A quick quirky gift for your kiddos classmates at year end

Hey there!! Happy Summer which officially starts for us in two days.  That’s right two days and fretting.  Things have been crazy busy around here, and just when you feel you can’t possibly stack one more thing on your plate, your kids ask what they can give their classmates as an end of the year parting gift…WHAT?!  I wanted to panic until I remembered I had some leftover party favors from birthdays past.  I took a few breaths and told myself not to worry, I had this, and then this great idea hit me.  So if you are unprepared with no time, (story of my life) I’ve got your back.  If you have any leftover party favors, take inventory and head over to Pinterest to try and find a fun “saying” to go along with what you have.  What I happened to have on hand were those sticky hand slingshot novelties, so I headed over to Pinterest to find a snazzy jingle and had no luck.  Believe it or not, my husband came up with our saying and it rocked my world!!  If you don’t have a storage closet of past party favors and decor, (a.k.a. junk) and actually came to the table prepared to plan, you can find the party favors on Oriental Trading Company or any party store such as Zurchers for really cheap!  Check out my year-end classmate’s gifts that my kids are so excited to pass out!

With a saying of “High five we survived!  Have a good summer!” printed at home on cardstock paper, I got to work.  We cut them out and hole punched the paper and plastic baggies containing the sticky hands tying them together with some fun twine.  This really took no time at all and was really inexpensive, best of all it was unique!

Pretty good for on the spot, out of time, panicked idea, right?!  Do you have any fun year-end gifts that your kids pass out? I am always looking for new ideas to archive for situations like these so please share!

Here’s to hoping we all survive the summer!

Best,

Jen

Summer Boredom Jar

Hey there!  So today I wanted to switch gears and talk about something a little different than design and remodels, (although I LOVE those topics).  I want to share a parenting hack because let’s face it, I am a parent of three wild children who are all about to be out of school for summer.  Like most parents nationwide, I am dreading it!!  The first few days of summer vacation are pretty easy going, but soon enough the boredom arises which quickly escalates to arguments.  So I have come prepared with a secret weapon, wait for it… a Summer Boredom Jar.  Genius!!   Anytime my kids come to me throughout summer with “I am bored, what can I do” I will have a few options to give them.  Option 1- Do homework/reading to stay ahead academically this summer, Option 2- Do some household chores, and Option 3- Pull an idea out of the Summer Boredom Jar.  I already know which one they will choose.  That’s right, the jar.  The jar is actually fun-filled activities that aren’t chores or homework, so this is a no brainer.

So let’s break down the jar.  There are countless lists on Pinterest of activities to keep any aged child entertained.  I skimmed through many and compiled a list that will work for my family.  Most activities are things you can do around the house with little or no extra supplies.  If you have a somewhat well-stocked craft room, you will have most of what you need.  Some activities are out and about adventures in your city or town that cost money, but those can be splurge days.  Another positive of having this jar is it gives you a chance to get organized and prepared for what your summer may look like.  So if you do need to buy extra craft supplies you can do so before the kiddos are at your heels complaining of boredom.  Some of the activities can be planned out in advance possibly saving you some $$.  For example, if you choose to take everyone to the zoo you may find there are some half-priced times and days that work for your schedule, so plan ahead and save.

Let me share with you our list of activities from our jar keeping in mind you may need to alter some outdoor activities suitable to where you live.  Such as a river outing may look a beach outing for you.

