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“Free Falling Freedom Towers” 4th of July Game

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“Free Falling Freedom Towers” 4th of July Game

Freedom is precious. It’s important. And it’s often taken for granted. Most of us enjoy freedom without having to sacrifice for it. There are many individuals and families who have made sacrifices to maintain our freedom, though, and there are those who continue to sacrifice for the rest of us. This 4th of July game was created for that reason–to help us illustrate to our children the importance of appreciating and valuing the freedoms we have and to understand that freedom really isn’t free. (Yes, it’s a cliché, but it’s absolutely true! And our children need to know it.)

This 4th of July game gives adults a way to illustrate to our children how precious our freedom is and how easily it can be toppled without faith, care, and appreciation. 

hands holding American flag

Materials:

• ten plastic cups
• eight index cards

Object:

Children will compete in teams to see who has enough patience and strength to collapse all of the cups as smoothly as possible.

Preparation:

Have each child (or each team) build a tower out of index cards and plastic cups. They’ll need to build their towers at least five feet apart to prevent accidentally knocking over the opposing child’s/team’s tower. The following illustrations show how to build the tower.

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Start by placing a plastic cup rim-side down onto a sturdy table. Place an index card on the cup after the cup is in place.

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Repeat that step until you have two towers. Each tower should consist of five cups and four index cards.

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You can see in the picture above that there is not an index card on the top of the stack. Index cards should only be placed between cups.

Introduction:

Explain to your children that we are celebrating another year of America’s independence and that we want to remember how, many years ago, we had to earn our independence through hard battles and sacrifices. You might want to explain that we still have people who give their lives to make sure America remains free.

Today we’re going to play a game that will show us how important it is to value our freedom and treat it with care because, if we don’t, it is possible for our freedom to topple just like our towers of cups and cards.

Instructions:

1. If possible, divide the children into two even teams (or have two children serve as opposing teams).
2. Have teams form a line behind each stack of cups and index cards.
3. When you say, “Go!” the first child will have to remove the top index card in the stack.
4. If the whole stack tumbles down, he or she must rebuild it and go to the end of the line.
5. If he or she is able to remove the card without toppling the tower (The top cup should collapse onto the next cup in the stack.), the child moves to the end of the line.
6. The game continues until one team has successfully collapsed its stack.

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Closing:

Discuss the fact that, as they played the game, the children had to be very careful when they pulled the index cards out from between the cups. Ask them questions prompting them to explain what happened when they weren’t careful. (The tower toppled.) What happened if they didn’t take their responsibility seriously and tried to work too fast or without paying careful attention? (The tower toppled.)

Talk about the fact that each tower represented our freedoms both as a country and as Christians. If we aren’t careful and don’t treat our freedoms with dignity and defend them with care, the whole thing could topple.

What does it mean to treat our freedoms with care and dignity? (Let your children answer and give guidance as needed.) We should value our freedom and take it seriously. We should stand up for our rights and freedoms and support others who do the same. We should be willing to make sacrifices to remain free because freedom is important!

What does it mean to treat other people with care and dignity? (Again, let them answer and give guidance as needed.) We need to follow the laws of love. We should not hurt each other. We should treat each other with love and care. You may even want to discuss that bad health habits can lead to health problems that impede our freedom of movement and personal independence.

If we don’t value our independence, fail to recognize its worth, and treat it with carelessness, our freedom can topple just like our towers toppled. Leave your children with a sense of hope, though, by explaining that we each have the choice to value our freedom and to value others. If we make the right choice, our freedoms can remain strong and we can stand like tall towers or beacons of hope for others and for our country.

For more 4th of July information and activities, check out these articles!

4th of July art project

4th of July Art Project Tutorial

4th of July coloring page

4th of July Color by Number 

patriotic slime recipe

Patriotic Slime Recipe

Celebrating Summer: Enjoying the Everyday This July

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Fun and Educational St. Patrick’s Day Activities!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon!  This Irish holiday honors the official patron saint of Ireland. However, the fun traditions of St. Patrick’s Day aren’t limited to Ireland. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day traditions have caught on all over the world! St. Patrick’s Day is now proudly celebrated in many countries, such as the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and New Zealand.

St. Patrick's Day activities

Whether you are Irish, have Irish ancestors, or are just looking for some festive  ways to celebrate the unique culture of Ireland, we’re bringing you some fun and educational activities that you can use to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in your homeschool!

