10 Math Books 6-9 Year Olds Will Love!

10 Math Books 6-9 Year Olds Will Love |Tipsaholic.com #education #math #books #reading #kids

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Math can seem a very daunting endeavor when you’re beginning to learn complex concepts.  Reading picture books is a great way to make math more accessible to our children.  If you want to show your 6-9 year old just how fun math can be, take a look at these great math books!

1. The Penny Pot by Stuart J Murphy

This book was written by a mathematician who travels the US talking to kids about everyday math.  He shows kids how they use math all the time, whether sorting socks or spending their allowance.  The Penny Box is a humorous story that illustrates the fun in math – and hopefully helps kids recognize math as accessible and fun.

2. How Many Jelly Beans? by Andrea Menotti

How many jelly beans are enough? Aiden and Emma can’t decide. Is 10 enough? Or 1,000? That’s a lot of jelly beans. But eaten over a whole year, it’s only two or three a day. This giant picture book offers kids a fun and easy way to understand large numbers. Starting with 10, each page shows more and more colorful candies, leading up to a giant fold-out surprise—ONE MILLION JELLY BEANS!  Kids will love the fun, bright pictures, and learn that big scary numbers can be easily accessible.

3. Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni

In this charming book kids will meet a lovable inchworm who is very proud of his ability to measure absolutely anything.  A great introduction to measurements and mathematical terms, kids will love the characters and the winsome, watercolor-esque illustrations.

4. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean and Eric Litwin

Pete loves his groovy buttons!  But when one falls off, does he cry?  No!  He just keeps singing his song.  When you count down with Pete the Cat in this fun book that teaches math concepts and subtraction, you’ll feel pretty groovy too!

5. 123 Versus ABC by Mike Boldt

This book explores the age old question, which is more important?  Letters or numbers?  While numbers and letters compete to be the stars of the book, funny props and animals pop in for cameos.  The whimsical illustrations and fresh and funny text introduce readers to letters and numbers in a refreshing way and by the end of the book, the answer to the BIG question is perfectly clear.

6. The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins

When Ma makes a dozen delicious cookies, she knows it will be plenty for her two children.  But then, the doorbell rang!  And it keeps on ringing!  In this cute and unpredictable tale, kids will love to count along.

7. How Much Is A Million? by David M. Schwartz

What an abstract concept a million is!  This book takes a look at the concept that has kids wondering and guessing.  Just how much IS a million?  Or a billion?  Or a trillion??  With fantastical images in classic style, this book is sure to engage young readers.

8. Bedtime Math by Laura Overdeck

Bedtime Math has a mission: to make math a fun part of kids’ everyday lives!  Math in this book looks nothing like school, with a kid-friendly and kid-APPEALING take on math problems.  Families are sure to love the riddles, with whimsical illustrations and mischief-making math problems.  There are three different levels in one book, so it’s sure to have something for everyone in the family!

9. The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman

This book of reader-friendly, lyrical text and rich illustrations explores the life of Paul Erdos, a mathematician who was also a great man.  While introducing readers to math concepts the book also follows Paul from his early start at age-related calculations as a young boy, through the many adventures he has while traveling the world to meet mathematicians and collaborate on publications.  Kids will see what made math for one little boy who loved math!

10. Tally O’Malley by Stuart J. Murphy

The O’Malley’s are off to the beach – a long, hot, LOOOOONG drive!  How will the kids pass the time?  By counting up everything they see by categories – be it green shirts or gray cars.  Whoever has the most marks at the end of the round wins the game.  Eric wins first.  Then Bridget.  It seems like Nell will never win… but she has a surprise in store for her brother and sister!  This book not only introduces math concepts, but shows that math can be a fun game!

 

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 courtesy of Mike Boldt.

9 Tips for Getting a Toddler to Sleep in a Tent

9 tips for getting your toddler to sleep in a tent - @tipsaholic. #tent #camping #kids #summer

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Going camping as a family is a great way to create memories together and to spend a lot of time outside. It might feel scary to bring along a baby or a toddler (or both!), but you’ll have so much fun!  When nightfall comes, many parents are unsure of how to put their kids to sleep in a dark and unfamiliar tent. Here are 9 tips to getting a toddler to sleep in a tent when on a camping trip. (These tips also apply to getting a baby to sleep in a tent, too!)

