Summer break is undoubtedly a great time to relax and vacation, but it’s also the perfect season to purposely teach your kids the life skills that will serve them well today and when they leave your home one day for adulthood.

Whether you have toddlers or teens, take the time over the summer months to teach your kids the life skills they may be lacking. During a busy school year, we sometimes don’t have an opportunity to teach our sons and daughters the crucial things they need to know.

Here are 11 life skills to teach your child this summer and beyond

1. Make a bed

Start simple. “If you can’t do the little things right, you will never be able to do the big things right. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,” said Naval Admiral William H. McRaven in his University of Texas at Austin 2014 commencement address.

kids-make-bed

Teach your kids to start each day by making their bed, reinforcing the fact that little things matter.

READ: WHY YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR BED

2. Write and send mail

In this digital age we are raising kids in, we forget to teach our sons and daughters the basic skills of addressing an envelope properly or where to place the postage stamp. Do your kids know how much stamps cost or where to buy them? A perfect summer field trip might be to the post office.

kids-send-summer-postcards

This summer, have your son or daughter send postcards to their grandparents or other loved ones when you are traveling or mail them from your hometown. What thank you notes need to be written and mailed off to family and friends?

READ: 5 REASONS YOUR KIDS SHOULD WRITE THANK YOU NOTES

3. Pack their camp or travel bags

Whether it’s their sports bag or camp duffle, our sons and daughters need to learn to pack their bags with the contents they need without our help. If your child is younger, you may need to make a checklist for them to follow until they are in the habit of gathering everything by themselves. Older kids can make a list for themselves if need be.

The more you hold your kids responsible for their tasks, the more accountable they will become. 

READ: 5 REASONS TO MAKE SUMMER CAMP A PART OF YOUR FAMILY PLAN

4. Tip wait staff

Most parents know to teach their children proper restaurant etiquette- to look at the server in the eye and order their meals for themselves while politely using their manners.

But, many times, we forget to teach our children how to tip. When you eat out this summer, take the time to show your older children how to figure 15%-20% of the bill so they can confidently tip the server when they are out to eat with friends or on a date one day.

5. Make money

If our children drive a car, carry around an iPhone with a data plan, or wear name-brand clothing and shoes, they undoubtedly need to contribute to paying for these privileges.

Even if we can afford a comfortable lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that we should hinder our child from learning the valuable life skills of working and earning money. 

Can you come alongside your son or daughter and help them resell things online or start a business washing windows or mowing lawns? I’m also a big advocate of having teens get summer jobs in the community- at local restaurants and retailers like we used to do back in the day. 

READ: WHY MY TEENS WILL SPEND THE SUMMER WORKING IN A RESTAURANT

6. Manage money

If our children are going to make money, they need to learn to manage it.

Help your child open a bank account eventually attached to a checkbook or debit card. Teach them how to go into a bank branch and talk to the teller and help them manage their account online.

If your child isn’t old enough to work yet, another way for them to learn to manage money is by giving them a consistent monthly allowance. Don’t pay your child for their performance or for doing chores. But instead, provide them with an allowance for being a valuable part of your family.

READ: 5 TIPS TO GIVING KIDS AN ALLOWANCE

7. Contribute to the household

Everyone in our home is expected to pitch in, for the good of the family team, without getting paid a stipend for it. If you live in the house, you get to help take out the trash, empty the dishwasher, help with meals, and clean this or scrub that.

raise-Contributors-kids-chores

Your child should have repetitive contributing work that benefits the good of the entire household and not just responsibility for caring for their stuff.

8. Fill out paperwork

Come alongside your tweens and teens and begin teaching them how to fill out their camp, sports, and medical paperwork to the best of their ability now so that they are comfortable filling out their job and college applications one day. 

Filling out paperwork is a pain that none of us enjoy, but it’s a fact of life that our older children can certainly handle.

READ: 3 THINGS YOU NEED TO TEACH YOUR HIGH SCHOOLER BEFORE THEY GO TO COLLEGE

9. Know pertinent information

I was driving my daughter’s friend home, and she couldn’t tell me where she lived. The 14-year-old knew her address but couldn’t tell me the major crossroads near her house. Her cell phone was dead, and she didn’t know her Dad’s phone number either.

