Feeling pent-up indoors and the kids need something (besides watching TV) to do?
Here are some simple indoor-games that can help fight your cabin fever.
Plastic Cup Construction
Supplies: lots of plastic cups
Want to stretch their creativity? Lighter than blocks and easy to condense for storage, “plastic cup construction” is a ridiculously simple activity that will get their brains working as they try to build structures out of cups. Whether you challenge them to build a tower, a fortress, or a mini-colosseum—this creative, low-mess activity will keep your kiddos occupied for hours. (link)
Supplies: painter’s tape, (straws and ping pong balls optional)
Another fun and low-maintenance in-door game is creating a tape maze. Using tape, (blue painter’s tape works great) create a large maze on the floor. Then have the little ones try to solve the maze with toy cars or ponies. If you really want to make it fun, give them some straws and ping pongs balls, and have them guide the balls with puffs of air. Let them change up the maze and add toy obstacles to keep the fun going. (link)
Check out this cool variation here: (link)
What’s in the Bag?
Supplies: a bag, objects found around the house
Caution: this game may not be for the faint of heart—depending on how “creative” your child can be. Give the child a bag and allow them to collect five things from around the house. Have them bring the bag back to you or another player. By feeling the objects inside the bag (no peeking!), try and guess what’s inside. (link)
Supplies: a large room, 3+ people
A grade school classic, Simon Says is a game that teaches the players to listen carefully before they act. One person who is in charge gives out any kind of command, such as, “pat your head,” “jump three times,” or [insert silly action]—except they should only do the action if the person in command (i.e. Simon) says “Simon says” before. This game can get a little competitive but it’s great to play if you need to kill some time with a group of little ones and you don’t have any props. (link)
Balloon Paddle Ball
Supplies: paper or plastic plates, tape, Popsicle sticks, balloons
For reasons unknown, kicking a balloon in the air can entertain for hours—especially with a toy paddle. Create a paddle out of a plate and a popsicle stick, blow up a balloon, and tell them the balloon cannot touch the floor. (link)
Why Less is More : How reducing your child’s toy collection is a positive thing
Toys, toys, toys! Now more than ever kids have a plethora of toys to choose from. But “toys are not merely playthings.” They are tools for molding children in their development. Toys “form the building blocks for our child’s future, teach our children about the world and about themselves.” Beyond that, they are a means of sending messages and communicating values. Therefore, it is important that parents think about how effective their children’s toys are and what foundation their toys are laying. (Why Fewer Toys will Benefit Your Kids)
Many child psychologists support the idea that ‘less is more.’ Studies show that fewer toys will benefit children in the following ways: kids learn to be more creative, develop longer attention spans, establish better social skills, learn to take greater care of things, develop a greater love for reading, writing, and art, become more resourceful, argue less with each other, learn perseverance, become less selfish, experience more of nature, learn to find satisfaction outside of the toy store, and live in a cleaner, tidier home.
Objects of play must be simple and safe and allow a child’s’ imagination to flourish. The best toys to assist in healthy development are the ones that allow kids to “fill in the blanks.” Blocks, plain dolls, art sets, musical instruments, balls, household objects, things from nature, etc., allow the child to determine what that object is and how they want to interact with it. The child is empowered to define what the ‘toy’ is and how to play with it.
One main consideration to contemplate when bringing toys home is a toy’s “play value”. Liat James, author of ‘Raising Children’ states that play value is the most important aspect when it comes to toys. In an article from bbc.com, James breaks down the three factors that make a brilliant toy and how to decide what to keep, what to buy, and what to pass on:
- Social Value: play that teaches sharing, patience, and healthy social skills
- Versatility: toys that can “be” anything
- Durability: Long-lasting and safe
To help other parents in their journey of cutting back, share your experiences and ideas by commenting, liking, and sharing!
Topics to get you started:
What’s the most imaginative toy your child has made out of an everyday object?
