Learning Activities

Fun Idea to Do With Kids While You Wait

Every parent of preschool and elementary kids has been there. The dreaded wait…at a restaurant, the doctor’s office, an amusement park, you get the idea. Kids start to whine. Your head starts to hurt. Well, we have a really fun idea to do while you wait, and it doesn’t involve a device!

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7 Steps to Make Your Summer Count with Kids at Home

If your kids will be at home with you, by themselves, or with a sitter this summer, don’t let that precious time go to waste. With just a little forethought, you can intentionally help them grow in ways that might not be possible during the school year. Here are seven steps to make your summer count when you have kids at home.

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Table Talk Cards

Time together as a family is precious. Maybe like us, you want to use these years of having kids under your roof wisely. We want to build life-long relationships with our children and influence them to be successful, compassionate, loving adults. Sometimes that feels like the most overwhelming task. Where

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Round up of easy summer learning activities for preschoolers

20+ Summer Preschool Learning Activities

Summer is a-coming! All of my little ducklings will be back in the nest and quickly clamoring for things to do. So, in theory, I’m OK with my kids facing a little boredom. It forces them to be creative and play together cooperatively more. Yeah boredom!  BUT, in reality, in

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Storm the Castle: A Mini Catapult Launching Game

Storm the Castle: A Mini Catapult Launching Game

My 5-year-son and I made up this game one afternoon that we called “Storm the Castle”. We had so much fun together, as you can see in our snippet of video at the bottom. A bonus was that he was also learning problem-solving, counting, and fine motor skills with me “teaching” him. I call that

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Free Printables for Summer

FREE Fun Printables for Summer

Hey there, Thriving Home readers! My name is Julie and I blog over at Happy Home Fairy. One of my favorite things to do on my site is create fun FREE Printables that help sweet mamas like you build a happy home! Polly and Rachel asked if I would share

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Make This Summer with Your Kids Count - How to create intentional summer goals that will make a difference in kids' lives.

Make This Summer with Your Kids Count

Don’t waste your summer with kids at home. It’s never too late to think about how to use these summer months intentionally. Here’s how to create intentional summer goals that will make a difference in their lives. Ah, summer. For many of us, the word is synonymous with any number

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Rainy Day Activity with marshmallows and toothpicks is one of the simplest learning activities for many ages.

Marshmallows + Toothpicks = Rainy Day Activity

This activity isn’t rocket science…but it might further your child toward that career. Simply give your child toothpicks. Gasp! You mean hand my child those sharp pointy objects!? They will poke their sibling’s eye out! Yes, hand them toothpicks. And then hand them a bizillion little marshmallows and watch the

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Boredom Buster: Paint a Box!

We’ve been cooped up way too long. Between yucky weather, fevers and snow days, my kids were getting major cabin fever. I needed something… stat. As of late, my three year old has taken to painting and can actually do it now without creating a masterpiece on the table, wall,

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My Preschooler’s Favorite Counting Game

I wanted to share a super easy counting game that is great for toddlers and preschoolers. This number learning game is something you can put together at home and will keep your kiddo busy. When I was part of a Busy Bag Swap, I came home with this little counting

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Ball Toss Game: Learning to Add by 10s

Anybody remember The Bozo Show? I think I just dated myself…big time. But, that’s where this ball toss game idea originally came from. My kids, ranging in age from 4-8, love this game on rainy or cold days. As they play, they are learning to count by 10s. Even my

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14 best educational toys

The 14 Best Hands-On Educational Toys We Own

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure.  Every year around Christmas and

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Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party

Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide

Although a while back, I swore off a Pinterest birthday party for my kids, here I am. I found a pocket of creative time this past year and dove head-first into my 7-year-old son’s request for a Science Birthday party. I won’t lie. The research and preparation took a long

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preschool math learning game

Preschool Math Learning Game: Twist On the Game of War

Here’s a quick and easy math learning game you can play with your preschooler. My 4-year-old son loves this one. It’s a twist on the game of war which will help your child learn the concept of “more than and less than” in a visual way. This War Game also

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6 Easy and Fun Activities for Holiday Gatherings

  Updated from December 2013. Want to spice up that next family gathering or Christmas party? Try a game or activity to get everyone involved. Here are some of our favorites to do together over the holidays with your kids, with friends or at extended family gatherings. Enjoy!

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Preschool Number Learning Game

This preschool number learning activity is almost too simple to deserve its own post. Anyone can whip this matching game up at almost any time. All you need is some paper and scissors.

