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Mother’s Day Controversy

May 9, 2021 – The 107th Mother’s Day ~

Have there OFFICIALLY been 107 Mother’s Days?  There is some controversy over this date.  This, of course, led to some research on my part.  According to our history, 1914 is the the year that President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May to be a national holiday to honor mothers.  So I consider this fact to NOT be a Mother’s Day controversy…what do you think?

Other days celebrating “mothers” have been recognized before this.  Ann Reeves Jarvis organized Mothers’ Friendship Day to foster reconciliation between families of the North and the South after the Civil War.  She cared for wounded soldiers on both sides during the war and  felt strongly about bringing peace to all involved.  The first Mothers’ Friendship Day was held in 1865 and became an annual event for several years after that.  In fact, this is what inspired what we now know as Mother’s Day.

Sooo….Mother’s Day became a national holiday in 1914 BUT people realized long before then that mother’s deserved some respect…AM I RIGHT???

Hold up…did you catch the typos in the earlier paragraph???

Are you finding yourself stating, “Mimi needs to correct her grammar.”  Did you notice that darn apostrophe is in the wrong place…not once but TWICE in the opening paragraphs?  Well, it is indeed correct just how it is!  For all of you grammar nerds like me…Sorry!  In fact, this is what has become yet another Mother’s Day controversy.  Crazy right?  When the friendship days were first created, they were more of a celebration for soldiers and their moms in an effort to instill peace.  Therefore, it was not a day honoring individual moms, but instead moms as a whole with their sons.

I am actually sitting here stunned right now that in my mid 50’s I am just hearing of all of this.  I recently started researching Mother’s Day controversy stemming from posts I have seen on social media over the last few years.  None of which had anything to do with:

  • Who actually created Mother’s Day?
  • Where does that crazy apostrophe belong?
  • What is the right way to celebrate this wonderful holiday?
  • Is Mother’s Day too commercialized?

Personally, I have always found the biggest controversy to be finding how to share time with my mother, mother-in-law and my kids (obviously as their mother) all in the same day.  When I was a kid, we all lived so close to most of our family members making this process much easier.

The Move From Singular Possessive to Plural Possessive ~

The big move of that devilish apostrophe from Mothers’ Day to Mother‘s Day took place in 1908.  Anna Jarvis (daughter to above mentioned Ann Reeves Jarvis) held a memorial to honor her mother and all mothers.    This is technically the first official celebration of Mother’s Day.  After several years of this annual celebration, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill designating the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.

The Controversy Continues ~

As the years progressed, Anna Jarvis became increasingly frustrated at how Mother’s Day was being celebrated.  According to Anna, the holiday was becoming too commercialized.  She spent the rest of her life trying to get the holiday removed from the national calendar.

It is so sad that such a special day is plagued with so much controversy.  However, we are not going to let this get in the way of showing moms all around the world how very much they are appreciated, right?  How you choose to celebrate is obviously up to you….simplistic or extravagant.  Keep in mind, the most important thing is just to convey love and thoughtfulness.  Let’s look at some fun ideas!

Mother’s Day Ideas ~

  • Brunch – Break out the china, pull out the tablecloths and add in some candles.  It can be matchy matchy or all mis-matched.  The idea is to bring together a fun meal with a special table setting.  And…don’t you dare let mom make that meal….come on it’s Mother’s Day!  If the children are small, let them make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with apple slices.  If it is an adult planning then maybe go a little more sophisticated.   Regardless of the menu, any mom is sure to appreciate the special attention!
  • Household Chores –  Every mom loves a break from house cleaning.  Whether you take it on the fly and just clean the morning of or you create a coupon book for mom with different duties, offering to help clean is something every mom loves!
  • Gardening and Flowers – We have spent several Mother’s Days once my children have gotten older with them helping me till the garden and plant the veggies and flowers.  I love the help and especially love the special time with the kiddos.  You can go a step further and purchase some of the garden goodies for her.
  • Free Day – From sunup to sundown, let mom just relax.  Does she love to lounge in bed or does she prefer time in the sun?  Know what she likes and make sure she is content there all day long with snacks, drinks, books and a cozy blanket.
  • Reading – Speaking of books, does she have a favorite author?  Is she on a reading social media site (like Good Reads) where she saves books she would like to read?  Look at that list and surprise her with one or two of her desired books.
  • Hiking – Is mom the outdoors type?  Plan a fun day of hiking and a picnic!
  • Casino Time – Maybe mom loves to gamble.  Offer to drive her to and from the closest casino.  As an extra bonus, add in a little extra cash for her to have fun with!  For heaven’s sakes, let her have fun!  This would be one of my mom’s favorite gifts for sure!
  • Shopping & Lunch – Need I really say more about how much fun this can be for both mom and daughter?
  • Home Made Cards – My children loved making their own cards when they were smaller.  What is important here is that you do this ahead of time so they have plenty of time to create the “perfect” card.  There is no card out there that can be purchased that is more personal than a hand made one!
  • Pet Spa – What mom wouldn’t love a break from bathing the family pet?  Either wash the pets for her or just help out…you may be surprised at how much fun you can have together.

