Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor for Fall

Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor for Fall

 This page contains affiliate links. Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor 

It’s fall! Are you ready to make an easy DIY pumpkin, or maybe 10, out of velvet or satin to decorate your space? I know I am! We’ve been pulling out the fall decorations and scents and are ready to celebrate the season!

The leaves are turning yellow, red, orange, and gold. There’s finally a chill in the air, I’m listening to a lot of Loreena McKennitt music, and Grandpa’s giving the kids giant warty pumpkins and Indian corn to decorate our front porch. Let me say it again, it’s fall!! Autumn is easily my favorite season, and I LOVE pulling out the scarves, earth tone sweaters, and pumpkin spice soaps and candles.

The Velvet Pumpkin

It’s also that time of year when the catalogs start pouring in from the mailbox, and I’ll admit I look forward to seeing all those fall colors and holiday preparation guides. There’s one catalog, in particular, I read from cover to cover and look forward to receiving multiple versions of every fall. This year I prepared my mug of tea and snuggled in on the couch after the kids had gone to bed to enjoy my catalog (it’s the little things). One item that jumped out at me was a beautiful burnt orange velvet pumpkin, and of course, that voice in my head said, “Oh! I would love several of those to put around the fireplace in the living room!”

Then I looked down at the dollar mark, and the sensible voice from the other side of my mind countered with, “That’s silly. You could easily make those for a quarter of the price!” The next day, I shared this idea with my 8-year-old daughter who thought it was a fabulous plan, and we got to work! So here we go, easy DIY pumpkin decor…

Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor pin

Make your easy DIY pumpkin decor with me today!

Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor in grass

1. To begin, gather your craft supplies together

You know you’re going to be at a craft, fabric store, or even Wal-mart to get costumes ready. Pick up a couple things for yourself while you get everything ready for the kids.

2. Cut out a circle of fabric

After you have your supplies set out the fabric you’ve chosen for your first pumpkin. I tried several, and if you can get some burnt orange velvet or velveteen, you’ll get sort of a vintage look. Other fabrics work great too, such as satin or simple cotton.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - tape measure

Fold your fabric in half so you only have to cut out a half circle. Then take your tape measure and mark a 9-inch radius. Basically, you’ll have 9 inches from the center of your circle all around. In order to do this, I placed my tape measure at the folded edge and used a Sharpie to mark 9 inches all the way around the half circle. For a smaller pumpkin try 7 inches or for a larger just increase to 12 inches or whatever you like.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - cutting the circle

Once your pattern is marked, cut out your circle and unfold it.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - circle

2. Gather and sew your pumpkin

Now, take your needle and thread it with a thread at least a similar color to the fabric. Then knot the end of the thread and begin to sew about half an inch from the edge of your circle. Weave the needle back and forth to make half-inch stitches.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - sewing to begin

Don’t forget to tighten the stitches so it gathers the fabric as you stitch around the entire circle of fabric.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - scrunched on the needle

You’ll see it start to look like the picture below, sort of a hat or little purse shape. As you finish going around, leave the last several inches loose so you have a big enough hole to fill your pumpkin with filling or newspaper.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - unstuffed pumpkin

3. Stuff your pumpkin

While I don’t get a physical newspaper anymore, my parents get one daily. If you have any sitting around, this is a great way to reuse them! For a 9-inch radius pumpkin, I used 5 double sheets of newspaper wadded up and stuffed them into the empty pumpkin velvet skin. Use more or less to your preference, but shape it as you go. If you prefer, you can use the poly or pillow stuffing from your local craft store (or here on Amazon if you want – Poly-Fil Fibre Fill).

