Posts tagged with: teenagers

Family Gift Making for the Holidays

Most of last week was spent planning the craft projects that we would do in order to have gifts for everyone that we love and hold dear. This planning was done by myself, my daughter (16), and my nephew (11).

We had done some pre-planning as well, collecting candle and holder cast-offs, as well as flowers to dry and pinecones and acorns. We dried the flowers, dug candle ends from holders, washed the candle holders, bought wicks and saved used soup cans which we also washed out and removed the lids to. My sister and I had also purchased cheap craft kits at A.C. Moore for my nephew, and he is making gifts for people from those.

What were the reasons for such madness?

Lack of funds for purchasing gifts. We are planning to make and bake all of the gifts that we will be giving to people. We have cut down to getting family gifts only, except for the one celebration that has very small children in attendance. Their gifts will also be homemade.

In all honesty, I cannot even afford to purchase gifts for my own daughters, except two gifts costing a total of under $20.00 for Zowie (16). I also acquired a gift that she will really appreciate through Freecycle. The gifts for Skye (19) I worked for by helping a neighbor with numerous tasks. I took these very nice items in trade, and my daughter will love them.

Here I offer up some ideas for your gift-making adventures:

  • Recover old pillows/pillow forms with tied fleece.
  • Make homemade ornaments from pinecones.
  • Make homemade tied fleece blankets for little ones, from old fleece blankets.
  • Make homemade sticker albums.
  • Bake homemade breads, brownies, cakes and cookies.
  • Make homemade scrapbooks. Make homemade jewelry.

Making homemade gifts teaches children and teenagers many things, including frugality and economics when you are discussing why you are making things instead of purchasing them. It also teaches the important values of reduce, reuse and recycle when you create new things from old materials. Children will have a sense of pride that comes from accomplishing something good, and they will learn valuable life skills. For math, you can have them figure out what purchasing gifts for everyone would have cost them, as well as tax, and then by seeing how much they saved by making things. As for environmentalism? Take them to the store so that they can see how much packaging is involved when purchasing new items, explain how much packaging is involved in shipping, and discuss with them how much petroleum is used to ship the products from place to place.

There is a lot that can be learned from making our own gifts, but I am partial to the time spent with the children while we are making the items. Last Sunday, we all spent time making candles together. My nephew also spent most of last week making his own gifts for people. Time spent with children doing these things is a precious resource in-and-of itself.

Spending time creating things together is also a great way to teach children appreciation and caring ways, which are important traits in anyone.

Shannon

P.S. Do you have any ideas for making holiday gifts? Please share them with us in the comments section. Thank you.

Other Articles of interest:

Children and Boredom

Family Bowling


More Thanksgiving Leftover Meals

I think these are the last of the turkey leftover recipes that I will be posting. I hope that they are helpful to all of you.

Leftovers are as easy for teenagers to prepare as they are for adults, and even younger children can prepare at least one on these recipes pretty much on their own. They are also quick and easy for families to work together on preparing.

Leftovers are also pretty cheap to prepare.

Slowcooker Leftover Turkey and Gravy

Leftover Thanksgiving Fry Pan Meal

Leftover Thanksgiving Soup

Leftover Turkey Sandwich Bar

I hope that you all enjoy your holiday meal(s), as well as the leftovers. I know that we will.

We were lucky enough to pick up 2 turkeys at the supermarket at about .59 a pound. They are pretty good size turkeys, and we paid just under $10.00 each. We will have one for Thanksgiving, and one for Christmas.

Shannon

P.S. If you have any recipes that you would like to share, or even cooking tips, please do so in the comments section. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

Thanksgiving Crafts for Teens

Planned Thanksgiving Leftovers: A Great Idea for the Single Mom


Planned Thanksgiving Leftovers: A Great Idea for the Single Mom

Planned leftovers can be very helpful to the single mother. The first way in which planning these leftovers is helpful is that they can save you money. You can take your time buying all of the components of your meal, so that you hit all of the sales. Store brands are often great deals as well. If you buy extra, and cook it all up, you can easily and quickly prepare meals for the rest of the week. You can even make your own TV dinners this way.

Planned leftovers are easy for families to prepare together, so even younger children can help.  In turn, this gives you more time to spend with your children. You can all do something that you enjoy, instead of wasting time in the kitchen.

Another benefit of planned leftovers is that they are easy for your teenagers to prepare. They can have dinner prepared for when you get home from work, saving you time and, sometimes, the expense of take-out. Teenagers can be a huge benefit to their families.

