1,000 Books Before Kindergarten 

For those of you lovelies out there that listen to the podcast, you will remember I shared with you all this very cool program at our public library. For those of you that don’t listen to HomeBase Podcast………..seriously I’m concerned, it’s a thing and you don’t want to be that one person missing out do you?! So go skip on over to iTunes and rectify the situation now! JUST DO IT!!! iTunes Link to AWESOMENESS! 

Alright on to this cool program! 

So it’s called 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and essentially that’s what it is. You get this note book that is numbered 1 – 1,000 and every time you read a book to your child or your child reads a book you log it in the book by writing Title, Author, and Date.  Simple right? Exactly! 

What is really cool is when you reach certain milestones like 100 200 500 and so on, you take your log book to the library and they give you a prize! Also it is important to write down any book even if you have read it together loads of times! It doesn’t have to be 1,000 different books (although that would be a cool goal maybe for myself).   So let me guess, you’re sitting there thinking “I wonder if my library does something like this?” Well here are two suggestions: one being if they don’t then tell them about it! Maybe they just need a visionary like yourself to come in with fresh new ideas (you don’t have tell them that you got the idea from me 😉). Secondly you could just do it yourself! Go buy your kids their own super cool notebook to log what they (and you, don’t forget to read to your kids) read. Then reward them once they get to a milestone. 

I think these notebooks will be a great keepsake someday. I know I wish I had one from when I was little. Hope you all love the idea! Be sure to share it via Twitter or Pinterest with all your friends! #readtoyourkids 💕

You Baby Me Mummy

10 Tips and Tricks to Promote Reading

Hey there Everyone!

On this weeks HomeBase Podcast episode I shared with you all some fantastic ways to get your kiddos interested in reading. Most of you are probably thinking “Thank Goodness!!” because in this day an age it is a struggle to get kids to put down their phones and pick up a book. However, some of you (the lucky few) may have some very studious bookworms already living with you and you feel like this doesn’t apply to you. First I’m going to say don’t get cocky! As a teacher I have seen many a great readers fall off the band wagon to never return to the wonderful world of books. Secondly you probably know someone who could use this info so you should consider passing it on. Either way this is some great information so you should bookmark it for later, use it now, and share it with your friends!

Along with these very great thoroughly researched tested tips, I have included some quotes on reading and books to get you inspired to start reading yourself! So let’s get to it!

How to Raise a Reader:

1. Go to the Library – There is so much to do at the library these days you are going to want to make sure to check out their calendar of events. Ask if you can get involved either with an upcoming event, book club, or choose to volunteer your time shelving books. Volunteering at the library is a great way to get to know the library, find new books, and get your older kids involved. Make going to the library a routine so it’s something your kids can expect and rely on. Don’t forget that the library is more than just books, most have DVDs, CDs, and Books on CD. Lastly, be sure to let your kids check out multiple books. This way if they start a book and just can’t seem to get into it they can move on to something else (this also saves you from reading the same book over and over if you have children that are at the picture book level).

2. Be an Example – If our children don’t see us read they won’t give it any value themselves. Setting a good example is the easiest and biggest way to make an impact on our kids. Pick up a book and read!

3. Let Them Read What They Want – This is within reason of course, but if you let your kids choose what they want to read they are more apt to read in the future. Even if it’s a magazine, comic book, or graphic novel let them start there.

4. Read as a Family – There have been a lot of studies done around reading out loud to your kids and the studies show that it’s a really good thing! Not only does it impact test scores, reading comprehension, fluency, and over all smarts, but it’s also a great way to bond and strengthen your family core. Consider picking out a book at the library and get everyone a copy so when one person reads out loud the others can follow along (this really helps build vocabulary since your kids will be hearing the words and seeing them as well). Or you could have a family book club, meet up once a week and discuss the chapters you all read that week (you can find a lot of discussion questions online especially for young adult books).

5. Get Hooked on a Series – It’s a tad sneaky but if you get your kiddos hooked on a book series then they will have to keep going to get to the conclusion. Another great thing is to get them hooked on an Author. Make sure when your kids are reading that you are pointing out who the Author and Illustrator are, it may even be good to make a note of this somewhere so you know who they like to read.

6. Make Reading a Routine – Wether it’s a book before bed, during dinner, or first thing when you wake up, find time for a book, a chapter, some reading every day the same time every day. It also helps if you keep books everywhere in your house and car, if you see it you do it!

7. Let Them Read Below Their Reading Level – This is especially good tip for those young readers that are still working on building their reading confidence. Reading below their reading level can help them improve their fluency and it makes reading a pleasure not a challenge. Also let your child reread books. This takes the pressure off of focusing on reading the words and allows them to absorb the story.