These crafty activities inspire hands-on learning and can be fun for the whole family to try together!

Create a “life-sized” Leprechaun hat with this fun and simple craft that utilizes those used up K Cups in your kitchen!

St. Patricks' Day Leprechaun hats craft

This shamrock wire bookmark is beautiful and features a very Celtic-inspired design! This would be a great craft to make with older kids, and one that they’ll enjoy using, too!

The rainbow is a popular symbol in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations (after all, it’s where you can find the mythical leprechaun’s pot of gold!) Here are some rainbow-themed projects that combine a little bit of art and science to make some colorful, magical fun.

Create a Saint Patrick’s day masterpiece and teach your little learner about ROYGBIV (color order) using playdough and this printable mat!

This article also contains links to even more crafts and activities that you may enjoy using for St. Patrick’s Day!

Just download and print these educational worksheets out to add some instant St. Patrick’s Day fun to your homeschool! 

This shamrock-themed printable offers a great visual aid to help children with multiplying by 3s and 4s!

Use these worksheets to give your child some extra practice counting to 100 with festive, Leprechaun-themed pages.

Teaching young kids about skip-counting? Use these printable shamrock-themed worksheets that they can fill in and color, too!

This article includes links to a variety of downloadable activities: a not-too-hard word search, a grammatical scavenger hunt, and a mad lib activity (all on theme for St. Patrick’s Day, of course!)

Practice different tenses of verbs in a fun way with this Leprechaun-themed grammar printable!

Use this St. Patrick’s Day Adjective Word Wall to introduce your child to adjectives or reinforce learning about parts of speech (or just use them for some St. Patrick’s Day themed spelling words!)

Use this Leprechaun-themed word wall to help teach your child more about action verbs this St. Patrick’s Day! These also make great spelling words for young learners.

This St. Patrick’s Day themed word wall will make it fun and easy for young children to learn about nouns!

This fun and interesting cultural study will get kids involved in learning about the nation of Ireland! This printable has a huge variety of engaging activities that work for a wide range of ages.

It’s funny to think that so many countries around the world celebrate a holiday that honors Ireland’s patron saint, but they do! This printable booklet would fun to read as a family and discover traditions that different places around the world observe on St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe you’ll even find some that you want to try in your homeschool!

These Rainbow Tie-Dye Cupcakes would be the perfect colorful treat to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day!

This healthier twist on classic Mac & Cheese has hidden treasure (AKA green vegetables) and may just be your new lucky dish for picky eaters.

These thumbprint cookies are fun to make, look at and (of course) eat!

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate (and a pinch of bright green!) You can’t go wrong with these Reverse Chocolate Cookies.

These fun-to-make cupcakes represent the rainbow (on the inside) and the gold (at the top) which are both symbolic of Irish lore!

I hope you and your children have some fun celebrating St. Patrick’s Day while sneaking in some educational benefits using those activities.

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Huge List of Valentine’s Day Ideas, Printables, and Activities

Valentines Day ideas

 It’s the time of year for hearts, flowers and chocolates, and you are probably here because you’re looking for some special ways to celebrate the sweethearts in your life: whether that means your kids, spouse, or friends! Today we are bringing you the biggest collection ever of fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in your home (and, of course, in your homeschool.) Here, you’ll find links to a huge variety of printable Valentine’s Day cards,  plenty of Valentine’s Day themed learning activities, and articles with practical tips on how show love and kindness–on Valentine’s Day or any time of year!  Enjoy!

Valentines Day ideas

Printable Valentines

From printable valentines for your significant other, to crafty Valentine’s Day cards to assemble with your kids, we have all different kinds of printable valentines for you to enjoy.

Two Weeks of Valentines for Couples 

It’s always a nice surprise for your significant other when you make the time to show some extra thoughtfulness. This printable includes two weeks worth of cute and sweet valentines that you can print out and share with your spouse or sweetie in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.

Free Printable Valentines for You

This post includes links to three different sets of printable Valentine’s Day cards, tags, and stationery that would be perfect to share with friends, kids, or even your significant other.

Cute Woodland Animal Valentines for Girls and Boys

This fun DIY activity includes adorable printable components and instructions so that kids can make their own woodland animal themed Valentine’s Day cards . These are perfect cards for kids to make and share with other kids!

Shakespeare Valentine’s Day Cards 

Borrow some classic words from The Bard, himself, this Valentine’s Day with these Shakespeare-inspired printable valentines! This would be fun to incorporate into a unit on Shakespeare!

