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Getting Active When the Weather Breaks

It’s Spring!!! The warmer days many of us have been thinking about since the cold weather hit! However, some of us are still feeling the icy chill of winter or the continuous stream of rain. It may not seem like it now, but soon we will be enjoying the sun, barbecuing with our loved ones and heading to the pool. Below is a quick list of cost-friendly things to do once the weather breaks.

Picnic
Enjoying the warm sun, watching your kids play at the park and snacking on a sandwich can be a perfect weekend outing. All you have to do is grab a blanket, pack a lunch and you are ready to go!

Start a Kick Ball Team
Sports are a great way to have fun and socialize. Why not gather a group of friends and start your own kick ball team? Parents and kids alike can enjoy the fun. Get everyone in the spirit by getting matching t-shirts. Nothing says team like matching outfits.

Spring Cleaning
After months of a closed up house it’s time to open the windows, let in the fresh air and clean up the clutter. To get kids motivated make a game out of the day. See who can organize their room the best. If you chose to do this, make sure there is a prize for the best room. If you have toddlers at home, I know mine enjoy helping out because it is something new and exciting!

Throw a Beach Party
You don’t have to live at the beach to party like you do. Go all out and buy beach theme decorations for the occasion. Find some great beach towels and hang them around the house. Cook some hot dogs and hamburgers and you are on your way to a great beach party—who needs the beach anyway?

Scavenger Hunt
This takes some planning, but who doesn’t like a good scavenger hunt. You can set one up in your backyard, enlist the help of your neighbors for a larger scale event or host it at your local park. Get your creative juices flowing and plan for a day of fun and excitement.

Although it might not seem like it now, warmer weather will be here before you know it. It’s spring after all. Do you have any traditions you and your family like to do once the cold weather breaks? Let me know in the comments below.

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5 “MUST HAVE” Bath Time Products Under $5

I don’t know about you, but I am continuously changing out bath toys as they get mildew stains, bitten, gross, etc. from wear and tear. I have found some inexpensive MUST HAVE bath toys that won’t break the bank and are easily disposed of, don’t take up a ton of room, and the kids LOVE playing with!

  1. Glow Sticks-You can go to any dollar store and get gobs of glow sticks for just a couple of dollars. Wait until bedtime, draw a bath for the littles, and allow them to play with the glow sticks in the dark. Want to spice it up even more? Add bubbles to the water as well.
  2. The Barbie Boat! Take 2 bottles and cut a hole out of each for Barbie to sit in, tie the 2 bottles together and Tad ah…Barbie now has a speed boat to travel around the tub in with her best friend! 
  3. Buy a pool noodle or two from the dollar store, cut them up and throw them in the tub! Oodles of FUN in the tub!                                                                   
  4. Craft Foam Bath-Take craft foam from the dollar store and cut into various shapes. Have the kids design monsters, dolls, houses, gardens, trucks, etc. out of them in the tub. 
  5. Bath Paint-1 tablespoon cornstarch, 4-6 pumps baby shampoo, 2-3 drops food coloring, 1-2 teaspoons water = Bathtub Paint                                                       
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Staying Active With Your Kids on Rainy Days

I don’t know about you but winter/ grey skies/ rain/ etc. gets me into a FUNK! I could just wrap up in an overly soft blanket with a good book and read my day away…and then there are kids 5 and under…which want nothing to do with sitting still and reading books all day under a blanket. Humph! What is a momma to do?

Here are some suggestions on those dreadful winter days that can entertain the littles without much prep work.

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St. Patricks’ Day Crafts/ Science Experiments You Won’t Want to Miss with Your Young Kids

So I may be a little late with the March calendar of crafts/ science experiments, but I figured the 11th was good enough to get it out there. Most of my “crafts” are science experiments because my kids LOVE to tinker and explore. I also like my “fun things to do with the kids” to be educational and allow deep conversation to brew. Don’t get me wrong, there are times for the cute crafts, but I use them sparingly because there are so many amazing experiments out there with basic ingredients/ materials you have hanging around the house…so why not right!?! I have done some research on Pinterest and various teacher sites and have come up with a fantastic list sure to make your March fun and a HIT with your kids!

I love this “I am Lucky” St. Patrick’s Day craftivity because it helps children reflect on who they are as a person and helps them value what they have around them. So often, our kiddos don’t spend time thinking about what makes them a good person and appreciating the good things in their life. In this activity, students create a four-leaf clover.  On each leaf, students write something that makes them lucky. You could also come at it from the perspective of something they’re thankful for or appreciate.

Skittles Rainbow Experiment

How fun is this Skittles Rainbow science experiment?!? So easy and will surely bring the “Oooh’s” and “Ahhh’s” from your kids or students. Place skittles (in a rainbow pattern) around a slightly sloped plate or bowl, add luke warm water until just the edge of the water touches the skittles, wait about 30 seconds and watch the magic happen!

Exploring Colors with Baking Soda and Vinegar

In this science activity, not only will children get to create a chemical reaction, but they’ll also be able to explore color mixing and create some colorful “artwork”!

Materials:

Tray to hold the materials

Baking Soda

White Vinegar

Food coloring

Ice cube trays

Pipettes

Procedure:

Place a fair amount of baking soda in the bottom of the tray.

Fill ice cube trays with the primary colors (food coloring) and vinegar

Using a Pipette, place different colored drops in the baking soda. Practice mixing the colors to make secondary colors.

How to make Shamrock Crystals

  • Borax
  • boiling water
  • a wide mouth glass mason jar
  • green and white pipe cleaners
  • string
  • a pencil
  • food coloring.

Instructions for making the crystals

First, twist  your pipe cleaner into the desired shape.  I set out a few templates of shamrocks (printed off the internet) for the kids to look at.

You will need 3 cups of boiling water per mason jar, 1/2 cup of Borax for each jar.  The more saturated your solution is, the larger your crystals will be.  Stir until all the borax is dissolved and the solution is clear, add food coloring if you desire.

Tie a string around the tail of the shamrock and tie the other end to a pencil.   Gently lower the shamrock into the solution making sure that it is not touching any sides or the bottom.  Set the jar in a safe spot that will not be disturbed.  We let ours sit overnight and the kids were amazed to find the pipe cleaners were transformed into crystal-encrusted decorations.  Gently cut off the string and display in your window.

Magic Milk Experiment

Place milk in a shallow dish and add some drops of liquid food coloring.

Now grab a *magic* toothpick.  What?  You don’t know where to buy magic toothpicks??  Just dip the end in dish soap 🙂

and let your kiddo touch the milk with it.

The colors instantly shoot out at lightning speed creating a wake of rainbows!  Try dipping the toothpick in the color first and then the milk and you’ll make rings.

Do it a few more times and then just sit back and watch.  As the soap disrupts the surface tension of the milk, the colors dance around all by themselves.  Kind of like a funky kaleidoscope.