Thursday, September 19, 2019

Help! My Child Has Lice What Should I Do?

Has your child been scratching their head A LOT and complaining that their head feels itchy? Chances are if your child has a consistently itchy head they might have a case of head lice. 

LICE! 

Don't panic - take a deep breath and know that you can and will overcome this. 




As you read this I'm sure you're fighting the urge to rip off bedding, wash EVERYTHING, vacuum and clean the house until it shines all while scheduling your child for an expensive trip to the local salon for a lice treatment. Or maybe you sent your husband out to buy every single lice removal product your local drug store carries. 

I know that this was my first reaction the first time one of my kids got lice. Unfortunately I was one of those parents who did do many of these things which only left me exhausted and frustrated, wondering when our lice problem would go away. After calming  down and doing a little research I learned a lot about how to fight a lice infestation and began approaching it in a much effective way. (I'm sure my washing machine is thankful!) 

If you find yourself in these same shoes here are a few tips and tricks I want to share with you so you don't freak out and can fight lice the right way. 

Lice love a warm hairy head and can't survive for very long away from this environment which is why cleaning like crazy is not necessary. If you must clean I recommend vacuuming the bedroom where the person sleeps and then throwing their pillow or special stuffed animals that sleep near their head into the dryer on hot for about 15-30 minutes. The hot air will kill any bugs or nits quickly. 

It's also a good idea to sanitize hairbrushes and combs too. To do this boil a pan of water then dip the brush and combs into the boiling water for a few seconds. Or you could put the brush and comb in a Ziploc bag, seal it and put it in the freezer for 24 hours. Both methods are quite effective. 

Recommended Tools & Expert Advice

One of the best websites I found that educated me about lice and helped me to fight head lice is The Nice Lice Lady. Because she has 14 years of experience removing lice and was able to explain her process so clearly, I felt confident that I too could win the battle against lice. She recommends wet combing which requires a good lice comb and a cheap bottle of conditioner to start the process of removing any lice bugs and nits. The Nice Lice Lady reassured me that I wouldn't have to spend a lot of money to conquer this problem and all I needed were some simple supplies and a little perseverance.


This is my favorite lice comb. Find it HERE


Nits are the eggs that the lice lay on a strand of hair. They are tiny (like a single grain of salt), white and glued onto the strand of hair by the adult lice bug. If you find a lice bug they are dark in color with six legs that stick out towards the front of their body by their heads. They have an oval/elongated body.

Stop The Stereotyping

Unfortunately, head lice carries a negative stereotype in our culture because everyone assume only dirty (unclean) people get lice. Let me correct the lie right now and tell you that anyone - rich, poor, clean, dirty, old or young can get lice! Lice prefer a clean head of hair however it doesn't mean you can't get lice if you use hair products. 

Don't let lice define you or your child. Recently while "nit-picking" through my daughter's hair with the lice comb I mumbled under my breath "how gross it was". I was not calling her gross at all, just the lice. She heard me mumble and reminded me that "Yes, the bugs are gross but I am not gross". I am so glad that her identity and how she sees herself was not changed or defined by the lice crawling in her hair. It was just a temporary condition and she understood that with some hard work she would be lice free soon. She is the same sweet, creative and fun young girl she was before lice even entered her universe. Needless to say I was still so proud of her! 

The process of completely eliminating the lice from her hair has been a tedious one due to the numerous wet comings and nit picking but it has allowed me to spend a lot of one on one time with her which has been a true blessing. You don't just get lice overnight and like the Nice Lice Lady says "beating it will require an intentional but manageable effort over the next few weeks". Lice removal is a marathon and not a sprint - keep going, you can do this!

Here are the methods I followed to rid my daughter's head of lice and nits. I hope this method works well for you too.

