Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cardboard Cookies

My girls would love it if they could decorate sugar cookies on a weekly basis.

I, on the other hand, don't have the energy or the metabolism to bake them more than a couple of times a year. Don't even get me started on the clean-up!

That's why one day, after staring down a pile of cardboard boxes, we decided to get out our paint and make up a batch of Cardboard Cookies.

This is a simple kids craft that resulted in a fun toy to add to our play kitchen.

Let's get baking!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Volunteer As a Family - Support Your Local Food Bank

My kids live a life of privilege.

They have nice clothes to wear, plenty of toys, and shelves full of books. They have access to a good education. They live in a well-maintained home in a safe neighborhood. They never go hungry.

Other kids aren't so lucky. And, I need my kids to know that.

So, how do I do that?

I can show them through news articles. I can tell then how lucky they are.  But, I just don't think that's effective enough. I want to show my girls how they can help and teach them ways to make a difference in the world.

Volunteering as a family is a great way to start. We don't do it nearly enough. That needs to change.

A good place to start is your local food bank. You'll be making a difference in your own community and helping your own community is an important place to start.

What can you do?

You can start by contacting your local food bank. Do they have any volunteer opportunities? (And double-check to make sure you can volunteer along with your kids.)

What if there aren't any volunteer opportunities for your family? What if your kids are too young to help in an official capacity?

Don't give up. Just get creative! There are plenty of ways you can involve your kids in helping your local food bank.

Here are ideas that are perfect for a family service project to support your local food bank.

Bring Breakfast: Pleasantest Thing found a great opportunity to involve their kids through a special opportunity at their local food bank. You can do something similar by taking your kids shopping for good and healthy non-perishable breakfast food you can donate.

Pack Birthday Boxes: Special treats just aren't a reality for many families that depend on food banks. Help you kids give back to other kids by creating these simple birthday boxes from I Can Teach My Child. It's a simple birthday party in a box, but it would mean so much to any kid.

Shop for a Recipe: Help your child pick out a favorite recipe and then shop for the ingredients. JDaniel4's Mom has a great idea to help you kids plan mindfully, shop, and then donate their food choices.

Go On a Holiday Food Scavenger Hunt: Help make sure your local food pantry is stocked with holiday food favorites with this simple and fun activity. Frogs, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails created a simple picture-based scavenger hunt to help their kids shop for the food pantry. This is a simple way for even your youngest kids to help.

Stamp Out Hunger: Every year the United States Postal Service does a food drive. Your family leaves food by your mailbox and a postal worker will pick it up and deliver it. The Weaving Ideas has the details you need to participate in their yearly food drive.

Pack a Backpack: Too many kids are not getting enough food. It's heartbreaking. Many communities now have a backpack program where kids receive a backpack at school full of food that they can take home to help combat this hunger. Foster2Forever explains how this works at this link. You can help support this project by shopping together has a family for requested food items.

Start Them Early: Get your toddlers involved. With a lot of parental help, even your youngest kids can get in the practice of giving back. You can find some tips for involving toddlers here at Bits of Positivity.

Host a Neighborhood Food Drive: A food drive doesn't have to be huge. Help your kids start small with a simple food drive in their neighborhood. EDVentures With Kids shows you how.

Have a Food Drive Play Date: Invite a group of your child's friends over to learn about how they can help combat hunger and collect food for your local food bank. It's a great learning experience for all. You can find the details at Coffee Cups and Crayons.

Help your kids make a difference by volunteering as a family. It can change the world.

Volunteer together as a family to support your local food bank. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Find more ways to help here:

12 Months of Family Service Projects at Every Star is Different

20 Service Projects for Kids to Fight Hunger at Lemon Lime Adventures

Using Children's Books to Raise Awareness About Hunger at Bits of Positivity

Find more ways to give back as a family by following my Make a Difference Pinterest Board.

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for more fun!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Skip Counting with The Cat in the Hat

And I said, "How I wish
We have something to do!"
excerpt from The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

Luckily, there is something to do and it is something fun! We're going to practice skip counting with this easy DIY game inspired by The Cat in the Hat.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for more details. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Apple Counting Rocks

I've always been a fan of using manipulatives for math, especially for kids who are just learning a new concept. 

You can add with them, subtract, multiply, or even divide. Manipulatives are a great tool to use with any kid to help illustrate math concepts.

This simple set of Apple Counting Stones is perfect for either preschool or early elementary math. They're easy to make and you only need a few supplies. 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for more details.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Lunchbox Jokes That Will Make Your Kids Giggle

My kids love lunchbox notes.

It's a little connection to me and a little connection to home.

It's a reason to smile even on the worst days.

I've been slipping these into my girls' lunches ever since my oldest was in 1st grade. In case you're curious, she's in 4th grade now. That's a lot of lunchbox notes.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for more details.

Searching Pinterest will usually yield lots of good options, but that can take time. Time that none of us have. So, I thought I'd gather up some of my favorite lunchbox jokes and put them in one spot. So you and I can both have easy access to these fun printables.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fun With Elephant & Piggie: Cardboard Tube Piggie

"Hi Piggie!"

"Hi Gerald!"

"Come play with me!"

Don't you just love the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems?

Since we already made our Cardboard Tube Elephant, it's time to make his best friend, Piggie. You can't have Elephant without Piggie.

Let's get crafting!

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for more details.