maps for kids

I’ve been thinking about things I learned at school that really benefit me as an adult and geography is one of them! So I thought if I have maps at their fingertips it might help! So far they’re 100% more interested than they were before, and that is thanks to this $13 puzzle and these placemats. Wanted to share a few other options I have my eye on!

Maps for Kids

Canvas Wall Hanging

maps for kids

Gathre Mats – bonded leather in multiple sizes (United States and World!) // Fell’s National Parks Map //  Canvas Watercolor Map for the wall // Petit Collage Floor Puzzle // Minimal Laser Cut Puzzle // Colorful State Puzzle – Wooden ($12.99?!) // Map of Asia Puzzle – Wooden // United States Puzzle – Wooden Mural Wallpaper // Map game for the tub // Retro School House Map // An Interactive Map that has won all the awards //

 

easy family game night

This post is a paid sponsorship by Goldfish® Crackers, but all opinions are my own.

It is so easy for me to slide into the after-school routine rut, to push through ’til bedtime and forget that there can be easy fun to be had!  Check out these Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® Special Edition Disney Mickey Mouse Cheddar crackers!  Perfect to use for a family game night. We came up with a handful of minute or less games where all you need are some household items and, of course, your Goldfish crackers!Easy Family Game Night

Not only do these crackers add fun to our family game night, but they are delicious too! Baked with 100% real cheese, no artificial flavors or preservatives, and with color sourced from plants, these are a yummy snack you can feel good about serving your kids.

What I like about the timed games is that you can easily tailor the skill level for each kid. The game doesn’t have to change but, depending on their age, they have to complete it faster! We thought of a few games using Goldfish crackers and your everyday drinking straw.Easy Family Game Night

EASY GAME IDEAS

-Using a straw, suck up all the crackers in the bowl and transfer them to a new one!

-Goldfishing! Using a straw, blow your Goldfish cracker across the finish line faster than your opponent or under the time limit set for each age group.

Easy Family Game Night

-Hockey! Split your team by colors: yellow Goldfish and red Mickey crackers. Set up your field with equal numbers of crackers, either by randomly scattering or using strategy. The rule is simple: you can only pass through two opponents to get to the goal. Use a finger or straw to kick the ball through the pairings of opponents until you get to the goal!

Easy Family Game Night

-Stack-a-Mickey. Partner up and stack as many Mickey crackers as you can in the time limit. Just try not to laugh or wiggle!

Easy Family Game Night

We’re obsessed with these cute crackers and the reminder that mixing it up and having some family fun doesn’t have to take a ton of effort or planning! Got any other game ideas with easy household items? I’d love to add to our list!

DIY Reading Fort

This post is sponsored by Kellogg’s. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Currently my boys share a room and both of them have been known to yell to the other “I just need some space!” so I knew it was time to create another option for them if they need to get some alone time in! A good ol’ sheet fort on my bed (since I’m never in there until way past their bedtime anyway) is just what they doctor ordered.

We’ve had an ongoing incentive at our house that they can earn different rewards for every book that they read. Happily for all of us, they are plowing through all our books! Dollar General has this amazing deal right now that has made it even easier to get our hands on more books.$1 off coupon | Dollar General Deals

RiRight now with every participating box of Kellogg’s products you buy, you can cash it in for a book! You can view the book options here, but we picked up Rules, Diaper Baby and a couple Clifford the Big Red Dog options! On top of that, Kellogg’s products are 3 for $6 AND I have a $1 off coupon for you right here. Christmas in July!!Dollar General Coupon for Free Book!For your at-home fort there are lots of ways to make it happen. I did ours over our bed so the reading nook is extra cozy!$1 off coupon | Dollar General DealsAll you need is a sheet, rope and push-pins. I like push-pins because you can hardly notice the holes in the ceiling! If you want a no hole option just put some stools parallel to each other and put the sheet over top!DIY reading fort

My big boys love to read the Clifford the Big Red Dog books to Raleigh, so we made a DIY Trail Mix or “Puppy Chow” for them to snack on! (I totally realize it’s going to be crumb central on my bed, so they also get armed with my handheld vacuum to take care of that afterward!)