How To Get Rid Of Lice

  1. Wet your child's head and hair completely. I had my daughter hold her head under the kitchen sink while I used the sprayer to spray all of her hair. Ring out hair so it isn't dripping wet. 
  2. Begin massaging conditioner (cheapest bottle you can find) throughout the hair making sure to get the roots. Comb hair out gently to get out all of the tangles.
  3. Section off the hair into manageable sections. I use a few large hair clips to hold sections together while I work one section at a time. Be thorough and don't miss any sections.
  4. Grab your lice comb, pick a section of a hair to begin combing through. I suggest starting with a small portion of the section you choose and work through one section bit by bit. 
  5. Regularly wipe or rinse your lice comb off on a tissue or towel especially if you are combing out lice bugs. I found it helpful to rinse the lice comb regularly so that the conditioner doesn't build up and drip all over off of the comb. 
  6. Keep combing and combing until each section combed out. 
  7. If there are a lot of lice and nits you may have to comb out your child's hair more often possibly daily until you see a drastic reduction in bugs. I have found it best to comb out my child's hair every other day unless she is really itchy - that's when I know a comb out needs to be done ASAP.


You will want to do the comb out in a well lit area or grab a light that you can shine near the hair sections you are working on - those little nits are tiny and can be hard to see!

Commit to doing a full head wet coming at least every other day for about 2 full weeks until you don't see any nits or bugs. If you find a nit after the 2 weeks start over and continue the wet combing schedule. 

I know this may seem a bit overwhelming and time consuming but don't panic it is totally do-able and manageable. For more tips and detailed instructions on how to comb properly please visit The Nice Lice Lady's blog. There are so many useful tips and advice to help you win this battle!

Has your family battled lice? Maybe you are in the middle of the battle as you read this - please feel free to reach out if you need a little encouragement! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

20 Of The Most Useful Items I Bought On Amazon

Do you like shopping on Amazon as much as I do? As a busy homeschooling mom, Amazon has made shopping and life so much easier. 


Don't forget to PIN for later 



The smile on my face matches the smiley-faced box that arrives on my doorstep because I know I saved myself a little time and frustration not having to drive all over town shopping for whatever it was I needed.

I participate in the Amazon affiliate program. If you click on a link below and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information please see my disclaimer page. Thanks.

Amazon has made the price of convenience so incredibly reasonable! I have found some great products over the years that I love and some that I continue to buy over and over again.

I thought I'd share with you some of the best purchases I have ever made on Amazon in the hopes that you might find something you will like too. Here are my recommendations:


The 20 Most Useful Items I Purchased on Amazon. 


Shall we get started? I hope you find these products as helpful as I do. 


Aegend Swim Goggles: 


We have an in ground pool and spend most summer days swimming for hours on end. Because of this, we have to have good quality, affordable swim goggles that fit a variety of sizes from adult to child. I've tried tons of different swim goggle brands from super cheap to super expensive. These Aegend swim goggles are my kids favorite! The lenses are anti-fog, UV protection, and do not leak. They also come in a variety of colors and lens options (tinted, mirror or clear). As a bonus each pair comes in a protective hard case that you can use to store your goggles in when you aren't swimming.

If you were to ask my kids what they love about these goggles they would say the strap because they don't have to pull the strap over their heads (which always pulls their hair). Instead they put them on by unhooking the clip at the back of the strap, pressing the goggles to their face over their eyes then connecting the strap behind their head.

Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper for Kids 




I love toys that promote active kids and this one doesn't disappoint. This fun and safe pogo stick can be used indoors, is made from durable foam and a bungee jumper and can support up to 250lbs (just in case daddy wants to give it a little try!!). Winter's in our state can be rough so finding an active toy the kids can use inside is perfect for us! 


I recently sent this to my 4 year old niece for her birthday and she LOVED it! Guess who is her favorite aunt now!!


Shotbow 10 Assorted Color Premium Metallic Marker Pens




My oldest daughter loves to journal and has recently started her own bullet journal. Not only does she love organization, planning and doodling but when she can add color she will. These metallic paint pens add such a cool pop of color to her bullet journal pages! They are perfect for journaling, crafting and can be used on a variety of different surfaces too. 


Fire HD 10 Tablet 




Since we are in the car a lot driving from activity to activity it has been so convenient for my oldest children to use their Fire HD 10 to access and read books online, work on homework and listen to their favorite music (with headphones!). We love this case too that is super functional and keeps their tablets protected.


Batiste Dry Shampoo




If you are like me you probably don't have time every day to wash, dry and style your hair that is why I rely on a good quality dry shampoo to give my hair an extra day or two between shampooing. I have tried many different dry shampoo brands, none of which "wowed" me...until I tried Batiste. my hair wasn't oily but instead it felt clean and was super easy to style and manage throughout the day. The hint of color was a game changer as well since it helped cover up my grays a little while helping my brown locks shine!



Neoprene Dumbbell Pairs and Sets with Stand




We have a small area in our basement we use as a workout area. Since space is at a premium this little compact weight set fits into the space easily and provides us with a the right weights for toning muscles. I love to use these right after completing a programmed session on my Bowflex Max Trainer because my muscles are warmed up and ready to feel more burn! 


Speaking of the Bowflex Max Trainer, if you are looking for a compact full body exercise machine that anyone can use, no matter your current physical state this is it!! My six year old can use it just as easily as I can. It is smaller than a treadmill or elliptical and doesn't require a lot of impact to you knees. 




10X Magnifying Makeup Vanity Mirror With Lights



Since I'm at the age of needing reading glasses on a regular basis I found putting on my makeup was beginning to be a struggle. I just couldn't see! This mirror saved my face, literally. The light along with the magnification are super helpful as I try to apply my makeup. It has also made eyebrow maintenance so much easier too!



I have two daughters, both who have super thick, long hair. There isn't enough detangling spray or conditioner that will help them comb out their hair without a lot of pain after swimming or even after a shower. The Wet Brush has become their number one favorite hair tool! Not only can they easily comb out big tangles but it doesn't pull or tear their hair. We love this brush so much that I even wrote a complete product review of the Wet Brush - check it out here.

Inflatable Air Mattress


I bought several of these a year ago when our family was about to take our first tent camping trip together. They were so comfortable! I never even felt bumps, rocks or sticks that may have been poking through the bottom of our tent. I made sure to buy an air mattress that came with a battery operated air pump too so I knew I could inflate it even if there wasn't any electrical hook up or power. My kids love using the air mattress when they have friends over for sleepovers because they are easy to inflate and comfortable to sleep on. We've even taken one or two with us if we are traveling and staying in a hotel since we know they are comfortable and pretty much a good night sleep for anyone who sleeps on it.


Spiral Hair Ties 



We go through hair accessories so quickly with three of us using hair ties regularly. These corded hair ties are our favorite because they stretch easily, hold hair in desired style well and work well in different thicknesses of hair. The best part is they don't leave your hair with a pony tail bump when you take your hair down. They make great gifts -  I always put a pack or two in my girls' Christmas stockings each year.





My youngest son LOVES to wear socks! Many times he is so busy playing he will run outside to grab a toy or talk to a friend and forget to put shoes on which wears out his socks so quickly! I find myself ordering new socks for him often. I love that Amazon has my history saved so all I have to do is re-order the pairs he knows and loves (without the holes!). I actually buy socks and undershirts for my boys and my husband on Amazon regularly and I don't even have to make a special trip to the store for these basics. 



If I don't write everything down in my planner I know I will forget something, usually something important! I love this planner and the flexibility it offers me so I can keep life and all of our busy events, appointments and celebrations all in one place. I don't like using electronic planners, call me old fashioned, that's OK! I use what works and for me that is a good ole' paper bound planner. 


KIPOZI 1875W Hair Dryer 




This was the first time I purchased an ionic blow dryer and let me tell you I absolutely love it. I notice a huge difference every time I use this awesome blow dryer. My hair is silkier and not dried out anymore. It comes with a concentrator and a diffuser and offers 2 speeds and 3 different heat settings. Also, it is not noisy which is a big must have for me since I don't want to wake up my kids because I am blow drying my hair. 



