I love the idea of busy boxes. The idea of busy boxes is having everything all ready for your child to do an activty when you need them to be busy because you are. I have not done it but I think I may try it. I have found it in a few different places. I wanted to put the links all together.
Play at Home Mom has busy boxes
Intrepid Murmurings calls her's toddler and preschool activity bags
Chasing Cheerios also calls her's toddler activity bags and she has better bags to use in this post.
My Delicious Ambiguity calls her toddler busy activity bags
Tired and True has homemade stuff in hers
Money Saving Mom calls hers busy bags
The Princess and the Tot call hers the toddler busy bags
The View from 5'5" calls her quite time boxes and they each have a few things in them.
Mine for the Making has some great ones. She calls them busy bags.
Playing House calls hers busy box. They have a few things in each one so she has a little more time.
I think you could do a lot of different things the same way. Those site have good stuff to get you started.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
We all think that Disneyland was made for preschoolers. In many ways is was but yet when my parents took me to Disneyland when I was three, my two sister and I cried in fear on Peter Pan. I know this ride was made for young kids but it was dark. I learned a lot from planning my trip last year to Disney World that I used again this year at Disneyland to keep Girlygirl from getting scared.
- Bring a small pen light. The light should be so bright that other people can't enjoy the ride but just bright enough to give off some light so your preschool feels save. Girlygirl's light was just bright enough that she could see a little better. The light not only gave her some light it gave her something other than the dark to think about when she got sacred.
- Bring you child's lovey. For us that is a small blanket. As a second tip to go with find a way to make it a necklace for your child to wear. I did this with Girlygirl's blanket by putting a rubber band tightly around the blanket and a ribbon then making the ribbon in to a loop.
- Don't go on rides that may scare your child or Ride share. If your child doesn't want to go don't make them go. You can encourage but don't force they want to have fun too.
- Before you go look and the picture and videos of the rides with your child. Disney has lots of information about each ride looking it gives you and your preschool an idea of what the ride is like.
- Don't loss your child. There are lots of ways to not loss your preschooler at Disneyland. 1) buy or rent stroller 2)hold hands at all times 3) walk at your child's pace 4) walk in a line with one adult the leader and the other at the back. 5) leash (I know some think they are for dogs but I think they are fine for children too)
Go to Disneyland with a plan. Knowing what scares your child will help you know what is you will have to do to keep your child from getting scared at Disneyland.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
We all get grumpy when we are hungry. When you take your preschooler to Disneyland come with a plan to avoid hunger break downs (as I call them). Here are a few simple things I did.
- Eat close to the same time as you do at home.- Even if you got up two hours before you would at home and ate, your child will most likely still be hungry again. If it is hard to eat lunch or dinner at the time you do at home have a snack.
- Have a meal plan.- Knowing what you will most likely do for each meal helps when your all get hungry and no one can agree. It also helps you see where you can bring food from home to save.
- Bring food from home.- Even if you plan to eat all your meals out. Having snacks on hand is the best way to help your hungry child. I brought a small soft ice chest. In it I keep water, juice boxes, frozen Gogurts, string cheese, and apples. I also wear a fanny pack with more snacks. In it was fruit snacks, Gold fish, granola bars and sometimes candy. Remember your will see tons of junk food for sell if you are like me if you have your own sweet snack you will be less tempted to buy theirs. Not only will bring your own food save you money but you will have food on hand when hunger strikes.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
You read this and most likely laughed. Going to Disneyland with a preschooler you know that they will get over tried. There are a few things you can do to help your child along the way.
- Bring a stroller- Girlygirl walks a mile to school and is fine but I still bring her a stroller to Disneyland and she is almost five. This gives her a break from walking and standing when we go from ride to ride. It also give me a place to hold our small ice chest more about that tomorrow.
- Let them sleep- For us that means going back to the hotel for a nap. I like to get up early and beat the crowds and stay late to watch the night shows. For your and your child this may not work. If that is the case go back to the hotel early or leave late in the morning.
- Take a break-You know your child watch for their I am getting to tried or overwhelmed signs. If you notice your preschooler is need of a break head to the hotel, find a quite places in Disneyland (more on them later), even just sitting on a bench and watching for awhile or going to a show may be what your child needs.
