Need some independent activities to keep your preschooler occupied? Check out my eBook!
This conversation is brought to you by Culturelle® Probiotic. All opinions are 100% my own.
I did these easy paper experiments with the kids this morning.
It was a lot of fun for them to follow the instructions and find out the end result.
Here's what we did:
The kids weren't all that impressed with that since it was pretty obvious that's what would happen. But that was simply a springboard into the next activity:
They thought that was pretty neat, but then we took it a step further.
They got a huge kick out of that! They thought it was pretty amazing to start with one piece of paper and end up with two loops joined together!
I'm working hard to keep their minds and their bodies healthy, and one way I'm doing that is to make sure they are taking probiotics daily.
We had been using a powdered probiotic, but were never faithful with it because it had to be mixed with their other food and they weren't crazy about the taste.
When Culturelle® Kids Probiotic offered to send me some chewable probiotic tablets just for kids in exchange for sharing our experience, I gladly took them up on it!
Culturelle Kids Probiotic contains 100% Lactobacillus GG, the #1 clinically studied probiotic in children. †† Daily usage is shown to help support kids’ immune systems and help alleviate occasional digestive distress.* The kids love the taste and never forget to take them!
When my kids are healthy, they are happier and better able to participate in activities like the ones they did in this post! That's why I'm making it a priority to make sure they regularly take immune supporting probiotics like the ones found in Culturelle.*
If you want to try Culturelle Kids Probiotics for your own children, be sure to take advantage of this $5.00 coupon!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
††Based on the number of Lactobacillus GG clinical studies, as of August 2014.
Shh…don't tell them we were learning too!
I got a foil pan for each of them and had them gather up small toys from around the house. We filled each pan with water enough to submerge the items.
We had to wait until the next day before the pans of water were fully frozen.
When we pulled the pans out of the freezer, I told the kids they needed to figure out the best way to get their toys out of the ice.
“Oh, I know! We'll pry them out with a butter knife!”
But they soon discovered that wasn't very effective.
I began to try to help them think about what was necessary for the toys to be freed from the ice.
“Let's try putting water on it!” One said. They were getting somewhere, but they still weren't understanding that ice is hard because it is past the freezing point and to get it turned back to liquid they need to bring the temperature above freezing.
“Cold or warm?” I asked?
“Let's try cold!” they said.
I added a little cold water to each of their pans. The ice began to crack.
But it still did not help them pry their toys loose.
“Let's try hot water!”
The hot water melted the ice enough for them to dig out some of the items with effort, but the items still had hunks of ice stuck to them.
I made the suggestion to run the individual item under the hot water and see what happens.
They were amazed to watch the ice melt away.
Two of the kids immediately decided to put their entire pan under the hot water.
One child was still having too much fun excavating…
The kids had such a good time playing in the ice…I mean, learning about the freezing point and melting point of ice!
They kept telling me that I was the best mommy ever and that this was the “funnest” day they've ever had!
We will be doing more fun activities, kiddos.
I'm reading a new book this month called Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told. I haven't gotten very far yet, but the little bit I've read so far has been great! I've already been mulling over some things I read — and that was just the introduction!
In spite of being raised in a great Christian home, growing up in a church where there was much teaching on the home, and even taking college courses on the Christian home, there is always something more that I can learn — and I have!
About the book:
God's Word gives us a better way to parent, one that builds strong internal motivation in children. When parents change the way they parent, kids change the way they live. Motivate Your Child is a practical book that explores a theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for life.
In order to motivate parents to Pre-Order the book, the National Center for Biblical Parenting is offering a $150 package of resources for FREE! There are video, audio and print items that can be used on a variety of devices. You can learn more on the Book Website.
Pre-Order the book now from any retailer, and then follow the instructions below.
INSTRUCTIONS: Purchase the book. Email the receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. The NCBP will send you the link and a special code to access these downloadable products. This offer is good until January 31, 2015.
Little ones hanging on your legs while you try to make dinner?
Bored toddlers destroying things while you try to homeschool their older siblings?
You need this eBook! Find 101 ideas (actually I've included a few extra!) for ways to captivate your child's attention using simple household materials that require little to no setup on your part.
Through December 13, get 50% off when you use the coupon christmas50 at checkout!
(If you're reading via email, you will need to click through to the blog post to purchase.)
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EurekaPower #CollectiveBias
I'm still working on this with my own children. I have a lot of things that I work hard to implement, but I wanted some experienced “been there, done that” moms to speak out so I could make sure I was on the right track. Thankfully a lot of you chimed in on Facebook with what has worked for you.
