How to Dye Pasta for Kids Crafts

Have you ever used colored pasta when teaching your kids?

Dying pasta is very easy and it uses supplies you likely have on hand.

You can use this to create pasta crafts for kids, but also for learning. Pasta is a great manipulates for sorting, counting, developing patterns and more!

Kids also love to create art and other projects using colored pasta.

Let me show you how easy it is to make this. (While you’re here check out all of our activities for kids!)

Pasta Crafts for Kids How to Dye Pasta


Gather up your supplies.

You will need to repeat the first four ingredients for every pasta shape and color you want.


supplies needed to dye pasta with rubbing alcohol

Add 2 c of pasta to a ziplock bag.

In a bowl mix the alcohol and food coloring with a whisk.

Dump the mixture into the bag and seal it.

Swish it around until the pasta is evenly coated.

use alcohol and food coloring to dye pasta

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Dump the pasta out and let it dry on the cookie sheet.

let the dyed pasta dry before playing with it

Look at all of the colors you can make.

This is a great opportunity for your kids to help with measuring, following directions and mixing colors to make new colors.

dying pasta for kids to play with

So many projects and activities for kids await!

Pasta Crafts for Kids


Over the next few weeks I will share with you tutorials and ways to use this pasta in learning.


Here are more activities for kids that encourage play and learning.

20 Totally Awesome Tooth Fairy Ideas

Well…it was a bittersweet week last week here in our house. Matthew lost both his first and second tooth. All in one moment.

He was determined once he figured out the teeth were loose to get them out of there. In a way I thought this day would not come. Losing teeth for children means money but for us moms means these babies are growing up.

Their little smiles take a drastic change only to eventually progress through the many stages of losing teeth, gaps, and of course those crooked smiles. (No worries, I have tooth fairy ideas you will love!)

tooth fairy ideas for kids

The tooth fairy has been a busy gal around our place for several years and with Matthew beginning his journey of losing teeth we are looking for some clever ways to incorporate the tooth fairy. The great thing about the tooth fairy is that it really gives us moms the option to encourage better brushing.


Check out these 20 Awesome Tooth Fairy Projects that will get your kids excited, involved, and taking care of their smiles!

20 Tooth Fairy Ideas

1. You can easily make these Tooth Fairy Boxes for your children to store their lost teeth in. Red Ted Art

2. Your kids will have tons of fun with this Tooth Fairy Pack full of activities. 3 Dinosaurs

3. The kids can get involved in making these easy Tooth Fairy Pillows that make for a simple sewing project. A Mom With A Lesson Plan

4. Make this Sparkly Tooth Fairy Money that will be eye catching for your little one! Kids Activities Blog

5. Let the kids pretend play using this Tooth Fairy Finger Puppet complete with a castle. Lalymom

6. You can make this simple Felt Tooth Fairy Pillow perfect for storing those lost teeth. Buggy and Buddy

7. These Tooth Fairy Printables are great to use as notes from the tooth fairy. The House of Hendrix

8. Check out this super cute Tooth Fairy Box that will be forever treasured by your child as they lose their teeth! Teach Mama

9. Your kids can have fin drawing their own depictions of what they think the tooth fairy looks like using these Oil Pastel Tooth Fairies. Housing A Forest

10. Use these Magical Tooth Fairy Coins as a rewarding gift from your tooth fairy. Mama Pea Pod

20 tooth fairy ideas

11. The kiddos will get really excited about the tooth fairy with this Tooth Fairy Art Project. Buggy and Buddy

12. Looking for a different approach to the tooth fairy read this Why I Lie To My Kids, a personal excerpt from a local mom. Meaningful Mama

13. Use this idea to Leave A Note For The Tooth Fairy which is a great way to get them involved in heartfelt messages. Housing A Forest

14. This Magical Tooth Fairy Door Project is a perfect project for a tooth fairy invitation. Lovely Commotion

15. Check out this super cute DIY Tooth Fairy Pillow. Life With Moore Babies

16. Encouraging better brushing? Use this Message From the Tooth Fairy approach to get your kids involved in better dental hygiene. Teach Preschool

17. This Two Pocket Tooth Fairy Pillow is a great option for the older kids. Come Together Kids

18. Utilize these 10 Picture Books About Teeth Brushing as encouragement from the tooth fairy to take better care of their teeth. The Jenny Evolution

19. Your kids might become more excited about the tooth fairy through a day of celebration with Happy Tooth Fairy Day including great ideas and fun snacks. J Daniel 4’s Mom

20. Use this Dentist Printable Pack to introduce teeth care and the tooth fairy. Royal Baloo

Do you have any great ideas for introducing the tooth fairy? Please share your approach!


