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Active Indoor Game Ideas for Kids

10 Best Indoor Games to Get Kids Moving

Many of us are looking forward to a 3-day weekend but for parents, a long weekend translates to three days with the kids and it’s easy to feel like a cruise director. January is an exceptionally chilly, blustery time of year and both kids and adults are mostly stuck indoors on the weekend. Whether you’re hosting a sleepover or a family game night, these fun indoor games will help your kids burn some of that excess energy. But don’t worry — no sneakers required. Your coziest flannel pajamas, as always, are perfectly acceptable attire.

Best Indoor Games for Kids

Jump around in these ‘Stay Cool’ pajamas by Big Feet.

Active Indoor Game Ideas for Kids

1. Race to the Finish. Use masking tape or painters to tape to create “lanes” on the floor. Create flashcards with different movements such as hop, skip, or crabwalk. Get creative and let the kids come up with ideas too. For example, one card could read “walk like a chicken” or “swing like a monkey” and have participants come up with their own interpretive movements. Draw a movement card from a hat at random. Players participate in a silly “race to the finish” with the chosen wacky movement.

2. Twister. The classics never fade. Twister is a still an uproariously fun game to play during a sleepover, family game night, or just a fun night in with friends! You’re more likely to topple over from laughing than from loss of balance. Just be prepared for your kids to mock your attempts at agility for the rest of the weekend!

3. Indoor Bowling. Stack plastic cups into a large pyramid. Stack them high and stack them deep. Use a 5-8” toy ball, or even a tennis ball, to roll on the floor at the pyramid. Players get a point for each “pin” they knock down. Just like bowling, the game becomes more challenging as more pins are removed.

4. Limbo! Remember this one? Limbo is a game best played in a group, so it’s a great choice for a sleepover. Grab a broom or mop and see just how low everyone can go! Remember, ‘Limbo’ is one part game and one part dance party, so have the kids help you come up with a killer playlist that everyone will enjoy.

5. Balloon Waddle. A less messy version of the egg-and-spoon race, Balloon Waddle is a silly game that’s perfect for little kids! Blow up some balloons and see if the kids can “waddle” from one end of the room to the other with the balloon between their knees, without dropping it. If it’s too easy or the kids are a bit older, set up a few obstacles for the kids to move around or hop over.

Active Games for Sleepovers

Sleepover-ready in these super comfy dinosaur pajamas by Big Feet.

6. Musical Chair Dance Party. A great group game that can be fun at any age with the right tunes! Simply gather a number of chairs that is -1 of the number of participants and arrange them in a circle, seats facing outward. Play upbeat music. The group must dance (not walk!) around the chairs until the music stops, then it’s a scramble for a seat! Whoever is left without a seat when the music stops is out. Subtract one more chair and keep playing until there’s a winner!

7. Charade-ercise. For the athletically-inclined crowd or a family of sports enthusiasts, create a game of charades that involves a little more movement than most. Create your own categories such as sports, sports-themed movies, and athletes (remember, swimmers, skiers, gymnasts, and dancers count!). Using flashcards, write down your own sporty subjects for participants to energetically act out.

8. *Lego Hunt. Treasure hunts are for more than backyard birthday parties. Perfect for sleepovers or busy little kids, create your own “lego hunt” inside your home. This game is a little more like an Easter Egg Hunt and less involved than a Treasure Hunt where you have to create clues. Simply hide Legos, or Duplo blocks for little kids, around the house. Assign each player or team a color to locate. Hide the same number of pieces for each color. See who can find all their pieces first. Play again and again to see if the kids and beat their best time!

*This game could be played a variety of ways if you don’t have Legos or Duplo blocks. Think about any toys that can be divided into categories, such as animal figurines (mammals vs. reptiles), action figures, cars, and dinosaurs (cars vs. dinosaurs, for example).

9. “Dunk” Competition. This one is surprisingly simple, yet amuses kids …and some adults… of varying ages. You can host an indoor “dunk” competition that doesn’t involve mounting a basketball hoop to your living room wall. Simply set an empty garbage can across the room and see who can make the most shots, either in a row or best out of 10. The perfect activity for a simple, sporty family game night.

10. Hide-and-Go-Seek. Don’t forget this one! Similar to a treasure hunt, a good old fashioned game of hide and seek will have kids running around the house for hours as they take turns being the “seeker.” This game is still a great hands-off way to tire out any child!

We hope these game ideas inspire you to get your family moving this weekend. For more tips and ideas for entertaining kids during these cold winter months, check out The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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family activities winter break

15 Fun Indoor Activities for Winter Break

Winter break is fast approaching. Depending on where your kids go to school, winter break could be a few days or up to two weeks! If you or your partner have made arrangements to be at home with them during this time, there’s a lot of pressure to find ways to entertain younger children. Here we have compiled a list of simple activities that will keep them busy and keep you from becoming the household cruise director.

best matching family pajama selection

Holiday-ready with matching family pajamas from Munki Munki!

Simple ideas for family fun during winter break.

1. Bake for friends and family. Even if “baking” means decorating easy slice-and-bake cookies from the store, this is a fun seasonal activity that can double as a Christmas gift. Bake and decorate cookies, scones, or quick breads with the kids then wrap them up as gifts for family, friends, or neighbors.

2. Make Christmas ornaments. If you’re the Pinterest type, go ahead and find a fun tutorial. As an alternative, you can also find unfinished white porcelain ornaments at most craft stores. The kids will love painting them and hanging them on the tree!

3. Host a board game tournament. Pick a few of your favorite board games to play and host a “tournament.” Depending on the age and competitive nature of your kiddos, you could even have small prizes.

4. Color — grown ups too! Get out the crayons, pencils, and markers and just spend some time together coloring. Help out younger children with their coloring or pick up a couple adult coloring books (that’s a thing now) so you can enjoy the activity too!

5. Build-your-own pizza bar. Great for lunch or dinner, grab a pack of mini-pizza crusts and a variety of toppings. Choose a variety of sliced meats, vegetables, and different cheeses. Let the kids build their own pizza. This is a great activity for picky toddlers — they’re more likely to eat their meal if they help make it!

6. Classic Christmas movie marathon. They don’t make ‘em like they used to! Give the hi-def CG a break this season and fire up the old holiday classics: Miracle on 34th Street (1947), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Frosty the Snowman (1969), A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), and Jack Frost (1979).

7. Take turns hosting a sleepover. If your pre-holiday to-do list is overwhelming, talk to other parents in your kids’ class and take turns hosting sleepovers over winter break. This will give you time to finish shopping, finish wrapping, get the house ready for guests, or just decompress. For winter sleepover ideas, check out our fun post on how to throw a ‘cookie swap’ sleepover!

8. Make post-holiday thank you cards. Have the kids design and create thank you cards to send to thank grandmas, grandpas, aunties, and uncles to thank them for gifts received during the holiday season. Not only is it a simple crafting activity, it’s a great way to teach them gratitude. Make the cards now and fill them out later!

Matching couples pajamas

Festive pajamas aren’t just for the kids! Check out this cute new thermal set from Munki Munki.

9. Build a gingerbread house together. Not only is this a creative, fun, delicious activity — it kills quite a bit of time! Gingerbread house kits are affordable and bake-free these days. Pick up all the holiday candies and let the kids build an epic edible centerpiece for Christmas dinner that doubles as dessert!

10. Write your own bedtime story. This imaginative activity may require some help with little kids when it comes to writing. After they’ve dreamed up their own bedtime stories, have them illustrate each page and clip or staple it together into a book. After the kids put on their pajamas, they’ll be eager to read their stories before bed!

11. Build a fort in the living room. Living room, their bedrooms — anywhere. It’s surprising, but once the kids have constructed their own space, they’ll want to eat, sleep, and play there. This is a simple way to entertain them and get a moment of peace while they amuse themselves in their new digs!

12. Have a spa day at home. Stock up on foot soaks, nail polish, eye masks, and magazines and host a winter spa day with the kids at home. The best part of this activity is that you don’t need to get out of your bathrobe!

13. Host a family book club. A fun activity for the book-loving family is to read the same book together! Get your own copies or borrow from the library. For younger children, maybe this means that the whole family participates in storytime before bed. The kids will love reading together with their parents and siblings.

14. Make homemade hot cocoa together. We know, we know — you can get the packets at the grocery store. Hot chocolate is actually really easy to make at home with just a handful of ingredients. There are a lot of simple recipes available online that you can follow. If you’re not a baker, this is also a simple holiday kitchen activity you can enjoy with your kids. The best part? Hot chocolate is so much more decadent when it’s homemade!

15. Family “sleepover” with matching family pajamas. If your kids’ friends are out of town for the holidays, have a family sleepover with matching PJs. Do everything you would do for the kids, but for your family. That means chips, pizza, candy, no bedtime, games, movies flashlights, and sleeping bags. Think of it as a mini-staycation before the holiday madness.

We hope you and your kids enjoy some of these ideas during your winter break. Looking for more ideas for family fun during the holidays? Check out The Pajama Company blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Best Fall Hot Drink Recipes

12 Warm and Cozy Drinks for Fall

Let’s be honest: yes, we all love a good pumpkin-spiced coffee drink — ‘tis the season, right? But sometimes we don’t feel like waiting in line for thirty minutes or dropping up to $42 each week on a new bad habit. We’re more the “sip-at-home-in-your-pajama-pants” type and that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Instead of schlepping your cold, tired body to your nearest coffee chain this fall, try these simple, warm and cozy fall drink recipes at home. Don your favorite bathrobe and curl up with a book from our latest reading list — what’s more ‘fall’ than that?

"Coffee" Hooded Fleece Adult Union Suit by Boxercraft

“Coffee” Hooded Fleece Adult Union Suit by Boxercraft

12 Hot Drink Recipes for Fall

1. The Golden Latte

Move over, Pumpkin Spice. This is a dairy-free, lightly spiced drink that warms and satisfies. It has a beautiful golden yellow glow from the turmeric, which is blended with fresh ginger, honey, and coconut oil for a decadent, calming, brew. Get the recipe from Martha Stewart here.

2. Easy Chai Tea

This coffee shop favorite is actually easier to make than you think. Just bring crushed spices, cinnamon sticks, ginger and milk to a boil, add tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes. Get the full recipe from Real Simple here.

3. Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

This homemade hot chocolate mix is made with a blend of chocolate and cocoa powder for a rich, decadent, creamy texture. Throw it in a jar, wrap a bow around it, and it’ll make a great gift too! Get the instructions from Epicurious here.

4. Caramel-Hazelnut Cafe Mocha

The only thing you need to know about this recipe: melted Nutella. Yes, please. This recipe is made in the slow cooker and after cooking it can be kept on the warm setting for one hour, so it’s great to serve at an upcoming holiday party. Get the recipe from Midwest Living here.

5. Matcha Green Tea

How’s this for a pick-me-up? Matcha, a traditional Japanese tea, is one of the most nutritious beverages you can consume. This is a warm, healthy pick-me-up to replace your morning cup o’ joe. Get the recipe from My Recipes here.

6. Easy Blender Eggnog

Make this holiday favorite with all the flavor in half the time (without sacrificing quality!). Use your blender to whip up a batch of this fall / winter favorite instantly. Get the time saving recipe from Real Simple here.

Women's "Fancy Coffee" Classic Pajama Set by Munki Munki

Women’s “Fancy Coffee” Classic Pajama Set by Munki Munki

7. Cinnamon White Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon lends a warming and welcome complexity to this comforing, creamy, cold-weather drink. A bit of a grown-up twist on your childhood favorite. Of course, it’s great for white chocolate lovers. Get the recipe from Epicurious here.

8. Hot Honey Lemonade with Ginger

Sweet and a touch of spicy, kids actually love this hot lemonade! What makes the drink so popular? Honey-drop candies are melted in each glass… You could alter the recipe with less sugar and serve it as a soothing beverage for your little ones when they come down with their first cold of the season. Get the unique and fun recipe from Martha Stewart here.

9. Heartwarming Cider

Spiced with the right ingredients — ginger, allspice, nutmeg — this classic drink is transformed into a festive treat that’s sweet but not too sweet. Optional: serve with rum. Get the recipe from My Recipes here.

10. Chai Eggnog

A spicy twist on a classic. Mix this homemade eggnog recipe with a touch of chai tea (and a dash of bourbon if you’d like!). You’ll feel extra toasty inside and out. Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven here.

11. Mexican Hot Chocolate

This. Is. The. Best. If you’re a fan of a little spicy kick now and again, you’ll never drink chocolate the old way again. Simmered with a cinnamon stick, vanilla extract, and a touch of chili powder, this hot chocolate is fragrant and delicious with a dollop of whipped cream. Get the mouthwatering recipe from My Recipes here.

12. Pumpkin Spice Latte (we had to)

Make this favorite at home! Enjoy this fall favorite anytime. The recipe calls for strong coffee, warming spices, and plenty of whipped cream. Get the recipe from Martha Stewart here.

For more drinks, recipes, and ideas for family fun this fall season, visit our blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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30 Easy After School Snack Ideas

30 Easy After-School Snack Ideas

We love fall: warm sweaters, scarves, hot chocolate… but for families fall is an busy time of the year. While September is the one month out of the next five without a major holiday, it’s challenging because it’s a transitional month. Families switch gears from carefree summer days to tight school schedules packed with activities.

One thing all parents with school-aged kids hear after they pick up their kids: “I’m huuungryyyy…” Take some of the stress out of meal prep with these quick and easy after-school snack ideas. With a little snack to hold them over, parents can get dinner on the table, homework checked, and the kids to sleep just a little bit earlier — giving you that much-needed down time!

Easy Back to School Snack Ideas

Snug As A Bug ‘Flower Power’ Kids Fleece Footy

Quick and Easy After-School Snacks

1. Graham Cracker ‘Cheesecake’. Spread cream cheese on graham crackers and top with fresh slices fruit or berries for a “cheesecake” effect.

2. Hummus and Veggies. Baby carrots, sliced cucumber or red pepper, and whole wheat pita will make for a quick veggie infusion before dinner. An easy way to present them with new vegetables to try.

3. Ants on a Log. Cut celery sticks into ‘logs’, fill with smooth or chunky peanut butter and top with a row of raisins.

4. Popcorn. Short on time? Pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave. If you’re concerned about health, opt for plain popcorn and top with shaved parmesan, nutritional yeast (parmesan flavor with protein and without the fat), Italian seasoning, or chili powder.

5. Peanut Butter ‘Pizzas’. Spread peanut butter on whole wheat bread and offer an assortment of toppings for your kids to add: sliced strawberries, banana, or even a handful of dark chocolate chips.

6. Frozen Bananas. This snack involves some thinking ahead, but is great way to satisfy cries for “I want ice cream!” Cut bananas in half and stick popsicle sticks inside. Freeze overnight on a baking sheet then put in a freezer-bag. Serve as you would a popsicle.

7. Apple Blossoms. Blend a little chocolate hazelnut spread with almond butter. Put a dollop on a plate. Arrange thinly sliced apple slices in the dip to look like a flower. Sometimes presentation and a touch of chocolate is half the battle to getting your kids to eat produce.

8. Steamed Broccoli with Ranch. The tough, sometimes grainy texture of raw broccoli is sometimes hard for kids to get past. Lightly steamed broccoli, either on the stove in or in the microwave, creates a much more palatable texture. A side of ranch dressing for dipping never hurts.

9. Pita Pizza Pockets. Slice whole wheat mini-pitas in half, spread pasta sauce inside and stuff with cheese and thinly sliced veggies and melt in the oven for a healthier — and sometimes faster — alternative to frozen pizza pockets.

10. Cheese Plate. Inspire your kids to be adventurous with their snacking. Slice a couple different types of cheese (cheddar, gouda, and pepper jack are fun!) with their favorite crackers and let them try sometime new. They’ll learn that there’s an alternative to American cheese slices!

30 After School Snack Ideas

Lazy One Kids “Timberland Bear” Footy

11. Caramel Apple ‘Nachos.’ This is a super neat idea. Fill a plate with sliced apples. Drizzle a little bit of caramel topping, vanilla yogurt, mini chocolate chips, and crushed nuts for a fun treat.

12. Rice Cakes with Sliced Banana. Doesn’t get much easier than this. Spread rice cakes or multigrain cakes with a nut butter of your choice and top with sliced bananas. A sweet, healthful, crunchy snack.

13. Cheese Roll-Ups. Lay sliced provolone flat, top with turkey or ham, roll up and serve! Add a little dish of mustard for dipping if you’d like.

14. Yogurt Parfait. Layer berries and vanilla yogurt in a small dish, drizzle with honey, and top with crunchy granola.

15. Cheerios Snack Mix. Don’t have time to make homemade Chex Mix? Same here. Throw some regular cheerios, peanuts, raisins, and a handful of chocolate chips in a bowl. Toss and serve.

16. Avocado Toast. Whole wheat toast topped with smashed avocado and a sprinkle of salt makes for a satisfying snack. For older kids looking for kick, add some crushed red pepper or nutritional yeast for a protein-packed cheese flavor.

17. Pizza Bagels. Slice a bagel or mini-bagel in half. Top with tomato sauce, cheese, and let your kids add toppings from options like chopped veggies (whatever you have on hand), olives, or ham or pepperoni. Place in oven at 350 until cheese melts and bubbles.

18. Fruit and Yogurt Dip. Dip makes a difference! This trick does for fruit what ranch does for vegetables. Sweeten Greek yogurt with honey, mix together, and serve dip with an assortment of fruit. The kids will love it and it’s packed with protein — keeping the kids out the kitchen until dinner.

19. Pretzels and Chocolate Chips. Introduce the kids to the lovable combination of sweet and salty with a handful of pretzels, chocolate chips, and some roasted peanuts.

20. English Muffin Toasties. Slice whole wheat english muffins in half, top with a slice of ham and a slice of cheese, toast in oven until cheese is hot and bubbly.

30 Snack Ideas for Back-to-School

Munki Munki Kids Dino Bikes Long John Set

21. Hulk Smoothies. Throw frozen bananas, a couple handfuls of baby spinach, and milk or milk substitute into a blender. The kids will only be able to taste the sweet bananas in the smooth creamy texture of this fun green ‘milkshake.’

22. Lazy Loaded Nachos. Spread tortilla chips over a microwave safe plate. Top with sliced cheese (whatever you have on hand) and beans or veggies of choice. Microwave until cheese melts. Serve with salsa or sour cream.

23. Quesadilla. This is perfect if you have a fridge full of leftover chicken or steak. Warm a pan, place a large whole wheat tortilla in the middle, quickly top with leftover meat, sprinkle with cheese, top with another tortilla. Heat and flip until both sides are golden, crisp, and cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve as is or with sour cream or salsa.

24. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. Dip a handful of fresh strawberries into a little bit of chocolate hazelnut spread. Serve on a plate.

25. No-Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls. A great make-ahead snack. You can make a variety of flavors and store in the fridge and serve throughout the week. Get the recipe at Bless This Mess here.

26. Baked S’Mores. Okay, so this isn’t the ‘healthiest’ treat — but everything in moderation! Make one s’more for each kiddo, but bake in the oven instead of heating over the fire. Slip in some sliced fruit or berries if you’d like.

27. Woven Wheat ‘Pizzas’. Place your favorite woven wheat crackers on a baking try. Top with cheese slices and a slice of pepperoni or a piece of ham. Bake until cheese is melted.

28. Protein-Packed Hot Chocolate. Soy milk contains 7-9 grams of protein per serving, making it a great snack if you want to beef up a beverage. Make a standard hot chocolate pack with soy milk instead of regular milk for a more satisfying after-school beverage.

29. Baked Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Chips. Here’s an after school snack that the adults might want to enjoy too. While it’s not as quick as some of the other options, it’s a relatively low-maintenance recipe. Get the recipe from Diethood here.

30. Banana ‘Nice Cream’. Blend frozen bananas in a food processor, add dashes of milk or milk substitute until you reach the desired consistency (think soft-serve ice cream). Top with a squirt of chocolate sauce, chopped nuts, cereal, or a dash of sprinkles for a healthier take on ice cream.

We hope you and your children enjoy these snacks or were inspired to invent your own! For more back-to-school tips and family-friendly recipe ideas, visit our blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Kids Pajamas for Back-to-School

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17 Sleep Inducing Bedtime Snacks

17 Sleep-Inducing Bedtime Snacks

How is it August already? It’s time to get back to school and back to our family routines. The long carefree days of summer sometimes encourage parents to let bedtime stretch 30 minutes… or one or two hours… later than on a school night. Getting your kids back on board with “early to bed, early to rise” might be a challenge.

Cutting out screen time at least one hour before bed is a great way to help kids (and adults!) fall asleep and stay asleep. If your kids usually have a bedtime snack, rethink milk and cookies and opt for one of these sleep inducing treats instead. Your kids will practically be begging for their pajamas.

Classic Moose Flapjack Pajamas by Lazy One

Classic Moose Flapjack Pajamas by Lazy One

Snacks That Make You Sleepy

1. Banana and Almond Butter. The magnesium and potassium in bananas serve as a natural muscle and nerve relaxant. The protein and fiber in almond butter will ensure that your kids will stay asleep.

2. Hummus and Whole-Grain Bread. Hummus is a great source of tryptophan, which gets metabolized into serotonin and melatonin, two of the main chemicals responsible for getting you to sleep. Whole-grain bread triggers insulin production, which makes you feel sleepy by naturally raising your blood sugar.

3. Whole-Grain Crackers, Cheese, and Turkey. The protein in cheese will help you stay asleep while turkey is another great source of tryptophan. The calcium in cheese will also regulate involuntary muscle movements, reducing the chance of “twitching” awake.

4. Cherries. The best way to get a good night’s sleep is to increase your melatonin intake. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin. When eaten regularly, they can help regulate your sleep cycle.

5. Chocolate Covered Almonds. Dark chocolate contains serotonin, which relaxes your body and mind. Almonds are packed with protein and fiber to curb hunger.

6. Watermelon. Each 2-cup serving is half water, which will hydrate kids before bed and eliminate post-dinner hunger pains with its fiber and volume.

7. Whole-Grain Crackers and Tuna Salad. Whole-Grain foods are great for regulating your blood sugar and fish such as tuna, halibut, and salmon are high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin and serotonin.

'Bear Cheeks' Flapjack Pajamas by Lazy One

‘Bear Cheeks’ Flapjack Pajamas by Lazy One

8. Honey-Sweetened Hot Chocolate. Milk, dark chocolate powder, and a touch of honey warmed on the stove is a drink that will send anyone off to dreamland. Dark chocolate is a natural source of serotonin and the calcium in milk helps the brain use the tryptophan to manufacture sleep-inducing melatonin. The natural sugar in honey slightly raises insulin and allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily.

9. Pistachios. A handful of pistachios packs protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, all of which contribute to better sleep.

10. String Cheese. If your kids are complaining of hunger pangs, “string cheese” — part-skim mozzarella cheese — is packed with protein and makes for a satisfying pre-bed snack.

11. Pretzels. This one might surprise you. Pretzels have a high glycemic index, which means they will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, shortening the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. Combine with nut butter for a snack with some staying power.

12. Whole-Grain Toast, Smoked Salmon, and Cream Cheese. If your kids are happy with tuna, give this one a try. Given what we already know about whole-grains and dairy, this snack should be no surprise. Like tuna, salmon is rich in vitamin B6, which aids in melatonin and serotonin production.

13. Oatmeal with Dried Cherries. Oats raise your blood sugar naturally and make you feel sleepy. Oats are also rich in melatonin, which relaxes the body and helps you fall asleep.

14. Baked Sweet Potato “Toast”. Baked sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium to help you relax. Drizzle with honey or a tablespoon of almond butter for a pre-bedtime treat.

15. Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Walnuts. The vitamin B6 in bananas converts tryptophan into serotonin, increasing the body’s ability to relax. Walnuts are another natural source of melatonin, which will help regulate your sleep cycle.

16. Bowl of Rice Cereal. A bowl of rice cereal before bed could help your kids get better sleep. The snack combines calcium from milk with carbs and the blood sugar spike from rice to help them get to sleep faster.

17. Cantaloupe. Dehydration can impact your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, so choosing to snack on a watery fruit like cantaloupe will help make up for any deficits.

For more back-to-school tips and tricks,  visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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11 Best Summer Sleepover Ideas

11 Summer Sleepover Themes

School is out and the kids are home! By now you have probably compiled a list of summer boredom busters or are desperately searching for easy ideas to entertain your kiddos. Whether they are at home or bouncing in between daycare or summer camp, you’re going to have to burn that energy every weekend!

The best way to get kids to wear themselves out is with each other. Why not team up with other parents and take turns hosting sleepovers throughout the summer? The kids will have a blast and the parents will get a break. Here are a handful of simple summer sleepover ideas for guaranteed pajama fun!

Big Feet Kids Pajamas for Sleepovers

Kids Dinosaur Union Suit from Big Feet Pajamas

Best Summer Sleepover Themes

1. Under The Sea

Do you have a “Little Mermaid” at home? If so, you can’t go wrong with a classic princess theme with an under sea twist. Strategically hung blue, green, and gold streamers will create a magical kelp forest. Play Caribbean music and games, like limbo. Give the kids crowns and tritons so they can pretend to have underwater adventures! Of course, when it’s time for a movie, only one will do.

2. The All-American

What’s more American than hot dogs and apple pie? Baseball. Set up T-ball for little ones in the backyard and serve up dogs, fries, and apple pie (store bought is great — we won’t tell!). After the kids put on their pajamas, pop in The Sandlot for evening entertainment. Good all-American fun.

3. Christmas in July

Kids love this surprising, topsy turvy theme! Great for a heat wave, pull out some Christmas decorations and embrace winter in July. Lower the A/C and pull out lots of snuggly blankets, twinkle lights, and hot chocolate. Have the kids watch Elf or Frosty the Snowman in their flapjacks — a guaranteed giggle fest!

4. Roughing It

Kids love to play pretend. Set up a tent in the backyard so they can “go camping.” Roast marshmallows over the grill to make s’mores. Play flashlight tag and tell scary stories. When movie time rolls around, have them bring their sleeping bags inside and watch Open Season.

5. Berry Bake-Off

Berries are finally in season! Take the kids strawberry or blueberry picking or just pick up a few cartons in the store. Look up an easy no-bake recipe for little ones to try, like whipped cream berry parfaits, or make hand pies with older kids. The goodies will be a fun treat to enjoy during an evening showing of Ratatouille.

Munki Munki Goldfish Pajamas for Sleepovers

Goldfish Long John Set by Munki Munki

6. Waterpark

Create a water park in your backyard using sprinklers and a slip n’ slide. The kids will wear themselves out quickly running around in the sunshine. They’ll be more than ready to curl up in their pajamas and watch Finding Nemo at the end of the day!

7. Garden Party

If there’s one thing kids love, it’s getting their hands dirty! Inexpensive pots, soil, plants, and seeds will provide lots of gardening fun! Pick up popsicle sticks and have the kids make and decorate tags identifying the name of their plant. Consider fall plants that the kids can start sprouting now and plant later at home. After they’ve washed their hands and put on their PJs, pop in Zootopia (the main character’s parents are farmers!) or James and the Giant Peach.

8. Moana Dance Party

Two themes in one! It’s hard not to boogie to the incredible Moana soundtrack. Create a Pandora station based on the music and the station will automatically play similar kid-friendly tunes. Throw in grass skirts, leis, glow bracelets (for bioluminescence in the “Realm of Monsters”) and you’ve got yourself a super fun dance party! Be sure to show the movie at the end of the day after the kids settle down.

9. Pirates of the Caribbean

Kids love a scavenger hunt! Set up a pirate themed treasure hunt in your backyard. Consider small toys and chocolate gold coins as the big prize! “Capture the Flag” is another great option. The kids will have a blast swashbuckling in pirate hats with foam swords. When it’s time for bed, show Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean or for little ones, the animated classic, Peter Pan.

10. Pool Day

For the tween set who is “too cool” for themes, consider a “pool day.” There are many inflatable pool options that are great for lounging in. Set up magazines, sunblock, music, water guns, or nail polish for a relaxing day of fun in the sun. Depending on age, movie options could include Hotel Transylvania, Dunstin Checks In, or Blue Crush.

11. Frozen Karaoke Party

For the kids who can’t get enough music, how about a karaoke party with a Frozen theme? Kids karaoke machines are relatively inexpensive or you could just play fun Disney soundtracks on Pandora or Spotify. Once the kids are in their jammies and tucked in for the night, play Frozen for one more round of sing-along fun.

