Archive | Kids

St. Patrick’s Day Family Memories

Happy March!  I feel like we’re getting into the time of year where we’re having warmer days and spring is around the corner.  St. Patrick’s Day is a great way to kick it off! And why not make some easy memories while you’re at it?

St. Patrick's Day memories, St. Patrick's day traditions, green treats, easy St. Patrick's Day traditions

I had a realization recently.  It’s going to take a minute to get there, so sit back and read through the backstory.

My husband and I try to regularly work on our marriage.  This has taken the form recently of asking the question “what is something I could do better for you right now?”

We ask the question knowing that whatever the answer is might upset us.  But we have to hear each other out and take the constructive criticism.

On Valentine’s Day my husband asked me that question and it prompted an answer I hadn’t thought of before.

I told him that I felt like creating memories and gifting fun things to our kids has fallen mostly on my shoulders as the mom.  He took it well and gave me some advice that we both could work on.  Shocker, it boils down to communication.

See, I had gotten a little gift for each of our kids for Valentine’s day and had made pink pancakes for breakfast, heart shaped pizza, etc.  Little things that I hope they will remember.  Or traditions we can do every year.

All of that to say, I realized that I like celebrating the “little holidays.”  You know the one’s like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, etc.

So if you’re like me and want to make some family memories or celebrate a “little holiday” today’s post is for you.

Little Ways to Make St. Patrick’s Day Memories

St. Patrick's Day memories, St. Patrick's day traditions, green treats, easy St. Patrick's Day traditions

St. Patrick’s Day Memories with Food

One of the first ways to make a memory with your family is through your food.  St. Patrick’s Day offers so many great options to make something that fits the theme of the day.

This is also a great way to make a tradition that you and your family look forward to every year.

One of my favorite ways to make these little holidays extra special is with pancakes.

We do pink pancakes for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day, and sprinkles and whipped cream on birthdays.

It’s a simple way to do the same thing every year because we already have to eat, so it doesn’t take much extra time or effort to jazz up some pancakes.

Green Pancake Recipe

Here’s my quick green pancake recipe:

  1. Blend 1 cup of water or milk with a couple handfuls of spinach until there are no pieces of spinach.  Just green liquid.  I use my immersion blender for this.  I love that thing.
  2. Mix green liquid with 1 cup of pancake mix and 1 egg.
  3. Once it’s mixed and smooth, cook pancakes on a griddle or pan.

Super easy addition to the pancakes you’re already making for breakfast.  Plus, you’re getting some vegetables in your family without them even knowing.

Don’t have spinach?  You can always just add a few drops of food coloring to your pancake batter.

Make them even more fun with whipped cream and green sprinkles.

Dinner Ideas for St. Patrick’s Day

There are a ton of ways to incorporate a fun St. Patrick’s Day tradition with food.  Try some of these:

  • Classic corned beef and cabbage
  • Shepperd’s pie.  I love this recipe and use it frequently.
  • Pot roast with carrots and potatoes
  • Shamrock shaped pizza
  • Pasta with a pesto sauce (great way to make something green;)

St. Patrick’s Day Activities

Long gone are the days of drinking green beer with droves of people after a St. Patty’s parade.  Now with kids, I’m trying to find appropriate fun things to do with them.

I haven’t done any sort of activity in the past, but created one for you today.  I think it’s going to be a big hit and doesn’t require much work from you.

Just click on the picture below and download the printable.  Once you have a hard copy cut the shamrocks and rainbow out.

St. Patrick's Day kids activity ideas, St. Patrick's Day printable shamrocks, printable activity for St. Patrick's Day

You’ll use the shamrocks in a scavenger hunt around your house that leads to the rainbow.  Put a little treat with the rainbow and your kids will find their own version of a pot of gold.

I’m not planning any elaborate rhyms or clues for my scavenger hunt.  I’ll be doing something age appropriate for my four year old.

