Category Archives: Family Culture

Saturday Links – Two Videos and Fall Art Projects

Theory Links

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.

Activity Links

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.

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Filed under Baby (9 - 18 mos), Family Culture, Infant (0 - 9 mos), Magda Gerber, Preschooler (3 yrs - 5 yrs), Saturday Five, Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs)

Mormon Parenting Hacks: “Mom’s Sick” Emergency Preparedness

Okay, I promise this post is way more awesome than it sounds.  Also, it’s not really a hack just for Mormon parents.  It just seems especially Mormon to me since we’re well-known hoarders of 5-gallon buckets.

I first read about this idea last week on Latter-Day Homeschooling as “Emergency” Homeschooling Survival Kits.  The idea was to have three days of homeschooling lessons packed into three 5-gallon buckets, to be used on days when you’re sick or otherwise un-motivated to teach homeschool.

But, really, what mother with toddlers at home doesn’t need an “emergency sick day” kit?  I’m pretty sure this sounds like the best idea ever to me.  Pack a bucket (or reusable grocery bag) with a days worth of activities for your toddlers, then pull it out when you’re ill, or one of your kids is ill, or when the refrigerator breaks and you need to entertain children at home for the day with minimal effort.  Maybe you’ve all thought of this idea before, but to me, it’s revolutionary.  Why not be prepared for the inevitable?

My goal this month is to put together 3 emergency sick day kits for under $15 each.  Here are my ideas of what to put in an emergency kit:

  • New school/craft supplies – because nothing makes coloring suddenly interesting again like a new box of crayons.
  • Stickers – a great activity I recent read of is to give the kids a million little stickers and a paper with a large shape outlined on it.  Have them fill the shape with stickers.  Sounds like 30 minutes of rest.
  • Printed out craft instructions – something simple and non-messy but time consuming?  Also ideal if it’s at the level a child can do by himself without a lot of help from (miserably sick) you.
  • Coloring books & puzzles from dollar section at Target – really, any thing from the dollar section will work.
  • Cake or cookie mix – both activity and comfort snack
  • Picture book
  • Clearanced toy from “the stash” – Do you guys have a stash?  I keep a stash of under $10 children’s toys for birthday presents; they’re also my current “bad day” go to solution, but doling them out like this will keep them more under control.  You could also do this a more expensive way and buy toys that you want to add to your toy collection, but not give them out until sick days.
  • Children’s DVD – great for the last hour before your husband gets home when you really can’t do any more.  Again, think of it as building your collection in a beneficial manner.

What do you think?  Any other brilliant ideas for what to put in an emergency kit?  I also like the idea from the original post to have emergency meals stored in your freezer.  A great way to do a little freezer cooking without feeling like you have to live that lifestyle.

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Filed under Baby (9 - 18 mos), Cooking & Meal Prep, Family Culture, Infant (0 - 9 mos), Mormon Parenting Hacks, Preschooler (3 yrs - 5 yrs), Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs)

Mormon Parent Hacks: 5 FHEs in 5 Minutes for Kids 5 and Under

Sorry to everyone who read this post when it was published in very early draft form.  That’s what happens when you mess around with publishing on your phone.  Here it is in full splendor.

Family Home Evening (FHE) is a major, definable task of Mormon parenting, yet there are so many excuses for not doing it.  When kids are young, it seems almost pointless since they can hardly pay attention anyway, but you know you need to get into the habit or it will be harder to start later.  Then there’s the whole planning ahead thing: I don’t know about you, but I can barely keep up with sweeping my floor and cleaning the highchair, much less plan a meaningful, spiritual FHE.

So I’ve hacked FHE at our house.  We pretty much rotate between the following FHE ideas which can be put together with only 5 minutes of planning right after dinner and take only about 15 minutes to execute when you add a song and prayer. Continue reading

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Filed under Baby (9 - 18 mos), Family Culture, Mormon Parenting Hacks, Preschooler (3 yrs - 5 yrs), Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs)

Saturday Links – Family Heritage and Alphabet Rocks

Theory Links

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.

Activity Links

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.

Footprint Painting

Icy Play on a Very Hot Day

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Filed under Discipline, Family Culture, Preschooler (3 yrs - 5 yrs), Saturday Five, Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs)