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Inspiration

A Piece of Cake-A look at the latest and greatest cake trends

Nowadays there are so many vehicles with which to house your child’s birthday candles.  It is no easy task to choose just one!  Wondering which will take the cake at your next event? Here are some great new trends in dessert that we absolutely love!

Reminiscent of the push-pops from when you were a kid, these cake push-pops have all the charm in the world in an adorable and convenient package, making transporting them to your next party a piece of cake!

What could be better than bite-size pieces of cake put on a stick and covered in chocolate? Nothing, as far as we’re concerned!

Cake in a jar is the perfect idea to give your party the southern twist you’ve been seeking. Just grab a tea-spoon and you’re ready to dig in!

The cupcake (or mini-cupcake) is the “OG” of the trendy cake world.  There are countless ways to reinvent the cupcake and add your own special twist.  Try using food coloring to create a tie-dye or rainbow effect in the cake itself.

 


Go out with a bang!

It’s almost the end of the school year and all of the kids (and teachers too!) are getting antsy and excited about their upcoming summer vacation. And with the end of the year, comes end of the year parties. Schools love to end the year with a bang and the kids love the full day of fun! If you are coordinating or even just helping out with your child’s end of the year party, you’ll be needing some ideas. Here are a few that we think are just adorable!

With summer comes adventures at the beach. A beach themed party is always a winner with the kids and the adults will enjoy it too! There are so many different way that you can have a beach party. You can make it a Hawaiian beach party with leis and limbo or a tropical beach party with umbrellas in your smoothies and fruity popsicles. Whichever way you do it, it’s sure to be a hit!

See what your child and their classmates have been learning about recently at school and use that as inspiration. If they just learned a bit of science, have a chemistry party, if they just discussed American history, use the inspiration for a colonial theme, if animals was their last subject make a jungle theme the focus. Have some fun with your kid’s education!

Take them on a picnic! Picnic parties are not only fun, but pretty easy! Blankets, baskets, sandwiches and mason jars filled with daisies are only a few of the things you need to create the picnic atmospheres.

Have an artsy party! All of the kids in school participate in art classes, so use that as an inspiration for a colorful celebration. Take a tip from this awesome party we found on Kara’s Party Ideas and add a ‘splash’ of color to every detail!

And don’t forget, after the party it’s vacation time! If you happen to be taking a road trip to the beach or to visit family, stay tuned for a post about a few road trip survival tips ;)

Sources:
Cozi
Kara’s Party Ideas
The Cultured Cook
Hostess with the Mostess


Mother’s Day Ideas

Mother’s day is this Sunday May 8! So, surely you’re family is thinking and plotting for all the special things they want to do for you. If they’re having a hard time coming up with ideas for crafts, dinners or desserts (since they’ve undoubtedly done such wonderfully creative things in the past), here are a few to get their imaginations churning.

Wheel of Affection:

A craft where your kids can tell you how much they love you in every way! With just a few simple materials and loving words this craft is a sinch. Head over to Disney Family Fun for the directions.

Bath Soaps:

Every mom loves a spa day, so what better way to begin the spa experience than receiving homemade bath soaps? This is a craft that will definitely need adult supervision since a knife is involved. Your kids can create soaps in fun shapes and multiple colors. Fun for them to make, fun for you to use! Kaboose has all the directions you’ll need for this artistic craft.

Lasagna Rolls:

This is an easier way to make a family favorite recipe that your kids can help with too. Just as delicious as a regular layered lasagna, lasagna roll ups are fairly easy to make and fun to eat. Giada De Laurentiis provides you with this great recipe.

Ice Cream Stuffed Oranges with Caramel Sauce:

Everyone loves dessert! This dessert is something new that you can try and is so easy and quick to make. With only 3 ingredients, this delicious treat will be ready in no time at all! You can find the rest of Robin Miller’s recipe here.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!


An April Easter Egg Hunt

The stores have started their decorating and the Easter bunny is on his way! A fun day full of candy, fun, great food, laughter and of course, colored eggs. The Posh girls have decided to throw an Easter egg hunt and we wanted to share some great decorating ideas that we found over at Martha Stewart Living. So, pick a color palette (pastels are great for Easter!) and start planning your fun Easter soiree!

These crepe paper carrots are adorable and make for a fantastic favor at an Easter party. For a small party, you can individualize them for anyone of any age and hand them out to each person or you can keep the surprise consistent and leave them by the door for people to grab. Click here for the how-to on this DIY decoration.

