Bedtime Stories: How to Go Beyond Just Reading Another Book

Today I’m sharing how to make storytime more fun for you and your kids.

 

I’m guessing your bedtime routine with your kids involves storytime. Am I right?

 

If you’re saying no, maybe it’s because you think your kids are “too old” for bedtime stories, right? Wrong. Even when your child can read well, it’s important to still read together aloud. It helps with pronunciation and getting words into their brain, it also associates reading with pleasure and together-time, and allows you to talk about and analyze the story together.

 

You should be incorporating more stories into your child’s life, not less and not just at bedtime.

 

Here’s 3 reasons why:

 

1.  You are literally teaching your child to THINK when you are telling stories.

All conceptual thought depends on us creating or remembering pictures in our head of what we are thinking of.

When you are thinking of a dog, you have in your...

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The 5 Most Influential Creative Parenting Books I Read in 2018

Now that our youngest has turned five-years-old, I finally have time to read again! So many great books to choose from, here are my favorites from last year that have helped with my parenting:

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

When we dreamed of having kids and a family, most of us had visions and dreams of us all sitting around laughing and enjoying family time together. The reality is, our daily lives disconnect us from these moments because there’s too much of everything. Too much stuff, too much information, too much speed, too many activities scheduled, and too many choices. This book is a reminder of the importance of creating calm and rhythm into our children’s lives.

It actually became a goal of mine for 2019: to create a calm, soothing environment for our family.

 

How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims

I agreed with most of the reminders of this book, it’s basically stop overparenting! How demanding or permissive are you with your kids?...

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Get Your Time Back With This Fashion Hack for Busy Moms

 

One of the things I miss most about pre-kid, single life is the ability to spend a few hours window shopping at the mall and choosing just the right outfits that fit my personality and lifestyle.

 

I used to love wandering through and noticing all the seasonal themes and decorations, grabbing a snack at a kiosk and trying on fun new clothes.

 

The reality is to make time for this now means giving up precious morning alone time while all three kids are in school or calling in a favor to my husband and have him watch all three kids while I spend our money. Ha!

 

When the kids were really small, I decided to try a subscription box where they pick items out for me and send them to me based on a style profile questionnaire I fill out. While this doesn’t give me the satisfaction of physically going to the mall, spending time catching up on fashion in magazines or online and trying on outfits, it saves me a good three to four hours of time at least!

 

I’ve...

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How to Create A Vision Board With Your Child

Don't you love setting goals? I'm inspired all the time by leaders who explain how wonderful it is to have goals and how much more successful people are when they make them. Did you know not many of us actually take the time to write them down?

Shortly after the birth of our second child, my husband and I went out on a date night and he started asking me all sorts of questions, like "Where do you see yourself in five years?" and "What's next for you?" I remember being so frustrated he would ask me questions like that when I was in survival mode with the kids. Of course, he didn't understand, but for a few years, I didn't have time to think about anything other than the kids or food or how to care for them. I was either with them or trying to stay awake. Sleep was so precious and I wasn't getting enough.

After that brief time, I got back to goal-setting and it's always served me well. Lots of my friends would tell me they created vision boars. I remember thinking they were kind...

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What to Pack for Soccer

A couple of years ago, my husband traveled a ton and I was in charge of bringing all three kids out in 100-degree weather for soccer games on Saturday mornings. That first year, it was all about the snacks. I think I ended up feeding all the younger siblings at the same time as my own kids, so I brought lots of snacks, chairs, the soccer stuff and all three kids in the wagon after parking a third of a mile away.

 

As the kids have gotten older and I’ve gotten more practice, we have streamlined these outings to make them much easier and more fun!

 

Dad is in charge of taking all three of our kids to soccer practice on his own this weekend, so I’m supplying him with everything he needs for a successful outing.

 

Keeping little ones busy in the hot sun all morning isn’t easy! Here’s what to stock up on to make sure you are set up for success.

 

First off, of course, each child should be dressed in their soccer uniform, socks, shinguards,...

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3 Ways to Get Your Child to Stay in Bed at Night

Watch the video HERE.

