25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kids

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Whether you have one kid or 8, toys  can quickly take over your home!  Finding a functional, stylish, child-friendly solution to toy storage can be difficult – not to mention pricey.  There’s also the added issue of finding room for storage pieces that are large enough to accommodate all the kid clutter . Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can cut costs, including reusing old or found items, shopping thrift stores, flea markets and rummage sales, utilizing common storage in uncommon ways, and considering underused storage spaces (like walls, doors backs, etc.).  If you need some ideas for wrangling the toy mess, we’ve got you covered!  Here are 25 fun toy storage ideas that are bound to have you thinking outside the toy box!

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsUpholstered Bucket Storage Ottoman, Killer B. Design – Repurpose a galvanized tub with mdf, foam and fabric to create storage that doubles as an ottoman!  Not only is this a green project, but it’s multifunctional and pretty to boot.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsRolling Under-bed Storage, That’s My Letter – This is a simple build from plywood and castors.  The great thing about this storage is that it easily slides completely out of view into an totally unused space – under the bed!  It keeps things organized and tucked away.  Plus it’s easy to build and personalize to your decor.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsHanging Fruit Basket, 8FootSix – In this case, the hanging tiered fruit basket is suspended from a shower curtain rod for bath toy storage – which is a clever enough idea on its own.  But this could easily translate into bedroom storage – in the closet or from a hook on the ceiling.  It’s simple and inexpensive and has an industrial feel.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsPlastic Tote turned Toy Box, Creative Dominican – Using an inexpensive rubbermaid tote for storage?  You can glam that up to look like a fancy pants, custom built toy box in no time!  Cover it with fabric and add some fence post caps for feet!  It’s inexpensive and can hold lots of toys.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsPlastic Tote turned Basket, Happy Go Lucky – Here’s another large plastic tote idea!  Get the look of an oversized, expensive, lined basket by wrapping the bin with jute twine!  Add castors for even more functionality and style.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsPeek-A-Boo Bags, Tiny Sidekick – Here’s a storage solution you can sew yourself.  These bags are super handy for keeping small toys together by category.  It’s easy for the kids to see what goes where and you can hang them, place them in a drawer or box, or line them up on a shelf.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsCrate Bench, Operation Home – Turn old (or new) crates into a trendy storage bench!  Kids will have a place to store toys and books PLUS plenty of seating when playing!  It’s a fairly easy build and requires basic materials.  You can paint or stain it to match decor – or make it shorter or longer to accommodate the size of the room!

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsAntique Tool Box, Better Homes and Gardens – This is a prime example of thinking outside the box and utilizing common storage in an uncommon way!  Large stand alone tool boxes are typically found in the garage, but when you bring it into a play room or kids bedroom, it can be great for storing toys!  Not only does it have a vintage industrial feel that is popular right now, but they can be found at thrift stores and flea markets for a fraction of normal toy storage prices.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsAntique Crate Floating Shelves, Babble – Turn an old crate on its side and attach it to the wall.  You’ve got instant floating shelves for all sorts of storage needs!  If your crate has separate compartments, even better!  You can store small toys in their own slots for even more organization.  The plus with this one is that these crates are relatively easy to find and inexpensive.  Plus, you’re utilizing wall space, keeping your floors clear for playing!

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsRolling Crate Bench, This Little Street – I don’t need to point out all the awesome functions for this little upcycled project, do I??  It’s a storage box for toys!  It’s a window seat for reading!  It’s a footstool to kick up your feet and relax!  Plus, it rolls anywhere you need it – and can even roll out of sight when necessary.  Pick your own look – with fabrics, paint, stain or natural wood – to match it to your room.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsStuffed Animal Net, A Lemon Squeezy Home – A super easy sewing project that you can personalize with colors and patterns leads to some cute hammock-style organization!  You could make this for dolls and small, light toys as well, not just stuffed animals.  Considering making a set and hanging them in a tiered fashion, one above the other, for even more space.  It’s inexpensive, easy and keeps toys up off the floor!  Every room as an unused corner just waiting to be utilized!

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsCar Play and Store Mat, The Creative Vault – This cute car mat cinches up tightly into a bag to hold cars and roadway accessories!  If your kids love playing with a specific “set” of toys, consider making them a themed mat in a circle shape like this one.  With a draw string around the outside, it’s easy to leave the toys where they are and simply pull the bag closed around them.  You could do a zoo theme for animal toys, a neighborhood for dolls or cars, or even a flat “dollhouse” with interactive flaps.  Once the bag is cinched up, hang it from a hook or stash it in the closet for easy storage.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsKnife Rack Storage, Just a Girl and her blog – It might seem counterintuitive to attach knife racks to the wall in a kids’ room, but imagine the storage possibilities!  Anything small and metal just gets stuck right up there!  Cars and trains are the obvious choices, but you could also store magnetic building toys, gear toys, phonics toys, or any toys that come in a small metal box.  The ones from Just a Girl and her blog are from Ikea – they’re super affordable and easy to install.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsRolling Table and Storage, Refurbished Ideas – If you’ve got car tracks, train tracks, legos, blocks, puzzles, or anything that involves a lot of pieces and or building, this idea is not only storage brilliance, it’ll keep you sane!  There’s no way a kid wants to clean up all their hard work and effort and put it away in neat bins at the end of the day.  With a rolling table, they can leave their imaginations on pause, push the toys under the bed, and pick up where they left off the next day!  You can build them yourself with plywood and castors.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsAnimal Swing, It’s Always Autumn – With a little effort you can build a custom animal swing to hold all of your kids’ stuffed animals!  The bonus to this project is that it requires no special skills for the build.  The kids will love that they can still see their toys even when they’re “put away” and the floor remains clear of clutter!  You could use this for dolls, balls, even larger cars or plastic toys.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsDoor Back Tote Bags, Popsugar – Don’t forget about all that empty space on the back of your doors!  Label large canvas tote bags and hang them on hooks for ease in finding items and to keep them out of the way when needed.  No bulky furniture, building required, and even your walls stay clutter-free!

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsHanging Planter Stuffed Animal “Chandelier”, DIY Inspired – You’ve seen hanging metal planters transformed into beaded “chandeliers” or mobiles in a kids’ room, right?  Well, why not make it decorative AND functional?  Pretty up a planter for a decorative element, then pop all the stuffed animals inside.  Don’t just limit it to stuffed animals, either!

