Back to school ideas

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx but all opinions are my own. I love to share back to school ideas that will help your kids have a healthy and happy school year.

The time has come! Ready or not, we are all headed into the new school year. No matter which schooling option you chose, I know that you are doing the best for your family and children.

Now let’s take on the new school year and make it amazing for our little ones. I want to share a few back to school ideas that can help keep the kid on track for a healthy and fun year.

Back to school ideas:

1. Words of affirmation-

Our kids are entering into a whole world of newness. They have been experiencing the global pandemic already but now they are about to see that it will also affect their school life. Take time to talk to them, to let them know it’s ok to be confused because we will learn together. It’s ok to be frustrated and nervous, because they have amazing support in their teachers and you. Take time to listen to your children, let them know that it’s important for them to communicate how something is affecting them and how they think you can help. This will lay out a foundation for a year where they will always know that someone has their back. And even if you don’t have all the answers, they will know that they can count on you to search together with them.

2. Establish a routine-

If you ask anyone, they would tell you that I am the queen of spontaneous adventure! But we all know that having a consistent routine is amazing for kids and adults alike. With all the new things that they will have to learn, having a routine and knowing what is next, will help the kids to not be constantly wondering what is next. That takes so much stress away from them.

Laying out clothes for the next day, taking a nice shower/bath, and making sure that school things are ready, will make for a great morning of getting ready without rushing.

kids deodorant, kids shampoo and kids conditioner

For my older boys, we have started using their own special hair products and deodorant for kids from TBH kids which teaches them that good habits start early as their bodies change and they grow up. Puberty can be stinky but TBH Kids is with them every step of the way!

Their Deodorant, Shampoo, and conditioner are made with natural ingredients that helps them have clear, hydrated skin and oil free hair.

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3. Pack a nutritious lunch-

Even if the kids are going to be doing virtual learning at home, it would help their routine to have a nutritious lunch packed and ready. That way they wont forget to eat their lunch and end up having all sort of fun but not nutritious snacks through the day.

We have loved our new lunch bags from Funkins. These stylish and cute isolated bags are designed by moms and tested by kids! They are great for on the go or also at home. I totally love how they are machine washable to make things way easier for me.

When you check those out, make sure to look for their eco friendly reusable napkins and placemats that will also match their lunch bag. How cute is that?

You can use code Babble2020 for 25% off lunch bags and napkins/placemats sets through September 15th, 2020

If you want a simple and cute idea for a lunch to pack, check out my prehistoric lunch here

When packing a lunch, make sure to include plenty of protein, fruit and veggies and of course a healthy grain!

Another way to complete and surprise your little one at lunch time is to include these fun little notes from MyWish4U the boys always get all happy when they find notes from us in their lunches and their favorites are the riddles and giggles!

4. Be Flexible-

This one is huge! It feels like every day, things are changing. I know it’s hard to stay open and flexible but it really can change the mood for the whole family if this starts with us.

It really is a weird time for everyone, our leaders are learning as they go as much as we are and the best way we can lead our families is to try and stay flexible and open to a new normal. We will make the best of it and it will be great.

5. Schedule some fun-

That’s right! In all the effort to give the kids the best year yet, you might be forgetting to take a moment to just have some good family fun. Take a walk together if you are able, play a good game that will just be for fun. Bake together or make a batch of the oh so dreaded slime!

Scheduled fun has been amazing for our family. We love to do things, and help others but sometimes we get so busy and we have learned to appreciate the beauty of having nothing else to do but to relax and have fun together.

A super fun and simple game that the littles are loving is Grouch Couch from Spin Master this is a super funny game that will bring out all the giggles! You can find it here.

The big kids have also enjoyed the InstaStudio Hands-Free Video Station from WeCool Toys/Compound Kings. This is the ultimate hands free video recording studio. It’s easy for the kids to use so they are all about making videos on how to build super awesome dinosaurs with blocks and how to make slime. I am thinking I want to use it too! I have to come up with a cool idea for it.