There are truly so many ideas for this special day.  Personally, I love the gifts that are hand made or “time spent with my kids” gifts.

Also, there are some really unique ideas from Stampington & Company that you need to check out.  They have free projects, that do also include links to purchase any of the items you don’t already have.  Use the links in green below to find some really creative ideas.

This project is definitely the “Bee’s Knees” for a Mother’s Day Gift! Check it out here!  (ok, I really love this one because bees are my fave!)

You're The Bee's Knees— Mother's Day Tag & Charm Project

 

This Mother’s Day floral bouquet project is sure to be a hit…check it out!  One of the things I love most about this project is that they used holiday clearance items (like a Christmas tree form) to redefine their use.  It is so very creative.

A Mother€'s Day Floral Bouquet Project by Catherine Garmany

I can’t begin to tell you how much I LOVE these very special soldered ornaments. You MUST see these!  What is so wonderful about these is that you can use special sentiments OR you can use special photos!

Inspired by Mom Soldered Ornaments Project by Catherine Garmany

These are just a few of their unique crafting ideas.  Be sure to check out their website yourself here…Check out everything Stampington & Company has to offer here!!!  Be sure to peruse their website, but click on DIY Inspiration ➡ Free Projects➡ Search Bar (and type in Mother’s Day) for more great Mother’s Day crafting ideas.

I still haven’t figured out the more current Mother’s Day controversy of spending this awesome day with both my mother and my mother-in-law…but I will continue to work on that!  In the meantime, maybe this year will be difficult to figure out that dilemma after my kid’s see the current personal “spa day” I did on myself and my hair.  I’m thinking this year a day at my favorite hair salon may just be that perfect gift for me…*HINT HINT*

P.S.  Are you wondering about the woman in the cover pic?  That’s my mom….she’s as cool now as she was when I was a kid!

Much love ~

Mimi

Zany Bookmark DIY Fun

You need to try these little gems!  Kids not only like to get Valentines, but they love to give them as well!  They will be filled with such pride as they help with everything from the design to the fun tassel finish.  Everyone will love being a part of this zany bookmark DIY fun!

Items Needed:

  • Photographs
  • Scissors
  • String, Yarn, Ribbon, Embroidery Floss
  • Thermal Laminating Pouches
    • (you can use contact paper, but this post is about laminating.  I have not used the contact paper, but have read articles about it)
  • Empty Toilet Paper Roll
  • Optional – Laminating Machine
  • Optional – Print Shop Program

Cut Out Photo Bookmark ~

The most fun to making this one is the photo session itself.  Have the children pose in funny ways with their hands up in the air.  Tell them to pretend they are hanging on to a tree limb or rope.  They can put both hands up or just one.  Encourage them to hold their legs in various ways as if they are suspended in the air.  It is also fun to have them make silly expressions.  This makes the final product so much more fun!

Traditional Style Bookmark ~

You can have just as much fun creating the more traditional style of bookmark.  I love to use The Printshop program to create fun backgrounds and wording.  We had fun with the Valentine sayings and created this one saying “Bee Mine” with a little yellow bee fluttering across the top of the heart.

Once your photo session is over or you have selected from photos you have already taken, you will need to print them.  You can also have them printed at your nearest photo store if you prefer.  I like to print them myself so I can play with the sizing of the photograph. *If you are doing the detailed cutout type, you will want to be sure they are printed large enough to cut a hole in for the tassel.   I love to use my print shop program for that.