For an outdoor party, try these cute whimsical centerpieces. Use some eggcups that you have at home or that you found at an antique shop or garage sale, as vases for pretty spring flowers. You can mix and match the flowers for a fun garden look. Stick some floral foam at the bottom of the cup and stick the flowers in, use some fake Easter grass on top if you like. For something more simple, just go with some soil.

You can’t forget about a craft for the kids (we never do)! Once you’ve dyed all of your eggs, set some aside for the little guests at the party. Provide them with stickers and washable markers to decorate the colorful eggs however they would like. The best part is, there won’t be much of a mess for you to clean up after!

With so much running around, everyone is bound to get hungry. Along with all of your family favorites, try this new recipe that has crisp asparagus and creamy ricotta cheese with yummy and salty prosciutto. A tart for all to remember! For the recipe, click here.

Happy Hopping!


Posh St. Patty’s Day Decor

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and everything will be turning green! Just in case you’re having a little get together or joining your child’s classmates in a celebration, here a few decor ideas that we put together for you.

What’s a celebration with out festive cupcakes? Here is a spin on the favorite red velvet cupcakes dyed green to match the occasion.

To see the recipe head over to Love From the Oven for the easy ‘how-to’

It’s getting warmer and a sweet smoothie is the bet way to cool down! Our friends over at One Charming Party show us how to make a healthy green smoothie that you and your kids will love.

To Be Charmed shares an adorable (and printable) cupcake topper from TomKat Studios with us! The perfect addition to your green velvet cupcakes.

Click the above link to head over to their website to print them out.

Decorate some cardstock and place it in a frame for an easy decoration. TomKat Studio shows us how, along with bunches of other ideas!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Spring Break Ideas!

It’s almost time fore Spring Break! So where will you and your family be headed?

Of course the number one destination is Disney World, because we all want to go to the happiest place on earth. If you are thinking about a Disney style getaway follow this link to get your planning started!

If you’re opting for staying on the home front instead, here are a few fun ideas and trips to try out these kid friendly activities happening in the Atlanta area:

  • Spring day camp at Zoo Atlanta – kids can learn all about their favorite animals and go on their very own adventure safaris
  • Spring break camp at The Atlanta Botanical Gardens – here your children will learn about local and exotic plant life and maybe even help you enhanve your garden later on!
  • Spring break dance camp at Kids Dance 411 – with all different forms of dance being offered, this is a great way for you little one to expend a bit of energy
  • The World of Coca-Cola – a great hot spot for tourists and locals alike! The Coca-Cola polar bear is sure to make your child smile.
  • Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta – a museum created just for kids and their ever growing minds.
  • Growing Guppies Toddler Activities at The Georgia Aquarium – occurring every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11:15 a.m. your child will get to explore and learn about the vast open seas and all the animals that live inside it.

 

Whichever activity you choose we hope that you have a fantastic and memorable time!


How to throw a party for your kids and their pets

Putting two birthdays together is always a bit difficult, but especially if one of those birthdays is for a family pet. So, how can you put the two together? Here are a few ideas for a dog themed party for your little one and their furry friend!

Where will you have the party? The backyard is your best bet. This way the kids and the dogs will be able to run free and play. Just make sure you watch for the dogs that go potty!

Paw prints are always a hit for a puppy party! Feel free to put them on anything and everything: the tablecloth, the dogie bags, the welcome sign, etc.

A puppy piñata is not only a great idea, but great fun!

For the food, make sure you have treats and snacks for both the kids and the pets. Be sure to separate them so neither party gets confused as to which one is theirs. Try putting the kids at a higher table so the dogs won’t be able to get to it and leave the puppy stuff closer to the ground.

Best thing to put in a goodie bag? Dog bones! Use a cookie cutter to make a bone shape for bone cookies fit for kids (don’t forget the icing!) and get medium sized bones from your local pet store to have for the dogs at the party. You can also have a ball in the bags for the kids and a chew toy in the bags for the dogs.

What games should we play? Planned games may not be necessary since the kids will have fun running around with the dogs on their own. If you would like to have a few on hand try playing Red Rover, Red Rover or Pin the Tail on the Cat. You can also take all the party goers to obedience school where they can practice rolling over, sitting and laying down. The sight of your kids doing this with your dogs will make for great pictures!

