Category Archives: Just for Fun

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Top 5 Indoor Activities for Hyperactive Kids

By Andrea Gibbs

It’s no secret that winter is long, cold, and dark. So long that you may be feeling a bit at your wits end with all of the cabin fever and are desperate for something to do with your kids.

According to Baby Steps, Compulsively active kids need a lot of energy burned off. Sometimes it’s just too hot, too rainy, or too cold for outdoor activities. What do hyperactive children do when they’re stuck inside? Well, sit in front of the television all day? We’ll show you an array of indoor activities to keep your child entertained!

Photo by Daniel Jurin on Pexels.com

1. Play dress up 

Kids can have a lot of energy and may find sitting still problematic and frustrating. A way to help release that built-up energy is to play dress-up. Here are some ideas for playing dress-up with kids:

Put some clothes on the floor or a chair, close your eyes and then tell the kids to get dressed. When they are dressed, open your eyes and guess who is who. Sometimes you can get them to do funny poses for their photos.

Get the kids to dress up as their favorite storybook character – with lots of accessories! Then act out the story.

<p class="has-drop-cap has-vivid-purple-color has-text-color" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">2. Make hand-print art2. Make hand-print art

Photo by Andrew Burns on Pexels.com

It is not only a fun way for your kids to get some exercise doing something that’s all about touching and moving their fingers, but it can also be an excellent way for you to teach them about their body parts – like the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders they use when creating these prints.

You’ll need:

  • Printable hand-print art template
  • Construction paper in various colors, or plain white paper for painting later on.
  • Sharpie for writing on the hand-print template
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors, sharp ones – just in case you have a craving to be a surgeon. They’re also helpful in cutting out letters, numbers, or shapes.
  • Construction paper in various colors, or plain white paper for painting later on. Sharpie for writing on the hand-print template Glue sticks Scissors, sharp ones – just if you have a craving to be a surgeon. They’re also helpful in cutting out letters, numbers, or shapes. How to make hand-print art:

Get your kids in a comfortable position and have them place their hands on the construction paper as you see pictured above. If they are four years old or younger, it’s best to have an adult do this with them – if they are over four, you can let them do it independently. Have the kids trace around their hands with a dark black Sharpie marker. 

Then have them trace over the outline of their hand to make a printable hand-print – follow the directions on the hand-print template and try to make their print as large as you can. It is a good time for you to talk with your child about all of the different parts of their body involved in making this print (the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, etc.) Encourage them to join the folds of their hand with the folds in the paper – this is called “blending” and makes a more fine print.

Once your kids are happy making prints, have them go over to their art table, and you can have them paint over their hand-prints. It will give them a chance to feel what it’s like to use different colors and glues.

3. Make an indoor path w/ foam blocks 

You will need duct tape, which you can use to stick the foam blocks together, creating a big path. You could also use paint and stencils to decorate the track making it even more fun. Please make sure you get different colors for the blocks so that they can tell who they are when they’re finished.

The next step is to lay the path wherever you want it but make sure it’s in a flat place. We used the kitchen floor because it was easy to clean and got rid of all extra tapes. It was a bit messy, but it was worth it!

Now your path is ready! You can stand in front of it and let everyone walk around it, or you could make it bigger by adding more blocks.

4. Make an indoor fort

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

It’s a bit cold outside to be building forts, but you can make the insides of your house the perfect setting for creative play.

For a musical fort, cut holes in the walls and windows of your bedroom or living room, then cover them with blankets, couch cushions, and pillows. When your child is in the fort, they can pretend they’re conducting an orchestra. For a blanket fort, place sheets over couches and blankets on tables to make a tent underneath.

As you’re making these forts, invite your child to create their imaginary worlds and characters. By making different worlds, it gives them a chance to use their imaginations.

5. Create a family tree 

Every family has a different story, and when you create a family tree with your kids, you can explore all the branches that make up your family’s tree. You may think this is something only adults want to do, but nothing could be further from the truth. Besides learning about where they came from, kids enjoy researching what their grandparents did before they were born and seeing how their lives are intertwined. So, why not begin the activity by starting your family tree that will turn into an album as your family continues to grow.

There is nothing more impressive than making your kids feel connected to all their ancestors; you can have them research information about where they live and who their ancestors are. When researching, children can read books, listen to CDs, and even YouTube videos on this subject. And when they are ready for a genealogy lesson, the Internet offers up endless information for free about origins.

Advantages of Keeping Your Child Entertained at Home?

There comes a time in every child’s life where they are bored. It is a usual part of growing up, but parents shouldn’t let their children suffer from boredom. Engaging your child in an entertaining activity can help you spend quality time with them, help them learn new skills, and even bond with them. 

Children can get bored quickly, and parents don’t want them to go off the deep end with their boredom. If you feel your child slowly loses interest because of boredom, try to find a way to entertain them for a while. You can play educational games, read an exciting book or even have them watch an entertaining movie.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Children may also get bored because of too much TV. While there are some great advantages of having a TV in your home, it can be more beneficial to have television out of reach. You don’t want to cut them off from the world completely, but you don’t like to offer up more screen time either. 

You can teach your children creative skills while you entertain them with games and activities that they will enjoy.

Not every kid is interested in playing an educational game with you, so there are some ways to pull them into learning. Please make it a competition between children and the consequences of losing can be something fun. You can play games like matching memory games or memory races. Even simple card games are fun because they teach children to be competitive and learn how to win and lose. You can also involve your child in more physical activities when they are bored.

As you can see, there are a lot of creative and fun things you can do with your kids indoors. Give them a chance to explore their imaginations and learn about different things that they never knew before. Let each of the activities run smoothly, and make sure you keep their attention. If your kids are having a good time, it’s easier for them to learn and grasp new concepts. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure they are safe and entertained while teaching them.

These ideas are just a tiny sample of what you can do indoors with kids this month. The possibilities for your kids indoors are endless; they don’t have to play inside just because it’s cold outside.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! If you have additional suggestions for hyperactive kids’ indoor activities, leave a comment below or send me a message at brigid@nannysavvy.com.

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Guest Post: 10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Kids’ Birthdays at Home

Celebrating a birthday at home can be a dream come true or a major let down. For most kids, an at-home birthday may seem boring, but with the right themes, decorations, and activities planned, you can create an at-home birthday experience your child will love and cherish for years to come! 

  1. Start the Parade!

If you’re stuck at home for your child’s birthday party, raising a rally and getting friends and neighbors involved will make your child feel special and really show just how much they are loved.  

  1. Crafting

If your child leans toward the artistic side of things, a craft party is a great way to let their creativity flow and get the fun going! Try making custom frames with their names on them, or provide decorations of their favorite show or animal. 

  1. Book/Journal Exchange

This is a great idea for kids with a love for reading! Your little bookworm will love a journal or book to read. Plus, it’s easy to get other kids involved! Have friends write short stories or do drawings that they want to share, so your child will always have something to remember this special birthday party by. 

  1. Scavenger Hunt

For the adventurer! A scavenger hunt is a fun, easy, and creative way to get the kids involved and working together. Whether it’s in your house or outside, a scavenger hunt is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday at home. The kids will entertain themselves, and you’ll have time to relax…but it’s more likely that you’ll have time to clean up after cake! 

  1. Camping in the Backyard

When nature calls, you answer! A backyard camping trip is a cheap and safer alternative to going into the woods for camping. A small backyard tent, a bonfire, and some s’mores are all you need to make this birthday a hit with your child! 

  1. Video Game Party

If your kid is hooked to the TV and loves gaming, give them exactly what they want–but just for today! A video game party is something kids can lose themselves in and do for hours. Plus, you may even have the opportunity to show them some classics like Super Mario Smash Bros and Sonic. 

