Tag Archives: boredom

How to Beat the Cold Weather Boredom Blues

boredom
*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 

HOW TO BEAT THE COLD WEATHER BOREDOM BLUES

The cooler weather has arrived, and we’ve unpacked the sweaters, hoodies, and extra blankets. It is the perfect time for hot chocolate, extra snuggles, and movie marathons.

However, the extra chill in the air can also bring about the cold weather boredom blues.

When I hear that all too familiar, “Mom, I’m bored,” these are my favorite ways to help get out of that boredom rut.

PLAY INDOOR GAMESboredom

It might be too cold to escape boredom by heading outdoors, but you can still play some fun games in your own living room.

Of course puzzles, card, and board games are a great boredom buster, but there are also many other fun games that you can play while inside.

Need some inspiration? Check out the Indoor Games Handbook by Lisa Regan. We love to flip through it and choose one of the activities.

TURN YOUR KITCHEN INTO A SCIENCE LAB

Some time ago, I shared how to build a STEM kit.

It’s a great thing to have at home and it includes some suggestions on things to stock up on. It is super handy for those days that you feel like conducting experiments.

We also love the book, Kitchen Science Lab for Kids.


It is filled with a ton of fun and easy activities, that also explains the science behind them. Grab your lab coats, and notebooks, and conduct some experiments!

GET CRAFTY

This time of year I am reminded of why I save all those cardboard rolls, snippets of ribbon, trinkets, and stock up on fun paper and paints. When the stir-craziness sets in, raiding the arts and craft stash can be the perfect first stop.boredom

Since this week is Thanksgiving break, we are going to use these super cute Thanksgiving printables. They will be such a festive touch for our gathering.

After that, it’s time to start on making holiday gifts, and cards. I finally get some time to try some of the projects that I’ve saved on my Pinterest boards throughout the year.

COOK

boredomGet rid of the chill by heating things up in the kitchen. We love to head out to our local library in order to borrow some cookbooks. We enjoy flipping through them, and looking at the pictures, and choosing a few favorites to try. This winter, we are on a mission for some good pressure cooker and bread recipes.

If you like butternut squash, give my husband’s delicious recipe a try!

Not only is it a great boredom buster, cooking together is also a great family activity!

Do you have a favorite cold weather boredom buster? Be sure to share it with me in the comments.

xo, Melissa


P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.


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We Tried It! How To Make DIY Seed Bombs

A few weeks ago, I saw a video for these adorable little diy seed bombs. I made sure to save it so that Miss Bean and I could make some of our own. We soon needed some gifts for a family gathering, and I decided that these would be the perfect solution.

SEED BOMBS

Luckily, we already had most of the supplies on hand. We just needed a packet of wildflower seeds. Funny enough, we had sent away for some seeds to help bring back the honey bees, and they just happened to arrive in our mailbox the exact day we needed them!

It was meant to be!

To make these seed bombs, you just need some paper, a muffin tin, a food processor, and some wildflower seeds.

I realize that you can just watch the video, but I broke down the steps here so you could see our results as well 🙂

First take your paper and tear it into tiny pieces. We filled a small bowl about halfway with our paper scraps.

seed bombs

Next, pour water to coat your paper pieces.

seed bombs

Let that sit for about 15 minutes.

seed bombs

Next, put the paper in a colander and use a sponge or a towel to help soak up the excess water.

seed bombs

Then, put your paper into the food processor, and grind them up into shredded pieces.

seed bombs

Aren’t all of the colors fun?!

Press and pack your shredded paper into muffin tins.

I just used basic muffin tins, but if you have some that are fun shapes, those will make your seed bombs look even cuter!

Pour your wildflower seeds over the top of each seed bomb, and then add the rest of your shredded paper as a top layer, and pack the paper down.

seed bombs

Then let them sit and dry for 24-48 hours.

Once they are dry, they are ready to go!

Since they were gifts and we needed to wrap them somehow, we made little baskets out of muffin liners and used pipe cleaners to make little handles.

seed bombs

Just drop them where you would like your flowers to grow and wait for the sprouts to happen!

