February Activities: Throwing a Valentine’s Day Bash!

As far as children’s holidays are concerned, Valentine’s Day can often be overlooked albeit the festivity that surrounds this February day. However, it is important to remember the true meaning of the day isn’t just about eating tons of chocolate, it’s about teaching your children about friendship and showing their gratitude towards others. This holiday is a great opportunity to celebrate those you love most at home by throwing a Valentine’s Day party for your children and their friends. Here are some great tips for throwing a Valentine’s Day hangout that can be both fun and educational.

Photo by hello-julie, ©2007 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Photo by hello-julie, ©2007 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

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Counting Down to the Holidays

Looking for ways to get the family excited about the upcoming holiday season? Design a 10-day countdown to allow them to get into the swing of things. To make it more interesting add a level of mystery to the planned activity of the day by writing each down on a piece of paper and tossing it into a festive holiday hat or decorated container. With each passing day, have your kids blindly select an activity to enjoy.

Photo by Nomadic Laas, ©2013 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Short on ideas? Here are some of our favorite Holiday activities that are not only festive but also perfect for the family.

  • Holiday Caroling – Gather your kids and local friends to coordinate a caroling adventure through your neighborhood or a local community center. Pick your favorite holiday tunes and practice a few times before heading out.
  • Cookie Swap Parties – Cookie swap parties are perfect for kids and adults that are big on baking or simply just fans of these festive sweet treats. To get started, get your guest list together and when everyone arrives, guest can swap cookie and recipes to share with their family and friends.
  • Ornament Making – For some hands on fun, invite your kids to make their very own homemade holiday ornaments, using easily found materials like cinnamon scented salt or modeling dough. Use cookie cutters to create festive shapes to hand around your home or tree.
  • Cookie Decorating – A perfect alternative to baking and a much easier feat to manage with younger kids, grab a fun selection of different colored icings, sprinkles and other edible food decorations and lay out some cookies for you kids or holiday guests to enjoy.
  • Holiday Movie Night – Bundle up and snuggle up by the television with your kids by sharing a holiday themed movie with them. You can even set out special treats to make the event feel more special than their average night in front of the TV.

Halloween Ideas for the Whole Family

Photo by Jennifer C., ©2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Photo by Jennifer C., ©2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Halloween is sneaking up on us faster than a spooky monster in a haunted house. There are tons of different options for how to spend the night with your kids. Trick-or-treating, community events or a get together at your house are just a few options. Read on for our suggestions on how to make the night frightfully fun for your family!

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Kick Off the Back-To-School Season

While summer might have been a blast for your family, it is probably no surprise that a few of you parents are ready to kick off that back-to-school routine. Make the end of summer extra special by regrouping with some of the parents from your kids’ school at a fun and festive back-to-school themed party. A gathering like this will allow everyone to catch up on each others adventures from the past season and reconnect before all the hustle and bustle of the school year picks up. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for an end-of-summer or back-to- school bash!
backtoschoolNot sure where to start? Stop by our official Pinterest board for a few helpful ideas and areas to address when planning your gathering. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find!

Themed foods
Packaged meals in brown bags and lunchboxes
Make creative and clever food labels

Turn classroom décor into party décor
Send out invitations printed on college ruled paper

Back-to-school family photo booth (set up a camera and a themed background)
Educational Yard Games or trivia sessions with prizes

Candied apples – after all apples are a symbol of the school scene
A few simple school supplies – colored pencils, crayons, and more

S.P.L.A.T. Alert: Tangorra has Returned!

That’s right, Jumpeez – you heard right! Tangorra has returned to JumpStart to once again cause all kinds of trouble for Frankie and all of YOU adventure-loving Jumpeez. This mischievous character is once again after our precious Egglings for a trouble making potion!

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Map pieces are hidden around JumpStart!

To keep JumpStart safe from harm, S.P.L.A.T. (the Special League Against Troublemakers) is looking to YOU to help us locate the special and extremely rare nest of VOLTAGE DRAGON eggs! Frankie and the team here at the blog will be providing you with all of the latest intel from our friends at S.P.L.A.T., so stay tuned throughout the week for more information, starting NOW! Here are the first three clues to get you to the map pieces.

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Clue #1 – Can you figure out where the next piece of Intel has been hidden?

Click here to read more!

August is Family Fun Month!

Summer might be winding down, but that does not mean that the fun has to end so quickly for your family. Make these last days of summer vacation count by celebrating Family Fun Month! There are all kinds of exciting and engaging ways to continue making memories that will last your kids a lifetime. Strengthen your bonds by planning for a few of these popular summer activities that everyone in your family will enjoy.

Photo by: Yaletown BIA © 2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

Outdoor Movie Nights – Do some research to see if your community has any scheduled out door movie screenings that are family friendly. If you can’t find one, consider screening a movie in your backyard using a projector or by simply moving a television outdoors on a warm summer night. This will allow the kids and your friends to picnic under the stars as a unique spin on an average movie night.

Picnics – August is also known for being National Picnic Month. Head outdoors to any local whether it be a park, the beach or any family friendly outdoor setting and share a meal with your loved ones. Pack a basket and cooler with some of your family’s favorite foods and bring along a few games and other activities to keep everyone engaged in some good ole’ fashioned bonding time – away from social media, electronics, and the internet.

Scavenger Hunts – Have your kids learn more about the place where you live by planning a city scavenger hunt with them. Use this as a tool to introduce them to historical sights and check out fun local haunts. This challenging activity will have everyone coming together to bond over a single goal, so make sure that your prize is enticing enough to merit the work that your family puts into the hunt.

Visit Zoos, Museums, and Aquariums – Encourage learning through first hand experience outside of the classroom. Taking a new approach to education can assure that your kids are able to quench their curiosity for the unknown through interactive and more memorable activities. After all kids learn through all kinds of different styles . Not to mention they will surely enjoy seeing animals and other classroom topics up close and personal.

Planning a Backyard Carnival

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor festivals and making exciting memories with friends and family. But limited time county fairs and weekend long community events are not always the most convenient options for busy families during the summer. Take the time to plan your own event, on your own time and terms.

Photo by: Hoyasmeg

With a little bit of planning and a whole lot of creativity, you could host a memorable summer carnival of your very own! Here are some areas to pay special attention to while planning your next backyard carnival –

Activities: Gather supplies for face painting, crafts,  ring toss, and any park type of games that will be fun but don’t take up too much space. After all you don’t want to pack your space with so much that it doesn’t leave room for you to enjoy it all.

Space: Clear out an open area in your backyard to set up. Look out for any possible safety hazards as your backyard is not really made for hosting events like these. Planning ahead can help you avoid any unnecessary accidents.

Food: Make it feel like a real carnival by supplying fair themed foods – popcorn in striped boxes, peanuts, cotton candy, hot dogs, and more! Having more than enough food and drink will keep the party going if you don’t have a scheduled end time.

Decorations: Create hand craft banners and labels for food and games to give your carnival a special rustic backyard feel. Remember the more color and activity that you produce visually, the more realistic your event will feel.

What are some of your favorite carnival activities? Don’t feel too limited by these top tips and areas to cover – make this event your own!