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Surviving the Afternoon "Witching Hours" with Toddlers

Posted by Jenn L. on

It's here...again... 

When they were babies there were the "witching hours" where you couldn't get the baby to calm down despite having eaten, having a clean diaper, etc...Now, the toddler/little kid phase of life is here and I now consider the 3-5pm (sometimes 3-6pm) time frame the "witching hours". What is it about this time of day that is just SO hard?

Every. Single. Day.

Whether your kids nap, don't nap, go to school, don't go to school, etc...it is just a hard time of day. I wish I had all the answers on how to dissolve of these times entirely but I don't...so here are some ideas to make it just plain easier. Or, maybe you will feel better just knowing you're not alone in the struggle.

jumping in puddles

Get out of the house -
  • Need the kids to run off some energy or just hit the reset button? Go for a walk. Fresh air will help everyone get through those afternoon hours.
  • If it's raining, get the kids in their rain gear and make it a mission to find as many puddles to jump in as possible.
  • Take a nature walk and collect fun things to look at when you get back home.
  • Play "iSpy" while you walk.
  • Meet friends! You can even take turns hosting a playgroup and feeding all the kids an easy dinner. Nothing makes the time go by faster than getting together with other families to share the responsibility of taking care of the kiddos!
Cleaning Party
Get Busy at Home -
  • If you have to be home then plan activities that you can do in the house. Keep a bin of crafts that are safe and easy for the kids to navigate themselves and set them up on their Roam Free play mat and an hour will pass before you know it!
  • Have a cleaning party! Most kids are super into helping clean so why not try to get the kids to help you? Put on some music, arm them with some cleaning "tools" and get to working!
Cooking with toddlers
Do as much food prep ahead of time as possible -
  • Prepare meals ahead of time. Use that nap/quiet time to your advantage and try to get as much prepped and done so that you aren't running around at the last minute trying to figure out what you are going to feed hungry kids at 4:45pm. 
  • If you have older kids, save some of the easier, final touches for dinner or snack for them to help. I like to involve my kids in setting the table, getting their own waters, etc...
  • Sign up for a meal service to help make meal time easier (see this last post on one we love!)

These little beings have so much going on in their little lives. So many changes and so much emotion. We have to make time for just them when we can. We could all use a reminder to put the phone down, get down to their level to talk and interact and just let them know we are there to love them and support them, especially during those tough hours of the day! 

 


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    DIY: Wooden Name Sign

    Posted by Jenn L. on

    DIY letter flowers on play mat

    There's nothing better than coming across something you love and figuring out a way to make it yourself. Even better if it's easy and not terribly pricey!

    We've had our eyes on the adorable wooden name signs that seem to be floating around the interwebs for awhile now. They're both rustic and whimsical and can be used as decor for a nursery/bedroom or even for a party! We made our own name sign embellished with silk flowers and love the way it turned out.

    silk flower wooden letter sign

    Here's how to make one yourself!

    1. Buy some wood letters. We found plenty on Etsy but the most inexpensive we found were at our local Michaels craft store.

    2. Find your favorite silk flowers/leaves to embellish the letters. You can find many online but any local craft store will sell them too. We found that the smaller ones work better and you're able to place several of them together to make a beautiful look. You don't want to put on too many that you lose the actual shape of the letter.

    3. You will have to trim the flowers from the stems. You can pull off the flower or use scissors. Some are easier to remove than others.

    4. Using a basic glue gun, glue each flower/petal/leaf around the letter. It looks nice to do small groups in different corners of each letter. Less is more!

    5. VOILA! You can hang your letters easily using these velcro picture hanging strips.

     

     

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    Easy iPhone Valentines!

    Posted by Jenn L. on

    If you are anything like me, Valentine's Day creeps up way too fast after the holidays making me wildly unprepared. So when I discovered I could make Valentines Day cards using only my iPhone camera, I was sold!

    I used to think it was just easier to order pre-made Valentines from one of the bigger stores (they've come a long way since I was little) but then I discovered Social Print Studio.

    Using the Social Print Studio App, I was able to upload a cute photo of my daughter, add some text using one of my photo apps and order 48 mini prints for only $15! It gives me enough prints for her whole class plus some for family and friends outside school. She can decorate the back with stickers or a drawing and write her name and it's done! I love how personal it is and how quickly it can all get done. I swear from start to finish it took me maybe 30 minutes (including checking out, etc...)

    If you are like me and waited TOO long, head on over and create a quick Valentine. Social Print Studio is offering 15% off until January 31st. You'll need to order by then anyways in order to get them in time for Valentine's Day. Use code BIG-ROMANCE.

    I think they're adorable and SO perfect for a cute Valentine's Day card!

     I also love the idea of maybe taping a cute lollipop on the back too but most schools, like ours, aren't allowing kids to bring in treats so we skipped that this time around.

     

    *This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own. 

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    Make Your Own Playdough!

    Posted by Jenn L. on

    One of our favorite activities in the Winter is playing with playdough. But, even more fun than playing with playdough is making our own! It's so much softer and you can make all the colors you want. Plus, kept in an airtight container it will stay good for months.

    You will need:

    • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup salt
    • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
    • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
    • food coloring (not necessary but who wants just white play dough!?)

    Optional additions are essential oils-lavender, peppermint or whatever you like. We've also toyed with adding a bit of glitter for some extra sparkle!

    How to Make:

    • Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
    • Add food coloring TO the boiling water then into the dry ingredients (color optional)
    • Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
    • Add the glycerine (optional)
    • Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. * This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency!*
    • (If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right)

     

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