Summer Cool: Homemade Frozen Pops and Flavor Infused Water

Our kids will go through ice pops like water in the summer… well, let me restate that, they will eat as many as I will let them regardless of the weather outside.

During the hot days of summer, I want them to stay hydrated and I also want them to get good nutrition.  We are drinking lots of flavor infused water and gobbling up all kinds of frozen creations.

We like commercial molds because they contain all the necessary pieces and use a smaller space in the freezer.  However, ice cube trays & cups work well also.  For reusable “sticks” opt for plastic spoons or other easy to clean item.  We go through about 24 a day so I just toss things into the blender until its full, leftovers can be a nighttime snack!

Make a bunch every night, this is a good post dinner/before bed activity.   The kids love to choose the ingredients and help mix everything up.  There are a few simple ways to go about this…

Frozen Pops [Read more...]

I Love Dirt Book Review

I Love Dirt by Jennifer WardDirt used to be the only place for kids to play, before we concreted most of it up. As recent news has shown playing in the dirt and grass actually made kids healthier a lot of parents are tossing their kids back into the yard for some old fashioned fun. That’s where the book I Love Dirt by Jennifer Ward comes in.

This is one of my favorite books of ideas for getting kids outside and playing. I Love Dirt is more of an activity guide, featuring 52 wonderful ideas for kids ages 3-8 to get out in nature, explore, and even learn something along the way. The various activities span the entire year, covering ideas for spring, summer, autumn, and winter. No matter if your kids are in the middle of a city, out in the suburbs, or already enjoying the country side you will find something worth doing. I love that Ward also included little “Help Me Understand” sidebars for adults to help us explain the science aspects of nature.

“Here is the potential for much fun, many meaningful experiences—and a trove of shared stories.”

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Green Toys Inc – Recycled Toys Made in the USA

toy dump truck

What if that empty milk jug you just tossed into the recycling bin could be made into a fun toy for your kids to play with? Now it can, thanks to an amazing toy company called Green Toys Inc. This amazing toy company out of California creates cute and colorful children’s toys from recycled plastic milk jugs. creating toys that really are green in so many ways.

We believe the world would be a much better place if everyone said “please” and “thank you”, cell phones didn’t ring during movies, and all toys were fun, safe, and made from environmentally friendly materials. Since it’s probably no use holding our breath for those first two, we’re concentrating on the toys.

Green Toys Inc strives to be eco-friendly from start to finish. First their toys are made from recycled milk jugs and other environmentally friendly materials. Second, everything is local to their business in California. They are made 100% in the USA, reducing the fuel and energy use that transporting the toys or materials would use. And as they mention on their site the toys are made in California, a state known for strict toy safety and environmental laws. Even their packaging is recycled and environmentally friendly!

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Back to Basics: What Kids Actually Need for Play Fun

I am a firm believer in minimalist living. That said, my kids like so many others have WAY too much stuff. We are working hard to change this and focus on what actually makes sense. The phrase, “I’m Bored” is never to be uttered in my house. I get this from my darling Grandparents who had a large hand in raising me. There is NEVER an excuse for boredom and if you do find yourself bored, there are always chores to be done. It always amazes me what bored minds can come up with when given the alternative of scrubbing the bathroom.

I have a huge problem with how so many toys on the market today have one use. The toys tell you how to use them (this even goes for planned building sets). I want my children to use their imagination and to not be hindered by what a toy is suppose to be for. (And don’t get me started on all the idol/hero worship, dolls who look like streetwalkers and massive amounts of fighting toys.)

So, what does a child really need (other than love, shelter, clothing & food): [Read more...]

Secret Mom Tricks

parenting.jpgEarth Day is nearly past, but there’s a few minutes left to just have a laugh after a day of celebration. I’m about to share my double-secret mom tricks. Now, keep these to just us parents, right?

Now and then, we parents have to be creative. Someday, if our kids are lucky, we’ll share these secrets when they have kids of their own. Maybe. Or maybe we’ll just have a bit of a laugh first then let them in on it. (fun after the jump). [Read more...]