30+ Easy & Inexpensive Family Traditions

I am always looking for fun little traditions to start for my boys.  I have these lofty dreams that boys will have fond memories of these traditions for the rest of their lives.  Maybe not, but I’ll try.  Of course it has to be ideas that don’t cost a lot of money, or take a ton of effort.

So these are some of my favourites from Pinterest…

How awesome would this be for a superhero crazed birthday boy. Thanks to  Secrets of a Super Mommy for bringing us this awesome idea.

This takes the fill the birthday boys room with balloons to another level.  With this one avoision attached little notes about the birthday child  to each string.

What birthday child wouldn’t love to have these special pancakes on their birthday from Food Family & Finds

20 Birthday Questions to ask each year!  Place in binder with a picture of the birthday child each year. There are lots of examples out there but this cute one is from Knapp News.

Sneak in and fill their room with balloons. Source  Crafty Moods.

Found this great balloon avalanche on Pinterest

See Jane Blog had the Easter bunny deliver these magic beans.  Her kids planted them and waited for the candy to grow.

Gluesticks Gluesticks reused those plastic eggs and filled them with food instead.  What a great idea for Easter  lunch.  Hide around the house and let the kids discover their own lunch.

eighteen 25 has free downloads for this You’ve Been Egged idea.  Take a couple of dozen plastic eggs fill them with candy and sneak over to a neighbours, scatter them on their front lawn and run like crazy!

Crazy About My Baybah used baby powder to leave Easter Bunny footprints throughout the house.

This one may be an obvious tradition, but be sure to be creative with your elf.  Pinterest is filled with hundreds of hilarious things to do with your elf.  Also check out flickr for more fantastic ideas. You can purchase your own Elf on the Shelf for $24.95 at Amazon.  This tradition is a must.

Did you know that the US Postal Service offers North Pole Postmark? How cool is that.

After Santa eats all the cookies and milk you have left out for him, let him leave a little thank you note for your kids.  This free printable is from Erin Vale Design.com.

Have your kids choose ten old toys to put in their Santa bags. Leave the bags under the tree on Christmas Eve. Santa takes the old toys back to the North Pole  (aka Goodwill) to fix them up and he leaves new toys in the bag. New toys are unwrapped in the bag.  Great way to declutter, recycle old toys, and teach the kids about giving rather than receiving.

Speckled Egg.com created this fun Surprise Snowball for Christmas morning.  Gather up some small toys and wrap white crepe paper adding more toys as you go.  We did this this past Christmas and I think my 3-year-old loved this more than anything else.

Capture the Magic Upload a picture of your room and Capture the Magic inserts and image of either Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy.  3 Photos for $9.95.

Not So Idle Hands used baking soda and glitter to leave these Santa footprints.

Organize Your Stuff Now made the most adorable glitter key to leave for Santa.  Great for a home without a chimney!

Shell in Your Pocket  does the Minivan Express each year.  On Christmas Eve leave the Minivan Express ticket on your kids beds.  Have them put on their new Christmas pj’s and get in the minivan.  Waiting for them on their seat is popcorn, hot chocolate and those cool 3-D glasses to look at the lights.  Then drive around your town admiring all the pretty Christmas lights.  We did this last year and the boys loved it.

Hip Lip Blog has a free printable to start a “You’ve Been Elfed” throughout your neighbourhood.

Big D & Me is so organized that she has Santa mail her kids the book that they will read on Christmas Eve.  That’s some impressive organization!

Special treat for the kids.

Countdown to midnight, balloons with notes inside.  Each hour let the kids pop a balloon and do whatever activity is written on the note. Real Life, Real Estate, Real Dana

These dinner rolls from How Does She are not only delicious, but also include a little note inside each roll that includes something that your family is grateful for.

Parents Connect used an inexpensive white table-cloth and every year has each family member write what they are thankful for.  Bring it out each year. I think this would be so funny to see over the years what your kids are thankful for.

The Fickle Pickle has her kids set up a leprechaun trap each year.

Green milk

Add a little tooth fairy door next to your kids bed.

Fairy Glitter Money from Ten Kids and a Dog

Teeny Tiny Tooth Fairy Note from Leafcutter Designs

Ding Dong, we left you a treat, now  pass it along.  Great way to get to know your neighbours.  It’s written on the Walls has 16 different versions of this, so you can easily find one that works for you and your neighbours.

Create Your Own Holiday!  Brilliant.  That’s so Cuegly deemed August 20 at Doughnut Day in their house.  What kid wouldn’t love that holiday.

Have you started any traditions with your family?  I’d love to hear what they are!

Kids Personalized Birthday Photo

Birthday Photos!

Kids Personalized birthday photo

Picmonkey tutorial

This may look a bit intimidating but it really is easy once you have completed your first one.  It’s more a matter of patience.  

For this I used the free PicMonkey photo editing service.  Love, love, love PicMonkey I think I may love it even more than Picnic!

The hardest part is finding a picture you want to use.  Don’t worry about what’s in the background because we are about to delete all that anyways.

So here we go…

First step go to PicMonkey and select “Edit a photo”

Click “Upload” and bring up your photo (from your desktop, website, file or wherever you have saved it).

Click on “Textures” it’s the button on the very bottom left of the screen with hatch marks (the one that is to the left of “metal”).  Now click on “Your Own” up at the top.

We are going to open up a second window now.  Open PicMonkey in another window and click “Edit a Photo” just like you did above.  Now upload the same picture again (just like above). I know this sounds weird.

Now pick “Overlays” which is the button on the left side of the screen with the heart, bubble, and comic bubble.  It will open up the Overlays screen.  Select “Geometric”.  Select the “rectangle” and now drag the rectangle to cover the entire picture. At this point you can change the colour to anything you want to use as the background.  I ended up changing mine from black to white because when I looked at the picture I had picked I realized his black cape wouldn’t show up next to the black background.  So keep that in mind.

Hit “Save”.  Save as blankblue or whatever colour you choose (I ended up changing to white so don’t be confused by this blue).  Now go back to your other PicMonkey screen (the one we started with).

Under Textures select “Your Own”  select your “blankblue.jpg” file or whatever it was that you named your background.  Keep the “Blend Mode” at Normal.  Change the “Fade” to roughly 30% (just enough so you can still see the image).

Now for the fun part.  Click on the small paintbrush icon, and it will bring up this Paint box.  With the brush you will “uncover” your photo again.  Play around with “Brush size” and “brush hardness” to see what’s easiest for your photo.  And don’t worry if you uncover some of the background you can go back and forth between “effect” and “original” and repaint the background if you need to.  I would increase the “brush hardness” to 50 or so, it makes your lines clearer.

Once you have the picture uncovered.  Slide “fade” all the way back to 0%.  This will completely white out the background (or whatever colour you chose).  Hit “Apply”.  Now “Save” your picture.

Click “Upload” and upload your blank background colour again (I know this is the 3rd time).  

With your background colour up, select the “Overlays” button again (yellow arrow pointing to this).  Select “Your Own”  and select the photo of your child that you just saved.

Now increase the size of your photo and place it where you want. (I guess I didn’t make my blankwhite page quite white enough because it looks a little blue, oh well).

Now for the super fun part!  Click on the “P” on the left hand side and start adding text.  If you want all the different fonts, colours and sizes like I did you have to do every word individually.  So for each word I selected the text I wanted then hit “add text” this brought up the box to select colour and size.  I typed the word.  And then moved onto the next word.  At the end you can play around with the positioning of all the words.

Now Save it, and you’re done!  That wasn’t that bad was it?!

I plan on printing these off and putting them in the kids 20 Question Birthday Interview Binders, found this awesome birthday interview idea at Reaves Party of Three.blogspot.com. 

I will update you once I have printed these off to let you know what the easiest way was and the cost.

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Kids Quotable Book

My most viewed blog posts has been the Kids Say the Darndest Things post.  We all know how different kids are from one another, but one thing all kids have in common is that they are all funny.  I’ve never met a kid who wasn’t funny.  Right?

I found this deal over at Paper Coterie for $12 (on until 9/02/2012).  It’s similar to my idea, but just takes a bit more upfront work.  You upload 12 pictures to the book and it leaves spots for you to later write in your favourite kid quotes.  How easy is that!

Gotta go make my Quotable Book.

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