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Category Archives: Ideas

  1. Mother’s Day Ideas

    I love these engraved spoons.  Just ordered one for my mom.  $12 + at this Etsy shop.

     

     

    $70 at this Etsy shop.

    Posted in Ideas.

  2. Home Depot Workshops for Kids

    Mamapicks used to have a ” what to do this weekend” column and she sort of gave up because there is not enough high-quality stuff to do in the Winter with kids.  But now and then , she will let you know about great activities that she finds.  She will also let you know about places that are not great in the new “It sucks” column.

    Home Depot has monthly workshops for kids which are FREE and amazing.  We went to our first one this past Saturday morning with my 5 yr.-old son and he was the happiest kid on earth.  The two-hour workshop involves a different building project every time which is suitable for ages 4-12.  It is held at most Home Dept locations one Saturday morning a month, 10am-12pm.  This past weekend, my son used a hammer and nails to carefully construct a savings shed.  He received a kit to complete with an accompanying adult and a really cute  Home Depot kid-sized apron.  He also received a tattoo sticker which was a really big deal for some reason.  You must pre-register as many locations fill up fast.  The next workshop takes place on Feb.11th. Register online.

    Posted in Activities & Events, Ideas, Useful Info.

  3. fathersday

    Yikes!  Father’s Day is on Sunday.  If you are still looking for something special and inexpensive to make with your kids, here are some ideas:

    Simple: Have the kids wash Dad’s car.

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    Common:  Good old Martha Stewart has some great printable coupons on her site that can be given to dad.

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    Creative: This printable file is available on Etsy for only $10 – all you have to do is print it out on nice paper, put your kids’  hand-prints on it, and frame!  Looks amazing.

     

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    Original:  Make your own letters or buy them and return them (NO WAY!) at any art store or Pottery Barn Kids.  Dollar store might have them too!  Read more about it here.

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    42-16586740

    True: As I tell you every year, the best gift of all is to give Dad a break.  Everyone says that Father’s Day is for family time but I have a feeling that if you were to incorporate some alone time for your husband, he would be super happy.    Yes, dads need a break too.  Nice ones, that is.

     

    If  you did something fabulous for Father’s Day, send me a photo or link!  I would love to publish some of your ideas.

    Posted in Cool Products, Crafts, Gifts, Holiday Goods, Ideas.

  4. Things to do with your toddler…

    I love this list of great ideas from Counting On Me.  The Baby is almost a toddler and some mornings, I feel like I need fresh ideas in order to keep him busy.  Come to think of it, I can keep the other two non-toddlers busy with some of these tips too.  Rain doesn’t scare me any more.

    Posted in Ideas, Useful Info.

  5. Best of 2010: Turn your kid’s handwriting into a font.

    fonts

    The Boy is now writing.  He mostly writes lists of the names of the kids in his class.  He often makes a dotted outline of a letter for himself (just like on the worksheets at school) and then goes over the dots.  It’s quite charming.  I recently thought about capturing his handwriting style as it develops over the next few years and decided to look for a way to create a font for my computer called The Boy.  I found a website which generates personal fonts.  All you have to do is give your child (or anybody else you want to create a font for) the printable sheet to fill out the letters of the alphabet.  Then, you scan the sheet and the program generates the font for you.  This costs $9.95.  Click here to try it, it’s quite simple…and it’s a really nice way of saving your child’s handwriting, using it for various projects, and sharing it with them when they are older.

    Posted in Ideas.

  6. Loot Bag Idea!

    Mabel’s Labels has a new Loot Bag Combo for $5 which includes a personalized bag tag and 5 sticky labels.  Fun & useful!

    Posted in Ideas, Useful Info.

  7. As the year draws to a close…

    Don’t know about you, but my life is on Facebook.  I change my statuses quite frequently…and a compilation of them reads like a journal, reminding me of what my year was all about.  The app “My Year in Status” allows you to create a collage of your statuses.  You can choose from eight different designs. It makes for a nice keepsake.  My year was all about my kids and lack of sleep, as well as a disdain for cold weather and Home Depot.  What was your year all about?

    Disclaimer:  The app was created by a husband & wife team (Mamapicks & Papapicks!)

