15 Things to Do with Kids on Rainy Days

Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers

Ah, not rain again! Finding things to do with kids on rainy days isn’t always easy, especially if the showers keep on coming. Gloomy days can put a major damper on your plans. You’ll have to think twice if you had hoped to do something outside, like go to the beach or go for a hike. When making plans with toddlers, rainy days can be especially problematic. If you are unprepared, many toddlers won’t understand why they can’t still do whatever activities you originally planned together. A thoughtful conversation can help. Thankfully, you can still find a variety of fun and memorable rainy day activities to enjoy with your little one. Consider these suggestions for fun rainy day things to do with toddlers age one and up.

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Where to Get Boxes for Kids’ Activities

From birthday party props to rainy day fun, parents can find so many creative uses for cardboard boxes. Most of the time the problem isn’t coming up with exciting ideas—it’s more along the lines of figuring out where to get boxes for kids activities. The good news is, as long as you give yourself enough time, you can usually find some boxes in time for your project.

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#GivingIsMyStyle – Thanks and Giving for the Holiday Season

November all through the holiday season is an important time to be thankful, but it’s also a great time to give back to others. Whether you donate to charity, volunteer, or simply perform random acts of kindness, paying it forward as you are able, the little things we do in life really do matter. These simple, selfless acts can put a smile on someone’s face, lessening their load, or really making a big difference in their life. From the smallest kinds of giving to the most involved, every little bit helps to make our world a better, more beautiful place. Continue reading #GivingIsMyStyle – Thanks and Giving for the Holiday Season

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches Using Different Kinds of Cookies

sugar-cookie-icecream-sandwichIt may be a wonderful summertime treat, but Chipwiches and ice cream sandwiches can be delicious any time of year. It’s hard to picture a more scrumptious dessert than ice cream sandwiched between two soft, chewy cookies. Yum! Store-bought ice cream novelties like Chipwiches can certainly be tasty, but making them at home adds a fun element of creativity and freshness.

Whether it’s a hot summer day or a rainy day any time of year when you’re bored, consider making your own delectable ice cream cookie sandwiches using your favorite flavor of ice cream and favorite type of cookie. You can use store-bought cookies if you must, but half of the fun is baking your own cookies to use in your ice cream sandwiches.

When making ice cream sandwiches at home, you can make them completely by hand or you can use an actual ice cream sandwich maker or mold. You can make ice cream sandwich minis or full-sized treats, depending on how much variety you want to have in your snack. Mini ice cream sandwiches can be great for parties – just make them ahead of time and freeze until you are ready to serve. My family bought me the Cuisipro Mini Ice Cream Sandwich Maker set for Christmas last year and I love it. You can make mini ice cream sandwiches in shapes of hearts, stars, and circles, in as many flavors as your heart desires. This kit is a super easy, beautiful, and fun way to make delicious, amazing, frozen treats any time of year.

I also received a different set of ice cream sandwich makers for bigger treat sizes from a friend. The Tovolo Ice Cream Sandwich Molds set allows you to make ice cream cookie sandwiches very easily with a cookie cutter type mold. The molds have a plunger type piece that allows you to gently push out the ice cream sandwich once it is ready. These ice cream sandwich molds and the mini ice cream sandwich makers are really cute and fun helpers when it comes to making your own frozen treats at home. Of course, you can always make cookies in similar sizes and simply use those without the ice cream sandwich press as well. It’s really up to you and how you prefer to assemble your treats!

homemade-ice-cream-sandwiches3

Try these tips to make a delicious spread of ice cream cookie sandwiches for your entire family or all your friends to enjoy.