 

1. Bring a nightlight.

A campground can be pitch dark during nighttime… how scary that must be to a little human! Try this tent ceiling fan and light; it’s great for getting a toddler to sleep in a tent because it has two light settings: nightlight and regular light. The nightlight is perfectly dim – dark enough to sleep, but not so dark you can’t see. The fan is just a bonus, though it only circulates the air, it doesn’t cool the tent.  It’s worth the price for the nightlight feature!  Another idea is to get a night light that doesn’t need to be plugged in, especially if your campsite doesn’t have electricity and you have no generator. Bonus points if it’s soft and something you can put in the crib with your kid. This SPOKA night light from IKEA is a good option.  Or consider a stuffed animal with a night light.   If you need ideas, check out the Twilight Buddies or Dream Light Pillow Pets.

 

2. Stay in the tent until your toddler sleeps.

Just as it does when you are trying to acclimate your child to a new crib or bed, it can take a while for him or her to feel comfortable enough to sleep on their own.  Once you leave the tent, it’s quite possible they’ll think it’s play time again!  In an unfamiliar area, it’s even more important for you to help your child feel relaxed enough to drift off, so that means you may have to stay with them until they do.  Just put your child to sleep in their sleeping bag or portable crib and lay down in your own spot.  Hopefully this will give them enough reassurance for them to nod off in no time.

 

3. Bring a play yard (or two).

If your baby or toddler still sleeps in a crib, a play yard (or pack ‘n play or play pen) is your best bet. It’s similar to a crib and will keep them in one spot until they zonk out. It will work even better if they are used to sleeping in one occasionally.  You may have to upgrade to a large tent in order to accommodate a pack ‘n play, but it’s worth it!  If your toddler isn’t sleeping in a crib anymore, you might still want to enclose them to help them feel safe and sleep. This enclosed bed, the PeaPod is a great option if this is the case! It’s probably not a good idea to introduce a new sleeping routine, like co-sleeping when camping if you don’t do that at home.

 

3. Put your tent in a shaded area.

For naps, you want the tent to be cool and not too hot or humid. If you pitch your tent in the morning, check where the sun is and it’s path.  This will ensure you find the best spot for your tent, which will aid in afternoon nap times.  Keeping your child as comfy as possible is key!

 

4. Recreate their beds/cribs at home.

It’s important to make sure your child has their security objects – whether that’s a stuffed animal or a blanket.  If they’re used to sleeping with certain items, don’t expect them to do will without.  BUT, on the other hand, don’t overpack either — only bring the things that you KNOW your kids will want when they go to sleep.

 

5. A new toy or bag with things in it.

This may sound unusual, but there’s a purpose!   If your kid does well with toys in the crib and goes to sleep with them, then try this trick. Get a small bag and put in a few things in there, maybe new toys that don’t do much or random things like a brush, a baby mirror, a DVD cover, and a card, for example, that are safe for a toddler to handle. Your toddler will dig through the bag and relax as she explores these things. Before she knows it, it’s dreamland time.

 

6. Get your kids excited about sleeping in a tent.

Around two weeks before you go on your camping trip, pitch your tent in your backyard - this is standard when checking your equipment for holes and leaks.  Since the tent is already set up, it’s a great idea to set up beds inside and treat it like a mini camping trip!  At first, you may want to start slow with simply nap time.  Leave the tent up for a day or two longer and work up to spending the whole night inside with your child.  That way, the tent and their bed inside the tent will already be familiar when you get to your campsite.

 

7. Try to stick with naps.

Follow your usual schedule and try to help your kids to nap at their usual times.  Most kids do much better when they have a set routine and will become out of sorts if too many things are changed at once.  They are already getting used to a new environment with all sorts of unusual distractions, so sticking with a familiar schedule will help.  However, don’t stress if they simply refuse naps. They’ll be ok.

