Mommy Hack: Car Wash

Trying to do chores can be difficult with a toddler! Sometimes it’s easier to take the send-them-to-the-grandparents route. However, I want my little guy to learn how to help with chores so that he can eventually do them on his own when he gets bigger! I’ve found that I’m most successful getting things done around the house if I let him have a hand in helping.

Last weekend, my little “super boy” (this is his new thing that he likes to call himself) and I tackled washing my car together. We got all of the necessary items together, pulled my car into the backyard, and got to work. The first issue I found was the fact that he, like any kid would, just wanted to play in the soap bucket and spray mommy with the water hose. After getting frustrated and asking him to play with his Tonka dump truck away from the water, it became clear that I needed a different strategy.  Instead of telling him to “go play,” I started showing him how dirty his dump truck was–just like mommy’s car! I gave him a soapy rag and took his hand to show him how to wash off the dirt, then spray it off with the water hose. Believe it or not, I think worked! I let him spray off the side of my car when I finished cleaning it and he loved helping!

Here’s a suggestion for mommies: don’t put on makeup beforehand and wear old clothes or ones that you don’t mind getting wet if you’re planning to do anything water hose related with your kiddo. If you minimize the things that will cause you to get frustrated during these types of chores, you will have more fun with your little one!

If you have any other hacks like this one or any stories similar, please leave them in the comments! I would love to hear them.

😉 Joni

Fall Crafts: Painting Pumpkins

There are so many different ideas out there for Fall crafts with kiddos. If you have a toddler with the attention span of a jelly bean like my little guy has, you may hear the word “paint” and immediately cringe. I wanted to include my son in some of my fall decorations and had seen so many posts where parents were letting their babies younger than mine paint pumpkins for fall/Halloween! Here is my pumpkin painting experience with my little Aaron and a few things to remember if you plan on trying this!

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First of all, get your supplies together.

  1. Paint: I used Sargent Art Art-Time tempera paint. I pulled 4 colors for our pumpkin, but of course you can make it as plain or vibrant as you want.
  2. Brushes: It would be easy to use ANY kind of brush for this project, but I honestly thought that my son would be more interested in using his hands than a paint brush. I used regular craft sponge brushes that are only about 1″ wide, because that’s what I already had at the house. Periodically I buy these exact same brushes with the intent of painting SOMETHING, but that doesn’t always happen. They are fairly cheap and my favorite part: you can throw them away and not feel bad about losing money on a foam brush!
  3. Something to keep your paint on. I used a paper plate, but you can use cups or bowls. Since I know that I will be the one cleaning up the mess, I suggest using as many disposable items as possible. I also used a 30 gallon clear trash bag to keep the pumpkin on. Some of you may not mind if your grass is painted, but I want to teach him to do things as clean as possible for my sake!
  4. Old clothes! In some of the pictures, you may notice what my son is wearing–stylish, right? He’ll get all the ladies! These are actually clothes that he is starting to out-grow, so I used them since they will be boxed up soon anyways. Since we are in Texas where the weather is never what you think it will be, short sleeves, bare feet, and sweat pants are totally acceptable.
  5. Last, don’t forget the pumpkin! Since it is that time of year, pumpkins can be purchased at any grocery store. I chose the smaller kind (I’m sure there’s an official name for it, but to me they are just big pumpkins and little pumpkins) since this is the first time I’ve unleashed the tiny whirlwind with paint.

img_6616img_6611(Yes, I’m afraid my son will be left-handed like his “Honey” Sandra.)
So something to keep in mind, this craft is really meant for the kiddos. He learned how to scoop colors on his own, put them on the pumpkin, and did his craft pretty much on his own. Somehow, he ended up with hardly any paint on his clothes or hands. He did drip a little on his foot, immediately said “Mommy! Nasty-Yuck!” then proceeded to wipe it off with a paper towel without me having to tell him. I’m pretty sure THAT was a fluke–I won’t expect all of our painting crafts to be that clean. If babies use their hands to paint though, think of it as a learning experience. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself nuts and no one will have any fun.

Something I would have done different, I would probably use acrylic paint instead of tempera if I were to do this project again. The tempera paint rubs off very easily if it’s bumped on something. If any of you have tried this yourself and have any stories, tips or pointers, please feel free to leave a comment!
😉 Joni