Want to have some fun with the kids or yourself to flex on the Gram today? How about decorating some eggs with some funky and fun shapes and colors? Check out these videos which I’ve reviewed and include over 50 FUN ideas!
Want to have some fun with the kids or yourself to flex on the Gram today? How about decorating some eggs with some funky and fun shapes and colors? Check out these videos which I’ve reviewed and include over 50 FUN ideas!
Even though tomorrow is Easter, families around the nation and Globe who recognize this holiday may not have been in the state of mind to go out to shop for Easter baskets.
No need to worry, if they can scroung up some candy from a hidden stash or run out to the grocery store or order from their local Walmart or Target, they may be able to get enough supplies to fill an unconventional object around the house and use it as a makeshift Easter Basket.
Here are 10 ideas of things you may have already at home that can double as an Easter Basket this year:
I’ll add my three and update this post tomorrow! Come back to see!
With the state of our world today, it’s easy to give in to stress and hopelessness—especially with the ongoing pandemic. But as parents, it’s never been clearer that we all have a responsibility to raise the next generation to help make the world a better place.
Of course, it’s never easy to open up a conversation on issues like climate change and the coronavirus, but there are ways to do it without triggering unnecessary tension among your children.
That being said, here are five tips to educate your kids about the environment and how to help out.
With most of us in self-quarantine, we can’t take our kids out or enroll them in summer camps as we please. Thankfully, there’s one resource that’s available amidst the threat of the virus: technology. YouTube has a ton of videos that can educate your kids about the environment, such as earth science and biology animations from Crash Course Kids and animal playlists from National Geographic Kids.
For something more interactive, another option is online games. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has developed a series of games that focus on the everyday issues regarding our oceans and air, such as factory leaks, pollution, and much more. Each game addresses a different real-life concern, and comes with solutions that your kids can do to make a difference.
Take them on walks
The best way to get your children to appreciate the environment is by seeing it firsthand. If your city isn’t in total lockdown, then try to go on walks every now and then. The Cut explains that not only is this safe (as long as you and your kids go alone and keep a distance), but it is even encouraged so you can get fresh air and exercise. It’s important to note, however, that this is easier said than done in certain parts of the country where going outside might get you a few glares from strangers just going to the grocery store.
But if you still have access to a park or other forms of nature, don’t let it go to waste. Of course, it helps to make your walks as comfortable and stress-free as possible. So, if you have more than one young child, look to take them out in a comfortable buggy.
The double strollers featured on iCandy are designed to let you push two children simultaneously, and can withstand most terrains—whether it’s grass or cobblestones. This way, you also don’t have to worry about them straying too far from you. For families who don’t have the option to go on nature walks, this option will have to wait—but that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch your legs in your garden and get some much needed vitamin D.
Adopt a pet
Owning pets is always a great way to teach kids a little responsibility. Unfortunately, with the current virus situation, even animal shelters are taking a hit. In a news report from Fox 13, it is reported that many shelters have been scrambling to find homes for their animals. Because until more pets are adopted, shelters are forced to limit the number of strays they can take in.
By adopting or fostering during this time, you’ll be saving lives and showing your child the importance of taking care of animals—all while giving them a new friend to weather this pandemic with.
Unleash their inner creative
Kids love art. In fact, our resident writer Jeneba Ghatt notes how art is one of the few activities that can keep your kids both educated and entertained. Coloring books are a popular option. For instance, if you want to teach them about space, NASA’s entire collection of printable coloring pages can help.
They even have pages dedicated to those involved in creating spaceships, such as scientists and engineers. Other creative things you can do include painting nature scenes or even crafting things using recycled materials. Nevertheless, it’ll definitely be an activity that both you and the kids will have fun with.
Buy local goods
Besides contributing to the local economy (which is especially important in times of crisis), buying local produce can teach your kids how to minimize their carbon footprint. Goods carried from other countries consume more fuel since they have to be delivered to the local markets, so it’s definitely not good practice to buy them all the time. Plus, local goods are always the fresher option.
A fun way to incorporate this lesson is by having them help in the kitchen. Teach them where each ingredient comes from and how they were made.
It’s easy to get swept up by the uncertainty that lies ahead, but remember that you have a part in making sure it’s a good one for everyone on the planet. The coronavirus is just one piece of the bigger environmental problem that awaits if we don’t act now. So let’s teach our kids about the environment and ensure they preserve it in the future. We need to leave it in good hands.
