Memorial Day is an American holiday held on the last Monday in May. While still technically spring, many people view Memorial Day as the start to summer festivities. Barbeques, swimming, and all things red, white, and blue (in addition to a day off work for most!) are associated with this holiday. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated during the years following the Civil War. In the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to honor those who had fallen during the conflict, decorating headstones of the fallen with flowers. After World War I, Decoration Day became more widely known as Memorial Day, a day to honor those who lost their lives in all wars and conflicts. If you’re looking to show your support this Memorial Day, check out these kid-friendly activities!
1. Write letters to troops. While Memorial Day honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, you can show your support for those currently serving by writing and sending letters. Organizations like Support our Troops collect letters and cards and send them to soldiers, airmen, and sailors all over the world.
2. Volunteer to place American Flags or flowers on military member’s graves. The National Cemetery Administration maintains 155 national cemeteries in 42 states and Puerto Rico. The location tool on their website can help you find a National Cemetery near your zip code, allowing you to know where to go to honor military veterans.
3. Celebrate with sidewalk chalk. This activity always reminds me of summer mornings and what better way to combine sunshine, summer, and special remembrances than with a unique work of art created by your kiddos. Feel free to keep with the red, white, and blue theme, or branch out and create colorful messages of thanks and remembrance.
4. Make a magazine mosaic of the American flag. This craft will not only upcycle your old magazines, but will also allow kids to show their patriotism and support of our country and its military.
5. Attend a Memorial Day parade. Lots of towns across the United States have parades on Memorial Day. Wear your red, white, and blue attire and show up for the festivities! If you’re feeling extra festive, you and the kiddos can make these patriotic parade sticks to show your support.
6. Printable Memorial Day Activities. On Beeloo, we have 100’s of printable Memorial Day activities that your kids will love.
Every year on April 22nd, we celebrate the anniversary of the modern environmental movement which began in the United States in 1970. At the time, the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t exist, neither did the Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act. Left unregulated, it was completely legal for industry and consumers to release toxic smoke into the atmosphere and dump toxic chemicals into streams and rivers. It’s kind of hard to imagine these things taking place, but at the time, it was the reality. In the spring of 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a way to bring awareness to such travesties, and place environmental protection on the national agenda. Twenty million Americans organized demonstrations all over the country, gaining the attention of legislators who, in December of 1970, created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 1990, another major environmental campaign was launched, this time with a global focus. 200 million people in 141 countries mobilized to elevate environmental concerns. This massive demonstration led to the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit, a gathering of political leaders, diplomats, and scientists from 179 countries to focus on the impact of human socio-economic activities on the environment. EarthDay.org recognizes Earth Day “as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.” In short, Earth Day is awesome! Here are a few ideas for commemorating the movement and celebrating this wonderful place we call home:
1. Participate in a community or park clean up. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, spring is almost here and that means more people are out and about looking to enjoy nature. The fall and winter may have brought leaves, sticks, and other debris that may need to be removed from trails before people will be able to truly enjoy the great outdoors. It’s also a great time for starting gardens and planting flowers. Reach out to your local parks and recreation department to see if your hometown has anything planned for Earth Day!
2. Make a reusable bag from a t-shirt. Plastic bags are harmful for the environment. They can’t always be recycled and often end up in animal habitats, creating hazards for all kinds of creatures who become entrapped, or mistake it for food. This Earth Day, create a reusable bag that you can throw in the car for your next grocery store trip. Even little changes can make a big difference and I bet your kiddos will love designing their own bag!
3. If your kiddos love books, check out this reading list for all kinds of amazing stories that focus on Earth Day and the environment.
4. Movie and craft night. If you haven’t seen Dr. Suess’ The Lorax, this is a great time to snuggle in for a movie night! The Lorax tells the story of a boy who lives in a place completely devoid of trees, flowers, and other natural elements. His quest to find a certain type of tree brings him to the Lorax, a creature who speaks for the trees. This cautionary tale about protecting the environment, combined with the artistic creativity of Dr. Suess, is a wonderful way to introduce kids (and adults!) to caring for the environment. If you want to add a crafty element to your movie night, check out these Lorax-themes activities and crafts!
5. Upcycle plastic from your recycling bin. Plastic doesn’t have to go straight to the bin. Instead you can use what you already have to create fun Earth Day crafts. Check out this tutorial on how to make Earth Day suncatchers! Your kids will have a great time learning about and practicing upcycling and also create a beautiful work of art.
Earth Day is a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to protect our planet and create a sustainable future for all. Whether you participate in a community clean-up, watch an environmental movie, or create an upcycled craft, every action counts towards making a positive impact on the environment. By coming together to celebrate and honor Earth Day, we can raise awareness about the critical issues facing our planet and work towards a brighter, greener future. (AIA)
Hoppy Easter! This edition of the Beeloo Blog brings all things bunnies, eggs, and historical rituals. Having both pagan and Christian roots, Easter will be celebrated this year on April 9th. Originating as a pagan ritual to celebrate the spring equinox, Easter is also observed by Christians throughout the world in recognition of Jesus’ resurrection, usually around the time of the Jewish Passover. So where did the dyed eggs and the bunny come from? Ancient Babylonians believed that an egg fell from Heaven and landed in the Euphrates River, hatching the goddess of fertility, Astarte (also known as Easter). Pagans would exchange eggs during the springtime festival celebrations, which eventually led to the colorful eggs we see today as a symbol of Easter. Similarly, rabbits have long been seen as a symbol of spring and fertility and the pagan festival of Eostre, represented by a goddess associated with a rabbit, became what we now know as the Easter bunny. Looking for ways to get in the Easter spirit with your kiddos? Check out these fun (screen-free!) activities, suitable for the whole family!
1. I love a good scavenger hunt (almost as much as my daughter…maybe more!) and this Easter Scavenger Hunt is sure to be fun for the whole family! The free printables make set up easy and the clues will make mini sleuths of kids young and old.
2. For the price we’re all paying for eggs right now, we might as well get a craft out of it too! These egg carton bunnies are cute and easy to make with supplies you likely already have at home!
3. Edible mini-houses shouldn’t just be for gingerbread and Christmas. Have fun making an edible Easter Bunny house with graham crackers, seasonal candy, and some frosting. Even the older kids will enjoy this one (or at the very least will watch the littles and eat the candy while pretending to help!).
4. If you’re looking for a fun, silly, craft-turned-game, then you have to try the Easter Bunny Jelly Bean Munch! Another craft with items you likely have on hand, kids will love creating a bunny from a plastic cup and then attempting to “feed the bunny” by rolling jellybeans towards its mouth (although we bet more jelly beans end up in your kiddo’s mouth than the bunny’s!).
5. If your kids are more into sensory activities, then you have to try the Easter Egg Ice Excavation! Who doesn’t love a good excavation?! Easier to prep than it may sound, some plastic eggs, tupperware, and a turkey baster (or similar water excavation tool!) are all you need to keep the kids entertained with Easter-themed, screen-free fun.
6. Lastly, if you're looking for endless printable activities, crosswords, color by number, coloring pages, grid drawing, word scrambles and more, Beeloo has you covered with not only an Easter theme but a Christian Easter theme to choose from as well.
