On our vacation, last August, we didn't visit 1 soccer stadium. Oh, no. We went to 3!
We saw Manchester United and Stoke City play at their home fields. We also took a side trip to tour Anfield, the great home of Liverpool FC. We don't get to England very often anymore, so my husband squeezed in as much soccer as he could into a two week period. We even visited the grassy field where my husband played football with his childhood friends.
Yes, we're BIG into soccer! My family has been looking forward to the FIFA World Cup for a long time, and we've had a lot of fun watching it with friends over the past couple of weeks.
The U.S. men's soccer team put up a great fight against Belgium! Even though they didn't win, they proved that they were a force to be reckoned with. It was very impressive!
This summer Degree Men and Walgreens have been cheering on the U.S. team as well. Did you know that Degree is the Official Deodorant of U.S. Soccer? Degree wants to reward fans who Do:More with a great offer. Hurry and get to Walgreens today or tomorrow (7/4 or 7/5) and receive 1,000 Balance Rewards points when you buy 2 Degree Men Deodorant products.
Move more, play more and Do:More this summer with Degree!
The past couple of years, I have written about Water Balloon Games for Kids, and this year I'm putting together my best list yet! Whether you need a water balloon game for summer camp, field day or just a lazy summer day, I hope you'll find something here that you like!
After searching high and low for some of the best water balloon games, here are my top picks:
1) The water balloon version of 'Hot Potato' is a great twist on the original. Get the kids to sit in a circle and start passing around a water balloon. Start playing some music and then, at random intervals, turn off the music. Whoever is left holding the water balloon or whoever pops it is the one out. The last child left in the game is the winner.
2) Paint with Water Balloons - My kids and I have used balloons for painting and the results were absolutely beautiful. Our balloons were filled with air, but adding weight and movement with water balloons is a completly new sensory experience for kids, and you'll be surprised at how beautiful the results can be.
3) Water Balloon Number Target Practice - Combine number recognition review and water balloons for a fun, easy and educational summer game. Read more at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.
4) Balloon Roll - For this game, you have to keep your water balloon on the ground. The child that rolls their water balloon the farthest, and does not pop it, wins!
5) Nothing is better on a hot summer day than Water Balloon Dodge Ball. Last week, my boys decided that I was the going to play this game with them, even if I was fully dressed. There are too many serious moments in life, so letting your kids hit you with water balloons can be really fun. If you have a group of older kids, you can really get an organized game of dodge ball going. First, make sure you have a lot of water balloons and a bunch of kids. Separate the kids into teams and then, let the kids go at it! If you get hit by an opposing team member, you're out.
6) For older kids and teens, Water Balloon Darts can be a fun activity. Just prop up the balloons on a target, give each one a value (20 points, 40, points, 60, points, 80 points and 100 points.) See who can accumulate the most points for each balloon they hit.
7) Angry Bird Inspired Water Balloon Game - "Inspired by the mega popular video game Angry Birds this takes the game outside into the sun for fun all summer long." Read more at No Time for Flash Cards.
8) Water Balloon Relay Race - Set out one chair for each team and place a water balloon in the seat. Then, players take turns running to the chair, and sitting on the balloon till it pops. After they pop the balloon, they run and tag the next player. (You will need to put a new balloon in after each one is popped.) The first team to pop all their balloons and cross the finish line wins.
9) Water Balloon Sight Word Toss - It's really simple to help reinforce sight words while playing a water balloon toss game. Learn more at Royal Balloo.
10) Water Balloon Pinatas - Hang balloons from your monkey bars or clothes line. Let the kids take turns hitting the "pinatas."
11) How Far Can You Go? See who can throw their water balloon the farthest. The kid who gets their's the farthest WITHOUT POPPING it, wins!
13) Keep the music rolling and you can also play a fun game of Musical Water Balloons. Just like musical chairs, you will need 1 less water balloon each round (for instance, 5 players = 4 water balloons). Gently lay the balloons on the grass. Start playing some music and then have the kids walk in a circluar motion. At random intervals, turn off the music. When the music stops, the kids need to find a ballon and sit on it. Whoever is left without a water balloon to sit on is out. The last child left in the game is the winner.
