20 Owl Crafts for Kids to Make

You know how things happen in 3's?

Well this week -- 

1. we dropped our oldest off at college so now both kids are back in school,

2. found trees with their leaves changing 

3. the temperature last night dropped to 56 degrees!

Can you say ‘Fall is on the way’?!!

There’s something about the start of a new season that gets my creative juices flowing.  I’ve pulled out our Fun Things to Do in the Fall (print a free copy for your home too!) and started making plans for the things we look forward to doing in Autumn.

Family hikes and brunch with apple cider pancakes are right at the top of the list :)

With all these wonderful seasonal changes, I am definitely in the mood to get started on some Autumn themed crafts & activities too! 

Today's theme -- everything Owl!

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16 Classic Kids Books for Fall

I love sharing classic books with my kids, especially ones that I enjoyed as a child and Fall books are my favorites! 

So I've started a quarterly series on great Vintage Kids Books to feed my need for nostalgic reading :) 

My goal is to help parents & teachers introduce their kids to the books they loved to read & hear as children in order to provide a steady diet of classic literature in addition to the new and more contemporary books your kids love to read.

If you missed the other lists for Summer, Spring and Winter, you can find out them all at Classic Kids' Books for Every Season

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20 Healthy Breakfast Ideas {w/free meal planning printable!}

These healthy breakfast ideas will be a big hit (and help) during the school year!  Plus the free printable meal planner is perfect for keeping you organized in the mornings.

Today we are going to make mornings & breakfast easier, healthier and actually an enjoyable part of your day -- say "goodbye" to chaotic mornings!

I know, you think I'm talking nuts right? 

But I want to help make it happen for you this year!

So I have some AWESOME things to share with you (because I love to make life easier for everyone!):

• a FREE printable list of healthy breakfast ideas with a round-up of our favorite healthy recipes,

• tips to make mornings less stressful,

• and great way you can take control of your mornings!

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20 Awesome Outdoor Fall Science Activities

I just LOVE Fall!  Especially getting outside to enjoy the weather -- which always leads me to think about a few fun Fall themed science activities for kids.

With all the seasonal changes, science in the Fall can be so easy to come by and so colorful too -- leaf rubbings, nature projects and crafty science activities!

So today I hope to inspire you with some seasonal science -- experiment with apples, pumpkins and leaves!

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Quick & Easy Fundraising Activity for Schools

If you have kids in school, I'm sure you know school fundraisers are a big deal!

The goal, of course, is to find a quick & easy fundraising activity that doesn't take a lot of time for families to do and in my opinion, should allow the kids to get involved in fundraising efforts without having them go door-to-door.

We're always look for more practical fundraisers because honestly, how much frozen cookie dough can you really keep in the freezer?!

Since we're not crazy over the idea of selling items, we love to support our schools through the Box Tops for Education™ program  -- it's super quick, really easy and I'm going to show you a few secrets on how to double & triple the value of the Box Tops for your school this year!

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10 Activities for Kids to Do during Reading Time

Our kids could never sit still during reading time.  They would ask to build block towers, do headstands on the couch so they could see the book upside down or color while we read aloud.  Even as they got older, there would always be something in their hands while they listened to a story. 

School wasn't any different -- they (along with many of their peers) would only sit still for the first few pages of a book.  In the upper elementary and middle school classes, many of their teachers would read aloud while the kids were working on projects or homework.

Lots of parents worry about the fact that their kids just can't sit still.  But guess what -- this is totally NORMAL! 

As a whole, our society asks that children sit still too much of the day.  Kids are made to move -- and if you think about it, most of us as adults don't like sitting for long periods of time either ;)

So back to reading time -- how do you incorporate reading time with active kids?

I'm here to tell you that reading CAN be an active activity! 

There's no reason that kids need to ONLY sit still while you read.  In fact, most kids will have better comprehension of the story and are more likely to WANT to read if they enjoy reading sessions.

Since so many teachers ask families to practice reading with their kids at home (super important to do by the way!) and family read aloud sessions are also very popular, I wanted to share 10 fun activities that kids can do during reading times!

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DIY First Aid Kit List {with free printable!}

DIY First Aid Kit List {with free printable!}

Use this free printable First Aid Kit list and quickly know what to include in your own medical kit for the car, classroom or college student!

We are currently packing up my oldest and getting him ready for his first year at college this week (one of those big life moments for both parents & kids)!

And in all the packing & shopping, I'm trying to think about what he'll need when he's 1,000 miles away from home.

You know, the stuff that Moms always seem to prepare for -- all those "What if" moments.

One of the items that quickly came to mind is a portable First Aid Kit that's perfect for students!

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A Perfect Back-to-School Volunteer Project for Kids

It's very important to me that our kids are introduced to volunteer opportunities. Whether it’s a random act of kindness (such as helping someone take back their grocery cart) or a long-term commitment with a local charity, volunteer work teaches them so much!

