Do your kids love birthday parties? My daughter starts talking about her birthday party theme months in advance. She loves parties and I love hosting them, planning the party details, and creating a fun theme to celebrate a special occasion. I tend to keep things pretty budget friendly but a party can still be creative with paper, craft supplies, and cute party foods. What's the first thing you do when planning a birthday party? Order party invitations of course! I'm excited to share with you my tips for planning kids' birthday parties to maximize the fun and minimize the cost and stress of party planning.
Kids can be picky when it comes to food. My oldest daughter loved eating a wide variety of foods up until she was about two years old and then she decided to only live off chicken nuggets and yogurt. With three kids now, I've had to set some standards for lunch time to avoid creating different meals for each child or squabbles over the kids changing their minds about what they want to eat. I agree with parents who think kids should eat the food they are given and be thankful. Moms can also creatively encourage their kids to enjoy healthy foods. We never force the kids to eat a plate of peas, but their tastes have developed for fresh fruit, some veggies with ranch, and a good variety of meats and grains. I can help provide nutritious meals too by purchasing whole grain crackers, healthy cheese, Greek yogurt, and making smoothies that include spinach and carrots. I also give the kids a Probiotics supplement to help their little digestive systems. Here are some of my fun healthy kids' lunch ideas!
My 2 year old loves snack time. I love snack time too, especially while I'm nursing a baby! I try to keep a variety of healthy, quick snacks on hand at home so that it's easy for us to make smart snack time choices throughout the week. Being on the go a lot can definitely make it more challenging to choose healthy snacks. Here are a few simple smart snacking ideas for ways to help your kids eat healthily whether you're at home or out and about!
Gummy bears are super fun to eat but I never thought about trying to make them until just the other day. It turns out, homemade gummy bears are very easy to make and you can infuse them with healthy juices, honey, and fresh squeezed citrus! My kids love gummy bears but I we limit the kids' sugar intake each day to help those little immunities. These DIY gummy bears are made with orange juice and sweetened with honey! I don't mind if my kids snack on these relatively healthy gummy bears and it's fun to customize the flavors.
As soon as it starts getting warm outside, my kids want to go out and play. Keep kids entertained this spring and summer with a few simple interactive activities, nature scavenger hunts, and imaginative play with sensory activities! Of course, one highlight of the changing seasons is the adorable kids' fashion that moms can get out and pack the past season's clothes away!
Practicing good hand washing is one of the simplest ways to avoid sicknesses and prevent contamination in your home. Teaching your kids healthy hand washing habits at home can go a long way to prevent picking up nasty bacterial infections or viruses and sharing them with the family. Recently I have been working with my little guy to help him develop healthy hand washing habits. I'm trying to creatively make it fun for him too! By giving him some fun ways to learn and remember how to properly wash his hands I hope to instill long lasting healthy hand washing habits that will come naturally to him even when he's away from home. Here's a few pointers for how to make hand washing fun and easy for little kids.
As soon as we had our 3rd child, we knew we needed to figure out some creative ways to escape the house with 3 kids. I wasn't eager to leave the house with a newborn and two toddlers, so for a few months I only did errands if my husband could watch at least one child. Slowly I got used to the idea and now it's a lot easier to take all three kids with me but I've still experienced some near-impossible events of having to corral the kids through the parking lot or chase them down while holding my purse and a baby. I've found the most effective way to keep track of my two toddlers is to trap them in the stroller, or let my more responsible daughter walk and trap my 2-year-old and 1-year-old in the stroller. I absolutely love our Joovy Caboose Ultralight. It has everything; seats, platforms, secure restraints, pockets, pouches, storage areas, and it easily folds up to fit in the trunk of my Civic. It feels just as streamlined as a regular stroller except that it fits two kids! I'm excited to share why I love this stroller, a basic essential for any family who enjoys getting out with young kids!
An organized life is often a happier life. It's easy to take simple steps towards structuring your day for success, starting with when you first wake up! This year I'm reducing the clutter in our home, identifying ways we can stay more organized, and minimizing the habits that create stress in our family. I'm a mom of 3 young kids and I have to keep my morning routine fairly simple while also completing the tasks to get ready for the day! Here are my tips for simplifying my morning routine even with kids underfoot.
When we first bought our motorhome, I was admittedly very excited about the prospect of not only traveling and camping with our family, but the countless hours of trip planning as well. That may sound strange to some, but I'm sure I am not the only one who enjoys the challenge and anticipation of choosing destinations, routes, stops, activities, and everything involved in a cross country RV trip. I'm excited to share some of the best resources I found for trip planning and some of my personal tips!
Does your family like dried fruit as easy go-to snacks? Preserving foods by drying is a great way to ensure foods don't go bad for long trips or during warm weather. Many people dehydrate food as a hobby rather than a necessity, but dried apple slices and apricots make delicious healthy snacks. You can make your own snacks using an electric dehydrator or even in the oven to remove moisture and create stable, nutritious snacks for your whole family.
