Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

I have heard if you give a kid a wand, it’s just a wand.

If you give a kid a stick, it’s a wand, a sword, a lightsaber, a torch, a staff, a stick, a spoon, a flashlight…it’s whatever the kid imagines it to be.

I enjoy watching this unfold with my five-year-old. The more simple the item is, the less toy-like it is, the more the imagination runs wild. While we have more than enough toys in the house, when we go outside our play is different. We rarely even get toys out when my daughter plays outside. She needs a place to run around and that is all. As soon as she has a place to run and the opportunity for free-play, the creative juices get flowing.

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Teach Healthy Habits. Come Out to Play!

Regardless of the place of play, she is able to imagine and run. She is able to create stories. She is able to make any item into whatever fits into her play. Sand or gravel turns into food, money, or whatever her mind wants it to be.

Watching her imagination is just one of the benefits of unplugging, getting active, and getting outside. She also sleeps and eats better after having plenty of time running around outdoors.

Balanced and active play lays the foundation for a skilled, healthy, resilient, and successful society. Play is disappearing at home, in school, and in communities. 70% of moms played outside when they were kids and just 31% off their kids play outside today. This CLIF Kid video reminds you to Come Out to Play.

Let’s get the kids out to play! They will be happier…and so will mom and dad. It’s also key as the parent to unplug and get outside too. It’s important to be a good example and teach your children healthy habits.

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

With school around the corner, there are only a few more days or weeks of the freedom of a summer schedule. Use the time to get your children outside!

If your child struggles with free play, or if it’s hard to get them to unplug to get outside, you may need to help encourage their outdoor play. Here are a few tips:

  • Help build an obstacle course.
  • Create a contest or initiate a race.
  • Go on a nature scavenger hunt. (Get the Nature Scavenger Hunt printable!)
  • Think of a movie or set of characters that they like. Encourage them to act out a scene or pretend they are the characters of their favorite movie.
  • Use walking, running, or biking as a way to get to your destination.
  • Find a hill to run up or roll down.
  • Plan a Backyard Olympic event with your neighbors.

When we go to the park, my daughter loves running around the paths more than anything. She loves to run up the huge snow hill close to our home. Expending this energy often makes her hungrier. To fuel her body, I prefer to give her healthy food. CLIF Kid makes nutritious snacks from organic ingredients that are specially-crafted for kids’ developing taste buds and active lives. My daughter enjoys CLIF Kid Zbars as fuel for running around.

I enjoy the convenience of bringing Zbars along when we are on-the-go. I agree with my daughter that they are also tasty!

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Teach Healthy Habits. Come Out to Play!

Check out the CLIF Kid Facebook page.

Print off the printable: Nature Scavenger Hunt

Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable. Outdoor activities for children.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

Stop by to see where I link up my posts each week: Link-Up List

Monthly Goals – August

Monthly Goals: August

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.

My Monthly Goals…Why do I set them? Why do I share them here?

  • Setting goals helps me remain focused.
  • Sharing my goals helps to hold me accountable.
  • I hope that it may inspire you to set goals for yourself.

Are you new to goal setting? Here are a few posts that may help or inspire you:

Monthly Goals - August

Sleep

July: I originally started my blog as a way to create an early morning habit. Read more about My Morning Motivation here. Due to my daughters waking up and pregnancy exhaustion, I was losing out on my morning time and tried to get it back. 

After resetting my mornings in June didn’t work so well I wanted to get back on track in July. I got up around 6:30 consistently so I had 30-60 minutes before my daughters woke up most mornings. It helped that I am working on a new project so I was more motivated to get up and work on it in the morning!

August: Continue to wake up at 6:30 each morning. Possibly move it earlier?

If you have trouble making sleep a priority, check out these helpful resources: 

How to Create a Morning Routine: Free Printable Worksheets

Exercise

July: Cardio 3-4 times per week. Try to walk or run (I’m done with running this pregnancy!) at least once per week. DONE. I feel so much better when I continue to workout while pregnant!

August: Cardio 3-4 times per week. Try to walk at least once per week. Do you need tips on getting exercise into your daily life?

