4 Ways to Find Time For Yourself Once You Have Kids

Between planning meals, cleaning, and homeschooling, life with kids can be pretty overwhelming. And since the coronavirus pandemic began, having the house to yourself has become a rare luxury.  Being able to find time for yourself is harder now than ever.

Although kids can make it feel like an impossible feat, a little space can bring you the stress relief you deserve (and need!). While we know how much you love those rugrats, we’ve compiled a list of four tips to help you create your much-needed “me time.”

Mom Time

#1 Pencil Yourself In
Our schedules fill up quickly, and soon they become so hectic that we’re unable to plan things even weeks in advance. When you can’t find time for yourself, sometimes you need to make time for yourself without the kids. Take a look at your calendar and see if there’s a weekend (or even just an evening) that their grandparents or a babysitter could watch them.

Frequently scheduling short intervals of alone time can also help you recharge and feel less burned out. Set your kids up with some activities so that they can entertain themselves for a bit while you get time to do your own thing.

#2 Maximize Down Time
There are no days off as a mom. So when you finally get the house to yourself, you might be tempted to check more things off your endless to-do list or catch up on some housework. Instead, start using this time to focus on yourself and indulge in the things you don’t get to do with the kids around.

Here are some simple ways you could treat yourself:

  • – Check out that new show you’ve been dying to watch.
  • – Practice centering yourself with this mindfulness journal that gives you prompts (so you don’t have to do all the thinking for a change!)
  • – Indulge in a tasty snack or dessert.
  • – With all the hard work that goes into being a mom, it’s important to take time to reward yourself every now and again.

#3 Make Use of Bedtime
Depending on how old your kids are, once they go to sleep you’ll usually have a little extra time in the day before it’s your bedtime. You might normally spend your evenings getting ready for the next day, but they’re a great opportunity to unwind if you can effectively manage your time.

When you’re finally ready for bed, fall asleep faster with these powerful CBD gummies. They’ll also help you wake up feeling more energized.

#4 Pursue a Hobby
When you’re always on the go, it’s difficult to declutter your mind and just do something fun for a change.

Try taking up a new hobby or getting back into something you used to enjoy. Not only are hobbies fun, but they also have proven benefits for your health and well-being. Dedicate some time each day to doing something for you, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

If you’re not sure where to begin, try out one of these activities:

  • – Crochet – You could learn how to make your own winter hats, blankets, or anything else you set your mind to. This crochet starter kit has everything you need to begin your first project. Let your creativity drive you!
  • – Read – Discover a good book and get lost in another world for a while.
  • – Draw – Get out a piece of paper and a pen and try doodling. You don’t have to be an artist to have fun with it.
  • – Do a Puzzle – Try this positivity puzzle and let your mind wander while the pieces come together before your eyes.

Keep trying new things until you find a hobby you love. There’s something out there for everyone!

Make the Most of Your Time
No matter how busy your kids keep you, it’s important to take time alone so that you can recharge. Take advantage of the rare opportunities for alone time when they present themselves, but also make sure to schedule it in when you need a breather.

Family Time

With these four tips, you’ll not only start making more time for yourself, but you’ll also be able to use that time in the way that’s best for you.

Amazon Book Coupon – Save $5 Off Of $20

This post contains affiliate links.
Book Coupon

My favorite coupon is back, the Amazon Book Coupon!!  It will save you $5 off a $20 book purchase.

This is a great coupon any day but it’s especially nice now because there are already so many great books already marked down on Amazon.  For full details on this promotion click here.

Last week, Amazon hosted a buy 3 books for the price of 2 sale (which is sadly over) and I scoured their list of included books for my favorite books.  These are books that I either personally own, have read and loved, have bought for others because I enjoyed it so, or they’re on my book wish list.  The list covers both children and adult books.  Even though that sale is over, if you’d like to view that list you can see that by clicking here.

Speaking of lists on Amazon, you can find my Open Ended Toy Play List here.

 

Charlotte Mason Quotes + Free Printable

This post contains affiliate links.

An Observant Child Charlotte Mason Quote

Charlotte Mason is one of my educational heroes.  I love learning so much as I’m slowly making my way through her volumes.  You can check them out Charlotte Mason’s volumes here on Amazon.  We all need a little motivation from time to time and Charlotte Mason always rejuvenates me.  She was quite an inspiring lady who was far ahead of her time!  I’ve been collecting several great Charlotte Mason quotes from her as I’m going through them and this one especially stuck out to me.  I knew I wanted it to be in my homeschool room so I made this printable.  I’m sharing it here today in case anyone else would like to have this sweet reminder in their home too.  I know the pumpkins are a little out of season (I made this in the fall) but I think I’ll keep mine up year round…till I decide to replace it with my next Charlotte Mason quote.

