Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with Kids

Tomorrow is Earth Day and Take Your Kids to Work Day. While my kids are all excited about going to Daddy’s work tomorrow, I thought we could fit in a few Earth Day activities as well. Here are some ideas on how to talk and act upon the meaning of Earth Day.

Play: First and foremost, go outside and just enjoy the day. If you want to get your kids some eco-friendly toys, I really like the Green Toys Tea Set, Planet Pixie Dolls, Green Toys Tool Set and the Totem Recycled Construction Sets.

Plant: Head over to your local nursery and buy a perennial flower that you love. Plant it with your kids to help beautify your yard and the neighborhood.

Talk & Teach: Give your kids an introduction in respecting the Earth with the eeBoo’s Respect the Earth Flash Cards. Don’t just use them on Earth Day. Pick a card every night at dinner and talk about the tips on how to take care of our planet.

The Lorax Book

Read: My favorite Dr. Seuss book – The Lorax. How could you not want to save the Truffula Trees?

Fern Gully movie

Watch: Some of our favorite kids movies with a conservationist theme are Happy Feet, Fern Gully, and Wall-E. There are plenty more but we like these. (We love Robin Williams as the bat in Fern Gully. He also makes a darn cute penguin in Happy Feet.)

Help: Take a walk around your neighborhood and pick up any trash that you see. We all have a responsibility to make our planet healthy.

Happy Earth Day! How do you teach your kids to be responsible in conserving our planet?

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Tags: Family Fun Ideas · Ideas for family projects · Reading with the Kids

How to Have Fun with a Sick Child in the Hospital – Books

In the last installment of How to Have Fun with a Sick Child in the Hospital series, I’m going to share some of my favorite books and audio books that will keep you giggling and having fun. There are some nice books out there about kids being sick, but I think that reading a funny book out loud together will help heal so much better.

Here are some of our funny favorites that are fun to read out loud or have everyone giggling. When you are tired of reading and want to just rest in the room together, throw in an audio book. Grab them at your local library or I have provided the link to Amazon for purchase. (Note: I don’t receive any commission from Amazon. I just wanted to make it easier for you to find the books.)

Have fun reading! Come back and tell us what your favorite books are or which books make you laugh most. We could all use a good laugh.

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Tags: Entertaining a Sick Child · Family Fun Ideas · Reading with the Kids

Day 2 – 25 Days of Ideas for Holiday Family Fun

I hope you were inspired by our ideas yesterday to start some Holiday Family Fun at your house. Here are some more ideas to get the family smiling and saying “Wow, you are the coolest Mom on the planet!” (OK, maybe that’s a stretch but the Holidays are for dreams, right?)

DAY 2 Holiday Family Fun Ideas

Snowmen at Night Book
Read: Tonight we read Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner. This fun board book is not only cute, but inspires some ideas for outdoor, snowy fun. Who wouldn’t love to see snowmen come to life at night and cruise around town?

Note: We just came across a great idea at another Mom’s blog site and thought we would share. Over at This Girl Loves to Talk, their family has a tradition of wrapping 24 Christmas themed books. Starting December 1st, every night the kids get to unwrap a book and read together. Pure genius!

Charlie Brown's Christmas
Watch: We didn’t have time to watch any Holiday shows tonight but if we did, we would have watched A Charlie Brown’s Christmas. The dance scene is too funny, (come on, do your Linus Dance!) but the best part is when Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas. In fact, this year since our house is all ripped up for renovations, we have no room to put up our Christmas tree. The kids were really bummed until I went out and got the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. We now have it sitting in our family room waiting to be dwarfed by wrapped presents.

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Bake: Our most requested cookie in the Kirchner household for the Holidays are classic Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies or Peanut Blossoms. (I personally don’t eat them, but sometimes you have to bake one for the team.) There are a million recipes out there for this cookie but our family seems to prefer the one in the Gooseberry Patch Old Fashioned Country Cookie Recipe Book. Definitely get the kids involved in baking these. They love doing the stuff that I find mind-numbing like unwrapping the kisses and rolling the dough into little balls.

Craft: AmazingMoms.com has a very cute idea to make Reindeer Candy Holders. Very cute and you can immediately fill them with Chocolate when you are done for a truly Chocolate Cake Moment with the kids.

