Tag Archives: parents

Gift Ideas For The Littles On Your List

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Gift Ideas For The Littles On Your List

Hello! Johnny and I are the proud aunt and uncle of a toddler aged boy and girl and a newborn little girl. They are each so precious and we love to spoil them rotten every chance we get! Prior to them being born, we both had little to no experience with children. Now, we can make mom and dad jokes with the best of them every treat day and the novelty never wears off. Being an aunt and uncle is an absolute hoot and every gift giving occasion makes us want to buy out the entire toy aisle! If you have some littles on your holiday shopping list, here are some ideas to get you started:

LEGO DUPLO:

Johnny and I are both avid lovers of building LEGO and we are about to give our nephew a head start on the fun with his own DUPLO set. DUPLO are LEGO bricks made specifically for little ones that are bigger and have simpler builds. Our nephew is a fan of anything and everything related to vehicles – especially fire trucks. I was so excited to find a DUPLO fire truck set and just know he’ll have a blast putting it together with his mom and dad!

Book Nook:

Our oldest niece has a staggering collection of books and being read to is one of her favorite things. Among other gifts for her, I purchased a purple (Her favorite color) book nook. It is basically a bookshelf with cushions built in so she has a comfortable space to flip through the pages of her go to pop up books. The book nook is going to be so perfect in her playroom and I hope it continues to harvest her love of reading since her TT is a big reader too. ❤

Mothman Baby:

Our youngest niece is a newborn girl and this will be her first Christmas. Her big sister has grown fond of all things spooky thanks to me and Johnny so there is no better time than the present to get started with the youngest member of our niece and nephew crew. Aside from a “My First Christmas” gift for our little, we also got Mothman, Nessie, and Yeti Baby pop up books for her. They are absolutely DARLING (I read through them online before making the purchase) and are an awesome introduction to cryptids. These books show all of the baby cryptids on adventures that typically end with them being safely tucked in for a good night’s sleep. Too cute!

Activity/Sticker Books:

My oldest niece and nephew are obsessed with stickers and Water Wow books and these are such great stocking stuffers on the cheap. Coloring books, connect the dots, and picture finds are also wonderful ways to go too. They are sure to give your littles entertainment for at least five minutes – long enough to get some sips of coffee before it gets cold! 😀

Treat Day Tickets:

Taking our niece and nephew crew on treat days is such a joy for me and Johnny and can also make an awesome gift. Outings like a trip to the zoo or a child friendly amusement park will have to wait for warm weather but that will give them an adventure to look forward to! If you aren’t keen on waiting until summertime, indoor activity centers, children’s museums, a trip to the movie theater, or lunch at their favorite restaurant are all solid options.

Take A Class:

My niece and nephew are both three and that is a perfect age to get started on extracurricular activities. Our niece is currently taking dance classes and our nephew is taking tumbling. Funding a current class or signing them up for one would be such an amazing gift. Some ideas include classes for swimming, crafts, sports, singing, or baking. Bonus points if you take them to some of their lessons!

The holiday season is always a special time but it just hits different when you see little ones experiencing it. I cannot wait for another Christmas with my favorite lil besties! ❤

What is one of the best gifts you received as a child? What is something that one of your littles want for the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Essentials To Boost 2023 For Your Children

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Essentials To Boost 2023 For Your Children

2023 is on the horizon, and there are a lot of factors that you need to think about when it comes time to try to improve the year for your children. There are loads of things that you can do in the family that will help to make the coming year better and more exciting for your kids, and it’s important to think about the different ways in which you are able to do this.

Being the head of the family these days comes with its fair share of struggles and challenges, and the more you can do to deal with these effectively, the better it will be long-term. There are plenty of things that you have to think about that are going to play a big role in this, and being able to boost the coming year for your kids can play a huge role in making family life better. These are some of the key essentials that you can use to help you achieve this:

Extend the home:

Making positive changes to your property is something that plays a massive role in allowing you to improve the year for your children, as well as giving them more space and comfort. There are a lot of ways in which you can extend your home more effectively, and this is even something you can discuss with your kids in advance as well. Maybe you could turn the attic into a reading nook? Or, perhaps, finish the basement and turn it into the ultimate game room!

