10 Tips To Teach Children The Basics of Organization

These 10 tips to teach children the basics of organization can help get your kids to start picking up after themselves and stop leaving messes all over the house. 

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Teaching your child how to organize can be comparable to brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. As much as parents like to do things themselves, there comes a point where children must learn to do things on their own. And now is about the time that my kids need to start picking up after themselves and learning how to keep their areas organized. 

After two weeks home with the kids and little messes made in every.single.room of the house over the holiday break,  I was done. And at one point I’m pretty sure I grabbed a big black trash bag and threatened to pick up everything I see on the ground and give it away. Mama was over it. And the kids picked up on that. 

Our house is set up so that our children can let their inner creativity shine. BUT at 6 and 7 years old I think they’re old enough to start learning how to start organizing their things. Putting stuff away once they are done using them so that they’re not in every corner of our home. Or so that they don’t end up in a pile on their bed or bedroom floor. 

Starting with the basics is one way to help your child learn how to organize. And that’s exactly where we’re starting. 

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10 Tips To Teach Children The Basics of Organization

#1. Simplicity

Teach your child that organization doesn’t need to be complicated. Organization should be used as a tool to make everything simpler.

#2. It Takes Time

One thing a child should know about organization is that it takes time. Even the most basic forms of organization will take some time.

#3. Limits

Your child should know that to be successful in organization there has to be limits put on things. You can’t collect every single paper you bring home from preschool.

#4. Donations

It’s amazing how much one person can collect overtime. Teaching your child the basics about donations will help them learn about organization. They should know that when a person has extra of something, it’s okay to donate to someone else less fortunate.

#5. Bring one in Take one Out

One rule a child should know about organization is the value of doing it “as you go.” If you buy something new and bring it home, then the rule is that something else has to leave. Learning to let go of items can be a hard lesson.

#6. Everything Has a Home

I think one of the most valuable lessons a child can learn in organizing is that everything has a home. You don’t need to leave everything out on the floor, simply put it away. When everything has a home the basics of organization seem pretty simple.

#7. Teamwork

Teach your child that it’s okay to ask for help when they need it. Sometimes organizing can be incredibly overwhelming. Teaching your child to ask for help is a tip they’ll need to carry with them for a long time.

#8. Know Their Limits

A child should be taught the basics of organization, but there is no need to be incredibly pushy about it. There should be a happy medium between proper organization and overzealous organization. 

Your child doesn’t need to spend every waking moment organizing their room. Have your child set a 15 minute timer for their organizing time. When that time is over, they get to take a break.

#9. Prioritize

Organizing can be overwhelming because sometimes there’s too much to do and not enough time. Teach your child how to prioritize one task over another. For example—The floor needs cleaned up before you can sweep.

#10. Get Creative

There are no rules to organizing. One family’s idea of organizing is different than another. Teach your child the basics behind organizing and they should be good to go. Also teach them that getting creative with the resources is a smart move. For example—You don’t need to go out and buy organizing items, you can use what you have at home. Use a milk crate for a toy box and etc. 

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Try to refrain from getting frustrated or yelling when you’re teaching your child about organizing. Children should grow up to love this sort of exercise, not grow to hate it.

How do you get your kids involved in the organization process? 

Back to School Healthy Checklist

As we head back to school, I wanted to share this back to school healthy checklist, sponsored by Kinsa, as a way to keep everyone healthy over the first few weeks back in the classroom.

Back to School Healthy Checklist
I feel as if sickness has been coming through a revolving door this summer. We all get better and then WHAM! something else hits. From colds, to ear aches, and runny noses, our family has been hit with it all. And now that I’m sending the kids back to school next week, I need to make sure I’m doing everything I can to stop the cycle in this house.

We’ve been working on trying to keep our home sickness free and I’ve come up with a checklist for the kids so that they’re reminded of what to do to stay relatively healthy. Since the first weeks of school mean exposure to a whole new lot of kids, an a whir of germs, we want to be in tip top shape when we return. And that doesn’t just mean staving off illness, it also means doing routine check ups that may help prevent illness.