The adult kindly driving our child home shouldn’t need a data plan to get them there. Our child should know parents’ phone numbers and how to direct an adult to the vicinity of their home without an app. Teach your son or daughter the major crossroads near your home and how to navigate the local area using their brain instead of a device.

10. Make a meal

The summer season is a perfect time to teach our sons and daughters how to navigate the kitchen.

Our younger children can make and pack their lunches for camp, while our older ones can come alongside us and learn to cook dinners for the entire family once in a while. It’s also essential to take the time to teach your child how to navigate the grocery store and shop smart.

Grab my Kitchen and Summer Skills Lists in my ‘How to Create A Summer of Significance in 2021 Printable Pack HERE!

11. Laundry from start to finish

  Teach your child the task of doing their laundry from start to finish.

kids-laundry-chores

  “Very few people have a washing machine that’s more complicated than a tablet. If they can work an iPad, they can do laundry,” said childhood expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa, whose eight-year-old son made a YouTube video teaching college students how to do laundry.

Take the time this summer to teach your child to do their laundry from start to finish. 

READ: 8 THINGS YOU SHOULD STOP DOING FOR YOUR TEEN

We must remember that one of our main goals as a parent is to teach our children what they will need to know when they leave our home for adulthood. Use summer break as an opportunity to strengthen your son or daughter’s set of life skills.

What life skills will you be striving to teach your child this summer?

High school graduation time can be such a busy, bittersweet season. We must take the time and make an effort to find ways to celebrate our children and show them how valued they are.

Take the time to do the little things that can make a significant impact and make your graduate feel loved on their special day and beyond!

Here are 5 ways to create more meaning for your high school graduate

1. Create a School Years Photo Album

What have you done with all of those school pictures through the years? Take the time to gather them and quickly put them in my You Are Loved School Days Keepsake Album for an easy yet meaningful graduation gift.

Get more information or purchase your You are Loved School Days Keepsake Kit HERE! Everything you need to effortlessly create it is included, minus the photos.

2. 18 Letters of Love

For our daughter’s 18th birthday, I asked 18 women who have influenced her life to each write her a letter telling her how much she is loved. A collection of letters of love is a perfect idea to do for a graduation gift as well.

You could even ask loved ones to include their high school graduation photos and talk about what life was like for them after graduating high school and any advice they have for your child!

I laughed and cried reading all of the beautiful sentiments of love and encouragement expressed to our daughter in these cards. I’m so happy I took the time to ask family, friends, employers, and other mentors to contribute to this meaningful gift that will last a lifetime.

3. Create a Childhood Clothesline

If you have saved special clothing items from your son or daughter’s childhood, pull them out of the bin and hang those items from birth through their senior year on a ‘clothesline’ for their graduation celebration. This display made such a great decoration for our sons’ graduation, and all I had to buy was the clothesline and pins.

4. Display Childhood Photos and Yearbooks

My motto is to use what you already have to create meaningful celebration centerpieces. Pull out the yearbooks and display adorable photos from the past. Add a little confetti, and you’ve got a perfect celebratory table setup.

Why not recreate a precious photo from the past and then display them together!

5. Purchase Unique to Your Graduate Decorations

Nothing makes a person feel more special than something dedicated solely to them. I order these personalized high school and college logo embellishments from my fellow writer friend Marybeth Bock for my graduates. Purchasing Class of 20** tableware in school colors also brings more meaning to your setup. I like to order our graduation partyware from Oriental Trading.

6. Give Personalized Gifts

My go-to gift for the graduates in our lives is personalized stationery with the graduate’s name and college logo from Arizona-based mom Pretty Paper Club. Or how about a new Bible embossed with your graduate’s initials?

What ideas do you have for making high school graduation celebrations more meaningful?

Sami-Cone-Show-Meaningful-Mothers-Day-Mementoes

When I was diagnosed with cervical cancer several years ago, I questioned what I would want to
hand down to my four young children if that disease were to take my life.

Fortunately, I returned to full health and with a deeper appreciation for the importance of leaving a legacy while I’m alive and able. I developed my legacy keepsake product line because of that experience.