Print out all photos you are wanting to use first, then laminate them.  By doing this you can fit as many pictures as possible into the laminating pouch to alleviate excess waste.  I love having a laminating machine.  It comes in handy for so many different projects and they are very inexpensive.  Get your own laminating machine here for only $21.99.

Of course, you will need laminating sheets as well.  I love the pouches.  I found mine at the local craft store, but they do have them online as well.  Get a pack of 100 thermal laminating pouches for only $14.10!!!  I have discovered that buying the larger packs is way more cost efficient.  Plus, it is always good to have them on hand whenever you need them.

         

Once they are laminated, the cutting process can begin.  The children can help with this step as well, however, if they are younger you may want to do the more detailed cutting.  If you have chosen to make the more traditional square ones, you can have the children cut those out with more ease.

Of course, you can spread the love and add your favorite furry friend to the bookmarks as well!

Making Tassels ~

This is where that used toilet paper roll comes in.  Cut the toilet paper roll in half for easier tassel making.  Start wrapping your yarn or embroidery thread around the roll.  Continue wrapping until you get to the desired size.  I wrap mine about 15 to 20 times.  This is another fun activity for the kids to get involved in.

Gently ease the wrapped yarn off of the roll.  Tie a small piece of the same colored yarn (or get artsy and use a different color) around the wrapped yarn about 1/4″ down from the top and tie tightly.  This creates the top of the tassel.  Then cut horizontally across the looped bottom portion to create the dangling tassel part.

As you can see, the yarn creates a poofier (is that even a word???) tassel, while embroidery floss makes a more sleek tassel.  I suggest experimenting with both to see which style you prefer more.

The sky is the limit with this zany bookmark DIY fun…from the photos, to the sayings, to the tassels.  If you don’t have a program to create fun artwork, use old greeting cards or images from magazines.  You can also use various sizes of sticker letters.  Paper House Productions has tons of fun stickers….you really need to check them out!  Check out the HUGE variety of stickers from Paper House Productions here!!!   Here are some fun sayings you can use:

  • You are my fav❤rite person!
  • No bones about it, you are top dog!
  • You are beary special!
  • Bee mine!
  • You’re toadally awesome!
  • Hugs!
  • You’re a purrrfect friend!
  • You shine!
  • Sending you hogs & kisses!
  • I’m so hoppy you are my friend!
  • You have my heart Valentine!
  • Valentine you are out of this world!
  • You’re #1 in my book!
  • I’ve got my eye on you Valentine!
  • You are so cool Valentine!

Go gather your materials and get started on the fun….Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!

Hugs~

Shelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring Back E.T.~Imagination and Role Playing

I wish I could tell you how many people comment, “Bring back E.T.!” whenever we post a picture of Max in his E.T. mask!  There was a short span of time that EVERYTHING he did was done with that big E.T. head.  One only has to be around him for a short period of time before he has you engrossed in his imagination and role playing.  While we are all laughing with delight at his antics, we never stop to think of the many benefits there are to children when playing dress up.

Have you ever been told, “Maybe you should try walking in my shoes for a bit?”  I’m sure almost everyone has either heard that phrase at one time or possibly even said it.  This is a person wanting you to understand what their life or situation is like…a person asking for empathy.  When a child engages in role playing, they are doing just that.  Whether it be dressing up like mommy and daddy, a superhero, a princess, or even E.T., they are “walking in their shoes,” and without realizing it, learning empathy.

Sure, it’s fun to pretend they can fly like a superhero or swim like a mermaid.  However, they have also watched this person in action and are now trying to mimic them…or walk in their shoes.  The process of watching…remembering…then mimicking is building brain power without them even realizing it!

Dress Up Box ~

A dress up box was always available to our kids when they were growing up.  It was filled with costumes and accessories.  We would go to a Hawaiian themed party and the plastic leis would make it to the box.  We would celebrate New Year’s Eve and the party hats, horns and boas would be added to the box.  Old party dresses and high heels….you got the idea!

What I wish I would have done differently is to add their Halloween costumes to the box.  I tended to put those back in case someone else wanted to wear it the next Halloween.  My daughter, Lauren, keeps costumes out for them to enjoy all year long.  This is how we ended up with the wonderful days of Max and E.T.

Eating with E.T.

Playing Outside with E.T.

 

Shopping with E.T.

Brushing Teeth with E.T.

Yes, Taking a Bath with E.T.

Going to Bed with E.T.

