Look What I Made

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It is that time of year again! Kids are headed back to school. Some are excited about it, others, not so much.  I have some of each in my house.

Here is a fun printable for you to enjoy! Click here back to school to download the pdf. Just select it, save to your computer and then send to your favorite printer. You can also click the photo below and save it to your computer. I have found that sometimes the pdf prints better, but not all printers will print a pdf version. Either should be fine.

I think it would be cute with some fun school supplies for a beginning of the year teacher gift also.

back to school

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Back to school nightly checklist, help kids stay on task and get ready for school #FreePrintable, #School,

Back To School Nightly Check List

First day of school 2015, free printable back to school signs
Back to School sign ~ free printable

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Easy chore chart, Teach kids responsibility

This summer has been crazy busy! In the middle of all the hustle and bustle I have been trying to get the kids to help more around the house.  They are home all day, and make the mess, so why should the adults be responsible for cleaning it all up? *Disclaimer, my kids are 7, 9 and 12 so I realize that with younger kids this may not work. I also realize that all families are different, but this is what works for us! They have always had chores, but those were just usually kept in my head, which lets face it, sometimes I forget.  I decided since they were out of school it was time to add some chores and increase the difficulty or frequency of some others. My mom used to have a chore chart similar to this, but there were 8 of us on it,yikes! After searching for a chore chart I loved, I decided to go old school and use the method I grew up with. It has been working like a charm.

You will need:

card stock or construction paper (I used 4 sheets)

brads

scissors

fine tip sharpie markers or pens

*Not required but sure helpful, a circle template cutter. This is the one I use and I love it!

There wasn’t a circle size large enough for how big I wanted the biggest circle so I traced a bowl and cut that one by hand with scissors. The others were various sized circles that I cut with the circle cutter.  After the circles are cut, use a brad to hold them together in the middle. Now you can turn the circles to change what they are doing each week.

I wanted a circle for their name, and different tiers for different chores. The first one is the kitchen chores, that need to be done daily, sometimes (but not often) more. The second one are things that may need done more than once a week, but not daily. And the outer circle are chores that need done weekly (although, the take out the trash also requires the person to take out the inside trash bag when it gets full in addition to taking out all the garbage the night before garbage day). In addition to the chart, they are responsible for folding their laundry when it comes out of the dryer and cleaning their rooms.

So far it has worked well! They know they don’t get to do certain things until the chores are done. It is hard for me to let the dishes sit sometimes longer than I would like, but I think it is important to teach them not only to do the chores, but to be responsible to take the initiative to do them without being nagged.  I do remind them a few times, but beyond that they just don’t get video games, devices, etc until it is done. So if they want to waste time, that is up to them. The whole agency thing is a hard lesson to learn and to teach some days!

So, tell me, do you use a chore chart? Does it work in your house? How do you add responsibility when the kids are home for the summer? Does anything change, or are they pretty much the same all year round? Let us know in the comments! I love hearing how other families do things and implementing them in my life as well.

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falling in love with your family logo

How to get kids to do their chores 

chore chart for little ones

Free printable chore cart for small children 

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My kids have been getting so bored some days! All they want to do is play video games or watch tv. I get tired of having to say no all the time. This project took up a little time and entertained them. But it also got them using their hands and creating something new.

You will need

Cookie cutters

1 1/2 cups Bird seed
(I got mine at Winco for really cheap in the bulk department)

2 packages unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup water

large bowl

spoon

whisk

saucepan

straw, skewer or lollipop stick

Yarn or string to hang

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Begin by bringing your water to a boil and follow directions for adding the gelatin. Once it is done poor it into your already measured bird seed that is in the large bowl. This is where I let my kids stir it together and make sure it is well mixed.

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Once it is all mixed, have your wax paper ready with cookie cutters lined up on it. Make sure they are medium to large cookie cutters. We used a small one (the music note) that didn’t work and fell apart.