Moms must take the time to capture the memories and moments of motherhood through the
years. I created three products to help mothers create a lasting keepsake to enjoy today and pass down to future generations.

READ How To Create A Meaningful Keepsake for Your Child

 

How to Create Meaningful Mementos to Hand Down to our Kids

Let’s take a deeper look at these three meaningful mementos that we can hand down to our kids.

1. 100 Questions for Mom Journal

The 100 Questions for Mom journal helps moms of all ages and stages intentionally record the many moments of their lives and legacies. After all, our wisdom can only be treasured by future generations if we take the time to share our stories.

100-Questions-For-Mom-Journal-Amy-Carney

This guided journal, created for mothers and grandmothers, is full of thoughtful prompts that
encourage you to record your stories. Insightful questions are on every page, from childhood
memories to reflections on your hopes for the future.

READ MORE ON SAMICONE.COM

earth day farmers market

Let’s use Earth Day as an excuse to pause and consider how well we are stewarding God’s beautiful creation- our planet Earth.

Here are some ideas to help your family have some fun on Earth Day, while also educating yourself on ways to better Reduce, Reuse, Refuse and Recycle this spring and beyond!

Here Are Great Ways to Celebrate & Feel Good About Helping Our Planet 🌎

1. Create a new earth-friendly habit for your family in 2021

What is one thing you could do to lessen your footprint on the planet right now?

  • Buy washable, reusable grocery bags to use instead of plastic. (My favorites are Envirosax.)
earth day farmers market

We loved our weekly outings to Uptown Farmers Market in Phoenix during quarantine!

  • Can you cut down on purchasing one-time-use disposables and single-use plastics such as bottled water? We stopped buying bottled water over a year ago and fill up reusable pitchers and individual stainless steel bottles instead.
  • My favorite habit we started during Covid quarantine was to begin composting thanks to Recycled City. Why not throw your food waste into a compost bin instead of the trash can contributing to your local food economy by creating fresh, chemical-free soil.

2. Get outside and enjoy an Earth Dayte

  • Visit a National Park since it’s also National Park Week this week! Get the details HERE
  • Go support a local farmers market or farm-to-table restaurant. Find your local farmer’s market or local food directory HERE
  • Take the kids on an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt or Color Walk around the neighborhood

color-nature-walk

3. Stay inside and enjoy learning virtually

  • Play an online game to test your recycling knowledge HERE
  • Take a virtual tour of a Recycling Facility

Educate yourself on environmental issues by watching thought-provoking documentaries (These were recommended to me, but I have not personally watched them all yet. Reply to this email if you have any favorites to add!)

  • The Story of Plastic Takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.
  • More Than Honey – Tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction.
  • Dirt – Learn how to compost, why it’s important for the fate of our world, and other awesome facts about this often underestimated part of life.
  • The True Cost – The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye-opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.
  • How about watching the Netflix series Win the Wilderness  – where six British couples brave sub-zero temperatures, wild bears, and predators as they compete to win a home deep within the Alaskan wilderness.

4. Keep used textiles out of landfills and donate them instead

It’s not helpful to drop off stained, ripped, or worn-out clothing at any thrift store. Instead of throwing your unusable textiles in the garbage,  you can drop them in for-profit parking lot bins and they will turn your “trash” into treasure.

donate-textiles-parking-lot-bins

You can also recycle your plastic grocery bags at accepting locations near you HERE  Learn what plastics are recyclable HERE You might be surprised what you are throwing away that you could recycle instead!

Also, look for places to donate your old batteries, corks, printer ink cartridges, or electronics.

5. Make eco-friendly household cleaners

White vinegar and vodka are power cleaners, easily cutting through grease and removing mildew, odors, stains, and wax buildup. Reuse existing spray bottles in your home instead of buying new ones! HERE are some eco-friendly cleaning ‘recipes’ from my friend Sami.

What other ways do you enjoy celebrating and stewarding this amazing planet that we live on?

 

Allowance-financial-literacy-game

When I was growing up, the subject of money was taboo. It’s no wonder I struggled with overspending and compiling significant debt as a young adult. I worked two jobs, yet I didn’t have the skills to properly manage my money because I’d never learned how to do so. 

