Eat, Drink and Be Scary (allergy safe Halloween treats for kids)

Halloween should be safe, inclusive and fun... so it's important to be aware that many children have life threatening food allergies. If you see a child with a teal pumpkin this Halloween, make sure you have a non-food treat ready to give them. Sending allergy safe treats to class parties is important too. Today, I am sharing a simple allergy safe Halloween treat and FREE printable tags.

The dollar store sells many cute Halloween straws. I packaged mine with a peanut-free chocolate bar, and I attached a note that says, "Eat, Drink, and Be Scary!" Cute, right?

To download the free printable tags I designed: right-click on the photo below, safe it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

I love the idea of handing out non-candy Halloween options, don't you? It is such a perfect solution when nutrition policies and allergies are concerns. Everyone should have the opportunity to have a Happy Halloween!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

10 Netflix Shows You Will LEARN Something From Watching

Let's face it, children and adults turn to screens because they want to be entertained... but they can also learn a lot from the shows they watch. Today I am sharing TEN Netflix* shows that are BOTH entertaining AND educational!

5 Educational Shows for Kids:

Justin Time - A delightful show about a boy and his friends going on historical adventures. (Great for younger kids.)

Storybots - A wonderful show about curious creatures who live in the world beneath our screens and and go on fun adventures to answer kids' questions. (Great for younger kids.)

Magic School Bus Rides Again - A fun reboot of the 1994 series that educates young viewers about science via exciting new field-trips, locations, creatures, time periods and more. (Great for younger kids.)

Brain Games - An interesting show about how the brain processes information. (Great for older kids.)

Planet Earth - One of the many fantastic documentaries on Netflix that will allow kids to learn more about the world they live in. (Great for children of all ages.)

5 Educational Shows for Adults:

The Crown - Drama that will entertain you and teach you more about the Royal Family.

Narcos - Drama that will be interesting for viewers who want to learn about infamous cartels.

Bill Nye Saves the World - A talk show (hosted by Bill Nye) that explores scientific topics that touch our lives.

Founder - Drama about the founding of McDonalds and the way it revolutionized the way we eat.

Making a Murderer - One of the many wonderful documentaries on Netflix. This one documents one convict's dealings with the criminal justice system.

So what are you waiting for? Now that I have given you a few show ideas, it's time to turn on your favourite device, and Stream Yourself Smarter. Happy viewing!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

*Disclosure: I receive special gifts and perks as part of my affiliation with Netflix.... however (as always) the opinions on this blog are 100% my own.

Halloween Wine... with free printable labels

Halloween is fun for kids, but it can also be a time for adults to celebrate. I love the idea of Halloween wine as a gift for a neighbour or a beverage at a Halloween party. Today, I am sharing free printable wine labels that are cute, clever, and fun for grown ups to enjoy on October 31st!

I'm loving this wine for "mummy". Use masking tape and googly eyes to transform an ordinary bottle of wine into festive spirits. Then, add a label with tape.

You can also use the label on its own.

To download the labels I designed (for free): right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

These labels are great for sharing a "not so spooky treat" this Halloween. I hope you enjoy using this idea and that you share it with friends. Happy Halloween!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Holiday crafts are fun for kids, and today I am sharing some simple Thanksgiving crafts that your kids will love. While the children are busy making adorable turkey crafts, you will have the time you need to peel the vegetables for your turkey dinner. Clever, right?

1) Tissue paper turkey - Tissue paper squares in Fall colours can be used to create this adorable turkey craft. Kids will love this one! Find the full "how to" here.

2) Scrapbook paper turkey - Angular shapes and colourful paper come together to create this fun art deco turkey. Find the full "how to" here.

3) Handprint turkeys - No one can resist a handprint craft for a holiday. It's a craft and a keepsake in one adorable package! Find the full "how to" here.

4) Scrap Paper Turkey - It doesn't get much easier than this sweet scrap paper turkey. Cut different shapes from scrap paper, and glue them to a piece of construction paper. Then, glue on two brown circles, an orange beak, and googly eyes. 

Do you have a favourite turkey craft? I hope you enjoy making one of mine with your little one, and I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

50+ Easy, Inexpensive, and Frightfully Fun HALLOWEEN Ideas

Halloween is frightfully fun for kids, but October is a busy time for families. So, this time of year, I like to focus on Halloween ideas and activities that are easy, inexpensive, and fun. Today I am sharing a collection of over 50 of my favourites!

Click on the links for more info:

Pumpkin Prize Punch - This prize punch is made from dollar store supplies. It's easy and inexpensive to make, and it's guaranteed to be a fantastic addition to any party or holiday celebration. Find the full step-by-step instructions here.

15 Halloween Class Party Treats - There is an idea here for everyone. There are treats to eat and candy free options. There are also plenty of free printable treats and tags. Check it all out here

5 Non-Food Halloween Treats - If allergies and nutrition are concerns for you, check out 5 candy free options here.

Halloween "Booo"bles - These adorable (free) printable tags transform boring bubbles into a fun Halloween treat. Find the tags and details here.

Halloween Straws - How cute are these Halloween straws that can be packaged with these adorable "Eat, Drink and Be Scary" tags. Perfect when you want to be allergy friendly! You can download the free printable tags here.

Eyeball Cake - Every party and special occasion needs a cake, and this one is easy to make, and super cute for Halloween. Find the full how to here.

