Fall is such a wonderful season to enjoy. As we watch the leaves turn from green to orange and browns, the temperatures drop and everything around us is pumpkin and apples then you know it is one of the best seasons of all. I wanted to share this simple DIY that can bring fall into your home for under $10. Your love of candy corn can make the perfect decor. You just need a few supplies to create a unique centerpiece. Simply take a small glass candle holder or container, fill it with candy corn and top it with a tea light. That’s it! It’s a perfect, yet simple centerpiece to a Fall dinner table.
Pour the bag of candy corn into the glass jar, filling slightly to the top.
Add your tea light candle.
Display your beautiful decoration on your table or mantle.
This candle holder can be displayed in many different ways. Add a ribbon of your favorite season. Add crystal clear or blue marbles during the spring months. You can also add m&m’s or holiday colored candy corns for Christmas. The options are endless.
Southern Carolina Family has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
As the kids get older, some parts of life have gotten easier. The night time calls for mom are rare, the messes seem less severe and they can dress and groom themselves. But, the one area that hasn’t gotten any easier would be our dish situation.
Three growing boys can create a massive amount of dirty dishes in a matter of moments. Keeping up with their hunger and the aftermath has had me dreaming of a new dishwasher. My eye sparkles at the sight of the Bosch AutoAir™ Bosch 500 Series dishwasher when I am shopping at Best Buy.
No More Dirty Dishes
I love that the Bosch AutoAir™ automatically opens the door at the end of the drying cycle to let moisture escape and fresh air circulate for better drying results. *Compared to Bosch Dishwashers with PureDry. It has a quiet operation and a roomy interior which can hold up to 16 place settings. That is just the right size for a family who has always hungry kids, or that loves to entertain.
Back to School with Bosch
While the kids are just getting back to school, the mom in me recognizes that cold and flu season lurks right around the corner. A big selling point in the Bosch 500 series Auto Air is that this dishwasher has a Sanitize Option that reduces 99.9% of bacteria with a hot-wash rinse for sparkling clean and sanitized dishes. How helpful is that in keeping your family healthy year-round?
If you are looking for a new dishwasher, the Bosch Auto Air is the one to look at; it has a flexible third rack and the capabilities to customize how the racks fit in the dishwasher for a one of a kind clean, every time.
Next time you are in Best Buy be sure to check out the appliance section with the new Bosch Auto Air dishwasher. It has made my life in the kitchen a lot less stressful.
**Compared to Bosch Dishwashers with PureDry.**
Disclosure: Southern Carolina Family has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Little boys can bring you to the brink of insanity and then gently ease back. Raising boys is certainly not for the faint of heart. It is messy and emotional. It can be muddy and even at times heartbreaking. As I look at them with their little elbow dimples and skinned knees, I realize that one day, they’re not going to be my little boys anymore – someday they will be grown, men. Someday they may even get married; I could be raising someone’s husband.
Being a boy mom means checking pockets before you throw shorts into the wash so you’re not fishing rocks out of the washer or dryer after your load is complete. I can’t recall how many times they’ve chased down frogs and lizards from outside, hoping to gross their mom out. Our boys live to gross anyone – for them, it is the biggest compliment to see someone sincerely grossed out.
Raising boys can be constant shushing; constant asking for them to calm down, to stop running, or to take their loud toys outside or in another room to play. From the moment boys are born they are on the go. From bouncing on the bed at 5:30 till they fall asleep at night they have 2 speeds fast and faster. They enjoy constant movement. It can mean dirty fingernails, mud pies, and wondering why their shoes are always filled with dirt, rocks, and mulch after a long day at school. It’s about telling them 100,000 times to stop touching their pee-pee or to stop farting on their brother.
If you have boys you will also have the chance to be blessed by their good night hugs and kisses.
You will hear their sweet “I love you, mommy”. You will get to kiss those dirty little skinned up knees after they have fallen down. You will be able to hug those dirty little necks tightly at night. Being a boy mom means a lot of things and some of them aren’t really glamorous and can be quite nasty but sometimes it’s really calm and quiet. Sometimes being a boy mom means you can read books to them about trains and cars. It can mean holding them in cute little character towels after a nightly bath. It isn’t always dirt and bugs.
