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5 Apps You Can’t Live Without For Children

5 Apps You Can’t Live Without For Children

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Being a working mom, I know how hard it is to find time to help your kids work on different lessons especially when they are young and learning so many new things.
I am by no means saying that technology can replace the quality time we spend with our kids but it can help us manage with a busy schedule. While we are making supper they can be on their tablets reading a book or they can be working on their sight words.
There are so many apps out there that can help your kids practice the new skills they are learning in school or help introduce new skills to them before they even get to school. They can also help you by keeping them busy while you finish up that crazy to do list that you got.

1. EPIC

This one is my favorite ones because I have a child who loves listening to books. She can’t read yet so this helps her because it reads the book out loud while it highlights the words so she can follow along. There are some really great books available on the app from fun books to educational books. Your child can choose from regular ebooks that they can read on their own, read to me books that read the book out loud and highlight the words as it goes, or there are audio books where your child can follow along in their own book while the app reads the book aloud. The app offers videos and quizzes as well. Click here for a free 30-day trial.

2. ABC Mouse

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I use this app a lot more during the summer so that my kids are still getting some educational lessons in. You can track your child’s progress as they move through the different lessons. I use this app for both my 5-year-old and my 3-year-old. Your child will learn math and reading skills plus many more. As kids move through the lessons they earn tickets and they can use their tickets on items for their character.

3. Khan Academy  Kids

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This app is a great fun app that the kids can play all while learning. My kids love all the different characters in the game. They get to learn math and reading as well as getting to be creative with drawing and storytelling. The app has lots of different books and lessons on social skills and feelings.

4. Sight Words Coach

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One of my daughters is in kindergarten and she gets a list of sight words each week. This app allows me to put her sight words into a list and it will say the word out loud and then she picks which word is correct out of four options. I like this app because she was memorizing the first letter of the word and picking out the word from that, but this app gives them four choices that all start with the same letter so she really has to work on knowing the words.

5. Maily

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This app isn’t exactly a learning app but it is a great app for kids to be able to communicate with other people. I have it set up so that they can send mail to their grandparents and my husband and I. They can draw a picture, type out a message, or even take pictures and send them. I love this app because it allows them to share their creativity with other people and I am the one who gets to control who they are talking to. I also get an email each time they send a message and I can see everything they send from my account.
Like I mentioned earlier using these apps can help a busy mom get some work done while your child is occupied and developing their skills and knowledge. I rely on these apps daily. I set goals for my children to reach weekly and this helps them want to learn and work on different lessons even though the games are pretty fun so it doesn’t take much to get them excited to learn.
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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Do you have any apps for your children that you can’t live without? Comment below with different apps that you use.

 

 

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Using Amazon to save money with kids

It can seem like new babies cost a fortune with formula, diapers, wipes, and baby food. Between the formula and diapers, our grocery bill was outrageous each month. One day I decided to start shopping around to see where the best deals were for diapers. I soon learned that I could save so much money by using Amazon.

If I made one time purchases I was spending about as much as I would in the stores. But, if I signed up for the subscription I saved so much more money. I went from spending $25 on a box of diapers to spending $15 on a box of diapers. With two kids in diapers at the time, this was a huge saving for me. Then I found out that if I subscribe for more items I could save even more money. So I started subscribing to things that I would normally get and I ended up getting the items for a lot cheaper than I used to.

Items that you can get with Amazon Subscription for your baby

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Formula
  • Baby food
  • Diaper Genie refills
  • Diaper rash creams
  • Nursing supplies

If you are already planning on buying these items, you might as well save money doing it. My favorite part is that they are shipped right to my door and they are sent on a schedule that works for me.

Do you use Amazon Subscription? How does it work for you?

8 Ideas to help a sensitive child

8 Ideas to help a sensitive child

Do you have a child who becomes upset very easily? One small comment and they are crying and emotional. My oldest child is just like this and has been seeing the guidance counselor at school to learn different coping skills. I am going to share with some ideas that have helped us and hopefully they can help you.

