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Back To School

We know it’s mid-summer and you’re busy with vacations and general running around, but we’re already thinking about Back To School! Now is a great time to come up with fresh lunch ideas, stock up on clothes and school supplies, and get organized. Maybe even start some new traditions that will make going back to school less stressful for everyone. Who wouldn’t like that?

Fun Lunch Ideas from Very Culinary

Lunch Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crayon Organizer from Sugar Bee Crafts

Crayon Organizer

 

Back To School Traditions by The Pleasantest Thing

Back to school traditions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easing Back Into The Routine by Spoonful

10 Ways to Make Back to School Easier on Mom_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And don’t forget to order your personalized back to school essentials from Frecklebox! We’ve added two new school savvy collections, The Prep and Too Cool For School. Both collections are perfect for tweens and are available in binders, folders and notebooks. Happy back to school shopping!

The Prep by Simon+Kabuki at Frecklebox

Too Cool For School

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First In Show Collection by Sweet Elsie

Frecklebox is proud to announce a new collection — First In Show by Sweet Elsie. Artist and Illustrator Rachel Place has done it again with super cute designs featuring horses! The collection includes a journal, lunchbox, puzzle and stickers. This sweet collection makes perfect gifts for the kids in your life that love horses and ponies. Order now before the Back To School rush starts!

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Journal

 

 

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Lunch Box

 

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Puzzle 

 

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Stickers

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World Cup Fever

Has your family been watching the 2014 World Cup this year? Ours sure has! The games have been really exciting and it’s a great time to gather everyone to root for your favorite team. There’s a lot of buzz right now around the US team playing Belgium today (1:00 pm, PST) for a chance to move on to the Quarter Finals. We all love watching our favorite players work their magic and winning for our country!

Check out these World Cup links:

Why soccer players walk out with kids from ABC News

The Story of the World Cup by Richard Brassey

World Cup player stops to tie shoe for boy on crutches from Huffington Post

Plus, we made a special World Cup coloring page just for the occasion!

World Cup coloring page

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Independence Day

Happy 4th of July

July 4th is right around the corner and we’re all geared up for the festivities! And since the holiday is on a Friday this year, there’s 3 days to celebrate Independence Day. That means 3 times the food, crafts and all around fun!

July 4th food

Here are some yummy recipes for your 4th of July BBQ:

Chicken Fajita Kebabs from Serious Eats

BBQ Glazed Grilled Corn from Delish

Big Al’s KC Bar-B-Q Sauce from allrecipes

Red, White & Blue Berry Water by evite

Summer Fruit Tart by Glorious Treats

 

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And try these fun July 4th crafts with the kids:

DIY Eraser-Stamped 4th of July Shirt by Cutesy Crafts

Patriotic Fingerprint Flag Card by All Kids Network

Star Spangled Wavers by Spoonful

Free Personalized Coloring Pages by Frecklebox

 

Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend, Freckle friends!

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Five tips for getting kids to help out around the house

Amy McCready

Amy McCready

Amy McCready, Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc., recently sent out a list of great ways to get kinds involved with chores at home. Here are Amy’s thoughts on getting kids to help out around the house.

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Does getting your kids to help out around the house feel like –well, a chore? Here are a few quick tips to motivate your kids to pitch in:

1. Call it a contribution.
Do you know the difference between a chore and a contribution? It’s the difference it makes to someone else. Calling it a “chore” makes it sound like a burden, while calling it a “family contribution” empowers kids. It reminds everyone that the duties of running a house smoothly belong to everyone, since everyone enjoys the privileges.

2. Show your appreciation.
Let your kids know the impact of their actions and what it means to you. No one likes unloading the dishwasher or dusting the living room, but when your kids know their efforts make a difference, they recognize they’re making a meaningful contribution and perceive the tasks in a different light. That means fewer power struggles and better cooperation from your kids.

3. Let them see the results.
Explain how your kids’ contributions help the family. “You really helped all of us tonight when you cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. That gave us extra time for our bike ride.” Through family contributions, each child will gain a sense of personal significance, as well as a feeling of belonging to a social group—namely, your family.

4. Skip the rewards.
Don’t hinge your kids’ allowance on the completion of household tasks or use other rewards to motivate them – that sets the expectation that they should be paid for things that should be family responsibilities. Be clear that these tasks are something we do because everyone contributes to the family.

5. Include everyone.
Even toddlers can do simple tasks, like passing out napkins at dinner time or making sure the playroom is picked up. It’s important to show each member of the family that their contributions matter.

When kids see that everyone in the family needs to pitch in, they recognize the importance of the tasks they’re asked to do. That builds confidence and increases cooperation, and helps create a smoothly running household!

Thanks Amy! We’re excited to try these at home.

We’re also fans of Frecklebox Chore Charts to keep track of weekly duties at home!

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Summer Reading

What are your kids doing this summer? Spending time at the local pool or riding their bikes through the neighborhood? Eyes glued to a video game screen? Visiting relatives on a vacation? Whatever your family has planned when school is out, summer is a great time for kids to read!

Many local libraries have reading programs designed to keep kids interested in reading all summer long. There are national summer reading programs, too. Scholastic.com has The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Kids can get reading lists and keep track of their progress online or through printouts provided by the site. The challenge ends on September 5th, giving kids plenty of time to start now.

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge provides:
– Summer Reading Challenge 101 for parents
– Reading lists for all ages
– Reading challenge activities
– Online log-ins
– Printable lists, tally sheets and review sheets

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

 

Association for Library Service  to Children (ALSC) has great summer reading lists for kids in kindergarten through the 8th grade. Just click on the appropriate grade link and print out the PDF list at home. Then just take it to the library or bookstore to pick out your books. Easy peasy!

ALSC Summer Reading List

I plan on reading a few books this summer and hope you and your kids do, too. Happy reading!

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Frecklebox Coloring Pages

Frecklebox coloring pages

Did you know Frecklebox has free personalized coloring pages for lots of holidays and occasions? They’re easy to download and print at home, not to mention are super fun!

Download our Father’s Day coloring page for the kids to color and present to dad on Sunday. He can proudly hang them on the fridge or take them to the office where he’ll see the kids’ creations every day.

Get started here and have fun!