You hardly saw Max during those days that he did not have that E.T. head on.  He would sometimes wear the whole costume, but most often he just wore the head.  There were even days that he shared it with others!

Are you thinking to yourself, “Man, I have got to get one of these adorable E.T. costumes for my kids?”  Don’t you worry, I got your back!  Order your own cool E.T. costume right here!  As stated earlier, your kids can dress up all…year…long!

My other thought here is that if you let your children dress up whenever they want it builds a sense of self confidence.  As I watched our three children grow through the different stages, it was very important to me that they learned to be kind and to have self confidence.  I put these two together because I believe they go hand in hand.  The times I would see them at their lowest in self-confidence is when they were  being picked on by others.  Therefore, it was also important to use those times to enforce why being kind is so important.

With that being said, Brad and I completely believe that Max is not going to suffer in the self-confidence area!  Whether he is E.T (where he just always looks so adorable), The Hulk (where he very dramatically transforms from self to Hulk with LOTS of noise), Spider Man (where he covers you with webs with a twist of his magical hand), or Mr. Freeze (where he freezes you and you MUST stay frozen until he unfreezes you!) he truly believes he IS those characters!

Themed Play & Crafts ~

Lauren does a fantastic job of taking their current interests and turning them into fun activities filled with themed crafts and foods.  I wrote about the alien theme when I first started blogging.  It is a small entry, but the pics are cute.  You can check the alien themed blog here!!!

I have since learned it is helpful to include directions for the crafts and food.  I searched Pinterest for some help on how to make the spaceship and found this great pin.  Zygote Brown Designs describes in detail how to make a spaceship!

Where is Your Dress Up Box? ~

Playing dress up is SO MUCH MORE than just a fun way to keep the kids occupied.  It stirs their imagination and aids in their emotional development.  So if you haven’t done so yet, go create that box of imagination for them.

It can be a bigger, dual purpose box like this!

It can be a pretty basket like this!

Regardless of what you use, you won’t regret making this an option for your kids.  You, too, can bring back E.T. and spark their imagination and role playing.  They can enjoy this for years!  And who knows, when you become a Mimi, you may find yourself dragging it back out again! 😉

 

 

PHOTOriffic Birthday Party Theme

Two year old Max declared he wanted a “Just Max” party for his third birthday.  As is usually the case when having a discussion with Max, you can’t help but find yourself chuckling at his responses.  Life is definitely a lot funnier with him in our world!  After a bit, Lauren (his mommy) asked, “Why not?”  And that, my friends, is how the PHOTOriffic birthday party theme came to life!

In true Lauren fashion, creative ideas started flowing right away.  This girl definitely knows how to take a birthday party to the next level.  Even more perfect is that she got to mix her love of photography with her love of party planning!  The end result was a fun photoriffic birthday party theme that can be used for any age…child or adult!

Planning ~

You will need to decide if you want to use just a few pictures or if you want to use a large amount of various faces.  As mentioned earlier, Lauren, (who we call Photo Lo) has an abundance of fun candids so the choice was easy for her.  There are so many fun “faces” of Max that she couldn’t use just one or two.  I, personally, am glad we used a lot of photos as it was fun to reminisce about the different ones throughout the evening.  In fact, there were many responses of, “Bring ET back!”….this stemming from a short period of time when Max wore an ET mask everywhere!

Organizing the photos in one folder on your computer is very helpful.  In this era, we tend to keep a lot of pictures on our phones and on social media apps.  The most time consuming part is going through those pictures. If you have ever searched for a particular picture on your phone that was taken months earlier, you know this many times take longer than you expect.  Once you find ones you think you will use,  copy them into the folder you have created.  This will prove to be very beneficial as you start creating your party props.

Crafting ~

Photo T-Shirts ~

Making shirts for everyone was a BIG hit.  Instead of worrying about what size is good for each one, we bought men’s packages of t-shirts in large and extra large.  Those who were smaller can get fancy with how they want to wear their shirt.  These are obviously easy enough to get at discount stores, but if you plan ahead you can get even better deals through Amazon like the one below.  You can’t beat prices like these:

Men’s package of 6 White T-Shirts at a lower price of $11.50!!

Next, you will need to purchase iron on transfer sheets.  These are so much fun to use, but you need to follow the directions closely.  One of the most important tips they give you is to use your hottest, non-steam iron setting.  This is very important.  Once again, these can be found in your local stores, but I did find better prices on Amazon.

