Fun on a Budget for Kids 3ish-8ish

dawnblogtopus cartoon kids

February vacation starts next week. Here are some ideas to keep the kids busy and have fun on a budget.

If your kids are having February vacation next week you’re either excited to have extra time together, or possibly dreading it! Or maybe you’re feeling a little bit of both. Even if you are looking forward to the kids being home, you’re probably not looking forward to the “I’m booorrreddd…” and “There’s nothing to dooooooo….” that often comes with more than a day or two off of school. Here are some suggestions for some things to keep Preschool-2nd grade-ish busy.

YouTube Karaoke

No matter what kind of songs your kids like if you google the name of the song and “lyrics” it will pop up a YouTube video with the song and the lyrics on the screen, that way they can sing along. Of course, this is only for kids who can read, so probably 1st and 2nd graders or older.

My daughter loves doing this even though she can’t read – because she knows all of the words to just about any song that’s on the radio, and this let’s me sing along with her. For even more karaoke fun, you can get karaoke microphones made for kids on Amazon at various price points. I’ll put a couple down below so you can check them out. I actually have the first one, it has bluetooth so you can hook it up to your phone or iPod

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Snow Painting

Snow painting is super easy and super fun! Just get a clean squirt bottle of any type – a cleaned out condiment bottle would work, or you can go to the Dollar Tree and have a selection of a few different types. Then just add a few drops of food coloring and water, and go out and paint the snow! Fun, cheap, and will keep them busy until they get too cold.

Make COokies

What’s better than a project that you can eat? Get out the ingredients to make the dough and bake those cookies together. If you’re not the baking type, then you can get some slice and bake cookies and let the kids use cookie cutters and have fun!

I hope that you found this article on having fun with kids on a budget helpful. There’s nothing worse than whiny kids home for a while week! Keep ’em busy! If you need some ideas for pampering yourself after this week is over, check out my article Taking Care of You.

Love, DawnBlogtopus

Life Too Busy?

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Is your life extra busy? Here are some suggestions on how to chill out and get the most out of your time.

If you have kids, especially more than one, you are probably in the car for about 20% of your time each week. They kids need to be taken to school, playdates, the library, sports, etc. Not only that, you are probably doing their laundry, cleaning the house, and then cooking dinner. That isn’t even including if you have a full-time job! It’s important to stay calm even when you feel like you don’t have a moment for yourself. Here are some ideas to keep you sane.

Keep a Tight Schedule

One of the most important ways to maximize your time is to have a set schedule. You obviously know when you need to drop-off/pick-up the kids, but what about all of the extra-curricular activities that they participate in? How about the re-occurring doctor’s appointments?  Try to schedule your errands such as Target runs, grocery shopping, and the gym on the same days each week as well. It might not give you extra free time, but at least you know what you have on your plate for the upcoming week, and you might even be able to schedule yourself some “me time” in there somewhere.

“Me Time” is Important

It’s easy to get burned out when you have a full schedule, especially if most of the things on your schedule are doing things for other people. You need to schedule in some down time in your calendar as well. Getting through a crazy week is much easier if you know that you know that you are going to have a few hours of “me time” on Sunday afternoon. If you aren’t able to schedule yourself a large chunk of time every week, try scheduling in smaller half-hour bites of time every day.

Remember, April Vacation is only a few short months away. You can make it!

Have You Sent Out Christmas Thank Yous?

screenshot-1Have you sent out thank you cards for your Christmas presents? Set a good example for your kids.

The easiest way to say thank you is either emailing, texting, or calling, of course. However, if you really want to show your appreciation for an extra-special gift, why not send them a card and write a special message inside? You can get very cheap cards at Target for .99, and in fact, if you would like to be cost-effective and plan on sending lots of thank you notes, buy a multi-pack of blank cards and save them for the next time that you would like to send someone a thank you card. As for today, it costs .47 to mail a letter. I always buy the forever stamps, some of them have really cute designs on them.

