Four simple DIY baby projects

 The following is by contributor Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute.

When my husband and I had our fourth baby boy this summer, we thought we wouldn’t need a single new thing.  Other than diapers.  And a minivan.

But the interesting thing is, ideas and tools are always evolving and improving, and I found there were a few things I wouldn’t mind adding to our supply.  Fortunately for me, many of those things I could make myself.

I’m a fan of DIY, but I’m somewhat limited by my skills.  I can sew.  As long as it doesn’t require much more skill than it takes to sew a straight line.  These great projects, however, are simple enough to meet that standard. [Read more…]

Parenting Preschoolers: A Starting Place for Social Graces

I decided to share with Simple Kids readers this post by Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute, which originally appeared in May 2010.  With the start of school just around the corner, I thought many of you would find it helpful or perhaps have some insights to share in the comments. I know this is one of the posts that I personally have found so helpful as a parent of preschoolers. – Kara

From the moment I got this assignment to write about supporting social skills in preschoolers, every time my own preschool-aged boys threw a fit or tackled a playmate, I had to laugh at myself. “And I’m supposed to be an expert on this?”

The truth is the task of teaching our children social skills is a huge job. It’s not something any parent does perfectly, and it’s certainly not something that can be covered in its entirety in one neat and tidy blog post.

Beyond meeting our children’s basic needs, we as parents tend to worry most about their social development. Will they be polite when they play at their friends’ houses? Will they behave appropriately at school? Will they ever stop fighting?

There are a few things to keep in mind as we consider the social development of our children. They are reminders to help us to take a deep breath and respond with a proper perspective.

[Read more…]

Encouraging passionate learners … even when it’s not your thing

The following post is by contributor Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute.

I have vivid childhood memories of trekking down to the pond near our home and catching as many tadpoles in my bucket as my scrawny arms could carry.  I was fascinated by the process of metamorphosis and would check on them every day in the shed where I kept them, marveling over each limb as it appeared.

Once the tadpoles had fully transformed into tiny toads, my sibling and I would line them up in our driveway and race them down the lane as they made their way out in to the wild world of pastures, fields, and ditch banks that surrounded our rural home.

I was passionate about toads.

And my mother hated them.  But I never knew. [Read more…]