Valentine’s Day: Great gift bags!

valentines bags


Valentine’s Day is just a few days away and if your children are like mine we have two needs for cute bags.  First, they make great gift bags for the teacher’s gifts for Valentine’s Day and they also are perfect for holding all those sweet treats and cards from the Valentine’s Day party at school or home.    I usually try to put a few treats in there for the teachers and then some gifts and the girls handmade cards.

Here’s how to make your own Valentine’s Day Gift Bags  

You will need:

1 white bag with handles (dollar store has them in a 3 pk for $1.00)

Assorted colored papers (we used some scrapbook papers)

Different styles scissors (nice to have but not essential

Glue (glue dots or a glue gun would be helpful but not essential)

Pink or red pipe cleaners (optional)

Googly eyes

And a great imagination.

With these youngest daughter decided to do a “Butterfly Heart” since butterflies are some of her favorite things.  Cut out a heart, circles, another heart or then again any shape for the mouth, and some wings.  We liked layering to give it more texture and depth (some of these papers were textured.

To assemble.   Continue Reading …

Over 50 Fabulous Valentine’s Day gift ideas, recipes, crafts and DIY greeting cards for kids

valentines4It is going to be a busy couple of weeks in our house. Valentine’s Day is one of our favorite holidays and the girls just LOVE (no pun intended) to make something for everyone they know. That’s why we need so many ideas to choose from!

Some portions of this list have been previously published on my Family column. . .

DIY Greeting Cards

These DIY Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards and Instructions are easy enough even the children can do them. Make greeting cards for grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins, not to mention classmates and teachers.

Kids can practice their handwriting skills with these greeting cards that feature glittery red heart stickers.

These easy to do it yourself Valentine’s Day Cards feature pastel colored hearts that kids will love creating. Share a secret messagewith these Valentine’s Day cards easily with paper and paints. Who will you surprise?

Crafts and Decor

Go green with these cute Valentine’s Day Hearts and Paper Bowls and these fun and easy Valentine’s Day crafts for kids using recyclable materials.

Cuddle up with your preschooler for some story time every night with these best Valentine’s Day Books.

Find out how to make your own Valentine’s Day Wreath, Friendship Necklaces, and turn your tissue paper pink.

Moms Madhouse offers up 42 Valentine’s Day crafts, cards, and gift ideas to choose from. Which one will you do?

Decorate your mantle with these beautiful Valentine’s Day decorations that the whole family can help create.

Get those scissors out and some red, white and pink paper for the basis of this holiday mantel decoration.

I love this Clothesline Valentine’s Sign – and I have everything I need except I frame.  Wonder what the dollar store has, of course there is always Hobby Lobby!

Recipes, Snacks and Gifts Continue Reading …

Super Bowl Sunday: Free games and printable activities


Image courtesy of Saving With a Working Mom

Image courtesy of Saving With a Working Mom


It may seem like all fun and games as the unofficial Super Bowl holiday arrives, but for the young ones it may not be as exciting.   Why not print off some free games, mazes, puzzles and coloring pages to keep them busy while you are cooking in the kitchen or catching up on a replay?   You can set up a whole table of these activities for all the children in your party to enjoy.

NFL Rush Games offers fun and free NFL games to play online are available on the “games” tab.

Create your own “go team” banners with these free and easy printables, which also include cheerleaders and specific football positions.

These Football Pack Extra printables are to be used with children from 2 to 8. These printables were made to go with the book My Football Book by Gail Gibbons.

Head to for these Printable Football Crossword Puzzle and Answers .

Super Bowl Word Find – Can you find all the words in the scrambled box?

Crayola Super Bowl Football Coloring Page – Life is always fun with Crayola.

This Lined Football Paper is perfect for writing stories, creating to do list and practicing handwriting, both before and after the Super Bowl.

It’s all About Football with this Word Search, mostly for older kids and adults.

Complete this football crossword puzzle online, no paper necessary.

Harder, harder and hardest – Connect the dots

Super Bowl Sunday is also a great opportunity to teach our children about good sportsmanship.  Are you yelling at the television?  Getting angry, upset or frustrated about a call?  Maybe calling a player or referree a name or too?  Kids love to say and do everything that the big people do so take the time this game day to show them what sports are really all about — halftime of course!

Related content:  Parent’s Setting the Stage – Acting as a “Bad Sport”

How to throw an Elmo birthday

Young kids get “tickled” over an Elmo or Sesame Street birthday party and decorating for the party is as easy as A,B, C and 1, 2, 3.

1. Go through your child’s plush animals and books and pull out everything Sesame Street. Tuck Sesame Street characters around the room and stand books up as fun and easy decorations for the food table.

2. The Sesame Street website has a wonderful collection of free printables that you can use to decorate for your Elmo party including letter printables that can be used to make a birthday banner with your birthday boy’s or girl’s name.

3. Since Sesame Street is all about bold primary colors you can do a fun and simple science experiment with your child and create a pretty party centerpiece at the same time. Purchase a bouquet of white carnations. Separate into four different cups of water. Add drops of red, blue and yellow food coloring into three of the cups and add blue and yellow into the fourth cup to make green. Over night your child can watch the white carnations turn into a rainbow of colors. Arrange the flowers together for a centerpiece for the party.

4. Since letter blocks are part of the logo for Sesame Street, it’s fun to create your child’s name from letter blocks to decorate a table or even the cake for an Elmo party.

