Category Archives: Holidays

Activities Crafts Creative Parenting Creative Play Creative Teaching Games Holidays Lesson Plans Party Ideas

Fall and Autumn Ideas for Kids and Families

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Scarecrow treat bag

Autumn, along with the beautiful array of colors it naturally provides, inspires a variety of fun fall crafts, activities, games and party themes.  Crafts, games, and activities centered around fall staples like scarecrows, crows, pumpkins, apples, and autumn leaves top the list of favorites for kids. They top the list at Creative Kids Ideas, too! Below is a list of fall and autumn ideas for kids and families to get your imagination flowing:

1. Crafty fall projects: Check out this article by Linda Ann Nickerson. It’s packed with creative and functional fall crafts projects you can make with kids with fun ideas like corn husk dolls,harvest treasure box, leaf etchings, pine cone wreath, and autumn wrapping paper.

2. Practical fall activities with life applications  for kids: Fall is an ideal time to teach kids more about nature and the environment, and to incorporate natural elements associated with the season into your lessons. Andrea Coventry offers some great tips in Montesorri practical life activities for fall.

3. Make tasty harvest foods with kids: Who can forget about the yummy foods harvesttime foods, like apples and pumpkins? Certainly not kids (or Creative Kids Ideas!). Preparing and cooking food with children is an excellent way to give them hands-on lessons about nutrition, measurements and math, kitchen safety, and more. It’s also a great opportunity to have fun getting messy in the kitchen together! Below are a couple suggestions for healthy and tasty recipes kids can help make:

4. Fall leaves activities for small kids: Toddlers and young children learn best when they’re allowed to use their senses freely to discover. Autumn is the perfect time to take them outdoors and let them experience nature and learn about the seasons by using their senses. Read Fall Toddler Activities with Autumn Leaves to find a variety of creative ways to help them learn.

5. Paper bag scarecrow craft and party treat bag: If you and your family are planning a harvest celebration or Halloween party this year, this adorable paper bag scarecrow is one craft project you won’t want to miss. Not only is it fun to make, the scarecrow craft also serves a purpose by doubling as a treat bag for party guests at your harvest or Halloween celebration. Kids will enjoy making this project and, even more, they’ll love seeing their artwork displayed and shared with others at the party.

6. Pumpkin art projects for kids: Pumpkins are plentiful this time of year. Ever wonder what you can do with them all? Tania Cowling gives some excellent kids’ project ideas for using them in Pumpkin Art Projects for Kids of All Ages. She also includes great pumpkin themed activities and crafts that don’t involve real pumpkins, like making pumpkin mosaic, milk jug pumpkins, and coffee filter pumpkins.

7. Party games with a fall or harvest theme: Planning a harvest party or fall festival this season? Events like this are a great way to gather with your community, friends, and family to celebrate the autumn season. The kids’ party games you choose are an important element for a successful harvest party or fall festival. Once Upon a Time offers a great list of fun and easy to organize game ideas for a fall festival or harvest party.

How ever you choose to celebrate, take time to enjoy the autumn season and many natural lessons and inspirations it provides with your kids. Happy Autumn!

(1-2 years) Toddlers (3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Activities Crafts Creative Parenting Creative Play Games Holidays

Fun St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids

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Activities and crafts to help you celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your kids

Parents and teachers can find a wide variety of St. Patrick’s Day activities, craft ideas and printables for children online. Here are some of my favorite websites and links to articles with fun ideas and St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids and families to enjoy.

St. Patrick’s Day printables and coloring pages:

  • Parents and teachers will find word search puzzles, printable shamrocks, leprechaun puppets, St. Patrick’s Day games, coloring pages and more at
  • Visit for a huge selection of fun St. Patrick’s Day crafts, activities, clip art, games, recipes and party ideas for kids of all ages.
  • Discover coloring pages, St. Patrick’s Day crafts, games, worksheets and recipes galore at DLTK’s page for St. Patrick’s Day crafts for kids.

Other St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids and families:

  • Add a little history, adventure and Irish folklore to your St. Patrick’s Day celebration with your children this year by setting a leprechaun trap. This is a great activity for home or school. Read this article for full details on how to set a trap with the children.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and your family from Creative Kids Ideas!

(3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Crafts Creative Parenting Creative Play Creative Teaching Holidays

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas

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Have a Happy and Creative Valentine's Day!

Today’s a busy holiday, so this post will be short and sweet – kind of like my two little Valentines are! :) I simply want to wish you and your family a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Also, if you’re looking for last minute Valentine’s Day ideas to use with your kids, check out these fun ones below:

How to Make a Valentine Mailbox for Your Child’s Valentine’s Day Cards and Gifts – Do you need a way to hold your child’s Valentine’s Day cards and gifts? Don’t worry. It’s still not too late to make one! This fun and functional valentine mailbox is a simple and inexpensive craft project to make with kids at home or at school. It can be customized for each child, so it’s suitable for boys and girls. The best part about this cute kids’ craft is there’s no need to spend money on supplies, because it’s made entirely from construction paper and recycled materials.

Recycled Jeans Valentine Pouch – I saw this cute Valentine’s Day craft for kids the other day and fell in love. It’s made from an old pair of blue jeans and a few other simple items. It’s a win-win idea. You get rid of some of those old holey jeans that are lying around, you and your child have fun making the craft together, and your child gets a stylish and unique way to hold her valentines or decorate her doorknob.

Valentine’s Card Homemade from the Heart – Need some last minute valentines cards? Instead of spending money on store-bought ones, try these quick, easy-to-make ideas for making your own cards. The thought and creativity you put into these will make your Valentine feel even more special!

Still want more? Here are a few other Creative Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Creative Kids Ideas!

Creative Parenting Family relationships Holidays

Family Goals for the New Year

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Family Goals for the New Year

First of all, I apologize for slacking on my blogging duties lately. Preparing for the holidays, trying to meet book deadlines, having the kids off from school, and fighting off the dreaded colds and stomach viruses that hit our family in December, all have kept me running like a crazy woman! (Okay, crazier woman.) Anyhow, enough with the excuses. I’m back and ready to kick off 2011 the right way – with family goals for the New Year.

I have a confession. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t even like to think about them. Why? Let’s face it. Come mid-February, too many of those resolutions have already fizzled out and are forgotten – at least mine do. Unfulfilled resolutions don’t lead to real changes.

On the other hand, I am one who constantly seeks ways to improve and the beginning of a new year is an excellent time to initiate those improvements. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I choose to use the start of the New Year as an opportunity to reevaluate my life, determine areas I can make better, and build new goals to achieve in the upcoming year. Not resolutions but life changes. Usually I focus on personal or career related goals. For 2011, however, I am adjusting my focus to create goals for the benefit of my whole family in the New Year. I encourage you to do the same.

Read on to learn why making family goals for the New Year is beneficial for your family and to find out what mine are…

What goals have you set for your family? I’d love to hear what your plans are and how they’re working!

Creative Parenting Creative Products Holidays Reviews

Visit Shutterfly for Creative Holiday Cards and More!

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Are you sending Christmas cards this year?

Email, Facebook, and the many other online social networks are great for keeping in touch with long-distance family and friends, but I still prefer cards and letters send via the post office (snail mail). Call me old-fashioned if you will, that’s okay. Getting a holiday card or newsletter over the computer simply isn’t the same for me. There’s just something special about Christmas cards – both sending and receiving them, getting caught up on how loved ones are doing, seeing current pictures of their family and kids, and displaying them throughout the holiday season. For years, I’ve bought Christmas cards, spent days writing personal messages in each one, signing all our names, addressing envelopes, licking stamps, etc. And I love the entire process!

The one area I’m ashamed to admit I sometimes slack on is including current photos of the kids or family. It’s not for lack of wanting to share, it’s simply way too expensive. I send cards to over 50 people every year. Do you know how expensive it’d be to buy that many photos to stuff in the cards? Let’s just say, it’s a lot! That’s why I’m thrilled to have found Shutterfly and their large selection of photo cards. You get a beautiful card and photo all in one!

Shutterfly offers a large and attractive variety of photo Christmas cards. You select the color, size, design, number of  photos to include, type of paper it’s printed on, price range, and more. You also have the choice between flat or folded cards. I love that there’s a wide selection, so there is something to please everyone’s tastes and needs! I have to say I was impressed with how easy it was to search the site to find what I was looking for. Here are few examples of what you can find at Shutterfly:

Photo courtesy of: Shutterfly

There are 199 different styles of folded cards like this one.

Photo courtesy of: Shutterfly

You can also find 188 flat photo cards like this one to choose from.

Photo courtesy of: Shutterfly

There are 352 different designs for flat stationery cards, such as this adorable card.

