Children’s Activities

25
Mar
2015

Free Bowling for Children All Summer

03/25/2015. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

kidsbowlfree

Here is all the information for the 2015 Kid’s Bowl Free program.  Select bowling alleys offer 2 free games every day of the summer. That works out to a $500 value so a great deal.

Click here to find out if you live near a participating bowling alley.  Once you find one, sign up each child for the program. A coupon should be emailed to you each week to use.  It does not look like shoe rentals are included.

Dates vary by location so just be sure to read all the information.

Also, ages vary. I checked some locations and they were 18 and under but I also saw some areas that only allowed 15 and under.

 

 

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22
Mar
2015

Regal Summer Movie Express {$1 Movies}

03/22/2015. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

summer-movie

Regal Cinemas offers $1 movies all summer long.  The start date varies by theater location. It looks like most locations start in June but I did see some that started in May. They have released the movies that will be shown but not the list of participating theaters. You might want to bookmark this page as I will update when they do.

We look forward to this every year. It’s such a fun activity especially on those days that it’s just too hot to be outside. I would recommend being at the theater early as they have sold out before.

The locations I checked will have the movies at 10am on Tuesday and Wednesday. You might just double check your location to be certain.

Here is the list of movies that will be shown this summer:

movie-list

Click here for more information for your location.

 

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18
Mar
2015

Children’s Fingerprint Painted Pots – Perfect Gift Idea

03/18/2015. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

children's painted pot

 

A few weeks ago my 5 year was grabbing her normal mile high stack of books at the library and one of the books she popped into the cart was this darling Fingerprint Book from Ed Emberley.

ed emberley

All the ideas in the book about how to draw a monkey, caterpillar, tree etc.. with children’s fingerprints were so adorable I really wanted to do some sort of keepsake craft with my girls.

So finally I came up with an idea to do a spring potted plant as a little gift idea for the Grandparents. This was so easy and so inexpensive- it would be a really fun idea for a Spring party or class project or Girl Scouts activity.

Painted pot

To start I bought an inexpensive pot from the home improvement store- just a plain terra cotta pot and I believe this was about $1.00 or less.

Next I took some yellow spray paint I had on hand and painted it a cheerful yellow. Any color would work perfectly though- green, blue, white or you might even leave the pot unpainted.  For older children it would be fun to do an ombre pot with maybe really light blue at the bottom and darker blue at the top.

I only painted the outside of the pot but it is probably best to paint the inside and outside.  I read recently that moisture can go through a terra cotta pot painted on the outside only and cause the paint to bubble.  I haven’t had that experience with pots I have painted in the past but just a little tip to consider.

painting our pot

After two coats of spray paint and a day for dry time, we just sat outside with several dabs of paint and the Ed Emberley book and my 7 year old chose what to paint. I put a bunch of color options on a paper plate for her to choose from and then we used a second paper plate to practice the design and after the practice round she dipped her thumb in and added the color to the pot. The trick is to get just enough paint on the thumb so it isn’t a smeary blob on your pot. You also want to take care to completely wipe off fingers in between color choices so there isn’t any blending.

We used assorted acrylic craft paints I had on hand. If you are off to buy new paint for your project, look for patio/deck/outdoor paints.  Those will have lasting power on your pot.  The price at the craft stores is usually $.50-1.00 for paint so not an expensive investment at all.

painting a pot

It looks kind of strange because you will just have dots all over the place but once you have finished all the artwork, set the pot aside to completely dry. I had mine outside on a sunny day so it was dry within about an hour.

thumbprint pot

I sat down after it dried completely with a fine point sharpie marker and added in all the lines to create the actual drawing. We did little birds, butterflies, flowers a tree, a snail, sunshine… so many cute little things for the pot. I am definately not an artist but anyone can draw two little straight lines for feet and a beak or little swirls to make a snail shell. It really is so simple and the book will actually show you step by step how to draw in the lines.

On the backside she wrote her name and the year. Oh and that is a little frog you see below.  So cute right?

painted pot

And you are done!  You can put a little plant inside- I went back and forth between an herb for my kitchen and a succulent and decided on a succulent.  For potted herbs it would be cute to have the child write the name of the plant on the front (i.e. Rosemary) and then decorate around that.

Please note if you plan to keep this outside where it will be wet you will want to spray the pots with a clear poly coat or a terra cotta pottery seal spray  to be sure the paint stays on and doesn’t wash off or fade.

