Posted 07-19-2017 at 04:43 PM by Jessica
Need a summer-boredom cure?
Make your own sidewalk paint! It’s messy (but washable) and oh so much fun! Your kids will spend hours painting driveway masterpieces.
All you need are a few simple ingredients that you likely already have on hand. What I love most about this recipe is that the colors are so bright and vibrant – perfect for summer!
- ¼ Cup Cold Water
- ¼ Cup Cornstarch
- 1 T. Washable Paint (in your color of choice)
The paint-making process:
To start it off, get a bowl and stir together the water and washable paint until it reaches a smooth consistency. Next, slowly add in the cornstarch to this mixture. And that is it folks!
Yay! That’s it, you have now made washable sidewalk paint! If you’re interested, another option for mixing the paint together would be to get some jars and put all the ingredients into them and shake it up! I’ve always used popsicle sticks to stir but you can always use paintbrushes as well! Use whatever works best with the resources you have in your home, and enjoy! Once your kids are done painting all you have to do is rinse it off with water – it’s that simple! Have a blast!
Posted 07-8-2017 at 11:01 AM by Jessica
This is a super easy DIY project for the adventurers, the wild spirits, and those who have a bad case of wanderlust. Everyone likes to have a little something that personalizes their home, and this is the perfect way to decorate plain walls, add to a theme, or even keep track of where you’ve been or where you wish to go!
- A foam core board (can be found at the dollar store)
- Any paper with maps on them, i.e. scrapbook paper, actual maps, etc.
- Mod Podge glue or another kind of sturdy glue
- Christmas lights
First, you will stick the map paper on the foam board with the glue. If your maps are not big enough to fit the board, that’s fine! It is extra fun to make a collage of maps so you can design your own wall art. You can cut out pieces that you want and stick them where you want. You are free to make your own design! When you have glued the paper to the board, you can begin to poke holes as randomly as you like through the board. Then you can stick the lights through the holes from the back, plug it in, and you’re finished!
Posted 06-14-2017 at 10:00 PM by Jessica
Summer is officially HERE! Well, in terms of school being out it is. The first official day of summer according to the calendar is the June 20th, so we’ve got just a bit longer to go. As soon as the weather gets warm enough I transition from my boots, flats and sneakers to nothing but flip-flops. I’m honestly a very lazy person. So much so that even the thought of taking a few extra seconds to strap on sandals is enough to keep me wholeheartedly addicted to flip-flops.
Even if you aren’t a huge flip-flop wearer like I am, I doubt you’ll be able to resist how cute these flip-flop wreaths I’ve found are! They are the perfect symbol of summer, and you can usually score them for super cheap at Walmart or during a sale at Old Navy! Take a second to look through the following tutorials – then get crafting!
A few of my favorite flip-flop wreaths…
You can make this fun flip-flop “wreath” welcome sign in under 30 minutes! Now that’s my kind of craft! Head here for detailed instructions.
Head here for a tutorial on this style of flip-flop wreath. There are 6 different flip-flop wreath themes that A Day in the Life with TJ has crafted, from Patriotic to Wild Colors!
This last wreath is also super inexpensive to make, and has a cute flower in the middle! Check it out here.
Posted 04-22-2017 at 12:15 AM by Jessica
Sidewalk chalk is super fun, but want to know what’s even better? Sidewalk chalk paint! I bet you’ve seen the containers of it sold at the store, but did you know it’s actually really easy to make? This is a great activity for you and the kids to do together now that it’s getting warmer and we’re moving into Summer. Simply mix up a batch of this paint and your kids will be entertained for hours!
All you need for each color…
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup water (or whatever amounts you want; as long as they are equal parts)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons washable paint (or a couple drops of food coloring works great, too)
- small plastic containers with lids
- lots of fun brushes and sponges!
In each plastic container or bowl mix the cornstarch and water together. Add in the paint or food coloring until you reach the color you want and viola! You have paint perfect for the driveway and sidewalk. When painted on the sidewalk it will start out light, but don’t worry! The colors will darken as the paint dries – your kids will be amazed!
This paint is great because it will wash right off of the driveway as soon as you spray it with the hose (or it rains). Messy but washable is exactly what you want for maximum kid and parent happiness.
Posted 04-6-2017 at 12:05 AM by Jessica
Now that the weather is getting warmer it’s time to switch over from that Winter activity bucket list to to a Spring one! There are lots of great things you can do with your kids in the great outdoors, whether that’s in your backyard, at the beach or up in the mountains – and it doesn’t have to cost much, either!