 

seed bombs

These were fun and very easy to make. The hardest part was just waiting for them to dry!

My daughter really enjoyed helping to create such a fun gift, and it was easy on our budget.

She was especially happy to hear from her great grandmother that her seed bombs had already started to sprout!

Happy planting!

xo Melissa

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5 Ways To Use Glow Sticks For Your Next Family Night (Plus Giveaway!)

glow sticksDisclaimer: I received a set of glow sticks for free to test out, however all opinions here are my own. This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! ?

I am going to let you in on a little secret, I am a big fan of glow sticks. I feel that they can make anything exciting. They are great to have on hand for picnics, party favors, concerts, stocking stuffers, care packages, camping, night swimming, or even living room dance parties.

glow sticks

They are a wonderful way to add visibility to kids when they are out and about at night time.

Best of all they are very budget friendly, and an inexpensive way to have a little fun.

I received a set of glow stick bracelets from Lumistick to play with. They arrived in a tube of 100, with plastic connectors. There are 5 colors; pink, green, blue, yellow and orange, and are non-toxic.

glow sticks

We had a blast thinking of all the things that we could do with them.

Besides the obvious choice of wearing them as bracelets, what else can you do with glow sticks?


Here are 5 fun and different ways to use your glow stick bracelets:


Have an indoor glow stick dance party

This is definitely a favorite, as we love to have spontaneous dance parties. They always help cheer us up, and get us laughing. So, turn out the lights, put on some fun music and dance around with your glow-sticks.

glow sticks

Play tic-tac-toe with your glow sticks

Make a giant board by using the plastic pieces that join the bracelets together. Instead of X’s and O’s, we just used O’s, but two different colors to place into our board boxes.

 Play a game of glow ball or Frisbee

Change up your game and join a few glow-sticks together. Attach them to a frisbee, or put one inside a wiffle ball.

glow sticks

Use them in your hair

Put your hair up in a bun and add a glow stick bracelet for a little color fun. You could even leave them straight and use them like hair sticks!

Play ring toss

This is a fun one to do when camping or at an outdoor concert. Make some rings with your glow sticks and connectors, and then grab a stick and push it into the ground. Make it a competition and see how many rings you can land on the stick.

Have a glow in the dark picnic

Spread out a blanket and wrap your glow-sticks around some clear plastic cups. Pick out your favorite foods and dine by glowing light!

You can use connectors to create a glow ball lantern. They look so awesome, and would be a fun centerpiece to a glow picnic, or a even a dance party decoration.

(Want one of your own? Check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post)

glow sticks

Bonus: Relax in a glow in the dark bath

I realize this isn’t really a family night acitivty, but it is still a fun one for both kids and adults. Instead of candles to help calm you, fill up your tub and add your favorite glow-stick colors!

I hope this gives you some ideas on the different things that you can do with your glow-sticks. Check out the different sets on Amazon, choose one or two and you will have several options for some family night fun!


GIVEAWAY: It is fun to receive free stuff! Help me spread the word by sharing my post to enter your name to receive your own glow lantern set! Let me know in the comments how you shared it. If you would like a second entry, sign up for my mailing list in the sidebar! I will announce the winner on May 15th!

glow sticks

xo, Melissa

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15 Family Night Activities – Fun and Inexpensive

family night 15 fun activities pin graphic

We all have busy schedules in our household. With work, school, and other activities, the time just flies by. I think we all really appreciate when we are able to have a family night all together.

However, we often struggle with figuring out what to do with our time. Also, because I have a teenage boy and a ten year old girl, it can be tough to find activities that everyone can agree on.

Because of that, I’ve come up with a list of 15 activities that are sure to be a successful and fun family night for anyone.

1. Board Game and Candy Bar Night

candy bar game night image

This is always a favorite. Grab your favorite board games, and load up on everyone’s favorite candy. Have a game marathon fueled by sugar.

2. Geocaching and Camp out in the Living Room or Backyard

Geocaching is a fun hunt using gps. Walk around a favorite park and discover some geocaches. Return home and have a camp out in your living room or backyard. Be sure to tell some spooky stories!

3. Themed Dinner Party Night

This might require a little planning ahead.

