5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur

Today I am thrilled to have one of our lovely Mumpreneurs do a guest blog for us,  Sharon Pegrum.  Sharon has a wealth on knowledge on easy activities for the work at home Mumpreneur.  She home schools her children and was a family day care educator for 5 years.  Sharon home is strewn with glitter, paint, books and more to make a wonderfully full and engaging environment for her children. Sharon runs her own Executive Virtual Assistant Business called Black Cockatoo Business.

Thank you so much Sharon for all your wonderful ideas.

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur

It seems being a Mumpreneur is a constant balancing act of meeting your kid’s needs and meeting your business needs. I discovered long ago that I need to be well prepared to avoid either failing to complete my work or whinging kids all day. Luckily those 5 years I did in family daycare gave me a knowledge bank of activities to engage the kids in, and free up my time. I want to share with you my favourite 5 types of activities that give me a solid period of work time.

  1.  Messy/ Sensory Play
  • Includes Playdough, Magic Sand (check out Red Dot for the cheap stuff!), Gloop (purely cornflour and water) and Cloud Dough. You will find heaps of recipes on the internet
  • Preparation Required: High – requires you to have made it or bought it in advance
  • Mess factor: High – I usually include a bucket of soapy water and explain how to use it to clean hands and a towel
  • Supervision: High – you really need to be nearby for this one
  • Additional Materials: rollers and playdough toys are great but you can totally get away with raiding the utensil drawer
  • Fun factor: High – probably one of the activities that I have seen children engage with for the longest time. You need to weigh up the mess/ supervision/ preparation requirements against the fun factor!5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur2. Water Play
  • Includes Outdoor Kitchen play, soaker hoses/ paddle pools in summer, water beads, small world play with water (ie fish, animals with watering holes), baby or doll bathing and water walls
  • Preparation Required: Low – water play is probably one of the quickest activities to set up
  • Mess factor: Medium – keep some towels nearby, make sure you are outside and be prepared for very wet kids
  • Supervision: High – children can drown in a very small amount of water, anytime there is a container of water children should be supervised at all times
  • Additional Materials: containers for pouring, filling and tipping. Small toys that they can get wet
  • Fun factor: High – I have never met a child that didn’t like playing with water5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur3. Large Loose Parts Play
  • Includes any open-ended, large objects that children can use their gross motor skills to carry, stack and create with – logs, planks, pvc pipe, rocks, branches, tyres. Remida (http://www.remidawa.com/wordpress/) is a great place for materials in Perth and once you have a membership you can take anything for free
  • Preparation Required: Medium – you will need a collection of parts but it’s a one off job and you can then leave in one area of the yard
  • Mess factor: Low – Due to the nature of large, loose parts it’s really an easy clean up, it’s even better to have the children create in an area where they can create a WIP that they can go back to
  • Supervision: Low – gauge it by the age of your children but you should be able to observe from afar and leave them for some time
  • Additional Materials: you could add smaller objects to the area or materials to assist ie cable ties, small rocks to roll down planks, decoration pieces ie feathers, fabric
  • Fun factor: High – this is a fantastic activity for engaging children in an experience that involves gross motor skills but more importantly executive function, social skills and problem-solving

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur4.  Imaginative Play

  • Includes Dress Ups, Cubby/ Den Building, Props, Storytelling
  • Preparation Required: Low – it’s easy to whip up a cubby with an old sheet or create a den by pulling out a couch, a box of dress ups can be easily sourced from an op shop
  • Mess factor: Low – they may be a tidy up at the end
  • Supervision: Low – this should be one the kids can be left to
  • Additional Materials: the sky is the limit with this one, my boys use all kinds of random things for Imaginative play. We have had a fallen tree branch as a “bird hide”, an old cymbal made into a shield. Imaginative Play is….well imaginative
  • Fun factor: High – find your child’s area of interest and this will engage them for hours