I've compiled it all here into a (hopefully) logical format for the benefit of all of us younger mothers. You know as well as I do how quickly the messes appear! Teaching kids to clean up their own messes will not only save heaps of time in our own homes, but it will also help our children become responsible adults with good habits that will greatly help them to achieve harmony in their own families.
1. Start teaching them early.
Teaching children from the get-go how to clean up their own messes makes it so much easier later on down the road! From the moment they are able to make a mess, they can be taught how to clean it up. My children have all been able to throw away trash and put toys in a basket or bin beginning right around age one.
Little ones can understand more than we sometimes give them credit for! Tell your child, “Put it in the trash can” while gently holding their hand and helping them drop it in. They will get the hang of it very quickly.
2. Stay consistent.
This one is tough if you are expecting immediate results. You won't. Anything worth having takes time, and if you want a child who knows how to clean up his own messes, you'll have to take the time to teach him how. And you'll have to stick it out to see that he does it every single time. If your child is old enough to do a craft, he is old enough to put the supplies back in the box. If he can cut up the construction paper into itty bitty pieces, he can vacuum all the pieces that fell on the floor. Don't do it for him, even if it would be faster for you to do it yourself.
Developing routines can also help kids get in the habit of cleaning up after themselves. If you have them make their bed every single day as soon as they get up, it will become second nature to them. If you always have them straighten up their room right before they go to bed, it will (hopefully someday, eventually) become a habit. (I'm still waiting for this to happen. Just being real here.)
If there are consequences for failing to clean up after themselves, kids can get the hang of things very quickly! Toys left all over their bedroom floor? Take them away for a week and see how well they remember to put them away next time! On the flip side, be sure to reward any effort they're making to implement good habits. (I noticed you made your bed every day this week without being told! I think that calls for a second helping of dessert for you!)
3. Make it easy
Make cleaning up as easy as possible and it will help your child tremendously. If there is a huge mess, children can get overwhelmed very easily and give up because it looks too hard or they don't know where to start. (We adults do the same thing, don't we?)
Here are some ways to help make cleaning up easier for them:
I also like to let my oldest (he's 7) vacuum the floors. It's a huge help because there is constantly a nice collection dirt, crumbs, and tiny bits of paper on the floor. With a baby in the house who puts everything in her mouth, it's a priority to keep all that cleaned up. (Not to mention it doesn't exactly look beautiful to have a filthy floor.)
After 8 years of using the same vacuum, though, it was time for a little upgrade. A quick trip to Walmart remedied that situation and I found myself with the Eureka Suction Seal 2.0 . (Read all the way to the bottom of this post to see what I think of it.)
4. Lead by example.
(What was I saying about making the bed?) Seriously, how can you expect your children to clean up their own messes when your own room is always a mess? And don't be afraid to jump in and help when they have their own messes to clean up. Doing it for them and helping them are two different things.
5. Make it fun
Getting frustrated, yelling or acting like a slave driver are not the best ways to help kids get their work done. Make it fun instead. Have a race to see who can put 10 things away the fastest. Or race the timer to see if they can clean their room before the timer goes off.
Speaking of fun, my kids thought I had gone crazy when I told them we were going to break in our new vacuum the other night. I gave them a bowl of flour and let them throw it all over their room. You can see the whole video on instagram.
So, how do we like it?
Well, you know that silly little meme about vacuuming the same piece of paper over and over?
I didn't have to do that with the Eureka Suction Seal 2.0!
The Suction Seal technology consists of special plates that raise and lower against the surface maintaining suction and seal without scattering debris.
Also, the Air Speed technology uses a wide tube of air with minimal bends and twists that allows air to move freely across a shorter and more direct path.
You can see a video of it in action here.
I have a combo of carpet and wood floors in my house, so it's really nice to have a button that I can push with my foot to switch back and forth between the two.
And THIS. This, my friends is a retractable cord. Love! No more winding.
It's easy enough for my 7 year old to use it and powerful enough that when he runs it over the floor too quickly it still sucks up the mess. (Let me just tell you; he had a blast with this photo shoot. Dumping flour on the floor? Playing with mom's new vacuum? He was all too happy to help!)
Although normally $148.88 (which is totally worth it in my opinion), it's actually on rollback throughout the month of November for $129.00. Definitely worth considering if you're in the market for a new vacuum. I love that it has all the attachments too.