kids-section

Category : Holidays & Parties

A few weekends back I had the absolute pleasure of co-hosting a backyard tie-dye baby shower for a lovely, creative, and low-key mama-to-be. Our guest of honor was clear from the start that while she loved the idea of celebrating her babe, she did not want the usual play-games-sit-around-opening-gifts format of a classic baby shower. Thus, our “baby chill” was born and an interactive activity like tie-dye immediately came to mind. It turned out to be the ideal way to bring together a group that didn’t know each other very well, while giving the tie-dye loving future mama and papa some awesome little keepsakes.

Decor

We were lucky enough to get a perfectly mild, sunny day. We could be outside in the backyard, which is key when using permanent dyes, so definitely consider weather! Instead of running wild with the tie-dye theme in every aspect of decor, we kept things fun but minimal while playing up the greenery of the yard. Let’s face it, nobody is over letter balloons, so this was a perfect excuse to set the festive tone with a great big “hey baby” as soon as everyone walked in. We continued the “hey baby” slogan throughout on both the invitations and the cake, which happened to be the famous Triple Berry Cake from Sweet Lady Jane in LA — yum!)

tie dye baby shower letter balloons

We had a large hedge wall to work with, so we saw this as our blank canvas of onesies. Not only did this make the theme/activity immediately obvious to the guests, but it also provided an adorable photo backdrop and a general happy baby feel. We created three simple laundry lines by tying twine to the tree trunks in the hedge and simply hanging the plain white onesies with clothes pegs. We bought the packs of onesies in 3 different sizes (3 months, 6 months and 12 months) to ensure the little one would have a year’s worth of tie-dye outfit options.

tie dye baby shower blank onesies

Food

Our lunch option mimicked the simple but interactive vibe of the tie-dye activity. We bought a platter of delicious sandwiches and then created a DIY greek salad bar (inspired by a certain someone’s cravings) so each guest could have a deliciously customized meal. This last-minute purchase took our salads to the next level. The rose was flowing for the non-pregnant guests, and we also made a a delicious, non-alcoholic fizzy mango lemonade.

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baby shower sweet lady jane triple berry cake

Activity

After fueling up, the creative juices started flowing and everyone jumped into the tie-dye full force. We purchased enough onesies for everyone to make one (with a few extras in case of mistakes). These tie-dye kits were a lifesaver. They provided everything we needed in one box: dye, rubber bands, gloves, and plastic table cloths. The box claims to be good for six people, so we bought two as our group was twelve people. However, since we were using such a small amount of dye for onesies, we had more than enough with one box.

We also bought extra gloves (so several people could work at once), and a secondary plastic table cloth for an extra layer of protection. We also found zippered sandwich baggies were excellent for storing the dyed onesies in a mess-free way. The dye needed to sink in for 6-8 hours after application.

tie dye baby shower

In this case, we sent the mama-to-be home with the dyed onesies in the plastic zipper baggies, and she later washed and dried them at home. You could also wash, dry, and present them to her at a later date if she is not as intrepid! Overall, this was an excellent, quick, easy, fun, and personalized way to celebrate a new baby’s arrival.

tie dye baby shower

tie dye baby shower

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Celebrating birthdays and party planning is one of our favorite things. We love everything from choosing the invitations to finding the perfect decor. But sometimes we just can’t find time in the day to plan elaborate parties. We stumbled upon the most adorable (and super easy!) idea for our latest party — a donut party!

donut party

Who doesn’t love donuts? Not only do donuts provide for a super tasty theme, we found putting together a donut party super easy. In just a few simple steps we created a fun, engaging, and not to mention YUMMY party, with very little effort.

donut party food

Donut worry, keep it simple

From decor to the actual food, putting together a donut party was a breeze. We guess everyone loves donuts as much as we do, because we found no shortage of fun decor to make the donut party super festive.

donutparty3Colorful donut bannerssprinkle covered tableware, super cozy donut themed pajamas — we saw donuts everywhere we looked.

