Penny Pinching Peach


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Fun ABC Activities

I was looking through my ABC activities to do them again and adapt them for my little ones this year, and decided to put them together with some other ABC themed fun projects shared with me from other bloggers. Y’all are going to love these! They are all oodles of fun on top of being educational, so how could you go wrong? 😉

ABC Fun, Find and Food

A is for Apple

A is for Apple

Alphabet Game

Alphabet Game

Alphabet Game From Mosswood Connections

Getting Artsy With D, E and F

Tracing

Tracing “D” With Pompoms

ABC Chalk Activity For Preschoolers

ABC Chalk Activity

ABC Chalk Activity From Practical Mommy

Letter Search

Sailing with Pirate C

Sailing with Pirate C

Learning to Write the Alphabet with Cotton Swab Painting

Cotton Swab Letter Painting

Cotton Swab Letter Painting From The Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide

Newspaper ABCs

Hunting and Clipping

Hunting and Clipping

Free Alphabet Printable Coloring Booklet

Free Alphabet Printable Booklet For Kids From Thrifty DIY Diva

Free Alphabet Printable Booklet For Kids From Thrifty DIY Diva

Phonics Hunt Game

Phonics Hunt

Phonics Hunt From Penny Pinching Peach

Which games and projects are you looking forward to doing with your kiddos? For some creatively frugal fun things to do with your munchkins, check out my roundup 10 Preschool Activities Using Household Items!

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Cleaning House With Kiddos

Cleaning With Kiddos

Cleaning With Kiddos

Does anyone else ever feel like cleaning in a house of small children is like trying to empty a swimming pool with a teaspoon? You may make a little progress eventually, but they will quickly fill any space you empty and mess any place you wipe and dump out anything you put away and…well, you get the point! I know that you can teach them to clean up and put away- and I do that- but it’s still a never ending task, and it takes alot of my energy to make sure my little ones actually follow through with their jobs. I have to get creative for them to care about keeping up with anything, and that’s pretty important because Mommy can’t do it all well alone.
One trick that works pretty well with my children is that if you don’t pick it up, you lose it. If I ask my kids to clean up and they don’t, I give them warning that next time I say something will be while taking a toy. If it still doesn’t get done, I grab a toy they actually like (I’ve learned to not grab comfort objects or things they aren’t too fond of) and put it away from them. If they still don’t clean up, I take two…and it goes on from there. To earn back ONE toy, they have to clean up immediately the following clean-up session without argument or complaint. This is probably the most effective method for my independent minded oldest. She frequently doesn’t mind alot of punishments I can dole out, loves to argue, and lives to win. Since I won’t fuss with her, just say “You chose to lose a toy/two toys/three toys by not cleaning up when I asked” and refuse to engage, it’s not fun for her, and she hates losing things she loves. I’ve rarely had to go beyond two toys, even with her. 🙂
I also try to make it more fun for them to help clean up. They love it when we sing the cleanup song while we work. They really enjoy it when I make cleaning up a race! I’ll say “Can you pick up all of your toys before I can finish dishes? I’m pretty fast!” or “How many books can you put up before this song stops playing?” or “Do you think you can finish washing your fingerprints off the window before I can finish cleaning the bathroom?”. Sometimes I’ll offer a reward if they get it all done or if they finish in a certain time frame. These rewards are usually something like a snack or an extra book to be read during story time or playing with playdough or something. Almost anything can be fun for kids if you make it into a game.
What are some tricks you have for cleaning up with kiddos?


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Homewreckers

Peanut the Conqueror

Peanut the Conqueror

My kids give a whole new definition to the term “homewrecker”. There are times when the little varmints seem intent upon destroying our home and everything in it, nailed down or not. Take the first couple of days of last week, for instance. We had just returned from a short vacation, and our kiddos were excited to be home again. Their response to their joy at being back in their home sweet home? My little darlings turned into a two tot demolition derby!

The first full day at home was the beginning of the madness. My sweet little Peanut, who just turned a year old, pulled the leg off of our coffee table and then did his new-walker “monster run” around the living room trying to whack anything that couldn’t skedaddle. Princess Peach strewed every book she could find all over her bedroom floor while I thought she was nicely reading on her bed, and her baby brother thought the books were perfect for one of his favorite games, Shred The Paper. (I should’ve known better than to think the fact she was on her bed quietly looking at a book and baby was on the living room floor with a toy meant it was safe to go to the bathroom alone, for once.) While trying to fix a quick supper, with them right behind me, Peanut dumped out the trash can and was frantically trying to dig through it before I could grab him out of the mess. After supper, I thought I could do dishes with them in the kitchen with me. Nope! Baby Peanut was pulling them out and throwing them as quickly as I could set them in, and my daredevil Princess was stacking empty boxes to try to climb on the counters to get at things she wasn’t supposed to have. AVALANCHE!!! They both fought sleep until the bitter end that night, and since I didn’t even begin to detail everything the little boogers got into that day, it took me about an hour of clean-up once they finally lost their battle with the snooze monster for me to be able to go to bed that night. This is even after making my daughter pick up every single book and all the toys she had scattered hither and thither across our humble abode.

She colored her face with blue crayon

She colored her face with blue crayon

I figured by the second day that the gruesome twosome would’ve settled down a bit. They were pretty good while I took them to church and a fundraiser spaghetti dinner afterwards. Apparently, that was merely to lull their dear ol’ mom into a false sense of security.

The madness began again as soon as they got home. They found an open bag of potato chips, which they both proceeded to try to cram into their jowls as quickly as possible before I could deprive them of their prize. The result? Well, chips & crumbs from head to toe to floor….everywhere! They pulled out just about every toy they owned, and a few I didn’t even know existed anymore. When I attempted another ill-fated attempt at relieving my bladder, this time taking Peanut in there with me while I thought Princess was watching a cartoon, she climbed the counter and got into some chocolate. She had it half eaten and smeared all over by the time I got out. I even heard her opening the wrapper and hollered from the potty. Did that deter my determined diva? Nosirreebob!! It just made her gobble faster. This went on and on all day long, one thing after another.

Cut to the grand finale of that lovely day…

The Princess' Potty

The Princess’ Potty

At one point I thought I could keep an eye on them and check my messages online, since I hadn’t been on a computer for a few days. Princess Peach took off for the potty as I was logging on. I gave her a minute to do her business before I followed. BIG MISTAKE!! By the time I got in there, she had crammed a ton of toilet paper into the toilet and repeatedly tried flushing it. Can we say FLOOD??? Yep, it was an overflowing mess! Did I mention that my husband was on duty at the fire department? But of course he was! 😉 As yours truly was hurriedly turning off the water and ordering the incorrigibly cute culprit to timeout, Peanut was trying to swim in the mess. Once I got the floodwaters to shop rushing, I had to strip him down to a diaper and toss him into the playpen. Picture this: Screaming Peanut, ringing phone, whining Princess and mumbling Mommy rushing back and forth with a bucket tossing water outside, plunging, hauling buckets of water, plunging again, yadayadayada. It took about a dozen cycles of plunging and water hauling to get the toilet fixed up. After that I had to remove everything from the bathroom, clean everything, put back what I could and explain to Princess Peach exactly why Mommy was so far beyond irritated with her at the moment and why she should never do that again. Of course, next it was baths all around and off to beddy bye. Also, of course, they fought sleep yet another night to the bitter, nerve wrecking end!

Now, I don’t think any of these things are all that unusual in a day of life with munchkins. They just went on an absolute homewrecking spree there for a few days! This wasn’t even the end, since the next week included another flooding of the toilet, painting the bathroom with pink toothpaste, many more raids of forbidden snack stashes, destroying of items they shouldn’t touch, etc. My nerves have yet to settle down, since both of my kiddos are in some high maintenance stages right about now. Why am I sharing this? Maybe ’cause I’m a mess of a mom sometimes, and am too tired to care that everyone knows. Maybe to let other mommies who want to go outside and howl at the moon in frustration know that they aren’t alone in loving life with their precious children at the same time as wanting to crawl into a hole and cry. Maybe ’cause life is crazy, but it’s meant to be shared. Maybe so these little lunatics I am raising can look at this later when their own progeny are driving them up the walls and see that it’s just the way things are sometimes.

I’m convinced that God made children adorable and innocent so that at times like this, when they make their parents want to scream, howl and have a toddler sized meltdown from frustration….we look at the source of our frustration and think “You’re lucky you’re so stinkin’ cute, kid!”. LOL

My messmakers

My messmakers

Off to make sure Princess Peach isn’t wrecking havoc in the temporary silence of a napping Peanut. If your kids are at home and quiet….CHECK ON THEM!!!! 😉 I have to add that the little booger was yet again brushing the walls with pink toothpaste, as well as dumping water all over the floor and squirting pink toothpaste into the sink to use for her painting. I shouldn’t have left her alone, because she’s rarely behaving if she’s quiet lately. What’s a mommy to do??? Gotta laugh or cry! *laughing now that I’ve cleaned the bathroom and let her out of timeout* LOL! AHHHHHH!!!!

Anyone else had fun times like this?? Tell me I’m not alone, y’all, pleeeeeeease!!! 🙂


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National Preschool Fitness Day

Pretty Day At the Park

Pretty Day At the Park

Jan. 30 is National Preschool Fitness Day. I just learned about this particular day, but I definitely make a point of keeping my kiddos hopping. During nicer days, even if it’s cold outside, we get them outside playing, like this recent photo at a park. When we are stuck inside a lot due to cruddy weather outside, it presents more of a challenge and Mommy has to get creative! My children have to be active or they will go completely nutty, so it’s an absolute necessity to find ways for them to move those little bodies when we’re stranded indoors. I’m sharing the official page about the holiday and their ideas for keeping little ones fit, then some of my own little tricks for burning that energy indoors. 🙂

Fun ideas for helping your preschooler stay fit:

http://kid-fit.com/wordpress/?p=454

Free preschool fitness kit.

Bop the balloon. The object of this game is simple: Keep the balloon in the air by bopping it. My 2 1/2 year old and my 5 year old absolutely love this! Just make sure you have extra balloons ready, because they may pop and it won’t be pretty if you don’t have a replacement handy. 🙂

Chacha train. I have my kiddos line up behind me and we do our own version of the chacha in a choochoo train kinda way. It’s weird and wacky, but it leaves them giggling and gets them moving.

Hokey Pokey. We’ve all done this one as kids, right? You can do it with them or just sing the song and do the best you can while doing whatever you’re doing.

Simon Says. Simon Says: Hop like a bunny. Simon Says: Spin around. Simon Says: Do jumping jacks. Everything Simon Says is something active in this version of the game.

Dance party!! I like to put on some music and do crazy dances with my munchkins. If I am not feeling well and don’t feel like dancing myself, I’ll often sing a song and clap for them to dance. They LOVE it!!

The items below look like some really fun resources for physical activities for preschoolers, if you want some help in getting those little hineys moving! 🙂

303 Preschooler-Approved Exercises and Active Games (SmartFun Activity Books)

Preschoolers and Kindergartners Moving and Learning: A Physical Education Curriculum (Moving & Learning)

Sesame Street: Get Up and Dance

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What kind of activities do you keep your little ones active with during yucky weather?