The Love To Dream Swaddle UP


As any new Mum can atest there is nothing like a good nights sleep.  I can’t tell you how many nights I have spent counting how many hours or even minutes of sleep I plan to get, will get or didn’t get.  We have wrapped babies, played white noise, rocked, patted, bounced and willed babies to sleep.

Third time around I am trying some new tactics.  The first one being a swaddle!  I have wrapped both Master O and Little Miss A when it was sleep time and found I had no end of problems.  Escape artists, unwrapping and rewrapping between feeds, wraps that never seem to be the right shape or size, babies being wrapped and still managing to kick blankets off! We have experienced it all.  So once our newest arrival was here I called for help on our Facebook page.  What could I do differently this time?  The overwhelming answer from our community was a SWADDLE!  

A Love To Dream Swaddle UP.

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The Love to Dream team also read my cries for help and sent me “Swaddle UP” to put to the test.

After a good laugh at how our big buddha baby looked all snug as a bug we put him to bed.  From that first night on I found he slept for longer between feeds and also was able to resettle more quickly after a feed!  Brilliant!

So what do I love about this product?

  • The Startle Stopper. Love To Swaddle UP has a unique design that helps calm the startle reflex.  You know that sudden jerky movement the baby does with its arms that “startles” them! Well by having their arms wrapped it calms the reflex allowing them to stay asleep!
  •  Arms up. Unlike wrapping, the Love to Dream Swaddle UP allows babies to sleep in their natural position with their arms up. Our bub was already an arms up sleeper so this swaddle was perfect!  It also allowed him to suck on his hand which he loves!
  • No escaping! The swaddle also offers an easier, safer way for babies to sleep as it reduces the risk of them wriggling out or getting tangled in loose wrapping. 
  • The twin zipper.  It was just so easy to do a midnight nappy change!  His arms and body could stay warm and snug whilst I only had to unzip the bottom!
  • Works with the weather.  We live in South East Queensland.  With an April baby we have experienced warm nights AND Freezing mornings all in the space of a week.  I love that I could put him in the normal swaddle on average nights and then layer him up in the Love to Layer On Merino when it got cooler!  This meant there was no need for blankets!  

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Possibly the only con was that he outgrew it so quickly!  We are already into the next size!  But then again he is one big baby (6.3kgs and 64cms at 2 months) and very broad across the shoulders .

Love to Swaddle UP is available in a range of styles, sizes and colours.

I can only dream what it would have been like to have this product for my previous two babies.  It’s on my baby shower gift list for all pregnant friends!

and because caring is sharing…..

I have a Love To Swaddle UP to giveaway to one lucky reader.  

Just enter via rafflecopter below and tell me…

What feature of the Swaddle UP would you love the most? 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Sip and Snack Station – Revisited

Their is a thief amongst us.
Lately things have been going missing.
Biscuits, chips, red frogs, chocolates.
At first I blamed “Domesticated Dad” thinking he was overindulging on midnight snacks.
But it was not……
It was “My Pigeon Pair”
The constant crumbs appearing in the strangest corners of the house should have been a clue!
They have been conspiring against me to “steal” whole packets! 
 
I wrote that 3 years ago!!!  The beauty of having a blog is being able to go back in time and revisit little snapshots of your life!  These organising ideas start with the best of intentions but I must admit occasionally the habits formed start to slip.  Life gets hectic and you are just trying to survive each day with a new baby, let alone put organising ideas into place.
 
But this week the same problem resurfaced.  I find the kids constantly asking for food and drink. I am usually stuck on the couch feeding the endlessly hungry baby, so they end up helping themselves.  This can be great, but I am the first to admit I often look back at the day (and in the pantry) and wonder how many snacks they have consumed! Also when Master O is not home to lend a hand it is harder for Little Miss A to help herself to a drink. Cue whinging and whining and draging chairs around the house to reach the tap or a mother breastfeeding a baby with one hand and unscrewing a lid and filling a drink bottle with the other.  Poor baby nearly ends up in the sink!
So…….
 
A quick check of the blog and I remembered that we used to have an effective solution….. 
 