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Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

1. Deep Breaths

One of the best things that have helped us is to teach our daughter how to take deep breaths to help her calm down. When we start to see her getting upset we remind her to take five deep breaths and to count. After her deep breaths, she is usually still upset so we move on to our other strategies. The deep breaths help her calm down so that we can talk to her and help her decide which strategy she wants to use.

2. Personal Space

Create a space just for your child. This will be where they go when they need a break and some time to think and cool off. We decided to use the bay window in her room and to add some pillows and blankets so that it is a nice cozy place where she can go and take time where it is quiet. To help make it personal to your child you can have them help you decorate the space and give you some ideas to add. My daughter loves looking at pictures so we added a photo album full of pictures of the whole family.

3. Encourage Creativity

This can be writing, drawing, or building with blocks. The important thing is to find something they really enjoy doing. Then add that to their personal space so they can use it to help them relax. My daughter is really into drawing pictures so she has a notebook and a pencil in her personal space.

4. Books

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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

It is important to provide options for your child. This helps them feel like they are in control of something. Even when they feel like they can’t control their emotions at that moment they know that they can control what they do when they go to their personal space. Books are a great option to provide to your child. Whether they can read or not they are calming and it helps encourage a love for reading.

5. Sensory Items

Sensory items are a great tool to use to help your child calm down. There are some great DIY calming bottles and recipes to make slime. These are not only great items to put in your child’s personal space but they could come in handy if you are out and about they are struggling to manage their emotions.

 

6. Give them space

When your child is in their personal space cooling off it is important to let them be. They can’t process their thoughts if you constantly go in and bother them. If you are worried about them then peak in and check on them then walk right back out. They will tell you when they are ready. My daughter will go up to her room and cool off and within ten minutes she will back down ready to talk.

7. Talk to them

After they finish cooling off take that opportunity to talk to them. Ask them how they were feeling and what made them upset. Help them process through the situation. Tell them how proud you are that they used their strategies and took the time to cool off before getting really upset.

8. Talk to their teacher

If you are concerned about the way they handle their emotions then reach out to their teacher. Find out if they are also getting easily upset at school as well. Ask the teacher if there are strategies that they can use at school to help them manage their emotions. With my daughter, the teacher reached out to me about it. She made the suggestion that my daughter sees the guidance counselor and talk about different feelings. I thought this was a great idea. She also explained to me how during class she gives her breaks when she can see the emotions building up. It made me feel better that I wasn’t the only one noticing it and that the teacher wanted to help her deal with different situations appropriately.

As a parent, it can be very stressful when your child is getting upset and you can not even talk to them. When this happens remember to breathe as well. The worst thing we can do is get upset with them and make them more confused. When they are taking a break it is okay for you to go take a break too.

Teaching our children strategies helps to make them more independent and helps them manage stress better. We can’t always be there when they are struggling but we can prepare them with the skills that they need to get through it.

Comment below with different strategies your child uses to help them manage their feelings.

Elf on the Self Calendar-Free PDF Download

Elf on the Self Calendar-Free PDF Download

Are you ever getting ready for bed and then realize that you didn’t get the elf on the shelf ready for the next day? Then when you realize, you can’t come up with anything fun.

I have created a calendar to help you, busy moms, out. I like to plan activities that we can do as a family. I know how busy weeknights can be so I planned the activities for the weekend. Mondays are especially busy for us so I picked out books for us to read on those nights. I will put the books out with the elf so it looks like he picked out the books and then that night before bed we will read the books together. Each night I like to leave a little note from the elf as well.


I have provided a Christmas list PDF and a Letter to Santa PDF that you can use for those activities. If you do not want to download them and print them off then you can easily have them write them out on a piece of paper.

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Click here for your free download

If you decide to participate you can take pictures and upload them to Instagram and tag me @mommywonderwoman3. I would love to see how you add your creative touch to them.

 

How to potty train your toddler in one weekend

How to potty train your toddler in one weekend

Potty training can be such a dreadful part or motherhood. The accidents and the number of methods were the most overwhelming part for me. I found this great method that worked when I potty trained my oldest child and I am going to share it with you.

My daughter was fascinated with the potty when she was around a year old. I let her go on the potty when she wanted but I never pushed it on here. This turned into a short-lived phase.

When I thought that she was ready, I decided to try and get her potty trained and she had no interest in going on the potty at all. I made her a Frozen sticker chart (which happened to be her favorite movie at the time) and she ripped it up. That is when I realized it was going to be a lot tougher than I expected.

My mom gave me this book on potty training over a weekend. I felt really doubtful, but I read it anyways. After I read the book I decided I was going to give it a try. I picked a weekend and made no plans that involved us leaving the house.

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I highly recommend Potty Train in a Weekend by Becky Mansfield. I added a link to the book below. The book goes over potty training around the world, identifying if your child is ready to potty train and the different methods of potty training. Then she goes into the method that she uses and how she accomplished potty training during one weekend.

A fun way to get your child interested in potty training is to read some books about going. This can help them understand what exactly is going on during this unusual weekend for them. Sticker charts can be a great motivator and help to reward them when they do go. For my first child, I used popsicles to reward her and my second child loved getting stickers on her chart. After the weekend there may still be some occasional accidents but not very many. I like to use the training underwear for a while just in case we do have an accident then the mess isn’t as bad.

Remember potty training is just another one of those phases that aren’t as enjoyable as some. Try to make it more enjoyable by really celebrating when your child makes it in the potty. You can make it a fun weekend by planning some activities to do while you are spending that extra one on one time with them. Try to really take advantage of that quality time with your child.

I hope this helps you and your little one out. I know it really made potty training easier on me. Let me know if you have used this method and if it worked for you, or if you had a different method that worked out.

 

Managing the Christmas List Chaos

Managing the Christmas List Chaos

When Christmas starts approaching do you have family members asking for Christmas lists for the kids? Do you forget what you told everyone to get? Well, I have struggled with the same problems for the past 5 years and it has gotten harder to manage with each kid that I had. So I decided to come up with some PDF’s to help organize the Christmas List Chaos.

Master List

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Start by creating a master list for each child. Put their name at the top of the list so that it doesn’t get confusing. I started with my oldest daughter and wrote down everything she needed or wanted. Use the gift column to put the name of the item or a short description. Then there is a column for size so that the family members know exactly what size to get them. The store column is where you can put the store or the website so that your family members can easily find the gifts. This makes their Christmas shopping easier if they know exactly where they need to go. I added a price column so that I can easily see how much each item is when I go to separate the master list.

{               } Christmas List

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This is the document that you will give to each of your family members. You can put their names in between the brackets and your child’s name under that. If it helps you out you can jot down their budget so that you can make sure that you are only putting stuff on their list that fits into their budget. I worked on the Christmas lists one child at a time. I laid out all the Christmas lists so I could see who I had and then I started going through the master list and putting the items on one of the Christmas lists.

This method helps me to make sure that I am not telling two different people to get one item. It can be hard to remember who you told what to. It may seem like a lot of papers but remember you are only keeping the master list.

Christmas List Key

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On this page, you can create a key for your master list. Put the person’s name in the Christmas List column. If you are making a list for grandma and grandpa then put their names in the first column. Then give them a number and put it in the Reference Number column. The Budget column is optional if you want to have a budget to refer back to when you are creating the Christmas lists.

Helpful Hint

Make a family list: If there are gifts that are family gifts, like a zoo pass for the whole family, you can create a family list instead of individual ones.

Here is the free PDF download

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Click here to download your freebie

I hope this helps you get those Christmas lists organized and avoid a bunch of unwanted or duplicate gifts. I know that the fewer toys we get the better, so I have to come up with alternatives for our family members otherwise they have no idea what to get them and then we end up with a bunch of toys.

If this was helpful or if you have some other ideas on how to organize the Christmas list chaos let me know in the comments below.

9 Ideas For a Relaxing Mommy Time

9 Ideas For a Relaxing Mommy Time

 

Even mommy wonder woman needs a break. Being a mom is hard work and it is exhausting. There is no sugar coating the amount of work that goes into parenting. I have created a list of things that you can do to help you relax during your mommy time. But first, you need to make sure you are scheduling that mommy time in. Write it down in your calendar and make it a priority.

