Apr 272016
 

7 Creative Ways to Use Old Crayons

Do you have a bucket of old crayons sitting around? If so, you might be wondering what to do with them. Well don’t pitch them just yet. Instead, take a look at these 7 creative uses for old crayons. You will find that old crayons can actually come in handy. Take a peek!

1. Make your own rainbow crayons.
Peel off the paper and place the crayon bits into cupcake tins. Spray the tins with non stick spray before you do, then bake them at 300 degrees until melted. Remove and allow them to cool. Pop the crayons out and you now have your own crayon discs in all sorts of colors!

2. Make your own fire starter.
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to start a fire, you can use crayons to make your own fire starter. Simply melt the crayons (remove the paper first) in a microwave safe dish. 20-30 seconds in your microwave on high heat should do the job. Then, pour the wax over pinecones. When you are ready to start your fire, just light the pinecone and set it on top of the wood. It will work great!

3. Make some melted crayon art.
Hot glue some peeled crayons to the top of a canvas. Use the hair dryer to melt the crayons, allowing them to drip down the canvas. The end result is some out of this world melted crayon art. Continue reading »

Apr 242016
 

Homemade Cinnamon Play Dough

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that play dough is great for kids with sensory issues.  I happen to be the mom of a child with sensory issues and he absolutely loves to play with play dough.  As much as I love the smell of the store bought kind (and I really, really do), I tend to make my own.  The thing is when you make your own, you can get really creative with it. I have made dough in all sorts of colors, added sprinkles and my latest creation: Cinnamon Play Dough.  This recipe will yield 1 cup of all natural, edible cinnamon play dough and since May 5th is quickly approaching, it is a perfect Cinco de Mayo craft!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup boiling hot water

Continue reading »

Apr 102016
 

Hot Air Cold Air Science Experiment

Both of my boys are SO into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education) with a huge emphasis on the science part.   It’s funny because I hated Science class when I was in school.  Hated it! Now that I am an adult I have a whole new appreciation for it and am trying to catch up with a lot of what I missed while I was sleeping in class all those years ago.  Lucky for me, my boys love all things science related and get so excited when we do science experiments at home. This hot air/cold air experiment was a lot of fun to do with the kids and the results are absolutely fascinating.

Here’s what you need:

  • Two containers
  • Empty drink bottle
  • Large balloon
  • Ice cubes
  • Hot and cold water

**Note, there is no need for the stick, I just didn’t want my hands blocking your view. Continue reading »

Apr 052016
 

The latest and greastest from Hasbro for Tween Boys

Has the Yo-Kai Watch craze hit your house yet?  It hit here right around Christmas time and has been going strong ever since.  Each of my boys got the Yo-Kai Watch 3DS game for Christmas and when we found out there were a line of Yo-Kai Watch products out there, my kids were thrilled.

Now that my boys are getting older (they are 8 & 11), finding toys they like is getting to be a bit of a challenge.  My little guy still loves toys, but his tween bother is too cool for a lot of things these days.  Luckily Hasbro has toys for every age group covered and here are a few of their latest and greatest toys for tween boys.

Yo-kai Watch Season 1 Watch

Experience the world of Yo-kai Watch with the Yo-kai Watch and Medals (watch sold with 2 exclusive medals, watch and additional medals each sold separately, subject to availability). Fans can imagine summoning Yo-kai characters, and when used with the medals, the Yo-kai watch plays sounds, music, and phrases. Insert one of the collectible medals displaying a Yo-kai into the watch to hear the character’s name, tribe song and more sounds. The Yo-kai watch recognizes over 100 collectible medals planned to be released through December 1, 2016. (Dates and number of medals subject to change. Check yokaiwatch.hasbro.com for planned release dates. Website not available in all languages or markets. Watch and medals each sold separately and subject to store availability.) The Yo-kai watch toy comes with 2 exclusive medals and batteries. Kids can get started exploring the wacky world of the Yo-kai with the Yo-kai Watch! Continue reading »

Feb 142016
 

St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas for Kids

St. Patrick’s Day can be a fun holiday for the whole family! It can sometimes be difficult to come up with ideas to make a St. Patrick’s Day party fun for kids. It’s easy with adults but just in case you are looking for some great ideas for St. Patrick’s Day kids parties you’ve come to the right place! These ideas are sure to be a hit with all of your little leprechauns!

Green Food

This is a classic for St. Patrick’s Day and can’t be overlooked at a kid’s party! Some great foods that go green easily are rice crispy treats, cupcakes, jell-o, and sugar cookies! You can even make some green savory treats like popcorn and the chip dip! Try dying the ice cubes for a fun, fizzy, surprise in the soda!

