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10 DIY Fall/Winter Decor Items Your kids Can Help You Create

10 DIY Fall/Winter Decor Items Your kids Can Help You Create

When the air turns colder and the days shorter, it’s time to find a way to entertain the kids indoors. One way to keep them occupied is by having them help create fall and winter decor items. These projects are fun, easy and educational. So shut that cold weather out and get cozy with these crafts!

Photo by Dave meier Picography

    Living Wreath

    One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is seeing all the houses in the neighborhood decked out with festive flare. Wreaths are a traditional decoration that signify the holidays. This year, instead of putting up the usual dried pine boughs, make a living wreath. Creating a living wreath is an exercise in micro gardening, as well as showing our children that we don’t always have to destroy nature to suit our needs – such as by chopping limbs off a pine tree. We can create something beautiful that also sustains life.

    Makers Kit- permission given

      Mason Herb Garden Kit

      Fresh herbs make every recipe taste better, but let’s be honest: They can be really expensive. Growing your own herbs for pennies on the dollar is a great solution. Even if you don’t have room to plant a large garden, you can grow your own herbs indoors in a mason jar.

      Your kids will love this project because they get to play with the dirt and watch it grow. Gardening indoors will teach them about making use of the space they do have and the growing cycle of edible plants.

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      kaboom pics crayons

        Homemade Candles

        Does your kid have a bunch of old crayons laying around? Turn them into candles! This colorful project teaches kids the value and joy of upcycling. Instead of tossing out old or broken toys – in this case, crayons – kids can upcycle them into something new and different. For a scented candle, add essential oils. Citrus and peppermint oils are energizing and uplift the spirits. Lavender and cedarwood oils are calming.

        Photo by Kerry Foster soap

          Handmade Soap

          Making soap is a lost art. It’s now mass-produced, and most soaps contain chemicals and dyes that are unnecessary and potentially harmful as well. Teach your kids that they can make pure soaps just like their ancestors. To make it fun, use different molds, colors and scents. Candy corn soap is the perfect craft for fall. You and your kids can even make the soap as gifts for their teachers or friends.

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          thankful tree photo by Steven Yeh

            Thankful Tree

            A thankful tree makes the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. This vintage-inspired design combines rustic wooden disks and chalkboard pieces with a tall glass jar and mixed nuts in place of the usual river rocks or glass beads.

            Get your kids involved by having them help you write out things they are thankful for. Help them think about all the great things that happened during the year and guide them to be thankful for things that aren’t materialistic.  It’s a good way to teach them to be mindful of good experiences they have.

            maple leaf photo by Amin mat Azahar

              Maple Leaf Globe

              Peering into a maple leaf globe will take you back in time to when you were a kid playing in a big pile of fall leaves. You jumped in and threw big armfuls up in the air so the leaves would rain down on you. Like a snow globe, a maple leaf globe sets a scene inside a glass filled with water, but instead of white snowy flakes, maple leaves in vibrant colors flurry around.

              Your kid can help you pick out the tree and leaves that will go in the globe, and after it’s all put together, you can watch the leaves fall and teach your child all about the fun things you did during your childhood.

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              pipe cleaner photo by Daniel Orth

                Crystalized Snowflakes

                This project is so fun and easy the kids won’t even realize they’re getting a lesson in chemistry. With just two ingredients, you can fill your home with beautiful crystallized snowflakes. All you have to do is dip pipe cleaners in Borax overnight and crystals form on the small fibers. When you wake up in the morning, you have beautiful crystallized snowflakes.

                You don’t have to stop at just snowflakes, either. You can make hearts for Valentine’s Day or clover for St Patrick’s Day.

                birdseed ornament photo by Sxates

                  Birdseed Ornaments

                  Adorable birdseed ornaments make the perfect addition to any rustic Christmas tree or holiday decoration. Making them is fun for the whole family. When the holidays are over, have your children hang them on trees outside. They will learn the importance of helping our animal friends thrive, especially when natural food resources are scarce.

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                  scarf by saxarocks

                    Hand-Dyed Scarf

                    Hand-dyed scarves make wonderful gifts. They are a one-size-fits-all accessory that women and men alike can wear. How do you make a gift that can seem so generic seem special? Make it yourself. Creating a hand-dyed scarf is a quick and simple project that your kids will enjoy. It may not be the most expensive gift to give someone, but your children will learn that it is the thought the counts when it comes to giving.

                    To make a special scarf for someone, your child will need to learn about the recipient – their favorite color or possibly their favorite sports team if the scarf will be themed. Putting thought into what the recipient will like and then coming up with a design to suit will hold more meaning than any store-bought gift that is more expensive.

                    window clings

                      Window Clings

                      My kids love to decorate the windows with seasonal clings. Make it even more fun by creating your own window clings using cookie cutters and homemade paint. It’s really two crafts in one. First you can make the paint together, which will provide hours of fun on its own, then you can fill seasonal cookie cutters with the paint to make window clings.  Make leaves and pumpkins for fall or Christmas trees and snowflakes for winter. Your kids will learn that even the simplest things are more fun when you’re part of the process from start to finish.

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                      Use the cold winter months cooped up in the house to pass along the DIY bug to your kids. Not only will they get to spend quality time with you, but they’ll also learn lessons that they can keep forever.

                      Featured photo credit: elleau via flickr.com

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                      Published on July 22, 2021

                      20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

                      20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

                      It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

                      Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

                      Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

                      1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

                        These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

                        Get the recipe here.

                        2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

                          This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

                          To try this recipe, go here.

                          3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

                            Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

                            Check out the recipe here.

                            4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

                              Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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                              Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                              5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

                                This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

                                Find the recipe here.

                                6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

                                  The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

                                  Get the recipe for this dish here.

                                  7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                                    Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                                    You can find the recipe here.

                                    8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                                      Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                                        This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                                        Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                        10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                                          Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                                          The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                                          11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                                            Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                                            Find the recipe here.

                                            12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                                              This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                                              Find the recipe here.

                                              13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                                                Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                                                This easy recipe can be found here.

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                                                14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                                                  Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                                                  Find out how to make it here.

                                                  15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                                    This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                                    The recipe can be found here.

                                                    16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                                      This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                                      Find the recipe here.

                                                      17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                                        Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                                        Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                                        18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                                          Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                                          Find the recipe here.

                                                          19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                                            Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                                            Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                                            20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                                              Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                                              Get the recipe here.

                                                              Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                                              Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                                              Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                                              1. Lose the Sugar

                                                              Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                                              2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                                              Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                                              3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                                              Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                                              When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                                              Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                                              Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                                              More Healthy Eating Tips

                                                              Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                                              Reference

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