Weekly “date” night with hubby

July: One movie, game or date night per week. Done for most weeks?

August: Continue one movie, game or date night per week. We have been using VidAngel to watch movies at home. It’s just $1 per movie, we don’t have to leave the house to find a Red Box, and it’s not a subscription service. We have watched well over 20 movies with it and are happy with how easy and cheap it is. I wrote a post about VidAngel if you are curious how it works.

Monthly outing with our family

July: Plan one fun activity for the four of us in June. We got in a cabin trip, a day at the Children’s Museum, and a morning strolling around the lakes

August: Plan one fun activity for the four of us in August.

Habit from my 12 Mini Goal Challenge

July: My goal was to increase and track my water intake. This was much easier than I thought! I started off the month being more intentional about how much water I was drinking and that is all I needed to get on track. If you need tips to increase your water intake, check out my tips and get the printable tracker here: 8 ways to Drink More Water Each Day

8 Ways to Drink More Water. With free printable water intake tracker.

Read more about my 12 Mini-Goals Challenge.

August: I know the importance of reading to children and reading has been key to my girls’ lives. We spend so much time with books. They love having books read to them and also enjoy looking through and “reading” books themselves. I am realizing that during the summer months we occasionally have days where reading is not a priority. In August I am going to read daily to my girls and track the time.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. - Emilie Buchwald

Faith

July: Read Daily Devotional New Testament: Through the New Testament in a Year every morning. This daily devotional includes two readings from the New Testament, a short reflection, a portion of the Psalms and a thoughts for prayer section. I enjoyed reading this devotion every morning. I have spent the last year or so changing up my daily devotion and I liked just having one that I go to every morning.

August: Continue to read Daily Devotional New Testament: Through the New Testament in a Year every morning.

Morning devotion with my girls

July: Read a daily devotion or bible story with my girls at breakfast each morning. I don’t know why I struggled with this goal so much in July. It’s such a great way to start our morning together and I want to get back into this routine.

August: Read a daily devotion or bible story with my girls at breakfast each morning. I wrote more about this new morning routine here.

Books

July: I almost finished Gone South.

August: Read one book. I picked up The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity from the library. I have heard good things about this book, so I may start it in August. 

Home

July: Backup pictures on my computer. Nope…

August: Plan mom’s group at church. Backup pictures on my computer? With a baby due this fall…find a new car?

July Blog Goals

  • Now that I can make use of the additional features within the paid version of Mailchimp, I want to set up an automated sequence for new subscribers. This will save time once it’s set up. – Not completed.
  • Set up e-mail sequences for purchasers of the Travel Planner Printable and Health and Wellness Printable Planner. The printables are sold via Gumroad and the e-mail addresses do not directly import into Mailchimp. – This is approximately 90% complete.
  • Create a new e-mail opt-in to replace the 7 Habits to Add to Your Morning Routine Printable. – Yes! I created a set of worksheets to help you create a new morning routine. Read the post How to Create a Morning Routine or sign up for the worksheets here!

Because I tend to create a long list of blog to-dos, and don’t have the time to do them all, I am giving priority to the goals above and will move onto the goals below once they are done.

  • Set aside time to plan next printable workbook or other printable project. Possibly based on the survey responses. – Yes!! I am excited about my newest project! I have an eBook/workbook that is launching in August. I based the product off of what I heard on my survey responses.
  • Set up sharing schedule for new posts. Possibly make a printable for this? – Not started.
  • Update About Me or Start Here page. – Nope.

August Blog Goals

  • Launch eBook/workbook in August! Includes: finalize design in InDesign, cover design, figure out what to use for landing page (any suggestions??), set up sales pages, e-mail sales sequence, and quite a bit more…
  • Set up automated sequence for eBook purchasers within Mailchimp.
  • Research details on accountability group for anyone who purchases eBook in August. (Facebook group & e-mail automation)
  • Set up automated sequence for new subscribers within Mailchimp.
  • Complete set up for e-mail sequences for purchasers of the Travel Planner Printable and Health and Wellness Printable Planner.
  • Work on two sponsored posts.

