Tag Archives: single mom

Homemade Eggshell Dyes

Dyed and decorated eggshells can be displayed at times other than Easter. Of course you don’t want to keep decorated hard boiled eggs around for a long time.  The trick is to use only the shells.  Once you blow the egg itself out of the shell, clean the shell and added drop a few drops of white or clear glue to make it stronger, the egg shells can be decorated according to the skill level of the family member.

Blow out the Eggshell

It’s fairly easy to remove the raw egg from the eggshell and prepare it for decorating. All you need are the raw eggs, a large safety pin or long sewing needle, a container to catch the egg and water to clean the egg.

Insert the pin or needle to each end of the egg. You may need to exert a bit of pressure to make the hole. Push the pin down into the egg and twist to break up the membrane and pierce the egg yolk. Hold the egg over the container and blow the contents of the eggshell into the container. It’s just like blowing up a balloon.

Completely rinse the egg with clean water and let it dry. To give extra stability to the dry egg shell, put a few drops of white glue inside and around the holes you have pierced.

Coloring the Eggshells

There are many types of packaged dyes in the stores to color Easter eggs, but you can make your own with food coloring and vinegar. Don’t worry about the variety of colors. You can mix your own with red, yellow and blue food coloring. These are primary colors.

Mix:

  • Red and yellow to get orange
  • Blue and yellow make green
  • Red and blue make purple.

For each color use:

  • 2/3 cup of very hot water
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 15 drops food color

Use metal or glass containers for the dyes so that you don’t stain china or plastic dishes.

It only takes about 30 seconds of immersion for the eggshell to pick up a lovely pastel color. Let the egg soak longer for deeper colors.

Decorating the Eggshell

Use a wax crayon to draw on the eggshell before dropping it into the dye. The wax will prevent the color from penetrating the eggshell, leaving a pattern.

Before dying the egg, attach stickers of various shapes. Once the dye has dried, remove the stickers to uncover the shapes that haven’t been colored.

Wrap rubber bands around the eggshell before plunging it into the dye. When dry, take off the bands to reveal the lines left by the protection of the rubber bands.

Marbleize an eggshell by adding a few drops of vegetable oil to the container of dye. The areas that touch the oil before the dye will not absorb the dye, leaving a beautiful effect.

Remember, homemade crafts are a great and easy way to entertain your kids any time of the year!

When Reading Levels and Maturity Levels Differ

Moms know that an important part of improving their child’s reading ability is by having them read more. Reading to a young child is more likely to make the child want to read as they become older. Once they start to look forward to the trips to the library and the ability to choose their own reading material, the substance of the reading material becomes an issue for many single moms.

Books are usually organized and rated by grade level. Reading scores are also given as grade levels. Unfortunately, the level at which your child reads is not always the same as the grade level of your child. This can cause quite a gap in how the maturity level of your child compares to the book content.

If your child has trouble reading and scores at a lower grade level, the reading materials that he can read by himself are often written for a lower maturity level that the child has reached. This may make the child lose interest in the reading material that he sees as being babyish. Once the child loses interest in reading on his own, it’s hard to bring the excitement of books back. This will further limit the growth in his reading skills.

Be on the lookout for books on subjects the child is interested in. If the slower reader finds the subject matter exciting, the child is more likely to read everything they can on the topic and not pay attention to the vocabulary structure of the information. It’s the topic that they find exciting, not the way the sentences are structured.

For the single mom who is the parent of a child who reads well beyond their grade level, the content of the material also plays an important part in choosing appropriate reading material. A third grader who reads at a ninth grade reading level would have no problem reading the books in the young adult section of the local library, but does the maturity level of the child match with the content of the book that is targeted toward a teenager?

A single mom whose child’s reading skills are not at the standardized level may need assistance when it comes to monitoring what her child is reading. A meeting with the child’s school teachers will give both mom and instructor insights into the ability to read and the ability to understand and enjoy what is read. The teacher may have a list of appropriate reading materials that will keep the child interested and still allow their reading skills to increase.

The librarian, also, is often familiar with the content of the books in the library and is able to offer guidance as to whether certain books are appropriate for the emotional maturity of your child.

In some cases, the single mom may just have to read the book for herself before giving it to the child whose reading skills are far beyond emotional maturity.

 

Is Your Childs Physical Fitness Linked to Brain Development?

