Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How to Throw a Kid-friendly New Year's Eve Bash

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With the holiday season winding down, you’ll find you are turning focus from the Holiday season to New Year’s Eve. For those of us with children, New Year’s Eve parties are not all-night, champagne-filled bashes followed by a morning spent in bed enjoying the day off work. So how do you plan a memorable New Year’s Bash for you and your kids? We’ve got a few ideas:

For the littlest ones to 2nd grade, waiting until midnight will take them way past their curfews. Have a mock countdown that ends at 7 p.m. so they can get to ring in the New Year as well. Try a few of these tips:

  • Bring your costume clothing and play dress up
  • Fill balloons with ideas for fun games. Pop one every half hour so you will have exciting activities to look forward to enjoying
  • Make your own noisemakers to ring in the New Year

For 3rd to 4th graders:
  • Set up a tent in your living room and camp indoors for the night
  • Grab all the pillows and blankets from around your house and create a massive pillow fort
  • Compile your favorite photos from the year and create a memory matching game
  • Search for your family’s best memories in a memory-filled scavenger hunt

For 5th to 8th graders:
  • Grab a stack of newspapers, and have everyone create their own “Things I Hope For in the New Year to Come” collage
  • Kick in the New Year with a movie marathon of your favorite movies
  • Go stargazing and wish on shooting stars
  • Create a celebratory balloon drop for when the clock strikes midnight - your kids can dress up as their favorite celebrity and do their best impressions

Encourage teens to celebrate at home:
  • Set up karaoke in the basement and prepare to sing your heart out
  • Create a festive photo booth, and props worthy of the best selfies
  • Kick back at a bonfire with hot chocolate
  • Prepare for a midnight countdown with sparkling juice and sparklers

Entertaining kids of all ages? Try:

The possibilities for throwing a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve Bash are endless. For even more ideas, check out these 100 Great New Year’s Activities to Do with Your Kids.
From all of us at Gifts ‘N Things, have a happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Gifts ‘N Things Has Gift Wrap For All Occasions

No matter the occasion, Gifts ‘N Things offers gift wrap options in our brochure fundraisers for just about anything! We offer collections of matching gift wrap options, including patterns in various colors, like our popular Chevron Roll Wrap Collection with matching Chevron Gift Bags.

Coordinated gift wrap is great for Christmas morning, so everyone knows who’s gift is who’s and you can cater designs to each person’s style! See the video below to see swatches of some of our most popular winter styles and check out our Winter Wonderland catalog for all of our options and coordinating ideas.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Get Creative with Your Gift Wrapping This Holiday Season

For many people, finding the perfect present for a loved one can be just as fantastic as receiving one. Get creative with your gift wrapping supplies and skills this holiday season, and check out all the great options Gifts ‘N Things has in store for you.

Variety and Versatility
For every season, holiday, and celebration, Gifts ‘N Things has different holiday themes, winter scenes, and year-round prints including rustic, glamour, sophisticated, superhero, princess, sports, kids, color and pattern, animal, romance, party, and many more.

The decorative wrapping supplies found at Gifts ‘N Things also serve a variety of purposes beyond gift wrap. From the heavy duty material to the enormous selection of color, design, and sheen, Gifts ‘N Things decorative wrap can be utilized in art projects, to cover textbooks for students, and to decoratively protect shelves and storage. You can even find theme decorations to complement or accent your holiday décor at home.

Value Sets
There are great deals on every page of our Perfect Presents and Winter Wonderland brochures, but check out these excellent opportunities to make the most of your gift-wrapping this season.

Duo-Rolls are a hit this season! Made of extra heavy paper, crafters love this durable and versatile decorative paper. Duo-Rolls are comprised of two papers rolled onto one core. This means you get to benefit of more square footage, more textures, and more bang for your buck!

The Everyday Flat Wrap Value Pack, with 50 square feet of assorted wraps, offers 25% more paper than a standard roll. Preselected designs save you time and money.
The Jumbo Roll Wrap offers 60 square feet of reversible and coordinating wrap. This makes for better savings and colorful surprises. And with a variety of more bundled deals, you can find the perfect fit with extra deals in gift wrap, tissue paper, and bows.

Personalize Your Present
Don’t miss this year’s Chalk Board Roll/Table Runner. Use it as gift wrap and write messages, greetings or doodles for your loved ones. Try it out as a fun and festive addition to a party. Use it as a table runner or message board for friends and family to write messages on.

Accessorize and ‘Garnish’
In addition to gift wrap, you can find gift cards, tags, bows, ribbon sets, and a trove of treasures at Gifts ‘N Things. Creative gift wrapping goes beyond the wrapping paper you choose. Consider choosing a gift wrap that doubles as a present. Wrap a wine bottle in a scarf or monogrammed tea towel, or use a tote or decorative basket as a gift bag.

Consider using items that will double as a “garnish” for your gift. Use natural elements like pinecones, acorns, or a sprig of pine needles to add a woodsy touch, old skeleton keys or small lockets for a vintage touch, or trinkets and charms for a personal touch. It’s the little things and thoughts that can create the most joy.

It may be early in the holiday gift-giving season, but don’t delay the joys of gift shopping and present wrapping until the last minute. Get started today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Throwing a Halloween Spooktacular Party for Your Kids

Zombies, ghouls, witches, oh my! Everybody’s favorite and spookiest holiday is right around the corner, so what better way is there to celebrate than by throwing a Halloween spooktacular party for your kids? Get in the spirit early with these tips for a kid-friendly Halloween party. From decorations, games, food, and treats, we’ve got you covered. [Note: Costumes and a spooky fun playlist are an absolute must.]


Devious Decorations

From streamers and balloons to spider webbing and pumpkins galore, where do you get started with colorful and fun Halloween décor for kids? A simple way to start is to set out tall vases and bowls full of orange and black candy around your house. This will serve double as decorations and treats, and if you have kids guess how many candies are in each vase or bowl, it can serve as a game, too!

For more devious decorations:

DIY Bat Garland
Spooky Eye Wreath
Monster Doors
Monster Tissue Pom Poms
11 Easy and Awesome Halloween Decorations

Ghostly Games

For starters, have a Mummy Relay Race in your backyard. Divide kids into teams of three, and have them choose one teammate to be the mummy. Have all the mummies stand on one side of the yard. The remaining members of each team will start on the opposite side of the yard, and on a count of three, they will run to and wrap the mummy in toilet paper as fast as possible. Whichever team makes it back across the line with their mummy wins!

For more ghostly games:
Pin the Spider on the Web
Tin Can Bowling
Halloween Bingo
Trick or Treat: Poke-a-Pumpkin
Apple Bobbing

Spine-Tingling Snacks

Have some spooky snacks and drinks on hand between games and activities, like these mummy juice boxes: Grab a juice box and wrap it in white tape. Add some googly eyes, and there you have a wrapped mummy surprise juice box.

For more spine-tingling snacks:
Witches’ Broom
Magic Potion Punch
Jack ‘O Lantern Burgers
Ghostly Pizza
Mummy Dogs

Terrifying Treats

For more than store-bought sweets and decorated cupcakes, cookies, and cakes, set out a DIY decorating sweets bar. Set out frosting bags and a variety of little candies for your spooky little guests to decorate pre-baked cupcakes for DIY fun. Get creative and use black-dipped sugar cones for witches’ hats or Milano cookies cut in half for sweet tombstones.

For more terrifying treats:
Frozen Ghost Pops
Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops
Pumpkin Krispies
Gooey Monster Cookies
26 Healthy Halloween Snacks

Prickly Party Favors

Send some favors home with each guest along with any leftover treats and candies. (It’s only once a year, right?) One simple and healthy party favor? Grab mandarin orange fruit cups, and draw a pumpkin face on the plastic lid. These are simple, healthy, and yummy.

For more prickly party favors:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Creative Lunchbox Ideas That Will Make Your Kids WANT to Eat Healthy

Today there is a lot of debate about the healthiness (or lack thereof) in the offerings of school lunches. Packing healthy lunches for your children can be easy, you just need to make a couple of creative tweaks...

Muffins are easy to make and tasty, as well as healthy. A versatile recipe is the Magic muffin recipe. It’s healthy and the batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. It can even be cooked in the microwave! This is a basic recipe that you can switch up each time you make them by adding your favorite ingredients, such as blueberries, raspberries, ginger, chocolate chips or peanut butter. The possibilities are endless!

Homemade Lunchables
Lunchables have been a long time favorite of children, but have you ever thought of making your own at home? A homemade pizza Lunchable is much healthier than the alternative store bought ones. Kids love pizza sauce and love constructing their own food!

Pinwheel Mini Sandwiches
Pinwheels have been a favorite party appetizer for generations. Why not pack a healthy version in your child’s lunch? These easy to handle, bite-sized, sandwich/wrap hybrids are incredibly fun and with careful choosing can be healthy too!

Hummus packs a great protein punch option for lunch, and kids can’t even tell that it is healthy! One surprising way to make hummus is as a dessert. The author of a dessert hummus recipe says, “This takes literally 4 minutes to prepare and makes about a cup and a half of hummus. Refrigerate leftovers; it’s good cold too, because it tastes like chocolate chip cookie dough.”  Of course, the ingredients include chickpeas but also peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and chocolate chips.

Some parents find they can get their children on board with healthy eating by including them in the process. Have a conversation with your kids about which healthy foods they already enjoy and build off their other favorites. Together you can go shopping and work on food preparation. A child is more likely to eat new foods when they feel like they have made it themselves. When in doubt, get creative!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Planning Your Next Fundraiser

Summer vacation is nearing its end, and parents everywhere are thankful for the lack of homework, soccer practices, and extracurricular obligations that come with the school year. One thing you can start to think about is planning the upcoming school year’s fundraiser. Waiting until the last minute while school is in session can mean your child’s fundraiser is messily put together and not as successful as it can be. There are a few things in mind to think about when you begin to plan your next fundraiser:

Choices, Choices…

There are a ton of different options to chose from when it comes to picking a fundraiser. From online shops, to frozen foods, brochures, holiday gifts, direct sales, school spirit items or a color-a-thon blast, making a decision on WHICH fundraiser to choose can be the most difficult. Keep in mind the most important factor- your child. How old is your child? a ten year old may shy away from a brochure fundraiser, or a teenager might scoff at the idea of going door-to-door with holiday gifts. Play to your child’s skill sets.

Timing is Everything

Think about what time of year you are going to conduct your fundraiser; is the event you are raising money for in the spring or fall? Do you plan on conducting an outdoor event or going door-to-door around the neighborhood? In that case, a January event may not be the best choice. Holiday gifts are going to sell much better at the end of November than in the beginning of April. Keep in mind some of the fundraising trends and changes in 2015.

Skill Development Preparation

Your child may be motivated by prizes, but conducting a fundraiser develops many skills you child can use later in life, like interpersonal skills, leadership, communication skills, and learning how to market yourself. Talk about these skills with your child ahead of time. Give them some ideas about approaching people and presenting themselves. Preparation on this front is key to develop those oh-so-important soft skills of fundraising.

Plan the upcoming school year’s fundraiser ahead of time and see the difference it can make. Better yet- conduct an event in the summer! With Gifts ‘N Things, the options for fundraising are nearly endless; the hard part is picking the right one for you. Follow a few of these tips and your next fundraiser is sure to go off without a hitch.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Shop Gifts ‘N Things for Back to School Supplies

Retail stores aren’t the only places where you can shop for back to school items for your young, bright students. Explore Gifts ‘N Things for colorful, unique, and exciting school tools and accessories for this school year.
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Smencils, Smens, Smarkers, Oh My!
Help your child understand what it is to be environmentally-responsible from a young age. These colorful writing and drawing tools are created from recycled newspapers and corn-based biodegradable plastic, and, additionally come with environmentally-friendly packaging and biodegradable erasers. They come in a variety of delectable smells, and your kids can choose from a variety of options including glitter, metallic, seasonal, mini-sized, and more! Learn how to mix your own here!
Highlighters and Erasers
Check out colorful, fun-shaped erasers like the quirky Dino Puzzle eraser and vibrant fruit-scented erasers so your kids can really make the most of their education and have fun learning. Look in the Lil’ Shopper’s Shoppe for more fun school accessories.
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Incentive Prizes
For all the teachers out there, Gifts ‘N Things has a collection of items that you can use in the classroom as incentive prizes, small gifts, and classroom tools to reward excellent behaviors and fantastic scholarship. Browse our selection of monster/zombie finger tattoos, tornado high bounce balls, and jurassic putty, as well as putty, rings, bracelets, stickers, and more!
Personalized School Spirit Apparel
Get your kid in style by adding some school spirit to their closet. Personalizing t-shirts and hoodie sweatshirts can be a practical addition to your school supply list or a fun Christmas or birthday present. With an array of colors and designs to choose from—school emblems, mascots, buildings, and more— the quality and versatility that the school spirit apparel adds to your child’s wardrobe can make any school year more exciting. Start designing your apparel here.

Gifts ‘N Things offers a variety of presents and supplies for holidays and birthday, but they also have items that make for excellent additions to your child’s school supply list. Start your search today.

Friday, June 12, 2015

How to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

Summer break is a great time for children to relax before the upcoming school year, but it is very important to keep your children’s minds sharp and continue their learning throughout the summer months. Too often, the summer wipes a child’s mind of some of the lessons they learn during the school year. Here are some fantastic ways to prevent summer learning loss.

Creative Writing Assignments
Have your child make a journal and document their summer adventures. This will get them thinking creatively and will help fine-tune their writing skills.

Take Vacations - Small or Large
Vacations are not only great for family bonding and relaxation, but they can also be very educational. Whether you go somewhere near or far, each destination will provide a great opportunity for your child to learn about the history of the city you are staying in.

Field Trips
Visit local museums, historical sites, zoos, or libraries. Doing so will get your child off the couch and out learning about the community.

Read to your child each night before bedtime. You can also create an on-the-spot story about an imaginative topic. Create characters and a plot. Then have your child create a story too. This will sharpen their imagination!

Encourage Interaction with other Children
Set up play-dates with other children. Getting your child to interact with other children will help their social skills and will teach them about getting along with others, which will help them greatly when school begins.

Cooking will teach your children how to use measurements using various cooking utensils. This is also a great time to pull out that old family cookbook and teach your child about your family’s history.

Have your children assist you with any summer projects you may have. This includes crafts, home remodeling, or even planning for your upcoming school fundraiser!

Start this summer off right and keep your child’s mind sharp by trying some or all of the tips above. Come next fall, you child will be ready to return to school- maybe even prepared to teach their friends a thing or two!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Family Fun on the Fourth

Along with celebrating our nation’s independence, the Fourth of July is a great time to bring the community together to create fun memories with friends and family. Among the fireworks and parades, the fourth is full of excitement- especially for the kids. Activities such as creating fun crafts, making festive treats and playing outdoor games are always popular among children.

Creating crafts is always a hit with kids, no matter the age. For the younger children, try something as easy and fun as creating a Fourth of July wand, a red, white & blue wreath or simply having them decorate individual napkin holders for your Fourth of July get together. For the middle-aged children in the family, try crafts such as creating a Fourth-inspired word find or patriotic firecracker favors. These crafts are guaranteed to get your kids excited about the festive holiday.

Although kids love crafts, they also love sweets! Making fun holiday treats is always a great way to get the kids ready for the Fourth. Putting together something as simple as red, white & blue cupcakes or attempting more of a challenge with festive sugar cookie bars will light the little ones up like fireworks. Along with being fun and tasty, making treats with the kids is a great way to gain valuable family bonding time over the holiday weekend.

Playing outdoor activities is always a great way to get your kids excited about the Fourth of July.  When it comes to outdoor activities the opportunities are endless. Some hits among children are the bean bag toss, polish golf, and of course potato sack races. These games are great for getting your kids involved with the other children in the community as well as making memories for years to come.


The Fourth of July is a great summer holiday that the family will be sure to enjoy. Whether you choose to create a craft, make treats, play outdoor games or all of the above, your kids will enjoy the fourth in ways they never did before! Check out our Facebook page for even more ideas for family fun on the Fourth.

Monday, May 18, 2015

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained and Happy on Road Trips

Summertime is the perfect time for a family vacation. You can show your kids natural wonders or enlighten them with cultural and historic points of interest. However, whether you are traveling to the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Yellowstone, or your family cabin up north, your memories can depend on how fun or how big of a headache the journey was. Below are some tips to keep your kids entertained and happy on road trips.