Look after finances better:

As a modern family, there are a lot of responsibilities and considerations to make, and one of the biggest things you need to get right as a parent is to make sure you manage money better. With the cost of living crisis beginning, it is essential for a lot of families to look for ways of being able to tighten their purse strings. The more you can do to help you look after your money, and ensure the family is more financially comfortable, the better. There are a lot of different ways in which you can achieve this like focusing on cutting costs, saving money little by little, and making better financial decisions.

Improve family health:

Working on improving family health is absolutely vital and you can do a lot to make sure 2023 gets off on the right track for the family, health-wise. One of the key things that can help you when it comes to achieving this is to swap your family’s diet for something healthier and more nutritious. It is also important to think about some of the best ways of being able to create a healthy family dynamic. This means you need to think about boosting mental health and well-being, and this is something that plays a massive role in helping you work on boosting your family health.

Plan more activities:

One of the best ways of making the most of 2023 is to plan more activities. How about visiting some adventure centres? Weekly family hikes? Cooking a meal all together? Being able to enjoy multiple different activities and keep your children active and engaged gives the opportunity to bond and have lots of fun too!

2023 will be here before we know it and you can make it the best year yet for your family! Spend time together, make improvements where you can, and continue to move forward as a strong family unit.

Featured Image By: Pexels

What To Prioritize For Child Development

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What To Prioritize For Child Development

If you are a first-time parent, you’ll find a lot of responsibilities to juggle. Along with the apparent need to provide food, clothing, and shelter, you’ll also be in charge of your child’s safety, health, and well-being. You will also want to lay a foundation that sets your child up for success in school and life. So, what should you prioritize? Below is a list of five areas experts say are essential for child development:

Safe Home Environment:

The first and most important priority for parents is to provide a safe and secure home environment for their children. This includes ensuring there are no home hazards that could injure your children, such as sharp edges on furniture, poisonous chemicals within reach, or unlocked cabinets. Childproofing your home is essential to keeping your kids safe.

In addition to physical safety, you’ll also want to create an emotionally safe environment for your children. This means being supportive and responsive to their needs, providing love and affection, and setting consistent limits. Creating a safe and secure attachment with your child is critical for their development.

You should also create a routine for your family that includes regular bedtimes and mealtimes. This will help your child feel secure and reduce stress. Lastly, you’ll want to have a support system in place during an emergency. This might include having a relative or friend you can call if you need help or know where to find resources in your community.

Health and Nutrition:

Being healthy doesn’t just mean feeding your child a nutritious diet that meets their growing bodies’ needs. It also includes regular medical checkups, immunizations, and dental care. Avoid using food as a reward or punishment to help your child develop healthy eating habits. Instead, focus on making meals together a positive experience. Serve various foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and limit sugary drinks and snacks.

It’s also important to encourage your child to be active. According to the CDC, children should get at least an hour of physical activity daily. This can include playing outside, going for walks or bike rides, or participating in organized sports.

Emotional Development:

As your child grows, you’ll want to help them develop emotionally by teaching them how to express their feelings in appropriate ways. It also means helping them develop empathy for others and teaching them how to resolve conflicts peacefully. You can encourage emotional development by reading stories together and discussing the characters’ emotions. You can also model emotional regulation yourself by talking about your feelings.

Education:

Developing your child’s education includes reading to them regularly, teaching them numbers and letters, and taking them to the library or museum. You can also enroll them in a high-quality preschool program. Research has shown that preschool children are likelier to do better in school and are less likely to need special education or be held back a grade. As a result, it will be necessary to look into high-quality British international school admissions. Those universities can be ideal for your child’s development, making it a top priority. They’re also more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.

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Financial Stability:

Last but not least, you’ll want to prioritize financial stability. This means having a budget and saving for your child’s future. It also means teaching your children about money to make smart financial decisions when they’re older. You can start by setting up a savings account for your child. For example, you can give them an allowance and have them save a portion of it in their account. It’s never too early to start teaching your children about money. Doing so will help them develop good financial habits that will last a lifetime.

