Three Volunteering Activities for the whole family

Three Volunteering Activities for the whole family

Have you ever thought about volunteering as a family? It might sound tiring at first, especially when you’re being asked to volunteer during the summer or your vacation time, but volunteering is what the world needs now, and you might be surprised about the massive effects of this simple act of kindness.

Although the idea sounds like something your kids might reject right away, children are much more compassionate than you might think. The world has been struck with so much tragedy, and as parenting information portal More4Kids put it, “Great tragedies have spurred greater generosity, and passing on the idea of charity to your children is just as important as giving yourself.

As citizens of the world, we should always try to make it a point to help others in need, especially those who don’t readily have access to basic human rights. Adults have plenty of opportunities to give back to the underprivileged, including cash donations, fundraisers, monthly child sponsorships and volunteer opportunities abroad. Children need just as many options for charity to grow up to be caring global citizens, so here are three ideas for the summer that will get your kids excited about philanthropy.

 

Have an ALSF-registered lemonade stand

Volunteering Activities Alex Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) surfaced when a 4 year old cancer patient Alexandra Scott announced that her last wish was to have a lemonade stand so that she could help other children like her. Since 2004, families all over the country have followed in Alex’s pursuit in raising funds for child cancer research. ALSF urge you and your kids to fight childhood cancer, one cup at a time, so register your “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” and receive a free fundraising kit to guide you through the whole process.

 

 Look after animals at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Southern Utah

The nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary is located in Southern Utah, and also has a free day camp for families with children aged 6 to 9. Every day of the week, they organize enjoyable and educational activities with their animals. If you can’t make it to Utah this summer, there are local programs in New York City, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City that you can participate with.

 

 

Work with Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels Program

The number of seniors is said to double by 2050, which is a great sign that the average lifespan is increasing, but it also means that there are more elderly citizens that need your help. Have your kids pack cold meals, or bring them along with you while delivering meals to seniors. By bringing your kids with you during deliveries, you’re giving them a chance to interact with seniors and understand how important it is to care for them. All of these great volunteering activities can include the whole family.

Kids Activities: Indoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Kids Activities: Indoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Stuck indoors, looking for kids activities, I’ve got some fun kids activities to keep the kids from bouncing off the walls. You may have exhausted your list of craft projects and already done our kids fun rainy day activities, yet the kids are still bored. Why not try an indoor scavenger hunt? Here are three fun indoor kids activities.

Kids Activites

Kids Activities: Shape Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are fun kids activities and this is a great one for young children who are just learning about shapes. On a piece of paper, draw simple shapes such as a circle, triangle, or square. Have the kids search the house and find examples of these shapes in everyday items. Cabinet doors become squares and dinner plates become circles. For older kids, turn this scavenger hunt into a competition. See who can find the most circles, squares or triangles. Or make it even harder and have them look for octagons or diamonds. You can have an afternoon filled with fun indoor kids activities just by focusing on shapes.

Kids Activities: Indoor Treasure Hunt

Are you always searching for indoor kids activities for your pirate-loving children? A treasure hunt will take a little bit of work on your part, but your kids will have a lot of fun.  Start by making a list of clues to lead them to hiding places. For example: “It’s hidden next to a dark, cool place where food awaits and water chills,” would lead your child to to the refrigerator where they’ll find another clue. This clue should lead them to another hiding spot in your house. After leading your kids through several clues, hide a small “treasure” at the end of the hunt such as a new box of crayons or a pack of stickers. The age of your kids will determine the difficulty of the clues as well as the number of clues you use.

Kids Activities: Scavenger Hunt

Sensory Scavenger Hunt

Instead of specific items, have your kids search for attributes. For examples, ask your kids to find something soft, something shiny, something heavy or something fuzzy. This scavenger hunt should definitely get their creativity flowing. They may find a blanket that’s soft, a doorknob that’s shiny, or a bed that’s heavy. Have fun listing the attributes and your kids will have fun searching.

