Posts Tagged "parenting tips"

Posted on Aug 28, 2013 in Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

Tips for a Smooth Back to School Transition

Tips for a Smooth Back to School Transition

The new school year is quickly approaching, if it hasn’t started already in your state. With a new school year comes a time of adjustment, even for home schoolers like us. Adjusting to a new schedule, a new level of work, a new teacher, etc., can be difficult for both kids and parents. Here are three of my most tried and true tips for preparing your children (and yourself) for a smooth back to school transition: 1. Schedule: Our biggest adjustment every year has to do with our schedule. The lazy days of summer suddenly disappear and it feels like we’re instantly running at full throttle! One... Read Post

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in Featured, Parenting, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

The Importance of Pretend Play Tea Parties

The Importance of Pretend Play Tea Parties

Did you have pretend play tea parties as a child? I have vague memories of playing tea party with my sister and stuffed animals and dolls, and I love watching my kids play! In Britain, you can wear fancy hats to High Tea. My kids aren’t big on hats, but my girls think it’s fun to wear their fancy hair accessories for tea time! The ALEX Tin Tea Set is the perfect size for little-girl tea parties – tiny enough to feel dainty and to double as doll dishes, but large enough to hold and pretend to drink exotic teas from. Raspberry is the preferred tea at our parties! Tea parties are excellent... Read Post

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Parenting, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Ideas for Hosting a Doll Party

Ideas for Hosting a Doll Party

Do your kids play with dolls? Mine do, too. For a fun afternoon, and to encourage creativity in a new direction, design your own doll outfits. Provide your kids with some basic supplies and see what kind of outfits they can dream up! Then, suggest that the dolls wear their new outfits to a pretend play doll party with special doll food. DIY No Sew Doll Outfits Using scraps of material, old clothes (tights, socks, pants, belts) and safety pins, kids can create dozens of fashion-forward clothes and accessories – no sewing machine required. 1. Gather your supplies: Material scraps Old clothes:... Read Post

Posted on Jul 23, 2013 in Developmental Skills, Parenting, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Six Benefits of Free Play For Children

Six Benefits of Free Play For Children

Structured activities are important for building developmental skills in children. They teach children how to follow rules and routines, and provide growth opportunities for motor and social skills. However, between play dates, piano lessons and soccer practice, we sometimes overbook our kids and skimp on providing children time for free play. Creating a mix of free play and structured time helps kids build an array of skills and feel more balanced in their everyday lives. Soccer, piano, and play dates are important for development of gross motor skills, social emotional well-being, and peer... Read Post

Posted on Jun 28, 2013 in Parenting | 1 comment

5 Tips for Taking Great Photos of Your Kids

5 Tips for Taking Great Photos of Your Kids

I am not a  professional photographer but, I do love taking pictures of my children, and know that someday these pictures will remind them of fun memories and the love that we have for each other.  Let’s face it, though. Taking pictures of kids is HARD! They don’t sit still, they have “fake smiles,” and they lose focus easy… just to name a few issues. Over the last few years, I have tried to learn more about how to take better photos of my children. And while I’m still no master, I do have a few tricks in my repertoire that have resulted in some of my favorite shots of my four children. So,... Read Post

Posted on Jun 21, 2013 in Babies, Developmental Skills, Featured, Parenting | 1 comment

Tummy Time Tips

Tummy Time Tips

Tummy time is an activity pediatricians encourage parents to do with their newborns and infants. Over the years, I’ve found that parents don’t always understand why the activity is so important. This combined with the fact that babies initially resist being laid on their stomachs often results in parents spending little time encouraging the position or foregoing it altogether. Working through the initial difficulties is important to help babies: 1. Develop head and trunk control 2. Strengthen arms and shoulders 3. Develop weight shifting and reaching skills 4. Develop ocular... Read Post

Posted on Jun 3, 2013 in Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

How to Survive a Road Trip with Kids!

How to Survive a Road Trip with Kids!

This Memorial Day, our family decided to take a long road trip! I was a bit nervous about traveling with the two girls (Lori, 4 years and Julie, 18 months). We don’t have a mini-van or fancy backseat DVD players; we just have our trusty sedan. But with some advance planning, clever packing, and a few tricks up my sleeve, we happily made it to our destination. You can too! Sometimes if Julie is feeling restless in the car, Lori sings to her to cheer her up. It is so sweet! This time, Lori and I sat down the day before our trip and made a “play list” of songs that she could sing to Julie. We... Read Post

Posted on May 30, 2013 in Outdoor Play, Parenting | 0 comments

Fun Ways To Keep Your Kids Busy And Active Outdoors

Fun Ways To Keep Your Kids Busy And Active Outdoors

I love getting my kids outside! They get exercise, the house stays cleaner, and they rarely argue! Here are some of my favorite ways to keep kids busy and active outdoors! 1. Channel classic games: My kids really enjoy Paddle Tether Ball. We also play kick ball, hopscotch, and tag! I’m thinking I should introduce them to sack racing soon! 2. Play with water: My kids adore the wading pool and sprinkler, but they also think that painting with water (a bucket of water and a paintbrush) is super fun! 3. Draw with sidewalk chalk: My kids love drawing house plans, and I remember drawing gigantic... Read Post

