Hands On Sight Word Activities

Sight Words

After years of teaching Preps, and one not so enthusiastic son going through Prep, I have found some fun activities to motivate kids to learn sight words! 

The key to motivating kids to learn anything is to make it hands on and FUN! 

SAND

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Mrs Ricca’s Kindergarten – Down By The Sea Sight Words!

Use Sand, Seeds, or rice to fill a small shallow container.  Use a finger to trace words in the sand.  This helps form letter and word order, memory and develop writing and fine motor skills.  Get those fingers moving! 

FINGER TRACING

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Tactile Cards. From Lakeshore Learning

These cards are fantastic and great for tactile learners.  Each letter is grooved out of the card, ready for little fingers to trace over them.  There are three packs that vary in difficulty.

PLAY DOH

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Play Doh Sight Words – Make Take Teach

Playdough!!!!!  Easy, cheap and often at home already!  Exercise those hands, fingers and wrists to form letters then words.

MAGNETS

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Cookie Sheet Sight Words - Make, Take , Teach

Magnetic letters are easy to find in toy shops, discount stores and large department stores.  Use on a cheap baking tray and you have a word building magnetic activity.

PARKING LOT

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Using a large piece of cardboard draw up a sight words parking lot.  Call out the word and let your child drive their car (a small matchbox car will do) to the correct parking spot

MAGIC WRITING

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Magic Sight Words – Simply Centers

A craft activity teachers have been calling upon for ever, MAGIC WRITING!  Also known as Wax resist, use a crayon or candle to write the word “invisibly”  Ten paint over with watered dwon paint and your word “magically” reappears!

 BUBBLE WRAP

Bubble Wrap Sight Words

Teach Beside Me – Learning With Bubble Wrap

Using a piece of bubble wrap (with the large bubbles works best) write a sight word on each bubble.  As you call out a sight word, your child pops the bubble with their fingers! 

SHAVING CREAM

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This activity can even be done in the bath tub or shower!  Spray out some shaving cream and use your fingers to wipe out the words.  When you are done use your hand to mix the shaving cream to start again!

MAGNETIC FISHING

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Magnetic Fishing Words – From Playdough to Plato

 Cut out some cardboard fish, attach a paperclip (this will act as your magnet end) use a piece of dowel (or even a pencil do) with a piece of string and a small magnet on the end as your fishing rod. You can buy magnetic tape to attach to your rod or even hot glue on some cut up old fridge magnets.

 FLY SWAT

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 Always a class favourite, the fly swat game.  Simply put out your words (on a wall or on the floor) call out a word and SWAT IT!  This works great in pairs as a racing game!  Who can swat the word first!

 

Sight words are an integral pert of the early writing and reading process.  The more exposure your child has to learn these words the quicker they will grasp them.  By making the learning opportunities hands on and super fun they will begging you to practice!  

 

 

Amazing Australia Day Activities For Kids

 Australia Day

The Beach, Vegemite, Pavlova, Koalas…… Australia Day is HERE!  A perfect time to celebrate and create everything that is AUSTRALIAN!  In Australia it is also back to school time so these are great to get those hands moving, fill those lunchboxes and work out those fine motor skills before school goes back! 

 

Like These From The Organised Housewife

Like These From The Organised Housewife

Make and Bake some Cheesy Might scrolls!  Perfect straight from the oven on Australia day or ready for lunch boxes!

Australia Day Freebies From Busy Little Bugs

Ready for some Tot School Fun?  Perfect for those Kindy and Prep teachers on the first day back are these free Printables from one of my FAVOURITE FAVOURITE sites Busy Little Bugs.   Cut along the lines (awesome fine motor!) and then reassemble in order!  Spatial awareness, number, sequencing, this has it all! 

Sequencing and colouring and MORE! From Busy Little Bugs AGAIN!!!

Sequencing and colouring and MORE! From Busy Little Bugs AGAIN!!!

There are enough FREE activities on this one amazing Website to have you covered for a whole week. Laminate them to use again next year, use them in busy bags or some small group rotations in your classroom!

