Friday, April 24, 2015

Printable Farm Play Mat

The traveling with kids fun continues today with this darling Farm Play Mat. This is the perfect printable for your next road trip. Simply print it and bring along the little animals you already have laying around your house and you have an electronic free activity to keep the kids busy. 

You will need: 
  • The Printable found here 
  • A laminator and laminating Sheets 
  • a binder pouch to keep the creatures in
  • small farm animals 
  • magnet tape for the back of the play mat
  • cookie sheet to play on (I bought mine at the dollar store)

Print the printable on a sturdy card stock, you don't have to, but I laminate them for extra durabilty. . Add a couple of magnets to the back of the play mat to keep it from sliding around on the cookie sheet during play. I used magnetic tape because it lays so flat against the play mat.  You can use an old cookie sheet, but I found that the cookie sheets at the dollar store are actually the perfect size for regular size piece of paper. I bought a dollar cookie sheet and then spray painted it turquoise, while the paint was still wet, I threw pink glitter on the cookie sheet. 

You will want small farm animals to play with on this mat, I found some at my local Kroger. They actually had quite a few different animal play sets in their small toy section. The farm animal set had cows, sheep, horses and a few more varieties of farm animals. 

You can find my Road Trip Sanity Savers here, My Ocean Play Mat here, and my Car Play Mat here.

Have you ever made play mats before?
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Printable Ocean Play Mat

If you liked the Car Play Mat that I shared yesterday, then you are going to love this Ocean Play Mat. This fun play mat is perfect for all of those under the sea creatures. Sized to print on a 8.5 x 11 piece of cardstock, you can print this play mat on your home computer for fast fun. 

You will need: 
  • The Printable found here 
  • A laminator and laminating Sheets 
  • a binder pouch to keep the creatures in
  • ocean creatures
  • magnet tape for the back of the play mat
  • cookie sheet to play on (I bought mine at the dollar store)
Print the printable on a sturdy cardstock and then laminate for increased durability. Add a couple of magnets to the back of the play mat to keep it from sliding around on the cookie sheet during play. You can use an old cookie sheet, but I found that the cookie sheets at the dollar store are actually the perfect size for regular size piece of paper. I bought a dollar cookie sheet and then spray painted it turquoise for a fun touch. 

You will want small ocean creatures to play with on this mat, I found some at my local party story and in the toy section of my local Kroger store. The sets from both stores were very similar and had sharks, dolphins. lobsters and other various sea life. 

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my traveling with kids series. What do you do to keep your kids entertained in the car? 
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Travel Car Play Mat

After my first traveling with kids post, the wheels in my brain kept turning and I ended up begging my graphic designer husband to make a bunch of play mats for the car. This darling play mat prints perfectly on 8.5 x 11 paper so there is no running out to get it printed. 

You will need: 
  • The Print Out found here 
  • A Laminator and Laminating Sheets 
  • a binder pouch to keep the cars in
  • cars
  • magnet tape for the back of the play mat
  • cookie sheet to play on (I bought mine at the dollar store)

Several years ago, I bought my on laminator and I LOVE it. It made this project so easy and much faster than if I had to keep running to an office supply store to have things laminated. If you don't have a laminator most office supply stores can laminate for you same day. 

My daughter had so much fun testing this play mat out for me. She loved driving the cars all over and making them have stops at the different buildings.  I found a package of cars at the dollar store, but the roads are the perfect size for all of the matchbox cars you have on hand. 
 I used the same cookie sheet as the first post. It is the perfect size for a regular sized piece of paper. This play set is so easy to make! Check back for some more awesome play mats coming this week.

How do you keep your kids entertained in the car?
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Road Trip Sanity Savers

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Tree Top, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TreeTopInc #raisinggoodapples

Summer and road trip season is almost upon us and my family absolutely can't wait. Fifteen hours in the car with two kids isn't my favorite way to start a vacation, so I have put together a box of fun activities to hopefully keep the "Are we there yets," to a minimum.

I have found in the car, it is nice to for kids to have a tray. This gives them a place to play and eat. I used a cookie sheet so I could make all of the games magnetic, allowing them to stick to the cookie sheet and not fly all over the place. I bought my cookie sheet at the dollar store and then spray painted it turquoise. While it was still wet I sprinkled glitter all over it for a fun flair.

My first road trip activity is probably one of my daughter's favorites. She loves that you can build just about anything with these Popsicle sticks. She loves to make barns and fences for her animals.

 To Make Building Sticks You Will Need:

  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Sticky Magnets or Magnets and Glue
  • Zipper Binder Pouch 

These are really fast and easy to make, especially if you use magnetic tape. Make sure to put a small piece at both the top and bottom of each stick so your child's creations don't slide around on the tray.

