Wednesday, March 28, 2012

15 Easter Games, Activities & Ideas (Printable)

Easter is just around the corner. If you're throwing a party or just looking for Easter ideas to do with the family, check out this list of games and activities. The best part? You can download it and print it for free to keep in your files. HAPPY EASTER!!!

Egg Ideas, Games and Activities

Saturday, March 24, 2012

DIY: Ribbon Dancers

My girls love to dance. These ribbon dancers have added a lot of fun to their dance parties. These are great for birthday parties, dance classes, preschool movement, or just for fun. We even "write" our letters with them in the air.

One of the best parts about these ribbon dancers are that they are inexpensive, easy to make, customizable, and don't require tools!!

What you'll need:

Wooden dowel (7/16 x 12 in.)
Screw eye (#14)
Split key ring (1 in.)
1 1/2" wide ribbon (about 10-12 feet long)
Fray Check
Sewing machine OR needle and thread
Acrylic paint (if you want to paint your wooden dowel)

NOTE: I found the dowels (came in a pack of 6) and ribbon at Michael's,
and the screw eyes and key rings at Home Depot.

Twist the screw eye into the top of the dowel.

Twist it in all the way to the base of the eye.

Thread ribbon through the key ring and secure the edge by machine (or hand) sewing it. Add as many ribbons as you'd like.

On the raw edge of the ribbon, use fray check to keep the ribbon from unraveling.

Link the key ring to the screw eye.

DONE! Time to dance!

This post was part of The Shady Porch Rock N' Share and Oopsey Daisy's Wednesday's Wowzers. For more super cute creativity across the blogosphere, head over to The Shady Porch and Oopsey Daisy

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Spring is basically here for most of the U.S. We are enjoying our high 70s - low 80s here. I love the spring! It makes me happy for life! I get giddy seeing the little buds on the trees and their progression. I love the sun and love how it brings people outdoors. There is energy again!

This year I finally decided to make "eggheads" with my daughter. We got a bag of grass seed and soil, and then carefully cracked our eggs when we cooked, and saved the shells.

We filled the eggs about 3/4 full with soil, added some quick-sprouting grass seeds, and topped it off with more soil. Then we watered them.

In about 3 days it was sprouting.

In 7 days, it looked like this. Not joking.

Today we took our eggheads to the salon (aka kitchen table) and got their hair cut.

My 3-year old was in heaven!!! Scissors!!! Cutting "hair"!!!

They turned out lovely.

We'll keep watering them and she'll be able to cut them again next week!

We're doing another experiment- growing grass seed on a sponge.
It seems to be working so far.

Side view

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 General Conference: Nursery Activity Packet

On Sundays, I get to work with our littlest children in the church. In two weeks all the little children and their families will be tuning in to General Conference.

I created an activity packet for the Nursery-age children (18 months-3 years old) to do while watching General Conference from home.

2012 General Conference Packet for Nursery

Feel free to download and print these for your own personal use.

NOTE: This is something that I created and is NOT an official document of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

**CORRECTION: On the last page of the pdf file- the recipe for Cake Mix Cookies should read 1/2 c. butter, 2 eggs. Omit water. This correction will make your cookies delicious!!

2012 LDS General Conference

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in the same organization that existed in Christ's church when he was on the earth with prophets and apostles.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also believe that God loves ALL his children today just as he did in days of old and that he still speaks to all his children through prophets.

On March 31st and April 1st, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be holding their semiannual General Conference to listen to the words of the prophet, apostles, and other church leaders. Their messages are for the world, not just for church members.

You are invited to tune in and listen. You can check your local cable listings for times and channels and watch from the comfort of your own home. Or, you can log on to

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pocket Coat

This is my pocket coat. I took a lab coat from a uniform supply store, sewed some pockets onto it, and turned it into something fun. I am the one that usually wears the coat for the activities that we do but anyone can wear it.

Here are some ideas of what you can do with it:

Spotlight: This is why I made the pocket coat in the first place. For preschool, or Sunday School, we would do a special spotlight on one child each week. I would gather together some interesting facts about the child (favorite color, favorite ice cream flavor, special talents, skills, etc.) with help from his/her parents. I would create a cute clue on 3x5 cards and put one clue in each pocket. The children would take turns pulling out a clue from the pockets and try to guess who the special spotlight was. The actual spotlight got to take home all the clues. (You could also do this with small trinkets that the child could keep.)

Delightful Dining: Load the pockets with questions to ask your children at dinnertime. Have your children take turns choosing a question. Let one child wear the coat. (It makes a great apron and it's completely washable.)