14) Splash and Score Baseball - Kids can test their aim and douse their opponent at the same time with this water balloon game of throwing and blocking skills.
15) Water Balloon Spoon Races -Use a plastic serving spoon or a wooden spoon for this simple summer game.
16) Fill the Bucket - This is a great team game perfect for a kid's group or camp. Each team uses water balloons to fill up a bucket. Whichever team fills the bucket first wins!
17) Water Balloon YoYo - Cut a rubberband in half. Then, attach the rubber band to the water balloon. The kids have to yo-yo them up and down until the last one with their balloon in tact wins!
18) Water Balloon Tag - Whoever is “it” carries the water balloon. If you get hit and the balloon breaks then, “Tag you’re it!
19) Even preschoolers can have fun filling up the water balloons. So, this game idea is simple. Just let the kids try to fill up the water balloons with the hose. Whoever can make the biggest balloon without it popping it is the winner!
21) Pop the Sharks - Draw a simple shark face on about 10 water balloons. Then, fill a kiddie pool with water and add the balloons. Give each child 15 seconds in the pool, and whoever pops the most sharks wins.
22) If you have 8 or more kids, find two sheets or table cloths for a Group Catapult. Have each child hold a corner (4 kids per sheet). Then, throw a water balloon onto the first sheet and have the 1st team try to propel it over to the 2nd teams table cloth. This video shows how it's done.
23) And, finally....everyone loves a good old fashioned Water Balloon Toss. Everyone line up and stand across from your partner. Everyone takes turns tossing the balloon to their partner. The last team to pop their balloon wins!
Did you know that the largest water balloon fight consisted of 8,957 participants and was achieved by Christian Student Fellowship at the University of Kentucky in 2011? A total of 175,141 water balloons were used during the fight. source
I can't even imagine filling up that many water balloons. But, last year we found a really cool product that made it so easy to make & tie water balloons that my 5 year old was doing it all by himself. Take a look:
I remember when my son was a toddler, and I spent 30 minutes getting him all dressed up in his snow gear, only for him to get outside, cry, and come right back in. Those days were tough. Now, a few years later, it's definitely much easier, but it's always good to read up on some tips for keeping your kids safe when they're playing on snow or ice.
Here Are 8 Winter Safety Tips You Need to Know From The American Academy of Pediatrics:
1) Warm layers are key. Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.
2) Dress kids a little warmer than you would dress yourself. The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
3) Don't forget the sunblock. The sun’s rays can still cause sunburn in the winter, especially when they reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen.
4) Be careful when sledding. Children should be supervised while sledding. Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries. Avoid sledding in crowded areas.
5) All skiers and snowboarders should wear helmets. Ski facilities should require helmet use, but if they do not, parents should enforce the requirement for their children.
6) Do not take children under age 6 on a snowmobile! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age 16 not operate snowmobiles and that children under age 6 never ride on snowmobiles.
7) Allow children to skate only on approved surfaces. Check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments, or call your local police department to find out which areas have been approved.
8) Be sure to set reasonable time limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Have children come inside periodically to warm up.
You know that person who seems to have everything? Or, maybe you know someone who just doesn't want any more "stuff." These thumb print note cards are the perfect DIY gift for that person!
My sister is very thoughtful when buying people gifts and she needed a gift for someone who is really hard to shop for. So, she came up the idea to make them a set of thumb print note cards as a special present from her son.
My sister worked with her son to create these custom note cards and I think they look amazing! This is a cute gift that you can help your child make for someone special in their life. You only need paint, blank note cards and a marker.
You can use any thumbprint design you want. When you have completed the set, just tie them up with a ribbon, and wrap them up for that special person. I really like this gift idea because it doesn't cost a lot of money, it's practical, creative and it's from the heart.
Do you have any easy ideas for homemade gifts from kids?
I've written about my kids love for water balloons before. The kids have a blast tossing them around, throwing them at each other and playing lots of other water balloon games too. But, if you've ever filled water balloons for your kids, you know that it takes along time to fill them up and mere seconds for them to burst! The other day, my 5 year old picked out a Imperial Toy Kaos Portable Pumping Station in the store. I was reluctant to buy it, because I wasn't sure that it would actually work, but it was worth every penny and I want to show you why.
