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    January 22, 2015
    Board Game Nights For Kids….Not Your Mama’s Monopoly

    I have a confession to make: I’m a huge board game/tabletop game nerd. I go to game nights with my friends at least a couple times a week, and we play some pretty intense games (Arkham/Eldritch Horror, Dead of Winter, Gloom, and Betrayal At House On The Hill are the current favorites). Board games have evolved a lot since I was a kid, beyond Monopoly, Life, and Clue (though, these are still fun to play every once in a while!) Playing board games together as a family is a great way to bond, and to create some memories that last. And there are tons of new games that kids will love out there. Here are my picks for newer, super fun, kid-appropriate* games that you should try out today:

    *some may be more appropriate for older kids (10 and up). Always check the boxes!

    -Apples to Apples (there is a Junior version for younger kids as well!)




    -In a Pickle


    -Settlers of Catan

    -Ticket to Ride


    Photo Credit: Lauri Rantala 

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    January 15, 2015
    Sign Language For Baby

    My nephew Jayden hasn’t really said his first word yet. Sure, he says “dedededede” all day, and will sometimes say “nananana,” and “bobobobo,” and “yeyyyy,” but I don’t think he knows what he is saying. However, he has learned to wave hello and goodbye! He will also rub his eyes when he is sleepy, and put his hands up when he wants to be picked up. Babies learn how to use physical motions to express their needs before they are able to vocalize them. That’s why this infographic by is really helpful! It includes lots of signs for babies to learn, including:





    -Water, Milk

    -Mom, Dad


    Check it out! I’ve already been trying to teach him “eat” :)

    Photo Credit: gfpeck 

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    December 23, 2014
    Indoor Fun

    Where I live, it has consistently been over 50 degrees each day for the last week or so. Thank goodness for the South! Therefore, it hasn’t been much of a problem getting outside and not staying cooped up. However, I know in most other places, that is not the case. The kids are probably getting a little stir crazy, and I’m sure you parents are as well. That’s why this post by Jill at Enchanted Home Schooling Mom is a total lifesaver! It has a list of all sorts of indoor activities kids can do in the winter and still have fun:

    -Play Balloon Tennis

    -This Bubble Wrap Hop Game will have the kids hooked on hopping!

    -If they have energy to burn, you can make an indoor slide in a pinch.

    -These Tie Dye Art Projects are really neat, plus they are not messy!

    -Making stained glass decorations for your windows is crafty, easy and a great fine motor activity! 

    -This coloring page is fun because it creates 2 fun 3d buildings!

    Photo Credit: Zhao 

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    December 22, 2014
    Toys For ALL Kids

    Pink is for girls. All other colors are for boys. Girls get dolls and princesses and makeup, boys get science, nature, cars, superheroes, building tools, sports, technology, action figures- basically anything on the planet that has NOT been deemed as feminine. Then, we wonder why more girls aren’t interested in science, and why boys who grow up to be fathers are so absent in their children’s lives. To me, this is absolutely ridiculous. The very fact that “boy” toys and “girl” toys exist and are separate things proves that we still live in a very sexist, gender divided society. Some boys will grow up to be fathers and chefs and designers- they should play with baby dolls and cooking sets as well. Some girls will grow up to be scientists and athletes and engineers- and they need to play with microscopes and tools and sports equipment. So, if you’re looking for awesome, empowering gifts for ALL CHILDREN this holiday season, check out this post by Dayna at Lemon Lime Adventures:

    -Trucks and cars- always help with problem solving abilities

    -Work bench and tools-Work benches are great for fine motor development, problem solving, creative thinking, language development, and even pre-writing skills.

    -Science kits


    -Baby dolls

    -Cooking sets / play kitchens

    -Dress up clothes- dramatic play develops social intelligence in kids of all genders. Princess or pirate, doctor or ninja, cowboy/girl, — let your kids pick out their own clothes and go crazy!

    -Art supplies, coloring books, and anything that encourages creativity

    Photo Credit: Weird Nut Daily 

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    December 9, 2014
    Holiday Themed Sensory Activities

    It’s official- I have caught the Christmas bug. I’ve been blasting Christmas music, we’ve already put up our tree (this is early for us!), and I’ve bought, made, and wrapped all my gifts. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or another winter holiday- this season is extremely exciting! It’s a time of celebration, family, faith, friendship, and fun. That’s why I don’t think it’s wrong to wedge some holiday cheer into every aspect of life, and why I love this post by Kim at Blessed Beyond A Doubt. She has listed several Christmas themed sensory activities for kids (that could be easily adapted for another holiday, or just for winter fun in general). I also love sensory activities because they let young kids explore the world with their own hands. Check out some of her ideas:

    -Gingerbread play dough.

