Countdown to 2019

Netflix has 14 countdown episodes to the 2019 new year so your kids can still go to bed at 7pm. We watched a couple of them and my favorite is still King Julien from Madagascar.

  1. Beat Bugs
  2. True and the Rainbow Kingdom
  3. Spirit Ride Free
  4. Super Monsters
  5. Skylander Academy
  6. Motown Magic
  7. Boss Baby
  8. Tales of Arcadia
  9. Prince of Peoria
  10. King Julien from Madagascar
  11. Alexa and Katie
  12. Fuller House
  13. Pinky Malinky
  14. Larva Island

If you don’t have Netflix, you can try it free for a month. Check it out here. What is your favorite? Happy New Year!!

30+ Kid Resolution Ideas

Last night I was thinking about my New Years resolutions then started to think about my kids. How do I explain New Year resolutions? What are some resolutions that are appropriate for my kids?

When I looked up kids resolutions on Pinterest, I saw this questionnaire by Lauren Conrad.

  • A Bad Habit to brake
  • Destination I’d like to visit
  • I’m going to work harder at
  • Project I’d like to finish
  • Class I’d like to take
  • Spend more time doing
  • Food I want to eat more of
  • I want to wear more

So I asked my daughter these questions and this is her response:

  • A Bad Habit to brake : not using my manners
  • Destination I’d like to visit : Texas or Maine
  • I’m going to work harder at : riding my scooter
  • Project I’d like to finish : my Math Homework on the iPad
  • Class I’d like to take : Acting Class
  • Spend more time doing : hanging out with my family
  • Food I want to eat more of : chocolate ice cream
  • I want to wear more : rainbow clothes

I was surprised my daughter wants to go to Texas or Maine, I believe she picked Texas because of it’s size and she picked Maine because it is the furthest state from us. I’m mostly surprised since I gave her the option to go to Disneyland or a Horse Ranch but these other two state won her over.

I’m happy that she wants to use her manners more, work on her math homework and spend more time with her family.

While looking for other kid new year’s resolution ideas, I stumbled upon this article of 30 new year’s resolution for moms. I loved this article by The Deliberate Mom and I modified the list to work for kid resolutions. Check out the original list here.

ATTITUDE

1- Read one new book per month. This means going to the library once a month.

2- Start a journal of drawings and art projects. We collect many drawing from the kids but storing them in a notebook will help the kids reflect on their progress over the year.

3- The Deliberate Mom suggestions a resolution to ‘stop yelling’ at your kids. Most the time when I yell it is due to my kids not listening. A great resolution is to help your kids listening ability. Natural Born Mom has an easy 5 step solution to help your kids listening and understand skills. Check it out here.

4- Spend more time with your kids. This year I would love to sit or lay down with my kids and just listen to their day. I just finished an article about laying with your kids until they fall asleep isn’t the end of the world. The article really inspired me to listen to my kids more at the end of the day in hopes to build a better parent kid bond. Check out the full article here.

5- Say yes more and no less. I have learned telling my oldest daughter a straight ‘no’ answer without an explanation only causes more resentment and misunderstanding. Explaining why she can’t do something makes no’s easier to understand.

HEALTH

1- Drink more water every day. At my daughter’s school there is a large phrase on the wall in the cafeteria saying you only need water not juice.

2- Decrease your sugar intake. Since my daughter wants to eat more chocolate ice cream, this could be a challenge but leading by example may be a good start.

3- Include more healthy snacks in your diet.

4- Exercise daily. My daughter has running club every Wednesday at school and a fun run in the spring. Making a family goal to prepare and participate in the run together. This will achieve both my daughter’s goal to hangout with the family more my my goal to exercise.

5- Schedule time for parent-child bonding. Whether going on a dinner date or hike in the park, one on one time with each child away from technology really helps open up conversations about your child’s and your life and feelings.

PERSONAL GROWTH

1- Read for at least 20 minutes daily. My daughter’s teacher pushes parents to read to their kids at home everyday. We read daily but making it 20 minutes is hard with picture books. We just discovered the American Girl Welliewisher Books and are enjoying these chapter book with lots of pictures. A great transition to the next level of books.

