Real Solutions for Real Families Living Real Life

27 Fun Busy Bag Activities for 2 Year Olds to Keep Them Busy

I love the idea of busy bags! I first discovered the idea when my first daughter was a toddler and I was beginning to work on homeschooling her while I was working from home. And I needed lots of ideas for fun activities for toddlers.

Busy bags offer fun and simple activities that are mostly focused on learning and motor skills and happily keep little ones busy for at least 15-20 minutes. And that’s light years for moms with toddlers!

Here is a list of fun and easy busy bags that are perfect for your 2-year-old. This means the pieces aren’t too small, they’re easy and engaging for toddlers to do, and they don’t contain stuff that’ll ruin your house when you’re not looking.

You’re welcome for that last one!

How to Make Your Own Busy Bags the Cheap and Easy Way

The first step is finding your bags. Many moms use reusable pencil holders. Here’s a multicolored pack of 24.

You can also just use durable slide locking Ziploc bags like these. Honestly, that’s what I use because they’re cheaper and bigger. They just don’t look at cute as the colorful ones.

busy bags activities for 2 year olds

Then you’ll want to search lists like this one and find a few busy bags you want to make. Create a list of supplies. Try to first use what you have on hand first and also look at the clearance area inside most craft stores.

Once you have your supplies, it’s time for the fun to begin! You can also allow your older kids to make the busy bags, if you have older kids. If not, put your toddler to bed and turn on your favorite Netflix show and start crafting.

This may be weird to you but I don’t like making my busy bags in front of my toddler. I love showing them when it’s all done. I don’t want to spoil the magic. But obviously do what works for you.

Finally, if you make a whole batch you’ll want to store them somewhere that keeps them from getting damaged. You can store in a drawer or a plastic bin that’s just for busy bags.

Pro mom tip: Do NOT store them with your toddler’s regular toys or in a place they can reach them on their own.

For one, you want them to be special every time you present them. This honestly keeps them playing so much longer. And two, you don’t want to walk in the room to see all your carefully crafted busy bag items all dumped into one glorious pile!

Talk about mom meltdown.

Now let’s get to all the fun.

27 Busy Bag Activities for 2 Year Olds

I’ve divided the busy bag ideas into categories so you can easily find the type of activity you want to work on first.

Looking for simple activities to keep your toddler busy and learning? This list of busy bags for 2 year olds will keep your little one busy and happy! #toddlers #activities

Fine Motor Skills Activities

No Sew Button Snake – Twitchetts

Crazy Straws – Powerful Mothering

Popsicle Stick Drop – Adventures and Play

Wooden Animal Lacing – Little Lifelong Learners

Pool Noodle Lacing – Planet of the Apels

Puzzle and Matching Activities

Super Hero Mix and Match Puzzle – School Time Snippets

Shapes Matching – Plain Vanilla Mom

Ladybug Number Match Up – Coffee and Crayons

Winter Counting Puzzle – Life Over CS

Memory Game with Lids – Powerful Mothering

Felt Counting Chain – Glued to My Crafts Blog

Alphabet Match Up – Learning 4 Kids

Crocodile Counting Match – Reading Confetti

Shapes, Letters, and Colors Recognition

Pom pom Color Egg Carton Sort – The Stay at Home Mom Survival Guide

Rainbow Sorting – Learning and Exploring Through Play

Fish for Shapes – Little Family Fun

Q Tip Counting Trays – Mama Jenn

Colored Stick to Clothes Pin Matching – Teach Me Mommy

Egg Carton Color Sort – The Imagination Tree

Alphabet Tracing Sheets – Money Saving Mom

Letter Spoon Match Up – Organized Jewish Home

Shape Sorting Ice Cube Tray – Mess for Less

Just Plain Fun Activities

Felt Tic Tac Toe Game – Childhood 101

Little Red Riding Hood Finger Puppets – Easy Peasy and Fun

Travel Felt Board – Mama Smiles

I Spy Peekaboo Bag – Childhood 101

Pipe Cleaner Lacing Game – Parents

If you’re also looking for quality online activities, check out these YouTube learning channels for kids!

The Best YouTube Kids Channels You Won’t Feel Guilty About Letting Your Kids Watch

YouTube Kids is something kid’s dreams are made of, or at least I think it is of my toddler’s dreams. But it can also be what parent’s nightmares are made of because of all the mom guilt that seems to come into play with screen time.

YouTube content for kids wasn’t a thing when my girls were little so YouTube kids really took me by surprise with my toddler son this time around.

Best YouTube Kids Channels

I’m not even entirely sure how he got introduced to YouTube Kids… probably sitting next to his older sisters’ watching slime videos.

He first became obsessed when he watched his first Blippi video. I was super leery of this strange guy wearing an orange hat and bowtie and acting like a kid himself. PeeWee Herman came to mind.

But I starting watching with him and actually came to like the guy as he actually shared educational content. He’s basically lightyears better than watching useless toy reviews and unboxing videos.

