Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How do you get your kids to read in the summertime......REVISED!

Whether it's summer or not, I think we can all agree that reading is so important for kids minds to grow.  My kids have found a love of reading...well to be honest, one of my children is still trying to love it.  Oh, she reminds me of me when I was younger.  I am trying everything I know to get her to love reading.  For example, I try and read to her every night at bedtime and I also try to find time in her busy little life of middle school to sit down with her and read alternating pages. (Her read a page then I read a page).  If anyone has any other suggestions for me PLEASE let me know in the comments below.  Thank you!


Some of you have already started summer vacation and some of you have a few days/weeks left.  My kids have two days left and they can't wait.  Neither can I!  I can't wait for the laid back schedule of summer, but I don't want my kids to get too lazy with their studies and, I think, reading is the key to preventing them from doing just that.  It's easy for half of my kids to spend the whole day reading, but the other half would much rather do other things.  This summer, however, is going to be different.  I came up with a plan to get us all reading everyday.
Last summer my husband came up with the great idea to have the kids do book reports.  So I made up some book report pages and we told them that whoever had the most by the end of the summer would get to go on a night out with Mom and Dad.  They did good at the beginning of summer but then in the middle they kind of slacked off, then crammed toward the end to get those reports in.  
I've got a plan to get them to read through out the entire summer.  I know it's not a new concept, but I need to implement it to make reading fun and a good habit to those who don't do it regularly. (Read my plan below), but first...
 Here are the book report pages that I came up with.  (With the help of pinterest).  I got some ideas from others and made my own pages.  Now I'm sharing them with you.....


So here are some tips to encourage your child to read this summer or anytime.  
These are some ideas that I got off my local library's website...

Make a time and place in your home for reading.  I remember when my kids were little, I dedicated a corner in our family room for reading.  The kids loved sitting in it with a book open, looking at the pictures.  Now that they're older they just sit anywhere and read, well some of them anyway.  To help those who have a hard time, Here's my plan! We're going to dedicate a half hour everyday to just read.  I'm going to allow them to sit where ever they want, get comfy, and read their book.   

Encourage your kids to use technology to access e-books.   My kids all received Kindles for Christmas and they love them!  I love them as well not only because I can use them as leverage for when I want them to clean their rooms or something, but they also have settings on them.  I can set them up to not be able to play games until they have read for the allotted time that I specify AND I can set time limits/passwords on their games and internet use.  Isn't technology grand?! Also if you go to your local library's website, you'll find a whole bunch of e-books.  I just discovered this AND when the books are due they automatically get "returned".  How great is that?! Which brings me to the next one.... 

Go to your local library  and, if you haven't already, register your child for their own card.  A word of warning though.  If you allow them to get a lot of books, make sure you keep them in one place in your home so it's easy to find them all and they don't get lost.  Believe me it's not fun to have fees if a book comes up missing.  Normally, there's no late fees for childrens books, but they do charge you a fee if that book never gets returned.  We've been there/done that and now all my children have a limit to how many they can check out, especially because now my teens check books out from the adult section.  (which has late fees).  Anyway, your local library can be fun for little ones with story time, and all the extra activities they provide.  My kids like the summer reading programs they have as well.  
Check them out! 

Read stories and dramas together - discuss the characters and their challenges.  This is so important and can be fun!  I have fond memories of my mom reading to me and my siblings and I've tried to read aloud to my own children as well.  There are so many good things about reading aloud to your children.  

Give books as presents.  Books can be cheap and the best form of entertainment!  Every holiday and birthday we try to give our kids at least one book.  They love it!
Here's to a great summer for reading!  I hope this helps you all!  How do you get your kids to read in the summer?  What plans do you have to get them to read?  I'm always looking for ideas!  
Thank you for stopping by!  Have a great day! 

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Let's Crochet, Hair Bows!

Ok, so I love to crochet!  I didn't always love to do it.  When I was younger I tried it and it just never clicked until a few years ago.  I love to do it now!  It's so relaxing and I can do it while I watch t.v. AND there's literally no mess to clean up afterward.  I just gather up my work and yarn and put it in my basket/bag.  Love it!
Well, I've decided that it would be a fun thing to show you all how to crochet.  That is if you don't already know how and if you want to.  I'm going to call this little segment of my blog, "Let's Crochet!"  I know, I know,  I could've thought harder for a better name, but I kind of like it.  I'm going to teach as if you know nothing about crocheting.  So, if some of it is too basic, just skip that part.  
So, here we go....
Today, I thought I'd start with an easy project.  
Hair Bows!
These are so fun and cute in my girls hair.  My girls are 10 and 12 years old and they adore these little bows and I love how easy they are.  They take about 30 minutes tops to make a pair. 
You will need:  a crochet hook (any size you prefer, I used size G6/4.00 mm), yarn (any color), scissors, and a yarn needle.

First thing to do is start with a slip knot on your hook.    

 Wrap yarn around your finger
 Put the first wrap of the yarn through the hole and pull but just until it makes a loop
 Put hook through the loop and pull short end of yarn tight, but not too tight.
 Put the yarn over the hook (yarn over) and pull the yarn through the loop

 Now you have your first stitch
 Now, chain 10 stitches
Then, do a half double crochet in the 2nd chain from hook, then in each chain until you get to the first chain stitch. (8 stitches)  Then do 3 half double crochets (hdc) in 1st chain stitch. Then, 1 hdc in each chain on the other side
  To do a Half Double Crochet (HDC), first yarn over, then put 
hook through the stitch, yarn over, then pull back through 
the stitch.  (Then you'll have 3 loops on your hook).  Yarn over 
and pull hook through all three loops.
 Note:  When you do your 3 hdc, that stitch will get bigger.  
Just pull the short end of yarn to tighten)
Until you get to the end.  (8 stitches) 
It should look like this so far

 Then, you'll do a hdc in each stitch until the end (9 stitches) 
in the end or 10th stitch, hdc 3.  Then, hdc in each stitch
along the other side of bow.  
 Note:  Make sure that when you hdc in each stitch that you go 
through both sides like picture above.

 Now, at this point, you can stop here and slip stitch in the next stitch.
Or if you want a bigger bow repeat last round again for as big 
as you want the bow.  
 To slip stitch, just put the hook through the next stitch
and yarn over, then pull the hook back through the stitch
and through the loop.  Then pull tight and cut yarn and, with needle(or I use my hook), weave in 
ends to hide them in your work.

 Then, cut a piece of yarn long enough to wrap around the bow 
a few times , wrap it and tie it off. 

There you have it!  A cute little bow in about 10 to 15 minutes! 
Yea!  You did it!  I love this project because it goes so quick and you get 
a really cute hair bow out of it!  
Do you crochet?  What kinds of projects have you done? 
Or is this your first time? Was this tutorial helpful?

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

If you would like 
you can find them at my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Covered Button Elastics

I figured out how to do these little cuties a few months back.  They are REALLY simple, I wonder how I didn't think to do them sooner.  All you need is some scrap fabric (who doesn't have that laying around), elastics (which you can get a bunch at the dollar store), and a button maker.  
So, here you go...
Step 1:  Grab some scraps of fabric and these aluminum buttons, any size you want.
I got mine at Michael's.  You can get them at any craft store or Walmart.

 Step 2:  You'll need a covered button maker, as shown above.
  Then, layer this rubber cup, a square of fabric and the large aluminum button piece.

 Then, push the piece down with your thumb, into the rubber cup.
 Trim the fabric a little so you have less fabric to tuck in for the next step.
 This is what it should look like....
 Then, put the bottom piece of the aluminum button on the tucked in fabric.
 Then, with the blue piece of the covered button maker, push it down into the rubber cup.
 Then, voila! Pop it out and you have a covered button.

 Next, take an elastic and thread it through the button hole...
 Loop one side of the elastic through the other side...
 Then pull!

 Then, that's it!  So simple right?!  They work so well in my girls hair and my girls love them!
Now go make a bunch of these cuties!  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I'm Back!

Hello!  It's been awhile since I've posted anything, I know.  Like a lot you I have been busy, but that's no excuse, right?  Well, while I was A.W.O.L. I learned some new skills and improved others that I'm excited to share.
There was a time that I wanted to make and sell doll clothes, then that evolved to just making the doll clothes patterns.  I still love that idea and I have made some patterns that are super cute, but need some fine tuning before their ready for the public.  I thought today, I could show you a quick and super easy tutorial for making doll socks.  Even my 9 year old can do it.  
So, if you have a couple of socks that lost their mate, which I'm sure a lot of us do, then grab those socks and lets get going....

 Step 1:  Pick out a cute sock.

 Step 2:  For a knee sock, cut down from the top to about the ankle straight across the sock.
 Step 3:  Turn sock inside out, then sew along the bottom of the sock to make the toe or bottom of the "new" sock.  
Then, fold the sock in half length-wise to find center. 
(Sorry for the picture quality, this was before I got my new, awesome camera)
 Then sew two seams right next to each other.  In the center of the sock.
 Step 4:  Now cut them apart between the seams to make two socks and turn them right-side out. 
 Now you have a pair of cute, striped doll socks!  Now go make some for your doll, (or your daughters doll).  She'll think your so cool!  ;)

 Did you learn or improve on a new skill over the summer?  Please comment and share!