Fun Learning Toys for Kids

Fun Learning Toys for Kids

As a homeschooling family I love getting my kids games that are fun, but also double as learning tools. I’m a firm believer that learning should be fun and love to have textbook alternatives to schooling to help my kids learn and grow. This post will share with you my favorite recommended fun learning toys for kids from Kindergarten to 3rd grade.

Fun Learning Toys for Kids Kindergarten to 3rd Grade

Bananagrams

Brain Quest Smart Game

Cranium Cadoo

Domino Rally Racing: STEM based learning set

GeoBingo

Magic Schoolbus: Journey Into the Human Body

Pizza Math

Say Cheese Multiplication Game

Silly Sentences 

Snap Circuits Junior

What’s Gnu

Wildcraft Herbal Adventure Game

 

Fun Learning Toys for kids

5 Reasons to Buy Your Groceries Online!

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As a busy mom I am always looking for new ways to save time and money without compromising the values that are important to me. A couple years ago I decided to try grocery shopping online and I have to tell you, it has been both a money and a time saver and my house is stocked up with delicious organic ingredients and real foods and grass-fed meats and other items. The best part is I don’t even have to go to the grocery store! Here are 5 reasons to buy your groceries online!

5 Reasons to Buy Your Groceries Online

  1. Save Time – Heading to the grocery store, especially with kids, can be time consuming and stressful. If you go to the store at a busy time it can be challenging finding a parking spot and you can even spend time waiting in line to check out. Do you really want to spend your free time grocery shopping? I know I don’t, so I had to give online shopping a try. I will tell you, I do not miss grocery shopping. I can get most of my shopping done online, in my pajamas, drinking wine, once the kids go to bed or whenever works for me! I won’t lie….it’s pretty awesome!
  2. Save Money – Time is money, gas is money, and to get the best prices you can often hop all around town trying to take advantage of discounts and specials. With online retailers many places offer regular discounts, coupon codes, free promotions, or free shipping with a minimum order amount. You can buy from multiple retailers without having to leave the comfort of your home. I find that when I am able to shop in a more relaxed setting I make better decisions when it comes to how much I spend and the types of food I buy.
  3. Get premium Foods – Get organic foods, grass-fed meats, and healthy snacks delivered to your doorstep. How does it get much better than that?! It can be costly heading to health food stores to grocery shop, and I find that despite my best intentions, I end up spending too much on things we don’t need. With online shopping I can get what I want for a lower price and I don’t even have to leave my house! Which leads me to reason #4……
  4. You won’t have to take the kids to the store! – Seriously, moms…..do I have to say anything other than that? You can do your grocery shopping at your leisure, without anyone whining about wanting treats or fighting with their sibling. Add that to the stress of kids who are begging you to buy every treat in sight, having to go to the bathroom, fighting with their sibling, etc.  The best thing about online grocery shopping? You can avoid all that, or at least minimize it quite a bit. We still go to our local coop and Farmer’s Markets for things like Raw milk and produce, but our grocery shopping trips are much more relaxed, and less frequent since I started buying most of my groceries online.
  5. It’s Fun to get food delivered! – It’s like food Christmas! All you have to do is put it away! How easy is that?! I love it and get so excited on food delivery days! And I’ve never had any problems with spoilage or anything like that. Everything is fresh and in great condition and packaged appropriately. The meats have plenty of cooling included in case you cannot get to it right away. I’ve had mine arrive while I was out running errands on a hot day and the meat was still frozen when I went to put it away a couple hours later.

Con – The only real con is that if you need food in your house ASAP you will have to visit a store. Ordering online means that you must be prepared. It can take 1-3 days to receive orders so you need to plan accordingly. I usually place an order when I see that our cupboards and fridge/freezer are getting low so that I receive a delivery before we completely run out.

Where I Shop Online

These are my favorite places to shop online:

Thrive Market: – This is essentially Whole Foods meets Costco! I love ordering snacks for lunches and baking and cooking ingredients at 25-50% lower than anywhere else! Use this link and get an additional 15% off your first order!

US Wellness Meats: – I love their selections of so many grass-fed meats, wild-caught seafoods and they have lots of sugar free options of bacons and sausages too. They have an amazing selection and they ship really fast!

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7 Tips to Help Get Kids to Sleep Easier

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If you’re a parent, you know the nightly challenge of getting your kids to go to bed — and staying there. It’s not always easy, but helping them get a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your kids.

When children don’t get enough sleep it becomes much harder for them to control their emotions. They may be irritable or hyper, which is no fun for anyone. Kids who are sleep-deprived are more likely to have behavior problems, trouble paying attention and learning, and  a higher risk of being overweight. So although it can be a challenge to establish regular sleeping routine, it’s important to do all you can to help your child get the sleep she needs. This post will share with you 7 tips and tricks to help get kids to sleep easier!

7 Tips to Help Get Kids to Sleep Easier

1. Work as a team

It’s important to discuss and agree on a sleep strategy for your child with your spouse, partner or caretaker beforehand and work together as a team to carry it out consistently. Otherwise, you can’t expect your child to learn or change her behavior. Come up with a game plan with everyone involved with watching your little one – grandparents, daycare providers, etc. Making sure everyone is on board will be key to your little one’s success!

2. Develop a Bedtime Routine

Routine is very important for children in order for them to thrive mentally, emotionally and physically. Establishing a bedtime routine is extremely helpful when trying to get children ready for bed. Regular schedules and bedtime rituals play a big role in helping kids get sound sleep and function at their best. When you set and maintain good sleep habits, it helps your child fall asleep, stay asleep, and awake rested and refreshed. If you are starting a new sleep routine for your child, make him or her part of the team by explaining the new plan if they are old enough to understand. For a young child, try using a picture chart to help your child learn the new routine, showing actions like changing clothes, brushing teeth, and reading a book.

3. Limit screen time before bed

It is very important to limit screen exposure 1-2 hours before bed. The blue light from televisions, tablets and computers can disrupt sleep patterns because it can suppress melatonin levels and makes it difficult to fall asleep. You can read more about the affects of blue light on our sleep patterns here. Prevent watching TV or playing on devices right before bed for the best results. An idea of an example bedtime routine would be a TV show, bath time, brushing teeth, reading a story and finally bedtime, leaving plenty of time in between TV watching and sleep.

4. Magnesium

This essential nutrient is responsible for numerous bodily functions, including sleep! Click here to read more about how to use magnesium to help establish a great nights sleep. This can be easily done either in a bath with Epsom salts (where to buy) or in a quick drink (where to buy) before bed. It helps to naturally relax the body making it easier to fall asleep.

5. Essential Oils

Essential oils contain natural plant intelligence. Pure therapeutic grade essential oils (not to be confused with store brands) have been found to reach deep into the limbic system of our brains, the part responsible for emotions, and can have profound physical and emotional benefits. This includes unwinding and releasing any unwanted thoughts and emotions before bed. Kids are just mini-versions of us and while we may not realize it, but their days can be filled with stress just as ours, which can make it hard to wind down at the end of the day. Essential oils can be very beneficial in helping to relax and decompress to prepare the body for a good night’s sleep. This can be done using homemade bath salts, by diffusing or rubbing on the vita flex foot points. My kids usually last no longer than 30-60 minutes before they are asking to go to bed!  Recommended oils for sleep are: Lavender, Cedarwood, Valerian, Roman Chamomile and Orange. For the best results I use pure therapeutic grade oils. (where to buy)

6. One More Thing…..

Kids will always ask for that one last thing — hugs, a drink of water, a trip to the bathroom, just one more book. Do your best to head off these requests by making them part of the bedtime routine. And let your child know that once they are in bed, they have to stay in bed. Be firm but loving. After your regular routine set aside a few minutes for one last sip of water, potty trip and snuggle before tucking them in to sleep. If your child does leave bed guide them immediately back. Letting them hang out for a bit before returning them only reinforces in them that behavior. It may take a few days for this habit to stick. Which leads me to the final tip……

7. Be Patient

Remember that patience and persistence is key. Changing any habit takes time. Your child will learn new sleep habits if you stick to your planned routine. Your child may want to argue or complain about new bedtime rules. You must ignore these arguments and protests. Firmly and calmly let your child know that this is the new bedtime plan. It may be very challenging at first and may take several nights to get your child used to the new plan but with some persistence and lots and lots of patience, you will succeed. Remember that consistency is the key! For more tips of bedtime for kids checkout this book! And if you want a good laugh get yourself a copy of this or the parent-only version here!

Do you have any tips to help kids get to sleep easier? What would you add to the list? I would love for you to share them!

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