Skip to content

Do It Yourself Costumes for Children

Halloween costumes can be pretty expensive to buy for parents, especially if you have multiple children. Many parents have resorted to crafting one of-a-kind costumes to avoid the financial burden. This is an innovative and affordable way to make sure kids are able to celebrate Halloween to the fullest! Here are some costume ideas from Winston View that you can make yourself with simple supplies, which you probably already have lying around your home.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.35.52 AM

Credit: Costume Works, Coolest Homemade Costumes, Pinterest

–       Jelly Belly Beans: With a clear trash bag and assorted balloons, you can turn your child into a bag of Jelly Belly beans.  Simply cut holes for their head, arms, legs, fill the bag with colored balloons, then tie the bag closed at the top. Last, print out a Jelly Belly logo on regular printer paper and tape it to the front of the bag.

–       Frankenstein: If your kids want to be Frankenstein, you can use a gallon milk jug container to craft a boxy head. You can find instructions on how to cut the milk jug from Coolest Homemade Costumes. Make sure to paint their faces with washable green paint and then dress them up in torn up clothes.

–       Barbie Doll: Turn your child into a Barbie doll with a large cardboard box and some paint. Cut out a square in the front of the cardboard box then paint it pink. You can print out a “Barbie” logo and any other images that you would like to glue onto the exterior of the box. Dress your child up in any doll themed outfit they want and then slip the box over them.

Halloween 2014 Q&A: Daddy Mojo’s Trey Burley

Halloween is just over a month away, so it’s time to dust off the ol’ broom stick and figure out how to make this the best Halloween yet. We asked Daddy Mojo blogger, Trey Burley, for his expert advice on costumes, trick-or-treating and how to save money along the way. Check out all his helpful hints.

Daddy Mojo

What costumes do you anticipate will be trendy this Halloween?

Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a great costume because it works for groups of four (it’s ideal for a family) and offers the chance for massive creativity. Create your own Groot, have dad paint himself green and more.

What are some of the ideas on your kids’ Halloween costume lists?

Our children want to be dinosaurs or some sort of zoo animal. I suspect they’ll end up being zoo animals. It’s looking like we’ll be a family of lions.

What suggestions do you have for parents shopping for hard-to-find items?

Go online and go now. There are lots of great accessories that you can find online and most of the costume places I’ve seen have money back if the costume doesn’t fit.

How early should parents start shopping / looking for costume additions for their kids? How late can they wait?

Now, start shopping now. As our children get older they know what they want to be for Halloween. In previous years we could go to a garage sale a couple weeks prior and find something that worked. Now we start looking in early September.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for saving money on Halloween costumes?

Don’t be afraid to make your own. Even for popular costume you can DIY it, especially a turtle costume or Drax from Guardians. Also accessories can go a very long way towards completing the outfit.

Do you recruit your kids for DIY Halloween costume work? If so, what are some tasks that they can help with?

Not yet, ours are just 5 and 3 this year. In future years for DIY costumes we’ll DIY it. My wife and I have DIY’d it many times.

Do you have any tips for parents who are chaperoning older kids while trick or treating?

Some friends of ours send them up the street and just wait for them. That, plus the fact that the kids have cell phones on them, makes things better.

Any tips for parents who have very young trick or treaters?

Don’t feel like you have to go to every house. When ours were younger we would do maybe 10 houses. That was enough excitement for the younger one. Also go out early, know which houses to visit and don’t give them a bag that’s too big.

Do you have safety tips (any and all) for parents / trick or treaters?

Get a big flashlight and use it in case there are cars moving when you’re out.

Are there any items that you recommend parents wait to buy and why?

Plastic pumpkins and most halloween decorations. We buy ours after Halloween and that does the trick for us.

How do you work out wish-list discrepancies with your kids?

If there is something that is really wanted we’d look for it on sale. Figure out what stores sell it and then compare it online, check for gift cards, apps with discounts, etc.

 

Headshot small squae

Trey is also known as Daddy Mojo and produces the content on that site. There, he’ll write about parenting things, DIY projects, reviews and anything that revolves around ‘poop culture’. He’s the stay-at-home-dad to two active, young boys. Trey’s background is in management, animal shelters, media and education.

Prior to being a dad, he renovated a couple of houses and created lots of crafts. He still tinkers with the house, is teaching his sons about tools and does some crafting. Trey and his wife Jenny live in Alpharetta, Georgia. When he’s not being a dad or writing for his Daddy Mojo he also does some work in social media.

Teaching Kids About Money

Parenting children about the concept of money can be a challenging task. Find some advice on The Stir about methods to consider and avoid. Listed below are some tools that will help teach children different aspects of money—how to get it, where it comes from, what to do with it, etc.

  Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 1.09.03 PM (2)

Credit: The Stir, Million Dollar Goal, Radical Parenting

–       Allowance: An important principle to teach children is that money does not grow on trees; money must be earned. Instilling hard work ethic in kids will help them appreciate money and not take it for granted. Giving children an allowance will show them that good behavior and actions will be rewarded. You can keep track of responsibilities on a chore chart so kids have a visual of what they are achieving.

–       Saving: Once money is earned, children often want to spend it immediately. It is important to teach them how essential saving money is.  Piggy banks are a great option for this. They help children be responsible savers and also guide them in establishing a lifelong habit.

–       Board Games: Board games are good for hands on teaching. They allow you to interact with kids about how to handle money and also give visuals that are much more easy to understand. Cashflow and Monopoly are two board games that will teach children many components about money like real-estate, debt, investing, etc.

Innovative Products for Baby Safety

There have been countless innovations made for the safety of babies; however, securing the well being of your child does not end at simply purchasing new gadgets. Emerging technologies are clearly aimed to protect children, but many accidents occur due to misuse of products.  Jennifer Durbin, author of Pregnancy Tips for the Clueless Chick, discusses baby safety tips on WNCN and suggests these products as reliable safety must-haves.

 Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 2.34.46 PM (2)

Credit: Bumbo, Jamm, HoneyBee Child

 –       Floor Seat: For babies who have not been able to sit themselves upright yet, the Bumbo Floor Seat is a great product that will assist them. It is important to note the term  “Floor” in its name, because many people have improperly used the seat, resulting in accidents. This baby chair is useful in feeding babies and teaching them how to sit on their own.

–       Doorstop: Heavy doors serve as a common hazard for babies. The Jamm Doorstop works on all floor surfaces. It has a curved design so that when pushed underneath a door, both sides curve upward and secure the door firmly in between. This innovation will surely help protect little fingers.

–       Swing Safety: Although playground parks are meant to be fun for children, many of the activities are accident-prone. HoneyBee Child developed the SwingEase, which allows babies and toddlers to swing alone or with a caregiver. It clips onto a standard chain swing and converts into a toddler swing, providing support across the chest, back, and underarms.

Supplies for a Hispanic Heritage Month Road Trip

Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins September 15 and goes through October 15, celebrates the independence of several Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, and Belize. Huffington Post discusses the growing significance of Hispanic Heritage in the United States as our population is “becoming more and more Hispanic.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 10.30.51 AM

Credit: Roots Web

According to U.S. Census data from 2013, 17 percent of Americans are Hispanic, making this group the largest ethnic minority in the country.” With the increasing numbers in Hispanic population, many areas of the U.S. are heavily influenced by Hispanic culture.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 10.31.07 AM

 Credit: Huffington Post

A great way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month is planning a family road trip to visit several of these areas. Take a look at Huffington Post’s top seven sites to visit that embrace Hispanic culture. Each of these locations celebrates difference aspects of Hispanic Heritage, from important people to important events.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 10.32.01 AM

  Credit: TheFind

A road trip isn’t complete without the proper supplies. The Great Hispanic Heritage has many books that are good reads for on the road. You can learn about famous individuals and also about Latin American history. When you need a break from reading, turn on some traditional Latin American music to lighten the mood.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 10.32.08 AM 

Credit: The Find, Giggle

Here are some more supplies that will help make your road trip a blast! Road Trip Bingo is a portable board game that is easy to transport and you won’t have to worry about losing any pieces. Also, to avoid any food/beverage spills, take a look at these bags, containers, and trays that will help keep your snacks fresh and your car nice and clean.

 

End of Summer Camping Fun

What better way to end summer than with a camp out in your backyard? These tips from Parenting can help you pull it off:

family-camping-backyard

Credit: Parenting

Games:

–       Bucket Brigade: This fun water game will have everyone soaking wet by the time it’s finished. To play, split your family into two teams and give each team a water pitcher. Each team races to transfer all the water in their pitcher to a kiddie pool—but only using small paper cups to do it. Teams can work willy-nilly or form a bucket brigade, whichever strategy they think will win.

–       Catch the Bunny: To play this game, start passing a rubber ball (the bunny) around in a circle. After a few seconds, toss in a beach ball (the farmer) and pass it around to catch the bunny. If a player is holding onto the bunny and the farmer catches up to it, they’re out. To make the game a bit more challenging, have the bunny go in only one direction around the circle but allow the farmer to travel any direction he wants to catch up to the bunny.