Games

St. Patrick’s day is all about gold coins and leprechauns so try putting a classic spin on some themed party games! You can pin the hat on the leprechaun, or pin his gold coins in his pot! A great way to keep kids busy during a St. Patrick’s Day party is to set up a fun scavenger hunt! You can have the kids hunt for the rainbow or a pot of gold; chocolate coins make a great prize for figuring out the clues! Continue reading »

Feb 092016
 

Helping Your Child Succeed At Math

Do you have a child that seems to have trouble with math? You’re not alone. Many children and adults alike struggle with math, but just because math doesn’t come easily doesn’t mean it won’t come at all. Here are a few simple ways you can help your child succeed at math.

Start with the Basics

Although your child might not agree, math is really a simple subject. There are rules for everything, and if you know those rules, you can solve any problem. If your child is struggling in math, you might want to take a closer look at the basics. At some point, your child might not have properly learned an important rule that serves as a foundation in math. If you can start with the basics and work your way from there, your child will be much more successful at math.

Take it Slow

Some math concepts are more difficult than others. Your child might breeze through addition, but struggle with multiplication. Don’t be afraid to take it slow when your child gets stuck on a skill. Slowing down on those tricky skills will give your child the time they need to actually learn what’s going on. Since advanced math skills usually build on the basics, it’s important to make sure your child had a solid foundation to work from. Continue reading »

Jan 242016
 

Avengers Printable Valentines

This year Valentine’s Day is going to be a little bittersweet for me.  While my husband and I boycott it choose not to celebrate it, my kids have always gotten excited to exchange valentines at school with their friends.  This year my oldest son is in middle school and wouldn’t be caught dead handing out a valentine.  Well, that and the fact that they don’t hand out valentines in middle school.

My little one is in third grade, so at least I still have one that’s little enough to get excited about handing out valentines to his friends. Since we love Hawkeye in our house, and by we I mean me, my little man is going to be handing out these super cool Avengers valentines featuring the very handsome Hawkeye and friends.

Or maybe just the Hawkeye ones. Continue reading »

Dec 172015
 

Kmart Fab 15 Toys are Awesome

Holiday shopping doesn’t exactly evoke excitement in most people I know. In fact, it’s more like dread. When The Most Wonderful Time of the Year rolls around, shopping becomes an exercise in torture for me, but with the Kmart Fave 15, holiday shopping goes from “Oh man…” to “Aww YAY-uh!”

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Role Mommy Writers Network and Kmart. All opinions are 100% my own.​​

Holiday Shopping Like a Boss

Holiday Shopping has always been a game of chance for me. Occasionally, I’ll hit the mark, but not always. I think that’s been the most frustrating part of holiday shopping for me. If I could just hit the mark every year, that would be awesome. Luckily, I have the Kmart Fave 15 to help me out. Continue reading »

Dec 162015
 

Fun Gingerbread & Friends Craft for Kids - massholemommy.comWhen the weather gets colder we like to find more things to do indoors. We are from Canada but that doesn’t mean we all like the cold or want to be outside in it, because we don’t – at all!

We like to do more crafts, make more sweets, and even watch more movies together as a family when we can’t be spending excess amounts of time outside. I think our favorite besides making (and eating!) sweets is doing crafts. Especially Winter or Christmas themed. Who doesn’t love having homemade crafts for decorations especially with a house full of kids? We do!

So, today I’m sharing this fun craft for kids to make Gingerbread and Friends!

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Materials Needed: Continue reading »

Nov 182015
 

Are your kids full of excuses when it comes to going to bed?  My oldest has always been pretty good about going to bed, but my little guy on the other hand is full of reasons why he can’t just close his eyes and go to sleep. The thing is, I used those same excuses back in the day, in fact I think I invented the art of bedtime stalling, but now that I’m the mom, by 8 pm I am just too tired to argue with him.

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Here are just a few of the excuses he’s given us as to why he can’t go to bed:

  • I just slept yesterday
  • I want to stay up to watch the moon
  • I’m afraid there’s a monster in my closet.
  • I just don’t feel safe
  • I need a drink
  • I have to pee (even though he just went 5 minutes before)
  • I don’t like my pajamas
  • My feet are hot/cold
  • I need a tissue
  • I need another blanket
  • There is a dog barking loudly outside

Continue reading »

Nov 032015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HorizonLunch #CollectiveBias

5 Tips for Teaching Kids to Enjoy Reading

Reading is one of those “things” that kids either seem to enjoy or dislike. Luckily in my case, both of my boys truly enjoy reading, but I know that’s not the case with every child. Even if your child seems to dislike reading, there are things you can do to get your child to actually enjoy it instead.