 
The Sip and Snack Station
 
 
 
I must admit I got a bit sad looking at the picture.  It was taken 3 years ago.  Little Miss A would have been about 14 months and master O 4!!!
Check out Little Miss A’s sippy cup and how small Master O’s drink bottle was!
 
Over the years we have had many versions of this idea but we truly are in need of upgrading it and getting the habit working again!!!!
 
How it used to work…
 
I  placed all snacks out of their reach.
They receive a snack “ration” each day.
I place the amount of snacks I want them to eat in a day, in a small plastic container each morning.
It is their choice if they eat them all at once or gradually over a morning.
I may need to refill it at lunch time with some new fresh snacks.
I  placed them in a container similar to my Winter station but this time within their reach. 
It also holds their drink bottles.
 
Why it works…..
 
Emergencies:
Oh I had forgotten about this situation!
“Yesterday, Little Miss A had a vomitting episode and I had to rush off to the doctor.
It was so good to be able to simply grab the contents of this station and throw it in my bag knowing they would have water and snacks regardless of how long I would be out for.”
 
I am afraid this situation will always exist regardless of how old your children are! 
 
 Food Intake:
It allows me to monitor how much and what they eat.
 
Convenience:  
Little Miss A knows where a drink or snack is and I don’t have to juggle feeding a baby and filling a drink at the same time!
 
So today I will be updating and creating a new Sip and Snack station for our growing family, stay tuned to Instagram for pictures!
 
Do you have a snack thief at your place?
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When Chocolate ice-cream is a preventative medicine.

I dread nightfall.  Experience has shown me, that the hours ahead hold, an obnoxious concoction of one part leg cramps, two parts Braxton Hicks and a massive dose of heartburn mixed with indigestion.  In preparation, for the nighttime pregnancy side affects, I create a pillow tower, in the hope that sleeping in a disastardly uncomfortable upright position, just might soothe the pain.

Its the heart burn that is the worst.  I have dealt with it in each pregnancy and true to the old wives tail, I have had babies born with full heads of hair.  Can I offer to receive a bald baby in exchange for no heartburn?

As with most of my ailments I shy away from doctors advice and seek medical attention via Facebook. Chew on some fruit tingles they say, eat Chocolate paddlepops, is the overwhelming response of the majority.  Who am I to deny the chance to become a medical experiment in dealing with heartburn.  I buy both in ample quantities.

Night falls and in preparation I devour a chocolate paddle pop followed by one or two fruit tingles.  I place the rest of them by my bed and hope that this is one experiment that has overwhelmingly positive results.  

NO HEARTBURN.

Perhaps it is a fluke or maybe just all in my head.  One trial does not conclusivly end the experiment. So the next night I continue with the Facebook doctors orders and take my preventative dose of medicine. 

NO HEART BURN.

For a whole week I continue my new ritual.  It has side effects.  I start craving chocolate Paddle Pops at other random times of the day.  My children begin to develop addictions to whinging at me for a fruit tingle.  But I persevere, in the name of medical science of course. 

Yesterday.   In the middle of the day, my old friend heartburn seeks his vengeance.  Feeling abandoned, he has snuck up on me and tricked me into taking my medicine at noon instead of night.

Nightfall.  Perhaps I should skip my dose tonight.  Afterall I have already had a chocolate ice cream today.

As I lay down it is only minutes until that old sensation overcomes me.  He is there lurking and laughing.  Heart burn is back and struck with a greater force then before.

HE WILL NOT WIN.

Today I am stocking up on my medication of choice.  Who am I to argue with my now conclusive experiment.  In order to avoid preganncy related heart burn, one must take a dose of chocolate ice-cream and pop a few fruit tingles before going to bed.  EVERY NIGHT.  You must complete the full course of the prescription.  Do not try to skip a dose. 

So thankyou Facebook Doctors, for your Chocolate Paddle Pop and Fruit Tingle prescription.  Together we have started the good fight against heartburn.  

EXPERIMENT COMPLETE.

