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PARENTING

DIY Sensory Toys to Make With Your Kids

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Mommy Poppins

These days, the occasions where we leave our homes is few and far between. And as parents, it’s especially tricky to keep our youngsters busy while we try and juggle working remotely, cooking, cleaning and even binging out favorite Netflix series. And let’s face it, our kids spend too much time fixated on the screen- whether it be the TV or iPad. But hey, that’s the twenty first century for ya!

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Seriously, what happened to the days of collecting Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids?! Even if your rugrats do enjoy playing with toys, they are pricey! And honestly, who wants to go to the (few remaining) toy store these days? That’s why sensory toys are our personal favorite!

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These fun DIY projects may not be so exciting for your older kids, but they are a hit if you have a toddler or special needs child! There are so many benefits associated with sensory play. Here are just a few of them!

  • Builds nerve connection with the brain
  • Improves motor skills
  • Encourages problem-solving
  • Supports cognitive development
  • Enhances memory

Not to mention, it’s a fun activity for parent and child to make these DIY toys! It’s likely you have some of the materials laying around the house anyway so it’s also a budget friendly activity!

Here are some DIY sensory toys you’ll have to make

Nature Sensory Bag

Hands On As We Grow

What You Will Need

  • One gallon-sized ziplock bag
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Soft nature items: you can find these in your backyard. Think flower petals, leaves, or feathers. To make it an extra interactive bonding activity, go on a scavenger hunt to find what you need!

What You’ll Have to Do

Stay with us here, this is gonna get tricky! Just kidding, it’s super easy.

  1. Fill your gallon bag with the aloe vera.
  2. Add in whatever you found on your nature walk. Bonus points if you add glitter!
  3. Seal the bag. To be extra sure you won’t have any leaks, hot glue it shut!

The goal here is for your little one to poke at it and move all of the pieces around! This can mesmerize them for hours.

Sensory Bottle

Understood.org

Okay come on, look at how magical these look! And, they are perfect if you are into recycling and repurposing your old water bottles!

What You Will Need

  • Empty water bottle (be sure to sanitize beforehand!)
  • Food coloring
  • Corn syrup
  • Super glue
  • Glitter
  • A funnel

What You’ll Have to Do

  1. Squeeze corn syrup into your cleaned water bottle, one-third of the way.
  2. Add water until the bottle is about 75% full. Make sure the water is warm!
  3. Add food coloring and glitter, or any other fun and tiny additives (i.e. beads, blocks)

Flubber

Look! We’re Learning

Flubber is a favorite of all ages. It’s just as fun (and scientific!) to make as it is to play with it.

What You Will Need

  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup of glue
  • 2 tsp borax
  • Food coloring

What You’ll Have to Do

  1. In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup of warm water with glue and food coloring.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup of warm water and borax. Mix well.
  3. Pour your first bowl int to the one containing the water and borax and start working it all together with your hands. You should feel the ingredients reacting to create a “flubber-y” substance.
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Voila!

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FOOD

Healthy Lunch Box Meals For Kids

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Packing lunch for the kids can be a challenge! Of course you want them to enjoy healthy food, but it doesn’t always appeal to them. Plus, it can be really expensive to constantly be providing organic lunches. However, theres no need to worry anymore! Here are some delicious, nutritious and affordable lunches that your kids are guaranteed to love.

Let’s Start Packing!

The Breakfast Box

This box is for the kid that just loves breakfast foods! It is filled with Natural sugars, carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats to keep them attentive throughout the whole day. The box includes:

  • 10 Grapes
  • 6 Mini pancakes
  • 4 Strawberries
  • Tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Mozzarella cheese
Photo from Pinterest

The Cheese Lovers Box

This box is for the kid that loves to snack and can not get enough cheese!! This box is filled with vitamins, minerals and tasty snacks to keep your kid satisfied. This box includes:

  • Grilled cheese, made with mozzarella and whole wheat bread
  • A cucumber slices
  • 1/2 Cup of blueberries
  • 1/2 Cup of popcorn
Photo from Pinterest

Mexican Bento Box

This box is perfect for the kid who loves a spicy kick to their meal. With delicious sauces and sides, it’s the perfect box to mix and match food combinations. This box includes:

  • Handful of sweet potato crackers
  • Tablespoon of guacamole
  • Tablespoon of salsa
  • Cheddar cheese quesadilla
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper, sliced
Photo from Pinterest

The Pizza Party Box

If your kid loves pizza, this an easy to make and healthy alternative that they are guaranteed to be excited about when they open their lunchbox! Paired with a sweet treat, it is like getting an appetizer, entree and dessert! This box includes:

  • Chocolate, fruit or nut bar
  • Green apple, sliced
  • 15 Cherry tomatoes
  • Mini pizzas! made from two english muffins, a tablespoon of sauce on each and 1/4 mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top. Melt in the toaster oven for 5 mins!
Photo from Pinterest

The Snackers box

Does your child like snacks more than meals? Well this is the perfect box for them! Filled with both savory and sweet flavors. This box includes:

  • Tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 6 Celery sticks
  • 1/4 Puff snacks, such as pirate booty
  • 2 Mozzarella sticks, wrapped in 2 slices of ham
  • Bag of mini cookie bites
Photo from Pinterest

The Sweet Tooth Box

This box is for the kid who loves a sugary and sweet treat! Sugar doesn’t always have to be a. bad thing and this box is a great example, filled with natural sugars to satisfy your child’s sweet tooth and avoid the sugar crash! This box is filled with:

  • 1 Banana, sliced
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 String cheese
  • 1 Chocolate treat, like a chocolate kiss
  • 6 Ritz cracker sandwiches. This consists of 12 crackers sandwiched together with peanut butter!
Photo from Pinterest

The Protein Box

This box is for the health conscious child. It is filled with delicious protein options that will keep them full for a long time! This box includes:

  • 1 Cup of vanilla yogurt, add a dish
  • 1/2 Green apple, sliced
  • 1/4 Pretzels
  • 1 Tablespoon of chocolate chips
  • 4 Large strawberries
Photo from Pinterest

Which box will you try?

