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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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!

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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Halloween Touch and Feel Game: Mystery Bags

Halloween Touch and Feel Game: Mystery Bags

Kids (and adults!) will love this fun Halloween game -- create your own DIY touch & feel mystery bags!

I wanted to create something easy but fun for the holiday with a little spooky but not to scary.  These mystery touch & feel bags were just the ticket!

I promise they are not so creepy (even though you could easily make it spookier if you'd like) -- it's always the anticipation that gets kids as they slooowwwly put their hand in the bag wondering what it will feel like.

This is so simple to do and such a fun activity for parties, trick or treaters or even as a Hallowen science experiment.  And I bet you have what you need right in your house (along with the free printable bag tags we have for you below ;)

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40 Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids {w/free printables!}

40 Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids {w/free printables!}

Inspire your kids with these awesome outdoor scavenger hunts (many with free printables!) and time outside will soon be something that happens on a regular basis!

It's those long school days that always get me thinking about how much time our kids are stuck indoors.

Even with recess (which has so many caveats these days - too hot, too rainy, etc), the majority of their seven hour school day is in the classroom.  So once they walk in the door, I love to have some outdoor activities ready to go!

And scavenger hunts are some of our favorites (as you may have guessed :)  They can be done together, as an independent activity, with a group of friends and are so darn easy :)  Just grab a list & go!

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The Ultimate Back to School Checklist {with free printable!}

The Ultimate Back to School Checklist {with free printable!}

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

 

Need a checklist to help you get ready for back to school?  Then we've got you covered -- with FREE printable lists of all the obvious and obscure things that need to be done before the kids head back to class!

There are always SO MANY things to get done before school begins, aren't there?!

Shopping for school supplies just seems second nature to us but all those other little things -- like do I have the latest school phone numbers on my phone?  Which app is the school using to track grades this year?  Not to mention the whole "you can't wear flip flops all year so which shoes still fit" discussion.

So today we have not one but TWO great free printable checklists to help you get organized and start the school year off right!

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20 Printable Scavenger Hunt, Car Games & Life Skills Activities for Kids

20 Printable Scavenger Hunt, Car Games & Life Skills Activities for Kids

Today we are introducing our first Printable Activity Pack with TONS of fun summer activities for your kids & I am SO excited about this!

Since we're all about helping to make family life easier while your raise curious kids, we've combined those two goals to create a Summer Printable Activity Pack with activities the kids will LOVE along with time-saving printables for parents!

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The Ultimate Cabin Trip Packing List: 50 Things to Bring

The Ultimate Cabin Trip Packing List: 50 Things to Bring

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

 

If you're like our family, this free printable cabin trip packing list is the perfect way to get you organized & out the door!

As I've mentioned before, I don't do tents (not a fan of bears & snakes) :)  But when I married my husband, I was well aware that he came from a camping-type family.  The whole tents-in-the-woods boys-peeing-behind-the-tree type of thing.

I prefer a door on my bathroom and a bedroom where I know I won't be visited by wild animals in the middle of the night!

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Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt

Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt

We're back with our nature buddies for this wee's Outdoor STEM Activity -- and since this week's theme is taking technology outside, we thought we'd create an awesome Photo Scavenger Hunt!

This is a super easy idea that will keep the kids both busy & creative on those long "Mom, I'm bored!" days ;)

Plus, Summer is the perfect time for kids to explore something new or master a skill such as photography -- those less-scheduled days allow them more time to pick up a camera and practice.

So grab a camera or smart phone along with our free printable Photo Scavenger Hunt list and let's head outside to explore!

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17 Awesomely Fun Things to do After School

17 Awesomely Fun Things to do After School

Once our kids started school, I quickly realized that time together during the week was going to be VERY limited.

They don't get home until 3:30 pm here -- and of course there are days when afterschool activities take place, plus homework, dinner prep, gathering things for the next day and bath or shower.

Which leaves a small window of opportunity to touch base and see how life's going for everyone.

And that time to connect is so important! 

But yet, asking them "So, how was your day?" is usually met with "Fine." or in our case "It was schooly."

Yes, my kids resort to making up new words to throw me off :)

I'm on to their tricks and have a few of my own to get them talking and turn a somewhat boring afternoon into an AWESOME time to connect!