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Teaching Children To Save Money – A New Approach

Money, Money, Money.  I am the worst saver.  I am putting it out there, I can hunt out a deal, by discount and in bulk but when it comes to “saving up” for a big purchase, I am hopeless.  In fact, hopeless doesn’t quite cut it, I actually have never done it! 

When it comes to teaching children to save, I was struggling.   It seemed whenever people talked saving money and children, it was the old chores and pocket money system. I am sure, this system is secretly written somewhere, in that magical parenting guidebook, that I have never seen, because everyone seems to be doing it.  But to be honest, the principal behind it didn’t sit right with me.  I don’t want my children to only help around the house because they are getting paid.  I am constantly teaching them how to work smarter and to work hard and do the right thing because it feels good or because you are helping others, not because you are going to be rewarded.

So we are taking a new approach.

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 LOVE JOBS:  Making your bed, unpacking the dishwasher, tidying up toys.  These are not chores.  Doing these things is about;

  • being responsible for your belongings,
  • respecting your environment by keeping it neat and tidy
  • showing respect and love for your home and family by contributing to daily life
  • teaching children the value of hard work, not because you will be rewarded but because it feels good to help others and contribute to the greater good.
  • creating self sufficient and independent children that will one day be adults who arent afraid of a little hard work! 

We don’t make these jobs into “chores.”   Children do not receive financial reward for them.  We do these things together as a family and everyone contributes.  We make it fun, we praise them, turn it into games, chat whilst we work or get the music pumping.  They are jobs we do because we love our home, or belongings and each other.  Love Jobs.

So if we don’t give pocket money how do we teach children to save?  We take a bigger approach.  We want our children to learn how to use your talents and hard work to make money,  and then make that money work for you.  

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  1. The job must be the child’s idea. We are teaching them to find work for themselves instead of waiting for someone to create a job for you.  Use your intitiative and be self motivated.  Instead of an adult telling them what jobs need to be done they should be able to look around and find jobs to do.  For example Master O,  when playing in the yard noticed that the mulberry tree had left a mess of leaves on the ground.  He asks if he could clean them all up for us.  Little Miss found me sorting baby clothes and asked if she could help me. 
  2. They set the price.  This is mainly for Master O who is 7. We are teaching them to value themselves and their skills and to ask for reasonable reward for those skills. He is learning to negotiate with us and set a price based on a per hour basis, or difficulty of the job or wether its a big job that he could share with his sister.  
  3. You only get paid for good work. Do a shoddy job, whinge or complain during the process or dont finish the job, guess what?  Just like in real life you may not get paid.  Or even better do a fantastic job and go that extra mile, you may get a bonus. 
  4. Now make that money work for you.  Putting the money in the bank makes your money work for you.  We are teaching our children that having money in the bank makes you more money.  Even better find ways of  investing it wisely can even make you more money.  We offer some extra incentives for savings.  Once they reach $10 we will add $2 ourselves (like interest).   As they get older we will also encourage them to  put the money towards something that may help you do a better job and earn more money.  Like your own car cleaning supplies or flyers so you can then do the same job for others and make more money. 
  5. Find a good bank.  It always helps to have the bank on your side!  I strongly suggest you do your homework and find an account tailored to children.  These accounts offer special rewards and benefits for children to help encourage saving.  One with a passbook is great or even an online account and you can show them their statement and how the money is adding up! A quick online search will help you find banks like Newcastle Permanent that offer a kids “Money Minder” account with no fees and some great rewards. 

This is a new approach for us and no doubt we will have to reassess it regularly as our children mature.  

So are you a spender or a saver?  

Do you have any tips for teaching children about money? 

 

This is a sponsored post from Newcastle Permanent.  I have been paid to share my honest experience about teaching children to save money.

 

 

 

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35 Weeks PREGNANT!

Time is curently speeding beyond my control.  I am sure it was just a month ago that I thought it was dragging and now I just can’t keep up.  As time hurries me through the pregnancy, my body is failing to keep up with the momentum.  The lack of sleep, pelvic pain, achey legs and the fact that someone enjoys kicking me swiftly under the ribs, has me moving slowly, cautiously and strangely.  Imagine something between a duck waddle, old lady shuffle and someone walking on eggshells. 