Crafts and Activities

Looking for some fun, hands-on ideas to enjoy during this sweet season? Try some of the crafts and activities below!

Adorable Valentine’s Day Craft: Plush Heart in Matchbox

Kids often are fascinated by miniature items, which is why they’ll love getting to create this tiny plush heart and the little box that goes with it!

Torn & Sewn Paper Hearts Valentine Tutorial 

This craft is simple, cost-effective (you probably have everything you need at home), and the end result is beautiful!

“I Feel Love When…” Valentine’s Day Craft

This family-friendly activity is a great way to refocus on the little things that make each family member feel loved and valued.

Inkblot Valentines

This fun activity results in some cool Valentine’s Day inspired abstract art!

“Love Calendar” Valentine’s Day Craft

This calendar craft offers an important reminder that acts of love are important every day.

Adorable Pom Pom Love Bugs

Younger kids will especially enjoy making and playing with these adorable pom-pom love bugs with this simple tutorial.

Valentine’s Day Canvas Art for Tweens

Looking for a fun Valentine’s Day craft for slightly older kiddos? Check this one out! 

Quick and Easy Kid-Made Valentine’s Day Banner

Make your own festive Valentine’s Day decor by recreating this simple banner!

Collections of Even More Ideas

Below you’ll find even more collections of Valentine’s Day printables and educational info!

Valentine’s Day Printables

This list has Valentine’s Day printables from all around the Web.

More Valentine’s Day Printables 

This article contains more variety if you’d like more printable options!

Even More Valentine’s Day Printables, Activities, and Ideas

This article links to (you guessed it) even more Valentine’s Day inspired printables, activities and worksheets for you to enjoy.

The Ultimate Collection of Valentine’s Day Activities

This collection has all kinds of fun hands-on Valentine’s Day activities (some of them mentioned other places in this list, and some not). Explore it to find some creative activities to use in your homeschool this month!

Valentine’s Day-Related Lessons and Units

If you’re wanting to bring some heart-day cheer into everyday lessons, you can use the activities and units below as part of your homeschool line up over the next few weeks!

Valentine’s Day Activities, Lessons, and Printables 

This article contains a big list of Valentine’s Day-themed learning activities around the Web. 

Valentine’s Day Traditions Around the World

Kids of any age can learn about how other countries celebrate Valentine’s Day with this printable! 

Valentine’s Day Fun with Numbers 1-20 

Use this activity with Pre-K or Kindergarten-level children to practice writing numbers and counting!

Valentine’s Day Word Search

This Valentine’s Word search is fun for all ages, and it includes the option to search out and sort nouns, verbs and adjectives!

Valentine’s Day Adjectives Word Wall

This printable word wall is great for handwriting practice and introducing kids to the concept of adjectives! You can even laminate them  to use over and over again.

Valentine’s Day Verb Word Wall 

If you’re introducing your student to verbs, you can use this Valentine’s Day-themed word wall as examples and also to practice handwriting skills!

Valentine’s Day Noun Word Wall

Give your kids extra practice with recognizing nouns by using this printable word wall that features Valentine’s Day-inspired ones! Use this word wall in conjunction with the two listed above  (verbs and adjective word walls) and play a game where your child can sort each word into a group based on what part of speech it is.

Valentine’s Day Multiplication Practice

This printable offers multiplication drill practice with a heart-theme (just to remind them that you make them do drills because you love them)!

Valentine’s Day Math: Skip Counting Practice 

This skip-counting packet is a great math activity for kids from 2nd- 5th grade! 

Valentine’s Day Addition Worksheets 

Working on addition facts? These heart-lined pages will make practice time a little bit sweeter. 

Valentine’s Day Themed Rhyming Pack 

This pack of rhyming words would be so much fun to use with your kiddos as you create your own sweet (or silly) Valentine’s Day poems.

Inspirational Articles and Related Information

These are articles just for you this Valentine’s Day, from helpful plans for V-Day events to encouragement for your heart.

My Broken and Tattered Valentine 

A mom’s open letter to her family, from the heart. 

Happy Valentine’s Day (a poem for moms) 

This sweet poem about a mother’s love can be downloaded, printed out, and shared on Valentine’s Day. 

Making a Memory Jar 

This is a great idea to hang onto your favorite family memories and re-visit them on special occasions (like Valentine’s Day, or any time!)

