Tornado in a Bottle Science Experiment

Tornado in a Bottle Science Experiment

Upcycle items from around the house for this easy tornado in a bottle science experiment!

Sometimes an activity can introduce us to something that we aren't able to experience in real life and today's science project does just that!

Spring brings all kinds of weather across the country and one of the worst types of storms are tornadoes.

Living in Kansas, we've had to duck-and-cover quite a few times, huddled in the basement until the storm sirens sound the all clear but thankfully, we have never been caught in a tornado!

But kids will be kids and ask all those great questions -- 'how do tornadoes start?' and 'what makes them so dangerous?' so we thought we'd take a closer look at these storms by creating our own tornado in a bottle!

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15 Outdoor Activities: Backyard Birds for Kids

15 Outdoor Activities: Backyard Birds for Kids

Enjoy exploring birds all year round with these fun outdoor activities & crafts!

We have always loved outdoor activities as a family and wintertime is no exception.

Birds enjoyable for the whole family and unlike so many other animals, they can easily be found thoughout the world -- whether you live in a city, out in the country or in the suburbs.

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15 Play & Learning Ideas: Science Exploration Activities

15 Play & Learning Ideas: Science Exploration Activities

Inspire your kids to explore science with these play & learning ideas and activities!

If you've ever watch children play, you can see how much fun they have pretending. 

Sometimes they are building social skills or practicing their communication and launguage skills. And other times, they are exploring new areas of the world such as science.

Quite a few pretend play activities also lead to science exploration and discovery.  You'll notice kids asking questions such as "why?" and "how?" as they engage in various activities. 

Many times, children don't realize that they are learning about chemistry and physics while they have fun.  And play like this will continue to enhance a child's curiosity as they explore new things.

And don't think pretend play is JUST for preschool kids -- children ages 2 - 12 LOVE to engage in various play activities like these!

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Free Days at National Parks in 2017

Free Days at National Parks in 2017

Woohoo!  The U.S. National Park Service has announced their FREE entrance days for all National Parks in 2017!

One of the big family travel trends for this coming year is nature-focused vacations -- unplug, recharge and enjoy being together.  We are HUGE fans of the National Park system and try to visit at least one park or historic site every year (most years, we hit 2 or 3 of them).

They are amazing places, perfect for weekend outings or family vacations and a great way for families unplug get re-connected with nature.

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Gift Ideas for Book Lovers that Aren't Books

Gift Ideas for Book Lovers that Aren't Books

Got bookworms? Try giving these gift ideas that aren't books!

We have a LOT of books in our house as you might suspect from our numerous kids' book lists!

One of the things I did well as a parent was to raise readers -- I always found a way to tie books with a favorite project, vacation or any interest our kids have had over the years.

But when you have book lovers, you have to make a decision when it comes to gift buying -- either move into a library (we haven't found one for sale yet :) OR find some book-related gifts they'll love since your bookshelves are already chocked full.

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Tree Activities for Kids: Animal Habitats, Tree Types & Nature Facts

Tree Activities for Kids: Animal Habitats, Tree Types & Nature Facts

I know that Fall inspires some popular tree activities for kids -- creating leaf rubbings, watching the leaves change color and heading out on a leaf hunt.

But if we look a little deeper, we'll also find that trees play a crucial role to many of our neighborhood animal friends.  So today, let's head outside and be nature detectives as we look at the lives of trees!

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10 New Kids' Books about Fall

10 New Kids' Books about Fall

Enjoy these new kids' books about Fall & Autumn!

I love creating book lists and I think that some of my favorite are our Kids Books about the Fall & Autumn season!

There's just something about the gorgeous colors, seasonal changes and cozy text that make me want to cuddle up and keep reading (usually with a cup of tea for me a cocoa for the kids :)

Today's book list covers some of the newest reads you'll find out this season for your kids!  Fall colors, animal friends and inspiration for outdoor adventures await in the pages of a book ...

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30+ Hands-on STEM Activities for Creative Kids

30+ Hands-on STEM Activities for Creative Kids

More than 30+ Science, Engineering, Math and Art Activities for creative kids!

