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Easy School Lunch & Snack Ideas-Good Tips Tuesday #35

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in Good Tips Tuesday due to the adoption craziness this summer, but I’m so excited to be back! This week we’re featuring Easy School Lunch & Snack Ideas–perfect for Back to School and fall sports season.
Easy School Lunch & Snack Ideas as featured on Good Tips Tuesday

Kid Friendly Mexican Nacho Dip Recipes - Super Mommy Club

12 After School Snack Ideas – There’s Just One Mommy

Fruit of the Spirit Snack Activity – Christianity Cove

6 Back to School Lunch Ideas – A Girl in Paradise

Quick and Easy Healthy School Lunches – Sunshine And Hurricanes

Now, let’s get to this week’s party!

Good Tips Tuesday 1/6 | Golden Reflections Blog.

We want this to be a resource for you to find Good Tips for your life, home, kids and everything in between! So what kinds of posts are you able to link up now? Check out this awesome list!

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips
  • Homemaking Tips
  • Parenting Tips
  • Kids crafts & Activity Tips

Your hosts each week are:

Golden Reflections Blog

Simply Sherryl

A Bird And A Bean

Happy Brown House

Were you featured? Grab the button!

Happy Brown House

Now let’s get to today’s Good Tips Tuesday party!

  • Link up your recipe/cooking, homemaking, parenting, and kids craft/activity tips below (4 per person please)
  • Please link directly to your post, not to your main blog page. All links that do not follow this will be deleted.
  • Visit other posts in the party, comment, tweet, pin and let them know you came from GTTuesday!
  • We will feature 4 posts each week, picked via random.org. We will each be picking our favorite post from the week and pinning all of the featured posts and favorite posts to the GTTuesday Pinterest Board!

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday on Pinterest.

Disclosures:

  • By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Golden Reflections Blog, Simply Sherryl, A Bird And A Bean, & Happy Brown House to use your pictures and links in future featured post/photo collage like this one. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of all the before mentioned blogs with the corresponding link # given of your entry.
  • If you include your e-mail in the link up form below you will be added to a weekly e-mail reminder when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out, please see our privacy policy for details.

We can’t wait to see all the amazing posts you will be linking up this week!

Blessings,

Heather, Sherryl, Erin & Sara

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Kid Crafts with Kiwi Crate

Kid Crafts with Kiwi Crate-perfect for busy moms!

Disclosure: I received this product for free. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are honest and I was not required to post a positive review.

What is Kiwi Crate?

Kiwi Crate is a monthly kid crafts subscription. They deliver hands-on fun right to your mailbox. Designed for ages 3-8, projects can include arts and crafts, science activities, imaginative play, and more. Everything for 2-3 projects is included in the crate, and there are a variety of Kiwi Crate themes to choose from.

Opening our Kiwi Crate Box

Our Kiwi Crate Experience

We received the “Around the World” Kiwi Crate. (I can’t find a direct link for you on their site since their available themes rotate.) The kids were so excited to get a package just for them and immediately wanted to open it.

Around the World Kiwi Crate

The main craft was a World Flag Banner and the main game was a World Map Game. We chose to make the flag banner on the back porch during a cool morning and waited to play the map game later that evening with daddy.The kids followed the directions for making the flag banner (written and picture directions) without much assistance from me.

Kiwi Crate World Flag Banner Craft

The flag banner was cute and we will hang it in our homeschool room above our world map. We looked at our map to find all the countries represented in our banner. Kiwi Crate Flag Craft

The World Map Game was a great introduction to continents and famous landmarks with a bingo twist. It was perfect for a family game night after dinner! The game was easy enough for our youngest to participate thanks to the color-coded cards, but it was still educational for our oldest who is reading well. He was able to read the quick facts about the landmarks for us. And yes, Asher is walking around saying “Machu Pichu” now. What 2 year old does that?

Kiwi Crate World Map Game

What I Thought of Kiwi Crate

As a naturally crafty mom, I was a bit skeptical of a kid crafts subscription. I wondered if it would be something I could’ve come up with on my own using materials I already had at home. However, Kiwi Crate totally knocked my socks off. Yes, I could’ve made up the craft with materials we already had, but the Kiwi Crate was so much more than just a craft. Our particular Kiwi Crate came with a craft, a game, and an activity book/magazine for further learning exploration, craft ideas, and games.

Kiwi Crate Activities Collage

With three kids, homeschool, extracurricular activities, and just an overall crazy schedule, I appreciated the time Kiwi Crate gave back to me. All I had to do was open the box for the kids and interact. I didn’t have to come up with an idea. I didn’t have to gather or prepare materials. (Let’s face it, that is half the battle!) Kiwi Crate was truly open and go. I was glad to put the time saved in gathering materials to use in other important areas, like prepping dinner.