Here’s how we do the DIY Puppy Chow Bar! Just set out bowls with several options that taste good together. Then give them a small cup, and they can layer on their favorites!
$1 off coupon | Dollar General DealsThe worst part of trial mix is that you have to pick out your favorites, leaving the raisins to go to waste (just me?). So by them making their own, they can get their favorites, and I don’t have as much clean up. Dollar General Free Book DealWe did Kellogg’s® Froot Loops® Cereal and Kellogg’s® Frosted Flakes® with gummy fruit snacks and cashews! If you head to Dollar General for the deals I mentioned, these cereals were front and center! Super easy to grab and go!Dollar General Free Book DealHead here to grab the $1 off coupon, and you can find your nearest Dollar General location here.

mine + ours: books #11

July Book Reviews!

I rarely, if ever, do this but I quit not one, but TWO books this month! (The last time was probably 6 years ago and it was Freedom by Jonathan Franzen) it might be my stress levels, a never ending to-do list with the move, not sure but I have the personality that finishes books to the bitter end so it’s shocking maybe to only me!

First– Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore. The story of Milo, a man who has died nearly 10,000 times. He only has a few more shots to hit perfection or he disappears forever, except one problem. He is in love with Death (a woman in the book) and can’t seem to commit to leaving her.

The premise caught my attention and seemed like a super unique and fresh book and it was entertaining and unlike anything I’ve read. I just couldn’t seem to get through it! So I exchanged it on Audible. From what my book club buddies said the content and language is rough throughout and it’s a little dark. Has anyone read this? Did I give up on the best book of my life?

Second — The Girl With Seven Names. This one has thousands of 5 star reviews and was a default merely because I had read “Nothing to Envy” last year and they information and presentation is super similar. I didn’t find myself learning anything I hadn’t already about North Korea so I passed on it! Nothing to Envy shares multiple people’s stories whereas Seven Names is one story, so if you find yourself leaning towards one over the other, maybe that will help make the decision!

OURS

I Can Do That! Books have quickly become go-tos around here. For the church bag, the car, quiet time. Interactive books are our jam and these are great! The dry erase one especially!

Activity Books for Kids!Stickyscapes at the Museum was sent to us to check out and it’s RAD! It’s quirky and wonderful and I might have stolen it from my kids to play with. I love that it has stickers of famous artist and works of art and random other stickers that you can fill in the pages of the museum!Stickyscapes at the Museum

Catch all my past recs here!

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15 rainy day DIYs

Now that Christmas is over, we’re in the long haul until Spring. Winter is so hard with kids, you don’t want them to have free reign over the iPad but you also need to maintain sanity. With the tiniest amount of prep you can have a crafternoon you will ALL enjoy!

Face Coloring Pages // Bi Planes // DIY Dominoes // DIY Tea Set // Yoga for Kids10 Rainy Day Ideas

 

10 Rainy Day Ideas

10 Rainy Day Ideas

Superhero Training! Set up simple games and tasks to get them moving. 

Puppets + Masks! Creating a puppet, writing a play with friends, and performing it for parents is sure to keep them occupied all afternoon! Pirate + Mermaid // Monsters // Clothespins Puppets // Animal Masks10 Rainy Day Ideas10 Rainy Day Ideas

Toilet Roll DIYs there are SO many of these across the web. Save yours up for your next rainy day and you can make ALL of these. Fire Breathing Dragon // Superhero Cuffs // Binoculars // Flower Bouquet // Cereal Box Jet Pack //10 Rainy Day Ideas10 Rainy Day Ideas10 Rainy Day Ideas10 Rainy Day IdeasI hope this helps you! I know I got lots of ideas for my own kids. Happy Winter!!

