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100 Restaurants that Offer Kids Eat Free Nights

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kidseatfreeWhen life gets hectic, one of the easiest ways to reduce the stress is to let someone else do the cooking! However, taking the entire family out to dinner can quickly get expensive, unless you know which restaurants to frequent. To help, we’ve compiled a list of 100 different restaurants that cater to every setting and craving, and all of them feature “Kids Eat Free” nights. So the next time you’re looking to dine out on a budget, check out one of these popular choices.

Casual Dining

Casual dining is the go-to choice for many families. A step up from fast food, these joints allow families to enjoy a fairly inexpensive sit-down dinner without worrying if the kids are being too crazy. For some family-friendly casual dining, check out the 20 restaurants listed below.

  • Hooters: This restaurant is known for its wings and its family-friendly menu. An added bonus? Kids eat free every day with the purchase of an adult entrée. This chain has locations all over the country.
  • IHOP: The International House of Pancakes may be famous for its short stacks, but it serves way more than just pancakes. You can stop by one of its many locations 24 hours a day for breakfast, lunch or dinner and kids eat free with an adult purchase.     
  • Applebee’s: You can find an Applebee’s in many cities across the country and the restaurant boasts a menu that’s packed with moderately priced items. Kids eat free with an adult on Tuesdays. 
  • Black Eyed Pea: There are locations in Texas, Tennessee and Colorado. Popular for down home comfort foods, you’ll find items like fried green tomatoes, black eyed peas and chicken fried steak on this menu. Kids eat free on Tuesdays from 5pm to close with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Denny’s: If you like diner food, this may be the place for you. You can order breakfast, lunch or dinner anytime. Up to two kids’ entrées are free for every adult entrée on Tuesday nights from 4pm to close.
  • Plucker’s Wing Bar: This sports bar features both bone-in and bone-out wings as well as other popular bar foods like burgers and ribs. Kids eat free all day on Tuesdays with up to two free kids’ meals per adult entrée.
  • Oliver’s Eatery: This menu features everything from burgers to pasta and kids eat free all day Saturday with an adult purchase. 
  • Penne Pomodoro: If you’re looking for authentic Italian food in North Texas, Penne Pomodoro is the place to eat. Kids eat free on Wednesdays from 4pm to 10pm with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Le Peep: This restaurant is known for their award winning breakfasts and has several locations in Texas. Kids eat free all day Wednesdays with an adult purchase.
  • Boston’s: This chain has restaurants across the country where families can come watch a variety games while enjoying their meal. Kids eat free at participating restaurants.
  • The String Bean: The home cooking at The String Bean is what sets them apart from other local restaurants. Kids eat free on Mondays from 5pm to close.
  • Steak’n Shake: Known for their “steak” burgers and shakes, this diner-style restaurant has locations all over the U.S. Kids eat free all day Saturdays and Sundays with each $8 adult entrée.
  • Paradise Bakery: Soups, salads and sandwiches make this restaurant a must try. Kids eat free Tuesdays and Thursdays with an adult purchase. 
  • Beto’s: Check out this Mexican restaurant that has menus built for couples and families. Kids eat free on Thursdays after 5pm with an adult purchase.
  • Angelina’s Mexican Restaurant: With two different locations in Texas, you’ll find a large selection of Mexican favorites here. Kids eat free on Thursdays with the purchase of an adult meal.
  • Alicia’s Mexican Grille: Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine at five locations in southern Texas. Every Monday kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée and drink.
  • Berry Hill Baja Grill: This Mexican restaurant is known as the home of the fish taco and has 10 locations around Texas. Kids eat free on Tuesdays.
  • Sam and Louie’s Pizza: These restaurants can be found in many different states and boast a menu of New York style pizzas and comforting pasta dishes. Kids eat free on Sundays.
  • Grisanti’s: Kids eat free every Monday with the purchase of an adult entrée at this Italian restaurant. Check out their locations in Lincoln or Omaha, Nebraska. 
  • Quaker Steak and Lube: With locations across the country, you’re sure to find a location near you. If you have the kids in tow, stop by on Monday so they can eat for free with the purchase of an adult meal.

Fast Food

For those nights when you just don’t have time to sit down for dinner, fast food may be the best option. These 20 fast food restaurants all have a “Kids Eat Free” night you can take advantage of, making them perfect for those nights when you’re in a rush.

  • Firehouse Subs: This chain has locations you can pick up a sub at all over the country. Kids eat free on Wednesdays and Sundays when an adult purchases a sub combo.
  • Tin Star: This taco bar has numerous locations in Texas, and kids eat free on Sunday nights from 4pm to close with the purchase of an adult entrée.   
  • Buffalo Wings and Rings: Grab a burger, salad or soup at this bar style restaurant. What started as one restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio has grown to include 57 restaurants over the last three decades. Kids eat free on Mondays with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • American Taphouse: Located in Gilbert, Arizona, this burger and pizza joint has everything from beer to dinner. Kids eat free Wednesdays and Saturdays when adults purchase a meal.
  • Jason’s Deli: With an array of salads and sandwiches on the menu, Jason’s Deli serves tasty food at a fair price. This chain can be found all over the country and up to two kids eat free on Mondays with each adult who orders a meal.
  • Planet Sub: You can find restaurants in Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Arizona, Iowa and Oklahoma. Kids eat free all day Tuesday when an adult buys a sub.
  • Gold Star Chili: From coneys to double decker sandwiches, this restaurant’s menu is full of tasty choices. Kids eat free on Tuesdays with an adult purchase.
  • Rio Wraps: If you can wrap it in a tortilla, you are likely to find it at Rio’s in Michigan. Kids eat free on Mondays with an adult wrap purchase.
  • Souper! Salad!: If you’re looking for something light, come in here for lunch or dinner. Kids eat free on Sundays.
  • Tropical Smoothie Café: Order a smoothie, wrap or sandwich at this country-wide chain. Kids eat free all day on Sundays.
  • Chick-Fil-A: Known as the home of the original chicken sandwich, this restaurant has chicken in all forms – from chicken burgers to chicken nuggets and everything in between. Kids eat free on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult combo. Check your nearest location, as some restaurants only offer this discount during the summer.
  • Lazy Dog Sports Bar and Grill: Come watch the big game at one of the two locations of the Lazy Dog in Colorado. Tons of sandwiches, burgers and pizzas are available on the menu and kids eat free on Wednesday with an adult entrée purchase.
  • Wahoo’s Fish Taco: Grab a fish taco, enchilada or salad to go or eat at one of the many chains. Kids eat free from 4pm to close on Thursdays with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Mexi-Go: There are three locations in the North Texas area and kids eat free on Tuesdays when an adult orders dinner.
  • Celebrity Café and Bakery: Come in and grab a sandwich or soup at this café and bakery. Kids eat free on Tuesdays with an adult purchase.
  • Dagwood’s Sandwich Shoppes: Try the subs and other deli favorites at this fun restaurant, which has three locations in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. Kids eat free on Sundays with adult purchase.
  • Scotty P’s: Great for take-out or dining in, there are multiple locations to choose from and kids eat free on Tuesdays from 5pm to close with an adult platter purchase.
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs: Come in and grab a sub sandwich for yourself and get the kids a mini sub for free on Monday nights. This chain has stores all over the country.
  • Factor’s Famous Deli: Run in and grab one of Factor’s famous deli sandwiches for dine in or take out. This California-based restaurant is one-of-a-kind, and kids eat free every Tuesday from 3pm to close with an adult entrée purchase.
  • Jamba Juice: This chain has stores across the country, so come in and grab a smoothie for yourself and get a free one for the kids on Tuesdays. Jamba Juice has more than just smoothies, though; you can also try their flatbread pizza or bistro sandwiches.

Fine Dining

If you’re in the mood to celebrate but want to bring the kids, try one of these 20 fine dining restaurants. While most of the “Kids Eat Free” nights fall during the week, taking advantage will allow you to enjoy fine dining at an affordable price.

  • Blue Mesa Grill: This restaurant is fairly affordable and serves an array of Mexican dishes, including their own homemade sweet potato chips. On Sundays take advantage of the free kids’ brunch with the purchase of an adult brunch.
  • Texas de Brazil: Try a variety of meats that are brought to your table and carved by a server at this chain that can be found across the country. Kids under 2 eat free, kids from 3 to 5 are only $5, and kids that are 6 to 12 are half price every day.
  • Sweet Tomatoes: Full of comfort food, this restaurant serves soups, salads and pastas. You’ll find locations in 15 different states, and kids 2 and under eat free every day.
  • Agave Azul: Known for their tequila, this restaurant’s menu is full of authentic Mexican food. Kids eat free all day on Mondays with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Villa-O Restaurant: You’ll find everything from wood fired pizzas to aged prime rib at this restaurant. Kids up to 15 eat free on Sundays from 10:30am to 3pm.
  • Iron Cactus: With several Texas locations, this restaurant serves everything from seafood to steak. Kids eat free all day on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Yellow Rose Steakhouse: Located in Flower Mound, Texas, this restaurant boasts typical steakhouse fare. Kids eat free all day on Mondays with the purchase of an adult entrée. 
  • Boi Na Braza: This Brazilian restaurant serves meats ‘rodizio’ style, which means all around. You pay one price for the meat and eat as much as you want. Kids under 5 eat free every day.
  • Catfish Plantation: If you like dining on tasty food and don’t mind a few ghosts wandering around, this is the place for you. Located in Waxahachie, TX, this restaurant has been featured on several television programs because of the friendly ghosts that inhabit the restaurant. Kids eat free every day with the purchase of an adult entrée per child.
  • Dodie’s Cajun Diner: For Cajun food lovers, this restaurant serves all of the southern favorites. Kids eat free all day on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult dinner.
  • Coal Vines: This pizza and wine bar features an array of Italian dishes, from mussels to lemon sole picatta. Kids eat free Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm.
  • CRAVE: Located in Omaha, Nebraska, this upscale restaurant has a large menu that has everything from sushi to burgers to pasta. Kids eat free Sunday through Wednesday with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Upstream Brewing: Kids eat free at Upstream Brewing on Mondays, with a limit of one free kid’s meal per adult. Eclectic selections of dishes are available at the two Omaha locations.
  • Genji Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar: Every Tuesday and Wednesday night kids eat free here with an adult purchase. You can enjoy everything from lobster to steak at this restaurant.
  • Lone Star Steakhouse: You can find this restaurant all over the country and enjoy delicious steaks. Kids eat free on Tuesdays, so you can bring the whole family without breaking the budget.
  • Texas Land and Cattle: From steak to ribs to grilled salmon, this upscale restaurant has a little bit of everything. You’ll find locations in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina and New Mexico, and kids eat free on Saturdays from 11am to 4pm.
  • Tucanos: This Brazilian restaurant can be found in several states across the U.S. and features a tropical salad bar and a lot of meat. Kids eat free every day with a paying adult.   
  • Villa Farotto: Italian cuisine fixed individually or family style can be found at Villa Farotto, located in Chesterfield, Missouri. Kids eat free on Mondays.
  • Cinzzetti’s: This unique restaurant has different prices based on when you go. Lunch is cheaper than dinner and Monday night is cheaper than Friday night. Kids eat free Monday and Tuesday nights and you can get up to two free kids per adult paid dinner.

