Holiday Break Activity – Bronx Zoo Ice Carving Week

Do you live in the New York area or will be visiting soon? I have a great (and almost free) way to spend some quality time with your family during this upcoming Christmas break and/or vacation….Visit the Bronx Zoo! Right now through December 31 when you donate a unwrapped toy at the Bronx Zoo, Queens Zoo, or the Central Park Zoo to help support local families, you will receive one FREE general admission ticket to the Bronx Zoo! Visit http://bronxzoo.com/toydrive/ for more details.

 

I wish I lived closer because next week they have some extra fun going on with the Wildlife Ice Carving Week! Doesn’t this look like so much fun?!?!?Free tickets to Bronx Zoo

 

Salute to Wildlife Ice Carving Week at the Bronx Zoo: Bigger, Better, and Icier!

This holiday season, don’t miss the Bronx Zoo’s Salute to Wildlife Ice Carving Week! Every day from December 26 – 31, 2013watch as master ice carvers craft magical sculptures of majestic Arctic Beringia animals, soar down a 25 foot long polar bear ice slide, sit atop a giant Bowhead whale sculpture, and explore a real life igloo!

Bronx zoo ice carving week

On Saturday, December 28th, visit our fourth annual Salute to Wildlife Ice Carving Competition where carvers from around the tri-state will compete. You can vote for your favorite animal-themed sculpture and pick this year’s winner. You can also enjoy the Toy Soldier Parade Carolers as they capture the season with favorite holiday songs, meet and take a photo with OLIVIA™ from the popular children’s book series, get free OLIVIA™ books while supplies last, make your own Arctic-themed crafts, and visit thousands of rare and amazing animals for the best family holiday fun this season.

For times, details, and more information, visit bronxzoo.com

Kidoodle.TV – TV. Built for Kids, Loved by Parents!

I participated in a Blog Blast program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kidoodle.TV. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Kidoodle.TV Review

I have never loaded any apps on my phone that allow my children to watch shows on it…that is until this past weekend. I just loaded Kidoodle.TV. With a sick kiddo in the house who needs to stay down, it has been a life saver! He can cuddle down with my phone and when his time is up, it turns off and I am saved from the “mom fail” of discovering I was not paying enough attention to the clock and he has watched 1 or 2 more shows than he should have. I only wish it was available for Roku, but I am totally good with my computer and phone for now! You can Kidoodle.TV for free for the month of December and check out the details for the giveaway below.

Kidoodle.TV review

 

What is Kidoodle.TV?

  • Built for kids, not just aimed at them, Kidoodle.TV is designed specifically for the use and navigation by kids (ages 12 and under), ensuring an age-appropriate viewing experience.
  • Featuring a brightly colored, easy-to-use user interface, customizable Kid Profiles for up to 5 kids, and great entertainment and educational content from a variety of sources, Kidoodle.TVis child oriented and convenient, with no adult content and with robust controls for parents.
  • Parental controls include age category filtering and title selection and de-selection, which allows parents to tailor available content to each child’s needs.
  • Once logged into Kidoodle.TV, parents simply select a Kid Profile and hand off the navigation to the child.
  • Kidoodle.TV features content appropriate for its audience and is free of advertising within the service.
  • Kidoodle.TV offers the freedom and diversity of Internet access but with parameters built in to assist with child safety.

 

Our experience:

My children are rarely allowed to watch shows on the computer or TV anymore because they are simply too smart for their own britches and have figured out how to change shows or click on to the next show (sometimes it is not a “this mom approved” type show) without telling me. I do not have time to always sit with them to watch a show and I hate having to be a helicopter parent to make sure they are making the best decisions. Problem solved with the “Parent’s Room” on Kidoodle. TV. I can pick the amount of time they are allowed to watch (15 min, 30 min or more). I can also decide which age appropriate shows each individual kiddo can watch. So for my son, I have removed all fighting type shows from his list of approved shows, but he still has the freedom to pick from a large assortment of shows. It’s a win for both of us because he has the opportunity to feel independent while making good TV viewing choices and I do not have to worry about him sneaking in hours of TV time or watching inappropriate commercials and/or show content.

 

Join The Kidoodle.TV Holiday Giveaway

Try Kidoodle.TV for FREE and enter by December 31, 2013 to WIN 1 of 10 tablets or 1 of 10 Kidoodle.TV year-long subscriptions!

TO ENTER the giveaway, go to Kidoodle.TV to sign up for a free trial. Follow the on-screen directions and submit!

For more information make sure to follow Kidoodle.TV on Twitter and Kidoodle. TV on Facebook

Santa Belly Ornaments

Easy Neighbor Christmas Gifts

We needed a simple and fun Christmas ornament to put together. My mom had one on her tree, so we made our own variation.  They were super easy to put together…and easy enough for my kiddos to do almost all on their own (the hot glue gun was my job ;-) ) If we are going to give gifts from the kids to their teachers, I love to have it be something they actually made and this ended up being the perfect craft!

 

What You Need:

  • 3/8 inch black ribbon – cut it so it can overlap 1 inch around the widest part of the ornament
  • Pop tops
  • Clear plastic ornaments (or glass if you don’t need kid friendly)
  • Red Tinsel
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors

 

Directions:

Step 1: Gather supplies. I tried looking at local shopping stores, but was able to find all the supplies (not including pop tops) I needed at Michaels and for %50 off. I did not think finding clear plastic ornaments was going to be as difficult as it was! Also, the tinsel I found was wired on a swag with green leaves. It was pretty easy to remove.

