Valentine’s Day crafts

Valentine’s Day is next week and we’re getting our craft supplies out and ready for some good stuff! We like these kid-friendly craft ideas to celebrate February 14th. These would be fun to do with the family or as a classroom party activity!
















Fruit Loop Bird Feeder by Sweet and Simple Living










Paper Heart Wreath by Play for a Day












Thumbprint Heart Bookmark by Crafts for all Seasons

And for a sweet little treat to get you through all these projects…













Sprinkle Oreo Pops by Catch My Party

Happy Valentine’s Day to our Freckle friends!

And of course, we recommend using our personalized valentine’s day coloring pages located here free coloring pages. Just put in the names of the children and print them now.


Family Resolutions for the New Year


Are you busy thinking of personal resolutions to make before the clock strikes midnight? We like the idea of setting goals as a family and working on them together throughout the year. Here are some ideas to bring your family closer together in the New Year!

Home-cooked family dinners. Schedules can make it tough, but commit to dinner as a family at least a few times a week. A home-cooked meal is cheaper than going out and allows you to make healthier food for everyone. Win-win!

Plan activity days. It can be a bike ride to a coffee shop, a scenic hike or just a walk through the neighborhood, so long as you get moving. Get everyone up and out for a game of soccer or touch football this weekend and share some time together.

Group Chores. That blanket of leaves will be more fun to tackle with a group, don’t ya think? Give the kids rakes and see who can make the biggest pile — and maybe jump in them when you’re done! You can even assign one chore to everyone, do them at the same time and then go out for a bike ride after. Frecklebox Chore Charts can help keep the family on their toes, too!

Be a green family. Have your family pledge to recycle and use reusable grocery bags as much as possible. Check with your city or county to make sure you’re recycling everything you can.

Read together. If your kids are too old for a story before bedtime, take turns reading from an all ages chapter book like Harry Potter and let everyone get involved.

No matter how you choose to start out 2015, we wish you a bright and happy New Year!


Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

Personalized coloring pages from Frecklebox are free and a great way to keep the kids table happy on Thanksgiving!

Get these fun pages in three easy steps:
1. Personalize with your little cutie’s name
2. Download the file
3. Print at home

Print out one for each of your little guests and they will have a party favor to take home!

T1 T2


When should you step in?

School just started and your child is already having an issue with another kid. Bullying, teasing, harassing — call it what you like, it’s someone being mean. Is your philosophy to step in right away or wait to see if the problem works out on its own? It’s tough to know when to get involved, but positive communication is a good place to start.






Communicate with your kids. Talk about bullying before it happens. Your child might fear retribution if they “tattle”, so keeping quiet could be their solution and make matters worse. Restore confidence by offering helpful solutions and tactfully stepping in further, if necessary.

Tolerance is key. Remind kids to be understanding and accepting of everyone. The kid at school who doesn’t wear the right clothes or act a certain way doesn’t make them inferior. Kids learn by watching us, so set a good example and be kind to everyone who crosses your path.

Quality time. Spend some alone time with your child if you think they might need to open up to you. They could be worried about discussing their issue in front of the whole family, but would feel more comfortable one-on-one. A little support can go a long way.

Second set of eyes. If your child is being bothered at school, ask a teacher or counselor to keep an eye out during the day. Kids feel better knowing a trusted adult is watching out for them and they don’t have to go it alone.

Here are a few good resources to help parents deal with bullying:

What parents can do from the National Crime Prevention Council

How to talk about bullying from Stop Bullying

Helping bullied kids from Help Guide

Respect and acceptance are essential habits in life. Being different is what makes the world go ’round!


First Day of School Jitters

easing back to school jitters









The first day of school can be stressful for kids of any age. Whether it’s the first day of kindergarten or senior year of high school, kids can be anxious about the first day of the school year. This could be amplified if they are going to a new school this year. Here are a few tips to help ease the transition from summer to school with ease.

Set schedules and stick to them. It will put your child’s mind at ease to get into a routine, including times to go to bed and waking up in the morning.

Get school supplies and clothes organized before the first day. It’ll be easier on busy mornings if you or the kids aren’t running around looking for things.

Be more available the first week or two. Your child might need some extra attention or help with homework when school begins. They’ll feel at ease knowing you’re there for support.

Plan a special activity or trip before summer ends. Kids will remember the great time they had being with you at summer’s end, hopefully easing the transition of going back to school.

Purchase a special item or outfit for the first day. Your child will feel extra special in their new clothes or with their new lunch box that first day!

We wish everyone a great first day of school — kids and parents alike!



Are your kids eating the rainbow?

Back to school is a great time to get kids to eat better. Introducing new foods (especially vegetables) can be a struggle, as we know kids can be picky. Let the kids pick out produce at the market or serve their rainbow in creative ways. If they can follow your lead, kids will want to dive in and try new things. We’ve got some fun ideas to get you started. It’s easier than you think!

Rainbow Pasta Lunch from Bent on Better Lunches

Rainbow pasta









A cute chart for your kids to track their rainbow from Today I Ate a Rainbow

Today I tried









Rainbow Fruit Skewers with Yogurt Dip from Skinny Taste

Fruit skewers












Better Bytes newsletter from Whole Kids Foundation

Whole Kids eat a rainbow


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!