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little archives

It is officially gift giving season and every year we say the same thing. Activity subscription deliveries make the best gifts! I love being able to give experiences and this is something totally non-invasive. The recipient can choose when they want to do it, and everything is ready right in this darling little box. (The BOXES, am I right? So good.) Let’s check The Little Archives out! Today is the last day to get 20% off too, so hop on it if you’re interested!Gift Idea: Little ArchivesThe first box we opened was a Make Your Own Monster Kit. Hayes worked on this for a full hour. It was the perfect amount of challenge and he felt pretty cool wielding a needle. They have a selection of monster templates, colorful felts, and all the tools you need to have a plush of your very own.Gift Idea: Little ArchivesHe added the arms and legs and wanted them to look like bananas. You do you, kid! It’s always a win when my perfectionist kid wants to stray from the directions. 😉Gift Idea: Little Archives

Gift Idea: Little ArchivesAnd the finished product! So proud!Gift Idea: Little Archives

The second box we did was more Cal’s speed – miniature succulent pots! Mold, bake and display!Gift Idea: Little ArchivesHe did all the little dots and shaped them pretty amazingly well I must say. I only had to clean them up and put them together!Gift Idea: Little ArchivesWhy isn’t there a name yet for loving miniature things? Miniophile? Let’s come up with something because these make me squeal.

Gift Idea: Little Archives

The Little Archives is doing 20% off orders so you can try it out with a discount, too! Thanks for sponsoring this post and giving me the perfect excuse for a crafternoon with the boys!Gift Idea: Little Archives

BUY + DIY: Quiet Time Games

This has been an element to Small Fry for years, but I am finally giving it a name! Essentially this series is all about tackling a need we have as parents and offering the best of both worlds: buying and/or DIYing. Because there’s some things you can’t buy or find the way you might like them and there’s some things that aren’t worth DIYing when you can buy them for such a great price. SO! Today is all about QUIET TIME. But like, TRULY quiet time. Church style. If this toy or game fell onto a gym floor it wouldn’t make war time level noise and give you stares from the front of the church all the way back. (I’ve been there, many times.)

DIY:

I did these as DIY because I couldn’t find anything quiet as genius as just making it. These sponges will allow them to “build” but won’t crash. I might make them use these at home too, so quiet! Quiet GamesJust grab sponges and cut on up!Quiet Block DIY

Another 3D building DIY where you can get crazy and make whatever shape moves you. You just need velcro dots, tongue depressors or popsicle sticks and you’re good to go!Quiet Blocks No need to paint, but I couldn’t help it! The silver paint gives major robot vibes too if your kids are into that!Quiet Blocks

And this one I found from Twist Me Pretty – matching colors!Quiet Games

BUY:Quiet Games

Crayola Activity Center — We have this and it’s awesome for my older boys. Filled with dry erase activities and it has its own firm base so you can take it on the road or wherever you need it! // Puzzle Sticks, quiet, comes with several puzzles to do so you won’t get bored but you also can finish them in the span of 30 minutes. // Wooly Willy. A classic. // Magnetic Faces — another well-loved item over here. The magnets aren’t strong enough to make that snap sound when it meets the board so it’s truly quiet. // More from the same company – all about the body. Teaches loads while they play! // Magnets but US of A! Another great one for learning. // How to Draw. Coloring of any kind is a must for quiet time play but this will teach them how to draw their favorite items so they aren’t bugging you to do it. // Tic Tac Toe rubberized and quiet. // Need to teach a kid how to tie? Bring this toy to a boring meeting and watch the magic. It’s easier to learn when you don’t have to bend over and stretch! // Another darling lacing game with more of a creative element than the others you’ll find. // These soft bendable building straws are the next fidget spinner. Bendy bright and so much fun for hours. // Magnet Robots!

This one is a freaking labor of love but I played with these when I was a kid and am determined to get them all cut out for my boys! Anyone else use these? Find the felt dolls here.

feltbous

The BEST of Family Board Games

We love the holidays and one of our favorite parts about it is getting together with family and playing games! We asked on Facebook the other day what some of your favorites were…and here’s what you all said! The best part about this list is it ALL can be to you by Christmas, so order now for some family friendly fun.familyboardgames

Bananagrams // This is a fast paced word game that the whole family can play!

Pie Face // This game of surprise will have everyone rolling in laughter…even the grumpiest of game participants.

HedBanz // This game is especially fun for kiddos, they laugh so hard looking at each other with these headbands on.

