Archives for category: parents

Will your family be watching fireworks from afar or creating your own mini-pyrotechnic displays in your backyard with legal fireworks?

Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported nearly 10,000 injuries and 11 deaths related to fireworks. Nearly 50 percent of those injured each year are kids under age 15.

Some easy tips to keep your July 4th celebrations fun and safe Kidshealth.org :

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a professional display. Some people light sparklers at home or even set off their own fireworks, but this is dangerous. Some of the people hurt each year aren’t the ones setting off the fireworks, but people who are nearby

It’s best to stay away from areas where nonprofessionals are setting off fireworks. Fireworks can cause serious eye injuries, including blindness if the eye tissue gets damaged or torn. Other common injuries from fireworks include burns to the hands and face, which can leave scars. Someone could even lose one or more fingers if fireworks go off the wrong way. Fireworks can also start fires, which can hurt even more people.

If you know someone who plans to set off fireworks at home, here are some safety tips to share:

  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Never use fireworks indoors.
  • Be prepared to put out a fire by having a hose or water nearby.
  • Light fireworks one at a time.
  • Stay away from a firework that has not gone off and never try to relight it.

Sparklers may seem less dangerous than fireworks, but they get extremely hot — as hot as 1,800° Fahrenheit (982° Celsius). Sparklers can light clothes on fire and can cause kids to get badly burned. That would take the fun out of a great holiday!

The Blast Pad pictured above is a safe way to send a rocket into the air minus the red glare of course. You can now launch missiles high into the sky from the Blast Pad by simply stomping onto the launch pad. Your jump forces air through the launch tube and sends a missile flying. The flex launch tube of the Blast Pad extends almost 3 feet, points safely away from children, and only launches in the vertical position. Start blasting away with this one-of-a-kind Blast Pad. It’s safe for indoor play (properly adjusted), but blasts excitingly enough for outdoor satisfaction. It’s indestructible. The telescoping launch tubes allow this system to be carried like a briefcase, the rockets even pop into little rocket-holding brackets! Built-in vents allow “maximum stomp” without “maximum launch power” for indoor launching. It’s just the best stomp powered rocket kit ever made.

Rocket Dogs are an EZ cook together with kids. Wrap some up, give them a try.

Instructions
  1. Simply wrap up the hot dogs in prepared breadstick dough (like Pillsbury brand) and insert a skewer, letting it protrude at the top.
  2. Bake the dogs according to the dough package’s instructions. Add a triangle of cheese for a topper, tie on a tail made from ribbon or aluminum foil, and squirt on stripes of ketchup and mustard.
  3. This hot Recipe for Fun is from Family Fun.

And they did just that: Room to Inspire inspired our red licorice presentation. More for the red, white and blue.4th

Schools out, now what to do to keep your kids from falling into the frightening world of boredom? Go ahead and cast a spell on them and see what transpires.
Wizard
If you need some coaching in this area, Lisa, from Little Bird School of Stitchcraft can show you how to cast a spell on your kids (fingers) this summer. She has a super trick for keeping little hands entertained while learning an age-old craft at the same time.
Finger knitting is a great way of getting children interested in wool crafts, and it is very easy to learn.  It helps to improve a child’s dexterity and ability to concentrate.  No extra implements are required,  just fingers, the best tools in the world!
The finished product is a long thin strip of stocking stitch. In this tutorial, which is suitable for children, you will learn how to finger knit.  Any weight of yarn will work for finger knitting but for this tutorial chunky yarn was used which produces a nice stocking stitch.
To cast on, begin with the palm of your hand facing you with the tail end of the yarn between your thumb and index finger.  Weave the yarn over your index finger and behind the middle finger then over the ring finger.  Wrap the yarn around your smallest finger and weave back to your index finger:
Weave the yarn around the index finger again and continue in the same manner but above the first rows of stitches returning to your index finger again:
Try to keep the stitches fairly loose otherwise, it will be difficult for you to make the following moves.
The first row begins with the little finger, lift the bottom row of wrapped yarn up and over the tip of your finger (see below).  Ensure that you keep the top row of wrapped yarn on your finger as you go.
Continue the process of lifting the bottom row of stitches over the top row of stitches along your hand until you get back to your index finger:
For all subsequent rows, weave the yarn around the fingers again ending with the index finger. It should look like the image below:
Beginning with the little finger, lift the bottom row of yarn over the tips of your fingers.  Continue weaving and lifting the yarn over the fingers.  As you continue the process you will see a long strip of stocking stitch appearing behind your hand:
To cast off, do not weave the work around your fingers instead, lift the stitch off the little finger and pass it across to your ring finger:
Then lift the bottom stitch over the top stitch on your ring finger.  Continue to pass the stitches across and over until you get to the index finger with one stitch remaining.
Cut the yarn, lift the stitch off the index finger and pass the end of your yarn through the stitch and pull to secure the end:

Finger knitting is very addictive and children love it for its simplicity and ease.

