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23 Family Traditions to Start When You Travel

23 Family Traditions to Start When You Travel

 

Tips on How to Start Family Traditions when you travel & take vacations -- with a free printable list for you!

Growing up, our family road trips where one of the highlights of my summers.

Every year, we would head off to see far-away family members or set out to explore a new destination together.

This was back before seat belt laws and car seats -- when flying a family of 5 was ‘way out of the budget’.

My Dad would pack three pajama-clad kids along with all their pillows & blankets into the back of a station wagon and hit the road by 4 am.

“When you wake up, we’ll stop for breakfast” he’d tell us the night before.

Yes, there were squabbles, along with the frequent “are we there yet” comments every few hours but isn’t that what a road trip is really all about?

When we’d reach our destination, we would all pile out of the car, put our arms over our head and do one of those big s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s that only come after being cooped up in a vehicle for hours.

Family would come out to greet us with smiles & hugs “You made it!

“How was your trip?”

Even now, when we take our kids on road trips, there’s always someone that utters that question – how was your trip?

My husband will look at his watch to let you know if ‘we made good time’ or not.

Sometimes one of the kids will say ‘it was long!’ or ‘so much fun! We stopped and saw (insert crazy road side trip Mom made us go on here)’

For me, there’s really only one word that comes to mind when I hear that question – how was your trip?

It was memorable.

Always memorable.

 

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Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt {with free printable worksheet!}

Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt {with free printable worksheet!}

Free printable Leaf Scavenger Hunt Cards to inspire your kids to get outside, practice a little math and (most of all) enjoy the beauty of the season!

Leaf activities are second nature in Fall! 

Whether you're creating leaf rubbings, making leaf prints or just enjoying the color, there are so many ways to play, learn and craft with leaves.

And best of all, NO prep time!

You won't need any special supplies for many of your leaf projects -- just step outside and you're set to go :)

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15 Free Father's Day Cards & Activities {printables}

15 Free Father's Day Cards & Activities {printables}

Father's Day is coming soon so I thought we would round-up some printable Father's Day cards & activities the kids can print and personalize for Dad. 

These aren't regular boring old run-of-the-mill cards either -- we've found ideas for techie greetings, funny fill-ins and some unique ones that are sure to make Dad smile.

I hope these make life a little easier as you get ready to celebrate with 'The Best Dad in the World'!

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Nature Scavenger Hunt {free printable list!}

Nature Scavenger Hunt {free printable list!}

Get out to explore with this FREE printable Nature Scavenger Hunt list!

We love to get out and explore new places as a family -- whether it's hiking a new trail, going on a scavenger or finding a new playground!

So this year we are once again partnering with The National Park Trust to celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 20th.

Print off your free scavenger hunt, learn about some awesome park activities near you & enter the giveaway too!

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Valentine's Day Activities {free printable!}

Valentine's Day Activities {free printable!}

Enjoy these no-candy, free printable Valentine's Day activities that your kids will LOVE!

So here's my thing with Valentine's Day (well, actually two things)...

First, the store-bought, pre-packaged card sets that have 24 valentines to a box -- It. Drives. Me. Nuts!

Why?

Well, my kids haven't had 24 kids in their class EVER.  So every year, I'm stuck buying two boxes in order to accomodate the 26 or so friends in the class.

And second, I'm not a fan of yet another candy holiday -- I mean, I just got my family back on the eating-healthier bus after Christmas (and believe me, it's not always easy to get them back on track if you know what I mean ;)

So today, I'm going to solve BOTH of these problems with this FREE printable Valentine Volcano activity & card set!

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Thanksgiving Photo Scavenger Hunt {w/free printable game!}

Thanksgiving Photo Scavenger Hunt {w/free printable game!}

Print this free Thanksgiving Photo Scavenger Hunt and get the whole family involved in showing why they are thankful this year!

Thankfulness is a hard concept for kids to grasp -- even older kids!

We all have so much in our life that we tend to take for granted -- health, a warm house, a hug from our kids -- so I wanted something that we could do this Thanksgiving that highlights why we should be grateful. 

I was thinking a new game would be fun for all ages -- we love to have printable Thanksgiving games around the table or those fun minute-to-win-it games at Christmas.

And I knew it needed to involve photos because when you think about it, every time you snap a picture, you're actually capturing a memory of something you appreciate, something you are thankful for in your life.

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Halloween Mystery Touch & Feel Game

Halloween Mystery Touch & Feel Game

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

I wanted to create something easy but fun for the holiday with a little spooky but not to scary.  Mystery touch & feel boxes or bags are 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 (just add the free printable 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!}

A FREE back to school checklist for parents to help cover all the obvious and obscure things that need to be done before your 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 awesome free printable checklists to help you get organized and start the school year off right along with organizing tips & affiliate links to some of our favorite items!

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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 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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17 Awesomely Fun Things to do After School

17 Awesomely Fun Things to do After School

Enjoy these fun things to do after school including a free printable set of 20 Questions to ask your kids!

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 Hunt Ideas & Games

Spring scavenger hunt ideas & games that inspire kids to enjoy the outdoors!

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 Hunt ideas 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 Clues {with free printable!}

Set up your own DIY Easter Egg Hunt with free printable clues that can be used in any home!

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 cool stuff in my Easter basket!

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 sister, 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 our kids.  

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