20 DIY "No-Sew" Halloween Costumes - The best part of Halloween is dressing up, and homemade costumes are cheaper (and way better) than store bought options. Check out 20 "no sew" DIY costume ideas here.

Costumes from Old T-Shirts - Making costumes is simple and easy when you have an old t-shirt, a little imagination, and the step-by-step instructions that you can find here

Halloween Scavenger Hunt - Kids love scavenger hunts, and this one is perfect for kids of all ages. You can download it for free here.

Treat for Mom - After making all the treats and costumes, mom is going to need a treat too. You can find one that is sure to please here.

And you can download FREE tags for Halloween "Booo"ze here.

Halloween Paper Crafts - Paper crafts are great because you can make them with things you already have in your craft cupboard. Check out some super cute (and easy) options here.

Ghost Mask Craft - Little ones can craft their own spooky ghost mask while working on their fine motor skills. You can find the instructions and free downloadable template here

Pool Noodle Witch Legs - Festive decor is simple to make with some dollar store supplies and the step-by-step instructions you can find here.

Pool Noodle Halloween Wreath (dollar store craft) - You don't have to be very crafty to make this pool noodle wreath. All you need is a glue gun, a few dollar store supplies, and the instructions you can find here.

DIY Halloween Decor Ideas - These ideas for Halloween decor are simple and fun. The dollar store gloves are my favourite. You can check out all the simple ideas here.

Mummy Door - This is the best project if you are looking to make a big impact with a little effort. Find the full DIY details here.

Paper Chain Halloween Countdown - Counting down to October 31st is a lot of fun with this DIY paper chain countdown. Find the full instructions for this adorable handprint Halloween craft here.

Halloween Countdown Printable - How cute is this Halloween countdown I designed? You can download it for free here, stick it in dollar store frame, and update it with a dry erase marker.

Little Monsters Free Printable - If you have kids, you are going to love this free print that I designed. You can find versions for different numbers of children here.

10 Halloween Traditions for Kids - Holidays and traditions go hand in hand. I share 10 of my favourite Halloween traditions here.

Free Printable Halloween Lunchbox Notes for Kids - School lunches get a festive flair with these Halloween lunchbox notes. You can download them for free here.

Elf on the Shelf Halloween Postcard - Elf on the Shelf isn't just for Christmas. Kids will love receiving a Halloween postcard from their holiday buddy. You can download the free postcard I designed here

DIY Spooky Pictures - Making spooky pictures in an inexpensive way to decorate for Halloween. Find out how simple it is to make spooky pictures and fun frames here.

Easy and Inexpensive Halloween Ideas - Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that are the easiest. Check out some of my favourites here.

Magic Pumpkin Seeds - Every holiday is better with a little magic, and this is my favourite and most magical Halloween idea. Read all about magic pumpkin seeds here.

Ideas for Leftover Halloween Candy - When all the trick or treating is done, and only a mountain of candy remains, you are going to want to check out my clever ideas for leftover Halloween candy here.

25+ Books for Boys aged 8-12 (and girls will like them too!)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

I've had a lot of discussions on my East Coast Mommy Facebook page about trying to find books for my boys to read. They are active boys, and it is often difficult to get them excited about settling down with a book. I'm ALWAYS on the lookout for a book that my boys won't want to put down. Today, I am sharing some fantastic recommendations for books that boys (and girls) between the ages of 8 and 12 will love

I have broken the book recommendations into categories to make it a little easier to find the book that suits your child's interests and reading level. Below, you will find: books for kids that like graphic novels, books for kids making the transition from picture books to chapter books, and books for more advanced readers.

FYI: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item via a link in this post, you will be paying regular prices, but I will receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting all the free content I provide via this blog.

Books for kids that like graphic novels

Some children prefer reading graphic novels because of the pictures and humorous/ adventurous content. These are a few of my boys' favourite choices:

Big Nate
series by Lincoln Peirce

Jedi Academy series by Jeffrey Brown

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney

Books for kids making the transition from picture books to chapter books

Some children are reluctant readers or are intimated by long chapter books. These choices are perfect for kids that are in between picture books and more advanced chapter books. They are easy to read, have interesting plots, and often include a few pictures. Here are some of my boys' favourite choices:

Ballpark Mysteries series by David A. Kelly

Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne

Dragon Masters series by Tracey West

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie series by Zack Zombie

Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

Geronimo Stilton series by Geronimo Stilton

Beverly Cleary booksHenry Huggins, Henry Ribsy, and Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary

Fudge series by Judy Blume

Books for more advanced readers

After children have gained their confidence and honed their reading skills, they will be ready for more advanced stories, characters, and plot lines. Kids older than 12 will enjoy many of these books too. Here are some of my boys' favourite choices:

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling

I Funny series by James Patterson

David Walliams books: particularly Mr. Stink and The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams

Wonder by R.J. Palicio

A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket 

Swindle series by Gordon Korman

Slapshot series by Gordon Korman

And here are a few book recommendations from some of my readers (that my boys haven't had a chance to read yet... but we are totally going to check out!)

The Amulet series

Timmy Failure series

Super Hero series

Robert Muchamore books

Dragon Slayers Academy series

Do you have books you would like to add to this list? I am always anxious to instil a love of reading in my boys, and good books are the key. If you have a suggestion, please leave it below, and I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)