25 Water-Fun Crafts and Activities Kids Will Love

 30 Water-Fun Crafts and Activities Your Kids Will Love | Tipsaholic.com #waterfun #summer #watergames #summer #kids #activities

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Summertime and the living is… hot!  As temps start climbing, parents everywhere look for ways to cool their kids down while still allowing them to play outdoors and run off some energy!  No one likes to be cooped up in the air conditioning all day – least of all kids.  We’ve got the big list of creative cool-down ideas for you so you can still have fun in the sun!  Take a look at these 25 water-fun crafts and activities your kids are bound to love, and start cooling off now!

 

1. Sponge Boats - Make and Takes

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These adorable floating sail boats use three simple materials you may already have at home!  Your kids will love using them in the bathtub, wading pool or water table.  Have races, see if you can make them sink, or find little objects to take a ride!

 

2. Garden Hose Music – Spoonful

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Find fun objects around the house that are made from different materials and are different shapes and sizes – i.e. beach ball, pie tin, cookie sheet, small plastic sheet or tarp, plastic bowls, etc. – and hang them from a fence, bush or even the back of the house.  Give the kids a hose with a nozzle attachment and let them “play” the items as musical instruments by hitting them with jets of water. They’ll love getting sprayed, hearing the music, and making up songs while you’ll love getting the bushes and lawn watered!

 

3. Water Bottle Raft – Crafts for Kids, PBS Parents

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In a fun and thorough video tutorial, you can find all you need to create these bright and colorful rafts.  Use items from around the house, dig through your recycling and let your kids creativity run wild!  Kids will have a ball floating their rafts in the pool or lake, having races and trying to sink the rafts!

 

4. Water Balloon Piñata – Ziggity Zoom

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This is such an easy way to have fun and cool off!  Kids love piñatas – and what’s not to love?  They get to be silly and dizzy, swing a bat around, and try to burst a hanging balloon!  And instead of candy spilling out, the kids get sprayed and splashed with spilling water.

 

5. Ice Pirate Ships – Pink and Green Mama for Melissa and Doug Camp Sunny Patch

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These cute “ice ships” are so easy to make with your kids!  Just use some water, food coloring, small plastic animals and bendy straws to get your kids’ imaginations flowing.  Make your “ships” in plastic containers and pop them in the freezer.  Create sails with paper or craft foam to slip over the straws and you’re good to go!  Put a bunch in the wading pool, set them afloat in the water table or just have your kids push them around a metal pan of water!  The variations on this are endless!

 

6. Water Balloon Catch – Spoonful

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Not only do you get to craft with your kids – making cute catching “buckets” out of milk jugs and ribbon – but your kids get to play a super fun game while running around expending excess energy!  Water balloons are a hit with nearly any kid, and they’ll have a blast seeing how long they can keep their balloons intact, how far they can throw them without breaking them, and trying to soak each other.  And you don’t need any fancy materials to make or play!

 

7. Milk Carton Boats – Ziggity Zoom

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Imagination can really set sail with this fun water craft!  Build boats with juice or milk cartons!  You can use paints, markers or duct tape to decorate the boats, then make sails from straws and napkins or paper.  After completing your creations, kids can race these sail boats in pools or ponds, urging them on with lots of encouragement and some manmade wind!  Then let them play in the tub before retiring the boats in the recycling.

 

8. Sponge Ball - One Charming Party

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These sponge balls are a must for an easy, no mess water fight!  They’re fun and simple to make with only two materials needed – sponges and dental floss (or twine).  Kids can make them with very little help and they’ll love playing with them afterwards!  Why use sponge balls for your next water fight?  No time needed for “refills”, no sting when they hit you, and no annoying plastic balloon pieces all over the yard!  (Plus, they look cute!)

 

9. Milk Jug Whitewater Raft – Crafts for Kids by PBS Parents

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The bottom of a milk jug makes a fabulous white water raft with very little effort at all!  Watch the fun video tutorial to learn just how to cut the jug, poke holes for the “oars” and more.  Then let your kids take their lego people for a ride around the splashy wading pool!

 

10. Backyard Water Wall - All Parenting

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This super creative discovery wall is chock full of water fun!  Let your kids help you draw up a plan and design the elements on the wall, shop the hardware store for cheap parts and pull everything together on some pegboard.  Set it up in the yard and enjoy hours of entertainment for your little ones!

 

11. Water Balloon Yo-Yo - kiwi crate

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Your little ones will love these happy, bouncing water balloons!  Create a yo-yo with every day items in about a minute.  Easy and fun for your kids to create, playful and whimsical to use!

 

12. Paint With Water – The Frugal Girls

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Even the toddlers can get in on the water fun!  They may not love throwing around water balloons or getting sprayed, but with some brushes, cups and water they can paint with no mess all over the pavement.  They’ll be amazed by the “magical” disappearance of their “paint” and have tons of fun!

 

13. Water blob - Clumsy Crafter

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You may have seen this idea floating around pinterest already.  A giant “water blob” can be amazing fun for everyone!  It’s almost like a waterbed you’re actually allowed to jump on!  Let your kids help make it, then watch them perform crazy antics, jump and wiggle, roll and somersault for hours and hours of hilarious entertainment!

 

14. Water Bottle Rocket - Science Sparks

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Use some water fun to teach science principles!  Making the rocket is half the fun – and it’s fairly easy to do with a water bottle, some paper and tape.  But kids will flip for what comes next – when they launch their very own rocket into the sky!  It’s surprisingly simple to do and doesn’t take any special equipment or know-how.  Let kids take guesses on how  high their bottles will fly.

 

15. Water Playdate - Sweet and Lovely Crafts

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As temperatures climb, parents will jump at any opportunity to help their little ones have fun and cool down.  Why not host an entire afternoon of water fun?  Follow the link for ideas and activities to make your playdate a success.   Kids will have such a blast splish-splashing with their friends all afternoon they’ll be talking about it for months to come!

 

16. Simple Water Wall – Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

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This variation on a water wall uses containers you’ve already got, along with some inexpensive PVC pipes, to create some pouring and splashing fun for the littles!  If you’ve got a fence or railing on a porch or deck, you can create this version in just minutes.  You can’t beat easy, cheap and quick for a whole afternoon of engaging fun.

