6 Valentines Day Traditions to Start with Your Kids

 

***This post contains affiliate links, however I always give you my honest opinion and will never recommend something I don’t believe in. When you purchase through an affiliate link please know that your helping support this blog since I may receive a commission on the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thanks for your support***

One of the many things I have learned as an elementary teacher is that traditions mean something to kids. They love to come in and tell me about what they are doing at home related to different holidays. Kids love when Valentine’s Day is coming up because of the valentines they get to give each other. They love traditions in general. For instance, they look forward to the 100th day of school for the unique things that happen or to St. Patrick’s Day to see what kinds of stunts the leprechauns will pull at school and home. Kids live for traditions! So why not give them more and build memories?

Here are six ideas for traditions you can start doing with your family.

1. Cook a Red Meal and Serve a Red Dessert

It doesn’t have to be something fancy. It can be something as simple as spaghetti and sauce with red velvet cupcakes. The point is to make it a tradition and do it each year. By time they get older they will look forward to the special family dinner consisting of red items. Another way to approach the Valentine’s meal is to do a heart theme instead. Here are some food ideas to inspire you as you design your Valentine’s menu:

Are you feeling inspired yet? The meal could be as simple or complex as you want to make it. Valentine’s is on a weeknight this year so simplicity will probably be key in my house but the tradition of theming the food on the holiday is fun no matter how complicated the meal is.

2. Pick a Random Person to Bring Flowers 🌸 To

Valentine’s isn’t just about celebrating romantic relationships. Valentine’s Day is about spending time with those that we love. Why not grab an inexpensive bouquet of flowers and pick someone random to give them to. It will brighten their day and show your children the value of giving and bringing joy to others.

3. Make Some Crafts

This doesn’t have to happen on Valentine’s Day but why not create some fun pink and red crafts. I love all the heart themed ideas. Check out these great ideas:

  • Cardboard Heart Stamps These are adorable stamps are made out of paper towel rolls. You could use these fun stampers on Valentine’s cards or anywhere you feel like spreading some extra love.
  • Pom Pom Painting This activity is perfect for painting with little ones. It is also a great way to work on fine motor skills with your kiddo.
  • Thumbprint and Fingerprint Heart Crafts You will find so many different ideas of things to do with those little fingerprints from all different bloggers. I just love capturing how tiny my little ones hands are since, as we all know, they will be big fast.
  • Fingerprint LOVE Canvas I love this idea to create a beautiful canvas to hang on your wall made out of your little ones finger prints. It looks so easy to do for different ages while creating a beautiful piece of art that you will want to display.
  • Slime I mean what kiddo doesn’t love slime?
  • Heart Puppets I just love making puppets. They are fun to craft and great tools for story time. Why not make a heart puppet and then use it to retell a story you read together?
  • I Love You Hands These are so simple to make and don’t require many supplies. All you need are some markers (or other coloring tool) and some paper.
  • Coffee Filter Hearts This is such a fun way to see what happens when colors mix. It is also friendly for many different ages and works on many areas of development.

4. Pop the Balloon Scavenger Hunt

This is a fun one. Buy some red, pink or white balloons. Then put a paper clue inside each balloon for where a Valentine’s surprise is hidden in the house. Before your child wakes up put the balloons in their room. The surprise could be a box of chocolates, a stuffed animal, a new book or a card. Another idea, if you don’t want to pop the balloons, is to write the clue on the balloon or tie a clue to the balloon string. A different twist to the balloon scavenger hunt is to spread the balloons throughout the house with clues so they have to gather the balloons in order to find their Valentine’s Day Treat. I personally don’t like the sound of popping balloons, so spreading balloons throughout the house is more appealing to me.

5. Read a Book for Valentine’s Day

In my house we like to read books right before bed time. Although there are many books for Valentine’s Day the book you  choose doesn’t have to be about Valentines it could also have a theme related to Valentines day such as being kind to others, love, or random acts of kindness. Here are some great book suggestions:

 

6. Science Time

In my experience, kids love STEM challenges. They are awesome because kids usually don’t even realize they are learning. STEM is appropriate for all different ages. It can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. My favorite ideas for STEM activities are usually open ended. I love to present my students with various supplies and then see what they come up with. Here are some awesome STEM ideas all focused on a Valentine’s Day theme:

Candy Heart Boats

This is a great science activity that doesn’t use many materials. You can also add an element of math to it by counting or graphing how many candy hearts the boats hold.

