Between meals my kids stomachs seem be be bottomless pits. No matter how much food they’ve eaten at lunch, they are insistent that they are “starving” and must have a snack. One snack turns to two and they end up wanting to graze all day long. I am always looking for new snack recipes that help sustain my kids, give them energy, and of course that taste delicious. I try to stay away from processed, sugar rich snacks that provide a rush of energy, but then cause them to burn out. These two energy ball recipes are packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats, and my kids can’t get enough of them! We make two different kinds, but in either recipe you could substitute a different type of nut butter or nut butter alternative.
We recently enjoyed a long weekend away from the kids to head to Sonoma, and Grandma was nice enough to babysit. We have a two-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl, so there still are things that they aren’t able to tell her they need. So writing it down is very important! In all the chaos of you leaving, there is no way Grandma is going to remember the things you tell her - or know what you know. I highly suggest writing it all down in order to make it easy on her, and to ease your own mind.
There is nothing sweeter (or more frustrating) than trying to do a painting project with your toddler! Here are a few tips I use when trying to do a project that will be wall-hanging-worthy at the end and not just a glob of brown paint on ripped paper. :)
You’d never think to use coffee filters for arts and crafts, but you’ll be surprised when you try these colorful snowflakes! The coffee filters provide a strong, water-absorbent surface so they are tough enough to handle a lot of water saturation and rough coloring from your kids.
It’s starting to get cold outside, but since we don’t live near the snow, we decided to make play dough snowmen instead. We used this simple play dough recipe and added peppermint extract to give it a nice wintery, fresh smell. To decorate we used things we had around the house like googley eyes, beads, sticks, ribbon, and pipe cleaners. The kids had a blast and made cute snowmen families. This is a fun activity to try at home, or to package up as an inexpensive gift for friends.
My three-year-old goes to a preschool/daycare every day. So when I have a little extra time, I like to make a special snack for the kids. It helps out the teacher (I know she appreciates it) and the kids love it! I try and keep the snacks healthy, so these ones are a perfect blend of healthy and some sweet. And honestly, they took me 15 minutes tops. So you can do it too!
I saw this idea somewhere on the internet the other day, so I adapted a little and we created beautiful fall leaves with watercolors! By using coffee filters, it allows the colors to blend together and spread out easily for beautiful mosaic looks. There is no wrong way to do this one, so it's great for any age.
School is back in session and if your kids are anything like mine, they come home hungry and wanting to eat everything in the fridge. These homemade granola bars are a wonderful after school treat that will give them that energy boost they need to get through the rest of the afternoon. They have no preservatives and less sugar than store bought granola bars, plus it’s fun and easy to make with your kids.
Thinking outside the sandbox! Now your kids can create their own shell sandcastles without going to the beach.
Unfortunately where we live in San Diego there aren't as many cool shells on the beach as you'd think. So as much as I'd like to take the credit for my mad skills in shell collecting, these are all store bought. But they are actually from my wedding in 2010, so I feel better finally finding a home for them!
My 4 year old is learning about shapes and colors at preschool this year, so I decided to try a little art project at home that would get her thinking about both. We used painter's tape to create different shapes for her to paint in. This made it simple for her to stay within the lines because the tape served as a nice barrier for her broad brush strokes. A simple project that looks like a masterpiece!
Since the weather has been warming up, we have been craving cool treats. I wanted something that we could make that would be sweet and tasty, but that wouldn’t have too much sugar. A friend told me about how to make banana ice pops with my kids, so I had to try!
My kids love playing in the sand, and my 1 year old is finally starting to enter a phase where he does not put every single grain of sand in his mouth, so I decided it was time to refresh my sand toy collection. I headed over to one of my favorite haunting grounds – the dollar store.
My kids love playing outdoors, and they are always looking for new activities. We used to do a lot of chalk on the driveway, but since my 1 year old started getting in the mix, it has been difficult to keep him from eating the chalk (and anything else in his sight). So, I came up with a fun activity they could all enjoy.
My daughter's kindergarten class has been learning about shapes, so I helped them create their own space robots. The fun thing about this project was how unique each of the robots turned out to be. The kids had a blast thinking about the function of each of their robot's buttons and of course talking in robot voices.
This is a fun art project to try with kindergarten or preschool children who are beginning to write the alphabet. It comes out really bright and colorful and would look great framed and hung up on the wall.
My daughter’s teacher sent out a note this year saying the class would be exchanging valentines in class and that it was a great opportunity for them to practice writing their name on each of the cards. Candy was an optional add-on, but could not be eaten at school. I decided that it would be fun to include a little something for each of the kids but I didn’t want to encourage the kids eating candy, so we went to the dollar store to look for alternatives.
When you have little kids, every holiday is important. To make the house festive for Hanukkah, our social media maven and her family created a paper plate Menorah art project. Even though they celebrate Christmas, they dug right in and had hours of fun.
There’s nothing better than a little bit of personality on the Christmas tree. And when your kids are little, it’s so neat to be able to preserve a little bit of that adorableness in a handprint or footprint. Salt Dough Ornaments are the perfect way to do that – and they’re really fun to make too!