 

17. Water Arms Race - Bob Vila

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All you need are watering cans or buckets with handles, water guns, and rope to play this hilariously fun water game with your kids! Divide into teams and see who can shoot their strung up bucket along the length of the rope faster!  Everyone will get soaked, and no one will keep a straight face!

 

18. Water Balloon Baseball - iCandy Handmade

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If your kids dig baseball, this ones for you!  Try setting up batting practice, games of catch, and even sliding practice to improve their baseball skills – with a twist!  Instead of baseballs, use water balloons!  For sliding practice, set up the slip and slide.  They’ll never look at baseball the same again!

 

19. Water Balloon Spoon Races – Two Shades of Pink

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You’ve likely seen the common egg on spoon races at picnic and outdoor parties… but have you tried it with water balloons instead? Purchase large wooden spoons at the dollar store to balance your balloons easily and see who makes it to the finish line first – without bursting their precious cargo!  Splashes and laughter guaranteed!

 

20. Angry Birds Water Balloon Game - No Time For Flash Cards

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Anyone familiar with the popular Angry Birds app is bound to love this water balloon version!  Here you can see they drew their targets – the pigs – on the ground with chalk, but you could use balls for the bigs and set them up on tables, chairs, blocks of wood or anything really for a more 3D version too.

 

21. Soap Boat Races – i heart nap time

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For once, kids won’t mind lathering up with soap!  Grab some cheap bars (you could even get them at the dollar store) and create boats with toothpicks and small triangles as sails. Use a plastic rain gutter and your average garden hose to make a river for your soap boat and let your kids race away!

 

22. Spray Away Carnival Game – Your Homebased Mom

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With very little effort, you can create the base of this game with a board, golf tees and ping pong balls.  Then give your kids some squirt guns and let them have at it!  They may end up getting each other a little wet as their “aim” goes a little awry, but that’s most of the fun in this game anyway!

 

23.  Water Noodle Sprinkler - Ziggity Zoom

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Connect a dollar store water noodle to your hose, poke some holes, hang from a tree and let loose!  As this noodles twists and turns in a wriggly, watery dance, your kids will have a ball jumping through those cooling jets!  It’s a unique take on the homemade sprinkler, and uses easy to find materials and minimal time and effort commitment.  Which is good, since you want to get to the fun part right away…

 

24. Colored “Glass” – Hurrayic

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Make giant, brightly colored ice cubes by putting food coloring in water balloons and freezing them.  Cut away the balloon and put the “colored glass” in the wading pool with your kids!  Or set them outside and let your kids spray them with the hose and watch the colors combine.

 

25. Mini Water Bead Aquarium – Sweet Little Peanut

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Aquariums seem to be kid magnets.  Why not make one they can actually play IN?  You can create a mini aquarium with lots of fun little sea creatures, water beads and – of course – a net to catch them all in.  It doesn’t take much, and kids will love being able to fish about in the water.  Not only does this promote discovery, curiosity, imagination and pretend play, but your kids will cool down and have a blast!

 

For even more water fun, be sure to check out 5 DIY Sprinklers you can make for your kids this summer!

 

Title image via Better Homes and Gardens.

Featured image via Sweet Little Peanut.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

8 Ideas for No-Cook Camping Breakfasts

8 ideas for easy, no cook camping breakfasts, #camping, #breakfast, #easyfood

 

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Cooking while camping – some love it, and some just don’t. If you tend to be on the “don’t” side of things or are just looking for some simple early-morning meals, these no-cook camping breakfasts are perfect for your next adventure in the woods. Simplify your camping trip by leaving the eggs and frying pans at home for Sunday brunch. If cooking anything but hot dogs over an open fire makes you cringe, take these 8 great ideas and get your breakfast on!

 

1. Yogurt parfait bar

A container of yogurt and some sliced fruit are all you need for this light and healthy camping breakfast. Layer your favorite yogurt with your favorite fruits – try peaches, strawberries, or blueberries for starters – and top it with granola for a bit of crunch.

 

2. Fruit and make-ahead dips

It doesn’t get much simpler than fruit for breakfast. It’s light, healthy, satisfying, and you can always choose your favorites. If plain fruit doesn’t appeal, try making this easy cherry fruit dip to go with it or this even easier two-ingredient “Strawberry Fluff” dip from Oh, Sweet Basil.

 

3. Cereal and milk

You heard me. Throw a box of your cereal of choice in the camper and a carton of milk in the cooler and call it good. Or, if you’ve got a crowd, try the miniature boxes in a variety pack like this  that carries a little something for everyone! Oh, and don’t forget the spoons!

 

4. PB&J or other simple sandwiches

It might sound like more of a mid-day meal, but nothing beats the simplicity of a sandwich. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich can easily replace toast and jam on a campout, particularly where the kids are concerned. Even your favorite sliced meats and cheeses go great with fruit.

 

5. Make-ahead refrigerator oatmeal

Oatmeal doesn’t have to be cooked with this great idea! Whip up a batch of refrigerator oatmeal breakfasts with this recipe from Happy Go Lucky and pack the jars in the cooler. If your group of campers enjoys trying new meals together, you might consider simply bringing the ingredients and jars along and letting everyone mix up their own the night before.

 

6. Tortilla roll-ups

Grab a package of flour tortillas on your way out of town and give this simple breakfast a try! Spread a tortilla with peanut butter, hazelnut spread, or cream cheese, then add bananas, strawberries, or other fruits you like.

 

7. Bagels, donuts, or muffins

A store-bought breakfast should never be underestimated. When the campers are hungry and anxious to start the day, you can bet they’ll be ready for anything. Bagels and cream cheese, donuts, muffins with butter, and other quick breakfast options will be welcome in the campsite. Add in a side of yogurt or fruit to round out the meal.

 

8. Breakfast cookies

If you’ve got the time, a couple dozen of these breakfast cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction can be made ahead and used for a quick meal while enjoying the great outdoors.  These compact finger foods are also great for hikers!

 

Looking for more great camping foods for your summer? Try these 8 Easy and Delicious Camping Food Ideas!

Featured image via Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

How To: Camp With Kids (8 Tips for Success)

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Now that summer is here, it’s time to pack up the gear and head into the woods for a night of camping. With young kids though, a little more is involved to guarantee a successful  camping trip. With a little preparation and some advance planning, the whole family will enjoy this adventure into the outdoors. Here are 8 tips for success when you camp with kids.

