Easy Mother's Day Craft or Teacher Appreciation Gift

Easy Mother's Day Craft or Teacher Appreciation Gift

Love this easy craft idea for Mother's Day or Teacher Appreciation Day -- preschoolers, elementary kids & teens can create a one-of-a-kind gift with this quick tutorial!

Do you know what I love about today’s painting project for kids? 

It doesn’t require perfection or detail or really any focus. 

It's very open-ended and so creative -- plus down-right beautiful too!

And it's the perfect idea for Mother's Day or as a Teacher Appreciation gift at the end of the year -- it will brighten up any yard or room!

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17 Dr. Seuss & Cat in the Hat Games {free printables!}

Enjoy these creative Dr. Seuss & Cat in the Hat games with your kids and inspire a love of reading!

There's nothing like a game to encourage a child to pick up a book! 

And some of the best books that lend themselves to being turned into a game are those created by Dr. Seuss -- so creative, colorful and full of fun ideas. 

With March being the celebration of Dr. Suess' birthday (Read Across America is March 2nd!) and such a big reading month, I thought a collection of Dr. Seuss games was in order!

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20 Rainbow Craft Ideas for Kids

20 Rainbow Craft Ideas for Kids

Enjoy these 20 easy Rainbow Crafts for Kids -- perfect for Spring & St. Patrick's Day!

Nothing says "Spring" like the colors of the rainbow!

And while it's fun to pull out the crayons to make a rainbow, we often prefer something with a tactile or sensory component when we're crafting or creating art. 

Like our Fall Texture Art projects for kids , today's activities all involve something more than just coloring on paper. 

So let's get creative with rainbow colors that 'pop'!

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14 Easy Valentine Box and Card Holder Ideas

14 Easy Valentine Box and Card Holder Ideas

Fun ideas for unique and easy Valentine Boxes that are the perfect way to hold cards & candy from class parties!

Sometimes I think it's the minor holidays that might put me under as a Mom!

Take February for example, either I'm trying to find 100 items for the kids to bring for the 100th day of school or I'm wondering how it is that EVERY set of boxed valentines includes 24 cards when my kids ALWAYS have 26 kids in their class.

I solved that last challenge by finding a great selection of Free Valentine Cards for Kids that you can print yourself -- as many as you'll need :)

Now for the next challenge -- coming up with a great idea for the Valentine Box! 

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25 Snow Day Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy

Enjoy these fun indoor & outdoor activities for your next snow day!

Like so many others, we are having a 'snow day' this week (actually, it's an ice day today but who knows what tomorrow might bring -- my kids are hoping for a repeat performance :).

You can't go out much (really, driving is horrendous) and it's not like you had time to plan ahead since snow days are always a surprise. 

But that shouldn't stop you from having some fun today and even creating a few memories.

Here are a few creative ways to spend the day without going crazy from cabin fever!

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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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20 Fairy Play & Mini Garden Ideas

20 Fairy Play & Mini Garden Ideas

These mini garden ideas and fairy play activities are sure to inspire kids of all ages to dig, plant, grow and engage in imaginative play!

Fairy gardens are the perfect way to connect your child with so many learning & sensory concepts and they are easy to create in your backyard, kitchen or classroom! 

We have ours in our outdoor flower garden but today's set of activities include ideas for both indoor and outdoor fairy set-ups! 

I hope you find inspiration and enjoy planning your own mini garden play area!

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10 Groundhog Day Activities & Books

10 Groundhog Day Activities & Books

Try these Groundhog Day activities & books that explore shadows, weather and more seasonal fun!

February 2nd is Groundhog's Day - the halfway point of winter. 

If you've got kids, you know that there's some quirky draw to that furry, little creature who pops his head out to see if it will be a longer winter. 

Too bad he didn't predict snow days too ;)

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Musical Games for Kids: Songs from Around the World

Musical Games for Kids: Songs from Around the World

Inspire an interest in culture & geography with this fun musical game for kids!

I'm always looking for fun ways to integrate a little geography into our lives -- especially hands-on activities that allow us to use maps !

So when our friends from The Educator's Spin on It sent over a copy their new book (an AWESOME collection of learning games), it didn't take much time for us to decide which activity we wanted to showcase:  Mapping Songs from Around the World!

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27 Sidewalk Chalk Learning Games & Activities for Summer

27 Sidewalk Chalk Learning Games & Activities for Summer

Grab your favorite sidewalk chalk and do some learning this summer!

At the end of the school year, I always spend some time stocking up for Summer fun.

I like to do a quick assessment of items that need to be added based on the kids' developmental skills (do we need a bigger bike?  are they ready to try a new activity like hula-hooping?) and also those outdoor supplies that need to be replenished -- like sidewalk chalk!

If I could create a Summer Bag for every kid in the world, one of the first things I would put in is sidewalk chalk -- it's colorful, inexpensive and there are SO many awesome ways to use it!

So play & learn with us today and explore these 27 fun ways to get creative with sidewalk chalk this summer!

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DIY Fairy Garden Ideas & STEM Activities for Kids

Enjoy these DIY Fairy Garden Ideas for kids that incorporate science, math & engineering learning!

Today we are combining a few of our favorite things -- gardening, fairies and STEM in this month's feature of manipulative play and small worlds for kids!

We've been talking about planting a Fairy Garden for a year now and finally got around to it this month when we celebrated my daughter's birthday. 

She loves the idea of small worlds and we both enjoy gardening so I decided to overlap those activities with a few science, math and even a cool engineering project. 

Come peek inside our Small World Fairy Garden and see how this fun activity will inspire kids to learn too -- plus we have some great resources so you can put together your own fairy garden this Spring!

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Moon Activities for Kids: 3D Phases of the Moon Project

Enjoy learning about the moon's phases with this hands-on moon activity for kids!

When my son brought home his Phases of the Moon project from school, he wasn't very happy.

I thought he'd be thrilled with this activity - the whole "school permission to stay up past bedtime" :) but instead he was really bothered by the white worksheet with little boxes.

"Mom, the moon is white!  How are we suppose to draw white on white paper?"

"I think they just want you to draw the shape of the moon" I told him.

"Well, that's not much fun."

I could see his point -- as we went out to observe the moon each evening, he would notice some of the details of the various moon phases in addition to just the change of shape.  We knew we could find a better (and more fun!) way to learn about the phases of the moon!

 

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14 Valentine's Day Ideas You'll LOVE!

Creative Valentine's Day Ideas that make great gifts for kids!

If you have kids, come February 1st you'll hear a lot of talk about 'cool' Valentine's Day ideas! 

Those school parties are so exciting and the thought of getting cards from all of your friends gets kids a little bonkers (if you know what I mean ;)

The challenge:  finding something unique to give to friends and family -- and something "not mushy" as my kids tell me.

So we've rounded up some fun ideas of the no-candy variety for all the 'Loves' in your life!

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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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14 Crafts for Your Thanksgiving Table

These beautiful & easy ideas are the perfect crafts for kids to make to decorate the Thanksgiving table!

When I think back to holiday celebrations, there are 3 things that I loved about Thanksgiving:

1. Having family come to visit

2. PIE! 

3. Helping to get the table ready for the meal

I always felt so grown up when my Mom would give us 'special jobs' so we could help with the holiday prep.  My sister and I were asked to put together the cookie tray, decorate the centerpiece and (if we were lucky) set out the china and fancy glasses.

Not only were we helping but we were also learning how to host a big dinner (a skill that's come in quite handy over the years ;)

And truth be told, these are still my favorite things about the holiday.

So this year, think about how the kids can help you to get the table ready while you focus on the food!

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