Being a boy mom is the best job I’ve ever had.
Do you have any stories to share when your little ones love to get dirty? We would love to hear all about them.
Einstein said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but
imagination.” When it comes to kids learning through play, the old fashioned
way of showing kids how to use a toy or kids learning through reading instead
of experiencing has faded away in the wake of a new (and more effective) type
of learning called STEM play.
is an acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math” (also
known as STEAM if you include art in there as well).
before your child knows how to do math or completes science projects, STEM
skills are developed naturally in babies and toddlers by exploring and learning
about the world. (Source
– Baby Savers)
Hub Education explained each element of STEM very well:
“Science is a way of thinking
through experiments, observation, making predictions, asking questions,
and deciding how things work.
Technology is a way of doing. With
learning tools, kids become inventive, identify problems, and make things
Engineering is also a way of
doing. A child can solve problems with a variety of materials – they
design and create. Little learners build things that work.
learning does not mean a complicated DIY science experiment where you need a
ton of time and materials. It can be as
simple as going outside in nature with your child.
Ask “What” questions when exploring:
are those ants doing?
What shape is that rock?
What is on the branch?
What is under the rock?
What do you see in the sky?
babies, try to not say “no” often and instead let your baby explore more freely.
For example, our son used to get into this cupboard in the kitchen that was
located on the ground level (all the other cabinets had safety locks), but this
particular cupboard was filled with old baby bottles, plastic containers, lids,
and things like this so we left it unlocked.
son LOVED opening this cupboard and taking out everything inside and then he
would even climb in the cupboard and play in there (the door was always open). Yes,
it made a huge mess on the kitchen floor, but instead of saying “no,” we
allowed him to play and explore. Afterwards, I just cleaned it up – no big
cupboard would keep him entertained for a good 45 minutes! With a baby’s short attention span, this was
amazing and proves that STEM activities and toys are more engaging for kids.
toddlers, STEM gets even more fun when we can talk with our kids, listen to
what they have to say, and watch them imagine and figure things out.
projects for toddlers help children explore a variety of thinking skills that
boost both their creativity, logic, spacial awareness, fine motor skills, and
gross motor skills. Toddlers who engage these systems, versus toddlers who
largely learn from screens an immobile activities have a huge advantage once
they reach school-age.” (Source
minute to think about your child’s top three favorite toys. I bet they are interactive in some way,
right? We just donated two trash bags of
toys to our son’s pre-school because we noticed he only played with three main
His cars / hot wheels (he loves to line them up and one by one he looks at each car carefully, it’s really cute. Especially when he says, “Look, Camero!” or “Mama, Hummer!” Also, he sorts all his cars by color in piles)
Savers published an amazing list of ideas and activities for parents to refer
to when choosing STEM toys:
“Seek out toys that encourage one or more of the following ideas or activities:
Additionally, here are some great tips to follow when introducing your baby / toddler to STEM toys:
Keep it simple.
Don’t use battery operated toys which tend to guide the
child on how to play instead of the child exploring and learning on their own.
Make it fun.
Follow your child’s imagination – there’s no right or wrong
Switch it up a bit – dad can be cooking and mom can be
mowing the lawn.
Here are our top five STEM toys for babies and toddlers:
#1 People Blocks – Magnetic Building
People Blocks are GENIUS and it’s
cool that their toy designer is the brainchild designer of the -world-famous
Magna -Tiles. These magnetic blocks get babies and toddlers building earlier
and learning while having fun. This is the epitome of STEM play.
“Most toys today are designed to
only keep the attention span of a child for a short period. We are changing that by creating toys that
grow with your child, not outgrown by your child like you typically see,” says
Rudy Valenta, CEO of People Toy Company (aka People).
Throughout the toy development
process, People looked for ways to take the developmental milestones
acknowledged by the medical community around the world and find clever ways to
incorporate the skill development in play.
They have their own private studies and research with parent groups and
child industry experts to ensure their toys are not only fun but have high play
value with STEM features.
Their newest People Blocks
collection are their Working Cars, a magnetic click and stick car set with 18 new automotive inspired shapes.
Your child can build cars and discover how to fit the blocks together to build
different shapes. Remember with STEM there is no right or wrong and it’s all
new People Blocks set we love are the Zoo Animals Clear Magnetic Blocks – perfect
for light tables and a fun way to explore colors and light. This set comes with
17 new creature inspired shapes.
They say this is a great Easter gift
and we agree, but my son loves playing with this year round. Kids love anything
to do with food. These eggs are not just any eggs though. Once opened, tiny
shapes are revealed and to put the egg back together the child must match the
extending shape with the shape hole from the other egg half.
#4 Bug Catching Magnetic Puzzle Game by
Melissa & Doug
watching my son play with this toy. There’s a bug net with a magnet at the end of
a string and when it touches on of the bugs, the puzzle piece comes out. Once
all are out, he then fits all the pieces back in the right place.
first, my son realized the magnet on the string would not easily go to where he
grabbed the magnet at the bottom and placed it on the puzzle piece. Instead of
me saying, “that’s not how you are supposed to use it” I said, “that was smart
of you to realize you had to hold close to the magnet to get it where you want
faster. This is an easy way of doing it. Now let’s try the harder way. Try with
one hand only holding the fishing pole and I know you can do it with just a
little bit of patience.”
then tried again and slowly lowered the magnet on the string as it swung back
and forth. As he lowered it more, it finally clicked on to the magnet. He was
so excited he did it with only one hand.
STEM play is
not just a hype word; it’s a very important part of how our kids should be
learning on a daily basis. Remember that STEM play can be done using anything
around you like nature, a bunch of empty dishes that fit into one another or
have covers that snap on, to more advanced STEM play using the best
developmental toys for babies and toddlers.
By introducing STEM play early on, your child will be ahead of the curve when they go to preschool and school so get out and get your STEM on!
School has officially started for the boys and one thing that is really important in our morning routines is making sure they eat breakfast before we head out the door. One of their most favorite is cereal. It is quick and easy and they love it. They each have a favorite kind as you can see in the below picture. Andrew loves French Toast or Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Ty loves Cocoa Puffs and Eli loves Lucky Charms (mainly the marshmallows). Each of these boxes have a Box Top at the top right corner. It means that if we collect them and turn them into our school they earn .10¢ per one. Since we are attending a new school this year I thought this would be a great opportunity for the boys to help support their new school. It is also teaching them that even though we buy it and they eat it, we still are giving back to a good cause which helps our school help the students. So our goal this year is to buy all Box Top related products do that we can support our school.
A fun way to remember Box Tops on a daily or weekly basis can be hard. I wanted to come up with an activity that a teacher or parent could do with their kids to help everyone to remember those Box Tops. Here’s the activity-
Box Tops Acrostic Poem
You and your class or kids are going to create an Acrostic Poem out of the words Box Tops. This is such a fun activity to get everyone excited about Box Tops and the role they play in Education.
Step One: Pass out a piece of paper with the words “Box Top” written in bold letters.
Step Two: Talk about what Box Tops are and how they help schools earn cash for Education.
Step Three: Challenge the class to create an Acrostic Poem using the words Box Tops. The poems can be silly, fun, or serious!
Step Four: Share the poems with everyone. And encourage the students to bring their poems home to show their parents.
Here are some examples of a few Box Tops Acrostic Poems to share and hang around your classroom or home.
B is for Breathtaking, a magnificent sight
O is for Original, an independent thinker
X is for X-factor, you have it
T is for Tasteful, odes of style
O is for Orderly, ever organized
P is for Perceptive, keenly insightful
S is for Sensible, you always do the right thing
Here’s another poem to share.
B is for Bold, forging your own path
O is for Optimistic, always staying upbeat
X is for X-factor, people are drawn to you
T is for Thorough, attentive to details
O is for Obliging, willing to accommodate
P is for Picturesque, strikingly beautiful
S is for Satisfying, most excellent company
Have fun with this little exercise and if there’s time at the end, you can have the children move onto writing an Acrostic Poem with their own name! They’ll have fun with this part of the exercise too.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Hey, I’m Toni and I’m the mama of 3 Little Birds. I love Writing about Parenting, Health, Recipes and Crafts, the life of a Mum and more. Learn more about me here Grab a Tea or Coffee and come see what you find.