 

1. Read a good book.

A few days before the camping trip prepare your young kids for what the outing will be like by reading a few books. Some good ones to try are S Is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet, Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids’ Guide, The Camping Trip that Changed America, or Curious George Goes Camping

 

2. Stake the tent in the back yard first.

Ease into this adventure by starting out slow. For the first excursion, keep it close to home. Set up the tent in your backyard so the kids can get used to the idea of camping, but the comforts of home are only a few short steps away.

 

3. Make a Check List

After a successful backyard camping excursion, the kids will be ready to venture out into the wild. Just make sure YOU are prepared, too, by making a check list.  Confirm that you have everything you need. Be sure to include tents, bedding, clothes, toiletry items, cooking supplies, food and water. Also, the list should include all things related to activities you plan to do while camping – like fishing gear.

 

4. Bring a first aid kit

Include a first aid kit with your camping gear, because you never know if it might be needed. A well stocked first aid kit includes medical tape, antibiotic wipes and creams, bandages, burn ointment, eye wash, hydrogen peroxide, pain relievers, scissors, snake bite kit, insect repellent, sterile gauze, sunburn lotion, sunscreen and tweezers.  You’ll feel more at ease knowing you can take care of your kids if needed.

 

5. Pick easy foods

Bring food that is easy to prepare. Hot dogs are always a big hit when roasted over a camp fire. And of course,  S’mores are a must have for any camping trip with young kids. Be sure that all food is stored in waterproof bags or containers and kept in an insulated cooler. Insure that food is cooked to the proper temperature. Also, bring plenty of drinking water if a reliable, clean source will not be available at the camping site.

 

6. Wear the right things

Dress appropriately for a trip into the woods with long pants and long sleeved shirts. Also, include a wide-brimmed hat to minimize exposure to the sun’s rays. Kids can get cold easily, so bring extra sweatshirts or jackets for cooler nights. And as much fun as it is to run barefoot through the grass, it’s best to keep shoes on the whole time since there are lots of things in the woods that can injure unprotected feet. Hiking boots are great for long walks, swim socks can be used when swimming in a lake or stream, and flip-flops are appropriate for hanging out at the camp site.

 

7. Be aware of potential harm

While camping can be fun, there are still a few things to be wary of.  Show young kids how to avoid poisonous plants such as poison ivy or berries they might want to eat. Also, teach them that they cannot approach wild animals or attempt to feed them. The animals might look cute, but they can be unpredictable, territorial and protective.  Go over camp rules ahead of time and reinforce them once at camp.

 

8. Plan Up-Past-Bedtime Activities

Of course this camping trip with young kids is supposed to be fun, so plan in advance a few activities for when the sun goes down. Flashlights can easily be used for a great game of tag. Singing or telling stories (not too scary) around the campfire are always a must for any camping trip. End the evening with some star gazing. There are always so many more stars to see away from the bright city lights.

 

Hopefully with the completion of a successful first camping trip, your young kids will be begging to do this get-away again soon!

 

Photo Source: www.bhg.com

 

I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

7 Tips to Make Camping Easier

7 tips to make camping easier, #camping, #summertime, #campingtips

 
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Summertime, the weather is fine, and it’s time to head into the great outdoors. But the outdoors can be anything but great without the proper preparation and organization for your group.  If you’re in charge of this year’s camping adventure, use these 7 tips to plan ahead, turn camping into “glamping,” and ensure that this summer’s wilderness vacation will be the best ever!

 

1. Prepare ahead of time. Anything that takes a while to do at home will take even longer when you’re camping if you don’t have the right gear! Consider setting up tents and other gear at home to check for broken zippers, holes, and missing parts that might really ruin your campout. Make-aheads like these DIY firestarters are definitely worth the prep time. Consider bringing glowsticks or even solar-powered stake lights to make it easier for everyone to find their way around tent stakes and long anchor cords that always seem to trip people up. Old rugs or pieces of carpet can be placed outside tents to keep dirt inside to a minimum. Extra tarps, garbage bags, and sturdy rope and string also come in handy more often than not. Use this basic camping checklist if you’re not quite sure what else you might need.

 

2. Organize, organize, and stay organized. The organization should begin as you pack for your trip. Try to use boxes or bins that will stack together well and take up the least amount of space possible. Pack the paper plates, cups, and utensils in one box. Pack the cooking tools in another. Pack bug sprays, sunscreens, and first-aid gear together. Pack foods like chips and bread that don’t require refrigeration in the same box.  You might even go so far as to create a small box of supplies for each of the meals you have planned. Organize and pack in a way that makes sense to you, because you will most likely be the one that everyone will run to when they need something.

 

3. Designate areas within your campsite for different “stations.” Handwashing, food preparation, cooking, first aid, drink, and snack stations are just a few suggestions. Take into account that you probably don’t want high-traffic stations near food prep or first aid areas, as these places require a certain amount of sanitation. Food prep and cooking areas may be best kept under a canopy or within a shelter of some kind to reduce the amount of insects, animals, and dirt.

 

4. Institute some “camp rules.” Especially if you’ve got a large group, are camping with small children, or are near water, you’ll want to let everyone know what to expect from the get-go. Does everyone have a “buddy?” Do the kids know water safety rules? Is the group aware of hazardous plant and animal life around your campsite? Make sure the rules are clear and be consistent so that everyone stays safe.

 

5. Establish a “restroom” if there are no man-made facilities at your campsite. Chances are, this is one of the first things your campers will need! Always check the waste disposal requirements for your area before you hit the road – you may be required to remove all waste or at least any toilet paper that may be used. In general, you should select a spot at least 200 feet from water, camp, and hiking trails to avoid contamination and plain old nastiness. Dig a hole with a shovel or rock and use it as your toilet, burying the waste afterwards. If you plan to be in your campsite for long, you may want to use a shovel to dig a deep hole to be used by your group for the entire trip. A hanging tarp or an old sheet can serve as an extra privacy measure if bushes aren’t enough. When the trip is over, top the hole off with dirt. Other campers will thank you.

 

6. Keep the meals basic. It can be tempting to try to feed your campers the same way you would at home, and there are lots of “camping recipes” that seem easy enough, but try to think ahead. Keeping ingredients and pre-made items cold enough can be tough if all you’ve got is a cooler, and refrigerators in RVs and campers are usually limited in space. The preparation and cleanup required for meals can be messy and time consuming when you’re out in the wilderness. Consider making a simple menu with lots of pre-packaged and easy to store items, and don’t be afraid of old camp favorites like sandwiches, hot dogs, and pre-made tinfoil dinners like these.

