The ABC’s of Affirmations

Each day our children are affected by the world around us, encountering both positive and negative situations. Instilling positive affirmations into our children have a powerful way of building a positive mind and raising confident children. With the rise of bullying, self-confidence is the very thing that will empower them with positive beliefs and help them deal with hard situations. Just a few positive words spoken to ourselves each day can make an amazing impact on our entire life.

We hope this inspires you to make affirmations a part of your life.

PLAY with your food

Here’s a fun and creative way to encourage your kiddos to snack well AND play with their food.

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All you need are:

  • A variety of snacks that can easily be punctured with a toothpick. (the options are endless – go wild)
  • Toothpicks (colored toothpicks make it more festive!)

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Let them build away…

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Of course my ‘master builder’ started with a complex building.

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Star Wars spaceship comin’ atcha.

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Love how she’s so proud.

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Of course I played, too.

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Look Mommy, it’s a cactus.

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The sun never looked so delicious.

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There you have it, a fun and creative activity for your hungry and playful kiddos! If you try this I’d love to hear from you. Happy playing!

Exploring Fingerprints

We cracked open our new science STEAM kit from the library today to find an awesome little handheld microscope. It only came with one slide and Zander got bored of that fast. Thought it might be fun to look at our fingerprints through the microscope.

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This will not hurt, I promise. What you’ll need:

  • Scotch tape
  • Microscope
  • Washable marker

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Give your fingerprint of choice a good coating of marker.

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Transfer it onto 1 piece of scotch tape.

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Add another piece of tape the other other side, like a fingerprint sandwich.

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It’s ready to be explored under the microscope!

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There you have it. A simple and fun way for you and your kiddos to explore the beauty of your fingerprints – one of the many ways we are all unique.

 

Happy Exploring!

Succulent Gifts

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I love putting together small gifts for our friends/neighbors/teachers for the holidays. Living in southern california, we recently redid our landscaping to be drought tolerant and discovered how beautiful succulents can be.

I’ve seen these little succulent jars at other peoples homes and thought they were so cute. So for this years holiday gifts I tried making them myself.

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I found these glass bulb jars at Hobby Lobby. They’re filled with an array of soil, sand, stones and aquarium rocks. The succulent is a clipping of a jade plant we have in our garden. About 5 years ago we planted a clipping a bit larger than this one and it’s grown to be at least two feet in diameter!

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My sweet little Zander holding the gift we made for his teacher.

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I’ve been holding on to these little banners that were actually intended for cupcakes for the longest time. I finally found the perfect use for them!

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This jar was actually a jar of jam. A few years ago I cleaned the labels off a bunch of glass jars, not knowing what I would do with them. Can’t think of a better way to recycle glass jars (and declutter my house). For more ideas on how to recycle glass jars check out this post. 

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All in all, I made 14 succulent gifts for under $14. The only things I had to purchase were the bulb jars and large jar with handle. They were 50% off at Hobby Lobby which is why they all cost less than $14. Everything else I had on hand…

  • Succulents from our garden
  • Small aquatic rocks from a past candle project
  • Soil/rocks from our garden
  • Sand from the kids sandbox
  • Recycled food jars

The best part about this project – it was completed in 2 hours. I love a project that I can start and finish all in 1 of Zoey’s naps!

Hope this inspires you to get creative this holiday season.

Blessing Bags

It’s become a humbling tradition for us to put together Blessing Bags each year to give to the homeless in our community. We typically go to a local park and hand them out with our kids. These are also great to make for homeless shelters or keep handy in your car when you see someone in need.

This year Zander helped decorate and fill the bags. He drew a person, rays of sun for hope and a house in hopes they will find a permanent home soon. I collected items from our various hotel stays, dental visits and combined them with some other useful items like snacks and bandages. For more ideas and a printable checklist on items that would be great for blessing bags this is a great site.

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I attached this business card sized card into all the bags along with a small about of money to help encourage and motivate those who receive the bags. Click here to download a printable of this card.

Although these donations are small, they are a very real and tangible way to help someone in need and a great way to teach kiddos to be humble and care for others.

Hope this inspires you to get your kids involved in blessing someone else’s life!

A-Frame Tents

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This was another project my handy husband helped me with. I showed him this tutorial  and he made three of these awesome A-frame tents or Zoey’s first birthday party. The version shown above is the only one that required sewing since I used two different fabrics. The other two versions required zero sewing. I simply used an exacto knife to cut small slits in the fabric and tied them together with string. Easy peasy.

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These work great for indoor or outdoor spaces for your kiddos to call their own to read a book, take a nap, etc.

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A few photos from Zoey’s first birthday, tea party style.

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Happy tenting!

 

 

Cardboard Rocketship

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Just to come clean, I actually had no part in making this. It was all my husband, but it is so awesome I had to share it with the world.

About an hour before my husband leaves for a business trip he decides to start building the kids this rocketship. I thought… that’s a pretty big undertaking. Apparently, not for him.

In well under an hour he finished this giant structure that the kids could climb inside, look out a window and take an adventure to outer space. What blows my mind is the shear genius idea to incorporate the kids toy screws from this Melissa and Doug tool box so they could take it apart and reassemble it themselves. Things like this are why I love this man. So thoughtful and creative.

Hope this inspires you to make something fun for your kiddos this summer!

Popsicle Stick Matching Game

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Here’s another easy game to put together that’ll cost pennies. Great for color and pattern matching and word recognition.

To make these I used heavy weight cardstock paper, traced the popsicle sticks in various patterns and wrote the color names using marker. Color popsicle sticks were found at the Dollar Store. If you want to get fancy, try spelling out the child’s name using the sticks.

Hope this inspires you to make something fun for the kiddos in your life.

Homemade Holiday Ornaments

Each year during the holidays I have a list of things I want to do with my family to create lasting memories. Here’s my list for this year…

  • Make Christmas tree ornaments
  • Bake and decorate cookies
  • Print photo for 2014 family photo ornament
  • Watch a holiday movie while having a picnic dinner in the living room
  • Make and send holiday cards
  • Practice giving
  • Make small gifts for neighbors and teachers

I’ve managed to check everything off except “print photo for 2014 family photo ornament”. Not bad, with 8 days left til Christmas.

Making holiday ornaments is always one of my favorite things to do. I can’t wait until our tree is filled with homemade ornaments one day.

Here’s a look at some of the ones we made over the years:

Wooden Photo Ornament

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Pine Cone Owl:

  • Pine cone from the great outdoors
  • Used for everything except the feet
  • Pine cleaners used for feet
  • Everything is held together with hot glue

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Aquarium Ornament

  • Clear plastic round ornament from Michaels
  • Corals, seaweed, water bubbles and fish are all foam stickers from Michaels (used some fishing wire to hang the fish on the inside as if it were floating)
  • Aquarium gravel from Walmart

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Baby’s first handprint

  • Clear plastic large/flat round ornament from Michaels

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Initial Ornament

  • Wooden letter and buttons found at Michaels

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Snowman Handprint

  • Red glass ornament from Michaels

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Marble Ornament

  • Plastic clear round ornament from Michaels
  • Squeeze some paint inside and swirl around

Hope this inspires you to make some ornaments with you little ones!

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