Helpful Screen Time Guidelines

So where do I stand with my kids watching YouTube Kids channels?

I personally feel that screen time is screen time. I say that to mean, anytime your kid is looking at a screen, chances are, they aren’t doing healthy kids activities like reading a book, doing something hands-on, or getting physical exercise.

So, screen time in my house is limited in time and type… and those above mentioned things-to-do are strongly encouraged. As for how much time my kids get really depends on the day and whether we’re on a school break.

Or whether I need a break for that matter! 

You know what’s too much for your child, but no more than an hour a day is a good benchmark. Trust your own judgment as a parent.

As for the type of content they can watch or play on their device, I do my best to stick to educational. Not always. Some of his favorite shows and channels aren’t my favorite but I treat them like ice cream… sparingly.

Here’s a list of good YouTube channels and content that won’t leave you feeling guilty:

YouTube Kids Channels for Toddlers:

Super Simple Songs – This channel is full of cute, ear wormy, type of songs like Baby Shark but also has fun original educational content also.

Subscribers: 12 Million

Mother Goose Club – This channel is made up of adults and cute kids who dress up and create popular nursery rhymes and other fun children’s songs.

Subscribers: 4.9 Million

Sesame Street – Yes, our favorite monsters are on YouTube Kids. They’ve created shorts from their best episodes and also feature lots of learning videos. Their newest creation is a brand new animated series, Esme and Roy which is adorable.

Subscribers: 4.7 Million

PBS Kids – This channel doesn’t have original YouTube content but they do feature episodes of their shows like Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, Odd Squad, Pinkalicious, and Wild Kratts.

Subscribers: 553k

Blippi Blippi is fun and entertaining for toddlers and preschoolers but he also does do a good job of making his videos educational. My son loves Blippi and actually has learned quite a few things. He even asked for lettuce on his sandwich yesterday because Blippi did it!

Subscribers: 3.1 Million

YouTube Kids Channels for School Aged Kids:

National Geographic Kids – This channel is wonderful if you have a kid who loves animals or the outdoors. There are tons of videos about fascinating animals and their environments. They also really fun video series like weird but true, Sam’s zookeeper, the Best Job, and Awesome 8.

Subscribers: 179k

TED-Ed – From the creators of the TED Talk videos we all love to watch comes a channel that all parents and kids will love TED-Ed. This channel answers all the questions we’ve ever asked in life… and then some. The creators craft visually stimulating videos to answer these questions in a very edutaining way.

Subscribers: 8.2 Million

Sick Science! – If your child loves science, making slime, or doing experiments they’ll really enjoy this channel with Steve Spangler demonstrating the fun and power of science.

Subscribers: 570,000

Simple Kids Crafts – If you have a kid who loves crafts and making cute furniture for her dolls, she’ll love all the cuteness on this channel.

Subscribers: 500k

Nerdy Nummies – This channel is so fun and is perfect for your little baker. Rosanna is so charming as she teaches viewers how to make yummy nummies that are a kid’s dream!

Subscribers: 10 Million

YouTube Kids Channels for Tweens and Teens

Minute Physics – This breaks down complicated physics concepts into easy to understand stick animations. With all the superhero movies and shows, kids are being introduced to physics terms and these videos will help them understand things like dark matter and quantum tunneling.

Subscribers: 4.5 Million

Mike Loves Science AKA ComaNiddy – If your kid loves hip hop music and science than this channel is a match made in heaven. Mike loves science, hence the name, and he creates videos to teach scientific concepts with lyrical rhymes to help kids enjoy and remember them.

Subscribers: 18K

Cartooning 4 Kids – If you have an artistic kid who loves to draw like I do this channel is a great and fun place to help them hone their drawing skills.

Subscribers: 1.3 Million

Do you have any screen time tips? Please share them in the comments below!

When you do allow screen time in your home, these educational and fun YouTube Kids Channels won't leave you feeling guilty! #kidsandparenting #parenting

250+ Super Fun Activities for Kids to Learn and Play at Home

fun activities for kids

Keeping kids and toddlers entertained so you can have breaks throughout the day to get things done is necessary for your sanity as a mom. Enter, fun activities for kids and toddlers!

This ultimate list of fun activities for kids will give you endless inspiration and ideas to keep your little ones happy, entertained, and best of all – learning.

These activities also encourage your child to play independently. And that’s good news because that means you won’t need to be their playmate all the time and they’ll be more excited to dive into non-screen activities too.

The Ultimate List of Fun Activities for Kids and Toddlers

fun activities for kids

Fun Activities for Kids to Beat the Boredom

There’s no phrase spoken more frequently out of the mouth of kids than, “I’m bored.” Since TV and video games aren’t the best options for keeping kids busy and entertained every single day, we need easy fun activities for kids we pull out of our mom bag of tricks at a moment’s notice.

The following are tons of activity ideas designed to keep your kids happy and busy when you need a break or need to tire them out before bedtime!

10 Toddler Activities for Your Crazy Active Kid – Get the full list here!

44 Activities to Tire Your Kids Out Before Bedtime – Get the full list here!

Free Activities When You Need to Get Out of the House – Get the full list of outdoor activities here!

50 Easy, No-Prep Activities for Kids – Get all the ideas here!

107 Fun Activities to Survive the Summer! – Get all the fun ideas here!

Learning Activities for Kids

learning activities for toddlers

Learning is a huge component of healthy toddler development and there are many simple ways to instill learning in your toddler’s day.

Pom Pom Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills – Get the Tutorials Here. 

Fun Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills in Toddlers and Preschoolers – Get all the Activities here!

Cute Color Matching Wheel – Get the tutorial here!

Fun Activities for Kids During the Holidays

Fall inspired crafts for kids

I love the holidays because not only is there a greater focus on time off and fun with family, there are so many opportunities for fun activities and crafts to learn and celebrate each holiday.

The following posts share great ideas to celebrate the holidays through crafts, activities, and fun!

14 Fun Fall-Inspired Craft Ideas for Kids – Get all the tutorials here! 

Painting Pumpkins with your Kids – Get the tutorial here!

Thanksgiving Crafts for 2-Year-Olds – Get the full list of tutorials here!

Mess-Free Fall Inspired Painting Project for Babies and Toddlers – Get the tutorial here!

14 Adorable Christmas Christmas Crafts for Kids – Get all the Crafts here! 

Arts and Craft Projects for Kids

arts and crafts projects for kids

Practicing the arts in any form with kids builds creativity and helps develop a lifelong love of learning. There are many forms of art outside of traditional painting and drawing such as dancing, singing and playing musical instruments.

All art is fun for kids and makes for the perfect activities for kids! Here are a few great artistic activities your kids will love!

4 Easy Kids Crafts Made From Everyday Household Items – Get the full list here!

Easy Ways to Introduce Music to Kids – Read the full post here!

Fun DIY Games for Kids

On days when boredom is calling your kiddos, having a few fun games on hand can magically remove mundane and bring in the fun. These fun games only use household items and promise endless entertainment.

Exploding Rainbows Game using Craft Sticks – Get the game here!

Snowman Bowling Game with Cute Snowman Printable – Get the game here!


Let us know your favorite games and activities in the comments below!

These non-screen time fun activities for kids will keep your children entertained so you can have a break! Plus, they'll be learning too. #kidsandparenting #parenting #activities #kids

Kids crying bored all the time? Try these super fun boredom busting activities for kids and toddlers! #activities #kids

Secrets to Having a Stress-Free Christmas with Kids in 2018!

the secret to stress free Christmas

Let’s face it, the holidays can be a recipe for stress and exhaustion. Which is really a shame since the holiday season is supposed to be a magical time filled with fun, family, and rest.

But all too often we let life get the best of us and the holidays catch us off guard year after year.

Stop doing that! It’s not too late to plan and enjoy a stress-free Christmas this year!

the secret to stress free Christmas

How is that possible with all the things to make, cook, buy… and let’s not forget about the “people” stress. You know, family coming in from out of town and you getting absolutely zero alone time.

I’m a strong introvert, so that zaps my energy the fastest!

This is your ultimate stress-free Christmas guide. You’ll learn everything about how to prepare, save, shop, and even travel over the holidays!

If you’re planning to travel for the holidays you’ll want to check out this Holiday Travel Guide that shares little-known travel tips for long road trips!

How to Prepare for Christmas Early

There are many things we need to “prepare” to maximize our joy over the holidays. We need to prepare our money because November and December are huge spending months. We do NOT want to go into debt buying gifts this year!

Easy Ways to Save Money for Christmas

Why You Should be Using Amazon Prime for Christmas!

In addition to saving money (which we all need to be doing more intentionally), you can start by making more money too.

Yep! You can get creative on ways to increase your income over the holidays and never touch your savings or a single credit card.

22 Fun and Creative Work at Home Jobs for Moms

Work at Home Mom Success: Run Your Business, Home and Family with Ease

Getting Your Home Ready for the Holidays

Now it’s time to prepare your home! Getting your house clean and decluttered before the busyness of the holidays is here will help you so much to kick back and enjoy your Christmas!

The No-Brainer Way to Declutter Your Home Fast!

The Secret to Get Your Kids into the Habit of Doing Housework

preparing your home for Christmas

How to Enjoy the Holidays without Stress

One of the best ways to actually enjoy the holidays instead of stressing through to the New Year is to make your enjoyment intentional!

Yes, decide right now that you’re going to have fun on purpose. You do that by making a plan and deciding what things your family will do to relax and enjoy your Christmas.

This list of Family Christmas Traditions is a wonderful place to start planning your holiday activities.

You can also have fun by documenting your family’s Christmas with a fun Family Christmas pajama Photo Shoot!

Here’s a warning about traditions though. If your family is doing something just because it’s a tradition but you spend your time dragging everyone around… stop doing it. Commit to only doing traditions that are truly fun for your family and bring you closer together.

