Friday, November 28, 2014

Pretty Pintastic Party

 Welcome, Welcome!!  We are so glad you are joining us for our party!
We think it's going to be pretty fantastic Pintastic!
Image Map
First, let's meet the hosts:
Jamie, Kerry, Lucy from Coffee With Us 3 Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter
Here's what your hosts have been up to this week!
dotten-co-host Every week we will have one or two fabulous co-hosts!  Our first co-host this week is Brenda from Schooling a Monkey.  Brenda shares a lot of tips for helping kids learn, along with great family-friendly ideas, like this 10 Board Games Families Can Play Together. board games families can play together square Show Brenda some love by following on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest.     Our second co-host is Heather from Divas Run for Bling.  Heather blogs about running, exercise, and healthy living.  Check out Heather's 5 Favorite Foods of Fall post.      5 favorite fall foods Show Heather some love by following on Facebook, Pinterest, and/or Twitter.     


Now on to the Party!!

This is a super relaxed party! You show up with your fabulous posts and we pin every single one!
We only ask one thing from you!

This week's Features:

   PPP31 Features
Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup from Kenarry
Homemade Advent Calendar from My Creative Days
Chocolate Dipped Pecan Pie Bars from Recipes for our Daily Bread
Homemade Christmas Caramels from The Road to Domestication
  If you were featured, grab a featured button!!    
Pretty Pintastic Party
   Everyone else grab a button and help us spread the word about our party!!  Thanks!   button   
By linking up, you give,,,,,,,,,, or any co-host permission to feature your post on social media and our blogs using a photo, title, and link to your site. Proper credit and links will be given to you.          

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

18 Winter Science Experiments for Preschoolers (Plus a MASSIVE $500 Christmas giveaway!)

One of my favorite subjects to study with my children is science. Aside from writing, science is my second-favorite subject to teach. We didn't do many science experiments growing up, so I love the chance to do more hands-on science with my kids. Here are 18 winter science experiments for preschool and toddlers that are interesting enough for older, kids, too! This will keep both Bo and Monkey happy this winter. 

Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a chance to win $500 in cash and see other amazing Christmas posts from KBN bloggers!

18 Winter Science Experiments for Preschoolers 

Little Bins for Little Hands has a fun wintery twist on baking soda and vinegar experiments with a wintery twist! Toddlers and preschoolers alike would love touching the strange fuzzy bubbles.

Carrots are Orange has an entire preschool unit study based around the scientific study ofanimal’s winter habits. Even my 8-year-old would love learning about how different animals do different things during the winter!

If you don’t live in a snowy area (we rarely get snow), your preschoolers will love helping you may this faux-snow dough from Huckleberry Love.

Here is a fun experiment that preschoolers will love from Mom to 2 Posh Little Divas. What makes ice melt the fastest? 

Ever wonder how to make frost? This frost-making experiment from Science Sparks will amaze preschoolers and delight toddlers. 

We always have way too many candy canes after Christmas. What better way to use them than in a tot-friendly science experiment? TeachPreschool shows you how its done. 

Your preschoolers will love learning how to make a snowstorm in a jar. Don’t be surprised if your kids ask to do this project over and over! Growing a Jeweled Rose has the tutorial.

Preschoolers will love this magical way to create ice from super-cold water. How does it work? Watch the video from TeachPreschool to find out! 

What preschooler doesn’t like hot cocoa? Fantastic Fun and Learning has a fun twist on baking soda and vinegar using hot chocolate. You’ll probably want to also have some actual cocoa on hand to prevent a riot. :-)

If it’s below freezing where you live, your tots and preschoolers will love blowing frozen bubbles. What Do We Do All Day offers tips for making it work better. 

Preschool Inspirations offers some helpful tips on how to make a winter nature walk science-oriented. Preschoolers will love searching for all kids of things outdoors!

Here is another fun science experiment from Little Bins for Little Hands. This can be done indoors or out, and teaches preschoolers about how different liquids respond to freezing temperatures.

What better winter science activity than learning about penguins? Little Bins for Little Hands offers several fun hands-on projects for learning about these cold-weather birds. 