6. Be proactive-

We can do our part to help slow the spread of sickness and to keep our little ones protected. Have a conversation with your kids about why they are required to wear a mask at school or at places that you might go for study meet ups or field trips.

Practice correct hand washing with them at home so that they keep doing it wherever they go. Talk to them about staying healthy and loving others by helping keep them healthy as well. Let them know how things work much better if we all do our part!

We are totally prepared with the cutest masks we found by Funkins. They had every size we needed and the prints are just so fun. These masks are not for medical use but they are perfect for the kids to use when going out or going to school. They are so soft and comfortable and the patterns are just perfect for them.

Another big way that we are protecting the boys is with these special Blue light glasses for kids from Zenni. It’s so important to us that their eyes can be protected from the damaging blue light that is in their screen and since this year so many kids are going to be doing some portion if not all of their learning on a device, I thought it was important to mention these as well.

These super stylish glasses are the perfect size for the little ones and they are designed for comfort too!

I hope these back to school tips have been encouraging and helpful to you and your family. I am excited to hear how you will conquer this year and make it the greatest yet! Different doesn’t have to be the worst. We will overcome.

Zo Zo Zombie weird fun for kids

This post is sponsored by BabbleBox on behalf of Spin Master, but it is all from our own experience and opinions.

Have you ever heard of Zo Zo Zombie? this is a super fun and silly show that plays on YouTube with new episodes released every week.

kids with some zombie makeup on and acting like zombies in Zo Zo Zombie

Zo Zo is a friendly Zombie who is always looking to help the underdog and always end up getting into some sort of trouble for the sake of others. In this story is also Isamu, who is a normal school boy who has a zombie for a best friend and that is one of the boys favorite things in the show! How two different boys with supposedly nothing in common can be the best of friends.

boys sitting on the couch watching Zo Zo Zombie

But Zo Zo Zombie is not like any other zombie show! It’s full of gags, slapstick humor, and good-natured-gross-outs. He can use his organs from his own body to help him get out of sticky situations. So naturally my boys love it!

They received an amazing customized box filled with fun goodies that they used to help each other look a little like Zo Zo and Played around the house as my favorite little zombies.

Simple Zo Zo Zombie look-

To achieve the look, they used some of the hot chocolate powder under the eyes to look like dark circles, one bandage on the forehead, like Zo Zo, and some red gel frosting under the bandage to look like dripping blood. It was simple and quick but loads of fun!

Then they enjoyed the sweet candies while watching a marathon of the show on the couch. It was perfect for us because it rained all day.

If you want to see a few videos of the boys unboxing their treats, come hang out with us on Instagram as I will be sharing all the excitement on our stories!

Are you ready to have some weird gross fun? Get the snacks ready and a good comfy spot because your kids are going to want to watch one more episode and then one more! Check them out here once your snacks are ready!

Enjoy and have a lot of Zo Zo Zombie fun!

Indoor Scavenger Hunt For Kids

My kids love a good scavenger hunt. We have done all kinds of different ones. But what if you’re stuck inside? You can easily do it inside too! So I put together this fun indoor scavenger hunt for kids to share with you all.

Scavenger hunts are engaging and fun, they help kids stay busy for a good time and they also allow them to practice critical thinking and problem solving in a practical way.

child holding his nose and frowning because he is smelling sauerkraut to complete indoor scavenger hunt

When we find ourselves having to stay indoors for any reason, having a scavenger hunt with the kids is a quick and easy way to get them engaged and exercise their minds and bodies as they work together as a team to find all the items in the list. Working as a team, will help your child to practice their social skills too.

two children working as a team to build a square piece. one child is wearing a blue shirt and the other is wearing a hat.

Another fun way to play with this list is to put a time limit and have them compete against each other to find the items before everyone else. You know your children best and you will be able to see if they would have more fun competing or working with you or with siblings to complete the task. Either way, it is really fun.

Indoor Scavenger hunt

One thing I really love about having scavenger hunts inside is that each kid will find different things even for the same item. You will see how they interpret the task and how their minds work to solve it. While one child might love the smell of a plant, the other one might hate it!

small child holding a rosemary plant and smelling it with a smile.

