Confession Time: When I Told You Why My Son Isn’t In School Yet, I Lied.

Snark alert: This post is considerably more, eh, acidic than my typical personal post – ye of the weak stomach and/or wobbly temper, leave now or forever hold your peace.

Truth: I didn’t lie to ALL of you. Some of you already know my guilty [or not-so-guilty] secret. Especially if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time.


Brief backstory: my boy is five right now. His birthday is in June. All his friends [at least the ones that are also five] are in kindergarten. Lots of their moms have asked me why he’s not also in kindergarten – instead of telling the truth and dealing with the inevitable awkward conversation that follows, I usually tell them, “Oh he’s a June birthday, so we kept him home an extra year so he won’t be a full year younger than all other kids in his grade. Better to be older than younger, right?”

Admittedly, this is only half a lie. Because it’s half of the truth. I AM keeping him home, and he WOULD be a year older by the time I start him in public school, but the whole truth is…

He’s NEVER going to public school.

[whew] Glad to have that off my chest. Continue reading

Best Buys: Scotch Thermal Laminator

In getting ready for B to start kindergarten this year [okay, really it’s going to be more like a third year of preschool] and C to start preschool too, I’ve been furiously working on getting lots of ready-to-hand games and activities to use for both of them so that when it comes time to actually commence schooling operations, I have a good portion of my planning and readying work already done.

I’m also trying to do it on the uber cheap. Cuz, let’s be real here… my kids are going to use or do each activity at MOST, 5-10 times, and at worst, less than once. I don’t have enough moolah to dish out $20 a pop for each activity, especially with the spectre of non-use constantly hanging over my head. So, what to do…

Enter this beauty.

I got the idea from observing my Mom, who actually uses one of those sticky-roller laminators, but since I didn’t have quite enough shekels handy to get myself one of those, I researched my other options.

Amazon did me a solid and found this baby for me. After dithering about whether it would be worth it for [ahem] 3 weeks, I finally took the plunge and bought it. And oooh baby am I having a ball! Sure, some of that is the “I’m five years old, it’s Christmas morning and dangit, I want to play with my new toy” factor, but aside from that it’s meeting and even exceeding my expectations.

Why I’m Loving On This Guy:

  • It doensn’t bubble.
  • It hasn’t jammed yet.
  • The plastic is nice and clear, and not streaky or grainy.
  • It has done 20 pouches in a row with no hiccups or slowing-down-ings.
  • The finished pouches are nice and rigid.
  • They’re dry-erase marker friendly.
  • They cut easily, and don’t peel apart [or at least, they haven’t yet].
  • They don’t discolor the pages during the heating/adhering process.
  • It’s pretty teeny, so it stores nicely in its box on a shelf between other boxes of tools and craft supplies.

The only “downside” [which isn’t really a problem, I’m just impatient]:

  • It takes 5 whole minutes to heat up.

So yeah. Totally worth the $37 – I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of it in games and reusable activities that the kids have already played with!

What all do you do with your laminators? What is your favorite reusable game or activity that you’ve made? Did you laminate something from another site that you and your kids love? Share your ideas – I can use all I can get!

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Kid Craft: Shaving Cream Painting

Despite not being especially new to kid care, I’m still very new to the world of kid crafts and elementary education.  I mean, I felt like a bona fide genius when I figured out that cutting paper counts as a craft.  So imagine my excitement when my good friend Angela introduced me to the world of:

Kid-Craft-Shaving-Cream-Title… painting with shaving cream.  At least, that’s what I’m calling it.

Originally it started out as a gloriously messy way to practice forming letters, but apparently that’s really boring compared to drawing superhero logos and just generally splattering it everywhere.  Either way, fun was had by all.

Kid-Craft-Shaving-CreamNot much to it really… clean surface + dollop of shaving cream + clean hands = WIN.

I’ve heard of some people adding food coloring to their shaving cream and playing with it in the bathtub with brushes as “proper” paint… haven’t gotten brave enough to try that one.  Yet.  But cleanup for this was pretty painless so I may yet give it a go…

What’s your favorite easy-set-up, easy-clean-up kid craft?  I’m finding that both my kids are way into this stuff, so Pinterest and I are getting very well acquainted with one another – friendly suggestions/links always welcome!

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