From homeschooling and virtual learning to finding things to do and pass the time, the COVID-19 crisis can be especially difficult for children. What can parents do to make this challenging time easier and more manageable?
Jennifer Lopez is author of the book ‘Chief Executive Mom,’ has homeschooled four of her kids and is the founder of Assistant Pro, a concierge staffing agency that specializes in assisting families with every day, repetitive tasks.
Lopez offers advice to keep things moving as smoothly as possible and help your kids adjust in this crazy COVID-19 world:
– Focus on block scheduling: Rather than saying, “Do it now” or “We’ll get to it later,” create a block of time when a list of tasks must be completed, including schoolwork. In fact, to add consistency and make it easier on your kids, block off the same time each day where various tasks must get done, things like school work, cleaning their rooms or going through old close.
– Your house may get out of control… and that’s OKAY!! Accept that your home will be lived in during the day and things will become messy and chaotic. Demanding perfection will only drive you insane. Remember, this is temporary. If you find that the house is getting way out of order, stop everything and play a game together. If your kids are playing a board game with you, that means they aren’t dismantling the toy chest.
– Be prepared and prep your food: Like clockwork, the kids will be scouring the refrigerator and pantry. Brain work is exhausting and works up an appetite. Include a “snack time” into your block scheduling, but also prepare portioned, healthy, protein rich snacks in advance for easy self-serving, and bellies that will be full, longer. Based on the age of your child, you can include them in the preparation of food. Remember to keep it fun to hold their interest.
– Practice consistent practice: The current status of national education is temporary. When all else fails, have your kids practice what they already know for 20 minutes a day. Avoid regression and keep them sharp. Teachers will be fully prepared to teach new lessons when they are back to regular communication. What would be detrimental is if children regress.
– Join a local/national online homeschool group: If you’ve never homeschooled before, it can be a time full of questions for parents and children. Joining a supportive community is a great resource, especially when you are jumping right in. They are a supportive online bunch and will be a good shoulder to cry on after the difficult days ahead.
– Know when to back off with online learning: Teachers don’t hover over kids and neither should parents. It’s counterproductive to your child’s resilience. That much micro-management will decrease their motivation to continue learning. It’s a lot of pressure to have someone looking over your shoulder at your every move. It’s okay to be supportive, but know when to back off.
– Set expectations and listen to each other: We are used to having some sense of control in the home, but kids are also used to having some sense of control over their daily interactions and how they behave in public. They may push back since they are losing that control. Listen to them when they say they have a process. It will keep your house more peaceful and your relationship in-tact rather than creating a frustrated rebel. We all have to work together in these trying times.
– Don’t forget time for fun: These are tough times for everyone, and we can’t forget about fun. Allow your kids to spend a little time engaging with electronics. Encourage them to Facetime and text with their friends to lift their spirits and keep up social relationships. And of course, have fun as a family playing a game, going for a bike ride or any other activity you can all do together.
Good luck parents!
Having to self-isolate at home is not easy. By now, boredom has set in and the natives are getting restless. If you can, mix up the different activities you do with your children to off set mischievous behavior.
Here is an list of 60 things to do excerpted from a past post.
1. Bake cookies for ice cream sandwiches.
2. Make a photo journal or a family yearbook.
3. Have a luau in the backyard.
4. Make a fort out of cardboard boxes.
5. Make ice cream.
6. Write and illustrate your own book.
7. Forget cooking — set up an ice cream sundae buffet for dinner.
8. Clean up trash at a local park.
9. Have a backyard campfire…or just use the grill! Roast hot dogs on sticks, pop popcorn and finish off with s’mores.
10. Stage an A to Z backyard scavenger hunt, where you have to find something that starts with every letter.
11. Make homemade pizza.
12. Go for a walk and then make a collage from nature objects you find along the way.
13. Take bread to a creek and feed the ducks.
14. Have a backyard water balloon fight.
15. Practice your origami skills and make objects to hang from the ceiling.
16. Go biking on a trail
17. Call and Interview an older relative about what life was like when they were young.
18. Plan a picnic in your backyard.
19. Create salad spinner art: Place circles of paper inside a cheap salad spinner, dab tempera paints on top, cover and spin away.
20. Practice making interesting shadow puppets and then put on a show with your characters.
21. Plant a garden of herbs and veggies.
22. Make a sidewalk chalk mural.
23. Have an outdoor painting party using huge canvases or cardboard.
24. Plant a butterfly garden with flowers.
25. Pretend to be pirates for a day — dress up in costumes, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate.
26. Make an indoor sandbox using colored rice: mix 4 cups of rice with 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring and let dry overnight.
27. Turn the backyard into a carnival — set up a face painting area and games like ring toss.
28. Make totem poles out of paper towel rolls and decorate them.
29. Make a giant hopscotch or Twister game on the lawn (with spray paint) or driveway (with chalk).
30. String beads into jewelry.
31. Make a bird house out of Popsicle sticks.
32. Create leis with wildflowers.
33. Go fossil hunting near a lake.
34. Break out your baseball gloves and start a game, sandlot style, with the family.
35. Make paper boats and race them in a kiddie pool using straws to propel them.
36. Play mini-golf — or set up a course in your driveway by laying different size containers on their sides.
37. Make your own colored sand and create sand art.
38. Get a map of the United States and mark off all the exciting places you want to visit — create the ultimate road trip.
39. Set up a net and play badminton and volleyball.
40. Collect rocks in the bakyard or and paint them to use as paperweights or pet rocks.
41. Go roller skating in the driveway.
42. Blend your own smoothie.
43.Let kids paint the sidewalk or patio with plain old water and sponge brushes. When their creation dries, they can begin again
44.Bake cupcakes in ice cream cones and then decorate them.
45. Assemble a family cookbook with all your favorite recipes.
46. Make popsicles in Dixie cups using fruit juices.
47. Stage your own Olympics races, hurdles and relays.
48. Create a backyard circus — kids can pretend to be animals and dress up as clowns.
49. Make Mexican paper flowers using different colored tissue paper.
50. Make crafts with recyclable items like stickers using old photos, magazines and repositionable glue.
51. Make your own hard-to-pop bubbles with 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap and 1 tablespoon of glycerin.
52. Paint canvas sneakers with fabric paint pens or acrylic paint.
53. Create three dimensional buildings using toothpicks and mini-marshmallows.
54. Make bird feeders by covering pine cones with peanut butter and rolling in birdseed.
55. Paint with ice by freezing ice cube trays with washable tempera paint.
56. Create unusual s’mores by experimenting with ingredients like cookies, bananas, flavored marshmallows and white chocolate.
57. Have a fancy tea party.
58.Have a backyard camp-out.
59. Set up a tent in the backyard to use as a summer playhouse.
60. Take a free kid’s workshop at stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot or Pottery Barn.
When you have a baby, you not only have to learn how to care for your infant, you also have to learn how to work as a team with your parenting partner.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, new moms and dads are in even closer proximity postpartum. They’re getting a crash course in navigating their relationships and in creating equity when it comes to sharing parenting responsibilities.
Dr. Whitney Casares, author of the book “The New Baby Blueprint: Caring for You and Your Little“ has tips on how you can successfully share the load with your partner.
Designate a soother in chief if you’re the breastfeeder in chief
If you are breastfeeding, you have a full-time job that requires rest, fluids, and patience to learn and perfect. You are the feeder in chief. You’ll do your fair share of soothing as a function of that job. But your partner should take the lead on soothing so that you can accomplish your main mission: feeding your baby.
You’re not a magician
Accept that you are not a magician and cannot develop a mom’s intuition overnight. You need your partner’s help, and (sometimes, believe it or not) partners have valid ideas! Two problem-solvers are better than one. When I learned to ask for help—especially when I was at my weakest physically and emotionally—I found others around me stepped up and, ultimately, that we became a powerful team. Never be afraid to reach out if you are struggling. There is help and hope, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
Recognize strengths and weaknesses
Parenting is a balance of tasks and responsibilities, and one partner may have more skills or patience for some of them. Instead of evaluating or comparing contributions, figure out your partner’s parenting superpowers. All of us bring amazing things to our parenting partnerships. I see all kinds of parents in clinic—analytical types asking tons of specific questions, the research-focused contingent searching for the evidence behind pediatric recommendations, and laid-back parents letting the stresses of early parenting easily roll off their backs. We all have something we bring to the table.
Get educated together
How does one become an expert in their field? They study. If you are the only one in your family studying up on babies and parenting before or after your newborn arrives, you may feel as if you are the only one who knows anything, and you may be the only one who feels confident enough to take charge.
Everyone learns in different ways. If you learn best by reading, your partner may learn best by attending a class online or in person. Or, your partner may learn best by talking with otherswho have been through it. It probably won’t work to force your partner to learn the exact same way you do, but expect that both of you have a working knowledge of common baby issues, newborn care basics, and proven calming techniques so that you can problem-solve from the same educated perspective.
