This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
We had our first ever family movie night with both kids this past weekend, and it was so much fun. As I’ve mentioned before, Disney Planes is the Bear’s current favorite movie. Jed and I had both seen it in bits and pieces, but never sat down to watch the entire thing with him. We prepped the world’s easiest movie snacks that were a huge hit with the whole family, and sat down to enjoy the movie together. Read on to find our tips for a successful family movie night with preschoolers as well as learn how to save big money on the new Disney movie Planes: Fire and Rescue.
This play idea is brought to you by Knoala – Raise Happier Kids. Knoala is a free app that offers activities for parents to enjoy with infants to preschoolers.
We love to go on nature walks with our kids. Playing outside is a daily activity at our house, and we try to make everythine we do an adventure and a learning experience without making it complicated. Recently I downloaded the new Knoala app and used it to take our nature walks to the next level. Don’t worry, I wasn’t on my phone during our walk. I clicked on to Knoala before we left and found a few ideas for our walk to get the kids to notice everything around me. They responded really well, and we felt like super fun parents.
To kick off the summer I’m celebrating Backyard Games Week with a group of fabulous bloggers and sharing our ideas for playing fun games outside with your kids. We love to spend time outside playing our yard, and as soon as it is warm enough we break out two little inflatable kiddie pools. Most of the time the kids splash around and create their own fun, but occasionally I add a game in to the mix to keep them entertained longer. Mama needs time to drink her coffee, right? All of my game ideas are simple and geared towards the 0-3 crowd.
Holy Week is one of my favorite times of the year because we get to take the time to focus on Christ’s work on the cross and what it means for us. I’ve shared with y’all about simple ways to bring Jesus in to your child’s daily life here, but talking about Easter and what it means can be a bit more difficult. Christmas is easy with the baby Jesus and all of the manger scene and Jesse Tree activities. Death on a cross for the sin of humanity is slightly more difficult to discuss with preschoolers, am I right? One way we’ve made it personal for our kids this year is to create a thumbprint cross with each of them. Their unique thumbprint represents the personal nature of Jesus’ death and resurrection – that it means the possibility of real relationship with God and eternal life for them. Plus, they are super fun and easy to make.
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.
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 this link
to head to the files 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.
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.
Will you have a bunch of wee ones underfoot longing to “help” as you prep for Thanksgiving? Check out these quick and easy kid friendly Thanksgiving and fall crafts to keep the kids’ table entertained while you prep and catch up with your Turkey day guests. I’ve selected crafts that can be made with things you most likely already have on hand. I’ve also added a few of my own free printables from Thanksgivings past and a bonus cookie recipe for the overachievers in the group. Feel free to pin the round up as a whole from this page, but as always with round up posts head over to the original blogs to pin individual projects.
1. Fall Pumpkin Craft for Toddlers and Preschoolers
2. Thanksgiving Hand Print Craft for the Whole Family from Pounds 4 Pennies (We made this one today!)
3. Thankful Toilet Paper Roll Turkey from Staci at 7 on a Shoestring
4. Pumpkin Pie Play Dough from Giggles Galore
5. Thanksgiving Do-a-Dot Free Printables from Crystal and Co.
How do you keep little hands entertained during the holidays?
Does the idea of letting your preschooler play with paints make you cringe and give you the beginnings of a headache? No worries. We’ve been painting like crazy all summer and the Bear and I have it down to a science. Yes, it’s messy, but it is also fun and can be stress free. Here’s how we do it.
What You Need:
washable non-toxic paint
paper (really any kind will do, but we prefer cardstock or construction paper)
a 20-30 minute time slot
a hose or kiddie pool
an outside work space
Make It Happen:
We set up on the picnic table my husband made for the kids. He’s working on a tutorial if you’re interested. Use one sheet of paper as your child’s palette. Let them pick 2-3 colors to start with and put a dollop of each color on the palette. Take off your child’s shirt. Show them how to dip their fingers in the paint and use their finger as a paint brush. We also read a book about Curious George mixing paint before we painted for the first time to help with the concept.
Step back and let them create. Resist the urge to correct. Let them mix and swirl and get messy.
Every few minutes bring in a new sheet of paper. Show them how to make hand prints, a useful skill for grandparent gifts later. Take some photos and enjoy the flowing creativity.
After about 20 minutes, ask if they are ready to be done (if they haven’t stopped already). Grab your hose (and possibly and inflatable kiddie pool) and strip them down to wash off. This might be as fun (or more) than the actual painting. Give them 2 cups to fill up or and help facilitate a little rinsing. While they are rinsing, lay out the masterpieces to dry and pick up the paints. Give your table a wipe down, then dry off your now clean child. You’re done, and you both survived with your sanity in tact and you get the fun mom of the year award. Everybody wins!
What’s your favorite preschool art idea?
I am in love with Colorado in the summer.
Hiking is one of my favorite things in life. Walking around in beautiful places makes my heart so happy.
We were so blessed to travel for 2 months this past year and experience so much beauty. While we were staying and working at Trail West in Buena Vista, Colorado, we hiked Cottonwood Pass three times with our whole camp group. It is a super easy hike for families.
We hiked with babies and kids of all ages as well as adults with all kinds of health problems and an 84 year old grandmother. She loved it.
The hike doesn’t take long but you get a fantastic payout at the top. There is a 360 degree view of the Collegiate Peaks and Taylor Reservoir. The pass is open in the summer, and you can find more about closings and see tons of pictures and videos here. The trailhead is about 19 miles west of Buena Vista and the pass is used as a route from BV to Crested Butte. The pass was used in the USA Procycling Challenge, so Jed felt like Andy Schleck when he rode his bike down the mountain.
For kids under 3 I would highly recommend hiking with an Ergobaby carrier or some other type of backpack type carrier. Bear was obviously too little to do it on his own, and we saw many a preschool get a bit tired and whiny on the way up. It’s just how they roll. The hike is quick and easy, but you do climb to 12,600 feet so you will feel it.
No matter how warm it is at the bottom of the mountain, bring lots of layers for yourself and your kiddos. We learned that lesson the hard way on another hike with the Bear. I did not win Mom of the Year in 2012, and I blame that hike among many, many other things. You can read more about our adventures hiking with a toddler here.
Have you taken your whole family hiking? Share any tips or what holds you back in the comments section below.
Follow Becca’s board Family Travel on Pinterest.