Tag Archives: cooking

25 Fun Family Activities for Fall

15 Sep

shutterstock_317635484.jpg

With the start of a new school year and the anticipation of many holidays on the horizon, autumn is an exciting time for little ones. It is also a wonderful opportunity to create some family memories. Explore our list of 25 ideas to kick off some fall family fun!

  1. Visit a pumpkin patch or corn maze. Snacking on classic fall treats like caramel apples or kettle corn while you are there is a bonus!
  2. Time for fall chores. After you have raked up all the leaves in your yard, help your child un-rake them by jumping in! An experience worth the work.
  3. Colder, shorter days means more quality time indoors. We suggest snuggling up with a good fall-themed book such as Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, Pumpkin Soup, and Leaf Man.
  4. Carve a pumpkin for National Pumpkin Day on October 26th.
  5. Host a hot chocolate night! Create a hot cocoa bar with whip cream, chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, marshmallows, and more. Don’t forget apple cider for the non-cocoa lovers.
  6. Get crafty using nature! Use leaves, pinecones, acorns, and rocks as your paintbrush.
  7. Attend a fall festival or local fair. Look for new festivals in neighboring towns so you are sure not to miss out on the fall festivities!
  8. Check the weather for a nice clear, chilly night. Build a backyard bonfire and warm up together. Grab some homemade quilts and roast some s’mores. Don’t forget to be prepared with some ghost stories!
  9. Cold weather got you down? Have an indoor family game night! We suggest the Exit Games and the Jungle Party Memory Game or go old school and play Connect 4, Twister, Sorry!, and Trouble.
  10. Celebrate National Johnny Appleseed Day on September 26th by visiting an apple orchard.
  11. Make some DIY fall décor such as a leave garland and an autumnal wreath.
  12. Nothing beats the smells and sights of going on a classic hayride.
  13. Celebrate the autumnal season by baking some pie! With apple, cherry, peach, blueberry, pumpkin, sweet potato, and more, you are sure to find something to excite everyone’s taste buds.
  14. Take your child to a family-friendly tailgate. There is something special about the camaraderie and excitement of eating food and playing yard games outside on game day.shutterstock_375843820.jpg
  15. Create an autumn looking jar. Take a clear mason jar or vase and fill to the top with little items that are the sights and smells of fall. You can use leaves, acorns, cinnamon sticks, pinecones, and even mini pumpkins and squish to fill the jar.. Makes for a gorgeous dinner table centerpiece!
  16. Make Fall Slime (see instructions here) or apple slime (see instructions here).
  17. Cook up some homemade soup or chili to warm up a cold night.
  18. Clean out your closets! The change of the season gives the perfect excuse to go out with the old and in with the new!
  19. Visit a museum. Be sure to check for special fall festivities.
  20. Celebrate National Taco Day on October 4th.
  21. Create beautiful décor that will last the season by painting a pumpkin instead of carving one. You can even add glitter!
  22. Go leaf looking. Be sure to check to see when the peak leaf color time is in your area and then go take a nature walk.
  23. Get outside. Although the weather may be chillier, fall is a great time to fight off the soon-to-be winter cabin fever. Have some glowy fun with the NightZone™ Sports Pack or play catch with the unique Djubi® Game.
  24. Make gorgeous leaf lanterns (see instructions here).
  25. Relax and prioritize. The upcoming holidays can be a stressful time. Remember who and what is important to you and simply cherish the autumn moments.

No matter what you choose to do, be sure to take advantage of this exciting season and spend some quality time making precious memories with

3 Delightful After-School Snacks

18 Aug

shutterstock_63699763.jpg

The hustle and bustle of school starting can be overwhelming. With mile long shopping lists to check off, lunches to pack, and fresh, new outfits to pick out, providing healthy snacks is often low on the priority list. No worries, we gathered 3 easy after-school snack ideas to provide your little ones with yummy refuel after their long day of learning. Perhaps enlist their help in the kitchen for some special weekday bonding.

Peanut Butter Playdough

Fun to play with and good to eat!

You will need:

1 cup of peanut butter

1 cup honey or corn syrup

1 cup of powdered milk

1 cup of oatmeal

Coconut or powdered sugar (optional)

Large bowl

Measuring cup

Mixing spoon

Step 1. Help your child measure 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of honey, 1 cup powdered milk, and 1 cup of oatmeal.