Choose a theme, such as a specific country, and find recipes that you can make together. Make or find some decorations that go with the theme, and maybe even get dressed up. Finally, add some music that would go along with your dinner theme to set the dining mood.

4. Movie and Make Your Own Pizza Night

pizza and movie night image

Making a pizza from scratch can be a lot of fun.

Try making your own pizza crust, and load it up with your favorite toppings. Pick out a movie and watch it while you eat your own creations.

5. Science Lab and Experiment Night

kitchen science lab image

There are so many easy and fun experiments that you can do at home.

Give Pinterest a search, find a project and turn your kitchen or living room into a science lab. Try making a volcano, rock candy, or silly putty.

6. Picnic and a Game of Frisbee Night

Create a menu with your favorite picnic foods, pack a basket, grab a blanket, and have a feast at your favorite park. Once finished, toss around a Frisbee for a bit.

7. Puzzle and Sundae Bar Night

ice cream sundae and puzzle night blog image

First, pick out a puzzle that you can do together as a family.

Then, gather your favorite ice cream flavors, and make it special by stocking up on fun toppings. Make your own ice cream sundaes to eat while working on your puzzle.

8. Lego Building Night

lego challenge family night

Even big kids like building with Legos!

Work all together to make an amazing creation, or build individually and have a Lego building competition.

9. Scavenger Hunt Night

This can be done inside, or outside.

For younger kids, make a picture list of things to hunt and discover. If you have older children, make it more of a challenge, and only use hints, or even riddles for the hidden items.

10. Tie Dye Night

tie dye family night blog image

It might be a little messy, but it sure if fun to tie dye something. Choose your favorite colors, and make some cool shirts or bandannas.

11. Obstacle Course Night

There are nights when both of my kids are a little stir crazy. What a better outlet for that extra energy, than to set up an obstacle course. Again, this one can be done indoors if you have enough space, or spread out and create a course outside. Use anything around, and get moving!

12. Cookout and Card Game Night

card and cookout family night blog image

Fire up the grill, and cookout some burgers and brats – make sure you pick up lots of tasty toppings for your feast.

Then, grab a deck of cards and play your favorite games. Even better, learn a new card game!

13. Glow In The Dark Bowling Night

glow stick bowling family night blog image

Head to the dollar store and get some glow sticks. Put them in empty water or soda bottles, grab a ball, and bowl once the sun goes down.

14. Complete a Project Night

Find a DIY, Craft, or tackle a project around the house together.

Put on some good music and make sure to throw in a dance party or two while you are working.

15. Tell a Story: Mad Libs and Shadow Puppet Night

Mad Libs are always easy silly fun. Take turns completing and reading your Mad Libs out loud.

Once it is dark, break out the flashlight and make up your own stories to tell with shadow puppets.

I hope that you found these family night suggestions fun and helpful. If you have a favorite family night activity, I would love to hear about it in the comments!


Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. ?

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Welcome Fall With These Three Easy Acorn Crafts

acornDisclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. ?

My favorite time of year has arrived!

What a better way to welcome the arrival of fall, than with a few easy acorn crafts.

This past weekend, Miss Bean and I had some fun and used up our acorn stash to make a few.

Would you like to make some too?

The first step is to collect your acorns!

Put on those walking shoes, grab a bag, find a park and gather a bunch of acorns.

It doesn’t matter if the tops aren’t intact because you can glue them back on.

acorn

Before you begin your crafts, you will want to clean and cook the acorns.

First, rinse and brush them off in the sink.

acorn

Next, spread them out onto a towel, and set them in the sun for about an hour to dry.

acorn

Once they feel pretty dry, put them in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half.

This will get rid of any bugs that might have made the acorns their home.

acorn

While the acorns are cooling off, gather up some craft supplies.


HERE ARE 3 EASY CRAFTS THAT YOU CAN MAKE WITH AN ACORN


Glitter

Modge Podge

Acrylic Paint

Paintbrushes

Felt

Scissors

Black Sharpie

Craft Glue

Acorns

acorn

Once the acorns have cooled, it’s time to craft!

Here are the three fall acorn creations we made.

