Tuesday, February 21, 2017

7 Ideas for Teaching Kids Responsibility

Every mom who has ever stepped on a Lego asks themselves what more could they be doing to get their kids to pick up after themselves. I wish there was a magic pill that made kids want to clean up, but so far the best thing I have learned is consistency with these 7 principles.

1. Age Appropriate Chores - One of the best ways to teach kids responsibility is to give them responsibility. Make sure the chores are appropriate for their age. Some ideas for toddlers include picking up toys, dusting, clearing their own dinner plate and more. In the beginning it might be frustrating to teach your child these things but eventually they will pick it up.

2. Be an example - Your kids are going to grow up to be more like you than you think. Make sure you are showing them good habits.

3. Extra Chores for Money- Allowing your child the chance to complete extra chores for some money will help teach them to work for what they want. There should be some chores that are expected of them before they can do extras for money, this will help them learn to help as part of a family and then work extra hard for the extra things. If you don't like the idea of your child earning money for their chores you can have them earn something else like screen time. You can download our system for screen time minutes here.

4. Praise their good work - When you children help you make sure to praise them and let them know how happy you are that they are helping you.

5. Have Consequences For Lack of Responsibility - When your kids don't do their chores there needs to be appropriate consequences. In our house this usually means no screen time until the chores are done. Part of expecting your kids to be responsible is letting the deal with the consequences when they aren't.

6. Talk About The Importance Of Responsibility - Don't just have the responsibility talk once. Work it into your daily conversations. Let them know that there aren't any bowls for cereal because the dishes didn't get done. Talk about how important it is for parents to fulfill their responsibilities. Making this a small part of life will make it feel less like a lecture.

7. Build in a organizational system - Set your kids up to succeed with how their responsibilities are organized. Here are some of my favorite organizational systems to help little ones.

 A lunch cart- This cart has taken my daughter from stressing about making her own lunch to packing it like a pro in just a couple of minutes. It lets her know exactly what is expected of her and takes all of the guess work out of making her lunch. To find more about how we use our lunch cart and download the printable head over here.

 A Command Center - Our command center is just as much for me as it is for our kids. We have a large calendar so everyone in the family knows what is planned for the week. It is also where my daughter's chore chart lives so she can cross off her chores as she does them. My daughter cleans out her backpack after school every day and hangs up papers I need to see on the magnet board. This command center has made it so papers don't get lost in the clutter. Find more about our command center here.

Portable Homework Station - Our portable homework station lets our kids have everything they need to get their homework done right at their finger tips. No excuses on their homework because they have everything they need. Find more about our Portable Homework Station here.

My First Cubby from Little Partners - If you want your child to hang up their coats, put away their shoes and their backpacks you need a place to put them. When my daughter first started school I was always frustrated to find that her jacket and backpack would end up dumped in the bottom of the coat closet. I soon realized that she wasn't trying to frustrate me, she couldn't reach the coat hook. I started looking for a better solution. I found these cubbies by Little Partners and I am absolutely in love. There are two separate cubbies and each cubby has a place to hang things up and two separate shelves. My kids hang their coats on the hooks, then shoes go on the bottom shelf and mittens and hats go on the top one. The system is so easy that even my two-year-old can put her own stuff away. I had always assumed my toddler was two young to know how to put her own jacket away, apparently I just didn't have the right system in place.

My First Cubby is the perfect size. It doesn't take up too much space in our entryway, but it has space my kids need for their things. There is a small ledge for the kids to sit on when they are putting on their shoes. It has an anti-tipping strap so I am not worried about it tipping over when my toddler is climbing on it to get her things. I wanted these cubbies to help teach my 8-year-old more responsibility when it came to putting away her things but I have absolutely loved that it has taught the 2-year-old the same things.

When it comes to responsibility it is never too young to start teaching. Your toddler can put toys in a basket or even hang up their own jacket!

How do you teach your kids responsibility?
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Mixing Patterns for Beginners

I used to be so hesitant to mix prints. What if I look ridiculous? Every outfit I put together looked like the one be;pw. Cute, but a little monochromatic. Then finally I decided, I would rather be happy, comfortable in my clothes and feel good about myself. So I have tried to jump out of my comfort zone and add mix patterns in my clothing. Here are some great tips for beginners. 