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - stuffing the pumpkin

Next, tighten the stitches and knot and finish off your thread so it looks like the picture below. In the center, you should have the perfect small hole for the stem to fit into.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - no stem

4. Cut out the stem

Once the pumpkin shape and fabric is secure, take your stem fabric and cut out a right triangle (a triangle with one 90-degree angle) or as close as you can get. It definitely doesn’t have to be perfect as you can see from my example below! I used about a 5 by 10-inch right triangle.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - stem triangle

5. Make the pumpkin stem

When the triangle is cut out, begin from the wide end. Roll it up tightly so it spirals up and the stem is thick at the bottom and becomes thinner the taller it gets.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - rolling up the stem

6. Attach the stem to your easy DIY pumpkin decor

You’re almost done! Again, thread your needle folding the thread in half to make it double strength. Next, tuck the edges of the velvet pumpkin fabric inside. Then sew from the stem to the velvet pumpkin fabric about half an inch from the edge. The extra half inch is what’s pushed down inside the pumpkin to make a clean edge. Sew all around the stem, from the stem to the velvet each time, to secure the stem. If the pumpkin will be used and thrown around by kids you may want to sew around the stem twice!

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor sew stem to pumpkin

7. Finish the pumpkin stem

From here on the finishing touches are up to you! If you like the stem as it is, leave it that way. I trimmed mine down and sewed the tip closed on this pumpkin, as you can see in the picture. Also, I bought some ribbons to attach around the stem but then decided I preferred the plain and simple. Play around with it, be creative, but have fun!!

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor, sewing the stem

Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor pin2

Enjoy the season!

Do you love fall as much as I do? Then I really hope you try this project out and have fun with it. It is pretty easy for a sewing project, and even my 8-year-old daughter was able to do almost the entire thing herself. You don’t even need a sewing machine! She did need a little help sewing the stem to the pumpkin, but that was it! You know, they also make great gifts. My son took one (very proudly) to his preschool teacher, and said maybe she’d like to put it on her desk. She loved it, and it made his day.

While you’re in the fall spirit, light those pumpkin spice candles, plan a fall hike in the mountains, find a new book, buy some new hot teas, and pull out your favorite sweater. Well, at least that’s what I plan to do!

 

What other fall traditions do you and your family have?

One of my favorite places in the world in fall is Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park Restaurants feature

Craft supplies for easy DIY pumpkin decor:

   
 

Long Layover With Kids: 8 Ways to Survive

Long Layover With Kids: 8 Ways to Survive

This post contains affiliate links. Layover with kids

When you hear the words, long layover with kids, do you just cringe? For those of you who’ve experienced a layover between flights at an airport, think about how tired you are and what you do. Now imagine that same level of fatigue after an eight-hour or longer flight while you wait five hours for your next three-hour flight, and add in two grouchy kids. Doesn’t that sound like fun?! Not so much.

Today I’m going to give you 8 things to do to survive a long layover with kids. In addition, you are going to feel super-awesome because you planned beforehand and won’t have a breakdown in the middle of the Toronto Airport (or wherever you’ll be). This is truly a win-win!

Recently, my family of four traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia by air. This lengthy trip involved two layovers each way, and it’s stressful enough on your own, much less while you’re trying to help your kids get through it! First, we stopped in Toronto, Canada for five hours, and then in Warsaw, Poland for fourteen. Bragging moment, I was super-proud of my kids and how they handled it. Now, I’m going to give you ideas for both the long and short layovers. Here we go!

Long layover with kids pin

8 Ways To Survive A Long Layover With Kids

1. A well-packed carry-on bag the child can carry or pull

This is so important! You will all be tired so don’t overpack the 4-year-old’s bag so you have to carry it all the time. Admittedly, I carried my son’s bag now and then, but he could carry it himself, and he used everything in it at some time or another. For more detail on what to pack, see my post on ‘The Complete Kids’ Carry-On Packing List’.

2. Find a home base

Next, as soon as your plane lands and you’ve taken care of the essentials like finding the restroom, you’ll look for a home base. No, you’re not going to be hauling around a tent, but find your own space not too far from your next gate. Also, this should be an area with several chairs where you can park your carry-on bags, and the kids can spread out.

This spot will become your home base if one parent needs to take one child to go do something. One adult should always be at the base to watch the bags, but then you can otherwise come and go as you please. Moreover, the kids can spread out coloring books, crayons, snacks, whatever, without feeling smushed and without bothering anyone.

I even like to get food and bring it back to base for everyone so we don’t have to cart our bags (and kids) around.

