Kiwi Co | Kids Mental Growth

We are a fan of anything to do with STEAM. We’ve loved it since it was STEM! Heck, I’ve loved science very early on. I remember asking for a microscope for my 8th birthday and I got it!! My brothers made so much fun of me because they didn’t understand why I would ask our parents to buy me that kind of stuff. They called it a waste. I on the other hand, was in love. I grew up saying I was going to be a Crime Scene Investigator. My first two years of college was a blend of basics and criminoloy. I loved it!

The only thing that changed my perspective on it, was time. I literally gave up because of time. I was too impatient, I started questioning if that is what I really wanted to do, because well I would be going to school for another 8 +years. Nevermind the fact that I paid for my own college so that was another little factor in the equation.

So of course, I jump at any idea that allows me to be able to add the coolness, funness, and amazingness of science into our homes. The fact that my husband is an Engineer with a minor in astronomy, may be a slight bonus. He loves it as much as I do, which only adds obsession to our addiction. It allows us to be passionate about encouraging and influencing our kids. We are a family who watches How It’s Made, Outrageous Acts of Science, Planet Earth, and The Weirdest Animals just caught my attention because of the amazing mutations and survival tactics that some creatures have that I had no idea about has B L O W N our minds. The kids get excited about the things we learn from the show just as much as I do. The Science Channel and History Channels are seriously our jam. We never feel guilty giving kids screen time when they are watching those channels.

Besides the fact that science is a clear visual aid of cause and effect reaction that helps our children minds grow.  I think it was said best by Sagan; “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.”It’s a great tool to use as a way to explain so many things in life- from the obvious things such as health, physics, logic, all the way to making choices,  faith, Jesus’s love, etc. There’s a never ending supply of projects and activities, to choose from that adds value to our children’s mental growth.

For my children I’ve always used ABCJesusLovesMe, as my curriculum for the kids. It has been a great supply of blended Science Activities to do for fun and to be as an aid to explain God’s Promise, Jesus’s Love, and the Holy Spirits power. I’ve been so grateful to come across that website 4 years ago. However, as I have become the teacher for three kids, who print out my own curriculum and activities, I have felt at times a little overwhelmed. I’ve searched for other activities and have come across many blogs and resources I have mentioned before, but I think the new Kiwi Co has caught our attention because of the STEAM aspect. It has a ton of engineering projects that we haven’t really done with the kids before. I mean yes, we’ve done engineering activities with them, like the Easter egg catapult but it was made of spoons and rubber bands. We’ve made a ton of cool things out of paper towel rolls, old crayons, styrofoam, and really anything we can use. You definitely get creative when three kiddos brains are on the line. But the quality of what we get in the boxes beats a paper towel roll any day. That’s why when I signed up for the monthly program I was beyond excited. It convenient and adds to our curriculum.

What Comes in a KiWi BOX

                                

Each box has at least three activities worth of supplies, a book that they can read and learn from, and another book with other ideas, inspiration, and instructions for other cool projects. One box literally will keep us busy all month. Not to mention staying connected with KIWI through social media and newsletters gives us access to DIY projects that you get sent along with the box to add further knowledge on what ever that month is teaching the kids.

Having a six year old boy who is starting his first year in school takes that much more precedence because it’s important to us to keep his brain growing, it’s a priority to us just as much as his spiritual growth. He is all boy and loves science as much as we do. This year for his birthday he picked a Dino Theme Party and last year he chose an Astronaut Themed Birthday Party. We enjoy setting up really cool, and challenging activities and games at his birthday parties and usually during his birthday month I create activities around those themes. His imagination play is one of my favorites because he chooses to dress up as an astronaut 75% of the time and loves to go all out with it. We’ve flown to the moon, discovered rocks, and have ran experiments. Of course it’s all ateam affair so it’s always fun to fly to the moon with these amazing astronauts.

It’s so much fun raising a boy because we have a mandatory reason to always dabble, experiment, and get dirty! I mean how can you not love making volcanoes, slime, rockets, and things that make you go oooo and ahhhhhh. I want him to always stay intrigued by STEAM that it forces his little brain to innovate, explore, create, and problem solve. That’s just what KIWI co does. After all they say, science today, is technology of tomorrow. I can only imagine what kind of cool things my kids will be making in 9-10 years when they are in high school.

For now, I will settle with these innovative and fun projects that we receive each month. Each kid gets their own box so they feel special doing something of their own, at their own level. Normally we are all doing the same thing with it being modified to his or her own level. But now this adds even more excitement to these boxes because they all have their own “special” box.

This is our first month with it and we are already hooked. All the smiles, jumps, and “mom, look!!!!!”s that I have received has been beyond worth it. It’s always so much fun seeing our kids grow and learn but to see their faces light up is a great way to give yourself a thumbs up mom. The best part, is it’s one more thing we can do together. Although each kid has their own box, we focus on one at a time and allow each kid to help in some way with their other siblings box. Just so the greed, and “mines!” don’t come in full swing.

