Winter Scavenger Hunt Printable

The days are shorter. The weather is colder. You’ve noticed your kids are spending a lot more time indoors vs out. 

It’s winter.

If you’re in need of an activity for your kids to do, look no further than my Signs of Winter Scavenger Hunt. I’ve made them for spring, summer, and fall, so I had to make sure to give you one for winter as well!

This free printable is great for preschoolers or young elementary school-aged kids still learning to read. Print it out, hand it to your kids (or students!) and let them take it outside with them on a nicer winter day. You could even let your kids complete the winter scavenger hunt on car rides to keep them busy.

Signs of Winter Scavenger Hunt for Kids facebook graphic via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

A thing about my printables:

This worksheet is 8.5×11 inches. If you’d like to use this for yourself, feel free to download it and print a few out. But please….

    • This printable is for PERSONAL USE ONLY
    • You MAY NOT re-sell, redistribute, or claim the original as your own
    • If you post this on the internet, please give credit to this blog, Muddy Boots and Diamonds, and link back to this specific post so others can obtain the resource.
    • I’d love to see how you use this worksheet! Please feel free to tag me (Twitter: @bootsndiamonds or IG: @muddybootsndiamonds) when sharing your photos!

Download your free Signs of Winter Scavenger Hunt here!

Signs of Winter Scavenger Hunt for Kids pinterest graphic via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

Want more ideas to fill the time during winter months? Check out my Winter Fun board on Pinterest!

Activities for Ringing in the New Year with Your Kids

Holidays take on a different meaning when kids enter the picture. New Year’s Eve is definitely one that changed when G and his brothers came along. Gone are the days when Mr Boots and I would head to a bar or a friend’s house to drink and toast the New Year.

Ringing in the New Year with kids has meant that I’ve spent several New Year’s Eve nights watching the ball drop on TV by myself because everyone else is asleep — and a few watching the back of my eyelids myself.

Last year, we let G and L stay up until midnight and watch the ball drop in Times Square for the first time. Being 6 and 4, I felt like they could at least try, especially since we didn’t have anything to do the next day. I laid out food to snack on through the night. We watched a movie and then flipped between a few of the New Year’s Eve specials. 

It was nice, but the boys complained about being bored several times.

G and L have already begun asking me if they can stay up until midnight again this year. I’m all for it, but I’ve been thinking about adding a special activity or two to help make the time leading to the ball drop a little more fun. I’d like to give a huge thanks to my fellow Kid Blogger Network mamas for these ideas:

When did you start letting your kids stay up to ring in the New Year with you? Do you do anything to make ringing in the New Year with your kids special?

Activities to Ring in the New Year with Your Kids via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

Dear Mom: It’s Not the Outfits that Matter

Its greeting card season, which means photographers are out in full force scheduling their seasonal Fall and Christmas sessions.

I love looking at the photographs of friends and family post from these sessions. Everyone smiling…Mom in makeup and nice hair…Kids in all their adorableness…And everyone’s outfits carefully chosen and coordinated.

While I was very good about scheduling our session well in advance this year, I realized two days before our date that I didn’t have everyone’s outfits picked out. (I blame the baby.)

We don’t go to church, so nice pants and shoes don’t exist for my kids.

My husband lives in jeans and polo shirts with his work’s logo embroidered on them.

I am a stay at home mom who lives in yoga pants and tank tops. I rarely have a reason to get dressed up anymore. And besides, since having a baby this year none of my nicer clothes fit.

Two hours before we needed to leave for our photo location, I hastily applied some makeup and scrounged around the kids’ dressers for something that might coordinate with the black dress I decided to wear and the blue shirt Mr Boots set aside.

Family Portrait Session Outfits blue black gray jeans
Photographer: About to Snap Photography

I pulled together something decent for G and L, but I had nothing for Baby J. It was warmer than expected and all he had was long sleeves or onesies with something printed on them.

Running out of time, I decide to put the baby in overalls and hope the bib hid the “Big Guy” embroidered on the front.

We met the photographer and as I posed for pictures with my boys, I realized what we were wearing did not matter. We could have worn a mix-matched ensemble of plaid, polka dots, and neon colors and it would not matter.

I’m usually the one behind the camera, so having someone else take pictures of me with my family is a big deal. What mattered was that we were getting pictures done at all. 

Admittedly, I’ve still looked at others’ photos and wish my boys all had sweater vests and dress shoes, maybe a cute bow tie. The Green Monster makes an appearance and I wish our family had a few more preppy/nice outfits in our closets.

I mean, I could have done it. I could have spent money we don’t have on outfits they’d hate and throw fits over wearing, making the already-stressful act of getting my kids to take pictures even more of a fight.

Family Portrait Session Outfits blue and black with jeans
Photographer: About to Snap Photography

Yeah, in the end, I think we look pretty put together. Only I would know that my husband’s shirt is several years old and the boys are wearing shoes a size too small and the baby is wearing 100% hand-me-downs.

But I look at our images and my heart does a happy dance. I have photographs that show my kids’ personalities this year. I have photographs of me with my kids and husband.

So, Mama. I know you want the perfect image with the perfect pose with the perfect outfits. But next time you’re pinning ideas for family portrait outfits to your Pinterest board remember: it’s the people in the photos that are most important.

Do you make a big deal out of family portrait outfits? Or do you just wear what’s in your closet?

Dear Baby J: 7 Months

Dear Baby J,

Happy 7 months! We had yet another busy month. We took another overnight trip and you had your peanut challenge (you passed!). We also did a breastfeeding photoshoot in Target!

TRAVEL

We took you to Day Out with Thomas for the first time. The weekend’s theme was Day out With Thomas Spooktacular and had a Halloween theme. It was actually a lot of fun, and if we do it again I hope we can all wear costumes. Instead of seeing Thomas and Percy as we’ve seen in previous years, we saw Thomas and Mavis and got a ride on both! 

It was cold and you seemed to enjoy being snuggled in the Ergo and our fancy baby-wearing jacket and even fell asleep while we waited for a ride on Mavis. I can’t wait for you to get a bit older so you can thoroughly enjoy riding the big trains.

One of the best parts of that trip was being able to change and nurse you in an early 1900s rail car! 

early 1900 rail car turned into mother's nursing station at strasburg railroad day out with thomas via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

And speaking of nursing, you and I participated in a Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project photoshoot at a Target. I did one of these with your brother L, and I was so excited to do another one with you! I chose Target because I’m there on a weekly basis — even when I make a list I come home and find out we need more of something else. You wouldn’t take your eyes off our photographer, Blaire! 

Photo Credit: Second Ave Photography

HOLIDAYS

You and I handed out treats to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. You made a really cute dragon! Your brothers also wore this costume for their first Halloween. The original plan was for your grandparents to hand out treats so we could go trick-or-treating as a family, but they were calling for bad thunderstorms (we were under a Tornado Watch!) and your grandparents weren’t comfortable driving in potential storms. I think you liked being told how cute you were by all the trick-or-treaters and their parents.

MILESTONES

You began playing Peek-a-Boo – something we don’t remember your brothers doing at all. We have a lot of fun playing at dinner time.

Stranger Anxiety is still a thing, especially with Daddy’s parents. You will let others hold you, but you will constantly look around to make sure Daddy and I are close by.

You’re crawling and standing like a pro. You’ve just started cruising along the furniture and I’ve caught you trying to figure out how to let go with both hands when you’re standing a time or two. It hasn’t ended very well yet. Daddy, your brothers, and I are taking bets on when you’ll be walking. We think it will be before your first birthday for sure. Your brothers are each hoping you’ll begin walking on their birthdays.

I have a feeling you’ll be my trouble maker. Now that you’re crawling, I’m constantly distracting you from playing and chewing on wires and you’re fascinated with the fireplace. I’ve even caught you eyeing outlets. 

SLEEP

Sleep is still a challenge. I’m usually up with you several times between 7pm and 12am, then you tend to settle down and sleep until about 6:30/7:00am. Your first nap is the best one, and you’ll sleep around 1.5 hours. After that, it’s really a struggle to get you to nap longer than 45 minutes. Ideally, you still need three naps but there have been more days you only get two and you’re awake for 5 or 6 hours. Why won’t you sleep, little man?

EATING

I’ve been doing a mix of purees and baby-led-weaning, but you seem to enjoy being fed the purees better. We’ve discovered that you really enjoy guacamole! After your peanut challenge last month, I’ve been struggling with making sure you eat foods with peanuts several times a week. The allergist suggested Bamba peanut snacks – like cheese puffs but with peanuts – and you really seem to enjoy them. They are less messy than peanut butter and the peanut powder mixed with cereal like I had been giving you. 

When we eat, you want what we’re having. If you’re in close proximity you’ll reach out and grab whatever we have in our hands. You’ve got a solid grip; I’ve almost spilled my tray a time or two when we’ve gone out to eat. When your brothers eat breakfast before school, you want to sit at the table with them. You look so pleased with yourself about doing what they’re doing!

When you aren’t eating solids, you’re nursing about every 2-3 hours. If we’re out and about you can go about four hours before getting hangry, but I try not to let you go that long.

We’ve got another busy month ahead of us. Thanksgiving…Family gatherings for Christmas…And hopefully a visit with Santa! I can’t wait to recap it all 🙂

Love,

Mommy

Close up of hands writing in journal with pen with text overlay Letter to My Children 7 Months via Muddy Boots and Diamonds

 

Letters to J: 6 Months

Dear Baby J,

Happy half birthday! This year is flying by and has rough as they were, I find myself missing the early days when you were teeny tiny.

But then you’ll look up at me and flash grin and I remember we’re at my favorite part of babyhood. We’re exhausted, but you’ve become fun and are interacting with us in so many ways now.

6 month old with chocolate birthday cake via muddy boots and diamonds blog

Sleep

Help a mama out, kid! We’re back to you waking every two hours and not taking good naps. The pediatrician has told us to put you in your crib when you’re tired and let you hang out for a bit of Quiet Time — regardless of whether or not you fall asleep. I’m trying it right now and it’s not going very well. We’ve been trying to do a gentle version of Cry It Out for naps, but you’re so much like your brother G: going back in just prolongs the process.

Milestones

You’re reaching out to us when you want to be picked up and have finally figured out how to clap. You love praise and every time you’ve accomplished something you look at us and wait for us to clap and cheer you on. You’ve just begun pulling yourself up onto your knees and want to stand when we try to set you on the floor. I won’t be surprised if I’m talking about you pulling yourself to standing in my next letter.

Your brothers still haven’t figured out that their stuff is no longer safe when you’re out of your room! They build walls and barriers out of pillows and chairs, but you’re figuring out how to crawl up and over them. Now that you’ve mastered crawling, you’re beginning to explore other parts of the house. One of your favorite places to be is under the kitchen table.

Anxiety

At your well-check, I was asked about stranger and separation anxiety. You definitely have separation anxiety. I think this is part of the issue with sleeping. God forbid I have to leave the house. I’m told you’re constantly looking around for me and when you get tired you become upset — I think because you like winding down on the boob.

I haven’t left you with strangers, but you’re definitely weary when your grandparents or aunts and uncles come over. It takes you a little while to warm up to them, but once you do, you’re a charmer!

Solid Foods

I introduced solids on your 5 month birthday. I stopped for a week because you were getting constipated and we were getting ready for a long-weekend vacation. I waited until you turned 6 months to dabble in baby-led weaning. We tried avocado first — but you weren’t really a fan!

Fun Stuff

You went on your first vacation. We took our first mini-vacation as a family of five to the Outer Banks. It was an adventure with road closures and fires and scrambling to find a hotel the first night because we couldn’t get to the beach house on the first day. You were really good though; just very sick of your car seat by the end of it all.

You weren’t quite sure what to make of the beach and were not happy when a big wave came onshore and got us both wet while we sat in a beach chair.

6 month old standing on beach with help of dad via muddy boots and diamonds blog | Baby J Update: 6 Months via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

Teeth

You have your two bottom teeth now and you weren’t happy when they were coming in. It didn’t help that you also got sick with a nasty virus and ear infection at the same time. You act like you’re working on another tooth, but we haven’t figured out where it might be coming in.

Mom baby wearing baby with a kangaroo jacket via muddy boots and diamonds blog
How cool is this jacket? Check it out here (affiliate link): Polar Fleece Hoodie for Baby Wearing

What’s next?

Well, we’ve got our annual Day Out with Thomas adventure and Halloween coming up! I’m not sure we’ll make it to a pumpkin patch as a family, but I’m considering taking you to one for a few photos while your brothers are at school one day next week.

Close Up of Hands writing in a journal with text overlay Letters to My Children Baby J's 6 month update via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

Here’s to more adventures!

Love,

Mommy