3. Change of clothes and pajamas

A change of clothes for everyone and a set of pajamas are imperative to make the kids, and you, more comfortable. Maybe a child got sick on you on the last flight and you need to change. Don’t just think the kids will be the only ones whose clothes might need replacing.

If it’s night time, pajamas are a great thing to have for the kids. Pajamas are familiar and comforting, and hey! They might even get some much-needed rest and take a nap!

4. Take frequent walks 

If you’re not napping, walking around frequently, with the adults taking turns, is a great idea. You’ve been smushed up on an airplane for so many hours without moving and will just be getting on another. Kids don’t ever sit still and in one place any longer than they have to so why expect they will while traveling? Walk around, find the nearest bathroom and your favorite snack store, but get moving!

5. Airport scavenger hunt

Kids love to play games so try out this Airport Scavenger Hunt printable (scroll to the end to download) or other activity books. The scavenger hunt is awesome because it gets you moving around intent on finding the listed objects on the list. Work it as a family or individually, but make sure to emphasize the rules about staying with an adult.

Layover with kids: Airport Scavenger Hunt pin

6. Tablet with earphones for each child

I normally limit screen time at home but not while traveling! If it will entertain the child and let us rest, it’s completely worth it on the airplane or at the airport. My children were actually tired of the tablets by the time we got to the layovers and didn’t use them as much as I expected. Get everyone moving around and doing other things, but when they’re tired of that and sitting around waiting, a new movie or game will pass the time.

Long layover with kids and iPad

7. Food! 

Make sure you have or can buy snacks (see ‘30 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight‘) and meals in between flights. We love to try out local foods, and even at an airport, we try to get something different. (That is unless we’re on the last leg and my four-year-old snaps and only agrees to eat Oreos or the snacks I’ve brought because they’re familiar). For example, it may sound odd, but my daughter loves sausage. She was so excited she got to have a sausage sandwich at the little cafe at the Warsaw Airport. “It was so good Mommy! That’s why they call it POLISH sausage at home, hahaha!”

8. Book a hotel room in the airport or nearby

This is a big one that can make a huge difference in your travels. If you have an 8 or more hour layover, and you’re not trying to run into town to do some sight-seeing, I strongly suggest getting a hotel room at the airport or near-by if available. This made such a difference in how we arrived at our destination and was super-easy. Before we left, I made a reservation at the Courtyard Marriott across the street from the Warsaw Airport, and we simply walked over and checked in.

Courtyard Marriott Warsaw

We all got to shower or take baths, sleep in our own space, and just relax and get ready for our vacation. This meant we (even the kids) were refreshed and ready to go get on that last flight to our destination. The jet lag was easier to handle, and it made for a much happier family.

Be Prepared

If you’re going on a long trip anytime soon with kids, I think the lesson is to be prepared. You’ll want to prepare your carry-ons and the kids’ favorite items. Then, plan your layovers and if you can get a hotel or not, and be sure there are options for everyone in the family. No one wants a grouchy goose, so make your travels go as smoothly as possible.

Helpful hint: it takes some effort and planning!

Don’t neglect your packing list and then wonder why the kids scream and complain and drive you crazy the entire trip. It can still happen, but you can plan, be prepared, be flexible, and enjoy your travels as a family. You can more than survive your layover with kids, you’ll make it a fun adventure exploring a new place!

Download your Airport Scavenger Hunt PDF now!

Layover with kids: Airport Scavenger Hunt preview

Share in the comments below, what’s the worst or best experience you’ve had on a long layover with kids?

Free Printable After School Checklist

Free Printable After School Checklist

This post contains affiliate links. After school checklist

Here we are with a free printable after school checklist. This post came to being completely due to the need for it in my house. The first full week of school is past us, and the kids are loving it. But let me tell you, they are tuckered out when they get home! Maybe you have perfect children (like myself and my brother when we were little – kidding!) who never fight and never have to be told to do something twice? HA! If you are one of those parents then count yourself lucky. Last week I almost lost my voice asking if they’d done homework, practiced piano, please stop fighting, and why oh why are there three pairs of shoes in the living room and two exploded backpacks?

