15 Earth-Friendly Websites


Good news, Kermit! Being green just got a whole lot easier. In order to help you respect your mother (earth), we’ve created the ultimate list of eco-friendly websites. Each one is brimming with trusted resources and creative ideas to help you create a lifestyle that’s not only natural but practical too. Scroll down to see them all.

1GirlieGirl Army
You’d like to go green, but you think it means giving up all your glamazon gear. Think again. GirlieGirl Army is a website dedicated to making the world sustainably beautiful. You’ll find tips for consigning and shopping vintage, discover the new and cool “green” fashion brands, pick up natural wellness tips and more. The contributor list is impressive, ranging from vegan chefs to doulas and fashionistas.

2. Healthy Child Healthy World
After Nancy and James Chuda lost their only daughter to non-genetic cancer most likely caused by maternal exposure to pesticides, they took action. From diligently working to influence policy makers and legislation to demanding corporate accountability from manufacturers, the Chuda’s non-profit supports parents in their efforts to create safe and healthy environments. This organization is a go-to resource for trusted brands, products, and healthy living solutions.

3. TreeHugger
The hard-working editors and experts at TreeHugger strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions and product information. You can sign up for a weekly or daily newsletter in order to dtay up-to-date on topics such as design, tech, business, living and science.

4. The Green Mama
Ready to take a seat on the go-green caravan? It’s time for you to meet the Green Mama, more formally known as Manda Aufochs Gillespie. She specializes in helping her clients make fun and easily maintainable healthy lifestyle changes. We love her because she jokes about the “green police,” a label she saves for people who are more eager to judge than to support. Here’s a green mama with whom we can all relate!

Online: thegreenmama.com

 

5. Mothering
Beware, this site has so much useful information, you could end up browsing for hours. Yes even (gasp!) right through nap time! We especially like the active forums that range from buying and selling gently-used goods to an age-based Q&A. Simply sign up to meet thousands of like-minded parents.

Online: mothering.com

 

6. Living Pretty Naturally
Filled with helpful tips on how to treat your body from inside out, suggestions on how to cook foods that are best for natural beauty, and what not to put on your face, Living Pretty Naturally is where you’ll want to go for a killer sugar scrub recipe or for the latest natural cosmetics reviews. There’s a section for him, her, and even baby!     

Online: livingprettynaturally.com  

 

7. The Eco-Friendly Family
We love this site because it’s designed with the modern family in mind. From cool new products to how to keep it eco-chic, the Eco-Friendly Family is a go-to resource for people who don’t want to sacrifice style in their quest to help save the planet.

Extra Eco-Credit: You’ll find a ton of DIY tutorials that are actually easy to do.

Online: theecofriendlyfamily.com

 

8. Groovy Green Livin’
Started by a self-proclaimed “recovering attorney” Groovy Green Livin’ is a website devoted to helping people make simple changes which lead to a greener life. What exactly does that mean? Author Lori Popkewitz Alpe outlines six steps to help get you started, which include switching to non-toxic cleaners and saying goodbye to paper towels. 

Online: groovygreenlivin.com

 

9. Peace Love Organic Mom
Filled with product and service reviews and saving tips and coupons, PLOM is a great resource for parents that want to start their path to greener pastures.

Extra Eco-Credit: Explore PLOM’s Pinterest page for vegan desserts, eco-friendly party ideas, and more.  

Online: peaceloveorganicmom.com

 

10. Environmental Working Group
If you want straight facts without the frills, the Environmental Working Group is where you’ll find them. EWG has a simple mission—to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. They tackle key issues in energy, farming, and consumer products, and their investigations are eye-opening.

Extra Eco-Credit: Their consumer guide section is one of the best. From sunscreen to pesticides in produce, you’ll find an environmental “grade” on over 80,000 products. We especially love their Skin Deep Cosmetics database.

Online: ewg.com

 

11. Kitchen Stewardship
Don’t be fooled by the name, this website is more than just green smoothies and tips on how to keep your kitchen stocked with organic fruits and veggies (although it’s a great resource for those too!). The site also includes countless product reviews and tons of tips on how to eat well and spend less while entertaining, packing healthy lunches, and feeding kids with food allergies.

Extra Eco-Credit: We also love Kitchen Stewardship’s YouTube channel, perfect for when you’re in the mood to watch rather than read.