Some options I’m thinking about:

  • Writing the letters of her name on each shamrock and she’ll have to find them and put them in order to spell her name.
  • Numbers that she’ll find and put in order
  • Her sight words
  • Her birthday or our address (that’s what they’re working on in Pre-K this month)

For even younger kids try this:

  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Animal pictures
  • Cartoon characters

And let’s be clear.  By scavenger hunt, I mean that I’m going to place the shamrocks around one area of my house (like the living room) in very visible spots that they can’t miss.

We’ve done some activities like this before and both my kids love it, so I’m sure they’ll think this is fun too.  And bonus that they’ll get a little treat when they’re done!

St. Patrick’s Day Treats

Another way I like to make a memory on these little holidays is by doing a themed treat.

I love sweets, so this might be my favorite way to make these memories.  Plus, my daughter usually helps me and it’s a great way to bond together.

We tried our hand at some green and gold themed Oreos earlier this week.  They’ll make the perfect sweet treat for St. Patrick’s Day and they’re super easy to make.

St. Patrick's Day memories, St. Patrick's day traditions, green treats, easy St. Patrick's Day traditions

We just bought a package of double stuff Oreos and some green Wilton candy melts.

St. Patrick's Day memories, St. Patrick's day traditions, green treats, easy St. Patrick's Day traditions

I love those candy melts because you can just warm them in the microwave for about a minute then snip the corner of the package and use it to drizzle onto anything.  How easy and convenient is that?

St. Patrick's Day memories, St. Patrick's day traditions, green treats, easy St. Patrick's Day traditions

I actually opened the package all the way to pour the melted chocolate in a bowl making it easier to dip the Oreos in.

St. Patrick's Day memories, St. Patrick's day traditions, green treats, easy St. Patrick's Day traditions

Super easy directions to create your own green Oreo St. Patrick’s Day treat below.

  • Melt green candy melts according to the package
  • Pour melted candy melts into a bowl
  • Dip half of an Oreo into the melted candy ensuring you cover both sides and the gap between the cookies
  • Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with gold sprinkles
  • Let dry and firm up for a few minutes
  • Enjoy!

St. Patrick's Day memories, St. Patrick's day traditions, green treats, easy St. Patrick's Day traditions, Oreos

My Thoughts on Making Family Memories

Just to wrap up I wanted to make sure I shared that it’s easy to make these family memories and celebrate the “little holidays.”

All you need to do is jazz up one or two things that you’re probably already going to be doing for the holiday or theme.

It doesn’t take much time or money to do them either.  And if you do them year after year, your kids will love the tradition.

I’m firmly embracing the realization that I enjoy celebrating these little holidays and plan to do all three of the things that I suggested above.  But here’s permission to do you.  If you don’t have time or don’t care about making a St. Patrick’s Day tradition, it’s totally ok to pass on these ideas.

If you do try any of these, I’d love to see what you do.  Print out the shamrock printable, make a sweet treat, or jazz up your meals.  What are you planning on doing?

0

The Power of Cute Details: A Lemonade Stand Story

This week at our house is quite busy!  Between work events and one little girls fourth birthday, we also have our community garage sale.  And along with garage sales comes the childhood summer tradition of running a lemonade stand.

I remember setting one up at my mom’s garage sale when I was little and made a whooping $45!!!  I’m still blown away by that amount of money.  So to carry on the tradition, and teach our daughter a lesson in entrepreneurship, we diyed a super cute lemonade stand for her.

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signsMy husband and I are both passionate about entrepreneurship and want her to know that if she wants something she can go out and get it herself.  If it’s not already waiting for her then she can create it herself.  And if she wants it, others probably do too, so she can sell to them and make a living doing what she loves.

Ok, now that I’m off the entrepreneurship soap box, let’s get back to the lemonade stand.  I’m always a champion of opening your home and inviting others in, without being fancy and even if you aren’t the most confident host.  However, there are times when adding some cute details, really makes the event extra special.

In this case, adding cute details to the lemonade stand can really drive interest and sales.  Adding a few extra things really made the lemonade stand stand out.  It didn’t take a lot of extra time or effort either which is the best part.

Lemonade Stand DIY

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signs

We used this diy tutorial to make the lemonade stand.  It’s pretty easy with just a few crates you can get at any craft store or even Wal-Mart.  We made a sign for the top too, but it’s not necessary.

