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Fall is officially here! And whether you're excited about it or not, it's the perfect time to introduce little ones to fall crafts.

Fall DIY crafts are especially fun to do during that tricky gap between errands and dinner. It's not easy, but I try to do a couple of weekly crafts with my kids during this time. Lately, we've been inspired by the changing leaves and dropping temperatures, which we're channeling into some pretty cool artwork. If you're looking for fun fall activities, we've got you covered.

Here are 50 fall-themed crafts that are perfect for doing with little kids:

1. Fingerprint trees

With stamp ink or paint, make leaves on drawn-out trees using your fingerprints. These are fun, easy to make and easy to clean up!

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2. Popcorn music makers

Save those old tissue paper rolls, tape the ends with wax paper and fill them with popcorn kernels. Let your little ones decorate the outside and create some music!

3. Apple painting

Slice apples in half, paint and use them to stamp on paper. That makes for a fun afternoon—and good use of those excess apples.

4. Leaf art

There are so many different things you can do with leaves, but one of my favorite is to just create simple fun pictures with them. You can make animals out of them, trace around them or create a cool collage. The options are endless!

5. Leaf people

Take googly eyes, leaves, toothpicks, glue and construction paper and you can create one fun leaf dude!

6. Paper plate pumpkins

Paint paper plates orange, add a green construction paper stem and a brown pipe cleaner for a squiggly vine. Then let your toddler get creative with some finger paint for the face!

7. Fall wreaths

Using the leaves your little one collected this fall season, craft a fun leaf wreath for the backdoor.


8. Acorn handprints

Using two different shades of brown paint, paint the top of you little one's hand with the darker shade and the bottom with the lighter shade. Press their hand down on a piece of construction paper and you've got an acorn!

9. Pumpkin painting

Spread some newspaper out on the table or floor, grab a few pumpkins and paint the day away.

10. Cheerios on the cob

Cut out a few pieces of paper shaped like corn cobs and let your little one glue on some cheerios to make kernels.

11. Sucker ghouls

Wrap tootsie pops or dumdums with coffee filters, tie the underneath portion with a small piece of string and take a black marker to make two eyes. You've got cute little ghouls with something sweet underneath!

12. Scarecrow puppets

Using paper bags and some construction paper, make scarecrow puppets. These are fun to make—and play with!

13. Q-tip skeletons

Help your little one craft a skeleton with Q-tips glued to black paper.

14. Tissue pie slice

Cut up some pieces of tissue paper and a slice of construction paper. Then let your little one glue away! Try orange paper for pumpkin pie, brown for pecans and green for apples.

15. Thankful tree

Draw a tree on a piece of paper and write the things that your little one is thankful for on smaller pieces of paper. Let me glue those pieces to their tree and continue to go over the things they are thankful for and why they are thankful for those things.

16. Pumpkin rocks

Paint rocks with orange and black to create pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. Hide a few around town if you are feeling up to it!

17. Paper plate bat

Paint or color paper plates and coffee filters black. Glue the coffee filters to the sides of the paper plate to mimic wings. Add some fun eyes, sharp teeth and a piece of string at the top and hang these from the ceiling.

18. Gauze mummies

Grab some gauze out of the first aid kit that's tucked away in the closet, cut it up and let your little one make some funny gauze mummies. Add a set of googly eyes to the mummy when done.

19. Paper plate owls

Using paper plates, muffin tin liners and brown paper bag trimmings, make an owl to hang on the refrigerator.

20. Leaf mobiles

Tie some fallen leaves from the backyard to some fishing wire and hang them on an embroidery hoop. You can hang these in their room or even outside for some fun, seasonal decor!


21. Apple suncatchers

Cut the an outline of an apple and stick it to contact paper. Then cut out small pieces of tissue paper, fill the inner apple with those pieces, top with addition contact paper, cut out and hang it on your window. When the sun sets in the evening, it will catch the apple just right and beam a ray of fun colors throughout your house.

22. Bubble wrap corn

Save that bubble wrap that comes in your weekly Amazon shipment, cut it out in the shape of a piece of corn, paint it and let dry.