Easter is a holiday that is celebrated by many around the world and has a rich history and tradition. From the pagan festival of Eostre to the Christian celebration of Jesus' resurrection, Easter has evolved into a time of renewal, growth, and family gatherings. If you're looking for ways to get into the Easter spirit with your family, these fun and screen-free activities are sure to do the trick. Whether you're into scavenger hunts, crafts, or sensory activities, there's something for everyone to enjoy this Easter season.
Today we are happy to announce major updates to Beeloo. A month and a half ago, we announced that we had hit a milestone of 5,000 printable activities on Beeloo. We are excited to share that only a month and half later we’ve almost tripled the amount of screen free printable activities for kids available for free on Beeloo to 14,000!
Once again, we’ve returned humbly to the drawing board after getting feedback that one of our activities is not tough enough for some of these brainiac kids. We’ve now made it even harder. Click here to see our most difficult Sudoku activities. Pro tip: Don’t forget to scan the QR code for solutions on every page.
We are now adding themes almost every week, but one of our most recent ones is an Airport theme. Be sure to check the mazes for a shape maze of the code of your local airport.
Our newest activity type addition is Grid Drawing. We’ve added thousands of Grid Drawing printable activities across all of our themes at varying levels of difficulty. This is a fun one for aspiring artists of all ages and develops observational and spatial awareness art skills.
We’ve made improvements to several of our activity types. Do you know what is more fun than a maze? A maze in the shape of something awesome! See the fun shapes across all of our themes. Check out this short video to see some of our most fun shapes. Personally, the snake is my favorite.
We’ve been blown away by the creativity around the types of activity packets parents, teachers and other caregivers make with Beeloo packet builder. We wanted to make it easier to share with another parent, friend or fellow teacher, so now you can create a packet on Beeloo and share it with a link so that others can download it.
A big thanks to the Beeloo team for making this happen and all of our early adopters that have been so generous with their feedback to help us improve our platform.
Derek Pando - CEO and Founder of Beeloo
St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! While in the United States the day is often celebrated with tales of leprechauns, shamrocks, and gold coins at the end of a rainbow, the holiday has historical roots in Britain and Ireland. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and lived during the fifth century. He was born in Roman Britain and brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16 years old. At the time, he lived in the coastal British village of Bannavem Taburniae. One evening, a band of Irish marauders raided his village and he was taken hostage and brought to Ireland on King Niall’s slave ship. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to its people. One of the more well known legends of St. Patrick, is that he explained the holy trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, using the three leaves of an Irish clover, otherwise known as a shamrock. The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration is thought to have been celebrated in the ninth or tenth century on March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not held in Ireland, but actually in the Spanish colony now known as St. Augustine, Florida on March 17, 1601. Nowadays, parades and celebrations occur all over the world, with New York and Boston having the largest celebrations in the United States. From parades to corned beef, and even green beer (or your beverage of choice!) St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in similar fashions by most, even if such celebrations have diverted from their historical roots. Even the Irish have adapted their celebrations over the years and there’s really no wrong way to celebrate. Ready to partake?! Here are some cool ways to commemorate the holiday with your kiddos:
1. Wear green! This one is pretty well known, but actually has historical roots too. During the eighteenth century, supporters of Irish independence used the color to represent their cause. The color stuck and now appears readily during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
2. Bake soda bread. Irish soda bread originated in Ireland in the 1800s as a way for those who didn’t have an oven to make bread. Nowadays, similar recipes can be made with the convenience of an oven and a few simple ingredients. Check out this recipe and have some fun with the kids in the kitchen!
3. If games are more your thing, these St. Patrick’s Day bingo cards make a great addition to family game night.
4. Listen to some Irish music. Need some inspiration for your kitchen dance party while you’re baking soda break? Give traditional Irish folk music a listen!
5. Feeling crafty? Try out these Rainbow Shaker Wands. Using supplies you probably already have around the house, these wands bring in the rainbow and gold theme of the holiday with crafting steps that are perfect for little hands.
6. Want an adult recommendation? St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to enjoy a Guinness or Irish Coffee. All in the name of celebration, of course! If you really want to involve the whole family, try out some of these St. Patrick’s Day themed drinks, suitable for all ages.
March is a wonderful month. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, winter is on its way out and spring is just over the horizon. Spring break is coming soon and there are a plethora of fun, amazing holidays to celebrate. In addition to the all-popular St. Patrick's Day, we have World Wildlife Day (check out our blog post for ways to celebrate!) and International Women’s Day. As the mother of a daughter, this day is particularly meaningful. Officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977, International Women’s Day celebrates women for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. Celebrated in many countries around the world, the holiday originated from women’s rights movements, particularly in labor and political arenas, dating back to the early 1900s. Since the official proclamation of the commemorative day in 1977, member states of the United Nations have worked diligently to secure gender equality world-wide. If you’re looking to learn more, or get some ideas for creative ways to celebrate, check out these resources:
Explore the International Women’s Day website. There is a ton of information, activities, and ways to show your support that will appeal to kids (and adults!) of all ages.
Try out this Famous Women Word Search! We love word searches and this one is tailored perfectly to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Have kids draw a picture of one of their favorite women from history. This free printable has plenty of space to draw and color, as well as an area for kids to describe which woman they chose and why.
Read stories about women trail-blazers. From Amelia Earhart to Marie Curie, there is no shortage of women who have done amazing things. If you need some more ideas check out this book list.
Have the kids color some awesome Beeloo International Women's Day coloring pages
.Do something kind for a woman in your life. This could be mom, sister, grandma, teacher, neighbor, or friend. A simple note expressing your thanks and gratitude, or recognizing them for an achievement, is a wonderful way to commemorate the day!
Consider a donation (no amount is too small!) to an organization working to advance women’s rights. Get your kids involved in the research and identify a mission that resonates with you. Some of our favorites are:
March is truly a special month, with so many reasons to celebrate and find hope. From the arrival of spring to the observance of International Women's Day and other important holidays, we have plenty of opportunities to honor the achievements of women, support gender equality, and promote positive change in the world. Whether you choose to explore the resources and ideas we've shared or come up with your own ways to mark these occasions, we hope you'll join us in making March a month of renewal, appreciation, and action. (AIA)
World Wildlife Day might be a lesser known holiday, but also one of the more fun to celebrate! On December 20, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 3rd as World Wildlife Day in honor of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Its goal is to raise awareness and celebrate our world’s flora and fauna (aka plants and animals!) and the contribution that they make to our lives and the health of the planet. Pretty cool, right?! There are many amazing ways to celebrate this holiday and we’ve captured a few of those below for you!
1. Participate in World Wildlife Day celebrations. Whether you’re in the United States, Thailand, Australia, Kenya, Italy, or anywhere in between, there are celebrations taking place around the world. Some are virtual that you can watch from the comfort of your own home, or in person and include planting trees or learning how to conserve our Earth’s natural resources, just to name a few. Use the World Wildlife Day website to find an event near you!
2. Explore the World Wildlife Fund’s free toolkits. With over 15 different tool kits, appealing to audiences from kindergarten through twelfth grade, parents and educators have free access to resource guides, classroom presentations, learning activities, and printables for a range of animals and environmental topics.
3. If you or your kids want to test your endangered species knowledge, try out this quiz from We Are Teachers. This is a great way to start the conversation with kids about endangered species and environmental conservation efforts to save these species.