Iron On Transfer Sheets for White or Light Colored T-Shirts

These are $8.98 for a pack of ten…that is a STEAL!  We purchased some at both Michaels and WalMart.  Neither one of those purchases were as cheap as the price above from Amazon.

Iron on Transfer Sheets for Dark T-Shirts

These are $12.94 for a pack of ten.  If you are going to use darker shirts then you must use these.  We tried transferring to a gray shirt and ruined it.  You could barely see the image.  So do yourself the favor if you want to use a dark shirt, spend the couple dollars extra.

Photo Banner ~

Creating a birthday photo banner is easy but time consuming….so plan ahead!  You can do these in multiple colors or follow a specific theme.  As you can see, we went with multi-colored hats.

Printing Out Pictures for the Banner~

The next decision is whether you want the banner single sided or double sided.  The pics above are single sided.  Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to print each picture out on heavy card stock.  This creates more durability as well as a better image for the banner.  If you choose to make your birthday banner double sided, you will need a program such as PrintShop to flip the image.  By doing this, you can match the images back to back perfectly.

I took images we had saved in the folder discussed earlier, transferred them to PrintShop and enlarged them to get a clear but sizeable image.  Once you get it as large as you can without losing the clarity, print it out on heavy card stock.  Next you will need to cut the faces out.

Making Birthday Hats for the Banner ~

Let your creativity flow when making the birthday hats.  We used both printed paper and solid paper and cut them out in the shape of a birthday hat.  We cut ours out freestyle.  I think one can get lost in trying to make it “perfect.”  Seriously, don’t get to caught up in that.  Also, you will find that the pictures will tend to be different sizes, therefore, you will need to make some hats smaller and some larger.

Adorn the hats with fun stickers, printable images and fun different dimensional items for the top of the hat.  I printed out some of Max’s favorite characters on the computer and then cut them out to create our own stickers!  We had hats with The Hulk, Scooby Doo, Batman, PJ Masks, and soccer balls.  We even created a couple of hats with pictures of Addi and Max to help keep jealousy at bay. 😉

Multi-colored pom poms for the perfect birthday hat!

It is fun to top off the hats with different creative items, but you will find that your “go to” on most of them are pom poms.  It’s fun to have different colors and sizes.  We also used other articles such as a plastic bat ring left over from Halloween for the Batman hat and a soccer ball sticker for the soccer hat.  As I said earlier, let your creativity flow when you are creating your photoriffic birthday themed props!

Use Banner Photos Around the Party Area ~

Are there so many cute pictures that you just couldn’t narrow it down to what you needed for the banner?  I feel ya!  So keep crafting and place extras in various places around the house.

We transformed dancing Santa into dancing Max for the evening!

We also updated center pieces for evening!

Spread the love all over for everyone to enjoy!

Photo Tattoos ~

Tattoos transcend all ages….well at least temporary tattoos!  Now, let’s take that a step further and turn photos into temporary tattoos for this amazingly fun birthday party!  Of course, Etsy comes to the rescue in helping to fulfill this step of the party planning.

Temporary Photo Tattoos are a MUST for the party!

Advance planning for these is a necessity, as any custom photo order item takes a bit more time.  However, as always is the case, Etsy comes to the rescue with these temporary photo tattoos.

What birthday party is on your calendar to plan next?  Do you have your pictures organized?  Start planning today because this is a photoriffic birthday party them that you are definitely going to want to try!

 

 

Make Christmas Special

Whether you are creating your own Christmas cozy or you are shopping for that perfect gift, I have some great ideas for you!  Read on for some fun & unique ideas that you can order to make Christmas special!

I want to share with you some of the great companies I have partnered with.  By taking the time to research each company and then placing an order with them, my hope is to help take the guesswork out of it for you.  I pay close attention to the value of the product received as well as the shipping methods.  What is left are companies that I have come to love and feel very comfortable sharing them with you!

Decor Steals ~

I have absolutely fallen in love with this online-only company.  They offer affordable, timeless home decor pieces.  It is a daily deal site that offers three new products each and every day at 10 a.m.  The “steals” are available for 24 hours or until they sell out.  However, there are many other incredible items to shop as well.  In fact, I love their products so much that I signed up to get the daily email because their daily “steals” are gorgeous!

