New Year Survival Kit

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Fun activities, printables, and more to help you and your family get organized and get on track for the new year.NEW Survival KitYearNEW Survival KitYearAt, we give parents and teachers the information they need and the ideas they want to bring learning to life.Looking for more inspiration? Visit to discover curriculum-based activities, printable worksheets, articles, videos, a rich community, and school reviews.For ParentsTen Tips for Smoother MorningsHow to win the War on ClutterFor KidsGet Up and Go! Flip CardsKid Friendly Chore ChartClock Activity PlacematFor FamiliesMake a Family Photo CalendarMake a Homework Caddy KitSpace Saver: Create a Notebook Holder1361112151719Table ofCONTENTSForParentsFor more parenting help and advice, go to ten tricks for smoother mornings How would you describe the time from when your alarm goes off to when the bus screeches to a halt outside your door? If youre like most parents it boils down to total, utter chaos. Youre not alone. We all tend to leave stuff we have to do to the last minute, says Jamie Novak an organizational expert and author of 1000 Best Quick and Easy Time-Saving Strategies. A list of seemingly small tasks can easily add up, and because theres only so much time in the morning, everything becomes rushed, explains Novak. There are, however, a number of ways you can make mornings go smoothly. Try these tips to give your kids a good, stress-free start to the school day.Make meals easy. Cut down lunch prep time by preparing lunchboxes while fixing dinner. Youve already got a lot of food out, notes Novak, And this way, youll only have one post-meal clean up. You can also streamline breakfast by setting the table the night before, and by skipping foods that take lots of time to prepare.Have some mom time. Get up 15 to 30 minutes before your crew so youll have time to browse the paper, feed the dog, or just sit and have a peaceful cup of coffee. If you ease into your morning, youll be less likely to feel stressed and take your anxious feelings out on your kids.Pack backpacks in advance. Sure, youve heard it before, but packing up in advance is an essential step to keeping morning craziness to a minimum. When your child finishes his homework, have him pack up all of the books, permission slips, instruments, gym clothes and everything else he may need for the next day. Adding this to the homework routine prevents you from having to worry about last minute scrambles and forgotten papers.Ten Tricks for Smoother MorningsBy Alisa stoudtTurn time into a game. Use timers to motivate children. Kids love the challenge and game of beating a timer, says Novak. Theyll sprint around the house completing their tasks just to beat the clock.Check the weather the night before. Whats worse than scrambling to find your childs missing rain boot when you wake up to pouring rain? Get in the habit of checking the weather the night before so youll have umbrellas, jackets, and hats at the ready.Plan transportation. If there is no bus service in your neighborhood, see if you can find other parents to join you in a carpool. When youre responsible for getting other peoples children to school on time, youll have extra motivation to get out the door. Novak suggests using online calendars to organize the carpool so that everyone will have easy access to the latest version of the schedule.Select outfits the night before. If your little fashionista has to try on tons of clothing before settling on the perfect outfit, start the process the night before--and narrow down her options. Hang or store clothing you dont want your child wearing to school in a different place from her school clothes, suggests Kathy Peel, author of The Family Manager book series. This way, screaming matches over wearing princess outfits in public can be saved for the weekend.Designate a launch pad. Be it an entryway cubby contraption or just your kitchen counter, establish a place where children can store all of the items they need for the next day. It can be helpful for this spot to be right by the door so items can be dropped upon entering the house and picked up when leaving.Make it a team effort. Encourage children to help each other get out the door by turning them into a team with some sort of group reward or privilege, suggest Novak. Kids will think: If we all get out the door on time, something good will happen, so here, let me help you put your backpack on and tie your shoes,-- it gets everybody involved in getting out the door.Think outside of the box. Avoid morning bathroom congestion by storing brushes and hair bands in the kitchen (where you usually end up using them) rather than the bathroom, suggests Novak. Also consider adding a mirror outside of the bathroom or in the kitchen to help alleviate some of the bathroom mirror backup.2Articles ten tricks for smoother mornings3Articles how to win the wAr on clutter Where, oh where, did my tennis shoe go? Has this tune become your kids national anthem? Is living with their belongings strewn under the beds and between the sofa cushions causing you to attack and retreat? If so, the time has come to round up the forces and chart a new course. Surprisingly, winning the war on clutter is not as challenging as you might think.Take it from professional organizer Karen Fritscher-Porter, yelling at the kids to pick up their toys, t-shirts, socks, and school books isnt the answer. Kids are pros at turning a deaf ear when it comes to clean up. Give them a reason to believe theres fun involved and youve got buy-in. With time and patience, you can transform your home from so-so to shipshape. Below are a few tricks of the trade:Set ground rules. Mobilize the troops and lay down the law. Every item must have a home; discard old items to make room for new ones. If stuffed lions and tigers run rampant on your daughters bed, let her choose one or two favorites. The rest go to a non-profit where kids less fortunate appreciate well-loved pets.Color code the kids. Crates, containers, and closet organizers come in a rainbow of colors. Go shopping for storage supplies and let them color code themselves. Red bins for fire trucks, puzzles, and color crayons; pink for Barbie dolls, swim fins, and dress-up clothes. Dont forget desk organizers and hangers for their closets.Bring on the fun. Make it easy for the kids to remember what goes where. Let them design their own labels. They can either write or draw a picture identifying contents. Attach labels to containers with clear packaging tape. Laundry bins go under a kid-sized basketball hoop; CDs are stored in holders resembling ladybugs.How to Win the War on Clutter By Patricia smith Create a mini-museum. Stacks of paintings, drawings and paperwork stifle desks and homework space. Kids love to display their creativity. Frame a few pieces of favorite artwork and hang them up. Add a cork board to display birthday cards, postcards, buttons, and photos.Once is not enough. Putting everything in its place goes a long way toward keeping a tidy household. Designate a Clean Up day once a month and your kids will develop good housekeeping habits that will serve them well - all the way into adulthood.4Articles how to win the wAr on clutter For more worksheets and printables, go to get up And go! flip cArdsDone7Doneworksheets get up And go! flip cArdsDone8worksheets get up And go! flip cArdsDone9worksheets get up And go! flip cArds10Donepack Backpackworksheets get up And go! flip cArdsworksheets kid-friendly chore chArt11Missouri FUN Page!WORD SEARCHCan you find the words from the list below? They might horizontal, vertical or backward.Unscramble the letters to make the capital of Missouri:N O F R J E S E FT Y C I_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ ANSWER: JEFFERSON CITYHawthornSt. LouisSoy BeansOzarksLake WappapelloAlgonquianMissouri WaltzMuleColor the Missouri State Flag:Color key:A F S Y O R R J X Y O T M B P HN E T J O B F O T X V O X U A ES M L L B D P I X H K T D E I SM H O N A I U Q N O G L A Y S JO X U H H A W T H O R N E G W MZ G I Y H S N A E B Y O S K N XA Q S M I S S O U R I W A L T ZR N B C O H Q T R W M A A A I YK V L K B Q B E S G M U L E D FS O L A K E W A P P A P E L L OQUIZWhat is Missouris nickname?ANSWER:THE SHOW ME STATEThe Look There StateThe See This StateThe Show Me State1110987Cut along the dotted line, then line up with the second page and tape or glue them together to make your placemat!What time is it?Lets practice telling time with this Clock Placemat.Use a fork for the hour hand and a spoon for the minutes hand.What time do you eat breakfast?What time do you eat lunch?What time do you eat dinner?12Worksheets CloCk ACtivity PlACemAtMiss ouri FUN Page!WORD SEA RCHCan you fi nd the w ords f rom the list bel ow? They m ight hor izontal, ver tical or backward.Unsc ramble the letters to make the capital of Misso ur i:NOFRJESEFTY CI_____________ ANSWER: JEFFERSON CITYHawtho rnSt. LouisSoy Bean sOzarksLake Wappape lloAlgonqui anMiss ouri WaltzMuleColor th e Miss ou ri State Flag:Color key:AFSY ORRJXY OTMBPHNETJ OB FOTX VO XUAESMLLBDPIXHKTDEISM HONAIUQNOGLA YS JOX UHHA W THORNEGWMZGIY HSNAEB YO SKN XAQ SMISSO UR IW AL TZRNBCOHQTRWMAAAIYKVLKBQBESG MU LEDFSOLAKE WA PP AP EL LOQUIZWhat is Missouris nickname?ANSWER:THE SHOW ME STATEThe Look There StateThe See This StateThe Show Me State12635421Tape or glue first page here.What time is it now??? :??What time do you go to school?What time do you go to sleep?Worksheets CloCk ACtivity PlACemAt13For more worksheets and printables, go to mAke A fAmily photo cAlendArWhat You Need: 13 sheets of colored card stock 12 copies of our calendar month template Three-hole punch 3 small metal rings Variety of family photos Glue stick Craft Supplies (markers, glitter, embellishments, etc.)Compile a Family Photo CalendarMaking a calendar is a great activity to prepare your family for the coming year! It gives your child an opportunity to reflect on the past year, and to make plans for his near future.This particular calendar will feature your childs favorite family photos, making it an ultra-special keepsake for family members! It will also assist your little one in remembering the order of months, the dates of specific holidays, and even when important birthdays fall.By Melanie williAmson16Activities mAke A fAmily photo cAlendArWhat You Do:1. Go online and find a printable monthly calendar template for the next year. Print that out on white paper to use for the calendar.2. Instruct your child to use the glue stick to glue each printed month to one piece of colored card stock.3. Have your child put the months in order as they would appear in the calendar. When he is done, December should be on the bottom of the pile with January on the top.4. Ask your child to use the three-hole punch to punch holes in the top of each sheet including the 13th sheet, which your child did not glue a month to. The 13th sheet of card stock will be used for the front cover.5. Help your child slide three small metal rings through the holes to attach all the sheets of card stock together.6. Pull out your family photos for your child to look through. As you are both looking through the photos, you can spend a little time sharing with each other what you remember was happening in the photos. 7. Encourage your child to pick out one photo for each month. Encourage him to pick photos that go along with the theme of the month. For example, he can pick a picture form the previous years Thanksgiving to use for the November page. He can pick out a picture of the family going to see fireworks for the July page.8. Open the calendar so that the back of the front cover and the month of January are visible. 9. Instruct your child to use the glue stick to glue the picture she chose for January to the back of the front cover. 10. Allow your child to use the craft supplies that he picked out to decorate the sheet around the photo. Encourage your child to get as creative and colorful as possible for this part! 11. Continue through the calendar until all the pictures are matched up their appropriate months, and your child has done all of the decorating that he wishes!12. Have your child pick out his favorite family photo to glue on the front cover, and then decorate the cover with other art materials.13. Go through each month of the calendar and help your child decide what events he wants included in the calendar. For example, you can write in the birthdays of each family member, all the major holidays, and any other important family dates.Once the new year starts, hang the calendar where the whole family can see it, and allow your child to flip over the page each month! Give your child the spotlight for a moment each month: Have him take a minute and explain why he chose each particular picture and go over any important dates that fall within that month.Activities mAke A homework cAddy kitWhat You Need:A plastic tool caddy with a sturdy carrying handle and at least one pocket large enough for a clipboard, and several small pockets the right size for pens. (Note: you can find these at both hardware stores and craft stores)Clipboard with two kinds of paper: binder paper and plain white paperPens, pencils, colored pencils, pencil sharpener6 rulerWhite-outGlue StickScissorsSmall staplerTape Dispenser5x8 Index cardOptional: sticky-back felt shapes and glitter glueMake a Homework Caddy KitParents, youve probably noticed by now: its a rare kid these days who will always study at a desk. Sure a desk is a nice idea, but if you ask kids themselves, many will give you some pretty convincing arguments about why they do their best thinking when theyre flopped on the floor or the couch. Or both!If thats the story in your house try meeting your kid halfway with this creative and practical traveling desk.By Julie williAms1718What You Do:1. To get started, invite your child to decorate the outside of her caddy. If she makes it personal and makes it snazzy, its much more likely that this practical homework helper will be used a lot! Have your child write her name on the 5x8 index card, and decorate it brightly with colored markers, foam stickers and glitter glue if she likes.2. Tape it securely to the front of the caddy.3. Load up! The biggest pouch of your caddy will hold the clipboard, a crucial part of the kit. Choose a clipboard in a color your child likes (and consider decorating it, toosee our related activity!), and load it with several sheets of paper.4. Place extra paper upright in the caddy, behind the clipboard, so its convenient for future use.5. Pens and pencils are also crucial parts of the kit. For subjects like math and science or for first drafts of essays, theres nothing like good old fashioned erasable pencilbut be sure to pack in a manual pencil sharpener for emergencies. For final essay drafts, blue and black pen is usually required, so include those as well. Finally, make sure youve included a generous pack of colored pencils or pens. Throughout elementary school, kids draw as well as write, and when lab sciences start in middle and high school, theyll just keep going. You and your child can load her kit together and decide where she would like things and why. 6. Finally, youll need to add those other basic tools that your child may not use all the time, but are still good to have on hand: a 6 ruler, small stapler, small pair of scissors, white-out, and a roll of tape. You can do all the shopping together when youre stocking up.7. Keep the caddy in a convenient spot, on shelf or table, and invite your child to pull it out whenever its homework time. No matter where she flops, you can relax: shell have what she needs to get the job done!Activities mAke A homework cAddy kitActivities spAce sAver: creAte A noteBook holderWhat You Need: Empty cereal box X-acto knife or craft cutter Ruler or straightedge Pencil Glue Decorative paper or fabric Markers, colored pencils, or pens Variety of decorations like buttons, motifs, sequins, etc.Space Saver: Create a Notebook HolderFor some kids, its hard to keep track of all the homework that goes home. Even harder, if papers are loose and notebooks are scattered all over the place. Does your child have a hard time keeping track of her notebooks? Heres an easy project that has your child organizing her space by upcycling empty cereal boxes to create a handy, one-of-a-kind notebook holder.By Amy BrAyfield19What You Do:1. Using your knife, carefully cut the top off the cereal box.2. Use the ruler to draw a diagonal line down the front and back of the box, from the top corners to about 3 above the bottom corners.3. Draw another line across the short end of the box where the lines are lowest, connecting the two lines. Use your knife to carefully cut along the lines.4. Now decorate the box however you wish to match you or your childs own style! Use the paper or fabric and glue to line the box; its nice to use contrasting paper to line the inside and cover the outside. Add decorations or draw motifs and designs on the paper as you see fit. If you want to recycle old objects, wallpaper scraps are also good for this project.Voil! Now your child doesnt have to hunt for her lost notebooks again with this fun and personal organizer. You can also use this project as a great by-the-door spot to store things like picture money and PTA forms.Activities mAke A homework cAddy kit20