Have fun!

sources: Kara’s Party Ideas, DannyandJess, The Whisker Gifters Blog

all images found on DannyandJess


Card Carriers

With the prospect of your child coming home with a backpack full of  Valentine’s day cards and candy, why not help them make a little mailbox to keep it all in? Plus, they will be the talk of the classroom with one of these cute carriers. This is a great way to personalize a cute holiday.

Here is a neat way to recycle an empty cereal box. Disney Family Fun shows us how! Cover it in plain paper and decorate however you like! Click on the photo for even more instructions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Things Heart and Home shows us a neat way to decorate a store bought mailbox. Their way is a bit advanced for a little one, so replace some of the extra paper with stickers and personal drawings.


Valentine’s Day Prep

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! The classrooms are filled with hearts and sparkles in pink and red and the kids are getting their cards ready. Here are a few things that you will need to make this Valentine’s Day easy and fun!

  1. Make sure that you get a list of names for all of your child’s classmates. This way you won’t leave anyone out and you eliminate the guess work of spelling names correctly.
  2. Get bags of small chocolates or candies for your child to pass out with their cards.
  3. Also, be sure to find out if any of the kids in the class have any food allergies. If so, get a small bag of candy that they can have as well.
  4. If you’re helping your little one make their own Valentine’s cards you’ll need a few supplies, such as, markers, stickers, cardstock paper and ribbon
  5. You’ll need a package of envelopes big enough to fit the card and candy.

If you would rather skip the DIY V-Day cards, here are a some printables that you can have ready in a flash!

The Rubber Punkin, Paperboxpress, Catch My Party, Skip to my Lou


It’s Circle Time!

Story time can be the best time of day for a child. Even though I know you probably love the 6 book circle time with your little one, why not have someone else read them a story for a change? There are tons of bookstores and story houses just waiting to read stories to eager little ears! The bookstore nearest to you may have some of their own weekly story times planned. So, next time you’re close by, stop in and ask them about their scheduled story times or if they have any (you may get to start a new trend!). In the meantime, here are some upcoming story times in the Atlanta area that you can head over to!

Barnes & Noble: Buckhead
2900 Peachtree Road NE Suite 310, Atlanta, GA 30305.  404-261-7747

- Saturday February 5th, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.
Children’s Hour: Falling for Rapunzel

“Hilarious text, clever page-turns and vibrant, eclectic art makes this a non-traditional Rapunzel kids will want to read about again and again.”

- Saturday February 12, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.
Children’s Hour: Ruby Valentine Saves the Day

“Will Ruby find a way to save the day, or will everyone in Heartland have to wait until next year to celebrate? Another heartwarming tale of a girl who discovers the true meaning of Valentine’s Day.”

* This Barnes & Noble has story time every Saturday at 11:00 a.m.! Check their website to see what other stories they are planning on reading.

Little Shop of Stories
133A East Court Square, Decatur, Georgia 30030.  404-373-6300

Storytimes:
Tuesday at 11am
Thursday at 7pm
Sunday at 3pm

Border’s: Buckhead
3637 Peachtree Rd. NE, Ste. C, Atlanta, GA 30319.  404-237-0707

Storytimes:
Every Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m. in February


Happy Reading!


Books to Inspire

Books are some of the greatest and easiest ways to inspire children. It gives them a sense of imagination, wonder and can even get them to try something new. Here are a few books that not only enhance the imagination, but can also inspire your little one to try different forms of arts and crafts, from doodling to decorating! It’s something fun and educational that you can both do together. You can find these books in most any location such as Barnes and Noble, Borders and even on Amazon. Happy reading!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book

If your kids love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, this an exciting way to make the books more interactive. It’s their very own journal to write down their thoughts and feelings and answer silly questions, a way for them to tell their own story. Plus there’s fun comic pages to read!

The Giving Tree

This book introduces children to the world of sharing and caring. This book is a wonderful story about growing to love, share and care. It will teach your children to grow in love.

Ed Emberley’s Complete Funprint Drawing Book

What kid does not love finger-painting? This book gives them tons of ways to turn those special fingerprints into to their favorite animals! It has colorful step-by-step instructions for your little one to follow. You can even help fill their book with yellow finger flowers and little green finger frogs!

Tear Up This Book!: The Sticker, Stencil, Stationery, Games, Crafts, doodle and Journal Book for Girls!