I have ordered several of their products and have been very happy with EVERYTHING!  *ps…I especially love the Love You More blanket!  They very clearly post in the description of each item how long it will take the product to leave their warehouse.  Every item has different shipping times, so pay attention to that!  Below is just a sampling of their vintage home decor:

Meddy Teddy ~

From previous posts, you all know how much we LOVE Meddy Teddy.  He is truly one of the best teddy bears out there!  Looking for that perfect gift for your child or grandchild?  This is it!!!  Seriously!  Not only is he fully poseable and huggable, but he also helps introduce yoga and meditation to children.

When you go to their site, you will see all of the cute little accessories as well.  Who doesn't love accessories???  While I cannot express enough how much my grandchildren love theirs, you will need to order soon to get this little guy in time for Christmas.

You will LOVE all the Meddy Teddy items!!!

ETSY ~

Please tell me you have ordered from Etsy.  In fact, if you have a favorite shop owner, please share it with me!  We all know the importance of shopping small business and this is your opportunity!  My girls and I LOVE so many UNIQUE items that we have ordered from this amazing site.

There are truly so many fabulous items to choose from so these following links break it down by section for you:

Check out this fabulous home decor--for gifting and of course to refresh your home decor as well! 😉
🎅

Here are some great bath and beauty ideas for that special someone!
🎅

Shop popular items on everyone's list!
🎅

Because a girl can NEVER have too many accessories!
🎅

Paper House ~

Are you tired of getting the same old stocking stuffers?  Then you MUST check out The Paper House.  What a fun company with loads of unique ideas!  This high quality company offers cards, magnets, papers, and clever gifts at great prices.  Some of the products include albums, bookmarks, bundles, paper crafting kits and washi tape.

Below is just a sample of what all they offer.....what are you waiting for????  You can click on any of the pics below or just go directly to their warehouse sale ➡➡➡Take me to the Paper House warehouse sale now!!!

Owl Post Books ~

There is truly NOTHING that tops the value of reading for kids!  We all know the many benefits of teaching the love of reading to kids at an early age.  Of course, it only gets better if they get to run out to the mailbox each month for their own personal subscription box.  Bonus...it comes in a fun box for them to color!

Owl Post Books offers different subscriptions for different age groups.  You can also choose for grab bags or book of the month club.  The craft that is included is icing on the cake.  Addi & Max get excited every time they get their subscription.  In fact, we have had to settle a fight or two over who gets what!

 

What could be better than finding unique products from companies you know you can depend on.  I hope that I can help you just a little bit in your Christmas preparations by bringing you some new stores to visit...online!  It is important to me that each and every follower knows how very much I appreciate them!  I will always work hard to find great values and share good ideas!  We are all in this together as we strive to make Christmas special...this year and every year!

 

 

Fall is Around the Corner!

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!!

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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!

Leaf Print Stamp Art With Kids

I have been wanting to try leaf print stamp art with my grandchildren for a while.  I have looked through so many pictures and ideas of how to do it.  Let’s just say that when Addi, Max and I did this fun craft together yesterday, our artwork did NOT turn out like the images I had in my mind.  BUT….that’s ok!  In fact, it is MORE than ok!  If there is one thing I have discovered in life with kids…nothing ever really turns out the way you plan.  It’s the fun and laughter along the way that makes it all worthwhile!

STEPS AND TIPS TO LEAF PRINT STAMP ART WITH KIDS~

  1. Set up your craft area with markers and paper.  If your children are smaller, I believe white copy paper will be best.  I considered colored construction paper, but the leaves are a bit hard to color on without ripping, thus making it more difficult to get a dark enough image for colored paper.  ***You can use paint as well, but I need to up my art supply game first…including art aprons!
  2. Be sure to have butcher block paper or kids placemats to put under their artwork to save your craft area from looking like a rainbow.
  3. Collect leaves.  I recommend that you do NOT do this ahead of time.  I know many of us like to be prepared for crafts with littles, but I guarantee you that it will be more fun if you let them pick out their own leaves.  Never underestimate a good little walk in nature with children!
  4. Have each child collect at least 5-10 leaves.  It is great to get several different types of leaves, however, the number collected is equally important as you will quickly learn.
  5. Using a small leaf, do a VERY QUICK tutorial for the kids.  Color a small leaf, instruct them to watch as you then turn the leaf over and stamp onto the paper.  I say very quick because they will be anxious to get started!
  6. Make sure you explain that they need to color gently so they do not rip their leaves.  This takes us back to #4 and why you need several leaves.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .   
  7. It is fun to color with different colors, but I recommend you color with one color first until they get the hang of it.  It takes children quite a bit of time to choose colors and also get the lids on and off.  This results in the leaf colors drying before they ever get to stamp.
       