Help Them Visualize
Provide your kids with a map of your trip, pit stops included. It will help dampen the incessant “Are we there yet?” questions if your child can visualize where they are and where they are headed. Plus, being able to read a map is a useful life tip that they can learn. In addition to providing a map, give your child a briefing of the itinerary, such as how long the trip will be and how much time there will be between stops.

Set Expectations and Reward Good Behavior
Kids are never too young to learn a lesson. In addition to practicing patience, setting expectations on how to behave on a long trip can help your child practice good behavior especially if they are awarded. No complaining from “point A” to “point B” can be rewarded with an ice cream cone or control over the radio. Being helpful with siblings could be rewarded with getting first pick on which sight to see or pool time at the hotel. Remember that a little incentive never hurts.

Eat Well, Take Rests
For everyone’s sanity, make sure to make somewhat frequent pit stops. While trying to reach a destination as quickly as possible may be tempting, getting out of a stale car to stretch your legs will go a long way in maintaining a positive outlook for you and your kids. Think about eating healthy and non-messy foods—not just McDonald’s or gas station goods—to stay refreshed. Pack your own small snacks, maybe even meals, to satisfy your appetite and prevent overtiredness and crankiness. Nuts and dried fruit are portable snacks that provided a great pack of nutrients and energy. Also, remember the importance of water and staying hydrated. Stick with healthy habits on your trip because healthy kids are happy kids.

Be Prepared
Parents probably can’t stress this enough: be prepared for every situation. Prepare yourself for bored kids, tired kids, temper-tantrum-throwing kids, and sick kids. Have enough healthy snacks and a variety of medicine and vitamins in case you find a drugstore unavailable. Have each child bring a favorite toy, book, or blanket for some comfort away from home. This will go a long in helping everyone have the best time they possible can.

No, Really. Be Prepared
Pack activity kits for each child. App games and DVD players can be nice to distract your kids, but have a small variety of toys, paper activities, crafts, books, and games so your child can flex their creative minds. You can give them a new activity after every stop so they have something new to look forward to as well.

Simple tips and habits will help you and your kids have an excellent time on your family travels and will help to ensure exciting and hopefully, fantastic memories.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Delightfully Nutritious Meals for Kiddos

Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates Nutrition Month - 31 days devoted to helping people develop good eating and exercising habits, as well as learning how to make proper food choices. Though the month of March is over, it’s still important to teach your children about the significance of healthy eating.

To help your family on their journey to optimal health, we’ve made a list of 8 of our favorite healthy recipes, just in time for new spring produce to show up at your grocery store. And while some kiddos are picky eaters, it’s hard for any child to resist food that’s fun to eat!

Bright colors (and sprinkles!) make this bowl of fruit and yogurt look like a dessert that your kiddo will ask for no matter the time of day.

A deceptive pizza look-a-like, these dippers are a delicious healthy option! Utilizing the latest clean-eating trend of cauliflower, it’s easy to enhance this recipe for lunch, dinner, or snack time.

Talk about delicious! Casseroles are a Midwestern favorite for a reason. This quickie has only a few ingredients that are easy to find in your fridge, and it’s budget-friendly. Plus: it’s super cheesy, so children will love it.

This recipe is so versatile, it’ll be your new best friend. Fun flavors combine to create a delicious chicken that’s perfect as a starting point for tortilla soup, the stuffing of tacos and enchiladas, or the main dish itself.

Brinner, anyone? Using whole grain bread and non-sugared syrup is the key to making this old time favorite a healthy one. Your kids will love the dippable strips option, as well.

It wouldn’t be a list of food for kids if it didn’t include macaroni and cheese! Ditch the boxed brand and try your hand at homemade. Add veggies like spinach, peas, or broccoli for an added dose of healthy.

Another food that’s beloved by children, chicken nuggets have a bad reputation for being unhealthy to the maximum degree. But if you have a bit of patience, homemade chicken nuggets are a breeze, and a total kid-pleaser.

If your kids ask consistently to buy canned Spaghetti-O’s, try this version instead. Healthy, dairy-free, and lacking preservatives, this recipe might be the best thing that’s ever happened to your kids.

In search of more family recipes, craft ideas, or parenting tips? Follow us on Pinterest for content that’s updated weekly. If we missed a recipe you and your family love, post it in the comments!