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Fun & Easy Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Be Active Year Round

Are you looking for fun and easy ways to encourage your kids to be active this summer and beyond?! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad, shares some simple ideas you can use at home (and on the go) to get the kids moving this year. Take a look..

encourage your kids to be active all year round

Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Be Active Year Round

As a parent, you always wonder about your kids. Are they sleeping enough? Eating enough? Playing or laughing enough? It’s a constant cycle of questions that circulate your head space everyday.

When I look at my kids, I see them living a life that I always wanted. Not like a stage mom kinda life, but one full of friends, happiness and healthy habits. I have blogged about my life growing up and how it wasn’t the healthiest and how I wish someone would have guided me down a healthier path as a child instead of an adult. So I strive to make sure that my kids are eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise so ensure that they will live happier and healthier lives as they grow. Try to remember, while you’re encouraging your kids to be active, that they’re not adults and they’re not in boot camp. Making sure that they’re having fun is always the key to keeping them active.

Here are some easy ways to get them moving:

#1 Sports

Obviously this is a no-brainer but sports is not only limited to soccer or basketball – There are many, many other things that your little ones can do. Try putting your kiddo in dance or gymnastics. These activities also require a lot of muscle movement and, of course, they are fun!

#2 Hiking

A simple family outing is my favorite! Enjoying nature and each other’s company not only gets you moving but it also builds that family bond!

#3 Exercise

As a family, my kiddos and I go on jogs in the morning and occasionally they participate in a few fun circuits with me. My kids love going to the gym as well but it can be a little difficult for two of them since the equipment they want to use is so big.

#4 School Yard Games

Games like tag, kickball and all those fun activities are great! They are running, laughing and of course, throwing in a little friendly competition.

#5 Swimming

Swimming is a great way to keep your kids active. For one, they just think they are having fun in the pool (which they are) but they are actually doing forms of resistance training. The pool was my favorite way to exercise during the last few weeks of my pregnancy.

#6 Stairs

Simply taking the stairs when you are at places like the mall or library is an easy way to add a little extra cardio. We live on the 7th floor so we rarely take the stairs at home. But when we visit the library we almost ALWAYS take the stairs. The kids love to see who can get to the top first!

#7 Biking

Riding bikes always seems to be one of the kids favorites! They can ride for hours and not think a thing about it. Again, it is great for muscles and balance as well.

#8 Parks

This is what they are made for! Running, climbing, swinging and all that jazz. Find a great park that “grows with your kid”, meaning they have different levels for different ages is a great way to keep them busy. Don’t forget to bring water and band-aids. There are usually a few scrapes that come  along!

#9 Skating

Ice in the winter and roller all year round! Ice skating takes a lot of muscles to balance yourself. Not to mention you are having fun listening to music too!

I hope these were some easy tips on how  you can keep your kiddos active all year round!

From iFamily to Yours,

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How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box

Hello, Kansas City! Emotions can be tough to navigate, and even harder for kiddos. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah, shares some tidbits of a rough patch in her and her son’s life, and what they did to cope. They opted for simplicity with a Calm Down box. Take a look!

 How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box

How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a
Calm Down Box

Several months ago I was looking back through some old photos and was brought back to the photo below.

How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box

The photo served as a bitter sweet memory….. it reminded me of when my son and I became just the two of us and no longer the three of us. This was a very hard time for the all of us… he lost his comfort, his familiarity of having both parents under the same roof, his routine, his home, and feeling of being a family unit. His whole world was torn apart without his say so.
For the first time ever he had to deal with adult emotions within himself, yet was still only a child.
I attempted to create a place for him to feel comfortable talking, expressing emotions, and being able to be heard. He attended weekly check-ins with the school counselor, went to a divorce support group, had very supportive grandparents and aunts and uncles, and his father was amazing with communicating with him. Yet, he was still struggling with a web of confusing emotions.

Who could blame him?

I wanted to let him know he was not alone. None of us wanted this, and we would still be a family — just a different family then what he was used to. I spent hours thinking of what I could do to create a safe place for him to express himself. We lived in a very small apartment, so I knew space was an issue. However, I knew this was a necessity for his emotional well-being.

While I was attempting to find a solution I remember my favorite childhood hiding place was my closet.
The moment I thought of that it was as if a light bulb went off….. so just like that we created his Calm Down /Chill out closet. I put a little art table in there and then took him on a “Calm Down Mission”.

