What Would You Pack? Creative Learning Activity

What Would You Pack? Creative Learning Activity

Our family loves to travel! This past weekend, we did a fun travel themed activity that encourages creative thinking and language skills.

**This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made from our links. This helps keep our blog running.**

Materials Used

Construction Paper

Glue

Magazine Clippings

Scissors

Something To Draw With

I started by drawing a rounded rectangle on the construction paper. I also drew two handle shapes. I helped my daughter cut all three things out.

After the shapes were cut, we folded the rectangle in half and then glued the handle shapes onto the sides.

While we waited for the glue to dry, we talked about where we could go on a pretend trip and what we should pack. My preschooler decided that we should pack from a camping trip. I had her pick pictures from a pile of magazine clippings. Before she glued on each picture, she told me what it was and why she needed to pack it.

Book Suggestions

Little learners enjoy pairing a book with crafts and educational activities! Here are a few suggestions.

Don’t Feel Guilty If You Can’t Do It All! Five Ways To Manage Your Stress

Don’t Feel Guilty If You Can’t Do It All! Five Ways To Manage Your Stress

Raising a family is both rewarding and challenging. Juggling work, the house, and your family can be a major source of stress for parents. Today, I want to share five things you can do to help manage stress levels as a parent.

Reduce stress in your life by setting priorities, taking unnecessary things off of your to do list, and finding time to do things as a family that you all enjoy. Think of activities to help you feel relaxed and healthy, and then try to do at least one activity a day to reduce stress.

If you are feeling alone, reach out to a friend who you can speak honestly with. Chances are, whatever is stressing you out, might not be as uncommon as you think it is. There are a lot of stressful issues that parents face but rarely talk about. Even if your friend can’t relate to what you are going through, it always feels good to talk out tough feelings!

The activities that work best for each person will be different, but they can include meditation, yoga, exercise, reading, or even just binge-watching Netflix. Everyone manages stress in their own way, and it may be necessary for you to try a few activities to see what works best for you.

Most parents feel guilt over something they think they do wrong as a parent. A hectic work schedule, chronic illness, or the occasional yelling incident may be the source of parental guilt. Try not to be too harsh on yourself when you feel like you aren’t being a great parent. Try to focus on the parts of parenthood you are handling well instead of the things you think you are failing at.

It is okay not to be super mom or dad every day. Knowing and accepting that what you do and do not have time for in your life will help you make healthier choices that can lead to a less stressful life.

Being a parent can be hard, but it can be a little easier if you work to reduce your stress levels!

I’d love to hear from you! What is your favorite stress relieving activity? What steps have you taken to reduce stress in your life?

Easy Felt Crafts The Whole Family Will Enjoy

Easy Felt Crafts The Whole Family Will Enjoy

Felt is such a wonderful fabric for small children to craft with! Today, we want to share a list of easy felt projects that children can do with just a little help!

No-sew Monster Banner

Cute Felt Angel

DIY Space Rocket Pencil Toppers

DIY No-sew Felt Name Pennant

Flower Pencil Toppers

Tweety Felt Bird DIY Bookmarks

We help this list can inspire you to break out the felt and get craft with your little ones! If you like the list, please share it with a friend!

My August BoxyCharm Box

My August BoxyCharm Box

I recently signed up for a BoxyCharm subscription. BoxyCharm offers 5 full-size beauty products each month for just $25. Today, I want to share what was in my August box.

*This post contains a referral link. I may get store credit when someone subscribes to BoxyCharm using my link.**

KATE SOMERVILLE ExfoliKate® Glow Moisturizer (retail price: $70)

I have not tried this one out yet. I signed up mid July, so I got July’s box shortly before I got this one and I’m still using the amazing skin care products from that box.

DITO COSMETICS LIMITED EDITION VENUS 12 Shade Palette (retail price: $29.99)

I absolutely love this palette! I would definitely pay the retail price. The glitter shadows are super pretty and all the pigments last well.

PURLISSE Ageless Glow Serum (retail price $38)

I absolutely love this stuff! It makes my skin feel so soft while offering the perfect amount of tint.

EARTH HARBOR AQUA AURA Reparative Eye Crème (retail price $34)

I just tried this for the first time today. It was okay. I didn’t love how it smelled. I probably wouldn’t pay the retail price to buy it again, but I will use it.

MANNA KADAR Hydration Happy Face Mist (retail price $19)

This spray is my least favorite thing from the box. It didn’t make my face happy at all. It felt kind of gross on my skin.

Overall, I am really happy with this box and can’t wait to see what September has in store.

I’d love to hear from you! Have you gotten August’s box? If so, what did you think?

Five Cities You Can Visit Affordably with Hotels Etc.

Five Cities You Can Visit Affordably with Hotels Etc.