What toys do your children love and play with over and over again?
What art supplies or musical instruments are the best to have in the home?
Kid to Kid wants to help you work towards your new goals this year. Setting goals has proven to be most effective when goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. As you go about setting new goals in each area of your life, keep your goals within these realistic guidelines and you are more likely to have success. Remember, even just the act of writing down your goals will give your a greater likelihood of achieving them. So what are you waiting for? Good luck and Happy New Year!
Click on this image to download your S.M.A.R.T. goals chart.
As you go about wrapping presents this year, try out some of these tips to turn your efforts into mini-masterpieces.
Wrapping a Gift Box
- Have the proper tools: Have workable wrapping paper (sturdier paper looks best!), sharp scissors, gift tape, a flat solid surface to work on, as well as a rectangular box to place the gift inside—we suggest re-using cardboard boxes from mail deliveries or packaging so that you won’t have to buy them.
- Measure the paper: Partially unroll the wrapping paper face-down. Place the box on the paper and measure the amount of paper you will need by pulling the paper under and around the box. Make sure that the paper reaches a little over half way on from both edges. Turn the box and do this again to see that all sides will be covered.
- Cut: Cut the paper according to your measurements. Cut the paper as straight as possible. If your scissors are sharp enough, you can make an easy straight edge by holding the paper down and slicing through with the pit of the scissor blades, no scissor-munching necessary.
- Longest side first: Make sure the gift box is top-down so that the wrapping seams will be on the bottom. Fold down the edges with that extra little length from step 2. This will help the edges straighten out if the cutting didn’t go so well. Fold the paper up and over to meet along the longest seam. Allow the paper to overlap a little bit. Make the paper taught, and tape. Press and crease the paper along the edges to keep it looking crisp.
- Folding the ends: Viewing the ends of the box, press the two non-seam sides flat against the box and tape down. You can trim the seam side and its counterpart if you see that they won’t match up well, cut them straight across—but be careful to not cut too much. Tape down the seam side. Pull up the last side and tape on the top. The key to making this look pretty is measuring well, creasing firmly, and using tape to hold the paper in place.
For a more visual tutorial, check out this video from Howdini below:
Trying to wrap a cylinder or other odd shape? Check out these helpful videos by Wrapology.
Plus, adding a special touch like a hand-made bow, strings, or artwork also make a gift beautiful. Check out some of our favorite ideas below.
Food often plays a big role in our holiday celebrations. Here are some food-themed activities that you can try out this holiday season to add to the family fun.
- Donate to Those in Need
It’s a time of loving, sharing, and giving. Look within your community to find a local food drive that you can contribute to as a family. You can especially teach your little ones the importance of giving to those in need by asking them to help you select the food (or hygienic items) to give away for donation.
- Decorate Sugar Cookies—Deliver to Loved Ones!
Sugar cookies can be molded into all shapes and sizes, plus they provide a perfect canvas for colorful icing. Sit down as a family and create some holiday cookie masterpieces together. Once the cookies are done, deliver them to neighbors, friends, and family as a way to spread holiday cheer. Need a recipe? Go here.
- Gingerbread Houses: With a Twist
Building gingerbread houses is always creative, tasty, and fun! One great family tradition is to bake and decorate a gingerbread house together, and hide a family DVD inside. Set a special day in the future to break open the gingerbread house (the kids love this part) and watch the film together. We especially like this gingerbread house tutorial.
- Decorate With Food
- Hot Cocoa & Stories
Sometimes it’s the simple things we love the most. Who can deny a toasty mug by the fire? Pour yourselves some hot cocoa and gather around a cozy place to slow down and tell family stories. This homemade peppermint hot chocolate looks right for the task.
Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude and spending quality time with family; it’s the perfect time to continue or begin family traditions.
Here are some great family activities to try out this holiday.
1. Macy’s Day Parade
This year will be the 89th Annual Macy’s Day Parade. Watching the parade is a long-time Thanksgiving Day tradition for many American families. For details on the parade this year, click here.
