Friday, April 29, 2011

Coupon Boot Camp - Lesson 2: Getting Organized

 Lesson 2: Getting Organized

This is the second class in Coupon Boot Camp. A new lesson will be posted each week on Thursday and Friday. Lesson 1 was posted yesterday and was viewed a whopping 46 times between then and now, so it seems there’s more people interested in couponing than I would have thought. If you missed yesterday’s post, go here first.

Once you start collecting coupons, your next step is to get organized. Coupons won’t save you any money if you can’t find them. There are several coupon organizers on the market. We’re all familiar with the accordian style envelopes that hold coupons. You can generally find them at a dollar store. They don’t work for me, but that’s not to say they won’t work for you. I have a lot of coupons and I use a lot of coupons. I have to be able to see what I have. I use a coupon binder. I’m going to describe my system for you below. There’s many options for coupon storage, all that matters is that you’re organized and that you’re using a system that works for you.

How I Set Up My Coupon Binder…

I use a 3” 3-ring binder. You can use a smaller binder if 3” seems too big to start off with. I do get the occasional funny look from someone while I’m strolling around Shop Rite with my big, ole’ coupon binder.

I use clear plastic baseball card pages to store my coupons. Look for them at Walmart or Kmart or where ever sports cards are sold. There are nine card slots per side. So one page will give you 18 pockets for coupons. Put different coupons in the same category back to back. You can cut down index cards to fit into the slots if you’d like to give each pocket two sides. Keep multiples of the same coupons all in one pocket.

I use page dividers with tabs to separate the card pages into categories. I generally use one to three pages per category, depending on how many coupons I have. My categories are set up as follows:

Baby Items



Canned Goods


Cleaning Supplies



Frozen Foods





Pasta & Rice

Personal Care




Store Specific


That’s just how I have my categories set up. See what will work best for you. You can also set up your categories in order of how you shop the store. Most people have a pattern they follow when grocery shopping. For instance, some go in, shop the produce department first, then they go to the cereal aisle, etc. You can set up your categories in order of the way you shop the store. Again, however you decide to do it is completely up to you. As long as it works for you, that’s all that matters.

I also use a 3-hole zipper pencil bag in the front of my coupon binder. In it I keep scissors, a calculator and store rewards and loyalty cards.

I use 3-hole punched paper to write my grocery list and I put in list in behind the pencil bag. I also have a 3-hole notebook in the back of the binder, behind all of my coupon pages, that serves as my price book. You’ll learn about setting up a price book of your own soon. It’s key in smart couponing.

I keep my weekly sales ads. in the inside pockets of the binder.

Here’s your homework: Set up your own coupon binder or come up with a coupon organization system that works for you. Get those coupons sorted and ready to go, you’ll be saving big bucks with them soon!

Have a question, comment or suggestion? Let me know! Leave a comment below.

Here are just a few deals going on at Shop Rite right now so you can get your feet wet. These sales end tomorrow 4/30. After I go through the new ad. that starts on Sunday, I’ll post some deals you can get next week.

Mennen or Lady Speed Stick Deodorant is on sale for .99 cents. Use this .50 cents off coupon  when you buy it. (Scroll down and look for Personal Care Special Offers on the left hand side of the page. There's other coupons on the page as well.) Shop Rite will double your .50 cent off coupon and you'll get the deodorant for free. And you'll make a penny. 

Uncle Ben's Rice Mix is on sale for $1.99. Go here for a .75 cent off coupon. Shop Rite doubles your coupons up to $1.00, so they will take an additional .25 cents off and you'll pay .49 cents for the rice.

Sunshine Cheez-It Crackers are on sale for $1.99 each. Buy (2) and use this coupon for $1.00 off when you buy 2. You'll pay .49 cents for each after the coupon.

International Delight Coffee Creamers are on sale for $1.99. Use this coupon for .55 cents off. SR will take an additional .45 cents off and you'll pay .99 cents.

Come back next week on Thursday and Friday for the next two lessons (I will be posting some deals at different area stores for next week in the mean time though). Next week I'll cover The Right Way to Menu Plan and Smart Stockpiling!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coupon Boot Camp - Lesson 1: Introduction to Couponing

Lesson 1: Introduction to Couponing

Welcome to my Coupon Boot Camp! This series of posts is designed to teach you the ropes of couponing. A new lesson will be posted each week on Thursday and Friday.

This is our first lesson: Introduction To Couponing

What is couponing?

The premise of a coupon is simple. You get a coupon and use it to save money off an item that you’re buying.  There’s a lot of folks who are under the misconception that coupons can’t really save you very much money or that couponing is too time consuming. They are wrong. Coupons absolutely can and will save you money (big money if you use them correctly) and no, you don’t have to spend hours clipping coupons and plotting your trip to the store in order to get stuff for free and drastically reduced prices. You may have seen the new show on TLC, Extreme Couponing. Just like with anything else, there’s always those that will take anything to the extreme. You won’t need to devote a room in your home to toilet paper or house 7,000 cans of chicken noodle soup under your bed. This course is designed to help real, normal, rational people save real money.  

I like to think of “couponing” (saving money with the use of coupons) as a game. You start out slow and as you learn the in’s and out’s of the couponing game, you become more and more knowledgeable with experience and before you know it, you’re the winner. Pass The Prozac’s Coupon Boot Camp will teach you the tricks of the trade and give you the tools you need to become a winning couponer. I guarantee you will be able to save AT LEAST $100.00 a month off your grocery bill, as well as score freebies of essential household products. If you’re not completely satisfied, you’re protected by a full money back guarantee. Oh wait…you’re not paying for this…..

See? You’re saving money already.

Before you can start using coupons, you have to know where to find them.

1)     In the newspaper
This might seem a bit obvious but with all the IP (internet printable) coupons available these days, it can be easy to overlook. A seasoned couponer buys more than one copy of the Sunday paper and checks all papers available locally. You can get a sneak preview of what coupons will be available in the paper here:

Below is the coupon insert schedule for the remainder of 2010. You’ll want to buy more than one paper when there are multiple inserts available. You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting all inserts available by checking different publications. For example, The Press of Atlantic City has Smart Source (SS) and Red Plum (RP) coupon inserts, but not Proctor & Gamble (P&G). When I know a P&G insert is being distributed, I also buy the Courier Post. Good to know:

1)     P&G inserts are usually only available once a month and are almost always distributed on the first Sunday of the month. 
2)      There are no coupon inserts on holidays.

1 - Smart Source, Red Plum and Procter & Gamble
8 -  Smart Source and Red Plum
15  - (2) Smart Source and Red Plum
22  - Smart Source and Red Plum
29  - No Inserts scheduled (Memorial Day)

5  -  Smart Source, Red Plum and Procter & Gamble
12  -  Smart Source
19  -  Smart Source and Red Plum
26  -  Smart Source and Red Plum

3  - No Inserts scheduled (Independence Day)
10  -  Smart Source and Red Plum
17  -  Smart Source
24  -  Smart Source and Red Plum
31 - Smart Source, Red Plum and Procter & Gamble

7 - Smart Source and Red Plum
14 - Smart Source and Red Plum
21 - Smart Source and Red Plum
28 - Smart Source, Red Plum and Procter & Gamble

4 - No Inserts scheduled (Labor Day)
11 - Smart Source and (2) Red Plum
18 - Smart Source and Red Plum
25 - Smart Source and Red Plum

2  Smart Source, Red Plum and Procter & Gamble
9 - Smart Source and Red Plum
16 -  Smart Source and Red Plum
23 -  Smart Source and Red Plum
30 - Smart Source and Red Plum

6  - Smart Source, Red Plum and Procter & Gamble
13 - Smart Source and Red Plum
20 -  Smart Source and Red Plum
27 - No Inserts scheduled (Thanksgiving)

4 - Smart Source, Red Plum and Proctor & Gamble
11 - Smart Source and Red Plum 
18 - No inserts

Talk to family, friends, neighbors, etc. If they don’t use coupons, ask that they save you the coupon inserts that come in the mail and in their newspapers. The cost of a newspaper is nothing compared to the money saving coupons they contain, but it’s always nice to get coupon inserts for free too. Other places to look for free coupon inserts: libraries, laundry mats, fast food places, restaurants, banks, doctor’s offices and the post office.

