Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How to Plan a Kid's Birthday Party

Is your child’s birthday soon approaching, but you have yet to start planning their party? Not to worry, here is your guide to a birthday bash that your son or daughter and their friends will remember for years to come.
Follow these simple steps to create an awesome kid’s birthday party:

The first step you want to make is to find a theme for your party. Whether you choose Disney princesses, SpongeBob or any other themed party, make sure the ultimate choice comes from your child. Do they have a favorite cartoon or animal? These make for an obvious choice that your kid is sure to love.

The first step in choosing a venue is knowing whether or not you want a handful of sugar-filled kids running around your home, the local community center, Chuck-E-Cheese or another location. If you choose your home, you need to decide if you would like it to remain indoors or in your yard. Be sure to give yourself time for clean-up to make sure your home is safe for fun and games.

Although you may think that invitations should be the first step on your list, it is important to include the theme and address of your event along with any items the party guests may need to bring (ex. swimsuit). Don’t forget to include the date and time of the event and send it out at least two weeks in advance so they receive their invitation in time to plan around your event.

With choosing decorations for the party, you can go all out or keep it simple. A great option is to go to your local dollar store or party center and get amazing party supplies at a fraction of the cost.

There are many inexpensive and easy-to-make party snacks, entrees and desserts to choose from. Just search one of our Snack Time, Quick and Healthy Supper Ideas or Desserts Kids Will Love Pinterest boards for fun and delicious ideas. Don’t forget the cake and ice cream!

Once the rest of the party starts coming together, it is time to start planning the fun part... games! Whether you go with the traditional pin the tail on the donkey or piƱata, or decide to outdo yourself with more creative ideas, remember that this is the part that the kids enjoy the most. Make sure to choose games that aren’t too complicated and keep the kids laughing and having a good time.

Party Favors
Although games are fun, having a goody bag filled with toys and candy or a prizes for game winners will make it even more fun! Just be sure to make the games equally balanced so that no one gets left out.

We hope this helps you to plan an unforgettable birthday party for your child. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more fun crafts and activities to do with your kids. If you have any other fun birthday party ideas, we would love to hear them in the comments below!

Monday, March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun Crafts for Kids

Ring in St. Patrick’s Day with these fun Leprechaun themed crafts for the kiddos! Most of these crafts can be made by using things around the house and art materials you may already have on hand. Once you have gathered your materials, roundup and the kids and let the fun begin.

Leprechaun Craft

What you need:
  • Cylinder (Toilet Paper Roll)
  • Orange Pipe Cleaners
  • Green Paint
  • White Paint
  • Black Marker
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Green Construction Paper

First, paint the entire cylinder green. Once this is dried, paint a half circle around the center of the cylinder, this will be the leprechaun's face. Curl the pipe cleaner into a beard and glue it to the bottom of the half circle. Next, use the green construction paper to trace your leprechaun's feet and glue them to the bottom of the cylinder. Now it is time to get creative. Using a black marker, draw a face, belt and line indicating the legs of the leprechaun on the cylinder. Finally, trace a medium size circle with a small circle in the middle on the green construction paper. This should look similar to a donut. It is important to use the end of the cylinder as a guide for the small circle in the middle. Once this is done you can pull the cylinder through the middle of the circle. This will be the leprechaun's hat. Congratulations, you created a cute leprechaun craft that your kids can be proud of!

Hand-Print Leprechaun

What you Need:
  • Brown Construction Paper
  • Green Construction Paper
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Tan Construction Paper
  • Black Marker
  • Scissors

First, place your hand flat on a sheet of brown construction paper and trace your hand. Once you have successfully traced your hand, cut around the edges. Next, trace a perfectly round circle for the face and bumps on each side of the circle for the ears on the tan construction paper. Use the green construction paper to cut out a rectangle for the hat and the hat brim. Use the tan or brown construction paper can be used for the belt on the hat. Don’t forget to add the buckle. Finally, glue it all together and draw the face. Get creative with the face drawing and this will be a fun craft to look back on!

Leprechaun Wind Catcher

What you Need:
  • Green Construction Paper
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Yellow Construction Paper
  • Orange Construction Paper
  • Black Marker
  • Stapler
  • Scissors


Start by folding a 9 inch x 13 inch sheet of green construction paper in half. Make a line 1 inch along the end of the paper that does not have the crease, so you know where to stop when cutting your fringe lines. Make 1 inch cuts from the crease of the paper up to the mark you made, do not cut all the way to the ends. Next, unfold the paper and roll it into a long narrow tube, stapling the ends together. Using a separate piece of paper, cut out two long strips about and inch thick to make the leprechaun's arms. Fold the strips at 1 inch intervals in opposite directions to make a fan effect. Then, staple a tan circle to one end of each strip for a hand, and stape the other to the top of the lantern. Cut a third tan circle larger than the hands to use as the leprechaun’s face. Cut out and attach orange hair and a black hat to the leprechaun’s face. You can add a yellow bow, freckles, eyes nose, and a mouth with bits of paper or a marker before adding the face to the lantern.

We hope you enjoy these fun crafts with your kids. At The Chip Shoppe, we love to see families enjoy bonding with their children through crafts and activities! Stay tuned to our various social media platforms for other ideas: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and Blogger.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A+ School Lunch Ideas

Packing your kids lunch before school can be a difficult task. You want to give them the healthiest options for brain power but they also need to be delicious. Change up your normal school lunch routine with these A+ School Lunch Ideas:

Sandwich on a Stick
Make lunch fun with sandwich ingredients piled on top of each other on a stick. It gives a little twist to the average meat and cheese original.

Did you make an awesome casserole or dish for dinner the night before? Use some leftovers for lunch. (Just make sure it is in a microwave safe dish and they have access to a microwave to heat it up.)

You can make these your own by using various meats, cheeses, veggies and more … It is an easy meal that kids are sure to love.

Spice up your kids favorite greens with meat, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons and a little treat on the side. If your kids don’t like vegetables, not to worry… try a pasta salad instead.

Homemade Pizza
Have a build your own pizza night with your kids the night before and let them choose their own toppings. All you will need to do the next day is heat it up and their lunch for the day is good to go.

Peanut Butter and Banana Roll-Ups
A peanut butter and banana sandwich is always a tasty option. Its quick and easy and is a great source of protein for your kids.

The Sidekick
Don’t forget to pair your meals with a healthy side of fruit, veggies, string cheese or crackers.

At The Chip Shoppe, we believe children need a well balanced meal. Whether preparing your children’s meals yourself or having them eat the lunch school prepared, make sure to let them know the importance of eating their vegetables first. For more healthy food ideas, refer to one of our blogs “Healthy Snacks for On-The-Go” or “Simple Snacks Kids Can Make.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids

Get your kids excited for Valentine’s Day by creating fun family crafts. From cards, decorations and tasty treats, there is no better day to show that someone special how much you care for them. Here are some fun Valentine’s Day Crafts that you and your kids will have a blast with:

Homemade Cards
In our opinion, handmade cards are more personal and special than anything you can buy in a store. Give your children the supplies to glue on hand-cut hearts, write a meaningful message and draw a picture, and it will be the best card your child can give. Find some great DIY options for kids to make their teachers, classmates, siblings or parents here.

Make Cookies
You can’t go wrong with a creating a delicious batch of homemade cookies. Decorate with frosting and sprinkles to bring out the special day. Make enough for your child to bring along to school and for you bring to work. Don’t forget to save some for yourself! Find a great cookie recipe example here. You could even bake delicious Chip Shoppe cookies and put them in specially crafted red, pink and white boxes to represent Valentine’s Day! No matter how you craft them, you can’t go wrong with a batch of cookies.

Create a Valentine’s Box
With all of the Valentine’s cards your kids will be receiving at school, have them make a creative box to keep it in. Start with a small box (shoe boxes or empty cereal boxes work great) wrap them in blank paper and decorate. See some great ideas in this blog to use this year.

Candy Heart Experiment
Perhaps the most popular candy given out on Valentine’s Day is the candy heart. If your child ends up with an abundance of these (or simply doesn’t like them) create your own candy heart experiment. Using different liquids, drop a heart in different bottles, and monitor the reactions. Have your kids guess what they think will happen when they drop them in the bottle and watch the reactions. For more tips on how to make your experiment go smoothly read these instructions.

Suncatcher Craft
Put your old Christmas present wrapping supplies to good use with this easy to make Valentine’s Day suncatcher craft for kids. You can use it as a fun way to spice up your home for Valentine’s Day.

Remember that Valentine’s Day is a day of love to celebrate your friends and family. Sometimes a homemade card, craft or cookies can say it all. Don't forget to make each gift come from the heart. If you have any other great Valentine’s Day craft ideas, we would love to hear them in the comments below.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Healthy Snacks for On-The-Go

As a parent, you are always on the go. Instead of reaching for the poptarts and potato chips while in a rush, here are some healthy snack alternatives that your kids are sure to love.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Bites
This simple to make snack will be a win for both you and your kids. Just slice up a banana, put peanut butter between two pieces, dip them in chocolate and then freeze for 20 minutes. It is the healthy dessert that you can’t go wrong with.


Hummus and Veggies
Sometimes veggies aren’t a kids favorite snack but if you add  hummus or a little ranch dressing, you will be able to get them eating their veggies in no time.

Ants on a Log
This tasty treat is not only good for you but is fun to eat. Just add peanut butter and raisins to a slice of celery and you have a healthy treat for both you and the kids to enjoy.

Pop-Up To-Go Cup
The Chip Shoppe’s pop-up to-go cup is just what you need for breakfast on the go! Just add milk and you have a fast and easy way to start your day with a healthy breakfast.

Fruit Kabob
An apple a day can be a healthy alternative to many children’s snacks, but getting your kids to enjoy eating fruit may be a battle. Pre-make fruit kabobs for a fast, easy and healthy snack to get your nutrients while you are in a rush.

Meat and Cheese Pinwheels
These delicious snacks are just what you need to hold you over until dinner. You can add meat, cheese, veggies and any other sandwich item that your kids enjoy.

Although these are just a few healthy options, at The Chip Shoppe we believe that every family should have a balanced diet and choose the healthiest options that the whole family will enjoy. For more snack ideas refer to our “Simple Snacks That Kids Can Make” blog.

Does your kid have a favorite snack that is healthy for them? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Why You Should Have a Fundraiser for your Club or Organization

For a club or organization to be successful, they need to cover their costs. For some organizations, a membership fee will be enough, but for others this might not be the case. One of the best ways to add some money into your budget is to have a fundraising event. Many different types of fundraising programs have been around for decades, and they are still a pivotal strategy in maintaining many different groups and organizations. Here are some reasons why you should have a fundraising event for your club or organization:

You can host an event yourself
For most organizations hosting events is one of the best ways to increase and retain membership. There are many fundraising ideas that will provide you with the funds you need to succeed. Some of the more successful ideas are to hold a product sale or a Color-A-Thon event. The better the incentive the purchase is, the better your fundraiser will go.

Buy equipment
For many organizations such as bands and sports teams, a good portion of their budget will go into buying equipment for their members. In order to get the best equipment at the lowest out-of-pocket price, fundraising is a sure way to get the money for just what you need.

While holding a fundraiser is a great way to earn some extra funds, it is also an opportunity for others to see and learn about your organization. For some groups that have no funds to market themselves to the community, a fundraiser is a perfect excuse to do just that.

Save for a rainy day
One thing that is sometimes overlooked in organizations is extra savings for those “just in case” situations. Although most fundraising has a specific goal or purpose, it can also be a great idea to put some extra money aside for a time in the future. You may decide to use it for one of the above options or any other situation that may arise.

No matter the reason you would like to earn money for your school or organization, you can never go wrong with a little extra funds for whatever you may need. If you are thinking about doing a fundraiser with your school or organization, we encourage you to keep The Chip Shoppe in mind. We have helped schools raise millions of dollars fundraising since 2004. Our company features a combination of fabulous tasting frozen items such as cookie dough, cheesecakes, braided breads and soups. What makes The Chip Shoppe unique is our ability to combine these quality frozen items with gift items that are second to none. Best of all, we deliver to you with our company trucks when you want it!

If you would like more information, refer to our blogs “How to Choose a Fundraising Company Perfect for YOU” and “5 Essential Ideas to Make your Fundraiser More Successful.” Feel free to comment below with any other ideas you may have.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Perfect Holiday Meal

There’s no place cozier during the holidays than being in the kitchen cooking and baking with your loved ones. Busy schedules, tackling budget concerns, and stressing over unexpected surprises during the holiday season can make it hard to get together and enjoy a home cooked meal. It can even become difficult to get together at a restaurant.

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Fortunately, The Chip Shoppe is here to help you out during the holidays, offering a variety of delicious and healthy frozen food options for your family. Even when the kids are home on their holiday break, or you have an extra twenty relatives to prepare food for, The Chip Shoppe offers “heat and eat!” soups with flavors including Wagon Trail Chili, Chipotle Chicken and Italian Sausage Tortellini. We also offer midwest classics like Chicken Wild Rice, Beer Cheese and our new Hunter’s Stew. Cheese dips, chili mixes, and an array of appetizing spices are sure to enhance any holiday meal, no matter if you are grabbing a quick weeknight dinner or creating a Christmas spread.

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Along with our soups, your family will love our decadent variety of desserts. From the Old Fashion Coffee Cake, Caramel Banana Bread and Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake to red velvet rolls, and a variety of cheesecakes and pies, there’s a flavor to please every palette. Of course, check out our Chip Shoppe cookie doughs with flavors including Chippy Chunk, Triple Chocolate Brownie, and our exclusive Caramel Apple Crunch.

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We pride ourselves on providing a variety of delicious food with healthy and gluten-free options to cater to every family member. Check out our Fall/Holiday 2014 brochures and our services online for more deals and tips on creating the perfect holiday meal for your family and friends this season.