DIY Hula Hoops – Tons of Creative + Active Fun for the Whole Family!

hulahoopsMaking Hula Hoops are a surprisingly easy DIY project for you and your kids. Once you make a hula hoop it may be hard to put it down – for both the kids and parents! Making them is very satisfying and you get to add your own creative touches to each one you make. But of course using them can be even more fun! So get going. Buy your supplies. Create your hoops. Challenge your kids!

My family has made them and we cherish these great creations. We even made ones with my son’s 4th grade class so they could have them on the playground at school. The kids loved them!

How To Make A Hula Hoop Here are a few great tutorials on DIY hula hoop creating & another DIY hula hoop creation.

Using Your Hula Hoop Of course there is the age old hula hooping where you get the hula hoop to go round and round your body. You can get fancy and move it up and down the body, up an arm, over the head, etc. This all takes some practice for kids – and adults too. Here are some ideas of things you can do with your hula hoops that are fun for the whole family and don’t necessarily require the skill to do traditional hula hooping if that is not in the cards or you just want some fun alternatives.

Easter + Spring Egg Crafts – Fun For The Whole Family!


I have gathered some family craft ideas for Easter or just to celebrate spring! 

Kid Friendly Craft Ideas Can Be Found @ Boulder Families on Pinterest.

 Use a hot glue to make really unique eggs!
Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 1.23.00 PM Glow-In-The-Dark Easter Egg Hunts Rock!


 Dye eggs naturally
  Create floating “eggs” with floss and dyes
  Grow seedlings in egg shells. In the ground the eggs serve as fertilizer for your seedlings

#Easter #Egghunt #outdoorfamily #getoutdoors #Boulder

DIY: Sweet Lanterns to Keep the Light!

The days are getting shorter. To honor those shortened days–or to keep the light around longer–I am posting about a very cool lantern making project I found on the very fresh blog, These lanterns are beautiful, creative and easy to make with your kids. They use LED lights, so you may need to get those. Try Michael’s or McGuckins around Boulder.

Now that it is dark earlier consider a few things to do with your lanterns:

  • Take a walk in the dark with just the lanterns for light.
  • Eat by lantern light
Paper Lanterns. These non-flammable, simply beautiful, versatile, paper lights, have been a staple in our summer entertaining — scattered on dinner tables, added to picnic blankets, strung across the patio; they’re even a excellent kid’s craft: the kids have made night lights for their rooms.

After making “night lights” for Grayson’s camping birthday,  I just couldn’t stop. My personal current favorite are the ones made of news print. They are just so fresh.

See? You can hold light in the palm of your hand, if you use LED lights.

Why not do these with your kids and paint each face of the pyramid a different color? Since they’re lit with LED lights, they’re non-flammable and don’t require matches. How cool is that?


Paper: regular, transparent, news print, etc.
LED tea light candles
Hole Punch
Scotch tape
Francesca and Grayson helped me make this colorful tutorial.
1) Begin by either printing out the template, (PDF TEMPLATE HERE), on your desired colored paper OR print one template which you will use for tracings. I  have one cardboard template ready at all times and like to have this handy. For a group of kids or party, having sheets already printed is a time saver.
2) Cut out the lantern shape on desired paper.
3) Punch holes with hole punch.
4) Fold the corners up.
5) Using the longest piece of tape possible, place in on the INSIDE of the box and very, very carefully pull the opposite side up and seal tightly. You do not want light coming out of the edges, so take time to seal these well.
6) Carefully insert the LED candle.
7) Press to light when desired.
I hope these bring beauty tables and even, corners of your home! Enjoy.

Parenting Resources: The Huffington Post Rocks!

I visit lots of parenting sites looking for good content for Boulder Families and my life. There are lots of them out there. I set them all up to feed to my Google Page so I can check in on them daily and see what is happening in the parenting world. Blogs, newspapers, websites, etc… They are all important to me. I want to give a shout out to the Huffington Post. They curate the best information and offer amazing resources!

