Posts Tagged “easy family activities”

Last Minute Summer Learning & Summer Brain Drain Challenges

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Try the Train Your Brain series for last minute summer learning.

This posts contains affiliate links and was #sponsored by Train Your Brain, by providing us review copies. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

Train Your Brain 2 (4)

Ok, it’s the end of the summer… are you sitting here thinking, “wow, we really didn’t get to library as I hoped” or “oops, we were too busy for puzzles and reading”?  With less than two weeks before Labor Day and the start for local schools, we’ve got you covered. Train Your Brain is the perfect summer series to squeeze in that summer learning you soooo intended to do. Really. There are six books in the series, packed (but not overwhelmingly packed) with puzzles and mind games to get the kids ready for school… while still poolside. Many of the activities don’t even require a pencil, just mentally solve and move on. Very cool as a shared family resource. And kinda fun for the grown-ups too.

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So let’s take a peek at two of the books we were issued for review: Train You Brain – Cranium Crunchers (fitting, right? LOL) and Train Your Brain – Perplexing Puzzles. Each have 84 puzzles that get increasingly more challenging. The books are broken into 3 sections: Super Brain, Mega Mind, and Ultra Genius. Each have a variety of activities, and both books have similar puzzle styles (obviously not the exact same puzzles).

Train Your Brain Inside Pic

Here’s what I like most… the puzzles are “doable” meaning not too intimidating and with quick instructions. Some people love a good crossword puzzle… for me, I don’t want to invest that much time into a single puzzle activity. I can’t help but think many children feel the same way… this Train Your Brain, the puzzles are challenging without being overly time consuming. Love it.

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Easy & Last Minute Earth Day Family Activities

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So you had the best Pinterest intentions, and perhaps you even got off on a good start – buying healthy ingredients or downloading cool craft ideas… but then Mondays are Mondays after-all and if you are like me – it just came too soon to really see all my Earth Day ideas unfold into awesome pin-worthy projects.  Well there’s always next year.


Just take a few for these simple ways to celebrate our great big and beautiful Earth and everything all around us.

1.  Plant a garden. Using items in your panty and refrigerator you can create a simple edible center piece. Here we used black olives, sunflower seeds, carrots, broccoli, grape tomatoes, asparagus, radishes and parsley to decorate and create a garden snack for our table.

2. For bedtime, read a book about Earth. Click here for a cute online version of What Does It Mean To Be Green by Rana DiOrio.

3.  Take a listen to some Earth-Friendly kids songs about plant life, animals and our ocean with Recess Music’s “Celebrate Earth” series.

4. Step outside and take in the night sky.  How full is the moon?  What shapes are the stars making tonight? Do you recognize any constellations?

5.  Take Five.  In the morning grab your coffee and your kid and sit outside to listen to the birds for five minutes.  How many different chirps can you hear?  Identify three different types of birds.  One my favorite five-minute time-outs is to look for rabbits.  Can you spot a frog in a pond?  Both require stillness and quiet.  Or take a brief walk around the block to engage your senses… what do you see, hear, smell and feel?  Literally, STOP and smell the flowers – just don’t pick them if they don’t belong to you.


Above all…  remember in the end – Every Day is Earth Day

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