Singing Time!

I currently have my dream calling and it is as amazing as I thought it would be. I LOVE being the primary chorister at our church, meaning I spend an hour each Sunday teaching the youth songs that help teach them about the gospel and hopefully help them develop testimonies of our Savior. This month we are working on the song Choose to Serve the Lord by Blake Gilette and Angie Killian. You can view the music video for this song HERE. It’s the perfect song for this year as we are learning about the Old Testament and you get to review so many amazing stories from there as you teach the song.

I thought UNO would be a perfect way to practice this song over and over again while keeping it fun and avoiding feeling too repetitive.

As you can see I made it so that verse one is also known as the color RED, second verse is BLUE, the bridge is GREEN, and the chorus is YELLOW. This means that when I took the cards out of the UNO deck that I need for the game the one 1s I took out are RED and the only 2s are BLUE and so forth. So my UNO deck I take on Sundays is a much smaller deck but I didn’t want to use the whole deck and possibly get to very few fun cards like the switch, skip and wilds. If you are using this game for a song that doesn’t have 2 verses, a bridge and a chorus you will have to switch things around. You can print a copy of the game below.

When it says to choose a “WILD” way to sing the phrase/verse I use the cards you see below. I made this set of cards because I wanted a whole set of cards that was different ways of singing while STILL SINGING. There are so many fun ways like “stop and go” and “hum” but I noticed I regularly pulled those out because I was wanting the kids to work on the lyrics of these songs and you aren’t getting that if you aren’t singing them. In my experience if you let the kids choose stop and go to singing the lyrics they hold the stop sign up for 90% of the song and as much as I love listening to the beautiful pianist play the song it defeats the purpose, am I right? πŸ™‚ So all of them are meant to be done while still singing. Sway to the music while also singing, clap the words as you sing them, stand on one leg while you sing, and then the rest are obvious that you will be singing. πŸ™‚

You can print the cards below.

And another option they can choose from:

Below is the template for the arrows you can print on color paper, or color yourself, or keep black and white and just write in whichever opposites you want to use.

Hopefully you will enjoy using this game and helpers as much as I do. Happy singing!

xo,
Jenny

Christmas Bingo

For those moments you need to have the kids be entertained with something for awhile so that you can finish cooking or cleaning I give you….Christmas Bingo!

All ages seem to like getting involved every time we have Bingo out so I figured why not have a Christmas themed one? And why not share it for FREE in case others could use a quick and easy solution to keep their kids occupied for awhile. This keeps our kids busy for quite some time because they seem to need to all take turns being the one picking the cards and you won’t hear me complain about it. πŸ™‚

So here it is. Christmas Bingo!

3 sheets with variations and the pictures to cut out and draw. Have fun and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

xo,
Jenny

Thanksgiving crafts!

We LOVE fall in our household and we love crafts so the holiday season is by far a favorite time for us around here because there is plenty of opportunity for creativity and crafting. Here are two of the crafts we have done recently with more to follow in the next couples days.

Broccoli stamped trees! SO fun, SO easy and LOVE the way they turned out.

All you need is paper, a brown marker or colored pencil and yellow, red and orange paint. Brown paint would also be great to add in there but we didn’t have any on hand and we’re all about just working with what we’ve got πŸ™‚ First thing you do is draw/color a trunk with branches on your paper…

…we then grabbed a paper plate and put red, orange and yellow paint close together so that the “stamp” had all three colors on it at once. We also had three smaller piles further apart from each other to fill in some areas that needed more of just one color.

That’s it! Start stamping and creating your beautiful tree!

This is a great activity for all ages. Even my husband came home and saw what we had done and said he wanted a turn.

Even the two year old got in on the action!

Next up was making turkey suckers that we delivered to some cousins and friends. Suckers of your choosing, googly eyes, orange and red felt, colored paper, burlap (you can also use brown or tan felt. I had burlap ribbon on hang that was the perfect size to cut into small squares), ribbon and hot glue gun.

  1. Cut your burlap, or tan or brown felt, into squares large enough to cover your sucker to your desired amount. Cover your suckers and tie with a ribbon.
  2. Plug in your hot glue gun and while you’re waiting for it to heat up begin cutting out orange beaks and red snoods (or gobbler thing as we call it in our house) and have the kids begin cutting out feathers or drawing them if that is your choice. We had leaves left over from another project of ours (post coming soon) and we used those as our feathers so Rylee just got busy cutting them out.
  3. I didn’t feel comfortable allowing the kids to use the hot glue gun because of how small all the pieces are so they gathered and handed me each item while I did the actual gluing. We liked the look of one googly eye being smaller than the other and one raised slightly compared to the other but to each their own.
  4. After the eyes were on I glued on the snood, followed by the beak and lastly the feathers on the backside facing the front
  5. It would be super cute to tie little name tags onto each sucker and use as a name holder for the table setting at the kids table on Thanksgiving. Throw them in your kids lunch boxes for a fun surprise or you can deliver to friends, family or neighbors to spread some love and fun during Thanksgiving time!

