Indoor Winter Games for Kids: Holiday Charades or Pictionary {w/free printable}

Enjoy some time inside with these fun holiday & winter themed charade or pictionary games for kids and families!

This week, I've realized that winter is coming. 

Scratch that – winter is here (at least in most of the country). 

The temperatures have dipped so low that getting outside is sometimes difficult even for a nature loving girl like myself.

So it’s always good to have some fun indoor activities ready & waiting – great for rainy days or frigid temps! 

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30 Christmas Science Experiments & STEM Activities

30 Christmas Science Experiments & STEM Activities

Inspire some holiday learning with these awesome Christmas science experiments & STEM activities!

Christmas is my favorite time of year!  

Time to relax with family, enjoy some Christmas games & even squeeze in some holiday learning too.

There are so many beautiful materials and great opportunities to add STEM to decorating and learning! I'm excited to bring you a great list of Christmas science experiments & activities that are perfect for some holiday learning at home or in the classroom. 

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25 Free Online Read Aloud Books for Christmas & Holidays

A wonderful list of FREE read aloud books online for Christmas and winter holidays is sure to inspire holiday reading! 

One of our most loved and read posts is Finding Free Kids Books Online -- so I thought we should create a special Holiday Edition as our gift to each of you! 

So many families are traveling at this time of the year but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a story with your kids or 'bring along' some seasonal favorites.  These are especially great to take on family road trips during holiday travel!

The following links will take you to FREE online editions of great kids holiday books for reading on your iPad, Kindle, computer or smartphone!  Then you won't have to worry if you didn't get to pack some books (or if you get stuck in line at Target and need something to keep the kids happy ;)

Plus, we've included a few holiday 'treats' that feature audio books & music too!

UPDATED:  This is always such a popular post during the holidays and some of the online sites have changed their book selections. 

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12 Christmas Minute to Win It Games for Kids and Adults

12 Christmas Minute to Win It Games for Kids and Adults

We're pulling together some fun  "Minute to Win It" Christmas games for kids and adults this year as part of our family activities & slow down and enjoy the holidays together goal!

Since we'll have LOTS of family in town, we need some entertaining activities for Christmas Day and beyond.

Have you ever watched Rudolph? 

I'm sure you've seen how the reindeer play games -- and we thought it would be a hoot to put together our own themed set of holiday games to do with the relatives. 

You know, to pass the time on those colder days & add a few laughs to the celebration -- and there will be a LOT of laughs with these, I promise!

 

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25 Christmas Countdown & Advent Calendar Ideas

25 Christmas Countdown & Advent Calendar Ideas

Ideas for a Christmas Countdown or Advent Calendar that inspires family togetherness!

I don't know about you but once December 1st rolls around, my kids turn into math wizards -- they are able to let you know at a moments notice how many days are left until Christmas.

It's amazing considering that the rest of the year they always need to ask me how many days are left in the week ;)

But I'll be honest -- having a countdown to Christmas (which usually includes some of these Advent calendar activities) is just as much fun for me as it is for them.

Because let's just admit it, no matter how much we TRY to keep the month calm and relaxing, the world just doesn't seem to cooperate.

The days begin to fly by faster -- the items on our 'to do' list pile up -- and then WHAM!, it's Christmas Eve and I can't fathom where the last 24 days went.

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100+ Printable Advent Calendar Ideas & Christmas Countdown Activities

100+ Printable Advent Calendar Ideas & Christmas Countdown Activities

TONS of Advent calendar ideas and activities for your 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 -- spending time with my family!

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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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100 Activities for Your Advent Calendar {free printables!}

100 Activities for Your Advent Calendar {free printables!}

Use this free printable set of Advent Calendar ideas & activities to inspire time together for a Christmas Countdown with your kids!

One of my favorite memories from childhood is our Advent Calendar

It was a Christmas tradition -- a simple felt calendar with 24 small red pockets and some jingle bells on the top. 

Each day, my brother, sister or myself placed a candy cane in one of the pockets -- boy, did we fight over that honor :) 

Good thing that 24 is easily divided by 3 so my Mom could quickly swoop in on any disagreement (along with a fast reminder that "Santa's watching").

And now we have a similar calendar in our house -- 24 small pockets with a stocking of candy canes hanging nearby (and even a few arguments about whose turn it is will still occur :) 

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23 Jingle Bell Craft Ideas & STEM Activities for Kids

23 Jingle Bell Craft Ideas & STEM Activities for Kids

These jingle bell crafts ideas and learning activities are easy, fun and perfect to use year-round!

There's just something magical about the sound of a jingle bell.

Honestly, I think they are one of my favorite musical instruments -- not too loud, easy for everyone to use and perfect for most of those Christmas songs.

You may remember that we hunt for jingle bells every December, a unique family tradition that I've done with our kids. And we love to use them for crafting and activities too so today we're sharing a great list of ways to put those jingly guys to use!

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Christmas Around the World Activity {with free printable game!}

Christmas Around the World Activity {with free printable game!}

Christmas is a wonderful time to introduce your kids to traditions and cultures from around the world!

If you think about many of the holiday traditions you have in your family, I'll bet they were handed down through generations and have some type of connection to your heritage.  For example, our Christmas Eve menu and activities are part of my Italian heritage.  And many of the decorations we use in our home can be connected to different countries around the world.

Today's activity is a fun way to inspire some learning this holiday season and perfect if you're celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas!

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

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

Print this free Thanksgiving Photo Scavenger Hunt game 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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Christmas Around the World: Map Activity {w/free printable!}

Christmas Around the World: Map Activity {w/free printable!}

Enjoy learning about Christmas Around the World with this free printable Santa's Name Chrismtas game!

I love to find ways to integrate maps & geography activities for the kids throughout the year.

I worry that without exposure to actual maps & globes, the next geneneration isn't going to be very map-literate given the ease of websites like Google Maps and all the conveniences of having a GPS in their cars and phones. 

Goodness knows if they ever get lost in the woods, they probably won't have very good wifi and may need to find their way home ;)

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Christmas Games for Kids: Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt

Christmas Games for Kids: Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt

We love to play Christmas games with our kids over the holidays and this Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt is SO easy to put together! 

When family visits, we've been known to entertain them with a few minute-to-win-it holiday challenges and a good game of Christmas charades is always great for getting the kids up & moving.

This year, I wanted a fun game that could be played either inside or outdoors and one that was super easy to prep & play (the holidays are already busy enough so I don't need to stress myself out with 'complicated').

And the big plus -- this game can be played with kids of all ages!

 

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DIY Christmas Stocking Ornament Craft for Kids

DIY Christmas Stocking Ornament Craft for Kids

It's always fun to pull out some simple craft activities & family ideas during the holidays!

Nothing complicated -- just something the kids enjoy creating and that usually involves something sparkly :)

And kids adore making ornaments to hang on the tree

I think we have more handmade ornaments on our tree that we do any other type.  We love going through them each year as we decorate and reflecting on when they were made.

We'll frequently hear "I remember making this in Kindergarten!" which is amazing since they can't remember to put their shoes away on most days :)

I admit, those nostalgic memories are wonderful at this time of year.  I remember being in second grade and having the whole class make paper stockings to hang on the class-made "brick" mantle!  It was fun to come to class each day and see our names hanging near that paper fireplace.

So when we joined 70 other creative bloggers this month to bring you some beautiful Kid-made Christmas Ornaments, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with the kids!

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