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One of our favorite finds was a donut shoppe cardboard display. It doubled as our donut party table centerpiece and provided fun photo opportunities for all of our guests.

donut party kabobs

We discovered some amazing home made donut recipes out there, but we secretly think the magic of this party is getting away with purchasing donuts from your local donut retailer or grocery store. No prep. No clean up. Just simply display a variety of donuts on some fun serving dishes and voila! Party food is served!

donut party drinks

We decided to keep it simple for drinks, too. For the kids we set up a fun milk bar with a variety of chocolate, regular, and strawberry milk. This was a huge hit for the kids. For the adult guests in attendance we mirrored this with a coffee bar. Everyone was fed, hydrated, and happy, while the hardest effort on our part was driving to our local donut shop.

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Make your own donut party

Now we know with kids parties, one of the tricks to success is to keeping them entertained. So on top of feeding them lots of donuts have them make them, too. (Sugar overload? Absolutely! But it’s a party, right?)

makeyourowndonuts

The kids loved getting into this fun and simple activity. Simply get plain donuts from grocery store, some frosting and a variety of sprinkles. We found some inexpensive paint trays at our local dollar store to let each child have their own sprinkles and let them decorate away.

(Note: For a fun — and less sugary alternative — use bagels or apple rounds for this activity. Both would give that desired donut effect.)

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Thanks a hole bunch

The icing on the cake (donut?) at the end of each party is always the favors. For these favors we created a fun “thank you” printable to tie in our donut party theme and attached it to some yummy packaged donut holes. We included a small gift card to our local donut shop for each family, just in case their sweet tooth hasn’t been satisfied with the party alone. Because again, who doesn’t love a good donut?

Our gift to you: download these fun donut themed printables so you can throw your own donut party soon! From birthdays to playdates to simple get togethers the donut party will make your next get together a huge hit!

Donut Party Sign
Donut Party Thanks Favor Tag

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Conversation heart candy goes hand in hand with Valentine’s Day and we have four Valentine’s Day ‘Minute to Win It’ games played with conversation hearts that are fun for all ages. Are you in charge of planning activities for a class Valentine’s Day party? Hosting a Valentine themed playdate? Or maybe you are just looking for some fun activities to do with your kids at home. No matter what the case may be, with only a few supplies you can create tons of Valentine’s fun.

Valentine's Day "Minute to Win It" Games

Set it up

We like to give each child a piece of construction paper as a placemat. It helps to mark their individual work/play space and it gives them a visual to help keep the candies and other supplies in their own area.

Seeing the brightly colored candies in front of them is quite the temptation, so before starting the games we like to allow the kids to each choose three conversation hearts to eat prior to playing the games. That way, it gets the curiosity out of their system and tides them over until the gaming is done.

Game #1: Pick them up

For this ‘Minute to Win It’ game you will need a handful of conversation hearts, two cupcake liners and a pair of chopsticks for each child. The kids have to use the chopsticks to move as many candies from one cupcake liner to the other in one minute. This is wonderful for fine motor skills and while little ones might use two hands to control the chopsticks, older children will most likely get the hang of using the chopsticks correctly.

Valentine's Day 'Minute to Win It' Games

Valentine's Day 'Minute to Win It' Games

Game #2: Stack them up

A simple stacking game gets a little more challenging with uneven and not quite perfect candy hearts. Kids have one minute to stack the candies in a tower as high as they can without letting their tower fall over.

Valentine's Day 'Minute to Win It' Games

Game #3:Suck them up

This ‘Minute to Win It’ game might be the most quite you will hear the kids during all of these four games. Using straws they use suction to suck up a conversation heart to the end of a straw and then drop it into a cupcake liner. The person who moves the most candies in one minute is the winner!

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Game #4: Match them up

Just like an old fashion game of memory match, these conversation hearts can also be used to match up.

memory

It takes just a little bit of planning ahead of time to match up the sayings. After all the pairs are found, lay them out, face down, and kids take turns flipping over the conversation hearts to try to find sayings that match.
matching

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day activities and games?
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2016 Top Toys

2016 Top toys you won’t want to miss under the Christmas tree

With the holiday season comes toys galore. Even if you’re not a family who rushes to the store to buy the hottest new toys throughout the year, there’s something about the holiday season that makes these toys hard to resist. Whether it’s the thrill of the toy hunt or the smile it brings to your kids’ faces when the toy they asked Santa for is under the tree, these 2016 top toys are all from Spin Master and they’re making toy headlines this holiday season.