4. Visit places that are working hard to protect animals and the environment. If you have a national park, open space preserve, or botanical garden nearby, these are great places to visit and learn about our earth’s flora and fauna and the work people are doing to protect them.
5. Volunteer your time! Planting trees, maintaining walking trails, or participating in a beach clean up are amazing ways to get outside and actively help the environment. Check with your local park service, Audubon Society, or Sierra Club to see if they have any group activities planned, or if they know of other organizations that need volunteers. This is definitely time well spent!
Celebrating World Wildlife Day is a fun and meaningful way to show support for the planet's flora and fauna. Whether you're participating in global events, exploring educational resources, volunteering in your community, or simply visiting local parks and gardens, there are so many ways to get involved and take action. By raising awareness and learning more about environmental conservation efforts, we can all make a difference in protecting the world's endangered species and preserving our planet for future generations. So mark your calendars for March 3rd and join the celebration!
In one of our recent blog posts, we paid homage to teachers and their incredible patience, love, and enduring support for our kiddos. At Beeloo, we believe in kids and value the adults who have a hand in making them amazing human beings. This, of course, includes teachers! We can only begin to imagine what it’s like to teach 20 or so elementary-aged students day in and day out (it’s not pretty!). On top of the normal curiosities and boundless energy our kids seem to have, it can’t be easy catering to each child’s individual needs. Some students are better at certain subjects, while others need more guidance and direction. This often leads to some students finishing their work early. There is a delicate balance here, trying to keep the fast finishers engaged while also helping those that need a little extra time. We are Teachers has an amazing list of activities, and we’ve also captured a few of our favorites below.
Reading: Encourage your students to read a book when they finish their work early. Set up a classroom library with a variety of books at different reading levels, and allow students to choose books that interest them. This will not only help to improve their reading skills but also foster a love for reading.
Creative writing: Provide a writing prompt or a story starter and encourage students to write a story or poem. This is a great way to challenge their creativity and imagination. You can also give them a topic related to what they have been learning in class, such as writing a persuasive essay on why recycling is important.
Write a letter: letter writing doesn’t have to be a long lost art. Encourage children to write a letter to a distant relative, their caregiver, or even another child in the class. Everyone enjoys getting mail (as long as it’s not bills!) and this activity will give children an opportunity to be on the giving end of such happy moments.
Create a collage: round up some old magazines for kids to cut and make various collage’s about things that interest them or into different creative projects.
Research: Give students a topic to research and allow them to use the internet or other resources in the classroom to gather information. This can be a great way to build their research skills and improve their ability to find and evaluate information.
Art projects: Set up an art station with a variety of materials, such as colored pencils, markers, paint, and paper. Encourage students to create a drawing or painting related to what they have been learning in class. For example, if they have been studying animals, they could draw their favorite animal or create a collage of different animals.
Printable activities: Provide a selection of fun and educational activities that students can do with out the use of screens. No one has as many free and fun options as Beeloo. This can be not only a fun and engaging way for students to review and reinforce what they have learned, but many printable activities hone various development skills for young children.
Fast finishers can be a challenge, but with a little planning and creativity, you can keep them engaged and learning while the rest of the class finishes their work. Encourage your students to read, write, research, create, and play educational games. By providing a variety of activities, you can help students develop new skills and interests, and ultimately make the most of their time in the classroom.
Good luck teachers! There are only a few more months left in the school year!
A holiday and cultural phenomenon dating back thousands of years, Mardi Gras is celebrated in countries around the world on the day before the Lent season begins. Otherwise known as Fat Tuesday (the literal French translation), Mardi Gras is traditionally recognized as a day that merrymakers would binge on rich, fatty foods in preparation for various kinds of fasting during the 40 days of Lent. The first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699 when French explorers Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Sieur de Bienville landed near present-day New Orleans. They held a small celebration and named their landing spot Point du Mardi Gras. In the decades that followed, Mardi Gras was celebrated in New Orleans and other French settlements with lavish parties, masked balls, and great feasts. In 1857, the first procession with marching bands and rolling floats made its way through the streets of New Orleans, paving the way for the celebrations we still see today. Mardi Gras isn’t just for adults. Kids can join in on the fun too. Check out some (screen-free!) ways to celebrate Mardi Gras with your kiddos below.
Make a Mardi Gras Mask - kids of all ages can create, color, and decorate their own mask with a free printable (you know we love free printables!). Vibrant colors, glitter, sequents, and some colorful feathers will make this a project kids are sure to love, whether at home, at school, or at a Fat Tuesday party (adults, we won’t judge if you want to make your own too!).
Build a Paper Plate Tambourine - New Orleans is known for its music and now kids can channel their inner musician with this fun and easy craft. A paper plate and some beads create the foundation for this festive addition to any Mardi Gras celebration.
Bake a King Cake together - also known as a Three Kings Cake, this festive treat is a cross between coffee cake and a cinnamon roll. Traditionally decorated with purple, yellow, and green adornments, this cake also has a special surprise inside. A plastic figurine, usually in the shape of a baby, is hidden in the cake. If you find the baby, you get to be King for the day (and bring the next King Cake to the party!).
Create a Mardi Gras themed calming jar - calming jars are sensory activities geared towards our preschool kiddos. Filled with some basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, children can then fill their jars with beads, glitter, and more to create a themed calming jar that is not only fun to make, but also brings a zen-like aura to your afternoon (maybe adults need calming jars too!).
Play the Forbidden Word Bead Game - as your party guests arrive, hand them a couple of strands of beads and let them know the forbidden word(s). If another person hears them say the word(s), they can take one of their strands. The person with the most strands of beads at the end of the party is the winner! This game is fun for kids and adults alike.
Mardi Gras is a holiday for everyone to enjoy, including kids. Encourage your children to embrace the culture and history behind this holiday while having fun and making memories that will last a lifetime. Happy Mardi Gras!
Grandparents are the best! When dad says no dessert, grandma will bring you a bowl of ice cream, even if you’ve already brushed your teeth. When mom wants you to pick up your toys, grandpa will steal you away for some sort of fun filled activity (that likely will make more of a mess!). Let’s face it, grandparents can get away with things that parents just can’t and that’s what makes memories with our grandparents so special. My grandma still says that pie for breakfast is no different than having a donut. These are definitely words to live by (in moderation of course!). In honor of all the grandparents out there, we’ve collected a list of fun, screen free activities to try the next time the grandkids come over.
1. Paint rocks - This might sound mundane, but hear me out. Kids love rocks. They end up everywhere. I don’t think my daughter has a single pair of pants that don’t have rocks in them. For whatever reason, kids find them fascinating. To make a gray rock less…well, gray, try taking some paint and a paintbrush to create amazing pieces of artwork. From flowers to animals, there is no limit to what you can create. These gems are great decorations for gardens, windowsills, or even to leave for someone else to discover in your local park.
2. Draw a family tree - Grandparents are the best sources of family ancestry. Kids will have a great time drawing the tree and adding names to the branches while grandparents will enjoy telling endless stories about aunts, uncles, and cousins twice removed.
3. Play cards - this is an oldie, but a goodie and with so many new card games available, you are sure to find a game that appeals to players of all ages. If you need ideas, check out this list of 25 card games every kid should know.
