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Make Cleaning Fun for Kids

Make Cleaning Fun For Kids

We would all love some help around the house, so if you make cleaning fun for kids chances are you might motivate some cheerful household helpers.

My son loves to help with the chores when it involves this non toxic, sudsy science experiment that results in a clean sink, which is why I wanted to share it with you today.

cleaning-fun-1

Recipe for Sudsy Kitchen Science

1.  Gather your supplies:  You need a sponge, baking soda (a mild abrasive that will remove stains, soap scum and bits of food) and white vinegar (a mild acid that disinfects, eliminates odors, and is extremely safe). Mix vinegar with water at a 1:1 ratio into a spray bottle.

2.  Sprinkle baking soda in the sink. I get a giant bag from Costco and put some in a smaller container and then let him use as much as he wants. With a damp sponge make some of the baking soda into a paste and rub all around the sink. My son likes to use the sponge like a truck and move big piles of baking soda around. Cover all surface areas.

3. Spray the sink all over with the vinegar/water mixture. Watch the baking soda and vinegar react in bubbling eruptions all around the sink.

4.  Add more baking soda and spray with the vinegar mixture just to watch it bubble and foam some more!

5.  Rinse with water and enjoy your nice clean sink.

Give it a try, your kids will love this!

Do you have anther fun way to encourage your kids to help around the house? Please leave your ideas in the comments below!

The Bane of My Existence

receipt organization

Receipts.

They are the bane of my existence.

I am swimming in them and am drowning in a sea of crumpled little papers. My wallet, my purses, my car, my jewelry drawer, my junk drawer ~ they are everywhere and I am haunted by them. In my nightmares they grow legs and come running after me in a swarm. Kidding. But seriously, they drive me CRAZY.

So, this post is not a receipt organization tips post. I wish it was. This post is a mom-to-mom SOS post because that is what I desperately NEED from you – receipt organization tips.

Here is my problem, and I want to know how you handle it:

I am doing my shopping at warp speed. Either during the ridiculously short preschool time frame OR with kids that are not so thrilled to be shopping with me. Therefore, at check out I am usually in a rush and I take the receipt and stuff it in either my wallet or my purse.

The have it together mom would then, immediately upon returning home, take out the receipts, organize and file them in some civilized fashion. But I am not that mom.

But I know some of you are.

So, please share the secrets to your success at keeping receipts in an organized fashion?

What are your receipt organization tips?

How do you keep them organized?

I want to take all your tips, try them out, and then hopefully do another post with a real life receipt success story. Help a mama out?

OC Spring Bucket List for Kids

oc spring activities for kids

[This cute idea comes from one of my new writers, Lisa, who you will be hearing more from in the future!  - Jen]

OC Spring Activities for Kids

Spring has sprung; the season of sunshine and showers, rainbows and flowers, so wanted to write a post on my favorite OC spring activities for kids.

This is the time to be outside, relishing in the beautiful blossoms, splashing in puddles, exploring the green hills and indoors,  a time of renewing;  out with old, organizing and setting a bit of a fresh start as well.

 It is a beautiful time to be in Orange County, and to experience it anew with your children.

Join Me for a Seven-Week Series

For the next seven weeks I’ll be encouraging you to squeeze the most of our beautiful location.  With local hints and information, purveyed for the family! Get inspired, and not overwhelmed with simple, fun ideas, tailored for our region.

Through a children’s eye small things are big things, little, special moments turn into the memories we carry with us through a lifetime.  I know I remember sweet days taking the trolley in the rain with my dad in San Diego, or a foggy morning breakfast, these days can be SO special. Let’s make the most of the season!

Join our Spring Journey on Instagram

Please join us Instagram this spring and share ideas of what OC spring activities for kids you and your kiddos are doing with the #tinyorangesspring hashtag.

Follow me at @lisarimke and @tinyorangesOC to see what we’re doing!

How to Organize Your Kid’s Artwork

how to organize your kid's artwork - 2

Hi, my name is Christy.  And, my kids’ art projects are taking over my home.  Can anyone else relate?  Piles, stuffed folders, pictures plastered on walls, doors, bulletin boards…oh my!  I knew I had to clean up and go through all of these precious little “treasures.”  Here are my tips for how to organize your kid’s artwork. 