2)     Online from printable coupon websites
Internet printable (IP) coupons are all the rage. You get to pick what you want to print, so you’re not wasting ink on coupons you don’t want and they are changed frequently. You are able to print almost all coupons online at least twice. After printing your first coupon, hit the back button on your browser, then click re-send and a second coupon will print. Most IP coupons can only be printed twice per computer. Occasionally certain coupons will “reset” and you’ll be able to print two again.

Here is a list of some my favorite coupon websites:
SnackPicks (Kellogg’s manufacturer’s coupons - Sign up for their e-newsletter to be able to login and print coupons)
Right @ Home (Become A Member on upper right side)

Search for some of your favorite brands websites. More often than not, you have to sign up for an email newsletter to receive and print coupons. It’s a good idea to set up a separate email account to be used for signing up for newsletters and printing coupons so that your inbox doesn’t get overloaded with spam.

3)     Facebook
I get some of my best coupons from Facebook. Search for and “Like” your favorite brands and stores on Facebook and check their pages for coupon offers.

4)     Blinky Machines and Peelies
Blinky machines are the little boxes with red lights, attached to shelves in stores that have coupons. When one of these machines pops up, you can expect the product to go on sale 2 –3 weeks later. The stores generally take them down right before an item goes on sale. If you see a blinky machine with coupons for an item you buy frequently, you’ll want to grab them up. Remember these are manufacturer’s coupons that can be used in any store, not just in the store you got the coupon. Peelies are coupons that are stuck to the item itself. Same rules apply to peelies. Be on the look out for in-store tear pads and coupon booklets too.

5)     Samples
I love getting free samples in the mail! There’s almost always a coupon included with the sample. Be sure to sign up for as many free samples as you can online. Again, a secondary email address just for couponing is a good idea.

6)     On or With Your Receipt

Check everything that prints out with your receipt and the back of your receipt. You can get good coupons this way as many times they’re based on what you have already purchased. I get  coupons for totally free items with my receipts from Shop Rite pretty frequently. The coupons that come with your receipt are called Catalinas. They are usually for products that you normally purchase or for products that are similar to products that you normally purchase. For instance, I recently bought a box of Kotex tampons at Shop Rite (on sale and with a coupon of course) and received a Catalina for a free box of Playtex tampons.

7)     Coupon Clipping Services

Here are the clipping coupon services that I have personally used and can give my seal of approval:

The Coupon Clippers:

It might sound silly to spend money buying coupons in order to save money, but when you’re couponing properly, it pays to spend 5 or 8 cents a coupon to save much more money in the long run. They key to good couponing is sale prices, a large quantity of coupons and stockpiling.

8)     E-Coupons

E-Coupons are the wave of the couponing future.There’s two types – those that are added to your store savings card and deduct automatically when you buy the items and those that you an add to your smartphone and show a barcode on your screen. I don’t have a smartphone, so I can only really tell you about e-coupons that are added to your store savings card.

To add e-coupons to your stores savings cards, check out these sites:

With these sites, you’ll be able to select the coupons you want and click to add them to your store savings card. When you purchase an item you have an e-coupon for, the coupon will automatically come off at checkout.

Important things you should know about e-coupons:

1)     Only one e-coupon will come off for every item that you buy, no matter how many you buy. So if you have an e-coupon for $1.00 off frozen French fries and you buy (3) bags of frozen French fries, only $1.00 will be deducted off your bill even though you bought 3. You with me?
2)     You can add e-coupons to your stores savings card for multiple stores, but you can only add a coupon to one store. You’ll want to choose that store carefully because you can’t change it to another store once you’ve added it.
3)     No matter what the stores regular double coupon policy is, e-coupons do not double.

Homework: If you don’t already do so, start saving your receipts and track what you’re spending at the grocery store. This is beneficial for several reasons. If you don’t know what you’re spending, you can’t know what you’re saving. You also need to know what you’re spending your money on. Before I started couponing, I realized I had spent close to $70.00 on cereal in just one month. We are cereal killers in this house. I now spend roughly $20.00 a month on cereal.

It’s important to remember that couponing, like anything else in life, takes practice. You’re not going to gather a boat load of coupons, go to the store and walk out with $500 worth of product for $5.00 on your first attempt. Start out slow. Pick one store at a time. You’ll get the hang of it!

