Celebrate Your Child’s Individuality With Online School or Homeschool

The advent of the internet has opened up an entire new WORLD of possibility to our society.  While in the past students have been limited to the options the particular school they attend has, with the internet there is a world of information virtually at their fingertips!  Many are utilizing this incredibly valuable resource in the form of online school or homeschool.

Celebrate Your Child's Individuality with Online or Homeschool

Perhaps your child has been diagnosed with something like ADD or ADHD. A child with these tendencies may not do so well in a public school, because they’re not so easily able to conform to the system. Perhaps their mind wanders a bit more than the other children, or they have a hard time sitting still. Arguably one of the greatest benefits for online school and homeschool is the ability to form your curriculum perfectly to your child’s particular needs. You can specialize their learning to be more hands-on and interactive. No matter what kind of learner your child is, they will thrive under this type of education!

Another awesome benefit of online learning is the ability to study almost any subject out there.  You have access to such a vast array of teachers and books. There have been many times that I was unable to study a particular subject at school, simply because the school didn’t have the funds to fit it into their curriculum.  With online or homeschooling, your options are nearly endless!

We’ve all witnessed the way a child’s brain works. They’re focused for MAYBE 10 minutes, and then a bird flying outside the window or a stray thought that wandered into their head will throw the entire train right off the tracks, and it’s a struggle to get them motivated and back on track again. Of course it’s important to have goals for each day, but how wonderful for them to be able to take breaks as often as they need? Even as an adult, I’ve found that I am at my most efficient and focused self when I give myself even a short break every hour or so. Creating their own schedule allows your child to absorb those nuggets of knowledge so much more thoroughly, and wonder of wonders, actually enjoy the process!

Of course there are some benefits to public schooling, such as certain programs like theatre or the important aspect of having peers and social interaction, but these are easily overcome as well!    Public schools are often willing to work with you and allow your child to take a particular program if you don’t have the resources available.  There are also many independent programs, classes, and communities outside of public school that your child could get involved in.  A well-rounded education is a great thing!

Celebrate Your Child's Individuality with Online or Homeschool

Let’s celebrate the fact that we are all vastly different individuals with vastly different ways of learning.  We are all so lucky to be born in this age with so many opportunities and options available.  Take advantage of it!  If you’re currently looking for materials for this year’s online school or homeschool curriculum, you’re not going to want to miss these Learning & Discovery Kits, Books, Woodworking Kits, & more!  Truth be told, I get a little envious thinking how much more fun and interesting school would’ve been for me if I had just had access to materials like these and to the varied curriculum that online school offers.  Even if your child is happily content in public school, these books and kits are an excellent way to supplement their education, or just give them a fun, educational activity to do on a rainy fall day.  So let’s cast off, and embark on this adventure into education!

How To Make a Duct Tape Tote

Is your duct tape wallet not quite big enough to hold your various treasures?  Try something a bit bigger!  This duct tape tote is waterproof, and perfect for carrying around whatever you’d like.  If you’d like to decorate it a bit, simply buy some crafts to decorate until it’s to your satisfaction.  You can also adjust the size of the bag by changing the size of the measurements.

A couple of warnings before we begin:
-Be careful with the knife.  Make sure you’re cutting away from yourself, in case you slip.
-When you’re cutting the tape off of the paper, be careful not to cut off a part.

Things you will need:
-Duct tape in various colors
-Scissors
-Hobby/craft knife
-Ruler
-Piece of paper
-Pen
-Markers (for a variety of colors)

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

Step 1: Make the bottom of the purse by drawing a 5.5 inch by 3 inch (14cm by 7.6cm) rectangle on a piece of paper. Apply duct tape to the back of the paper rectangle. Cut out the rectangle.

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

Step 2: Line the outside of the bottom of the purse by applying duct tape to the back (paper side), leaving at least 1/4 inch (.6cm) of the sticky part showing.

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

Step 3: Make two long sides by making two 7 inch (17.75cm) long duct tape fabric (laying duct tape out and overlapping the edges to form a piece of duct tape) of 3 pieces of duct tape.