On a personal note, I haven’t had the time or the energy during the adoption attachment period to put together things like this, so I was excited to have an activity for the kids to do that didn’t require much of me. I’m stretched too thin right now and Kiwi Crate was a lifesaver this month!

Some things I was really impressed with about Kiwi Crate

They thought of everything. Seriously. I was so impressed with everything: peel-and-stick felt, providing scissors, and even a special sticker to wrap around the end of the rope to make threading the rope through the flags easier.

Kiwi Crate thinks of everything!

The activities were fun, engaging, and educational. You know how much that impresses this homeschool momma!

The packaging. Y’all, their packaging is so cute and creative! For example, you can even cut the box down and use it for play with the puppets printed on the packaging. They really pack a lot of fun into one little green box!

Kiwi Crate packaging is even designed for kid crafts and activities

Some things I wish were a little different about Kiwi Crate

We had one meltdown over who was going to make a particular flag and I immediately wished we had more materials so the kids could each make their own flag buntings. After looking on the Kiwi Crate website, I found out there is an option to add-on a sibling set of materials for an extra fee. I am glad for that option, although I probably wouldn’t spend an extra $10 on that option just to avoid a tantrum driven by selfishness.

I loved the clever world map game and wanted to use it over and over. I wish the game pieces were made of cardstock or thicker paper. The game cards were very thin and wouldn’t handle a lot of wear and tear from children. I will laminate these to use in the future and modify the game pieces if needed.

What My Kids Thought of Kiwi Crate

Ultimately, the kids’ opinions are what counts here since it was for them. I asked my kids to talk to me about Kiwi Crate.

What was your favorite thing about Kiwi Crate?
Jonah (7): I liked all of the activities. I can’t pick a favorite!
Lily (5): I liked making the flags.
Asher (a week from 3): I like making da fwags, Momma.

What didn’t you like about Kiwi Crate?
Jonah (7): I had to share it with the others.
Lily (5): I looooved everything! (insert dramatics and jazz hands here)
Asher (a week from 3): Huh? What momma?

Would you like to get another Kiwi Crate?
Jonah (7): YES! Can I have my own this time?
Lily (5): YES! Do they have a princess one?
Asher (a week from 3): YES! Again!

Is a Kiwi Crate Subscription worth it?

Is a Kiwi Crate Subscription Worth It?

I think Kiwi Crate is worth it. I really surprised myself with that statement since I’m such a DIY and frugal girl, but I think boxed craft/activity sets can be beneficial, too. Kiwi Crate is perfect for busy moms or moms that feel planning kid crafts is not their strength. The activities were top-notch and fun for my three kids. I think Kiwi Crate would make a perfect gift! If you like to give “experience gifts” instead of toys, Kiwi Crate would be a hit!

Want to try them yourself?

Use code BTS25 for 25% off 1st month subscription to Kiwi Crate. New subscribers also receive free shipping PLUS a bonus welcome kit.

Kiwi Crate is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+. Be sure to follow them! They share great kid crafts ideas on their social media accounts and their newsletter.

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2014 Back-to-Homeschool Photos

It’s hard to believe I’m starting my third year “officially” homeschooling! I’ve been working on planning and getting familiar with our 2014 curriculum for a while (hello, tax returns), but I just didn’t have the heart to pull the kids away from summer yet. Well, that, and we’re still finding our new normal after an emergency adoption and a basement renovation. After taking a quick weekend retreat with some iHomeschool Network bloggers, I’m finally ready to get settled into our daily homeschool routine and space.

Every year I share our Back-to-Homeschool photos, and this year is no different. I love looking back and seeing how much they’ve grown over the years!

www.happybrownhouse.com

Jonah

Jonah just turned 7 over the summer and will be in Second Grade. He loves building with Legos, reading, and playing baseball. He’s peeked at the curriculum box and is excited that this year we will learn about Vikings, Native Americans, and Settlers. Jonah enjoys history, geography, and science so I’m anticipating our discussions as we study things he’s excited about–his excitement is contagious.

www.happybrownhouse.com

Lily

Lily is 5 and will be starting Kindergarten. She is newly adopted, so we’re still discovering new things about Lily. She loves Disney’s Frozen, singing, and all things sparkle. (When I asked her what her favorite color was she replied, “Pink, Purple, and Sparkle.” True story.) I performed an initial Kindergarten assessment that I used in my former public school classroom, and was pleasantly surprised. She desperately wants to learn how to read and is well on her way!

