4th of July Craft Table

Are you hosting a 4th of July party or BBQ? Do you want to keep the children busy? Many children love to socialize, swim, and play various outdoor activities. Others may need a quiet space to relax. Setting up a crafting table is a great way to keep children entertained during a family event. If your party experiences rain, you will be prepared.

Ideas for a 4th of July Crafting Table

Children’s imagination is limitless. Setting up a variety of options will help keep children engaged. Use the 4th of July as a theme for your art and craft activities.

Painting Fireworks

Roll out long pieces of butcher paper or set out black poster boards. Supply red, white, and blue paint to create fireworks. When painting the fireworks, offer different options. Paint brushes, straws, pipe cleaners, and sponges create unique textures. The fireworks will look unique to each child’s preference.

Paint Rocks

Rock painting is a popular craft choice. Line a table with varying sizes of rocks. Supply paints and brushes. Allow the children to create their own personal masterpieces.

Paint Clay Planters

When preparing for your party, pick up some clay planters to paint. A planter is the perfect take-home item.

Tie-Dye Shirts

Older children and adults love to tie-dye t-shirts. Ask parents to bring white shirts or supply different sizes for everyone. Use a tie-dye kit or traditional dye to make the shirts. Supply rubber bands and marbles to help create designs. The shirt may turn into a lasting memory.

Beading

Red, white, and blue pony beads are an inexpensive way to create necklaces and bracelets. Stringing the beads in a variety of designs allows each child to create a unique jewelry accessory.

Collages

Using construction paper or poster board allow children to create collages. Set out different art supplies including:

  • Red, white, and blue paint
  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pom-pons
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Sequins
  • Pieces of material
  • Tissue paper

Drawing 

A craft table does not need to be elaborate for children to enjoy. Set out paper, crayons, markers, colored pencils. Children will use the materials to draw and create.

While engaging with others, a craft table is a great way for children to make art. Being able to take home a project instantly creates a memory of the event.

Happy 4th!

Celebrating UFO Day

Did you know July 2nd is World UFO Day? UFOs or Unidentified Flying Objects have been the subject of curiosity since the beginning of the recorded word. Whether you believe or not, celebrating World UFO Day is a great way to learn about unexplainable sights in the night sky.

Ways to Celebrate UFO Day

Celebrating UFO can be a way to bring family and friends together. Remember activities should be age appropriate for your children to enjoy.

Go to the Library

Some libraries are hosting special events to celebrate World UFO Day. Teen night, game night, reading groups, and other related activities may be a part of your local library’s events. Check your library’s social media page or website for details.

Even if your library is not hosting a UFO event, find a book to read. UFOs and aliens have been the subject to many storylines. Do not hesitate to ask your librarian for suggestions.

Write a UFO Story

Write a story about viewing a UFO. Or ask your children to tell you a story about UFOs and aliens. Writing down their words may result in a memorable tale.

UFO Crafts

Spend the afternoon making UFO crafts. The crafts do not need to be complex. For example, paper plates glued together make a perfect base for a UFO. Decorate the UFO with different types of art mediums including:

  • Paint
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Glitter
  • Stickers
  • Macaroni
  • Pom-pons
  • Jewels

The type of UFO creation is only limited by your imagination.

If you want to do make a more involved project, build the solar system.

UFO Treats

UFO or alien themed treats are a perfect snack. A cake or cupcake can be your starting point for UFO treats. Or a cookie decorated with MM”s can easily transform into a UFO. The treats are a perfect addition to a movie or game night.

Movie Night

From 1950’s classics to modern cinematic blockbusters, watching  UFO or alien-themed movies is another way to celebrate World UFO Day.

Movie and television ideas include:

  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Men In Black
  • Aliens
  • Pacific Rim
  • Iron Giant
  • Signs
  • Doctor Who
  • Roswell, New Mexico
  • E.T.
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • War of the World
  • Thing from Another World

Host a Stargazing Party

Gather your friends and family members together for a night of stargazing. Spread out blankets, lay back, and look at the stars. You may not see a UFO but the night sky has other amazing sights to view.

Creating Traditions for the Holiday Season

Are you looking to start a new family or friends’ Christmas tradition? From volunteering to outdoor fun, creating new traditions is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Call a family meeting or text your friends to find your next tradition. Who knows maybe you will find more than one.

Ideas for Creating New Traditions for the Christmas Season

Before starting a new tradition, ask your friends or family members’ input. Use the following ideas as inspiration to find the perfect new tradition for the Christmas season.

Family Night or Friend Gatherings

Work, school, and other commitments take up a lot of your valuable time. Making the time to spend with family and friends is important to your well-being.