Color matching game: fill up the pockets with small items (or color cards) that match the color on the pocket.

Flashcards: Insert flashcards into the pockets. Let your child pick a card (sight words, numbers, letters, math, etc.)

Activity Day: Fill the pockets with activities that your child can do throughout the day. Pick a new card once you finish an activity.

Hide and Go Seek: Hide 6 different colored plastic eggs that match the pocket colors. The child that finds the eggs wears the coat. When he/she finds an egg, he/she puts the egg into the pocket that matches the color. The child will know which eggs are found or missing according to the pockets that are filled or empty.

Taking Turns: Hide numbered cards in each pocket. Each child picks one pocket/card. The child with the the #1 card goes first. The child with the #2 card goes second, etc.

Chores: Load chores into the pockets. Have your children pick a chore to accomplish.

What would you use it for?

This post was part of The Shady Porch Rock 'N Share. Visit The Shady Porch for great ideas!

Coconut Macaroons: 4 Ingredients to Goodness

I like to read recipes- especially desserts. Recently I stumbled upon a recipe for Coconut Macaroons. I was shocked at how easy they were! I made a batch of them yesterday and they turned out great!

I thought I'd share.

This recipe comes from by Eagle Brand, so you know it's good. (I changed a few things to make my life easier.)

Start by dumping a 14-oz bag of flaked coconut in a big bowl.

Add one 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milk.

Add 2 tsp. of vanilla. Stir.

Add chocolate chips and stir again.

Drop spoonfuls onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Immediately transfer hot macaroons to cooling rack to prevent sticking.


P.S. I tried one this morning for breakfast and they were still amazing!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Snack Bags

Recently I picked up a package of small 2"x3" zipper bags at Wal-Mart in the craft section (100 bags for $1.00). I love them!

I love using them for holding snacks for my kids. They are nice and small and fit well in my purse. I was grateful I had them yesterday at the grocery store when my 1-year old began melting down at the end of our trip.

You've seen these fruit snacks at Costco. Each bag has 2.5 servings or so. I divided them up into the little bags- perfect for kids.

I think I got about 10 snacks in this quart-sized bag with plenty of space for more. I keep this in my purse.

Snacks that fit well:
mini marshmallows (marshmallow bits are even better)
trail mix
M&Ms or other small candy
chocolate chips
fruit snacks
raisins (instead of buying those little boxes that cost so much money)
Gummy Bears

I will definitely put these in my kids' lunch boxes when they get older.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mickey's Mousercise!

Let me take you back to the 80's when Mickey's Mousercise was super awesome!

We listened to the songs on vinyl when I was in elementary school. We pushed all the desks out of the way on rainy days and exercised in our classroom with our teacher. If we were really lucky we'd watch it on VHS and follow along.

I wish they had this on DVD. It would be part of my library so fast! The good news is that there is a great little work out song available through iTunes. I've used it in my preschool co-op and the kids LOVE it! They love the medley of songs they all recognize, and it's easy to follow along-Mickey and Goofy tell you exactly what to do throughout the song.

For a 7-minute Mousercise workout with your own kids or preschool, download the "Mousercise Medley" on iTunes for $0.99

I guarantee your little ones will have fun. I know mine do!

Dating At Home: Soap Carving/Sculptures

This week's "dating at home" idea is cheap and clean-
(or sculpting)!

Grab a couple bars of Ivory soap and carve (or sculpt) away!

You can use any kind of bar soap but Ivory soap is extremely easy to carve than other bar soaps. AND, there's a surprise ending if you decide NOT to keep your masterpieces on display in your bathroom or use them.

Make your own rules like setting a time limit, or setting out only a few of tools that are allowed to create your carving or sculpture (i.e. wooden skewers, pumpkin carving set, etc.)

Surprise ending: If you use Ivory bar soap and don't plan on keeping your creations, you can blow up your soap into a cloud!
Here's a sneak peak:

To blow up your soap, put your soap on a microwave-safe plate and stick it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Don't open the microwave while it puffs. When the 2 minutes are up, be careful when removing the plate. The plate AND soap will be really hot! Let it cool before touching it.

*This is also a fun activity to do with your kids!

This post was part of The Shady Porch Rock 'N Share. Visit The Shady Porch for other fun ideas!

Black Bean and Salad Pizza

I've been trying to eat less meat and stay a little more fit. Every week I plan meals for my family. It has been tricky to find delicious dinners with little or no meat. But, they are out there.

My sister makes a great black bean pizza topped with green salad tossed in ranch dressing. I love it! I love ranch with my pizza and this combines salad, ranch and pizza.