Happy crafting all!

xo,
Jenny

Seasonal Themed Packets

I LOVE this time of year. Summer is all about fun and lazy days and the beginning of school is about getting back in the swing of things but this time of year, this is when a whole new kind of fun begins. The weather is getting cooler, the amount of soups we’re eating is increasing, more walks and picnics, and of course we can’t forget all the holidays ahead of us! I love making a big deal about seasons and holidays because I just think themes are so fun but honestly I can’t put the same amount of time into them that I used to so now I look for other people who have done the work and I buy it from them! πŸ™‚ At the end of the summer I bought these ADORABLE fall themed packets from Home and Haven and we had SO much fun with them. We have learned about owls, leaves, pumpkins, raccoons, turkeys, camping, the importance of gratitude, and today we worked on candy corn.

I bought one bag of candy corn for us to use throughout the packet. The packets are so fun and cute but I also love that they just get the creative juices flowing and next thing you know the kids are coming up with all sorts of fun with candy corn (or whatever we were learning about).

The packets of pages the involved math as well as things such as crafts, experiments, journal prompts, scriptures that coincide with it and more. Definitely check out their page and go to their “seasonal bundles” to check out their winter bundles now out!

I love that so many subjects are covered in these packets and that non of the activities take very much prep or take very long to even do, making them GREAT filler activities between bigger lessons.

The science experiments are always a favorite in our house.

Go check out Home and Haven and look at their winter seasonal bundles along with all their additional inspiring and helpful products and posts. Make sure to sign up for their emails so you can get alerted when their next season comes out!

xo,
Jenny

Lucky Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt

We love a good scavenger hunt, especially on St Patrick’s Day. Cambryn and I decided to have our leprechaun come early his year since we’re going to be gone on the 17th and we figured why not share it…for FREE! First, here are some pictures from our hunt and below each pic is a link to items I used or where I got it if there is no direct link. Only the last clue talks about a treat so the rest can be just a hunt trying to see/catch him or you can have a couple treats along the way if you choose. Not every location had a little something for us but there were a couple along the way.

The clue that lead to the largest bedroom of the house took them to our master where a pair of socks for each kid was hidden behind a pillow along with the next clue. Socks are from the $1/$3 section of Target.

Climbing on counters, looking in drawers and cabinets, under tables….no place was off limits with our leprechaun.

The bathroom had some St Patrick’s themed temporary tattoos from HERE which the kids immediately put on and then came downstairs to show them off.

So we didn’t catch him again this year but he did leave a final treat on the doorstep which was awfully nice of him ☺️. I got the mini pots of gold HERE and filled them with Rolos and rainbow M&Ms (Skittles would be super fun too!) I love how small they are, they don’t need a ton of candy every holiday but it was fun to have a little treat.

Here is the free scavenger hunt ready for you to print, cut and do.

Happy hunting! Have fun!

xo,
Jenny

PS As an Amazon affiliate, we may receive a small percentage from any purchases made from links on this post at no extra cost to you. We do not advertise any product we do not use ourselves and enjoy.

Floating Ink Experiment

This is such a fun experiment for kids. Ok, maybe even I had a blast with this one. Part of what makes it so fun is that you aren’t just following directions, you do A LOT of experimenting with this one.

First we talked about the difference between dry erase markers, pens, pencils and permanent markers. Ink is liquid base so it seeps into porous paper where as pencil is graphite that sits on top which is why you can then erase it away. Glass isn’t porous which dry erase markers are meant to draw on, and dry erase markers (unlike wet erase markers) are alcohol based making it easy to wipe away.

Now for the experimenting. Some blogs talked about using ceramic, some plastic plates and some used glass. We chose to experiment with a 9×13 pan and a plastic plate bought at the dollar store. Although the plastic plate did work, our favorite was the 9×13 dish, both because of the glass and since it had higher sides it made it easier when pouring the water.

First up was the plastic dish. We used expo dry erase markers and drew different shapes, pictures and letters. Then you pour water on the plate (not directly on the art) and watch it slowly peel up off the plate and move around.

See how the heart and circle that were below the triangle and smiley face are now moving across the plate?! SO cool, right?! Something else we learned was the thickness of the lines you draw. If it’s too thin, it came up and immediately broke. If it’s too thick, it has a hard time coming up at all. The black rectangle is permanent marker to show the kids the difference between dry erase and permanent markers. We ALSO learned that the purple dry erase marker never worked as well as the black. I have no idea why that’s the case but it always struggled or wouldn’t even budge. We also used a blue one and it would sometimes come up but never as easily as the black.

We also had a fun time playing with blowing them around the water and picking them up. If you pick it up it turns into a small shriveled line and then when you put it back in and gently rock the dish back and forth it opens back up. Pretty neat!

I will say of all the shapes and drawings, the stick man is definitely the most successful. This was really a fun experiment with the kids. Trying different dishes, markers, colors, drawings, picking up, blowing the art around with a straw…it’s a true experiment and learning opportunity. Hope you have as much fun with it as we do.