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

Step 4: Tape the inside color of duct tape over the outside pieces, sticky side to sticky side, in a perpendicular direction. You will need to leave at least a .25 inch (.6cm) part of the sticky tape showing on one end. Use the bottom to mark with a pen how wide the inside should be.

  • Know that if you place the two sides next to each other as you apply the inside color of tape, you can cut them apart when you are finished.

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

Step 5: Make two narrow sides by making a 5.5 inch (14cm) long by 3 pieces wide fabric of duct tape with the outside color. Use the bottom template to mark with a pen how wide the inside should be. Apply the inside color leaving at least 1/4 inch (.6cm) sticky part showing on the long sides.

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

Step 6: Fit the sides together matching up the inside tape and sticking together with the exposed sticky parts.

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

Step 7: Trim the top and bottom of the purse to be straight. Trim the sides of the purse leaving 1/8-1/4 inch (3-6mm) sticking out.

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

Step 8: Attach the sides to the bottom of the purse. This can be a bit tricky. Start with one long side, laying it next to the inside bottom. Press onto the exposed sticky part of the bottom. Repeat for each side until it is attached. Trim the corners of the bottom so that the sides will stick out again.

How to Make a Duct Tape Tote

Step 9: Make handles for the purse by folding a piece of duct tape into thirds. Attach these to the purse with a strip of the inside color of duct tape.

So there you are!  Carry around your schoolbooks, use it for collecting rocks, or simply to organize your room a bit more.  You can find a great selection of colored duct tape, metallic duck tape, camo duck tape, and even glow-in-the-dark duck tape at jmcremps.com.  If you want even more fascinating and fun Duct Tape Projects, check out our e-book series called Warfare by Duct Tape.  The easy-to-follow instructions will allow any creative kid (or adult) to create swords, armor, shields, and more!

The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikihow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make a Duct Tape Tote.  Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

A Modern Resurgence of Vintage Pastimes

As the buzz over the technology revolution is settling down and becoming less of a novelty, the past couple of years have seen a resurgence of vintage, or traditional pastimes.  The world keeps spinning faster, and everyone’s eyes seem to be opening to the need for relaxation.  Gone are the days of the glorification of “busy”.  They are being replaced with the art of slow living.

The Resurgence of Vintage Pastimes

One of the most popular vintage pastimes that’s resurfaced seems to be whittling.  What do you think of when you picture whittling?  Perhaps what pops up in your head is an old man in a rocking chair on a front porch, carving a piece of wood, with an ice-cold beverage nearby.  His grandson sits in a chair next to him whittling his own stick of wood, keeping up a steady stream of chatter.  As the sun sinks lower in the sky, their wood pieces start to come to life.  The scene is idyllic, peaceful, and relaxing.

The history of whittling really begins in early Americana.  With only the use of a pocket knife and good, soft wood; crafty folks could whittle just about anything.  A couple of main things that have changed with the pastime since then is the quality of the knives and the selection of specialty blade shapes available.  The craft has become easier and more enjoyable than ever before.

If you’re looking for a way to wind down after a busy day, or to connect with your children or grandchildren, your search is over.  JMCremps has a large selection of knives, thumb guards, whittling & woodcarving books, and kits to get you started or keep you going with one of the best hobbies out there.

What are you waiting for?  Throw away your worries for a moment so you can sit back and relax while creating something beautiful.  Spend some quality time with someone you love. Connect with the past while living fully in the present.  There’s a reason this pastime is coming back, and I think if you give it a try you just might become an advocate of the art of slow living.

Easy Science Project: How To Make a Bouncy Egg

Are you in need of a simple science project that only requires a few household ingredients?  Look no further!  Parents are always telling children not to play with their food, but they’ll make an exception on this one.  Try this fun experiment that turns an egg into a bouncy ball!  The only ingredients required are an egg or two, some vinegar, and a container.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 1: Get a container of vinegar ready. Find a jar or Tupperware container large enough to fit the egg. Grab a bottle of regular white vinegar and fill the jar or Tupperware container with vinegar. Don’t fill it all the way to the brim though, because then putting the egg in will make it overflow.

