Great "Around the House" Ideas for School Vacation

With school vacations in full swing, we thought it would be fun to share some ideas for the kids. Enjoy the Top 100! Our favorite is 100… 🙂

  1. Have a reading marathon.
  2. Write stories together.
  3. Play soccer.
  4. Paint or draw together.
  5. Create a fort in your living room out of blankets or cardboard boxes.
  6. Go on a hike.
  7. Have a sunset picnic at a park or beach.
  8. Play board games.
  9. Play kickball.
  10. Get up early, pack breakfast, and have a sunrise breakfast.
  11. Go to a museum.
  12. Go to a playground.
  13. Play hide-and-seek.
  14. Have a pillow fight.
  15. Ride bikes.
  16. Build sandcastles.
  17. Rent a dvd and make popcorn.
  18. Tell stories.
  19. Have a scavenger hunt.
  20. Make mazes or puzzles for each other to solve.
  21. Play card games.
  22. Garden together.
  23. Bake cookies (let the kids help).
  24. Go to the zoo.
  25. Go to the library.
  26. Shop at a thrift shop.
  27. Create a blog together.
  28. Create a scrapbook.
  29. Make a movie using a camcorder and computer.
  30. Learn to play music.
  31. Fingerpaint.
  32. Make play dough from scratch.
  33. Make homemade mini pizzas.
  34. Buy popsicles.
  35. Make hand-painted T-shirts.
  36. Set up a hammock, make lemonade, relax.
  37. Go to a pool.
  38. Go to a public place, people watch, and make up imaginary stories about people.
  39. Visit family.
  40. Write letters to family.
  41. Paint or decorate the kids’ room.
  42. Make milkshakes.
  43. Play freeze tag.
  44. Create a treasure hunt for them (leaving clues around the house or yard).
  45. Decorate a pair of jeans.
  46. Do a science experiment.
  47. Play games online.
  48. Teach them to play chess.
  49. Learn magic tricks.
  50. Create a family book, with information and pictures about each family member.
  51. Fly kites.
  52. Go snorkeling.
  53. Barbecue.
  54. Volunteer.
  55. Donate stuff to charity.
  56. Compete in a three-legged or other race.
  57. Create an obstacle course.
  58. Pitch a tent and sleep outside with marshmallows.
  59. Roast marshmallows.
  60. Play loud music and dance crazy.
  61. Write and produce a play (to perform before other family members).
  62. Paint each other’s faces.
  63. Have a water balloon fight.
  64. Have a gun-fight with those foam dart guns.
  65. Explore your yard and look for insects.
  66. Go for

    a walk and explore the neighborhood.

  67. Go jogging.
  68. Take pictures of nature.
  69. Play a trivia game.
  70. Make up trivia questions about each other.
  71. Make hot cocoa.
  72. Play house.
  73. Decorate the house with decorations you make.
  74. Make popsicles.
  75. Play school.
  76. Do shadow puppets.
  77. Make a comic book.
  78. Play in the rain.
  79. Make mud pies.
  80. Blow bubbles.
  81. Take turns saying tongue twisters.
  82. Sing songs.
  83. Tell ghost stories in the dark with a flashlight.
  84. Build stuff with Legos.
  85. Give them a bubble bath.
  86. Play with squirt guns.
  87. Play video games together.
  88. Play wiffleball.
  89. Play nerf football.
  90. Build a rocket from a kit.
  91. Bake a cake and decorate it.
  92. Play dress-up.
  93. Thumb-wrestle, play mercy, or have a tickle fight.
  94. Make a gingerbread house, or decorate gingerbread men.
  95. Learn and tell each other jokes.
  96. Play basketball.
  97. Learn to juggle.
  98. Walk barefoot in the grass and pick flowers.
  99. Build paper airplanes and have a flying contest.
  100. Prank call their grandparents, using disguised, humorous voices.

PTA vs. PTO – What's the difference?

One letter difference, right? Well, that little ‘A’ and ‘O’ mean two very different things. PTA belongs to a national organization and has a formal membership headquartered in Chicago with over a 100-year history of working for children. Groups who become part of this organization must pay dues to the state and national levels and abide by state and national rules. For these dues, the PTA gets various benefits and a say in the larger national organization. The National PTA maintains an office in Washington, D.C. as well as advocates at their respective state capitals. The PTA is very careful to protect their name/acronym. Thus, in theory, only dues-paying members of the group can call themselves a PTA.

PTO, on the other hand, is really “the rest of” the parent-teacher organizations. This acronym is interchangeable between many names – PTG, PTSA, PSO, but they all have one thing in common – they are not part of the National PTA. These organizations have opted to not support a larger national group and instead, focus their efforts to their specific local schools or districts and usually operate under their own bylaws. Any funds raised typically go back only to those local schools or districts.

Parent group leaders seem to be happy with running, managing and funding only their local schools and districts. Even though the National PTA has tremendous name recognition and a national group, they only make up roughly 25 percent of the national parent groups (although this is a best guess number due to PTO not being required to register to any centralized registry). The remainder have chosen to go cialis 20 gm (or remain) independent.

Spring is just around the corner! Here's 6 great fundraising ideas for the changing of the season.

Easter themed fundraiser

Giving is a big part of the Easter Celebration with gifts of colorful baskets brimming with candy, eggs and plush stuffed toys. Selling candy and gift items that go along with the Easter season is a natural fundraiser for spring.