#1. Try Community Reading Programs

Sometimes just reading for your own sake isn’t enough. Kids want to be recognized for their hard work and determination. Community reading programs are perfect for helping kids get excited about reading and making it more enjoyable. During these programs, kids get rewarded for the amount of hours they read… It’s pretty exciting!

#2. Try Reading Together

Sometimes adding a little bit of fun in with reading makes it more enjoyable. Parents, read with your children to spruce up the idea of reading. Spend time talking about the book and even using goofy voices while reading. Take the time to teach your child about how high or low inflections in their reading voice can add a little spin to their reading fun. Continue reading »

Oct 282015
 

Mini Travel Pouch For Kids

Over the weekend my family and I traveled to NYC by train to visit Comic Con! It takes us just over 2 hours by train for us to get to the city. I was worried about how to keep the kids occupied and reasonably quiet during the ride. I also do not like carrying a ton of stuff so I had to make sure I had all our essentials covered and that everything was light weight and portable.

Thankfully, my kids carry their own back packs. I knew we had a lot of walking ahead of us so I didn’t want to overload the packs. I packed a change of clothes and left enough room for an extra sweat shirt, some snacks and a mini activities pouch. I carried my own light weight pack filled with small snacks and my own essentials.

I knew after the initial excitement of the landscape whizzing by our train wore off the kids would start getting antsy. That’s when I planned to pull out these mini pouches filled with small, quiet activities and require only the power of their imagination. Continue reading »

Sep 212015
 

Dear Parents in the School Pick Up Line - Put down the smart phone, stop your convo and PAY ATTENTION to your KIDS. - sixtimemommy.com
This week my kids started back at school. I’m going to just jump right into what I want to say because today on the walk home from drop off, and then again on the walk home from pick up I was shocked at what I saw.

Moms, Dads, Older Sisters and Brothers, Neighbors and Friends who pick up kids from school:
Please put down your smart phone and greet the children. I noticed a very sad pattern this week and it is kids being ignored at drop off and pick up for a phone or person next to them chit chatting. The convo, the text, the instagram, the phone call and voicemail can wait 5 minutes while you say good-bye to the child who obviously is having a hard time adjusting to this new schedule of 6 hours away from home. When the child is crying and not wanting to go inside, but your too busy looking at your phone and typing a message to give a second thought. Scooting them inside, and turning away to walk towards your car. How sad it is for these kids to have to feel alone, scared, and more than likely unimportant during a very critical time of the first week back to school. Continue reading »

Sep 162015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MARVELSnackBar #CollectiveBias

Marvel Avengers Bento Lunch Idea

When my boys go to school, they are allowed to buy hot lunch once a week and the other four days, they bring their lunch.  I have very distinct memories from my own childhood of fun lunches that my mom used to pack for me.  Sometimes she would draw me a goofy picture that I would find when I opened my lunch box or sometimes she would make fun shapes out of my sandwiches.  She was very creative when it came to packing my lunches as a child and I loved those little surprises she sent me off with.

Now that I’m the mom, sadly I am not as creative as my own mother, but every now and then I totally rock the lunchbox and such was the case recently when I decided to make a MARVEL Avengers bento lunch for my little man to take to school.  We’re all very big fans of The Avengers, so I knew he’d be blown away when he opened his lunch box and fun a fun surprise in there.

With my MARVEL Avengers themed lunch, I covered Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America.  Here’s what I did:

First up were some Thor Hammer Snacks.  They are simple to make and you’ll only need two ingredients to put them together – pretzel sticks and cheese that you can cut up in to small cubes. Continue reading »

Sep 152015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FuelTheirAdventures #CollectiveBias

Complete Karate Mom Checklist Printable

I’ve been talking a lot lately about my journey towards getting my black belt in Krav Maga, but did you know that my son has been testing along with me?  Because Krav Maga is meant for adults and my oldest son is only 11 years old, he’s in the karate program at the same dojo.

He started around the same time as I did (only a few weeks before me) and has been training hard ever since.  The kids and adults follow the same process when it comes to black belt testing, so he & I have been going through our testing side by side.

