On a windy day, have everyone try to catch leaves as they fall, calling out the color of the leaf before grabbing it. The person who can score five leaves first wins the game. (If it's not windy, have a grown-up throw leaves in the air; little ones will love helping with this job, too.)
Leaf through it
Before heading inside, collect a pile of colorful, newly fallen leaves (dry ones will crumble) for these classic crafts: Make a place mat by arranging leaves between two sheets of clear contact paper; use scissors to trim the edges. Create stamp art by applying water-based paint to the veined (back) side of a leaf and pressing it onto construction paper. Or place double-sided tape on the back of your finds and let toddlers stick them onto a window.
Try a scary snack
Sustain hungry goblins with creepy centipedes, made by sticking crunchy chow mein noodles on both sides of a string-cheese stick. For a sweet spider, insert four two-inch "legs" of thin licorice pieces into the sides of a cupcake. Add Red Hots or M&M's to the frosting for eyes.
Liven up meals
Food that stares back at you shouldn't be a once-a-year occasion. Sliced black olives can turn a mini-pizza into a jack-o'-lantern; smiley-face peas can perk up mashed potatoes.
Have a ball
Create festive bowling pins by painting ten empty one-liter soda or water bottles with orange poster paint. When they're dry, use black paint to add jack-o'-lantern faces. Then line them up, grab a ball, and let the game begin.
Feed the birds
Tie a long string or ribbon around a pinecone and then slather it with peanut butter. Roll it in seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin) and hang it up from a tree branch or clothesline. Watch the birds dig in!
parenting, education, activities and more
Remember the concept of weekends being a time for rest, relaxation, and togetherness? No? Us either. Between soccer games, playdates, dragging your kids to see the new exhibition at the local children's museum, and we need to pick up a gift for that birthday party that starts in . . . 20 minutes, juggling a busy family's weekend schedule can be more stressful than a weekday. While we know it's simply not realistic to cancel all your plans and obligations moving forward, clearing the calendar for just one weekend can be just the refresher that your family's craving. Here's why.
Any of these sound familiar?
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Summertime is on, and the kids are out of school. Every mom knows that for these three months it's more important than ever to keep the kids busy. But you don't have to schedule your life away with camps, or drop a bundle on activities and games that come in a box. You can make your own fun, and even include the kids in the prep, with some simple, inexpensive DIY crafts that will keep them playing 'til the lightening bugs come out. Make your own fingerpaint, bubbles, and crayons. Create a fort-building kit and superhero capes that will kick their imaginations into overdrive. Here are 10 of our favorite kid-friendly DIY crafts to fuel your summertime fun.
Let these DIY dog bed projects be your inspiration and within a single weekend, you can construct something that really makes Rex feel like a king.
The task of finding an eco-friendly, safe-for-baby gift parents-to-be will actually use is kind of challenging. Add to that a price limit of $50, and the feat suddenly feels impossible! Fortunately, we combed the marketplace for some of the prettiest, most useful, sweetest gifts for baby and family. Many are fine on their own, while others would work well as part of a bigger basket — you know, if you wish to achieve that shower-goer hero status.
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