the leaves, drawing with sidewalk chalk… It’s all hands on and it all encourages learning. 
6. Make sensory bins. Even my 8 year old still loves these! I love these! The possibilities are endless too. We’ve filled them with everything from dry beans to autumn leaves to cereal and more. Sensory bins are especially great for toddlers, and can be the perfect introduction to hands on learning.

I hope these tips are helpful. I’ll share more soon!

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Vegetarian Oven Nachos

Vegetarian Oven Nachos

You guys know how much I love tacos, but believe it or not, I like nachos even better.  And I have the most divine oven nacho recipe to share. They’re vegetarian, but you won’t miss the meat at all. They’re full of yummy black beans, cheese, and spices, and topped with tangy salsa, spicy jalapeños, and avocado. 

Vegetarian Oven Nachos
Vegetarian Oven Nachos
Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS

1/2 bag tortilla chips 
1 can black beans 
5 cups shredded cheese
3/4 tsp chili powder 
1/4 tsp cumin 
1/4 tsp garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1-1/2 cups thick salsa
1 fresh jalapeño, sliced 
1/2 avocado, cubed 
lime
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Drain and rinse black beans. In a bowl, mix chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Add a single layer of tortilla chips on a baking sheet. Spread beans evenly on tortilla chips. Cover with cheese. Sprinkle with spice mixture. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until cheese is melted. Top with CHI-CHI’s® Thick & Chunky Salsa, avocado, and jalapeño slices. Squeeze on a little lime. Serve immediately.
Vegetarian Oven Nachos
These oven nachos make for a delicious snack, or even a meal. Enjoy!  
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Book Review ~ The Edge of Never by J .A. Redmerski

 

Title: The Edge of Never
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Publish Date: March 12, 2013


 


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Plant-Based Salsa Soup

Plant-Based Salsa Soup

This is an updated version of a super easy, super delicious late summer/early fall soup I’ve shared here before. We made it this past weekend and it was a hit with the whole family. It doesn’t take long, uses staple ingredients you probably have on hand, and is completely plant-based!

Plant-Based Salsa Soup
Plant-Based Salsa Soup
serves 4
INGREDIENTS
4 cups salsa 
2 cups of vegetable broth  
1 can black beans
2 cups corn kernels
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 limes
cumin
chili powder
black pepper
sea salt
1 avocado, cubed
scallions or cilantro, chopped

In a pot or large saucepan sauté garlic in a coconut or olive oil for 1 minute. Add salsa, black beans, corn, and 1 cup of vegetable broth, and heat over medium heat. Add remainder of veggie broth as needed.  Squeeze in the juice of of the limes. Add chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and sea salt to taste. Once fully heated, serve immediately in soup bowls. Top each bowl of soup with cubed avocado and chopped scallions.  

My husband like to eat this cold as well. It’s also great with crushed tortilla or corn chips on top!

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Autumn Giveaway! Win a $200 Gaia Conceptions Gift Card

Gaia Conceptions Sustainable Fashion
I may cling to summer with the tips of my fingernails, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love getting a few new pieces of really great fall clothing as the seasons change. You guys know how much I love our long time partner and friend Gaia Conceptions‘ gorgeous, sustainable clothing, and I’m very excited to team up with them again to give you one of you a $ 200 gift card to grab some new fall pieces for yourself! (Scroll down to enter!)
Gaia Conceptions offers a wide variety of genuinely beautiful eco-friendly clothing and accessory items, all designed and made by hand in the USA. Ordering their clothing is a truly customized experience – you choose color, fabric, and size. They’re genuinely one of my all time favorite clothing brands.
Gaia Conceptions Sustainable Fashion
Gaia Conceptions Sustainable Fashion
Fall Giveaway: Win a $  200 to Spend at Gaia Conceptions
$  200 to Gaia Conceptions Eco-Friendly Clothing
$  200 to Gaia Conceptions Eco-Friendly Clothing


Use the form below, and/or do the easy entry on on Instagram right here. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through the end of this Saturday September 17, 2022. It is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. All entries from the Rafflecopter form above and Instagram will be combined. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced here by end of day the following Monday.

Thank you to our friends at Gaia Conceptions for giving the Bubby and Bean family another chance to own some of their stunning apparel!  

UPDATE: Congrats to our randomly chosen winner, Samantha A. (@hooplovefireandflow on Instagram)!

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100+ White Dog Names for Your Fair Fur Baby

The color white symbolizes a new beginning, and what better way to celebrate your white dog’s new beginning than by giving your furry family member a name inspired by the color! We’ve rounded up over 100 white dog names for the dog who will color your world with joy! From girls’ and boys’ names that …

This post first appeared in DogTipper.com. Link to original post: 100+ White Dog Names for Your Fair Fur Baby

DogTipper

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What One Piece of Advice Would You Give Your Children?

If you all were here for my post last week, you will understand the whole thing with the 600 Brilliant Blog Post Ideas and where it came from, but if not, you can check it out here. If not, then read on.
#17 If you were only allowed to give your children one piece of advice, what would that be?

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Almond Butter Oatmeal

Almond Butter Maple Oatmeal

This super simple, semi-homemade oatmeal is perfect for busy mornings when you want something that will keep you full until lunch. It’s healthy too, and my kids love it!

