Kindergarten Math Activities

Kindergarten Math Activities

When I was in school my favorite subject was math. I still love it! I feel pretty lucky that I found it fun because i know it can feel like a chore for many.

As my middle child begins kindergarten next year, I wanted to spend the summer giving him a head start on basic math concepts the way I did with my oldest. Each child is so different and no matter where their passions arise in school, I never want them to feel the stress of struggling with Math. It can be so incredibly frustrating when they start to learn new concepts and can’t quite keep up. So learning the basics at home and utilizing summer learning time to stay ahead works wonders.

We have made up a number of games over the years, so I compiled a list of my favorite kindergarten Math activities

Lego Math

Using Lego for addition and subtraction is the easiest thing I have found for my little visual learners.

I found these one page a day books that my son was using in the photos. They are really simple with single digit addition and subtraction. He was struggling to count using fingers or thinking about the numbers in his head so I tossed a handful of Lego on the table and told him to count them out into the two numbers being added or subtracted.

It was like a light bulb went off.

Suddenly he was tearing through these one a day math pages in 5 minutes. Before the Lego, they were taking him 15-20 minutes.

It was an instant confidence boost and it made things more fun, rather than just repetitive work.

He got through the book quite quickly, and I didn’t want to buy another one, so I created my own printable sheets.

Free Kindergarten Math Worksheets

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    He counts the top number and the bottom number out to add them together as a group. in this one he’s adding 7 + 3
    lego math worksheets screen shot

    Math Dice Game

    Next up in the kindergarten math activities list is The Math Dice Game. It couldn’t be any easier, but the kids love it and its a lot of fun.

    These worksheets are just for two single digit numbers, but for older kids, you can give them more than two dice and get them to add them all up visually.

    For Days when I need to keep them even busier, I set up two bowls on the floor. Then have them stand a few feet away. I tell the kids to take turns trying to throw one dice in each bowl and then look at the numbers and write them into the worksheet. It takes them an extra few minutes for each turn to get the dice into the bowls and creates a lot of giggles.

    Math Dice Game Worksheet Screen Shot

    Sock Math

    In my post Hilarious and practical chores for kids I have a chore called the Dreaded sock bag. I really hate pairing socks, so as I’m folding laundry all week, I throw all the socks into a large bag and have the kids pair them and fold them every Friday. So why not double duty that chore and get their little math brains working?

    For this Kindergarten Math Activity I have my 5 year old keep track of the counting and grouping.

    Step 1: There are 5 of us in the family so I have him and his older brother start by sorting all the socks into a pile for each person. You would think that there would be 7 pairs of socks for each person for a grand total of 7 x 2 x 5 = 70 socks, but somehow there’s always so many more!

    Step 2: My 5 year old can practice counting by adding up all the socks in each pile. My 9 year old can practice his division to see approximately how many pairs they should end up with at the end. Its never fully accurate because there are inevitably always single socks left over at the end. I swear there are some in there that have been in there for months with no partner.

    Step 3: They find as many pairs as they can. This usually takes forever because they watch cartoons while they do it and roll around complaining about how long its taking. However, I programmed it into them early that whenever they have an amount of socks that coordinates with the persons age (and a group of 4 for myself and my husband), then they should gather them up and put them in that persons drawer. So when they have 2 pairs for their little sister, 5 or 9 for them or 4 for either of us they put them away. It helps them practice their grouping identification.

    The Take Away

    When it comes to math, its everywhere. You can make a game out of anything. Grocery shopping? Have them count items into the cart or count fruit. Eating crackers? Start with twenty, eat a few and then have them announce the new total after practicing subtraction.

    I love the more formal act of sitting down and performing worksheets because I think that routine is important. But I also love the games and activities that can encourage math as well. Get Creative and Have Fun!

    To get your copy of the printables for Lego Math and the Dice game, sign up for the email list below

    Free Kindergarten Math Worksheets

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      Mom and Son Date Night Projects

      Mom and Son Date Night Projects

      Getting time alone with any of my kids is so special. We are lucky to be able to spend most of our waking hours together as a family. But developing those one on one relationships is so important. And my mom and son date nights are about making memories. I am very pumped to share these date night ideas with you.

      I put a lot of work into each one of my kids dates. It might seem silly but I want them to each be special because you never know which one will be the one they remember. And I’ll remember all of them. Plus I feel that I’m teaching them about making someone feel special. I hope they use the creativity and effort I put into our time to make the loved ones in the their life feel special too.

      My husband and I decided we would each take one of the boys out once per month. Then we switch the boys on the next month. Our daughter is only two so she’s not in the date rotation yet. But let me tell you, when she has her first Daddy and daughter date I might explode with excitement. I’m going to dress her up in a little dress and he can pick her up at the front door and I’ll take a billion pictures.

      But Back to the topic at hand.

