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Archive for the ‘ Family Fun ’ Category

Time for Outerwear

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Fall Winter


Look Before You Leap


The main thing parents have to be aware of when it comes to fall is what the day's weather looks like. Keep an eye on the weather in order to decide what outerwear is best for the kids. There are several phone apps that can alert individuals of what the weather is going to be prior to the day. Once a parent finds out what the weather is going to look like, they can lay out the right outerwear for their children to put on the next day.


The Cool Fall Days

The best days during fall are the cool days. Those are the days when their is a chill in the air and sun in the sky. Kids usually need long pants and a light jacket that still guards against the chill. Denim jackets are a great way to go as well as other materials that are not too heavy but can still protect against the wind.

The Warm Fall Days

Sometimes official fall weather just refuses to make an appearance and individuals are left with warmth better suited for the beginning of summer. On those days, it is best to give the kids lighter jackets made of thin material. That way, if a breeze does start to o blow, they can have something that will cover them up without making them overly hot in the process. Another great option for warmer falls days are vests. While vests still provide some warmth and some fall-time style, they let in some air when the sun is just a little too warm.


The Cold Fall Days


The last days of fall include colder chills in the air and frosted cars in the morning. This is when light winter coats come into play. They should not be the heavy coats worn in the middle of a snowstorm, but they should be heavier than just a regular jacket. The kids should be bundled up enough that they are guarded against the cold but not so much that they start sweating underneath all the layers.


Fall-Time Shopping


In order to be prepared for the changing weather, parents should provide their child with a couple of thin jackets, some lighter jackets that guard against the wind and at least one light coat that will keep the kids warm on chillier days. Another thing to keep in mind is fall-time accessories. Keep a few scarves on hand for chilly days as well as hats. Knit hats and scarves can be used on colder days while scarves made of lighter material can be used on warmer days. Lastly, purchase a couple hook-and-loop toddler belts to add a finishing touch on fall-time outfits.

Whether it is a cold fall or a warm fall, outerwear for the kids is essential, so get ready and get shopping!

Pumpkin Seed Snack

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

pumpkin seedsHalloween can never be complete without jack-o-lanterns! Once the kids pick out their perfect pumpkin and carve out the very best faces that pumpkins can offer, what is left? A big mess! But rather than just throwing the mess away, make a fall-time snack that the kids will love!


Yum Yum Yummy!


Other than making the best jack-o-lanterns on the block, pumpkins are good for one other thing, roasted pumpkin seeds! Once the kids are finished carving, separate the pumpkin seeds from the filling in order to make this delicious snack!


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Wash the seeds using water, use a colander to shake dry Spread the seeds out on an oiled piece of wax paper and roast them in the oven for 30 minutes After 30 minutes, toss the seeds in olive oil and preferred spices Put them back in the oven until golden brown (about 20 more minutes) Let cool and enjoy!


pumpkin_seeds Spice Options


Cinnamon and Sugar: use 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and one tablespoon of brown sugar. Make sure to watch them carefully as they cook so the sugar does not burn. Sweet and Spicy: use one tablespoon of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/8 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1/8 a teaspoon of black pepper. Pumpkin Spice: use 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves. Salt and Pepper: use one teaspoon of sea salt and one teaspoon of black pepper. Italian: use one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of oregano and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Barbecue: use one tablespoon of brown sugar, one teaspoon of chipotle chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin. Spanish: use one tablespoon of paprika and toss the seeds with slivered almonds after roasting. Indian: use one tablespoon of garam masala and toss the seeds with currants after roasting.


Work Effectively


When the kids are working on their pumpkins, try and keep the mess as occupied as possible. Use newspaper or wax paper on the table to catch the pumpkin filling, have the kids wear aprons as well as hook-and-loop toddler belts to keep their pants in place and make sure to have adult supervision while the kids are carving.


Create Family Time


Not only can pumpkin carving be a family activity, but the seed snack can as well! Decide as a family which spice option sounds best and finish the recipe together as a family. The kids might also like to help separate the seeds from the filling since it gives them an added excuse to play in their pumpkin goo. Another thing the kids might enjoy is tossing the seeds in the spices. Use a large zip-lock bag to put the seeds and spices inside and let the kids shake like crazy.