Make a Pap

Make a Paper Plate Sydney Opera House

This activity is great for older children. Better yet lots of these things you would have laying around the house.

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Cut and Paste Flag Activity from Lessons Learnt Journal

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Explore Aboriginal culture by looking at and creating stories using these indigenous symbols.

There you have it some quick, easy, cheap Australia Day Activities to help celebrate our wonderful country! Have any others you would like to share? 

Our Afternoon Routine Chart

Earlier this week I shared with you our Morning Routine Chart. Our Afternoons are just as important so we have an afternoon routine to follow as well. So without further adieu here is our Afternoon Routine

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A few notes about our afternoon routine.

We don’t have set times that each thing happens but a sequence.  For example you have to get changed before you have afternoon tea (to save uniforms).  You have to do your homework before you play.  You have to brush your teeth and go to the toilet before you go to bed.

NO SCREEN TIME.  We have no iPads, phones, computers, xbox etc during the week.   We have limited TV time (in the morning only if they are ready early) They can only watch pre recorded shows and it is generally about 15 minutes.  SCREENS are only able to be used from after school Friday until 2pm Sunday.  Sunday afternoons are our time to get organised for the week.

QUIET TIME:  This is a wind down time after bed.  You can not let your children get all hyped up and then expect them to go to Bed properly a few minutes later.  They can read, do a puzzle, play lego, draw etc.  This is also a quiet time as it’s the time I am putting the baby to bed.

SET BED TIME:  Little Miss A goes to bed at 7pm.  It may even be earlier this year as I am guessing full time school will exhaust her!  From 7pm until 7.30pm Master O reads in bed.  At 7.30 I go and say goodnight to him. 

ACTIVITIES.  I try to book activities for before school (Tennis) or on Saturday’s (Ballet).  Last year we over committed ourselves and homework during the week was becoming a chore as it was rushed.  

PLAY TIME:  In general this is outside play time.  They usually ride their bikes/scooter, jump on the trampoline, play in the cubby.  we are extremely fortunate in that both their schools value outside play time.  I have actually chosen their Prep programs based on the quality and quantity of outdoor play! If they make any mess they need to clean it up before their bath.

BATH TIME:  All children have a bath at the same time!  Including the baby!  Not all in together.  I fill the bath for Little Miss A and the baby.  Once it’s full Master O has a shower.  This is to save my sanity.  I can supervise/assist all children at once so it takes a third of the time! 

HOMEWORK BEFORE PLAY:  During Summer this is fine as it is daylight.  During Winter I will sometimes let them have a play before homework as it gets cold and dark early.  I also bear in mind that Master O has had 45 minutes to unwind after school with his friends on the bus and then a walk or scooter home.  So he has generally got his “wiggles” out.  Little Miss A has had a walk or ride to the bus stop to pick him up as well.  If your children don’t have the chance to be active between school finishing and homework, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THEM!!!!  I recently listened to a lecture from an OT who stressed the importance of physical activity before we ask children to sit still and concentrate.  THE BEST FORM OF AFTER SCHOOL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS JUMPING ON A TRAMPOLINE!  It exercises core strength, cardio, balance and coordination.  Even just 5 minutes!

AFTER DINNER: Always allow enough time between dinner and bed.  This gives food a chance to settle and digest.

 

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Our charts are laminated and live on clipboards in the Launch Pad Area.

 I have created a chart for us with two sides (one for each child) As they do different things at different times  (they get home at different times.)  Each child has a peg on their side of the chart. As they complete each step they move their peg down.  This keeps them on task and accountable.   

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I would love to makes this a FREE Printable for you but would you use it?  This is OUR routine, would it work for you?  I know everyone is different! Please leave me a comment to let me know if you would like a copy! 

Of course you wanted it! HERE IT IS OUR FREE PRINTABLE Afternoon Routine 

Top Labelling Tips From The Teacher

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Brother

 

Organising Chaos, With Labels That Stick.

I am part of that special breed of human that is both a mother of small children and a school teacher.  Although sometimes this is a curse (oh gosh it is hard to stand back and not rush in and help), it is also a blessing as I am well equipped to handle all of those back to school preparations.  