Step 2. Once the ingredients are measured, help your child combine them in a large bowl. As they work with the ingredients, talk about how they are changing as they mix them. This is hard work!

Step 3. Once the mixture is dough-like, they can spoon out some of the play dough and mix it using their hands and fingers. Ask them if it is sticky. If the answer is yes, add small amounts of oatmeal and powdered milk.

Step 4. Encourage your child to explore this edible play dough. If desired, your child can make “snowballs” by rolling a rounded ball of dough in coconut or powered sugar.

Step 5. As they play with the play dough, remind them that it is okay to eat it as well!

Source: The Budding Chef – Paperback 

shutterstock_179800289.jpg

Yogurt Grape Treats

A refreshing snack for hot afternoons!

You will need:

Grapes

Yogurt of Choice

Toothpicks

Bowl

Baking sheet

Step 1. Destem and wash your grapes then stick toothpicks inside each one. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until fully frozen (should take a couple of hours).

Step 2. Once your grapes are fully frozen, dip the grapes in your favorite yogurt. Then place them back on the baking sheet.

Step 3. To add toppings, do it soon after you have dipped the grapes in the yogurt.  The yogurt will freeze pretty fast because the grapes are frozen. Some toppings we suggest are coconut, honey, dark chocolate, and caramel. Place them in a container in the freezer to store, or serve them to your little ones.

Source: Natalie Monson- Super Healthy Kids

20961226_10213463737886207_1204799885_o.jpg

Rainbow Fish Fruit Snack

Read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister with your child, and then share in making this delicious snack.

You will need:

Banana Slices

Blueberries

Dessert Shells (Found near the fruit in the produce section of most grocery stores)

Green grapes

Orange sections

Pieces of cantaloupe

Strawberries

Toothpicks (3)

Step 1. Invite your child to put three to five pieces of fruit on each toothpick. Arrange the toothpicks in a triangle shape to create the fish tail.

Step 2. Place the dessert shell near one triangle point to create a fish body.

Step 3. Use the rest of the fruit to fill up the dessert shell, and you’ve got a rainbow fish that’s tasty enough to eat.

Source: The Budding Chef – Paperback

Whether you choose to prepare these delicious snacks before they arrive home or have them help you whip up the recipe, these snacks are sure to please little one’s tummies!

4 Pretend Play Ideas for Rainy Days

11 Aug

shutterstock_472298350.jpg

Rainy days can be boring for children, and keeping them occupied when it’s raining can be a challenge. However, indoor pretend play is a great way to keep your child engaged on gloomy days. Pretend play is important to a child’s development because it promotes social and emotional, language, and thinking skills, while also encouraging imaginative thinking. Since pretend play is so influential, we have come up with four pretend play ideas for rainy days.

1.Vet Clinic

Encourage your child to open a pretend vet clinic on rainy days. Your youngster can get into character by putting on our veterinarian dress-up outfit, and he or she can help Minilina nurse her animals back to health with the Nici® Wonderland Doll: Veterinarian Set. Pretending to be a vet will keep your child busy and engaged on rainy days.

2. Café

Your child can also set up a pretend café in your home on rainy days. From cooking to serving, your little one will have a blast! Encourage your child to make pasta with the Prepare & Serve Pasta Set. Next, he or she will definitely need to make a pretend salad to go with the pasta. Then, once the food is ready, have your little one put on the Server Dress Up Set and serve the play food to his or her customers.

shutterstock_639705781

3. Puppet Show

Another pretend play idea that is perfect for a rainy day is a puppet show. Encourage your child to set up our Tabletop Puppet Theatre and put on a magnificent show with the Playful Pets Hand Puppets. Either watch your little one’s production in amazement or participate in the show on the next rainy day.

4. Indoor Campout

If the rain is getting in the way of camping outside, just have an indoor campout with your youngster! Set up an indoor tent and let the indoor camping adventures begin. The Pretend & Play™ Camp Set is a must-have for indoor camping. Your child will love pretending to light a path, cook food, follow directions, and more. Camping indoors is the perfect way to spend a rainy day.

What pretend play activities do you and your child like to do on rainy days? Let us know by commenting below!

6 Activities to Help You End Summer with a Bang

28 Jul

shutterstock_400438621.jpg

Summer is winding down and the school year will soon start, which means there will be less time for adventurous activities. Keep the energy up and make the last few weeks of summer with your little one the best yet! Here are six activities that will end your summer with a bang.

