Chores for Older Kids: Hold Them Accountable

Chores = move-out skills #parenthacks #kids #parenting #chores

We’ve had a breakthrough with my kids’ chores. Not because we discovered a magical new chore system for older kids — but because we finally held our kids accountable to the chore system we’re already using. Chores for Older Kids: Expect More As They Get Older When my kids were little, the daily chore list was simple: hang […]

5 easy craft ideas for kids who can’t bear to throw away their valentines


What to do with all of those classroom valentines? If your kid’s sentimental, tossing them may be tricky. Some kids are born “savers.” They resist decluttering because they’re attached to the feelings or memories associated with the item in question. My daughter is a saver…she doesn’t even like it when I weed through her outgrown clothes. But […]

Your Annual Classroom Valentine Sanity Check

A box of store bought valentines is not a sign of slacking.

Clever homemade Valentines are wonderful…but only if you love doing that sort of thing. If you feel the stress or “pressure to perform” ratcheting up, please remember that store-bought Valentines are not a sign of “slacking,” they’re a choice to focus on other things you care about more. As parents, we’re surrounded by hundreds of choices every day, and it […]

Super-simple washi tape pencil Valentines

Washi tape pencil Valentine. Photo credit: Tami Hackbarth

I put out the call for people’s easy, homemade Valentine ideas, and look what Tami Hackbarth sent in: her daughter’s sweet Valentine pencils fancied up with washi tape labels. Quick, creative, inexpensive, practical, and a welcome break from candy. A kid could knock out a classroom’s-worth of these in minutes. If you’ve never seen washi tape before, it’s Japanese […]

Valentine hack: Heart-shaped cookie cutters are useful for more than cookies

At Amazon: Wilton Nesting Cookie Cutter Set (affiliate link)

This hack first appeared here in 2008, and it epitomizes the forehead-smack quality of the obvious tip that wasn’t obvious to me till someone said it out loud. Zed’s hack might inspire you to dig out those heart-shaped cutters (or buy a set for a few bucks). — Asha Zed shares the versatility of the humble cookie cutter: […]