Monday, June 26, 2017

Camping with Kiddos

From the vast amount of gear that they seem to need to the swirl of "what if" questions, camping with kiddos is not for the faint at heart.  After sharing my experiences in person and on internet forums, I decided it was time for another camping with kids blog post.  Last year's post was about getting kids mentally prepared for camping.  This year, I want to focus on the actual event.


Because we usually camp in the mountains, we pack clothes for cold and hot weather: sweatshirts and shorts, swimsuits and coats, flip flops and rainboots, plus pjs.  It's a lot of gear, but there are few things worse than being cold and wet.  I usually bring a laundry basket to throw dirty clothes in or to collect stuff from around the campsite at night.

Each kid would probably appreciate their own camp chair and their own sleeping bag.  We bring a queen-sized air mattress for the kids and pile them on it.  I'm sure they could sleep on the ground, but I think this keeps them warmer.

Safety First

Probably the biggest concern for parents who want to bring kids camping is safety.  We have five rules that my kids (ages 5, 4, and 3) can recite.

1- No Playing with Fire (don't put stuff in or take stuff out)
2-  Stay with the Grown Ups (wherever the adults are is where the kids should be)
3- No Going in the Road
4- Only go to the Bathroom with Adults from our Campsite
5- Ask before going in Tents

We set the camp chairs around the fire, and the kids are supposed to stay behind the chairs.  If adults are sitting around the campfire, then the kids can get help to sit in their own seats.  We're constantly reminding the kids that fire is dangerous.

Embrace the Classics

Camp food doesn't have to be only hot dogs and s'mores, but kids love them!  Carry on traditions from your own growing up, add some new ones, and make some family memories.

An easy way to clean up sticky kids is to give them a bath.  Water can be heated over the fire for a "spit" bath or can be added to cold water in a plastic tote to make a soaking tub.  Or, you can take a tip from the developing world and fill a plastic jug or tote in the morning and leave it in the sun all day to warm up.  After dinner and s'mores, wash up the young ones, and dress them in diapers and pjs.  Then, the kids aren't allowed to touch the ground until morning (wink).

Expect Fun

Camping is supposed to be fun!  We love to bring trucks and digging tools for the beach and campsite.  Glow sticks are also a must for us.  Older kids love to play with the light (try a capture the flag game or take pictures of the glow).  Younger kids can use the glow sticks as "light sabers" to fight shadows or as a nightlight in the dark tent.  Group games like Bocce Ball are great for family fun, and we always have lots of table games (cards, board games, etc) and coloring to do at the picnic table.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A to Z Play Dough Ideas










(wild toob)

(cause I couldn't stop)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Beach Food

These are the foods we ate on our Moana road trip to the beach!


Shark Tooth Bowls
- Ritz mini peanut sandwich crackers
- shark tooth candy necklace (here)

Other Theme Snacks
- mini coconuts (roasted chickpeas)
- Moana Mix (tropical dried fruits)
- surprise eggs (easter eggs with candy)
- Tamatoa gold (cheese cubes)
- salted meat (jerky)
- boat snacks (applesauce pouches)
- sea coral (grape swords)
- seashells (bugle chips)


We decided that we wanted to pack our lunches for this trip to give us the most flexibility in where we ate.  I packed our meals in 3-section plastic containers by Ziplock.  The containers sealed up very well, and the kids were able to get the lids off themselves.

Shells (Wed)
- shell pasta salad
- grapes
- shark teeth cheese
- octopus candy (here)

Sea Star (Thurs)
- PBJ star shaped sandwich (star cutter)
- blueberry ocean
- sea urchin chips (poppables)
- star veggies (veggie cutters)

Maui (Fri)
- fish (round bread, round cheese, heart cut outs)
- fish crackers
- fish candy
- carrot coral

Beach (Sat)
- seaweed spirls (roll ups sandwiches)
- veggie swords
- b.e.a.c.h cheese (mini cutters)
- fruit

Moana (Sun)
- flower PBJ
- tropical fruits (veggie cutters)
- Ti Fiti broccoli mountain
- Tamatoa gold cheese cubes
- M.o.a.n.a cut out of cheese

{Lunch Pinspiration}

Blueberry Ocean Box

Island Lunch


Fish and Flipflops

Recommended Products

Thursday, June 15, 2017

20+ Ideas for Learning with Safari Toobs

One of my favorite things to do on Pinterest is browse for Safari Ltd Toob ideas.  I love toobs!  They're compact, diverse, and detailed.  It's easy to collect all of them and their size make them easy to store (1).  I love making matching cards for them (2), and we use them in homeschooling almost every week.  Now that I'm an official #HowiSafari campaign blogger, I'm always looking for more reasons to use my favorite product.

One of my most popular blog posts is the one I did a year ago talking about ways to use toobs for learning (3).  This post is an update of that one- hopefully with more "pin-able" graphics.  I'm mainly going to be linking other people's ideas in this post.  To access my Safari Toob ideas and printables, click on the "safari ltd toobs" menu button on the top of the page.  And, now, let's get started.

Sensory Bins






Pin It for Later!

My Blog Posts
1- Organizing Toobs and Sensory Bins
2- Montessori-Inspired 3-Part Cards for Toobs
3- Learning Opportunities with Toobs