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsHideaway Lego Tray - This handy device is great for stowing small toys away out of sight.  When all your kids’ have to do in order to clean up is slip a tray under a couch or bed, their rooms are bound to be spotless!  The tray is great because it serves as play space for almost any small toy, not just legos, and doubles as a hard surface for games, puzzles or placing snacks on!

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsRepurposed Dresser Drawers, The Golden Sycamore – Even if you can’t build your own under-bed storage, and even if your bed is low to the ground, you can still take advantage of the space beneath!  Just use old dresser drawers!  You can find old drawers at resale stores like Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Thrift stores and flea markets.  Just make sure the drawers are sturdy, fill them with toys, and slip them under the bed!  Drawers can be found in tons of sizes, depths, widths, and heights, so they’re a great option for an awkward under-bed area.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsMesh Bag Storage, fudge banana swirl – Keep all those tiny parts together with mesh storage bags!  Even if you’ve found a larger storage solution already, it can be hard to keep multi-piece toy sets together.  Mr. Potato Head loses all sorts of facial features, Barbie can’t find any shoes, legos are scattered throughout four different rooms, and puzzle pieces from all different puzzles end up in the bottom of the toy box… if you’re sick of the headache of searching for that long lost piece, use simple mesh bags to corral sets together, then simply place them in your larger storage area – be it a box, bin or closet.  You don’t have to make them yourself, and you can purchase them on the cheap at the dollar store!

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsFigurine Cubby, Young House Love – Whether it’s action figures, cars, La La Loopsies, Disney Princesses, Squinkies, Littlest Pet Shop, or the hundred other very small toys that kids love to collect, this wall cubby is the perfect place to keep them safe.  The plans and a full tutorial make building this piece a breeze.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsRolling Chalkboard Box, A Beautiful Mess – While these chalkboard boxes started out as simple wooden crates that you can find at nearly any craft store,  the end result is chic and charming!  Covering the slats with plywood makes them even sturdier and allows to small toy storage – since there are no cracks to allow for escaped or runaway playthings.  The chalkboard paint is a nice touch that is both functional and fun – label your boxes for easy cleanup and let your kids decorate them!

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsHanging Fabric Storage Boxes, Ucreate – These are completely DIY-able.  The sewing is fairly easy to accomplish and the only other thing you need is a dowel or curtain rod.  Just slide the baskets on using the tab on the back and you’ve got vertical storage that’s cute and personalized.  You can make them nearly any size, though the tutorial illustrates large boxes perfect for toys and books.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsShelf Zoo, On the Banks of Squaw Creek – There are several versions of the stuffed animal “zoo” out there , with different types of “bars” to keep all the toys wrangled.  This particular idea for stuffed animal storage makes use of a shelf and wooden dowels to create the caged look.  It’s a clever way to keep toys from spilling off of shelves and all over the floor.  It would work well for dolls and other toys, as well.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kidsFrom Diaper Box to Toy Bin, 2 Little Faces – These toy bins are bright and whimsical with their fun patterns.  They’re also easy for little hands to use with their large, slanted openings.  But the best part?  They’re made from cardboard diaper boxes so won’t cost a dime to whip up!  The tutorial uses wrapping paper in child-friendly prints, but you can cover them with just about anything to suit your tastes.

 

Toys are one thing that are hard to keep organized. Small pieces make it a bit of a job. If you need some inspiration try one of these 25 Fun Toy Storage Ideas - Tipsaholic, #storage, #organization, #toystorage, #kids

 For more organization inspirations:

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5 Hanukkah Activities for Kids

5 Fun Hanukkah Activities for Kids - Tipsaholic.com

 

tipsaholic title divider - hanukkah activities

 

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah with your family or want to teach your children about other cultures and their holidays, here are five simple yet fun Hanukkah activities for kids.

 

1. Read books about Hanukkah

Sometimes the best way to learn about something new is to read a book. Check out an exciting picture book about Hanukkah from the library and read it with your kids a few days before the holiday begins. The book Maccabee! The Story of Hanukkah is one great example – it will entertain your kids and teach them about the history of Hanukkah.  After reading the book, your children will know the reasons behind the candles on the menorah and the length of the holiday.

 

2. Cook latkes together

Many holidays are celebrated in part with traditional and symbolic food, and Hanukkah is no exception. Fried foods, including latkes (potato pancakes), jelly-filled doughnuts, and loukoumades (deep-fried puffs dipped in honey), are cooked and consumed during the holiday to remember the oil that lasted for eight days. Cooking with your kids is always a fun (and messy) activity, so try cooking latkes with them using this recipe.

 

3. Play the dreidel game

The dreidel is a spinning toy that is traditionally made of wood but also comes in plastic versions. It has a letter from the Hebrew alphabet on each of its four sides. The dreidel game is a simple gambling game that is traditionally played with chocolate coins, or gelt, and is one of the most popular Hanukkah activities for kids.

 

4. Craft a menorah

Doing something with your hands while learning something new helps cement acquired knowledge in little minds. When you teach your kids about the history behind the symbol of the menorah, you could make a beautiful menorah with your kids using embossing foil and glass votive holders.

 

5. Play with Hanukkah helpers

You’ve probably heard of The Elf on the Shelf for Christmas, but there’s also a Hanukkah version: Hanukkah Helpers. These cute little dolls are dressed in blue outfits and partake in fun adventures during the night. Your kids will love finding what they’re up to when they wake up in the morning.

 

Looking for ideas for decorating your home for the holidays? Here is some mantel decorating inspiration for Hanukkah as well as Christmas.

 

“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!

Here are more fun ideas for you to share with your kids:

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Top 10 Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make (on their own!)

Encouraging your children to make gifts for family and friends can help them embrace the spirit of giving.  There are tons of ideas for DIY kids’ gifts out there, but only so many that Aunt Betty would actually use!  If you want your child to get excited about creating AND giving, but you want your family to get excited about their gifts too, you’ll have to up the ante on homemade Christmas gifts a little.  Don’t worry; there are plenty of fun, simple and inexpensive gifts that will have everyone cheering about this Christmas season!  Read on for our top 10.

Want to give something from the heart this holiday season, but want to give something more useful. The kids will have lots of fun creating these 10 Christmas Gifts even kids can make on their own via @tipsaholic #christmas #gifts #giftideas #kids

10 Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make

 

1. Kid’s Art Tea Towel, Setting for Four – Have your budding artist use fabric markers to draw an artistic family portrait or Christmas scene.  To make sure it’s not too busy and doesn’t clash with other home decor, you could have them use black on a white towel.