We spent the day finding things here and there that made him feel calm, safe, understood, and loved. We had so much fun together. I wanted him to know that emotions are normal… it is okay to be pissed off, to cry, to be angry, and not understand why things are happening.

He went into store after store, finding things to put in his “calm place.” We returned home with smiles on our faces and a memory that would last us forever. We both agreed that all of the items we bought would be strictly for his calm down space. They could only be used when he felt frustrated, angry, sad, etc. They were not meant for everyday use. He did a great job at sticking to this.

How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box
We also agreed that he could access his calm down place on his own at any time (no explanation needed).
After all, this was his place to escape not mine. He absolutely loved this idea. He used this “safety zone” for over a year. We added things here and there… but for the most part his comfort items remained the same.
I am so glad that we created something that allowed him to feel but more importantly allowed him to heal.

If you are thinking of creating a “Calm Down Space” or “Calm Down Box” for your child I highly encourage you to make it with them. Remind yourself this is for their comfort, emotional health, and for THEM to come to terms with things. This is not for you to pick a part. Let them be in control. Trust me, that in itself will help them heal.

Here is what my son put in his calm down box…

How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box

• Bubbles
• Puzzles
• “I Spy Book”
• Scratch and Sniff stickers
• Stress balls
• Blank journal
• Colored pencils
• Special writing pen
• Silly putty
• A pin wheel
• Doodle books
• Activity books
• Framed Family picture
• Family photo album ( mostly of pictures of us laughing and having fun)
• Blank index cards

I am looking forward to hearing what you and your children come up with! Here’s to building happy and healthy hearts through one family at a time! Connect with me on Facebook for inspirational posts over at Living Life With Leah.
From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 


April Showers? Fun For Hours: 10 Rainy Day Activities

Happy Friday, Kansas City! Although we’re about 2 weeks into spring — it hasn’t feel very springlike lately. With rain in the forecast this next week, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, brings you 10 fun rainy day activities while you wait out the storm. Take a look…

 

April Showers? Fun For Hours: 10 Rainy Day Activities

 

Don’t let those dreary, rainy days of April drag you and your family down! There are plenty of creative ways to enjoy each other’s company indoors without losing your minds. Here are 10 ways to keep the crew entertained on those less than desirable weather days! Be sure to let us know in the comments how your family spends rainy days!

 

#1 Play board games

Here are some awesome board game ideas from fellow Mom Squad blogger, Brigette!

 

#2 Build forts

I recently spotted some fort building kits on Amazon but you could just get creative with the kitchen table and chairs, some blankets and some clothespins! Last summer, we stayed inside during a super hot day and built an air fort! It was fantastic! We taped a bed sheet to the floor with heavy packing tape and taped other end of the sheet to a box fan. It was a huge hit with my kids, ages 2 and 7!

 

#3 Read!

Reading is so important for kids and it can be so fun! Build your home library for those rainy days by shopping for books at garage sales, thrift stores and consignment sales. Take turns reading aloud to your kids and having them read aloud to you. If you are into reading on electronic devices, you can check out adult and children’s books through Mid-Continent Public Library without leaving your home!

 

#4 Dance Party

We have an under the counter radio in the kitchen and it is the best thing ever! We would turn up the music and turn the kitchen floor into a dance floor! You could even have a dance contest and take turns with the kids and parents being judges!

 

#5 Science Experiments

A few weeks ago, we tried a few experiments from a book we checked out at the library called “Usborne 100 Science Experiments.” It turned out to be a great book with lots of easy and fun experiments with stuff we already had on hand. One experiment, which my daughter LOVED, was called foaming monster. Basically, you make a monster out of a pop bottle and construction paper. Then you create a chemical reaction with baking soda, vinegar, a drop of dish soap and food coloring. It took a little tweaking but it so much fun!

 

#6 Art with Recyclables

With every day recyclables, you can make all kinds of cool things! Who else’s kids hoard the empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls?? Empty milk jugs? Cans? Time to bring out that stash and see what you can come up with! The possibilities are endless.

 

#7 Make Play dough or Slime

Time to get messy! The latest craze is making slime with simple ingredients: glue, water, borax, glitter, and food coloring. We played with ours for weeks after we made it!