For more ideas for summer family fun, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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How to Prepare Your Backyard for Summer Entertaining

How to Prepare Your Backyard for Summer Entertaining

Each year, spring comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Blooming trees are overtaken by lush green foliage and temperatures steadily climb as we cruise into summer at full speed. Summer brings sunshine, friends, and super fun outdoor gatherings. If you’re hoping your backyard becomes your neighborhood’s hot spot for barbeques, dinner parties, and July 4th celebrations, prepare your space with these pro tips.

Light Summer Pajamas

It’s heating up! We adore this summery ‘Made in America’ Flamingo pajama set from The Cat’s Pajamas.

7 Tips to Get Your Backyard Ready for Summer

1. Spring cleaning made easy.

A simple way to add some sparkle to your outdoor space is to give the patio and furniture a good scrub-down. Shave time off this process and rent a pressure washer from your local home improvement store. A pressure washer will blast away years of dirt and grime from any surface. Your patio furniture, windows, siding, fencing, deck, and any masonry will sparkle like the day they were installed — and you won’t even break a sweat! You won’t even have to get out of your pajamas.

2. Create a chef’s paradise.

The first step in entertaining is wanting to entertain. Create an inviting space where you and your family can cook, mix drinks, and socialize. First, give your grill a good deep clean to keep it running safely in tip-top shape. Consider investing in a patio-friendly kitchen island, so you can spread out your ingredients and comfortably have everything at your fingertips. Place the cooler or ice bucket next to the island so it can double as “the bar.” Guests will stop by for a drink and chat while you’re manning the grill. If there’s a garden bed nearby, it might the perfect spot for herbs. An herb garden will provide you with fresh ingredients for your favorite dishes and refreshments all summer long!

Lazy One Flapjack Kids Pajamas

Safety first! When treating your lawn, opt for eco-friendly pest and weed control so your little ones can safely enjoy the great outdoors!

3. Give the lawn a facelift.

A week or two before you plan to host your first backyard soiree, trim the grass, seed and fertilize bald spots, and spray for weeds. If you’re concerned about harmful chemicals, there are a host of “green” alternatives on the market today. Now you can keep your grass looking fresh while keeping your kids and pets safe. Even if you’re not in the mood to plant, weed and mulch your garden beds to give them a “fresh” appearance before your guests arrive. With these small adjustments, your yard will look like a manicured putting green.

4. Light it up!

Lighting is essential for creating a magical ambiance for summer outdoor gatherings. Pull out your ladder and check and replace the bulbs in your existing outdoor lighting. If your backyard is darker than you’d like, consider installing easy solar-powered lights that don’t require a power-source. Many quality solar brands have an impressive battery life and will last well into the night. Other options are battery-operated LED lanterns, that can be installed virtually anywhere with a weight-bearing hook.

5. Plan for pests.

With the warm weather comes all sorts of creepy crawlies. Again, there are plenty of eco-friendly options if you’d like to spray for insects like ants in the weeks before you entertain. Stock up on deet-free bug spray for guests and citronella candles or citronella oil burners. Another option for pest control is to plant lemongrass, lavender, and mint. Not only are these plants beautiful and functional, they also deter mosquitoes and gnats!

Creative Outdoor Seating

Get creative with your outdoor seating! This sleek modular bench can be used in a variety of ways.

6. Creative seating.

If you plan on entertaining a crowd throughout the season, having a set or two of stackable outdoor chairs tucked away in your shed or garage is a great idea. However, storage space can be an issue for many homes. In this case, get creative and choose seating that serves multiple purposes. For example, simple benches can seat many people, take up minimal space, and can also serve as a place to set a drink down. Cut logs are rustic and decorative, but can be used as either a seat or a side table. Think outside the box to make the most of your space!

7. Shade and shelter.

Summer makes us think of sunshine, but can turn at any moment — especially if you’re living in the Northeast! Whether it’s a sudden scorcher or an unexpected summer storm, be prepared with flexible shelter so your party isn’t crammed indoors or cancelled. Umbrellas with bases are an excellent solution as are “pop up tents,” which can be quickly assembled and easily stored.

We hope you find these tips useful! All of us at The Pajama Company wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Like many Americans, we look for opportunities to support the American worker and American entrepreneur. We’re proud to tell our customers about the brands we carry that produce 100% of their merchandise in the United States.

For more inspiration for family activities or gift ideas, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Pajamas Made In America

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Rainy Day Craft Ideas for Kids

April Showers: Simple Rainy Day Crafts for Kids

April showers bring… cold, rainy weekends with the whole family stuck indoors! Make the most of a rainy spring day with easy crafts you can do with the kids. Don’t have a PhD in Pinterest? No worries. These are truly simple craft ideas that everyone will enjoy. So easy, you can stay in your pajama pants all weekend. These craft ideas only require items you can find in your house or at your local dollar store. No gold leaf paint required.