Check out the full list of the 2016 top toys in our 2016 Holiday Guide. We have the best of Spin Master’s toys on pages 6-7, along with tons of other holiday ideas you won’t want to miss.

Please note that portion of the 2016 Holiday Guide are sponsored and include affiliate links. Thank you for shopping with brands who support Savvy Sassy Moms.

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Any parent that’s been through at least one holiday season knows that the next few weeks are going to feel like an eternity and then slip by in the blink of an eye. Your to do list might be sixteen pages long and stress you out to no end, but somehow you’ll get it all — or at least most of it — done and you’ll look back on the month of December with nostalgia and a warm feeling, knowing that the next time this magical season comes around your kids will be another year older. 

In order to preserve those holiday memories for years to come, make sure you keep your camera out and at the ready over the next few weeks. We’ve got a full list of of 30 must-take holiday photos of special moments and memories you’ll want to document. So free up some space on your phone and break out a new memory card for your DSLR, because you’re not going to want to miss a minute. 

 

30 Must-Take Christmas Photos

Holiday traditions

Make sure to get pictures of all your favorite holiday traditions, particularly ones that you do every year so you can compare how big the kids are getting over the years. We always make sure to get photos of the kids in their Christmas jammies each year, pictures of them decorating gingerbread houses, opening their advent calendar, picking out and decorating the tree, baking cookies and going on a sleigh ride. If your family gets a new ornament each year, make sure to get a photo of the kids holding it. And don’t forget to get a picture of your family’s holiday card.
Holiday Winter Christmas Photo Checklist

Winter wonderland

December is a wonderful time of year outdoors as well, so don’t forget to take your camera with you for the first (or 10th, depending on where you live) snow fall of the year. Capture shots of the kids making snowmen and snow angels, throwing snowballs, sledding, ice skating and catching snowflakes on their tongues. Get photos of their little boots and mittens, their pink noses and happy smiles as they tromp through the snow.

Must Take Christmas PhotosMagical moments

Christmas through the eyes of a child is absolutely magical, so make sure you document some of those beautiful everyday moments of kids just being kids. Snap a shot of your child looking at the Christmas tree all lit up for the first time. Get a photo of them playing with their favorite toy on Christmas morning. Get a shot of them dancing to Christmas music and reading their favorite holiday book.

30 Must-Take Holiday Photos
Holiday Photo Checklist

And, if you know right now there’s no way you’ll ever remember each of these shots, we’ve got a handy little list of all those great memories that you’ll want to capture. Feel free to print this out and stick it to the fridge to remind you to get your camera out, or add it to your camera bag and take with you on holiday outings.  Photos of your kids will last you a lifetime and will only become more precious with time. Take the time now to document your days and you’ll never regret it.

Make sure you visit our 2016 Holiday Guide to see even more great ideas for capturing great photos of your kids this holiday season!
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Fall is upon us and with it comes Halloween, my favorite holiday of the year. I may or may not have been stashing away sibling costume ideas way before our second child was a twinkle in my husband’s eye. Never one to keep things to myself, I’m sharing with you my adorable ideas for Halloween costumes for siblings — twos, threes and beyond!

For twins and pairs

Sibling Halloween Costume Ideas

I have two little girls at home,  which means unicorns and rainbows are all the rage around here. This adorable costume duo is from Pottery Barn Kids, a name known for high-quality and gorgeous everything and their Halloween costumes are no exception. This adorable Baby Unicorn Costume ($69) comes in sizes from 0-8, and the complimentary Rainbow Costume ($39) is available in sizes 2T-8.

The Best Dinosaur Halloween Costumes

If I saw these two come up my driveway I would definitely break out the king size candy bars I keep hidden behind the door. Pottery Barn Kids does this comfy and cozy T-Rex Costume ($79) in sizes 0-8, with the Baby Dinosaur Egg Costume ($49) exclusively for the littlest trick-or-treaters in sizes 6-24 months. Dinosaur lovers, don’t feel like you’re limited to our short-armed friend, T-Rex. Pottery Barn Kids has you covered when it comes to dinosaur costumes — don’t miss the cute Triceratops Costume ($79) and Pterodactyl Costume ($79), if those are your kid’s favorites.

Triplets, trios and beyond

Triplet Halloween Costumes

Step right up to see the greatest (and cutest) show on earth! This sideshow circus trio can be found at Chasing Fireflies, the destination for elaborate, detailed and gorgeous costumes and dress-up clothes. Chasing Fireflies sizes range from 0-24 months up to adult, and even carry a line of family and pet costumes so everyone can get in on the theme, even Patches. Come one, come all! Circus Ringleader Costume ($84), Circus Strongman Costume ($64), Lion Cub Costume for Baby ($69)

Finding Nemo Costumes for Kids

Set your sights on the ocean blue with our swimmingly adorable friends in their Clown Fish Costume ($69), Pelican Costume ($55), and a not-so-scary Baby Shark Costume ($39) all from Pottery Barn Kids. Have more littles to add to the mix? Check out the adorable Puffer Fish Costume ($55) and Angler Fish Costume ($55) for what would be the sweetest set of aquarium friends in the world. Mom and Dad can get in on the fun as fishermen or beach babes and your family will win first place in any costume contest!

Do your kids like to match their costumes or are they more individuals?

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Holiday party ideas

8 Holiday party ideas for busy moms

You signed up to help with the winter class party back in September, when you were riding the back-to-school energy wave. Now you’re scrambling to get your own shopping done, plus you’re hosting family for what feels like half the month. Try our holiday party ideas and make this year’s class party simple, adorable — and easy to plan in just a couple of days.

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Scrumptious snacks

The Oreo Penguins from Passion for Savings look more complicated than they are — we promise. Grab your favorite type of Oreo and make a quick trip down the baking aisle, and you’ll have everything you need. Kids will love how cute they are, and you can serve them as a snack or tie them into little cellophane bags as a take-home treat.

The Santa Hat Brownies from Daisy’s World are adorable and sweet. We love that she combines both store-bought and from-scratch elements in these little treats. There’s even a printable gift tag with the recipe information, which might come in handy at a class party when the other moms ask how you made them.

Dukes & Duchesses offers Snowmen on a Stick, a simple treat moms can pre-assemble at home and easily transport to school. We love the details on this one, from the little “carrot” nose and sweet red scarf.

Some schools frown upon too many sweets during class parties, but getting little ones excited about fruit isn’t always easy. These amazing Grinch Fruit Kabobs from Clean and Scentsible are fun enough kids will forget they’re filled with healthy ingredients. Be sure to click through — she has an entire Grinch-themed party happening on her blog, with loads of kid-friendly snack and dessert ideas.

Rudolph Snack Mix from Sunshine and Hurricanes combines everyone’s favorite combination — sweet and salty — for a simple and irresistible treat. For class parties, you can premix it all together in a bowl and dole it out — don’t forget the food prep gloves! — or divide the necessary components for the desired amount of Rudolphs for each child into individual snack bags.

Holiday games and crafts for little hands

This Craft Stick Snowman Ornament from Simmworks Family Blog is an idea DIY craft for class holiday parties. The craft offers so many options for personalization, and the materials don’t involve a ton of prep before bringing the supplies into the classroom — bigger kids can even do some of the cutting on their own. Plus, moms melt for handmade ornaments from their kids.

PreKinders crafts a Jingle Bell Necklace that’s absolutely perfect for a class holiday party. Not only is it adorable, but it’s simple to make — we love her trick for keeping the beads from falling off the cord. Not only is this festive craft great for color awareness and fine motor skills, but it’s an easy way for moms to listen for their little elves sneaking into something they shouldn’t be.

Not Consumed knows party games can be easily crafted from things you already have at home, like this simple-but-crazy-fun Do You Want to Build a Snowman? game. Whether you decide to have the teams race, award a prize to the most original snowman or just make them giggle like crazy, this game can literally be thrown together in a few short minutes — perfect for busy moms. (While you’re at her blog, check out the rest of her ideas for a Frozen Family Fun Night.)

Even young children can play Bingo, especially when you’re using this Christmas Bingo game from Crazy Little Projects. The picture squares make it simple to follow, and the colorful icons are festive, fun and keep kids paying attention to what they’re trying to match. The printable is free, and it prints out the bingo cards and cards the game leader uses to call the game. Bonus? You can also download a free Christmas memory game.