Another amazing aspect of an indoor scavenger hunt is that you don’t need to prepare much of anything for it! Use our free printable, give them some pencils to mark the chart and just let them find all the treasures around the house.

small child leaning on a tower of pillows he found during the indoor scavenger hunt

A good idea is to have the kids put all of the found things back where they found them, so that you don’t make unnecessary extra work for yourself. And also to help the kids make a habit of cleaning up after themselves after having fun.

Here is one of our favorite indoor scavenger hunts for kids, you just have to click on the image to download this amazing free printable. it’s ready to print and for you to have fun!

free printable chart for an indoor scavenger hunt for kids and family. click download and print

I would love to see all the things your kids come up with on their searches! please share on Instagram and tag us!

If you need even more ideas for activities to do while having to stay inside, check out this fun recipe for slime that you can make with ingredients that you probably have at home!

Until next time friends!

Easy valentines for kids

This week we worked on these super cute valentines for kids and we are so excited to share them with you! You can get the kids involved and with our free printable get these quick and easy valentines done right away.

It will literally be as easy as that. This year we decided to go with something that can be useful and at the same time something the kids would love. My Kids love having their own straw to use and reuse which also helps our planet a little bit by lowering the amount of straws that we will use in the long run.

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I really love to help my kids celebrate their friends. When you are a grown up, you realize how important friends are and how they are the ones that help you keep going. I want the boys to grow up knowing that having friends is a blessing and cherishing them is good.

We also wanted our valentines to be silly, fun, and encouraging. We love to remind our friends of how awesome they are! That’s why we chose this message.

If you like the straws we chose, you can find them here. I love the clear ones because we can see and make sure that they are staying nice and clean after every use.

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Here are a few other kinds of straws that you could use.

Stainless Steel Straws

Silicone Straws

Those are my top three favorites! But you can really use any kind that you and your kids like.

Ok for the other part of the valentine, you will need the cute valentine card. just click on the image to download it for free and print out as many as you need.

easy valentines for kids free printable mom blog homeschool blog Virginia blogger traveling family early learning nature school

Easy Valentines for Kids-

easy valentines for kids free printable mom blog homeschool blog Virginia blogger traveling family early learning nature school

Materials: Card-stock, tape, straw, pen or pencil, printed valentine card.

Instructions:

Print your free valentines cards and cut each one out. Have the kids fill the names on the cards. Pair each card to a straw and have the kids help you tape the straw to the back of the card. And they are ready to go!

easy valentines for kids free printable mom blog homeschool blog Virginia blogger traveling family early learning nature school

I know how busy and crazy life can get and that we still love to do the best we can to make our littles happy and proud. This quick Valentine with a free printable is meant to help you make things easier.

I hope you enjoy making them and have time to take a few minutes for yourself. Remember that to your littles you are the most beloved valentine! You are doing a great job!

Do share your valentines stories with us on Instagram and give us a tag so we can share please.

Hugs to you and Happy Valentines day!

Cookie exchange with friends- Snickerdoodle Cookies

This year I’m really into this snickerdoodle cookie recipe. It really hits the spot and the boys always eat them all up!

When I think about the holidays, I think about spending time with family and friends and doing fun things that will give us lasting memories for years to come. I wanted to start some new traditions because we are spending the holidays away from home, so I gathered up a few of my favorite mommy blogger gals for a fun cookie exchange.

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I will start by sharing one of my recipes and then I will let you check out their amazing recipes too! Your holiday cookie baking just got a lot easier! Just gather up all of these perfect and tried recipes and you are ready to go to town in the kitchen and impress your family with the most delicious holiday cookies.

Without further ado, let’s get to my chosen recipe!

Snickerdoodle cookie recipe-

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We recently met a new friend who loves snickerdoodle cookies and since I love to spoil my friends with baked goods, I started to research and to make them more often that I ever had. I realized that this delicious and soft treat has been so underrated in our holiday baking!

