Archives for category: family

BEEP BEEP – you can sleep in a jeep and one safari ready at that!

Make the transition to a big boy or big girl an adventure with our Zebra Striped Jeep.

Taking That BIG Step!

Which approach is best for you will depend on your reasons for making the change, your child’s personality, and the size of his room. Here are a few ways to help him make the transition from crib to bed:

1. Big-kid bed hoopla: Some children enjoy having an official Big Kid Day party. Set up the bed, decorate the room and add a few sleep-related gifts, such as books and stuffed animals.

2. One-step-at-a-time: Take the mattress out of the crib and place it on the floor in the same location. This gives your child the same sleeping surface and the same view of the room that he has grown accustomed to. Place guard rails around the sides to create a crib-like enclosure. Keep the same bedding and crib toys. This is a mid-step between the crib and a real bed.

3. The gradual introduction: Set up the new bed in the same room as the crib. Allow your child to play on the bed and nap there. Do your bedtime reading in the new bed, but allow him to have nighttime sleeps in the crib. This will help your child get used to the bed gradually.

4. Patience and encouragement: No matter which path you choose, be patient. Big steps toward growth often happen in spurts and your child may be excited to welcome the change one day, but wary of it the next. Maintain your nightly bedtime routine and help your child develop a positive association with his new bed, since he’ll be sleeping there for many years to come.

Talk like a Pirate

Yarrr, that be right: today Tuesday, September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day 2017, a celebration of all things pirate.

Pirate Toddler Bed

Avast, all you young little Scallywags  sleep like pirate!

Now, if you wish to brush up on your pirate speak, try this useful English to Pirate translator.

Also offered is some advanced lingo once you’ve mastered the basics. like beyond “Aarr!”.

Beauty – The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by “me,” as in, “C’mere, me beauty,” or even, “me buxom beauty,” to one particularly well endowed. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.

Bilge rat – The bilge is the lowest level of the ship. It’s loaded with ballast and slimy, reeking water. A bilge rat, then, is a rat that lives in the worst place on the ship. On TLAP Day – A lot of guy humor involves insulting your buddies to prove your friendship. It’s important that everyone understand you are smarter, more powerful and much luckier with the wenches than they are. Since bilge rat is a pretty dirty thing to call someone, by all means use it on your friends.

Bung hole – Victuals on a ship were stored in wooden casks. The stopper in the barrel is called the bung, and the hole is called the bung hole. That’s all. It sounds a lot worse, doesn’t it? On TLAP Day – When dinner is served you’ll make quite an impression when you say, “Well, me hearties, let’s see what crawled out of the bung hole.” That statement will be instantly followed by the sound of people putting down their utensils and pushing themselves away from the table. Great! More for you!

Grog – An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water, but in this context you could use it to refer to any alcoholic beverage other than beer, and we aren’t prepared to be picky about that, either. Call your beer grog if you want. We won’t stop you! Water aboard ship was stored for long periods in slimy wooden barrels, so you can see why rum was added to each sailor’s water ration – to kill the rancid taste. On TLAP Day – Drink up, me hearties! And call whatever you’re drinking grog if you want to. If some prissy pedant purses his lips and protests the word grog can only be used if drinking rum and water, not the Singapore Sling you’re holding, keelhaul him!

Hornpipe – Both a single-reeded musical instrument sailors often had aboard ship, and a spirited dance that sailors do. On TLAP Day – We are not big fans of the capering, it’s not our favorite art form, if you will, so we don’t have a lot to say on the subject, other than to observe that the common term for being filled with lust is “horny,” and hornpipe then has some comical possibilities. “Is that a hornpipe in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? Or both?”

Lubber – (or land lubber) This is the seaman’s version of land lover, mangled by typical pirate disregard for elocution. A lubber is someone who does not go to sea, who stays on the land. On TLAP Day – More likely than not, you are a lubber 364 days of the year. But not if you’re talking like a pirate! Then the word lubber becomes one of the more fierce weapons in your arsenal of piratical lingo. In a room where everyone is talking like pirates, lubber is ALWAYS an insult.

Smartly – Do something quickly. On TLAP Day “Smartly, me lass,” you might say when sending the bar maid off for another round. She will be so impressed she might well spit in your beer.

Dress like a pirate all year long.

Here is our all time most favorite seasonal decoration!

This DIY Halloween Garland idea may become your favorite too. So, go ahead and “cut that out”.

Templates for the cut outs can be found at Paper Crave

spider-deviled-eggs

Every year these Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs are always a huge hit. You might want to try making them with the kiddos for a fun cook together time.

Try laying (out) special spider eggs to creep out some of your friends.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon (3 oz.)
  • 8 hard-cooked large eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

1. In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon, turning slices as needed, until browned on both sides and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon.
2. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; gently scoop out yolks and place in a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork, then stir in mayonnaise, green onions, mustard, and crumbled bacon until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Before we had kids, my husband and I would eat out all the time and enjoyed our time together discovering new foods and restaurants. Now that we have two little boys, eating out isn’t so easy or enjoyable. We are now mostly limited to kid-friendly dining and even at the most kid-friendly restaurants, we are susceptible to melt downs, whining, crying, and restlessness among other things. So I made a list of restaurant table games to play while waiting for your meal, or even during meal time when the kids are done eating but the adults aren’t. These fun little games can be played using items found at your table and have really helped us keep the kids busy and calm while dining out.

