The Calm Down Jar
I went to a store called Garden Ridge in my area to pick up a cheap jar. I then headed over to Archivers for tube of glitter and some glitter glue.
I got the recipe from this page.
The issue I had was not enough glitter glue. I read that I only needed 1 tablespoon and didn't notice that it said for 1 cup of hot water. This jar holds quite a bit more than that. I can't fix it because I caulked the lid shut. So although I still love it, I will not be using it as an alternative to time outs in my home because I think the glitter settles in about two minutes. When my kids a little older though, I think I will make a new one. When they are old enough to be at least a little introspective.
Science + Reward Chart = Awesome
While at Garden Ridge I picked up a carafe with a lid and while at Archivers I picked up chalk board stickers. I got the marbles at Toys R Us, you wouldn't believe how hard it was to find marbles. This little activity is to encourage team work in my home. My daughter, as I said, is 3 1/2 my son is 18 months. This helps them stay on track and working together when I'm just trying to get something done. They earn marbles for completing tasks for instance. "As soon as you both are wearing your shoes and coats, you can drop a marble in to the jar" So not only will my daughter get her shoes on, but she'll help my son with his coat, eureka! Every time a marble is dropped in, the water level rises a little (this is the sciency part, water displacement) As the level of the water rises it reaches a reward, such as "Extra bed time story". These are rewards they can enjoy together, like "family game" and "bake cookies with momma". Because it's chalk board, I can erase the rewards and keep them interesting.
Preschooler Task Organizer
My daughter has a hard time staying on task when it comes to cleaning her room, and really who wouldn't with all those cool toys to play with? I made this board for her and so far, she loves it.
The board has two sections; "Out of Place" and "In it's Place" I sectioned off a magnetic board with some decorative tape, and used some stickers to spell out the words. I picked up some credit card sized canvases at Joanne Fabrics and some magnets to glue on to the back of them.
Each canvas represents a category of toys she has.
My daughter can't read yet, so I made sure to use pictures with the words to help her remember which magnet is which. It took her all of 5 minutes to get it. When I come in and ask her to clean her room, I move the appropriate magnets of to the "Out of Place" section. When she cleans something up, she gets to move the magnet over. For example, if her dress up clothes and dolls are on the floor. I move the dress up and the dolls magnet over to the left side of the board. When she puts away her dress up stuff, she gets to move the magnet back. When the left side of the board is free of magnets, it reads "all done"
Once the novelty of of the magnet board wears off, I'll let you know how this one works out. Now I have to frost my St. Patrick's Day cupcakes for my post tonight.