Monthly Archives

April 2019

  • Create a Summer Activity Planner – Free Printable Included!

    My son thrives on routines; the consistency not only gives him a sense of security, but it helps him to feel confident in time management as well. Creating an established routine also assists in developing important habits and life skills. Now with summer ending, I knew I needed to create some type of schedule once school ended that will carry on the steadiness in his daily activities.

    If you know me, you know I’m a planner by nature; so in one month’s time…this mama will need an agenda. This year, I decided to add a supplemental summer planner printable to go along with our Printable Family Binder Bundle and I’m so excited to share it with you!

    See what our Summer Activity Planner has inside!

    The Summer Activity Planner has 5 pages included:

    • Weekly Summer Schedule: A guideline of fun summer activities you can do with your child throughout the week.
    • Daily Summer Schedule: A timeline of suggested daily activities. Feel free to have your child choose summer bucket list ideas for their daily activity.
    • Summer Bucket List: A list of obligatory summer ideas for kids.
    • Summer Reading List: Create and track your summer reading list and then have your child rate their books!
    • Summer Chore Chart: Age appropriate chore chart for the summer.

    Image of Summer Planner BinderI printed out ours and put it into our Family Emergency Binder so we have a single place to reference all family items.

    How do you plan your daily summer activities? I’d love to hear your best tips in the comments below!



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  • Small (But Critical!) Steps for Raising Confident Kids

    “I can’t! I can’t!” he shouts as he tries to write the letter F. I can see tears of disappointment welling in his eyes. He puts the marker to the paper again, but for a second time isn’t happy with the product. My son is learning to write his name, and it has proven to be a learning experience for both of us. The word “can’t” makes me cringe.

    I begin to question why he’s being so hard on himself. Do I praise him enough? Does he feel inadequate? Like any negative feeling my child experiences, I want to solve it immediately. However, thats not how it works.

    Self-confidence is learned and developed over time through small achievements and a realistic perception of skills and abilities. It’s an essential behavior to cultivate in our kids, and subsequently set them up for their happiest lives.

    By teaching our children to believe in themselves, we set them up for success. We can start with words of encouragement, but self esteem can be instilled in a variety of ways, big and small. Here are a few small (but critical!) steps for raising confident kids.

    Use Words of Encouragement or Affirmations

    Affirmations work for kids and adults alike. We all begin to believe what people tell us about ourselves. Feel free to reference the guide below for a list of everyday affirmations to boost a child’s confidence.

    Choose Your Praises Wisely

    I am all about using affirmations in any form, but its important to note that using affirmations that include born with traits such as “you’re really smart! or “you’re so beautiful!” sends the message that we only value traits that kids are born with (attractive, smart, etc) and doesn’t convey the notion that anything can be accomplished with perseverance, hard work and dedication.

    Praising an accomplishment (and acknowledging the work it took complete it) establishes the fact that it was their hard work and practice that propelled them to achieve their goal, and that by setting goals we can push ourselves further. It’s also good to remember that confidence is gained in the process of goal actualization.

    Examples:

    Instead of “You’re really smart!”

    • “I’m so proud of you for practicing writing the letter F and working so hard to write your name!”
    • “Your strength and determination lifted you to learn to write your name! Your hard work really paid off!”
    • “I love how much effort and energy you put into learning to write the letter F!”

    In addition, throwing out too much praise can inundate your child’s ego, and could potentially minimize the value of the praise. If we reinforce every small deed our kids carry out, the praise will become less meaningful and thus, less impactful. Save big praises for accomplishments and achievements.

    Step back and Let them Build Resilience

    Remember the first paragraph of this post when I felt the need to eliminate my son’s problem and cancel the name-writing activity altogether so as to prevent him from feeling incapable? I feel that urge all the time. But by allowing kids to experience hardship or discomfort, we give them the opportunity to create solutions to solve their problems. These problem solving skills will be vital in all facets of their lives including our ever so important relationships, and will come in handy when they face the inevitable obstacles life will throw at them.

