20 Ways to Enjoy a Summer Night

20 Ways to Enjoy a Summer Night

One of our favorite parts of summertime is the not-so-strict-bedtime schedule so we love to find some fun things to do on a Summer night!

We head out after dinner for a walk to the park or spend a night doing something special. 

With the longer days and cooler evenings, summer is the perfect time to find some family events or activities that you can enjoy together after dark.

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24 Printable Easter Coupons for Kids & Teens

24 Printable Easter Coupons for Kids & Teens

This colorful set of Easter Coupons for kids & teens are perfect as egg fillers or Easter basket stuffers!

In our house, everyone gets an Easter basket no matter how old you may be!

I guess the Bunny doesn't keep track of age where we live ;)

It was the same in our house growing up -- baskets & egg hunts were the norm well into our teen years -- and I love carrying on that family tradition.

I'm definately more of a 'include something other than candy' type of parent -- there are so many other AWESOME items you can tuck into an Easter Basket or use as fillers for those egg hunts.

And one of the BEST things (I'm told by my munchkins) are Easter Coupons!

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12 Awesome Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

12 Awesome Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

These Easter Egg Hunt ideas are sure to please kids of all ages and include ideas for both indoor & outdoor hunts!

I grew up in Central New York which means that snow & cold on Easter was a fairly common thing.

My Mom always let us choose secial Easter outfits or wear our Spring clothes for the holiday.  But a pretty yellow dress paired with ugly black snowboots and a big, puffy coat never said “spring” to me.

Even during a year with a late Easter, there was always the possibility of freezing temps on Easter morning so our egg hunts were held inside.  I had seen outdoor Easter egg hunts on television but it was never something that happened in our neck of the woods.

When I got married and moved to a climate with a lot less snow, I quickly learned that having an outdoor Egg Hunt was a definite possibility.

So when my son was 5 years old, during a year with a ‘later’ Easter, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do our own outdoor Egg Hunt!

My husband was not as exuberant as I was about the idea.

Jacq, he said, it’s going to be cold in the morning

Cool, I said, not cold.  And we can put on jackets before going outside.

He was still a little doubtful so I compromised – I would hide 6 eggs inside and 6 eggs outside before we went to bed.

Hon, I said, it’s only 6 eggs.  We’ll probably be out there for all of 5 minutes to find them.  And I’ll put them in plain sight – really, it’s going to be fine.

Famous. Last. Words.

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12 Days of Christmas Activities {with printables!}

12 Days of Christmas Activities {with printables!}

Is life too busy for the holiday traditions you love?

I know, December can just get SO crazy so fast and before you know it, the month will be gone. 

But if you're like me, enjoying those special moments and activities with family is what MAKES the season so special. 

Especially those small holiday moments the kids love so much!

So if all you want for Christmas is some time to relax with your family – we've got just what you need this year.  And the best part -- you can do the activities before or AFTER Christmas! 

No trying to squeeze in MORE stuff before the holiday if life is already too busy -- because spending time with your kids should be enjoyable and not stressful, right?!

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15 Fun Things to do Outside this Weekend

15 Fun Things to do Outside this Weekend

Fall is in full swing and Winter is at our doorstep but that's no reason to hibernate like many of our animal friends do at this time of the year.

There are still LOTS of ways to enjoy some time outdoors and it's especially important during these shorter days. 

So this weekend, grab your favorite sweater and hit the great outdoors with these fun ideas!

 
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100+ Printable Advent Calendar Ideas & Christmas Countdown Activities

TONS of ideas and activities for your Advent calendar or Christmas countdown that help you focus on making memories this year!

 

Christmas in July Special:  SAVE 33% on the Advent Pack

& receive the Get Ready for the Holidays activities that begin November 1st!

 

Every year, I promise myself that I won't get overwhelmed with the busyness of the season. 

The week before Thanksgiving, I start intentionally thinking about what I want for our family  -- peaceful evenings, time each week to connect and enjoy traditions together -- not to appear to be a frazzled, hurried Mom who's trying to buzz through story time because there are gifts to wrap or cookies to bake.

There's always SO much more on our plates during the holidays which is why I LOVE our Advent Calendar Activities -- they keep me grounded and help me to enjoy what we love most about the holidays. 

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15 DIY Fall Garland Crafts for Kids

15 DIY Fall Garland Crafts for Kids

Fall has finally arrived in our neck of the woods! 

This past weekend, it was 90 degrees (ugh!) and then whoosh! Fall weather swept in with those cool nights and gorgeous days.  And when the weather changes, it always puts me in the mood to pull out the seasonal decorations :)

A few years back, I realized that many of our holiday decorations were either things the kids made at school or store-bought items.  As our kids started to get older, I knew I wanted to have some family-created items that would become cherished parts of our holiday traditions.

One of the perfect group crafting item is garland!  So I thought I would round-up some beautiful Autumn strands that you can make together (as a family or even in a classroom) and are perfect for Fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving.

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How to Use Children's Books to share Family Stories

How to Use Children's Books to share Family Stories

This is one of those week's when sentiment has crept in and taken over.

The first week in April is the anniversary of the passing of two of my grandparents so I always find myself thinking more about them and family at this time of the year.

And it just so happens that I've been reviewing books for our Picture Book of the Day series on Instagram (we have a great group of Kid Lit bloggers who share book recommendations if you're ever looking for some!)

The author of the story we featured this week shared that she "... use(s) bits of my great-grandmother's passport from Lithuania in almost every painting"

Bits. 

Those things that are left to us when people pass on -- family heirlooms, special momentoes and stories.

My grandfather's family was also from Lithuania so this immediately caught my attention.

What bits do I have from him?

And which of those bits have I shared with my kids?

So I immediately started digging through some of my keepsake boxes and books as I thought about the fact that I should be sharing these bits and family stories with my kids more often.

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14 Crafts for Your Thanksgiving Table

These beautiful & easy ideas are the perfect crafts for kids to make to decorate the Thanksgiving table!

When I think back to holiday celebrations, there are 3 things that I loved about Thanksgiving:

1. Having family come to visit

2. PIE! 

3. Helping to get the table ready for the meal

I always felt so grown up when my Mom would give us 'special jobs' so we could help with the holiday prep.  My sister and I were asked to put together the cookie tray, decorate the centerpiece and (if we were lucky) set out the china and fancy glasses.

Not only were we helping but we were also learning how to host a big dinner (a skill that's come in quite handy over the years ;)

And truth be told, these are still my favorite things about the holiday.

So this year, think about how the kids can help you to get the table ready while you focus on the food! 

 

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30 Service Projects for Kids & Families

Looking for volunteer ideas or service projects to help others this holiday season?

I’ve written before about what I want my kids to love about November and understanding how to help their community, serve others and be grateful for all they have is a big part of it.

But here’s the thing – it’s not always easy to do, is it?

We all get busy – school events, homework, prepping for the holidays, daylight savings time makes the day feel much shorter so you’re more likely to stay inside in the evenings ....

.... so many small excuses for why we aren’t able to fit things in.

But I realized over the years that the idea of giving & kindness doesn’t have to be this BIG, GRAND action --

The small acts are JUST as important!  

This year, we're sharing 30 Ideas for Gratitude & Giving to inspire families -- service projects that can be done at home, Random Acts of Kindness that can be done together and places where families can to volunteer during the holiday season.

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40 Family-friendly Fall Activities

This Fall, we want to continue to inspire families to connect & make memories together with a great list of Fall activities you'll love! 

Do you know what I love about the Fall and Halloween season?

I adore the fact that adults enjoy it just as much as the kids!  I think so many of us are kids at heart -- heading to the pumpkin patch, the idea of dressing up, a hike in the woods and who doesn't love candy ;)

I know firsthand that it can be a busy time -- school events, sports practices, shorter days and things that need to get done around the house.  My husband & I were just lamenting that it's hard to find time to unwind as a family.  I firmly believe that you have to carve out time to connect -- otherwise those everday tasks begin to take over.

As with The $0 Summer activities that we shared over the past few months, our goal is to help you find free or low cost ideas for family fun this Fall -- and today, we have 40 fun ways you can get out & enjoy life together!

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Creating an Interactive Advent Calendar for the Holidays

 This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

 

One of the holiday traditions that we look forward to the most in our family is having an Advent Calendar.  I remember having one as a child -- putting candy canes into the slots each day as we counted down to Christmas Eve.  And now we do one with our kids too.

Our countdown changes each year -- sometimes we have a traditional Advent Calendar where the kids open up the littles doors and peek in to find a riddle, joke or fun fact about the holidays.

And sometimes our countdown consists of hidden slips of paper that the kids have to hunt for in order to find out what we are doing that day -- an outdoor adventure, volunteer activity or easy fun at home with the family!

And then there are those years when I'll pull together an interactive Advent Calendar that not only helps us count down the days but also doubles as a decoration.

This is one of those years -- our oldest in a high school Senior this year so I know I won't have another countdown with him at home for the entire month of December.  It's a little bittersweet -- you love to see the kids grow up into confident young adults but you so miss those days when they would crawl up on your lap for a Christmas story.

So this year's Advent Calendar will include all of our favorite things from the past -- and best of all, I'm upcycling so many items as I create it!

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Creating Family Traditions

We were compensated for this post by Blickenstaff's as part of a campaign with The Mom It Forward Blogger Network and are thrilled to be working with them to share more about family traditions.

 

This is the time of the year when I always revisit our family traditions. 

I don't know if it's the approaching holidays or the fact that the kids are back at school and I yearn for more time together. 

Either way, I always have a goal of re-establishing some of our long standing traditions or creating new ones that fit our lifestyle.

Creating family traditions doesn't have to be any big, elaborate task.  On the contrary, many of our most loved traditions came about because they are simple, enjoyable and stand out in some way.

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Fall Family BINGO: 50 Fun Autumn Activities {w/free printable}

I've been trying to find a fun way to get all of our Autumn activities into one spot.

There's always so much we love to do in the Fall -- apple picking, getting pumpkins, fall hikes, baking (and more baking)!  Last year, we created a fun and colorful Fall Fun printable list -- but this year, I wanted something new. 

I started with a list but it just didn't feel right. 

I was looking for something more visual, something the kids would want to read and choose from each week, something like a game.

And that's when it hit me -- why not make it a game?! 

So Fall Family Fun BINGO was born :)

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10 Ideas for Spending Time with the Kids During the School Year

 

Time with the kids is precious. 

You really begin to understand this as the kids grow up and especially as those long, relaxing days of summer turn into the more busy back-to-school hours that are beginning this month.

When the kids are born, you have approximately 940 Saturdays together before they fly the coop.  Yes, someone somewhere counted up all those days and we get less than a thousand weekends (really not much when you look at it like that, is it).

When they’re young, “The days are long but the years are short” as Gretchen Rubin would say.  Then they get older and both the days and the years fly by quickly.

I only have 55 more Saturdays with my oldest.

And here’s what’s been eating at me lately --- as the kids get older, their schedule becomes full of things (fun things) that they want to do.  BUT (and it’s a big but), they still REALLY need that time with you!

 

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