Burger Joint

Sometimes you just crave a quality burger, and these 20 burger joints are known for being the best. While paying for a quality burger can be more expensive, you can offset the price by dining on a “Kids Eat Free” night.

  • JC’s Burger House: This award winning burger joint serves more than just burgers. On Mondays and Tuesdays kids eat free after 4pm with the purchase of an adult entrée. There are six locations for this restaurant, all located in North Texas.
  • Elevation Burger: This restaurant chain has locations in 11 states in the U.S. and also can be found in seven other countries. Kids under 10 eat free on Sundays from 5pm to close.
  • Tommy’s Hamburger Grill: With two locations in Texas, this restaurant offers award winning burgers, catfish and more. Kids eat free all day Tuesday with an adult purchase.   
  • Cheeseburger in Paradise: There are locations all over the country that feature burgers and other house specialties with an island twist. Kids eat free on Tuesday nights with an adult purchase.
  • Island’s Fine Burgers and Drinks: Sit back and enjoy your burger in this tropical themed burger joint located in Carlsbad, California. Kids eat free after 4pm on Tuesdays when accompanied by a paying adult.
  • Johnny Rockets, The Original Hamburger: Enjoy a burger and shake at this fun diner. Johnny Rockets are located all over the world, and eve on some cruise ships. Kids eat free on Wednesdays when an adult buys an entrée.
  • Backyard Burgers: This chain restaurant can be found in numerous states throughout the country, and is known for its different burgers and sandwiches. Kids eat free after 4pm on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult meal.
  • Zebb’s Grill and Bar: If you’re in upstate New York, try out one of the five locations of this chain that’s known for their fresh baked rolls. Kids eat free on Sundays.
  • Austin Grill: Tuesdays are kids’ nights at Austin Grill. Depending on the location, kids either eat free or for $1.
  • Austin Java: For a gourmet burger, eat at Austin Java. There are 11 locations in the Texas area, and kids eat free anytime on Tuesdays with an adult purchase.
  • Champs Americana: Keep your eyes open for one of the 37 different locations across the Midwest, East and South. Kids eat free on Tuesdays. 
  • Ruby’s Diner: There are 21 different burgers on Ruby’s menu, from triple deckers to tiny sliders, which you can enjoy if you live in Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, or Texas. Kids eat free after 4pm on Tuesdays with an adult purchase.
  • Jeffrey’s Sports Grill: The next time you’re in Georgia, be sure to visit this local favorite. Kids eat free from 5pm to 9pm on Wednesdays.
  • Mel’s Diner: As with most diners, burgers are a popular item on the menu, and the burgers here are all ½ pound. Kids eat free on Sundays with an adult meal purchase.
  • Red Robin: Try one of Red Robin’s gourmet burgers with some plank fries. On Tuesday nights after 6pm kids get a free sundae with their kid’s meal.
  • Gunther Toody’s Diner: This quaint diner in Colorado has a menu that’s filled with your standard diner fare, and the burgers are handmade and cooked to order. Kids eat free all day on Mondays with an adult purchase.
  • Lark Burger: This restaurant, known for its unique Lark burger, doesn’t have an extensive menu, but they do claim you’ll eat the best burger you’ve ever had here. Kids eat free from 4pm to close on Monday with an adult entrée of $9 or more.
  • City Grille: Try one of the 11 burger choices on City Grille’s menu. This Denver restaurant is one of a kind and kids eat free on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Rock Yard American Grill & Brewery: Eating at the Rock Yard in Castle Rock, CO is an experience different than most burger joints. Many of the dishes are made with beers that are brewed on site. Kids eat free on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Jake’s Food and Spirits: If you stop in this Denver joint, you’ll have to try their signature dish, “The Jake”. This burger is topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, green chili, onion strings and a fried egg. Kids eat free on Wednesdays when an adult orders dinner.

Other Options

Haven’t found what you’re looking for yet? Whether you’re craving BBQ, Asian or pizza, these 20 restaurants all feature a “Kids Eat Free” special, so you’re sure to fulfill any of your cravings while staying on budget.

  • Dickey’s Barbeque: If you love barbeque, then you’ll love the food at Dickey’s. Their sandwiches are made with a unique cornbread bun and come with your choice of barbeque sauce. This is a chain, so you can find Dickey’s Barbeque restaurants all over the country. Kids eat free on Sundays.
  • Bobby V’s Sports Gallery Café: Bring the whole family here to check out the sports memorabilia and watch some of the 50 big screen televisions. Kids 12 and under eat free all day on Mondays with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Colter’s BBQ: Try some barbeque favorites at this local restaurant that has three locations in the North Texas area. Kids eat free on Wednesdays from 4pm to close with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Double Dave’s Pizza Works: In the mood for pizza? Give this Texas and Oklahoma restaurant chain a try. Kids eat free every day with the purchase of an adult buffet.
  • Good Day Café: Down home cooking is this restaurant’s claim to fame. With two locations in Texas, kids eat free on Wednesdays from 5pm to 9pm with the purchase of an adult buffet. (You must request.)
  • Luby’s: At Luby’s you can enjoy cafeteria style food that’s much tastier than what you remember from school. This restaurant has locations in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Kids eat free on Wednesdays after 4:30pm and all day on Saturday with the purchase of an adult meal. (Some restrictions apply.)
  • Christina’s Mexican Restaurant: There are 12 locations in the North Texas area where you can enjoy this tasty Mexican cuisine. Kids eat free all day Mondays and Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult entrée.
  • Big Al’s Smokehouse BBQ: This is Texas barbeque at its finest. Kids eat free every day from 5pm to close with the purchase of an adult entrée. 
  • Texadelphia: If you like Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, you have to come and try the sandwiches at Texadelphia. Kids eat free on Wednesdays from 3pm to close.
  • Z Pizza: Available in 17 states across the country, Z Pizza has gourmet pizzas that they will bring hot and ready to your door. Kids eat free all day on Mondays with an adult purchase.
  • Heartland Bar-B-Que: If you like barbeque, you will definitely want to try the smokey goodness found at Heartland. Kids eat free every day with the purchase of an adult meal.
  • Doc and Eddie’s BBQ: Kids eat free every Monday with the purchase of an adult entrée. Menu selections are standard for a barbeque place, and you can enjoy ribs, cornbread and much more. 
  • Ixtapa Mexican Grill: Located in Bellevue, Nebraska, this family-owned restaurant features authentic Mexican dishes that are cooked and served by the owners. Kids eat free on Mondays with the purchase of an adult meal.
  • China Buffet Mongolian Grill: This Omaha, Nebraska restaurant features Asian cuisine for the whole family. Kids eat free on Tuesday nights.
  • My Big Fat Greek Restaurant. If you’re looking for Greek food and entertainment, this is the place to eat. Kids eat free every day after 4pm when accompanied by a paying adult.
  • Pig-N-Whistle: Enjoy some Memphis barbeque at this restaurant. Kids eat free all day on Sundays and Mondays with a paying adult.
  • Ethyl’s Smokehouse and Saloon: Try this barbeque place with your family. They run daily specials and kids eat free on Mondays when an adult purchases a dinner.
  • Zarda Bar-B-Q: Delicious Kansas City barbeque can be found at Zarda’s. There are only two locations available for this restaurant, one in Kansas and one in Missouri. Kids eat free all day on Wednesdays.
  • Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen: If you like fried fish, shrimp and hushpuppies, this is the place for you. This southern restaurant chain has free kids’ meals on Thursdays with the purchase of an adult meal.
  • Ricetta’s Brick Oven Ristorante: Indulge in some tasty brick oven pizza with your favorite toppings at this restaurant. Kids eat free Sundays and Mondays with adult purchase.
  • Gator’s Dockside: Check out one of the 17 Florida locations for Gator’s and be sure to try their signature dish, the hand-battered gator tail. Kids eat free Tuesday nights from 5:30pm-8:30pm.
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100 Ways to Save Money as a Nanny

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savemoneynannyEvery nanny has to negotiate a job contract and job responsibilities, which can directly affect what you have to pay for on your own. The more things that are covered by your employer, the more money you will be able to save in living expenses. These 100 sites offer up useful ideas on how you can save money working as a nanny.

Live-in Savings

While live-in nannies typically make less money per paycheck than live-out nannies, they also save a considerable chunk of change by not having to pay rent, utilities and other amenities that people living on their own incur. Not having to pay these bills can add up to some hefty savings over time. These 10 blogs explore some of the ways you can save money as a live-in nanny.

  • No rent to pay. Not all nanny jobs come with housing, but as a live-in you have the benefit of a free place to live. Keep in mind that, according to Civilian Employment, you may work longer hours if you receive room and board.
  • Save on groceries. Wise Bread points out that you can save money by eating your meals with the family you are living with.
  • No commuting. When you live where you work you have no commute, allowing you to save money on gas. Make sure you have a plan in place for your finances, though, as eNannySource reminds nannies they can be let go at any time with no notice.
  • No utility bills. Hubpages highlights the benefits of living with a family, such as not having to pay utilities.
  • Save on tuition. 4Nannies explains that both you and your employer can save money when your employer pays for your tuition.
  • Use of the family car. If you are a live-in nanny, most families will provide a car for your use with the kids and may let you use it during your off hours as well, says Live-In Nanny.
  • You won’t pay taxes on health insurance benefits. According to Regarding Nannies, you and your employer can save money when they pay for your health insurance.
  • No cable bill. There are many ways to save money with your cable, says MSN Money, especially as a live-in nanny since your employer will probably provide you with it at no cost to you.
  • Save on gym expenses. Some employers have a home gym or offer a gym membership as a perk of the job, explains Mommy Tracked.
  • Free lunches. According to I Saw Your Nanny, food is typically included for your lunch, whether you are a live-in or live-out nanny.

General Savings

Making small changes, like switching to a refillable water bottle instead of buying bottled water, can add up to significant savings over time, letting you keep more in your bank account. Use these 10 tips to save money instead of spending it.

  • Use a refillable water bottle. Buying bottled water gets expensive quickly; instead, use a refillable water bottle to save money and help the environment, recommends GTM.
  • Shorten your showers. Choose to Save suggests taking shorter showers to use less water and save money.
  • Shut off the lights. According to Wikihow, you can save a lot of money by shutting off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Cancel or reduce your cable plan. WTOP suggests cancelling cable and switching to Internet only entertainment by using a Roku box or something similar.
  • Reduce the features on your cell phone. BGR recommends switching from a major cell phone carrier to a MVNO; they charge less per month because they don’t own their own network.
  • Get rid of your land line. Wealth Pilgrim advises getting rid of your landline and only using your cell phone.
  • Adjust the thermostat. Bankrate suggests installing a programmable thermostat. If you can’t, keep an eye on the temperatures and adjust accordingly.
  • Use a grocery list to avoid impulse buys. Lifehacker goes over different ways you can save on groceries, like sticking to a pre-written list.
  • Reduce your soda intake. According to Money MSN, if you drank water when you ate out instead of soda you could save around $977 a year.
  • Use coupons for groceries. Woman’s Day says that the average person can save up to 50% on their grocery bill by using coupons.

Reduce Luxuries

Indulging in luxury items is never a bad thing if it’s done only on occasion. However, don’t blow your savings by turning treats into regularities. Take a look at these 10 tips for ways to keep your spending in check.

