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Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

April 17th, 2014 at 9:22 am

Easter Bunny Visit

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Easter morning is almost here and the kids are so excited! On Christmas morning there are presents under the tree, stockings have been filled, and cookies have been eaten. But, if the Easter Bunny hides all the presents, how do they know that he or she has arrived?

When I was younger, all the empty candy dishes on the dining room table were magically overflowing with treats. My mom had a huge sweet tooth, so it wasn’t a problem having all that candy around our home. I am not a huge candy fan, so I came up with alternatives. At our house, the Easter Bunny leaves two empty buckets with a note of how many eggs to find. You can also leave some carrots on a plate and in the morning, the kids will wake up to see the Easter bunny has taken a bite!

Here are some other fun traditions for you to consider:
Easter Bunny leaves paw prints
Easter Bunny decorates breakfast table
Easter Bunny forgets to flush
Easter Bunny colors your milk
Easter Bunny dyes your breakfast eggs
Easter Bunny leaves a message
How will your kids know that the Easter Bunny has visited?
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April 14th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Celebrating Library Week

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Did you know that April 13 through 19 is National Library Week? Books are so important to a  child’s development. Besides teaching them how to read, they also foster bonding, creativity, and imagination. Libraries have a lot to offer their communities, and they are a great learning resource for families. Check out your local library this week and see what kind of events and classes they offer for your little ones. In honor of National Library Week, here are some of the most popular kids books of all time that you can check out at your local library or bookstore!

  • Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  • The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
  • Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
  • Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
  • Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – Judy and Ron Barrett
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Judith Viorst
  • Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney
  • Pat the Bunny – Dorothy Kunhardt
  • Love You Forever – Robert Munsch
  • The Lorax – Dr. Seuss
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  • Corduroy – Don Freeman
  • Stellaluna – Janell Cannon
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss
  • Strega Nona – Tomie dePaola
  • Curious George – H.A. Rey
  • Jumanji – Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Little Engine That Could – Loren Long and Watty Piper
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
  • If You Give A Mouse A Cookie – Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales – Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
  • The Runaway Bunny – Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  • The Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister and J. Alison James
  • The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats
  • Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans
  • The Napping House – Audrey Wood and Don Wood
  • The Cat and the Hat – Dr. Seuss
  • The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg
  • Hop on Pop - Dr. Seuss

There are so many other great books, both classics and new, that kids around the world enjoy every day. Which is YOUR favorite?

Photo Credit: American Library Association, www.ala.org

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April 10th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

10 Easter Egg Hunt Tips

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As a child, my favorite part of Easter was the egg hunt in our backyard. My siblings, cousins and I would search the entire property for colorful eggs left by the Easter bunny! Now, as an adult, I love watching the kids have that same experience. Some of you may have only a few children and the hunt coordination is fairly easy, but if you do a multi-family egg hunt it can get pretty complicated…especially when it comes to keeping the peace when the kids have free reign and goodies are involved! Here are ten egg hunt tips to make sure everything goes smoothly.

  1. Decide on a set number of eggs each child will get. I recommend plastic eggs so you can hide prizes inside, but some people like to hide real eggs.
  2. Choose a variety of prizes to fill the eggs with. Make sure things are age appropriate. Some good ideas are: Change or dollar bills, candy, erasers, whistles, stickers, hair clips, small toys, temporary tattoos, bracelets, etc. You can also have one or two special eggs for each child with a note inside that they can trade in for a big toy that wouldn’t fit. You can find some great, affordable prizes at your local Walmart!
  3. If you have a small scale egg hunt, give each child an egg color or size so there is no confusion as to which eggs they should look for. If you have a large scale egg hunt, decide on egg colors or size per age group, i.e. Ages 2-4 can only take red and yellow eggs, ages 5-9 can only take blue and green eggs, etc. That way, they will get the appropriate goodies for their age group and you know how to appropriately hide them so that they’re not too difficult for little ones, or too easy for older ones, to find.
  4. Set an appropriate time for the hunt. Keep in mind when it starts to get dark in your area and allow the kids ample time before sundown. Also keep in mind that the kids will want to play with and eat their prizes right away, so plan it around your meals.
  5. Decide on the area you will hide the eggs in and,  if necessary, use flags to create boundaries so the kids don’t go looking in the wrong places. It also provides an element of safety so you can make sure that they don’t wander off or go into areas where they might get hurt.
  6. Write down where you hide the eggs. I can tell you from experience that it’s easy to forget after hiding a bunch of them!
  7. Hand out baskets to make it easy for the kids to collect their eggs. A fun way to prepare for this is to let them decorate and personalize their egg hunt baskets a day or two before Easter!
  8. Designate egg hunt “moderators” who can help the kids find the eggs if they have trouble and get frustrated. For little ones, they can guide them in the right direction.
  9. Designate a few people to handle photography and take pictures of the kids hunting for the eggs. These moments are precious and will be special memories to look back on!
  10. Make a rule that no one can open their eggs until each child has found all of their eggs. Patience is a virtue!

What do YOU have planned for the egg hunt this year? Share with us on our Facebook wall!

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April 8th, 2014 at 9:03 am

Apps for Expectant and New Parents

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Baby on the way? Congratulations! Such an exciting, expectant, and nerve wracking time, especially if it’s your first. So much to learn, so much information about what to do and not to do. It can be overwhelming. But, while there’s no app for the hard parts, there are plenty of apps that can help you prepare.

Hello Baby app for iPhone  is a great way to learn about all of the stages of growth of your baby during pregnancy. It’s full of images and information that can help you understand the magic that is happening in the womb.

There is also the What to Expect apps for both pregnancy and the early years. This trusted series of books has been invaluable for so many of us as we navigate all of the stages of babyhood.

Sprout ($4, iPhone only) is another really helpful app for information and tips on pregnancy, weight tracking, prepping for doctor visits and what to know about all that’s happening to your body right up to timing your contractions.

Baby Bump is another app that not only provides information on your pregnancy but also has a social networking component so you can share your experiences with other moms-to-be.

And if baby is here, how about something to help with nursing, and tracking your newborn’s progress in those critical early weeks and months? WebMD Baby  provides many resources and really useful information about sleep, growth, feeding, and milestones to help you through the fraught early days of caring for your child.

I wish these apps were available when my kids were born, especially in the middle of the night when you just didn’t want to call mom, again!

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April 7th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

100 Easter Basket Fillers

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I love to watch my kids’ eyes light up when they find their Easter basket. We fill the baskets with candy and other favorite food treats for the little ones to enjoy, but every year I struggle to find other items to include. Here is a list of 100 items you can fill your child’s basket with!

  1. Pacifiers
  2. Pacifier Holder
  3. Headband
  4. Sippee Cups
  5. Bibs
  6. Onesies
  7. Musical Toys
  8. Garanimals Baby Toys or Foam Letters
  9. Small Stuffed Animal
  10. Toddler Cutlery
  11. Pajamas
  12. Magnetic Fridge Letters
  13. Umbrella
  14. Rain Boots
  15. Coloring Books
  16. Character Undies
  17. Hex bugs
  18. Crayons
  19. Bath Toys/Crayons
  20. Sidewalk Chalk
  21. Bubbles
  22. Fun Toothbrush
  23. Fun Shampoo
  24. Sunglasses
  25. Stuffed Animal
  26. Painting Smock
  27. Art Supplies (pencils, crayons, markers, paints)
  28. Art Kits
  29. Bubble Bath
  30. DVD
  31. CDs
  32. Blocks
  33. Fun Cups/Plates
  34. Frisbee
  35. Dress Up Items
  36. Play Jewelry
  37. Kaleidoscope
  38. Pool Toys
  39. Posters
  40. Fun Duct Tape
  41. Suncatchers
  42. T-shirt
  43. Top
  44. Kids Word Search
  45. Jump Rope
  46. Construction Paper
  47. Hair Pretties
  48. Yo-Yo
  49. Flashlight
  50. Book light
  51. Sandals/Flip Flops
  52. Beach Towel
  53. Matchbox cars
  54. Kite
  55. Play Tool Set
  56. Sand Toys
  57. Shovel and Pail
  58. Chapstick
  59. Bike Horn/Bell
  60. Watch
  61. Character Bandaids
  62. Temporary Tatoos
  63. Water Bottle
  64. Swimsuit
  65. Summer Hat
  66. Books – appropriate for child’s level
  67. Sticket Books
  68. Water Gun
  69. Nerf Gun
  70. Swim Goggles
  71. Lego’s
  72. Sporting Supplies or games
  73. Jigsaw Puzzle
  74. Balls
  75. Cards or Card Game
  76. Jacks or Marbles
  77. Tape Measure (my boys loved the keychain ones since they were toddlers)
  78. Doll
  79. Nail Painting Supplies
  80. Animal figures
  81. Magic Tricks
  82. Comic Book or Kids Magazine
  83. Bop it or Tangle Jr
  84. My Little Pony or other small horses
  85. Play Food
  86. Walkie Talkies
  87. Small Magna Doodle or Etch a Sketch
  88. Glow Sticks
  89. Small Musical Instrument (harmonica, recorder)
  90. Pencils/Pencil Toppers
  91. Action Figures
  92. Trading Cards
  93. Fun Socks
  94. Seeds and a pot
  95. Diary or Journal
  96. Video Game controller or new game
  97. Play Dough
  98. Bunny Ears
  99. Gift Cards to favorite stops
  100. Bunny Money

Feel free to share any other ideas I may have missed!

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March 28th, 2014 at 8:23 am

Multi-Use Foam Bath Letters

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When they were younger, my boys loved playing with foam bath letters during bath time. They helped them learn to spell and read simple words, as well as recognize letters. Now that they take showers, we don’t play in the bath tub much, but we still love to play with the letters. I want to share with you some ideas for using this great learning aid outside of the bath!

  • A great way to repurpose foam letters is to glue magnets on the back. Use them with a magnet board to make word play fun!

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  • You can also use them to practice words on the kitchen table, floor, or other flat surfaces.
  • Sensory bins are a great way for children to explore shapes and other items. Ever think of using the letters inside of a sensory bin?
  • Make baby photos cuter by using the foam letters to spell out their name or current age in months.
  • Decorate your child’s room by mounting words like FUN, PLAY, or even SLEEP in shadow boxes to make word art.
  • Let your kids use them in art projects by gluing them to their pictures.
  • Make letter flash cards by gluing the letters to one side, along with a picture of a recognizable item that starts with that letter.

Our foam letters are well used and loved at our house…how do you use yours?

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March 26th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Outfit of the Week

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We just love this set because it’s so girly and adorable! The bubblegum pink color of the creeper and tee is perfect for spring and summer. The lace ruffle tee is a pretty and delicate top that goes well with the soft indigo denim jeggings. For a more casual look, pair the the jeggings with the cute giraffe graphic creeper.

You can find this outfit in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com!

Garanimals Newborn Girls 3-Piece Creeper and Pant Set 

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March 20th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

DIY Cleaning Products

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Let’s face it…when you have kids, you do a lot more cleaning. These messy little creatures always seem to find a way to make things dirty! Unfortunately, all the cleaning supplies can add up. You can save money by making your own cleaning products! Some of them are so simple, requiring only two or three ingredients that you probably have around the house already, and they work just as good, if not better! Check out some of these DIY cleaning products and let us know what you think!

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March 19th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Outfit of the Week

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If you have a little monster crawling around your house, you know that they need comfy clothes that are soft and flexible because they’re always on the go! This three-piece set features a breathable cotton athletic pant in navy with white side striping. Pair it with the adorable creeper with colorful little monster graphics, or the bright and bold orange athletic tee with sports graphics. Three pieces, two outfits…you can’t go wrong!

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

Garanimals Newborn Boys 3-Piece Creeper and Pant Set

 

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March 13th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

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You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s an excuse to have some fun with the kids…make some treats, do some crafts, maybe watch a parade. Dress up in your best green gear and check out this list of St. Patrick’s Day fun!

Outfits:

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Treats

Leprechaun Cupcakes

Lucky Charms Cookies

Leprechaun Hat S’mores

Mint Chocolate Pretzels

Green Ombre Rice Krispy Treats 

Pot ‘O Gold Rainbow Fruit Platter 

 

Activities/Crafts

St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt

Leprechaun Visit – Footprints

Hanging Rainbow Pot ‘O Gold Craft

Fingerprint Rainbow Pot ‘O Gold Craft

Paper Plate Leprechaun Craft 

Handprint 4-Leaf Clover Craft

 

Printables

Coloring Sheets

Gift Tags

Printables

Quote Printables

 

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