I am not a crafty person.
I see all these cute crafts for kids on Pinterest, but when I try them it looks like…well…let's just say you probably wouldn't be able to tell if it was me or the kids who did the craft.
But I still get these grand ideas in my head about doing these adorable crafts with my kids. And they never happen because I just never quite get all the details of this fabulous craft finalized.
We imperfect homemakers have that problem — we live in a dream world sometimes. We want everything to be perfect, and when we can't live up to those ideals, we don't do anything at all.
This challenge is all about letting go of our perfection and just doing something!
Today's Challenge: Do a craft with your kids.
You don't have to figure out anything fancy. You may just need to pull out the construction paper, scissors, and glue and let them go to town with it. They will still have fun and that's what matters!
If you’re just joining the 31 Days of Imperfect Homemaking series, you can see all the posts here.
My son is enthralled with the beauty of the changing colors of leaves. Every day he asks me if we can collect some leaves and make a craft. The problem is, I'm not exactly the crafty type of mom.
So I set out to find some crafts we could do using the leaves we collected. And I found some GREAT ideas!
Last year I would have told you I am no expert on traveling with little ones. I would still say that I am not an expert, but being a missionary on deputation has afforded me lots of practice! We are gone every weekend and many weeks in between. Next year we will be gone for several months at a time.
When we began this journey I asked several missionary friends for suggestions. Many of their tips have been lifesavers as we travel the country with four little people. Some areas are still being tweaked to find out what works best. These are a few of my tips for traveling with toddlers…
1. Keep Your Routine – even when away from home. I know that it is not always possible, but stick to what is “normal” as much as possible. Observe the same nap times. Eat the same foods. Keep the same bedtime routine.
2. Bring Favorite Items. There are enough “strange” things on any trip – a different bed, a new house or hotel room, and possibly a different climate. Try to keep some things the same. Liberty is attached to her blanket. We bring it on every trip. Elaine and Nolan are older and have lots of favorite “friends”, so they have to select one friend to bring in the car. We also bring a couple of family favorites for bedtime stories. This gives the kids something familiar in an unfamiliar environment.
3. Switch Things Up. We have several different entertainment items to keep the kids happy in the car. But we try to keep them varied so that the kids don’t get bored of any one thing. We use a DVD player, books on CD, reading chapter books aloud (I love my Kindle because it takes up so little space), independent playtime (with items from their backpack), family games such as “I Spy”, Bible stories from Daddy, singing, and nap time. We do one thing for a little while, and then move on to another. During nap time they can't hold any toys and they have to close their eyes and stop speaking. They almost always fall asleep.
My bigger kids are allowed to pack their own little backpacks, but I limit the number of toys. I usually let them have “five small toys”. They usually pick things like zoo animals, Little People, etc. and play make believe in their car seats. I have found that crayons/markers/stickers are not good in the car for little people. I spend most of my trip retrieving them from the floor. For drawing, Magna Doodles work great!
4. Travel at Night. It may be helpful to travel at night when your little people will naturally sleep. You don't have to plan as many stops, so the traveling goes faster. We have done it several times for very long trips. It is hard on Mom & Dad the next day, though!
5. Stop frequently. We stop about every three hours, and usually for an hour. By the time we change diapers, take a potty break, eat lunch, and let the kids run off the wiggles, it is usually an hour. But then the kids are much more content to get back into the car. We have found it very helpful to pack a lunch and stop at a park, playground, or rest stop to eat. This gives us fresh air and more room for the kids to run around, and it’s much easier on our wallet!
1. Pack Light. Almost everywhere we go there is a washing machine. I usually pack three days of clothes, and then wash. This means less stuff to load and unload into the car, and it is also less items to keep track of at the home/hotel where we are staying. For a family of six we can travel with only two suitcases, a bag of shoes, and a family toiletry bag. It means less to get ready, too. I can have us all packed in about two hours or less!
2. Prepare for Accidents. We have two kiddos in diapers, and one potty training. I keep an extra outfit and socks in the diaper bag for these kids. That way if there is an accident on the road, we don’t have to unload the whole suitcase.
3. Stay Organized. I bring along a laundry bag to set up in our destination home. This keeps the suitcase organized. I pack the “little” stuff for each person in a Ziploc bag with their name on it. All undies, socks, ties, belts, hair bows, etc. go into that person's bag to stay organized. I bring a mesh laundry bag to put dirty socks into, so that they are not lost in the dirty laundry. When you’re only packing for three days, it’s hard to lose a pair of socks!
4. Pack a Community Bag. Since there are six in our family, we have found a “community bag” to be helpful. All of our shoes go into one bag. This keeps dirt out of the suitcases and makes it easy to keep track of everyone’s shoes. We also have a family toiletry bag. All toiletry items for the whole family go into one bag, and then there is only one bag in the destination bathroom, instead of six individual bags. This makes it easier to be sure we have everything packed, too. I can easily glance through the toiletry bag to know we have all the necessary items, and my husband knows he only has to worry about loading one bag into the van.
Do you travel often? What do you do to make it fun instead of stressful?
With the homeschool year about to start, I am once again faced with the question of “What do I do with the little ones?” I need them to stay occupied so I can help the older ones with their schoolwork, and I need something that will hold their attention for a good while.
Here are some ideas that meet all of those qualifications.
|Popsicle Stick Puzzles|
|Popsicle stick color matching|
|Build a cupcake|
|Building with velcro and craft sticks|
|Pipe cleaners and a spice jar|
|Button practice with felt|
|Clothespin Color Match|
|Weaving with pipe cleaners and a cooling rack|
|Practicing shapes with stickers|
|Popsicle Stick Shape matching|
|Pom poms and tweezers|
|Printable Sewing Cards|
|I spy book|
|Magnetic items and a cookie sheet|
If you want even more ideas, you'll want to check out my newest eBook! You'll find a selection of ideas that isn't too hard for you to set up for your children but will keep them occupied for a good while! Take a look here!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post; I am a Kmart blogger, although all opinions are my own. #KMartSummerFun
This summer you can get outdoors and spend time with your family without having to leave your house. Here are 25 ways to have fun as a family right in your backyard! No matter your children's ages, and no matter what toys and equipment you own, there is something for everyone on this list!
1. Play on the swing set
2. Pull your kids in a wagon
3. Have a Nerf gun war
4. Cool off in a swimming pool – large or small
5. Have a water gun fight – you can use water guns or old squirt bottles you have lying around the house!
6. Enjoy a backyard picnic – we enjoy eating our lunch outside on a blanket or just sitting on the back porch with a treat.
7. Swing on a porch swing
8. Relax in a hammock
9. Make mud puddles and let your kids play in them
10. Run through the sprinkler
11. Play Kickball or soccer
12. Play catch with a baseball, football, or Frisbee
13. Teach your child to ride a bike
14. Go on a nature walk – I like to take the kids around to see how many different kinds of flowers, bugs, etc. we can find
15. Make a scavenger hunt for your kids
16. Build a campfire and roast marshmallows – when we clean up the yard, we'll burn the branches that have fallen.
17. Set up a tent – Sleep in it or just have fun playing in it during the day.
18. Plant a garden
19. Build a tree house
20. Set up a bird feeder – I especially love watching the hummingbirds!
21. Jump on a trampoline
22. Draw with sidewalk chalk
23. Exercise together
24. Blow bubbles
25. Lie in the grass and watch the clouds – this was one of my favorite things to do as a kid!
What would you add to this list? Do you have any favorite family activities that you do in your yard?
If you're looking to add some backyard toys to your collection, you'll find some good ideas on the KMart Hot Deals page!
There are so many little “extras” that would be helpful for homeschooling, but I don't always have the money to spend on them. So whenever I can I make my own. I am needing arithmetic flashcards this year, and I am creating all of them for me and for you too if you need them!
I have moved all of my homeschooling posts to christianhomeschoolfamily.com.
You can go here to read this post at the new site.