1. Origami Fortune Tellers. I used to make these all the time when I was younger and they were always a camp favorite. If you don’t know how to make one of these, HERE is a step by step tutorial.  All you need is the kids menu and crayons. Colors go on the outside, numbers in the center, and a fortune on each of the 4 inside flaps. Here is how to play: First your child chooses a color. If it’s red, then spell out R-E-D while moving the fortune together and apart with your fingers 3 times. Then choose a number from the center. Again, count while moving the fortune teller. Then pick another number and whichever number they choose, lift up the flat and that is their fortune. Here are some fortune ideas: “You will have good luck today” or “You will go to a party soon.” Or they could be a direction like “Give someone at the table a hug” or “Make a silly face.”

2. Sugar Packet and Penny Trick. This is a restaurant table version of the old cups and balls magic trick. Take three of the same color sugar packet and a penny or small coin. Show you child which packet the coin is under and then quickly mix them up while they are watching. See if they can follow which sugar packet the penny is under and when you are done mixing, ask them where the penny is.

3. Guess Which Hand. Hide a sugar packet/piece of a napkin/coin (or other small table object) in one of your hands. Make a fist with both hands and have your child guess which hand the object is in. My son likes to play this game on us! He (not so) discreetly hides something in one hand and then we get to guess. Of course I like to humor him and pick the wrong hand :o)

4. Straw and Sugar Packet Tic Tac Toe. Here is a fun way to play Tic Tac Toe. Ask your server for a couple extra straws and use them to make the game board. Use sets of two different color sugar packets as the markers for each team or player. Three in a row wins!

5. Straw Wrapper Worms. When you are unwrapping your straws, scrunch the paper up. Lay it on the table and drip a drop of water on it. Watch it wiggle and grow! See our Straw Wrapper Worm video:

6. I Spy. Choose an object at the table or within view of your table and using the phrase “I spy with my little eye, something ___” Provide a descriptive word about what you see and let your child guess what it is. Then let him/her pick something and you try to guess!

7. Dot Game. This is also called Capture the Squares. The object of the game is to connect dots to get as many squares as possible. Start by drawing a grid of dots and take turns connecting two dots at a time with a vertical or horizontal line. When a person is able to finish a square, put your initial in it. When all dots become squares, count the initialed boxes and whoever has the most wins!

8. ABC Spy. Using the kids menu, or in this case we used the fry basket liner, ask your child to find an “A” and so on. Each time they find the letter, they can circle it. This seems too simple, but believe me, this kept my 3-year-old occupied for a good chunk of time and he really liked searching for each letter I called out.

9. Disappearing Objects. Arrange a group of objects together in the middle of the table. Tell your child to look closely at all the objects on the table then tell him to close his eyes. Take an object away and see if your child can tell you which object is missing.

10. Table Football. There are actual rules to this game (that we don’t follow). We just like to make a paper football and enjoy flicking it around. To make the ball: Start by folding a piece of paper in half longways and fold the corner down into a triangle. Continue to fold down, making triangles until you get to the end of the paper. Tuck whatever excess paper is left on the end into the “pocket” on the top of the ball.  The object of the game is the flick the football across the table and if it is hanging over the edge when it comes to a rest, you get a touchdown. We like to hold our hands up into a field goal and try and flick between the posts (aka fingers and thumbs).

Thank you Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me for sharing these entertaining ideas.

Make-Your-Bed-Day

When you wake up today, September 11, be sure to make your bed, Why today you ask, because it is Make Your Bed Day!

Pointless exercise you think. Well maybe not, here are a few reasons why:

1. Me Time
Smooth out those sheets and comforter. Slow down, take a few deep breaths and plan your day. Think of this morning bed making ritual as getting a little “me time”. Okay, just keep telling yourself it is “me time” and in no time your bed is made.

2. Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness.
By taking just a few seconds to pull your bedding up over the pillows does a great deal for cleanliness. It will prevent dust from getting under your covers during the day. Plus, who knows what you could find hiding under the bed or on the floor. This discovery could be a big help when it is bedtime; lack of cutter could create a more peaceful slumber.

3. Winner winner.
Making your bed which requires so little effort could make a huge impact on your day. You know how good it feels when everything is neat and tidy. Start your day off with success and feeling like a winner. See where that first step will take you throughout your day.

4. Happiness
Hunch.com surveyed 68,000 people and found that 71 percent of bed makers consider themselves happy while 62 percent of non-bed makers admitted to being unhappy. Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested, whereas non-bed-makers hate their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym, and wake up tired. So why not join the happys? Make your bed!

Idea! Possibly a brand new bed could bring a little inspiration. Check out all of the super fantastic bed choices at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys.

 

Who’s waiting for Starbucks to announce the arrival of Fall with their Pumpkin Spice Latte? While waiting why not whip up some Pumpkin Latte Playdough for your little ones ? It just may become a new autumn classic at your house. Dinosaurs and Octopuses has the recipe for fun this week.