Baby Number 3 Belly

I’m afraid my body is also failing to comply with the memorandum that is NOW IS THE TIME TO GET ORGANISED!  My motivation hastily sent the memo but it takes me so long to do anything, that I have made little progress. The nesting instinct has taken affect and I have the urge to stockpile food in ridiculous quantities. Not one to miss out on the action, hubby has begun plans to turn our under stairs storage room into some kind of “Armageddon Stockpile Storage Facility.”  Me thinks he is slightly scared about the impending catastrophe that could be having three children.  We all know a third child is a bit like preparing for the unknown consequences of a natural disaster.  It has the ability to swiftly sweep us off our feet, causing a path of destruction through our highly routined life, leaving us struggling to prepare meals, have a hot shower or contact with the outside world.

Or perhaps if he thought like me, it could be just a whole lot of media hype that eventuates in the storm disintegrating into nothing more than a short lived monsoonal trough, with a few rainy days that only make the grass greener.  

However, failure to plan is planning to fail and I personally have a love affair with planning.

On the planning agenda.

  1. Pack Hospital Bag including Toiletries Bag – Weekend
  2. Pack Babies Bag/Nappy Bag – Weekend
  3. Book in capsule and pick up 2nd Capsule (we are renting one from the Qld  - Ambulance Service just as we have done twice before and borrowing a second one from a friend) – Monday
  4. Pick up 2nd Changetable. – Wednesday
  5. Pick up Swing. – Wednesday
  6. Organise Changetable. – Tuesday or Thursday (buy baskets) 
  7. Organise Change Area in Master Bedroom.
  8. Rearrange the living room. – Thursday

All this WILL BE DONE BY FRIDAY!  

 So I am making progress!  The size of my belly is an unavoidable reminder that the end is near and now that the list is out in the public domain for all to see I have no choice but to GET ORGANISED! 

Were you super organised for your impending arrival? Or a little less organised for each baby (like me!)? 

 

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Meat and Meal Planning!

Yesterday I shared our adventures to a new “Butcher Wholesaler”  Local Mum’s have been raving about the new venture with rock bottom prices for great quality meat.  Like any wholesaler the best savings were to be had in bulk buys, but I wasn’t ready to commit to many bulk purchases until I sample the quality myself!  

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Ready to divide and conquer! I used it as a little learning lesson for Miss A who helped me weigh each bag so it was divided evenly!

 

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$55 included $4 worth of Ham for lunch! I used snap lock bags and then large plastic storage containers to keep the process organised!

So what will we do with all this meat?  Well of course I went in with a little list of possibilities in hand.  I made a list of our Family Friendly go to meals that we seem to have on constant rotation. So we bought

3 x Sausages 

  • Hot Dog Bar (Suasages in rolls with a variety of help your slef toppings, grey for a lazy weekend dinner)
  • Sausages in Onion Gravy with Vegie Mash and Greens 
  • Sausage Pasta Bake.  

2 x Pork Mince 

  • Lasagne
  • Spaghetti Bolognese

1 x Beef Mince

  • Tacos

1 x Chicken Thigh Fillets

  • Chicken Burritos

1 X Chicken Breast Fillets

  • Honey Mustard Chicken with Rice, Corn and Zucchini

2 x Chicken Drumsticks

(I always buy drumsticks as these are the pieces everyone fights over in our house!

  • Lemon Crumbed Chicken with Crunchy Noodle Salad
  • Roast Chicken with Roast Veggies and Caesar Salad

1 x Marinated Chicken Pieces

  • Honey Soy Chicken with Rice and Stir Fry Vegies

2 x Beef Rump Steak

  • BBQ steak with Double Potato bake and Green Salad
  • Beef Stroganoff with Rice and Greens

1 x Crumbed Steak

  • Crumbed Steak with Herbed Potato Mash and Steamed Greens

So if you are counting that is 14 meals worth of meat! Last night the first cab of the rank was the crumbed steak and the verdict?………AMAZING!  It was devoured by one and all, our one regret we didn’t buy more as there was nothing leftover.

