washcloth boo boo bunny | simplykierste.com

Washcloth boo-boo bunny

Last year my baby spent a lot of time in the hospital. Within seven months, she was admitted to ICU five times, and it was an incredibly difficult time.  We were blessed with really wonderful doctors, and exceptional nurses who took great care of her, and  when you're spending weeks in the hospital at one time, you get to know them pretty well.  Caroline was between 15-21 months during this time, and being old enough to walk but young enough to be confined in a crib was a challenge, and I was constantly looking for ways to entertain her.  She also had a lot of shots, IV's and treatments and watching your baby go through it is pretty terrible.  The nurses were definitely the bright spots--they were so good with her, and were constantly coming up with ways to make things easier.  That's how I learned about the washcloth boo-boo bunny!

washcloth boo boo bunny | simplykierste.com

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Keep kids entertained with these darling 4th of July placemats! | simplykierste.com

Keep kids busy with these adorable 4th of July placemats!

Happy July Everyone! I'm Kiki from Kiki and Company and am super excited to be here today to share a fun printable for one of my favorite holidays. July 4th just has a special place in my heart, so I hope this helps to make lunch or dinner just a little more patriotic and a little less hectic!

4th of July place mat at kiki and company

These place mats are simply a quick download and print away to keep your little munchkins busy while they are waiting for their meal.

Free 4th of July Placemats from kiki and company

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Free flip flops coloring page | simplykierste.com

Summer fun: free flip flops coloring page

Kiki is here with a super fun free printable coloring page, to help beat summer boredom!  And...it's just fun. :)

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Hey Ya'll! SUMMER is here! Yay and Yikes, right?! Yay because your kids are home all day and you have so much quality time with them. Yikes because your kids are home all day...:) It's Kiki from Kiki and Company and I am here to share a really simple printable with you to add to your summer arsenal. I like to have a bunch of things my kiddos can do during the day to avoid the dreaded "BORED" word. In my house that is just code for "I need a job, mom!" ;) What says summer more that flip flops?

Free Flip Flops Coloring Page

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DIY personalized notepaper | Perfect for Mother's Day, teacher gifts, and more! |simplykierste.com

DIY personalized notepaper

With Mother's Day coming up, and the end of school on the horizon, gifts for mom and teacher gifts are definitely on the mind.  I've got a really fun solution for you--for both of them! More than ten years ago, we made my mom personalized notepaper for Mother's Day.  It was a huge hit, and from that point on, it has been highly requested time and time again.  It is one of my favorite gifts to give for so many occasions and people--it makes an awesome teacher gift and it's perfect for Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays, and even wedding and hostess gifts.  My sister served as a missionary for our church several years ago, and we made a set for her for one of her birthdays while she was gone.  It's just so fun to make and give!

DIY personalized notepaper | Perfect for Mother's Day, teacher gifts, and more! |simplykierste.com

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Chocolate-Covered Peeps Pops | simplykierste.com

Chocolate-Covered Peeps Pops

Okay, I admit it. I'm not a huge fan of Peeps, and they've never really been my favorite.  However...my kids love them, and so we usually have them around Easter, and today I had some out for another project I'm working on. At the same time my kids happened to be begging for the open bag of chocolate chips in the pantry, AND I had a bag of lollipop sticks on the counter that were ready to be put away. What happened next is what I'm calling kismet.  Chocolate-Covered Peeps Pops.

Chocolate-Covered Peeps Pops | simplykierste.com

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Annual Interview Questions for Kids | simplykierste.com

All about me: annual interview questions for kids

I take a lot of pictures of my kids. And I mean A LOT.  I always have a camera with me, and I was super happy when the smartphone came along, so then I had a phone AND a camera all-in-one!  My kids know that no matter the occasion, no matter we go, pictures are going to happen  It's just how it is.  But what I love just as much as photos are their little words--the funny things they say, what they think about, and how they view the world.  Years ago, I started doing an annual interview with my kids, and it's seriously my favorite thing EVER.  At first it was on paper only, but now I do video too.  We have a family blog that I update regularly and get printed every year, so I keep it in print in our blog book, and then I have the digital version as well.  I do the interviews on their birthdays, but the beginning of each year is a really great time too!

Annual Interview Questions for Kids | simplykierste.com

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Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

Family Lacing Cards

We live far away from all of our family--most of them live thousands of miles away, and my sister is the closest at twelve hours away. We don't get to see them as often as we would like, but it's important to me that we do things to keep connected, and to help my kids know their family.  I thought it would be fun to make a set of family lacing cards for my kids for Christmas a couple of years ago, and they LOVE them.  I made a card for each of our siblings, and their families, and it's so fun to have their cute faces so often.

Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

 It's a perfect gift for either your kids, or for other family members--with a card of your family, of course!  I love to tuck them into our church bag, into my diaper bag for visits to the doctor and other times we have to wait, and into the car.

