Fun and Easy Learning Games for Kids – Book Review

100 Games  Simple and Easy Educational games for preschool and early grade children

I’ve always viewed myself as my kids’ main teacher, even though they go to public schools. At 10, 12, and 14, they’ve passed the point of me helping with math or science homework. Now, I mainly fulfill my role through in-the-car lectures on a vast array of subjects. From dissecting why that particular building at that particular corner has housed six failed restaurants in their lifetimes to the social repercussions of “forgetting” to wear deodorant, this mama can talk. And talk and talk and talk. They love it.

But this book, 100 Fun and Easy Learning Games for Kids, is exactly the kind of thing I would have EATEN up when they were little. My friend, Kim Vij of The Educator’s Spin on It, is one of the authors, and she did an amazing job. The book is beautiful, y’all. And the games are truly so simple and creative and are perfect for keeping brains alive in the summer time!

I flipped through and immediately knew which activity I wanted to share with you.

We are so excited that we have two new cousins whom we met over the Memorial Day weekend! My cousin and his wife adopted the sweetest kids. They are aged three and seven. (Just the right ages for this book!)

Family Word Puzzle Learning Activity

The Family Word Puzzle activity was perfect to make for our new family members. I printed photos of the other five cousins and created puzzles with their names. They took home a fun game to play while they’re apart, and they can practice spelling with the names of their new best friends! Seriously, these new cousins fit so beautifully into our family.

Awesome idea, ridiculously easy to put together using scrapbook paper I was never going to actually scrapbook with, and fun enough to make the eyes of everyone at the lakehouse light up? That’s what I call success.

I gave the colorful, fun book to their mama to take home!

Check out Kim’s book on Amazon (through my affiliate link, of course). If your kids are older like mine, this book would be a great gift for a mom of kids aged 3-7.

 

This activity from the book 100 FUN & EASY LEARNING GAMES FOR KIDS has been shared with permission from the publisher. I received a copy of the book.  

--Nony

Super Easy Christmas Craft – Miniature Wreaths

Super Easy Christmas Craft – Miniature Wreaths at ASlobComesClean.com

I heard of these years ago from another mom at my kids’ gymnastics class. She had older daughters and told about all the fun they had making these mini-wreaths to use as wrapping decorations.

That was before Pinterest was a thing, so I only have her to credit for the idea, and I don’t even remember her name.

But I’m sharing, because if you’re like me, you like Christmas crafts that are cute and easy and cheap.

And these are all of those.

Super Easy Christmas Craft – Miniature Wreaths plastic rings at ASlobComesClean.com

Supplies:

The little plastic ring from a water or soda bottle. It’s kind of hard to get off, but if you can get your fingernail between the ring and the bottle, run it around and the plastic ring will eventually twist off. (Don’t use a knife with a point or any sharpness. That might sound like a good idea, but it isn’t. Really. Ask me how I know.)

Red ribbon

Green pipe cleaners. (These are sold in bags for .97 at Walmart unless someone rudely bought every green pipe cleaner bag in your town. If they did, the bigger bag with some green in it is still less than 3.00.)

Instructions:

Wrap a pipe cleaner around the ring. Trim off the excess.

Super Easy Christmas Craft – Miniature Wreaths plastic rings at ASlobComesClean.com

Use a chopstick to tie a teeny-tiny bow with the red ribbon, and hot glue the ribbon onto the wreath.

Super Easy Christmas Craft – Miniature Wreaths final at ASlobComesClean.com

Yay for easy Christmas crafts!

Here are more ideas for you:

 

Super Easy Christmas Craft – Miniature Wreaths pin at ASlobComesClean.com

--Nony

Super Easy (and Awesome) April Fool’s Day Dinner Prank

April Fool's Day Prank Dinner Menu at ASlobComesClean.com

Last year, for the very first time ever, I thought about making a Prank Dinner BEFORE April 2nd.

Go me!

I posted pictures on Facebook, and the response was great, though it was tinged with a little “Ummmm, thanks for the idea NOW THAT IT’S TOO LATE!”

So here I am, remembering to post it at the very end of March.

Again, go me.

Credit (and affiliate link) must go to FamilyFun Magazine, where I saw the peas and carrots idea years ago. I googled ideas last year, and saw general ones, but then made up my own versions of everything.

I started the meal by declaring that we were going to eat dessert first. The family was thrilled at this idea.

For dessert, we had cupcakes.

April Fool's Meatloaf Cupcake at ASlobComesClean.com

Meatloaf cupcakes.

You can use your favorite meatloaf or mini-meatloaf recipe. My husband claims he despises meatloaf (and I’d say the same), so I just made up a meatloaf-ish recipe. I added bread crumbs, seasoning, an egg, and grated cheese to ground beef and shaped it into meatballs. Then, I made instant mashed potatoes, colored them with green food coloring, and snipped the corner off of a ziploc bag so I could “frost” the tops of the cupcakes after they came out of the oven.

Things I’ll do differently this year (now that this is a tradition instead of a prank): I will bake the meatloaf cupcakes without the cupcake liners and then transfer them into the liners. There was quite a bit of grease, so this will allow me to lift them out of the grease and into a clean liner.

Then, we had our veggies:

April Fool's Veggies made from Starburst and Laffy Taffy at ASlobComesClean.com

They looked pretty realistic. My family was totally fooled. The main problem was that there were SO FEW! This was the “dish” that took the longest. A VERY long time. Longer than I expected.

I used orange Starburst candy and green Laffy Taffy. The Starbursts I cut with a sharp knife into four pieces each. I put the Laffy Taffy in the microwave for five to ten seconds and then cut off pieces to roll into peas. That was harder than it sounds.

My family was totally enthralled with this meal at this point. They had LOVED the meatloaf/mashed potato cupcakes. When they found out that the vegetables were actually candy, they cheered. I was a hero.

Best. Mom. Ever.

And then, for dessert, we had chicken nuggets.

Chicken Nuggets for April Fool's Day made from Bananas at ASlobComesClean.com

I’d looked up ideas that were fairly complicated, but then realized I could simply put graham crackers in the food processor and then dip banana slices in the crumbs.

Don’t those look amazingly like chicken nuggets? They really do.

They look TOO much like chicken nuggets.

Even though I was a hero for all my tricky food up to this point, my children were HORRIFIED that these were not “real” chicken nuggets. My daughter (7 at the time), was especially upset. In fact, she cried. Bawled. Hysterically.

Her disappointment was heartbreaking.

Evidently, I NEVER ever serve chicken nuggets. Ever. She was giddy with happiness through the first part of the meal, partly because of her creative mother, but mostly because she was thrilled at the thought of having chicken nuggets. At home. For dinner!

When they weren’t actually chicken nuggets (duh!), she was devastated.

Kind of ruined the mood, honestly.

FYI, I did buy some popcorn chicken and served it the next week.

What stunts have you pulled for April Fool’s Day at your house?

 

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--Nony

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