How amazing is this snow volcano from Science Sparks? Preschoolers and toddlers will love watching snow erupt into colorful goo.

If your preschoolers have ever wondered how frost forms, The Homeschool Scientist has an excellent post about how and why frost forms. Experiment with trying to make your own frost at home!

These colorful icicles from Housing a Forest would make an amazing and memorable science experiment for preschoolers about how ice forms! Visit Housing a Forest for instructions. 

If you live in an area where it doesn't freeze much, your preschoolers may like learning about rain and cold weather during the winter. Here is a fun experiment on what makes rain fall that preschoolers will love. 

These study ideas from Inspiration Laboratories shows preschoolers how to examine pine trees using the scientific method.

Seasonal science is a fun way to learn about winter and ice with preschoolers (and older children). Try out some of these ideas next time you have a few minutes to explore! You may all learn something!

More Christmas Fun from KBN Bloggers

KBN Christmas Giveaway

Win one of FOUR $500 cash prizes directly in your paypal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

31 Gift Ideas for Active Girls

Glad you stopped by! We love sharing our homeschooling tips and craft ideas with you. This post may contain affiliate links. View the full disclosure statement for more details. Sign up for the Schooling a Monkey newsletter to gain access to even more homeschooling and craft ideas!

I love out-of-the-box gift ideas, so I often look at gift lists online to see what I might be able to find to discover gifts for my girls.

However, what I find in the “girl” lists is that, often, toys are geared toward that mythical quiet girl who plays nicely with glass tea sets and never smears toothpaste all over the bathroom. None of these gift lists seem geared toward active girls!

 My two daughters are quite active- which means I definitely have to think farther outside the box when it comes to gifts for these two little munchkins. Here is a list of gift ideas for active girls that will satisfy even the wiggliest of girls (I know because I have them). As a bonus, all of these gifts come from Amazon, which means you can wait to order them until the very last minute!

31 Gift Ideas for Active Girls

Nerf Guns 

My girls love Nerf guns (yes, even 2 year-old Bo). You don’t have to purchase the pink line either. My girls are just as happy playing with Nerf guns of any color (plus the non-pink guns have a lot bigger selection)!

Bow and Arrows 

Any outdoor-loving girl will love the chance to fire a real-live bow and arrow. Prices vary depending on the quality of the bow. I like this starter bow for girls just getting into archery.

Yoga Pretzels 

When I use exercise videos, my girls love copying the moves, but they are often too advanced for kids. My girls would love the pose suggestions offered on the Yoga Pretzels cards.


Monkey and Bo like their bikes, but for some reason, it’s the scooters that they absolutely love. Monkey has a scooter that she rides nearly every nice day, and even Bo tries to steal it from her even though she is much too small for it. Bo may be getting her own scooter for Christmas or her birthday in January like this one with three wheels for easier balancing.

Indoor or Outdoor Trampoline 

Monkey begs us every year for a trampoline. We don’t have a yard so we can’t get an outdoor one, but I like the looks of the new styles of indoor trampolines! When girls are literally bouncing around, go send them to jump on this!


These fun stilts are even better than tin cans. They won’t give you tetanus and the string won’t break on sharp corners! My girls would go mad for a gift like this.

Crawl Tunnels 

 You can’t beat these tunnels for providing active fun for girls of all ages. Crawl tunnels are particularly fun for preschoolers and toddlers like Bo.

Balance Board 

Monkey loves balancing (usually on her head). She would have a blast honing her balance skills on this board.

Basketball Hoop 

Basketball is for girls, too! Indoor nets are always fun for small tots, and the bigger outdoor nets are fun for outside active play.

Soccer Net 

Monkey recently declared that soccer was “a great sport for girls,” so I’m sure she would love receiving a soccer net under the Christmas tree. Even Bo would love kicking a ball into this net.

Garden Kit 

 We often think of sports for active kids, but gardening is actually quite active as well! Monkey loves gardening and caring for plants that she planted. This year, she planted am impatient plant that survived the heat of August- which is an impressive feat. I love how this gardening kit has everything you need in a colorful tote.

