A survival guide to everyday motherhood

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I am a photography fanatic. I love taking pictures, tweaking pictures, and finding the beauty in every day items

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Family Items & Toys


My husband and I try to plan ahead what big items we want to purchase for our family; like right now we are looking at a bike trailer and bike so we can go riding as a family. So, right now we are looking around for ones that we like and try to get an idea of how much we want to spend. We like doing this because it helps to keep us from buying impulsively and also makes us appreciate the item more... which helps us to take better care of it.

This is something that we want to carry on with our children as well. We want to make some family items a family decision. A good idea is to first,

Pick some items that you have been looking at purchasing or from a wish list that you already have; things that the family can enjoy all together. Examples - fire pit, trampoline, slip n' slides, tree fort, even a day at an amusement park/family outing)

From the list you have, privately pick just a few, maybe three, that the kids can help vote on. Also try to get an idea of how you want the kids to pitch in to pay for it, like parents pay for half and the kids covering the other half, something like that. Making some of these decisions privately can help avoid some children squabbling later. You guys make most of the decisions and let the kids choose from what you guys think is best.

Now that there are some choices, let the family vote on the item they all want to help save for.
The item is now picked, so discuss and figure out what the best way the family can save up for the item. Examples - maybe having to pay for a percentage, extra chores can help pay their share, having a garage sale, volunteer work... anything could help count.

Now, just enjoy watching your kids work to help pay for this item. This is a great way to help teach our children about pitching in, helping the family, importance of hard work, how things don't come free, plus the kids will take better care of the item because they know how much work it took to get it.

Plus, you can have some fun saving up for the item. You can make a progress chart to help show how far everyone has left or plan a family chore day where everyone is cleaning and doing yard work together specifically to help with the family item. And when everyone has their money it will be great to all go to the store, purchase it together and then running home to set it up/play with it. It will be a great family moment to remember and a great lesson for the kids, heck... a great lesson for the whole family.

Please remember to add your link only if you are participating in Family Moment Monday. Family Moment Monday consists of people who are sharing crafts, activities, lessons, ideas, service projects or anything else that you can learn/do/enjoy as a family. Please remember to link back to Motherhood For Dummies, so other can learn about F.M.M. and participate also. :)


  1. Thanks for checking our my blog. I LOVE your baby's name! It fits her perfectly, she is adorable. I look forward to reading more from you...and I'm going to check our your Etsy shop right now! :)

  2. Great idea about having the kids help save and plan for family items. I love it!

  3. Great ideas for planning as a family. Your daughter is lucky to have such a mom. I've posted a family moment Monday. Thanks for sponsoring. (Hope my post this week is not too negative.)

  4. I love this idea! We look forward to items and events already but I never thought about having the kids contribute in some way (they are five and three) but I think it's something that they can totally do even at such a young age.

  5. Technically my post is from Sunday, I hope that's ok, but I think it's a great one to share!

    I have a tip for buying a bicycle trailer, don't buy a single, even if it's for one child, the extra space is wonderful, for a friend, stuffed animals, etc. Think of it as an investment (we love our Burley).

  6. Just make sure you buy a nice long chain or cable to lock up your trailer with, and keep spare keys for the locks in different places. Don't forget to lock it up. I know that seems like simple advice, but with four kids to keep track of I have been known to forget -and had my trailer stolen. Actually, I've had two trailers stolen. The first time was in a "safe neighborhood" no less.

  7. What a great way to teach about responsibility and money management!! :)

  8. You always have such great ideas!

    BTW- I love the stuff in your Etsy shop. Just beautiful! I'm thinking about getting a handbag and headband. I love them!!! Keep up the good work. :)

  9. Yes, I need to start a chart for chores. Thanks for reminding me!

  10. another wise tip friend.

    still waiting for you to publish a book...

  11. I love it! What a great way to keep the entire family involved when it comes to "luxury" purchases.

  12. You literally have the best ideas. We love to plan ahead too. I cannot wait for us to plan things as a family when the kiddos are old enough to give their input too!

  13. I love this idea! It is a great way to make everyone appriciate what they have and to take care of what they have as well!
    My post will be up shortly!

  14. I think it's a great idea to help include the kids in the planning once they're old enough. Gives them a sense of power over the event, but gives them a good sense of pride that they helped contribute and plan the event or the purchase of the item.

  15. loved your family moment monday.. even tho i don't have a family, i can appreciate the work you are doing.. thanks for stopping by!! i soooo appreciated it!

  16. Wonderful idea, because familes are very special.

  17. You will so love a bike trailer! Your daughter looks to be the perfect age to really get a lot of use out of one. Don't forget to check cheapcycle, yahoo groups,craigslist, or resale stores. I know bike trailers and the like to be impulse buys and rarely used and then sold cheap.

  18. A little late here, but when we bought a trailer, we bought it through Bike Nashbar (Nashbar.com, I believe). It folds flat and we're talking about taking it to store our stuff in when we do multi-day trips. It's also REALLY easy to pull.

    When the kids outgrow the trailer, can I recommend the Trailgator? We have two (also from Nashbar), and we love them. It turns the kid's bike into a trailer bike, so the kid can ride under their own power part of the way and be pulled the rest. Or they can pedal and help the forward effort (always appreciated).

    Both have been invaluable tools to my bike-riding family.