    Posted in Cool Products, Ideas.

  8. Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

    fathersdayYikes!  Father’s Day is on Sunday.  If you are still looking for something special and inexpensive to make with your kids, here are some ideas:

    Continued…

    Posted in Gifts, Ideas, Useful Info.

  9. Teacher Gift Ideas

    In December, I surveyed teachers about their favourite gifts.  The winners were gift certificates to malls and spas as well as personalized stationary.  Losers were soaps, candles and chocolates…

    Two personalized notepads from Honey Bunch are currently $23 for the pair and ship in 2 days.  Each pad contains 40 sheets.  Order this week and receive a furochic wrapping cloth for free.  Simply enter the code furochic at checkout.  What’s that?  It’s a cloth you use for wrapping gifts instead of paper.  Don’t worry, I didn’t know either!

    Posted in Gifts, Ideas, Personalized.

  10. Bouncy Castle Rentals Exclusive Promotion

    Anyone planning a summer birthday party?  Keep those kids active, entertained and happy outdoors.  Rent from a selection of bouncy castles for your next outdoor event.  What could possibly be more fun?  Fun 4 Kids is offering Mamapicks readers 10% off rentals.  For details, call 647-889-5857.

    Posted in Exclusive Discounts, Ideas.

  11. Free to play…

    The following is an excerpt from a blog called Playborhood by a dad named Mike Lanza.  His blog is all about nurturing outdoor play in our neighbourhoods and providing our children with this important opportunity that many of us  had while growing up.   I find his blog informative and inspirational and I hope you will too.  Mike Lanza’s goal (below), will tell you what it’s all about.

    My Goal

    I want my kids to play outside with other neighborhood kids every day.
    I want them to create their own games and rules.
    I want them to play big, complex games with large groups of kids, and simpler games one-on-one with a best friend.
    I want them to decide for themselves what to play, where, and with whom.
    I want them to settle their own disputes with their friends.
    I want them to create their own private clubs with secret rules.
    I want them to make lasting physical artifacts that show the world that this is their place.
    I want them to laugh and run and think.
    Every day.

    That’s what I had.  It’s my standard for a good childhood.  It’s my goal for my kids.

    Mamapicks says AMEN.

    Posted in Ideas, Useful Info.

  12. Lickety Sips!

    While I was at Walmart buying 20 boxes of diapers last week, I came across these popsicle molds in the “patio dish” aisle.  There are a few great things about these…the lids close properly, it’s a great way to get vitamins into your kids by using real fruit juice, AND near the end when popsicles get all melty, your kid can simply use the straw to slurp the mess away.  Only $2.47 for a set of 4.  If you have any great home-made popsicle recipes, do tell and I will share them here.

    Posted in Cool Products, Ideas.

  13. Original Birthday Invitation

    Is this not the coolest invitation?  If you are planning a Lego themed party, it’s perfect.

    Posted in Ideas.

  14. IKEA Hacks

    Mamapicks is doing some renovations because a new baby simply isn’t enough.  I ran into this great renovation blog and great bookcase.  If you are on a budget, you can create this look just as they did…using three Billy bookcases from IKEA ($115.99) and adding crown molding and trim.  Probably not as easy as it sounds, but definitely leaves wood for thought.

    Posted in Decor, Ideas.

  15. Silhouette Necklace

    Mother’s Day is coming up next month and if you are looking for something creative and personal, you might like this idea.  Send the artist clear photos of the profiles of people (or pets??) and she will create this beautiful keepsake.  See Stella & Hodge’s Etsy shop for more details.

    Posted in Cool Products, Gifts, Ideas, Personalized.

  16. Turn your child’s handwriting into a font!

    fonts

    The Boy is now writing.  He mostly writes lists of the names of the kids in his class.  He often makes a dotted outline of a letter for himself (just like on the worksheets at school) and then goes over the dots.  It’s quite charming.  I recently thought about capturing his handwriting style as it develops over the next few years and decided to look for a way to create a font for my computer called The Boy.  I found a website which generates personal fonts.  All you have to do is give your child (or anybody else you want to create a font for) the printable sheet to fill out the letters of the alphabet.  Then, you scan the sheet and the program generates the font for you.  This costs $9.95.  Click here to try it, it’s quite simple…and it’s a really nice way of saving your child’s handwriting, using it for various projects, and sharing it with them when they are older.