Christmas Ornament Ideas

 

Step 2: Stuff the ornament with tinsel to create the Santa Belly. This is the perfect job for the kiddos and even my 13 month old wanted in on the fun!

Christmas Ornaments Children Can Make

 

Step 3: Feed ribbon through pop top until about  1-2 inches away from one end to create the Santa Belt.

Easy Christmas Ornament Idea

 

Step 4: Since the ribbon will be overlapping you either need to melt the cut end that will be visible with a match so it will not fray or fold it over and hot glue it. As you can see below, we folded it over just a tiny bit and hot glued it.

Santa Belly Ornament

 

Step 5: Attach the belt to the belly using the hot glue gun. We just added a little glue at each end and it seems to hold well.

Easy Neighbor Christmas Gifts

 

Step 6: I was able to find a whole bucket of colorful balls for cheap, so we created some colorful Santa Bellies. We like to call the green one a Grinch Belly!

Cute Christmas Ornament Ideas - Santa Belly Christmas Ornaments

Step 7: Share with friends and enjoy!

Christmas Ornament Idea for Kids

 

 

**Link Ups: Get Your DIY On (ThankfulHouse)

We Did It! Speedy Christmas Tree Setup Video

Set Up the Christmas Tree Video

I posted last week about my In-Laws and their Christmas Tree Set Up Video and I am so excited that we were able to do it this year. Unfortunately, I was playing with the setting on my camera and unknowingly left the settings that ended up recording poorly. BUT there is no redoing the tree set up, so it is what it is! Enjoy!

Tips:

We used a tripod in the corner and I put a few chairs in front of it to keep the little one from investigating it. I also think having the camera out kept all the kiddos pretty calm knowing they were being recorded. Ha! Creating the video on my computer was a lot easier than I thought it would be, too. Oh, and you really do need to hold any writing for 20 seconds (like my brother-in-law suggested). We held our sheets at the beginning of the video for 10.

Turn Pin Buttons into Zip Tags with FizzyPops.com

My daughter is obsessed with cute pin buttons, but I have started to seriously dislike them. She is always trying to put them on her baby sis or will leave them on her shirts and they will get tossed in the wash where I don’t find them until I am folding her clothes. Those pins are not fun to get poked with! Thanks to Fizzy Pops, I have now found a solution that works for both of us. Along with our cute chunky beads we used for our Birthday Ribbon Necklaces they also sent us some Zipper Pull kits.  So now my daughter gets to keep her cute happy buttons pictures and I do not have to worry about where she has placed/keeps her buttons when I turn them into a Zipper Tags that she can add to any zipper of her choosing!

How make a custom zipper tag

What You need:

How make a custom zipper tag

Directions:

Step 1: Choose some cute buttons to convert.

Fizzy Pop Bottle Cap zip tags

 

Step 2: Pull the pin/back off the button. Just a little tug and it should come off easy

Step 3: Remove cute picture from metal frame of the button. I found it easiest to use a tip of a pin to start pulling up the edge away from the frame.

Switch up the buttons for zip tags

 

Step 4: Trace the adhesive circle on your picture and then cut the picture to fit. The circle was smaller than our original pictures, so we had to pick our favorite part to keep.

Step 5: From here I practically followed the instructions that Fizzy Pops sent with the epoxy stickers…Add a pea size of glue to the back of the pic and apply to the inside of the tag. Add the circle epoxy sticker on top, if you have not already and press firmly to smooth out any air bubbles.

Step 6: Let dry and attach to your favorite backpack zipper or key chain.
Bottle cap crafts

 

I will admit that there were a few tears shed when a certain somebody saw what I did to her pins, but by the time her dad came home from work she was showing them off to everyone!How make a custom zipper tag

I think these would be fun to add to her zippers on her sweaters this winter, too!

 

Make sure to get your discount on any Fizzy Pops orders you make until the end of the year. Find your FizzyPops.com discount code here and on the side bar.

What should I do with all the Halloween Candy?

What to do with halloween candy

If your house is like mine, the Halloween candy is everywhere…or at least I see signs of it everywhere, also known as wrappers!! If you are not wanting to eat it all this week, here are some ideas to put it into use for later:

Freeze It

What to do with halloween candy

 

All that chocolate you have collected is perfect for those holiday treats you like to bake. Chop them up and store them in freezer bags for another month and save some money on the fancy chocolate chips! I attempted to use the food processor this year, which worked nice on some of them, but in my opinion, creates chunks better for ice cream toppings.

What to do with halloween candy

Best to do it now before you eat it all…or at least that is my experience!.

Save It

Last year we set a rule of only two pieces of candy a day after school. After a couple of weeks they practically forgot about it and all that was left were the hard candies. They ended up being perfect to use for our Gingerbread Houses. The “extra” candy would also be great to decorate Christmas cookies, too. Almost all the candy below except for the marshmallows and M&Ms (chocolate does not make it until Christmas in our house!) are from our Halloween stash.

What to do with halloween candy

 

Play With It

Why not? It is everywhere so you might as well play some learning games with it! I shared 7 Fun Learning Activities that you can do with your candy.

What to do with halloween candy - Rusty and Rosy

 

What do you like to do with your extra Halloween candy?

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