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6 Ways to Get Your Child To Cooperate with You

cooperate

Children live in an adult world that requires patience, and has strict rules. They don’t always want to play along with the structure that is required for their parents to have a good and successful day. Tantrums are inevitable at times. But parents can arm themselves with some awareness tactics in advance to head off any problems in advance. Here are 6 ways to get your child to cooperate

1. Help map out the day as best you can for your child.  Often, parents have an idea of what the day will be like, but fail to communicate those plans to their child.  When possible, help her envision your day by communicating it with her either that morning or the night before.  Younger children will need this to be repeated, so it can help to recap it a few times.  It is true that plans might change, but changes will be easier if she knew what the plan was in the first place.

2. Give warnings when time is coming close for transitions to take place.  Children tend to live entirely in the present, so they are usually completely engrossed in the activity they are involved in at any given moment.  This is obvious for younger children, but is also true of older children.  By giving your child warnings when you need to leave in 10 minutes, your child can begin to finish with what she has started.  Timers can be a big help for these warnings for both you and your child.  A timer can not only keep you on track to follow through with the time you allotted, but will also give your child an auditory clue to listen for.

3. Provide your child with choices so that she feels in control of the situation to some degree. It is very difficult for your child to be at the mercy of the adults in her life.  Often times, the errands or activities she is being forced to participate in are not activities she would choose to do. You can ease this frustration by making small parts of the day her choice.  Small children do well with two or three choices.  “Do you want to wear the blue boots, the red shoes or the purple clogs?”  Older children can help you decide where you will go first or what music you will listen to along the way. Simple choices can make the difference between a cranky child who drags her feet and a cooperative child who does what is asked of her.  Giving teens the choice can relieve some of the pressure too.  “The garbage needs to go out before 6AM tomorrow.  Do you want to do it before you go to bed or early in the morning” You may know the most common sense option is to do it now and get it over with. But giving your child the option can ease the tension often felt by parents and teens.

4. Create excitement for the thing you are trying to get your child to cooperate in doing.  You might be so caught up in completing your to-do list that you forget to enjoy the process.  You are motivated to get the tasks complete because you can see the outcome.  Your child could not care less about that outcome, she just wants to have fun.  So if you want her to cooperate with you, you will need to bring a little fun to the to-do list.  If you are running errands, build a little fun break into every other stop.  If you are in the car for a long time, find some games to play, such as I-Spy or 20 questions. Help keep her mind going and you will find she is much more compliant.

5. Make sure all her physical needs are met before asking her to do something you know she will be resistant about. Is your child hungry, thirsty, tired, overstimulated, cold/hot or sick?  It is hard for adults to operate when they have these needs.  Your child will be understandably cranky when she needs food or has simply had too much.  Take a break and don’t expect your child to do too much.

6. Make sure your child has enough time for play in her day.  Parents today have a tendency to overschedule their children, filling their time with sports, art and other activities.  The thought is that an active mind is a healthy mind.  To a degree, this is true.  However, if the mind of a child is not given the opportunity to think creatively and freely, it will begin to shut down.  This is when children become easily agitated, inflexible and unsatisfied.  To ensure that you have a more cooperative and helpful child, make sure that your child is given enough time for free play both with you and by herself.

Parents dream of a child who gets her shoes on the first time they ask or takes the garbage out when it needs to go out.  Though it may not be possible for your child to do this with 100% accuracy, it is possible to improve her cooperation level.

First Time Parents to Be: The 10 Tasks You’ll Have to Master Before Baby Arrives

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Even if you have read all the books and been to all the classes, you cannot know exactly what it is like to be a parent until it actually happens. Every new parent encounters surprises and unexpected challenges. And while most of these challenges are easily overcome, they are quite serious given the fact that you now have a young human being’s life, comfort, and happiness in your hands. There is no reason to panic, though. Most new parents hit their stride within a couple of weeks, and the everyday tasks become second nature. But if you are preparing for the arrival of your first, here are ten tasks to be familiar with.