  • Drink your coffee at home. Going to a coffee shop regularly can really add up. The Simple Dollar explains that you can save at least a dollar per cup of coffee by making it at home.
  • Compare gym prices. Real Simple urges you to check places like colleges to save on monthly gym prices.
  • Eat at home. U.S. News points out that eating at home may take a bit more work, but it will also result in a lot of savings.
  • Brown bag your lunch. Bringing your own lunch to work instead of eating out can save a considerable amount of money, says Christian Science Monitor. As a nanny, you can also try negotiating employer-provided lunches into your contract.
  • Use public transportation. Working Moms suggests using public transit instead of paying for gas or taking cabs.
  • Watch movies at home instead of going out. Going to a movie out can be very expensive. My Saving Money Tips lists different ways you can save money by staying in.
  • Have your friends over to party instead of going to the bar. Money Crashers outlines how much you can save by hanging out with friends at home versus in a bar.
  • Buy generic brands. Parenting says you can save up to 40% by buying the generic brand of a product over the name brand.
  • Check out consignment stores instead of buying new. Whether you are looking for furniture or clothes, Money, How Stuff Works believes you can save a ton of money by buying used.
  • Cancel any magazine subscriptions that you are not reading. Yahoo Voices suggests reducing costs wherever you can by looking at your daily spending.

Household Savings

Tweaking the way you operate at home can help you save a lot of money. These 10 blogs outline different ways you can decrease your spending and increase your household savings.

  • Make your own laundry detergent. For only pennies per load you can make your own detergent, says Ask Anna.
  • Avoid paying shipping costs. Read through the tips on Creative Savings to learn how you can save money on your shipping costs.
  • Use a coupon code if you buy online. Many people stick to online purchases to save both time and money. Dave Ramsey suggests finding and using coupon codes to save big money on your online purchases.
  • Track your budget. Super Sweet Life explains how to create and keep a finance binder to keep track of your nanny hours and expenses.
  • Turn your jeans inside out to make them last. Just Imagine says you can keep your jeans looking newer longer by soaking them in vinegar and washing them inside out.
  • Take care of your teeth. By taking care of your teeth and scheduling regular dental cleanings, you can prevent more costly procedures later, explains America Saves.
  • When buying prescriptions, go generic. Your Healthcare Guide recommends skipping name brand drugs in favor of generics for substantial savings.
  • Have money automatically moved into savings every month. Bank of America suggests having money directly transferred into your savings account each month to resist the temptation to spend it.
  • Use dimmer switches inside your home. We Energies advises using a dimmer switch on your lights to save money on your electric bill.
  • Line-dry your clothes to save the cost of using a dryer. Mother Earth News points out that line drying your clothes is free, unlike using your dryer.

Credit Card Savings

Credit cards can spell trouble with a capital T for many people, but they can also be a helpful tool when used correctly. For tips on how to use your credit card to your benefit, read these 10 sites.

  • Reduce the interest on your credit card. Nerd Wallet explains how to negotiate a lower interest rate with your credit card company.
  • Use a money-back credit card. Transunion talks about credit cards that apply their cash back benefits to the balance on the card.
  • Pay extra toward the card with the highest interest rate. Credit Cards explains that paying off the card with the lowest balance first is less efficient in the long run.
  • Pay your credit card bill early. Good Housekeeping discusses how interest builds up every day, so the sooner you can reduce the balance the more you will save.
  • Never pay your credit card late. Late fees can really add up, says Money Smart, and can cause your interest rate to increase, so pay your bills on time.
  • Sign up for automatic bill pay. Automatic payments ensure that your bills are always paid on time, according to Ready for Zero.
  • Write down what you owe. USA Today recommends having a written log of what you owe to stay on track.
  • Have one card you pay off every month. Consumerist recommends keeping one card “clean” by using it and paying it off in full every month. If you need a credit card to carry debt from month-to-month, do that on a second card.
  • Look over your credit card statements. Bill Cutterz explains that you should always review your credit card bill to avoid fraudulent purchases.
  • Use gas station credit cards to earn discounts. Daily Finance shares that some gas stations will give you a 10% discount on your gas when you use their credit card.

Breakfast Savings

You may be tempted to hit up the drive-thru on the way to work every morning to save some time, but this practice can end up becoming a costly one quickly. Instead, try these 10 recipes that you can make ahead of time, allowing you to quickly grab breakfast and go without forking over your money every morning.

  • Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos. Coupon Crazy Girl shares her recipe for make-ahead bacon breakfast burritos that you can make and keep in the freezer.
  • Banana Split. The Kitchn suggests making a breakfast version of a banana split by using yogurt instead of ice cream and topping it with nuts.
  • Maple Cream Cheese Cornmeal Pancake Stacks. iVillage explains how to put these beauties together and freeze them for future meals.
  • Berry Breakfast Quinoa. Betty Crocker shares this high protein breakfast you can make ahead of time.
  • French Breakfast Muffins. Spoonful recommends starting your day with this simple muffin.
  • Crock Pot Breakfast Cobbler. Busy Cooks describes how you can put the ingredients in the crock pot the night before and wake up to a hot breakfast.
  • Turkey Pepper Brunch Strata. You can make this breakfast on the weekend and then reheat portions for breakfast, lunch or dinner, says Better Homes and Gardens.
  • Blueberry Power Muffins with Almond Streusel. Cooking Light details the ingredients for making these healthy muffins that you can freeze or eat right away for a healthy start to your day.
  • Taco Egg Muffins. Peace, Love and Low Carb gives you a recipe for a portable taco omelet type dish that you can warm up for days.
  • Apple-Chai Baked Oatmeal. Passports and Pancakes shares a unique twist on baked oatmeal.

Cheap Date Nights

Dating, while fun, can get expensive fast if you’re not careful. But you don’t have to break the bank to spend time with your sweetie! Use these 10 cost-effective date night ideas to have a good time with the one you love and save some money.

  • Go to a matinee and then dinner. You can save several dollars on your ticket price by taking advantage of matinee prices, says Divine Caroline.
  • Use coupons at restaurants. Saving Money in Your Twenties suggests eating at home when you can and using coupons when you do eat out.
  • Go on a hike. The Art of Manliness recommends taking a walk with no specific destination in mind.
  • Have an indoor picnic. You don’t even need to leave the house for this cheap date idea from Go Cheap or Go Home.
  • Cook for each other. Rolling Out urges couples to make family favorites for a cheap date night.
  • Go on a coffee date. Sound Money Tips says coffee dates are great first dates.
  • Try an Amazing Race date. Lending Club explains how this date idea works well as a double date. All you need is some gas money.
  • Go to a museum. Dr. Phil suggests checking out local venues like parks and museums to save money on dates.
  • Buy discount tickets. Money Saving Mom recommends looking for discount tickets to get out on the town for less.
  • Have a board game night. Buy some inexpensive candy and sodas and have everyone bring a game over for a fun night at home, says Teen Advice.

Frugal Dinner Recipes

The last thing you probably want to do at the end of a busy day is make dinner, however you can end up wasting a lot of money by eating out all the time. Instead, try out these 10 dinner recipes to get a meal on the table with little fuss or effort.

  • Potato Pancakes. Motherhood explains how to fix dinner on the cheap with potatoes and eggs.
  • Cook Once and Eat Twice. Help Guide gives advice for cooking and planning meals for one person and explains how to save money while doing it.
  • Chili Cheese Omelet. BBC Goodfood points out that omelets are inexpensive and filling.
  • Grilled Ham and Cheese with Pineapple. Delish shares a unique twist on a classic recipe that you can whip up after a long day with the kids.
  • Spaghetti Carbonara. Marie Claire provides a recipe for this quick and inexpensive meal that you can cook up anytime.
  • Cake in a cup. Suffering from a sweet tooth, but don’t want to make a whole cake that will just go to waste? Try this cake-for-one recipe from Student Recipes.
  • Roasted Cauliflower Hummus. For hummus lovers and vegetarians, Gourmet Recipes for One provides a healthy twist on a recipe favorite.
  • Orange Walnut Salad with Chicken. This salad from Eating Well is perfect for a lighter meal.
  • Vegetarian White Bean Chili. Cooking for One gives a hearty, healthy recipe that will last you for multiple meals.
  • Panzanella Salad. Don’t let bread go stale. Instead, use it up in this tasty salad from PBS Food.

Reduce Car Expenses

Keeping your car in proper running condition can help you save a huge chunk of change. Use the advice from these 10 articles to keep your car running in tip-top shape.

  • Keep your tires inflated properly. Investopedia explains that proper air pressure can improve your gas mileage and prevent tire damage.
  • Avoid carrying too much weight in the trunk. Any extra weight in the car will affect your gas mileage, says Ask Men.
  • Try to avoid idling your engine. Auto Trader explains that idling uses a lot of gas.
  • Tip the gas pump handle up. AARP suggests tipping the nozzle up 180 degrees to drain the last of the gas from the hose into your car.
  • Find the cheapest gas station. Gas Buddy researches area gas stations and reports the going rate for gas so you can find the cheapest place to fill up.
  • Periodically wipe off your wiper blades. According to Consumer Reports, you can extend the life of your wiper blades by keeping them clean.
  • Combine your errands into one trip. Drive Smarter Challenge reports that you can save up to $91 a year if you can reduce the driving you do by just 5%.
  • Drive the speed limit. While it’s always a good idea to drive the speed limit for safety reasons, according to Fuel Economy doing so can also help you save on your gas mileage.
  • Try to avoid using the air conditioning. Consumer Energy Center says that keeping the air conditioner on uses 5% more gas.
  • Keep the same car for 7 to 10 years. Generation X Finance explains that trading cars every few years costs a lot more than maintaining the one you already own.

Other Money Saving Tips

For miscellaneous ways to save money, look no further than these 10 posts.

  • Compare car insurance prices. You can go online and compare car insurance rates by using a site like Compare Now. Many nannies negotiate car insurance into their contracts when they start their job, which can be a huge money saver.
  • Don’t pay ATM fees; use the one at your bank. Try to use a bank that has convenient ATM’s so that you don’t incur fees. According to Banking My Way, those fees can really add up over the course of a year.
  • Implement a 30 day waiting period. Peer Transfer recommends waiting a month or two for large purchases so you have time to research the best deal and assess if you really want the item or not.
  • Turn down the temperature on your water heater. All You guestimates that you can save $50 a year when you reduce the temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Hide your credit cards. The Nest shares several money saving tips, such as hiding your credit cards so that you are not tempted to buy during a moment of weakness.
  • Delete your credit card numbers from online sites. It’s too easy to click and buy if your credit card number is already loaded. Bubblews says that if you have to go get your credit card, you may decide you don’t need the item after all.
  • Give gifts of service instead of spending money. Try giving your time and talents instead of buying people gifts, recommends Liberty Voice.
  • Buy a fuel efficient car. Car Quotes gives 10 tips on how to select a car that can save you money in the future.
  • Pay your bills online. Quick and Dirty Tips suggest paying your bills online to keep better track of your finances and save on the cost of stamps and checks.
  • Buy fresh fruits and veggies in season at the farmer’s market. Summer Tomato explains that it’s not expensive to eat healthy when it’s done right.
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100 Ways to Make a Good Impression

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firstimpressionThere’s no denying how crucial first impressions are; after all, your entire perception of someone is shaped on that very first interaction. Because of this, it’s crucial that your first impression is a good one. Princeton researchers Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov performed a series of experiments on first impressions, and ultimately determined that people will form an opinion of you in a tenth of a second, leaving you a very short window frame to make that first interaction a positive experience. To help ensure that your next first impression is a good one, we’ve compiled a list of 100 different sites that will help others see you in the most favorable light possible.

During an Interview

While you’re undoubtedly battling a serious case of nerves during an interview, it’s imperative that you find a way to come across confident and collected. Putting your best foot forward is essential in this situation. To do so, remember to make eye contact, smile, give a firm handshake upon meeting your interviewer, maintain good posture throughout the meeting and speak clearly and concisely. For more tips on making a positive first impression in an interview, read the following 10 blog posts.

  • Give a firm handshake. Weak handshakes can signify insecurity, according to Under Cover Recruiter, so make sure that your handshake is firm and confident.
  • Avoid saying ‘um’ to fill time before answering. Interviewers know that they are asking tough questions, but you shouldn’t let them see you get nervous, says Mashable.
  • Sit or stand up straight. Wikihow explains that sitting up straight portrays confidence to a potential employer, while slouching gives off a negative impression.
  • Make eye contact. When you first meet the interviewer you need to shake hands and make eye contact. Bite Size Bio recommends making frequent eye contact without staring.
  • Research the company. According to Employment Guide, the last thing you want to do is say something that gives away the fact that you didn’t take the time to find out anything about the company prior to interviewing.
  • Be excited. To leave the interviewer with a positive impression, show that you are interested and enthusiastic about the job opportunity, recommends The Guardian.
  • Keep your answers concise. Time is money to an interviewer, and answering questions in a complete, concise manner shows that you know your stuff, advises Simply Hired.
  • Mirror the speed that the interview speaks. According to Money from US News, it is important that you do not speak too quickly or too slowly during an interview.
  • Be honest. Career Advice Monster stresses the importance of honesty during an interview. If you don’t have a certain skill, be up front about it.
  • Show confidence. No matter how you thought the interview went, after the interview act like you got the job. Keep your head up and don’t discuss the interview until you are alone. You never know who might be watching or listening warns CBS News.

Appearances

Your appearance is crucial when meeting someone for the first time. Before you even open your mouth people are assessing you based on your appearance. Do you look like the kind of person that would be good for this job or that someone would want to work with? If you don’t know the answer to that question, ask someone who will be completely honest with you. Take their advice and work with it until you present the strong and confident person that you are on the inside.

  • Hands should be clean and nails nicely trimmed. Since one of the first things you typically do when you initially meet someone is shake hands, you want your hands to look presentable, explains Careerealism.
  • Dress the part. Brian Tracy points out that clothing is 95% of a first impression because it covers about that much of your body, so dress appropriately.
  • Present a polished appearance. Make sure that your clothes are pressed and free from stains, suggests Your Office Coach.
  • Don’t dress too flamboyantly. You can show your personality a little in what you wear, but you also want to dress conservatively and in a way that meshes with the company, explains J Anderson 99.
  • Make sure your clothes are appropriate. Business Queensland suggests taking care to pick out an outfit that is appropriate for the occasion.
  • Dress for the position you want. Mercury News advises dressing for the position you want, not for the position you’re in, to make the best impression.
  • Avoid wild hair colors. Wild hair color makes a statement about you that affects your first impression. Everyday Life suggests steering clear of unnatural colors when meeting professionals.
  • Skip heavy perfumes or after shave. Sometimes odors can be distracting during a meeting, says Business Insider, and sometimes they can trigger allergies. Like with clothes, you should err on the conservative side when it comes to fragrances.
  • Overdressed is better than underdressed. According to Lifehacker, you should dress up for events if you are unsure of how others will dress.
  • Avoid wearing too much make-up. Wearing a little bit of make-up is fine, but avoid overdoing it, advises Voices.

Body Language

Your body language has the ability to tell strangers a lot about you. Slouching can convey that you are lazy or insecure, fidgeting shows that you are nervous and unsure of yourself, and folding your arms across your body can tell others that you are closed off. To help emit confidence, practice your sales pitch or your small talk with someone you trust and be sure to prepare ahead of time. For more tips on body language, read these 10 articles.

  • Smile and be cheerful. Scowling or frowning can give people the impression that you are not approachable and therefore not likeable, advises Internships.
  • Show your palms a lot during an interview. According to Center for Body Language, showing your palms subconsciously tells the person you’re speaking with that you are open and receptive to what they are saying.
  • Have an open body position. Improve Your Social Skills suggests standing or sitting in a position that lines up your heart to the other person’s heart so that you are facing each other without obstruction.
  • Don’t fidget. When you are sitting in a chair your hands should be resting in your lap or on the table in front of you, advises Computer Futures.
  • Avoid crossing your legs at the knee. To show open body language leave your feet flat on the floor or cross your legs at the ankle, says Real Buzz.
  • Nod occasionally during the conversation. Work Awesome explains that nodding occasionally during conversation lets the other person know you are listening.
  • Try not to stand with your hands on your hips. This position tells people that you feel superior or don’t approve of what is being a said, indicates Biz Journals.
  • Turn toward the person you are talking to. Let the person know that you are tuned into what they are saying by turning toward them during the conversation, says Positivity Blog.
  • Skip wearing bracelets that jangle. Catalyst explains that noisy jewelry is distracting.
  • Move briskly to show confidence. According to Inkling, walking slowly or shuffling can make you appear weak or unsure.

Greetings

How you greet a person can send a positive or negative message. You can look like a million bucks, but if you sound meek and unsure when you greet someone, you are not going to give them a very good impression. Smile genuinely, make eye contact with the person you are meeting and exchange a nice greeting to portray confidence and openness. When giving your name, speak clearly and slowly enough that it can be understood by the person you are meeting. This is especially helpful if your name is hard to pronounce. These 10 sites will provide more tips about proper greetings.

  • Research who you will be meeting. Psych Central points out that greetings vary by culture, so you need to understand what the most appropriate greeting is for the person you will be meeting.
  • Include pertinent information in a phone greeting. According to For Construction Pros, you are the first impression that a customer has of the company when you answer the phone, so your greeting must include gratitude for calling, the company name, your name and some offer to help the caller.
  • Make your greeting warm. Jobs says that how you say a greeting is almost more important than what you say.
  • Stay focused. While there are a lot of distractions that can pull your attention away from the person you are greeting, it’s important to keep your focus on them, advises Quick and Dirty Tips.
  • Use a polite greeting in addition to your name. When shaking hands or just following the hand shake, be sure to say, “It’s nice meeting you” or “Thank you for having me” recommends Business Productivity.
  • Be friendly and show confidence. Real Men Real Style explains that people will judge you on your greeting, so you need to smile and make eye contact while shaking hands to convey the right message.
  • Don’t speak with food or gum in your mouth. If you are answering the phone or going to an interview, it’s unprofessional to speak with something in your mouth, points out LJL Seminars.
  • Have a friendly tone to your voice. People are able to tell when you are smiling simply by the tone of your voice, explains National Oil and Lube News.
  • You represent the company. If you are greeting people in a business setting, how you greet them will not only be their first impression of you, but of the company you work for as well, says Customer Service Boot Camp.
  • Always give your name with a greeting for a new person. When you walk into an office for an interview or an appointment it’s important to say hello and give your name. According to Little Things Matter, it may also be a good idea to hand over your business card at the same time.

Business Etiquette

A first impression can be made in many different ways, whether it’s an in person interaction, through snail mail, an e-mail or a phone call. Because of this, there are guidelines you can follow to help ensure that your first contact with someone is a good one, no matter how it’s done. Other things, such as manners and etiquette, tell people about you as well. These 10 sites discuss what you should and should not do when it comes to business etiquette in order to make a good impression.

  • Choose a quality linen paper for your resume and cover letter. Your resume is often your first contact with an employer, so you want it to convey professionalism, says Black Collegian.
  • Spend as much time listening as you do talking. Business Chronicle suggests that you avoid dominating the conversation to give the best impression.
  • Turn off your phone. Whether you are meeting over a meal or in an office, it is imperative that you shut off your phone, explains Open Forum.
  • Make a positive first impression with e-mail. If you are sending an e-mail to a business person, you need to make sure that you take care in your writing to look intelligent, careful and detail oriented, says Net Manners.
  • When ordering food try to order something in a similar price range as your host. If you are interviewing over a meal, JWU says you shouldn’t order the most expensive thing on the menu.
  • Say your name clearly and slowly. Emily Post points out that you want to state your name clearly when meeting someone for the first time so that your name is understood and so you don’t seem nervous.
  • Be sure you have enough copies of your resume. Bring more than one copy of your resume along in case there is more than one person in the interview, recommends ASI.
  • Proofread your e-mails and use proper English. Use complete sentences and always check for spelling and grammar errors before sending an email, suggests Bennington.
  • During a lunch or dinner meeting wait until everyone has their food to eat. Proper etiquette dictates that you don’t start eating your food until everyone has their food, indicates eHow.
  • Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ often. It’s important to mind your manners everywhere you go, especially when you are trying to make a good first impression, explains Money Crashers.

Use a Person’s Name

Have you ever had someone call you by name, only to realize you have no idea what their name is? It’s embarrassing, but you can often cover by greeting them without using their name. However, being able to recall and use someone’s name leaves a good impression with them. The tips in these 10 posts can help you go from the person who is ‘terrible with names’ to the person that knows everyone by name.

  • Repeat the name of the person you are meeting. When you first learn someone’s name, respond to the introduction by using their name, says 501 Connect.
  • Learn people’s names. Using a person’s name three times during your initial meeting with them makes you more likely to remember it, notes Career Education.
  • Use tricks to remember names. According to AOL jobs, people appreciate when you’ve made the effort to remember their name. To help remember someone’s name, try to associate a specific feature with that person, such as ‘Shy Shirley’.
  • When in doubt use a person’s name in association with the event you’re attending. For example, say, “Is this your first time at conference, Karen?” Pop Forms explains that this helps reinforce someone’s name in your memory.
  • Know how to pronounce the person’s name before you meet with him. Check with Human Resources or LinkedIn to learn a name before you go to your meeting, suggests Wise Bread.
  • Meet the people near you at a big conference. Even when you are at a big conference you never know who you may meet that might be beneficial to network with, so it’s important to get the names of the people near you, explains Blogging 4 Jobs.
  • Play name games. If you are meeting a large group of people in a class and want to remember everyone’s name, try to make it a game to remember them, suggests 4 Faculty.
  • Avoid overusing names. While using a name a couple times during the conversation is a good way to remember the name, be careful not to wear it out, cautions Reader’s Digest.
  • Exaggerate the syllables of a person’s name in your head. Think Simple Now suggests trying this unique technique to remember people’s names.
  • Break the name down into smaller words and associate the pieces with images. Build Your Memory advises breaking a name down into smaller words and linking those words with a picture.

