Kids ANZAC Day Activities

ANZAC Day is such a special day for all Australians and this household is no exception.  We have had four generations serve in the Australian military including my own Father, Husband and most recently my Borther serving in Afghanistan.   My husbands great uncle died in WW2 and is buried in El Alamein.  My two sons proudly bear his name as their middle names.
Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 11.21.09 AM

In the lead up to Anzac Day and on the day itself there are lots of easy ways to get your child involved.

BAKE ANZAC BISCUITS TOGETHER

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′] 

ANZAC Day is an important part of our Australian Calendar. In our homes and in our classrooms, children learn about ANZAC day through stories, craft and real life experiences.

READ A STORY

Sometimes a story can explain a complex topic in a more age appropriate way then we can. It is often difficult to find the write words to covey such an important message, in a way that children can understand. Stories do just that. Ask your child’s teacher, librarian or even local RSL for some recommendations. Be sure to pre read the story yourself to make a judgment on whether it is appropriate for your family. Some of our favourites are;
Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 11.16.03 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 11.16.13 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 11.16.53 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 11.17.53 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 11.18.21 AM

CREATE AND CRAFT
Young children learn through hands on activities. There are many ANZAC day themed art and craft ideas that are both simple and cheap.

Pinterest is your best friend here!
Poppies: Make poppies with paper plates, cupcake papers and pipe cleaners or even with red paint and a potato stamp!

Wreaths: Paper Plates make a great wreath template. Simply cut out the middle of the plate and paint the remaining wreath green. For texture stick on small squares of crepe paper or leaves from the garden.

Flags: Colour in some Australian or New Zealand flag templates and attach them to straw or paddlepop sticks.

EXPERIENCE

Their really is no better way for your child to learn about Anzac Day, then to visit or participate in an ANZAC Day March or Ceremony. Contact your local council or RSL for your areas events. A march will help show your child the range of people that have served their country, men, women, old and young in their varied positions. The colours, the sounds and the amazing memorabilia, will keep them interested for longer than you imagine. Bake some Anzac Biscuits to take along with you, wave your flag proudly and applaud the soldiers as they march by.

Through stories, craft creations and experiencing all that is ANZAC Day, our children will have a new understanding and appreciation of this special day.

The Mummy & Son Date – Cirque du Soleil ~ TOTEM

Their is no doubt that adding a new baby to the family is life changing.  At 7 and 4 “My pigeon Pair” had well established their “place” in the family and created strong bonds with each other and us as their parents.  They have welcomed the Chunk Hunky baby so joyously and love his crazy ways but I can’t help feeling that our time with the older two is now stretched a little thin.

Now that our newborn days are over, we vowed that this year, as parents, we would make it a priority to spend some one on one special “date” time with each child.  As the dates for the Cirque du Soleil premiere of Totem in Brisbane conincided with school holidays I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to take Master O (now aged 8) on a special date night.

When he was in Prep we went together to see Cirque Du Soleil’s Ovo and its an experience he still taks about!  They look up You Tube clips of “Ovo” together, re read the program and he recounts to his sister his favourite breath holding moments!

I decided to surprise Master O with our date experience.  He knew we were going out together but presumed it was for coffee and dinner.  That day we drove the last of our Easter visitors to the Airport and he spotted the “Grand Chapiteau” over the bridge (The Grand Chapiteau is the ginormous yellow and Blue tent the circus is located in)! I thought my surprise was ruined for sure!  He spotted it, got excited, asked me when it was opening and begged to go.  I told him I thought it had actually been and gone and that it must have closed just before the holidays.  Cue dissapointment but at least I was home free!

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 7.40.10 AM

All ready to go

That night,  as we drove to the city, he still had no idea.  Maybe that had something to do with all the chatting we were doing about future careers, friends, favourite super heroes etc.  He seemed oblivious to the direction we were travelling.

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 7.58.46 AM

and then he spots this.  Well I didnt take this photo as I was driving but this is what the Grand Chapiteu looks like.

Master O: “It’s still here Mum”  

Me: “What do you think?  Should we go?”

Master O: “Wouldnt that be great!”

Me: “Well thats where we are going!”

Master O: “Oh my Gosh, Oh my gosh, NO WAY!!!”

Even as we got out of the car he literally said “I am shiviering with excitement I cant believe we are here!!!  BEST. SURPRISE. EVER!!!

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 7.41.10 AM

 

It is really hard to find words to describe the Cirque Du Soleil expereince.

Its quite a small “arena” which gives it a real intimte feel and regardless of seats you feel so close to the action.

The music is played live and the stage set takes upon a life of its own constantly tranforming before your eyes.

But the performers!  Oh the performers!  Its heart stopping, jaw dropping, death defying, simply AMAZING.  

Our favourites…

MASTER O

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 7.56.11 AM

The “Clown” who used those pans and bounced a hard “egg” to play a song! And that duck is a plastic bag!

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 7.55.45 AM

The Mad Scientist who bounced glowing balls around this giant funnel!

and Me…..