May we all put our children in the way of things worth observing.

You can click the link below to download this pdf.

An observant child should be put in the way of things worth observing.” -Charlotte Mason

Here are some other of my favorite Charlotte Mason Quotes that I’ve come across so far.

 

“Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend…”-Charlotte Mason

That one is convicting, isn’t it?

 

“The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days.” -Charlotte Mason

Also convicting but it simultaneously motivates me to step it up.

 

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking – the strain would be too great – but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest.” -Charlotte Mason

Life should be all living.  I think of this quote just about daily.

 

“Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” -Charlotte Mason

I do love this one too!

 

“The question is not, — how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education — but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?” -Charlotte Mason

How large is the room?  I love it!!  What a great view of education.

 

“The most common and the monstrous defect in the education of the day is that children fail to acquire the habit of reading.” -Charlotte Mason

Yes!  It’s a great habit that is worth the investment.

Homeschool Physical Education Ideas

There are so many ways to sneak physical education into your homeschool day. Whether you’re looking to get super active or have low impact physical activity, these 5 homeschool physical education ideas will get the kids out and active before you know it. Each of these ideas will help you satisfy the phys. ed. part of your homeschool curriculum.  This post contains affiliate links.

Homeschool Physical Education Ideas

Homeschool Physical Education Ideas

Nature Journal

– Hiking

Get outdoors and go on a hike with your kids for homeschool phys. ed. There are many hiking trails all over the states for your kids to enjoy. There’s a bonus with this physical education option, your kids can do some nature journaling while out on the hiking trails too.  CamelBak Mini Mule Kids Hydration Backpacks are great to keep kids hydrated while on the trail.

– Swimming

If you don’t own a swimming pool, have no worries, you can easily sneak some swimming in for your homeschool physical education by going to the community pool, a local river, or pond. These options for swimming will provide your kids with some fun too.  (Check out our Puddle Jumper review if you have young kids)

– Old School Games

Teach your kids to enjoy some of your old school outdoor games like four square, capture the flag or kick the can. This is a fun way to give your kids some knowledge of how you enjoyed physical education as a child all the while helping them get their homeschool phys. ed. completed.

– Obstacle Course

Have your kids build their own indoor or outdoor obstacle course. This is a great way to promote creative thinking and problem-solving skills all the while giving your kids a way to get their homeschool physical education completed during your homeschooling days.  Our favorite go-to obstacle courses usually include a balance beam, walking down a wedge ramp, crawling through a tunnel, walking across stepping stones, climbing up our Nugget couch tower, and jumping into a pile of bean bags and pillows.

– Workout DVDs

Lastly, if all else fails and it’s too rainy or gloomy to do any of the above homeschool physical education ideas, you can pull out the workout DVDs. Have your kids do a daily workout to get active and in shape during their homeschool day with their favorite workout DVDs.  If you don’t have any DVDs YouTube has a ton of workout ideas for kids.  There’s even adults breaking a sweat dancing to Frozen songs.

Finding unique ways to create and plan your homeschool phys. ed. curriculum is one of the best parts of being a parent who teaches their kids. These ideas will come in handy when you’re at a loss as to what to do for physical education during your homeschool week. There are many ways you can work to develop a homeschool phys. ed. curriculum. This is quite honestly one of the easier parts of homeschooling your kid because we all know how to get up, get active, and have fun!

 

Really Fun Family Games

Really Fun Family Games

My family loves family games, we love them!!  We usually play a game every free evening we have, we play games in between church on Sunday, and the kids and I usually play a game while we eat breakfast and lunch.  Because I have researched and tried out many, many games I thought it would be fun to share my favorite ones with you.  I hope you enjoy our list of really fun family games!  This post contains my affiliate links.

My kids are currently ages 6 & 8 years old but many of these games are great for adults alone.  These are games meant to be enjoyed by the whole family, not just endured by the adults.  There are many examples of those types of games that I could list but I’m sure you can think of those on your own. On the other hand, these games here will keep your mind thinking, have the kids problem solving, and doing math without realizing it.  There are so many benefits to family games but we can save that for another post.  Now, onto the list!

