April Fool’s Day can be a lot of fun, but in the past I’ve had trouble finding pranks that aren’t crazy involved or slightly cruel. If you pack lunches for anyone in your household, this DIY mini lunch is the perfect harmless prank! If you make multiple packed lunches, line them up on the counter first thing on April Fool’s Day and wait to see your family’s reaction! Just don’t forget to make a real lunch for them to eat too!
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by Sally J Shim
For the past two years my family and I have been living overseas in Busan, South Korea. Since my children attend an international school they have friends from all over the world. One of the fun things about having an international group of friends is learning about the various holidays and traditions they observe. Most people are aware of the popular American holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but what about Kite Flying Day? Kite Flying Day is February 8! I just learned about it this year and I think it is a fun excuse to gather friends, go outside, and fly a kite! Here is a fun invitation you can make for your Kite Flying Day festivities.
Click through for instructions…
I get a lot of emails about our toy collection and I figured it was time for a post since it is almost Christmas. I love kids toys. Buying them is one of my favorite perks of being a parent. My boys are growing up and now requesting not-as-cute toys (ahem, Angry Birds) but they still play with the toys we’ve collected over the years and I’m really happy with our strategy for buying toys. Our philosophy was to invest in quality collections that are well-made, beautiful, and clever. In addition I make sure that we store our toys low to the ground and in clear storage bins so the kids can access them. There have been a few that I loved that they just didn’t play with. We gifted them to friends who use them all the time so I think it definitely depends on the child and their interests. I should also point out that I don’t for a second believe a kid will be better off with these toys than the kid who is playing with kitchen bowls and cardboard boxes. I just happen to have a weird amount of knowledge about these toys and wanted to share our favorites. Here is a giant round up of all our favorite toys (I’ve starred our absolute favorites.)
Vintage Robots | This goes under the category of “adults like them as much as the kids.” When I have to travel for work I usually pick one up to add to the collection instead of buying a throwaway toy at the airport. They aren’t great for little kids because they can break, now that they are older they play with them more. Before we kept them on a high shelf and would pull them down on special occasions. | Vintage Robots |
Schleich Animal Figurines | These are really well made animal figurines that are great for collections. We’ve slowly amassed a nice set of them over the years and the kids really love them. It’s great to add one to the collection (or use as a bribe) when you are shopping with the kids at Target. We have a set of dinosaurs and animals. | Animals | Dinosaurs | (animal photo found here)
Planes Trains and Automobiles | We got the little wooden cars years ago and they are still going strong. They are really fast little toys and one of my favorites. The fire engine we got in France and I think it is the perfect “classic” firetruck. The helicopter, plane, and rocket are a French brand they have started carrying in the US the last year or two. They are magnetic and super clever little toys, highly recommend them! | Wooden Parking Garage | Wooden Cars | Wooden Firetruck | Train Set | Magnetic Helicopter | Magnetic Airplane | Magnetic Rocket|
Dress-Ups and Disguises We have a collection of masks and capes and wigs in a big closet. I like the Melissa and Doug Dress-ups, decent quality for the price. We always keep wigs around and the animal masks we got in France but they sell some online. | Animal Masks | Super Hero | Glasses and Wiggling Moustache | Cowboy Hat | Pink Wig | Yellow Wig | White Wig | Brown Wig | Fireman Costume | Pirate Costume | Doctor Costume|
Art and Coloring Supplies | I still love the Ikea Art Easel and we’ve become huge fans of these coloring books since a friend gave us one for a birthday last year. We discovered this German chalk a few years ago and it’s the only kind I buy. The colors are amazing compared to the pastel colors we are used to. The Kid Made Modern brand is so great. My personal favorite are the watercolors. | German Chalk | Kid Made Modern Watercolor | Best Coloring Books Ever | Ikea Easel | Cray-Pas Oil Pastel Set|
Puzzles | I always make sure every toy has a place so this puzzle rack is a must-have. There are so many good puzzles out there these days. | KID O Shades Puzzle | Giraffe Puzzle | Alphabet Puzzle | Green + Blue Puzzle | Magnetic Letter Board | Cats Puzzle| Puzzle Rack
What am I missing? Do you have favorites that aren’t included here? We’ve never had board games (because of lack of space) but now I’m now the hunt for a great board game collection. Any suggestions?
That’s about it for now, there are a couple more categories I wanted to cover like stuffies and big toys but I ran out of juice. I will add them tomorrow!
Make Thanksgiving dinner fun for the kids this year with bright, colorful decorations. Keep them entertained with their own turkey (or chicken) to “carve”, and paper feathers they can decorate and hang before the meal begins!
Today, I’m really excited to announce my partnership with in Too Small To Fail – a joint initiative between The Clinton Foundation and Next Generation. Their goal is to improve the development of kids in America (you can read all about it here.) Research shows that over 80% of a child’s brain develops before they turn 3 – so it’s important for parents and communities to spend quality time interacting with kids in positive ways. I’ve caught myself sounding like a dork talking to my toddlers because it looks like I’m talking to myself “this is our favorite park and wow! look at that big tree.” But the research shows that talking with your kids and giving them that eye to eye contact is what really helps them develop. I have been wanting to create some habits to make sure I spend more time with my kiddos so I’m setting a few goals on Go Mighty over the next few months. I’ll be sharing my experiences there. I’d love to hear if you have any tips on what kind of activities have helped you spend quality time with the kids in your life. (ie: Volunteer at their preschool, go to the park everyday, read together everyday, play games together, etc) I’d love any ideas.
Photo via my Instagram