Step 2: Add dye if you want to color your bouncy egg. You can easily make your finished bouncy egg any color you want to by adding food coloring dye to the vinegar. Just add around 10 drops of the dye to the vinegar, or enough to color the whole container of vinegar.

  • It doesn’t have to be filled to the top but it should be filled high enough so that the egg can be completely submerged in vinegar.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 3: Submerge an egg. Get a raw, unboiled egg. Place the raw egg in the vinegar-filled container. Just drop it in from right above the vinegar so the vinegar doesn’t splash everywhere. Make sure it is completely submerged.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 4: Cover the container. Place a lid on your container and leave it somewhere safe but out of the sun. The less sunlight it gets the better, so either put it somewhere dark like a closet, or cover it with something like a kitchen cloth.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 5: Wait for the shell of the egg to completely dissolve. This process can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. To be on the safe side, wait three days before continuing.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 6: Check the egg. Look at the egg through the container every once and a while to check its progress. The egg will turn a transparent color because the eggshell is decreasing in thickness. The eggshell will soon dissolve, leaving a thick strong egg white.

  • The reason the shell dissolves is because vinegar is a weak acid. The egg shell is made of calcium carbonate. When the shell meets vinegar, it makes a chemical reaction that turns the calcium carbonate into carbon dioxide, which is what those bubbles in the container are.

Step 7: Remove the egg. Take the egg out of the vinegar carefully. Just reach in and pull it out with your hand. Don’t forget to wash your hand afterwards. Place the egg on a couple of paper towels to let it drain.

  • Be extra careful when handling a raw bouncy egg. It will be more fragile than a boiled bouncy egg.

Easy Science Project - How to Make a Bouncy Egg

Step 8: Bounce it. Make sure it’s dry first. You can speed this up by drying it by hand with a paper towel. Be careful not to drop it from too high of a height, as it can still break and leave a mess. Start with just a few inches, and have cleaning supplies ready!

If you enjoyed this project and are looking for more science-related entertainment, be sure to check out jmcremps.com for a great selection of science kits, science books, and loads of other fun, exciting, and educational items!

The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikihow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How To Make A Bouncy Egg. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

Download Your Free Summer 2016 Family Adventure Guide

Let’s face it. Sometimes it can be a bit of challenge to keep the kids occupied all summer long.  As summer drags on and the excitement immediately following the end-of-the-school-year wears off, you may notice that your kids gravitate toward their devices more and more.  Instead of spending the afternoon running around the neighborhood or building forts in the backyard, you may find them on the couch with their eyes glued to a screen.  If the amount of screen-time is beginning to creep up, then it’s time to download the JM Cremp’s Summer 2016 Family Adventure Guide.

In it, you’ll find some creative ideas to keep the kids busy as well as some good parenting advice.  Oh, and there’s also a valuable coupon inside valid at www.jmcremps.com.

Happy Adventuring!

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 11.58.53 AM
Click the image above to download your free copy today!

How to Break Your Kid’s Technology Addiction the Fun Way

Are you part of the generation that remembers when a few old blankets were the makings of a perfect hideout, and the most drama you had to deal with was whether to baseball, ride your bike, or pretend you were a cowboy?  If you are, then it can be quite a challenge to see your perfectly healthy kids curled up on their bed with an iPod in the middle of a beautiful summer afternoon.  Believe me, I feel your pain!

Adventure for Boys
A 2010 Kaiser Foundation Study found that children and teens on average spend almost 8 hours each day on entertainment media.  The naked truth is that technology is here for the long haul, and your child’s love of it isn’t going to go away anytime soon.  Fortunately, there are some simple things that you can do to break their addiction to electronics and rekindle their adventurous spirit.

First, encourage them to explore those things that interest them, and to do so in a hands-on manner.  If your child loves science, then get him/her a simple science experiment kit, and let them learn first hand.  If they loves bugs, get them a bug magnifying kit and let them get down and dirty in the mud.  If it’s a fascination with the outdoors, then a basic survival book and a Pocket Tool will be the beginning of a life-long love of the outdoors.   It’s been proven that on the whole kids, especially boys, thrive when they can learn by “doing”, and there’s no better time to start than when they are young and full of curiousity.

