6 Ways to Banish Your Family’s Winter Blues

Don't let winter blues keep you cooped up. Find lots of great ideas to banish your family's winter blues with this list of ideas from tipsaholic.com #winter #family #activities #winterfun #kids 6 WAys to Banish Your Family's Winter Blues

If your climate is less than balmy during the winter, you may find yourself dreading the doldrums that can so often occur during the coldest months of the year. So if you’d like to see your family doing more than just willing away the hours in front of the TV or staring at a smart phone, give these ideas for staying happy a try! Banish those winter blues!

1. Get out of the house. While it may not seem ideal when you have to bundle yourself in a dozen layers, it can truly be the best medicine for a bout of boredom. Some suggestions for time spent outdoors:

  • Snow forts
  • Sledding
  • Snow painting
  • Build a snowman
  • Nature walks
  • Winter photography
  • Ice skating
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowmobiling or four-wheeling
  • Ice fishing

2. Participate in holiday activities. There are not too many things more disheartening than watching the holidays pass the same as any other time of the year. Get out with extended family or friends and enjoy some of these activities:

  • Visit holiday displays
  • Light tours
  • Caroling
  • Parties
  • Community events
  • Food and toy drives
  • Shopping
  • Finding a Christmas tree
  • Sleigh rides
  • Holiday themed shows, plays, ballets, and more
  • Decorate with friends or extended family

3. Do something creative with your time indoors. Ending every day with three hours of TV and web time is less than enthralling. Keeping every mind busy and full of pleasurable time as a family during the winter can become the glue that holds you together during busier times of the year. Try a few of these ideas:

  • Board games
  • Minute-to-win-it games
  • Baking and cooking
  • Teach someone a new skill
  • Read together
  • Make and watch family videos
  • Learn something new
  • Visit the library
  • Go to a museum
  • For little ones – indoor fast food play areas, other indoor play places (Chuck E. Cheese, trampoline gyms, other indoor activity places)
  • Do a few crafts
  • Try indoor gardening

4. Plan and prepare for the months and year ahead. No time of the year will be more productive if you follow through with a few of these suggestions:

  • Organize closets, drawers, cupboards, etc.
  • Redecorate a room
  • Work on family preparedness – emergency and disaster kits, winter car kits, food storage, fire escape plans, etc.
  • Re-evaluate family goals and rules
  • Talk about family traditions you’d like to have
  • Plan a family vacation

5.  Perform acts of service. Putting smiles on the faces of others is bound to put smiles on the whole family. Even the simplest acts can turn a lack-luster day into a great one.

  • Shovel a neighbor’s driveway
  • Write a letter to someone
  • Send a package to a soldier
  • Visit a nursing home
  • Invite someone to dinner
  • Take goodies to someone
  • Make and distribute care packages for the homeless 

6. A few more ideas that will go a long way:

  • Eat well
  • Exercise
  • Spend time in the sun
  • Have dinner together
  • Talk
  • Snuggle
  • Spend time with friends

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

For more inspiration:

9 Ways to Add Sparkle to Your Winter Wardrobe - Tipsaholic          winterhair           snow-globes-window

Winter Wardrobe                    Winter DIY Projects                Winter Kids Crafts

8 Christmas Traditions To Try This Year

In search of some new family Christmas traditions? Here are 8 Christmas Traditions To Try This Year - Tipsaholic, #Christmas, #traditions, #Family, #holidays, #kids, #christmastraditions

 

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For many of us, the holiday season can be a time of chaos – rushing to holiday events, cooking and baking holiday favorites, parties, concerts, family get togethers, traveling, decorating, making, doing, buying… it can be an overwhelming whirlwind if we let it!  It’s important to carve out some time to be with our loved ones and create lasting traditions everyone will cherish.  Christmas traditions make the holidays less frantic and more meaningful.  They strengthen family bonds and provide the fodder for memories that will withstand the test of time.  Chances are, you already practice several traditions that have been passed down from your parents or even grandparents.  If you’d like to start a few new traditions this year, we’ve got some ideas for you!  There’s always time to start something fun and new – and find something that perfectly suits your current family situation.

 

1. Host a Cookie Swap Party.  The holidays can be crazy with Christmas parties for work, church, school, family; but this party is one with a purpose!  For a cookie swap, invite friends and family who enjoy baking to make their favorite Christmas treat and bring it to share.  Everyone takes a few of each home with them for a smorgasbord of delicious treats to enjoy with their own families.  This is a great way to cut down on your own baking, not to mention your grocery bill!  Be sure to provide cute boxes and tags for your guests to pack their cookies in, plus include “free samples” with your party food.  Play Christmas music to set the mood and have warm drinks available like cider and hot chocolate.  Check out this guide on Better Homes and Gardens for more ideas!

2. Make some “special deliveries.” Once your Christmas treats are all baked and boxed up, take some to the local fire station, police station or your family doctors office.  This is a great way to thank them for the service they provide the community while wishing them a happy holiday!

3. Hold a special birthday party.  On Christmas night, when the excitement has settled, host a small birthday party.  Make a cake with a candle and put up a few decorations.  Explain to your family that this birthday party is special, because it’s the day Christ was born!  This is particularly meaningful for very young kids who might night understand the why behind Christmas.

4. Nativity Count Down.  Wrap each piece of the nativity scene in special paper and include the corresponding scripture or a simple explanation and story in the package.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas, take turns unwrapping one package each day as a family and read the scripture or story together.  Whoever unwraps the item gets to decide where it will be placed in the stable.  Unwrap the baby last, on Christmas morning.

5. Enjoy the arts.  Christmastime is a veritable treasure trove of performing arts events.  As a family choose one play, musical, ballet or concert to attend in or around your area.  They can be professionally produced or community activities.  Check your newspaper for listings and look online at specific theater venues for their seasonal events.  The spectacle of the arts can really bring the season to life!

6. Rock out.  Create a holiday playlist full of favorite seasonal tunes.  Have each family member contribute ideas and make the list together.  Play it as often as you can (even in the car!) but reserve a special time – perhaps right after dinner – when you have a “dance party” and everyone dances and sings along!  This nightly ritual will be especially popular among kids 10 and under.

7. Christmas Camp-Out.  Have a special Christmas-themed camp-out right next to your Christmas tree.  Have your family bring sleeping bags and pillows, set them up around the tree and leave all the lights on.  Pop popcorn and make hot cocoa.  Read a few favorite Christmas stories and sing Christmas carols.  If you’ve got a fireplace, don’t forget to light a cozy campfire!  You could do this on any night leading up to Christmas, but it would be an especially fun way to end a day of putting up the tree and decorating it!

8. Get Chinese food.  Have you seen the movie A Christmas Story?  One of the best parts is when Ralphie’s family ends up in the Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve because their special Christmas dinner is unintentionally ruined.  You can adopt this into your Christmas traditions!  On Christmas Eve, load up the family and eat out at your favorite Chinese restaurant!  Don’t like Chinese?  You could go anywhere, really, but Chinese restaurants seem the most likely to be open and uncrowded.  No big dinner to make, and no clean up!