2. Painted Cork Coasters, Let’s Explore – Use painters tape to tape a design on cork coasters, then let your little ones paint them as they please.  Remove the tape to reveal the full masterpiece!  Have them do a set of 6 in the same design, or switch it up with different patterns but use the same color pallet for cohesiveness.

3. Craft Stick Bookmarks, RedTedArt – Kids can go to town decorating craft sticks however they want.  Let them use markers or crayons to color and pattern them.  They can glue ribbon or yarn to the ends.  For even more fun, add googly eyes to turn the bookmarks into creatures!

4. Personalized Candles, A Girl And A Glue Gun – Kids can create custom candles by drawing on wax paper cut to candle-size, then heating the wax paper around the candle to adhere it.  Smaller children will need help with the heat gun or blow-dryer, but the creativity is all theirs!

5. Easy Button Jewelry, Parents.com – It’s a snap for kids to make some fun and bright cocktail rings to distribute to friends and cousins!  All you need are blank ring backs and buttons.

6. Name Subway Art, Imagination Soup – This is a personalized and sentimental gift family members will love.  Have your kids choose letter stickers they like, then place the name of the recipient at the top of a piece of card stock or on a canvas.  Kids then select words that describe the person and spell them out with stickers all around the name – in different directions.

7. Story Puzzles, bugaboo, mini, mr & me – If your little one loves to tell stories and draw, this is a great idea for them!  Have them draw a picture of family members doing something fun on one side of a piece of paper, then write a story about the drawing on the other.  Then they just cut the paper into puzzle pieces and put it in a fun box.  Use contact paper or a laminator for more durability.

8. Fingerprint Pendants , A Girl And A Glue Gun – This adorable pendants are perfect for necklaces or key rings.  Shape sculpey into a heart shape and press a fingerprint into the center.  Bake as directed for a lasting impression of personalized love.

9. Designer Plates, Craft Jr. – Kids can create art that will last forever on dinner plates which can then be displayed or used as platters, catchalls, or key trays!

10. Lego Keychains and Key Holder, Readapta 2.0 – They might need a little help drilling some holes, but the rest of this project will be a blast for little hands to create.  What kid doesn’t love building with legos?!

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

Featured Image Via RedTedArt.

Here is more inspiration:

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10 Charming Christmas Tales for Kids

Themed books can help the holidays come alive for kids!  Of course there are the classics – Twas The Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express – but if you’re looking for a few fresh Christmas Stories to update your holiday library, here are 10 ideas you may not know about yet.

Themed books can help the holidays come alive for kids!  Of course there are the classics - Twas The Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express - but if you're looking for a few fresh Christmas Stories to update your holiday library, here are 10 Christmas Stories via @tipsaholic #christmas #kids #story #stories

10 Charming Christmas Tales for kids

 

1. Olive, The Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh – Olive always thought she was a dog, until she realizes the Christmas song is talking about her, “Olive, the other reindeer!”  So she hops on the Polar Express and heads to the North Pole.  Can she offer anything useful to the regular reindeer team?  It’s a hilarious read with fun, graphic illustrations that will make your Christmas merry.

 

2. Christmas Alphabet Deluxe Anniversary Edition by Robert Clarke Sabuda – This beautiful pop-up version of Sabuda’s Christmas book celebrates the sights and symbols of Christmas.  Kids can learn about the alphabet and Christmas, as well as artistic elements of form, color, space and composition with the elegant and imaginative paper pop-ups.

 

3. When Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem by Joseph Brickey – This is a beautiful way to share the story of the first Christmas with your kids.  Gorgeous paintings tell the story of Christ’s birth in a moving way.

 

4. The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman – A beautifully illustrated picture book that will help your child understand the spirit of Christmas.  Sleds, jingle bells, Christmas trees, candy canes and presents are all fun parts of the holiday, but the true magic of the season comes when you spend Christmas with those you love.

 

5. Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner – The snowmen from Buehner’s “Snowmen at Night” are back to share how they celebrate Christmas!  The fun, rhyming text and silly snowmen pictures make this an entertaining read for kids.

 

6. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry – Mr. Willowby excitedly sets up his Christmas tree which was sent by special delivery!  But he didn’t realize it would be much too tall… He trims the top, which ends up as a Christmas tree for his maid, but it’s too tall for her.  When she trims the top, it ends up as a Christmas tree for the gardner.  And on it goes… each person’s trimmings ending up as a tree for someone else.

 

7. Dream Snow by Eric Carle – It’s Christmas Eve and the Farmer settles in for the night wondering how Christmas will come with no snow.  In his dream, he imagines a snowstorm covering him and his animals, but when he wakes up he discovers the dream has come true!  Then he remembers he has a wonderful Christmas surprise in store.  Told in classic Eric Carle style, the lively collage-like illustrations and a simple, endearing story will make this book a favorite.

 

8. A Wish To Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe – A poor, overgrown pine is passed by Christmas after Christmas.  What can his woodland friends do to help?  Follow the enchanting text and delightful illustrations to see if this tree’s wish will come true.

 

9. Follow The Star by Andy Mansfield- This pop-up book features intricate, graphic paper pop-ups and cut-outs.  The beautiful spreads are accompanied by a delightful story about the Christmas star. Follow the Christmas star on magical journey, including its first night in the sky above Bethlehem, lighting up a giant Christmas tree and shining high above Santa’s flying sleigh; this book ties all the magic of the season together.

 

10. Drummer Boy by Loren Long – The classic Christmas song, “The Little Drummer Boy” is brought to life through amazing illustrations and charming text.  Kids will get a taste of true magic as they follow the Drummer Boy in the story on an accidental adventure after he is knocked into the trash.

Featured Image via Amazon.

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

Here is more inspiration:

gift boxes         Elf on the shelf        Christmas Wreath

Adult Gift Ideas                     Elf on the Shelf Ideas           DIY Christmas Wreaths

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Creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas

The Elf on the Shelf can be a fun holiday tradition, But have you run out of ideas for posing the elf every night? Here are some elf on the shelf ideas from tipsaholic.com #elfontheshelf #elf #christmas Elf on the Shelf Ideas

The Elf on the Shelf can be a fun holiday tradition for your child. But have you run out of ideas for posing the elf every single night? Never fear – Santa shared some of his favorite ideas with the Tipsaholic gang and, since we want to be nice and not naughty, we’re passing them along to you.