I bought zipper binder pouches for each activity and labeled each one with letter stickers. That way they are easy to find and don't get mixed up. You could place all of the binder pouches in a large binder if you want, but we find a basket works perfectly on road trips.

We absolutely love doing puzzles in our house, but typically they aren't a good in-the-car activity. Simply add a magnet to the back of each piece and you suddenly have the perfect on-the-go puzzle.

 You will need for a magnetic puzzle: 

  • A puzzle small enough to fit on the cookie sheet
  • Sticky Magnets (or Magnets and Glue)
  • Zipper Binder Pouch 

I found my puzzle at the dollar store where they had a wide selection of all types of puzzles. I thought a map was the perfect puzzle for a road trip.

I don't know about your kids, but drawing can keep my daughter busy for hours. A simple chalkboard with chalk and a scrap of flannel fabric is the perfect way to keep her entertained.

 For a Magnetic Chalkboard You Will Need: 

  • a small chalkboard
  • chalk
  • a piece of flannel to be used as an eraser
  • magnets
Add magnets to the back of your chalkboard and you are good to go. Before you let your kids draw on the chalkboard, make sure to prime it by rubbing a piece of chalk all over the board and then wiping it clean. 

My girls are so excited for our next road trip and I think this kit, along with other magnetic printables I will be sharing soon are going to be the perfect way to keep them occupied for the long drive.

I don't know about your kids, but if I gave my kids all the snacks for the entire drive they would have them eaten in about 10 minutes. Making these cute boxes out of wipes containers is the perfect way to ration out the snacks, and if you make one for each kid, it is a perfect way to keep fighting to a minimum since everyone has the same amount of each thing.

For a Snack Box You Will Need: 

  • a wipes container
  • scrapbook paper
  • scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • letter stickers 

First, remove the labels from the container. I let my container soak in water for a couple of hours before I removed the labels and it made them much easier to peel off. Cut your scrapbook paper to fit the sides of your container and then secure them down with a layer of Mod Podge. Finish the paper off with a layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it. Add your child's name to the top of the box to personalize it for each child.

I filled container with easy on-the-go snacks, like graham crackers, raisins and Tree Top Applesauce Pouches that I found at my local Kroger. My girls absolutely love Tree Top Apple Sauce pouches and I love that they are virtually mess free and are a healthy, simple snack. They are the number one snack in our house and perfect for the car. No spoon required and even my 1-year-old can eat them without spilling.

While Tree Top Applesauce pouches are the perfect road trip snack, we eat them on almost a daily basis in our house. I love knowing that my kids are getting a high quality, nutritious snack and they love the taste and my 1-year-old loves being allowed to feed herself.

For more than 50 years Tree Top, a grower-owned co-op, has delivered high-quality juices, sauces and smoothies. In effort to bring awareness to “Raising Good Apples”, Tree Top is partnering with the National Gardening Association’s to help educate kids on gardening. For every box of Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches purchased through May 31, Tree Top will donate $1 to help to help build and grow youth gardens.

Win a Kids Gardening Kit

To help get your kids excited about gardening, Tree Top is giving away a kids gardening kit that includes: My Gardening Journal”, Red Tubrug pail, Kids gardening gloves, Watering can, Soft touch hand tool set, Favorite Five Sprouting seeds, and Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Perfect Soccer Treat: Butterfly Snack Bags

  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SidelineHero #CollectiveBias
During soccer season, we eat, breathe and sleep soccer. We play games a couple times a week with the team and then we spend time as a family practicing outside of practice. I never thought I would be a soccer mom, the parent cheering for my child on the sideline, but it has come pretty naturally. Soccer teaches kids to strive for personal excellence and excellence as a team, it is one of the best things we have ever done for our child. 

In our league, the parents split up the schedule, each taking a day to bring treats for the team after the game. When it is my turn, I love to bring fresh fruit and POWERADE®, the kids need good calories to replace the ones they just burned. When I first started bringing fruit, my daughter complained that my treats were boring compared to the ones the other kids brought, so I started making these fun butterflies and now she thinks the fresh fruit is better than the sugary snacks. 