Planning and Shopping for Christmas

You want to start by creating your Christmas budget first. You don’t want to ruin your 2019 by going into massive debt for Christmas. Big mistake!

Once you know how much you want to spend, you can start your shopping plan.

Remember, you don’t have to buy store-bought gifts for everyone in your extended family. You can make homemade gifts, go on a trip or see a fun show together, or even do a family Christmas photo shoot.

Here are some great ideas for gifts and stocking stuffers!

51 Stocking Suffers for Babies and Toddlers that aren’t Junk

31 Cheap Stocking Stuffers Kids and Teens that Don’t Suck!

The Best Learning Toys for Toddlers

Christmas Tips and Tricks

1 – Put your Christmas lights on a timer

2 – Invest in an automatic Christmas tree waterer

3 – Pay someone else to put up your Christmas lights


4 – Use elegant table wear instead of the real thing.

This beautiful table setting for 25 is close to the real thing and will reduce a ton of stress and labor. Plus, they are extremely affordable!

5 – Use gift bags instead of wrapping every gift. I’ve been doing this for years and it’s such a stress-free tip. It doesn’t mean I don’t wrap any gifts, but my pretty gift bags far outweigh the wrapped ones!

Let me know your very best tips for a stress-free Christmas in the comments below!

21 Epic Family Christmas Pictures You Just Have to Try this Christmas

family Christmas pictures

One of the best things about Christmas is the perfect excuse to take family Christmas pictures. But don’t settle for boring family Christmas photos!

These epic photo shoots will give you endless inspiration to create your own magical family Christmas pictures to remember forever. Just bring your smile, your patience, and your sense of humor. Especially if kids will be anywhere in your pictures!

family Christmas pictures

Here are a few tips to make your photo sessions so much better! And if you don’t plan to hire a photographer, no worries! Use these tips to take your own Christmas pictures at home.

Finally, the first thing you’re probably racking your brain about is what you’re going to wear. Family Christmas pajamas are so much fun for your family photos. Check out the best matching Christmas pajamas sets here!

If you’re more into wearing “regular clothes”, this simple style guide will help you get started to looking great.

Related: 16 Magical Christmas Family Traditions to Make Lasting Memories with your Kids

Family Christmas Pictures Wearing Christmas Pajamas

 

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Want your own Family Christmas Pajamas? Check these out!

Family Christmas Pictures Featuring Just the Kids

 

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Related: 31 Cheap Stocking Stuffers for Kids and Teens that Don’t Suck

Family Christmas Pictures By the Tree

 

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Related: 51 Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers and Babies that Aren’t Junk

Outdoor Family Christmas Pictures

 

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Hilarious Christmas Pictures

 

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Non-Christmasy Pictures

 

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Please feel free to click on any of these Instagram profiles and follow the ones you love! Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

It's almost Christmas card season and you want to be ready with the best family Christmas pictures! Get tons of inspiration from these epic Christmas photos. #kidsandparenting #christmas #family #holidays #parenting #kids

16 Family Christmas Traditions to Make Magical Memories with your Kids

Family Christmas traditions

Christmas time is literally such a special time for me and my family. And it’s not because we live in a magical wintery paradise with Christmas decorations lining every street. We live in Florida. So, we’re just thankful that the humidity has died down by then!

Family Christmas traditions

Living in a warmer climate certainly doesn’t add to the Christmas spirit but we do our best to make our own and really soak in this season.

You see, I used to get really stressed during the holidays because of all the hustle and bustle going on. I’m a pretty big introvert who likes very small gatherings.

Big crowds and large family gatherings tend to make me anxious. And with all the parties and dinners, I would get overwhelmed really quickly.

Until I decided to focus my attention elsewhere. When I, on purpose, stopped paying so much attention to all the parties, the spending, and the general holiday stress things started getting so much better.

I shifted my focus to making the Christmas season one that my family would remember and cherish forever. One that focused on having fun and enjoying each other instead of all the stress swirling around me.

We started creating fun family Christmas traditions that we can’t wait for all year. We do just a few of these Christmas traditions and I went farther to share even more ideas with you… thirty to be exact!

This isn’t a Christmas bucket list per se, it’s more of an inspiration list to help you build your own family Christmas traditions. So, don’t get overwhelmed. Just choose a few and try them out and see what sticks! And most of all have a fun and Merry Christmas!

16 Family Christmas Traditions

Christmas family traditions

 

1 – Make Your Own Ornaments

This Christmas tradition is really fun because the ornaments can be as simple and easy as they need to be when your kids are still very young. And as they get older, they can still continue creating more sophisticated ornaments.

Each year you can decorate your tree with these ornaments. We’ve always decorated our tree with a mixture of storebought ornaments and kid-made ornaments. And our tree always looks amazing!

I actually adore this post of ornament ideas because there is such a mix of really beautiful ornaments that are perfect for both little hands and ones your older kids would love!