But I do admit there are challenges when you want to volunteer as a family.  Some organizations don't allow children to participate in projecs due to a variety of reasons.  And then there’s the schedule – trying to find a time when everyone in the family can participate in the same volunteer project.

With the school year beginning, we like to look for projects that we can do from home and especially things that the kids can take on as "a project of their own".  

One of the best ways we've found for kids to make a postive impact is the Box Tops for Education™ program!  It's the perfect opportunity for kids in elementary and middle school to take the lead on a project that will help others and it's something any family can easily do at home.

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7 Things to do Before the First Day of School

I'm sure you heard a few groans as you flipped the calendar to August.

School will be starting soon for so many of us and I'll be honest with you, I'm not that excited.

I love the unscheduled days of summer, letting the kids sleep in and not having to say "Do you have your homework? Did you grab your lunch?" every morning :)

But I know the kids are looking forward to seeing their friends again and finding out who their teachers will be this year.  And it's always good to get back into the school routine come Fall.

So here are a few tips on how to make the back to school transition a little easier (and fun) for everyone!

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Fun Math Games: Plot Points on a Map Scavenger Hunt

I'm super excited about today's activity!

Why?  It's a fun way to get the kids outside PLUS there's some math involved AND there's also an element of surprise! 

So your kids won't even notice the math & learning that's involved ;)

And it's super easy to do in your own yard or neighborhood.

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9 College Prep Tips: How to Get Ready for Freshman Year

If you have a teen, these college prep tips will help you get them ready for Freshman year!

I want to prepare you for what’s coming – the honest & brutal truth -- your kids will grow up and leave you.

I'm sure you know this but as it quickly approaches and becomes an absolute, the thought hits you like a ton of bricks.

If you’ve read our first post in the ‘get ready for college series, you’ll recall that I started talking about how we had 48 Saturdays left with our oldest. 

We are now down to our last 2 Saturdays

... just 2 more weekends as we pack & prepare to ship him 1000 miles away. 

... to a great school and an awesome college life -- but he will be gone until Thanksgiving

... and I'm told life will just never be the same.

Insert sniffles & tears here!

Getting your teen ready to move their entire living space (and life!) to another location is not an easy task! 

There’s the shopping and the packing, discussions about what life will be like, trying to organize everything and get them to decide what to take.  Plus fitting in some fun family time too!

So it's wonderful that Caribou Coffee has sponsored us to be part of their #12hrAdventure -- for us, it's a College Prep adventure day!

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35 Free Back to School Printables

Back to school is almost here & it's time to make life easier this week!

Our kids here begin school next week (yikes!). It's hard to believe that it's almost time to say 'good-bye' to summer.

Although we aren't in any huge rush to get back to a school schedule, I do like to do a few fun things during that first week back -- maybe a special breakfast or a fun way to kick-off the day at the breakfast table.

And of course those first day of school pictures that I always insist on taking (even when the kids think they are too old for them :).

Plus, it's time to get my own ducks in a row with ways to make those weekday breakfasts sessions a little easier and more organized.

In order to help you make back to school a little less hectic (because less chaos means more time to enjoy :), we've round-up 40 free back to school printables that will get the kids out the door, make lunches easier and get the school year off to a great start!

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20 STEM Activities Inspired by Kids Movies

I know a lot of families (including ours!) enjoy seeing some of the new kids movies that come to theaters.

And family movie nights are a perfect time to watch some of the classic kids flicks that we may have missed seeing at the thater during the busy school year.  Has your family seen any of the 25 Best Kids Books Made into Movies

Plus old Disney films are also a big hit with kids -- throw-back ones like Honey I Shrunk the Kids or The Apple Dumpling Gang are a few family faves.

Movies can be very inspirational for kids as they watch creative ideas coming to life on the big screen -- which makes it a great way to entice them to do a little science too.

So today we're sharing a list of some AWESOME kids movies along with science-related crafts & activities that will keep those minds buzzing -- just in time for back to school!

 

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How to Make a Sun Print Shirt: A Crafty Science Project

You know when you find those inspirational points where two seemingly unrelated things collide?

Like frozen hot chocolate?! 

You think "Man, I'm not sure how that came together but it just works!"

That's what we have for you with this project -- Science + Craft = Awesomeness!

Today we're combining the science of sun prints with designing your own t-shirt.  It's a super easy activity for kids of all ages and one that will really let their creativity shine through.

Plus it's a great way to introduce a little science and also make a unique t-shirt for back to school (which is happening way too quickly in our neck of the woods -- only 15 more days of summer here).

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11 Inspiring Books for Kids who Want to Start a Club

Did you have a chance to download the free printables in our 3 Reasons Your Kids Should Start a (Secret) Club post?

Starting a club or fort is a rite of passage for kids -- a statement that says "I'm ready to bond with my peers" if you will.

Kids love the idea of creating their own secret handshake, club badge and map directions!

But maybe the kids aren't sure what kind of a club to start.

It's a good question -- one that takes some thought and a few inspirational reads.

So this week's book list is all about the fun & adventures that happen when you create a club of your own!

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