Monday, October 29, 2007

Stimulate Your Toddler's Motor Skills with an Indoor Soft Play Climber

It can be frustrating being a toddler. You've just learned to run, jump, dance and you have boundless energy that runs it. But you aren't aware of danger. But mom and dad and caregivers are. Don't do this, don't do that.... If you have a day care or run a pre-school you want to keep those little ones busy but safe.

A great toy to have on hand for both your own energetic toddlers as well as visiting little ones for the upcoming holiday season is the Toddler Pyramid Play Center. This fun play center has Velcro fasteners to hold this unique climber together as one solid piece. It fits neatly in corner floor space and needs about 60 x 72-inches of space to ensure safe use. There are mirrors that are sold separately so kids can make faces and watch themselves, jump roll and slide to their heart's content.

Little ones from 6 months to 4 years of age will have a blast pulling up, climbing, jumping and sliding down this fun pyramid. This toy encourages group play, cooperation and imaginative play.
Also, having a toy around to keep the little ones entertained when they get tired of playing other games will keep them from disrupting holiday gatherings and ensure they have as good of a time during their visit as everyone else.

It's hard to be a toddler, show you understand and have a fun toy around that not only is great for physical activity, but will teach waiting to take turns and other group play and social skills.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween Safety Tips

If you choose to celebrate Halloween, make sure you do it safely. Use these tips to ensure your kids have a safe and spookerific Halloween.

First of all, choose your child's costume wisely. Avoid costumes that have full face covering masks. They are difficult for children to see out of and your child could wind up tripping over an unseen object or worse, not seeing an oncoming car when crossing the street. Opt for face paint, or costume effects such as a single eye patch, funky glasses or other add ons that won't impair vision.

Next, if your child is going trick or treating, younger children should go in a group that is supervised by at least one adult and older children should always go out in a group. Houses without lights on are to be left alone. Houses with Halloween decor that are lit are usually welcoming trick or treaters.

"Please" and "Thank You" should not be forgotten just because your child is someone else for an evening. Tell your child to be sure to say, "Thank you" for any treats they get. Also, tell your child not to munch on any candy until they get back. It's not likely one of your neighbors is attempting to harm your child with candy, but check everything in their treat bag to make sure it's wrapped and safe to eat.

If trick or treating isn't an option in your area, many malls and schools provide save havens for trick or treat parties where there are games, goodies and all their friends are gathered in costume having fun.

Halloween was meant to be fun and you can keep it that way be teaching your kids the safety basics and make sure if it's not yourself, another responsible adult is with your kids on Halloween. Have a safe and Boo-tiful night!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Does Your Child Love to Cook?

From the time your child is a toddler, there is usually a real interest in helping in the kitchen. Both boys and girls love to "cook".

There are so many jobs your little one can't help with in the kitchen, they love it when you can come up with chores they can do. Not only is this a wonderful way to bond with your child, it's also a great way to teach the basics they will carry throughout their lives.

You can let your little one wipe off the counter top and wash his hands before you let him roll out dough with a rolling pin and explain that germs we can't see can live on counter tops and on our hands so it's very important to wash them off before we touch food because those germs can make us sick. It's also a great way of reiterating why we wash our hands before eating and your child will really start to understand what all the fuss about clean hands was about.

When you're making an afternoon snack such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or even cheese and crackers with fruit let your child help. Getting out the bread and putting it up, spreading peanut butter or using the butter knife and "cutting" the sandwich in either triangles or squares (whichever he likes best) are all ways your little one can help.

You can also get your little one a pretend play cooking set of his own and even set him a place in the corner of your kitchen so he can "cook" right along with you. Add in some pretend food items and you'll see your good kitchen lessons in action, especially when your child reminds his teddy bear, "to wash his hands before eating".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Do You Use Time Out for Discipline?

How you discipline your child is a very personal thing. There are parents that spank their children when they have a naughty moment, a small number of parents that subscribe to the "hot saucing" of children as punishment and other parents use the "time out" method where the child sits down and has some time out of doing anything for a little while and usually the parent talks to the child about why they are in time out and why it's not okay to pull the cat's tail, snatch a toy away from a playmate or get up and run around the table at dinner. Reinforcing good behavior and taking your child immediately out of situations where he can misbehave is a great way to quell the unwanted behavior without raising your own blood pressure in the process.

Toddlers especially don't have a lot of self control, the temptation to touch, pull and grab is just too great sometimes and you may feel as though your child's name is actually "No" because you have to tell him or her not to touch, not to run or not to do other things that could get your child hurt.