For more crafty ideas, be sure to visit Lisa’s blog  Little Bird School of Stitchcraft.

Thanks again for sharing Lisa!

welcome Summer Watermelon

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, today is the summer solstice, which marks the longest daylight period of the year and the official start of summer.  Our summer solstice happens when the sun is shining directly overhead at midday at varying latitudes.

It is also the shortest night of the year!

 

Rice Krispie Waatermelon

Welcome summer with one of our favorite Recipes for Fun.

Watermelon that’s too cute to eat! Plus it’s a cool cook together for the entire family. We suggest making a double recipe so you and the kiddos can eat as you create.

All that you will need for this watermelon treat is Rice Krispies, marshmallows, raisins, and flavored Kool-Aid.

It would be perfect to bring to your next summer pool party or BBQ!

Dine and Dish has complete instructions for this simple kid-friendly recipe, hop on over to get the 411.

 

School’s out but reading goes on.

A reluctant reader at your house? Chew on this idea!

Have your small person pop a gumball into their mouth and chew, chew, read, read away…….

Another brilliant idea discovered at 30 handmade which was guest posted there by Everyday Chaos, both great blogs that are packed full of ideas.

 

Here are other ways you can help your child develop a love of reading.

Read to them. As children are growing up, try to make reading aloud part of your daily routine. Children will make positive associations with reading and spending time with family.

Keep books in the house. Children who grow up in homes with lots of books read more. If your family has an e-reader, keep it stocked with interesting books. You can even check out ebooks from the public library.

Set aside time daily for your child to read. Prioritizing reading by making time for it, even as children get older you will find this has a huge impact.

Read! Parents who read more have children who read more. Don’t save your reading time for after your child is in bed. Read in front of them, and make going to the library a fun routine for both you and your children.

Have a happy Father’s Day with Pancake Pops for Pops! Surprise your Pops with these clever pancake pops.  We found this to be a true win win for pancake lov’n Dads and their kids. Melissa from Number-2 Pencil blog, will show you how to make these bite size pancakes from scratch using creamy Greek yogurt, cooked on a lollipop stick. We know Pops for Pops will be a favorite at our house, and not reserved just for Father’s Day breakfast.

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Thank you so much Melissa for sharing your fun recipe for Father’s Day.
Happy Father’s Day to all the great Dads out there.

Learn how to make these super cute gumball necklaces for under a buck! Big chunky necklaces seem to be the “big” thing these days.  Gumball necklaces made for little girls are a fun rainy day craft. And, no one will ever believe they are gumballs!

Supplies for Gumball Necklace:

  • 6 large gumballs (can be found at the dollar store or party city)
  • 40 in. of ribbon (1/4 -1 in. size)
  • needle and thread
  • scrap fabric
  • doll needle
  • knitting needle


1. Pierce gumball with a needle. Then pierce another hole on the opposite side of the gumball. This is basically just making your mark.

2. You will use your knitting needle to push through the hole (only half way or it will crack). Then flip the gumball and push the needle through the other side. Make the hole large enough for the ribbon to fit through.

3. Thread your ribbon through a doll needle and push the needle through the hole in the gumball. Repeat with 5 of your gumballs.

4. Use fray check on the ends of the ribbon to stop the edges from fraying.

If you’d like to add a flower on your necklace follow these simple steps:

5. Cut (6) 2 in circles. Then you will fold the circles in half.

6. Fold your circle in half again, creating a pie shape.

7. Tie a knot on the end of your strings and thread the needle through the corner of the “pie”. Let’s call it a pumpkin pie. 😉

8. Thread all the circles on the string using step 7. You may need to turn the “pies” to create a full flower.

9. Stitch the bottom of the flower to the ribbon (or you could use hot glue… which, let’s be honest, is sometimes easier, and faster). lol

10. Tie a knot in the ribbon so your last gumball won’t be hidden under the flower.

11. Add another gumball and you’re done and ready to wear.

 

This amazing craft is one of many inspirational ones from Iheartnaptime.

A great “BIG” thank you to Jamielyn!

 

 

becks_natural_queen_loft_bed_1
The school year has not even ended here in Minnesota but we are busily preparing back to school information for College Life Magazine.

Our loft beds ideal for college dorm rooms are being featured in the magazine. Did you know that you can get an extra high or extra long loft bed in twin, full and even queen sizes? Not only are they the best way to maximize space, but very budget friendly too.