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 7.54.07 AM

They are on roller skates. On that tiny round box. She is spinning in the air. and they are only attached by their necks!!!!! SERIOUSLY!

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 7.53.44 AM

On their unicylce they used their FEET to kick small bowls onto each others heads, WHILST cycling!!! And I trip over my own feet!

 So my tips:

  • Cirque Du Soleil really is a family friendly experience.  There are discount tickets for families for certain performances
  • Master O first went to Cirque Du Soleil when he was 5.  I would recommend that as the youngest age at which children would enjoy the experience.  Younger than that it might be a bit long and some effects, noises etc a bit scary.
  • Grab a booster Seat.  The ushers have booster seats available to help little ones see the performance better.
  • With little kids, choose a daytime show.  The evening show starts at 8pm and it was at least 10.30pm when it finished and I noticed many a parent carrying a sleeping child out!
  • Parking (In Brisbane) is superb with attendants to help you find a park and to assist traffic when exiting.
  • Make a day of it.  Eat Street Markets and Portside are close by and we had plans to go to Max Brenner after the show! Both however are a little too far away to walk with children so plan accordingly.
  • Food and Drinks are a little pricey (they always are at performances) so eat prior.
  • Photos and Videos are not allowed once inside so make the most of the photo opportunities outside!
  • Buy the Program!  It’s a great way to reminisce on your experience and a wonderful souvenir, my kids love reading about all of the performers.

 

and lastly, JUST GO!!!  It’s not the cheapest experience but equivalent to the Ballet or a Stage Show.  YOU WILL NOT REGRET THE MONEY.  The first time I went I cried.  I know sappy but true.  I couldn’t believe it had taken me 30 years to go to Cirque Du Soleil.  It is a bucket list experience. To now have shared this experience with my son is just incredible.  Thats what childhood is all about.  Time sharing experiences with the ones you love.  Soaking up all those moments of magic and wonder.  At the end of the night, we dreamed and made plans.  In our lifetime we will see every Cirque show together.  Here’s hoping son. 

 
Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 7.40.53 AM

 

 

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.01.42 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.01.56 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.02.13 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.02.35 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.02.50 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.04.03 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 12.14.14 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 12.17.53 PM

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

 Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.36.10 PM

 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.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 6.05.30 AM

Cut and Paste Flag Activity from Lessons Learnt Journal

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 6.10.32 AM
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

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 6.32.48 AM

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.

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 7.13.12 AM

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.   

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 6.35.32 AM

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!

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 1.39.51 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 1.40.01 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 1.39.43 PM

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!

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 1.32.42 PM

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!!!

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 6.00.43 PM

 

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

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 6.04.07 PM

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)

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 6.04.28 PM

BOTTOM SHELF  

Extension Activities, Activity Books and Homework Books.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 6.04.38 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 6.05.13 PM

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!

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.

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 7.21.59 AM

 

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 (849)

Pink and Grey Blank Timetable (702)

Peek-at-Our- Week – Activity Cards

 

Creating a Family Launch Pad ~ What we used

Boy has this been a long time coming!  Over the years we have had various versions of school stations, organisation stations, launch pads but none have quite been as HUGE as this one. 

Introducing our Family Launch Pad.

Ou

Our Family Launch Pad ~ The Organised Nest

So what is a “Launch Pad?’ It is a place for us as a family to “Launch” into our day, whatever it holds. Whether it’s off to school, grocery shopping, out on a family trip, basically anything that involves leaving the house!

Before I go into how this works for us, the most common question I get is how we created it.  You need to start at IKEA.

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 11.02.39 AM

IKEA – KALLAX – 1×4 Shelving Unit

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 11.03.27 AM

IKEA – KALLAX – Insert with 2 Drawers

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 11.04.09 AM

IKEA – KALLAX – 2 x4 Shelving Unit

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 11.04.53 AM

IKEA – TROFAST – Storage box

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 11.10.43 AM

THE COST

 When assembling the Kallax 1 x 4 shelving unit, we simply left one shelf out so that we would have an extra high space to fit a school bag.

You could alter this setup to include more or less family members or tailor it to your own individual budget.  We already had the Trofast boxes and the 2 x4 shelving unit in Master O’s room where it sat disorganised and created a toy dumping ground.  The most expensive part of this was the drawers.  To cut costs you could use  shelves (also sold as part of the Kallax range) or just use the Kallax as is.  We have a really open plan lower level of the house so I wanted this unit to be as disguised as possible so for me the drawers were the answer.  Be warned the drawers sit inside the unit so you loose a bit of space but we still comfortably fit a pair of shoes (or two kindy size) or a library bag and book, or homework folder in one.

In the next post I will detail how we use it!!!! Can somebody say LOVE!  This is already up there with the best Organising feature of our home!!!

 

 

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.

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.41.06 PM

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.  

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.40.10 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.40.26 PM

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.  

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.40.33 PM

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!

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.40.42 PM

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.  

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.40.52 PM

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. 

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.41.41 PM

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!

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.41.51 PM

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.