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Field of Dreams: A Family Business Venture

My mom (i.e. the real pioneer woman) has a dream. It’s a pretty cool dream. It might help to see this picture of my mom, me, and my little sister from my childhood first. See, my mom has always had a thing for pumpkins. And she won first prize at

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Making My Summer at Home with Kids Count

Read my much more updated post called “Make Your Summer at Home Count with Kids” here. Today is my 1st grade son’s last day of school (finally!). After one last trip to the Dollar Store this morning, I’m ready! Summer provides a magical (well, at least at first) and unique

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Stacking Cheerios: A Preschool Counting Game

My almost-three-year-old has been enjoying all things counting as of late. I’ve been trying to run with the momentum and find all sorts of things to count. I saw an idea similar to this on Pinterest and thought we’d give it a whirl. Here’s the game: Take two skewer sticks

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alphabet soup preschool learning activity

Alphabet Soup: Preschool Learning Game

Dinner is going–pots boiling, oven cranked and chopping knife in hand. And the only thing the kids want is to be near mommy. I mean right on top of me. Know that feeling? Years ago, we coined the term “counter activities” in our house. These are small learning activities that

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favorite toys for two year olds

Moms’ Favorite Toys for 2-Year-Olds

Note: *Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure.  Here’s a mommy pet peeve

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Indoor Snow Day Activities

7 Indoor Snow Day Activities for Kids

Guest post by Rachel Johnson These cold winter days can feel long and dreary for everyone, especially our little ones. Although snow days can be fun, they can be disappointing when it is too cold to actually go out to play in the snow. If your kids are like mine,

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: Crazy Cupcake Concoctions

As I’ve been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, we had so much fun at my son’s 7th Science Birthday Party. One of my favorite parts of the party, to be honest, was the easiest cake idea ever. You could do this for any birthday

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valentine's day scavenger hunt for kids

Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt for Kids

A couple I work with have been doing a Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt for their kids as long as I’ve known them. It began when their kids were very young, but, now that all of them are teenagers, it still continues. The mom told me that her kids used to get

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Indoor Snow Play (for REALLY Cold Snow Days)

Does your weather look anything like this today? Folks, I live in Missouri, not Alaska. We don’t really know what to do with ourselves. We cancel school. My neighborhood streets are barren. Everyone is afraid to go outside. And, as all moms with kids at home know, this kind of

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2013 Top Ten Posts: Parenting

  1. Cultivating a Heart that Obeys: Dealing with a Whiny Insolent Child 2. Make Your summer at Home Count 3. Packing a Hospital Bag Printable Check List 4. Three Questions to Ask a Child Who Has Done Wrong 5. Baby Gear: What do you actually need? 6. What to

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10 Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

6 Easy and Fun Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

The Christmas spirit doesn’t have to stop after December 25! Here are a few easy ideas to do with family throughout the Christmas break, especially at gatherings. 1. Make a birthday cake for Jesus at Christmas. Here is our go-to Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe from Ina Garten. We make it

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Alphabet Train: Toddler Learning Activity

I’m always looking for creative learning games that my toddler will engage in. Here is a fun one that helps toddlers with letter recognition that we have been doing as of late. I saw it on Toddler Approved and thought I’d give it a shot. Alphabet Train Letter Game Using

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Game Night: Make Your Own “Apples to Apples”

It’s no secret. I LOVE games. Especially ones that make a group laugh and make memories together, like the Rate Your Mate Game or The Question Game. Today, I’ve got another DIY oldie but goodie that my family has played time and again. Remember that popular board game Apples to

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The Thankful Tree: A Thanksgiving Craft and Centerpiece

Here’s a craft that I think is worth it: The Thankful Tree. In the rush of preparing a meal, socializing, and entertaining (or restraining?) a house full of little kids, it gave our extended family (ages 2-60) just a moment to reflect on why we had gathered. It focused our

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Family Devotional Cootie Catcher

Easy Family Devotional Activity: Make a “Verse Catcher”

You know you have a great babysitter when you come home and she’s playing “Psalm Catcher” with the kids. Remember those paper thingy-ma-bobbers that we made in grade school called “Cootie Catchers”? It’s the same concept, except our sitter had listed Psalms to look up on the inside. The kids

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Easy Halloween Party Games

3 Easy Halloween Game Ideas: Perfect for School Parties!

Reposted from October 2012 I love thinking of and running games for kids…really people of any age. So, when I saw Katie’s awesome post at Kitchen Stewardship about Easy School Halloween Party Ideas, I put my own thinking cap on. Over the years I’ve worked with kids in various settings–camp

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craft idea for toddlers

Easy Craft Idea for Toddlers

  Looking for a cheap and easy craft idea to do with the kiddos? Here is one that even a non-crafty person can easily do. Simply use painters tape to create a shape or word and then let your kiddo go to town with painting all over it. The messier

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