If you’re a parent, you know how important after school snacks are for your kids. And you also know how important it is to make sure they are just the right balance to keep them happy but not spoil dinner. Today, we take a quick break from School Lunch ideas and give you 5 great after school snack ideas. Enjoy. 1) Fried Cheerios: Your kids might already be big fans of Cheerios, but they might not have thought of this creative snack. It looks pretty simple and should be a hit in your home. Get all the details at Big Girls Small Kitchen. 2) Strawberry Banana Popsicles: Spring may just be starting, but treats like this are welcome during any season. And this one might actually be healthy! Get the recipe ingredients over at We-Made-That. 3) Pizza Wheels: You can’t go wrong with a pizza snack, and these wheels look …

 

Here’s Hank #4: Fake Snakes & Weird Wizards Best For Readers Grades 2-5 Why We Picked This Book To Review: If your kids have read the Hank Zipzer series, or even if they haven’t, the Here’s Hank series should be a big hit. It’s the same kid, only this is about when he was in second grade. Hank has some “undiagnosed learning challenges,” but he’s a really smart, resourceful kid who is comfortable in his own skin. Always a glass half full And he makes everyone laugh, although usually not on purpose. Our Review: This chapter book series is great all around, but this installment was especially fun. The premise is that Hank’s sister Emily wants Ralph’s Reptile Show to perform at her birthday party, but Ralph is booked solid. So Hank comes up with a plan: he’ll disguise himself as a magician called The Westside Wizard and pull a …

 

ChoreMonster is a great tool for making chores fun. But have you ever stopped to think about how it is preparing your children for their futures? Ok, that sounds too dramatic, but in all seriousness, there are some real building blocks being put in place that can help down the road. Today, I want to give you three ways that ChoreMonster can help prepare your kids for their first bank account. 1. To Spend Or To Save – We’ve already done a post about this, if you haven’t seen it, take a minute and give it some time. The basic point though is that for kids up to a certain age, money doesn’t mean anything to them. They get it in a birthday card and forget about it immediately or they lose it or they spend it right away on whatever is right in front of them at the time. …

 

Photo credit: victoire_za / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA It’s that time again, time for another short list of new chores you can add to your little one’s list to keep them helping around the house. Of course, don’t forget to balance it with rewards, because we all know that is way more motivating anyway. For this list, it’s all about Spring cleaning as the temperatures start to tick upwards. And don’t forget to keep it age appropriate. Clean up, put away winter toys / clothing: Chances are, the snow shovel, the snowboards and sleds, and even the snow boots are still sitting in the garage or inside somewhere waiting to be cleaned up and stashed away until next winter. A great chore for kid’s of most ages. Clean Patio / Deck: The back patio or deck has been ignored all winter, and while we can probably keep the power washing …

 

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective Best for readers ages 8-12. Why We Picked This Book To Review: I loved Encyclopedia Brown books when I was a kid, so it’s great to be able to share them with my boys now. And it’s great that the series is still going. Our Review: This is a great book for young boys for multiple reasons. The first is that it’s just fun to see a kid their age doing things like solving mysteries. Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown is a 10 year old detective in the city of Idaville. He helps out kids in his neighborhood solving their mysteries and even helps out his Dad, the chief of the Idaville Police Department, usually over dinner. I also really like how the mysteries are separate from each other, but there is a tie in throughout this book. So you can pick it up and read one halfway …

 

It’s time for another installment of Chore Reward Ideas. This is a monthly post where we recommend cool toys, books, games and other stuff that might help motivate your kids to keep doing a great job with their chores around the house. This month, it’s all LEGO, enjoy! Jakes Pirate Ship Bucky: : If your kid’s love Jake & The Neverland Pirates, they’ll love this set featuring Jake’s Ship Bucky. Stop Captain Hook from sneaking onboard Jake’s Pirate Ship Bucky and taking the treasure! Disney Princess Cinderella’s Castle: We can’t forget that tons of girls love LEGO, and this Duplo set is perfect for the younger ones who are into buidling bricks. Ninjago Kia Fighter:: Loads of kids love the Ninjago series of LEGO toys, and this new Kia Fighter will be no exception. Defeat General Cryptor then flip the wings back to engage speed mode and zoom away. LEGO …

 

Image courtesy of Mollysabourin.com It’s that time of the year again! Not the time when you go crazy because your kids can go outside again and are tracking a little bit of everything back into your home, but rather the time when we all watch college basketball. In my family, we have made it a tradition to print out and fill out a bracket and the competition makes March Madness a lot more fun. The stakes are low but enough to keep my kids interested, even if they don’t care much about college basketball. The winner gets to choose where we go out to dinner and the runner up gets to pick dessert. I’m a big sports fan, and a really big college hoops fan, but I still have only been able to win the challenge twice since we started doing it. Last year, my then seven year old took …

 

Photo credit: Jim Bauer / Foter / CC BY-ND Back in January we gave you a handful of family night ideas that you could pull off on the cheap. This month, we have some brand new ideas that we hope you like. Family Pre-Vacation Night: If you have a vacation planned, this night can be an evening where you look forward to your trip. Talk about what you want to do, theme dinner to match with your destination, or see how much money is in the vacation jar. What? Don’t have a vacation jar? Well, maybe this family night can be reserved for decorating a jar and talking about a fun vacation you’d like to go on. Either way it’s a great excuse to spend time together cheaply. Backyard Cookout & Camping: As the weather begins to warm up, the grill and outdoors are a great option for family fun. …

 

We have a very exciting new ChoreMonster feature to let you know more about today, and we think you’re really going to love it. It’s called The Monster Theatre and it gives your kids another great reason to spend time using ChoreMonster. It’s simple, just open The Monster Theatre and kids get an opportunity to view great videos from ChoreMonster and our friends. Right now, kids can watch a trailer for Disney’s Tinkerbell & The Legend Of The Neverbeast, or one of our Monster Shorts Videos. Actually, there are two Monster Shorts videos available, and we have a brand new one coming to the theatre very soon as well. So let your kids know about The Monster Theatre today, another great reward for them after they’re finished working hard on their chores.

 

Best for reading levels, ages 9 to 12. Why We Picked This Book To Review: It’s a great life lesson and conversation starter for kids that are getting ready for middle-school. Our Review: Wonder is a book about August Pullman, a kid who has a facial condition that makes him different from other kids. So different that he’s been homeschooled up until the point he enters 5th grade, where the story picks up. Auggie is terrified, yet brave, and has to deal with all that comes with being a 5th grade kid who doesn’t look like anyone else. He endures bullying, makes friends, and tries to just be a normal kid in an environment that is hesitant to embrace him. I really like this book because it’s not only something kids in the 9-12 year range will find interesting, but it’s also a great conversation starter between you and your …