Everyone loves a party! St. Patrick's Day is a fun holiday to celebrate by hosting a cute kid's party and play date with friends! I love hosting friends especially when it allows my kids to play with their friends too. St. Patrick's Day isn't a huge holiday, but we like to enjoy some yummy kid-friendly treats and delicious limeade, and let the mommies catch up and the kiddos play! Here are some yummy snack and treat ideas for a Shamrock kids' play group (or any kids' party)!
My kids are forever wanting to dress up and wear their sparky shoes and fluffy tutus to the playground and bounce house. I love having girls who love dress up but it also means their fancy clothing and shoes quickly become well loved. My 2-year-old often wears a dress for 3 days in a row, refusing to take it of even for bedtime. Childhood, right? Little kids don't sweat much and my girls never get truly filthy, so I don't mind if she wants to live in her favorite dress. These kitty shoes have been beloved by both my girls, which required me to give them a little makeover. These sparkly pink shoes were secondhand to begin with, and after a year of my daughter frolicking through the grass in our yard, these cute flats needed some TLC. I'm excited to share how I found some matching paint, pink glitter nail polish, and fixed these little kitty shoes right up!
Winter can feel long, especially when your family is cooped up inside with limited available activities and even some winter sickness. It's important for kids to have an interactive daily routine to feel active and to engage their minds. We had more than a foot of snow for weeks on end this winter, which limited our ability to play outside or even leave the house. With a bit of creativity you can find ways to help your kids enjoy the long weeks of snow and months of winter!
The first year and a half for any baby can be a tough one. Once a baby is able to sit up, they usually desperately want to move but can't. Once a baby can crawl, they want to walk but can't. My little guy is in the stage of wanting to keep up with his sisters but not quite walking. He is also a climber to his own peril, and has tumbled off boxes, down a few stairs, and only just recently learned how to safely get off the bed by backing up and sliding off. I try to encourage our baby to practice new movement skills by holding his hands and walking him around, setting up obstacle courses for baby to clamber through, and encouraging my baby boy to feed himself using a spoon. On the flip side, I don't want my baby to grow up too fast so I'm enjoying every day of him being little and dependent. Here are a few ways we encourage baby to practice his motor skills and learn through sensory play time.
It can be hard for moms to keep up with their kids' changing clothing sizes, especially with changing seasons too. My girls can easily share some of their clothes and the rest of their wardrobe ranges from 2T to 5T, which adds up to lots of clothes and lots of laundry. To minimize the many clothes on the floor and stuffed into the drawers, I've come up with a few tips to keep our kids' clothing streamlined so they can easily wear their favorites and reduce the extra clothing clutter.
My little girls have always loved to play mommy. Girls watch their own mommy and often can't wait to have their own babies and take care of them. Playing mommy is a sweet interest to nurture, especially by encouraging little girls to help take care of their little brothers and baby siblings. My girls also love to do crafts so this week we made some little mommy crafts so my daughters could take care of their baby dolls. Check out how we made an adorable baby bed from a cardboard box and easy no-sew baby doll bibs!
I love Valentine's Day, but sometimes I feel like handing out those paper character Valentines feels a little generic. Every kid gets a different character and they are fun, but inevitably those paper Valentines end up in the trash in a few days. I wanted to make our family something special for Valentine's Day, so last year I started making Custom Photo Valentines! I'm excited to share my tips and printables for making fun kids' photo valentines! All you need is a photo editing program that allows you to layer a graphic on top of a photo. I use Photoshop for my design projects, but there are free alternatives available that allow you to work with layers such as Gimp, a free photo editing program. If you are a mom who regularly takes photos of your kids, I'm sure you have your own favorite program for editing photos!
Handsocks is on a mission to keep babies' arms and hands cozy and protect them from scratching. Handsocks aims to expand their collection via their new Kickstarter campaign, including prints named after real children and limited edition styles. Learn how you can support the project!
Do you love duck tape? I'm sure you have at least heard about prom dresses and suits being made out of Duct Tape, ever since this popular and universal adhesive became a mainstream fix-it solution. Students are using Duct Tape to transform their school fashion trends with beautiful and talented Prom fashions designed entirely from Duct Tape! As a mom who loves creativity and fashion, I think these finished Duct Taped fashion statements are so cool!
It's easy to make cute and inexpensive valentines with colored paper, glue, glitter and stickers! The design options are endless! Cut a roaring dinosaur out of green paper, a fluttering butterfly, or a clever cat and personalize your Valentines with a child's name written in glitter glue. Not good at cutting out paper shapes? Print off one of the zillion coloring pages from Google search, place the coloring page on top of your piece of colored paper, and cut around the outline to create any shape you can imagine (or print off) I hope you enjoy our DIY Valentine's ideas for kids such as these darling hot air balloon heart valentines!