Okay, so it's also national heart health month, but that one is so overdone. I thought it would be better to focus on kid's teeth. Getting your little angels to develop good dental habits is so vital to their overall health! I did some research on the topic, and here's what I learned:
We all have those days where the rain keeps us indoors with children whining that they are bored! Now your mission is to find endless activities to entertain them and keep the peace. Here are some fun rainy day ideas:
Crafts- there are plenty of ready-made kits and lots of ideas online using common items found in your home. Keep plastic table clothes handy to spread across table for easy clean up.
Bake- making homemade cookies or a cake together. Kids love mixing the ingredients and everyone loves to sample when it is done.
Dance party- turn up the music and dance. Be silly and have fun!
Music- make instruments using household items, form a band and make up a song.
Living room fort- use blankets and pillows and your living room furniture to build a fort.
Household obstacle course- use furniture and larger items to make an obstacle course in your home. It is a great way for the kids to burn energy.
Tell stories- start telling a story, and then hand it off to another member of the family to add to it. See how fun of a story you can invent as a family.
Read stories- it’s traditional, but still a favorite. Read a story to you children or better yet, have them read to you.
Hide and seek- again, traditional, but fun for everyone. Take turns being the seeker and make it fun for everyone.
Board games & card games- there are so many out there that are fun for the whole family. Play a round of each family member’s favorite game. Clue and UNO are very popular ones in our home.
Watch a movie- when you need some time to unwind, make some popcorn, and snuggle under a blanket and watch a family friendly movie together.
Take a rain walk- every put on their rain coats and boots, grab your favorite umbrella and take a family walk. No one will melt in the rain. Jump in every puddle you see!
Hopefully that is enough ideas to get you started!
We were all taught not to talk to strangers or to take anything from strangers. Childhood abduction is on the rise, and it is essential to talk to the children in your life about what to do if a stranger approaches them. You may think it will never be an issue for you family, but life has a way of surprising us. The term stranger danger itself can be misleading to children. They may misinterpret who a stranger is to them. They may feel strangers are big, mean, ugly men, but perhaps a nice lady offering them candy or an attractive young man looking for his puppy and seems friendly may not be interpreted as a stranger. Furthermore, you child may actually need to rely on a stranger for help.
First, always tell your child to trust their instincts. If they are uncomfortable in any situation, get out of it as quickly as they can and call you. It is important to teach your child to come to you if anyone approaches them, asks them to keep a secret or invites them to leave with them.
Teach your children to ask certain kinds of people for help, for example a police officer, store clerk, or someone with other children.
Allow your child to have a cell phone. You can track their location and they can message or call you if they find themselves in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation. Always have them check in to school, after school and when going to and from their friend’s homes.
Make a secret password for you and your children. If a stranger ever approaches you child telling them their mother sent them, your child should ask for the password. If the stranger does not know it, they should run and seek help.
Sign your child and yourself up for a local self-defense class. Then practice those skills at least once a week so that if you are grabbed you have a better chance of escaping.
Role play possible situations with your children to give them examples of what to do in possible abduction scenarios.
Keep the children in your life safe!
It is always a difficult decision to decide whether or not to keep your child home when they are ill. It becomes even more difficult when you have to rely on a daycare for your childcare needs. Some daycares and schools make the decision very easy for you. They will call you if your child meets certain criteria to take them home. It is important to make a good and informed decisions. You would hope other parents have the same courtesy.
Summer means longer days and more fun outside. If you have kids, you want to avoid the dreaded “I’m BORED!” Here are some affordable ideas to make your summer a little more fun!
· Cut a glow stick and pour the contents into a bottle of bubbles. Enjoy glow in the dark bubble fun.
· Purchase a bunch of colored sponges from a discount store or dollar store. Cut up into hand size pieces, place them in small buckets (plastic sand buckets work great), fill with water, give one to each child and allow for a reusable and quick water fight!
· Old fashioned water balloon battles are always fun as well. A unique twist is to hide them randomly on your property to allow them to find them first to use for a water battle.
