Finding Quality, Free Educational Materials on the Internet

I am excited to have Renee from School Sparks visiting Mess For Less! Renee Abramovitz is a recently retired preschool and kindergarten teacher who is passionate about helping young children succeed in the classroom and beyond.  Visit Renee at for a free kindergarten readiness test and other resources and tips for bringing out the best in your young child. Today, she will be sharing some great tips for finding free educational resources online. Take it away Renee!

Moving With Young Children

You may recall a post I did called "Selling Your House When You Have Kids." In it, I talked about ways you could keep you house ready for showings and keep your kids occupied. We were very blessed to sell our home in two weeks. Finding a home was a bit trickier and we were unable to find a place to move to before we had to be out of this home. We did finally find a home we just loved, but it will not close until mid-June. So tomorrow, we move out of our home and into a small apartment for 17 days. You can bet I am counting the days until we close!

Frozen Sour Grapes

How many of you have had frozen grapes? They are a yummy snack especially on a hot day. But lets step up those frozen grapes a little shall we? I was inspired by an idea I saw on Pure Sugar where Carol made what she dubbed "Sour Patch Grapes." I love that she only used two ingredients that I actually happened to have. Score! I changed a few things up, but the general goodness remains.

Small Hands Creating Hope

Please visit Mama Smiles for Small Hands Creating Hope, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Check out MaryAnne's amazing story, get some wonderful kid friendly ideas, and make a donation to a wonderful cause! A bunch of amazing kid bloggers contributed projects to an e-book that you can purchase to benefit the American Cancer Society. It's a win win! When you donate at least $15 you get your very own e-book. You can donate on this site, Mama Smiles or any of the blogs listed below. Thanks in advance for your support of this great cause!

Small Hands Creating Hope

A sneak peek at some of the amazing projects you will find in this book:

Eclos Anti Aging Skin Care #EclosBeauty

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ├ęclos Skin Care. All opinions are 100% mine.
I don't know about you, but I have a medicine cabinet full of anti-aging products that I have tried that didn't quite deliver what they promised. So I was a little skeptical when I received ├ęclos Skin Care to try out. When I got the package I was immediately intrigued. You see eclos is revolutionary in that it contains high potency apple stem cells which have actually been extracted from a rare Swiss apple. Why is this so special? Well, the stem cells from that apple have been shown to stimulate your own skin's stem cells. What does this mean for you? According to the folks at ecols, younger looking skin. The eclos aporducts are also loaded with plant extracts, vitamins and anti-oxidents that work together with the stem cells to produce results.

Rainbow Fruit Loop Towers - Rainbow Activity

Faithful readers of Mess For Less might remember the Fruit Loop Towers we did last August. Well this starts with the same basic concept but takes it a few steps further. Since we have been enjoying rainbow activities lately, I added a rainbow component to these fruit loop towers. In addition to helping develop fine motor skills, this kids activity teaches color discrimination, sorting and introduces the concepts of more and less.

Rainbow Fruit Loop Towers - I love how this combines fine motor skills with fun rainbow activities.

Food Fun Friday: Yogurt Covered Berries on a Stick

Welcome to Food Fun Friday! Have you noticed that any food is more fun when it's on a stick? Well I have and when I saw these yummy Frozen Yogurt-Covered Blueberry Kabobs from One Good Thing by Jillie, I knew this was a great food activity to try with my little ones. 

Patterned Bead Snakes

A while ago the kids made Paper Pattern Snakes and they were a big hit. Recently, when the twins came home from school with snakes they made with pipe cleaners and random colored beads, I got inspired. We had all the supplies we needed to make the snakes at home, but I thought I could sneak in some learning and have the kids only use two colors of beads and create a pattern.

Review and Giveaway:Raising Your Kids To Love The Lord

I have read lots of parenting books and while I pick up a few tips from each one, I can honestly say that none have affected my parenting as much as the book Raising Your Kids To Love The Lord by Dave Stone. The book, which is published by Tommy Nelson, has been life changing for me. Those are strong words, but the ideas that Dave Stone sets forth can really alter how you relate to your kids.

Fingerprint Flower Counting

The other day my daughter brought home a cute project that she made at school. I was impressed with the way her teachers managed to incorporate art and math and decided to try the project at home with my other kids.

Food Fun Friday: Frozen Banana Marshmallow Pops

I cannot even tell you how good these are. I promise you will love them. While they are yummy, they are in no way good for you, despite my kidding myself into thinking that since there's banana in them, they must be okay. So don't be making these everyday - you will SO want to though!

Review and Giveaway: Hermie: God Listens When I Pray

I have long been a fan of Max Lucado's books and messages. His books for adults are so inspiring that I was excited to read a children's book that he authored. He created the character of Hermie the caterpillar to teach children about God's love. My children recently had the chance to read Hermie: God Listens When I Pray which was authored by Max Lucado and published by Tommy Nelson

Dripping Salt Painting

I saw a cool picture on Pinterest the other day of Raised Salt Painting done by One Perfect Day. I was looking for a simple art activity to do with the girls and this looked perfect. We did not have liquid watercolor paint so we just used food coloring mixed with water which most people already have at home. We had some unexpected results which I think turned out pretty cool. Judge for yourself.

10 Ways to Stop a Tantrum

10 Ways to Stop a Tantrum, what are tantrums

What are tantrums? Merriam-Webster defines tantrum as a "fit of bad temper". All children have them. I know plenty of adults who have a "fit of bad temper" as well on occasion. Never me. :-)
When you come to Mess For Less and get ideas for kids crafts and activities, you will see lots of photos of my happy and engaged children. If you don't know us personally, you might think things are always like that at my house. That is far from the truth. We deal with our fair share of meltdowns and temper tantrums. If you have a child of any age then chances are you have dealt with a tantrum or two as well. My kids are prone to them and some days are worse than others. Sometimes it just seems like they just wake up in a bad mood. Ever feel that way?

Food Fun Friday: Candy Coated Crackers

My kids love crackers. Their very favorites are graham crackers and Ritz crackers. I like how easy they are to grab and take on the go. Not that I have ever bribed encouraged them to behave at the grocery store with a cracker. But if one was into such a thing, crackers are easy to take and dispense. But I'm getting kind of bored giving them the same crackers, so I decided to spice them up. 

Painting with Feathers

The activity I am going to share with you today is what I call a "closet activity." What that means is that I had no idea what to do with the kids, so I opened up our craft closet and pulled out some items. This day I pulled out some paint and feathers. I have never painted with feathers before but it sounded fun.