Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Family Communication Board

Family Communication Board

* I apologize now for any wrong spelling, bad sentence structure or any other things that just don't make sense. I have a horrible sinus infection and my head is pretty much a congested, painful, spinning mess. : )*

I keep seeing all these wonderful ideas for organizing the family but it seemed like too many organizing "boards". Kids chore board, dinner board, family schedule etc. So, I came up with a board that has the three things I considered most important for my family. 
A Calendar with all events
Extra Chores with visual incentives
Meal planning for a week

Total Cost:
I had everything on hand so it was free.
If buying everything it would come out to about: $20, with the board being the most expensive. 

Supplies Needed:
Paper Clips 
Push pins
Laminating Sheets
Magnet Buttons
Dry Erase Marker
I bought the board from Office Max. It's also a magnet board. Board Dudes Magnetic Cubicle Monthly Calendar Dry Erase Board (Google Affiliate Ad)

How To:
Really it's up to you in how you want to organize this. I used the calendar as an area for the kids to see what was going in the week. My son gets to pick his swimming days so this way he can see what 3 days he choose and when they are. They like to see the days they don't have school too! They know that Saturday is chore day but sometimes they tend to forget. So, this will show them when it's chore day and what the chores are on that Saturday. On every Saturday I will write what their "normal" chores are. These are chores they are expected to do to help around the house, they don't get paid for these. 

* To see picture better, click on it*

~Then, I made an Extra Chore Chart with money incentives. Now they can visually see the money. They tend to be money hungry and seeing it gets them excited. With these, I just came up with 12 different chores that they can do that would be worth $1. I have 12 so that I can rotate the chores and not have the same windows get washed every week. I put out new chores every Saturday.  On the back of each chore I wrote exactly what that chore entails. That way they know exactly what you want done in order to get the $1. To hang these, I used the magnet buttons and the paper clips stick right on the magnet! I also laminated the cards to keep them neat.

* To see picture better, click on it*
~ Finally, the Meal Planner. I wanted this to be easy and simple. All I did was laminate some scrapbook paper. You can design your cards to read whatever you want. I wanted all three meals of the day so they kids wouldn't be "surprised" as to what was for any meal of the day. 
To help plan dinners, I wrote down 21 meals that I know my family likes, that are easy to cook, and that are cheap. Then I let each kid pick a meal off that list and what day they want it.  I then pick 3 more meals and leave 1 day for leftovers. Finally, I make my shopping list from that and write, with dry erase markers Expo Click Retractable Low Odor Fine Tip Dry Erase Markers, 6 (Google Affiliate Ad)  in the meals for the week! Now the kids look forward to their day they picked dinner! 

Extra Tips:
~ I glued a magnet to the dry erase marker to keep it handy on the board. I also glued a pom pom to the lid for an easy eraser!
~ For my meal planning, I have a 3 ring binder that I keep all my recipes in. The front is sectioned off to keep my list of 21 dinners I can choose from and any recipes from the dinners on that list. During season change, like winter, I come up with a new list of 21 winter dinners and pull those recipes to be in front for easy access. 

So, that's my Family Communication board! I hope it helps you to plan your own board. They are many different ideas you can do. Customize it to fit your family! I would love to hear your ideas!!

Thank you!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Magnet Cups for the Fridge

 Magnet Cups for the Fridge
Plastic Cup- $.50 - .95 Walmart
Magnets- $3 for 52 Walmart
Super Glue- $1 Target (I used Scotch, found it in the dollar section)
UNDER $1 to make!!
I have 4 kids. 3 which are independent enough to get their own water out of the built in fridge spout. However, not responsible enough to use only 1 cup a day! I wash at least 6 cups a day! Most of which probably just had water but I'm not trusting it. So, picking my battles, I decided to make it easier on them.
Just super glue 2 magnets to the back of the cup.
Press for at least 40 seconds.
Let sit for 30 minutes.
Put on fridge!
Now they just grab their cup, fill it with water, drink it all (that is key), and put it back.
Hand wash every couple days!

Please ask any questions you have!
Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Creative Easy Kids Painting!

Creative Easy Painting for Kids

I have seen variations of this kind of project all over the internet. So, I decided to try it for myself. The kids loved it and it was super easy!

Break Down:
Total cost about: depends on what you have lying around
Total Time: Depends on each kid!

2 piece canvas 11 x 14 in- Michaels $7 on sale
Crayola Washable Finger Paints- Walmart about $7
Frog Painters Tape- OSH $5
I happen to have all these on hand at the time so the prices might be a little off.

How to:

Cut the Frog tape to width you want each letter. Then stick onto canvas in the design or letters you want.

Then let your child go to town with the paint!

Let it dry completly. It was 100 outside on this day, so I put it outside for about 15 mintues. Don't forget about it!!

Carefully peel off the tape and like magic, a beautiful painting!!

Here is my lovely daughter showing off her master piece!!

You could even add glitter, sparkles or whatever you have lying around!

Have fun!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chore Jar

The Chore Jar
My kids have the hardest time cleaning up their room. They are 7,5 and 3. Every Saturday is chore day. They know they have to clean their room. I was getting really tired of telling them over and over until I was frustrated and yelling. Then we end up wasting most of our day until I'm in there cleaning because I just want to get on with my day.
So, with a little help from Pinterest, the Popsicle sticks, I came up with a way that gets them moving!
Items needed:
~ A jar or container of any kind- Free
~ Sand or magic sand (what I used) or tiny rocks (something small enough to allow the sticks to slide in. The "jewel" rocks are too big)- Walmart about $4
~ Popsicle sticks- Walmart $2
~ Markers- Walmart $2
~ Stickers and stuff to decorate the jar with
So this could be anywhere from Free to about $8 for everything.
The Idea:
Basically, I labeled the Popsicle sticks with things that are most likely on their floor like, Cars, Books, Clothes etc. I also labeled a couple with the shelves that are in their room like, bookcase, toy shelf ect. I then had the oldest (you can alternate) randomly pick a stick from the jar. He then has to go and clean up all of that item. The catch?? The other kids are sitting on the couch playing a game or watching a movie while he cleans! Heaven forbid he let them just sit and hang out! He goes in and cleans as fast as he can because then it's the next kids turn to pick a stick and go in and clean! I throw the bookshelf's into the mix so that they don't just throw things on to the bookshelf's but put them away properly. They know that they might pick a bookshelf stick and have to clean the whole thing! Of course, towards the end there are random things on the floor that aren't labeled on the sticks so I label a couple of sticks with "5 items", "10 items". That means to pick up any 5 or 10 items. Those sticks I put back into the jar after they have been drawn so they can use those again.
* I used a jar that was tall enough for the sticks to fit all the way in and have a  lid for easy and clean storage. *
Of course there are ways you can customize this idea to fit your family. I'm sure there are MANY different ways to do this. Let me know if this worked for you! Let me know how you customized it!
Happy Cleaning!