  1. Bake Off

On your mark, get set, bake! Whether your child is ready for a real oven or still on the easy-bake, a bake-off is great for the baker at heart. All you need is some cake mix, frosting, and sprinkles. The kids will be able to go for hours and show off their skills all while learning something new! Plus, you won’t have to worry about dessert…well, maybe have some backups just in case. 

  1. Building Party

This one may be better suited for the older kids, but a building-themed celebration will give you and your child an experience you can enjoy together. Building a custom chair or even a simple table is a bonding experience you both will cherish, all while helping you and your child learn something new. 

  1. Spa Night

Sit back and relax! A spa night is an ideal way to spend a birthday, right? Even for kids, relaxation is a crucial part of the day. This is an easy and fun way to celebrate any child’s birthday and will leave them feeling like a pampered princess or prince. All you need is some nail polish, lotion, and cucumbers to turn your home into a place of rest and relaxation. 

  1. Fashion Show

Strike a pose! This is for the fashionista in your life. Set a runway, get some lights, and don’t be afraid to accessorize! Boas, gloves, tiaras, sunglasses, and jewelry are just some of the things you can get to help your child be the style icon you know they are! 

Don’t let your home limit you–a birthday is special no matter where you celebrate it. Just remember that a birthday party is supposed to be fun and the gifts aren’t nearly as important as the memories. 

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Are Professional Photos worth it?

Photography has come so far since we were children. The photos of my childhood are not few, but they are limited and curated in a way the photos of my own children are not. My parents might have taken shots when we were at the beach, or on Christmas day, or in the bath, just as I do now. Except I can take dozens and immediately view them and chose the best, or not and keep them all – too lazy to cull and too enamoured to delete. The cloud stores millions of photos of children, documenting their every move and every milestone.

Photo by Valeria Zoncoll on Unsplash

Yet, despite the ability to photograph our children ourselves with ever improving cameras in phones and at our fingertips, professional photography of babies and children is a booming business. A once virtually unheard of market, the newborn photo shoot is now almost ubiquitous. Parents can choose from a myriad of photographers and pay anywhere from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars to create and capture some newborn twee on film (Or not, as it were. In fact, the change from film to digital is partly responsible for the newborn shoot’s rise in popularity; now that photos of otherwise wrinkled and smudged babies fresh from birth can be smoothed and beautified on screen.).

Photo by Laura Garcia from Pexels

But is it worth it? For my first child I thought: no. For my second I decided I may as well (jealous spats in the future as one has photos in a nest and the other does not?). Obviously, I saved a lot of money the first time. But now I do have some special photos of my second baby (and the first as a toddler) that will be treasured, always. Of course, you can try and take some photos at home, and there are plenty of tips on how to get the best out of your child and save your money. But, there is clearly more to it than simply plonking your baby on a rug and snapping away.

Take a look at these newborn shoot ‘fails’ and try not to laugh out loud, I dare you!


A professional photographer should have skills you don’t, in the art of photography, in the knack of posing and settling babies, and in the tricks of editing. It’s tough wading through all the options and knowing who is best, so try and ask around and trust word of mouth and recommendations. Look at their portfolio and make sure the style suits you. Ask about their prices and have a clear budget set. Don’t be afraid to turn down an option that costs too much. There are plenty of photographers out there and there is bound to be one that fits your style and budget.

And if you decide to skip the professional photo shoot and do it yourself, please laugh out loud if it all goes wrong. The photos of us as babies likely weren’t styled, or edited, or planned, and we all turned out fine!

Share your newborn photo shoot story with us in the comments!

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Guest Post: Best Holiday Gifts for Grandparents.

This week’s guest post is provided by Libby. As a 60-year-old grandparent of seven, Libby prides herself on successfully spoiling every child with minimal complaints from her daughter, son, and their respective spouses. Even with chronic back problems, she is determined to earn the title of “World’s Best Grandparent” and spends every afternoon loving on her kids’ kids, one child at a time. Libby created Grandparenting.info to share what she’s learned as a grandmom and to help new grandparents make the most of every second with their grandkids.