· Make a home-made obstacle course using things you already have at home. Turn 10 times on a bat, stack a pile of empty containers into a tower, hula hoop, jump rope, crawl under a table, hop over a safe optical, fill a container using a tablespoon of water at a time, add food into it (eat an entire carrot, or any fruit or vegetable) before moving on. Ideas are endless with this one.
· Go on a scavenger hunt. Grab a stack of notecards and put simple everyday items on each one. If your kids are older you can use riddles or word scrambles to make it more challenging. Send kids as individuals or teams to see who can return first with all of the requested items.
· Build an outdoor fort using only household items. If you’re brave enough, camp out for the evening.
· Go on a family bike ride, it’s even more fun when the trip ends at a fun location, local pool or ice cream stand.
· Plant a family garden, have everyone help plant and maintain it.
· Make a large hop-scotch board on your driveway and play.
· Set up a penny toss game with recyclable cans and containers.
· Have a family picnic for lunch or dinner. Let the kids choose the meal and pack the basket.
Be creative, have fun, be open to ideas. Share some of your ideas with us!
I work in the medical field, so very little grosses me out. But the minute someone mentions lice, I start feeling itchy! Fortunately I have escaped all infestations thus far. It is very important to know that anyone of any ethnicity or social economic status can acquire lice. It is also not a sign of poor hygiene as lice can live up to 6 hours underwater.
You usually do not have to guess if your child was exposed to and acquired lice. It’s gross and very contagious, but it is not harmful as lice do not carry diseases. Lice are 6 legged insects that cling to scalp and feed on blood. They also lay eggs (nits) that are glued into the hair. Lice are contagious in head to head contact or sharing hair brushes or accessories. However, lice cannot jump or fly. The most common symptom of lice infestation is itching. If you find you or your family has been contaminated, first notify your child’s daycare or school so that other children in close proximity can be examined and treated. Second, examine everyone in your household, everyone who is infested should be treated at the same time. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend keeping a child home from school because of lice. Children should be treated, avoid close head contact with others and use a fine tooth comb to remove as many visible nits as possible.
Treatment with over the counter treatment is usually effective when directions are followed properly. Often two rounds of over the counter treatment are necessary to treat definitively. Fine tooth combs are effective in conjunction with treatment to pull both lice and their nits out. Another non-pharmacological treatment option that was supported in the Journal of Pediatrics in 2004 treated children by coating the hair with Cetaphil lotion, combing it, blow-drying until it hardens, and shampooing 8 hours later. This had a 95% success rate when repeated once a week for three weeks. Itching may continue for up to a week after treatment is completed because of the allergic reaction to lice bites that lingers. If lice persist, you may need to contact your physician for a prescription strength treatment. Bedding, clothing and stuffed animals should be washed in hot water.
I know you are scratching right now and planning to check your family members, but try to remain calm and know that you can handle the situation if you or your family is exposed to lice.
Choking in children leads to over 10, 000 ER visits per year. 1 child dies every 5 days from a food-choking accident. Food, not toys is the most common culprit of chocking accidents in children under 5 years of age. The reason for frequent choking in children is the shape of their airway. Children under 5 years of age have an airway about the size of their pinky, thus making it easy to block an airway with certain foods.
High risk choking foods for children under 5 years of age should be avoided or modified to prevent choking. The highest risk foods include:
o Cheese Sticks
o Chewing gum
o Chunks of meat or cheese
o Chunks of raw vegetables
o Dried fruit
o Hard or sticky candy and lollipops
o Hot dogs
To prevents choking either avoid or modify the high risk foods.
o Vegetables should be cooked and cut into small pieces (smaller than diameter of pinky)
o Hot dogs and cheese sticks should be cut lengthwise then widthwise and then into the shape of small moons to prevent complete obstruction if choked on
o Grapes should be peeled and cut into at least 4 pieces
o Young children should be watched closely when eating and eat only developmentally appropriate foods
o Young children should be seated (not playing or running) and not engaged in conversations when eating
If a child does choke, allow them to continue coughing. If they stop coughing, ensure they are breathing (the food may have become lodged and prevent ability to both cough and breath). If they are not able to breathe, call 911 and perform a Heimlich maneuver (familiarize yourself with several available videos on internet).
