Are you struggling getting your child ready in the morning? I know I did. My daughter is so slow by nature and hates getting up for school. I was so tired of fussing with her every morning trying to get her ready on time. Something had to change because I was becoming wore out. Sound familiar? I sat down with a friend of mine and she gave me some great tips. I have made a video for you with some of these tips.
Here is a recap of 5 things to do to make your mornings easier!
Get them dressed at night
Fix their lunch at night
Have their hairbrush laid out for the next morning
Have their toothbrush laid out
Lay their socks and shoes out the night before
My strategy has changed the older she has become. Now she completely gets ready before she can eat breakfast. She is ready to eat when she wakes up so she gets ready a little quicker. We still lay her clothes out and prepare her lunch at night. I can reason with her the more mature she becomes. If she doesn’t get ready on time, we take something away that she loves until she decides to follow the rules. If you have any new ideas, I would love to hear them. Place them in the comment below.
Go to your local library and check out the Atlanta Zoo DVD. Once you return it, you will receive 2 adult and 2 child tickets for free! If you live in another state, ask your local library if they have this deal.
Go to the zoo
Don’t have a pool? Ask a friend if you can use theirs in exchange for cleaning their pool for them. I would LOVE for someone to clean mine!
See if your city has First Friday.
The kids love attending First Friday because they cater to them! They have activities like bounce houses, eating and concerts for adults!
Find friends that will be willing to host get togethers.
Find friends that will be willing to host get togethers at their house and take turns. Each time do a theme. Ex:
One day have a slip-n-slide party with lemonade drinks (with umbrellas in them) and fruit roll ups.
Have a movie party with popcorn and drinks.
You can freeze blocks of ice in a bowl. Each child will have their own block of ice. Add some salt on top of the ice block so it will begin to melt. Watch the salt produce holes in the ice. Have the children squirt different colors of food coloring in each hole. It will be pretty. These are just some examples of some fun ya’ll can have.
Go to a movie for cheap
Most theaters have a movie day that is just for kids. Everyone has to see a certain movie that the theater picks. These movies are at a discounted price and usually serve snacks for cheaper too. If you want to choose your own movie then go to the matinee for a cheaper price. Some theaters also have a certain day of the week that they have discounted prices. Call your theater to get the details.
Most bowling allies let kids bowl 2 free games
There are bowling allies that participate in free bowling for the summer. Our bowling alley lets kids bowl 2 free games. You have to bring your own shoes or pay for shoe rentals. Taxes may also apply. Still, this is a cheap way of entertainment.
Check your library for free reading programs
Check your library for free reading programs. They usually have incentives for reading. Ask your local library what incentives they have. Here is a website in Georgia that is connected with our local libraries that includes incentives for kids. Free tickets to museums! https://georgialibraries.org/partnerships/
Check your library for free reading programs.
Summer Reading Program with Candlewick Press and Pizza Hut. When your child meets their goal each month, they will receive a free Personal Pan pizza. Sign up here!
Get a free book and Bible!
If you want your child reading Christian books, you need to do the LifeWay R.E.A.D program. Your child will read six books over the course of the summer and memorize six Scripture verses. It’s from June 1 – August 31. Turn in a completed summer reading journal at yourlocal LifeWay store to earn a free book and a new free Bible.
Get a season pass to a water park. Bring your lunch and it will make it cheaper. You can get discounts on Coke cans or some fast food restaurants if you go for the day. We have a smaller water park in our own town. We get a seasons pass so we get other people in with the free friends coupon.
Join your town’s Facebook page for free activities.
Join your towns Facebook page. They will post all of the activities going on in your town. Our town is family oriented and plan a lot for kids. We have a local theater where they perform plays. Ask around to see what your town is doing.
Go to nearby beach or lake.
If you live near the beach or a lake, take a day trip with friends. If you carpool, you can split the gas and pack a lunch (and snacks, drinks). I purchased a large canopy so we can have some relief from the sun. Also, I purchased a big cooler on wheels. Bungy chord that canopy onto the cooler with wheels and Whola! We have a beach with a rubber mat on the sand. It’s easy peasy. Plop up that canopy and you have a haven for the day!
See what your local colleges have to offer.
Check out your local colleges. Ours have programs for kids. We have a Raptor Center that houses animals they can’t live on their own because they are hurt. The college also performs plays and has a museum. They plan different activities during the year where families can come.
Free park pass for 4th graders.
I am signing my daughter up for this one. She is in the 4th grade. I will let your know about our adventures. You and your family get free access to hundreds of parks for an entire year. It is called Every Kid in a Park.
These are just some ideas to get you started. I hope you enjoy!
Go swimming – swim at night while watching a movie on a big television outside
Go to the beach if you live pretty close by and pack lunches and umbrella.
Find a college that has a museum – They are cheaper and kid friendly
Locate a county/city water park – We have a small water park at our park so we get discounts because we live in that county.
Invite friends over and cookout – get a slip-n-slide for the kids
Go to the river to swim
Find out from your local theater what day they give discounts for movies. We have $5 Tuesdays and the concessions are half price!
Local bowling centers have discount programs
Get a group of kids together and stations of different crafts – Each parent can be in charge of one station. Make sure one station is making something to eat and drink!!!!
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About a year ago I found myself overwhelmed, over scheduled, exhausted and for what? I thought to myself, “There’s more to life than this.” I work, run errands, take my kids places, cook, grocery shop, clean other people’s houses on the side, help with homework, etc… There was no time to enjoy life and my family. Years ago women didn’t work and family was their number one priority. I know your family is still your priority, but work drains us and doesn’t give us the time or energy to give it our all. This is when I realized that something needed to change. I had to figure out ways to make my life easier and have time for my family. I came up with an 8 step solution that can help eliminate being overwhelmed, over scheduled and exhausted.
I need you to realize that you should master one step at a time before you move on to the next step. If you try to move on to the next step too fast, then you will be overwhelmed and quit. Getting a system put in place is the key. I have Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD) which makes me get overwhelmed easily when a lot is thrown at me at one time. In a lot of blogs I have read (not all of them), the schedule is too much for me to try do accomplish so I don’t try. It seems that they have everything in order all of the time and nothing stresses them out. Either they don’t work or they are so OCD that it tends to make it easier for them to accomplish it all. I wish I was like that but in reality I am not. So, for the people more like me, these steps are for you! Here we go!
All of this is worth the effort and frustration so please don’t get discouraged! I am living proof that it does work! If life gets in the way, just pick up where you left off and don’t beat yourself up.
The first place I started was with my mail. I would always place it on the kitchen table or counter. It looked messy and we had to dig for our bills. I emptied our wooden file cabinet and started creating a filing system. I made a hanging folder for each item: bills, sales paper/coupons, appliance instructions, banking information, doctor bills and any other personal information. Look at your mail to see what you get. This will help you know what folders to make. If you don’t have a filing cabinet then you can purchase a small plastic one or make your own out of a Xerox box. Get cute ideas from Pinterest. Let that be the only accomplishment that you do that day to not get overwhelmed.
Then move towards the kitchen. I pulled things out of my cabinets, sections at a time. Don’t do all of the kitchen at once. You can get exhausted. Remember, this is what we are trying to avoid. Baby steps! Take 6 cabinets at a time. Maybe even spread it out over a course of 4 weeks. Pull things out to see what to keep and what to give or sell. You don’t need 6 of the same size pans or a lot of cups, etc. Be realistic on what you need to keep. While you are at it, wipe down the inside of the cabinets. I had a lot of stuff to purge. I relocated some kitchen items to bigger storage to give me more room. I put my extra crock pot under my bed. You can put other seldomly used kitchen stuff at the top of the closet. Less is more. The less stuff you have the easier it is to find things and put things up. Here is an example of a filing system you can use.
Once the kitchen is finished, move to the living room. Remember, not on the same day. It will take a few weekends to do this. Stay committed to see the end results. This is the hard part so it will get easier! I took furniture out of my living room and put them in another part of the house with a purpose. If you don’t need it then sell it or give it away. I put the filing cabinet in the kitchen where there was room. The sofa table became a computer table in the extra room. Go through drawers, cabinets and things lying around to purge, leave them there or find a new place to put them. I am donating the Wii and the games. My daughter walked in and thought our living room looked bigger and clean!!! Pat on my back. It was a huge accomplishment and yes I was tired. Knowing I was going to keep it this way made it well worth the work. If it becomes too much, slow down or ask for help. Friends and older daughters are great for this.
Next, were the bathrooms. I went through washcloths and towels. If they were yucky, I made them rags. I went through anything that was leaking (shampoo) or what I didn’t need anymore and purged it. Remember to check the dates on your medicine bottles too! I bought baskets from the dollar store to place alike items. You can purchase small shelves like the one below to put on your bathroom counter to store items you use daily. I use a hair caddy to put my blow dryer, straightener and curling iron in. It is screwed to the wall.
Hall closets were next on my list. I made sure the sheets were put together by size and straightened up. Purge what you don’t use.
Lastly, are the bedrooms and extra rooms. I started off by going through the closets. If you find your kids important things that they made, you can take pictures and make a scrap book of your kids artwork or your favorite writings that they did in school. I purged old and wrong size clothes. Also, decide what you don’t use anymore and purge those items too. You can take all of the purged items to sell and make extra money or donate them. Also, you can do a swap with friends with the items that you don’t want including furniture and dishes. Just remember that you are trying to eliminate items so don’t get caught up in trying to take in too much stuff.
Are you trying to find new fun ways of getting your family close again? We noticed that our family was always on the internet and we were becoming disconnected to each other. We decided that we had to change that one step at a time. My husband came up with a brilliant idea! He said we needed to have game night along with finger foods. We needed to make memories along with cultivating our relationships. It started off simple with a game and a food. Then we became fancy and made our foods start with the same letter as our game or food and games of the same origin (Hispanic game with Hispanic food). We included the kids in the decision making and it became fun. Here is our list suggestion if you want to give it a try.
Uno – Nachos
Clue – Chicken fingers
Rummikub – Ranch Wings
Sorry – Soup or Sandwiches
Mexican Train – Mexican Lasagna
Bingo – Baked Potato
Monopoly – Meatballs
Twister – Tacos
Life – Loaded Tator Tots
Balderdash – Beef Quesadilla
Spoons – Sausage Pizza
Pictionary – Pigs in the Blanket
Dominoes – Dumplings
Scattergories – Salad
Boggle – Burgers
Another thing we do is to volunteer as a family. Your local soup kitchen is good for most ages of kids. If you don’t want to do that one, then ask around for a good place to volunteer. So many places need help. This will show your kids how fortunate they are and they should appreciate what they have more. It also can make them and you, feel needed, because ya’ll are needed. We laugh a lot and become more connected. I would love to hear your ideas. You can share your ideas in the comment down below. Have fun with it and get creative.
Hey, I am Kim the founder of Brain on the Go. I am so glad that I am talking to you! You came across my website for a reason and the common denominator is that our kids are struggling to learn. My passion is to work with you to help your child learn while they are moving. Let’s do this together!