The Value of Independence and Milestones

Milestones are rich with memories, offering value from our first newborn gasp of air and shocked cries – through exploring independence at countless life stages. Whatever our role – new parents or doting grandparents, we often want to capture those moments in a tangible way. We know memories have a long-life, but the details are more fleeting.

Yet, how can busy Mom’s possibly make note of those key “firsts” and those sometimes funny or unique incidents and events? How can grandparents support them with this major task?

Or, how can we instill the value of independence in our children, while also empowering them to self-track and document memories for future reflection?

5 Fast & Easy Gifts for Busy Moms & Independent Young People:   Birth – Toddler Life – Kindergarten Progess – Grade School Achievements –  College Milestones


Baby First Year Milestones Sticker Calendar

baby milestones sticker calendar    Milestone Stickers for Baby

Whether your eyes are blurry from lack of sleep and night-time feedings, or filled with eager excitement and running on adrenaline – as a new parent, you are BUSY!  Your hands are full (literally!), as you juggle cuddling your newest love, along with scheduling feedings, mixing formula, washing bottles, diaper changes, laundry and more!

You know you want to keep track of the first smile, the first full night’s sleep, that first ‘toot’ (gasp!). Of course, we can’t miss the first tooth, first haircut, first shot, first laugh, first word, and countless other moments.  Who has a free hand to write those memories down, in the moment, in the Baby Book?

Instead, just peel a fun sticker and place it on their “Baby Milestones” calendar.  DONE! It literally took 3 seconds, and now you have a colorful, personalized record of that special milestone.  If you have multiple children, imagine how fun it will be to compare and contrast those first-year milestones as they progress through them.  You can slip it inside the Baby Book at the end of the year as a lifetime record of those very special moments & achievements.

If you are a Grandma, this would be the perfect personalized gift to share with the new parents!  Don’t forget to personalize it with a love note from Grandma/pa so that when your grandchild is older, they know it was a gift from you; that will make it even more special.


 Toddler Time:  Potty Independence Reinforcement Chart

Potty Training Success Chart for Boys

“I did it!”  Eyes gleaming, high-fives everywhere and little feet running across the floor to tell everyone around, “I went potty!”  “All by myself!”  Toddler time is independence time. They are learning the thrill of being independent, having more choices and control – and let’s face it, they are typically demanding it and wanting more of it!

This is the ideal gift to empower them to embrace independence.  Personalize it by name and with a specific reward that is most meaningful & rewarding. Each of us is different and rewards of different types motivate us more than others.  The trick is to find what that most valuable “thing” or “experience” is for this child you love so much – and then add it to the chart.

Potty Training Chart - GIrls


Draw a colorful star, or an A+ or a smiling face on the appropriate time and day. OR, better yet, get a pack of star stickers at the dollar store and let the proud toddler apply the motivational star independently!

Next, set up an agreement for earning the reward.  DO they earn a star AND a reward of some type for each time throughout the day?  Do they earn it if they have 3 success periods in 1 day?  What is the criteria that fits this unique individual?  Tailor the chart to fit for the best success.

 Kindergarten Milestone Sticker Calendar

Kindergarten Memories Sticker Calendar


Kindergarten is a formative year and experience for student and parent (and grandparents – as often grandparents are helping out with caretaking, at least some of the time, while parents are working.)  Many of us clearly remember many of our experiences in kindergarten; although the specifics do get a bit blurrier over time!  Just like the Baby’s First Year Milestones above, wouldn’t it be wonderful to capture those memories for later?  Maybe have them on hand for memory sharing and laughter at the highschool graduation party.

Kindergarten is another very busy time! It is filled with birthday parties with new friends, and is often a time of joining new clubs, youth groups and sports. It is an opportunity to explore what their interests are, and have exposure to new skills and a wider group of socialization experiences. Added to all of that, of course are those academic milestones in the classroom.

Whether you are setting up a home school this fall, or preparing the school supplies, back pack and lunch pail needed for in-school classes, this is a great opportunity to capture some significant milestones in this formative year.  This sticker calendar comes with a couple packs of stickers that record the various achievements most kindergarten students work towards.

For some students, adapting to these new expectations can be stressful and challenging. They may want to just play!  They may find the days and new routines long – and be missing an afternoon nap. They may also be a younger student who needs a little extra encouragement to apply themself, or to sit and focus on the task at hand.  Distractions are real and are all around, after all!

Help them achieve success through celebrating their progress! Let them apply a sticker to the chart as they master associating their uppercase and lower case letters and learn their sight words. Cheer them on as they add and subtract by 10, learn shapes and colors, while reading and writing their name. Counting numbers up to 20, and then 30 will be a thrill! There are SO many new things they will learn in kindergarten! Capture them! Don’t forget the “met new friend,”  “birthday party” or the “field trip” adventures.

This Kindergarten Milestones Calendar wtih Stickers is the perfect gift for Mom, Dad, or new Kindergarten Student! Encourage independence, celebrate success and capture the memories along the way!


My Homework Chart


Homework Chart - Home School Curriculum - Reward Chart

Gradeschool is another word for saying Homework. Right?  It is inevitable that there will be homework assigned to reinforce the new concepts learned within the classroom. There will be projects and tasks meant to encourage deeper thinking, application of new knowledge and assessment of comprehension and follow through on instruction.  It can be overwhelming for the student, and also the parents!

Some students embrace the academic rigors. Many excel at the details inherent with grade school achievements. Others find it boring, and the challenge of learning feels like a burden or is stressful. This often translates into procrastination with doing homework. It may result in defiance, sadness or frustration.

Help teach the discipline of routine & follow-through. Set a standard of expectation, and then reward progress that encourages and motivates for continued achievement. At any age, we look forward to various things or experiences. Encourage acheivement and then reward with those motivators!  This chart is a quick and simple method to support recording and tracking necessary tasks, and then rewarding success!

Transitioning into College Life: Freshman Year Memories

Freshman Care Package Gift - College Memories

Freshman year at college is a transitional year for many. One foot remains at home and with high school, life-long friends – and the security and familiarity they provide. The other foot is ready for the “college experience” and excited for what that all entails.  With transition comes highs and lows.  There will be adapting to new roommate’s cultures, values and routines. It will include meeting fantastic new friends, but also meeting those who may disappoint, or who hurt or bring chaos. There is an uneasy period where loneliness sets in, and other moments where  joy at life is very evident.

This is the perfect gift to tuck into a care package! Help the college freshman capture these once in a lifetime memories with a calendar and some fun stickers that let them know you are thinking of them!  Moments like their first football game, first campus dance, or intra-mural game night. Perhaps it is Pizza Night with friends, or their first college date.Maybe they would like to record their first A, or when they earn the Dean’s or President’s List award.

Freshman year goes quickly! It is often a blur of activity, filled with making new friends, joining clubs and fraternitys or sororitys. Alliances are formed with study groups, and  friendships are easily made.  Help them capture those memories so that they can look back later and smile as they recall those special moments.

Gift giving is special and fun. It is so much more exciting when we can personalize the gift and offer something that will bring meaning and offers a lifetime value.  These suggested gift items will serve most every age range.  They are personal. They can be tailored to fit the individual. They are affordable.  They are fun!

If you would like to check out any of these gifts, head over to the Etsy shop of  15xDesigns, or the website,