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How to Create Moments for Your Family This Summer

There are few things that feel more rewarding for a parent than creating a memorable moment for your child. Since kids are already out of their normal routine, summer is a perfect opportunity to create moments that your child will remember and reflect on for years to come.

In their book, The Power of Moments, Chip Heath and Dan Heath explain how defining moments can shape our lives, but they also emphasize that we don’t have to wait for them to happen; we can create them intentionally. When we make the effort to shake up our routines and do something special for our kids — even something small or seemingly insignificant — the impact can create special moments our kids will treasure.

Since getting started is often the hardest part of creating something, hopefully these ideas will help you begin the process of creating moments for your kids this summer!

  • Host a #GOALS night for your family: Encourage each person in the family to set a goal for the summer — anything from reading a specific number of books, to riding your bike at least three days each week, to performing one act of kindness each day. At the end of the summer, have a fun meal or go on a special outing to celebrate all of the goals your family achieved!
  • Create a summer experience jar together: Give each person in your family three to five slips of paper. On each piece of paper, they should write down something fun they’d like to do as a family this summer. Fold all the paper slips and put them in a jar. Periodically throughout the summer, let someone in the family choose a random slip from the jar. As quickly as possible, make that family experience happen!
  • Learn a new skill with your kid: Find something you and your child would both like to learn to do, and then find a way to learn it together! You could check your local community center to see if they offer any special classes over the summer, or ask a skilled friend to help you get started. YouTube and Pinterest also have nearly endless supplies of tutorial videos or instructional guides available for you to use at your convenience.
  • Let your child orchestrate a family experience: With older kids, try letting your kid plan an entire family day that you’ll all participate in! Give them a budget and any necessary guidelines, then let them use the computer or local travel guides to map out what the family will do that day.
  • Work together to create a moment for someone else: Think of someone you know who could use some kind of assistance, whether it’s an elderly neighbor who needs help weeding her flower beds or a new mother who would appreciate someone making dinner for her family. Encourage your kids to help you meet that person’s need, then have your kids write them a note or color them a picture expressing how much your family cares about them. In the process of coming together to do something meaningful for someone else, you’ll likely create a special moment among yourselves as well!

To help your family begin creating moments together this summer, we’re giving away three eKidz Family Fun Packs! To enter to contest:

  • Follow @elevationekidz on Instagram.
  • Like the Elevation eKidz page on Facebook.
  • Tag 2 parents on this post & share what moment you’d like to create with your child this summer!

We’d also love to hear about the great moments your family creates this summer, so don’t forget to tag us when you share them on social media.


4 Ways to Celebrate Easter as a Family

Easter is an exciting time for the church as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and ultimate triumph over sin. The holiday should be filled with enthusiasm and joy, but in the middle of all of the Easter basket shopping, Easter egg hunts, and family lunches (not to mention preparing for spring break!), the weeks and days leading up to Easter can feel chaotic instead of celebratory.

Anything in addition to these “expected” activities can feel like extra work and even diminish the excitement of Easter. If this is where you find yourself this Easter, or even if you’re just looking for some fun additional activities to try this year, we’re here to help!

We want to equip your family with some practical ways to prepare your hearts and celebrate together this Easter. CLICK HERE to download the “4 Ways You Can Celebrate Easter as a Family” guide for some fun ideas and activities that can fit into your family’s flow this Easter.

Want to win one of the Easter books mentioned in the guide? Head over to our eKidz Instagram account or Facebook page for your chance to win!


Throwback Thursday: Dream Edition


This weekend, Pastor Steven taught about “The Danger of a Dream.” We took a look at the dreams God gave Joseph to see that:

  • A dream makes you different.
  • A dream can become a distraction.
  • A dream must be developed.

Pastor Steven showed us that Joseph didn’t follow his dream. Joseph followed God and his dream followed him. Sometimes our situation might look different than our dream, but we can trust God in the process and remember that when we focus on following Him, our dreams will follow us.

Pastor Steven’s sermon reminded us of one of our previous eKidz series, Dr. Oz: The Dream Catcher, when we took a look at the life of Joseph to learn about honor. In this series, our friend Dr. Oldman was having some strange dreams of his own. Check out the first episode!

Learn more about Joseph together as a family! Read about Joseph in Genesis 37:5-3640:1-23, 41:33-43, 45 and discuss the following questions:

  • What happened in Joseph’s dreams? What did his dreams mean?
  • Do you think it was right for Joseph to tell his brothers about his dreams? Why or why not?
  • How did Pharaoh find out Joseph had the gift of interpreting dreams? (the cupbearer who was in prison with Joseph told him)
  • When Pharaoh asked Joseph to interpret his dream how did Joseph respond? (he said that he could not do it but that God could)
  • Did the dreams happen the way Joseph had predicted they would?

 

You can check out Pastor Steven’s sermon, “The Danger of a Dream” on the Elevation site, App, podcast, and YouTube


Family Friendly Podcasts

Gearing up to spend a few hours in the car traveling for spring break? Looking for something new to do on the morning commute to school?

A podcast is a great way for the entire family to connect and do something together. Check out these family friendly podcasts that everyone in the car will love:

 

Circle Round
Thoughtfully-selected folktales from around the world featuring top talent from the stage and screen. The stories are captivating and compelling and are nearly always accompanied by a positive message or moral.
BEST FOR: preschool and younger elementary

 


Highlights Hangout
A monthly podcast that brings Highlights Magazine to life in a whole new way. It offers a unique audio spin on the stories, characters, puzzles, and jokes, tongue twisters, poems, and wow-worthy science questions.
BEST FOR: preschool and younger elementary                                                                    

 

The Story of Pirates
Listen to a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisors and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater.
BEST FOR: ages 4-10

 

 

Pants on Fire
In the era of fake news, kids need to learn to be able to tell what’s true from what’s false. And what better way to do that than a game show that puts kids in the driver’s seat, adults on the hot seat, and a sound-effects robot strapped to the roof.
BEST FOR: younger tweens



The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
Finn and his friends Abigail, Elias and Vale are Explorers Troop 301, taking off from the Marlowe space station to explore uncharted planets, help the occasional alien, and solve a mystery that threatens to destroy the Marlowe.
BEST FOR: kids and tweens

 


Six Minutes
Eleven-year-old Holiday is pulled from the icy waters of Alaska with no memory of who she is or where she came from. Are her mom and dad really who they say they are? And when she begins to develop incredible abilities, she’ll soon discover she’s not alone in the world.
BEST FOR: tweens


Safari Toddlers :: March Parent Cue Article

 

If there’s one thing I can’t deny about my four-year-old Dylan, it’s that she likes to have fun. But, not your typical day to day type fun folks. She’s the kid that asks what we’re doing and where we’re going every five minutes just to make sure that every nanosecond of the day, fun is present.

Despite the fact that she has more toys than furniture in her room, going home is still absolutely dreadful in her little four-year-old mind. Because, well, it’s just not fun enough.

Maybe that’s true for your kid too. Maybe your little one is a fun-time-having enthusiast as well. Or, maybe your kid would rather curl up in a corner by themselves and read a good old book upside down. Whichever way your child leans, what I know to be true is that as parents, we all have to have a healthy balance of fun in our homes. No matter what type of kid you have, both types of kids, all kids, need both fun AND order in the home.

66such a beautiful way. She talks about this idea of pursuing the balance needed to stay in the middle of whichever “ends” of it you’re trying to pursue. And in this case, while fun is absolutely needed in the home, we are to pursue order and discipline as well. Julie says “We are to manage the tension between ENJOYING this day and EQUIPPING for one day.”

And isn’t that a perfect description of what the balance of fun and order look like? We all want to enjoy our kids, right? But, in the same breath, we know that we also have to be consistent with order so that we can one day stare into the eyes of our kind, responsible, loving adults.

So, how do you do that? How do you ensure that you’re balancing the right amount of fun and order into your home?

I’m so glad you asked!

Because of my childhood and how strict my father was, I am absolutely the parent that leans towards order and discipline in my home. I have the hardest time maintaining fun with my four-year-old, especially because she’s a fun maniac. I’m always questioning if she’s getting the right amount of order that will help her become a kind, responsible and loving adult. I get so afraid that she’s wanting so much fun, it’ll take away from the principles she should be learning.

Well, here are some things that I do to help stay in a healthy balance of both:

1. Being intentional about keeping fun games visible in our home.
Matching cards, puzzles and board games. I leave them right there on the counter and family tables so that if my little sees it, she’s bound to ask and I’m sure to remember that it may be time for a game.

2. Creating family tradition days
Friday’s are movie nights. Saturday’s always include some type of outdoor activity, if weather permits. And, I refer to the Parent Cue App daily for the fun activities that go along with bible stories and verses.

3. Building a behavior chart
Or as we like to call it “Dylan’s Good Girl Chart” (see what we did there). This helps infuse both order (it outlines the things that we want her to work on) and fun (the rewards for great behavior are all quality time fun-based).

4. Trying my best to stay in tune with my little
I know Dylan loves to have loads of fun, so I try to really focus on how she’s feeling in the moment. I can tell when she’s just on a fun marathon and has had enough fun and when I’ve given her so much energy towards order and discipline that she needs a break for some fun.

You know your child better than anyone else. So, use your instinct. Use your experience to pick up on the cues he or she gives you. And, remember this; there will be seasons of unbalance. There will be times where more order and discipline are needed to really equip your future adult and so you’ll have to give a whole bunch of that. Then there will be those incredible seasons that we all wait for, where we get to just simply enjoy our littles, play in the sand, create pretend worlds, and laugh until we snort.

No matter what season you’re in, know this; your kind, responsible and loving future adult needs nothing else but you. Keep parenting guys, we got this.

For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.