I confess I miss my kids when they are at school. I started thinking/praying about ways I could impress upon them how blessed I am to have them and just bring some encouragement and joy to them. I decided to start doing love post it notes for my kids. After they are asleep I go into their rooms and stick a post it on the wall of their bed with something I love about them or just an encouraging word or scripture. This is a great way to practice reading and seeing print once again. It takes just a few minutes but they are delighted!
My kids have had very few babysitters, mostly family have watched them. This weekend my husband and I had his cousin come and watch our kids while we went to dinner with some friends. To give our kids something to look forward to, and her something to keep them entertained, we made a list of all the fun things they wanted to do with her. They each wrote their own list. Great practice for writing and reading as well!
It couldn’t come fast enough for me, but finally my kids are on Fall Break! We get a whole week together to play and create fun memories. Here are some things we are up to.
We started off by me hiding 8 notes around their rooms for them of fun things they can choose from to do this week together. I designed each note for my kids. My daughters included things like, bake something sweet together, go ice skating (they still have free passes to go through our library reading program!), explore a new park and visit the zoo. My son’s were more for him. Extra Wii time, go out for lunch (since he’s usually in school for lunch), etc. I told them we have the week to do whatever ones they choose and they don’t have to use them all. So far we’ve already done 2!
Color and put together a cardboard playhouse. I got this awhile back for the kids with my 50% off coupon from Michaels. They get these about once a year and sell out fast. I snagged on for $7.50 and we’ve played so much with it already. We had lots of fun coloring it, but playing inside their secret hideout is loads of fun for them as well.
We are blessed to have some friends who have a cabin in the mountains, and they are graciously allowing us to use it for 2 nights this week! Wahoo! It is fun to go somewhere else where you cannot do laundry and don’t have to worry about cleaning but it is also free. We are planning on paddle boating, fishing, playing a lot outside and enjoying time together.
We also went on a hike and went to Alpine slides! The slides are similar to sledding down a mountain but not on snow. You race in a track. It was something new my kids had never done so they really enjoyed it, especially my daughter who thrives on new experiences. We took a chair lift to the top of the mountain. As I would expect my son was nervous and didn’t want me to go to fast, my daughter kept wanted to go over and over again. Great memories!
Today as I was unpacking some of the grocery bags I decided to have my daughter help. As we unpacked the grocery items I had her sort them. I didn’t tell her how but let her choose. I love her ideas. Color and size were the first two she did. I asked her how else she could sort and she did it by what you could eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. Then again she grouped it into food groups. So smart! This is a great way to keep even little ones entertained while you put things away.
I love to organize. It is a little obsession. I had been feeling unsure how to keep my now school age kids organized with all their papers from school, homework, after school activities etc. I got each person in my family (yes, my husband and I needed to be more organized too as my craft ideas and recipes were taking over our counter) a file folder and it has been working out great. I put each persons items in their folder so that I always know where the papers are, I simply clean them out at the end of each
week month or so.
Here is a simple way to make sure your kids are safe in case of an emergency while you are gone. We keep an emergency list on our fridge that I always show to babysitters before we leave. Here is what the list includes:
Nearest Cross Streets
Phone Numbers, cell and home
Our Pediatrician Name, number and address
Nearest Hospital name, number and address
Other emergency contacts
I pray these things aren’t needed while we go out, but it is always nice to plan just in case!
I am getting ready to go to visit my sisters for our annual sisters weekend, and I am super excited! We always eat at the Melting Pot, shop, eat puppy chow, and just catch up on each others lives. I always look forward to it, but I do miss my kids. This year I am making some things for them while I’m gone. Just a little countdown and note to let them know I am thinking of them. This year I gave them each a job everyday…like eat cotton candy at Chuck E Cheeses for me or tickle Daddy on the tummy. My hopes are that with these the time will fly for both of us:)
Now that we live close enough to walk to school I like to make the most of it and encourage learning as we walk. Here are some things we are doing on our walks.
1. Find as many things as you can that begin with the letter Mm. Mailbox, maple tree, man, etc.
2. For my nephew (he’s 2) we are working on colors. Each car/house/etc. we pass we call out the color.
3. I spy is always fun
4. New ways to walk: skip, balance beam (if we’re not running late!), gallop, tip toe. etc.
5. Write the Neighborhood: Give them a clipboard (my kids love them) and have them write the things they see. You could give direction with this as well such as have them trace words you know they’ll see.
6. Count: How many steps to the next house? Baby steps? How many cars will pass us on the way? People?
7. Songs: I admit I got caught singing to my nephew when it was just him and I on the way home from school one afternoon. I was singing songs and nursery rhymes and a lady pruning her rose bushes smiled (I usually stop if I see people, but she snuck up on me!), I smiled back and when we got home he was asleep!!! Oh well, I think she enjoyed my singing.
8. Pick up trash: Bring along a bag and pick up litter as you go… we always wear gloves for this!
9. Tell stories about myself when I was in school. The kids love hearing these, especially when I tell them I got in trouble some…they are shocked!
10. What I love about you: Try to boost their self esteem and tell them all the things that are great about them before they go to school.
What kind of things do you do on walks?
My kids love to play tag. Freeze tag, regular tag, even toilet tag! I decided to share with them my favorite tag from when I was younger and they are loving it. We call it TV tag. It is similar to tag except when someone is about to tag you you call out a name of a TV show and squat down. They then have to chase someone else. There are no repeats so after awhile it gets harder and harder to think of another TV show. This is really fun and allows the kids to think of items within a designated category. We don’t always use TV as the category. It is fun to think of ice cream flavors, types of sweets, animals, colors, etc. It really makes the kids think and brainstorm as you play. What is your favorite outside game?
I was teaching our kids about David and Goliath and decided to show them just how big he would have been. Telling kids he was 9 feet tall just didn’t register for them. I cut a long butcher piece of paper as tall as Goliath and them measured my kids against them. They loved that! We decided Ayla would have been to his shins and Isaiah to his knees! Now that is big. We talked a lot about how that would feel fighting against him and how he was brave because he knew God was with him. We used this with school starting to encourage our kids that God will give them the courage to do the things they need to do as well, and that He is always with them.