Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

June 23rd, 2014 at 10:50 am

Bike Safety for Kids

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Just this weekend while my son was riding his bike, he wiped out and got some bad scrapes on his elbow. Of course, I found this out after I cleaned off the mud from the huge puddle he fell into. My first tip is for parents (one I need to follow myself) – ALWAYS make sure your first aid supplies are stocked and on hand. You can never have enough bandaids (in every size), antibiotic cream or antibacterial/alcohol wipes. It’s summer and kids (especially boys) are prone to injuries, so be ready!

Accidents happen, but there are safety measures that can be taken to help prevent or lessen the degree of injuries. One of the most important areas to protect is your child’s head. Helmets provide protection for your face, head, and brain…I don’t think I need to mention why this is crucial!

Make sure your child’s bike is the right size for them. All too often, children ride bikes that are too big or too small for them, which increases the likelihood of accidents. If your child stands straddling the bike, there should be 1-3 inches of space between them and the top bar. If not, its time to move up to the next bike size.

Make sure wheels, handlebars and seats are tightly fastened to the bike. Add air to the tires if they need more. Check the chain and oil it regularly. Also check that the brakes are working correctly.

If your child is riding with you on the street or sidewalk, make sure they have bright clothing on, even in daylight. Also make sure shoes are tied and clothing isn’t too loose that it would get caught on anything. Sneakers are the best to wear when bike riding because the treads grip the pedals.

Define what area around your neighborhood is appropriate for your child to ride. This can change as your child gets older. Go over safety rules and make sure your child checks for cars backing out of driveways, and is mindful of road signs. Also teach them about obstacles like sticks, puddles, rocks, and other children! Discourage them from doing “tricks” with their bikes like jumping obstacles, bumping friends’ tires with their own, or racing down steep hills.

With these guidelines, children can be a little safer on their bicycles!

 

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June 20th, 2014 at 9:25 am

Outside Water Fun

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For my boys, one of the best parts of summer is WATER!! The only problem is the boys get bored with the same old fun in the pool. I wanted to share some other ideas for having fun with water!

I think this sprinkler might be a fun way to celebrate summer. A simple 2-liter bottle in the premix behind it. Or create a fun Water Blob to play on. That just requires some strong tape and plastic sheeting.

One of the projects we plan on tackling this summer are sponge bombs. With some sponges and zip ties you can make hours of water fun! Think of the possibilities – dodgeball, relay races to empty the water out of the sponges the fastest, or even a simple game of catch!

We love going to the local splash pad and running through the sprinklers, but why not bring the splash pad to you with some simple pvc pipe! Check out this way to make your own PVC sprinkler at home.

We host several gatherings with friends throughout the summer. Party games are so much fun for the kids and there are some great water games here. I especially can’t wait to have the kids play Catch the Water Bombs or Dip, Drip, Dunk! I think I may even pull these out during playdates when I start to hear, “I’m bored.”

Whether it be a store bought water toy, super soakers, a homemade water sponge or even just the hose itself – make sure to turn the water on when the temperature goes up to help the summer fun begin!

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June 19th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Summer Birthday Party Themes

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If you’ve got a summer baby, you might already be thinking about their upcoming birthday party. As a winter baby myself, I was always jealous of friends who were able to have pool and beach parties during the summer. Technically, you can make anything work in any season with just a little creativity and imagination, but for the purposes of this post we’ll focus on some great themes and ideas for summer parties specifically.

  • Birthday Luau – Flower leis, grass skirts, blow-up palm trees, pineapple and coconut treats, hula hoops, etc.
  • Jungle Party - Everything animal print, scavenger hunt, exploration and adventure!
  • Garden Party – Tea time with juice and petit sandwiches, fairy tutus and wings, face painting, etc.
  • Splish-Splash Party – Slip and slide, water balloon toss, bubble fun, and everything wet!
  • Beach Party – Have it at the beach or bring the beach to your home with a sandbox and a kiddie pool.
  • Picnic In the Park – Sandwiches and easy on-the-go food, frisbee, t-ball, playground fun and more.
  • Wild West Party – Cowboys and cowgirls, pretend horse races, horseshoe toss, etc.
  • Mexican Fiesta - Build-a-taco bar and other delicious Mexican fare, Piñata, maracas, etc.
  • Carnival Party  – Popcorn, clown fun with balloon animals and face painting, funnel cake, etc.
  • Nature Party  - Nature walk and discovery! Learn about bugs, flowers, etc. Educational and fun at the same time!

What summer birthday party themes have you done?

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June 16th, 2014 at 9:36 am

It’s Strawberry Season!

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Since I was a little girl, my favorite fruit has been the strawberry, and it was always SO much fun to go strawberry picking with my mom. Now, as a parent, I keep that tradition with my boys. In Wisconsin, the strawberries will be starting to ripen in the next week, so you will definitely find us in the strawberry field picking away! Once I fill up a box with fresh strawberries, the actual work begins, and I wanted to share with you what I do to freeze strawberries so we can enjoy them all year long.

The first step is to wash the strawberries. I put a cup or so at a time in a colander and rinse them off. I then lay them out on kitchen towels and pat dry. Once they are all done, I then hull all the strawberries. I personally use this strawberry huller, but there are all kinds of models you can look into, or you can even do it with a simple drinking straw.

At this point, all the major prep work is done. Now you have to decide how you will use the berries. If you are just going to eat or serve them, leave them whole or cut into quarters or halves. If you plan to freeze them, you can cut them in a variety of ways.

I like to freeze most of my berries for use at a later time. Some I will freeze whole, and others I will mash for use on strawberry shortcake or on waffles. To freeze berries whole, put the hulled berries on a pan and stick in the freezer. Once they have frozen, remove them and fill freezer bags, remembering to seal them tightly. When you thaw, they are almost as fresh as when you picked them! To mash strawberries, I put them in a large bowl and use my potato masher to break them up. I also add a pinch of sugar, to taste, so they have a little more sweetness to them. These I ladle into freezer safe jars or plastic containers and then thaw right on the countertop when I am ready to use. Out of season, berries from the supermarket can get very expensive, so this saves money in the long run!

The picking process can get boring for the kids, but all you have to do is remind them of all the delicious treats they can eat with them! Strawberry shortcake is a great summer dessert dish, and smoothies are healthy and filling for breakfast, lunch or a snack. There are so many things you can do with this great fruit, so get out there and pick some strawberries!

 

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June 13th, 2014 at 6:57 am

10 Reasons to Visit a Farmer’s Market

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Farmer’s markets are not only a source of healthy and often organic produce, they’re also a source of learning for kids! Supporting local businesses helps your community as well. Here are 10 reasons you should visit a farmer’s market with your kids.

Talk With Real Farmers – One thing I have found is that the vendors at the farmer’s market love to talk about how they grew their food. Have the kids talk to them and ask questions.

Teach Kids About Farms- In the city, a lot of children don’t know about farms or have never been to one. Take this time to talk about people who farm, what they do, and how the food gets to their plates.

Spend Family Time Together – Set an hour or so aside to walk through the market and talk about the items. Sometimes there is even music and other activities for your children to participate in.

Learn About Your Community- Connect with others and learn all the different things that go on in your town. At our market, one of our favorite restaurants does cooking demonstrations. Our kids have learned that much of the food they eat comes from the market.  Our farmer’s market also takes place on our downtown main street. This gives us an opportunity to explore the stores and restaurants that are in the area as well.

Develop Healthy Eating Habits- Open up a possibility of options for new foods that your kids will eat.

Learn About Nutrition- Talk about the importance of eating a rainbow of colors.

Introduce New Foods- Discuss any new foods you may see. Some even YOU may not know about.

Teach Kids About Money – Give each child some money to spend on things they want to try.

Teach Kids About When Certain Things Grow- Certain fruits and vegetables are available at certain times of year according to weather and growing conditions.

Cook Your Purchases – This is a great way to get your kids involved in the cooking of the items you found. It is known that kids are more likely to try new things if they had a hand in preparing them.

Have fun exploring your local farmer’s market!

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June 12th, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Homemade Snack Alternatives

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As a child, I went food shopping with my mom every Sunday. She always had a list of meal ingredients and such, and as we walked down each aisle there was always something I wanted that wasn’t good for me. Fruit rollups, cookies, potato chips, sugary cereals etc. filled with tons of high fructose corn syrup, sodium, and additives. You can give your kids what they want with these healthier alternatives, and save money at the same time!

Cheesy Goldfish Crackers

Apple Chips

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Homemade Fruit Rollups

Homemade Fruit Snacks

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Hummus

Healthy Oreos

Peanut Butter Cookies

 

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June 9th, 2014 at 9:08 am

Handmade Father’s Day Cards

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Father’s Day is a great day for your kids to show everyone how much they appreciate what their Dad does for them.  A simple but special treat for Dad is a handmade card. Below are some examples of everything from printables to handprints, and even specially cut cards. Your little one will enjoy being creative, and Dad will love a card lovingly created by them.

Fishing Card

Footsteps Card

Daddy’s Little Monster Card

Collared Shirt Card

Dad Jokes Card

Fathers Day Letter

Printable Cards To Color

Fingerprint Monkey Card

Dad Typography Glasses

Grilling Card

Dollar Bill Father’s Day Card

Football Father’s Day Card

Father’s Day Coupon Book 

Another great option is a tie card. Fold a sheet of paper in half cut into the shape of a tie. Decorate that tie and have dad “wear” it for his special day.

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June 4th, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Outfit of the Week

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Surf’s up, dudes! This outfit of the week is for the big boys from the 365 Kids from Garanimals line. White polos are classic, but this one has a cool plaid surfboard appliqué on the front, and is made of a soft jersey material. The plaid shorts have an elastic waistband, making them comfortable for all-day wear, and the blue and orange colors are bright and fun for summer.

You can find these items in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com now!

365 Kids From Garanimals Boys Jersey Appliqué Polo

365 Kids From Garanimals Boys Plaid Short

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May 30th, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Encouraging Learning During Summer Vacation

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Just because school has ended doesn’t mean that kids should stop  learning. Summer is a great time to incorporate learning into your everyday plans, and work on skills for the next year.

Use Your Imagination
Summer is a great time for your kids to use their imagination. Play with Legos, dolls, or even stare at the clouds outside. If your children are at an age when they can write, have them keep a journal (it makes a nice keepsake for them to look back on as well).  Make  time to do some of these things with them.

Visit The Library
The library is a great place to explore regularly during the summer. While this is a great place to get reading materials, you can also investigate and learn about things you may encounter. If you are going on a walk in the woods, you may want to pick up a book about wild flowers or insects. There are children’s book clubs or story time events you can join as well.

Take Field Trips
One of my families favorite summer activities is exploring places during our lazy summer days. Take some time to check out nearby parks, wildlife centers, museums and more. There is so much you can learn plus it is a great way to learn about the area you live in.

Worksheets/Coloring Pages Are Fun and Educational
There are some great workbooks available to help your child. Something as simple as a journal or some coloring pages can help them too.

Study Nature And Science
Summer is a great time to learn about science and nature. How do bubbles work? Can the hot sun fry an egg? How do caterpillars turn into butterflies? The list is endless. Use this time to help your children what’s going on in the world around them. If you have a telescope, you can help your child identify constellations and such.

Sing Songs
My boys love music. Even if we are just outside hanging out, we love to listen and sing to music. Sometimes we even dance around. Look for outdoor concerts to enjoy. There is a summertime lunch concert each week in our town that we like to attend and bring a picnic lunch to. It’s nice to get outside and enjoy some culture!

Play Games
We love play card and board games together! Whether it be puzzles, strategy games, or just games of concentration, they are all fun tools for keeping brains sharp and focused.

How do you incorporate learning into your summer days?

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May 28th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Outfit of the Week

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We’re in love with this active-style outfit from the 365 Kids From Garanimals line this season! The two-fer tank has a stylish layered look featuring knots on the straps, and a fun glitter “Popstar” graphic that really “pops” on the black background. The bike shorts are stretchy and comfortable for girls who love to run, jump, and play, and feature colorful studs on the bottom. Summer is almost here!

You can find these 365 Kids From Garanimals items and more in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com!

365 Kids From Garanimals Girls 2-fer Tank

365 Kids From Garanimals Girls Studded Bike Short

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