Monsters University

THEME: Monsters University

It’s June!  Time for Graduation. My oldest child is graduating in 10 days!  I can’t believe it! For the last several months a reocurring topic in our house has been College. College prep, scholarship applications, college applications, visits, financial aide, etc.  My younger kids have been watching their big brother going through this process. I thought it would be fun to help them understand what he has been preparing for, by using Pixar’s Monsters University.

As I prepare my plan, I give them something to color.


Monsters Coloring Sheets

You can print lots of different coloring pages for FREE!




PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: (Something to get those little ones up and moving)

For our very own “Scare Games”, the kids played Monsters Dodge Ball, on the enclosed trampoline!


What makes this fit into our Monsters theme, is the Fuzzbies. Those are the colorful fuzzie balls!  (We keep a set of these awesome balls around because you never know when you need to toss a ball at somebody.) Each of these balls have a silly face on them

We found these at Walmart. The kid inside of my husband, insisted we get one of every color! And believe me, they have been fun!


Even fun for Teens!

SPECIAL SNACK:(To be eaten in moderation, these snacks are meant to be fun not healthy)

“Monster Bars”

This is your basic Rice Crispy Bars, with candy eye balls, and colorful sprinkles mixed in.

Melt 1/4 Cup butter with

25 Large Marshmallows

Mix in 5 1/2 Cups of Rice Crispy Cereal

Add sprinkles and eyes

Spread into 8X11 baking dish, let cool

This is a quick and easy treat that the kids can help make!  They really love helping. They felt so creative putting in the extra’s to make it monster-y.

CREATIVE ACTIVITY:  (make a craft, use our imagination)

Blow Paint Monsters!

Okay, if you want to get my kids excited…you tell them they get to paint something!

IMG_2244Just wait till you see how adorable these painted monsters are!

Start out with large drops of different colors, close together.

IMG_2240Next, hand your kids a straw! Have them blow into the straw to swirl the paint around.

Once the paint is dry you can add eyes and draw arms and legs! Seriously, how cute are these:


WATCH THE MOVIE: (Enjoy the quiet time!)

We are so ready now to enjoy this film! We are totally in the Monster mood! It’s great for my little kids knowing that soon we will be taking their brother to college.  It’s only a matter of time before they too will be grown and ready for the next stage in their life.  Take the time now.  As hard as it gets, as busy as life gets, remember what your kids need more than anything, is YOU.



Flag Football

Gather up your teenage kids and some of their friends.  We did this for my son’s 17th birthday, and was so….much…!

This is not your average football game!

This is Flag Football…….with a twist!

To make things interesting, I tried an experiment.  Instead of using typical “flags” for our game, I filled water balloons with SHAVING CREAM!

Yes, shaving cream. It is possible. I’ll be honest, it is tricky to get these gems filled.  Be prepared to get a bit messy.  Trust me, it’s totally worth it!! Fill up ALOT, because you will go through them fast.

The idea is, the balloon takes the place of the flag. Instead of grabbing a players flag, you must pop their balloon.

We attached 2 balloons on each hip with hanger clips. (You know those white plastic clips that come on your hangers.)  They are pretty strong and did a good job of holding things together while running around. We found that you don’t really need the belt that comes with the flag football set, just attach to waistband of your pants.

Now, don’t worry if not everybody is a football lover.  They will find a way to have a good time!

Halftime Dance Team routine!

Make sure to include everyone! (cough:cough the little brother)

And don’t forget to take the time to DAB!

Be sure to have a food plan!  With Teenagers always plan food, and lots of it! We took our group out to 5 Guys.  Awesome burgers and the best fries!! Perfect follow up to our crazy game

The kids decided to make a No Phone rule. They started playing the old fashioned “telephone” game. It was so fun to watch them do this! I forgot how fun this game was!

We finished off the day around the fire pit. With couple guitars, and random buckets, and some talented kids, we had an impromptu jam session.



Taking things up a notch!

It’s hard enough to find fun things to keep our little kiddo’s busy!  Add a few years and they transition into pre-teens and teenagers!   Please don’t make the mistake of thinking, “well, they are older now….”  Kids at this age still need you! Especially if they can’t quite drive yet.  Trust me, an investment of time into your pre-teen will give you BIG rewards!

Don’t worry, I have some GREAT ideas for you to pass on to your kids that will be unique and inspire creativity and hours of laughter and fun!!



New Posts focused on your Tweens coming soon!!

Ice Age


THEME:  Ice Age

I don’t know what it is about Ice Age, but it seems that it just gets funnier each time we see it.

