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Parenting tips, game and toy ideas for you and your child. Seasonal crafts, at home projects, stickers, and holiday decorations.

Posted on Jun 17, 2013 in Big Kids, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Why I Don’t Let My Kids Have Play Dates (mostly)

Why I Don’t Let My Kids Have Play Dates (mostly)

School ended yesterday. The kids are tired. I’m tired. The house is trashed –piles of half-used workbooks, graded papers, winter clothes to be put away – seem to have overtaken it. But that’s not the reason I said my 8 and 11-year olds can’t have play dates today. There are two big reasons I’m not letting my kids have play dates. At least not for a while and not as often as they’d like. My goals are that: 1. My girls play together and maintain a strong bond of friendship. 2. My girls get bored –bored enough to spark their creativity, inventiveness, and outside-of-the-box... Read Post

Posted on Jun 13, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Holiday Crafts | 0 comments

Father’s Day Gift: Silk Screen Tie

Father’s Day Gift: Silk Screen Tie

The kids and I love to make handmade gifts for my husband for Father’s Day. He always enjoys them so much more than he would a store-bought gift. Handmade gifts are super meaningful, and are always sentimental for years to come for the recipient. This year we tackled a quick and easy necktie project that can be customized for any dad! Silk screening is a fun way to create a clean, flat design on a fabric surface rather than a raised effect you get with bottled fabric paints. Using the fabric dyes and a silk screening kit like the Silkscreen Factory, you can create a wide variety of projects... Read Post

Posted on Jun 12, 2013 in Featured, Sweepstakes & Giveaways | 24 comments

Happy Birthday, July!

Happy Birthday, July!

Are you planning a July birthday party for your son or daughter? Not sure what to do with the 20 little ones who will be running circles through your house? Let us help! We’re excited for another month of our Birthday Party giveaway! Each month ALEX will select (1) lucky winner to receive either an activity or party favors for up to 20 kids that will help make their child’s birthday party even more fun! The birthday boy or girl will also receive a birthday present from ALEX, chosen just for them! If your little one is lucky enough to celebrate a July birthday? Enter through the entry form... Read Post

Posted on Jun 11, 2013 in Big Kids, Videos | 0 comments

Play Guessing Games to Foster Your Child’s Creativity

Play Guessing Games to Foster Your Child’s Creativity

Guessing games are fun for the whole family, and are a perfect after-dinner activity that can be shared by everyone to extend meal time togetherness. Spending time as a family is important for bonding and for your child’s social-emotional development. Draw and Guess games are my favorite because they foster creative thinking. We often focus so much on the importance of handwriting skills, gross motor coordination, and self-care skills that we forget that encouraging creativity is just as important. Creative minds are better able to problem-solve, resolve conflicts with others, figure out how... Read Post

Posted on Jun 10, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

Learning from Paper Airplanes

Learning from Paper Airplanes

Aviation is a big deal in my husband’s family. His grandfather was a flight instructor, his dad ran a flight school, and he got his pilot’s license at 17. He hasn’t had the opportunity to fly for a few years now, but he uses his flight knowledge for his job every single day. Flying is in my son’s blood, so it’s no surprise that he’s in love with the Fold N Fly Paper Airplanes kit. At age five, my son Johnny is a little young for learning the complex theories that explain aerodynamics and aviation, but this craft kit was the perfect opportunity for him to experiment with gliding! First... Read Post

Posted on Jun 4, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Top Secret Spy Activity For Kids: Mystery Scavenger Hunt

Top Secret Spy Activity For Kids: Mystery Scavenger Hunt

My eight-year-old son is really into spy, detective, undercover agent type stuff. He thinks it’s pretty cool to look for clues, and solve mysteries.  So recently, with some help from ALEX Toys and their Super Sleuth Kit, I put together an exciting mystery scavenger hunt for him. His mission was to explore the crime scene, gather his subjects, decipher the clues, and catch the culprit! The kit includes items for fingerprinting, super cool rear view mirror glasses, a magnifying glass, and flashlight, as well as information on a variety of codes. Beforehand, I created the crime scene, and the... Read Post

Posted on Jun 3, 2013 in Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

How to Survive a Road Trip with Kids!

How to Survive a Road Trip with Kids!

This Memorial Day, our family decided to take a long road trip! I was a bit nervous about traveling with the two girls (Lori, 4 years and Julie, 18 months). We don’t have a mini-van or fancy backseat DVD players; we just have our trusty sedan. But with some advance planning, clever packing, and a few tricks up my sleeve, we happily made it to our destination. You can too! Sometimes if Julie is feeling restless in the car, Lori sings to her to cheer her up. It is so sweet! This time, Lori and I sat down the day before our trip and made a “play list” of songs that she could sing to Julie. We... Read Post

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Put on a Puppet Show!

Put on a Puppet Show!