If you’d rather not run around gathering a bunch of supplies, here are some DIY ornament kits that make the process much easier! Make your own ornament variety kit, Melissa and Doug ornament kit, and a create your own suncatcher ornaments kit.

2 – Attend Christmas Service

As a kid, I remember getting up as early as possible to open up presents and then eat cinnamon rolls. After we got all the wrapping paper cleaned up, we’d head out as a family to attend Christmas Day service at our church.

As adults, we attend Christmas Eve service now the night before. Somehow it feels even more magical going out at night. Either way, it’s important that we give honor to Whom the season was given. For us, Christmas is the season that we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Family Time Made Simple Checklist

3 – Make a Christmas Give and Receive List

My kids are professionals when it comes to making Christmas lists. They learned very early how to search for the latest toys and gadgets and how to do it all electronically so they can text their list to their loving recipients.

However, this always left me feeling icky. Christmas lists are fine, in fact, it’s their grandparents and other family members that ask for them every year so they know what to buy. I get it.

I just felt like there was something missing. So, I first gave my kiddos a limit of how many things they can add to their own list. One year my oldest almost got to 100 things on her list. Not my proudest parenting moment.

They can now add no more than 20 things. This may seem like a lot but we have a huge family. You do what works for your family.

And second, they also create a Christmas Give list. This is where they think of their friends and family and think of who and what they desire to give this Christmas. And because we all don’t need another list of things we have to buy, they are encouraged to think about ways to give their time or talent.

4 – Make Edible Gifts

My middle daughter loves to cook and bake in the kitchen so making large batches of edible gifts for our family and friends is totally in her lane.

We’ve made many, many little packages of love that were a big hit. We just search on good ole’ Pinterest and look for easy treats to make that have wide appeal. Our edible delights over the years have been peppermint white chocolate covered brownie bites, Christmas crack, sweet and spicy candied mixed nuts, mint Christmas fudge, chocolate covered pretzels.

Usually, we make several different treats and give them as a Christmas treat sampler! It’s a lot of work, but it shows how much you care and they are always a big hit.

To make your gifts extra special, pack your individual treats in these adorable gift boxes and nestle your little boxes in this Christmas gift box.

5  – Make a Birthday Cake for Jesus

I love this idea because it really drives home the reason for the season! We did this one year and it was fun for the kids, but we ended up with a whole cake to eat. Which is fine but when you pair that with Christmas cookies and all the other sweets… it was overload.

What we now do it make Birthday “pan”cakes for breakfast. We sing happy birthday and enjoy a yummy breakfast without an entire cake to eat all week long.

6 – Make and Decorate Christmas Cookies

Christmas cookies

I remember baking and decorating endless cookies with my mom as a kid. I remember sneaking all that yummy cookie dough more than anything!

Making cookies is really such a fun tradition that can double as a Christmas gift if you choose to give them away as tasty little gifts of love!

Here are some amazing Christmas cookie recipes to try this Christmas!

7 – Go Ice Skating

Now I know I must sound crazy being the Florida mom telling you to go ice skating. But I know that so many of my readers don’t live in Florida and are living in a real winter wonderland during Christmas. #Jealous

Ice skating is actually something we were able to do here in Florida at an indoor skating rink. It wasn’t as magical as skating on a real lake, but it was a whole lot of fun and a great tradition to do every Christmas.

8 – Make Hot Cocoa

Making hot cocoa is something we love to make a big deal of during Christmas time. We make some before we go on our Christmas lights tour and we make some before we watch our Christmas movies. And pretty much anything we’re doing!

Of course, we love adding peppermint flavor but not everyone in our house likes peppermint. I know, crazy right? Here are some fun hot cocoa recipes to try. If you’re taking your cocoa to go, try using these adorable to-go cups to keep it warm and from spilling all over your backseat!

9 – Watch a Christmas movie marathon

We are a movie family! Snuggling up together watching classic Christmas movies is one of our favorite traditions. It’s so relaxing and helps us stay connected at the same time.

Nowadays it’s so easy to just select the Holiday movies in your Netflix or cable dashboard. Just scroll until you find your favorites. But just in case you don’t have those, here’s a great list!

10 – Make Homemade Gifts

I love, love handmade gifts. I strongly believe a handmade gift, done right, can be even more special than a storebought gift. Depending on you or your children’s natural giftings your homemade gifts can be pretty amazing.

And they show the other person how much you care because you didn’t just give them a gift card. Here are some really fun to create and fun to receive gift ideas.

11 – Buy a Gift for a Charity

This is also one of our favorite family Christmas traditions. We all know how much more amazing giving feels than receiving and I want my kids to feel that during the season that is primarily focused on receiving. At least it is from the lens of most kids!

You can join in with an Angel tree in your city or through your church. You basically pull a tag off an angel tree and purchase the wished item and return the wrapped gift to that location.

There are usually many ways to give to others in need for Christmas. The point is to make it a tradition to have your family get involved in some way!

12 – Make Gingerbread Houses

Yes, I know this one is old school but it’s still a lot of fun for the little ones. We do this one with our extended family on Christmas Eve each year. Some years us adults forget to grab all the supplies before the stores close.

But each year we remember, the kids absolutely have the best time and it’s so fun to watch them! Here’s some gingerbread inspiration for you! And yes, you can actually buy your own gingerbread house kit!

13 – Drive Around Town to See Christmas Lights

This is one of our family favorites. We always stop for hot chocolate first and then drive to the best spots in our city (we have a lot of them) and marvel at all the amazing light displays.

No matter how old our kids get, this never seems to lack in plenty of whimsy and Christmas spirit. In fact, our city is so large that we can easily drive around to see Christmas lights several nights throughout the holiday.

14 – Elf on the Shelf

I think we can all agree that the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon has taken on a life of its own! It’s hilarious to see on your Instagram all the trouble that little guy gets into each night after the kids go to bed.

I’m not sure that’s what the intent was behind the creation of the Elf of the Shelf, but it’s certainly a fun activity that gives the whole family a good laugh in the morning!

15 – Do Acts of Kindness with the Kindness Elf

This is such a cute idea that I just stumbled upon from the Imagination Tree. The Kindness Elf is an alternative to the Elf on a Shelf and helps kids get in the spirit and habit of doing random acts of kindness to others.

I just love this idea and you can read all about it here!

16 – Have an Ugly Sweater Photo Shoot

I’m not convinced that the ugly sweater movement is over yet. But then again, I can be so late! Lol But I love any opportunity to be fun and silly with my kids.

And this one is so easy! Just go to your local thrift shop and you’ll be overloaded with choices for ugly Christmas attire. Yes, you can buy expensive ones in the stores now. But why?


Which family Christmas tradition is your favorite? Did we miss one? Please share your best traditions in the comments below!

Related: 60 Fun Questions to Ask Your Kids to Get Them to Open Up and Share Their Heart

Related: Super Easy Festive Fall and Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Kids

Related: Present Parenting: What it is and why our kids need us to be living it

Christmas time can be such a magical season! And this fun list of family Christmas traditions will have you creating fun and lasting memories with your kids! #kidsandparenting #christmas #holiday #parenting #familytime Christmas time is almost here and these magical Christmas traditions for family will create fun memories with your kids! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #christmas #holidaysThese fun Christmas family traditions will create magical memories with your family over the Christmas holiday season! #kidsandparenting #parenting #christmasChristmas time is almost here! These fun and memorable Christmas traditions for families are really easy and fun!

Silly and Spooky Halloween Inspired Craft Ideas for Kids

Halloween Inspired craft ideas for kids

Kids love Halloween because of all the spooky fantasy, costumes, and fun… oh and candy! These silly and spooky Halloween inspired crafts for kids are perfect for celebrating the holiday but also work great for Halloween decorations!

Halloween Inspired craft ideas for kids

The thing I love most about these kids craft ideas is that many of them are perfect for recycling and reusing would-be trash in our homes like old baby food jars and tin cans. And that’s a total win for me!

Here are more fun activities for kids that’ll keep them learning and having fun at home!

14 Spooky Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids

Halloween Inspired crafts for kids

1. Halloween Slime | The Best Ideas for Kids

2. Easy Origami Bat | Red Ted Art

3. Jack-o-Lantern Luminaries | Creative Green Living

4. Spooky Ghost Windsock | Chicken Scratch NY

5. Paper Plate Witch Hats | Cutesy Crafts

6. Halloween Water Bottle Koozie | The Soccer Mom Blog 

7. Paper Spider Craft | Red Ted Art

8. Painted Paper Plate Spider | Mom Always Finds Out

9. Tin Can Ghost Windchime | Creative Green Living

10. Halloween Footprints Keepsake Craft | Where the Smiles Have Been 

11. Spooky Playdough | Meraki Mother

12. Cute Paper cup Ghosts | Red Ted Art

13. Halloween Glitter Ornaments | South Lumina Style

14. Paper Plate Spider Craft | Jinxy Kids

Which craft ideas are you most excited to try with your kids? Please let me know in the comments below!

For more kids craft ideas:

14 Festive Fall and Thanksgiving Inspired Craft Ideas for Kids

These silly and spooky Halloween inspired crafts for kids will have your home decorated easily for Halloween and keep your kids happy and having fun! #crafts #kids #craftsforkids #DIY #home #parentingYour kids will love these Halloween craft projects! A great way to celebrate Halloween! #crafts #kidscrafts #DIY #DIYprojects #kidsactivities

Super Easy Festive Fall and Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Kids

Fall inspired crafts for kids

I love the Fall season… cooler weather, the return of Pumpkin Spice everything, and holidays galore. There is always extra time to spend with your kids doing fun activities!

Here’s a great way to spend time soaking up this amazing season… crafting! Your kids will love these ideas and many can be used as a lovely handmade centerpiece for your harvest table.