9 Creative Poses for the Elf on the Shelf

  1. Sitting in front of the laptop watching a holiday video on YouTube
  2. Making a snow angel in the kitchen with baking flour
  3. Stuck inside the cardboard tube of a roll of toilet paper that has been rolled down the stairs
  4. Fishing in the kitchen sink (craft a “rod” of a pretzel stick and some dental floss and float some goldfish crackers in the sink)
  5. Hanging from the string of a helium balloon
  6. Sneaking a drink of something sweet (hang the elf upside down from his knees on a shelf, with his mouth positioned next to a bottle with a straw sticking out)
  7. In the freezer, wearing a scarf (a bit of cloth works well)
  8. Playing a board game with some of your child’s other dolls or action figures
  9. Taking a “bubble bath” (position the elf in the bathroom sink and cover it with mini marshmallows and place a washcloth “towel” on the edge)

What are your favorite ideas for the Elf on the Shelf?

Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.

Featured Image and Title Image via Amazon.

Here are other fun Holiday ideas:

Christmas Wreath         5 Ideas to Decorate with Candy         cranberry-pear-tart-250x250

DIY Christmas Wreaths         Candy Decor                       Cranberry Desserts

Halloween Veggie Pumpkin Heads

Pumpkins are a fun part of Halloween. They can be messy to carve, but don't have to be. Try a different approach this year to create Halloween Veggie Pumpkin Heads via @tipsaholic #pumpkins #pumpkinHalloween Veggie Pumpkin Heads

Not a big pumpkin carver? There are lots of great ways to decorate a pumpkin without carving it. Paint, washi tape, stickers. The list goes on and on. Today Family Fun is sharing with us a tip for an easy non-carved pumpkin.

What you will need to create Halloween Veggie Pumpkin Heads:

  • garden produce (whatever you have, broccoli, peppers, etc.)
  • pumpkins
  • toothpicks
  • metal skewers

Create a colorful pumpkin clan by securing surplus garden produce onto pumpkins with toothpicks. If the pumpkin’s rind is too tough for toothpicks to pierce, drill holes for them with a metal skewer.

Plan out a face before starting on the pumpkin. Then add to it and really make it an individual. Layering the veggies gives the faces a multidimensional look.

These pumpkins are a perfect no-carve and not scary option for little kids. Plus skip all the mess of removing the inside of the pumpkin.

Featured and Title image via Family Fun.

Love this idea? Try one of these:

40 Halloween Costume Ideas for Babies and Toddlers via Tipsaholic          10 spooky kids crafts for Halloween via Tipsaholic.com         5 Quick and Easy Halloween Party Treats via Tipsaholic

Baby Halloween Costumes   Halloween Kids Crafts        Halloween Treats

Spooky Halloween Decor Ideas via Tipsaholic.com        10 No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas via Tipsaholic.com         Tips for Perfect Pumpkin Carving via Tipsaholic.com

Halloween Decor              No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas      Pumpkin Carving Tips

p3fabrickins        StarWars        b

Halloween Sewing Projects      Family Costumes        Disney Boy Costumes

Witch Hat Topper Popper

Packing the punch of piñatas without the mess and tears, these spellbinding little witch hats spill goodies when the tags are pulled. Create these easy Witch Hat Topper Poppers via @tipsaholic #witchhat #poppers #party Witch Topper Popper

Packing the punch of piñatas without the mess and tears, these spellbinding little witch hats spill goodies when the tags are pulled. Display them on hooks or a branch. When it’s time to pop them, take each hat down, then hold the cone in one hand while pulling the string with the other.

Supplies needed:

  • black construction paper
  • white paper
  • cereal box
  •  glue stick
  • pushpin
  • baker’s twine
  • yarn needle
  • tape
  • 9 inch plate for tracing
  • black crepe paper streamers
  • paper cup
  • treats
  • white glue

The Brim

  1. Trace a 3½-inch lid on black construction paper and a 1½-inch lid once on cereal-box cardboard and twice on white paper. Cut out all the circles, then stack the black and cardboard circles as shown, securing them with a glue stick. With a pushpin, pierce a center hole.
  2. For the pull string, knot a 10-inch length of baker’s twine to make a loop with a 1-inch-long tail. Thread the loop through a yarn needle and pull it through the brim’s center hole. Tape the tail ends down as shown.
  3. Write Boo! on the white circles. With the twine between them, adhere them back-to-back with glue.

 

The Cone

  1. Trace a 9-inch plate on the black paper. Cut out the circle, fold it in half, and cut along the fold.
  2. For the hanger, knot a 10-inch length of twine into a loop. Tape it to a halfcircle as shown. Roll the paper into a cone with a 2¼-inch opening and secure it with tape.
  3. Roll a 30-inch length of black crepe paper streamer and cut fringe through all the layers.
  4. Starting at the cone’s bottom edge, use a glue stick to attach the fringed streamer, winding it around and slightly overlapping it as you go. At the tip, trim the excess. Glue the end down.

 

Assembly

Set the cone in a paper cup, pointed side down. Fill it with treats. Add a line of white glue around the cone’s edge and add the brim, with the tag side out. Let the glue dry before hanging.

Find more Halloween inspiration here:

40 Halloween Costume Ideas for Babies and Toddlers via Tipsaholic          10 spooky kids crafts for Halloween via Tipsaholic.com         5 Quick and Easy Halloween Party Treats via Tipsaholic

Baby Halloween Costumes   Halloween Kids Crafts        Halloween Treats

Spooky Halloween Decor Ideas via Tipsaholic.com        10 No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas via Tipsaholic.com         Tips for Perfect Pumpkin Carving via Tipsaholic.com

Halloween Decor              No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas      Pumpkin Carving Tips

p3fabrickins        StarWars        b

Halloween Sewing Projects      Family Costumes        Disney Boy Costumes

10 Art Education Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love

Learning with your child can be fun. Teach them in a variety of ways. Teach about art and reading with these 10 Art Education Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love - Tipsaholic, #art, #education, #kids, #books, #read, #kidsbooks, #artbooks, #preschool

 

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Art is an important and vastly under-appreciated element of education.  Fortunately, there are a myriad of ways you can supplement art education in your home.  Reading books to your child is one valuable tool for learning.  Children will become better readers and writers while having fun with you and learning about art.  There are so many different aspects of art education you could focus on – history, masters, colors, hues, composition, to name just a few – that it’s hard to know what your focus should be.  Here are 10 art education books geared to preschoolers that your 3-6 year olds will love!

Learning with your child can be fun. Teach them in a variety of ways. Teach about art and reading with these 10 Art Education Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love - Tipsaholic, #art, #education, #kids, #books, #read, #kidsbooks, #artbooks, #preschool

1. Art by Patrick McDonnell –

This cute picture book tells the story of Art and his art.  Art is a budding young artist – like so many children.  Follow along and watch as Art creates His fun masterpieces all over the pages of the book.  With rhyming verse and messy, colorful illustrations, this is sure to be a hit with young kids.

 

2. Mini Masters Board Book Series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober –

(Dancing with Degas, A Picnic with Monet, A Magical Day with MatisseIn the Garden with Van Gogh)

These books combine rhyming text, short and simple phrasing and beautiful works from master artists.  Young kids will learn about Degas, Monet, Matisse and Van Gogh in a fun, engaging and positive way.  The artwork is vivid and beautiful and sure to delight even older readers.

 

3. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds –

“Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” The art teacher says, but Vashti is not convinced.  She is not an artist and instead, she jabs angrily at the paper leaving an unremarkable dot.  That dot, however, leads her on a completely unforeseen adventure through self-discovery and creativity.  Children can learn right along with her as they recognize the value of each person’s unique, creative spirit.

 

4. Perfect Square by Michael Hall –

One perfect square.  But oh!  What a square CAN be!  This adventurous story shows kids how a simple square of construction paper can transform into unlimited possibilities.  Kids will be excited not only for the next page and the coming surprised, but will love applying this in their own creative lives.

 

5. Press Here by Herve Tullet –

This is no mere book about dots and colors, oh no!  Press the dot and the book comes to life, bringing with it a magical, tactile adventure!  Young kids will love following the instructions in this interactive book.  They’ll press, shake, blow, tilt and jab their way through the pages and find delight in the shapes and vibrant colors.

 

6. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg –

With endearing drawings, vibrant colors and beautiful text, this book gives kids a lovely life lesson.  Mistakes are ok.  In fact, mistakes are great!  They can help you learn and grow, lead to discoveries, and cultivate creativity.  A spill on your masterpiece doesn’t have to ruin it.  Look for a way to turn mistakes into art – when you’re drawing or in life.

 

7. Seen Art? by Jon Scieszka –

This hilarious romp through New York City’s Museum of Modern Art will have your kids begging for more!  When the main character loses track of his friend, Art, he is directed to MoMA instead.  He continues through the museum, looking for his friend, and in the process learns much about famous artists – Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso and others.  Your kids can learn right alongside him with these playful illustrations and clever, comical text.

 

8. Touch the Art: Count Monet’s Lilies by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo –

This is a wonderful introduction to impressionism for very young budding artists with paintings by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, and Degas to name a few.  This book is a wonderful take on the average “touch and feel” genre and is a tactile experience for young kids who will love feeling bumpy bark on trees, patting fancy hats and counting fruit.  They’ll increase fine motor skills and learn about famous artists at the same time!  (See the other “Touch the Art” books in the series as well)

 

9. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires –

In this creative tale with vibrant, quirky pictures, the unnamed heroine sets out to create the most magnificent thing.  She has a plan and knows just what she needs to do.  After trying and failing time after time, she decides to give up.  What will happen to her creative vision?  Is it lost for good?  Kids will learn just as much vocabulary from the witty text with fun and functional action words and trilogies of verbs as they will about perseverance, negative emotions and creation.

 

10. The Museum by Susan Verde –

This whimsical look at art is told through charming illustrations and simple, lighthearted text.  Follow the main character on an adventure through an art museum, where each piece speaks to her in a different way.  This playful tale captures the emotion and experience of art, and children will better understand how artwork communicates to others and how they can feel energized to create and express themselves.

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

For more educational ideas try these:

10 Hands-On Math Activities - Tipsaholic.com               tipsaholic-10-math-books-3-6-year-olds-will-love-pinterest-pic              hands on science

Math for 3-6 Year Olds              Math Books 3-6 Year Olds        Science for 3-6 Year Olds

10 Fun Family Activities for Fall

Fall is a great time to enjoy your family. For lots of ideas check out these 10 Fun Family Activities for Fall - tipsaholic, #fall, #familyfun, #autumn, #family

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As the air gets crisp and you don sweaters and boots, you may be lamenting all the fun your family had last summer!  Trips to the pool, beach days, afternoons at the park, running through sprinklers and fun in the sun dominated your summer days; it may be that family fun seems a thing of the past.  Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to enjoy fall as a family!  You may not be jumping into the lake, but don’t let the chilly weather bring you down.  Here are 10 fun family activities for fall.

 

1. Pumpkin picking.  It may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s something satisfying about finding that perfectly shaped, perfectly colored pumpkin.  Running through the patch with your kids and helping them haul their treasures back to the car can create lasting memories.

 

2. Apple picking.  Much like pumpkins, picking your own apples is a fun and satisfying treat.  Find an orchard that will allow you to pick your own from the tree, rather than simply buy them by the bushel.  Show kids how to find the best apples, decide which varieties you all enjoy, climb and hunt for the perfect specimens, and most importantly make apple pie when you get home!

 

3. Bike ride of colors.  Look on the internet or on local maps to find the best public forests – try state and national parks.  Look for areas with many different trees so you can enjoy the various turning colors.  Pack your bikes and helmets and take a bike trail through the falling leaves.

 

4. Fall picnic.  Picnics can be just as fun in the fall as they are in summer!  Pick a spot that gets a lot of sun so you won’t be too cold.  Dress everyone in layers for warmth, so they can remove clothing if they get too hot.  Be sure to pack all your favorite fall treats – you can use a thermos for hot chocolate or soup, take along pumpkin or apple pocket pies, and find fresh produce like pears, apples, squash and sweet potatoes prepared in a variety of ways.  Don’t forget to pack the flannel blankets!

 

5. Make your own cider or apple sauce.  It may take a bit of prep, but you can buy a cider press or check your local listings for options to rent one.  You could also call around to local orchards as some offer cider-making as an activity.  Making apple sauce is quite a bit easier, as you only need a stove and blender or food processor (try this recipe from The Pioneer Woman).  Cooking together can bring everyone closer and kids love to help creating in the kitchen.

 

6. Corn mazes.  This is likely only available in certain areas, but if you live within driving distance a good corn maze can’t be beat!  It’s a fun, lively activity they’ll love running through, and young ones will be amazed at the height of the corn!  It’s also a great way to get their brains moving as they try to solve the life-sized puzzle.  Plus, they’ll work on interpersonal skills like team work and cooperation.  Check out these famous corn mazes.  Or check online for corn mazes in your own state.

 

7. Leaf pressing.  Go on a leaf hunt with your kids.  Take them to a particularly treed park, or a state forest.  Find leaves of different colors and shapes and collect them gently in a box.  Be sure to collect leaves that are still pliable, not dried and crunchy.  Don’t crumple them in a bag or pocket.  When you get home, place the leaves individually between the pages of a large, heavy book (like a dictionary).  Keep them this way for for a few weeks, then take them out and use them for a mobile or other fun craft.

 

8. Leaf jumping.  Turn a boring chore into piles of fun!  Give everyone a rake and make a giant pile of leaves.  Take turns jumping and throwing.  Have a contest to see who can jump the farthest or fanciest!

 

9. Have a campfire.  If you’ve got a fire pit in your yard, now’s the perfect time to roast marshmallows or sing some camp songs!  A campfire is a great way to get cozy and warm on a chilly night.  Don’t have a fire pit of your own?  Visit a friend or family member with one – or spend the evening or weekend at a nearby campsite!

 

10. Make garlands of dried fruit like apples and oranges to string along the mantel, windows or doorway.  You can find directions here.  Or make pomanders with citrus fruits and cloves, as shown here.  It’s fun to create together, and it will make your house smell delicious!

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 FacebookPinterestBloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Photos        cricut-craft-chore-chart         kidskitchen2

Family Photo Tips                30 Chore Charts                    Teaching Kids in the Kitchen

6 ways to build a bedtime routine ~ Tipsaholic.com #bedtime #kidroutines        tipsaholic-5-tips-to-start-dinnertime-conversation-with-kids-pinterest-pic        10 Fun Chores for Toddlers via Tipsaholic

Bedtime Routine                 Dinner Conversations         Toddler Chores

10 Hands-On Math Activities for 9-11 year olds

10 Hands On Math Activities for 9-11 Year Olds - Tipsaholic

If you want to start supplementing your child’s math education, but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place!  Hands-on math activities should engage your child in a multitude of ways — physically, verbally, aurally and visually, just to name a few.  By playing and sharing together, you solidify and reinforce difficult math concepts in a fun way that will help kids love math, not just tolerate it.  Here is a list of 10 great options for your 9-11 year old!

10 math activities for 9-11 year olds

Computer Games:

1. Fractions and Decimals – Topmarks

Here you’ll find great games to help your child learn fractions and decimals, including: Magic Math Market, Fraction Beach, Fraction Flags.

2. Shapes, Position and Movement – Topmarks

Activities like Shapes in Space, 3D Exploration, and Sorting on Venn Diagram will capture your child’s attention and imagination.

3. Interactive Tangrams – Interactive Tangrams

A tangram is a puzzle square cut into seven pieces that can be combined to create different figures or shapes.  On this site, you can solve different puzzles by turning the shapes, dragging and dropping them into place.

4. Online practice problems – Adapted Mine

Adapted Mine has a ton of practice problems broken down by category and grade. You’ll definitely want to bookmark this site for future use!

Printables, etc.

5. Tangram Zoo – Annenberg Learner

This link is for a group of printable animal figures to create different figures and shapes.

6. Oxford Owls Activity Sheets – Oxford Owl

Here you’ll find activity sheets on decimals, fractions, and place value. There are also several links to literacy eBooks for 9-11 year olds.

Game and Activities

7. Fraction Cubes, Math Fact Bingo and Dominoes – eHow contributor, Shannon Hill

Playing games like math bingo and dominoes will give your child a chance to have fun while staying challenged.

8. Dry Erase Decimal Activity – Snaps for Fourth Grade

This first-time teacher has some great tips and math activities for you to try with your child.

9. Temperature Card Game – Education.com

Your child will learn about negative and positive integers while determining the direction of temperature on a thermometer with this fun card game

10. M&M Math – Our Journey Westward

Who knew that candy could be such a good teaching tool? You’ll find a multitude of math activities your child can do with M&Ms.

Education.com has a ton of game ideas for this age range.  Check them out here.

 

Feature image via Tutor Nerds

 

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

10 Math Books 9-11 Year Olds Will Love

math books your 9-11 year old will love

Math isn’t all worksheets and flashcards.  It can be a lot of fun, too!  Reading is a great way to learn together and reinforce concepts.  The following 10 books are a perfect place to start when you’re looking for math books for your 9-11 year old.

10 math books 9-11 years old will love

1. The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang

A book of riddles with tried and true, creative methods for solving math problems by the author.  The vibrant illustrations and fun games will be a hit with kids.  Using effective and simple methods to solve the riddles will give your child confidence.

2. A Very Improbable Story by Edward Einhorn

One morning, Ethan awakes to find an unusual cat – Odds, stuck on his head.  To get rid of the cat, Ethan must win a game of probability, such as pick out two matching socks from his drawer or pull a dime from his coin collection, or some other equally improbable feat.  If he can’t beat the odds, Odds won’t budge, and there’s a 100% chance that Ethan will miss his soccer game!  With this fun plot, entertaining characters and engaging illustrations, this is book is a surefire hit with kids.  It teaches a difficult to grasp concept in a fun way.

3. Math for all Seasons by Greg Tang

More fun riddles and problems to solve in mind-stretching ways.  Great for building Math vocabulary, creativity, and confidence.

4. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka

Do you ever have one of those days where everything is a problem??  This book follows a girl throughout a day filled with “problems” – MATH problems!  A fun look at everyday math.  Charming illustrations with a fun and engaging plot line will have kids begging you to read it.

5. Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dods

Whimsical illustrations and a cast of hilarious characters flow through this book of rhyming text.  Miss Bloom runs the Strawberry Inn and loves to have visitors.  One night, she finds herself with a full house.  Sensing something is amiss, she discovers her guests hungry for a midnight snack.  Will there be enough cake for everyone?  A very inviting read for kids.

6. Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry by Cindy Neuschwander

The Zills family is summoned to Egypt to aid in finding the burial chamber of an ancient pharaoh.  When the kids get trapped in a hidden tomb, they must use the geometric hieroglyphics and their knowledge of math to find the burial chamber and escape the tomb.  Will they make it out?  Do they know their stuff?  With a riddle, a mystery and plenty of opportunity for flexing math muscles, kids are sure to find this adventure fun, time and time again.

7. A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes

When a queen demands that her bugs march in even lines, it’s up to Private Joe to divide and conquer.  Can he split the ants into lines evenly, so he will not be left out?  How many lines will it take?  Fun little drawings will invite young readers in, while the story line engages and teaches a valuable lesson in division.

8. How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller

The king wants to give the queen something special for her birthday — not easy when the queen has EVERYTHING.  Except…a bed.  You see, beds hadn’t yet been invented.  The king must figure out “how big is a bed?” – but no one knows!  A cute, fun story with quirky illustrations that will have kids guessing and estimating in measurements.

9. Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin by Pam Calvert

Follow Peter as he tries to stop Rumpelstiltskin and his multiplying stick.  Can he unlock the secret and rescue the kingdom from Rumpelstiltskin and his mischief?  A fun look at multiplication using familiar characters that kids are sure to love.

10. The Best of Times by Greg Tang

A fun take on the times table.  The author teaches innovative ways to derive solutions to multiplication problems without rote memorization.  The rhyming patterns are easy to remember and the cute illustrations are delightful.

(all photos and links via Amazon)

 

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

Homework Station Inspiration: 32 Ideas for Organization and Order

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As the school year kicks into high gear, you’re bound to be inundated with homework, calendars, newsletters, flyers and all manner of miscellaneous supplies.  It can be hard to keep track of it all, especially while keeping schedules, activities, due dates and big days straight!  Keeping yourself and your kids on track all year long can see a monumental task: what you need is a homework station!  A homework station can be as simple or elaborate as you wish and should include all the items you and your kids need to stay focused on school.  If you’ve got the space, you can add hooks for backpacks, a calendar or a cork board so you never have to miss another important date!  Whatever your specific needs, there’s a station on this awesome list for you!  So take a look at our homework station inspiration and create a space that suits your family.

 

1. Desk Built-in with Hanging Storage from Better Homes and Gardens

This space is everything you could want in your home: clean lines, lots of storage, tucked into a little built-in.  If you’ve got the space for a built-in desk, you can’t beat it for homework management!

tipsaholic-desk-built-in-with-hanging-storage-bhg

2. Mini Homework Station in a Tray from House of Smiths

You can pick this tray up and take it with you!  Tucked inside the drawers and boxes are all the supplies your children could possibly need. This is perfect if you haven’t got a designated homework desk, or if your space is limited.  Plus, it’s motivational!

tipsaholic-mini-homework-station-in-tray-the-house-of-smiths

3. Rolling Cart Station from Smashed Peas and Carrots

The small kitchen cart from Ikea is cute, compact, and totally functional!  Cram it full of supplies for school and still have space left on the bottom to stack homework, worksheets, and books.  Then you can tuck it away and roll it out when you need it.

tipsaholic-rolling-cart-station-smashed-peas-and-carrots

4. Magnetic Back to School Station from The 36th Avenue

This magnetic back to school area can hang right on the side of your fridge!  You’ve got everything you need to stay organized right at arms length – including a handy dry erase/magnetic calendar, supplies, and “accountability clipboards.”

tipsaholic-magnetic-back-to-school-station-the-36th-avenue

5. Seat Sacks and Curtain Rod Storage from Scissors and Spatulas

If you’ve got a table or desk area, sew up some seat sacks to hang on the back of your chairs!  Kids can slip in all of their homework, books, and papers.  Add a curtain rod with hooks to store supplies they’ll need.

tipsaholic-seat-sacks-and-curtain-rod-storage-scissors-and-spatulas

6. Chalkboard Organization Station from Design Dining Diapers

This little chalkboard is a cute addition to a homework organization center!  The trendy baskets keep supplies within reach and you can write notes, reminders, and to-do’s on the chalkboard.  Get supplies and note clutter off the tables and counters and up on the wall.

tipsaholic-chalkboard-organization-station-design-dining-and-diapers

7. Tabletop Homework Station from Polka Dot Chair

This tabletop homework station can sit front and center on a desk or table and be removed during mealtimes since it’s so portable.  No need for a ton of space in order to keep everything looking crisp and neat – and readily available.

tipsaholic-tabletop-homework-station-polka-dot-chair

8. Repurposed Crib from A Little Learning for Two

If you’ve got an old crib from your kid’s babyhood, repurpose it into a chalkboard desk!  The great part about it is that there’s a ton of built in space to hang supplies and needed items.  There’s room to spare on all the old crib slats and the desktop provides ample room to work.

tipsaholic-repurposed-crib-desk-a-little-learning-for-two

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De-Mystifying Math: 8 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Math Education (Ages 9-11)

8 Tips for Supplementing Your Child's Math Education - Tipsaholic

 

Math.  It’s necessary, requires higher thought processes, and can be completely intimidating for elementary school-aged kids.  If you have the right approach, attitude and mindset as a parent, you can help your child gain not only an understanding and appreciation for math, but perhaps even a fondness.  In any case, supplementing your child’s education is crucial to help them feel at ease with abstract math concepts.  Here are 8 super helpful tips to help your 9-11 year old with math concepts and learning.

8 tips for de-mystifying math

1. Always consider the individual. 

All kids learn best in different ways — be it visually, orally, verbally, physically, etc.  You can find out more information about each different category at Learning Styles Online.  Keep your specific child in mind when considering your approach and remember to tailor their supplemental learning.  By this age, a “one size fits all” mentality towards education could hinder your child rather than help them.

Kids have started approaching schoolwork in a more individual way at this point in their development.  Worksheets (many which can be found online) might work best for a logical or solitary learner, while active games involving kinesthetics and math concepts would work better for a physical learner.

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 for each style: Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles Quiz.

Also keep in mind your child’s interests and try to fit their math education accordingly.  If they love cars, for instance, use games, activities and story problems involving cars.  If they love animals, use this as a theme for supplemental materials.

2. Do it together.

Chances are your child will be more appreciative of a unified learning approach, so do math together!  Sitting your child down at the computer to play games all by himself won’t have the same impact as learning together and discussing the concepts as you go.  So whatever the learning style, whatever the activity, be present.  If you find that you yourself are unfamiliar with a concept, look it up together and figure it out.  Oxford Owls Jargon Buster is a good place to start if you need help refreshing your memory about math terms.

