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Cooperative Board Games Keep the Peace & Encourage Team Work

Credit: Peaceable Kingdom

Tired of board games that leave your little ones in tears?  Peaceable Kingdom has created a line of fun cooperative games where all of the players come together to achieve a common goal.  They work together instead of against each other so no one feels left out.  Playing together and sharing decision making experiences helps children build self-esteem, learn to share, practice cooperation and learn to work as a team.  The games are similar to traditional board games with spinners, cards, moving tokens and strategizing.  All Peaceable Kingdom board games are made using sustainable materials including recycled paper, soy-based inks and corn-based plastics. The current line up of cooperative games includes:

  • Hoot Owl Hoot
  • Sunny Day Pond
  • The Great Cheese Chase
  • Buzz!
  • What’s it?
  • Stack UP
  • Say the Word
  • Noodle Speedoodle

Say goodbye to difficult games that cause stress and hello to fun games that build great social skills!

Indoor Activities for Rainy Days

Don’t let rainy weather dampen your kiddo’s spirits – with ideas below, being cooped up indoors isn’t so bad.



Camp Inside: Who says camping has to be outdoors? Whether you want to set up a small tent or use sheets to build your own fort, kids will love having their own little space to play in. Deck it out with pillows, blankets and sleeping bags and your kids will have a blast playing board games, reading books or telling stories in their own private area.

Indoor Treasure Hunt: A hunt for treasure will most definitely keep your youngsters entertained. Make a set of clues for every player and try rhyming them for fun. Make each clue lead to the next one and, finally, to the treasure—it can be a stuffed animal, movie or chocolate coins. Seal the clues in envelopes and mark them with a clue number to help the treasure hunters keep track.

Rainy Day Tea Party: Have some fun dressing up with your little ones for a fancy “tea” party. Set the table with nice china, make tea for you and hot chocolate or apple cider for kids and egg or chicken salad sandwiches—use cookie cutters to make them fun shapes. Let your kids decide the guest list, which may include their favorite dolls and furry friends.


Credit: Real Simple

Mini-Marshmallow Popping Contest: In this  homemade game, kids send marshmallows soaring with little balloon-catapults. To make them, knot the end of a balloon and snip off ½ inch from the top. Stretch the balloon over the cutoff end of a paper cup so that the knot is in the center (you’ll need to hold the balloon in place when you “pop” or secure it with a rubber band). Place a mini marshmallow into the cup so it fits snugly in the knotted center of the balloon and aim the cup, pull the knot back, release and send the marshmallow soaring. See who can pop marshmallows the farthest or get the most into a bowl.

Kid-Friendly Easter Activities

With Easter just a couple of weeks away, it’s time to start planning how you’re going to spend it. Check out the ideas listed below for some fun activities to make Easter a bit more exciting this year:


Credit: Spoonful

-       Easter Bunny Photo Craft:  Turn your child’s face into a funny, framed art project with this Easter bunny photo craft. To make it, you’ll first need a mini frame – you can purchase one or cut it out of cardstock. Make ears by cutting a square of felt, folding it in half and cutting 2 ear shapes at the same time – do the same for the pink inner-ear part. Leave a bit of space at the bottom of the ears so you can attach them to the back of the frame. Then make the nose by cutting a small triangle shape of felt and glue three pom-poms on to it. Finish the frame by cutting a square for the teeth and gluing the teeth and pom-pom triangle to the bottom of the frame.

-       Treasure Hunt: What would Easter be without the traditional Easter Egg Hunt? Make the hunt a bit more interesting by hiding your youngster’s basket, too with this Easter Treasure Hunt. Start by numbering plastic eggs that hold clues leading to their basket. Hide the basket, then write a clue to its location, place it inside egg number 6 and hide it. Write the clue to the hiding place of egg number 6, and place it in egg number 5, and so on. Start the hunt by giving your child the first clue in egg number 1 when they get up Easter morning.


Credit: Parenting

-       Easter Bunny Sock Puppet: This sock puppet craft is not only fun to make – you’re kiddos will also have a blast playing with their creations after. To make it, begin make a cut from the toe of a crew sock all the way to the beginning of the heel – make sure you cut through the center of the foot section so that you have two equal-sized ears. Turn the sock inside-out and use a whip stitch to stich the ears together. Then turn the socks right-side out, cut a nose out of pink felt and glue it on with tacky glue. Use felt, wiggly eyes or buttons for eyes and glue or stitch them into place.

Happy (Almost) April Fool’s Day

Not sure how to prank your kids this April Fool’s Day? Check out the ideas we’ve collected below for some fun practical jokes to play on your kiddos – or any unsuspecting victims:

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Credit: Parenting

-       Got Milk?: Put a few drops of food coloring in a solid container of milk and watch their puzzled faces when they pour their morning cereal.  

-       Mouse Malfunction: This one is perfect for older kids that check their computers often. Stick a piece of tape over the tracking ball on their computer mouse, it prevents it from working and they won’t understand why.

-       If The Shoe Fits: Stuff bunched up toilet paper into your victim’s shoes – they will wonder why their shoes suddenly don’t fit.

-       Chain Reaction: Sneak into their underwear drawer and safety pin all of their undies so that when they pull out one, all of them will come out behind it.

-       Veggie Chips: Carefully open the bottom of a single-serving chips bag and dump out the chips. Fill the bag with baby carrots instead and reseal the bottom of the bag with double-sided tape. Your kids will be shocked and confused when they go for a snack.

