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

Tag: Kid’s Fun (Page 1 of 2)

Sampling Book Clubs for Kids

If you have been following me, you have read my posts about Owl Post Books.  This has been my first experience in participating in a book club for my grandchildren.  We have thoroughly enjoyed it!  The mystery of discovering what new books and crafts are inside are fun for kids and adults alike.  So a thought hit me…let’s give other subscription boxes a try to see which one we like best.  The idea of sampling book clubs for kids was born and we are ready to embark upon this journey!

As I sample each club, I will update this post to give an honest review…from a Mimi point of view as well as from an Addi & Max point of view.  I hope as we try each one you can all decide which one you may want to try.  As always, if you have tried one or more out, PLEASE let me know in the comments at the bottom of this post.

Book Clubs for Kids ~

Owl Post Books ~

Let’s start with the box ~ even the box is a fun part of this subscription.  Each month is a different theme and the images are very detailed allowing for a fun coloring experience.  Look at this month’s cute animal theme…and it is on front and back of the box.  Of course, this box can also be used as a fun storage device as well!

There are two options to choose from when starting in this fun club.

  • Reader’s Imagination Mini ~ This one features one specially selected book and craft each month for $14.99
  • Reader’s Imagination Box ~ This one features 3 specially selected books and one craft each month for $32.99

It also breaks down into different age groups.

  • Ages 0-3
  • Ages 4-7
  • Ages 8-11

Click here to check out their website➡➡ Owl Post Books.  Depending on when  you go to their website, you may see an option for Young Adult (YA), however, this option is being discontinued.

Overall, our experience with Owl Post Books has been a very good one.  In fact, Addi just recently realized that we did this month’s craft without her and was NOT happy with Mimi.  The book choices have been loved by both kids and they have lots of fun coloring the box.  We highly recommend this monthly book club.

I have shared some earlier reviews of Owl Post Books here:  Read more about the fun we have had with Owl Post Books by clicking here!

They offer 10% off for teachers and you can cancel at any time.  Please check their FAQ page for details.

Bookroo ~

I am placing my first order for Bookroo today.  I have been researching this company quite a bit and it gets great reviews.  I am very anxious to see the type of books we receive.  The reviews all say that the choice of books is phenomenal!   Following is what I have read in my research about this fun book club subscription.

They offer options of prepay or month to month.  Both options are at a discounted rate of up to 50% off of retail value, however, the prepay offers an even deeper discount.  There are 3 options of age groups to choose from.

  • Board Book Club ~ Ages 0-3 ~ You receive 3 board books each month.  The books typically have 8 – 14 pages.
  • Picture Book Club ~ Ages 3-6 ~ You receive 2 hard cover books each month.  The books typically have 32-40 pages.
  • Chapter Book Club ~ Ages 7-10 ~ You receive 2 chapter books each month.  The books typically have 120-280 pages.

They offer a flexible delivery schedule which I personally love.  I like to have the books delivered here so the kids have something to look forward to.  Since they are not here all the time, I can choose a time for delivery that I know they are typically here.  Part of the fun is checking in the mailbox to see if there is something in there for you, right?  They also have a cancel at anytime policy, but as always you should check their FAQ page on their website.

Join me in trying this one out with the 15% coupon below…

Give the gift of reading all year round! Get 15% off today at bookroo.com

Lillypost ~

This one is also on my list as it, too, gets great reviews.  Bonus...you also are helping others with each box you receive!  Their website states:  Pick your box, choose a plan, delight your little one and give back!  How cool is that???  For each box shipped, a book donation to a child in need is given!  You and your child are helping others while still enjoying great books!

Kids Reveal Box ~

Another one that looks great and allows you to help others!  Their website states:  Choose your box, choose your plan, excite the kids and give back.  This club also includes an interactive box that the books are shipped in.  We definitely have added this one to the “must try” list.

Amazon Prime Book Box ~

Of course, we have to add Amazon Prime because I just love everything prime!  They have so many different options that it would be impossible to list them all.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Do you remember Highlights books?? Now you can have them delivered monthly…check it out here!

My First Reading Club – for ages 0-2 ~ Check out their adorable monthly selections here!

I Can Read – Kids Book Club Subscription for Ages 0 – 12 can be checked out here!

I have only touched the tip of the iceberg with my list of options.  As we continue to hear about more subscription boxes for kids, I will be sure to update this post.  I think the grandkids and I are going to have a lot of fun sampling book clubs for kids!

*Note ~ Through my blogging experience, I continue to partner up with different companies that have products/services I love to share with others.  As stated on my site, there are times I earn a commission and times I do not.  Please know any earnings I do make never affect the prices of my readers.   In fact, I am always trying to look for the best value to share with you and just love to find new fun goodies.  If you do see items you like, I hope you will click through and check them out!

 

 

Making Memories With Christmas Cookies

Christmas traditions are a very important part of the spirit of Christmas!  This year has made us all look back at years past and re-evaluate what truly is important.  It also has urged us to look forward, past 2020, and decide what we wish to carry with us for the coming years.  Spending time with loved ones is something I believe we can all agree is at top of the list.  How amazing is it that a small little cookie, decorated with sprinkles and festive colors can do just that?  Making memories with Christmas cookies is a tradition my mom started with us years ago.

We would sit in our cozy little kitchen at a fold up card table.  There was one gingerbread cookie sheet that was the moldable type.  I can still see my pudgy little fingers molding the soft cookie dough into the form until it was just right.  Mom would pop them in the oven and it didn’t take long for the sweet smell to fill the small kitchen.  Anticipation is what comes to mind!