Online: kitchenstewardship.com

 

12. Happy Mothering
This site feels like a visit to an old friend’s house. The host, Chrystal, is a mother of two and began her journey towards a more natural lifestyle after being diagnosed with (and beating!) melanoma in February 2007. Her site is full of creative ideas on how to take a more holistic approach to everyday family life. It’s practical and reliable, just like that childhood friend.

Extra Eco-Credit: Happy Mothering has a great section on Essential Oils, and how to incorporate them into your home.

Online: happymothering.com

 

13. Mother Earth News
If you’ve ever had a chance to flip through the magazine you know Mother Earth News is stocked with tons of information on how to live a more earth-conscious life. The website is no different. Browse sections dedicated to topics such as Homesteading and Livestock, Natural Health, and DIY projects, or watch videos on organic gardening before finding recipes for fresh, healthy eats.

Extra Eco-Credit: There’s also a podcast! Click here to find out more.

Online: motherearthnews.com

 

14. Petite Planet
This site is filled with fun, sustainable crafting ideas, toy and gadget reviews, as well as first-hand accounts from moms in the know. Browse the various categories, which include health, bath & beauty, feeding, clothing and green design.

Online: petiteplanet.com

 

15. Eartheasy
The professionals have arrived. The founders of Eartheasy have been living off the land for more than 30 years, which led them to create a website focused on bringing sustainable solutions to a wider audience. There’s a vast shop filled with everything from kitchen utensils to water filtration systems, and a blog with helpful articles and posts on all sorts of eco-friendly topics.

Online: eartheasy.com

Want more? Check out Red Tricycle’s 2016 Green Living Power Moms.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.

—Gabby Cullen & Aimee Della Bitta

Feature photo: Simply Bike via Flickr



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Seeing Color, a Resource That Offers Hope & Celebrates Culture


You do your best to lead by example: show empathy, be kind and don’t judge a book by its cover. But, what if you did see (ok, examine) the cover and used your examination to delve beyond the surface? That’s the exact question three women in D.C. are asking with their new resource, Seeing Color. The website, a compilation of essays on empathy, motherhood, and culture, challenges you to see color and to celebrate it. Find out why Seeing Color is a game-changer in 2017 and how it’ll make you feel slightly uncomfortable—in all the best ways possible.

What’s Seeing Color?
Color is actually an acronym for Celebrates, Open Dialogue, Loves, Offers Hope and Reconciles. Pretty smart, right? The project’s vision is to challenge readers to go beyond the surface or color of one’s skin and to celebrate the differences that make us who we are. The savvy women behind this website aim to create a dialogue that helps the greater community move closer towards social justice, community development and compassion.

So, Let’s Talk About How to Create a Dialogue
What better way to create an open, inclusive conversation around community, culture and color than to invite diverse stories? That’s just what Seeing Color is all about. You’ll find essays about the rich history of DC to social currency to motherhood. You may not agree with all of the perspective—or even be able to relate to them—but we promise you will get a taste of something new that’s thought provoking and sincere.

Don’t Take It From Us
The women behind the website, Autumn, Malisa and Ayren (Ayren also is the brains behind Red Tricycle DC), recently told us about how Seeing Color came to be and what readers can expect in the future. Read on to hear straight from them.

Red Tricycle: Tell us how you three women met
Seeing Color: Being present in the community really brought us together.  Autumn met Malisa at a community cultural kids program, and then met Ayren at church.  Autumn really connected with both these other amazing women who were fellow moms who also had a genuine love for people and commitment to somehow positively impacting the world.  Now we are the three amigos maximizing life by experiencing adventures together and being intentional about creating change.

RT: How did this new project come about? Tell us about the evolution of your idea and why you chose to launch Seeing Color now.
SC: While Ayren and Autumn were at a coffee shop spending some time away from the kiddos in order to work on projects in their hearts, Autumn was side tracked with a vision for the need to inspire conversation on the topic of the differences that make up people in this world.  To choose to celebrate those differences.  Autumn was personally frustrated with the idea that somehow being color blind was ok. Using blog as a platform to communicate a positive message to SEE people, to SEE color and learn to love and celebrate it would help take our culture in a positive direction.

RT: How does your role as a mother shape the direction of Seeing Color?