(These aren’t listed in any particular order)

Half Truth Game

  • –  Half Truth – This game just came in the mail this week and already it is a favorite of adults and kids alike.  It’s a trivia game created by Ken Jennings (yes, that one) and Richard Garfield (legendary game designer).  It’s touted as “The party game that makes you feel smart!”  I can’t say that happened for me, who’s awful at trivia, but it was very fun!  With the way it’s set up you can still win without knowing aaaalll. the. things.  Even I won once!  It’s very fun and promotes good conversation.  Here’s the link to the Half Truth Kickstarter program where you can find more information.
  • Lattice Hawaii
  • –  Lattice Hawaii – This is a game of strategy that is easy to learn and exciting to play.  Our children picked up on it very quickly and my son (we play as a team) often notices things that I’ve missed.  The beautiful acrylic stone pieces were a big hit with my kids.  This game is for 2-4 players (or teams if you want to play teams) but if you want to include even more people you can just buy a second board and lay them beside each other.  You can play on both boards!  How fun would that be?  This game is boasts that it takes “3 minutes to learn, 20 minutes to play, a lifetime to master.”  It received the 2019 Game of the Year Award.  I bet you’ll like it if you give it a try.  You can buy this game on Amazon here.
  • Sorry! Game
  • –  Sorry! – Yes, this is an old game. A classic game.  It’s okay as it is but hear me out, there is an alternate team version in the directions and it is a game changer!  Two colors play against two other colors.  When it’s your turn you can either move your own color or your teammates color depending on which move is more advantageous.  It adds strategy to the game and makes it so much better.  Sorry is a great game for little ones to work on their counting skills.  There are so many new versions of Sorry! and I haven’t loved them near as much as this classic team version.  I’m sure you have this game at home so give it a try.  If not, it’s available here on Amazon.
  • PayDay Game
  • –  Pay Day – This is also an oldie but goodie!  While it does teach that debt is good (sorry, Dave Ramsey!) it does make kids add and subtract large numbers.  Plus, you can also use it to teach kids how to count money back to someone.  It’s a game our whole family loves.  It’s mostly the luck of the dice along with some decisions that could sway the game.  It’s a keeper!  I have the version my parents owned but I recently gifted a newer version and it’s very very similar.  I’m thankful that they didn’t update it like some other games have done.  If you don’t already own it you can check out both versions on Amazon.  Here’s the retro version and the newer version.
  • Enchanted Forest
  • –  Enchanted Forest – This is an enchanting (ha!) little game.  It’s a game of memory with a little strategy thrown in for good measure.  It’s recommended for ages 4-10 but I tell you it is challenging for adults to remember what the kids easily can.  It’s a family favorite of ours.  You can check out more details here on Amazon.
  • No Stress Chess
  • –  No Stress Chess – This game not only teaches kids chess in a no stress way but it makes it fun for experienced players to play with beginner players without having to let the learner win.  It begins as a card based game, everyone draws a card on their turn and finds a piece to make that move.  This keeps experienced players handicapped and teaches beginners how to move.  After that you can play with a hand of cards while the experienced player keeps drawing cards.  Eventually you can progress to moving any piece you want while the experienced player still draws or has a hand of cards.  It’s one of our favorites!  You can find it here on Amazon for under $15 right now. (Prices always change so double check before checking out.)
  • Ticket to Ride First Journey
  • –  Ticket to Ride First Journey – This is based on the award winning game, Ticket to Ride.  2-4 players use cards to help make their way across America.  My kids have learned about different destinations and have enjoyed forming different strategies to win.  You’re supposed to hold your cards up to keep others from seeing but when we started this a year ago we played for many months with them down while helping each other make their best path possible.  (Forgive the bad pictures.  We often play games in our basement and it’s dark and decorated in 70’s decor. 🙂  Also, I’m realizing while taking these pictures that I play most games upside down.  How did that happen? lol)  You can also find this game on Amazon too.
  • Quixx
  • –  Quixx – This is the game my family plays probably ten times a day.  To put it mildly, it is a really fun family game!  We’ve been on a Quixx kick for about a month and it’s still going strong.  We ran through the cards that came with the box and started laminating them and using wet erase markers to keep score.  This is so fun!  It’s a dice game that has two white dice and four colored dice.  It’s simple to play but has just the right balance of strategy and luck to make it a game you can play over and over again.  I started playing on a team with my 5 year old, who is now 6 and after a few months he can play on his own.  This game has helped both of my kids’ addition skills…and my son’s handwriting as he writes his name at the top of the board every game we play.  Oh and this is the game that we play during meals because we don’t have to worry about food damaging the game and we can go at a slower pace.  You can find this game on Amazon here.  Quixx also has a dry erase version on Amazon here.
  • Dominoes Mexican Train
  • –  Dominoes – Dominoes always seemed like a so-so game to me but once my husband introduced me to Mexican Train I was hooked.  Click here to see the set I have.  It’s a double 12 set and comes with the starter and little trains. I’ve seen other folks’ dominoes since we bought ours and I have to say that I like ours best.  It’s a good size, the pips are large and have bright colors, and the dominoes are smooth and have a good weight to them.  If you already have a set of dominoes, this add-on train set is cheap and is fancy…like the metal pieces on monopoly games.  Plus it comes with the middle piece (train station? hub?) and with a score pad.  We’ve played this so much that my husband created a google sheets scoresheet complete with graphs.  I love him and his nerdery!  You or your kids might also enjoy a dominoes tray so you don’t keep on accidentally knocking down your train and showing your cards, so to speak.  I think I’ll add a few sets of those to our Christmas wish list.
  • Otrio
  • –  Otrio – This is such a fun game for kids of all ages.  We’ve given these out as gifts to numerous people.  It’s basically an advanced tic tac toe where you can win multiple ways.  Three of a kind, three in a row in ascending or descending order.  We bought this three years ago when my son was three and he’s always played with us.  To begin with he would just move a piece randomly and throw off our strategy and occasionally luck into winning but now that he’s six he has grasped the strategy and can outwit some adults.  This is a bit more pricier than some of the games I’ve recommended but it’s well made.  The wood base is thick and the pieces are thick plastic.  You can check out the set here on Amazon.
  • Sleeping Queens
  • –  Sleeping Queens – This is a very cute game, well thought out by it’s child creators.  My kids love it and could play it endlessly but it’s one that I’m done after a few games….but that’s not to say it isn’t worth owning.  It helps the kids with their addition skills because you could play one card at a time or if you have, say a 3, a 4, and a 7 you can play them all because 3+4=7.  I can’t say enough about how cute it is.  The illustrations are great and even though we’ve owned the game for 6 months, we’re still noticing new things on the cards that we didn’t before.  You can buy out Sleeping Queens on Amazon.
  • Catan Junior
  • Catan Junior – This is a great junior version of the popular game Catan.  The picture I pulled from Amazon doesn’t accurately show how lovely this game is.  The die is a pearly, shimmery light blue and the colors of the boats and lairs are truly nice unique game colors (like a rich navy and an ivory).  This is a game we can all enjoy as a family.  There’s strategy in attaining the materials you need and you can kind of even form an alliance with another player to help further your chances of victory.  You can check it out more details on Amazon.
  • Quirkle
  • –  Qwirkle – This is a tried and true game that many families probably already have or have heard of.  On Amazon it has 5 stars and over 5,000 reviews!  That’s quite impressive.  Both of our kids love this game!  I would say our whole family does but my husband hates losing this game to our kids. 🙂 Just kidding, he’s a good sport!  This game teaches spatial recognition and problem solving.  It’s easy to learn but still challenging.  It’s another one of those games that you can play over and over again!  You can see it here on Amazon.
  • Klask
  • –  Klask – This last game I’ll mention (well for now), isn’t a board game per se and it’s not a small game but it is so fun that you’ll find room for it in your game closet.  Klask is like a simple game of hockey but it’s played with magnetic pieces that you operate under the table while trying to knock the ball into your goal.  I’m pleased to tell you that while looking up this game on Amazon I’ve found that the price has significantly decreased (yay!) and they now also have a 4 person game.  Nice!  Now I have another item to add to my Christmas wish list!  We’ve also given this game as a gift before.  Which makes me realize that we give games as gifts quite a lot. 🙂  You can check out the two player game here and the four player game here.