This book is exactly what it says, a big book of arts and crafts! As a part of the American Girl Series, this books gives little ladies and chance to get very creative with instructions on how to make everything from a cootie catcher to a gift box. The book has even more activities for her to do with you, with friends or all on her own!


Mommy and Me Tea

Any young child loves time with just mommy. So why not make an event out of it? Create a tea party for you and your special little guest! We personally love pretty pink princess tea parties, but feel free to change the theme in whichever way you like, to fit your unique tea guest! Take a trip with Alice to Wonderland or even have a tea fit for an English gentleman. Print out a simple invitation that you can leave as a surprise in their lunch box. Have a box of dress up clothes for them to play with when you start your time together. Also, tea parties are a great way to get in a simple manners and etiquette lesson, because you never know if your little one will be having dinner with the president one day!

Here are a few hand-picked ideas that we gathered from some of our favorite websites. The flower shaped pb&j’s are so cute and simple! Take the ideas you love the most and enjoy your private tea time with your special someone!

Sources: Flower Sandwiches, Lemon Coconut Cupcakes, Pink Tablescape, Teacups, Tea Party Invitation, Tea Pot Centerpiece, Mrs. Potts Cake Pops


Rainy Day Activities

Usually on rainy days you here the words “I’m bored!” It’s hard not to just send the kids to the TV when you hear this, but even though it’s wet outside that doesn’t mean that you and your little ones can’t have fun inside! With some ideas on hand, the next time you hear the cry of boredom you will be fully prepared.

Create Silly Creatures

You’ll need a few index cards for this rainy day activity. On the blank side of the cards, have your children draw heads, bodies and legs of different animals. When you’re all done making several different animals, mix and match the cards to create new animals! You can create enough cards to have your very own imaginary zoo (with a very low admissions fee). Store the cards with a rubber band and take them anywhere, even when it’s not raining.

Dream Boards

For this craft you will need a tri-fold project board or simply a a large sheet of construction paper, some markers, magazines and any other craft supplies that you want to use. (Btw, here is a http://frugaldad.com/crayola/coupon from Crayola to help you save on some crafting supplies). Have your little one think about all the things that they want to do, what they want to be when they grow up and all of their biggest hopes and dreams. They can use pictures they find in the magazines, draw pictures themselves and create their own dream board. Hang it up in their room for daily inspiration.

It’s a Secret Code

You will only need a pencil and paper for this simple activity. On the sheet of paper your kids can create symbols and squiggles to represent each letter in the alphabet. They can share it with their siblings, you or anyone they would like! It’s their very own secret language. If they do decide to share it with you, you can use it to write them letters and special notes.

Create Your Own Rain Dance

You can pick a special song for this activity or do it with out music. Create our very own rain dance with your kids. Keep it simple, but fun and try to remember it. Whenever the rain starts pouring you can all do it together! This is also a great way to get them moving even though they’re stuck inside.



Unique Gift Wrapping Ideas

It’s time to start putting those presents under the tree! We all know how easy it is to pick up regular wrapping paper at the grocery store and call it day, but why not add something new to your Christmas decor? Make this year even more special by adding your own twist to your presents this year. Get creative and try some of these ideas that can make your Christmas decor even more festive. And don’t forget to include the kids in all of the fun!

Create Your Own Pattern

Head to your local craft store to find some rubber stamps in interesting patterns. Use the stamp on a large sheet of paper and make repeat impressions in a uniform pattern, leaving a small space between each stamp. Or you could just leave one impression in the center of the paper. You can also get a stamp rolling pin. Hand this one over to the kids and let them roll away and create their own special pattern. Finish your gifts with ribbons of different colors and sizes.

Homemade Art

If you’re looking for something inexpensive, why not use the little artists you have at home? Give your kids a large sheet of paper and let them doodle and create their own picture. Use this to wrap your gifts for something whimsical and simple.

Recycle Crayola

You may have to ask for your child’s permission for this one. This cool new gift wrapping idea involves using the shavings of crayons in whatever colors you would like. Maybe you can offer a new set as a Christmas present! The kids can help you with your color choices and with close supervision, the shaving process. Use the shavings and place them  in between six pieces of tissue paper (3 on top, 3 on bottom). On low heat, iron the paper until the wax melts in the middle creating a colorful pattern. Adorn the gift with ribbons and flowers for a unique look.