Tape Art

I’m not sure what it is about kids and paint but they are obsessed and I’m THE COOLEST mom when I let them do it. Maybe it’s just our kids and maybe because I don’t let them do it all that often πŸ€”

We use canvas boards frequently with out arts and crafts so I buy them in bundles on Amazon so we are always stocked. Since we always have a house project we are working on, we also always have painters tape on hand as well. Some kids used the painters tape as is, some tore it in half to have some thinner pieces and some chunkier. Some did letters and then lines all around and some kept it simple. That is part of the fun of this craft, so many different ways of doing it and its fun to see their creativity flow and individual personalities come out in their art.

We had a couple different brands of paint we used. In the future I would pull out my nicer paints or even my chalk paints. You don’t need anything expensive but some of the super cheap paint we had on hand was a little too watery and it bled under the tape. Luckily the kids were good sports about it.

Don’t they look great?! The kids did such a good job playing around with different ideas and not trying to follow what the person next to them was doing and it shows in their finished products. I didn’t give them very many colors to choose from this go around yet they all look so unique.

They had fun and we made memories. THAT’S why I love doing these crafts with our kids….it’s not because it’s my job to entertain them but because the memories we make while doing them will last a lifetime. I sure love spending time with these crazy rascals!

xoxo,
Jenny

Summer Fun

Summer can be overwhelming with kids. You want to make sure they have fun but you also don’t want them to think they have to be entertained at all times. The following is how I have learned to have a blast with kids, love having them home for the summer and not get overwhelmed.

To keep things organized this summer, especially during my recovery from a hysterectomy, we decided to implement a little bit of structure into our summer plans. I knew I didn’t want it to be too structured because that drives my hippie soul crazy so we came up with a theme or each day of the week. Make it Monday (arts and crafts), Tasty Tuesday (trying a variety of recipes), Water Wednesday (pretty self explanatory), Thoughtful Thursday (this is much less structured but I do check in with them on Thursdays to hear what they’re doing, and Fun Friday (which is actually science experiments because, well, those are fun).

So far this has worked out great for us. The kids are excited each morning to look at the list for the day and decide which one we’re going to do that day. Sometimes we have these done in 15 minutes and other times it takes us a couple of hours but either way, it feels great to have done something fun with your kids and then send them on their way to entertain themselves.

I had everything bought, sorted, organized and stored before summer break started. It was a lot of work to get this all together the final week of school but it was well worth it. If you are having a baby soon, surgery or going into a busy time with work I highly suggest doing all this prep work. No matter what they choose for that day, I know I have it on hand and can take some time to grab it out and get them started OR I know that whoever I put in charge of doing that task with them will have everything they need right there.

As for how we spend the rest of our summer days, we stick to the above schedule. As usual, we have structure without too much structure. We put caps on their Lego time and technology time but there is A LOT of free time. We do our daily themed activity at some point during one of the free time slots, it differs from day to day. I rarely hear the kids say “I’m bored” because they know if they say that to me I will respond with “Go look at the Free Time Activity list”. πŸ˜‹

Here are the documents ready to be printed. More than anything don’t forget to have fun and be willing to adapt to what works for your family. Summer really can be so much fun with kids, just don’t forget your job is not to entertain them at all times. It’s to provide them with fun here and there, teach them responsibility and give them the chance to be creative and independent. You’ve got this!

xoxo,
Jenny B

Driving Scavenger Hunt

I’m gonna be honest, the hardest part of this quarantine has been never having a moment alone. Not really. Even when the kids are leaving you alone for a few minutes, or more accurate you have locked yourself in your room for a few minutes, you can still hear them and you’re wondering how long until they get to your door. Or they are banging on the door. Or shoving their adorable little hands under the door that both makes you want to cry and melts your heart at how cute it is. I have CRAVED those moments where kids are at school and baby is down for a nap and you are left with SILENCE. Complete silence. Also, the ability to go about your home freely and get your list done without being interrupted constantly or feeling trapped in a room because you can’t let the kids see you. Can you tell I’ve been struggling? πŸ˜†

So I came up with this Scavenger Hunt and I sent my adorable kids out the door with their dad (for those with teenagers maybe you can bribe them to do this for you) and I gave them the very simple rules: you can’t start until you are out of our neighborhood and take your time but have fun. Tyson was a champ and definitely didn’t rush it. Good man! πŸ‘πŸ»

Zoey was so excited that she got to do some of the crossing out/checking off

I was very excited to have the house to myself for the first time in months and enjoy some much needed silence followed by an uninterrupted tv show. I HIGHLY recommend finding ways to make this happen. I love our kids and we have had a lot of fun during this quarantine but it was so nice to get some real, true, ME TIME again.

πŸ‘†πŸ» Here is a copy you can download and print for FREE to give yourself some magical YOU time. You deserve it!

Spreading Positivity

We decided to put up some motivational artwork in our front windows to hopefully spread some cheer to neighbors as they are out on walks.

I’ve had these motivational stencils for years and I’m finally putting them to good use! The kids each chose a quote (some chose 2) and then we traced, colored and hung them up!

We hope these pictures help spread some cheer! Hang in there everyone!