Keeping Family Memories Alive and Organized 

This article goes along with the Memory Jar idea and shares creative ways to hang onto your favorite family moments.

How to Plan a Homeschool Valentine’s Day Party

If you’d like to put together a gathering for local homeschoolers to together and celebrate Valentine’s Day, this guide is a great start to making a plan!

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Teenagers 

This article shares some simple but meaningful ways to show your teens that they are loved and special on Valentine’s Day. 

Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Of course, we all love to enjoy a special treat on February 14th! Here are a few that are perfect for this holiday!

Yummy Strawberry Buttercream Surprise Cupcakes 

These tasty, pink cakes have a fun surprise inside that’s sure to delight your Valentines!

Instant Pot Valentine’s Day Bundt Cake 

You can make cake in an Instant Pot?! That’s right, you can. This one is heart-shaped and ultra-chocolatey. 

3-Ingredient Strawberry Fudge for Valentine’s Day

This super simple strawberry fudge recipe is unbelievably easy and tasty, all with a cheerful Valentine’s Day aesthetic. 

Keto Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fat Bombs 

Just because you’ve been living low-carb doesn’t mean you can’t have a sweet treat on Valentine’s Day, too. This chocolate-covered-strawberry fat bomb will certainly hit the spot. 

Cupid’s Arrow Cupcakes

These cupid-inspired cupcakes look amazing but aren’t too hard to make. They’d be perfect for a children’s Valentine’s Day party!

Red Velvet Valentine’s Cake Pops 

This classic flavor gets a quick makeover! These cake pops are kid-friendly and fun to make. 

Random Acts of Kindness for Valentine’s Day (or Any Time!)

Being kind is always cool, and it’s one of the most important things we can do to show our love to others. Here are a few articles about showing kindness to others (and helping our kids to do the same). 

10 Reasons to Do Random Acts of Kindness 

This article will help you stop and think about how random acts of kindness can be a positive influence in the world. 

30 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids

This article has some practical ideas for kids who are cultivating the art of kindness.

25 Random Acts of Kindness for Your Husband 

When considering acts of kindness, the best place to start can be at home! This list contains 25 simple and practical ideas to show your spouse some love and support.

50 Random Acts of Kindness 

This list of 50 acts of kindness will inspire you and get you thinking about ways to brighten someone else’s day!

50 More Random Acts of Kindness (That Can Be Done from Home) 

All of these acts of kindness can be done from home (which might be especially important this year if you are social distancing)! You don’t have to be on-the-go to be kind. 

Which of these ideas will you try? We hope these resources help make Valentine’s Day a sweet celebration for you and the people you love!

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Family New Year’s Eve Activities and Ideas

New Years Eve ideas for families

Are you going to stay up until midnight to welcome the new year? Or will you celebrate early and then get a good night’s sleep? Whether you’re a night owl who loves to stay up until the new year begins or whether you’re a morning person who would rather get some sleep and greet the new year the next morning, we have a collection of family New Year’s Eve activities that will help you and your kids have a great time counting down the hours until the new year (or until bedtime…we won’t tell!).

family New Year's Eve activities

Celebrating New Year’s Eve at Home with the Kids

Most of you who are reading this article have children. Many of you have young children. I know some young children are night owls and do great staying up late to ring in the new year. When my children were younger, though, all they did late at night was get grouchy! Whether you have children who want to party the night away on December 31 or whether your kids need to be in bed at a decent time to avoid a meltdown, our article, Celebrating New Year’s Eve at Home with the Kids has some great suggestions for you!

Family New Year’s Eve Activities

We asked moms in the Hip Homeschool Moms Facebook Community for their favorite suggestions for ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with their children, and they gave us lots (and lots!) of great ideas! In our article, New Year’s Eve Activities for Families, you’ll find a list of activities that different families do to celebrate, and you’ll also find a list of foods eat during your celebration at home.  Where I live in the South, we eat cabbage (for money) and blackeyed peas (for good luck) on New Year’s Day, but other families made lots of other fun suggestions! You might want to borrow some other families’ traditions, or you might be inspired to come up with your own!

New Year’s Firecracker Papercraft Wand

New Year's Firecracker Paper Craft

Making these super cute New Year’s Firecracker Papercraft Wands is a great family New Year’s Eve activity. In fact, this is a perfect activity for either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day! You probably have everything you need to make them, or you can make substitutions if you don’t have quite everything you need. Make them with your kids at a New Year’s Eve party, or make them on New Year’s Day and enjoy welcoming the new year by getting crafty!