The next step is to get organized! Come back tomorrow for Lesson #2!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Neither bugs nor robots have ever been so cool...

HEXBUGS Nano Bugs are just about the coolest toy to come down the pike in a long time. 

What in the world is a HEXBUG Nano?

HEXBUG Nano's are tiny, little robotic critters that behave just like real bugs. They are battery powered (My favorite thing about HEXBUGS? They include batteries!), have 12 little legs and vibrate to move themselves around their habitat trails and the floor. If they tip over, the flip their little selves back over and get back on their way. If something is blocking their way, they flip change direction and keep on going. And they are FAST...really fast. And so much fun!

HEXBUG Nano Bugs are now available in a Limited Edition variety for Easter! They have cute little (removable) bunny ears and come packaged in a plastic Easter Egg. The normal packaging is a little plastic test tube, which is also way cool. These limited edition HEXBUG Nano's are available at Radio Shack, and other specialty stores for just $4.99. They'll make an awesome edition to any kids Easter basket, big or small. It's one of the other things I love about HEXBUGS, they're great for all ages. My boys are 3 and 4 and are huge HEXBUG fans! They love watching them scoot around their habitat and chasing them around my kitchen floor. I'm almost certain there's at least two under my refrigerator.  Older kids can go online and play games and learn about real science. Each Nano comes with a unique code to register your bug and continue the fun on the web.

We were chosen to host a HEXBUG Nano Easter Egg Party! The party pack arrived a little later than expected so I had planned on having the party sometime next week after Easter. As it was, I ended up with half the kids in our neighborhood this afternoon so I decided to go ahead an hold an impromptu HEXBUGS party! We were supplied with HEXBUG Nano Easter Eggs and a HEXBUG Spiral Starter Set. We provided the fun!

My boys were already well aware of HEXBUGS as Santa left them in their stockings at Christmas (as well as a Nano Bridge Battle Habitat Set), it was so much fun to see the other kids at our little party experience HEXBUG Nano's for the first time. We had 13 kids here and only 2 of them had ever heard of HEXBUGS before. In fact I got three phones calls from Mom's tonight asking me where they could get more Nano's for their kids. 

It's so cool to be able to introduce kids and Moms to new, fun toys.:) 

**"Like" HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures on Facebook**

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beat Spring Break Boredom: Handprint Lamb Craft

This project is cute, quick and easy. Just how I like my crafts. This is perfect for preschoolers, but the big kids liked it too. 

 First lay newspaper down to protect your work surface. Next, have each child choose a color of construction paper. Using black acrylic craft paint and a big sponge brush, have your child paint the bottom of their entire hand. Older kids can do this themselves, smaller kids might need a little help. Then have them place their painted hand down on the construction paper, pressing to make sure they get a nice hand print. By the time the kids finish washing their hands, their hand prints should be just about dry. Turn the paper upside down to make your lamb. Your four fingers become the lamb's legs and your thumb becomes the lamb's head. Glue cotton balls all over the palm to create the lamb's fluffy body and a wiggly eye to the thumb and you have a cute Lamb! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Ideas

Easter is just a few days away. Here's a hodge podge mix of Easter ideas for you! has great ideas to share on Candy-Free Easter Eggs for Girls, Candy-Free Easter Eggs for Boys and Candy-Free Easter Eggs for Toddlers! As well as ideas for Edible, but Candy-Free Easter Eggs!

Speaking of Candy-Free Easter...have you seen the Limited Edition HEXBUG Nano Easter eggs? We're huge HEXBUG fans at our house! These HEXBUG Nanos are packaged in a little plastic Easter egg and come wearing a pair of removable bunny ears! Love them!

I love these Mr. Potato Head Easter Bunnies too! 

My boys will be getting some candy and chocolate, but the majority of their Easter treats will not be edible. 

A few other things they'll find in their baskets:



Matchbox Cars

                                               Coloring Books

                                               Tooth brushes (Santa puts new tooth brushes in their stockings on Christmas, so it only makes sense that the Easter Bunny would put new tooth brushes in their Easter baskets.)

