Friday, March 21, 2014

Activity: Quote book

This isn't going to be your average quote book where a child cuts out quote from magazines. You and your child are going to create the book from the funny things you say. In college, we had quote boards to capture all of those priceless things we said. But instead of putting it on a poster board on the wall of the kitchen, you can make a book, diary, keepsake, etc.

All you really need is something sturdy to write the quotes in. I would suggest buying a small hardbound journal, or a small hardbound pocket book, rather than just a standard notebook. Your decision to buy a certain product should be made based on WHO will be keeping the book, and their age. For example, if your 6 year old is going to walk around with it, a hardbound book might be fine. But if I let my 2 year old have control, it would be better for me a buy a 50 cent spiral bound notebook. The choice is up to you.

As a mother/parent, this would also be fun for YOU to do, so that you can keep track of all the funny things that kids say. My niece used to say  "RORRY" before she could say sorry, and I still love to think about it even though it's been years since she said it. My daughter says "DOODLES" instead of noodles, and her cousin used to call noodles "KITTIES" (I have no idea why). My daughter has also been trying to say "UH OH, SPAGHETTI-OH", but says "UH-OH CEREAL" instead. It's things like that that may be hard to remember in 20 years when your kids are having their own children. I know that I still love to have my mom tell me stories about when I was a kid. My infamous funny saying that still gives me and my family giggles is "Spaghetti-OHs!" In context, I didn't realize until I was in my 20's that Spaghetti-ohs are spaghetti in the shape of ohs. Yeah, I know. Silly me.

Anyway, if you need some fun artsy ideas, or just ideas of quotes for your book (depending on if you make it family quotes, or just quotes you like) check out

Have any of you done this before? Did your kids help you?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Activity: Big Ears

When I first found this activity, all I could think about what PSAT's, SAT's, ACT's, and any other kind of standardized test that you can think of. You know, when they have you read a story and the you have to correctly identify the point of the story, and various aspects about it? Yeah... I was never did excell at those kinds of tests, which is interesting because I love to read. But regardless of the tests, this activity is still fun for kids, and could actually make a great party game.

What you are going to do is tell a story with lots of descriptive words. If you don't have a story like this on hand, here is how to write one. If doing it for a birthday party, you could write a story about the birthday kid and do it as one of your games.

Before you begin the story, have the child or children clothes their eyes and focus really hard on listening (use their big ears!). Then tell the story, remind the kids to listen for descriptive words (you may want to explain what a descriptive word is at the start of the activity). Once the story is over, you can do a number of things.

1. Have the kids write down the answers to your questions
2. Draw pictures of the objects that they remember (pink dress, blue eyes, etc)
3. Have the kids try to retell the story (you can have one kid do this, or have kids take turns after a few sentences each)
4. Have costumes and things on hand to act out the story.
5. Have coloring pages for the kids to color correctly (again, pink dress, blue eyes, etc)
6. Whatever else you can think of.

That's about it! I would advise keeping the stories fairly short depending on the age and skill level of your kids. And the more you do it, the more you can add to the stories. You could even grab some library books and then add more descriptive words if you like. OOH! Or how about 

Have you done any thing like this? Do you have a descriptive story to share or recommend?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Activity: Half Day

This is an activity that can EASILY be used for Half-birthdays, Half-way though the school year, Half-way through summer, etc. All you need to do is pick a half day (I will be using a half birthday as an example), and start getting creative.

Picture courtesy of
For a half birthday, sing half a birthday song, bake only half a cake, and use only half the normal amount of candles.

You could also have lessons on fractions (what is half of 4?), sharing (if you have 1 apple but 2 people, how can we share?), Dates (using the calendar to find out what their half birthday is), Math (how do I divide a recipe in half), etc. So really the possibilities are endless.

Have you ever done a "half" day? What ideas, pictures, advice can you share?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Activity: Indoor Drive-in Movie

This activity has a lot of different components that can make it really fun. Here's a super brief summary of what the activity is.

You are going to create your own drive in movie theater, complete with box "cars". To make the box cars, you first need boxes, preferable big enough for a kid to sit in. If you have long boxes, you could double up kids as well. Once you have a box for each kid, get out the crayons, makers, colored paper, newspaper, paint, etc. and let the kids decorate how they want to. If the weather is nice enough, you may want them to paint while on the lawn, or at least put a large plastic table cloth down on whatever surface you choose. You can help the children draw windows, doors, lights, steering wheel, etc.

Once the cars are drying (if you used glue or paint), you may want to turn on some music for a dance party, have the kids help make cookies, or blend up some fun smoothies or fruit drinks to have during the movie.

And now the next part is where the difficulty lies. What movie to watch is a difficult choice for myself to make alone, and when you factor in the opinions of a number of kids, it can be even more difficult. So my suggestion is to choose the movie before hand, preferably either one that was just released on DVD or an old one that likely no one has seen before. Here are some of my favorite suggestions for girls and boys:

Sleepover (Alexa Vega)
Wild Hearts Can't be Broken (Gabriel Anwar)
Princess Bride (Cary Elwes)
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Alexis Bledel, America Ferrara, and Amber Tamblyn)
Peter Pan (Jeremy Sumpter)
Frozen (Idina Menzel)

Princess Bride (Cary Elwes)
Harry Potter (probably the earlier ones) (Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliff, and Rupert Grint)
Goonies (Sean Aston)
Toy Story (Tim Allen and Tom Hanks)
Hook (Robin Williams)
Hugo (Asa Butterfield)
Sandlot (Tom Guiry)

There are of course TONS of other movies out there you could allow your kids to watch. I tried to list awesome ones that weren't too scary, because that might keep the kids awake all night. Do you have any other movie suggestions? Or picture of the cars you decorated?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Snack: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this great website recently called And on it, I found a quick and easy, AND gluten free peanut butter cookies. I can't wait to try these! Here is what you need:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix together the ingredients. Set aside in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Then take a fork, dip it into sugar, and press onto each ball dough to get the classic "lines" or "criss crosses". Next, put the cookies in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before eating.

For more ideas and recipes, check out these links:

Peanut Butter Energy Balls (LINK)
Green Smoothie (LINK)
Let's Make Pizza! (LINK)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014