Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘activities’ Category

November 11th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Fun Thanksgiving Activities

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Thanksgiving is a great time to do some fun crafts and activities. These ideas make nice gifts to bring to family and friends on Thanksgiving, or to have the kids do at the Thanksgiving table.

One year we made a turkey centerpiece. We filled a brown lunch bag with popcorn and stapled it shut. We then used colored construction paper to make feathers and the turkey’s head. The kids could later cut open a slit in the bag to eat the popcorn as a snack.

Lego Turkey

Paint Chip Turkey

Handprint Turkey Hat

Leaf Turkey Craft

Mayflower Craft

Handprint Turkey

Candy Corn Turkey

Paper Bag Turkey

I am Thankful Pumpkin

Paper Plate Turkey

Tissue Paper Turkey

Fun Activities for the Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving Word Search

Turkey Color & Number Patterns

Thanksgiving Mad-libs

Thanksgiving Bookmarks

Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

Thanksgiving Conversation Cards

Thanksgiving Placemat & Activity Sheet

A Thinking Turkey Game

Thanksgiving Sudoku

Thanksgiving Jokes

Interview Questions for Grandparents

Max & Ruby Placecards & Table Labels

MORE….

More Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

Free Printable Activity Pages

 

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October 20th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Halloween Games and Activities

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Halloween fun isn’t only about dressing up and trick-or-treating. Playing halloween games is a nice way to have fun as a family, or celebrate with friends at a party.

  • Witches Hat Ring Toss – Purchase some witches hats from the dollar store and stuff with newspaper. Use rings of some sort (I used glow necklaces) to throw around the hats.
  • Tic Tac Toe – A great game for people of all ages this printable is an easy way to make it Halloween worthy.
  • Costume Paper Doll Dress-Up – An easy activity to keep kids occupied is by drawing a cut out of a person. I usually just trace a the largest gingerbread man cookie cutter I have. The kids love to transform the shape by drawing a costume on it. They can draw on clothes to make it a pirate, Frankenstein, Dracula, a princess, a fairy, etc. Be ready to provide lots of papers with the initial drawing because the ideas can be endless! You can even make these life-size by tracing your child.
  • Leaf Rubbings and Other Drawing Fun – Another craft idea is to take some leaves and stick them under a piece of paper. Use a crayon with all the paper off to make a leaf rubbing. Create a fun picture or use the design to be the background to a fun shape that you cut out. Or, did you ever notice that your foot upside down looks like a ghost? This is a great craft for really young ones. Paint the bottom of their feet and toes and place down on paper. Add some eyes once it dries and you have a spooky, but cute ghost!
  • Mummy Wrap –  Each  child gets a roll of toilet paper and they get to wrap up their friends.
  • Pumpkin Ping-Pong – Cut out some shapes to make them look like Jack-O-Lantern faces and line them up in a row away from you. Give the kids ping pong balls to throw at the buckets one by one. First person to get them in all the buckets wins!
  • Halloween Sensory Boxes – Take a box, cut a hole in it, and cover it with a cloth. Fill it with stuff and have the kids pass it around to touch. Some of the fun things you can add are popcorn kernels for “witches teeth, bologna for “tongues,” peeled grapes for “eyeballs,” and spaghetti for “brains.”
  • Costume Race or Dress-Up –  We’ve got tons of costumes and props lying around from past years. See how many different costume ideas can come out of that box. Have a timed race to see who can put the best costume together the quickest. Have little ones? Then do a Halloween fashion show complete with pictures.
  • Pumpkin Bowling –  Take some toilet paper and make it look like ghosts with cutouts from construction paper that you attach. Take an extra pumpkin and drill three holes in it, just like a bowling ball. Hours of entertainment!

Have a great time celebrating Halloween!

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August 15th, 2014 at 11:25 am

Planning A Staycation

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A great way to save on vacations all year long is going on a “staycation.” A staycation is when you stay in your own town or somewhere closeby to have your family vacation. This cuts costs by eliminating the need for expensive airline tickets and hotel stays. Plus, you get to sleep in your own, comfortable bed! Staycations can also be quick overnights that don’t require extensive stays at a hotel or resort.

