7 Simple Kid’s Crafts for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Art, Simple Art Projects for Mother's Day, Mom Art

Why not surprise a mom by helping her kids create a heart-felt, homemade gift to show their love this Mother’s Day? Here are 7 simple DIY gifts kids can create with a little help from you to make any mom feel special:

1. Mother’s Day Coupon Book

Download our Mother’s Day Coupon Book printable template to make an extra-thoughtful gift mom with coupons for “washing the dishes,” “folding the laundry,” and even “one hour of quiet time.” Have your little one color-in and draw on each coupon to personalize it. Complement your coupon book with an UrbanSitter gift card!


2. Yarn Wrapped Bottles

A Mother’s Day art project older kids will enjoy is creating these beautiful vases for Mom.  It’s an easy way to present a few flowers on Mom’s big day.

via Huffington Post
via Huffington Post

3. Craft Stick Flower Pot

Another fun easy art project for kids to make on Mother’s Day is to create a colorful flower pot. Find a recycled can or other small container and craft or popsicle sticks and some glue. After the flower pot is finished, fill it with her favorite plant for a long-lasting gift that will keep her smiling.

via Somewhat Simple
via Somewhat Simple

4. Baby Feet Butterflies

If you’re looking for an easy art project for Mother’s Day for a baby, using their fingerprints or footprints is a wonderful way to create sentimental art. One homemade gift for mom from a baby is to dip the baby’s feet into non-toxic washable paint and create footprints.  After the paint has dried, turn them into butterflies with just a few swipes with a marker.

via Pinterest
via Pinterest

5. Tissue Paper Flowers

Truly a classic craft for Mother’s Day! Who doesn’t love a few tissue paper flowers, and even more so if they were created by the little ones they love. WikiHow tells you how to make them three ways.

via Rust and Sunshine
via Rust and Sunshine

6. Craft Stick Jewelry Box

For the elementary kids, a simple Mother’s Day craft is this beautiful keepsake box. All they need to make this box are craft sticks or recycled popsicle sticks and embellish with anything from beads, sequins, buttons, drawings or even stickers. Mom will love storing her treasures here.

via Spoonful
via Spoonful

7. Flower Photos

A free printable background, cupcake liners, construction paper and favorite photos are all it takes to make these adorable flower photos. Photos of children’s faces are cut into 1.5 inch circles and pasted to the center of flowers.  Once they are completed, these can be used to make a Mother’s Day card or a picture frame. For a picture frame, either buy a new frame or find an old picture frame and just remove the glass to make room for the 3D flowers.

via Raising Arizona Kids
via Raising Arizona Kids

Homemade Mother’s Day crafts like these are the ones that will truly touch her heart. She’ll appreciate the time and effort you made to help the kids create such meaningful Mother’s Day gifts. UrbanSitter.com gift cards make great gifts, too!

Summer Entertainment for Kids – Free Printables

Once the final school bell of the year rings, keeping the kids engaged and occupied for the next three months lies solely on you and whatever childcare you’ve lined up for the summer. Fear not! We’ve found 6 totally free, downloadable printables, guaranteed to be welcomed diversions on more than one rainy day, long car ride or when you simply need a moment to yourself.

ABC PracticeThis letter tracing sheet will keep beginning writers sharp and help ABC newbies learn and practice their letters before the start of preschool or kindergarten. The clean, watermark-free file is also nice to frame as artwork or at least to keep in the baby book. (via Back House White Shutters)

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Travel Bingo: There are six of these save-your-sanity bingo cards that are beyond perfect for the family road trip. They have pictures along with the words, so even little ones can play. You can print them on card stock and have them laminated or place each in a page protector. As kids find an object on the card, they can mark it by placing a sticker on it or use a dry erase marker. (via Simple As That)

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Coloring Pages: Take your pick, depending on your audience – coloring pages from Disney’s much adored Frozen movie or super cool color-by-number sheets. If your kids are as obsessed with Disney’s Frozen as much as ours are, they’ll melt to pieces over these fun coloring pages. (via The Kids Coloring Pages)

via Kids Coloring Pages

Reading with Kids: For older kids or for those who like a bit more of a challenge, Reading with Kids provides dozens of color-by-number and color-by-letter printables. Simply use the code at the bottom of each pages to determine how to color each space. A picture is revealed when all the spaces are colored. (via Reading with Kids)

