Formula to Share
We just had our third baby and as always we were flooded with free formula
samples and rebate checks made out to me (used like coupons at the
register). Being an exclusive nursing mom we had no use for it personally
but I used all the rebate checks at discount stores to get whatever
formula I could for free (or almost free). Then I gathered it all up and
gave it to a food bank. At least it benefits somebody who needs it--
formula is expensive!
Save on Lessons & Activities
The free and reduced lunch program in the public schools offers more than
food. In our city it is the standard for reduced costs in sports, music
lessons, field trips, tutoring and Park and Rec activities. There may be
other things as well. I've discovered it's always good to ask. It is even
available for home schooled children. I just enclose a letter with my
application explaining why I want to be approved. The income limits are
higher than most people think. Pick up an application at your local public
Mom I Want...
Like all kids, my children get a case of the 'gimmes' in the store. To
help alleviate this without causing a scene in the store we have devised a
solution. When one of the kids (from toddler on up) asks for something, we
reply, 'Great! Put that on your Wish List!' They feel as if they have been
heard, they have not been told no, (that causes the scenes especially in
toddlers) and they feel in control. As the kids have gotten older, they
truly do have a 'Wish List' that they keep on their bulletin boards. This
is a great help at holidays and birthdays.
When we moved from an apartment to a house I wanted to get a sandbox for
my kids but we didn't want to spend a lot of money. My husband went to a
tire dealer, and asked if they would give him an old tractor tire. (They
had several that were discarded when farmers purchased new ones.) We then
purchased a scoopful of sand (from a front-end loader) at a seed store for
ten dollars. My kids love their 'round sandbox' and are the envy of their
Get the Gum Out!
In order to get gum out of hair rub a fingertip sized portion of peanut
butter into the gum and hair. Rub around with your fingers and keep adding
peanut butter until the gum is out completely.
Another cute and quick treat is to make 'hamburger cookies' and there's no
baking involved. Assemble the following: 2 vanilla wafers (the bun), white
frosting (mayo), Keebler chocolate mint wafer (burger), and shredded
coconut colored with green food coloring (lettuce). Spread a tiny bit of
diluted honey on the top 'bun' and sprinkle some sesame seeds. People
think they're real miniature burgers.
Fun Treats For Kids
My mom was very creative in the treat department when we were kids and
would make the neatest treats. One was making 'jello eggs' by blowing out
the egg from its shell using a pin hole on one end and a larger hole on
the other and washing them well. She'd then cover the pin hole with tape
and stand the shells in the carton and fill with jello. The most fun was
cracking the finished ones to eat them. Another treat was making 'turtles'
by taking a half walnut shell, inserting a very large gumdrop inside the
shell which would extend a little below it, and using five cloves for the
legs and tail and one clove poked through a raisin for the head.
Fill up Your Kids Boring Bedroom Walls!!
I have two children, a ten year old and a three year old. We find that if
we go through all their toys and misc. junk at least once a year, we can
take all the junk we find and make cool things for their walls. A good
example is get an old piece of cardboard and cut into diffrent sizes to
use as picture frames. Then take all misplaced or worn out puzzle pieces
and frame the outer edges of the cardboard and stick your kids pictures of
their friends, pets, ect. in the middle!! They love it and it's much much
cheaper than buying tons of posters and picture frames!!
Visual Chore Cards
My three young sons have daily rotating chores. It was hard for my
pre-readers to know what their assigned chore was and I was always having
to tell them every day. To solve the problem I took photographs of them
doing each of the chores they do on a daily or weekly basis. Now, to
assign chores I just set out their chore cards with their breakfast bowls.
To make them wipeable, I laminated them. No more fusses over what jobs to
Inexpensive Bowling Set!!
Last year my son saw an ad on television for a 'frisbee bowling set' by
one of the popular toy companys. I couldn't afford to buy it but with a
little imagination came up with a great substitute. I took some empty two
liter soda bottles (grandma had extra!) cleaned them out, and spray
painted them white (had leftover paint from craft box). After they dried,
we painted on numbers and silly faces (also with leftover paints). You can
paint on whatever the child likes. Frisbees were no problem because we had
a bunch. If you don't have one, garage sales sell them really cheap or
even if you have to buy one, you can find one in a dollar store. My son
and daughter had so much fun with their 'frisbee bowling' that they wanted
it to be one of the games at their birthday parties!
Tear-free Toddler Hair Wash
Getting my two year old to hold his head back while shampooing his hair
was next to impossible. Getting soap into his eyes was almost inevitable
until I got a dry washcloth and had him put it over his eyes. Now when I
dump the water it makes the washcloth wet but doesn't get into his eyes.
Then we just use the washcloth for the rest of the bath!!
I save my yogurt cups and extra plastic spoons from restaurants. I make
the kids generic jello in the cups. Then when we go out the spoons and
yogurt container can be thrown out (that way I don't have to keep track of
my own containers/spoons or wash them).
No More Monsters
My son was waking up every night with 'bad dreams about monsters'. I
purchased a spray bottle (cheap one) and put 'good dreams' (water) in the
bottle. Every night my son sprays around his bed giving him 'good dreams'
and he keeps the bottle by his bed. If he wakes up with a bad dream he
just sprays the monster and it goes away. It has worked like a charm and
now I get good dreams, too.
I have figured out a simple way to chronicle the emerging skills and
personalities of my two-year old and four-year old. I purchased two
expandable files that have 13 pouches, one pouch for each month and an
extra for the child's birthday month. Throughout the month I put artwork,
birthday invitations, ticket stubs, etc. into the pouches. At the end of
the month, I fill out a record that describes favorite toys, bedtime
routines, special visitors, quotable quotes, etc. At the end of the year,
I will take the whole packet to Kinko's and have it bound for under five
dollars. If you have access to a scanner or digital camera, you can also
add photos to the yearly stories of your kids
Car Trip Entertainment
To entertain our children on long car rides I cut the backs of cereal
boxes off the box, punch with a three hole punch and keep them in a
notebook along with a pencil bag full of dry erase markers. This notebook
is only taken on long car trips so it doesn't become a bore. As pages wear
out, we just throw them away. This provides inexpensive entertainment that
is easy to use in the car.
Birthday Party For Kids
Check out having a birthday party for your child at a local firestation.
My nephew had his fourth birthday party at a fire station. They let us use
their kitchen for a couple of hours in return for a donation to a local
charity. It was great for the kids to meet the firemen, see the trucks and
have a ball!
There are many holidays (Valentines Day, St. Patrick's Day, Good Report
Card Day, etc.) where a treat seems like a good idea, but you don't want
to spend a lot of money on gifts. I enjoy making fun food for my family in
these situations. A little food coloring and cookie cutters go a long way
to make the special day festive. For St. Patrick's Day, make green french
toast cut with shamrock cookie cutters and green 'slime' syrup and green
milk. Shamrock shaped sandwiches, fresh veggies with green dip, and
cookies can be a fun lunch! For Valentines Day, heart shaped meatloaf,
heart shaped pizza, red syrup, etc. Ranch salad dressings turn a very
pretty shade of pink and green for Easter. Be creative and make it a fun
day for all!
Email questions or comments:
God gives hunger to communicate with
Him. The people of God in the Old and
New Testament had visions, dreams, heard God talk to them.