Now, we’re starting to get homework and more activities going like volleyball, swimming, and piano lessons. So it’s time to take action! We’re not going to have time for me to remind the kids to do things over and over. Truly, that’s not something I want them relying on me for anyway. Therefore, I came up with this printable after school checklist so they can take some responsibility and not look at me as the taskmaster.

After school checklist pin

Do you need help keeping kids motivated for school?

School motivation feature

Why is an after school checklist helpful?

I love the after school checklist because it makes it perfectly clear to me and to the child what’s expected. There’s no questioning or testing. It’s written in black and white (or color!) and posted on the wall for all to see. Also, I the parent am not looked at as the enemy, that evil slave driver telling you to put away a backpack or do your homework. Instead, my kids can go look at the wall, cross off their completed tasks, and feel that sense of satisfaction when it’s done.

After school checklist in action

How can I use the after school checklist?

In the download, I’ve included a couple of different versions of the list. The first one is a general after school checklist that’s ready to go and complete, ready to print off and use. The second one is blank and customizable because I included a page of 27 task pictures you can cut out and use to mean whatever you like for your child. I would suggest having the child help with the picture cutting and writing out the task in the activity column. Bonus! This creates more buy-in for their new list.

There are a couple of ways you can use the downloadable checklist. You can print it out and customize if necessary. If you print it out in black and white I think it’s fun to have the kids color it and discuss it, again for more buy-in. To make it last longer I printed it on a thicker card stock paper and laminated it, but you can always just print out a new one every now and then.

After school checklist close-up

Checklist columns

The first column says “Flip-it” because you cut between the rectangles and fold them over so they “flip” to complete the activity. I actually used small velcro circles on the laminated version to keep them covered and to let what still needs to be done more easily seen. If that’s too much just make an X or check mark in the “Flip-it” column. In addition, you can laminate it (or cover it with plastic packing tape) and use a dry erase marker on it every day.

The second column is the “Activity” you want to be accomplished, written out. This rectangle will be covered up by the flip column when it’s complete (unless you choose the check mark method). Besides homework and putting away shoes, etc., I’ve also included things like having a snack, get moving! (exercise or sport), and packing a lunch for school the next day.

The third column is a picture that represents the task to be done. Pictures just make the list more colorful and fun, and if your child is not reading yet they will associate the picture with the activity and then not have to be read the list or shown where to flip over the tab. At the bottom of the page, there’s also a space to write what they’d like to do when their list is complete. It’s a win-win!

Download your free printable checklist

After school checklist preview

Supplies:

 

Tell me how it works for you

I would love to hear how the after school checklist works for you and your family! Send me a note or comment below, but either way, I’d love to hear from you. We all know every child is different, but to understand expectations and have some predictability are great tools for kids. I hope this list helps you out. It’s already helping me regain my voice. Now to navigate the after school activities before we actually get home…

After school checklist vertical

School Motivation: Tips and Techniques

School Motivation: Tips and Techniques

This page contains affiliate links. School motivation

Here I am back at it after a super-fun, yet crazy summer! We had an incredibly busy summer of travel, swimming, friends, family reunions, church activities, camp, and more. In all of that we had a ton of great family time, but with all the activity I’ve recently been craving a regular daily schedule. This is also true especially for my preschooler who thrives on predictability. The week leading up to school, my son and daughter fought about everything and picked at each other constantly. More than once my daughter lamented, I wish school would start! I love that school motivation.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. School’s starting and kids are either super-excited, clinging on to summer, or dreading going back. For all these situations how do you cultivate a love of learning in the form of school? How can you continue school motivation consistently and throughout the year when even the most excited kid sees some burnout?

So what can we do as parents now to help our kids want to participate at school? School motivation can sometimes be a battle. With jobs and crazy schedules, it can be nuts. However, a little time here and there consistently is a huge investment in the future. I’ve come up with some techniques as a mom and a former teacher I’ve seen work to motivate your kids to take an active interest in their learning and progress. Of course, every child is different, and you know your child, so choose what’s best for you.