Do you have any suggestions for fun indoor kids activities to do when the weather is bad?

Birthday Party Ideas: Winter Fun Birthday Party

Birthday Party Ideas: Winter Fun Birthday Party

A winter birthday usually means an indoor party, but I have some great birthday party ideas for a lot of winter fun.  With a winter birthday party theme, you can plan on both inside and outside fun. If there is snow on the ground, plan some time for the kids to go sledding or make snowmen. If there is no snow, you can always make some of your own with this Kids Activity: the Beauty of Snowflakes.  You can also do a winter twist on some classic games. Play Pin the Nose on the Snowman or play a beanbag toss game using white beanbags to look like snowballs.

Winter Fun Birthday Party Decorations

This birthday party theme can use simple and inexpensive decorations. Pull out all your snowman decorations from your Christmas boxes. Use the snowmen to decorate the table or other areas and use cotton batting for snow.  Using rope or twine, create a clothes line and hang up winter hats, gloves and mittens. Hang paper snowflakes from the ceiling. Use wintery colors like blue, white, and silver for your plates, napkins, and other paper goods.  All will fit perfectly with this birthday party theme.

Winter Fun Birthday Party

Winter Fun Birthday Party Refreshments

There are many fun birthday party ideas for the refreshments. When the kids come in from the cold, have a hot chocolate bar waiting for them. Serve mugs of hot chocolate with several options for toppings such as: mini marshmallows, whipped cream, cinnamon, sprinkles, and mini chocolate chips. Have peppermint sticks to use for stirring. Serve a cake decorated as a snowman. Make a round cake and frost with white icing. Use candy to make the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Send the kids home with favors that match the birthday party theme.  Fill small bags with instant hot chocolate mix and mini marshmallows. Create a snowman decorating kit using inexpensive items from a craft store or party store. A scarf, large black beads for the eyes, or even large plastic sunglasses would be fun additions.

There are many fun ideas for a Winter Fun birthday party theme. Use your child’s favorite winter activities for entertainment with their favorite cold weather foods for refreshments and you can’t go wrong!

Share your birthday party ideas for a Winter Fun Birthday Party.

Birthday Party Ideas: Fancy French-Inspired Birthday Party

Birthday Party Ideas: Fancy French-Inspired Birthday Party

Birthday Party Ideas: Fancy French-Inspired Birthday Party

Are you looking for birthday party ideas for the girl in your life? This fancy French-inspired birthday party will be sure to thrill your princess-loving daughter.

For this girls birthday party, you’ll want to find all your fanciest decorations. Use a lot of pink and black. Print out pictures of Paris and temporarily display them in extra frames. Use plenty of tulle, ruffles, feathers, bows and roses. You can check out this post for a lot of fun pink birthday party ideas.

Planning Birthday Party Ideas

Let your imagination run wild when planning the birthday party ideas for this French party. Ask the guests to come dressed in their fanciest dresses. Paint a large picture of the Eiffel Tower on freezer paper or white wrapping paper. Hang it up and have all the girls pose in front of it for fun photos of all the guests. Print them out before the party ends so the guests can have a souvenir from the party. Find some examples of French music or even classical music for a fancy version of musical chairs. You could even have the guests put on a fashion show just like the Paris runway shows so they can show off their pretty dresses.

Birthday Party Ideas: Food

Food for this girls birthday party can be simple but special. Serve sandwiches on croissants.  Make a simple cake or cupcakes. Frost them with pink icing and sprinkle liberally with decorator’s sugar for a bit of sparkle. If you are able to find French macarons, serve these for an added French-inspired touch.  Serve the food on your fanciest plates. The birthday girl and all her guests will love this special touch.

 French Birthday Party Ideas

Birthday Party Ideas: Favors

There are plenty of fancy birthday party ideas for favors to hand out at the party. Give fancy pink or black hair bows to go along with the color scheme. Hand out a couple of French macarons or decorated sugar cookies. Another fun option would be inexpensive necklaces or other fancy costume jewelry. Package the favors up in pink tulle bags and tie with silky ribbon.

