Happy Earth Day!
To celebrate Earth Day we have some easy kid-friendly crafts and activities!
- Recycled Milk Jug Flower – Teach your child to love nature through recycling and caring for her own plant with this fun craft.
- Magazine Holder – Why buy a plastic organizer when you can make a recycled magazine holder and have fun with your child while doing it!?
- Earth Day Activities - From planting a tree, to cleaning up your neighborhood or planning a picnic, get outdoors and have some Earth Day fun!
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?
We are blogging from Austin where we gratefully have a break from the Chicago cold and are seeing a lot of families outside taking in some play time. (We love all the Kolcraft, Jeep and Contours strollers we are seeing in Austin! They are everywhere!) It made us stop and think about how important play is for children. Remember our friends at NWF who did a study on the importance of outdoor play? Turning off the TV and video games and playing outdoors has so many benefits for your child. It may be difficult to pull them away from the lure of electronics so a few ideas to help.
- Start a garden – Starting a simple garden, be that in a planter or in the yard, is a great way to get your child outdoors and spend special one-on-one time with each other. Together you can plant flowers or vegetables and watch them grow. It also teaches your child responsibility since a garden needs daily care of weeding, watering, etc. It can also be a time to help your child’s science classes become alive.
- Take a neighborhood walk – Walk to different parts of your neighborhood and observe the birds and other animals. See if you can identify birds by their different chirps. Take note of the different trees and flowers you see as well as the cloud shapes. Nature is your canvas to learning!
- Become a stargazer – Get a blanket and gaze up at stars. Get a guidebook on stars from your library or download Google sky. Make a game of seeing how many stars you can find!
- Childhood games – Remember Mother May I, Red Rover, Kick the Can, Red Light Green Light, Hopscotch, blowing bubbles? Teach your child your favorite childhood games, get them moving and share a part of your childhood fun with them.
- Hit the beach – Spend a day at the beach looking for unusual rocks, shells, etc. See which ones you can identify and those you cannot, use your imagination and give them a name! If you don’t live near a body of water, go to a public pool and pretend that you are sea creatures – dolphins, crabs, sharks, etc. You can make your own underworld fun!
What are your ideas for getting your kids outside to play?
World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) is celebrated April 1 -2 and it’s going to light up the world in blue! Light It Up Blue is an easy way to raise awareness about autism and be part of a worldwide movement to show your support for the autism community.
Early detection and early intervention of Autism is key and WAAD helps to raise awareness as well as funds for Autism research. It also celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with Autism.
Some ways you can help:
- Sign the pledge to raise autism awareness and encourage family, friends and co-workers to do the same.
- Light your house blue by putting blue light bulbs in your outdoor lights. (Check out the slideshow of buildings around the world who are lighting it up blue!)
- Feature the Light It Up Blue logo on your Facebook profile.
- Ask local or governmental television stations to broadcast awareness raising media (PSAs, documentaries) about autism.
- Wear apparel to help raise awareness.
- Read about one blog mom who is trying to make a difference for autistic children through Autism Learning Felt Blog.
- Give a financial contribution to Autism research. Every little bit helps!
Thank you for joining Kolcraft in making a difference for Autistic children!
This Sunday is Big Bird’s birthday! Here at Kolcraft we love Big Bird and how he teaches children valuable lessons.
A few fun facts about Big Bird:
Likes: Singing, finding solutions to problems, roller skating, making people feel better
Dislikes: Making mistakes
Favorite Food: Birdseed milkshakes
Favorite Thing: His friends
Favorite Toy: Radar, his teddy bear
In honor of Big Bird’s birthday, we have some easy-to-do activities for you and your child to celebrate this lovable bird.
Make a Milkshake:
Big Bird loves birdseed milkshakes. How about making a healthy fruit shake with your child?
What you need:
- A cup of yougurt
- Handful of ice
- Any combo of fruit such as:
- strawberry and banana
- mango and kiwi
- plum and raspberry
- blackberry and banana
- peach and pineapple
- apple and pear
- banana and mango
- peach and raspberry
- pear and pomegranate
- strawberry and blueberry
4. Blender or food processor
5. Knife (adult use only)
What to do:
- Wash fruit very well and cut into small pieces
- Put fruit, ice, and yogurt into blender & blend until smooth
- Sing Happy Birthday to Big Bird and Enjoy!
Activities for Big Bird’s Birthday:
- Go birdwatching – get a book of birds from the library, go to a local park and see how many different birds you can spot.
- Have fun – play one of Big Bird’s favorite games which you can find on the Sesame website.
- Spread love – Visit an elderly friend or grandparent in honor of one of Big Bird’s favorite activities – making people feel better.
Happy Birthday Big Bird!
We continue Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebration with an easy and fun make your own book activity you can do with your child!
What you need:
- Blank 8.5 x 11 paper
- Crayons, markers or non-toxic paint
- Hole Punch
- Scissors (adult use only)
What to do:
- Cut sheets of paper in half.
- Have your child draw pictures, print alphabet letters, write a story with you, etc.
- Punch a hole at the top side & bottom side of the felt and the the paper. If you prefer to just use a long piece of string to bind the book together like we did in the photo, you can do that as well.
- String the pages together using the felt as the book cover.
Enjoy your child’s very first published book!