1. Feeding: If your baby will be breastfed, then this task falls largely upon the mother. However, there are numerous small things dad can do. He can bring the baby to the mother during those late night feedings. He can provide comfort and encouragement. He can also talk to the mother and attend to any of her needs while she is feeing. And if you will be feeding your baby formula, then obviously it is a job that mom and dad can share.

2. Bathing: Newborns do not need to be bathed very often as long as they are cleaned well with each diaper change. Since they are not yet crawling around on the floor or eating messy foods, they generally do not get dirty. There are a few ways to bathe newborns, the most popular ways being sponge bathing and bathing in special tubs for infants.

3. Shampooing: Many newborns are initially averse to being shampooed. We are used to it from doing it all our lives, so it is hard to imagine how strange it must feel to a baby. However, if you are gentle and use a tear-free shampoo, your baby should get used to it after just a couple of baths.

4. Burping: There are a few burping positions that tend to help babies get those air bubbles out of their stomachs. Holding the baby to your shoulder, face down on your lap, or sitting up on your knee are all common methods. All involve patting the baby gently on the back, though some babies need a little more firmness. With trial and error, you will find the best burping position for your baby.

5. Changing diapers: For new parents, the diaper-changing process is often the most daunting one, but within a week or two of having your baby you will be able to do it in your sleep (and sometimes this will not be too far from the truth). If you have all the supplies, including clean diapers, cotton balls, soft washcloths, clean clothes, and ointment or powder, the process becomes self-evident. Hopefully your childbirth class will take you through the process once or twice.

6. Dressing the baby: Getting the baby dressed is not quite as easy as one might think, because babies tend to move around, yet we must be gentle with them. That is why it is always a good idea to have loose baby clothes that can be taken off and put on easily.

7. Lifting and holding: When being held, babies like to be comfortable and fully supported. It takes time to adjust to the world outside the womb, so when carrying your baby, think of it this way: Your job is to make the baby warm and comfortable. Remember that her muscles are still undeveloped, and she needs help getting into a natural position.

8. Trimming nails: You will need special nail trimmers for babies. These are easy to find at any baby store or online. Most babies are born with long nails, and the nails grow surprisingly fast. Trim them every couple of days so that she does not accidentally scratch herself.

9. Swaddling: Babies love to be wrapped up tightly in a light blanket. This works for comforting babies who are crying, helping them get to sleep, and keeping them warm on cool days. Find a good set of instructions on swaddling the baby and practice a few times with a blanket and a doll.

10. Going out: Many new parents are surprised by how much anxiety they feel when going out with the baby for the first few times. Whether you are in a car or walking, there is just something strange about being out and about with a little one in tow. You will get used to it, though, and soon you will not think twice about it. Just make sure you have all your supplies on hand, including all your diaper-changing supplies, a change of clothes, a blanket, a pacifier, and baby sunscreen.

Get on it, parents!

 

The 10 Reasons Why It’s Not A Good Idea to ‘Let’ Your Kid Win at Sports

picnoi-soccer

I just came home from my kids’ sports banquet and one thing, I noticed is that there were special awards given to outstanding players and all kids didn’t get a trophy just for participating (they got certificates but not trophies). A big thing about this next generation of children is that they are growing up to expect an award for just showing up. In life, that’s not how it works. Therefore, it’s a great idea to start out showing your children the importance of trying hard.

Check out 10 reasons to not LET your child win a game.

