Save your sanity with a “before you can play” chore list!

"Before you can play" summer chore chart | simplykierste.com

Every summer morning I hear the words "can I play?", in one form or another.  They might be referring to going outside to play, having friends over, wanting me to take them somewhere, requesting screen time, or  any number of things that's on their agenda that day.  I got really tired of listing the things off that they needed to do before they could play (even though they already knew), that I decided to make things easier for not only myself, but for the kids too, by making a summer "before you can play" chore list.  I hung it on the fridge, and when they want to know if they can play, I just ask if they have everything done on the list! Love! We have a regular chore chart that we … [Read more...]

Summer fun: free flip flops coloring page

Free flip flops coloring page | simplykierste.com

Kiki is here with a super fun free flip flops coloring page, to help beat summer boredom!  And...it's just fun. :) -------------------- 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? Print a ton of these out and have fun with them. Have your … [Read more...]

How to put together a summer car kit + free printable!

Summer Car Kit | simplykierste.com

Already the sunscreen and bug spray have come out of hibernation, and plans are being made to enjoy every single minute of the summer.  We're  on the go a lot during the summer months, whether it's a road trip, or just around town.  It means a lot of parks and outdoor activities and FUN!  With all that fun comes the inevitable, and odds are, I'm going to need something out of the car kit that I keep in my trunk. Preparedness is key! I change it up a bit for each season, and today I'm sharing the summer version, plus a super cute free printable! Yep.  If  you've got kids, you know that bugs, sun, scrapes, bee stings, dirty diapers, wet clothes, mud, accidents, emergency potty stops … [Read more...]

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks | simplykierste.com

My husband and I are outside quite a bit building and working on different projects now that the weather is nice, and it's wonderful!   The kids will play outside in the yard while we're working, and one of the things they love to play with are all the wood scraps that we seem to have an endless supply of.  This past Saturday they were stacking the scraps, building towers, making roads, pretending all sorts of things, and even coloring them with their sidewalk chalk.  It kept them busy for a long time, and they were having a ball.  I decided to use all of our scrap wood and make them their own permanent set of outdoor wooden blocks to keep outside all the time, knowing they would be a huge … [Read more...]

Make your summer easier with a printable summer schedule & calendar 2015

Keep your summers organized with the printable 2015 Summer Schedule | free printable | simplykierste.com

I have been receiving comments and emails about if and when I would be posting a 2015 Summer Schedule, and it totally took me off guard, because we still have two months of school left.  So for all of you lucky ducks that get out in May, I thought I should get this posted now! I LOVE having this spreadsheet for our summer schedule, and after using it for several years, I can't imagine a summer without it. There is always so much going on--concerts in the park, park days, library story times, ball games----and while we're not going to go to every single one of them, I want to know when they are in case we can go.  There just isn't room on my regular calendar for all of that … [Read more...]

20+ best tips, tricks & ideas for flying with a toddler

20+ Best Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Flying with a Toddler | simplykierste.com

Flying with a toddler?  Try these tips, tricks and ideas to make your trip easier! I recently took my newly-turned two year little girl on her first plane ride. She joined her sisters and me for a girls' trip out west, and none of us could wait to go!  I've flown plenty of times before, but it had been awhile since I had a toddler with me since now there are eight of us, we do most of our family traveling by car. I think toddlers are in general the hardest age to travel with, but especially flying.  Not that they aren't perfectly adorable in every way, but they are at a age where they want to be down, running, and moving, and a plane is probably the most limiting.  When you're in a … [Read more...]

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes | simplykierste.com

It's no secret that our family loves popcorn.  Really, it's more of an obsession.  It's almost a daily occurrence at our house, and it's been a long time since I haven't heard "can we have popcorn?". My oldest son might actually totally survive on popcorn alone, he eats so much of it! We add butter and salt most often, but I also love to create and try new popcorn recipes too.  Popcorn is really the perfect snack and even dessert! It's wonderful for parties, at home with family, serving to company, as an after school snack, taking to the classroom, dressing up for holidays, packaging up as gifts, and...what movie night is complete without popcorn? So, I gathered some of the ones I love the … [Read more...]

Picking Berries, Making Jam, and Summer Family Fun!

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

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.  … [Read more...]

Summer Playlists for Kids & Families

summer playlist for kids | simplykierste.com

Isn't everything more fun with music?  At our house, you can usually find us rocking out to our favorite tunes while we do the dishes, make dinner, drive in the car, or just because!  Summertime means even more time together, whether it's at home hanging out or on the road, and a Summer Playlist is a super fun way to enjoy that time together! I'm a huge fan of playlists.  All of the holidays, seasons, girls' trips, races, and pretty much any party are all great reasons to create one, and summertime is no different! Everything is more fun with music.  ☺ Summer Playlists for Kids is one for the bucket list!  I just created our Summer 2014 Playlist as a surprise for my kids, and I'm so … [Read more...]

Raspberry Pretzel Bars

Raspberry Pretzel Bars | simplykierste.com

Raspberry Pretzel Bars are one of my favorite things on earth.  How can you beat a buttery, pretzel-y crust, smothered in a scrumptious cream cheese center, and topped with raspberries and raspberry Jell-O?  You really can't.  Plus, it's red and white, which makes it very appropriate for 4th of July and patriotic festivities! I'm really sentimental about this recipe.  One of my closest friends gave me this recipe, and it's one that she often brought over (that I begged her to make) to our BBQs and picnics. I miss her like crazy, and I love thinking of her every time I make this. These are REALLY easy to make, but it's a process.  Each layer needs to be refrigerated before adding the next … [Read more...]