      I’ve discovered that having a good date with a kid is similar to having a good date with an adult. The most important thing that makes it special is the conversations. So I made a little cheat sheet list of conversation starters you can find at the end. I know it sounds weird to have conversation starters for your own child, but sometimes its hard to think of questions that are really going to open them up and get them talking about things you don’t know about them.

      But lets be realistic about what they care about. To your child, they see the activity as the most exciting thing, so you have to have a good combo of both.

      Mom and Son DATE NIGHT PREP

      Usually the boys start making suggestions weeks in advance. I can’t undersell how big of a deal Date night is in our house. We have to plan the nights weeks in advance to work around everyone’s crazy busy schedules. So the planning starts early.

      If there is somewhere really specific that the kids want to go, then its easy planning. Maybe a new movie just came out, so dinner and movie is a simple solution.

      Sometimes they want something different and want me to plan it. In this case I will give them a few options and let them pick. And of course they always pick where we eat. Below are four creative date nights that I’ve done to make things really fun for the kids.

      Here is my Super Awesome List of Mom and Son Date Ideas

      The Arcade bait and switch

      The arcade is great and kiddos love it. But let’s be honest, they burn through money fast. Its literally a child casino. So I am a big fan of making it a combo with a cheaper longer event. If you combine it with something like mini golf, it takes up a lot more time and is way less expensive.

      I make a game of the first activity to make the Arcade the “Prize” at the end. If we go to mini golf, I will tell him that if he beats me, I will give him all my arcade money at the end. Then I pretend to do all sort of bonehead moves during the game to ensure a loss for me.

      These are the steps that I map out the night with:

      Step 1: Dinner

      We went to a sushi restaurant because my son knows how much I love sushi and that Dad does not. So he thought maybe if he liked it, it could lead to sushi dates.

      He’s so sweet and good hearted. He tried to power through, but this was the photo I took during miso soup and his face didn’t change much through the meal.

      Guess I’m still on my own for sushi nights ha ha

      Step 2: While Eating Suggest that you “make it interesting” Let’s say you were going to spend $40 at the arcade. Tell your kiddo that you were going to get $20 each. Even though you were always only going to spend it on them. Tell them if they are willing to challenge you and win, they will get your half.  

      Step 3: Flub your way through golf or bowling to ensure that they win. Or you could even make up something like going to the river or lake and collecting and skipping rocks as a challenge. Anything creative. They will think its hilarious when you drop things, fall down or try really hard and can’t quite get it.

      Step 4: Head to the arcade and enjoy some time playing the games!

      Why I love it so much

      The arcade is great and the kids love it but I have two issues. The fun is expensive and goes quickly! As well, the kids are focused on the games and the conversation isn’t a priority. By doing the golf or bowling first, you get a bit of quality time where you really enjoy each others company.

      Print off the sheet for easy reference! Arcade Bait and Switch PDF

      Mystery night

      This one takes a bit of planning. But its strategic. I make the whole thing look like a giant mystery with envelopes and decisions made by the kiddo, but really the whole night is already planned and they just think its a fun adventure.

      You definitely have to keep up the illusion that the night could go anyway depending on how they pick. Don’t let them see the extra envelopes. Shred them or hide them immediately after they pick.

      Step 1: Line up 6 envelopes. Tell them to pick one to decide what activity you are going to do. In reality they all have the same answer. Destroy the evidence of the remaining envelopes so they never know. Then go enjoy that activity.

      Step 2: Give them a second set of envelopes for them to choose where you are going to eat. You don’t have to do six. Maybe even just two or three. But have the restaurant pre-determined.

      Step 3: In the restaurant, try to distract your little one so you can slip the server another set of envelopes. They will be so amazed when she presents them instead of you. Again they can all have the same thing written in them. It can be something like, getting dessert at a special ice cream shop. Or going to the bookstore to pick out a new book.

      Step 4: When you get back in the car and they think the night is over. Give them one last set of envelopes. In that set, have one more bonus activity. Depending on the age of the child, it might be something like they get to stay up late and watch a movie when they get home, or take them to a late night movie

      Why I love it so much

      The whole night gives the illusion of being a giant game that they are playing and controlling. In actuality, you’ve planned it all. But to them it was an exciting night of possibility and chance!

      This one takes some planning in advance and you have to pull it of on the night of, but it is so much fun! I think this might be my favorite mom and son date night. Print off the instructions for easy reference. Mystery Night PDF

      Try Something New

      I feel like all of us tend to get into a bit of a rut sometime. Same restaurants, same activities, same routine at home. Its nice every once in awhile to mix things up and do something you have never tried before. Especially when you can do it with the kids. Its so exciting for them and a fantastic learning experience.

      There is always something new and exciting that can be fun to try together. I do a ton of research beforehand and then the week before I will give them about 5 options to choose from just in case I need to book something.