23. Tissue paper bird feeder

Empty tissue paper rolls make great bird feeders. Let your little one smear peanut butter on them, roll them in birdseed, string them and hang them outside.

24. Tissue candy corn

To recreate this yummy snack, use yellow, orange and white tissue paper to create the shape of candy corn.

25. Puffy cotton ball ghosts

For this fun activity, all you need are cotton balls, black construction paper and some googly eyes. These are super cute and fun to touch!

26. Paper plate spider webs

Using a hole puncher, cut holes around the outside of a paper plate and let your little one string yarn throughout the holes. This little craft is great for those fine motor skills!

27. Clothes pin bats

Paint coffee filters and clothespins black, clip them together and string them with some fishing wire. These make for great pieces of Halloween decor!

28. Corn painting

Use a few ears of corn to paint with. The patterns are fun and who doesn't love to paint with food!

29. Tissue acorn

Using tissue or torn paper, craft an acorn and glue it to some construction paper. You can make these big or small!

30. Name leaf tree

Pick up some faux leaves from your craft store and spell your little one's name out with them and glue them onto a construction paper tree.

31. Felt apple pie

Take a small pie pan and line it with felt. Add colored pom-poms to make an “apple filling" and cut addition felt strips for the top. Encourage your little one to make a lattice on top of the pie with the felt strips. This craft is one that they can play with over and over again!



32. Potato leaf stamping

Cut the end of a potato in the shape of a leaf and let your little one stamp on a piece of paper.

33. Popsicle stick apple cores

Cut out the shape of the top and bottom of an apple, glue popsicle sticks in the middle for the core, add a few dots for seeds and glue a magnet on the back!

34. Cookie spiders

Snack crafts are always fun and these cookie spiders are yummy and so easy to make. Stick pretzel sticks into the sides of Oreos (to create spider legs) and add a few edible eye to the tops.

35. Edible bones

Add small marshmallows to the end of pretzel sticks and dip into some white chocolate. They will look like “bones" and be a perfect Halloween snack!

36. Candy corn hands

Paint your little ones hand to mimic a candy corn and press it down on a piece of paper. Hand-printing is always a hit with the little ones!

37. Pumpkin stamping

Cut a pumpkin up in various sizes and let your little ones use the pieces to stamp on construction paper.

38. Handprint scarecrow

Paint your little one's hand three different colors for the scarecrow face, shirt and pants. Stamp their hand down, let them add some hair and eyes and you've got a handprint scarecrow.

39. Popsicle stick spiders

Glue together four popsicle sticks, paint black and top with googly eyes!

40. Apple bird feeders

Cut an apple in half, core out a small hole with a spoon, top with birdseed and set outside. These are great for wildlife and 100% edible, which means no mess is left behind!



41. Paper plate scarecrows

Make a scarecrow out of paper plate, glue it to a popsicle stick and stick it in your flower beds!

42. Nature mural

Using all the sticks, leaves, acorns and other nature finds, glue them to a large poster board to create a nature collage. Then help your little one with identifying the different objects!

43. Hand-traced turkey

A great way to encourage fine motor skills and writing is by tracing. Encourage your little one to trace their hand on a piece of construction paper, cut it out and create a turkey out of it. All you need is a beak, feet and some wings!

44. Tissue tree

Similar to the above tissue paper crafts, make a tree using tissue paper for the trunk and leaves.

45. Owl rocks

Paint rocks to look like owls or other fall creatures.

46. Gratitude book

Print out pictures of your little one with family members, pets, etc, place them in a photo book and let them flip through the pages.

47. Franken feet

Instead of hand painting, paint your little one's foot green, place it on a piece of paper upside down, add some eyes, stitches and black hair.

48. Paper plate footballs

Cut paper plates into the shape of footballs, paint them and add some yarn for the laces. This is a perfect Sunday craft!

49. Tree bark coloring

This craft is a favorite of ours and such a fun thing to do outdoors. Wrap a large piece of paper around the base of a tree and let your little one color on it. The tree bark will come through making for a unique pattern and work of art!

50. Pumpkin cheerio tracing

Print off a picture of a pumpkin and let your little one trace the outline with cheerios or fruit loops!

Fall crafts are such a fun way to celebrate the season with little ones—and then for you to tuck away for cherishing in years to come.

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When I think about the Super Bowl, two things come to mind: funny commercials and tasty snacks. If you're hosting the Super Bowl and have kiddos around, the name of the game (pun intended) is to offer a spread of snacks loaded with proteins and vitamins that will keep everyone's energy levels up the entire game, and won't make your friends rely on greasy items.

Try these healthy go-to treats for your viewing party that even your toddler will love:

Skinny baked mozzarella sticks

Skinny baked mozzarella sticks

Serves: 16 pieces

Time to cook: 1 hour and 18 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 sticks part-skim mozzarella string cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp parmesan cheese optional
  • olive oil cooking spray

Instructions:

  1. Cut the string cheese in half and place it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. Beat egg in a small and set aside. In a separate bowl mix the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and set aside.
  2. Dip one string cheese in breadcrumb mixture than in egg mixture and then back in breadcrumb mixture. Repeat this for all the pieces. Place sticks on a greased foil or pan. Return the cheese stick back to the freezer for at least 30-45 minutes. Note: do not skip this step because the cheese will melt if they are not frozen.
  3. After the cheese is finished freezing, heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray the cheese lightly with cooking spray and place in the oven. After four minutes flip the cheese sticks and continue baking for another three minutes or until they are golden. Do not overbake because the cheese will melt. Serve hot with your favorite marinara sauce.
Recipe from Gimme Delicious.

Broccoli cheese balls

Broccoli cheese balls

Serves: 20 balls

Time to cook: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or panko or Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup shredded cheese mozzarella, cheddar, or favorite melting cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced onion or shallots optional
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped optional
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cajun or taco seasoning or favorite seasoning blend!
  • Pinch of salt and pepper black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Steam broccoli in boiling water or microwave until tender. Chop broccoli using a knife or food processor until finely minced.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped broccoli, eggs, almond flour, cheese, parsley and spices. Mix until well incorporated.
  4. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of mixture and form into a ball. Place on a lined baking sheet and spray or drizzle lightly with oil. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through.
  5. Serve on a salad, in a sandwich, with rice, or as an appetizer or snack with your favorite dipping sauce.
Recipe from Gimme Delicious.

Chicken taco lettuce wraps

Chicken taco lettuce wraps

Serves: 4

Time to cook: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Grilled taco chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

To assemble

  • 8 leaves romaine lettuce rinsed
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1/4 cup onion diced

Cilantro sauce

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour-cream or mayo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno optional
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

To cook chicken

  1. Add the chicken, garlic, olive oil, and spices in a large bowl or zip-seal bag. Place in fridge and let marinate for at least 15-30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Place chicken on a grill or pan heated to medium-high heat. Let chicken cook until it is no longer pink on the inside, about 9-10 minutes per side (or until it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees).

To make cilantro sauce

1. Place all the ingredients in the food processor and blend for one minute or until creamy.

To assemble

  1. Layer lettuce wraps with chicken, tomatoes, onion and avocado. Drizzle with cilantro sauce or your favorite taco sauce.
Recipe from Gimme Delicious.

Eggplant pizza bites

Eggplant pizza bites

Serves: 4

Time to cook: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella shredded

Instructions:

  1. Sprinkle the eggplant with the coarse salt, let sit on paper towels for 10-15 minutes and wipe dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bow, combine the crushed garlic, olive oil and Italian seasoning. Brush the mixture onto both sides of the eggplant slices and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove eggplant from oven and flip eggplant slices, top each slice with a tablespoon of marinara sauce, and a sprinkle of cheese. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.

Recipe from Gimme Delicious.

