Thanksgiving Word Search for Kids

Download your free Thanksgiving Word Search for kids. This is a fun word recognition activity for elementary school aged children.

thanksgiving word search

Hey friends, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Thanksgiving has always been a special time. First, my mom’s birthday almost always falls on the week of Thanksgiving, so it’s always super special. Secondly, as a child, I used to love to hear my grandfather’s stories about our own Apache heritage. We are prepping for Thanksgiving this week. I imagine this year, Thanksgiving will look different for many families. I’ve heard some cities are locking down again. If you are in one of those cities, I’m sorry. It’s very tough to be apart from families especially this time of year, especially after all we’ve done already this year. We are staying home and cooking for a few immediate family members.

Today, I’ve created something fun for your older elementary school kids. I’ve created a free Thanksgiving word search for kids. Who knows, maybe it will keep them busy long enough to butter rolls! I personally used to love word search games particularly as a kid. Who am I kidding? I still really love them. I always felt like it helped me with my dyslexia because it forced me to concentrate.

Benefits of Word Searches

Sometimes word searches can get a bad rap. They seem like they are just busywork, but the truth is, they have lots of benefits. Here are some of the perks to incorporating word searches into your child’s playtime or school time.

  • Word recognition – Word recognition is very easy for adults that have been reading for years and are familiar with recognizing words by just a glance. While such things are obvious to adults, it’s not to you our little ones. For the emergent reader, word searches require them to truly hone in on the letters that make up the word.
  • We visualize words as a picture – Word searches have a unique effect on our brain. When we search for a word in a word search, we continually picture the word in our mind, thus reinforcing the spelling and structure of the word. This, of course, improves memory.
  • Focus on letter combinations. It’s in our nature to look for parts of the word that are unique like ie, uo, ea, tr, etc. We tend to hunt for letter combinations in word searches. For example, in the word Thanksgiving we tend to look for the letter combination ‘TH’ and ‘NG.’
  • Spelling – This might seem obvious and that’s because it is. Word searches encourage spelling. When you word search, you will have to examine the maze of letters to find the letters that make up the word and you have to spell it in order to know if you have found the word correctly.
  • Improves Vocabulary – I like using word searches to help reinforce vocabulary words. You can make the word search for just about any subject. Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, etc.

My Word Search

I’ve created this word search with 25 different Thanksgiving-themed words. Have your child search for the words horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. To add an extra level of difficulty, the words can also appear forwards or backward. I’ve created the word search in a .pdf document. You will need Adobe Acrobat or some other pdf viewing software to view it. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free.

I love coming up with some of these fun games. I created a Halloween I Spy as well and I plan on making a fun Christmas version as well in the next coming weeks. Also, be sure to check out Snowy Village Christmas Game Bundle available in my shop here on the blog or in my ETSY shop.

Click on the button below to download your copy.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog before you leave.

How to Play Dirty Santa

Are you bored with traditional white elephant gift exchanges? Here is a new take an old favorite. Today I’m sharing a new way to spice up holidays gift exchanges with how to play Dirty Santa.

how to play dirty Santa
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All of us are familiar with white elephant gift exchanges. If you have ever been part of an office gift exchange chances are you have done white elephant. As much as we all love gift-giving, most of us haven’t won the lottery recently. A white elephant type of exchange is a great way to involve lots of people in gift exchanging with everyone making a modest contribution and therefore not breaking the bank.

In fact, that’s part of why I decided to share this in a blog post this year. COVID-19 has hit lots of people financially this year. In years past, some of my extended family drew names for a gift exchange instead of buying everyone a gift. But I found that it ended up being lack-luster. For example, lots of people just bought $25 gift cards and that’s exactly what it felt like. A group of people passing the same $25 around. Boring!!

Why not turn it into a fun game instead. Today, I’m going to share with you a fun way to turn humdrum white elephant gift exchanges into something more fun. Dirty Santa, White Elephant and Yankee Swap are all very similar in nature. First, I’m going to give you the basic rules. Then I am going to give you some fun variations to mix it up.

How to Play Dirty Santa

Rule 1: Decide on a Dollar Amount

This is totally up to the people involved, but you will need to decide on a dollar amount. It’s hard to find decent presents under $10 or $15, but if you are giving to office co-workers, that might be the perfect amount. If you are giving to close family members, you might consider a higher dollar amount like $50 or even $100. Just make sure there is no pressure and everyone is in agreement. You also want to discuss whether or not gag gifts will be allowed. This should be absolutely clear to everyone. I’ve heard heartbreaking stories of people who were upset when they bought a thoughtful gift and got a ridiculous gag gift like a bar of soap! So just make sure everyone agrees on whether to include comical gifts or not.

Rule 2: Make Wrapping a Big Deal

To add a little extra flavor to the experience, go all out on wrapping. Go festive with big bows or festive elements. If you have a very small item, perhaps you wrap it in a large box or an unusual container. I’ve heard of some people that get silly and wrap the gift multiple times so the recipient has to unwrap it again and again. There are lots of ways to make the wrapping entertaining to onlookers.

Rule 3: Place Gifts

You will need to place gifts in full view of all the guests so they can select from the pile. Any surface will do so long as it’s clean and everyone can access it when it is their turn to pick a gift.

Rule 3: Draw Numbers

Count the number of participants and write the numbers on little slips of paper. For example, for fifteen participants you’d write numbers one through fifteen. Fold the papers to obscure the number, then place the papers in a container. Then every person will draw a number from the container.

Rule 4: Gift Picking and Stealing

Starting with whoever drew number one, that person will pick any gift from the pile. They will open it in front of everyone. Then the gift picking will move to the number two person. That person can either pick a new gift to unwrap from the table or they can steal the unwrapped gift. If they select a new gift to unwrap, they cannot steal. The playing moves down the line chronologically and every player can steal any one of the previously unwrapped gifts or pick a new gift from the pile.

Some people like to make a rule that a particular gift cannot be stolen more than two or three times. This rule is totally optional, but it totally stops coveted gifts from making too many rounds. If a player’s gift is stolen, they then get to pick another gift to unwrap or they too can steal one of the opened gifts. They just can’t steal their own back. This continues until all players have gifts. At the end of the gift picking, the person who was number one can choose to steal any of the gifts!

Variations of Dirty Santa

Scavenger Hunt

This particularly fun in an office setting. Everyone must start at the entrance of the building or home you are in. Instead of drawing names, hide all the presents, and have people search for them. Participants can swap once with each other once all the gifts are found, but that’s it.

Musical Chairs

Have all guests sit or stand in a circle. Have some holiday tunes ready. A gift is entered into the circle as music plays and continues being passed around until the music stops. Whoever is holding the gift when the music stops, gets the gift and leaves the circle. This process continues until everyone has received a gift. The last person in the circle can either steal any of the opened gifts or take the remaining unopened gift.

A Themed Gift

You can play this using the same rules as classic Dirty Santa or White Elephant, but the gifts purchased have a theme. Maybe its a DVD, a holiday ornament, homemade gifts, or regifts. Use your imagination!

Karaoke Edition

Have everyone include a tag on their gift that has a Christmas Carol title on it. You can do this with or without a karaoke machine. Guests get in line and take turns selecting gifts from the gift table. However, they must sing the carol written on the gift they select before they can open it.

Christmas Break Out Games

Make sure everyone is okay with this before purchasing gifts. But you can turn the gifts into prizes and instead allow guests to win them in simple Christmas games or minute-to-win-it games. In fact, I’ve created some printable Christmas party games that you can purchase below. You can also set aside a few gifts for consolation prizes and set a rule that guests can play the games all they want, but can only win one gift.

Gift Ideas

For a full list of gift ideas, you can check out my blog post

However, here is a small list of ideas. If you are playing with both men and women, you’ll want to aim for unisex gifts. These are gifts that can be used or appeal to both. Here are some quick ideas all under $25.

So now you know how to play Dirty Santa also known as White elephant and hopefully I’ve given you some additional ideas on how to switch things up. Full confession – I normally dislike gag gifts. If you’ve received and loved a gag gift, let me know in the comments. Happy Holidays!

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Family Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Coronavirus has changed the way holidays look. So today I’m sharing a fun Halloween activity that you can do and still socially distance. Download your free printable family Halloween scavenger hunt.

Happy Halloween friends! We have had our first serious cold front here in Texas where I live and it is awesome! I love sweater weather so much. Most of the time our Halloween in Texas is pretty warm still so I’m excited about this cold weather. Lots of people are altering how they do holidays this year. COVID has just totally turned our world upside down. Since we live one of the largest cities in the U.S. , we are seeing some escalation again.

