Parenting Tips

14 Healthy Habits for Kids That You Can Help Them Develop

Learn how to raise healthy kids by encouraging healthy habits for kids! Check out 14 healthy habits that will improve your childs life that you can help them develop! #healthyhabits #healthy #habits #kids #kidsactivities #parenting #mom #stresslessbehealthy

14 Healthy Habits for Kids That You Can Help Them Develop

We all want our kids to grow up healthy and strong.

Eating the right foods, not becoming obese, and choosing healthy habits.

But, saying we want our children to be healthy,  actually encouraging healthy habits for kids in this country, and making the outcomes reflect our efforts; isn’t what we would hope it is.

As of August 2018 18.5% of children between 2 and 19 years old are obese in the U.S.; that’s more than 13 million children!¹

Of course, there are different reasons (and excuses) for raising a child who becomes obese. It’s sometimes completely out our control; have it be a medical issue, or something else.

But, there are also habits that we can help our children develop, from the time they start eating and moving, that will help them stay healthy their entire lives!

(Grab free printable worksheets here, to encourage your kids to develop healthy habits!)

But, first, let’s go over what a healthy habit for kids is.

What is a healthy Habit?

A healthy habit is simply a behavior that will benefit someone physically or mentally.

A few examples, right off the bat, would be exercise, meditation, and eating the right foods.

But, let’s dig a little deeper, because I’m sure you already knew that exercise, meditation, and eating the right foods are healthy habits. And, telling a child to exercise, meditate, and eat the right foods isn’t going to help them very much when trying to have them develop healthy habits. It’s too vague and they may not even know how to do those things or what it means to practice those habits.

How is a child to know what they should be doing to be healthy when told vague things to do. All it’s going to do is frustrate them and make developing healthy habits something they associate with frustration.

So, let’s go over some healthy habits that you can help, or encourage, your child to start developing.

Remember not to have them start too many at once. Starting too many at once is a good way to overwhelm them and have them associate developing healthy habits with frustration. Start with one, guide them, help them, encourage them, and practice the habit yourself if you can.

Once they have one down, move on to another.

Start with the easiest habit for your child to do; to build up their confidence that they can build healthy habits and improve their life! It’ll make all the other habits a littler easier, too!

 

Healthy Habits for Kids: Nutrition

Focusing on good nutrition is the best thing you can do to help encourage your child to start creating healthy habits of their own.

Be sure to be a good example and eat what you want them to eat, or there’s no sense in encouraging this.

Mama always has the best food on their plate and kids know this; make sure it’s healthy, not just delicious!

Healthy Habit for Kids #1: Drink water

Water is vital for everyone to consume!

If your child is in grade school or middle school, they may have even learned in school that the human body consists of about 70% of the human body. (Roughly 55% – 75% depending on age.²)

This should be the first healthy habit your child should start, if they haven’t already. If you don’t regularly drink water; start NOW!

My girls started drinking water as soon as they could hold a sippy cup.

Water is the only drink your child needs.

Many people may argue that kids need milk growing up, as well. And, I agree that certain types of milk for kids can be very beneficial. But, there are other sources for children to get protein and calcium. I’m not saying to not let your kids have milk, my girls and I drink soy milk every day (it has just as much protein and calcium, but is void of cholesterol and has less sugar than cows milk). What I’m trying to say is that water should be the main, or go to, drink for your kids everyday.

You can help them create, and stick to, this habit by:

  • only having water (and milk) available for your kids to drink
  • don’t buy the sugary drinks like juice and soda
  • let your kids have a special water bottle to take everywhere
  • be a good example and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water

If you like teaching your children new and fun things in a way they can understand; teach them of the importance of water.

Use the Water Tracking sheet in this printable packet to help them keep track of their water intake and turn it into a fun game!

Healthy Habits for Kids #2: Focus on Fruits and Veggies

Everyone knows fruits and veggies are the best foods we can eat!

Your grew up being told to eat your veggies, or maybe you weren’t. But, you still know that they are an important part of our diet, and should be included (and possibly even the main part) of our diets!

Have them choose meals that have a veggie, or veggies, as the base. Such as salads, pasta with veggie sauce (like my vegan ziti), or anything else they can think of. Pinterest may help with this. (Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest here!)

So, help your kids get enough fruits and veggies in their diets a day. Or, at least 5-8 per day.

A few things you can do to help them eat more fruits and veggies are:

(Or teach them to make smoothies by themselves; my 6 year old only needs a little help getting the top on our nutri-ninja cup for making a smoothie, she does the rest herself!)

If your child is a picky eater, check out these tips from 25+ moms to help get your child to eat veggies.

Find Printable worksheets to encourage eating the rainbow in this printable packet!

Healthy Habit for Kids #3: Eat a Solid Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Green Smoothie Bowl Recipe
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

It’s the first thing our kids eat in the morning; it not only needs to replenish them from their nightly fast, but also fuel them for the morning ahead!

Our body needs nutrients, carbs, protein, and fat in the morning; all three macro-nutrients to keep us going all morning long. And, it’s the same for our kids.

Kids need a healthy breakfast; there have even been studies showing that kids who ate breakfast regularly had higher IQ’s. ³

So, let’s get our kids eating a healthy breakfast, whether it’s a school day or not!

Help your child stick with this healthy habit by:

  • making a smoothie for (or with) breakfast
  • make breakfasts ahead of time and freeze or keep in the fridge for the week (think pancakes with oat flours, or oatmeal)
  • encourage the to have fruit/veggies as at least half f their breakfast
  • eat breakfast with them in the morning
  • have everything ready to go the night before

There are a lot of different things your child can have as a healthy breakfast. Variety is your friend when it comes to eating, breakfast included.

However, try to avoid just giving them cereal, toast, or a single serving of fruit for breakfast.

This should ideally be the largest meal of the day!

Healthy Habit for Kids #4: Eat Whole Local Foods (or Grow their own Food)

Eating as local as possible will help the local economy, help support farmers in the community, and the food will generally be healthier (or have less pesticides on them).

Kids may not understand this when young. But, as they grow older, you can talk to them about this and they may feel good about themselves for helping support those in their community.

Or, take this one step further and help them plant a garden of their own to eat from!

Many kids love growing their own food and to take on the extra responsibility. You may be surprised at how into it they are once you start!

Help them with this habit by:

  • taking them to the local farmers market
  • check out localharvest.org to see if there are any farmers markets, co-ops, farms, or more in your area to eat more locally to support your community
  • dedicate a small section of your yard for a small veggie garden
  • have your kids help you grow berry bushes and fruit trees
  • buy potted plants with produce (especially if you are renting your home or don’t have a yard to grow food in
  • take your child to community garden to volunteer (if there is one in your area)
  • take your child to pick apples, berries, or other produce (check the link above for places in your area)

Helping children understand the process from seed to plate, and take on some of the responsibility of their food, can go a long way with creating life time healthy habits!

Healthy Habit for Kids #5: Limit Processed and Fast Food

So far you have learned what to help your child do to start their healthy habits. But, helping your child overcome bad eating habits is just as important.

Hopefully, with all the new healthy eating habits your child will start picking up, it’ll start pushing out the bad eating habits; such as eating processed foods.

By processed foods, in general, we’re talking about foods that come in boxes, bags, cans, or something else; foods that have many ingredients, some of which we don’t even know what they are.

Along with limiting, or avoiding, processed foods, kids should also limit or avoid fast food, as well.

Sure, these two types of foods are convenient and can make life easier when you have a busy life. But, in the long run, these are the foods that are going to contribute to disease and chronic health issues later in life.

You can help your child avoid these types of foods by:

  • meal prepping over the weekend to have healthy food easily available all week long
  • stop buying highly processed foods
  • read labels and ingredient lists on foods before buying
  • tell your child what each ingredient in a food is (even the chemicals, like BHT or MSG)
  • stop eating out (by using the first tip in this list)
  • teach your child how to make home cooked meals (and learn how to, if you don’t know)

Doing these things will help your child eat better now, and eat better after they leave home.

Set your child up for success by teaching them how to cook by themselves. My six year old is already pretty handy in the kitchen and is always asking to help with more. Hopefully, your children can get to the point where they are like that, as well.

Kids usually enjoy helping in the kitchen; it helps them feel included, important, and builds up their confidence!

Healthy Habit for Kids #6: Don’t Overeat

One habit that many people tend to have as adults is overeating.

This causes weight gain, along with other issues and health concerns that come along with that.

We all know that overeating isn’t good for us, but have a hard time stopping because it’s simply what we’re used to.

Help your child avoid overeating and turning overeating into a habit by:

  • setting guidelines for where it’s appropriate to eat (ex. can eat at kitchen table, not in bedroom)
  • keep serving dishes in the kitchen, or off the table
  • show your child how much one serving is
  • teach your child to eat until they are 80% full, then wait 20 minutes to see if they are still hungry or not
  • lead by example
  • don’t starve them (we, including our kids, have a built in system to tell us when we’re full; let that tell your child when to stop eating, not you)

The human body is amazing, in that it signals to our brain when full to helps us from overeating.

The trick is telling whether our child is still hungry, or just wants the next sweet thing that’s available to eat. Do the apple test with your child if this is an issue; if they’re not hungry enough to eat an apple (or another fruit or veggie) then they’re not truly hungry.

Learn how to raise healthy kids by encouraging healthy habits for kids! Check out 14 healthy habits that will improve your childs life that you can help them develop! #healthyhabits #healthy #habits #kids #kidsactivities #parenting #mom #stresslessbehealthy

 

Healthy Habits for Kids: Physical Fitness

It’s said that nutrition is 70% of being healthy and physical fitness is 30% (although, that doesn’t take into consideration mental health).

Whatever you believe, you know that developing habits to help with physical fitness is important to your childs health now, and in the future.

Start encouraging the healthy habits below!

Healthy Habit for Kids #7: Walk When and Where You Can

If you live in town this habit will be easier for you and your child to start.

Even if they don’t get any other exercise during the day; walking everywhere they can will do wonders for their health, and help them improve their health.

Ways you can help:

  • walk, instead of drive, places
  • park as far away from the store as you can
  • go for a daily walk down the street (especially if you don’t live in town and are unable to walk places)

It doesn’t matter where you walk to, just encourage your child to walk more, and walk with them. Be a good example. Use this time to talk to them about their day, or just to find out what’s on their mind. Bonus if you turn this walking time into bonding time, too!

Healthy Habit for Kids #8: Exercise Everyday

Whether your child takes a walk with you everyday, such as walking to school if close enough, or needs another way to get some exercise in their day; be sure to make this happen as often as possible.

A good rule of thumb to know when your child has had sufficient exercise in a day is to find out if they sweat at all that day from exercise. It may sound gross, but that’ll help you determine if the intensity, or length, of exercise if enough to get their blood pumping and heart rate up.

If your child didn’t sweat from exercising, then the exercise they did wasn’t enough for the day.

Now, the intensity and length of exercise a child will need may different from other children and that’s all right. And, of course, if they want to exercise longer, or push themselves, in general, that’s a really good thing!