Learn the Skill of Small Talk

Small talk can sometimes get a bad rap as being useless filler conversation, however being able to find common ground to talk about can actually open up a conversation that leads into a deeper discussion. Your goal should be to make a connection with people so that you leave them with a good impression of you. This is especially important when you are networking in a room full of people. If you stand off to the side and sip your drink, you are not accomplishing your goal. Instead, get in there and mingle. Introduce yourself with your full name and make a connection. Learn how to make a connection through small talk by reading these 10 articles.

  • Prepare a few things ahead of time. Whether you are heading into an interview or an after work party, think about a few subjects you can talk about ahead of time, suggests OU.
  • Focus on the other person. While small talk is about give and take, you should always try to turn the topic to something the other person is interested in, says Entrepreneur.
  • Build rapport. Small talk may not seem important, but it can open the conversation and help you build a rapport with the person you’re talking to that ultimately leaves them with a good impression of you, advises One Card Me.
  • Make the other person feel good. Debra Fine points out that making a good impression is about leaving the other person feeling good so that they associate good feelings with you.
  • Avoid too much giggling. To make a good impression you want to come across as pleasant, but too much giggling during small talk can make you appear nervous or flirty, warns ACPE.
  • Small talk can break the ice. Meeting new people can be nerve wracking, and engaging in some small talk can help you ease into a deeper conversation, according to Inspiyr.
  • Think of small talk like a tennis match. Once you say something wait for the other person to say something back so that the conversation doesn’t end up awkward and one-sided, says Dummies.
  • Avoid touchy topics like religion, politics or money. Clarke Agency explains the importance of staying away from controversial topics when you first meet someone.
  • Give your full attention to each person. According to Inc, you can make a lasting impression on people by being completely present when you are speaking with them.
  • Try to avoid awkward silences. Romainiacs explains that sitting or standing in silence is rude, so be the one to start the conversation and make the other person feel as though you’re interested and listening to what they have to say.

Be Respectful

Respect can mean a lot of different things. Speaking to everyone from the parking attendant to the receptionist in a pleasant manner conveys respect, as does being aware and courteous of people’s time. You should also always use good manners when interacting with others. These and other things can go a long way in making a good impression, as explained in these 10 sites.

  • Be on time. Being on time for your meeting conveys that you respect other’s people’s time, says Mind Tools.
  • It’s important to be courteous to the receptionist. According to Mac List, your first opportunity to make a good impression is with the receptionist, so make it a good one.
  • Show respect by helping others. This is especially true if you are visiting a foreign country on business, explains Seoulistic.
  • Stand up when greeting people. Linked In indicates that greeting someone from a seated position is disrespectful and should be avoided.
  • Be enthusiastic about the job or topic. Whether you are interviewing or attending a meeting, show sincere enthusiasm to the person you are with, says Professional Resumes.
  • Treat people with respect. People will remember you if you treat them with respect, shares Hyken, and will have a lasting impression of you.
  • Listening shows respect. SG Jobs DB points out that you are more likely to leave a good first impression with someone if you can show that you are an above average listener.
  • Use a person’s title and last name. Using someone’s first name before being invited to do so can show disrespect and leave a negative impression, according to Maricopa.
  • Be grateful. If someone is training you or showing you something, he is taking time out of his busy day to do so. H Careers stresses the importance of saying ‘thank you’ to make a good impression on your co-workers.
  • Dress well. Dressing in an appropriate manner for the job or the occasion is a sign of respect that shows that you are taking the opportunity seriously, shares Great College Advice.

Be Yourself

Sometimes being yourself is easier said than done, so it’s important to possess a certain level of confidence in your abilities. Tell yourself that you have what it takes, then relax and let those qualities shine through. People will notice if you are tense and on edge, and one of the worst things you can do is seem so uncomfortable that you make the other person uncomfortable too. To avoid these problems and learn how to be you, read these 10 posts.

  • Relax. It can be hard to relax in high stress situations, but finding ways to do so can help you stay true to yourself, explains Kevin Eikenberry.
  • Don’t try too hard. Be yourself and not someone you think you’re supposed to be. This will help you come across as more genuine and make a better impression, says Adobe Life.
  • The impression you make relies on your self-evaluation. Peer Review by My Neurons explains that the closer your perceived personality is to your actual personality the better the impression you’ll make on others.
  • Make sure your resume is accurate. You are better able to be yourself at an interview if you have been honest in your resume, says Work Alpha.
  • There is more than one way to succeed. It’s not necessary to be something you are not in order to land a big account or get that dream job. Redbook points out that you need to find the method that works with who you are and allows you to be yourself.
  • Try not to make the other person uncomfortable. If you are nervous and trying to be someone that you’re not, you may make the person you are meeting with feel the same way, which won’t leave a positive impression, cautions The Chubbette.
  • Emphasize what makes you different. If you are vying for a company’s business or trying to get a new job, point out what makes separates you from the competition, explains Beyond.
  • It’s simpler to be yourself. Arole Model examines the importance of being yourself when meeting people. If you don’t, you’ll end up misleading them, which can cause them to mistrust you when they learn the truth.
  • Be proud of yourself and your abilities. Whether you are trying to land a new job or interviewing to be on a game show, you need to be proud of what you have accomplished and let that shine through, says Your Tango.
  • Don’t put on an act. People can tell if you are acting a part instead of being genuine, warns The Authentic Salesman Blog.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

A positive attitude is a useful tool when trying to make a good impression. Ask yourself if you would rather spend time with someone who has a positive attitude or someone who has a negative attitude. Most people will choose an upbeat person who sees the glass half full. Even if you’ve been told you are negative, don’t worry. You can fix this about yourself by making some of the changes outlined in these 10 articles.

  • Tackle challenges with a smile.  Everyone is going to encounter hurdles; it’s how you handle those hurdles that shows people what you’re made of and leaves a lasting impression, says Americas Job Exchange.
  • Avoid gossip. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in an interview is to gossip or speak negatively of your last employer, explains Salisbury.
  • Don’t complain. The last thing you want to do in an interview or when meeting someone for the first time is whine or complain about something. Find more information about this on Edgewood College.
  • Try to be wellrested. No matter what the situation, you will have a better attitude if you get enough sleep, points out Inside Business.
  • Come across as friendly and positive. According to Success Professor, happy people are more likely to be remembered.
  • Believe in yourself. If you believe that you have what it takes to get the job, the client will notice, explains She Knows.
  • Avoid negative media. To maintain a positive attitude, eliminate the negative influences around you, recommends Improve Staff.
  • Be confident not arrogant. A positive attitude will naturally be conveyed if you are confident in your abilities, notes Interview Success Formula.
  • Keep your energy up. During a meeting it’s important to stay upbeat no matter what gets thrown at you, because the person you are meeting with will be able to feel your positive energy, says Morgan McKinley.
  • Surround yourself with positive energy. Ravi Moosad points out that positive energy is contagious, so pull inspiration from others’ successes.
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How Can Nannies Foster a Mom/Child Relationship

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momchildThere is nothing more precious than a child who wraps his or her arms around your neck and enjoys the comfort and nurturing you provide. As a nanny, a mom/child relationship is only natural when you have bonded with a little one.

It takes time, creativity and a sense of trust to establish this close relationship with the children you care for on a daily basis. In order to enhance the nurturing environment and a child’s sense of comfort in your care, begin by creating a bond that will last a lifetime with loving actions and fun activities.

Books and Bonding

Children love to lose themselves in mystical stories and fairy tales. Create a bond with a child and encourage his or her imagination to run wild by making story time and reading a regular part of your day. Gather together at a designated time, whether it is before a nap or as a mid-day treat, and bundle up on the couch together to dive into another world. Allow the child to choose a book she enjoys or spend the time making up your own stories together.

The key to bonding with a book is to show your personality and learn to trust each other when being silly and creative. You can also learn more about a child’s likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests when prompting him or her to share experiences in story form.

Interesting Interests

One sure-fire way to establish a mom/child relationship as a nanny is to show an interest in your child’s hobbies and passions. If the child loves baseball, consider taking him to a professional game, tossing the ball around in the backyard or organizing a team with the neighborhood kids. As the coach, you can learn how your child interacts with others, improves his skills and if he knows how to be a good sport. By taking a special interest in his hobby, he will also learn that you are invested in his interests and that you support him.

“Any activity that allows a nanny and child to spend quality time together, talking and sharing a mutual interest, does wonders for their relationship and the child’s self-esteem, says Dr. Nerina Garcia-Arcement, a New-York based clinical psychologist.

If your child has a flare for art, dive right in by providing a blank canvas for the two of you to create a masterpiece. You can use this opportunity to learn from each other and most of all, learn more about each other.

The list of possibilities is endless when children have a variety of interests. From visiting a museum to spark his love for history and taking a dance class together with your little ballerina to hiking with your nature enthusiast and reading with your bookworm, quality time together sharing interests will surely build a mom/child relationship.

The Tell-All Session

Children are curious and want to know everything about each new person who comes into their life. The more you share with a child about your experiences, childhood, likes and dislikes, the more likely he or she will begin to trust and bond with you.

Take the opportunity to put together a storybook about your childhood with the child while prompting her to do the same. You can even research ancestry websites to find out more about your family and the child’s family.

Beyond sharing about your life, inquire about your child’s experiences. What does she like to do for fun? What are her dreams and goals? What does he worry about or fear? What are his friends like?

Take an interest in what’s important to the child to build a bond between the two of you. “Activities that allow a nanny to talk to the child about their friends, what they like to do, what they want to do, dreams, worries and hopes are recommended,” says Garcia-Arcement. “This way you can learn from each other.”

The Child’s Level

Even though you have to be the disciplinarian at times, it is still possible to maintain respect from a child while acting like a child yourself. Get on her level by divulging in kid activities and games.

A simple game of duck, duck, goose while sitting on the floor, at the same level as the child, shows your willingness to be a kid, too. Get silly and crawl around with your toddler, dance to music with the little one and dish about friends and fashion with older children.

Use these opportunities to have fun and also spark conversations with the children so that they can see both a playful and serious side of you, recommends Garcia-Arcement.

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Family Activities to Engage Your Preteen

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preteenIt’s no secret that preteens can test your patience. They are moody and trying their best to establish independence and freedom. However, preteens need family interaction to keep them grounded when hormones and confusing feelings surface. In fact, the more involved your child is with the family, the less likely he or she will be to seek out trouble and fall into peer pressure traps.

Even though your tween may not always be eager or willing to join in the family fun, with some imagination and creativity, you can engage him in activities that keep your family connection going strong.

Make the Most of Meal Time

With the hustle and bustle of work life, after school commitments and household responsibilities, family dinners often take a hit. Revive a meal time routine to keep your preteen engaged, suggests Dr. Fran Walfish, California-based psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent.

“Eat family dinner together at least five to seven times a week,” she says. “Make this a solemn commitment. Unfortunately, the kids who join gangs are those who long to belong to a group of togetherness. Make it your family.”

Family togetherness during meals offers benefits for everyone – not just your preteen. “Most American families are starved for time to spend together, and dinner may be the only time of the day when we can reconnect, leaving behind our individual pursuits like playing video games, emailing and doing homework,” says Dr. Anne Fishel of The Family Dinner Project. “Dinner is a time to relax, recharge, laugh, tell stories and catch up on the day’s ups and downs, while developing a sense of who we are as a family.”

Cater to Your Preteen’s Interests

If your preteen is less than enthused about spending time with the family, try catering to his or her interests and hobbies. Make sure to know what interests your tween enjoys and find activities that will appeal to him, recommends Erica Ives, licensed marriage and family therapist in California.

“Take the time to get to know your preteen and find out his likes and dislikes and, most importantly, listen to them,” she says. “Take interest in their music and share your playlists. If he or she is interested in a particular sport, then go to a sporting event.”

If your tween is an art enthusiast, venture out on a day trip to visit museums, art supply stores and exhibits. Visit a clay activity where each family member can create something special. Provide your preteen with a creative outlet and show her that the family is supportive of her hobbies and willing to try something new.

You can even gather the family to create a mural with your preteen guiding the project. The more you enable your preteen to exhibit control over her interests, the more willing she may be to share her ideas and skills with the family.

“Show your preteen that you are interested, even if they seem disinterested that you are engaging and even if they display resistance,” says Ives. “Do your best to not allow your own frustrations or feelings of rejection cause you to withdraw or become disengaged.”

Break Out the Games

A board game may seem “lame” to your preteen, but when he or she gets to choose the game it might become a little more interesting. From Pictionary to Uno, engage your tween with a family game night complete with popcorn, snacks and milkshakes.

According to Dr. Christine Carter, sociologist and author of RAISING HAPPINESS: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, a recent survey revealed that 91% of families who play games report that playing those games together improves their mood – even for preteens and teenagers. “The survey found that the more a family plays games together, the more satisfied parents tend to be with their family time,” says Carter.

Carter offers the following tips to ensure your family game night is successful and engaging for your preteen:

  • Don’t keep score or automatically let kids win: Although rivalries can be really fun, they can obscure the benefits of family game night. Once everyone is enjoying the process and fun of playing games together–without obsessing over who is winning or losing–then go back to keeping score, to teach the important skill of winning and losing gracefully.
  • Don’t feel compelled to play games that bore you: Make sure you have a selection of games that work for everyone in your family, no matter their age. Family game night can be fun for everyone.
  • Be the fun family in your neighborhood: As kids get older, time with their peers becomes more important to them than time with their family. Don’t let these priorities conflict. Instead, encourage kids to invite a friend or two to come to your family game night. Let the teens choose the food and the music (but check their smart phones and devices at the door). On weekends, plan for game night extensions, allowing teens to continue play without parents and younger siblings.

The key to successful activities or game nights with your preteen and family is to be consistent. “Decide which day of the week will be your weekly game night and then be consistent so that it becomes a ritual anticipated by everyone,” says Carter.

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Choosing the Best Nanny Market for Your Next Job

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locationWhen you decide to look for a new nanny job, there are lots of things you have to take into consideration. The type of family you want to work for, the responsibilities you’re willing to take on, the ages you want to work with – these all factor into the type of job you ultimately want to take. A big question you must also answer is where you want to work. Like in real estate, one of the most important factors in finding a nanny job is location, location, location. Here are some key questions to consider when deciding on your search area.

Are the areas I’m considering viable nanny markets? Other childcare jobs, like family care providers, daycare providers, preschool teachers or entry-level teachers can be found in towns and cities across the country. The same isn’t true for nanny jobs, though. For an area to be a viable nanny market it must have a significant population of professionals like doctors, lawyers, bankers or college professionals. It’s more viable if it also has a significant population of business executives, successful startups and other affluent parents.

This matters for three important reasons. First, those types of families are able to afford a nanny. Nanny care is the most expensive form of childcare and, because of the cost, it’s a choice that many families cannot afford. Although most parents love the idea of having a nanny, the reality is it’s not an option for a family that doesn’t earn a certain income. When an area is filled with parents who want a nanny but cannot realistically afford one, a nanny job hunter’s chances of finding a quality position are very low. What she’ll find is lots of nanny jobs paying far below a livable wage, and often even below a legal wage.

Second, areas that have a nanny population support the nanny culture. Families understand the difference between a babysitter and a nanny and are willing to pay for quality care. Employers understand that a nanny is a childcare professional who requires a competitive wage, standard benefits like paid time off and access to a household account, and a comfortable and safe work environment. When an area doesn’t have a nanny population and instead simply has a handful of nannies working in the area, there’s usually no understanding of the nanny as a professional. The types of wages and benefits that are standard in the industry are almost non-existent in these areas.

Third, having a significant number of potential employers means a nanny will have a good chance of actually finding a quality job. While even the smallest town may have a few nannies working in it, that doesn’t make it a viable job market. As a job hunter, it’s essential that you look at the number of jobs that are available or will be available during the time of your search. When an area only has a handful of open jobs at any one time, the chances of landing one of them are very low. Job hunters in those areas are in for long periods of unemployment or underemployment while they wait to be hired. Plus, a nanny won’t be able to pick and choose a position that best fits her needs and wants when there are only a few open jobs at any one time. With such limited options, it’s a “take what you can get” market.

Does the area I’m interested in offer the wages I want to make? Nannies are the highest paid segment of the childcare field, but how high those wages are depends primarily on the location of the nanny. A nanny can earn two to three times more in a large metropolitan area such as Boston or San Francisco than she can in a mid-sized city in Texas or North Carolina. Of course, in areas where wages are higher, the cost of living is too, so that must also be taken into consideration. If you want to earn the high salary that many nannies aspire to, choosing a city that supports those wage levels is essential. Otherwise, no matter how qualified you are, you’ll be limited by the salary ceiling of your local area.

Does the area I want to work in offer a thriving nanny community? Working as a nanny is an isolating job. Having a local nanny community to turn to for support, resources and nanny/child outings is a big factor in job success and satisfaction. Not every area has a nanny community, so this is an important thing to look at when deciding where to work. Of course, if an area is lacking in an organized community, an energetic and dedicated nanny can plant the seeds and grow her own nanny community.

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Ten Things That Make a Perfect Nanny Family Match

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nannyfammatchAlthough you might hope to make a Banks’-like Poppins list of desirable nanny traits, checking off each and every want and whim in your prospective childcare pro is about as likely to happen as your ability to jump through a painting and dance with penguins. Some things are deal breakers, some things would just be nice, but going in with a strong idea of what you need vs. what you want is the best way to find the perfect match for your family.

Consider these 10 things when meeting your own potential Poppins:

Discipline

Although any professional nanny is expected to follow a family’s wishes when it comes to discipline, an instinctual and natural response is bound to be both made by the nanny and felt by the child. It’s important that you are on the same page, so ask what her personal philosophy is.

Language

Language is important to take into consideration if your nanny is foreign-born or comes from a culture that speaks another language. Perhaps you’re thrilled at the prospect of your young children learning a new language and want to seek someone out who will be willing to share, or you maybe you’re concerned that very young children just learning to talk might become confused. One overriding need is that you feel comfortable with your own level of communication with the nanny.

Values

In addition to discipline, attitudes and ideas about what is right and wrong will shine through. As your children bond with their nanny, that influence will also grow. This could be seen as an opportunity to teach about tolerance and understanding others’ points of view, but it’s also good to know ahead of time if the person about to spend time with your children has any strong opinions that might filter down to the kids, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Issues like divorce, same sex relationships, religion, exposure to sex or violence in media, etc. could be sensitive topics.

Organization

If you are a super tidy neat freak and your nanny, while warm and wonderfully creative, is more organizationally challenged, you need to decide in advance how much this means to your family. If not being able to find a pair of scissors or having to replace the notepad by the phone every time you come home will drive you insane, be honest with yourself about it. You don’t want to end up seething in frustration or resenting the intrusion into your orderly world. Vice versa, if you prefer organized clutter and your nanny is so precise it makes you feel judged or like you can’t be at home, in your home, it might not be the best fit.

Location

Although it is not always something that can be avoided, a nanny’s location in relation to your house could lead to problems. If trains frequently run late, or construction and traffic jams pop up and lead to tardiness, the consequences can be very difficult to live with, particularly if one or both parents have inflexible work schedules or the nanny’s start time is too close to the first bell at the children’s school.

Experience

Whether it is a specialty situation where a child has advanced needs or a newborn is in need of care, a nanny’s experience can mean a lot to both a child’s safety and well-being and to a parent’s sense of peace about leaving them in her care. Even new parents may mesh better with a nanny who has been through the experience of comforting nervous newbies about to return to the work world.

Activity Level

Your child might live for anything with a ball or to run free in the park until the last moment of sunlight (or dinner needs to be prepared), but if your prospective nanny is not up for the physical challenge, it might not be the best fit. Likewise, a book loving artist might excel with a nanny who harbors similar passions.

Family

If a nanny comes from a similar upbringing to the one in your home it can add to a sense of comfort that she can handle your crew. If you have a large brood and your nanny grew up in the chaos of a large group of siblings, it might feel like second nature to be judge and jury resolving frequent bickering and accommodating varying ages at once. Someone who grew up as an only child, on the other hand, might find sibling issues overwhelming (though might be more understanding of a solo child wanting her attention as a playmate).  Certainly not a deal breaker, but can be a nice touch if it matches up.

Pets

Allergies or a simple dislike or phobic discomfort of pets can spell disaster to a home with furry friends. Ensure the nanny has no health issues and actually enjoys the type of animal in question before hiring her, especially if her duties include any interaction with the pet.

Driving

A nanny who can drive, whether driving her own vehicle with reimbursed expenses or one supplied by the family, can contribute to a good match. Not all schools offer bus service, and trips to the doctor or local library might not be safe on foot or by public transportation. Ensure that the nanny understands all safety rules about driving with her charges (seatbelts, no front seat riding, rear-facing car seats, etc.) and that you’re clear about when and how permission to transport the children is granted.

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How Old is Too Old When Hiring a Nanny?

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oldWhen most children recall their childhood nanny, their thoughts often revolve around the nurturing they received, not whether or not the nanny was “young” or “old.” Children often view the nanny as a part of the family, an ageless friend and caretaker, whether he or she is 22 or 62.

The recent hiring of 71-year old Jesse Webb to care for newborn Prince George has erupted controversy over the age and ability of older nannies, though. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently revealed that Webb, who was Prince William’s childhood nanny, will be caring for their child on a part-time basis.

Putting age and experience into question, the hiring has prompted public scrutiny, prompting people to ask: How old is too old when hiring a nanny?

Defining “Old”

Many nannies in the job market face difficulty because of their age – both those younger than 20 and those older than 60 years of age – even though the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is designed to protect those who are 40 or older.

Age is a sensitive issue during hiring because it can lead to discrimination and false assumptions about a nanny’s ability. For example, nanny placement agencies cannot legally ask a potential nanny’s age; however, they can ask if he or she is of the legal working age. Families, however, often have more leeway in what they can and cannot ask (contact an attorney for specific advice on this issue). Appearances, though, can often give away a person’s years of experience, thus leading to unfair discrimination.

Defining “older,” though, is a subjective task for families.

When deciding to hire an “older” nanny, the descriptor of “older” varies from family to family, says Lindsay Heller, licensed clinical psychologist and professional nanny consultant.

“First and foremost, the family should determine the qualities not necessarily the number in regards to age per say,” says Heller. “I find that when families are requesting an older nanny, they are really looking for someone who possibly has already raised their own children, may be living a steady lifestyle or they want someone who is more settled and not planning any major life changes such as going back to school, getting married or starting a family of their own.”

Many families may also prefer to hire more of a “grandmotherly” figure as a nanny, says Heller. “These families are often looking for a nurturing, warm, snuggly type of nanny,” she says.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring an “Older” Nanny

Many families prefer to hire a nanny with more years of experience. “For some families, this means having a nanny who may have raised her own children or has had years and years of experience as a nanny,” says Heller. “They may be knowledgeable of not only child development, but also the professional role as a nanny in the family, as well as how things tend to go in a household.”

That said, there are younger nannies who can do the same, says Heller. “It’s important to pay attention to the qualities you are looking for in a nanny – not just the number,” she says.

When hiring, though, some families may determine “older” as a deterrent for several reasons. “Some families feel as though an older nanny may be great with a baby but as soon as that child is running, jumping and climbing, it may be hard to keep up with the child,” says Heller. “That said, there are younger nannies who may have a hard time keeping up with a child, whether it be that they are out of shape or some other issue.”

When hiring an “older” nanny, some families may also perceive more experience as a tendency to be too rigid. However, Heller says it’s important to note that many younger nannies have a similar issue.

As a result, Heller suggests families look beyond age when determining the best candidate for their children’s care. “There really isn’t anything different for a family to consider regarding an older nanny versus a younger nanny,” she says. “In all instances, families should have a trial period where they can see how well their child interacts with the potential nanny. In that trial period, the family should pay attention to how well the nanny keeps up with the children and is able to engage them.”

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Do You Have What It Takes to be a Full-Time Nanny?

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ftnannyAlthough they might take a lot of them, becoming a full-time nanny is no walk in the park. This is a professional position, with professional responsibilities and professional compensation. And, for the right candidate, it also has a fair amount of personal enjoyment. Making a connection with and becoming a positive influence in a young life can be an incredible and rewarding experience.

There is a list of generally accepted nanny requirements; 18 years of age, high school diploma (or equivalent), good health, child-related experience (educational, practical or both) and the ability to legally work in the US are just the start. However, a serious candidate has to carefully consider whether this is the career she wants to take on. Not only are the responsibilities heady, with children’s safety and security at stake, but little ones quickly form bonds with their caregivers, so dabbling and then quitting without notice or much thought to the upheaval it can cause can throw a family’s household into chaos while they scramble to find a replacement.

Live-In vs. Live-Out

Contrary to popular belief, most nannies do not live in the household with the family. Those that do choose to accept a live-in position typically have a slightly smaller salary in exchange for the benefit of having a place to live. If you take on a live-in position, you need to be flexible with your privacy needs. Sleeping quarters apart from the children’s is a standard, though a private non-shared bathroom is not guaranteed. You also need to be strong about boundaries, as children (and occasionally parents) may need to be reminded you’re not on duty 24/7. Make sure a detailed, written work agreement includes any sort of conduct rules the family has for the house regarding visitors, legally drinking (when not on duty, or in the hours before), curfews, private food prep and storage areas, etc.

A Full-Time Job and Then Some

Nannies are expected to work a full 40 hours each week at a minimum. However, many caregivers are asked to cover additional hours or come in an extra day here or there in a pinch, since the kids are already accustomed to their nanny. In these cases, in order to pay the nanny legally, the family should compensate the caregiver for these additional hours at a pay rate of time and a half.

*If the nanny is paid a flat rate per week, this should be divided by 40 (which should equal at least the state minimum hourly rate according to the Fair Labor Standards Act). Overtime pay would then be this rate times 150%.

Do You Do Windows? Know Your Duties

While most nannies are not asked to do housework, aside from that which is required to clean up after the kids, this rule is not written in stone. It is, however, often an expectation that the nanny will plan, create and clean up after meals for the children. Some parents, on the other hand, will request that a nanny provide both childcare and full housekeeping services. Shopping, driving and covering playdates are further duties that may need to be negotiated. Duties should be discussed in detail during the hiring process and listed in a nanny work agreement so there is no confusion at a later time.

No Fear of Commitment

Full-time nannies will quickly bond with their charges. Families who take on nannies usually request at least a year-long commitment to start the relationship, though they might intend to engage a nanny’s services until the kids reach school age (barring any younger siblings coming on the scene). In other words, becoming a full-time nanny is not something you want to embark on if you have plans for further education or moving from the area within a few months.

However, if you have the skills and experience to qualify as a nanny but don’t want to commit to a long-term position, temporary or fill-in nannies are highly sought after to fill in for nannies who have family emergencies, unforeseen illnesses or other temporary conflicts. Even shorter term options can be very lucrative, especially for those willing to join families on vacation. Travel nannies charge a premium and can usually eke out a few hours of private time to enjoy the destination during the stay, though it is certainly not a lax endeavor as parents are footing the bill to ensure they get some downtime and might have high expectations.

The bottom line? If you meet the minimum accepted criteria, love caring for children, have the experience and know-how, and are willing to make a significant commitment to a family, you may have what it takes to be a full-time nanny and it may be worth putting yourself to the test.

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100 Easy Seasonal Arts and Crafts for Kids

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craftkidsCrafting with kids is a rewarding experience, both for kids and adults. Sure, there may be a huge mess to clean up afterward, but seeing the enjoyment on your child’s face as he crafts makes the clean up well worth it. There are an unlimited number of crafts you can make, but if you need help getting started we’ve compiled a list of 100 simple crafts covering all of the seasons and many of the holidays throughout the year. Hate following instructions to the letter? Don’t get locked in with the details of the craft; just use the directions as a jumping off point to create your own thing, your way.

New Year’s

When Christmas has passed but school hasn’t yet started, it’s not unusual for the kids to suddenly find themselves a little bored. The solution? Crafting. Here are 10 blogs explaining various New Year’s Eve and New Year’s crafts that the kids can make. To prepare for the New Year, let them dress up the house and make hats and noise makers – even if they won’t actually be making it ‘til midnight.

  • New Year’s Eve Poppers—Help your little ones make these simple treat poppers from Glued to My Crafts using cardboard tubes and tissue paper.
  • New Years’ Time Capsule—Decorate a shoe box to create your own time capsule with your kids that they can open up years down the road, as shown on Busy Bee Kids Crafts.
  • DIY Glowing Tree Lanterns—Make these glowing lanterns by Growing a Jeweled Rose to help the kids stay up to usher in the new year.
  • New Year Collage—Draw big open numbers depicting the New Year and let the kids use various craft items to fill in the numbers like they did on Activity Village.
  • Noisemaker Craft—You have to make noise when the clock hits midnight, so let your kids make these simple noisemakers from Crafts-For-All-Seasons.
  • Paper Hats—Tie in crafts with New Year’s resolutions by making these paper hats from So You Think You’re Crafty and decorate them with your goals for the new year.
  • New Year’s Resolution Wreath—Let the kids trace their hands on several different colors of paper and cut them out, then write their resolutions on them, like the ones on The Cubicle Chick.
  • New Year’s Eve Banner—Help the kids make this long sign to put up for your New Year’s Eve celebration, along with the other crafts from She Knows.
  • Paper Plate Noisemakers—These simple noisemakers from Ma, What’s for Dinner? can be made by kids of all ages and decorated to use when the clock strikes midnight.
  • Confetti Eggs—Help the kids make these confetti filled eggs to use when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. See an example at RadMegan.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the day for love, and your kids will love making Valentines for their friends, family and teacher. In these 10 blogs you will be able to find a few ideas for Valentines and a bunch of ideas for decorating the house. These crafts use various supplies, most of which you probably already have on hand.

  • Paper Heart Wreath—Your kids can attach simple strips made into hearts together to make this splendid wreath by The Hybrid Chick.
  • Wax Paper Crayon Hearts—You’ll need to help the kids with this craft by I Am That Lady when it comes time to use the iron, but the rest of the project the kids can do on their own.
  • Tissue Paper Heart Ornaments—This toddler-friendly craft from Pastiche uses recycled tissue paper and construction paper to make a fluffy ornament.
  • Deconstructed Valentines—Toddlers can practice their scissor skills while creating a Valentine craft with this project. Find the directions on Tinkerlab.
  • Heart Puzzle—While this puzzle may be simple to create, it might be harder to solve if you do it like they did on All You.
  • Jar of Hearts—Help your kids create a jar of hearts to give as a gift to someone they love on Valentine’s Day. Find the step-by-step instructions on The Outlaw Mom.
  • Owl Valentine Craft—Use some heart cut-outs to put together the adorable owl by This Simple Home.
  • Handprint Valentines—With some help from you, even older infants can help put these handprint valentines from The Idea Room together.
  • I Love You Stand Up Valentine’s Day Card—Using the example found on Celebrations, draw out this card and let the kids try their hand at these advanced scissor skills.
  • Valentine Heart ManThe Chirping Moms have come up with a clever craft that uses hearts and pipe cleaners.

Spring

Springtime is marked by nature waking up from its long winter nap with blooming flowers and chirping birds. With the spring season also comes Easter, which means there are eggs to color and bunnies to make. These 10 blogs show various spring craft ideas that will get your kids in the mood for spring, even if there’s a little snow still left on the ground. Help the kids make a birdhouse or a handprint sun to celebrate. You can use these projects to teach the kids about spring while they are having fun getting their hands messy.

  • Mod Podge a BirdhouseSew Country Chick shows how simple it is to use scraps of paper or fabric and some paint to decorate birdhouses with the kids.
  • Sunshine Spring Craft—Celebrate the sun getting warmer in the spring by making this handprint sun with the kids, as seen on Surviving a Teacher’s Salary.
  • Shaving Cream Eggs—Color the paper with the kids for these Easter eggs using shaving cream and food coloring. See the foamy pictures on Hands On as We Grow.
  • Cherry Blossom Spring Tree Craft—Teach the kids about the blossoms on the trees while creating this delightful centerpiece from Creekside Learning.
  • Rainbow Wind Catchers—Spring showers bring rainbows, but rainbows fade quickly. This year, use the tutorial on A Pretty Cool Life to make rainbows that stick around longer than a few minutes.
  • Pom Pom Bunnies—Baby bunnies are a hallmark of spring, and you can help the kids make their own furry friends by following the directions on Red Ted Art.
  • Tissue Paper Flowers—The old saying says that April showers bring May flowers, but you don’t have to wait ‘til May to fill your house with them. Instead, use Modern Mami for inspiration to create tissue flowers for around the home.
  • Flower Crown—Do you have kids that love to wear crowns? How about making this flower crown out of a paper plate from Enchanted Learning?
  • Decorated Terra Cotta Pots—Spring is all about planting and new growth, so have the kids decorate some pots that they can later plant something in. See the samples on Mama Smiles.
  • Bottle Cap Caterpillar Craft—Recycle some bottle caps while talking about caterpillars turning into butterflies during this craft by All Kids Network.

Independence Day

Red, white and blue screams patriotism and the 4th of July. This Independence Day, create simple crafts with the kids to keep them entertained until it’s time to watch the fireworks. These 10 blog posts include crafts that you can use to decorate for your annual barbeque or to give the kids something to play with.