Back to School Healthy Checklist - what to do

Back to School Healthy Checklist

  • Wash, wash, wash your hands! Keep reminding your kids to wash their hands frequently throughout the day. I have my kids hum happy birthday two times when they’re washing (similar to how they brush their teeth) so that they wash long enough. Make sure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date. I’ve found that a lot of classrooms have hand sanitizer that they use but since my daughter has eczema, hand sanitizer burns her. 
  • Medications and Allergies need to be mentioned to your child’s school. If medications are needed during the day, make sure the school has what they need (with prescription/note from doctor if needed) and that they know of any allergies or conditions that your child may have. We had to make sure my son’s inhaler was ready to go for the new year! You might also want to mention any allergies to the room mom, if you have one, just in case.
  • Keep emergency contacts up to date! Make sure that the school has the correct emergency contact information for your child. A contact may have moved or changed phone numbers over the summer.
  • The most important meal of the day! Plan to give your child a delicous and healthy breakfast before leaving in the morning, such as oatmeal (made in a rice cooker!), smoothies, yogurt with fruit or scrambled eggs.  This will provide much-needed energy for the day. A great make-ahead option for busy mornings are these delicious egg cups!
  • Buy your child a comfortable, ergonomic backpack with thick straps. You don’t want the stress of a large load of books to hurt their shoulders or back. 
  • Make sure that your child’s shoes fit properly so that they get the support and comfort they need for all-day wear. With kids growing so quickly, make sure your child knows that they should speak up if their shoes are getting tight or their feet are hurting. My son grew 1.5 shoe sizes over the summer! Talk about a growth spurt. 
  • Has your child had a vision screening? This will ensure that he/she can see the board in class and will help with writing and reading.
  • Schedule a dental checkup to ensure that your child’s teeth are in good condition to start the new school year.
  • Concerns about hearing or speech? In the first few weeks of school you can bring your concerns to the teacher to see if they observe anything in the classroom. Or have your child’s doctor observe and make recommendations. 

And the #1 way to keep everyone healthy: Keep your child home when they’re sick! Let them rest and recover so that they feel 100% and the illness doesn’t spread. A sick kid won’t be as alert and ready to learn. They’ll be much more comfortable resting at home.

Kinsa Thermometer

But sometimes illness is inevitable. And having the right tools in the medicine cabinet is important. And Kinsa has those tools.  Kinsa has built something truly revolutionary for parents – the first smartphone-enabled thermometer designed for your peace of mind. Kinsa automatically remembers fever, symptoms, medications and notes for each child or family member, and helps you take action when fever and symptoms are cause for concern. Users can also join groups for their child’s school to see the “health weather” of the school and know what symptoms and illnesses are circulating.

And even better? They’re giving back to the community in a huge way. With their new FLUency program, Kinsa is choosing 100 deserving schools this fall and providing all families in each school with free Kinsa stick thermometers ($30 value). To nominate your school email fluency@kinsahealth.com. You can learn more by watching this video here.

 How do you keep the kids healthy during the school year?

Fire and Fettucini San Diego: The Perfect Pairing

Stone & Glass Storefront

A few weeks ago I took a few hours to spend with my oldest. He hasn’t gotten much one on one with me since the baby was born and we were due for a mommy and son date. We were invited to Stone & Glass to preview their new Fire and Fettucini classes. Perfect for just about any coupling you could think of – mother son, father daughter, significant others, girlfriends, “bros” … hahaha – Stone & Glass has paired with Charlie’s Classic Cooking to bring together a glass making class and a cooking class.

One person learns how to make something with glass while the other learns how to cook a meal. So while I was learning how to make a beautiful glass heart, my son was learning how to make pasta by hand. Talk about a hands on experience! And afterwards we all were able to eat together and enjoy the meal he made.

Making Pasta at Charlie's Cooking Class

During the glass blowing session the Stone & Glass team will explain safety tools and basic skills, you will learn how to shape and control the glass and apply color to create your masterpiece.  Every student will design and create handmade artwork in glass and gain a strong understanding of how glass art is made. My other two classmates made sea stars with different colors and designs. 

Stone & Glass making a heart

Stone & Glass glassmaking

Stone & Glass making starfish

In the cooking session Chef Charles of Charlie’s Classic Cooking will lead you through making your pasta and sauce from scratch, perhaps adding a few surprises, preparing a side dish and dessert. And once you’ve had handmade pasta, you won’t want to go back to the boxed stuff! Oh my word is it good. 

Can you tell he had fun?

The best part? It’s only $125.00 per pair! This class is offered the last Saturday of each month and available for private parties.

And while my son was too young for the glassmaking portion, he was the perfect age for cooking. Children 9 years and older can partake in the glassmaking and children 5 years and older can participate in the cooking. You can find more info on the Stone & Glass website.

Charlie's Classic Cooking making pasta doughCharlie's Classic Cooking eating pasta

Looking for a great opportunity for the kids?