Therefore, I knew through my financial struggles that I wanted to do my best to raise my children with stronger financial skills. What they then did with that knowledge would be up to them as adults.

How can we raise money smart kids today?

We can teach them from a young age (or as teenagers) how to earn, spend, save and give their money away.

Money-Quote

5 Ways to Raise MONEY SMART KIDS

1. Model conscious spending habits

Let your children see you consciously save, spend and give away your money as they grow up in your home. Let them see your spending decisions match your values. Talk about how you choose to save money in one area so that you can spend in another.

Maybe you purposely buy a lesser expensive car or house than what you can afford so that you instead have money to take a memory-making family vacation or have money to give away to people in need.

Perhaps you teach your kids how to stretch their dollar by modeling the value of shopping at thrift stores, resale retailers, and consignment shops. Shopping second-hand is good for the environment as well as for our wallets.

Explain to your kids that the less you spend on material items, the more you have to spend on experiences that matter. Be conscious of what you choose to spend your money on because your children are paying attention.

2. Consider ways for your child to earn money

There are so many ways to help even young children begin to earn their own cash today.

Teach your children the value of recycling and that by helping our environment, you can also build up your bank accounts. When our kids were young, we lived in California, where recycling plastic water bottles and aluminum cans can earn you cash in hand.

Now we take our already read books to Half Price Books and our outgrown clothes to consignment shops for the kids to earn cash. Our older kids sell items on online sites like Offer up, eBay, or Poshmark.

How could your son or daughter begin to earn their own money before they’re old enough to get a job in the community?

3. Give your kids a consistent allowance to manage

Giving an allowance is a way that we can begin to teach our kids how to save, spend and donate their money.

An allowance isn’t earned in our home but instead given as an opportunity for our kids to learn how to budget. Our kids are learning how to manage their money, and the goal is for them to see that there’s not an unlimited supply of cash. They are learning to make choices when it comes to their spending and saving.

READ 4 TIPS FOR GIVING KIDS AN ALLOWANCE 

One weekend our daughter used her allowance money to go to the water park with her friends. When she came home, she said she couldn’t believe how expensive it was. She would never know those waterpark outings were expensive if we continued to pay for them.

Allow your child to feel the pain of their spending choices now while the stakes are low.

4. Have your child open and manage their bank account

It’s a good idea to have your children each open a bank account early in life. After beginning with a savings account, they can eventually begin a checking account, possibly with a debit card attached, so they can start to learn how to use banking tools successfully before leaving home.

Teach your children how to deposit and withdrawal money in the bank and online. I prefer my kids still go into the bank branch and work face to face with the tellers, even though most of the transactions could be done online.

5. Invest in tools to help you teach financial lessons

Engage your children in learning about important financial concepts in your mission to raise Money Smart Kids. One online resource to help you do that is Dave Ramsey’s self-study finance courses, which happen to be on sale right now for $19.99.

We purchased one of these personal finance courses for my senior sons during the pandemic, and we sat as a family on the living room couch doing it together, even though they acted like we were torturing them, making them do it.  

I do not work with Mr. Ramsey or make one cent off of his products, but I think it’s an excellent resource for those of you wanting to teach your children more about personal finance!

The Allowance Game was a family favorite when our kids were growing up! If you’ve got elementary school-aged kids, grab this board game at Lakeshore Learning HERE.

How are you striving to raise Money Smart Kids in your home?

Allowance-financial-literacy-game

The Allowance Game was a family favorite when our kids were growing up! If you’ve got elementary school aged kids, grab this board game at Lakeshore Learning HERE

How are you striving to raise Money Smart Kids in your home?

the-strawberry-inn-arizona

Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or quiet retreat, The Strawberry Inn is the perfect northern Arizona getaway.

The Strawberry Inn is an easy two-hour drive northeast of Scottsdale and has so many unique accommodations to choose from, depending on your trip’s purpose.

3 Ways I Recommend Spending time at The Strawberry Inn

1. A Romantic Getaway to The Strawberry Inn

The Strawberry Inn is the perfect overnight getaway to spend time together as a couple in the Inn without the kids. The first time Keith and I stayed here in the main inn.