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Ingredients:
– Ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, black raspberry, black cherry, strawberry, cookies and cream, etc.)
– Ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe
– Mini chocolate chips

Recipe Steps for Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches:

1. Make up your favorite batch of cookies. Chocolate chip cookies work perfectly, but you can also make oatmeal raisin cookies, sugar cookies, chocolate sugar cookies, and more.
2. Allow cookies to cool sufficiently, at least 20 minutes.
3. Match up cookies of similar sizes.
4. Bring out the ice cream and a scooper.
5. If using an ice cream sandwich maker, follow the individualized instructions. Usually you will press the mold / cutter down onto a semi-soft cookie, scoop the ice cream into it, and press down onto another cookie. Then twist the handle until the ice cream sandwich pops out of the mold.
6. If desired, press mini chocolate chips around the edges of the exposed ice cream.
7. Store your cookie sandwiches individually in plastic baggies or in a freezer-safe plastic container with a lid.

Making homemade ice cream sandwiches is easy and fun, but you might find a little difficulty since the ice cream melts really fast. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your fun treat-making experience:

ice-cream-sandwiches-x• When making these treats in bulk, create small batches and take a break to let your ice cream get harder again. If you try to make too many sandwiches or let it take too long, the ice cream will be a mushy mess that is too tough to handle.
• Put them in the freezer in small fold-over sandwich bags, individually wrapped for best results. That makes them easy to enjoy later, too!
• Consider putting them in the freezer for a little while before you add the mini chocolate chips to the edges if you find the ice cream is too soft to manage.
• I know it’s hard to wait, but please avoid putting ice cream on the cookies until they’ve really cooled. Your ice cream will melt too fast and you’ll never be able to enjoy your cookie sandwich without a real mess!

Do you have a favorite flavor of ice cream cookie sandwich? I made the ultimate, extreme ice cream cookie sandwich using chocolate chip cookies and cookies and cream ice cream with mini chips on the edges. I also tried sugar cookies and black cherry ice cream, oatmeal craisin cookies with chocolate ice cream, and sugar cookies with black cherry ice cream. They were all wonderful, although Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches will always have a special place in my heart!

Do you want to try this? Have you already done it? Do you have any other tips to share? Please share your comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

Things To Do On A Rainy Day

what to do on a rainy daySitting on your favorite chair and watching as the heavy rain pours outside your window can be fun and relaxing for a while, but you can’t keep with that activity forever. Since you’re already stuck at home until the bad weather passes, why not make the best of it and do something fun indoors? We’ve written before about lots of fun and interesting things to do on a rainy day and today we’re presenting you with more fun things to do inside to spend those boring hours waiting for the skies to clear up and let you play outside or take that walk you’ve been wanting.

Staying inside on a rainy day doesn’t have to be boring. Your home can be your personal playground!

Spend some quality time with your family

If you’re living with your family, significant other, or roommates, the best way you can have fun is to do something together. If you have some board games that are collecting dust, such as Monopoly or Risk, get everyone together at the kitchen table, grab some dice, and start playing. Playing card games such as Go Fish or Uno can also be a great way to lose time with friends and family. Maybe you can use your imagination and make up a new game all together. When all else fails, you can always watch a movie or an episode or two of your favorite show. You all know you’ve seen Toy Story more times that you can count, but why not watch it one more time? It’s just that good. Maybe you can make a contest – whoever can remember the most lines from the movie wins!

Rainy days are perfect for the creative

If you live alone or just want some time to yourself, try to think of something to do that is fun and creative. Maybe you can finally try that recipe that you read online at Pinterest last week. As you’re waiting for the meal to be finished, grab that book you’ve been meaning to read but didn’t have the time. If you have an affinity for writing, grab your laptop and start working on your next story or bestseller novel. Musicians can take the rain as an inspiration for a new tune while artists can try to capture the rainy outside world on paper using their preferred art materials or tools. You always wanted to learn origami – what better time to start than now?

Don’t let the rain keep you from your workout!

You really wanted to take that morning jog, but the look outside your window says everything. Why let that stop you from your daily exercise? Find a spacious part of your home, slip into your workout outfit, and start working on those leg and ab muscles. Sit-ups, squats, push-ups, rope jumps – these are all things that can be done at home. If you have a treadmill or a stationary bike – even better. If the weather lets up by evening, maybe you can take a late night jog instead of your morning routine.

things to do on a rainy dayIf you use your imagination and open your mind to new ideas, staying indoors can be just as fun and exciting as going out. When the rain finally stops doing its dance, you’ll be able to do whatever you had planned, but next time the bad weather decides to ruin your plans and forces you to to stay at home, you’ll already be well prepared.

Top 10 Places to Take Your Kids during Their Childhood

Top 10 places to take your kids during their childhood

Time keeps rushing by, no matter what we try to do to slow it down. Suddenly our infants become toddlers and then our little girls and little boys become teenagers. Where does the time go? Sometimes we need to take a breath, and even more importantly, a break from the craziness of the whirlwind called life. Even if it’s only once a month or once every couple of months, families can have a lot of fun by planning a special outing together. Consider these top 10 places to take your kids during their childhood so you can show them the world and make some great family memories.

These activities should be suitable for kids of varying ages, and in most cases, should be enjoyable for both boys and girls. You might even find your children’s cousins or friends might enjoy these same activities and venues, so consider planning group outings as appropriate.

Here are our top 10 places to take your kids as they’re growing up:

1. The Beach – Sand and sea should be a part of every kid’s childhood.

2. The Mountains – Get the best of both worlds by vacationing for a few days on a lake in a mountainous region.

3. An Amusement Park (Or Disney World or a similar vacation if you can afford it!) Kids love this stuff!

4. A Museum – It is important to teach our youths about where we’ve come from as a society, related to culture, history, and more.

5. A Carnival or Fair – These memories live on longer than you might expect – choose one with rides, games, and great carnival snacks like funnel cake.

6. The Circus – The attractions at the circus can even amaze adults! Don’t forget your camera.

7. A Charitable Event – We should all teach our children to be thankful for what we have, and compassionate towards others who may be dealing with more challenges in life.

8. Camping – Outdoorsy fun can be great for the whole family. Make sure you plan enough time to go on a hike, fishing, and to cook over the campfire!

9. A Surprise Party for a Grandparent – These kinds of memories can help shape children’s futures and how they treat others, often by showing extra love and appreciation even when it isn’t always commanded or expected. Also, it’s a great opportunity to make even more memories with all the generations in your family.

10. A Family Reunion – Keep those family bonds strong and don’t get into the habit of seeing those in your extended family only at weddings and funerals. Let the kids enjoy playing with all their cousins, second cousins, and getting to know their aunts, uncles, and everyone else.

Remember, not all the things that you do as a family have to be costly. You can make some of the best memories of all doing things that are very affordable or free. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather a nice sample of things that are social, playful, active, and educational. Please share your own favorite places to take your kids in our comments below!

Top 7 Things to Do with Your Baby during the First Year

Ask any parent and they’ll probably tell you that the first year flies by in a flash and you’re celebrating first birthdays in no time. We all mean to stop and smell the roses during that first year, but sometimes it goes by so fast we don’t even realize just how fast until that first year is almost gone. Sometimes a checklist or “To Do” list can be a great way to keep track of important things you want to do with your infant son or daughter before the first birthday arrives.

To help you ensure you capture some of those special moments or take advantage of some fun activities, we’ve compiled this list of things to do during your baby’s first year of life. Feel free to print this out, add this to your Pinterest page, or bookmark it for future use.

1. Take a picture every month with cute onesie stickers.

2. Make keepsake handprint and footprint artwork. They’ll only be this small for so long!

3. Get a photo with Santa Clause at the very least, and maybe with the Easter Bunny, too, if you like.

4. Get a family portrait done or be sure to take family photos around the holidays when everyone is dressed up.

5. Take a few videos of your little one doing something cute. You should also have your video camera or smartphone handy to shoot videos of first time crawling, first steps, laughter, singing, first words, and other important moments.

6. Write down the dates or rough estimates of when your baby met important milestones like laughing, smiling, crawling, sitting unsupported, and of course, first word, and first steps!

