Apple Orchard Scavenger Hunt

It's my favorite time of the year! Fall! 
Time for big sweaters, pumpkin lattes and APPLE PICKING!
Over the first weekend of fall, I orchestrated a family outing to our favorite orchard. I have a big family and being in large group can be somewhat overwhelming for us adults the kids, especially when we're moving from one activity to another. To help out, I made a fun little scavenger hunt that would keep my son, nieces and nephews entertained while they were riding in the wagon. It was an hit!
Hope you can make use out of it! 

Items needed:
Printer paper
Hole punch
Fishing line
Card Stock
You can download the printable list here. :)

1. Paste list onto card stock (or print onto card stock)
2. Punch hole in top right corner 
3. Cut a good 10" of line & tie it to the hole. 
4. Attach crayon. 
*To attach crayon, place end of line near the bottom of the crayon and wrap a piece of tape around the crayon. (seems flimsy, but it lasted the whole day)

Have fun!!!!



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"I love you" sign tattoo!

My Ninja and I have lots of secret handshakes and silly routines that we do together. One of my favorites is our "I love you with all my heart" routine. Any time one of us uses the 'I love you' sign, we follow it by making a heart at each other with our hands or (more often than not), he'll have already drawn a heart on the back of our hands, and we'll tap them together all while saying, "I love you with allllll my heart." 

IF my little man ever grows out of having silly routines with his mama, (I'm still not convinced that this day will ever come, but if it does...) I will have this permanent reminder of when he would put his little hand up at playtime, at soccer practice or falling asleep, just to let me know how much he loves me.

Some inspiration photos I found on Pinterest. 


DIY Art Wall

I love when my son draws pictures, particularly the silly ones. His "spider with 13 legs" and his portrait of my husband (that has an undeniable resemblance to a male's genitalia) are some of my favorites. I think it's SO important to display a child's art. It shows them their art matters, that it has value and it's worth being proud of. I hope that in displaying NInja's art, I will encourage him to be creative and give him a sense of importance in our home. *steps off soapbox*

So, let's get started on that wall!

What you'll need:

Cut each tile into strips that are approx. 2 inches wide.
Apply tape and attach to the wall.
I chose to apply the lines of cork at different widths apart as Ninja uses many different sizes of paper for his drawings. 
(My mom works at a shipping company and we get all the scraps!)

Ninja had a lot of fun hanging up his own art. 
I could tell he was proud of himself!
Mission accomplished!

Finished product! 
I love my little artist.
Can't wait to see what he draws next.


MORE charts for my nephews!

Camron's Charts: Age 5
This chart is for my oldest nephew. There aren't many daily tasks he needs guidance with, but my sister just had a baby, so instead of a chore chart, she would like for him to have a more of a schedule/daily chart. Essentially the same idea as my son's charts (with the velcro stickers), but with Camron's, you start at the bottom of the "ladder" and work your way up. For example, he doesn't have "playtime" until after he completes him morning tasks, eats breakfast and clears his dishes. For every step he completes, he get a blue sticker. Once he gets to the top of the ladder, he gets a yellow sticker for whatever day it is.

My sister has been having a little bit of a tough time getting my nephew away from the TV and video games (this includes: Wii, DS, LeapPad, etc.). It usually turns into quite an argument. Toddlers sure don't like to relinquish control! With that in mind, I suggested she give him control by using these "Playtime Bucks." At the beginning of the day, Camron has 1 hour of TV and 1 hour of video games to use during his Playtime. It's up to him to decide which Playtime and what amount of time he wants to use them. Bonus minutes are given at my sister's discretion for things such as: acts of kindness, good behavior, being helpful, etc.

Playtime Bucks

Luke's Charts: Age 3
This one is for my younger nephew, so it is much simpler. 
I hadn't added the velcro at this point, but the idea is to put thin strips of velcro on the top of each picture and the bottom of each description. The child starts the day with the flaps open and then closes them as s/he completes each task.

Ninja's Mom


Chore/Daily/Behavior Charts pt. 2

MORE CHARTS! I love charts!
Alex graduated from his last charts. Meaning: due to the simplistic way his daily chart was written, he started to manipulate it to suit his needs. (i.e. he would clean ONE meal of dishes and feel he deserved a sticker for the day, would pick up his toys ONCE, and would forget to be kind to other people besides our cat, Kali.) He's an interesting child...
I think he can handle a more detailed daily chart (and a simpler behavior chart). 
I've also added a list of manners that he needs to practice.

PS I used the same velcro stickers & chart as before, just put new strips of paper for the new tasks.

Changes made: Specific morning and nighttime tasks, a broader range of what he needs to pick up, rules about food & water (we've been having a hard time with finishing dinner...and I threw in water for good measure), I drew PEOPLE and a cat in the "be kind" section.

awesome = exceptional behavior for the day OR a big act of kindness, receives a treat.
good job = good behavior/average behavior, this is where his "A" starts every day.
calm down = beginning of a fit, i.e. tense, showing aggression, etc., 
equivalent to a warning. if he is in this stage, he has the option of reading a book, 
laying down on the couch until he's calm, or telling a funny joke. 
Sometimes I just tell him to laugh...and he does. That one always gets him! ;-)
(The goal is to try to stop this fit before it gets out of control.)
in trouble = blatant disregard for the rules or full-on fit throwing, refusing to calm down. 
He gets something taken away for the day, i.e. TV, LeapPad, favorite Nerf gun.
all done today = at this point, he's gotten "in trouble" more than three times and 
must go to bed anywhere from 1-2 hours early, absolutely NO tv, video games, etc. 
for rest of the day. (two weeks in and he has yet to get to this point! YAY!)

I've been seeing a lot of manners flash cards around Pinterest, and even though I loved them, flash cards don't hold Alex's attention. Since I love charts, I thought making a chart of manners and reciting them at the beginning of each day sounded like a great idea! AND IT IS! It's working, people!!! The most important thing that he's learned from this chart is telling the truth. He tells me the truth ALL THE TIME NOW!

Located in the kitchen. Daily chart is eye level for him.
 He is not allowed to touch any chart other than his daily chart.
Let me know how they work for you or what changes you made!!