It’s alright if your child is done exercising after doing 25 jumping jacks, or running around your house one or two times. The more often they do this, the more used to it their body will get, and the more they’ll be able to do.

(Use this rule of thumb for your own exercise, too)

You can help them with this habit by:

  • exercising with them
  • asking them if they can do a little more each day, or each week
  • helping your child write down what they did each day for exercise
  • having your child set fitness goals (ex. be able to do 25 push ups by the end of the month)
  • encourage them to go outside
  • have them create their own work out routine (or you create a simple workout routine for them, or buy a workout video/watch youtube workout videos)
  • play music at home (dancing is great exercise)

Your child may even end up thanking you for helping them create this healthy habit when young.

Exercising can help reduce money mental health issues, and help anyone, in general, simply feel good overall. Along with keeping unwanted weight off, staying fit, increasing confidence, and much more!

Healthy Habit for Kids #9: Stretch in the Morning and/or Before Bed

Do you stretch when you wake up or go to bed?

Do you have any idea how amazing it feels to add stretching into your regular routines?

Stretching not only reduces back pain and helps you and your child become more flexible, it can also reduce stress and improve posture!

I know you want you want the best for your kids, so help them remember to stretch everyday by:

  • setting an alarm once or twice a day as a reminder to stretch
  • adding stretching into their night time routine
  • stretch with them
  • use youtube to learn to stretch right (in case you haven’t done it in awhile either)

Even stretching once a day can have many benefits. Help them add it into their daily routine to help them feel better and reduce stress, such as right before they climb into bed for the night.

Some school classrooms may even help your child develop this habit by having a regular mini yoga class in the classroom. My 6 year old came home after the first week of school so excited because she got to do yoga at school, and loved it!

Healthy Habit for Kids #10: Get Plenty of Sleep

Children need a lot of sleep, whether our kids think they do or not! (I know my girls don’t think they need any more sleep then I do, but they do; their behavior on some days proves it.)

This habit will be harder to help with the older our kids get, so start as young as possible and set a bedtime. In general, kids need anywhere from 8-11 hours of sleep every night. So, if your child wakes up at 6 every morning to eat a healthy breakfast and get ready for school; set their bedtime at 7 the night before.

Even if your child doesn’t fall asleep right away at bedtime, it’ll give them enough buffer time to still get the amount of sleep needed. And, as you probably know, getting enough sleep will help with your childs mood, memory, and more!

Some ways you can help with this healthy habit:

  • set, and stick to, an early bedtime
  • limit screen time through out the day
  • turn all screens off at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • have a relaxing bedtime routine (such as a bath, brush teeth, stretch, read a story, then sleep)
  • keep the volume down after bedtime (such as keeping the volume to your show down, or not doing any cleaning, baking, or cooking that tends to be loud)

Most adults in this country are sleep deprived, so do yourself a favor, and be a good example for your child, and make sure you get plenty of sleep, too!

Healthy Habits for Kids: Mental Health

I know, some people don’t really think mental health matters to someones overall health, but that’s only because they don’t understand it.

Going to school for 4 years focusing on child psychology, neuropsychology, and then obsessing about health and eating well; I can tell you just how important (and related) mental health is to our overall health! But, that’s a lesson for another time. Let’s go over healthy habits for kids mental health, so they can achieve their dreams, become confident, healthy, and happy adults!

Healthy Habit for Kids #11: Practice Affirmations (with Help if Little)

Don’t dismiss affirmations for your child. There are plenty of people who do not believe in the power of affirmations.

Again, many people who don’t believe positive affirmations work, are those who simply don’t understand how they work, or those who have never tried them.

However, they do work and will do wonders to help your child be healthy, happy, and become confident in what they can do.

Click on the image to get the printable!

This is probably one of the easiest healthy habits that you can help with. You  can do so by:

  • saying the affirmations to your child (basically, tell them how wonderful, confident, smart, capable, etc. they are)
  • write out affirmations for your child to say to themselves (if they can read)
  • add this to their morning routine
  • print out positive affirmations from this child’s “My Healthy Habits” workbook and post them where your child will see them in the morning

Don’t underestimate the power of practicing positive affirmations to help your child enjoy their life and love themselves more. It really works and will help keep them happy go lucky, or improve their outlook on life.

How can someone have a negative outlook on life when they’re telling themselves positive things each and every morning first thing when they wake up?

Healthy Habit for Kids #12: Meditate (or Sit in Silence)

By sitting in silence, I do NOT mean encouraging your child to sit silently in front of a screen watching a show or playing video games.

This healthy habit for kids is about shutting out stimulants and introducing peace to the mind and body.

It can be use to decrease stress and anxiety, increase focus and concentration, and improve the outlook on life.

However, just as other healthy mental habits are misunderstood, so is meditation.

How you can help your child meditate (or sit in silence):

  • teach them how (you can quickly learn how here)
  • have them listen to a guided meditation on youtube (if you really don’t get it, or need more help getting them started)
  • respect the time they choose to meditate by keeping the rest of your home quiet
  • mediate at the same time they do (possibly in a separate room to avoid distracting each other)

Starting the habit of meditation may not seem like the most exciting habit, but it is one of the most beneficial!

Don’t feel bad if you and your child struggle with meditating at first, it can be hard to get a hang of. Start with 5 or so minutes and increase the time spent meditating by then. If your child can only sit still and meditate for 5 minutes, that’s better than nothing at all. Increase it by 10 or 15 seconds a time if need be.

Healthy Habit for Kids #13: Read (or be Read to)

You know reading to children from the time they are little is beneficial.

Whether it’s to help them learn to talk, learn the meaning of words, or learn how to read for the first time; reading is a wonderful habit to encourage.

Later in life, they will use skill to read to get through, and possibly excel at, school and every other aspect of their life. The more they read the more they learn, and the ability to learn is one of the best skills anyone can have and hone in on!

A few ways you can encourage this habit:

  • read to them from day one, if possible
  • read to them every night before bed
  • have them read to you, or to themselves, once they are able to
  • keep books in all rooms of the home, and in the car (unless they get car sick when they read in the car)
  • set a dedicated reading time in your home, when everyone reads (doesn’t that just sound nice!)

There are many ways you can encourage your child to read, and with access to thousands of books on ipads and tablets through amazon’s kindleunlimited, there’s no reason not to read. If your child doesn’t have a tablet, ipad, or you’re trying to limit all of their screen time, find your local library and make a weekly trip to get new books for them to read.

There’s just something so nice about opening up and reading an actual physical book!

Healthy Habit for Kids #14: Write (or Draw)

Along side helping you child develop reading as a habit, developing writing, or even drawing, as a habit is just as important.

Children can start drawing as soon as they figure out how to hold a crayon. It may take some time for them to develop their abilities and try to communicate their emotions through their pictures. But, drawing is one of the first ways that a child can express themselves in an appropriate manner to let us know how they truly feel.

Such as, when they start going to school for the first time and they start drawing a picture of themselves sad, and then the next picture they draw a few days later is of them at school and they’re happy. And, they ask you how to spell certain words, like “I” “love” “school”.

Children can have a difficult time expressing how they feel in an appropriate way; helping them develop the habit of drawing, and then later writing, how they feel is amazing for their mental health. It allows their negativity to come out of them, not harming others or throwing a tantrum, and allows them to more easily show appreciation for others. (My daughters teacher has a whole book of drawings, just from my daughter.)

A few ways you can help your child develop this habit:

  • make sure there is always paper and something to write with available to your child
  • encourage them to go color if they say they’re bored
  • draw with them (don’t get annoyed if they ask you to draw a heart or star 50 times in the same sitting)
  • spell out words for them when asked to help teach them to spell
  • teach them how to draw letters, even if not in school yet (dot to dots work really well!)
  • have them write out their feelings and what their grateful for (a gratitude journal) once they are old enough

Writing and drawing isn’t only a great way for our children to express their emotions, it’s great for us to do as well. Especially when it comes to living a more positive life. If you don’t have a gratitude journal, why not start one alongside your child and remind each other to write in it every morning!

 

Remember, One at a Time

Alright, that may have been a lot of information, a lot for you to think about, and a lot for you and your child to implement to start (or continue) your healthy journeys together.

But, I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. So, remember to choose just ONE to start with and not move onto developing another habit til both of you are ready.

Let’s review the 14 healthy habits for kids:

  1. Drink water
  2. Focus on Fruits and Veggies
  3. Eat a Solid Breakfast
  4. Eat Whole Local Foods (or Grow their own Food)
  5. Limit Processed and Fast Food
  6. Don’t Overeat
  7. Walk When and Where You Can
  8. Exercise Everyday
  9. Stretch in the Morning and/or Before Bed
  10.  Get Plenty of Sleep
  11. Practice Affirmations (with Help if Little)
  12. Meditate (or Sit in Silence)
  13. Read (or be Read to)
  14. Write (or Draw)

There a limitless ways you can help your children develop these healthy habits for kids.

But, one of the best things you can do for you child is to be the best example you can for your child.

Do what you want them to do.

Talk how you want them to.

Eat what you want them to eat.

Feel how you want them to feel.

Because, believe it or not, your children will take after you, even if slightly, and even if they don’t want to admit it.

Don’t forget to save this on Pinterest to refer to later, and share on Facebook for all of your friends who want to raise healthy kids to see.

(Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest.)

You can make a difference in this world, we can make a difference in this world, by raising a healthier future generation. Spread this around!

Learn how to raise healthy kids by encouraging healthy habits for kids! Check out 14 healthy habits that will improve your childs life that you can help them develop! #healthyhabits #healthy #habits #kids #kidsactivities #parenting #mom #stresslessbehealthy

Sources

¹ https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html

² https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

³ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3606659/

The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Ever wonder how to get kids to eat vegetables? It can be tough sometimes. Learn the advice from 25+ moms on how to get your child to eat their vegetables! #pickyeaters #healthyhabits #healthtips #children #toddlers #moms #momlife #veggies #vegetables #stresslessbehealthy

The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables: Advice from 25+ Moms

What’s Inside: tips, tricks, and quotes from real moms on how to get kids to eat vegetables, that actually work, even with picky eaters!

 

Have you ever wondered how to get your child to eat their vegetables?

 

I’m sure you probably have!

 

In fact, I’m sure that’s a question all parents end up asking themselves at least once while their kids are little. Between picky eaters and children wanting to test their limits 24/7; it can be hard to imagine how we will ever get past the stage of saying ‘my child won’t eat vegetables‘ whenever we’re asked about their eating habits!

 

Luckily, you will eventually get past that stage…Hopefully! Some parents will get through it more easily than others, but we all may very well struggle, especially with picky eaters. I know, my oldest is a very picky eater and her younger sister is trying to take after her…

 

Sometimes you’ll have to be creative and start sneaking veggies in toddler food for your toddlers, or even hiding them in your own food. Because obviously, whatever is on your plate is way better than what’s on your child’s plate, and they insist on eating what you have, even when the same food is on their plate.

 

I get it, it’s hard sometimes. But, it doesn’t have to continue being a struggle forever!

Check out the amazing advice in the posts and quotes below. Build up your confidence in knowing how to conquer the picky eating and stubbornness that may arise when feeding your kids.

 

Some of the strategies below may even have you feeling and knowing that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you imagine it to be! So, read on and take our advice, from one mom to another!

 

If you’re wondering “How can I trick my child into eating vegetables?”

First, know that you’re not alone.

Many parents wonder this, especially with picky eaters in the household.

 

Don’t feel like a bad parent for wanting to deceive your child, simply to get them to eat their veggies. You’re only thinking of what’s best for them. You want your child to grow up healthy and strong; and that means that you need to do what you can to help or encourage them to eat the food that is best for them, such as veggies.

 

There’s plenty of recipes you can choose from to sneak veggies into a childs diet. Check some out in this post: 18 Healthy Recipes with Hidden Veggies for Kids

 

And, don’t forget to take advice from the posts and quotes from 25+ real moms below!

 

12 Ways to Get Veggies into a Childs Diet

veggies for kids
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

Find out 12 different types of food you can sneak veggies into (plenty of recipes to try), along with the pros and cons of sneaking veggies into your childs food.

“I like to hide veggies in other foods. My sons has fallen in love with chocolate zucchini bread. It may not be the most healthy thing, but at least I don’t have to wrestle him to the ground to get him to eat it.” ~Brittany from Figuringitout101.com

 

THE TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOUR KIDS SHOULD EAT BEETS (AND YOU SHOULD TOO)!

Photo from justbeetit.com

This post teaches you the important of beets, includes healthy recipes for kids to eat beets, and other fun things you can help your child do with beets to encourage them to enjoy and interact wit them. Including making pink play-doh and more! Perfect for little girls and boys who love the color pink, go check it out here.

“Smoothies! I add all sorts of veggies to them and my kids are none the wiser! 😂” ~Lexi from Jesuscoffeeandmomlife.com

 

How to get your child to eat their veggies without sneaking them!

Maybe sneaking veggies into your childs food won’t work for you.

 

Your children are older and will know.

 

Or, maybe you like to be completely honest with your child and encourage you children to eat what’s good for them with knowing it’s good for them.

 

I totally get that!

 

I’m all about trying to get my kids to develop healthy habits and know that they are. Other moms are too, and share many different tips and tricks on how to do this.

 

Check out the tips and posts from real moms below, who are getting their kids to knowingly chow down on veggies!

 

Sometimes, it’s just about they way you present food: from seed to table!

 

A Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids

Photo from merakimother.com

This post contains a lot of helpful tips for getting kids to eat their veggies, along with why it is so important. One such tip is making sure your child eats a rainbow everyday. Find out what that means here!

“Make a variety of vegetables in different ways to see what your child likes. Don’t stick with just 4-5 plain vegetables. Spice them up with spices and herbs! Pinterest is amazing for vegetable side dish ideas.” ~Samantha from journeytosahm.com

 

The Picky Eater | Quick and “Dirty” Solutions

Photo from takethemoutside.com

Check out these amazing tips on how to get your kids to eat more veggies, simply by having fun activities for them to do outside and connect more with nature!

I was amazed at how enthusiastic my children have been to eat the veggies they’ve grown in their gardens. The planting, tending, and harvesting has gotten them more enthused and engaged with the food on their plate. It can be a real fun process for us all!” ~Jenn

 

VEGGIE GARDENING + HOW I’M GETTING MY FAMILY TO EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEGGIES THIS SUMMER!

Photo from peasandcrayons.com

Did your child go from eating all foods ever given to them to being an extremely picky eater? You’re not alone, check out this post with plenty of ideas to help get your toddler eating veggies again after they’ve stopped; from making and buying them play food to growing their own gardens

 

Make it fun

It’s no fun to force your kids to eat the veggies that are good for them. So, stop making such a fuss about what they eat and start making it fun!

 

Whether you can make beautiful pictures with food, like on Pinterest (follow me here), or your idea of being creative is turning eating healthy food into a game with incentives; there will always be a way to make eating healthy fun.

 

Stop stressing over meal time, stay positive, and do the best you can, instead!

 

Check out the posts and ideas below to see what other moms have done to make eating veggies fun and more enjoyable for their kids, and themselves!

Ten Simple Tips to Help Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables

From making fun shapes with their veggies to never giving up, this post is full of practical tips to get your kids to eat veggies. Check it out here.

“My favourite veggie hide is pasta with orange sauce. I started with sauces in jars which they saw me open, didn’t suspect veggies & loved the taste. Now I make a sauce with roasted Mediterranean veggies & lots of tomatoes & blitz it smooth in the food processor ( all done while they are at school/nursery) & they think it’s just another jar sauce.” ~Debbie

 

How to Teach Your Kids to Love Healthy Food

 

Photo from thesoccermomblog.com

This post shows you many different ways to get kids to love eating healthy food, including an app that gives kids an incentive to create healthy habits! The app is suggest for kids no younger than 6. So, if you have children who toddlers, but are picky eaters, check out the app in this post and try it out with your kids. I just downloaded it for my daughter who just turned 6, once she wakes up she’ll get to choose her avatar and get excited about using an app on mommy’s phone!

“We’ve started offering real food exchange for eating real food of bargaining is necessary. For example, they love sweet potato. If they eat all the zucchini, they can have more sweet potato.” ~Brooke from Happysimplemom.com

 

5 FUN WAYS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO EAT VEGETABLES

Photo from theinspirationedit.com

Sometimes all it takes to get kids to eat veggies is letting them help us make them or trying them in a different way, like raw with dip instead of cooked. Check out 3 more simple tips in this post!

“I would recommend dipping sauces to go with vegetables, like hummus or a yogurt-based dressing. It gives the vegetables extra flavor.” ~Joyce Felix at Celebrate Moms Forever  (celebratemomsforever.com)

 

Start as early as possible and get them talking about food

I may have started my girls eating home made baby food earlier than other parents. At three months old, I started my girls on home made rice cereal to help keep them full and sleeping just a tad bit longer. Then came the fruits and veggies! The first foods they tried are still their favorites; bananas and avocados.

 

Starting your kids eating fresh, whole foods, such as fruits and veggies, and encouraging them from the time they begin to eat will do wonders for helping them eat healthy later in life.

 

However, don’t feel bad if you didn’t make home made baby food from fresh fruits and veggies a priority when your kids were infants. NOW is the best time to start getting your kids to eat the best they can, which includes eating plenty of veggies.

 

There’s different tactics you can use to get your kids to eat veggies once they start to talk. Find out how to talk about veggies to encourage your children to eat more of them, and other tactics to influence your childs behavior towards vegetables in the posts below!

 

Photo from happyhealthymama.com

With the understanding that most kids are picky eaters, this post goes into saying that we have a lot of influence over our children’s eating habits. Check out the 6 tips inside to help your picky eater eat a variety of foods, such as talking about how the food tastes instead of just having your child say it’s ‘yucky’. Read the other 5 tips here.

I ask my older one (5-year-old) to describe in every detail what he doesn’t like about the veggie. What does it taste like? Why don’t you like it? etc etc. And we compare the veggie to funny things too. It usually makes him try it a few more times to get the right words out and then he’s fine eating it the next time. ” ~Lakshmi

 

How I Get My Toddler To Eat Veggies…And You Can Too!

Photo from livingforthesunshine.com

From starting babies off the right way with eating food to providing 7 more ways to get toddlers to eat their veggies; this post has quite a bit to offer if you’re truly struggling getting enough nutrients from veggies into your kids. Plus, she states how she was able to raise a less picky than usual toddler than most other parents claim to have! Check it out here.

“I’ve given them the same food I cook for us every tome since they were little . No Mac and cheese , no special kids food. They eat what we eat . I don’t treat veggies like they’re some kind of special food and this loosens up the tension around them . My daughters eat everything, even salad. Just keep trying new things, even if you don’t like it yourself . I used to hate broccoli but then I realized my kids would miss out on it because of me . So I started cooking it and now I love it!” ~ Delia Cantoriu from delia-in-a-nutshell.com

 


 

Sometimes It’s as simple as having veggies and dips available

Instead of thinking “what vegetables can I add to kids meals?”

 

Start thinking about what dips or sauces you can add to veggies to help make them more enticing for your little ones!

 

This could be anything from different dressings to smothering them in peanut butter.

 

Just make sure that there are always fresh and washed vegetables available to your children and in eye level for them in the fridge so it’s the first thing they see!

 

Check out other tips and tricks from more moms below.

Photo from tikkido.com/

Want to know what happens when you set veggies out on the table while you’re making dinner? Check out this post to see how successful this one single tip is!

 

7 Sneaky Ways to Add More Vegetables to Your Day

Photo from theprofessionalmomproject.com

From pureeing veggies and adding them to sauce to making sure they are ready to eat soon after being bought: those are just two of the seven ways to add veggies into yours and your childs diet recommended in this post. It’s meant to help us as adults get veggies into our diets. But, most of these ideas will work for picky eater kids, as well! Check out the rest of the tips here.

I use vegetable pasta with sauce and then give veggies on the side. The more you serve vegetables the better your chances of them trying them and liking them. It takes at least 20 times before you will get your little one to eat them. Also I put cheese on them which makes them taste better.” ~Cheree from  homemademoma.com

3 Ways to Get Your Picky Toddler to Eat Real Food

Photo from thesoccermomblog.com

Learn 3 simple tricks to get your kids to eat veggies, simply by how it’s prepared! Such as covering it in peanut butter, my oldest daughters favorite thing to do with everything. 

“Cauliflower everything! My little guy will down an entire batch of caulitots! Or zucchini fries! If you make veggies into foods they already love you’ll definitely get a win!”
~Mandis from everydayemerson.com

 

If NOTHING seems to be working: Lean on Psychology

This is where my bachelors in psychology comes in, haha, or not.

 

Most of the tips below are simply common sense. Such as making sure you’re not overstimulating and producing anxiety when trying to get your kids to eat vegetables.

 

Or, using reverse psychology, making your child think you don’t want them to eat it, just so they will eat their veggies.

 

Don’t overlook using simple psychology facts to help you get your kids to eat their veggies, but don’t overuse reverse psychology so much that your kids always try to do the opposite of what you tell them to do!

 

Get more tips and tricks to get veggies into your kids below.

Photo from raisinggenerationnourished.com

If getting your child to eat veggies so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to start; check out the 3 very simple, yet overlooked tips in this post that come from the basics of psychology. They may even have you thinking, ‘well, why didn’t I think of that’! Check out the post here.

“Introduce them early in the weaning process. We used to do a bit of puree and baby led weaning. I’d offer most veggies as soft finger food and I think this has helped my son love veggies now. He will pretty much try and eat most vegetables – age 5.” ~Emma from eandbmaketea.com

 

A Stupid-Simple Way to Get Toddlers to Eat Veggies

get toddlers to eat veggies
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

Learn one simple trick to get your kids to eat veggies! It may only work half the time, but half the time is better than not at all. (And, yes, that’s a picture of my 2 year old eating a salad above. You can get your kids to eat salad, too!)