Plants, Flowers and Bulbs

Buying spring garden plants and bulbs while donating to a worthy cause is a well-received fundraiser. There are a number of companies who provide catalogs full of exquisite photographs of flowering plants and bulbs which your customers may purchase. Do an online search to find a program that suits your needs.

Yard & Garage Sales

Draw up a flier advertising a huge garage or yard sale. Ask people to donate items that they no longer want or need for you sell at the event. Any items left from the sale can be donated by your organization to another charity.

Spring Yard Cleanup

Wintertime can really do a number on a yard. Advertise that your group will clean up yards for a fee. List the jobs that you are willing to do such as lawn and garden clean up/prep, gutter cleaning, shrub trimming, garage cleaning and window cleaning. Charge by the hour or

by the task.

Car Wash

Organize a car wash. If your organization has a location that is visible from a well-traveled thoroughfare, use that location. If not, check with local pharmacies, gas stations or department stores to see if they have a setup where you can hold a car wash. Some retailers will even donate to your cause with matching funds. Either set a price per car or do it for a donation at the driver’s discretion.

Home Interior Sales

Home furnishings and lawn and garden paraphernalia purchases increase

with the change of the season. Find a fundraising source that supplies gift catalogs that you can take door to door en que te ayuda el cialis to sell. Some home interior companies have fundraising programs where you can host a party and earn a percentage of the sales for your charitable cause.

12 Tips for Better Email Etiquette

Don’t you wish that every person who received a new e-mail account had to agree to follow certain rules to use it? There are certain professional standards expected for e-mail use. Here are some things to keep in mind regarding professional e-mail conduct:

  1. Be informal, not sloppy. Your colleagues may use commonly accepted abbreviations in e-mail, but when communicating with external customers, everyone should follow standard writing protocol. Your e-mail message reflects you and your company, so traditional spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules apply.
  2. Keep messages brief and to the point. Just because your writing is grammatically correct does not mean that it has to be long. Nothing is more frustrating than wading through an e-mail message that is twice as long as necessary. Concentrate on one

    subject per message whenever possible.

  3. Use sentence case. USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS LOOKS AS IF YOU’RE SHOUTING. Using all lowercase letters looks lazy. For emphasis, use asterisks or bold formatting to emphasize important words. Do not, however, use a lot of colors or graphics embedded in your message, because not everyone uses an e-mail program that can display them.
  4. Use the blind copy and courtesy copy appropriately. Don’t use BCC to keep others from seeing who you copied; it shows confidence when you directly CC anyone receiving a copy. Do use BCC, however, when sending to a large distribution list, so recipients won’t have to see a huge list of names. Be cautious with your use of CC; overuse simply clutters inboxes. Copy only people who are directly involved.
  5. Don’t use e-mail as an excuse to avoid personal contact. Don’t forget the value of face-to-face or even voice-to-voice communication. E-mail communication isn’t appropriate when sending confusing or emotional messages. Think of the times you’ve heard someone in the office indignantly say, “Well, I sent you e-mail.” If you have a problem with someone, speak with that person directly. Don’t use e-mail to avoid an uncomfortable situation or to cover up a mistake.
  6. Remember that e-mail isn’t private. I’ve seen people fired for using e-mail inappropriately. E-mail is considered company property and can be retrieved, examined, and used in a court of law. Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software), you should assume that e-mail over the Internet is not secure. Never put in an e-mail message anything that you wouldn’t put on a postcard. Remember that e-mail can be forwarded, so unintended audiences may see what you’ve written. You might also inadvertently send something to the wrong party, so always keep the content professional to avoid embarrassment.
  7. Be sparing with group e-mail. Send group e-mail only when it’s useful to every recipient. Use the “reply all” button only when compiling results requiring collective input and only if you have something to add. Recipients get quite annoyed to open an e-mail that says only “Me too!”
  8. Use the subject field to indicate content and purpose. Don’t just say, “Hi!” or “From Laura.” Agree on acronyms to use that quickly identify actions. For example, your team could use to mean “Action Required” or for the Monthly Status Report. It’s also a good practice to include the word “Long” in the subject field, if necessary, so that the recipient knows that the message will take time to read.
  9. Don’t send chain letters, virus warnings, or junk mail. Always check a reputable antivirus Web site or your IT department before sending out an alarm. If a constant stream of jokes from a friend annoys you, be honest and ask to be removed from the list. Direct personal e-mail to your home e-mail account.
  10. Remember that your tone can’t be heard in e-mail. Have you ever attempted sarcasm in an e-mail, and the recipient took it the wrong way? E-mail communication can’t convey the nuances of verbal communication. In an attempt to infer tone of voice, some people use emoticons, but use them sparingly so that you don’t appear unprofessional. Also, don’t assume that using a smiley will diffuse a difficult message.
  11. Use a signature that includes contact information. To ensure that people know who you are, include a signature that has your contact information, including your mailing address, Web site, and phone numbers.
  12. Summarize long discussions. Scrolling through pages of replies to understand a discussion is annoying. Instead of continuing to forward a message string, take a minute to summarize it for your reader. You could even highlight or quote the relevant passage, then include your response. Some words of caution:

Use these suggestions as a starting point to create e-mail etiquette rules that will help your team stay efficient and professional.

About the author Laura Stack is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., an international consulting firm in Denver, Colorado, that specializes in productivity improvement in high-stress organizations. Laura holds an MBA in Organizational Management (University of Colorado, 1991) and is an expert on integrating advances in business productivity with the retention of key employees. Laura is the author of the best-selling book Leave the Office Earlier (Broadway Books, 2004).