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Dr. Seuss Word SearchWord searches are fun, attention-grabbing and just the right activity to bring to a restaurant, on a road trip or as a quiet activity for rest (in lieu of nap) time. Here’s a cute word search with words from the popular author. If you’d rather make your own, providing the words and controlling the difficulty level, check out Discovery Education’s Puzzlemaker. (via Jinxy Kids)

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For more great printables, including finds to keep your family entertained, organized and sharp, check out our Pinterest Printables Board. You, your kids and your sitter will be glad you took the time to download a few sanity savers! 

Sharpen School Skills with Fun, Educational Games & Activities

meg_son_drawingExperts estimate that kids spend the first 2.3 months of the school year learning what they’ve forgotten over the summer. Yikes!

Help your kids brush up on their skills, before the first school bell rings, with these effective learning tools that can easily pass as fun games and entertainment.

Smart Games to Prepare for the School Year

Alphabet Tracing Chart 

Free, printable alphabet handwriting worksheet in a fun Back-to-School theme.  Traceable worksheets help preschoolers through First Graders learn to write letters A to Z in upper and lower case.  The worksheet features a start dot on each letter to help kids remember where to start writing the letter. Tip: Laminate and use fine tip erasable markers for repeated use.

Traceable Alphabet
Photo: First-School

LEGO Math Practice

LEGO activities are a visual way for kids to do math. And for the LEGO enthusiast, this might just be the sure-fire way to encourage math practice. The printable worksheet is great for kids to work on addition and subtraction. For younger kids, simply use LEGOS to work on colors, sorting and counting.

Photo: The Kent Chronicles

Book Picks for Kids 2-12

Research has shown that the single most important thing that a parent can do to help their child acquire language, prepare for school, and instill a love of learning is to read to them (Russ et al., 2007).  If you need a few new books to add to your repertoire, check out Cool Mom Picks Roundup. They have compiled an awesome list of their editors’ own children’s favorite books, including picks for ages 2-12.

Photo: Cool Mom Picks

Melissa & Doug Letter Puzzle

Little kids can work on motor skills, letters and numbers with a simple puzzle that includes all 26 letters of the alphabet in uppercase and lowercase, along with 26 gorgeously detailed illustrations of various animals. $11.99 at Target.

Letter Puzzle
Photo: Melissa and Doug


Top 10 Educational Apps for Preschoolers

If you’re in the camp that believes in embracing the power of technology as a teaching tool, try out these educational apps for preschoolers. The list includes practice games for handwriting, letters and numbers for iPad and iPhone devices. Costs vary.

Photo: Handwriting Without Tears

Magazine Letter Printables for Literacy Station

You can avoid the time and mess of cutting letters out of magazines for your child to use for literacy exercises – such as finding the alphabet or creating words or phrases – with this super cool Magazine Letter Printable, just $7 from Etsy.

Magazine Letters
Photo: Olive Loaf Design

5 Games for Speaking, Listening and Thinking

Verbal games are great for developing speaking and listening skills, and thinking and reasoning abilities. They are ideal to play on a long car trip, or while your child’s hanging out in the kitchen while you make dinner. Try them with kids age 3 and up.

Photo: Childhood 101

All of these games and activities are great to leave with the babysitter. Find trusted babysitters and nannies at UrbanSitter.com.

Handy DIY Printables for Personalized Teacher Appreciation Gifts


The end up the school year means it’s time to thank your children’s teachers for their tireless dedication, patience and nurturing. Thanks to downloadable printables provided by some of the most talented and generous bloggers out there, you can give a gift that’s  a little more special and a little more personal. These cute gift ideas and free printables are just what you need to leave a smile on any teacher’s face.