Pumpkins are great for both fall and Halloween, create some great family memories, perfect Halloween decorations and a tasty treat all in one night!

Let’s Do Something Nice!

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

child givingAt the end of the day, the most important thing that a parent can teach their child is how to be kind. Establishing habits at an early age that involve caring for others and performing random acts of kindness will set a foundation that will follow a child through the rest of their life.


Sharing Treats


A great way to teach younger children how to be kind to their friends is to teach them how to share. One way to help them combine the act of sharing with giving is to help them make some special treats for their friends. If a parent has a child in school, they can talk to the teacher about bringing some treats for the whole class. Parents can help their kids bake some cookies or any other kind of tasty treats that the kids can bring for the other kids at school. Talk to the teacher about letting their child pass out the treats themselves so they can be actively involved in sharing what they brought.


Gifts for the Needy


Another activity parents can help their children with is helping those who are less fortunate. There are a lot of opprotunities for volunteering at shelters, hospitals or nursing homes. Sometimes just one friendly smile from a child can make a huge difference for those who are in need. Have the kids make some cards or other crafts to hand out while visiting a nursing home or purchase some small toys for children who have been checked into the hospital. Parents can talk to owners, directors, nurses or managers about who might like a visit from a happy toddler and get information about any individuals that the kids can come to see. Taking some time out of the week to just sit and talk with other people who really need it is a huge lesson in kindness that can make a difference, not only to the kids, but to the people they are talking to as well.


child petCaring for a Pet


A parent should want to teach their children not only to be kind to other people, but to animals as well. So, if they are up for the challenege, buying a family pet can be a great way to teach a lesson. If a child is responsible for something that is smaller than they are, they have to learn how to be gentle. By teaching them to hold a pet gently, pet them softly and handle them carefully, they will obtain a gentle attitude towards other living things around them as well. This can also be a great way to teach responsibility. If a child cannot be kind to an animal, odds are they will not be able to show kindness towards people. So by starting with animals, they can begin walking the path towards being kind to everyone they meet.


When teaching these lessons, talk with the kids about being kind to people no matter what they look like. Whether they see someone with a different skin color, someone with glasses, someone who talks different or someone who is shy, they should always show kindness. Once they know that, everything else will follow.

Making Dough

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

play doughKids love to create. It is in their nature to make mud pies, build forts and cook special breakfasts and it is up to parents to feed that creative nature. Parents do not have to go straight for the big stuff, keep it simple and make something with the kids that is easy as well as fun, make some dough!


Proper Attire


Before making anything too messy with the kids, make sure they are wearing the right clothing. This can include old sweat pants and t-shirts that will not be missed if they get too dirty. Also remember to have the kids wear their hook-and-loop toddler belts to keep pants in place while getting down and dirty.


So Many Options


When it comes to making dough, a lot of things come to mind. Cookie dough is one of the tastiest, but what about bread dough? Then there is the dough that is not for eating, but is a lot more fun! The kids will love making play-dough, salt and flour dough or baking soda goop. So, why not make them all?


cookie doughCookie Dough


Every family has their favorite cookie recipe. Parents can make all shorts of cookie flavors with their kids, but no one can go wrong with chocolate chip. Here is an easy recipe to get things started:



½ cup of softened butter

¾ cup of brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 ¼ cup of flour

1 cup of chocolate chips


Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the butter and sugar together until fluffy.

Add the egg and the vanilla, stir until combined.

Shift in the flour and salt.

Once all is combined, add the chocolate chips.

Put tablespoon-sized balls on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on baking sheets for at least five minutes.



Play Time Dough


After eating plenty of chocolate chip cookies, why not make some dough for playtime? The obvious first choice is play-dough.


2 cups of flour

2 cups of warm water

1 cup of flour

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 tablespoon of cream of tarter to increase elasticity

Various colors of food coloring or Kool-Aid

Scented oils (optional)


Instructions: Mix together until combined.

Make it fun and mix it together using only hands!

Salt and flour dough is the same recipe minus the vegetable oil and cream of tarter. When using play-dough, the kids can have fun playing with it. For salt and flour dough, they can use cookie cutters to make certain shapes, bake the cutouts for about three hours and then paint or decorate their creations. This can be a great idea for Christmas ornaments or gifts.


Feed Creativity


When creating different kinds of dough with the kids, try to let them add ingredients and mix things up on their own as much as possible. This will be a lot more fun for the kids and also feed their creative mind.


It can be a lot of fun for both parents and kids to create something special, especially when it involves sticking hands in a big bowl of squishy stuff. So have fun and dive in!

Let’s Have a Pajama Party!

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

photo_17526_20100423Some of the best childhood memories are born from favorite games or parties that come with being a kid. For a child, a simple birthday party can make or break a happy memory. Parents should strive to help to obtain those memories by letting their little ones party with their friends. Since every child loves staying in their P.J.'s all day, one of the more popular choices is a pajama party.


Create with the Kids


A great way to get the kids excited about their pajama party is to let them help plan it. Talk about what kind of games they should play, snacks they should have or decorations that will look best in the living room. Make the sky the limit and help the kids come up with their own ideas in order to help them get excited about throwing their own party. This can also encourage independent and creative thinking.


Set It Up


Pillowcase DressPajama parties are simple to decorate for. Have the kids stick glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling of the living room, spread out some sleeping bags or create a giant fort for all the kids to play with. It can be fun for the kids to have all their pillows, blankets and stuffed animals piled up in the living room ready to watch a movie with their friends. The main thing parents should strive for is decorations that look and feel comfy as well as fun.


P.J. Party Games


Some fun toddler games are a must for every pajama party. One idea is to purchase some cheap slippers for every party guest. A parent can hide one slipper from each guest and they have to search the house until they find the slipper that matches the one left on their foot. As prizes, they can all take their new slippers home. Kids can also create star chandeliers to hang on the roof of their fort, parents can put a sheet over a large fan in order to create a giant bubble that the kids can play in, the kids can wear glow necklaces and play hide-and-seek in the dark or they can have a pajama contest with prizes for the most popular P.J.'s.


Nighttime Munchies


Great ideas for nighttime snacks during a pajama party are popcorn, hot chocolate, cheese with crackers, fruit with peanut butter or s'mores. Snacks can also become games. Let the kids string the popcorn together, make s'mores over the stove (with adult supervision) or have a fondue feast.

Sleepover Fun


If the kids are old enough the pajama party can turn into a sleepover. All the kids can snuggle up in sleeping bags under a homemade fort or gather around a pile of stuffed animals and pillows for a movie before bed. Parents can end the party by making the kids a special breakfast in the morning before getting dressed with tops, bottoms, hook-and-loop toddler belts, socks and shoes.


Create parties that dreams are made of with the best pajama party that any kid could ever imagine.

It’s Labor Day!

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

labor dayLabor Day is coming up quick and that means that parents get the day off work and the kids get the day off school. Make sure they know the reason why and take some time over the long weekend to explain the history of Labor Day.


Explain the Day


Parents do not have to go into a long history lesson that a toddler will not understand but it is important that they know, in a simplified version, what Labor Day really means. Parents should explain to their kids that Labor Day is the one day out of the year that is set aside to honor workers in the United States. They can create a picture by saying it is kind of like a big party for all the grownups that have worked so hard. Make it even more exciting by telling the kids that they get to celebrate too because they also get a day off from school to party with Mom and Dad.


Thank a Worker


Parents can help the kids celebrate the day by creating a special gift for someone they know who has worked really hard. Try and help them think of someone outside of the family to make a Thank You card for or some kind of special craft. These workers can include co-workers of the parents, teachers, cashiers at the grocery store, the mailman or workers at the local fire and police department. Doing something nice for someone who has worked hard can make the kids feel good while also making someone else’s day a little brighter.


getting dressed Dress Nice


When taking the kids to deliver their gift, make sure they are dressed nicely in order to show their appreciation with both their actions and their appearance. There is no need to break out a tuxedo but nice pants, skirts, dress shirts or dresses can work great. Top the outfit off with a hook-and-loop toddler belt to complete a nice, clean-cut look.

It’s My First Plane Ride!