More Mommy Resources:

5 steps to a stress free bedtime


How to Create a Stress Free Bedtime

22 bedtime stories kids love

22 Bedtime Stories Kids Love 


the child discipline method we've used for a decade


The Discipline Method We’ve Used for Over a Decade

25 Pirate Books for Your Little Matey

Ahoy! Are you looking for pirate activities for kids? Aye!

Let’s pull together some fun pirate activities, like a collection of fun books you can check out at the library (or, order online and get them in 2 days!). Shiver me timbers!

Get ready for this treasure of books we’ve pulled together, matey! While you’re here make sure you check out our entire collection of books children must read!

pirate activities for kids 25 books

 Pirate Activities for Kids: 25 Books to Read

  1. The Six Pirates: A Rollicking & Rhyming Picture Book. (Fun Rhyming Children’s Books)
  2. Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC
  3. Pirates and Buccaneers: A Pirates Book For Kids -Learn About Buccaneers, Pirate Treasure,Pirate History & Lore, the Pirate Flag, Pirate Ships and much more!
  4. Pirate Pete’s Talk Like a Pirate
  5. Children’s Book: A Pirate Story For Kids! A Beautifully Illustrated Children’s Books For Ages 4 – 8
  6. How I Became a Pirate
  7. The Pirate Cruncher
  8. Pirate Boy
  9. Children’s Book: The Littlest Pirate (A Gorgeous Illustrated Children’s Picture Book)
  10. Children’s Picture Book – The Pirate and the Star ( A Gorgeous Illustrated Bedtime Children’s Picture Book )
  11. A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas
  12. Pirates Go to School
  13. Disney Fairies: The Pirate Fairy: Adventure at Skull Rock
  14. Pirates Don’t Change Diapers
  15. Pirates of the Carolinas for Kids
  16. Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs
  17. Blackbeard
  18. A Year on a Pirate Ship (Time Goes By)
  19. How to Be a Pirate: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup the Viking
  20. The Pirate and the Firefly: A Boy, a Bug, and a Lesson in Wisdom (Firefly Chronicles)
  21. Pirate Girl
  22. That’s Not My Pirate (Usborne Touchy Feely)
  23. Pirates… And Worse! (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  24. On a Pirate Ship. (Usborne Picture Books)
  25. Shiver Me Timbers!: Pirate Poems & Paintings

25 pirate books for kids

Batten down the hatches and let’s have some fun. What do you say? Which book are you most exited to read with your kiddos?

Over 20 Reading and Math Games You Can Make

With summer being here we have had so much fun with games, activities, and summer learning. My kids love to snack, actually what kid doesn’t?

While your kiddos are refueling this summer include some learning fun into your routine with these amazing math and reading games!

10 reading games your kids will love

10 Awesome Reading Games

1. This super fun Muffin Tin Reading Game uses materials you have at home and it has several versions of play! Growing Book by Book

2. These Word Bump Spelling Games are tons of fun and interactive for kiddos learning to strengthen their vocabulary. This Reading Mama

3. Try this Reading Game that builds letter and sound recognition along with building words. The Pleasantest Thing

4. Build up those site words and word recognition with this gross motor Sight Word Game. Learn With Play At Home

5. If you are working on short vowels this 1-2-3 Flip It Game that is fun and includes a free printable! This Reading Mama

6. Establish reading habits and letter sounds with this preschool reading activity Reading Road. True Aim

7. This FREE Blend Bingo Word Game pairs great with Bob Books for an early reader or just play as a game! This Reading Mama

8. Check out this easy Listen & Erase Reading Game that builds spelling skills and word recognition. No Time For Flash Cards

9. These pre-reading Matching Games build a great foundation for preschoolers prior to learning the elements of reading. Kids Activities Blog

10. Your kids will love to learn and read with Wacky Words Sight Word Game. Mosswood Connections

Free Printable Sight Word Game Perfect forBoys

BONUS GAME: Printable Sight Word Board Game from Brain Power Boy

10 math games your kids will beg to play


10 Super Fun Math Games

1. You can easily play this Uno Flip Math Game at home with the whole family! Childhood 101

2. If your kids love Pete the Cat this Four Groovy Buttons Game is so much fun and it has a free template! Buggy and Buddy

3. Practice math and critical thinking with this game of Strike It Out that your kids will love. Teach Mama

4. This Rainy Day Math Game is easy to make and it builds patterning and number recognition. My Nearest and Dearest

5. Have some hands on fun with this Leaf Math Game right in your backyard! Nurture Store

6. This Water Balloon Activity is great for number building and math processes plus super fun for outside. No Time For Flashcards

7. These Monster Math Games have lots of free activities and loads of printables for math fun. The Measured Mom

8. Review your fractions and times tables with this easy to make Paper Math Games. Kids Activities Blog

9. These awesome Math Games with candy will have your kids wanting to eat the special treat! Learn, Play, Imagine

10. Your kids can easily learn place value with this Whole Body Math Learning Stomp It Game. Creekside Learning

Free Printable Math Game for Kids

BONUS GAME: Pete the Cat Printable Board Math Game for Kids from Crystal & Co. 

Are your kids staying fueled while learning and having fun this summer?

snacks that fuel

We are with Horizon Snacks! These delicious, kid-friendly snacks are perfect for any time of the day.

They are healthy, organic, and delicious! I don’t want to waste my time giving my boys snacks that are not nutrious.

Staying fueled with Horizon snacks this summer has been awesome and my boys rave over the taste! Horizon Snacks are made with everything a kid needs including quality calcium, protein, and key vitamins and minerals and you can’t top that they taste great.

horizon snacks

What are your kids staying fueled with this summer? Check out all of the delicious and nutritious options available from Horizon!

This conversation is sponsored by Horizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

10 Games to Teach Kids About Money

As a child it was always exciting to earn allowance. I thought it was so cool to empty my piggy bank and count my money each week knowing it was mine and I had earned it. Whether it was earned from chores or a gift having my own money was exciting.

At a young age I was allowed to open my own account at the bank and eventually the money from my piggy bank got taken regularly. As the balance grew I felt like I was making a difference, saving for something great, and accomplishing something that was mine.

money games for kids

Teaching kids the concepts of money is actually a very important strategy to implement at a young age.Teaching your kids about money implements financial responsibility and beginning this teaching is an advantage for your child. These are core concept they will carry with them forever so implement the value of what money is and implement positive spending and saving decisions.

There are really 3 key concepts to discuss with your child.

1. Saving your money for a rainy day: This includes saving when spending is not necessary for things that you want, need, or even for emergencies.

2. Understand what a budget is: This is crucial to money management for kids. Explain this to your kids by showing them the boundaries of spending and that each month spending is limited and money does not actually grow on trees nor do those credit cards have endless limits!

3. Work hard for what you earn: Teaching your kids to appreciate hard work will also in turn teach them to appreciate the money that they earn. This is a great way to begin teaching the littles. Small chores and other things they help with around the house are appreciated and are rewards. You could also encourage them to help other friends or family.

Making your kids aware of the concept of money can be done at the grocery store, doing chores or other tasks at home, and also playing games to learn about money. For older kids its appropriate for them to have their own accounts or saving jars and learn to record and manage their funds. Here are some fun ways to teach your kids about money.

how to teach kids about money

10 Money Games for Kids

1. Play this fun Coin Toss Game that teaches the kids about the differences in coins, their shape, and value. Hands On As We Grow

2. This game of Money Muncher not only teaches kids about money but also improves fine motor development, sorting, and identification. Teaching Mama

3. Play Stack The Coins which is so much fun and a great measure for sorting the differences in coins. School Time Snippets

4. Your older kiddos will enjoy this FREE Money Game App that teaches kids all of the concepts of money in a game like setting. I Game Mom

