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  • Pets and children can become stressed during moving. If moving locally, you may want to leave these special family members with a friend during moving day.
  • read all shaktoids!
    January 23, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Every Kid Has Done It..
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2fbrx6

    At least they grow out of it, right? Hahaha!


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    January 22, 2015
    Board Game Nights For Kids….Not Your Mama’s Monopoly

    I have a confession to make: I’m a huge board game/tabletop game nerd. I go to game nights with my friends at least a couple times a week, and we play some pretty intense games (Arkham/Eldritch Horror, Dead of Winter, Gloom, and Betrayal At House On The Hill are the current favorites). Board games have evolved a lot since I was a kid, beyond Monopoly, Life, and Clue (though, these are still fun to play every once in a while!) Playing board games together as a family is a great way to bond, and to create some memories that last. And there are tons of new games that kids will love out there. Here are my picks for newer, super fun, kid-appropriate* games that you should try out today:

    *some may be more appropriate for older kids (10 and up). Always check the boxes!

    -Apples to Apples (there is a Junior version for younger kids as well!)

    -Munchkin

    -Scribblish

    -Dixit

    -In a Pickle

    -Qwirkle

    -Settlers of Catan

    -Ticket to Ride

    -Quelf

    Photo Credit: Lauri Rantala 


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    January 21, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Menu Planning Board

    Photo from Etsy


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    January 20, 2015
    Winter Date Ideas

    Even after being together for years and years, getting married, and having kids, it’s extremely important for couples to continue flirting with and dating each other! We have to model healthy relationships to our kids, and with divorce rates at 50%(!!!), it’s clear that many people do not. Your relationship with your spouse is just as important as your relationship with your kids, and many people can forget that. One way to keep the spark in your relationship is by having date nights (at least a couple times a month!) with no kids allowed. Check out this post by Amberly and Joe at A Prioritized Marriage for winter date ideas you can do tonight:

    -Go ice skating and drink hot chocolate

    -Movie marathon

    -Play board games and eat pizza (this sounds like a pretty good time to me!)

    -Indoor camp out- build a fort and make smores!

    Photo Credit: Phil Hearing 


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    January 19, 2015
    Celebrating MLK Day With Kids: Books and Activities About Diversity

    Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, everyone! I know that many of you may be enjoying a day off from work or school, which is great, but today also allows time for reflection. Today, I went with my mother and my nephew to our city’s MLK Memorial Ceremony, and it really made me think. We heard about Martin Luther King’s life, lesser known civil rights heroes and heroines, as well as heard some excellent speeches from African American people in our community. As someone who is white, I never usually have to think about the challenges that people of color faced- and still face- in our country today. However, my nephew is biracial, and since he was born, I have gotten a small taste of it.

    If I learned nothing else today, it is this: be kind to one another, regardless of skin color. Reach out to people from outside of your usual circle (this is challenge to me, since I’m pretty shy!). And really, just be aware of what is happening around you. Stand up for injustice. Don’t be silent. Instilling values of empathy, equality, and diversity in our kids is absolutely crucial to stamping out prejudice and racism. And there are plenty of ways to do that! Read books! Interact with people from all walks of life- all races, religions, nationalities. And let your kids know that there is more than one way to be human. For some great books about Civil Rights, check out this post by Erica at What We Do All Day:

    Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation.

    This Is the Dream

    Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down.

    I Have a Dream.

    The Story Of Ruby Bridges

    Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Photo Credit + Egg Activity from: Kids Activities Blog 


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    January 16, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Kids Can Fall Asleep Anywhere
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2evzbr

    I think this is hilarious,especially since this is how my nephew falls asleep:

     


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    January 15, 2015
    Sign Language For Baby

    My nephew Jayden hasn’t really said his first word yet. Sure, he says “dedededede” all day, and will sometimes say “nananana,” and “bobobobo,” and “yeyyyy,” but I don’t think he knows what he is saying. However, he has learned to wave hello and goodbye! He will also rub his eyes when he is sleepy, and put his hands up when he wants to be picked up. Babies learn how to use physical motions to express their needs before they are able to vocalize them. That’s why this infographic by iCanSign.com is really helpful! It includes lots of signs for babies to learn, including:

    -Eat

    -Hurt

    -Bed

    -Drink

    -Water, Milk

    -Mom, Dad

     

    Check it out! I’ve already been trying to teach him “eat” :)

    Photo Credit: gfpeck 


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    January 14, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: TV Stand Converted To Closet

    Photo from Project Nursery


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    January 13, 2015
    Baby Boredom Buster- An Idea That Works For Me

    I share my home with a very curious almost one-year-old. He’s always into everything- toys, books, food, garbage cans, cabinets- anything he can get into, he will. I always try to find new ways to keep him entertained and keep his mind stimulated, but sometimes it’s challenging. Once he plays with a toy for more than 10 seconds, he’s done and onto the next new thing. He’s always exploring, but it’s caused a pretty big problem. He was completely uninterested in the 20 or so toys that we got him for Christmas already, and more interested in getting into the TV remotes, my Dad’s iPad, computer wires- and other things he’s not allowed to play with.

    So, I’ve come up with a solution. Every week, we put out only about a quarter of his toys (5 or 6). Then, we switch them out for a new set of toys the next week! So far, it’s worked much better. Every week is like Christmas for him now. He gets to play with “new” toys that he hasn’t gotten bored with, and the other ones get a break.

    If you’re facing the same problem we did, give this a shot! It’s been much better for us and Jayden already.

    Photo Credit: Thomas


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    January 12, 2015
    Fun and Educational Activities For One Year Olds

    My nephew will one year old in about a month. I know it’s a cliché, but it’s like it passed by in the blink of an eye. It seems like only yesterday, I had to hold his head up for him. I mean, he just learned how to sit up! But that was six months ago… They learn so much in such a short time! It’s truly amazing. I try to do things with him each day that help him grow and develop- we read, sing, dance, chase each other, play outside (if it’s nice), watch educational shows (and sometimes Looney Tunes), play games- the list is pretty long. But I’m always looking for new things to introduce him to. That’s why I love this post by MaryEllen at Imperfect Homemaker. It has a great list of activities for one year olds that will increase their independence. I’ll be sure to start doing them with Jayden!

    -Cardboard box tunnels/forts

    -Play with balls of various textures

    -Create music by banging on pots and pans

    -Play with a felt board or foam puzzle

    -Water painting (water + brush + construction paper)

    Photo Credit: Ian Schofield 


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