Is Stress-Free Parenting Possible? – Yes, and yes.
Reflecting on How I Spend My Days – Amen to this list of ways to keep your days as a toddler parent joyful, rather than sad.
10 Ways to Make Your Homeschool Run Smoothly – If you’re not into the homeschooling vibe, don’t be put off. I find that homeschooling blogs are a great source for general, organized parenting tips. Sure, some of this may not apply, but a lot of these are a huge part of making anyone’s day run smoothly.
Making Shapes – Beautifully simple homemade toy (popsicle sticks + velcro stickers) with huge potential.
Kids Art: Conversations About Drawing – I’m at this point with Monkey’s fine motor skills. This is a good technique for dealing with the frustration of “not being able to do it”.
Video: Are Your Family’s Routines Working? – This is exactly why we have routines for everything in our house. Routines = expected, planned good times. Lack of routines = panicky, chaotic frustration.
Video: Baby Teamwork – I’m working hard on letting my kids solve their own problems more. When things like this happen spontaeously between a 1- and almost-3-year-old, it shocks me. Check it out.
One-Sided Parental Vigilance – Although I’m not on the food hypervilance wagon, I have to agree that I would like to see more studies about kids and media characters. Not all character play is bad, mind you–I spent a good portion of my childhood playing Sound of Music with a certain friend. But it makes me sad when young kids are totally addicted to characters on everything they own by age 3. Childhood (and adulthood) should be a little less branded.
Floor Block Puzzles – I really like the idea of free form puzzles. Sort of an easy introduction to tangrams.
Display Seasonal Books on a Stuffed Animal Chain – Good enough to go in the family room, I say.
Fun Leaf Projects for Kids – A plethora of ideas for fall themed crafts. I’m really loving the leaf mobile.
Are My Kids Already Over-Scheduled? – A great self-analysis post, with two great lists of 1) the reasons we overschedule our kids (and why they aren’t necessarily good reasons) and 2) the things that do increase our children’s happiness. BTW, Raising Happiness is a great blog which I think all parents should follow for a serious reality check.
As Recently as 1979, A First Grader Could… – Another eye-opener from Free-Range Kids. It makes me sad that parents prevent their kids from doing simple things which are, in any sane reality, completely safe. Guess I’m really on a freedom-for-children kick this week.
Candy Crayons – I share this on the condition that no one nearby is allow to make these until I find something to make them for. Got it?
Save time while folding laundry: fold it inside-out – While the OCD freak in me shudders at inside out clothing, this post deserves to be shared if only because it turns “Let the wookiee win” into a parenting philosophy. LOVE.
Infant Sleep “Rules” Don’t Work – The title’s a little misleading, since it’s not saying that techniques don’t do anything. It’s simply saying that your attitude towards the child matters most of all (which is advice you’ll find in most sleep books).
The Top Five Formula Feeding Myths, Debunked – As a formula feeder myself, I have certainly been (unintentionally) hurt by a lot of lactivist comments. I think every mother should know the truth and get their facts straight, whether you breastfeed or not.
Dealing with Diaper Changing Disasters – Some good go-to places for the stage Sailor’s currently in, where a diaper change is the worst thing that ever happened to him. Some of this advice seems to have worked over the past few weeks, so we’ll see how it goes.
Duplo Printing – We loved painting with cars so this is the next logical step. What other plastic toys can I hit up?
Constructive Eating – I have to wonder if this would make dinner take more or less time. I think some modified “pusher” tool should become the fourth official utensil, because really, spoons can be tricky devils.
Fun Uses for Kool-Aid – Because at $.10 a pop, you can always use more.
Table manners come more easily when practicing them becomes a game – So obvious. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to compete.
But My Child Doesn’t Like to Play _______ – I totally have experience with this. In order to get Monkey to play anything new, I have to incorporate the alphabet. Driving cars in letter shapes, building letters out of Legos, making food into letters . . . I appreciated the additional ideas for broadening my son’s play.
Modeling Healthy Technology Use – If you have a smartphone, this is for you.
21 Reasons to Travel Around the World with Kids . . . From Those Who Have Done It – These reasons are part of why I’m looking into travel hacking (a natural extension of couponing :D).
Button Snakes – Simple, yet effective. I will be building some of these soon.
Going Against a Toddler’s Will – Can I just say that I am so happy that someone linked me up with this blog? Her writing in consistently on par. Excellent points about necessities vs. like-to’s and being willing to make your kid cry if necessary. More about that later this week when I review the book on which her philosophy is based, Dear Parent.
10 Ideas for Creating a Sense of Family Heritage – I have totally been thinking about doing #7 for a while. (And I thought I was so unique for thinking of it.) Guess this is another hint that I should get cracking writing these books. Plus they’ll make great Christmas gifts for cousins.
Spaghetti and Play-doh = A Very Fun Match – When I first saw the title, I thought about cooked spaghetti. Totally wouldn’t work.
Activities for Melissa and Doug Lacing Beads
Alphabet Rocks – Hello! Totally cute, nature-y, and educational? 100% there.
Icy Play on a Very Hot Day
Plane Travel Sanity Laws: For the Insane Traveling Families – Loved this super detailed post on plane travel! I could have written it myself. I always forget about the bassinet thing; I’ll have to try that sometime.
Doing Everything right is an Unrealistic Goal – Just a reminder, guys.
Put your random bag collection to work by creating “activity totes” – Parent Hacks, I’m so already there. I have a park bag (towel for wet slides, waterproof blanket, sunscreen, bandaids), a library bag, and a couple quiet activity bags for my son to pull out when Mommy’s doing chores. Scroll to the comments for a great idea on helping the homeless (with tote bags!).
Treasure Baskets for Babies – I had heard of this idea before (in Montessori books I’ve been reading), and this post was a good reminder that I’ve been meaning to do this. So much nicer to have an organized place for baby “untoys” than to leave junk lying around your house, which is what happens when we do “untoys.” I’m actually going to make some portable treasure kits for Sailor for our road trip in August.
Is there a fairy in your garden? – Creating a fairy garden is one of the ideas I’m saving for that far-off imagined day when I have a girl. I love the house and swimming pools.
Sidewalk Paint – There have been more recipes for sidewalk paint floating around the internet lately than, well, something very plentiful. I like this recipe for its quick and simple ingredients. We made some spontaneously in a leftover 30 minute period before dinner. It’s that easy.
Fun Bubble Wrap “Exam” – Don’t let the word exam scare you. You could use this activity to review just about any concept with a pre-writing child.
What To Do When Toddlers Say No – I’ve had good success with this method of offering choices. Another tip that goes hand in hand with this is don’t ask a question with a wrong answer. (ie “Do you want to go now?” (NO!) should be “Do you want to walk to the car or should I carry you?”) I enjoyed an older, related post on toddler discipline as well, except that I do believe time out can be a connected, rather than arbitrary, punishment. But more on that another time.
How to Be a Professional (Mom) – I loved this post on SimpleMom this week. The more I think of motherhood as an actual occupation, the more the idea works for me.
Tall Painting, Tall Town – I’d have to be really brave and put together to try this, but it looks like fun.
Slide Drawing – As in playground, not old folks’ pictures. This is more my style. I’ll probably be hitting up the local elementary school playground sometime to do it.
Painting with Q-tips – Simple and effective. And cheap!
6 Fun Beach Ball Games for Preschoolers – Some are overcomplicated for Monkey, but who doesn’t need more ball play ideas.
Number Playdough Mats – Monkey was crazy for these, since he’s not much into creating actual objects yet. I predict the alphabet ones will hit our table soon.