    When we reinforce a child’s resilience, they  learn to bounce back after a perceived failure. Step back and let them come up with their own plan for overcoming obstacles, rather than mow them down.

    Model Self Love and Positive Talk

    Have you ever caught yourself in a moment of negative self talk? I have. I’ve thrown out the phrases “I’m so stupid,” or “I look awful today,” in front of my kids not realizing the weight or impact of those words. It is true that kids are sponges, and if we model negative behaviors, they will too. Try to eliminate the negative self talk for yourself  (it impacts parents too!) or at least attempt to ban it when in the company of little ones. Confident mommies and daddies raise confident kids. Lead by example!

    Examples:

    Instead of “Today sucked.”

    • “I’ve had a tough day, but tomorrow will be better. I can feel it.”
    • “Today may have not have been the best, but there were a lot of small positives, and I’m choosing to focus on those.”
    • “I will bounce back tomorrow.”

    Let Them Take Healthy Risks

    A healthy risk is defined as a behavior in which the positive reward outweighs the harm in a given situation. Much like building resilience, when kids engage in healthy risk taking behaviors the outcome is worth the parental internal struggle. Risk-taking behavior enables a child to build confidence and strengthens decision making skills. It’s a positive tool for discovery, perception and developing a child’s personal identity. Being able to assess the risk in any situation is a crucial life skill and is important in helping children make good choices.

    Examples of Healthy Risk Taking Behaviors:

    • Getting up on a stage and singing a song
    • Asking a stranger to be their friend
    • Paying for their treat at the ice cream shop
    • Helping measure ingredients in the kitchen

    Try this…

    Every morning I allow my son to be my barista. He fills my mug with water, pushes the buttons on the coffee maker, and adds my sugar and cream. Sometimes it ends with a spill or a coffee that is slightly too sweet (risk) but it has become a morning task and he loves it.

    In the process of making my coffee, he’s mastering skills and learning a recipe which makes him feel important and needed. Little did I know, I’d been allowing my son to engage in a simple healthy risk behavior, and it’s been a small step for building his confidence.

    We hope through this article you’ve discovered new ways to boost your child’s confidence. If you’d like to read more about child development, see 5 Simple Tips for Taming Tantrums

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts (that you can get on Amazon Prime)

    Picture of blog image for mothers day gift guide

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

    Running out of Mother’s Day gift ideas? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! We have compiled a list of our FAVORITE Mother’s Day gifts that are all available on Amazon Prime. See them below!

    Our Favorite Mother’s Day Gifts
    from Amazon Prime

    Air Fryer

    If you’ve frequented our blog, then you know Rock It Mama loves the air fryer. The air fryer can grill, fry, bake and roast in a less amount of time and without using fattening oils. This is an appliance every home needs to have.

    AeroGarden System

    This is the “extraordinary soil-free indoor garden that grows plants 5x faster than soil…” Not only does it bring decorative greenery into your home, but it provides all the herbs you need to garnish those amazing dishes in the kitchen without having to build out a huge garden space outside.

     

    Essential Oil Diffuser

    Create a relaxing atmosphere and maximize the benefits of aromatherapy with this essential oil diffuser. With just a few drops, it’ll leave a space smelling better for up to 6 hours.

     

    Charcuterie Board

    The charcuterie board is perfect Mother’s Day gift for the mom who loves to host!

     

    Body Polish Sugar Scrub

    Who doesn’t love to get pampered, especially on Mother’s Day? This exfoliating body polish is a tad on the high end price-wise, but for good reason. This is paraben-free, sulfate-free, cruelty-free and has been reviewed as one of the best body scrubs on Amazon.

     

    Wife Mom Boss T-Shirt

    Every mama needs a shirt to lift her up. Give her this stylish t-shirt to remind her of what a boss-mom-wife she is!

    The Happy Planner

    Mama’s do it all – so maybe they’ll enjoy this a planner to help organize the chaos. This Happy Planner is completely customizable and comes with beautiful images and inspirational sayings.