Here it is:

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1/3 of the jar of pumpkin pie spice (the tiny jar)
maple extract
vanilla extract
food coloring

Combine the dry ingredients and the oil. Slowly add the water. Add a few dashes of each of the extracts and a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff. As it mixes you can see if you’ll need more food dye. Adding a little at a time until the desired color is  achieved. Turn out onto wax paper. The pumpkin pie spice was too spicy by itself, for my liking. The extracts make it smell sweeter, just like a pumpkin pie. Sniff the dough. Does it smell too spicy? Add a little bit more extract and knead it all together. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water.

Betsy, you must give this a try for Oliver.

Anyone looking for a copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Latte recipe? Give this one from the Kitchn a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin or 1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice Syrup
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute – you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine.)

Directions:
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it – just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

 Hug Your Teddy Bear

Celebrate with us this Saturday, September 9th, which of course you know is National Teddy Bear Day. Bring your Teddy Bear in with you and take 25% OFF all toys or games. There will be treats and refreshments for the entire family.

We do have fun every day at Totally Kids fun furniture and toys, but today, the Totally Team is experiencing even more fun with our big Teddy Bears. Here is why:

Back in November of 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt, following an unsuccessful hunting trip, refused to shoot a bear that had been caught and tied to a tree so that his hunting excursion was not a bust.

This benevolent act led to a cartoon that appeared in newspapers, and inspired a toymaker to make a stuffed bear. Toymaker, Morris Mitchtom’s creation was called “Teddy’s bear,” and the rest, as they say, is history.

Then, along came National Teddy Bear Day, which is celebrated every year on September 9th.

“If you don’t have someone to comfort you there is always a cuddly Teddy Bear. Remember how your favorite Teddy Bear could make you feel safe and secure when there was a problem going to sleep.

There are dozens of varieties of bears and some of them have become quite famous with the king of bears possibly being Winnie the Pooh. The honey-colored bear was originated with the writings of A.A. Milne in the 1920s and immortalized by Walt Disney on the big screen, the first movie debuting in 1966.

How could you celebrate such a cuddly, yet momentous day? We might suggest the best celebration is to dust off some teddy bears and have a teddy bear picnic, which was the premise for a song composed by John Walter Bratton with lyrics added by Jimmy Kennedy.

Remember the first two verses of the song?

If you go down to the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods today
You’d better go in disguise!

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain,
Because today’s the day the
Teddy bears have their picnic.

We hope that you visit us Saturday and have a happy Teddy Bear Day, finding comfort in your cuddly, stuffed friend.

 

Another new to us German tradition.

Early this afternoon we noticed many children around Hamburg with big proud smiling faces carrying very large colorful cones. What is going on here?

Cute cone

Carrying on a 200-year-old German tradition, a Schultuete is a cone-shaped package about three feet high that parents fill with treats, sweets and school supplies. It is usually given to German students at the beginning of first grade.

Later we discovered, everywhere we went the store isles were filled with both empty and pre-filled Schultuetes.

In Germany Einschulung (the first day of school) is a very special event that symbolizes the importance of a child’s formal education. The purpose of the Schultüte is to make children feel special on their first day of school rather than anxious!

Kindercone

Trying to find a Schultüte in America – it will not be and easy task. However, KinderCone online has traditional German cones that you can order and fill yourself.

 

Making a Schultuete at home is another option and looks rather easy. Once again Skip to My Lou to the rescue. Skip on over and she will give a pictorial guide for your DIY Schultuete.

Best wishes to all students first time or seasoned.

 

Solar S'mores This Science Saturday let’s cook up some Solar S’mores and at the same time learn about the greenhouse effect! (atmospheric gases allow sunlight to pass through to the earth’s surface but keeps the heat it generates from escaping back into space)

Build your own solar oven from a pizza box.  There is a foil flap for gathering sunlight, then reflecting it down through plastic and into the solar oven, doubling the amount of light. By placing a sheet of absorbing black paper on the bottom of the pizza box the light is converted to heat. As more light hits the black paper, more heat is created and trapped. After an hour or so on a sunny day, the oven can be as hot as 275 degrees which is hot enough to melt chocolate and marshmallows without a campfire.

Hop over to NASA’s Climate Kids for instructions on building your solar oven and how to make the Solar S’mores.

photo credit: Spoonful

Make your own rainbows on a rainy day.

Sandpaper Printed T Shirts

Alphamom has instructions for this is a super simple sandpaper printing technique that will keep your kids busy while making a cool shirt! She buys all of the  supplies at the Dollar Store for only $2.00.

Supplies:

Good quality crayons, a t-shirt, iron and fine sand paper. The more coarse sandpaper will provide more texture. Get the 411 from alphamom. Can’t bring back the sunshine but there are rainbows waiting for you.

Sandpaper Rainbow T-shirt

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After a long day of indoor play, crawl into and rest your head in our Ferguson Bed. This is a combo bed with lots of storage and  pull-out trundle for your sleep over friends.

ferguson_twin_size_big_bookcase_combo_storage_bed_merlot-main