Bug Watch Kit 

Monkey and Bo are still quite interested in watching bugs. They would love chasing down bugs and investigating them for further study or watching the bug's antics in a bug playground. Monkey also has been begging me for a butterfly growing kit for several months now.


There is a surprising amount of movement involved in train play (or at least there is when my kids play). My girls will move around playing with trains for almost an hour at a time. This set is bright and colorful and fun for all ages.


If you think Legos are a toy for quiet children only, then you have never seen my kids play with them. :-) After constructing the set, Monkey will fly around the house with her creations and create all sorts of active adventures for the little toys. She prefers Legos that are built like planes.

Bumper Wheel

I love that something like a bumper wheel exists. My children would love playing with it. My favorite part about this particular model is that it can collapse for smaller storage.

Velcro Baseball 

I love velcro baseball because the balls are much softer than traditional baseballs. I have a fear of being struck in the head by a baseball and having to go to the hospital for a concussion, which makes me unwilling to play traditional catch with my kids. But I’ll play Velcro baseball with them all day.

Pogo Stick 

You stand on it and bounce. A Pogo stick is the perfect gift for active girls.


Monkey is learning about directions now and she would have a blast using a compass to find the direction. A compass is also the perfect gift for a kid who enjoys geocaching.

Tennis Set 

I have fond memories of playing tennis as a child with my dad, and I hope to pass on similar positive memories to my girls! Monkey loves playing tennis with us on nice days. This Hello Kitty racquet  would make my husband roll his eyes, but the girls would love it.

Indoor Soccer Ball 

This soccer "ball" is a fun way to bring sports indoors. Playing with this is likely to lead to shrieks of laughter and furious bumps.


With a kite, children have to run and run and run. This makes a kite the perfect gift for an active kid.

Zip Line

 Growing up, my husband had a zip line in his back yard and I was so envious. Zip lines can provide house of active, imaginative play for girls.

Huge Bubble Makers

 What is better than bubbles? Even bigger bubbles! Both of my girls are huge bubble lovers (haha), and would be delighted to have these giant bubble makers.

Hoppity Hop 

When Monkey was in preschool, the Hoppity Hop (some people call them Hippity Hops) was one of her favorite toys. She bounced around indoors and out for surprisingly long periods.

Dancing Video Games

Monkey has always been interested in dancing, and dancing games are a fun way to keep the interest in dancing alive. Even Bo would love trying to dance along to these catchy tunes! This version even has the ever-popular song “Let It Go.”

Wii Sports Club 

When we first got our Wii, we played this game more than anything else. These sports games are such fun! This version is updated for the Wii U, but you can also still find the original Wii version if you have happened to have lost your copy like we have.

Gym Ball 

Monkey would roll around on our gym ball all day if I let her. Bo also loves playing with a ball that is larger than she is. I’ve also read that sitting on a gym ball for school or homework can also be beneficial for active kids.

Sports Lessons 

 If your child isn’t already enrolled in a sport, consider giving them the gift of an active sports lesson! Monkey would be delighted if we enrolled her in gymnastics, soccer, or some other sport as a Christmas gift. If you don’t quite want to spend that much, try a sports-related DVD, like this one that teaches ballet.

Tire Swing

 Some of my best memories of being a child as well as some of my most terrifying occurred on a tire swing. Every kid should get the chance to swing on one. They even sell tire swing kits!

Play Car 

This toy option is mainly for preschoolers. Bo absolutely loves these classic cars! My in-laws have one of the originals (this one is apparently the 30th anniversary edition) and Bo will sit and scoot around in that one for as long as we let her.

Paper Airplane Kit

Paper airplanes are fun because they allow girls to use their hands to build something, then chase after them. Help your girls make better planes with a paper airplane instruction book. Have a paper airplane throwing contest to see who is the best: Mom, Dad, or kids!

And make sure to check out these other amazing gift guides created by other IHomeschool Network moms!

Do you have active girls (or boys)? What are your favorite gifts for active girls?

More Christmas Fun

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