  1. Win at all costs: Letting your child win once in a while isn’t going to hurt anything, but make sure they don’t know you are letting them win.  That will send the wrong message.  You don’t want your child to think that it’s okay to change the rules just so you can win or that winning is more important than following the rules.
  2. Lose gracefully: A very important lesson to teach your children is how to lose gracefully.  If you let your child know that it’s okay to lose as long as you tried your hardest they will learn how to lose gracefully.  They will lose at things from time to time, but it’s more important to handle defeat well.  Make sure that everyone congratulates the winner at the end of the game.
  3. Start on level ground: If you feel like you need to ‘let’ your child win at a game that means that maybe you weren’t on equal footing from the start.  You know how they give golfers a handicap?  You might want to spot your child a few points or set up the game so that everyone has an equal chance to win while still playing by the rules.
  4. Winning fairly feels great: Children are very smart and will spot that you are letting them win.  If this happens then you will be robbing your child of the thrill of victory.  When your child wins fair and square it will mean a lot more to them then having you let them win.
  5. Learning to compete: When you allow your child to play the game they will learn over time what to do and then they will start playing with strategy.  Strategy can be taught at a very early age and this knowledge will flow over into other aspects of their life.
  6. Entitlement issues: One of the biggest things I’ve seen with this generation is this ‘sense of entitlement’ that kids seem to have these days.  I wonder if it doesn’t stem back to taking away winning and losing at school, birthday parties, rec sports etc.  If you let them win then they will feel like everyone should do that and that they are entitled to win no matter how much effort they put forth.
  7. Improving skills: Losing will motivate your child to try harder next time and encourage them to practice and improve their skills so that next time they have a better chance at winning the game on their own.
  8. Focus on the joy of the game: If you focus on having fun during the game then it won’t matter who wins and who loses, just how much fun you had playing the game.  If you can teach your child to enjoy the ride then it will allow them not to take defeat too hard.
  9. Reality check: Kids will lose occasionally and that is just a fact of life.  Letting your child win does not prepare them for the real world.  I love to win and I’m pretty disappointed when I lose, but from an early age I had a taste of both.  Even at birthday parties, someone won the game of pin the tail on the donkey and we didn’t all go home with a prize.  These are the facts of life and the sooner kids learn that life is not fair the better off they will be.
  10. Play a variety of games:  Instead of rigging the game so that your child wins, why don’t you play different kinds of games?  There are games that stress playing as a team and everyone plays against the board instead of each other.  Or games of chance where rolling the dice or picking a card is just random chance and everyone has the same chance of winning.

Good luck, parents!



 

10 Ways to Grow An Entrepreneurial Child

Love this from our friends at by Babysitters.net. As an entrepreneur myself, I love having tips and ideas for arming my kids with the tools to follow in my footsteps. Very few people who work for someone else wind up rich or wealthy! It’s the business owners and entrepreneurs generally that do! Enjoy:

The world is filled with entrepreneurs, and it’s a good thing too! After all, where would we be without things like Velcro and disposable diapers? According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, of the over half a million requests for patents that were filed in 2010, over 244,000 were issued. Because entrepreneurs are how we continue to invent new products and services, it’s important to help create an environment that encourages our children to carry on in the same entrepreneurial spirit.

Check out 10 ways to spark the entrepreneurial spirit and fan the flame of creativity in your own child.

Encourage her ideas. Build up her confidence. Brainstorm with her if she comes to you with an idea for something she could do. Ask her questions and help her to come up with her own answers.

Never tell him something won’t work. Instead of telling him that there’s no way a lemonade stand will work in front of your house because there’s no traffic, help him come to his own conclusion. By responding negatively to his ideas he could feel defeated and like his ideas are unworthy. According to Mimi Doe, parenting expert and author of 10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting, parents need to be careful with what they say because words have the ability to lift a child’s spirit or crush it.

Expose your child to other entrepreneurial kids. Head to the library and look up books that contain information about kids who have started their own business and been successful. Ask around and see if there are any entrepreneurial kids in your area that she could speak with.

Help with a lemonade stand. He has seen other kids on TV having lemonade stands and making money, and he wants in on the action. If he comes to you with the idea of a lemonade stand go with it. Don’t squash his excitement. Help him make the lemonade and devise his pricing and marketing model to show your support.