SIT DOWN: Quiet activity

Ice Age Coloring Sheets

The joy of coloring is being reborn!  It’s not just for kids anymore. Coloring is becoming more and more popular among adults.  Adult coloring books have proven to be helpful for stress relief, relaxation, and sharpening our creativity.  So grab your cup of coffee, and your crayons and sit down with your kids and start out your day coloring with them.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: (Something to get those little ones up and moving)


In Ice Age, the characters come into a cave and find themselves flying down a giant “ice slide”. . We tried out the old cardboard-down-the-stairs idea!  I had to rummage through the garage to get the biggest cardboard box I could find.  It was perfect, about half the width of our stairs, we had plenty of room to run back up and go down the slide again, and again! For this activity we were lucky enough to have the kids cousins with us! It’s a well-known fact that everything is much more FUN with your cousins!

*The best thing about this is that it made it into a paper of Eddies school work. It makes me so happy that he not only enjoys our theme days, but he is excited enough about it to share and write about it.

SPECIAL SNACK:(To be eaten in moderation, these snacks are meant to be fun not healthy)

Ice cream of course, what else would you do on “Ice Age” day?  To make it extra special, I thought the kids needed to make it themselves.

Ice Cream in a Bag


The bags get cold!

What you will need:

– 1 cup half and half
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1/2 cup coarse salt
– quart size ziploc
– gallon size ziploc halfway filled with ice
Mix your 1/2 & 1/2, vanilla, and sugar together. Add to the quart ziploc and seal tight.
Place that bag in the gallon bag with ice and salt
Set a timer for 8 minutes and have the kids shake the bags. They are churning their own ice cream!

They had fun with this!  They shook it, they tossed it, they threw it up in the air! After 8 minutes we tossed aside the ice bag, and opened up the quart size bag. Inside was yummy delicious homemade ice cream!!  The only thing I did wrong here was, I didn’t make one for me.

CREATIVE ACTIVITY:  (make a craft, use our imagination)

Cave Drawings!

Oh my goodness, I loved this idea!!  When Manny discovers what happened to his family and other mammoths like him, it was because of the story told on the walls of a cave.  I had the kids pretend that our table was their “cave”, and they had to make their own cave drawing. I cut open a brown paper bag and taped it underneith the table for them to draw on.

They would have stayed under there all day!  They thought this was so cool.

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WATCH THE MOVIE: (Enjoy the quiet time!)

I always love to tie everything together by watching the movie.


I know it’s hard to take the time to stop and do kid stuff. I want to encourage you, it’s so important!  All it takes is a few minutes of YOU giving them your ATTENTION.  Remember, what your kids need more than anything else is YOU!


Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

THEME: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Oh boy! We get to spend our whole day focused on FOOD!!

Let’s start with my favorite website to find coloring printables. Click here for Coloring Sheets.


I love starting out this way.  As they sit and color, the kids attention is focused, and they chit-chat with each other. I love to listen to their adorable conversations!

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY(Something to get those little ones up and moving)

It’s time to pull out my special “Fun Box”!


What we find for today is a stack of party cups, and a RED ball.  Yep! That’s all we need. The red ball is going to double as our “meatball”.

We are going to take it Meatball Bowling.

Since our location is at the Oregon coast, we are going down to the beach!

Bowling1 bowling2

We used the red party cups to make the bowling pins out of sand.  Pack them full of semi-wet sand, like you would to make a sand castle.  We had several cups pre-loaded to make resetting the pins quick and easy!


You don’t have to be on the beach to have your kids try Meatball Bowling.   You can pick up a plastic toy bowling set at almost any toy store.  Other ideas to use for bowling pins

  • empty soda bottles
  • empty Pringle’s potato chips canisters
  • paper towel rolls
  • toilet paper rolls
  • soup cans

Be creative!  The idea is to get the kids on their feet and moving their bodies.

If you want to take it one step further, take your kids to a bowling alley!

SPECIAL SNACK:(To be eaten in moderation, these snacks are meant to be fun not healthy)

IMG_2676 IMG_2678

I LOVE! Love, love these “picnic” gummi candies.  I regret not picking up one for me too!  I could not resist picking these up at the grocery store, what could be more perfect for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs than a variety of fun foods!!

CREATIVE ACTIVITY:  (make a craft, use our imagination)

With our food theme, I decided to go with making a Food Necklace.