Wireless Headphones 






I purchased these Bose SoundLink Around Ear Wireless Headphones last year for my husband. I never thought he would be so excited over a pair of headphones but boy was I wrong! He loves these wireless headphones and uses them all of the time. His favorite way to relax and chill out after work is to sit in his favorite chair, headphones on listening to music or a sermon. These headphones cancel out any noise (which our house has plenty of!) so he can listen without distractions. 


My oldest daughter loves to exercise and workout and does so on a regular basis. We got this for her so she could track her workouts as well as her nutrition. The Versa special edition also offers additional features such as 300+ song play list and Fitbit pay which we opted not to get for our teen since she uses her phone for music all the time. She loves the functionality of this smartwatch and we love that she has become more accountable for her nutrition. 



Wall Mounted Acrylic Fish Bowl



This is just the coolest fish tank ever! We actually have two, one for each of our kids' rooms. I was always afraid that if the kids had a fish tank sitting on top of their dresser or night stand it would get knocked over. This tank solved that problem since it hangs on the wall. Not only is it a fish tank it is like having a living piece of art on the wall too. It is simple to take care of and our goldfish have done quite well in this tank. 



So we actually don't have a dog but one of our neighbors just got a new puppy and has hired my oldest to come over three times a week during the lunch hour to walk their puppy. We got these waste bags and dispenser so that her job of walking the puppy would be easy and hassle free. The little dispenser just clips to the leash so my daughter can easily access the waste bag quickly as they make a pit stop along the walk. All responsible pet owners should carry their own waste bags so that unwanted yard bombs aren't left in your neighbor's yards for them to clean up. 



Kaasage Eyelash Curler with Advanced Silicone Pressure Pad


 



This little eyelash curling tool is wonderful! It fits all eye shapes and creates the perfect curl. My daughters and I have all used it and I can truly say that it works on all different eye shapes. The silicone pads are gentle and don't pull or rip out lashes. Cleans up quickly too!


StankStix Deodorizer for Shoes and Smelly Sports Equipment



There are days when I open up our shoe closet and can feel the hair melting off of my face! Have you ever experienced this? The smell from the shoes is overpowering and stinky! These Stank Stix have been a lifesaver (or shoe saver!), eliminating the odors and keeping the closet much more scent friendly. 






If you don't have an Amazon Prime account yet Amazon offers a free 30 day trial so you can give it a test drive before committing to paying the annual membership fee. This is what we did before committing and we found that there were tons of items we could get through Amazon shipped free to our house that saved us time and money. I hope you will give it a try! 



There you have it, my top 20 most useful items I bought on Amazon. I hope that by reading this you have a better idea of some of the unique and useful items you can find on Amazon. Amazon is so big that sometimes it can be a little overwhelming trying to find the things you want without getting sidetracked! 

Don't forget to PIN this post for later so you can refer back to it when you are shopping on Amazon. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

How To Teach Your Child About Money Using Fun and Easy Games

Do you ever wonder when the right time to teach your children about money is? It might seem like a daunting task but rest assured taking a gradual, age appropriate path will make talking about money much easier for both of you.




This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information please read my disclaimer page. Thanks!

Taking cues from your curious child is a great way to know when to start having conversations and teaching them about money. Years ago when my oldest was only 5 we were all in the car heading to a minor league baseball game. Before heading to the ball field my husband made a quick stop at the ATM to get a little cash for the evening out. From the back seat my little girls shouts "Daddy, when can I go to the money store?"

My husband glanced over at me with a confused look asking, "Money store?"

Then realization hit - oh, she means the bank! This curious child thought that the bank was a money store and she wanted to get some money, just like daddy from the money store. Of course at age 5 she had no idea that this really isn't an actual store but it did give us a little motivation to begin teaching her about money, banking, saving and giving. 

