Wednesday, 14 January 2015

visual rules

Meals with kids are not always enjoyable... at least not in our family. Still- it is very important for me that we enjoy meals together. It is a time of day to be all together and tell eachother what we did during the day, what bothers us, what we are looking forward etc. 
Since the kids eat breakfast and lunch in the daycare this one meal in the evening is even more important to me. 
But for some time now we were struggeling to have an enjoyable dinnertime. My oldest has a hard time sitting still and since I can remember she has a hard time using fork, spoon and knive instead of her hands. They all want to talk at the same time and sometimes start to fight.

Last week I made a small poster where the basic rules are visually stated. The icons are not mine- I just took them from the internet. I could have drawn something myself but had no time and I was so fed up with dinnertime that I urgently wanted to try this visual way of stating the rules instead of always repeating myself in telling them what to do and what not.

And- it worked!!!!
I fixed the rules on the wall beside the table. Before we ate, I went with the kids over the rules and asked them to try to stick to them. Here and there I silently pointed to the rules during the meal.
It works nicely since them. Not always perfect, but MUCH better and they even remind themselfs by checking out the rules (Like- "oops, I still need to clear my things from the table...")

What do you do to have a pleasent meal? Any other tricks?

Translation of the rules on the poster: 

  • wash your hands (before and after the meal)
  • use cutlery
  • don't shout
  • wait your turn (for talking)
  • be nice (say thanks and please and don't fight)
  • clear the table 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

magnetic pinwall- an idea for a present

Now that Christmas is over I want to show you the Christmas presents the kids made for their grandparents/ godmothers and godfathers.
The magnetic pinwalls are very simple and can be done even with smaller children.
We took metal plates/ sheets that we arranged from a metal-workshop in town. I thought to use baking trays but it was hard to find and expensive.
The kids chose fabric and we cut the fabric to the size of the metal sheets- leaving some spare on each side.
I made glue from flour and water and we brushed the metal sheets with it.

We then glued the fabric onto the metal.

We cut the edgesof the fabric so it could nicely be folded in.

Et voilà- just fold in the edges and leave to dry and the wall is finished.

The magnets can be done in various ways. We had some small wooden cubes left at home and we had some tiny, very strong magnets.
The kids painted the cubes (well- more dipped them in colour after a while when they did get fed up with painting them carefully)
And when the cubes were dry we drilled tiny holes and fitted the tiny magnets in. 

I loved the result. It is something nice and usefull to give as a present. I will make one for us too- maybe bigger and I have some other projects going on using fabric to cover wooden shelves.

And I forgot- we drilled two holes into the metal sheet so it can be nailed to the wall.

Sunday, 4 January 2015


Back from almost 2 weeks with my family in Switzerland. It was so nice to see everyone again after one year. This time we will have to wait less time- in summer we will see them again- including the new baby of my sister that is due in one month. We are already looking forward.

We enjoyed the snow, the cold, the warm fires, hot punch, the cheese, the christmas lights and so much more :-)

For the new year I wish you and all of us mainly peace. Peace and good health and many moments of joy and happiness.

I will hopefully post more later this week.