Get the Kids Involved

If your Christmas was anything like mine, the bulk of the presents were for the kids. Don’t just send off a card without involving the kids! Older kids can write their own thank you message, younger ones can copy the words “Thank you” that you write for them, and the littler ones can just write their name or draw a picture. If you’re sending a thank you on behalf of a baby, take a picture of the baby with the present and print it out and include it with the card. Priceless!

 

Shortcuts for Busy Moms

Image result for busy octopusAs a Mom of 3 I have zero extra time to waste. Let me give you some shortcuts for busy moms to save some time in your everyday life.

If you’re a busy person like me, you could probably use some time-saving shortcuts to use throughout your day to save you not only time but energy and effort as well. Do you have a big family? Read on for some tips to help busy moms tackle the chores.

Laundry

Image result for laundry sorting

Do you have a shared laundry hamper in the bathroom? Do you and your mate share a hamper? Are you tired of having to sort the laundry by family member? Assign each family member a laundry day. That way each person has a full day to get all of their laundry done, and there is no sorting between family members needed.

Here’s a shortcut – let the kids help

Kids as young as 3 can start learning how to do the laundry. They should already know how to put their dirty clothes into a hamper. Just give them their own, you can get different colors for different kids if you still want to keep them all in the bathroom. On their assigned laundry day help them carry the hamper to the washer, and get them to stick all of the clothes inside. Put the detergent in and show them the buttons to start the washer.

As long as your washer/dryer set is front load, they should be able to transfer their own laundry and let them press the buttons to start it. I started my daughter on laundry at age 3, and now at 5 she can do it 95% on her own, I just put the detergent in for her because I keep it on a high shelf she can’t reach so the baby can’t get into it. Poison, you know.

Big Family, Lots of Cups

Create a “1 cup per person per day” rule at your house. Assign each person in your house their own personal cup. The owner of that cup is responsible for washing their cup throughout the day if they want to change drinks, and also for washing it or putting it in the dishwasher at the end of the night. Kids age 5+ should be able to do these things as long as they can reach the sink, but you might have to help anyone under age 5.

Do you have any time-saving shortcuts for big families? I would love to hear them. Comment down below!  And if you need a little me time (like most busy moms do!) be sure to check out my article Time to Relax.

Fajiabao Baby Bath Tub Animal Toys Fun Swimming Whale

This is an adorable bathtub whale toy. It actually has two different fun functions to it. You can push the little button at the top of his head and he will squirt water out of his blow hole, or you can pull the tiny whale on a string, and it makes the whale flop his fin around and makes him swim in the bathtub. My baby boy is completely enthralled when I make the whale swim. He is only 8 months old, so he doesn’t really understand what’s going on except that the whale is cool! He loves to play with this whale in the tub. He thinks it’s super fun.

My baby likes this whale toy, so I like this whale toy. It’s fun, affordable, and works exactly like it should work.

I received a discount on this product for my honest review and opinions. Thanks for reading.

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Fairy Season Toddler Prewalker Football Lace Up Sneaker (6-12 months)

Fairy Season Toddler Prewalker Football Lace Up Sneaker Breathable PU Leather Trainers Shoes (12-18 months, Blue)

These are really super cute little tiny shoes for little babies that can’t walk yet. I got the ones that are white with blue soccer balls. They are adorable and they look really cute on my baby’s feet. The reason that I’m giving this four stars instead of 5 is it’s really hard to know if the shoes are going to fit your baby or not. I was considering getting a few other pairs of them but I’m just not sure if they will fit my nephew’s or not. I do think that they are super cute though and they look like big boy shoes even though they are perfect for a little babies foot. They are soft soled, and my baby actually really likes to chew on them. They seem like they are comfortable and he doesn’t complain about them by crying so I guess he likes them too.

I received this product at a discount for my honest review and opinions. Thanks for reading.

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Crafty Bot 4 White Liquid Chalk Markers Set

This is a really nice chalk marker set. You get so many things in this set that it’s hard to name all of them. You get four white chalk markers, you get an eraser, you get extra nibs, and you get a bunch of different chalkboard stickers. I think that this is a good deal, because you get so many extra things and the price is comprable to other sets.