More recently, we had the chance to stay in their newest Airstream Suite just down the road from the inn which was so perfect!

We enjoyed our time hiking at nearby Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. We also loved driving the 2 miles into Pine to eat woodfire pizza at the Old County Inn. (We were bummed to find out on one of our stays that they are closed on Tuesdays, so be sure to check all restaurant hours before heading there!)

CLICK HERE FOR 8 OTHER AWESOME ARIZONA ADVENTURES!

2. A Girls Getaway to The Strawberry Inn Cottages

I’m so grateful that The Strawberry Inn owners recently invited me to stay in one of their 2-bedroom cottages. My girlfriend and I took the time to sleep in, take walks, eat healthy meals that we made in the kitchen and work on our kids’ keepsakes.

It was the perfect getaway not to have to go anywhere, except walk to the Inn for our morning coffee from the Windmill and check out their adorable Little Free Library.

3. Family Fun in The Strawberry Inn’s Bunkhouse

Since Covid canceled all of our planned family adventures in 2020, we regrouped and booked a couple of nights away in The Strawberry Inn’s Bunkhouse.

The Bunkhouse is only .25 miles from the inn and was the perfect getaway for our family of 7! We spent quality time outdoors together, hiking the nearby Arizona Trail and fishing at the Blue Ridge Reservoir.

Back at the bunkhouse, we played some heated games of Left, Center, Right (our family staple when we travel) on the spacious back patio.

The kids also enjoyed relaxing in the Bunkhouse’s hot tub on the patio as well.

The living area is comfortable and spacious for families or a group of friends to hang out together.

Strawberry-Inn-Bunkhouse-Living-Area

Why The Strawberry Inn is the Perfect Getaway… 

  • Your stay supports a local small family-owned business.
  • It is an easy drive to grab a night or two away.
  • It’s in a quiet and beautiful location, with cooler temperatures.
  • It’s a perfect hub for outdoor activities like hiking and fishing or even snow fun in the winter.
  • There are kitchens in many of the accommodations so bringing your own food makes it cost-effective. Dining choices are limited within walking distance, especially on winter weekdays. I loved the new PIEbar that recently opened, serving handmade empanadas, soups, and yummy drinks every day.

Consider how a getaway to The Strawberry Inn could help strengthen your relationships with loved ones!

Have you visited The Strawberry Inn yet? What style of accommodation did you choose?

CLICK HERE for 8 other family-friendly Arizona adventures!

 

11-podcasts-with-amy-carney-2020

One of my favorite ways to consume content and get inspired while raising my kids is through listening to podcasts.

If you are new to podcasts or an avid listener, check out these 11 fun interviews that I got to be a part of in 2020. I think you will find a couple that you just love and will bring new insight into your parenting!

Have you downloaded the Goodpods app yet? Follow me @amycarney and you’ll find most of these episodes in one place!

1. Jan. 5 – Reconnected Parent Podcast with Tom Kersting

“Intentional Parenting and Family Life with Amy Carney”

reconnected-parent-podcast-tom-kersting

2. March 31 – Build your Best Family with Kimberly Amici

“Keepsakes What to Keep and What to Throw Away”

Build-Your-Best-Family-Podcast

3. May 6 – Life on Purpose Podcast with Amy Debrucque

“Parenting on Purpose”

Life-on-purpose-podcast

4. June 22 – You’ve Got This with Sarah Hamaker

“Why Parents Should Focus on Character”

Parents-Focus-on-Character-Sarah-Hamaker

5. July 5 – The Perfectionist’s Guide to Mothering with Andrea Fortenberry

“How to Parent on Purpose”

Andrea-Fortenberry-Podcast

 

6. July 14 – We Call B.S. with Brittany Bollard and Sinead Quinn

“Parenting on Purpose with Amy Carney”

We-Call-Bs-Podcast

7. July 20 – Families that Stick Together with Jennifer Zumbiel

“Parent on Purpose. Will you be proud when this chapter closes”togather-podcast

8. August 14 – The FORM Show with Marc Lucas 

“Parent on Purpose”

