Parenting Thoughts, 10 Playtime Ideas, and Family Finances

I found my kids in the laundry room. All they needed was popcorn.

I write at Alpha Mom about parenting and family. Here is what I’ve been thinking about lately.

10 Ideas To Keep Your Little Kids Playing For Hours – these playtime ideas require only a small amount of set up from me.

Don’t Quit Before Your Parenting Shift Is Over – for those challenging last few hours of the day.

Tips To Teach Your Kids About Household Bills And Budgets – I won’t wait until my kids turn eighteen before I teach them about paying the bills and those other grown-up responsibilities. I’m brainstorming ways to involve our kids in our family’s finances. Join me there?

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. When I read “Don’t Quit Before Your Parenting Shift is Over,” I thought you meant don’t quit before you get them raised to adulthood. Read like a true transitioning-to-empty-nester woman! Off to read your articles now…
    Lori @ In My Kitchen, In My Life´s last post…Unsolicited Advice Book Report Edition: Bringing Up Bebe; One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

  2. Love the finance post.

    I was also given an allowance as a teenager as a vehicle for teaching financial responsibility. I learned a lot about financial management when the stakes were low, so when the stakes got higher I knew what I was doing.

    One critical point — allowance is about teaching financial skills; it is not a reward system. My mom was insistent that our allowance was not linked to chores or behavior. She didn’t let issues in other areas of parents derail her efforts in this very critical area. Also, she responded to lapses in responsibility by giving us more, not less.

  3. Oh the parenting shifts just seem to be getting longer and longer around here lately. Last night we got the 22 month old to bed before 9:45, and counted it a big success. :P

    Thanks for the reminder to hang in for the last few hours! I’m sure that this is just a weird phase we’re going through, but whew will I be glad when it’s over!
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…My Tucson Festival of Books Wrap-Up

  4. Being entertained by the simple things in life… I love it.
    Donna´s last post…Announcing Day 4′s Blog Anniversary Winner… Mike Pearson!!

  5. Gee I feel like an inadequate parent !
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…New Year’s Day By U2 Says It All

  6. What a precious photo! My children are grown now but I have friends with young ones and am floored (as I was when mine were younger) at how many parents have to get the latest electronic gadgets, toys, etc. It goes back to young children really have more fun with the box it came in!

  7. I caught the parenting shift article a few days ago and have thought many times about my kids as passengers since then. Thank you.

  8. Reminds me of how me and my brother would get in the dryer (leaving the door opened!) and spin each other around! Not that I necessarily recommend that, but it is a great memory!
    Bernice @ The Stressed Mom´s last post…Copycat Starbucks Frappuccino at home

  9. Great collection! I’m visiting them all!

  10. My brother used to lift up the lid of the washer to watch the clothes go around and I never understood it. My cousin says her son loves to watch the clothes through the window in the front-loader.

    We loved doing gymnastics in the living room and vaulting over the ottoman. Kids can always find low-tech, free things to do if you let them.

  11. Morning Sunshine says:

    I think the most precious part of that picture at the top: your son seems to think that being with his sister is the good part, and whatever she is doing, he will happily do just to be with her. He is looking at her, not the laundry.

  12. Not giving up on the parenting shift is so true. After an evening of fries, video game shopping and shuffling kids back home from and afterschool birthday outing I was so tired. I pushed through with a smile and cool mom attitude. The reward was a hug from my 10 year old and he said it was the best birthday ever! I am so glad I did not give up becasue I really wanted to after the 2nd ttip we went to the game store … :)

  13. Oh, yes. Not quitting before the shift is over, sometimes very hard, especially when this mama is on her own.