These chalk markers are the same quality as any other chalk marker that I have ever gotten. They all seem to be pretty much the same no matter which brand or color of markers that I get. They come in a cute little box with a robot on it. If you are getting this as a gift for someone it would be a cute little extra to go along with a chalkboard.

These chalk markers work well you just have to shake them before you use them, and make sure that you press the nib down a few times to get the chalk flowing.

This is a nice set, I would definitely get it again.

I received this product at a discount for my honest review and opinions. Thanks for reading.

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Natalie Styx 5 in 1 curling iron wand set with 5 pcs Interchangeable Tourmaline Ceramic Heads

This Natalie Styx 5 in 1 Curling Wand set is really quite nice. It’s a very classy gift set that includes a base with 5 different sizes of wands that you can snap on and off of the base to create different styles and looks for the day. This set also includes a heat glove. The heat glove is very good because it covers the whole hand, is a thin material, but still protects very well against burns and abrasions. You can use this glove on either your right or left hand and it works just as well on either. And finally, you get a travel case that is heat-proof so you can pack away your curling iron as soon as you are done using it. All of these things come in a nice box that could definitely make a great gift for someone, or you can keep the extra barrels in it for storage if you don’t use all of the sizes as often as others.

This Natalie Styx 5 in 1 Curling Wand set can be used on any length of hair. The larger barrel is great for my long hair to create nice beachy waves, and the smaller barrels are nice for using on my daughter who has hair that is a little bit shorter.

My Natalie Styx 5 in 1 Curling Wand heats up in around 3ish minutes, and each of the barrels has a built-in stand that you can use when you are using it on the base so the curling wand isn’t resting directly on your bathroom counter or vanity table.

Finally, Natalie Styx 5 in 1 Curling Wand has preset temperature settings that you can see on the LCD screen, and you can change them if you need more heat in one particular area or another that you might have thicker hair.

All in all this is an excellent curling wand set, it is sturdy and feels like it’s made of higher quality materials than my previous curler. It’s an excellent beauty tool. I like it a lot.

I received this product to test and give my honest review and opinions on. Thanks for reading.

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Rose Pacifier Clips for a Girl with BPA Free Silicone Teether

This is a really nice set of two different pacifier clips for a little girl. The Pacifier Clips are pretty much the same except they are different color schemes, 1 is green with white and has a red rose in the middle, and the other is green and darker green and has a white rose in the middle. They are made the same way though they are sturdy and they are a kind of thick silicone rubber so the baby can easily too if they are teething.

My baby is a boy, so I got this pacifier clip set for my best friend who has a little baby girl the same age. The little baby girl likes his pacifier clip holders a lot, she chews on them and they look really cute with her outfits.

This pacifier clip holder works with a lot of different kinds of binkies, my son and his little girlfriend really like the mam and they fit just fine with this pacifier clip holder. kind of binkies and they fit just fine with this pacifier clip holder.

I received this product at a discount for my honest review and opinions. Thanks for reading.

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The YogiiiTote | Yoga Mat Tote Sling Carrier w/ Large Side Pocket & Zipper Pocket

I got this yoga bag tote because I recently joined the YMCA and I really wanted to take some of the yoga classes but I didn’t want to use their mats that other people have sweated all over so I decided to get my own mat. And when you have your own mat of course you need a mat carrier. So enter this yoga mat carrier made by Yogiii.

The reason that I am giving this product for stars instead of 5 is the color is kind of awful. The mat is well-made and seems sturdy and seems like it will last for years to come. However, the color that I received is this really yucky kind of dark mustard yellow color and it is really not cute at all. I really wish that I had gotten a different color, I think that the red one or one of the darker ones might be much cuter. This one looked nice on the screen though but in person the color is yucky.

Even though I don’t like the color, I am still going to continue using this bag because it really is made of a good construction and is very handy to bring yoga mat, water bottle, and whatever else you might need to bring with you.

I received this product at a discount for my honest review and opinions. Thanks for reading.

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