You can find those types of sprays at craft stores or home improvement stores.

And if you try this project please come back and let me know how it goes for you!  I’d love to see your masterpiece :)

Here are a few other fun projects to consider:

How to make colored rice

How to Make colored rice- fun alternative to sand!

how to make bouncy balls for kids

Homemade Bouncy Balls 

homemade puffy paint

How to Make Puffy Paint 

 

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17
Mar
2015

Quick and Easy Rainbow Treats for Kids

03/17/2015. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Rainbow treat bags



Have you seen these adorable little rainbow treat bags for children? There are lots of variations on these and they tend to be super popular around St Patrick’s Day.

I didn’t intend to post these- I actually happened to be in charge of a treat for my Kindergartner’s class today and we went through lots of lots of fun ideas and this was the one she was most excited about.  They turned out so cute I couldn’t help snapping a few photos this morning and thought I’d post them for you as well.

These are so easy to do and would be perfect for Girl Scout meetings, party favors, soccer treats, class parties…. and best of all these are easy for the kids to help assemble.

I love things like this for little people because it is easy for them to take home (unlike cupcakes or doughnuts) and it is pretty much mess free for the teachers.

Originally this idea came from Disney’s Spoonful- they always have adorable ideas.  I saw the image and pinned it ages ago and now I can’t seem to find it again to give you a direct link.

twizzlers

But I figured it out pretty easily without exact instructions.  Here is what you need:

  • Twizzlers Rainbow Candy – I found Family Size bags at Target for $2.00
  • Mini Marshamallows
  • Party Favor Bags- 25 for $1.99 at Joann’s
  • Ribbon
  • Gold Coins or Rolos (optional)

So the bags of Twizzlers come with equal numbers of colors inside so you can make several complete rainbows.  I meant to count the number of rainbows inside and then completely forgot but I can say we got 25 rainbow bags out of 4 bags of Twizzlers and had ample Twizzlers left.  I would say you can probably get about 7 rainbows from each bag as my best guess.

To make 25 bags of rainbows I used one full bag of Jet Puff mini marshmallows plus about 25% of a second bag.  I was generous with the clouds though so you could probably get away with just one bag.

  • Start by separating the candy into a rainbow with red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
  • Make sure the ends of the licorice line up and gently fold into a rainbow shape.  It is hard to shape the candy and keep all the colors showing- I thought the purple was the least pretty so I sort of shoved that toward the back as I was bending.
  • Next stuff it into your bag where it should fan out into a U shape.
  • Pop a few marshmallows into one corner of the bag and then the opposite corner.
  • And you are all done!

I tied the top with yellow ribbon we had on hand although green might be more festive for St Patrick’s Day.  Yellow is my daughter’s favorite color so I went with what would make her happy.

Rainbow Treats for Kids

As I was stuffing these I did the licorice in the center first in the hopes that would sort of help keep the marshmallow clouds separate on each end of the rainbow.  They will likely get mixed up together at the bottom but don’t worry because they still look adorable.

I think these would be even cuter with one Rolo or one chocolate coin tucked into a corner for the pot of gold but I didn’t think about that until I was halfway into assembly.  Next time for sure ;)

And then you will have darling little treats for the kiddos and I bet they love these bright, happy little treats!

I know for sure I’ll make these again- probably as soccer snacks.  I do have to say the Twizzlers weren’t very good to me.

And I happen to love Rainbows, if you do too- here is more Rainbow inspiration:

rainbow fruit cups

Rainbow Fruit Cups

How to Make Rainbow Brownie Bites- perfect for parties!

Rainbow Brownie Bites (perfect for a bake sale!)

how to color tennis shoes

Rainbow Tie Dye Tennis Shoes

 

 

 

 

 

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26
Feb
2015

25 Fun Dr. Seuss Treats and Crafts {Perfect for Birthday or Class Parties}

02/26/2015. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Dr Seuss Crafts & Treats



I always look forward to March because it is Dr Seuss’ birthday!  There are always great deals on the books and movies and so many fun little things to buy in the stores- plus tons of inspiration from clever bloggers.

If your child loves Dr Seuss or if you are considering a birthday party or maybe your child’s class is going to celebrate next week– well I have a bunch of ideas for you!