Let your child make mistakes. Parents often want to save kids from making mistakes, but mistakes are how everyone learns. You can’t protect your children from everything. If she sits at lemonade stand for a while and doesn’t sell anything, she will wonder why. When she asks, don’t just answer directly. Again, ask her questions like, “Do you see very many people walking past your stand? How do people know you are here?” She will figure out that she either needs to move or put up a sign directing people to her.

Teach your child about cost versus profit. Once he has had a taste of success and made some money, now comes the challenging part. Explain to him how much it costs to make lemonade and serve it to the public in a cup with ice. Help him do the math, if necessary,

need to be careful with what they say because words have the ability to lift a child’s spirit or crush it.

Expose your child to other entrepreneurial kids. Head to the library and look up books that contain information about kids who have started their own business and been successful. Ask around and see if there are any entrepreneurial kids in your area that she could speak with.

Help with a lemonade stand. He has seen other kids on TV having lemonade stands and making money, and he wants in on the action. If he comes to you with the idea of a lemonade stand go with it. Don’t squash his excitement. Help him make the lemonade and devise his pricing and marketing model to show your support.

Let your child make mistakes. Parents often want to save kids from making mistakes, but mistakes are how everyone learns. You can’t protect your children from everything. If she sits at lemonade stand for a while and doesn’t sell anything, she will wonder why. When she asks, don’t just answer directly. Again, ask her questions like, “Do you see very many people walking past your stand? How do people know you are here?” She will figure out that she either needs to move or put up a sign directing people to her.

Teach your child about cost versus profit. Once he has had a taste of success and made some money, now comes the challenging part. Explain to him how much it costs to make lemonade and serve it to the public in a cup with ice. Help him do the math, if necessary, and ask him if he made enough money to pay for the ingredients that went into his lemonade. If not then you can talk about why that is and what he can do to change that. Alyson Schafer, parenting expert and psychotherapist, says that parents should take any opportunity to teach their children about the value of money.

 

These are the Top 3 Boy & Girl Names 2016 Expecting Moms Plan to Name their Babies

top baby names

If you are expecting this years and want your child to stand out in Kindergarten and not have to share a name with one, two or three other kids in his class, then don’t give him one of these names.

Glow, a community of expecting, new and veteran parents with 150,000 pregnancies under their belt, polled members asking what they planned to name their children who were expected to be delivered this year, 2016.

Liam came in number one among boys and Charlotte was the most common among girls.

Could Charlotte be a nod to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton’‘s daughter? And Lucas and Leia were among the top 4. A nod to Star Wars, perhaps?

Here are the top vote -getters:

Boy:

  1. Liam – 53.87%
  2. Lucas – 16.73%
  3. Ethan – 16.38%

Girl:

  1. Charlotte – 30%
  2. Sophia – 28.20%
  3. Emma – 21.06%
  4. Leia – 14.79% (included because of the Star Wars link and we love Star Wars)

6 Ways to Get Your Kid to Eat His Dinner Without Bribing Him with Dessert

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Getting your picky little eater to clean his plate can be a tricky task. In the end, you might cave and tell him he can have a bowl of ice cream or a cupcake if he finishes everything on his plate, effectively bribing him to eat the healthier parts of dinner. Next time he tests you by not eating those green beans, try these tips for getting him to eat his dinner without angling the promise of dessert before him.

1. Turn It Into A Game Kids love to play games, so why not turn dinner into a game? True, the saying goes, “Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to play with your food?” but if the food is getting eaten in the process, then what’s the harm?

For the baby, there’s always the train, the airplane and making yummy noises. The older child, on the other hand, who knows he does not want what’s on his plate, is a different story altogether. For his more complex mind, you need a more complex game.

You don’t want to go overboard with something like “who can fit the most food in their mouth” because that can lead to choking or spitting the food out, and no one wants to touch it after that. Instead, consider something along the lines of “for every bite Johnny takes, Sally needs to take two” and then reverse it for the next portion of food so it’s fair. Johnny will want to see Sally having to take two bites and vice versa. Your kids are playing a game, and next thing you know, their food is disappearing, and not into a napkin in their laps.