7. Make special time to visit grandparents and especially great grandparents. Capture as many generations as you can in a single photo. (And take lots of photos in general!)

These ideas are just some of the sentimental things you should do for memories and good times with your little one. Make sure you do all the day-to-day things as well, like singing, teaching ABC’s and 123’s, visiting friends for play dates, and playing together, among countless other important moments.

Do you have other special things to do in a baby’s first year of life? If so, please share your suggestions in our comments below!

Rainy Labor Day Ideas and Activities to Enjoy Inside

Rainy Labor Day ideasEveryone always hopes for sunshine and warm weather on Labor Day weekend, especially when Labor Day parties, picnics, and barbecues fill up the calendar for this long holiday weekend. If the weather forecast predicts a rainy Labor Day weekend, don’t worry about it too much – there are lots of things to do on a rainy Labor Day. No matter if you are having a party, going to a picnic, or just hanging out with your sweetheart, your family, or your friends, you can find something fun to do for Labor Day inside.

Labor Day weekend can be a great time to travel, throw a party, or go to someone else’s barbecue or picnic. If rain is on the way, you don’t have to scrap your plans. You can still find lots of enjoyable things to do in the rain or inside during a rainy Labor Day.

Inside Rainy Labor Day Activity Ideas
Here are some rainy Labor Day ideas for you to try if the weather isn’t cooperating for your barbecue, picnic, or party.

•    Have a scavenger hunt inside.
•    Set up some indoor karaoke.
•    Do Labor Day crafts with the kids.
•    Run a board game marathon.
•    Have a movie marathon with only movies that are patriotic in nature.
•    Mix up red, white, and blue cocktails (if you are old enough to drink).
•    Make red, white, and blue slushies and smoothies (no matter what your age).
•    Have a video game competition.
•    Go shopping and hit up all the amazing Labor Day weekend sales.
•    Break your group into two teams and have an indoor decathlon of events. You can do puzzles, games, and other indoor activities. Best of 10 – only one winner!

These Labor Day ideas if rain’s outside should help to tide you over until the weather clears. Hopefully it won’t rain for the entire Labor Day weekend!

Rainy Labor Day Meals
If the rain is pouring down, grilling might not be your favorite option. You can find a few alternatives to the traditional holiday weekend fare by considering a few rainy Labor Day food ideas. Check out these examples of non-grilled Labor Day food for starters:

•    Meatballs and sauce in crock pots
•    Hoagies
•    Roast beef or turkey sandwiches (hot)
•    Baked ham with pineapple
•    Stir-fried veggies
•    Pork fried rice
•    Sweet and sour chicken
•    Baked ziti
•    Take-out from your local pizza shop, Chinese food place, etc.

Don’t forget delicious Labor Day desserts – brownies or Rice Krispie Treats with red, white, and blue sprinkles, themed sugar cookies, all-American chocolate chip cookies, sheet cake with strawberries and blueberries, fruit salad, and more. What are your favorite patriotic desserts?

Rainy Labor Day Picnic Ideas
If you are going on a Labor Day picnic, you might want to plan to hang out inside. Consider finding a place with shelter for your picnic, like an outdoor party tent, or have a picnic for two in your car, clubhouse, or garage. A Labor Day picnic with many guests may need to move the entire event indoors, perhaps in a basement or garage if not throughout the whole house. If the rain tapers off a bit, you can have your rainy Labor Day events move out to your deck or patio, even if there is still a little drizzle coming down.

If you still want to have a picnic in the rain, consider putting down a few water resistant tarps or setting up an outdoor party tent. You can also try a large beach umbrella or consider tailgating instead of doing the full picnic routine. Since Labor Day is a long weekend, you might also consider having a “rain date” if you can plan it far enough in advance.

To make things more festive despite the gray and gloomy weather, don’t forget to set up your red, white, and blue decorations for an inside Labor Day party. You can also ignore the weather and play outside in the rain if you feel so inclined!

What’s your rainy Labor Day plan? If you have other suggestions for Labor Day rain ideas, please share them below in our comments.