- Be willing to not do it all.- Before you even leave everyone needs to know that this is about having fun and not trying to do everything. Do what you can and just have fun. If doing everything takes the fun out of it what was the point.
Monday, July 11, 2011
If you want to have a great time on your trip to Disneyland with your preschooler there are five things you need to avoid. By doing this you will have a great trip.
- Avoid letting your child get over tried.
- Avoid letting your child get over hungry.
- Avoid letting your child get over scared.
- Avoid buying to much stuff.
- Avoid getting board in line.
How can you do this you ask? Well I have some great tips to come later in the week.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Keeping change of clothing for each child and mom. Keep a full outfit for each child and at least a shirt for yourself. Each person should have there own zip lock bag with there outfit in it. A zip lock gives you a nice easy thing to grab for the child or mom who needs to change. When I was a nanny or had my summer kids I keep the name of each kid on the bag. I keep them under the bucket sit in the van.
- What is the point I don't have a baby? Even kids who have been potty trained for a long time sometimes just can't holder it any longer. These often happens when you have little to no time to stop. Maybe that is why it happens. (I know make time but sometimes we just are not thinking). A stop at a fast food place or park can turn out messy.
- How can I afford that? I keep clothing that is a little big or a little small in the car. It wouldn't be used at the time any way. Sometimes I keep holiday shirt people gave us. It not like it would get used either. An out fit with a stain on it will work fine too. If you don't have something stop by the second hand store and pick out the cheapest thing you can find. Don't go crazy it will not get used often and people will understand that it just happened.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I have keep all Girlygirl's birthday parties under $75. Which is at least half of what the party places I have looked into cost. To keep the cost low birthday part affordable I pick a theme early. Girlygirl birthday is not until August and we have just passed the New year and I am already on the look out of good deals on butterfly things for her fifth birthday party. As part of the planning for an affordable birthday I pick everything from the wrapping paper, Girlygirl outfit to the cake to match the theme.
Finding affordable was to make your party theme starts with thinking outside the box. I always start at home. Until last year I always picked the theme past on what toys Girlygirl had the most of. Doing this made it easy to decorate with little cost out of my pocket. Even if you don't use the toys to pick the theme look around and see what you have to match the theme in your home. This could be toys or a decoration. After you found what you have at home keep an eye out for other things to match you theme. I have picked up things at garage sales to bring out the theme and they are often toys so it is a win-win plus cheep. One year I found Dora fabric on sale for ninety-nine cents a yard, it made a great table cloth. After the party I gave to Girlygirl to us as a blanket for her dolls. If your child has clothing to match the theme have them wear it. Knowing the theme early you can make gifts double as future party supplies. If you know you need a cake topper why not put a plastic toy to match the theme in your child's Easter basket or stocking. Or when shopping for new clothing pick up a shirt to go with the theme. It is easy to have an affordable birthday party with thinking outside the box.
Once you have done all you can to think outside the box start hunt of party supplies that don't cost too much. Finding affordable wrapping paper to match the theme is one of the hard things to do. I did find Princess gift bags for fifty cents each and pick them up not know if Girlygirl would ever have a princess birthday and when she had her pink castle party I used those. One year I was lucky to find Sesame Street wrapping paper at a dollar store. If you can't find wrapping paper for a good deal to match the theme try to pick colors that go with your theme. The other thing I have done is add party stores and the lisle to my shopping trips. You never know what will be on close out at these stores. I once got hats, palates, cups, napkins, etc to match the theme and didn't pay more than eighty-two cent for any of it. Keeping your eye out is not hard to do and can save you a ton of money.
When I can't the thing I want for something I just make it. Children don't care what it looks like. Most of Girlygirl party games have been homemade. From just coloring pages to pin the peck on Big Bird to help Dora find Backpack. Homemade cakes are a lot cheep than store bought cake. I have been lucky to have a sister who loves to make fancy cakes. If you don't have someone to make one a box cake with small toy and Happy Birthday written on top is not much less the the stores do for a huge savings. With a little thought and look around the Internet you can come up with great things.