  • Board game night
  • Make homemade hot cocoa
  • Christmas movie night
  • Host a Christmas craft day
  • Christmas cartoon movie night
  • Dress up and go out to eat at a fancy restaurant
  • Bake cookies and other goodies
  • Make homemade ornaments
  • Make Christmas crafts
  • Pack some snacks and go look for Christmas light displays

Volunteer

Giving back to your community is a wonderful contribution at Christmas.

  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen or other community non-profit organizations
  • Adopt a Family in need
  • Visit a nursing home
  • Collect can goods and other non-perishable items for a local food pantry
  • Buy toys for community programs

Attend Community Events

Search your city’s website or other hosting pages to find different Christmas themed events in your area. Along with community events, churches offer a wide array of Christmas concerts, plays, pageants, and other activities. Even if you are not a member, most events are free or require a minimum donation to attend.

  • Attend a live Nativity
  • Go to a community Christmas concert
  • Go to Christmas church service or midnight mass
  • Attend a Santa Parade
  • Attend a tree lighting ceremony
  • Go to a Festival of Trees event

Host a Holiday Party     

Hosting a holiday party is a great way to gather friends and family under one roof.

  • An Ugly Sweater Party
  • A Harry Potter themed Christmas Party/Yule Ball
  • A birthday celebration for Jesus
  • Christmas party for your children and their friends
  • Ornament swap party
  • A Grinch themed party
  • A Christmas tea

Go Outdoors

Being outdoors allows you and your loved ones a chance to get away of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

  • Go sledding
  • Go skiing
  • Go hiking

Gathering friends and family together is part of the Christmas season. Creating new traditions or expanding on old ones provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy activities year after year.

25 Days of Celebrating Christmas

The 1st of December means the holiday season is officially here. Celebrating 25 Days of Christmas is the perfect way to ring in the festivities. Gather your family and friends for a memorable Christmas time.

Ideas for Celebrating the 25 Days of Christmas

  1. Put up Christmas tree and other holiday decorations
  2. Address and send out Christmas cards
  3. Go to the local bookstore or library for holiday books
  4. Start a new tradition and make homemade Christmas ornaments (Pinterest is a great resource for finding ideas)
  5. Try a new holiday-themed recipe
  6. Attend a local Christmas concert or play
  7. Get a professional Christmas portrait done
  8. Host a Christmas party for your family or friends
  9. Host a Sunday Christmas Tea
  10. Attend a live nativity
  11. Go caroling
  12. Build a snowman/go sledding
  13. Write letters to Santa
  14. Volunteer your time/donate to a toy charity
  15. Host a Christmas themed craft day
  16. Ride around and look at Christmas lights
  17. Visit Santa
  18. Make gingerbread houses
  19. Christmas themed movie night
  20. Fill Christmas stockings or baskets to hand out to friends, family, or neighbors
  21. Celebrate the 1st day of winter, make cut out snowflakes to decorate windows
  22. Bake Christmas cookies
  23. Host a family or friends’ night with games and other activities
  24. Celebrate Christmas Eve
  25. Christmas Day dinner with family and friend

Planning and hosting different events is a great way to celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends.

Tips for Throwing a Last Minute Halloween Party for Kids

Are you considering hosting a Halloween party for your kids? Do you fear you do not have enough time to plan one? Kids like dressing up and being with friends on Halloween. A last-minute Halloween party for kids is simple with a little planning. Grab your favorite pen to begin making a list.

Invites

Mailing invites at this time may not be the best option. Thankfully, advanced technology provides alternatives for last minute Halloween party invites.

  • Call: A quick phone call explaining the last minute idea is a great way to include everyone on your list.
  • Text: Send out a text with all the details of the party.
  • Email: Sending invites via email results in instant deliver.
  • Social Media: Millions of people log into social media accounts every day. Facebook provides the option of creating event pages which are perfect for last minute invites. Or take advantage of the group option. Forming a group for an event is perfect for communicating with other parents. Providing security, users may set the privacy setting to closed or secret.

Menu

Create a food and beverage list. The list does not need to be extensive. Cake and ice cream are always two favorites among children.

  • Create a Sundae Bar: Set out bowls of different flavor ice creams or sherbet (for children who cannot have milk products). With adult supervision, allow children to add toppings including candy pumpkins, gummy worms, marshmallow ghosts, chocolate or caramel toppings.
  • Chips: Provide different varieties including plain, BBQ or cheddar.
  • Popcorn: Set out small bags of popcorn mixed with candy corn, pumpkins, or chocolate pieces.

If you set up a Facebook group, post a comment asking parents about food allergies. Provide alternatives to the main choices.

Many parents will ask to bring a snack or other type of party treat. When you keep all the information in one place, you will be able to keep track of the types of snacks or treats being brought to the Halloween party.

Decorations

Do not spend a large portion of your Halloween party budget on decorations.

  • Local Dollar Stores: Dollar stores are a great place to find decorations for lower costs. Make the Halloween party more festive by adding cobwebs, hanging bats, skeletons, witches and pumpkins.
  • Thrift Stores: Many people donate unused Halloween items to local thrift stores. Helping you save money, the slightly used decorations come at a reduced price.
  • Make Your Own: Creating your own Halloween decorations is perfect for family fun. Consider the endless possibilities including stuffing old clothing for a scarecrow, ghosts from white sheets, use poster board for signs, and more.

Activities

Offering a variety of activities or games is a great way to keep children engaged at your Halloween party.

  • Games: Finding the perfect Halloween themed games will depend on the ages of the children. Examples include creating a scavenger hunt, Halloween bingo, Pumpkin piñata, Lollipop ghost hunt, and more.
  • Craft Table: Setting up a Halloween craft table provides children the opportunity to make individual items to take home. For example, pumpkins, pumpkin-shaped gourds or Styrofoam pumpkins are ideal for decorating with googly eyes, yarn, sequins, glitter, buttons, markers or paint.
  • Trick-or-Treating: If your party falls on Halloween, take a walk around the block to participate in trick-or-treating at nearby homes.
  • Haunted Houses: If you have older children, visiting the local haunted house provides scares and memories.

Photos

In the years to come, photos will provide you with the opportunity to remember the past.

  • Party Photos: Ask someone to take photos throughout the party.
  • Photo Backdrop and Props: Design an area just for fun photos. Encourage selfies. Add a box of props to help encourage imagination.
  • Group Photo: Prior to the kids (and adults) leaving take a group photo.

If you created a Facebook group, sharing the photos with guests is simple. For extra fun, after the Halloween party, provide each child with a printed group photo.

Throwing a Halloween party is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday. Simple gatherings will create lasting memories for your family and the rest of the party guests. As the children start to head home, hand them a loot bag filled with Halloween surprises.

31 Ideas for October Fun

October weather often brings cool crisp days. The changing weather may not always be agreeable. Cold rainy days may keep you indoors. Sunny days may be perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Staying indoors or grabbing your favorite hoodie to head outside, October is the perfect month to try new things.

  1. Decorate for Halloween
  2. Host a Halloween themed craft day
  3. Plan and make your own Halloween costume
  4. Make and send Halloween cards (your mom or grandma will thank you)
  5. Have a family game night and serve Halloween related snacks (Monster cookies, anyone?)
  6. Attend a pumpkin weigh-off competition
  7. Go hiking or take a nature walk
  8. Go to a haunted house
  9. Go on a ghost tour
  10. Host a bonfire (make S’Mores)
  11. Pick fresh apples at the local orchard
  12. Go to the library or bookstore for Halloween themed books
  13. Drive or take a walk to view the different Halloween decorations
  14. Visit your local pumpkin patch
  15. Roast pumpkin seeds
  16. Attend a local Octoberfest
  17. Host a Halloween cartoon or family-friendly movie night
  18. Make Halloween cookies
  19. Bob for apples
  20. Host a classic monster movie night (Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy)
  21. Drink hot cocoa, pumpkin spiced latte, or mulled apple cider on a cold October night
  22. Make Halloween themed gingerbread houses
  23. Make pumpkin bread
  24. Crave or paint pumpkins
  25. Host a Halloween themed photo session (the kids will enjoy testing out their new costumes)
  26. Host a scary movie night for adults
  27. Tell or write a ghost story
  28. Make popcorn balls
  29. Attend a Halloween parade
  30. Throw a Halloween party
  31. Go trick-or-treating

Enjoy the small celebrations, the memories will last a lifetime.

25 Fun Fall Activities

Fall brings changing leaves, cooler temperatures, and football. Enjoying the simple pleasures with your family and friends, celebrate life.

25 Fall Activities

  1. Go to a homecoming football game/attend the parade and other related events
  2. Go tailgating
  3. Host a fall themed craft day
  4. Decorate for fall
  5. Go on a color tour/photograph the spectacular changing fall leaves
  6. Have a bonfire
  7. Watch apple cider being made
  8. Drink apple cider/eat apple cider donuts
  9. Go outside and jump in a pile of leaves
  10. Go hiking
  11. Collect pinecones for crafts
  12. Bake an apple pie from freshly picked apples
  13. Play football in your backyard or at the park
  14. Go to your local farmer’s market
  15. Go to the library or bookstore to find books about fall
  16. Spend a day reading; wrap yourself in a warm blanket
  17. Burn fall scented candles
  18. Make caramel apples
  19. Go on a hayride
  20. Host a fall tea
  21. Enjoy a fall picnic
  22. Make homemade soup on a cool day (use fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market)
  23. Attend a fall festival or street fair
  24. Host a movie night
  25. Make a scarecrow

 

Going Back to Hogwarts

“Whether you come back by page or big screen,

Hogwarts will always be there to

welcome you home”

~J.K. Rowling

For fans of the beloved J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, September 1st represents going back to Hogwarts. Celebrating the return to Hogwarts can be fun with the following activities for you, your family and friends to enjoy.