I'm very excited about today's post! 

But I always get excited when we're sharing awesome ideas that will help parents & educators infuse some fun and easy STEM into their child's life :)

Our newest collaborative book, Up! is now available - yeah!

It's a wonderful resource for parents & teachers with more than 30+ multisensory activities for children aged 4 to 10 that inspire them to explore all things Up!

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Kids Books about Life in the Forest

Kids Books about Life in the Forest

Gorgeous children's books about forest life and woodland animals!

Fall is the perfect time to read these books about life in the forest & get out to explore! 

You don't need a large area at all -- even a small wooded area will do -- in order to experience a whole new world hidden among the trees.  I especially love to introduce kids to the forest in the Fall because of the changing leaf colors and animal activity.  So many of our woodland friends are preparing for winter at this time of the year.

So grab a few of these gorgeous books & let's go for a walk in the woods!

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DIY Cleaning Caddy for Household Cleaning

DIY Cleaning Caddy for Household Cleaning

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

 

Every summer, we have an odd sort of tradition in our family – our kids learn a new skill with regards to home keeping and it's been a tradition in our house for over 15 years. 

In addition to swimming, traveling and having lots of other fun, we also think it’s very important to teach our kids life skills and summer is the perfect time for this to happen. And I've learned that one thing that goes a long way to making it easy for kids to help around the house with adult supervision is for them to have their own cleaning caddy and weekly jobs that they can learn to master.

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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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Books that Inspire Kids to Learn

Books that Inspire Kids to Learn

Many thanks to Hallmark for sponsoring this post and helping to create communities where all children have the chance to grow up as healthy, productive & caring persons.  All book choices and thoughts are mine alone.

 

Today's book list was inspired by a young lady who fights for quality education for all children around the world.

Malala Yousafzai was 15 when she was shot by the Taliban for attending school in Pakistan.  It was against the law for girls to go to school and yet, every morning Malala would get up and not only get herself to school but encourage other girls in her village to attend as well.  She survived the attack and has since become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient who now travels the world with her father to share their story.

In honor of both Malala & Ziauddin Yousafzai, I wanted to share a book list that will inspire kids to speak up for what they believe, to change the world and to appreciate the opportunity to get an education.

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36 Summer Sensory Experiences

36 Summer Sensory Experiences

Explore some of these summer sensory activities this year with your kids no matter what their age!

My kids are "touchers" -- as in, they always put their hands on things.

 

When they were young, I can't tell you how many times I said "Don't touch that one!" -- barbed wire, live animals, dog poop!

Yes, dog poop -- who knew it was such a kid magnet?!

But I did know that letting them touch as many things as they safely could would allow for wonderful learning opportunities!  They've always learned best when they can have a hands-on experience which is a very familiar thing for so many kids.

So when we plan out our summer activities, I love being able to give them lots of sensory experiences! It's the perfect time to get wet, sticky and try new things -- to paint, walk barefoot and explore the night.

It's the time of year when I initiate some of our creative family projects and plan some out-of-the-ordinary day trips.

So come explore with us as we share 36 Summer Sensory Experiences: fun ways to inspire kids, tweens & teens to touch, taste, smell, feel and hear the beauty of summertime!

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Layers of the Ocean Project: Under the Sea Science

Layers of the Ocean Project: Under the Sea Science

Learn about oceans zones and layers of the sea with this hands-on science project!

Every summer, we seem to gravitate toward ocean science projects and learning about the various ocean layers and animals .

My kids have always been fascinated by ocean animals -- probably because we hardly get to visit any large body of water :) 

But this year, we'll be vacationing at the ocean! 

So we are very excited and doing some fun learning activities before our trip.

Today's activity focuses on some under-the-sea science questions that will help your kids understand the five layers of the ocean, who lives there and how light travels -- and it's one amazingly beautiful project!

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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

We're so excited about this Printable Activity Pack with TONS of fun summer activities for your kids!

And right now, you can get it at a special price (50% off) for a limited time!!

Because it's never too early to start preparing for summer break, right ;)

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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