I knew my “art wall” was getting out of control when my laid-back husband told me that our kitchen walls were being taken over by random kid projects, coloring scraps, pipe cleaner creations, and paper plate animals.

I defensively looked at my beautiful walls, filled with…okay, well they were plastered with multiple art projects galore.  Every inch of space was maxed out.  As much as I loved each and every picture, I admitted it was a little out of control.

So, I came up with a couple of solutions that seemed to help me get more organized and less cluttered.

Solution #1 – Organize your art wall

I found these cute little artwork wall organizers at Target (my home away from home!), pictured above.  I took every precious masterpiece off of our kitchen walls and doors…and picked four to keep in rotation, per kiddo.

I hung up the organizers on our designated “art wall,” and now switch out my daughter and son’s art and school projects every couple of days.  This keeps everything a little more tidy…and still proudly displayed!

Solution #2 – File the “keepers”

As much as I wish I could keep every project, coloring page, painting and worksheet…there is simply not enough room.  Each week I go through all of my kid’s schoolwork and art pieces from the week. I pick the “keepers” - you know, the really special ones.  The ones that are memorable and/or extra adorable, represent milestones, are made just for you, and so on.

I either display those or file them in each kid’s school box.  Yep, I have made a school organizer box for each of my children.  So.much.easier.

I pick out what I think the grandparents would like and set that aside.  Then…SHHHHHH…I recycle the rest.  Without guilt.

Solution #3 – Artkive

Artkive is one of my favorite apps ever – and is free!!  You can upload pictures of your kid’s artwork and school projects and store it on Artkive’s site.  Here’s the cool part – you can organize the artwork electronically by child, year in school (or chronological age), date/month/year, plus you can add a description of their creation.

You can also make and save a list of email addresses, and then choose to send a picture copy to your family and friends with your kid’s latest masterpiece.  All of the my kids’ grandparents love getting these fun emails!

Another option?  With Artkive, you can actually print a book of your all of your kid’s artwork – organized chronologically.  Be still my heart!

What are your kid art organizing secrets?  Do you have any tips or tricks?
Please share below!

Bedroom Camping for Kids

bedroom camping for kids

Bedroom camping for kids is so much fun!  It has become one of our favorite Friday night family traditions. Let me tell you how we set it up in case you might be interested in trying it too!

Setting Up the Camp Site

We alternate rooms between my son and daughter each time we do our bedroom camping. The kiddos drag their comforters off their bed, grab extra blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, any and all flashlight friends, night lights, and their favorite Dream Lites Pillow Pets.

The kids put on their jammies, spread out all of their blankets on the floor of the bedroom, and turn on their flash lights.

If you want to get really authentic, you can bring in a pop-up tent - we have about four in rotation. The kids’ favorite right now is the Jake and the Neverland Pirates play hut pop-up tent.

Once the lights go off, the camping begins!

Bedroom Camping Activities

We take turns telling silly stories, singing “camp” songs, and counting the “stars” on the ceiling (projected from our Dream Lite friends). 

You can also have a little picnic set up on the blanket floor with camping goodies like popcorn or pretzels.

One of our favorite games to play is “Start a Story, Tell a Story.”

One person starts a story…and then each of us go around and add a sentence at a time.  It gets pretty silly – and the kids think it’s hysterical!

For whatever reason, my kids’ favorite song to sing is “On Top of Spaghetti,” only we tend to change the lyrics to silly, crazy, funny lines.  Whatever you choose will be special…because you’ll all be gathered around “under the stars,” spending time together.

S’mores in a Bag

To bring in the ultimate camping activity, make some s’mores in a bag for your kids to munch on while playing. Simply put some Golden Grahams cereal, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips in little bowls or baggies. BIG hit!

And, the best part of bedroom camping for kids?  Easy clean-up and everyone gets to sleep in their own bed.

I hope you have fun “camping” with your little ones!  Let me know how it goes.