School Motivation Techniques

School Motivation pin

Talk about what’s happening at school

This one’s pretty basic, right? But so important! Show interest in what they’re doing at school and expand on it when you can. Go to the museum, watch the eclipse, read with your child nightly (or if they’re older let them see you reading). If you show excitement, they will too. Even the teenagers.

Volunteer at school

Get involved and volunteer at school when you can. This one is tough, especially if you have little kids at home or a job that’s not flexible. Can you volunteer to read with kids at school once a month or week? Does the teacher need someone to run another center? If you can’t come often can you take the day off work and volunteer to go on the field trip to the zoo or the state Capitol?

Professions: Discuss what your kids will need to study to get there

School motivation, doctor

Talk to your kids about the future and what they’d like to do. Have/help them research the subjects they will need to learn about, and if the kids are older arrange a job shadow. If your kids are younger, talk to them about what they’ll need to learn about to do the job they’d like.

Schedule homework time

Include homework and study in their daily after school schedule or as a part of a chore chart. There’s a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of homework. Whatever side you’re on, homework’s generally expected, and it’s good to get into a routine. I like using the Dave Ramsey chore chart in Financial Peace Junior, but you can incorporate it to whatever system you use. My daughter in third grade gets a “commission” instead of an allowance for certain chores she does around the house. She also has chores and tasks she does not get paid for but are expected as being a part of the family. The catch is, if she doesn’t do her expected tasks like making her bed, doing homework, and practicing piano, she doesn’t get her commission for the extra chores she does. Money motivates all of us! Let’s instill a work ethic and not just an expectation of a weekly allowance.

Pssst! Be on the lookout for my free printable after school schedule coming out soon!

Host a book club or after school activity

Host a book club for your child and friends at school. You can do so many different activities with books – costumes, reenactments, discussions, parties, games, it’s truly endless. My daughter is very social and loves to be in a group. This is an awesome way to hang out with friends in a super positive way. Take a look at my post on Roald Dahl’s The BFG for ideas! Click here.

Do you want more ways to get your kids excited about learning?

10 tips to get kids excited about learning - feature

You can’t do it yet

If your child says, “I can’t do it!” respond with, “You can’t do it yet.” Make them understand you have to work to accomplish a goal. 

Nelson Mandela quote

Remove distractions and stick to a schedule

Remove distractions and stick to a schedule after school. I’m guilty of not getting this one right, but it’s so important. Set a specific time and place for your child to study or do homework. In addition, be sure the TV’s not on or a sibling argument’s not happening right in front of them. Remove other tempting distractions like that bead set she’s been using to make bracelets for all her friends, and have a snack before the homework starts.

Exercise and play!

Get those kiddos moving! So many schools have cut gym and recess time so make sure your kids get some play and movement in their day. What does that look like? It may mean playing on a volleyball team, going to soccer practice, playing at the playground, or running around the backyard.

Celebrate improvements and accomplishments

Point out improvements and accomplishments more than the negatives. Every little step is huge in motivating a child to enjoy school. Especially if the student has had past trouble in class, recognizing improvement and new understanding can be an amazing motivator.

Catch some Zzzs

Make sure you and your kids get enough sleep! Yes, I know it’s tough, but stick with bedtimes. I have a harder time with this than my kids because I’m trying to get so much done and still have some quiet time after they’re asleep. But, shockingly, I find I’m so much more efficient and get more done when I have a good amount of sleep! Imagine that! The same is true of kids.

Set goals

Write out specific goals for the semester or year, with each child, and put them on the fridge or at a work area. Also, refer to them throughout then discuss them at the end of the year to see where the kids end up. You can give a little celebration if they meet their goals. I like to give at least some of the goals numbers so the student has something specific to work toward.