2- Storytime. Amazon Alexa has a great feature that tells your kids story. The stories are intended for kids aged 5-12 though my 2 year old daughter listens sometimes too.

3- IXL math program is the program my daughter’s school uses to teach math at home. There are lots of fun math games so my daughter doesn’t realize that she is doing math homework.

4- Start and keep a journal. I touched on this above. I’ve seen some parents scan their kids projects and make a book but it is too hard for me to throw away the original for sentimental reasons.

5- Find a new class. Such as attending an acting camp at Redmond Academy of Theatre Arts.

SPIRITUAL

1- Listen to the Bible daily. Amazon Alexa has a skill that you can add to your flash briefing called The Bible.

2- Pray to God daily. This is a great exercise each evening for kids before they go to bed to reflect on their day.

3- Start a thankful everyday dinner activity. The Craft Daily blog has a great printable that asks your kids what they didn’t like, liked and loved about their day. Check it out here.

4- Start a kindness chart. Every day when my kids display an act of kindness, they receive a check on a chart. Not sure what we’ll do at the end of the chart but I feel this seems to be working out better than what I have tried before. Check it out here.

5- Attend Sunday School at Church regularly.

FINANCIAL

1- Feel comfortable talking about money. Teaching by example is a great way to do this as well as letting your kids know that most things cost money.

2- Teaching savings as apart of everyday life is important skill to learn early in life. Just a penny jar and add a coin everyday. Have you seen the shadow boxes that you insert a picture of your savings goal in the back.

3- Selling is a skill. Selling lemonade at the neighborhood garage sale or Girl Scout Cookie Sales is a great skill to learn. Take a look at my daughter’s experience at her lemonade stand from last year.

4- Dedicate at least one weekend every month as a no-spend weekend. I think this is a great idea. Maybe not for kids but for everyone. I tried going a whole month without spending on the extras (hobbies, clothes, etc.) but it was hard. I imagine it was like going through detox. With Amazon Prime at my finger tips, it is so easy to order anything you think you need. If this is something you want to try, I recommend trying zero extra spending in a month with no birthdays or few holidays like March or August.

5- Home Economy. My cousin was telling me about a parenting class her husband and her attended about educating their boys about money. That every chore in the house costs or earnings money. The boys can choose to not do a chore one week but they would have to pay their parents or siblings for doing the chore for them. Nothing is free. I thought it was a great idea for teaching your kids when they get older if they don’t clean their room, they’ll have to pay someone else to do it. I haven’t gone that far with my daughter yet. Maybe when she is a teen or preteen. She and I have a clear understanding that if she doesn’t clean her room, her friends can’t play in her room. Surprising important to a 5 year old to be independent from her mom when her friends are around.

HOUSEHOLD

1- Declutter the playroom once a month. Between Christmas, two birthdays and other holidays, the playroom’s capacity for toys overflows too often. I’m thinking about storing half the toys in the garage then switching them every other month so the toys are fresh and new again. Plus it would be easy to have some of the toys magically be donated to the Goodwill at the same time. This idea kind of goes with number 3.

2- Cleaner and Healthier Habits. My friend just told me that each of her kids have their own hand towel and how just creating a no sharing towels rule that the spread of germ has decreased significantly at their house.

3- For every new toy that comes into your home, take at least one toy and either donated or sell it.

4- Create a place for the kids to exercise. Stretching is a goal for me this year and I hope for my kids too. Making a space we can stretch and exercise together as part of our everyday life will be a hard but beneficial goal this year.

5- Find a permanent place in the house to store and work on homework. Setting up a desk in her room or playroom with a drawer to store writing and coloring supplies.

Hope this gives you some ideas on kid’s resolution. Wishing you a happy and safe New Years Eve.

Merry Christmas Eve

We tucked in the kids while letting them know Santa knows when you’ve been sleeping and he knows when you are awake. Thus my 5 year old daughter goes to tell my husband that he needs to go straight to bed too. No laying around and watching tv. My husband assured her that he would go right to sleep. Believing in Santa is so magical.

