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Family Travel: 5 Ways to Entertain the Kids In the Hotel

hotel entertainment

If you’re on vacation, chances are there will be a lot of down time in the hotel room. Your child may find the lack of space in the room restrictive, which could prompt unruly behavior or temper tantrums. Help them avoid boredom or cabin fever with some fun games and toys. It’s unrealistic to bring the contents of the playroom with you on vacation. However, you can bring along some compact game and toy options, or you can create your own activities that require little to no equipment. Here are some ways you can keep your little ones entertained during your hotel stay:


If you have a little girl, have a mini-fashion show in your hotel room. The two of you can get her prepared for her debut with outfit preparation followed by spa services. Perform a special facial, paint nails and create a fun hair-do. You can easily pack a few accent pieces in your suitcase, like ribbon, costume jewelry or your daughter’s favorite dress. This activity is ideal for the child who enjoys planning and is enthusiastic about dress-up. It will require some patience on her part– but if you keep the energy high and have fun, it will keep her occupied and the two of you will have a blast.


Puzzles are time-consuming activities that can keep a child’s attention. If you have enough room in your luggage, pack some jigsaw puzzles. The two of you should pick out a jigsaw that is your child’s favorite animal or animated character, so they’re excited about the final product. The more enthusiastic they are about the content, the more time they’ll commit. If you have limited space for jigsaws, you can bring along some printed word puzzles. Design your own word puzzles at Busy Teacher. Include terms or words that are at your child’s reading level. You can make the theme of the puzzle reflect your child’s favorite hobbies, books or movies.

Card Games

Cards are compact and can be easily transported–they make a great alternative to board games. You can bring along a pack of regular playing cards for games like go fish, speed or gin rummy. Bicycle offers a six pack of kids card games that include Go Fish, Slap Jack, Memory, Matching, Old Maid and Crazy Eights. These cards are well-illustrated, colorful and designed especially for kids. Uno is another fun card game that is great for the entire family, as you can incorporate many players.

Music Video

Get the creative juices flowing and produce a music video with your kid. They can choose their favorite song, and the two of you can storyboard the visual elements. You can orchestrate outfits and practice choreographed dance moves. The video can be recorded on your tablet or smartphone. Many smartphones have video editing capabilities or apps, so you can instantly assemble the footage and polish it up for presentation. Your child will love to watch themselves perform and it is a fun, creative activity the two of you can do together.

Bath Adventure

Liven up bathtime and make the tub an adventurous oasis. The tub is like a mini pool where your kids can hang out and play with their bath toys. Bring along the essential rubber ducky or foam figures, so your child can entertain themselves with these toys. You also can go one step further and create an exciting bath adventure. You can purchase themed bath kits at toy stores. The Pirates of the Tub play set includes 36 foam pieces that make pirate figurines, islands, a raft, boats and the Jolly Roger flag. The pieces will stick onto tiles, the wall or sides of the bath tub. The set also includes three pirate squirters that your kid will love.

Take the Anxiety Out of Public Breastfeeding with these 3 Solid Tips!

mom and baby

Breastfeeding in public can be STRESS-FUL and  can cause anxiety in many new mothers. But it doesn’t have to. The key is to ease the pressure is to  prepare for the moments. Here are three awesome tips from fellow mom blogger Carrie Willard on how to breastfeed in public like a pro!

1. Nurse at the first signs of hunger. A nursing baby generally draws less attention than a screaming one! So latch your baby on as soon as you notice that s/he is hungry…rooting, sucking on fist, grimacing face, etc. A crying baby also makes you nervous and you and baby may take longer to get latched on comfortably.

2. Bring a book or large purse to set in your lap for camouflage. Your diaper bag would also work. Set it in front of baby on your knees while you latch baby on. Or hold a book so that your baby’s head and your breast are out of view.

3. Practice latching your baby on quickly and discreetly in front of a mirror at home, so that you know how to do it without anyone really noticing when you’re out and about.

Good luck moms!

How to Turn Your Palm Sunday Fronds into a Cross

palm fronds

Yesterday was Palm Sunday for Catholics and many other Christians world wide. The palms are representative of those crowds in Jerusalem waved when they saw Jesus and his disciples walking towards the temple on his donkey. The day is the start of Holy Week which includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Glorious Saturday and Easter Sunday.