Visit local museums

Try Geocaching

Go to the movies or a play

Visit a nearby zoo, aquarium, or amusement park

Rent a boat or other water sports items

Take a hike or bike ride

Go fishing

Go to a sporting event

Go camping

Go mini golfing, go karting or other fun things you would do on vacation

Eat out and try some new places

The most important part is to RELAX just like you are on vacation. Let chores go for the week, put away the computer, and put down the phone! Take time to reconnect with your kids and spouse so you can laugh and talk and create memories! Be sure to get the camera out and document all the fun you have!

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July 25th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Labeling Your School Supplies

With 32 days left of summer vacation, my family needs to start thinking about school and getting school supplies. Buying the supplies are the fun part, but the labeling of them can take forever! You can go the simple way of labeling with initials or first name using a pen or marker, but I wanted to share some fun ways to label your supplies without all the hassle.

Print some labels like in the picture above. I love these little labels to print names and attach to items. They can also be found in neon colors. I have found that you sometimes need to cover with tape when labeling crayons and markers and others things that are curved.’

Check out these Property of stickers. These would be great for books, folders, and other large items.

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Your child can really add personality to their labels when you print these personalized labels.

 

Mabel’s Labels offers labels for school supplies, lunch boxes, and even clothing and shoes. These offer a great alternative to the printed labels because they are made with labeling items as a sole purpose.

If you have the ability to cut vinyl lettering you can label things like this. This would take a bit of work but makes a big statement. Check out how they labeled pencils with vinyl.

Once you decide what option you are going to use stick a good movie on the tv and go to town! It’s a tedious task, but once you see all those labeled items you will feel like you really accomplished something!

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July 24th, 2014 at 10:27 am

Fun Summer Crafts for Kids

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When school is out during the summer, it’s the perfect time to ready a list of crafts that will allow your kids having fun and being creative! Some of these crafts can be made from materials found in the great outdoors…have an adventure with your little one to collect the items before you make it. You can also make it educational by using it as a way to teach your kids about animals and nature.

 

Sandpaper Starfish from Meet the Dubiens

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Paper Plate Tropical Fish from Crafts By Amanda

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Nature Collage Suncatcher from Hands On As We Grow

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Turtle Herb Planters from Reading Confetti

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Tissue Paper Fish Bowl Lanterns from Juggling With Kids

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Beaded Wind Chimes from First Palette

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Glow-In-The-Dark Hanging Jellyfish from Craftiments

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Seashell Turtle from The Chirping Moms

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Hand and Foot Print Lobster from Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

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Styrofoam Cup Sea Crabs by Crafts By Amanda

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July 21st, 2014 at 10:44 am

Making Homemade Decorations for Your Home

Taking the time to add decor to your home can elevate it to a new level. The hard part is that decorations can be costly and decorating a room can become expensive fast. I like to take less expensive items and make them into something else! One of my favorite homemade items is my Elevated Glass Vase.

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To make each of these it cost $2 plus the cost of a little glue. There are many different types of glue you can use, so pick out your favorite brand for this.

This project started with a tall straight vase. Get creative. Vary colors, styles, and heights of vases. Then you need two shorter candle holders as shown here.

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You simply glue the candle holder to the bottle of the vase. I like to put the vase upside down and apply the candle holder that way.  Let dry and fill. I have filled with shells, christmas ornaments, marbles and more. This is a great way to add color through decor.

finished vase

I have also taken candle holders and attached to plates to make a cake plate or an item to display or serve on.

 

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July 14th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Making Summer Memories

 

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Summer is flying by way too fast! We’ve barely crossed some of our favorite things off of our summer bucket list, like going to the pool, visiting the zoo, and taking a vacation! That is what summer is all about to us – making memories.

One of my favorite summer memories is the local kite festival. We would always pack a picnic lunch and our favorite kites. They would have kite demonstrations and everyone, amateurs and professionals alike, would launch their kites at the same time! What a sight…it was just a good family event. The first year we went my youngest was only a couple weeks old so it was fun to see him grow older each year and to watch my oldest learn how to fly his own kite.

Some of my other favorite memories include:

  • Strawberry picking
  • Just watching the boys chat on the patio
  • Family basketball H-O-R-S-E tournaments
  • Sitting by the fire making s’mores

That’s the thing about summer…memories can be made in the simplest of moments.

