May 292017
 

fidget cubes

I am sure you have heard or even seen a few fidget spinners around your town! The fidget spinner has become the biggest sensation, and has people of all ages talking about it!

Fidget spinners were created to help you with fidgeting. Whether that is biting your nails, playing with your hair, twiddling your fingers, or any other form of fidgeting.

Some retailers do claim that their fidget spinner can help relieve stress and anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, help those with autism and more. By playing with the fidget spinner it is supposed to relax and distract you from things that may be bothering you.

How does a Fidget Spinner Work

Fidget Spinners are a compact, ball-bearing device that you can rotate between your fingers. Some fidget spinners can spin for around five minutes without stopping, others are a few minutes. You can transfer it from hand to hand while it spins, and if you feel lucky, learn to do tricks with it! Continue reading »

May 242017
 

Struggling to find ways to connect to your older kid? If so, below are very simple and easy ways to make effort to connect with your child. They grow so fast, and before you know it they will be off to college! It is so important that you get in time to connect with your kid when you can! 

No matter what your child’s age is, they still crave love and attention. So that is the main thing, just make time for them, listen if they want to talk and be there! The best way to raise a child is with love! Below are easy ways to connect to your older kid, ages 8-12. 

Simple Ways to Connect With Your Older Child

If they are being quiet: If you see they are being extra quiet, try to get them to talk. Ask them about something you know they are interested in. Maybe a video game, movie that they love, or something else. Showing you care and trying to help them if they are having a rough time, without coming right out and asking can help them a lot. 

Ask How Day Was: Even if you only get a one word answer, it shows them that you are interested. One day you might be surprised and get a little story of something cool that happened!  Continue reading »

Apr 232017
 

Mother’s Day is coming up quick you guys. It’s May 14th! Have you put any thought on what to get for mom this year because if not, I bet she would love something homemade. I know lots of other moms and we love. love, love homemade gifts and that is one of the reasons that this Mother’s Day Napkin Holder is perfect. Not only is it easy to make, it’s useful and mom will love it.

Mother’s Day Napkin Holder

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Apr 092017
 

Homework stinks, right? No kid wants to come home from an entire day at school only to come home to do more work. As much as I wish they would just abolish the whole homework thing, I am pretty sure it’s not going anywhere any time soon, so I wanted to come up with a way to make homework a little more fun. These Pom Pom Monsters Pencil Toppers are super easy to make and my kids both love them. They’re not a toy per se, so I found that they didn’t distract my kids from their homework, but both of my boys definitely didn’t mind doing their homework quite as much once they had some little pom pom monsters to help them do it.

Pom Pom Monsters Pencil Toppers

Continue reading »

Apr 072017
 

Spring break is almost here and Foxwoods has some really cool free events lined up to keep the little ones busy.

Free activities:

  • Face Painting ~ Mondays
  • Balloon Characters ~ Tuesdays
  • Xbox and Playstation Games
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Giant Jenga, Tic Tac Toe & Connect 4
  • Cornhole

**Located at the 25th Anniversary Celebration Zone across from Great Cedar Casino.

If you and your family want to catch a movie, check out these free movies being shown in the Grand Theater:

Continue reading »

Mar 272017
 

April Fools Day is coming up quick guys and I am already planning out some awesome April Fools Food Pranks to play on my boys.  Growing up, there was absolutely no pranking in parent’s house.  They didn’t go for that sort of thing, so my sister, brother and I behaved. Then I met my husband, Christian, and he happens to come from a family full of pranksters. Christian knows I am not a fan, so they rarely get played on me, but my boys are a whole other story.

The boys think pranks are the best thing ever and pretty much live for April Fools Day because that’s the only real day that they can get away with them without consequences. But what kind of a mom would I be if I didn’t play a few pranks back?  I have experimented over the years and have found that food pranks are the best way to go with my two. It gets them every time. If you want to try some food pranks of your own, take a peek at some of these links.  There is lots of good stuff in there. Continue reading »

Mar 262017
 

Confession: I have more broken crayon bits in my house than actual whole crayons. It goes something like this – We get a new pack of crayons, the kids use them once or twice, 2/3 of them break and all of those broken pieces end up somewhere in the abyss. And because apparently no one in my family knows how to clean up after themselves, I would end up finding these little crayon pieces all over the place and at some point I decided that enough was enough.  I grabbed an old shoe box and started putting all the broken crayons I came across in there….and there they have sat, collecting dust, for several years.