Trader Joe's has already made pizza dough in their refrigerated section that is fantastic! Roll it out, place it on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and top it with a can of drained black beans. Sprinkle some cheese on top and bake it in the oven for about 10 minutes.

When the cheese is nicely melted and the crust is golden brown, take the pizza out of the oven. Top your pizza with salad and enjoy!

I hope you'll give it a try sometime.

Let Them Play!- Wall Mural

Unfortunately, we spend a lot of time indoors in the winter. It's just too cold! With 2 toddlers, I have to get creative when it comes to playing indoors.

Yesterday we added to our art gallery and created a "wall mural." I taped up some butcher paper on the wall and the girls went to town! They loved drawing on the "wall."

I gave my girls washable crayons only just in case. Luckily they were good about drawing only on the paper. If only they made "edible" crayons for my one-year old.

TIP: Depending on where you live, Costco sells rolls of butcher paper that will last for years! It's worth it! I find a million uses for it. I like to cover my table with butcher paper before doing any messy craft. It makes clean up so easy and it protects my table.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Playing Card Holder for Little Hands

Playing card games with your toddler can be frustrating. My three-year old loves to play UNO and Go Fish. She's actually pretty good at playing the game but it gets a little tricky trying to hold all those cards in those cute little hands.

Here's a quick solution:

Take two small party paper plates, cut off the rims and staple the middle of the plates together.

Place your cards between the two plates.

Game on!

TIP: You can also use large yogurt container lids or shortening lids. You don't need to cut anything if you're going to use lids.

This post was part of The Shady Porch 'Rock N' Share'. For more fun ideas, visit

Friday, March 2, 2012

5 Must-Haves When Traveling With Kids

I recently flew from L.A. to Boston with my two toddler girls. Hubs was already back at work so I was literally "flying" solo from sea to shining sea. Though the trip was long, I had some things with me that made traveling with kids a whole lot easier. I'm sharing my 5 Must-Haves when traveling with kids:

1) Diaper Sacks: great for disposing of diapers and trash.

I think I used 3 of these bags on the plane. Having my tray table down is asking for trouble with a toddler on my lap. And it seems like the flight attendants can't get to my seat fast enough, or often enough, to collect any empty cups (or cups with ice), napkins, or garbage. I keep these in the seat pocket and collected my own garbage during the flight.

I've also used these to store wet clothes. You never know what might happen.

These particular diaper sacks are Munchkin brand and are easily obtained from Target.

2) Wipes: anti-bacterial for surfaces AND for skin.

Purell is great but I like wipes when traveling. I like to sanitize tray tables and arm rests- things my kids will be eating off of and putting their hands all over. I also like to sanitize my kids' hands and clean up their faces. Grab both kinds of wipes. (Then dispose of them in your diaper sack ;)

NOTE: Anti-bacterial wipes for surfaces should NOT be used on skin, especially on children's skin. And, anti-bacterial wipes for skin will NOT disinfect surfaces! (I've seen people try to sanitize tables with Purell and napkins. It doesn't work that way.)

3) Activities: Keep your child(ren) occupied!

Here are some ideas: workbooks, coloring books, puzzle books, crayons, Aquadoodle, Magnadoodle, magnet dolls/play scenes, Brain Quest questions, stickers, sketchbook, I Spy bag or books, tangrams, brain teaser puzzle games (ones that you hold in your hand, not in book form- like a Rubik's Cube), books, card game, Chinese jump rope (if your child is old enough to know how to play Cat's Cradle, hand-held video games, etc.

You might want to think about wrapping up or hiding a new activity. Bring it out when your child is getting bored.

4) Snacks: get a variety to keep your little one(s) happy. Choose less-messy snacks.

Ideas: String cheese, raisins or other dried fruit, nuts, crackers, cookies, apple slices, grapes, summer sausage (pre-sliced), fruit snacks, gum (for ears), lollipops (kids will spend time on these, and they are good bribes! Yes, I bribe my children with candy sometimes.)

5) Extra pair of clothes: put them in a plastic bag in your carry-on. Keep it close by.

If your child has an accident, or a diaper leaks, or he/she spills something on him/herself, you are ready to go with a new outfit at any time. Swap out the dry clothes and put the wet clothes in the plastic bag.

And if, for some reason, your baggage gets lost you will at least have a spare outfit until you can get things resolved.

You never know what might happen with kids. But if you're prepared, you won't go crazy.

This post was part of The Shady Porch 'Rock N' Share'. For more great ideas from the blogosphere,