Category: kids

Kid Art: Make and Paint Baking Soda Dough Easter Egg Ornaments

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Recently we experimented with making dough from baking soda and corn starch, and ended up with a ton left over after we created hand print ornaments. I  thought it would be fun to create a few Easter egg ornaments with the Bear and let him paint them. The boy loves a good project, and every time we get the paint out he gets so excited. This ended up being a really fun craft to do with him and would work for kids ages 2 and up. I’ll share the details of our process along with a few things we learned and would do differently next time.

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Toddler School: Make an Easy Easter Egg Garland with Your Child

easyeastergarland

The Bear and I love a good project. This little Easter Egg Garland was a really fun one to create with him, and gave him lots of great fine motor skill practice. Stringing objects is part of his upcoming skills check with our pediatrician’s ages and stages questionnaire, so we’ve been working on it together. I thought making an egg garland would be great practice and give us a festive decoration for our mantle at the same time. He is so proud of his creation, as you can see above. His two year old attention span couldn’t handle making the whole thing in one day, so we worked on it bit by bit over several days.

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FROZEN Play Time: Make Melted Olaf Dip and Build Elsa’s Ice Castles

CB Disclosure White Background 400 px wide (2)

#FROZENFun-#shop-#cbias-melted-olaf-dip-disney

Is your family singing “Let It Go” nonstop these days? You’re not the only ones. I created a FROZEN play date for my kids and their cousins recently and it was a huge hit. The big kids were singing as they built Elsa’s Ice Castles and everyone got a kick out of my Melted Olaf Dip perfect for Eggo Frozen Waffles and fresh fruit. I picked up a few choice Walmart toys to share among the kids and set up snacking and building stations and we had a blast. Best of all, my recipes are healthy and activities are super easy to recreate. We are so pumped for the release of the FROZEN DVD on March 18th, and the discount price drop from $16.96 to $14.96 at Walmart. Grab a $5 off offer on special marked packages of Eggo Waffles and get an even better deal on the FROZEN DVD. Now for the #FROZENFun …

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Simple Ways to Bring Jesus in to Your Child’s Daily Routine

simple ways to bring jesus in to your child's daily routine

simple ways to bring jesus in to your child's daily routine

One of the most important roles we play as parents is as the spiritual guide for our children.  We’ve found a few simple ways to bring our faith in Jesus in to our children’s lives that I’m sharing with y’all today.  We are far from having it all figured out and are still learning so much about every aspect of parenting. For our children to know Jesus at a young age and grow up with a strong faith is our constant prayer and highest goal.  If you are of a similar mindset, here are a few simple ways to bring Jesus in to your child’s daily routine.

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Eleanor Pearl at Nine Months

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Our girl’s first year is flying by, and here I am late again with another baby update.  Eleanor continues to surprise us with her mobility and curiosity.  She and the Bear have been completely different in almost every one of their milestones.  I think she is just trying to keep up with her big brother.  At nine months she is pulling up and cruising across the furniture.  She is beginning to use a walker to make her way across the floor.

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Frugal Family Fun in DFW: Visiting the Dallas Zoo in the Winter {$5 Admission}

We love the Dallas Zoo all year round, but my favorite time to visit is during Penguin Days in January and February.  We are blessed with some gorgeous sunny days during the winter months here in DFW, and our family loves to be outside.  The Dallas Zoo offers discounted $5 admission during January and February, and kids 2 and under are always free.  The Zoo is open from 9-4 daily except on Christmas Day.  Parking is $8 per car, or you can ride the DART Red Line train to the Zoo stop.
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Fun and Durable Name Labels for Kids: Bright Star Kids Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. I have wanted a set of name labels for my children’s things for ages, so I was super excited when Bright Star Kids sent me a set to review.  I ordered the red labels and had both kids names printed on them for simplicity.  I’ve put them through the ringer for a few weeks and am pleased to tell you they are awesome.  The set came with a variety of labels and has worked really well for us.

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Three Easy Ways to Green Your Family Today

Teaching our children to care for our environment is a responsibility, and one we work towards on a daily basis.  We try to make eco-friendly choices, but don’t always get it right.  One of my goals for 2014 is take more steps in greening our family and involve our children in those changes.  Thanks to the folks from Direct Energy for sponsoring this discussion.  They are planting a tree for every new Facebook like through the end of 2013.  Click over using this link do something good for our environment in less than 10 seconds.

1) Recycle Everything You Can
For many of you, this is obvious and second nature.  If you aren’t already recycling, start today. No excuses.  Check your city’s government website to find out recycling guidelines for your area.  Involve your kids by teaching them what goes in to the recycle bin and having them help with sorting.  Think beyond the basics.  Rather than throwing away old toys and clothes, donate them to a good cause, give them away through Freecycle or Craigslist, or sell them online.

2) Reduce Your Family’s Waste
We live in a throwaway culture.  If it isn’t useful to us at this moment it goes into the trash.  We create so much trash we are running out of places to put it.  Reduce the amount of trash your family creates by switching to something reusable this week.  We’ve switched to cloth diapers, cloth napkins, and cloth cleaning towels.  Next on this list is cloth baby wipes.  The amount of money we spend on baby wipes is crazy town, and I’m over it.  If you are intimidated about switching to a reusable product, trust me when I say it is easier than you think and you won’t regret it.  Pick one thing and go for it.

