Best Online Educational Game Sites for Preschoolers & Toddlers

I am a work at home mom and spend quite a bit of time on my computer. The other day, my 3 year old daughter decided that she wanted to "work" too. I found some great game sites that I thought I would share with all of you. Now, my daughter "works" when I am making dinner.

The other day when I was checking my e-mail she asked me if I was "working on Sesame Street". Wouldn' that be a great place to work?

Please post any additional sites you use in the comments section.



Easy Homemade Kids Costumes

Homemade kid costumes are an easy and affordable alternative to store-bought. With just a little vision and imagination, you can create your own original costumes for pennies!

Start out by surfing the internet for costume ideas, then go in search of the materials to make your unique costume ideas a reality.


Take stock of your closets for items that can be transformed into kids costumes. I keep a large plastic storage container filled with used clothes that I view as having "costume potential".

These could include plain oversized sweatshirts and kid-sized sweat suits which can be decorated with fabric paint or tape, stuffed, or cut up as needed. Also, long colorful skirts which can be fashioned into capes.

Old sheets can be dyed or spray painted to make a character's robe and discarded scarves and belts to make a sash or headband, well you get the idea...

Yard sales are another valuable resource for "recyclable" kids costumes and dress-up items, as well as old clothes, such as bridesmaid dresses, old suits and uniforms, belts, shoes, hats, scarves, gloves and even costume jewelry.

Children's resale stores and discount clothing outlets often have used Halloween costumes (probably worn only once) and assorted clothing items that you can purchase at very reasonable prices, too.



If you don't sew, you can still make a great homemade costume using these common household items:

Stapler and Masking Tape or Iron-on Tape - for quick hems

Fabric Glue - for adding embellishments

Black Electrical Tape - for creating different looks:

Striped on a yellow raincoat or sweatshirt for a bumble bee,

A circular pattern on a white sweatshirt for a spider web

Place a stripe of white medical tape down a dark pants leg for a police officer or military costume.

Colored Tape makes similar cool effects: See "How to Make a Kids Costume from a Trash Bag"



Another quick and easy idea for kid costumes is a "placard" costume in which the child wears a hooded sweatshirt and pulls front and back cardboard panels (the placard) on over it.

Placard costumes can be adapted to many different themes, such as:


M & M Chocolate Candy

(two kids of different heights can be "plain" and "peanut"!)

Soccerball, Basketball or Baseball

Apple or Pumpkin

For more GREAT ideas: Click on "Thirty Quick and Easy Kid Costumes"

Patricia B. Jensen is a mother of three and kids party enthusiast. She is the webmaster and owner of Kids-Party-Paradise.com - a complete resource for kids party ideas including invitations, cakes, decorations, games, costumes, favors, and food.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Patricia_Jensen

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Crayons...Gone High-Tech

I was searching the internet for simple crafts this afternoon and came across the "simplest" craft / art project of them all.
From the site...
"Tux Paint is a free, award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12 (preschool and K-6). It combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who guides children as they use the program. Kids are presented with a blank canvas and a variety of drawing tools to help them be creative."
So, the next time you want your child to have some creative-play time without the mess..click & paint with them!


Find Halloween Events Near You

Check out this clever google-ish site...

Click the link and enter your zip code to see all of the the haunted houses, haunted woods, haunted mazes, and haunted mini golf courses in your area, sorted by distance.

If you are having an event or know of one in your area, you can also submit it to GooGhoul.

Wishing you a spooky good time!



Car Travel Activities for Kids - great article!

Car Travel Activities for Kids

By Laurel Smith

Time flies when you’re having fun - The miles fly by too! You can make a long family car trip seem a lot shorter if you have fun with your kids along the way. Plan ahead with a few car activities, and making the journey can be as much fun as the destination. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Make a Trip-Journal or Scrapbook
Give everyone a big spiral bound sketchpad and a box of crayons or markers. Each day of the trip or for each event along the way, draw a picture of what you did that day, or draw a map of where you went, and write about it. You can also paste in souvenirs.

Get a Good Songbook With All the Lyrics
It surprising how many songs you think you know, but you don't really know all the words. Have a singing marathon and learn the old classics by heart.

Give Your Kids an Allowance for the Day
Tell them that this money is for snacks, treats, souvenirs etc. Help them learn to budget their money and make good choices.

Let Your Children Have a Map
Give your kids their own copy of a map of where you are going. Show them how far you have come, how much further there is to go and let them mark it with a crayon. Every time someone asks "How much further?” let them see for themselves. You might also like to get a compass and show them how it works along with the map.

Have Bubble Gum Blowing Contests
The weirder the gum the better. Get it at the rest areas and try all the different flavors.

The License Plate Game
Print a U.S. map off the computer and color in the states as you see license plates from each one. See if you can get all 50 states between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You might even record the time and date and the state where you saw it. This can be a family project as you build your "collection" of license plates together.

Cats Cradle or String Loops
You just need a piece of string for this one. See if you can make "Jacob's Ladder", "Kitty Whiskers", or play Cats Cradle!

Magnetic Board Games
Do your children know how to play classic board games like Chess, Backgammon, Checkers, or Chinese Checkers? What better time to learn than in the car to pass the time! The magnetic car versions of these games are nice because they are small and compact, and have easy ways to store the pieces so they don't get lost.

Counting Cows
Count the cows you see on your side of the car. If you pass a cemetery on your side of the car, you lose all your cows. The one with the most cows wins.

Read Out Loud
This passes the time quickly in the car for the reader and for the family members who are listening.

Lego Contest
Have a contest to see who can build the best item that relates to where you are going. Use a shoebox to store the Legos, or large zip lock bags.

Guess How Far Away That Is
Pick an object and have everyone guess how far away it is, then clock it on your odometer.

Play Favorites
Have everyone think of different "favorite" questions for the group. What's your favorite... movie, flavor of ice cream, song, game, toy, place to visit, restaurant, book, animal, fish, etc. Be creative and don't forget to ask the driver too!

Aluminum Art
Give everyone a sheet of aluminum foil. Have them mold it into anything they want: animal shapes, Frisbees, balls, jewelry, crowns, headband, necklaces and masks. Be creative. It’s inexpensive fun and easy to clean up. Toddlers love this one too.

Remember that it's sometimes nice to sit in the back of the van with your kids while Dad is doing the driving and play some games right along side them. You might be surprised at how much fun you have too. Happy travels!

Laurel Smith is a former schoolteacher and mother of three who has logged thousands of road trip miles both as a kid and a mom. Visit her website for more than 101 travel games and activities for kids at MomsMinivan.com


Free Printable Cut-Outs for Kids

It has been rainy and cold here all week and my kiddos are literally climbing the walls. I spent most of the afternoon looking for some quick and easy craft projects I can do with them using the things I have at home. (I am NOT heading out shopping in this weather!) =)

Anyway - I found this wonderful site called Wondertime and a link to free & colorful cut-outs that your preschoolers will love! Click here to check it out!

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...and my favorite'ist site of them all!

Another shameless plug for another one of my blogs....

About a month ago, someone sent me a link to a humor site on the internet where I was supposed to watch a funny video.

So I clicked on the site and noticed that there was a flashing banner on the top of the site with a half-naked women on it while my darling daughter was peering over my shoulder to see what I was looking at.

Anyway, I was annoyed and started to look at some of the other popular *humor* sites. Almost 3/4ths of them had links to pornography sites and other innapropriate banners.

As a result, I decided to create my own *clean* humor site with funny videos, photos and jokes that are completely safe for little ones who are usually sitting on our laps or peering over our shoulders. So, when you are ready for a break...check it out! It's funny!


Okay...my NEWER favorite site

Christmas is just around the corner and I am doing everything possible to scrimp in Oct & Nov so I can SPLURGE in December! In my search to find great deals and money saving ideas for moms, I found this site...

Take a peek...



My new favorite website...and secret addiction!

Have you ever gotten a natural high after finding a great bargain? Beware..just one look at this site and you'll be hooked!
http://www.trezr.com/ - don't say I didn't warn you!

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Mess-Free Memories

I love to scrapbook, really...I do. Problem is, I have a preschooler and toddler and trying to find the time (and the space) to sort photos, pictures, papers, ribbons, embellishments...etc, is a nightmare.

When my daughter was born, I created a Powerpoint Slideshow of her birth and first year. It was mess-free and a great way to record all of my memories of her.

Today, I found this site, and I wish I would have found it sooner! It is such a great, enexpensive way for parents to create an online journal of their babies and share them with friends and family. The templates are darling..and it looks really simple! (Just click on the link above for more information).

***Please post a comment if you've tried it! (You can even show us your link!)

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Free Jewelry - It's for real!

I was visiting a message board when someone first introduced me to Silver Jewelry Club. My first thought...HUGE SCAM! However, later that month I went to a conference for my business and one of my colleagues had a gorgeous pendant on. I gave her a complement and she replied..."oh, I got it for free".

(Sidenote...if someone tells you that you have a great necklace, a simple "thank you" is much more appropriate than telling someone it was free. Anyway, she proceeded to tell me that she got the piece from Silver Jewelry Club.

So,I checked out the site again and ordered a few things. They came within a few days and they were all stunning!! Real stones, gorgeous silver (that hasn't even tarnished after a year). I get complements on my jewelry all of the time, and I simply say, "thank you"! =)

Check it out! Shipping for each piece is $5.99 *but trust me, it is worth every penny!

Oh - and just a warning...it is a bit addictive. When I first found the site, I spent a few hours hitting "refresh" over..and over...and over again to see all of the new stuff.



What's for dinner? Just point and click!

This is a fantastic site I found this week that will pick out recipes for you...based upon what you have. You simply click on a list of the things you have in your pantry and fridge, and "wa-la" - the site returns a list of recipes for you.
Here's mine....
Fried Egg
& a Cup of Coffee
Looks like it is time to get groceries again! (Click on the logo to visit the site)