Holiday kids’ gift craft-along November reminder

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

Hello friends!  I just wanted to pop in quickly today, in between bites of turkey and leftover pumpkin pie, to remind you that our very last Kids’ Gift Craft-along for 2012 will be on Sunday November 25th.

Are you working on handmade gifts this holiday season?  Whether you are doing a 100% handmade holiday, you adventurous soul you, or are making a few stocking stuffers, I’d love to see what you’ve been up to.

Did you guys happen to catch the post on my sister site Simple Homemade this week?  There’s a great round-up of super simple homemade gifts for kids.  

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How to encourage kids in their journal writing (plus a Gadanke giveaway!)

Written by guest contributor Katie Clemons of Making This Home.

When I was young, I dreamed of writing a fabulous journal that other kids would read at school some day. I’d curl up in whatever tight corner I could find, and I would write my legendary entry for the day with an erasable black pen.

Or at least I tried to write.

That blank notebook page hit me like a snowstorm in the South. I shut down. I didn’t know what to write. I had no idea how to document the things that made me feel alive or led me to jump out of bed in the morning. As a result, my journal pages became rambling bits of boring information or – and this was usually the case – the pages were left blank. The notebook went forgotten.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or an adult. Sometimes, journal writing is hard. Heck, a blank page can offer an intimidating experience for any type of writing.

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Holiday themed family movie night

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

Can you feel it?  That change in the air?  The darkness falls earlier, the temperature drops, and this mama hen likes nothing more than to gather up all of her chicks, tuck them under a blanket beside her on the sofa, and enjoy a quiet evening together.

Lately we”ve been enjoying holiday themed family movie nights. We pop some popcorn or bake some cookies, pour cocoa into our mugs, and the modern day Currier and Ives scene is set.

Tsh is talking about simple holiday traditions on Simple Mom today, and watching holiday movies together  is one of our traditions.

While not normally a big TV viewing family, during the holidays the television (and the sweets) monitoring gets a bit more relaxed and watching TV together actually becomes one of our favorite things to do together this time of year.

We pick  a movie from our collection or a holiday special we have marked on the calendar.  Something tells me we won”t be the only family snuggled up to view A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving this week and we”ll be watching our local coverage of the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree in downtown Indianapolis, too.

Here are a few that are in our holiday movie collection, along with a handful of fun and festive ideas to incorporate into your next holiday themed family movie night:

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Cultivating an attitude of gratitude at home

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings….” ~William Arthur Ward

Thanksgiving is just around the corner here in the United States. I love that this holiday serves as a reminder to pause and give thanks for the abundant blessings we have. However, the practice of gratitude should extend beyond November, don’t you agree?

I strive to weave appreciation, thankfulness, and acknowledgement into our family’s day to day life. Here are a few favorite ideas from our home, and I hope you’ll share your gratitude practices in the comments, as well. [Read more…]

Outdoor play idea and a new post-Halloween tradition: smashing pumpkins

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

This year our family started a new post-Halloween tradition:  pumpkin smashing.  Normally I might process the pumpkin and save it for pies and bread, but this year the pumpkins that we carved were a bit past their prime and starting to decay.

My husband and I thought breaking the pumpkins open so we could explore their insides would make an excellent learning and messy play activity for our family.  Any time we can all play outdoors and make a mess together is a good time for us!

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