Tag: family activities

10 cool DIY leaf crafts for kids that they can actually do. (No offense, Pinterest.)

As the chill starts to hit the air and the sweaters come out from the back of the closet around here, that means it’s almost time for DIY leaf crafts for kids. Or hey, maybe you’ve already started? (Hey, Minnesota!) While there’s no shortage of stunning DIY craft ideas around the web using leaves, the results would make you all laugh hysterically should they fall into my not-too-crafty hands. Me? I’m a little more like, So? What can we do with a Sharpie, kids? With that in mind, I tracked down 10 inspiring but easy ideas that are made for actual doing, not just...

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Baby Loves Disco turns 10! Which kind of makes it Tween Loves Disco, huh?

I’ve been a huge fan (and friend) of Baby Loves Disco ever since I shook my groove thing at my first dance party with them back in 2006. Well, they’re turning ten this year (10!), and they’ve got a slew of cool dance parties all around the country to celebrate. They’ll be touring the U.S. all fall (starting with Baltimore tomorrow!) with fun events where you and your kids can cut a rug, get down, or do whatever it is that you love to do on the actual dance floor of a hip club–cool music included, although there’s no shortage of other...

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Game closet refresher: Doodle Quest challenges grown ups, too

It’s not always easy for us to find a game for kids that is doable, yet challenging, and that the entire family can play. What can we say, we have high standards. However cool-game maker Blue Orange’s new Doodle Quest is giving my family a run for our money, just in time for us to refresh the game closet as the weather starts to cool. And parents: Don’t get too cocky. You may find that this is one game you don’t have to pretend to lose. Doodle Quest is easy to start playing, something this impatient mama appreciates since nothing grinds my game-playing mojo to...

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Labor Day recipe ideas: Make your holiday barbecue extra tasty and delicious

If you’re like us and celebrating the unofficial end of summer and the start of school (whoo!) with some food and fun today, we rounded up a bunch of our favorite recipes that you can still whip up in time for your party or barbecue. Here’s to one last day of summer awesome before the craziness of back to school officially begins. Happy Labor Day, cool moms! DRINKS It’s the end of summer, so not just any margarita will do. Try one of these sophisticated margarita recipes and toast the end of August. Beat the heat with these delicious boozy slushie recipes. You...

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Adorably personalized library tote bags give kids one more reason not to lose those books.

As this crazy summer winds down I’m really looking forward to returning to our town’s library for after school hangs and rainy weekends. We’re there often, but no matter how hard we try to keep track of those borrowed books they tend to get lost in the household shuffle, so I exceptionally love the idea of this personalized library tote bag from our friends at Sarah + Abraham. This adorable customizable tote featuring the popular olligraphic designs we love will get your kids a little more excited when it’s time to make a library run. Kids can make this bag truly their own, choosing among four colors...

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The cutest way ever to get more parents talking to their babies

Want your baby to be smarter? Maybe you’ve seen all the research that says to talk to her. A lot. Especially in those early months and years. And of course you know that – what is parenting these days if not an exercise in reading way too much research from too many experts? Even so, I know that talking to my own babies could get pretty monotonous, so for other parents — or caregivers — who might need a little inspiration from time to time, I think this new, hip line of conversation-starting bodysuits and blankets at TalkReadSing.org are so smart. TalkReadSing is a...

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Great Sand Dunes National Park: The National Park family vacation idea you might not have considered.

With all the United States National Parks for us to explore and enjoy with our families, there are probably certain ones that pop to mind first: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, Sequoia, the Grand Canyon. But if you haven’t heard of Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, we opted to go there for our own family vacation this summer and I can’t recommend it enough. And yes, I’m biased as a Colorado resident, but I couldn’t wait to tell you about it. If you think that strolling on soft, warm sand and hiking a ten thousand foot mountain pass can’t be done in the same...

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5 edible finger paint recipes for artists who find their work delicious

My nephew isn’t quite a year old yet, but his artistic parents sense that he is ready to express himself through finger paints–probably because of the messes he makes when left alone with a bowl of cereal. And while real paint isn’t a great idea for a child who wants to taste test everything, there are lots of fun and colorful finger paint recipes for edible finger paints that are just as much fun for sampling as they are for painting. At top, our own Stacie at One Hungry Mama shows how easy it is to use thick plain Greek yogurt to make...

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11 gourmet popsicle recipes that are easy enough to make with your kids on hot summer afternoons. Commence licking.

We’ve hit that sweltering time of summer when it feels like we’re about to melt here in the south, so I’m pulling out my popsicle molds and making the desserts my kids beg for on really hot days. Even though the flavors of these gourmet popsicle recipes are worthy of my local high-end popsicle stand, all of these recipes are easy enough to make with my kids. In fact, the hardest part will be just waiting for them to freeze. Unless of course you have a Zoku. With just the right amount of sweetness but still deliciously tart, the Grapefruit and Strawberry Greyhound cocktail popsicle (at top) by Bakers...

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Fun summer craft for kids: Story starters grab bag, with free printable artwork

Whether you’re hosting a sleepover in your backyard under the stars, sending the kids off to summer camp, or packing up the camping gear and heading out on a family retreat in the car, make-your-own stories can be a fun, low-tech way to stay entertained. So I came up with the easiest craft idea: A fun story starter grab bag themed around campfire stories, filled with little icons to help generate ideas and make things more fun. In fact, you don’t even have to be around a campfire to use it. Though marshmallows are always a plus, in any situation....

