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Guilty Pleasures to Indulge In When the Kids Are At School or Asleep

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There’s no woman in this parenting world that doesn’t dream of having some time to indulge in some guilty pleasures of her own choice. It’s a necessity for every woman to put her own needs first from time to time and do some of the things other people find stupid or not cool or forbidden. And, she is right. She has the right to have a personal space and enjoy it as it suits her.

“Forbidden” Foods

Today, every woman will look at you with disguise if she saw you eating a hamburger or chocolate. Exercising and eating healthy is trending, so junk food has become forbidden for the society. Well, if you’re on one of those days and you crave pizza, just go for it! A slice or two (or three) will do no harm in the long run, and you know you desperately need it right now.

Bad Habits

Drinking a glass of wine or smoking a cigarette or two on a highly stressful day is no sin. We all need some sort of escape from everyday life and we all do it differently.

Or, some like to watch their favourite NFL team and in the meantime place a wager that the team will win (this season the New England Patriots are favourites to win the Super Bowl, source of the odds: redbet) or stop by the casino for a round of roulette. No one should blame you if you’re one of those people… Of course, as long as you do it moderately, once in a blue moon.

Enjoy Dumb Stuff

Non-intellectual TV and magazines describing the “real” life of celebrities is something you would never watch or read. But, at times, you want to sneak a peek while you’re resting at home. Sometimes you just want to play dumb and not think about anything too smart. Trash magazines are a great idea for that. We are pro-education, but come on… You don’t really want to be preached and smart all the time, right?

On that note, you could also indulge in a very stupid, naïve, unbearable-to-watch romantic comedy. Oh, yeah. Those are the best ones. You turn on the TV and you can immediately recognize its quality. But you still watch it. You know you do.

Out and About

Probably one of the greatest stereotypes about women is that we want to spend money and talk trash about other (close) women. Eh, sometimes we do confirm that stereotype. As soon as a woman walks through the front door, she starts thinking where to go or what to do to spend money. And as soon as she meets her bestie, they start talking. That talk is not for everyone’s ears.

And sometimes, you want to do it all at once. The best spent Saturday is: going shopping, then having a brunch with your gal and talking trash about some other women you two know not as well as you sound too. Now that’s what we call quality time, right?

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art

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Think Outside the Toy Box | Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide
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It’s Monday!! You know what that means…it’s time for another Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series challenge! This week…Kool-Aid. Last week, I thought I hit the bottom of the barrel as far as low cost, spending less than $6 on an afternoon of family fun with Paper Bag Maracas, but I blew it out of the water this week! Kool-Aid was on sale at Target for $2. I already had the rest of my supplies, so $2 and we were ready to go! Time to get messy and creative with Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art
NOTE: This is an outside project. Prepare to get messy! 

It was a beautiful sunny day and the kids were itching for some fun, so we stripped down for some messy art and took it outside to the back deck. A few pieces of construction paper, some Elmer’s glue and a tub of Kool-Aid and we were ready to play. 
 
I started by creating some pictures with the glue based on the kids’ requests (a sun, a tree, a snowman, a silly face). Then I handed them a paper cup filled with Kool-Aid and had them sprinkle away. The sprinkled (or dumped…ha!) the Kool-Aid along the glue around the edges of the picture, carefully spreading it as they went. 

 
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art
Once they had it covered, I bent the paper gently in half to bring the excess Kool-Aid to the middle and dumped it out, shaking gently to remove and loose mix. In truth, the boys were already happy with seeing the light colored mix on their pictures…but the fun was still coming!
 
As the glue absorbed the Kool-Aid, it slowly turned to the actual color of the mix – red. They were shocked and super excited about this. “Mommy! My sun is turning red!!!” At that age, it was pure magic. 

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art
I should note that this is not a forever project. Although I suspect the glue would have dried hard eventually, it stayed more like a gel when mixed with the Kool-Aid and never got much past the slimey, sticky phase, so I just tossed the remainders after the kids went to sleep. Our goal was to have fun using our hands to sprinkle and get messy, and to watch our pictures come to life with color. Next time we do this, I am definitely going to pick up several colors of Kool-Aid for even more fun! 
 
This activity was immediately followed with bath time! Kool-Aid gets EVERYWHERE. And you know after just a few short minutes, they found their fingers in their mouths. Sugar for the win! 

 
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art
Be sure to check out what the other ladies did with Kool-Aid on their blogs today, and link up your Kool-Aid family friendly projects below and share the fun as we all head into summer months. 
 

