50 Best Summer Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

Best summer movies for families…including teens!

Our family loves movies, and summer movie nights are a common occurrence around our house. Popping popcorn, snuggling up on the couch together--it's the best! We've watched a lot of movies as a family, and I thought I'd gather some of our very favorite summer movies that are perfect for your next movie night and share them with you!

My kids are mostly younger (five of them are age nine and younger), with just one older, so we are watching movies that are for that general age group. If you have an age span of kids, these movies will still appeal for the most apart across the board, and are movies that the whole family can enjoy.  Many of these are ones that I enjoyed as a child, watching with my family, and they bring back a ton of memories.  We watched them on a VCR though--do you remember how long it took to rewind or fast forward?  Yay for DVDs!  You may notice that I also included the original versions of movies, including Parent Trap, The Love Bug, and Freaky Friday. I've always loved them the best!

I also created a separate "teen" list, for those of you that have mostly teens and even older tweens, depending on what your family rules are when it comes to movies. Every movie I've included, even the ones for teenagers, are rated either G or PG, except for the last few in the Harry Potter series.  Our kids don't get to watch those until they're pretty old. :) The Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean movies I just included the first in the series, because those are the ones that are rated PG.

50 Best Summer Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

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Backyard fun: Make your own DIY Tetherball set for half the cost! | simplykierste.com

Backyard fun: Make your own DIY tetherball set!

We are on a quest to add some really fun things to our backyard, and this DIY tetherball set was an easy weekend project that our whole family loves!  

Backyard fun:  Make your own DIY Tetherball set for half the cost! | simplykierste.com

After re-discovering tetherball at our friends' home several weeks ago, the kids begged us to get a tetherball set for them.  I checked them out on Amazon, and when I saw the price (around $100), I knew I could make one for less. I did!  I saved more than half by making our own, plus it's incredibly sturdy and durable.  We absolutely love it, and our family has already spent a lot of time outside enjoying it.

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Vintage lemonade stand with reversible chalkboard sign | simplykierste.com

Vintage lemonade stand with reversible chalkboard sign

Making a lemonade stand has been on my list...pretty much forever.  The last few years we've been so transient that it wasn't really an option--with no where to store it and moves coming up.  Even though all of our things are in storage right now, we did keep out the chop saw so that we would be able to build things for our new house.  With summer parties and entertaining on the horizon, I decided it was time for a lemonade stand.  I'm calling it a lemonade stand just because I'm not sure what else to call it, and also because it makes it sound cuter, but it will mostly be used as a outside serving station. I added a few features, including a reversible chalkboard sign, and decided on a color that will make it perfect for all of my outdoor entertaining!!

Vintage lemonade stand with reversible chalkboard sign | simplykierste.com

Vintage lemonade stand with reversible chalkboard sign | simplykierste.com

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

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

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!

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

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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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Summer Car Kit | simplykierste.com

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

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!

Summer Car Kit | simplykierste.com

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Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks | simplykierste.com

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks

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 make them their own permanent set of outdoor wooden blocks to keep outside all the time, knowing they would be a huge hit this summer.  We LOVE them!

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks | simplykierste.com

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Awesome DIY Backyard ideas for Kids | simplykierste.com

DIY Backyard Ideas for Kids

Summer is almost here, and we can't wait.  We are definitely on the countdown!  One of the best things about our little apartment is that it has a great yard, and so being here through the summer while our house is being built means that we'll still have plenty of room for the kids to run and play.  However...there isn't anything out there right now, so I've been on the hunt recently for some really great backyard ideas that I could make for not only our yard now, but also for when we move into our house.

I love that my kids love to be outside, and I want to do everything I can to encourage that.  Exploring, creating, playing, running, jumping, climbing---that's what summer is meant to be! I want less time on electronics and more time outside, so providing really fun activities outside is high on my priority list.

As I searched, I gathered some of my favorite backyard ideas for kids, and I wanted to share what I found with you!

Awesome DIY Backyard ideas for Kids | simplykierste.com

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

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

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!

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

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 information, plus when you adding swimming lessons, vacations, and summer camps, it's really ridiculous.

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

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

Flying with a toddler?  Try these tips, tricks and ideas to make your trip easier!

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

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 car, you can stop and stretch little legs and take a break, but that's just not always possible on a plane.  That said, to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for both toddler and parents, it's good to have a game plan, and plenty of tricks up your sleeve for the trip.

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15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes | simplykierste.com

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes

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 best, and the ones on my absolute MUST try list.  If you're like me, your mouth will be watering, and you'll head straight to the kitchen to whip up a batch of popcorn after you finish reading!

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes | 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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