Fall inspired crafts for kids

Here are some of the supplies you’ll need:

Fall colored Pom-poms 

Fall colored pipe cleaners

Fall colored paints

Construction paper

Pony beads

Fall and Thanksgiving Inspired Crafts for Kids

Fall Inspired crafts for kids

1. Pumpkin Pony Beads | Cutesy Crafts

2. Fall Leaf Watercolor Painting | Projects with Kids

3. Homemade Fall Inspired Suckers | I Heart Naptime

4. Fall Leaf Garland | Red Ted Art

5. Fall Cookie Cutter Shapes | Projects with Kids

6. Pom Pom Tree | Reuse Grow Enjoy

7. Leaves Shape Painting | Confessions of an Overworked Mom

8. Fall Scented Playdoughs | The Best Ideas for Kids

9. Leaf Stained Glass | Ginger Casa

10. Hand Print Tree | The Best Ideas for Kids

11. Fall Apple Cups | Reuse Grow Enjoy

12. Turkey Popup Craft | Moms and Crafters

13. Thanksgiving Handprint Pumpkin | Mom Always Finds Out

14. Handprinted Acorn Kitchen Towels | Creative Green Living 

Which craft idea are you excited to try first? Please let me know in the comments below!

These fall inspired crafts ideas for kids are super easy and fun to celebrate the season of Fall with your kids! #crafts #craftsforkids #kidsandparenting #activities #parenting #kidsThese Fall inspired crafts for kids are the perfect way to celebrate the Fall season and Thanksgiving. Click to get these easy and fun Fall crafts ideas for kids. #kids #Fall #kidsactivities #kidscrafts #diy

3 of the Best Subscription Boxes for Kids That’ll Feed Your Child’s Imagination!

activity based subscriptions for kids

Screen time can be a huge addiction for kids and a major struggle for parents including myself. Right now we are on the summer break and it’s increasingly challenging to find non-screen activities to keep my kids occupied and entertained.

I’m not the no-screen police and allow my kids time to watch TV or play on their tablets more during long school breaks than I do during the school year. However, I see a clear difference in my kids when they’ve spent too much time in front of a screen and I don’t like it.

activity based subscriptions for kids

So I set out to find alternatives to keep them entertained and happily dropping their devices. Sure, they do plenty of things like making slime, doing crafts, playing outside, and reading good books. Here’s my post for PerfectlyImperfectMama with plenty of idea inspiration.

Related: How to Painlessly End the Screen Time Struggles With Your Kids

I saw how these ideas worked so well and wanted to build on that creativity with some amazing resources that my kids love. Enter, subscription boxes for kids! Think of these little boxes of joy as a mom’s helper or done-for-you activities that you no longer need to plan out or pull together! That’s a win in my book.

Plus, I’ve found that I actually saved money because I wasn’t buying tons of full-sized crafting or kitchen supplies when they only needed a little bit for one project. With kits, you only pay for what you’ll need.

3 Amazing Subscription Boxes for Kids

Here are 3 activity based subscription boxes for kids that will have your kids forgetting about screen-time… for a little while at least!

1 – Kiwi Co Crates

I just can’t say enough about Kiwi Crates. I learned about these adorable little activity kits from another blogger and decided to try them out with my kids. I’m so glad I did!

They make Krates in all ages from babies up to age 13 or so. They specialize in imaginative play and science and STEM-focused projects. My first Crate was for my 3-year-old son to try it out. He loved it so much I was happy to keep the subscription going. Here he is opening his first one:

 This Crate was all about rainbows and there are 3 individual activities in one box plus an activity book to read with even more activities to try! And let’s talk about quality for a moment. I absolutely hate cheaply made products for kids!

Kiwi Co doesn’t make cheap stuff for sure. I was blown away by the quality of every element in the box and the high level of detail and care put into this product.

And guess what happened? I had to buy another subscription for my 8-year-old daughter. She got a Tinker Crate and was able to build her own tie-dye painting station. This was an actual machine with batteries and wires. I’ll be honest, I was intimidated to put it together thinking it was going to be too hard or we’d mess it up.Koala Crate Unboxing

Let me tell you, I had a full work day when it arrived and wasn’t able to work on it with her and we were going to work on it the day after. Well, my very excited child was too curious and took it to her room and spent the afternoon putting it together and actually completed it on her own! I was very impressed. She had a blast and her older sister could resist jumping in too. #sisterbondingwin!

This was definitely time and money well spent and something I could never have put together on my own.

To check out Kiwi Crates for your kids and save 30% off on your first month click here!

2 – BookRoo

BookRoo is a monthly book subscription service that sends carefully curated books to your child every month. What I love about this subscription service, in particular, is the care put into their shipping which makes such a difference.

When my son received his box I didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to see tissue paper was in the box and each book was wrapped in birthday-esc wrapping! He thought it was his birthday and that simple touch really added to the whimsical fun of receiving books in the mail.

And this book subscription service isn’t just for the little ones, they also have a chapter book selection too!

BookRoo subscription Unboxing

If you’re looking for a fun way to introduce amazing books to your children check out BookRoo here. 

