School

Get the Primary Homework Help You Need to GET. IT. DONE.

As a teacher, I hated homework. I hated assigning it, and I felt bad that parents struggled to get kids to complete it. Research doesn’t support it, and, frankly, I’d rather have the kids practice with me at school than muddle through with their parents at home, often picking up misconceptions in the process.

As a parent- well, I just hate homework for the regular reasons. Mostly because my kid doesn’t want to do it, but I’ve got to make her.

If you find yourself in need of primary homework help, know that you’re not alone. Here’s some advice from me, both as a parent and teacher, that can help end your homework battles once and for all.

Need some kindergarten homework help? We've got tips to get you through homework in the early grades at TheSaltyMamas.com. Continue reading “Get the Primary Homework Help You Need to GET. IT. DONE.”
Cleaning

More Than Washing Shoes- The Best Tricks to Make Old Shoes New Again

I don’t know about you all, but this mama is on a BUDGET.  My kids do get the occasional new pair of shoes, and I buy new uniforms for school (only if I can’t find a hand-me-down version). But more often than not, my kids are sporting hand-me-down shoes or clothes I purchased at a consignment shop.

But even though my kids are rocking someone else’s outgrown duds, I don’t want them to LOOK like a dud. And washing shoes in a washing machine is a pretty big risk! So over the years, I’ve found lots of ways to keep their clothes looking fresh, right down to their kicks. Through some trial and error, I’ve finally found the best way to clean kids’ shoes, from Converse to Skechers light up shoes. It’s a bit of a process, but MAN does it make a big difference.

Trying to clean up your kids' shoes? If you've got hand-me-downs- or just dirty shoes!- check out this tutorial to get them looking brand new again, from TheSaltyMamas.com. Continue reading “More Than Washing Shoes- The Best Tricks to Make Old Shoes New Again”
Kids' Activities

Entertain on the Go with Fun & Easy Toddler Busy Bags

Ahhh, toddlers. That beautiful stage full of curiosity, enthusiasm, joy… And tantrums. And opinions. And energy. Allllll the energy.

If you’ve got a toddler, you know that it can be hard to keep them entertained. They want to do everything, but there’s still a lot of limitations to what they can do.  Restaurants, road trips, flights, dinner parties at non-baby-proofed houses- it’s enough to strike fear into any parent’s heart.

But it doesn’t have to be that way (well, not ALL the time at least). We’re bringing you a collection of easy toddler busy bags and busy bags for babies for our Littlest Salties.

10 Amazing, Engaging, NO PREP Busy Bags for Babies and Toddlers, from TheSaltyMamas.com.
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Tips & Hacks

13 Things You Had No Idea Your Amazon Echo Could Do

It’s no secret that we LOVE our Amazon Echos.  Alexa plays a larger role in our lives than we’d care to admit (I mean, she’s basically our coparent).  She’s our kitchen companion, our dance party DJ, and the deliverer of our groceries. So yeah, you could say we’ve formed an intimate relationship with some AI technology. Welcome, to the future, people. As a result of this relationship, however, we’ve discovered several unique Alexa hacks for parents.

When I first got my Alexa, I was super put off by it.  The volume level in my house increased exponentially. I didn’t really know what to do with it beyond playing music (and they wanted to charge me $5 a month to do it!). To top it off, many people told me I had just given the NSA direct access to my home. Let’s just say, I was kind of regretting my purchase.

But as time went on, I discovered that Alexa had a lot more uses.  She could set timers and reminders for me, so when I found my arms full of toddler, I could still keep myself on track. She played ALL of my favorite songs at a moment’s notice. And her Yo Mama jokes are on POINT.

At this point, I’m spending a LOT of time with Alexa, and I’ve gotten to know her pretty well. And that includes figuring out some AMAZING Alexa hacks for moms.  Read on to discover some of our favorites!

Bet you had NO idea Alexa had this many uses! Find out the best parenting hacks for your Amazon Echo in this post from TheSaltyMamas.com. #alexa #amazonecho #echohacks #alexahacks #parenting #momlife #amazon #kids Continue reading “13 Things You Had No Idea Your Amazon Echo Could Do”
Kids' Activities

Activities to Fill Up a Stay At Home Day

Let me start by saying- I am not a Stay at Home Mom. I mean, I AM. That’s what anyone would call me. But the title is so, so inaccurate. I am a take-kids-to-swim-lessons mom. I am a host-a-playdate-mom. I am a go-to-the-beach mom, a running-errands mom, a might-as-well-be-a-chauffeur-mom. I don’t go to work everyday, but I’m also not likely to be found at home, either.

But sometimes? We HAVE to stay home. Because we’re potty training, or waiting on an appliance repair person, or someone is contagious (even though they feel fine). Maybe it’s too hot, or maybe there’s snow. But for whatever reason, sometimes you just have to stay home all day. And if you’re into that sort of thing? That’s likely not a problem. But if you’re not? You’re trying to fill the longest.day.ever. with indoor activities for kids.

After a recent Hand-Foot-Mouth scare over at our place, we found ourselves quarantined. No one felt particularly sick, but we’d been advised to stay away from our friends for a day or two.  Lila took it hard (I might as well have handed home a death sentence), but I took it upon myself to sieze the day and make it an amazing one.

An amazing day that happened to include six hours of television. But who’s counting?

So if you find yourself in a similar position, we’ve got some ideas for super fun indoor activities for kids that will make that long day at home a fun one, too.