Do a Google search for "free Easter coloring pages" to find and print coloring pages and worksheets to keep your kids busy. These are great to help beat spring break boredom. They're also great to occupy kids while you're cooking Easter dinner. Here's a few pages we've colored in our house this week:

Dora and boots Easter Coloring Page

Winnie The Pooh Easter Coloring Page

Piglet Easter Coloring Page

Max & Ruby Easter Coloring Page 

and here are a whole bunch more free printable Easter Coloring Pages!

Do you leave milk and cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve? How about leaving carrots and celery out for the Easter Bunny on the night before Easter? We'll also be leaving chocolate milk out for the Easter Bunny because Sean somehow got it in his head that the Easter Bunny likes chocolate milk. Now Daniel...Daniel got it in his head that the Easter Bunny is a girl. Crazy Kids. I think Easter traditions are often overlooked. Most families have tons of traditions they follow at Christmas each year, but not many for other holidays. Come up with an Easter tradition that's unique to your family. 

Quick and Easy Easter Jelly Bean Fudge Recipe...

Here's what you need: 

2 cups of white chocolate chips

(1) 16 oz. container of vanilla frosting

2 cups of the tiny jelly beans (pastel colors will look pretty in the white fudge)

Here's what you do:

1) Melt the white chocolate chips according to the package directions, usually in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly until melted.

2) Add the vanilla frosting and continue stirring until mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. The fudge mix needs to still be easy to stir but not so hot as to melt the jelly beans.

3) Add the jelly beans and stir. Line a baking pan with foil and mist it with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the fudge mix into the pan, spread evenly and cool to room temperature.

4) Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove the foil and the fudge from the pan together and place it on a cutting board. Carefully remove the foil and then cut the fudge into bite-sized pieces. This recipe should make about 3 dozen pieces. 

Carrot Science Experiment:

 All you'll need is a shallow dish, water and the top 1 inch of a carrot.

Place the carrot in the dish and add enough water to cover about half the carrot, leaving the top uncovered. Check the carrot each day to make sure the stump stays wet, add a little water if needed. In about 2 weeks time the carrot top will start to grow lacy leaves and you'll have a pretty little plant.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beat Spring Break Boredom: Coffee Filter Butterflies

This is a fun and super easy project for a child of any age and a sure fire way to beat Spring Break Boredom! 

I give you...Coffee Filter Butterflies!

You probably have everything you need to make this project and if you don't, any of these items can be found at the dollar store.

You need:

Coffee Filters

Markers (Non-washable work best. Not permanent, non-washable. And yes, they will wash out, just not as easily as washable.)

Spray Bottle with Water

Clothes Pins

Optional - 

Black Pipe Cleaners (Or "chenille stems" as they're now called.)

Wiggly Eyes

Lay newspaper down to cover your work surface. Place a coffee filter on the newspaper and flatten it out.

Next, color the coffee filter with markers. You can make an intricate design or simply scribble all over it with a variety of colors.

After your coffee filter is colored. Spray it down with water and allow the markers to bleed and blend on.

After spraying the coffee filter, you can transfer to to a dry piece of newspaper or lay it on a cooking rack to dry. 

While you wait for your coffee filter to dry, you can color the front of a clothes pin with marker.

Once your coffee filter is dry, fold it back and fourth accordion style in about 1/2" pleats. 

Until it looks like this: 

Then fold the coffee filter in half, hold it in the middle by the fold and clip your clothes pin on to it. Your clothes pin becomes the butterflies body and the the coffee filter it's wings. Fan the folds out on each side.

If you have them, you can use small pieces of black pipe cleaners to form a "V" shape, curl each end by wrapping it around the end of a pencil and then clip it in the clothes pin to give the butterfly antennae. You can also glue tiny wiggly eyes to the front of the clothes pin.

Here's a few ideas...

For a more vibrant butterfly, color the entire with coffee filter, filling in all the white.

Instead of using every color marker in the box, color one coffee filter with all warm colors (red, orange, yellow) and one with all cool colors (purple, blue, green) for a nice effect.

Clip the butterflies to curtains in your home to add pizazz to any room.

Glue a magnet to the back of the clothes pin and hang your butterfly on the fridge.

