Posts Tagged ‘Kiddie Stuff

When Mommy Needs a Break…

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Picture It.  Sicily, 1912…


Whoops!  What can I say?   I do love me some Golden Girls references….


Let’s start over.


Picture It.  It’s Snowing, the kids have been inside all day.  Tempers are starting to rise.  Nerves are starting to fray.  There is no wine in the house…


The horror!



Assuming there is power and internet in this scenario, I usually break out the lap top and head over  to Nick Jr.




Because sometimes Mommy (or Grandma or Auntie) needs a little break.


Their games are cute (and relatively easy, even for me), the videos are all available on demand (even Wow Wow Wubbzy which they removed from their lineup- BOOOO!) and there are even some enjoyable crafts and printables.  In fact, sometimes I print these out to use when we go out to dinner.


I appreciate that the content is safe and mostly educational.


Actually, back when Hurricane Irene hit, Max and I made some enjoyable no-sew crafts, including this Felt Boots


Ahhhhh- Good Times…. much better than Hurricane Sandy, at any rate.


The only negative is the excessive commercials…. But, since the site is free, I grin and bear it….



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Kiddie Stuff : Playing with Balloons

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I must be getting old.  I forgot how much fun a balloon can be.



Seriously – my kids and I played non-stop for hours (ok, it was probably thirty minutes, but, in kid-time, it is equivalent to 7 hours worth of play time).


We happened to take a balloon with us when we left Friendly’s last week.  Oh My Goodness – the fun fest that followed was almost illegal.  I wonder if I could count the playtime as exercise?


I seriously believe these should go in the Emergency-Entertainment First Aid Kit for kids.


First we just played volleyball with it, then, when that started to get tiring, we tried to play using only our feet.


I am utterly un-coordinated.


We followed this up with a rousing game of Monkey in the Middle.


The only one who didn’t enjoy the balloon was Pinto – but he is an old fuddy-duddy.


So remember, when all else fails, a balloon will buy you some time.

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Have You Been Boo-ed?

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We were Boo-ed & the boys couldn’t be happier!


Have you heard of this?


It is similar “Ding, Dong, Ditch” but sans the flaming bag of dog poop.


The phantom ghost leaves a little bag of treats on your front door or porch.  Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to “Boo” two other people and further spread the love!


Click here for directions and a cute printable to go with your little bag of treats.


It seriously thrilled my boys – they keep asking who our phantom was!  Thankfully, I know, or I too would be going mental trying to figure it out!


And wouldn’t you know it – Max had just as much fun Booing others as he did getting Boo-ed himself!


Has anyone else done this?  It is a very cute tradition.

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Kiddie Craft – Toilet Roll Monsters

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Ok, they are not perfect… but then again, no one is….  Well, unless you are Hugh Jackman… I can’t seem to find his flaw… loves his wife, seems like a good dad, obviously takes care of himself, -oh sorry – digressing… back to monsters.



This is another idea from the Oriental Trading Company’s catalog.  Since I had all the supplies, it didn’t cost me a single penny.  The kiddos got to duke it out / choose each monster’s attributes.   The sky is the limit! (Or the threshold of mom’s crafty-prowess – some of their ideas were waaaay outside my skillset)





1)      Determine what your monster will look like (I did not do this and there were some creative differences, shall we say)

2)      Cut out the body (in my case it was a length of cardstock) and glue around the toilet paper holder (I used the real glue here and it held great!  I just had to be a little patient and forcefully hold the paper for a moment)

3)      Cut out eyes, mouths, teeth, hair, antenna, hands, hats, noses, feet, toenails, etc.  I used a coin to help measure & create circles.  I seriously lack the circle-making-skill

4)      Glue all your pieces on and call it a Monster!
Sorry if the directions are lame – but this is really simple and you can do whatever works for you!  Has anyone made these before?  Or any other toilet paper roll crafts?


Update:  Apparently, Otter loved the blue one… Wop Wop…

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A Zombie Game my Kids Love

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“Oh Man, Mom! The Zombie ate my brain!”


This phrase is uttered with surprising regularity in my house.


Max is always on the lookout for not-so-scary games.  He likes something spooky, but not overly scary.


Enter Plants Vs. Zombies!  It is an incredibly cute game where you need to defend your home (and your brain)  from a motley crew of comical zombies.  Your arsenal includes various plants (such as a pea-shooter, cat-tails, corn launchers and watermelon catapults).


Honestly, even Craig and I are into this game.  I enjoy having everyone snuggled on the couch playing.  I just suggest lowering the volume when you play the game in public (since the zombies vocabulary consists solely of “BRAINS”… you may get a few odd looks).


