First Day of School Printables

First Day of School printables



We have about 4 weeks until school starts back up but I know many of you are going back to school much earlier.

I thought I’d round up some cute free printable signs for you to consider for those first day of school shots.  This is one of my favorite things to do each year as it is so fun to go back and see how the kiddos have changed over the school year.

Here are 12 fun ideas:

school sign

school signs

school sign

And here are a few other fun ideas for Back to School:

Apple Rice Krispies Treats- perfect for fall!

Apple Rice Krispie Treats 

21 Ideas for Awesome School Lunches

Free Printables to Get Organized for Back to School

Free Printables for an Organized Back to School

 

How to Make a GIANT Bubble Wand

How to Make a Giant Bubble Wand



This giant bubble wand is something I have oohed and aahed over many times in the past.  But to be honest when it comes to DIY or crafts if something seems overwhelmingly complicated or expensive- my eyes roll back into my head and my brain hits the mute button.

You see my brain simply can’t handle complicated when it comes to homemade projects.  I want easy peasy or no thank you.  😉 I have seen tutorials for giant bubbles in the past that just seemed too hard to bother with or required buying wading pools and hoola hoops and other things I simply don’t want to buy and have cluttering up the house.  So I have always just grabbed the bubble wands from the Dollar Store and called it a day.

But we recently went to an outdoor festival and spotted a booth with a bucket and giant bubbles.  The person manning the booth was sweet enough to walk me through the process of making these bubble wands and I can assure you it is so easy and so cheap!

My 6 year old absolutely loves bubbles so several months ago I saw premade bubble wands at the craft stores and purchased them for about $4 or so as a birthday gift. Both of the brands we bought were complete junk and wound up getting tossed out.  So I do suggest making these yourself if you can- it will be cheaper and most likely work better anyway.

Here are the crazy simple directions- this will take a few dollars and about 10 minutes time:

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Road Trip Survival with Kids {14 Ideas to Keep them Busy and Happy}

Road Trip Survival with Kids



I thought some of you might be planning road trips with your children this summer and thought I’d put together a list of fun activities you can do to keep the kiddos happy.

We have taken countless road trips with our children- usually ranging from 2-10 hours long. My girls are 6 and 7 now but we have been taking trips regularly for several years now. Our first big trip was a few years ago when we drove from Sacramento to Palm Springs and then to Disneyland. That was a loooonnngg haul and I planned and prepped and made huge car kits for the kids with Disney themed treats and games and coloring and toys.

Big mistake!

To this day we still have crayons in the little rails of the car and puzzle pieces and other things that are too small to vacuum out and get lodged in to make me absolutely crazy. I see lots of activities with crayons and legos and such for kiddos on pinterest and I do want to warn you that I don’t allow any small pieces in our cars anymore. Not after the great car trashing of 2012 courtesy of Mom’s lovingly packed car kits.  I think some of these things are still really cute and worth making for the hotel room and such. Or maybe your children are not as messy as mine and you will have much better luck :)

These days I tend to roll with lots of snacks and again things that don’t crumble into 8 million little crumbs in the back seat. We like licorice, sliced apples, mini pretzels- (the entire pretzel goes in your mouth not like chips where little people bite it in half and a shower of crumbs hits the seat), peanut butter sandwiches, lemonade and so on.

The main entertainment for the little people is usually the DVD player.  Most people have DVD players built into the car but we actually have an old school portable DVD player.  The girls each pick one or two movies before we leave (they must agree on it so plenty of time is allowed for this major decision) and on a super long trip I might stop at Redbox locations along the way to get something new we haven’t seen before.

And since there are two kids and Mommy and Daddy don’t necessarily want a Barbie movie marathon, we have this little splitter  that allows two sets of headphones to connect to the DVD player and everyone is happy.

So here are some fun ideas for keeping the kids busy this summer:

roadtrip

1. Portable Lego Kit

2. Road Trip Snack Kit

3. Easy Car Organizer for Kids

4.  Activity Trays- made with Cookie Sheets — note:  we usually stop at a Dollar Tree on trips and might pick up a few little pool toys or something.  You can grab black posterboard for $1 and make something like this for the kids to play with in the hotel room too.

roadtrip2

5. Road Trip Pillows

6.  Printable Car Games– Scavenger Hunt, Bingo and more

7. Mad Libs

8. DVD Coloring Case

roadtrip3

 

9. Road Trip Behavior Clips

10. Play-doh Muffin Tin Activity

11. Matching Activity for Toddlers

roadtrip4

12. DIY Travel Activity Kit

13. Countdown Arrival Activity

14. DIY Car Pulley System– for snacks and activities

And if you are staying in a hotel with a microwave, this little soap cloud is a very fun thing to make for the littles.  They will LOVE playing with this in the tub!

ivory cloud

And here is a simple idea we did last summer when visiting Grandpa Joe.  There weren’t many toys at his house, but we did make this sprinkler which the kids had a great time with!