 

#8 Try out a new recipe

Dust off those cook books and get your kids in the kitchen to bake up some yummy goodies or cook up a warm meal to help with the rainy day blues.

 

#9 Movie Day

Have your kids make “tickets”, pop some popcorn, spread out the pillows and blankets, turn down the lights and enjoy a family movie like Pete’s Dragon, which was recently released on Netflix! Check out my review of it.

 

#10 Play in the Rain

Ok, so I know this isn’t an “indoor activity” but come on! Kids absolutely LOVE to slosh around in the rain and jump in every puddle possible. I couldn’t leave this one off the list! So, channel your inner child and get out there and get wet!

What type of rainy day activities do you have for your family? Share in the comments!

From iFamily to Yours,


3 Mistakes Parents Make with Technology

Happy Friday (and St. Patrick’s Day) Kansas City! Our Tech expert, Burton Kelso is back with another tech savvy post, helping parents to fix some mistakes we tend to make with our kiddos and technology. So, if you feel overwhelmed by technology and kids, take some advice from Mr. Kelso to get the family back on track. Take a look…

3 Mistakes Parents Make with Technology

3 Mistakes Parents Make with Technology

 

Everywhere you look, kids are spending more time with their technology devices. While technology has allowed us to access vast amounts of information and has become a great source of entertainment, it has become the number one source of conflict between parents and their children at home. The problem with technology is it doesn’t turn itself off. Also, many parents are guilty of using technology as a babysitter. I get it. It’s easier to give your kid some form of electronic simulation. It keeps them distracted and allows you to ‘adult’. You get stuff done if they are engaged in tech and it helps them become more tech saavy … right? Wrong! Setting limits on bad behaviors is a very important part of being a good parent. Technology is good, but it will never replace that parent to kid time they need. Setting limits on technology will make you the bad parent, but it is key to preventing problems with technology use in your home. So what mistakes are you making? Here is a list of the most common mistakes parents make and how to fix them.

 

#1 Failure to Set Limits on Technology Usage.

How much time you allow them to spend with their tech is up to you, but for the love of God don’t allow them to use it all day everyday. Two hours a day everyday is the suggested amount, but you don’t have to stick with that.  Just set limits on how much screen time they have daily. Screen time includes TV, video games, iPods.  If your kids spend too much time in front of a screen, it can lead to obesity, sleep problems, and behavior problems.  Be sure to give your kids the freedom to decide how they will spend their time away from the screen. I suggest giving them some leeway for times like rainy days, cold weather, and long car rides, rather than having rigid, all-or-nothing schedule, but always remember, having no rules will lead to big problems down the road.

#2 Not Having Enough Family Activities without Technology.

Families are spending more time in front of their screens. Immediately posting photos to social media, logging on to your favorite streaming service to watch movies, the list goes on. Be sure to create activities that don’t involve a screen. So what do you do?  Give them ideas for what to do instead. Also, it would be a good idea for your family to plan a day of unplugging from technology or having a No Tech zone in certain areas of your home such as the dining room. Plan a game night for your family. Show your kids how they should experience the world by planning non tech family activities.

 

#3 Parents are also Tech Addicts  

Parents, you have to set the example with your technology use. Kids will mimic your actions. If they see you using technology on a consistent basis, they will think it’s ok for them to do it too. When you stop and realize that most adults spend more than seven hours a day interacting with some form of technology, it’s not hard to imagine why your kids are doing it too. Just like you set limits with your kids, you need to learn to set limits with yourself. You can wait to send that work e-mail. With most shows on being accessible from a streaming service, you don’t have worry about missing your favorite show. Your kids need you to pay attention to them, not to the device in your hand.

 

The bottom line is you must control technology or technology will control your kids. Too much technology not healthy for any young person. Find the right balance for technology in your home and eliminate tech addiction in your kid’s future.

 

Burton Kelso is the Owner and Chief Technology Expert at Integral, an on-site and remote technology repair company for consumers and businesses. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Better Kansas City, Kansas City Live, and the FOX 4 morning show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com

 


A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

Hello, Kansas City! Dating can be a confusing and intimidating subject to cover with your kids, as they get older. Luckily, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah, has a great idea on how to teach your adolescent or teenage boy about dating. Take a look…

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

Nine years ago I was blessed enough to make an amazing friend named Lora. At the time, Lora and both had sons playing on the same T Ball team. I knew upon first meeting her that her friendship would impact my life. I was so right. Lora is an amazing mother who truly inspires me on a daily basis. I come to her often seeking advice on raising my teenage son. We meet up usually once a month, have dinner, let the boys hang out, and catch up on life.
During those times we often exchange stories about parenting, talk about ways to better our lives, exchange cooking tips, encourage each other, laugh a lot, and simply just get each other through whatever we are going through at that time.

