Cooking with Kids & Pinning Party

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Welcome to the Toddler & Preschool Moms Pinning Party! I invite you to join in the fun, sharing your favourite pins and checking out all the fabulous ideas that are shared!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. We had a huge egg hunt with 71 people at our house. It was a bit of chaos, but a lot of fun! We also attended a brunch at our church and were able to have some family time. It was a nice weekend.

Before I get to this week’s Pinning Party, I wanted to quickly tell you about an incredible deal that you do not want to miss! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle has 79 ebooks worth $698 for just $29.97. There are a ton of bonus offers as well that sweeten the deal even more, but the books alone are so worth it because there are some gems in there! From parenting to homemaking to food to motherhood to homeschooling to marriage and more, there is a wealth of information for one low price.

One of the best part (in my opinion) is that you have the option of getting the books on Kindle or pdf! The bundle is only available for a very short time so be sure to check it out.

This week, Angela and I are featuring some ideas that were linked up last week for cooking with kids or for kids. Cooking with Kids

Easy Apple Biscuits from In the Playroom

Cheese Monsters from Danya Banya

Chocolate Fudge (Black Bean and Quinoa Cookies) from Two Much Fun

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: By linking up, you are giving us permission to use a photo (with proper link to you!) to use in a featured collage.For this week’s pinning party, you can link up to 3 pins (or posts if you prefer) relevant to parenting toddlers and preschoolers. This can be anything from activities to child-friendly snacks to parenting tips. Then, visit some of the other pins linked up to get new ideas and help others find these great ideas too by repinning! Sharing the love by pinning your favourites really helps everyone.

Toddler & Preschooler Moms - THE place to find family friendly ideas!The Toddler & Preschool Moms Pinning Party is THE place to come to find all the best ideas from Pinterest each week. You can find the pinning party on the following blogs:

Angela Teaching Mama

Sharla The Chaos and The Clutter

Last week’s most clicked posts were:

Air Drying Clay Pictures from Frog in a Pocket

Sorting Recyclables Free Printable from Totschooling

Apple Scented Playdough from Danya Banya

If you were mentioned as a favourite, you are welcome to grab the most pinned button below.

The Chaos and The Clutter

<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”” alt=”The Chaos and The Clutter” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a>

Thanks for linking up and sharing in the fun! You may also want to follow my Pinterest boards where I pin many of the ideas linked up here.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

Get The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle--Hurry: Sale 6 Days Only!

By popular demand, 100+ homemaking bloggers are bringing back The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, and it’s better than ever!

is a complete library of great eBooks on homemaking—a truly valuable knowledge base you’ll use for many years to come.

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I’m confident you won’t find a more comprehensive set of homemaking resources anywhere — and certainly not at this price. Bought separately, they’d cost a total of $698 (not including $200+ in bonuses!). But you can have all of them for just $29.97!

Or, for just an extra $10, you not only get the full set of PDF files, but also a bonus set of Kindle editions, perfectly formatted for easy Kindle reading. This has been a popular request over the years and I’m excited to say it’s now available!

I believe it’s the best deal on homemaking eBooks anywhere on the web. But it will only be available for six days. So grab yours before it’s gone!

You get ALL THIS in The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

This huge wealth of information and guidance will be right there on your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or Kindle, whenever you need it.

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In addition to all the amazing eResources, this bundle includes the best bonus offers it’s ever had. These deals are worth over six times the price of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. So you’re up on the deal right away!

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Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, April 23 to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, April 28th.

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

5 Tips to Teach Your Teen to Drive

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

I grew up in a home obsessed with safety. I wasn’t allowed to do anything that carried any type of risk. I didn’t climb trees or start campfires. I was taught that there was danger around every corner. I grew up afraid of things that apparently posed little to no risk. (I was told that cassette tapes were potentially dangerous because they could unwind and a small child could be strangled by them.) I haven’t wanted my kids to grow up held hostage by fear so I have worked very hard not to pass my fears along to my children.

I have to say though that the thought of them driving and being on the roads with other drivers without me there was very scary for me. I wanted to keep them in the bubble of my vehicle with me. Knowing that they could potentially be hurt or killed in an accident is terrifying. The potential danger makes it critical that they learn how to drive well.

Due to my fears, I considered just having a “professional” teach them to drive by sending them to driver training school but I knew that that alone would not be sufficient practise. I was going to have to face my fear head-on and teach my teens to drive!

5 Tips to Teach Your Teen to Drive

So far, two of our seven kids are driving. In just two years, three more will be old enough to get their learner’s permits (where we live, you are able to get a learner’s permit at 14). Both of our drivers learned with us as well as taking in-class and in-car driver training at a defensive driving school.

While I still have a lot to learn and am far from a perfect parent or driver, here are a few tips I’d like to pass on about teaching your teen to drive.

1. Start early.

Teaching your child to drive doesn’t start when they get their learner’s permit. It starts virtually from the time they are born. When you first buckle them into a carseat and put your own seatbelt on every time you get in the vehicle, you are beginning their training.

When your child is two or three (particularly boys), they will likely be interested in different types of vehicles and in how your car runs. This is a good time to begin introducing small safety tips in the course of everyday driving. You can casually mention things you’re doing such as checking behind you before you back up or putting the parking brake on when on a hill. These small things can just become a natural part of car rides and start planting seeds in your child’s brain about safe driving.

When your child gets to be an age where they are more aware that they will be driving someday, you can start a running dialogue as you drive of what you are doing (and why) and point out what other safe and not-so-safe drivers on the road are doing. You can begin asking questions and engaging them in active learning about road rules and safety.

Twice now when driving with my kids we have seen drunk drivers and called in to the police. In one of those cases, we actually followed the drunk driver at a safe distance of course (who was presenting a huge risk to others) so the police could track him down and saw his dramatic arrest. I told my kids what was happening during the incident to impress upon them that drinking really does impair your ability to drive and hopefully create a lasting memory for them. We watched him hit curbs and swerve into the lane of oncoming traffic as well as drive erratically in his own lane. Then they watched as he was handcuffed and put into a police vehicle. They don’t need much further convincing that drinking and driving don’t mix!

Another way that you can start early in your child’s driver’s education is by allowing them the opportunity to learn the feel of driving by having them drive go-karts, motorbikes, riding lawnmowers, snowmobiles, and bikes. This will give them a tremendous head start not only in ability, but also in confidence when they begin actually driving.

2. Model good driving.

Modelling good driving also begins when your children are very young. They are watching and picking up your habits. All of us pick up bad driving habits over the years. Whether it’s driving with just one hand on the steering wheel, not always signalling, not wearing our seatbelt, or texting while driving, our kids see everything that we do and it increases dramatically the chances that they will do the same. Be aware of your bad driving habits and try to change them.

Know the laws of the road where you live and follow them. If your child is with you when you get a ticket for speeding, a rolling stop through a Stop sign or not wearing your seatbelt, that will leave an impression on them. They may be left thinking that those things aren’t so bad to do if their mom or dad does them.

Children do what you do, not what you say to do.

3. Teach them stress management.

There are very few things more dangerous than a driver under stress. We’ve all been there. You’re lost in a strange city (or in your own) and late to get to an important appointment. The traffic is heavy and you are feeling the pressure. It’s those type of circumstances that can result in an accident.

Teaching your child when they are very young and as they grow to manage their stress can make the difference in that type of situation. I teach our kids about their emotions and how to manage them as well as give them strategies for calming themselves down. I don’t do this in relation to their driver training but the two do intersect when they are in a stressful driving scenario.

When you yourself are in a stressful driving situation, talk them through what you are doing to keep yourself calm. If they are driving and come across something hard, remind them to breathe and stay calm.

4. Train in different road conditions.

We live in a place that experiences all of the seasons to the full extent. This means that our kids will be driving in snow storms and in rain. It means that they will be driving in the dark because in certain times of the year, it’s dark by 4 in the afternoon. They need to learn what to do on icy roads or how to navigate deep snow.

While your child has their learner’s permit, take them out into an empty parking lot in winter and have them practise stopping, turning, parking, and backing up in the snow and on the ice. Talk them through different scenarios and what to do in each and then recreate possible situations and have them practise what to do.

You do not want the first time they drive in adverse road conditions to be after they have their full driver’s license and are by themselves.

Another way to prepare your child for difficult driving situations is to run through different scenarios with them and go over what the appropriate responses would be. Be sure that they know what to do in case of an accident or in case they are ever stranded somewhere. Equip their vehicle with a first aid kit and teach them to carry an extra blanket in their trunk, especially in the winter.

For our boys, we chose to pay for a one year membership to a motor association that provides roadside assistance for each of them for their first year of driving.

5. Give them opportunities to practise.

It is easier and faster to get places if you drive there yourself, but give your new driver the chance to practise every opportunity you can. When our older boys were learning to drive, I would sometimes invite them out in the evenings to drive around in the country by where we live or if I had errands to run in town, I would ask them to be my chauffeur. Those times together doubled as driving practise and precious time spent together.