My recommendation for painting your stand is to use spray paint on the crates instead of rolling the paint.  The spray paint can get into all the nooks and crannies of the crates a lot better.

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signs

Lemonade Stand Details

Now as far as adding cute details goes, you really just have to think of things that you’d like to see at a lemonade stand and then add them.  So a simple bowl of lemons and fun straws for the cups were easy.

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signssummer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signs

You’ll obviously need a sign so everyone knows how much to pay.  This was a quick, handwritten sign put into a picture frame to keep it displayed nicely.

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signs

I also made a quick little bouquet of flowers out of tissue paper.  This took maybe 3 minutes with a few pieces of square tissue paper.  I just wrapped a craft pipe cleaner around the tissue paper and made a stem with it.  Then just shape the tissue paper into a flower shape.  Super easy for any kind of party or event.

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signs

I also added some quick party decor.  Cutting triangles out of color coordinated paper and stringing them along the top of the stand really added a little extra pizzazz.

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signs

Other great party decor options to dress up a lemonade stand are large paper flowers, tissue paper poms, or lanterns.

Even if you don’t use party decor, other small additions will make your lemonade stand stand out too.  Cookies or cupcakes, potted flowers on either side of the stand, fun cups or cup labels, or flavored lemonade are great additions.

We’ll be adding a platter of cookies when we are open for business and a pink lemonade option. One thing I still need to figure out is a simple way for my daughter to collect money. Drop your ideas in the comments!

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signs

Hopefully these extra details and neighborhood advertising will be able to drive in more sales and help her reach more people.  A portion of her proceeds are going to go back to a local charity.  This should help her to understand that there are others that aren’t as fortunate as she is.

This little girl is pretty excited to start her first business!  But mostly I think she’s in it for the lemonade!

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signs

I hope this encourages you to take a few minutes to add some extra details to whatever it is you do today.  Whether it be a party, just making dinner a little more special tonight, or even taking the time to chat with an old friend, adding special touches really can make an impact in someone’s life.

Be sure to check out my Instagram stories to see real time how she does running her business this weekend!  And check back next week for a recap of her flamingo themed birthday party!

 

 

 

0

13 Weekly Summertime Toddler Crafts

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend and remembered those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  Because Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and kids being out of school I wanted to help with some ideas to keep the kids entertained all summer long.  So I rounded up 13 weekly toddler crafts that are perfect to try this summer.

More time during the summer means more time to celebrate the season and do things you maybe wouldn’t normally do during the school year. I definitely am not thinking about crafting with my toddler throughout the school year, are you?

sumemr craft ideas, toddler craft ideas, toddler crafts every weekWhile I only have a toddler and baby, my toddler still gets bored throughout the day. Without a plan, I have no ideas on how to entertain her.  There is only so much coloring she can do right?

So I decided to make a plan!  There are 13 weeks between her last week of preschool and the start of another school year.  I found 13 toddler crafts that will help to keep her occupied and give us some time to work on a project together.

I enlisted her help (and Pinterest) to find 13 toddler crafts that would be fun, age appropriate, maybe educational, and uses things we already have at home.

I definitely didn’t want to have to go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of stuff in the hope that we may use it one time for one craft.  Although the dollar store is a great place to pick up some of the items needed for these crafts.

I figure I’ll let her decide which craft she’d like to do each week and we’ll figure out a day that makes sense to sit down and do it.  And full disclosure, we’re already behind.  This is a no judgement mom zone, so if we don’t get to them all that’s totally fine.

Most are pretty easy and don’t take too much time to set up or make.  Some will need supervision while others are a do what you want kind of thing (aka, go play while I get something else done!).

13 Weekly Toddler Crafts to Last All Summer

1. Paper Plate Ring Toss

Found at A Little Learning for Two, this one is a simple set up and hopefully a game that will entertain for longer than a few minutes. Plus, my toddler could always use some help with hand eye coordination, or just coordination in general.

