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Parenting Tips, Tricks & Inspirations

Don't call me an expert on parenting!  I can't seem to get my kids to listen to me any better then person next to me.  However, there are SO many great resources out there to help us parents out.  I've found many great ideas on other blogs and lots of things I think I would like to incorporate into my own parenting.

So here is a list of
Parenting Tips, Tricks & Ideas
that have inspired me....

I hope you find something that inspires you too!

I'd love to hang this on the wall...

"Rules" (free printable)
at Sweet Blessings

This is so clever! 
Give your child THIS to focus on and they will calm down during their "time out".
I'd recommend a calming color, such as this blue... purple or green would be good too.
at Creative Little Daisy

I've tried other reward systems, but I love this idea!
at Counting Coconuts

What a great way to divide up the chores and keep it simple!
Chore Chart for Multiple Children
at How Does She?

Are you crafty?  I love this Chore Chart.  There is also an ice cream cone version.

Hamburger Chore Chart Tutorial
at Childmade

This is an easy Chore System that I put together.
The kids love it because they choose their own chores each day.

Chore Cards (free printable)
right here at Sun Scholars

Great idea!!!

Good Deed Cards (free printable)
at Eighteen25

Are my kids the only ones that fight in the car?

Kid Clips for Road Trips
at Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

After being a parent for a while now,
I think this article has some great advice on discipline!

Quirky Discipline Rules that Work
at Parenting.com

You'd think at least one of my children was raised by a pack of wolves!
I love these ideas on teaching manners.

Teaching Manners and Etiquette to the Little People
at Moore Minutes

Got monsters under the bed?  In closets?  You need to be prepared!

Monster Spray
at Happy Go Lucky

The Mystery Item.... FABULOUS idea!!!

Great Ideas on Getting Your Kids to Work
from Family Volley shared at The Idea Room

Great resource for making sure your kids are eating healthy snacks!

The 50 Best Snacks for Your Child's Backpack
at NursingSchools.net

 I love the idea of grab and go snack boxes.  Check out these great ideas!
Snack container veggies
Grab-n-Go Snack Stashes
at Real Simple

Busy Bags have been a MUST have since our kids were little.
Take them anywhere you have to WAIT to entertain the kids.  They are perfect when we go out to eat.  Check out the awesome ideas shared at this Busy Bag Link Party!

Toddler Busy Bag Activities
at My Delicious Ambiguity

More Grab-n-Go Bags... these are mommy's survival kits.
Clear, zipper, baggie, storage, organize, label, declutter
Mom's On the Go Bags
at Better Homes & Gardens

Perhaps a great way to keep kids on track in the morning?
Checklist Place Mat
Checklist Place Mat (free printable)
at FamilyFun

Great to have on hand if you know a kid that has "I'm bored!" in their vocabulary.

Mom, I'm Bored Jar
from Somewhat Simple shared at Skip to my Lou

Busy Boxes... a great way to entertain kids at home when things are getting hairy, you need time to cook dinner or visit with a friend... or just for a special treat.
at Playing House

I'm digging the visual lunch box ideas here.  Is packing a fun lunch each day really this easy?  I feel like such a slacker in this department now!
Turkey and cheese roll ups on a multigrain tortilla, pretzel rods, chedder bunnies, strawberries and raisins. Thanks to Amanda of lunchbox limbo  http://bit.ly/dkmSjJ for this one!
at Easy Lunch Boxes Photo Gallery

.... in case you wanted more lunch ideas.
at To the Moon and Back

Ooooh, I love this!  I think I may have to take this challenge.
at iMom

There you have it...
More reasons to show the world why you're a Super Mom!

Butterfly Crescent Dogs

I have another amazing guest to share with you today.  Beth is here from Hungry Happenings.  Her blog is CRAM PACKED with completely adorable and fun recipes.  She has shared many of her great ideas at the weekly For the Kids Friday link party here at Sun Scholars, and currently is running a giveaway on her blog for her book, Hungry Halloween.  Beth is SO creative!  If you haven't found her blog yet, GO NOW!  You don't want to miss the fun stuff going on at Hungry Happenings!

Some of my personal favorites over at Hungry Happenings...


1) Slumber Party Snacks                 2) Starfish S'mores
3) Carrot Crescents         4) Chicken & Chips Butterfly

Tell me what kid wouldn't LOVE this...

Isn't it nice to dig into a plate of visually appealing food? As an adult, I look for food that looks fresh and vibrant in color, or perhaps warm and inviting.  Our kids are bombarded with so much exciting visual stimuli these days that it's hard to get their lunch or dinner to live up to the colorful world they live in. Over at Hungry Happenings, I develop themed cuisine primarily for holidays and special occasions, but who says lunch on Saturday afternoon can't be a special occasion? 

Last month I was asked to teach a classroom full of 6-10 year olds how to cook something simple and fun.  Our menu included hot dog butterflies, pretty melon flowers, and peanut butter fudge caterpillars. The kids in the class had never eaten food that looked like something other than plain food, and their eyes lit up when I showed them what they would be making. During the class, they were very focused as I helped each of them make their own lunch. They couldn't wait for their creations to be ready to eat, and when we finally sat down for lunch, I found that even the pickest kids in the group ate their creations.

At Hungry Happenings this month, I'm working on recipes to go along with a Creepy Crawler menu for Halloween or bug themed parties and will be sharing recipes for food that looks like spiders, caterpillars, bumble bees, ladybugs and more.  Some of the food is a bit creepy, but some is just plain cute.  Speaking of cute, today I'm going to share with you one of the recipes from my class for Butterfly Crescent Dogs.  So, grab your kids and head into the kitchen to share some fun.