Before bed, we put out the cookies on our holiday plate that we made this year at Color Me Mine. Check out my earlier post about this family tradition. My daughter included a note to Santa letting him know she was a good girl this year as well as her sister. Then we picked out an assortment of cookies from the cookie exchange. Now we are ready for Santa to come.

Today and tomorrow are great days to reflect on your holiday season and the fun tradition you created as a family. Here is a review of our holiday season.

  1. Carousel and Winterfest
  2. Teddy Bear Suite
  3. Snowflake Craft
  4. Giving Tree
  5. Cookie Exchange
  6. Holiday Pajamas
  7. Teacher Gifts
  8. Holiday Lights
  9. Holiday Movie
  10. Nutcracker Ballet
  11. Reindeer Feeding
  12. Gingerbread Houses
  13. Baking Treats
  14. Food Bank
  15. Visiting Santa
  16. Make a Plate
  17. 24 Book Advent Calendar
  18. Holiday Cards
  19. Festive of Trees
  20. Snow Day
  21. Gift Exchange
  22. Samaritan’s Purse
  23. Dickens Village
  24. Christmas Tree Decorating
  25. Tree Farm

I am looking forward to tomorrow and seeing my kids joyful faces. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! I would love to hear about your holiday tradition in the comment field below.

Holiday Movie Night

Here are my top ten kid holiday movies that we enjoy watching together. My top 3 movies are Mickey Mouse for my little ones. These movies we own on DVD so we can play them on the DVD player in the car. Each of these movie are over an hour long. Great way to hold the kids attention while doing some holiday traveling.

    Mickey Mouse’s Once Upon A Christmas (*age 3+)
    Mickey Mouse’s Twice Upon A Christmas (*age 5+)
    Mickey’s A Christmas Carol (*age 4+)
    Frozen (*age 5+)
    My Little Pony Best Gift Ever (*unrated)
    The Star (*age 5+)
    The Polar Express Animated Version (*age 6+)
    Arther Christmas (*age 5+)
    Curious George A Very Monkey Christmas (*age 3+)
    Barbie in the Nutcracker (*age 5+)
    PLUS Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer (*age 3+) – this movie isn’t quite a hour but I thought I would included anyways.
  • Is there a kids holiday movie you love to watch during this festive season? Message me. I’m always looking for new material.
  • *all age recommendations are based on the website Common Sense Media.
  • 24 Books Until Christmas

    If you are looking for advent calendar ideas, I know a lot of people who wrap 24 books and open one a night leading up to Christmas. Here are 24 books we have collected over the years that I would recommend to read to kids of all ages.