Just to show you how cool it is below I have split the three kids ‘crates’ separately so you can see what we received. I will include y’all in our Kiwi Co journey and hope you join in on the fun. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to email me or comment below.

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If you are interested in signing up click here and use MY CODE hereand receive $10 for your first purchase. That’s getting your first month 50% off!!!!!!

Kiwi Crate – Arcade

Koala Crate – Rainbows

Tadpole Crate – Hide and Seek Animals

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A Gentleman’s Suit

Today marks one month that I have been married!!!! I can’t believe it!!! To think it felt like just yesterday I was running around doing all the last minute planning and picking up all the groomsmen, and my dad’s suits. Speaking of suits, one of those suits was a little five year old ring bearer’s suit.

I never could have imagined a suit holding so much power. Now, as a parent I should have known better, but as a little boys mother, it shouldn’t have come as such a shock to me. After all the kid has an armoire full of “different suits” that make him be anything he wants for the day!! I’ve raised an astronaut, a robot, a fireman, an army ranger, a doctor, a police officer, countless super heroes and have even had to feed my very own burglar while he was in jail. The boys imagination has always ran wild and has always fascinated me. The sounds alone a little boy can make at the age of 2 astonishes me. It’s like they take some hidden class for that at some point!!

In raising a little boy, you try to enhance their imagination, it’s food for their soul, and their little brains. All the meanwhile, trying to make sure that your raising a little gentleman with manners, respect, honesty, compassion, bravery, and back bone to stand up for what he believes in. This literally keeps me up at night sometimes when we experience a day of time outs , fits, and “Mommy, you make me sad!” moments. I worry am I doing the right things, am I too hard on him, should I try something different, should I have taken more/less away from him?

However on our big day, every worry, every fear of what kind of man my son is going to be, every doubt of selflessness, or kindness that he may not show or give…were all gone.

It’s all in the power of a suit, the moment a little boy took his astronaut pajamas off, and put on a mans suit, and became a gentleman. It was a moment I realized, I no longer have a little boy, but a little gentleman.

It all started off when it was time to get ready. I showed him his suit that he has been waiting for for three weeks. He had been asking about it ever since we went for his fittings. He was excited to pick it up, he was overjoyed I think that it was time! He said he wanted to put it all on himself, I asked politely, “well can I just help you?” His response, “I’ve got this Mom”. I watched the boy for ten minutes try to figure out his shirt cuff buttons, looking back at me one time. He tried and tried! Finally he said, “Mom, can you help me please? But with just one button okay?! So that way I can watch you and do the other one.” I laughed inside, smiled at him, and responded, “I’d love to help you, but honey there’s only one button to use.” I went into further explanation of the two cuff buttons per sleeve, did his second sleeve, and continued to his shirt buttons only to get a, “NO MOM! I can do these!!!”

I’ve got this Mom- Ayden

I watched him with pure adoration. It was a beautiful sight to see on a beautiful day. He went on to put his bow tie on by himself and his coat jacket, not tucking his shirt in but it was okay with me. I was proud of all he did. Now to the final touches, his shoes! He couldn’t wait to wear those because he knew they matched daddy’s! He was so handsome! He got dressed and went straight down stairs to line up.

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When we went down the isle, apparently little sister saw too many peeps and froze up, he was a gentleman then, and patiently tried to motivate and coach his little sister in continuing the mission. I missed the whole show because I was waiting with my daddy for my turn. When I finally got down there, the moment I reached the spot where we all rehearsed to be, Ayden says to me, ” Mom, I walked down the isle!! Is there anything else you need me to do?” My son, a five year old, asking me if there’s anything else he can do for me during our ceremony!!! 😩❤❤😂😂 Joshua and I exchanged looks and we both knew we were so proud of him in that moment.

He stood there the whole time, not playing with leaves, sticks, or making noise. Just holding his sign and my ring. He was not going to mess up his duties in any way. Not even when his sister tried to give him a leaf to play with. That’s devotion!! I’ve never seen this kid pass up a rock, stick, or leaf.

Then he just continued being a little gentleman, he did great during photos, always smiled, never complained. When it was finally time to eat, one of my bridesmaids set him up at the end of the table where all the guys were sitting. I look over at him and he grabs his napkin, flops or open, folds it in half, and lays it in his lap like we sometimes practice at home! Son my heart was full of proudness, love, emotion. I called out to him asking if he wanted to sit next to mommy and daddy and he said, “I’m fine down here Mom.” Never asked for anything while he ate, ate all his food, and just remained being this little gentleman that I could not stop watching.