If you want to do something fun that doesn’t require you to be exposed to a bunch of strangers, I think scavenger hunts are really fun. If you have a neighborhood that goes out all for Halloween, then take things outside for more fun. Otherwise, you can do this in your own yard or house. I’ve created a fun family Halloween scavenger hunt that you can print out and do at home. But first, let’s talk about some fun things you can do this Halloween (or should we call it Corona-ween) and still maintain distance from others.

Social Distancing Halloween Activities

Close But Apart Trick-or-Treating

Originally, I heard some people talking on social media about just leaving a bowl of candy on the porch for people to help themselves. This sounds like a great idea, but I know lots of people who have done this before pre-Corona for one reason or another and had horrible experiences. Some people, when left to their own devices, pour the whole bowl into their Halloween sacks. You see this kind of footage taped by RING cameras all the time. I’ve even seen parents doing it! Ugh! It’s sad that people do this, but people do!

So instead, set up a small table, bench or some other surface on your driveway or lawn. Then you can stand on your porch or near your door and monitor and great people like you normally would but at a safe distance. You can even put the candy in Ziplocks or treat baggies so everyone gets their fair share.

Also before you leave, don’t forget to download my fun Halloween I Spy game. You can do this cute activity inside while they eat their candy. Happy Halloween friends! Be safe. Before you leave, don’t forget to subscribe for future posts and subscriber-only goodies.

Family Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Candy Egg Hunt

If you’ve got some extra Easter eggs kicking around a closet, pull them out and fill them with candy just like you would do at Easter. Scatter them in your yard and let your kids find them. You could also have a glow in the dark version by covering the eggs in glow-in-the-dark paint. Additionally, you could also just put lots of glowsticks near the hidden egg areas.

Halloween Photo Backdrop

You can create a Halloween photo backdrop on your garage or the side of your house and allow others to come and take pictures against it. This way you can join in with all the Halloween fun, but you aren’t having to hand out anything. No contact! Of course, you can always leave a bowl of treats out next to it if you want.

Halloween Car Parade

You can organize it with your neighborhood, but everyone can give their cars a spooky makeover. Then a designated driver from each family can join in the caravan while the rest of the family gathers on the driveway or lawn to watch the haunted motorcade go by.

Skeleton Scavenger Hunt

This is a slightly different take on the printable scavenger hunt idea. This would probably be more fun with older kids or adults. Buy several of the full skeleton decorations found in stores. Disassemble the bones if needed. Scatter them over your house and or yard. Either individually or in teams, have participants find all the bones to complete their skeleton.

Family Halloween Scavenger Hunt

That brings us to my fun family Halloween scavenger hunt. Now, if you have a fun neighborhood that goes all out for Halloween, I say, take the scavenger outside and see what you can find. Additionally, you could always do a car version of the scavenger where you drive around neighborhood streets and try to spot these things.

But I think the easiest thing is to do the scavenger hunt in your house or at least around your property. One fun way to do it is to print out a scavenger hunt and give a copy to every participant. Select a place to be the finish line. To make it fun, have the participants start in different areas. First one to the finish line with all the items found, wins.

I hope you have a safe and happy Halloween. I’d love it if we became friends and you subscribed to my blog. I promise I don’t email too often and I send fun free stuff once a month. Thanks for reading!

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Halloween I Spy Printable

Are your kids bored this week? Download my free Halloween I Spy Printable for a for spooky Halloween activity that’s fun for all ages.

Halloween I Spy Printable

Hey Friends! We are in October and here in my house we are wondering how things will be different in 2020. This year, lots of things have looked differently. This year, we did all of our birthday parties on Zoom and we even had drive by parties. My husband and I have had to get pretty creative on how we can keep the kids entertained.

Personally, I’ve been creating lots of printables to keep my kids busy. Things that are low cost and certainly things that kill their boredom while social distancing. You see, I know many people have returned to relatively normal lives, but since we help my elderly parents, we are still strictly quarantining. I keep telling myself one day this will be all over!

So, I decided to create a fun Halloween I spy printable to add to our homeschooling activities. My kids love I spy games and they are so fun to do. But they are more than just fun, they are actually educational. So why are I spy games good for kids, you ask.

The Benefits of I Spy Games

It Builds Memory Skills

Memory games and I Spy games help your child fine-tune their photographic memory. When children search for the image in the maze of other pictures, they must use their visual memory to find the picture. Using I Spy activities really strengthens your child’s memory. This is essential for growing children. It can be really frustrating when children disobey us. But as a mom of two, I’ve learned that many times my kids don’t mean to disobey, they simply forget. Little ones still have budding brains and it has become really apparent to me as I’ve homeschooled that children really need memory training.