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Children airplaneNo parent wants to be the one with a noisy child on a airplane. So, in order to avoid the headaches and all the dirty looks from other passengers, make sure to prepare a fun ride before taking flight.


Hype It Up!


Adults know that airports can be tiring, crowded and stressful. They have never been on the top ten best places to hang out, but for a child they can be. Before taking the kids on their first plane ride, hype up how much fun it can be. While an adult sees a crowded airport, a child can see a whole new world with hundreds of different kinds of people, big windows and escalators. Also, make sure to get the kids excited about the plane ride itself. Talk about how high the plane is going to be, what they are going to see, how they will fly higher than the clouds and do not forget to mention the free peanuts. Make sure to give the kids the window seats and let them get excited rather than tired or cranky.


Prepare a Fun Bag


The sights through the window will be sure to entertain the kids, but not for the whole ride and that is when things get tricky. In order to prevent the “post window fascination temper tantrum,” pack a small bag for each of the kids with fun things to do. The bag can contain things such as coloring books with crayons, music to listen to, a favorite stuffed animal or a couple small toys. If available, it is also a good idea to bring along a laptop computer that can play some movies for the kids.


children airplanePack Some Comfort


If a child is tired it can be difficult to avoid sleepy tantrums. Make it easier for the kids to get some sleep on the plane by packing some comfort items. Bringing along a pillow, blanket and stuffed animal can really make a difference when trying to get the kids to sleep. Another thing that can help is packing some snacks if the kids get hungry as well as sippy cups with milk.


Let the Kids be Kids


While screaming fits and wailing throughout the plane is unacceptable, kids should be allowed to be kids. Try not to constantly shush the kids so they do not bother other people. Screaming and crying is one thing, but most people do not mind a child who is chatty. Let the kids be excited about traveling and let them talk about it. Answer questions about the airplane or the airport, let them talk to the flight attendant and let them ride the escalators. If a child is allowed to have fun they are less likely to have any reason to throw a fit, simple as that.


Traveling always has a huge opportunity to be stressful, but do not let that opportunity take flight. Make things fun for the kids and, more than likely, it will be fun for the parents too.

Chores, Chores, Chores!

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

child choresIt is never too early to teach responsibility. That is why it is important for parents to teach their kids the importance of doing their chores, even at a young age. So get the kids, tighten those hook-and-loop belts and get to work


Start Small


It does not make much sense to ask a younger child to do difficult chores on their own. But in order to get the responsibility ball rolling, parents can choose smaller chores that they can help their children accomplish around the house. These can include dusting the furniture, pushing a vacuum cleaner, helping to take out the trash or holding the dustpan for Mom after she sweeps the kitchen floor. By helping a child do chores around the house, it will be easier as they grow to ask them to start doing things on their own


Plant a Nugget


A small nugget should be planted in a young child's mind that a household belongs to the entire family and therefore should not be taken care of by just one person. Parents should create a family dynamic with their spouses and children that makes the kids feel like they are an important part of the household as well as a big reason why it runs the way it does. Responsibility should feel like an honor to a child, rather than a burden


Create a Chores Chart


Do not just let the kids choose a chore and expect it to get done every week, because every parent knows that most likely will not happen. Call a family meeting and create a chart that lists all the chores that should be done throughout the week. Assign each child to two or three chores a day, keeping them age appropriate. Once each child has done their chore, they can check it off the list and be free for the day. Make sure to switch chores around week by week so the kids are not doing the same chores over and over again. It is also important that the parents are assigned chores as well to create that equality within the family


Reward Good Behavior


If the kids get their chores done in good time without complaining, whining or putting it off until the last minute, make sure to reward that. Give out prizes for chores checked off the chart. Prizes can be things like candy, cookies, stickers or even special outings such as going to the movies or out to a restaurant


family choresAdd Some Fun


Try not to make all the chores miserable for the kids. After all, no one likes cleaning the toilet or taking out the trash. But they may like helping to weed the garden (what kid does not like playing in the dirt?), helping to make dinner or washing the car. Add in some chores that the kids fight over having, rather than just the ones that make them groan.


Every child should learn the importance of chores in a way that does not make them cringe. Keep chores as equal and important acts for the entire family and be sure that the kids will always get them done.