I was at the store recently and found a really cute bunny mold. I thought it would be super cute to make new crayons out of and that’s exactly what I did. I took out the box of old crayons and got to work making some bunny crayons with the kids. It’s a fun Easter activity to do with the kids and they seriously could not be easier to make!

Continue reading »

Mar 152017
 

How to keep your kids entertained during school breaks can be a little rough. Those long breaks – winter holidays, spring breaks, and then summer break can be a lot. At first your kids might love the freedom, but over time find themselves being bored more often and getting frustrated! If you are looking for ways to keep your kids entertained, you might find some of these ideas below helpful. Granted depending on your child’s age will depend what fits there needs! But, hopefully a few of these might save you from a day of, “I have nothing to do, I am so bored!”

Ways to Entertain Kids During School Breaks 

Arts and Crafts: Thanks to the world of Pinterest you can always find fun arts and crafts to do. From making bird feeders with old toilet paper rolls to making salt crystals. You can find fun art projects for kids of all ages. Plus a lot of them can be very inexpensive, but keep your child busy for hours! So search out DIY crafts and see what fun ideas you find. 

Scavenger Hunt: This can be a lot of fun, create a scavenger hunt. Create a list of items they will have to go on a hunt to find. This can be one of their favorite toys, some kitchen utensils, the sky is the limit here. Then at the end you can have a surprise like a cookie or even a cheap dollar toy from the dollar store. They will love doing it!  Continue reading »

Mar 142017
 

Sky Zone is the world’s first indoor trampoline park and whenever I tell my boys we are going there, their faces light up. They love it because it’s fun, but I love it because it’s fun fitness disguised as family entertainment!

Sky Zone Kingston offers great activities such as Freestyle Jump, a SkySlam basketball dunking court, GLOW (all ages), Ultimate Dodgeball, a Foam Zone, and a Toddler Court for kids walking to 4 years old. We also offer a full schedule of SkyFit classes, Toddler Time, a special abilities low-sensory jump, and more. But did you know that you can have your child’s birthday party at Sky Zone?

Their goal is to make your party as easy and seamless as possible so you and your guests can focus on fun – and not have to worry about set up/clean up. Sky Zone offers a standard package (see below), but every party is completely customizable to your requirements. It is your party, after all! Continue reading »

Mar 062017
 

Many of you know that I volunteer in my son’s 3rd grade class. It’s one of the most rewarding things I do and I truly love spending time with all the kids. I am at the school two mornings a week and they are the highlight of my week.

My son is in a pretty small class (18 kids including my son), which makes it even better. If you’ve been around here for a while you know about our struggle to get him diagnosed with ADD, but once we did he got placed in an inclusion classroom – and it was one of the best things that’s ever happened to him. He’s having the best school year he’s ever had and a BIG part of that is his teacher, the classroom aide and the awesome kids in his class.

But I digress…..

On the days I go in to the school, I arrive about 9 am. When I get there the kids are usually working on their “morning work” which is either a math worksheet, a writing assignment or sometimes it’s a puzzle. The other day when I was there, the kids were working on a puzzle. It was a winter themed word scramble and as I was helping some of the kids figure out the words, I thought to myself “I should make one for St. Patrick’s Day”.

So that’s what I did. Continue reading »

Feb 282017
 

As you probably know, Dr. Seuss’s birthday is coming up this week – on March 2nd to be exact. We are really big fans of his work in our house and read his books almost every night around here. We have every book he’s ever written, so we definitely have a lot of his books to keep us busy. Today I wanted to share a fun craft that I made recently that was inspired by Dr. Seuss and one of our favorite books of his: A Truffula Trees Fork Painting from The Lorax. We seriously love The Lorax and since it is one of our all time favorites, I couldn’t resist a fun craft inspired from that book in particular. These Truffula Trees are really easy to make and I think it’s a fitting tribute to the works of such a brilliant man.