Camping Snacks

Credit: Delish, thesingingrunner.com 

Snacks:

–       S’mores on a Stick: Give this classic camp food a twist. Pour warmed up chocolate sauce it into a shallow bowl or plate and put crushed graham crackers on another plate. Roast the marshmallows and dip them in the chocolate sauce and then in the crackers.

–       Breakfast Banana Splits: Finish off your night of camping with a Banana Split breakfast that serves four. To make it, combine 1/3 cup of light brown sugar with 3 Tbsp of butter and stir until crumbly. Add 1 cup of granola, mix and set aside. Split bananas lengthwise with the peel still on. Place them on sheets of foil and stuff them with the granola mixture. Wrap the stuffed bananas with the foil and roast them on the grill for 10 – 15 minutes and serve them with a scoop of vanilla yogurt.

15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids

517Nfff168L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Credit: Amazon

Some children love to play outside. Others are a little harder to coax off the couch. What about you? Do you get outside much? The fresh air and activity is good for everyone!  15 Minutes Outside by Rebecca P. Cohen encourages parents to get outside with their kids for at least fifteen minutes a day. Fifteen minutes may not be a lot of time but the effects can make a noticeable difference. The book 15 Minutes Outside arms you with 365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids. The collection of activities is simple yet inspiring. Each one requires little planning, time, cash or patience making them perfect for everyone, no matter their circumstances. 15 Minutes Outside provides you with hundreds of easy ways to get outside with your family to enjoy a little bit of nature every day of the year.

Last-Minute Back-to-School Preparation

Think you’re ready for the school year? Make sure you’re prepared with these last-minute back-to-school tips:

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 4.14.42 PM

Credit: GoodHousekeeping

Planners: Give older kids their own planner to teach them time management. Make sure they transfer the family calendar events at least once a week and also add as things come up. Before they start their homework, have them check their planner so they can prioritize assignments and ensure none are forgotten about.

Organization: Instead of a bulky binder, consider getting your kid a notebook with tear-out pages and an accordion file folder. Your student can take notes in class and easily slip the pages or any handouts into the slots. When the week is over, he can empty the contents into a color-coded filing box at home for easy access.

Craft Supplies: Kids tend to procrastinate. Make sure you are stocked up on all the supplies your kids may need for projects such as markers, index cards, poster boards, etc. When you’re helping them finish it at 9pm the night before it’s due, you’ll be thankful you’re prepared.

Deal Alert: What to Buy in August

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 9.08.42 AM

Credit: LifeHacker

Back-to-school and end-of-summer sales make August the ideal time for shop for the bellow items:

–       Linens & Storage Containers: Stores stock up on items perfect for college students shopping for dorm necessities. If you need bed sheets, storage containers or any other dorm-friendly materials, take advantage of the college sales.

–       Office Furniture: Back-to-schools sales are a prime time to shop for office furniture. Consider investing in your deskfiles cabinets or office chairs in the next few weeks.

–       Kids’ Clothing: The school year is approaching, which means parents are busy shopping for their kids’ wardrobe. There are tons of good deals in August—make sure to buy your kid’s clothes while the prices are low.

–       School Supplies: Even if you aren’t buying them for your kids, school supplies such as pens, paper and folders will be at affordable prices during the back-to-school sales.

–       Swimsuits: With summer coming to an end, stores will be clearing out their summer attire, which means swimsuits will have huge discounts. Take advantage of the low prices and get your swimsuit for next year now.

 

Study For Success: Creating the Ultimate Homework Space

Having a good study environment is important for students of all ages. Transform your office space into a study oasis with the tips below:

Credit: Real Simple

Organization: If you have several family members using the study space, keeping everyone’s stuff organized is essential. Consider using file totes, file cabinets or Pottery Barn wall organization systems to sort out everyone’s documents. Adding a bulletin board or dry erase board to the space is a convenient way to post helpful reminders, grades and to-do lists.

 

Storage: Shelves are perfect for storing school and office supplies—put storage bins on the bottom shelves so your kids can access the supplies stored in them on their own. Make sure everything is labeled for quick and easy access.

organizer-playroom-5_300

Credit: Real Simple

Furniture: Not all studying has to take place at a desk. Include unique and comfortable seating options like a beanbag for an alternate place to get work done. In addition, portable laptop desks provide a nice writing surface no matter where your kids are studying.