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100 Free Activities to do with Your Kids this Summer

100 Free Activities to do with Your Kids this Summer

Enjoy more than 100 Free activities to do with your kids this Summer with this printable list!

I thought we'd try something a little different this summer -- I'm up for a challenge, how about you?

We usually share a 'summer bucket list' on the blog with unique things to do over the next three months. 

But when I went back to look at some of our most read summer posts, I learned that the 34 Ways to Be a Cool Parent this Summer was by far one of the most popular.

It's not surprising when I think about it -- that post is a list of fun things to do together & simple ways to make memories with your kids.

And isn't that what we really want to do as parents.

When you get right down to it, the goal many of us have for summertime is to create memories.

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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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5 Money Skills Every Tween & Teen MUST Know

5 Money Skills Every Tween & Teen MUST Know

This post has been sponsored by Greenlight. All opinions are my own.

Money lessons that all kids & teens should know before they leave home!

Money skills are one of those responsibilities that fall to us parents as we raise kids. 

Sure, kids will learn how to identify different types of money and its face value in school -- BUT when it comes to managing money, saving money and topics like investing -- those are skills that are only learned at home.

So today, we're diving into 5 KEY lessons that every tween and teen needs to learn in order to be financially responsible adults.

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Taking the Stress out of College Life with Amazon Prime Student

Taking the Stress out of College Life with Amazon Prime Student

 

As you may remember from our 48 Things Kids Should Know Before they go to College, our oldest started college last year.  As a parent, it's these moments when you hold your breath and think "did we teach him the skills he needs to succeed?"

The months and years of showing him how to use a planner, sort laundry, communicate with teachers, make good choices  -- here's where 'the rubber meets the road', right!

Well something must have sunk in from all those discussions because he actually TAUGHT me something this past year :)

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Reading Tips & the Best Books for Kids

In our home, helping the kids learn to read was what we called 'a full contact sport'. 

Constant movement.

Non-stop questions.

Continuous encouragement (and honestly, even some arguing).

It was not an easy task. 

Both of our kids have always loved books (as you can probably tell with the number of book lists we share) but let me tell you, LEARNING to read can be challenging for both kids and parents too!

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Care Package Ideas for College Students

Great ideas for things to include in a care package for college students!

Our son went away to college to begin his Freshman year last week. Amazingly enough, we fit everything he needed in the car, drove 900 miles to drop him off, helped him get his room set up and then turned around and drove home.

And when I say 'went away to college', I mean FAR away – 906 miles away according to the Garmin.

As we walked in the door after our trip, I saw his checkbook on the kitchen table.

The same checkbook he needed to have with him on campus.

The campus that’s 906 miles away (so not like he’ll be able to pick it up when he’s home one weekend).

 

Then came the first phone call -- two days later.

All was well, no worries there – it was just the ‘I forgot my gym bag too'.

As a parent who packed the majority of the car, I really can’t believe we forgot anything!

So enter our first college care package -- here are a few ideas on things to send along with affiliate links for items we love to have on hand and what to consider before mailing the package. 

PLUS, a free printable list to help you brainstorm ways to make dorm life a little more home-y!

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How Can I Tell if My Child Needs Glasses? Making Kids' Vision a Priority

Wondering how you can take care of your vision and help a child in need of vision care? One in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem.

Right now, when you purchase an individual vision insurance plan from VSP Direct™ for as low as $17/month, a child in need receives a free eye exam and glasses, up to a retail value of $1 million. Find out more at VSPDirect.com/EyeGiveBackThanks to VSP for sponsoring this post.

 

When’s the last time your child has their eyes checked?

If you’re anything like me, I’ll bet you said “at school, when they do the yearly eye check-up”

Every Fall, my kids have the nurse at school give them an eye exam.

Trying to get kids to sit still in the dentist's chair pushes me to my limit but an eye exam?  I didn't think I needed to worry about that until they were much older.

When my daughter was in 3rd grade, she came home one October day announcing that she had “perfect vision”!  

Great!  All was well so I just put it out of my mind and figured we’d have her eyes checked again the following Fall when she was back at school.

Oh, if life were just that easy ...

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5 Ways Moms Can Find More 'ME' Time

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Best Western. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

Do you know a hard-working Mom who deserves some ME time?

I hope you just said "yes, ME!"

And I'm sure quite a few other names popped into your head --

your sister who's raising three kids all under the age of 6,

your best friend who's managing a full-time job outside of the home and a hectic daycare schedule for her toddler,

or maybe one of the moms in your church group who is taking care of her own family along with her older parents who also need quite a bit of her time.

Life can get busy for us Moms and sometimes we deserve some time for ourselves.

So how can we make Me time more of a priority?

 

Finding more time for yourself

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What I Did Right & Wrong When Teaching My Kids about Sharing on Social Media

 

How many times a day do we reach for our phone when we see something awesome?

Think about it – most of us never even grab  a camera any longer.  “Oh, I’ll just use my phone”, right?

Because we always want to capture those AWESOME moments --

 

 pumpkin patch

That gorgeous Saturday afternoon visit to the pumpkin patch.....

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48 Things All Kids Need to Know Before College

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

 

I’ve been in a parenting quandary lately.

My oldest is a senior in high school (I know – when the hell did that happen!

And as we are doing college prep and visiting campuses, it’s really hitting me that he will soon be on his own.

Wow!

They just grow up so quickly -- I look at this tall, lanky teen and remember when I would walk him into Kindergarten class.

And now we're walking around college campuses!

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What's Your 'Snack Mom' Personality -- Inspired by NickMom


I'm happy to be sharing my ideas on snack offerings as part of a compensated campaign with Collective Bias® and NickMom.  Although this is a sponsored post, all obsessions with healthy snacks and snarky opinions are entirely my own!

 

Ok, I need to tell you that if you read this post you are accepting the unwritten rules of the ‘parent code’ – and parent code says this is only between us grown-ups – you can NOT tell the kids. 

Because if my kids ever really knew some of what I’m about to tell you, they would totally take advantage of it ALL THE TIME!

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Taking Care of Your Child's Eyesight - An Important Lesson

 

 

Today I need to tell you a story.

It's all about how sometimes life can move too quickly and you may miss one of those “this is important -- PAY ATTENTION” moments.

They don't all scream out at you like that, otherwise we wouldn't overlook them, right.

But this was a biggie -- and it had an impact on my child's health.

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Handwritten Memories in this Age of Technology

 

Have you ever done something brilliant (I mean absolutely amazing!) but you just didn't realize it until years later?

I recently had one of those moments last month but it didn't start as happy as it ended.

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How I Became The Fun Police (Or What I Learned While Overprotecting My Kids)

 

Anyone who’s met me, or my kids, will tell you that I’m a fairly protective parent. 

Or as my kids lovingly refer to me, 'The Fun Police'

I didn’t plan to be this type of parent – one who monitors what they eat, where they are and how much sleep they get.  But plan or no plan, it's happened.

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