Here’s what you need:

  • White paper
  • 2 Shades of each green, blue, and pink craft paints
  • Colorful paper straws
  • Plastic forks
  • Paper plate
  • Hot glue/hot glue gun

Here’s what you do: Continue reading »

Feb 122017
 

If you are a parent you’ve either been there, are going through it now, or will someday experience the joy (please note the sarcasm) of raising a teenager. Let me start off by saying that I love my son with all my heart and cannot imagine my life without him. It’s been just the 2 of us taking on the world for the last 12 years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Some days I just don’t like him very much. He is very much a typical 14-year-old boy. He’s a good kid and doesn’t get into trouble, but the mouth, the sighs, the eyerolls, and the general “mom, you are the dumbest person alive” attitude are enough to put me over the edge. I know that I’m not the first parent to experience this, and I certainly won’t be the last, so I decided to do a little bit of research on parenting teenagers and here is what I came up with. Continue reading »

Jan 172017
 

During winter months, you may notice that your kids gradually start spending more and more time indoors, sitting in front of their computers, TVs or smartphones. While this type of fun is perfectly fine once in a while, it’s not healthy and definitely not family-oriented if your children have no other memories of charming winter time other than those that gadgets provide them with. In that respect, it’s time that you organize some cool outdoor activities for a whole family to enjoy. And most importantly, relax – these activities do not have to cost you an arm and a leg. All that’s necessary is your creativity, positive energy and love that you all share.

5 Frugal Family Bonding Outdoor Activities That Your Kids Will Love During Winter

Go out and make something
Winter time offers a lot of possibilities. If you happen to enjoy some good snowfall during winter, turn it to your advantage. Together with your kids, you can have a lot of fun in the snow. Making a snowman and other various forms, as well as using snow as a big canvas for your little works of art is a great and frugal way to bond as a family. Don’t feel sad if snow just doesn’t want to color your streets and yards white – you can make your own artificial snow that can serve the purpose of getting all artsy and crafty just fine. Continue reading »

Jan 162017
 

Trying to get your kids to eat enough fruits and vegetables is about as tricky as, well, trying to get a young kid to eat their fruits and vegetables. That’s why smoothies can be the ideal way to conceal the food that’s nutritious for them while giving them their daily intake of fruits and vegetables in a form that almost feels like a desert.

In broad terms, smoothies can run the gamut of flavors and ingredients so it is best to begin with something simple. Try starting your kids off with a pure fruits and yogurt yogurt mixture and work your way to more complicated recipes from there. Green smoothies can be filled with essential nutrients and can be extremely tasty, they may not be the best option for kids who still make dramatic faces overtime they look at broccoli.

A simple recipe to start them off would include frozen strawberries, a banana, and vanilla or plain yogurt. Once they get accustomed to the the basic flavor and texture of those smoothies, you could slowly start reducing the sugar and use a healthier vanilla yogurt instead of the plain yogurt. At this point, you can also start adding additional ingredients, such as blueberries or mangos, a little at a time without drastically altering the overall taste. Continue reading »

Jan 112017
 

If the thought of being able to put money into savings makes you laugh hysterically, clap your hands.

If you clapped, you’re not alone. It can be incredibly difficult to put money into savings. And that’s just when the savings are your own. When you start considering how you’ll manage to save any money for your kid’s future — well, that can seem even more impossible.

If you want to save money for your kid’s future, or at least want to try, here are a few tactics to consider:

Start a 529 Plan

Like a 401k, a 529 plan is helpful, but it can be daunting if you’re new to it. The IRS has a detailed and helpful Q&A page that makes for a great introduction to this popular college savings plan.

The short and sweet explanation is this: A 529 plan allows you to save money specifically for education costs without being taxed on the account’s earnings — provided you spend those earnings on approved education costs. It’s considered your asset, so it won’t affect your kid’s financial aid and you can transfer it to their sibling if they’re not interested in pursuing higher education. Continue reading »

Jan 032017
 

how-to-survive-raising-boys

If you are raising boys then you surely have become familiar with that everlasting boy humor. That humor that is inappropriate for the dinner table yet becomes a frequent occurrence. That toilet seat that never gets put down and that ever growing smell that seems to be boy’s feet. Sure some of you are the lucky parents with boys who don’t exhibit most of these qualities on a regular basis but for the rest of us, we are just getting started in learning how to survive raising boys.

