Tips to Reduce Waste at Children’s Parties
Between the invitations, wrapping paper, uneaten food, and disposable decorations, children’s parties can produce a large bundle of waste. While a good deal of this can be recycled, here are a few additional ideas to reduce the volume of waste at your child’s next birthday party.
To begin with, avoid the usual paper invitations. You might recycle them, but you don’t know that your guests are doing the same. Evites are just as effective, and you can personalize them any way you want! You can even create your own video invitation that can be shared and stored for future posterity. Instead of using traditional wrapping paper, encourage your little one’s guests to use sheets of newspaper or old magazines instead. If your child’s likeminded, you could even forego the traditional toys altogether, instead opting for experiential gifts or donations to non-profits.
Create reusable decorations.
What comes to mind when you think of traditional birthday party decorations? Chances are, it involves streamers, balloons, and banners that all end up in the trash at the end of the party. This year, try crafting reusable decorations that you can store and bring out for other occasions. Make a banner out of fabric that can be passed on to other family members, try decorating with DIY puff paint, or use twinkly lights that can be reused over the holiday season.
Choose a DIY-friendly theme.
Theme parties are always popular. If your child’s dead-set on a Superman or Star Wars party, you don’t have to necessarily go out and buy all of the branded paper items on sale at your local party store. Instead, you could get creative with the theme and use it as a basis for crafts and activities. Create your own dress-up photo booth, where you can let little ones make their own costumes and dress up in silly poses. Look up themed games to play rather than themed decorations. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, just check Pinterest. You’ll be bound to find something that fits!
Avoid disposable plates and cutlery.
Ditch the plastic plates and use real ones instead. If you’re running low, head to the nearest thrift store to get a full set for pennies. These can be saved or donated after use. Serve drinks in pretty jars, which is both on-trend and eco-friendly. Even small children can usually handle real plates and cups, and it makes them feel more grown-up to be given the chance to do so.
Get creative with party favours.
Instead of giving out a plastic bag filled with plastic toys that won’t last more than a day, think of other parting gifts you could give away. One idea if you’ve had a party that involves arts and crafts is that the guests get to leave with their creations. Whether it’s funny costumes from the photo booth or papier-mache masks, they might get greater use out of this type of favour! A book, art supplies, or even just a slice of birthday cake can also stand in for traditional party bags.
This post was created in collaboration with Funidelia
When you’re a parent, tasks which once upon a time were simple become increasingly difficult to do. It’s not because you’re any slower in yourself, or because you’ve forgotten how to do them – although we may think to ourselves that this is the case – but more often than not, it’s because you have a distraction in the form of a small human being constantly needing attention.
When you are putting time into cleaning and tidying, they rarely want to leave you alone and undo all of your hard work. So what can be done to help alleviate their boredom?
In Every Job that Must be Done There Is an Element of Fun
You find that fun and *snap*, the job’s a game. Mary Poppins speaks both sense and the truth – there is always fun to be found in whatever task you have set before you. If you are cleaning, invite them to race against you to see how fast you can get the job done. It can be something as simple as wetting down a window which is to be squeegeed, or brushing up bits into a dustpan. They’ll be tiring themselves out whilst they’re doing it and learning some valuable life lessons as they go – you can’t lose.
Look for the Bare Necessities
Are they bugging you for a reason? Do they need the toilet, are they hungry or thirsty? Or are they just bored? Follow Baloo the Bear’s advice and sort out your kid’s basic needs before setting yourself to task. It may be that they just want a cuddle or some reassurance before you get started, so set some time aside to make sure everything is A-OK with them before putting your mind to other things.
It means no worries – so take their mind off what you’re doing and distract them with fun and games. If they’re happy sitting down with their gadgets, head on over to https://getshowboxapp.com and see what films and shows are available to keep them entertained. Or you could keep it classic and crack out some board games – these are guaranteed to keep them busy for hours while you finish the tidying up. If you are clearing, try and steer away from anything that will add to the mess; avoid suggesting arts and crafts, for example, as this will just take more time to tidy up at the end and you will need to rely on other methods to keep them happy while you’re clearing yet again.
The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway
If you’re busy inside and have a secure garden, send the children out! Fresh air never did anyone any harm, and gloves, hats, scarves and coats were invented for a reason. There is so much to be explored outside and so much imagination for the little ones to use. Why let it go to waste? Kill two birds with one stone; while they’re outside having fun, get your jobs done as quickly as you can!
This is a collaborative post with Yourorganicchild.com
‘Tis the season to make things! When it comes to Christmas, there is a lot of temptation to buy everything new and shiny. But before you think about investing in a brand new Christmas tree, or buying a whole new collection of Christmas cards, save on the pennies and save the planet by creating a few of these!
Cardboard Christmas Tree
Yes, it may sound like something that could look incredibly tacky, but check this out! Here is how you make your own homemade Christmas tree.
You will need:
- Large pieces of cardboard.
- A rule.
- Glue or paperclips.
- As much decoration as you want for the tree.
- Using some large pieces of cardboard, draw a big isosceles triangle and divide them up into 25cm sections.
- Mark zig-zags by marking 5cm to the left and right on the big triangle on the line where it meets the divisions.
