Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reuse: Gift Cards and Playtime

Ever wonder what to do with all those gift cards that no longer have money on them?  It's such a waste to just throw them away!!  Well, I write "void" on the back of them with a Sharpie and then hand off the cards to my kiddos.  They love pretending that they have "credit cards" to pay at their pretend store.  Or, to pretend giving us gift cards to buy our favorite things (like coffee for me).  We also keep a hotel room key as a keepsake for the kids to play with.  My kiddos have a big collection now but here is a sample of some things they play with:

Now I find myself looking for unique gift cards that might be fun for them to play with - gas card, jewelry, anything that has a fun picture on the front :-)  Just don't forget to add something on that card to help you (and others) know that the card no longer has "real value".  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My "Field Trip" Bag

A couple of years ago I shared a post about my First Aid Kit.  Well, I have found it to be very valuable!  Since then I have expanded on my necessary items to keep with me.  Especially for school field trips, scout outings, and other times with larger groups of kids.  Here is what I have found useful many times since I put this bag together:

  • My first aid kit
  • Wipes
  • Sun block & bug spray (not to be used unless parents give permission - very helpful to have for my own kids)
  • Sanitizer

Then I found this bag that fits it all perfectly!  Of course it's a little big for my daughter who is modeling it for this picture ;-)  I have also found this bag helpful to carry money, my small camera, my cell phone,   my keys, a few snacks, and a bottle of water.  These are all things that I have needed for field trips.  I don't know how many times I have lost money because I was trying to store it in my pockets with my cell phone that I often take out of my pocket!  Oh, and I am not a person that likes to carry around a purse while I am trying to capture every moment with my camera.  So, this over the shoulder bag is PERFECT for me!!!

In the picture you may have noticed a small bottle of Vicks Vapor Rub.  And you may be wondering what I would possibly need that for...  Well, my son had a field trip to a dairy farm.  The last time I went on this trip (for my daughters school two years ago) the smell in one of the barns was a little unbearable.  One of the kids actually turned around and threw up in front of us!!!  Poor kiddo and it totally grossed out my group of girls!  So, this year I was going prepared with something to help the kids enjoy the tour more - a little Vicks under the nose to mask the smell.  Thankfully it wasn't as bad this year.  For that field trip I was able to take many pictures, keep track of a group of boys, and help some of the teachers out.  One child needed a bandaid and another tripped and fell into poop - needing the wipes and sanitizer.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Gift Sets #1

I don't know what it is about gift sets but I LOVE them!!  For years I have been known for making baskets for gifts.  Lately I have been obsessed with gift boxes.  Here are some things that I have discovered and/or created.

First:  pick a theme and set a budget.  Then start looking for a variety of things that will go well with your gift.  I look for movies, books, candy, stuffed animals, toys, food, spa/bath supplies, ...  It really depends on the age of the person and their interests/needs.  

Great for a little treat to go with a Disney themed gift set (of course PEZ makes many different themed dispensers)

Themed cold packs for boo-boos.

Themed bath supplies.
Kohl's Cares for Kids is a great program!  You can get a variety of themed books and stuffed animals for just $5 each (product options change through the year).  The proceeds for the sales go to a children's charity (varies by location - my Kohl's donates their money to the local children's hospital!) And, since the items are popular and very affordable, it has provided me with many more gift options.

Book and stuffed animal from Kohl's with a DVD.

Book and stuffed animal from Kohl's with a DVD (this elephant is super cute!!)

Here are some other gift sets I have put together:

DVD, book, train toy (same color as the train in the book and DVD)

Movie night - popcorn w/bucket, pop, DVDs, candy

Basket of homemade jams with crackers, candy, and homemade apple bread.

I wanted to share this because I loved the suckers to add some "wow" to the gift wrap.
I named this post "Gift Sets #1" because I will be making more and adding posts for them.  Look forward to "Gift Sets #2" and more!