Tag: family activities

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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Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments that moms think are awesome too

When cool dad and author Mike Adamick’s new Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments (phew!) arrived at our door, my oldest daughter screamed with delight and I haven’t seen the book since. Whether you’re looking to get your kids more excited about science or are just looking for some weekend rainy-day activities, this is the book for you. And your screaming kids. Similar to Adamick’s first book Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects which helps bring more dads into the crafting fray with their kids, this sequel is chock full of fun activities for parents (of any sex) and kids, though this time...

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The Petit Collage book of crafts: Perfect for DIYers, or those who always wanted to be.

It’s entirely possible that we are Petit Collage groupies, considering how many times we’ve gushed over their beautifully designed toys, books, and kids’ room decor. And now with Petit Collage 25 Easy Craft + Decor Projects For A Playful Home, we have even more cause to celebrate, because the marvelous artist Lorena Siminovich has written her first book of crafts and decor, with all 25 projects taken straight from her bestselling collection. Released today, this is a lovely little book that makes for such good eye-candy, you might just want to turn the pages and never attempt a single project. That said,...

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Rio 2 movie review: Grab your fanny pack, go outside, and teach the kids to samba.

When the Rio movie ended, I was left with two kids who loved to shake their tail feathers to the samba and a sinking feeling that Type A Blu and fiercely independent Jewel were going to need some relationship counseling. Now, after a whirlwind weekend in Miami Beach for the Rio 2 premiere, I’m glad to report that the sequel doesn’t smooth over the conflicts of the first movie, as so often happens. Nope; there are kids, marital discord, the world’s toughest in-laws, and a villain who’s badder, balder, and more hilarious than ever. Not to mention a great message about...

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20 of the best easy, artful Easter egg decorating ideas that look very, very impressive

Easter egg decorating ideas have risen to a whole new level what with Pinterest Easter ideas and all. I’ve been a holdout, still sitting at home with my kids popping dye pellets into cups of vinegar, mostly because I’ve been afraid of how complicated these new egg dying methods seem to be. But thanks to some amazing bloggers who’ve come up with fantastic free printables and tutorials, we can come close to achieving glossy magazine level artistry, even if we don’t have a crafty bone in our bodies. I’m planning to try a couple of these easy Easter egg decorating...

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The best things to do in Daytona Beach with families that don’t involve the beach.

Daytona Beach isn’t all NASCAR and college kids on spring break, you know. They also have culture, relaxation, and great opportunities for family bonding, provided you know where to look and are up for adventure.  If your Florida vacation ideas end at Disney World, Universal Orlando, and a crowded ocean hotel, here are some of the best things to do in Daytona Beach with families that you might not find in that soggy brochure kiosk. Having spent some time there thanks to the Daytona Beach Area CVB, I was surprised to discover that Daytona has a lot to offer families with older...

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The Odd One Out: A welcome twist on the classic find-it book

Thanks to a recommendation from our friends at Zoobean, I recently discovered a new book my kids are obsessing over. The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book by Britta Teckentrup puts a modern twist on the classic kids find-it book. You know, those books where they’re supposed to look for something tiny in a big, busy page of cartoons? We’re big fans of artists who don’t dumb down their art (or their vocabulary, for that matter) for kids, which is why what could be an otherwise annoying read is actually a lovely experience for parents as well as children....

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