Rice krispie chicken tenders

Rice krispie chicken tenders

Servings: 4

Time to cook: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb raw chicken, cut into long thin slices
  • 2 cups brown rice krispies (or regular if you desire)
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place egg whites in a shallow bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, add rice krispies and smash with the bottom of a cup until it is a crumb like texture (some will be almost a flour consistency, but don't smash long enough for all of the krispies to be completely crushed). Add seasonings in bowl.
  4. Dip each slice of chicken into egg whites, then coat completely on both sides, and place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.
  5. When all are on a baking tray, lightly sprinkle a little more sea salt onto tenders and place them in the oven.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and flip and bake for 10 more minutes.
  7. Combine yogurt, mustard, bbq sauce, honey and seasonings in a small bowl.
  8. Serve with chicken tenders for dipping.
Recipe from TheLeanGreenbean.
Life

I have a love-hate relationship with maternity clothes. On one hand, I love them because they make me feel comfortable as my bump grows, without anything getting in the way of my breathing or baby's movement. On the other hand, I've really struggled finding items that are my style—which I admit is very particular—or don't cost a ton of money.

During my first pregnancy I bought a bunch of basic pregnancy outfits and tried to include some of my non-maternity favorites in the mix. Sometimes it worked, sometimes in the middle of a work day I had to run to the bathroom to unzip my high waisted skirt because it was too much to handle. By the time baby came, I realized I had spent a ton of money on clothing that I barely wore, and passed them on to other pregnant friends (some items still with tags on.)

With my second pregnancy, I decided I needed to be comfortable above all, but also not spend a ton of money on fast pregnancy fashion because these months go super fast and I'm trying to be more environmentally conscious. I had tried clothing subscription services before (hello wedding season!) and loved being able to wear different outfits I otherwise wouldn't have been able to. After doing some research, I found three subscriptions that offer maternity clothes. I tried them out in an attempt to dress better while sporting a huge bump and to save money and keep my closet decluttered. The best part was that if I really loved something, I had the chance to purchase it at a super discounted price.

Here are the three maternity clothing subscription services I tried:

Amoire

Amoire Style

About the service: This is a fairly new service and it's currently priced at $149 a month. Once you sign up, you take a style quiz by picking from a group of eight photos of the looks you like the most. Once you are done defining your style, you give your current sizing and then tell your stylist what you are looking for. You get four pieces at a time that you can wear as many times as you want, then return and get new items to wear.

More to know: Unlike other clothing services, you cannot pick from an endless list of clothes what you'd like to receive in your shipment. Instead, you have to go through a stylist who sends picks for you. To be honest, I found this a little annoying since I kept asking for rompers and pants, but kept getting blouses and dresses in my orders. So it did take some back and forth until my stylist sent me things I actually wanted to wear.

My thoughts: I received a mix of maternity and non-maternity clothes that were all bump friendly. The quality of all of them was great and some came with tags, which meant I was the first one ever wearing that piece of clothing.

$149

NUULY

Nuuly

About the service: This subscription is priced at $88 per month for six pieces at a time. The difference between Nuuly and other services is that you cannot return items to get new ones during the month—you return all of them at the same time and get six new ones the next month. This was a bit of a learning curve for me as I was used to sending back things that didn't fit or I didn't like to maximize my month of rental.

More to know: This service provides clothes from more edgy brands, like Urban Outfitters, Reebok and DL1961, which actually made it my favorite service because it was super aligned with my style. They offer both maternity and non-maternity clothes, so I was able to get super cool dresses (like the one pictured above) in a bigger size than my regular size to wear with my growing bump.

My thoughts: Their maternity catalog is pretty limited, however they have super unique items. One of the pieces I requested was already rented by the time my order was placed and they sent me something totally different to what I wanted. I understand the effort to make sure I was getting the full six items in my order but it was a non-maternity summer dress that didn't work with my bump.

$88

Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway

About the service: I went with their Unlimited Plan which is priced at $159 for four pieces at a time (you can exchange over and over again during the month). Their return service is super fast so if you are organized and return pieces you don't love quickly, you can get so many new things to wear in a month.

More to know: They have the biggest catalogue of maternity clothes and brands, including Hatch. Like Nuuly, you get to pick what you want from their options. It can be a little overwhelming since you scroll through pages and pages of really good quality stuff so I recommend going into it with something in mind (do you need jeans or a party dress?).

My thoughts: Because the service is so popular, I got some clothes that were super worn already and even damaged. I returned those immediately and got new items, but you really never know in what condition they are going to be in, despite the service trying to keep super worn clothes out of their rental catalogue.