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Our favorite safe, cool bike helmets for kids. Whether or not they’re future Tour de France riders

It can be a struggle to get kids to remember to wear their helmets, but when their bike safety gear looks as good as these cool  bike helmets for kids–they’re much more likely to use one. So since it’s July, and in our house the Tour de France is on TV every morning (meaning between stages, my own little cyclists are out on the driveway doing their own time trials) we’ve put together our favorite bike helmets for your kids. Because I’ve seen the falls in the race, and I want to be sure my kids are really safe when they’re out on our street...

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Cool 4th of July craft for kids: The ribbon wand takes the fire out of fireworks

My little guy isn’t old enough to be interested in fireworks yet–and I kind of hope he never is–but that doesn’t mean he can’t get into the 4th of July with some cool crafts for kids. For safety’s sake (and of course just for something fun to make with him) I came up with these fun red, white, and blue ribbon wands. I hope you like them as much as he does!   This firework alternative only requires four materials and is easy enough that kids of all ages can help put them together and shake them around instead of sparklers.  ...

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More printable coupons full of little surprises that prove free can be fun

Yesterday we shared a fun page of free printable coupons for fun little family surprises that won’t break the bank (or even require a bank at all). And as promised, we’re excited to offer another free page of awesome printable coupons we designed on behalf of our sponsor Cracker Jack. Put them all together and you’ve got one awesome gift for any reason at all. You might even get hugs. (No guarantees with regards to moody 13-year-olds but worth a shot.) The best part: none of these ideas will cost you more than $20, and most are totally free. Just print, cut, and you’re...

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Free printable coupons for little family surprises that bring big smiles.

We are always looking for cool printable coupons to share with our readers. When they’re nicely done, they can make such great gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations. But the truth is, we’re picky! (As you know.) So we thought, hey, why not create our own? And so we did.     On behalf of our sponsor Cracker Jack, we’ve got six awesome printable surprise coupons for you, absolutely free, all to help you create little surprises for your family under $20. (After all, Cracker Jack is kind of like the master of little surprises, right?) Just cut out and you’re ready to...

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10 camping recipes so good you may never go back to an oven again.

It probably comes as no surprise that my favorite part of camping is campfire cooking. There’s something satisfyingly primal about giving up my stove and cooking over an open fire in the great outdoors. And with the right camping recipes—like these 10 for every meal of the day—the results are incredibly tasty. Impressive, even. Too bad I can’t say the same about giving up my hairdryer.   A CAMPING BREAKFAST IDEA THAT’S NOT PANCAKES Pancakes breakfasts are easy enough to whip up while camping if you have a large griddle. However if you don’t, flipping flapjacks to order in a small cast...

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12 little surprises under $20 that can make big memories for families

For years, we’ve been preaching that it’s often the little things that make the biggest impact, especially when it comes to those fun treats and creative ideas that help make summer magical for families. Just ask our own kids how much they love it when we set up a spa in the bathroom, or make a Tuesday movie night, just because. Best of all, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. We’re super excited to be partnering with our sponsor Cracker Jack, the original master of little surprises, on their brand new initiative, The Surprise Inside Project, which kicks off today in New...

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Gifts for the dad who has everything: 2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide

You know the dad who has everything? The one who’s impossible to shop for? Yep, so do we. So even though we’ve now suggested dozens of Father’s Day gifts of all kinds, you might still be looking. And we feel for you. So here, we present some of our favorite gifts for the dad who seems to have everything. Some are splurgey, some are free, some just a little off the beaten-path. Hopefully there’s something here for the lucky paternal superstar in your life.  Besides your undying love and affection, of course. Which may in fact be all he needs. We’re happy to welcome our friends at Dove...

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Is the innovative Taga Bike Stroller worth the price tag? Here’s the real scoop.

Last month the, Taga Bike began selling in the US after six years in Europe, and I’ve been fascinated by this innovation in biking for parents, and the whole bakfiet trend that’s slowly making its way to our shores.  I totally see the appeal of a bike-stroller hybrid like the Taga; there is a cute outdoor shopping center about a mile from my house, and I’ve frequently thought how nice it would be to ride my bike down there, shop a bit, grab some groceries, and head back home with my four-year-old, who isn’t big enough to ride his own bike that far himself. And...

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The new Project Kid craft book offers ideas beyond pasta necklaces. Hallelujah.

We are starting to get really excited about summer break around my house, but I know the inevitable chorus of We’re booorrred will start up before too long. Luckily, I am armed and ready with a copy of Project Kid, the new kid craft book by Amanda Kingloff, former lifestyle director at Parents magazine. If my crew stays focused, we can probably tackle all 100 crafts in this terrific, well-curated collection of fun DIY projects. I’m debating between starting with the photo tree made from twigs and Play-Doh lids, or the rock garden made with rocks, tissue paper, and Mod Podge. Because what...

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Learning dishes for kids and other educational tableware that sneak some brain food in with the vegetables

Mealtime is the one time my busy kids sit still for a little while, so I love that smart people are creating such interesting learning dishes for kids, educational placemats, and other housewares that let kids do more than doodle at the table. Or uh, play Candy Crush. Whether or not your kids will actually review math facts or practice cursive over the mashed potatoes, they’re likely to absorb some of the information presented in front of them, which I think is kind of neat. ALPHABET PLACEMATS For little ones, Brinware’s brightly colored, easy-to-clean silicone alphabet placemats (above) make for a...

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