Speaking of kids,  Stone & Glass is offering a One Day Glass Camp for children ages 9 to 13 on Thursdays in August from 9am to 3pm. In the morning session the kids will be working with cold class; creating glass tiles following patterns and samples provided or unique masterpieces using various pre-cut glass materials. 

Lunch is another creative opportunity – a nutritious lunch prepared with Chef Charlie of Charlie’s Classic Cooking. They ramp up the excitement in the afternoon with a hot glass demonstration, after which each student will work with our glass blowing team to create solid glass objects.

The glass camp is $120.00 per child per day. All tools and materials are provided. Pieces are ready for pick up in a week. These are small group sessions with a minimum 4 participants and maximum of 6. For more info, visit the Stone & Glass website.

Who will you be taking on a Fire & Fettucini adventure? 

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5 Ways To Help Children Get Their Bedroom Organized

5 Ways To Help Children Get Their Bedroom Organized

Is your child’s bedroom an unorganized mess every time you walk in? Well, if your children are old enough, it may be time to help them learn how to organize their bedroom.

Last year I shared how we get the kids involved in cleaning. And organizing isn’t that much different. Once your kids have mastered cleaning their rooms, learning how to organize will make keeping their rooms clean much easier.

Check out these five ways in which you can help your children get their bedroom structured and under control.

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5 Ways To Help Children Get Their Bedroom Organized

#1. Bins & Baskets

In my opinion, you can never have too many bins or baskets in a room. As long as there is a place to store these bins and baskets, you are good to go. These contraptions can be stored under beds, in closets, and even on dressers. You can label each bin and basket, so your child knows exactly where everything goes.

#2. Get Rid of Excess

I believe that children learn how to part with things, if their parents teach them well. You can help your child get their bedroom a little more organized by helping them to learn to part with toys that they’re no longer using. Teach your children to always be in the process of getting rid of items that are no longer needed.

#3. Hands & Knees

You may never truly see what your child sees unless you are on your hands and knees. Don’t be afraid to get a child’s eye view of their bedroom this way. You may understand why their room is dirty or unorganized, if you see it from their point of view. Plus, this will help you come up with ideas to help them get a little more organized. Maybe their shelves are too high for them to reach or their drawers are hard to open. If we expect our kids to be a little more organized, then we have to make it a little easier for them.

#4. Always Involve the Child

Making your child leave, while you clean their room teaches them nothing. You must always involve your child in the organizational process, if you want them to learn how to get their bedroom organized. Although this process might take a lot longer, you’re teaching your child a lot during the organizational process. Plus, they are going to appreciate your hard work a lot more if they see what you’ve put into it.

#5. Organize from Top to Bottom

What does this mean? Well, to keep things organized in your child’s bedroom the organizational layout needs to make a little more sense. All toys and things they need to reach should be on the bottom and other items (they don’t need) should be higher up. For example—if you still pick out your child’s clothing, then hanging them up on the highest rack is okay. You can also place items that are not as frequently used on the top shelves, to help eliminate clutter and the temptation to drag out unneeded items.

Organizing your child’s bedroom doesn’t need to be a complete nightmare. Just remember to keep up with the clutter and to always keep things simple. The more items you have in your child’s room, then the harder it will be to organize it.

Kids Cleaning Tips: How to Get Kids to Clean Their Own Rooms

This shop featuring Kids Cleaning Tips has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EurekaPower

Kids Cleaning Tips How to Get Kids to Clean Their Own Rooms

Getting my kids to clean anything, let alone their rooms, used to be a struggle. But then I started thinking smarter and have finally found a solution that works for us!

By making cleaning part of our daily routine and making it fun I’ve been in to tap into my kids inner creativity and let them take the lead when it comes to cleaning their rooms.

It also helps that I make them in charge of where things go as well as what things they’re allowed to keep in their room – within certain limits. By limiting they types of toys and “stuff” they can keep in their rooms we’ve eliminated the clutter we used to find in their rooms.  [Read more…]

How to Keep a Clean Car with Kids

This post brought to you by PERK. All opinions are 100% mine.

Once you have kids, the state of the interior of your car pretty much implodes. From toys to crackers (smushed for added texture) to clothes and diapers, our cars become mobile homes filled with everything we need to care for our kids. So how do we keep a clean car with kids? It’s simple.

But you have to be willing to follow these steps and make sure you have a system in place to keep the mess at bay. If you’re like me… this may fall to the wayside with the craziness of life. But that’s ok, simply do a deep clean, start back at step one and get back in it!

The first thing we have to do is deep clean the car. Grab a laundry basket and a trash can. Put all of the toys, clothes, etc in the laundry basket to bring into the home and sort and throw out all of the waste in the trash can. Then run a vacuum over everything and wipe the surfaces down. Now you’re ready for maintenance!

[Read more…]

Wear Awesome Light Up Shoes and other Halloween Safety Tips

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Since my kids were old enough to speak I lost the power to choose what they dressed up as for Halloween. But the one thing I do have say about is the safety of the costumes they choose.

I have a few guidelines for their costumes and since they’re still fairly young I haven’t had too much of a problem getting them to go along with what I say. These Halloween safety tips have helped me with easing my mind about the fact that my kids are out after dark.

And I think that they also help the kids realize how important it is to be aware of where they are and how visible they are to others out as well.

halloween safety tips stride rite running in shoes

Halloween Safety Tips

1. Wear bright clothing

When choosing a Halloween costume try and make sure that there are some bright components to the outfit. Whether you add reflective tape to the costume after it’s on or you purchase a brightly colored outfit, having something visible to others in the dark can help make sure people know that your kid is there.

2. Find some light up shoes

Halloween is always a fun night out with the kids, but it’s important to stay safe as well! Stride Rite has shoes that incorporate today’s latest light up technology so they are visible at night as your child runs from house to house. Or you can string on some glow sticks onto your kids shoes! 

3.  Use a flashlight

When walking the neighborhood let your kids use flashlights to lead the way. Not only will this help their visibility and help with trips and falls but it’s also super fun!

4. Ditch the masks

A child’s visibility is greatly reduced when they are wearing a mask. So if you have a small child, consider costumes without masks to help make their evening as enjoyable as possible.

5. Have a plan

Make sure to talk to your children before you head off to trick-or-treat. Let them know the plan for the evening, where you’ll be going, and what the rules are. By making sure the kids know what’s going on everyone will have a great time!

halloween safety tips stride rite butterfly

Since my daughter chose to be a butterfly this week (and designed her own costume!) we were very excite to receive these adorable Disney Wish Lights Ariel shoes. They match her costume perfectly!

Plus I know that these shoes will last a lot longer than just a few weeks even with all of the running around and jumping she does. Stride Rite shoes are our go-to shoe brand and have been since the kids first started walking.

Along with the Wish Lights shoes my daughter will be wearing, my son will be wearing his favorite green Saucony shoes with his lizard costume. Comfortable, flexible, and durable! Everything we need in a children’s shoe brand.

halloween safety tips stride rite butterfly costume

How do you keep your children safe on Halloween?

5 Great Ways to Get Outdoors With Kids

Ways to Get Outdoors With Kids

Now that summer is here we’re making our “must do” lists for what we want to to do this summer. And in creating this list we’ve looked back at the other fun things we’ve done with our summers in the past. And most of them seem to involve being outdoors.

I think that getting outdoors with kids is a very important part of summer fun. And having a few activities in our back pocket to bring out and do with our kids might kick start that summer fun.

Below is a list of 5 great ways to get outdoors with kids this summer. I’d love to hear your ideas as well!

[Read more…]

Encourage Reading with Kids Reading Nook Ideas

The one thing I will never deny my child is a book. No matter where we are, if my kid finds a book they love, I’m going to get it for them (within reason). I can say no to more toys, more clothes, more shoes, but I can’t say no to books! So I decided to find out how to encourage reading even more and was amazed at the great kids reading nook ideas I came across.

Not only would the kids be able to have a place to access their books, they could cozy up and read them as long as they want.

I read somewhere that the biggest hurdle at home to get kids to read was the lack of books available to them. They either didn’t have many books to access or there wasn’t a place to put them. So from a very young age I’ve made sure that my kids have access to many different books. And we may have taken it a bit overboard.

We have books pouring out of every room in the house. So having one central location for most of the kids books was a big priority when we rearranged the room and moved some furniture. And with this change we created our kids reading nook.

Kids Reading Nook Ideas

[Read more…]

Childhood Obesity and Diabetes: How to Protect Your Child {Guest Post}

Diabetes is an ever-present reality that many overlook. In an attempt to increase awareness, November was declared American Diabetes Month. While the disease is normally associated with adults, a growing number of children are falling victim to the effects it poses its victims, and this number correlates with the rising childhood obesity rate.

Identifying Risk Factors
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Likewise, determining if a child is at risk of developing diabetes can prevent its eventual manifestation. The primary risk factor has shown to be obesity and lack of physical activity. While family history, sex and race also play a role in determining if a child may develop Type II Diabetes, the main contributing factor is related to fitness.

[Read more…]



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