      Some examples would be:

      • Indoor skydiving
      • An escape room
      • Renting a paddle boat
      • A hike they have never been on
      • Renting a tandem bike
      • Renting a paddle board
      • Cross country skiing
      • a parent and child cooking class
      • paint night

      Then wrap the date up with their favorite restaurant or cook their favorite dinner at home

      Why I love it so much

      Encouraging kids to try new things is a valuable skill. It create adventure and exploratory behavior. Plus it create a new special and unique memory that’s shared between the two of you.

      Its not very hard to plan either. Just need a little time a few weeks out. Print it off to remember Try Something New PDF

      Play and Stay

      This is a great combination of getting out to do something active, and then continuing your special time by having a sleepover and takeout when you get home.

      This one is especially great for older kids who don’t always get to watch age appropriate movies because they have to watch more family friendly ones for their younger siblings.

      Step 1: Set up a space somewhere that you can have a sleepover before you go out. When we did this last time, I set it up in the basement and had my husband take the kids for a drive when we were coming home so we could sneak in unnoticed. That way no one gets jealous and the child on the date still feels like its their time.

      Step 2: Pick an activity that is really physical and will tire them out. Something like swimming, going for a long bike ride, go to a trampoline park or a climbing center.

      Step 3: Ask them to pick their favorite take-out that you can pick up on the way home. Order the take out and then go to the grocery store to pick out movie snacks.

      Step 4: In advance, I like to get them a little memento like a small stuffy or a fun pillow case that’s special from their sleepover. That way they can keep it and remember their fun night. Curl up together, pick a movie and enjoy the cuddles!

      Why I love it so much

      Have you ever heard the saying, couples that play together stay together? Relationships are strengthened through shared activities. Playing with your kids is no different. And then you get a whole evening of cuddles for the sleepover.

      Print it off for easy reference. Play and Stay PDF

      Fun Ideas for Conversation Starters

      I made this list to try and come up with some little ideas to get the conversations going. I find I’m guilty of talking at my kids most of the time. Did you do this? Don’t forget to finish this. Come eat. Hurry we have to go! These are all regular sentences out of my mouth. I’m sure out of all of our mouths

      When it comes time to sit down one on one and have a real conversation, sometimes I get a little stuck on what to ask. And more importantly, I Want to teach them to be good conversationalists with creative and thought provoking dialogue. I think, as most things, its a great teaching opportunity.

      To balance it out, I came up with 10 funny and silly questions. 10 more emotional or soft questions. And 10 thought provoking questions.

      Fun Questions

      1. What language would you like to learn?
      2. What are the top three things you want to do on summer vacation?
      3. If you owned a restaurant what would it look like and what kind of food would it have?
      4. If you could create a new holiday, what and when would it be?
      5. If you could try eating anything in the world, what would it be?
      6. If we let you make all the family rules in the house, what would they be?
      7. Would you rather live in the downtown area of a city, on a farm or on a beach?
      8. If you could choose between invisbility, flying and controlling time, which one would you pick to be your super power
      9. If you could be invisible for just one day, what kind of things would you like to do?
      10. If I could grant you three wishes right now, what would they be?

      Sensitive Questions

      1. What does it feel like when I hug you?
      2. What is your favorite memory?
      3. What do you think makes a person smart?
      4. You have a really cool friends. What do you think makes them so awesome?
      5. What’s something about you that you think I don’t know but want me to?
      6. What is your favorite thing about your brother and sister?
      7. What is the thing you like most about yourself?
      8. What are three things you think a friend should be?
      9. What makes you a good friend?
      10. What is your favorite dream? What do you day dream about?

      Thought Provoking Questions

      1. You’re so good at helping others, what is your favorite way to help?
      2. If someone told you something you felt uncomfortable with and asked you not to tell anyone, how would you handle it?
      3. When you’re my age, what do you want your life to look like?
      4. What makes you happy? What makes for a happy home?
      5. What goal do you have for this year?
      6. Are there any questions that you’ve been too shy or embarrassed to ask before?
      7. Is there anything going on in the news that you don’t understand or have questions about?
      8. Are there things at school that your friends talk about that you don’t understand but pretend to?
      9. Is there anything in the world that you want to change? Why?
      10. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be any why? What would you do?

      I love being able to make the time to have these special nights. And since we only do it once a month and then switch for the next month, I only get that evening with each specific son once every two months! I want to make every moment count for both of us. I would love to hear about any of your mother and son or daughter date nights in the comments below. Thank you for reading and happy Date nights!

      Hanger Snowflake Tutorial

      Hanger Snowflake Tutorial

      Hanger snowflakes combine many of my favorite things. Christmas, lights, and oversize statement decorations.

      They are super cheap to make, they are beautiful, and only take about 30 min.

      The best thing about them, is that hanger snowflakes look amazing and make you look like a crafting master.

      What will I Need?

      Before we get started on the steps to build Plastic Hanger snowflakes, I need to point out a few amazing things about this craft

      • The hangers were only $3/pack!! You need to buy two to have enough for one and Three packs for two snowflakes, but if you are making two snowflakes then its extra cheap. Amazing!
      • You will see that the steps are so easy and it looks sooooo good.
      • I love all things that light up so I taped lights to mine. But it really does look beautiful either way. I bought mine from amazon. They are lightweight and taped to the snowflake really easily

      Step 1: Let’s Build a Hanger Snowflake! Prep the pieces

      To start, pair all the hangers together and tie them together at each end.

      Make sure the hooks are facing the same way. You can see in my top middle one, I messed up so I had to cut the ribbon and re-do it

      I tied the ribbon in a double knot. Just one on each end of the hangers. So two per set. 32 tied ribbons and your prep is done!

      Step 2: Line up the Design

      Take the attached pair of hangers and place them on a flat surface in this design.

      Put four sets in a diamond, paying attention to how the hooks and center line up.

      After laying out the first layer, you will do the exact same thing on a second offset layer on top.

      Take a pair of the hangers and lay them with the center line placed directly in between the two hanger curved tops. Much better displayed in the video. Lay out the entire top layer to get an idea of what the final product will look like

      Step 3: Tying it All Together

      Once you have an idea of how your layers will look. You can start to tie them together.

      You will add 16 more ribbon ties to fully attach the two layers together and have your complete Hanger snowflake

      Watch the video below to see all 16 tie points

      loop it around underneath and tie a triple knot to make sure its really tight. Do this 8 times around the center, connecting every set of hanger pairs together
      Next, tie the connecting hangers with the center piece laid down the middle. You will add 8 of these as well. See the video for the complete overview of all the spots to tie.

      16 points in total to connect the Hanger snowflake all together

      Final Product displayed on my fireplace. I love it! Looks so amazing! See below if you want to add lights

      Step 4: (OPTIONAL) Adding lights to your Hanger Snowflake

      Adding the lights I will admit made it look fantastic at night time, but they are very noticeable on it during the day.

      So I think this would be best if you are planning on using them in a window or somewhere where nobody is going to look at them up close.

      I ran it along the arms and taped with clear scotch tape

      I did not have much of a layout plan. just up one arm and down the next.

      Close up of my sweet taping skills.

      And that’s it! Super Easy, Cheap and Beautiful. I hope this tutorial was helpful and you make your own gorgeous Hanger Snowflake!

      Open When Letters – An exercise of Gratitude

      Open When Letters – An exercise of Gratitude

      The last seven weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of emotions. Our little family unit has gone through feelings of sadness, fear, joy, loneliness, excitement, boredom and overwhelming love. You name it, we’ve felt it.

      When the rumblings of temporary school closures and activity cancellations started, none of us ever expected what would unfold. As a family that is never home and always busy with sports, family and friends, it hit us quickly when social restrictions went into place and we were home full time.

      The sad feelings came first. The mourning of unfinished hockey seasons. An abrupt end to the school year. The cancelled friends birthday parties. Even worse, the reality that my 5 year old wouldn’t be able to have a party. And the hardest reality that there would be no more regular visits with grandmas and grandpas.

      As the weeks started to unfold and the events that were transpiring around the world came to the media, the feelings switched to relief, gratitude, empathy and guilt. Relief because we were safe and with each other. Gratitude for the people that were and are working to solve this pandemic and help those that are sick. Empathy for the tragedy that has struck globally and each individual situation of horrific loss. And finally guilt that although we are doing our part to stay home and donating where we can, what else could we be doing to help?

      The emotions seemed to chase each other. I would feel overwhelming love and happiness at how much time I get to spend with my three kids. Then a rush of pure heartache would take over as I read something in the news. Followed by loneliness as I miss impromptu visits with my mom. Its a lot to process.

      Looking at my kids I had the same thought. How are they feeling about all this? What are they doing to communicate their thoughts?

      So I decided to make an afternoon project of Open When Letters.

      What is an OPEN WHEN letter?

      An open when letter is when you write something with the intention of it being opened at a later date. It can be for yourself or for someone else. The date can be specified or not.

      An example would be if you had a loved one that was going traveling. You could give them a letter to be “opened when you are feeling homesick”. Then you write a letter that makes them feel better for those feelings.

      Another example would be for a child. You might write a letter to them every year on their birthday with the intention that they “Open When” they turn 18.

      Our Open When letter Project

      So with this concept in mind I decided as an exercise in appreciation and gratitude I wanted our family to each write two Letters to be “Opened When Covid-19 is no longer considered a pandemic”

      The first letter would be a letter that expresses all the things that we are grateful for right now as we are social distancing as a family at home.

      The second letter would be all the things that they would be grateful to be able to do and all the people they will be grateful to see when they are able to.

      I thought the project would be a valuable lesson in recognizing what they have and appreciating all the amazing aspects of their life. While also opening up the discussion that there are other people out there sacrificing to keep working and having a different experience.