Stuck at home for the day? We've got a TON of easy activities to turn that boring day into a super fun one! Find them all at TheSaltyMamas.com. #rainyday #sahm #sahmlife #sickday #kidsactivities #rainydayactivities #kids #parents #toddlers #preschool #momlife
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Kids' Activities

Get Kids Learning with These Colorful Activities

I don’t know how it happened, but my daughter somehow knew all of her colors by two years old. I don’t remember doing a lot of kids’ learning activities with her- she just picked them up the color names on her own, and I didn’t think much of it.

So when my son didn’t know his colors at a few months past two, I decided that A.) This was a problem and B.) That he is color blind.

Clearly- it’s not. And he’s not.

The average child should be able to name at least one color by age three. So the first step for us was accepting that we did not have a problem, by any stretch of the imagination. But it did also make realize that Abe may need a little more focused practice to learn his colors, and as a result, I’ve been making a greater effort to teach him.

So if you are ready to start teaching colors to your child, we’ve got some fun kids’ learning activities that will keep the process light and stress-free.

Have some fun teaching your toddler their colors with these 16 engaging actvities. Find them all at TheSaltyMamas.com. #colors #rainbow #teachingcolors #learningcolors #toddler #kids #parenting #kidsactivities #kidsart #toddlerart #toddleractivities #education #school #preschool #daycare
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Mom Humor, Terrible Twos

Potty Training Tips and Humor for Mamas in the Trenches

Nothing strikes as much fear into the heart of a toddler mama like two simple words can. Did you guess it? No, not “Uh Oh.” (Although YES. So much yes.) But if you’ve got a kid in the two to three year old range, I bet you could guess it pretty quickly- Potty. Training.

The internet abounds with tons of amazing tips for potty training a two year old quickly. But then there are the OTHER potty training tips. The tips unlikely to show up in any other Pinterest feature. And, OH do we ever have your back on that front.

For your reading pleasure- a little potty training humor from the dark (and dirty) side of toilet training.

Rule Number One: No wearing boots. Find more hilarious tips at TheSaltyMamas.com. #pottytraining #terribletwos #toilettraining #potty #parenting #toddler

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Kids' Activities, Recipes

Cheap & Easy Tips for an Epic End of Summer Playdate

We just finished up our last real week of summer, and we wanted to send it out with a bang. What better way to do it than with an end of summer playdate with some of our friends? We planned a kids’ luau for our end of summer party, and it went off without a hitch (or britches, in Izzie’s case, but that’s another story). And even better- it didn’t cost an arm and a leg!

My daughter is OBSESSED with kids’ party planning. She makes lists, drawings, and diagrams in preparation. She plans menus. She shops for goodie bags. She visualizes the décor.

The only problem is? Then she wants me to carry out her vision. Which is no mean feat, as it turns out, especially when you are as big a cheapskate as I am.

So when she decided “she” was going to throw an end of summer party, I used my powers of persuasion to convince her to throw a kids’ Luau instead. This decision might have had something to do with the fact that I have a garage full of island décor from my sister’s baby shower, but she didn’t need to know that.

By reusing decorations, buying in-season fruit for the snacks, and keeping it simple, we found a way to throw an amazing end of summer playdate for my daughter and her friends. And there were cocktails. Because of COURSE there were. Read on for the recipe for a perfect end of summer luau (and those cocktails. Because YUM).

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Crafty Mamas, Holidays

DIY Candyland Fairy Costume

I don’t know why, but when it comes to kids’ Halloween costumes, my daughter can never choose something simple. I love her originality, but DANG does it create a lot of work for me. While all the other girls were busy being Sofia, she wanted to be Totoro. When Aurora was all the rage, she requested to be a “pink bakery chef.” And while I could easily have gotten a Moana costume off the rack last year, she insisted that I get her a kids’ Candyland costume.

And, as luck would have it, I DID find it on the rack. But it was more like Sexy Candyland Fairy, and she’s four, so that was never gonna fly with me.

Which means that, yet again, it was up to me to make it happen in the DIY toddler Halloween costume department. I typically sew her costumes (like Totoro), keeping it as simple as possible.  But as (bad) luck would have it, my sewing machine broke down just before it was time to assemble her Candyland Halloween costume.

The good news is that this was actually a HUGE blessing in disguise.  It forced me to get a little more creative with the costume (and, frankly, a little less crafty). Which means that anyone with a hot glue gun, puffy paint, some felt, and an Amazon Prime membership could make a kids’ Candyland Fairy Halloween costume, too. Follow along below for the instructions!

This super-easy DIY Candyland Fairy Halloween costume will have your kids looking like the real deal this Halloween! Get a step-by-step tutorial at TheSaltyMamas.com. #DIYCostumes #DIYkidscostumes #DIYhalloweencostumes #kidshalloweencostumes #nosewhalloweencostumes #nosewcostumes

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Kids' Art Projects

Kids Get Creative with These 4 Fun Process Art Activities

If you’ve been watching our stories on Instagram, you’ll notice we’ve been making a real push to get process art into the hands of more children.  Art activities for kids seem so daunting at first- people are afraid of the mess, or don’t know where to start- but they don’t have to be complicated.  With a little inspiration, and a tiny bit of prep, you’ll be able to get some easy toddler art projects under way in no time.

Process art activities range from the very simple (think an easel with little pots of paint) to the more complex (like our recycled materials painting wall, see below). The beauty is that you and your kids get to decide how elaborate your process based art projects are going to be.  The idea is to keep art invitations for toddlers fun, simple, and creative, and to let the kids take it from there.

So if you are looking for some exciting process based art activities for kids, we’ve got a few ideas that you can do this week, with materials you’ve already got on hand. Collect some supplies, bust out the paint, and you’ll be watching your kids create and explore art in a whole new way in no time!


Continue reading “Kids Get Creative with These 4 Fun Process Art Activities”