Our family loves to travel. Unfortunately, we haven’t hit the lottery yet, so our bank account does not always support our passion to explore new cities. Recently, I discovered Hotels Etc. This  private membership club was established in 1996 and they offer great discounts on travel, entertainment and so much more! After I got my membership, I dove deep into all the wonderful discounts Hotels Etc. has to offer. Today, I want to share five cities you can visit affordably thanks to this wonderful travel club!

**I was gifted a year’s membership to Hotels Etc. so that I could review it. All opinions are my own.* All prices mentioned in this post are just examples of prices I found the day this post was published and may be different when you search. All trips are hypothetical examples with actual screenshots from the website**

Before I start talking about a few of the places you can visit after you get a Hotels Etc. membership, I want to give a few details about the program. It costs $299 a year. In my opinion, that is a wonderful value for all the discounts it provides. Once you sign up, you’ll have access to tons of discounts! In order to find those, you can use four color coded search engines. You can also click on the categories pictured above. Some categories will take you to a page listing deals, while other categories will take you to the search engines. The website takes a minute to learn how to navigate, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to easily find amazing deals! I used the purple and the red engines for this post.

Boston, Massachusetts

There are so many great discounts on Hotels Etc. for hotels in the Boston area! If you are looking for a family friendly hotel, Holliday Inn is always a great choice. Depending on the location, you can save up to $40 a night at a Holliday Inn! That is $200 off of a five night trip! While you are in Boston, you can use your membership to get tickets to the Boston Historic Sightseeing Cruise starting at $38 per person, the Boston Harbor Historic Cruise starting at $41 per person, or the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour starting at $43 per person. There are tons of other entertainment options as well! As a bonus, Salem is just over a half hour away from Boston, so you can visit two historic cities on one vacation!

Orlando, Flordia

Orlando is one of my favorite vacation destinations. Everyone in my family absolutely loves Disney, but a trip to the Orlando area can be very costly! With Hotels Etc., you can easily save $100 a night on Hotels that are extremely close to all the major attractions. If you need a rental car, I found an SUV rental for under $500 a week including taxes! We are considering renting a car during our next trip to Orlando and can’t wait to use this membership to save on it! If you need to fly in order to get to Flordia, Hotels Etc. can help you with that as well! They currently have 11 pages of good deals on flights.

Anchorage, Alaska

Alaska is absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend everyone visit at least once! With the help of this club, it might be more affordable than you’d think! With the discounts, you can get a four night hotel stay for under $1,000.

Miami, Flordia

When I was researching to write this post, I asked a family member “Where have you always wanted to visit, but the costs of a hotel kept you away?”. She answered Miami. You can use Hotels Etc. to save a range of $15 to $50 a night on familiar hotel chains like Holiday Inn and Homewood Suites. There are a some hotels where you can save even more than that! When you aren’t at the beach, you can visit Sawgrass Recreation Park starting at just $24 a person or the Mansions of Miami Boat Tour starting at $27 per person. If you have a rainy day during your trip, you can either get a coupon for extra jump time at Sky Zone Trampoline Park.

Seattle, Washington

I visited Seattle as a teenager and I hope to travel back again soon! I loved the whole city. Since we live in Ohio, it has the potential to be an expensive trip. I will use our membership to make it less costly! There are a lot of hotel options under $200 a night after the discount! If you need a car, you can grab a 25% coupon for Budget Rent A Car right now!

After spending hours exploring all the perks of this membership program, I can definitely say that if you travel often, you’ll get much more than your money worth out of a subscription. If you only travel once a year, it may not be something you are interested in, but it depends on where you are traveling to. Discounts on everyday things like online shopping and gift cards to chain resturants are a wonderful bonus.

I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever used Hotels Etc.? If so, what did you think of it?

Don’t forget to visit them today! http://www.hotelsetc.com

Three Reasons We Skip Bedtime In Our House

Three Reasons We Skip Bedtime In Our House

My daughter doesn’t have a bedtime. I know this might surprise some of you, but it is a decision I made less than a year ago that has worked out well for our family. We still have a routine we follow each night, but my daughter and how she is feeling that day, determine what time we will start. Today, I want to talk about three of the reasons why we skip bedtime in our house.

I used to put my daughter to bed exactly at 7:15, but it was often a struggle. One day, I decided to just wing it and let her tell me when she was ready to get to bed. She slept better than she had for a long time that night. Now, it’s not uncommon for her to sleep 12 hours, which did not happen at all when we were setting her bedtime. Taking away the pressure of a bedtime gives children the opportunity to listen to their body and to set their own sleep patterns.

Have you ever laid in bed feeling powerless because you just can’t fall asleep? Imagine how stressful that is for a child! Struggling each night at bedtime may actually cause a child to have long term sleep difficulties.

Letting your child decide when to go to bed puts them in command of their own routine and helps them learn how to develop healthy habits. It’s crucial that children learn how to make good decisions for themselves. The more small decisions we can let our children make, the better they will be able to adjust as they get older and are faced with more serious decisions.

