Dandelion Curls

I’ve said it before, but some of these ideas seem too simple to even post. But aren’t those simple things usually your kid’s favorites? I totally loved making dandelion curls when I was little, and my kids love it still.

Many of us have dandelions this time of year. My sister once had a door-to-door lawn guy ask if they needed some help with their yard, which happened to have more than its fair share of dandelions. She told him with a straight face that she was growing them on purpose for her kids and they didn’t need weed control. Most of us can find more than we need, but if you happen to have great weed control, you may have to pick a neighbor’s dandelions when it’s dark.

Let your kids pick dandelions, then peel the stem into several strips, stopping at the flower. Put them in cold water and wait for a few minutes. The dandelion strips magically curl up like little ribbons!

Good, cheap, fun…and great weed removal!

Car Soap Bubbles

Need to be amazing on the go today? Grab a bottle of bubbles on your way out the door! Your air conditioner or heater makes the best bubble blower. Put the bubble solution in your cup holder, dip the wand, hold it near the vent, and watch the backseat fill up with fun!

As I started parenting different age groups, I felt bad about having to bring the little kids in the car so much as I chauffeured older kids to school and other activities, not to mention routine errands. It seemed like we didn’t get as much time at home as I was able to spend with the older ones. I decided to try and make car trips as much fun as possible. Bubbles saved me many times, especially on long car trips. Who can be grumpy when bubbles are flying? Please, only blow bubbles at stop lights, when you are in the passenger side, or when an older child is riding shotgun. I don’t want to hear that conversation when you rear end another car (“Sorry officer. I was just blowing bubbles…”).

Have fun being amazing on the go!

Here’s my favorite bubbles by far.


10 minutes/toddlers/elementary

Don’t have much time to be amazing today? Pull out the Halloween bin! If your kids are like mine, they plan their costumes for months. (Maybe their mom does, too…). If you don’t keep costumes around, maybe they can dress up in YOUR clothes!

Snap some pics, tell them they are adorable, and have a great time. If you want a dose of extra-amazing, dress up with them!

Peanut Butter Play Dough

10 minutes/babies and toddlers/elementary/

When one of my teenagers was little, his favorite game to play with me was to pretend he was a lost puppy. I would find him lonely on the beach, ask if he had a family, and take him home with me. (Don’t even try to psychoanalyze that one. I don’t think I’ll come out looking very good…)

To add to the game, I would make peanut butter play dough into the shape of a dog bone for him to eat…puppy style…on the floor. All my Littles are too big for much dog role playing, but they still love PB play dough!

Wash the table and their hands, and let your kids play with their food at snack time!

Peanut Butter Play Dough
1  cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup honey
Mix well until the mixture resembles play dough.

This is a dairy-free version we usually make now…but it sometimes still makes it into a dog bone shape on their plates!

Power Play Dough
1 cup coconut
2 cups rolled oats
Pulse in food processor until fine. Add…
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey, real maple syrup, or agave
Mix in food processor until it all comes together.