2. If You Do It, I’ll Do It Another fun way to encourage your kids to clean their plates is to combine your plate with theirs. Say she doesn’t like eating her peas; maybe you should eat her peas with her. Sit next to each other with enough food for both of you, then say something along the lines of “If you eat a pea, I’ll eat one, too,” or whatever version of that works best for you. It might take some finesse, but you’ll figure it out as you go.

3. Reheat It Sometimes in their desire not to eat the food, your kids may let the food sit on their plate for an extended period of time. Now it’s cold and disgusting. Forcing them to eat the rest of the chicken is torture for them because the chicken is now getting a little slimy or has dried out and is cold; instead of forcing them to eat it at its current temperature, nuke it in the microwave so that it’s deliciously warm again. Do not make them sit at the table until they finish it all and then walk out of the room. That is how food ends up in the napkin and therefore in the trash instead of in your child’s stomach.

4. Leave It Be Kids can be stubborn. Everyone knows that. So, sometimes, their plates may just go uneaten, and that’s okay! While this is not a great solution in the long run because no one wants to starve their children, it can be a good solution for a short term problem. As long as you don’t give in to giving them dessert, they will probably become hungry again later in the night and ask for a bowl of popcorn or a slice of cake. Instead of giving in and allowing them to eat that dessert, offer them the reheated plate they left on the dinner table. If they still don’t want it, then they just won’t have anything else that night.

5. Ask Them to Save You Some Because It’s Your Favorite This might only work with strangers kids or if you have grandkids now instead of your own young ones. But, it’s worth a shot anyway. It’s that whole reverse psychology thing that can either work like a charm or fail dismally. If your child does not want to eat her potatoes, try asking her to save you some because it’s your favorite. She might just devour the rest of those potatoes, saving you not a scrap.

6. Finish Your Plate It is impossible to convince a child he should clear his plate when you haven’t even cleared yours. If it’s allergies that keeps you from eating all your dinner, then try to explain that to your child in a way that makes him see that it’s not just an excuse to get out of eating that broccoli. If, however, you do not finish your dinner because you’re not hungry or you don’t actually like the food, but you know it’s healthy for your child, be sure he does not see that you did not finish it. If he sees that your plate still has food, he will use whatever excuse you use for not clearing it, and he will know that you’ll have no solid argument against it.

Good luck parents!

Reposted with permission from ParttimeNanny.org

10 Places to Celebrate Your Baby’s 1st Birthday Party



The first birthday is usually a big one for new parents. If there is one milestone that is celebrated in a big way, it’s the first birthday.

Here are 10 ideas of places where you should consider throwing your infant’s celebration.

1.Botanical Gardens – It’s never too early to instill a love of the outdoors in a child. Most cities have botanical gardens, and most of those gardens have a dedicated area for kids to play and explore. Contacting the botanical garden nearest you is the best way to figure out their policies and the logistics of staging a first birthday party in such a lush, magical place.

2. Crafts Studios – Your baby might only be a year old, but he can smear paint on a surface with the best of them. When he’s done and the party has wrapped up, you’ll have a keepsake to remind you of the occasion for years to come.

3. Indoor Playgrounds – Kids with birthdays in the winter months aren’t usually able to enjoy an outdoor celebration, unless they’re budding ice skaters or snowboarders. When your little one reaches her first birthday during wintertime, hauling her friends to an indoor playground can be a great way to encourage physical activity without risking frost bite.

4. Kid-Themed Restaurants – Every city has at least one kids-only eatery. Parents may not love the pizza and shouting, but these places are heaven for kids. Your little one may be too small to attack the arcade games with fervor, but she will probably still be entranced with the animatronic shows and costumed mascots wandering around.