This year I will have two children at school FULL TIME (cue the tears now). I jokingly tell everyone that’s why I had another baby, as I couldn’t handle the thought of having no children at home every day. #jokingnotjoking  This means double the everything:  book lists, uniforms and, of course, labels. Having the perfect labels that stick is the easiest way to organize the back to school chaos.

 

I think all teachers have a tendency to be OCD organisers and labellers.  I was labeling everything way before I had children! So here are my…

TOP LABELLING TIPS FROM THE TEACHER

 

TIP 1. LABEL EVERYTHING!

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An easy way to label scissors is to wrap the label on to itself, through the handle.

When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Double check

  • Text books and dictionaries
  • Stationery (EVERY pencil, marker, crayon, sharpener, eraser, ruler)
  • Calculators
  • Uniforms
  • Hats
  • Shoes and socks
  • Library bags,
  • Drink bottles
  • Lunch boxes (container and lid)
  • Lunch bags
  • Musical instruments
  • Sports gear
  • UNDERWEAR! I have a bit of a joke each year when it comes to children going to school swimming lessons.  If I find underwear and it is labeled I can discretely return it to the owner otherwise,  I will have to hold them up in front of the class!  Oh the horror!

 

TIP 2. WHY LABEL EVERYTHING?

It gets returned.  After spending a small fortune on school gear I can guarantee that something will go missing in the first week of school.  If you haven’t labeled it, there is literally no chance it will ever be returned.  Money. Down. The. Drain. At least if it is labeled there is a chance someone honest will ensure it finds its way home.

Stop the arguments.  Imagine this.  25 Children.  All with near identical belongings.  Nothing like pack up time when a child swears the red pencil with the bite marks on the end is THEIRS! If it’s labeled, no argument!

 

Encourage Responsibility.  This also encourages your children to be responsible for their own belongings.  This is particularly important for those littlies who have come from Kindergarten with communal resources.  Having YOUR name on an item makes you responsible for it.  If it is found on the floor there is no denying who should be putting it away!

 Now here are a few hints that I have learnt with two children at school. Different items require different information on their labels. Boy, do I have some experience in helping kids find their lost belongings!  

 

TIP 3 USE PICTURES OR ICONS

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An Icon helps a child identify their belongings


Pick one picture or icon for your child and use it on all their belongings.  This is particularly helpful for non-readers or beginning readers as it helps them identify their own belongings, when they have trouble reading their name.

 

TIP 4: BE SNEAKY

Hats – These are the most frequently lost, expensive item (wait for it…Little Miss A’s hat costs $95!!!) These get labeled with her full name and my phone number.  With a couple hundred identical hats in the school a first name only is never going to help it find its way home.  I add my phone number as generally, I also label the inside and under the band (an inconspicuous spot) just incase someone else tries to claim it as their own!  Sometimes a sneaky label pays off.  This goes for school uniforms as well.

 

TIP 5: FULL NAMES

 Have you got any idea how many children in a school possibly share the same first name? Where possible use your child’s full name. If it is an item that may possibly be passed down to another family member a last name should do the trick. Also use upper and lower case letters for your beginning reader as many have difficulty identifying their name when it is all in capital letters…

 

TIP 6: CONTACT DETAILS

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Two Lines Of Text. Include your child’s full name and your contact details.

 

If it is expensive or carted to and from school, I add my contact details.  Think hats, bags and instruments. This way if it’s left on a bus, or in the pick up zone, the finder has a way of letting you know where it is!  I always make sure mine and my husband’s mobile numbers are on our children’s school bags in case of emergencies.

So how do you do all of this without breaking the bank? Simple, a label maker!

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This year I have been testing out the Brother P-touch H105 Label Maker.

 

At only $25 from Officeworks, it’s affordable, versatile and creates durable labels that will actually stick. The laminated tape withstands EVERYTHING! The most durable labels on the market, they can be used both indoors and outdoors and are sun, germ, water and temperature resistant.