 

7.  Plan simple entertainments for kids. The wonders of the outdoors will keep them busy for quite a while, but there’s sure to come a time during your campout that the kids need something new to do. Bringing tons of toys and books from home takes up a lot of storage space and you can bet they’ll come home with camp grime on them. Inspire the kids with some simple nature crafts instead, like these 10 No-Fuss Camping Crafts for Kids, or hold a camping scavenger hunt!

 

Remember that your area’s weather, your family’s needs, and the activities you enjoy together while camping make a big difference when it comes to getting the most out of the experience. Use these tips and add to them to make your campout unique and special to you! And if you’re looking for more great ideas to make camping easier and more fun, try these tips from Remodelaholic!

 

Featured Image via Kayla Lilly

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

8 Family Safety Tips for the 4th of July

4th of July Family Safety Tipsaholic.com #familysafety #july4th

 

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The 4th of July is often a busy day filled with family outings, parades, and fireworks. While you focus on the fun, don’t forget that keeping your family safe is just as important! Use these 8 family safety tips to plan and prepare for all of your Independence Day adventures and relax knowing you have taken the appropriate steps to keep your family safe and well.

 

1. Consider the weather

Dress appropriately for the weather in your area and keep in mind that while a day may start out cool, it will likely get warmer. Wear layers if necessary, but make the bottommost layer a light, cotton t-shirt or other breathable article of clothing that can be worn on its own in case it gets hot. Bring jackets in case of rain and for the evening if you’ll be out late watching fireworks. You may also want to bring bug spray if the weather is right for insects!

 

2. Stay hydrated

Pack or purchase water and hydrating drinks throughout the day. If it’s especially hot out, additional drinks will be necessary. Take advantage of drinking fountains and refills whenever possible.

 

3. Carry a First-Aid kit

Pack a small first-aid kit to carry with you. Adhesive bandages, antibacterial ointment, tweezers, and aspirin are just a few things you may want to have on hand. For a list of recommended items to put in a basic first-aid kit, take a look at this Red Cross article.

 

4. Keep the sun off

All family members should consider wearing sunglasses, hats, and cool but protective clothing for a day spent in the sun. Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen on your excursions and reapply it often.

 

5. Make it easier to keep track of everyone

Consider dressing your child in a color you will recognize. The 4th of July is sure to be full of reds, whites, and blues, so why not dress your two-year-old in neon yellow? If you are worried about a particular child, you may want to write a name and phone number on a strip of tape and stick it on the back of their clothing, or have them wear a medical ID bracelet like this one for added safety. For dark evenings watching fireworks, adorning kids with reflective tape or glowsticks can be helpful.

 

6. Have a plan

In the event that a family member does become separated from the group, having a plan is essential. Prepare the kids ahead of time. Let everyone know you plan to stay together. Assign each child a “buddy” and make sure they know that it’s their job to help keep track of that person. Consider designating a “family meeting spot” in case a child does wander off. Inform children about the people they can ask for help if they get lost – mothers with children, police officers, or other specified “safe” adults. Remind them that they should never leave the area or get into a car with someone they don’t know.

 

7. Practice firework safety

Do not allow children to play with or near fireworks or fireworks that have already been set off, as they may still be hot. If children use sparklers, make them aware that they should not be thrown, touched, or used to touch others. Make sure fireworks are lighted far away from homes, trees, dry brush, and especially people. Keep a bucket of water or running hose near your launching area.

 

8. Safety during other activities

Your family may spend time barbecuing, swimming, and doing other activities on the 4th of July. Take the appropriate safety measures in each of these situations to make your day the best it can be. Keep little hands away from hot grills and be aware of the foods children are eating. When swimming, remain near your children and explain water safety rules. Keep your eyes open and ask family and friends for help if you need it!

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

 

 

De-Mystifying Math: 7 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Math Education (ages 3-6)

7 Tips for Supplementing your Child's Math Education (Age 3-6) | Tipsaholic.com #math #learning #education #kids #supplement

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Whether your child attends public school, a charter school, uses private school or tutoring or is homeschooled, you probably already know how important it is to reinforce classroom learning at home. Fortunately, there’s an overabundance of information online to help you teach your little ones at home, especially during the summer, BUT where do you start?

Math especially is often difficult for young children to grasp since it deals in abstracts.  Supplemental math education doesn’t have to be tricky.

Here are 7 super useful tips for applying Math concepts to your home life:

 

1.  Always consider the individual. 

We all know that everyone learns in different ways.  Keep your specific child in mind when considering your approach and remember to tailor their supplemental learning.

If you need some help identifying the best ways to teach your child, you can take a “multiple intelligences” quiz online and answer the questions as if you were your child.  The following quiz from edutopia breaks down learning styles into percentages and offers specific information each style.  Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles Quiz

 

2. Appeal to his/her interests.

If you want your child to enjoy learning with you, you’ll need to make it fun for them.  Pay attention to their hobbies and likes, be it cars, drawing, singing, dressing up, collecting leaves or what have you.  Use these to create learning experiences that coincide with things they already love.

 

3. Keep it simple.

The best way to teach a young child is with hands on activities that don’t take a ton of resources or explanation.  Most of the time, your most successful teaching experiences will incorporate things you already have around the house and will require little planning on your part.

 

4. Keep it short.

Generally speaking, a young child can only focus on one learning activity for about 10-15 minutes at a time.  Don’t plan long or involved math lessons that take longer than this to accomplish, or you are sure to lose your child’s interest.  You can do multiple different math activities within a specific span of time, but they will each need to be short and simple.

 

5. Be hands-on

Whatever learning style your child prefers, math concepts tend to “stick” better when children can “handle” the things they’re learning about.  Allowing them to use their hands or bodies gives each abstract math idea more meaning.

 

6. Give math concepts an everyday application.

When you’re at the grocery store, you can have your child count out individual items (“I need four apples…) or help you use the scale.  They can also get a basic understanding of money if you let them pay and handle change.  When you’re walking to your car you can count steps.  Take giant steps and mini steps and talk about the difference in number.  While you drive, you can play “I Spy” with shapes.  At home, you can play sorting games with almost anything – folding socks, putting groceries away, etc. If you make math a part of everyday life, it won’t seem like a chore.