Zingo // This is one of the first game’s our boys have enjoyed….it is SO great for kids and a very introductory bingo like game!

Sleeping Queens // This creative card game is a fun way to go in to an imaginary world, also another great one for small kids!

Sorry // Not sorry for including this on the list. This classic game from when you were a kid continues to be a fan favorite.

Guess Who // Another cult classic, Guess Who is a regular in the Frame household.

Pop The Pig // This one was mentioned several times, we don’t know much about it but the name made us order it anyway 😉 It’s been the #2 selling kids game for the last 5 years and you put a hamburger in a pigs mouth and well we just need to see why.

The Sneaky Sneaky Squirrel Game // This is the very first game The Rammell’s owned for their kids. It’s SO good for even a 3 or 4 year old….such a great first game to start with and such a darling one.

Sequence // This also classic game is now made in kid form, great for learning sequences!

Alright guys what are we missing? Leave your family’s favorite games in the comments! We want to get our hands on them all!

 

Seedling

Kicking off our gift ideas this Holiday we knew we had to start with Seedling. You’ve heard our philosophies about giving experiences over things, although sometimes those can be hard to unwrap come Christmas morning! Seedling is the best example of doing this well because it’s a perfect little package that packs fun for your whole family, so we’re so excited to partner with them today!Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things It taps the creative side, fine motor skills, imagination and story-telling and so much more. They recently launched their new line with Disney which of course makes it all the more fun recreating elements of their favorite movies! Here’s a few we tried out!

Seedling - Gift Experiences Not ThingsDesign Your Own Bear Mask and Paws! Comes with everything you need to look just like Baloo, felt, glue, pre-cut shapes and more! Seedling - Gift Experiences Not ThingsDesign Your Own Dragon,  how cute is Sunny’s Elliott? This easy to make DIY kit comes with wooden dragon, paint, faux fur, and more to paint and create a dragon all your own.Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things

Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things

Design Your Own Fintastical Mermaid Tail from the Little Mermaid! This comes with with tulle, glitter glue, shells, stars, and more, this easy to make DIY kit has everything you need to design your own magical mermaid tail just like Ariel!

Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things

Mermaid Tail - SeedlingOf course Seedling packs everything you need to finish the kit which we LOVE! No melt-downs when you start the project to realize you don’t have any white glue. But, come one, how cute is their glue?! Every detail is so darling and well thought out!Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things

Of course Seedling has loads of other themed kits besides this new Disney series, you can find them all right here!

Nick Jr.

By Emily.

 I was compensated for attending this event sponsored by Nick Jr. and Mom.me. The thoughts and opinions below are my own. 

A few weekends ago I took my boys to Nick Jr.’s Mega Playdate with Blaze and Shimmer and Shine! My boys LOVE Blaze and the Monster Machines and as much as they claim not to like “girl shows” guess what show never gets turned off when it’s on? Shimmer and Shine, ha!screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-10-10-39-am

Both my boys are obsessed with cars. They alternate between monster trucks, matchbox cars, RC cars, and they make tracks and jumps everyday it seems.  So what I love about Blaze is that they explain the HOW and WHY cars do what they do. I always smile when I hear the show describing things like force, trajectory, friction, etc. I also love that the female characters are in on the action, too. Shows marketed for girls seem to take on such a different subject matter and I don’t understand why! STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects are hot topics as of late, and this show seems so easy to grasp for my kids while still being exciting!img_8453

For those who asked here are some of the toys we got to test out at the event. It seems each year we get the most questions on what to get boys for the Holidays so here’s a few great ideas to log away! I am all about supporting the merch for shows that I know are good for my kids, too! blaze2

The Flip and Race speedway has levers, flips, jumps, and more. Super fun and great for 3-5 year olds I’d say! //This Mega Bloks set brings together two of my boys’ faves: blocks + jumps! It comes with lots of pieces to create all kinds of set-ups. Pickle! My boys love him and he’s a great standard monster truck that fits in all their other tracks, too. // Always on the hunt for fun bath toys! // This is the remote control car you saw on our Facebook page, its controlled by a watch and my boys are obsessed with it! // Another fun race set that gets a buddy in on the action.