1. Mini Golf Tournament

Bring mini golf right to your home with the Noochie Golf™ Mini-Golf Set. Encourage your child to invite friends over for a tournament and see who the ultimate mini golfer of the group is. Mini golf is perfect “fore” enjoying the last few weeks of summer with friends.

2. Stargaze Indoors

The Galaxy 6′ Mesh Tunnel makes stargazing indoors possible! In the tunnel, your child will find stunning glow-in-the-dark galaxy patterns. Your youngster will love studying the stars for hours this summer. You can even allow your little one to stay up a little past bedtime to stargaze in complete darkness as an end-of-summer treat.

3. Spontaneous Day Trip to the Beach

Everyone loves a spontaneous beach trip! Waking your children up and telling them to get their bathing suits on and pack a beach bag is sure to get them excited. Make sure to take the Aqua Glow LED Beach Ball for the ultimate experience. With the tips from our “Backseat Road Trip Fun” blog post, even the car ride will be a blast. Have fun on your day beach trip!

shutterstock_348633260.jpg

4. Try New Recipes

New recipes are always fun for little chefs! Encourage your child to get in the kitchen and learn to cook this summer. The Toddler Cookbook has easy recipes that incorporate basic math, science, and language skills. With your help, your youngster will have a ball whipping up dinner for the family.

5. Relax at the Pool

Relaxing at the pool is the perfect way to end summer with a bang. Make pool time even more fun with the B4 Adventure Party Wheel. This unique float allows your child to crawl inside the wheel and roll around the pool. Make the most of the end of summer with pool fun!

6. Chalk Bomb Fight

Have a colorful chalk fight with chalk bombs! Each ball is filled with chalk powder that explodes when the ball makes contact with a solid surface. The best part is, chalk bombs can be thrown several times before they run out of powder. Encourage your child to invite friends over and get messy with a chalk bomb fight this summer!

How do you plan to make the most of the last few weeks of summer with your child? Share your ideas by commenting below!

Having Fun with (Play) Food!

9 Jun

shutterstock_430741318

The change of season brings yummy summer foods that everyone loves! From food trucks to summer cookouts, your little one will love eating delicious food with you. Exploring different foods can be a learning exploration for your child. Allow your little one to experience making his or her own summer (play) foods.

Food Trucks

Food trucks are a fun part of summer that many people look forward to! Your little one can participate in food truck fun with the Mega Bloks® First Builders™ Food Truck Kitchen Set. This food truck set comes equipped with the tools to make burgers, which is a classic food truck item. However, nowadays many different types of foods are served out of food trucks. Consider allowing your child to think out of the box with a sushi or pasta food truck. Vamp up your child’s food truck set with the Roll, Wrap & Slice Sushi Counter. Serving sushi out of their truck is sure to bring in the crowds. The Prepare & Serve Pasta Set could also be a great addition to your child’s personal food truck. Pasta is always a hit! From burgers to sushi to pasta, your child will love the food truck experience.

shutterstock_408095719

Summer Grilling

Cookouts are so much fun in the summer sun! While experiencing an enjoyable evening with family and friends, your little one is sure to want to join in on the cooking. New Sprouts® Grill It! allows your child to have fun grilling alongside you. Equipped with steak, chicken breast, and burgers, this grill set will help your child learn to be a master griller this summer. After supper, dessert is always served at cookouts, and your little one will definitely want to help with the cake baking. Your child can make his or her own (play) cake in the oven of the Chef’s Play Kitchen & Bonus Accessory Set. Your little one will enjoy getting to be just like you with their personal play kitchen. Playing a part in the summer grilling fun will make your child feel like he or she is an excellent helper.

shutterstock_390432757

The different experiences your child can have with food this summer can serve as teachable moments for you to use as a parent. Introduce your child to different foods by allowing him or her to taste and pretend to make them. Making the experience of trying new foods fun is sure to make your little one more excited about preparing and trying new foods in the future. Your child will love having fun with (play) food this summer!

What’s your child’s favorite (play) food dish to make? Share your thoughts by commenting below!