 

With 178 Symbols, 7 Frames and coloured tape, it’s easy to create pretty and personalised labels. You can also create two lines of text, perfect for your child’s name on the top and phone number on the bottom. We went with pink laminated tape for Little Miss A and laminated satin gold for Master O (they came in a three pack together with white tape)

 

Another brilliant addition is the iron on tape – perfect for hats, socks and school uniforms.  You have no idea how hard it has been finding labels that stick to socks! I use my label maker a lot so being able to use it with an AC adaptor saves me a whole heap of money on batteries.

 Naturally because I love my label maker so much, I want to share the love.  

You could win your very own Brother PT-H105 Labeller!  Just use Rafflecopter below to let me know;

What would you label with the Brother PT-H105 Labeller and why?  

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Creating a Homework Station

Sight words, readers, maths sheets, posters….HOMEWORK!!!  I am going to go out on a limb here and say I actually don’t mind helping with homework.  It’s my way of staying in touch with what is happening in the classroom and how my child is travelling academically.  However, this year we will have DOUBLE the homework!!!  This can only mean one thing, we are going to have to be super organised.  

We have had a Homework Station in the past that generally centred around a student desk, but to be honest, it really didnt suit a small child.  Children until they are at least in Year 3 need supervision and assistance when doing homework.  So last year we did homework at my desk in the study.  There was just one problem.  We had a homework trolley but it was really disorganised.  I just never got around to updating it to reflect our changing homework needs.  So before the school year starts I was on a mission to create a Homeowrk Station that could cater for two or more children, one of whom is doing homework for the first time and another who is more independent.

 WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR HOMEWORK

Our most common  homework items;

  • Lead Pencils
  • Coloured Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Textas
  • Glue/Tape/Scissors
  • Eraser and Sharpener
  • Reference Charts
  • Stapler
  • Calculator
  • Flash Cards
  • Blank Index Cards
  • Writing Paper
  • Counters
  • Paperclips
  • Ruler.

I also wanted to create a space for the homework books to be kept during the week.  They generally come home on the Monday and go back on the Friday.

HOW TO STORE IT

The easiest way for us to store all of this?  On a trolley of course!  This means we can wheel ALL of our paraphernalia to where it is we are doing our homework!  The dining table, study, kitchen bench, outdorr area, ANYWHERE!  This for us is key.  No more sitting down to do homework and realising we have left the pencils in the playroom or the glue in the study it is ALL IN ONE SPOT!!!

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The cutest most affordable and most flexible trolley would have to be the IKEA- RASKOG.  There are whole Facebook groups dedicated to this trolley which is great for storing bathroom items, baby change items,office supplies or kitchen utensils. All that for $79AUD Oh and did I mention it comes in my favourite colour minty blue? 

OUR HOMEWORK STATION

The Homework Station

Isn’t she pretty?  Here we go shelf by shelf, everything you will ever need to organise school homework.

 

The Homework Station @ theorganisednest.com

TOP SHELF

Lead Pencils, Coloured Pencils, Crayons

Textas/Whiteboard markers, Glue/Tape/Scissors, Pens/Highlighters/correction tape

Reference Charts (One for Numeracy and One for Literacy)I will write more about these in another post.

On the fron in the magnetic tins: Erasers and Sharpeners, our cute little magnetic whale scissors, paperclips

 

 

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MIDDLE SHELF 

Flash Cards, Blank Index Cards, Counters.

Container of writing books (Usually left over form the school year prior, I always encourage my children to write using the appropriate lines for their year level)

 

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BOTTOM SHELF  

Extension Activities, Activity Books and Homework Books.

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SIDE ONE:

This Will be Master O’s Side.  These BYGEL contianers from Ikea will hold his calculator and some grid paper squares for Maths work.

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SIDE TWO

Little Miss A’s Side.  A Laminated “Soundwaves” chart as this is the phonics program she will be using in Prep. 

 Family Launch Pad @ theorganisednest.com

STORAGE

During the day when the kids are at school I will keep our nifty trolley in our Launch Pad Area.  I am hoping to put our “routine Charts” on the wall above!  That’s tomorrow’s project!!!  Our Launch Pad is located with a walkway to the kitchen on the right to the left is the outdoor area and I am standing in the walkway to the Living areas and playroom.  The playroom is behind me.  On our house plans this area was a meals room.  We have a large open plan living area that we have our dining table in and really don’t need a second eating area.  

So there’s you have it.  A nifty, affordable, flexible and organised solution to the chaotic homework supplies.  and to think in years to come it will be Homework X 3! Pass the wine!

 

 

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!

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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 (619)

Pink and Grey Blank Timetable (521)

Peek-at-Our- Week – Activity Cards

 

Get Organised in 2015. The Best Buys

Some people are drawn to shoes.  Others Handbags.  Well me, I am a little different.  I am addcited to organising and planning. I can not walk past pretty stationery, clipboards, notebooks, pens, washi tape and most importantly ORGANISING ITEMS!!!  Baskets, labels, Sticky notes, whiteboards, if it is going to help me run an organised household, it’s in my trolley!

I am constantly adding my picks and pics (get it!) to my Instagram feed, but lately there have been so many I didn’t overwhelm you with so much organising awesomeness.

So here they are, all in one post, presenting 

GET ORGANISED.  THE BEST BUYS FOR THE NEW YEAR.

 

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Schedule Seals – $2.80 at Daiso

 

These tiny “seals” or stickers as we know them by are perfect for your calendar or planner. There are two versions and each includes stickers for movies, hair appointments, dinner, shopping and pay days.  

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Get Organised Caddy – $40 at Target

Perfect for by the front door or as part of a command centre this keeps clutter together!  I know my self well enough that I would probably forget to change the date but those teeny compartments would come in handy for kets and coins.  Not sure it’s worth the $40 so i think i will wait for Targets next sale for this one.

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Magnetic Weekly Organisation Centre $10 at Kmart

This Magnetic Organisation board has all the makings of a great system but To keep our family of 5 Organised we will need more than 8 magnets!  This made it into my trolley anyway as I am going to add my own touch to it as part of our Family Command Centre. I am planning it to use it to keep track of recurring activities like sport, ballet, library, music lessons etc.  

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Monthly Whiteboard Planner – $12 at Kmart

If weekly planning is not your thing, this Monthly board is perfect.  I have to admit I stared at this for ages wondering if I would use it!  The only thing that put me off is I don’t like writing on white boards!  I have the messiest writing.  BUT I am still contemplating getting one if my paper calendar doesn’t work out and using it with magnets and sticky notes.  If only Kmart had of designed it with the sticky notes the same size as the boxes! Perpetual calendars like these are a great money saving buy as they can be used year after year.  I would love this for my classroom (and also perfect for an office) with two or three of them making a giant term calendar!

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Get Organised Set – Kmart I think it was $10-$12

Now with your weekly and monthly calendars sorted it’s time to get your paper work sorted.  I have always used a Family Finance Folder and this is a great alternative.  With 3 folders all kept together in a handy box papers are sorted and contained in the one place.  I love that they have even though to include a little drawer.  

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Food Planner Set – Kmart

If you only do 1 organising project this year it is to start using a Meal Planner.  This is the easiest way to save money and eliminate the constant waste of food.  Personally I wouldn’t really have need for the folders as I am not much of recipe person but that Meal planner Pad is AWESOME!!!!  You can read more about my Meal Planning System HERE. 

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Stickers $2 most Discount Stores including DAISO

These cute stickers have been popping up in all of my cheap shop haunts lately.  I use them for labelling my calendar and planner and for bits and pieces of the kids stuff.  Couldn’t resist a $2 find!

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Note Taker Gift Set – Kmart $5

This one definitely made it to my trolley just for those bulldog clips and sticky notes.  Kmart had reduced this and many other notebook sets to $5!!!!  I sort my paperwork as it comes in into different categories

  • To File
  • To Pay
  • To Do

I then clip it on to its corresponding clipboard in order of importance.  This set would be a great way to keep that system running smoothly. It also has a great Weekly to do list that is going to sit on my kitchen bench, ready for action.

So there you have it.  An assortment of affordable organising options to help you get organised for the year ahead.