Today is Dr. Seuss’ Birthday and a great day to celebrate reading with your children. We love the National Education Association’s website with info on Read Across America. They have information on literacy, ideas and activities for reading with your children and a special Seussville section with games and other reading adventures!
Bake a cake for Dr. Seuss, grab your favorite Dr. Seuss book and celebrate all that the Cat in the hat has to teach your child!
It’s your child’s special day and you want to make this birthday a day to remember without breaking the bank. We gathered a few of our favorite websites to help you make your child’s birthday truly memorable.
- The Digerati Life gives concrete ways to keep your expectations in check and plan a budget-friendly birthday party.
- Parenting.com has 30 themed birthday cakes with easy to follow instructions. This site will help you make an award-winning cake that is sure to make your child smile.
- Amazing Moms has an extensive A-Z list of themed birthday parties that can fit any budget. You will love all the creative ideas from fossil hunting at a dinosaur themed party to walking over puzzle bridges in a Dora the Explorer themed party.
- Thrifty Fun goes back to the basics with some old-fashion fun children’s birthday party ideas that are creative and engaging.
- Disney has some unique ideas for decorating, cupcake baking and releasing kids’ creativity with free printables!
You can plan a fun and budget-friendly party that is sure to bring smiles to your child! What ideas do you have for budget-friendly kid birthday parties?
At our Love Bug Twitter Party this week, Wally Wonderbug shared with us different ideas of how to turn everyday moments into opportunities to show your child a little extra love. We wanted to share a few of those ideas plus some that Wally didn’t get to share at the Twitter Party.
- Cuddle up under a blanket and watch what he or she wants to watch on TV.
- Give a chocolate kiss along with a real one.
- Exchange butterfly kisses or nose-to-nose Eskimo kisses.
- Make your child into a burrito.
- Read books about family love, like I Love You, Good Night, Guess How Much I Love You or If You Were My Bunny.
- Send an encouraging note with your child’s lunch.
- Talk in the car on the way to school instead of listening to the radio.
- Take a long walk together, at your child’s pace.
- Use magnetic letters to put loving messages on the fridge.
- Send your child a card in the mail, with stickers or a treat inside.
What everyday ways do you show your child that you love him/her?
What you will need:
- One 1 1/2″ Pom-pom – Whatever color you want your groundhog to be
- Two 10mm pink Pom-poms
- One 10mm Pom-pom – Whatever color you want your groundhog to be
- One 5mm Black Pom-pom
- Wiggle Eyes
- Scrap of White Felt
- 2 Chenille Stems – Whatever color you want your groundhog to be
- Craft Glue- only non-toxic glue should be used by children
- Scissors – used by adult only
How to make the Groundhog:
- Cut two 1 1/2″ pieces from one of the chenille stems. Gently bend them both into a circle shape to form the groundhog’s ears.
- Make the ears for your groundhog by gluing a 5mm pink pom-pom into the center of each chenille stem circle.
- Glue the two ears in place on the 1- 1/2″ pom-pom (groundhog’s head).
- Glue the wiggle eyes onto the pom-pom head just below the ears. To make the snout, glue the 10mm pom-pom onto the face, centered just below the eyes.
- Glue the 5mm black pom-pom onto the 10mm pom-pom snout to be the groundhog’s nose. Cut a small rectangle out of white felt and glue it in place to be the teeth of your groundhog.
- To make your groundhog’s arms, start out by cutting a piece of chenille stem about 6″ long. Fold each end in to meet in the center like shown in the top picture here. Then, bend it into a “V“ shape.
- Use a chenille stem so it sits neatly in your pocket. Start out by folding the uncut chenille stem in half. Hold the 2 ends together and put a generous dab of glue on them. Push the glued ends into the bottom of the groundhog’s head where the neck would be.
- To finish your groundhog, you need to attach the arms to the body. Place a few drops of glue onto one side of the “V”, near the point. Glue the “V” to the bottom of the groundhog’s head. The top sections of the “V” shape should be under the face to form the arms. Once the glue is completely dry, bend the arms so they are pointing down.
Put groundhog in your pocket & see if he sees his shadow!
Super Bowl is a great time for families and kids to bond. We have a few easy recipes and games so that the kids can be part of the Super Bowl fun!
Super Bowl Hot Potato Use a brown balloon to represent a football. Gather kids in a circle. Start playing music while the kids try to keep the “ball” off of the ground with gentle taps.
Football Hide and Seek
Hide small football erasers, stickers, pencils and coloring books around the party area and then send the kids to search for them…It’s just like an Easter egg hunt!
Use a football cookie cutter to make sugar cookie cut outs. Then provide frosting and sprinkles for decorating. You can use Popsicle sticks will make frosting the cookies easier for the kids.
Here are some delicious recipes:
Healthier BBQ Chicken Tenders
Makes about 24
- 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
- Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray
Combine barbecue sauce, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken tenders in half lengthwise, then add all the tenders to the large bowl with the remaining sauce; stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on the prepared baking sheet. Generously coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.
Ranch Dip and Crunchy Veggies
- 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk,
- 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups vegetables, such as baby carrots, sliced red bell peppers, snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower florets, cucumber spears, grape tomatoes
Whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, dill, lemon juice, mustard, honey, garlic powder and salt in a bowl until combined. Serve the dip with vegetables of your choice.
What activities does your family enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday?