Sunday, November 29, 2015

Gifts For Preschoolers (Shhh you have all the stuff already!

As I mentioned previously in another blog post, I am getting tired of all the gift lists out there this holiday season. So many seem to link to a bunch of Amazon products so affiliate links can get clicks. It makes me wonder whether the blogger is truly suggesting the products or just looking for clicks. Which brings me to my next gift list and it is for preschoolers. 

Give the gift of time by providing at least one hour of free time everyday for these little tikes. Many preschools have quite a rigorous school day and children need time to just play! Need to wrap something up to give as a gift? Check out this coupon book that offers plenty of ideas of what to do with your free time. 

Sure there are loads of prepackaged explorer's kits that include fancy things like binoculars and science test tubes but why not make your own? Through the years, my children have had loads of fun with cardboard paper tubes, baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, stapled paper, pens, etc. Toss all of the materials into a recycled plastic container or an old backpack. Your little explorer is all set from just repurposing stuff from around the house. 

What child doesn't love a cardboard box? The bigger the better.  They make them into caves, clubhouses, elevators, tunnels and more. The ideas are endless. Want to make them more gift like? Tie up some markers with a ribbon and attach them to the box.  

What is your favorite preschooler gift idea? Please no Amazon links. Haha

Read my top 3 gift ideas for toddlers here.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pretend Play Makes Better Thinkers Poster

Download your copy to hang up in your playroom or classroom from Growing Play - Pretend play makes better thinkers.

Need ideas for pretend play?  Check out all of our pretend play packets.  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

My Top 3 Gift Ideas for Toddlers

I have to admit, I am getting really sick of seeing gift lists all over Pinterest and Facebook.  There are gift lists for every age, every gender, every personality type, etc with links to everything that Amazon sells.  It is starting to get on my nerves.  Don't get me wrong I occasionally look for a gift idea for the tough to buy for child but I have come to a realization that many gifts that children want (or parents for that matter) cost nothing.  So this week I will share with you my gift lists which are all free items! So here we go starting off with my super awesome gift list for toddlers:


Grab any plastic cups and a wash cloth that you have from around the house. Put them on a tray.  Put water in some of the cups. That's it.  That is all toddlers want - to splash in water.  If you don't want the mess on the floor put the toddler in the tub or sink.  Need to gift wrap it up?  Just wrap up the plastic cups that you have and gift away.  


Head outdoors with your toddler.  Take a hike gathering small rocks as you go in a small bag.  When you get home wrap up the bag of rocks.  Don't even clean them - that will be part of the fun for the toddler.  Give the toddler the rocks to sort, throw and wash up in gift #1, water!


Head outdoors again.  Grab a kitchen spoon and dig up some dirt.  Put it in a recycled container and wrap it up.  Tie a cute ribbon around it with a spoon if you feel crafty.  Give the toddler the container of dirt.  

If you put all three gifts together your toddler will be so PSYCHED!  And so will you because the toddler will entertain themselves for quite some time.  Win - win situation!

What is your favorite free gift for toddlers?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Need some group games to play around the table today?  Download this freebie - Thanksgiving Challenges.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Car Rides and Kids - 7 Games to Play (No Equipment Needed)

Here are some simple games to play in the car with kids on a long ride that need no equipment.

1.  Yellow Car:  Everyone looks for yellow cars.  The game scores as follows: regular yellow car - 1 point, yellow pick up truck - 5 points, yellow mustang - 5 points and yellow Hummer - automatic win!  We keep score until someone finds a yellow Hummer but you could just do it for a certain amount of time.

2.  Rainbow Car:  Work together to find cars in the color of the rainbow.  You must do it in order.  Therefore, first you look for a red car, then orange, yellow, green, blue and finally purple.

3.  Quiz Questions:  My children love this game.  Give them quiz questions based on their lives.  Some example questions are "What is Grandma's middle name?", "How old was Mom and Dad when they got married?", "What day of the week were you born on?", etc.

4.  Alphabet Game:  Collectively work together or individually and race to find words that start with all letters of the alphabet.  You really need to be driving on a highway or busy area for this game to remain exciting.  Start by finding a word with the letter 'A', once found move onto the letter 'B'...  We have a few extra rules - you can not use license plates, you only have to find the letter Q or an X and if it is getting boring just look for the letters instead of words.

5.  10 Facts Each:  Go around the car and each person states 10 facts about him/herself.  For example: I ate oatmeal for breakfast.  I wore a red dress yesterday., etc.  Once everyone has stated their 10 facts try to remember all the facts and who said them.  Obviously you can not state your own facts about yourself.  See how many you can remember.

6.  First Person to Find:  This is a hit with us for short rides that get boring.  One person starts and declares an object "first person to find an American flag".  Then the first person who finds an American flag announces the next object to find.  I always make sure everyone gets a turn.

7.  Would You Rather?:  We love to make up crazy would you rather questions to answer.  For example, would you rather be super rich but you would have to be naked for the rest of your life or poor but you had a great wardrobe?

What games do you play in the car to pass the time?  Waiting Games is a 22 page download of twenty games to play while on a road trip, waiting for an appointment or sitting around a campfire. This collection of activities encourages children to develop self-regulation, creativity and communication skills while they wait. 

This packet includes games such as 60 Seconds, Reverse 20 Questions, Let's Debate, Outside the Box and more! 

This is an electronic document so immediately following payment you will receive an email with the link to download the book.  You can print it and toss it in the car so you have something to rely on during those times when the kids start to get antsy.  If you don't want to print it, just save the PDF to your smartphone or tablet and take it with you to reference wherever you are.

Download a free sample page - I Spy Memory Lane

To order Waiting Games for $3.99 click on the ADD TO CART button. You will receive an email with a link immediately following payment to download the book.  


Play Outdoors Tear Off Sheet

Hang it up by the back door so children can tear off an activity idea when heading outdoors to play.