    Posted in Gifts, Ideas.

  17. Toy Recommendation

    Once in a while, you buy a toy and it actually peaks your children’s interest for more than 1 day.  This one (Pipe Builders) has been occupying both The Boy & The Girl for over two  months!  Who would have thought?   They are always busy building letters, numbers, shapes and structures. I purchased the large tub of plastic pipe builders at an amazing American store called Lakeshore Learning (they supply educational toys, learning materials and craft supplies to schools, museums, playgrounds and regular families).  If by chance you are in the US, you must visit!  Some of Lakeshore’s products (Pipe Builders included), are available here in Canada through Wintergreen Learning Materials.  The set includes 240 plastic pieces and is well worth the purchase!

    Posted in Gifts, Ideas, Useful Info.

  18. DIY: CD Case Project

    Loved this idea of using plastic CD cases to display a favourite photo.  Check out the Country Living website for more details on how to do this yourself.

    Posted in Decor, Ideas.

  19. Chinese New Year Craft

    These paper lanterns are surprisingly simple to make!  Even if you don’t celebrate Chinese New Year this weekend, I think they make for a fun project on a cold day.  All you need is paper (shiny is nice but not a must!) and fasteners.  Click here for detailed instructions.  This idea comes from a newsletter that I really love and receive weekly in my Inbox.  Kids Craft Weekly provides you with great ideas and simple projects that you can make at home with your kids..and it’s free.

    Posted in Holiday Goods, Ideas, Useful Info.

  20. Need Birthday Party Invitations?

    I know, invitations are something you might not want to invest in…but what about $10 for a package that includes as many as you need as well as a whole bunch of other stuff?    That’s the idea behind purchasing a printable birthday package from Happy Papers.  They do the art and you do the printing!  A birthday set includes invitations, circular labels, rectangular labels and tags.  A non-personalized birthday package costs only $5.  Receive the PDF file in your inbox and print as many as you like.

    Posted in Cool Products, Ideas.

  21. Play-Dough Recipe

    If you are home this weekend and are looking for another way to keep the little ones busy, make your own coloured play-dough!   Give your kids cookie-cutters, a garlic press, toothpicks and other utensils to keep them busy. Put the following ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.

    • two cups white flour
    • ½ cup salt
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • ¼ cup cream of tart
    • a drop of food colouring

    Once the mixture is smooth, let it cool and let them play.

    Posted in Ideas, Recipes, Useful Info.

  22. Costco City Passes

    city-pass

    I’ve decided to re-publish some goodies from 2009.  Even I wish that I remembered this one for our recent trip to California since the entrance to Disneyland is absolute financial suicide.  If your travel plans include a trip to a city in the U.S.A., a Costco city pass is a great money-saver.  Available online for places such as Southern California, New York, Chicago, Boston, and more.  A youth/adult city pass is good for 9-14 days depending on location and gets you in to many of the most popular attractions for less.

    Posted in Activities & Events, Deals, Ideas, Travel, Useful Info.

  23. Displaying Your Kids’ Artwork

    kidsart

    I recently posted some ideas about organizing and displaying your kids’ artwork…and just found another idea I want to share.  I think this one is great although it requires a bit more work and possible use of Photoshop.  However, if you do have a photo-printing option at home, you can choose to print out a contact sheet and frame that!  Find more information on the blog of Jen Grant Morris.

    This just in…Karen says that she uses Shutterfly Studio to organize and make special projects (i.e. creating collages) with her photos.  Easy to use and it’s free.  I love when readers write in their suggestions!  Thanks.

    Posted in Decor, Ideas.

  24. I want it!

    slide

    This is another thing to add to the category “things I want, but can’t have”.  I absolutely love it!  I saw this a little while ago as I was surfing through decor blogs and found it on  The Seventy Tree.

    Posted in Ideas.

  25. Happy New Year!

    statuses.php

    This is a collage of my Facebook statuses from 2009.  If you want to make your own, go to this nifty little application!  Sort of fun to see what life has been all about.  I wish you all a healthy and happy 2010!

    Posted in Ideas.