 

7. Most importantly, keep it fun! 

You don’t need worksheets to teach math! Use games, songs and rhymes, props/toys/manipulatives, and books!

 

DON’T FORGET: little learners need a functional, organized space to keep them engaged and attentive.  Check out these super organized school-related spaces on Remodelaholic!  Tons of easy to implement solutions to keep kids excited about learning!

 

* For more tips and ideas, check out these links!

Blog Me Mom – “Math Play” and “ABC’s of Math” series

Mom’s Heart – Living Math for Preschoolers

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

6 Ice Activities For Kids At Home

6 Ice Activities for Kids to do at Home | Tipsaholic.com #games #activities #kids #ice #summer

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Cool down this summer with these ice activities that you can do with your children at home! From ice bowling to ice excavations, it’s amazing how versatile (and fun!) ice can be.

 

1. Ice Bowling

Bowling is a fun activity that kids of all ages love, but it’s even more fun with a bowling ball that’s made of ice! Make your ice bowling ball by filling up a balloon with water and freezing it overnight. You could add a few drops of food coloring to make a colorful ball. Then set up your pins made of water bottles filled with water and food coloring and let your kids play! If your “bowling alley” is concrete, try watering it down to help the ice bowling ball roll better.

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2. Frozen Water Beads Play

Ice activities for toddlers and preschoolers are great to do outside when it’s hot. This frozen water beads play activity includes a ball of ice that has water beads imbedded in it. Have your child hold it, dip it in a tank of water, and move it around to let it melt. Gradually, the water beads will come out and your kid will feel accomplished after all of his hard work!

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3. Ice Chalk

Drawing on concrete driveways and sidewalks with chalk is one of the many pleasures of childhood. Take it up a notch this summer by making ice chalk for your kids to draw with. What’s more, there are so many different ways to make ice chalk, as evidenced here. Get creative with the shape and colors of your ice chalk!

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4. Arctic Ice Sensory Play

If your child loves to play with animal figurines, this ice activity will be a hit! Freeze a small tank of water, but put in a small plastic bowl to make a hole in the ice before you put it in the freezer. Then when the water is froze, pull out a bowl and pour in lukewarm water to create an arctic environment. Bring in arctic animals and let your kid use their imagination.

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5. Painting on Ice

What kid doesn’t like to paint? But painting on ice is just a bit cooler. This ice activity is something they can do when it’s too hot outside to play or to cool down after a long day in the sun. Freeze a pie pan filled with a mixture of water and baking soda and then have your kids paint on it. When the ice is all painted, rinse the paint off with water and you’ll have a new blank slate for more art! Paint, paint, and paint until all the ice has melted away.

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6. Ice Excavations

These ice excavations are similar to the frozen water beads play, but they are perfect for older children who love to experiment with various tools. The basic idea is to freeze a group of items in a big block of ice and give kids a few tools to melt down the ice to reach the items. Tools could include a turkey baster, Kosher salt, play syringes, wooden spoons, and whatever else you can find. You could freeze a rainbow ice tower with bead necklaces and other colorful items, a large square of ice filled with plastic toys found around the house, or small ice squares that hold dinosaur bones inside. How fun!

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Try these ice activities to cool down the kids and to give you a few minutes of summer relaxation. What other ice activities have you seen or tried in the past? Share away!

For more ideas for activities to do with the kids, check out 10 Fantastic Tin Can Crafts for Kids and Cheap or Free Toys For Gross Motor Development.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

Featured image courtesy of Fun at Home with Kids.

How to Create a Family Travel Kit for Hotel Stays

How to Create a Family Travel Kit for Hotel Stays | Tipsaholic.com #travel #kids #hotel #ideas #packing

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Summer is here and that means fun vacations with the family! If you’re planning on staying at a hotel with kids, here’s how to create a travel kit for hotel stays. These 6 items can all fit in a tiny travel bag, and they will help make your hotel stay so much nicer.

 

1. HDMI cable

Bring an HDMI cable to hook up your tablet or laptop to the hotel TV. You’ll be able to watch anything you want on your Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon subscriptions. You could also rent a DVD from Redbox, put it in your laptop, and connect that to the TV. Another idea is to download a couple of kids’ movies before you leave home and stream that to the hotel TV. Then relax on your bed with your kids and watch good TV without having to deal with bad and often inappropriate hotel TV channels.

 

2. Outlet adapter or extension cord

There are never enough plugs for all the phones, tablets, laptops, handheld game consoles, camera chargers, and other devices that we bring with us on hotel vacations. Pack an outlet adapter or extension cord and everyone will be happy to have their favorite gadgets fully charged.

 

3. Sound machine (or app)

When you stay in a hotel room, you might get woken up by other vacationers who are staying in the rooms next to yours. Bring a travel sound machine for ambient noise so you can sleep in peace and be fully energized for traveling with kids. Or you could download an app on your phone and pack one less thing. Try the Sleep Machine Lite app or the Sleep Pillow Sounds app for the iPhone and the White Noise Lite app for android devices.

 

4. Night light

Don’t forget a night light for your kids if they can’t sleep in the pitch dark. Plus, a night light will help you be able to move around your hotel room without bumping into things and waking up the kids. You might also want one in the bathroom for nighttime visits.

 

5. Oatmeal packets

A couple of oatmeal packets is a great addition to a family travel kit. If your hotel room has a coffee maker, you can whip up a quick and satisfying snack for the kids (and you) in a pinch with these instant oatmeal pouches and hot water. What’s more, the packaging of these packets are so convenient — they’re actually also measuring cups. You’ll easily cook the perfect bowl of oatmeal every time.

 

6. Denture cleanser tablets

Traveling with a baby? Include a box of denture cleanser tablets in your family travel kit to easily clean pacifiers, sippy cup lids, baby spoons, and other baby or toddler items that need cleaning. Simply grab a cup and fill it with warm water and then add the item and a tablet. Your baby’s things will be completely clean in just a few minutes.

 

What other things do you consider essentials for vacations with kids?

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

Featured image courtesy of Hotel Chatter.

7 Patriotic (and Fun!) July 4th Party Activities

 7 Patriotic and Fun July 4th Activities | Tipsaholic.com #holiday #fun #july #summer #independence #crafts #games #activities

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Hosting a July 4th party this year? A good party should have a few activities for guests to enjoy in between all the eating and drinking. Try one of these 7 fun July 4th party activities for your party!

 

1. Make July 4th Shirts

Near the beginning of your party, gather together your guests to create DIY July 4th shirts. Once they’re dry, everyone can wear them for the rest of the party, which could make for a really great group photo. This tutorial makes no-sew tanks with spray paint, but you could get a similar result with kid-safe fabric paint and a couple of paintbrushes. If you only have little kids at your party, this tutorial is a lot easier and faster to make.

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2. Paint Everyone’s Faces

Line everyone up and paint their faces with patriotic images! Use the things you probably already have in your pantry (corn starch, milk, water, and food coloring) to make homemade face paint. Both adults and kids will enjoy sporting their favorite designs on their faces or arms! Here are some face painting ideas: stars, the flag, fireworks, blue-white-red rainbows, Uncle Sam’s hat, eagles, the letters USA, the country USA, and patriotic ribbons. For the superhero fans, what about Captain America’s shield?

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3. Decorate Your Lawn with Stars

Once everyone is decorated with our country’s colors and symbols, work together to decorate the grass and sidewalks of your backyard and front yard with flour stars! This is a fun and easy activity for the kids to do. First, make a large stencil of a star and lay it down where you want the star to go. Spray water on the grass or concrete and then sift flour over it. Ta-da, white stars everywhere!

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4. Create Patriotic Art

A craft for the kids during a party is always a fun idea, but sometimes a craft requires a lot of adult supervision. This freedom collage craft is perfect for a July 4th party because it’s all about creating without restrictions, which makes it perfect for celebrating our free country. Simply provide the materials and set everything up on a table and let the kids have fun! Once everything is dry, you could even hang them up to add more decor to your party. Clip the creations on a string and hang it on your fence, tack them up on a tree, or tape them to the end of a long table, whatever works for your party!

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5. Play a Popcorn Relay Race

This is a fun and silly relay game that everyone can participate in, no matter their age, as long as they know how to walk! Attach a cup to each foot with string and fill it up with popcorn. Have your racers go as fast as they can without spilling the popcorn and fill up a huge basket of popcorn — whoever empties their portion of the popcorn first wins! And then everyone can enjoy chomping down on the popcorn, so there are no losers in this game.

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6. Set Up a Photo Background

Hang up a large American flag and set up a photography backdrop for your guests to get a picture together! You could grab an old school Polaroid camera and give the pictures to your guests right away or email them the photos later with a “Thanks for coming!” note. Everyone will love their little mementos from your party and that’s better than any favor bag!

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7. Have Fun with Glow Sticks

Fireworks are fun, but they’re not the only things that can light up the night. You can do so many fun activities with glow sticks and other glow toys, such as ring toss with glow sticks taped into circles, hopscotch with bigger glow circles, beach ball volleyball with glow sticks inside, and many more. Find more activities to do with glow sticks here!

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What other fun July 4th party activities do you like to participate in? Share your favorite ones in the comments below, including links! I’m always looking for more fun party ideas and I’m sure you are, too!

For more 4th of July ideas, check out this top ten list by Remodelaholic.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

Featured image courtesy of I Can Teach My Child.

5 Backyard Activities for Lazy Summer Days

5 Backyard Activities for Lazy Summer Days | Tipsaholic.com #outdoor #fun #kids #games #summer #backyard

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Summertime is the season of vacations, family time, and swimming, but we all have these lazy summer days that all we want to do is stay home and relax. Here are 5 backyard activities to keep your kids (and you!) busy this summer while staying at home.

 

1. Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Have a concrete patio, a concrete driveway, or a sidewalk lining the front of your home? They can become beautiful with the help of chalk paint and your kids’ creativity. Whip up a few batches of chalk paint in different colors and hand them to your kids.  They’ll love it. Or just buy new sidewalk chalk paint; it’ll be just as much fun.

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2. Balloon Ping Pong

Ping pong is a fun and competitive game, but it can be too fast for younger kids to play. How about playing a game of balloon ping pong? Blow up a balloon and give your kids paddles made of paper plates and popsicle sticks. Cheer them on as they swat the balloon from side to side.

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3. Backyard Camping

Camping is definitely a summer pastime, but you don’t have to drive hours and hours to a campsite to get the camping experience. Try backyard camping, which you can still do even if you don’t have a tent. Hang up a couple of sheets and fire up the grill and relax together. When it’s time to go to bed, simply go back inside!

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4. Paint Flower Pots

Make gardening fun by painting flower pots together. Turn your flower pots into people by painting on faces and then watching their “hair” grow from the seeds that you plant into them. They’ll look great lined up in your backyard and your kids will enjoy checking on them and watering them throughout the summer.

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5. Outdoor Chalkboard

If you have a small yard, it can be hard finding backyard activities that can be done in a smaller space. This DIY outdoor chalkboard is a great solution to that problem! You can create your own outdoor chalkboard with plywood, outdoor paint, and sanded grout. Hang it up on your fence and then whenever the laziness hits you this summer, you can just give chalk to your kids and watch them create beautiful outdoor art.

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Sometimes, lazy summer days are the best! What other backyard activities do you love doing with your kids when it’s warm outside?

For more summer tips, check out 6 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer and Top 30 Scrumptious Summer Salads.


“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

Featured image courtesy of Domestic Simplicity.

Packing Tips (for camping trips)

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Camping is a great way to create a relatively low-stress, low-cost, low-maintenance vacation.  It takes just a bit of forethought to plan, register, pack and execute a camping trip as opposed to months or more of budgeting, researching, planning, mapping and creating a more elaborate vacation experience.  Camping can help you reconnect with your family and yourself, creates lasting bonds and memories and instills relaxation and calmness to what can be an overworked, overstimulated lifestyle.  If you want to make the most of your camping trip, you’ll need to know how, what and WHERE to pack all your gear and equipment.  Follow these 10 packing tips for camping trips and take the stress out of planning your next getaway!

 

1. Back to Basics.

Part of the fun of camping is forgetting about all the extras in life – electronics, toys, games, equipment, utensils and STUFF – that we get bogged down with.  Get back to basics by keeping your packing simple.  Consider everything you’re planning on taking carefully and think, “Is this NECESSARY for 3 days (5 days, 7 days, what have you) away?”  Take what you need and leave the rest behind.  If you realize you’ve left something that really is essential, most campsites or state and national parks have stores for your convenience.

