This past year has truly been full of blessings for my family and me. I have enjoyed watching my boys grow and giggle together, and it has been fun documenting many of our activities to help provide inspiration for you as we all continue the journey of making (and capturing) memories.
Here are my top posts from 2014. Well, top parenting posts. I had to strike out a few really popular posts, like my one on photos on train tracks being unsafe, and how I reclaimed my sanity by minimizing my Facebook friends list. But I wanted to cut to the chase, and share some posts that were more personal, more meaningful, and perhaps more helpful for you as you pursue the ever challenging task of parenting your children. So here’s my count down:
I compiled this list of activities and games for our road trip through five states. Surprisingly, the drive went very smoothly, and both my toddler and my baby had few meltdowns. They travel like champs! And I have some of these activities to thank for that. So if a road trip is in your near (or not so near) future, make sure to check out these 50+ road trip games and activities to help you keep your sanity (somewhat) intact.
Part of any parents’ life is documenting memories …taking snapshots, videos, and the like. This post provides some tips for you as you document milestones and memories. Plus, I share some of my older son’s snapshot memories to give you ideas for what to photograph. If you have a camera and aren’t sure what to take pictures of, this post is for you.
It’s hard to raise a creative kid amidst technology. But it is possible. On this post, I shared my suggestions of arts and crafts oriented gifts for kids. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll find a list of 50 items to include in a DIY arts and crafts bin! We gave an art bin to Toby, my toddler, one year for Christmas, and he still loves it to this day. The bin can be easily replenished as items are used up, and it encourages open-ended play.
I’m all for including kids in household upkeep. While it can be challenging for us as parents to find ways for children to help without being a hindrance, they gain many important life skills by being included in these tasks. My toddler’s favorite chore? Cleaning the toilets. Or changing the cat litter. It’s interesting which tasks kids gravitate toward as “fun” when they’re young!
I shared this post around the holidays, but it has been very popular — while photos of kids entwined in Christmas lights may look adorable, there are some health reasons to avoid this photo trend. Namely, lead exposure. Oh, and then there’s the whole electricity thing, but that’s more of a given, right?
As my toddler’s first year of preschool began, the many fliers about school picture day reminded me how stressful this even can be for some parents, or kids who are new to the school portrait experience. So I shared this post about getting ready for school picture day, complete with 8 tips that will help you and your child be ready when the big day comes.
We welcomed baby Zack into the family this year, and went through the standard big sibling adjustment period. This post shares three busy bags that I made for Toby to help him cope while mom and dad were at the hospital. The busy bags were wrapped in cheerful paper, and put into a green gift bag for easy transportation from one grandparents’ house to the other. Two of the activities included pictures of our family, which I was told helped Toby immensely while we were away.
We spend many of our summer days in the great outdoors, so when I came up with the idea for an outdoor photo scavenger hunt, Toby was elated. This post discusses how to plan an outdoor scavenger hunt, and ways to make the activity work for younger and older kids.
What do new parents really need? Sometimes the answer is simpler than you think. In this post I suggest five ways you can help new parents acclimate to having a little one. Hint, bringing them meals is a big one!
And my number one post, by far, has been this post on easy activities to do with your toddler while caring for your newborn. Sometimes it can be tough to come up with ways to entertain your older child, especially if you’ve had a sleepless night. Most of these activities require little advance setup, and I will attest to their effectiveness, since we used many of these as jumping points for activities of our own!
So, there you have it. The top ten parenting thoughts I shared in 2014. If you want to check out some other “2014 Top Parenting Posts” …check out this Popular Parenting Tips round up by Kelly at The Reformed Idealist Mom.