  • Rocket Straws—You and the kids can make these anytime, but what better time of year to make them than around the 4th of July when rockets are shooting into the air anyway? This simple and fun craft can be found on Inner Child Fun.
  • Foam Firecracker Slingshot—The kids will love this craft that turns into a toy by Lolly Jane.
  • Fireworks in a Bottle—A simple craft for preschoolers, this project by No Twiddle Twaddle requires an empty disposable water bottle, glitter and other colorful bits.
  • Bottle Rocket Bouquet—Get the kids involved making the centerpiece for your holiday barbeque by making these bottle rockets from First Home Love Life.
  • Super Simple Flag Craft—Prepare some strips of red and white paper, a blue square and some star stickers to create the simple flag craft found on 3 Boys and a Dog.
  • Popsicle Stick Flags—You may need to help the kids cut some sticks for the field of blue, but otherwise let them paint the sticks and put together the flag like the one on Gingersnap Crafts.
  • Confetti Launcher—Let your school-aged kids try making the confetti launcher shown on Spoonful to get your party started.
  • Firework PaintingLearn and Grow Designs put together a simple, fun craft that uses a box and a rubber ball to make fireworks.
  • Uncle Sam Puppet—Grab a lunch sack and some paper and let the kids get to work making the bag look like Uncle Sam; for ideas check out iVillage Pregnancy & Parenting.
  • Rag Flags—Collect some sticks and some canvas drop cloth to paint a flag like the one seen on Family Chic, then attach it to a stick to wave during parades.

Summer

The dog days of summer are the perfect time for making crafts. Recycle an old CD to create a floating sparkly fish or make clothespin pinwheels to hook on the basket of a bike. Let them plant a few things in the garden and create some springy bugs to mark where they planted. Get a few kids together and let them make friendship bracelets out of balloons or craft sticks. These 10 blogs are full of crafts that will keep your kids busy all summer long.

  • Sequined CD FishParents came up with this clever use for an old CD; all you need is some foam and sequins to make this sparkly fish to hang by the window.
  • Clothespin PinwheelsMartha Stewart explains how to make these fun clothespin pinwheels.
  • Balloon Bracelet—Try these bright and colorful bracelets from Kiwi Crate.
  • Kids’ Garden Plant Markers—These clever and useful wiggly bugs from BHG can adorn any plant because the bottom is a golf tee that can be pressed into the soil.
  • Craft Stick Bracelets—For simple bracelets the kids can decorate, follow the instructions on Molly Moo.
  • Paper Bowl Jellyfish—Let the kids paint up some disposable bowls and glue or tape on some streamers to create mysterious looking jellyfish like the ones on First Palette.
  • Clothespin Dragonfly Magnets—Dragonflies are definitely a sign of summer, so why not gather up some clothespins to make these magnets from the The Crafty Crow?
  • Bee Kite—Making a professional looking kite is possible with these directions from Todays Parent.
  • Paper Fan People—You can print out the sheets from Mr. Printables for free to create these fan people.
  • Simple Concrete Stepping StonesHomemade Simple has explained this stepping stone project in simple terms that make it an easy project for the whole family to make together.

Fall

Fall is marked by colorful leaves and air that has just a hint of chill. With the slight drop in temperatures, it’s also the perfect time to be outside, so go on a hike to pick up a few supplies for some nature-inspired crafts. Take a look at these 10 blogs for some fall-inspired crafts.

  • Autumn Tree Craft—There are several different ways to make this craft, so you can decide based on the age of your child which is more appropriate. See variations on DLTK.
  • Easy to Craft Fall Leaf Centerpiece—This project from HGTV involves spray paint, so you may want to have the kids find a branch from the yard and then you can spray it before they make leaves to decorate the tree.
  • Crinkled Tissue Paper Corn—Multi-colored corn is a staple in fall décor, so why not make some out of paper? Follow the steps on Apples 4 the Teacher.
  • Fall Leaves Garland—Decorate the house with this simple rustic garland from A Beautiful Mess.
  • Knuckle Print Pumpkins—The pumpkins on Putti’s World are perfect for the younger crafter since it only requires a knuckle print in orange followed by a fingerprint in green.
  • Coffee Filter Apple Art—This is a simple craft appropriate for toddlers on up, according to Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.
  • Nature Filled Sun Catcher—Go on a hike and have the kids select some small leaves and flowers, then come back and make this sun catcher from Blue Bird Lucy’s.
  • Paper Bag Fall TreePikadilly Charm has come up with a clever craft that recycles a paper bag into a fall tree.
  • Pumpkin Seed Pumpkins—Ready to carve those pumpkins with the kids? Make sure to save the seeds to eat and to paint for this craft project from Baby Center.
  • Acorn Toadstools—There’s no better place to find instructions for making acorn toadstools than Twig and Toadstool.

Halloween

Have the kids help you dress up your house for Halloween by making some of these seasonal crafts. Creepy pine cone spiders that dangle from a tree or spooky paper cutouts hung in the window should give your home some Halloween flare. Dress up a pumpkin without the use of a knife and line the sidewalk with some Halloween nightlights. Check out these 10 blogs for crafts that are perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit.

  • Pine Cone Spiders—These clever creatures from The Magic Onions are made out of pine cones, pipe cleaners and googly eyes.
  • Spooky Paper Cutouts—Use the templates from Country Living to make these spooky paper cutouts.
  • Ghost Spoon Puppet—Get the kids to use their imaginations by putting on a show after making one of these ghost puppets from Kidspot.
  • Trick-or-Treat Jug—Instead of buying some sort of treat bag or bucket this year, why not let the kids recycle a milk jug and make their own, like the ones on TLC?
  • Halloween Nightlights—Recycle your baby food jars into these clever lights from Mommy Poppins.
  • Marshmallow Skull Craft—An adult can help a younger child by drawing the skull outline, then have the kids glue the mini marshmallows on the lines, as shown on No Time for Flash Cards.
  • Simple Origami Bat—Follow the picture tutorial to teach your kids how to make these simple bats and create a mobile like the one on Be a Fun Mum.
  • Flower Pot Witch—Check out this craft on The Chirping Moms that uses a small pot and a bead for this clever witch.
  • Pumpkin Mummies—If you’re looking for a way to decorate your pumpkins without using a knife, this might be the solution. Hands on as We Grow has turned the pumpkins into mummies!
  • Easy Pumpkin Decorating—Paint your pumpkin black and let the kids stick on foam eyes to make it look like several eyes are peeking out of the dark, just like the ones on Sparkles and a Stove.

Thanksgiving

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Do you start making the turkey at the crack of dawn and fill the table with tons of tasty treats? This year, let the kids help out by putting them in charge of making Thanksgiving decorations. You’ll find plenty of Thanksgiving craft ideas in these 10 blogs.

  • Make a Pine Cone Turkey—Let the kids get busy making these the morning of Thanksgiving so that they can use them as place card holders; see Projects for Preschoolers for directions.
  • Thankful Turkey Plate Craft—Do this clever craft with your kids. Use the pattern to print the turkey and let the kids color it before putting it together with a paper plate and thankful thoughts, as shown on Danielle’s Place.
  • Easy Thanksgiving Napkin Rings—These napkin rings from Favecrafts are made out of felt.
  • Pinecone Pals—You can turn pinecones into the adorable turkeys found on Red Tricycle.
  • Thanksgiving Popcorn Turkey Craft—Get some food-grade plastic gloves, pop some corn and create these playful hand turkeys from Two Big Two Little.
  • Turkey T-Shirt—Looking for something to dress the kids in this Thanksgiving? Let them make their own turkey T-shirts that they can wear, like the ones on 123 Homeschool 4 Me.
  • Shape Turkeys—Practice shape recognition while the kids make these funny turkeys from Housing a Forest.
  • Thankful Trees—Remind everyone what the true meaning of Thanksgiving is by making thankful trees from Coffee Cups and Crayons.
  • Thankful Turkey—Another craft that can emphasize the ‘thankful’ part of Thanksgiving is recycling a milk jug into a turkey and giving it thankful feathers every day, as depicted on Learn Play Imagine.
  • 10 Fat Turkey Puppets—Created to go along with the book 10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston, the folks at Reading Confetti came up with these characters to help tell the story.

Winter

The chill of the north wind and the sparkle of snow add a magical aspect to the winter season. Get the kids started early on their snow fun by creating a snowman mobile and snowflakes out of paper plates. Mark the way to your house by making winter luminaries. Warm up the inside by creating the warm smell of cloves and orange with an orange pomander. Check out all the winter crafts noted in these 10 blogs.

  • Paper Plate Snowflakes—Whether you live in a place that gets snow or not, you can make your own snow by making this craft by Grandparents.
  • Easy Orange Pomanders—If you love the smell of the holidays, you will love the smell that these simple crafts from Craft Ideas give to your home.
  • Snowman Tutorial—Older kids can learn how to create a snowman picture using pastels on black paper like the artist did on Art Projects for Kids.
  • Glittering Snowballs—With simple yarn, glue, glitter and a balloon your kids can make their own snowballs for inside the house, as shown on Everything Preschool.
  • Homemade Snow Globes—Recycle a baby food jar or other small jar and turn it into an inexpensive snow globe like the ones on Crafts for Kids.
  • Snowman Mobile—Using a paper plate your kids can cut a spiral to make a simple snowman mobile like the one on Craft Jr.
  • Jingle Bracelets—Practice threading by letting the kids make these jingle bell bracelets from All Women Stalk with pipe cleaners, bells and beads.
  • Winter Luminary—Watch the video on Zui to learn how to make this simple luminary using a jar, tissue paper and glue.
  • Marshmallow Snowman—While it’s busy snowing outside let the kids make their own winter scene inside using marshmallows and the directions from Happy Home Fairy.
  • Craft Stick Snowman—Want to put those tons of craft sticks to use making a winter craft? Try this “frosty” snowman project from Serving Pink Lemonade.

Christmas

It’s the last holiday of the season, but it’s also the one that may be anticipated the most. When it’s Christmastime you want to deck your halls with wreaths and garlands, decorate your tree with ornaments and make cards for your loved ones near and far. With these 10 blogs you can keep the kids busy enjoying the season and helping you decorate the house.

  • Fabric and Wire Wreath—Use up some leftover fabric and get the kids busy making this holiday wreath created by Kinder Art.
  • Mini Christmas Lights—Kids can make these mini faux lights as a bracelet, or even use them to decorate a miniature tree. For directions see PBS.
  • Christmas PuppetsUrban Comfort has put together these simple adorable finger puppets for your kids to make.
  • Paint with a Christmas Tree—This Christmas tree painting is special because it’s painted with pine boughs from a Christmas tree. Find directions at The Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.
  • Christmas WreathOur Crafts-N-Things put together this toddler-friendly craft that uses the versatile paper plate.
  • Paper Garlands—Decorate the mantel or other wall of your house with these unique holiday garlands from Kiddley.
  • Ornaments—Use up those scraps of wrapping paper by letting the kids make ornaments inspired by The Light Garden to hang on the tree.
  • Christmas Cards—Try making Christmas cards with the kids by following the instructions on Kids Craft Weekly.
  • Pencil Snowman—Cozy up this standard pencil and make it into a well-dressed snowman with just a few supplies, as described on Craft Bits.
  • Christmas Cones—Grab some paper cones and craft supplies and set the kids to using their imaginations when decorating them like some of the characters on Inhabitots.
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