Movie Day On Me

Who wouldn’t appreciate a gift certificate to see a movie and a bunch of sweet treats to take along? Tater Tots and Jello is providing a free downable striped fry box template  and gift tags to insert on the front of the box that say “Thanks for Making Me Feel Like a STAR.” She’s even provided two color options. Simply print the box template on card stock, and assemble by folding on the dotted lines. Once assembled, fill with a gift card and your teacher’s favorite candy.

Movie Pass Tater Tots and Jello

Reusable Tumbler

A plastic cup with a lid and a straw makes for a practical gift and a sturdy receptacle for handmade thank you notes and kid drawings you can roll and insert inside. Make it an even better gift by inserting individual serving-size drink mixes, teas or instant coffee, or even a gift certicate to a coffee or smoothie shop. Top it off with an eye-catching flag to hang from the straw. Free flag printables with thank you note by Lisa Storms.

via Lisa Storms
via Lisa Storms


Succulent Garden

Here’s a DIY project that doesn’t take (too) much work and produces impressive results. The Idea Room tells you how to create a succulent garden in a customized, galvanized pot. The pot is mod-podged with pages from old dictionaries that include teacher-related words, such as guidance, grow and nurture. You’ll need the following supplies:

Pot, container or bucket

Old Dictionary Pages

Mod Podge

Paint Brush

Potting Soil


For a little more guidance and a printable label that reads “Teachers Plant Seeds of Knowledge that will Last Forever” click here. (Be forewarned, The Idea Room requires that you Like them on their Facebook page before they provide the printable.)

via The Idea Room
via The Idea Room

Extra-ordinary Teacher Treats Bags

If you have multiple kids and/or multiple teachers to thank (don’t forget music teachers, art teachers, aides, and bus drivers),  a mini treat bag topped with a cute label that reads “You Are One EXTRAordinary Teacher!” is easy and affordable, and just as thoughtful as a bigger gift. Sweet Metel Moments created the free printable as a fold-over tag for 3 x4 inch plastic treat bags filled with Extra gum. Simply print the labels, and staple them to the tops of the filled bags. If you aren’t a fan of the gum, there’s another label that reads “Thanks for a Being Such a Sweet Teacher.” It’d be just right for a bag filled with any candy… and is just as cute.

via Sweet Metel Moments
via Sweet Metel Moments


via Sweet Metel Moments
via Sweet Metel Moments

Summer is coming! Find a summer babysitter at UrbanSitter.

Chores for Children

Photo Credit: clogozm via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: clogozm via Compfight cc

Part of being a parent is taking the time to teach kids about responsibility. Assigning kids chores is an ideal way to do just that, and also a way to instill self-discipline, routine, and the importance of being a contributing member of a family and eventually a self-sufficient member of society. Chores also help kids learn practical skills that will help them throughout their lives.

It’s often easier and quicker just to do these tasks on your own, but remember you’re teaching valuable lessons by taking the time to assign and enforce a chore routine in your family.

You can improve your success rate – get kids to be excited or at least not whine and complain too much about doing their jobs – by assigning chores that are age appropriate and building them into your daily routine.  It’s also helpful to keep the list short and simple so it’s not overwhelming for anyone, and decide ahead of time how you will motivate, enforce and possibly reward the work. Some say kids shouldn’t be rewarded for basic chores, i.e. doing what’s expected of them, and should instead earn a reward when they go above and beyond expectations.

We bet you’ll be surprised at what kids are capable of doing! Take a look at these suggestions for chores for kids age 2-8 years.

Ages 2-3: Toddlers

This is the age group that likely enjoys having a job to do and is most eager to help. You’ll get much better success if you accompany them in their work.

  • Pick up toys and books.
  • Take dishes to the sink after a meal (stick with plastic!)
  • Dust furniture.
  • Help put away groceries.
  • Water plants and flowers.
  • Put dirty clothes in a hamper.

Ages 4-5: Preschoolers

These budding learners can do a lot more than you think!

  • Toddler chores.
  • Empty trash cans.
  • Put clothes in their drawers or hang them in the closet. Hang a second, lower rod to make it easy for them.
  • Make a simple bed.
  • Help set the table.
  • Fold towels.
  • Get the mail.