Do you have a go-to class party hack?
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Hot Chocolate in Mason Jars Savvy Sassy Moms

Cooler temperatures and the holidays go hand-in-hand with hot chocolate, and there is no better way to celebrate this special time of year with your little ones than with a fun hot chocolate bar that is just for them! All kids love being in charge, so allowing them to select their own mix-ins or toppings for their hot chocolate is a real treat This hot chocolate bar can be set up as a one-time event for a party or left up all season long as a regular afternoon treat. Who wouldn’t love coming home from school to a yummy hot chocolate?

Hot Cocoa Bar Savvy Sassy Moms

Setting the scene

Setting up a hot chocolate bar is super simple. Start with some festive decor — you can probably find things around your house or in your holiday decorations that you can use — it’s a great spot to include those decorations from holidays of the past that don’t make it onto your A-list of decorations anymore! Think out of the box and get creative for ways to display your hot chocolate bar. For example, we used a plaid scarf and craft paper as our tablecloth, Mason jar mugs left over from another party and a random assortment of crystal dishes to hold our hot chocolate toppings.

Holiday Hot Cocoa Bar

Grab your favorite mug

The great thing about hot chocolate is that you have so many options when making it! Depending on how much time you have to prep, you can make your own mix from scratch, use ready-to-mix packets, or even go the K-cup route. All that really matters is that you have the hot chocolate pre-mixed and ready to go, or that you have hot water or milk on-hand ready to mix up a batch. Cute mugs also help and anything from ceramic mugs to Mason jars to or paper cups will do!

Yummy Hot Chocolate Bar Toppings

It’s all about the toppings

After your cup is filled with hot chocolate, the fun part begins! Having an assortment of toppings makes it fun for kids (and adults!) to personalize their hot chocolate to their tastes by mixing and matching different toppings.

For this hot chocolate bar we used mini marshmallows, candy canes, mini chocolate chips, crushed graham crackers, chocolate sprinkles and rolled wafer cookies. Other fun toppings we love are canned whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, caramel candies, chocolate syrup, crushed cookies and chopped nuts.

What is your favorite topping for hot chocolate?
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With Halloween drawing closer, there are sure to be all sorts of Halloween gathering and parties taking place. Whether it’s a big party or a quick dinner with friends before trick-or-treating, themed food and drinks can set the tone and add some extra festive fun to any meal.

You can’t have Halloween without candy corn, which is why we loved creating this frozen punch that represents the popular treat. Frozen candy corn punch taste great, looks festive, and is super easy to make!Frozen Candy Corn Punch

Give your blender a workout

You may have seen the popular red, white, and blue drinks for July 4th where the three colors stay layered. It all has to do with the science behind the sugar content of each layer. If we are being honest, we tried making this candy corn punch a non-frozen treat, but the colors kept mixing together and despite their drastic sugar content values, we couldn’t get them to stay separated! We found an easy fix for that little problem was blending each color with ice, making it harder for the layers to mix and creating the perfect candy corn look for our punch.  How to Make Frozen Candy Corn Punch

Ingredients:
1. Orange Juice (Yellow layer on the bottom)
2. Orange Hawaiian Punch (Orange layer in the middle)
3. Lemon Vitamin Water (White layer on the top)
4.  Whipped Cream Topping
5.  Sprinkles and Candy Corn (for garnish, of course!)

Directions:
1. Blend ice cubes and orange juice. Pour into a glass and set aside.
2. Blend ice cubes and orange Hawaiian Punch. Pour into a glass and set aside.
3. Blend ice cubes and Vitamin Water. Pour into a glass and set aside.
4. Layer blended juice into cups to create the look of candy corn. Orange juice first (yellow), Hawaiian punch next (orange) and Vitamin Water last (white).
5. Top with whipped cream topping and garnish with sprinkles and candy corn.

FROZEN Candy Corn Punch
Drink up

Like most children, ours love any type of special drink… and not, surprisingly considering the sugar-filled ingredients! However, there is some good news, moms! Because this frozen candy corn punch is blended with ice, it instantly dilutes the sugar content, while still being a treat for the kids. So, let them have a glass (or two!). At this point, the extra sugar probably won’t make much of a difference!