    1. Christmastime Is Here! -If you are looking for new Christmas Traditions, this book has great ideas just take a look at the flaps. Open a flap and find someone visiting Santa’s Claus or sledding or shopping for gifts. Fun Christmas Activities.
    2. Little Bear’s Big Adventure by Sarah Phillips and Clare Fennell – This Book comes in a 4 pack and is a new addition to our collection. Baby bear has a snow filled adventure.
    3. The Lights of Christmas by Barkan and Brassard – one of my new favorites. I love the lights so do the kids. Very creative placement of lights on each illustration.
    4. Snowflake Day by Daniel Tiger – Good Book with a good message. It isn’t about Christmas but about a snowflake day and show. Prefect gift for anyone who loves Daniel Tiger.
    5. A Loud Winter’s Nap by Katy Hudson – Not Christmas related but fun book about a turtle who just wants to take a nap though things keep getting in his way.
    6. The Polar Bear Who Saved Christmas by Fiona Boon and Clare Fennell – When a polar bear wonders into Santa’s workshop, he findS a way to help save Christmas from a big disaster.
    7. Where is Baby’s Christmas Present by Karen Katz – A wonderful book for toddlers. My daughter loves to flip the tabs to see if she found the present.
    8. Anna and Elsa Land of Snow and Ice – Toddler Book with short phrases so she doesn’t get bored and what girl doesn’t like Anna and Elsa.
    9. Counting Christmas – Another book by Karen Katz. Each page illustrates fun holiday activities that counting down from 10 to 1.
    10. The Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas – A Book I remember from childhood. The poky little puppy gets into more trouble on his first Christmas. Very cute.
    11. Clifford’s Christmas by Norman Bridwell – Great story how Clifford saves Santa.
    12. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – Classic story about Rudolph. Sometimes I skip over the Abominable Snow Monster but it just depends on who I’m reading it to.
    13. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Shines Again – I like this book better than the classic. Good values and Rudolph saves the day as well as himself.
    14. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Peter, Paul and Mary Moore – This Book has the most beautiful drawings. I love reading it just to look at the pictures.
    15. Mickey’s Night Before Christmas – The classic story with a Mickey Mouse twist. Great for kids of all ages.
    16. Paw Patrol The Night Before Christmas by Jason Fruchter – has interactive flaps plus the team saves Santa.
    17. The Animals’ Christmas Eve – The Farm animals tell the story of Jesus in the manger. A wonderful story that includes counting down from 10 to 1 as well.
    18. What’s A Christmas? By Hayley Down and Clare Fennell – Four little penguins help one of Santa’s elf and learn about Christmas along the way.
    19. Born in Bethlehem by Lynn Adams – This Book is very interactive with lots of intersting facts about the Bible. For example, Carpenter in Bethlehem add many things from wood including teeth.
    20. My Christmas Bible Storybook – This book has adorable stories, songs and scriptures about the birth of Jesus. It is designed to help your child understand and celebrate the greatest Gift of all, Jesus. I personally love the songs, like Silent Night and Away in the Manger.
    21. Disney Christmas Storybook Collection – If you are looking for something different and have kids that love to read, this book has 18 Christmas story told from the prospective of Disney Characters. You could really break out this book on day 6 and read 1 story a night until Christmas Eve.
    22. Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg- A classic Christmas story about a boys belief in Santa Claus and his journey to see him.
    23. Count Down To Christmas by Stuart Lynch – A great touchy-feely toddler book with cutouts they love to rub their fingers along. Another counting down book from 10 to 1.
    24. Winter’s Song By Stephanie Spence – Toy and Book comp pack. Talking snowballs are on an adventure to welcome the winter’s chill.

    What is your favorite winter or Christmas themed book for kids?

    Fall Equinox – Book Review

    The Activity

    I love reading a different book each night leading up to a holiday. I normally make a booklist for Christmas but with Halloween just around the corner and to celebrate Fall Equinox today; I made a booklist of 35 fall and Halloween themed children’s books. Starting the list is Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak. It just seemed fitting for today. Many of the books I can find at our local library.

    1. Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
    2. On the Farm by David Elliott
    3. Strega Nona’s Harvest by Tomie dePaola
    4. Leaves by David Ezra Stein
    5. Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
    6. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
    7. We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
    8. We Gather Together by Wendy Pfeffer
    9. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
    10. the Poky Little Puppy and the Pumpkin Patch by Diane Muldrow
    11. Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
    12. The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin by Stan and Jan Berenstain
    13. Curious George Goes to a Costume Party by Margret and H.A. Rey
    14. The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin by Sonali Fry
    15. Minnie’s Costume Contest by Disney Junior
    16. The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano
    17. Marley and the Runaway Pumpkin by John Grogan
    18. Pipes the Pumpkin Fairy by Tim Bugbird
    19. Carl’s Masquerade by Alexandra Day
    20. Pete the Cat Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean
    21. Mickey’s Halloween by Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
    22. One Hungry Monster by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe
    23. Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
    24. Pumpkin Patch Party by Stephanie St. Pierre
    25. Duck, Duck, Dinosaur Perfect Pumpkin by Kallie George
    26. Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma by David Soman and Jacky Davis
    27. Maisy’s Trick or Treat by Lucy Cousins
    28. Trick or Treat Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
    29. Llama Llama Trick or Treat by Anna Dewdney
    30. Fancy Nancy’s Ghostly Halloween by Disney Junior
    31. Peanuts Happy Halloween, Charlie Brown! by Charles M. Schulz
    32. Clifford’s Halloween by Norman Bridwell
    33. My Little Pony Tricks and Treats by D. Jakobs
    34. Sweet and Spooky Halloween by Disney
    35. Have No Fear! Halloween is Here! by Tish Rabe

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