Pretend play is important for kids. It encourages creativity and imagination, as well as critical developmental skills. At our house, I try to do my best to encourage creativity and imagination at every turn. We have a designated area for art and crafting with plenty of art supplies available to the kids at all times. I also try to incorporate creativity exercises into our home school lessons having the children write stories or put on plays. One of their favorite activities is creating a puppet show, a hit for children from preschool age to middle school. My oldest has gotten quite good at... Read Post

Posted on May 30, 2013 in Printables | 0 comments

Printable: Dress Up Cow

Printable: Dress Up Cow

Time for some giggles! This dress up cow printable is udderly fa-bull-ous! There are two different outfits for moo-velous designer fun! Download and print out several cows so your little one can mix and match and create different looks! If cut in advance, this is a great road trip activity! Dress Up Cow Instructions What You Need: 1. Safety Scissors 2. Glue 3. Three Printable Pages (please note instructions are also included if you’d to print those as well) – Download HERE   How To Make It:   ALEX printables are designed for toddlers and preschoolers and inspired by our... Read Post

Posted on May 30, 2013 in Outdoor Play, Parenting | 0 comments

Fun Ways To Keep Your Kids Busy And Active Outdoors

Fun Ways To Keep Your Kids Busy And Active Outdoors

I love getting my kids outside! They get exercise, the house stays cleaner, and they rarely argue! Here are some of my favorite ways to keep kids busy and active outdoors! 1. Channel classic games: My kids really enjoy Paddle Tether Ball. We also play kick ball, hopscotch, and tag! I’m thinking I should introduce them to sack racing soon! 2. Play with water: My kids adore the wading pool and sprinkler, but they also think that painting with water (a bucket of water and a paintbrush) is super fun! 3. Draw with sidewalk chalk: My kids love drawing house plans, and I remember drawing gigantic... Read Post

Posted on May 28, 2013 in Babies, Developmental Skills | 0 comments

Bowling Up a Strong Core

Bowling Up a Strong Core

Bowling is a great activity for kids, and ALEX’s Wacky Bowling Set makes it extra fun. The baby bowling set is for kids 18 months and older and includes 6 wacky pins and two colorful balls. My daughter loves the different monster faces! The pins come apart so kids can mix n’ match and put together their own monster creations, which they love to do is and it’s great for their visual motor skills and bilateral coordination! As a bonus, the balls jingle, so it’s fun for even the youngest of kids! Bowling is exciting, entertaining, and a great for activity to reinforce eye-hand... Read Post
Pretend Play: Fun Kitchen Learning

Pretend Play: Fun Kitchen Learning

We recently traded our large plastic play kitchen in for this adorable wooden play kitchen. We paired it with a play cooking set and baking set for lots of pretend play.  My husband is thrilled with the smaller footprint, and my kids adore it! They actually use it a lot more than the larger one. My three-year-old sits at it for hours, baking to her heart’s content, and my seven-year-old uses it with her eighteen-inch dolls – it is the perfect size for them, too! Here are a few ways we love playing with this kitchen: Imaginary Baking. Putting pots on the stove, pans in the oven, and stirring.... Read Post

Posted on May 22, 2013 in Outdoor Play | 1 comment

Five Easy Games You Can Play with Bubbles

Five Easy Games You Can Play with Bubbles

Everyone in our house is getting excited for summer, and anxiously awaiting the warm weather that’s on its way.  In anticipation, the kids and I have been planning some outdoor play with bubbles! Kids young and old never tire of playing with bubbles. Popping them, blowing them… it’s all fun! The awe and wonder on a child’s face when they watch bubbles float and pop is priceless. These simple little things can bring so much joy to a child. It also makes moms happy that bubbles are easy to find, and most of the time very inexpensive. Here are five quick and easy games you can play with... Read Post

Posted on May 20, 2013 in Featured, Outdoor Play | 0 comments

Make Your Own Carnvial at Home

Make Your Own Carnvial at Home

What better way to entertain your kids for the day than a carnival?  But instead of spending tons of money, we decided to get creative and make our own carnival at home. To get started, we made a costume for daddy to wear as he ran all of our carnival games, which included a hat and a cane.  All you need to make your own is black construction paper or card stock, scissors, and staples or tape. For your hat, cut out a top hat shape, then cut several 1-2 inch strips of paper.  Tape or staple the paper together, measure the person’s head, and connect the two ends together.  Tape or staple the... Read Post

Posted on May 17, 2013 in Printables | 0 comments

Printable: Bottle Cap Bugs

Printable: Bottle Cap Bugs

Between all the BBQ’s and thirsty kids running around this summer, don’t let all those empty bottles caps go to waste! Recycled materials make great craft supplies. Turn those bottle caps into cute little bugs and have a leaf party! Mix and match to create all sorts of neat looking bugs! ALEX printables are designed for toddlers and preschoolers and inspired by our Little Hands line of products made specifically for kids that age. If your little one is a bug lover, then you might also like Paper Plate Bugs, five totally adorable bugs are created by layering, stickering and... Read Post
Teaching Preschoolers Good Hygiene

