"HAND"ful of Candy... Halloween treats with free printable sign

Sometimes simple ideas are the best, and the Halloween treat bag I am sharing with you today could not be easier to make. You are going to love this easy and inexpensive Halloween treat idea that is perfect to make for your kids, friends, neighbours, and trick-or-treaters. I'm also sharing a cute piece of DIY Halloween decor that you can download for FREE!

To make these 'HAND'y treat bags, you'll need some plastic or latex gloves and a bunch of candy. Something to stick in the fingers is key. Rockets work well.

Then, you just fill the glove with treats and tie the top closed with a piece of curling ribbon. That's it!

To add a bit of extra fun, I designed this "punny" sign to sit beside my treat bags. You can download it for free, and print it really inexpensively at your local copy store. To download this 'HAND'y sign: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8x10 photo.

Doesn't the sign look cute in an inexpensive dollar store frame? It really makes the bags of treats look extra special.

The Halloween treats are simple enough to make for your kids and/or trick-or-treaters, but they would be great for a Halloween party too. Who doesn't love a simple and fun DIY? 

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Halloween Teacher Treat Ideas

If you have a SPOOKtacular teacher in your life, you should get him/her a fun and unique Halloween treat. A simple treat with a "punny" tag is perfect. Today, I am sharing two easy and inexpensive ways to thank your favourite teacher for always giving you a helping hand... and I'm including free printable gift tags too!

This year, I found this adorable witch hand candle holder at the dollar store for only $4! I love the green hands and the purple nail polish, don't you? It's adorable with the addition of a flameless candle.

I added these adorable "Thanks for always being there to give me a helping hand." tags. You can download the tags I designed for free by: clicking on the picture below, right-clicking, saving it to your computer, and printing it like a regular 4x6 photo.

Doesn't it look cute all wrapped up with cellophane and curling ribbon?

You can also use the tags to give a few edible goodies to your favourite educator. Fill a plastic or latex glove with candies, mini chocolate bars and trinkets, and add the tag to create a 'HAND'ful of treats. See what I did there?

What yummy and/or fun treats will you be sharing with your child's teacher this Halloween? I love these simple ideas, and they would be a great thank you gift for any helpful person in your life.

Happy Halloween!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

15 Fantastic FAMILY GAMES (everyone will love)

I always enjoy a good family board game, don't you? It's a wonderful way for kids and parents to spend time together. And who doesn't have fun playing a game together on Christmas morning after all the gifts have been opened? Today, I am sharing a list of 15 fantastic family games that everyone will love (in no particular order). Which one will be on your Christmas list?

Note: This gift guide contains affiliate links (which means that if you make a purchase through this post, I will receive a small commission at NO additional cost to you).

1) Jenga - The rules of this one are simple... take a block from the bottom and put it on top (without making the tower topple over).

2) Skipbo - This card game is portable, and it is one of our family's favourites. It involves a little bit of school, but it is easy enough for children to play.

3) Uno - This is a classic card game that is sure to be a hit with parents and children of all ages. It's portable and fun!

4) Sorry - This is a classic board game with simple rules. The goal is to be the first person to get your men around the board.

5) Trouble - Who doesn't remember "popping the bubble" of a kid? This classic game has been around forever, anyone can play it, and it's lots of fun!

6) Sequence - This game combines a board game and a card game into a wonderful strategy game. It's recommended for ages 7 - adult... so it's family fun for all ages.

7) Clue - This is a classic mystery game where you try to find out the who committed the crime, where it was committed, and the weapon that was used. My boys love this one!

8) Spot it - Between two cards there is only one match. Spot it fast to win!

9) Battleship - This is a classic game that the whole family will love. Simply sink all your opponents battleships to win.

10) Blokus - The perfect fast-paced strategy game. It's easy to learn and great for families.

11) Yahtzee - This simple dice game is fun for families. Kids love shaking the dice and using the score pads.

12) Monopoly - Buy and sell your way to riches with this classic game that should be party of every board game collection. There are many versions, but I'm partial to the traditional one... though I hear the Monopoly Cheaters Edition is a lot of fun!
13) Wizard - This card game is inexpensive, portable, and fun. It's the ultimate game of bidding and winning tricks. 

14) LCR - This inexpensive dice game is so small you can pop it into your purse. Fun to play anywhere / anytime.

15) Pass the Pig - This game requires strategy, skill and luck. It's basically a dice game, but you are rolling "pigs". Fun, right?

Did your favourite board game make my list? Leave your favourite family board game in the comments. I'm always looking for recommendations and new ideas for family fun!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Halloween Class Treat (Playdough)... with free printable tags

"Treats" and "Halloween" go hand in hand... but when it comes to classroom treats, it's important to consider allergies and school nutrition policies. When I send treats to school, I always try to ensure that none of my boys' friends will be left out, so opt for easy and inexpensive "non food" options. This year, my youngest son is bringing Halloween playdough for his friends, and I'm sharing my adorable packaging idea (and free printable gift tags) below.

I found these inexpensive containers of playdough (in Halloween colours) on Amazon, and I added "Have a DOUGH-lightful Halloween!" tags.

To download the tags I designed: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.

When the playdough containers are packaged in little bags with the tags and curling ribbon, they are adorable!

It really is easy to package up enough for a whole class... and it's cheap too!

With this simple Halloween treat, I don't have to worry about any dietary restrictions or allergies, and I know the kids will love it. "No sugar" doesn't need to mean "no fun"! My 9 year old is excited to share these Halloween goodies with his friends.

