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Growing Up

Growing Up

Tips for A Simple After School Play Date

A Back to School Brownie baking Party - an after school activity. This post has lots of tips for hosting a successful after school party.

Since we officially have started school, we now get to plan after school activities!  And the possibilities are endless!  We have been considering a number of extra-curricular activities to keep our kindergarten kid busy during the afternoon.  And last week I decided to have a fun after school play date with her friends to celebrate Back to School.  It just seemed natural to bake brownies!  Our play date was actually simple to throw together and the kids had LOTS of fun.   I thought I would share with you our best ideas for planning an after school play date.

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.  Continue Reading

Growing Up

Simple Tsum Tsum Mickey & Minnie Costumes

Our girls are like a lot of kids their age: obsessed with all things Disney!  They love Minnie and Mickey and all their friends, too.  And a while back we discovered a fun Disney toy that was price conscious enough for us to start a collection: Tsum tsums.   Over a number of months, we have collected quite a few of these fun little toys.  And so when it came time to dress up to go to Mickey’s Halloween Party, we thought it would be fun to have the girls dress up as Mickey & Minnie Tsum Tsum!

The costumes ended up being really simple to put together, so I thought I would share a quick how-to with you about the costumes. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Apple Stamp Phonics for Short Vowel Sound Aa

Apple Core Stamps - project for short-vowel sound Aaɑ

Apples!  It is almost apple season around here – I got a great deal on Gala apples last week.  Our girls love apples.  G likes her’s without the peel.  W likes her’s with – and will eat G’s discarded peels.  Last week we were having snack time after working through the very first lesson in The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.  And I suddenly had a great idea for a craft to reinforce the concepts taught in that phonics lesson – the short vowel sound for Aaɑ.

It seems like there is no shortage of apple activities out there.  And I hesitate to share this one with you, but we did it and enjoyed it, so I am sharing!  This simple activity built upon a number of facts the girls already know, and added a little bit more to their understanding of apples.  Here’s what we did.  Continue Reading

Growing Up

Kindergarten Homeschool Choices

homeschooling kindergarten - learning choices and goals. A plan for the school year

We jumped!

We finally got started with homeschool a little over a week ago and it is going ___.

Yes, I didn’t include an adverb at the end of that sentence because, I am trying my best to wait 6 weeks to evaluate how it is going!  I will let you know when we get through our first 6 weeks!

But I thought I would share the thinking behind our homeschool kindergarten choices for G (5-years-old as of June 2016).  I know that every family is different and each child is unique.  So, I am just putting out there our choices for our girl.  And a little bit of the reasoning behind the choices.  You will see the subjects are planning to cover, followed by my goal for the year and the plan for teaching/learning it. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Thinking of Others: Making Birthdays Special

Thinking of Others, making birthdays special.

Thinking of others is not something that comes natural to us.  We tend to be pretty self-focused.  This is proven true by examining little ones.  They have to learn empathy.  They have to learn to relate to others with kindness and self-lessness.  And they have to be taught to be caring.

I can think of almost no other place where this self-focus can be seen in kids than when it comes time to give a gift.

You know the drill:

You walk into Target and you lay out the game plan for your shopping trip: purchase a gift for Johnnny’s birthday.

Immediately upon entering the toy aisle, your little one starts shopping.  But not for Johnny.

Suddenly she finds toys she NEEDS!  RIGHT NOW!

She forgets the purpose of the shopping trip.  So she needs a little refocus.

Once you get her all refocused on the purpose of the trip to Target, she starts to have her own ideas for what Johnny might want.  And what Johnny might want looks eerily like what she might want.  I assure you, sweet girl, that Johnny does not want a pretty princess dress for his birthday.   Continue Reading

Growing Up

First Foods and First Messes

first foods and first messes - cleaned up with super soft WaterWipes
This entry is part 1 of 29 in the series Baby Days

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.  As always, all opinions are mine.

Baby skin is SO soft and so sweet.  I am not sure exactly when it loses that special baby-soft quality, but I know it disappears.  I have had friends want to smell my children, touch their whisper soft cheeks and soak in the sweet baby-ness that only lasts an instant.  Our sweet little man (AG) still has it – he is 8 months old – and I am soaking it up while I can.

Soon the snakes and snails and puppy dog tails will take over.  Our sweet little cuddle-bug  will be running around jumping in mud puddles.   Those milestone first foods will become first messes!  For now the messes are staying quite contained. Continue Reading

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