Making Easter Special For Kids

Making Easter Special For Kids

I have to say Easter is one of my favorite holidays. Of course there is the important religious aspect, but even if you are not particularly religious I feel that Easter can still be a time for taking a moment to pause and reflect on the symbolism of new beginnings, hope and miracles. I’m also all about the cultural aspect of Easter celebrations and the start of spring along with bunnies, flowers, and baby chicks. And there are so many fun family Easter events and activities to partake in, which is of course right up my alley because I love celebrating every holiday in a big way and making it fun and memorable for my kids.

img_8752img_8778

Color Easter Eggs: We always spend an afternoon coloring Easter eggs – because it isn’t Easter without it! We usually just use simple store kits, but they do have some really pretty options these days (I really love the metallic ones). You can also just use food coloring as well. And these are so “extra” but I really want these darling aprons for the kids!

Make Easter Cookies: We make and decorate frosted sugar cookies for several holidays throughout the year. It has become tradition to make our themed cookies and we always have so much fun sitting down together as a family and decorating them.

Visit the Easter Bunny for Pictures: I always joke that the mall Easter bunny looks a little creepy and strange, but it has become a fun tradition to dress the boys in cute spring shirts and go see the bunny for photos.

img_9064

Go on a Easter Egg Hunt: We always attend at least one community egg hunt in the days leading up to Easter (last year we went to an evening glow in the dark one which was really fun!), as well as have our own small egg hunt at home on Easter. When we first started having our own little egg hunt, I didn’t think the kids would be super excited about it and did it more as an activity to keep them busy during the day. However it has become a must do as Cole will literally start talking about it weeks before the holiday and making sure we will have one. And on Easter he will ask all morning long about how soon we can have our egg hunt – so needless to say it has been a hit. At our house the Easter bunny brings baskets in the morning, and mom and dad set up the egg hunt in the afternoon. I also spotted this Easter Egg Hunt Sign Kit the other day and it is soooo cute. I really want to get it!

img_8997

Easter Baskets: Of course Easter isn’t complete without Easter baskets! The bunny always drops them off at our house very early, so the kid’s baskets are waiting for them first thing in the morning! With the weather warming up, I like having things in their baskets that get them outside as well as practical things they can use into summer. This year I found so many ridiculously adorable things in the Target $5 and under section! Things like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, kites, gardening supplies, pool toys/swimsuits, and a few treats are perfect basket fillers.

Bunny Plates // Carrot Napkins // Bunny Cupsimg_9082

A fun breakfast: I like setting up a cute, festive tablescape and adding a little craft or something the kids can work on at the table. There are so many cute Easter breakfast ideas on Pinterest, but if you are strapped for time (or don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen if you are making Easter dinner too), a make ahead breakfast casserole you can simply pop in the oven is a great option. Also just decorating a simple bowl of oatmeal or making a bunny pancake is another fun option. I also like this springtime waffle bar idea or even just dyeing pancakes pastel colors would be cute! Last year I served these Peeps fruit skewers at dinner, but they would be cute at breakfast too.

Watch a fun show: To get the kids to settle down after the morning excitement & pass the time until dinner, we like watching a spring or Easter themed movie or show. My boys just recently watched Watership Down on Netflix (they loved it!) and this would be a great Easter Day watch. A Charlie Brown Easter is a classic, and we also really enjoyed Hop last year! This year I’m thinking that we may watch Peter Rabbit.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetimg_9081img_9075

Dinner as a family: We used to go out for brunch, but after several years of feeling that it was a bit of a hassle trying to get dressed up and drag the kids out, we started staying home and we have found it to be a lot more fun and relaxing. I always cook a big meal (I personally love a traditional ham!) and sitting down to dinner together with my family. While we aren’t regular churchgoers, we still observe the religious aspect of the holiday and talk to the kids about why we celebrate Easter. My husbands father’s family was Jewish, so we also like to talk about Passover so they can understand a bit about their family background and beliefs! I always use my mother-in-law’s vintage Pottery Barn spring plates – with the bunnies and flowers they are just perfect, and of course sentimental as well.

Wishing you and yours a blessed and happy Easter!Signature

Making St. Patrick’s Day Fun For Kids

Making St. Patrick’s Day Fun For Kids

(Last year’s St Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Trap and treasure hunt)

I grew up in a very small, predominantly Irish Catholic community, so as you can imagine St. Patricks day was a BIG deal. The weekend of festivities was one of the big highlights of the year for the 1,500 residents in our town, and as a young child I remember being so excited about all of the fun activities to look forward to. We had a parade, sheepdog trials, lots of good food, and various performances. I remember one year when I was about 8 or 9, I was part of a square dance group where we got to dress up and perform (I remember being super excited about that big green twirly skirt).

Now living in Boise, most of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration festivities are directed towards adults, so there isn’t much for families. But since St. Patricks holds a lot of sentimentality and tradition for me (and thanks to a friend recently encouraging me to dig a bit into my family history where I discovered I have a ton of Irish ancestry!), I really like celebrating the holiday with my kids and teaching them about the history of it. And of course creating a little magic! Here’s some of the things that have become tradition for our family in celebrating the day:

Make a Leprechaun Trap

StPatsDayPlaceSetting2019.5

A few weeks before the big day, Cole will start thinking about the design and start building his Leprechaun Trap. He gets so excited at the prospect of possibly catching one and it is a fun craft activity for a lazy weekend or afternoon. Pinterest has tons of cute ideas for creating one (also lots of ideas here)! We were really excited this year, so we’ve already finished ours (pictured!) and we are hoping this is the year we finally catch one! Having Leprechauns make a little mischief at your house can be a fun St Patrick’s surprise too!

Treasure Hunt For Gold

We haven’t been successful in catching a Leprechaun yet, but each year those mischievous little men will leave the kids a set of clues to go find their own pot of gold (chocolate coins)! Of course you can create your own clues, but Pinterest makes it simple with tons of free printable ones as well.

Tablescape and Breakfast

StPatsDayPlaceSetting2019.2StPatsDayPlaceSetting2019.1

Placemat // Napkins // Forks // Pot // Chocolate Coins // Milk Bottle // Straws // Banner

img_2003

Green pancakes and milk are such a fun way to start the day but you can also make it super, duper simple and have a bowl of lucky charms & some green fruit. I like to set the table with some fun touches like a St Patrick’s Day placemat and napkins/straws.

Traditional Meal

One of my favorite traditional Irish meals is Cottage Pie (basically it is Shepard’s Pie but with beef instead of lamb). I make this nearly every year for the holiday and it is a delicious comfort food dish. I think it would also be fun to make traditional soda bread and have the kids help as it is so simple, and also a fun educational dish in teaching kids about the origin of it.

Green Treats

StPatsDayPlaceSetting2019.6

Shamrock cookie cutter // Gold Sprinkles // Shamrock Sprinkles

There are so many fun options for green food on Pinterest, especially desserts! (Tons of food ideas here) We also like making and decorating shamrock shaped sugar cookies with green frosting and “gold” sprinkles.

Educational Activity

Activity sheets and/or reading a St Patrick’s day book are fun activities that will also teach kids a bit about St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland. I found some free educational and activity sheets for my kids here. And if you are lucky, your local community may have some fun events or a parade to attend as well!

Wear Green

The easiest way to celebrate, and of course necessary if you don’t want to get pinched!

Signature

Celebrating Valentine’s Day as a Family

Valentine’s Day is a week away, and today I’m sharing how we choose to celebrate the day! My husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day as a couple (I feel like it’s a bit cheesy) but I do admit I kind of enjoy embracing the kitsch and celebrating it as a family. I tend to go a bit overboard on celebrating most holidays, but I like to keep Valentines to a minimum with a fun homemade dinner for the family & a simple gift for each of the kids.

I typically get the kids each a little basket and fill it with some inexpensive toys and a few treats. Matchbox cars, small packages of legos, mini boxes of chocolates & candies, glow sticks, playing cards, bath bombs, small books, & miniature stuffies are all a few ideas for simple, budget friendly basket fillers. I will often grab the kids each a Valentine’s Day balloon to tie to their basket to complete it! (The dollar store is a great place to grab balloons)

Heart basket, Mini chocolate box, Book, Heart box, Puppy with purse, Bath bombs, Legos, Hot wheels, Glow stick, Silly book, Cupid farts candy, Best son ever sketchbook (best daughter ever book), Playing cards

Heart shaped pizza is a classic Valentines Day dinner that is so simple to make with refrigerated dough! (I buy it from Trader Joe’s) The hubs and I love a good bbq chicken pizza, and for the kids you can amp up the valentines theme with some heart shaped pepperoni! Heart shaped pasta noodles, or even pink-dyed noodles would be cute as well. For dessert, I love making a chocolate fondue (pot and recipe) with lots of different dipping items like berries (especially strawberries!), marshmallows, and mini-brownies and/or cookies.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?!

Signature