You will need:

  • Clothes Pins
  • Snack Sized Plastic Bags
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Glue
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Grapes (There is a $1 off fresh produce coupon on select POWERADE® Team Packs)
  • Clementines 
  • POWERADE® Team Packs 

If you are in a hurry, you could make these butterflies without the scrapbook paper, but I love the finished look they have when you cover the clothespins. First lay a clothespin with the flat side down on the paper. Cut around the clothespin. Repeat for all of the additional clothespins. Glue the Scrapbook paper onto the clothespins and seal them with another layer of glue on top of the paper.
Allow your clothespins to dry. Cut all all of the pipe cleaners in half. Fold the halves into half again, and then bend the ends out to resemble antennae.
Fill the two corners of your snack bags with fresh fruit. I put 7-8 grapes on one side and then half to three-fourths of a peeled clementine on the other side.
Seal the bags and let out all of the air. Twist them in the middle and then slide the clothespin in the middle. Add the antenna to the clip to complete the little butterflies.
I love that I am able to make eating fresh fruit fun with these butterflies and there is always a collective cheer when I show up with a case of POWERADE® at a soccer game. The kids love it and I love that the ION4® Advanced Electrolyte System helps replenish four electrolytes lost in sweat: sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. 
POWERADE® makes team packs, 12 ounce bottles that are perfect for your kid's team and right now there is a coupon on select packages that will give you $1 off fresh produce when you buy two Team Packs, so you can make the perfect sideline snack. 
What kinds of snacks do you have on the sidelines of your kids games?
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Backyard Fairy Garden

Ever since we watched the Tinkerbell movie that featured a fairy house, it is pretty much all my daughter has talked about. She has begged and begged for a fairy garden in our backyard and I have spent time finding just the right elements. The biggest thing for me was finding a container that would work, we tried flower pots before and most of them were just way too small for what we wanted to create. I found this crate with a flower arrangement in it at a thrift store and knew it was perfect for what we needed. 

We used for our fairy garden:

  • Crate 
  • Filler for the crate
  • Moss
  • Tiny rocks
  • miniatures 
Fill your container with your filler items. Pebbles work really well because they will allow any moisture to drain. You want to fill the crate to about half an inch from the top. Lay a layer of moss down on your filler. If you want to create a little river bed, lay your tiny rocks down to form it. Then add your miniatures. We used a bridge over the rock bed, little pots on little logs, a rocking chair, a banner and of course a little fairy. 
What would you include in your fairy garden? 
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Mother's Day Giveaway! $500 in Giftcards!

Welcome to the Make it Easy for Mom this Mother's Day Giveaway, generously sponsored by Medi-Pals!
Do you struggle with giving your child medication or vitamins? Medi-Pals medication dispensers are going to make your life so much easier! Medi-Pals dispensers are available in 3 whimsical characters that are familiar for your child, easy for the caregiver to use, and most importantly, ensure that the child is always getting the accurate dosage of medicine.
Key benefits of Medi-Pals pacifier medicine dispensers:
  • They're softer than a straight syringe, and the syringe sits snugly in the nipple, so no medicine gets lost or stuck to the sides.
  • They're accurate - the caregiver is in complete control of dosage.
  • The diverter on the pacifier nipple fans the medicine to the sides, not straight to the back of the child's throat, so that the child won't gag and spit the medicine out.
  • They're reusable, dishwasher-safe, and easy to clean.
  • The pacifier and faceplate are easy to put together and take apart. You can even change faceplates!
  • They work with more than just oral vitamins, pain relievers, and oral antibiotics - it can also be used with baby food or even honey. If you can get it into the syringe, it will work.
  • They're made in the USA!
Make sure you check out Thrifty Nifty Mommy's full review the Medi-Pals medication dispensers, and check out her video review of Medi-Pals to see these dispensers in action with an infant and a toddler.

To make mom's life a little easier this Mother's Day, we've put together a FABULOUS prize package - all sponsored by the generous people at Medi-Pals -
This prize package is valued at over $500 and includes:
  • (2) Medi-Pals dispensers: Freddie the Frog and Lilly the Ladybug so mom can give medication or vitamins easily.
  • $150 in CASH so mom can get whatever she likes!
  • (1) $100 Target Gift Card so mom can buy some favorite snacks, new accessories, or housewares.
  • (1) $100 Kohl's Gift Card so mom can get a new outfit.
  • (1) $50 Starbucks Gift Card so mom can get a little treat.
  • (1) $50 Bath and Body Works Gift Card so mom can pamper herself.
  • (1) $50 Outback Gift Card so mom doesn't have to cook on her special day.
  • (1) Mommy Hook to make strolling with bags or groceries a breeze.
You can get your own Medi-Pals on Amazon right now!
Open to the continental US only, ages 18 and up. Ends 5/1/15 at 11:59 PM EST. Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good Luck!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Medi-Pals. The participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. One winner will be randomly selected using the Giveaway Tools random selector and notified via email by the hosts of this giveaway, Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro. Once notified, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google. Void where prohibited. Amazon links are affiliate links (if applicable) and images are attributed to Amazon. post signature
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