Couple’s Workouts

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Chocolate and flowers are lovely, but if you’re looking to switch up this year’s routine (or add to it!), why not give the gift of health, encouragement, and quality time?

Working out together can do all of these things for you!  It not only shakes up your routine of watching Netflix on the couch but provides these other benefits:

  • Bonding!  Exercising together lets you have face-to-face interaction and allows you to still get a workout in without sacrificing “us” time.
  • Support!  Encouraging one another is so important!  You’re not just cheering them on as they finish their set, you’re cheering them on as they reach a new goal and a new level of fitness and health.

Here is a couple’s workout you can do today.  It’s fun to do with your date, but they’re also fun to do with your friends!

Here’s a total body workout you two can do right now.

Couples Workout FitStyled.com

Questions:
-What are your favorite couple’s workouts (whether it’s a date or a friend)?  

Let me know! Tell us here and on social media with #fsCouples!  Use the same hashtag to send us pictures of y’all working out this weekend!

Have a great day,
Sarah

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At Home Preschool: Homeschooling Tips & Classroom Setup



Alternative title: How to Homeschool a Preschooler When You’re Not a Teacher

Hello to who I assume is a stressed-out parent,

Let me start this off by saying that this is written during the pandemic. Someday, we will return to school. In the meantime, we are homeschooling, and while I am not a teacher by trade, I am a concerned mother who is doing the best she can in an unprecedented time. With zero offense to homeschooling (in fact, mad respect to homeschoolers!), I just never, ever thought I’d be in this boat, but I’ve learned things along the way that I’d like to share if it would benefit your family.

So, if you find this situation to be relatable, or maybe you’re in the future (btw, what’s it like??) and you are trying homeschooling on for size, then I hope these tips will help you.

I will provide information on what we’ve done/do, and suggestions I’ve been given from preschool teachers, elementary school teachers, and homeschooling parents who have been doing this for years.

I would say these tips can apply to kids ages 2-5.

A sample day for us goes like this:

  • Calendar
  • Curriculum
  • Activities or Activity Books
  • Work in some other learning activities/exercise by making it a game throughout the day

BEFORE this sounds overwhelming, the first three parts of this process don’t take more than 30 minutes on most days. Sometimes it’s longer if my child’s interest permits, and if it doesn’t, we just work things in throughout the day. More on that soon.

Calendar
We begin with our magnetic calendar. It’s very cute and we sing the days of the week to the tune of “The Addams Family” and the months of the year to the tune of “One Little, Two Little, Three Little ___.”
Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6PJPHJJGL0

Curriculum
The first thing I did was purchase a curriculum. Because this was March of 2020, I didn’t know how long we’d be doing this, or what to expect from homeschooling, so I got one from busytoddler.com because I was familiar with her creative and educational activities from Instagram. With a coupon code, it was $29 for 38 weeks of school. I see that the HOME25 discount code is still active!

I didn’t have everything I needed to follow each lesson perfectly, and I think that was okay.

I improvise in the following ways:

  • If a lesson wanted a bunch of puffballs to glue to something, I either skipped that activity, or made-do with something else. One of my children would likely try to eat some of the recommended craft supplies, so we have to keep choking hazards in mind. If there are any supplies that we use that are too small, I put them in a cabinet where the baby can’t get to them and we’ll use them when the baby is asleep.
  • I look up the children’s books she recommends on YouTube. You could use the library, too. Before each week of school, I’d put the links to the stories in my iPhone notes, which syncs with my computer. I’d have my son watch the stories on my laptop while I familiarized myself with what activity came next, or made a cup of coffee.

Speaking of familiarizing myself, I’d also look through the week’s curriculum calendar to make sure I knew what we’d be doing. A toddler’s attention span only lasts so long, so I didn’t want to be like, “ok hold on….let me read this” while his attention drifted away.

Other Curriculum Idea:
Someone close to me who also used to be a teacher used The Learning Box for her children and this sounds amazing because it comes with pre-sorted craft bags EVERY DAY! It sort of sounds like a Hello Fresh box, but for school.