“Once you become a mother, that role plays a role in everything you do.  Of course as we contemplate important world issues and the role of our faith, and race, and culture, we certainly consider what this means for our children.  It may not play a role in the content we choose to include in the site, but it definitely plays a role in our passion and perspective when it comes to writing on this topic.” —Autumn Swain

“Motherhood shapes my everything—from the things I buy at a store to the way I write. I often try to see things through the eyes of my kids, which works well for Seeing Color because we, in essence, are reinforcing the idea of childlike curiosity. Kids are quick to notice physical differences in people (I.e. “I am brown, but my line buddy is peach”). But they are even quicker to look past the surface differences of a person to focus on more altruistic characteristics like friendship, fears, hobbies, and loyalty. When you acknowledge someone’s exterior, but then make a conscious effort to dig deeper, you get to the heart of a person; it amazes me everyday that kids just naturally get that, while we as adults struggle tremendously with the concept.” —Ayren Jackson-Cannady

“It hard for me to separate being a mother from anything else I do. The experiences I have with people are had through the prism of motherhood, usually with my children present, so the content of my thoughts about my interactions with others often includes children.” —Malisa Payne

RT: What can we expect from Seeing Color in the near future?
SC: Stories from people of all backgrounds that will challenge and inspire.  Contributions from men, women and youth regarding their experiences with “seeing color”.

RT: What do you hope to achieve with your new website?
SC: We hope to ignite new relationships that may otherwise not have been attempted or considered. Our hope is to motivate people to learn more about one another, be excited about engaging, and see real commitment to building unified communities.

We want all people to be able to benefit from reading the content. We want to inspire genuine conversation on the topic. We want to challenge people to consider how we all have limiting views and can benefit from learning from one another. We want people to know that our faith fuels our desire to volunteer our time away from family and other commitments in order to share a message of hope and love for people of different hues, experiences and preferences because it is so important for a more whole and healthy world.

RT: What’s your response to people who disagree with your stance or essays?
SC: Our response is to educate and empower people with information to expand their paradigm.  Understanding other people’s perspectives is very important to having a well-rounded reality.  We would encourage someone in disagreement to talk with someone of a different background and culture and get to know them.  When you know and value people from different backgrounds, you will no longer want to ignore their “color” and culture, but celebrate the uniqueness they have and the positive contribution difference adds to our world.

As Dr Suess says, “Don’t try so hard to fit in if you were born to stand out.”   Encouraging a colorblind society has nothing to do with looking at people equally.  It actually has the opposite affect.  Equality is embracing differences and acknowledges the equal beauty found in those differences.  Ignoring “color” is naturally viewing what someone has to offer as insignificant which does not support equality.

RT: Are you accepting submissions? What if someone wants to contribute?
SC: Yes! We would love to hear people’s stories and thoughts. If interested, people can email us at info@seeingcolor.net

Online: seeingcolor.net

Tell us—what do you think of Seeing Color? What do you find compelling about these stories?

— Erin Lem

photos courtesy of Seeing Color



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8 Things Your Kids Need to Know About Money by the Time They’re 10


When it comes to vital life skills, money management is right up there with teeth brushing and potty training. That’s why it’s never too early to start learning about buying, budgeting and compound interesting. Here are eight things kids can master now for future money success.

Photo: familytreasures via Flickr

1. Wants and needs are two different things. We need air, food, water, shelter and clothing. While Junior might beg to differ, we don’t need toy cars or princess crowns. Needs are the things we buy before we buy the things we want.

Make it make ‘cents’: Together with the kiddo, grab a bunch of old magazines and coupon mailers, cut out different pictures, and glue them on a sheet of paper so that you have a collage of wants and a collage of needs.

2. Save for a rainy day.
Or any day. As adults, we know the instant regret we feel from an instant gratification buy (i.e. that $25 latte). It’s a hard and fast lesson that kids can grasp, too.

Make it make ‘cents’: Separate your little one’s allowance into “spend money” and “save money” (two labeled jars make it easy). She can then decide to use up the spend money in one sitting or put it in the save jar until she has enough for a more expensive buy.

Photo: Steven Depolo via Flickr

3. In the real world, you don’t earn money for doing things you’re supposed to.
How nice would it be to get paid for making your bed, folding clothes, or cutting your grass? Alas, it’s not the case, so why do we lead kids on with chore-driven allowance? Consider giving them an allowance for extra work that they don’t normally do (i.e. helping cook dinner or washing the family pet).

Make it make ‘cents’: Charge your mini-money makers with organizing a lemonade stand to earn extra money. They’ll have a blast setting up shop and get a taste of what it’s like to have a job.