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur5.Outdoor Play

  • Includes Sandpits, Trampolines, Swings but also parks and playgrounds
  • Preparation Required: Low – if you don’t have a great backyard setup just grab your laptop and hit the local park if you can find a fenced in one even better
  • Mess factor: Low – other than sand it’s pretty non-existent and it’s all outside anyway
  • Supervision: Medium – at home you should be setup in a pretty safe environment, a public park will require more supervision
  • Additional Materials: nothing though I am a fan of 2 sandpits to allow children to explore the schema of transporting
  • Fun factor: High – not only is outdoor play really beneficial and fun but it’s great as an adult to get out in the sun and fresh air as well.

Using these 5 areas to put some new ideas in your “I have to get some work done” magic kit will help you ensure your kids are exploring, learning and having fun while you work on your other passion in life – your business!

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur

sharonprfileSharon Pegrum operates a successful Exective VA Business in Toodyay, WA.  She supports Heart Led Women in Business with a commitment to business growth and a connected interest in the goals and vision of their unique business. Sharon provides a professional service that meets the needs and creates space in her client’s business’ so they can share their important work more extensively with the world. A passionate writers she publishes 2 blogs – Black Cockatoo Business (www.blackcockatoobusiness.com/blog) and Natural Living with Sharon (sharonpegrum.wordpress.com)

10 Security Tips to keep your family safe.

10 security tips to keep your family safe - Mumpreneurs WA

Today we are featuring Nathan Hughes as a guest post. He’s a locksmith and in the business of keeping families safe. He has some great tips for keeping our homes safe. Thank you Nathan.

10 security tips to keep your family safe - Mumpreneurs WA

In my line of work, I see a lot of break-ins. There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing a family who has recently had their valuables stolen and their sense of safety rattled.

Particularly, for those of us who work from home, it can have a major impact if a computer or essential business equipment is taken. My whole business is on my laptop. Heaven forbid that it gets stolen!

Business Tip: Keep all important documents backed up on the Cloud using Google Drive or similar. This has saved my life countless times!

Often I can see that these tragic incidents can be easily avoided with some tweaking of their home security. Here are my top tips for keeping your home and family safe and secure.

Check Your Front And Back Door

The main entrances to your home are your first line of defence against unwanted intruders, so make sure they are up to the challenge!

Your front and back door should be made of solid wood or metal construction. Windows can easily be smashed in, and flimsy wooden doors can be kicked in. By having solid doors, this will greatly reduce the chance of forced entry.

Support your solid door with a high-quality lock. A double cylinder deadbolt is an excellent option. Don’t go with a cheap lock from your local hardware store. A quality lock will start at around $100 and should be installed by a professional.

For an added level of security, install a screen door. A screen door also has the added benefit of allowing fresh air into the house and still maintain the security of your home.

Make sure you teach your children not to answer the door without an adult nearby. Install a peephole on your front door, so you and the kids can see who is on the other side.

And lastly, lock the door! This may seem obvious, however, this is one of the biggest causes of break-ins. Make sure you lock all doors and windows before you leave home. You may have the security of Fort Knox, but it’s useless if you leave the front door open.

Check Your Alarm Is Working

When was the last time you checked your alarm? If you don’t have an alarm, get one installed immediately. A security alarm is one of the best deterrents against break-ins.

If you do have an alarm, make sure that everything is working correctly. Is the battery charging? Are all the sensors working? Are the sensors clear and not impeded by anything?

If you kids are old enough, teach them how to use the alarm system. Have a simple security passcode that can be remembered by the children.

Make sure you turn your alarm on every time you leave home. Add a last minute check of window locks, doors locks and the security alarm to your routine every time you leave.

Get Security Lighting Installed

The last thing a criminal wants is to be seen caught in the act.

Security lighting is excellent at keeping criminals away from your property. When a sensor detects movement, it activates a light which illuminates an area.

As a minimum, security lighting should be installed at the main entrances to your house and property. If your budget allows, I also recommend installing security lighting near potential hiding places around your property.

Advertise Your Home Is Secure

If your house is secure, make sure you let criminals know. They will think twice about breaking in.

Post up security signs in obvious places around your property. This can include your front door and near your mailbox.

Keep the signs generic. Don’t mention the make, model or manufacturer. This information can be used by more experienced burglars to bypass you security system.

Remove Potential Hiding Places

Objects and bushes near windows or doors provide the perfect cover for someone trying to break in. Make it harder for criminals and remove any potential hiding places from doors, windows and other areas around your property.

If you have large shrubs near your house that you don’t want to remove, make sure you keep them trimmed and tidy.

Have a bit of fun with this, and take the kids for a walk around the yard and see if they can find some good hiding places. A game of hide-and-seek with the kids may open your eyes to hiding places you didn’t even think of.

Know Your Neighbours

How well do you know your neighbours? Your neighbours can often be the best security for you home. They can keep an eye out and raise the alarm with the authorities if there is any suspicious behaviour around your home.

Do you have a habit of leaving a spare key hidden around your yard? Most criminals are aware of this and will often look in the most obvious places. Don’t give thieves easy access to your home. If you have a bad habit of locking yourself out, consider giving a spare key to a trusted neighbour instead of risking it to the pot plant or front door mat.

If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, keep their number on a list of emergency numbers your kids can call if you are not available. They can help the kids need help and you are not home.

Also, consider joining your local neighbourhood watch.

Don’t Attach Personal Details To Your Keys

A lot of people put details such as their name, address or telephone number on their keys in the case they lose them. However, would be thieves can use this information to find out where you live and easily enter your home.

Don’t include these details on your keys. It is cheaper to get a new key cut than to replace stolen goods.

Don’t Show Off Things Of Value

Burglars often check out a property to see if there is anything worth breaking in for.

Make it hard for criminals and keep curtains and blinds closed, particularly at night and when you leave home. If they can’t see in, they will likely not risk it and move onto the next person.

If you have recently bought something, such a new plasma tv, make sure you keep the box hidden. A box on the side of the road awaiting pickup is a clear indicator that you have something of value in your home.

Also, keep valuables such as jewelry, cash and car keys out of plain sight of the window.

Get A Safe

A safe can add an extra level of security to your home. It is an excellent last line of defence against someone who has broken into your home.

Keep smaller valuables and documents such as jewellery, cash, passports and birth certificates in a quality fireproof safe.

Get A Professional Home Security Check

Depending on which suburb you live in, some police may offer a home security check service. If not, ask your local locksmith.

Police and locksmiths are kept up to date with local patterns in crime. They know the best way to secure your home against intruders.

They can provide a home security assessment and give you tailored advice to securing your home.

About The Author

Nathan Hughes is a founder of Locksmiths In Sydney. They help families and business owners feel safe and secure. Check out his simple free home security checklist to securing your home against intruders.

Blocking it out in a Weekly Planner

Blocking it out in a weekly planner - Mumpreneurs WA

One of my New Year resolutions is to try and use a weekly planner for business.  I love a good list, plans and I am really good with my diary.  Got to put it in the diary or I forget and it doesn’t exist.  I mean what is that after children you have a brain like a sieve. Is it the lack of sleep that your short term memory never recovers from??   Now that the school year is starting and we are getting back to routines and work I am determined to systematize my week.  I am blocking it out in at weekly planner.

Here’s the pdf of the weekly planner I made to block out time.    I am putting it on an A5 and sticking it on my desk.  This way each week I know what I am doing on certain days.  I have also put in the priority of my exercise which is also an important goal I am getting back to this year.  Planners need to be customised and work for you.  Last year I did a few of these up and blocked out time after the kids went to bed.  Bong Bong wrong for me.  By the time I had done the bath, dinner and bed.  I was in my pj’s on the lounge having a cup of tea and simply did not have the energy to blog, do the internet etc.  I just needed to wind down and watch MKR or some mind numbing reality show.  I had the right idea of blocking it out but was the wrong time slots.

This year I have popped in my exercise and a few jobs on each day.  I hope to achieve these when my toddler is sleeping or happily playing.  Some of the area’s I am blocking out on my planner are blogging,  social media scheduling,  lead generation and follow up, sponsorship applications,  admin day, filming and course creation. I think these are the big ones.  I keep thinking of things but don’t want to overload myself as there needs to be time for appointments, networking, friends and of course housework (arrrghh).

My questions to you are what are you blocking out. Do you have a weekly planner?  What time do you block out? What do you put in your weekly planner?  Here’s to blocking it out in a weekly planner hopefully it does the trick this year.

Hope you and your kids had a great start to the first day of school yesterday.

Julie Signature

 

 

5 ways to Declutter for the New Year

5 Ways to declutter for the New Year - Mumpreneurs WA

Once Christmas is over it’s full steam ahead for the New Year and decluttering.  I have been going full on with decluttering. Here are my 5 ways to declutter for the New Year.  They work everytime and are great when you are feeling bogged down and need a good re-fresh to clean your house and mind.  I love sorting the house out to sort my head out. Actually I am lying LOL.  I don’t love it and if I could afford a housekeeper I would. But I do love when you have gotten on top of the clutter how you feel with being focused.

5 Ways to Declutter for the New Year

 

Roll in the green wheelie bin.

This is an all time favourite of mine.  Don’t take stuff out to the wheelie bin.  Just roll the whole bin into your house, plock it in the of the room and start chucking out the clutter.  If you have never done this it’s really empowering.  Just get rid of it.

Move your furniture around.

I did this two days ago.  Completely turned my lounge/dining  room around.  Awesome!!  It looks fantastic and works much better for the space I have.  With moving everything around you have to take out stuff and once I have moved around the room last thing I want to do is put all the stuff back in.

Donate to charity or women refuge.

When you roll your wheelie bin in, have a box for charity. But take note,  don’t give broken, too old, stained or if you wouldn’t wear it yourself (ie has gone into balls on the jumper) bin it. It surprises me that people give old stuff and stained stuff when they move on it on to charity or pass it to a friend. Have a good look at it, be critical of what you are passing on or passing down to a friend.  I once had a lady who I didn’t even know, drop of a bag of clothes at my front door. A friend had told her I had  a baby and she gave me all her crap.  I was annoyed for a few reason, not only did I not give my permission for my address to be given out but the stuff was old.  I threw it straight in the bin.  Plus she didn’t even knock on my door she dropped and ran.  My friend text me later to tell me her friend had dropped off clothes and was too embarrassed to knock on the door (I didn’t even respond to the text either). Too right I would of been embarrassed to.  Just because I am a single Mum does mean I am a rubbish bin.  Please only pass on the good stuff, then rest belongs in the wheelie bin in the middle of the room (Sorry rant over and out).

If you are going to donate to the women refuge ring them before you go to see they need anything. I have rung before and they were not taking anything. It will save you a trip.

Get it on Gumtree.

Gumtree is awesome.  When I get on a roll, if it’s not nailed down I will sell it.  You make a little bit of cash and someone else gets bargain.  Pitfalls of Gumtree is that someone can say they are coming over and don’t turn up.  Grrr.

Pay it Forward.

How great is the Pay it Forward page.  I have seen some amazing things give away. There is one bloke who collects old bikes, does them up and pays it forward. The other day I saw he has done over 600. What a champion.  Pay it Forward 🙂

If you are still on holidays I imagine you are probably doing all of these at the moment.  It’s nice to have a bit of extra time to get stuck in to it all before school, work and busy sports times start.

These are my top 5 ways to declutter for the New Year. What are yours?

Julie Signature