Friday, January 22, 2010

Reading great books to our children

I was so grateful for many other mom's who told me when I was expecting to build in reading to my first baby from day one. I took it to heart and I would read out loud to my baby when I was nursing. I also got some really fun board books as baby gifts that I would read while he sat on my lap. Somedays we could read one page, and other days we could read the whole book. But I found that if I didn't include it in the regular schedule it didn't happen. So I started reading a book before every nap and before going to bed at night. It became and still is one of my favorite time of the day. When I have more then one child who is getting ready for bed or nap time I like to let each one choose a story to read.
We don't own a ton of books but they sure get used. Part of the fun is reading a book over and over. Repetition is so good. It's fun to stop reading and have them fill in the blank, I'm surprised how much they remember.
The other thing I think is really important is having a routine of going to the library. It not only saves you money by not paying any late fees but it also is something your child will look forward to. I don't think you have to have a huge library to experience benefits from going to the library. Just by allowing your children to have the choice to pick a number of books give them some control over their environment. They are so use to having us tell them when to go to bed, what to eat, where we are going, etc. it's so healthy to give them opportunities where they get to chose.
I like to look for books that emphasis things I'm trying to teach my children. When they are learning to potty train we get books about going potty, and when we are learning about respecting others or obeying I find books that will help discuss this.
I'm sure you all know that reading has so many proven benefits to children. Without making it a priority it's sure easier said then done. Benefits I have seen from reading to my children:
1. Providing physical closeness and cuddling
2. Gives them opportunity for healthy choices
3. Develops the love of reading
4. Helps them to start recognizing words, letter for reading readiness
5. Provides learning opportunities
What ways have you noticed reading helps your kids? I'm sure we could get a top ten list.
Also where and when do you like to read to your kids?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Playlists for cleaning!

So with the new year I thought I would share a fun cleaning tip I started using a few months ago. This goes nicely with a new years resolution of keeping my house clean. This is a challenge for me so I wanted to make it fun. So being a music lover and also a wannabe fly baby I always clean to music. I also like to set a goal of getting so much done in an allotted amount of time. So I started making playlists on my I-tunes. It is awesome. I have a Blessing your home playlist, Kitchen clean up playlist, a 10 kid pickup list, a Zone clean up list. I fill the lists with my favorite music that will help energize and inspire me. This year I'm going to add a e-mail/blog read playlist. When the music is done, I need to do something else. What this does for me is it keeps me focused and doesn't let me get carried away on something so long that I forget other aspects of the day. Call me crazy but it's music therapy for me. So I'm going to fly away now and start my hourly dream clean! Happy new year goals for you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Food Co-op

Do you enjoy having fresh fruits and veggies for your family? By providing a variety of foods to my kids I hope it is helping their diet to be well rounded and nutritious. Good habits can start young.
It can get expensive to provide a variety of fruits and veggies year round. I have found a way to save money through two Food Co-ops. One I have already blogged about (Community of Food Co-op of Utah) and I discovered a new one called Bountiful Baskets. Bountiful Baskets is in four states: Utah, Arizona, Washington, and Idaho. You get a ton of variety wonderful fresh quality. It's run by volunteers and the food is purchased in bulk so you the benefit of great prices.
Last week we got, green lettuce, radishes, celery, onions, pineapple, bananas, oranges, pears, mini watermelon, apples, and Brussels sprouts. I might have missed something. So it filled a cooler and we couldn't put the lid on it was so full. We paid 19.50 for all that. I have a friend who for several months priced it out and she always came out ahead. I don't even bother to count-it's a great deal. Anyway don't take my word for it. Check out their website. They do this every other week. I have a membership to Costco and my complaint of getting fruit and veggies their is you get a ton of one item. It wasn't working because a lot of the produce would go bad before we could use it all. The amount you get with the co-op is a reasonable amount for one family to eat without getting sick of it before its gone.
I had been doing another food-coop which I still also love but their isn't a pickup site close to my home so it makes it more difficult. The Community of Food Coop of Utah is done once a month and includes not only fruits and vegetables but grains and meats. They even take food stamps. It's worth checking into as well!