4. Even pennies matter.
It’s all about compound interest, ya’ll. The sooner you start saving money—even if it’s just pennies—the more you’ll save in the long run (it’s not rocket science, but does take a lot of discipline). If an eight-year-old saved a penny a day for 10 years, by the time he was 18 he’d have $3,650. Not too shabby.

Make it make ‘cents’: Skip penny banks. Kids can’t see the change adding up. Instead, use a clear Mason jar so that they can see and understand the value of saving.

Photo: Sarah Joy via Flickr

5. Money comes in different forms.
There are coins, paper bills, paper checks, debit and credit cards–and you use them all at different times for purchases. The idea of monetary variety is a hard one to grasp for the under 10 set, especially when you can buy things with “invisible money” (aka credit cards).

Make it make ‘cents’: Role playing with pretend money, checks and cards will help kids understand how each is used differently.

6. Shop around.
Embrace your picky eater’s selectivity and encourage her to use those skills to shop around. Smart buying is another way of saving and investing money.

Make it make cents: Make a game out of delaying gratification. Ask your kids to see how long they can wait before buying that shiny new object. They might only make it to the store entrance before wanting to turn around and make the purchase. Or, they might make it out the door and all the way home…and then realize they don’t really need it.

Photo: Behan via Flickr

7. Stick to your budget.
We know, we know—easier said than done. But, the sooner your kids are introduced to budgeting (making lists and plans about what they want to buy), the better. And the takeaway? They have the power to pick where their money goes.

Make it make ‘cents’: Create and label four money jars: “spend,” “save,” “share,” and “invest.” It’s up to your kiddo to decide where her money goes. Another fun way to practice budgeting? Play Monopoly!

8. Share!
Kids have great examples of $$$-stingy characters—think Scrooge, who no matter how much money he has, hoards it all to himself. Giving (even the smallest amount) to those who have less is a fundamental money lesson that kids, who are naturally empathetic, can really enjoy.

Make it make “cents”: Together, research and choose one charity to donate money to each month. It’s as simple as that.

How do you teach your kid about money? Tell us in the comments section below.

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady

 



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App and at ‘Em! Tech to Help Kickstart Your Day


Everyone knows that the key to starting off the day right is getting a good night’s sleep. For many, though, it’s not the sleeping part that’s a problem, it’s the waking part that’s a chore. Dubbed as the “waking up made easy” app, Sleep Cycle is an intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase—the natural way to wake up feeling rested and relaxed.

The app uses a patented technology that monitors sleep movements using sound or vibration analysis, then finds the optimal time to sound the alarm during a 30-minute window that ends at your set alarm time. Since you move differently in bed during the different phases, Sleep Cycle can use the microphone or accelerometer in your mobile device to monitor your movements and determine which sleep phase you are in.

The free version of the app provides detailed sleep statistics and sleep graphs, which can be exported to Excel for more detailed analysis.

Free on iTunes and Google Play



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All Aboard! Thomas Land Reopens April 8


You love him on your living room floor and you can’t get enough of him on the screen: Thomas the Tank Engine and all of his Friends are the center of your train-obsessed tots world. Indulge that obsession on a whole new level with a trip to Thomas Land, the permanent Thomas & Friends theme park in Carver, Ma. Set to open for the third season on April 8, you can book your tickets now.

What It Is
Head to the Island of Sodor, aka 11.5 acres of Thomas-themed fun! There’s more 11 different Thomas & Friend rides, a 20-minute train ride on Thomas the Tank Engine plus a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, drop tower and more. All the rides feature Thomas & Friends including Percy, Toby, Diesel, Cranky the Crane, Harold the Helicopter, and more. You can even check out the Tidmouth Sheds (where there is a live stage show) and Knapford Station (which houses the gift shop!)

Get Your Tickets
Click here to check out our family guide to visiting Thomas Land this year with your kids.

Ages: All ages
Cost: $27/person ages 3 and up (save a few dollars by picking specific dates for your visit in advance)

Edaville USA
5 Pine St.
Carver, Ma 02330
Online: edaville.com/Thomasland

Photo courtesy Thomas Land



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The New Digital Playroom from Hopster Makes Perfect Sense


Hopster, the learning app for preschoolers, recently announced the debut of a new digital playroom geared toward helping kiddos develop essential sensory processing skills. Sense is available on the app on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2.

What It Is
Hopster is an award-winning children’s app geared toward kids ages 2-6. It’s totally ad-free and packed with learning features including games, songs and shows. Now, as part of the app, kids can visit Sense—an area designed specifically to help kids learn fine motor skills and schematic play with sensory relief in mind. Sense is great for any child and perfectly suited for the sensory needs of autistic children.

 

Sense has 9 different screens, made up of different sounds, music, colors, textures and lights. Rather than quick or flashing changes, there are calm gradual shifts between color, light and movement. The animated features are also calm and the music is relaxing. And it feature two color palettes: bright and colorful or pastel, so it facilitates a wider audience and moods.

Even More
Hopster will also tie in the release of Sense with the introduction of a special themed area that celebrates diversity and special needs. The shows including Punky—an animated show about a little girl with Down Syndrome; The Adventures of Zee which highlights Arabic culture and Signed Stories—a collection of classic fairy tales that narrates with ASL (American Sign Language).

How to Get It 
Launching in the Hopster app on April 2, you can get the app through Google Play or iTunes. You can try the app for free, it is $4.99 a month after free trial. 

Do your kids play with Hopster? Will you check out Sense?

—Amber Guetebier

images courtesy Hopster



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Meet the Country’s Most Inspirational Power Moms


Have you heard? The future is female! That’s right–We’re celebrating women across the country who are innovating, creating, leading and ideating. What do all these women have in common? They’re all multi-tasking mothers breaking glass ceilings and setting examples for future generations everywhere. From designers to business owners to educators, read on to meet 154 inspirational power moms who slay every day.

These women make motherhood look GOOD. Our 2016 list of style and design powerhouses is filled with architects, art directors, product designers, fashion stylists and so many more. Click here to be inspired and meet them all!

 

When it comes to feeding hungry kiddos, every mother fits the term Power Mom. But these women are taking the power up a notch by doing awesome work in the food industry. To meet them all click here!

Hsiao-Ching Chou, Food Writer and Communications Director

 

 

From holistic celebrity chefs to moms who fight for clean air, these 10 amazing women work hard, play hard, and are powerhouses when it comes to the eco-tastic life. Flip through the album below to meet our Green Living Power Moms of 2016.

Afya Ibomu - Co-Founder, RGB Fit Club, Certified Holistic Nutritionist

 

 

It’s no surprise (to us, at least) that many of the people who make the Bay Area great are ambitious, creative, multitasking moms whose families have inspired them to aim higher and excel in their fields. We highlight a few of our favorite Bay Area Power Moms right here—click here to see them all!

 

brit-morin-ceo-and-founder-of-brit-co

 

 

Representing fields ranging from design, media, education, science, fashion, finance and beyond — and often possessing a killer entrepreneurial streak — these ladies are inspiring examples of sisters doin’ it for themselves, while also making family a priority. (Oh, but “Work/Life” balance? They all kind of call B.S. on that concept, and offer their own take on it.) Click through to meet your new lady-crushes!

erin-at-bear-mountain-w-girls-e1475776707897

 

 

While we think all moms are amazing, we’ve chosen a very special group of our fave LA power moms who are not only holding down the fort at home, but are also creating, inventing, inspiring, innovating and pursuing their dreams in a wide variety of fields. Meet them here.

 

 

Meet just a small representation of Chicago’s Power Moms: women who carry an incredible amount of responsibility and commitments to careers, family, friends and community, all with kindness and humility. Click here to meet the moms.

Melissa Salvatore, Owner/Photographer, A Little Photo Studio

 

 

Whether it’s heading a start up, running errands or coaching our sidekick’s weekend soccer game (or all of the above!), moms really do do it all. Flip through to meet 13 Seattle moms who prove you don’t need to wear a cape to have super powers.

 

 

Super powers aren’t just for Captain America and Harry Potter. Need proof? These 11 D.C. moms may not be able to fly at the speed of light, but they soar in their own right–heading start-ups, running errands like a boss or mentoring the next generation of leaders (or all three). Click through to get to know them a little better while filling your inspiration allotment for the month.

doron-petersan

 

 

We uncovered 14 San Diego moms who are redefining motherhood in their own way. They are teachers, lawyers, STEM advocates, even planners, Girl Scout leaders, music teachers, chocolatiers, authors, and much more. What’s the one thing they have in common? They are moms, first and foremost. Meet them here.