JD Karate1

Twice a year they hold boot camp qualifications at our dojo and if you pass, you move on to what they call “boot camp”. Once you’re in boot camp, you meet every Friday night over the course of three months for extra training with the instructors. That’s where they review the specific techniques that they want to see on which phase of the black belt testing (there are a lot of different techniques, so they break it up over the three tests). Then, once a month over the next three months, you test. Continue reading »

Sep 082015
 

10 Ways to Deal With Being the Only Woman in the House

You would think that being the only woman in the house was easy, but it’s not. Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, but I get over it and move on. (Don’t get me wrong, I do love my boys). I have found several ways to deal with being the only woman in the house.

#1. My Kids Think I Have Superpowers

I’m not kidding, my kids sometimes really do think I have superpowers. Some days they think that having me cook their favorite meal is a superpower.

#2. I Have My Hobbies

Just because I’m a mom of all boys, it doesn’t mean I can’t do my own thing. There are some things that I enjoy doing around my house that the boys don’t like. It’s just one way I deal with being the only woman in the house.

#3. Take a Long Bath

If I ever need to just clear my head and remind myself of my mission, I head to the bathroom to take a long bath. The boys are old enough to let me have my peace of mind for a little bit, while I relax and collect my thoughts. Continue reading »

Sep 022015
 

Today was my boys first day of school.  The lazy days of this past summer are now just be a bunch of really great memories.  I can’t believe how fast the summer flew by this year, but honestly I am glad that it’s time to get back into our routine.  Things just seem to run better in our house when there is a firm routine in place. Last night we were busy loading all those school supplies into their backpacks, picking out the boys first day of school outfits and most importantly, packing their lunches.

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For me, it’s important to make sure they eat well during the day.  Not only do I like to pack them foods they like, but I like to ensure they get foods that will keep them engaged and focused throughout the day. Continue reading »

Aug 312015
 

Ants on a Log

I don’t know about your kids, but both of my boys come off the bus from school starving.  Most days, the first thing they say to me as they’re walking off of the bus is “Mom, what do we have to eat”.

Knowing they are both ravenous when they get off the bus, I always have a snack ready for them when they come home from school. Because they are growing boys and basically eat me out of house and home, I do a lot of my grocery shopping at Save-A-Lot.  There they offer discount groceries every day, so you can bring home fresh foods at great prices. Seriously, by shopping there, I save up to 40% compared to conventional grocery stores.

Since I save time and money by shopping at Save-A-Lot, I can really stock up on after school snacks for the boys.  One of their favorite after school snacks are Ants on a Log.  My mom made them for me when I was a kid and now that I’m the mom, I love making this fun snack for my two.

When I was at Save-A-Lot recently, I grabbed some celery, raisins and peanut butter to make my Ants on a Log. Continue reading »

Aug 302015
 

Tips For Visiting Hersheypark

Many years ago, I took a road trip with three friends.  We made several stops along the way and Hersheypark was one of them. That road trip was long before I had kids or was even married for that matter, so when the kids saw a commercial for Hersheypark recently and asked to go, I couldn’t say no.  I remember loving it when I went all those years ago, so I knew they’d have a great time there.

So, a few weeks ago, we took a road trip to Pennsylvania and Hersheypark was one of our first stops once we got there.

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With that being said, we are a Disney family.  We go every year and we are very familiar and comfortable in big amusement parks.  Hersheypark is smaller and quite a bit different from Disney, so navigating it was a bit different than bigger amusement parks. We spent two days at Hersheypark and we wanted to share our best tips for getting the most out of your day at the park.

Disclaimer: My family received complimentary passes to Hersheypark, but all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way. Continue reading »

Aug 272015
 

Tips For Making Homework Less Stressful

Homework has a way of being incredibly stressful on the whole family; however, there are things you can do to make it a whole lot less nerve-racking. Here are some tips for making homework time less stressful on the whole family.

Plan Ahead

It’s always nice to know what kind of homework will be coming home and when. I always try and communicate with the teacher when it comes to homework. Most teachers send an idea of what will be coming down the pipeline, which helps us prepare. It’s also nice to know if homework won’t be assigned on a particular day because this could be made into a “special” day!

Rewards are Always Welcome

Think about how many times in a day adult’s award themselves with something. It’s time to allow kids to award themselves for a job well done too! A week without fighting about homework? Let them pick their prize! Choose a reward system that works for your family and stick with it.

Stay on Schedule

It’s easy to remain stress free about homework when you know when it’s going to be done. Staying on schedule at a specific time with homework can help make this process a lot less stressful. Pick a time during the week that works every night. When a child knows what time they will be doing their homework it also takes a lot of guesswork out of their day. They know at 6 o’clock they’ll be doing homework so there’s no need to even question it. Continue reading »