I am actually in charge of taking snacks to my 2nd graders class for a day long party they are planning and I am hoping to have the details of what I came up with posted for you very soon :)

In the meantime, here are some creative and fun ideas I found that you might enjoy:

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19
Feb
2015

Easy Milk Paint Craft for Kids

02/19/2015. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Milk Painting for Kids - so easy and so fun!



Have you ever tried milk painting with the kids? This is so simple and I wanted to post this idea for those of you that might be snowed in this week and looking for ways to keep the kids busy for at least a few minutes.

The beauty of this project is that you probably already have what you need on hand and it takes just seconds to prepare.

Your children can swirl around and “paint” beautiful color combinations using the milk as a canvas. This is a great way to talk about primary colors and how to create secondary and tertiary colors or they can just explore the color combinations on their own.

My Kindergartner actually did this at school one day and we have done this a few times since and each time she has so much fun swirling the colors around.  “Mom I made purple!  Mom look!”

Here are the supplies you need:

  • Food Coloring
  • Milk (the higher the fat content the better but any variety will work)
  • Dish Soap (optional)
  • Watercolor paper (optional)
  • Q-tips or toothpicks

Now since you are working with food coloring it is a good idea to protect your surfaces and clothing but overall this is not a really messy project.  Just be sure Mommy (or Daddy) is in charge of the food coloring and little fingers are in charge of Qtips and dish soap.

Start by adding milk to a dish of some sort- I used a Pyrex pie plate but a casserole dish or tray would be perfect. Anything with a lip to hold the milk but also a wide surface area for painting.

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12
Feb
2015

21 Ideas for Awesome School Lunches

02/12/2015. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Breakfast for a school children - ready to eat - sandwich with a green apple

For some reason in January I noticed there were a lot of searches on the blog for snack ideas and school lunch ideas. Usually I see those searches at the beginning of the school year but since people seemed to be looking for inspiration, I decided to put together a post with all sorts of lunch and snack ideas for the kiddos.

I do put some effort into lunchboxes. I usually spend 15-20 minutes per night making them for my girls and then I make something very similar for my husband and myself.  I want my girls eating good food so they have energy to get through the day and so they can concentrate and focus on schoolwork in the afternoon.  It is also important that they are excited to eat lunch- those of you with little ones know what a big deal lunch and snacks can be for children.  Mine get extremely excited to open up lunchboxes and see what waits inside.

I usually pick my battles with food for the kiddos- dinnertime is when we arm wrestle over what they will eat- for lunch I prefer to stick to things I know they like. That eliminates waste and also they haven’t reached the stage yet where they just throw things away and pretend to have eaten it :) I can see exactly what they eat and for the most part these lunchboxes come home completely empty.  Sadly my girls don’t like so many things– lunch meat (with the exception of salami or roast beef), avocados, most vegetables… the list goes on and on.

Oh and this school year the kids have been really excited for lunch– they actually open it in the car on the way to school and it is so fun to hear them chatter.  “Oh look Addy we got watermelon today!”  or whatever and I can hear them already sneaking a few bites of this or that.  So I do feel the small amount of time at night really pays off.

Some things I take into consideration- I don’t pack things that will potentially get soggy like quesadillas or things that really are better hot like English Muffin pizzas.  I also try not to pack things that will take too long to eat.  The kids like to hurry through lunch to get to recess time so nothing fussy or they miss recess.

Anyhoo– these aren’t perfect lunches (we eat cookies and crackers and chips in moderation) but they are examples of things I have packed over the last month or so.  I do wish I could have lunchboxes filled with broccoli and avocado and beets and tell you my little ones ate every bite- but sadly I tend to stick to cucumbers and carrots as I know they will for sure eat those.  One of my kids is allowed peanut butter and one is allowed peanut butter but she has to sit in a specific section of the cafeteria so I try not to use it in her lunchbox.  Otherwise, we don’t have any food allergies or other dietary concerns.

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15
Dec
2014

Easy Salt Dough Ornaments (Perfect Holiday Craft for Kids)

12/15/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments- perfect children's holiday craft!

 

I have been wanting to make salt dough ornaments with my children for a few years now and we finally had a chance last week.

The ornaments were really easy to make and you can let your imagination run with this as there are so many fun ways to customize your ornament.

We actually made two batches because I made some mistakes with ours so I will share what worked and didn’t so yours (hopefully) turn out perfectly.

How to Create Salt Dough Ornaments- so fun for children!

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