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17 Spring Scavenger Hunts & Games

It seems that no matter where we go lately, there's always some new to see --

baby bunnies, beautiful buds on trees, flowers blooming ...

Plus so many more of our friends and neighbors are getting outside now that the weather's warming up!

So this week's round-up of FREE printable activities includes a variety of Spring Scavenger Hunts and printable games to play outside!

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23 FREE Printable Gardening Activities

Spring is the perfect time to introduce your kids to gardening!

It doesn't have to be anything complicated -- a few seeds in a pot or an herb garden on the windowsill is the perfect starter project.  Or even a mini Fairy Garden as a family project!

Gardening offers so many learning opportunities -- understanding how things grow, exploring bugs & worms and the science of plants (botany).  Plus some fun ideas for connecting math and reading with gardening activities too.

Today's round-up of free garden printables will help you to plan your garden, track your plant's growth, learn about plants & seed and even inspire the kids to do some reading too!

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Bug Hunt: Outdoor Activities for Kids {w/free printable}

Today we are linking up with the Storytime Science series to share two of our favorite things -- books & science!

Ironically, the book I'm sharing (which is such an awesome read!) is NOT about one of my favorite things -- BUGS!

When the kids were younger, they would come running in the house to show me a potato bug they found or carry in a worm from the garden.  We would chase fireflies at night and run after butterflies on our walks in the park -- I swear, some weekends there were more bugs than people hanging around on the back deck.

Young kids have a thing for bugs :)

Since I'm not much of a bug person, this is one place where I LOVE using a book to introduce the topic.  PLUS we've got a super free printable Bug Hunt that you can use as you head outside to explore a few new things about your favorite insects!

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Easter Egg Hunt {with free printable clues!}

When I was younger, Easter was a big family holiday for us -- lots of people over to the house, a HUGE family dinner and new Easter outfits! 

But my favorite part of the whole day was the Easter egg hunt!  I looked forward to it more than the Easter baskets!

My mom would round up a handful of pennies, nickels and dimes (+ one quarter) from my father and distribute the money into a dozen or so plastic eggs. 

Then she would hide them around the house and let my sisiter, brother & I know they were hidden.

That was all it took -- we would hunt and search like crazy!  Oh, to find the egg with the quarter (that was a lot of money for a kid way back when ;) 

Now we live far away from our family so Easter is more of a quiet holiday -- no big meal and it's  just our immediate family but every year, I do an egg hunt for the kids.   

No matter how old they are, or how cold it is or even if we attend an egg hunt at church first -- we still have our family egg hunt at home because I know things like this will build fond memories for them.

So I thought we'd share a super easy Easter Egg Hunt that you can do at your house! 

We have the clues all set up for you along with a few details on how to make it easy for younger kids or nice and challenging for the tweens & teens ;)

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30 FREE Printable Winter Games & Activities

A great list of free printable indoor games & activities for those days when you can't get outside!

Today's round-up of FREE printable Winter games & activities is not only a resource for the next few months but also one of those posts that came about as the result of desperate times.

I'm currently sitting on our couch looking out the window at the GORGEOUS snow fallling. 

The flakes are those big, soft ones that float down and make everything look like a winter wonderland.

And it's so quiet and peaceful ...

... right now, that is.

Because I know this is the calm before the storm (literally!) -- the coming weeks will be full of more indoor time than outdoor time for so many of us. 

Which means it's time to get prepared -- and I've got your back!

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Hands-on Science: Create a Water Cycle Project using LEGOS

Today we are combining two things that I really enjoy doing with kids -- hands-on science + LEGOS® !

I love taking a not-so-easy-to-explain topic like The Water Cycle and turning it into a hands-on learning activity where you can see their eyes light up as they begin to grasp the concept! 

And hands-on science is fun -- but add in a LEGO® challenge and kids will enjoy it even more!

The water cycle might seem like a complex topic but it's really very simple -- only 3 main parts -- and I always love to explain that the water we drink is the SAME water that the dinosaurs drank too (for some reason the idea of dinosaurs drooling in their water is appealing to kids, who knew?! :) 

But explaining how that's possible can be a little complicated which is why we're going to BUILD a water cycle project to help take a detailed topic and break it into simple learning steps.

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