Kids' Activities

Entertain on the Go with Fun & Easy Toddler Busy Bags

Ahhh, toddlers. That beautiful stage full of curiosity, enthusiasm, joy… And tantrums. And opinions. And energy. Allllll the energy.

If you’ve got a toddler, you know that it can be hard to keep them entertained. They want to do everything, but there’s still a lot of limitations to what they can do.  Restaurants, road trips, flights, dinner parties at non-baby-proofed houses- it’s enough to strike fear into any parent’s heart.

But it doesn’t have to be that way (well, not ALL the time at least). We’re bringing you a collection of easy toddler busy bags and busy bags for babies for our Littlest Salties.

10 Amazing, Engaging, NO PREP Busy Bags for Babies and Toddlers, from TheSaltyMamas.com.
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Kids' Activities

Activities to Fill Up a Stay At Home Day

Let me start by saying- I am not a Stay at Home Mom. I mean, I AM. That’s what anyone would call me. But the title is so, so inaccurate. I am a take-kids-to-swim-lessons mom. I am a host-a-playdate-mom. I am a go-to-the-beach mom, a running-errands mom, a might-as-well-be-a-chauffeur-mom. I don’t go to work everyday, but I’m also not likely to be found at home, either.

But sometimes? We HAVE to stay home. Because we’re potty training, or waiting on an appliance repair person, or someone is contagious (even though they feel fine). Maybe it’s too hot, or maybe there’s snow. But for whatever reason, sometimes you just have to stay home all day. And if you’re into that sort of thing? That’s likely not a problem. But if you’re not? You’re trying to fill the longest.day.ever. with indoor activities for kids.

After a recent Hand-Foot-Mouth scare over at our place, we found ourselves quarantined. No one felt particularly sick, but we’d been advised to stay away from our friends for a day or two.  Lila took it hard (I might as well have handed home a death sentence), but I took it upon myself to sieze the day and make it an amazing one.

An amazing day that happened to include six hours of television. But who’s counting?

So if you find yourself in a similar position, we’ve got some ideas for super fun indoor activities for kids that will make that long day at home a fun one, too.

Stuck at home for the day? We've got a TON of easy activities to turn that boring day into a super fun one! Find them all at TheSaltyMamas.com. #rainyday #sahm #sahmlife #sickday #kidsactivities #rainydayactivities #kids #parents #toddlers #preschool #momlife
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Kids' Activities

Get Kids Learning with These Colorful Activities

I don’t know how it happened, but my daughter somehow knew all of her colors by two years old. I don’t remember doing a lot of kids’ learning activities with her- she just picked them up the color names on her own, and I didn’t think much of it.

So when my son didn’t know his colors at a few months past two, I decided that A.) This was a problem and B.) That he is color blind.

Clearly- it’s not. And he’s not.

The average child should be able to name at least one color by age three. So the first step for us was accepting that we did not have a problem, by any stretch of the imagination. But it did also make realize that Abe may need a little more focused practice to learn his colors, and as a result, I’ve been making a greater effort to teach him.

So if you are ready to start teaching colors to your child, we’ve got some fun kids’ learning activities that will keep the process light and stress-free.

Have some fun teaching your toddler their colors with these 16 engaging actvities. Find them all at TheSaltyMamas.com. #colors #rainbow #teachingcolors #learningcolors #toddler #kids #parenting #kidsactivities #kidsart #toddlerart #toddleractivities #education #school #preschool #daycare
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Kids' Activities

Six Things You Should Know About Survival Swim Lessons

If you’re a Mom with a Facebook account, you’ve probably seen the terrifying videos of someone carelessly throwing a baby in footed pajamas into a pool. You’ve probably yelled at your computer screen when the baby seemed to struggle to roll onto his back. You may have even tried to jump into the computer to rescue the baby that’s working way too hard to get back to the side of the pool.

When it was all over, you huffed and said, “Who in their right mind would DO THAT to their baby?” And while I generally don’t insist to people that I’m in my right mind, I will tell you that I’ve done that. Three times. Not to say that it didn’t sometimes have me on the edge of my seat, but now that I’m five years into this survival swimming thing I can definitely help dispel some myths and alleviate some of your fears about infant swim lessons.

Infant swim lessons may look scary, but here are six reasons they're safe - and fun - for your kids! #swimlessons #swimlessonsforinfants #swimlessonsforbabies #swimlessonsfortoddlers #swimlessonsforkids #survivalswim #survivalswimming #survivalswimmingforbabies #survivalswimmingforbabies #survivalswimmingfortoddlers #survivalswimmingforchildren #survivalswimmingforkids #mythsaboutswimelssons #mythsaboutsurvivalswimming #watersafe #watersafeswimschool

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Kids' Activities, Recipes

Cheap & Easy Tips for an Epic End of Summer Playdate

We just finished up our last real week of summer, and we wanted to send it out with a bang. What better way to do it than with an end of summer playdate with some of our friends? We planned a kids’ luau for our end of summer party, and it went off without a hitch (or britches, in Izzie’s case, but that’s another story). And even better- it didn’t cost an arm and a leg!

My daughter is OBSESSED with kids’ party planning. She makes lists, drawings, and diagrams in preparation. She plans menus. She shops for goodie bags. She visualizes the décor.

The only problem is? Then she wants me to carry out her vision. Which is no mean feat, as it turns out, especially when you are as big a cheapskate as I am.

So when she decided “she” was going to throw an end of summer party, I used my powers of persuasion to convince her to throw a kids’ Luau instead. This decision might have had something to do with the fact that I have a garage full of island décor from my sister’s baby shower, but she didn’t need to know that.

By reusing decorations, buying in-season fruit for the snacks, and keeping it simple, we found a way to throw an amazing end of summer playdate for my daughter and her friends. And there were cocktails. Because of COURSE there were. Read on for the recipe for a perfect end of summer luau (and those cocktails. Because YUM).

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Kids' Activities

How to Help Your Child ROCK Their First Lemonade Stand

Lila turned five this year, and suddenly she has decided she’s an adult.  She wants to be independent, and do things by herself, and even make her own money.  We instituted a chore jar system we learned about at Super Mom Hacks (it’s so simple even I can keep up with it), but she wanted more (both responsibility AND money).  So when she suggested she set up her first lemonade stand, I decided to let her go for it.

Setting up a lemonade stand was a summer staple when I was a kid. A few neighborhood friends and I would haul a card table and pitchers of lemonade up the hill and set up shop. Sometimes we’d get creative, and sell friendship bracelets and painted rocks, too.

But most of all I remember laughing with friends, chatting with our neighbors, and stealing glasses of our icy cold lemonade in between customers. That is exactly the kind of childhood I want for my daughter, and I couldn’t wait to share the experience with her.

Helping your kids set up their first lemonade stand? Everything you need to know- and a FREE printable lemonade stand checklist for kids- at TheSaltyMamas.com. Continue reading “How to Help Your Child ROCK Their First Lemonade Stand”

Kids' Activities

Chuck E Cheese Hacks

Ohhh, Chuck E. Cheese. If you were a child in the 80s or 90s, you can likely remember the joy, the excitement, and the thrill of this place. They had pizza. They had tokens and games and tickets. And the prizes, good grief, THE PRIZES. It was like heaven for kids. And now that I am on the other side of it, I know the dark, seedy side of the Chuck. Namely, that parents hate it as much as their kids love it.

Not everything is awful about Chuck E. Cheese, of course.  Their pizza has improved greatly, and the ball pits only exist in the nightmares of germaphobes everywhere.  But as they have improved, we’ve noticed that their prices have crept slowly up.  Which, if you’re trying to limit the amount of time you have to spend there, might be a good thing. But if you’re desperate to show your kids a good time, the cost of the place can be a problem.

Lucky for you, we’ve scoured the internet and our local CECs to find the best collection of Chuck E. Cheese hacks, money saving tips, and upgrades to help make your trip to Chuck E. Cheese a little more bearable- or at the very least, a little less expensive.

Kids LOVE Chuck E. Cheese- but parents? Yeah, usually not. Hacks to make your visit easier (and cheaper!) from TheSaltyMamas.com.

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Kids' Activities

Mommy, Can Boys Do Ballet?

Part of parenting is realizing that there are 43,000 potential activities you can enroll your child in. The next critical part is realizing that time is finite and you really need to pick two or three of them and say no to everything else. As such, we’ve spent the last five years having discussions with our kids about what interests them, where their talents lie, and how they want to spend their time. Last year, our then 2 year old proudly declared that she wanted to do “ballallet.” Inside, my heart SOARED with joy as I pictured her following in my less-than-comfortable toe-shoed footsteps. Outside, I kept it simple, “Sounds good baby!” And so we waited for her to turn three to enroll in the nearby ballet studio.

Fast forward to last month, as we drove by the studio and my son said sheepishly, “I wish boys could to ballet.” I nearly slammed on the brakes as I found his sullen face in my rear view mirror and said, “Well of course boys can do ballet!” Still quietly, but with a tremor of hope, he replied, “Really?” I assured him they could, which prompted a follow-up question: “Okay, but do they have to wear pink?” Which is when I realized this was going to be a very long conversation. Over the next several days we discussed boys and ballet from lots of different angles.

So if you have a boy that’s interested in ballet, you may have to tackle some of these as well. Here are the top five things we had to address before my son was comfortable with signing up for ballet.

Have a son that's interested in ballet? Here are five tips to get you to his first lesson! #boymom #canboysdoballet #balletforboys #balletboys #balletmen #balletshoesforboys #boysballetshoes #balletforkids #whatdoboyswearinballet #boysdoingballet #boysballetclothes #canboysdoballet #canboystakeballet #boysindance #boysindanceclass #danceclassforboys

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Kids' Activities, Uncategorized

10 Outdoor Toys for Kids That Will Get Them to Leave You Alone

Summer is almost here, and with it will come these LONG stretches of time that need to be filled. You can put your family on a schedule that breaks the day into manageable chunks. You can run to all the activities, spend your days at those dollar movies, head to the beach, and swim at the pool. And yes. We do think you should do those things, if you and your kids are into it. But also? Sometimes you need a BREAK.

The best way to get your kids to leave you alone encourage independent play is to send them outside, and then leave them to their own devices. We recommend you splurge a little on some amazing outdoor toys for toddlers that will grow with them. The best outdoor toys for kids will last you for YEARS, and most of them aren’t even a huge investment.

Even if you need small outdoor toys that don’t take up a lot of space, you can find some amazing, open-ended outside toys for kids that will help them learn to love to play outside. So do some Amazon shopping, and then grab a cocktail and get ready to make outdoor happy hour a THING for your family this summer.

Check out our list of the BEST outdoor toys for kids to encourage indpeendent play (and get you some peace and quiet). Toys for kids from 1 and up, from thesaltymamas.com. #outdoortoysforkids #outdoortoysfortoddlers #outsidetoys #bestsummertoys #summertoylist

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Effing Four Year Olds, Kids' Activities, momlife, Why We're Salty

6 Games we Secretly Hate to Play with Our Kids

Make no mistake: We love our kids. We do. No matter what you read in the rest of this post, hold tight to that solid truth. But there is another truth, that is just as true: We HATE some of the games they require us to play with them. In no particular order, here are the games we wouldn’t mind never ever ever not once having to play ever again.


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