I had great backyard parties growing up. I have decided to keep with the same fun affordable backyard birthday parties for Girlygirl. Keeping everything at home doesn't always mean you you will have an affordable birthday but with a little planning you can have a party that doesn't break the bank.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
We all love to get things when we go on a trip. I know I do and so does Girlygirl. When we where moving here from Illinois a few months back, we made a game out of finding post cards. Girlygirl loved it. She loved pick out just the right one at the gas stations and looking at them when back in the truck. We put those in a journal my mom wrote for her about the trip I am sure she will love it for years to come. Now when on the road Girlygirl is on the look out for post cards. We do get them for her. We got a cheep photo album and she puts them in there. At night she often looks at them in her bed. At Christmas time we took a trip and she jump for joy when she found the post card she wanted. It is great way to get your child something cheep to help them look back on the family fun. What do you do to help your child remember our family fun?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
As those who read this blog often know we add Mr. Man to our family full time four months ago. Life has been hard for all of us. The is so much to learn as we go through this time. We are all new to each other. Life in our home is very different than life back with his mom and sisters. I would not say I have it figured out how to be a mom to a teen with a life that has been so hard but I have started to learn a few things. I had a hard time find things out there to help me when I decide to take Mr. Man in because of that I want to share what I learn a long the way. Here are my tips to other fostering or adopting or raising a friends teenager.
- find a good church that the child will fit in at - We did do this. Sweet dude and I prayed and talk about it before Mr. Man even came. We didn't feel the church we went too would be a place that Mr. Man could fit in at. We knew the church Girlygirl went to AWANA at had a loving and accepting way about them. The kids and I go to church there now.(with Sweet dude being Deaf he stayed at our old church)
- let others help- I have a hard time with this. I feel while they feel they have to or they don't know what they are getting into with this kid. But if others want to love him I need to let the happen. I pray God will teach me to allow more help.
- know it cost a lot of money- teens cost a lot of money. Mr. Man came to me with shoes with holes in them and there was still some snow on the ground. His underwear he brought from home would fit a six year old. So that first week we went out and got him new clothing all he would need. Then there is the meds and the therapy. We did get him on our insurance but still the co-pays add up to a lot each month.
- read about being a parent to a teen- I have not found a good book about how to parent a teen that did not grow up with you. I have been reading Love and Logic for teens. I would say before a teen came to to to read both the first Love and Logic and the teen one. It has been the best way to parent Mr. Man.
- it is not about today- I tell Mr. Man, Sweet Dude and even me "It is not that we are trying to change him as a teenager but that it is our job to make sure he will be the best adult he can be." What I mean is today it maybe hard for all of us but if when he moves out into the world he can make it and understand out the world works then what we did now will have been right.
- pray and pray and pray- it is hard you need to let go and let God. So pray pray pray.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Mr. Man littlest sister stayed with us for the past week. She is with my older sister for the summer. Littlest Sister told me over and over she know my sister and her husband are her friends and loved her because they pray with her and play with her. This is something we needed to remember with our own kids. They just want to be loved and they know they are loved if we pray with them and play with them. Make sure that your kids feel loved by you. Take lots of time to play and pray.
Monday, June 21, 2010
When we are out and doing things it is hard for Mr. Man to stay still and not make noises no one wants to hear. I have learned a few things in the last few months about that have worked good for us.
- silly putty- yes you know the stuff. If you where like me you loved it as a kid. It is great it fits in even the smalls purse and both Mr. Man and love to play with it. (maybe even me)
- talk about what he needs to do where we are going. Like if we are going to church he needs to sit and listen. If he wants to do something then take notes, do the children's bulletin or play with putty.
- Give him away out if we out. Sometimes things are too hard for him to do that day. Before going in I let him know what he can do if he can't do what I have asked of him. In church if you can't sit still and be quite he can go to the cry room or walk home (we live very close to church).
- Helping him remember what was asked of him. It is fine if he needs a few reminders of what was asked of him.
- Be ready to reward good behavior. We do . I keep them with me at all times anytime he is good at a place or for sometime he gets one.
- Don't over plan and if you do have a long day plan breaks in it. Even too much fun stuff can make it hard to behave.