For example, I will improve my reading level from 4.5 to 5.2. Find out what measurements they use at school and write out tangible goals. If your child is uncertain or shy, a goal could be to volunteer at least once a day to answer a question or help out. Or, a goal could be to do at least 5 kind things for others at school. Those could be like inviting another student to eat lunch with you, helping someone out with their math, cleaning up the classroom for the teacher, or playing with someone new at recess. Be creative! You know your child better than anyone and can work together to set the best goals for your student.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

-Nelson Mandela

Education and learning are so important to our kids. Everyone needs education in order to succeed in life, develop a work ethic, learn how to respect and get along with others, and so much more. School motivation is a huge part of loving learning in any setting. We want our kids to be curious and put forth a positive effort in school. At the same time, let’s instill the determination and positivity of the “growth mindset”, the idea they haven’t failed but just haven’t yet accomplished their goal. They must keep trying and work hard until they achieve it. So with fall upon us, try out some of these ideas in your schedules and daily lives. There are so many personalities and situations, but in utilizing some of these techniques, school motivation may naturally develop or at least turn in the right direction.

Educational Gifts For Kids: Green Kid Crafts

Educational Gifts For Kids: Green Kid Crafts

This post contains affiliate links. Educational Gifts For Kids: Green Kid Crafts.

Green kid crafts pin

Are you struggling to find fun, original, educational gifts for the kid in your life? We just had our first experience with Green Kid Crafts, and it already has my kids begging for more. There is so much packed into the little green box it’s a great choice for any child.

Review of Green Kid Crafts

First of all, let me be clear, in no way shape or form am I a science mom or have ever had much interest in science. I studied history, geography, French, international studies, etc. in college. I believe took astronomy and geology for my two required college science courses because they looked the most interesting.

However, I think this is part of the reason why I love Green Kid Crafts. First, there is a ton to learn about and explore. These are activities my kids love (especially my son) I would never have put together on my own. Also, it was so nice to have everything required for the experiment or activity right there on hand with clear directions, multiple options, and great thought-provoking questions for the kids to consider.

As a disclosure, we were sent a free sample box to review to be an affiliate for Green Kid Crafts. Now, you can choose to be an affiliate for so many things out there. There are certainly many options for monthly subscription kid themes. I have to say this is my favorite of all the monthly subscription boxes out there we’ve received. Why? Because there is simply so much to do. In addition, both the 4-year-old and the 8-year-old thought it was awesome!

If you’re in need of a creative and fun educational gift for a child, try out Green Kid Crafts and share an experience. It’s not just a toy to sit in the corner and gather dust.

What is Green Kid Crafts?

Green Kid Crafts is a monthly subscription for discovery boxes for kids 3-10 years old. They focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), providing opportunities to spark the imagination and trigger those higher thinking questions and skills. Each box has a different theme; the one we were sent is titled “Outer Space”.

Firstly, as stated, the kits are geared toward kids 3-10 years of age. The younger ones will need more help and guidance in reading the directions and doing the activity than the older ones. Actually, I found I had to almost work with the older child more to get her to slow down, do things in order, and make observations. A lot depends on the personality of your child!

Alien with Green Kid Crafts preview

From their own website, Green Kid Crafts describes their product as:

Developed by teachers, crafty moms and STEAM experts (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) to support key developmental skills for kids ages 3-10, our products celebrate creativity with craft projects and activate thinking, questioning, inquiring, and original creation as we guide children through fun science experiments.

Who would enjoy Green Kid Crafts as a fun, educational gift?

Firstly, as stated, the kits are geared toward kids 3-10 years of age. The younger ones will need more help and guidance in reading the directions and doing the activity than the older ones. Actually, I found I had to almost work with the older child more to get her to slow down, do things in order, and make observations. A lot depends on the personality of your child!

Green kid crafts balloon experiment

These are fun and accessible for any kid. However, I think those who would especially enjoy it would be those who may already have an interest in science, discovery, and a patience and determination to figure out how things work. You know those kids who at age 2 were trying take apart the door knob, turning it back and forth, and testing the locks? You can practically see the gears in their heads working as they try to figure out the why does it do this? My son and my brother were both this way at a young age, and my brother ended up an engineer so there you go!

For parents, this is a quick and easy way to enjoy active learning with your children. You get to participate and see them discover and get excited learning about the world around them. I personally love the fact I didn’t have to go figure out a bunch of experiments and activities and gather all the supplies!

Need more fun activities to do with kids?

Many of these awesome ideas are great for any season!