Planned leftovers should be put together as much as possible when cleaning up after your Thanksgiving meal. You already have to clean up anyway. Anything that will keep in the refrigerator for a few days can be wrapped as complete meals and stored there. Everything else can be frozen as meals and taken out the day before needed, preferable in the morning for good thawing time.

Happy November!!!

Shannon

P.S. I will soon post some leftover recipes for your enjoyment. If you have any recipes or tips that you would like to share, feel free to post them in the comments section. They will be helpful to others. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

More Thanksgiving Leftover Meals

Thanksgiving Crafts for Teens


What Chores can My Children do?

This is a common question from many parents. They are wondering what, if anything, there children can do to help out at home at different ages.

Giving children chores provides many benefits:

  • It teaches them responsibility.
  • It shows them that they are important in the up-keeping of their home.
  • It shows them that they are valued for their skills.
  • It shows them that can can accomplish new tasks.
  • They will know that you value their ability to help out when needed.
  • It helps take a little of the load of you, which is especially helpful to single mothers who work inside our outside of the home.

So, what can your children do? Well, that all depends on their ages and abilities, as well as on what you need done. Here are some guidelines:

Toddlers:

  • Pick up their toys and put them in their toy boxes.
  • ‘Help’ mom with little tasks.
  • Pick up their books.
  • Clear their places at the table.
  • Put dirty clothes in the hamper.

Pre-school aged children:

  • Sort socks and match them up while mom is folding laundry.
  • Learn to put clean clothes in drawers with moms help.
  • Pick up after their various activities.
  • ‘Help’ mom with easy food prep.

Young elementary school aged children:

  • They can do everything above on their own.
  • They can also do more food preparation on their own. They can pour their own cereal and measure things out more easily.
  • They can help with younger siblings.
  • Clean the bathroom sink area.
  • Sweep floors.

Older elementary age children:

  • Take out trash.
  • Do some supervised cooking.
  • Vacuum.
  • Dust.
  • Unload the dishwasher or wash dishes in the sink.
  • Strip the beds.
  • Fold laundry and put away.

Teenagers:

  • Young teens should begin learning about the rest of the chores as well as home maintenance. They should also learn things like grocery shopping and menu planning.
  • Older teens should be able to do everything by themselves, but should not be expected to do everything each day. Find the schedule that works best for your family. They may also benefit from a savings/checking account, using their own money.

Hopefully, these guidelines will help you to create the perfect task plans for all of your children.

Shannon

P.S. What chores do you have your children doing at what ages? Let us know by commenting on this post. Your advice will help many other single mothers. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

Children and Boredom

Rewarding Good Behaviour


A Food Cupboard in Your Kitchen Helps Older Children be Independent

Older children need to be able to feel more independent, and teenagers can eat you out of house and home. Both groups will do well to have some freedom as to what after school snacks they can have, or what meals if they are home alone.

Giving them a food cupboard of their won is a good way to handle both of these situations. They can learn responsibility, and this frees you up to worry about other things. It will also save you some money, because you will have more control over how much your child is eating.

Now, how to create the cupboard:

  • Step 1: Choose an appropriate cupboard, one which your child can easily reach all the way into the back of.
  • Step 2: Decide what types of food items you will put into the cupboard. Will there be items that need to be cooked? This will depend on the age of the child. You may allow them to only use the microwave when they are gone. Teenagers may have full access to the stove and oven.
  • Step 3: Sit down with your child and get his or her input on what they would like in the cupboard.
  • Step 4: Set up a designated area in the refrigerator for items that need to go in there. Maybe a shelf on the door. Make sure your child knows that she/he is only to touch what is in her/his designated area.
  • Step 5: Clear and wash out the cupboard that will be known as your child’s cupboard from now on.
  • Step 6: Set a budget for the week and take your child shopping.
  • Step 7: Have your child put his/her groceries away. You will, at this time, want to prepare things like peanut butter and crackers. This way, there will be less mess on your child’s part.
  • Step 8: Go over the rules of the cupboard food system. Is this only for after school snacks? Meals and snacks? Go over the safety rules of the stove/oven and microwave.

You may find other things that you need to do to prepare.

 

Shannon

P.S. Share with us your experiences regarding children’s set-up in your home in the comments section. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

Setting Up Your Child’s Food Cupboard/Shelf/Drawer

Rewarding Good Behaviour