Don’t get me wrong, it was all beautiful, and the day was filled with many beautiful moments. This one however was something that could only make any parent proud. To top it off a pregnant bride who wanted to cry. He was def one of my top five favorite things of the day. I never knew a suit could hold so much power, for it was literally the moment he put it on, he became this person that eased my soul. That calmed my fears. For it was on that day, I knew my little boy was going to have good character, show others he had a kind heart, show selflessness, respect, and above all that he was already Mommy’s little gentleman.

A Leap of Faith

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Two years ago I was constantly asking when I should move my children to having a closer relationship with God. My mentor told me, “Ashly, just exercise it in your life and they will pick it up along the way”. Not only was it the best advice I ever heard, but it made the whole topic lighter for me. I didn’t fear making the wrong moves, I no longer had the fear of destroying them by forcing something on them. I no longer worried if what I was doing was right. In the end, what I’m doing was more than what I had as a child. It reminded me to just keep on growing my faith and my relationship with God and to allow them to be bystanders watching from the front row and hopefully falling in love with the show as much as I have.

As a parent I’ve always just wanted them to love as God has loved us. To never feel empty inside, and to just believe in something more than just themselves. I have never forced my beliefs on them, I have only tried to create activities and prayers that allow them to begin to know who God is. To share stories from the bible so they can begin to understand how mighty our God is.

A few sites that I have found in my search are easy, fun, and convenient. I only use two of these still but have enjoyed several apps, and websites that have added value in one way or another. The top five websites/ apps that I have tried and enjoy are:

With those being said, we have thoroughly enjoyed three years of ABCJesusLovesMe activities and daily school work. My oldest has completed three years of it, my middle has done two years and now the youngest has enjoyed a handful of activities I have chosen for her. The activities are great because umm….are you ready for this, THEY’RE FREE!!! Let me repeat that, for starters, they’re free! Secondly, ABCJesusLovesMe has weekly activities for each age group for the whole year that you get to hand pick for your child. The best, it isn’t just about God, they have activities that teach personal hygiene, manners, sign language, and of course letters, numbers, and words. It’s great for homeschooling parents with many resources.

I’ve loved it for having amazing activities that my children have loved throughout the years. One that has introduced my children to God in a fun, easy, no pressure way. There are several that have been forever imprinted in my heart because they made lasting impressions in my children’s minds and hearts as well. For instance the apple activity. You cut up an apple and discuss faith with your children, is a lot like a seed in an apple. You can’t see it at first, but when you cut the apple up, and look closely, you can see a seed surrounded by a beautiful star. Just like God, you can’t see him, but because we have faith in him, we knows he’s there, around us, and within us.

A new activity that I have recently begun is an app that I found from my church that I have attended for seven years, HCBC. My kids go to Sunday school there, and my oldest has recently begun the process to get enrolled into the school. I’m constantly roaming their site to find resources for parents and came across an app. Now, I will wholeheartedly admit that I hate using apps for everything, because for me its clutter. This however is an app that adds value to my children’s life. It’s called Parent Cues. It gives you cues on when to discuss God with your children in your everyday lives with your children. It’s great! It has many features that I love.

To begin with the Countdown:

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“There are approximately 936 weeks from the time a child is born until they grow up, graduate, and move on to whatever is next. Since your time with your kids is limited, consider counting down the weeks. Why?”

When you see how much time you have left, you tend to do more with the time you have now. 

Then there are the Cues:

Parent cue app cue

Not only because it has cues during normal routines that make it easy and not forced to talk about God with your children, but it has cute videos, and the best…it coincides with what they discuss in Sunday school. I have been told by many people, and read in articles and other blogs to find ways to have your children involved with people with your same mindset, that speaks of God in the same way. This app works along with what they discuss in the youth church groups. No matter how involved you get or where you join your child in, the same topics are discussed.

I have to admit, it was the most amazing thing to see my son light up when I discussed with  him the cues that were given to me during the week, that were already discussed during that week at Sunday school.  He was so proud that I knew it, and that he could show me, and most importantly that we could go over that topic together and further in depth. It is a little saying now that has been used thoroughly in our household now for three weeks. It’s not only a simple statement that he learned at Sunday school, reinforced by me, but one that is meaningful, useful, and purposeful. One that helps build his character and one that deepens his understanding of God.

I gained affirmation from him the day I saw his face light up. Affirmation that I was not only doing the right thing, but that I was on the right path to leading him in his own journey. Parenting is tough, and mentoring your child is even tougher. I took a leap of faith when I started pointing them to God, and take one everyday when I use little activities and apps to help me along the way. I pray to God to lead me to guide them to be closer to him, so they can serve him, so they can feel him, and so they can learn to quite the world and hear him, and above all so they can love like him.

3 Things I have learned from all this:

  1. Just take the Leap of faith- Don’t wait for signs.
  2. Pray about it, but seek it out as well. Do research, and more research.
  3. Join a community that shares your beliefs, for yourself and your children.