There’s no doubt that you love your grandparents, and this holiday season is a great time to show them just how much. When choosing a gift, you can make their day by getting them something they’ll truly cherish. They might be extra appreciative of gifts that they can use to make their lives easier or more comfortable, such as tools for their favorite hobbies or a senior-friendly phone. Here are some ideas.

Sentimental Gifts

Letting your grandparents know how much they mean to you is always appreciated. The holidays could be a great time to gift them some sentimental gifts that will remind them they’re always in your thoughts. According to Personal Creations, personalized gifts can hit the right spot. They can combine sentimentality with function or add a great aesthetic to a room. Your choices can include daily use items like clothes, bowls, mugs, and jars. Decorative gifts like photo albums, throws and pillows can really brighten your grandparents’ day. 

If your grandparents are like most, they like to talk about family and the great, big family tree. Why not get them a gift that will showcase these interconnections? Family tree frames can be used to house pictures of a family tree of varying sizes depending on how large you’d like to make it. You can even get creative and combine more than one of these frames. 

Tech-Based Gifts

Yes, it may seem that technology and older adults aren’t always a good match, but you might be surprised by the number of senior-friendly technology devices out there. According to Gear Brain, some tech gifts your grandparents might appreciate include robot cleaning devices and a truly simple Wi-Fi product that your grandparents can have set up in no time. If you always want to send pictures to them but they’re not that tech-savvy to use email, consider getting them digital photo frames that you can update with pictures at the touch of a button. 

If your grandparents need a new mobile phone, then consider checking out some flip phone options like the LG Exalt LTE or the Kyocera DuraXV LTE. Both of these phones work well for seniors, but the Kyocera phone is great for those who love the outdoors. Where tablets are concerned, you should definitely check out a few Samsung devices which feature large display screens and are easy to use.

Companionship Gifts

If your grandparents aren’t close by and you don’t get a lot of time to visit, it might be good to consider getting them a gift of companionship. There are numerous health benefits for older adults who have pets, but there are also quite a few responsibilities involved with taking care of an animal. In this case, it might be good to strike a happy medium where your grandparents get to interact with animals but aren’t completely responsible for their care. 

If your grandparents live in a location that is frequented by birds, then a good birdhouse might be just what they need. When it comes to birdhouses, Gardener’s Supply Company suggests paying attention to the material that it’s made of and where you intend to place it. Make sure to find a birdhouse that is the right size for the kind of birds you expect to visit. A recent companion invention may also be of interest as a gift. The companion pet is a robotic pet that behaves very much like a cat or dog, but your grandparents won’t need to clean up any messes or make visits to the vet. 

Hobby-Friendly Gifts

Depending on your grandparents’ activity level, they may have certain hobbies they enjoy, so you can get them gifts that support that. For older adults who love fishing, you can choose from gifts that match their level of expertise. Whether your loved ones are just starting out or have been doing it for a while, you can definitely find gifts that can help them enjoy their hobby even more. 

If your grandparents are more sedentary and have a knack for knitting, then how about getting them some tools for their craft? They may appreciate items like knitting needles, storage tote bags, and a yarn ball winder. Finally, for the gardener in your midst, they may be interested in trying out bonsai trees. If they have the patience for growing the trees from scratch, consider getting a good starter kit. Otherwise, you can get them a bonsai tree seedling that they can start tending to immediately. 

The gift options for older adults have broadened over the years, and you can pick out quite a few gifts that would mean a lot to your grandparents. You can get them sentimental gifts that will keep their memories close at hand or get them technology-based gifts that they’ll find easy to use. Whatever you choose, your grandparents will certainly be appreciative that you put so much thought into it.

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How many presents ?

How many presents do you buy for your kids at Christmas?

In my family, amongst my friends, between the parents I speak to online, there are very different approaches to Christmas presents. Some people buy a lot, some buy little. Some place a lot of emphasis on Santa’s gifts, some less, some not at all. Everyone wants their kids to have an amazing Christmas experience, and all the kids get exactly that! But which approach to gift giving is best? Which suits you and your family?