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Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival

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Think Outside the Toy Box | Kiddy Noodle Carnival | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide
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I had the great luck to have my super artistic, crazy imaginative, perfectly awesome Mom visiting for this week’s pool noodle challenge for the Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series. And as the best Grandma ever, she helped me pull off several different pool noodle activities based around pattern play and hand/eye coordination. We threw ourselves a Kiddy Noodle Carnival!
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival

We had three different activities at the carnival. We set them up around the yard so that they could move from one to the other easily, and of course, as twin boys and children in general are want to do, they made up their own games as well and transferred items from one game to another. It was amazing how long they were entertained with a few pool noodles, a simple wooden dowel (fishing rod!), some water and some old buckets.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle CarnivalThink Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
Here were our three games. All were based around pattern play, encouraging the boys to count, identify colors and mimic patterns with their noodle pieces.
1. Fishing: Their little wooden dowel fishing rods could loop up chopped pool noodles out of a bucket of water. This was by far their favorite stop at the carnival, and they spent the most time catching new “fish” and transferring them to a bucket or back and forth from Grandma’s rod.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle CarnivalThink Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
2. Caterpillar: In this game, some simple Velcro stick-ons from the local craft store allowed them to stick the noodles together in different color patterns to make their own caterpillars (which they then enjoyed carrying around on their fishing rods). TRICK: Use a Sharpie to mark the soft sides of the Velcro so they know to match up the scratchy sides to a black dot instead of getting frustrated by trying to make two soft sides stick.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
3. Egg Walk: Similar to the egg walk relay race most of us played as kids, this time the boys had to capture noodles with their rods in different color patterns from one side of the yard and transfer them to a bucket on the other side of the yard without dropping them. This tested their concentration and focus.We meant to play it as an actual race, but as usual, they had minds of their owns and traversed the entire yard all over before dropping off their recent catch and coming back for more.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
We saved all of our pool noodles to reuse for many more days of play this summer. We plan to go noodle fishing in the pool, will continue to challenge their pattern recognition and even have a few more games in mind, like noodle croquet or an obstacle course to try out. What a fantastically cheap way to keep the kids entertained all afternoon!
And just for fun…here’s a pic of the kiddos with their grandparents after they finished playing.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
Check out what the other ladies came up with for today’s challenge on their websites and be sure to link up any pool noodle related activities you might have to share!
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series

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10 Sorting Games for Your Math-Loving Child – Sorting Bears by Eureka

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Sorting Games for Your Math-Loving Child | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide
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This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please refer to my Legal Policies and Terms of Use. The opinions here are entirely my own. 

When J’s teacher told me he really enjoys math and that sorting toys would be a great idea for Christmas, I ran straight over to Amazon Prime and began the hunt for the perfect toy. I bought about a million puzzles, little projects and a whole slew of other games. But none so far can compare to these bad boys:

Purposeful Parenting - 10 Sorting Games for Your Math-Loving Child

Before I get started, here is my only CON for this toy. These bears are a relatively good size and really hard, so they don’t scream “Put me in your mouth!” But, as all mothers know, this means nada. So…while they are awesome, this is a toy that requires some observation on the parent’s part. This is not the toy to busy your kid with while you hop in the shower or run the vacuum.

Now, the good stuff.

The opportunities are endless for free play with these little dudes. Here are the 10 sorting games I play with the boys (and they then play with each other – which is super cute):

1. What color is this? I have them identify the color and then place the bear in its matching cup.
2. Here are 3 bears (different colors). I have them identify each color and count them back to me as they place it in its matching cup.
3. Pick a “red” bear and give it to Mommy. I line up all of the bears (or even dump them in a big pile) and give them a color to pick out and give to me. This can be taken up a notch for more advanced kiddos, by asking them to give you a certain number of bears of certain colors.
4. Count our colors. We separate the bears into piles of their colors and then count them together back into the cups.
5. Clean up the bears. Seriously, they love this one. It’s like 52 pick up with animals instead of cards.
6. Line up your colors. Everybody loves to build a mini army of color-coordinated bear squadrons.
7. Stack and unstack the cups. Tower! When the bears get old, I swap to the cups. Some simple towers always bring a smile.
8. Flip cups – Bears on top. Instead of lining up the bears or grouping them in piles, we switch it up by using the upside down cups as platforms for whatever game we are playing.
9. Color patterns – What’s next? I set up simple patterns and ask them to pick the bear that fits next.
10. Give me “7” bears and count. I give them a number of bears that I want and they get to pick what colors they give back to get to that number.

Stuff I Love - Sorting Bears by Eureka - 10 Sorting Games for Your Math-Loving Child
Stuff I Love - Sorting Bears by Eureka - 10 Sorting Games for Your Math-Loving Child
Stuff I Love - Sorting Bears by Eureka - 10 Sorting Games for Your Math-Loving Child

One final twist that they love…turn the tables! They’re in control and get to ask me the questions. They LOVE to ask “Mommy, what’s this?” or order me to “give them a red bear.” Let them play teacher for a bit and you’ll keep them busy for hours!

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