All up, meat for 14 meals, cost us $51.  

This could have been even less If I had of swapped pork mince for more beef mince or Chicken thighs for more breasts (the chicken breast was $5.99kg!!!)  but I wanted to buy a variety of products to try this time around.

The shop VERDICT.  We will be back for sure!  If you have the freezer space it is most definitely worth trying out a wholesale butcher.  It was a little more inconvenient as it is completely separate to a supermarket and a bit out of our way but the cost saving totally worth it.  It also takes more time once you get home to divide up the meat into individual serves, label and freeze.  It took me about half an hour.  But we will most definitely be shopping this way again! 

If you are in Brisbane this particular butcher is part of the Hans Continental Factory in McRoyle St, Wacol. 

This is not a sponsored post.  I just love sharing a great deal with other families! 

 

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Bye Bye’s, Ballet and The Battle.

Last week Little Miss A started Kindy.  It was a moment full of anxiety, anticipation, nerves and I’m afraid only a minute amount of excitement.  She is my sidekick.  My constant companion.  She has only ever been left in the care of grandparents.  Never a friend or a playgroup or a baby sitter or a dance lesson. NOTHING.  She would be saying goodbye to me and being away from me for a whole day.

Day 1: We posed for the obligatory first day photos.  I was a tired emotional wreck before we even got there and had no sleep just worrying about how it would all go down.  Once we arrived, she eagerly peaked in the windows, before the doors were open.  She excitedly pointed out all the fun things she could see.  We entered and immediately had our first “situation”  the teacher was waiting and hugging each child as they entered.  Little Miss A is extremely shy of adults.  Her immediate reaction is fight or flight.  She grabbed my hand and said “I don’t want to hug her” Her face was saying was flight so I grabbed her and we found a sneaky exit and headed straight for an activity.  She eagerly sat down at a table and for the next ten minutes it was as if we weren’t there!  She grabbed puzzle after puzzle and as the tears of other children around her began she became oblivious to all the commotion and continued on with her activity.  We said a quick goodbye and left.  THAT WAS IT!  No clinging, no crying, no pleading.  NOTHING!

Day 2: The first thing she said upon waking “Please don’t tell me I have to go to Kindy?” CLASSIC.  The “Day 2 Blues” were here.  Being a teacher I had seen this in action many times! The excitement of Day 1 is over and the reality sets in that they have to do it all over again.  We had been lulled into a false sense of security.  The whining and sooking continued for the next 2 hours.  She saw her lunch box, she cried.  She saw her uniform, she refused to put it on.  She fought me to not get in the car.  Once she was in the car and saw where we were going, the pleading began.  On arrival at Kindy the scene of our morning was repeated by the majority of the class.  It was domino effect.  Once one started they all chimed in and before we knew it there was a choir of crying children.   I stood outside her classroom and peaked in.  Sad but true, I had a little giggle.  Standing with the other parents we all looked at each other in complete disbelief at what had just happened.  If you didn’t laugh you would cry! 

Day 3: Saturday Morning Ballet.  It was our second lesson of the year and I wondered if after our tumultuous week, I should take her.  I was tired.  She was tired.  I was emotionally spent.  I knew though that I couldn’t give in now.  This was a tough love battle I just had to fight.  She has been begging to go to Ballet.  I knew if she could get past the leaving Mum bit, she would love it.  As they lined up, it began.  First a tear, than a hug , then a cling and a cry and a scream. Forget dancing, this child needs drama lessons. I am the worst mother alive.  The next half hour was dreadful as I could hear her crying.  She would start and stop but by the end of the class I knew by her face that she had spent most of the lesson crying.  As we walked to the car she had a sudden realisation that the whole dramatic display was over and was suddenly ultra cheery saying “I promise not to cry next week Mum” Next week?  really, there will be a next week? 

Day 4,5,6:  We are back for another week at Kindy.  This time three days in a row and after a four day break.  Two out of three days were good.  She has made a new friend and as long as she can find her she seems to settle.  The teacher is AMAZING!  She is nurturing and super friendly and Little Miss A greets her with a giant hug each morning!  I have NEVER seen her do that before! She talks about Kindy NON STOP.  The mornings we still have some reluctance and the occasional sad face, but the pleading and screaming is easing.  I spent my days, crying into my sushi, missing my sidekick.  Especially after the one morning that she had put on another crying scene.  Had we done the right thing but not sending her to daycare?  Would we have been better off gradually introducing more time away form me?  Was it my fault she was so upset? What if she is just too young and never settles? 

Day 7: Back to Ballet.  I pondered all week whether we should bother.  I couldn’t get that little tear stained face from the previous week out of my head.  Was it just too much at this stage?  Too many changes with starting kindy?  We talked, and we talked and we talked.  Between my husband and I we agreed we had to stand firm.  The tough love approach was needed.  We couldn’t give in.  We knew she would love it and we were going to have to just try to stick out the tears.  She had to be brave and I had to be braver.  We told her she had to take baby steps and today it was okay if she didn’t join in but she had to at least not cry.  She could go in and just watch, but there was to be no calling out for Mummy.

As we entered and they all lined up she grabbed my hand.  I gave it a squeeze and put it into the hand of the dance teacher.  There was no crying.  There was no screaming.   She followed the little line of pink ballerinas into the dance room, not happily but not  looking behind.  I listened at the door. Nothing but music and instructions.  I went for a walk, enjoyed a coffee and tried my darndest not to think about it.  The lesson finished and I was greeted by the happiest of little faces! We were in a hurry and dashed off.  As we were leaving the teacher yelled out to us from the balcony.  ”Little Miss A was the perfect Ballerina, she was happy and joined in for the entire lesson!” 

No more brave mum.  Just a teary one.  I knew she could do it.  I didn’t know if I could, but WE did.  Two weeks of sleepless nights, anxiety, tears, pleading all rolled up into one big ball of pride.  We were making progress.  We picked our tough love battle and we won.  We are making steps towards having a confident little girl who is excited to try new things, independently.

 To some they may seem like small baby steps, but to us, in this moment it feels like big leaping grande jete’s.   It’s most definitely worthy of  a happy dance.

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Busy Bags

School is back and that means “Tot School” is in session.  This year our “Tot School” is going to look VERY different as Little Miss A now attends Kindergarden 2-3 days a week!

We are also gradually progressing away from “Tot” activities and transitiong into preschool activities like reading and writing! 

One of the most important parts of our Tot school are “Busy Bags”

Busy Bags are;

  • A 5-10 minute activity, contained in a bag.
  • Designed to be independent and self directed. (Once introduced, the child should be able to do the activity with minimal parental assistance)
  • Contain a variety of skills including fine motor,  numeracy concepts, letters, colours, anything! 
  • Inexpensive – Using every day home items or cheap craft items.
  • Hands On – Hands must be kept busy! 
  • Rotated after a week-forntnight.

Each week we put out 5 Busy Bags.  Now that Little Miss A is only home 5 days a fortnight I am planning on keeping them out for a fortnight.  

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#1 - “Cupcake Counting”

  • - Write numbers on the end of oversized paddle pop sticks
  • - child places the right number of cupcake pegs on the stick! 

I love using pegs because they are great for fine motor!  They help to develop grip and control strengthening little finger muscles. 

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#2 ”Love Maths” -

  • Place the love hearts in size order! Biggest to smallest, smallest to biggest
  • The random hearts are for matching, patterning, sequencing, sorting! Possibilities are endless! Can they sort them by colour/pattern? Sort by size?
  • Make a size pattern (big, small, small) Make a colour pattern? (Pink, purple) 

This one is especially for Valentines Day coming up! I often like to theme the activities depending on special days, seasons, holidays.

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#3 ”Peg My Name”

  • Make a laminated card with your child’s name on it.
  • We “beautified” it by adding her name onto a pony picture
  • Write the letters of their name onto some pegs. One letter on each peg! Don’t forget to use a capital letter for the first letter and lowercase for the rest! -
  • Now they select the right letter peg and add it to the corresponding letter on the card!