5. Ice Cream Shoppes – Everyone loves ice cream. From the little ones in your entourage to the oldest member of the party, everyone is sure to be thrilled with an ice cream party. Some shoppes even encourage kids to get creative, building their own wild sundaes and choosing offbeat toppings.

6. Parks – Those pavilions at your local playground can usually be rented or even reserved free of charge for parties, depending on the municipal policies in your area. While older kids run and play to their heart’s content, adults and very young children can enjoy the shade and shelter of a pavilion before the cake is cut and presents are distributed.

7. Aquariums – The sights and sounds of an aquarium are entrancing for kids of all ages, even those who are just turning a year old. There may even be special programs offered by your local aquarium for birthday parties, so make sure that you contact the administrative office to find out what your options are.

8. Zoos – There’s no upper or lower age limit on loving the zoo. Most even have smaller petting zoo areas inside to encourage hands-on interaction with domesticated animals! A zoo birthday party is a great way to encourage curiosity about animals and natural sciences in your little guests, while providing plenty of celebratory fun.

9. Amusement Parks – The idea of strapping your one-year-old into a rollercoaster is probably repellent, but there’s more to most amusement parks than adrenaline-rush rides for thrill seekers and daredevils. Most amusement parks have an area of smaller, more sedate rides for infants, toddlers and small children. Booking a birthday party at an amusement park near you will allow your little guest of honor to cruise around on a slow-moving train or bob along in a tiny boat to celebrate his special day!

10. Home – Birthday parties can very quickly become prohibitively expensive, and they’ll only get more extravagant as your child gets older. When he’s still so small and not likely to remember his party, there’s nothing wrong with hosting a smaller celebration with a more intimate gathering of friends and loved ones. Hosting your child’s first birthday at home allows him to stay in a comfortable, familiar environment while everyone crows about how handsome he is and how much he’s grown.

10 Places to Celebrate Your Baby’s 1st Birthday

 



The first birthday is usually a big one for new parents. If there is one milestone that is celebrated in a big way, it’s the first birthday. 

Here are 10 ideas of places where you should consider throwing your infant’s celebration.

1.Botanical Gardens – It’s never too early to instill a love of the outdoors in a child. Most cities have botanical gardens, and most of those gardens have a dedicated area for kids to play and explore. Contacting the botanical garden nearest you is the best way to figure out their policies and the logistics of staging a first birthday party in such a lush, magical place.

2. Crafts Studios – Your baby might only be a year old, but he can smear paint on a surface with the best of them. When he’s done and the party has wrapped up, you’ll have a keepsake to remind you of the occasion for years to come.

3. Indoor Playgrounds – Kids with birthdays in the winter months aren’t usually able to enjoy an outdoor celebration, unless they’re budding ice skaters or snowboarders. When your little one reaches her first birthday during wintertime, hauling her friends to an indoor playground can be a great way to encourage physical activity without risking frost bite.

4. Kid-Themed Restaurants – Every city has at least one kids-only eatery. Parents may not love the pizza and shouting, but these places are heaven for kids. Your little one may be too small to attack the arcade games with fervor, but she will probably still be entranced with the animatronic shows and costumed mascots wandering around.

5. Ice Cream Shoppes – Everyone loves ice cream. From the little ones in your entourage to the oldest member of the party, everyone is sure to be thrilled with an ice cream party. Some shoppes even encourage kids to get creative, building their own wild sundaes and choosing offbeat toppings.

6. Parks – Those pavilions at your local playground can usually be rented or even reserved free of charge for parties, depending on the municipal policies in your area. While older kids run and play to their heart’s content, adults and very young children can enjoy the shade and shelter of a pavilion before the cake is cut and presents are distributed.

7. Aquariums – The sights and sounds of an aquarium are entrancing for kids of all ages, even those who are just turning a year old. There may even be special programs offered by your local aquarium for birthday parties, so make sure that you contact the administrative office to find out what your options are.

