Penny Pinching Peach


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Indoor Water Play

Indoor Water Play

Indoor Water Play- a great way to keep toddlers happy indoors!

My children are all little water babies.

Usually this tendency shows in them splashing water all over the bathroom when they are supposed to be washing their hands. Finding them lingering in there playing in the sink and flooding the floor is frustrating , but I do try to give them fun opportunities to satisfy this urge to splash and pour.

One thing they love to do, when they can’t go outside to play, is set them up with some indoor water play.

I get out my humongous pot and fill it about a third of the way with water. I’ll set it on a beach towel on the kitchen floor, then throw in some cups, toy boats, funnels or other small items that will be fun to play with in the water. They can easily stay at this simple activity for the better part of an hour, especially if I switch out the toys every 15-20 minutes or so.

Sometimes I give him toy cars and it’s a “car wash”. Other times he is giving his dinosaurs or doll a bath. Get creative!  That’s the whole point!

This activity works really well for my preschooler to do while I’m working with my oldest daughter on her school at the table. He’s usually very content and relatively quiet. It makes it easier for her to focus than if he’s running around being a wild child, even if she is working independently.

Do your children enjoy playing with water indoors? For more fun activities for the cold weather this winter, check out 10 preschool activities using household items!


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Struggling? You Are Not Alone.

Carrying my baby while I can

Carrying my baby while I can

I have been struggling. I’m struggling with handling life’s bigger problems- like finances and relationships. I’m struggling with my self image after birthing three children and having health issues. I’m struggling with my precious unruly children, teething fussy baby and a moderate dose of post partum depression. I will be okay, but this poem flowed out of all that and more. I felt that maybe someone would benefit from my transparency, although I was hesitant to share this.

♥♥♥

Baby teething, keeps on screaming,

Must have Mommy, and it’s seeming

Like she’ll never let me put her down

Or let me stop carrying her around…

But she will.

♥♥♥

Threenager yelling out so loud,

Waking baby and feeling proud.

Leaving destruction wherever he goes

Hard to imagine he’ll get better as he grows…

But he will.

♥♥♥

Six year old asking questions galore,

When I answer, she wants to know more,

Gives me attitude when she doesn’t understand,

Will she always question every command?

Probably will.

♥♥♥

My head is pounding from the chaos and noise,

My kids drive me crazy, but they’re also such joys.

They tire me out and the work’s never done

Will I miss their neediness as much as the fun?

I think I will.

♥♥♥

Some days I’m discouraged and wonder why

Do I continue to give them my best Mommy try?

Will it matter if I do my best to raise them right,

Or just let them run wild without giving a fight?

I know it will.

♥♥♥

Why am I sharing my struggles with you?

Because I’m not alone, and know this is true.

Most parents struggle and feel they’re not enough,

Does it help to admit I love my children, but it’s tough?

Maybe it will.

♥♥♥

Are you struggling today? What helps you when you are struggling? Two things that help me are writing and shifting my focus to others.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

This bracelet would be a wonderful reminder that God can bring you through anything If God Brings You To It, He Will Help You Through It Bracelet!

I wrote a series about kindness awhile back, if you are interested in some ideas on how to help others. Here’s one of the posts from that series: Share The Kindness.


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Don’t Cut Your Pumpkins!!

Kiddos With Their Pumpkins

Kiddos With Their Pumpkins

Don’t cut your pumpkins!!!

If you are like me, you don’t look forward to trying to carve pumpkins into jack o’lanterns. In fact, I am totally paranoid about using sharp knives and carving instruments with my little ones. So, to satisfy their desire to decorate pumpkins while keeping my anxieties quiet, we just don’t cut, carve or otherwise mutilate our pumpkins.

Do decorate your pumpkins!

You can do so many things with them without cutting, and they should last all the way until time to decorate for Christmas! I love to do a pumpkin with a thankful theme. My children like to make pumpkins representing themselves. We have also done pumpkins that were just randomly decorated. Be inspired by what you like! I’m more about making fall decorations with my pumpkins and less about making them holiday oriented. Most Halloween themed things don’t pass my rules, anyway, since I don’t allow witches and wickedness in our décor this time of year.

Big Sister Pumpkin

Big Sister Pumpkin

Be creative and have fun!

My kids chose their pumpkins this year. They each chose a small one to represent themselves, and my oldest daughter picked a miniature one to represent their baby sister. They wanted to do their own decorating of their own pumpkins, and to give me ideas of what they wanted me to do for baby sister. 🙂

We used materials we had on hand. My deceased mother in law absolutely adored Halloween, and we wound up with some of her craft supplies. I allowed my kiddos to choose some items from those as part of their pumpkin decorating. We wound up using sequined candy corn and stars, googly eyes, ribbon and paint on the bigger munchkins’ pumpkins in the designs of their choosing and creation. I helped very little, since they were having fun and I wanted them to have pride in creating their own. We used smaller googly eyes, a real piece of candy corn for a nose, raffia and pipe cleaner for the baby’s miniature pumpkin.

Big Brother Pumpkin

Big Brother Pumpkin

Have a safe and happy autumn!!!!

We managed to decorate these with no booboos and minimal stress. My biggest concern was making sure the paint and glue stayed on the newspapers I laid out on the kitchen floor where we were working!

What kind of decorations have you done this fall?

Check out our No Carving Pumpkin Family! I think it’s pretty stinkin’ cute for fall décor!!!


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Paper Plate Pumpkin Masks

Paper Plate Pumpkin Masks

Paper Plate Pumpkin Masks

Need an inexpensive and easy fall craft for kids? Try my upcycled paper plate pumpkin masks!

I try to do a craft of some sort at least once or twice a week with my children, mostly using items we have on hand or that will cost me very little to get the supplies for. This was one of our recent projects, using only items I already had in my cabinets. These masks were pretty quick to pull together, as well as lots of fun for my little ones to help make and play with when they were finished. If you need a simple and cheap autumn craft for children, this is for you!

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Want to know how to make your own paper plate pumpkin mask? Keep reading!

Pumpkin Mask Supplies

Pumpkin Mask Supplies

First, gather your supplies. In case the photo isn’t enough explanation, here’s your crazy long list of things you need:

Yep, that’s it! Think you can handle that? 😉

Next, let your kiddos color the middle round part of the plate orange (or another color, if they’re feeling funky). Cut the round center part of the plate out.

Hold the cut out near your child’s face and put a dot on the plate where the eyes and mouth should go, then draw the shapes they want them to be. I scored the lines with my scissors and then went back over them with a knife to cut them the rest of the way out.

Poke a hole in each side of the pumpkin mask for the ribbon to go through. Have your child hold the mask up and then wrap the ribbon around from hole to hole to figure the length. You can do the strap one of two ways. Either two pieces of ribbon you tie on (my choice) or one solid piece they slide on and off their heads. I wrapped it behind and added enough length to tie through the holes as well as tying a bow in the back, which was a few extra inches. Cut and tie the ribbon through the holes.

Paper Plate Pumpkin Mask

Paper Plate Pumpkin Mask

Your child will be ready to go crazy as a walking jack o’lantern!

For a fun story time activity this fall and Halloween, check out The Teeny Tiny Ghost and the Monster! If you want a safe alternative to carving jack o’lanterns, try my No Carving Pumpkin Family!


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10 Preschool Activities Using Household Items

I am always on the look out for fun activities for my little ones that won’t cost me a fortune in extra items needed for doing them.

I decided to gather together a list of 10 great activities using items commonly found around any home. Some of these are mine, and some are from other bloggers who graciously gave me permission to share them. All of them pass the penny pinching test, as well as the fun for kiddos test. I hope y’all enjoy!

Cupcake Wrapper Flowers

Baby food jar vase

Baby food jar vase

5 Brain-Boosting Busy Boxes For Toddlers

5 Brain-Boosting Busy Boxes For Toddlers

5 Brain-Boosting Busy Boxes For Toddlers

Egg Carton Caterpillars

Egg Carton Caterpillars

Egg Carton Caterpillars

Quick and Easy DIY Watercolor Paint  Recipe For Toddlers

Quick and Easy DIY Watercolor Paint Recipe For Toddlers

Quick and Easy DIY Watercolor Paint Recipe For Toddlers

Edible Jewelry

Cheerio Bracelet

Cheerio Bracelet

Paper Plate Rainbow

Paper Plate Rainbow

Paper Plate Rainbow

Egg Carton Flowers

Egg carton flowers

Egg carton flowers

Living Room Fishing

Living Room Fishing

Living Room Fishing

Cloud Dough

So much fun!

So much fun!

Ninja Turtle Apples

Ninja Turtle Apples

Ninja Turtle Apples

There you go! 10 awesome activities for your little ones! Which would you like to try first? For more activities for your kids that are fun, cheap and educational, check out my blog posts Dollar store education: Color sorting blocks and Pompom Pickup!


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Weird Things Moms Say

Say What??

Say What??

Anyone else find the weirdest things coming out of your mouth when speaking to the crazy cute beings known as your children? I often pause after saying something to one of my children and think “Wow, that would sound completely crazy if someone wasn’t in this scenario to understand!”. I thought I’d share a few random quotes and the adult side of conversations from the mouth of this weird mommy, free of the context they were responding to. 😉

“Did you really just fill your teacup from the toilet?!? Don’t drink that! Give it to me!! Wash your hands! Because people poop where that water came from! Yes, yuck!”

“Peanut butter is not paint! I don’t care if it makes your room smell good!”

“You would scratch someone, too, if she picked you up by the tail and spun you in circles! No, I am not putting the cat in timeout! I’d put you there if he hadn’t scratched you already, though! I’m mean? Ummm…thanks!”

“Get your foot out of my hair!”

“You can’t fly. No, you can’t! Not even if you’re wearing a cape. Don’t climb up there. Stop! GET DOWN NOWWWW!!!”

Say What??

Say What??

“Don’t put your toes in your mouth. Because they are dirty, that’s why!”

“No, you can’t drive my van to the park! You’re five years old! I’m glad you watched Daddy drive lots of times, but that doesn’t mean you can drive yourself! I know you drive your power wheel, but that’s different.”

“The closet is not a toilet!!!”

“Daddy doesn’t make milk. Yes, I know he has nipples, but only mommies make milk. Yeah, it probably would taste funny with all that hair on them, anyway.”

“That’s sweet of you, but I really don’t want the biggest booger ever.”

This is just a small sample of the odd things I’ve heard come out of my own mouth in response to my children, if this gives you any hint into the tee-total lunacy of my household. Anyone else have some doozies you’ve caught yourself saying?

If you enjoyed this post, check out this one about my crazy kingdom of kiddos! https://pennypinchingpeach.com/2014/09/20/the-crazy-kingdom-of-kiddos/


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Dollar store education: Color sorting blocks

As a homeschool graduate currently homeschooling my own munchkins, I’m always looking for creative and inexpensive educational activities. I absolutely love dollar stores of all kinds for bargain educational supplies to use! They cost so little, and can cover so many different topics. One of my nifty finds has been these color sorting cubes. Being creative with them, I can come up with bunches of different ways to use these little boogers to keep my little smarty pants entertained and educated at the same time. I’ve used them for lots of different things, but I thought that I would share some of what we have done with them as fun & stimulating preschool projects.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

You can order these from Amazon if you want to: Learning Resources Hands-On Soft Color Cubes (Set of 102)

Simple color sorting

Simple color sorting

Simple color sorting 2

Simple color sorting 2

We started off the day simply. Since I’m a penny pincher from way back, I took two styrofoam plates we had used for our lunch, wiped them off, grabbed some colored markers, outlined and filled in half of each plate in the four different colors of her sorting cubes. I then asked her to put all of the cubes on the matching color section. As you can see, she did great. 🙂 She did this a few times before she was ready to move on to something else, so then I came up with a couple of more fun educational games for her…

Pattern and Varied Numbers

Pattern and Varied Numbers

I flipped the two styrofoam plates over, and drew out the new projects with my trusty markers again. What, you thought mrs frugal was gonna use new plates? LOL On the left in this photo, I told her to follow the color pattern using two blocks in each rectangle. On the right, I asked her what each number and color was, then requested that she put the correct number and color of blocks in each rectangle. She really enjoyed this one, since it was a little more challenging. After a little while, she was ready to do something new with her color cubes, so Mommy had to come up with another challenge…

Counting and Sorting

Counting and Sorting

For her last color cube project of the day, I asked her to put 4 blue cubes on the blue side, 5 green cubes on the green side, 6 orange cubes on the orange and 7 red cubes on the red. We did this same “game” with several different series of numbers. She really enjoyed the challenge of remembering how many went on which color, since it wasn’t written down.

Now that I’ve shared a few of the educational games we do with our color cubes, what are some inexpensive items you use to help kiddos learn? What do you wish you could find an educational use for?

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