  • How much to spend?
  • How many gifts to give?
  • More presents or bigger presents?
  • Who gets the credit, parents or Santa?
  • How to make sure the kids appreciate their gifts?

How much to spend?

How long is a piece of string? This really is a circular question. Family finances are so different that measuring your spend against another can never be helpful. Different incomes, different budgets, different priorities make this an impossible comparison and one that can only make you feel bad. Bad you aren’t spending enough or bad you’ve spent too much. Or you feel smug you’ve done just the right thing and then you should feel bad for feeling smug.

The main thing is to spend what you can afford only. Going into debt or having to cut back too much to afford a lot of presents isn’t going to pay dividends. Your kids may love those toys but soon they’ll want to go on fun outings you can’t afford or need new shoes you can’t buy and the toys won’t make up for it.

How many gifts to give?

This is where you can save money when you have little ones. They won’t know how much things cost so if you want to give a lot, go for lots of cheap gifts rather than one or two expensive ones. If you have more than one child make sure they have the same number as they’ll probably compare. Even if you spent more on one child they are more likely to see the fairness in how many gifts they can count. But giving too many gifts can make the opening become a factory line and the shine of getting a gift can be rubbed away. Too many presents and you run the risk of an ungrateful child who keeps expecting more and more. Plus there’s only so much they can focus on and some of the toys are likely to gather dust, at least for a while. Where’s the sweet spot? That’s up to you, of course, but just remember not to compare to the other parents! There’s always someone giving a number wildly different to you and making you second guess your decision.

Bigger is better?

There are some big items that are often given as Christmas gifts. I mean large! Like cubby houses, trampolines, swing sets, play kitchens, bikes….. This big presents often come with a price tag to match and can be an excellent option for a group gift, to all the kids/all the family (maybe not the bike!)

Large toys can be impressive and give a lot of bang for their buck as they aren’t always matched by their price. Young children, just as they will see a lot of toys as a big haul, are likely to see Big toys as impressive. A large cheap toy might create more excitement than an expensive small one. But the long term value is worth considering, if the cheap toy becomes just more for the toy box and eventually landfill. Small toys can be used to fill a stocking. Little hands reaching in again and again to reveal yet more tiny wonders might create more joy. How big is your home? I know I think hard about just where I will keep each item once it’s a part of our lives and homes before I buy it. If you can’t think of an obvious place to keep it, maybe it’s something best to avoid!

Who gave the best gift, you or Santa?

This one really gets the mums groups to disagree. On the one side is the argument that Santa is magical and special and kids should believe the best comes from that magical place while they still can. On the other hand is the position that parents put in all the hard work so they should get the credit and appreciation they deserve. Also to take into consideration is that the biggest and best present means very different things to different families. Some have hardly anything or nothing to spend on Christmas and some have limitless funds and means. If Santa is attributed with the most extravagant present, yet this varies from one child to the next, will the children see this and feel like Santa has been unfair or doesn’t care as much for some children? This a very personal question and your family dynamics and the personality of your child will sway the decision. How likely are your kids to discuss their gifts with other children? Some countries have school close to Christmas and some do not, does this affect the likelihood of comparison discussions? Do your children appreciate you usually or do you feel they need to see how you work hard to get them the things they have? Is the magic of Santa especially important to you and to them?

How much will they appreciate their presents?

We all want to give our kids what they want, but we try to give them what they need as well. And maybe sometimes they need to appreciate what they’ve been given a bit more? I know my toddler can begin to expect gifts around present giving time. For a month after his birthday he would come home from daycare asking, “Have you got a present for me?” There were even tears sometimes when the answer was no. I think the toddler may be old enough to begin learning about giving his toys to those who haven’t as many. This year I’d like to have him pick something new to give to a children’s Christmas gift program and also to agree to pass on some of his own toys. Getting him involved in choosing and wrapping gifts for other family members also makes sure he understands that presents are a two way street and to help him grow his own joy in giving.

How do you and your family approach presents for your kids?

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