Frozen Candy Corn Punch

How do you make your Halloween parties or pre trick-or-treating dinners extra special?
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My daughter was born on Halloween last year, so I’ve been thinking about what our family costume will be on and off for the last 365 days. Correction: I’ve been thinking about her costume for 365 days and only realized last week, when I was addressing her birthday invitations, that the “costumes required please” also applied to me. Whoops… (face palm). Luckily, every costume has some kind of counterpart that you can easily DIY without a PhD in Pinterest.

DIY Halloween Costume to match your kids

For Peter Pan-themed costumes

If you’re child is opting for a Peter Pan-themed costume like my little Tinkerbell, think happy thoughts! I have compiled a list of quick and easy costume ideas. No pixie dust needed because you already have most of these items at home!

Hook

Tuck black pants/leggings into white knee socks. Break a coat hanger and carry it as a hook. Wear an oversized red jacket. (You’d be surprised what you can find at secondhand stores… The power suits that were so big in the 80’s are perfect for this!) Don’t forget the hat and that killer ‘stache.

Wendy

Grab a long nightgown and you’re done.

Tiger Lily

Wear a dress in any shade between taupe and brown. (There’s bound to be at least one in your closet.) Use a stretchy headband as your headdress and tuck a feather into the back of it. If it’s a little nippy, throw on a faux fur vest: Still in costume, yet fashionable and warm.

Shadow

Just wear all black, you lazy bum. (No judgment.)

DIY Costume for Halloween with faux fur vest

For superhero costumes

Let’s not forget the superheroes. Every superhero has a sidekick or enemy, right? And just like when the heroes arrive to save the day, you can put these costumes together in the “Ta Da” knick of time!

Cat Woman

Don’t panic, I’m not talking about the patent leather Michelle Pfeiffer Cat Woman or the half-naked Halle Berry Cat Woman. This is a practical Cat Woman. All you need are black leggings/pants, a black shirt, and black cat ears. If you can’t find cat ears, fear not — you can make your own! Get a sample of black felt at any store that sells fabric (it should be less than a dollar), cut two triangles from it, and hot-glue them to a black headband. Meow, pussycat! You’re ready to go.

Bat Girl

You can also easily create a Bat Girl costume by cutting larger black triangles (with scalloped edges if you’re feeling fancy) and then pinning, or sewing, them from your shirt sleeve to the side of your shirt, so when you lift your arms the wings are a-flapping! Don’t forget cutting eye holes into a long piece of felt for the mask around your eyes.

Super Woman

Let’s face it. We’re moms, so we’re all basically Super Woman already, am I right? Not much of a costume. Moving on…

DIY TIger Lily Halloween Costume for mom to match Tinkerbell

For costumes for the littlest ones
King Kong and Building

You bought your kid a monkey costume and you’re not sure what to do for yourself? Make yourself into a building by wearing a shirt you don’t mind drawing black rectangles (aka windows) on and voila! You’re a tall building! You’re may not be Frank Lloyd Wright, but you did just create a building fit for a a King… Kong, that is. Roar. (There is a variation of this costume that involves wearing a box, but I don’t think that sounds very conducive to having a baby on your hip.)

Daenerys and Dragon

If you watch Game of Thrones, then you know that there is literally nothing cooler than the “Mother of Dragons.” Isn’t it serendipitous then, that there are a million children’s costumes out there that are dragons or dinosaurs? If that’s the route you went, all you need to be Daenerys is a long blond wig, a long dress, and a take-no-prisoners attitude. Winter is coming… And you’re ready for it.

DIY Halloween Costume for mom to match kids

There you have it. Whatever costume your little monster chooses probably has a complementary option or two… or a dozen! Look at Dorothy. We all know she had the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. But don’t forget about the Wicked Witch, the Good Witch, the Flying Monkeys, the Munchkins, the Angry Trees, the Wizard, Toto, the Castle Guards, and the list goes on and on. You don’t need magic spells (or even a sewing machine) to create the perfect family costume. That’s just a bunch of hocus pocus. Think outside the cauldron and don’t be afraid to get your craft on this Halloween.

Halloween is all about the kids, but why not get in on the fun? What will your family be?

This post was contributed by Claire Frost as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Claire on her blog, House of Frost

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