4. Read together - whether you want to tackle a whole series, or just take a trip to the library and peruse the shelves, reading is fabulous for kids and even more enjoyable when they get to do it with their grandparents. This list of 50 books all kids should read before they’re 12 is a good place to get started on your reading list.
5. Bake together - one of my fondest memories with my grandmother is breaking out the family recipe book and making cookies. I still have the recipe cards with her handwriting and they are some of my most treasured mementos. Feel free to share your recipes, get out the mixer and bowls, and make some sweet treats that can be eaten after (or before!) dinner.
6. Printable activities - Print off endless amounts of coloring pages, mazes, word searches, crosswords and more to do with your grandkids. You find just what your grandkids like and the right skill level for them on Beeloo.
I recently volunteered to be the guest reader for my daughter’s second grade class. The concept is easy: show up, read the kids a book (giving the teacher a much needed 20 minute break), and call it a day. No big deal, right? Wrong…in all aspects. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Let me paint you a picture. I painstakingly culled our home book collection for the perfect book. One that was enjoyable for me to read, provided a good moral lesson, and would keep the kid’s attention (This is the book I chose if you’re interested!). I walk in, perfect book in hand, bright eyed and excited to see my kiddo and her 23 class besties. I imagine sitting in a nice circle, holding everyone’s attention, and reading the book start to finish with no interruptions (Ha!). As I walk in, I’m quickly bombarded with little hands and bodies invading my personal space. They are asking a lot of questions (SO many questions!). Their voices are growing exponentially louder. One kid wants to know what book I’m going to read, another wants to know why the sky is blue. The overwhelm is setting in. I’ve managed teams of adults, big teams with complex tasks, and let me tell you…managing 24 kids is nothing like managing 100 adults. I smile at my daughter’s teacher as she corrals everyone to the reading circle. I managed to get through the book with only 1,235,354,896 interruptions, questions, and unrelated stories. I walked out of the classroom exhausted. Teachers, how do you do it?! I’ve always had great respect for teachers. I couldn’t do it. Y’all are not paid enough and don’t get the credit you deserve. I see you, I thank you, and I love you for what you do for our kids. As a small token of my appreciation, and an attempt to make your lives even just a little easier, I’ve scoured the web for a few (free!) resources for teachers.
1. In a recent blog post, Hey Teach! provides a list of ten free lesson planning resources for teachers. From language arts to STEM and history, this list is comprehensive, free, and sure to help our teachers plan their days. The list includes resources from PBS, Scholastic, EPIC, the Stanford History Education Group, National Geographic and more.
2. TeachStarter has an online gallery that includes a TON of free printable worksheets, infographics, posters, and flashcards. From shapes and colors to word problems and vocabulary, TeachStarter has resources for all ages and subjects.
3. Teacher Created Resources is an educational publishing company founded by Mary Dupuy Smith, a classroom teacher. All of their products are "created by teachers for teachers and parents." Their website lets you filter activities by grade and subject, providing detailed descriptions for lessons including the objective, focus areas, and any supplies needed (with links to free supporting materials!).
4. DogoNews provides student-appropriate news articles, with original and simplified options to appeal to a wide-range of ages and reading abilities. You can also listen to the article, which is a terrific option for struggling readers.
5. Learning for Justice promotes diversity and fights racism by providing inclusive education programs that forge pathways toward building equitable societies. From topics such as bullying, immigration, race, religion, and ability, teachers are sure to find resources to help tackle even some of the most challenging questions and topics from our young learners.
6. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Beeloo! With easy to assemble, curated activity packets for a wide range of ages and interests, Beeloo provides teachers (and parents!) with free, printable resources to include in curriculum, help with downtime between lessons, fast finishers or keep kids engaged when bad weather means recess is indoors (and so much more!).
By now, we hope you know that Beeloo offers tons of fabulously amazing, printable activities and crafts for kids of all ages. But, did you know these activities are also helping your kiddos develop critical skills?! Keep reading to learn about all the ways coloring, mazes, and more are good for your kids! We also have links to resources if you want to dive deeper on the educational benefits of printable activities.
Coloring - coloring and drawing are likely some of the first craft activities your kiddo learned. From scribbling to carefully staying in the lines, children are developing fine motor skills, training their brains to focus on a task, and allowing their busy bodies a time to relax. Free-form coloring and drawing also promotes creativity. Best of all, free coloring pages are readily available for kids (and adults!) in countless themes that are sure to thrill your little ones. Whether it’s a rainy day, you’re driving in the car, or just need some creative craft time, coloring is a fun and developmentally fabulous option for you and your kids.
Mazes - another fun activity for children of all ages, mazes not only provide a leisurely passtime, but they also offer tremendous benefits! In addition to the wonderful attributes of coloring and drawing, mazes require logic which boosts cognitive function, sharpens concentration, and increases memory. Mazes also strengthen visual skills. Before starting a maze, children scan the page to plan out their next move, allowing them to scrutinize complex settings and overcome obstacles. Mazes are meant to be challenging and often require kids to retrace their steps back to a critical turning point and try again. This builds patience and perseverance while also fostering confidence when children ultimately solve the maze.
Crosswords - while the New York Times may come to mind when you think of crossword puzzles, there are plenty of kid-friendly options available nowadays. You can even find picture crosswords for brand new readers. Crosswords help kids improve their analytical skills, build memory, and improve their vocabulary. Similar to mazes, crosswords also require logic and reasoning, exercising the brain in all kinds of ways!
Word Searches - building on some of the same benefits of crosswords, word searches improve spelling skills as children look back and forth between the printed word and the puzzle of letters. They will start to look for patterns in the words, which helps with recognition and retention of the word and how it's spelled.
Color by Number Grids - an all-time favorite, color by number activities offer yet another set of benefits for your kiddos! From the get-go, it requires them to follow instructions. The concept is specific and simple, which is perfect practice especially for younger children. Also appealing to the younger crowd, these activities require color and number recognition which are key preschool and kindergarten readiness concepts (and color by number is way more fun than looking at flashcards!). Older kids will love these too, completing more complex pictures that foster their sense of accomplishment and build confidence.
Are you looking for a one-stop, fabulously easy way to bring all of these great activities to your kids, in themes and patterns they will love?! Look no further than Beeloo’s packet builder. With hundreds of options to choose from, but only 30 seconds to build, you can create a curated, developmentally enriching experience for your kiddos.
More than just a three-day weekend, President’s Day is an opportunity for Americans to celebrate our current and past presidents. Created in 1885 in honor of George Washington, President’s Day was historically held on his birthday of February 22nd each year. However, in 1971 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was created to create more three-day weekends for American workers, moved the holiday permanently to the third Monday of February. We now recognize this holiday not only as a tribute to George Washington, but to all of our Nation’s presidents. Looking for some fun ways to celebrate this holiday with your kids? Here are some of our favorites:
1. Write a letter to the President. You’re never too young to write to our nation’s leaders. Have your kiddos write a letter with their thoughts or ideas on current or new policies. They don’t have to be lengthy or even realistically implementable. When I asked my eight-year-old daughter what she would want the president to change, she said she wanted a new law allowing children to bring stuffies (stuffed animals) to school every day because it made kids feel safe and happy. The address to mail your letter to can be found here.
