Our Afternoon Routine Chart

Earlier this week I shared with you our Morning Routine Chart. Our Afternoons are just as important so we have an afternoon routine to follow as well. So without further adieu here is our Afternoon Routine

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A few notes about our afternoon routine.

We don’t have set times that each thing happens but a sequence.  For example you have to get changed before you have afternoon tea (to save uniforms).  You have to do your homework before you play.  You have to brush your teeth and go to the toilet before you go to bed.

NO SCREEN TIME.  We have no iPads, phones, computers, xbox etc during the week.   We have limited TV time (in the morning only if they are ready early) They can only watch pre recorded shows and it is generally about 15 minutes.  SCREENS are only able to be used from after school Friday until 2pm Sunday.  Sunday afternoons are our time to get organised for the week.

QUIET TIME:  This is a wind down time after bed.  You can not let your children get all hyped up and then expect them to go to Bed properly a few minutes later.  They can read, do a puzzle, play lego, draw etc.  This is also a quiet time as it’s the time I am putting the baby to bed.

SET BED TIME:  Little Miss A goes to bed at 7pm.  It may even be earlier this year as I am guessing full time school will exhaust her!  From 7pm until 7.30pm Master O reads in bed.  At 7.30 I go and say goodnight to him. 

ACTIVITIES.  I try to book activities for before school (Tennis) or on Saturday’s (Ballet).  Last year we over committed ourselves and homework during the week was becoming a chore as it was rushed.  

PLAY TIME:  In general this is outside play time.  They usually ride their bikes/scooter, jump on the trampoline, play in the cubby.  we are extremely fortunate in that both their schools value outside play time.  I have actually chosen their Prep programs based on the quality and quantity of outdoor play! If they make any mess they need to clean it up before their bath.

BATH TIME:  All children have a bath at the same time!  Including the baby!  Not all in together.  I fill the bath for Little Miss A and the baby.  Once it’s full Master O has a shower.  This is to save my sanity.  I can supervise/assist all children at once so it takes a third of the time! 

HOMEWORK BEFORE PLAY:  During Summer this is fine as it is daylight.  During Winter I will sometimes let them have a play before homework as it gets cold and dark early.  I also bear in mind that Master O has had 45 minutes to unwind after school with his friends on the bus and then a walk or scooter home.  So he has generally got his “wiggles” out.  Little Miss A has had a walk or ride to the bus stop to pick him up as well.  If your children don’t have the chance to be active between school finishing and homework, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THEM!!!!  I recently listened to a lecture from an OT who stressed the importance of physical activity before we ask children to sit still and concentrate.  THE BEST FORM OF AFTER SCHOOL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS JUMPING ON A TRAMPOLINE!  It exercises core strength, cardio, balance and coordination.  Even just 5 minutes!

AFTER DINNER: Always allow enough time between dinner and bed.  This gives food a chance to settle and digest.

 

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Our charts are laminated and live on clipboards in the Launch Pad Area.

 I have created a chart for us with two sides (one for each child) As they do different things at different times  (they get home at different times.)  Each child has a peg on their side of the chart. As they complete each step they move their peg down.  This keeps them on task and accountable.   

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I would love to makes this a FREE Printable for you but would you use it?  This is OUR routine, would it work for you?  I know everyone is different! Please leave me a comment to let me know if you would like a copy! 

Of course you wanted it! HERE IT IS OUR FREE PRINTABLE Afternoon Routine 

Top Labelling Tips From The Teacher

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Brother

 

Organising Chaos, With Labels That Stick.

I am part of that special breed of human that is both a mother of small children and a school teacher.  Although sometimes this is a curse (oh gosh it is hard to stand back and not rush in and help), it is also a blessing as I am well equipped to handle all of those back to school preparations.  

This year I will have two children at school FULL TIME (cue the tears now). I jokingly tell everyone that’s why I had another baby, as I couldn’t handle the thought of having no children at home every day. #jokingnotjoking  This means double the everything:  book lists, uniforms and, of course, labels. Having the perfect labels that stick is the easiest way to organize the back to school chaos.