How to Survive Raising Boys

The initial step to ensuring that you survive the years of raising boys is to make sure that your weak stomach disappears. There will be times that you smell odd things on stuffed animals, wonder what’s hidden underneath their beds and why on Earth they still smell after having showered just that morning. Continue reading »

Dec 202016
 

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house, no child was complaining, not even a spouse. The gifts were unwrapped and toys played with care, while parents reveled in the peace and quiet in the air… Well, that lasted 10 minutes. We know it’s not long before the first “I’M BORED” escapes your kids’ lips during holiday break.

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been in a slump due to the rainy day blues.  Instead of curling up into a ball and succumbing into boredom, there are dozens of different activities that you can do to keep yourself occupied.  Even if the weather is miserable outside, there is no reason as to why you should be miserable inside!  Below is a list of 4 great things that you can do to chase rainy day boredom away.

1. Plan a Scavenger Hunt

This is the perfect activity for families who have children that enjoy participating in activities.  A scavenger hunt is not only fun for the kids, but it is also fun for the parents.  Make a list of 20-30 items that the family will have to find throughout the house and the individual who finds all of the items first is the winner.  You can choose the prize, such as allowing the winner to pick what’s for dinner and desert that night. Continue reading »

Dec 042016
 

pokemon-elf-on-the-shelf-idea

This year marks the 4th year that our Elf on the shelf, Snowy,  has come to visit us. My oldest son (age 12) does not believe in any of the Christmas magic anymore….sigh, but my 9 year old does and I want to do as much as I can to keep the magic alive for him.

Back when I first got the EOTS (Elf on the Shelf) for our house, both of my boys were both believers and I thought it would be fun to have Snowy get into all sorts of shenanigans overnight while the boys slept.  They would wake up each morning in December anxious to see what kind of mischief that Snowy got into while they slept.  They loved every mess he made, but by the third year (last year), I was out of ideas.  My youngest made to to note that Snowy had sure gotten lame since his first year at our house.  Gee, thanks kid.

Anyhow, I am struggling yet again this year, but I was able to come up with this cute Pikachu idea since both of my boys were SO into Pokemon Go over the summer.  It only took me a few minutes and they both thought it was funny (even the non-believer).

Easy Elf on the Shelf Idea for Pokemon Fans

Here’s what you need:

  • Bunch of bananas
  • Red and black Sharpie markers
  • White puffy paint
  • Elf on the shelf

Continue reading »

Nov 282016
 

Teaching your Children to Help Out Around the House

small-disclosure

Does it seem like your house is never clean, despite wasting your day away picking up? Chances are you have kids! Children tend to be messy, both when playing and even eating. It can be frustrating as a parent to be responsible for all this mess, especially if your children are getting older. Instead of following those kiddos around, constantly picking up their messes, try getting them involved in the cleaning process instead. Here are some great tips you can use to help teach your child to help out around the house.

One Toy Rule

Start with the one toy rule. Not sure how this rule works? Basically, each child gets to start with one toy to play with. It can be any toy in the house, but that’s the only toy they’re allowed to have out. Once they’re done playing with their toy, they need to put it away before they can grab something else to play with. This will help keep your house clean and toy-free so that there’s not an overwhelming mess by 9 am. Continue reading »

Oct 252016
 

teal-pumpkin-project-non-candy-treat-ideas

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Have you noticed an increase of teal colored pumpkins on people’s doorsteps in your neighborhood over the past few years and have been wondering why?  It’s because of a relatively new nationwide initiative dedicated to making Halloween safe and fun for all kids and it’s called the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Every child should be able to experience the joy of going out trick-or-treating on Halloween night, but often times kids with food allergies are left out of the fun since most candy is off limits to them. The Teal Pumpkin Project helps make sure that all kids will be able come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy.

The Teal Pumpkin Project™ was launched by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014. It’s a great way to let people know that you are offering non-food treats to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. This way, kids with food allergies and other medical issues such as diabetes can still have a fun & safe Halloween.

Instead of candy a few of the parents I know in town are beginning to offer things like bubbles, glow sticks, spider rings and little bouncy balls for the trick-or-treaters that come to their home.  Oriental Trading Post has lots of safe, non-food Halloween goodies for you to offer to your trick-or-treaters this year if you are planning on participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.  This way no one has to miss out on the Halloween fun. Continue reading »