      Writing Open When Letters

      As I started to build a template for them to write their letters in I decided to make four. The links are all there to download to make your own! I made lined letters and then a template with photo boxes for younger kids that can’t write yet. 

      1. A Lined letter for  What I will appreciate in the future Open When Letters Lines

      2. A Photo Box letter for What I will Appreciate in the Future Open When Letters

      3. A Lined Letter for What I am Grateful for Now Open When Letter Lines

      4. A Photo Box letter for What I am Grateful for Now Open When Letters

      As we made out way through the project, I was really happy we decided to write these Open When Letters.

      My 5 year old did pictures to express his different thoughts. There were certain things that I expected to see. I knew he would be grateful for family and his TV of course. But I was so happy to see that he is grateful for his brother. And surprised to see he was grateful for a meteor shower. We have never seen a meteor shower but he seems to think we experienced one. Maybe he had a dream about it?

      The bigger surprise with the drawings was what he would be appreciative in the future. Almost all of his photos were centered around his friends. He hadn’t talked much about missing them and seemed disinterested when I tried to set up facetime play dates. He seemed so focused on just playing with his big brother that I thought it wasn’t bothering him. But he said he just really wanted to see his best friend and hunt treasure. Whatever that means ha ha. But it made me sensitive to the loneliness he is feeling for his friends.

      My 9 Year old was able to write his letters. Parents made the grateful list a few times in different ways so I’m feeling pretty good about myself right now. My bigger surprise was that hockey was sixth on the list. I assumed it would be first. But it fell behind friends, grandparents and school. Its obvious that his social connections are what he is missing as well.

      Overall it was an interesting lesson for me to realize how much we are all grateful for in our lives during this time period. I myself have become more aware of time and what it means to prioritize. Our lives are so busy in “regular” life. We are constantly on the go to one activity or another. This opportunity to slow right down with no outside obligations has become a gift for us. I will always be grateful for this snapshot in our lives where we had only each other to connect with and how wonderful its been.

      In another respect its shone some light onto this relationships outside my home that I really need to value. Grandparents, close friends and my support mom network. I will never again take for granted being able to meet a friend for a walk or have the kids playmates over for the afternoon.

      Finally it has made me appreciate our health and our healthcare system immensely. I have never before had to worry about being able to access a health professional for anything for our family. We are so lucky to have our Canadian health care system and the people that work in it.  This feeling of not being able to make an appointment with my doctor, dentist or a specialist appointment has been eye opening at the health care safety net we live with and how taking it away can make you feel so vulnerable. I am so grateful for having these resources in our life.  

      We put all of the letters in an envelope and decided that we would open it up together when the Covid -19 is deemed safe and not a pandemic anymore. Who knows when life will go back to “normal”, it could be years. But we will save this “Open When Letter” time capsule to look at down the road. 

      Overall it was a great opportunity for us to take a moment to realize how lucky we are in this situation and how much we will appreciate the little things in life moving forward. 

      Skylander Birthday Cake

      Skylander Birthday Cake

      My son turned 5 this week and wanted a Skylander Birthday Cake. This sounds simple enough right? 

      I don’t know when you will be reading this article. But at the time, we are in the midst of social distancing and self isolation for Covid-19. This means no last minute grocery store trips, no stores to pick up party supplies and nothing can be ordered online that will arrive in a short time frame. 

      So up until two nights before his birthday, his request was to help me make a simple cake. Done! I thought I was in the clear. On our most recent grocery online order, I made sure to have a cake mix (because extra baking supplies are impossible to get), some frosting and a few decorations. I figured he would crack some eggs, scoop some icing, place some decorations and presto! Instant Happy Birthday Kid!

      Then a couple nights before his big day he had some reality set in that he was not going to have a very big birthday. Because of the current situation, there would be no friends, no family, no special party destination. Just another day of home time with his immediate family. A flood of tears streamed out of that adorable little face that broke my heart. He then looked up at me with his huge blue eyes and said “Mom, can I please have a skyander cake”? Uh-oh. I really do feel like I held a good poker face and said “yes! absolutely”, but on the inside I was panicking a bit. 

      Alright, I got this. My poor little middle child getting the short end of the stick for his birthday. But the situation is what it is and we just have to make the best of it. A lesson that I want my kids to always understand. Right now there is so much sadness and tragedy happening all over the world and if a small birthday is your biggest problem than you have a lot to be grateful for. Regardless I don’t expect a 5 year old to understand the greater picture so I want him to have an amazing birthday.

      After he went to bed that night I did an inventory of my baking and decorating supplies.  Luckily he also has a ton of little skylander figurines. They were his older brothers that were used for a Wii game that is long gone and they don’t use them for that purpose anymore. They just play with them as action figures, so I wasn’t too worried about getting them dirty. 

