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What School Supplies Will My Kindergartner Need?

My middle child turned 5 in February and you know what that means: Kindergarten is coming! The mama in me is sad to see my little man getting so big and having his own adventures and excited to watch him learn and grow this year. The teacher in me is most excited for the back to school shopping, because let’s face it, teachers LOVE school supplies. Since my daughter went to kindergarten two years ago, I have a much better idea of what things they actually need (and what you can pass on for now.) Some schools have a list of supplies that the children should bring and what to expect, others ask for donations that will be shared by all, but this is a pretty universal list.

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1. Full Size Backpack.

Your child will be bringing home papers, notices, homework folders, and they need a backpack to carry it back and forth in. You want to get the right size, something big enough to fit folders without bending, but small enough that for a kindergartner to manage. I would recommend 14″-16″.There are tons of options, but make sure that you pick something easy to clean. I would also spend a little bit more for one that isn’t going to fall apart after a week. Kids tend to throw them around quite a bit and they can wear out quickly if you go too cheap. It’s not cheaper to buy 2 or 3 different backpacks throughout the year! Also, don’t forget to label it with your child’s first and last name. Here are some cute options from Amazon.

PS Each of these have multiple prints that are good for boys, girls, or either.

 

2. School Supply Box

Even if your school doesn’t require your child to carry all of their supplies to and from school, you will need something to organize your home supplies in. It’s also a good spot for kids to carry home small objects and prizes. I would recommend getting your child at least two, one for home and one for school.

3. Glue Sticks

Again, even if your school doesn’t require this, glue sticks are a never ending need in a kindergarten class. My beginning of the year gift to primary teachers is always a giant pack of glue sticks. So if you’re wondering if your kid will actually go through that 6 pack you are asked to buy at the beginning of the year, the answer is yes. Yes they will. Probably before Christmas.

4. Big Pencils

For at least the first half of the year, my daughter’s class used the fatter primary pencils. It really helped her to have some at home to use to do her homework.

5. Crayons

Speaking of homework, there are often worksheets that require coloring or color coding. You absolutely should keep a box of crayons around for these occasions. If there are little brothers and sisters in the house, the “washable” crayons are a must.

6. Tissues

Ok, so not technically a school supply, but you will find this item on just about every school list. During flu and cold season, kids will go through about a box a day. Send a small pack with your child and donate a box or two for the classroom – especially mid-year.

Your child’s school may have other requirements or requests, such as a dry erase markers or baby wipes, but these items will definitely get you started. There are also some things that you can pass on in kindergarten:

  1. Rulers
  2. Pens
  3. Highlighters
  4. Binders
  5. Notebooks
  6. Calculators
  7. Sticky Notes

Of course, if you’re like me, you’ll probably get some anyway. You know, just in case.

The post The Essential School Supplies for Kindergarten appeared first on Everything Happens in Threes.

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Whiten Your Teeth At Home

I managed to make it all the way through college without becoming a coffee drinker. Don’t get me wrong, I had the occasional latte or Frappuccino from Starbucks, but I was more of a social coffee drinker. After my first baby, I officially became a working mom and had to be up at 6 every morning, I started occasionally picking up some coffee in the morning on the way to work. After baby #2, coffee became more of a habit. Then came baby #3. This child does not sleep. Coffee became not just a morning habit, but a necessity for daily functioning. Sometimes I’ve been known to go back for multiple cups in a day.

Recently I’ve taken to drinking coffee like Lorelai Gilmore. If you aren’t a Gilmore Girls fan, just know that they drink coffee in just about every scene. Between my early mornings to get 3 kids up and me to work on time, long hours of teaching and planning, and late nights doing work for grad school, I don’t think I could keep my eyes open for very long without my daily dose of caffeine.

Despite its magical power to keep me awake, coffee does have one major downside. It is horrible for your teeth. You know how kids are honest to a fault? My daughter started asking me why my teeth were yellow when she was about 4 years old. My answer, “Mommy just drinks too much coffee.”

I can’t only blame the coffee. To be honest, I hadn’t been taken the best care of my teeth. As a kid I never had dental problems – my teeth grew in straight and I never got cavities. So, I I mean, I brushed my teeth, but I don’t remember when my last cleaning was and I certainly wasn’t being careful about what I ate and drank. So, she was right. My teeth had yellowed and it was time to do something about it.

I received product for free from Smile Brilliant in exchange for an honest review. All opinions remain my own.

Professional whitening at the dentist is expensive and, let’s face it, hard to find time for. Whitening tooth paste is great, but a very slow process. I have tried the whitening strips, but they made my teeth very sensitive and missed areas. Plus they slide around in an annoying way. So, for awhile, I gave up on every idea, except for the toothpaste.

When I learned about Smile Brilliant, I was so excited to find a product that could solve all those problems. Smile Brilliant creates custom trays and both professional whitening gel and desensitizing gel. Basically, you get a custom, professional level whitening experience in the comfort of your own home. What more can a busy mom want?

Let’s recap:

Cheaper than whitening treatments at the dentist

More convenient than whitening treatments at the dentist

More effective than drugstore treatments

SIGN ME UP!

So, what about results?

I noticed a visible difference within just a few treatments. Lately, I’ve been staying up at night writing papers for grad school, so it became the perfect time to put them in and let the whitening gel do its magic. The good news is that because the trays are custom made for you, they are comfortable enough to wear anytime between meals and you can go about your daily routine. You can wear them while you drop off kids at school, do your grocery shopping, make dinner, or while you enjoy your post bed-time Netflix binge watching.