2. Take a virtual field trip to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidential Library and museum. FDR was the only president to serve more than two terms (term limits weren’t imposed until after his presidency). This virtual tour will provide insight into Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s work, in the oval office and beyond.
3. Read books about President’s Day and being a president (not just of the United States!). Some of our favorites are:
4. Imagine what it would be like to be the President! Check out this free worksheet from Teach Starter that helps kids think about what they would change, what they would try to do, and what they would need help with if they were president.
5. Older kids might enjoy The Presidents Game, a rummy-style card game for two to four players. You can get the free printable here.
6. Want to try your hand at learning all of the names of the presidents? This video puts the names in song form to help you learn!
7. Create an edible log cabin. Did you know that Lincoln Logs were named after President Abraham Lincoln? The former president was born in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky. If you don’t have this infamous toy lying around, no worries! Create your own (edible) log cabin using peanut butter and pretzel sticks!
8. Don’t forget all the President’s Day themed printable activities on Beeloo. We’ve got coloring pages, color by number, mazes, crosswords, word searches and more!
When it comes to providing fun and engaging alternatives to screen time for kids, there are endless possibilities of creative and imaginative play that can spark a child's curiosity and offer hours of entertainment for the whole family. With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to choose the best toys that not only entertain but also support your child's development and encourage open-ended play. That's why we've compiled a list of 5 screen-free toys and companies we love that will delight kids and parents alike. These toys offer a wide range of options from building, storytelling, and exploring to fostering creativity, cognitive development, and strengthening motor skills.
Tiny Earth Toys - this company wasn’t around when my kiddo was little, but I really wish they were! Tiny Earth Toys allows you to rent age-based, educational toys for your kids. You can curate toys based on your child’s age, from infancy to five years, and have a new set of toys delivered every two months. All of their toys are made of wood (plastic-free!) and designed to meet a child’s developmental needs. Free returns and shipping every two months means that your child has plenty of time to explore their new toys and master skills without getting bored, while also reducing your carbon footprint. What’s not to love?!
Little Passports - a monthly subscription service, Little Passports aims to inspire every little builder, artist, storyteller, and experimenter with creative discoveries. You have complete control over the age range and even interest area of your box. With activities curated for kids from 3 - 8+ years, in topics including animals, science, exploration, space, and cooking, you’re bound to find something that appeals to your kiddo’s interest.
Magna-Tiles - These magnetic building tiles allow for creative, open-ended play for kids of all ages. I can personally attest that these are worth the investment. My daughter has consistently played with her Magna-Tiles since she was three (and she just turned eight!). From building houses and towers to race car tracks and trains, these are extremely versatile toys that also support cognitive development, boost creative thinking, and strengthen motor skills (and parents…these are fun for you too, with countless ways to engage with your kiddos!).
Lego - Let’s not forget about Legos! Another creative building toy, Lego provides options for kiddos from 1.5 - 18+ years old with a mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. Their Duplo sets have larger blocks for little hands while regular sets are better for kids 4+. The variety is endless, from planes, trains, and automobiles to the Roman Colosseum and our favorites from the worlds of Harry Potter and Frozen. My daughter loves the Creator sets, which allows you to make three different items from the same set of blocks. The ability to build, dismantle, and re-build something different keeps her interested, while eliminating the need to consistently buy new sets.
Mudpuppy - this company offers a wide range of non-digital and environmentally friendly puzzles, games, and toys for children and the young at heart. Mudpuppy believes in creating toys that help kids' unplug and spend less time in front of screens with modern designs that are fun and interesting. Offering a huge range of toys, puzzles, and games, you are sure to find something that your child will love. My daughter recently received one of Mudpuppy’s coloring rolls for her birthday, which is 10 feet of creative coloring fun! She was thrilled to have a coloring project that was different from a regular book. I can also attest that Mudpuppy’s puzzles are equally entertaining and something that our whole family loves to do together!
There are countless options for screen-free toys and activities that can provide endless entertainment for children and families. Whether you choose to rent educational toys, subscribe to a monthly discovery box, or invest in open-ended building sets, these screen-free options can provide hours of fun and engagement for kids while also supporting their development and reducing screen time.
The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child. While our village may look a little different than those of historic times, the network, support, and advice is there nonetheless. At Beeloo, we strive to be part of your village by providing screen free fun for kids of all ages. If you’re looking to expand your village, we recommend checking out these parenting influencers who are dedicated to the health and wellness of children, from toddlers to teens. We are learning a lot from them and we think you will too.
Screen Free Parenting
Dr. Screen Free Mom and Screen Free Dad share research and provide alternatives to screen time. Dr. Owens wrote a book called Spoiled Right: Delaying Screen Time and Giving Children What They Really Need. This dynamic duo even created a board game called Starting Lines. Lots of great resources and worth a follow. Check out their website, or follow them on Instagram or Facebook.
As one of the most followed parenting influencers on instagram, Susie Allison has an incredible wealth of ideas to entertain kids from her experience as a mom to 3 kids and her training in Early Childhood education. She also created Playing Preschool, a homeschool preschool program and a book Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting. Check out her website, or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.
Dr. Laura Markham is a clinical psychologist who has made it her mission to help parents with practical solutions. She has created a parenting model she calls Peaceful parenting. You can find her on social media, speaking or in her several best selling books. Check out her website, or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.
Days with Grey
Beth is a veteran teacher and mom of three boys. She has so many resources to help parents connect with their kids through play based learning. Check out her website, or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.
Janet is an author and podcast host and has dedicated her diverse career to helping other parents make parenting easier and more fun. Check out her website, or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.
Dr. Cara Goodwin takes recent scientific research and translating it into information that parents can use in their everyday lives! In a world where anyone can share their opinions, her content shares the science based research that can help you be a better parent. Check out her website, or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.
It seems as if everywhere we go there is new, emerging tech ready to captivate us. We know what it’s like to want the newest widget, phone, tablet, etc. While as adults we may be able to manage our own screen time indulgences, our kids are more susceptible and may not understand yet the implications of so much screen time. Thankfully, there are several nonprofit organizations working to bring awareness of the detrimental effects of screen time on our kids and provide amazing alternatives for play and learning. Here are some of our favorites:
Screen Sanity: Their mission is to “create a world where kids are captivated by life, not screens.” Founded in 2018 by a trio of moms, Screen Sanity helps families and communities pursue digital health in order to reduce loneliness, depression, anxiety and suicide in a socially isolated society. They tackle hard questions that parent’s face, such as “When should I get my kid a smartphone?” and “How should I prepare them for social media?” As a parent of an elementary school-aged child, these are already questions I’m asking myself. This world is very different from the world I grew up in (hint: cell phones were definitely not a thing when I was a kid/teen) and preparing for this reality is a huge concern of mine. Screen Sanity is a great resource for parents who are struggling, or who want to be more informed, with navigating screens and tech with your kids.
Fairplay: Fairplay is the leading nonprofit organization committed to helping children thrive in an increasingly commercialized, screen-obsessed culture, and the only organization dedicated to ending marketing to children. Their advocacy efforts are grounded in the overwhelming evidence that child-targeted marketing – and the excessive screen time it encourages – undermines kids’ healthy development. If the topic of child-targeted marketing (and its negative effects) has piqued your interest, this is definitely an organization you should check out.