What I like about Green Kid Crafts

  • The kits are pre-packaged and ready to go with nearly everything you need. The only things we needed for our “Outer Space” kit were a little cooking oil and dishwashing liquid.
  • Plenty of supplies. We were able to do the experiments multiple times for both my son and daughter. (You can also order extra in your kits for siblings)
  • A variety of activities. We learned not just about one topic but many. Included in our box we had a Planetarium Kit, Space Sand Kit, and a Rocket Balloon Kit.
  • Each kit of the three we received in our box has multiple experiments and discovery opportunities.
  • Excellent directions and thought-provoking questions to help kids explore.
  • The different kits take a good amount of time to complete. I would not recommend doing them all at once but space them out during the month for kids to really enjoy and think about.
  • STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) focused. Great for getting kids exciting about learning and experimenting outside of school.
  • Promotes key developmental skills.
  • Educational and fun for adults helping kids as well. Granted, I’m not a scientist, but the space sand was fascinating to learn about!
  • New learning theme each month.
  • Earth-friendly materials are used. The supplies chosen can be composted, recycled and/or reused whenever possible.

Practical details and how to get it

There are several options for boxes and subscriptions. You can order a one-time box and renew it every month or get a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription, which is totally awesome, and I wouldn’t mind being given to me as a gift myself! See this link for current prices and options: Give the gift of creativity with Green Kid Crafts!

The child in your life will get their own exciting package in the mail every month with endless opportunities for discovery, imagination, and fun. What kid does not like to get something in the mail? They fight over just holding it on the way home from the mailbox at our house!

In conclusion and my opinion

I’ve said a lot of good things about this product and company, and our experiences so far are very favorable. I really like the idea of encouraging the growth of the “whole child” and the focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). Moreover, as a person who has never really had much interest in science for myself, I found myself getting excited about the experiments with the kids. The only con I can think of to mention was that the air pump for the balloons didn’t work as well as I would have liked, and that was not a problem as I could blow them up myself.

With my own eyes, I saw them learning new things about materials, jet propulsion, and the night sky. Their faces lit up with excitement and enthusiasm for learning with very little effort on my part. This would make a wonderful gift from any grandparent, friend, relative, or whoever.

What are your favorite science experiments you remember doing as a child? Post them in the comments!

I think my most memorable was when my science teacher had us do a bug collection with 25 different species. I felt like I was collecting bugs forever! A close second most memorable was when the squid ink exploded all over me during a dissection…ack! I still can picture that table and middle school classroom!

Kid-Prepared Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Kid-Prepared Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

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Do you need a Mother’s Day brunch menu for the kids in your life to make a memorable impression for Mom or Grandma? This is my go to quick brunch for women’s events like baby showers, a ladies get together, a book club, or any fun gathering. It is a proven formula, and I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed it. So for some pampering and a show of appreciation for all Mom does in our lives, give her a rest and make something she will love.

Test your patience Mom day

Today was one of those mornings for me. The 4-year-old was happy and looking forward to “Z” day at school and then bam! We forget the backpack. Now, do you really need a backpack for a 2 and a half hour preschool class? Not really, but it’s a fun thing to carry around and put our “jobs” in before going home. The child completely lost it and would not go in the building without his backpack. Did I have a million things to do while he was in preschool? Yes.

We had a talk next to the car trying to be reasonable and explain how he wouldn’t need it, and Mommy would bring it at the end of school. No luck, and the kid is stubborn. So amid the screams, running back to the car multiple times, I admit to myself. It’s a test your patience Mom day. We all have them. So people! Plan something nice for the Mom in your life and show some gratitude to the person who navigated you or others through the childhood fits, trials, stubbornness, and growth.

Why should kids prepare a Mother’s Day brunch menu?

Mother’s Day is an awesome opportunity to do something nice for some of the most important people in kids’ young lives. Instead of buying something and wrapping it up and telling the kids what Mom or Grandma is getting, give them a part. Make them invest some of themselves in the effort. Yes, it will take more time, patience, and clean-up, but the smiles of pride and joy as they present Mom with a homemade breakfast or brunch on a tray or at a family party is well worth it.