2. Don’t go overboard.

Over-planning is one way to stress-out any family vacation, but it also makes packing a million times harder.  If you’re going camping for a few nights, chances are you won’t have the time (or energy!) to play every single outdoor game in your garage, do every single sport-related activity, or make every single gourmet meal and campfire treat you’ve got on your “ideal” list.  Limit yourself.  Pick just a few favorite games, activities, meals and treats and save the rest for another time.

3. Become ONE with nature.

Guess what?  You’re camping, not spending the night at the Ritz.  You’re going to get a little dirty.  There will be bugs.  You’re hair and clothes will probably smell like campfire from the minute you get there.  So don’t worry about bringing a new outfit for every single day for every single person.  You won’t need accessories and tons of shoes.  You’ll probably want some soap, but don’t worry about cosmetics and the whole beauty regime.  Don’t be afraid to be RUGGED!  That’s what camping is all about.  The biggest key when picking clothes is to remember you want to be warm and dry.  Pack extra socks and a sweatshirt for everyone, along with just a few items to wear daily.

4. Make a List.  Check it twice.

Camping doesn’t require a ton of fancy gadgets or equipment, but there are some definite things you don’t want to be caught without.  To make sure you pack what you NEED and leave what you DON’T get a complete list of gear.  You can find some sample lists online.  The Packing List Place has one, as well as Love The Outdoors.  Keep in mind that any pre-made list will likely need to be altered to fit your family and your particular geographic area so look it over ahead of time, whittle it down and add on as necessary.  It’s also a good idea to make two checked columns – one you can check off for “checked and ready” and one you can check off for “packed in car”.  That way you’re covering your bases and are less likely to accidentally leave something behind in the driveway.

5. Be prepared.

Check ahead for area conditions – weather, area emergency issues that might be a problem (wildfire probability, flooding, avalanche, etc.), park or camp site maintenance issues that might affect you, etc.  The more prepared you are, the better able you will be to refine your packing list.  When you check the forecast, for example, there may be no rain indicated for the week so you can likely pare down your wet weather gear.

6. Don’t lug your luggage.

Instead of packing a different suitcase for every family member, consider packing items into plastic tubs with lids according to category.  This is perfect since they come in different sizes for different amounts of things (extra large bins like these are great for bigger camp items like lanterns, emergency radios, skillets, hot plates, camp stoves, etc. while medium sized bins are good for clothing), stack nicely together, have flat tops, are water resistant, and pack up well since they aren’t odd shapes.  They are also easy to identify by using large labels such as these or simple tape with permanent markers.  Consider using bins for clothing, cooking, food, games and activities, and weather-related gear (ponchos, boots, warm sweatshirt, etc.).

7. Pace yourself.  

Don’t plan on throwing everything together willy nilly at the last moment.  While camping can be a relatively stress-free family vacation you’re simply asking for trouble if you don’t give yourself time.  Begin packing preparations two weeks in advance.  It might seem excessive, but you’ll want to make sure all of your gear and equipment is in working order before you actually pack it away.  You’ll also want to replace lost or broken items, make sure you have the right amount of things for your whole family, and create a “map” for packing your car.

8. SPACE yourself.  

Chances are you’ll be driving to your destination, so make sure to leave plenty of room for passengers.  Crowding can make people (especially little people!) crabby!  So don’t try to cram so much into the passenger area of your car.  Use storage areas for smaller items (like the pockets on the back of the front seats for small backpacks or bags) and fill up your trunk or cargo area with clean, well-packed, boxes and bags.

9. Think outside the box.  

Utilize the space outside your vehicle as well.  This will ensure that you have ample room for your passengers inside!  While clean and sturdy boxes, backpacks and bags are great in the cargo area, you can pack dirty, cumbersome or large items outside.  Use a bike rack on the top of your vehicle and consider getting a cargo carrier for the top of your vehicle, like this one.  You can carry other large items for outdoor activities (like kayaks, canoes, folding tables, etc.) with various types of carrying racks.

10. Make a map.

A packing “map” can be super useful when planning for your trip.  Essentially, list the items you’ll need based on bin, bag, box, etc. along with WHEN you’ll need them.  Following the “first in, last out” rule, decide which items you’ll need to access right away and which can be accessed later.  Then either draw the items in a diagram or simply number and label them according to when they will be packed in the car – this way you’ll know ahead of time what needs to go where in order to not only make everything fit efficiently, but also to have what you need WHEN you need it.

 

Looking for more helpful ideas for camping? Try these 7 Tips for Easier Camping!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

8 Easy and Delicious Camping Food Ideas

8 Easy and Delicious Camping Food Ideas | Tipsaholic.com #cooking #recipe #camping #campfire #food

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Planning a few camping trips during the warmer months? Me, too! But I always get kinda stuck when thinking about camping food ideas. Hot dogs are fine, but I love to cook delicious food at home and I want to eat good food while camping. I did some research and found so much information out there on camping food ideas! I’m excited to share these ideas with you.

 

1. Foil Packs

These nifty camping meals that are cooked in foil are also called hobo packs or hobo stew. Basically, you add a little oil (or butter) in heavy duty foil, add meat, veggies, and then wrap it up and put it on hot coals. Open it after the meat is cooked and dig in! So easy.

You could use hamburger patties, ground beef, pounded chicken, meatballs, or even fish as your meat. Many campers add potatoes, but you could also add red pepper, onions, tomatoes, corn on the cob, zucchini, and whatever else that can be cut up and put in a foil pack. Bring along your favorite condiments to add to your hobo stew.

Looking for more information on foil packs? Here’s a very clear step-by-step on how to assemble a hobo pack and how to wrap the foil just right. And here’s a delicious-looking breakfast that’s cooked in a foil pack!

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2. Breakfast Tacos

If you don’t know what a breakfast taco is, it’s a tortilla packed with scrambled eggs and whatever else you like with your eggs: sauteed veggies, chorizo, bacon, potatoes, and/or cheese. A great camping food idea is to prepare your breakfast tacos ahead of time and wrap them in foil and put them in your icebox. When it’s time to eat breakfast, heat them up a little bit over hot coals and eat!

You can do the same method with breakfast sandwiches if that’s more of your thing.

