Big Hands, Celebrations, Crafts, GIfts

DIY Christmas Lights Advent Countdown

DIY Christmas Lights Advent Countdown with Plastic Easter Eggs

Today I have a bit of a holiday mash-up with my DIY Christmas Lights Advent Calendar made from plastic Easter eggs!  With only a few extra craft supplies, you’ll be able to create this fun countdown for the holiday season.

Continue reading “DIY Christmas Lights Advent Countdown”

Advertisements
Celebrations, Parties

A Princess Tea Party Playdate

A Princess Tea Party Playdate

My 6 year old is forever asking for playdates with her new friends from school.  Admittedly I have not been the best at planning throughout the school year, so I had it in my summer plans to try and plan something special for her and a few close friends once school was out.  When the opportunity came up to have two princesses from A Charmed Affair come to our house, I knew a Princess Tea Party would make the perfect playdate for Keira and the little girls from her kindergarten class.

A Princess Tea Party Playdate Continue reading “A Princess Tea Party Playdate”

Big Hands, Celebrations, Crafts, Parties

An Equestria Girls Dance Party

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Party

My daughter turned 6 at the end of May and we celebrated at home with an Equestria Girls themed dance party.  Keira had a My Little Pony themed party for her 4th birthday, so I will admit I was a bit disappointed when she asked me to plan another Pony themed party.  Luckily I am not good at getting rid of things so I still had all the decorations from that party and was able to re-vamp a lot of the same ideas to make things feel new and exciting.

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Party _ Signs

Keira loves singing and dancing, and a big part of why she loves the Equestria Girls is the music.  I have downloaded a couple of the soundtracks and even find myself singing along to the catchy tunes when I am alone in the car.  It only seemed natural to give the party theme and decorations a music themed spin.

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Party _ Birthday Cake Continue reading “An Equestria Girls Dance Party”

Big Hands, Crafts, Everyday Life, Little Hands, Two Legged Fun

Read for Treats! Printable Reward Chart

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Reward Chart

Summer is fast upon us and one thing I want to work on during the break from school is the kids reading.  They both love the routine we have gotten into of us reading to them each night, but I also want to help encourage their own reading progress.  I have ordered some beginning levelled readers for my daughter and a few new chapter books that I thought would interest my son, then came up with a fun reward system that has them excited to read daily.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Reward Chart

My children like frozen treats in all shapes and forms, so when it came to coming up with a reward system for their summer reading it only made sense to use ice cream and frozen drinks.  A lot of these I would likely be treating them to and buying anyways, but this way they are earning them and can feel a sense of accomplishment as they enjoy them.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

I looked through several different summer reading tracking ideas on Pinterest, and settled on the idea of making it look like a boardgame.  I liked the idea of having that visual tracking as they work towards their goal, and I know a boardgame is something fun and simple they understand.  My 8 year old son is also highly competitive and I know he is the one we will have issues getting to read, so having both kids on the same gameboard will encourage him to keep up with his younger sister.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

For the physical gameboard, I wanted something magnetic to hang on the wall and stick my pieces to.  My initial thought was to use a cookie sheet from the dollarstore, but I was happy to come across this inexpensive whiteboard at Miniso that I knew I could cover and provide that magnetic surface for my game pieces.  I have also seen similar magnetic whiteboards at the dollar stores if Miniso is not an option.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

Using a template boardgame from Tim’s Printables, I fit it to the size of my board and drew on some ice cream treats and added color to give it more of a Candyland type vibe.  Once designed, I printed it out in color on 100lb cardstock and had it laminated for durability.  I was planning to use rubber cement to adhere it to the magnetic board, but lucked out and, since it was sized to fit, I was able to just slip the laminated sheet into the whiteboard frame and it held securely in place.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

If you have gone out for ice cream with the family recently, you will know that it can add up quite quickly.  I love that there are now so many different novelty forms of ice cream and treats out there, but they all come with a price.  Because of this, I decided to have two different levels of treats and alternated between inexpensive options like Slurpees and Wendy’s Frosty’s (99 cents all summer) and more gourmet options like rolled ice cream, banana splits or extreme milkshakes.  You could easily pick and choose what works best for you.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Game Pieces

I color coded between the two different levels of treats and left the reward spaces on the board blank to let the kids pick the treat when they get to each of the blue or pink circles.  The choices were made as separate game pieces that I printed and attached to adhesive magnetic sheets to easily stick to the numbered circle spots and move around on the board as the kids see fit.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

I decided to go with a spacing of a treat after every 5 days of reading, giving them a chance to earn up to 11 treats over the course of the 55 space board.  This should work nicely over the course of the 2 summer months.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

For my playing pieces, I wanted a small toy or figure to represent each of my kids.  Any small toy like a Shopkin, toy car or Lego minifigure would work.  Once my kids had each selected a character from our Lego collection, I hotglued strong magnets to the backs and they were ready to stick to and move along the reward path.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Reward Chart

We have several camping trips planned throughout the summer, so I love the portability of the board.  I plan to add a 3M command hook in the trailer to hang the board on and continue our progress while we are away from home.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Reward Chart

This reward board could easily be adapted and used for other things besides reading.  Daily chores or even potty training progress could be tracked daily on the same board.  If you do not like my reward pieces, you can create your own set of items for your kids to work towards earning

Make your own board using the FREE printables HERE:

ReadingRewards_Gameboard

ReadingRewards_GamePieces

Do you like this idea?  What are you planning to encourage your children to keep learning this summer?  My kids were excited to see the board and are already begging to get started on earning their frozen treats.

 

 

By Car, Celebrations, Parties, Travel

A Moana Birthday Celebration

Moana Party_Best Western Plus Port O Call

For my daughter’s 5th birthday we decided to deviate a bit from the typical birthday party.  Instead of a big party with family and friends, we decided to have a small weekend away and celebrate with just our own immediate family of 4, plus my sister and her husband.  My daughter loves hotels and loves swimming, so a weekend in Calgary with a stay at a family friendly hotel seemed the perfect way to celebrate her big day.

Moana Party_Best Western Plus Port O Call Calgary Continue reading “A Moana Birthday Celebration”

BY Air, Travel

WDW Memories: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique_Magic Kingdom

On our first trip to Disney World, I was enamoured with all the little girls running around with their princess inspired hairstyles and sparkly dresses.  I got a big kick out of seeing the same hair style over and over at different levels of distress – you just knew some of them had been slept in for days because the little girl refused to take out the bun or funky colored braids.  We were just freshly married and I can remember thinking to myself that if I ever had a little girl, a princess makeover was definitely something I wanted to do with her.  Well I did have that little girl, and for our Walt Disney World trip this past November I was excited to finally be able to make the magic happen at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Continue reading “WDW Memories: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique”

BY Air, Travel

WDW Memories: Jedi Training

Jedi Training_Disney's Hollywood Studios

May the 4th is Star Wars day and I thought it was a great reason to share one of our favorite Star Wars memories/experiences from our trip to Walt Disney World this past November.

Jedi Training_Disney's Hollywood Studios

My son is a big Star Wars fan, so when I saw they offered the opportunity to learn to use a lightsaber and actually fight Darth Vader, I knew Jedi Training was an experience we couldn’t pass up.  It required a bit of planning to get signed up on the morning of our day at Hollywood Studios, but it was well worth it for this free and unique opportunity. Continue reading “WDW Memories: Jedi Training”