Free Printable One Direction Coloring Pages, Online Activities

 "One Direction" is an uber-hot new boy band from the United Kingdom. The group consists of five young men: Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Harry Styles. One Direction is best known for their songs: "One Thing","Live While We're Young" and "What Makes You Beautiful." Their dance-pop music and trendy, gangnam dress style makes them very popular with tweens and teens. Looking for free printable activities based on One Direction? Here are coloring pages, games, crafts and puzzles featuring the lads. Use for a One Direction themed birthday party. Ah, it reminds of me of my major crush on the Bay City Rollers in the late 70s! Read more

Free Printable New Year's Day Crafts, Games, Party Activities, Decorations

New Year's Eve has become a largely adult holiday and New Year's Day is primarily given up to watching football. What about children? How can parents involve children in the New Year's festivities? Here are free printable decorations, crafts and games. Any parent who has ever tried to entertain a child while organizing an adult party knows that children get bored easily. If you are planning or attending a New Year's Eve party, you don't want your children to feel left out. Get them busy making New Year's crafts and decorating the house so that they can feel like they are part of the celebration.  read more

Free Printable Christmas Stencils for Cards, Party Decorations

Why spend big on Christmas party decorations or holiday greeting cards? You can make your own crafts with recycled materials and free printable patterns from the internet. Use these online Christmas templates to create neat projects. Along with Christmas stencils (Christian and secular), there are Hanukkah and winter stencils too. I suggest  transferring free printable stencils onto recycled cardboard cereal boxes then cut them out with an X-acto knife. You might also transfer stencils (using permanent marker) onto purchased stencil plastic called Mylar, available at Hobby Lobby, Jo-Anne Fabrics and other craft venues. I always look for the green option, so if you want plastic stencils, trace your free printable stencils onto thin sheets of plastic from your recycle bin (milk jugs, plastic packaging etc).  read more

Free Printable Hanukkah Crafts, Games, Puzzles

Hanukkah (also spelling Chanukah as it is pronounced) is the Jewish Festival of Light for Jewish people. It begins at sundown in late November or to mid December on the western calendar. For 2012, Chanukah begins Dec. 8. It runs for eights days and ends on December 16. On the Hebrew calendar Hanukkah always falls on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. Hanukkah is not the "Jewish Christmas." It celebrates an ancient event that took place during the Maccabeen Revolt (about 167-160 B.C. or BCE) under Judas Maccabeus. This little army was fighting to recover the temple from the mighty Syrian army. It was a pretty lopsided struggle. God caused the lights to remain lit and the oil not to run out for eight days, thus aiding the brave Jews. The lighting of the nine-branch menorah (the ninth candle is called the Shammash candle and is used the light the others) commemorates this event. This story can be found in the Catholic version of the Bible in the book of Maccabees.  Here are free printable crafts and activities to celebrate Hanukkah.  read more

Printable Thanksgiving Party Crafts, Table Decor

Fa La La La La---oops, wrong holiday! I'm getting ahead of myself. Here are free Thanksgiving Day printables and crafts that focus on fall harvest, native Americans and pilgrims. And we can't forget turkeys! The internet is your one-stop of cute for free holiday craft activities. Have printer will craft! Click here for Thanksgiving coloring pages, party decorations, centerpieces, cornucopias, pilgrim and American Indian decor and more. Just right for home, school, work or church parties! And don't forget seniors--they love Thanksgiving crafts. Free Printable Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities

Printable Diwali Party Decorations, Crafts

Diwali, is a five-day Hindu new year "festival of lights." It's also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains. Diwali, or Deepavali, honors Lakshmi (goddess of prosperity) and Ganesha, the elephant-headed goddess (shown left). Diwali is a time of meditation, called puja, followed by festivities and feasting. Special sweets called "mithai" are served. In sanskrit, Diwali means "garland of lights." So candles figure heavily in Diwali decor. Diwali 2012 is celebrated from November 13-17 in the western calendar (Ashwin to early Kartika in the Indian calendar). Here are printable party decorations for Diwali celebrations. Free Printable Diwali Party Decorations

Free Printable Wiccan Crafts for Autumnal Equinox, Samhain

The Wiccan (pagan) holiday of Samhain is celebrated on Oct. 31, along with Halloween. Samhain activities include bonfires, incantations and magic of all kinds. Here are free printable Wiccan, fairy and pagan coloring pages and crafts. These would fit in with Halloween activities. Use them for social studies to explore different world religions. Use for literature studies of fantasy genre and to supplement reading on witchcraft and magic-themed fiction. I've included companion literature suggestions. Why not use these free printable wiccan crafts in a book party or social studies culture celebration? There are crafts and activities for all holidays on the wiccan calendar: Use for at-home wiccan observances, too. Free Printable Wiccan, Fairies, Witches Coloring Craft Activities

