abcabcabc parenting ideas — Mommy Manders

Summer Time Fun: 10 Ways to Beat the Heat and Connect with your Kids, #10

Flashlight Play This activity is great for a hot summer day when you want to stay inside and turn down the lights. We play with flashlights in Kindermusik class with kids ages 0-7, working on different skills, but they all love it! Sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “This Little Light of Mine” as you […]

Summer Time Fun: #6: CHORES

Helping with Summer Chores! Have a “summer chores” day, and enlist the kids help, or just toss in a little indoor chore time every day, and give everyone a task. No matter what their ages, you can find a way to include children in a fun way, practice some “teamwork” and life skills, and instill […]

Summer Time Fun: 10 Ways to Beat the Heat and Connect with your Kids, #5

  Build a Tent!  This is just good ol’ fashioned fun for summer or wintertime.  While it’s fun to pop up one of those brightly colored kids’ tents (or we have a shark tent from Target) inside instead of outside, it’s even more fun to build your own out of blankets and chairs. Don’t you […]

Summertime Fun: 10 ways to beat the heat and connect with your kids, #1

These are some fun ideas that my family has enjoyed at home, and that I have done with families in class. They are simple, free (or cheap), age-adjustable, and I like them because they will help connect you through play while making important connections in your child’s brain, and making connections is what “Mommy Manders” […]

“Mommy and Me” date

My “good thing” for the day….A “Mommy and Me” breakfast date with Ellie Kate! Dustin and I try to be intentional about creating these one-on-one opportunities with our kiddos about once a month, putting them into our schedules, arranging childcare or special grandparent time for the other child (or planning a simultaneous “Daddy Date”), getting […]

“Slaaaaam-DUNK!” and other clean-up strategies

Great Idea…Inspired by the Mavericks’ big win, I wanted to share with you one of my most successful “clean-up” strategies at home and in class. It is simply saying “Slaaaaaam-DUNK!” while you drop the toys in the box, with lots of “Is Dirk gonna make the 3-point-shot?” excitement in your voice, of course. In class, […]


This week in my toddler classes we’ve been playing and singing “Monkey See, Monkey Do….the monkey does the same as you.” In this fun game, the toddlers get to choose the action facing their grown-ups, and Mommy monkey copies them. (It helps for you to give them some ideas the first few times: pat your head, […]