Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with the Kids

Fun Earth Day Activities for the FamilyEarth Day is tomorrow and there are so many fun ways to celebrate with the family. From simple tips to help your family go green, to baking Earth Day treats, to starting your own garden, to recycling crafts, here are the best ideas and activities I’ve seen to celebrate Earth Day this year.

 

Tips to Help the Family Go Green

 

 

Earth Day Treats

 

 

Earth Day Fun and Games

 

 

Earth Day Art

 

    Living Locurto shares this free printable Earth Day Bookmark with tips for the kids on how to protect the earth.

     

    Nothing but Country shares a beautiful free Earth Day Art printable that’s perfect for framing.

     

    These fun free printables from Modern Parents Messy Kids help you and your kids set up recycling stations around your house or classroom.

 

What are you going to do with the family to celebrate Earth Day?

 

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Tags: Celebrate Earth Day with Kids · Family Fun Ideas

5 Ways to Make Family Game Night More Fun

Family Game Night

Is your Family Game Night feeling a little stale? The kids aren’t that excited about it anymore? Or, do you have a hard time convincing the family to even have a Game Night? Here are 5 ideas to inject a little more fun and creativity into your family’s special evening.

1. Put on a Costume.

Why just play a game when you can play the game in a silly way? For example, if you are playing a pirate game, have everyone wear pirate hats or eye patches. If playing the Snorta animal game, wear an animal mask. Make them out of paper plates before the game begins.
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Tags: Entertaining at Home · Family Fun Ideas · Family Game Night · Friday Night Fun · Games

12 Ideas to Have Fun Watching the Winter Olympic Games






The Sochi Winter Olympics start this weekend and it’s the perfect opportunity for some family fun. Invite some friends and family over to watch the Opening Ceremony this Friday Night or spend some quality time with the kids on Saturday and Sunday watching your favorite events.

My family enjoys watching the Winter Olympics together. We love, love, love the skiing, snowboarding and sledding competitions. During the Vancouver Winter Olympics we started having our own fun during the Winter Games with some Olympic treats and family competition. Here are some Olympic-themed ideas to get you in the mood. Some may appeal to younger kids and some to older but you should be able to find an idea or two to make watching the Olympic Games together more memorable. Let the Games begin!

FYI - The Opening Ceremonies are on NBC starting at 7:30 p.m. EST on Friday, February 7th.



Winter Olympic Game Activities

1. Host your own Opening Ceremony parade. Have everyone choose a different country and march into the room carrying a flag of that country. You can find world flags to print out here. (You can print a bunch of these out and create a banner to decorate your living room.) You’ll also need to whip up some of these Glowing Tea Light Olympic Torches for the kids. Head over to OhMy-Creative.com for the easy instructions. If you really want to get educational, have each family member do a little online research and share some fun facts about the country when it’s their turn to walk into the stadium.

2. Opening Ceremony Bingo Game - Mique over at ThirtyHandmadeDays.com created these super cute Olympic Opening Ceremony Bingo Cards that you can download for free.

3. Olympic Games Mad Libs. More fun from ThirtyHandmadeDays.com. Print out her Winter Olympic Games Mad Libs for some silliness.

4. Snowball Olympic Rings Toss. MakeandTakes.com came up with a cute game to play while watching the Olympics. It’s super easy to make and yet not so easy to play.

5. Driveway Sled Race. Time to take the fun outside and have a sledding race. If you have a sloped driveway you can host your race there. If not, find a nearby hill. We’ve had races on our driveway with the kids racing and others with my daughter’s stuffed animals or my son’s action figures as the drivers. It’s pretty funny to see which toys stay on the sled longest. My son likes to cheat by spraying Pam Cooking Spray to the underside of his sled. Here are more tips and ideas on how to have fun sledding.

6. Indoor Snowball Fight. During the commercial breaks, why not get up and get active by having an indoor snowball fight. Here are the instructions to prepare and make your family room friendly ammunition.



Treats for the Olympic Games

Here are some super fun and easy Olympic-themed TREATS to make to enhance your viewing pleasure.

7. Olympic Ring Cookie Treats. We made these super easy Olympic Ring Cookie Treats out of Oreos during the last Summer Olympic Games. They will taste just as good in the winter.

8. Winter Olympic Cupcakes. Over at UncommonDesignsOnline.com, they made the cutest cupcakes with the Olympic rings. Check out their easy instructions. If you didn’t want to make their edible snow you could use white frosting and coconut flakes for the snow effect.

9. Cupcake World Flag Toppers. If you want to make it even easier to have Olympic themed cupcakes, just make your favorite recipe or pick up some pre-made cupcakes and top them with these adorable World Flag cupcake toppers from HoosierHomemade.com. Just download the file and print them, for free. Make sure you thank her in the comments!

