I have been trying to get organized in a new way since Luke has been going to preschool. He comes home with a ton of papers, etc. and I’ve been getting some ideas together on how to keep it organized and handy. I really wanted to do something fun to hang his crafts that he comes home with, mainly because our fridge front isn’t magnetic. A few weekends ago we headed to Ikea to check out what they had to spark our imagination. We looked at a few things and ended up with these magnetic strips that are in the kitchen section to hang knives. I wanted to start with three of them and we may add more but for now I like that it showcases Luke’s work without it taking over the kitchen in an organized way! They are not super long but I like that it’s smaller because it will keep it from getting too cluttered and will force me to file older things away to make room for the new crafts he is doing. The nice thing about this is that you can really add as many or as little of these on the wall for your preference! When Emma starts crawling around and getting into things we opted to keep it above the light switch.
My next great find is the Time Tracker mini. Ever been into a teacher supply store?? I could seriously get lost in there because there is SO much great stuff to do with your kids. It’s craft heaven. It’s very ironic because I spent my childhood being dragged into teacher stores with my Mom and hated them. Now I’m a Mom, they are my new best friend. Lately, I feel like I’ve been arguing more with Luke and he doesn’t want to do anything. I remember someone told me that once their kids reached 4 they were angels. Um….yeah….I’m still waiting for that to occur in our house. My experience is that 2 years was a piece of cake, 3 were a bit more of a challenge and 4 is so far the most challenging. One thing I really hate is arguing with Luke so I was in search of a timer that wasn’t on the microwave, one that he could hold and visually and physically see the timer counting down. I was looking for one of the old fashion turn dial timers but stumbled upon this:
In a nutshell, it’s a timer with audio and visual countdowns. It starts out green, then flashes yellow to warn them they only have “5 minutes” left and when the time runs out it finally turns red. It’s awesome. The green line above is the timer and the yellow is the warning time you would set. My only gripe about this timer is that in starts at 5 minutes, there are times when I just need a timer for 2 minutes but this works perfectly for saying “you have 10 minutes to clean up your legos” and then when you set the yellow warning light for 5 minutes it would beep and flash yellow to remind them they only have 5 minutes left. I also love that it reminds them because these kids have short attention spans! Luke will start cleaning and then a few minutes later forget what he’s doing and start playing again and I usually have to remind him to clean up. This timer also works great for getting out the door…”we are leaving in 15 minutes, please have your shoes and coat on by then”. It’s taking out the frustration, nagging and yelling and I love it. My favorite part is that it’s visual and tangible for Luke so I can go give it to him so he can stay on task. On the whole, it’s been a lot more effective than the microwave timer we had been using. They also have bigger ones for classrooms, the mini was a little pricey at $19.99 but totally worth it.
Luke (and Brody!) and the time tracker mini with a few more minutes of play time before bed!