Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Another Valentines Day is fast approaching filled with candy hearts, boxes of chocolate and red roses–the symbols of the romantic season.  If you’re like us, and you prefer to seek out alternative symbols of affection to give this holiday new life, take a look at some of our favorite Valentine crafts and activities, DIY style!
Here are a few kid-friendly activities:

These Heart Stamps by Rust and Sunshine are the perfect activity for even the littlest valentine in your life.  All you need is a toilet paper roll, a scotch tape, red paint, and paper in order to make a home-made sweet surprise for any family member!
For the older kids, these Valentines Day Mad Libs by My Sisters Suitcase can be a fun gift to exchange at school.
If your honey has a sweet tooth, try these printables to make the occasion unique:
DIY Valentine Treat Bags by Twig and Thistle
For the more rustic Valentine, check out the You and Me and a Carved Tree idea from The Dating Divas.  It’s a romantic, yet “manly” way to show your affections!We also came across some wine cork art to stimulate your crafty side!

Wine Cork Heart from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Wine Cork Heart The Corner Apartment.  The nifty thing about this collection of corks is that they didn’t require any paint!  The purple progression comes from the natural tint of the variety of wines that stained them.  If you don’t already have a collection going, maybe you can start stocking up corks for next year!Valentines Day doesn’t have to be cliche…spice it up this year!


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At JCL, we love September for many reasons…cooler temps, change of seasons (hello boots!) and of course, all those great school supplies!  We love the smell of Sharpies and crayons. Is there anything more beautiful than a perfectly sharpened No. 2 pencil?  Nirvana. We realize, however, that not everyone gets as excited about notebooks and rulers as we do, but relax. “Back to School” doesn’t have to mean “Back to Clutter.” Check out the following ideas from some of our favorite organizing guru moms and fellow bloggers for some creative solutions to  your homework headaches. We got goose bumps just looking at them!We just loved this Children’s Homework Message Center.  What’s more, this crafty momma has these templates available for purchase!Take a look at this Organize Your Morning hanging shelf.  No more scrambling in the morning to help your child get dressed and out the door.

For a space saver, try this over the door school supplies organizer.  No more scattered pencils and glue sticks in this home…

For the small areas of the home needing a little order, use a shower caddy organizer.  Brilliant!

Stuck with a stack full of school work from your children?  Organize them by grade with a hanging folder system like this.

Have a creative back-to-school organizing solution? Share your answers–it’s the only time you won’t get in trouble for sharing answers in class.

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Have you heard the “I’m bored!” routine one too many times these days from the kids?  Staying busy indoors can transform those dreary days into fun (and hopefully productive) ones to stave off cabin fever.  Try some indoor creativity with the little ones to make the most of the last days of winter!

Write a book and make it come to life!  If you’ve spent any time with children, they always have a story to tell.  Your local bookstore often sells the bound, blank books ready for your child to write and illustrate their original story.  If your kid has an itch for the theatrical (most kids do), they may retell their original work through acting out a play or a puppet show.  With a pre-bound book, you can store it safely on your shelf and cut down on the clutter. And—it will be easily retrievable so little hands can grab to show off to grandma!

Rearrange your child’s room…and make it fun!  If you have a small child, there may have been one or two incidents where toy clutter has threatened the health and well-being of those in your family (matchbox car catastrophe, anyone??).  Finding smart storage solutions for your child’s room may help temper the continued battle for cleanliness, and in the end, save an emergency room trip!

The first rule of toy storage is: don’t have everything out at once.  Use a large plastic storage bin as a “toy library”, rotating out groups of toys, one group at a time.  Not only does this solution create more room for play, it helps your child get the most out of each group of toys, and renewing their interest in old toys after having been out of sight.  Incorporating furniture into this strategy, such as a storage ottoman, can also be a stylish way to cut down on toy clutter.  Keep in mind as you are storing those extras to use shoeboxes for toys with smaller parts.  Providing a smaller toy with a home prevents tiny parts scattered throughout the room.  Make a rule where only one shoebox can be out at a time, and you cut down on excessive toy clutter in your kid’s room.   Second, get on their levelliterally!  Get down on your hands and knees to let your child guide you on a trip around the room.  Ask him/her what they love the  most about their room, favorite toys and activities.  Put the most used items within reach, and let your child help rearrange some small furniture.  Not only does it help him/her feel valued and included, but moving furniture helps get the pent-up energy out on those frosty days!

Transform chores!  Making an everyday chore into a game can be fun for kids and a lifesaver for you.  By setting a timer and providing prizes, you can motivate your kids to kick their task into high gear.  For after dinner clean-up, crank up the iPod while you work, and reward the most efficient “tidier” with a small prize or extra privileges.  You can also make a mundane job such as dusting into a scavenger hunt.  Hide stickers, pennies and other treats under tabletop items to be discovered by your diligent duster.  Many families find that “Chore Charts” and gold stars are helpful in tracking their child’s initiative and rewarding them on a weekly basis.

Dance!  Without the luxury of unleashing your little one into the yard to run laps, how else can he/she shake out that extra energy before bed?  A wonderful solution is instituting evening “Dance Time”.  After the dinner cleanup is complete and the homework done, clear a space in the family room to get your groove on!  Each family member can take turns picking the song selection every night, and it’s an entertaining end to the day for everyone!  Who knows—maybe it turns into an exercise regimen for the whole family.

The cold can’t stop you from making memories this winter!  Savor these remaining chilly days at home with the family…you’ll be glad you did!  And of course, if you’re living in the DC metro area, you may go from hibernating to rollerblading in your shorts and tee within hours.

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