Week 8: Basketball Kid Style

This week me and my boys played basketball together.  We have a little tikes basketball hoop that we used to play. We would stand a few feet back and say things like, "If I make this shot then....."!  We had a ton of fun! 

In the past we have used old newspaper or mail from the recycle bin and crumpled it up to use as our ball.  Then for our hoop we would use a garbage can or bucket.  The kids loved this as well.  

Some other options would be to go to your local gym and play some basketball together.  Our YMCA has a mini hoop for the kids.  Maybe yours does too!  If you have older kids most parks have hoops that you can play at.  We have done that but since my boys are only 3 and 1 they get frustrated with such high hoops. ; )

Thanks for stopping by the 8th week of
Click here to learn more about 30 minute Thursdays.


72 Hour Emergency Kit

It's important to be prepared for an emergency.  One way that we have prepared is by creating 72-hour kits for each family member.  Today I will show you the food that I have included in each of our kits.  I know that you can get all fancy in the foods you store for emergencies but I wanted stuff we were used to and that would be super easy to prepare if needed.  Here is a picture of our kits.

Here is the list of food I have included in each kit:

3 oz pkg beef jerky
1 can pork & beans
1 V8
1 can of lasagna
1 can of spaghetti and meatballs
1 can of sliced peaches
1 can of soup
1 can of spagettio's
2 nutri grain bars
1 breakfast on the go pack
1 package of dried fruit
2 packages of crackers and cheese
3 granola bars
5 fruit snacks
1 Kelloggs Breakfast shake
1 can of shredded chicken
1 can of Vienna sausage
1 can opener

I got these BIG bags at the dollar store.  They easily fit all the food listed above plus more!! ; )  I like that they keep everything water proof as well.

  We store our kits in backpacks along with other necessities and a change of clothes.  Here are our kits all ready to go.

When I packaged my food into the kits I listed each item in a notebook and wrote the expiration date down next to each item.  All of the food items I picked will be good for at least a year.  My plan is to rotate the expired food out each year.  We plan to rotate ours each April.

Also, I think it's important to note that these kits don't include water at the moment.  In our food storage we have bottled waters stored near our kits.  If we need to evacuate we will need to add a couple water bottles. ; )

Do you have an emergency kit!?  What are your favorite items in it?


Week 7: Coin Spin & Learn

This week we learned a little bit about money!  I opened my wallet and found a quarter, dime, nickle, and a penny.  I placed them on the counter and taught my son the names and value of each coin!  Kinda crazy to think I had never taken the time to teach him this simple thing before! ; )

I quizzed him on the names and values of each coin.  When he got it right the coin was his to keep! 

We spent the next 20 minutes spinning the coins and reviewing what we had learned.  Both boys loved watching the coins spin! ; )

Although, the small coins were hard for my 1 year old to spin, so we opened the toy box and brought out these big plastic ones.  These were perfect for his small fingers!

Thanks for stopping by
Click here to learn more about 30 minute Thursdays.


Party Planning Tips

We are not professional party planners but have planned a lot of parties and get togethers for our kids and other family members and friends.  We wanted to share a few things we have learned when it comes to throwing parties and some links that we have used to help us in our planning. Here are a few of our party planning tips:

1. Plan Ahead: When planning parties it really does help to plan ahead especially when you are party planning with young kids. Planning ahead helps relieve unwanted stress and helps keep things organized. 

Childhood 101 created this fun and bright party plan printable to help you plan your next party. 

2. Research: Once you have picked a theme go crazy searching for ideas. Use Pintrest, Google, party planning blogs and ask family & friends for ideas. Look for fun decoration ideas, treats, games and anything else you might want to have at your party. I really go crazy with this step...I tell myself I have 1 hour for this step and then it's time to start working. If I don't set a time limit I waste a lot of time.  

3. Involve your Kids: This step can be really hard to do but it can also add a lot of fun memories to the occasion. Some of my son's favorite birthday memories are the little things I let him help me with like putting icing on the cake or teaching him how to blow up a balloon. 
4. Have Fun: Party planning may not be your thing, if that's the case keep it simple. If you are like me and start thinking about party ideas weeks in advance have fun but don't let all the planning and putting things together get in the way of having fun and enjoying the party.

For more party fun check out our Pintrest board.


Bug Themed Birthday

We had a bug themed birthday to celebrate my little boys 3rd birthday! 

We had a bug cake...chocolate cake, chocolate pudding mixed with whipped cream and covered in smashed Oreo's and topped with gummy worms.

We also had bumble bee and lady bug cake pops. For a tutorial on how to make these cake pops click here.

We decorated with little plastic bugs, bug nets and other bug stuff. I hide the bugs around the house and let the kids find them and catch them with their bug nets. They had fun!


Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

 I have never been a huge fan of rice krispie treats but with one added ingredient I have become a HUGE fan!! 
3 Tbsp. Butter
1 (10 oz.) bag mini-marshmallows
1/2 Cup of yellow cake mix (just the mix...not prepared)
5 Cups of crispy rice cereal
1 (1.75 oz) Container of sprinkles

Melt butter over low heat in a large saucepan, add marshmallows.  Stir until they begin to melt, add dry cake mix one spoonful at a time.  Remove from heat and add in crispy rice cereal and half the sprinkles.   Mix. Press into a baking dish and top with remaining sprinkles. Let sit about 30 min. Enjoy.


Cake Pop Tutorial

I had a friend show me how to make cake pops and haven't been able to stop making them. They are so fun and their are so many different themed pops you can make once you know the basics.  I don't have a cake pop maker and didn't want to buy one so this is how I make them.  

  • Cake: any box mix or your favorite recipe should work.
  • Frosting: any should work although I prefer buttercream frosting. Keep in mind frosting with perishable ingredients will need to be refrigerated. 
  • Chocolate: chocolate melts work great although I like to use almond bark...I think it tastes better and it's less expensive.
  • Lollipop sticks: I like to dip these in chocolate before making the pops...it makes them look nicer and stay on the stick.
  • Styrofoam block: or anything with lollipop sized holes in it. This is to help hold the pops while they dry.
  • Baking sheet, lined with parchment paper
  • Small, deep microwave safe bowl: the bowl needs to be small enough that you aren't wasting chocolate and deep enough to cover the whole cake pop. Cups work well.

1. Bake a cake and let it cool.

2. Crumble the cake into small pieces. You can do this with a food processor but I just use my hands...less clean up.
3. Mix the crumbs with frosting. You want to add enough frosting so that you can shape the cake into balls. Add it slowly and test consistency frequently. Shape into balls (or whatever shape you are going for) and place on cookie sheet.

4. Refrigerate or freeze cake pops until firm. *You don't want to dip frozen cake balls into the chocolate because it will cause the chocolate to crack so if you choose to freeze them don't leave them to long unless you leave time to let them thaw. 

5. Melt a small amount of chocolate. Dip lollipop sticks into chocolate about 1/2" and then push at least half way through cake ball. *Be sure not to poke the stick all the way through.

6. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm around the lollipop stick.

7. Melt chocolate, make sure to melt enough that the cake pop can be completely submerged in chocolate without hitting the bottom of the bowl.

8. Dip cake pop into chocolate, make sure to cover the chocolate on the lollipop stick.

9. Once cake pop is covered lift it out of the chocolate and allow excess chocolate to drip off.

10. If adding sprinkles or other decorations allow the chocolate to dry about half way before adding so that the chocolate doesn't clump around them. 

11. Place cake pop in stand and let dry.

Cake pops can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make them.  If you need some ideas just Google "Cake Pop Ideas" you will be amazed at all the creative ideas. 

These were some cake pops I did for a birthday. 

You can make your own eyes for cake pops with confetti sprinkles and a FoodWriter marker.  You can also buy them already made but they are kinda expensive. 


Balloon Themed Birthday

I love the idea of a balloon themed birthday because it is so simple and yet so fun for young kids. For my daughter's second birthday I surprised her with helium balloons, she was so excited! She also really enjoyed these cute balloon cupcakes made with dum dum suckers and covered in sprinkles. These cupcakes were super easy to make and inexpensive.


Dinosaur Themed Birthday Party

My four year old really enjoyed his dinosaur themed birthday party! We tried to keep his party simple and fun for the kids his age. We had some fun dinosaur themed decorations, treats and games. 

Free Dinosaur Printables
I printed the cute birthday banner, tags and cupcake toppers using the free dinosaur party pack over at Smitten Blog Designs.

Dinosaur Cake
Here is the cake I put together.  I made a two layer cake with green frosting in the center and brown chocolate frosting on top. I added a few dino toys and chocolate rocks around the edge. I also made some cupcakes and topped them with dino toys and cupcake toppers. We had the cupcakes with his friends and then cut into the cake in the evening and enjoyed it with our extended family.

I tried to keep the treats simple for four year old kids...we had a lot of finger foods.

Dinosour Treats
Dino Tongues: red licorice
Dino Scales: potato chips
Dino Claws: bugles
Dino Bones: pretzels with marshmallows on the end and dipped in white chocolate
Herbivore Food: carrot and celery cups served with ranch dressing

Dinosaur Decorations
The kids loved the dino tail balloons. I simply tapped 4 triangle pieces of paper to the back of a balloon and hung it from the ceiling.

We also had dino foot prints leading up to the doorstep.