 

Since our boys were born literally a day a part they are often going through similar situations … which typically gives us a lot to talk about. Lora and I often talk about how to give them tips and support on being a teenager, how to treat others, how to teach them responsibility, friendship, education, etc.

 

During one of our discussions we got on the topic of when they will start dating. We both discussed how important it is that our boys learn how to “date” first. We wanted to make sure they knew how to treat a date properly, how valuable a woman’s reputation is, how to respect her, how to hold the door for her, how to hold a conversation, etc.

 

Lora came up with a beautiful idea to take our boys on a series of dates. We both wanted a way to show them how to date properly. We knew this would take more than one date and more than one talk. We also knew that this would truly teach them life skills most men are never taught. We wanted the boys to see that dating is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The boys both surprisingly were excited about the idea.

 

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

On our first “date” we took the boys to the movies. We instructed them on proper behavior while being on a date at the movies. While we drove there we also gave suggestions on how girls like to be treated, talked to (in person and on the phone), and tips on how to ask a girl on date, to let the girl pick the movie, etc.

 

We also on our own went over tips on knowing if a girl is worth pursuing, how to treat a girl once you decided you liked her, and things to never say to or about a lady.

 

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

On our second “date” we took the boys to a fancy dinner. We let the boys pick where we ate. I had my son call and make us dinner reservations. He decided he wanted to put on his “best outfit” for our date. It made me smile to see how excited he was it.

 

While on the “date” we encouraged the boys to open the restaurant door, pull out the chairs for us, proper dining etiquette, to let us order first, to wait to eat until we started eating, gave them topics to talk about, things to never say on a date, how to break the silence if that were to happen, how to greet her parents, how to treat her friends, how to act as a couple in public, etc.

 

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

I feel that both boys learned a lot from our dates. Honestly, I think we all did.

We both plan on continuing to teach our boys how to be gentlemen. We are planning on having a series of ten date’s total. On each “date” different topics will be covered on how to “date”. We will be going over how to act on group dates, what to do if a date suggests things you aren’t ready for, how to break off a bad relationship, how to know if they are not right for you, things you should not accept from a date, how to resist peer pressure in dating, how to know you are ready to date, etc. I am personally looking forward to many more dates with them.

I think one of the most important jobs as a mother is raising a man that you can be proud of. I think it is safe to say we both have done that or are trying our best to do so. I am so blessed to not be alone on this journey of raising a man who knows how to treat a lady. Thank you Lora for the beautiful idea and for our beautiful friendship.

For more information about Leah feel free to follow her at

http://www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 


Check Out This Easy Way to Wind Down from the Holidays

Hello, Kansas City! We’re on our way through January, and some of us are still recovering the craziness of the holiday season. January offers a lot of motivation to start the year off on a good foot, but also gives us all an opportunity to wind down from the previous season. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, shares her low-key, free, and easy remedy to renew yourself and spend some time with the family. Check it out!

Check Out This Easy (and FREE) Way to Wind Down from the Holidays

Check Out This Easy Way to Wind Down from the Holidays

 

After a month of marathon shopping, cleaning, cooking and hosting duties, I said farewell to my final group of holiday visitors Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day sick in bed. At first, I was so frustrated. Feeling ill was not how wanted to finish off my weekend. Around noon, my eldest daughter came in to check on me and asked if I’d like to watch a movie. I agreed and we spent the rest of the day in bed burning through Netflix and munching on crackers. She told me it was the best day and I had to agree.

The funny thing about the holidays, is that I ran myself ragged for my family and spent a lot of time with extended family, but my kids and I did not get much one-on-one time. It’s ironic really, that we spend so much time making the holidays magical for our kids, but we may just be missing the mark.

After weeks of parties and gifts and playdates, my daughter’s favorite thing was hanging out and watching movies with me. Now I’m sure a part of that was in its uniqueness. A nagging part of my mom brain worried about screen time several times, but I let it go and I’m glad I did. It was a really fun day and one that didn’t cost a thing.