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

More Christmas inspiration:

Christmas-Skillet-Breakfast-682x1024        dreamsnow         Christmas Wreath

Christmas Breakfasts            Christmas Stories                DIY Christmas Wreaths

20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teens

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Are you stumped when it comes to stocking stuffers for your tween or teen?  When small toys will no longer cut it, it’s hard to know what to fill their socks with!  While making your own small gifts is generally more durable and more meaningful, hand making for the 10-17 crowd can leave you flustered.  Here are some cool DIY stocking stuffers your tween and teens are sure to love!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensCustom Sharpie Mug, Pounds4Pennies – If your teen loves hot chocolate, tea or coffee, this cute mug is sure to please.  Even if they’re more into milk and cookies, a monogram mug in their favorite colors will have personal meaning.  Plus they could use it for a pencil holder or even a vase for their bedroom!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensDino Necklace, It All Started With Paint – This cool necklace is super easy to create and makes a fun statement.  Metallics are super trendy, too.  Not into dinos at your house?  You could use any small plastic animal – just paint them up in gold or silver!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensVintage Book Trinket Box, Lovely, etc. – Everyone needs a secret spot for notes, mementos, and other small treasures.  This trinket box looks just like a vintage book – because that’s what it is!  Give them a spot to hide precious items from nosy siblings – bonus points if you can find a favorite book or author to use!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensKitty Studs, The Pink Samurai – Small and simple kitty studs make the cutest little statement perched in your tweens ears!  They’re fun and whimsical, but simple enough to look chic.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensMini Duct Tape Notebooks, blitsy blog –  A mini notebook is super handy for keeping in a purse, pocket or bedside drawer.  Kids can keep track of ideas, inspirations, and notes while they’re out and about.  They are so easy to make, you’ll want to make a few sets for yourself as well!  Personalize them for your teens with papers in patterns and colors they’ll love.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensComic Book Magnets, Crafts By Amanda – For the superhero fan, these magnets are a surefire hit.  They require just a few materials to make and teens will love the fun shapes, sizes and comic theme.  They can put them in their lockers for more personalization.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensSwiss Army Key Ring, Man Made – Once your kids start driving, they’re bound to have more than one key to keep track of.  This awesome swiss army knife-style key ring is the perfect solution!  It folds up in a clever disguise your boys will love.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensGlitter Rings, A Splendid Assemblage – Add some sparkle to your daughters’ hands with these cute glitter rings!  It’s an easy and quick project, so you can make one for each finger, or a rainbow of glitzy colors.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensDino iPhone Tripod, Eat, Sleep, Make – A phone tripod is super useful for watching videos, using the internet for homework, taking photos, and tons of other things.  This particular tripod – featuring a fun dino tail – will be a hit with your guys.  Use any kind of dino tail you want; you could even paint it different colors!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensMystery Braid Bracelets, A Pumpkin and a Princess – These leather mystery braid bracelets are fun, trendy and unisex!  Stuff their socks with an accessory anyone can rock!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensLego Belt, Delia Creates – Are legos slowly taking over your house?  These tiny building bricks make an awesome belt!  This is a super fast project they can have fun with AND wear for years to come!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensPom Pom Bookmark, Design Mom – If you’ve got any bookworms in your house, this is the perfect little stocking stuffer for them!  A fun, fuzzy pom pom makes just about anything cuter, but these bookmarks top the list.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensLeather Sunglass Case, Whimsey Box – Sunglasses can be a fun gift, even in the winter time.  Wrap them up with these DIY sunglasses case.  The neon shapes on the light leather pack a big style punch.  You can customize them however you like so your tween and teen will love them!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensCereal Box Notepads, Infarrantly Creative – Here’s another way to encourage them to keep track of ideas, notes and other things they’ll want to remember throughout the day.  The cereal box covers are bright, fun and quirky – sure to catch the eye.  And you can make a whole set in one afternoon.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensLip Balm Locket, Beautylish – This fun accessory is full of charm.  If your girls like a little vintage style, these lockets will impress for sure.  Hidden away inside is some homemade lip balm!  It’s a lovely addition to their trinkets.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensSpa Kit, Doodlecraft – Your daughter will feel very adult with her own special spa kit!  Loaded with nail polish, nail file, lip balm, lotions and a bath poof, these tiny jars pack a lot of relaxation and thoughtfulness inside!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensFoxy Kindle Case, Eskimimi Makes – This super cute case is designed to fit a kindle or iPad.  It’s made out of fleece so there is no fraying to worry about and it’ll keep your kids’ devices nice and snug.  They’re going to love the little fox design!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensLeather Coin Pouch, Always Rooney – These geometric and leather circle pouches are loaded with style.  They can be loaded up with all your teens change, too!  What a fun way to keep track of their pennies; and a simple sewing project too.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensSnowman Hershey Bars, Robin’s Creative Cottage – You just can’t go wrong with chocolate!  If you want to add a little fun to the treats in your kids’ stockings, try dressing the candy bars up like snowmen.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensSnowman Gum, My Little Gnochi –  And continuing the snowman treat theme, why not draw some snowmen on the plastic packs of white gum?  Ok, it might be a little too “cutesy” for your 17 year old son, but at least his breath will be fresh!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teens

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Looking for more inspiration:

20 Kid-Pleasing DIY Stocking Stuffers - Tipsaholic         15 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Adults        7 Tips for Planning Your Christmas Budget - Tipsaholic.com

Kid Stocking Stuffers                 Adult Gift Ideas              Christmas Budgeting

7 Creative Christmas Eve Gift Ideas

7 Creative Christmas Eve Gift Ideas - Tipsaholic

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Many families like to open one small gift on Christmas Eve. It can be hard picking the right Christmas gift for this tradition, since you don’t want it to be too small and kind of a letdown or too special, which should always be saved for the big day. Here are seven creative Christmas Eve gift ideas that will make everyone happy and even more excited for the next day.

1. Christmas Movie Box

This Christmas Eve gift idea should be done as one big gift for everyone to open together. Inside, put in new Christmas pajamas for everyone (or at least every kid) with a new Christmas movie. Add snacks, such as popcorn, candy, or hot chocolate. After opening the gift, everyone gets into the new pajamas and enjoys the snacks while watching the movie!

kids-xmas-box

2. Cookie Kit

This is another Christmas Eve gift idea that comes in one box for everyone to rip open as a group. Assemble a cookie kit inside the present with all the ingredients for your favorite Christmas cookies. Add cookie cutters, sprinkles, frosting, and whatever else you like to add to your cookies. Then everyone can run to the kitchen and spend the rest of the evening baking cookies together.

cookie kit

3. Board Game

If your family loves games, give everyone a new board game and play together on Christmas Eve! Then add it to your family collection. For some great board game ideas, check out this list.

board games

4. Self-Esteem Books

This is a truly special Christmas Eve gift idea that parents can do for their children. Create a photo book for each kid with lots of great pictures and notes that tell them how special they are. Your kids will treasure the books and spend the whole Christmas Eve evening reading their books and feeling so great about themselves.

self esteem books

5. Christmas Treats

A simple but always loved Christmas Eve gift idea is to give everyone a special Christmas treat. Peppermint bark and popcorn caramel are traditional favorites and you could even make your own toffee to give to everyone. For the rest of the night, nibble on the treats and just enjoy each others company.

homemade toffee

6. Gingerbread House Kit

This is similar to the cookie kit Christmas Eve gift idea. Pack a gingerbread house kit, either a prepackaged one or assemble one yourself with the ingredients for gingerbread, candy pieces, and white icing. After the present is opened, everyone gets together to create a gingerbread house for the rest of the night! If your family likes a little competition, you could give a kit to each person or team and have each team create their own house.

gingerbread house

7. Sibling Gift Exchange

If your kids are young, you could have your kids choose gifts for each other that cost around $10 and have them exchange their gifts on Christmas Eve. Each sibling could say something really nice about each sibling before giving them their gift. This makes their small gifts more special since they’re the only gifts being opened at that time and the siblings will feel closer to each other after all the nice words are said.

sibling gift exchange

These Christmas Eve gift ideas are so great, I’ll have a hard time choosing just one of them for this year! What other Christmas Eve gift ideas do you have?