Take a giant step back
When someone doesn’t trust us or tries to manage us, it can make us feel resentful and irritated. We sometimes even lose our organic interest in the topic and stop putting our best effort into it.
That’s what happens when we don’t allow our partners to play an equal role in taking care of our children. We sabotage our hope of true co-parenting. Instead, be conscious about how to empower your other half to be the parenting boss more often. That might mean leaving the house so that your partner has the space to parent without your eagle eye. It definitely will mean holding your tongue (or sighs, or eye rolls, or judgment) if your partner is not doing things exactly how you would do them. If you both get educated together, you can be equal “experts” and this won’t be so hard.
Above all, learn to say, “I’m sorry”
You are going through one of the most significant changes in your life. So is your partner. There will be times you will implode or explode from the stress of that transition and of our current events. When you lose it, figure out whether there is something to be learned or the pot of water just got a little too hot and boiled over. Learn to say, “I’m sorry” and to consider how to make it better next time. When you and your partner act.
We are heading into yet another week of being on lock down in the states and many nations around the world as we all try desperately to try to flatten the curve and growth of the deadly coronavirus.
Dan Pegram, children’s author of Pop-Pop Airplane, How Do You Fly?, has developed a great list of activities that will bring the whole family together and keep everyone sane at the same time.
Here are Dan’s top 10 ways to keep the kids from driving you insane during quarantine:
1. Schoolwork: Continue your children’s assigned schoolwork. Most schools are providing guidance and lessons via the Internet. Just like the classroom environment, make this time structured and devoted to accomplishing their daily assignments. Also, create a workspace for the school age kids equipped with a chair, lamp, pencil holder, crayons, etc.
2. Engage Without Electronics: Limit their time in front of the television, video games, computers and iPad type devices. This may prove difficult at first but if you’re creative this could turn into a blessing in disguise. Assign them simple chores to do so they can earn time on these devices. We have all become increasing addicted to our cell phones and computers. Spending more time engaged with your children during this uncertain period is comforting and lets them know how much you care.
3. Go Outside: Plan activities outside and show your children how we used to entertain ourselves before the Internet and social media. Go for hikes in your neighborhood or on local trails and look for birds and other wildlife. Look up bird species in your area and then see how many you can spot. This could turn into a lifelong hobby. It did for me.
4. Arts and Crafts: Arts and crafts are perfect for promoting creativity and learning new skills. My granddaughters and I try to build something out of balsa wood every time we visit. I do the cutting and they do the building. There are numerous sites online for arts and crafts projects. YouTube art classes are great and age appropriate. Pick a few and get started. It’s a great way to spend time together and be creative. Our grandson and his friends are coloring pictures for each other and putting them in each other’s mailboxes to keep busy and stay in touch with their nearby friends. I recently built three birdhouses and mailed two to our granddaughters. I kept one and we’re decorating them as a project and plan to share our finished products. Putting puzzles together is also a great way to pass the time.
5. Cook Something Together: There’s no better way to teach your kids a valuable skill than by cooking. Dust off your cookbooks, pick a couple of simple recipes and let the magic begin. Your children will learn about ingredients and through measuring will learn a little about fractions. Plan your meals together and let them do some of the simple things like measuring the ingredients, greasing a pan or setting the table. Spending time together at the dinner table talking about the days events, discussing this quarantine situation at their level and planning for tomorrow can’t be over-emphasized. This may be new to some but you will find this time very enriching.
6. Read Books: Reading is a skill that opens the world to youngsters. It’s also a perishable skill that needs continuous practice. During this time away from school would be a great time to introduce your children to some of your old favorite books and discovering some new titles. My new book entitled Pop-Pop Airplane, How Do You Fly? teaches children, ages 3 -7, how airplanes fly and is a great book for stimulating inquisitive young minds. For the more advanced readers, chapter books like Elephant & Piggie by Mo Willems are quite popular. There are also a couple of apps used by schools called EPIC! and Raz-Kids that offer unlimited access to 35,000 of the best children’s books and learning videos so your child can read and learn anytime.
7. Write: As an author I’ve been asked many times, “How do you start writing a book?” My answer is simple – “It’s just like having a conversation with someone and you’re telling them a story or relating some event in your life.” If your children aren’t familiar with journaling, this might be a great time to introduce them to this wonderful writing exercise. Journals don’t have to be formal. Any small notebook is a great place to start. Google search “journaling” for some useful ideas and benefits. Another wonderful app is Teachers Pay Teachers. This app contains printables and worksheets to help youngsters with simple writing projects.