It Improves Focus

Children have to focus when they do an I spy game. Nearly all young children struggle with concentration and focus. That’s why training their minds to focus through games is so helpful. To them it is just play or a fun activity, but ultimately you are trying to get them used to focusing so it can carry over into school work and other life skills.

They Can Improve Counting Skills

Some I spy games, like the Halloween I Spy printable I’ve created for you, asks children to find the picture multiple times. This forces children to keep count. When you complete the I spy printable, have your child make tally marks as they find the picture.

It Enhances Visual Discrimination

I can recall when I started to teach my children colors. We did lots of color sorts. I’d give my child math counters of different colors and they would have to sort it into the coordinating colored bowl. Why? Because sorting helps your child not only decide what color it is, it helps them figure out what color it is not. The same is true for I spy. As your child sorts through the jumbled pictures, your child will have to hone in on the discrepancies, differences, and similarities between the pictures and ultimately decide if the picture is the same they are searching for or not. Your child will have to use visual discrimination to determine the differences.

How to Use The Halloween I Spy Printable

The printable is a US letter-sized document. I’ve made it into a PDF document you can download. You’ll need Adobe Acrobat or some other PDF viewing software. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free here.

I’ve purposely made the pictures black and white. First, so that the images are harder to find. Secondly, so that your child can color them in when they find them. He or she can also put an “x” over the image if they’d rather not color. If it’s easier for your child they can also put little tally marks in the answer key if they want.

Thanks for reading today. I hope that you and your family have a safe and Halloween. Be sure to subscribe to the blog before you leave for giveaways, free printables and subscriber-only goodies!

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12 Things You Can Do Right Now to Make Christmas Less Stressful

The Holidays don’t have to be chaotic. Do yourself a favor. Here are 12 things you can do right now to make Christmas less stressful.

12 things you can do right now to make Christmas less stressful

The holidays can immediately bring to mind cozy thoughts of flickering candles, the glow of Christmas trees and time with family. But for many the thought of the holidays can also bring thoughts of stress, anxiety, and busyness. It can be very stressful for lots of reasons. For some, seeing family is stressful because of family conflicts. For others, money woes and the pressure of gift-giving is overwhelming when you are struggling to make ends meet. Lots of people struggle with the feeling that there is so much to do in such a little time. Whatever the reason, here are 12 things you can do right now to make Christmas less stressful.

Make a Budget

Money is always tight around the holidays. Once I started working as a teenager, I started to buy my own Christmas gifts for family and friends. To this very day, I make a budget and I can’t tell you how much it helps. Deciding upfront how much I am willing to spend sets the tone for how and where I will shop. On my Etsy shop and in my blog shop here, I have a printable Christmas Planner that contains a budget worksheet and covers all holiday expenses – travel, decorations, food, entertainment, gift-giving, Christmas portraits, postage, etc. Sometimes we only think about the gift-giving expenses and we fail to account for other expenses. Doing that means that our overspending creeps up and puts a lot of unnecessary financial pressure on us.

Seeing the numbers on paper, helps you to visualize where your money is going and where you can cut. For example, in tough years, I cut back on extra gifts to neighbors, teachers, and hostess gifts. I began to also see that money was trickling out of our pockets for food and entertainment. So we came up with cheaper alternatives to still enjoy festive events.

The other purpose for creating a budget is so that you will see how much money you will need. Very few of us have the cash flow to drop thousands of dollars all at once at Christmas time. It is far less stressful if you begin saving now a little out of every paycheck now. Even if it is only a small amount, it will add up over the next three months. There are lots of things you can buy now, so you have less expenses in December. As a special gift for you today, I’ve created this gift-giving budget printable. Just list out all the people you are giving gifts to and budget an amount. Then update it with your actual expenditures.