The time was right and she was ready.


FUN AND EASY GAMES TO TEACH KIDS ABOUT MONEY


-SORTING
Since her attention span at this age was short, and her understanding of money was limited we had to start from scratch and begin with the basics. Introducing her to coins and paper money (the real kind not the fake play kind) was the first step. We gathered up piles of different coins and encouraged her to sort them, study them and discuss with us what she observed about the different coins. This was fun and to her it was a game she loved to play.

-COUNTING
After she had finished sorting the coins I encouraged her to count them. We started with pennies since each penny is worth 1 cent. Introducing the word "cent" to her was the beginning of learning the value or worth of money.

Since she was in kindergarten and almost ready for first grade skip counting was an important math skill I had been teaching her. Skip counting with nickels and then dimes is also a fun way to learn how to count and associate the value or worth of different coins.

Our skip count game involved a lot of physical activity on her part. Sitting still for long periods of time was boring to her and she struggled to learn while fighting the urge to move. I came up with a skip counting hopping game that kept her interest long enough for her to learn how to skip count by 5's and 10's. Let me tell you how we played it!


SKIP COUNTING GAME - BY 5's & 10's

Supplies:



To teach skip counting by 5's start with two sets of different colored sticky notes. The colors help visually remind the child that every other number when skip counting by 5's will have a "5" at the end of the number. (i.e. 5, 15, 25...)

Start by writing the number 0 on the first blue sticky note. Now use the orange colored sticky note and write a number 5 on it. Continue alternating between the blue and orange sticky notes making sure all the orange sticky notes are the numbers that include the 5 in them (i.e. 5, 15, 25, 35...) and the blue sticky notes have the 0's on them (i.e. 0, 10, 20, 30...). I recommend going to 100 since 100 cents is the value of $1 which you can introduce later after they have figured out skip counting.

Now that the sticky notes are all labeled pick an open area in your home and place the sticky notes, in order and spread out, to make a path. 

Have your child start at the number 0, say "zero cents" then hop to the sticky note that should have a "5" on it. The child should say the number and hop to the next sticky note repeating this as they go along all the way to 100 cents.

The more twisty and long the path is the more fun it is for the child! Be creative and let your kiddo have fun.

Once they get the hang of the skip counting by fives you can remove the sticky notes with 5's on them and you are left with all the 10's (10, 20, 30...). Repeat the game with the 10's until they have learned how to skip count by 10's. They will probably have to leap further now since half of the sticky note path is gone! Challenge them to see how far they can jump with these bigger gaps!

-COUNTING WITH REAL COINS
After your child has practiced their skip counting and has it learned and memorized it is time to use the real coins to count by 5's and 10's. Grab twenty nickels, lay them out in a row and have your child skip count by fives as you point to each coin along the row. Repeat this with dimes having your child skip count by tens.  Remember to say the word "cents" after each number in order to reinforce teaching the value of money. We want the child to learn the value of the coins as they skip count.

Don't panic if this whole skip counting concept takes your child awhile to learn and understand. Repetitive play is an effective tool for teaching your child. Have fun with this and let them enjoy different games like sorting, the skip counting hopping game (above) and using real coins.

-COUNTING QUARTERS
Mastering pennies, nickels and dimes is a must before introducing quarters. By now your child should be able to visually distinguish between pennies, nickels and dimes and count them properly. It's now time to move to the next coin, the quarter! A quick trip to your bank to get a roll of quarters is all you need to start teaching your child about quarters. 

To begin encourage your child to explore the shape, size and pictures stamped onto a quarter. Ask questions that require them to compare pennies, nickels and dimes to the quarter. 

  • Can you put the coins in order of size?
  • Which coin(s) have ribbing along the outside edge?
  • Which coin(s) have a person's picture on the front?
  • Which coin(s) are the same color?



PIGGY BANK GAME

A game my children liked to play as they learned how to skip count by 25's was what we called the "Piggy Bank Game". This is super simple, repetitive and still lots of fun! All you need is a piggy bank and your roll of quarters. I start off my modeling them game and playing it myself which consists of me dropping quarters into the bank one at a time and saying "25 cents, 50 cents, 75 cents, 100 cents". Let your child start dropping coins into the piggy bank while they repeat skip counting using up the rest of the roll of quarters. Empty the piggy bank and let them do it again. 



TALKING ABOUT MONEY - START WITH THE BASICS

In addition to teaching your child how to count money, talking to them about where money comes from, how we get money and why we need money are some very important basic questions you should discuss with your child. To get this conversation started Wikibuy.com has provided these amazing FREE conversation starter cards for you to print and use. Keep reading to get all 56 free printable conversation starters! 

click here for FREE printable

Some basic sample questions include:

  • What does money do?
  • Can you get anything you want with money?
  • Why do we need money?


WHAT MAKES A DOLLAR?

So your child has mastered skip counting by 5's, 10's and 25 all the way to 100! Congratulations, they have just mastered a very big step in learning the value of money!! 

Introducing the dollar can be somewhat confusing at first but don't worry they will catch on quickly. Before you grab a new crisp one dollar bill, get your coins back out making sure to have $1 worth of pennies, $1 in nickels, $1 in dimes and $1 in quarters. Let your child pile the like coins in neat stacks, if they can, next to the other like coins so you can discuss and compare what $1 looks like. 

My kids always had a hard time comparing the small stack of 4 quarters with the big stack of 100 pennies. At first when I ask which pile is worth more they always got stuck because visually the penny stack looks like more! 

After your child is done comparing stacks of different coins that all equal $1 in value it is time to grab that crisp $1 bill and lay it next to the four separate stacks of coins. Explain that this too equals one dollar and that all of the piles equal the same value even though the quantity of each pile is different. Discuss why people prefer to carry paper money over coins (weight!). 

One of my sons learned this lesson first hand! He liked to bring his own money to his dad's softball games so he could buy a treat at the concession stand. He would stuff his pockets full of coins to the point of the coins just about spilling out. As he walked the weight of the coins would cause his pants to start falling down. He would hike up his pants only to find that they kept slipping down due to the weight of all of those coins. It was such a funny sight to watch him walk around the ball park with his heavy coin stuffed pockets hiking up his pants every so often!


TALKING ABOUT MONEY - MAKING MONEY FOR KIDS

At some point in your child's life they will begin to ask you for ideas or jobs they can do to make some of their own money. They know that your job as their parent is to provide for their basic needs but what about those fun "wants" or desire to buy something for themselves - how do they go about earning money so they can buy their own stuff? Now is a great time to teach your child about work! Instilling a strong work ethic so they know that starting and finishing a job and doing it well is very important and if they don't complete it they won't get paid! 


link to FREE printable

Check out these FREE printable conversation prompts from Wikibuys.com that takes the next step in the money discussion with your child. 

Questions like:

  • Why do we need to make money?
  • What are some ways you can earn money?
  • How much money do you want to make in one day?





TALKING ABOUT MONEY - SAVING, SPENDING, BUDGETING AND FINANCIAL CONCEPTS

There is no right or wrong age to begin talking to your child about these financial concepts. Introducing financial vocabulary to a young child is a start even though they don't understand the concept - yet. Talk opening with your spouse about how much your family budgets each week for your necessities like groceries, gas or other expenditures. If an unplanned event or opportunity presents itself don't be afraid to discuss with your child that you may have to skip it this time since it wasn't budgeted for or let them know that money has been budgeted for and set aside so you can take part in these unplanned experiences. Either way you are teaching your child how money is managed properly in the real world. 

Here are some more great conversation starter tools you can print and use to teach your child about saving, spending, budgeting and more financial concepts. 


click for FREE printable


Some sample questions include:

  • What is a budget?
  • What does it mean to "spend within your means"?
  • What is one thing you regret spending money on?
  • What is a loan?
  • What are taxes?