3. Use a variety of tools, resources and methods.

Even if you’ve recognized your child’s preferred learning style, using the same method or activity repeatedly can cause boredom and disinterest — the exact opposite of our supplemental learning goals.  No matter how much your child loves timed tests or flashcards or dominoes, they’ll still appreciate a little variety.  Some ideas you can do with the whole family (even older or younger siblings), include: planning and budgeting for family outings, baking, planning a schedule, gardening, crafts that involve measuring and cutting shapes, weighing items, grocery shopping, charting growth with tables and graphs, online math games, video games, iPhone or iPad apps and board games.

4. Focus on key concepts appropriate for age and grade.   

Not sure what they are?  Email your child’s teacher and ask!  Talk with other teachers and parents you know.  Here’s a short list for kids ages 9-11 year-olds:  telling time (including adding and subtracting times), measurements (inches, yards, feet, miles, grams, pounds, etc. and converting between metric and imperial measurements), calculating with larger or more complex numbers (including up to three digits, decimals, percentages and fractions), understanding shapes (including 3-dimensional shapes and angles), and using different types of charts, tables and graphs.

5. Watch your own attitude. 

If you don’t approach supplemental education as a chore to be completed, neither will your kids!  Your attitude, more than anything else, shows them what their attitude should be.  Keep your comments, actions and reactions to math homework and any math activities you plan positive.  If your child doesn’t respond positively to a certain planned activity, take it in stride.  Don’t force it, but do come back to it later.  Say something like: “It’s ok.  We don’t have to do this now.  Would you rather help me cut out some shapes for a project I’m working on?” or something similar.  Wait a few days before trying again.  Whatever you do, don’t give up!  And don’t make it “work” but rather “math fun time” or “project time” — something your child can relate to and have desire to do.

6. Make it fun!  

It’ll be easier to accomplish tip number five if you’re focusing on making your supplemental activities fun for your child.  Play games.  Read fun math books.  Laugh while you learn.

7. Establish math as regular and routine.

How many times did you ask “When am I ever  going to use this in my life?” when you were in a math class?  Show your kids that math is a regular, everyday occurrence.  You can do this by not only having some type of supplemental activity every day (and it doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out activity – simple is better!), but also by pointing out instances when your child is using math skills when they may not even notice, such as when they are paying someone at the store and counting out money or when they are figuring out how many hours until bedtime.

8. Include the teacher.  

Whoever that might be — if they’re home-schooled, this is an easy one, just be sure to include your spouse!  Email the teacher for more information about what your child is learning.  Ask the teacher for extra worksheets or ideas for activities.  Use the teacher as a sounding board if you’re having issues approaching math with your child. He or she might have lots of ideas for engaging students that you haven’t thought of.  Your child’s teacher could also have access to or ideas about resources, books, websites, math nights, etc. that they can share with you.  If you’re a homeschooling parent, connect with other homeschooling parents for ideas.

 

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

10 Hands-On Literacy Activities (ages 3-6)

 

literacy activities 3-6

 

10litactivities3-6

Most preschool and kindergarten aged children are tactile, kinesthetic and visual learners.  Activities that engage these learning styles are the most effective way to supplement your child’s education at home.  Whether playing games, using flashcards, singing rhymes and songs or drawing pictures, using a variety of activities will engage your child so you keep their interest and have fun while learning.  Need some ideas for age and developmentally appropriate activities for your preschooler?  Here are  10 hands-on literacy activities for ages 3-6.

 

1. Online Games – Playing games on the computer has a general appeal for kids.  Using these resources teaches them technology skills, hand-eye coordination, gets their brain moving.  Check out these cool literacy building online games: Funbrain Reading and VocabThe Magic School Bus Gets An Earful Sound GameScholastic Building Language Game (Naming, Letters and Rhyming), pbs kids: Super Why Rhyme ‘n Roll Game

2. Board Games –  Board games can get the whole family involved!  Teach your kids valuable life lessons while learning about literacy – like taking turns, cooperation, being a good sport, supporting others, and social interactions/communication.  Try these board games: Alphabet Squiggle Game, Grandma’S Trunk Alphabet Game, ABC Cookies, Alphabet Memory, Spot It! AlphabetAlphabet Go Fish

3. Puzzles – Puzzles come in tons of variations, and get small motor skills going as well as improving cognitive skills.  Here are a few ideas:  Melissa & Doug Alphabet Letter Puzzles, Giant ABC & 123 Train Floor Puzzle, Spelling Puzzle Game, See & Spell

4. Flashcards - You can buy alphabet and phonics flashcards at many stores, even the dollar store.  Try Speakaboos online interactive alphabet flashcards.  OR, Course Hero is an awesome online source for creating your very own personalized flashcards!  It’s mainly used by older students as a study tool, but you can make them for your child and print them out or use them in conjunction with the free app.

5. Manipulatives – Manipulative are small items your kids can use in a ton of different ways to learn things from counting to upper and lowercase letters while developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.  They usually come in fun, bright colors which are appealing to kids and teach preschoolers colors as well!  You can find manipulatives in lots of stores, and here are a few kits to try out: Alphabet Soup SortersAlpha Pops, Letter Construction SetABC Lacing Sweets

6. Colorful Catapult – Alter this catapult game from Spoonful by writing letters on plates instead of numbers.

7. Fly Swatter LettersDelia Creates shares really fun ideas for learning while playing outside.  In addition to the fly swatter game, she also shows how to play the letter game with squirt guns, how to write letters with a spray bottle, and how to play Number and Letter Twister!

8.  DIY Salt Tray – Check out This Mummas Life for directions on making this salt tray, a fun way for kids to trace letters and practice writing.

9. Letter Walk – This fun take on a scavenger hunt uses super simple, everyday items to teach kids letters and starting sounds, while getting them up and moving around!  Check it out on Learning and Playing in 2 Bedrooms or Less.

10. Flashlight Alphabet Game – If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll go nuts over this fun hide and seek game – played in the dark with the aid of an alphabet puzzle and a flashlight.  It’s super easy to set up – go get the details on Happily Ever After Mom.

 

Playing with kids is a great way for them to learn without even realizing it!  Are you looking for more fun learning activities for 3-6 year old kids? Try these 8 Hands-On Science Activities!

 

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 FacebookPinterestBloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com