PUMPKIN ACORNS

To make these, you will need acorns without the tops attached, orange acrylic paint, a paintbrush and a sharpie.

We made this one first so that the paint could dry while we made our other acorn crafts.

First, grab your paintbrush and paint the acorn orange.

acorn

Next, set them aside so that the paint can dry.

Once the paint is dry, draw pumpkin faces with a black sharpie on your painted acorns.

acornThat’s it!

We loved how SUPER EASY this one was.

I think we will make a whole bunch of these to create a pumpkin patch for our gnome and fairy villages. 

GLITTER ACORNS

For these fun sparkly acorns, you will need acorns with tops, glitter, modge podge, and a paintbrush.

Pick out an acorn, and paint modge podge all over the base of the acorn. Do not put it on the top.

acornNext, roll the acorn around in the glitter.

I found that filling a few cupcake liners with my different glitter colors was the perfect way to get a good layer on my acorn base.

Finally, set the acorns gently on wax paper to let them dry.acornAren’t they pretty?

Totally worth being covered in glitter for most of the day.

I am definitely incorporating these into a fun fall centerpiece.

OWL ACORNS

For the last craft we made, we used more acorns without the tops, felt, scissors, a sharpie, and craft glue.

Choose your felt colors, and cut two round circles for the eyes, a triangle for the beak, and two teardrop shaped wings.

Glue your pieces on with craft glue.acorn

Let the glue dry, and then use the black sharpie to draw two dots for eyes.

acorn

Aren’t they cute?

We had a blast making all of these!

All three crafts were very easy, and also did not take very long to make.

Maybe these will inspire you to put on a spooky or fun Halloween movie and to start creating with acorns!

xo, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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How To Build A STEM Kit (even if you are on a budget)

STEM Kit

Having a STEM Kit on hand at home is a wonderful thing for planned or impromptu experiments, and I am going to show you how to build one, even if you are on a budget.

STEM Kit

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Including STEM in education is important, and it is a good thing to introduce STEM learning at a young age.

Why is STEM important?

Children have a natural interest in exploring how things work. Because of this, STEM activities are perfect! They are hands on and student-centered. By questioning, examining, and problem solving, kids are then able to learn to solve real life problems.

The role of the adult is to guide the students through the problem solving process.

How do you build a STEM Kit?

Building a STEM kit, may take a little bit of time, however, it is pretty easy and inexpensive to build up supplies.

First, look around the house.

Check the recycling bin, junk drawer, and be sure to raid the tool box! A more complete list is included at the end of this post, but look for things like plastic bottles, cans, nuts, bolts.

Once you’ve searched your house, chances are, you will find that you need to purchase some things to round out your kit.

My absolute favorite spot to find my material is the Dollar Store. They have a little bit of everything, and it is very easy to build up a good stock when things only cost a dollar. Make a list, or print mine, and take a field trip to get supplies. While you are there, be sure to grab a notebook to record designs, observations and results!

STEM Kit

I’ve got the supplies, now what?

Once you have your supplies, it is finally time for the fun! Pick an experiment, or create a challenge, and get to work!

Remember, this is a chance for your child to figure things out on their own. Your role is to guide, create curiosity, passion, and give them an opportunity to push limits.

I will have some more detailed posts about our specific activities and experiments as we do them in our classroom. Currently, I am working on a list of fun fall themed activities.

Subscribe to my newsletter by clicking on the link in the sidebar, or even follow me on Pinterest to receive updates.

In the meantime, here are a few activities to get you started:

Popsicle Stick Catapults

Marshmallow and toothpick structures

Grow crystals

Baking soda and vinegar eruptions

Rubber egg

Do you have a STEM Activity that you have tried? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear about it!


     

 

Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. ?

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Top 5 Homeschool Game Changers

top 5 homeschool game changers pin graphic

There are times in our homeschool classroom in which we have perfect days. Our lessons go exactly as expected, because Miss Bean is happy, cooperative and willing to learn. Of course, those are the best kind of days.

However, there are also the other days where things just seem off. Those days have tears, protests, frowns, and my well thought out lesson plans just don’t seem to do the trick.

What do I do when that happens?

I switch things up and use my homeschool game changers. They usually help to end the frustration and aid Miss Bean in changing her attitude. Most of them are visual, and also give her a little break from having me as her teacher.

homeschool game changers

Here are my top 5 homeschool game changers:

1. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix

Recently, PBS moved most of their shows over to Amazon Prime. If you don’t already have a Prime subscription, I highly recommend it.

Currently, our favorite shows are Peg + Cat and Reading Rainbow. However, there are so many other options available.

They even have yoga and exercise videos. Sometimes, a little deep breathing, stretching, and a wiggle break is all we need for our day take a positive turn.

Also, Netflix has Magic School Bus and Bill Nye The Science Guy episodes. Both are fun ways to learn about how things work.

2. YouTube

There are so many different educational channels on YouTube. Most of the videos are short, which helps to keep Miss Bean’s attention.

A few of our favorites are:

Crash Course Kids

SciShow

MashUp Math

Storyline Online

3. Starfall

This website is one of Miss Bean’s favorites.

We are currently working our way through the reading units together. She likes to try and read each page herself, and then check her work by having it read out loud to her. There are even math games available. Whenever she gets a little independent learning/free time, she loves to play the different songs and interactive games.

Parts of the website are free, and you can also choose to pay a small fee in order to get full access.

4. Pinterest

Honestly, Pinterest is my best friend,

I can find anything that I need there. Seriously, it is a life saver.

It helps me find fun material for my lesson plans, and quick art projects. Miss Bean loves to look through my pins and pick out which experiments or crafts she wants to try next. I try to pin a lot, so feel free to follow me!

5. The Library

homeschool game changers

Sometimes, the day is just not going as planned at all. That’s when a change of scenery is a great solution.

Impromptu field trips to the library are easy, and they are free!

We are quite lucky to have a library within walking distance of our home. Because of this, we can make frequent trips. Sometimes, we even like to make it more of an adventure by visiting the huge library downtown. While there, we enjoy looking for Reading Rainbow books. Also, there are also a ton of easy readers so that we are able to keep lots of variety in our learning to read journey. Miss Bean is always sure to bring a backpack, so that she can bring a few books home with her.

If you haven’t visited in awhile, be sure to check out your local library and give it some love!

Do you have some classroom game changers that have worked well for you? Be sure to share them in the comments.

 

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Mission: Family Boredom Busters

family boredom busters pin graphic

It can be pretty easy for our family to fall into the boredom hole. It is often tempting to curl up and find a show to binge watch, or dominate the newest video game, instead of getting out and doing something, or starting a fun project. We can also be quick to say we have no extra money to spend on activities.

To combat the tendency for laziness, our family decided to come up with a bucket list. We were sure to include a mix of free, inexpensive, and even a few things on which to splurge. That way when the all too familiar “I’m bored”, “What do you want to do?”, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” conversation arises, we can look at our list and pick something. We plan on adding to it throughout the year, and are excited to take some adventures and see how many things we can accomplish.

bucketlist

  • Picnic lunch at favorite park
  • Take advantage of museum free days
  • Take a tour of downtown landmarks
  • Free concerts
  • Bird watch
  • Feed the ducks
  • Play disc golf
  • Play baseball
  • See the sunset somewhere beautiful
  • Color
  • Build a fort
  • Blow bubbles
  • Make bread
  • Make paper airplanes, have a contest
  • Visit splashparks
  • Ice cream parlor at home
  • Geocaching
  • Fishing
  • Movie night with candy bar and popcorn
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Play with legos
  • Make a cornhole set
  • Water balloon fight
  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Do some origami
  • Go bowling
  • Go putt-putting
  • Take a day trip to Chicago
  • Play tennis

I had a great time on Pinterest exploring other family bucket lists. Here are a few of my favorites:

Childhood 101 has a fun one, that includes prompts to get you thinking and she even has a printable for you to do your own!

Need inspiration? Stay a Stay at Home Mom has a long list of ideas for you!

I also loved this one from Happily Ever Mom. It is for younger kiddos, and involves nature!

Do you have a family bucket list? I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with.

 

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