Kristen Elgo, National Events Manager for PIRCH

 

 

You know the old saying—If you want to get something important done right, ask a busy mom to do it. Well, we believe it, and we’ve rounded up 11 Atlanta moms to prove it.

 

 

 

From working to find foster homes for homeless children to empowering other mothers and much, much more, these power moms are working tirelessly to make our community better and stronger while raising the next generation of Portlanders up right. Click through to get inspiration from these PDX power moms.

 

 

These power moms are proving that the tech industry is no longer a man’s world. Check out their stories and accomplishments and get ready to feel empowered!

 

We know there are hundreds of thousands of power moms out there and we bet you’re one of them (or know one)! Tell us–who else should we add to our list? Sound off below!



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100 Indoor Activities Because Winter Isn’t Over Yet


You’re in the final stretch of winter and can almost see Spring at the finish line. End your season strong with these ideas that go beyond your normal play routine. From creating stained glass windows out of crayons to making cardboard rocket ships, here are 100 indoor activities to keep your brood entertained and engaged until you can officially kick Old Man Winter to the curb.

1. From balloon sports to indoor hopscotch, we’re obsessed with these indoor activities that will get your kids moving. Check them out here.

2. Make music with your phone! Here are the best music-making apps for kids.

3. Create a stained-glass art window.

4. Learn about snowflakes in a whole new way with snowflake experiments. Bonus: you don’t need actual snow to pull them off.

5. Make a time capsule.

6. Intro. your kids to yoga with this beginner series. 

7. Forget the paint brush. Use a comb instead to create your next masterpiece!

8. Download a new kids’ album and host a dance party.

9. Need even more music? We asked our editors for their favorite dance tunes. Listen to the play list here.

10. You don’t need a ton of supplies to keep your kids entertained. Check out our ideas for fun indoors with three supplies or less.

11. Your indoor afternoon playdate will be anything but boring with these genius ideas.

12. Create a rad rhino mask.

orion rhino craft

photo: Erin Feher

13. Sharpen those memory skills by playing a brain-boosting game.

14. Sometimes you need indoor fun that lasts more than an hour. For fabulous long-term play projects click here.

15. Is your kid still learning how to tell time? We have five games that’ll help them get there.

16. Channel Ariel and make your own mermaid tail.

17. If they’re more into Ursula, try out one of these fun octopus crafts.

18. Whether you have only five minutes or a full 30, here are 18 activities to make the most of your time.

19. Intro. your kids to Scrabble with our version of the game that features two-letter words.

20. Send a hug to a family member or loved one far away with a DIY hug card.

21. Show your kids how epic dragons really are with easy dragon crafts that’ll keep ‘em entertained all day long.

paper-plate-flying-dragon-pink-stripey-socks

photo: pinkstripeysocks.com

22. Bend water with a comb.

23. Changing the world is easier than you may think. Check out our handy guide for kids here.

24. Transform all your old and broken crayons into a stunning work of art.

25. Teach your kids how germs really work with a science experiment high on the fun (and gross) factor.

26. Whip up a batch of glow-in-the-dark ice cubes.

27. Make your own harmonica with only four supplies.

28. If you’re feeling less than energetic, try a low-key activity. We have 13 ideas to get you started.

wahi-tape-doimnoes-a-crafty-living

photo: A Crafty Living

29. Need a few free minutes to yourself? Set your kids up with one of these streaming shows that are kid- and parent-approved.

30. Try your hand at creating a confetti balloon ball.

31. Use old toilet paper rolls to make binoculars.

32. Play a game of sniff-and-seek.

33. Teach your kids a little more about yourself. Here are 10 questions they can ask you today.

34. Fashion jewelry out of food.

35. All you need is 30-minutes to make your own dolphin.

dolphin-54

photo: Christal Yuen

36. Put pen to paper (or figner to keyboard) with three simple ideas to turn your kids into author for the day.

37. Make poop (yep, you read that right).

38. Carving out quality family time doesn’t have to be challenging. Simply look to our guide for some easy ideas.

39. Download a cool crop of new apps geared towards kids who love to invent.

40. Make an easy color wheel.

crayons-1445054_1920

photo: Pixabay

41. Learn about the importance of spit with this great experiment.

42. Never lose your place in your book again thanks to this DIY bowtie bookmark project.

43. Map out your next trip by scoping out the coolest music venues for families.

44. Let snowmen inspire snacktime. Take a peek at our favorite snowmen-inspired treats.

45. Make your own tic-tac-toe board.

46. Did you know that ziploc finger painting requires only two supplies? Get the scoop here.

47. Paint with popsicles.

48. If you have grandparents nearby, you’ll want to play one of these games with them.

49. You can never have too many books about construction. Book it to the library to check out one of our favorite books they’ll really dig.

kid-reading-ccflickr-eugenekim

photo: eekim via flickr

50. Go beyond Monopoly with new family games.

51. Transform your toilet paper rolls. Here’s how!

52. Got extra straws? Try making a straw rocket ship.

53. Don’t throw out those popped balloons. We have the perfect craft to use those rubber pieces up.

54. Use natural products (think: leaves and sticks) you find outside as paint brushes.

55. Turn old cereal boxes into a cityscape.

Cereal City

photo: Dinner: A Love Story

56. Think small and make tiny furniture for your tiny friends.

57. Keeping your kids entertained after school is oh-so-easy with ideas that range from yoga to creating an indoor train track.

58. Did you know your old egg cartons can be upcycled into a colorful mask?

59. Whip up a batch of pixie dust.

60. Science meets imaginary play with this ice LEGO activity (pictured below).

Ice LEGO

photo: Dayna Abraham via Lemon Lime Adventures

61. Write your own comic book.

62. Prep for spring and all the birds by making an egg carton bird feeder.

63. For easy sensory play, explore the temperature and texture of ice.

64. Skip that ship in a bottle. Try out a a cork boat instead.

65. Take craft time to the next, out-of-this-world level with a fun alien craft.

66. If saying the word “poop” is a surefire giggle-maker, you’ll want to check out these yucky (and so fun) games for the whole family.

67. Did you know you can make a lunchbox out of a plastic water jug? Get the tutorial here.

68. Before there were smart phones, there were maps. Pass the paper reading map skills down a generation by showing your kids how to read a map, old-school style.

kids-reading-map-pixababy

photo: Pixabay

69. Play a game that helps with hand-eye coordination. Bonus: there’s a barnyard twist.

70. Paint like Van Gogh.

71. Bring the Big Easy into your home with our favorite kid-friendly jazz albums.

72. Transform empty bottles into a scuba tank.

73. Take some time to teach your kids about a historic icon: Frederick Douglass.

74. It may be gloomy outside but you can still spot a rainbow thanks to these four clever ways of making your own.

75. Lounge in style with a homemade hammock.

76. Use air (hey, it’s cheap!) for your next science experiment.

77. Cold weather got you down? Stay mellow with this blues playlist for kids.

78. Make your own bubbles.

soap-bubble-439103_1920

photo: Pixabay

79. Cast a spell with a pretend potion.

80. Upcycle your own newspaper into a crazy awesome dome.

81. Learn a new magic trick (or seven!).

82. Make a bird feeder out of an empty soup can.

83. Craft your very own shooting star.

84. Practice counting with these clever hacks.

85. Score a new set of wheels. Here are 10 cool cars you can make at home.

Fingerprint Freight Train

photo: Simply Learning Instagram Page

86. Check out nine sand play ideas. No beach required!

87. Create your own family laws just for today. Use these five ideas to get you started.

88. Learn how to make shadow puppets.

89. Paint with popsicles.

90. It’s time for a geography lesson. Get started with our Name That State printable.

91. Even if you can’t run around outside you can still play football. Paper football that is.

92. It’s Girl Scout cookie season (YES!). To celebrate, learn two Girl Scout songs today.

93. Write your own fairy tale. Use our fill-in-the-blank story to get started.

94. Fold an origami teddy bear.

95. Make the kids LOL with 20 hilarious jokes.

DonutFriendlaughing

photo: Jolie Loeb

96. Break out the deck of cards to learn these easy card games and tricks.

97. Check out our ideas for pretend play you can set up (and enjoy!) in one afternoon.

98. Create your own puppet theater.

99. Embrace the mess with these confetti poppers fun for any time of year.

100. And, for you, mom and dad who have crafted, created, entertained and danced, you deserve a pat on the back…and maybe even a glass of wine. Make things interesting with our wine bingo printable you can download here. Cheers!

Which one of the above ideas will you try withe your kids? What’s your go-to indoor play idea? Share the love in the comment section below!

