Can you smell it? The pungent smell of firewood burning with marshmallows toasting. The spicy aroma of cinnamon. The sweet yet tart fragrance of apples. The sweet creamy buttery scent of caramel. And of course, everything pumpkin! Are you as excited as I am that we are entering the beautiful season of fall?
We were blessed with a volunteer pumpkin harvest of mini pumpkins this year. The result of leaving our pumpkins around a little too long last year. So while I hate to admit I was negligent in cleaning up my fall decor in a decent amount of time, I am now excited that I did so. However, I now am nervous that our little beauties will rot before the end of this season. Interestingly enough, I mistakenly came upon an article regarding preserving pumpkins and gourds.
Are you a plan ahead kind of person or last minute kind of person? I will admit, I am more of a last minute person myself. However, I am more of an online shopper, and I think we all know that shipping lately has been much slower than normal. With that being said, Grandparent’s Day is 3 weeks away.
Crafting Ideas ~
There are so many different ideas for recognizing your favorite Mimi & Pappy…ooops, I mean Grandma & Grandpa! 😉 I personally love hand-made cards and crafts. It’s a great way for the kiddos to put some thought and love into letting their grandparents know how special they are to them.
We have all heard the jokes…let’s just skip through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and move on to 2021! Everyone is officially FED UP with 2020. However, we still have time to make this year memorable in ways other than the dreaded virus that has haunted us these last few months. I truly believe this. Maybe it’s because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HALLOWEEN! Let’s set aside the frustration and enjoy the rest of this year because YES~Fall is Around the Corner! Ok, ok I hear you. It’s August 14 and the official start of fall is September 22. That means we have time to plan new activities, make new crafts and search for delicious new recipes….let’s go!
Start Collecting Pine Cones and Nuts NOW!!!
The wonderful thing about crafting with nature’s wonders is that adults and children can craft together using the same materials but with different outcomes. Pinecone and nut crafts have evolved through the years. I have been urging my family members to start collecting pinecones and nuts now so we will have a nice inventory when we get ready to start crafting. I am absolutely loving some of the ideas I am seeing on Pinterest like these cute ideas: Click here for some creative nature holiday crafts like the pics below!!
I am loving this new blogging journey so much! Not only because I love to write, but also because I am meeting so many others on the same journey. Many of these women are young moms. Yes, that part of my life has passed, but isn’t it still our responsibility to encourage the next generation? Not only in this crazy year of 2020, but always because it is important that we raise good humans!
I recently have read several other blogs about ideas for raising kids who are kind to others. I especially loved this post by “Simply Snapping” that is cleverly titled, “Raising Kids Who Aren’t Jerks!” Catchy isn’t it? Read this great idea which includes a great interactive calendar for kids! She walks through daily ideas of how to help kids focus on kindess. A wonderful interactive calendar for kids is also included for you to print off and have your children follow along with to promote kindness in various ways….clever!!!
Teaching kids to be kind gets tricky when they are with a group of friends. They know how they should act, but peer pressure kicks in. If we teach our children that it is brave to be kind, it can make them feel better about their choices. Everyone likes to feel brave!
It’s Brave to Be Kind by Natasha Daniels~
There are a lot of wonderful books out there to help reinforce kindness in our children. This inspirational book includes a story as well as activites! Click here to get your copy of “It’s Brave to Be Kind”. As we all know, this is a year with a lot of hatred being spewed everywhere we look. It seems to be especially important in these times to help our children understand how important empathy and friendliness are. These are the things I love about this book:
The character is a little girl who meets someone different from her and learns to be kind, even when others aren’t.
Activities are included to reinforce how to be kind to others
Tips are provided to use both the story and activities to learn skills of kindness and empathy
Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler
Another great book that helps kids understand that they really can make a difference! Mrs. Ruler challenges each student to complete five acts of kindness. It takes some time for some of the students to join in, but soon the entire class is filling the bulletin board with all of their good deeds. Whether doing helpful tasks within their own homes or reaching outside of the home to help those in need, the kids quickly learn that each deed makes the world a better place! Get your copy of this wonderful book here!