Host a Craft and Activity Day

Gather your family or friends and enjoy a craft day. Creating Harry Potter inspired crafts is easy with the help of Pinterest or Internet search.

Searching for activities, you can make a wide range of crafts including:

Make a wand with wooden craft sticks, hot glue, and paint.
  • Make a wand
  • Holiday ornaments
  • Coloring pages
  • Owl crafts
  • Create potions
  • Suncatchers

    Melt pony beads on old pizza pans to create large Harry Potter inspired sun catchers.

Harry Potter Inspired Recipes

Create a Harry Potter inspired meal, beverage, or snack. Search Pinterest, some of the recipes include:

  • Butterbeer
  • Pumpkin Pasties
  • Pumpkin Juice
  • Chocolate Frogs

Listen or Read Harry Potter

Simply spend the day relaxing. Spending a day immersed in the Wizarding World, listen or read your favorite Harry Potter book.

Host a Movie Marathon

Call your friends to watch your favorite Harry Potter movie or host a family movie marathon.

For Harry Potter fans, celebrating the day is like visiting an old friend. Consider doing one or combination of activities to enjoy the day.

Boredom Busters: Creating a Summer Bucket List

School’s out! Now, what is the first thing you hear –“I’m bored.” Consider creating a summer bucket list with your children to help chase away the boredom. Keep in mind, the list should be ideas you are willing or able to do.

Creating the Bucket List

Make the summer bucket list a family project. Use a notebook or purchase a poster board to write out your ideas. Consider using a different colored marker for each child. Allow each family member to come up with different activities. Of course, younger children may need help with the writing part of the project.

Summer Bucket List Ideas

Summer bucket lists can be simple everyday items to planned vacation adventures. The choice is up to you.

  • Have a bonfire
  • Make S’mores
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Go to the zoo
  • Ride in a canoe
  • Have a slumber party
  • Get an ice cream cone
  • Go hiking
  • Have a pool party
  • Sleep in a tent
  • Listen to music in the park
  • Go to an amusement park
  • Go to the library
  • Volunteer
  • Ride a roller coaster
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Go skateboarding
  • Make root beer floats
  • Bake cookies
  • Paint rocks
  • Have an arts and crafts day
  • Have a Harry Potter movie marathon
  • Pick strawberries
  • Go to a lake
  • Go for a walk
  • Make art with sidewalk chalk
  • Go swimming
  • Visit grandma and grandpa
  • Day road trips
  • Visit an art gallery
  • Go to a museum
  • Go to a sporting event
  • Go to a splash park
  • Go to a fair or festival
  • Make homemade popsicles
  • Make a fort
  • Go fishing
  • Go to petting zoo or local farm
  • Have a family game night
  • Cook a meal together
  • Take swimming lessons

If you are uncertain on the type of activities, become a tourist in your town or surrounding towns. Use an Internet search. Local activities often get overlooked. Providing you a chance to join in on the fun on a weekly basis, community activities are free or minimal costs to participate.

End of the School Year Celebration Ideas

Time marches by quickly. Embrace the daily triumphs. Ending a school year is a milestone in your child’s life. Not to mention, you deserve recognition for last minute school snacks, homework help, field trips, and on some days simply getting your child to school on time.

As the last day of school arrives, take the time to celebrate. Scheduling conflicts may not allow your celebration to occur exactly on the last day, still take the time to recognize the accomplishment. The celebration can be a simple family dinner with a special dessert to a large party with your child’s friends.

End of the School Year Party Ideas

If you are uncertain how to celebrate, ask your child for input. Often your child’s idea may be something you would have never thought about as a fun way to celebrate. Or you can consider any of the following:

  • Special family dinner
  • Family game night
  • Trip to the local bookstore to purchase books for summer reading
  • Backyard BBQ
  • Pool party (if the weather permits)
  • Backyard beach party
  • Harry Potter theme party
  • Comic book, princess or other theme party
  • End of the school year theme party
  • Trip to the local ice cream shop
  • Dinner out at your child’s favorite restaurant
  • Pizza party
  • Video game night
  • Arts and crafts party
  • Outdoor games party
  • Trip to the park, zoo or other local attraction
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Movie night
  • Picnic in the park or your own backyard
  • Attend a major or minor league baseball game or other sporting events
  • Water balloon “fight” or other water-related activities

The possibilities on how to celebrate the end of a school year are endless. Surprisingly, a simple ice cream pie to celebrate the end of the school year may easily become a lasting memory.

Editor’s note: This blog is an updated version from one on my other site.

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: