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Playing with marbles over other toys seems like choosing rice over filet mignon. Or easy listening over Jay Z. Or snow angels over slopestyle.
Today’s video restores our interest in the simple spheres. We’ve got a trio of ways to use them that you’ve probably never considered: a game, an art project, and a maze. All are easy to construct and keep kids entertained for hours.
We know this because our young model, Scarlet, kept on rolling long after the camera stopped.
She could have chosen anything else.
For more fun ways to spend time with your children, check out our easy instructions for making a family tree or crafting stamps from produce.
Even with fancy apps and filters, it can take up to 30 attempts to get one Instagram-worthy shot of the kids. (There just isn’t a shutter speed fast enough for some wiggle worms.)
The point-and-shoot advice in today’s video will save you time and gigabytes. From incorporating props to opting for less posed moments, these tips get you so many good photos you’ll be dizzy when it’s time to send holiday cards again. They even tell you the best time of day to start clicking.
That’s something to like.
For lots more tips, go to clickinmoms.com. Want more Kodak moments? Learn to make mornings more fun, get out of a PB&J rut, and create a family tree.
Photo: Courtesy of Clickin Moms
Feels like just a minute ago it was 2011.
Time flies when you’re having babies, er, fun. In today’s video, we show you how to make the beginning of 2014 a standout good time with three kid-friendly party ideas: a festive hat, a confetti launcher, and a fizzy cranberry-lemonade punch.
All are easy (you probably have most of what you need around the house), and none takes more than ten minutes to make.
Since time is always ticking.
It’s easy for littles to lose track of what’s important when Monster High and Ugglys dolls are in their sights.
Restore their sense of gratitude this holiday by assembling a care package for those less fortunate. In today’s video, we show you what to include (we called a bunch of homeless shelters to find out what they needed most), how to put it together, and where to take it in major U.S. cities.
Of course, we also urge you to remember those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Right now, monetary donations to American Red Cross, Oxfam, and ShelterBox are still the best way to help.
By teaching your kids the value of giving now, you ensure they keep doing it as they grow.
And that’s something to behold.
When it comes to being festive on October 31, we’ve all stretched out a cotton ball and called it a cobweb.
This Halloween, do something more inspired but just as kid friendly and simple: In today’s video, we show you how to make black roses out of crepe paper, felt bats, and shimmery spiderwebs. Your little ones can help with all three (anything to take their minds off the candy pile).
You might need to hit up the craft store for a few items; otherwise, no one project takes more than fifteen or twenty minutes from start to finish.
And they all beat lollipop ghosts every time.
For more fun, make costumes from makeup you already own.
Every time our kids put ink to paper, it’s hard to resist framing it. (“Yes, it’s a squiggle, but it kind of looks like an L, and she’ll never be a year and eight months again.”)
In today’s video, we have an art project you and your littles can do together — and loving the result won’t make you seem the least bit crazy.
You draw the outline of a tree; they supply the fingerprints (fall colors work best). You can stop there or you can write in family names to emphasize your sprout’s roots.
You know, if you’re the sentimental type.
Want more parenting tricks of the trade? Learn to get out of a PB&J rut or use cupcake wrappers in six unexpected ways.
Here’s the thing about lunch: It’s not breakfast (the most important meal of the day), it’s not dinner (the most important family time of the day), and five out of seven times it arrives in a brown paper bag. Bo-ring.
Make the midday meal fresh (and healthy) with a few simple tricks.
Keep an apple from turning brown by cutting it up and putting it back together with a rubber band (yes, it really works). Flatten a regular sandwich to roll and slice like sushi. Employ cookie cutters on the main course. And finish the meal with a special parent-approved treat.
We’ve got more parenting tricks of the trade. Learn to master the morning routine and turn a bored-nothing-to-do afternoon into a backyard wonderland.
Anyone who thinks it’s hard to keep up with the Kardashians has never parented a 4-year-old.
One minute she’s shooting down a slide, the next she’s crawling in the sand. Wait, did you see where she went?
But we’ve found a way to keep tabs on your littles at least for a while. Turn everyday flip-flops into an afternoon of fun by gluing foam cutouts in the shape of footprints to the bottoms of their shoes. Then let them run wild — stomping down the beach, making water prints on the driveway.
Leaving tracks wherever they go.
It’s warm out there. Break the heat wave with a backyard bubble party and a scavenger hunt on ice.
Sometimes in parenting you want need a no-fail, crowd-pleasing “Free Bird” moment.
We’re giving you three. Our DIY bubble party elevates the humble bubble to new levels. It doesn’t matter if you’re mixing it up on a front stoop or throwing down in the backyard — we promise your kids’ minds will be blown.
Odds are you have most of the materials on hand already: dish soap, water, a plastic water bottle, washcloth, rubber band, kiddie pool, and Hula-Hoop. Dress for slippery, wet fun.
They’ll beg for an encore.
Follow your bubble party with a backyard dream day and a DIY bird feeder.
In the spirit of full disclosure, we have a bit of a thing for Lisa Loeb. “Stay” is our go-to karaoke jam. We were frame junkies long before Warby Parker. And we embrace (and at the same time completely reject) our place in Generation X.
Which is why we geeked out when she visited our NYC office to perform from her latest kids’ book and album, Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ & Shakin’.
Since she rocked our world in 1994, Loeb has released eight albums, starred in two reality shows, launched an eyewear collection, founded a nonprofit, and become a mom.
Her latest fam-friendly effort combines tunes, activities, and a ten-song CD that are guaranteed to get you and your kiddies off the couch and dancing your pants off.
Who’s the slacker now?
Available at barnesandnoble.com, $15.
Photo: Stephania Stanley / DailyCandy