Summer Poetry for Kids

We just returned from a week long vacation in California. The ocean is so therapeutic, not to mention a whole lot of fun for the entire family!  I came across this great post by Playful Learning on Summer Acrostic Poetry.  It was the perfect creative activity to do with our daughter after a long, hard day at the beach :-) . It captured some very sweet moments we won’t forget.

Box Play Summer Acrostic PoetryBox Play CA Summer

We also never travel without our little friend Oscar the Octopus. TP rolls are available in every hotel, vacation home and camp site!

Hope you’re enjoying your summer. xo

 

Pipsqueak Paparazzi Camera Strap

Snap! Snap! Grab your camera (or better yet – grab a mac n’ cheese box and our eco-friendly, Box Play For Kids camera sticker). This Sunday, June 29th, is National Camera Day. Yes, it’s a thing…AND what better excuse to get crafty with your pipsqueak paparazzi this weekend? This easy-peasy-mac n’ cheesy camera-strap project is sure to inspire creativity indoors and all around town.

What you’ll need: The basics include an empty mac n’ cheese box, our BPFK camera sticker, and a pair of scissors. Then you’ll need to do a little rummaging around your house for ribbons, belts, shoelaces, old tees, old tights, old ties, etc. Use your imagination and dig around for anything that you could possibly cut up or braid together to make a camera strap. You might also want rubber bands or elastic hair ties (optional).

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Step 1: Carefully apply our specially-sized camera sticker to your average mac n’ cheese box. Our crack-and-peel backing makes it easy to line the sticker up just right.

2.peeling.sticker Step 2: Take a few of your rummaged strings and straps and tie them together at one end but leave some excess sting/chord/tie/shoelace/whatever so you can easily attach to the camera at the end. I’m using an old wrinkled tie, a pair of shoelaces (that I knotted together), and a recycled gift ribbon. Then braid everything together.

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Step 4: Use a sharp pair of scissors to carefully poke a hole towards the top of each side flap. Tie a knot with a rubber band or hair elastic and string through the hole to create a loop for your strap. You could also skip the rubber band and thread your strap directly into the box. Tape the flaps closed. 

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Step 5: Attach the finished strap to your elastic loops or thread directly into the cardboard flaps. Then hand over the camera to your little pipsqueak paparazzi and get snapping.

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Here’s another variation with ribbons and some recycled, kiddie dance tights.

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Happy National Camera Day from BPFK!

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Books To Kick-off Summer

Box Play for Kids Summer Books 2014
Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
This is our daughters absolute favorite book right now! She loves to draw and paint but is a bit of a perfectionist and gets frustrated when she makes mistakes. This gem encourages finding opportunities to make something beautiful out of something you might think is just a mistake. We love the interactive and 3D components of the book.

Bathing Costume or The Worst Vacation of My Life by Charlotte Moundlic
Michael is an eight-year-old Parisian boy who hates his older brother Martin…and the feeling is mutual. He has to spend the summer at his grandparents (without his parents) along with other older cousins who also despise him. Over the vacation, “Michel discovers both independence and real moments of happiness.”

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
Watermelon is in season and so we picked up this fun read! Have you ever swallowed a seed? Find out what happens to this adorable crocodile (no spoilers).

Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane & Hoda Hadadi
The illustrations in this book are so sweet and magical they will transport you to West Africa. I want to share the beauty of the different cultures of the world with our 5 year old so when I discover books like this I am thrilled and probably more excited to read the book for the first time than she is.
Lalla wants to wear a malafa (the colorful cloth that some Muslim women in Mauritania wear to cover their clothing and heads when they go out in public) so she can be beautiful like her mother, mysterious like her older sister and a fine lady like her cousin. “It’s a story that shows how families are much the same the world over.”

Happy reading!

Keep Phoenix Beautiful: Earth Day

BPFK I Heart Earth Stickers
We had a blast spending Earth Day with our good friends at Bashas’. We created a custom sticker design of their super cool 1941 vintage truck to hand out along with yummy snacks from their natural and organic department.

bashas 1941 vintage truck

Bashas 1941 Vintage Truck Stickers

The turn out for the event was HUGE thanks to the great people at Keep Phoenix Beautiful. Here are some pics:

B shirtsBPFK_Bashas_EarthDay_2bare fruitIMG_8775Bashas CrewBPFK Earth Day Stickerskeep phx beautifulbpfk table 2

3 Things To Make Earth Day Every Day

Today is  Earth Day. Over one billion people are participating in Earth Day events across the globe in an effort to solve/save the climate crisis. This year’s focus will be on Green Cities, mobilizing a movement to create a healthy and sustainable environment by taking action in urban populations. There are many ways you can help save our Earth, even from your own home, today and every day. Through the food choices you make for each meal, you can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and can also benefit your own health.

