Tips to Stay Sane

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Health tip: I know I’ve said this before, but when consuming any fruits make sure you eat a protein with it, like nuts or eggs. If you are looking for sneaky ways to not gain 1,000 pounds during the holidays–eat snacks throughout the day (one of them consisting of a fruit and protein tied together). In doing this you keep your metabolism working and lower the sugar content of the fruit.

Laundry tip: Not only should you make sure all zippers are zipped before throwing anything in the wash or dryer, but hook together those bra straps too! Also, don’t put bras in the dryer, instead hang them up! Otherwise you risk damaging the underwire and shrinking them.

Parenting tip: We all know this one, but sometimes need reminding. Mean what you say and say what you mean. It’s crucial to be consistent! The holidays are a hectic time for schedules, so be patient and plan some extra activities or projects to keep the kiddos engaged.

Mental tip: Practice mindfulness for 10 minutes of your day. Concentrate on your breathing by inhaling slowly counting to 7 and exhaling slowly counting to 7. Repeat and Repeat, and If a thought trickles in bring yourself back to your breath.

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Curriculum: Color Sorting

Curriculum: Color Sorting Activity 
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This is a fun activity to do with your toddler! This exercise helped McKinley learn her colors and it kept her entertained for a solid 20 minutes.  

Category: Sensory 

Supplies: 

  • Cupcake tin pan (any size)
  • Colored foam
  • Small container to hold objects or shapes
  • Scissors

Directions:

1) Take cupcake tin and glue down, or stick on foam color to the bottom.

2) Choose a different color for each cupcake space.

3) Collect different object small enough to fit into cupcake spaces, or cut out different shapes of the colored foam.

4) Place objects in a separate container.

5) Always do a demonstration first.

6) Set container beside cupcake tin and have them sort the colors!

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How to: DIY Toddler Curriculum

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Two words: Toddler curriculum.  It dawned on me that a lot of people send their children to daycare.  And in daycare, the days are structured with a routine, where early childhood educators build curriculums. Maybe you’re thinking, “Curriculum?  Don’t you mean messy activities like painting?”  You’re right, I do mean messy activities like painting, but it’s actually curriculum. So, it got me thinking: I should do the same.

Where do you start to build a curriculum for your kid? Especially if you don’t have an early childhood education degree?  I may not have a degree in early childhood education, but I do have a degree that requires me to understand childhood development at varying ages.  So based on what I know about development- this is what I did:

Step 1:  Need to have a Plan.

(Sketch Plan): Research different activities in different subjects. (Language, Science, Math, Art, Music, Gym). Spread throughout the day…lets say at 30- 45 minute intervals ( for 18-24mons).  Now, I’m saying this, because McKinley’s attention span is about 15-30 minutes depending on the activity.  In those 30-45 minute intervals I am including set up & clean up.

Step 2:  Need to have activity ideas -age appropriate- in varying subjects/ Need to create routine through the day.

Step 3: Need equipment.

Step 4: Put projets together.

These are some examples of the activities I’ve read about, heard about, or thought of: 

  • Matching games
  • Coloring, painting, play-doh – Art
  • Puzzles
  • Sink or float with water
  • Water transfer
  • Game related to learning: shapes, colors, numbers, words, letters
  • Sorting games
  • Reading
  • helping with chores (laundry, feeding dog, putting away dishes)
  • Outside play time (running, throwing)
  • Play time/play dates with other kids
  • Adventures (ex: zoo)

Sample Routine: 

  • (7-8)Wake up
  • Breakfast
  • Get ready for the day
  • 9:30-10:30 subject area #1
  • 10:30 snack
  • 10:45-11:45 subject area #2
  • 12:00 lunch
  • 12:30-1:00 nap
  • 2:30-3:00 subject area #3
  • 3:00 snack
  • 3:15-4:15 subject area #4
  • 4:30-6:00 Free play
  • Dinner
  • 7:30 Nighttime: bath, books, and bed

Look for curriculum activities weekly on Friday’s.  And if you have awesome ideas to add please share them!

1) Toddler Transferring 

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How to: Get Cleaning Done

Need help staying organized with all the cleaning and household chores?

As a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) people may think I have time to kill. If you perhaps are one of those folks…let me clear that up for you…Nope. Keeping up with chores and cleaning is a bit of a nightmare, even for a SAHM.

I had to use my organization skills, as well as a bit of my O.C.D tendencies, to help me out.

You can find a household chore list online and print it off, or create your own in a word document by inserting a table.

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Once you have a chore list– LAMINATE it! This will enable you to use the same chore list again, again, and again.

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Invest in some dry erase markers.

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Mark up your chore list with the days you will complete the chore and names of people who will be completing them.

Then hang it on the fridge or somewhere visible for everyone to see!

 

 

An Advocate for Change | The chance for growth is infinite

Georgia, MSW, LSW

How to: Chalkboard

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Making a chalkboard is easier than I thought it would be.

I decided a chalkboard was a great idea to put up against the wall… seeing how McKinley will soon be drawing on them anyways.

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You have options. You can buy chalkboard paint (and it comes in different colors) or chalkboard spray-paint.  There is no difference other than $ price. It’s cheaper for the spray paint.

You can spray paint on different surfaces but chalkboard is usually made with slate, or plywood.  I purchased plywood from Menards.

If you buy plywood you will need to also buy Primer. I purchased specifically “Bulls eye 1-2-3 primer for all surfaces” spray paint.

Supplies: 

  • Chalkboard Spray paint or paint
  • Primer
  • Plywood/ or slate
  • Plastic drop to paint or spray on

Directions: 

1. On a sunny warm day lay out your plastic drop on a flat surface. Then, lay your piece of plywood down. (You may want to put rocks on the edge of your plastic drop incase its windy).

2. Shake well and use the Primer first to spray paint your piece of plywood.  Read the can for directions, but dry time is about 30 minutes.

3. Shake well and use Chalkboard spray paint. Read can for application instructions.  Let dry for about 45 minutes-1 hour.  Apply a SECOND coat and let dry for 45 minutes.

4. Move plywood to another drying place (like the garage) to continue the drying process for at least 18 hours.

5. Use chalk to cover the entire surface area of the chalkboard.

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6. Then erase the entire area and your chalkboard is ready to use!

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7.  Here I made myself a mini chalkboard at the same time for my desk— to use for goals for the week and upcoming post ideas I want to do!

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An Advocate for Change | The chance for growth is infinite 

Georgia, MSW, LSW