Marc-Lucas-FORM-Show-Podcast

9. Aug. 25 – The Unhurried Life with Jen Brazeal

“Purposeful Parenting with Amy Carney”

Unhurried-Life-Podcast

10. Nov. 17 – The Boy Mom Podcast with Monica Swanson

“Raising Siblings to be Strong Together and Strong Individually”

Boy-Mom-Podcast

11. Dec. 8 – The Moms of Tweens & Teens Podcast with Sheryl Gould

“Are you Raising Your Tweens and Teens for Adulthood? How to…”

moms-tweens-teens-podcast

Which episode was your favorite?

What is your favorite podcast that I should be on in 2021?

100-Questions-For-Mom-Journal-Amy-Carney

One ordinary afternoon, as my aunt and I, were leisurely shopping at a Phoenix strip mall, I received a call on my cell phone from an unknown number. Since I was in a good mood, I went ahead and answered it, oblivious to the life-changing truth I was about to hear.

It wasn’t the random sales call I thought it would be; instead, it was the nurse from my gynecologist’s office letting me know that my recent appointment results were not good. The tests had detected cervical cancer, and it was at a stage that would require an immediate hysterectomy.

One minute, I was leisurely searching for healthy snacks for my kids’ school lunches, and the next minute I was preparing for surgery. How could this be possible?

Because this is life, and anything is possible.

Those next few minutes, weeks, and months were a blur. Me? Cancer? I had always been a healthy person overall, so being told in 2011 that I had cancer came as quite a shock.

During this unsettling period, I pondered if I had prepared the keepsakes and mementos that I wanted to leave behind for my children if this disease were to take my life.

Our lives can and might change in an instant.

I had saved various material items for my children but I had not taken the time to write out important moments and memories from my life. I want my children and future grandchildren to know who I was before I was a mom and who I’ve become since. 

Because of this, I created a new journal- 100 Questions for Mom– to help all of us, moms, easily tell the stories that have made up our lives. I want to slow down today while I am healthy and take the time to write about my life and what I’ve experienced.

We must take the time to write out the stories of our lives while we are healthy and able.

The memories we share with loved ones are an invaluable treasure. My guided journal, created just for mothers and grandmothers, is full of thoughtful writing prompts that encourage you to record your stories. When you have put your memories to paper, this precious memoir can be passed down to your children and cherished for generations to come.

100-Questions-For-Mom-Journal-Amy-Carney

Your Handwriting Matters

Who doesn’t recognize their mother or grandmother’s handwriting when they see it?

Unfortunately, our precious handwriting may not be as familiar to our children as it has always been in past generations, thanks to the digital world we are living in.

I created this journal as a way for busy moms to write out their thoughts and stories turning this guided journal into a priceless treasure.

Who wouldn’t love a journal full of handwritten memories and stories from their grandmother or mother?

100-Questions-for-Mom-Amy-Carney

Insightful questions on every page invite you to delve into topics both lighthearted and momentous. You’ll explore recollections of your childhood, the wisdom of motherhood, and your hopes for the future. With short questions and plenty of space to write your answers, it’s easy to capture the moments that have shaped your life.

Share your story with my 100 Questions for Mom Journal that is:

  • In your own words―Explore deep, thought-provoking topics or share funny anecdotes in a Q&A format that lets you use your unique voice.
  • Practical and elegant―A classic design and roomy lined pages make this guided journal a joy to use and a delight to read when you’re done.
  • For mothers of all kinds―Share your experiences and one-of-a-kind perspective through open-ended questions that suit any age and family structure.

Learn more about creating your legacy with this simple guided mom journal or pre-order it HERE.

Family-digital-device-holder

We know that digital devices and screens separate us in our homes more often than they bring us together. This holiday season why not set your family up for success by intentionally investing in products and tools to help you connect to one another rather than tear you further apart.

Fortnite and TikTok may not exactly be furthering our family goals, so let’s purposely purchase things that will actually be beneficial to our family heading into 2021.

Here are 8 tools worth gifting your family this holiday season to bring you closer in 2021 and beyond!