Almond Butter Oatmeal
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons almond butter
3 cups water
1 cup quick Irish oatmeal
2-3 tablespoons real maple syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon
sliced bananas and strawberries to top

To prepare oatmeal, follow instructions on oatmeal packaging. (For quick Irish oatmeal, which is what we prefer, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add 1 cup of oats, and simmer for 5-7 minutes.) When oatmeal is cooked, stir in 2 tablespoons of almond butter. (Trader Joe’s Raw Almond Butter is our favorite.) Add 2-3 tablespoons of real maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Pour into bowls, and top each bowl with drizzled almond butter, drizzled maple syrup, banana and strawberry slices, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

My daughter even likes this for dinner. Enjoy!

 

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Socializing Your Golden Retriever


Socializing your Golden Retriever is very important. As you may already know, all dog breeds behave different in front of strangers, with some dogs choosing to ignore people altogether. They may choose to glance at someone, then go on to pay no attention to him. On the other hand, some dogs are the total opposite and love to meet everyone they can. These types of dogs love attention, and will take any attention they can get.

Some Golden Retrievers are happy with those they have come to know in their own family, or those they have selected to be friends. Others on the other hand, may feel comfortable just around those of the same sex. Most Golden’s like children, although there are a few rare cases in which certain types of Golden Retrievers like adults but not children. This is extremely rare, and is normally due to the way they were bred or raised.

When your puppy is between the ages of 8 weeks and 8 months, socializing him is extremely important. During this time, you should always do everything you can to ensure that your Golden Retriever meets other people. Although he may be shy at first and not have much interaction, he will eventually come around. You will need to be patient with him during these times, as he will need quite a bit of reassurance from you.

Your dog’s parents also contribute to socialization. If the parents of your Golden Retriever were good with people and other dogs, the gene could very well be passed on to your dog. On the other hand, if the parents were shy or aggressive dogs, those genes could be passed on as well. Pups inherit the traits of their parents ,which is why it is very important to make sure that the dogs being bred are compatible with each other – and share a passive temperament.

If your puppy was separated from his mother before he reached the age of seven weeks, he won’t learn many of the social signals taught to him by his mom and his siblings. Golden Retriever pups that are brought to a new home earlier than seven weeks will normally tend to end up nippy or aggressive around people. Although they may be aggressive towards people, they may be shy or fearful around other dogs, as they lack the social skills needed to be themselves.

Sometimes, if a puppy was injured or frightened during his early years, he can end up with a state of trauma. This type of thing leaves a huge scar in the mind of a puppy, making it very hard for him to get past it. Most Golden Retriever pups that have been injured or frightened by an individual never get past it. They may end up fearing humans in general, or being very aggressive towards them when they feel frightened. When you take your puppy home for the first time, you should always make him feel welcomed, and never let anyone or anything harm him.

To better socialize your Golden Retriever, you should always make sure that he gets plenty of interaction with other people and other dogs in his breed. This way, your Golden will learn how to socialize at any early age. When he gets older in life, he will carry these skills with him. Golden Retrievers that are sheltered or not given the proper amount of interaction will turn out shy towards people and other dogs. With your Golden being your companion for life – you should always ensure that he gets the socialization he needs.
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Eye And Heart Disease in Dogs


Eye disease is very common with Golden Retrievers. Most Golden’s will generally have hereditary cataracts, which is a common eye problem. At an early age, with affected Golden’s, one type of hereditary cataract will appear. Even though it may not cause interference with the vision of the Golden Retriever, some dogs will progress into total and quite possibly severe loss of vision.

Sometimes, Golden Retrievers can get affected by non hereditary cataracts, although an examination by a board certified veterinarian can determine just how bad the cataracts really are. If cataracts are indeed suspected with a Golden Retriever, then breeding won’t be recommended. Breeding a Golden who has this condition can lead to serious problems, such as passing it on to the pups.

Several families of the Golden Retriever breed have been known to carry genes for CPRA (Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy), which affects the retina, and can result in permanent blindness for Golden’s at a young age. There are other types of eye defects as well, such as retinal dysplasia, which prevents a Golden from breeding.

Trouble with both the eyelid and eyelashes are also a possibility with Golden Retrievers, with some being the result of hereditary factors. The eyelids rotating in or out, or the eyelashes rubbing on or in the eye are both common problems with the breed. Even though surgery can help to fix these types of problems, dogs that are experiencing this type of problem shouldn’t be allowed to breed nor compete in shows under any type of AKC rules.

You should always have your Golden Retriever checked annually for eye disease, as it can develop during any age. When you take your Golden to have him examined for eye disease, you should have a veterinary ophthalmologist do the exam. He has all of the necessary equipment, and the proper training needed to make sure that your dog gets the best examination possible.

Heart disease

SAS (Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis) is the most common and widespread form of heart disease within the entire Golden Retriever species. Before you breed your Golden Retriever, you should always have him examined for heart disease by a certified veterinary cardiologist. If the cardiologist detects a heart murmur, he will recommend additional tests for your dog.

In the event that the results prove negative, it doesn’t necessarily rule heart disease out, as some milder forms may still be present, although undetectable. If a Golden Retriever is diagnosed to have any type of heart disease, he should not breed. Breeding Golden Retrievers who have heart disease can lead to serious and sometimes fatal results. To be on the safe side, you should always have your Golden tested for his disease before you plan on breeding.
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