These are just a couple of the books I like among the many, many options out there. I believe we need to make a concentrated effort to continue to reinforce these ideas to our children from an early age. In fact, with our current situation in the world creating more depression, sadness and anger, I am focusing on it even more than normal. I have created a new Pinterest board named Raising Good Humans that I will be continually adding to as I see more great ideas. I hope you will check them out. Click here for more ideas on spreading kindness one step at a time!
As Ellen always says, “Be kind to one another!” Hugs to all!
Shark Week preparations are still going on here….are you ready???? Whether you choose to make your own or purchase them, you should definitely have some fun Shark Week games on hand and ready to play!
Everyone loves a good game of “I Spy.” I created a special shark search game along with a search key for you to share with your kids. They can sit and search for them on this post or you can use the link below for a printable version:
You may already have the Shark Bite game in your game closet. We have had this game for quite some time and we love it. However, I must be honest in telling you that it took a bit for the kids to get used to those shark jaws. Players take turns using a fishing rod to fish for colorful creatures. But be careful…you never know when the shark is going to bite! Of course, it doesn’t actually bite, the jaws just come up to get the creatures. The other wonderful thing about this game is that it doesn’t need batteries!
Another fun one that I need to add to our game closet is “Sharkopoly”. You knew it was just a matter of time before this was created, right? Of course, this one is for kids a bit older, but what a fun way to keep Monopoly going in your household. Remember fighting over which token everybody got? These new tokens include a shark, jawline, fin, flipper, buoy, and a mask with snorkel.
Birthdays are a big deal! It has always been important to me that our children felt extra special on their birthday. I began decorating the kid’s bedroom doors early on so that their special day began with a smile. Back then this mostly consisted of streamers and/or balloons. (If only I had access to Pinterest in my early motherhood years!!!) Now there are so many creative ideas to making a Birthday Door!
I waited until the kids would fall asleep. Those who know me understand that this could be an issue at times….I decompress quickly as the evening rolls around. I would then tape long streamers from the top of the door frame down to the floor. I would usually use 2 or 3 different colors, depending on their favorite at the time. I then would run the streamers across from one side of the wall to the other in the hallway. These would be at different heights giving them no choice but to crawl through or over them to get out of their room and down for breakfast. In spite of how tired I may have been, I am so glad that I continued this tradition with our children. As they got older, it became more apparent at how much they loved this!
It’s 6 days away folks…Shark Week 2020 airs from Sunday, August 9 to Sunday, August 16. I’m sure if you take a poll about people’s favorite animals you will rarely get the answer of shark. Then why is it that there is such a frenzy around shark week every year? Because they are fascinating creatures! The episodes are not only fascinating to watch, but the week as a whole becomes a flurry of themed food and crafts. Check out these fun shark games and crafts to make learning about sharks more exciting at your house.
Shark Alphabet Game:
As you can imagine, we are joining in on the fun! There are a vast amount of fun ideas out there! Check out this fun idea for toddlers and preschoolers! I love how they cut out fish in various colors and put letters on each one. What a fun way to work with letters for preschoolers while working with colors for toddlers….definitely a bonus when you can find an activity that reaches different age groups. Of course, you can also have the older kids spell different words before feeding the fish to the shark. Another benefit of this activity is the kids can jump in and help cut out the fish. Addi is loving learning how to cut right now.
Another fun idea is making sharks out of clothespins.
Supplies Needed ~
Acrylic paint – gray, red, blue, white
Hot glue or strong hold craft glue
Depending on age of your children, either paint ahead or have the children help paint the clothespin(s) in blue or gray. Acrylic paint dries pretty fast.
While clothespins are drying, cut out one dorsal fin, one tail fin and two pectoral fins for each shark.
Glue the fins in place with hot glue or strong craft glue. Once glue has dried, pain the fins to match the shark.
Squeeze open the shark mouth and paint red inside.
Cut shark teeth out of cardboard using zigzag pattern (or zigzag scissors if you have them.) Glue the teeth in place.
Glue eyes on top of clothespin.
As we prepare at our house for a week filled with shark excitement, I will be sharing all the fun ideas we find with you. If you have any great ideas, please be sure to share them in the comments at the end of this post!
Links for Shark games, puzzles and crafts below~
Paper House Productions: A fun new site I recently discovered. Check them out in this link. Once you are on their site, click on animals in the options at the left and you will find an Animal Match Up Game Set that includes and Ocean set . Bonus…it’s on sale right now!
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