Asher 2014

Asher

Asher is about to turn 3 in a few weeks and will be our Tot School/Homeschool Sidekick. He loves trains, cars, and has a slight obsession with puzzles. He knows all of the ABC’s and I’ll be working on introducing letter sounds and numbers to him. Asher can be mischievous and strong-willed, but is motivated to be a part of the action. He will be involved with some of our hands-on projects, crafts, and, of course, our read-alouds.

Back to Homeschool 2014

Here’s to another great homeschool year!

I’m linking up with the 6th Annual Not Back-to-School Hop with iHomeschool Network.

nbts-blog-hop-calendar-2014

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2014-2015 Curriculum (2nd, K, and Tot School)

I am so excited for a new school year! This year I’ll “officially” have two children in school, but the youngest will be joining us for tot school. Our school days will be full of activity! It’s hard to believe I’ll have a child in 2nd grade, Kindergarten, and in Tot school!

{affiliate links have been included}

2014-2015 Homeschool Curriculum choices for 2nd grade, kindergarten, and tot school. Great List of ideas!

Second Grade Curriculum Choices

Jonah is so excited to be in 2nd grade! We are continuing with My Father’s World and will be doing Adventures this year. We have been so pleased with My Father’s World! I highly recommend it!

 

Bible: Learning the names of Jesus, reading the Bible, Awana memory verses

History: My Father’s World Adventures in U.S. History–focuses on United States History (early settlers, founding fathers, pioneers, etc,) and United States Geography.

Science:
Science with Air
Science in the Kitchen
Birds, Nests, and Eggs
First Encyclopedia of Science
Fun with Magnets

Reading:

Jonah is a fantastic reader already! He will hide and read all afternoon (like his momma). We will be working through several read alouds for comprehension skills and he will have daily reading activities with his Book Basket.

Language Arts:
Language Lessons for Today (Grade 2)

Spelling:
All About Spelling, level 1

Writing:
No specific curriculum. Most of our writing is integrated into other subjects: science journal writing, history notebooking, etc.

Music:
Patriotic Songs of the U.S.A
Introduction to Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker Suite

Art:
I Can Do All Things

I’ve made a YouTube playlist for My Father’s World Adventures in U.S. History. We will be watching videos to go along each unit.

My Pinterest board for Adventures where I’ve gathered ideas and resources to use
Follow Sara’s board MFW Adventures in U.S. History (2nd Grade) on Pinterest.

Kindergarten Curriculum Choices

Lily will be in Kindergarten! Our new daughter is a bright little girl that is already well on her way to reading! Lily will be starting My Father’s World Kindergarten curriculum. While Lily doesn’t really need to do the letter of the week activities, she does desperately need the basic Biblical truths that are woven throughout My Father’s World Kindergarten. My goal for this first year with Lily is to just bathe her in God’s Word & Biblical truths…the other learning will take care of itself.

Unit Studies:
My Father’s World Kindergarten

Math:
Math-U-See Primer

Science:
We will study all sorts of things for science with each unit of My Father’s World. We will be doing lots of hands-on science explorations, nature study, and field trips to our local zoo, aquarium, and farm. We will observe caterpillars turning into butterflies, ants digging tunnels, and more!

Reading:
My Father’s World Kindergarten phonics, leveled readers, library books, iPad apps, and a bunch of other things! Lily already knows over 30+ sight words and is sounding out words, so she is already on her way to reading.

Tot School

Asher will be tagging along for calendar time, read alouds, games, and music. I have decided to include him in the ABC fun each week and will have some tot-friendly activities for him to work on while I work with the big kids. He will have some “mommy & me” time each morning where I work on skills he needs to learn, but for the most part, he is free to tag along as much as he wants and then go play when he isn’t interested.

Want to see what other homeschoolers are using? Check out the 6th Annual NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop!

nbts-blog-hop-calendar-2014

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The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas

Y’all. It’s been the busiest and craziest summer ever. BIG things have happened–an emergency adoption, basement remodeling, an eBook. Lots. I’m so full of things to tell you and pictures to show you that I’m about to burst.

But first, I have to tell you about the eBook because I fiddle-farted around and didn’t hint about it and now the eBook is going on sale today, and well…you get the picture.

Perhaps you’ve had a big, fat, crazy summer, too and the thought of back-to-school time makes your heart start racing. You’re in good company!

I got together with some of the other bloggers from iHomeschool Network and we wrote The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. It’s jam-packed with homeschool goodness from 55 moms on 103 topics–ages & stages, learning resources, managing life as a homeschool mom, and more. It’s BIG (560+ pages long) and wisdom just oozes all over the place from some of my favorite homeschool blogging friends.

Big Book of Ideas Final Cover 3D

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas is a digital product in pdf, mobi and epub formats. You get all three formats with one purchase. You can read it on your computer, iPad, tablet, laptop, smart phone, or any device that can read those formats (pdf, mobi and epub).