  8. Once they have colored their leaf, help them turn the leaf over by the stem and press down on paper.
         
  9. Of course, praise them for their wonderful artwork!                                                                                                                         

 

 

Family Fun on the 4th of July

July 4th is right around the corner–it’s time to get the grills cleaned and find all of your red, white & blue apparel!  Let’s have some family fun this 4th of July!

We, like most families, always get together to celebrate Independence Day!  Recipes, new and old are made, fireworks are purchased, and fun family crafts are decided upon.  As I get older though, I realize I may not have done a great job instilling in my children “why” we celebrate this great day.  Don’t get me wrong, they knew the importance of the day, I just don’t think I took the opportunity to teach some historical facts like I could have.  If I had it to do over, I would have used this time to create fun ways to teach the kids more about our history.  This is truly a great time to have family fun AND teach some history about why we are celebrating.

Did You Know???
    1. Two of our presidents (who also were signatories of the Declaration of Independence), died on July 4, 1826.  Literally the same year!!!  Do you know which presidents they are?
    2. Another president (who was not a signatory of the Declaration of Independence) died on July 4, 1831.
    3. We also have a president who was born July 4, 1872.

Do you know the answers?  Follow this link to check your knowledge:  https://mimiblog.org/2020/06/30/fun-facts-page/

 

Sooo, how did you do?          Don’t get upset if you didn’t know all of them.  I must admit that I learned some new facts today too.  See, I told you I should have taken the time when my kids were younger…I guess you are never to old!

July 4, 2020

So what’s in store for this year?  We have decided to do some tie dye shirts now that the kids are getting a little older.  I’m sure it will be messy, but it will be fun.  After all, that is  what makes good memories.  This is the tutorial (by Happiness is Homemade) that I am going to follow.  I did not create this pin, but I like the way it walks you through step by step if you have not tie dyed before:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/730709108282309018/

I am also including this link (by Leigha Doran) as I love the way this one turned out (this is an image only pin):  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/730709108282308707/

The girls and I are working on the rest of the details….I will share them with you when they are finalized.  Until then, I hope you are inspired to add some new fun to your family celebration, and I look forward to hearing about your ideas!

Wildlife Feeders

Anyone who knows Mimi knows my love for all animals.  This is something our daughter is instilling in her kids as well.  I truly believe children who are taught to love and care for animals carry that on into how they act with their friends.

This simple craft is fun to make and you get to reap the benefits of it for quite some time as well.  It requires only 2 items:  pipe cleaners and cheerios.  What is even better is that there is not a lot of help needed from adults.  Kids can feel very proud of what they make “all by themselves!”  The benefits to wildlife is an added bonus as well.

   

Having an assortment of colors of pipe cleaners is fun for the kids.  Deciding on which color to use becomes a very big decision.  This is a great time too to talk about choosing bright colors to stand out or should you use neutral colors to camouflge.  It has now become a Biology lesson as well.

Start out by making a loop at the end of your pipe cleaner.  This may be the one part that an adult needs to step in and assist.  Addi & Max had fun trying to slide the cheerios that were stuck together in different formations onto the pipe cleaners without breaking them.  Addi also used her creative side and decided to start forming the pipe cleaners in different shapes.

Experiment with different flavors of cheerios as well.  It is fun for the kids to watch out the windows at their works of art to see if certain animals prefer one flavor over another.

Once we had several done we went out to hang them.  It’s best to hang them on branches that have others close by for birds (or other wildlife) to munch on more easily.  Birds also like to feel secure while they are gathering food.

           

Now we get to sit and anxiously wait for those birds to find them and start feasting!  Try making a journal page for the kids to write down the date and type of animal they see at their feeders.  Let them decorate by drawing the animals themselves or have wildlife stickers available for them to use.

It is important for children to learn the value of wildlife in our society.  More importantly, it is important to teach them how to care for every living thing on earth!

Have fun!

Mimi

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