Cheap, parent-friendly kids' birthday party tips

As a mom to four kids, ages 24 to 14, I've planned a plethora of kids' parties. I'm also a teacher and I've hosted numerous classroom events. I've had some great successes and colossal fails. From those experiences, I've put together a list of tips for parents on planning kids' parties. These activities work for both gender parties. I did a lot of parties as a "single mom" as my husband worked a lot and couldn't help. I've written these tips with single adults in mind. Being a frugalista, these hints focus on cheap, homemade party ideas.  I've included some free printable party games and crafts, too. Cheap, parent-friendly kids' birthday party tips 

Easy, cheap kids fall birthday party tips

Got a child with a fall birthday? Autumn is a great time for an outdoor birthday party. Sometimes, fall outdoor parties are easier to manage because it's cooler. Here's an easy, cheap kids' birthday bash, suitable for preschool to elementary age children. I've included tips for food, crafts, games, activities and cleanup.  Easy, cheap kids' fall birthday party tips

My Cheap Wedding Reception Under $800

My husband and I paid for our own wedding and reception. We paid everything off in advance, incurred no debt and charged nothing. Our cheap wedding reception cost under $800 for 150 people, including food, cake, decorations, music, flowers, equipment and hall rental. This was 25 years ago, but I could still do it today and so can you. Just follow our frugal lead.  My Cheap Wedding Reception Under $800

Anti Halloween Alternative Party, Family Activities to Trick or Treat, Celebrate Halloween at Home


Halloween is one of the top three events (with birthday and Christmas) most children look forward to each year. Some kids plan their trick or treat costumes months in advance. So what happens, if, when the big day rolls around, the child is too ill to trick or treat? Here are activities you can do at home. These tips will work for parents who don't like door-to-door trick or treating, or who are religiously opposed to Halloween, too. Use these ideas for church harvest party Halloween alternative events, too. Anti-Halloween alternative games, crafts, candy and treat ideas.  Family Activities to Trick or Treat, Celebrate Halloween with a Sick Child

Free Printable American Girl Party Activities, Crafts, Games

I just discovered a plethora of free printable American Girl activities, coloring, crafts, skits, literature based lessons, writing prompts, games, puzzles and lesson plans. The Pleasant Company's American Girl characters each represent a different part of the country, time period and ethnic background. American Girl Publishing has created these free printables for the historical characters in their book series. Activities are added as new character is created. Free Printable American Girl Activities, Crafts, Games

My Cheap Wedding Under $1,000 for Everything

My husband and I paid for own wedding, reception and honeymoon. We had a cheap wedding, charged nothing and paid it off without going into debt. We paid under $1,000 for a 200-guest wedding, including wedding dress, accessories, attire, tuxedo, invitations, stationary, flowers, decorations, church, music, minister stipend, rental equipment, hairstylist and pictures. Here's how.  My Cheap Wedding Under $1,000 for Everything 

Back to School Party, Labor Day Social Studies Lesson Plans

Labor Day makes us think of picnics, parades and the last vacation before school starts. It's important to remember why we have a Labor Day and what it's all about. Labor Day is a day set aside to honor the work that people perform to care for loved ones and keep our country functioning. We honor too those who have lost their lives on the job, in accidents, strikes, lockouts or in the labor organizing process. Here's a classroom party planner for Labor Day Social Studies Lesson Planner. There are career day ideas, a preschool occupations unit and activities to explore the holiday.

Free Printable Star Charts, Night Sky Maps for Perseid Meteor Shower Party, Mars Party

Just in time for the Perseids meteor shower (August 11, 2012, morning crescent) here are printable night sky maps and star charts. Okay, an annual meteor shower isn't a holiday, but I think it's a reason to have a party. You might also use the for a Mars party to celebrate the landing of the Curiosity rover on the red planet.

Astronomy is one of the most fascinating sciences to share with kids. Stars are only visible at night, but kids can enjoy stargazing each night mostly anywhere and it costs nothing. Piggybacking on my star-gazing slumber party ideas, here are Free Printable Star Charts, Constellation Maps for Astronomy and Earth Science.

Creative summer slumber party for kids: Backyard stargazer bash

Summer vacation is the perfect time for kids trapped indoors during the school year to reconnect with nature (it's also an excuse for parents to knock off work and get some much-needed mental refreshment). Why not attend to both of those needs with a stargazing family slumber party, compliments of Mother Nature? Here's all you need for this easy, inexpensive (darn near free) family fest. Creative summer slumber party for kids: Backyard stargazer bash . For free printable star charts, night sky maps and astronomy activities, visit this link Free Printable Star Charts and Astronomy Lessons.

Free Printable Ramadan, Eid, Islamic Activities for Children 2012

For Muslims, Ramadan is holy season marked by prayer, fasting and abstinence. Ramadan, in the Islamic calendar is a month-long observance, falling roughly in the month of August. After Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr (also called simply Eid). In 2012, Ramadan begins on July 20. Here are free printable activities to help children explore Ramadan and Eid.
Free Printable Ramadan and Islamic Activities for Children 


Easy Kids 4th of July Party Planners--History, Crafts, Games, Food, Fun

Here's a blowout of crafts, games, activities, coloring pages, food and fun for 4th of July.


Check out my friend Karen Barnes' printable coloring pages article. Karen is the goddess of cool printable crafts.

And for 4th-festival sweet treats recipes, here are tummy-yummies from my pal Linda Ann Nickerson--4th of July Desserts and Treats.

My buddy Marie Anne St. Jean shares pet-friendly 4th of July picnic ideas (I love the costume ideas!).

From food guru (and all-round fun gal) Debbie Henthorn, here are No Ho-Hum Burgers--Entrees for the 4th of July.

Crafty Kay Wittenhauer shares this crocheted patriotic wreath pattern (My hat is off to yarn divas. In my hands, needles become weapons of mass destruction!)

Sylvia Cochran provides links for 4th of July history lesson plans and crafts. I love how she groups them by age-appropriate level.

Music is a must for celebrating our nation's birthday. My gal pal Carly Hart shares patriotic play list for 4th of July parties.

How about throwing an America birthday party for a fun and educational 4th of July? Children and adults of all ages will love these inexpensive games, crafts, activities and food.  Easy Kids' 4th of July Party Planner with U.S. History Ideas.

However you celebrate the 4th of July, be safe. If you're working, thanks for your contribution. 

Top 10 Fathers Day Gifts for Dads of Any Age, Interest, Budget

Written for Christmas, this article offers appropriate gifts suggestions for Father's Day, too. Why is it that holiday shopping for women is so easy, but finding gifts for men is so difficult? Fathers are especially challenging to shop for. Got a few hard-to-shop for dads on your holiday giving list? Here are the top 10 gifts that are sure to please Dad.

One of the difficult parts about shopping for dads is that some of them say, "I don't need anything for Christmas." You and he both know that you are still going to get him a gift, however. So take him at his word. Buy him a gift that he doesn't need, just for fun. The secret to holiday gift-giving for anyone, especially Dad, is to buy something special, unrelated to work and a little frivolous. Most dads don't buy many luxuries for themselves. Spoil dad a little. I don't mean that you should give dad a useless gift. Remember "Billy Big Mouth Bass," the singing fish plaque? That's not what I mean; give dad a gift which will be a special treat and still useful. Read more at Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Dads of Any Age 

Free Printable Cars Coloring Pages, Vehicle Coloring Pages

Raise your hand if you loved Disney Pixar's movie "Cars 2"? I'm an an adult and I still love Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Luigi, Ramone and all the friends from Radiator Springs. I personally think that Tow Mater is one of the most lovable Disney Pixar characters of all times. I also love the nod to the "Tappet Brothers" from PBS's "Car Talk." Looking to plan a "Cars 2" birthday party? Want free printable "Cars" movie coloring pages? Read on Free Printable Disney Cars Movie and Vehicle Coloring Pages .By the way, I added links for lots of vehicle coloring pages, too. You can color cars, trucks and motorcycle of every era, style and design. Perfect for a hot rod birthday bash.

Free Printable Disney Princess Crafts Activities, Greeting Cards and Party Supplies

Alright, I confess. I'm a grown,  nearly 50-year-old woman and I still love fairies and princesses. Now princess-themed stuff is available everywhere. Back then, we improvised. So my inner 5-year-old is tickled to share these free printable Disney crafts. Disney's princesses, Ariel the Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White, Mulan, Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Pocahontas, Sleeping Beauty (my personal fave) and now Tiana have been childrens' favorites for generations. Here are free printable Disney princess craft activities, greeting cards and party supplies. Your first stop to Disney princess enchantment begins at Disney Family, where you will find a whole page devoted to Disney princess activities, party games, crafts, treats, recipes and printables. After you explore this wonderland of enchanted Disney princess fun, please click here for the Disney princess crafts page. On this link, you will find not only free printables but loads of other cute easy to make Disney princess crafts. I want you to see all the Disney princess crafts because they are really clever and might inspire some great ideas for your little princess or party theme. Read more at Free Printable Disney Princess Crafts Activities, Greeting Cards and Party Supplies

Free Printable Easter Crafts, Party Games, Activities

 Whether you celebrate Easter as a religious holiday or just enjoy the eggs, bunnies and candy, the holiday is fun for young and old. Coming as it does in spring, Easter is a celebration of new life and nature. For kids, it's a great time to explore science concepts of plant life, insects and baby animals. Here are free printable Easter crafts, coloring pages and activities for classroom, homeschool or just family fun. Read more at Free Printable Easter Crafts, Activities, Decorations

Free Printable Passover Activities, Crafts, Games

Passover or Pesach, is the highest celebration in the Jewish Hebrew calendar. Passover is an eight day holiday, beginning with two days of no work, four days of limited work and ending with two days of no work. The passover celebration includes several Seder meals, with roast lamb, bitter herbs and matzo bread. Passover commemorates the passing over of the angel of death during the ten plagues of Egypt. God punished the Egyptians for the enslavement of the Hebrews. First born male infants were to die unless the blood of a lamb was put on the lintels and door posts. Passover, or Pesach, is part of Christian calendar as well; it was at their passover meal that Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist or communion. Read more at Free Printable Passover Activities 

Free St. Patricks Day, Party Games, Irish history with children

St. Patricks Day is a feast day, celebrated on March 17, in the Catholic liturgical calendar. Like Valentine's Day, it has also become a major U.S. holiday. Patricus, a Roman Briton was taken from his home as a slave, but returned as a bishop to bring Christianity to Ireland. Speaking as a descendant of Irish immigrants, I'd like to see the day celebrated with fewer green shamrocks and more focus on the religious and cultural significance of the holiday. Here are ways to celebrate the man we call St. Patrick and explore Irish traditions with kids. Read more at Celebrating St. Patricks Day, Irish history with children

Costumes, Not Booze or Food, Are the Best Part of Mardi Gras

What's the best part about Mardi Gras in New Orleans? According to the Huffington Post, most people prefer the booze cruises. I disagree. For me, Mardi Gras is all about the parades, music and best of all the wonderful costumes. Would Mardi Gras be as fun without the alcohol? Absolutely; teetotalers get to enjoy all the color and flavor without the hangover or the unpleasant after-taste. I actually have more fun because I didn't miss everything in a drunken fugue. Read more at Costumes, Not Booze or Food, Are the Best Part of Mardi Gras

Free Printable Easter Activities--Catholic Lent, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday

Easter is the major feast day in the Catholic church. For forty days of Lent we've fasted, prayed and journeyed with Our Lord in His walk to Golgotha. Lent is like an inward spiritual pilgrimage that takes place amidst our everyday lives. Children in the Catholic faith take part in this journey as well. Some are making first reconciliation and are preparing for first Holy Eucharist. At the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, catecumens and candidates will be welcomed into the Church. To celebrate this solemn and festive season, here are free printable lesson plans and activities. Read more at Free Catholic Easter Printables

Free Printable Valentines for Kids

Kids love to exchange valentines on Valentine's Day. Valentines are going up in price just like everything else. How about a green, creative, money saving option? Free printable valentines for school exchanges? Here are many to choose from, including kid-friendly, adult, romantic, cartoon character and religious. Read more at Free Printable Valentines for Kids

Free Printable Valentines Day Craft Activities and Decorations

Free Printable Valentines Day Craft Activities and Decorations Looking for cute free Valentines Day craft activities and party decorations? Here are websites full of free printable crafts, games, party supplies, greeting cards, valentines and holiday activities. Perfect for classroom valentine exchanges and parties. These are perfect for home and classroom use, day care, senior centers, craft clubs, 4H, scouts, church groups and more. Read on...

Free Printable Super Bowl Party Games, Football Coloring Pages

Free Printable Super Bowl and Football Coloring Pages Super Bowl Sunday rolls around and you have invited a house full of friends. The food is ready, the remote at hand. One problem. Your wife decides to leave the children with you and go shopping. Here are free printable Super Bowl coloring pages, games, word puzzles and crafts, to entertain the kiddies so you can enjoy the game. If your kids love the Super Bowl like you but can't last the whole show, these free printable activities will keep them out of mischief when they get restless. You might even use these with your friends if the half-time activities get boring. Read on...

Free Printable Epiphany and Three Kings Day Party Crafts and Game Activities

Free Printable Epiphany, Twelfth Night, Three Kings Day Crafts, Games, Coloring, Activities Epiphany celebrates the Twelfth Night after Christmas. Epiphany, or Three Kings' Day, on January 6, commemorates the visit of the Magi or Wisemen. Here are free printable Epiphany games and crafts to celebrate Three Kings Day. Epiphany is the gift-giving holiday in many countries. Many cultures and traditions have parties to celebrate the coming of the Wisemen to visit and honor baby Jesus. Print and enjoy these holiday crafts for Epiphany. Perfect for social studies, homeschool, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, 4H, day care. Epiphany makes a great back-to-school lesson plan, too. Read on

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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