There you have it, that’s the list of our favorite really fun family games.  We have a few other dozen that we like but there are our top games that we keep coming back to.  Maybe one day I’ll make a list of those other games too.  If you have a game that your family enjoys I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

I can’t leave without recommending two games that are on my wish list.  I’ve heard such good things about them that I can’t wait to order them to play with my family.

Pandemic

The first is Pandemic, and yes, given the nature of the Coronavirus circulating now, it makes me want to hold off on getting it at the moment….or maybe it should be a reason to get it.  I haven’t made up my mind on that yet.  You can read all about it here on Amazon.

Trekking the National Parks

The second game on my to-buy list is Trekking the National Parks.  It’s not only has over a thousand good reviews on Amazon but is the winner of the MENSA and PARENT’S CHOICE AWARD.  The makers of this game recently started a Kickstarter to fund their next game, Trekking the World.  I can’t wait to try both of these games.  Any game that combines geography and is fun to play is a winner in my book!

Free Kid Activities for Those Home from the Coronavirus

Free Activities for Kids Coronavirus

I’m seeing questions like “what do I do now?” “how do I keep my kids entertained and learning all day?” all over Facebook groups.  Here’s some advice that I can share from my years of homeschooling…

(If you saw this post on Facebook you can skip a little and scroll down below the next picture)

 

-Breathe.  Enjoy your kids and don’t try to make every activity educational. Nature walks, board games, and other family activities can be enriching on their own.

– Read. My daughter, who helped me make this list said to write LOTS! Poetry, biographies, books of strange animals, and read anything your kids are interested in or you want them to be.