Turning Dinnertime into Family Time

27 Apr

shutterstock_124589956.jpg

In today’s world, it is often seen as a rarity for a family to regularly sit down and enjoy dinner together each night. Between soccer practice, music lessons, and mommy clubs, dinnertime often has to be “worked” into the family schedule. So when you do find yourself having a dinner with the whole gang, make sure you make the best of that special time. Whether you are just grilling out some burgers, whipping up a 5-course meal, or even picking up the family favorite takeout—your family dinnertime can be more than just consumption of food. Consider our advice on how to turn the act of simply eating together into precious moments of laugher and family bonding.

Start at the beginning

While you are planning, shopping, and prepping your family’s meals, your children are often left out of the process. Perhaps turn your prep activities into family activities. Let your children select the meal or host a family favorites night, featuring a favorite food item from each member. Simple acts of washing the veggies and stirring the sauce can make your child feel included and important. If your child is too young to help out with the cooking, provide them play sets like the New Sprouts® Grill It! so that they “cook” alongside you. Let the pressures of dinnertime become a family exploration with every member playing an important part.

shutterstock_364069853.jpg

A grand affair

If a traditional family dinner is not typical for you, why not treat it as the special occasion that it is! Use those nice dishes collecting dust in cabinet. Bust out a tablecloth and some flowers (possibly picked by your child) to help you set the stage for a special night of fun. Even if family dinner is an every night affair, occasionally adding of bit of flair is sure to spark some excitement. Treat your little ones to a fun new place setting like the Mickey SuperBib Set or the Construction Eating Place Setting to make eating exciting! Don’t forget to create after dinner delight! Not talking about dessert (but don’t forget that too), but about providing post dinner entertainment. This entertainment doesn’t have to be fancy, can simply mean streaming a new movie, playing a game like the Parent Quiz® After Dinner Trivia Game, or even stargazing. Whether you choose to do a full table spread complete with Pinterest décor or simply a special dessert, as long as you treat family dinner night as the exceptional little moment that it is, you’ll be sure to create memories that will last.

Three Easy Activities to Help Your Family Embrace Spring

30 Mar

Transitioning into spring can be an exciting time for children. After several months of post-holiday blues, springtime brings green grass, blooming flowers, special holiday celebrations, and warm-weather activities. Spring also brings a sense of renewal and refreshment—perhaps from the spring cleaning or the ever-growing anticipation of summer. This is your chance to add a little fun and liveliness to your family time and embrace the seasonal change. Here are some simple spring activities that are the perfect cure to your family’s spring fever.

Make It!

Pretty Paper Flowers

shutterstock_178546202

You will need:

Step One: Place the tissue paper flat on the table, alternating colors.

Step Two: Have your child fold the tissue paper (about one inch) back and forth just like you would to make a fan. Once they have reached the end, the stack of tissue paper should look like an accordion.

Step Three: Wrap a green pipe cleaner around the middle of the stack, twist to secure and make a stem.

Step Four: Next, help your child carefully separate each piece of tissue paper. Fluff the layers into a flower shape.

Step Five: Tear pieces of construction paper into leaf shapes and poke them onto the pipe cleaner stem, sliding it up until to reaches the top.

Place your forever-fresh flowers in a vase for a bright splash of spring in the kitchen or get creative and add multiple smaller flowers to a pipe cleaner circle for a fairylike crown.
 

shutterstock_105696041 

Bake It!

Honey Milk Balls

 17622664_10212036659410137_1139898041_o

You will need:

  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup nonfat powdered milk
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats or ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowl and spoon

Step One: Talk with your child about honey—explain that honey comes from bees. Encourage them to ask questions as well as feel, smell, and taste the honey.

Step Two: Mix the first four ingredients well, and then knead them by hand until blended.

Step Three: Shape the mixture into 1” balls.

Step Four: Roll the honey milk balls in coconut if desired.

Recipe Source: The Budding Chef

 Do It!

Getting Outdoors

shutterstock_193994489

Another major part of spring is getting outdoors after the long winter. Incorporate the following outdoor activities into your family time:

  • Host a family soccer game! Switch it up by inviting extended family or neighbors to be the opposing team. Play girls vs. boys or adults vs. children.
  • Enjoy a picnic! Don’t forget your honey milk balls and paper flower centerpiece!
  • Create a driveway masterpiece! Stick to the classic sidewalk chalk or switch it up with Chalktivity.
  • Stargaze! Take advantage of the warmer nights and introduce your child to the sky’s wonders.

Leave us a comment below and share your family’s favorite springtime activity.