Do a Gift Wrap Inventory

I have a confession. I love gift wrap. Like actual gift wrap. I hate using gift bags. I love wrapping presents in beautiful wrapping paper with big bows and gifts tags and tie-on-ornaments. That said, it means I have quite a big collection of wrapping paper, boxes, ribbon, and other things. I also have a closet where I keep it all organized. I know most people aren’t as neurotic as me. Normal people have three or four rolls of scotch tape kicking around various drawers, a few half-used rolls of wrapping paper laying in closets, and several sheets of gift labels with only three stickers left. I get it. However, I think lots of people underestimate how expensive wrapping materials are. I’m always shocked that wrapping paper can be around $5-7. A three-pack of Scotch tape is $4-5. Gift bags can be $3-6 each. It all adds up. Because many of us have these things tucked away in closets or scattered around the house, it’s easy to forget what we already have. We may also get ready to wrap at Christmastime and realize that the wrapping paper roll we had is crumpled and mostly unusable. That’s why one of the first things I do, is pull out all my gift wrap supplies and do an inventory. This way I use what I have and don’t overbuy. How many times have you bought something because you were unsure if you had it at home and didn’t want to make a trip back for it? Yup! I’ve done it too. In our uncertainty, we buy it out of convenience, but overspending is never convenient!

By the way, I made some FREE fun printable gift tags last year. You can print them out on your printer, hole punch and run some ribbon through them. You can use them year after year. I also have some FREE printable gift tags for teachers that you can attach to soaps and lotions. If you don’t have a gift wrap organizer, consider investing in one. They keep your wrapping supplies in good condition and make sure everything is in one place.

Create Your Christmas Card List

One thing you can do right now is update your address book for Christmas cards. Start reaching out to friends and family to see if addresses are still correct. Personally, I send handmade Christmas cards. In fact, this year marks twenty years of sending out homemade cards. It is a labor of love when you consider I send out about a hundred, plus I make some to sell in my Etsy shop. I start making them in September!

Perhaps you are lucky to just get ones from the store addressed and mailed. That’s okay! No matter what you send in the mail, it is special. That said, gathering addresses now makes things easier later. That way your ready to pop them in the mail as soon as you have them. If you want until December, you will find you will be waiting to hear back from people because they are busy too! Now is a great time to start gathering those things to make card-sending seamless later. You can also buy your postage now too. You don’t even have to run to the post office. USPS allows you to purchase your stamps online and they will send them to you in your mail. Sam’s Club also offers bulk USA forever stamps.

If you really want to get a head start on Christmas cards and you don’t plan on sending out a family photo card, you can even purchase digital Christmas cards. You download them, print them out either at home on your printer or send them to a print shop like FedEx, Staples, Office Max, etc and have them printed. I have several of them in my Etsy shop and they are completely editable. You can buy some envelopes and address them now so they are ready to go!

Christmas planner
My printable planner has a helpful Christmas card list to help get your organized

Gather Shipping Supplies

If you will be mailing packages out, now is a great time to get set up for easy shipping. If you have the space, consider saving boxes over the next few months so you don’t have to purchase them. I start saving small Amazon boxes in September for Christmas packages. This is also a good time to get tape, save paper or bubble wrap and other shipping supplies you may need.

Also, just so you know, you can also print out your own shipping labels from USPS. I invested in a small scale years ago. I plug in my package measurements and weight and print out shipping labels online without ever having to go to the post office. You can even schedule a porch pick-up so you aren’t running packages to the post office. Easy peasy!

Set Up a Christmas Planner

If you have followed this blog for any amount of time, you know how much I love planners! Sorry, not sorry, friends. I used to be a very unorganized person, but during my twenties, I had an appointment based job. This really forced me to use a planner and organize my time better. Now, I couldn’t live without one! I created a Christmas Planner to help me stay organized during the holidays. I offer it here on the blog and on my Etsy shop. It comes with 34 printables to track gifts, inventory supplies and decorations, and menu planning. It also contains a party planning worksheet, budget worksheet, expense tracker, online order tracker, Black Friday wishlist, undated calendars, travel itinerary, and more!

Best of all, I’ve included a seven-week Christmas countdown that tells you exactly what you need to do that week to stay on task and keep things running smoothly. I know you’ll love it. I personally use it to plan everything for the holidays. All the printables are undated so you can buy once and use it year after year.

I also recommend creating an envelope, pocket or folder to save all your receipts for both expense tracking and for returns. I do this every year and it makes it so much easier to have everything in one place.

Declutter

In Christmas of 2015, I was totally stressed out, One thing I had overlooked in preparing for Christmas was the space we would need. That year my oldest son was born and his birth brought in mountains of baby toys, books, clothes, and other things. It was his first Christmas so friends and family showered us with presents. Something I was very grateful for, but was overwhelmed by. It stressed me out to put things away only to find cramped closets and toy bins. Now I make decluttering part of my Christmas preparation. In September, I declutter closets and bedrooms. In October, I clean out the freezer and pantry to make room for all the holiday foods. Doing this ahead of time allows me to keep the house cleaner during the holidays because I have a place for everything. It also ensures I’m not overwhelmed after Christmas with all the new gifts.