– Play.  Build a fort and play in it with them.  Play make believe.  Play board games.  Play baseball. Hopscotch, bridge building competitions, make something out of a box, paper airplanes, or make a homemade marble run.

– Draw or paint a card for a loved one who is sick or feeling discouraged. Chances are you know someone who could use a little cheering up. Have them write a note in it or copy a poem if they’re younger.

– Be outside. Hang that bird feeder you’ve been meaning to for months (oh that’s probably just me), draw with chalk, build an outdoor fort with sticks and rubber bands, make a small garden, or lay down and watch the clouds in the day and the stars at night.

-Watch YouTube videos together to learn to do something new together.  Learn to draw, paint, crochet, hang photos on a gallery wall, build a bird house, or install a bidet (that’s also what I’ll be doing! Hey, if toilet paper is scarce, why not give it a try? Affiliate link: Get an inexpensive bidet attachment here)

– Guide kids to play with the toys they already have (and play with them sometimes too!). Legos, Kinex, dolls, etc.  Think old Christmas gifts.

– Cook together.

– Last but not least, reach out to your homeschooling mama friends.  They know your kids and could probably recommend some great personal ideas that would be beneficial to your family.

– You know your kids, enjoy this unexpected time to slow down and be with them.  Do the assigned work that they need to but other than that, don’t stress.  No schedule is needed, no rushing, just being.  You’ve got this!! Oh and yea, it’s okay to stay in pjs longer than usual. 🙂

Free Kids Activities

Here’s my list of ideas that you can do to have fun with your kids while they’re out of school.  Some affiliate links are included.