Homemade Sprinkler for Kids- from a 2L

How to Create a Summer Journal for Kids

Summer Journal for Kids



Summer is finally here for our family.  My children seem to get out of school so much later than other parts of the country.

The first project I wanted to do for summer was to create a summer journal.

I wanted to make a journal for a few reasons- the first is obviously to keep them writing all summer.  I have a 7 year old and a 6 year old and both of them definitely need the practice writing correct sentences, practicing spelling and so on.

The second reason is because we really do quite a bit with our children.  They get to go on a lot of trips, camps and other activities that I certainly didn’t get to participate in when I was a kid.  So if Mom and Dad are shelling out tons of money on these adventures and taking the time to plan things out, I really want the girls to reflect back on the experiences they have.  😉  Hopefully by taking a minute to write about their activities they will appreciate things more and we will have a great keepsake to look back on.

Lastly, it is just so fun to see the things that resonated with them.  We recently went on a trip to Lake Tahoe and did a ton of things that day but what my 7 year old remembered most was a special rock she found on the beach that looks like a strawberry.  Such a little thing and I never would have remembered that myself.

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Children’s Artwork Keychain {Perfect Keepsake}

Children's artwork keychain

I have a fun project for you today that is so simple (and I think) really adorable.  This would be a perfect summer craft with the kids or make these as gifts for Mom, Dad or the Grandparents.  I think they are really adorable and such a cute little keepsake.

We wanted to make these for Dad and they turned out so cute, my girls are going to make one for Grandpa this year for Father’s Day.

You can easily put the kids to work labeling all the keys in the house with these- mailbox, spare key etc… or these keychains would also be very cute for them to make for their friends as a little tag to hang off a backpack zipper.  I can already see my little girl drawing out BFF with rainbows and such for her friends.

Buy necklace chains instead of keychain hardware and these would be adorable little necklaces or charms for bracelets.

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Free Summer Reading Log Printables and Activities

Free summer reading logs for kids



With many children getting out of school in the next couple of weeks, I wanted to post these free reading logs.  You can choose from several different printables and activities to encourage summer reading. I love the scavenger hunt activity!

Hopefully these creative ideas will keep your kids motivated to read this summer.

Here are several options:

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Chapter Book Suggestions for Girls 6-9

Chapter Book Suggestions for Girls 6-9 years old

 

Since we are so close to summer vacation I thought it might be nice to put together a list of chapter book recommendations for those of you with little girls.  Obviously many of these books will certainly work for boys too.

I have a 6 year old emerging reader and a 7 year old reader and the difference between the two is so dramatic.  Usually we don’t see chapter books until second grade but my Kindergartner absolutely loves to read so we have stared with chapter books a little early.

My second grader on the other hand, has struggled with reading and we have had an uphill battle with her reading until the end of First Grade when she started reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in class.  That book started to turn a corner for her as she was really excited for reading time each day and would rush home to tell me what happened to Charlie.  In the summer between 1st and 2nd grade we took a trip to Universal Studios, Florida and started reading the Harry Potter series.  That has really made a profound difference for her as she absolutely loves the books!  We are on book 4 now and she looks forward to reading time every single night.  She is still excited about the stories and although I do the majority of the reading to her, I am thrilled to see she is  discovering how magical books can be.

So if you have an advanced reader, hopefully many of these suggestions will appeal to them and if you have a struggling reader don’t give up!  I can’t even begin to say how frustrated I felt (and still do) but I think the key is to just keep trying different things until you find the book that finally clicks for your child and opens up the magical world of reading for them.

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End of Year Signs for Kids

End of Year Signs for Kids

Hard to believe that summer is almost here!  I know some parts of the country are already getting out of school- we still have about 4 weeks left until summer vacation.

If you have little ones that are finishing up with school, here are a few free printable signs you might like for last day of school photos.  You can simply print these or they are very cute framed with your child holding them up.

Here are my little cuties holding their first day of school signs– it is so fun to look back and see how much the kids have changed over the school year.

1st day of school FL rice krispies 212

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