      After doing a quick Audit of my pantry I came up with the idea to use my Fluted cake pan to build a battle ground and some jello to make a lake in the middle. What does a 5 year old love more than a good old fashion fight scene?
      Then I added some marshmallows and Chocolate chips to the inventory to use in the landscape.

      Ok so this is my vision at this point in time with the supplies I have. I feel pretty good about it

      1. I will use the cake mix to bake the cake in the fluted pan. 

      2. I will use a tray and cut the cake in half to create two separate battle sides.

      3. I picked out a variety of skylanders for a theme to have a fire based “evil” side and an ice based “hero” side. This stemmed from me coming up with the idea to freeze one of the characters in a block of ice.

      3. In the middle I will set some green jello in a bowl to look like a lake

      4. I will use the Pocky sticks, chocolate chips and frosting to create texture and landscape

      5. I have the sugar letters to place somewhere to spell out happy birthday. Not sure where yet

      6. I’ll freeze the character in the cup to create a fun little element to the cake

      7. Hope for the best that it looks half decent. So here we go!

       

      I got a little excited and flipped the cake pan before it was completely cooled. The result is that the top broke a bit. Good news is now I have some “landscape” cake rocks to spread around the plate. 

      I put my jello in the fridge first thing in the morning and started to make the cake around dinner time. Its mostly set but will have overnight to fully cool. This is the layout of the battle scene. 

      As I start to place the character I realize there is a bit of a dimensions problem. Mainly that half the skylanders are a simliar size to the landscape and the lake itself. Well not much I can do about that! But the image in my head is not quite translating onto the plate.

      I’ll just keep on working and see what I come up with. 

      I start in on the cake frosting. Its working great for keeping the characters in place. Good thing I bought two cans because it tastes amazing

      After I have the one side frosted I start to add in a little texture. I put some pocky sticks for height and sprinkle chocolate chips on the cake and into the lake and plate. I also took a giant marshmallow and covered it with frosting to create a platform for one of the characters

      Things are almost done. I have covered the other side with frosting and placed all the characters where I want them. You can see the little chunk of jello missing because I tried to put one of the little guys in the lake and it did not go great. 

      I”m still a little sad that the skylander characters are so big in reference to the landscape but there’s only so much I can do. 

      Here is the final product the night before. I don’t have the ice character on it yet but its all finished. Or so I thought. We had a bit of a mishap that caused me to have to pivot and fix part of it right before we sang happy birthday. Look below to see what happened to the lake in the fridge. 

      Some of you could probably see it coming but I did not.

       

      I was so excited to get it all laid out that it didn’t even occur to me that the letters were made of complete dissolvable sugar. Dumb move on my part. When I pulled it out of the fridge the next day it looked like Alphabet soup. Oops!

      So I pulled out the ice block character. I ran it under hot water for a couple seconds to get rid of the cup shape and pushed him into the middle of the jello to create a new center focus

      This is the final version of my last minute, work with what you got, skylander birthday cake. Is it the most beautiful thing I’ve ever created. Nope! But it was so much fun to make and my son loved it. He thought it was the coolest thing ever which was my hope. It made him smile and feel special on his birthday. 

       

       

      200 Never Have I ever questions for Kids

      200 Never Have I ever questions for Kids

      First Why would I play Never have I ever with my Kids?

      So we have all played Never have I ever. Did I think I would be playing it with my kids? Nope!

      It all stemmed from my husbands obsession with would you rather. Seriously I don’t know what his deal is. I think its his way of exercising creativity. He really does come up with a lot of good ones. Both adult versions and kid appropriate. Our kids love his daily questions.

      It lead us one night to thinking about other fun games that we may have played as adults that we can transfer to the kids. Things we could play in the car or for a family game night. Obviously we needed to come up with something other than having a drink of alcohol as a the reward though.

      Well lets back this up a second. I have been assuming that you have played Never Have I ever, but maybe some of you are hearing this for the first time. The premise of the game is that you ask a question and then drink if it applies to you. Or if other people ask questions of things that you have done then you drink. The original purpose of the game is to get to know each other, get a little tipsy and it usually turns into dirty questions by the end.

      An example would be ” Never have I ever skinny dipped”. If you have done it then you drink. Everyone laughs, sometimes you’re surprised by the people that drink at certain things, and it leads to great stories.

      So how do you transfer this to playing Never have I ever with Kids?

      How Do I Play Never Have I Ever with my Kids?

      First we thought we would just give them a cup of juice or a special occasion drink like a pop to play. But this quickly failed because kids have zero self control and they didn’t wait to drink when they were asked questions that applied to them. They just chugged the whole drink and wanted more.

      So we decided to make it super creative and add an extra level. We put a pile of playing cards in the middle of the table. Every time you answer yes to a question you take a playing card and leave it face down in front of you. When the deck is entirely gone we flip our piles over and add up them up. (sneak in a little math practice). The person with the highest score gets to pick a restaurant we go  to next night for dinner or a movie we rent that night. Because the deck is randomized, anyone can win. Just if you end up with more cards then you have a better chance.

      So how do we prevent the kids from taking cards for things they didn’t actually do? Well they have to tell a story after each round. They are young enough that we can tell pretty quickly if they are trying to make something up on the spot. The bonus of the game is that you hear a lot of stories that you might not have heard before.

      Below is 200 questions to get you started and provide at least a few nights and rounds of a really fun time with the kids.

      Here is my entire list of 200 Never Have I Ever Questions for Kids

      1. Never have I ever faked sick to stay home from school

      2. Never have I ever told a secret to my sibling

      3. Never have I ever peed in a pool

      4. Never have I ever lied to my mom

      5. Never have I ever pretended to be sleeping when I’m not

      6. Never have I ever had a dream where I was flying

      7. Never have I ever been on a train

      8. Never have I ever stayed up all night

      9. Never have I ever cried because I saw  something sad

      10. Never have I ever lost something

      11. Never have I ever farted and blamed it on someone else

      12. Never have I ever mooned someone

      13. Never have I ever said a swear word

      14. Never have I ever forgotten someones name

      15. Never have I ever had a crush on someone

      16. Never have I ever thought a teacher was funny

      17. Never have I ever had a cavity

      18. Never have I ever sneezed on a stranger

      19. Never have I ever thrown a frisbee.

      20. Never have I ever had an argument with a friend

      21. Never have I ever said something mean to a stranger

      22. Never have I ever snuck a dessert

      23. Never have I ever gone a whole week without a bath

      24. Never have I ever blamed a friend or sibling for something I did

      25. Never have I ever changed a diaper

      26. Never have I ever had a lemonade stand

      27. Never have I ever prank called someone

      28. Never have I ever lied during this game

      29. Never have I ever kissed someone not at this table

      30. Never have I ever watched a movie that was too scary for me

      31. Never have I ever said something nice to stranger

      32. Never have I ever scared myself with my own shadow

      33. Never have I ever missed a high five

      34. Never have I ever sang in the shower

      35. Never have I ever secretly wished I was a wizard at hogwarts

      36. Never have I ever pretended to laugh at a joke I didn’t understand

      37. Never have I ever taken a selfie

      38. Never have I ever worn hand me downs

      39. Never have I ever wished on a star

      40. Never have I ever made a wish and it came true

      41. Never have I ever cut in front of someone in line

      42. Never have I ever been mini golfing

      43. Never have I ever eaten snow

      44. Never have I ever cheated on a test

      45. Never have I ever been to a sleepover or had someone over for a sleepover

      46. Never have I ever done a science experiment

      47. Never have I ever given someone the middle finger

      48. Never have I ever ridden a bike

      49. Never have I ever been to the ocean

      50. Never have I ever named a stuffed animal

      Fifty Down! Did you make it through a full game?

      51. Never have I ever laughed so hard I peed my pants

      52. Never have I ever had someone tell me I had food stuck in my teeth

      53. Never have I ever dreamed of being a professional Athlete

      54. Never have I ever gone to bed without brushing my teeth

      55. Never have I ever peeked at my Christmas presents

      56. Never have I ever stayed up to catch Santa or the Easter Bunny

      57. Never have I ever had a bleeding Nose

      58. Never have I ever built a sand castle

      59. Never have I ever drove a car sitting on my parents lap

      60. Never have I ever sat on a whoopie Cushion

      61. Never have I ever seen a 3D movie

      62. Never have I ever fed my supper to the dog

      63. Never have I ever smelled my own feet

      64. Never have I ever built a snowman

      65. Never have I ever seen the tooth fairy

      66. Never have I ever been on a fire truck

      67. Never have I ever mowed the lawn

      68. Never have I ever grown a plant

      69. Never have I ever held a snake

      70. Never have I ever won a trophy

      71. Never have I ever read an entire book with no pictures

      72. Never have I ever gone skiing (water or downhill)

      73. Never have I ever played video games for an entire day

      74. Never have I ever done a flip on a trampoline

      75. Never have I ever eaten sushi

      76. Never have I ever tried egg nog

      77. Never have I ever fainted

      78. Never have I ever finger painted

      79. Never have I ever watched a movie in a drive in movie theater

      80. Never have I ever broken a bone

      81. Never have I ever won an award at school

      82. Never have I ever been in a talent show

      83. Never have I ever played an instrument

      84. Never have I ever been on the back of a motorcycle

      85. Never have I ever built a whole puzzle by myself over 100 pieces

      86, Never have I ever baked cookies

      87. Never have I ever shaved my head

      88. Never have I ever been on a roller coaster

      89. Never have I ever hit a bullseye on a dart board

      90. Never have I ever had a pet

      91. Never have I ever been on a skateboard

      92. Never have I ever tried to roller blade

      93. Never have I ever hit a home run or scored a goal

      94. Never have I ever done ten push ups in a row

      95. Never have I ever done my own laundry

      96. Never have I ever been hiking

      97. Never have I ever sang in front of an audience

      98. Never have I ever been on an airplane

      99. Never have I ever ridden the bus

      Halfway There! Are you having fun Yet?

