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JJ’s 1-Minute Tip Blog

Don’t trash your soap slivers! They’re still useful.

  • Grate them and scent your bathwater.
  • Throw them in a mesh bag or cut off a section of pantyhose and use in the shower as a loofah, or keep them by the kitchen sink for hand soap with scrubbing action.
  • Stash them in your drawers to freshen your clothes.


goodhousekeeping.com

Create Chore Checklists

To avoid always having to supervise my kids when they help clean the house, I made laminated job cards. Each card has the name of a place or room, such as “kitchen floor” or “kids bedroom,” as well as a list of what needs to be done there.  Each child chooses three cards from the stack and crosses out each completed item on the list with a washable marker.  With this system, I don’t have to go back and do what my kids were supposed to do.                       

Family Fun Magazine 2013

Make cleaning fun and games

Our house gets messy with my kids, ages 4 and 5, playing all day, so before bed, we play Cleanup Hide-and-seek.  The seeker picks a room to count in while the others hide, then tidies up that room while counting.  Soon our house looks clean again, and the whole family has had fun together.

Family Fun Magazine 2013

Artful Dining

Doodling gets a seat at the table with these reusable chalkboard place mats, a creative diversion for little hands during that loooooong wait until it’s time to eat.    http://www.bafriend.net/?product=chalkboard-place-mats

SUMMER READING with WATER FUN

To get your child excited about learning to read and being outdoors, this is a fun summer cool-off game.  Fill a bucket with water balloons and write sight words all over your driveway in chalk.  As you shout out the different words, your child should try to hit each one with a balloon.  The splatter of water will be fun for your child and the possibilities of getting wet too!  For younger children, write the letters of the alphabet over your driveway and play the same way.

FIELD TRIP? AN ON THE GO LUNCH SOLUTION

When your child goes on a school field trip, use a plastic produce container as the lunch box.  The container keeps the food from getting smashed when all the lunches are packed in the school box or cooler for the trip.  A small plastic bottle filled with water and frozen makes a great ice pack.

Family Fun Magazine

ALL ABOUT ME MOMENT

When parenting more than one child, it's hard to schedule special moments for them all.  A remedy is to give each child a night during the month to select the dinner menu, dessert, and even beverage.  It's their night!  They can even choose where to eat, a different seat at the dinner table, or a picnic in the den with blankets and all.  Each child will look forward to making the meal decisions and having their moment where its "all about me"!  (Psst.. all meals are still parent approved.)

COOL IDEA FOR HOT SOUP

Who wants to wait for a steaming bowl of soup to cool?  Instead of having kids blow until they are blue, try stirring in a small handful of frozen veggies straight from the freezer.  They'll make the dish just the right temperaure- and add some nutrition to boot!

Family Fun Magazine

A TV BREAK FOR KIDS

The kids are out of school for a break but need to do something more than watch television and play video games all day.  Create an unplugged-fun box for uninspired moments.  Keep it stocked with forgotten and new toys, books, washable markers (draw on the windows!), and foam bats and balls.

Family Fun Magazine-March 2012

MATH REVIEW ON THE ROAD

While running errands around town, pull out a pack of flash cards (inexpensive if purchased at your local dollar store) and review math facts while you sit at red lights.  This is good review time for the kids and they’ll be so excited when those speed drills at school are given and they beat the time.  Make a friendly competitive game of it with multiple kids and the winner gets an extra special treat their favorite drive through restaurant!

AFTER DINNER FAMILY TIME

Extend the dinner hour with some post-meal fun, such as Might I Bite?, a variation of 20 questions.  To get started, write names of various animals on slips of paper, one per player, and place the slips in a bowl.  Have each person pick a slip and tape it to another player’s forehead without showing that player what it says.  Each person then asks the others yes-or-no questions, “Do I have fur?” for example, or “Do I have a horn?”  Play until all the identities have been guessed.                                   

Family Fun Magazine-March 2012

LionCat

SURPRISE BIRTHDAY LUNCH

It’s your dear child’s birthday but you can’t get away from work to celebrate during his lunch break at school or camp.   As a surprise, wrap each item in his lunch with birthday paper and ribbon.  You can also wrap other small gifts and put them in his lunch box.  He will be thrilled and become the star of the lunch table!

OUTSIDE TIME IS GOOD FOR THE EYES

Playing outside is great for kids’ general health, of course, but new research from the University of Cambridge in England suggests it may also help ward off nearsightedness. Genetics play a role, but, says lead researcher Dr. Justin Sherwin, "In general terms, the more time out-doors, the better. Even an extra hour or two per day may be beneficial." Scientists still aren't sure why outside time has such a positive effect, but the answer, they hope, is on the horizon.

Family Fun Magazine-April 2012

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