2. Turkey Trot Run
As these types of runs grow increasingly popular, check to see if your town is hosting a Turkey Trot Run. Turkey Trots are usually open to the whole family, and as proceeds often go to charities it’s a great way to give back on a day of gratitude. Not to mention, it’s a great way to get some exercise before the big feast!
3. Touch Football
With a chaotic Thanksgiving morning, it may be a good idea to send some of the family outside (away from the kitchen) for some athletic bonding. Football is traditionally the sport of the day, but if you have little ones, try some Touch Football to keep it kid-friendly.
4. Thanksgiving Table Crafts
Another way to keep the kids occupied is to have them build Thanksgiving decorations for the table. The kids will have fun making their personal contribution and this could be a great time to sneak in a lesson on how to set the table while they’re at it. Here are some awesome craft ideas here.
5. Discuss Family History
With all of the relatives around, what better time to discuss family genealogy? You may want to bring out some photo albums to help refresh old memories or build a family tree with the little ones. If you want to keep it simple, ask each family member to tell their favorite family story. The warm memories are sure to bring many smiles!
Thanksgiving will be here soon and the best way to succeed this holiday is to plan ahead. To save you the time, we’ve found some mouth-watering, classic recipes that will impress everyone at the table this year.
Sour Cream & Chive Potatoes
Spice up your potato dish with sour cream, garlic and chives. This home-made potato recipe is simple, yet perfectly delicious.
Total time: 40 minutes (Source)
Lion House Rolls
Craving fluffy, buttery rolls for your Thanksgiving spread? Your search ends here. While this recipe requires a little more work, it’s well worth the wait!
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes (Source)
Rosemary Orange Cranberry Sauce
For some of us, cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving is an absolute must. This wow-factor recipe only takes 10 minutes!
Total time: 10 minutes (Source)
Brown Sugared Carrots
It’s perhaps the one day of the year when we shouldn’t feel guilty about adding butter and sugar to our carrots. The Martha Stewart recipe will not disappoint.
Total time: 20 minutes (Source)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Can’t decide whether you want to top your sweet potatoes with marshmallows or pecans? Problem solved: this recipe includes both!
Total time: (slow cooker) 5 hours 15 minutes (Source)
Our Instagram contest is over and winners have been chosen! Thank you for all the amazing submissions to our Halloween Instagram Contest. We can’t tell you how much fun we had looking at all of the adorable pictures. It was so hard to choose!
Grand Prize Winner – Most Likes – $100 Gift Card: Congratulations Courtney Nicole – @ismackratchets
1st Prize Winner – $50 Gift Card: Edible Category: Cindy Deceja – @jandeljioni
1st Prize Winner – $50 Gift Card: Group Photo Category: Casey Chappell – @caseychappell
1st Prize Winner – $50 Gift Card: Most Creative Category: @haydenandbear
1st Prize Winner – $50 Gift Card: Best Look-a-Like Category: Cassy Torres – @cserna1011
Honorable Mentions – because we just loved them all so much!
If you are a winner, Kid to Kid commented on your image!
Claim your prize by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (801) 359-0071 ext. 117.
View all submissions on the web! See full contest rules here.
Enter to win a $100 Kid to Kid gift card!
It’s our third annual Halloween Costume Contest at Kid to Kid! Take a picture of your kid in their Halloween costume on Instagram
and use #kidtokidtrickortreat and follow @kidtokid to be entered to win. Your profile must be public to be entered so we can see your submission.
Get your costume at Kid to Kid this year and sell last year’s costume for cash or 20% more in store credit!
Grand Prize: $100 Gift Card
The photo with the most Likes gets the Grand Prize!
Additional Winners: $50 Gift Card
Four additional winners will be chosen to receive $50 gift cards
Contest ends November 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm MST
Post a photo of your costumed-kid on Instagram.