I hope you will give this easy snickerdoodle recipe a try because I know you will fall in love with the soft and chewy sugar coated cookie with the perfect hint of cinnamon touch.

There isn’t only one secret to keep the snickerdoodle soft and chewy, it is more of a few things you do and together they give you the best snickerdoodle cookie you’ve ever had. Here they are:

  • Use the cream of tartar- I’ve seen that many people try to replace the cream of tartar with something else, but I have learned that when it comes to classics, you stick to the original concept and enjoy the best results.
  • Do not over bake- If you want your cookie to stay super fluffy and chewy, make sure to set up a timer! Check on them often the first time you make them to see if you need to adjust the time. When I make them smaller for gifts, like today, they take less time than usual. They will be done before the top starts to crack.
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  • Be generous with the cinnamon and sugar- roll those cookies in the cinnamon and sugar and make sure you don’t miss a spot! This is the step that give you the little crunch on the outside and the delicious cinnamon taste.
  • Use real butter- That should go without saying! But just in case you are starting to get into baking and need the extra encouragement. Real butter will always be your best friend! The taste is just delicious.
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Below you will find the full recipe. Have fun baking and enjoy!

I made them very small this time so that they could be packaged a specific way for gifting. But you can make them much bigger if you prefer.

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Now to the rest of the recipes to complete your holiday baking list!

Check out these delicious recipes by some of my favorite mommy blogger friends:

Yummy sugar cookies, because it wouldn’t be holiday baking without them.

Chocolate peppermint cookies, these have two of the classic Christmas flavors. My Sons love this convo!

Delicious date balls, these are my husband’s favorites and you will love them!

30 Best STEM Toy Gifts

This post contains affiliate links. The toys are my family’s favorites and the companies did not ask us to share them. We just love a good STEM toy and wanted to share with you. Thank you so much for always supporting us!

Those of you that have been following us for a while, know that we love to try and learn something with everything we do. Even with toys, and there are so many options our there for kids of all ages! We always try to do our research and get a cool STEM toy for special occasions.

If you’re looking for fun, educational toys to give as gifts this holiday season, then you need to check out these 30 Best Holiday STEM Toy Gifts available on Amazon.  Kids will love playing with these engaging and interactive toys. It’s never too early, or too late to introduce your kids to STEM-based learning toys. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering & Math.  They’ll be learning while they play and not even know it! With so many to choose from, I’ve done the hard part for you and rounded up 30 of the best STEM toys out there this holiday season.

My Favorite STEM Toy Gifts

1. Design & Drill Activity Center

Construction meets creativity with this Design and Drill Activity Center.  Includes 120 big bolts in 5 colors, 3 bits (Phillips, socket, flathead) and 20 colorful pattern cards to follow.

Grow ‘N Glow Terrarium Science Kit

Combine the wonder of science and the fun of arts and crafts with this miniature garden in a simulated natural environment. Kids can create their very own miniature eco-system with this easy setup, just assemble, decorate, water and watch it grow!

3. Interactive Globe for Kids

Explore the world with 400+ wonders and 1000+ cool facts across 6 categories – cultures, cuisines, monuments, inventions, animals and maps.

4. GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope

With this amazing Talking Microscope, preschoolers will discover amazing animals, plants, and household items. There are 20 total prepared slides for little ones to explore and learn about.

5. Gravity Maze Marble Run

This gravity-powered marble maze comes with 60 challenges of increasing difficulty, from beginner to expert and will improve logical reasoning, spatial reasoning, and planning skills.

6. Rocks & Fossils Kit

This is the ultimate rock, mineral and fossil kit.  Kids can Use the included magnifying glass and identification sheet to help identify every rock, gemstone, mineral, and fossil in the kit.

7. Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit

Build Ten awesome machines that spin, swing, pivot, roll, lift, and drop and can be combined to make dozens of different chain reactions.

8. Disgusting n’ Gross Science Activity & Experiment Set

This hands-on science set will inspire kids to have fun while learning.  This kit includes 34+ tools, ingredients and parts for hours of exciting experiments.

9. 12-in-1 Education Solar Robot Toy

This 12-in-1 solar robot kit can be made into 12 different style robots which can move on land or water.

10. 3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Pen Set

Kids can finally bring all of their wonderful and imaginative ideas to life with this kid-safe 3D printing pen.

11. Creative Construction Engineering

Kids will love these creative learning building toys that enhance fine motor skills and improve hand-eye coordination, logic and problem-solving abilities.

12. Osmo Genius Starter Kit for iPad

Osmo brings learning to life, using hand-held pieces with an iPad.  These fun games focus on, shapes, problem-solving, creative drawing skills, counting, letters, spelling & vocabulary.

13. Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit

Comes with over 30 pieces to create 101 different electronic projects. Pieces snap together easily on the included plastic grid–no soldering required.

14. LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox

With this 5 In 1 model, LEGO creations come to life.  Kids can use a free app on a tablet to code behaviors into whatever they build.

15. Robot Building Block Set

This robot building set can be transformed into 24 different models and is compatible with LEGO brand bricks.

16. Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab

Two-piece working lab set comes with the equipment and instructions needed to perform amazing real-world science experiments inspired by the creatures and their home planets.

17. Coaster Challenge

Buckle up and get ready to twist and turn your mind as you attempt to solve 40 exhilarating roller coaster challenges.

18. Shifu Plugo Tunes Piano Learning Kit

Develop musical skills, hand-eye coordination, memory skills & cognitive intelligence with this fun Piano Learning Kit.

19. Snap Circuits BRIC: Structures

Kids can wire up their brick builds and learn how to build the circuit that makes the lights in a skyscraper illuminate or that makes the gears on a drawbridge move! There’s no limit to what kids can create.

20. 10-Minute Science Experiments Book

More than 50 fun and engaging experiments designed to teach kids about the basics of physics, science and chemistry. Even though this is not a toy, I love how you can take it on trips and connect with friends and family by doing some fun science.

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21. Coding Critters

These playful puppy pets bring early STEM concepts to preschool learning through 100% screen-free coding. The Coding critters also double as cute interactive pets that you can feed, pet, and take care of.

22. ThinkFun Math Dice Junior Game

The perfect dice game to introduce or reinforce early math skills in children. Roll the 12-sided Target Die to get your target number, then roll the five 6-sided Scoring Dice. Add, subtract, or add and subtract – use whatever equation you need to hit your target number.

23. V8 Combustion Engine Model Building Kit

Kids can put over 500 pieces together using the easy to follow instruction guide as they learn about how a real-life engine is built.

24. Sphero Specdrums – STEAM Educational Music Toy for Kids

All skill levels, from curious-minded kids to seasoned musicians, can create their own masterpieces with hundreds of instruments, loops, and sounds.

25.My First Mind blowing Science kit

26. 4WD Electronic Building Toy Car

Foster children’s interest in technology through exploration with this 4WD electric toy that features 3 different chassis angle settings that will entertain for hours.

27. Artie 3000 The Coding Robot

Learn to code and get drawing with STEAM-style robotics to create visual masterpieces, if you can code it Artie 3000 can draw it!

28. DIY Chemistry Experiment Lab

Convert your kitchen into a science lab with this fun and educational science kit. Create a working volcano, generate electricity with a lemon, launch a vinegar-powered rocket and much more.

29. Squishy Human Body

Kids explore the complex inner workings of the human body and literally see how it all works. Includes: 12” clear plastic human body model & stand, 9 squishy organs, 12 plastic bones & muscles, forceps, tweezers, body part organizer mat, instruction sheet, and 24-page illustrated anatomy book.

30. Kano Computer Kit

Kids can build their own computer with this fun computer kit. Make lights flash, discover how computers works and learn to code with 100+ step-by-step creative challenges.

That’s it for now! If you loved this collection, make sure to follow our Instagram where we are always sharing our latest favorite STEM toy picks. And if you have suggestions to add to our list, send them over also!

If you love the idea of having lists of gifts to chose from, check out my other gift guide for kids who travel often!