Archives for February 2012

Books and Toys: Is it Time to Downsize?

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

It is time to downsize at our house, I can feel it.  Our play areas are starting to feel a little chaotic and lately a few Spring-like sunny days revealed a layer of dust on some once beloved items.  I know I need to reevaluate what we own and the kids and I need to make some decisions. 

I try to follow the “one in, one out” rule, but that didn’t happen during this most recent round of birthdays and holidays.   We have accumulated too many things and it is affecting our living space and the quality of the children’s play.

Are you also feeling overwhelmed by the books and toys your children have? Are they having a hard time keeping things picked up?

When this happens at my house, despite our toy and book rotating, I know that it might be time to downsize.  Luckily, my friend Tsh of Simple Mom is coming to my rescue with her annual Project Simplify. My house, especially the children’s spaces, can’t wait to begin!

If you’re a regular reader of Simple Kids or Rockin’ Granola then you know that I readily confess that I don’t “do it all.”  One of the things I’m able to coast a little bit on is the deep cleaning.  I get by with basic every day chores that the kids and I do (toilets, beds, floors, and kitchen surface cleaning) and a twice a year intense deep attic to garage cleaning.   Only last fall with a new baby, that autumn deep clean didn’t happen.

We’re overdue for some clutter control.

Perhaps some of you are finding yourself in the same situation? 

[Read more…]

Kids in the Kitchen: Part One

The following is by contributor Jaimie of Two Chicks and a Hen.

When I talked about surviving the witching hour with small children last March, one of the suggestions I gave was including your children in the cooking.   Next week I’ll have lots of tips for how you can accomplish this in a way that keeps everyone happy and sane, but first I’d like to talk about why you should consider making this a regular part of your routine. 

Some of us cook with our kids all the time, and it’s no big deal, but some of us cringe at the thought of flour all over the floor, more clothes to clean, messy hands, ruined meals, etc.   Although there is some validity to those fears, you can eliminate most of them and successfully cook with kids by being intentional about the way you do it.  A little planning goes a long way in the kitchen.

Why You Should Consider Cooking With Your Kids

If you have yet to invite your kids to cook but would like to, consider the following:

Time Together

Our time is limited.  Most of us, even those who aim for simpler lives, find ourselves busier than we’d like, and this can sometimes mean that we wish we had more time to bond with our kids.  When we think of cooking as something that needs to be done without the kids, we squander a perfect opportunity for bonding and togetherness.   Cooking with our children gives us time together that we might not otherwise have. 

Even if dinner means walking in the door, throwing together a salad, and putting a frozen pizza in the oven, doing these things together is a great way to be with our kids and reconnect, especially if we’ve been away from each other for the day.

Some of us prep all of our food on Sunday for the week because the evenings are too busy.  Again—this is a great time to spend with our children instead of shuttling them off to the next room to watch a movie while we get “work” done.

[Read more…]

The Second Time Around: Simple Yard Sale Treasures for Kids

Written by Kara Fleck, editor of Simple Kids.  Spring is just around the corner, which means so is Yard Sale Season, my favorite time of year!  We”re enjoying the extended President”s Day weekend, so I thought you might enjoy this post from June 2010.  Best wishes!

This upcoming weekend is a holiday here in the United States.  It  also marks the time of year when many local neighborhoods shift yard sale season into high gear. For the savvy shopper, this is the most wonderful time of the year, as the bargains are waiting to be found.

Being one of those people who likes to plan ahead to save myself work and hassle later, I take advantage of this time to get a jump on my holiday and birthday shopping.

Indulge me for a moment, though, because keeping your eyes open now for certain items can pay off in the form of full stockings come December, and at bargain prices to boot.

Here are some simple yard sale treasures for kids that are worth searching for:

[Read more…]