Use #kidtokidtrickortreat and follow @kidtokid to be entered.
Make sure your profile is public.
RULES and TERMS:
- This Promotion is in no way sponsored or administered by Instagram. You are providing your information to Kid to Kid and not to Instagram.
- Photo must be an original photo.
- Participants must be located in the United States and at least 18 years of age (or legal majority in your state) to participate and submit a photo in this promotion.
- Prizes left unclaimed for 30 days will be returned to company. Prizes can be given as a gift.
- Kid to Kid will determine giveaway recipients in its sole and absolute discretion and reserves the right to modify and change promotion without notice.
- As a participant in the promotion you will be required to privately (through direct message, email, or other secure, private means) provide your name, address, age and other personal information necessary to receive the prize, if you are selected as a prize recipient.
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- By participating in the Promotion, you agree to (i) be bound by the Official Instagram Giveaway Rules, including all entry requirements provided at the time the Promotion is announced and/or promoted, and (ii) waive any and all claims against Kid to Kid and its respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliates for any injury, damage or loss of any kind that may occur, directly or indirectly, from participation in the Promotion.
- Each winning Participant, by acceptance of prize, grants to Kid to Kid and each of its respective designees the right to publicize his/her name, address (city and state of residence), photograph provided in connection with the Promotion, voice, statements and/or other likeness and prize information for advertising, promotional and/or trade and/or any other purpose (“Winner Information”) in any media or format now known or hereafter devised, throughout the world, in perpetuity, without limitation and without further compensation, consideration, permission or notification, unless prohibited by law. The releases hereunder are intended to apply to all claims not known or suspected to exist with the intent of waiving the effect of laws requiring the intent to release future unknown claims.
- Participants may not take actions that are negligent, injurious or reckless in pursuit of any prize offered in connection with a Promotion. Participants who do not follow this rule or who otherwise participate in a Promotion in an unsportsmanlike manner will be disqualified from the Promotion. Participants are solely responsible for any injuries or other damages that are caused from their behavior. Participants agree to indemnify, release, discharge and hold harmless the Released Parties (defined below) from and against any and all claims, liability, losses, damages or injuries of any kind with respect thereto.
Halloween Safety Tips
We all know that Halloween-time is supposed to be scary, but it’s meant to be scary in the fun ways. Here are a few tips to help your little ones stay safe this Halloween and keep the bad scares away.
#1 Kid-Proof the Costumes
Got costume weapons? Make sure the swords, knives and other weapons are short, soft and flexible. Kids will find using their costume weapons irresistible, so to save future tears, provide “weapons” that are harmless.
#2 Adult Supervision
Don’t send kids trick-or-treating alone. Have them go in a group with a responsible caretaker. Make sure that your kids know not to enter the homes or cars of strangers. Teach them exactly what to say or do if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation so they will be prepared if ever the time comes.
As you can imagine, poor visibility can lead to a number of accidents. Popular trick-or-treating hours are from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, and it will most likely get dark while trick-or-treaters are out. Make sure your trick-or-treaters take a flash light with them. Have them wear a bit of reflective tape on their costumes to help drivers see them and teach them to use sidewalks and crosswalks. Also, check mask visibility to make sure that your child can see well enough while in costume. As a driver, be sure to be watchful and drive carefully.
It is a good idea to instruct your kids to not open their candy until they get home, so that a parent can examine it before consumption. Parents should inspect candy for tampering. Look for choking hazards and candy that is not wrapped. Remember to limit your children on how much candy they can eat at one time to avoid a later tummy-ache!
With visitors constantly arriving, this may stress out your pet. Make sure you have a game plan to either keep your pet from escaping through the open doorway or getting worked up in a tizzy. If possible, give them a quiet, closed off room with food, water, comfort, and their favorite toys. Be especially cautious about letting out your kitty on this evening as Halloween is a time notorious for crimes against felines.