Tag It

A gift is incomplete without some sort of tag to give the gift a home. Don’t let your tags be boring this year! Add a treat to go along with your gifts. Have your kids help you make a batch of mini cookies in any holiday shape or character. After the cookies cool, decorate them together. Use a small cellophane baggie and square piece of cardstock paper, cut to fit inside. Write the name of the gift receiver on one side of the paper and slip it into the baggie. Then on the other side, slip in your mini cookie. Fold the top of the bag, punch a whole, run a ribbon through it and tie!

Print It

A simple way to add something special to your gifts come from the simplicity of printables. You can find free name tags, place cards, wrapping paper and even thank you notes, all for you to print at your disposal. Gift Wrap It and Disney Family Fun both have lots of free printables to choose from.


A Kid’s Craft Cafe!

Your children will certainly be underfoot when it’s time to prep for the big turkey day, running here and there and everywhere. So to keep them cool while you baste and bake set up a kid’s craft cafe where they can stay and play. Use a few paper table linens to cover the table and a small cornucopia filled with fruits and cheeses and serve them hot chocolate in special kid’s mugs. Drop crayons, markers, glue and different decorative items on the table and let them create different decor for the kid’s table i.e. placecards and napkin holders. It’s sure to keep the kids enthralled while you put the finishing touches on Thanksgiving Dinner!

 

Leaf Napkin Rings found at http://img.gadgetsharp.com/2010/02/ring/9.jpg. Leaf inscribed placecards found at http://creativekidscrafts.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/leaf-name-cards-016.jpg.

Hot Chocolate mugs found at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Hot_chocolate.jpg. Cornucopia found at http://keller4congress.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/cornucopia.jpg


The Do’s and Dont’s of Entertaining

While entertaining a crowd, whether it be your family or just a few friends may sound easy enough, but it can be pretty difficult and everyone has different ways of doing it. However, there are a few things that every hostess should know and use at each event. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of entertaining.

  1. DO plan wisely for amounts. It is always better to have too much food than to not have enough. If some guests have not RSVP’d a week before the event, call to see if they are still attending or not.
  2. DO confirm all details the week of the party.
  3. DO play music to set the mood. No one likes a silent party.
  4. DON’T let the kids run wild while you’re setting up. Keep them occupied with crafts set up in a designated area so that you can work and finish up your decorations.
  5. DO use candles to create a warm atmosphere. They can create a beautiful, dramatic affect with very little effort.
  6. DON’T spend the entire time serving your guests. You can’t forget to enjoy you’re party and those who attended. Remeber, you’re a host, not a waiter.
  7. DON’T assume that your guests will bring their children. Make sure to note on the invitation if it is a kid-friendly party.
  8. DO keep your decor simple, yet festive. You don’t want to clutter the table with so many decorations that there’s no room for the food!
  9. DO ask guests about their dietary needs as well as their child’s.
  10. DO send a thank you note to all the guests that attended. Never forget that it’s the little things that go a long way.

Thanksgiving Crafts for the Kids!

We showed you a couple  in our last post, but here are a few more Thanksgiving inspired crafts for the kids to get involved in nest week. These crafts will help create memories and fun on Thanksgiving Day!

Put a New Spin on Your Turkey

We all remember doing spin art on paper plates with salad spinners in elementary school. Take that same idea and use festive fall colors instead! As displayed on Disney Family Fun use the paper plates as the turkey’s tail and construction paper and pipe cleaners for the rest. The more you make, the more festive decorations you’ll have!

Involve those far away

Some families can’t all come together for Thanksgiving. Here is a good craft that includes everyone, even the furthest relative, into the family fun and memories. Mail out hand cut turkey ‘feathers’ to all the family members who can’t make it for the holidays. Have them write what they are thankful for on the feather and mail it back to you. While you’re assembling the turkey, read all the messages that your family wrote on the feathers aloud. It’s the best way to have all of your loved ones there in spirit. You can find the rest of the details over at Disney Family Fun.

Make it rain

Rainmakers are a fun and easy craft for the kids. You can help the kids make them while telling them stories about how the Native Americans used them to call upon the rain. The best part about this craft is that it uses regular household items. You can find the instructions at Little Elephants.

The turkeys have it

You can never go wrong with the ever so faithful handprint turkey. All it takes is some paint, paper or paper plates (whichever you prefer) and a few markers.


Set a Thanksgiving Table for the Kids

The Kid’s Table

Everyone knows that the kids table is the best place to be on Thanksgiving. Because the table is for the young and even the young at heart, the decorations for it should match that same feel. Taking a few cues from the pilgrims of the past, here are a few ideas to help you get started on your Thanksgiving kid’s table.

Create a one-of-a-kind turkey

This is a great way to keep the kids occupied while you finish the last few touches on your fabulous holiday feast. All you need are some ink pads, blank index cards and a few markers. As shown over at Disney Family Fun, the kids can use their own finger prints to create a special turkey. Have them use the markers for the finishing touches and use them as table decorations. Don’t forget to wash your hands before dinner to get rid of the ink!

A centerpiece from the 1700′s

As we have all learned in primary school, the pilgrims are what started it all. So why not bring a bit of that to your kid’s table with a Mayflower centerpiece? Martha Stewart shows us how to create the elegant, fruit-filled ship on our own. Just make sure the kids eat their dinner before digging in!

Adorn your napkins

Napkin rings are a fun and easy way to brighten up any holiday table. Keeping our pilgrim theme in mind, these headdress and pilgrim hat napkin holders are a great addition. This is also a craft that you can involve the kids in before the family comes over. Disney family Fun shows us how.

Tell them why you love them

Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, even to the little ones. Here is a great craft from Artists Helping Children that does just that. Cut out different leaf shapes and decorate any way you would like. Write your little guests’ names on one side and on the other, tell them why you love them or even something special that you appreciate them for. It will make your day and theirs even more special.


Product Review – Hand Made Birthday Hats from Kid Digs

Made it an Extra Special Event with a Custom Made Birthday Hat

Handmade party decor and accessories are all the rage.  One of our favorite new trends is the adorable handmade birthday hats that have been showing up all over the blogsphere.  We started crafting them for some of our  custom theme events this summer and they definitely take some time and practice to get it right.  If you don’t want to spend the time making your own, we found a great source for gorgeous hand crafted hats, Kids Digs, a kids clothing and accessories site.  Check out the one we had created for a recent Knights and Dragon’s party for 4 year old Austin. It is a very well made hat with lots of detail. She replicated the adorable dragon on the invitation which was hand sketched by our favorite invitation artist Deb Buker of Whimsical Originals. It matched perfectly and he loved it!


Starting New Traditions for the Holiday Season

Holiday Traditions

The holiday season is upon us. Sort through that candy, pack away the skeletons and witch hats and start thinking about ways to make this holiday season extra special for your family.  Holidays are defined by tradition and starting new ones is a great to make them more magical. Here are a few ideas to spark your imagination.
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Plan a Movie Night with Friends
Everyone has their favorite Holiday classics to watch during the holiday season. One great way to enhance the experience of watching these favorites is to invite a few friends over and make it little party. Pop some popcorn, serve hot chocolate, light a fire and have everyone show up in their PJs and snuggle under a blanket together. Kick it up a notch by making a “Hot Chocolate Bar” where the kids can add their own toppings to their drinks. Yum!

Decorate a Gingerbread House with the Kids
There are lots of great kits out there for making adorable Gingerbread Houses if you are not inclined to try to do it yourself. One of our favorites is from Sur La Table. Save your leftover Halloween candy to use to decorate with.

Trim a Tree for the Birds
Decorate an outdoor tree with edible ornaments out of peanut butter and seeds and watch the birds flock to enjoy the treats!  String popcorn, berries or dried fruit together to form edible garland. Tip: pop the corn a day in advance. It strings better after it’s had a chance to sit for a day and get soft.

Clean up, Clear out and Give back
Clean out the play area and commit to donating a certain number of toys to a shelter every year. Get the kids involved so they learn how to give back. Some great places to take your donations:

  • Church daycare centers
  • Women’s shelters
  • Goodwill
  • Ronald McDonald House

Birdseed Ornaments from Blisstree.com, Hot Chocolate Bar from The Bride and Groom Blog, Gingerbread House Kit from Sur la Table


A Spider-iffic Tablescape

Setting a Spider-themed Table for Halloween

Why not create a special table that will horrify and delight you and your little ghouls and goblins? Don’t be afraid of color, orange and black aren’t the only way to create shocking decor elements for your table. Green, Black and Purple are a really neat choice, just check out our scaretactic tablescape for some truly dastardly inspiration!

The tablecloth is a simple sheet covered in cheese cloth that can be found in any grocery store. The plates are from the Halloween collection at Target ($1.99 each!) and are dishwasher safe so you can use them year after year. We created napkin holders with wide ribbon from the craft store and hot glued little spiders we found at Party City. We used the same little spiders to dress up simple solo cups. To make the centerpiece, inspired by a recent Hostess with the Mostess Halloween table, we took a black planter, filled it with craft foam and scoured the yard for some sticks to make a spooky tree. A little black spray paint gave it an aged look. We then embellished the tree with purple beads and black and purple spiders (both from Party City)


DIY Spider Serving Plate

Check out this adorable DIY Spider Serving plate project from She Wears Flowers. Easy to make and so much fun to display Halloween Goodies!

Materials

  • black bowl and plate (check outTarget’s super cheap melamine dishes)
  • E6000 Glue
  • small scrap black construction paper
  • large moveable eyes
  • black chenille sticks (“pipe cleaners”)

Instructions

  1. Cut a circle out of the construction paper that is the same size as the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Fill the bottom of the bowl with glue—don’t go overboard, though, because it will easily squish out to the edges.
  3. Put the ends of the pipe cleaners into the glue with 4 sticking out of each side. Set the construction paper over this to hold it all in place. Weight it down with a glass or full can of spray paint. Let sit overnight to make sure the glue is really dry.
  4. Glue the plate to the bowl. Place something heavy on it and let dry overnight. 
  5. Bend the spider legs into the desired shape. I did all of the bending first and then went back and cut the “feet” to the right length. 
  6. Glue on the eyes. Let dry overnight.
  7. Add your treats  and enjoy! 

Healthy Halloween Goodies!

Give Them Something Good to Eat…Before Trick or Treat

Before you send the little ghosts and goblins out to trick or treat for chocolate and candy, start a tradition of pre-activity healthy snacks! Apple Bites, Hot Dog Mummies, and Snack-o’-Lanterns provide for a healthy, halloween-centered treat that you will adore and have the kids coming back for more!

Here are a few of our favorites:

Hot Dog Mummies

Ingredients

  • 1 11-ounce can of refrigerator breadsticks
  • 1 12-pack of hot dogs
  • Yellow mustard

Instructions
  1. For each mummy, separate one breadstick from the roll and use kitchen shears or a knife to slice it in half lengthwise to create two thinner strips.
  2. Wrap one strip at a time snugly around the hot dog. Depending on the size of the hot dog, you may not need all of both strips. Leave about 1/2 inch of hot dog exposed for the face area and continue wrapping the top of the hot dog.
  3. Bake the mummies on a cookie sheet at 350º for 15 to 18 minutes or until the breadstick wrapping is golden brown.
  4. Remove the mummies from the oven and cool them for 5 minutes. Add yellow mustard eyes just before serving. Makes 12 mummies.

Terrifying Teeth


 
Ingredients

  • Apples
  • Slivered almonds or mini pretzel sticks

Instructions

  1. Quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter
  2. Press slivered almonds or pretzel stick pieces in place for teeth.

Tip: If you’re not going to serve them right away, baste the apples with orange juice to keep them from browning. 

Snack-O’-Lantern

Ingredients

  • Navel oranges
  • Canned or fresh fruit salad

Instructions

  1. Use a small knife to slice the top off a navel orange and cut around its interior to hollow it out. Scoop out the orange segments, chop them, and mix them with canned or fresh fruit salad.
  2. Carve small facial features in one side of the orange, then cut a slit in the lid to accommodate the handle of a plastic spoon. Fill the lantern with fruit salad. Insert the spoon and set the lid in place.

Recipes and images from Disney’s Family Fun Online Magazine


Have you been Booed?

Yesterday when we arrived home from running errands, my kids were delighted to find their first “Boo” at the back door. A Halloween themed cross between a secret admirer and a chain letter (but much more fun), the game goes something like this: You leave a small gift bag with some Halloween treats at a couple of neighbor’s doors with a note and a sign. The note tells them in a cutesy way to:

1. Enjoy the treats
2. Place the BOO sign on the front door or visible in a window
3. Within 2 days, make 2 copies of the note, make 2 treats & 2 BOO signs
4. Secretly deliver to 2 neighbors/friends without a BOO.
5. Keep an eye on nearby front doors to see how far and fast it spreads by Halloween.

I just love this new Halloween tradition and a little searching online turned up a bunch of free printables to start this tradition in your own neighborhood. A few of my favorites are below:

Enjoy!


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