While it’s essential to focus on all development areas, some may be more critical than others, depending on your child’s individual needs. Remember to always keep your child’s best interests at heart as you make decisions about their care and development.

Period Problems: Talking To Your Teen

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Period Problems: Talking To Your Teen

When it comes to talking to your teen about anything, especially something as personal and private as periods, you might feel like you’re hitting a brick wall. They’ll clam up, tune out, and give you that look that says they know something you don’t. But don’t worry. There are ways to ease into the subject with them so it doesn’t seem like such a foreign topic. Keep reading for some tips on how to talk to your teen about periods without making it uncomfortable for them:

They Can Still Do Everything They Love:

Your main goal should be to let them know that they can continue to do everything they love. Like playing sports or hanging out with their friends, while they’re getting ready to get their period. Things like period swimwear for teens exist now. So daily life doesn’t have to grind to a halt. They’ll appreciate the fact that you don’t make it seem like periods are an interruption of life, rather a small annoyance.

Find The Right Time And Place:

Before you bring it up, you’ll have to try to find the right time and place. Think about how much your teen might be willing to open up to you. If they’re open to talking about it, you can try to bring it up when they seem ready, like when they seem less distracted by other things. Or by asking them outright if they want to chat. For example, they’ll be open to talking more when they’re done with Netflix or their homework.

Make It Clear You Care:

If you want your teen to feel like they can talk to you about periods, you’ll want to make it clear that you care. You might say things like, “I’m so sorry you have to deal with this, but I’m glad we can talk about it.” Or, “It’s important for you to talk to someone if you’re feeling sad or if you have questions about your body.” You can tell your teen that you want them to feel like they can talk to you about periods by saying things like these.

Be Patient:

As you try to talk to your teen about periods, you’ll want to be patient and give them space to share their thoughts. You don’t want to push them into talking about something they’re not ready to. It can seem pushy or overly inductive if you try to “push” your teen into talking about periods right away. Instead, try to wait until you see that your teen is ready to open up about it.

Ask Open-Ended Questions:

Try to use open-ended questions to get your teen talking about periods. What do they think about periods? What are their questions? Open-ended questions help you get your teen thinking without giving them a direct answer and help them open up to talking about something they might not otherwise talk about. They can help you get your teen talking about periods in a non-pushy way and give them space to share their thoughts.

Don’t Let Embarrassment Stop You:

It’s important to remember that they might feel embarrassed, weird, or even gross about period problems. Especially if they haven’t talked to anyone about it yet. It’s normal for teens to feel that way, but you have to try to avoid making them feel like that. If your teen is embarrassed about talking about periods, try to avoid making them feel like they have to talk about it. Make it clear that it’s okay if they don’t want to talk about it and that you’re not going to make them do it if they don’t want to.

First periods can be scary and it’s important to keep your teen’s mind at ease. Use the tips above for a good place to start!

Featured Image By: Sora Shimazaki via Pexels

4 Considerations When Looking After Elderly Parents

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4 Considerations When Looking After Elderly Parents

It can be a difficult task to take care of your retired parents, but with careful planning and execution, it doesn’t have to be. There are four essential things that you need to consider when looking after them: their health, finances, living situation, and their social life. In this blog post, we will go over each of these considerations in detail and provide you with advice on how to manage them best:

Their health:

As your parents age, their health will inevitably decline. It’s important to be proactive about their health and get regular checkups with their doctor. You should also create a list of their medications as well as hospitals and doctors that their insurance covers and keep it in a safe place. In case of an emergency, you or another family member can quickly reference this list and ensure that your parents are getting the care they need.

Their finances:

One of the most challenging conversations with elderly parents is about their financial situation. It can be hard to broach the topic, especially if they are reluctant to discuss it. However, it is vital to be aware of their financial situation for two reasons: 1) you need to know if they can support themselves and 2) you need to be on the lookout for signs of financial elder abuse.