Here are just a few ideas…
- Create a scavenger hunt
- Take a walk around the neighborhood
- Jump rope
- Draw pictures with sidewalk chalk
- Play hide-n-seek outdoors
- Blow bubbles
- Use hula-hoops
- Have a BBQ
- Play hopscotch
- Find shapes in the clouds
- Play baseball at a park (or a simple game of catch is always fun)
- Go for a bike ride
- Fly a kite
- Start up a soccer or basketball game
- Go on a picnic at the park
- Take a hike (literally, ha)!
- Collect seashells on a beach (or wade in the chilly water at a lake)
- Plant flowers
- Have a weed-pulling competition
- Feed the ducks at a pond
There are so many fun things to do now that the weather is warmer! After being cooped up inside all Winter the kids will LOVE heading out to have some fun in the sun, even if it’s not totally warm yet. Be imaginative and you’re sure to make lots of great memories this Spring without having to spend a dime!
Posted 05-19-2016 at 11:45 PM by Jessica
Homemade ice cream is one of my most favorite Summer treats. I love that it’s so rich and soft, and you can customize it so easily with syrups and toppings!
I have a super easy recipe for homemade ice cream that will take you 10 minutes max to make. Plus, the way it’s done is going to seem like magic to your kids. They’ll see you pour sugary milk into a small bag, place that bag in a larger ice-filled bag, they’ll shake it and squish it and voila! Ice cream will be made!
- 1/2 cup Half and Half
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar (you could try substituting in honey or agave)
- 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 gallon-sized bag
- 2 sandwich-sized bags
- About 3 cups crushed ice
- 1/3 cup rock salt (if you don’t have any rock salt table salt will work fine)
(This will make roughly one serving. You may need to do this a couple times, or double or triple the recipe and use larger bags.)
Pour cream, sugar and vanilla into one of the small bags, and then double bag it by enclosing it in the other small bag. (This will keep the mixture from leaking during the process, especially if you have kiddos shaking the bag.) Add ice and salt to the large bag and then put the small bag with the mixture inside as well. Seal the large bag. Now hand it off to a child to shake it and gently squish it. Continue for about 5 minutes or so, checking on the consistency of the cream every few minutes.
This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about liquids changing states to become more solid as they freeze. You may also need to explain that adding salt to ice will make it colder, and that way you can make ice cream faster!
In no time you will have completed a fun science experiment and made a yummy Summer treat!
Posted 05-3-2016 at 09:27 PM by Jessica
Disneyland is definitely The Happiest Place On Earth. No question about it! But tired kids who have sore feet are not happy, and they’re not likely to make it feel like such a happy place. There are a few timing mistakes that parents make when taking their family to Disneyland that, if corrected, could result in a much more enjoyable experience.
1. Not getting there 30 minutes before opening
If you have kids, waking up early to make it to the park entrance by 7:30 am when the park opens at 8:00 may sound insane. You have to trust me on this, though. The park will allow people to get in usually about 30 minutes before the park is scheduled to open that day, so you’ll have time to get through the check-stands and be ready to go as soon as they officially open the park. The first 30 minutes to an hour in the park is golden. You can practically walk on most rides as people are trickling in. This is the perfect time to head to rides with notoriously long wait-times (like my personal favorite, Peter Pan’s Flight). Within that first hour you can already have a handful of rides crossed off your list! A lot of people believe that being on vacation means sleeping in. But if you’re on a Disney vacation sleeping in means you could be missing out on some great riding time.
2. Not leaving the park during the mid-day madness
You know all those people I mentioned that like to sleep-in during their Disney Vacation? Well, it’s about 1 o’clock and they’ve all meandered into the park by now. The temperature for the next couple of hours is at it’s hottest, there are hoards of people everywhere and the wait times have just increased, possibly by a lot. It’s time to leave the park. Grab the kids and head back to your hotel for some napping or swimming (or both!). Giving your kids even an hour to cool off in the pool while you pick up your feet will make a huge difference for the rest of the day. During the mid-day madness you’re not likely to get on many rides anyways, and once you head back in you’re going to feel rejuvenated enough to hit a bunch of rides because no whining kids = more rides!
3. Not staying until closing
Lots of people with kids tend to head out a couple hours before the park closes, usually because they’re all very tired and have sore feet. If you avoided mistake #3 though, you’re more likely to still have some energy to spare! Use that to stay until closing. Just as the first hour usually has shorter wait times, the last hour does as well. Take advantage of that to finish off the night with a few of your favorite rides, and be sure to stay for the firework show. Disney puts on an incredible show that is sure to be the perfect end to a magical day in the park.