It’s the end of the Lenten season and the beginning of ordinary time in the church.

During services palm fronds are handed out. Later the fronds are burned and their ashes are used for the next year’s Ash Wednesday.

A neat thing that people like to do with their fronds is contort them into crosses that they keep at their work stations at work, in their kitchens and some use as bookmarks.

Here is a video sharing how to turn your fronds into a cross.

#SaintPatricksDay 2016: Here are 25 websites for Crafts, Recipes and More

saint patricks' day 2016 header
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!! 
Educators, parents, nannies and craft lovers who want to celebrate the day may be looking for crafts, and other ideas for children. We’re sharing once again 25 blogs with Saint Patrick’s day craft, party decorations, meals, desserts, and activities  ideas for the children to do for the Irish holiday:
Make these simple crafts with your kids as part of your celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  This often overlooked holiday can be really entertaining if you make a point to celebrate it just like you would other holidays with special crafts, decorations and food.  These five blog posts will share some craft projects you can enjoy with your kids.
Up your house’s festivity factor this St. Patrick’s Day by decorating in plenty of green and gold. Some of these decorating ideas are appropriate for younger children, while others are better suited for the older kids.  Get together as a family and enjoy some creative time together decorating your home.
All things green are up for grabs on St. Patrick’s Day.  What, you don’t think your kids will be excited about spinach and kale and other green leafy food?  No problem! Just make regular food green instead and see what the kids think of it.  It doesn’t have to be just for dinner, enjoy these five blogs that have breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas.
While green is definitely the star color for St. Patrick’s Day, it isn’t all confined to just that color. After all, you can’t forget about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Make some rainbow inspired desserts instead of just green ones this year.  For some inspiration check out these five blog posts.
What kind of things can you do as a family or with the kids for St. Patrick’s Day?  Some cities have St. Patty’s Day parades, so you might see if your city is having one.  Or you might decide to have a party for the kids in the neighborhood.  Take a look at these five blog articles for some ideas on activities that your kids or your family might enjoy.
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10 Spring Garden Safety Tips for Kids


It’s lawn and gardening season once again. Every year 600,000 Americans are injured riding lawn mowers while doing yard work. Often times, your children also want to join in and “help” doing yard work. They can but while exercising proper supervision and following some safety tips. 

As an encore, I’m sharing once again 10 top tips for keeping the children safe:

As the temperature rises and the days get longer, the amount of attention that your lawn requires also increases. For parents who are considering outdoor chores for their brood, there are some safety rules that should be taken into account before sending them outside. Here are 10 of the most important guidelines that should be instituted when kids help out with yard work.

1. Teach Proper Tool Use
– It’s easy to assume that older kids have a handle on the use of basic lawn tools, but those without hands-on experience may be a bit confused. This can lead to serious injury if tools are mishandled, so it’s a good idea to outline the basics.

2. Supervision is Key – For younger children, it’s absolutely essential that they be supervised at all times. Work alongside them or even on another task nearby, but never let them work while you’re inside or on the other side of your property.

3. Keep Little Ones Inside During Mowing – Kids are fascinated with riding lawnmowers, so it might be difficult to keep them indoors while an adult cuts the grass. Still, the potential for flying debris and injury from the blades is too great to allow for close observation.

4. More On Mowers – In addition to keeping smaller kids indoors while an adult is mowing the lawn, it’s a good rule of thumb that those under the age of 13 be deemed too young to operate a mower. This rule can be flexible; you know your child’s abilities and level of responsibility best. However, be sure that they are well-informed about safety measures and instructed on proper operation.



5. Insist On Proper Footwear – Summertime might be flip-flop weather, but kids and adults alike should wear shoes that cover the entire foot and lace securely during lawn work. In addition to the chance of injury due to mishandled equipment, there are also a myriad of other things that can cause injury if stepped on.

6. Keep Kids Away From Chemicals – Though more and more parents are opting for organic or “green” lawn and garden solutions, it’s still important to treat all additives as if they’re potentially harmful and to keep kids entirely clear of traditional, chemical-based solutions.