Resources for the Rest of the Day:


Throughout the day, we work learning activities into the day but in a “hey, look, we’re doing something fun and we’re playing!” sort of way.


We’ll choose some of the following, but we don’t do all of the following in a given day!

Physical Education:
For example, rather than “it’s time for PE!”, which I really just don’t expect him to respond to, I’ll say “it’s time to work out!” or “time to exercise!” There’s a fabulous channel on YouTube called Cosmic Kids Yoga where the instructor tells stories while doing yoga. Additionally, I am a nationally certified personal trainer and my kids are used to seeing me exercise and often join me. My son loves to flex his muscles and show me how strong he is. This chunk of time doesn’t take too long, either. It’s some stretching, some playing, maybe some jumping jacks, squats, and in my son’s case, burpees.

Yes, you read that right. He thinks it’s just fun to jump, so…yay him. He’s the only person I’ve ever trained who enjoys them.

I also love playing basketball with him and would love to try these stepping stones!


KiwiCo
These are subscription boxes with fun, educational activities inside, and they are based on the child’s age. I LOVE these! I will be asking for boxes for my kids’ birthdays.
Use this code for a 30% discount:
kiwi-crate.7eer.net/fitstyled

abcdeelearning.com
Deena gives fabulous tips! She has sensory activities, worksheets, and more on her blog and Instagram.

Preschool Workbooks / Dry-Erase Workbooks
I like this book and you may have seen other friends post about it, too. It’s a good one! I also enjoy this math book for preschoolers. Dry-erase books are fabulous because they’re reusable.

Worksheet Protectors
Similar to the dry-erase books, I use these on worksheets or coloring pages that I print online.
Here are some places to get printables:
These free worksheets
abcdeelearning.com (more free worksheets!)

I use these washable markers with them.

*TIP*: If you write on laminated surfaces with a Sharpie, you can remove the Sharpie by going over it with a dry-erase marker and then wiping it clean.

Melissa & Doug School Time Box
I got this for my son for Christmas. I love it! There are a lot of ways to use it, it all packs away in one box, and there are activity ideas that come with it in their “teacher’s guide.”

Breakfast Books / Easel
I keep a few books by the kitchen table and read to them then because they’re seated anyway. Sometimes the easel stays by the table, too, because I might write letters or do very simple math equations.

YouTube
Yes, it’s screen time. Some of my favorite learning channels on YouTube are Miss Monica’s Circle Time, Cosmic Kids Yoga, and Songs for Littles. Additionally, I love LeapFrog Letter Factory for learning and it can be found on both YouTube and Netflix.

Alphabet and Numbers
There are so many educational posters you could put on the wall wherever your “classroom” is. We have an alphabet banner that we taped together to make a poster and hung it with this adjustable “frame” on a 3M hook.

ABC Mouse
Educational activities. Many preschools actually have ABCMouse in their curriculum, so we gave it a shot and we enjoy it!

FaceTime Story Time:
My mother-in-law happens to have a lot of children’s books at her house. She FaceTimes us every week to read stories!


The Classroom Setup

We use our playroom as a classroom. The layout hasn’t changed too much from when it was just a playroom. We just moved some of the bulkier toys out of the way and added the alphabet poster and a three-tiered cart to hold the workbooks and supplies.

Some things I’ve kept in mind during this time:

  • Keep fewer toys out than we normally do
  • Keep the alphabet and numbers visible
  • Have school supplies corralled in one place
  • Hang the curriculum where I can see it (or use a clipboard)
  • Hang the calendar
  • Keep the easel and some books in the kitchen to read/work on letters while I know they’ll be seated

I hope this helps you come up with ideas and resources to pick and choose from to create a learning environment for your child or children! I raise my glass to you and all teachers. I’m sure I speak for a lot of us when I say we’d love to hear your tips!



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Email: sarah@fitstyled.com

My Favorite Diaper Bags

I’ve been through a few diaper bags and they each left me wishing there was some hybrid of them to make the perfect bag. I’d want the pockets of this one, the insulated pockets of the other, and all in a size that worked for me, etc.

Both of my bags from Sleepy Panda have met and exceeded my expectations!