8. Zoos – There’s no upper or lower age limit on loving the zoo. Most even have smaller petting zoo areas inside to encourage hands-on interaction with domesticated animals! A zoo birthday party is a great way to encourage curiosity about animals and natural sciences in your little guests, while providing plenty of celebratory fun.

9. Amusement Parks – The idea of strapping your one-year-old into a rollercoaster is probably repellent, but there’s more to most amusement parks than adrenaline-rush rides for thrill seekers and daredevils. Most amusement parks have an area of smaller, more sedate rides for infants, toddlers and small children. Booking a birthday party at an amusement park near you will allow your little guest of honor to cruise around on a slow-moving train or bob along in a tiny boat to celebrate his special day!

10. Home – Birthday parties can very quickly become prohibitively expensive, and they’ll only get more extravagant as your child gets older. When he’s still so small and not likely to remember his party, there’s nothing wrong with hosting a smaller celebration with a more intimate gathering of friends and loved ones. Hosting your child’s first birthday at home allows him to stay in a comfortable, familiar environment while everyone crows about how handsome he is and how much he’s grown. 

How to Throw a Halloween Party on a Budget



There’s no need to break the bank when it comes to throwing your next kids’ Halloween party.  By using items you already have around the house you can throw a killer party without spending a ton of money, and making your own snacks and beverages can also help you cut back on the expenses.  The kids will have a blast and you will be a Halloween hero, without going broke.
Theme Deciding on a theme can help you tie all of the party details together. Here are a few kid friendly themes worth considering.
  • Ghouls and Goblins: Place tombstones in the yard for decorations, wrap hotdogs in dough and bake them to look like mummies and serve punch out of a caldron.
  • Witches and Fairies: Sprinkle glitter on table cloths and serve witch fingers and witch’s brew.
  • Nutty Professor: Put out assorted jars filled with food coloring in water, make invitations in the shape of a beaker and serve drinks in test tubes.
  • Hogwarts: Line the table with white owls and fake snow and make pretzel stick wands that can be decorated and then eaten.
Invitations Tie the invitations into the theme to help set the mood for the party and let the parents know what type of costumes the kids should wear.  By making your own invitations you can have something that is both unique and inexpensive. Here are some ideas for simple invitations you can make at home.
  • Tombstone Invitations: Using some gray cardstock, cut out the shape of a tombstone.  Using a black ink pad rub the edges of the tombstone to create an aged, dirty look.  Put a big RIP on the front and the rest of the party information inside.
  • Fairy wing invitations: Cut out the shape of a pair of wings.  Write the details of the party on the wings.  Take some vellum and cut out the same wing shape and attach it to the top with a brad.  Use plenty of glitter for the fairies.
  • Witch’s broom invitations: Cut out the shape of the bristle part of a broom in a yellow or mustard color and print the details to the party on it.  Attach a craft stick or a cut down skewer to the back of the bristle portion.  Tie a black bow around the broom handle and you’re done.
Decorations Use things you have around the house that go with your theme.  Drape the furniture with white sheets for a spooky, abandoned look.  Fill recycled jars with water and food coloring; float various things in them like a plastic frog or plastic eye balls and cover dessert tables with black plastic table cloths from the dollar store.
Games – Play games that kids love, but add a Halloween twist to them.  Almost any game can be made into a Halloween game.
  • Monster Mash: Play fun Halloween inspired music and have the kids play freeze dancing.  Whenever the music stops they have to freeze in their spot.  If they move they have to sit out until the next song.
  • Flashlight tag: Supply everyone with inexpensive flashlights and let them chase each other around the back yard.  A variation could be to hide glow in the dark items and have everyone hunt for them.
  • Bobbing for apples: Float apples in water and have players try to grab an apple out of the water using nothing but their mouths.
  • Spooky Bingo: Set up the normal bingo cards, but use miniature bat cut-outs to cover the spaces, or go online and print out Halloween inspired game cards.  Light some battery operated candles and play by candlelight.  Turn on some spooky music and call out the numbers using a creepy voice.
Food Choose food that the kids already like and dress it up for Halloween.  For example, you could take PB&J sandwiches and cut them out with a pumpkin cookie cutter, and then use a food safe black marker to draw jack-o-lantern face on it.  Serve bat or witch hat shaped cookies or brownies.  Give items on the party menu a creepy name by putting place cards in front of all of the food.  A bowl of grapes could be called, “Green Eyeballs,” for example and a bowl of candy corn could be called, “Witches teeth”.  Freeze some water or fruit juice in a plastic glove and then float it in green punch for some eerie fun.  Sprinkle in some creepy crawly decorations in and around the food trays.
Favors Wrap candy bars with strips of medical tape to look like mummies.  Leave an opening to put in a couple of big googly eyes. Kids will have fun no matter what they are doing so don’t stress out too much over party details.  Create some suspense with the invitations, set the mood with the decorations and music, and feed them fun, creepy food and you will have happy kids.  Use your imagination and ask your kids what they want to do.  You might be surprised to learn what kind of fun ideas they have.
reprint compliments of FullTimeNanny