Teaching Preschoolers Good Hygiene

My youngest child just turned four years old, and has embarked on a new journey of independence. It’s been happening for quite some time, but I noticed an increase right around his birthday. All of a sudden, he doesn’t need my help doing all sorts of things that I normally do for him, the most notable being washing him up when he takes a bath and helping him brush his teeth. He is now convinced that as a four-year-old he is very capable of taking care of his own hygiene. There comes a time in every child’s life where they begin to take over their own hygiene responsibilities. I still... Read Post

Posted on May 15, 2013 in Big Kids | 0 comments

Creative Ways to Play Traditional Games

Creative Ways to Play Traditional Games

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Posted on May 14, 2013 in Tweens | 1 comment

The Benefits of Baking For Kids

The Benefits of Baking For Kids

My daughter recently found a new passion – baking cupcakes.  The benefits of children baking in the kitchen surprised me. I noticed that the process of figuring out a recipe and making it all by herself gave my daughter: -  a sense of accomplishment -  pride -  a new interest -  expanded problem solving skills It started when she discovered a free app for the iPad, Hello Cupcake!, from the popular book of the same name. In the Hello Cupcake app, there are twelve recipes with clear directions, perfect for children to follow. I really liked that the app used real photographs, not cartoonish... Read Post

Posted on May 13, 2013 in Parenting | 0 comments

Teaching Kids Independence

Teaching Kids Independence

I’ve been thinking a lot about teaching kids independence lately. With four children aged seven and under, I need my children to be as self-sufficient as possible – and I know that they are happier being able to do more on their own as well. I’ve learned that we have to start with the basics – you can’t learn how to tie a shoe without knowing how to lace it: Organization is also key. I can’t expect my kids to put away their clothes and toys if they don’t know where everything goes. I set up a very simple toy organization system, and I put sticky labels on their drawers to help them learn... Read Post

Posted on May 10, 2013 in Sweepstakes & Giveaways | 13 comments

Happy Birthday, June!

Happy Birthday, June!

 Are you planning a June birthday party for your son or daughter? Not sure what to do with the 20 little ones who will be running circles through your house? Let us help! We’re excited for another month of our Birthday Club giveaway! Each month ALEX will select (1) lucky winner to receive either an activity or party favors for up to 20 kids that will help make their child’s birthday party even more fun! The birthday boy or girl will also receive a birthday present from ALEX, chosen just for them! If your little one is lucky enough to celebrate an June birthday? Enter through the entry form... Read Post

Posted on May 10, 2013 in Holiday Crafts | 0 comments

DIY Mother’s Day Flower Pot Craft

DIY Mother’s Day Flower Pot Craft

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Posted on May 9, 2013 in Printables | 0 comments

Printable: May Flowers

Printable: May Flowers

April showers bring May flowers…just in time for Mother’s Day! Give beautiful flowers for Mother’s Day that will last forever. Its a gift your little one will be proud to hand over to Mom, Grandma or their favorite Aunt! Choose a flower for each of the flower pots and add your choice of colorful leaves. Add some special touches to each of the flowers to make them unique. Add a special note to the flower pot or glue it onto a piece of construction paper to turn your May flowers into a beautiful homemade cards. Get creative by adding puffy paints or glitter to make your... Read Post

Posted on May 8, 2013 in Featured, Tweens | 0 comments

Mommy and Me Spa Date

Mommy and Me Spa Date

If you’re a mom of multiple children like me, you know how difficult it can be to find quality time with each child. That’s why I enjoy putting together Mommy & Me Dates. It’s simply a set aside time to spend with your children doing something fun! With all the things that end up on our busy schedule, I know it’s important to schedule time to reconnect with my kiddos, and let them know just how important they are to me. Recently, my daughters and I had a Mommy & Me Spa Date, and it was so much fun! We spent time chatting, getting facials, doing our nails, creating DIY lip gloss and... Read Post

Posted on May 7, 2013 in Featured, Outdoor Play, Science for Kids | 0 comments

Recipe for Success…and Sidewalk Paint

Recipe for Success…and Sidewalk Paint

ALEX’s Kid Concoctions book titled Weird Wacky & Wild Stuff You Can Make At Home! is filled with all sorts of easy-to-make at-home concoctions. Things like slime, paints, play dough, toys and more that kids can make on their own using everyday household items. I have the book and tried out the Super Sidewalk Paint with my girls. Here is the recipe (it’s SUPER EASY): ¼ cup cornstarch ¼ cup water 6-8 drops of food coloring Since we wanted to have a few different colors for rainbows, we quadrupled the recipe (1 cup cornstarch & 1 cup water). The girls mixed the cornstarch with the... Read Post