      100. Never have I ever eaten dog food

      101. Never have I ever zip lined

      102. Never have I ever climbed a tree

      103. Never have I ever had a sip of Dad’s beer

      104. Never have I ever opened a bank account

      105. Never have I ever been to a water park and been on a water slide

      106. Never have I ever made a present for someone

      107. Never have I ever stayed at a hotel

      108. Never have I ever been allergic to anything

      109. Never have I ever caught a fish

      110. Never have I ever accidentally stole something

      111. Never have I ever seen a wild animal not at the zoo

      112. Never have I ever been tobogganing

      113. Never have I ever laughed at someone getting hurt

      114. Never have I ever tripped going up the stairs

      115. Never have I ever done something really embarrassing and never told anyone about it

      116. Never have I ever tried to learn another language

      117. Never have I ever been to a buffet

      118. Never have I ever had a cavity

      119.  Never have I ever been to the circus

      120. Never have I ever been to Disney

      121. Never have I ever been hired to do a job (even if its by grandma)

      122. Never have I ever been in trouble at school

      123. Never have I ever had to wear glasses

      124. Never have I ever asked mom and dad for a new baby

      125. Never have I ever had a different hair color

      126. Never have I ever built something with a hammer and nails

      127. Never have I ever pierced my ears.

      128. Never have I ever been on a paddle board.

      129. Never have I ever made up my own joke.

      130. Never have I ever invented something.

      131. Never have I ever believed someone and then found out they were lying

      132. Never have I ever met a police officer

      133. Never have I ever built something amazing out of lego

      134. Never have I ever stuck up for someone being picked on

      135. Never have I ever had an afternoon nap snuggling with mom or dad

      136. Never have I ever got to go with mom or dad to work for the day

      137. Never have  I ever mailed someone a letter

      138. Never have I ever been camping

      139. Never have I ever jumped off a diving board

      140. Never have I ever peed outside

      141. Never have I ever stayed up till midnight on New Years Eve

      142. Never have I ever got 100 percent on a test at school

      143. Never have I ever painted a fence

      144. Never have I ever taught someone younger than me a new skill

      145. Never have I ever had a crush on a tv or movie character

      146. Never have I ever built a fire

      147. Never have I ever tried yoga

      148. Never have I ever entered an art or coloring contest

      149. Never have I ever been to a sleep away summer camp

      150. Never have I ever held a baby

      If you made it this far you are clearly a fan of Never have I ever with kids

      151. Never have I ever gone to the bathroom and not washed my hands

      152. Never have I ever stuck gum under a chair

      153. Never have I ever stayed in pajamas all day

      154. Never have I ever volunteered somewhere

      155. Never have I ever done all my chores without being asked.

      156. Never have I ever had a friend move away

      157. Never have I ever wished a friend would move away

      158. Never have I ever been sad at something I saw in the news

      159. Never have I ever been inspired by a movie

      160. Never have I ever built a fort

      161. Never have I ever lost something at school and never found it

      162. Never have I ever made a bucket list

      163. Never have I ever saved up to buy something all on my own

      164. Never have I ever taken care or mom or dad when they are sick

      165. Never have I ever seen something on TV that I thought was real and then found out it wasn’t

      166. Never have I ever thought I couldn’t do something and then did it!

      167. Never have I ever made something I’m super proud of

      168. Never have I ever face timed with someone

      169. Never have I ever looked up something on the internet that I should not have

      170. Never have I ever had to go to the emergency room

      171. Never have I ever had to get stitches

      172. Never have I ever had chicken pox

      173. Never have I ever broken a promise

      174. Never have I ever been on TV

      175. Never have I ever been trick or treating

      176. Never have I ever eaten something so spicy it made my eyes water

      177. Never have I ever ridden a horse

      178. Never have I ever made a comic book

      179. Never have I ever pretended to run away from home

      180. Never have I ever met someone famous

      189. Never have I ever seen dinosaur bones in person

      190. Never have I ever decorated a cake

      191. Never have I ever made a whole room of people laugh

      192. Never have I ever seen a shooting star

      193. Never have I ever built a sand castle

      194. Never have I ever been stung by a bee

      195. Never have I ever learned to type on a computer

      196. Never have I ever seen a phone booth

      197. Never have I ever dressed up as a super hero for Halloween

      198. Never have I ever slept through my alarm

      199. Never have I ever texted someone

      200. Never have I ever played an April Fool’s day joke

       That’s the end my friends! I hope you and your families had as much fun with this as we did!