If you blog about goals, I would love to have you stop by the first Wednesday (at 7 AM EST/6 AM CST) of each month to linkup your goals post. We look forward to reading your posts and encourage you to look around at the other posts linked up here.

Please join us to share your goals and progress for the week, month, or year. We are all about building a positive community; please remember to read, comment on, and share the post of others. 

Monthly Goals - February. Stop by to link up your goals post on the first Wednesday of each month...With Grit and Grace...a monthly goals linkup

Just a reminder…
  • All forms of goal posts are welcome. They can be for a specific area in your life, or your general goals for the day, week, month, or year. We love to hear updates on your progress too. Please only link up posts involving goals.
  • Make sure to use the URL specific to your post and not your blog’s homepage.
  • Link back to With Grit & Grace with our image or link in your post or party page.
  • Comment on the post prior to yours in the link-up. Support others through comments and shares.
  • By linking up, you give us permission to feature an image on our blog and social media. Proper credit and links will be given.
  • Join in on social media with: #withgritandgrace.
  • We want to support you! Please follow your hosts in some way.
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Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List and Blog with Intention

August Mini Goal: Track Daily Reading

August Mini Goal: Track Daily Reading

This post is part of my 12 Mini Goals Challenge.

Small daily habits can make a big difference over the course of a few weeks, months, or even longer. In 2016, I am going to focus on a new habit or mini goal every month. In January, I focused on Daily Movement or Exercise. In February, I focused on cutting down on evening snacking. In March, my goal was 30 days of pilates. In April, my goal was to clear my kitchen counters every night. In May, I attempted to clear out my closet 3 items at a time. In June, my goal was to reset my mornings and wake up earlier. In July, my goal was to drink more water.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. — Emilie Buchwald

I know the importance of reading to children and reading has been key to my girls’ lives. We spend so much time with books. They love having books read to them and also enjoy looking through and “reading” books themselves.

I am realizing that during the summer months we occasionally have days where reading is not a priority. It’s hard to have a regular nighttime reading routine when we spend the after-dinner hours outside. Their evenings are spent running around outside and we often skip bedtime reading. I know that bedtime stories are a great way to wind down and have quality time together, but we don’t often do this during the summer.

There are other days that my girls are playing so well with each other that they don’t ask for books and I don’t think of it. I want to make sure that we make books a priority every day!

My August Mini Goal: Read daily to my children and track how much time we read each day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has great information on the benefits of promoting early literacy and learning for your children. The Books Build Connections Toolkit has publications for various ages. The toolkits have information and tips to encourage families to read with their children. Go here to print or download the toolkits based on your children’s age.

Here is an example: Sharing Books with Your 2-Year-Old

August Mini Goal: Track Daily Reading

Your August Mini Goal: Read to your children daily and track the time.
(If you do not have children: set a goal for your own reading time)

Check out the appropriate Books Build Connections Toolkit (as mentioned above) for your children if you want encouragement and tips. If you need to be reminded of the benefits of reading to your children, check out the following links:

Even if your children are older, find a book to read to them!

If you want to join me, print off the August Challenge Tracker. Track the number of minutes or number of books read. I also track multiple goals on my calendars, and the calendar leaves room for additional notes each day. It’s nice to have them written down all in one place. 

 August Mini Goal: Track Daily Reading

Let me know if you decide to join! What are your children’s favorite books?

 August Mini Goal: Track Daily Reading. Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. — Emilie Buchwald
 

I would love to have you join the 12 Mini Goals Challenge. Sign up for my mailing list if you want to be e-mailed the challenge each month. If we get to a month where the goal doesn’t fit into your life, you can always tweak it to be a mini goal that works for you.

This post contains affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link up each week: Link-Ups

How to Create a Morning Routine

How to Create a Morning Routine: Free Printable Worksheets

It’s no secret that I enjoy my mornings. After making a few changes almost two years ago, I finally created the early morning habit I always wanted. Today I will share a few simple steps to help you create a morning routine that works for you. There are even a few worksheets to help you plan it out!

How to Create a Morning Routine: Free Printable Worksheets

What would you include in your ideal morning?

Let’s first get an idea of what your ideal morning would include. As you approach this, remember that this ideal morning is just your starting point to plan your mornings and figure out what changes you need to make to reset your mornings. Grace and flexibility in your schedule may be necessary, but we do need to start somewhere with our ideal schedule.

Start by thinking of the activities you would do during your ideal morning. List everything below. There is no need to be realistic with this list. Do not think of your schedule and time constraints. List it all!

Here are a few ideas:
•Exercise
•Start a load of laundry or another chore around the home
•Read your morning devotion
•Shower
•Prepare and eat breakfast
•Tidy your home for 15 minutes
•Read a book
•Work on your side business or blog
•Write a list of 3 things you are grateful for
•Spend 30 minutes working toward one of your goals
•Write something or journal
•Listen to a podcast
7 Habits to Add to Your Morning Routine

List what you would include in your ideal morning. (Sign up to get the worksheets below!)

Then go through and star your top priorities.

How to Create a Morning Routine: Free Printable Worksheets

Plan your ideal morning routine

You need to decide how much time you could have each morning for your ideal morning activities. (Even a few minutes can help you be refreshed and ready for your day!)

When do you need to be available for your children? When do you need to get out the door for work? When do the requests and demands of others start to come in? I will call this time the END time of your ideal morning.

Based on the time the requests start and the amount of time you want each morning, decide what time you need to get out bed each day for your ideal morning. This is the BEGINNING time of your ideal morning. Once you have your set times, focus on staying consistent. One of the keys to waking up easier is to have a reasonable and consistent bedtime and wake time.

Write down your starred top priorities from the list above. Next to each priority, write down the time it will take each morning.

Make a schedule for your morning

Now that you have your beginning time, end time, and priority list, let’s put together a sample of your ideal morning. It’s not enough to give yourself an hour and plan to get your top 5 priorities in every morning. It’s important to look at the realistic amount of time for each priority and allow for extra or transition time.

I find it most helpful to write out a schedule for the morning. Once habits are in place, this may not be necessary. When initially making big changes and resetting your morning, it’s key to write this down.

Based on your priorities and the time you want for each, create a morning schedule to get started.

First list your daily habits, which are part of your daily routine. Then list your specific goals and priorities for the morning. This second list is more of a to-do list for the tasks that may change from day-to-day. After your lists are made, put the tasks into your schedule.

Grab your worksheets to help you plan your morning routine! I hope your new morning plan makes you refreshed and ready for the day!

How to Create a Morning Routine: Free Printable Worksheets

Subscribe below to receive the printable worksheets: How to Create a Morning Routine



How to Create a Morning Routine: Free Printable Worksheets
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Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

8 Ways to Drink More Water Every Day

8 Ways to Drink More Water. With free printable water intake tracker.

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.

Do you want to make changes to your health, but don’t know where to start? If so, watching your water intake can be the perfect place to start. It’s a simple, small change, but has so many benefits. Just to name a few: Water gives you energy, your skin looks better, your kidneys work better, it helps keep away headaches, and so much more. Your body just works so much better when well hydrated!

8 Ways to Drink More Water. With free printable water intake tracker.

If you need to be reminded of the benefits of drinking water, check out the following links:

Why can staying hydrated be so hard? If you have trouble drinking enough water, I have a few tips to share with you. Here are…

8 Ways to Drink More Water Every Day:

Set a Goal

Decide how much water you want to drink each day. Read this article if you are having trouble figuring out how much water you should drink. Your weight, exercise intensity and frequency, environment (you’ll need more in the hot summer!), and other situations will come into play. Don’t get stuck on the actual amount. If you don’t want to think too hard on this step, you can start with the common eight 8-ounce glasses of water because it’s simple to remember.  

I find it easiest to set just one goal for the day and then break it out by my desired number of ounces. If your goal is 64 ounces and you have a 16-ounce water bottle, think of your goal as 4 water bottles for simplicity’s sake.

If you need to take the goal further, set a goal to drink a certain amount at set times during the day. For example: drink 8 ounces as soon as you wake up or drink 8 ounces of water before each meal (this can also curb calorie intake if that interests you).

Track Your Progress

Track your progress on paper. Here is a printable tracker for you to use:

8 Ways to Drink More Water Every Day with printable water intake tracker

Track your progress on an app. Here are a few apps to try: Daily Water Free, Water Drink Reminder, iDrated, or Waterlogged.

Get a water bottle that helps you track your progress. This water bottle even has an alarm to remind you to drink!

Get stickers to add to your current planner or notebook.

 

Find a water bottle you’ll actually use

Have you ever purchased new workout clothes to help motivate yourself to workout? This is the same thing. If you are excited about your new water bottle, you might be more likely to carry it around with you all day.

I currently use Ello BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle with Flip Lid.

I used to have the Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle with Meter. This water bottle has a rotating meter on the lid that helps you monitor your daily water consumption.

If you enjoy infused water, you could try out Asobu Flavor It Glass Water Bottle With Fruit Infuser.

Keep water with you at all times

Now that you have a water bottle you like, keep it with you all day. If you don’t have water easily accessible, it’s easy to forget to drink up. It’s much easier to fill up when your water is nearby. Keep water at your desk at work or keep a glass of water by your bed.

Add flavor and find a water you enjoy

If you do not enjoy the taste of plain water, try making infused water. It’s quick, simple, and can be inexpensive. I don’t mind the taste of water, so I used to think it was a waste to spend ANY time or money to make infused water. It was easier and cheaper to just drink from the tap! But…this summer I tried cucumber water and I am sold. It is so refreshing!

Check out this post for ideas or follow these simple steps to make cucumber water:

  • Scrub the cucumber (or peel it) if you do not use organic. You will want it super clean if it’s floating around in your water.
  • Slice up the cucumber and place it in a pitcher.
  • Pour water over the cucumber and put in the fridge for a few hours.
  • Drink up!

Eat your water

If you have trouble drinking enough water, consider focusing on water-rich foods. Watermelon and cucumbers both have a high water content. Here are 15 foods to help you stay hydrated.

Get your children involved

Find a water bottle your child enjoys using. If they have a water bottle to carry around, you may be less likely to forget yours. My girls love their Klean Kid Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle.

Dilute your sugary drinks with water or ice.

This may take some getting used to. If you drink juice, lemonade, or other sugary drinks on a daily basis, consider diluting your drinks to cut down on your sugar intake. You will still enjoy the sweetness of the drink and it will be healthier than drinking so much sugar and calories. Once it’s diluted, you can drink more! If I give my girls juice or lemonade, I always water it down a bit. They don’t even notice and still think it’s a treat!

Don’t forget to print off your printable to track your progress

8 Ways to Drink More Water Every Day with printable water intake tracker

I hope you find these tips helpful! What tips and tricks do you use to stay hydrated?

PIN this post for later!

8 Ways to Drink More Water. With free printable water intake tracker.

Drinking more water was my Mini Goal for July. I would love to have you join the 12 Mini Goals Challenge. Sign up for my mailing list if you want to be e-mailed the challenge each month. If we get to a month where the goal doesn’t fit into your life, you can always tweak it to be a mini goal that works for you.

If you want to focus on Health & Wellness and want to record your goals and track your progress, check out my Health and Wellness Printable Planner.

Use the Health and Wellness Planner to:

  • Plan and track your fitness, nutrition, and wellness goals and habits
  • Create action steps necessary to fulfill your goals
  • Bring your new healthy habits into your daily schedule
  • Plan and track your workouts
  • Plan and track your meals
  • Track your vitamins, supplements, and other medications
  • List your favorite resources to aid and motivate you on your health journey

Health and Wellness Printable Planner.

Hold yourself accountable with your health goals with this printable planner. The Health and Wellness Printable Planner includes 9 pages. Use them all or pick and choose based on the plan that works best for you. The entire planner is undated so you can start using the planner at any time throughout the year. 

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Stop by to see where I link up each week: Link-Ups