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 7.50.23 AM#4 ”Learning Letters” – I bought this great little book from Kmart for $2!

  • I tore out the pages and laminated them, making them reusable!
  • I only place 3-5 cards in the bag with a whiteboard marker.
  • I only put the cards in, once we have gone over the letter one on one*
  • Once she has written in the card she wipes it off with a baby wipe!

*As part of our tot school we are focusing on 3 letters a week.  Once we have completed a few introductory activities on this letter, I put the corresponding card into the busy bag.

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  • I have had these laminated colour cards from my classroom for years!
  • Little Miss A lives to line them up, match them and add the same colour button! Easy!

I create the bags each Sunday and place them on top of our toy rotation trolley in a little basket.  

 

I collected the little clear pencil cases from various cheap shops! Once the activity is finished for the fortnight I place it into a clear snap lock bag and into a large storage container ready for in a few months to place out again!

Little Miss A (and sometimes even Master O) are free to grab a bag and complete an activity ANYTIME they want to.  There are also times I “madate” they play with a busy bag.  During Master O’s homework time or when they need a little quiet and calm time or in a month or two when Mummy is feeding the baby! I don’t “prescribe” an amount of time they play with the activity as generally it is just until they finish the activity which is usually 5-10 minutes.  Somedays like Monday’s she wants to do all the bags at once and by the end of fortnight she is showing little interest in ANY of them.

We love busy bags, as they give us a quick, educational, answer to “What can I play Mum?” as well as ensuring that some of the time during the week is devoted to play based  activities that cover a variety of educational concepts. 

As we change our activities around I will be sure to share them with you! 

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A Peek At Our Week – Weekly Schedule for Kids

Between the activities that happen each day at school (music, sport, library) and the extra curricular activities that our children participate in during the year, our schedule is CRAZY! 

Last year I had Master O constantly asking me Is today Library? Do I have swimming tomorrow? I had my own schedule planned in my diary but never got around to making one that he could follow himself.  Now with two cherubs at school it has become a necessity.

Our Schedule Must Have’s

  • FLEXIBLE. Be able to be changed around – We have winter and summer sports, term timetables that change and I am not going to be printing out a new timetable every time I need to change it!
  • MULTIPLE. A timetable each.  I though about creating one big family planner, but with the number of activities it would get too confusing. Which brings me to my next point
  • EASY. Ease of use.  I need it to be read and understood by a 3 year old! Hence it will require images as well as text.
  • BUSY. Must be able to track multiple activities on each day.

 How we did it!

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 7.17.16 AM

1.  Flexibility.  Instead of just creating a printed schedule that can’t be changed, I looked for a more flexible option.  Enter the photo frame.  I would create a blank timetable to go behind the frame and use velcro dots on the glass, so that I could change the activities as often as needed!  You will need a frame big enough to fit an almost a4 size of paper.  This frame was an 8×10 from Kmart for $5.  Velcro dots can be found at Spotlight, Riot (art and Craft) and most dollar stores.

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2. A weekly timetable.  I then created a weekly timetable template in word.  I included Monday to Saturday as we generally don’t have activities on a Sunday.  I can easily add a Sunday activity to the bottom of a staurday box and use a whiteboard marker to add the word Sunday!  Yet another beauty of using glass, you can write on it and it’s not permanent. Of course when Little Miss A saw me doing this she insisted I make one for her in pink! Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 7.17.32 AM

3. Print and Frame.  Simply print the template, cut it to fit your frame and put it in! Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 7.20.42 AM

4.  The activity cards!  We don’t do all of these activities but after a lengthy Facebook discussion I have added some popular activities for YOU! I have also left one blank that you can add in as need be.   Simply Print, Cut (inside the lines), Laminate, Cut.  Attach a velcro dot to the back and you have a flexible and easy to read activity card!

Attach a velcro dot to the outside of your frame as needed and simply attach and reattach an activity as needed!

I must say I just know this is going to SIMPLIFY our life!  It will keep us on track and maybe, just maybe stop some of the million questions about what is happening this week!!!