If your parents are struggling financially, they have several options. For example, they may be eligible for government benefits or charity assistance. If they own their home, they may also be able to downsize or take out a reverse mortgage. Unfortunately, as far as financial elder abuse goes, this sadly is an all too real problem and can take form in many ways, so be sure to keep an eye on professionals dealing with your parent’s finances.

Their living situation:

Another important consideration is your parents’ living situation. If they can live independently, that’s great! But if they need some assistance, you’ll need to consider that. If they live in a retirement community, staff who can help with transportation or meals may be there. If they live in their own home, you’ll need to decide if it’s feasible for them to continue doing so. If not, you may need to help them find a new place to live.

Whatever their living situation, you’ll also need to consider how accessible it is. Can they get around safely? Do they have everything they need? Is it safe for them to be there? These are all critical things to consider when looking after your retired parents.

Their social life:

Finally, you’ll need to think about your parents’ social life. As people age, they often become more isolated and lose touch with their friends. Having a good support network and staying connected to the outside world will be especially beneficial to their mental health. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Encourage them to join social clubs or groups
  • Make sure they see their friends regularly
  • Take them out for outings and activities

These are four essential considerations when looking after your retired parents or loved ones. If you can address these areas, you’ll be doing a great job of taking care of them!

Featured Image By: Andrea Piacquadio

Bubble Pop Craft

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Bubble Pop Craft

Hello! This past weekend was a whirlwind because my sister just had another beautiful baby girl! I am so excited to be a TT of three and my Val Gal is over the moon to be a big sister. While the little miss was making her grand debut, my dad and I watched Val over the weekend. We had an absolute blast playing outside, going to see a dance program, and making a super fun bubble craft!

When I was little, I could stay outside picking dandelions and blowing bubbles for hours and Val shares the same sentiments. On Sunday morning, it was very dreary so we couldn’t play outside. But, in the recesses of my brain, I remembered a craft that I had seen on Pinterest by Broogly that was sure to keep her occupied. Check it out:

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What You’ll Need:

  • Bubble soap
  • Food coloring
  • Paper

What To Do:

  • Mix food coloring and bubble soap together
  • Blow bubbles over your piece of paper to create your pop art. The longer the bubble sits on the paper, the deeper the color will be.

This bubble pop craft was so easy to put together and Val and I spent over an hour and a half making six masterpieces for her baby sis, uncles, and grandma. While this is definitely a better craft for doing outside, we were able to make it work with minimal mess by placing beach towels over the kitchen floor to blow bubbles on. The mess actually came after the project was complete when I accidentally knocked into Val and blue bubble soap spilled all over the floor. WHOOPS lol.

Not only was this craft entertaining but it was educational too. I got to teach Val all about mixing colors to make new ones and she assisted in helping me make purple and orange bubble soap. I loved how her orange turned out! She would tell you that the purple was the best and, as always, it’s her favorite color. ❤

The next time we make this craft (because there will for sure be a next time), hopefully the weather will be nice enough to do it outdoors. I plan on getting bigger sheets of paper and think that it will turn out really cool if we use one of the automatic bubble blowers. Do give this craft a try if you have little ones – they will love it!

Where do you find fun crafts for your kids? What crafts have you made together this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tips On Creating A Healthy Family Dynamic

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Tips On Creating A Healthy Family Dynamic

Families are the basic unit of society and, as such, it is vital that they function in a healthy way. Unfortunately, this is not always easy to do. There are many things that can go wrong and create tension within a family. This blog post will discuss some tips on how to create a healthy family dynamic. Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way to having a happy and harmonious family:

Communicate effectively:

The first tip is to ensure that there is effective communication within the family. This means being able to talk openly and honestly with one another about what is going on in your lives. It also means being able to resolve disagreements in a peaceful and respectful manner. If communication is not happening effectively, it can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and resentment.

Make time to connect:

Another important tip is to create a sense of togetherness within the family. This can be done by engaging in activities together, such as playing games, going on outings, or simply spending time talking and laughing with one another. Doing things together will help to create strong bonds between family members and will make everyone feel more connected to one another.