Bowls of colorful icing would be brought to the table in preparation for the next step.  Once those cookies were done, we got the wonderful job of icing each gingerbread man and woman in an attempt to make the prettiest one.  Corn cob butter brushes were converted to paint brushes for the icing.  My heart still warms as I think back to these sweet memories.

Carrying On The Tradition ~

Fast forward to the 1990’s.  It was now time for me to start making memories with Christmas cookies with my own small children.  The cookie shapes and icing methods have changed a bit, but the family fun remains the same.  We switched to cookie cutters and small kid’s paint brushes for the icing.  (only because the corn cob butter brushes have become next to impossible to find!)

As the years progressed, the kids would each start inviting a couple of friends for the annual Christmas cookie decorating event.  The cookies were made ahead of time, which left the icing fun to them.  Back then we would add extra Christmas festivities to the day with Christmas Bingo and Christmas Scavenger Hunts.  It became a day they looked forward to each year.  Thus the Christmas tradition lives on.

Making Memories With Christmas Cookies~

Fast forward to 2020…the tradition lives on!  We just celebrated Year 15 with the same girls….and my son joins in each year to help with one or two.  These girls are now in their 20’s and 30’s and somehow we all manage to find one day each year for Christmas cookie fun!!!   We have also happily added my precious grandchildren.  Isn’t this what Christmas is all about?  Making memories with those that you hold dear to your heart!

Making memories with Christmas cookies is so much more than just decorating cookies.  It’s sharing stories and laughter while you all create your works of art.  It’s laughing and reminiscing about the year’s past.  It sharing dreams of the future.  It’s watching your children’s friends treat the new kiddos at the table with love.  It’s a whole lot of love wrapped up into one short night!

We have tried different cookie recipes and various icing recipes as well.  We have come to the conclusion that these are our favorites!  In fact, we love them so much that we can’t seem to get the cookies all decorated before we start enjoying our works of art.

Recipes ~

Perfect Printable Roll Out Cookie Recipe – No Need To Chill!

The BEST but oh so easy Cookie Icing Recipe can be printed right here!

Of course, I have to share with you some quick links to get you started on your Christmas cookie adventures.  We have found that we tend to add one or more new shapes each year, however, there are several that tend to be the tried and true favorites.  You have to have a good Santa, Christmas Tree, Reindeer and Candy Cane.  Get Christmas Tree, Reindeer, Santa and Candy Cane cookie cutters in one grouping!

We also have come to love the cute little penguin.  He is so fun to decorate!  You will definitely want to add the penguin cookie cutter to your collection!

Another favorite is the snow globe…this one has created a lot of imagination over the years!  The snow globe cookie cutter is a definite favorite of the whole cookie crew!

It is my biggest wish that each of these girls (and my son) carry this tradition on with their families.  That they too can have their hearts filled with happiness as mine is each year we all gather.  We continue to add new “things”  to our group each year…sometimes its gifts, aprons and ornaments we share with each other and other times it is even better because its a new “crew member.”  And just like that….we continue making memories with Christmas cookies!

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!!!!

Let the Crafting Begin!

Ok!  I realize that I am a little early.  Here it is September 11, and fall doesn’t officially begin until Tuesday, September 22.   But seriously, aren’t you ready for some fall fun?  Let’s start enjoying the wondrous blessings of the fall season.  I have started bringing out a few items of festive decor, and those warm colors of fall just make the house seem so much cozier.  Add a bit of spicy cinnamon to the candle warmer and voila…I have entered the happy

The fun craft ideas are certainly abundant–some old favorites as well as all of the new ones that people create every year.  So before we look at some of the fun craft ideas, I want to share with you a coupon code I for some crafting supplies that you need to be sure to have on hand.

COUPON CODES BELOW…………

Continue reading

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!!

Continue reading

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!                                                                                                                         

 

 

Have you Met Larry? (Book Review)

THIS is Larry…and he is one of our new favorite characters.  Have you met Larry?  If you haven’t, you need to follow this link now and add at least one of these books to your bookshelf.    Don’t Touch This Book-Meet Larry Now!

DON’T TOUCH THIS BOOK! ~

Addi and Max absolutely laugh with delight when we read these books.  The author is great at getting the kids engaged with each story.  Of course, the title alone, Don’t Touch This Book! makes kids want to do what????  You guessed it, they WANT to touch the book.  As I read it to them, I move the book all over during the first couple of pages, and they laugh hysterically while trying to touch the book.

As you venture through the story, Larry gives the kids permission to touch the book with one finger, then all of their fingers and then gets them to spin, wiggle and walk and talk like robots.

 

DON’T PUSH THE BUTTON! ~

The next book we chose by Bill Cotter is Don’t Push the Button!  Larry is at it again with all of his shenanigans.   As he allows the kids to push the button once, twice, then a bunch of times, multiple Larrys appear in the book…each one a different color.  You must then start shaking the book and rub his belly to make them all disappear.  The laughter this incites is music to my ears.  Larry in Don’t Push the Button!

OTHER BILL COTTER BOOKS ~

There are other books in the Don’t Push the Button series including Christmas, Easter & Halloween versions.  There is also a Christmas book titled Don’t Shake the Present.  These books don’t yet grace our book shelves, but by the time each of these holidays roll around, you can bet they will be!  Our family loves Larry and I am sure yours will too!

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!

 

« Older posts
%d bloggers like this: