Did you say hop like a frog?


School will soon be out for winter break and the kids will be home for a couple of weeks. Schedules might be busy with holiday activities for a few days but then you might need something to keep the kids active. If there’s snow, sledding and building a snowman are always fun. However, if you need some indoor activities, here are a few to try.

1. Speed-read
Choose a book with a word that will be repeated often (“green,” for instance, if you’re
reading Green Eggs and Ham) and have your child stand up or sit down each time she hears it.

2. Animal charades
Write the names of various animals on slips of paper and drop them into a bowl. Take turns choosing a slip and acting out the animal until someone guesses correctly. Try it with no sounds
for an added challenge.

3. Animal Races
Use the slips of paper to decide on the moves for a race. For example, the first time down and back, the kids need to hop like a frog. Then run on all fours like a dog. And finish by crawling on the ground like a lizard!

4. Catch with a catch
Have each player toss a beach ball into the air and try to touch his nose or high-five the other players before the balls drop. Make the challenges harder as you go along.

5. Dance Party
Turn on the music and have a dance party. Or start and stop the music, having the kids freeze when the music stops.

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.

More Posts

Let’s Party!

‘Tis the season for festive fun! This is my favorite time of year to pull friends together for a party. Formal dinner parties are not really for me. I prefer to invite friends over for a casual get together with some tasty food that is not too difficult or expensive for me to prepare.

For this week’s blog, I have done a recipe round-up of party friendly recipes from Spend Smart. Eat Smart. I hope they make it onto your party spread!

  • Mango Salsa: This is a delicious option alongside traditional salsa. It is tasty with homemade Baked Tortilla Chips or store bought ones. This recipe works well with jarred or canned mangoes if you do not want to work with fresh ones. It will be the talk of your party!
  • Peanut Butter Balls: Holiday parties are usually overwhelmed with cookies and sweets. These little nibbles are a nice change of pace and look great alongside Fruit Kabobs.
  • If your party is around a mealtime and you do not want to have a sit down dinner, consider putting out the components of a Tostada Bar. It is less work for you and fun for your guests to do themselves.
  • Sometimes it is nice to bring everyone together around a hot pot of soup. Our Slow Cooker Pork Chili is perfect for this. You can keep it hot in the slow cooker for everyone to enjoy as they come and go.
  • For a sweet ending to your party, try Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes. They start with a cake mix to keep your baking simple.



Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek is a State Nutrition Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates ISU’s programs which help families with low income make healthy choices with limited food budgets. Christine loves helping families learn to prepare healthy foods, have fun in the kitchen and save money. In her spare time, Christine enjoys cooking, entertaining and cheering on her favorite college football teams with her family and friends.

More Posts

Super Bowl party on a budget

Super Bowl 2012 is set … the Giants and Patriots on February 5th. When it comes to the party, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a dedicated fan, or just socialize and watch the fun commercials. Check out our ideas for party planning on a budget!

Set the mood with a little decorating …

  • Use a Super Bowl XLVI theme or use team colors.
  • Decorate the table with a green vinyl or felt cover with white tape or ribbon yard markers.
  • Accessorize with other inexpensive items you could gather, make, or buy: team banners, mylar football balloons, pom poms, megaphones, and yellow penalty flags.

    Football fruit pizza
    Fruit Pizza — Super Bowl style

What’s it all about … the FOOD! Make the food for the party simple so you don’t have to spend the whole day in the kitchen. I’ve put together some menu ideas that are easy, inexpensive and healthy. Plus, they can all be made ahead.

A little healthy competition never hurt anyone! You probably won’t need many games, but it would be fun to have everyone guess the final score when they arrive and then give a prize for the winner. Or, how about some kind of rating for the commercials.

What are you planning for your Bowl party? Share your decorating, game, and food ideas for entertaining on a budget.

MMMM Good Fruit Pizza


For the cookie crust:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oatmeal
  • Cooking spray

For the topping:

  • 3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 (6-ounce) container nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • Fruit for topping the pizza


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Use a medium mixing bowl to beat egg white until foamy. Add oil and sugar. Beat until smooth.
  3. Use a small bowl to stir together the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add to sugar mixture. Stir in oatmeal.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread the dough in a 9-inch circle.
  5. Bake about 12 minutes. Crust will begin to puff but does not look done. Remove from oven and let cool about 20 minutes. The crust continues to cook while cooling.
  6. Use a small bowl to stir together the cream cheese and yogurt until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.
  7. Transfer the crust to a serving plate. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust. Arrange fruit on top.
  8. Cut into wedges and serve, or refrigerate up to 2 hours, covered and uncut.

Join Our Mailing List

Enter your email address:


Recent Posts

Posts from the Past