 Use a fun accessory to mix a pattern. This is a more subtle way to mix up patterns and a great way to start out if you aren't sure about adding patterns together. I like pairing a small pattern with a large pattern that way the outfit doesn't seem too overwhelming and there is still a focal point in the outfit. For florals like the skirt I am wearing, polka dots and stripes are easy and natural pairings.

One of my favorite ways to mix patterns is to add a graphic shirt to a patterned skirt. It is comfortable and a fun way to add a little bit of geek or sass to an outfit. I do this one a lot, it lets me wear Storm Trooper and Harry Potter shirts to church with a fun floral skirt. It dresses up the skirt and I almost look like a grown up. ;) 

A really easy way to start adding new prints is to add a monochromatic piece that matches the colors in your other patterned piece. Match colors, not prints. When it comes to patterns, animal print is considered a neutral so get a little wild crazy with it!

What is your favorite way to mix patterns?

These gorgeous Floral Skirts are on sale for just $19.95 right now! Head over here to grab one with code FLORALSTORY. 
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Counting Cookies Quiet Book Page

I can't even tell you how many hours I have spent sewing quiet book pages. Lots of little tiny pieces of felt and frustration later, I decided there had to be a better way. Enter the Printable Quiet Book, I went through and designed all of the things I wanted in a quiet book in an easy printable form. Simple print all the pages, do a little cutting and some laminating and voila! A quiet book! 

This is the perfect quiet book for someone looking to save time and money. It is also perfect for someone who doesn't consider themselves crafty. I have already released 10 pages (links to all of them at the end of the post) and there are more to come. Today, I am sharing this fun counting/matching page. It is a great option for teaching kids to recognize numbers in different ways. 

You will need:
  • The Printables at the end of this post
  • scissors
  • magnetic tape or velcro 
  • a Laminator and Laminating sheets (I love my Scotch Laminator)
Print the pages in color and laminate the background page. Cut out each of the cookies and then laminate them as well. After they are laminated, cut them out again.  There are several ways you can make the cookies stick to the background. You can add small squares of felt to the back of each card and a piece on each square on the background. You can also use velcro squares instead of felt. I prefer to use magnet tape on each of the cards and the background.

Add this page to your quiet book, with the pieces.  You can glue a sandwich bag to the back of one of the pages to hold the pieces or you can add a small zipper pouch at this point in the book. I prefer the zipper binder pouches. 

Check out the other pages of the quiet book here:

 Mouse Threading Page 
Alien Space Page
Ocean Animals Page
Paper Dolls

Printables in this post are for personal use and available to subscribers of Housewife Eclectic only. To use this printable, please SUBSCRIBE NOW.

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Counting Cookies Quiet Book Page

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Last-Minute, No-Yeast Breadsticks

One of the worst feelings is feeling like you should have bread as a side for your meal and realizing you a) don't have time to prepare the bread, or b) no yeast. It happens to me all the time. Thankfully there's a quick solution: Last-Minute, No-Yeast Breadsticks.

This is not a new concept, but one of those recipes you just need to have in your cooking arsenal.

1 1/4 cup flour (for healthier alternative, do 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup wheat flour)
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
3 Tbsp butter, melted
garlic salt
Italian seasoning


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Slowly add milk and use your hands to mix in the milk to create a dough.
  2. Knead the dough a few times on a floured counter top (be sure it's clean!)
  3. Use a rolling pin to stretch the dough into a rectangle about 5" x 9". Slice into breadsticks. This recipe makes about 10-12 depending on breadstick width.
  4. Add half the melted butter to the bottom of the 9x13 glass baking dish. Roll the breadsticks in the butter.
  5. Use a pastry brush to add more butter on top (be sure to reserve some butter for when the breadsticks are finished).
  6. Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes, or until the breadsticks are done.
  7. Immediately coat the breadsticks with the remaining butter. Sprinkle on garlic salt and Italian seasonings.

These breadsticks are a good side to Italian dishes. While not as full-bodied as breadsticks with yeast, they're still satisfying, particularly if you're a bread junkie like my family.

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