$159

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When infectious diseases make headlines parents naturally get a little worried, and this week coronavirus is in the news constantly. The coronavirus has infected more than 600 people worldwide, though mostly in China. As of Jan. 23, Chinese authorities have reported 17 deaths from the virus so far. Only two cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and officials are monitoring 63 suspected cases.

Here's what you need to know, mama.

1. Don't panic.

According to the World Health Organization the coronavirus outbreak is not an international public health emergency.

"CDC believes the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low at this time, but the situation is evolving rapidly," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a conference call with media on Friday. "We have our best people working on this problem," Messonnier explained, adding that we will likely see more cases in the coming days.

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2. There have been no fatalities in children.

The youngest victim of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus is 36 years old. Most of the fatal cases in China have been in people over 60 and more men than women have been impacted.

3. The family of coronaviruses is a spectrum of severity.

According to the CDC, most people will be infected with a coronavirus at some point in their lives. The common strains of coronavirus cause "moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold" while more severe strains, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrom (MERS) can be fatal.

The strain that is making headlines is a severe and novel coronavirus. It's new and the similarities to influenza make it difficult for experts to distinguish it from all the other respiratory illnesses floating around this time of year.

4. There is a test for it.

When public health officials suspect someone may have coronavirus they can send respiratory and serum samples to the CDC and find out if it's coronavirus or just the flu within about 24 hours.

5. There are steps to take for prevention.

To prevent the spread of the virus the U.S. State Department has issued its most severe travel advisory for the area of China (the province of Hubei, where the city of Wuhan is) most impacted by the coronavirus.

The CDC offers the following tips for protecting your family from the coronavirus (as well as other respiratory illnesses):

  • "Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds."
  • "Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands."
  • "Avoid close contact with people who are sick."
Bottom line: Don't panic, mama. The illness is likely to be in the headlines for months, but that doesn't mean we need to live in fear. We just need to be proactive and keep washing those little hands.
News

Every generation has its parenting trends. “The Greatest Generation" had the idealized “perfect family"—a “picture perfect" two-parent, gender-divided home in the suburbs, that was probably more trope than reality.

The Baby Boomers brought us parent-as-life coach/ friend/chauffeur and manager. At best, it's a nurturing style done out of love and wanting the best for your kids. At worst, it's called “helicopter parenting," the idea that parents try to protect their kids from all harm and difficulty, only to make their kids incapable of caring for themselves.

And our Millennial generation has a “free-range" parenting trend, a backlash against the overly-controlled childhood aimed at teaching kids to rise to life's challenges.

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All of this talk about gender roles, helicopter parenting, grit and independence has me wondering—what kind of parent do I want to be?

Do I want to give my kids a picture-perfect childhood? Do I want to control them and make sure every good thing is done to them and for them? Do I want to set them free to figure it all out on their own? Defining the parent I want to be—and deciding what values drive my day-to-day parenting decisions—can be complicated.

The truth is, “helicoptering" comes easy to me, even when I know it's good for my children to work hard, face obstacles, and experience the pride of genuine achievement.

I don't want to helicopter—but I want to make sure my kids have the best opportunities in life, especially in things that I may have missed out on in my own childhood. (Though I'm sure I'm pushing my own values on them and they will find their own way to rebel....)

I don't want to helicopter—but I want to make sure they always look both ways before they cross the street, have their carseat properly installed, and are aware of dangers in our world. (Though I teach them these things and do my best to keep them in safe situations...)

I don't want to helicopter—but having faith that they'll be safe when they're out of my sight is really hard for me. (Though I say a prayer and trust in the universe...)

I don't want to helicopter—but sometimes doing things for them can be so much easier/ faster/ better than letting them do it for themselves. (Though I try to be patient...)

I don't want to helicopter—but I set up play dates, schedule after-school activities, and encourage them socially so that my children can make new friends. (Though I'm sure they will find true friends in their own time...)

I don't want to helicopter—but watching my little ones struggle can be hard for my mama heart. (So I hope they know I'm doing this because I love them...)

I don't want to helicopter—but protecting my kids comes easy. Giving them space to struggle and grow is essential, but hard, for both of us.

Life
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