Have you ever thrown a fancy girls birthday party? Share your birthday party ideas here.

Kids Craft- Making Calendars

Kids Craft- Making Calendars

Kids Craft- Making Calendars

With the new year here, I’ve got a fun kids craft for working on during winter break. Let’s get ready for the new year by making a homemade kids calendar. You can use your calendar to showcase artwork or even your memories, like these kids scrapbook pages.

Kids Craft Calendar

Supplies needed for Kids Craft Calendar:

Calendar template (You can find several 2012 calendar templates at this link)

Construction paper, printer paper, or drawing paper

3 small binder rings

Three-hole punch

Glue or tape

Choose one of the calendar templates and print out. You will want each month on a separate sheet of paper.  Add in any special holidays, birthdays, or special occasions that you would like to remember.

Now, it’s time for the fun part of this kids craft! Draw pictures to correspond with each month. For example, draw a snowman for January, hearts for February, or spring flowers for May. Make sure your child signs their name at the bottom just like a real artist would do. Another option is to make collages for each month using family pictures or magazine pictures. It would be fun to use Christmas pictures for December and Halloween pictures for October in this kids craft.

If you’re doing this kids craft with a younger child or even a toddler, you could have fun with handprints. Keep things simple by just making handprints in colors to coordinate with the month, such as red for February. Or, you can get a little more creative and turn those handprints into pictures. Make a handprint turkey for November or a handprint ghost for October.

Once you have your artwork completed, it’s time to assemble your kids calendars. Try to visualize a store-bought calendar and how it’s put together. Attach the January template to the back of the February artwork, the February template to the back of the March artwork, etc. When the calendar is hanging, you will want your month’s artwork at the top and the calendar template hanging at the bottom. After your calendar pages are in order, use your three-hole punch on all the pages. Attach them together using the small binder rings.

Kids Craft Fun

Do you have any fun artwork suggestions to put on a calendar for kids?

Birthday Party Ideas–Art Party

Birthday Party Ideas–Art Party

Birthday Party Ideas-Art Party

If you’re looking for some great birthday party ideas that both girls and boys would love, why not plan an art party. This party doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive and I guarantee all the kids will love it.

Any type of art activity would work great at this party. One birthday idea would be to give the kids fabric paint or fabric markers and let them decorate a plain t-shirt or even a tote bag, such as these personalized totes.

Reserve one area of wall space for mural painting. Tape up large sheets or paper or use a roll of brown paper wrapping paper. Have the children work together to make a mural. The kids will enjoy it and this would be a perfect activity to work on while waiting for the guests to arrive.

Here is a short five minute video from 5 minute life Videopedia on how to host a children’s art party.

Birthday Party Ideas- How to Host a Childrens Art Party

More Birthday Party Ideas-Art Party

Another birthday idea that would be fun for this party would be collaborative drawings. Have the kids sit around a table with a piece of paper and crayons. Set a time for 15 seconds and have them start drawing. When the time is up, have them pass the paper to the right. Set the timer again and have them start drawing. Keep passing the papers until everyone has had a chance to add something to each piece of paper. I bet you’ll have some fun and crazy drawings!

For decorations, I would have the birthday girl or boy color, draw and paint pictures. You can then hang these up gallery style.  Print up a sign that says “__________’s Art Gallery” filling in your child’s name. Focus on primary colors if you use balloons or streamers. Also, use primary colors for plates, napkins and silverware.

Your refreshments can be simple. I would make some simple cupcakes and use different colors of icing on them.  Arrange them on a plate to look like a painter’s palette. Another fun birthday idea would be to have a supply of sugar cookies and icing. Let the kids showcase their artistic talent by decorating their own cookies.

The party favors don’t have to be expensive. I would recommend buying small notebooks or sketch pads and pairing them with crayons, colored pencils or even watercolors. Send this home with the guests along with one of the collaborative drawings.

Do you have any birthday party ideas for an art party?

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