Add a little sparkle to your holidays with 31 Days of Christmas ideas! Each day this month, I’ll be adding another post to help you make your holiday season one to remember!
This post is part of the Write 31 Days Challenge where bloggers all over the world write 31-part series for you!
31 Days of Christmas
I’ll list the posts below. Check back soon for all things Christmas!
Is this your first visit here? Welcome!
Here are some posts to get you started!
Do you have favorite holiday traditions or projects?
I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
It’s so important for kids to make friends and learn how to be a guest. Here are 10 rules for visiting friends’ homes.
Recently a neighbor child stopped by to play. My kids were excited to have a guest, and it was fun for them to play.
Within a few minutes of arriving, the boy told me he was hungry. Dinnertime was approaching and I wasn’t going to feed my kids that close to dinner so that’s what I said. (*Please note: I know this child is well fed at home. If he wasn’t, I would’ve reacted differently)
He started wandering through the house and opening closets and such. I politely asked him to not open things without asking- that’s what I expect my kids to do at their friends’ houses. He stomped off to another area and did the same thing.
About this point, I told him I wasn’t trying to be mean, but at our house, I expect guests to follow our rules. I let him know he’s welcome to visit, and shared with him what I expect.
I honestly wasn’t sure how he would react but he looked surprised and said, “you’re the meanest mom in the neighborhood.”
It probably didn’t help that I started laughing.
So, maybe I’m mean but my kids are expected to use their manners at their friends’ homes.
Rules for visiting friends’ homes
- Remember to say please and thank you.
- Take off your shoes. Not every family does this, but it’s better show respect.
- Looking in rooms without permission. If you aren’t invited, don’t go there.
- Looking in the fridge, cupboards, closets, or drawers.
- Don’t ask for or help yourself to food. Have a snack before heading to a friends’ house. If they offer a snack, it’s fine to accept. It’s not fine to walk in the door and start nagging everyone for food. (This doesn’t mean I never give kids food…)
- Putting feet on or jumping on furniture. It isn’t allowed at home, so it seems like it would go without saying, but make sure they know it’s not okay at other homes either.
- Bringing along a pet without prior permission.
- No rough-housing inside.
- Remember certain toys may be off limits. Some are special or really expensive so plan to leave those alone.
- Be kind to friends’ siblings. They like to play too! Include them and treat them as well as you’d like to be treated.
What do you teach your kids for visiting friends? Please share!
Here are more ideas for your home!
School picture day can be a great way to create memories. Use these tips to help the day go smoothly. We all want fabulous pictures!
Picture Day Clothes
- Pick a color that looks great on your child.
- Stay away from busy patterns or logos.
- Avoid words/phrases. They can look cluttered and some of the words or letters could be cut off and look awkward. Even if you’re doing a full length photo, keep in mind the mini pictures on the class photo will be cropped.
- Be sure clothes are clean and iron if needed. Even small wrinkles are accentuated in photos.
- For small kids, consider sending an extra shirt in their backpack- just in case.
- Dress weather appropriate. You might love their new sweater but if it’s 90 degrees out, you could end up with a red face and an overheated look in the picture. Not to mention wet, sticky hair. Check the weather forecast to be prepared.
- Choose clothes that your child will be comfortable in. If they’re itchy, self-conscious, or distracted by their clothes, it will probably show in their portrait.
More things to consider
- Jewelry is fun but be careful not to go too big- you want the focus to be on your child’s face. Same goes for watches, scarves, and other accessories.
- Choose a flattering hairdo that’s on the sturdy side. If there’s a little wind or pictures are after recess, what will still survive?
- Hopefully pictures will be taken early in the day, but you never know. Avoid packing lunches with foods that could be really messy or stick in their teeth. No grape juice, broccoli, oranges, celery, chocolate, pudding, or foods that are easily spilled.
- Styles come and go but avoid extremes you might regret by the time their pictures arrive.
- Good sleep the night before and breakfast in the morning will help avoid cranky and grumpy pictures.
- Relax! Don’t put too much pressure by giving your kids 20 things to remember. If your kids have fun during their picture, it will show through and give a better boost to the end result. You might remind them of a happy time to think of during their session.
Yes, I said 12 then added an extra tip!
What has helped you on school picture day? Please share!
While you’re here, check these posts out!
Making a dream catcher is a fun project for both kids and adults! Take control of those nighttime worries!
How to make your dream catcher
- Cut the center out of a paper plates.
- Punch 20-25 holes around the edge.
- Cut a piece of yarn to 3 or 4 feet.
- Wrap a small piece of tape around one end of the yarn to make it easier to thread.
- Push the other end through one of the holes on the plate and tie a knot to hold it in place.
- Thread the yarn through a hole on the other end and randomly zigzag it to other holes. When you get to the end of the yarn, pull off the tape and tie a knot around the plate.
- Add more colors of yarn until the holes are filled.
*You’ll need three holes at the bottom to attach the yarn with feathers. Either leave three holes empty or punch more.
- Add a piece of yarn at the top to hang.
- Cut three lengths of yarn- (1) 12-18″ and (2) 8-10″
- Choose three feathers and tie one on each piece of yarn from step 9.
- Thread beads on above the feathers.
- Tie these pieces onto the bottom three holes in the plate.
- Hang to catch those bad dreams!
No time to make a dream catcher? Buy one here!
This post was originally published at Design Dazzle on June 16, 2017.
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Parent-teacher conference can be a great tool for you, your child, and your child’s teacher. Taking time to consider what you’d like to discuss with the adult who spends many hours with your child can be helpful for everyone.
Here are eight ways you can make the most of parent-teacher conference.
1- Review your child’s recent work.
By looking through work from the couple weeks prior to the conference, hopefully you’ll have an idea of what the teacher might be planning to talk to you about.
2- Look for patterns in the areas your child needs to work on, as well as their success areas.
3- Make a note of anything you might have questions about
How can you supplement teach at home, do they need a reward system in place, etc.
4- Ask your child how things are going and if there’s anything they wish they could say to their teacher.
Hopefully we’re talking to our kids each day, but by letting them know you’re preparing to visit with their teacher, they may have extra things to say.
5- Go in with a team attitude!
This is the person spending hours with your child each day. You definitely want them on your side.
6- Be willing to work with the teacher.
It’s easy to get defensive or upset if things aren’t going as planned- this is your kid, after all! Most teachers truly do want what’s best for your child, so try to find a way to work with them.
7- Have a post-conference chat with your child, even if they were in the room during your meeting.
Talk to them about the things the teacher said- good and bad. See if you can find a way to address any trouble they’re having. It was at this point in the process I discovered my child can’t see the chalkboard! The teacher mentioned his copy work wasn’t as perfect as she would like and in talking to my child, his desk faces away from the board, and he’s at the back of the class. No wonder he’s having a hard time! And who knows? Maybe we need an eye exam. That hadn’t even crossed my mind before!
8- Consider a follow-up chat with a teacher.
Sometimes after I let things mull over for a few days, I think of ideas that could help or questions I may have. If you find yourself in this situation, see if the teacher is willing to spend a couple minutes with you to address those items. If you don’t really need another face-to-face meeting, you could write a note or make a quick call.
What have you tried that has helped with your parent-teacher conferences? Share below!
Alone on the Playground: How to help kids make friends
Can we sit together for family dinner?