For more Christmas ideas, check out:

5 DIY Christmas Wreaths christmas stockings 20 Tantalizing Christmas Breakfast Ideas - Tipsaholic
DIY Christmas Wreaths Festive Stockings  Christmas Breakfasts

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

10 Cold Weather Dates to Warm Up Your Romance

10 Cold Weather Dates to Warm Up Your Romance - Tipsaholic

 

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It’s easy to hibernate during the winter but don’t let sleet, snow and wind chills freeze your romance! There are tons of great, inexpensive dates you and your significant other can enjoy together — despite the weather. If you’re looking for fun ideas for an evening out, here are 10 cold weather dates that are sure to warm up your romance.

1. Go snowboarding or skiing

Amp up your adventurous side and don some snow pants and goggles! When you’re finished hitting the slopes you can warm up in the lodge area with some hot chocolate. Never been before? Even better! Trying something new with your significant other can bring you even closer together.

2. Plan a themed movie night

Pick a movie with a very specific theme — try to choose one neither of you have seen. Then make dinner or snacks together that match the theme of the movie. For instance, watch The Breakfast Club and cook up some french toast or pancakes, or My Big Fat Greek Wedding and eat gyros with cucumber sauce. Or pick a movie with a very specific setting (Chicago, New York, Philly, a tropical island) and eat foods native to the area. Make sure to snuggle up close under a warm blanket!

3. Make oven s’mores and hot chocolate

Just roast your marshmallow over the burner. If you have an electric oven or don’t like the idea of using the burner, make s’mores inside the oven on cookie sheets or use the microwave instead. Here’s a great oven-baked s’more recipe. Try this simple, old-fashioned stovetop hot chocolate recipe or this slightly fancier version of hot cocoa with real whipped cream.

4. Warm up with a Hibachi Grill

This Japanese cuisine is also an art form and sure to entertain. Plus, you’re right up close and personal with the grill, so that’s sure to raise temps.  If you’ve never had it before, all the better. You can Google hibachi grills in your area to find an appropriate restaurant.

5. Spend a night at the library

Find your favorite books from childhood, look up love sonnets, read favorite passages from your most-loved novels or choose a topic before you arrive and find interesting books to share with each other about the topic. You might even leave with some new good reads!

6. Grab a sled

Sledding is free if there’s a hill in your area. You could also check out the local ski or sledding hills that have rope tows to take you to the top. These spots are great because there are often lodge or snack bar areas where you can have a warm drink and thaw out.

7. Slip on some skates

You can decide if you’ll brave the elements for an outdoor rink or try a warmer alternative inside, but the goal is the same. Slip on some skates on and impress each other with your best routines. If nothing else, it’ll have you grabbing onto each other for support and laughing at each others antics.

8. Have a picnic

An outdoor picnic in wintertime can actually be a lot of fun. If there’s a lake or something similar in your area that completely freezes over, you can drive your car out on the lake and have a tailgating party, just the two of you (follow safety precautions and rules for your city). Or just find a scenic spot and spread out a thick blanket. Choose a meal that’s nice and warm, like a pot of chili or soup and hot chocolate or tea. Dress for the weather and make sure to snuggle up for body heat! If this idea doesn’t sound appealing, you could opt to have a winter picnic inside, too. Set your picnic blanket up on the floor and add candles for romance.

9. Play games

Pick out a few favorite games for two and have a board and card game marathon. Don’t forget to decide on a prize for the tournament champion beforehand! Some great two player games, include: Sequence, Stratego, Perpetual Commotion, Scrabble, Bananagrams, Boggle, Battleship, Rummikub, Racko, Blink, Qwirkle, Set, Blokus.

10. Have a “tropical beach night”

Set out pictures of tropical beaches and summertime fun. Turn up the thermostat and dress for summer. Make a tropical or summertime meal, like Strawberry Soup, Kalua Pork, or Tangled Thai Salad. Try some yummy frozen drinks like Pineapple, Banana and Coconut Smoothies, Key Lime Pie Shakes, Tropical Slush, or Non-Boozy Mojitos. Dance to tropical or island style music (things with ukulele or steal drums) and make dreams and plans for the summertime months.

Feature image via TGC

Looking for more ways to boost the romance in your relationship? Try these:

6 ways to reconnect with your significant other - Tipsaholic.com 7 Romantic Movies to Watch on Valentine's Day - Tipsaholic.com 12 Love Notes for Your Valentine - Tipsaholic.com
Reconnect Romantic Movies  Love Notes

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

10 Great Examples of Family Schedules

10 Great Family Schedules - Tipsaholic

 tipsaholic title divider - family schedules

Follow along with Get Organized Week by clicking here or on social media with #GetOrganized. Or share your own organization tips with #GetOrganized on social media.

Creating a family schedule can often be a good way to keep track of the many things that keeps everyone busy throughout the day. But since every family has unique events and activities, the key to following that schedule is finding just the right one to fit your family’s needs. Here are 10 great family schedules. Even though each one is different, all are good examples of ways to keep a family’s day planned and organized.

 

1. Visual Family Schedule

If you have little ones who cannot yet read, a schedule with pictures, instead of words, is an easy way for everyone in the family to follow along.

visual schedule

2. Colorful Dry-Erase Board Schedule

This is a different take on the Dry-Erase Board, and almost becomes a work of art on the wall. Simply frame colorful paper that complements the decor of the room. Then write on the glass with a dry-erase marker to keep all the days of the week planned out.
family schedule

3. Family Binder Schedule

For the family where just one schedule won’t do, make a binder to keep the various calendars, plans, and lists together. This is a great way to keep it all in one place and easy to find when needed.

Home Binder: Make your own or buy a pre-made kit. Either way, it's a great way to store all the 'lists' (grocery, menu, phone numbers, emergency, home repair, etc.) that we all tend to keep, but can never find.

4. Post-It Note Family Schedule

Make a large daily calendar on a poster board — if it’s big, you can’t miss it — and create a column for each person in the family. Then fill out each activity on a Post-It note. If the schedule needs to be rearranged later (say now Dad has to take the kids to soccer because Mom has a meeting that will run late), the events can easily be changed around by removing the Post-It from one person’s column and moving it to the new place.

A Schedule For Those Who Can't Stick to a Schedule 3

5. Electronic Family Schedule

Using an app like Cozi is an easy way to keep the family schedule at your finger tips. There are multiple websites that offer family calendars, just find the one that is the easiest for you and your family to use.

Electronic Family Schedule

6. Color Coded Family Schedule

Assign each member of the family a color. This way each person can know what they need to be doing at a certain time by looking for their color on the schedule. It also prevents the need to write out the same activity multiple times, if more than one member of the family is also doing the same thing.

IHeart Organizing: 5 Time Management Tips for Busy Families to be that organised is a dream

7. Family Schedule Board

Clipping information onto a board (with colorful clothes pins) will keep all schedules easy to read at a quick glance.

8. Decorative Window Chalkboard Family Schedule

Get creative with your family schedule. One way is to convert an old window with chalkboard paint into a handy way to jolt down the week’s events. There is even left over space for a grocery list and extra things to get finished.

how to make a chalkboard window calendar via housebyhoff.com

9. Framed Family Schedule

With young children or during certain parts of the year, your family schedule can be predictable. Add some style to the day by typing up your family’s daily to-do list and printing it out on a color printer. Framing it gives a finished look to the timeline.

Jen's Tips

10. Store Bought Planner

For those families that would like the ease of a pre-made planner, there are several on the market that can get any family schedule of the right track to being organized.

Feature image via Maker Crate

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I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

How to Create a Family Schedule to Organize Your Life

How to Create a Family Schedule to Organize Your Life @Tipsaholic

family schedule

Follow along with Get Organized Week by clicking here or on social media with #GetOrganized. Or share your own organization tips with #GetOrganized on social media.

For most families there are so many lessons, practices, meetings, social events, school activities, sports games and all the other things that keep a family busy it is hard to keep track of it all. Taking the time to make a family schedule can help, and finding just the right system can keep all of it running smoothly. These six tips to create a family schedule can help you put together just the right thing. Then, you and your family can be on your way to a more peaceful and organized life.