Have you spotted any great organising products lately?  Have any of these in use? I would love to see your ideas and how you are using them! Pop over and share on our FB Page.

 

 

Stuck in the middle with you.

You can’t help but get a little reflective this time of year.  Lately I have been thinking about this new stage of life I am entering.  Gone are the trying to conceive, pregnant, newborn days but the days of working outside the home are also on hiatus.  Instead I am somewhere in the middle.  Kind of a little stuck, maybe a tad lost but at the same time a whole heap excited about what is to come.

I never gave much thought to how many children I wanted.  It was always many, but no finite number. Part of me will always wonder if things had of been different would I have had more?  But making babies and carrying babies has gradually gotten more difficult for this old duck and as much as my heart wonders, my body and head tell me we are done.

I can’t remember a time before wanting a baby.  Being a mother is all I ever really wanted and now that part of my life is fulfilled.  Now what?  In 2015 my two oldest will be at school 5 days a week.  A bit over a year ago the thought of that was enough to yearn for another baby.  Now that baby is here and growing fast, the yearning is not gone but replaced.  I find myself selfishly yearning for something for myself.  To further my education, to spend time with friends, to take care of my health and wellbeing.  

I spent a good proportion of 2013, in the pits of morning sickness hell.  I have never been so stressed and miserable.  So miserable that even now I get anxious over the thought of being sick.  2014 was spent being heavily pregnant, giving birth and then the haze of newborn days.  I have a knack for creating gorgeously happy babies that don’t like to sleep. So 2015 I hereby declare as a time to get my groove back.  To find ME again.  To sparkle.

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To carve out time for ENJOYING life not ENDURING it.  

To make myself HAPPY and HEALTHY.

To treasure the MOMENT and not the MEMORY.

Get better control over MONEY and not let it control ME.

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I have plans for girls nights and family holidays and date nights.  For more study and reading and writing.  To get healthier and look after myself and prioritise my own well being.  To find time to do the things I love like organising, planning and creating a beautiful home.  To spend quality time with the kids EVERY day that does not involve nagging or ordering. 

 

How will I do all of this?  Well thats where you will come in.  This blog has always made me more accountable.  Somehow if its in writing it’s more likely to happen.  To have time for myself will not be easy.  I will need to be super organised.  But there is no time like now.  It’s time to get unstuck, start moving forward and embrace this new chapter of life.

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Getting Organised for 2015

Can’t believe I am saying this but Christmas hasn’t even arrived yet and I am all out of Christmas cheer.  This festive season has felt different for some reason and I can only put it down to extreme lack of sleep and home sickness.  All my siblings will be together with my extended family this Christmas but I won’t be there.  Instead we are travelling South to have Christmas with my husbands side of the family.  They are amazing and we are excited to check out all of their new houses and schools and for the kids to have some great play time with their cousins.  But you know how it is, Christmas is always a little different when it’s not with your own family.  

So instead my thoughts turn to January and getting organised for the year ahead.  I LOVE Januray!!!!  Back to school shopping, new planners, fresh calendars and school holidays! 

This January I will be;

  • Creating a Home Command Centre.
  • Creating an a3 Clanedar for the year ahead
  • Moving in to my 2015 planner
  • Refining and creating new routines and systems for school Mornings and afternoons.

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2015 I will have two children at school full time!!!! How did the last 5 years go so fast? Master O and Little Miss A go to different schools so we will have double the paperwork, double the dates, double the first days of school, double the routines and double the travel arrangements. We are going to need one MASSIVE calendar and super organised planner. To help ease into it all, I have taken extended maternity leave for 2015 but will do some casual relief work during the year. Our chunky Hunky wont be going to daycare just yet so we will juggle childcare arrangements between the two of us for as long as we can.

  • Adding some finishing touches to our School Stations
  • Getting a homework area set up
  • Doing the Back to school shopping 
  • Organising Uniforms and shoes

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A Thoughtful Place School Organising

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Homework Station from Mom 4 Real

Little Miss A will be starting Prep and with that comes uniforms, homework, sight words and readers. Just when Master O has finished all of those things, another child begins! Master O will be going into Grade 3 and I can only imagine how much homework and the many projects that will be on the agenda.

Is it crazy that I am super excited about all of that? 

  • Sort out my study and paperwork pile!

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LOVE these Study Colours! 

Just to mix it up a bit I am doing two uni subjects in Semester 1.  As daunting as it was going back to uni I thoroughly enjoyed my first Semester (semester 2 this year) I am studying a Masters of Educational Leadership all online and am slowly adapting to how much uni has changed since I first went more than 15 years ago! Now that I have had a bit of a practice run I have a bettr of idea of what kind of study system and organisation I need.  The biggest change to my study habits since my undergraduate degrees is with 3 children I can no longer leave anything to the last minute!!!! 

 

So that’s where we are at.  

Anybody else crazy excited about 2015?

Tell me I am not alone in my love of back to school shopping? 

 

OzSale – Finding and Scoring a Bargain

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with OzSale.

Anyone who has been following The Organised Nest for a while knows how much I LOVE online shopping.  If I can buy it online, I do.  It saves navigating overcrowded stores with my massive pram.  Trying to make decisions whilst being bombarde by questions and whinging form little humans.  Lets me buy presents stealthily, keeping purchases hidden from alwyas prying children (ok and occasionally the husband).  

Recently OzSale contacted me and wanted to know if I would try it out.  I will be honest in that I was a little reluctant as I had no clue about the autheniticty of Ozsale or where on earth (literally) the goods were coming from.  I let them know I couldn’t promise anything, but I was happy to check it out.  

Late one night during a feeding frenzy I goggled ozsale.  Turns out their is an app you can download to navigate it on your mobile a little better, so I did.  First thing I see, Holster sandals, dirt cheap.  Are you serious?  HALF THE PRICE people!  

I keep browsing and check out the Living category.  Cushions in bright modern designs for $12!!!  The whole cushion!  Not just the cover!  With piping! and BAGS!  Tote bags, lunch bags, cosmetic bags from $9.  An organiser like me can never have enough bags.

So I placed my first order.  I am a massive overthinker so umming and ahhing I left my first purchase until the next day.  Some summer dresses and of course those holster sandals.  THE SANDALS are SOLD OUT!!!  My first lesson of ozSale.  These are massive deals, when you see it, buy it as the stock moves quickly.  So dresses it will be!  I bought two maxi dresses and two shorter summer dresses totalling under $60.  Yep FOUR dresses for under $60!!!

Not wanting to risk loosing money, I waited for the dresses to arrive before placing my next order.  And arrive they did, FOUR DAYS LATER!  I thought I would be waiting weeks! Turns out some stock is sent from Australia so these items do not take too long to arrive.  Check on the description of the item you are purchasing in regards to where it is being sent form.

The dresses were PERFECT.  Good quality, packaged nicely, could not fault it.  So you know what I did that night!  Yep another search!

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This time I bought cushions and those tote bags (including some ballet bags for Little Miss A for Christmas)  This time they were via international post and yet they arrived in under 10 business days!!!!

So I am hooked!  

What you should know……

Get in Fast

All OzSale stock is only available for a limited time.  It is usually available for about a week but often seels out (especially popular sizes) before the sale is finished.

Check The Supplier

If you need it fast check the supplier and postage times.

Compare

Wanting to see if I was in fact getting a bargain I compared various other suppliers online.  OzSale was cheaper EVERY time.

Download The App

This definitely made shopping via my mobile a lot easier and it saved my “shopping bag” each time. 

PayPal

I ONLY use PayPal when purchasing online.  It gives me peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong I can dispute the transaction with PayPal and recover my lost funds.  It is also more secure and super easy.  OzSale uses paypal.

 Buyer beware.  If you love a good bargain you will easily be hooked on OzSale.  It sure makes those midnight feeding frenzies a whole lot more enjoyable AND productive, Christmas shopping is DONE!

You can see my purchases and what everyone else is buying by searching the #ozsale and #ozsaleloves hashtags on Instagram.