This Becks Queen Size Loft Bed offers lots of sleeping space and wow – with a whopping 2000 pound weight capacity. It is 71″ high. Since it is a queen size its a super space saver allowing room for almost all essentials right under the loft: study, storage and chilling.

Check out our huge selection of extra long bunk beds for the college-bound dorm life.

 

We are looking for tips from our readers on decorating dorm rooms – a first home away from home.

Where’s Mom when you need her?

Water bottles for teachersNo more teachers…..

For many families, it is already that time of year when school ends and summer vacation begins. Back here in Minnesota we still have a few weeks left. Actually, it is just as well since summer has not found us yet.


You know it is also that time of year for Teacher Appreciation Gifts.  The idea room has this simple, sweet, and inexpensive way to say thank you with water bottles plus shows you how you too can make them.

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What teacher would not smile when receiving this bouquet of flowers in an adorable pencil vase. Happy Clippings has the 411 if you would like to make one.

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Hats off to the grads with these chocolatey topped delicious looking cupcakes made by From Apples to Zucchini

Factoid: The average American household spends $55 on toilet paper annually.

Factoid: According to various studies, the average person spends 3 years on the toilet over the course of a lifetime!

Factoid: According to Charmin customers, the number of days a standard roll of bath tissue usually lasts in the most-used bathrooms in the house is five.

Factoid: The pentagon uses, on average, about 666 rolls of toilet paper every day.

Here’s the Poop: The Pros the cons from Good Housekeeping.

One-ply Cottonelle Aloe & E (56 cents per 260-sheet roll*)Designed to be gentle, this plush, strong one-ply tissue has a lotion-like coating, which some found soothing. We found it slower to dissolve than others. Not everyone likes a lotiony feel.

Scott 1000 (67 cents per 1,000-sheet roll*)Though one-ply, it delivers surprising strength when wet, yet dissolves quickly and easily. While it has thicker sheets than some two-plies, it’s less absorbent.

Two-Ply Charmin Ultra Soft (63 cents per 176-sheet roll*)Our consumer testers agreed with its name, rating this absorbent, strong two-ply among the test’s softest.It may not be your first choice if you have fussy plumbing: We found it didn’t break down as quickly as others.

Target Up & Up (52 cents per 286-sheet roll*) Target’s two-ply is super soft and very quick-dissolving, with good absorbency. If you prefer a plumper paper, look elsewhere; though two-ply, it’s thinner than most.

Seventh Generation (67 cents per 300-sheet roll*)This 100-percent-recycled two-ply tissue impressed us with how speedily it dissolved. It scored low marks from testers for softness and wasn’t the most absorbent.

Scott Naturals (70 cents per 440-sheet roll*)Made of 40 percent recycled fibers, this two-ply tissue dissolves well, and testers reported that it was soft. The sheets are on the thin side and aren’t all that strong, particularly when wet.

Three-Ply WhiteCloud Ultra (47 cents per 200-sheet roll*)Absorbent, strong, and fast-dissolving, it’s also a good value, costing 20 percent less than a comparable three-ply. It wasn’t as strong as others when wet, and earned just average softness scores.

Which is your favorite brand? Do you find one to be more economical than the others?

 

One more question: Which are you, over or under?

How to Save Money on Toilet PaperAccording to a Cottonelle Roll Poll:

72% hang toilet paper with the first sheet over the roll
28% prefer to hang the first sheet under the roll

 

Make your own PlayDough recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs of oil
  • 1/2 cup of  salt
  • 2 tbs of vanilla
  • food coloring

First thing is to mix all dry ingredients together in a medium pot. Add the oil and water into the dry mixture. Cook over medium heat, and be sure to stir constantly. Keep stirring until you get a consistency close to that of mashed potatoes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. If you want the playdough to be all one color, then you can add the food coloring now, and knead it into the dough until it is all a consistent color. However, this recipe makes a lot of playdough and I find it fun to create a few different colors. So if you like a little variety then divide the playdough into separate balls and work in the food coloring of your choice into each different ball. Get creative and have fun with it. You can even let the kids join in on the fun, so they not only have a blast with the finished playdough but they have fun making it too!

Tips:

  • When adding food coloring it is definitely worth it to use some cheap disposable gloves so your hands do not get stained.
  • A little food coloring goes a long way! In fact a little trick is to dip a toothpick in the food coloring bottle and then puncture a hole in the playdough ball. You can repeat a few times throughout the ball until getting the desired color in it and then knead the color to consistency.
  • Store the playdough in a Ziploc baggy or a covered container and it should keep for a couple weeks. If you start to see a little sweat build up in the baggy or the container just add a little flour.