Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Family Travel: Kidlutions Visits the #BlueManGroup in Boston

{Family photo courtesy of Katelyn F., the friendliest usher on earth! 
Read more about her below}
Disclosure: Our family was provided five media passes to attend 
the Blue Man Group in Boston.  All thoughts are 100% our own.

The Blue Man Group: Boston

When you've traveled far from home, you want to do something the whole family will love...something that will stand out in their minds for years to come...something that is unique and out of the ordinary. When our entire family traveled to Boston, we set out to take in the Blue Man Group in Boston. It delivered on all of what we we had in mind and then some! Quite simply: This show ROCKS!

Something for Everyone

Housed at the Charles Playhouse in Boston, Massachusetts, this three-man routine combines comedy, music, drumming and action-packed fun from the moment the show starts until it ends. You'll smile so much, your face will hurt! And trust me, you won't want it to end.

An Interactive Delight

The audience interaction begins before the Blue Man Group in Boston even takes the stage, with some comical banter the audience engages in from a teleprompter. With the poncho crew all set {the folks sitting near the stage get to don ponchos, just in case}, and the crowd ready to go, the Blue Man Crew was welcomed with much fanfare. I got the feeling some of these folks have done this before! {And after taking in the show, I could see why one would go back again!}

Singing, Dancing and Tech

This show has a little bit of everything and has the audience singing, dancing and drumming along. The lighting and tech aspects add another dimension to the fun. The music will get you up and moving right at your seat.  And you'll be laughing throughout most of it. A great workout for your insides and outsides, simultaneously.

Neuroscience, too!

I was pleasantly surprised to see some neuroscientific facts being used to build a whole piece around. This was right up my alley. The creators of this show have done their research and deliver some information that reflects the sign of the times and provides the viewer with some things to think about. Brain food in a fun way? Yes, please!

Since neuroscience drives my own practice and everything we do at Kidlutions, this made my heart smile. In researching further, I found out that the Blue Man Group takes their neuroscience seriously. So seriously, in fact, that there is a school that was started by them. Read more about the Blue School.

Indeed, there are some very smart people behind the Blue Man Group.

They Say So Much with Saying a Word

One of the most ironic things is that the Blue Man Group can say so much without saying a thing. That's right! They do not utter a syllable throughout the entire show, which lasts about an hour and 40 minutes. That's a feat in itself! They don't say a word, but you'll still be talking about them a week after the show!

As a mom, one of the really fun things to do was watch my two teens and twenty-something smiling, with their eyes glued to the stage, as everything unfolded.

The Grand Finale

With the show being as fast-paced and amazing as it was, I found myself wondering, "How will they top this for the grand finale?" Well, the Blue Man Group delivered once more. The entire audience from the balcony level to the those on the main floor were engaged in one huge interactive free-for-all that was colorful, fun and fab! I felt like a kid again! We were allowed to "play" for awhile with the ginormous beach-ball type orbs, and paper streamers that never ended! It was pure joy!

So much thought and planning went into making sure everyone was part of the fun. Smart. Really smart. You'll be totally immersed in this experience!

Don't Miss It

The Blue Man Group in Boston should be on everyone's bucket list! As I posted about it to my private facebook page right after the show, so many friends commented about their incredible time at the show in different cities over the years. A common thread from all was that this was pure FUN! I concur!

So Much for a Quiet Night!

Special thanks to: Laura Camien, Vice-President of Communications, who bent over backwards to accommodate us on a very tight schedule. She works magic behind the scenes, and her kindness will not soon be forgotten. Additionally, special thanks to Katelyn F., our amazing usher. She was one of the sweetest college co-eds {who's going to be a teacher...lucky kids!} and she also plays college soccer! Her mama is a teacher, too...so Katelyn will be in good company! Yes, the people of Boston are kind and helpful...we met some really great ones! We'll tell you about more of them later! Wherever you go, you can find amazing people! Look for them! Be one of them, too!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Thing You Swore You'd Never Do

Things You'll Never Do

It's either written down or kept in your head, but you likely have one of those lists of things you'll never do. For me, one of the items to top that list was running a 5K or just running period. Running is a fine thing and a really healthy thing, but it's one of those things of which  I'm not particularly fond. Okay, the truth is, I abhor it. My long-time high school friends can vouch. They know. Still, I ran...and walked...and walked...and ran.

Making Good on a Promise

My girl has been running since middle school, at which time I told her I liked the thought of running a 5K with her and promised I would do so one day. The opportunity presented itself and I finally made good on that promise. It's a good thing, too, because she's ready to head off to college! It was exhilarating crossing that finish line. Yes, I ran across it! Many of you may know the feeling!

What's on Your List?
What's one thing you swore you'd never do, but ended up doing anyways? 

What's one thing you swear you'll never do, but would be surprised if you actually did?

Now...get out there and surprise yourself! Even if  Especially if you're 50 or beyond!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Play Therapy with Rocket Flyers

Blast Off!

I love the idea of a rocket ship theme in play therapy (or just plain ole' play). It's one that can be expanded upon in so many ways. The sky is really the limit (pun intended!) when it comes to creating additional ways to play. We'll give you a couple of ideas below...plus a free printable bullseye to add to the fun!