The Kaos Portable Pumping Station, which has great reviews on Amazon, is described like this:
"Easy, easy operation: First, fill the container with water Next, attach a balloon to the nozzle Press the pump to fill the balloon with water Wrap the filled balloon around the Tie-Not tool, slip the end through the notch Ta-Da! - pull off a perfectly tied balloon Tie-Not Portable Water Balloon Pump Portable water pump that fills balloons and ties them with ease! Encourages gross and fine motor skills Promotes teamwork..."
I have to agree with this 110%! I couldn't have said it any better myself.
My sons are 5 and 7 years old. They don't know how to tie balloons by themselves and they have never made water balloons independently, but it only took them minutes to learn how with the Kaos Pumping Station.
I was in awe. As I peered through the window, they were making water balloons all by themselves. They were playing catch with their balloons and having so much fun! Making the balloons was actually part of the fun. They were working together and it growing their fine motor skills too!
Here's a video of my 5 year old making a water balloon all by himself!
It's so much fun to watch my kids master new skills, even if it is something as silly as making water balloons. The Kaos Portable Pumping Station totally lives up to the hype! If you want one, please check out my affiliate link through Amazon!
Looking forfun ways for your kids toplay with sand and water? I've got you covered. I recently wrote a post about all of the fun ways to help keep your kids cool with water play, and now Spoonful.com by Disney shows us fun ideas for playing with sand as well! In the article below, Spoonful featured my Sand and Shell Keepsakes in their collection, and other unique ideas such as: Framed Sand Footprints, DIY Moon Sand, and Sand Greeting Cards.
Click on the image below to see the full articles.
A couple of weeks ago, my kids, husband and I went to the movies for the FIRST time ever as a family. My kids are 5 & 7 years old, so I feel like we're a little behind the curve with this one. But, they say "good things come to those who wait", and in this case, it was certainly the truth.
This past month was officially the rainiest June, ever, in the Philadelphia area. One rainy Friday night, we decided to head over to our local theatre and see Monsters University. The movie was even better than I expected. I don't think my 5-year-old took his eyes off the screen for even a second during the movie. My husband and I enjoyed this movie as much as the kids did. I was cheering for Sully and Mike the whole time, and, even though this was a kid's movie, it was the best film I've seen in a long time!
My friends at Disney.Pixar sent me some Monsters University activity sheets and I'm excited to share them with to you. There's a coloring sheet, design sheets, spot the difference image, and more!
If you want to download or print these for your kids, just click the name under the image for each activity.
Do you ever find yourself looking for something on the internet and not find what you're looking for? That was how I felt while looking for easy kid's crafts and activities for Cinco de Mayo. I kept finding the same crafts over and over, but most of them were too difficult for kids or required too many materials. So, I did some research and searched for Cinco de Mayo crafts and activities for kids that were: fairly easy, good for a group, and didn't require too many materials.
Here are the Top 10 Cinco de Mayo Crafts and Activities for Kids:
If you’re like me, you have heard about Make-A-Wish Foundation. You know that this organization grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. You may have even seen a child with a Make-a-Wish t-shirt while you were vacationing in Disney World, like I have. Have you ever considered getting involved to help make these dreams come true? It’s easier than you think!
April 29th, 2013 is World Wish Day which celebrates the day Chris Greicius received his wish to be a police officer for the day. That day inspired the creation of Make-A-Wish® and the organization's global wish-granting movement.
Here are 3 simple ways for you to get involved in World Wish Day:
Donate Air Miles - There are so many people who lose their unused air miles. Make-A-Wish Foundation® needs more than 2.5 billion miles to grant wishes each year. If you have Delta SkyMiles, United Continental Milage Plus, or U.S. Airways Dividend Miles that you can donate, please do it. At one point, my husband and I lost thousands of air miles, which we could have donated if we knew this was an option. Once donated, your miles will never expire and are used to support wishes across the country.
