And so the adventure begins…

January Simply Family/Simply Parties by Jackie

It’s Cool to Care : Continue to have the giving spirit beyond the holidays. Take a box or two of food to a local food bank. Maybe you have some winter gear that is still in great condition but has been outgrown. Donate items such as boots, jackets, snow pants, hats and mittens to a local shelter, church, or school.   “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”

Happy to be Healthy : Have discussions about healthy foods and how eating impacts the way we feel greatly. Find a recipe the entire family is interested in trying and have fun in the kitchen cooking together. Here’s 3 wonderful websites full of nutritional information. http://superhealthykids.com/resources

 http://letsmove.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov

http://choosemyplate.gov

Homemade Pizza- Make your dough from scratch or by pre-made, shape into hearts, or create faces with toppings. A fun book to read on pizza night is Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig. My son who is now 25, received this as a gift when he was just a little guy and it’s been a favorite of many in our home since.

Hummus and veggieshttp://pintsizedtreasures.com/quick-and-healthy-hummus-great-way-to-get-kids-to-eat-raw-veggies/

Omelettes- http://superhealthykids.com/perfect-veggie-omelettes/

Fruit Plate with Peanut Butter Diphttp://cookingclassy.com/peanut-butter-fruit-dip/

Family Fun : Movie Night– Some movie picks for January are Frozen (PG), Snow Buddies (G), Happy Feet I and II (PG), Snow Day (PG), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (PG) Throw on your cozy pajamas and pop some corn! Check out these cute snowman popcorn cups perfect for a winter movie night. Or how about after watching Frozen, make some homemade play dough– mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon oil. Add blue food coloring to 1 cup boiling water. Combine flour/salt mixture and water together. Knead until well combined. Add glitter if you’d like. Some people are glitter people, others are not.

Found on Pinterest creativekidsnacks.com

Game Night- How about some card games? If you have a deck of cards, you’ll never get bored. Crazy 8’s Go Fish Rummy SlapJack http://todaysparent.com/family/activities

Hooray for the Holidays : Happy New Year! Talk about what it means to make a New Year’s resolution. Set some goals and dreams for the year ahead. This can be done as a family and also individually. Perhaps even make a 2019 vision board. This can be done by using old magazines, pics off the internet, or drawings. Find pictures and words of inspiration. For example, maybe your family is planning on an upcoming vacation, you could find a photo of that destination. Or maybe a goal is to read more or learn a new instrument, finding or drawing books and music would be fitting. A piece of poster board and some glue sticks do the trick. Put on as much as you’d like and display it somewhere throughout the year so you can be inspired and motivated! Talking about goals and dreams will lead right into the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr Day Books

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. MLK, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

I Have A Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. paintings by Kadir Nelson

My First Biography Martin Luther King Jr. by Marion Dane Bauer

National Geographic Kids Martin Luther King Jr Level 3 by Kitson Jazynka

A great website to check out –http://pbsparents.org Search for Martin Luther King, Jr. and you will find many articles including videos, books, and crafts. I find this an EXCELLENT resource.

I Have a Dream craft-

This is an easy craft- some paper, pencils or crayons, scissors, and some yarn. Draw the clouds, write your dreams down, and make a dream mobile.

some dreams my kiddos have

Home Helpers : Start a coin jar. Try and put any loose change you get throughout the month in the jar. At the end of the month, add it up and use it for a special activity for the family, donate it to charity, save it toward a vacation or something the household needs, or just keep on adding each month to use at the end of the year. Trying to teach kids the value of money can be difficult in today’s digital world, here’s a website/blog with some helpful tips. http://daveramsey.com/blog/how-to-teach-kids-about-money

Add a globe or world map in your home this month if you don’t already have one. “We are all connected”

Mind Matters: Get your brain working out with some crossword puzzles, word finds, or sudoku. These books can be found most anywhere and last for quite awhile. Keep them easily visible with a pen or pencil handy. Offer a few for different levels of ages.

Winter Wonders: Get outside! If you’re lucky enough to have snow, build a snow fort or snow animals. Take a walk and look for animal tracks. Here’s a pretty cool winter craft- Make crystal snowflakes. A couple children’s books I recommend are Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett and The Very Best Bed by Rebekah Raye.

http://realfoodrn.com/how-to-make-borax-crystal-snowflakes/amp/

Read On! : Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson – use a large box and poke holes in the top, then place a string of lights on. Make it a cozy “cave” for kiddos to go in and read.

The Mitten by Jan Brett bake mitten shaped sugar cookies, a fun activity for toddlers/preschoolers is to sort mittens

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder Use Lincoln logs, pretzel sticks, or graham crackers to build log cabins, for the pretzels and crackers use a little frosting or pb.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis Make paper snowflakes

and my absolute favorite, Winter Waits by Lynn Plourde

Here’s a few yoga poses to try in between your reading- These poses came from the book Yoga for you and your child by Mark Singleton

This is called Chopping Wood
Use your favorite sugar or gingerbread recipe mmmm…
found on Pinterest lovethispic.com
My little loved this cozy reading cave.

Parent’s Corner : Hydrate your skin! Make a hydrating facial mask- The cocoa dream hydration mask is delightful! And remember the best thing you can wear is a smile! http://marieclaire.com/beauty/how-to/a2830/best-homemade-face-masks/ 

Time Well Spent

Hi there! Thanks for joining me for my first ever blog. As 2018 closes out and 2019 is welcomed in, I think back of moments of the past 12 months. The memories that quickly pop up are those spent with friends and family. These moments are time well spent and time I will never regret. Recently, I found some family activity packets I put together years ago. My passion for family time had me collecting thoughts and ideas for monthly fitting activities, type them up, print them out, and staple together. Not only was this for my own family to enjoy, but to share with others as well. Here it is years later, and I’m finding myself still wanting to share these thoughts. So I thought I’d give blogging a try.

A quick bit about me- I’m a kindhearted lover of life. I’m happily married living in the same small city I grew up in. I’m a mom of 3, my youngest almost 18. That means I’ll be free, right? HA. I’ve owned and operated a small home daycare for about 23 years. Still going strong, so I’ve spent much time with littles. Recently, I started dabbling with a party planning business. So far, so great. People gotta have their cupcakes. Some of my top hobbies include yoga, taking walks, watching movies, cooking, crafting, and spending time with friends, family, and my fur babies. Some interests I’d like to be more involved with in the new year are piano, wine, and traveling. Sounds pretty basic, huh? Makes me happy though and that counts big time.

We live in a time where everyone is busy. Most evenings, families are out of the house for meetings and activities. Why must we sign up for this club and partake in that activity? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of extra curriculum activities and community involvement. I just think we take on too much, too often. If I had a nickel for all the times I’ve heard kids express their feelings on not wanting to go to a practice or meeting, but just head home for the night, well it’s quite a bit. We put pressures on ourselves and our children to keep up with others and be as busy as we can. Why must we glorify busy? Does it make us live a better life? Does it make us better people? Absolutely not!

The goal of my blog is simply to get families eating together at the table more often, playing board games and outdoor games, talk, talk, and talk some more, and to come together finding ways to be helpful to others. I plan on writing each month about ideas for games, recipes, crafts, books, and more in hopes that parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles will find interesting enough to share with their littles. Some topics are, “Hooray for the Holidays”, “Home Helpers”, and “Game Night”. There will even be a “Parent’s Corner” with adult activities. No, it’s not what you’re thinking! Some examples would be making hydrating facial masks and homemade foot scrubs.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading my blog and get something fulfilling out of it. Let’s get back to basics of family. Let’s get back to what matters most. Let’s get back to time well spent.