 

8. Keep them warm.

Nights can be cold. Keep your little ones warm with several layers of fleece or wool, but don’t put them all on at once. Here’s a good explanation of how to do it!

 

Tenting can seem intimidating when you have toddlers or babies, but with these tips you’ll be prepared and ready to go!  What other tips do you have when getting a toddler to sleep in a tent?

 

For more camping tips, check out 25 Camping Ideas for Families or the Camping Kitchen Box Checklist.  Don’t miss our Packing Tips for Camping Trips.  And plan your menu with 8 Ideas for No-Cook Camping Breakfasts and 25 Delicious Camping Desserts.  Finally, have some fun with your kids and these 10 No Fuss Camping Crafts!

 

Featured image via 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!

6 Ways to Build a Bedtime Routine

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Crying, begging to stay up late, asking for food, drinks, or one more story – bedtime can be a struggle for parents and children at any age! Family routines can help, but it is often difficult to know where to start. Start working with your child tonight and use these 6 great tips to really design a bedtime routine that works for the whole family!

 

1. Prepare for the routine during the day

Make sure kids are not napping too late. A toddler typically needs 6 hours of afternoon wake time before being able to settle down again for bedtime, and a nap at 4:30 in the afternoon would set that time at 10:30pm! Try to plan ahead and set nap or quiet times at the appropriate hours. Also be sure to feed children a meal or snack earlier in the evening that will carry them through the night. Your best bet – a combination of protein and carbohydrates, such as string cheese and a piece of whole wheat toast.

 

2. Establish the right environment

Bright screens, loud noises, video games, movies, and other distractions all spell trouble when it comes to falling asleep. Variations in light can also interrupt sleep patterns once a child does get to sleep. If a night light is needed for nighttime trips to the restroom or keeping “monsters” at bay, select one that is dimmer and less likely to keep a child up if he or she wakes in the night.

 

3. Offer simple choices

Children, particularly toddlers, have a tendency to do the opposite of what adults ask of them. They have so little control over things that they constantly seek things they can choose – so why not bring that into your routine and thereby remove some of the “battle?” You might try choices like:

One book or two?

Green pajamas or yellow?

Bubble gum toothpaste, or mint?

Lullaby music, or no music?

Come up with some ideas for your child that fall within your own limits for bedtime.

 

4. Resist the “stay with me” pout

No matter how puppy-eyed your child gets, don’t make a habit of lying down with or rocking he or she if you want them to be able to put themselves back to sleep in the night. Learning to fall asleep on their own will help them soothe themselves if they wake and keep them from crawling into bed with mom and dad!

 

5. Consistency is the real key

No matter how you look at it, consistency is the only real way to make bedtime work. You’ve got to commit to your routine and do it every night. If a child gets out of bed, you’ve got to put them back – over and over again! Giving in when things get hard will land you right back where you began.

 

6. Other useful ideas for “cracking a tough egg”

  • Provide a transitional object like a pacifier, stuffed animal, blankie, etc. can continue to comfort a child after mom and dad have left the room.
  • Practice and role play your routine – help your child understand their new routine by doing some role playing during the day, long before bedtime. Take turns “putting each other to bed” or show them how to go through the routine by practicing on a doll.
  • Include some time for a “wind-down chat” with your child. Kids need time to release their thoughts and emotions at some point during the day, and a quiet few minutes with mom or dad in the evening can be just the thing to get them to sleep without all the “what if’s” running through their minds.
  • Older children may benefit from a “you decide” type of bedtime. If the bedtime routine is not getting them to the point where they can fall asleep quickly, there is another method you can try. Go through your routine, take them to the bedroom, and let them know that they can play or read quietly until they feel tired. Let them know that they must stay in their room, however, and if the play becomes noisy or they leave the bedroom, it’s “lights out” immediately.
  • Say goodnight to people and objects around your home. As in the book Goodnight Moon, sometimes it is helpful to tell everything else it’s time for bed before actually going to bed yourself!

 

Looking for more great parenting ideas? Try these tips for How to Help Your Toddler Listen!

 

Featured image via Better Homes 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 Utterly Inexperienced, 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.

6 Tips for Moving with Kids

Moving with Kids - Tipsaholic


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No matter how experienced or savvy  you are with relocation, every move causes challenges. Moving can be especially hard for kids with changes in neighborhoods and schools, along with saying good bye to friends. But with a little advanced preparation, the move can go more smoothly for the whole family. Check out these six tips to help you plan your move with kids.

 

1. Kids might be anxious about moving to a new place, so address any concerns they might have ahead of time. Communicate with kids as much as possible, so they know what is happening at every step. You can even make a calendar with them that shows the day of the big move plus other events such as a last get-together with friends or the date of a visit to the new neighborhood. If the children need to, let them talk about how they are going to miss the old place, but also let them know about possible adventures the new home might bring.

 

2. Let the children say goodbye to the old home, and hello to the new one. Have your kids make cards for both your old and new neighbors and let them pass the cards out themselves.  Let them take a moment during the move to walk through each room in the home and talk about all the fun things that happened there.  Encourage them to tell the old house what they will miss, but also what they are looking forward to.  Let them wave to the old house as you drive away.

 

3. Help your kids learn about their new place. Show them pictures of the new house. If it’s a new city, get books at the library about the town’s history or local sports teams. Use Google maps, with ariel views, so you can easily show the children the new neighborhood and any fun nearby places.  Point out (either in person or on a map) where they will go to school, where you will most likely go grocery shopping, the closest park they will play at, etc.

 

4. On the day of the move, it will be much easier on everyone if the kids are kept busy. Not only will that help the parents move faster during the packing and loading; it will keep the children from seeing their house slowly emptied. Ask friends to plan play dates to keep the kids out of the house, or have family or a trusted babysitter take the children to do an activity they enjoy.

 

5. Let the kids pack a special box with their most important things.  This way they won’t worry that their favorite books or toys will somehow get lost. They can even decorate the outside of the box, so it can be easily visible among the many boxes. Plus, this will get them involved in the moving process, so they feel more control over this event.

 

6. If possible, move the kids’ room last and set their rooms up first in the new space. This will help the kids quickly get settled, and make the new house feel more like home.

 

Moving with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare!  For more moving tips check these out here.

 

Photo Source: Better Homes Gardens.

 

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.

 

8 Awesome (And Educational) Pool Activities To Play With Your Kids

8 awesome pool activities for kids - tipsaholic.  #poolactivities, #pool, #summer,

 

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Whether you blow up an inflatable pool in your backyard, go to a community pool, or have your own swimming pool at home, you’ll find at least one pool activity from this list that you can play with your kids! These 8 pool activities range from easy and toddler-friendly to challenging and perfect for teens.

1. Colored Water Balloons

This colorful pool activity is perfect for an inflatable pool and younger kids. Fill up your pool with a little water and a bunch of balloons with water and food coloring. Then have your kids smash the water balloons to let out the colored water! They’ll have loads of fun mixing the colors in the water and learn a little bit about color theory in the process.

2. Giant Bubbles

If you have a hula hoop and dish soap, you can create giant bubbles in your wading pool with your kids! Just mix in the dish soap with water in the pool and pull up the hula hoop to make a bubble that can get as big as your kids! Fun and easy.

3. Pool Noodle Boats

Floating boats are always fun to play with in the pool, so why not make a whole bunch of them with a pool noodle, foam sheets, and straws? If you have kids who can craft, include them when making the boats, then let them have fun in the pool. You could even host a boat race!

4. Fishing for Letters

Instill the love for fishing and learning in your toddler at a young age by playing this cute fishing game in a wading pool. Grab magnetic letters and spread them out in the pool and add other items that are water-related, such as shells, but aren’t magnetic. Stick a magnet at the end of a string on a kid’s fishing pole (or use a simple string on a stick) and have your kid fish up the letter magnets! They’ll learn what is magnetic and what isn’t and you can also practice letter recognition with them.  Older kids could even fish out letters to create words!

5. Swimming Pool Scrabble

This swimming activity is great for bigger pools and you can play it with younger kids who are beginning swimmers and/or learning their letters. Write letters on sponges with a permanent marker and throw them into the water. Have your kids swim and collect them. Depending on their age, you could have them arrange the letters in alphabetic order or create words with the sponges they collected.

6. Floating Numbers

There are many pool activities that include letters, but what about numbers? This floating numbers pool activity includes wine corks with numbers written on them. Throw them into a pool and have the kids collect them and play various math games, such as putting them in numerical order or finding only odd or even numbers.

7. F.I.S.H

Are you familiar with the HORSE game that’s played with a basketball and a hoop? The water activity FISH works in the same way. The first player starts off the game by doing a task in the water, such as doing a handstand or swimming a full lap underwater. Then the other players try to do the same activity. If someone can’t do the activity, they “earn” the first letter of FISH. Each player takes turns thinking up of a different and challenging move and the game continues until someone spells the whole word FISH first. This game is great for preteens and older kids!

8. Pool Raft Building Activity

This great team-building activity can be done with preteens and older kids. Promote critical thinking and cooperative skills by asking several kids to build a raft using pool noodles and other materials, such as soft form wire, rope, and a small hand drill. If you have a large group of kids, divide them into teams and see what kind of creations they come up with!

 

For more summer fun, check out 5 DIY Sprinklers to Cool Down Your Kids This Summer and 5 Backyard Activities for Lazy Summer Days.

I hope you like these water activities and that you’ll try at least one of these with your kids this summer! What other water activities do you love?

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

 

“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!

 

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

10 No-Fuss Camping Crafts for Kids

10 No Fuss Camping Crafts for Kids

 

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Camping with kids makes wonderful memories. It can also be a lot of work if the kids ever get tired of playing in the dirt! Crafts are great, but packing a bunch of craft supplies along with the sleeping bags, food, and other camp gear just makes more work. Instead, keep the kids busy with minimal effort by trying a few of these easy, no-fuss camping crafts made with natural elements.

 

1. Pounded flower prints

Take advantage of the colorful wildflowers in and around your campsite by using a “pounding” technique to transfer the color to watercolor paper. You won’t even need to bring a hammer for this pretty nature craft – you’re sure to find some good pounding rocks around camp!

 

2. Rainy splatter painting

Summer thunderstorms can spring up at any time, but rather than letting a drizzle ruin your camping experience, take advantage of it instead! Tote a few bottles of food coloring and some thick paper (watercolor paper is great but cardstock works too!) along when you camp and let the fun begin with these splatter paintings! And hey – if the rain doesn’t happen, why not spend an afternoon letting the kids sprinkle water over the project themselves?

 

3. Painted rock monsters

Send the kids on a rock hunt and watch their imaginations come to life when you provide a bit of paint and some googly eyes. Everyone will love seeing these little rock monsters around the campsite!

 

4. Pine needle stars

Clean up your camping area and make a craft at the same time? There’s nothing better! Small twigs or sturdy pine needles can be transformed into these decorative stars with just a bit of wire or string to hold them together. Allow children to add flowers, leaves, or berries they find to make each star unique and hang them from nearby trees for a festive camp experience.

 

5. Nature mobile

This fun project is one of the simplest on the list! All you need to bring for this craft is a roll of yarn or string. Help children select a sturdy stick for the base, then let them go wild tying on whatever else they can find to make this clever mobile.

 

6. Leaf creatures

There are sure to be plenty of leaves around your campsite, and that makes this craft perfect for fun in the great outdoors. Paper and glue are all you really need, but you can add fun details to your leaf creatures with googly eyes and markers too!

 

7. Nature bracelet

A perfect craft for little collectors, this nature bracelet is sure to keep kids busy creating. Kids can stick flowers, twigs, leaves, and other found items to the sticky side of a piece of duct tape and wear it on their wrist to show off their collection. To protect the items and keep other things from sticking to the bracelet, a strip of clear packing tape can be placed on top.

 

8. Nature weaving

This project is one that your whole camping group can have fun with! Help kids create “frames” with sticks and a bit of yarn or string, then wrap the string around the frame in intervals to create the weaving base. For the rest of your time in camp, kids and adults alike can add interesting flowers, plants, and branches they find in order to create a one-of-a-kind piece of natural art.

 

9. Bug catcher

No matter where you camp, there are two things you can always count on having around – bugs and garbage! But instead of tossing empty plastic bottles in the trash, consider this fun craft and let the kids rid your campsite of a few of those bugs. The bug catcher in this tutorial uses craft foam and hot glue to keep the required bit of mesh (or tulle!) in place, but we think a few strips of duct tape would do the job just fine.

 

10. Walking stick

Kids will love creating their own walking stick to use on hikes around camp! Send them on a search for their perfect stick, and then supply colored duct tape or paints for decorating. If you’re up for it, you can bring string, beads, and other decorative items for added creativity.

 

Don’t miss these 7 helpful tips to make your camping trip even easier!

 

10 No-Fuss Camping Crafts for Kids - tipsaholic, #camping, #kids, #naturecrafts, #summer

Featured image via Craftiments.

 

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)

camp with kids

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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.

30 Cute Kids’ Clothes DIY’s for July 4th

30 Kids' Clothes' DIY for July 4th

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Creating your own Independence Day attire?  We've got you covered with these 30 Kids' Clothes DIY's for July 4th!

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If you’re itching to make your own Independence Day outfits, you’re in good company.  When it comes to the 4th of July, there’s no easier way to show off your patriotism than by wearing it loud and proud!  Dressing your kids in red, white and blue is a fun and snappy way to celebrate and there’s no shortage of inspiration around the web.  Maybe you want to go all out bustle skirts and ruffles for your daughter and dapper ties and vest for your son.  Or perhaps you’ve got something more low-key in mind with a no-sew approach to a t-shirt.  Maybe you’d even like to get the kids involved in the fun!  Whether you’re looking for striped shorts to carry them through the summer, simple shirts, comfy, play-friendly rompers or more elaborate sewing creations, we’ve got you covered from head to toe!  Check out our 30 Cute Kids’ Clothes DIY’s for July 4th!
For girls:
For Boys:

30 Cute Kids' Clothes DIYs for the 4th of July @Tipsaholic #diykidsclothes #patriotic
 

Featured Image via Mama Says Sew

 

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 Patriotic Crafts Kids Will Love

10 patriotic crafts kids will love Tipsaholic.com #kidcrafts #patriotic

10patrioticcraftsforkids
With Independence Day coming fast, it’s likely you’ve got stars and stripes on the brain!  If you like to create with your kids, July 4th is the perfect time for some fun and colorful crafts.  We’ve wrangled up our favorite ideas from around the web to help you celebrate our country’s independence with your little ones.  All you need is some time and a few simple supplies for each crafty idea, all of which are bound to delight your kids no matter their age!  So use our 10 Patriotic Crafts to paint, cut, tie, shake, glue, glitter and create a very happy 4th of July!

1. Paper Cup and Ball Game , Red Ted Art

This is touted as a 5 minute craft, but once it’s completed you’ll have hours of entertainment!  Create origami cups and use tinfoil balls to make an old-fashioned “catch the ball in the cup” game.

Cup-Ball-Game-Craft

 

2. Paper Straw Rocket, All For The Boys

Though this isn’t technically a 4th of July craft, it certainly lends itself well to the holiday!  Create a rocket that is powered by your child!  Place the paper rocket over a straw and blow.  See how high or far you can make it fly!

paper straw rocket

 

3. Washi Tape and Ribbon Sparkler Wands, bugaboo, mini, mr & me

This is a super easy take on the “fire-free sparklers.” Even very little hands can make these since all they require are ribbons and wash tape!

sparkler wands

 

4. Pom Pom Firework Wreath, Scrumdillydilly

Pom pom wreaths are adorable no matter what season, but add some extra yarn and you’ve got a firework-inspired masterpiece!  Kids will have a blast with the yarn and love the little pom pom balls they create.

pompomwreath

 

5. Firecracker Necklace, The Experimental Home

Here’s a super simple necklace that looks good enough for the fashionably conscious to wear!  Made out of paper straws, this necklace is unique with the rustic twine knotted between.

firecracker necklace

 

6. Patriotic Bracelet, Holiday Crafts and Creations

You don’t need much to create this fun, patriotic look.  The knots in the hemp on this bracelet make it an interesting and fun craft for kids who are a little older.

patritotic bracelet

 

7. Patriotic Paper Flowers, You Can Make This

These flowers are far from complicated to make!  All you need are red, white and blue paper circles and brads!  Use them in a centerpiece, on a wreath or decorate a crown or headband for your child to wear.

paper flowers

 

8. 3-D Star Garland, Creative Juice

A star garland is nothing new, but add a little pop to yours by making your stars stand out – literally!  Kids will get a kick out of how easy it is to make the paper stars three-dimensional.

star garland

 

9. 4th of July Noisemakers, Family Chic

If Independence Day isn’t noisy enough for you, consider creating these awesome little musical instruments with your kids.  Not only do they get to make a mess painting, but they get to have a blast being noisy, too!

noisemakers

 

10. Pipe Cleaner Fireworks, She Knows

Pipe cleaners are great for fireworks!  Just bend them into shape, add some simple, cheap beads to the ends and string them up!  Hang them in front of a window, attach them to a hat, or string them in a garland.  Whatever you do with them, kids will love this easy and colorful craft.

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Looking for more great ideas for the 4th of July? Try these 7 Patriotic Party Activities!

 

Featured image via Family Chic.

 

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

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.

tipsaholic-ice-bowling-ice-activities-learn-play-imagine

 

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!

tipsaholic-ice-chalk-reading-confetti

 

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.

tipsaholic-ice-painting-toddler-approved

 

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.

5 Steps to an Organized Playroom

5 Steps to an Organized Playroom - Tipsaholic

An organized playroom can encourage creative play, imagination, teamwork, cooperation, and of course, playfulness!  These are all great qualities we want in our kids.  If you don’t want your playroom to fall flat, you’ll need to focus on more than the toys.  Make your space fabulous and organized with these five simple steps!

5 steps to an organized playroom

1. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

The old adage rings especially true in spaces for children. Kids need to know there are designated spots for every toy and tool they use, so labeling is key. What you store things in is secondary to the kids being able to easily find what they need.  This will save you from headaches when you ask them to clean up, too! There are tons of ways to label. Try clear bins, so the kids can easily identify the toys inside.  Use pictures and words for little ones who can’t read yet. Try chalkboard labels so you can easily change them. If there are wire baskets or handles, use tags that can be tied on. If your bins are plastic, use vinyl cutouts:

2.  Organize top to bottom.

Think about organizing the space “top to bottom”. Consider items that might best be stored up higher, and those things you want within easy reach of toddlers and other kids. For instance, you might want art supplies or fragile toys up on a shelf, while books and puzzles could be in a bin or rack near the floor. Thinking top to bottom not only helps you to focus your attention on where best to place items for safety and ease of use, but it also forces you to utilize the entire space. Take advantage of all that vertical area. Don’t forget about corners, closets and doors, which can easily be fully utilized for storage.

3.  Go for double duty.

Let your storage be part of the design. Use bins or buckets that are artistic and work well with the decor scheme. Stick to storage that matches the color palette. Use toys as art.

4.  Keep it colorful. Keep it playful.

It is a playroom, after all. Kids love color and this is a space just for them, right? Colorful storage solutions begged to be played with. You don’t have to decorate in a rainbows, but sticking to a fun, colorful palette makes the space more kid-centered. This is a room that should be geared specifically toward fun–even your storage solutions can do that!

5.  Think outside the box.

The toy box, that is. There are so many interesting, fun and unique ways to store all the items that come along with childhood. Recycle old crates. Paint antique suitcases. Put wheels on old drawers. Try reusing items in unexpected ways, like rain gutters or spice racks for book storage.

Thinking about adding a designated reading nook to your playroom or other space? Check out the ideas and tips for great reading nooks here!

 

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

Feature image via BHG.com