April 17th, 2014 at 9:22 am
Easter morning is almost here and the kids are so excited! On Christmas morning there are presents under the tree, stockings have been filled, and cookies have been eaten. But, if the Easter Bunny hides all the presents, how do they know that he or she has arrived?
When I was younger, all the empty candy dishes on the dining room table were magically overflowing with treats. My mom had a huge sweet tooth, so it wasn’t a problem having all that candy around our home. I am not a huge candy fan, so I came up with alternatives. At our house, the Easter Bunny leaves two empty buckets with a note of how many eggs to find. You can also leave some carrots on a plate and in the morning, the kids will wake up to see the Easter bunny has taken a bite!
April 16th, 2014 at 9:09 am
Easter is this Sunday and it’s the perfect time to consider what you’re going to have your little ones wear. They’ll be running around looking for easter eggs and playing with family or friends, so it’s important that they feel comfortable, but look holiday appropriate at the same time. These two outfits are perfect for Easter, one of the most colorful holidays of the year! The boys outfit consists of khaki cargo shorts (you can go with pants if it’s cooler in your area), and a nice white polo with blue and green stripes. The girls outfit features an adorable ruffle scooter with a colorful polka dot tee. Add a sweater, and even a pair of leggings to go under it if it’s chilly.
You can find these items in Walmart stores or on Walmart.com!
April 14th, 2014 at 2:27 pm
Did you know that April 13 through 19 is National Library Week? Books are so important to a child’s development. Besides teaching them how to read, they also foster bonding, creativity, and imagination. Libraries have a lot to offer their communities, and they are a great learning resource for families. Check out your local library this week and see what kind of events and classes they offer for your little ones. In honor of National Library Week, here are some of the most popular kids books of all time that you can check out at your local library or bookstore!
- Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
- The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
- Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
- Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
- Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – Judy and Ron Barrett
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Judith Viorst
- Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney
- Pat the Bunny – Dorothy Kunhardt
- Love You Forever – Robert Munsch
- The Lorax – Dr. Seuss
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
- Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
- Corduroy – Don Freeman
- Stellaluna – Janell Cannon
- Oh, The Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss
- Strega Nona – Tomie dePaola
- Curious George – H.A. Rey
- Jumanji – Chris Van Allsburg
- The Little Engine That Could – Loren Long and Watty Piper
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
- If You Give A Mouse A Cookie – Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
- The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales – Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
- The Runaway Bunny – Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
- The Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister and J. Alison James
- The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats
- Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans
- The Napping House – Audrey Wood and Don Wood
- The Cat and the Hat – Dr. Seuss
- The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg
- Hop on Pop - Dr. Seuss
There are so many other great books, both classics and new, that kids around the world enjoy every day. Which is YOUR favorite?
Photo Credit: American Library Association, www.ala.org
April 11th, 2014 at 8:38 am
One of my favorite things about Easter is the meal. It’s the one time a year where we eat my favorite meal, breakfast, with lunch as well! There are so many different things you can do with brunch. Here are some things to consider when planning your meal.
Buffet or Served Plate?
Personally, I like to offer my brunches as a buffet. This way, everyone can choose what the foods they like best, and they can control how much they take of each. Seconds are much easier to handle as well.
Planning Your Dishes
When choosing food types, you want to consider the time it will take to make them…simpler recipes will allow you to enjoy your party more. Some things that are easy to make ahead of time are breakfast casseroles, pancakes, quiches, scrambled eggs, waffles, french toast, and fruit and vegetable platters. Also think about things like taco bars or waffle bars, where your guests or family can personalize them and put them together. I also like to include a deli meat selection, pulled pork, or shredded chicken or beef for build-your-own sandwiches. Ham, lamb, and chicken are typical Easter meats, so you can offer one of these as well…especially if brunch is the main meal you’re planning for the day. Here are some categories you can incorporate into your brunch:
- Egg dish
- Pancakes, French Toast, Waffles, Crepes
- Meat Dish
- Potato Dish
- Bread Dish (Easter bread with dyed hard boiled eggs is a nice idea!)
- Light Pasta Dish
- Salad or Fruit
Drinks to Serve
Have fun with the drinks – think about coffee, juices, water, and milk. You can also make fun punches or alcoholic drinks like mimosas, bellinis, and sangrias for the adults.
Brunches can be lots of fun, but portions are difficult to control, so make sure you have enough food on hand. My guests always get excited when they hear i’ll be serving brunch – the BEST of breakfast and lunch!!