 

  1. Pick the right kind of family schedule for your family.

This is probably the most important step. Since each family is unique, what works for one might not for the other. Getting input from all family members is a great way to figure out what is the right one. Maybe your family is very tech savvy and would like a web based calendar that everyone can access. Or a color coded calendar on the wall might work. Here are a few examples of great family schedules to get ideas flowing.

  1. Keep it simple.

The goal of the family schedule is to keep everyone on the same page and organized. While it could be tempting to add a lot of creativity to this, don’t make the schedule so complicated that you have trouble remembering what it all means. A schedule that is easy to follow and can be read with a quick glance is probably best.

  1. Get the family involved.

If your family is part of both creating and maintaining the family schedule, they will be more likely to follow it. It will help them take ownership of the project, and hopefully they will see the value in it.

  1. Review it often during the day.

Once the family schedule is in place, take time to review it at certain designated points in the day. Evening is a good time, so you can lay out what is needed for the next day, and make plans to getting everything on the schedule accomplished. And with a quick glance in the morning, this will make sure nothing is forgotten.

  1. Add new appointments and activities right away…do not wait.

Keeping all events documented on the family schedule is the key to making it work. By putting everything on the family schedule as soon as it comes up, you can avoid forgetting about something. Hopefully, this will prevent any kinks in the flow of the daily activities.

  1. Evaluate and only keep the most important activities.

Once your family has been using the family schedule for awhile look it over and see how it is working. Since everything is written out it would be easy to see how everyone is spending their day. Ask yourself a few questions: Are too many things being planned? Are the goals of your family being accomplished during the day? Maybe, there is something that you or another family member would rather be doing, and with a little tweaking of the schedule they can do it. By letting the family schedule evolve as needed, it will keep it working for your family.

 

Featured Image: Better Homes and Gardens

 

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I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

38 Inspiring Ideas for Family Command Centers

38 Inspiring Ideas for Family Command Centers ~ Tipsaholic.com #family #organization #commandcenter

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School begins and all intentions to stay organized for the year can quickly deteriorate as kids lug home backpacks filled with art projects, handwriting practice, permission slips, sports equipment, and more. Keep things under control by creating a personalized “command center,” where every family member can unload, reload, and store their everyday gear – and Mom can more easily see what, when, and where everyone’s going. Use these 38 ideas to inspire your family’s command center, drop zone, landing zone, organization station, after-school station, or whatever else you want to call it – and get organized for good!

 

 

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Martha Stewart

1. We love this command center setup with its multi-purpose shelf unit for catching loose items, storage, and hanging coats and bags.

 

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Girl Loves Glam

2. Make your own modern organization board with Girl Loves Glam’s free printables and tutorial for making a fun stained backdrop.

 

p4cc3 The Container Store

3. A great idea from The Container Store to use simple labeled bags to corral gear for individual children, plus some tips on what to include when building your command center!

 

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The Handmade Home

4. This organization station serves a purpose but looks amazing too with its fun abacus feature.

 

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BHG

5. If you’ve got two small areas to use for your landing zone, consider some of these ideas and make both rooms feel cohesive.

 

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Pottery Barn

6. This idea comes directly from the Pottery Barn, and although it’s pricey to buy, it could inspire some fabulous DIY-ing!

 

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BHG

7. A couple of simple storage rails or towel rods can go a long way in keeping a small station together. And the corkboard backdrop? Perfect.

 

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iHeart Organizing

8. Use a basic shelf system and some creative accessories (that mirror!) to give your command center some real flair.

 

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The Yellow Cape Cod

9. A hanging tote for each family member makes it easy to transfer items collected during the week to be carried to their rightful homes.

 

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Achieving Creative Order

10. A kids’ art gallery and a fun set of reminder boards? Clever ideas to add to your landing zone at Achieving Creative Order. 

 

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BHG

11. Sometimes all you need is a pretty shelving unit and a collection of bins and baskets.

 

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Simply Fabulous Living

12. Industrial baskets and an oversized clock are great pieces to use when organizing on a small section of wall.

 

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Bliss @ Home

13. Don’t forget to add patterns, colors, and fun details to add some great aesthetics.

 

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ScatterShot

14. If you’ve got some free time and want to try something permanent, this is a great command center to add to a home! Check out the full chalkboard wall and large photo print.

 

 

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BHG

15. A mounted pocket for homework, permission slips, bills, and more make it much easier for busy parents to keep track of the needs of each family member.

 

 

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Ciburbanity

16. Give an unused kitchen corner a useful makeover by turning it into your organization station. And framing recipes from vintage cookbooks? Pure genius when it comes to personal touches.

 

 

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I Am Momma Hear Me Roar

17. Get access to some weathered wood from an old barn or fence and follow this tutorial to create a rustic command center like this one. Our favorite feature is the painted clothespin family!

 

 

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Sweet Aprils

18. There’s a lot to love in this landing zone – the clipboards, family rules sign, key holder, chest… And if the frames and accessories you have don’t match, give them a quick coat of spray paint for instant unification.

 

 

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Tatertots & Jello

19. The base for this project consists of two cheap wooden doors. Paint, textures, and patterns make it a fun and functional part of the home. Simply lean it against a wall or screw it down for a more permanent, sturdy unit.

 

 

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iHeart Organizing

20. A command center doesn’t have to be elaborate to be useful. Choose accessories that make the most sense for the space and fit your family’s needs.

 

 

 

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The Handmade Home

21. Here’s a unique idea for helping kids keep track of their daily tasks, all made with plexiglass so the pieces can be used like dry erase boards. And take a look at the simple string of photos and artwork adding some family love to the wall!

 

 

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Beneath My Heart

22. If you’ve got a lot of space to work with this command center will give you some great ideas! A big chalkboard painted onto the wall and surrounded by a simple frame makes the perfect background for a three month calendar and some practical add-ons.

 

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BHG

23. Sometimes all you need is to repurpose an old piece of furniture. This buffet makes the perfect organizational unit for a command center and a large mirror can double as a message board.

 

 

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The Elusive Bobbin

24. Can’t quite find the command center boards and accessories you need? Try building your own with these instructions from The Elusive Bobbin.

 

 

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The Elm Life

25. Make use of kitchen appliances in a kitchen command center! The refrigerator that hugs this wall becomes a great place for little kitchen extras like a menu planning system and cleaning schedule.

 

 

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The Crafting Chicks

26. Keep things simple with a coat hook and clip for each family member. This organization station uses a magnet board and magnetic clips.

 

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LegacyStudio

27. This great find from LegacyStudio is up on Etsy—you can buy one or use it as inspiration for your own single-unit command center.

 

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Ana White

28. Another more permanent unit, this one can be built and customized with these plans from Ana White. 

 

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Shaken Together Life

29. Check out these creative customizations – chore boards, baskets for snacks and school supplies, and a special notice board for Mom.

 

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Just a Girl and Her Blog

30. We love the artsy details and crisp colors of this command center. A basket for backpacks is a great alternative to mounting hooks on the wall.

 

 

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So You Think You’re Crafty

31. This build-it-yourself unit has a great old-school look and the pegboards add a lot of versatility. See the tutorial for a list of inexpensive materials and all the details.

 

 

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Inspiration Organization

32. Helping kids keep track of their own gear is easy when they can clearly see their names (and initials!) in the command center.

 

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The Lily Pad Cottage

33. Dress up a plain dry erase (or chalk) board by adding painted frames to highlight important lists. Another fun idea – magnets stating the days of the week that can be moved wherever needed.

 

 

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Kikki.K

34. The clean lines in this command center really make things feel organized, and Kikki.K gives five simple steps to creating yours.