5. The Sesame Street website also has free printables featuring numbers one through twenty. Print out your child’s age and make a welcome sign for your party guests.


How to throw a Winnie the Pooh birthday party

I just love Winnie the Pooh, that silly old bear, and his friends Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Rabbit and of course Christopher Robin. Winnie the Pooh is a favorite nursery theme and it is wonderful young birthday party theme. Here are some tips for inviting your friends and family over the 100-Acre Woods to celebrate a special birthday.

Dress for success Winnie the Pooh style.

The birthday boy or girl can be dressed for a day in the 100 Acre Woods Pooh style with a red t-shirt. Mom, Dad and the siblings can done red t-shirts for the special day too and take a honey of family photo at the birthday party.

You’ve just got to have a honey pot.

Whether you fill it with flowers or serve popcorn in it, every Winnie the Pooh party has to have a honey pot. Start with a pottery crock and either paint on the letters if you want a permanent keepsake or use removable letter stickers if you just want a honey pot for the day. Don’t forget, Winnie the Pooh’s pot is a “hunny” pot.

Have your Winnie the Pooh cake and eat it too.

You can find 45 Winnie the Pooh birthday cake ideas at
from simple and sweet to the fanciest honey pot of Winnie the Pooh cakes.

You’re invited… to print free Winnie the Pooh invitations.

If you want save money and make your own Winnie the Pooh party invitations you can find several cute ones at the unofficial Pooh Printables Page. There’s also some cute Pooh themed lined paper there that’s perfect for thank you notes.

Decorating the 100 Acre Woods.

You can find fun printables for decorating for your Winnie the Pooh birthday party at Disney Junior website. If you have preschool age guests, these printables also make fun party favors.

Raid that plush animal collections and pull out all of the Winnie the Pooh and friends characters. Plop them along your party tables up against flower arrangements or potted plants. Arrangements of leaves are perfect for a rustic 100 Acre Woods.

How to throw an American Girl doll birthday

My daughter has long been an American Girl doll fan and thanks to her grandparents she has the Kaya doll, Felicity doll and Elizabeth doll. For her eleventh birthday, she decided she wanted to have an American Girl doll party and I couldn’t have been happier. A doll party is super sweet and easy too.

American Girl birthday party invitations:

We couldn’t resist a photo invitation with our girl and her American Girl doll inviting her friends to bring their dolls over for a play date. We worded the invitation to bring your “favorite doll” so whether anyone had an American Girl doll or not would not be an issue.

American Girl birthday party cupcakes:

The birthday cake was as obvious for a doll party so finally we decided on cupcakes. We made cupcakes with white cream cheese icing and decorated them with the American Girl purple and hot pink star emblem. The party girl loved them and it was so easy for the party host. We even found hot pink star sprinkles.

American Girl birthday party favors:

We created our own party favors that were all about dressing up the dolls. We included found travel hairbrushes that folded up, lots of ponytail holders and stick on jewel earrings. We handed the bags at the party and the girls had fun doing their dolls hair and each other’s hair.

American Girl birthday party menu:

We decided since we were having a girlie girl party that we might as well go all out with our ladies themes. We decided to set up the party as a tea party with pots of tea, pitchers of pink lemonade, teacups, assorted tea sandwiches and cookies. Use a small star cookie cutter to make cookies and sandwiches in the signature American Girl emblem.

American Girl birthday party activities:

With plain plastic frames and assorted scrapbook stickers, our party guests were able to create a picture perfect frame. We took a photo of each guests and their doll and mailed it to them in their thank you notes.

Tips for getting your child to try new foods

As the holiday approaches your children may be introduced to some new foods.  They probably won’t eat them either!  But there are a few things you can do to make it a little easier on you and everyone at the dinner table as you use these tips to teach your child, “Try it, You may like it!”


It doesn’t matter if they are a toddler or teen, getting children to try new foods can be difficult. Here are few tips to make “try it — you will like it” a lot more fun than it was in “Green Eggs and Ham”!

Don’t baby them with baby food. Your child will probably show a distinct preference for certain flavors or tastes from a very young age. Instead of “babying” them with the things you know they love, be sure to introduce new flavors and combinations.

Drop the drinks. Cut back on the milks and juices, even if they are the ones that includes vegetables in them, during the day and in between meals. Not only is it bad for their teeth, but it also fills their stomach, often leaving them with no desire to eat the food in front of them.

Continue reading Try it You may like it!

Thanksgiving Crafts: Turkey Handprints

Handprint Turkeys

How cute is this?  I want to thank my little friends at Little Blessings Preschool for sharing this wonderful invitation with me.  Many of us have seen the cute handprints that make perfect turkey feathers for a Thanksgiving Day craft but I love this one with a family of turkeys.  The kids used the “fist down” for the bodies and got to make several handprints instead of just one to create these  turkey family handprint crafts for Thanksgiving.

These cute Thanksgiving Day crafts are fun for invitations, cards or even place mats.

Halloween party foods & more photos

A picture can say a thousand words and these Halloween party photos can give you instant ideas for creative healthy Halloween snacks and original party ideas. Forget the instructions this time, you’ll get the picture!

Recycled Halloween Crafts

Make this adorable Pumpkin Pals and Halloween photo frames from recycled materials.  Get the details here in Green Halloween Crafts.