Tie a piece of fishing line around the top of the clothes pin and hang your butterfly from a ceiling fan or from the ceiling to make it look like it's flying. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Break Survival Strategies

This week kids all over Cape May County (and all over the country) are enjoying the time honored tradition of driving their parents insane over Spring Break. 

Here are a few Spring Break Survival Strategies to bring more fun to your time together and keep your sanity with a house full of kids for a week:

Stick to a morning schedule - Have your kids do their normal grooming every morning, baths, brush teeth get dressed, etc., just like it were a normal school day. No one wants to fight with their child to get out of their pajamas at 1 o'clock on the afternoon. Your kids just might be less inclined to lounge around and sit in front of the TV if they're dressed. 

Get Outside - It's not negative 12 degrees anymore so there's no excuse for not getting outside in the yard. Pray for no rain. Fresh air and Vitamin D from the sun will do wonders for your kids - and for you too!

Set a time for quiet time - You don't want your kids sitting around bored all Spring Break, but you don't want them running around non-stop either. It's important for everyone - kids and grown-ups alike - to have some down time each day. Set a time of day (perhaps after lunch) that is reserved for quiet time.

Get Creative - Gather your art supplies (paper, crayons, markers scissors, paint, glue, glitter, etc.), lay some newspaper down on the kitchen table and let your kids creative juices get flowing. You'll be amazed what your kids can come up with!

Hold Baking Class - A box of cake mix and a tub of icing is all you need to hold a simple baking class for your kids. Let them measure, pour and mix. Send them outside to play while the cake is in the oven then bring them back in once the cake is cooled to ice it. It might not look like it came from a bakery, but you're kids will be so proud of the job they've done.

There's Strength In Numbers - You're not the only parent who's up to their eyeballs in kids this week. Call friends and arrange to exchange play dates or set up a play date for everyone at the playground. 

Check out these ideas to beat spring break boredom: Easter Games and Cardboard Tube Bunnies!!!

Also, check out Heidi's post on Tips for Surviving Spring Break on Cape May Moms!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Beat Spring Break Boredom: Cardboard Tube Bunny Craft

This project, making cute little bunnies from cardboard tubes, is one the whole family can have fun with. Big kids can do most of this project on their own, for little kids you might want to do some of the prep for them before hand. 

Here's what you need (most of which you probably have laying around your house right now):

Cardboard tubes (Paper towel and toilet paper rolls work well, you can cut them down to different sizes to make different sized bunnies. The purple bunny above was made from a duct tape roll.)

Acrylic Craft Paint - These are often on sale at Michael's 2/$1.00. They're super cheap, you can use them on anything and clean up is a breeze. I use them for all projects I do with my kids.

Paint brushes



A paint marker or Sharpie marker

Pom-Poms for the bunnies nose (If you don't have Pom-Poms, you can paint or draw a little nose with marker.)

Wiggly Eyes (Again, a dab of paint or a marker will work just fine if you don't have these.)

Anything else you might want to embellish your bunny with!

Gather all of your supplies, lay some newspaper down and you're ready to roll!

(Pun intended.) 
The first step is to paint your cardboard tubes. In the interest of time, I didn't paint the inside of the tubes. If you're kids are making these to give as Easter gifts or you'll be using them as a centerpiece on a table, then you'll want to paint the inside of the tube too. 

The cardboard tubes are the body of your bunnies. The next step is to make your bunnies ears by cutting strips of cardboard tubes. 
 Fold the strips in half and run a line of glue between the two sides. Squeeze to flatten it. 
 For some reason I thought that super glue would do a super job of this and work much better and quicker than any other glue in my collection. Not so much. And this is why I should never use super glue...
I'll be chewing super glue off my fingers for the next three days.

Moving right along...

Next you are going to paint the ears in pairs to match the cardboard tubes you've already painted. 
Then paint a strip of pink paint down the center of each ear and snip off the sides on the top of each ear to make them look more like bunny ears. My ears could definitely look more like ears.
Now glue the ears to the top inside of each cardboard tube body.

 Starting to actually look like bunnies, right? All that's left to do is give your bunny a face. You can use a paint or sharpie marker to draw your bunnies faces or use wiggly eyes, pom-poms or buttons. 
 You're not allowed to see the white bunny's face. Something went very wrong with the white bunny's face. 