1.Yoga/Pilates

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Yoga and pilates are a great way to exercise and relax. This is one of the most relaxing workouts that I have done. I prefer pilates over yoga because I can really feel my muscles burning when I do it. The great thing is that both of these can be done on a tight schedule. For those of you who are only able to get 15 minutes of mommy time to wind down this is a great option for you.

2.Journaling

There are so many options when it comes to journaling. Some types of journaling are a diary, photo journal, bible journal, art journal, and bullet journal. This is a great way for you to get the chance to be creative and get things off your mind.

3.Scrapbooking

This is another creative way to wind down. Crafty people will find it relaxing to cut pictures and paper then lay them all out to create a beautiful page. If you enjoy making scrapbooks but don’t enjoy the clutter of the supplies, there are options for online scrapbooks. You can completely create a scrapbook online and then order the book when you are done.

4.Reading

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Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

I feel like this is a top choice for most moms who are looking to wind down. Grabbing a good book and sitting down to in a nice comfy chair is what a lot of people picture when they think of relaxing. I like to read right after I get into bed to help me wind down so that I can fall asleep.

5.Walking/Jogging

Sometimes a mom needs to get out of the house to relax. I like to get my kids settled into an activity and then go for a walk around the neighborhood. This way my husband is still able to do what he needs, because the kids are busy, and I can still get out for a little bit. I take my dog and its really nice to enjoy the quiet and just think.

6.Learn a New Skill

Find something that you want to learn and find online classes. Here are some ideas of classes you can take online, photography, new languages, writing, sewing, knitting, and more. If there was ever anything you wanted to learn but don’t feel like you have time then use your mommy time. Learning new skills can be relaxing and rewarding.

7.Take a Nap

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

When you schedule mommy time you are free during that time. That means you are free to take a nap if that is what you want to do. If this is what you choose to do during your break then you need to be able to shut your mind off and not think about all the stuff that needs to get done. If you can’t shut your mind off then you will not be able to fall asleep and you won’t get to enjoy that nap.

8.Take a Hot Bath

Sometimes you just need to lock yourself in the bathroom, put some relaxing music on, light some candles, and just soak. You might have to plan an activity beforehand to keep your kids busy so they aren’t bothering you.

9.Get Pampered

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Photo by Adrian Motroc on Unsplash

Getting pampered is a must for any mom. Go to the spa, hair salon, or nail salon. Being a mom can take its toll on your body and being pampered can make you feel like a whole new person.

Just remember to focus on you during that short amount of time that you get to yourself. This time is for you to either reflect on yourself or just try to shut your mind off for a little bit. Keep in mind you can’t be that great mom for your kids if you don’t take care of yourself.

If you have any other ideas for the moms out there let’s hear them. Post your ideas in the comments below.

How to be Accepting of Holidays in Public Schools

How to be Accepting of Holidays in Public Schools

With all these holidays coming up I wanted to discuss a topic that was brought up to me recently. I was talking with a mother who was upset that the public schools were celebrating Holidays. She did not like that the doors in the school were decorated for Halloween.

I totally understand that she does not celebrate the holiday and I am by no means judging her for being upset. What I wanted to discuss is that acceptance goes both ways. I understand that this mom and many other moms do not want their kids celebrating some holidays because it goes against their beliefs. My thing is that nobody is forcing them to celebrate it by decorating their doors.

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Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash

When we get upset about the doors being decorated we are not accepting of other people’s views. If we do that, we are then trying to tell someone else that they can not express their beliefs because they do not go along with her beliefs. To me, that does not sound like acceptance.

The great thing about public schools is that there are so many different beliefs and values and it can really help us teach our kids how to be accepting. If there is a Halloween Party in your kid’s class and you do not celebrate Halloween then why can’t they still have a good time and not dress up? The parties in school are really just meant to give the kids a break and let them have a little fun and there is no reason a kid can’t do that.

