Saturday, July 2, 2016

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Fun Ideas for Kid-Friendly Sunny or Rainy Day Picnics

Fun and Easy Ideas for Kid-Friendly Indoor or Outdoor Picnics  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
PHOTOS: Provided by Oriental Trading Company
Oriental Trading Company will be sending us supplies to use in our son's community service project, aimed at donating bags full of toiletries and fun items to children of local families in need, in exchange for sharing these kid-friendly summer fun picnic ideas with 3G2S readers.
By the time we are halfway through summer vacation, I am usually looking for fresh ideas to create some fun memories for my children.  Planning something fun doesn't necessarily mean it needs to be complicated.  There are two things I try to do . . . get the children involved in preparations and keep some supplies on-hand for impromptu fun.

Oriental Trading Company is my go-to place for fun ideas year-round.  You can find everything you need for a kid-friendly picnic indoors or out among their extensive collection of Picnic Party Supplies.  There, you will find everything from colorful gingham plates and napkins to fun summer-themed picks.  One picnic must-have would be the disposable checkered tablecloths, available in 4 colors.  They come in a pack of 12 and are perfect to cover your picnic table outdoors or to sit on during rainy day indoor picnics.

Keep it simple, but colorful!  My children would be perfectly happy with cheese, crackers, pepperoni, and fruit for a lunchtime picnic.  We try to keep a supply of colorful picks in the kitchen drawer to add some fun to cut fruit or cheese.

4 Fun Ways Kids Can Help to Prepare for a Picnic . . . 

1.  Ask your children to build a utensil holder and a napkin holder out of plastic interlocking building blocks.

2.  Have your children decorate LED tealights with colorful washi tape for a flameless candlelit meal.

3.  If you don't already have picks for serving bite-size food at your picnic, ask your children to make some with toothpicks and washi tape.

4.  When you have cut all the food, whether it be sandwich quarters, cheese, fruit, or something else, ask your children to arrange them in a pattern on plates or platters for you.

For more creative summer fun ideas, visit the Create Fun blog!

What ideas do you have for a fun kid-friendly picnic?  Share them with us in a comment here and be sure to pin this post for later.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

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Give Summer Reading a Boost with Printable Vocabulary Words Scavenger Hunt Bookmarks

Printable Vocabulary Words Scavenger Hunt Bookmarks |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
We're a week and a half into summer vacation.  I always make sure that I plan daily learning activities for my children in addition to the summer reading required by their schools.

Two of our three children love to read books.  Although I usually concentrate on coming up with activities for our child who struggles a bit with reading, this one is to help challenge the two bookworms instead!

Our 9 year old daughter could sound out big words since she was 5 or 6 years old.  She can read almost any word at 9 years, but does she know what those words mean?

One of the items on our daughter's 4th grade summer reading list is the Ulysses Moore book series.  I just started her with Book 1 to see if she likes it.  Once I printed the bookmark sheet and cut one bookmark out, I went through the book in search of words my daughter might not be familiar with.  I then listed these words on the bookmark so she can have a list on-hand to reference.  When she finds one of the words, I'll ask her to let me know what she thinks the definition of the word is based on the context in the book.
TIP: Be sure to write the title of the book on the space provided on each bookmark if you're doing this for more than one book at a time in your household.

TO PRINT: Check that your printer is on and ready to go.  Click on the image below to enlarge.  Then right-click and select print.
Free Printable Vocab Words Scavenger Hunt Bookmarks - Perfect for Summer Reading!  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Want to make these bookmarks more fun?
I did make these bookmarks to be disposable, but if you'd like to jazz them up, here are some easy ideas . . .

1.  Print the bookmarks on colored paper or cardstock.  Paper with a lightly-colored pattern would be fun too!
2. Have your child draw the cover of the book in the empty box instead of just writing in the book title.
3. Use a hole puncher to punch out the black circles.  Then use ribbon or yarn to add streamers to the top of the bookmarks on the left and right sides of the printable.
4. Use a sticker or several small stickers to decorate the top of the bookmark in the center of the printable.
5.  Turn the bookmark over to the blank side and personalize the bookmark with your child's name.
6.  Turn the bookmark over to the blank side and write the prize your child will earn if he or she finds all the words and can tell you what they mean.

If you like this idea, be sure to Pin It for later!
Which books are your children loving this summer? Tell us in a comment here

Friday, June 17, 2016

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4 Easy Ideas for Salty-Sweet Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 Easy Ways to Make Salty-Sweet Chocolate Chip Cookies  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
Whether you have a killer chocolate chip cookie recipe or use refrigerated cookie dough like me, sometimes you just want something different.  I am a huge fan of salty-sweet snacks, so I experimented with different ways I could turn classic chocolate chip cookies into a salty-sweet treat.

If you want to surprise your family, then give one of these easy options a whirl!  All you need to do is add one of these savory foods to your chocolate chip cookie dough before baking.  I just push them right into the scoops of cookie dough while they're on the baking sheet.

4 Salty Foods to Add to Your Chocolate Chip Cookies . . .

1.  Salted pretzels pieces were one of my children's favorites.  We always have pretzels on-hand, so I just broke them into small pieces and they were ready to use!

2.  Salted cashews are a favorite in our house and they're less costly when you buy them in halves and pieces.  They are not too hard and are perfect to add to cookies.  (Please do not try if someone in your household has a nut allergy.)

3.  Crumbled bacon was a huge hit with my family.  They are all bacon-lovers, but were skeptical about bacon in their chocolate chip cookies.  They were pleasantly surprised!  You could also try crumbling freshly cooked bacon, but it would be best to drain off as much grease as possible before crumbling and adding to the cookie dough.

4.  Corn chip pieces (not tortilla chips) turned out to be very tasty in chocolate chip cookies.  I also tried these corn snacks, but they weren't quite salty enough and they were too light and crispy to add the amount of oomph I was looking for.

Like these easy salty-sweet ideas? Pin them for later!
Easy Ways to Make Salty-Sweet Chocolate Chip Cookies  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

If you try any of these salty-sweet chocolate chip cookie ideas, let us know how they turned out in a comment here.