Love Potions

What kid doesn’t love making potions? This is a fun intro into chemistry for little ones.

Marshmallow Structures

All you need for this fun activity is Marshmallows and toothpicks. The possibility for building is endless and sure to keep your kids entertained for a while.

Valentine’s Coding

Here is a fun one to explore computer programming without actually having your kids on a screen.

Are you feeling inspired yet? Whatever you decide to do for Valentine’s Day, the point is to make memories. I hope you and your family have a wonderful time celebrating the holiday of love.

8 Ways We Use Essential Oils to Keep Our Family Well During Winter

***Before we get started I like to be transparent. All ideas on this blog are specific to Young Living Oils and should not be used with oils from a different source. All information on this blog is based on my own experiences as a user of essential oils. The statements and products represented on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and information I provide are not intended to prevent, cure, diagnose or treat disease. You should still consult with a physician.***

1. Winter Wellness Roller

This is a great one to roll on before heading out into the icky germy world each day. My family keeps one of these near our door and we roll it on the bottoms of our feet before we leave the house each morning We also have one one near our beds that we roll on our spines each night before settling in. This roller bottle is full of so many wonderful oils that help support our overall wellness. It’s an easy roller to make. Combine the listed oils into a a 10 mL roller bottle and then top off with a carrier oil. Some examples of carrier oils are Young Livings V-6, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil or Olive Oil.

2. Post Shovel Soak

Uggh…I love snow, but I despise shoveling. I seriously can’t stand it. The snow looks so beautiful outside, all untouched, until I realize I must move it out of the way if I don’t want to be barricaded in my house until the frozen ice disappears. This bath combo is a well earned treat for your body after some serious snow lifting.

3. Rejuvenate From a Snowy Day with a Restful Nights Sleep

After a long snowy day or just plain cold day why not pop in some oils that create a calming atmosphere to promote a restful nights sleep. I love this combination for my whole family.

4. Create a Calming Environment for Kids Stuck Inside.

This is a great blend to promote a great atmosphere when you can’t get outside. Peace and Calming’s name says it all, it promotes peace and calming. Citrus fresh is an uplifting aroma that will pick you up when you can’t get everyone outside.

5. Restful Night’s Sleep Roller

I love using rollers for essential oils. It makes them so easy and convenient to use. To see results with oils it is so important to use them consistently. Being able to just grab a roller to apply oils makes life easy. This roller blend is perfect for promoting a restful nights sleep. You can roll it pretty much anywhere on your body. I personally like to roll it on my wrists, back of neck, feet or spine.

6. Missing the Fresh Air Diffuser Blend

This blend has an uplifting and clean smelling aroma. It will bring back memories of spring air drifting through your windows on a warm day. It is also great at making the smell of any unpleasant odors disappear from your home.

7. New Year New You Rub On

Do you have a goal of getting fit for the new year or are you already a lover of working out? This rub on is for you. Rub a little bit on the soles of your feet or chest before a workout. I love 💗 the smell of this blend. I also love to use RC in my diffuser; a drop or two smells and feels so good. This same rub makes a great chest rub for kids and grown ups!

8. Good Morning Roller

Make up this roller so you feel ready to tackle the day. All three of these oils have a scent that make me feel ready to go. These oils give me the boost I need to face a day full of elementary kiddos and my one year old. This is also a great combo for your diffuser just use one or two drops of each oil for the diffuser.

Are you ready to get started with oils? Click here to let me help you!

Multi-Digit Multiplication Strategy: Lattice Method

A different approach to multi-digit multiplication!

So one of my favorite things to teach is multiplication. There are so many different ways to teach the same thing and I love the flexibility it offers. After my students have built basic knowledge of how to multiply simple facts they start to move onto how to multiply single-digit numbers by multi-digit numbers and then multi-digit numbers by multi-digit numbers. One strategy for multi-digit multiplication I love to incorporate in my classroom is the Lattice Method.