Happy Halloween!

 (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS - You can find MANY more easy and inexpensive Halloween ideas here.

Allergy-safe Halloween Class treats {funny glasses}... with free printable gift tags

My kids love bringing Halloween treats to share with their classmates, but their schools are starting to get super-strict when it comes to allergies and sugar. So, in an effort to make sure no one is left out, we try to come up with fun "non food" Halloween treats. This year, my middle son decided to share some silly glasses with his friends.

On a trip to Walmart, we found these hilarious glasses for less than $0.50 each. I picked up a bunch and designed some fun tags to accompany them.

Our tags say, "EYE hope you have a SPECtacular Halloween!" Pretty punny, right?

To download the adorable tags I designed: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.

My 11 year old is super-pumped to share these Halloween treats with his friends, and I love that they are sugar free and allergy safe.

Will you be sharing Halloween class treats this year? Will you be opting for homemade goodies or a non-food option? I've seen a lot of dollar store glasses that would work well with these tags too. If you decide to use this idea, let me know how they turn out.

Happy Halloween!

 (aka East Coast Mommy)

5 Tips for Surviving a Trip to a Restaurant with Kids

Let's face it, going to a restaurant with kids is not always a pleasant experience. However, it is something that kids should experience, and sometimes it can't be avoided. So... today I am sharing 5 tips for surviving a trip to a restaurant with kids. You are going to love these simple tips and tricks!

1) Pick the right restaurant - If your kids are picky eaters, pick establishments that offer kid friendly good.  Choosing restaurants that cater to children is also helpful because you won't have to worry about annoying the people around you.

2) Order quickly - Kids are not designed to sit in confined spaces for long periods of time, so the faster you order, the better.

3) Talk to the kids - It's a perfect opportunity to give them your undivided attention.  Leave the iPhone in your pocket, and ask them about their little world.

4) Bring a few small toys in your purse - Bring what works for your little ones.  Cars, crayons and paper are always helpful... and quiet.

5) Have a few games up your sleeve. Some good ones to try are:

  • I-Spy - Everyone knows this classic, and it is easy to play anywhere. Pick an object in the room, say "I spy something (insert colour)", and let everyone guess.
  • Guess the Animal - Give clues about an animal (like it has four legs, it wags its tail, it barks, etc...), and let people try to guess the animal.
  • What Hand is the coin or sugar packet in - It's a simple game, but it passes the time, and kids love it.
These are all simple ideas for surviving a trip to a restaurant with kids, but they really work. What are your best tips?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

10 Fantastic Crafts and Activities for GRANDPARENTS to do with their Grandchildren

I have a lot of wonderful grandmothers that follow my blog. They are always telling me about how my blog inspires them to engage and make wonderful memories with their grandchildren. Grandparents really are a special gift, so today I thought I would write a post just for them! Here are 10 of my favourite easy and inexpensive crafts and activities that are perfect for grandmothers and grandfathers to do with their grandchildren.

For an activity to be "grandparent friendly", it needs to be simple, it has to be fun and you should be able to do it with a small number of materials. All 10 of these crafts and activities fit this criteria, and they are sure to delight children of all ages.

1) Make a Skittles Rainbow - This is a super-EASY activity, and kids love it. You literally just pour water onto a plate and watch a rainbow appear. Find the simple instructions for making a skittles rainbow here

You can find additional ideas for science experiments here.

2) Craft Drums from Tin Cans - This idea is awesome because it is a craft AND a toy. To make this one, you just need some cans from the recycling bin, a few dollar store supplies, and the instructions for making drums from tin cans that you can find here

3) Paint Fairy Houses - Crafts that capture the magic of childhood are always wonderful... and who doesn't love fairies? Turning dollar store bird houses into fairy habitats is easy with the instructions you can find here

4) Make Birdfeeders - Kids will love making simple birdfeeders and hanging them in the trees for their feathered friends. The simple instructions for making three different kinds of birdfeeders can be found here.

5) Paint Rocks - Kids love collecting rocks, and painting rocks turns plain rocks into treasured keepsakes. You can find the instructions for painting rocks here

6) Have a Teddy Bear Picnic - Picnics are always fun, but a teddy bear picnic is extra special. When packing your picnic basket, you are going to want to make delicious and adorable teddy bear cookies using the recipe you can find here.

7) Grow Grass-haired Friends - Planting something and watching it grow is easy and educational... and these adorable grass-haired friends are fun to make and totally adorable. You can find the instructions for making grass-haired friends here. 

8) Paint Jersey Wall Art - Kids that are into sports will love painting personalized "jerseys" for their rooms. You can find the simple "how to" for this jersey canvases here

9) Bake Something - Baking with kids is a good way to spend time together making memories... and it teaches them an important life skill. Brownie pops are simple and fun to make with kids, and they totally delicious. Find out how easy it is to make brownie pops (from a mix) here.

10) Celebrate the Holidays - Making crafts and engaging in activities with kids is always fantastic... but it is even more special during holidays. You can find all my favourite holiday crafts and activities here.

My blog is full of many more ideas for fantastic crafts and activities for families, but these 10 should get you started. Don't forget to follow me on Facebook (here) so that you don't miss out on my latest ideas, projects, and adventures.

 (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS - If you have preschool aged grandchildren, you might want to check out the hundreds of ideas here.