The second thing you can do to inspire your child’s love of learning and adventure is through story-telling and reading.  Inspiring true stories such as I Pledge Allegiance or The Civil War Graphic Novel 2-Book Set can inspire your children to do and achieve more than they ever thought possible.  Fictional stories about heroes and warriors can broaden their world and teach them to dream big and reach for their goals.

Third, be a good example.  Be active yourself, so the next time you encourage your couch potato to get outside and explore the world they live in they can’t say, “But you never do!” Better yet, be active and learn together as a family.  Take the time for a family hike or an afternoon together at your local historical society.  Go camping for a weekend or even a night in the backyard. Whatever your chosen activity, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow together as a family.  A love of adventure may start when you are young, but a true adventurous spirit never withers.

To find thousands of ways to inspire a passion for learning and to ignite an adventurous spirit within your children, visit www.jmcremps.com.  Request FREE copy of our Adventure Guide Catalog today, and you’ll discover why over 100,000 families rely on JM Cremp’s as their go-to resource for hands-on activites, ideas and toys to enhance active imaginations, fun gear for outdoor adventures, parenting resources, and educational tools for creative learning.

The point of all this is to swap your child’s addictive electronics with a few simple replacements that are engaging, appeal to their interests, get them moving, and challenge their minds.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming, but it will take a little effort in the beginning.  Then again, most things that are rewarding take some effort, but they sure are worth it in the long run!

Our New Favorite Campfire Pizza With a Twist

Tired of the same old hot dogs? We are too. These scrumptious pizza rolls are a perfect way to switch things up on your next adventure! Made with store-bought pizza dough, they are easy, but you can customize them to your own taste.  Best of all, kids LOVE to eat these, so there will be no leftovers to worry about when dinner is done.

CampfirePizza

Ingredients

-canned pizza dough (found in the refrigerated section)

-pizza sauce

-mozzarella cheese

-your favorite toppings

-italian seasoning, salt, and pepper

Instructions:

Roll out your pizza dough to form a rectangle. Spread pizza sauce over the rectangle of dough. Cover with cheese followed by any additional toppings you would like. Sprinkle seasonings lightly, then roll pizza to form a log. Tuck the edges in and wrap in thick foil. Place in the freezer until your adventure. Store in your cooler and set out until almost thawed. To cook, place foil log on fire pit. Cook for about 15 minutes then flip over and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Slice up and enjoy!

It’s that simple, and that easy!  After that, all you have to do is enjoy every bite.

For more great camping ideas, camping gear for the whole family, and camping fun, visit www.jmcremps.com

The Best Camping Potatoes You’ll Ever Have

Potatoes. They’re easy to roast over a campfire and taste delicious. They can turn any makeshift camping meal into a real gourmet treat. There is nothing like a warm hearty meal after a long day of adventuring, especially when you’re camping.

CampfirePotatoes

Ingredients:

-1 gallon Ziplock bag
-Kabob or marshmallow skewers
-2 cans whole potatoes ‐ (2 large cans or 4 smaller cans)
-1 c grated Parmesan Cheese
-1 c softened butter
-1 Tbsp garlic powder
-1 tsp oregano or Italian blend
-Salt & pepper to taste
-Bacon bits (optional)

Instructions:

Drain potatoes. Place potatoes and rest of ingredients in a
gallon sized zip lock bag. Gently shake bag to coat potatoes
with mixture. Skewer the potatoes and place over a medium
heat grill/fire till browned on all sides. Slide off skewers & top
with bacon bits.

It’s that simple, and that easy!  After that, all you have to do is enjoy every mouthful!

