Thanksgiving is a time where most of us stop and think about what we are thankful for. But what if we took it a step further? What if we make a family thankful tree to hang in our house? Gather around the table and ask your kids what they are thankful for. They can help you trace and cut leaves out of paper. You (or them) can write what they are thankful for on each leaf. They can also help you color and cut out the tree trunk and branches. Make sure each family member has a time to share what they are most thankful for. Let your kids decorate the leaves and branches with markers, crayons, colored pencils, glitter, stickers, etc. When your family tree is complete, hang it in a special spot in your house. We have so much to be thankful for:)
Hey there friends:) Today we are tackling one of the most underrated topics in parenthood…..sleep. Sleep is crucial for a healthy brain and a healthy body. Yet so many kids and adults struggle with it. When kids are tired they are more likely to act out. I am sure you are all familiar with this:) Here is a list to help your kiddos get a good nights rest.
- Determine a bed time and stick to it!
- Make sure your kids get enough physical exercise during the day-this includes play time (2-5 hours depending on age)
- Dim lights and sounds if possible
- Read or tell a story right before bed
- Limit screen time in the evening
- Offer a small snack and water if your child is prone to getting up during the night
- Avoid sugary and caffeinated drinks at dinner
- Give extra cuddles
- Set bedtime boundaries-When is it okay for your child to get up during the night?
- Create a routine
Hopefully this gives you a few new ideas to help your kids sleep better. Routines take time and patience so try not to be discouraged if it doesn’t work at first. Also, if your kids are getting up several times a night mention it to their pediatrician. Sometimes anxiety and diet can contribute to kids not sleeping well. Happy sleeping!
Autumn is slowly arriving bringing cooler temperatures and changing leaves. What a great time to be outdoors! Below is a budget-friendly family bucket list for this fall season.
- Go on a nature hike. Ask your kids to collect fall treasures (leaves, acorns, and whatever else they find). Make an autumn wreath with their treasures. You can cut cardboard from a box to use as the wreath. Have your kids glue (if they can) on their treasures. Poke a hole at the top of their wreath and thread yarn through to tie a bow. Display it on your front door or allow them to give it to a neighbor.
- Have a picnic at a local park. Ask your kids to help you pack a lunch. Bring a special blanket to sit on. Talk about the cooler temperatures and changing leaves.
- Go to a pumpkin patch. Price out the pumpkins beforehand and ask your kids to help you count the money they will need. Put the money in a special bag or envelope and let them pay for their pumpkin.
- Visit an apple orchard or farmer’s market. Talk about the different types and colors of apples (Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith). Allow them to taste different types of apples (you can go to your local grocery store if you don’t have an orchard close by). Borrow a book about apples from the library to learn more!
- Bake an autumn inspired treat. Things like baked apples and pumpkin bread are fairly easy to make and budget friendly. Allow your kids to help you measure or gather ingredients.
Make time to unplug from social media and work (if you can). Our world is so fast-paced and one of our goal’s at before5 is to inspire you to create pockets of time to slow down and connect with your kids. We hope these ideas encourage you to spend meaningful time with your family.
Having a set schedule or routine can benefit your family in many ways. Most kids (and adults) thrive on “knowing” what comes next. Schedules and routines provide a sense of security for young kids. They also help kids develop self-discipline and self-confidence because they are completing tasks on their own (or trying to). Creating a family schedule/routine will depend on the ages of your kids. Hold a family meeting and ask your kids what types of things they need to do when they wake up and what to do before they go to bed. Asking their input will encourage them to stick to the schedule because they helped plan it! Although schedules and routines are extremely helpful, it’s good to remember that life happens sometimes. There will be days that stuff comes up and that is OKAY. Talk to your kids before their schedule changes. This will help eliminate any behaviors due to being out of their routine.
While planning is important, so is being flexible. When life happens, your kids are watching your reaction. Life is not perfect and it’s important we teach our kids to roll with the punches. When plans fall through take the time to explain that it’s okay things didn’t go as planned. Yes it might be frustrating but what an amazing teachable moment.
Looking for an inexpensive and fun activity? Make a sensory bin. Sensory bins are great for exploring and learning. You can find a lot of bin fillers at home and at your local Dollar Tree. You can even ask your kids to help you create your own sensory bin. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
-sand and seashells
-water and rocks
-toy/Lego wash station
-ice cubes and measuring cups
-water, foam letters, and scooper (Alphabet soup)
-water assorted things from around the house that can get wet (color sorting)
-popcorn kernels, rice, beans, and pom poms
You can use just about anything for a bin. Things like plastic containers, old pots, small plastic swimming pool, bath tub, and etc. The great part about sensory bins….you can add and take away anything you want! These can be played with inside on a rainy day or outside in the sunshine. Get creative and have fun!