The goal of the single mom is to provide the best environment for her child to thrive physically and emotionally. Who knew that she could also influence the development of her child’s brain by encouraging and providing a healthy lifestyle?

Most parents know that proper diet and exercise cause a child to perform better in school, but until recently, specific reasons for the improvement were not documented.

Deep within the human brain is an area called the hippocampus. This is a known area of the brain that plays an important part in the learning development and memory. Previous brain studies done on animals have shown that the hippocampus showed healthy improvement when the animals were exercised. New neurons grew and the cells in this area of the brain lived longer.

Using MRI’s on children during exercise showed that oxygen in the brain was utilized quicker. For the tests, the studies were made while the children exercised on treadmills. Further studies of the hippocampus in children showed interesting results.

Comparisons of physically fit children and those who were not as physically active showed differences in the size of the hippocampal area of the brain.

When the hippocampal area of the brain was compared, it was discovered that the volume of the area was approximately 12 percent higher, relative to the brain size total, in children who were physically fit.

Relational memory was also improved in children who are physically fit.

The researchers are suggesting that parents who work to promote physical activity could be improving the brain development of their child.

Previous studies have been target toward measuring school performance toward physical fitness by analyzing the body mass of the child and standardized academic test scores. This study tested the children in fifth and seventh grade to compare their level of fitness and track academic performance increases. This study indicated that as a child became more physically fit, their academic progress improved.

Now the single mom has three reasons to make sure that her child is exposed to healthy physical exercise. The first, of course, is the overall health of the child. But learning potential and learning capacity are also benefits not to be ignored.

 

Educational Board Games for Family Night

Educational board games might cost a lot of money, especially when compared to all of the online games available that help children learn. But, the single mom knows that too much time spent on the computer isn’t good for any child, and a game that the whole family can enjoy together will mean a lot more to her family than just another way to learn.

But, since learning is the main objective of educational board games, they should be chosen with care. When shopping for the board game, mom should pay attention to the age level the game is geared to. Often a younger sibling can join in the fun of the board game just because they are willing to learn to keep up with an older brother or sister. A few nights of game playing is usually all the child needs to be a competitor in a game that is suggested for the age level of the oldest child.

Board games can be found for most areas of a child’s education, from math, spelling, vocabulary, geography and social studies to basic techniques like drawing and memorization.  Some board games offer a combination of learning opportunities.

A game that is too complex will not be any fun at all and the educational benefits will be lost. This will just be a waste of time and money as the frustrated child may not be willing to try again at a later date. While not all board game choices will be winners, mom should take care when purchasing the game and try to find one that matches the ability and the interests of the kids.

Board games help a child build their individual skills at the same time as the family is building bonds. The social interaction within the family is as important to the developing child as the lessons being learned by playing the game.

The most important benefit of choosing the right educational board game for the family is that the child is having fun as a part of the family and is learning without really knowing it.

 

A Bump on the Head or a Concussion?

As any single mom knows, kids fall, run into things and have things run into them. How is the single mom to know if their child has a simple boo-boo or a concussion when their heads are bumped?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, signs of a concussion should be looked for with any forceful bump or jolt to the child that causes a rapid movement of the head. If the child appears to be behaving differently or exhibits a change in the way they are processing information or if physical functions are abnormal, it’s possible that they have been injured without you even knowing.

If your child complains that they have a headache or feel pressure in their head, check for evidence that they may have been in a mishap that may have caused a concussion. Nausea or vomiting, dizziness and balance problems are also symptoms. If the child shows sensitivity to light or noise, or complains that their vision is blurry or shows confusion, a concussion may be to blame. Sometimes, after an injury, the child may complain that they just don’t feel right.

Symptoms of a concussion don’t always show up immediately following an injury – the child may not complain or show the effects for several days.

If a child shows any of the above symptoms, call the doctor immediately and describe not only the symptoms but the mishap that caused the symptoms. If your child has a bump on the head and you can not console him or stop him from crying or if he refuses to eat or nurse, take him to the emergency room right away.

Most concussion recoveries are quick, but sometimes it can take weeks for a person who has suffered a concussion to fully recover. It’s also important for the single mom to remember that a person who has suffered a concussion in the past is more likely to suffer another one. Each occurrence of concussion makes it likelier that it will take more time to recover from the injury completely.