April 10th, 2014 at 12:07 pm
As a child, my favorite part of Easter was the egg hunt in our backyard. My siblings, cousins and I would search the entire property for colorful eggs left by the Easter bunny! Now, as an adult, I love watching the kids have that same experience. Some of you may have only a few children and the hunt coordination is fairly easy, but if you do a multi-family egg hunt it can get pretty complicated…especially when it comes to keeping the peace when the kids have free reign and goodies are involved! Here are ten egg hunt tips to make sure everything goes smoothly.
- Decide on a set number of eggs each child will get. I recommend plastic eggs so you can hide prizes inside, but some people like to hide real eggs.
- Choose a variety of prizes to fill the eggs with. Make sure things are age appropriate. Some good ideas are: Change or dollar bills, candy, erasers, whistles, stickers, hair clips, small toys, temporary tattoos, bracelets, etc. You can also have one or two special eggs for each child with a note inside that they can trade in for a big toy that wouldn’t fit. You can find some great, affordable prizes at your local Walmart!
- If you have a small scale egg hunt, give each child an egg color or size so there is no confusion as to which eggs they should look for. If you have a large scale egg hunt, decide on egg colors or size per age group, i.e. Ages 2-4 can only take red and yellow eggs, ages 5-9 can only take blue and green eggs, etc. That way, they will get the appropriate goodies for their age group and you know how to appropriately hide them so that they’re not too difficult for little ones, or too easy for older ones, to find.
- Set an appropriate time for the hunt. Keep in mind when it starts to get dark in your area and allow the kids ample time before sundown. Also keep in mind that the kids will want to play with and eat their prizes right away, so plan it around your meals.
- Decide on the area you will hide the eggs in and, if necessary, use flags to create boundaries so the kids don’t go looking in the wrong places. It also provides an element of safety so you can make sure that they don’t wander off or go into areas where they might get hurt.
- Write down where you hide the eggs. I can tell you from experience that it’s easy to forget after hiding a bunch of them!
- Hand out baskets to make it easy for the kids to collect their eggs. A fun way to prepare for this is to let them decorate and personalize their egg hunt baskets a day or two before Easter!
- Designate egg hunt “moderators” who can help the kids find the eggs if they have trouble and get frustrated. For little ones, they can guide them in the right direction.
- Designate a few people to handle photography and take pictures of the kids hunting for the eggs. These moments are precious and will be special memories to look back on!
- Make a rule that no one can open their eggs until each child has found all of their eggs. Patience is a virtue!
What do YOU have planned for the egg hunt this year? Share with us on our Facebook wall!
April 9th, 2014 at 9:00 am
Alright moms, this one’s for you! This great three-piece set comes from our infant/toddler girls line and is perfect for mixing and matching when the weather gets warmer. The top is the outfit centerpiece, with cute flutter sleeves and a bright, rainbow phrase, “Mom is my best friend.” The dark pink bike shorts are stretchy and comfortable, with a cute lace hem. The skort is in a fun zebra print with ruffle accents at the hem.
You can find these products in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com now!
April 8th, 2014 at 9:03 am
Baby on the way? Congratulations! Such an exciting, expectant, and nerve wracking time, especially if it’s your first. So much to learn, so much information about what to do and not to do. It can be overwhelming. But, while there’s no app for the hard parts, there are plenty of apps that can help you prepare.
Hello Baby app for iPhone is a great way to learn about all of the stages of growth of your baby during pregnancy. It’s full of images and information that can help you understand the magic that is happening in the womb.
There is also the What to Expect apps for both pregnancy and the early years. This trusted series of books has been invaluable for so many of us as we navigate all of the stages of babyhood.
Sprout ($4, iPhone only) is another really helpful app for information and tips on pregnancy, weight tracking, prepping for doctor visits and what to know about all that’s happening to your body right up to timing your contractions.
Baby Bump is another app that not only provides information on your pregnancy but also has a social networking component so you can share your experiences with other moms-to-be.
And if baby is here, how about something to help with nursing, and tracking your newborn’s progress in those critical early weeks and months? WebMD Baby provides many resources and really useful information about sleep, growth, feeding, and milestones to help you through the fraught early days of caring for your child.
I wish these apps were available when my kids were born, especially in the middle of the night when you just didn’t want to call mom, again!
April 7th, 2014 at 1:40 pm
I love to watch my kids’ eyes light up when they find their Easter basket. We fill the baskets with candy and other favorite food treats for the little ones to enjoy, but every year I struggle to find other items to include. Here is a list of 100 items you can fill your child’s basket with!
- Pacifier Holder
- Sippee Cups
- Musical Toys
- Garanimals Baby Toys or Foam Letters
- Small Stuffed Animal
- Toddler Cutlery
- Magnetic Fridge Letters
- Rain Boots
- Coloring Books
- Character Undies
- Hex bugs
- Bath Toys/Crayons
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Fun Toothbrush
- Fun Shampoo
- Stuffed Animal
- Painting Smock
- Art Supplies (pencils, crayons, markers, paints)
- Art Kits
- Bubble Bath
- Fun Cups/Plates
- Dress Up Items
- Play Jewelry
- Pool Toys
- Fun Duct Tape
- Kids Word Search
- Jump Rope
- Construction Paper
- Hair Pretties
- Book light
- Sandals/Flip Flops
- Beach Towel
- Matchbox cars
- Play Tool Set
- Sand Toys
- Shovel and Pail
- Bike Horn/Bell
- Character Bandaids
- Temporary Tatoos
- Water Bottle
- Summer Hat
- Books – appropriate for child’s level
- Sticket Books
- Water Gun
- Nerf Gun
- Swim Goggles
- Sporting Supplies or games
- Jigsaw Puzzle
- Cards or Card Game
- Jacks or Marbles
- Tape Measure (my boys loved the keychain ones since they were toddlers)
- Nail Painting Supplies
- Animal figures
- Magic Tricks
- Comic Book or Kids Magazine
- Bop it or Tangle Jr
- My Little Pony or other small horses
- Play Food
- Walkie Talkies
- Small Magna Doodle or Etch a Sketch
- Glow Sticks
- Small Musical Instrument (harmonica, recorder)
- Pencils/Pencil Toppers
- Action Figures
- Trading Cards
- Fun Socks
- Seeds and a pot
- Diary or Journal
- Video Game controller or new game
- Play Dough
- Bunny Ears
- Gift Cards to favorite stops
- Bunny Money
Feel free to share any other ideas I may have missed!
April 4th, 2014 at 9:00 am
Easter is such a fun time filled with the anticipation of hidden baskets and eggs. Help spread the excitement by adding some games for your child to play. Whether it be an Easter themed puzzle, virtual egg coloring, or even an Easter themed book, these apps will make preparing for Easter even more fun!
Easter Bunny Tracker - See if the Easter Bunny is close to hiding his/her eggs at your house!
Paint Easter Egg HD – A fun app for coloring virtual eggs…same fun without the mess!
Hidden Egg Hunt - A hidden picture game where you find hidden eggs. Race against the clock to beat each level.
Easter Bunny Call – Make your little ones think the Easter Bunny is calling them directly.
Color Me! Easter – A virtual coloring book with pictures of the Easter Bunny, eggs, and other spring things.
Bubble Blast Easter - A puzzle game you won’t be able to put down.
Puzzle Me Easter – Work on your jigsaw puzzle skills with this easter themed app.
Easter Bunny Scan O’Meter - Tells children whether they are being good or bad according to the Easter Bunny – the best part is that you set it secretly!
Easter Expressions - Make cards that can be emailed to wish Easter blessings to family and friends.
Easter Egg Design Generator - Another virtual egg dying app.
Easter Bunny Dress Up – Have your child take a picture with the Easter Bunny that they dressed up themselves!
Easter Bunny Games for Kids: Easter Egg Hunt Jigsaw Puzzles HD for Toddler and Preschool - An easy jigsaw puzzle app for the littlest ones.
Sneezies Easter Edition - A chain reaction game with sneezing fun!
Easter Egg Match – A fun slider game matching Easter Eggs.
Fly the Flappy Easter Bird - An arcade style game.
Bunyfur’s Easter Eggs – An Easter eBook.
April 3rd, 2014 at 7:08 pm
Easter is only a few weeks away and it’s never too early to plan your holiday meals. Instead of saving the best for last, we like to start with it…DESSERT! Cakes, candy, cookies, and more, there are so many choices! You can go traditional or get creative. Do you have a special family recipe for an Easter dessert? Share your delicious creations on our Facebook page!
- Mother Hen and Chicks Cake/Cupcakes
- Easter Bark
- Colorful Easter Layer Cake
- Chocolate Covered “Carrot” Strawberries
- Bunny Cream Puffs
- Chocolate Birds’ Nests
- Peep Rice Krispy Treat Baskets
- Easter Bunny Cake
- Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles
Photo Credit: www.bhg.com