I maybe reaching a little (a lot) but there is even a learning component.  You need to save up ‘suns’ in order to purchase your plants, so there is some math involved.  There is even some strategic thinking skills being worked on (where should you place your plants for greater damage).  Yeah, maybe I am reaching.


There are two versions of Plants vs. Zombies.  The original costs you a buck but the gameplay is a little easier for the youngin’s (and mom) plus it provides a lot of cool features without having to do any in-game purchases.  Plants Vs. Zombies 2 (the screen capture from above) is free, but really pushes the in-game purchases.  A little annoying.


Personally, I am an original PVZ girl – it was a dollar well spent.

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Easy Halloween “Bat” Craft

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My boy Max loves a good craft.  I love an easy craft.  All too often, I can not use these terms simultaneously.


A few days ago we were looking through the Oriental Trading Company’s new catalog.  Max is wild about Halloween and had a list of 40 items he just HAD TO HAVE.


Since that was not going to happen, we started looking for crafts we could easily replicate.  This one is my favorite.  Not only does it use stuff we had on hand, it incorporated my son’s handprint.  I love me some handprints.



What You Need

1 Sheet of Black Construction Paper

Purple, White and Pink Scraps of Construction Paper

2 Googly Eyes

Glue Stick






Trace both hands (Item A) onto the black paper

Trace a circle with triangle ears on black paper (Item D) I used a cup as a guide – I have limited circle drawing skills.

Trace a mouth on the purple paper (Item C) I used the bottom half of a cup as a guide – I also apparently have limited semi-circle drawing skills

Trace a nose on the pink paper (Item E)

Cut off two small triangles for the teeth (Item F)  I just cut the edges of a white piece of paper

Cut out all the pieces

Using the glue stick, attach the hands wrist to wrist

Using the glue stick, attach to the back of the head (Item D) to the top of the hands

Using the glue stick, attach the mouth, nose and teeth (Item C, E & F)

Using glue, add the googly eyes (Item B)

Allow all pieces to dry.


When it was all complete, I had one very proud boy on my hands!  He did 98% of it himself!


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Skylander Sidekicks -

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Do we have any Skylander fans in the house? Er… Blog?  Here is your chance to be a Hero…

Skylanders is a video game my boys play, for those who are ‘not-in-the-know’.  It is also an excellent way to spend money since there are approximately fifty different figures you can buy which then can be used during game play. 


My boys are obsessed big fans.  So much so, they totally bugged out when these came in the mail. 


Yes, these are Mini-Skylanders aka Sidekicks.  They don’t contribute much in the way of game play, but they are very cute and my boys are in love!


 And I am in love that I was able to score them for less than the price of a full-size figure.


Frito-Lay is offering a promotion on certain variety bags.  Simply buy a bag which typically sells  for $6-8 bucks.  Inside the bag is a code which you enter online. (Although, it looks like some entrepreneurs on Ebay are selling the codes for only a few bucks.)


You will have to pay $2.50 for shipping & handling, but it is totally worth it.   Looks like they are selling at over $15.00 a pop!

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The Boys’ Favorite Apps

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 How did parents make a phone call before the invention of the tablet or eat dinner in a restaurant before a smart phone? 


Obviously I am being silly (or am I???).    

These are the apps Dizee my kids can’t live without.  And I am sure they are teaching the boys excellent hand-eye coordination…  

 (And they are all free- but be sure to shut off your in-app purchases.  Another little lesson I learned the hard way): 


Minion Rush


This is my absolute favorite!! We fight over who gets to play.  So easy – my 3 year old routinely beats me.  Actually, he beats me at most of these games….


Jet Pack Joyride

A fun game where the object is to not crash into things… (much like how my dad drives his car)


Monster’s University


The boys love chasing after the mascot!   I am terrible at this game.   


Temple Run 2


Doesn’t require too much thinking –  my kind of game


Temple Run – Brave


Excellent for the Disney Fan.  Sadly, I am not even sure what her name is.  Mierda?  Maybe? 


Sonic Dash


My boys’ new favorite game.  They even take turns to play.  It could be considered the Treaty of Versailles of apps…


Sundae Maker


(or any of the ‘Food’ Maker Apps)  The kids love creating beautiful sundaes (some of which contain maggots or nails… yes, they are part of the extensive choices available).  Delish!


Ant Smasher


You literally squash bugs with your finger. Some are very realistic.  NOT my favorite game.  But the boys love it!


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