Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Physical Activity

I've added a new (for me, at least) area of focus to my FAD lessons with my kids: Physical Activity.

This is coming from a person who has a lot of issues with physical activity; which is why I'm implementing it! I had a couple of bad experiences when I was a kid with exercising, and it has crippled me. I do not want the same thing for my children. So now, every day as part of our lessons, right along with music time and story time, we will have Physical Activity time. Right now it is snowy where I live. We stretched our bodies, ran in circles, danced, and laughed. It was a blast. The funnest thing was seeing my little one-year old trying to copy us too, and I gained immense satisfaction over the knowledge that my kids will be full of good physical experiences that will hopefully sustain them through the days where they don't get picked first to play kick-ball.

With childhood obesity rates on the rise, and not much help from the restaurant business, it is so important for us as parents to take charge of our kid's health. Since I've already blabbed away about food, this is the second part: keeping fit. I believe that kids that learn good physical habits in the home are at a great advantage in school.

Now, like always I ask you: any good ideas for fun physical activities for kids? Particularly indoor ones. I would love some more input for what has helped you or what you like.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Have a FAD button!

For smart kids!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Home Cleanliness: My Thoughts/Your Thoughts

First off, I'm asking for some advice. Please read the following and then give me your ideas.

With small kids, it seems like the cleaning in my home is endless. 98% of my house is carpeted (everywhere except the bathroom, including the kitchen). I have to vacuum at least 3 times weekly to keep the house looking decent; not even presentable. Every day I pick up toys, garbage, and laundry; except Thursday, which tends to be the day when I just can't take the constant hassle of cleaning, and it isn't yet the weekend when I can get out of the house/have my hubby's help to get the house back in shape.

My man and I have come up with a few things we do to help keep the house in a semi-orderly state, but I could really use a few more ideas.

Here are my successes:
1) There has to be some major compromising. I want my kids to have a creative, happy, open atmosphere to grow up in. I don't want their imaginations to feel restrained by anything--not super-strict cleanliness, but not awful messes either. I think either extreme is distracting for children. I aim for somewhere in the middle.

2) We keep all the toys under child lock. May sound a little extreme, but see the next few points.

3) In the morning, we let the kids pick 3 toys for the day to play with. If partway through the day they want to switch, that is totally fine. They put away the toys they're done with, and then take out new ones.

4) Right before dinner, the toys go to bed. They are put away for the night. Then the kids wash up for dinner, and we have our evening time together as a family, for playing games and reading books and maybe watching a movie.

Here are my struggles:

1) The kids LOVE the kitchen. They get out all my cooking utensils and take them all over the house. I have no clue where my biscuit cutter is at this moment because the kids played with it months ago. And considering the very central location of the kitchen in my house, and the metal cabinets that can't have child locks screwed into them, I'm not sure how to keep them out of there; yet I can't let them just have free reign, because some of the utensils are breakable, dangerous...or at best, will have to be cleaned after every play session.

2) I have a hard time motivating the kids to pick up after themselves. I have a 3 1/2 year old who I think is old enough to learn how to clean up, yet I'm not sure the way to go about it. Do I reward/bribe? Do I punish for disobedience? How much of the mess should I clean up as he's puttzing around putting away 1 or 2 toys? And how long can I wait before just finishing the job myself?

3) Lastly, I don't like picking up the same messes every single day, two or three times a day. Once a week? no problem. Twice a week? doable. Twelve times a week? kill me now! Any ideas on how to make it from day to day without pulling my hair out?

Thanks! ~Lisa


You can make errands a fun experience with your child. When you go to the post office, ask to see if you can show your child how they sort mail, or at the store show them what goes on there. It will become more fun, and an enjoyable experience for your child.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Valentine's Day Playdough

Valentine's Day Playdough
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • about 4 drops of red food coloring drops
  • 2 Tbsp clear glitter (optional)

Add the food coloring to the water before mixing with dry ingredients. (I used 4 drops of red food coloring for this shade of pink). Mix all ingredients in a non-stick pan and heat on medium, stirring, until it forms a ball (It really will form a ball so keep stirring-- and it doesn't take long). Take out of pan and knead until it reaches desired consistency. Be careful. It will be hot.

While kneading, I added about 2 Tbsp. of clear glitter. I packaged the playdough in these take-n-toss containers from Wal-Mart (for my three oldest kids at the time) and stamped it with a small heart-shaped cookie cutter before putting the lid on. Also, cool completely before putting lid on. These were their prizes at the end of their Valentine's treasure hunt one year.

Happy Valentine's Day rolling and cutting and playing dough with your little ones for less than a buck!  Visit LifeAsMom for more Frugal Friday ideas that may or may not be kid-related.