5. Learning to exchange coins and bills is all explained in The Allowance Game great for the whole family. Adventures in Mommydom

6. Print this FREE Place Value Worksheet that increases proper place value with several activities. Motherhood on a Dime

7. Check out this FREE Kids Printable Wallet With Play Money to practice those money skills in a fun way. Kids Activities Blog

8. These Money Math Activities are perfect for teaching preschoolers and early elementary age kids about money. The Measured Mom

9. Make this DIY Piggy Bank and Counting Activity that is awesome for showing the little ones the idea of saving and they get their own bank! Sunny Day Family

10. This Simple Money Activity can be done at home with just a few items and can really help with money recognition. Superheroes and Teacups

What activities are you using to introduce the concepts of money to your kids? Please share your ideas!


Homemade Minion Puff Paint for Kids

My kids are really excited about the new Minion movie that is coming out this summer. To celebrate we made some Homemade Minion Puffy Paint.

You won’t believe how easy this is to make. You have to do it! Perfect summer boredom buster!

(While you’re here, make sure you check out all of our activities for kids.)

How to Make Homemade Minion Puff Paint

This only takes three simple ingredients.


Take equal parts of glue and shaving cream and toss them in a zippy bag. I like to use the ones that glide closed so you know it is sealed!

Smooch it around.

Then add the food coloring.

Smooch it around some more until the color is evenly distributed in the bag.

Use the scissors to cut the corner of the bag for painting. The less you cut the more controlled your flow of puff paint will be.

Repeat this process for each of the colors you want to make.

minion puff paint  (1)


Paint away!

We used some black construction paper and the colors were super vibrant.

This is a great dexterity building and fine motor exercise for little kids.

It is also a fun way name practice opportunity or a way to study and write spelling words. Make it fun!

If you leave it to dry, the paint will set. Pretty cool!

puff paint name practice (1)

Make a spill? No worries! Just use your awesome Minion paper towels or napkins to clean it right up!

minion mess

Who is ready to make a Minion mess with their kids this summer?

Come on! Live a little. Have some fun!


minion mess summer 2015 (1)


And tell me, who is your favorite Minion?

25 Must Have Outdoor Summer Gadgets for Kids

Summer is here and that means lots of time outside soaking up the sun! Are you looking for some fun gadgets and activities for kids that include outdoor play?

This list of the best outdoor summer gadgets will keep your kids entertained for hours. On top of that, these ideas keep your kids from saying “I’m bored” or “There’s nothing to do.”

Check out this list of awesome outdoor summer gadgets that will ensure your summer is full of lots of fun!