 Ages 6-8: Early Elementary

Here’s the group most likely to put up a fight over doing their chores. Remember, positive re-enforcement and encouragement go a long way.

  • Toddler and preschooler chores.
  • Wash dishes and load/empty the dishwasher.
  • Fold clothes.
  • Pack lunches.
  • Sweep the floor.
  • Help with dinner. (Prepping, washing produce, measuring ingredients)
  • Wipe the bathroom counter.
  • Take out the recycling.

Use a chore chart to help your family stick to it and track when chores are done. We’ve found a few especially handy, printable chore charts to help. Find one that works best for you.  And, don’t forget to keep the babysitter in the loop so she knows the routine and what’s expected.

Chore Charts - Brought To You By the Letter B.
Free, printable chore charts from “Brought to You By the Letter B”

Free, Printable Chore Charts







Don’t forget to keep the babysitter in the loop so she knows the routine and what’s expected.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Groundhog Day

Photo Credit: Henry McLin via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Henry McLin via Compfight cc

Come February, with the cold, dreary days of January behind us but spring still a bit too far away, we can all use something to celebrate.

How about Groundhog Day!?

Remember – if Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow on February 2 and sees his shadow, he’ll quickly duck back into his hole, foretelling six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, it will stay above ground predicting spring is near. Regardless of the outcome, you can have some fun celebrating the day with your kids. Here are a few fun ideas, including free printables:

Groundhog Finger Puppet

We found this cute craft on a UK learning site. Groundhog Day is an American tradition, but even the Brits are looking for something to celebrate this time of year! Your kids will love the outcome of this simple craft made from craft foam – a cute googly-eyed groundhog that peeks out of its own burrow.

The instructions are here – In short, simply cut two ovals out of brown foam paper – one for the head and one for the body – and glue them together, add two paws and some teeth, glue on googly eyes and finish off the features with a Sharpie.

Once you have your groundhog, you can create his borrow using these instructions, along with a styrofoam cup and a popsicle stick.

Free, Printable Word Search

Simply click above and print this fun word search to celebrate Phil.

Wordsearch from Apples 4 the Teacher

Fun Preschool Math

Another free printable, this one helps preschoolers brush up on math skills with Phil.

Step-by-Step How To Draw a Groundhog Printable/Traceable

Have fun drawing your own groundhog, and why not dress him for Spring or Winter (depending on whether he saw his shadow) – scarf and hat for winter, sunglasses and swim trunks for spring.

Read a story together.

Here’s a good one that will make you and the kids smile: “Go to Sleep Groundhog,” by Judy Cox.

Go to Sleep Groundhog via Amazon

Bake Cookies

We found several groundhog cookie cutters you can purchase on Etsy, and no shortage of groundhog cookie recipes. If you are able to get your hands on a cookie cutter before Groundhog Day, try this recipe for Groundhog Cookies for a tasty treat.

If you don’t have it in you to tackle these fun activities, find a babysitter on UrbanSitter who would love to get crafting, cooking and reading with your kids!

Free, Printable Emergency Contacts Card to Leave with the Babysitter

Have you ever settled into a dark movie theater on date night, turned your phone to silent, yet couldn’t seem to turn off the voice in the back of your head that kept saying, “Does the sitter know who to call if she can’t reach me? Have I told her what to do in case of an emergency?” Even if you did tell her, it was likely ages ago and you start to wonder if she remembers or has the numbers handy. Not a fun way to spend date night, fighting with that voice in the back of your head all night.

Quick fix to quiet that voice: Print the UrbanSitter Emergency Contacts card, fill it out and make a habit of leaving one on the counter each and every time you leave your kids with a sitter.

Click here to download the printable UrbanSitter Emergency Contacts Card

Your sitter will have an easy to find, hard to miss summary of the info that’s critical in the case of an emergency – contact numbers for you, your spouse, your kids’ pediatrician, and anyone you’d like her to call in case she can’t reach you; as well as your home address, your kids birthdays, and insurance info.

You can never be too prepared, especially when it comes to your kids. Now, go ahead and enjoy date night! We’ve got you covered.

Find CPR-trained babysitters on UrbanSitter.