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This is so simple to make!  All you need is some string, and your choice of food.  I choose to use Fruit Loop cereal, for the bright colors (and because it’s yummy!)  But you can also use Cheerio’s, or uncooked Pasta.

We found that it’s helpful to wrap the end of the string with a small piece of tape. This makes it much easier to thread the cereal onto the string.  Also, I tied a spoon on the opposite end so that the cereal doesn’t fall off the string while you are adding more.


I love to see their creativity come out. They sorted colors, and created patterns to design themselves the perfect FOOD necklace. Princess for some reason decided that she needed to change her outfit to better show off her necklace!

Of course the best part is that they get to “snack” on it throughout the day!

WATCH THE MOVIE: (Enjoy the quiet time!)


I have to admit, I have a thing for children’s movies. I prefer the light hearted innocence that comes from watching kids movies.  Children are lit up from the inside because they have so much innocence and anticipation for life! Allow yourself to share that with them. Spending time with your kids is the most important thing you will ever do as a parent. The most important thing that your kids need is, YOU.

Finding Nemo

Publication1THEME: Finding Nemo

I will never forget the year Finding Nemo came out. My kids (now-teenagers) were ga-ga over all the hype, and couldn’t wait to go see it!  I also remember walking out of the theatre with my now-16 year old-Varsity Football player-who was so scared of the shark in the opening sequence that I had to go get my money back!!

Take it from me, your memories will last forever, but your sweet little kiddos will not.  They will grow faster than you can possibly imagine.  They can be overwhelming when they are small, but you will never regret taking the time to play with them.

Now lets get started!

SIT DOWN: Quiet activity


I just happened to have this puzzle in our closet of toys. It just sits there, the kids never think to pull it out on their own. Once I put it in my “fun box” suddenly it becomes much more exciting!!

I also always find special coloring sheets that go with our theme!

Nemo Coloring Sheets

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: (Something to get those little ones up and moving)


Since we were at the coast, my original plan was to take the kids down to the beach to collect sea shells.  Seems we got carried away with chasing the waves, that we didn’t come back with any shells, but they had a good time!



SPECIAL SNACK:(To be eaten in moderation, these snacks are meant to be fun not healthy)

For Finding Nemo I picked up these Shark gummies, along with Goldfish crackers.




CREATIVE ACTIVITY:  (make a craft, use our imagination)

Paper Butts!

No, that’s not a typo. Remember in Finding Nemo when the fish children dared eachother to swim off the reef to touch the “butt”?   My kids couldn’t stop giggling while I explained our project to them.  We are going to make paper “butts”.

The only supplies you need for this is paper.  I just used some colorful scrapbook paper.

I remember making these little paper boats when I was a kid. It’s pretty simple. You can find directions right here from:  Be Different…Act Normal.


Eddie wanted to test them out, and yes! They do float!IMG_0448


Try putting them into your bathtub or a back yard pool and have boat races!


Find Nemo

This is your basic game of “Hot” and “Cold”.   Take a toy, in our case we used a plush Nemo toy, and hide it.  Then you direct your child to find it using the clue “Hot” when he/she gets closer and “Cold” when they move away from it.

Here's Eddie with our shark friend Chum searching for Nemo

Here’s Eddie with our shark friend Chum, searching for Nemo

Give each child plenty of turns to search for Nemo!   I’ll bet they will want a turn to hide him for you to find too!!  It’s so simple!

WATCH THE MOVIE: (Enjoy the quiet time!)

Watching a movie with the kids is such a perfect way to wrap up our day.

c4b95442c4d67003a6c20d63994215d4Spending time with your kids is the most rewarding thing you will ever do.  It doesn’t always have to be elaborate, expensive, or pinterest-y.  It just needs to be YOU giving them your ATTENTION.  Remember, what your kids need more than anything else is YOU!


THEME: Planes

I am so excited about this theme! I have put together so many fun ideas for our “Planes” day that we didn’t get to do all of them. I like to let the day go where it takes us! The idea here is to inspire the kids to get unplugged and play, so if their imagination takes us in a new direction….we go with it!

My favorite place to start is with coloring pages!

planes-42_m click HERE to find lots of printable options of coloring pages.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: (Something to get those little ones up and moving)

I have two versions of this activity. One for outdoors, and one for indoors. Our “Planes Day” turned out to be raining. We were at the Oregon coast in our camper/trailer. Not only was it raining, but we were in a small, confined space. I had to trade in walking and sunshine for less movement, but no worries we had plenty of stimulation and laughter to pass the time!