- After you have cut both sections out, on one of them, cut a slot nearly as wide as the thickness of your cardboard, right from the top to the middle. On the other cut from the middle to the bottom. You can slot them together, and they will stand on their own. If you find you need to put a bit more into keeping them slotted together, use some glue sticks or paperclips to give a bit more support.
- If you want to make extra levels to your tree, follow the previous steps and slot them together.
A tree isn’t complete without ornaments, and this is a very sparkly addition to your tree!
You will need:
- A styrofoam ball.
- A straight pin.
- A paperclip.
- Get the multicolored sequins and styrofoam ball and using a straight pin, push it through the middle of each sequin into the styrofoam ball.
- Repeat until you have a sparkly looking decoration!
- Using a paperclip, you can attach it to one of the sequins and hang it from your Christmas tree.
The traditional Christmas wreath, but with a more rustic and earthy feel, and best of all, it’s practically cost free!
You need the following:
- Pony beads (about 50).
- A wire hanger.
- White spray paint.
- Lots and lots of pinecones.
- Using glue, stick some pony beads to the top of each pinecone.
- Using the wire hanger stretched out into a circle, thread the pinecones through, arranging them as you see fit. Make sure that they are touching each other completely.
- Once you have finished threading the pinecones through, spray with a can of white or sparkling spray paint.
- Decorate with a bow at the top, and use the hook of the wire hanger to hang in your favorite place!
As you can see, Christmas doesn’t need to be a taxing and expensive affair. If you can get the family to sit together, making this will be a fantastic set of tasks to do together. And this is just the tip of the snowflake, there are so many other wonderful items you can make this Christmas. Go wild, and Merry Christmas!
I was recently sent out a copy of the new book for children called Curlee Girlee. It’s a nice hardcover book with the cutest illustrations and cutest story. It’s a nice story about accepting yourself for how you are and embracing your differences. I particularly loved the story because Curlee Girlee reminded me of my daughter who has very curly hair and other little girls would call her the curly hair girl. Any little girl (even straight haired ones) would love the story.
If you are in the New York area there is a Official Book launch event at Dylan’s Candy Bar on 3rd Ave on November 17,2016 There is a website to RSVP or if you want to learn more about Curlee Girlee. Visit Curleegirlee.com/
About the Author
Atara Twersky is an attorney and mother of three who divides her time between Manhattan and Long Island. Curlee Girlee was inspired by Atara’s daughter, and written to inspire her and all girls to love what makes them different and value their unique beauty.
Click to Purchase
election activities for kids and Cat In The Hat
Seussville has a bunch of free kids activities for the election.
Visit Seussville for the rest of the activities that can be printed up.
How to Look Calm and Natural in Photos
I have never felt very photogenic. As someone with strong features, I just can’t seem to take a good picture—or at least one I like. But in this age of smartphones and social media, picture taking has become part of our daily routines. So, rather than shy away from the lens, I set out to uncover how to look natural and relaxed in front of the camera.
“Honestly, nearly all of my clients tell me they don’t like being photographed,” says Portland, Oregon–based photographer Shelby Brakken. “That’s super normal. Unless you’re a professional model, I wouldn’t expect you to feel at ease.”
That’s why Brakken makes it her first order of business to help clients relax. Before even unpacking her camera, she spends some time talking and joking with her subjects, as well as getting them to walk around in the space and move their bodies. “A lot of people become a deer in headlights when the camera comes out, so I keep them talking, and sometimes even have them fake a laugh. You can often capture something really natural right after that.”
Of course Brakken has a remarkable talent for catching the perfect moment, but many of the techniques she uses can help all of us snap better photos and look calm and relaxed when it’s our turn to be the model.
Here are her top six tricks.
1, 2, 3, Pop Up
“One of my favorite strategies to prevent blinking and create a relaxed expression is to have subjects look down at their feet. Then I count to three and have them look up at me. It produces the most natural gaze,” she says.
Alter Your Gaze
It’s okay to look at the camera lens, but don’t fixate on it. Brakken suggests mixing up where you set your gaze: look at the lens, then at the photographer, then beyond the camera.
Say the Vowels
Saying “cheese” does make you smile, but an ear-to-ear grin isn’t exactly natural. “I have people say the vowels—a, e, i, o, u,” says Brakken. “It keeps the mouth slightly open in a more flattering way.”
Smile with Your Eyes
Sometimes a full grin can look forced. By simply relaxing your mouth and “smiling” with your eyes, you can create a lot of expression.
Adjust Your Body
There’s a reason celebrities take those off-kilter poses on the red carpet—standing square to the camera can make you look awkward. To soften your look, Brakken recommends shifting one shoulder slightly toward the camera. “You also have to be mindful of the chin,” she says. “A good trick is to come forward with your forehead just a bit; it defines the jaw.”
Go to the Light
“You can take great photos if you have good light,” assures Brakken. If you’re inside, go to a window, and have the diffused light shine directly on you. If you’re outside, opt for areas in shadow—standing directly in the rays of the sun can create unflattering shadows.
By Linda Knittel, Senior Editor
For more info visit calmfulliving.com