Bored Jar DIY

Summer is almost here, which means the kids are off school, which means parents will hear them say “I’m bored” about a 2847292843092849328202 times a day.

I decided to make a bored jar, that way when they complain I can send them to the jar and they can pick an activity. However they use it with caution, because I didn’t just put fun things in there to do. To keep it interesting I also added chores. If they want to tell me they are bored they run the risk of having to clean the toilet.

So here is what you need to make your own jar:

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– A Jar. (This can be a washed out pasta jar, pickle jar, whatever you have on hand.)
– Popsicle sticks
– Pens or markers
– Optional, tape to decorate the popsicle sticks.

Next write out ideas on the sticks, and put them in the jar. For added fun, you can cover up the jar with paper or tape so they can’t see what is inside.

Here is what I wrote down:

1. Write a story
2. Do the laundry
3. Make a treasure map
4. Play a card game
5. Build a card house
6. Nature walk
7. Play I SPY
8. Plant a flower
9. Play a board game
10. Play with Lego
11. Find and make a Pet Rock
12. Look at old family pictures
13. Play wii
14. 15 push ups and 15 sit ups
15. Research a topic that mom or dad picks
16. Bake cookies
17. One Chore – mom or dad picks
18. Explore on Google Earth
19. Play with Play Dough
20. Write a letter to a family member
21. Build a fort
22. Play Simon Says
23. Wash the dishes
24. Play marbles
25. Paint
26. Organize your clothes by colour
27. Bubble bath
28. Watch a movie
29. Clean your room
30. Write 5 things you love about yourself
31. Do a puzzle
32. Go to the library
33. Dance party
34. Make a craft
35. Photo scavenger hunt
36. Clean your bathroom
37. Read for 30 minutes
38. Write 5 things you love
39. Vacuum
40. Alphabetize your books
41. Draw
42. Go for a walk
43. Create a city
44. Play on your iPod
45. Make a family tree
46. Make and fly paper airplanes
47. Play catch
48. Geocaching
49. Write 5 things you love about our family
50. Journal
51. Read for 1 hour
52. Do Yoga for 30 minutes
53. Clean all the toilets
54. Mediate for 20 minutes
55. Do school work (Printed sheets from online)

Let the fun begin and put a stop to “I’m bored”.

~ Michelle

Backyard Painting With A Shower Curtain

A few weeks ago I was on Facebook and I saw that Todays Parent Magazine shared this story about a moms amazing backyard for her kids. I fell completely in love with her yard! It is amazing! I want to play in it. It also got me thinking. I don’t have a forest in my backyard, but I do have a backyard for my kids, and I have been thinking of what to do about painting with my toddler. My toddler LOVES to paint. But paper outside just doesn’t seem to do it, and we would paint right on the fence, but she didn’t like to finger paint on that. So this is where this article gave me the solution.

Hang up a clear shower curtain in the backyard! Its perfect! The rain can wash it clean, or you can. And the possibilities for my little artist are endless!

We didn’t have two trees close enough to tie it to like the mom in the article. So this is what we did, and you can to! All you need is a shower curtain, string, and a fence!

First stop, the dollar store!

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Next go outside, get some string, and string it through the loops. Next tie up the ends to the fence! Poke holes in the bottom so you can tie down the bottom corners as well!

Next step, get paint and have fun!

Even the big kids got into it! Everyone LOVED IT!

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This has quickly become the favourite spot in the backyard!

We put this up yesterday and already this morning my toddler was asking for this as soon as she finished breakfast!

I have a feeling we will be going through a lot more paint now!

~ Michelle

Things To Pack For The Cottage

Seems like this is a big part of summer for a lot of people, is a trip to the cottage. Whether you own one, rent one, or visit with friends and family. At some point a lot of people will face the hours of traffic for a bit of relaxing and fun this summer.

Here is a small list of things to make sure you pack before you spend hours in traffic.

1. Sunglasses, Sunscreen, and a Hat. Don’t want to get a sunburn on your first day out on the lake just to suffer for the rest of your vacation! Protect your skin!

2. Bathing Suits and clothes. This should be obvious, unless of course you like to skinny dip, or a nudist, in which case, skip this one.

3. Books/Magazines. IF you happen to get a few minutes to yourself, maybe after dark while the rest of the house is sleeping, or early in the morning, it’s always nice to get a chance to catch up on your reading (or gossip depending on what magazine you buy!), or to read if you get stuck in traffic. Also nice to take kids books to make sure you still get to read your kids a bed time story.

4. Life Jacket. Especially if you have kids. Always make sure you have safe, proper sized life jackets, especially if you are boating. Always good to have one on the kids all the time when they are around water.

Cottage

5. Masks/Snorkel. This was a must for my boys when they went to the cottage. They spent so much time floating around with their Life Jackets on, Masks and Snorkel watching “the under water world”.

6. Food/Drinks. And snacks for the car! No fun to show up to a cottage just to realize you have to go back out for food. Come prepared! Meal plan! No point wasting time out shopping for food when you could be rest by the lake.

7. Stuffed Animals! This was my kids idea! They said I had to put this on the list. We took some of their stuffed animals with us. A little piece of home to help make them feel comfortable and sleep better at night! When they kids sleep well at night, everyone sleeps well!

8. Toys/Games. If you have kids, and you happened to get rained out. Make sure you have something to pass the time. Or even in the evening before bed. We played so many card games. It was a lot of fun and always a good laugh.

9. Water Toys/ Pool Noodles. Sometimes even a lake needs a little extra fun. Or if there happens to be a small little beach area where you are, always nice to have a few toys handy for kids to play with.

10. Flash Light and extra batteries for it. Especially if you have a kid like my little one that had to keep turning on his flash light as soon as he thought it was getting dark out. Also super fun for making shadow puppets on the wall with at bed time! And glow sticks! Put glow sticks on the kids once it gets dark out, they think its fun, and it helps keep track of them in the dark if you happen to be out star-gazing.

11. Bug spray, After Bite, and Benadryl. Nature hates me, so these items are a must for me and my family!

What are your must have items for the cottage? 

~ Michelle

Back At It

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

After taking off some time to fully enjoy summer vacation with my kids, and also to give my husband time to fix my computer, I am finally back at it. You don’t realize how much you use and would miss your computer until you can’t use it. I’m not usually one to become attached to an object, but when its my computer and holds my photos, internet and my work – my outlet, I miss that.

So here we are. Two weeks into summer vacation and I am happy to say my children haven’t driven me completely crazy yet. We have been having a fun, low-key, relaxing time. I want to keep this theme of relaxation going all through summer vacation.

So here are my goals for this week.

Family

1. Get the boys on some sort of chores schedule. As much as I am for letting kids be kids and enjoy summer vacation, I am also for kids learning responsibility, and helping out around the house.
2. Read together every day. We have all been so worn out by the end of the day lately that we have been skipping family reading time.
3. Meal plan and have everyone help out with cooking.

Home

4. Keep the house clean and tidy. Get back into the habit of setting the timer in the evening and having everyone tidy up.
5. Finish cleaning and organizing and going through the giant pile of work and art work they brought home from school.

Personal

6. Workout. I have been SO bad on this lately. I’ve been going for walks, but that is about it. And I have put it off so long that it is affecting my mood, and that is just not good. I don’t like feeling this way.
7. Write. Not just for my blog, but for myself. Whether it is in my journal, or just writing for the sake of writing.
8. Relax. So much easier said than done. With the boys home all day and baby girl still never sleeping, I have not been alone since the boys started summer break. I have been having a hard time unwinding. Even though we are having a relaxing summer vacation, I still crave that time on my own to unwind and be on my own, even for just a few minutes.

Work

9. Write. Plan. Create.
10. Take chances. Leave my fear behind me and dive in.

Do you have any plans for this week? Or are you just soaking in all the summer vacation you can?

On a side note, remember a few weeks ago one of my goals was to stop biting my nails? I finally did that. Now if I could stop breaking them! Score 1 for me!

~ Michelle

Hello Summer

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.
Hello Summer Vacation.

HelloMonday

It’s the first Monday of summer vacation, first full week of summer fun.

I would really love to say that I have a whole whack load of plans, that I have so many goals to accomplish, that I’m all put together, that I’m totally on top of things, that I’m fully and completely organized. But I’m not any of those things, at least not today.

This week is all about summer fun. It is about letting go and enjoying the ride. It is about letting the kids be kids. It is about taking in the little things. It is about family time together. It is about endless hours of silly conversations and laughter. It is about just being together.

I want to enjoy time with the kids without an agenda and schedule. I want to enjoy the sunshine without checking my watch to see what time it is. I want to enjoy playing outside without putting a timer to it. I want to enjoy seeing my kids use their imaginations without having to stop them. I want to enjoy the freedom of being home with my 3 kids.

There will be time for schedules next week. This week is for fun.

What are you doing to celebrate the first week of Summer Vacation? 

~ Michelle

Lets Get Organized

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.
Hello Summer Vacation!

HelloMonday

Well it is finally here! The last week of school! I’m so excited for this summer. Last summer I couldn’t do much since I was recovering from a c-section and had my new-born daughter to care for. But this summer, this summer is going to be awesome. My daughter is on the move, walk and loves to explore and play outside. The thoughts of warm summer days outside in the sunshine while the kids play just sound so blissful.

So here are my goals for this last week of school.

Family

1. Come up with a plan for summer! Make a bucket list. Have pre-planned activities.
2. Go through all the school they have brought home over the school year and sort it out.
3. Meal plan!

Personal

4. Get organized. Because naturally when busy getting ready for summer I decide to take on another project.
5. Workout. Must workout. 4-5 times. I always feel better after working out, my happy level is off the charts after working out.
6. Read! Enjoy the last few quiet moments while the boys are at school!

Home

7. Keep the house clean! Set a timer before bed for 15 minutes and have everyone help tidy up.
8. Set up a chores chart for the kids for the summer.

Work

9. Get organized. This goes in part with the personal goal I have. I need to get organized in all aspects of my life.
10. Learn to take more risks.

So as you can see my goal for this week is to get Organized! How do you stay organized? Do you write lists every day? Have a binder of some sort? Have lists up and printed and put up in the house? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

How do you get ready for Summer Vacation with your kids? 
Do you have any goals for this week? 

~ Michelle

10 Fun Ways To Be Active With Your Kids This Summer

Its June, which means it is time to start the summer fun!

Here are 10 fun and easy ways to be active with your kids! Which we all know being active is important to every one, and what better way than to do it together?!

summer fun

1. Walk. So simple and free! A walk can be simple, a walk around your neighbourhood, a nature walk, walking to and from school, walking to the store.

2. Play with a ball. Kick it, throw it, chase it, bat it, whatever it is you do, just have fun with it. Pick a game where you keep score, person with the lowest score cleans the kitchen, or maybe has to clean their bedroom!

3. Make an obstacle course. Inside on a rainy day, or outside on a nice sunny day. Use chairs, sofa cushions, brooms, boxes, rope, whatever you have on hand. Or make one up at the playground, have to do things in a certain order.

4. Playground fun. Visit different playgrounds in your area, or visit some out of town ones. Have a lake near you? Visit a park near a lake and have a nice picnic lunch.

5. Water World. Set up a kiddie pool to splash in, set up buckets of water balloons, water guns (if you allow those), sprinkler.

6. Bike ride. Local bike ride, or head to a small town nearby and explore. Small towns tend to have the best ice cream, just saying.

7. Walking tour. Visit a new town or city and walk around.

8. Learn or take up a sport as a family. Soccer, baseball, basketball. Whichever tickles your fancy.

9. Set up a sports day. Have different sports you need to do, running, short distance, long distance, long jump, and such. Invite extended family. Even make a craft day before and make up ribbons.

10. Dance. Dance party in the kitchen while cooking. Dance party in the living room. Dance party in the backyard, wait till sunset and have some glow sticks! Who doesn’t love glow sticks?!

How do you plan on staying active this summer with your kids?

~ Michelle