 

 

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Oh So Shabby

35. Oh So Shabby definitely gets the award for sweetest accessories! We’re totally in love with the idea of using mini-mailboxes to stash each kid’s electronics and the cute flower and banner details.

 

 

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Living Locurto

36. An in-box and out-box for each family member is another great organizational tool to consider when designing your command center. Plus you can snag some free back-to-school printables to go with it at Living Locurto.

 

 

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Clean and Scentsible

37. If you’re looking for something versatile but not sure how to put it together on your own, get some inspiration from this command center, then head over to Staples’ Martha Stewart section here  to pick your own pieces!

 

 

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Achieving Creative Order

38. As the family grows and dynamics change, it’s nice to be able to make appropriate changes to your command center as well. Achieving Creative Order does just that with her family’s wall.

 

 38 Inspiring ideas for family command centers ~ Tipsaholic.com #family #organization #commandcenter

 

Remodelaholic has 10 more great ideas for Family Command Centers! Check them out here!

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

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10 Fun Family Activities for Fall

Fall is a great time to enjoy your family. For lots of ideas check out these 10 Fun Family Activities for Fall - tipsaholic, #fall, #familyfun, #autumn, #family

 header

As the air gets crisp and you don sweaters and boots, you may be lamenting all the fun your family had last summer!  Trips to the pool, beach days, afternoons at the park, running through sprinklers and fun in the sun dominated your summer days; it may be that family fun seems a thing of the past.  Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to enjoy fall as a family!  You may not be jumping into the lake, but don’t let the chilly weather bring you down.  Here are 10 fun family activities for fall.

 

1. Pumpkin picking.  It may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s something satisfying about finding that perfectly shaped, perfectly colored pumpkin.  Running through the patch with your kids and helping them haul their treasures back to the car can create lasting memories.

 

2. Apple picking.  Much like pumpkins, picking your own apples is a fun and satisfying treat.  Find an orchard that will allow you to pick your own from the tree, rather than simply buy them by the bushel.  Show kids how to find the best apples, decide which varieties you all enjoy, climb and hunt for the perfect specimens, and most importantly make apple pie when you get home!

 

3. Bike ride of colors.  Look on the internet or on local maps to find the best public forests – try state and national parks.  Look for areas with many different trees so you can enjoy the various turning colors.  Pack your bikes and helmets and take a bike trail through the falling leaves.

 

4. Fall picnic.  Picnics can be just as fun in the fall as they are in summer!  Pick a spot that gets a lot of sun so you won’t be too cold.  Dress everyone in layers for warmth, so they can remove clothing if they get too hot.  Be sure to pack all your favorite fall treats – you can use a thermos for hot chocolate or soup, take along pumpkin or apple pocket pies, and find fresh produce like pears, apples, squash and sweet potatoes prepared in a variety of ways.  Don’t forget to pack the flannel blankets!

 

5. Make your own cider or apple sauce.  It may take a bit of prep, but you can buy a cider press or check your local listings for options to rent one.  You could also call around to local orchards as some offer cider-making as an activity.  Making apple sauce is quite a bit easier, as you only need a stove and blender or food processor (try this recipe from The Pioneer Woman).  Cooking together can bring everyone closer and kids love to help creating in the kitchen.

 

6. Corn mazes.  This is likely only available in certain areas, but if you live within driving distance a good corn maze can’t be beat!  It’s a fun, lively activity they’ll love running through, and young ones will be amazed at the height of the corn!  It’s also a great way to get their brains moving as they try to solve the life-sized puzzle.  Plus, they’ll work on interpersonal skills like team work and cooperation.  Check out these famous corn mazes.  Or check online for corn mazes in your own state.

 

7. Leaf pressing.  Go on a leaf hunt with your kids.  Take them to a particularly treed park, or a state forest.  Find leaves of different colors and shapes and collect them gently in a box.  Be sure to collect leaves that are still pliable, not dried and crunchy.  Don’t crumple them in a bag or pocket.  When you get home, place the leaves individually between the pages of a large, heavy book (like a dictionary).  Keep them this way for for a few weeks, then take them out and use them for a mobile or other fun craft.

 

8. Leaf jumping.  Turn a boring chore into piles of fun!  Give everyone a rake and make a giant pile of leaves.  Take turns jumping and throwing.  Have a contest to see who can jump the farthest or fanciest!

 

9. Have a campfire.  If you’ve got a fire pit in your yard, now’s the perfect time to roast marshmallows or sing some camp songs!  A campfire is a great way to get cozy and warm on a chilly night.  Don’t have a fire pit of your own?  Visit a friend or family member with one – or spend the evening or weekend at a nearby campsite!

 

10. Make garlands of dried fruit like apples and oranges to string along the mantel, windows or doorway.  You can find directions here.  Or make pomanders with citrus fruits and cloves, as shown here.  It’s fun to create together, and it will make your house smell delicious!

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterestBloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

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Holiday Family Photos: A What-to-Wear Guide

Make family pictures easy this year. Holiday Family Photos: A What-to-Wear Guide from tipsaholic.com #familyphotos #family #holidayphotos #holiday
Holiday Family Photo Guide

If you’ve mustered up the courage to gather your [reluctant] family members for a photo this holiday season, you’ve probably been brainstorming about the all-important clothing and accessory choices you’ll be making. This simple “what-to-wear” guide will give you the recipe for the perfect look – and once you’ve got the basics, it’s easy to make it your own by adding in your favorite colors, patterns, and textures!
 Holiday Family Photos: A What-to-Wear Guide

1. Avoid the “matchy-matchy.”

Gone are the days when matching Christmas sweaters on every family member was “cute.” Nowadays, the ultra-matching family ensemble has taken a backseat to “coordinating.” While you probably don’t want each person in a different color, variation is the key to achieving a natural, well-planned look.

 

2. Wear layers.

Consider the potential changes in the weather as you plan for your photos. Layers are an easy way to alternate between staying warm and keeping cool if your climate can be unpredictable this time of year. Layers also allow you to change things up in our photos without having to change entire outfits in the backseat of your car!

 

3. Consider basic neutral color combos with bright seasonal accents.

Neutrals are a perfect place to begin when planning your clothing color combinations. They are flexible, they don’t distract, and they can be paired with practically any color or any pattern imaginable. Great neutrals for the holidays could be blacks, grays, creams, browns, tans, navies, and neutral greens. Once you’ve chosen a base or two, you can start adding in seasonal colors – cranberry reds, holly greens, plums and deep blues. Brighter shades and other colors are also appropriate if you want your photo to look great above the mantle no matter the season!

 

4. Mix patterns and solids.

Striking a balance between patterned and solid clothing can really make a family shine. If a simple outfit needs a punch, add a patterned scarf or cardigan. Dress up a pair of jeans by wearing a patterned top. For guys, layering a solid with a pattern is a great way to go. For the ladies, even jewelry can break up an otherwise solid outfit.

 

5. Add texture.

Putting everyone in cotton t-shirts and jeans can be a bit bland. Add a cozy sweater, layer a button-up over a tee, and mix in jewelry, belts and boots, ruffles, lace, or sheer scarves and you’ll be on your way to the perfect combination for the entire family.

 

And above all:

 

6. Keep it simple.

Clothing with large prints, wording, or characters on it will draw the eyes away from your beautiful faces and should be avoided where possible. It’s also a good idea to repress any urges to run out and buy large jewelry and hair accessories for photos. While they can be fun and conversational in person, bold accessories often come across as a distraction in a picture. When people see your family in that photo, whether in your home or on a holiday card, most of them want to see your faces, not be distracted by what you’re wearing!

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

Feature and title image via Better Homes and Gardens.

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3 Tips to Keep Paperwork Organized During a Move

3 Tips to keep paperwork organized during a move - Tipsaholic.org

3 Tips to keep paperwork organized during a move

Moving often involves a large amount of documents, records and paperwork. It can be difficult to keep it all from becoming too chaotic. One easy way to keep it all together is to put it all in an accordion file. Then you will have a handy place to store everything, and won’t be hunting through boxes when you quickly need something. Here are tips to help you get the most use out of the accordion file and keep the papers organized.
 

1. Label the Tabs

Label the tabs for each section of the file, so the documents will be easy to find if you need to retrieve them again. Color coding the tabs with one color for papers related to the new house, and a different color for those involving the old house will help to keep it all organized.

 

2. Include All Needed Documents

Be sure to include space in the accordion file for other paperwork such as:

 

Legal documents

Of course you will need to add to the file any legal documents or contracts involved in selling, buying or renting your home.

 

Transcripts, report cards or grade sheets for your children

This may be need for school registration. Also, keep vaccination records here in case that is requested.

 

Medical information

Include any previous medical or dental records that would need to be given to a doctor in your new area.

 

Identification for each family member

Important documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, or passports could easily be misplaced during a move. By keeping them in the accordion file, you will easily know where to find them if needed.

 

Inventory list for your new home

Most moving companies provide you with an inventory list of all items that are being moved to your new home. Or make your own, so nothing gets left behind. Sketch an outline of where the furniture will be placed in the new space. It will speed up the process on moving day, if this is all kept handy in the file.

 

Address list

As soon as you know you are going to move, start jotting down a list of those you need to notify of your change in address. You can even start a paper, to keep in the file, where you tape the return addresses torn off the envelopes of mail you receive.

 

3. Make It Pretty

Now that everything is organized in the accordion file, it’s fun to personalize it. For example you can add to the front a picture showing a good memory in your current home or tape onto it a map showing where your new home will be.

 

By keeping everything in one accordion file, you can avoid misplacing an important document, and you will have all papers you need organized in one place.

 

Photo Source: Better Homes and Gardens

 

I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

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30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts

30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts -  via tipsaholic, #chorechart, #chores

 30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts

If the word “chores” has your kids groaning, it might be time to switch up the routine!  A chore chart can be both engaging and rewarding for your child, and give them just the incentive they need to get working and stop complaining.  If you need some ideas for chore charts that you can make yourself, we’ve got you covered!  Whether you’re looking for something simple to make and easy for kids to follow, or you want something more elaborate and effective for your tweens, these 30 kid-approved DIY chore charts are sure to be a hit at your house.

 

Work For Hire Board, The Chic Family – This simple yet ingenious bulletin board style chore chart is perfect for your tween or even teen looking to earn some extra spending money.  If you’ve got extra chores your willing to shell out some allowance for, this board is a great way to get kids involved in making their own decisions about the work they do around the house.TheChic_work-for-hire-board

 

Reclaimed Wood Chores and Rewards, The Winthrop Chronicles – This chore/reward system works great for kids who are a little older, around 5-10.  Their weekly chore list is clipped to the top and they earn points, or small pebbles, as they complete things.  Pebbles are removed when they don’t do what they’re supposed to.  When the pebble jar is full, they pick a fun treat, like an ice cream outing.  It’s effective because it clearly displays expectations, has an instant consequence for behaviors and offers relevant incentive.  Plus, it’s super stylish – who wouldn’t want this hanging in their home?IMG_1080-b


Framed Magnetic Charts, A Lemon Squeezy Home – These charts look clean and bright hung on the wall and are a very easy system for kids to tackle.  The magnets are made with wooden circles and computer-printed stickers and are completely customizable.  If you’re not big into giving out an allowance for chores, or simply don’t want the visual reminder of money right by the chores, this is a great option.  It’s easy to make and easy to use, and the kids will get a kick out of moving their own magnets around.  Plus, there’s a nice list of chores kids can accomplish on their own!chore charts_thumb[1]


 Washi Tape Chore Sticks, Simply Kierste – If you’re looking for something super easy to make and use, you can’t get much more perfect than this!  Simply write the chores on a craft stick, decorate with a strip of washi tape and place in a cute jar!  Little hands will love the surprise of picking the chores out blindly.  Plus it looks cute on display and doesn’t take up any wall space!

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White Board and Magnet Pictures, Vanilla Joy – If you’ve got a pre-reader who’s ready to tackle some work around the house, this is a great chore chart for you!  The chores are designated with pictures glued to wooden tokens with magnets on the back.  It’s simple to make with a small white board and a few other materials and doesn’t take up a lot of space.  Little ones will love “playing” with the magnets and moving their chores to the right side!

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Easy Chore Board, Gingersnap Crafts – This cute and easy chore board is a cinch to make, small enough to fit nearly anywhere, and super stylish to boot!  All it takes is a board or plaque, some vinyl, a strip of metal and magnetic chore circles.  Not only is it easy to make, but it’s easy to read and understand for your young kids.  The little stick figures make it that much more adorable!chores

 

Chore Box, Just another Day in Paradise – This “Uh-Oh” box is simply genius!  Sick of kids leaving a trail of messes in their wake?  Got some mini tornados kicking toys around the house?  Teach your kids responsibility with this cute poem stuck to the side of a rubbermaid tote.  When they leave their things out, place them in the box.  All they have to do to get an item back is pick a chore!DSC_0018

 

Burlap and Clothespin Chore Chart, Simply Kierste – This charming burlap chore chart is a cute way to get chores done and encourage your kids!  On one side of the clothespin there are chores printed.  When the chore is completed, flip the clothespin over to reveal praise and encouragement for a job well done!  Make a row with ribbon for each child and clip their chores on, then have them flip the clothespins themselves!  This is a great way to help them take pride in their work.burlap chore chart--finished project front copy

 

Baking Sheet Chore Chart, A Spotted Pony – It doesn’t take much to make these cute little magnetic charts – just a baking sheet from the dollar store, some spray paint and some magnets!  With minimal investment, you can make some to match any decor.  With the cute printed pictures on magnets, this is the perfect first chore chart for young kids who aren’t reading yet.chorechart1-300x200

 

Job Chart, Martha Stewart –  This sweet and simple job chart is fairly minimalist in design – so it’ll go with any kind of decor.  It’s easy to make too – All you need are magnets and a computer/printer!  The columns are headed with a photograph of each child, adding to the charm.  The chores are simply colored magnetic strips – you can color code them according to day or difficulty level.  Simply hang on the fridge and let your tweens at it!0206_kids_gtjobchart_l

 

Dry Erase Chore Chart, Moss Moments – This is a really easy idea to pull together.  Just make a list of chores (and possibly the daily to-do’s) leaving boxes for check marks and print it out.  Frame it with any frame that matches your decor.  Each morning, write the day at the top.  The kids can check off the items as they do them.  Why it’s great?  Ease of use and simple to make.  Also, as you think of new things that need to be done that day, you can simply write them on the glass.  It’s super customizable, can be made as fancy and colorful as you’d like, and the kids will love writing all over the glass!Sofa and jellybean jars 025

 

Printable Sticker Chore Chart, The Vintage Mother – You can’t get any easier than simply printing off some charts and hanging them within easy reach!  The truly fun part is putting stickers next to the chores that are completed!  Let your little ones pick which stickers they want to use and watch them turn into cleaning machines!VRW-Chore-Chart-2

 

Big Helper Board, Grey House Harbor – With a magnetic dry erase board and some washi tape and magnets, you can create a super cute, perfectly personalized big helper board for your kids!  Create your own magnets for kids to move to separate columns and rows for each day of the week and chore.  Make it organized and cute by making lines with washi tape.  The best part about this chore chart is that it’s completely reusable as something new once the novelty wears off – and for young kids, you know that won’t take too long!  Washi tape is removable and all the writing on the chart is in dry erase marker.  580x384xwpid2209-magnetic-dry-erase-chore-chart.jpg.pagespeed.ic.YI6bbp4jJh

 

Reusable Chore Card Checklists, Our Story – You can break each room in your house down by listing the chores that need to be down on one convenient, laminated card.  Assign the kids a room to clean and give them the card.  They can check off each item as they go with a dry erase marker.  Rotate the rooms among your kids so they get a chance to do everything.  This is a great system for tweens and teens who are ready for more independence with their work, but still need a bit of a reminder as they go.  They can earn points for the entire room and cash their points in for rewards.  Wipe each card down when they’re completed and store them all together on a binder clip or in a folder or envelope._DSC9941

 

Coloring Page Chore Chart, And We Play – Even the littlest of helpers can keep track of their chores on a handy chart.  This cute little coloring page is just the ticket for the youngest in your brood!  You can download a pre-made chore coloring page from the link, or create your own personalized one.  Every time your child completes a task that’s pictured, they get to color it in!  So break out the crayons and colored pencils because preschool aged kids are going to love cleaning up now!IMG_5150

 

Framed Clothespin Chore Chart, A Turtle’s Life For Me – Upcycle some of your old, unused frames into a totally usable chore chart!  By gluing clothespins down the side of the frame and adding the child’s name inside, you’ve got yourself a cute and personalized chore tracker.  Simply print out some chores, cut them into strips and laminate them.  When the chore is completed, it comes down off the clothespin and back in the envelope.  This is super easy to make and super easy to use.  Kids will love getting to “play with” the clips, but this is great for older kids or teens as well because of its simplicity.chore chart emma

 

Clipboard Chore Charts, The 36th Avenue – These clipboards are so super cute, you’ll want to hang them just for decoration!  They serve a useful purpose, too, though.  There are chores listed on one side and spots to check off down the other side – in dry erase vinyl!  Along the bottom, there are dry erase spots to keep track of days, so at the end of the week the kids (or you) can clip a reward card to the clipboard if they’ve gotten everything done.  This is really a great idea for young school aged children up through tweens to keep them on track, independently responsible for their work, and give them extra incentive.15554116713

 

Clipboard Checklists, Stacy Julian –  These checklists are simple, easy to make and very straightforward.  Clip the checklist to the clipboard and have your tween or teen check things off as they go throughout their routine.  If everything is finished at the designated time, you clip a dollar to the clipboard for them to find next time.  This is a great instant incentive for older kids who don’t need or want a lot of fuss, and still helps everyone keep track of responsibilities.  IMG_0785

 

Family Chore Board, Our Prairie Home – Here’s a fun and easy way to keep track of daily chores for everyone in the family – and it doesn’t take up a ton of space!  It’s a simple board with the names of the family written across and hooks above and below each name.  Chores are printed on small laminated tags.  Daily tasks are places on the top hook at the beginning of the day and each person moves them down to the bottom hook as they complete them.  You can personalize this idea as much as you want, use pictures for pre-readers, offer a point and reward system, or fancy it up as much as you want!Chore 3

 

Chore Tags, A Pretty Life - This system works really well for keeping track of those extra chores that pile up.  The tags are magnetic, so you can keep them on the fridge or a magnet board.  Each tag has an extra chore and a price.  The kids get to pick with chores they want to do, and when finished, move the chore to their designated hook (Which could be magnetic or not, your choice.)  At the end of the week, just pull the tags from the hook, count up all the prices listed, pay the allowance, and move the tags back to the fridge.  Voila!  This will work best with older kids and teens who know the value of a dollar!Chores1

 

Ice Cream Cone Chart, Child Made – Little kids will love this colorful, fun, ice cream themed chore chart!  Every part of the ice cream cone is sewn separately and has a magnet on the back.  Start your child with the empty cone.  Each scoop of ice cream has a chore listed on the back.  When they complete a chore, they get to add the scoop to their cone!  They’re going to flip over making ice cream cones every day and will race to clean to see who can build their cone higher!ice_cream_19

 

Folder Chore Charts, Moritz Line Designs – These couldn’t be easier (or cheaper!) to make and are exceptionally easy to use.  The days of the week are listed across the inside pockets and the daily chore check list is stapled under each day.  A dollar bill is placed in the pocket above each day.  The kids check things off the list and when the whole list for the day is completed, move the money to the envelope on the front of the folder.  It’s instant gratification, teaches the value of earning and saving, and places the responsibility and consequences for chores on the kids.  This is a great motivational chore “chart” for older kids and tweens!chorechart_inside

 

Photo Chore Chart, A Mom’s Take – This chart turns chores into a game!  Everything is magnetic and can go on a magnet board or on the fridge.  The chart itself is simply “before” photographs of each chore in a grid, all of them taken before the chore was completed – so messy shelves, unmade bed, etc.  The kid’s look at the photos and when a chore is complete, find the matching “after” photo – obviously taken when the chores are completed and therefore clean – in the container or envelope.  They place this photo OVER the the messy photo.  When all the photos are clean, the kids are done!  What a fun way to show them what to do and engage them by turning work into a game!DSCF2194-750x499

 

Clothespin Chore Tracker, The Wid Kids – A super easy chart to make, and a fun way to keep kids on track all throughout the day.  Simply make a single row of chores for your child (you can write them, draw them or print them out, then put them on poster board for durability) with your child’s name at the beginning of the row.  Start the clothespin on their name at the beginning of the day and have them move it along as they complete each task.DSC_0619

 

Post-It Note Chore Chart, Tatertots and Jello – Brilliant!  This chart uses post-it notes with chores printed on, color-coded for each child!  Every chore has 7 checkboxes for the week.  Every day, the kids check off the chores that are complete.  When they’re totally checked, they place them in the post-it folder.  There’s even a “for hire” category with bigger chores printed and a dollar amount if the kids want to do bonus work.  What’s great about this system is that it’s so easy to alter.  Add chores, take them away, switch them around, whatever!  Tweens and teens will like the trendy, fun colors, and mom will like all the work getting done!post-it-note-chore-chart-system-at-tatertts-and-jello

 

Magnetic Photo Chart, My Sister’s Suitcase – Use all those photos you take with your phone throughout the day!  Create chore photos with your smartphone and add text with various photo editing apps.  Print them out on magnetic sheets and make magnet board separated into columns and the name of each child at the top.  Put a small box or envelope under the columns.  Place the chores with the appropriate child, and have them move the photos into the box once they are completed.  Simple enough for preschoolers, fun enough for older kids!kids-chore-chart-DIY

 

Responsibility Station, Organizing Junkie – This station has absolutely everything you could want in a chore chart.  There’s a checklist for daily chores, a bucket of chore sticks for extra chores or  responsibilities, a pay check tear pad where the kids tally up how much they make per day and total it at the end of the week, and even zipper pouches separated into spend it, save it and give it.  This system is a little more detailed as far as understanding and using it, but it also reinforces lots of great lessons – math, addition, percentages, charity, responsibility, among others.  School-aged kids would love watching their “pay check” add up over the week!responsibility-station-2

 

Magnetic Flip Chart, Miss Information – With very little effort and supplies, you can make a cute chart for your fridge that your preschooler will get really excited about!  Just use some poster board or heavy card stock and fold it in half.  On the top, write, draw or print out pictures of chores all across.  On the bottom half, simply cut up to the fold – making the strips you cut as wide as the chores on top.  Glue magnets on top and bottom.  When your kids complete the chores, they flip the bottom up to the top to reveal a secret message!  Just write “all done,” “good job,” etc. on each flap.  Kids will love flipping the paper, and encouraged by all the positive reinforcement!flip chart

 

Job Chart Slider, Spoonful – It may look a little complicated at first, but this job chart slider is actually pretty easy to make!  You just need paper, cardboard, wooden skewers, straws and glue!  In no time you’ll craft up something the little kids will absolutely love to use!  List the charts down the first column (you can even divide them into daily and weekly) and on the top write “to do” on one side and “done” on the other.  The kids slide the straws from “to do” to “done” – it’s like a game!make-a-job-chart-craft-photo-420x420-FF0911CREAT_A11

Wheel of Responsibility, How Does She – This chore wheel will take virtually no time and effort to make and will save you from lots of arguments!  All you need is sturdy card stock, a brad and a pen.  Just make concentric circles of colored paper or card stock and divide them up – each tier is for something specific to your own family, with the top or center tier being the names of family members.  You can rotate the wheel whenever you see fit, though weekly makes the most sense.  This is fun for young kids, but great as they get older too since it’s a simple and indisputable visual of who does what.IMG_2008

 

From dry erase to magnetic, flip charts, spinners, sliders, stickers and clips, simple checklists to photos and pictures, this list has it all!  There’s a chore chart here for everyone – whatever your needs!

 

Featured image via And We Play.

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Check out these other great kid friendly ideas:

tipsaholic-5-tips-to-start-dinnertime-conversation-with-kids                     How to Raise Kids Who Love Learning - Tipsaholic.com                 5 Great Potty Training Books via Tipsaholic.com

Starting Dinner Conversations       Raising Kids who Love Learning    5 of the Best Potty Books

20 Clever Ways to Recycle Bleach Bottles

20 Clever Ways to Recycle Bleach Bottles - Tipsaholic.com #bleach #crafts #recycle #green


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Have you got an overabundance of empty bleach bottles in your laundry room?  It’s hard to know what to do with them once you’ve scrubbed and cleaned your way through the bleach.  Fortunately, there are plenty of uses for empty bottles, from simple and utilitarian to cutesy and kid-friendly.  Whether you’re looking for merely functional projects or crafts and home decor, here’s a complete list of things you can make.  Reuse your bottles in style with our 20 clever ways to recycle bleach bottles!

 

Portable Paint Tray - Martha Stewart: With a few clever cuts and some stacking together, you can create custom, portable paint canisters that are perfect when you need to climb up the ladder!a100744_gt05_paintcaddy_l

 

Multi-purpose Scoop – Graham56 on Instructables: All you need is a scissors for this recycled idea; simply cut part of the container away, leaving the handle behind, to make a useful scoop for everything from kitty litter to ice melt.FBRU4N7GD2JKH7Q.LARGE

 

Hair Dryer Caddy – Hometalk: If you’ve got limited drawer space in your bathroom, chances are the counter is a tangled mess of cords!  Create a hair dryer caddy from a bleach bottle and hang it in the cabinet.  Instant organization with just a few very basic steps!ybas952fe564051f5e

 

Berry Picking Basket – Blue Viola Farm: A bleach bottle is perfect for creating light weight berry picking baskets!  The photo instructions are clear and easy to follow to create some simple baskets you can use out in the garden.Blog August 19, 2012 marmalade & bottle basket 032

 

Birdfeeder – Indiana Ivy Nature Photography: Here’s a super cute way to re-use an old bottle; cut some strategic holes and start feeding the neighborhood birds!3651b3343f0d56b840fc9822b2c42caf

 

Pig Planter - Cut Out and Keep: Looking for a cute way to display your plants, indoors or out?  Create a pig planter!  A bleach bottle is the perfect shape, all you need to do is some cutting and painting!full_PigPlanters2_1300490500

 

Crocheted Bleach Bottle BagExaminer: This is a clever way to create a sturdy, hard-bottomed tote!  Cut a bleach bottle apart, punch some holes and start crocheting!  The tutorial includes a crochet pattern.b1ed44d74bc176fa6dd2937ca2cbd281

 

Woven Bleach Bottle Basket - Creative Jewish Mom: Bleach bottle baskets aren’t really a new idea, but here’s a fun new way to fancy them up!  Cut slits and slip yarn around for a woven basket look!6a011570601a80970b016300ead6f2970d-800wi

 

Fruit Basket – OhOh Blog: Here’s another idea for a basket!  Create a slipcover for the bottom of your bleach bottle out of felt!  It looks so chic you could use it just about anywhere in your home!Feld basket 1

 

Recycled Caddy – Decoracao e Invencao: This caddy is oh, so clever!  Cut the bottle into a square for the bottom of the caddy, and create long, skinny handles. Decorate with ribbons and beads.  You could use this caddy for tons of different storage needs!
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Click here to see 10 more great uses for recycled bleach bottles –>

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6 Ways to Build a Bedtime Routine

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bedtime routines

 

Crying, begging to stay up late, asking for food, drinks, or one more story – bedtime can be a struggle for parents and children at any age! Family routines can help, but it is often difficult to know where to start. Start working with your child tonight and use these 6 great tips to really design a bedtime routine that works for the whole family!

 

1. Prepare for the routine during the day

Make sure kids are not napping too late. A toddler typically needs 6 hours of afternoon wake time before being able to settle down again for bedtime, and a nap at 4:30 in the afternoon would set that time at 10:30pm! Try to plan ahead and set nap or quiet times at the appropriate hours. Also be sure to feed children a meal or snack earlier in the evening that will carry them through the night. Your best bet – a combination of protein and carbohydrates, such as string cheese and a piece of whole wheat toast.

 

2. Establish the right environment

Bright screens, loud noises, video games, movies, and other distractions all spell trouble when it comes to falling asleep. Variations in light can also interrupt sleep patterns once a child does get to sleep. If a night light is needed for nighttime trips to the restroom or keeping “monsters” at bay, select one that is dimmer and less likely to keep a child up if he or she wakes in the night.

 

3. Offer simple choices

Children, particularly toddlers, have a tendency to do the opposite of what adults ask of them. They have so little control over things that they constantly seek things they can choose – so why not bring that into your routine and thereby remove some of the “battle?” You might try choices like:

One book or two?

Green pajamas or yellow?

Bubble gum toothpaste, or mint?

Lullaby music, or no music?

Come up with some ideas for your child that fall within your own limits for bedtime.

 

4. Resist the “stay with me” pout

No matter how puppy-eyed your child gets, don’t make a habit of lying down with or rocking he or she if you want them to be able to put themselves back to sleep in the night. Learning to fall asleep on their own will help them soothe themselves if they wake and keep them from crawling into bed with mom and dad!

 

5. Consistency is the real key

No matter how you look at it, consistency is the only real way to make bedtime work. You’ve got to commit to your routine and do it every night. If a child gets out of bed, you’ve got to put them back – over and over again! Giving in when things get hard will land you right back where you began.

 

6. Other useful ideas for “cracking a tough egg”

  • Provide a transitional object like a pacifier, stuffed animal, blankie, etc. can continue to comfort a child after mom and dad have left the room.
  • Practice and role play your routine – help your child understand their new routine by doing some role playing during the day, long before bedtime. Take turns “putting each other to bed” or show them how to go through the routine by practicing on a doll.
  • Include some time for a “wind-down chat” with your child. Kids need time to release their thoughts and emotions at some point during the day, and a quiet few minutes with mom or dad in the evening can be just the thing to get them to sleep without all the “what if’s” running through their minds.
  • Older children may benefit from a “you decide” type of bedtime. If the bedtime routine is not getting them to the point where they can fall asleep quickly, there is another method you can try. Go through your routine, take them to the bedroom, and let them know that they can play or read quietly until they feel tired. Let them know that they must stay in their room, however, and if the play becomes noisy or they leave the bedroom, it’s “lights out” immediately.
  • Say goodnight to people and objects around your home. As in the book Goodnight Moon, sometimes it is helpful to tell everything else it’s time for bed before actually going to bed yourself!

 

Looking for more great parenting ideas? Try these tips for How to Help Your Toddler Listen!

 

Featured image via Better Homes Gardens.

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.