Summer is finally here! Kids, both young and old, are home for the summer. Now what do you do to avoid “Mom, I’m bored!” It’s important to incorporate a balance of work, exercise, learning and rest daily. It is certainly not easy to adapt to a completely new schedule either.
Young Kids/Older Kids:
· Develop a weekly schedule to meet expectations, include meals, play, learning activities, chores and naps (if applicable)
· Sign up for summer camps or classes
· Form a group with friends and neighbors-coordinate playdates or trade off watching each other’s children to give yourself a break
· Incorporate them into your life-have them help with household chores, shopping, planning and preparing meals
· Coordinate day care a couple of days a week to give yourself a break
· Search websites for fun DYI projects and activities
· Take advantage of local museums and tourist activities
· Adhere to a set bedtime
· Adhere to expectation and rules
· Ensure your spouse is in agreement of expectations and plans
This group is unique in that they are adults, but still rely on their families for support while they are learning for the their future careers. It is important to treat them with respect and allow independence while ensuring you are not taken advantage of. Furthermore you want to ensure a peaceful and stress-free living situation.
· Make expectations clear as soon as they arrive home
· Have a conversation about expect rules and roles in your home
· Allow them the freedom to choose their schedule so as long as they are completing tasks previously agreed upon
· Keep an open mind and understand there is more than one way to do things
· Encourage internships or shadowing experiences
· Encourage part time or full time jobs
· Talk frequently with respect on issues that arise, allow them to discuss their feelings without fear of being shut down or interrupted
· Ensure your spouse is in agreement of expectations and plans
Plan ahead and have a wonderful summer break! ~Liza
Everyone always wants the best for their kids, but parties tend to get expensive. Some birthday parties tend to have more significance than others; the 1st, 10th, 13th, 16th & 18th. It’s understandable that you may spend a little more money on those celebrations. Here are some birthday ideas to keep it easy on your wallet.
Try to Keep it at Home to Avoid Rental Fees
o Try a slumber party--indoor fort or outdoor tents
o Movies--outdoors on garage or screen, or indoors
o Craft party--pick one or two fun crafts for the kids to allow them to take home in lieu of party favors
o Create a fun scavenger hunt indoors or outdoors or combo of both
o Have a pampered party--nails, hair, mud masks
o Play board games you already have or have kids bring their favorite game to play
o Have a teddy bear and tea party
o Have a lego party and build a city
o Have a story book party and have children come dressed as their favorite character. They can even tell the story or read the book associated with it.
o Have a home dance party
DIY the Decorations
o Make your own themed decorations
o Use solid color plates and napkins that match the scheme instead of patterns
o Buy table clothes and balloons from a dollar store
o Use what you have at home instead of buying new
o See if family or friends have decorations you can borrow
o Play music from TV, Ipod, home playlist
Make as much food as possible yourself. Kids are simple and tend to like simple food choices presented in a unique way.
o Fruit kabobs (bite sizes pieces of fruit on a wooded skewer)
o Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into fun shapes
o Make deviled eggs and use a tooth pick to wedge a piece of cheese to look like a sailboat
o Make cupcakes or a homemade cake. If you don’t have baking talents consider using your local grocery store instead of a specialty store. Consider substituting cake with donuts, pie, or ice cream.
Share with us some of your ideas or a favorite party you attended!
I'm a big reader. I started when I was quite young and haven't stopped. One of my earliest memories is curling up next to my mom on the couch while she read to me. I also remember our weekly visits to the library to stock up on books. I looked forward to those trips and as I got older the stack I would bring home got bigger and bigger. My mom instilled the value of reading into all of her kids and that continues to this day.
If you have children, I urge you to read to them. There are many benefits:
If your kids are older you can still encourage them to read. I have some friends who read the same books as their kids. Series such as Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and Twilight all work well for this purpose. Once you have read the book you can discuss it with your children. You can also rent the movies for even more fun.
Yep, reading is wonderful and something (free!) and easy you can do with your kids. Why not hit your library this week and pick out a book?
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