It reminded me of another thought I had the other day. My mom was commenting on how quickly time goes by, and it does- for adults anyway. Commenting on the speed of time is one of my mother’s favorite things to note and in agreeing with her now, I remembered that I didn’t always. I remember when I was a kid and the days seemed long and a school year felt like forever. In the hustle and bustle of getting through our weeks and months- we may be once again missing something.

Perhaps kid years are a bit like dog years in that there’s less to mark time and so they’re just on a different scale. Maybe when I think to myself ‘twice a month I have this moment with my child and that is a lot,’ really isn’t true. It’s certainly something to consider. And I hope to find more time in my schedule for lazy hang outs and focusing completely on my time with my kids. Apparently, those are our best days.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

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25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break

25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break // iFamilyKC Blog

 

25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this
Winter Break

 

Winter break to parents mean one thing NO SCHOOL! And if you don’t have a plans, cabin fever can kick in pretty early. So, this winter break, keep the kiddos entertained, save some money and have a great break.

 

Here are a few things you can do anywhere!

 

#1 Build a snowman

Most of the time there is snow on the ground so why not play in it!? Get all bundled up and head out side to build your own Olaf or snowman. No snow? No problem! Make your own indoor snow with baking soda and white hair conditioner!

 

#2 Have a family talent show

If it’s TOO cold to go outside, have a family talent show. My kids love, love, love America’s Got Talent so they are always up to show what they can do! Let the kids practice during the day and after dinner let the show begin!

 

#3 Have a movie marathon

If I could, I would watch Netflix all day! There are so many different movies and shows available it would probably take years to watch everything! So make a list of the ones you want to see, grab some snacks and enjoy!

 

#4 Have a scavenger hunt inside

What kid doesn’t like a game where you seek hidden treasures?! Make a list of little toys, random items or shapes and let the kids explore around the house!

 

#5 Go ice skating

NEED I SAY MORE?

 

#6 Game night

Pull out the classics, make your own or play some of your kids! There are so many games out now, you can have game night often!

 

#7 DIY night

Hooray for Pinterest lol! You could lose yourself in so many different crafts it’s unreal! Pick a theme and once everyone is done, you can even put on an art show!

 

#8 Have a slumber party

Turn your front room into a fort and let your kiddos imaginations run wild! Or if you don’t want to risk losing a night of sleep, wear your pajamas during the day and make little beds in the front room.

 

#9 Redecorate rooms/home

When the kids are older, this one is definitely a go to! They can help with heavy lifting, deep cleaning and even give you a break by decorating their own space.

 

#10 Make a special brunch

Brunch is my favorite so why not make a special one during their winter break! They can invite their friends and you can invite yours! Really feeling hum drum during the break? Make it special with unique invites and dress up!

 

#11 Snowball fight

This one in my opinion is more for the kids themselves lol. Let them burn off some energy with a friendly snowball fight in the yard.

 

#12 Visit a museum

This is probably one of my favorite things to do! Most museums are free and have tons of cool stuff that will keep everyone happy. Check your closest museum for special kid activities, they are sure to have plenty during the winter time!

 

#13 Go sledding

Like having a snow ball fight, this is one activity that is sure to use up that extra energy! I mean they are basically running up hills! HAHAHA

 

#14 Bake cookies

Baking can make your day go by so fast! Plan to make a few different items, play some music and fill your home with sweet smells! Plus the littles love using cookie cutters!

 

#15 Visit distant family members

One sure way to avoid cabin fever is taking trips! Long or short, a change of scenery will keep the entire family pleased!

 

#16 Karaoke party

We love music in my family so we are always singing! So why not take it up a notch and invite some family or close friends over!

 

#17 Read your favorite childhood books

This one is more for me than the kids lol. I love reading classic books I grew up with to my kids. Plus the looks on their face when they hear a new book is always a great feeling.

 

#18 Go to a sport event

Just about every major city has some form of sports team. NFL, NBA, MLB, Arena or Semi- Pro. If you aren’t sure, just look your city up, google knows everything!

 

#19 See a musical or play

There are always special plays or musicals that come to town around this time of year so the pickins aren’t slim!