3) Get Out of the Car and Walk.
Living in DFW, I’m used to driving everywhere.  Our grocery store is less than a mile away, yet we drive there.  I’ve even driven to the playground near our house so the Bear can get some exercise.  What the what?!  Pick one errand this week and walk or ride your bike instead of driving.  You’ll reduce your carbon footprint and burn calories in the process.  If you don’t live in a walk or bike-able neighborhood, carpool with friends to one thing this week or park in one place when running errands and walk in between shops.

What green changes will make for your family in 2014?

Don’t forget to click over and like New Leaf Energy on Facebook to have a tree planted in your honor.

Entertain the Whole Family with Merry Christmas Loteria {Bingo Style Game} with **Free Printables**

The weather outside is indeed frightful, and cabin fever may be setting in among your family members. Today I’m sharing my own version of Loteria, the Mexican Bingo style game, perfect for entertaining the whole family.  My mom is a Spanish teacher, so she taught me how to play the original Loteria as a kid and I’m starting a new tradition this year with my family.  If you’ve never played Loteria before, the game is incredibly easy to learn and can be played by anyone ages 2 and up, and even younger with help. Toddlers and adults alike can get in to it and it would be a great game night tradition to start during the holidays.   I’ve created a set of twelve cards for you to print free of charge, as well as a call sheet.  This game is perfect for family night, long days during school break, and to teach matching skills with preschoolers.  Everybody loves bingo! 
Everyone gets a Loteria sheet and a handful of beans or candy to mark the objects called.  As the caller shouts out the object drawn, the player placed their bean on top of the matching picture on their card.  The goal is to get four in a row in any direction, much like Bingo.  You can also play cover all, four corners, and 4 square to mix it up. Beans are traditionally used, but I like to use little candies like chocolate chips or M-n-Ms, and eat them at the end of the game.  You could have a big game with prizes for the whole family or use it as a teaching tool with your preschooler.  
Click the link below each image to head to the file in Google Drive. Each image contains two playing cards.  Print each sheet and cut in half to create two cards.  You can leave the call sheet whole and just call objects out at random (marking them with a bean after they’ve been called), or cut it in to pieces and draw each object out of a bowl.  When a player gets four in a row they yell, “Merry Christmas!” and win that round.  I hope your family enjoys this fun little game and starts a new holiday tradition.      
Click here to open and print page 1.
Click here to open and print page 2.

Click here to open and print page 3.

Click here to open and print page 4.

Click here to open and print page 5.

Click here to open and print page 6

Click here to open and print the call sheet
How do you keep your family entertained during the holiday season?
If you like this post, please share it with your friends on Pinterest or Facebook.
My free printables are for personal use only.
Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Saving Kid Art {No Hoarding Required} ~ Make A Kid Art Mini Bunting

We have entered in to the classic parent dilemma.  What do we do with all of the treasures our wee ones create without ending up on the show Hoarders?  The Bear is quite the prolific painter, and can turn out 5-6 masterpieces in one sitting.  I know we don’t need to keep all of them, but my mama heart has a hard time parting with his first creative endeavors.  I’ve seen some great ideas out there I want to try, and came up with a few of my own.  I’ll share them all with y’all, starting with today’s mini bunting.  This project is super easy, taking less than one nap time.  Let’s be honest, that’s how we measure our free time.  

 To make the bunting you need a pile of your child’s paintings or drawings, a 2 inch circle craft punch, a hole punch, and a length of twine or hemp cord cut a little longer than the desired length of your bunting.

 Start punching circles out of the paintings.  Be strategic about your cuts and get the precious details: little finger and palm prints, great color mixing, etc.

Punch holes at the top of each of your tiny circle paintings, and string them on to your cord.  Tie a knot after each one to help them stay in place.  Leave extra room at one end of your bunting to add more later.  
Because I’m a tad bit ghetto fabulous, I used duct tape to secure my bunting to the back of the mirror in the Bear’s room.  It is hidden, so know one knows except the internet.  I can easily adjust the length and add or subtract as needed.  
This project could easily be one your child helps with, or a surprise gift for them.  I surprised the Bear with it, and he LOVES it.  He calls it his rainbow upside down.  Precious boy.  Below you can see a bit more of his room and how mini the bunting looks next to his gigantic wall art.  My plan is to add additional layers of bunting as he creates more art work.  
How do you save your child’s artwork? 

I love linking my ideas at these blog parties.  Click the links to check them out and find crafty inspiration.  If you’ve never visited a blog party, you will be blown away by the creativity shared and imaginative ideas.
Monday: CraftOManiacMad in CraftsSew Chatty,  Keeping It SimpleC.R.A.F.T.Boogie Board Cottage, and Sumo’s Sweet Stuff   
Tuesday:  Hope StudiosToday’s Creative BlogCoastal Charm, and New Nostalgia
Wednesday: The Trendy TreehousePolka Dots on ParadeLil Luna, and The Thrifty Home
Thursday: All Things with Purpose, Somewhat SimpleThe Shabby Creek CottageThe Girl Creative, and House of Hepworths
Friday: Sugar and SpiceKojo DesignsDiana Rambles Pin Me Party, and The Shabby Nest
Weekends: Sweet Tea Social @ Texas Women BloggersTatertots and Jello, Serenity NowButtercream Bakehouse, and Candace Creations