Pure Fun: If you live in a fun neighborhood, organize a Neighborhood Decorating Contest/ Party. One of our neighbors came up with the idea a few years ago of encouraging everyone to decorate the outsides of their houses with Snowmen. Then they threw a party inviting all of the neighbors. The night of the party, we all had to walk around the block in the cold and vote on which houses had the most “Snowman Spirit”. It was a blast and we continue to do it every year. It’s so funny to see a neighbor put out a new snowman decoration and everyone runs over to check it out and ask where they got it. True Holiday bonding.

Please share your ideas or other great ideas you have seen on other sites. We love to see them and share. Check in tomorrow for Day 3.

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Tags: 25 Days of Christmas Family Fun · Family Celebrations · Family Fun Ideas · Holiday Fun · Holiday Traditions · Reading with the Kids

25 Days of Ideas for Holiday Family Fun

There are so many ways to have fun with your family around the Holidays. However, it’s very easy to get caught up in the stress and crazy-busy schedules during the Holidays that we forget to stop and have some fun. (What do you mean we forgot to get a present for your Spanish teacher? Why has the cat eaten all of the curling ribbon? I can’t wait for that gift to come out. Where did I put the Christmas cards that I bought last January on sale?) So, as a way to remind myself to plan some fun for the family every day during the Holiday Season and not become the Grinch, I will be sharing some fun ideas every day. From reading Holiday-themed books before bedtime to watching your favorite Christmas specials to finding that perfect craft or cookie recipe, I hope I can inspire you to do something every day to keep your family smiling during December. Smile and wave kids … smile and wave.

DAY 1 Holiday Family Fun Ideas

Bear Stays Up for Christmas
Read: Tonight we read Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. While my kids are a little too old for this picture book, it is still a Holiday favorite. The illustrations are too cute and the rhyming words are perfect for lulling everyone to sleep. (I want some of the cookies that Bear makes his friends!)

Ziggys Gift DVD
Watch: We didn’t have a lot of time to watch anything after dinner and homework but we snuck in one of my all time favorite Christmas shows – Ziggy’s Gift. I was a huge Ziggy fan growing up and the first time I saw this Christmas special I was bawling. Guess what?After watching again tonight, I’m still tearing up. I love this story about the true meaning of giving and forgiveness at Christmas. My kids love the thief. Go figure.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
Bake: We are in the process of renovating our kitchen and haven’t had an oven for about 6 weeks now. Because I can’t bake, I have been dreaming about homemade Holiday cookies for several nights now. But if you have an oven, go ahead and make these with your kids. They love rolling the cookies into a ball and then rolling them in powdered sugar. Sure, it makes a mess. Sure, these cookies are pure butter. But that’s why I love them. Here’s a recipe that is close to how we make them, only we use ground pecans because the kids don’t like the texture of nut pieces in the cookie.

Craft: I’ve been on the hunt for some really cute but really easy Holiday crafts to do with the kids. You know the kind where I don’t need to spend all day shopping for supplies, doesn’t take three days of drying time to complete, and actually looks cute when finished. Well I found a fun site called Homemaking Fun and I liked their idea for making Magical Reindeer Food to sprinkle in the snow. If you are lucky, you’ll have everything you need in the house already.

Elf on the Shelf
Pure Fun: If your family has adopted an Elf on the Shelf, tonight is the night to start. At least in our house it is. (Some people start the day after Thanksgiving, some on December 6th which is St. Nicholas Day, and some on the 15th because they only want to hide the Elf for 10 nights.) You choose. Never heard of Elf on the Shelf? Well, this post explains it all.

We’ll be sharing ideas every day for 25 days but we’d love to hear your favorite way to have fun during the Holidays. Please share them by leaving a comment here. Check back tomorrow!

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Tags: 25 Days of Christmas Family Fun · Cooking with the Kids · Family Celebrations · Family Fun Ideas · Holiday Fun · Holiday Traditions · Reading with the Kids

Great Kids Bedtime Story

Once I Ate a Pie
We love bedtime stories in our house. Reading before bed is the most special time of the day for me and my kids. We are always on the hunt for great books to read, especially ones that make us laugh. After our weekly trip to the library, the Kirchner family highly recommends “Once I Ate a Pie” by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest. If you are a dog lover, you’ll definitely be smiling after reading about the 14 dogs in the book, who all have hilarious personalities. The book is written in free verse poetry, which is nice so we can expose the kids to more poetry books. The illustrations by Katy Schneider are fabuloso!

My daughter is a huge fan of Mr. Beefy, the Pug. Check out the book from your library tonight or pick it up at Amazon to read why. (We get no payment from Amazon or the author for recommending the book. We just love it.)
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What are some of your favorite bedtime stories?

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Tags: Cool Finds · Reading with the Kids

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