Box Play for Kids Earth day_1

1) EAT MORE VEGETABLES

Simply by adding more and more vegetables and fruits into each and every meal is the first step in making the right choices. Not only are nature’s vibrant colors and flavors exciting to eat, you get a multitude of nutrients with “Eating the Rainbow” every day. Consuming this naturally colorful variety of foods can strengthen your immune system, reduce risk of diseases and illnesses, and build a strong body and mind. Follow this one simple rule, whether for a juice, salad, snack, or a soup: Check to see that all colors are included to make for a wholesome, naturally nutritious meal. For each meal, fill half your plate with veggies first to ensure you are getting enough nutrients each day. Take this even further by incorporating Meatless Mondays into your family’s life (and then maybe a second or third night too!) Vegetable proteins such as legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu and leafy greens are just as easy to prepare and just as flavorful when you set your mind to it.

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2) EAT LOCAL

Not only is eating local food better for the environment by burning less fuel, it’s also better for your health. The less distance a food has to travel, the fresher it is. Eating locally also means eating seasonal foods, thus naturally giving your body a healthy balance with nature. From CSAs to farmer’s markets to pick-your-own farms, by eating local, you are able to support the local economy, can truly know where your food comes from, and most importantly, reap the benefits of the freshest, most flavorful, and nutrient-rich produce. Go to localharvest.org or pickyourown.org to see what local produce is available near you. Or, if you have a few flower pots, or a little bit of land, start by growing a small herb garden, or a few vegetables, so you can reap the benefits of growing some of your own food. Not only do you reduce your environmental impact, you save money, waste less food, and enjoy the accomplishment of nurturing your own nutrients, with no question of chemicals and processing. The kids love it too!

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3) UNPROCESS YOUR FOOD

If meat is an integral part of your diet, then make sure to be knowledgeable and purchase meat and animal by-products (dairy, eggs) that are organic, pastured or grass-fed. Aside from all the hormones and antibiotics given to factory-farmed animals because of their cramped “living” conditions, they’re being fed GMO grains. These unnatural interventions ultimately affects the consumer, even if the taste and texture may be the same. Also, did you know that the largest contributing factor to global warming is the raising and production of the meat on our plates? Processing of all foods also damages our earth. Look at how Industry, marketing and convenience have completely changed the way so many of us eat today, so many foods come in colorful packages and have long shelf lives – it’s everywhere! Pesticides, antibiotics, artificial colorings, flavorings, modified/mutated foods, formulated to make foods convenient and addictive. As a result, we’re faced with the rise in chronic diseases, many which are now affecting our children. Avoiding “Big Food” factory products will save the earth as well as save your own health and the health of the ones you love. Unprocessing your food may go against the grain of today’s society, but in order to make a change that is not only good for your own body, but also good for the environment, this change is a lifestyle, not a fad diet.

BUY                                                                               AVOID
• Organic (avoid pesticides/antibiotics)                  • Refined grains (white flour, white rice)
• Local foods (support your farmers market)        • Refined sweeteners (sugar, corn syrup)
• Whole ingredients, whole grains                           • Factory farmed meat and seafood
• Non-GMO (why mess with nature?)                      • Boxes, bags and cans (you know the ones!)
• Plenty of fruits and vegetables                              • Refined oils (canola, safflower…)

It’s all about making smart, clean, healthy choices and being conscious of what you eat. Doing this will make the earth’s body, your body, your children’s bodies feel better, function optimally, and be vibrant.

Christine Wong is the loving mother of two healthy eaters, she is also a Certified Health and Wellness Coach working with parents who want to improve the health and well-being for themselves and their families. Find out about her coaching program by scheduling a free one-hour health consultation at: christine@c-cooking.com.

Moo + Zoo = Earth Day Fun

Earth Day at Phx Zoo

We created a custom mini cow sticker for Dairy Council of Arizona repurposing 1000 half pint Shamrock Farms milk cartons (school size). The craft activity took place at the Phoenix Zoo during their Earth Day event presented by SRP. Although we couldn’t make the event, we were told the kids LOVED them!

3 shamrock farms before

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Down To Earth Festival in Memphis

We were honored to be a part of the Earth Day festivities at Shelby Farms Park. Our friends at Evergreen Packaging repurposed hundreds of cartons into Box Play for Kids Cows, Piggys, Blue Trains, Fire Trucks and School Buses. We were sad to miss this fun event…if only we could be in three places at one time. Choose cartons!

Down To Earth Festival

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BPFK_ChooseCarton_EarthDay_3 BPFK_ChooseCarton_EarthDay_1 BPFK_ChooseCarton_EarthDay_2Recycle. Re-silly. Repeat.