A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Category: Fun w/ Mimi & Pappy (Page 1 of 2)

Positivity and Pumpkins!

I am absolutely positive I love pumpkins!  How about you????  Do you love fall and pumpkins?  We are on the downslide of 2020 and everyone is ecstatic to close out this crazy year of 2020!  While I cannot agree more, I am also very excited about these next three months and all of the fun with family and friends….whether it has to be with masks or not!  Right now I just want to think about positivity and pumpkins….so let’s celebrate the good times ahead in the months to come!

Look at these faces⬆⬆⬆….they are living life to the fullest!!!  That’s what we all need to try to focus on…trying to find the positive and fun in every situation!  I mean, even the jack-o-lanterns have a constant smile, right?  How can you not smile when you look at those toothy (or lack of thereof) grins of the jack-o-lantern?

Positivity Challenge ~

Who’s with me???  I am challenging each of you to print out the attached Pumpkin Positivity Challenge and complete the task listed for each day!  It’s only for one week!!!  Let’s do this together and see how much better we feel.  It’s amazing how small things can make a big impact…on you as well as on others you interact with!

Positivity Jar ~

You can take it a step further and cut the pumpkins out to place in a jar.  (Of course, ignore the Daily # titles).  Tie a cute little ribbon around the top of the jar.  Voila…you have a colorful and festive fall decoration on your desk.  Pull a pumpkin out each day and follow the challenge listed.

Whichever way you choose to join the challenge, just click the green link below to get your printable copy.

Print Your One Week Pumpkin Positivity Challenge!

The image above  is a sample of what you will be printing when you click the green link above!

I know we all just want to make some good memories in 2020 before this year comes to an end.  Let’s get started doing that!  Have a super weekend and remember….smile…it’s contagious!

Meet Meddy Teddy ~ Meditation for Kids!

I AM BEYOND EXCITED TO HAVE DISCOVERED THIS AMAZING AND ADORABLE FLUFFY FRIEND!!!!!  We all strive to raise happy and healthy children.  Likewise, we all struggle with these very things at times as well.   Every parent witnesses tantrums, stress, and anxiety that we so desperately seek to alleviate for our kids, as well as for our own sanity!  Meet Meddy Teddy to help your kids with meditation and yoga!

MEET MEDDY TEDDY ~ YOGA & MEDITATION BEAR

***Coupon code down below ⬇⬇⬇

                         

This cute little guy is 100% poseable.  As your children learn different poses, they can mimic the same poses on Meddy Teddy.  He’s a perfect little yoga buddy with a great big heart!

BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS MEDITATION FOR KIDS~

  • Improves academic performance, learning & memory
  • Reduces anger & anxiety
  • Increases self-esteem
  • Fosters calmness & compassion
  • Improves self control
  • Boosts confidence
  • Enhances focus
  • Increases social skills

 

Do you now or have you ever done Yoga and/or meditation?  Can  you remember the benefits you received from it…or are still receiving?  Studies show that the earlier you introduce this concept to children the better the benefits.  Children actually have a natural feel for it because their minds are not yet biased or stressed with all of the things we adults deal with.  Now more than ever is a great time for extra help on raising happy and compassionate kiddos.

Code:  Mimi15

Use this link to check out Meddy’s website…..Meddy Teddy – the Original Yoga Bear!  Even better, use this code for 15% off!!!

This code expires Wednesday, September 30 ….SO ACT FAST!

Accessories & Free Yoga Classes ~

Of course there are accessories too….you knew that was coming right?  But a yoga mat and yoga clothes????  How adorable.  EVEN BETTER THOUGH..they provide a schedule on their website for FREE YOGA CLASSES!  Here is the link…..  FREE Yoga classes! All Times PST – perfect for kids of all ages (and adults too!)

This is updated monthly with available class times.  BUT WAIT….. They also provide FREE “Meddytations” to help calm and relax your kiddos!  Seriously, I am so loving EVERYTHING about this adorable guy and all he has to offer.

Mimi’s Favorite Toy of 2020 ~

Are you feeling as obsessed as I am with this little guy and all of the fun and benefits he offers?  I actually placed my order today (with that awesome code MIMI15) for Addi and Max.  Without a doubt, they will love him!   I also can’t wait to see how it helps Lauren with bedtime routines.  Updates coming soon…..