Even one whole minute of sitting in a time out chair can seem like an eternity for a young child full of energy. You can help your child learn even during those time out times by using a helper like the Time's Up Time Out Frog. He's a plush froggie with a timer on the front and your child can see time as it's ticking by. Your child will quickly learn what 3 minutes looks like on the clock and you can set the time for up to 60 minutes. In addition to the inevitable time out times, you can also use this frog and set the timer so you child can see how many toys he can put away in one minute or if you have a group of kids arguing over one toy, set the timer so each child gets a turn until the timer goes off and then they pass it to the next child and the timer is reset.

And those are just a few ways you can utilize a timer to help your children understand length of time and recognize time as more than just numbers on the clock.

Friday, October 12, 2007

From the Ground Up

Perhaps you've heard the expression "from the ground up" and the many different things it can mean or situations that it may refer to. Let's add another meaning, actually a very literal meaning, when it comes to children.

Children spend a lot of time on the floor so it kind of makes sense to start there when beginning education or instruction. When something is on their level both literally and figuratively they tend to comprehend it quicker. So, while they are down there make the most of it by giving them something educational and fun to play on.

Or, more specifically, Educational Carpets that are fun and help kids learn. Some of these classroom style carpets have playing fields to challenge your friends to games like chess, checkers, Chinese checkers, tic-tac-toe, Parcheesi, Backgammon and even hopscotch. Other carpets have the alphabet, the numbers 1 – 10 and math symbols. These carpets are stain resistant and meet class one fire ratings. They come in several sizes and one is sure to be perfect for your needs.

This type of play is great for kids as they do not see it as learning, to them it is just fun. As an adult you know that it is a trusted product and fun for your child. You will probably enjoy playing “from the ground up” as much as they will.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Imaginations at Work

If you happen to hear something similar to "yo ho ho and a bottle of rum" coming from inside your child's room, don't panic, he is just pretending to be a pirate.

Pretend play is probably one of their favorite activities and more than likely it is the same for the parents or caregivers because it gives you an inside peek at the fascinating mind of a child. Imagination rules a child's playtime which is great and should be encouraged while they are young because the real world comes far too quickly in their life.

It's not uncommon to hear someone tell a child to grow up and while, yes it is a necessary step in their development it should not come too soon. Nor should it happen all at once. It should be a gradual process, helping them to adjust to this new world of reality and responsibility. This can be accomplished in any number of ways, perhaps beginning with small age (and size) appropriate chores or jobs.

Do not get frustrated when he seems like he comprehends everything you are trying to teach one day and the next its back to what? This is very normal and expected since their attention span is often very short for a number of years. Just be patient, he will eventually understand what is expected of him and will also begin to learn why these lessons are important.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Holiday Cooking With Your Kids

You know just how much you always wanted to cook with your mother or your grandmother as a child each and every time they were hard at work in the kitchen. The smells of something delicious baking in the oven were enough to draw you in. However, once you caught a glimpse of what they were putting together, you couldn't help but want to join in.

As your children begin to grow and explore around the kitchen, there are going to be times when they will want to get right in there and help with the cooking just like you did. For these times, you might want to set aside little projects that they can help you with. Simple cookie recipes are always nice when the holiday season rolls around, or they can even help you put together some delicious decorate chocolates. Either way, this will be the starting point for the kinds of cooking skills that your children will carry on with them as they grow into teenagers and then to adults.

The Little Farm House Table & Chair Set is a delightful selection of furniture that you can have in your kitchen for your children to use when they are helping you cook and create. Either use while they are mixing and kneading or even let them sit down and reap the rewards of all of their efforts after they are finished helping you. Holiday goodies and the perfect place to enjoy them are the best ways to create special moments of bonding that you can cherish for a lifetime.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bring The Fall Season Into Your Children's Artwork

Before the weather begins to get too chilly, think about taking your kids outside to enjoy some of the crisp, fresh fall weather to paint and enjoy other crafts. This is such a wonderful time of year, especially because all of the leaves are beginning to change color and there are so many vibrant, wonderful things to look at outside. Taking the time to share this season with your children can be an incredible experience that you can share and make amazing memories that you can cherish forever.

Kids really enjoy getting involved and taking on projects with a hands-on approach. Instead of having them sit inside to create, take it one step further and bring their art supplies and easel or table outdoors where they can get up close and personal with the changing weather and all of the beautiful colors of the fall season.

Art Kits are perfect to take outside with them to use on their table or easel to capture some of the good stuff that fall has to offer. Use the non-toxic paints to help the kids paint the backsides of leaves and then press them onto paper. You can even have them take a pencil or crayon to outline leaves on paper and then color them in with water colors, paints and crayons.

Because there are so many different things to see and enjoy while you are outside with your kids, the possibility for craft projects are endless. You might just find that this will be a regular ritual that you will enjoy with your kids every time this season rolls around.