10 Kid-Friendly Ideas for Your Tiny Backyard

10 Kid-Friendly Ideas for Your Tiny Backyard

As the weather warms up, all I want to do is send my toddler outside to play! One of the challenges of having a 300 square foot patio as a backyard has been finding activities that will keep my son entertained (and that will fit!) in our small area.

Since we don’t have space for conventional backyard ideas like playhouses and swing sets, we have had to get creative in finding activities that my son will love this summer. Here are 10 things that my son does every day in our tiny backyard space:

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4 Books to Bring You Peace as a Christian Mother

4 Books to Bring You Peace as a Christian Mother

If you are anything like me, you understand the struggle of finding time to read as a busy mama. Between watching the tiny humans, keeping the house from falling apart, and making sure dinner makes it on the table each night, reading for pleasure can tend to fall pretty low on the priority list.

But finding that perfect book can sometimes be the difference between living in survival mode and really thriving in our roles as Christian mothers, am I right?

Since carving out time for reading doesn’t always happen with such a busy schedule, I make it a point that the books I do read refresh my soul and bring me energy for motherhood. Here are 4 books that will help you organize your priorities, take you back to a simpler way of living and most importantly, bring you peace.

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How to Support Your Husband as a New Dad

How to Support Your Husband as a New Dad

The transition into life as a new parent is huge- especially for new fathers. Think about it…a new mother spends 9 months bonding with the child in her womb. This time helps mothers to prepare and to ease them into this new role and responsibility. Dads don’t have the same experience. New dads start their role as a father cold-turkey, the day the baby is born. Scary, isn’t it?!

So how can we support our husbands in their new role as fathers? Here are 5 practical ways to build up confidence in our men and help ease the transition into a new life with baby.

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5 Reasons Why Bribes Don’t Work for Kids

5 Reasons Why Bribes Don’t Work for Kids

We’ve all done it at one point or another…bribing our kids to gain their cooperation. “If you finish your dinner, you can have a cookie.” “Be a good boy at Grandmas house and then we can go to the park.” “If you do your homework, then you can have some TV time.”

It is so easy to fall into the trap of bribing our kids, because it seems like the quickest way to gain their compliance. Parents say “it works” because it gets kids to do what we ask, but bribes can have long-term negative effects on our children’s motivation and behavior. Here are 5 reasons to stop bribing your kids and what to do instead:

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12 Tips for Babies and Toddlers who Scream in the Car

12 Tips for Babies and Toddlers who Scream in the Car

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer here.

I think most moms would agree, there is nothing more stressful than driving in the car with a hysterical child.

Ever since my now 2.5 year old was an infant he has absolutely hated his carseat. Within moments of pulling out the driveway the screaming and thrashing would start, and as a mom I felt powerless in knowing that I couldn’t soothe him. The louder his screaming, the more stressed out I became, and it led to a vicious and miserable cycle for both of us. There were times that my son screamed so hard that he would cough, gag, or stop breathing for a few seconds. It was absolutely terrifying.

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Top 5 Wooden Learning Toys for Toddlers

Top 5 Wooden Learning Toys for Toddlers

As a preschool teacher and mom of a busy toddler, I have spent more hours than I’d like to admit trying to figure out the most useful, sturdy, bang-for-your-buck learning toys. With so many toys on the market, I look for ones that will grow with my child and help him build up his attention span and problem-solving skills. Basic concepts like colors, shapes, letters and numbers are all things that can be learned through play when your child is provided with the right learning materials.

In terms of quality and durability, I have found that wooden toys stand up to the test of time far better than plastic toys. Wooden toys simply last longer and (contrary to popular belief) they don’t have to be more expensive! Here are my top 5 favorite learning toys for toddlers under $25:

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3 Easy Ways to Teach Your Child to Play by Themselves

3 Easy Ways to Teach Your Child to Play by Themselves

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer here.

Which of the following describes your child:

A. My child constantly needs my attention, he is unable to entertain himself.
B. My child moves quickly from one activity or toy to the next, not able to focus or maintain her attention for more than a couple minutes at a time.
C. My child doesn’t know how to play with his toys – the toys end up all over the place and he isn’t engaging in sustained imaginative play.
D. All of the above!

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One Strategy to Make You a More Patient Mom

One Strategy to Make You a More Patient Mom

I’m here to tell you about one extremely simple strategy that you can start using immediately to help make you a more patient mom.

Have you ever noticed that some days you seem to be able to handle anything your little ones throw your way, while other days a single glance can set you off? There are, of course, many factors as to what makes a mom lose her patience – fatigue, sleep deprivation, being overworked, not having enough support (just to name a few).

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Why Children Need to Take Risks in Play

Why Children Need to Take Risks in Play

Are you the laid-back parent at the park that watches your child from afar, or are you the parent that hovers close-by to make sure your child doesn’t take a spill off the play structure?

I’ll admit, I’m the latter.

When it comes to giving my child opportunities to take risks and seek adventure, I err on the side of caution. It takes a major effort for me to stand back and let my son push the boundary on his physical limits.

But early childhood research suggests that taking and managing these risks in play is an incredibly important part of a child’s development, so I’m working on keeping my anxiety in check and letting my son discover his strengths and abilities. 

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