Archive for the ‘Games & Creative Play’ Category

Summer Fun! Photo Scavenger Hunt

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Today’s post by Rebecca Cooper of Simple as That is a great way to encourage kids to explore the world around them. It’s also a clever and stylish way to avoid vacation knick-knack clutter—something we’re hoping to avoid this trip. ps. I just discovered Rebecca is a nap lover too. Between that and the name thing, I’m thinking we must be long-lost sisters.

photo scavengerhunts are a great way to get kids exploring the world around them

I don’t know about your kids, but mine sure love a good scavenger hunt! I can’t count how many scavenger hunts we’ve done lately. They just seem to be the perfect activity to fill up a slow summer afternoon.

In our family, we particularly like going on photo scavenger hunts. Instead of collecting things (ie. the ones you never know what to do with afterwards) we collect photos that center around a particular theme as we go for a walk or drive together. (more…)

Posted in Games & Creative Play | 1 Comment »




Are We There Yet?! 3 DIY Travel Games That’ll Keep Kids Happy

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

I’ll be honest, now that Ellie and Jonah are older, I find it’s easier to keep them entertained on long flights and car rides. The ability to read is an incredible thing. We can hand them a comic or book and they’re good for a while. But when they were little, that was a different story. I’ll spare you the stories, as I’m sure you have a few of your own.

Today, the ever-talented Jane from Buzzmills is sharing not one, but three DIY travel games your kids will love. They are a great way to keep little hands and minds active while you’re traveling. -Jen

DIY felt travel games

We are slowly beginning preparations for our summer vacation.  Which also means that we are slowly making preparations for the long car trip that we need to take to get to our vacation spot.

It is sure to be a car trip filled with bathroom breaks, “are we there yets?” and maybe a little whining.  Let’s face it whether it’s by plane, train, or automobile the time spent getting to vacation can occasionally be difficult and stressful. We don’t have a DVD player for the car, so we rely a lot on small and portable games and activities to keep the kiddos busy and content in the back seat, including these simple felt DIYs which have come on several trips with us over the years.

Bonus: they are also great for restaurants too! (more…)

Posted in Games & Creative Play | 5 Comments »




Best Board Games for Bored Kids

Monday, June 17th, 2013

best board games for bored kids

Summertime means vacations, whether it’s for a weekend or a week or two. Camping or cottaging. Or just a staycation at home. It’s family time and for us that means putting away the screens and the PDA’s and bringing out the boardgames.

We spend time at the cottage every summer and have test driven MANY many games. It’s an art to create a game that is easy to understand yet challenging enough to keep you and your kids engaged.

Here are my favorite games for kids and families, the ones we play again and again. (more…)

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Posted in Games & Creative Play, The Reading Nook | 6 Comments »




EEK! Springy Spider Toy

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

It’s the season of creepy crawlies. In the spirit of such a terrifying season, I came up with a terrifying project for you. It’s based on an old toy we saw while antiquing last month. By the way, the antique mall where I saw it was pretty terrifying itself. It toootally creeped me out. But I’ll save that story for another day. (more…)

Posted in Arts & Crafts, Games & Creative Play, Halloween, Kids DIY | 3 Comments »




Natural Playgrounds

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012


[image source]

Have you heard of the new trend towards natural playgrounds? A friend sent me a link to a recent study that found natural playgrounds inspire more play. I love the concept and wonder what playgrounds of the future will look like. I imagine they’ll look more like playgrounds of the past—when playgrounds were called the woods/creeks/meadows. What do you think?

Oh and if you need a little inspiration for creating a natural plays pace in your own backyard, check out the Playscapes blog. They have tons of cool ideas! I’m digging this one here.

ps. We could really use a playground in our neighborhood. Do you have one where you live or do you also have to hop in the car to take the kids to one?

Posted in Games & Creative Play | 5 Comments »




Super Quick and Easy DIY: Tabletop Sandbox

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Create this tabletop sandbox for your kids—it’s easy, there’s no sewing required and you’ll have it together in less than 5 minutes. Is it messy? Maybe. But will it keep the kids entertained, you betcha. All you need is a sturdy box with a lid, play sand (I found both at Michaels) and small toys and figures.

Pour the sand into the box, provide your child with a few toys and that’s it. Kids can create scenes for stop animation movies, excavate to discover artifacts, or dig for buried treasure.

Giving it as a gift? Turn it into a kit by burying some dinosaurs or toys, and tying it off with a small paint brush and a few wide popsicle sticks for digging and excavating.

Posted in Games & Creative Play | 4 Comments »




Play + Learn | Celebrating Neil Armstrong and the History of Broadcast Television

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

I’m all about having some fun with the kids but if I can incorporate some kind of lesson into our activity? Major bonus. Lately, I’ve been pondering the effect of television on our children. I mean, I think we call all agree it’s not the best thing they can do with their time. But in the same note, can television ever be viewed as something beneficial? Or, maybe we can just capitalize on their fascination with television by offering a lesson about it.

After all, since it’s invention in 1935, we have received a great wealth of news and information from the television. Think: Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon, for starters.

So with that in mind, today I’m teaching my children about some important historical events that have famously been broadcast via the good ole tube. We’ve decided to focus on Neil Armstrong’s famous walk on the Moon in 1969.

What are we doing exactly? Well, we’re making a television set from a cereal box and our Astronaut will be made from that same box (and a knit glove) with a tiny Moon prop to match. Here’s how… (more…)

Posted in Games & Creative Play, Play + Learn | 4 Comments »




DIY: Practice Clock for Kids

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Before I turn this post over to our newest contributor Caroline Urdaneta, I believe a little fanfare is in order. You may remember Caroline from her interview here, and you may have seen her on the lovely Terra Savvy, but did you also know that her ridiculously charming blog Salsa Pie was named one of Babble’s 50 best craft blogs? Thrilled doesn’t begin to describe how pleased I am to have her here.

The other day, while in the shower, I called to my 6 year old daughter and asked her to tell me the time. Actually, to be totally honest to you, I told her to go look at my cell phone and tell me what the “numbers” said. She came back a few seconds later and confidently told me, “Mom, the time is: two, dot-dot, zero six.”

Digital clocks are like the velcro to shoe tying when we modern parents try to teach our kids how to tell time. And just like the skill of shoe tying (or writing in cursive even) our kids are learning later and later how to do these simple things. Sometimes they even question the need to know! The solution can be as modern as the problem (like a new app on your iPhone) but you can also turn this challenge into a hands-on teaching opportunity and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s how: (more…)

Posted in Games & Creative Play, Play + Learn | 3 Comments »