Welcome to Arm & Hammer Recess!

I received an interesting email today that I thought you might also enjoy. It came from Arm & Hammer, as in Arm & Hammer baking soda.

Hey Parents! Join ARM & HAMMER Recess - Fun for your kids. A Break for you.

Here’s the little blip about Arm & Hammer Recess that you’ll see on their website:

“Looking for clever ways to engage kids AND teach them something new? (Bonus points for low effort, low cost, and fun!) Discover a whole world of Baking Soda-inspired crafts, experiments, and recipes to try with your family. Great for after school, rainy days, or weekends, each activity is kid-friendly and the perfect inspo to get little creators thinking in fun new ways.”

Their website looks like it has a TON of fun things to do so if you’d like to check it out, here’s the website address:

https://www.armandhammer.com/recess

Have fun! 🙂

Fun Joann’s Store Clearance Items

Hi everyone! Sorry to disappear on you last week, but we were away for a few days. Back home and back in the saddle! 😉 I found some fun kid’s items on clearance at our local Joann’s store. (Or maybe you call it Joann Fabrics store.) Just wanted to share them with you in case you’d like to get in on the fun too! NOTE: The prices I’m sharing with you were IN STORE. If you look online, they are not as cheap.

Crayola Model Magic Stackers Disney Frozen II.

It looks like the original price was $14.99 but it was on sale in the store for $2.47!

School Zone BIG Hidden Pictures & More Book. This has a lot of fun activities inside! (I’m ready for the grandkids to come so I can “help” them do some of these!) 😉

I didn’t find the exact original price on this, but similar books are $14.99. It was on clearance for $7.47. There are 299 pages of activities plus several more pages of answers. Great book!

Fab Lab Sequins. These are small packages of assorted kinds of sequins that kids will love! I bought 1 pack of flowers and 1 pack of mermaids and seashells.

Regular price looks to be $1.99 and I got them for $.97 each.

Felt Hoop Kits. There were a couple types of these kits still available in my store. I bought the zebra and the lion kits. It has some felt pieces and some embroidery floss plus the hoop and they look like they will be adorable when finished.

They were in the clearance sale for $2.47 with their regular price being $5.99.

Just one more for this time…Pop! bumper craft pack. This has a little bit of everything in it! (Ok, not everything, but a nice assortment of crafty things!) Included are chenille stems, pom poms, wiggle eyes, white glue, sequins, feathers and foam shapes. Let your imagination go and see what you can make! 🙂

My best guess on the original price is $6.99 to $9.99. It was on sale for $2.97.

And there you have it! There were many more items in the clearance sale, but these are a few that caught my eye. I’m sure availability will vary by store. Remember, the price when shopping online is higher than in the store. Now you have an excuse to shop at your favorite Joann’s store! It’s always better to buy things when they are on clearance, right? 🙂

Fun With a Simple Magnifying Glass

Here’s another simple and inexpensive way for kids to have fun and learn something in the process! Yep, the title gave it away…I’m talking about a magnifying glass. I found one on Amazon for $6.99. And its pretty big.

I know…all it does is make things look bigger. But have you noticed how very COOL things look when they are huge?! Like….books.

Look at mom and dad’s coffee K-cups.

Or your dog’s nose…

Try looking at plants!

Flowers are cooler when you magnify them.

And grass! Check out what you’ve been walking on!

You might even find something cool that lives in the grass!

And dirt! Dirt looks pretty cool up close too!

The list goes on and on! Check out the carpet, your sister’s tongue, a comic book, look at your food…you could do this for HOURS!! Inexpensive, simple, safe and fun! What more could you want? 😉

Oh, the Things You Can Learn With Buttons!

Hi everyone! We’re back and so glad to have our electricity and internet back today after some strong thunderstorms moved through yesterday. Did you miss us? 😉

There are so many fun (and educational) things you can do with a simple bag of buttons! Let’s talk about some today! An egg carton will come in handy while playing with the buttons.

You’ll need some buttons that are the same kind and the same color. I can’t remember where I found these buttons but I think it was either Joann Fabrics or Walmart. If you’d like to use little containers to store your buttons in after the playing is done, I found these at the Dollar Tree store.

And yep, they come with lids.

My first suggestion is to dump the bag of buttons out on the table…

…and let your kids sort them into the little sections in an egg carton. The action of picking up each button is good for practicing fine motor skills and matching colors.

You can count how many buttons there are of each color. Or practice making numbers…

…or letters.

You can ask your child to count out a certain number of buttons of a certain color. For instance, count out 10 yellow buttons.

Depending on the age of your child, you can practice some addition problems by showing all the ways 2 numbers can add up to 10.

As a reward for counting and doing letters and numbers, give your child a bit of free time to make his/her own designs out of the colored buttons. Remember, all designs are GREAT and should be appreciated by others and not criticized. 😉

You can ask your kiddo to make something in particular. For instance, make a square using blue buttons.

Or make a square using blue buttons and put 1 yellow button inside the square.

You can make a pattern and have your child continue making the pattern. Orange, yellow, blue, green and pink…

Or make a line of the pattern and have your child add a few more matching lines.

I hope you will also be a good sport and let your child ask YOU to have a turn by doing the activity they suggest for you! 😉 I’m sure you will even think of more fun things to do with buttons than the ones I’ve shared here. Have fun and sneak a little learning in there too! 😉

Happy Coloring Book Day!