8. Read Picture Books – Picture books span all ages and actually contain more rare words and subtle humor that younger kids don’t pick up on but your school age child might. Picture books are a great family book to read together snuggled on the couch.

9. Not Just Homework – Don’t allow your kids to only read the required reading at school. If your kids are only associating reading with school work they are naturally over time going to start to dislike it. Most kids grow to dislike school work, especially once they hit middle school and high school, it’s human nature. So be sure your child doesn’t feel that way about reading. Encourage them to have something that is just for enjoyment, even if its only a magazine, a comic book, or graphic novel. Reading is reading in any shape or form.

10. Listen to Audio Books – Kids can listen to audio books that are above their reading level because their listening comprehension is higher than their reading comprehension. This introduces them to rich stories told with expression and this boosts their fluency and comprehension. Don’t forget you can pair the print book with the audio book so your child can follow along and build on their vocabulary. Audio Books are another great way for families to bond on road trips.

Go Read! 

You Baby Me Mummy
Baby Brain Memoirs
Kids Love To Read | Daysinbed.com
The Twinkle Diaries

How to Raise a Reader


On this weeks episode of HomeBase Podcast, I share with you all tips and tricks on how to get your kids into reading and loving it for years to come! Reading is the foundation for everything; the power of a good reader is limitless. However, what if your child just doesn’t love the world of books? With these tips you will be able to change that and turn your kiddos into proper book worms! Subscribe and take a listen!

Little Free Library Link

My Random Musings
Cuddle Fairy

Indoor Gross Motor Play

So this weeks HomeBase Podcast episode was about the Montessori method of learning, and to go with that I wrote a post listing my 10 favorite Montessori activities. This morning I had A wonderful reader named Julie leave me a comment asking if I had any recommendations for indoor gross motor activities. When I looked back on my post of my 10 favorite activities I realized there was a very big lack of gross motor activities! How could such a fact not occur to me before! 

So I had to rectify this immediately, thus sending me on my quest this morning of some of the greatest “Indoor Gross Motor Activities” known to man! Some of these activities pictures are outside but they are easily adaptable to indoors. Here it is! My list of Awesome Indoor Gross Motor Activities—Julie this ones for you! 😊 

Indoor Gross Motor Activities


1. R is for Racetrack- I loved this moms idea of making a racetrack in her home using uppercase and lowercase letter R. You could do any letter for that matter. Simply yell out uppercase or lowercase and watch them go! Change it up on them in the middle to see if they can adapt. 

2. Pom Pom Color Matching- so simple, set out pieces of colored paper and tell your kiddos they have to blow the Poms to the right colored sheet of paper, then grab your camera to document the silliness! 

3. Indoor Leaf Raking- ummm this is adorable! 

4. Balloon Ping Pong- this is great for your restless boys that want to get up and move! 

5. Pom Pom Egg Race- amp up the difficulty by making them walk on a curvy line!

6. Indoor Puddle Jumping- Adorable! Cut out puddles and raindrops and have fun! I love that this mom had them put on their raincoats and boots!

7. Straw Javelin Throw- instructions for this are Here. I remember playing this when I was in school!

8. Paper Plate Skating- it doesn’t get any easier than this!

9. Sticky Spider Web Toss- this is one of my favorites! I have done it with students countless times! It’s great for all ages. I’ve done it with toddlers and they loved it! The older kids like 6 and 7 made a game out of it. They would throw ping pong balls (each person having their own color) and would see who could get the most to stick. But watch out cause someone might nock yours off! It’s amazing how a little masking tape can create such fun!

10. Tic-Tac-Toe- pretty straight forward and simple.

11. Twister- don’t forget about this traditional gross motor game!

12. Yoga- kids love yoga and you don’t have to be a Yogi yourself to teach your kids. Here are some simple animal poses to get you started! 

13. We’re Going On a Bear Hunt- I can’t wait to do this one it’s so cute! The instructions are Here.

14. Ice Cream Cone Letter Recognition- this is a super inventive idea one mom came up with. You can check it out Here.

15. ABC Leaf Hunt- I love that you could theme this to anything (letters, numbers, shapes, colors) or instead of leaves (cars, balloons, flowers, any shape really) and then just hide them all over your house. Hide them while your little one is asleep and then they wake up to a fun scavenger hunt!

16. Musical Alphabet Game- write each letter in an index card and make a circle. Have your kiddos dance around the circle. When the music stops they have to tell you what letter they stopped by, what sound it makes, and (if they can) a word that starts with that letter. Fun!