Making a Memory Jar

This fun and simple activity can be done on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day and continued throughout the year! It really is an easy activity with no special equipment or supplies needed. And the best part is that, if you choose to make a memory jar for your family, you’ll be blessed by it over and over all year and again at the end of the year or the beginning of next year! This article will explain how and why you might want to try Making a Memory Jar with your family this year.

Play Boredom Busting Bingo

Our Boredom Busting Bingo game will keep your kids busy for hours! You can do some of the activities that can be done in minutes or hours, or you might choose to keep the fun going and start your game on New Year’s Eve and finish it in the future (a few days or a week from now). It’s up to you! You’ll find links to everything you need for an evening (or a week!) of fun with your kiddos! NOTE: For any activities that are “pay what you can,” simply put 0.00 in the space so you can get your printables for free. 

Start a Tradition of Saving Money with This Printable Savings Tracker

Maybe you’d like to Encourage Your Kids to Save Money next year? You can download and print our savings tracker to make it a fun activity you can work on together!

Whether you want to spend some time cooking with your kids on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day or whether you’d like for your children to start helping with cooking some family meals next year, these recipes, cooking activities, and cooking journals are what you need! All of the printables, journals, and activities are free to download and print at the time of publication of this article and for at least a week afterward, so be sure to download them now before they go back to regular price!

Counting Candies on Cookies Math Cards

If you’d like to sneak in some educational fun and make a sweet treat to share during your New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day celebration, you’ll love our Counting Candies on Cookies Math Cards activity on our sister site, Only Passionate Curiosity! Not only is cookie baking itself an educational activity, but you can print our math cards to go along with the recipe and make the activity even more educational! You’ll find the recipe link in the article, so there’s no need to go searching for a cookie recipe.

Cooking Journals for Boys and Girls

If you’d like to do some cooking with your kiddos on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day or if you’d like to encourage your children to help prepare family meals next year, these cooking journals will help make it more fun! Grab your Cooking Journals for Boys and Girls and enjoy having some help in the kitchen while your kids are developing some important life skills.

New Year's Resolutions

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If you do (or even if you don’t!), I’ve put together some of our best articles about goals vs. resolutions, how to decide if you want to make resolutions or set goals for the new year, information about some stress-free resolutions you might want to consider, and even information about why you might choose not to make New Year’s resolutions in this article, Should You Make New Year’s Resolutions?

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QAYG Quilt As You Go Easy Pot Holder Tutorial

Happy Thursday friends! Today I have a super fun and quick sewing project for you. These quilt as you go pot holders make cute gifts and they’re so easy to make!

Pot Holder Supply List:

I used a lovely print called Holliberry by Corey Yoder for Moda fabrics. I love the traditional feel of this line. It is kind of muted tones, but festive at the same time.

Let’s get started! Watch my QAYG Pot Holder Tutorial here!

And that’s it friends, in just a few minutes you can make this adorable, unique pot holder.

They’re perfect for gifts, and I think kids can have a lot of fun making these as well! You can make a few in your favorite colors, add them to a cooking-themed gift basket and you’re good to go!

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Thanksgiving Ideas for Kids!

Hi everyone! It’s that time of the year again! Holiday season is upon us and I have a few fun things we’ve done over the years to help you celebrate the season.

thanksgivingpack

I have a great preschool Thanksgiving pack for those younger ones that’s not only fun, but also educational! Click here to download the Thanksgiving Preschool Pack.

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One of our favorite activities is this Homemade Leaf Coaster craft! It’s super easy and a lot of fun, and I think they make great decorations for your holiday place settings too!

We also made this fun thankful turkey craft. you can make it out of foam sheets or construction paper. Then write a few thins you’re thankful for on each feather.Click here for more information on the Thankful Turkey Craft.

thanksgivingplacemat

Who doesn’t love a good Thanksgiving placemat  craft? This one is super easy, and you can even have the pieces prepared in advance so kids can create their own placemat while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner! Click here to see how to make these fun placemats!

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Mosaic art is not only fun, but great for fine-motor skills! We printed out a free cornucopia coloring page, then tore up a bunch of construction paper. Then pasted it to the printout to make a fun Mosaic Cornucopia Craft.

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The Turkey Buttoning activity is great for working on fine motor skills, color matching, and letter identification!

We hope you all have a happy, safe, and wonderful Thanksgiving!