Share the power of a wish® by donating – through the purchase of a virtual star at worldwish.org/shareyourwish or a cash donation. This only takes a minute and it really helps!
Spread the word. Tell your friends about donating cash or air miles. Use the hash tags: #worldwishday #shareyourwish #jointheworld
This year, 10,000 wish kids and their families will travel for a Make-A-Wish® experience. That's 50,000 roundtrip tickets or 2.5 billion frequent flier miles. In honor of World Wish Day®, the day of the wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish, visit wish.org/tickets and donate miles and dollars – and help wish kids take flight.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Make-A-Wish®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Did you know it's National Library Week? Yes, this week we are honoring libraries across the country by celebrating their contributions to society and promoting library use.
If you've ever read my post Ten Reasons Why Your Local Library is the Perfect Place for Local Fun, you know I'm a fan of our local library. When my kids were babies and toddlers, we were always at our local library. They have many age appropriate programs with books, crafts, music and play time. It's a great place to socialize with other local moms, and get your kids out of the house.
This week, head over to your library to see what's new and take part in the celebration!
Are your kids home for Spring Break? Here are a few simple tips to help ensure a happy and fun week:
1) Avoid the crowds - If you're planning field trips, "plan them for later in the afternoon when attractions are less likely to be crowded" says Jennifer of Jersey Family Fun.
2) Just Relax - Jessica, of DelcopaMoms says "I don't know about everyone else's families but mine runs from soccer to t-ball to gymnastics and back again. One week this spring, the kids don't have activities, we're vegging out! We have one planned activity the entire week. I also plan to hang, watch tv, probably do a TON of coloring but we're relaxing!"
Growing up in a house full of girls, I never would have imagined myself going to sporting events on vacation, but, this is the second vacation in a row that my family has gone to a baseball game, and both experiences were wonderful. As the mom to two boys who love sports, I've learned to enjoy these experiences as I watch their eyes light up.
Last year, we went to a game in Brewster Massachusets and this year we saw the Phillies play at Hammond Stadium in Florida. Everyone in my family loves the Phillies and over the years we've been to a bunch of games at Citizen's Bank Park. It's a modern stadium and we've seen some great games there, but having a chance to see the Phillies play at a much smaller venue surrounded by palm trees was such a treat.
Most of today was wet and dreary so I'm doing a happy, spring-themed post to lift my spirits. To my family, spring brings lots of sports and outside activities. Chatting with friends beside the soccer field. Cheering on the kids as they hit a ball past second base. Chasing the kids around the neighborhood as they run from one activity to another. Enjoying walks with friends.
I have 5 easy ways to welcome spring and I want to share them with you.
Do you get the Hallmark channel? If so, mark your calendars because Return to Nims Island is premiering on the Hallmark Channel on March 15th 2013 at 7/8C!
I can't tell you how many times we've watched Free Willy in our house. (It's far too many to count!) My sons especially love the Free Willy with Bindi Irwin and I think they are going to be completely captivated when they see her star in Return to Nims Island!
In this movie, she is determined to protect her island and the animals that call it home. With ruthless resort developers and greedy wildlife poachers threatening the existence she loves, Nim realizes she and her animal pals cant defend their home alone. To save her island, she is forced to combine forces with an outsider: Edmund, a runaway from the mainland. Only with his help does she stand a chance of stopping the villains from dismantling her world.
Check out the widget below and discover which adventurer you are! Whether youre a fearless explorer, a precocious castaway or an unexpected hero, Nim's Island is an adventurers paradise. Take the quiz to find out which Nim adventurer you are! Download 7 awesome family adventures that will transport you all to your next, unforgettable journey.
Enter to win Return to Nim's Island Blu-ray Combo Pack on the Rafflecopter widget below.
The sun is shining and I am looking forward to a new week! Let's kick off a new weekend with another great round-up of fabulous kid's activities at the Kid's Co-op!
If you've never been to the Kid's Co-op, here's how it works:
1. Feel free to browse all of the creative ideas and if you have one to add, just link it up!
2. Please grab a button so every one can see where you like to party. It doesn't matter where you put our button, it's just nice to put it somewhere. If you don't like buttons simply link back with text.