The idea is “Crop Dusting”.  (Just like Dusty Crophopper)

We started with a 9X13 baking dish, and food coloring.

IMG_2700I told them that we needed to draw out what kind of plants they think would be in a field with the food coloring.

IMG_2701Next to make our “field” we need dirt right? I took a whole box of baking soda and covered all the drawing’s of our plants.

IMG_2704Can you guess what we do next? Vinegar!  I have a spray bottle filled with vinegar to use as our “crop duster”.  When you spray the vinegar on the baking soda, the colors underneath fizz up to the top.  They thought this was the coolest thing EVER!  They took so many turns “crop dusting” that eventually all the colors mixed together into a yucky black-ish green mess!

The outdoor idea is very similar, just draw your fields with sidewalk paint. I found a great recipe for sidewalk paint on this very cute blog: LEARN PLAY IMAGINE! It’s worth checking out. She is Ah-mazing!

SPECIAL SNACK: (To be eaten in moderation, these snacks are meant to be fun not healthy)

IMG_2705I just happened to find these Planes treats at Walmart. I was so excited since they were absolutely perfect for our Planes Day!


Don’t you just love those propellers!

CREATIVE ACTIVITY:  (make a craft, use our imagination)

Paper Airplanes!

There’s lots of different types of paper airplanes you can make. I happened to find a printout just for the movie Planes!
Paper Airplane Printout

This was one of the ideas we never got around to. Leave me a comment about how this worked out with your children!  I’d love to hear about it!

Making Clouds!

I’ve seen this idea floating around Pinterest and Facebook so often, that I decided it was time to try it.  Microwaving a bar of Ivory Soap.  I told the kids that we were making clouds.


It’s so easy. All you need is a bar of Ivory soap, and a microwave.  Put the soap in the microwave and watch what happens.

IMG_2709 IMG_2710

I was actually worried that it wouldn’t work, but it was FANTASTIC!! Look at these big fluffy clouds we made!

IMG_2712We did it a bunch of times, and the kids just loved it! They were so excited that when the teenagers (2 of my 4 children are teens) came back to the trailer, we did it all over again for them…..And some of their friends.  Good thing I had bought a large package of soap.  The only issue is what to do now with all the soap clouds we made?

WATCH THE MOVIE: (Enjoy the quiet time!)

We did it!  We managed to fill our rainy day in a confined space with a whole day of FUN!  Now kick back while they enjoy this movie!  It’s hard to find the energy and creativity to play with our kids sometimes, but it is so rewarding when you hear the “wows!”  when you show them something new. When you hear the giggles when you are silly with them. What your kids need more than anything, is YOU.



A Bugs Life

THEME: A Bug’s Life

We are going to have lots of fun today!  A Bug’s Life is my most absolute favorite Pixar movie ever!  There are so many fun ways for us to get our day going!  My kiddo’s are usually ready before I am, with 5 times more energy than I have!  Just to have time to grab myself an extra cup of coffee (you will soon discover, I have an addiction), I pull out the coloring pages. They love to guess and predict what I have planned for them while they sit and color.



Below I have a link to a fantastic website to find just the right pictures for you!

A Bug’s Life Coloring Sheets







PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:  (Something to get those little ones up and moving)

We are going on a bug hunt!  Previously I had stopped in at the Dollar Store and found little bug houses, butterfly nets, and magnifying glasses. I keep these things hidden in what I call my “fun box” until it’s time to use them.  The kids get so excited when I pull out the “fun box”,  it adds anticipation to our adventure.

Now we are ready! We went outside and walked and walked all over the camp in search of what little creatures we can find. I also had each of the kids collect a nice big leaf that we will use later for our craft.

IMG_0430 IMG_0460

What a great outing!! I was a little concerned that Princess might have an issue with bugs being gross-but NO! She enjoyed every second of it. We were very excited to get a closer look at this PINK moth/butterfly.


I went simple with our snack. Some cheeze-it crackers (a favorite of ours) and some gummy worms! If you want to take it up a notch you could do “ants on a log”, or “dirt cup pudding”. Go with what’s fun for them and easy for you!!!


CREATIVE ACTIVITY:  (make a craft, use our imagination)

What you will need:

  1. plain white piece of paper
  2. crayons
  3. green craft paint and small paintbrush
  4. decorative background paper
  5. glue stick
  6. black marker

I was so excited about this craft!  Remember the leaf we picked out during our bug hunt? Well let’s use that first!!  Place your leaf onto a table, and lay the white paper on top of it.  Now take your crayon and gently rub over the leaf.  The image of your leaf should appear onto your blank paper!  Even the smallest of child can do this task!

Next is the most fun part!!

IMG_0432With the green paint, paint those toes(just the toes)!!  Next, press those painted feet next to your leaf on the white paper.

IMG_0434Once the paint is dry, draw a little face and legs and antenna. Our cute little toes become a Caterpillar!!

Next we cut out our leaf and glued our caterpillar on it. We mounted them onto some colorful scrapbook paper. How stinkin cute are these little bugs?

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I found this awesome idea on Pinterest from another blogger:

Check out her blog for lots more adorable ideas!


IMG_4456All you need is some sidewalk chalk, a flower pot and some plastic bug toys.

IMG_4431I found these bright colorful little plastic bugs at the Dollar Store!  We started by drawing out a huge flower with sidewalk chalk.

IMG_4430Then we set the flower pot in the center of the flower. The goal is to see how many bugs you can get into the pot by tossing them from the bottom of the flower.

IMG_4449You can also modify this game to play indoors. I know this because when I was done and ready to go inside, my kids were having so much fun, they wanted to keep playing!!!  I call that a Mommy=WIN!!!

WATCH THE MOVIE: (Enjoy your quiet time)


Even if they’ve seen this movie 100 times, they have a new fresh excitement about it after spending the day with bug themed activities!!   Enjoy watching this adorable Pixar movie with your kids, or take some time for yourself:)  You are a great Mom! You have met your kids greatest need. The thing your kids need more than anything else is YOU.

How to Train Your Dragon

THEME: How to Train Your Dragon

In order to get the kids excited about our day, I started out with simple coloring pages. This gave us a chance to talk together about our plan for the day, and it’s a nice sit-still activity for them that allows me to get things ready for the rest of the day! The internet is full of awesome FREE coloring sheets.  Just use your google, you can also click the link below.

Coloring Sheets

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY(Something to get those little ones up and moving)

For our “How to Train Your Dragon” day, we were camping on the Oregon Coast.  I had planned on taking the kids out to fly kites on the beach, what could be more fun than running around on the beach chasing kites?


I purchased dragon shaped kites to go with our theme.  Kites are so easy to come by, and they don’t have to be expensive.  You can almost always find them at the dollar store. CLICK HERE For lots of Kite options

You don’t need a beach, just some wide open space, like a park, or football field, or even in your backyard.  For us, like I said, we were on the Oregon Coast. Which means, when we were ready to go out,  it was raining.  I had to quickly come up with a plan B.  Since I’m from Oregon, I know that at the coast rain is more of a probability than a possibility, so I did have a back up plan.

Rain Painting.

20130809-081142.jpg Rain painting is done by using washable markers to color shapes on a piece of paper.  Then you place your artwork outside in the rain. The rain will make the colors run together and create a fun natural masterpiece!

20130809-081342.jpgMy kids were very entertained just watching the rain splash down on their pictures. They were so excited to see how each of their pictures changed from getting rained on.


CREATIVE ACTIVITY:  (make a craft, use our imagination)

Super fun and easy craft, we made a “fire breathing dragon”.


What you need:

*paper cups *red party streamers (party decorations) *pom-poms  *glue, tape, and scissors

This craft is easy for little ones. First cut out the bottom of the paper cup. Next, cut the streamers into strips. Let the little ones tape the streamers around the inside of the wide end of the cup. This is your “fire”. Lastly glue 2 Pom-poms as “eyes” on the small end of the cup. That’s it! You can hold up your “dragon” to blow through the small end and watch the fire blow!


SPECIAL SNACK:  (Use in moderation, these snacks are meant to be fun, not healthy)

For our Dragon snacks we used red licorice as “Dragon Fangs”.  Red Doritos as our “Dragon Fire”. And red Kool-aide drinks to be “Dragon Fire Juice”.  The kids really had fun with our snack having the Dragon theme. And of course we played with our food;-)



“Hiccup Says”

Play just like the classic “Simon Says” only replace with “Hiccup Says”.   Hiccup is our hero from How to Train Your Dragon. Kids love this game!  Be sure to take turns so that you each get a chance to be Hiccup.

WATCH THE MOVIE: (Enjoy the quiet time!)


That’s right, set your kids in front of the TV, and don’t feel guilty at all!   You have earned an hour or two of down time.  Kids are much calmer, and more compliant when they are stimulated, exercised and paid attention to. You have shown your kids they are important, and that you enjoy being with them. Remember the thing that your kids want/need more than anything, is YOU.