Before Smile Brilliant After one round of treatments from Smile Brilliant

One more awesome thing about the Smile Brilliant whitening system: they include a desensitizing gel. If you have sensitive teeth, you can use it right after your whitening session, and it lessens the sensitivity that often accompanies teeth whitening. To be honest, I only felt the need to use it a couple times, but it was comforting to know it was there if I wanted it.

I know it can be hard to justify spending money on ourselves, but seriously, I can’t think of a better way to give yourself a little pampering with awesome, lasting results. So are you ready to try Smile Brilliant? Good news! We’re giving some away!

Let’s recap:

  1. Cheaper than whitening treatments at the dentist
  2. More convenient than whitening treatments at the dentist
  3. More effective than drugstore treatments

SIGN ME UP!

So, what about results?

I noticed a visible difference within just a few treatments. Lately, I’ve been staying up at night writing papers for grad school, so it became the perfect time to put them in and let the whitening gel do its magic. The good news is that because the trays are custom made for you, they are comfortable enough to wear anytime between meals and you can go about your daily routine. You can wear them while you drop off kids at school, do your grocery shopping, make dinner, or while you enjoy your post bed-time Netflix binge watching.

One more awesome thing about the Smile Brilliant whitening system: they include a desensitizing gel. If you have sensitive teeth, you can use it right after your whitening session, and it lessens the sensitivity that often accompanies teeth whitening. To be honest, I only felt the need to use it a couple times, but it was comforting to know it was there if I wanted it.

I know it can be hard to justify spending money on ourselves, but seriously, I can’t think of a better way to give yourself a little pampering with awesome, lasting results. So are you ready to try Smile Brilliant? Good news! We’re giving some away!

The winner will receive a $149 credit at Smile Brilliant to purchase their first whitening kit. Enter now!

Even if you don’t win, use coupon code everythinghappensinthrees15 to get 15% off!


Tooth Whitening Gel

The post Custom Teeth Whitening At Home appeared first on Everything Happens in Threes.

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Home Daycare vs Daycare Center

If you are a working mom, one of the first questions you ask yourself after getting pregnant is: Who will watch my child while I work? Deciding who will care for your child when you are not around is a difficult question and one that takes time, trust, and research. I have been very fortunate that all of the childcare options we have chosen have worked out wonderfully. We have done everything from in-home daycares, licensed and not, to structured preschools, here are the pros and cons I’ve experienced.

Home Daycare

Home daycare come in all different forms. Some are licensed, some are not. Some have only a couple of kids with one caretaker, others have multiple caretakers and more children. All three of my children started in in-home daycares. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:
  1. A Home Environment. A home daycare is like, well, a home. It’s familiar and comfortable and can feel
  2. Usually a little cheaper. Due to the fact that there is less overhead to run an in-home daycare, it usually costs a little less than a larger center.
  3. The caretaker KNOWS your child. In a home daycare environment where you have only a few kids with one person, often for a few years, that person really knows your child and if they are good, they treat them like one of their own. I have been really fortunate with our in-home daycare providers being really wonderful people that became a part of our family for the time my children were with them.
  4. Flexible schedules. While most daycare centers have strict hours, in-home daycare has the option to be a little more flexible. For moms that have odd working hours that start extra early or go extra late, this can be essential. However, remember that your daycare provider is a person too and that you need to respect their time as they often have very limited time for doctor appointments and errands of their own.
  5. Can accommodate all ages. Typically home daycares take children from infant
Cons:
  1. Less structure. This is not always true, but in-home daycares have less oversight on how they fill their days and their schedules. A good home daycare absolutely has a schedule, but it is almost always less than daycare centers that are scheduled to the minute.
  2. Provider sick days. When you are relying on one person to watch your child, they have their own emergencies that come up. It can be a struggle to find last minute childcare 30 minutes before you have to leave your house for work when your daycare provider calls in sick.
  3. Less oversight. Even licensed in-home daycare that are subject to the same rules are daycare centers are checked less often and have less accountability to verify they are following the law to a tee.
Daycare Center

A daycare center provides consistency and reliability  – important things for busy moms. They are also under strict state regulations with multiple employees to ensure that those regulations are met. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:
  1. Consistency. Daycare centers are open almost every day of the year (except for major holidays) and if one teacher is sick, they can call in a sub or rearrange assignments. There is a daily schedule and you can count on a certain amount of predictability for you and your child.
  2. Age appropriate curriculum. Most daycare centers provide a preschool curriculum from 2 years and up. While there is still plenty of playtime and arts, there is also a structured learning environment.
  3. Accountability. It is true that there are some horrible daycare centers, but since there are multiple people working in a center, there is built-in accountability for how the workers act and treat children. I also received a written report every time my child was injured or disciplined, something that didn’t happen in any home care we used.
Cons:
  1. Limited, if any, infant spots. Many daycare centers will not take children under the age of two. Those that do only have a few spots available, which can lead to long wait lists.
  2. Inflexible schedules. When they are open, great, when they are not, well, they’re not. If you work a regular 9-5, it’s probably fine, but if you work early or late hours or holidays, hopefully you have a spouse or family member that does not.
  3. Less one on one attention. Don’t get me wrong, most of my children’s preschool teachers have been great and attentive; however, with more kids in the room, kids are less likely to get one on one time with adults.
  4. Rising costs. Daycare centers tend to raise their prices each year to cover rising overhead.

The post Home Daycare vs Daycare Center: A Mom’s Perspective appeared first on Everything Happens in Threes.

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