     

    Cravings Hungry for More Cookbook

    If you follow Chrissy Teigen on Instagram, then you probably see her whipping up amazing dishes in the kitchen every day. This cookbook is filled with her favorite family dishes, and some recipes passed down from her mother!

     

    Garden Tool Set

    With spring in full bloom and summer right around the corner, perhaps your mom is due for a new gardening set. Complete with a travel bag, shears, spray bottle and other gardening necessities, this is the perfect gift for moms with a green thumb!

    Wine Glass Tumbler

    What mom doesn’t love wine? Whether its used for red, white or a sparkling variety – just fill it up. Made of insulated stainless steel, this is the perfect travel tumbler.

    Shiatsu Massager

    An Amazon #1 Best Seller – this Shiatsu Massager from Zyllion, Inc. can be used on necks, backs, calves, feet and more. Its also travel friendly, so your mom can enjoy this on the road or in the office!

     

    Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave

    Does your mom love home design? If so, she would certainly enjoy this inspirational book from Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines. Readers can learn about blending styles, tackling common design problems and how to nail the famous farmhouse-inspired style that Gaines has so famously been known for.

     

    Enjoy this gift guide? Check out this post on Gift Ideas Under $10.

     

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  • Get Kids Excited about Eating Breakfast with Homemade Air Fryer Pop Tarts

    It should come as no surprise that my three year old doesn’t come sprinting down the stairs for breakfast each morning since I often skip the entire meal myself and settle for coffee (I’m working on that!)

    One way to encourage breakfast eating (or any meal for that matter) is to have kids help prepare dishes and perhaps even come up with their own recipes, under the supervision of adults, of course! It also helps when the meal is easy to make and absolutely delicious, and BONUS I get to munch on them too.

    This recipe is an easy spin on an old classic – the pop tart! Thanks to the invention of the air fryer, its possible to create this delicious morning treat in a matter of minutes. My son and I had the best time decorating and getting creative with the icing and toppings.

    Note that the icing does dry fast so keep adding more in order for the toppings to stick. The extra layer of sweetness yields even tastier pop tart. We used Nutella and strawberry preserves for our fillings but feel free to experiment with other fillers such as marsh mellow, chocolate, banana, etc. Have some fun with it!

    The principle ingredient in the icing is Greek yogurt to cut down on sugar bright and early. It is not quite guilt free but certainly healthier than the store bought version.

    Let us help with the stress of skipping “the most important meal of the day” and get kids excited about eating breakfast with homemade air fryer pop tarts!

    Homemade Air Fryer Pop Tarts
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    5 mins
    Total Time
    25 mins
     
    Ingredients
    • 1 Refrigerated or homemade pie crust
    • 1/2 cup Strawberry preserves or Nutella
    • 1/3 cup Cream cheese for icing
    • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt for icing
    • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract for icing
    • 4 tbsp Powdered sugar for icing
    Instructions
    1. Roll pie crust onto floured surface and cut into rectangles.

    2. Spread strawberry preserves or nutella onto rectangle pie crust. Leave half an inch from edge for seal. Place another rectangle pie crust on top.

    3. Seal the pie crusts with water around the edges and use fork to mold both rectangles together. 

    4. Coat Air Fryer with cooking spray. Place pop tarts in fryer. Heat at 350 degrees and let cook for 5 minutes.

    5. Mix all of the icing ingredients in a bowl. Once Pop Tarts are done, remove from fryer and ice. Add sprinkles or other toppings.

     

    Picture of knife cutting rectangle into pie crust to make homemade air fryer pop tart.

    Picture of Knife spreading strawberry preserves on rectangle pie crust to make homemade air fryer pop tart.

    Picture of fork molding rectangle pie crust together to make homemade air fryer pop tart.

    Caught mid-bite eating his
    air fryer pop tarts!