Lattice Method is a great strategy to approach multiplication in a different way than the traditional method. From my years of teaching, I have learned that it is so important to have many different tools to pull from when helping kids learn new content. We all learn so differently and some methods work better than others for certain kids. I find Lattice to be tricky for some kids because it is visually overwhelming. Some kids are able to get this method before they can grasp other methods so play around with the different methods to find what works for your kiddo. Some of the other methods for multi digit multiplication are the area method and the traditional method.

Here is my video on how to use the Lattice Method:

Video on Lattice Multiplication

If your child is already multiplying with other methods, Lattice can be a great way to challenge your child’s thinking. One way I love to do this is to set up a lattice box like what you saw in the video and only fill in certain parts. Without saying anything to your child I try to see what patterns they notice. Then I will see if they can complete the boxes. Generally coming up with the addition part and reading the outside of the box for the answer is hard for kids. If they have figured out the pattern and filled out the inside of the box I will often show another completed example to see if they can figure out what to do next. Another idea is to add a few of the columns but not all of them to see if they can figure it out that way.  It is fun to present Lattice as a challenge question. When choosing to present it as a challenge question your child needs to understand another method first.

I hope you will give Lattice Multiplication a try with your child. If you are finding this post after feeling like you can’t help your child with their homework because it is not how you learned; I hope that this post has helped you to feel empowered to support your child like you have been doing this method all along.  Comment below to let me know what questions you have or how this technique worked for you

Natural Hair Gel For Curly Kids

***This post contains affiliate links, however I always give you my honest opinion and will never recommend something I don’t believe in. When you purchase through an affiliate link please know that your helping support this blog since I may receive a commission on the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thanks for your support***

So I just love my little girls curls. She was born with a head full of hair and curls to go with it. Her curls are so beautiful when I spray here hair with water, then a few minutes later the fuzz kicks in. Her curls are so sensitive to touch that even sitting in her car seat results in the curls going away and the wild crazy hair coming out to play.

I have tried so many products to get her hair to keep its curls for longer than 3 minutes. The problem with so many hair products is that they are loaded with chemicals; chemicals that I would rather not expose my little one year old to just for vanity. So I went on a search for a natural product. While I found a few “natural products” (I use quotes because their idea of natural and my idea of natural are clearly two different things) the products never quite held her hair. The styling product would make her curls look nice for a few extra minutes but could not stand up to the busy frolicking life of a toddler. So on a few occasions I went against my better mom sense, mostly for pictures, and applied a hair gel that is not natural. While the gel worked, I just could not feel good about putting those chemicals on my little ones scalp.

I love my little girls curls but this is what her hair looks like after a little bit if I don’t put gel in it!

I knew there had to be a better way to help my one year old maintain her beautiful curls without exposing her to harsh chemicals that would be obsorbed into her body. That is when the idea came to me. I got the idea to make my own hair gel for her.

I realized I had a great 100% pure bottle of Aloe Vera already in my home. It dawned on me that Aloe Vera has a very similar texture to commercial hair gels. I started looking into it and it turns out that Aloe Vera is very beneficial to hair as well. Aloe Vera acts as a natural conditioner that helps your hair look shiny and smooth. It can help keep your hair in great condition through the many vitamins naturally contained in the plant. I encourage you to look up the benefits of the plant. Since I am not a scientist I won’t explain all of the science behind Aloe Vera and what it can do for you but I definelty encourage you to do a quick search on the subject, my search is making me want to start growing my own Aloe Vera plant.

After reading up on Aloe Vera I decided that I had nothing to lose by giving it a try on my daughter’s hair. I also wanted to add a little more to it to give it even more benefits for styling and nourishing her hair.

We are essential oil users in my house. I love all that essential oils can do to keep my family feeling well. Three oils that are particular beneficial to supporting hair wellness are cedarwood, lavender, and rosemary. Not only do these oils support hair wellness but they have so many other benefits to using them regularly.

Cedarwood

  • Cedarwood can be massaged into the scalp for the appearance of healthy looking hair
  • It’s aroma can create a comforting, calming and relaxing atmosphere
  • It can help you enjoy the outdoors annoyance-free

Lavender

  • Can be used to compliment hair products
  • Has a calming scent to help you unwind

Rosemary

  • Supports a healthy lifestyle regimen and overall wellness

The above list of the oil benefits are only some ways that the oils are useful to helping our bodies and minds feel well. I encourage you too look into the benefits of all of these oils more. If you are interested in getting started with oils, I would love to help you. You can read more about getting started with oils here.

What I love about the combination of Aloe Vera, Rosemary, Cedarwood and Lavender is the diversity of benefits that comes with using each one. While they are all great at helping create a gel that styles my little ones hair, they are also benefiting her overall wellness at the same time. Plus, I don’t know if you noticed two of the three oils create a calming and relaxing environment….yes please! I don’t think I know a mother of a toddler who wouldn’t like to create some calm and relaxation around them! Why not keep that scent with them in their hair product throughout the day.

Recipe for Aloe Vera Essential Gel

Making the gel is really simple. You only need a few ingredients:

I personally will only use Young Living Oils on my family. I explain more about that in this article. I would not feel comfortable using other oils on her head because a lot of oils that claim to be pure actually have other ingredients in them. These oils tend to not be as effective and I just don’t trust them to touch my one year old’s skin.

Directions

https://youtu.be/8Xfhc9xRy-Q
  1. I like to mix this up as I need it for my daughter. I will basically do a couple of pumps of Aloe Vera Gel (about 1 Tablespoon ) into a small container
  2. Then I will add a drop of lavender, a drop of cedarwood and a drop rosemary to the gel
  3. Next I stir it all up
  4. Finally apply it to your hair. I usually wet my daughters hair with a spray bottle and then I apply the gel. I like to rub it in between my hands and then run my hands gently through my daughters hair pulling out her curls to help them form.

Although I like to make this as I go along you could also make up a batch of it ahead of time and keep it in a squirt bottle or mason jar. Simply figure out about how many tablespoons of of gel it takes to fill your container. For example, if you want to create an 8 oz bottle of gel you would need about 16 tablespoons to fill it. However the essential oils will take up some room too so I would do about 14 tablespoons of Aloe Vera Gel, 14 drops of cedarwood, 14 drops of lavender and 14 drops of rosemary.

I hope you love this gel as much as I do and that it works for your little one. If you try it let me know how it went in the comments below. Pllease subscribe to the blog for more great ideas.

Oils for the Win: Getting Started with Young Living

***This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no cost to you, I may recieve a commission on any purchases made through links. Thanks for supporting the page so i can keep bringing you useful content***

My Story with Oils

We started using essential oils about a year ago. I was drawn to essential oils shortly after Eliana was born. She was constantly sick with a runny nose and she couldn’t seem to kick it (it turns out she needed her adenoids out….we discovered this after almost a year of a runny nose). While the essential oils didn’t help fix Eliana’s constant runny nose I did hit a gold mine when I took the plunge and bought my starter kit of oils.

I had read about oils a bit but still didn’t know a whole lot. I also tend to be a bit frugal so taking the plunge to buy quality oils didn’t seem essential to me, that is until I had a baby and started looking at the world and what was around us differently. The more I read (because I am a nerd and love research) the more interested I became in oils. What I didn’t realize when I first bought my kit is that the oils are only a part of a much bigger picture. Young Living really is a lifestyle. I learned so much from my team of other essential oil users, online classes and from reading in my spare time. Essential oils are now a regular routine in my house along with many other Young Living products.

I use essential oils for so many things. I use them to support our overall wellness, to help my toddler be less cranky when she is having a tough day, to support sleep and to relax. I also use them to clean my home and to replace toxins with natural alternatives. I use oils on my dog 🐕 Bella to help support her wellness as well. Oils can do so many amazing things in a more natural way. The ways oils can be used are practically endless.

Getting Started

To start my oily journey I purchased a starter kit with Young Living. The starter kit is $160 and is a great deal because if you were to purchase all of the products separately it would cost you over $300. The starter kit includes 11 oils that can be used in so many ways. The oils included in the kit are everyday oils and are a great selection to get you started. They are some of the most frequently used oils for various purposes. After purchasing the starter kit you get 24% off of any future purchases. It is a great investment if you are serious about using oils and focusing on wellness for your family!

What’s included in the kit?

  • 5 ml Copaiba
  • 5 ml Stress Away
  • 5 ml Lavendar
  • 5 ml Panaway
  • 5 ml Frankinsence
  • 5 ml Lemon
  • 5 ml Digize
  • 5 ml Raven
  • 5 ml Purification
  • 5 ml Thieves
  • 5 ml Citrus Fresh
  • Desert Mist Diffuser
  • Thieves Household Cleaner Sample
  • Ningxia Red Sample
  • And many other items…

Visit this page to learn more about the oils in the kit.

Essential Oils can be used three ways. They can be used aromatically (meaning you inhale them often through diffusing), they can be used topically and some can be used internally. Each oil with Young Living is labeled to let you know which of the three methods can be used for that particular line of oils.

Why Young Living Essential Oils?

I choose to use Young Living Essential Oils because of their Seed to Seal Promise. To be honest shorty after signing up for Young Living I began to question if it made sense for me to buy their product. I noticed their were so many other options online and many were less expensive. I actually ordered from another company that made similar claims about the quality of their oils, man was I disappointed. The results were not the same. I quickly learned my lesson and realized I wanted to stick with oils that I knew were 100% pure with nothing else added in. The essential oil market has limited regulations and oversight. This means that companies can put things like 100% pure essential oil on a label when the label only actually contains a small portion of essential oil in the bottle. I started my wellness journey with essential oils because I wanted more control of what goes in mine and my families bodies. By choosing to order with Young Living I know I am getting quality. I know this because of my results, the thousands of members’ results that post in our Facebook groups and because of their Seed to Seal Promise. I also know this because some people on my team have actually visited the farms and have seen the whole process.

Why you should sign up with me?

I would love to help you start your oily journey. One thing that has really helped me to learn about oils and feel empowered to use them is the community I became a part of after joining. By buying your starter kit using my link you will get many benefits:

  • An Oil App gifted to you from me with valuable information on how to use essential oils. The app will help you to navigate uses of single oils and blends. It also features safety information, application techniques and other useful information to guide you as you get started.
  • Access to our private Facebook group where you can learn from others about how they are using oils and get questions answered. I love the Facebook group because I learn so much about oils and how to use them from others on the site. It is a great place to get questions answered and to be a continuous learner about all things Young Living.
  • Online classes to support your journey to wellness
  • Free Intro to Oils Class make sure you click the box for this class when you sign up. The directions on how to do this are below.
  • My regular support as a resource for you. I will be their to help you along the way and answer any questions or guide you towards an answer if I don’t know. I love using oils and I want you to love using them as much as I do. My support will continue after your sign up because you will be apart of our oily family and I want you to experience the wellness that the Young Living lifestyle can offer.
  • $10 Young Living Store Credit– This can be used towards a future purchase….trust me your going to want more stuff once you try Young Living😃💕

Bonus: Sign up for essential rewards with an initial 200 PV order (you get 100 PV from your kit so you would be adding on about 100 PV more… most items have the same PV as their purchase price except the kit and a few select items) and receive free roller bottles from me to use for making oil roller recipes. You will also get free roller recipe cards emailed to you to get you started on using rollers and your new oils. Roller bottles are an easy way to incorporate oils into your daily routine.

***To receive oil rollers you must live within the United States. If you live outside of the United States you will be provided with an additional $15 account credit***

How do you sign up?

  1. It’s simple, just click here
  2. There is a great video on the link once you are there ( I suggest checking it out).
  3. Click “Order My Kit”
  4. Pick the kit you would like to get started with, their are actually 4 options; the one I talked about on this blog is one of the more common choices.
  5. Once you pick the kit you would like, a great informational page will pop up telling you more about the kit.
  6. Click “I’d like to order my kit”.
  7. On this page you will see a few options. First you will have the option to check a box to get a free Intro to Oils Class. I highly suggest checking this box so you can learn more about all of the goodness that is about to come your way. On the right of the screen you will see a great informational video going through all of the steps of how to sign up on Young Living’s Wesbite (this is a good watch if you need a little extra help).
  8. Click “I’m Ready to Order My Kit”
  9. Make sure that my number 13478152 is filled in on the page so that I can support you along the way and give you the freebies listed above. This is an important step so that you become a part of our community.
It should look like this.

10. Follow the steps to complete your enrollment and feel to reach out to me if you have any questions elliesteachermom@gmail.com.

11. Email me at elliesteachermom@gmail.com when you complete your order to let me know you have joined through the website. This step is important so that I can send you your freebies 🙂

***Please note you must email me after placing your order in order to receive the free items. You must also put in my number 13478152 in order to be eligible for the free items****