7.  Store Everything Properly – At the end of a yard work session, kids should be instructed to return everything to its proper storage space. Rakes, hoes and shovels left lying in the lawn can be obscured and cause injury if stepped on.

8. Wear Proper Protective Clothing – Kids should wear protective gear to shield their eyes, close-fitting clothing that is less likely to be caught in any mechanical equipment, and plenty of sunscreen.

9. Stay Hydrated – Summer heat can be downright brutal in some places, so it’s important that kids know to stay well hydrated and to come inside if they feel overheated. These rules can also be applied to outdoor play.

10.No Horseplay Allowed – Kids are, by nature, prone to rough-housing and horseplay. They need to understand, however, that it isn’t allowed during lawn work. There are too many potentially-dangerous situations that arise from this sort of behavior when tools are involved.

Pi Day: 15 Kid-Friendly Recipes to Make Today


pie day recipes for kids

Today, Monday March 14 is Pi Day.  The date 3.14 represents the numerical value of pi, which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is approximately equal to 3.14159……  The numbers after the decimal never repeat and go on forever!

March 14 is generally recognized as a day worldwide when we geeks recognize and celebrate the mathematical phenomenon that is the  unique irrational number: Pi!
Pi has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century,
Pi day is  also a great day to celebrate, make, eat and be all about PIES!
Below, here are 14 Kid-Friendly recipes I curated that kids can easily make.
And if you are on a health kit, below that is a recipe from pie recipe from the kitchen of Viki Sater, founder of Viki’s Granola.
YUM! Enjoy! The Diet Resumes on Tuesday! (smile)


Check out Kid-Friendly Pie Recipes

by JJ Ghatt at Mode

Viki’s Granola Mixed Berry Crisp

berry crisp

Topping Ingredients:

• ¾ cups all-purpose flour

• ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar

• 1 cup Viki’s blueberry almond granola

• 1 stick unsalted butter

Filling Ingredients:

• 4 cups frozen mixed berries (don’t thaw)

• 1/3 cup of sugar

• 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


• Preheat oven to 375oF.

• Lightly butter oven safe ceramic bowl.

• Place topping ingredients into a bowl, working the butter into the granola mixture. Once complete, set aside.

• Place filling ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

• Pour the berry mixture into the buttered ceramic bowl.

• Pour granola mixture evenly on top of the berries.

• Bake for 40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling.

• Let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.

You Need Spring Break Activities; Here are 48 Online Kids Coding & Tech Programs


kids code

Spring break is coming up and parents all over the world may be looking for places to go, activities to do and things to keep their young children busy and occupied.

If you can squeeze it in, why not dedicate some time during the day or week for your kid to learn to code? There are tons of free or low cost programs online for babies through high schoolers.

Getting kids and young adults to code and get interested in tech is a big initiative these days.  Several dozen programs, clinics, camps, code academies and the like have opened up in real life and online recently with the goal of helping more young people get interested in coding and technology.

Here are 48 of such computer programming and hardware courses that are part of a wonderfully robust and full list of computer learning programs curated by Katie Williams.  These are available online.

Coding for Kids

This is How Parents can Increase their Child’s Self Esteem


It doesn’t take long for children to develop good or bad feelings about themselves.

A just-published study by researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences concluded that children have strong positive or negative self-esteem by age 5.

Great news for those who feel positive; not so good for those who suffer from a more negative personal view.

But parents know that even well-adjusted children can have moments of doubt about their appearance, their intelligence or their ability to make friends.

“Who hasn’t felt like less than adequate  at some point in our lives,” says Cathy Miller, a former foster mother who now serves as national spokeswoman for the UglySnuglies line of educational stuffed animals that help children discover they don’t have to be perfect to be loved.

“Being a foster parent taught me a true appreciation for how tender young people are and how easily and drastically their emotions can be damaged. I found that sometimes the simplest solutions can help children build strength, self-reliance and confidence.”

Whether it’s the successful feeling that comes from learning to read or the fears that are associated with being bullied at recess, children experience numerous positive and negative events that play a role in making them feel better or worse about themselves.

There are a number of ways adults can help children establish a positive self-esteem, Miller says, such as:

Praise them. Make sure when children do something well that you praise them for their good work. Thiscan help their confidence and encourage them to do more.