1. Unplug Family Device Holder

Unplug-box-for-digital-devices

What I love about Cade and Birch’s Unplug device holders is that they provide us an intentional place for our screens to live overnight or whenever we want our homes to be screen-free.

Having an intentional (and beautiful) place to store our devices in our home helps our family members routinely unplug. 

Unplug-Technology-Family-Device-Holder

2. Conversation Starters

Togather-Conversation-Starter-Books

In my recent interview on The Boy Mom Podcast, Author Monica Swanson asked me what my favorite product for moms of boys was, and I said “conversation starters” with my current favorite being Togather’s unique sticker gamebooks.

Drivealogue-Family-Communication-Parenting-Tool

Another favorite is Drivealogue because these cards uniquely touch on tougher, yet vital, social conversations and are meant to use in the car while driving your sons and daughters to and fro. These conversation starter packs come in 3 different sets depending on the age of your kids.

3. Invest in a Local Adventure

Changing up our scenery throughout this pandemic has been life-giving to our family. We may not be able to travel far from home right now, but there is definitely a nearby adventure where your family can go refuel, while also supporting a local business during this hard time.

The-Strawberry-Inn-Arizona-Family-Fun

Two of our favorites getaways in Arizona are The Strawberry Inn and The Circle Pines KOA campground in Williams. We like to go where we can spend time quality time outdoors and reconnect as a family. Why not get really crazy and rent an RV with Outdoorsy?

4.  My Parent on Purpose in 2021 Printable Packs

Parent-on-purpose-in-2021-workbook

I created some printable resources to help parents make a plan to raise their children with more confidence, joy, and purpose in 2021 and beyond, despite the challenging circumstances we may be living in! We can’t afford to just wing it when parenting our kids in today’s complicated culture. My products are designed to give you ideas and tangible resources to strengthen yourself, your family, and your kids!

5. Fun Family Games

Left, Center, Right is a staple in our family. Most every holiday, and when we are traveling, we play this simple dice game with whoever is joining us. Forget the chips it comes with and use pennies or quarters to make it more exciting.

Left-Center-Right-Family-Game

My Parent on Purpose Amazon store features several fun family games and products that we enjoy!

6. Personalized Stationery

Personalized-Stationery-Pretty-Paper-Club

Why not invest in personalized stationery or thank you notes for your family members? That way there’s no excuse to write Grandma that loving note of appreciation!

Pretty Paper Club is my favorite local, Mom-owned source for our customized stationery needs!

7. Meaningful Framed Photo Display for your Home

Take the time to get your precious photos off of your phone and into a meaningful display for all to see on a regular basis in your home!

USA-Family-Framed-Map-50-States

Perhaps you want to create a one-of-a-kind 50 states framed map showing where you’ve been or where you’re going around the USA? I am in love with ours!  Thunder Bunny Labs has a map maker tool to easily turn your photos into the shapes of the states.

8. The White Envelope

white-envelope-project

It is far better to give than receive so why not start The White Envelope tradition. This year instead of buying family members material gifts that no one needs, choose to give back to a worthy organization instead. Write a letter to your kids telling them who you chose to donate gifts to this year and put it in a white envelope on your tree to be opened on Christmas. This Christmas we are purchasing sports equipment and giving camp experiences to KAA Kamps.

What organization or group of people could use your support this holiday season?

What are your family favorites that you would add to this list?

* A few of the links I have used are affiliate links which means I may make a few dollars off of your purchase. Please know that I would never recommend anything that I don’t use or believe in myself.

Unplug-Technology-Family-Device-Holder

I’ve never been more thankful for technology than I am in 2020. Our devices and connection to the internet allow us regular communication with our college kids and loved ones around the country.

Yet, this same technology that connects us to the vast world also has the power to disconnect us in our own homes if we’re not careful.

It’s been a struggle for me to watch my teenagers in front of screens more often than usual during this pandemic.

Not only have my teens been stuck schooling from a screen, but they’re turning to their devices more often than usual in their downtime too. We certainly can’t blame them, yet we know that the excessive screen use in our home isn’t healthy.

So, what do we parents do?

Here are 5 Ways to Set Your Family up for Screen-Time Success During this Pandemic and Beyond

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