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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3 Reasons Your Kids Should Start a (Secret) Club {w/free printables!}

One summer, the kids decided they wanted to start their own club.

A secret club.

"One that only has kids allowed Mom -- you can't come in, okay?"

It's one of those times as a parent when you're excited for the creativity and independence but also a little skeptical about the motive ;)

Since parents have their own little secrets, I thought it was time for the kids to bond a little and this club might be just the thing they needed.

Little did I know it was just the thing I needed too!

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Kids Books about Fractions & Hands-on Math Activities

We have a running joke in our house about the 'bigger half'.

My daughter started it when she was younger -- we would ask if she wanted to split a sandwich or cookie with someone and her reply was always "Yes, but I want the bigger half!"

We tried to explain that half meant two equal amounts -- but that didn't go over in her mind.

"Just cut it like this Mommy" as she showed me a line that clearly allowed one part of the item to be larger than the other.

"But that's not half, Honey.  If we split it, than we would both get the same amount."

Her reply -- "Oh, than I don't want half.  I want more." :)

What I realized as a parent is that we introduce the idea of fractions very early in a child's life --

Half a cookie or the slices of a pizza

Counting out an equal number of blocks or legos on a playdate so everyone has equal amounts

Using measuring cups when kids cook with us in the kitchen

All those activities involve fractions but I know that I'm not always the best about pointing out when we are learning with fractions.  So today we're sharing great books & easy hands-on activities that help kids learn about the idea of "parts of a whole" -- and it's part of an awesome month-long series on maths hosted by Peakle Pie & 20 bloggers who love to share unique ideas for math activities!

 

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Tips for Finding the Best Vacation Home Rentals

 

My husband will be the first to tell you that I'm the brains & braun behind our family vacations.

My family grew up taking trips every summer and I knew I wanted the same for my kids -- getting out to explore the world and seeing some amazing things together!

But I'm also not the most laid-back person when it comes to family travel.  I like to be uber prepared and have a good 'home base' on our trips.

When we first started traveling with kids, I knew staying in a hotel room wasn't going to work for us.  Our oldest was not a heavy sleeper and would wake up (and stay up!) with the littlest noises.  And my husband never got a good night's sleep when the baby was in the room. 

So on our first big family trip, we decided to rent a vacation home -- and we've never looked back!

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Awesome Travel Journal Ideas for Kids {with free printables!}

Use these travel journal ideas to help your kids document their trip!

Summer travel is the perfect opportunity to inspire the kids to do some writing.

I think downtime during the summer months is really important for kids but I've also seen what happens when they don't pick up a pencil for a few months (yikes!)  It can be a rude awaking when they head back to school so I'm always looking for fun ways to encourage them to write a little throughout the summer.

Since we're heading out on a mega road trip this month, I thought I would include some travel journal pages in our Road Trip Binder (which already has 40+ Free Printable Road Trip Activities you might want to check out!)

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150+ Activities for Year-Round Play & Learning

If you were standing right next to me when I tell you this, I'm sure you would laugh a little because it's hard for me to say it without jumping up & down ...

We have written a book!

Being an author is a life goal of mine so I'm really excited about this first book :)

I work with an outstanding group of writers, educators and moms -- we call ourselves the Kid Blogger Network -- and we love to share unique ideas for fun ways to play & learn.  We write & create kids activities for many websites across the globe but we wanted to create a resource for parents, teachers and grandparents where it was easy to find activities your kids will LOVE all in one place.

So let me introduce you to "Learn with Play:  150+ Activities for Year-Round Play & Learning" along with some BONUS activities and a special offer during our kick-off launch week!

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The Secret to a More Relaxing Summer

I've got a secret to share with you today!

I'm not really that organized during the summer :)

Ok, that's not really it -- the secret is in how I APPEAR to be organized on those crazy summer days. 

If you've been following The $0 Summer: 105 Ways to Make Memories with the Kids series, you know our goal is to help you focus on more fun and less chaos.  (If you haven't been following along, we'd love for you to join us!)

We had one of THOSE summers a while back -- you know the ones -- every time we would head to the park or the pool or out to an event, something would get left behind.

Like the water bottles or the kids' socks (which you ALWAYS need at play places) or the towel so the kids wouldn't shiver when they got out of the pool. 

Or worse yet, I would forget the snacks!

Ugh!

So I got myself together and put a little system into place -- a very easy system that made my family very happy because we always had what we needed when we needed it (yea!)

Want to know my secret?  And bonus:  it comes with a FREE printable to make your summer less chaotic too :)

 

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