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10 Ways to Encourage Early Reading in Your Child

child become a reader bellyitchblog.com

It’s back to school time but independent reading continues to be something all children should be doing on a daily basis. Reading is a fundamental skill that all children master eventually. Each child learns at their own pace and parents need to be patient, however, there are things that you can do to foster and nurture healthy reading habits in your child. 4Nannies.com shared these 10 with us for you to consider:

1. Visit the library – The library is a magical place for children! Help your child register for her own library card so that she can check out books independently. This independence will allow her to choose the books she’d like to read and help her become responsible for taking care of those treasures. Encourage her to look for books she is interested in, show her where to ask for help if she can’t find something and allow her to make her own choices.

2. Read to and with your child daily – About 30 minutes of reading per day is what is recommended to encourage healthy reading habits in your child. Start at a young age by reading to your child and then gradually transition to him reading out loud to you. The reading doesn’t have to be done all at once, but can be broken up into smaller, more manageable slices of time.

3. Role model at home – Children who see the adults around them engaging in reading are more likely to follow your example.

4. Write short notes to your child – Put them in lunch boxes, backpacks or leave them on the counter for your child to read. You can write about anything; tell her that you love her, leave her a small fact to read or even write down her chores for her!

5. Ask open-ended questions about the story that you are reading – Asking your child open-ended questions will encourage him to think about what is going to happen next in the story and to put together what has already happened. Ask him how he’d have the story end or to predict what he thinks will happen next in the story. Once you read more of the story, look back on your discussion and compare his thoughts to the actual story line.

6.  context to check vocabulary words – Throughout your life you use context to check the meaning of words you don’t know, so encourage your child to do the same. It’s an essential life skill.

7. Practice writing skills – Reading and writing go hand in hand because you learn one while you are learning the other! Have your child practice sounding out words while she is writing, encourage her to create her own story with illustrations and have her write letters to people in your family (and have others write back to her!).

8. Let them pick the books that they read – Giving your child ownership of the books he chooses will mean that he is more involved in the reading process from the beginning. Encourage him to read the classics as well, but let him pick out what he is interested in reading.

9. Make reading fun – While you are reading together have her act out stories, recreate them or illustrate them how she thinks it should be done!

10. Play reading related games – Choose games that require reading to play together. Games that involve word play (Scrabble or Boggle), games with cards that you read (Fluxx or Pictionary) or games that require you to read spaces (Life or Monopoly) all encourage children to read independently while playing.

It’s important to remain patient and calm during the learning to read process with a young child, help him when he needs help, but stand back and allow him to navigate the words on his own as much as possible. Eventually the day will come that you are sitting side by side on the sofa, each reading your own books, and all that effort and hard work will pay off.