For more great camping ideas, camping gear for the whole family, and camping fun, visit www.jmcremps.com

8 Fascinating Independence Day Facts You Never Knew!

We know all about the parades, picnics, concerts, barbecues, fairs, parties, and fireworks that happen on the fourth of July, but what about the history behind this federal holiday? The day marks the original 13 colonies’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared independence from the Great Britain and its king. Although you probably know the most common facts behind this great event, here are some fascinating facts that you may not know. IndependenceDay1

  1. The youngest man to sign the Declaration of Independence was Thomas Lynch, Jr of South Carolina.  He was just 27.  At 70 years old, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest delegate. The main author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was  just 33 at the time.
  2. Seven of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were educated at Harvard.
  3. The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
  4. Only John Hancock actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. All the others signed later.
  5. President John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe all died on July 4th. Adams and Jefferson, who both signed the Declaration, died within hours of each on July 4, 1826.
  6. The first Independence Day celebration took place on July 8, 1776 in Philadelphia.  It was also the day that the Declaration of Independence was first read in public.  People were called to hear the reading by the ringing of the Liberty Bell.
  7. Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.
  8. Americans like to celebrate their Independence Day with a backyard barbecue. As a nation, we consume approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken on this day.  That’s a lot of barbeque!

It’s easy to make make American History come to life when you visit JM Cremp’s American History pages.  Besides our best-selling American History books, you’ll find fun reference materials, toy soldiersearly-american dress-up ideas and more.

*Facts derived from https://academicexchange.wordpress.com

The Ultimate Camping Dinner – a Hobo Dinner!

Admit it – one of the first things you think of when planning a camping getaway is the food.  You envision the moment when the sun is getting low in the sky and everyone’s belly is rumbling. But what to make?  Don’t worry, we’ve got the most tried-and-true, I’ll-never-be-hungry-again camping meal you’ll ever eat.  Be warned though, because it smells so good while cooking, you may end up feeding a few of the neighbors.  Best of all, it’s extremely easy.

When the sun is getting low in the sky and everyone is getting hungry, what are you going to make for dinner?
When the sun is getting low in the sky and everyone is getting hungry, what are you going to make for dinner?

What you’ll need:

Tinfoil
Cooking Spray
Ground Beef (or turkey)
Diced Potatoes
Shredded Carrots
Diced Onions
Salt & Pepper & Garlic (or your favorite seasoned salt)
Butter
Optional Vegetables of your choice (sweet potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini)
Ketchup (optional)
This recipe is such a favorite in our family, that it’s been cooked around the campfire (and on the grill) for five generations now!  Best of all it is easy, nutritious, and fun to make.  Each person can make their own dinner just the way the want it, and just the size they want it too.  Plus, it’s the perfect way for little brothers and sisters to get involved in the fun.

Cut a 12-inch section of tin foil and spray one side with cooking spray.  Place about a handful of potatoes, a ½ handful of onions, and a ½ handful of shredded carrots.  If you want to, you can add another handful of any type of vegetable you’d like.  Some of our favorites are mushrooms and sweet potatoes. (Yes Sweet Potatoes!)  Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, and a little garlic (Or use seasoned salt.)  Top with a tablespoon of butter.

On top of the vegetables place a hand-sized portion of ground beef.  Season the ground beef with additional salt, pepper, garlic OR seasoned salt.    Lift the ends of the tinfoil up until the meet in the middle.  Roll up the ends to form a pouch and seal the contents inside. (It kind of looks like a pastry.) Cut another piece of tinfoil slightly larger than the first one, and double wrap your dinner.  This will prevent it from being punctured.

Place your Hobo Dinner on a grate over the campfire or place it in an empty coffee can in the embers.  Cook it for 30 to 60 minutes or until the meat is cooked and the vegetables are tender.  To see if your dinner is ready, carefully remove your tinfoil pouch from the fire using tongs or spatulas.  VERY carefully open the sealed tinfoil using a fork so that you can allow the steam to escape without burning your fingers.  Test the softness of the potatoes and carrots.  When they are nice and soft, you’re ready to dig in!

If only you could smell how good this dinner is!
If only you could smell how good this dinner is!

Serve with ketchup for the most satisfying and hearty campfire meal there is!  For the latest in camp cooking utensils and gear, visit jmcremps.com/camp-cooking.