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Once they are lined up, have the kids scoop bird seed into the cookie cutters. Use the spoons to pack it down to prevent them from falling apart. While still wet use your straw or stick to poke holes where the bird feeder will hang. This didn’t work well for me, I ended up having to use a skewer to poke the same hole again when they were set. Just be sure to do it gently to make sure that you don’t crumble the bird feeder.

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Let them set for several hours. I did mine overnight before removing from the cookie cutters.  This is where I ended up having to poke the holes all the way through because the seeds had fallen back into the hole. Cut some yarn, twine, whatever you have handy and tie it off.

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Now hang it from your tree and get ready for the birds to come feast!

Not only was this a great boredom buster, but if you have a cub scout, it can actually help them towards their awards. So get some bird seed and get busy!

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Another Great idea

DIY Bird feederDIY Bird Feeder

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DIY locker wallpaper, Getting kids off to school with a smile, soothe the tired feetFun, creative ideas for you and kids.
Bookmark, save or Pin those ideas you want to do later.

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great way to soothe sore tired feet, just use a water bottle, life hacks, ease your pain, water bottle. easy pain reliefSoothe your tired, warn feet with this hack

Tips for the first day of school,  5 foolproof tips getting your little one to go to school with a smile, parenting tipsFoolproof ways to getting your children off to school with a smile!

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Boredom Buster, make your own books!

This was such a fun project for my kids! They got creative and had a chance to use their brains while thinking it was all fun, I’m sneaky like that. 😉

I found these awesome books at Target in the One Spot, but just in case they don’t have them at your Target, here are some that are similar, but in fun colors, which I really like.

Another great thing about these is that there aren’t a lot of products needed. Just the books, markers, crayons, or colored pencils and your imagination!

Here are some other thrifty summer fun ideas!

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Creative drawing game

Paper bag puppets, easy craft ideas to keep you kids busy this summer, DIY crafts for kids

Paper Bag Puppets 

drawing on the trampoline with sidewalk chalk, #thriftysummerfun, #keepingkidsentertained, #summerfun, #summer, #chalk, #sidewalkchalk

Trampoline sidewalk art 

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Chalk Paint Mason Jars- Easy Craft Idea

Have you tried using chalk paint yet? Maybe you haven’t even heard of it? A quick rundown of chalk paint if you are new to the term; Chalk paint is a flat paint that has a matte finish.  There are several brands that make it already mixed and some of them are pretty spendy. Some of the home improvement stores are jumping on the bandwagon now too.  You can also make your own (like I did) by mixing regular paint in the color of your choice with calcium carbonate.  If you get the food grade, it lets it mix up smoother then the stuff made for use in the garden, etc.  It isn’t chalk board paint, don’t get the two confused.  Just has a chalky texture to it.  It is great for furniture, etc also because there is no sanding or priming necessary.  There are also waxes and finishes to go over the top to give it an aged look too.  Look it up,there are so many amazing things you can do with it!

Now to get off my chalk paint bandwagon and on with the project! All you need is chalk paint, a sponge paint brush, a mason jar and sand paper.

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Begin by painting your jar with a thin coat of paint.  Let it dry before applying your 2nd coat.  It takes at least two to look good, so don’t panic if it doesn’t look very impressive at this stage!  Once you have applied the desired number of coats, let it dry.  Once it is dry, you can use your sandpaper to distress the jar in areas that look like they may easily have gotten worn naturally.  You want it to look aged, not just awkward and obvious.  I loved the look of the words being sanded slightly.  It looks very vintage and more authentic to me.

These would make a great vase or jar to go on a desk.  Teachers appreciation, mother’s day, or make some to use around the house!

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They work great to display these coffee filter flowers. A fast and easy DIY craft for kids, perfect for Mother’s Day.

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You might also want to check out this list of 15 Ideas for Mothers Day Mothers Day Ideas, list of 15 ideas for make Mothers day special, crafts and DIY ideas #MothersDay, #DIY, #Crafts, #Cards, #Moms

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