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Show respect:

It is also important to show respect for one another within the family. This means listening to each other, valuing each other’s opinions, and treating everyone with kindness and consideration. If everyone in the family feels respected, it will go a long way in creating a positive and healthy dynamic.

And show love:

Love can be expressed in many different ways, such as through words of affirmation, physical touch, or spending time together. Love is what will hold a family together through thick and thin – so make sure that there is plenty of it!

Encourage a healthy lifestyle:

Create a healthy lifestyle for your family by cooking healthy meals and exercising together. Not only will this improve your physical health, but it will also help to create a positive environment in the home. When everyone is striving towards a common goal, it can do wonders for instilling a sense of teamwork in the family.

Set a routine:

Create a healthy routine and stick to it. This means having set times for meals, bedtime, homework, and other activities. Having a routine will help to create a sense of stability within the family. It can also be helpful in managing stress levels and preventing conflict.

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Plan ahead:

Preparation for the future is essential for any family. This means setting aside money for savings and investing in things like life insurance. It can also mean creating a will and putting together an emergency plan. By preparing for the future, you can help to protect your family and ensure that they are taken care of financially if something were to happen to you. Click here to find out more on how to prepare for the future.

A happy and harmonious family is the foundation of a strong society, so it is important that we do everything we can to create one. With love, communication, respect, and preparation, you can make it happen!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Fun Summer Activities For All

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Fun Summer Activities For All

With the summer vacation still in full swing, you may be busy thinking of ways to keep the children entertained through the summer. There are countless ways that you can do this and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune – many places will offer deals regularly to save you money. Take a look below for some amazing ideas for summer:

Theme Parks:

First on our list is theme parks! Most people enjoy the adrenaline rush they get when they attend theme parks. You could make it your mission to visit all of the theme parks around your surrounding areas by going to one per summer. Make a list and tick them off as you go. If you are venturing out with all the family, then make sure everyone is aware of what they can and can’t go on. You don’t want any last minute tantrums when the children aren’t tall enough for a ride.

Aquariums:

Something that is both amazing and relaxing at the same time is aquariums. They are full of marine life that you can spend hours watching. Watching these beautiful fish and mammals swimming around can bring you a feeling of utter peace and tranquility. Being closer to nature has this effect when you take it all in. Taking the children along to an aquarium means that they can attend the talks and feeds throughout the day. This is a great educational experience for children and they can learn all about marine life and how to play their part to keep it safe.

Museums:

If you want to do something that involves being quiet for a couple of hours, then how about a museum? Children love exploring museums and you are bound to have a couple nearby that you can take them to. This doesn’t just have to be art museums, you could also take a road trip to the natural history museum or the science museum. Both of these have exhibits that will keep the children entertained and in awe for hours on end. A lot of museums offer free entry during the summer break, which is a great way to save money.

Bowling:

Bowling can be fun and competitive for the whole family. Many places are giving families great value deals over the summer. One such example is Bowl. Dine. Unwind. Family Fun at your local arcade. The great thing about bowling alleys is that you can now wear your own shoes. Provided these are not high heels or open toed. A lot of people were very self-conscious or grossed out about the bowling shoes so many refused to go. This development means that they have opened themselves up to everyone now.

Summer break is the perfect time to make and capture memories that you and your family will remember for years to come. Have fun with the above ideas!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

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Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Hello!! My sister and brother-in-law will soon be welcoming another sweet little girl into their family and I am so excited!! Their oldest daughter, Valerie, is my BFF and I know that she will be the best big sister. Because they already have SO many clothes, toys, and essentials from when Val was born, Johnny and I were stumped on what to gift them for their newest addition. So, I decided to come up with a list of ideas if any of you are in a similar situation or the expecting family doesn’t have a registry. Let’s get to it:

Gift Cards:

This is the route that Johnny and I took for my sister and brother-in-law and we bought several gift cards for gas stations, Target, and a Visa gift card. Some people say gift cards as a present are thoughtless and I say: FALSE. Gift cards are great because the parents can buy the things that they know they need and won’t have to deal with the hassle of returning unwanted items. Visa gift cards are awesome because the giftee won’t be limited to what store to purchase at. Gas and grocery cards are also sure to be welcome since everything is so freaking expensive now!

Essentials:

I originally asked my sister if we could buy her a supply of wipes, formula, and diapers but she told me she was well stocked already. However, this is another gift that would be sure to please – just make sure you ask what their preferred brands are! A stock pile of baby necessities will help your giftee save money as well as *hopefully* eliminate some late night runs to the store when the last diaper is gone.

Various Clothes Sizes:

Expecting parents are sure to get a ton of clothes in newborn sizes but not be able to use them all with a constantly growing infant. You can help this situation by purchasing clothes in a multitude of sizes from six to nine months and up. Once again, this will save an errand for going to the store and exchanging sizes or finding a new item all together.

Just Ask:

If the person you are purchasing for doesn’t have a gift registry, just ask them! This is what I did with my sister and all she told me was that she needed a new changing pad. I wasn’t satisfied with just this, though, and purchased gift cards as well. Being able to get someone exactly what they need is a wonderful thing so there is no harm in asking about it.

Nursery Gifts:

If you are looking for something more personal to gift, then you can always go the homemade route to help decorate the nursery. You could paint some sweet baby animals, crochet a stuffed toy, or even knit a little sweater or hat. Not only will it be appreciated now but it will be an amazing keepsake for later! If you are not crafty, you can enlist the help of local artists for the task.

Welcoming a new baby is such an exciting thing for all parties involved and you can shake the stress of the perfect gift with the ideas above!

Do you have a new addition coming to your family soon? What do you like to gift for baby showers? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Your Kids In Check This Summer

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Keeping Your Kids In Check This Summer

Summer vacation is every parent’s dream and nightmare. On the one hand, you enjoy not needing to worry about school for a couple of months. You can have a bit of a lie in every morning and avoid the extra stress of getting everyone up and ready for the mad rush.

On the other hand, you’re faced with keeping your children occupied for multiple weeks in a row. It can start off pretty easy – and there are plenty of fun activities you can do with them, but it quickly gets very challenging. The biggest challenge is ensuring your kids stay well-behaved. When they get bored they can get a bit rowdy, which is exactly what you do not need when it’s very hot and sweaty outside.

Luckily, there is one very easy way to keep your kids in check during summer vacation: create a behavioral chart:

What is a behavioral chart?

Basically, it is a chart where you make a note of your child’s good or bad behavior. When they do something bad, you put a mark on the chart to show that. If they do something good – like help out around the house or mow the lawn, they get a positive mark instead.

It’s a very simple idea and you can make your own chart extremely quickly. Just create a table on your computer with your kids’ names on it. Then, head online and make stickers that correspond to good or bad behavior. This could be a smiley face sticker for good and a frown face for bad. Once everything is printed out and delivered, you’re ready to rock and roll.

How does this encourage well-behaved kids?

You might think that making a chart and tracking your kid’s behavior is a bit weird. However, the whole idea is that you make a game out of it. Think of it this way, you’re setting a challenge for your children that lasts the entire summer. They have to avoid getting bad behavior marks, aiming to get as many good marks as possible.

I know what you’re thinking; how do you make your kids care about this? Ah, well this is where the incentive comes in! Create a challenge that ends with a reward of sorts. It can be a toy, money, a trip to an adventure park – whatever you think your kids will enjoy the most. The challenge can be a target for your children to meet or avoid. By the end of summer, they should have as few bad marks on their chart as possible so set them a limit that they cannot go past. If they pass this limit, they fail the challenge and don’t get the prize. You could even add in a bonus prize for whoever has the most happy stickers on their chart.

Your children will be on their best behavior because they know they will be rewarded by the end of summer vacation. You can enjoy a more peaceful summer with kids that are very eager to help around the house and they can enjoy a nice prize at the end before going back to school. It’s a massive win-win!

Featured Image By: Pexels