 

I think all teachers have a tendency to be OCD organisers and labellers.  I was labeling everything way before I had children! So here are my…

TOP LABELLING TIPS FROM THE TEACHER

 

TIP 1. LABEL EVERYTHING!

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An easy way to label scissors is to wrap the label on to itself, through the handle.

When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Double check

  • Text books and dictionaries
  • Stationery (EVERY pencil, marker, crayon, sharpener, eraser, ruler)
  • Calculators
  • Uniforms
  • Hats
  • Shoes and socks
  • Library bags,
  • Drink bottles
  • Lunch boxes (container and lid)
  • Lunch bags
  • Musical instruments
  • Sports gear
  • UNDERWEAR! I have a bit of a joke each year when it comes to children going to school swimming lessons.  If I find underwear and it is labeled I can discretely return it to the owner otherwise,  I will have to hold them up in front of the class!  Oh the horror!

 

TIP 2. WHY LABEL EVERYTHING?

It gets returned.  After spending a small fortune on school gear I can guarantee that something will go missing in the first week of school.  If you haven’t labeled it, there is literally no chance it will ever be returned.  Money. Down. The. Drain. At least if it is labeled there is a chance someone honest will ensure it finds its way home.

Stop the arguments.  Imagine this.  25 Children.  All with near identical belongings.  Nothing like pack up time when a child swears the red pencil with the bite marks on the end is THEIRS! If it’s labeled, no argument!

 

Encourage Responsibility.  This also encourages your children to be responsible for their own belongings.  This is particularly important for those littlies who have come from Kindergarten with communal resources.  Having YOUR name on an item makes you responsible for it.  If it is found on the floor there is no denying who should be putting it away!

 Now here are a few hints that I have learnt with two children at school. Different items require different information on their labels. Boy, do I have some experience in helping kids find their lost belongings!  

 

TIP 3 USE PICTURES OR ICONS

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An Icon helps a child identify their belongings


Pick one picture or icon for your child and use it on all their belongings.  This is particularly helpful for non-readers or beginning readers as it helps them identify their own belongings, when they have trouble reading their name.

 

TIP 4: BE SNEAKY

Hats – These are the most frequently lost, expensive item (wait for it…Little Miss A’s hat costs $95!!!) These get labeled with her full name and my phone number.  With a couple hundred identical hats in the school a first name only is never going to help it find its way home.  I add my phone number as generally, I also label the inside and under the band (an inconspicuous spot) just incase someone else tries to claim it as their own!  Sometimes a sneaky label pays off.  This goes for school uniforms as well.

 

TIP 5: FULL NAMES

 Have you got any idea how many children in a school possibly share the same first name? Where possible use your child’s full name. If it is an item that may possibly be passed down to another family member a last name should do the trick. Also use upper and lower case letters for your beginning reader as many have difficulty identifying their name when it is all in capital letters…

 

TIP 6: CONTACT DETAILS

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Two Lines Of Text. Include your child’s full name and your contact details.

 

If it is expensive or carted to and from school, I add my contact details.  Think hats, bags and instruments. This way if it’s left on a bus, or in the pick up zone, the finder has a way of letting you know where it is!  I always make sure mine and my husband’s mobile numbers are on our children’s school bags in case of emergencies.

So how do you do all of this without breaking the bank? Simple, a label maker!

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This year I have been testing out the Brother P-touch H105 Label Maker.

 

At only $25 from Officeworks, it’s affordable, versatile and creates durable labels that will actually stick. The laminated tape withstands EVERYTHING! The most durable labels on the market, they can be used both indoors and outdoors and are sun, germ, water and temperature resistant.