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3. Campfire Quesadillas

Quesadillas are very kid-friendly, so this is one of my favorite camping food ideas. Prepare the quesadillas ahead of time with your favorite filings and wrap them in foil. Heat them up over the grill and then consume. This sounds perfect for lunches!

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4. Kabobs

Kabobs are great for grilling and fun to eat. These qualities make them a good addition to any list of camping food ideas. Put your chopped meat in marinade in a zip lock bag and toss in your chopped vegetables in another zip lock bag. Bring along bamboo skewers and assemble when it’s time to eat. Camping food ideas don’t get any easier than this.

 

5. Breadsticks On a Stick

Camping is fun and this camping food idea is definitely a lot of fun. Send everyone into the forest to search for the perfect stick and have them wrap a long strip of bread dough around their sticks. You can make your bread dough ahead of time or buy ready-made dough in a can that you pop open at the campsite.

Turn this appetizer into a sweet dessert by rolling the dough in some butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Mmmmm.

 

6. “Baked” Sweet Potatoes

Maybe you’re sticking with hot dogs and burgers for dinner, but you’re looking for a side that’s healthier than a bag of potato chips. Try grabbing a couple of sweet potatoes on your next trip. Around 20-30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, poke them a couple of times with a knife and wrap them with foil. Put them over hot coals and turn them every 5 minutes until they become soft to the touch. Then open the foil and cut them down in the middle. So good, without any seasoning needed!

You could bring precooked shredded chicken and an avocado and pile that on the top of the sweet potato. Delicious, filling, and healthy!

 

7. Campfire Cones

You just can’t go camping without gorging on smores, at least I think so. However, I have a toddler who would probably have a hard time eating a traditional smore. That’s why I really love this clever camping food idea: campfire cones! You put peanut butter, marshmallows, chocolate, and chopped banana in a sugar cone, wrap it in foil, and heat it until everything is melted and gooey. Okay, I’m officially hungry now.

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8. Easy Cobbler in a Dutch Oven

If you’re really serious about camping and go with your family often, you might want to consider investing in a dutch oven. There’s a lot of great information here and there’s also some recipes there for you to try.

Have a dutch oven already? Try this crazy easy cobbler! All you need is some fresh blackberries, a can of blueberry pie filling, classic yellow cake mix, and cut up butter for the top. Cook until it’s done and EAT.

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I’m officially ready for our next camping trip, food-wise. I hope you feel the same!

For more camping ideas, check out 25 Fun Camping Ideas for Families!

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

Featured image courtesy of Domestic Geek Girl.

Make Your Own Father’s Day Tackle Box

Make Your Own Father's Day Tackle Box | Tipsaholic.com #diy #kids #project #dad #father #toolbox


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Every Dad has tools and other cool Dad stuff they need to store. Here’s a great DIY project Mom and kids can make for Dad together this Father’s Day. Customize it to reflect Dad’s personality for added fun!

Supplies:

  • tackle box
  • Scotch® Color & Pattern Duct Tape in Duct Blind, Tangerine Orange, Sunshine Yellow, Cherry Red and Jet Black (or any colors of your choice)
  • scissors
  • X-Acto knife
  • letter stencils

Instructions:

Step 1: Cover the flat part of the tackle box in Duct Blind tape, making sure to cut on a diagonal to fit the edges exactly.

Step 2: To create stripes with the solid colored tapes, first lie down a full piece of tape in the location you want then cut another tape in half and laying it over the other tape to create two different sized stripes

Step 3: For the middle box, lay down four strips in a square then fill the box with more strips. To the make a smaller box cut four small strips then lay them in a box shape lining up with the smaller box

Step 4: Trace your letters (D-A-D) on a piece of paper

Step 5: Cut out those letters and place them on your middle box

Step 6: Using your X-Acto knife, trace your letters onto the tape and cut out the shapes

Step 7: Place the tape letters on the tackle box

 

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Special thanks to Scotch for submitting this great tutorial!

How to Raise Kids Who Love Learning

How to Raise Kids Who Love Learning - Tipsaholic.com

The human brain is blessed with a huge capacity for learning, especially during the childhood years. Unlock your children’s innate ability to teach themselves and ensure that they fall in love with the wonderful act of learning! Here’s a few tips you can use to encourage your kids to love learning.

tipsaholic - how to raise kids who love learning

1. Provide little (or no) instructions.

This sounds weird, but it works. Sergio Juárez Correa’s students (in Matamoros, Mexico) flourished when the teacher decided to take a different approach to teaching. For example, instead of showing students how to reach the correct answer to a math problem, he asked them how they would figure it out. And figure it out they did. These students went on to score the highest on the achievement test in the country.

Ideas of what you can do:

  • Give them a toy that has several functions (bleeps, flashes, rolls, etc) and just let them figure out how to play with it without showing them anything.
  • Hand them a tablet or a computer with a newly purchased app or game and let them explore.
  • Take your kids to a museum and let them guide you to whatever exhibits they want to see.
  • Give them a board game and let them teach themselves how to play.
  • Toys like the Bilibo don’t even come with instructions, so every kid plays with them in different ways. Hand them this cool toy and watch them create new ways to play!

2. Allow for lots of time for play.

Recess is generally thought of as a break from learning, but recent studies have shown that playing is actually vital for optimal brain development. Playing helps develop problem solving skills, creativity, stimulates curiosity, and more. This in turn helps children do better at school, learn better, and love learning.

Things you can do to encourage your kids to play more:

  • Host more play-dates at your home or at a playground.
  • Bring in more games of all kinds for your kids.
  • Engage in play with your kids whenever you can.
  • Rotate your kids’ toys so there’s always something “new” to play with.
  • Have your kids join an after-school program.

3. Let them teach themselves how to read.

This article claims that young children can teach themselves how to read, if they are allowed to do so. Different kids do it in different ways, but generally, parents of these children provide an environment in their homes that is conductive to reading. When young kids are able to read, they are able to teach themselves new things. They’ll love learning thanks to their love for reading.

Here’s what you can do to create a reading-friendly home:

  • Make lots of books available to your kids.
  • Take them to the library often.
  • Let kids see you reading books and enjoying it.
  • Don’t force kids into reading.
  • Read to them on a regular basis when they’re young.
  • Have them see you use a variety of reading materials to accomplish things, such as following instructions to complete a DIY project or trying out a new recipe.

Once a child loves to learn, they can teach themselves anything and there won’t be a limit to what they can do.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!