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Sometimes this means advocating for yourself. Instead of saying to the teacher I don’t want you to have kids color any Christmas pictures in your classroom because our family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, maybe you can contact the teacher and say hey if you do any Christmas coloring sheets do you think maybe you could add some other options since my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas.

As soon as we tell people that they can’t do something because it doesn’t go along with their beliefs then we are no longer being accepting. Remember we are all moms and we all are working hard to give our kids the best life we can. We don’t all have the same beliefs but we do all love our kids and want what is best for them. Teaching them how to accept other people’s way of life is a great lesson to teach our kids. We can do that by modeling it to them.

I would love to hear some more ideas on how we can encourage acceptance during the Holiday seasons. In the public schools or any aspect of life.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Teaching life lessons to my kids

Teaching life lessons to my kids

The other night at karate there were some pink belts for sale to raise money for breast cancer awareness. My daughter wanted a pink karate belt. I told her if she wanted one she needed to earn it. So, she asked her grandma if she could pick up apples for some money. She went out and picked up 20 buckets of apples and she got $20. She took that $20 and went and got herself a pink karate belt. I am so proud of her hard work and even though it wasn’t perfect (there was some whining at first) she is learning a valuable lesson about hard work.

I don’t want to tell her no she can’t have something because we don’t have the money for extras right now. I want her to learn that if she wants something bad enough, she will have to work hard for it and not accept no.

I know that it is important for kids to understand no. This was not the place for it though. We need to empower our kids to work for what they want and understand that they aren’t going to get everything handed to them.

I am so proud of her for finishing the job and working for something she wanted.

Comment with life lessons you have provided for your child.

The Truth about Toddlers & Night Terrors

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When my daughter was two we went through this horrible phase of night terrors. She would wake up screaming, but she was still mostly asleep. It was such a helpless feeling as a parent, to sit there and watch her and not be able to do anything to make her better.

What a night terror looked like for her

When her night terrors started, they were pretty regular. We would be woken up to her screaming and at first, we would try to hold her and talk to her to try to get her calm. Soon we realized that when we did this she would get louder and more upset. She was mostly asleep when she had a night terror and she never remembered them the next day. After a while, she started to sleepwalk during her night terrors. She would always walk to the same spot, our back door. She would just stand there and scream.

After the night terror

Once the night terror is over then it is important to make them as comfortable as possible. My daughter was still pretty out of it after an episode but she would make requests like wanting milk, her blanket, and her monkey. We tried to have these things ready for her so that she could go right back to sleep and get some rest.

Look for patterns

I read online that night terrors can happen from stress or exhaustion. I looked back at anything stressful that could have caused her to start having night terrors. The only thing that we could think of was trying to wean her off her pacifier. After one night terror, we gave the pacifier back to her, but she was still having the night terrors after that. The night terrors started to fade after several months. She would still have them but they were less often. We noticed that the days that we had a lot going on were usually the days that were followed by a night terror. So we connected her night terrors to being overtired. We tried to make sure that she was getting plenty of sleep and if she was tired we made sure she was able to rest. She is five now and she hasn’t had a night terror in over a year.

How we coped as parents

It was very hard but all we could do was stand there, close to her, and make sure that she did not get hurt when she had an episode. I remember one night when she had a really bad episode and she was flinging herself all over the place she hit her arms and legs on the bed and the walls. I ended up moving her to the floor away from everything just so that she didn’t get hurt. It made me feel better knowing that she didn’t remember any of it and that after she was done with an episode it was over for her. I didn’t have to worry about her being upset the next day or worrying about having another one, because she had no idea what was going on. That was the thing that comforted me the most because it is honestly one of the hardest things to watch as a parent. They look so scared and upset and all you want to do is hold them and comfort them and make it all better, but you can’t.

Remember moms, this is just one phase of their childhood. It will come and it will pass and then there will be a new phase. I hope this post helps you get through those episodes that feel like they go on for hours and to let you know that you are not alone. Being a mom is the best superpower there is.

I would love to hear about your stories and how you got through the night terrors with your toddler. What things did you do to help and what things made their episodes worse?