Preschool Fun: Painting and Lacing Hearts

Preschool Valentine's Day Fun Painting and Lacing HeartsToday I’m sharing a fun activity that pairs art, creative play, and fine motor skill practice for your preschooler. We painted cardstock hearts and then practiced lacing with yarn. The kids had a blast and were so proud of their finished hearts. Be sure to check out all the other Creative Valentine’s Day Activities for Kids from my friends in the Kid Blogger Network at the bottom of this post.

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Making Mini Popcorn Lollipops and Pillow Forts for Pop Secret Family Fun

This post is sponsored by Pop Secret. All opinions are my own.

Easy Popcorn Lollipops

One of our favorite afternoon rituals when the weather is yucky is to pop a bag of popcorn and curl up to read or watch a movie together after the kids wake up from their nap. Often this sweet time includes a little pillow fort building. This week we decided to take our snacking to the next level by creating the cutest little popcorn lollipops. The recipe is super easy and a fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen. Be sure to jump over here to grab a $1 off coupon from Pop Secret.

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Build a DIY Boat Dock

Directions for Building a DIY Boat DockWhen we were at my parents’ house for Christmas, my brothers and Jed worked together to build a DIY boat dock for the backyard. My parents live on a small lake, and for my entire life we’ve launched the canoes and fishing boats off the muddy shore or a sad little log. Those days are over, my friends. The boys teamed up after my brother Matt came up with the idea, and made it happen. Matt was kind enough to write out the plan so you can make your own DIY boat dock if you’re so inclined. Thanks Matt!

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Read & Play: Read “The Biggest Valentine Ever” and Create a Giant Valentine

Read and Play Read The Biggest Valentine Ever and Create a Giant Valentine

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we read “The Biggest Valentine Ever” this week and worked together to create a giant Valentine, just like in the book. The idea behind our Read and Play series is to take a fun book for kids and encourage further learning through play. Check out our past Read & Play ideas here and find great Valentine’s Day Read & Play activities from other Kid Blogger Network bloggers here. Read on to find out how we used the ideas from the book for a fun and easy art activity with my toddler and preschooler.

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My DIY Goals for 2015 + the ULTIMATE DIY Bundle Sale

My DIY and Craft Goals for 2015 plus the Ultimate DIY Bundle SaleI have a never ending list of projects I want to do, things I want to learn, rooms I want to redecorate, but never enough time to get it all done or take classes. I love DIY projects because not only do they often save money, they always give me a sense of accomplishment. One of my major goals for 2015 is to learn to sew. Really learn. I can use my sewing machine, but my skills are still about what they were during my 8th grade home ec class. Another goal is to start using my big fancy camera on manual mode. Gasp, so scary! Both of those will be happening, and soon. How do I know? The ULTIMATE DIY BUNDLE comes out today and everything I need to learn both skills is included! I’m really excited to be able to learn on my own time rather than attending expensive classes (and paying babysitters).

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Save Money on Road Trips with Best Western and AAA

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

Save Money on Road Trips with Best Western and AAA

Best Western and AAA have long been trusted names in travel. AAA helps you get where you need to go and Best Western gives you a safe, clean, comfortable, and affordable place to stay when you get there. Did you know that when you combine a AAA membership with Best Western Rewards you can save money on road trips? It’s true! Not only does a AAA membership guarantee you discounts at over 100,000 partner locations, you also get 24 hour road side and emergency assistance, and access to the interactive TripTik Travel Planner. With over 4000 hotels worldwide, there is a Best Western just about anywhere you might want to visit. Choose Best Western, Best Western Plus, or Best Western Premier, to find the perfect hotel for your group and your trip.

Sign up now for the Best Western Promotion for AAA Members and you’ll receive 500 EXTRA Best Western Rewards points for every hotel stay this winter. Best of all, AAA members always get 20% off at Best Western hotels and 10% bonus Rewards points. Stack up your savings and save major money on your next road trip in the United States or Canada. Best Western Rewards can help you earn free hotel stays, restaurant gift cards, and even airline miles.

Where do you want to travel on your next road trip?

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Make a Heart Garland with your Child to Practice Patterns & Stringing

Make a Heart Garland with your Child to Practice Patterns and Stringing for home preschoolWe’re practicing patterns right now in our home preschool, so I thought it would be fun to bring that practice in to practical use making a Valentine’s Day heart garland with the Bear. I found these felt hearts a few years ago on sale at Target, but your could easily make your own or grab felt hearts off Amazon and punch holes in them. We used red baker’s twine to string our garland, and the Bear also got great fine motor skill practice stringing and arranging his hearts.

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Active Indoor Play: Mini Trampoline and Jumping Activities

Active Indoor Play Mini Trampoline and Jumping Activities

Stuck inside with kids who desperately need to burn off energy? Yep, me too. We saw the long, cold winter ahead and bought our kids a mini trampoline for Christmas. It was the Bear’s big present and it has been a LIFESAVER. We were at my parents’ house for the holidays with 5 kids 5 and under, and we got our money’s worth that first week. The trampoline is super fun and helps the kids to be active indoors. The only issue we’ve run in to is that sometimes just plain jumping gets a little old. I’ve compiled a great list of fun activities to do on a mini trampoline (or on the ground if you don’t have one). Our mini trampoline has a support bar, which I’ve found is really helpful for kids under 5. If you want one for your kids, find great deals on mini trampolines here.

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Family Movie Night: Watch AWAY & BACK and Enter to Win A National Park Family Vacation

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hallmark Hall of Fame. All opinions are 100% mine.

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The heartwarming new movie AWAY & BACK premieres on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, January 25th at 8/7 Central. The family friendly film stars Jason Lee and Minka Kelly in a story filled with adventure, humor, and romance. I’m a huge fan of both Lee and Kelly, so I can’t wait to see it. I’ve loved Jason Lee since his days starring in Kevin Smith movies in the mid-late 1990s, and Minka Kelly was on one of our all time favorite shows, Friday Night Lights. I know the two of them together will be fabulous. To celebrate the premiere of AWAY & BACK, The Hallmark Channel is giving away a family vacation to a national park. Click here for the AWAY & BACK Trailer – Share to Win Sweepstakes to enter. 

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