I have love creating this for us and FOR YOU TOO!  I have bought the images from DigiWebStudio and due to your request I have added a “DONATE” button to my sidebar >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

These PRINTABLES are free for you to use to help organise your home, but if you LOVE them, feel free to make a donation to help cover costs.

Get ready to get ORGANISED!

Blue and Grey Blank Timetable (414)

Pink and Grey Blank Timetable (356)

Peek-at-Our- Week – Activity Cards

 

Categories: Home, Organized, Uncategorized     Comments: 0

Creating a Morning Routine

Our mornings are BUSY!  Thank goodness we are early risers as we have so much to get done before we leave for school in the morning!  Add to that, the fact that we will have two children, at two different locations in opposite directions!  Thankfully we are easing into the routine with Little Miss A only attending Kindy on a 5 day fortnight roster. 

WE have always had a before school routine, but whilst Master O was little, I still had to assist him with each task so i didnt think there was a need for any charts or printed reminders.  Last year however, his uniform became simpler for him to do and he became more independent so i found myself sending him upstairs to get ready by himself. 

Let me tell you, distraction is the art of 6 year old boys.  I found myself constantly reminding him of what he had to next, what had he done already, and generally being a yelling, nagging mother.  Not pretty.  So this year I am determined to change things.  Little Miss A is less distracted and a real busy bee who loves to be in the midst of everything.   She is extremely independent, determined and self sufficient and always has been!  She even toilet trained herself!  This also means she knows what she likes and what she doesn’t which will be very interesting when this year, with a uniform, there will be less flexibility in what she wears or how she does her hair.  Tantrums they are a coming.  Be afraid, be very afraid.

This year, I don’t have time for chaos!  With a new baby arriving there will be many morning when I am stuck feeding, changing, dressing, settling a baby and My Pigeon Pair will need to get themselves organised the best they can!  We need a routine and a CHART!!!! 

We need an illustrated, MORNING ROUTINE CHART and it needs to be;

  • Visual (especially for little Miss A as she is a pre-reader)
  • Timed (for Master O as he needs very specific timeframes)
  • Can track progress (what have you done already?)
  • Easy to reach and read.
  • Simple

I have made a MILLION routine charts in time but always for Preppies in a classroom!  Visual routines are of particular benefit to any child that likes routine and structure (which quite frankly is all children) but particularly children with ASD. 

How to create your own routine chart.

  1. MAKE A LIST. Firstly I wrote out what order I needed each thing done in the morning.  This may be different for each family depending on circumstances.  We have a two story house, with living areas downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. So we tend to group activities together depending on wether they are performed upstairs or downstairs.
  2. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?  I then gave each activity a time reference (how long it should take to complete) 
  3. DON’T BE LATE. Then I worked backwards from the time we need to leave the house.  This varies each day as it depends on whether we need to do two drop offs or if their are before school activities.  The earliest we need to leave is 7.30 so I worked from their.  If on other mornings we have extra time, BONUS! 

I then made a simple 3 column table in Word.  One column for Master O (with clock faces) a middle column for the activity in written form and the last column for visual reminders for Little Miss A.

Add your routine and print!

SIMPLE!!!!!

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I then printed out the routine and attached it to a clipboard. 

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Whats a hook without a little washi!

Using a 3M hook (that of course I had to washi tape) I attached it to the wall just inside their bedroom.

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Easily accessible right inside their bedroom door.

 I used a coloured peg for each child attached to the outside of the clipboard.  As they complete each activity, they move the peg to the next one, to help remind them of what they have already done and what they need to do next!

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A closer look at our routine!  The arrows are to symbolise, go upstairs or go downstairs.

This is a very simple routine and we only just started using it yesterday, as we wean ourselves out of holiday mode and into back to school mode! 

Would this routine work for you?  Would you like me to make it available to you?

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND! It’s yours to print for free!

Kids Morning Routine (555)

This a free printable and I am more than happy for you to share the love with a friend!

This printable is not to be sold in any way. 

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Categories: Beautiful, Home, Home, Life, Organized     Tagged    Comments: 2