Let them help. Even a preschooler can do a few simple chores around the house, such as carrying their dirty clothes to the hamper or picking up their toys.

Allow them to make choices. Does the child need a new pair of shoes? Are there two possibilities fordinner this evening? Letting a child make choices, when appropriate, can make them feel more self-reliant and valued.

Miller grew up in a family with eight children and took on duties helping to care for her four youngest siblings. She says many people who raise children discover that a favorite toy, blanket or other object can help children feel more safe and secure – and ultimately better about themselves.

“I think that’s one of the reasons children are drawn to such toys as teddy bears and UglySnuglies,” she says. “For generations, stuffed animals have played a role in making children feel less lonely and frightened when it’s time to turn off the light at bedtime. They can snuggle up with their ‘friend’ and the world doesn’t seem as scary.”

Confidence is also important in improving self-esteem. That’s where the educational aspects of toys come in, Miller says, whether it’s the traditional Lincoln Logs that help stimulate children’s creativity, chemistry sets that allow them to experiment, or board games that teach them how to use strategy.

Children are like us, she says. As they learn, their confidence builds and their self-esteem rises.

“Because there is research showing our children’s self-esteem is being established even before they start school, shouldn’t we do all we can to make sure their self-esteem is positive?” Miller asks.

“All children deserve to feel good about themselves and to feel confident as they go about their daily lives. This not only allows them to be more productive youth, but arguably impacts the type of adult they will become.”

These Top 25 Spring-Inspired Names are the BEST!


Posted on March 4, 2016 by Ashley Eneriz


While some prefer the shining snow and comfortable fires of winter, spring boasts bright blooms, warm weather and beautiful names like Persephone and June to remind us of the delights of the season. MooseRoots curated a list of spring-inspired names and used data from the Social Security Administration to rank them from least to most popular.

#25. Primavera

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 12,063

Total Newborns in 2014: 6

Of Latin origins meaning “spring,” Primavera rests in obscurity, as only six baby girls received the name in 2014.

#24. Brigit 

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 11,037

Total Newborns in 2014: 9

The name Brigit, taken from the Irish goddess of spring, remains uncommon in the United States and earned the rank of 11,037 among baby girls.

#23. Neville

Gender: Male

Rank in 2014: 7,347

Total Newborns in 2014: 11

Neville, meaning “new village,” never hit its stride in the U.S., despite the popularity of the Harry Potter books and films over the past decade.

#22. Quan

Gender: Male

Rank in 2014: 5,381

Total Newborns in 2014: 17

The use of Quan, a Chinese name that means “spring (of water),” stagnated in recent years and ranked only No. 5,381 among baby boys in 2014.

#21. Pascal

Gender: Male

Rank in 2014: 4,620

Total Newborns in 2014: 21

Pascal, a name with Latin origins meaning “Easter,” was historically given to baby boys born around Passover. Only 21 babies in 2014 received the name, earning it the rank of 4,620.

#20. Aviv 

Gender: Male

Rank in 2014: 4,523

Total Newborns in 2014: 21

Aviv, a name with Hebrew origins meaning “spring,” ranked No. 4,523 among baby boys in 2014.

#19. Dawn

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 2,058

Total Newborns in 2014: 94

After reaching its peak in the 1970s, the name Dawn, an ostensible reference to the beauty and brightness of the time of day, drastically declined in popularity and ranked No. 2,058 among baby girls in 2014.

#18. Rain

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 1,952

Total Newborns in 2014: 102

Rain, a name that reminds us of the water sustaining the Earth, ranked No. 1,952 among baby girls born in 2014.

#17. Neo

Gender: Male

Rank in 2014: 1,660

Total Newborns in 2014: 92

Neo, a name with Greek roots meaning “new,” ranked No. 1,660 among baby boys in 2014.

#16. May

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 1,581

Total Newborns in 2014: 136

May, a pet form of Margaret or Mary, also conjures images of colored flowers and warm days. A name of increasing popularity, it ranked No. 1,581 in 2014 among baby girls.

