Tag Archives | kids



I appreciate a day or two of being cooped up and hunkered down with the kids due to weather, but it’s not long before everyone (myself included) starts bouncing off the walls! Since the forecast is calling for rain-magedon over the next week in the Pacific Northwest, I figured it was time to get reacquainted with some of our favorite rainy day activities. Here are the ones that come to mind:

  1. READING! Other than at bedtime, it usually takes making a fun reading space with cozy pillows, a snack, the fireplace on and/or a fort to get my kids to buy in and settle down, but once they do, it’s the best.
  2. OPEN GYM – at our local gymnastics places.
  3. KID’S MUSEUMS + OTHER LOCAL INDOOR ACTIVITIES – always asking friends or scrolling through red tricycle and parent map for ideas, events and pop-ups.
  4. COFFEE SHOP DATE – trying a new place is always fun!
  5. MATINEE MOVIE – much like reading, a daytime movie can feel like a special treat when there are yummy snacks, family room forts, and lots of snuggles involved.  Looking forward to the days when everyone can go watch (and actually sit) at a movie theater!
  6. BALLOON VOLLEYBALL – or anything involving not letting the balloon touch the ground.
  7. HOT LAVA – if you haven’t played before — lay pillows and oversized stuffed animals strategically around the room and jump around, being careful not to touch the ground.
  9. BAKING or CRAFTING – a few favorites, t.p. binoculars, god’s eye, animal charms, straw windpipes, candy wrapper bracelet, and rain maker.
  10. INDOOR SNOWBALL FIGHT – using foam balls, ball pit balls or balled up socks.
  11. GO NOODLE or other kid exercise activities like yoga on youtube. Clear the furniture in the family room, layout yoga mats and get the wiggles out!
  13. PLAY DOUGH, PUZZLES, + BOARD GAMES – all classics, but boardgames don’t usually happen unless I can sit with them the entire time and Poppy is napping :)

rae-ann-kelly-rainy-days-0497 rae-ann-kelly-rainy-days-0486rae-ann-kelly-rainy-days-0490

I tend to handle indoor days better when I have a running list of activities to draw from and would love any ideas you guys have to add!

Long live the weekend… even if we do end up being cooped up!

XO, Rae




It’s no secret how easily kids are entertained by simple objects such as cardboard boxes, car keys, or just about anything in the Target dollar isle. Leaving us all to wonder why we spent money on the leap frog gadget… :)  Just this past week Poppy has been attached to the tackiest stuffed animal, from our trip to the fair, over all the other adorable plush stuffies laying around the house.

Todays mini maker project — DIY Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars — takes advantage of kids appreciation for simple things and (BONUS) gives them the perfect toy to take outside for a nature walk, bird watching, or looking at clouds!

kids-diy-binoculars-9472 kids-diy-binoculars-9432


You’ll Need:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Small scraps of cardboard
  • Ribbon or string
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Glue gun (or craft glue)
  • Hole punch

Here’s How:

  1. Paint and decorate 2 toilet paper rolls. (Or use craft paper, or washi tape, or skip this step altogether)
  2. Put a thin strip of hot glue down the middle of one roll and stick to the other to make binoculars. Cut a small strip of cardboard and glue across the top-middle of the binoculars.
  3. Punch a hole in the outside of each of the tubes and thread with ribbon. (PSA: Leave ribbon off for younger kids and always supervise!)


Hours of entertainment from a couple TP rolls…. #winning!

XO, Rae


printable (heart day) dominos for the kids.

i would ordinarily consider our family to be big board game enthusiasts (settlers of catan, anyone?) however the sleep deprivation that comes with having an infant really limits my ability to stay focused and committed to a full on family game night. basically anything more involved than connect four is not happening. so for the time being we’ll stick to movie nights or super simple games like these color match dominos (download below). with a side of popcorn of course.



  1. download and print this DOMINO TEMPLATE on white card stock and cut along dotted line. shuffle the dominos a little and then deal 5 to each player. place the remaining dominos face down in a pile.
  2. to start, let the youngest player place a domino face up in the middle of the play table. moving clockwise, have the next player check their dominos to see if they have the same color heart in their hand as one that was played. if so, have them play their domino so it’s touching the heart that it matches. if not, they can grab a domino from the pile. if the domino they grabbed is a match, it can be played.
  3. continue playing until one player runs out of dominos — they are the winner!


at the moment, our dominos are sitting out in the family room and get played with anytime we have a few extra minutes but they would also be fun and easy to pack up and play while waiting at the doctors office or restaurant or one of the other many occasions where an occupied child is a really good thing.

happy friday before the super bowl… gooooooo hawks! #rePETE

xo . rae

ps – looking for more festive ideas and projects for valentines day? here’s some oldies but goodies from the archive…

heart-day-archivesonealways banner / two – la la love + fringe / threeantlers / fourvalentines / fivemore valentines / sixheart day playlist


crafting with the land of nod (paper christmas trees)

happy, happy friday friends! if your looking for a break from the christmas hustle and bustle or need an easy craft to keep the kids busy while you wrap gifts, head over to the land of nod blog for this fun tree project. the ones pictured below are my handiwork, but my littles made a bunch more later in the day that turned out far more creative and cute and now add a nice christmassy touch to their rooms.

paper-christmas-trees{HEAD HERE FOR FULL TUTORIAL}

just got 4 out of 5 kids out the door this morning for their last day of school before christmas break and i can hardly wait for them to walk through the door this afternoon. we don’t have any fancy outings or trips planned but i’m looking forward to finding activities close to home and am realizing more this year than ever that family time doesn’t have to be a big deal to be special. maybe we’ll invite friends over (in jammies) for breakfast or get bundled up for a hike or drive around and look at lights…

as we head into the holidays, i’d love to know what simple but festive activities you have planned?

xo . rae

{images by stacy jacobsen}


camper care package + so many milestones


not sure if the pregnancy hormones are making me extra sentimental or if we’ve just hit a busy season with lots of changes, but lately the kids seem to be reaching all kinds of milestones. nothing major but still a sobering reminder of how quickly my babes are growing up.

one of those milestones is that espen will be heading to summer camp with our church for the first time without his older brother as a bunkmate or dad as a counselor. luckily we know many of the other campers and parent helpers so i know he’ll be in good hands — however i don’t want to send him off without putting together a little care package to greet him when he shows up!

camper-care-package-2nothing too fancy or over the top. i mostly wandered the isles of target and grabbed things i thought he might enjoy:

TARGET: striped bucket with lid, parachute guy, slime, baseball cards, playing cards, glow sticks & pop-its

S’MORES MIX: teddy grahams, marshmallows and chocolate chips

ZINK: found at crewcuts (and included mostly for my own nostalgic reasons!)

most of the other things i would think to include (water bottle, flash light, money for snack shack, notebook, etc.) are already on his packing list so there is a chance that he won’t even touch most of the items in his care package but hopefully he’ll feel loved when he opens it!

do you have any other ideas for the care package? are you sending anyone off to camp this summer? or thoughts on the subject?!

i’d love to hear in the comments…

xo . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)

ps – hope you guys had a fantastic long weekend! going though all my iPhone pics from the 4th and am hoping to share tomorrow!