 

With 178 Symbols, 7 Frames and coloured tape, it’s easy to create pretty and personalised labels. You can also create two lines of text, perfect for your child’s name on the top and phone number on the bottom. We went with pink laminated tape for Little Miss A and laminated satin gold for Master O (they came in a three pack together with white tape)

 

Another brilliant addition is the iron on tape – perfect for hats, socks and school uniforms.  You have no idea how hard it has been finding labels that stick to socks! I use my label maker a lot so being able to use it with an AC adaptor saves me a whole heap of money on batteries.

 Naturally because I love my label maker so much, I want to share the love.  

You could win your very own Brother PT-H105 Labeller!  Just use Rafflecopter below to let me know;

What would you label with the Brother PT-H105 Labeller and why?  

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Creating a Homework Station

Sight words, readers, maths sheets, posters….HOMEWORK!!!  I am going to go out on a limb here and say I actually don’t mind helping with homework.  It’s my way of staying in touch with what is happening in the classroom and how my child is travelling academically.  However, this year we will have DOUBLE the homework!!!  This can only mean one thing, we are going to have to be super organised.  

We have had a Homework Station in the past that generally centred around a student desk, but to be honest, it really didnt suit a small child.  Children until they are at least in Year 3 need supervision and assistance when doing homework.  So last year we did homework at my desk in the study.  There was just one problem.  We had a homework trolley but it was really disorganised.  I just never got around to updating it to reflect our changing homework needs.  So before the school year starts I was on a mission to create a Homeowrk Station that could cater for two or more children, one of whom is doing homework for the first time and another who is more independent.

 WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR HOMEWORK

Our most common  homework items;

  • Lead Pencils
  • Coloured Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Textas
  • Glue/Tape/Scissors
  • Eraser and Sharpener
  • Reference Charts
  • Stapler
  • Calculator
  • Flash Cards
  • Blank Index Cards
  • Writing Paper
  • Counters
  • Paperclips
  • Ruler.

I also wanted to create a space for the homework books to be kept during the week.  They generally come home on the Monday and go back on the Friday.

HOW TO STORE IT

The easiest way for us to store all of this?  On a trolley of course!  This means we can wheel ALL of our paraphernalia to where it is we are doing our homework!  The dining table, study, kitchen bench, outdorr area, ANYWHERE!  This for us is key.  No more sitting down to do homework and realising we have left the pencils in the playroom or the glue in the study it is ALL IN ONE SPOT!!!

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The cutest most affordable and most flexible trolley would have to be the IKEA- RASKOG.  There are whole Facebook groups dedicated to this trolley which is great for storing bathroom items, baby change items,office supplies or kitchen utensils. All that for $79AUD Oh and did I mention it comes in my favourite colour minty blue? 

OUR HOMEWORK STATION

The Homework Station

Isn’t she pretty?  Here we go shelf by shelf, everything you will ever need to organise school homework.

 

The Homework Station @ theorganisednest.com

TOP SHELF

Lead Pencils, Coloured Pencils, Crayons

Textas/Whiteboard markers, Glue/Tape/Scissors, Pens/Highlighters/correction tape

Reference Charts (One for Numeracy and One for Literacy)I will write more about these in another post.

On the fron in the magnetic tins: Erasers and Sharpeners, our cute little magnetic whale scissors, paperclips

 

 

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MIDDLE SHELF 

Flash Cards, Blank Index Cards, Counters.

Container of writing books (Usually left over form the school year prior, I always encourage my children to write using the appropriate lines for their year level)

 

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BOTTOM SHELF  

Extension Activities, Activity Books and Homework Books.

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SIDE ONE:

This Will be Master O’s Side.  These BYGEL contianers from Ikea will hold his calculator and some grid paper squares for Maths work.

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SIDE TWO

Little Miss A’s Side.  A Laminated “Soundwaves” chart as this is the phonics program she will be using in Prep. 

 Family Launch Pad @ theorganisednest.com

STORAGE

During the day when the kids are at school I will keep our nifty trolley in our Launch Pad Area.  I am hoping to put our “routine Charts” on the wall above!  That’s tomorrow’s project!!!  Our Launch Pad is located with a walkway to the kitchen on the right to the left is the outdoor area and I am standing in the walkway to the Living areas and playroom.  The playroom is behind me.  On our house plans this area was a meals room.  We have a large open plan living area that we have our dining table in and really don’t need a second eating area.  