This year I have an adorable picture of my two girls hugging that I’m excited to share with our family and friends. It has a black background, so I was searching for a card with a simplistic design and a bright border that would not clash (preferably red, just because it’s my favorite color). I also wanted a card that opened from right to left and gave me room inside to add my own messages to my loved ones (I am a writer, after all!). This is the one I chose. It’s called Scarlet Script Frame:

Photo courtesy of: Shutterfly

Shutterly also has party invitations, baby announcements, Christmas tags, and address labels. And you can use your own photos to create some great, personalized gifts for the holidays, such as photo books, calendars, mouse pads, mugs, and other photo gifts! So while you’re there making your Christmas cards this year, be sure to look around the whole site.

DISCLOSURE: No payment was provided for this review. I will, however, receive a promotional code for complimentary cards from Shutterfly in return for sharing with you about their great products.

(5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Activities Contests Creative Parenting Creative Play Holidays Teenagers

Fun Halloween Contest for Kids

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Fun Halloween contest for kids

Fun Halloween contest for kids

Teaching children to write simple poems is an excellent way to help kids tap into their creativity and express themselves freely. One of the first, and simplest, forms of poetry many kids learn to write is the acrostic poem. This type of poem involves spelling out the subject vertically and then using each letter to start a new line of poetry. An acrostic poem can tell a brief story about the subject or simply describe it. It works well with kids of all ages, because it offers a concrete format while still allowing plenty of room for individual interpretation and can be as simple or complex as the child chooses.

Want to try a simple acrostic poem exercise to get your students or children in the Halloween spirit? Check out this fun Halloween contest for kids sponsored by a writer friend of mine, Kathy Foust. Here’s a quick rundown of the contest rules:

Template for Halloween acrostic poem

Template for Halloween acrostic poem, Courtesy of: Kathy Foust

Kids will write an acrostic poem using the word “Halloween”. The theme for the poem should center on fall or Halloween. It will be 9 lines long, and each line must start with the corresponding letter in the word “Halloween”. Winners will each receive a fun glow in the dark kit.

What ages can enter?

There will be three age categories for this Halloween contest.

Mini-Pumpkin — Kids Ages 5-10

Jack O’Lantern — Kids Ages 10-13

Great Pumpkin — Kids Ages 13-18


The contest began on October 1 and will run until October 22.

For complete contest rules and submission guidelines, read Halloween Contest for Kids on Kathy’s website.

(1-2 years) Toddlers (3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Creative Parenting Holidays Safety

Kids and Fireworks Safety

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Have a fun and safe 4th of July with your kids this year!

The Fourth of July is an excellent time to gather with friends, family and community to celebrate the independence of our nation. Unfortunately, it’s also a holiday that lends itself to numerous safety hazards for kids (and adults). One of the greatest of these is fireworks. What kid doesn’t love watching the noisy and colorful fireworks displays, setting off their own fireworks, or playing in the backyard with sparklers? As fun as they may be, fireworks are anything but child’s play.

Each year, hundreds and thousands of fireworks related injuries are reported. According to Safe Kids USA, 3,300 children ages 0-14 were injured from fireworks in 2009 alone. Approximately seventy percentage of those incidents occurred in the weeks surrounding the Fourth of July. Take this Fireworks Safety Quiz to find out how much you know about kids and fireworks safety.

Here are a few quick fireworks safety tips to keep in mind to have a safe  Fourth of July this year (courtesy of the National Council of Fireworks Safety):

Remember to check with your local police department to determine which, if any, fireworks are legal to discharge in your neighborhood.

  • Only use fireworks outdoors.
  • Buy fireworks from reliable sources.
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Read and follow directions carefully.
  • Never allow small children to handle fireworks.
  • Always have a responsible adult present around children and fireworks.
  • Only light one firework at a time.
  • Whenever storing fireworks, keep them in a cool, dry place.
  • Always have water and/or sand handy (a garden hose and a bucket) when operating fireworks.
  • Do not try to re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15-20 minutes and then soak it in water).
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan.
  • Do not throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Always use protective eye-wear when lighting fireworks.
  • Never lean any part of the body over the fireworks.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • When at a public fireworks display, leave your own fireworks at home (including sparklers). They should not be set off around a crowd of people.
  • Never handle a firework component that hits the ground without exploding at a public display. Instead, contact the local fire department or police department to properly and safely dispose of it.
  • Keep pets away from public fireworks displays. They have extremely sensitive ears that may be damaged, especially dogs.


Enjoy your Independence Day celebration with your kids, and stay safe. Happy Fourth of July from Creative Kids Ideas!