Rainy day pajama day!

These Kids FlapJack Pajamas from Lazy One are perfect for rainy day fun!

11 Easy Rainy Day Crafts for Kids

Rainy Day Finger Puppets

1. Marker Top Finger Puppets. We’re willing to guess you have a dried up marker or two (or thirty?) hiding around the house. Use the caps and materials like construction paper, yarn, twine, or pipe cleaners to make these fun finger puppets featured on The Handmade Adventures of Captain Crafty.

Rainy Day Marble Paint Project

2. Marble Painting. We love this one from The Mother Huddle! It’s finger painting with a twist. Squirt a little paint on top of  a sheet of paper inside a baking pan. Drop a marble or small ball inside and let your kiddo twist and turn the pan to roll the ball through the paint and create one-of-a-kind works of art! This craft combines getting messy with the added bonus of a noisy marble rattling around a baking pan — sure to be a hit!

Rainy Day Puppet Theater Project

3. Rainy Day Puppet Theater. Maybe combine this idea with the ‘Marker Top Finger Puppets’? A rainy day is perfect for a day at the theater, especially if your kids construct it from this cool template that you can run off your printer! Using only a cracker or cereal box, paper, scissors, glue or tape, and some popsicle sticks or skewers — your kids can quickly create their own puppet theater with this craft from BKids.

Rainy Day Paper Lantern Craft

4. Tracing Paper Lanterns. Using translucent tracing paper and watercolors or markers, have your kids create pictures and tape or glue them to old glass jars. Pop a tealight inside and you have mood lighting for dinner, courtesy of your children. The original project idea from Mamascout is a bit more involved if you want to get fancy!

Rainy Day Fun Googly Eyes

5. Eye-Bombing. Another idea we’re in love with! Using a pack of stick-on googly eyes, “eye bomb” common objects in your house to turn them into a source of silliness! This craft would be even funnier if another parent or older sibling were to come home to discover the random peepers! A big belly laugh courtesy of MiniEco.

Rainy Day Egg Carton Craft

6. Egg Carton Bouquet. The kids with love creating a new springtime centerpiece for your kitchen table. This fun upcycled craft idea comes from Better Homes & Gardens. Simply cut up an egg carton, paint each of the “egg holders,” and twist together pipe cleaners to make stems.

Rainy Day Marble Run Craft

7. Cereal Box Marble Run. This super simple marble track from Made by Joel uses only a cereal box, scissors, and glue to create hours (okay… maybe 40 minutes?) of fun for your little one. You can encourage your kiddos to get more creative and paint or color the box, add stickers, glitter — go wild!

Rainy Day Fish Craft Project

8. Fishy Fun. Have paper plates laying around the house? Create these fun, Pac-Man inspired fish from Made Everyday with scissors, construction paper, and whatever else you have on hand. This is craft is especially fun considering the recent popularity of book The Pout Pout Fish. It could be a great project after story time!

Rainy Day Brushless Painting Activity

9. Brushless Painting Station. Kids love getting messy. A surefire way to keep them busy for hours is to encourage some messy play. NurtureStore suggests a “brushless” painting station. Using utensils, leaves, twigs, cotton balls, sponges, cookie cutters… let your kids paint with anything but a brush! This craft is guaranteed to grant you a couple hours of silence.

Rainy Day Memory Game

10. Memory Game. This is a simple old school rainy day activity that will definitely pass some time! Curly Birds suggests putting a handful of objects on a tray — all the same color — and have the kids stare at it for a few minutes to memorize what they see. Cover the tray with a cloth and take one object away and have them guess which one is missing. This is not only great for memory, it’s a wonderful way to help them build their language skills!

Pop Up Zoo Rainy Day Craft

11. Pop-Up Zoo. This pop-up zoo craft idea from Tinker Lab will keep your children amused for the whole afternoon! Have them create the animals they know and recognize and then invent new ones for some whacky imaginative fun!

For more ideas for springtime family fun, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Host a Cookie Swap Pajama Party

How to Throw a ‘Cookie Swap’ Pajama Party

We’re big fans of a good pajama party, especially during the winter months. There is something about being snuggled up with your closest friends in your favorite PJs, enjoying great snacks and good movie, that feels so right in the winter. The only thing in the world that could make a winter sleepover feel even more cozy is a pile of freshly baked cookies.

‘Cookie swaps’ are a super fun addition to Christmas parties, cookouts, and family reunions — so why not host one during a pajama party, when you’re already on the hunt for sweet treats? The concept is simple: each guest brings cookies for everyone to try and enough cookies for everyone to take some home. It’s a great way to share recipes you love with friends and, well, eat cookies!

How to Host a Cookie Swap

Need recipe ideas? Check out these must-try cookies.

8 Tips for Hosting a ‘Cookie Swap’ Sleepover Continue reading

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