Children’s Screen Time Action Network: The Screen Time Action Network at Fairplay is a coalition of practitioners, educators, advocates, and parents working to promote a healthy childhood by reducing the amount of time kids spend with digital devices. One of their programs, Action Network Live!, brings the leading professionals straight to your living room with videos aimed at educating parents (and their kids!) about a wide range of topics, from giving up screens to cyberbullying and more.
Healthy Screen Habits: This nonprofit has developed five core habits that will help combat some of the most problematic screen-use issues we see today. These five habits provide the biggest “bang for your buck” when it comes to parenting with technology. Here’s a synopsis:
Common Sense Media: This organization believes in media that inspires and entertains families of all kinds, in technology that protects privacy and supports communities, and in learning tools that prepare students and teachers for success in a connected world. Common Sense Media provides a range of services, from high-quality media recommendations to internet access for all learners, making media and technology safer, healthier, and more equitable for kids everywhere. If you’re a parent who wants more information about the latest game, app, movie, podcast, book, or TV show your kid is interested in, you should definitely have Common Sense Media’s website bookmarked.
Children and Screens: This nonprofit was founded by Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, who has spent her career in public service ranging from non-profit development, medicine and philanthropy devoted to children and adolescents. As a parent herself, Dr. Hurst-Della Pietra was curious to understand the cognitive and long-term impacts of frequent technology use among her own children. She started Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development in 2013 to:
Advance funding in the emerging field of digital media and children
The Institute promotes objective, inclusive, integrative scientific research by scholars with diverse perspectives from all relevant disciplines. If this research sounds intriguing to you, check out their website for a ton of resources, publications, and recommendations you can use when deciding how to manage your family’s tech use.
These organizations are teaching, educating and fighting on behalf of parents everywhere, so we ask you to support them any way that you can.
Going out to eat should be relaxing. No cooking, no dishes, no stress. But if you’re a parent, you probably know all too well that restaurants and kids don’t always mix. If you’re like most parents, you probably scan the menu for items your bland-taste-budded kiddos will eat, ensure the restaurant isn’t too fancy (cloth table cloths are generally a no-go), and hope there is still a decent selection of entrees (and wine) for you to enjoy. Then there’s the struggle to keep the little balls of energy entertained before you order, after you order, and hopefully while you eat. Two out of three isn’t bad, but then you’re likely taking your meal home and reheating it for lunch the next day. Not exactly the stress-free outing most people hope for. While we can’t make every menu kid-friendly, we can help you entertain your kiddos with (screen-free!) fun so you can enjoy your meal and maybe even some uninterrupted adult conversation. Here’s five activities to try when at a restaurant with your kids:
1. What’s missing? - a take on the classic memory game, set out some items on the table (think sugar packets, salt shakers, silverware, etc), give your kiddos a moment to memorize the items, and then have them close their eyes. Take one item away and then ask them: “What’s missing?” If the items on the table aren’t interesting enough, I usually find lots of things at the bottom of my purse that can add variety.
2. Straw tic tac toe - use four straws to create a makeshift tic-tac-toe board (you can also use butter knives if your restaurant doesn’t provide straws). Sugar packets, coins, or other small objects can be used for the “Xs” and Os”.
3. Menu missions - ask your kids to be detectives assigned to a top secret mission, using their menus to discover clues. You can ask them questions, such as: What’s the most expensive item on the menu? What’s the least expensive item on the menu? If you have $40, what could you order? How many times can you find the word “fish”? (or any other word) Can you find all of the letters of the alphabet? How many “As” can you find? This variation can be played with multiples and they can “race” to find all of the letters!
4. I spy - another classic, this game is a favorite in our household because it can be played anywhere, no equipment necessary.
5. If you’re able to plan ahead (and we realize this isn’t always the case!) a small bag of activities can work wonders. Check out our blog about road trips with kids for some compact, travel-friendly ideas! Also don’t forget that you can build an activity packet right from our website. With coloring pages, mazes, cross-words, and more, these are sure to keep the kids occupied long enough for you to have an appetizer and dinner!
Good luck parents and happy dining!
Roses are red, violets are blue. Valentine’s Day is coming and there’s so much to do! For those of you with school-aged kiddos, you may not have started thinking about the Valentine’s Day class parties, but the day is fast approaching! We often think of Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate love and romance, but what’s the history behind the cards and roses?
Historians have many theories, but no exact understanding of the true origins of Valentine’s Day. Some believe the day commemorates St. Valentine, a priest who lived in third century Rome. Legend has it that the emperor at the time believed that single men made better soldiers and therefore forbid young men from marrying. St. Valentine thought this act was unjust and performed marriages for young lovers in secret. Another theory suggests that St. Valentine helped Christians escape Roman prisons and was eventually imprisoned himself for doing so. The imprisoned saint was thought to have sent the first “valentine” to a young woman believed to be the jailor’s daughter, who would visit him often. It is alleged that he signed his notes “from your valentine” which is a sentiment still used today.
Whatever the origin of the holiday, nowadays Valentine’s Day is often celebrated by sharing sentiments of love through cards or gifts. If you need some inspiration on how to celebrate the day with your kiddos, try out some of these ideas:
1. Cut out paper hearts and write one reason you love your child on each one (the number is up to you!). Tape the hearts to their bedroom door the night before Valentine’s Day so they awake to your sentiments of love. If you’re short on construction paper, sticky notes work too!
2. You can also write notes on your kid’s snack for the day. Bananas and oranges both have peels that you can write a lovely message on. When it’s time for snack, the peel (and ink) get tossed, but I bet your kid’s smile stays around for the rest of the afternoon.
3. Give your kiddo a coupon for a one-on-one date with you! The date doesn’t have to be elaborate. I did this with my daughter and she chose to have a picnic lunch in the park followed by a bike ride. The dedicated time filled both our hearts and has become a new tradition we both look forward to.
4. Share the love! Consider making some valentines together to deliver to those who may not receive anything otherwise. Think about your local nursing home, your mailman, or a local hospital or fire station. Most will let you drop off cards and some will even let you deliver them personally. This is sure to make everyone feel loved!
5. Look for love! This is a game you can play with your kids at home or as you’re out and about. Have them look around for different ways people are displaying love. This could be two people holding hands, an owner playing fetch with his dog, or someone holding a door open for someone else. Love and kindness are all around!
Today we are happy to announce major updates to Beeloo. Our team has been hard at work to fulfill our vision of creating a daily alternative to screen time through printable crafts and activities.
Part of what makes screen time so addictive and appealing to kids is the variety of shows, movies or games that they can access. Kids love options. That is why we are excited to announce two new craft types added to the platform.
These two new craft types provide not only entertainment but practice key early reading skills. We’ve added word scramble crafts across all of our themes at various difficulty levels. These additional crafts now take our total platform craft count to over 5,000!
We also now have crossword puzzles, including picture crossword puzzles for the new reader for our Ocean, Transportation, Animal and Martin Luther King Jr Day themes. If you have never seen a picture crossword puzzle, check out this video from one of our lead product testers. Even brand new readers can have a lot of fun with picture crossword puzzles.
It’s safe to say that a lot of kids love animals and the mystical creatures, mermaids, so we are excited to say we now have them as themes. In case you missed it, we also added MLK Day and Cats a few weeks ago.
Kids love mazes. We've gotten feedback that for some kids and parents that the mazes we had were just not hard enough. That's why we've now pushed the limits and made our mazes even harder.
We will continue to aggressively add craft types and themes so that your kids have endless options to keep them excited daily.
Now that our total number of crafts on Beeloo are over 5,000 we have improved search to better help find crafts your kids will love. You can now toggle on and off various themes and crafts right in the drop down menu to help you create a printable packet that will keep your kids entertained for hours.
Lastly, we’ve seen parents on Beeloo make amazing customized printable packets to teach their kids about a holiday like MLK day, for their kids to do while they make dinner each night or to take with them to a restaurant for the long wait for food. We know you might want to print the same packet or update it, so you can now create a profile to view, organize and edit packets that you’ve made. As part of your profile you can opt in or out of various themes depending on interests and outline the likes and dislikes for your kids.
We will be asking power users to create accounts and share their preferences because in the future Beeloo will be able to build printable activity packs automatically based on your use and interests as seamlessly as Spotify creates a playlist for you or Netflix recommends a movie. We hope you’re excited about all these updates as we are and please reach out if you have any feedback.
A big thanks to the Beeloo team for making this happen and all of our early adopters that have been so generous with their feedback to help us improve our platform.
Derek Pando - CEO & Founder of Beeloo
Happy New Year Beeloo Family! We hope your holiday festivities were merry and restful. As we are all starting to go back to work and school, you may have glanced at your calendar and noticed an upcoming federal holiday: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. More than just another three-day weekend, MLK Day is an opportunity for us to pause, remember, and honor one of the most prominent leaders of our country’s civil rights movement. In December of 1955, Dr. King led the Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama which would last a total of 382 days and result in the Supreme Court determination that laws requiring segregation on buses were unconstitutional. In the 11-year period following the Bus Boycott, Dr. King traveled over six million miles, delivered over twenty-five hundred speeches, and wrote five books advocating for action against injustice. In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for civil rights for the Afro-American population. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 and President Regan signed the holiday into law in 1983 to honor Dr. King and his contributions to our nation. However, it wasn’t until 2000 that all 50 states officially started observing the holiday, which falls on the third Monday in January, near Dr. King’s birthday of January 15th. This year, when MLK day comes around, we encourage you to share the story of Martin Luther King Jr. with your kids and family members. Here are some great resources to get you started:
1. If you and your kids would like to learn more about Dr. King’s life and his work, check out this video from Homeschool Pop.
2. If you’d like to take a trip to your local library, you’ll find a ton of books about Dr. King. Some of our favorites are “A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation,” and “Martin Luther King Jr. – Little People, Big Dreams.”
3. If music is your thing, check out these 10 songs about Martin Luther King Jr.
4. If you’d like to watch Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, you can view it here.
5. If you’re local to Memphis, TN, or happen to be passing through, check out the Civil Rights Museum located in the Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. King’s assassination.
6. Lastly, feel free to check out our collection of curated activities in honor of MLK day.
We honor Dr. King this coming holiday, and every day, for his dedication, service, and sacrifice. The mark he left on our world will never be forgotten.
As the New Year approaches, some of you may be thinking about setting goals or resolutions as a way to improve your personal or professional lives. Popular resolutions might include exercising more, eating healthier, saving money, or learning a new skill. Let us add one more idea to your list: match screen time with green time.
You might have pondered a resolution to limit your screen time or to find healthier ways to use technology in order to improve your overall well-being. We think this is a great idea! As you approach the new year, try to find ways to take in the great outdoors, whether this be your backyard, a local park, or even forests, mountains, and beaches. While screens seem to be an integral part of our everyday lives in some way or another, there are ways we can find balance. Check out this guide from 1000 Hours Outside. They offer tons of resources for families looking to spend less time with tech and more time with nature. Their online community is extensive and welcoming. What do you have to lose?
Nature not your thing? No worries! There are tons of other ways you can strive to be screen free in 2023. An approach we take in our house is no screens after dinner. That means my husband and I aren’t on our phones and no one is sitting in front of a tablet or TV. The one exception is Friday Family Movie Night, which has been a ritual for us for quite a while (by the time Friday comes around, a movie and cuddles with my kids is about all I’m capable of!). Try adding a Family Game Night if movies aren’t your thing or pick out a chapter book at the library that you and the kiddos can read together.
Whatever your resolutions may be, we wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year. See you in 2023!
With Thanksgiving behind us, it is now safe to blast those Christmas tunes, hang the stockings, set out the menorah, and put up the tree (although we realize some of you probably did this right after Halloween!). This time of year brings a chill to the air, carolers in the streets, Christmas markets, and dreams of hot cocoa walks through the neighborhood to see everyone’s well adorned Christmas lights. It truly is magic…for our kids. As parents, this time of year can bring about a new kind of stress and list making that even St. Nick couldn’t handle. Christmas cards, gift lists, shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, cleaning - the list goes on. While we would normally savor the opportunity to have our kids pitch in and help (many hands make light work), there are just some things they can’t participate in if we want to keep the magic alive. Before you consider telling the kids the Elf on a Shelf took a multi-year sabbatical, let’s explore some ways to survive the holidays and have a holly jolly time.
1. Let the kids help where they can. Need someone to wrap Aunt Edith’s gift or make place cards for Christmas dinner? These are great activities for kids to help with that will free you up to do other tasks. Kids are usually thrilled when they get to do seemingly adult jobs and we’re pretty sure Aunt Edith won’t mind the unique approach to wrapping.
2. Now is a great time to consider donating unused toys. With the plethora of new gifts likely to come your kid’s way, make space now to help tame the overwhelm later. Check out this article for ideas on where to donate used toys that still have a lot of love to give.
3. Alas, there will come the time when you have to wrap all those presents…I mean, help Santa wrap all those presents (even Santa needs to outsource sometimes!). To keep the kids away while you secretly pull out gifts from whatever hiding spot you deemed worthy this year, check out Beeloo’s curated holiday-themed activity packets.
4. Breath. You got this. We often feel the need to make everything perfect for our kids. Cherish the few years we have with them where this time of year is truly magical. Chances are they won’t notice if the Christmas cards are late or the garland wasn’t hung just right. What they’ll remember is the time they got to spend with you experiencing the holidays together. This is advice straight from the mouth of my seven-year-old, and I think it’s pretty good.
Above all else, have a wonderful holiday season. We wish you and your families nothing but happiness in the new year and beyond.
During this time of thanks, we at Beeloo are grateful for the opportunity to provide screen-free activities for kids of all ages. The health and well-being of our kids (and yours!) is important to us, as is helping parents find balance and manage the crazy lives we lead.
We are also grateful for our team members who make Beeloo possible and for our early adopters who are supporting us in our vision to give parents another daily alternative to screen time.
Did you know that Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863? The tradition, however, dates back to 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag tribe shared an autumn harvest feast that we now acknowledge as Thanksgiving. The menu consisted of turkey, lobster, seal, and even swans, in addition to fruits and vegetables. Historians hypothesize that the meal was cooked using traditional Native American spices and methods, and since there was no oven on the Mayflower and sugar supplies had dwindled during this time, there were no pies, cakes, or other desserts that we typically enjoy. Over time, this period of giving thanks and expressing gratitude has evolved into the holiday we now celebrate, often surrounded by family and friends. With that in mind, what do turkeys, mazes, and pumpkin pie all have in common? They’re all part of our Thanksgiving activity packets!
Before you preheat the oven this Thanksgiving, print out a few color by number, Sudoku, word searches, and coloring pages to keep the kiddos entertained while you put the finishing touches on dinner.
From our families to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s that time of year. Checklists will be checked, tickets purchased, and suitcases packed so you can cram your family into a mode of transportation slightly too small for comfort, all in the name of visiting family for the holidays. This is a righteous activity, of course, and may be slightly more bearable than hosting your cousins twice removed at your place. While traveling is hard, traveling with kids can sometimes be nearly impossible. There are never enough snacks for their bottomless tummies, bathrooms for their peanut-sized bladders, or activities for their restless bodies to make it from one place to another unscathed. The struggle is real. Here are 5 games and activities to keep your kids occupied so you can make it to your destination in (mostly) one piece.
1. Skillmatics Guess in 10 Animal game is the updated version of the 10 Questions game we played as kids. Play in teams or one on one. Pick a card and others have to ask questions to guess the animal shown on your card. Is it an herbivore? Does it live in the forest? This educational, yet fun game is entertaining for both kids and adults! Other variations are available if animals aren’t your thing.
2. Does your kid like stickers? How about paint by number? This Paint by Sticker activity book combines the best of both worlds! Use the mosaic stickers to create your picture, no paint or mess involved!
3. Younger kids will get a kick out of Melissa and Doug’s Water Wow activity books. Just fill the magic brush with water and let your kids “paint” to reveal colorful pictures that can be used over and over again!
4. If a road trip is in your future, this car ride Scavenger Hunt for Kids card game is perfect! Be on the lookout for a stop sign, motorcycle, yellow house and more! 54 different cards will surely keep the kids occupied well after the freeway on ramp.
5. Have you heard of Wikki Stix? These waxed yarn strips are easily bendable, moldable, and sculpt-able into endless mess-free shapes and structures. No cutting, glue, or clean-up required!
Safe travels! We hope your next travel adventure is as stress-free as possible. Want more activities for your kids? (or you…we won’t judge!) Check out our new printable activities, now sort-able by theme, age, and activity type for print-now, play-later fun for your travels!
It’s that time of year again. We’ve rolled back our clocks and it feels like we are now in a state of perpetual darkness until Spring (except you mountain states…no need to gloat Arizona!). This doesn’t bode well for busy parents who savor the ability to have the kiddos play outside while we’re attempting to make dinner, pack lunches for the next day, answer emails from teachers, and…well, you know the drill. The good news is, after more than 100 years, changing our clocks twice a year (or not…you do you) looks to be going away starting in 2023. The bad news is, we still have one more year of darkness impeding on our much-needed outdoor time for our kids. To ease the stress, and reclaim your evenings, here are five (screen-free!) activities to keep your kids busy indoors when it’s too dark to go outside:
1. Q-Tip Dart Game Kids Activity – this game uses items you likely already have around the house: straws, q-tips, and some combination of bins/Tupperware/buckets. Easily adaptable to kids of all ages, this game will surely buy you enough time to get dinner on the table!
2. Left over magazines, newspaper, and even junk mail can be turned into works of art! Have your artists create a collage that can be hung on the fridge, laminated and used as placemats, or even sent to the grandparents!
3. There are two words guaranteed to excite most kids: kinetic sand. The possibilities are endless, and unlike its regular sand counterpart, is pretty easy to clean up. Don’t have any on hand? You can make your own using this recipe, but younger kids will likely need some assistance.
4. Do you kids love Legos, but need a creative revamp? Try making these balloon-powered Lego cars! See how far they can make it go, or have races with different car creations.
5. Want a more comprehensive list of activities? Head over to AhaParenting to view Your Age-by-Age Guide to Screen-Free Activities Your Child Can Do With Minimal Supervision.
6. BONUS! Adults need bonuses too. For more fun-filled activities for your kiddos, head over to our Printables page for coloring pages, mazes, pixleart and more!
Good luck parents. We know the struggle is real. We hope these ideas help you get through your evenings, or are at least a better alternative than throwing your kid a headlamp and hoping for the best. Either way, you do you and let your kids Beeloo!
We remember the time fondly. About to be new parents, we made certain vows and promises to ourselves about how we would raise our kids. Fresh, organic vegetables at every meal, endless hours of outdoor play, and absolutely, positively, no screentime. Then a pandemic moved most of our kids to online schooling for months and our best intentions suddenly went out the window. While kids seem to be mostly back to in-person school, the precedent has been set and the habits have been formed. Also, let’s not kid ourselves. Sometimes handing our child a screen to keep them occupied just makes things a little easier. The unfortunate reality is that screens (like many things) are affecting our kids, and often not in ways we want. Parents, I know this is tough, but it’s time to rip off the screentime band aid and start adding in more screen-free fun to our kid’s days. Not convinced yet? Check out some trusted resources below to understand how screens are impacting our kids.
1. Screen Time and Children (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)
2. Screen Time for Kids: Guidelines, Boundary Setting, and Educational Recommendations (healthline)
3. Children and screen time: How much is too much? (Mayo Clinic)
Phew…we know that was a lot. Congrats, really, on trying to do right by your kids! At Beeloo, we realize busy parents still need to get things done, and this means keeping our kids occupied while we tackle the never-ending list of to-dos. Have no fear, we’re here to help! We are also a team of busy parents trying to get by. One of our solutions to screen-free fun is curated, on-demand activities you can print right from home. Does you kid like unicorns or dinosaurs? We got you! Head over to our Printables page for coloring pages, mazes, color by number and more!
Good luck parents. We know the struggle is real and limiting screentime is going to take some practice. At the end of the day, you’ll need to decide what balance works best for your family. We hope our products are part of that discovery.
The inspiration for Beeloo came when our founder's kids began asking him daily to print coloring pages when he started working from home during the pandemic. One of his daughter’s most consistent requests was Unicorns. That’s right, the magical horse with a horn.
In fact, a quick look at google search data shows us that parents are looking for Unicorn coloring pages at least +70,000 times a month. That is why we wanted to introduce Unicorn themed printable crafts, including of course, coloring pages. Bust out your crayons, print these off and enjoy!
In addition to the Unicorns, with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, we did not want to wait any longer to share activity packets so that you can start to celebrate these holidays with your kids as soon as you’d like. If you have feedback or requests for a favorite theme, please email email@example.com and as promised much more will be coming soon!
As of today, we are sharing publicly free printable crafts and activities here on our website. You’ll find a variety of crafts like coloring pages, color by number, mazes, word searches and more, all around the theme of Halloween and Dinosaurs.
It’s our mission to help parents of young children to have a daily alternative to screen time through printable crafts and activities. For us to accomplish our mission, we are going to have to create and organize printable crafts in ways that have not been done before. This is our first step, share some crafts we have created so we can get feedback to improve and innovate. If you ever have feedback about our crafts or requests, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is just the start, we will now be adding more crafts, new types of crafts and additional themes frequently. You might be surprised with how quickly we’ll be adding to our site. You’ll also see improvements in how you search and discover the large quantities of crafts we will soon have.
We hope you enjoy them!
The Beeloo Team