The Day I Took the Toys Away

The day I took the toys away

I know what you’re thinking, how could I take all of my kid’s toys away? Well, let me start by saying that I don’t do this every day.  I fully believe in helping children grow in all aspects of life, even their imagination. I want my children to have an imagination that can take them anywhere.

There are a few things I do to make this day successful. I believe they will help you too.


6 tips to a successful imagination day

  1. I tell my kids the night before that the next day will be imagination day
  2. I play music in the background during the day- in general music helps my kids and they love it.
  3. No TV on this day- try to unplug as much as possible. Be the example.
  4. Put the everyday toys away in a closet or spare room- the only exception I make to this is educational “toys” (i.e. puzzles or books) that I use for homeschooling each day.
  5. Think outside of the toy box
  6. Engage in imaginative play with your child.

Music speaks volumes. A musical beat can change the mood of a child. For my children music is a calming tool that they also happen to love. If you can imagine this, we have a lot of dance parties. If you are looking for free musical outlets I recommend youtube, radio, and Pandora. This is the only type of media I recommend on imagination days.

When putting all everyday toys away I suggest choosing a time when the kids are not focused on them (i.e. after bedtime). This can be nerve-racking I know. But trust me, your kids will still have a great day.

Literally, think out of the toy box. Make a list of things around your home that could be fun for your kids. Remember to think out of the box.


Out of the Box List:

  1. Blankets and pillows
  2. Cardboard
  3. Paper
  4. Laundry baskets
  5. Pots and pans
  6. Cooking spoons

Some of my kids favorite pretend games to play are beach and fort with blankets and pillows, race cars with laundry baskets and cardboard boxes, and cooking and making music with pots and pans. My kids even like to color the cardboard boxes.

I love jumping into all these games with my kids. It brings me back to my childhood and it’s fun. My personal favorites are blanket beach days, blanket forts, and making music with different household items around the house. My advice is to jump back to when you were a child and let your imagination soar with your child.

If you can’t let loose with your child who can you let loose with?

Instead of continuing the life-countdown to the next big thing take a step back. Our children will not be little forever. For one day let your imagination take over the stress of housework, life struggles, and just hit the reset button.

Let your imagination take over.

Gift Guide for the Mommy in Your Life

Are you enjoying your Christmas shopping this year? Do you have a mommy on your list? I’m a mommy with three children, all of which are 5 and under.  When people ask me what I want for Christmas I often go into a daydream state for a few seconds thinking about the things on my wish list. Am I the only mom who does that? What is on your wish list?

I tend to stay away from things like necklaces because I love to be practical and remain simple in all things including gift wish list. Besides, when I see a necklace or jewelry, in general, I think “choking hazard”.  Am I alone in this? Here is a list I personally would love to receive.

Gift Guide For Moms with Young Children

Click on the photos to learn more about each present idea.

                                                      

       

       

      

      

                          

       

7 Practical Tips for Simplicity in Life as a Mom

 

Awe, the mom life… Am I right? And your reading this thinking she is crazy with the kids yelling, crying, or making messes around you. Haha, I know. Sometimes the mom life is anything but relaxing. However, there are tips that can lead to simplicity in the mom life.

7 practical tips for simplicity in the mom life:

  1. Stay away from overbooking yourself
  2. Plan simple but healthy meals
  3. Have a cleaning routine
  4. Have simple budget
  5. Ask partner or friend for help
  6. Make to-do lists
  7. Have mommy time. Take care of yourself.

Stay away from overbooking yourself

Growing up my family was always on the go doing everything we could do. The difference for my family now and my family growing up is I had teenage siblings when I was a baby because of that my mom had extra hands to help. When I got married and had my first child I planned to be involved in everything. I quickly realized that was not realistic. And it’s okay.

As a rule, we as a family are involved in a couple of activities each week like small group bible study and family gatherings, things of that nature. My husband and I have our children involved in church, music- because we believe a musical life is a great life, and martial arts.

So we keep it simple. We have more home and family time than go time. I believe that’s important. It allows us to build deeper relationships with our children and each other. It’s important to cultivate relationships. There are many free family ideas out there.


Plan simple but healthy meals

Meal planning can be a monster within itself especially when you add children to the mix. Many children like mine are picky eaters or have dietary restrictions beyond their control. That makes the meal planning chore more of a pain. I used to make different meals for everyone in my house. The only way that happens now is if there are leftovers that need to be eaten. Since I have picky eaters we tend to stick with very basic meals, such as sandwiches, hot dogs and mac n cheese, quesadillas, pasta, pizza, and putting the two together, crock-pot pizza.


Have a cleaning routine

Having a cleaning routine doesn’t mean you have to have everything planned down to the minute. It simply means that you have planned out what you will have clean before the day is over. If you have a routine it won’t be so overwhelming when you look around your house. Pick the cleaning product that you love best or make your own cleaning product and simply clean. Keep in mind that life can throw some crazy curve balls in one day and you might not get all you planned done. That’s okay. Give yourself grace. Kids will not remember if the house was always clean, but kids will remember the memories they made while making the messes.


Have a simple budget

Finances are one of the biggest stressors for a marriage and family. Keeping it simple is the best way to tackle it. There are countless resources out there to overhaul your finances. Now, let me be clear I’m not an expert and I certainly do not have it all figured out. It’s a process that we have to constantly go through as seasons of life change.

I have used many resources through the years. One resource I highly recommend is the Money Matters book and course. Using a source like this will walk you through the decisions you need to make step by step. A book I loved reading was Love Your Life Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want by Rachel Cruz, daughter Dave Ramsey. This book is all about setting your priorities right, being realistic, and not playing the comparison game. A blogger I often find engaging on this topic is Money Peach. Money Peach has many free resources that can encourage you.


Make to-do lists

Making list is something that helps me stay grounded in the simple life. You can make a list for anything such as, to do lists, cleaning lists, honey-do list, kid’s chores, grocery lists, idea list, gift ideas for yourself or family, and even baby name lists.


Ask your partner or friend for help

As humans, we all struggle with pride. I take pride in being independent. So asking for help is not my strong suit. To put this into perspective for you, on my wedding day my dad told my hubby “sorry, she’s very independent.” My hubby told me this after the fact. I just chuckled but I can’t say it’s not true. But hey, I have improved, he helps do the dishes now.

Over the years, I have learned to seek of my hubby and friend. The time I learned this lesson the most was when my son Connor had a medical emergency that required several ER visits and eventually a transfer to another hospital. Our friends and family were there for us during that long week. And not to mention the weeks following when Connor was diagnosed with autism.

Friends are very important in the mom life for encouragement and support through the hard times and the good times. I’m grateful for every friend that I have been blessed with in my life. Some great ideas to make new mom friends are to join a local mom group like MOPs, get involved at a church near you or mentor a younger mom.


Having Mommy time

Take care of yourself. It’s as point blank as that but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard to follow through. As a busy mom, I completely understand. This is a huge stress reliever for us moms once we get over the fact that our babies are home without us. I try to have mommy time once a month. Some months it doesn’t happen but most of the time it does.

For me, mommy time can be as simple as writing a blog post during nap time, walking around the mall for an hour, or going to the grocery store with no kids in toe. But I do think the occasional big mommy night out with friends is also needed. What is your “Mommy time” mean? What do you do?


Being a mommy can have challenging times but it is the most important job in the world, in this humble mommy’s opinion.

I love the mom life!!