Creating a Moon Journal with Your Kids

Written by contributor Tiffany Larson.

Over the summer, my oldest (6 years old) and I spent a night camping in our backyard.  One of our favorite activities was staring at the night sky, looking for constellations and gazing at the moon. Wanting to study the moon further, we decided to start a moon journal over winter when the moon rises before bedtime.

As a lifelong learner, I”m always looking for experiences to share with my kids where I am not only the teacher but the student as well. Constructing a moon journal has been just that. We”ve learned that each month the moon has a name and where the term, “once in a blue moon” comes from.

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Kids’ artwork: how to reduce waste, but not creativity

I don’t know about you but I usually have little masterpieces coming out my ears. I love having children who love to create, but I often am amazed at much paper gets recycled.

A lot of our art gets given away or digitally preserved. But lately I’ve been thinking more and more about cutting down on the paper waste to begin with.

Here are a few ways I’m fighting the recycle bin.

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Getting creative with homemade packed lunches

I can hardly believe it, but school is right around the corner, and in fact, some have already rounded that corner! With school days on the horizon, chances are packing regular lunches is one of the forthcoming “chores” of running a home that can get mundane.

It may be still summer break for my family, but I find myself packing lunches for the kids and myself at least a few times a week for all of our outings to the pool, beach, botanical gardens and more.

Whether it’s for school or a family outing, I tend to get stuck in a rut– packing PB & Js in a standard lunch more often than I like.

In case you’re fighting the same fight, I wanted to offer some creative ways to change things up in the packed lunch department. It’s time to think outside the lunchbox (sorry, couldn’t help it with that one) and get some fun and healthy variety in our packed lunches.

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Birthday party book exchange

Written by contributor Tiffany Larson.

Several years ago, my sister and I started hosting an annual joint birthday party for our children, born 4 days apart.  Not only did we want to save our family and friends from two birthday parties in one weekend but it saved us money by splitting the costs. However, there were a few details to work out.

Our Dilemma

With such a large gathering of friends and family, there would be a lot of gifts. We also didn’t want anyone to feel obligated to bring a gift for a child they were not friends with.

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Using cloth wipes and homemade wipes solution

Written by contributor Emily McClements of Live Renewed.

I‘m here to let you in on a little parenting secret I’ve discovered. Do you want to get rid of those really disgusting diaper changes? The ones that seem to use half a box of wipes to clean up because – well, I won’t go into that, because if you’re a parent then you definitely know what I’m talking about.

While I can’t change what shows up in your little one’s diaper, I can help to make the clean up much, much easier. Here’s my secret: use cloth wipes instead of disposable. Not only are cloth wipes reusable and eco-friendly, they’re also free of all of the dangerous chemicals found in disposable wipes.

And they are so much better at cleaning your baby’s bum! A typical dirty diaper change requires just one wipe, and I think the most cloth wipes I’ve used for the worst diaper change was only three! Whereas with disposable wipes, using three or four is typical for a regular diaper change, and I could easily go through ten, or more, on the worst of the worst diapers.

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