I have a video review on each of them, and I will include those videos and give you the scoop here in this blog post.

Use my code FITSTYLED10 for a discount!

By the way, I will use these bags as travel bags when they’re finished being diaper bags. They’re that good.

We’ll Go Over:
-The features of the two bags
-A comparison of the two

I have two bags from them and I use both depending on the situation.

Bailey Bag

I’ll begin with this bag because it’s the one I grab most often. That isn’t a knock on the Kaitlyn bag, it’s merely due to the size. The Bailey bag is a more manageable size for everyday outings for me. However, it can still carry a LOT! I always have leftover room, which is important to me because it’s easier to find things when the bag isn’t crammed full of things.

The features of it are just…ah…so exciting to me!

Features

  • Vegan leather
  • “Feet” on the bottom so your bag isn’t getting gross when you set it down
  • USB charging hub. I use it with this small charger. I once at an unexpected hospital visit with my baby needing to call my husband and my phone was almost dead. That is my PSA to have a charger with you.
  • The changing pad is thin. Most bags’ changing pads are thick and take up too much room in the bag.
  • Insulated pockets on both sides! And they fit BIG bottles. Previous bags wouldn’t hold the bottles I liked to carry. So smart.
  • A phone pocket! Because your drink pockets will likely be filled with drinks for you or your children, you now have a designated pocket holder.
  • Wipeable exterior (they call it a “grime shield”) and let’s be real, we have kids. So, that’s needed.
  • THE BOTTLE HOLDER! It’s insulated. Holds Dr. Brown’s bottles perfectly. Also holds a typical water bottle. You could use this while traveling or hiking long after its job as a bottle holder is done!
  • Pocket placement makes sense to me because I can get to everything easily without taking the bag off of my back
  • Zipper closures and magnetic. Nice for when you need to quickly grab something
  • Padded laptop pocket
  • Can be a backpack or crossbody or handled bag
  • Has strong stroller straps
  • It’s strong. I’ve had bag handles fall off and fray, but this baby is holding up beautifully

The Kaitlyn Bag
This
is the bigger option and is great for bigger outings and/or multiple children. I have used this as a carry-on on an airplane.


Features

ALL of the same as the Bailey bag PLUS:

  • An included purse so you could just keep your essentials (wallet, keys, phone, chapstick) and then just grab that if you don’t want to carry the whole bag, OR, if dropping your kids off at Grandma’s for babysitting, you could just leave the bag with her and take the purse.
  • Anti-theft pocket
  • Enormous insulated pockets on both size that’ll hold big cups (Thermoses, Tervis Tumblers, etc.).
  • Wipeable changing pad
  • “Grime shield” aka wipeable exterior, which is also on the changing pad.
  • Insulated bottle holder (holds very large bottles like Thermos and Tervis Tumbler)
  • An included wet/dry bag. Why doesn’t every bag have one of these?!
  • Very breathable, padded, comfortable straps
  • “Feet” on the bottom so your bag isn’t getting gross when you set it down.
  • Bigger size. Great for large trips, overnight, carry-on on planes.
  • USB charging hub (use with this).


    Now, let’s compare!
BaileyKaitlyn
Feet on bottomxx
Wipeable exteriorxx
Wipeable changing padxx
Insulated pocketsxx
Wet/Dry bagx
Sizesmallerlarger
USB port & phone pocketxx
Anti-theft pocketxx
Insulated bottle/water bottle pouchxx
Included pursex
Zippers and extra magnetic closuresxx
Padded laptop pocketxx
Comes in different colorsxx
Reinforced stroller strapsxx
Ability to be a crossbodyx
Sensible pocket placementsxx
Durabilityxx
Guys won’t mind carrying themxx
Strong handle on topxx

Clearly, their features are similar.
I’ve had such good experiences with both bags and do use them depending on the situation that the choice is up to you!

I’m not sure you could go wrong, especially because these can last you for a long time and can be used as general backpacks, overnight bags, and carry-on bags in the future!

Which is your favorite?

Don’t forget to use the code FITSTYLED10 on your order!