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ANIMALS

Consider This Before Adopting A Furry Friend

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Many people like to adopt rather than shop for a pet, but do not know 100% what goes into that commitment. Here are some important things to consider before adopting a new furry family member.

#Adopt-don’t-shop

1. Do you have the time?

We all have hectic schedules but it is important to make sure we have the ability to take the time out of the day to care for our pets. Furry friends can not be ignored throughout the day because they need help fulfilling their basic needs. Pets require food, water, exercise, care, and
companionship every day. They also last years and will be a part of your family for a long time. This is one of the most important things to think about before adopting a new pet.

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2. Can you fulfill the financial obligation?

Yes, typically adopting a pet is cheaper than buying one from a breeder. However, this does not mean it is inexpensive by any means. Some care costs include licenses, training classes, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, litter, and more. It is important to consider this prior to adopting a new pet because these expenses add up quickly.

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3. Is your house suitable for a pet?

Some rental communities don’t allow pets, others have restrictions on species, breed or size. A few allow pets but you have to pay a pet damage deposit or additional monthly rent. If you live in a rental, make sure you know the rules and restrictions before you bring a companion animal home. If you don’t live in a rental and own the house, make sure you have enough space for the pet. First off, it is important to consider the size of the pet. Additionally, some breeds require more space and exercise than others. It is important to research your breeds needs prior to adoption. That way, you know your new pet will be as happy as they can be!

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4. Are you prepared for accidents?

Let’s face it. Scratched-up furniture, accidents from animals who aren’t yet house-trained, fleas, pet hair, and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.Understanding that sometimes these things will happen is important prior to adopting a pet. While they are so cute and cuddly, and can be trained, they still are animals.

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5. Can your home life and lifestyle handle a new companion?

If you have kids under six years old, you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a pet. Pet ownership requires children who are mature enough to be responsible. If you’re a student, in the military, or travel frequently as part of your work, waiting until you settle down is wise. Constant movement and travel can confuse the dog which will give them anxiety. Also, It is important to consider how adopting a new friend will change your personal lifestyle. You will want a breed that is complimentary to how you like to live your life. Are you a homebody? A runner? Have allergies? Like to go for walks? Have a lot of friends with animals? The answers to these and other lifestyle questions will help you determine the most appropriate age, size,
temperament and more.

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We hope this helps you with your adoption process!

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LIFESTYLE

Fathers Day Presents Dad Will Love

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Knowing what to get your dad or husband for fathers day can always be a bit tricky. This year, we are here to help! We have found some of the best gifts for the holiday that your dad or partner is guaranteed to love.

Let’s take a look

For the dad who is a whiskey connoisseur

Photo from Amazon.com

This 850 ml globe shaped whiskey decanter is perfect for 850 ml whiskey connoisseur. This piece was created by Godinger and sells for $65 at the Godiner store or on Amazon. This also can be used for bourbon, scotch, vodka, and other fine liquors. Etched onto the globe is a beautiful design of a ship. It also comes with two vintage style whiskey glasses and a mahogany tray. The company also sells a case for the piece separately so you can safely transport it! The company has been in business since 1973 and is most famously known for their craftsmanship in handcrafted silver, pewter, crystal, stainless, and alternative metal giftware. This is definitely a classy design to add to or start a collection.

For the dad who is a sports fanatic

Photo from Amazon.com

The mug with a hoop. This mug created by Maxi’s Creation sells for $25 and can be found online at Maxi’s Creation store or at Amazon. What a fun way to start off any morning! The hoop serves as a handle but also a functional piece. Toss sugar cubes into your coffee, marshmallows into hot chocolate, oyster crackers into soup or toppings onto ice cream. This ceramic mug is also dishwasher safe, so it is easy to clean.

For the dad who is a golfer

Photo from Amazon.com

This at home putting green is great for the dad who wants to work on his golf game on a rainy day. The green was created by Abco Tech and can be found at the Abco Tech store or online at Amazon for $70. The mat is portable so it is easy to transport or move around the house. It also has an automatic ball return feature so you do not have to be constantly walking back and forth to pick up the ball. The realistic turf is great for getting used to putting on a real course. The mat also extends, so you can adjust the length you would like to play at. Additionally, it comes with three practice balls! It is perfect for backyard, office or at home use.

For the dad who loves to grill

Photo from Amazon.com

If your dad loves grilling, chilling and a good pulled pork sandwich,this is the perfect gift! This tool is made by cave tools and can be found on their website or on amazon, both for $13! Meat claws give you talons to shred meat really easily. Great for meat that was cooked in a smoker or crock pot. This tool makes carving, handling, grilling and smoking meats that much easier. Plus it is super fun. It’s non-slip handles make it easy to grip and use. Dishwasher safe, this product is very easy to wash. The company also adds a free copy of Grill Master’s Essential Barbecue Recipe book & access to Meat Smoking Journal, BBQ recipes, and access to a community with over 5,000 members. The company also has a lifetime guarantee, that is customer service we love to see! These claws come in the colors merlot and batmobile black. Buy two and receive 10 percent on your entire order.

Which gifts will you get for your dad?

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