Freezer Meals

The holidays always usher in busy evenings. There are school holiday programs, events and activities, get-togethers, and potlucks. That’s why one thing I do is prepare some freezer meals. Freezer meals are meals that you make ahead of time and pop in the oven when you are ready for it. It’s a much cheaper alternative to eating out when you are pressed for time. Casseroles are a great thing that typically warm up really well.

These are so easy to warm up even a husband can do it!

Take a look at some of these great posts for ideas:

If you don’t want to prep full meals another alternative it to chop and prep veggies and pre-marinate meats for cooking later.

Freeze Cookie Dough

Speaking of freezing, if you want you can also make various cookie doughs to freeze ahead of time. Sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies are just a few cookie doughs that can be frozen for months ahead of time. I normally make a few batches of cookie dough in October or early November and freeze it to make holiday baking easier in December. It is a big time-saver at Christmastime. Here is one of my favorite lists of make-ahead, freezable cookie doughs.

Christmas cookies

Shop for Holiday Outfits

Once, we near October, most stores begin to bring out holiday and stylish semi-formal attire. It doesn’t hurt to begin planning out the outfits you will need. Consider if you will be needing new clothes for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Will you be buying the kids or family matching pajamas? Consider if you will need outfits for holiday parties or for a holiday family photo shoot. Start browsing online for ideas, set a budget and if possible, go ahead and purchase the clothes to scratch this big time burglar ahead of time.

Book a Photographer

Now is also the time to start searching for a family photographer if you are doing family portraits this years. You may not be ready to book yet, and that’s okay, but it doesn’t hurt to start viewing portfolios and getting quotes. Some photographers get booked quickly, so it’s best to start looking into it early if you want to have the opportunity to pick a specific date. At the very least, even if you aren’t ready to firm up a date, you can get a quote so you can budget accordingly, but getting the leg work done early is a big help when the holidays hit.

Get a Head Start on Homemade Gifts

Homemade gifts are really nice to way a personal touch to the holidays. Even simple inexpensive items can become special when they become part of a fun gift basket. There are all kinds of things you can make and give for Christmas. In the past, I’ve made soaps, bath bombs, lemon and vanilla extract, coasters, and all kinds of other things. Homemade isn’t always cheaper. So make sure you you figure out how much gifts will cost before you commit to doing them. Here are a few fabulous lists of homemade gifts.

Start Shopping Now

It may surprise some people to learn that I start shopping as soon as October starts. It is so much easier on both your pocket book and stress levels if you spread out your Christmas buying over a few months. That’s why I start shopping for things now. As soon as October hits I take my Christmas list and divide into fifths, then I get started buying for everyone.

The holidays don’t have to be stressful. I think the most important thing is to pace yourself and start early so you give yourself plenty of time to complete all the necessary things.

Thanks so much for reading. In the comments below, I’d love to hear what you do to get organized for the holidays. I give away lots of things around the holidays and so before you leave, be sure to subscribe below.

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30 Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

Don’t want to fill your child’s Easter Basket with sugary candy? I’ve got 30 non-candy Easter Basket ideas just for you!

30 non candy Easter Basket ideas
Some of the links below are affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one of the links I provide, I may receive a small percentage at no cost to you.

Hey there, friends. Spring has arrived and Easter is right around the corner. We love doing Easter egg hunts for our kids while they are little. It’s so fun to watch them hunt and search for eggs.

I certainly allow my kids plenty of chocolates and candy. I even sneak a few Cadbury Eggs and Reece’s eggs for myself. I mean, there has to be some in perks in being a mom! Okay, so I’m not actually taking it out of their basket, I just make sure not to put the whole package in their baskets.

In fact, I try to keep most of the basket with fun activities and toys instead of just sweets. But remember you can always add non-sweet food like crackers, popcorn, goldfish, fruit and other things like that. Today, I’m sharing 30 non-candy Easter Basket ideas. In fact, there is no food at all in this list.

30 Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

  • Coloring Books
  • Crayons
  • Stickers
  • Bubbles
  • Easter storybook
  • Prayer Book
  • Children’s Bible
  • Windup Toys
  • Stuffed Animal
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  1. Playing Cards
  2. Balls
  3. Socks
  4. Jump Rope
  5. Flashlight
  1. Whistle
  2. Dominoes
  3. Watercolors
  4. Paintbrushes
  5. Bath Letters
  • Bubble Bath
  • Band-Aids
  • Color Bath Drops
  • Washi Tape
  • Diary, Journal, or Drawing Tablet
  • Sippy cups
  • Playdough / Silly putty
  • Movie / DVD
  • Lip Gloss / Chapstick
  • Bath Paints

I hope that helps you have an awesome Easter. Remember, there is no need to fill your child’s Easter Basket with junk. Less is more and stick to things that your child will actually use and enjoy. Don’t forget to check out my Spring Bucket List for fun Spring activities for you and your family! Happy Easter!

Valentine’s Day Bingo Game

Looking for a fun Valentine’s activity to do with your partner or kids? Well, download my FREE printable, Valentine’s Day Bingo Game.

Valentine's Day bingo game

I love Valentine’s Day. I know it doesn’t mean a lot to other people, but it has multiple meanings for me. Obviously, it’s a another reminder to celebrate my beautiful husband and our marriage. But now that I have kids, it is also fun to celebrate with them and make them feel loved.

I’ll be honest though. Getting out to have dinner, just me and my husband is hard. So, we’ve often included them in love day celebrations. If you and your family want to do that or if you just want something fun that is Valentine’s related, I know you’re gonna love my Valentine’s Day Bingo Game. That’s right, it’s FREE printable time again!

Using Valentine’s Day Bingo Game

I’ve created a game with six bingo cards, which are Valentine’s Day icons. Print them out using your home computer or at a local print shop like Office Max or Staples. If for some reason the edges are cut off by the printer, you may want to set your printer to “full bleed.”

Also, I’ve included the bingo cards you will call out. I love to use card markers that are holiday-themed too. Like we like to use conversation hearts. I just recommend not using chocolate because it will melt after a lot of handling. Hard candy is the way to go.

Valentine's Day bingo game

Playing Valentine’s Day Bingo Game

It’s hard for me to believe that there is someone out there who doesn’t know how to play bingo, but just in case, here are the rules to the beloved, timeless, game.

Each player receives a bingo card. One person is selected as the dealer. You can rotate this role to each player if you choose. The dealer, calls out the cards and if you have the icon on your bingo card, you can mark it.

You will decide before beginning what pattern will be considered a bingo. For example, you can play diagonal, horizontal, four corners, a full card, etc. You can choose to play for money (we love to use spare change) or play for prizes. You can also do one major prize at the end for whoever got the most bingos that night.

Before You Go

Thanks so much for downloading this fun game I made. Don’t forget to check out my other FREE printables before you go and also, don’t forget to PIN this post for later or share the link with a friend.

Christmas Movie Quote Gift Tags

I’ve got a Christmas gift for you. Download your FREE printable Christmas Movie Quote Gift Tags

christmas movie quote gift tags

One of my most favorite things to do during the holidays to curl up by the fire or in our media room with some steaming hot cocoa (I make an amazing one, get the recipe here) and a favorite holiday flick. This year, my kids are totally mesmerized by the Polar Express. Of course, I grew up in the Home Alone era, so that one will always be close to my heart as is the tear-jerking It’s A Wonderful Life.

Today, I’m sharing a FREE printable! Yay! I love wrapping gifts at Christmas. I know, I’m totally a weirdo. Don’t care. While many people dread gift wrapping as a chore, I love it! I throw some fun holiday tunes, bring out my huge collection of gift wrap and revel in making pretty packages with big, beautiful bows!

So this year, I created a cute printable with my two favorite holiday things to help you through the holiday season. I’ve made some Christmas movie quote gift tags. Just print them out and put on your Christmas packages. No need to run to the store and buy gift tags. Or you can save them for if you run out and need some in a pinch. No problem. Print, cut, hole punch and attach with your favorite string or ribbon.

Featured Movies

How to Use Your Christmas Movie Quote Gift Tags

Time needed: 10 minutes.

  1. Download your Christmas gift tags

    You will need Adobe Acrobat or other PDF reading software to do it. You can download Adobe Acrobat for free here.

  2. Print Tags

    For best result, print on white photo paper and allow time to dry

  3. Cut, hole punch and tie ribbon

    Or may choose to tape to your gift.

From my family to yours, I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a wonderful 2020. Before you leave, sneak a peek at my other FREE printables here. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

25 Christmas Journal Prompts

Christmas evokes a a wealth of emotions. Today, I’m sharing 25 Christmas Journal Prompts to discover how you feel about the holiday season

25 Christmas journal prompts

Christmas is a special time of year. But for many people, it brings a myriad of emotions – some happy and some not so happy. The holiday blues is a real thing and they can leave us pining for those we’ve lost in death. We may mourn old traditions that are no longer continued. Or we may have a renewed love for the season as we watch Christmas magic overtake our children’s hearts. Sometimes you may feel all the above. Today, I encourage you to go through the list of 25 Christmas journal prompts and discover how you feel about the holiday season.

25 Christmas Journal Prompts

  1. What is your favorite childhood memory about Christmas?
  2. Did you believe in Santa? Was that a good or bad experience?
  3. What does Christmas mean to you?
  4. What does your ideal/perfect Christmas look like?
  5. If money were no object, what would you want for Christmas?
  6. What is the most special Christmas gift someone has given you?
  7. Who do you miss most around Christmas?
  8. Do you make goals for the New Year? What are some of the goals you have right now?
  9. Describe how your family celebrates Christmas.
  10. What Christmas traditions in your family do you love most? How will you ensure those traditions continue?
  11. What things make you feel most connected to others at Christmas?
  12. How will you spread Christmas cheer this year?
  13. What is your favorite holiday movie and why do you love it?
  14. Is there anything that makes you sad around Christmas? Why?
  15. Some people feel blue around the holidays. What can you do to combat those feelings?
  16. What is your favorite memory of your childhood home at Christmas?
  17. Describe something you love to do on cold winter nights?
  18. How do you feel about the commercialism around Christmas?
  19. Write a Christmas story.
  20. For what are you most grateful at Christmastime?
  21. What is most stressful at Christmas? What can you do to make it better?
  22. Describe what you love most about Winter.
  23. How can you be a more giving person during the holidays?
  24. What has changed since the beginning of this year?
  25. How was God faithful to me this year?

Be sure to visit my other posts for more journaling ideas:

How to Make a Happy Planner Squad Girls Ornament

Learn how to make a happy planner squad girls ornament with just a few materials in less than 15 minutes.

how to make a happy planner squad girls ornament
Some links are affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one of the links I provide, I may receive a small percentage at no cost to you. I only link to things I love or own myself.

Hey planner babes! Welcome to my new tutorial on how to make a Happy Planner Squad Girls ornament. This year, I spent time making lots of different Happy Planner ornaments and this is just one of the cute ideas that I came up with. Be sure to check out my YouTube channel for lots of fun Happy Planner themed Christmas tutorials.

This cute ornament is filled with fake snow and looks like the squad girls are skiing in your ornament. This craft is very easy to make and you can do all kinds of fun scenes. This craft took me less than 15 minutes to make from start to finish. I’ve made a video for you to follow along with and I’ve also provided written instructions below. I really encourage you to watch the video since the instructions were hard to describe in writing. While you are there, please subscribe to my channel and don’t forget to follow my Instagram for daily inspiration.

Materials

  • Snow globe ornament (mine purchased at Hobby Lobby)
  • Fake snow
  • Squad Goals Sticker Book
  • Clear Acetate
  • Scissors
  • Foam Double Sided Tape
  • Super glue (optional)

Time needed: 15 minutes.

Squad Girls Happy Planner Ornament

  1. Open up your snow globe

  2. Cut your acetate

    Cut down your acetate to a manageable sheet about 6 x 8″ and score in the middle

  3. Place stickers

    Pick out the stickers you want to use. Lay your scored acetate down so that half is flat on the table and the other half stands up towards you. Place your stickers about and inch to two inches on the acetate. You may need to reposition the stickers depending on where you want them to be.

  4. Trim down your acetate

    Trim down your acetate by cutting off any excess acetate around your sticker. Then trip your base in a half moon shape. You only need an inch or two. While you’re trimming, trim a little at a time, making sure it fits well in your globe.

  5. Apply Foam Tape

    Apply double sided foam tape to the bottom of your base. Adhere to the bottom of the globe.

  6. Add snow

    Carefully, add your fake snow. Close globe and shake gently until snow is evenly distributed.

  7. Secure

    For added security, super glue your ornament for added protection once you are certain no other adjustments are necessary

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to PIN this post for later or share it with another planner girl!