3 – Little Passports

Little Passports is renowned and loved learning activity-based subscription service that takes your child on an adventure all around the world! Each month your child will learn about different and exciting parts of the world.

The goal is to fully immerse them into the culture and each month is a traveling adventure. Each new kit comes with a signature blue suitcase, a wall map, a passport, and a boarding pass for fun games. As they get a new kit each month, they’ll learn all about that part of the world and mark their map and passports with stickers for that region.

They also have science exploration kits for ages 9+ and kits to learn all about the USA.

Give the gift of Adventure!

Do you have a favorite subscription or even a favorite activity that your kids love doing instead of watching TV or playing on their tablet? We’d love to hear it so please leave your best tips in the comments below!

 

Tired of your kids having too much screen time? Try these 3 subscription activity boxes for kids! My kids love them and yours will too! #kidsandparenting #parenting #activities #kidscraftsThese kids craft and activity subscription boxes are my children's favorites. And your kids will love them too and happily ditch their TV and electronics! #learning #crafts #smartactivities #kids #kidsandparenting #parenting These subscription boxes for kids are the perfect cure for boredom and are sure to feed your child's imagination! #kidsandparenting #parenting101 #parentingtips These creative and engaging subscription boxes for kids will have your kids begging to play! #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #activities #reading #crafts #kids

19 Ingenious Ways to Save Money on Family Entertainment and Vacations

save money on family vacations and entertainment

Spending quality time with your family these days can seem like an extra bill that shows up every month. It’s expensive to take a family of five to the movies, out to eat, or even to the local events!

And planning for a family vacation can seem like a dream that may never become a reality. My family is on a tight budget right now and vacations honestly haven’t been a yearly thing for us. Some years, we just couldn’t afford it.

 

Creative ways to save money on family vacations and entertainment

In my opinion, this isn’t ideal. We need time off to rest, unwind, and reconnect as a family. Vacations and staycations are just the remedies for busy, tired, and worn-out families.

And in the meantime, sprinkled throughout the entire year, we need to have family date days. This could be anything from kicking the soccer ball around at the park to going to see the newest play in town.

To kick us off, I wanted to include my FREE checklist of 60 FREE Family Activity Ideas! These are super creative ideas you and easily use today to create more meaningful connections with your family.

Plus, they’re broken down by age group to make your date planning super simple!

Get your FREE Family Date Ideas Checklist here!

Let’s dive in with the following lists of resources to help you save money on your family’s entertainment and vacations.

Related: 7 Steps to Successfully Living on One Income & Staying Home with Your Kids

Related: How to Make Money: Side Hustle Ideas Perfect for Stay-at-Home Moms


How to Save Money on Family Entertainment

Saving Money Tip #1 

11 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment – Nerd Wallet

Saving Money Tip #2

The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money on Entertainment – The Budget Diet

Saving Money Tip #3

How to Save Money on Entertainment and Still Have Fun – USAToday

Saving Money Tip #4

103 Things to Do on a Money Free Weekend – The Simple Dollar

Saving Money Tip #5

47 Ways to Save Money on Vacation – Money Crashers

 

Saving Money Tip #6

How to Stick to Your Family’s Entertainment Budget – Rattles and Heels

Saving Money Tip #7

 How to Plan and Save for a Cheap Family Vacation – The Fun Sized Life

Saving Money Tip #8

 13 Expert Tips for Family Travel on a Budget – The Barefoot Nomad

Saving Money Tip #9

 7 Ways to Save Money on a Family Vacation to Mexico – Traveling Mom

Saving Money Tip #10

  7 Ways to Save Money for a Family Vacation – Wholly Happy Purse

Saving Money Tip #11

 12 Cheap Things to Do With the Kids This Easter – Love Money

Saving Money Tip #12

Family Fun Night Activities that Take Bonding to a Whole New Level – She Knows

Saving Money Tip #13

Boredom Busters: 110 Fun At-Home Activities for Families and Kids – Family Guide

Saving Money Tip #14

A Year of Family Dates – The Dating Divas

Saving Money Tip #15 

Tips for Traveling on a Tiny Budget – Tips for Family Trips

Saving Money Tip #16 

7 Cheap and Fun Family Vacation Ideas Your Family Will Love – Money Crashers

Saving Money Tip #17 

Best Affordable Family Vacation Destinations – US News

Saving Money Tip #18 

8 Family Budget Travel Ideas – Suburban Simplicity

Saving Money Tip # 19 

Affordable Family Vacations for Budget-Minded Bliss – Travel and Leisure


Looking to make extra cash on the side? Download the FREE Side Hustle Blueprint and start earning more income today!

I hope this roundup is everything you need to start planning, saving for, and creating wonderful memories as a family without the burden of finances getting in the way!

Let me know your favorite tips and how you plan to use them. Share in the comments below!

Family entertainment can be really expensive and saving for a family vacation can be very difficult for a family on a tight budget. Get 19 ingenious tips and tricks to plan and save for your family's entertainment and family dates!Save for family vacations