New Year's Eve Countdown Ideas for Kids

New Year's Eve Countdown Ideas for Kids

One of our fun winter traditions is an hour by hour New Year's Eve Countdown for kids & families to enjoy home!

Kids love a celebration (although most won't stay awake long enough to see the ball drop in Times Square) so we've pulled together a list of countdown ideas to enjoy throughout the day!

With these super fun activities, you can start your New Year's Eve countdown anytime during the day -- make it an all-day activity or just an after dinner countdown until your kids are ready for bed.

And many of these fun ideas will introduce your kids to how other countries bring in the New Year around the world.

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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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Christmas Science Experiment for Kids

Christmas Science Experiment for Kids

Try this easy Christmas science experiment as a fun winter break or holiday-themed classroom activity!

There's nothing like the holidays to get you in the mood to do some science experiments, right?! 

Actually, it's those long winter break days when the kids need some creative things to do that usually spur some of these ideas.  And although today's science experiment is Christmas-themed, it can be done year round and was a very popular one during our science series a few years ago.

So have the kids gather up these common holiday items, print off the free worksheet and experiment with a litte physics over their winter break!

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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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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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Where to Send Your Letter to Santa (& how to get a letter back!)

Where to Send Your Letter to Santa (& how to get a letter back!)

It's that time of the year when I'm sure someone in your house wants to mail a letter to Santa!

Maybe it's your 4-year-old who wants to ask Santa about his favorite cookies.

Or the somewhat doubting 9-year-old who wants to confirm the big guy's existance.

And maybe -- just maybe -- it's Mom or Dad who need to get a letter to Santa to let him know that bringing a pet monkey is probably not such a good idea this year ;)

No matter who wants to send Santa a letter, we've got all the details you'll need (along with some FREE ways you can get a reply back too)!  PLUS, we also have a free printable Letter to Santa paper for the kids to print & use too.  We're also sharing links to some of our affiliate partners for books,

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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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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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20 Alternatives to Candy for Halloween Treats

Ideas for non candy & alternative Halloween treats!

Let me tell you about the year I handed out pretzels -- It's a HUGE family joke so I'm sure I've mentioned it before.

To my defense, they were pumpkin & bat shaped pretzels in these cute little Halloween-themed bags ....

BUT that did not seem to impress MY kids at all. 

All I heard was "What if my friends stop by?  They'll think you don't like Halloween?" 

Well that's totally not true given some of the fun ways we hand out candy and the cool Halloween decorations we have at our house!

But I wasn't going to waiver -- I was going with pretzels that year! 

Every other house would hand out candy so there would be more than enough of that to go around, right?

Then came Halloween night ...

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12 Perfect Pumpkin Books for Kids

A dozen pumpkin books for kids that are perfect for Fall!

Every Fall, we love to look at beautiful leaves, enjoy the cool weather and read books about PUMPKINS!

The pumpkin patches in our area open this week and like many families, my kids are excited to hunt down the perfect orange orb. 

And today's Discover & Explore linky will feature all kinds of pumpkin fun!

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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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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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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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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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