My hope is that by starting the conversation early, introducing financial vocabulary to your young child and teaching them how to count and use money, your child will become a financially responsible young adult in the future!


Free Printable

Wondering how you, as a parent, can invest in your child's future? Check out this post for Four Ways You Can Invest in Your Child's Future That Won't Cost You Money!

click HERE to read more...


Please follow my blog so you don't miss out on more great parenting tips and tricks! Parenting is hard - let's navigate it together. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

6 Cool Ways to Customize Your Child's School Supplies




The annual scramble for back to school supplies is well underway. Paper, pencils, folders, notebooks and backpacks are some of the necessary supplies your student will need whether they are home schooled or go to a public or private school. As a student they know that the generic brands of these supplies can look a little um....boring, but as a parent we like the lower price tag these simple (OK, boring) supplies come with. 

The list each year for school supplies and the cost associated with the supplies just keeps going up! According to the National Retail Federation the average planned back to school spending per household (not including college age students) is just under $700! This includes supplies, clothing and electronic purchases for school. Yikes! 

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information please see my Disclaimer pager. Thanks!

I know as a parent you are torn between buying little Johnny that custom Pokemon binder with matching pencils, case and folder that retails way above your budget or just sticking with the cheaper, generic, no bells or whistles binder and gear that is wallet friendly. We have all been there! 

But...

What if there was a third option that will make both your child and your wallet happy? Customizing or personalizing school supplies is a great way to take those boring generic supplies and give them a little upgrade and make-over so they look cool and still cost less. Win - Win!

To start upgrading those boring generic supplies check out Mint.com's FREE set of unique School Subject Printable that can be printed on plain paper or sticker paper and used to customize those boring generic supplies. Not only will these labels look good, they are a good organization tool for your child so that they can keep their school work, loose papers or folders organized.


Mint.com Blog
(click this link to get the downloadable file at Mint.com!)

As a homeschool family one of our back to school traditions is to spend time on our first day of school decorating and personalizing binders and notebooks. Each of my kids (including my teens) has their own three ring binder, folders and several notepads they like to customize. 

Because I know my kids love this tradition I make sure that before the first day of our school year I scour the dollar store for items like stickers, glitter or washi tape and even cool wall decals they can use to upgrade their supplies. 




The great thing about the boring generic three ring binder we use is the clear plastic cover over the front and back of the binder. It is so easy for my kids to make their own custom cover and slide it inside the plastic cover and change it whenever they get tired of their original decorations!


We will definitely be using the free school subject printable from Mint.com too since my kids use their big three ring binder to organize paperwork for all of their school subjects. This will help add some organization to their papers and make it easy for me as their teacher to find their completed assignments. 




Cool Ways To Customize Your School Supplies


Let's keep those creative juices flowing shall we? Here are a few more great ideas your kids can do to rock their school supplies with custom upgrades that are budget friendly!





Add Duct tape to the front and back of plain notebooks to personalize them / Inner Child Fun





Fun, colorful or patterned paper can easily (and cheaply) be mod podged to the front of any notebook / PB Teen

3. Coloring Page


Color in this printable coloring page in your favorite colors. Use one for each binder! / Balancing Home




Great tutorial to make your own embroidered notebook cover at Knits & Brew.

5. Chalkboard Paint


Love to doodle? Can't decide on a design you like? With chalkboard paint you can change your design anytime, easily! / A Little Craft In Your Day

Your Turn

Back to school can be affordable and fun if you put a little effort into pre-planning! Show me your custom school supplies or comment below to tell me what your child did to their supplies to make it custom. 

Before we go....Parents, need some help staying organized and on top of the back to school craziness? Print off these handy (and FREE) Back to School Shopping Checklist



Also, don't forget to check out this post with some great back to school supply ideas you can get from the Dollar Tree! 


click HERE to read more