There is nothing as effective as practise and lots of it.

teaching your teen to drive

Our older boys are both the proud owners of cars now which they bought with their own hard-earned money. They drive every day and I can only hope that I have given them enough knowledge and practise to be good drivers. I will admit to spending some evenings in prayer because of them being out in bad road conditions. They have both wound up in the ditch already on our icy winter roads but thankfully, neither have been hurt.

You can’t guarantee that your child will never get into an accident, but you can do all that you can to prepare them and then pray for their safety when they are driving on their own and things are out of your control.

Now that I survived teaching them to drive, I need to prepare myself to do it another 5 times and then I will officially be done my driver training duty!

If you are looking for other tips, you may be interested in following my Parenting board on Pinterest.

Weekly Wrap Up

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

In my life this week…origami! The kids started making origami boxes and soon, the counters were full of them! They even experimented by making the largest one they could (using a newsprint roll) and the tiniest ones possible. In the end, we had so many boxes that we used them for the kids who came to our Easter egg hunt to put their finds in!

Origami BoxesThe weather certainly was interesting with it being warm enough for the kids to play outside (in their homemade bunny ears!) on Monday and then build snowmen by Tuesday!

homemade bunny earsI had a really important meeting on Monday with the social worker in charge of our family supports for disability. I won’t know for a week or so what the outcome is for sure, but there were a lot of people praying and the meeting went a lot better than I was expecting it would. I am thankful and relieved.

In our homeschool this week…We’re continuing our study of Canada. We are reading the book Run by Eric Walters (about Terry Fox) and it is excellent. I’ve cried at least three times while reading it out loud and the kids are getting pretty used to that. We have watched some footage of Terry running and will be watching the Terry Fox movie sometime this coming week.

We are also beginning our learning about the Federal government (the three branches, the House of Commons, and some vocabulary).

The kids have memorized the poem The Lamb by William Blake which was perfect for Easter. The older ones worked on their Daily Grams and all of them continued to work on Math with Teaching Textbooks.

We watched the movie Winged Planet, a documentary about birds.

The kids made mini Resurrection gardens.

mini Resurrection garden

I had the kids do a very interesting experiment. I was challenged by Sarah from the blog Little Bins for Little Hands to do a Sensory Bin Challenge with the kids where I give them a bin with only white rice and let them create their own with no instruction from me. I decided to make 5 bins and let each of the kids create their own. The results were so interesting! It was neat to see each of the kids’ personalities and sensory preferences show through! I’ll be posting more about it including pictures of their finished bins on April 30th.

about to start the sensory bin challenge

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…Snuggle Puppy had jui jitsu on Tuesday and Thursday. The kids had Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday. Miss Optimism had her girls Bible Study on Thursday. All the kids had piano lessons on Tuesday.

Friday, one set of the kids’ grandparents and their great-grandma (visiting from Saskatchewan) came to visit.

Saturday morning, Snuggle Puppy had a jui jitsu tournament. He won gold in both his events! He seems to have a fair amount of natural talent since he’s had about four months of classes so this week, we started him going twice a week instead of once a week.

proud tournament winnerSaturday afternoon, we hosted a huge Easter egg hunt. Earlier that afternoon, Miss Optimism had made a snowman. There was snow covering our entire yard. By the time the hunt started just two hours later, all the snow had cleared and the kids were able to have a muddy, messy, but fun time! In total, there were 71 people here for the egg hunt and meal afterwards so it was a bit of chaos, but it was a lot of fun! Again this year, I forgot to take a single picture which I’m really disappointed about but at least the kids have the memories of it! My friend Shannon had come over two nights before and we had filled eggs. There were 466 eggs hidden this year!

Easter collage

Sunday, there was a breakfast at our church before the service and after, we came home and relaxed. I’m actually typing this Sunday afternoon wearing my pyjama pants! The kids played outside and flew the new kites they got from their grandma for Easter. Am I the only one who can’t help singing “Let’s go Fly a Kite” every time I even think about kite flying?!

Happy Easter everyone! He is Risen!

I’m cooking…well given the big feast at our house, the better question might be what I’m not cooking! Between that and our regular meals…Pizza Casserole, Sloppy Joes, Ginger soy salmon, Scalloped Potatoes, Pepsi Ham, Sweet Potato Casserole, Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts, lemon cookies, gluten free Rice Krispie Easter treats, gluten free Chex mix, Charcutterie with crostinis (Granola Girl helped make the crostinis), gluten free Peeps S’mores, meatballs, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates wrapped in bacon (delicious), devilled eggs (Miss Optimism helped me make them this time), Asian salad.

On the blog…I’m running a huge homeschool giveaway right now, shared our tips and tricks for saving money on expensive sensory products, posted my Butternut Squash Casserole recipe (gluten free), and opened up about the obstacles that keep me from being the mom I want to be.