      1. Plan a treasure hunt (The good old fashioned way is fun but if you happen to have The Family Treasure Hunt Game it’s even easier!)
      2. Practice story telling
      3. Give your kids are supplies and let them go
      4. Plan a meal together
      5. Play Doh
      6. Jigsaw puzzles
      7. Origami
      8. My son wanted me to add “have a conversation.” I love that he values the times where we talk about important things.
      9. Make a craft. Pinterest is your friend.  Check out my Crafts for Kids Pinterst Board.
      10. Hide Easter eggs.  So what if it’s a little early, they’ll be well practiced when Easter comes. 🙂 Color Changing Flower Experiment
      11. Do fun science experiments that you loved as a child. Erupting volcano, disappearing egg shell, color changing flower experiment, etc.
      12. Build a bridge or building (or a city!) with toothpicks and marshmallows.
      13. Find unfinished books of sudoku, word search or crosswords to work on.
      14. Tea parties are a favorite around here.  Add candles, a little poetry or any reading, something warm to drink and something to munch on.  Very relaxing.
      15. Make up your own games together. Board games are super fun and challenging to create.
      16. Make up your own floor games with painters tape.  Hopscotch is only the beginning of the possibilities.  Kids are so creative that I’m sure they’ll have more ideas for this that we will.  If they don’t, building a lot of roads is always a sure fire way to have fun with cars.
      17. Watch virtual tours of museums online.  How cool is that?! You can find all twelve of them by clicking here. Daily Writing Prompts
      18. Write a story together. The Brave Writer (Which I LOVE!) is graciously giving away her Daily Writing Tips (100 prompts) for FREE through the end of April. You can find those by clicking here.
      19. Illustrate the story you wrote together.
      20. The Seattle Symphony will offer “free video broadcasts and livestreams to share strength, comfort and unity with our community in Seattle and around the world during this uncertain time.” You can find that on their Seattle Symphony YouTube channel here.
      21. Go on a nature walk and bring items home.
      22. Create an obstacle course.
      23. Listen to audiobooks together.  Here are some of our favorite family friendly audiobooks.
      24. Make homemade salt dough.
      25. Create a family summer bucket list.
      26. Hoopla/Overdrive/Libby These apps connect to your local library account and depending on where you live offer free ebooks and/or audiobooks.  Free books!
      27. Play dominoes (we love the mexican train game) or set up and knock down dominoes.
      28. HowToHomeSchoolForFree.com has a huge list of free resources to make our own lapbooks. Click here to access those.
      29. Beginning on March 16th, the Metropolitan Opera offers free streaming of it’s Live in HD series for the duration that it’s closed.  The performances, originally captured as live broadcasts in movie theatres worldwide, will begin at 7:30 PM on the company’s website.  The nightly series will be made available for free for 20 hours following the initial stream.  You can find out more information here. Mixing Pink and Purple Slime
      30. Make slime. Relax, vinegar will take it out of almost anything…everything we’ve tried it has. Check out our tried and true recipes: blue ocean slime, cotton candy pink slime, & silver and gold foil slime.
      31. Go and enjoy the ice cream truck when it comes around. (Why yes, it did just come by our neighborhood)
      32. Curriculum Associates has free worksheets for students to work.  You can narrow their vast selection down by grade and subject.  I’m not big on worksheets but they’re handy on occasion. You can find that link here.
      33. Print photos and make a scrapbook or photo album. (Another thing I’ve put off for far too long.)
      34. Play outdoor games together. Bocce ball, badminton, etc.
      35. Toss the frisbee.
      36. Fly a kite…or make a kite and then fly it!
      37. Exercise together.  Maybe try a new form of exercising and watch a YouTube tutorial for it.
      38. Make your own candles if you have the supplies or if you have a candle, a napkin, and a Cricut Mini Easy Press you can make this decorated candle. I still haven’t made a full tutorial of this craft.  That was actually on my to-do list today but I thought this post would be more beneficial to everyone. Tanagrams
      39. Play with tanagrams.
      40. Plan your next vacation.
      41. Depending on your kid’s ages and how sensitive they are, you could research the coronavirus.
      42. AmblesideOnline is a free curriculum using the Charlotte Mason philosophy. I absolutely adore them and use a lot of their suggestions each year. They put together a new great resource for parents who have suddenly found themselves doing school at home.  They have so many freebies and great stuff packed into this page that I think everyone should check it out.  I don’t want to copy anything from them so head over there and see it all.  ****If you click one link on this page, let this be it.****  Go here.
      43. If they can already write well, see if they can write with their non-dominant hand.  Or backwards, or upside, or backwards and upside down.  My amazing husband can do this and it blows my mind.
      44. Watch and listen for birds and see if you can identify any. iNaturalist app
      45. Use the iNaturalist app to identify any mushrooms, plants, or animals you may see while exploring outside but don’t know anything about. (Here’s the link to it for Apple devices and Google devices.
      46. Measure things with a ruler, or tape measure.  (Maybe if you’ve been wanting to repaint a room measure and figure to see how much paint you’ll need)
      47. Kahn Academy offers many free classes online that you could take advantage of.
      48. Tapestry of Grace is a curriculum you can use from Kindergarten through Grade 12.  I’ve heard that it’s great for kids of multiple ages to study together too.  They offer 2  free 3 week samples on their website—one covering Ancient Egypt and the other covering Colonial America.
      49. Teach your kids about money, using a budget, the economy.  There is so much I wish I learned at a young age and this is a great chance to instill good ideals about money.
      50. Readtheory.org is a free program that tests your child’s current reading level and then generates short passages with quizzes.  It will track their progress, and they can even earn badges. This is great for elementary school all the way through grade 12.
      51. Make a family Book of Centuries.  I’ve wanted to make one of these for years but my profectionist side held me back until this year.  It’s such a great way for kids (my myself!!) to make connections across time periods.  Simply Charlotte Mason has amazing resources for the Charlotte Mason mama and I adore all that I’ve used from them…and I hope to use more this coming year!  They thoroughly explain what a book of centuries is, how to use it, and have a free printable to get you started.
      52. Make a rain stick or sensory bottle.
      53. Work together to complete a household task you’ve been putting off.  I don’t know about you but this could keep my family busy for months. Nature Journal
      54. Give nature journaling a try.  This is a picture of my daughter’s entry this week.
      55. Scholastic is developing fabulous videos and worksheets for Pre-K-6th+.  From what I’ve glanced at it looks very nice and free.  So far they only have 5 days worth of content but are working on 15 more days worth of content.  You can check those out here.
      56. The San Diego Zoo has a well organized kid’s section with well produced animal videos, animal crafts and coloring sheets. You can see more for yourself here.
      57. You can explore Yellowstone National Park online by virtually touring some of the main attractions around the park.  I’m personally very excited about this one!  I’ve always wanted to visit there and this will help me feel like I’m there.   You can check it out here.
      58. You can explore the surface of Mars with the Curiosity Rover.  They’re updating it now but you can still view the 360 mode and it is incredible!  I can’t wait to show it to my kids tomorrow!  You can see it for yourself here.
      59. Khan Academy Kids is a free app designed for kids up through the 1st grade.  It has engaging songs, lessons, and stories to read!
      60. If you have a clear night sky you’ll want to play with the free app, Night Sky.  It lets you point your phone any direction toward the sky and helps you be able to recognize the constellations in that are visible in that part of the sky.  You can pull stars and planets out of the sky to explore in more detail too!
      61. I just learned about this YouTube channel but from the couple of videos I watched, it looks like a good one. The Artful Parent creates simple but intriguing art projects for kids.  These might be a little more involved than you’re prepared for so screen the videos before watching them with your kids.  You can see their channel here.
      62. If you want to infuse your house with some fun kid’s music that doesn’t drive you bonkers….I have the miracle solution for you!  Justin Robert’s & the Not Ready for Naptime Players are fantastic. I own all of their cds and have given away probably 20 of his cds as gifts through the years.  The music is catchy and the lyrics are insightful, witty, and will make you look back at your own childhood fondly.  I can’t recommend him enough.  You can check them out here on YouTube or buy their cds on Amazon…oh and not all but several of his songs are on Amazon’s Alexa.
      63. Babble Dabble Do is a Youtube channel with a bunch of art, science and upcycling projects.  I think my kids will love their battery powered ballerina.  All the videos I’ve seem are well done and the channel provides links to further instructions and a few printables.

