Keeping the Messiest Kids Clean (+ Target gift card giveaway!)

messy kids + WaterWipes

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

messy kids + WaterWipes

I’m not going to lie to you. There’s nothing that I find cuter than a really messy kid. I mean, bonus points if I’m not obligated to clean the kid, but even that is kind of irresistible. Take a look at Ellie up there. She’s a drippy, sticky mess. There’s ice cream in her hair, her eyebrows, and I even found some smudged on her chunky little ankles. And do you know what? The kid could not care less. She’s completely lost in a moment of pure bliss. There’s really nothing more enjoyable for a momma to watch.

That said, the whole cleaning her up part is much less enjoyable. First, there’s the enormity of the task at hand (what is the best way to make a kid stand when almost every inch of her is covered in chocolate?). Then there’s the fact that I’m becoming more and more neurotic about the products I use. It started out with our cleaning products and has slowly moved into products that we use on our bodies. I find myself wanting to use the most gentle, natural products I can find.

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Summer Learning with My.Future

not all screen time is evil | summer learning with My.Future

This post was sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

This year, Samantha’s 10th birthday coincided with the last day of school. We surprised her with a (refurbished) iPad and it was clear within a few hours that we would have to put some serious restrictions on her usage of the thing this summer. If it were up to her, girlfriend would be on musical.ly 24 hours a day until the bus comes back to drag her to fifth grade.

But this is not a blog post about the evils of screen time. Because, to be honest, I don’t think all screen time is evil. Ellie has been doing yoga almost daily lately, thanks to DVDs we picked up at the library. Yes, there’s a screen involved, but she’s up and moving her body in ways she might not have been.

not all screen time is evil | summer learning with My.Future

While I don’t want my girls glued to glowing screens all day, I’m no fool. Technological savvy will be a major asset to them in the future. By 2018, jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are expected to grow almost twice as fast as jobs in other fields in the US. Plus, there are ways to have them use tech positively so that they’re learning without even realizing it. Samantha is obsessed with apps like Scratch and Hopscotch, which teach kids basic programming and coding skills. I like that they stimulate her and encourage her to continue learning—even while on summer vacation.

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Food Allergy Safety

food allergy safety

food allergy safetyWe stood in front of racks filled with candy, the girls’ eyes wide as they scanned the recognizable packaging for something that jumped out at them. I prodded them to hurry up—OK, strongly urged is probably closer to the truth. We were going to be late. We were meeting our friends at the movie theater next door but had stopped in to pick up way less expensive candy (shhhh, don’t tell).

Samantha made her choice and immediately flipped the package over to read the back. “Mom?” she said. “I don’t think this has nuts, but can you check to make sure it’s safe for Maddie?” She wasn’t planning on sharing her candy, but she knows that Maddie has a serious nut allergy and wanted to make sure her buddy would be safe.

My momma heart burst a little, especially since lately I’ve noticed one too many adults having little to no regard for the safety of kids with food allergies. They complain about the inconvenience of having to work around allergies for school snacks and birthday parties. They are incensed that their children have to “miss out” because another kid has an allergy.

My children don’t have food allergies and I’m pretty much a tree hugging hippie, but thought processes like those fill me with rage.

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15 Earth Day Activities for Kids

Earth Day activities for kids

Since Earth Day is this Wednesday, I thought I’d do a whole week’s worth of earth-friendly posts. If you know me or have been reading for any length of time, you know I’m a total tree hugger. Call me hippie dippie, call me Earth Momma, call me whatever. I happen to think it’s kind of important to take care of this little planet we live on. And I think it’s incredibly important to teach our kids the same thing.

Like many adults, kids totally tune out when you start lecturing them on the evils of pesticides or the dangers of water pollution. No one wants to be preached at. Instead, I like to fall back on the same rule of thumb I go by when it comes to teaching kids to be giving: make it fun and make it a normal part of their life.

If your kids see you throwing used bottles in the recycling bin regularly, they’ll start doing it too. If they watch you throw garbage out of your car window, they’ll do that. If you make a conscious effort to be environmentally friendly, those little buggers will be right there with you. And it doesn’t hurt if you model that behavior in a way that’s really fun.

I put together a list of 15 kids activities to try out this Earth Day—or any day.

Earth Day activities for kids

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5 Things I Learned When I Took My Kids to the Met

the met with kids: mummy loving

Last week I met my mother-in-law in Manhattan to take the girls to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So much potential for learning at a major cultural institution, right?

Yeeeeeah, that sounds nice and all and while it is true, I learned way more in the Life Lessons department than I soaked up in the art history department. For instance…

the met with kids: mummy loving

1. Plans are stupid.

Duh. I mean, I should have known this. Kids + plans = a regular laugh riot.

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