must have outdoor summer gadgets

25 Must Have Outdoor Summer Gadgets

1. Paint your greatest 3D over-sized art with Crayola 3D Deluxe Sidewalk Paint with the tray.

2. Create hopscotch, tic tac toe, or color a beautiful picture with this Jumbo Sidewalk Chalk Bucket.

3. These Sumo Bumper Boppers are great for the older crowd and are like a pillow fight outdoors!

4. Have a little medieval fun using an Air Strike Catapult. What a fun way to target practice.

5. Get the whole family involved in a Scavenger Hunt with these easy fun game for everyone.

6. Check out this awesome game of Dodge Tag with a twist on regular dodgeball and tag.

7. Race these awesome Rocket Balloons and it comes with the pump!

8. Your kiddos will love making loops, swirls, and watching this Rainbow Stunt Streamer dance in the sky.

9. This Sidewalk Mandala is perfect for creating detailed designs on the sidewalk or driveway.

10. This Play Mat Jr. Sprinkler is great for babies and toddlers!

11. The kiddos can develop hand eye coordination by playing this fun Air Scoop Ball Game.

12. Imagine your at the greatest barbeque and put the kids in control of the cooking with this Cook n’ Grow BBQ Grill.

13. Sandbox fun will be a greater hit with Double Sandbox Set with fun wheel, shovels, and molds.

14. With this 64 ounce Set of Bubbles you will never run out!

15. Pair all the loads of bubbles you have with this super awesome Bubble Wand Assortment Set.


summer gadget list

16. The boys in your house will love flying this 3D Shark Kite.

17. Cool down with some water fun and battle it out with this set of 4 Foam Water Blasters.

18. This Geyser Blast Sprinkler is completely unpredictable water fun for the whole family!

19. Create the best shady spot for relaxation with this Easy Shade that attaches to any umbrella.

20. Settle down with your favorite snacks and have a Play Picnic.

21. Invite the whole neighborhood crew and promote cooperative play with this 10′ Playchute.

22. Set the boundaries for your play area with Outdoor Flexible Cones.

23. This Hopping Ball is tons of fun and can be used by kids, teens, and adults up to 170 lbs.

24. Toss, catch, kick, and share fun with this Jumbo Inflatable Glossy Beach Ball.

25. Your kids will adore this game of Crab Toss & Grip made by Melissa & Doug.

What do your outdoor adventures consist of? Share your outdoor fun with us!


More Outside Play Ideas for Kids

Need more outdoor fun play ideas?

over 80 summer activities for kidsOver 80 Summer Activities for Kids 


Playground Games for Kids 

5 family summer lawn games

5 Family Summer Lawn Games

10 Playground Games for Kids

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Let’s Play, but all opinions are my own.I’m excited to announce that I’ve partnered with Let’s Play as a 2015 Play Ambassador! Let’s Play is an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group that provides kids and families with the tools, places and inspirationto make play a daily priority. Through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple partners with two non-profit organizations (KaBOOM! and Good Sports) to build/improve playgrounds and provide grants for sports equipment.


Kids need to play outside. They do. They need the opportunity to run and use their energy to explore. Play is one of the building blocks of childhood.

There are so many benefits to play. Personally, my boys love a trip to the playground and taking your kids to the playground is beneficial in more ways than you realize.

There are so many opportunities to learn and grow with amazing activities for kids!WHY OUR KIDS NEED PLAYGROUND PLAY

Our Kids Need Playground Time

You may not have ever thought about this until now, but playground play helps our children develop in the following areas.

  • Social Growth– playing with friends is one of the basic keys to learning to communicate with others.
  • Imagination and Creativity Growth– open ended play, like that you will find at the playground are awesome opportunities for children to use their imagination. Watch you kiddos as they grow in this area. I love seeing my boys use their imagination.
  • Problem Solving Skills– as they play at the playground they will encounter risk and challenges. This is a great opportunity to be challenged with persistence and perseverance.
  • Increased Self-worth– as games are mastered and friendships grow, your kiddos will become more confident in their own abilities. It is such a beautiful thing to watch!

Ready for some super fun games you can play at the playground? Here are 10 of our favorite things to do as a family and with friends when we head to our favorite park!

(To learn more about some of the benefits of playground play, check out my blog on! )

10 playground games for kids


10 Playground Games Kids Love

  1. Let’s play a game that is all about finding shapes! I love this idea! The printable book is perfect and off to the playground you go to find shapes!
  2. Have a Bubble Blowing Content! Use my homemade bubble recipe and get some wands and see which of your friends on the playground can create the biggest bubbles!
  3. Have a treasure hunt. My boys can’t wait to do this! Treasure hunts are perfect for the playground!
  4. Have you ever played rock dominoesWhat a great game to play at the play ground. Include all of your friends and there will be a fun time had by all!
  5. How about a spongeball toss with your friends at the playground! Wide open spaces are the perfect for this summer fun game!
  6. Play Red Light Green Light! I remember playing this game when I was a little girl. It is fun to see my kids play it too with their friends!
  7. Play Sidewalk Simon Says with your friends. You will love this twist on the classic game from childhood!
  8. Play parachute! My boys love, love, love this game! I remember playing this as a kid and my boys have played it many times at the playground!
  9. Did you ever play Red Rover Red Rover as a kid? Grab your friends at the playground and have a blast playing this!
  10. Open ended play with a bucket and a rope. This is great for creativity and team building. So many games you can play and ways to experiment with friends as you lift, hoist and explore!

And don’t forget playground safety while you’re out and about playing with friends!


Let’s Play $20,000 Playground Grants

let's play

Let’s Play is giving a $20,000 playground grant to five deserving organizations, and YOU can choose the winners. Cast your vote here!

