Tag Archives: Kids

When My Kids Were Bored: Part 1

Most days of the week,  I don’t offer many structured activities for my kids. I truly believe that kids learn and play best when they have free play and can use those big imaginations.  I once read somewhere that our job isn’t to entertain our kids every hour of the day, and that being bored forces them to be creative and come up with their own ideas.

Plus, a structured activity means I need to have something planned and I’m just not that prepared!

The majority of the time, my kids are great at coming up with something fun to do. This weekend, my oldest found her science notebook from 2nd grade. It detailed her experiments on making glue at school, and she decided that she and her sisters should do some experimenting of their own.

Next thing I know, they have cornstarch, glue, and water being mixed into bowls.  Food coloring soon came into the picture, and they were making play-doh! What started as wanting to make glue turned into something else, and I heard her tell her little sisters, “Don’t worry, girls. Scientists get things wrong and sometimes it takes years to figure it out.”

This kept them busy for over an hour!  If you can get over the mess that will be made, I highly recommend letting your kids mess around with cornstarch, flour, and water!

Weekly Organization of Kids’ Outfits

Getting myself and 4 other little humans dressed in the morning is quite a feat! Picking out their clothes every morning, realizing there were no pants to match, the shirt was too small, a stain showed up out of nowhere and so on…was wasting precious time. After my third child arrived (a short 17 months after my 2nd child), I knew I had to get organized if I ever wanted to make it to work on time.

I wisened up and began a Sunday routine of picking out everyone’s clothes for the work week. Most weeks, I try to include a 6th outfit as a wild card, in case the weather changes, they aren’t feeling that day’s outfit, or whatever reason that comes up to totally throw off my morning.

All closets (my two middles share), have a hanging organizer where I store the clothes. Like I always say, it’s not fancy, it’s functional.

In the morning, they grab the outfit they want to wear that day. For my oldest two, it is organized by “special”, meaning Monday is P.E. day so it is a sporty outfit, Tuesday is Music, so she can wear skinny jeans and boots, and so on.

This has been such a great timesaver for us! Some Sundays I dread it, but when a crazy morning hits I am thankful I took the time to organize it!

What are your tips for the outfit situation?

Morning Routine Chart for Kids

“Why are you just sitting there?”

“It’s the same routine every morning!”

“Have you brushed your teeth?”

“Has she brushed her teeth?”

“Comb her hair while I get her dressed.”

“Here, just let me do it!”

“Ugh, now we’re going to be late!”

Sound familiar? It’s the morning rush at our house, and I’m sure many of you can relate whether you have one child or four.  My husband and I are both home in the morning, so you would think getting our four kids ready to walk out the door would be a breeze.

Not so.

Not even close.

One daughter may be sitting on the floor, still in their pajamas 5 minutes before we need to leave.

Another will hate every outfit we picked out on Sunday.

The third is probably refusing to brush her teeth.

And the fourth, that sweet little baby, is in the middle of it all wondering what kind of family she was born into.

After many frustrating mornings of “Girls, we do the same 4 things every morning: clothes, hair, teeth, shoes”, Mom morphed into Teacher Mom. (Sometimes John thinks I’m too teacher-y,  but hey, it pays off in certain situations!)

They need a behavior chart, Teacher Mom thought. So in no more than 2 minutes, I whipped up the simplest, easy to follow morning routine chart for my girls.

They do not get a prize for completing these items because they are expectations. Their natural consequence is that they get extra time to do whatever they want in the morning if they are ready early.

After completing each task, the girls check it off with a dry erase marker. (I put it in a sheet protector. You could easily laminate it as well.) I honestly don’t care what order they follow as long as all 4 things are checked off.  So simple even my 3-year-old-at-the-time could handle it.

Now I’m not saying our mornings are perfect, but there is more order and less Mom and Dad bossing them around.

Click either picture to download your own copy!!  (You will get both versions.)

   

UPDATE: I have been asked to customize charts. Head here for more information!

I would love to hear how you organize your morning with your kiddos!