Yes, my calendar says it’s Coloring Book Day. So get out your favorite coloring books and crayons or markers or colored pencils and have some fun coloring. 🙂

What is your favorite kind of coloring book? I’ll share some of the coloring books we have to give you some ideas of what you might like.

How about a book that’s just for coloring?

Or maybe one that has activities to do and also has stickers to use?

There are some coloring books that teach you about the colors.

Oh and coloring books with dot-to-dots to follow first! Isn’t it fun to be surprised when you see what the picture is after you follow the dots in the right order?

There are also books that are color by number where they tell you what color to use for each numbered space. I’ve always liked these!

And for older kids and even adults there are coloring books they can enjoy! Here’s one that looks like a stained glass window when you color it.

And one of my favorite coloring books that I own is a color by number but for adults because it’s too hard for little kids. You really can’t tell what these pictures are until you color them.

And one more really cute coloring book for big people. 😉

Whatever kind of coloring book you enjoy, I hope you will take some time to relax and do some coloring today to celebrate Coloring Book Day! 🙂

Dots and Squares Game

Here’s a fun game to entertain the kids even if all you have with you is a pen and a piece of paper. 🙂 We’ll call it Dots and Squares Game.

The first thing you’ll do is to make 100 dots on your piece of paper, in 10 rows of 10 dots each. If you want a little help to keep the dots in line, you can use a lined piece of paper behind a plain piece so you can see the lines showing through on the top paper.

Hanging both pieces of paper on a window also helps to see the lines more clearly.

10 dots down the side and 10 dots across…

Keep going…you’re getting there. It doesn’t take as long as it sounds like it will take when you say “100 dots”. 😉

Presto! There we are!

The game can be played with just one pen being passed around to each player or you can use a different colored pen for each person. (Or use a pencil.)

The idea of the game is to make the most squares. Each person takes a turn drawing ONE line, either horizontally or vertically, between 2 adjacent dots. (No diagonals.)

Play continues this way while each player tries to NOT add the third side to a square because if you do, that means the next person can make a square.

Eventually the game board gets so full that someone HAS to add the third line. Can you spot the place that is ready to be closed off into a square? Hint: look on the lower right side.

In this game, Jasper was the first one to make a square. When you complete the fourth side of a square, you get to claim that square as yours and add your initial to the square. These are the names and initials we used for our example game:

So you can see the J in the box in the bottom right corner of the game board. When you finish a square, you get to take another turn. And sometimes you can make only 1 square, but sometimes you are able to make a LOT of them! When Jasper played his bonus move, he set it up so that Rick was able to make a square on his turn.

Play continues in this manner until the entire game board has been made into squares and claimed by the player making each square.

Count up the squares for each person and see how many squares each one made.

The player with the most squares wins the game!

It’s a great game to play to keep the kids occupied while you are somewhere waiting for someone or in a restaurant waiting for your food to be served. Tuck a little tablet into your purse or pocket along with a pen and you’re ready to go! Have fun!

Make Your Own Matching Card Game

How’s your day going? I hope ok! Today I want to share a super simple way to make your own matching card game. You know, the little cards you line up face down and you turn 2 over at a time and see if they match? Yep, those. 😉 Only a few supplies are needed such as a piece of cardstock or sturdy paper, a ruler, a pencil, a pair of scissors and some stickers.

I used a piece of maroon colored cardstock (8 1/2″ x 11″) and made 12 cards for the game. First you’ll draw lines on the paper to mark the cards into even squares. If you use the same size of paper, your squares can be 2 3/4″. You’ll have just a little bit of extra paper down one side to cut off and discard. (I couldn’t seem to get a good picture of the lines on the paper.)

Cut the squares apart.

Separate the squares into pairs of 2 cards each. You’ll be making 6 sets of matching cards from one piece of paper. Feel free to make more!

Sort through your stickers to find 6 sets of matching stickers.

Make a set of cards by placing 1 sticker on each card, making sure there are 2 identical cards.

And your cards are made! You’re ready to play! Turn all the cards face down and mix them up, then line them up in 3 rows of 4 cards each.

The first player turns over 2 cards. If they match, he/she takes the match and turns over 2 more cards. As long as the player is finding a match, their turn continues. If they don’t find a match, the cards are turned face down again and play moves onto the second player.

A match!

6 matched sets is probably enough for small children, but you might want to make more for kids that are a little older. So easy to make and so simple to play! I hope you’ll have fun making your own game AND playing it! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

Finger Painting Fun!

Grab some newspaper to cover your table and a smock or old shirt to cover the kids and let’s have some fun finger painting! I have fond memories of finger painting when I was little . 😉 I found this inexpensive set of finger paints at Walmart for $4.34.

Yep, they are washable!

There are 6 colors in the set.

I also found some white construction paper for $1.47. (Why do packs of construction paper never have white in them?!)

Don’t forget your most important utensil – damp paper towels for cleaning up! LOL

Newspaper, smock or old clothes, paint and paper…looks like we’re ready to go!

Select your first color…I decided to start with green. There is another kind of plastic lid inside the first lid.

Flower stems and leaves are the beginning of my painting. Just trying something super simple that kids can do. 😉 You need a very small amount of paint on your finger at a time!

Now for some flower petals…

Let’s add a yellow dot to the center of the flowers, a sun in the top corner and some blue streaks in the sky.

Of course, you and the kids can paint anything you want! No brushes needed! You can put a small amount of each color on a styrofoam plate that the kids can dip their finger onto while they are painting. You never know, this might be the beginning work of a future great artist! Have fun!