So there’s you have it.  A nifty, affordable, flexible and organised solution to the chaotic homework supplies.  and to think in years to come it will be Homework X 3! Pass the wine!

 

 

A Peek At Our Week – Weekly Schedule for Kids

Between the activities that happen each day at school (music, sport, library) and the extra curricular activities that our children participate in during the year, our schedule is CRAZY! 

Last year I had Master O constantly asking me Is today Library? Do I have swimming tomorrow? I had my own schedule planned in my diary but never got around to making one that he could follow himself.  Now with two cherubs at school it has become a necessity.

Our Schedule Must Have’s

  • FLEXIBLE. Be able to be changed around – We have winter and summer sports, term timetables that change and I am not going to be printing out a new timetable every time I need to change it!
  • MULTIPLE. A timetable each.  I though about creating one big family planner, but with the number of activities it would get too confusing. Which brings me to my next point
  • EASY. Ease of use.  I need it to be read and understood by a 3 year old! Hence it will require images as well as text.
  • BUSY. Must be able to track multiple activities on each day.

 How we did it!

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1.  Flexibility.  Instead of just creating a printed schedule that can’t be changed, I looked for a more flexible option.  Enter the photo frame.  I would create a blank timetable to go behind the frame and use velcro dots on the glass, so that I could change the activities as often as needed!  You will need a frame big enough to fit an almost a4 size of paper.  This frame was an 8×10 from Kmart for $5.  Velcro dots can be found at Spotlight, Riot (art and Craft) and most dollar stores.

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2. A weekly timetable.  I then created a weekly timetable template in word.  I included Monday to Saturday as we generally don’t have activities on a Sunday.  I can easily add a Sunday activity to the bottom of a staurday box and use a whiteboard marker to add the word Sunday!  Yet another beauty of using glass, you can write on it and it’s not permanent. Of course when Little Miss A saw me doing this she insisted I make one for her in pink! Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 7.17.32 AM

3. Print and Frame.  Simply print the template, cut it to fit your frame and put it in! Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 7.20.42 AM

4.  The activity cards!  We don’t do all of these activities but after a lengthy Facebook discussion I have added some popular activities for YOU! I have also left one blank that you can add in as need be.   Simply Print, Cut (inside the lines), Laminate, Cut.  Attach a velcro dot to the back and you have a flexible and easy to read activity card!

Attach a velcro dot to the outside of your frame as needed and simply attach and reattach an activity as needed!

I must say I just know this is going to SIMPLIFY our life!  It will keep us on track and maybe, just maybe stop some of the million questions about what is happening this week!!!

I have love creating this for us and FOR YOU TOO!  I have bought the images from DigiWebStudio and due to your request I have added a “DONATE” button to my sidebar >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

These PRINTABLES are free for you to use to help organise your home, but if you LOVE them, feel free to make a donation to help cover costs.

Get ready to get ORGANISED!

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Peek-at-Our- Week – Activity Cards

 

Creating a Family Launch Pad ~ What we used

Boy has this been a long time coming!  Over the years we have had various versions of school stations, organisation stations, launch pads but none have quite been as HUGE as this one. 

Introducing our Family Launch Pad.

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Our Family Launch Pad ~ The Organised Nest

So what is a “Launch Pad?’ It is a place for us as a family to “Launch” into our day, whatever it holds. Whether it’s off to school, grocery shopping, out on a family trip, basically anything that involves leaving the house!

Before I go into how this works for us, the most common question I get is how we created it.  You need to start at IKEA.

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IKEA – KALLAX – 1×4 Shelving Unit

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IKEA – KALLAX – Insert with 2 Drawers

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IKEA – KALLAX – 2 x4 Shelving Unit

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IKEA – TROFAST – Storage box

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THE COST

 When assembling the Kallax 1 x 4 shelving unit, we simply left one shelf out so that we would have an extra high space to fit a school bag.

You could alter this setup to include more or less family members or tailor it to your own individual budget.  We already had the Trofast boxes and the 2 x4 shelving unit in Master O’s room where it sat disorganised and created a toy dumping ground.  The most expensive part of this was the drawers.  To cut costs you could use  shelves (also sold as part of the Kallax range) or just use the Kallax as is.  We have a really open plan lower level of the house so I wanted this unit to be as disguised as possible so for me the drawers were the answer.  Be warned the drawers sit inside the unit so you loose a bit of space but we still comfortably fit a pair of shoes (or two kindy size) or a library bag and book, or homework folder in one.

In the next post I will detail how we use it!!!! Can somebody say LOVE!  This is already up there with the best Organising feature of our home!!!

 

 

Getting Organised for 2015

Can’t believe I am saying this but Christmas hasn’t even arrived yet and I am all out of Christmas cheer.  This festive season has felt different for some reason and I can only put it down to extreme lack of sleep and home sickness.  All my siblings will be together with my extended family this Christmas but I won’t be there.  Instead we are travelling South to have Christmas with my husbands side of the family.  They are amazing and we are excited to check out all of their new houses and schools and for the kids to have some great play time with their cousins.  But you know how it is, Christmas is always a little different when it’s not with your own family.  

So instead my thoughts turn to January and getting organised for the year ahead.  I LOVE Januray!!!!  Back to school shopping, new planners, fresh calendars and school holidays! 

This January I will be;

  • Creating a Home Command Centre.
  • Creating an a3 Clanedar for the year ahead
  • Moving in to my 2015 planner
  • Refining and creating new routines and systems for school Mornings and afternoons.

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2015 I will have two children at school full time!!!! How did the last 5 years go so fast? Master O and Little Miss A go to different schools so we will have double the paperwork, double the dates, double the first days of school, double the routines and double the travel arrangements. We are going to need one MASSIVE calendar and super organised planner. To help ease into it all, I have taken extended maternity leave for 2015 but will do some casual relief work during the year. Our chunky Hunky wont be going to daycare just yet so we will juggle childcare arrangements between the two of us for as long as we can.

  • Adding some finishing touches to our School Stations
  • Getting a homework area set up
  • Doing the Back to school shopping 
  • Organising Uniforms and shoes

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A Thoughtful Place School Organising

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Homework Station from Mom 4 Real

Little Miss A will be starting Prep and with that comes uniforms, homework, sight words and readers. Just when Master O has finished all of those things, another child begins! Master O will be going into Grade 3 and I can only imagine how much homework and the many projects that will be on the agenda.

Is it crazy that I am super excited about all of that? 

  • Sort out my study and paperwork pile!

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LOVE these Study Colours! 

Just to mix it up a bit I am doing two uni subjects in Semester 1.  As daunting as it was going back to uni I thoroughly enjoyed my first Semester (semester 2 this year) I am studying a Masters of Educational Leadership all online and am slowly adapting to how much uni has changed since I first went more than 15 years ago! Now that I have had a bit of a practice run I have a bettr of idea of what kind of study system and organisation I need.  The biggest change to my study habits since my undergraduate degrees is with 3 children I can no longer leave anything to the last minute!!!! 

 

So that’s where we are at.  

Anybody else crazy excited about 2015?

Tell me I am not alone in my love of back to school shopping? 

 

Family Finance System Update

This picture was taken a long time ago (2012!) and although the space has changed the system has remained the same! (We have moved mail and finances into the study)

“Real organising is not just about sorting and storage.

To keep things organised, you need to establish a SYSTEM.”

Setting up systems in your home is like setting up routines or new habits. After a few months of sticking to them, you wonder what you ever did before!