Some ideas as to what to do with your completed Cardboard Tube Bunnies:

Slip your fingers inside the tube and use your bunnies as puppets to act out an Easter skit.

Have your kids give them as Easter gifts to friends and loved ones or as a favor to take home from Easter dinner.

Make a family of bunnies and use them as the centerpiece on your table at Easter dinner.

Make one for each guest at Easter dinner, write their name on the front and use them as seating place markers.

I'd love to hear about your experience and/or see photos if you decide to make these Cardboard Tube Bunnies with your kids!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beat Spring Break Boredom: Easter Games

The kids are off school for 10 days for Spring Break. Every day this week I'll be posting Easter and Spring arts and crafts projects and other fun ideas to help beat Spring Break boredom!!!

Here are some fun and easy Easter games to play with your kids this week:

Chick, Chick, Bunny!

Put an Easter twist on the traditional game of Duck, Duck, Goose! The game is played the same but instead of saying "Duck, Duck, Goose!", you'll be saying "Chick, Chick, Bunny!". Have everyone sit in a big circle. Including you! You're not too old for Duck, Duck, Goose! You are NEVER too old for Duck, Duck, Goose! Whoever is "it" will walk around the outside of the circle tapping each "chick" on the head saying "Chick, chick..." as they do, until they decide who will be the "bunny". Whoever is chosen as the bunny will stand up and chase the first bunny around the circle. To add some more Easter to the game, instead of having them run around the circle, have them hop like bunnies around the circle. If the first player makes it back around to the empty spot in the circle without being caught, the second player comes the bunny. 

Egg and Spoon Race

Nothing says Easter fun like an egg and spoon race. You can use raw eggs for older children and hard-boiled eggs for younger kids. Divide the players into two groups, have one group line up side by side at one end of the yard and the other group do the same at the opposite end of the yard. Start all the players on one side with an egg and a spoon. Have them place their egg on the spoon and hold the spoon in one hand. On the count of three, they need to race to their partner on the other side of the yard (without dropping their egg) and hand off the spoon and egg to them. The first team to make it back to the starting line wins! You can come up with variations of this to make it easier for younger children or more difficult for bigger kids, like adding laps or setting up a small optical course.

Pin The Tail On The Easter Bunny

Put an Easter spin on the traditional birthday party game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey! Draw a big rabbit shape on a piece of poster board or cardboard. Cut it out and tape it to the wall. Each player gets a cotton ball with double-sided sticky tape attached to it. Line them up, blindfold them and have them (one at a time) try their aim at pinning the tail on the bunny. The child who places their tail closest to the Easter Bunny's tail wins! If you have a lot of kids playing, use markers to color a spot on the cotton balls so you know who's is who's. 

Easter Egg Hunt

You can't go wrong with an Easter Egg Hunt! Fill plastic eggs with small treats toys or coins, hide them inside or out and let the kids go wild searching for them! A neat idea for a family egg hunt is to include special reward coupons inside some of the eggs, such as "This coupon entitles you to an extra 30 minutes of TV time."

Easter Egg Nose Roll Race

This game is sure to give everyone a serious case of the sillies. Each player gets an egg. I'd recommend hard-boiled eggs for this game! Use jump ropes, clothes lines or brooms to set up a start line and a finish line. Line up all the players at the start line, then tell them to get down on their hands and knees and that they have to roll the egg to the finish line using only their noses! Whoever makes it to the finish line, using only their nose to roll the egg, wins. 

Put On Bunny Shadow Puppet Shows

All you need for this is a flashlight, a wall and your own two hands...and maybe a little imagination! Point the flashlight at the wall, put your hand up to the wall until it makes a shadow, you may have to move the flashlight around a bit until you have a sharper picture. Use your hands to make a rabbit shadow puppet and then make up a short story for your rabbit. Whoever comes up with the best story/show wins! (How To Make a Bunny Shadow Puppet: Hold your right hand out in front of you so that you are looking at the palm of your hand. Make a peace sign with your middle and index fingers to make your bunny's ears. Put your pink and ring fingers on top of your thumb. Turn your wrist away from you and you'll be able to see your bunny's eyes. For little kids, a peace sign rabbit will work just fine.)

Check back each day this week for more ideas on beating Spring Break boredom!