Posted 04-21-2016 at 08:38 PM by Jessica
Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about taking care of our planet. Kids that learn from an early age to respect the Earth will grow up to be adults that respect the Earth. Here are 10 super easy ways you and your family can help our planet, and a lot of them could make fun activities for Earth Day as well!
- Plant a Tree. (Make a day out of this. Have your kiddo(s) pick out a tree from a nursery to plant in your yard. While they help you plant the tree talk about how trees produce oxygen and provide homes for lots of animals.)
- Recycle. (Use a cheap garbage can, bin, or reuse a cardboard box to hold recyclables. Teach your kids about why recycling is so important as you make a designated place to toss recyclable items. Mention that items like plastic water bottles can end up being made into a park bench one day if they’re recycled!)
- Switch from buying packs of plastic water bottles and give each family member their very own reusable water bottle. Personalize the bottle with their name for an extra fun touch.
- Turn off the lights before you leave each room. (Make a game out of it! There are even fun songs you can sing about turning out the lights.)
- Clean up your trash and any other trash you see. (Grab some gloves and some bags and head to the local park to pick up trash. Turn it into a game to see who can fill up their bag the most!)
- Be nice to the bees. (Teach them about how incredibly important honey bees and bumble bees are to the Earth. Watching the Bee Movie would be an extra great way to learn!)
- Save water. (It’s as simple as turning the water off while brushing your teeth, or making sure you don’t leave the hose running outside.)
- Use both sides of the paper when coloring. (Easy enough! If kids are made aware that paper comes from trees, and trees ((like the one they planted with you outside)) need to be cut down to be turned into their paper, they may be less likely to waste pieces.)
- Reuse items for fun crafts. (The possibilities here are endless. A yogurt cup can make a fun vase for a flower, an egg carton can be painted and turned into a jewelry holder, a toilet paper roll can be transformed into a toy car…etc.)
- Go on a bike ride. (Next time you’re headed to the park (or anywhere, really!) take your bikes! It’s a great way to get some extra exercise and teach about keeping the air clean from pollution.)
There are so many easy ways to incorporate a small lesson on the importance of being kind to our planet Earth each and every day. Make this Earth day an experience that is just as enjoyable as it is educational for the whole family!
Posted 01-29-2016 at 12:27 PM by admin
Easy to make playdough for the kids! Safe and non-toxic fun for your toddler and kiddos. Hours of fun and you probably have everything in your cabinets!
1 cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tbsp. cooking oil
1 cup water
1 tbsp. cream of tartar
Step One: Get out a nonstick frying pan to mix and cook your ingredients in. Don’t turn the heat on yet! Add all your dry ingredients.
Step Two: Add your wet ingredients and stir until mixed well (it can remain lumpy from the flour).
Step Three: Go ahead and turn up the heat to medium or medium high. Continuously stir and adjust heat if necessary. You don’t want your dough gooey or crispy.
Step Four: When your ingredients start to form a collective dough as you mix it, turn off the heat.
Step Five: Let your play dough cool down.
Posted 12-30-2015 at 06:48 PM by Jessica
Family Friendly New Years Eve Ideas | New Years Eve With The Kids
New Years Eve is a little different once you become a parent. Who am I kidding? It’s a lot different once you have kids in the house. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a rockin’ time with the kids on New Years Eve. Below are a few ideas to get the whole family involved in ringing in the New Year!
Set the clocks forward
If you don’t want the little ones to stay up too late, plan an afternoon or early evening celebration. Set the clocks in the house so that midnight comes at their regular bedtime. They can ring in the “New Year” at any time of day, it doesn’t have to be midnight. This will allow you to spend time with your spouse or friends at midnight and you won’t have a cranky baby/toddler/child the next day!
Fun party hats and party dresses will get everyone in the mood for a fun night. Toddlers and preschool age kids would love to dress up like mom and dad do when they go out for a fun night. Fancy dresses and shoes. Play makeup and beauty salon would be fun as well.
You can’t have a party without noisemakers. These can be found at the local dollar stores, or in the party section at stores like Target and Walmart. If you can’t take all the noise, wait to pull them out until “midnight”.
Toast in the new year with sparkling cider. Let the kids cheer one another and join in on the fun.
Sparklers are always a fun addition to an evening party. With plenty of adult supervision, sparklers can help ring in the New Year!
Family Slumber Party
To make the night special, consider camping out in the living room as a family. Watch family movies, drink hot cocoa (and sparkling cider!) and make memories.