So here is our Family Finance System

1. Mail In. This can be either the paper variety or most often electronically. As soon as the bill comes in it is opened. NO MAIL REMAINS UNOPENED FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS. Yes sometimes you dread opening bills. But delayed bill paying adds to paper clutter, increases the chance you will misplace it, pay it late and have to pay more in late payment fees. Collecting and opening the mail is a shared task and part of our everyday routine. As we enter the house, after the school pick up, Master O collects the mail. He loves this job! Whilst the kids are having afternoon tea, I go through the mail (and all the notes in the school bag!) [Read more…]

The Family Finance Folder Update

Over the next few weeks, I hope to share with you how we manage our family finances.

  • Our Family Finance Folder
  • Our Family Finance System
  • Doing your Fiancnial Homework and
  • Using iCal to manage our bills.

Being on one income over the last two years, it has been more important than ever, that we manage our money carefully. Once a year, usually just after tax time, I re evaluate all of our finances.  This job is made so much easier as we have all of our financial details in the one spot.  Here is a peak inside our Family Finance folder.

 

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The Family Finance Folder [Read more…]

School Bag Storage and Organisation

Last night on Facebook I pleaded with the flock for HELP! I have had many plans for School Bag Storage but none of them have “felt” right. Problem is DONE is better than PERFECT! I need something, before I trip over another school bag!

So here is where we were in JANUARY! Yep and that is still where we are AT!!!!

 

I must admit this is not my first “School Station”. Master O is about to start his third year at school! Please don’t ask how that makes me feel!

Our first station looked like this.

This area was set up especially for Prep – Grade 1.

Here is how the room looked as a whole.

and in that space that was supposed to be a clipboard station is now a giant pile of school/library/sheet/sport/swimming bags.

The drawers worked brilliantly, although his bag was a bit squashed in that bottom drawer I absolutely loved having those two top drawers for homework folders, library bags and everything that came along with going to school!

I also loved the Basket on top for our School File It Folder and storing notes.

THOSE TWO THINGS ARE A MUST.

But then…..once he got to Grade 1, the homework increased, and once he changed schools, it increased again. This area was simply too distracting for homework. It also meant I had three sets of stationery areas. One in the playroom, one in this area and one in the study for myself. So we moved Master O into my study. We set up his desk and noticeboard and stationery across from me in the study. In general though come homeowrk time we all sit at my desk together! I have a huge L shaped desk and three chairs. Little Miss A sits across from me and does some phonics practice, drawing, cutting or experimental writing. Master O sits next to me so I can talk him through what he is doing. He is a very self sufficient and independent learner but I love to know what he is learning at school and the best way to do this and to be involved in homework. The big desk is also great for doing projects (which seem to take up so much room and get bigger each fortnight!)

I digress! So those handy drawers moved into the study and I took them over as my own as my desk has no drawers in it. So we went through the last part of last year with a great space for homework but no specific place for storing school stuff.

and that my friend is where we are at!

What do I need this space to do?

Contain School Items
Be easily accessible and at a childs height but alos be neat and tidy
Be flexible in its arrangement for different children’s needs
1. So what do I need our School Station to contain;

  • School Bags x 2
  • School Hats x 2
  • Homework/message Folders and Planners
  • Library Bags x 2
  • School File It Folder x 2
  • Artwork Folder (Miss A)
  • Sheet Bag (Miss A)
  • Sports Bag (Master O)
  • Individual timetables/schedule

After careful thought I don’t want it to contain school shoes. School shoes and especially Kindy shoes have a habit of coming home full of sand. So they can stay in the garage!

How do I want to contain it so its neat and tidy, flexible and easily accessible?

I think I need a combination of baskets, shelves, drawers and hooks.
I dont want to hang the school bags. We have had bad luck with hooks in this house and I dont want any more damage to my walls.
I also want the end solution to be flexible. I am still thinking about moving this station to the study so whatever I use I want to be able to relocate it easily. As they get older they can also then move it to their own bedroom.
It has to be able to be configured in different ways for different children. Because my children are quite spaced apart in age (3+years and 4+Years) they are always going to have very different school needs. By the time Baby #3 starts school Master O will be starting High School!