What memories have you made this summer?

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June 30th, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Teaching Kids About Recycling

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We all think about the future and what will be left for our children or grandchildren to deal with. According to the EPA, Americans produce about 4.3 pounds of waste per person, per day. For a family of four, that is over 6,000 pounds of waste each year! About one third of this can be recycled or composted. Are you throwing paper, glass, plastic and metal into the trash? Think about and teach your kids to recycle these items!

An easy way to teach kids to recycle is to create an area in your home with different colored bins. Place tags or identifying pictures on the containers so your children can recognize them and what materials should go in each one. Encourage them to recycle cans and make a plan for how to use the money you’ll get when turning these items in! Consider creating a recycling savings jar to save up for a special family treat.

Take a field trip to your local recycling center. Show your child how the different materials are collected and recycled. Take about how not recycling items can impact the environment, and what items need to be recycled separately, like computers, batteries, lightbulbs, and old medicines.

The more your children understand about recycling, the more likely they are to make it a habit.  Check out some of the online recycling games below:

Ollie’s World

Meet the Greens

My Garbology

 

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June 23rd, 2014 at 10:50 am

Bike Safety for Kids

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Just this weekend while my son was riding his bike, he wiped out and got some bad scrapes on his elbow. Of course, I found this out after I cleaned off the mud from the huge puddle he fell into. My first tip is for parents (one I need to follow myself) – ALWAYS make sure your first aid supplies are stocked and on hand. You can never have enough bandaids (in every size), antibiotic cream or antibacterial/alcohol wipes. It’s summer and kids (especially boys) are prone to injuries, so be ready!

Accidents happen, but there are safety measures that can be taken to help prevent or lessen the degree of injuries. One of the most important areas to protect is your child’s head. Helmets provide protection for your face, head, and brain…I don’t think I need to mention why this is crucial!

Make sure your child’s bike is the right size for them. All too often, children ride bikes that are too big or too small for them, which increases the likelihood of accidents. If your child stands straddling the bike, there should be 1-3 inches of space between them and the top bar. If not, its time to move up to the next bike size.

Make sure wheels, handlebars and seats are tightly fastened to the bike. Add air to the tires if they need more. Check the chain and oil it regularly. Also check that the brakes are working correctly.

If your child is riding with you on the street or sidewalk, make sure they have bright clothing on, even in daylight. Also make sure shoes are tied and clothing isn’t too loose that it would get caught on anything. Sneakers are the best to wear when bike riding because the treads grip the pedals.

Define what area around your neighborhood is appropriate for your child to ride. This can change as your child gets older. Go over safety rules and make sure your child checks for cars backing out of driveways, and is mindful of road signs. Also teach them about obstacles like sticks, puddles, rocks, and other children! Discourage them from doing “tricks” with their bikes like jumping obstacles, bumping friends’ tires with their own, or racing down steep hills.

With these guidelines, children can be a little safer on their bicycles!

 

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June 20th, 2014 at 9:25 am

Outside Water Fun

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For my boys, one of the best parts of summer is WATER!! The only problem is the boys get bored with the same old fun in the pool. I wanted to share some other ideas for having fun with water!

I think this sprinkler might be a fun way to celebrate summer. A simple 2-liter bottle in the premix behind it. Or create a fun Water Blob to play on. That just requires some strong tape and plastic sheeting.

One of the projects we plan on tackling this summer are sponge bombs. With some sponges and zip ties you can make hours of water fun! Think of the possibilities – dodgeball, relay races to empty the water out of the sponges the fastest, or even a simple game of catch!

We love going to the local splash pad and running through the sprinklers, but why not bring the splash pad to you with some simple pvc pipe! Check out this way to make your own PVC sprinkler at home.

We host several gatherings with friends throughout the summer. Party games are so much fun for the kids and there are some great water games here. I especially can’t wait to have the kids play Catch the Water Bombs or Dip, Drip, Dunk! I think I may even pull these out during playdates when I start to hear, “I’m bored.”

Whether it be a store bought water toy, super soakers, a homemade water sponge or even just the hose itself – make sure to turn the water on when the temperature goes up to help the summer fun begin!

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