January 17, 2020

Easy Valentine Idea – You are a Beary Good Friend (Haribo Gummi Bears)

Gummy-Bear-Valentine-idea-HariboCheck out this pin and other Valentine ideas on my Valentine’s Pinterest board!

These Haribo Gold-Bears Minis, 54-Count are currently around $12.69 on Amazon. It’s a good quality candy, tastes great, isn’t going to break someone’s teeth – and seriously, who doesn’t like gummy bears?

So I ordered a box of Haribo Gold-Bears Minis and they came in the mail two days later. I tossed one of them into a plastic bag from the Dollar Tree (40 for $1), tossed in some bulk candy from Winco and slapped a label on the top. Tada! We have a Valentine.


What you need:

  • Haribo Gold-Bears Minis, 54-Count – as low as $0.23 cents each
  • Bulk candy – you can use bulk gummi bears, too (check Winco for great prices) – about $.50 cents – $1
  • Plastic, clear loot bag, small – 40 for $1 at Dollar Tree, less than 3 cents each
  • White paper, color printer to print labels (or make your own!)

How to make it:

  • Get all your supplies together
  • Fill loot bag with a little bit of bulk candy or other treats. The Dollar Tree has some great stickers, pencils and other inexpensive toys.
  • Add a package of mini Haribo Gold Bears – make sure it’s facing upward.
  • Fold top done and tuck corners in – almost like you’re wrapping a present. Staple closed
  • Print out your notes. I printed mine on full size labels (since we had them laying around, but card stock or regular paper will work fine). Depending on your printer, you can print one, then take it to an office store and get color copies, might be cheaper – save your ink for the coupons!
  • Have your kids write their names on the notes.
  • Then affix the note to the top of the gift bag. I cut a large piece above the label, so I just folded it over the back side and as a label it easily stuck together. You could staple it if you used card stock.

Here’s a FREE printable for you. Click to enlarge. Hopefully you can scale it on your computer. I’ve never done a “printable” before.


This would work for teachers too – You are a Beary Good Teacher! or I am beary lucky to have you as my teacher!

Please PIN this idea if you like it! What kind of Valentines will you be doing this year?


Check out this idea for Marshmallow Valentines – easy, easy – and fun to make.

March 17, 2017

35 Fancy and Fun Easter Egg Dyeing Ideas

Easter is coming up soon! What’s your favorite way of coloring Easter eggs? If you’re looking to get away from the traditional color tablet kits, we’ve found 35 unique and fun ways to dye your Easter eggs this year.

Here’s what we found:

Need a cute snack for Easter, or maybe to accompany your Easter decorating? We’ve detailed six cute Spring and Easter cupcakes here.

November 3, 2016

24 Books of Christmas Advent Calendar – A book a day!

24 Books of Christmas - Advent Calendar - Great idea for small kids. Each night read a different Christmas book together as a family.

Add it to your Christmas Pinterest board here!

If you’re looking for a frugal, long-lasting advent calendar, let me recommend the 24 books of Christmas Advent calendar. My friend DeAnn told me about this a couple years and we’ve been doing ever since! I love that it’s family activity – we take turns opening a different book, each night, and we read the story together as a family. . . usually in the glow of the Christmas tree.


  • As many as 24 Christmas books (they don’t have to be new, I wrap up a lot of the same books every year!)
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Tape/scissors
  • Paper for labels

Basic Instructions

  1. Wrap up 24 of your favorite Christmas books
  2. Label them 1 through 24.
  3. Each night have kids take turns opening a book. You will open #24 on December 1, with 24 days until Christmas. I save The Night Before Christmas for Christmas Eve!!
  4. Read the book as a family each night
  5. You’ll open #1 on Christmas Eve! I saved The Night Before Christmas for that night!


More tips for creating your Christmas Advent Calendar

  • The first night, I had a *new* Christmas book for each kid. Just to start off with a fun treat.
  • If you don’t have 24 books, just wrap up the Christmas books you have! For example, if you only have 12 books, just open a new book every other day.
  • The books don’t have to be new! We’ve picked up many books at thrift shops over the years!
  • Midway through the month, I wrapped up some Christmas workbooks that I found at the Dollar Tree, they include stickers and activities. One for each kid.
  • You can label them or leave them all unlabeled and let the kids pick!

I’d love to hear – do you have a favorite Advent calendar tradition? 

October 16, 2016

Halloween Trick-or-Treat – Hand-shaped Treat Bags

Halloween-trick-or-treat-bags-plastic-glovesPin it!

My mom loves Halloween. So when she was going to be town the week before Halloween she insisted on bringing supplies for these Halloween Hand Treat Bags. Who am I to pass up someone else paying for Halloween trick-or-treat supplies? I said sure, whatever you’d like. . ..

I have to hand it to her. They are sort of cute.


They are really easy – basically she bought a box of vinyl gloves (non-powder, not latex) and she filled them with candy and tied them off. Specifically she used Sixlets and Tootsie Rolls for the “fingers” (you can also use Smarties) and then bulk and bagged individually wrapped candy from WinCo to fill the palm area.

And they were so easy, my kids helped her make them!

For a little something extra she put a plastic Halloween ring on one of the fingers.

So I guess this is what we’re giving out at our place, thanks to my mom. I was going to stick to toothpaste (joking).

Do you have any fun trick-or-treat ideas? Do you do goody bags like this for your kids class? 

February 5, 2015

Easy Valentine Idea – Marshmallow Valentines, like Cupid’s arrow

Easy Valentine Marshmallow Ideaclick here to REPIN

Posted last year, I loved them so much I thought I’d bring these back again.

These Marshmallow Valentine’s are so easy and so customizable you can take the idea and run with it. Between white chocolate, milk chocolate, colored marshmallows, big marshmallows, sprinkle varieties, gummie candies and more – the possibilities are endless!


  • Marshmallows – I had regular ole white marshmallows, but you could get the new bigger sized ones – that would be fun! And I know they come in lots of colors.
  • Gummy candies – Optional. On some I added a gummy above the marshmallow.
  • Some kind of stick. I used BBQ skewers, trimmed to the right length. You can also use cupcake toppers. I found them at the Dollar Tree.
  • White Chocolate – Or milk or dark chocolate. See I told you this was flexible.
  • Sprinkles. Any kind.
  • Cellophane – I used a little baggies, found at Dollar Tree 40 for $1, but you could cut it to size off a roll, and do it that way, too.



1.) Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke it until it starts to soften. Stir about every 20-30 seconds. You don’t want it to burn.

2.) Place your desired candies or marshmallows on the stick

3.) Dip bottom half of marshmallow into chocolate.

4.) Hold marshmallow over another bowl and pour sprinkles over warm chocolate as you turn it.

5.) Place on wax or parchment paper while it hardens.

6.) Wrap in cellophane, add a ribbon and a note.

It’s that easy! You can do a million different styles or colors. Try finding a store with bulk candies like Winco – that’s where I found the gummy hearts.

I like these Valentines because the kids can help. They won’t necessarily be the prettiest – but really, they can dip and add sprinkles. Then they can make a homemade note to attach. Or attach a commercial boxed Valentine – whatever you like!


Head over and check out my Valentine idea with Haribo Gummi Bears!

I can’t take credit for this cute idea – head over to The Sweet Life to see her variation.


Looking for more inspiration? Check out my Valentine’s Pinterest board! 

March 25, 2013

Felted Eggs. How to make felted eggs. They are cute, in an ugly sorta way.


Felted Egg Craft

I found this craft idea in a recent Family Fun magazine and thought I’d give it a try. I don’t get super excited about the cutsie, tootsie Easter decorations. But thought the felted eggs in the magazine were kinda charming. So I thought I’d give it a try. . . they turned out cute, in an earthy, awkward way. 🙂 If I had more “springy colors” perhaps they would have turned out better.

Don’t be too hard on yourself with this craft – from what I could tell it’s tricky to be detail-oriented! My Type-A personality was cringing as I tried to make the eggs look a specific way. Just have fun with it.


Plastic eggs – Hopefully you have some already, I did.

Wool roving – I found it in small bags at Michael’s for $2.25. I used a 20% off coupon to pay under $2 each, but I bought a lot more than I needed. Family Fun estimates 1/8 oz will cover each egg.

Nylons – I bought a pair of knee-high hose at Rite Aid for $0.50 cents

Electrical tape – Hopefully you have some around, but if not, Lowes has it for as low as $0.97 a roll.

Optional – 100% Wool yarn. I didn’t use this, but I guess you can use it for more detailed work?


1.) Use electrical tape to seal the eggs.

2.) Pull the wool roving apart and wrap the wool around the egg. Trying to keep it pulled tightly. Wrap other colors around. It’s good to have some colors going perpendicular as they seem to stick better. Use enough to cover the eggs. If you have 100% wool yarn you can use it also – perhaps to do more detailed work. It ain’t pretty.

3.) Take a nylon legging and carefully put the egg inside the legging. Be careful that the wool roving doesn’t move around. I found the easiest way to do this is to hold the egg in your hand tightly to put in legging.

4.) If you are doing more than one egg, twist the nylon and separate eggs with twist ties. I tied the nylons and used rubberbands.

5.) Take your nylon full of wool eggs and throw it into washer – wash on hot. Then throw into dryer and dry on hot. This process shrinks the wool around the egg. They should be done!

6.) Cut open nylon and remove eggs!


I think if I had some light blues, pinks and lavenders they might look more “Easter-ish” but Michael’s was out of those colors when we went. I love the look of wool and I’m fascinated at the idea of felting things, but haven’t really explored it much.

I found this idea in the latest issue of Family Fun magazine! It was originally posted in April 2012 – but I wanted to share it again!

Have you worked with wool roving before? Do you have an Easter craft you want to share?

February 7, 2013

McDonald’s Valentine Friend Pack – $1, includes 12 free coupons


At participating McDonald’s restaurants you can buy a Valentine Friend Pack for only $1. It includes 12 coupons for FREE items! You can give them as Valentine’s or use them yourself.

Here’s what’s included:

  • FREE bag of apple slices (3 of these)
  • FREE Apple Juice or White Milk (3 of these)
  • FREE Small Vanilla Cone (3 of these)
  • FREE Hamburger (3 of these)

Fine print: Coupons are a valid 2/14/13 thru 5/29/13 – valid only at participating US McDonald’s restaurants. Limit one coupon per person per visit. Redeemable by children ages 12 and under. Not valid with any other discount, offer, coupon or combo meal. Plus some other minor fine print. These may not be available at all locations – call ahead if that’s your only reason for stopping by. 

So you pay $1 and you get 12 free items – the hard thing is not to order other items when you go to redeem your coupons. Since it’s one coupon per person per visit, that could be tricky!

If you’re looking for other creative Valentines – check out these earlier posts:

Marshmallow-Valentine-Stick-How-To  Gummy-Bear-Valentine-idea-Haribo

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November 21, 2012

Make your own Mayflower – Rubbermaid tote, duct tape, a mast, and an oar

Here’s a last minute project you can do for Thanksgiving to entertain the children while all the adults are in a turkey coma. It’s not going to win any classy Pinterest awards, but it’s effective and easy to make.

  • Dig out the biggest Rubbermaid tote you can find
  • Take an empty wrapping paper tube and duct tape a poster board mast or cardboard mast to it (have kids decorate the masts)
  • Duct tape the mast to the front of the rubbermaid tote
  • Make an oar out of another wrapping paper tube, cardboard or use a small broom

My photo isn’t perfect, but I can tell you the kids LOVED this. If you have the really big totes they can fit two 4- or 5-year olds inside at a time. I bet you can make this much cuter with a little effort.

You can also make up a mock Thanksgiving table for the kids using play food.

Hope this helps add some fun and entertainment to your place this Thanksgiving weekend!

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