10. Gold Medal Cereal Necklace. Your little ones will love making and wearing their very own Gold Medal. Why? Because they can eat it while watching the games. Click over to My Sisters Suitcase Blog to see how easy it is to make.

11. Fruit Salad Olympic Rings For a healthier snack alternative, create a beautiful spread by making the Olympic Rings out of different fruits. Colorful, tasty and healthy! It’s a snack for champions. SavvyMom.ca shows you how.

12. Patriotic Fruit Flag. U.S.A! U.S.A! Support your favorite team with these healthy fruit skewers arranged to look like the American flag.

Have Fun!

Does your family watch the Olympics? Which sport do you like best? Do you plan anything special to do while watching?

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Tags: Family Fun Ideas

A Valentine’s Day Twist on a Classic Cookie


My husband and kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Peanut Butter Kiss cookies. I make them for birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions to show my family that I love them. And these cookies truly are an act of love because I hate peanut butter! So, I don’t even get to engage in my favorite cookie baking activity – licking the batter. What’s the point of baking cookies if you don’t get to lick the spoon, right? But that’s OK. It’s their favorite cookie and it’s an easy way to make them lip-smacking happy.

For Valentine’s Day this year though, I tried to shake it up a little. I wanted the cookies to fit in with the theme of the Holiday. So I made them pink and used Dove chocolate hearts instead of Hershey kisses.

I love baking these cookies with the kids because they can help out at almost any age. When they are little they can unwrap the chocolates and roll the dough balls in sugar. As they get a little older than can roll the balls themselves. Finally, now that my kids are tweens and teens, they know how to make them all by themselves and don’t need my help at all. How awesome is that!

Here’s the recipe:

Valentine’s Day Pink Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

1/2 c. butter (or we use Smart Balance spread and it works fine)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Pink food coloring paste
Dove Chocolate Hearts (milk or dark)


1. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed butter mixture. Add pink food coloring paste. I start with about a 1/4 tsp. of the paste and keep adding until I get the color I want.

3. Shape dough into balls the size of a quarter or walnut. (My husband likes a less cookie, more chocolate ratio so we make our cookies small.)

4. Roll balls in sugar.

5. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. While they are cooking, unwrap the chocolate hearts.

6. Top each cookie with one chocolate heart, pressing firmly into the center of the cookie. The cookies will crack and that is fine.

7. Bake for 2 to 5 minutes longer to soften the chocolate.

Makes about 36 cookies.

For more easy Valentine’s Day Treats that you and the kids can make for Dad, check out:

Cooking with the Kids: Valentine’s Day Chocolate Mousse

Valentine’s Day Heart Shaped Brownies

Chocolate Strawberry Pound Cake Hearts

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Tags: Cooking with the Kids · Valentine's Day Family Fun Ideas

10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Groundhog Day with the Kids

Groundhog Day is coming soon and with the extreme cold and snow we’ve been having so far this year, I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat waiting to hear if we have 6 more weeks of winter. Well, even if you’re not, it’s still fun to watch Punxatawney Phil and dream about Spring. To help celebrate the Groundhog’s big day and have some fun with your family or the kids in your classroom, I’ve rounded-up 10 easy, cute craft ideas, recipes, and activities.


Cook Up Some Fun

    1. While you watch Punxatawney Phil on TV Groundhog Day morning, thrill the kids with these fun and easy Groundhog and His Shadow Pancakes. My kids and I made them and had a blast.

    2. Check out these incredibly creative Groundhog Day inspired recipes from the Gourmet Mom on the Go blog. I love the Groundhog sticking up out of the hot chocolate!

    3. Here’s a Groundhog Day fruit snack idea to treat the kids after school from Jill at the Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons blog.

    4. These Groundhog Pudding Cups look so cute and tasty from the Simple Girl blog.

    5. If you really want to go all out, these Groundhog Day Cupcake Push-Pops are so cool!



Pure Fun

    6. Since the day is all about seeing a shadow, why not play shadow puppets? Set up a white sheet a few feet away from a wall. Place a lamp behind the sheet near the wall. Have your kids take turns going behind the sheet and casting shadow puppets. Here’s a post I found on making a Shadow Puppet Theater that looks easy enough.

    7. Here’s an idea for a Felt Groundhog Day Finger Puppet from Skip to My Lou.

    8. For toddlers, you’ll love this template for cutting out and coloring a Groundhog and his shadow.

    9. The official Punxatawney Phil website has plenty of Groundhog Day Activities to do with the kids. I’m all over the Groundhog ornaments to print out and hang from a chandelier or indoor tree but the Word Searches and coloring pages are cute, too.

    10. Finally, if your kids are a little older, watch the Groundhog Day movie. We saw it again last weekend and my kids think it is hilarious. “Don’t drive angry!”


Do you do anything fun with your kids at home or in your classroom for Groundhog Day?


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Tags: Cooking with the Kids · Family Fun Ideas · Holiday Celebrations

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