How to Make a Kids’ Activity Corner

I’ve been looking for a way to buy myself a few minutes to get dinner ready when the little people in our house need dinner NOW.

We have this little corner in our dining room that I can see from the kitchen and I thought it might be a perfect place to make an activity corner to keep kids entertained while they wait.

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while but hadn’t come across exactly what I was looking for to make this happen.

Until I saw this little organizing shelf. It was perfect.

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This rack actually was the perfect size to hold my yogurt tubs that I have an insane collection of. I just covered them in a fabric that matched the room using my DIY Mod Podge mixture.

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I just cut the fabric to size and covered the tub in the glue, then the fabric and then painted another (liberal) layer of glue on top of the fabric.

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Once that dried completely, I filled the tubs with game pieces and other items they would need in their corner.

We have a little table that we put in the corner and hung our new rack as low as possible so kids could reach the shelves.

Then we filled the shelves with the decorated tubs, markers, puzzles, activity books, and paper.

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Then we hung the “Corner Rules” and that was it.

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I think they are excited to have a little place of their own.

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And I’m excited to have a few extra minutes to myself!

So, if you are like us and don’t have a ton of space, this activity corner is a great way to give your kids their own little area.

Make a kids activity corner

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Supernanny To The Rescue

Whenever I watch Supernanny, I usually just sit in awe of Jo Frost (the Supernanny). She is firm, patient and kind and the kids all love her.

Sometimes watching it is stressful though, because at the end of the day, the last thing I want to watch is a show with kids screaming, running around and misbehaving. I prefer The Real Housewives of Orange County where it is the adults doing that. Much more relaxing.

When I discovered how many books Jo Frost has written, I got very excited. Now I could learn her magic without having to see and hear all the craziness.

I’ve only read two so far but I love how she relays different scenarios and then gives her advice on how to best handle them. She makes every solution seem doable for anyone. Also, I appreciate that her foundation for caregiving is love with an emphasis on discipline and manners.

This is one of her older books which was the first one I read.

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And this is what I’m reading now, which is brand new.

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Here are a few other titles if you’re interested.

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She also has a website if you are looking for more, http://www.jofrost.com.

If you have small kids and are looking for some inspiration, I hope this helps. Her advice is basic, timeless, and been proven effective again and again.

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Easy Peasy Balloon Garland

When it comes to birthday parties, the main thing I look for in the food and decorations is easy.

When I wanted to add a little flair to my son’s 2nd birthday, this balloon garland was the easiest thing ever.

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All you have to do is blow up a bunch of balloons and tie fishing line around the knot of each one.

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Make sure to leave a foot or two of fishing line at both ends of the garland to help with hanging it.

Once your first balloon is tied, tape it to a hard surface to keep it in place while you tie the others. Otherwise, the balloons start floating around and you could have a tangled mess.

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Once your garland is the length you want, you can tape it or tie it wherever you like!

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With any leftover balloons, fill a couple garbage bags full and dump them onto the kids from a loft area 🙂

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By using select colors, this garland make an easy decoration for baby showers or other themed parties.

For some reason, the balloons stay full when hanging upside down like this, so this might be a good decoration if you have a longer celebration and you want them up for a week or two!

You could also use this garland to line the doorway of the birthday boy or girl. Here is my daughter’s doorway on her birthday.

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Easy Peasy. Have Fun!

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Make Edible Flowers With Jelly Beans

Jelly beans are one of my favorite candies so I really love this time of year. I buy a bag of them almost every time I go grocery shopping.

Our cabinet was started to overflow with jelly beans so I wanted to do something with them.

These little flowers are the sugary version of Edible Arrangements.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

To make flowers on a stick, you will need jelly beans, toothpicks and cookie/cake pop sticks.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Cut a few toothpicks into smaller bits by cutting at an angle so both ends are sharp.
Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Poke a cake pop stick into a jelly bean. That will be your center. Then just poke one end of your toothpick piece into a jelly bean and the other into your center jelly bean.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Do that all the way around the jelly bean until it looks like a flower.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

You can also just do a flower that is not on a stick by just adding the jelly bean petals the entire way around.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

The flowers without a stick can be used as a cupcake topper or cake decoration. I made brownie cups since it kind of looked like dirt 🙂

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Because there are small sharp pieces of toothpick involved, it’s best to use this just as decoration or make sure to take the flower apart and remove the stick pieces before giving to kids.

Then enjoy. These guys finished these flowers in about thirty seconds.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Happy Easter Week!

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Sprinkle Milkshake (Kid Version of a Birthday Cake Martini)

I’ve been seeing these beautiful birthday cake martinis around and thought they looked so festive.

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Photo courtesy of pizzazzerie

While I think a martini would do wonders for my kids (and me) at bedtime, I figured I would try to make something a little more kid-friendly.

This version is basically a vanilla milkshake with sprinkles.

kids milkshake with sprinkles- cake martini

To make, you will need:

-1 cup milk
-1 cup vanilla ice cream
-A couple ice cubes
-Colorful nonpareils or whatever sprinkles you have on hand
-1 Frozen banana (not necessary but i put it in to thicken it up and add a few nutrients)
-Plastic wine, champagne or other fun glasses

Ingredients amount will vary depending on the consistency you prefer.

Place items in a blender and blend until it is how you like it.

Meanwhile, pour some sprinkles in a shallow bowl.  Coat the rim of your glass with a little bit of ice cream or honey and dip into the bowl of sprinkles until the rim is covered.

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Pour your milkshake into the glass and you are ready to serve.

kids milkshake with sprinkles- cake martini

I recommend not filling the milkshake all the way to the top or only putting the sprinkles on the outside rim. Otherwise, you instantly get this dripping effect.

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Although, it won’t matter either way. It’s colorful and fun and your kids will love it!

kids milkshake with sprinkles- cake martini

Cheers!

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sprinkle milkshake

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Cupcake Cones

If you’re looking for a fun idea for a kid’s birthday (or for any day), these cupcake cones are great. They are a nice alternative to regular cupcakes.

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To begin, just prepare your cake mix as you normally would. Line up your cones (the cake cones with a flat bottom) on a cookie sheet or place them inside a cupcake pan. Scoop your batter directly into the cone. Fill a little more than halfway.

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Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

While those are baking, you can prepare your frosting. If you use store-bought icing, you’re all set.

My favorite homemade icing recipe is super easy, though. Using a hand-held blender, blend 1 stick of softened butter with 4.5 cups powdered sugar, and 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract. You can add 5-6 tablespoons of milk to get the desired consistency.

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Once your cake is cooled, ice it like you would a cupcake.

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If you have a pastry bag, great. Or you can scoop your icing into a ziplock bag and cut the tip off to make your own.

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Then just squeeze on your icing. You can add food coloring to your icing if you want specific colors. I used colored cones so I stayed with white icing.

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Top with sprinkles or whatever topping your want and you’re all set!

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Kids love them, of course.

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It’s always fun when they discover the cake on the inside.

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You can also just top the cones with ice cream instead of icing for a regular ice cream cone with a surprise at the end!

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One warning is that the cones don’t really keep well (the cone gets soft) so it’s best to serve them the same day you make them.

Have fun!

cupcake cones

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Balloon Entertainment

We went to a birthday party recently that had a lot of fun games and activities that the kids were enjoying. My kids, on the other hand, chose to only play with the balloon decorations the entire time.

So, this weekend, when we heard another wave of snow and ice was coming (a.k.a. we were going to be stuck inside), I thought I’d get some balloons and see if they would bring us a little sanity.

Let’s just say that was the best dollar I’ve spent in a while. They had a blast and actually got some exercise. So, if you all are stuck inside as well, give this a try!

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Of course, the ultimate goal of any kids’ activity is to wear them out.

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And…Success!

kids activity using balloons

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kids activity using balloons