    We hope those early mornings are now a little sweeter! If you’re looking for more air fryer recipes to jump out of bed for, check out our Air Fryer Donuts

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  • 3 Easy Ways to Teach Kids Phone Numbers

    A few months ago, I shared a project to help teach children their address. It ended up being a fun and creative way to get my 5 year old to memorize the specifics about where we live. Because the hands-on activity was enjoyable for him, he caught on quick and I thought it would be a great strategy to implement similarly when teaching him other life skills, like learning important phone numbers!

    These days we’re likely to just tap on a name in our phone without needing to remember any numbers, but theres no denying that learning and memorizing important phone numbers is a great life skill to have. By teaching your child important phone numbers, you are helping them to be self-sufficient and confident – and it could possibly be life-saving.

    Here are 3 easy ways you can teach kids important phone numbers

    1. Make a bracelet!

    Picture of phone number bracelet activity

    This simple project was a hit with my son! Wearing a bracelet with an important phone number is a great reminder for you child and they’ll easily be able to recognize and recite it after repeatedly seeing it. Additionally, wearing a bracelet with an important phone number can be a smart safety plan for family outings, such as an amusement park and (god forbid) you were to get separated.

    Creating the bracelet is simple: Just use an assortment of bead colors, number beads and some elastic string. If you want your child to learn multiple phone numbers, you can even use alphabet beads to include the persons name in the bracelet. Besides being a helpful learning activity, creating the phone number bracelet strengthens fine motor skills as well.

    2. Play a match gamePicture of craft stick phone number activity to memorize phone number

    With two common household items, you can create this craft stick phone number activity. Using a popsicle stick, write your important phone number down and write numbers 0-9 on clothespins. Play a matching game and see if you child can match up the numbers. If you have multiple numbers you would like them to practice learning, label the popsicle sticks on the opposite side (i.e. “Mimi’s Phone,” “Police,” etc). You can even test your child, like flash cards, to see if they can match the contact to the phone number.

    3. Practice dialing important numbers (free worksheets below)

    Picture of practice phone number dialing
    Practice makes perfect – and we created a free worksheet bundle that you can use with your child to encourage phone number memorization. The worksheets are a great visual for your child to see what exact numbers in sequence they need to plug in and includes a pretend phone sheet to practice dialing those numbers.

    Download the FREE printable for this activity below!

    Picture of printable phone bundle to teach kids their phone number

    If you liked this project, you might enjoy this post where we share teaching your kids their addresses!



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  • Happy Earth Children’s PRINTABLE Earth Day Activity

    As a self-proclaimed tree hugger it’s important to me that my kids understand the importance of Earth Day and why it’s vital to the future of our planet to set aside time to care for it. This activity is a simple and effective way to have that teachable moment on what keeps Earth healthy and thus, happy. On the opposite side, it highlights the actions that impact our environment in a negative way.

    Watch as they sort & learn the small ways we can reduce and reuse to protect our precious planet. We’ve included the FREE Happy Earth Children’s Earth Day Activity printable. It’s available for download at the bottom of this post. Happy Earth Day!

    Picture of Happy Earth Printable activity for Earth Day learning and creating.

    You will need:

    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Blue or green construction paper
    • The Rock It Mama Earth Day printable (Two-page download at the bottom of post)

    Directions

    Glue the sorting chart page on either the green or blue construction paper for aesthetic purposes. Next, cut the two earths first and have your child distinguish between the happy earth vs. the sad earth. Glue both earths on the top of each side of the T chart.

    As each graphic is cut out, have a conversation about the picture and what is taking place. Explain why each picture either makes the Earth happy or sad based on what is occurring. Lastly, have them glue the graphic on the correct side of the T chart.

    Cutting Happy Earth printable for Earth Day learning activity.

    Just look at that focus! (Insert heart eyes)

    He’s well on his way to becoming a passionate environmentalist. Need more fun ideas for appreciating nature and the world around us? Add these 7 Nature and Exploration Ideas for Kids to your list!



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