#15. Clover

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 1,459

Total Newborns in 2014: 153

Clover, a name referencing the bright green clover plant, has experienced a dramatic increase in popularity, jumping from a rank of 11,733 in 1992 to 1,538 in 2012. In 2014, it ranked No. 1,459 among baby girls.

#14. Persephone

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 1,221

Total Newborns in 2014: 199

The name Persephone references the Greek goddess of the harvest, whose kidnapping led to an eternal winter. Hades promised to release her from the underworld for six months out of the year, and during those months, spring returned to the Earth. After years of increased popularity, the name ranked No. 1,221 among baby girls in 2014.

#13. Sunny

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 1,206

Total Newborns in 2014: 201

If there was a name that guaranteed a cheerful disposition, Sunny would undoubtedly be the one. The name has seen a stark increase in popularity recently and ranked No. 1,206 in 2014 among baby girls.

#12. Robin

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 1,125

Total Newborns in 2014: 223

A name referring to the orange-chested songbird, Robin has fallen in popularity in recent years and earned the rank of only 1,125 in 2014.

#11. Heath

Gender: Male

Rank in 2014: 930

Total Newborns in 2014: 226

Heath, a name that comes from the word meaning “uncultivated land,” has experienced a slow decline in popularity over the last decade.

#10. Demi

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 632

Total Newborns in 2014: 449

Demi, a name popularized by the actress Demi Moore, is an abbreviated form of the name Demeter, or the Greek goddess known for returning spring to the people of Earth upon the return of her daughter Persephone. Even at its peak, Demi never reached ubiquity and earned the rank of 632 among baby girls in 2014.

#9. April

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 406

Total Newborns in 2014: 790

April, a darling name and especially sweet for girls born in the springtime month, means “to open” and ranked No. 406 among baby girls in 2014.

#8. Skye

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 368

Total Newborns in 2014: 880

Skye, an unconventional way to spell “sky,” became increasingly popular in the 1970s, but peaked in 2014, ranking No. 368. In Scotland, however, the name ranked No. 36 among baby girls.

#7. June

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 317

Total Newborns in 2014: 1,039

June, meaning “young” and once a common choice in the 1930s, has dimmed in popularity when compared to April and May. After falling into disuse at the turn of the 21st century, the name has regained some of its former charm, ranking No. 317 in 2014.

#6. Rose

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 194

Total Newborns in 2014: 1,678

A name whose meaning comes from the famous flower, Rose has declined dramatically since its peak in the early 20th century, but has recently experienced a surge in use.

#5. Marcus

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 194

Total Newborns in 2014: 1,678

Although Marcus recently experienced a decline in use, this ancient Roman name remains a favorite among many parents. Though the name’s meaning is unclear, there is a possible connection with March, the month of the spring equinox.

#4. Kendall

Gender: Female

Rank in 2014: 131

Total Newborns in 2014: 2,432

Originally a surname or a boy’s name, Kendall is now a popular choice among baby girls born in the U.S. Meaning “valley on the river Kent” or “valley of the spring,” the name has remained fairly flat over the last few years.

#3. Jesus

Gender: Male

Rank in 2014: 111

Total Newborns in 2014: 3,504

Imbued with religious significance and meaning “God saves,” the name Jesus remains popular in the United States and elsewhere. In Spain, for example, Jesus ranked No. 46 among baby boys.

#2. Maxwell

Gender: Male

Rank in 2014: 107

Total Newborns in 2014: 3,703

Maxwell, which began as a Scottish surname meaning “great spring” or “stream,” is now a popular first name for baby boys, ranking No. 107 in 2014

#1. Owen

Gender: Male

Rank in 2014: 36

Total Newborns in 2014: 9,100

Owen, a name of Celtic origins meaning “lamb,” earned a place among the top 100 names of the United States and in Scotland in 2014.

Compare Other Baby Names on MooseRoo

Eco Friday: The Numbers behind Global Food Waste (INFOGRAPHIC)


Subconsciously, we waste food every day. Each time we take too large a heaping of mashed potatoes or extra servings we don’t eat, we wast food.  This casual disposal of leftover is common world wide and contributes to global food waste.

But there are things we can do to reduce waste like shopping responsibly and cooking in smaller portions. Here is an infographic that goes into the dilemma of food waste and offers suggestions on being a personal catalyst change agent.

food waste