— Erin Lem

 

 



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The Cheater’s Guide to Throwing a Unicorn Party


We know you. You want to throw that photo-worthy, gilded, rainbow dream-party for your fairy princess unicorn. We also know you have barely slept, are managing a work/life balance (which is a lot of work it turns out) and when it comes to crafts, well, let’s just say we are all familiar with the term “Pinterest fail.” Which is why we created this little cheater’s guide, so that you can have your rainbow snacks and actually have time to eat them too. Read on for some of the easiest unicorn ideas around.

photo: kaboompics via pixabay

Wearable Unicorn Horn Hack

Birthday party hat cones worn low enough to be on their forehead. Yeah, you know what we mean. They kinda do it anyway! If you are feeling fancy you can replace the elastic with a nice ribbon. Bonus points for gold hats,  but rainbow polka-dot works too (i.e. whatever is in stock at the party store).

Cake Shortcuts

So, you can’t make a fondant gold unicorn horn to save your life, even though you watched the tutorial like 10 times? It’s okay! We’ve got you.

You will need:

A cake
Frosting
Sprinkles
Sugar Cones (the pointy kind of ice cream cone)
Optional: edible glitter or gold dust

1. You have two options for the first part: either Bake a basic cake and frost with the world’s easiest frosting. Tint it light blue or pink or just cover it in rainbow sprinkles. You decide OR Get an undecorated, frosted cake from the grocery store bakery. Again, just plain white and you can add rainbow sprinkles. 

2. Get sprinkles! And a can of frosting. Better yet, get the can of frosting that comes with sprinkles. Frost the pointy ice cream cone. Roll it in sprinkles. Place on cake (point up). Bam! Unicorn.

Alternative: Get edible gold dust and coat the cone so that it is, in fact, a gold unicorn horn. See, you can make one! 

Alternative alternative: See if your local ice cream shop will sell you an already dipped and sprinkled cone!

Tip: Do yourself a favor and avoid searching for “inspiration” photos of unicorn cakes.

photo: Steve Spangler Science

A Rainbow of Activities

When it comes to unicorns, rainbows (for semi-inexplicable reasons) are always in the picture. Let the kiddos in on the magic of science by making rainbows. Here are four incredibly easy ways to make your own rainbow. And by easy, we mean you just need a glass of water. 

They can get even more hands-on with this oh-so-cool experiment in water density that requires little more than food coloring and water.

photo: Krystal Underwood via Growing a Jeweled Rose

Loopy Fun
Easy rainbow crafts are just a few fruit loops away. Separate the colors in advance or let the kiddos do it one at a time as you have them create a rainbow using paper, glue and cotton balls for clouds.

Archway Art
For a simple painting project that doesn’t even require paintbrushes just add the colors of the rainbow into separate containers, let the kids dip cotton swabs, and then paint your arc. Tape the swabs together if you want to give them a rainbow-in-hand handmade brush.

photo: kara brugman via flickr

Pin the Horn on the Unicorn…of the Sea
Affectionately known as the “unicorn of the sea” the narwhal is a real animal (learn more about narwhals here) and quite frankly a lot easier to draw on a big piece of paper than a horse shape. It’s basically the shape of a whale and you can make the long horns for kids to pin on out of gold or white cardstock.  Here’s a template. Just saying.

Taste the Rainbow

photo: Gimme Delicious 

Rainbow Pizza
You can have “unicorn” food and get the kids to eat fruits and veggies with little effort. The pizza pictured here can be made on any kind of store-bought crust, but the recipe from Gimme Delicious is actually a low-carb cauliflower crust and it’s actually pretty easy to make. Arranging vegetables in rainbow order on a platter with ranch dip works too: think red, yellow and orange bell peppers, celery, carrots, etc.

photo: Family Food on the Table 

Fruit Cups & Rainbow Toast
Arrange fresh fruit on toast slices like Family Food on the Table did, or layer fruit into (clear) cups for kiddos to grab and go. You can even just make a rainbow shape on a tray.

For even more easy rainbow food ideas, including rainbow Rice Krispie treats that are actually not that hard, click here.

Tip: Don’t forget, Goldfish crackers come in rainbow colors. So do Skittles.

Decorate

 

photo: Abbey Hendrickson via flickr

It seriously doesn’t get easier or cheaper than rainbow paper chains, though it does take a little time. The good news: kids can help. Also, you can do it while watching the latest episode of This Is Us after they’ve gone to bed, so with a little planning you’ll be multitasking!

What super-easy unicorn ideas would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below. 



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