Rocket Flyers

I found these brilliant rocket flyers online at BrainPowerBoy.com and the second I saw them, I knew I would have to use them for a play therapy activity.  Though these are all decked out in Fourth of July splendor, they can be made in any color combination to fit the season, and they are so dang cute, they just beg to be used for play therapy. Who was I to say "no"?

First Things, First

Get the directions to make your rockets right HERE. You'll find the materials you'll need, plus directions that will help you whip up the rockets in no time.

Ready to Play?

For starters, here's how I'd use them:

1. Q & A

1. Create a target in the therapy room with a posterboard or construction paper. Have the kiddo you are working with help. You can also download our handy printable, if you prefer!

Find it HERE!

2. Affix the target to the wall with painter's tape.

3. Create questions to use for each color on the bullseye.  When that color is hit, a card is drawn and the question is answered and discussed.  Rather not come up with your own questions? No problem! Simply use some ready-made questions from any of the following: 

TOTIKA cards {Set of 5}


IN A JAR: Try any of these!

2. Feelings 

Write the name of a feeling inside each ring of the bullseye. When any particular ring is hit, have the child:

a) Describe a time he felt that way.

b) Describe what someone could do if they felt that way.

c) Describe what might happen to someone to make them feel that way.

Now It's Your Turn 

How would you use this activity? We'd love to hear about it!

Looking for more resources for helping kids deal with life issues as a parent or in therapy? We have multiple ways to help kids with just about every feeling and situation under sun RIGHT HERE. Our shop is open 24/7. Need some new ideas on parenting that can create a more peaceful home and a happier family? Go HERE!

Friday, June 26, 2015

5 EASY Ways to Prevent Stress in Kids and Teens

When it comes to stress, the best offense is a good defense. Defend your child against stress by following five simple tips that are known to help kids (and everyone) prevent stress and buffer its impact on their life.

1. Get Some Zzzzzzz's

One of the single-most important things we can do as parents is make sure our kids get enough shut-eye.  Sleep requirements vary with age. Refer to these guidelines by WebMD, and see how your child's sleep measures up. Be sure to scroll through to see each age bracket.

2. Avoid Overscheduling

You know that feeling you get when you have too much to do and not enough time to do it? Your child gets it, too. School, play dates, sporting events, homework and more can all pile-up, leaving little down time for your child to just "be" a kid. Make sure your child has plenty of time to pursue her own interests in an unstructured manner.

3. Move It!

Physical activity is essential to your child or teen's overall health. Aside from providing exercise it releases those helpful "feel good chemicals" (endorphins), helps maintain a healthy weight, can aid in sleep and can become a family bonding time. Need some inspiration? See HERE.

4. Help Them Deal with Feelings 

Not being able to deal effectively with feelings contributes to stress in a variety of ways. Negative thinking can be a root cause of anxiety and depression, even in kids and teens.  It's most helpful to provide support and new tools to help kids cope, rather than to find yourself in damage control. If you need help supporting your child with this, you can find clinical strength resources to help kids and teens with feelings HERE.

5. Show Them How!

Parents who keep their cool and who can manage their own reactions have a competitive edge in helping their children do the same. If you are a parent who struggles with your own emotions, you are not alone. Get more support to help you better deal with things, so you can help your children. If you are looking for a whole new approach at this parenting thing, check out how neuroscience can inform our parenting practices and help our families find their sweet spot.

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This is just a beginning. There are many more things parents can do to help their kids combat stress. What's your favorite approach to keeping your family relaxed and happy?

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Raising Happy Kids

Here are some really important things to know about raising happy kids. It is our pleasure to share this via happify.  Which do you find most surprising?

What will change as a result of reading this? 

Don't let parenting stress drain your happiness, sap your energy and contribute to a less than pleasant household. If you're struggling, we hope you'll consider #BloomParenting. You and your kids are worth it! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Summer Plans Freebie for Kids

Find it all HERE.
No sign-ups, no info needed! No strings attached!
Free summer fun! Enjoy!

Freebie Summer Printable

It's the first official day of summer break in my neighborhood, and to celebrate, we've whipped up a cute download that is suitable for younger and older kids.  Let kids dream and scheme with this printable.

For Younger Kids

For younger kids, our printable has a bit of design and a blank slate for non-writers to draw, doodle and depict what they'd like to do over the summer. Tweens and teens who like to draw and doodle may even be drawn to this version (pardon the pun). Why place limits? Ask your child, student or client which they'd rather use.

Find it all HERE.

For Older Kids

For older kids, we have a printable with smaller lines, so they can jot down what they'd like to do for fun in the coming summer. Heck, parents can use this, too! Why not?

Find it all HERE.

A Bit More About This Activity

While doodling, drawing and writing about summer plans may be fun, you're also giving kids and teens an opportunity to build crucial executive function skills.  Planning and executing plans all build more mental muscle!

What are you doing this summer?


Surviving Summer

Are things calm, cool and collected at your abode? Phew! I'm glad they are!

If you answered no, and you feel as if you are at your wit's end, give BLOOM a try! It's what we know works to create more peaceful households and happier people!

If you have an angry, easy-to-upset or challenging child (or have kids who are dealing with some "tough stuff" like divorce, grief and relocation) check out all of our resources HERE. Be sure to check our "ON SALE" page to find the latest, greatest deals!

Make this your greatest summer ever!

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