There was some research a few years ago. They found that stickers worked really well as an incentive for kids to eat their veggies. Sweets or dessert don’t work.” ~Eline

 

How To Get Kids To Eat Healthy

Photo from whatsworkinghere.com

From keeping different foods separate to reverse psychology, I’ve used most of these tips before with my picky eaters, and they tend to work more often than not. Check them out here.

“We offered vegetables from the beginning and at almost every meal. We eat them in front of her. We celebrate them and cook a variety, with different cooking methods.” ~Megan from Howwemom.com

Getting kids to eat their veggies can be a huge struggle for most parents. But, it doesn’t have to be.

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re feeding your baby for the first few times, trying to get a stubborn and independent toddler to eat what you want them to, or trying to instill good eating habits in your older children.

 

With the advice from 25+ moms in this post, and more tips than I care to count within this and all the posts included, you’re sure to find at least one way for how to get your child to eat to eat their veggies that will help you, even if just temporarily. You know, until they get out of the picky eating phase they’re currently in.

 

Know that encouraging your kids to eat their veggies in a positive manner, and using the tips and tricks above; will help you much more than trying to fight with your kids about it or force them to eat veggies at every meal.

Ever wonder how to get kids to eat vegetables? It can be tough sometimes. Learn the advice from 25+ moms on how to get your child to eat their vegetables! #pickyeaters #healthyhabits #healthtips #children #toddlers #moms #momlife #veggies #vegetables #stresslessbehealthy

What is your favorite way to get your kids to eat their veggies? Share in the comments below. And, don’t forget to share this post with other moms having trouble getting their kids to eat their veggies!


kids thanks

kids thanks

8 Ways to Teach Children Thankfulness

…Instead of Taking Everything for Granted

Do you have children who you feel are a little unappreciative and need a little help as we head into this month of thanks?

Or, are your children perfect little angels who always appreciate every little thing you do and have outstanding manners?

(If you’re children are the second type, please tell me how you do it. Actually, leave it in the comments so we can all know! We would all be thankful for that!)

If you’re like me, you probably struggle with your kids being thankful, at least for the most part.

Maybe this is why Thanksgiving is the month before Christmas and not the month after; so we can teach our kids what it means to be thankful before they tear open their Christmas presents without a care in the world. If only this lesson stayed with them longer…

Teach it in a Way to Make it Stick

Well, maybe we can make it stick. It all depends on how it’s taught and how many times we attempt to teach them, right?

Have you ever heard before that it takes so many repetitions of learning something before it actually sticks?

Or, that people learn in different ways?

This is true with children as well.

In order to get through this crazy thing that’s called life, with our kids and our sanity in tack; we need to know this and understand it.

We can’t expect our children to remember to do something, or behave in a certain way, after we tell them once. It takes repetition.

If you’re a parent of any child over 18 months, I’m sure you already know this. My 2 year old has been extremely testy lately. Thinking she can get away with everything and anything, including jumping on the couch.

We can’t expect our children to learn something from us, by us simply telling them, then turning around and not doing it ourselves. They may not learn well that way.

You could try asking them questions about what you just asked them to see if they understand, but they may not be old enough. And, it doesn’t always confirm they understand, they may have just memorized what you said.

For children, it’s best to teach by example. You can teach your child by example at any stage in life.

You are their role model; they look up to you (even when they say they hate you and want to be left alone- words from my 5 year old). Your children also think that you are the best person in the world; they trust your judgment and want to copy you.

They may even want to copy everything you do or say, so be careful how you are around them.

Alright, so now that I gave away some of the how to’s on teaching children, let’s get into the specifics of teaching our little ones to be thankful.

1. Start with the basics

You were taught this when you were little. Have them say ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘you’re welcome’. This is a very basic way to teach them thanks.

They may not even understand why they are saying these words when just learning to speak; but at least you’re helping them start this habit. They’ll learn eventually what the meaning behind the words are. And, by that time, hopefully they will truly mean them.

If your child is more than a couple years old, you’ll probably want them to be more grateful for things and ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ won’t be enough; you want them to actually appreciate them, as well.

2. Appreciate what you have

I’m talking to you, not your children this time.

Children copy what they see.

So, if they see you going around complaining about what you have and never really appreciating all the wonderful things that you do have in your life; how are they supposed to?

When your children are too young to be in school you are their teacher! This comes with a big responsibility; you need to act how you want them to act. You need to talk how you want them to talk.

Complaining and being unappreciative pretty much gives them permission to do the same. Which may be why people say that if mom isn’t happy then no one is.

Our kids can pick up on these cues and then mimic them, without even realizing it. (Or, maybe they do.)

So, make sure you talk in a positive manner about what you have; don’t complain. Do this when your kids are around, and even when they are not. This won’t only help them feel more thankful, but you as well, for what you have in life.

Appreciate what you do have, instead of complaining about what you don’t have!

3. Remind them to be Thankful

Because we all forget sometimes.

Remind them about the toys they have, their family, and how fortunate they are to have everything that they do have. Explain to them that not everyone is able to have things like they do.

If they don’t believe that they have enough things, or they just don’t care about what they have; you could always try the method of taking their toys away.

Then, they may appreciate their toys more when they get them back.

Kids these days have so many toys to begin with. This toy issue can cause overwhelm in kids, just as a messy or unorganized home can cause overwhelm for a stay at home mom. So, maybe the best thing for them to appreciate what they have more is to put most of their toys out of sight. This way they can actually play with what they have and enjoy them more. More on teaching minimalism below.

4. Provide them with practice

You don’t have to wait til Christmas or their birthday to give them practice being thankful. You can do this on an everyday basis if you’d like.

Do something nice for them. Make their favorite meal. Play with them. Cuddle them. Read to them. If you have the means, buy something small for them while out once in awhile.

All of those things mean something to them and they should appreciate them in one way or another.

Show them how to be thankful for each of them.

Saying thank you is a nice start.

Tell them how much you enjoyed doing these things for them, and in time they may genuinely say and feel the same way.

If we do this right, they’ll start doing nice things for others and appreciate the fact that they are capable of doing so.

5. Let them know you appreciate them

Sometimes the best thing we can do to teach our children is to show them.

Show them that you are thankful you have them; that they can be thankful for more than just stuff. If you only ever talk about stuff and how you love this or that, but you ignore the fact that you have amazing people around you; then you’re missing out on a lot, including a teaching opportunity.

Tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them. Let them know how your life is so much better with them and because of them. They have feelings like we do. Wouldn’t it make you feel good to hear someone tell you all of this great stuff about you?

Spread around the positivity and keep love and kindness in your home so your children can spread positivity to all they know as well.

Life runs so much smoother when you show appreciation for people and not just things. It keeps you happy and makes others happy. This is something your child will pick up on and want to do themselves, as well (in time).

6. Teach them about minimalism on a level they understand

Show them how less can be more (or better).

Teach them the difference between a want and a need. They may stop taking things for granted or always wanting more. Show this by example. Don’t constantly be talking about things you want or wish you had.

Show them how to appreciate things you already have and think outside the box on how to use them. Show them how to avoid functional fixedness. Ask them how they can use an item.

For example; kids love boxes!

Why?

Because they can use it for so many different things. Recently, my older daughter has been using old diaper boxes for her baby dolls. She has a few for cribs, one for a bathtub. She’s only five, so she has a huge imagination; I don’t want that to ever change for her.

There are other people in this world who have functional fixedness (I’m not going to name who- but they are generally adults).

They believe that an item is only useful for it’s intended purpose and can’t be used for anything else.

For example, to go back to those diaper boxes; when first buying them you need to open them. People with functional fixedness; they need scissors or a knife to open it (because they can’t rip it open). Now, say they don’t have either of those, all they have is a pen; they believe it’s impossible to do it. For someone who does not have functional fixedness, they’ll find a way to use the pen to open the box. (This is how I actually open diaper boxes, I can never seem to find scissors or a knife when I need one.)

Teach them to use what they have and that having more is not better, even if society tells us it is. This can help them be more thankful towards what they already have because now they know that it’s more valuable than at a first glance.

7. Ask them questions

What better way to teach, than to ask them questions.

Find out how they already feel about things to gauge what they have yet to learn and what thoughts they have that need reshaping. Plus, kids love attention, so if you give them attention by asking them questions they may enjoy answering them. This truly depends on the child and they’re age.

I can tell my 5 year loves it when I ask her questions; she takes her time to think about it and then gets all excited to tell me her answer, especially if I ask a silly question. If you have teenagers; don’t expect the same results.

You could ask them simple questions about what they like or enjoy and why. Or, ask them what life would be like without something; this may really get them thinking and appreciating that they have what they do in life.

Ask them to think about what it would be like to be someone else; have them think from another persons perspective if they’re old enough. And, you may want to write down some of their answers so you both can refer back to them. It can be hilarious what types of answers kids come up with.

8. Teach and watch them grow

You know, there’s something wonderful about hearing a child tell you that their birthday this year is the best year ever. Even when this year they didn’t get as many toys as they did in the past. It’s a nice feeling to know that your child is actually starting to appreciate things in life.

You know, when my older daughter turned 5 last year, that was exactly how she was.

Even though this was the first year we have lived away from family during her birthday, and she didn’t have a party; just a cake, her parents and sister, and a few presents. She made it quite clear how much she appreciated spending the day with us and how happy and grateful she was that day.

This comes from letting her say what’s on her mind (not that I can stop her) and teaching her to make the most of what she has.

Sometimes you just have to let them be; grow and mature into the person they want to be and hope for the best. And, hope that everything you teach them eventually sticks with them.

Getting Children to Remember to be Thankful is Not Easy

…but is so totally worth it.

Take some time and think about what you can personally do to help your child remember. No two children are alike with how they learn and how they remember, so what works for me and my children may not work for you and yours.

Honestly, what works for my older child may not work for my younger child.

I hope no one ever lied to you and told you that caring for and raising children was easy. Because it’s not.

Just because you’re not being compensated with money, doesn’t mean it’s not a hard job. Being a parent your job is never ending, working long hours and being on call 24/7 (literally). You still get compensated, with hugs and kisses and cuddles (if your child is in the right mood), but not with money.

The best you can do to help your children remember thanks is to know them.

Start with the basics and teach them ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when they’re learning to talk.

Be the example you want to see in them.

Be positive and don’t complain (alright, I may be talking to myself right now, because I need to hear this- my husband would agree).

Give them grace and simply remind them to be thankful.

Be thankful for them first.

Remember, and teach them, how less can be more.

Be curious about their thoughts.

And, let them grow into the wonderful person that they are.

Leave any thoughts or comments below, and keep working with your child to be the best they can; it’s not always easy but will be worth it.

If you want more ways to incorporate lessons from Holidays through out the year into everyday life; check out 13 Halloween Safety Tips to Teach Year Round

kids thanks

Other Related Posts:

13 Halloween Safety Tips to Teach Kids All Year Round

THE BEST Vegan Apple Crisp!!

How to Make a Puzzle Piece Wreath; An Easy Fall Craft for Kids


halloween safety

13 Halloween Safety Tips to Teach Kids All Year Round

Are you excited for Halloween, or are your kids?

I bet they are! Dressing up and getting free candy; who doesn’t like that?

With all of the excitement, don’t forget to teach them some basic safety rules. Whether they’re little like mine are and learn more with actions, or are older and can read and follow a list of rules.

Some safety tips can even turn into life lessons for your kids. Below is a list of 13 Halloween Safety tips that you teach for more than just one night a year!

Halloween Safety Tip #1: Go in groups or stay with parents

As far as Halloween goes, this should be an obvious rule. Obviously, small children should stay with their parents while trick or treating. Teenagers may not want to be seen with their parents, though, and should stay with a group of friends. (Possibly with parents following at a distance, or one ‘cool’ parent chaperoning.)

The more people in a group, the better!

In every stage of life, this is the way to go, as well.

Remind your kids that they always have you (their parents) to keep them safe (physically and emotionally) and to help them have fun. If they think you’re lame for telling them that, then let them know that their friends can do the same.

This helps them understand that they have people all around them to support them when they need help. Their friends and family are their support network, they will need both to thrive through out life!

Halloween Safety Tip #2: Make sure you can be seen: use flashlights, reflective tape, or glow sticks


Being able to be seen on Halloween is super important. It helps with not being run over by cars and helps others find you more easily. While using a flashlight helps you see.

Being seen in life, such as in school or when they become adults, is also important. You should teach your child to stand out from a crowd, rather than to blend in. This way they can be themselves and not worry. They can get the help they need in school to better themselves and get into the college they want; or volunteer where they want to (to gain experience) to land their dream job.

Being able to be seen and stand out has many benefits all through out life. People will remember them. And hopefully they remember them in a good light, shining the light on others, as well.

Halloween Safety Tip #3: Only visit houses with lights on: if no one comes to the door after ringing the doorbell then you should leave

During Halloween this probably means that the people living there don’t want to be bothered. If that’s the case then you don’t want to annoy them and keep knocking. Simply leave them alone and move onto the next house.

This is the same with dealing with some people (haha). Or, with trying to accomplish goals. If you try one way to do something and don’t succeed; don’t continue to go that route and make yourself insane doing so. Move on and try another way.

Let your children know that there is more than one way to do something, just like there is more than just one house to go to for candy. This will help open up their minds and create a positive outlook; the glass is half full, rather than half empty.

Halloween Safety Tip #4: Don’t go inside strangers houses, even if they invite you in

Whether it is Halloween or not, you’re kids should always follow this rule.

Even as adults, we should follow this rule for our own safety.

Who knows what the person is up to; are they harmless and just want to help keep us out of the cold for a few minutes or do they have other intentions?

Unfortunately, since we don’t know them, we don’t know their intentions. It’s better not to hope for the best in this type of situation.

Teach your children to politely decline the invite and move on to the next house for candy. This is one reason that it’s good to go trick or treating in groups. The larger the group, the better.

And, if you have a little one who does go into someones house during Halloween when getting candy, let’s just say it’s to chase a cute puppy inside the home; you dart in after them and grab them. No shame, what-so-ever. You do what you need to to keep your kids safe.

(Not saying my youngest did that last year, or anything…she just loves puppies)

Halloween Safety Tip #5: Don’t ride with strangers, even if they offer

This rule goes hand in hand with the last rule. Unless it’s public transportation, don’t get in the car with a stranger. You don’t know how well they drive, if they are intoxicated, or what else.

I’m not the type of person to assume the worst in others, but not everyone is good at driving.

Also, accidents happen. I wouldn’t want to get in an accident and get badly injured, or worse, because I trusted a complete stranger.

Let your kids know how dangerous it can be. Even if they are teenagers and think they are a good judge of character and invincible to the world; scare them a little if you need to.

This rule is that important.

Halloween Safety Tip #6: Watch for cars before crossing the street, and stay out of the road

This is another one of those literal lessons that kids should remember even through out adulthood; don’t walk in the road, and look both ways before crossing the street. Also, no j-walking; you don’t want to get hit by a car.

This is especially important in the reality we live in today with pokemon go, texting, and other ‘important things’ that drivers use their phones for while they are driving.

Sure, it’s not even legal in most states to text and drive; but, there’s still people who do it. It’s best just to stay on the sidewalk, and stay alert at all times.

Halloween Safety Tip #7: Check candy before eating (or have a parent or trusted adult check it for you)

Also, don’t eat the candy before you get home so it can be examined in good lighting; better to wait and enjoy it than be sorry. And, this can be said about quite a few things in life.

For young children; teach them how they can always rely on you to make sure things are safe before they start doing something. This can include; going swimming, eating hot foods, waiting for you to meet the parents of their friends before they go over to their house.

Even teenagers need some guidance; just try to be cool about it and let them know you’re on their side. Ha, probably easier said then done, right?

Halloween Safety Tip #8: Contact authorities if you see something suspicious or dangerous

If you’re children are young and with you or another trusted adult, teach them to tell you or the other adult. Then, if need be, appropriate authorities can be contacted.

This should happen all through out the year and any time anything suspicious or dangerous occurs. For younger children, it’s best for them to tell a trusted grown up first, before simply calling 911; they may not be able to determine what needs to be called in and what doesn’t.

For older children and teenagers; make sure they know to never prank call the authorities.

You, as their parents, know when they are mature enough to determine a situation by themselves enough to call the authorities for suspicious or dangerous activities.

Until then, have them tell another trusted adult. They need to understand the difference between something any trusted adult can handle and situations that go further that needs someone with more authority.

Again, this should be taught all year round; not just at Halloween.

Halloween Safety Tip #9: Avoid costumes that are hard to move in, dangerous or could make you trip or fall 


Kids and adults alike should wear outfits that they feel comfortable in and can actually move in.

Sure, what you wear should be based on what you’re doing; we know this from going to work. But, we don’t wear heels we can’t walk in just to look more ‘professional’. (Alright, so, I have known people who have done this, but they looked ridiculous!) There’s other, safer, shoes to wear and still look professional and able to walk in, as well.

This includes what kids wear to school, as well.

If their jeans are too long; hem them.

Make sure shoes are tied tight to avoid trips and falls.

Sometimes kids don’t want to look all ‘put together’, but they still need to be safe.

Safety should always come before ‘looking good’.

Halloween Safety Tip #10: Use face paint instead of masks: make sure you can always see clearly

Obviously, you want your child to be able to see clearly so they don’t trip and fall.

But, to bring this tip to a life lesson; teach your child to not hide behind a mask in front of anyone. They should always be true to themselves and not try to be someone else. If they keep the mask on for too long, it may just never come off; never letting them be themselves again. And, no parent wants that for their child.

Opt for face paint instead, even if it changes the color of their face; others can still see the contour of their face and know it’s them. Paint can always be wiped away (literally and metaphorically).

Halloween Safety Tip #11: Don’t bring dangerous props

Not bringing dangerous props, such as pointy pirate swords, helps ensure your children don’t hurt themselves or others on accident. It also makes it harder for them to have fun and get candy when they have something extra to carry the entire night.

This lesson should go far beyond Halloween and childhood. As there are weapons that should not be on hand to anyone in the world (such as guns and knives); if everyone followed this rule the world would be much safer. Some people may carry these in fear that others do the same. Yet, two wrongs do not make a right and if these items are owned they should be kept at home.

Halloween Safety Tip #12: Go trick or treating to friends houses, mall, or a trunk or treat at a church or throw a Halloween party

Sometimes it’s just more fun to be with people you know and to know that your kids will be safe; no roads to cross or strangers to go and ask for candy from. Your kids may feel more comfortable as well, ensuring they have more fun.

This is a lesson that should be taught to children to help them realize a couple of things. First; they don’t have to do what ‘everyone’ else is doing to have fun. And, second; it can be fun to host events themselves.

Halloween Safety Tip #13: Trick or Treat before it gets dark

This may be a difficult safety rule to follow, especially with how early it gets dark out this time of year. But, it is safer to walk outside when there’s still sunlight; it’s easier to see other people, where you are going, and the ground in front of you so you don’t trip and fall.

That being said, you should teach your children to not go walking around after dark in everyday life; for the same reasons and more.

Make sure you teach your children more than the safety tips this year!

Whether your kids, or you, follow these rules for Halloween or not; they are absolutely worth teaching.

Teach them these lessons whether they want to hear them or not; someday your children may thank you that you have and that they actually listened to you.

Who knew there was so much to learn from a few Halloween safety rules. Don’t forget to grab the Printable list of these rules for your kids!

Share with friends and family, comment below if you have any more safety tips that can expand beyond Halloween. And, have a safe and fun Halloween!!

halloween safety

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get kids to clean

7 Ways to Get Kids to Clean Up

“Clean your room!!” shouts every mom, everyday. Am I right?!

Are you tired of nagging your children to clean?

You know you are.

You know you already have to nag your husband to do anything; not that you’re meaning to, or even think that you are. But, he may be a lost cause; you didn’t raise him.

Your kids, on the other hand, you are raising. Meaning that you need to instill a good work ethic in them. Teach them to clean up after themselves and possibly even others (gasp).

You know what, though?

Getting your kids to clean isn’t as easy for some, as it is for others. Your child may argue with you about it, get overwhelmed with the huge mess they made, and then guilt you into cleaning up their mess for them.

Please don’t tell me my 5 year old is the only one who does that to their mom!

If you have a hard time convincing your child that they need to clean their room, or other areas of the house to contribute to the household chores, keep reading to find out seven smart ways to get your kids to clean!

For suggested chores, based on children’s ages (age 3 to 12), check out this household chores for kids printable!

First way to get kids to clean up: Simply Ask Them to Clean

Ha! If only, right?

But, if you don’t start by simply asking them, how will they know you want them to?

Simply asking your child to do simple tasks around the home can lead to big result, sometimes without your child even realizing it!

‘Please take care of your dishes.’

‘Please put your shoes where they belong.’

and,

‘Please put your dirty clothes in the hamper.’

Asking your child to do these things daily, without fail, is helping them create a habit, without them even realize it. A habit that will hopefully stick with them through life.

Just remember to ask them in a way that’s polite and respectful to them.

Second way to get kids to clean up: Turn Cleaning into a Game

If simply asking them doesn’t work; try turning it into a game.

‘Who can pick up faster’ and ‘you can’t pick up faster than me’ games will certainly work with some kids! But, it won’t with others.

Turning it into a competition between siblings could potentially work, just be careful about increasing the sibling rivalry; it can get intense.

Another way to turn cleaning into a game is to turn it into an actual game. Give them a squirt gun with soap and warm water or a DIY non-toxic all purpose cleaning detergent) and a rag; have them wash the windows and the floors, or anything else that needs a scrub down.

Be as creative as you like here, invite your kids for ideas!

Third way to get kids to clean up: Entice Them ‘Only ‘big kids’ Get to Clean’

Little kids love being considered ‘big kids, or being given real responsibilities and think that they are older than they really are.

Ever hear of a twonager or a fivenager? It’s when a 2 or a 5 year old act like they’re teenagers. I have both.

If you have some, as well, remind them that if they act like a teenagers; they get to have the responsibilities of being a teenager. It’s just part of growing up. Of course, you get to choose which chores your ‘teenagers’ do.


Fourth way to get kids to clean up: You Do As You Say

You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?

Telling your children to do something or clean up after themselves is one thing. But, having them watch you do the same for yourself and them from the time they start forming memories to right now; that’s how they latently learn to clean.

Plus, monkey see, monkey do, right? Not saying our kids are monkeys, but they sure do love to copy everything we do. The good and the bad.

So, why not be a good example and do what we want them to do?

If you’re able to do this with your first child; it’ll get easier with the more children you have. They tend to copy each other, as well.

Fifth way to get kids to clean up: Teach Your Children How to Clean

Maybe you’ve done all of the above, but your child still will not even pick up their room. They simply refuse to even pick up one toy.

It could be that they get anxious picking up, overwhelmed, or maybe they aren’t quite sure how.

This has certainly been the case with my 5 year old. She makes such a mess and gets overwhelmed by it. She doesn’t know how to pick up such a large mess without me sitting in her room tell her what to pick up and where to put it. This can seem exhausting to do for a child. But, if you don’t teach them how, then they’ll never learn.

So, instead of letting them skip picking up their room today, and you just picking it in 5 minutes or less; take the 20 to 30 minutes teaching them what goes where and how to pick up their room so they can do it on their own in the future.

Be patient and reap the rewards of hard work, and lengthier cleaning sessions to start off with. At some point or another, you’ll simply have to ask them if their room is clean!

Sixth way to get kids to clean up: Clean Side by Side

Maybe your child doesn’t like having to clean when they see you doing something more fun.

Remember, they like to copy you. So, if you’re off playing games or on social media on your phone while telling them to go clean their room; no wonder they aren’t listening to you!

GET OFF YOUR PHONE!! And, go get some household chores done, too. Help them clean their room. Have them help you do dishes, or sweep, or do laundry.

Teach them how to clean, apprentice-style. Let them clean with you, not for you.

Seventh way to get kids to clean up: Turn it into a Business Transaction

If all else fails; make a business transaction.

Ever watch Boss Baby, the Netflix original series?

Well, BB, aka Boss Baby, treats almost everything in the show as a business transaction. His big brother wants him to eat his green beans; his brother is going to owe him for it.

Nothing is free in life. This isn’t saying that you have to give them an allowance or bribe them. But, as Boss Baby would say ‘I do’sy, you do’sy’. Meaning, if your child does something for you, you do something for them. This could be as simple as reading them an extra story at bedtime, or letting them choose a movie to watch before bedtime.

Whatever it is, you need to make it seem like they chose it and wouldn’t be something that they could get or do without doing something for you.

You both need to benefit from the ‘transaction’.

Good Luck!

Even with all of these smart tips for helping you to train your children to clean up after themselves; it can still be a challenge.

But, hey, there were seven tips, and seven is a lucky number. So, I wish you luck in your venture on having your kids clean their rooms, or other areas of the home!

If you’re unsure what your child is capable of cleaning up by themselves; the best way to find out is to experiment.

Give them some space and time and see what they do.

And, don’t forget, they’re human, too. Don’t expect their clean up job to be perfect, or even close to it!

Good Luck!

get kids to clean

get kids to clean
For suggested chores, based on children’s ages (age 3 to 12), check out this household chores for kids printable!

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How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry (5 actionable tips)

7 Tips to Spend More Quality Time with Your Child

10 Tips to actually ENJOY Your Day as a Stay at Home Mom

The Best Action You can Take If You Want an Easier Life as a Parent!

raising happy children
I originally published this post on my first blog, which is no longer accessible. To stay transparent; I was given this book for free to review it, but everything in this post is my own opinion. I hope the fact that I’m republishing this post to this blog makes it clear that I enjoyed learning from this book.

Book Review: A Simple Formula for Raising Happy Children

Have you ever had a hard time getting your children to respect you, listen to you, or behave? Is your goal as a parent to raise happy children?

If so, then you need to read A Simple Formula for Raising Happy Children by Rabbi Roger Herst. This book is a game changer. It has what us busy parents, who don’t even have time to think, needs.

Format

It is set up in a question and answer format and dives into actual parenting philosophy. You know, the deep thought process that we would do ourselves if we had time to, but instead just act with instinct.

Luckily, for us, Rabbi Roger Herst has gone through the thought process and wrote this book to help us out. And, with quite a few more years of experience observing parent-child relationships than what most of us have.

Even with so many more years of experience and wisdom, he is still completely up to date when it comes to social media. Check out his twitter here (tweets inspiring parenting quotes), facebook, and his website.

With the format and the length of this book (90 pages), it’s easy to read through in just a couple of hours. Even if you have little ones literally running around you and distracting you while you read; it’s still easy to read it in a single day. That’s how I read it; two kids running around me.

I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

What’s Inside this book about Raising Happy Children

This book goes through nine steps to help raise happy children. They aren’t so much as steps as they are a guide to live by while raising children. These nine steps make perfect sense.

After you read this book you will probably think how elementary and fundamental these steps are. You may even be in awe by the fact that you didn’t think of them first!

Yet, even with how obvious the steps are, it’s hard to recognize that these simple acts could help develop happy children, unless brought to light. That is exactly what this book does; it brings small acts a parent can do, to help their children, to light and explains them.

The author explains what to do in a way that is easy to understand; a way that makes you feel as if you already knew them. This technique helps with being able to remember the steps and implement them.

One Slight Annoyance for Perfectionists

There is one part of the book that does not make complete sense. At the end of the book, in the last chapter, there’s a list of what to do and what not to do; in total there are 10 actions on the lists. There are 7 items in the “What to do” list and 3 in the “What not to do” list.

This bothers me slightly, simply because the rest of the book is consistent with there being 9 steps. But, then all of a sudden there are 10 actions to be taken or not taken. Other than this, everything matches perfectly. And, it may just be me; needing everything to match up perfectly.

To be honest, it’s not that big of a deal, it’s the only thing in the book that is slightly off.

My Honest Opinion of A Simple Formula for Raising Happy Children

So, needless to say, this book is enjoyable to read, easy to read and implement in your daily life. Worth every minute reading it. And, if I hadn’t been given the book to write an honest review of it, it would have absolutely been worth every penny.

Actually, it may be worth more seeing as how the book is less than $15.

I have personally already started applying some of the steps to my own parenting, and boy, does it make a difference!

If applied correctly, which isn’t hard to do, just sometimes frustrating, it can help reduce tantrums from a child and reduce stress for a parent. I say this from firsthand experience….

My children are only 2 and 5 years old. If I had known this book existed before my children were born I certainly would’ve appreciated it. I would have probably read it at least once a year, or look it over each time my child developed into a new stage of life.

This book basically teaches us parents how to raise children to be decent human beings; and how you analyze each step for each stage of life may differ.

So, this is definitely a book to get and keep, at least while you have your children in your home.

raising happy children

What You’ll Get From Reading This Book

I feel as if I should type out the steps and post them on my dresser or the fridge to remind myself to use them. That is how much smoother the day goes while applying the steps to raising happy children.

It’s not only the steps in this book, written out at the end of each chapter, that makes it so valuable; but the way each step is explained in a conversation that makes us think. It gets the juices in our brains flowing; wondering what would happen if we treated our children as thought about in the book.

I’m sure the steps are not always going to work. There are always going to be off days that even the best advice can’t help a child stop their tantrum. The key is to always keep trying.

At this time I am too young to know if applying the steps laid out in this book are going to work to raise children into happy adults. I do not have first hand experience with raising a child to adulthood.

But, following these principles and allowing the light to shine through this book and open our eyes to the obvious; our children, and us, can appreciate life more. It’s much more rewarding than simply following our instincts on raising children. We should live intentionally, and this means with our children, as well.

As frustrating as it can be to follow the principles set forth in this book; it’s going to be worth it; for our children, and for us.

raising happy children

If you want to know more.or connect with the author, check out the links below:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RabbiRogerHerst

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RabbiRogerHerst/

Website – http://rogerherst.com/?products=a-simple-formula-for-raising-happy-children

Don’t Forget to pick up the book here.

(Psst….you could read it here for free with a FREE 30 day trial of KindleUnlimited.)

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Sibling Rivalry

How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry (5 actionable tips)

Having more than one child can be difficult, and not just because it’s more mouths to feed and more attention to give. But, also because your children could be the best of friends or the worst of enemies.

Now, I’m saying this as a mom of a 2 year old and 5 year old, both girls, and I know all children are different. So, take this with a grain of salt.

But, they are either loving towards each other or at each others throats (yes, even the two year old, she tends to start a lot of the fights).

Fortunately, there are some things we, as parents, can do to help our children avoid fighting….as much.

And, no, I don’t just mean to tell them to ‘be nice’. That doesn’t work, believe me, I’ve tried about a few thousand times!

Carve Out Special Time for Each Child

Ensuring that each child gets quality time with you, their own little special time, will help reduce the jealousy they may feel towards their sibling.

Maybe you have a child still nursing and an older child. Well, of course the older child is going to act out and be mean to the younger one. You need to spend more time with the younger one to feed them.

This is why special time is so important. Your older child needs to feel like they are loved just as much as the younger one.

(My 5 year old will even do something she knows she’s not supposed to and then blame it on her sister, to get her ‘in trouble’.)

Treat Each Child the Same

Inspired by my five year old, but she makes a really great point. Even at a young age, children like things to be fair….or they want to make sure it’s at least fair for them.

Your child doesn’t understand that the world is an unfair place when their young; don’t spoil it for them too early on.

My daughter gave me the examples of making sure her and her sister are treated the same by requesting; we spend the same amount of time with her as we do her sister, and giving her and her sister the same amount of food and same toys.

Obviously, you can’t always make everything exactly equal for your children. So, simply try your best and at least make everything seem like it’s completely equal.

Encourage Sharing

Encouraging your children to share with each other starting from a young age can make a huge difference in how they behave when together.
It shows them to not be selfish and teaches that they will eventually get their toys back, even when they give them to others to play with.

Even 2 year olds benefit from being asked to share with others. It shows them that they don’t have to compete, or fight, with their siblings to get their toys back; they know that eventually they will get it back.

Children aren’t perfect, though, you may have to continue reminding them of this until they fully understand.

Working Together

Going along with encouraging your children to share, encourage them to work together.

Maybe have the older child help the younger child. This will help the older child feel more important, smarter, and help build self-confidence while helping their younger sibling do something.

It doesn’t really matter what it is that they are working together on, it could be building a tower or coloring a beautiful picture; working together, or giving and receiving help, is a core character trait that should be instilled in our children as young as possible.

Having a sibling is great for building character, if you monitor how they behave and maybe have in place some guidelines. Either for them to follow, or for you to follow when they need help but aren’t able to communicate that they do.

Provide Guidelines

Whether you’re making sure certain size clothing goes into one childs dresser and not the others, or make a chore chart so your children know who’s turn it is to help with the dishes; having guidelines in place will help ease your children into knowing what is what.

(Believe it, or not, my children are more likely to fight over helping me with dishes because they want to do them, not because they don’t!)

These type of guidelines are important for not only our children to follow, but also for us parents to follow, as well. Remember how our children like things to be fair? Well, it wouldn’t be that fair if we change the rules to favor one child over another, even if for one day.

So, when you choose these guidelines, keep to them, or have a family meeting letting them know when the guidelines change. Because, they will change as your children grow older. It’s important to keep them in the loop so they don’t act out and take it out on their sibling.

You Can’t Prevent ALL Sibling Rivalry

Don’t beat yourself up if you try all the tips above and your kids still fight.

When I was a kid, I had 2 brothers and a sister, and we fought all the time. And, not from lack of my mom knowing what to do; she ran a home daycare and took classes for this kind of stuff.

Siblings fight, that’s just how it is. Our goal as parents should be to keep the fighting to a minimum and help our children build character and grow into responsible and respectful adults.

Sibling Rivalry

Leave a comment to share how you help your children avoid sibling rivalry.

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How to be a SUPER MOM!!!

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first day of school

Help Your Child Have the Best First Day of School Ever!

It’s important for your child to have the best first day of school that they can; not only for them, but for you, too.

It sets the tone for the rest of the year. So it’s important to do a few key things on the first day of school to help things go smoothly.

You can grab a pdf checklist for these things here. (And, honestly, you don’t even have to print out the checklist if you don’t want to, it was created so you can click on the checkbox next to an item and a check mark will pop up!)

But, if you want a more in depth explanation of the key things to do, or remind your child to do on the first day of school, then keep reading!

And, if this is your childs first year of school, check out this ultimate guide for preparing your child for Kindergarten.

Set Everything Ready to Go the Day Before the First Day of School

If you’re not a planner, or like to prepare for things ahead of time, it’s time to basically suck it up and just do it for your child.

The tasks you’ll want to complete may differ depending on a few things, but you’ll want to, at the very least, accomplish these tasks the day before school:

  • pick out clothes (and hairstyle for girls, possibly boys, too)
  • get your child excited for their first day of school (talk about it)
  • set expectations for morning, afterschool, and night time routines (let them know about these)
  • help them visualize an awesome first day of school (talk it through)
  • make sure their backpack is packed and ready to go
  • pack as much of their lunch as possible
  • set up for breakfast before you go to sleep

This is not an exhaustive list, depending on your child there may be more you need to add to this to help you child have the best first day of school ever. But, if you at least do the things on this list, then you’re headed in the right direction and you child may even thank you in the future for preparing ahead of time.

Plus, some of these small tasks, like laying out clothes before bed, having routines, and visualizing and awesome day; these can be used through out their entire lives to help them succeed, so the earlier they start these habits, the better!

Morning Routine

In a perfect world, you will have established a morning routine for yourself and child before the school year begins.

Honestly, in my own home, we started implementing a morning routine that resembles the one my daughter will use during the school year, a month before school starts. That way there’s less ‘new’ she will need to get used to when school starts.

Make Your Child a Healthy and Filling Breakfast

Depending on your child, they may not have a lot of time in the morning to get ready for school.

So, start them off on the right track, with a healthy and filling breakfast. It doesn’t need to be a difficult or fancy breakfast, and you could even make breakfast the day before and simply heat it up and give it to them in the morning.

My go to’s for a healthy breakfast are:

There are certainly more options! Just be sure to include some protein, fruit, and possibly fiber; whether it’s in the main thing they eat for breakfast, or their drink (like milk/soymilk).

If they’re used to being home all day and eating whenever they’re hungry, this may be a big change for them; having to go longer periods of time without eating. It’s important they eat a filling breakfast so they’re not hungry through out the day.

*Hint – have them eat breakfast in their pj’s to avoid them getting their clothes for school dirty.

Brush Teeth

When they’re done with breakfast they should go brush their teeth right away. This way they don’t forget and go to school without brushing teeth.

Plus, they should brush their teeth before they get dressed to avoid getting toothpaste on their clothes for the day. Toothpaste isn’t the easiest thing to get out of clothes in a hurry.

Get dressed (hair)

Next, have them get dressed in the clothes that were picked out the night before.

Our hope is that they don’t cry over this and hate what was picked out. My daughters 5, and even if she’s the one who picked out her outfit, she may hate it the next day and not want to wear it.

Maybe our kids will be sleepy enough where they just don’t care, and then or course, be completely awake by the time they get to school.

Once they’re dressed, do their hair if they need help with it.

Do not attempt their hair before they’re dressed or you would’ve just wasted your time.

Pack a Super Special Lunch

Hopefully, most of their lunch is already packed and ready to go.

Finish it up, if it isn’t, and then put it near the door so it’s not forgotten; that would ensure a bad first day of school. No one wants to forget their lunch!

first day of school

Take Photos

Once your child is all ready for school; you’ll want to take pictures of them to remember this day.

Some people have their kids hold signs in these pictures; I personally won’t. There’s no need to.

And, knowing my oldest daughter, she’ll turn this simple picture into a photo shoot and start posing; that’s just how she is. (She’s even gotten her 2 year old sister posing like a ‘cool girl’ for pictures now, too)

Take Them

If it’s possible to drive, or walk, your child to school for the first day of school, do so. It’ll help this day be more special for them.

If you’re not able to take them to school, that’s alright, too. It’s not going to devastate them if you can’t. Unless, of course, you told them you would.

Either way, simply let them know what’s going on and what they should expect the first day of school. Children like to know what’s going on, too.

And, once they’re at school, you’re not in control anymore. Which I know will be hard for some of you.

Make sure you tell them you love them and wish them a good day!

After School Routine

An after school routine can be almost as important as a morning routine. It helps ease the transition from school to being home again.

This time of day can often be chaotic because of the transition; a routine, that both you and your child are aware of, it key to avoid that chaos and have everything go just a little more smooth.

Pick them up

If possible, pick your child up from school, just as you dropped them off.

Again, if you’re not able to, it’s no the end of the world. You do what you do. If you work and they have to go to a sitters, that’s fine. Just give them realistic expectations and let them know what is to come for after school.

Ask Them How Their Day Went

Once you see them when they finished their day of school; ask them how it went.

What did they learn?

Did they make any new friends?

How did they like their new teacher and how the day went?

There are many questions you could ask them about their first day of school; try not to ask them too many as to overwhelm them.

Make Them an After School Snack

An after school snack is almost as important as breakfast.

But, instead of fueling them to take on the day; this snack will be replenishing them from their day at school.

If you are at a loss of what to give them, try to avoid the heavily processed snack foods that contain all sorts of preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce. Instead, check out this list of healthy and fun after school snacks to give your kids!

But, basically, some type of fruit or veggie and fat or protein should do just fine. Like an apple with peanut butter, or something like that.

Find out if they have homework

Make sure you ask your child if they have any homework.

Or, if you have any homework to do, I honestly don’t remember a year in school when I was little where I had homework the first day of school, but teachers would always give paperwork for parents to fill out.

So, make sure you ask!

Let them relax, play, be a kid

Your child was just at school for about 6 hours, and depending on their age, they may have been able to play at school. But, they probably weren’t able to relax very much.

Let them just chill out for an hour or so after school. They need some down time like we do sometimes.

School can be exhausting, especially in the beginning of the year. Who knows, they may even take a nap after school for the first few days!

Homework Time

If they brought homework home for you, make sure you get it done and don’t put it off til later.

Doing it while they relax, and before you have to make dinner, would be ideal.

And, if they have any homework they have to do, help make sure they complete it before dinner, as well.

Prepare for the Next Day

After dinner it’ll be time to prepare for the next day of school…and start this whole thing all over again.

  • Pick out clothes (and hairstyle)
  • pack lunch
  • pack bag and place near door
  • bed time routine
  • set everything up for breakfast.

You’ll get to repeat this so often this year, it’ll become habit and you’ll eventually not even think about what you have to do; you’ll just do it.

Don’t forget to be excited for your child to start school, or at least act like it, to encourage them to enjoy school.

The first day of school will set the tone for the rest of the year, and it’s important to have a good first impression. But, children are also very forgiving, at least while their young; so if you mess up, it won’t be the end of the world.

Just do your best to make everything go smoothly and to make your childs first day of school be awesome. Your child will be able to see the effort your put into it, and that’s what counts.

Good luck!

Don’t forget to grab this checklist so you can check these things off as you go!

first day of school

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The Ultimate Guide to Prepare your Child for Their First Day of Kindergarten

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13 of the BEST After School Snacks for Kids


first day of kindergarten

The Ultimate Guide to Prepare your Child for Their First Day of Kindergarten

Child’s first year of real school?

Mine too!

Worried they will cling to you and have separation anxiety, or cry when you leave? Or, are you worried that they have grown up too fast and are so independent that they won’t even notice that you left?

Sometimes the first day of kindergarten is harder on the parents than it is on the child.

But, the only reason our kids are so chill on their first day of kindergarten is because we prepared them for it.

We do what we’re supposed to do, and rely on checklists (such as this one) to make sure we do everything that’s recommended to do with/ for them before school even begins.

And, on that first day of kindergarten, we are there with them, if not physically then in spirit.

Keep reading to find out what some of those things are that we should do before our child starts school, and even some things to help ease our child on their first day of kindergarten.

Let’s prepare them to have the best first year of school ever and foster a love of learning!

Visit the School Together

If at all possible, which it should be, schedule a time for you and your child to visit their new school.

This should help get them get used to the building, look forward to everything the school has to offer, and gives you a chance to ask the staff any questions you may have.

When my daughter and I went to check out her new school, she absolutely loved it! It was right after the Kindergarten testing she had to do; which was more fun for her than anything else.

Luckily, her favorite place she got to explore was the library. They had a story pit!! And, books with puppies on the cover, which really piqued her interest.

And, more importantly to her; they have computers. See, my daughter wants to be just like her mommy and be a blogger when she grows up right now. They start learning keyboarding…even in Kindergarten.

Have Them Meet Their Teacher (before the first day of kindergarten)

Luckily, she was able to meet the Kindergarten teachers at her new school on the same day she had her testing.

She liked the teachers she met and would have no problem in any of the classes. But, she was able to connect more with one of the teachers than others; as the teacher brought her around her classroom to show her all of the neat things everywhere and what was in store for the next year.

Honestly, I’m hoping she is placed with that teacher, but any of the teachers there seem great!

Hopefully you can get into your child’s new school to meet perspective teachers, as well.

At the elementary school I went to, there’s one teacher I had (in second grade) who pushed kids too hard. (AKA: I was sick for about a month that year from the stress she put on us.) She’s now a Kindergarten teacher, and I would never allow my daughter to be in her class.

Have Your Child Imagine What they may do at School

If you were able to visit the new school with your child then this task shouldn’t prove too difficult.

Simply ask your child to tell you what they think they will do at school everyday.

What do they think they will do? Learn? Play? Read? Go outside? Make new friends? Ect…

You could even suggest somethings you think they may end up doing, to give them some ideas.

Help them Visualize Their First Day of Kindergarten

Similar to having them imagine what they’ll do at school; get into more detail, and for the entire day.

Go moment by moment with them, describing how each piece of the day will be. At least, as much as you’re able to.

Describe that they will get up and eat breakfast (let them know what’s for breakfast), brush their teeth, and get dressed. You’ll do their hair for them and pack a special lunch.

They’ll go to school and the teacher will take over at that point. Refer back to what your child imagined they would be doing at school.

Then, let them know how you’ll pick them up and how excited you will be to learn about everything they did on their first day of school. When you get home, you’ll make a delicious and healthy snack for them to help with their depleted energy from learning all day.

Then let them know what’s in store for the rest of the day.

Visualizing will help them with any nerves they, or you, may have about the first day of school. This technique is also used by athletes to help them perform better during games; so I’m not just telling you this, it actually has been proven to help people succeed.

Start Them on a Sleep Schedule Before the First Day of Kindergarten

Depending on their sleep schedule now, you may want to instill a bed time tonight.

Seriously, you don’t want your child to be exhausted their first day of school, or any day of school.

Setting a bedtime and a time for your child to wake up by, before school starts will help prepare your child for the first day of school in more ways than just one.

Getting them in bed at a reasonable time will ensure they get the rest they need, wake up when they need to, and help provide them with the energy they are going to need for the day. It’ll also reinforce the good habit of ‘early to bed, early to rise’.

Waking up early enough so they aren’t groggy heading into school will help them learn better. Along with having time to eat a healthy and filling breakfast.

Read ‘First Day of School’ Stories to them (or Educational Shows)

There are plenty of books that show children what the first day of school, of the first day of kindergarten are going to be like. Go ahead and check out the ones below.


Or, have them watch educational shows about the first day of school. I’d highly recommend the first day of school episode from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. (Grab the book version of the episode here.)

Pick Out a Special ‘First Day of School’ Outfit

This is a great first day of school tradition, no matter what grade your child is going into. But, it may be even more important for their first day of kindergarten.

This is going to be the first time they are meeting their classmates, and I probably don’t have to tell you how important first impressions are.

Just be careful not to put pressure on your child to find the best first day of school outfit. They don’t need stress when it comes to what they should wear.

Don’t forget to choose, or have them choose, how they would like their hair done for the first day of kindergarten, as well!

Set Everything Ready to Go the Day Before the First Day of School

This may be one of the most important things you do, at least to help prepare yourself for your childs first day of kindergarten.

No one likes being rushed in the morning. But, being rushed on your child’s first day of kindergarten; that’s no way to start off the school year.

Be prepared and get everything set up for the morning before you go to bed at night.

This includes;

  • laying out your child’s, and your, clothes for the next day
  • having everything ready for breakfast
  • having bags packed and near the door
  • have their lunch packed as much as possible
  • possibly even more…

first day of kindergarten

Don’t Worry, They’ll be Ready for their First Day of Kindergarten!

So, there may be a lot of things we should do before our child starts school, if you want a more in depth checklist; subscribe below to get one sent to your email.

But, it’s important for them to be prepared for what’s to come….and to have an awesome first day of school.

First impressions can determine a lot.

And, a good first impression about how fun learning is and how the whole school thing works; it’s the start to a beautiful relationship between your child and knowledge!

Foster the love of knowledge in your child and help them succeed in whatever they set out to learn.

Don’t forget to grab this handy checklist for things you need to do before the first day of kindergarten (and what to do on their first day)!

Share in the comments what you will do to prepare your child for their first day of school.

Related Posts:

12 deliciously healthy kid friendly breakfast recipes for easy school mornings

12 Healthy Vegan School Lunch Ideas

The Best School Lunch Must Haves from Amazon

quality time with kids

7 Tips to Spend More Quality Time with Your Child

How often do we, as moms, get so busy and wrapped up in life that we may accidentally forget to spend some quality time with our kids?

I’m going to guess that you may feel a little bit of mom guilt right about now, and that’s alright. It’s a reminder that you have kids and love them and want the best for them. And, realizing that you’ve been too busy to feel like the best mom ever, doesn’t mean that you aren’t.

Sometimes we just need the reminder to slow down a little in life and remember why we had our kids to begin with. And no, it wasn’t to be the referee when our little ones fight, or feel like we’re a taxi driver when they’re teenagers and can’t drive yet.

And, I’m sure your reason may slightly differ than mine and everyone elses. But, at some point we do get the gentle reminder, usually through mom guilt, that we need to start spending some more quality time with our children.

In case you’re unsure how to squeeze this into your already hectic day, I’ve gathered seven pretty simple ideas that you could start implementing in your everyday life, right now!

I’ve gathered even more ideas and activities to do with your children based on their age (ages 3 to 12) in a printable available in my printable library! If you need ideas for toddlers, check out this post from thinkbaby.org for 10 fun activities to do with toddlers.

quality time with kids

Include yourself in their bedtime routine

One easy way to squeeze in some quality time with your children, starting tonight, is by including yourself in their bedtime routine, if you haven’t already. And, if your kids don’t quite have a bedtime routine yet, what better time to start one than right now!

A bedtime routine can be as simple as having your children get in their pj’s, brush their teeth, and then you read them a story and give them a hug and kiss goodnight.

It doesn’t have to be difficult or involve singing them a song, or anything like that. A simple routine will be enough for the both of you to feel just a little more connected.

And, the simple bedtime routine I mentioned is the one I use for my five year old. Every night it’s the same story, as well. We actually both have the book memorized. I read her My Goodnight Book, it’s the same exact book that my mom read to me before bed when I was little.

Eat Meals at the Table with Them

You may not realize it, but kids pay attention to even the smallest of things. Like, if you actually sit down at the table with them to eat breakfast or lunch (you know, instead of cleaning up from making lunch or doing something else while eating), they’ll actually notice.

You can take this ‘extra’ time with them to actually talk with them (no phones at the table).

Ask them how their day is going or what they would like to do today or tomorrow. Find out if anything is on their mind or bugging them. Or simply be with them. If they’re too small to talk then you should probably be sitting with them anyways. It’s a good habit to get into.

If the only meal you’re able to sit down at the table with them is dinner, that’s fine. Take advantage of that time. Make it fun; maybe themed dinners for each night of the week, or let them help you make dinner once a week on a certain day.

Or, if they’re old enough to make dinner themselves; assign each person in the household a night or two a week where it’s their turn to make dinner. Then everyone sits down together to enjoy it. Maybe I’m just fantasizing of what I hope for the future for my girls and family; but wouldn’t that be nice?

Put Your Phone Down

Seriously, when you are in the same room as your children, put your phone down, or in another room if you need to. You may be amazed at how much extra quality time you have to spend with your kids if you do this!

Smart phones are like the death to real social interaction, sadly, sometimes even with our children. Don’t let it happen to you. Your phone, those messages on Facebook and pictures on Instagram; they’ll still be there when your kids go down for a nap, to bed for the night, or when they go to school.

While you have the chance to be with your children; actually be with them fully. Be present, not with your face in your phone trying to see what the newest thing is or getting into drama. No one needs that in their lives. And, you’re children will thank you for spending more quality time with them!

(Even if it’s not so clear that they’re thankful; children need to be taught how to be thankful and show gratitude. How are they to learn if you spend more time with your face in your phone than showing them how to act, behave, and communicate efficiently?)

Let Them Help You

Whether it’s helping you cook, bake, or clean up; your kids will think this is great time spent with you and will love every minute of it! Especially when they’re little.

So, even if you may not think of making food or cleaning as quality time, they will. They are with you, after all! Plus, it’s teaching them some valuable lessons that they will keep with them in life, forever.

So, it’s a win-win, especially now that housework and cooking can be a shared family chore, instead of all being put on your shoulders to do.

Schedule in 10-15 Minutes a Day (Per Child)

Scheduling in quality time to play with each child by themselves will not only help you find the time to spend with them; but, it’ll also make your child feel super important. And, let’s face it, our children are super important to us, so show them they are by doing this!

Now, what you do in that 15 minutes doesn’t really matter all that much, as long as you are paying 100% of your attention to your child.

You could go for a walk, play a game, paint each others nails, have a dance party, or pretty much anything else you can think of that your child would want to do. This time is for both of you, but they’re only kids once, and doesn’t get much say in what they do for most of the day; so, let them choose what you both do, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.

Take Them Outside to Play

Or, better yet, to a playground! Just spend time outside together (away from screens indoors). It will feel much more like quality time, to both you and them!

Play tag, or simply take a walk. Or, let them run around and get all their energy out while you watch. (Make sure you have water close by.) Maybe, they’ll even take a nap afterwards!

Plan a Fun Activity For Them

This can be as simple as letting them color in coloring books. But, when I do this, I like to make it something super special. Which is usually easier done in the fall or holiday months at the end of the year.

For example, making fall wreaths out of painted puzzle pieces or ornaments for Christmas are great ideas for this! But, you could also have them do fun crafts anytime of the year. Maybe you’ll teach them how frogs or butterflies go through metamorphosis and they’ll do a craft based on that.

Or, as messy as it can be, let them paint.

My mom ran a home daycare when I was young and let the younger kids paint the deck with water. This was great in so many different ways. Lily from craftlearnandplay.com understands the many benefits this activity has, check out her post on it here.

It got the kids outside. It also let them ‘paint’ without actually leaving a mark on the deck. You could even do this with your kids to make it feel more like quality time with them.

One Day at a Time

Spending quality time with our children doesn’t have to be a challenge, or even take up too much time. Even simply putting our phones away so we can focus on our kids, instead of seeing what’s new on Facebook, will help you and your child feel more connected through out the day.

I can’t say that I’m perfect with doing each one of these things every single day, that could get exhausting to do, especially with the fun activity every single day. But, I do try my best to implement most of them.

No one’s perfect. And it’s hard to be the super mom you want to be in such a busy world, every day.

So, just take it one day, and one idea, at a time. You and your children will look back and cherish these moments forever.

…You know, the ones you spent focusing on them, not on your phone.

quality time with kids

Related Posts:
How to be a SUPER MOM!!!

Why I’m NOT a Bad Mom (even though my 5 year old drank my coffee)

The Best Action You can Take If You Want an Easier Life as a Parent!

Don’t forget to sign up for a FREE 5 Day Email Challenge to Connect with Your Child this Summer!

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