Developing healthy sleep habits in the early years of a child’s life is very important.  Instead of a strict bedtime, I’ve chosen to empower my preschooler to trust her instincts and make her own sleep decisions.

I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a bedtime for your children or do you let them guide the nighttime routine?

Five Must Watch Series On Netflix

Five Must Watch Series On Netflix

My favorite form of self care is watching Netflix after everyone else in my house is asleep. Today, I want to share a few of my favorite shows that you can find on Netflix!

Anne With An E

Netflix

American Horror Story

FX Networks

Bridgerton

The Queen’s Gambit

Schitt’s Creek

I’d love to hear from you! What are your must watch Netflix suggestions? What do you think of the shows on this list?

Six Toddler Essentials

Six Toddler Essentials

The toddler years can be a wonderful, but sometimes frustrating, part of your child’s life. You will find yourself repeating “Don’t touch that” over and over again, they will outgrow outfits over night, and you’ll learn something new every day. Life with a toddler is full of curiosity, hugs, smiles, and the occasional tantrums. You may also suddenly realize that most of the things you received at your baby shower are items you no longer need. Today, I’ve put together a list of affordable products that will help you through the toddler years.

**This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made from our links. All opinions are our own.**

Bath Spout Cover

Your toddler is likely mobile now and has outgrown their baby bath tub. Keep their heads and hands safe with a spout cover.

Supportive Shoes

When your child reaches the toddler years, it is time to get rid of those adorable little soft shoes and get more supportive shoes.

Two Piece Pajamas

Once potty training starts, it is also time to say goodbye to one piece pajamas. Easy to remove clothing can help prevent accidents.

Potty Training Toilet

Choosing a potty is an important step! We picked one that looked like a real toilet and then moved on to one that was attached to our toilet seat once we were further along in the process.

Travel Stroller

You are probably ready to be done with a bulky stroller by now, but if you have a young toddler, it might be a few years before you are done with strollers. My four year old still likes to ride in hers from time to time. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to pick up a very light weight stroller.

Straw Cups

Getting rid of the bottle was easy for my daughter, but getting her to drink out of a straw cup was a bit harder! She hated everything but soft spout sippy cups for the longest time. Sometimes, you just have to keep buying different cups until you find one that clicks!

Your sweet toddler will be a preschooler before you know it, so try to enjoy this stage as much as you can! If you are already past the toddler stage, I’d love to hear from you! What products were essential for your little one when they were a toddler?

Are you buying for an infant? Check out this video!

My Preschooler’s Favorite Things To Do At Living Treasures Animal Park

My Preschooler’s Favorite Things To Do At Living Treasures Animal Park

Living Treasures Wild Animal Park in New Castle, Pennsylvania is a great destination for families who are looking for a more intimate wildlife experience than you can find in many zoos. The animals are well looked after, are kept in high-quality enclosures, and seem to be pretty happy. We have taken several family members with us on visits to the animal park and they’ve all raved about their experience. Today, I want to share my four year old’s five favorite things to do while we are visiting Living Treasures.

Talk To Prairie Dogs

The prairie dog enclosure is set up wonderfully for little ones. The glass front makes it easy for even the smallest child to get face to face with these little creatures. My daughter will sit down and have a chat with them while she watches them scurry around.

Hang Out With A Giant Snake

Living Treasures is home to a gigantic snake. They also have a much smaller snake that you can hold for a photo. When the snake is right on the glass, my curious preschooler loves to just hang out with it for a few minutes.

Press The Parrot

When we are waiting to enter and usually when we leave, my daughter loves pressing the button that makes an animatronic parrot talk. It says several different things, so it can be lots of fun to press the button more than once.

Watch The Flamingos

Flamingos are a family favorite. They are so colorful and graceful.

Walk With Goats

The goat petting area at Living Treasures is a lot of fun. There are always tons of baby goats to pet and feed. They also have a smaller area that has goats and sheep.

We always have a great time visiting Living Treasures! It’s much more intimate than a traditional zoo! On top of that, it is very educational and you can feed most of the animals!

Paper Sandcastle Craft

Paper Sandcastle Craft

This week, we have decided to bring a day at the beach home with some fun activities and crafts! Yesterday, we built a “sandcastle”. This craft is extremely easy and only takes a few materials!

**This post contains affiliate links. We may can a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made from our links.**

Materials Used

Construction Paper (White and Brown)

Scissors

Glue

A Crayon or Marker

To start, I drew several sandcastle “parts” for my preschooler to cut out. If you are doing this craft with a younger child, you can do the cutting. If you are doing this craft with an older child, you can let them draw the sandcastle themselves and have them cut it out afterwards.

After the cutting was done, we drew a door and windows. Next, my daughter glued the castle together. I let her put the pieces on the paper however she wanted them.

When your little one is done, you will have a one of the kind sandcastle that you don’t have to worry about washing away!

Little learners enjoy pairing a book with a craft or activity! Here are a few suggestions.