  • Fly a kite
  • Make paper airplanes/boats
  • Fill a trampoline with water balloons
  • Go for a hike
  • Feed the ducks
  • Board games/card games
  • Learn a dance/ dance contest
  • Make homemade popsicles
  • Hopscotch
  • Go to the library
  • Play charades
  • Bake
  • Make puppets/ puppet show
  • Dry and press flowers
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Wash a car
  • Bike/scooter
  • Write a story
  • Go to the park
  • Go to the river
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go to the nature center
  • Go to the aquarium
  • Have a picnic
  • Backyard camping
  • Go to the splash pad
  • Go swimming
  • Go to the water park
  • Float the river
  • Tie dye shirts
  • Go bowling
  • Go to a movie
  • Paint a picture
  • Play mini golf
  • Spa day
  • Movie marathon/ scary?
  • Go fishing
  • Make a movie, play or music video
  • Make a time capsule
  • Make snow cones
  • Go geocaching
  • Flashlight tag
  • Run through the sprinklers
  • Chalk art
  • Play Legos
  • Science experiments
  • Water balloon/squirt gun fight
  • Lemonade stand
  • Balloon volleyball/ tennis
  • Model clay building
  • Origami
  • Play kickball
  • Activity sheets found on Pinterest
  • Make a craft
  • Build a fort
  • Make playdough: 1 part conditioner 2 parts cornstarch
  • Finger knit
  • Make stuffed animals
  • Tell ghost stories
  • Hide and seek
  • Stargaze
  • DIY birdfeeder

As summer progresses I am sure we will find more things to add and do but for now, this is a good solid list of 60 activities.  I figure with roughly 85 days of summer vacation this was a good platform to start from.  You may not need as much if you will be traveling this summer.

I hope this can help ease any anxiety and stress you may be feeling as summer fastly approaches.  I know I feel better equipped with a plan and time to put it into action.  Do you have more activities I can add to this list?  Would love any and all help in this critical matter, haha!!

Happy summer planning!!

Best,

Jen

 

HAVE A SUPERBOWL SUPER PARTY

So in full disclosure, I don’t watch football.  I really don’t like football (I know, I know how could I say this?).  However, my husband loves football and his team has a shot this year.  So because I love him so much (also, I can’t sit and watch football without having something else to do) I am throwing a Superbowl Super Party.  This really allows the kids and I to get excited about something my husband is just so passionate about.  Look no further for I have found the best of the best Superbowl foods, games, and decor around.  Sit back, grab your fat pants, (my sweat pants) and lets get this party started.

Holy Mama!! This looks delicious and awesome!  Impress your guests or family with this ultimate snack stadium.  Get the full idea here.

Football or not, chocolate covered strawberries are always a good idea in my playbook. Check out the recipe and source here

.

This is my kind of pigskin.  Check out this football recipe here.  I may need to make two as the pigs in a blanket never last long at my house.

No Superbowl party is complete without pizza.  This pizza takes the win. Source; Babble

FOOTBALL PARTY Idea Gameday recipe, Football Bean Dip Cups. Easy to make and oh so cute

OMG, we have to have these.  Almost too fun to eat.  Thanks AThriftyMom.Com

Okay we all know how tiring cheering for your favorite team can be.  So take a water break and chat stats at the water cooler.  Source, Evite.com.

 

 

Score these festive cups on the cheap.  Thanks Fabeveryday.com.

.

Great way to display key players i.e. utensil.  Source: Masonjarcraftslove.com.

.

What a great way to jazz up the beverages, all you need is white duct tape! Source: Prudent Penny Pincher.

What a unique way to hand out snacks! Source: Prudent Penny Pincher

.                                                                    

Such amazing ideas you can easily accomplish with a quick trip to your hardware store to purchase astro turf.  I especially love the table place mats!!! Source: SaltyCanary.com and SugarandCloth.com

It will definitely be a penalty in my house if you don’t use one of these with all that greasy but oh so delicious menu.  Source: KarasPartyIdeas.com.

Balloons always “make” the party.  Have the kiddos help you create some fun sayings on balloons with your favorite teams colors.  Source: StudioDIY.com

.

Rate the Superbowl commercials.  Honestly this is the real reason I watch.  Thanks Studio DIY!

 

You never know what you can use with an old box.  What a fun way for the kids to play along as well (heck even the adults)! Thank you Playtimewithmommy.com for this fun idea.

 

Paper plate football

Felt football pennants

Learn how to make these fun crafts and the items needed here.  Kids and crafts = you can watch the game in peace, even if for only a few minutes.

Last but certainly not least.  Football Bingo, is so fun to play but also keeps me involved in the game with the rest of the crowd.  Source: SunnyDayFamily.com.

 

What do you all have planned for Superbowl?  What team are you cheering for (of if your like me, what’s your favorite commercial), any score predictions?  GAME ON!