Until then….Namaste! 🧘‍♀️

 

 

Get Outside!

Well hello weekend….and what a beautiful weekend it is!  What is on your agenda?  Laundry, housework, cleaning the garage, paying bills?  Put all of these chores aside, if only for a while, and get outside!!!

It’s Good For Your Health!

Everyone “knows” it’s good for your health to get outside.   Why is it that so often we simply “forget” just how good it actually is for us?

  • Vitamin D boosts your mood AND your immune system
  • Nature helps lower cortisol levels and reduce stress
  • Natural environments improve mood
  • Nature helps improve memory and attention
  • Fresh air increases your energy level

It’s Good For Your Family!

Whether you plan a day trip or a weekend getaway, hiking creates wonderful family memories for years to come.  It’s just a bonus that it also provides so many health benefits.  Sit and think for a moment…how long has it been since you decided to do an impromptu family fun day?   The unplanned activities are many times some of the best!

Do you find yourself always going to the same one or two parks?  I am sad to admit that we have not taken advantage of all of the amazing places available to us, some less than a half hour away!  I don’t know if I would call it a bucket list, but I decided that our family needs to branch out and try some new spots.  Included below is a small list of some of the parks of various sizes that have hiking trails as well as other amenities.

  1. Broad Ripple Park
  2. Brookside Park
  3. Brown County State Park
  4. Clifty Falls
  5. Eagle Creek
  6. Fort Harrison State Park
  7. Holliday Park
  8. Indiana Dunes State Park
  9. McCormick’s Creek
  10. Mounds State Park
  11. Pokagon State Park
  12. Shades Park
  13. Spring Mills Sate Park
  14. Turkey Run State Park

Let’s Talk Food!

I absolutely love the ideas that sweetcharli.com shares here…Creative picnic lunch ideas….CLICK HERE!

  Sandwich kebobs, apple sandwiches and banana rollups…sounds delish!

Lilluna.com also has some fun and healthy ideas…Check out these easy picnic lunch ideas!

Lots of protein and veggies!

Extra Activities For When You Get Outside!

Hiking and picnicking definitely make for a fun-filled day, but since we are on a roll, let’s add some extra fun.  Why not add in a little scavenger hunt for the kids?  Print out as many copies as you need of the activity sheet I created to help enjoy the day further.   Download and print outdoor scavenger hunt!

So get outside…and don’t forget to take pictures of this fun-filled day!  I would love for you to share other parks your family goes to so we can add them to the list!  Happy Weekend!!!!

Everything pumpkin!

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.

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Raise Good Humans!

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!

Birthday Door

 

CELEBRATE WITH A BIRTHDAY DOOR!

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!

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SHARK WEEK 2020 🦈

 

 

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.

Clothespin Sharks:

Another fun idea is making sharks out of clothespins.

Supplies Needed ~
  • Acrylic paint – gray, red, blue, white
  • Poster board
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors
  • Google eyes
  • Hot glue or strong hold craft glue
Directions ~
  1. 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.
  2. While clothespins are drying, cut out one dorsal fin, one tail fin and two pectoral fins for each shark.
  3. Glue the fins in place with hot glue or strong craft glue.  Once glue has dried, pain the fins to match the shark.
  4. Squeeze open the shark mouth and paint red inside.
  5. Cut shark teeth out of cardboard using zigzag pattern (or zigzag scissors if you have them.)  Glue the teeth in place.
  6. 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!

Great kids’ games, stickers, & puzzles, made by PARENTS! 

 

KimmyShop.com:  Another fun site I just found.  Check out this link for an awesome Discovery Channel Shark Week – Shark Selfie 3D Lenticular Puzzle in either 100 or 500 pieces.

KimmyShop.com

Discovery Channel Shark Week - Shark Selfie - 3D Lenticular Puzzle - 100 Pieces

Amazon:  As always, Amazon is a great go to for all of your games and crafts.  You can use the links below to get setup for the week of shark fun!

Get your easy to make foam shark puppet craft kit here!

Check out these cool shark tattoos!

These shark figurines are a must for Shark Week crafts!

 

Quiet Boxes for Kids

This was a huge success! As I continue to search for the best indoor activities that are fun, yet inexpensive, for the grandkids, I occasionally hit upon a winner~Quiet Boxes! The best part is that everything pictured here, including the box, came from the Dollar Store.

Seriously, have you been to the Dollar Store recently?  I took my time and perused the aisles looking for specific items that I knew each child would be interested in.  With the ages of our two, I tried to keep the items pretty similar to keep jealousy at bay, yet still catering to their specific current “likes.”

These are the items I chose for each box:

  • Coloring book and box of crayons
  • Small pads of paper
  • Stickers
  • Puzzles
  • Spinning tops
  • Character cut out sets to color
  • Candy
  • Colorforms
  • Army men
  • Unicorn figurines

I explained to the kids that these boxes were “only” for quiet time.  When we want to play with these boxes, we must put all other toys away.  Likewise, when we are done playing, we must put everything back into the box to be ready for the next time that we want time to ourselves.  The kids quickly dug in, pulled EVERYTHING out, and forgot about everything else around them while they enjoyed their own “special” box.  What’s even better, is that when we were ready for dinner, they put everything back.  They are anxious to keep their box together.

                         

I would like to point out that when I purchased the Colorforms I was super excited!!!  Do you remember these?  I saw these in the store and immediately traveled back to  my childhood.  I have memories of being so excited every time my mom would purchase a new set for me to play with.  I told my husband about them and he looked at me like I was a crazy woman.  I guess not everyone played with these when they were young.  🤷‍♀️  So of course, I did what every Mimi of the 21st century does and I jumped on to Amazon to see if I could find more.   My goodness, there are so many:

Colorforms Pet Set

Colorforms Paw Patrol

Colorforms Frozen

Colorforms Toy Story

These are a few of our favorites above.  They cost a little more than the Dollar Store sets, but they are bigger sets, so still worth the price.

You can also build off of this idea and make “Busy Bags” for the children.   This would be a great idea for times you take the kids somewhere that you know there may not be other toys or children for them to play with.  Once again, when a child knows they have some special bag or box that is only theirs, you will be amazed how much they look forward to it.

Whether you are a parent or a grandparent, I think you will find this to be a very worthwhile project.  Let me know if you try it out!

Grandparenting from a Distance

Being apart from your grandchildren is HARD! Brad and I  are so very lucky to have ours close to us, but they do love to travel. When they leave, I get major FOMO (fear of missing out!). When these occasions strike, I dig deeper to understand how grandparents that live apart from their littles keep their bonds strong. Technology definitely makes staying in touch much easier. However, I think you still need to make it fun!!!

 

MAKE THEM LAUGH~SHARE JOKES AND RIDDLES

One thing I added to my “Mimi Bag of Fun” just recently is telling jokes.  They have been vacationing, and I wanted to keep in touch with them daily without being overbearing.   I started texting a joke to them each day that our daughter could read to them whenever they had down time.  This allowed them time to discuss answers together.  It got to the point that if I didn’t send it in time, they were wanting to know where their daily joke was.

I have always enjoyed making children laugh.  Their laughter just fills your soul.       I used to send a joke a day in my kid’s lunchboxes.  I kept a joke book handy (but out of sight from the kids) in the kitchen.  I would mark off jokes as I used them to ensure not sending the joke more than once.  I did not include the answer on their lunch note.  This made for fun discussion when they got home from school.  The kids started discovering that their friends were waiting to hear the answer the next day at lunch.

Now I keep jokes and riddles organized on my Pinterest page.  You can look at my Pinterest board that includes jokes here:  Shelly’s Pinterest Board with Jokes

In fact, my sister is caring for her kids this week.  While talking on the phone, I shared one of my recent jokes with them.  They quickly retaliated with riddles that they love.  That interaction is what makes you the “fun” grandma!  They tend to remember those silly simple times.

FACETIME~

Isn’t this a great way to see your grandkids more often?  It is definitely a tech-savvy way to have great conversations with the children while seeing their faces.   While catching up on their latest favorites, you should also use this time to spice up the interaction.    Have you tried reading a book to them over the phone yet?  It’s a little harder to navigate while holding both the phone and the book, so I suggest you either set up a station where your phone/ipad is docked for hands free talking before facetiming or have someone help you.

I also plan to incorporate  MadLibs in the future.  My kids always loved MadLibs.  If you do this while using facetime, you can get their answers from them, and then read the story back to them.  It will definitely make for lots of laughter.

I recently found a very fun website which includes a ton of fun kid activities.  They have a lot of free printables, including some mad libs.  I certainly plan on utilizing their sources more often.  You should check it out too:  Fun Free Printables

SNAIL MAIL~

If you are a grandparent that lives farther away from your grandchildren, I certainly hope you use this method quite often.   In fact, I believe that even those grandparents that  live close should use snail mail as well.   I am not very good at this but plan to get better.  Do you remember when you would go to the mailbox and something was addressed to YOU?  I still remember that happy feeling.  Even though we have technology, kids are still the same.  They still love opening that mailbox and getting something addressed to them!

KEEP A CALENDAR~

I’m not just talking about recording birthdays.  Do you record special occasions they have coming up?  Are they invited to a birthday party?  Do they have a school event?  Do they play soccer/football/basketball/etc. every weekend?  Put those dates and times on your calendars.  If you can go to their events, GREAT!  If you can’t, GREAT!  You can still give them a call and ask them all about it!  This is fun for you, the grandchild, and your child (because your child will get a bit of a break!).

Keeping in touch can be difficult….but it is well worth the effort!

 

Should I Get a Pet?

Yes, yes…and YES!  In fact, don’t stop at one!  Drop everything you are doing…seriously….go out a get a pet!  You already have one?  Go get another one….add a new type of pet to your family.  Have you ever considered something other than a dog or cat?  Whenever I hear someone ask, “Should I get a pet?,” there is no hesitation in my answer.  The benefits of having family pets are truly amazing!

 

Many of us already know some of the top benefits of growing up with pets.  Seriously, look at this picture.  PURE JOY AND HAPPINESS!  Studies show that growing up with pets creates:

HIGHER SELF ESTEEM…

PATIENCE…

   (for both the child and the pet 😉)

LEARNING TO SHARE…
EMPATHY & COMPASSION…

RESPONSIBILITY…

THE MANY BENEFITS OF PETS~

However, there are so many other benefits as well.  I constantly am reading about “screen time” rules.  There are many learning opportunities with technology today, but kids also need to get outside.  Time spent playing outside increases exponentially when they have the opportunity to play with their furry friends.

Which then leads to very interesting, yet fun bath times….

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF HAVING A PET~

Owning a furry friend also provides many life lessons.  Lessons of birth, sickness and unfortunately death.  These are not subjects we choose to talk about, however, they are a fact of life, and we must all teach our children how to deal with each one.  They watch and learn from us when dealing with each of these situations.

Along with these lessons are ones more in the way of biology.  What is the purpose of whiskers?  How does a snake digest it’s food?  If my pet is very small, like a goldfish, does it still have a heart?  Why doesn’t a dog have to blow it’s nose?  Does a cat really have 9 lives?  How do birds sleep?  How do you know if your hamster is a boy or a girl?  So many learning opportunities here!!!

Another big topic is bullying.  There is a myriad of articles out there explaining why having a pet helps curb bullying.  This personal story discusses how having a pet helped out.  Not only does she explain how her dog was a great companion, but it also gives examples of how animals (of all types) can be a benefit to children, even  if you are not allowed to have pets in your current living situation:  https://www.ourfamilyworld.com/bullying-and-cyberbullying/bullying-prevention-bullying-and-cyberbullying/pet-stop-bullying-boost-self-esteem/

TYPES OF PETS~

I urge you to consider letting your child raise different types of pets.  Many people do not think of any companions besides a dog or cat.  This is a great read on the types and benefits of other options available to us:  https://www.healthline.com/health/best-pets-for-kids#brine-shrimp .  Of course, all pets have different types of care you need to consider.  Not all of these animals/reptiles are cuddly yet they can still be good companions.

Have you considered any of these options?  Fish, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, turtles, lizards, frogs, geckos, rats…yes rats!  Explore your options!

SO…SHOULD I GET A PET?

Once again, YES!  More than anything, pets help teach a child about unconditional love.  A love that every child should receive and give!

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