-       Backwards Dinner: Throw your kids for a loop by making a backwards dinner. Bake meatloaf in a 12-cup muffin tin and frost them with mashed potatoes for a “cupcakes” dinner – if you want to go all out add food coloring to the spuds. Then for desert, toast strips of pound cake for a dessert of “French fries” and top it off with red frosting for ketchup.

Stamp Into Spring: Embossed Easter Cookies

easterCredit: Williams-Sonoma

Little bakers will delight in making Easter cookies with this easy-to-use stamp set.  The spring loaded stamp comes with three different decorated egg designs that emboss each egg-shaped cookie as it’s precisely cut out.  The stainless steel construction slices cleanly through the cookie dough while the stamp leaves behind decorative details that are fun to embellish with icing and sugars.  To use, just press firmly into your rolled out dough to cut the edges, then depress the spring to release the embossed shapes.  You’ll love the fine detail that this specialty stamp offers.  The Easter Stamp Cookie Cutter Set from Williams-Sonoma retails for around $10.


Get Crafty: Easter Egg Chalk Decorating

Credit: Williams-Sonoma

Forego smelly vinegar and traditional Easter egg dye this year in favor of the much more trendy chalkboard style decorating.  The Williams-Sonoma Chalkboard Easter Egg Decorating Kit comes with everything you need to transform your eggs into mini chalkboards creating one-of-a-kind works of art.  The chalkboard base paint comes in light blue, pink and black, all of which make a beautiful background for the blue, white, yellow and lavender chalk you’ll be writing and drawing your designs on with.  The kit also includes an egg blower to hollow out the egg shells, a paintbrush and egg tray.  Get ready to celebrate spring in style!  The Chalkboard Easter Egg Decorating kit retails for around $13.





Heartwarming Art by Phyllis Harris

Credit: Phyllis Harris

Phyllis Harris is a children’s book illustrator who has drawn illustrations for over 35 picture books.  Her passion is to create art that inspires hope, love and the innocence of childhood.  Her artwork is also available to brighten the walls of your child’s room or nursery.  Each print is created from a hand drawn & mixed media colored original illustration and printed on museum quality fine art paper with archival inks.  Most of her pieces are customizable with preferred hair color and more.  Her whimsical and nostalgic designs are delightful while evoking a joyful heart.  Chose your favorite piece in a variety of sizes to grace the walls of your home.  Phyllis Harris Designs art starts at just $20.



Yum Yum Bubblegum! Children’s Toothpaste That is Safe to Swallow

Credit iherb

I’m a cautious and sometimes overprotective parent.  I worry about things some might consider silly, like what might happen if my kids swallow too much toothpaste. Oral hygiene is important.  We are only given one set of permanent teeth so it’s vital that we teach our children how to care for them from an early age.  Since I’ve always been worried about my kids swallowing toothpaste I use a very small amount. When I found out that Branam All Natural Xylitol Toothpaste is safe to swallow I felt a sense of relief.  Now I can use the proper amount of toothpaste and not have to worry!  There are other benefits too!:

  • Recommended by dentists, pediatricians, and pharmacists
  • Made in the USA
  • Enriched Xylitol formulation
  • No SLS
  • All natural ingredients

The highly concentrated Xylitol formula cleans teeth and helps remove plaque. Zylitol is a natural alternative to sugar that was approved by the FDA in 1963.  It’s found in most plant material including fruits and vegetables.  It has special “powers” that eat the sugar bugs that cause cavities.  My kids loved hearing about this new “magic” toothpaste.  It comes in some great flavors too like Yum Yum Bubblegum and Go Go Grape.  It doesn’t contain fluoride, the main ingredient that makes most toothpaste unsafe to swallow.  This type of toothpaste can be introduced once your child has gotten the hang of spitting.  In the meantime, why not abandon your worries and try Branam Xylitol Toothpaste instead?


Celebrate Spring with Your Mini-Gardeners

Set your little seedlings off right this Spring by letting them help you out in the garden. Help them succeed with the tips below:

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-       Plants: Crops that are relatively easy to grow, have short growing seasons and are fun to harvest are ideal for your little gardeners. We recommend sunflowers, radishes, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, carrots and pumpkins.

-       Garden Beds: Give your kids their own separate spot to garden, whether it be a raised bed, pots or ground plots. Keep the spots smaller for younger kids and set them up for success by placing their gardening area in the best soil and light.

-       Tools: Give your youngsters tools fit for their small hands with gardening tools designed just for children.

-       Scarecrow: If they get bored with the planting process, let your kiddos build a scarecrow. Simply use pantyhose, straw for stuffing felt for a face and dress it in old clothes. This activity is still a contribution to the gardening effort and helps make gardening a little more creative.

Gap Style: Paddington Bear Inspired Baby Wear

Credit: Gap

babyGap has recently introduced a limited-edition collection inspired by Peggy Fortnum’s illustrations from the book Paddington Bear.  This gift and clothing line features baby wear for boys and girls ranging in size from newborn to 24 months.  From Paddington’s iconic duffel coat (a rain parka with toggle closure) to his traditional yellow Wellington boots you’ll find baby sized replicas too cute for words.  The line also includes cozy knit bodysuits decorated with Paddington Bear illustrations, a sweatshirt with ears on the hood, a blue polka-dot poncho, lots of denim items, sweaters, dresses, shoes and other clothing in shades of red and blue.  A copy of the classic Paddington Bear hardcover book is also available.  Mix and match to make an adorable outfit then pair it with the book for an “awww” worthy baby shower gift or first birthday present.