While you’re preparing your heart and home for a new homeschool year, treat yourself to expertise and fresh ideas to make this year the best homeschool year yet! Buy your copy today!

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas--55 moms share their expertise on 103 topicsI promise I’ll write all the big, fat, crazy things that have happened to us this summer. I’ll tell you all about the adoption stuff–It’s A Girl! I’ll show you pictures of our basement remodel–It’s a homeschool room! And I’ll get busy sharing my plan for the new homeschool year. In the meantime, go buy The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. After all, I have an emergency adoption to pay for!

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Kids love balloons. Kids love fun science activities. Add them together and you’ve got an afternoon full of fun!

Recently, I found a pack of balloons leftover from a birthday party. Knowing we would use them in the fall for our second grade homeschool curriculum, I placed them with our school things. The only problem? My kids found the balloons. Instead of just blowing them up and letting them play keep-away from each other, I rounded up some ideas to bring a little fun into our afternoon and still sneak in a little science. The list was so good, that I had to share with you!

10 Fun Balloon Science Activities for Kids

10 Fun Balloon Science Activities for Kids

For the safety of your children, please supervise balloon activities at all times. Do not leave children unattended with balloons.

Kids will love learning how to blow up a balloon with simple household ingredients without using their mouth from What Do We Do All Day. There are two different ways to try to blow up a balloon in this link.

blow up a balloon with chemistry

Add a little science to the swimming pool by making Balloon Boats from Life with Moore Babies.

Balloon Boats

Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational shares How to Make a Hovercraft with only a few simple steps. My boys will love this!

How to Make a Hovercraft

Kids will be amazed at how the Water Bottle Fountain works from Learn with Play at Home. Heck, even I’m fascinated by it!

How to Make a Water Bottle Fountain

Similar to the balloon boats above, you could make Balloon Rockets from Discover, Learn, Explore. My boys did this one over and over!

Balloon Rockets

Watch the momentum of the Spinning Penny in a Balloon from Juggling with Kids.

Spinning Penny Momentum experiment

Got a Lego lover at your house? Make a Balloon Powered Lego Car  like The Crafty Mummy and have a race!

Balloon Powered Lego Car

Explore the effects of hot and cold air on a balloon like Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas. Your kids will be amazed!

Exploring the Effects of Hot and Cold Air on a Balloon in a Bottle

Kids will love the science trick of bending water with their hair and a balloon from All For the Boys. Static Electricity at its finest!

Bend water with your hair and a balloon

Want to win some summer cash? There’s $1,500 up for grabs!

Super Mega Awesome Kid Blogger Cash Giveaway!

Win one of three $500 cash prizes directly in your PayPal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more great ideas for kids? A group of kid bloggers that are participating in the mega cash giveaway are all linking up today! There are a ton of great ideas! Be sure to visit and pin your favorites!

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Good Tips Tuesday #22

Another week, another link-up! We can’t wait to see all of your fabulous tips!
Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday

We want this to be a resource for you to find Good Tips for your life, home, kids and everything in between! So what kinds of posts are you able to link up now? Check out this awesome list!

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips
  • Homemaking Tips
  • Parenting Tips
  • Kids crafts & Activity Tips

Your hosts each week are:

Golden Reflections Blog

Simply Sherryl

A Bird And A Bean

Happy Brown House

This week we’re featuring some End of the Year Homeschool posts.

End of the School Year for Homeschoolers--featured posts from Good Tips Tuesday linkup

Juggling Homeschooling & Blogging

How to Make a YouTube Playlist for Homeschool

End of the School Year Portfolio

Happy Brown House

Now let’s get to today’s Good Tips Tuesday party!

  • Link up your recipe/cooking, homemaking, parenting, and kids craft/activity tips below (4 per person please)
  • Please link directly to your post, not to your main blog page. All links that do not follow this will be deleted.
  • Visit other posts in the party, comment, tweet, pin and let them know you came from GTTuesday!
  • We will feature 4 posts each week, picked via random.org. We will each be picking our favorite post from the week and pinning all of the featured posts and favorite posts to the GTTuesday Pinterest Board!

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday on Pinterest.

Disclosures:

    • By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Golden Reflections Blog, Simply Sherryl, A Bird And A Bean, & Happy Brown House to use your pictures and links in future featured post/photo collage like this one. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of all the before mentioned blogs with the corresponding link # given of your entry.

 

  • If you include your e-mail in the link up form below you will be added to a weekly e-mail reminder when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out, please see our privacy policy for details.

 

 

  We can’t wait to see all the amazing posts you will be linking up this week! Blessings, Heather, Sherryl, Erin & Sara

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