17. Number Hop- this is super easy if you have tiles in your kitchen. Just call out a number and they have to hop to it. Or let them count by fives it tens and hop to the numbers! 

18. Charades- this is my favorite gross motor game that’s guaranteed to make everyone laugh. And just for the fun of the season I got you a Halloween printable Charades sheet that you can get Here. 
That’s it! I know it’s a weird number. You’re probably thinking why not 20. Well I don’t have a good answer for that. These were my favorites and so 18 is the number of the day! 😊 If you feel the need to get it to 20 then feel free to add to the list in the comments! And never hesitate to ask me more questions in the comments too! You never know I may just make an entire post about it! Enjoy and Happy Friday!!

Domesticated Momster
You Baby Me Mummy

10 Amazing Montessori Activities 

On this weeks HomeBase Podcast episode I shared with you lovely listeners all about the Montessori method of learning. So if you want to hear about it be sure to back up a post and take a listen!

Today I wanted to share my Top 10 Favorite Montessori Activities! You may be asking what defines a Montessori activity, here is a great chart that lists some examples.

One thing that I forgot to mention in the podcast is: the power of “Staging the Space.” So what does that mean, it means the space that your child is going to play (or explore) in you want to stage it (or set it up.) Distribute activites around the room in a way that looks inviting and fun without it being right smack in your childs face. Make things safe for them to explore on their own and at their own leasure. Another important thing about staging is you want to swap out the activites regularly so they are always new and interesting. I find it helps to have a closet of a bunch of activite in basket ready on the fly. This really helps children feel like they are the ones in control of what they are learning (of course you and I know that isn’t really true), and as an added bonus you will discover that your children are very content to play by themselves thus buying you some peace and quiet!  So now that we know what categories we are looking at, here are my 10 Favorite Activies that fall into these categories!
10 Great Montessori Activities 

1. Animal Matching– I love that this teaches children to look at things like colors, stripes, big, and tall.

2. Sweeping Up Pom Poms– the hand eye coordination this teaches is crazy! Plus think of how handy these new skills will be around the house 😉

3. Hungry Catapillar Punch and Lacing– this is a great workout for those fine motor skills.

4.Letter Matching– more fine motor skills at work along with some excellent visual letter matching skills.

5. Circle Matching– need I say more!

6. Felt Button Chain– great manipulative, more fine motor skills at work here!

7. Cutting Station– if you can’t tell by now I am really into fine motor skills!

8. Leaf Recognition– This is a great way to get your little one psyched up for Fall. It is a wonderful way to teach observation skills.

9. Squiggle Rocks– like dominoes but with a little bit more of an open ended feel. Very creative!

10. Baby Washing Station– realistic pretend play is always a great way for kids to process and work through problem solving.

Hopefully there is something here that inspires you! If you have more great Montessori activities, feel free to share them in the comments!

My Random Musings


You Baby Me Mummy

The Montessori Method


This weeks episode I talk all about the Montessori Method of learning / teaching. I break it down for you all, tell you some history of where it came from, how it works, how it is different than a public school experience, what the benefits are, and even what my own concerns were when I experienced it for myself. Take a listen! This is an episode that all the parents in the crowd need to hear!

Cuddle Fairy
Stopping at two

Baby Smelling Jars

Happy Tuesday All! 

So my son is getting to that age of constantly being on the move and only finding things entertaining for about five minutes (aka the age of mommy is always exhausted!) 

My answer to this has been to try to and make some special activities that I can keep up on a shelf and pull down at a moments notice. Thus a trip to the craft store was in order! If you want to see what I got and why, you can watch this Short Video. These are some super easy shapes made out of foam squares. My little teether loves them! What’s really fun is you can take them into the bathtub and they stick to the walls when they get wet!  

 The project I had the most fun making were these fun smelling jars! You can watch the quick video on how to make them Here. Basically they are cleaned baby food jars with holes punched in the lids. Then you fill them with your choice of smelly things. Here are some suggestions:

  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Citrus Peels
  • Flaked Coconut
  • Cocoa Nibs
  • Mini Marshmallows 
  • Lavender
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Coffee
  • Peppermint Candies

Feel free to just tighten the kids on (don’t hot glue them) that way you can change what is inside your smelling jars for even more hours of fun! To help the smells last longer you can put syran wrap between the jar and kid between uses.
 As you can see they have been a success in buying me a few minutes of peace throughout the day. What is important to note though, is if you leave them out all the time they will lose their wow factor! So only bring them out occasionally as a special treat. Who knew something so small could be so entertaining!  Enjoy!

The Twinkle Diaries
Mums' Days