8. Look at Old Photos: One of our children’s, and now grandchildren’s, favorite things to do is drag out the old photo albums and have us tell about each photo. Children are very interested in what life was like back when we were children. They also enjoy learning about grandparents, aunts and uncles and places we have visited. It is so much fun laughing at the old photos, the retro clothing and hairstyles and reliving fun times in our lives.
9. Make Some Noise: If you play a musical instrument or sing, this would be a great time to explore your children’s interest in music. I dabble at playing the guitar and love to sing. The jury is still out on the quality of the noise coming from my office from time to time! Impromptu singing with a wooden spoon or microphone to Lights by Journey with my audio amplifier entertains our granddaughters for hours. YouTube has an endless assortment of lessons for any instrument including vocals. Again, casting inhibition aside, jump in and have some family fun.
10. Stay Calm: This is an unprecedented time for all of us. Remain calm, stay informed and educate your children as to why we are practicing social distancing and staying at home. Emphasize to them how important good hygiene habits are and why most everything we used to do has been curtailed (including play dates). Ensure your children these life-changing times will be over soon and things will go back to near normal. With the exception of being quarantined, try to make each day routine and spend as much quality time together as possible. I hope the above tips and ideas will help you and your children get through the next few weeks and come together as stronger families. By following the guidance given by national health officials and local authorities we all will be smarter individually and as a nation in regard to combating unexpected and dangerous health hazards and pandemics.
The Los Angeles, California-based company issued a press release on Friday offering the free service to parents in the US and Canada and inviting them to book a “cost-free” and “stress-free” birthday party!
Not only will Sky Zone will handle creating birthday invites and setting up virtual links for families to share, but a Sky Zone Party Pro will lead the Guest of Honor and their friends through 20 minutes of active-play games and fun to celebrate from the comfort of their own homes.
“We’re thrilled to offer Sky Zone‘s virtual birthday party experience as a safe and undeniably fun way to engage in active play at home,” said Jeff Platt, President of Sky Zone Franchise Group. “By bringing the popular Sky Zone birthday party experience online, we can continue helping families celebrate these special occasions while staying safe at home.”
Kids can take part in their virtual birthday parties from Tuesday to Saturday 3-9pm EST and celebrate with a maximum of 10 friends. To request a virtual party, parents can email Birthdays@SkyZone.com with their names, child’s name, email address & phone number. A Sky Zone representative will follow up with confirmation details and next steps.
The company says that “while Sky Zone parks in the U.S. and Canada remain temporarily closed due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, they want to ensure kids can still celebrate their birthdays and make fun memories online alongside friends and family.”
Nice — Ordinarily, guests at the park’s over 200+ locations worldwide experience an active play experience including a multitude of gravity-defying, wall-to-wall aerial attractions that include SkySlam, Ultimate Dodgeball, Challenge Zones, Ninja Warrior Courses, and many others.
Photo by Shvets Anna from Pexels
During the global COVID-19 crisis, pregnant, trying to conceive couples and those within weeks/months of giving birth are questioning the safety of going to the hospital, doctor’s office, labs and clinics.
Yale University Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology Mary Jane Minkin ffers tips and tells women to stay calm but be prepared.
“As we experience unprecedented times with many unknowns, the most important thing to remember is that health care providers are prepared to handle all health-related concerns. And, they are taking all steps necessary to be available to their patients,” says Dr. Minkin, who is also the founder of MadameOvary.com . “However, women must take personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing and utilize telehealth appointments if available.”
Here are Dr. Minkin’s Facts and Tips:
Stay healthy moms, moms-to-be and soon-to-be new moms!!!
Derksen Photography – Fresno, CA
This downtime has been a great time for us to review our 10-year blog archives and uncover some of the best and most loved content shared over the years. Among them is this post that shared 9 very adorable and creative newborn sibling photos that parents had professional photographers take.
The super cute sibling portraits come from talented photography specialists from all across America and feature a new baby with their older sibling(s), including this one above from Derksen Photography in Fresno, California.
It with these others below combine to a curated list of 9!
Which is your favorite? If you’re expecting baby #2, or 3 or 4, which one would you replicate for your family living room?
Angela Weedon – Dallas, TX
Katie Bower Photography – Georgia
Ema Photography – New York
Kayla Paler Photography – Minnesota
Melissa Rodriguez – Texas
Carrie Sandoval – California