My kids love to be involved in cooking and preparing gifts for others. Their faces light up, and of course the four-year-old states, “Yes! I can do it myself for Grandma!”

Mother's Day brunch menu

This year use a Mother’s Day brunch menu for kids to treat Mom, Grandma, or that special person in their lives to a little luxury and pampering.

Make Mom a Fresh Carrot Orange Mango Smoothie!

Carrot smoothies

Mother’s Day brunch menu

Kid-prepared Mother’s Day brunch menu

Yogurt, fruit, and granola parfaits

Yogurt parfait side view

To begin, our menu includes some simple, healthy, pretty, and oh so tasty ingredients to give Mom some energy for the day. Presentation is a huge part of making food enjoyable so embrace the aesthetics while choosing the best foods at the same time. Who can resist a beautiful yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and granola?

This is a fun thing for kids to prepare. First, gather the ingredients. You’ll, of course, need yogurt in one or more flavors. We like vanilla when adding fruit to it, but if Mom likes blueberry or coconut Greek yogurt, go with her preference! Also, cut up your fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, mangos, or whatever you want. Next, take a bag of a favorite granola and begin layering. Start with a layer of granola, then fruit, then yogurt. Depending on the size of your glasses you can repeat this process 2, 3, 4 or more times! Lastly, top with a sprinkling of granola and the main fruits in the parfait.

Yogurt parfait close-up

Scones (home-made or store-bought)

Along with the parfait, you can include a little indulgence. I absolutely love fruit scones but rarely make them. Choose whatever flavor Mom or Grandma love, and if you have time help the kids make them from scratch. However, you don’t have time, buy some at the store but have the little ones take them out of the package and place them just right on pretty plates.

Order a scone recipe book from Amazon here: Scones: The Ultimate Recipe Guide

Quiche

Then, add a little savory to the menu with a dainty Quiche Lorraine or whatever flavor Mom likes. Quiche is not really that difficult to do, and if you buy a pre-made crust in the pan it’s a simple matter of whisking together 5 eggs, 3/4 cup cream (or milk), and 2 cups flavoring ingredients (such as spinach and gruyère cheese or ham and cheddar cheese), then pouring it into the shell to bake for 45-50 min. For a good printable recipe click on the link here.


Does anyone else have trouble letting yourself allow the child to crack the eggs? Arg. All that salmonella (maybe?)! I’ve had to make a choice to let that anxiety go, she can do it! Moreover, if we get a dropped egg on the floor, a smashed eggshell in the egg mixture, or raw egg all over our hands it can all be fixed, cleaned up, sterilized, or whatever. Sigh. Let it go, let it go…

Mimosas or Orange Juice

Orange juice

Next, we have our Mimosas (mmmm!), simple orange juice, or possibly an Orangina? Decide if you want an adult to take care of the adult beverage portion or have the kids take care of everything with an attractive glass of bright orange juice.

 Coffee or Tea

St. Patrick's Day tea

At a morning brunch, I find coffee a necessary piece of the puzzle for my true enjoyment, but provide tea or coffee or even hot cocoa depending on the tastes of your VIPs.

Mom’s favorite flower in vase

First, don’t eat the flower! Nearing the finishing touches, place a cheerful single or a whole bouquet of flowers in a vase for Grandma or Mom in her favorite flower and color.

Child’s hand-drawn card

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget the kids’ hand-drawn Mother’s Day cards with hand-prints, flowers, squid, bison, or whatever the child is moved to share with Mom. They will be cherished.

Mother and daughter

In closing

To all my hard-working moms out there, I get it! Don’t forget to take a moment out and pamper yourselves! You are amazing and soooo important to those kids and their futures.

So today, the same day we had the meltdown in front of all the other preschool parents in the parking lot, we also had the end of the year program. The child took an interest, got himself dressed in a “church shirt” with suspenders and tie, and actively participated in singing, dancing, and doing motions in a 17 song/rhyme program. Every song he looked at Mom proudly with a big, beautiful smile from ear to ear. Love on your littles while you can and appreciate every day.

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