2. Cupcake Liner Fish

Found at I Heart Craft Things, these fish are cute and a good way to use up random cupcake liners.  I love how they are layered to give the fish dimension.

3. Pouring Station

We’ve done this pouring station before and it makes for a great activity on a hot summer day.  Learning how to stop pouring before spilling is a skill we’re still working on. Find it at Busy Toddler.

4. Painting with Pom Poms

We have so many pom poms, this will be a great way to use them up so I don’t keep finding them all over the house!  Find out how to do it at Crafty Morning.

5. Shaving Cream Colors

My daughter has been into knowing what colors mixed together make, so this is the perfect, and even better, mess free, activity to learn color mixing.  Find it at Best Toys 4 Toddlers.

6. Firework Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls

We’ve actually done this project once before and it turned out super cute!  The perfect thing to do around the 4th of July. Find it at Happiness is Homemade.

7. Sticky Paper Mural

I’m excited to see if my infant can play along with this craft.  I did have to go out and buy some contact paper. It’s a huge roll though so we’ll get to do this activity again and again! Find it at I Can Teach My Child.

8. Paper Plate Masks

These will be fun when my daughter decides she’s a scary bear, or a fast cheetah! Find it at Learn Create Love.

9. Ice Cream Math

Thought I’d throw in a purely educational craft also.  Find this one at Fun-a-Day.

10. Paper Bag Pinatas

To be honest, this craft may be more for me than it is my daughter because it just screams it’s time to party.  But she’ll get the candy once she breaks it open. Find it at Somewhat Simple.

11. Popsicle Stick Ballerinas

My daughter loves to do ballet so these little sticks are perfect to dance around with her. Find them at New Young Mum.

12. Paper Bag Jellyfish

Another paper bag craft because we already had those on hand! Find these jellyfish at No Time for Flashcards.

13. Handprint Color Mixing

Lastly, I included another color mixing craft, but this one is a lot more messy.  It uses multiple people to mix the colors, but I figure I’ll just have my daughter put one paint on one and another on her other hand then mix the paint together between her hands. Find out how to do it at The Simplicity of Learning.

There you have it!  A round up of 13 fun crafts to do all summer long.  Celebrate those slower days and fill an afternoon with a project that may just teach you or your kids something!  Which will you do first?

 

0

Festive End of School Summer Party

Well, my first born has officially completed her first year of Preschool!  Now it’s time to celebrate summer!  I’m equally excited for the freedom, and nervous to have her home all the time, haha!

I wanted to do a little end of year celebration and thought you might want to incorporate it into your end of year chaos too.  Why is it that there is always so much going on in the month of May?  School events, graduations, beginning of summer, vacations start, it’s never ending!

Summer party ideas, end of school year party, summer essentials party, kids summer party ideas

End of School Summer Themed Party

It’s always a good idea to throw a party!  Why not one for the end of the school year?

It doesn’t take much to make kids happy.  I mean they’re already not having to go to school anymore.

Summer party ideas, end of school year party, summer essentials party, kids summer party ideas

For my little party, I set up a station that I think all kiddos would love.  I included some summer essentials.  You know, water to hydrate, sunscreen to keep the burns at bay, and sunglasses mostly for the cool factor.

Doing a little station like this doesn’t have to cost you much at all.  Use things from around your home that are summer related.  Or do what I did and hit up the dollar store.  I probably spent $4 for all of this.

Making a fun, decorated station will make the simplicity of the get together more exciting.  Kids will think everything looks so fun, they’ll be playing for a long time.  Read, out of your hair for awhile 😉

I found this cute palm print melamine tray at the dollar store and it’s perfect for corralling a bunch of summer stuff.  Or you can use it to serve some festive refreshing drinks or snacks from. Plus it matches the fun palm print wrapping paper backdrop.

Summer party ideas, end of school year party, summer essentials party, kids summer party ideas

The best sunscreen!

Summer party ideas, end of school year party, summer essentials party, kids summer party ideas

Summer Party Snacks and Activities

As evident from our recent road trip, my daughter is a snack queen.  Literally every time she was in the car she was asking for a snack.  She could have just eaten the largest meal of her life, but required a snack once we were on the road.  She just kept saying, “but I’m supposed to have a snack!”  I guess we should have told her it wasn’t a requirement just because we were in the car.

Summer party ideas, end of school year party, summer essentials party, kids summer party ideas

I think most kids love snacks more than meals, especially at a toddler age.  So you can’t go wrong including some snacks in your summer party.  I used some popsicles we had in the freezer since last summer.  Other great options would be fresh fruit, ice cream, cracker jacks, or popcorn.

I also spent a couple dollars at the dollar store to replenish our water guns that have broken.  My daughter calls them “shooting things” but loves using them in the summer.

Invite classmates or neighbors over and have them squirt each other.  Or give the kids instructions to squirt the plants and you’ll get your watering done by someone else.

For only a couple dollars the kids will be entertained and cooled off for hours.

I hope this summer party has inspired you to put a few things together for your kids to help kick off summer.  When are you done with school?  Or are you already enjoying the freedom of summer?

 

2

Pinkalicious Party Ideas

Hey friends!  I haven’t been around much this week because I always have a hard time going from working on the weekend to getting blogging done.  I’ve forgiven myself for not getting things done and am back on track with this Pinkalicious party today.

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakes

My daughter received her first Pinkalicious book from her cousin about a year ago and has loved them ever since.  But now that Pinkalicious was made into a TV show on PBS, it’s even more the rage at my house.

Although her upcoming birthday party already has a theme, I couldn’t pass up celebrating her love of reading and throwing a little Pinkalicious party for her.   It’s a great idea to use a book theme for a kids party.  There are a ton of party ideas you can pull right from the pages.

We set up all things pink and of course treated ourselves to cupcakes.  Decorating for this party was a breeze because we had so many pink things already.  This is yet another reason I love color coordinated party decor because you can use it again and again.  No plastic, themed, one use party decorations here!

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesWe used a combination of pink pinwheels, banners, and pink tissue tassels.  Another great way to DIY easy party decor is to wrap up boxes with party coordinated wrapping paper.  Plus, the box adds height to any dessert or gift table.

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesTo keep the kids busy during the party I decided to have them make Pinkalicious fairy wands.  I cut out gold glitter stars and just attached them to skewer sticks from the kitchen.  Then I let my daughter tie on all sorts of pink and gold ribbon and trim.

This is super easy craft to let kids do by themselves.  It’s not messy and it will help them work on their fine motor skills tying the ribbon around the sticks.

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesThese wands also make great party favors.  My daughter has been playing with it for the last couple of days.  It’s always a win in my book when the party favor lasts longer than the day of the party.

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesWe couldn’t have a Pinkalicious party without the pink cupcakes!  These simple cupcakes came from Safeway, and I will tell you they are the best value for your money.  I was able to get 6 cupcakes for only $4.00!!!  You can’t beat those prices.  Then I added a cherry on top from cherries I already had on hand.

The cupcakes were the only things I purchased for this party.  I will take a $4 party any day.  And if I’m spending that little, there is no excuse not to celebrate all the time!

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious Party Ideas

I also wanted to provide you with a ton of other ideas you could use at your own Pinkalicious party.

  • Have a short storytime and read a Pinkalicious
  • Make fairy wands
  • Make and decorate crowns like Pinkalicious wears
  • If you’re having a winter party, you can read the Pinkalicious ice skating book and have your party goers paint with ice
  • Play pin the cherry on the cupcake
  • If the kids are older, have them decorate or even bake their own pink cupcakes
  • Ask all of your guests to wear pink

This was a fun (and cheap) little party to put together that brought a smile to this little girl’s face.  And that’s all that matters really, right?

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakesPinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakes

Pinkalicious party ideas, Pinkalicious fairy wands party craft, Pinkalicious party crafts, Pinkalicious cupcakes

Ready for her cupcake!

I hope you are inspired to maybe read some of these books, watch the show, or even just to go buy some $4.00 cupcakes!  Be sure to come back next week to see all of my Cinco de Mayo inspiration and ideas!

 

 

2

Celebrating everyday!