TIP: want to cut costs on those expensive play tickets, call your local box office and ask for group rates! Get the whole family or group of friends involved so you won’t have to pay as much.

 

#20 Have a dance party

Sometimes you just gotta dance! Forget the dishes, stop folding laundry or whatever chore you have and spend 10 minutes just dancing! You will feel more relaxed and the kiddos while get a break from “boredom.”

 

#21 Invite family friends over that have kids

Play dates are a win win. You can still do an activity with your kids but also have adult to talk to! Everyone is happy!

 

#22 Visit the library

Another favorite thing to do is visit the library! They always have family activities that are educational as well! Plus it’s FREE!

 

#23 Update family photos

Winter break is the perfect time to update those family photos. There are no after school activities, no homework to do and you have more time throughout the day to get the whole family picture ready. Plus, they are usually ready in time for when they go back to school!

 

#24 Go shopping

Taking the kiddos shopping is always eye opening even if it’s only window shopping. You find out what they like, dislike and can even get some ideas for birthday presents!

 

#25 Learn about other countries and what they do in winter

The world is a big place, and whatever you are doing, someone may be doing the complete opposite. Research and discover what other countries are like during winter!

 

As your kids get ready for winter break, I hope these tips give you some ideas on what you and your kiddos can do for a fantastic break!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

brigettev8

 

 

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25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break // iFamilyKC Blog


How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

 

 

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids!

 

 

The big presidential election is coming up in less than a week on November 8th, 2016. I wanted to find a way to get my daughter involved in the election and voting process so I decided to hold a mock election! She was very interested in learning about voting and about our country’s democracy! Check out what we did on our Mock Election Night!

 

First, we checked out some books at the library about voting and presidents. We picked a few pages out of each book to read. The books we chose were Political Elections, The People Pick A President, and Rightfully Ours: How Women Won the Vote. Other recommended pictures books for kids include: Grace for President, Monster Needs Your Vote, and If I Ran for President.

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

 

Next, we created a simple ballot box out of a tissue box, construction paper, glitter, and stencils! My daughter was very excited about this part!

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

 

Then, we set up a makeshift voting booth and station. Our puppet show worked perfectly for a voting booth!

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

 

 

We found these super cute ballots, registration cards, and “I Voted” stickers to add to our fun! You can download and print these for FREE.

 

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

 

Lastly, we cast our vote for President of the United States!

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

 

 

She was so proud to have voted and was excited to find out the results! By a landslide victory, we declared our winner and had a little celebratory dance around the living room!

 

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

 

One of the books we read discussed how as a high school student you can run for class president. And I am so proud to say, without missing a beat, my 7 year old daughter replied, “Or I could just run for president!”

 

There are tons of activities and resources online to get your kids involved in the voting and election process. On election night we plan on turning on the tv to see if our winner is declared the President of the United States! As an extra fun thing to do, I plan on making some fun red, white and blue fruit skewers with marshmallows, blueberries, and raspberries!

 

This is one simple way to teach your kids about the process of voting and elections in America. How have you involved your kids in the election? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdErinV2

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8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

Can you believe it, Kansas City? Halloween is only 4 days away! If that puts you in a panic, trying to figure out what costume your kiddos will parade around in on Monday, no worries! Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, has a great list of easy last minute costume ideas that are guaranteed to steal the show. Check it out!

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

 

 

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute

Costume Ideas for Halloween

 

It is nearly here! That dark and spooky evening where sugar-riddled skeletons and hero-dressed hoodlums parade the streets packing away whatever candy and treats homeowners haven’t already eaten. There are many ways parents find themselves realizing this week that they don’t have the costumes they need. Maybe someone changed their mind last minute, or just decided they DO want to go out that night, or maybe you were so busy running around to practices and games that super popular costume never got picked up and now is sold out. Whatever happened- we’ve got you covered! (Punny- get it?) And if you have this costume thing all figured out, you could still scroll through because some of these are too cute!

 

Sky dancers

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

 

You have seen these advertising cell phones, tires and cars and kids love them. This is a fun costume and looks pretty easy to make.

                

What I would do: Take an old play tunnel and cut holes for the arms (be sure to measure where they need to be for your child). Cut another hole for the mouth/space for the kids to peek out. Make eyes out of paper and tape on. Lastly, borrow a shirt from dad that matches the tube and shimmy the night away!