So I think each child needs their own station. Master O’s will need to be able to hold sports equipment and Little Miss A’s, a sheet bag for Kindy.
It can’t be too tall. Little Miss A needs to be able to open and close everything herself.
After writing all this I am automatically thinking of my old friends IKEA Expedit and Trofast. The fact that the Trofast has both drawers and shelves and comes in a variety of heights has me thinking it may be the answer! Although the frames are both a similar price, it is much cheaper to buy the Trofast drawers and shelves (around $5) than buying baskets or drawers for an Expedit (between $10-20).

What will work in the space?

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So this is where I am thinking. It is where everything else organisational is located and would make the space feel complete. I do worry as this space is at the opposite end of the house to the garage (where we enter the house) and the study (where we do homework). But for now I think its worth a try! It is a tall and skinny place so those STUVA Drawers won’t work.

So let’s get planning!!!!

I am such a visual person that I had to literally piece it all together in pictures.

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I am off to IKEA today to check out a few different ideas including this one!!!

What Do You Think???

 

 

 

The Sip and Snack Station – Revisited

Their is a thief amongst us.
Lately things have been going missing.
Biscuits, chips, red frogs, chocolates.
At first I blamed “Domesticated Dad” thinking he was overindulging on midnight snacks.
But it was not……
It was “My Pigeon Pair”
The constant crumbs appearing in the strangest corners of the house should have been a clue!
They have been conspiring against me to “steal” whole packets! 
 
I wrote that 3 years ago!!!  The beauty of having a blog is being able to go back in time and revisit little snapshots of your life!  These organising ideas start with the best of intentions but I must admit occasionally the habits formed start to slip.  Life gets hectic and you are just trying to survive each day with a new baby, let alone put organising ideas into place.
 
But this week the same problem resurfaced.  I find the kids constantly asking for food and drink. I am usually stuck on the couch feeding the endlessly hungry baby, so they end up helping themselves.  This can be great, but I am the first to admit I often look back at the day (and in the pantry) and wonder how many snacks they have consumed! Also when Master O is not home to lend a hand it is harder for Little Miss A to help herself to a drink. Cue whinging and whining and draging chairs around the house to reach the tap or a mother breastfeeding a baby with one hand and unscrewing a lid and filling a drink bottle with the other.  Poor baby nearly ends up in the sink!
So…….
 
A quick check of the blog and I remembered that we used to have an effective solution….. 
 
 
The Sip and Snack Station
 
 
 
I must admit I got a bit sad looking at the picture.  It was taken 3 years ago.  Little Miss A would have been about 14 months and master O 4!!!
Check out Little Miss A’s sippy cup and how small Master O’s drink bottle was!
 
Over the years we have had many versions of this idea but we truly are in need of upgrading it and getting the habit working again!!!!
 
How it used to work…
 
I  placed all snacks out of their reach.
They receive a snack “ration” each day.
I place the amount of snacks I want them to eat in a day, in a small plastic container each morning.
It is their choice if they eat them all at once or gradually over a morning.
I may need to refill it at lunch time with some new fresh snacks.
I  placed them in a container similar to my Winter station but this time within their reach. 
It also holds their drink bottles.
 
Why it works…..
 
Emergencies:
Oh I had forgotten about this situation!
“Yesterday, Little Miss A had a vomitting episode and I had to rush off to the doctor.
It was so good to be able to simply grab the contents of this station and throw it in my bag knowing they would have water and snacks regardless of how long I would be out for.”
 
I am afraid this situation will always exist regardless of how old your children are! 
 
 Food Intake:
It allows me to monitor how much and what they eat.
 
Convenience:  
Little Miss A knows where a drink or snack is and I don’t have to juggle feeding a baby and filling a drink at the same time!
 
So today I will be updating and creating a new Sip and Snack station for our growing family, stay tuned to Instagram for pictures!
 
Do you have a snack thief at your place?