 

I’ll keep adding to this list and I would love to hear your recommendations.  If you’ve found this post helpful please pin it or share it so others may enjoy it too.  Thank you!

Free Kid Activities Coronavirus

 

Family-Friendly Ford Flex Features

This post is brought to you by FullertonFord.com.

The Ford Flex is a pretty solid option for a family vehicle. This popular Ford model vehicle has been used by families who enjoy traveling, have larger family units, and simply want a reliable way to get from Point A to Point B. If you’re in the market for a new family vehicle and are curious about the family-friendly features offered by Ford Flex, then continue reading to learn more about this vehicle.

Family-Friendly Ford Flex Features

Family-Friendly Ford Flex Features

Reasonable Price

The Ford Flex has some pretty awesome pricing for the advanced features you get. Ford was smart with this model that comes in SE, SEL, and Limited options. Each option provides you the most bang for your buck. This makes Ford Flex a reasonably priced family vehicle for the features.

Many Optional Luxuries

I know you may not be thinking about luxuries when it comes to a family-friendly vehicle, but these matters with the Ford Flex. Some of the optional luxuries with Ford Flex include rain-sensing wipers, ventilated front seats, and second-row captain chairs for maximum comfort and safety.

Advanced Flexibility

Since the Ford Flex is shaped similar to a wagon, you know those old family wagon cars you saw in the ’80s driving down the road?! Yes, Ford Flex has advanced flexibility options that you’d typically get in a wagon-style vehicle. With amenity add-ons like a refrigerator and a comfortable third-row seat, this is by far one of the most flexible family vehicles to suit any size family needs.

Generous Cargo Space

Let’s face it, going on family road trips or doing some homeschooling on the road means that you need to have generous space to store supplies. The Ford Flex has generous cargo space allowing your whole family to store their needs out of sight and out of the way.

Safety Features for Family

With safety being a number one concern for families looking for a new family vehicle, Ford Flex has some safety features that will ease your worries. From an optional inflatable second-row seat to ABS, stability control, and multiple airbags, this is a family vehicle that’s equipped to keep your whole family safe during your time in the Ford Flex.

These are just some of the family-friendly features Ford Flex offers. From optional safety additions to add-ons for ease of living on the road during road trips to everything in between, the Ford Flex knows families and wants you to be safe. I hope that this list of family-friendly Ford Flex features has inspired you to take a peek at Ford Flex as an option for your next family vehicle.

How to Not Hate Exercising

Exercising can be a stressful idea to many people. It’s like we know that daily exercise is important but some of those tasks that we find recommended for our daily exercise regimen are ridiculous. Hating exercise is an easy way to get out of maintaining your mission to incorporate exercise into your life.

How to Not Hate Exercising

Start Small

Create an exercise plan that is small. If you really hate exercising then you won’t want to spend an hour every day doing the tasks to get fit. Find a small, simple workout routine that will help you to at least tolerate exercising.

Repeat Daily

Repeat your small routine every day for two weeks. This helps establish the routine and encourage you to continue on as you’re not pushing yourself too physically yet. Two weeks should be a reasonable time to work this small routine into a habit.

Add More

After a couple of weeks have passed add some more tasks into your exercise routine. Try to pick exercises that you enjoy at some level. This helps to keep your mind encouraged on pushing through versus absolutely hating your daily exercise routine.

Play Music

Create a music playlist that keeps your motivation up and your body wanting to move. You should know what genre of music will work best to inspire you to continue on with your daily exercising routine. Change up the music playlist if you grow tired of the original one you created.

Focus on Feeling

Rather than using exercise to look differently, focus on how you want to feel. Exercise is usually something people do to look different but they start to hate the work. When you redirect your focus to how you want to feel, exercise becomes less of a chore as it makes you feel good almost immediately.

Eat Healthier

When you try to eat healthier snack options your mind will be healthier which will help you avoid the thought of hating your daily exercise routine. Eating healthier snacks like veggie sticks throughout your day will help inspire your body and mind to feel good all of the time.

Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore, you can use these tips I shared today to help achieve success in your mission to exercise on a regular basis. When you incorporate music into your routine, start small and work towards feeling better versus looking better, you will soon find that you don’t hate exercising so much anymore.

Why Road Trips are a Good Idea for Families

If you’re looking for a good excuse to go on a family road trip then you’ll enjoy my reasons why this is an excellent idea for families. Today I’m featuring my top favorite reasons why road trips are a good idea for families. This fun-filled option to travel with kids is an excellent way to expand your child’s experiences and intelligence among other things. Enjoy my list of reasons why I think every family should get out there and go on a family road trip this year.  This post is brought to you by FlemingtonDodgeChryslerJeep.com.

Why Road Trips are a Good Idea for Families

Why Road Trips are a Good Idea for Families

Provides Relaxation

Both adults and children these days are full of stress and anxiety. The world is a fast-moving place and daily life can consume even the most optimistic people. Going on a family road trip with kids will provide your family with a much-needed break to get some relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of real-life.

Strengthens Family Bond

Being out on the road with your kids is an excellent way to strengthen your family bond. Spending quality time together discussing new sights and other adventures you experience during your family road trip helps solidify your family bond.

Making Memories

While you can make memories at home, going on a road trip with kids provides a new opportunity to make memories together. There are so many things a family can do on a road trip with kids. You can dine at a new place, see historical landmarks, and experience fun on the road to make new memories.

 Encourages Patience

Going on a family road trip with kids helps establish a deeper level of patience for both kids and adults. Your kids may be antsy to get to the next destination, but soon learn that it takes time to arrive at each location. This helps your kids learn a deeper level of patience that can be used in other areas of life.  (Check out our list of Audiobooks for Road Trips)

Getting Out of Comfort Zone

Kids who grow up going on family road trips are more apt to get outside of their comfort zone. You’ll be experiencing new places, new stops, and perhaps dealing with mishaps along the route. This all provides your kid with experience in getting out of their comfort zone. This skill is a much-needed skill to encourage your kids to live a very fulfilling life and to reach for their dreams in the future.

These are just some of the reasons why road trips are a good idea for families. If you haven’t gone on a road trip with kids, I highly recommend you give it a try. A family road trip helps you getaway to relax, have fun, and make some new memories together before your kids are all grown up.

How to Create a Car Travel Journal With Your Kids

Many parents enjoy traveling with their kids to make memories (road trips can be amazing!! Check out our list of Great American Road Trips), but what are you doing to capture those moments? I think that we often feel our kids will hang onto these memories that we’re making as we travel around with them to see new places, but the reality is sometimes you need a journal to truly capture those traveling moments as a family. If you’re looking for a new journaling idea for homeschool or perhaps you simply want to create an awesome travel journal with your kids, then here are some tips to help you make this happen!  This post is brought to you by Pearsontoyotascion.com.

How to Create a Travel Journal With Your Kids

How to Create a Travel Journal With Your Kids

– Let Your Kids Make A Journal

While you can purchase a travel journal for kids online, it’s always more memorable to have your kids make their own journal. Gather up the three-ring binder and lined notebook paper. Put together a binder of journaling printables with lined notepad paper to provide many options for travel journaling.

– Bring The Tools

Using a small flexible pencil case bring along scissors, markers, crayons, pencils and any other journaling tools that your kids may need to document their memories in this travel journey during your family road trips.  You could store this in the glove compartment or have a special bin in the car that holds all of their supplies.

– Lead by Example

Keep a car travel journal of your own.  We love to document how many cars from different states we see on trips, how traffic was, and all the fun or extraordinary events that take place.

– Encourage Writing

While most adults enjoy reflecting about their day at the end of the night, many kids aren’t quite in that mindset. Encourage your kids to write in their journal during the day when their memories are close to their heart, so that they can truly journal the most from their traveling day.

– Don’t Micro-Manage

While you may want to micro-manage the process of journaling, this is not the time nor place to do so. Allowing your kids to journal during your travel adventures is a great way to let your kids show you their best grammar and vocabulary knowledge, but you can review that later on after your vacation.  It’s so hard to not do this, it’s a struggle with every. single. journal entry but it has to be done.  They need the freedom to express themselves without worrying about spelling every last word correctly…besides, it would be pretty annoying for you to spell every other word to them. 🙂

– Offer Prompts

Some kids aren’t equipped with the skills to come up with creative things to journal about during your time traveling, so consider giving your kids prompts each day during your time on the road. Don’t force your kids to use the prompts, simply have them written down each day to help them think deeper.

Having your kids create a travel journal will be a wonderful way to help them improve their grammar, vocabulary and handwriting skills all the while capturing their favorite family moments of your family travel events.