Posted on May 13, 2013 in Parenting | 0 comments

Teaching Kids Independence

Teaching Kids Independence

I’ve been thinking a lot about teaching kids independence lately. With four children aged seven and under, I need my children to be as self-sufficient as possible – and I know that they are happier being able to do more on their own as well. I’ve learned that we have to start with the basics – you can’t learn how to tie a shoe without knowing how to lace it: Organization is also key. I can’t expect my kids to put away their clothes and toys if they don’t know where everything goes. I set up a very simple toy organization system, and I put sticky labels on their drawers to help them learn... Read Post

Posted on May 6, 2013 in Babies | 0 comments

5 Ways Babies Learn with Building Blocks

5 Ways Babies Learn with Building Blocks

Sometimes the simplest toys are the most fun and educational. Classic wooden building blocks are no exception. But when we received our set of Maxville Blocks, we knew they were anything but ordinary. ALEX Toys took their wooden building blocks above and beyond the simple classics by using unique shapes, vibrant colors, and graphic patterns. These modern elements add to the fun and increase the opportunities for imaginative play and learning. While all of my kids (ranging in age from 8 months to 5 years) have loved playing with their ALEX Jr.  Maxville Blocks, I know that my littlest will... Read Post

Posted on Apr 24, 2013 in Big Kids, Parenting | 0 comments

How To Organize Your Home For Reading Fun

How To Organize Your Home For Reading Fun

I knew I needed to get organized when a babysitter told my kids to clean up their rooms and my oldest daughter said, “Why? Just look at our house!” Gulp. So, the piles of books got organized and our house feels much tidier. I’ve found that organizing our children’s books (in more than piles) entice my kids, even the youngest, to read. To make reading even more fun, we created cozy reading spaces in the kids’ rooms and in the living room. You can do it, too. Here are our tried and true suggestions.   1. Create a Cozy Reading Nook for Kids Create a reading corner for your kids to curl up... Read Post

Posted on Apr 15, 2013 in Parenting, Printables, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

Get Dressed with Success!

Get Dressed with Success!

Lately my 4 year old, Lori, has insisted on picking out and putting on her outfits all by herself. Sometimes she actually puts together an outfit that matches and looks half-decent, and sometimes… not so much! As she has gotten older she has become more and more independent. She takes great pride in being able to do things, like getting dressed, completely on her own. But she is still learning and sometimes she gets very frustrated trying to zip up her hoodie or button her pants! It is not always easy for her to ask for help because she is SO determined to get it on her own, but I think I... Read Post

Posted on Apr 13, 2013 in Parenting, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

5 Tips for Dining Out with Kids

5 Tips for Dining Out with Kids

Sometimes parents just want to dine out for a change of pace and a break from cooking, but with young kids it can be a daunting thought. Fear of the dreaded melt down, thrown food, and top of the lungs “talking” are all reasons why some parents avoid taking the plunge. If this sounds familiar, then don’t despair, here are five tips for dining out with kids that will help you prepare and avert disaster! 1. Time it Perfectly:  Eat early to avoid the 8PM “restaurant rush hour”. Less people and noise in the restaurant at earlier seatings cut down on kid distractions. Also, earlier in the night... Read Post

Posted on Apr 12, 2013 in Parenting, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

Fun Ideas for Bad Weather and Sick Kids

Fun Ideas for Bad Weather and Sick Kids

There are two times when I find parenting particularly challenging: dark, gloomy days that my kids and I are tempted to reflect in our moods and that period of illness where a child is too sick to go to school but not quite sick enough to simply rest. Here are my favorite ways to conquer the gloom whether it is due to sickness or weather! Sensory Play Sensory play is my go-to strategy for really young kids who don’t feel well. You can set up an invitation to play, like the tray with colored rice, cars, and marbles. Always make sure that your invitation to play is developmentally appropriate,... Read Post

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 in Parenting, Pretend Play, Videos | 0 comments

Tips for Encouraging Creativity in Kids

Tips for Encouraging Creativity in Kids

Creative thinking is so important for a child’s development, therefore encouraging it is a core feature in my parenting strategy. Creativity has more benefits than I can count, but here are few, and also some tips on how you can build it into your daily lives. Benefits to Stimulating Creativity: Encourages self-expression – drawing, and engaging in other creative pursuits, gives kids a voice. I have learned a lot from and about my children by listening in as they create. Builds fine motor skills – many creative pastimes help children develop the fine motor movements that are important... Read Post

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 in Parenting | 0 comments

Inspiring Creativity Through Artisitic Expression

Inspiring Creativity Through Artisitic Expression

I have been taking and posting a photo every day for seven straight years. This project has been a way for me to not only document the events of my family but to express my creativity. Creativity is what I want to help cultivate and stimulate in my children. A big part of how I do this is through artistic expression. With my daughter, she is four, we color, paint, sing and play instruments. I play like a four year old and color outside the lines take pictures at odd angles and make up silly songs. Through crafting I can see my daughter beginning to develop her sense of self, her ability to... Read Post