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    Join Jill for savvy Real Estate discussion.
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  • Pets and children can become stressed during moving. If moving locally, you may want to leave these special family members with a friend during moving day.
  • read all shaktoids!
    March 25, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Adorable Kitchen Playset

    Photo and instructions from Ikea Hackers


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    March 6, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Human Hungry Hippo Game
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2hth5h

    If you work in a school, at a church, or at a community center and have a gym, please give me a call. I need to play this. I mean, I feel like kids would have a blast doing this. :)


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    February 20, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: How To Make A Butterfly Braid
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2f34uh

    This is for all you parents that are good at doing hair! I am absolutely miserable at stuff like this, but I really wish I was good at it. This hairstyle is so cute!


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    February 9, 2015
    Coloring For Grown Ups

    Coloring is one of my favorite “keep the kids quietly busy” activities, and a favorite time filler of babysitters everywhere. It gives kids the chance to be creative, all while keeping them out of the way and letting you get other stuff done. It’s a win-win! But, coloring pages can also be an opportunity to spend some time together as a family. However, there’s only so many times you can color Dora the Explorer and Cars pages before you get bored. That’s why I love this website, Color Pages for Mom. They have over 200 advanced, free color pages that Mom (or Dad) can print out and use with their kids. They are also great for older kids or teens. They’re gorgeous! I especially love the geometric pattern ones. Check out all the pages here.

    Photo Credit: David Blaikie 


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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!)

    -Munchkin

    -Scribblish

    -Dixit

    -In a Pickle

    -Qwirkle

    -Settlers of Catan

    -Ticket to Ride

    -Quelf

    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 iCanSign.com is really helpful! It includes lots of signs for babies to learn, including:

    -Eat

    -Hurt

    -Bed

    -Drink

    -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

    -Legos

    -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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