The Power of Moms


Entries in Activity (16)


How to make Floating Octopus for an Under the Sea Party

A few days ago, we had a few of our friends over for a play date. I do not know about you, but I do get sick of the kids playing Minecraft and video games all day long. I decided each of us should make an octopus and let them swim like they are in the ocean.

This activity is seriously so simple if you have a large fan!

Items needed for each octopus:

  • balloon
  • streamers of any color
  • tape
  • permanent marker for the eyes
  • a large fan... a small fan may work but I am not sure since I have not tried it.

Steps to make a floating octopus:

1. Blow up the balloon! :)

2. Cut streamers to desired length (I did eight.)

3. Tape on the streamers to the balloon.

4. Make two large eyes with the permanent marker. Let dry for just a second so it does not smear on clothing!

5. Turn on the fan and let the kids go to town!

It took me about five minutes to make six and the kids played with them for about an hour. They loved it!


Daily Job Chart

A few weeks ago, it dawned on me that my child with anger needed to be in control of absolutely everything. For some reason, when I or my husband ask him to do something, he thinks he is loosing all control. Enter in a "ta da" moment! I had inspiration to take our morning routine (a source of contention) out of my hands and put all the control back into my child's hands.

{Excuse the imperfection, it's been used!}

Enter in our new job chart for my son.

My son is slow to start in the mornings and tends to watch TV or play on the computer. To get him dressed presented great angst in our household. For years I have known that certain types of TV shows or computer time can set him off on the wrong foot for the day. I try to limit the time, but honestly, between getting everyone ready for the day, getting some household maintenance done, and working, I tended to let him do his thing for awhile without consistency and much screen time. It was not always pretty.

I created three sections on a poster board with plenty of white area to grow as needed. At the moment, the chart is for our morning routine. My son is in school during the afternoon and the evenings tend to run pretty smoothly. The blue cards represent the daily jobs. Pretty easy stuff such as getting dressed, eating breakfast, saying prayer, and brushing teeth. The yellow cards represents a job that needs to be completed for the day. He gets to pick one to complete a day (besides Monday, since that is when I do laundry and he needs to take his laundry down to the laundry room.) Plenty of choices! He can even complete more than one in a day if he wanted! I don't have him complete any jobs on the weekend since those tend to be morning errands or rest day. When he is completed with his job, he puts the card in the done envelope. When he has completed all his jobs for the day, he has earned one hour of TV/computer time.

We have been using this chart for about two weeks now and it is working beautifully! I don't have to nag him! If we have to run out for something in the morning, I will tell him the night before what time we have to leave and set the timer in the morning. That way, again, I'm not telling him to do anything. The chart and timer are doing all the work! We have had only little, minor problems; no epic battles or anger! I cannot tell you how calm I feel once again!

I also see a dramatic decrease in screen time and much more time using imaginations. My daughter just follows what her older brother does and she is fiercely independent, so she basically is doing her "jobs" right alongside her brother although she doesn't have a chart. It's a win-win situation for everyone!

To create:

1. Create cards by using Microsoft Office clip art and print on cardstock.

2. Cut out clip art into small squares. My measurements are a bit random.

3. Glue clip art cutouts onto cardstock and laminate.

4. Stick Velcro on the back of each card and press firmly onto poster board. This allows each card to be taken off and reattached.

5. For the done folder, I took a very large envelope and cut the top off so it was a large envelope to easily place the cards in and take out.

6. I cut the TO DO and DONE on my Silhouette and laminated.

7. Lay everything out on a large poster board and glue away.

Now let's hope it keeps working! : )


Strategy To Focus on the Positive With Your Children

I've been a Negative Nelly for a bit now. I constantly hear myself tell my children not to do this or that. I am telling them no quite a lot. When I talk with adults about my children, it is always with a negative tone. By nature, I am a glass half-full type of person and do not want my children to grow up with a negative mother. This week I decided it was time to change my way of thinking and one strategy that I find that helps me is to make myself focus on the positive.

Enter my posters...

{Excuse the bright colors, we are pretty bright around here}

My nature, one of my children is more on the pessimistic side and I am determined that as a family we are focusing on what makes us happy and/or what we are thankful for. I used my Silhouette and found this cute little quote. I cut it out and pasted it on. Every evening at dinner time, each of us takes the opportunity to write one or two things that happened during the day that made us or happy or something we are thankful for. It's been a fantastic addition to our dinner routine.

In my church, we have a saying "Choose the Right." In my last post, I described the poster I made a few years ago. I took that same idea and when my children "Choose the Right" I quickly add it to the poster. This way I am looking for what they are doing right instead of what is going wrong.

I am a firm believe it is my outlook on my children that really influences how I treat them! I hope we can all focus on what incredible little beings our children are!

Please share what you do to focus on your children's positives!


4th of July Game: Nickel Hunt

I'm a teacher and a learner. It is important to me that I somehow tie learning into my daily activities with my children. The best way to learn is through play and within the context of our daily lives. This 4th of July hunt is fun while also providing the opportunity to learn about a famous person that is instrumental force in our independence.

In preparation of the hunt, gather your spare nickels and hide them around your home or yard.

Gather the children around you and show them a nickel. Explain who Thomas Jefferson was and why he is important to the 4th of July celebrations. {Honestly, when I do these type of discussions, it leads to my son asking me questions that I don't know the answer to. Sometimes, with him, I swear I do not know anything!} I try to not make these discussions long at all... it's more as an informal FYI and then periodically during the day I may ask them random questions about our discussion to see what they remember.

Give each child a bag and set them loose to find the nickels. I let them keep the nickels for their spending or savings banks.

It's a win-win game... win for the kids because they get to keep the money and win for the parents because it's cheap!


Outdoor Fun

We have been spending most of our days outside. Thankfully, until this week, the humidity has been very low which allows fun in the sun! We have two games we really like to play. The first is an adding game and the second an old classic.


{Excuse my phone photos, I cannot hold a baby and take photos with my larger camera! Thank goodness for phone cameras so I can still capture the moments!}

Using sidewalk chalk, I write numbers 1-10. I then say an addition problem and Logan jumps on the correct number. Hannah just jumps on the number after him. Mental and physical exercise!

The other is one of my favorite childhood games.


I just love this game!

What fun, outdoor games do you enjoy!?!?