Butterfly Crescent Dogs

Ingredients: (makes 2)
- 1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Creations Dough Sheet (or crescent rolls with the seams pressed together)
- 1 bun size (long) hot dog cut in half
- 4 chow mein noodles or potato sticks
- food coloring marker

Special equipment:
- parchment paper or Silpat liner
- 4" heart shaped cookie cutter
- optional: mini cookie cutters (round, oval, heart, star)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner

Unroll crescent dough and cut in half widthwise.  Lay one piece down on a cutting board.

Set cut hot dog at one end.  Roll dough around hot dog.  Cut off just enough dough to cover the hot dog.  Pinch seams of dough together, removing any excess if needed.  Roll into a nice smooth log.

Use heart shaped cookie cutter to cut two hearts out of the dough.  Cut off tips of each of the hearts.  Set hearts together on a parchment lined baking sheet. Use small cookie cutters to cut designs out of the hearts (butterfly wings.)

Set crescent dough wrapped hot dog in the center of the wings.  Use a food coloring marker to draw on a face. Note: if you don't have a food coloring marker, you can wait until the butterflies are out of the oven and use ketchup or mustard to create a face. You could also use black sesame seeds for eyes and skip the mouth.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.  Press two chow mein noodles or potato sticks into the top of the butterfly's head to create antenna.  Serve hot.

For the Kids Friday #25

First of all... I would like to welcome little Scarlet Claire to the world.
My sister gave birth to this beautiful little girl just two days ago.  I'm an auntie again!!!!

Thanks for all of you who have shown interest in Guest Hosting at Sun Scholars!  I appreciate you all so much, and can't wait to share some of these other great blogs with my readers!

I'm feeling that creative itch... and HOPING our things arrive soon.  Our shipment should have docked in China two days ago... so my fingers (AND TOES) are crossed that we have our things soon.

Until then... I'm LOVING what you have to share... including these awesome features from last week!  BTW... I add all of these features to the A++ tab above, for a collection of features shared at the weekly parties.  I also select links to share at the Sun Scholars Facebook Page each week.  Come "LIKE" SunScholars on Facebook.  See what I'm pinning on Pinterest.  Subscribe to my e-mail updates!!!

Sun Scholars
Featured below?
If so... grab this button to share on your blog!

at Fancy Frugal Life

at Kim's Kandy Kreations

Book & Reading & How to Eat Fried Worms Back to School Parties
at restlessrisa

Owl & Pussy Cat - Moving 3D Diorama
at Jellyfish Jelly

at Simple Healthy Family

at I Heart Crafty Things

ok... it's Party Time!

This Week\

1)  I would LOVE for you to first be a follower of my blog.  (And why wouldn't you want to be?!)

2)  Grab my For the Kids Fridays Button and place it somewhere on your blog.  Be sure to link back to me!

3)  Link up as many KID-RELATED activities, games, recipes, parties, gifts, clothing you've created, crafts, traditions, lessons, and so on... that you would like to share.  Please add a different link each week.  They can be old or new... this is just a place to share ideas for our kids to enjoy.  Bonus points to those that serve some educational purpose too!  Link must be to the specific post, and not your general blog page.  Please don't link to your store.

4)  Share the love and comment on at least one other link.  Everyone loves to get feedback.

That's it!  Have fun, and thanks so much for participating!

Featured Guest at Productive Parenting

Productive Parenting

Today I am being featured at a great blog called Productive Parenting.
This blog is an awesome resource for parenting and activity ideas for young children.
Your free membership gives you access to hundreds of activities, and they will even e-mail new ideas to you as often as you like.

Take a moment to stop by and check out this great resource!!

Angry Birds Inspirations

Ok... this one was TOO easy for me to pass on.
After seeing all of the awesome ideas out there inspired by the Angry Birds game, I had to put together this collection.  Of course now my son is BEGGING me for an Angry Birds Party.  Not until January, so I have some time to plan.

Love Angry Birds too?  Maybe it isn't you, but your kids that are addicted to the game.
Either way, I'm sure you'll find something here that inspires you!

 angry birds pizza3 Angry Birds Mini Pizzas
at Motherhood Perfected

at Make and Takes

at All Things Thrifty

at The Crafting Chicks

at My Name is Momma

at Craftzine.com

angry birds sandwiches Angry Birds Sandwiches for the Lunch Box
at Babble - The Family Kitchen

at Obsessively Stitching

at Craftzine.com (by Flickr user youngergirl44)

at Electricpig

at Brassy Apple

at Cute Food For Kids

at Obsessively Stitching

at Simply Styled Home

at Simply Styled Home

at Crafts by Amanda

Angry Bird Balloons (free template)
at The Party Animal

Angry Birds
at Kids & Glitter

Paper Angry Birds (free download)
at Little Plastic Men

Angry Birds Lunch
at Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

angry birds game collection costume designs 8
Angry Birds Costumes
(Do you know who gets credit for this?  I found the photo HERE)

Angry Birds Costume Tutorial
at Paws & Re-Thread

angry birds game collection halloween pumpkin carvings 6 angry birds game collection halloween pumpkin carvings 5
Angry Bird Pumpkins
(Do you know who gets credit for this?  I found these photos HERE)

Angry Birds Gingerbread House
at Popped Culture

Angry Birds Blanket
at Obsessively Stitching

at Your Life Events

at More from the Mohrs

at Toy-a-Day

Angry Birds Made from Fimo Clay
Shared on Flickr by Pocketful of Pinwheels

Did I miss anything???