    -Christmas sparkle slime (I love this! It looks like a Christmas tree exploded, haha. Pictured.)

    -Magnet Science Sensory Bin.

    -Peppermint scented Christmas sensory bin.

    Photo Credit: Little Bins For Little Hands 

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    November 26, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Crib Into Desk

    Photo from Buzzly

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    October 21, 2014
    Baby Name Ideas: The ‘Write’ Stuff

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I LOVE collecting baby names. Now, I realize I will never use the majority of them, but the obsession doesn’t stop. I have around 5 naming books, pages and pages of lists, and 2 sites that I visit DAILY for new names. I also love writing- my own creative stories, and this blog. That’s why I love this list by Lauren Hartmann at Disney Baby- for names inspired by writers. Here are some of my favorites:







    -Walt (of course).

    Photo Credit: JE Theriot 

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    September 22, 2014
    Toddler Activities (That Are Totally Not Distractions)

    Babies and toddlers need constant supervision! You never know what they are going to get into, even if you have the most baby-proofed house in the world. But, there are also important things that you need to get done. House work, cooking, working with older kids on homework, working from home, taking care of pets- the list never ends. So, you need a way to keep an eye on the younger kids, while also being able to multitask and get other things done. Keeping them busy with educational and fun activities is the way to go! Set your toddler up in the same room as you with one of these activities from Amanda at Dirt and Boogers, then go about whatever else you need to get done. Of course, never leave your child alone- and always supervise (especially if they’re playing with water).

    -Clothespin drop- have your child drop clothespins into an empty container (like a milk jug), dump them out, then do it again. It helps with hand-eye coordination.

    -Water play- lay down some towels, put water in a large plastic bin, and fill it with balls, cups, and other toys.

    -Put together a sensory bin- fill it with large items with bright colors, different smells, and different textures- let your child explore.

    Photo Credit: Philippe Put 

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    September 15, 2014
    Showing Your Child That You Love Them

    Just like a relationship with a significant other, relationships with your family need you to put effort in them in order for them to thrive. With family, it can be easy to just assume that they know that you love them. And they do! But every once in a while, it’s nice to give them a reminder. Showing your kids a little extra love will do wonders for your relationships, and lets them know that they’re always on your mind. Read this post by Kristina Manscill at Mothers Niche for some ideas:

    -Always eat family dinner together

    -Know Your Child’s “Love Language” and Find Ways to Express it Often.

    -Take the time to be silly, to be messy, and to take in life’s simple pleasures. 

    -Get to Know Their Friends and love them as your own. 

    -Discover their Talents and Put Them to Use. 

    -Surprise!  Find fun ways to shock them with your love.  Love your children with surprises! Do something they wouldn’t expect.

    Photo Credit: THOR 

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    September 8, 2014
    Glow Stick Fun

    Alright, ya’ll! If it were up to me, we’d be planning for Halloween in June. I know it’s still only the beginning of September, but the stores finally have Halloween decorations out! That’s good enough for me. I’ve already started working on my “One Week Of Halloween” activities to do with friends and family. This year, we’re going camping, having a costume party, going to a pumpkin farm, having a horror movie marathon, spending a day of doing Halloween crafts, and going trick-or-treating with the kids on the actual night of Halloween. I’ve already bought decorations, and have started on my costume. Can you tell I have a problem? Hahaha! Halloween is my favorite holiday: it’s fun when you’re a kid, and it’s fun when you’re an adult. There are so many things you get to do that you don’t get to during the rest of the year. One thing that I’ve always loved has been playing with glow sticks. We’d wear them on Halloween night so we would be easier to see. I never thought of using them for other things, though! Check out this post at Listoic for more fun glowstick ideas that you can use any time of the year. I might take a few of these camping with us:

    -Glow stick ring toss

    -Glow in the dark bowling

    -Glow jars

    -Glow stick spiders / bugs craft

    -Glow stick pool party

    Photo Credit: Brett Holt 

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