 

 Hot Air Balloon/Weather Girl

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

This is a super cute costume, and a bonus as the balloon should make it fairly easy to spot your kid. Add some a thermometer and some charts and turn your tourist into a weather girl or boy.

What I would do: A striped tee and a scarf for a touristy look, or a button down shirt/professional attire for a wearther person. An old laundry basket or one from the dollar store with the bottom cut out tied to an oversized balloon from a party store.

 

Ace Ventura

 

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

 

 

Your kids may not know what you’re talking about here- but come on! This is adorable!!!

What I would do: Borrow sister’s tutu and daddy’s mousse. Get ready to play some football!

 

Wind-Up Toy

 

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

This seems to be popular for girls, but you could do this for boys too.

What I would do: Pick out a pretty outfit and put some lipstick circles on their cheeks. Cut a key shape out of a cardboard box. Spray paint it gold or silver and staple on elastic bands for the child to put their arms through (backpack style).

 

Art

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

 

If you have an aspiring artist who wants to do something a little different, this may be perfect.

What I would do: Cut out a large palette and paint it white then let it dry. Using poster board or foam board make a circular crown. Cut the bristles off a broom and hot glue gun them on. Paint the colors on the large palette and have your child dress in black.

 

Fantastic Mr. Fox (or Just a Fancy Fox)

 

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

 

This cute and very easy. Some fall clothes a mask, you’re out the door!

What I would do: There are a lot of free templates online for making fox masks. I know because my daughter had a woodland birthday party this year. Print out the template, and put the mask together as directed.

 

Care Bears

 

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

 

If you live in the Midwest- you are used to having to adapt costumes to cold weather. Ones like this make it easy to layer and add padding if necessary.

What I would do: Using felt cut out ears and design your belly badge. I’d use safety pins to attach everything to the sweats so you can wear them again.

 

Ghost

8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

 

A classic ghost is the epitome of a last minute costume. If your kid isn’t buying it- tell him he’s going as Snapchat. 🙂

 

What are some of your genius last minute costumes? We’d love to hear in the comments!

 

 

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamMomSqdDarcyv2


8 Fun and Creative Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

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The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

One of my favorite parts of the holidays are MOVIES. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas — there are so many great movies that really bring the spirit of the holiday alive. Halloween has fantastic films, and our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin breaks down the best Halloween movies for every age group. Grab some popcorn, kick your feet up, and watch one of these movies!

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

Halloween is almost here!! I can’t think of a better way to end the Halloween night festivities with a big bucket of popcorn, some of your kid’s trick or treat candy and a good Halloween movie! If you plan on staying in for the night you could choose a few of these and have a Halloween movie marathon! Either way, check out the following list of Halloween flicks that I’m sure your family will love!

 

Please note: These are broken down by age group to help you decide what may be appropriate for your child. However your child may or may not be ready for some of these movies, especially the ones in the last list. Use your own discretion!

 

Ages 2 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

All of the movies in this list are animated, short and sweet, and quite possibly hold the attention of the youngest movie watchers!

Spookley the Square Pumpkin

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Room on a Broom

 

Ages 5 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

A few more recent animated films on this list and a few fun light-hearted flicks!

ParaNorman

Hotel Transylvania

Halloweentown

Double Double Toil and Trouble

Monster House

Spooky Buddies

 

Ages 7 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

 

Quite a few Tim Burton flicks are on this list. Those can be a bit frightening to younger ones. And a few cult classics that I bet you can’t wait to share with your kids!

Hocus Pocus

The Addams Family

Ghostbusters

Goosebumps

Casper

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Corpse Bride

FrankenWeenie

Coraline

The Witches

Escape to Witch Mountain

 

Ages 10 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

Enjoy these somewhat scary movies for tweens!

Harry Potter

Gremlins

E.T.

The Haunted Mansion

Beetlejuice

Fun Size

 

Ages 14 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

I wanted to make sure and represent the teen crowd and young adults in this post so these movies are definitely recommended for ages 14 and up. Some of these you might save for the older teens. These are sure to scare! Wait until the little tykes have come off their sugar high and settled down for the night to check these out.

Halloween

Poltergeist

Scream

The Ring

The Blair Witch Project

The Conjuring

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Nightmare on Elm Street

 

What are some of your favorite Halloween movies? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamMomSqdErinV2

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!


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