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Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in Arts and Crafts, Youth Development |

Tissue paper flowers

Tissue paper flowers

If the resurgence of April showers is making you impatient for May flowers to just get on with it and bloom already, console yourself by creating long-lasting flowers of your own. No green thumb necessary–just tissue paper and pipe cleaner. Tissue paper flowers are a nice Mother’s Day present, especially for those moms with allergies. (They’ll make her say “thank you” instead of “thank . . . aCHOO!” ) Kids also like twisting the pipe cleaner stems around their wrists to make bracelets, and attaching flowers to headbands.   Materials: * Various colors of tissue paper * Green pipe cleaner (1 for each flower’s stem) * Scissors Optional: * Craft scissors with patterned edges * Pencil * Scotch tape * Pompoms (to glue in the flower’s center) and hot glue or Elmer’s glue Here we go:   Step 1: Stack 4-6 layers of tissue paper on top of each other. The more layers you use, the fuller your flower will look. Choose whatever colors of tissue paper strike your...

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Posted by on Mar 6, 2012 in Health and Wellness, Healthy Living, Zumba | 2 comments

Zumba Fever

Zumba Fever

Had a rough day? Woke up late and then managed to hit all the red lights on your way to the office? Perhaps your kids, whom you dearly love, are driving you nuts, or you are stressed about projects at work. Instead of drowning your anxiety in a deluge of chocolate and coffee, opt for a healthier and honestly more fun solution: try out a Zumba class at the YMCA. A friend and I first tried a Zumba group fitness class about a year and half ago, and we’ve been avid attendees ever since. Instead of exercise being a burden to cram into my schedule, it is something I look forward to each week—something I truly miss if I haven’t been able to go to Zumba for a while.   What exactly is Zumba? Zumba is a cardio and muscle-toning workout incorporating movements from different dance styles which keeps your body moving and heart pumping hard for a solid hour. It is a fusion of Latin and Indian moves,...

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in Arts and Crafts, School Age Care, Youth Development | 12 comments

Making Love Bugs: Fun for Valentine’s Day and all year round

Making Love Bugs: Fun for Valentine’s Day and all year round

  Love bugs are a craft I’ve used with kids at the Valley YMCA day camp and at a YMCA school-age care site, and they loved it. It’s a tried and true craft that kids enjoy making either with a Valentine’s Day theme, or for any time of the year. A wooden clothespin is used as the body of an insect, and pieces of paper are put in a plastic bag to make colorful wings. The kids can then write on a small slip of paper, roll it up, and place it in the love bug’s mouth as a secret message to a friend or relative. A word of caution, though: a lot of grimaces and groans spring from the boys at the term “love bug.” Perhaps you can think up a more suitably cool name—something to the effect of “secret message mosquitoes.” Anyway, once they try it, I’ve seen both boys and girls have a great time making these.   Here’s how to make one:   Materials: 1....

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