Dino Games
Dino Dig: We hide a bunch of dinosaur toys in the sandbox and let the kids dig for them. I originally wanted to hide dinosaur bones/fossils in the sandbox and have them uncover them with paintbrushes but I couldn't find bones. The kids loved this!

Hunt for Dino Eggs: I made some dino eggs using the recipe found here. (If you are doing this you will want to do it ahead of time...it took the eggs about 4 days to dry.)  The eggs have dino toys in the middle. 

Dino Egg Hatch: I filled up a ton of white balloons with candy...enough to fill up a room. I then gave the kids a toothpick and told them to help hatch the dinosaur eggs. This was their favorite game!  If you have a lot of people you could put the balloons into nests and divide the kids into teams then make it a race to see who can hatch the eggs first. 


Birthday Traditions

Fun Ways to Make Birthdays Special
Birthday Countdown- make a countdown a week before their birthday labeled “countdown to 3” or whatever age they are turning
Birthday Meals- Let them pick what they want for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Story time- set aside time to tell them their story and tell them how special they are to you. This is a great time to look at pictures.
Birthday Chair- decorate a chair with balloons and stickers and let your child sit in it for each meal, when opening presents, etc.
Special Birthday Item- designate a special plate, cup or hat to birthdays and let your child use it on their special day.
Birthday Badge- Make your child a special badge/button that says “Birthday Girl/Boy” and let them wear it all day long. 
Special Picture- Take a picture of your child with the same item each year. You could take a picture of your daughter in your wedding dress or in a birthday hat. 
Happy Birthday Book- Make a special book with your child in it and give it to them on their birthday. I See Me has some fun books.
Birthday Number Picture- Take a picture of your child holding up the age they are. You can do this with a sign, chalkboard or have them hold up fingers.

Fill their bedroom with balloons so they wake up to a fun surprise.

Write "Happy Birthday" with soap on the bathroom mirror or use chalk and leave a message on a chalkboard, sidewalk or another fun place.

Cover the doorway with streamers so they have to run through them to get out of a room or enter a room.

Hang up a birthday banner.

Hang pictures of your child on the ends of floating balloons from the past year.

Thread balloons on a string and hang them from the ceiling. 

Wake them up and take them to breakfast in their PJ's.
Make pancakes with sprinkles in them.
Serve them breakfast in bed.

Birthday Traditions
Birthdays are a special day and so we try to make them memorable. We have a couple family traditions we do each year and then a couple that take place only every couple years.

Every Year
Year Mark Picture- This is usually done a couple weeks before the actual birthday.
Kid Interview- I interview my kids on their birthday asking them questions like: “what is your favorite food? Game? I record their answers in a book and put their year mark picture with it. (I plan to make a book to give them when they move out with a page from each year.)
Birthday Letter- I write my kids a birthday letter telling them what great things they did, said and learned during the past year.  I give the birthday kid a copy and keep one for their future book. (I plan to put this in the same book with their interviews and give it to them when they move out)
Growth Board- We mark height of child on a board on their birthday.
Lunch with Mom/Dad- the kids love the one on one time of eating with mom/dad. We also use this time to go shopping and let them spend birthday money (from grandparents) if they want to.
Birthday Meal- kids pick what they want for dinner and I make it for them.
Special Birthday Cake- kids pick what kind of cake they want and I make it for them.

First Birthday
First birthdays are extra special at our house. Here are a few traditions:
Own Birthday Cake- We do a big cake for the family and the birthday baby gets their own little cake that they can dive into.
1 Year Slideshow- This is a slideshow of pictures with 2-3 songs on it highlighting the babies first year.
Baby Book Gift- they receive an 8x8 book all about them as a baby. This book features all the child’s firsts, monthly stats and lots of pictures. I also attach a copy of their 1 year old slideshow in the back of the book.
Baby Quilt- I make a small baby quilt for each of my kids. Sometimes they get this before their birthday but I make it a point to have it completed by their first birthday.
Teddy Bear- This is a tradition that was passed on from my childhood. The birthday baby gets a teddy bear on their first birthday then we get a picture of the family with their teddy bears from their first birthday. It’s fun to look at the pictures and see how much the family has grown from year to year.

Special Year
Friend Birthday Party- We only do friend birthday parties every 4 year so at ages 4, 8, 12, and 16.  We do cake every year and have family over often but only do full out birthday parties with friends every 4 years.
5 Year Gift- ABC’s of Me Book (an “all about me” digital scrapbook)
8 Year Gift- Big Quilt and Poem. By age 8 my kids baby quilt is too small and worn out so they get a new quilt when they turn 8.  I like to give them this new blanket when they turn 8 because it’s the age they get baptized and there is a cute poem to go along with it that relates the blanket to the Holy Ghost and making good choices.

What are some of your birthday traditions?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...