The latest resource offered by the Huffington Post is their Stress-less Parenting Site and Online Workshop. They offer information on some of the most important issues in parenting:

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 2.12.19 PM

I love these articles. I head here when I need inspiration or words of wisdom. Give them a try and see what you think. You can request to receive information to your email about topic areas that interest you. Simply go to the Stress-Less Parenting site. In the upper right hand corner you can enter your email address and click “get alerts”. You will then be directed to a page where you can decide which areas of the Huffington Post interest you.

It’s simple. Enjoy!

Cleaning Our Lives Of Chemicals: Some easy steps for families

LemonJuiceChemicals are everywhere. The more we learn, the scarier it is, and the more we try to keep our families away from the majority of chemicals that can harm us. Remember we cannot do all of these things, but we can each do a few to reduce the exposure of our families to harmful chemicals. Here are some areas to consider as you try to reduce the chemical exposure in your home.

Get rid of the cans

This is a shocker to many people! Most food and beverage cans are lined with Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical linked to breast cancer and other health concerns. The number one thing you can do is avoid canned foods. This means getting rid of canned soup, beans and especially any tomato products [because of acidity]. This can be a tough one for families. I’ve started to make my own beans in a crockpot to avoid BPA. It’s not that tough to do, but you do have to plan ahead and have some freezer space.

Put the ‘clean’ back in cleaning supplies

Choose green cleaning products to drastically reduce indoor air pollution. Because cleaning product formulas are government protected trade secrets, consumers can’t read ingredient lists in an effort to avoid harmful chemicals. Try to buy products where companies have voluntarily provided their product list.

Some DIY cleaning supplies out there are very effective, safe and made out of non-toxic household staples like baking soda, plant-based dish soap, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. A great article here: 5 Common Household Items You Can Use for Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

Reduce plastic

Many chemicals of concern are found in plastic, so try to reduce the amount of it in your home. Including in our kids’ toy bin. Vinyl, aka PVC, is especially important to avoid. You can identify it by the #3 in a product’s recycling arrows and by its strong smell (like a shower curtain). That smell is actually hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates off-gassing into your air. Yuck! I always think of LEGO’s. My son plays with them daily. You just cannot get rid of it all!

Be naturally beautiful

Personal care products like makeup, lotions, baby shampoo, and sunscreens may contain chemicals that have been linked to everything from reproductive complications to cancer. Choose natural, clean versions from companies that don’t use things like parabens (preservatives) and a whole host of other ingredients. Amazing what they can hide.

Learn about the safety of the ingredients in your beauty products, sunscreens, etc. at Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This is such a great resource.

Just say no to pesticides

Say goodbye to your exterminator and rely on natural pest solutions combined with preventative measures instead. Pesticides have been linked to a range of health problems, including asthma, hyperactivity and behavior problems, cancer, learning disabilities, reproductive disorders, and compromised brain development. Removing your shoes at the door will decrease the amount of pesticides you track into your home.

Eat organic

Pesticides are linked to cancers and health problems, so buy organic when possible. There are different levels of pesticides and residues on veggies and fruits due to the growing process, so if you have to choose, be picky about what you buy.

Here is the Dirty Dozen list of fruits and veggies to avoid buying unless they are organic.

Other Resources
  • Healthy Child Healthy World has a lot to teach us all about non-toxic solutions for families. Try hosting a Healthy Child party. Sign up here and they’ll send you a kit with all of the materials. See their complete article on 8 ways to remove toxins from your house here.
  • I’ve also enjoyed following Mind, Body, Green. They offer some great daily articles on clean living.
  • Pharmaca right here in Boulder seems to always have good information about products and health professionals to answer questions without making you feel really silly.
What have you tried to reduce your family’s exposure to chemicals? Please comment here to share!

Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays!

It is time to focus on gratitude! 2012 has been a year of some tough times. Here in Colorado and around the country we have faced some seriously tragic events. At times it can be tough to remember that the world is many filled with goodness.

For 2013 consider creating a Gratitude Jar. Fill it with notes about good things that happen, things you appreciate about friends and family, and just note things you are grateful for as they come up. Get the whole family involved! Make it a tradition to add something to the jar and watch it fill up.

Then open the jar at the end of 2013 and look back on all the things that happened during the year.