Are you looking for a playground in your area? We love this Playground Finder!

For more information about all things play, visit or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Easy DIY Time Telling Memory Game

Do you know what STEM activities are?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering or math. These are amazing ways for children to grow and learn academically.

Let me just tell ya, with this house full of boys we love, love, love STEM crafts, projects, creations and learning!

We made a super fun DIY Time Telling Memory Game that you can make too this summer. It was super easy to make and costs pennies in supplies and about 15 minutes of my time to create.

(Have you seen all of our activities for kids that we have here on Crystal & Co.?)

telling time memory game



Today we are over the Sylvan website sharing step by step how to create this game. Your kids will have hours of fun playing this out in the backyard!

The activity uses items you will already have on hand. I love that the game can be customized depending on where your kids are with their time telling skills. If you need to start with cards that only include the top of the hour that is a great place to start. As skills progress, move on the a quarter after the hour, half past the hour and a quarter until the hour.

Here is a super quick video showing you how we played!


25 Water Games to Play Today

Summer is here and swimming is one the agenda!

My boys love swimming! They would spend the entire day in the water if we could. Actually, they love anything water related.

So with summer being here we are looking for some fun pool games and water play activities. There are endless possibilities and many of these super fun ideas can be incorporate into your next family gathering or pool party!

Check out this super awesome list of pool and water fun activities for your next swimming adventure! (Check out all of our summer activities for kids while you’re here!)

25 water games to play today

1.Enjoy this really fun game of Marco Polo with the whole family! Coffee Cups and Crayons

2. Use up those pool noodles to make this Letter Boat Matching Game perfect for learning in the pool. The Educator’s Spin On It

3. The whole family can play Swimming Pool Scrabble with this easy sponge creation! Toddler Approved

4. Check this out! Who knew Math Is Fun In The Pool! Toddler Approved

5.Have some water painting fun with this Painting at the Pool Activity perfect for toddlers. I Can Teach My Child

6. Play this fun version of letter learning basketball with this Pool Noodle Alphabet Basket. The Educator’s Spin On It

7. This Floating Numbers Game is an awesome way for kids to practice number recognition. Paging Fun Mums

8. Make these Pool Noodle Light Sabers perfect for a pool battle! Kids Activities Blog

9. Your kids will have endless fun making words with this Pool Word Search. Easy Peasy and Fun

10. Practice those numbers, letters, and colors poolside with this game of Splat! Disappearing Number Game. Toddler Approved

11. Create your own Backyard Waterpark with this easy setup of small pools. Learning 4 Kids

12. This Sight Word Swim Game is super fun for preschoolers learning the first site words! Coffee Cups and Crayons

13. Have a sing-a-long in the pool with this favorite Five Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day and pair with little rubber ducks. Lets Play Kids Music

14. Create glowing pool with this fun Glow Stick Pool idea. A Mom With A Lesson Plan

15. Make the pool a complete sensory experience with these awesome Pool Games For Kiddie Pools. Kids Activities Blog

Check out this backyard games for the non-swimmers !

water games for kids

16. This DIY game of Sponge Bombs will have the kids entertained for hours! Inner Child Fun

17. Set up this Water Balloon Name Game perfect for learning letters and names. Fantastic Fun and Learning

18. These DIY Water Blasters are perfect for the little who would rather play in a sprinkler! Mom Endeavors

19. This Water Balloon Pinata makes a fun splash for the kiddos! Paging Fun Mums

20. Your toddler will love this Water Wall that you can build easy peasy! Happy Hooligans

21. Check out this super fun Water Obstacle Course that kids of all ages can enjoy! Meaningful Mama

22. Make this DIY Water Blob with easy material and hours of fun for the littles! Paging Fun Mums

23. Batter up with this easy game of Pool Noodle Batting and Hitting easily set up in your backyard. Therapy Fun Zone

24. Your toddler will love this life size Pool Noodle Abacus that many can play at a a time! Happy Hooligans

25. Use these Water Table Ideas to entertain the small fries! The Educator’s Spin On It

What kind of fun water play and pool games inspire your summer? Share your ideas!

More Water Play Activities for Kids

15 water play activities for kids

15 Water Play Activities for Kids