 

You made it through the early years of either sleep training or lying in your child’s room until they fell asleep, right? So why is your big kid constantly coming down or lying in bed awake until all hours of the night?

 

When our oldest started preschool, it was like as soon as he got into bed his brain became alive. He built his best creations our of Duplo Lego or Zoobs when he was supposed to be sleeping, asked many intriguing questions and would even cry because he couldn’t get tired enough to fall asleep. The fact was, he was overtired and we tried everything to correct it - switching up the bedtime, creating a more soothing routine, we even got our the essential oils and massagers.

 

When he was in 1st grade, I found this great book and we read it together. It has helped him understand it is his job to help his body relax and there are many ways to do it. There’s also a game in the book that really helped our 3-year-old...

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How to Stay Healthy When the Kids Are Sick

Flu season has been really tough this year, especially in our neighborhood. All three of the kids have been sick on and off for the past six weeks. My husband has been traveling and has stayed healthy using a few of the tricks I’m about to share with you. I stayed well for the past year, but it finally got me this season! Isn’t it hard not to get sick when the kids are cuddling up next to you and at the same time sniffling, sneezing and coughing all over us?!


When I feel a little less than 100% I go into attack mode to prevent the spread of germs.


SANITIZE

First, I clean and sanitize the main community areas of the house.

I change out all the towels and give all family members their own hand towel in each bathroom. I wash our throw blankets in our living room. I’ll wash bedding if I have time, but definitely all pillowcases. I wipe down light switches, door knobs, faucet handles and remotes.


NOSE IRRIGATION

This sounds so gross, but in reality, it’s not that...

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5 Ways to Get More Energy RIGHT NOW to Keep Up With the Kids

Have you ever felt like you just want to lie down on the sofa when your kids want to run around and play with you? Do you make it through the morning but then as soon as early afternoon hits you want to curl up and relax?


I didn’t get enough sleep for over seven years when my kids were young. I wasn’t blessed with good sleepers or I didn’t train them well enough! I suffered through many, many long days of being overly tired.


Most moms use coffee or sugar to make it through and so did I. But! I started learning more and more about energy and nutrition when I started researching how successful people handle things.


I had no idea there are other ways to get energy!


There are five ways to get more energy. Sleep, water, food, movement and self care.

 

1. SLEEP. I'm guessing if you have young children, you are not getting a good night's rest. Interrupted sleep is one of the worst kinds. If you can get to bed early, do that - or take a 20 minute nap if at all...

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Why Your Kids Need A Sensory Bin and How to Make One Right Now

“Mom, my tummy doesn’t feel right!”


“I don’t want to go to school! I’m scared!”


Yesterday, the kids went back to school after having two weeks off for winter break. Our first and second graders were filled with feelings of apprehension, uncertainty and nervousness.


I knew this would be a transition day, so I planned to have a slower morning and made sure to cuddle and talk with the kids about their feelings. We talked about what to do when we feel this way. My daughter likes to gently rub the fingers of her one hand against the palm of her other hand when she’s feeling nervous. We talked about how it will help when she gets to see her best friend in class and reminded our son how much fun he has running around at recess. We also use the technique from the popular book, The Kissing Hand, at drop off.


Days like these are perfect days to make sure to spend some one-on-one time with the kids when they get home from school. Since we are a...

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I’m So Tired! 7 Ways to Function When You Can’t Get Enough Sleep

 

I didn’t sleep through the night for 7 years.


That isn’t something you expect when you decide to try for a family!

I don’t want to sugar coat it, parents, sleep is something you take for granted until it’s gone. You are super fortunate if you get a baby that sleeps and you are a good sleep trainer. Unfortunately, whether it’s me or my three babies, they wake me at night often. Even now. I used to get woken up by the kids multiple times a night every night.


I would never suggest taking advice from me on how to get your baby or child to sleep through the night, but I have learned a lot about how to function on interrupted, not great sleep.


Here are my seven best strategies:

 

1. Work with your sleep cycles as best you can. Our brains’ sleep cycle works in 90 minutes, and the goal is to get 7.5 or 9 hours of sleep each night. The next best thing isn’t 7 hours, or 6.5, it’s actually 6 of sleep. Not lying in bed, but sleep. So...

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