  This is a very easy project, and can be put together in an afternoon! It's also extremely budget-friendly--I made this whole set for less than $10, with the majority going to the lamination.

Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

 

ITEMS YOU NEED:

-white cardstock

-coordinating cardstock

-paper trimmer & scissors

-hole punch

-printer

-pictures of choice

Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Develop 5x7 pictures of your family.  On white cardstock, print the names or other text a little below the middle of the page, giving room for the picture to go above it.  Once it's printed, adhere the picture right above the text using double stick tape. (Font = century gothic)

2. Trim the white cardstock, leaving about a 3/4 inch border around the edges.  Mat it onto a coordinating piece of cardstock--I decided on red.  Trim all edges to be even.

3.  You're ready to laminate!  I took mine to Office Max, and had them use a 7 mil laminate.  I wanted it as thick as possible, and the 10 mil wouldn't work with all of the cardstock. Trim the laminate, leaving a small border around the edges.  ***Make sure you round the corners afterward--the edges are very sharp! If you have a laminator, you can do it yourself too! I also have a laminator, but I wanted it a little thicker than mine can do.

4.  Using a ruler and a Sharpie, decide where you how far apart you want the holes, and make a small mark.  Punch the holes over the mark you made with your hole punch.

That's it, you're done!  You've got darling family lacing cards!

 Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com
Children's Artwork Christmas Gift Tags | simplykierste.com

Children’s Art Christmas Gift Tags

Hello, friends!  I'm Kierste, the girl behind the blog Simply Kierste, and I'm delighted to be here today!

I love doing projects with my kids, and this not only includes them, but highlights their creations. Yesterday afternoon I asked my kids to draw me some Christmas pictures--anything they wanted. We brought out the markers and the white paper, and they went to town. I took their artwork, and made them into absolutely adorable Christmas gift tags.

Children's Artwork Christmas Gift Tags | simplykierste.com

How adorable, right??!!  There is something so special about immortalizing such sweet artwork, and being able to share it. They're perfect for adding to presents you give to friends and family, or even for the ones you give to that specific child.  They would also be darling on a teacher gift, or a child's music teacher, ballet teacher, sports coach, etc.

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Halloween Don't Eat Pete | simplykierste.com

Halloween Don’t Eat Pete

Don't Eat Pete is one of our most favorite family games...EVER.  We play it quite often for family night, and I thought it would be fun to create a fun Halloween version!

Halloween Don't Eat Pete | simplykierste.com

If you're looking for a fun and easy classroom party idea, this is one for your list!  Kids of all ages love this, making it perfect for any grade. With very little prep, it also makes it an easy choice. Whether it's for home or school, it's very popular with anyone who plays!

Here's how it works:

(Print the file below, the laminate for best results. You'll also need a bag of Halloween candy, like Skittles, M&M's, marshmallows, or other small candy.)

1. Have all the players sit around in a circle around the "board". Place a piece of candy on each picture (not the words or arrows).

2. The first player will turn his back to the group, while everyone else decides and quietly points to which picture will be "Pete".  When it's been decided, the player turns around.  They point from picture to picture, trying to avoid "Pete". Each one they guess that's not "Pete", they get to keep that candy. Once you they point to the image everyone has chosen, their turn ends, and everyone says, "DON'T EAT PETE"!!!

Play as many rounds as you like!

DOWNLOAD:

Halloween Don't Eat Pete, PDF

eric carpe free printable activities & coloring pages | simplykierste.com

Good Mornings with Eric Carle and Gymboree

This is a sponsored blog post. I received compensation from Gymboree.  All opinions and text are 100% mine.

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You know one of the best parts of the day for me?  First thing in the morning, after the morning rush, after breakfast has been served and cleaned up, and after the big kids are on the bus to school.  My three little kids and I snuggle up on the couch, all of us still pajama-clad, with a pile of our favorite books.

eric carle and gymboree | simplykierste.com

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Craft Stick Dolls | A Fun Craft For Kids | simplykierste.com

Craft Stick Dolls: An Easy Craft for Kids

Well, hello, hello!! Can you believe it's the 10th of the month, already?? Our bunch of 10 bloggers is so happy to be back, sharing with you ten brand new ideas.  This month we've turned our thoughts to our kiddos! Our chosen theme is JUST FOR KIDS, with ten great ideas, for and all about kids, including recipes, crafts, and all-around great ways to bring the family together. After you check out my super cute Craft Stick Dolls, be sure to check out (and pin!) the posts from my fellow blog friends. Enjoy!

My girls love to make things, and often they're borrowing my craft supplies to create their latest project.  Last week they asked for craft sticks and washi tape, and I am in la la love with what they came up with! When I saw their darling Craft Stick Dolls, I wasexcited to share this easy & FUN craft for kids!

Craft Stick Dolls | A Fun Craft For Kids | simplykierste.com

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picking berries, making jam, summer family fun | simplykierste.com

Picking Berries, Making Jam, and Summer Family Fun!