DIY Projects: Pocket Necklaces & Newspaper Forts

DIY: Newspaper Fort 

This simple, recycling project for kids can make a secure and fun fort. What a great project for kids of many ages. For more information on how to make this with your kids click here.

DIY: Felt Pocket Necklace

These are easy pocket necklaces to make with your kids. Super cute. Imagine making them and then going on a nature walk to pick up special treasures, keeping a journal in the pocket, or tooth fairy gifts. Use your imagination! Making them is easy and kid friendly. You only need 5 items and you can get them all at your local craft store.

To make these cute pocket necklaces head over to the wonderful Willowday’s blog.

Tinkering and the Value of Engaging Our Kids in Building

What Tinking looks like for 10 year olds.

Kids are natural tinkerers. We all are really. But give them some wood, pvc, tape, glue, paper, markers, and when they are older power tools, and watch those kids who just moments ago said they are “bored” become engaged. Consider creating a Tinkering Kit or a place where kids know they can go to pick up scraps and create things. Encourage kids to follow their imagination! They can draw out a picture before hand or just go for it and create what they imagine along the way. I am always amazed at what my kids create!

Tinkering Kit:

  • Papertowel rolls [used]
  • Screwdriver & different size screws
  • Wood and/or balsa wood for younger kids [various sizes]
  • PVC [various sizes]
  • Hammer & different nail sizes
  • Tape [electrical & duct tape are great!]
  • Glue [non-toxic craft glue] and/or a glue gun [adult use only]
  • Recycled objects [plastic containers, corks, any item you are throwing away could be considered]
  • Art supplies [to decorate the creations]

Tinkering is messy. It is creative. It is fun. It is frustrating. But if we leave the tinkering open ended our kids come out with something they are proud of creating. Consider making a project with your child or making one of your own while they are making one. Remember as parenting we need to step back and let them make mistakes and learn from the process. If they nail something in and it cracks the wood, what can they learn from this process? If it doesn’t come out the way they want, should they have drawn out a picture first? Or could they simply change what they expected? Just help them through the process of considering how to improve next time.

For more on tinkering, watch this video on The Tinkering School and take a look at the post from, Kids Love Plumbing.

DIY: Finger Paints & Play Dough

I love making things myself that I would normally purchase. These are simple, fun to get the kids involved with, and your kids can literally eat what they produce–though I don’t recommend it. Use baby food jars or other recycled jars to hold your paints and play dough. Make sure to get the kids involved mixing and adding colors.

Finger Paints

Younger kids: Just get in there and get messy. Paint outside so you can just rinse the kids off with the hose. Try making patterns with uncooked pasta, nature items such as sticks, rocks, etc. Paint rocks to put in the garden–these are super cute! Encourage your young kids to play with mixing colors. Have them guess what color they will create and then give it a try.

Older kids: Try making block prints [older kids can carve a piece of wood or get a block from Michael’s for carving] or veggie prints [experiment cutting veggies such as celery and use those veggies as blocks for printing]. Work with older kids on making their own color wheel by making a circle [or any other shape], breaking it into fractions. Color in 3 fractions with primary colors [blue, yellow, red], then work to blend these colors in the fractions between them. Create a color wheel.

Play Dough

Play dough is so super easy to make! The kids love it and you probably have all the ingredients you need right now in your house.


1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring by drops


1. Combine all ingredients in a pan and stir.  Cook over very low heat, stirring until a ball forms.

2. Add food coloring and mix thoroughly until desired color.

3. Cool on foil. Store in covered container.

#DIY #Boulder #Kids

DIY: Creative Kids’ Structures [Forts, Tents, Etc…]

Recently I have been really inspired by tents, forts, teepees, and any other fun place for kids to play, dream, create, be inspired, and just be a kid. There are a few links below to articles on just this. Remember that you and your kids can build a fort with a simple sheet [go to Savers for a cheep one you don’t mind leaving outside] and some sticks. Or start with a tree for the base. Have you made any shelters with your kids recently? Share you photos and ideas, please!

Kai working on his own fort in our backyard.

Look at these two sites of inspiration: