Apple Art Project for Toddlers

Here’s a simple easy project I did with two toddlers yesterday during our September month of apples!

First, I took red construction paper and tore it into small squares.

To avoid them having to use the scissors, I was going to have them tear, but during their naptime, I felt it would be better for me to tear, as 1 is 2 years old and the other is 3 years old.

You always have to consider attention spans.

I put the torn red paper into two small bowls.

I gave them both a paper plate.

I had them dab and rub the glue all over the back of the plate.

Then, they covered the back of their plate with the red papers.

At the end, I gave them a leaf and a stem, and had them glue those on top.

Ta Da!

To modify for different ages:

*Have them tear/cut the paper

*They can cover more/less of the plate

*They can draw out the stem and leaf

*They can use marker/crayon to color in the white spots

What Did They Learn?

*They worked on following directions AND motor skills (gluing and placing)

My First Shakeology Share!

This was me a year ago. Liz and I are both still drinking Shakeology today, along with a whole bunch of family and friends.

It’s curbed our cravings, given us energy to LIVE life with our toddler boys, and tastes great.

Talk about an easy way to get all your veggies for the day in one serving!

There are tons of recipes and a new flavor was just introduced at our coach summit this week.

Liz looks even more amazing now then she did then.

Send me a note if you have any questions!

Happy Friday! (As I enjoy my chocolate-y all natural breakfast today…)

Going on a Picnic Game (no supplies needed!)

A Balancing Act

Writer’s block got the best of me last night. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about today.

My friend over on Twitter, @Techyturner suggested I write about balancing work, social media, personal hobbies, and family life to be the best person you can be.

How can you be the best _________________ (insert occupation) possible?

Biggest thing that’s helped me: write out a daily plan and stick to it.

Here are some tips of how this works for me:

1. Write down on paper the night before what you WILL accomplish the next day. Limit it to five things. The five most important things that will make you feel accomplished at the end of the day. Scratch them off as you complete them the next day.

2. Determine your priorities, and write them down on paper. What’s most important to you? Writing it down helps you stay committed to them.

3. Determine whether you are a morning person or a night owl. Now make the best of that. I value being a stay at home mom, and that is my number one priority. How can I get everything done then if I’m focused on the Anthony? I know I’m a morning person. I set the alarm for 5, and I get up. I work for an hour until he wakes up at 6. Uninterrupted. Make the most of nap times and after bedtime too.

4. One thing at a time. We all want to be known as great multitaskers, but the brain can’t function that way. Set a time limit for a certain project/task and give it all your attention. For example, going to be working on social media? Shut off your email, shut off the tv, put down the book, and set a timer (or keep your eyes on the clock). Work on social media for the hour, and then shut it off and begin the next task.

5. Never stop learning! All of us have more to learn! Constantly be a student of your area of expertise, but also read books that will help you in your personal development. Check out my post about great books to read.

How do you do it all?

What tips would you add to my list?

Positive Speaking Breeds Positive Results

Our brains understand the positive.

They block out the “negative” words such as don’t, can’t, stop.

So it’s important to speak to ourselves, and our children in positive words.

Try this:

“Don’t move your feet.”

What’s the first thing you thought of? Moving your feet, right? πŸ™‚

Check this out…see how it relates to little man Anthony, and all of us.

Potty Training….Tips, Tricks, Readiness

After running into my friend, Lisa, outside on campus a few days back, I decided that I was ready….ready for potty training.

Well, that and that fact that we were down to 3 diapers Wednesday night when I was getting Anthony ready for bed, prompted me to tell Anthony…”We don’t have any more diapers! Anthony, say, ‘No more diapers!’ ”

He repeated, “No more diapers!”

Well, with that…we were ready for Thursday morning in big boy briefs.

Has it been easy? NO

Has it been worth it? YES

Thursday, day 1, was a complete mess. Since it was warm outside, we spent most of the day out there.

I probably did 5 loads of laundry, and changed his clothes just as many times.

I cleaned pee briefs and poop briefs.

I almost gave up, but after being cheered on by my neighbor and friend, Karlie, I kept with it.

Oh how easy it would be to throw a diaper on him again and go back to normal!

But…I thought to myself…that would make Anthony think that this is always only temporary and if I do a “icky” job at it, then mommy will put me in the diaper again.


Day 2 was messy, but a little better. Day 3 was almost mess less…just 2.

Nights are dry.

So, as we are still in the middle of this, what did I learn and realize?

BOTH mom and child have to be ready.

You’ve got to be able to stay home for a good 5-7 days and KNOW there will be messes and more messes.

I was ready last summer, but Anthony wasn’t. He was only 18 months, didn’t have enough of a vocabulary yet, and really wasn’t interested.

When he was 2, he was beginning to be more interested in playing with his little play potty. This was a good sign. I wasn’t ready though. I maybe should have been, but I wasn’t ready to be cleaning up all the messes. It was winter.

This has worked out great.

So…my tips.

1. Pick a good time for BOTH of you. Watch for signs…is his diaper dry for a long period of time? Does he grab at his diaper? Tell you when he’s wet or made a “poop”? Does he have interest when he’s in the bathroom with you?

2. Have your child help pick out some fun underwear. Have at least 10-12 pairs.

3. Wait until warm weather. I’ve just found it easier to be outside most of the time. He’s been wearing shorts, so not as much of a mess down the pants. Also, less floor clean up when you are outside.

4. Have a sticker chart with EXTRA special stickers. I let Anthony play with stickers on a regular basis (working on motor skills as he places them on the paper…a teacher thing πŸ™‚ ) , so I surprised him with sparkly Oscar the Grouch stickers.

I quickly was running out of those! My hubby had an excellent FRUGAL idea. Get some of those HELLO my name is stickers or anything you are not using with a sticky back. He printed out pics of Buzz and Woody and taped them on to the HELLO badges. He cut them out and we had a ton of makeshift stickers! It’ll save you some $$

5. Be silly for him! I shouted YAY!!!! YOU DID IT!!! and clapped my hands while I danced around each time he went on the potty. Anthony got such a kick out of it! He clapped his hands and laughed each time! I know that was motivating for him!

6. Reward with allowing him to pick a treat. We are not big with giving treats all the time, so this is a big deal in our healthy home. Each time (especially on the first two days) he went on the toilet, he got to pick his treat. He chose a small square of chocolate once, mango sorbet once, some mini chocolate chips once, and many times he picked the mint chocolate patties I froze for him. All allergy free of course!

I’ll admit, I was afraid of this last one, but he doesn’t even want the treats anymore…and this is day 5. He’s tired of it. The novelty is wearing off.

7. Set a time for no more liquids at night. My friend Karlie gave me this tip. For us, we stop at 6/6:30. Anthony goes to bed around 9. Depending on your child’s bed time, you may need to adjust that. This totally has helped with a dry bed at night!

These are the tips that have worked in our home this week.

Nothing drastic, but it has worked. Tip one is really the most important in my eyes.

Both the teacher and the student need to be ready!

Ok readers…SPILL IT! What are your tips? What has worked for you in the potty training world??

Five Fingers For Figuring Out the Story!

Help your child/student delve deeper into a book while reading.

Reading the words on the page is not enough!

Help your child uncover the 5 key points in books, and then you can help unlock their reading potential!