Our summer days always include reading. I don't think a day passes that we haven't sat down and read together, and I love that we aren't feeling the hustle and bustle of a typical school day afternoon. We also love to have adventures together, and sometimes the two go hand-in-hand. A couple of weeks ago I posted on Paging Supermom (as part of their Books Alive series) about how the two are combined! Reading + Adventures (outdoors and in the kitchen) = Summer Family Fun! They are simple ideas, but those are the best kind! ☺

Our family is in LOVE with the Frances books by Russell Hoban. That Frances is such a character, and we laugh so hard at all of her adventures...or misadventures. One of our particular favorites is Bread and Jam for Frances. The story is darling, and delivers a moral about learning to eat and appreciate different foods. It's definitely one to have on your shelf!

picking berries, making jam, summer family fun | simplykierste.com

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Canning Lid Flashcards

My girls are in second grade, and have started learning their multiplication tables. The only way to really learn them inside and out is repetition....and A LOT of it.  I really wanted to come up with a way to help them practice through the school year, and into the summer, preparing them for third grade next year.  I love flashcards, but the paper ones never seem to last long at our house. I don't know if you can relate, but it seems like some of them get bent, torn, or lost.  A younger sibling may get a hold of them, and well, that's the end of the flashcards.  So...I used some extra canning lids I had sitting around, and created my own durable and adorable Canning Lid Flashcards!

Canning Lid Flashcards | simplykierste.com

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footprint stool | simplykierste.com

Footprint Stool

I made this footprint stool four years ago, not too long into my blogging career.  To this day, it has remained one of my most popular posts, and I have to say, it's one of my favorites too.  I decided to update the post for a couple of reasons, but it was definitely time for better pictures.  ☺ It's amazing what you learn in four years!  I also wanted to share it with my newer readers, especially with Mother's Day coming up. I absolutely love this stool, and now that I've had another baby, I'm trying to figure out how to fit another footprint on there!

footprint stool | simplykierste.com

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snowman in a jar | simplykierste.com

{craft for kids: no-melt snowman in-a-jar}

Happy New Year to you!  It's Michelle from Chalkboardblue, and I'm excited to share with you a Craft for Kids that can be made to enjoy the month of January.   In fact, why not have a Snowman Building Party In Doors? It's much warmer inside and the best part is, these Snowmen won't melt!  Invite a couple friends over and let the fun begin.  To have an organized Snowman Build that will run smoothly, have all of your Snowman essentials ready to go in a Kit for each of the Party participants...a Snowman in-a-jar Snowman Kit!  Don't have time to host a party?   These kits can be made ahead of time and stored so when an inside day comes with nothing to do, here's a craft ready to go!!

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paper sack mother's day cards | simplykierste.com

Paper Sack Mother’s Day Card: a Child’s Q&A

At my church, I get to work with the Primary children (kids aged 3-11), and I LOVE it. Mother's Day is just a few short weeks away, and this week I designed a super fun card that I think all their moms are going to love! I wanted to make a card where they could each express some favorite things about their mom.  I was talking to one of my best friends this week, and she reminded me of an idea that I have actually loved for a long time...in fact, my oldest son wrote a card like it for me when he was in preschool, and it's one of my most treasured possessions.  Asking a child questions about their mom--some funny, others serious--and putting it all together in a cute package was just what I was looking for! .

paper sack mother's day cards | simplykierste.com

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Dry Erase Activity Book | simplykierste.com

Dry Erase Activity Books

 I don't know about you, but I am always looking for something to keep my kids quiet and occupied during church,  while traveling, and any other time we have to wait anywhere for any length of time.  I've got some busy kiddos, and I'm sure the people in the church pews in back and in front of us appreciate the effort.  :)

When I came across this darling dry erase quiet book by icandy handmade, I thought it was brilliant, and couldn't wait to make some of my own.  Instead of using a binder, and sliding coloring and workbook pages inside sheet protectors (which is a great idea), I decided to make them differently, for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I wanted mine to be smaller, so they would fit more easily in a diaper bag, purse, or church bag. I also wasn't sure how long the sheet protectors would hold up with my four little kiddos, and since they aren't super durable, I wanted to try a different method. I created half sheets, laminated them, and used book rings to hold them together.  I bought some dry erase crayons to use with it, and I wish I would  have bought them sooner. I LOVE LOVE how they turned out, and my kids are crazy over them. It's a hit!

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Handmade Cinnamon Ornaments | simplykierste.com

Handmade Cinnamon Ornaments

I made these cinnamon ornaments for our first Christmas tree when we were first married, and I have absolutely loved them ever since.  There is something just so cozy about making handmade ornaments, in all their rustic and lovely imperfection.  Perhaps it's the old-fashioned girl in me that wishes I could sit in a log cabin, string popcorn garland, and hang these cinnamon ornaments on the tree I cut down in the woods.  This is my way of capturing a piece of that, and I love it!

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