Children are natural gardeners. Kids are curious, they learn best by doing and love to play in the dirt. They will not only learn new skills while making sure that the plants get enough fertilizer, water and sun but they will develop a sense of mindfulness. Concepts learned while gardening, like composting food scraps for fertilizer or using gathered rainwater, can show kids a deep respect and responsibility for taking care of our planet.
And in the age of electronics, kids need meaningful family connections. Planning a garden, planting the seeds and watching them grow give kids a sense of purpose and responsibility while teaching team building and promoting communication skills. Furthermore, a number of studies show that when children have contact with soil during activities like digging and planting, they have improved moods, better learning experiences and decreased anxiety. Most important, the self-esteem and excitement a child feels from eating a vegetable or gifting a flower that he grew himself is priceless.
“Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.” - Rbert Brault
Set your kids up for success with these gardening tips!
Give them serious tools. Do not give your kids cheap plastic child's gardening tools. These are worse than having no tools at all because they will break and create frustration. Find good work gloves that fit a small hand. With some garden tools, like a hoe or spade, you can easily saw the handle shorter. Consider even letting them use your tools to show the importance of the work they're doing.
Start from seeds. While it's a convenient shortcut with starter kits, children will learn best by seeing the growing process from beginning, the seed. The care given to sprouting seeds and nurturing the young seedling are a valuable part of the gardening experience.
Cheat a little. Depending on the age of the child, you may need to help out a little 'behind the scene'. Not every garden task is pleasant or fun, and the child may not be ready at all times for all the necessary tasks. You may need to go out in the evening to pick a few slugs off the lettuce, or be the one to run out and move the sprinkler.
Show off their work. Give a 'garden tours' to visitors. Take photos of their progress and send it to their grandparents. The attention you give to their work is a big motivator for them to stay involved with the entire growing process.
What To Plant in a Kid's Garden
Here are 5 crops perfect for a child’s garden--- relatively easy to grow, have short growing seasons and are fun to harvest.
Growing season is 50-75 days. Plant in full sun and use seedlings rather than planting from seed. Put in a 2' stake alongside each seedling; they need to be tied loosely to stakes as they get taller. Add lots of compost. Water at ground level, trying to keep leaves dry. Can also be grown in containers.
The seeds will germinate in 7-10 days; growing season is 40-50 days. A quick and reliable crop to give the child fast results, and also a good way to interest kids in salads. Lettuce likes part shade; keep soil moist especially during the first two weeks. You can grow 'head' (space 8" apart) or 'leaf' (space 4" apart) varieties; the leaf varieties will mature sooner, about 30-35 days.
Known as a 'never-fail' crop. You can plant red or white varieties but red will mature faster. Cut seed potatoes into chunks with at least 2 'eyes' per. Plant in furrows, about 12-15" apart, with eyes pointing upward. Mound soil up around plant as it grows; harvest when plant collapses.
A quick-growing crop, and fun for kids to eat right off the vine. They take about 10 days to germinate and mature in about 60 days. Peas prefer cool, shady locations. They should be planted about 1" apart at most. Snow peas are popular because the pod is edible.
A must for a child's garden. They will sprout in 1 week, become a small seedling in 2 weeks, and should be 2' tall in a month. In about 8 weeks, they will begin revealing hundreds of seed kernels. They will dry naturally in the late summer sun; the seeds, rich in protein and iron, can be roasted for snacks that kids can enjoy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MANDY CARTER
Mandy manages the South Florida and SWFL Communities of Housewives In the City. She is mother of two who loves to travel, shop and try new cocktails. In addition to planning events and blogging for Housewives In The City, she is a published writer, working model, freelance marketer and family travel blogger at Acupful.com.
March is National Nutrition Month, which is a time to shed some light on our food choices and how we can develop some sound eating and physical activity habits. The health professionals seem to agree that American families desperately need both of them. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 21% of adolescents are considered obese, and over 17% of kids ages 6-11 are. This is a number that has continued to rise, despite the health problems that obesity can lead to.
“With so many processed and convenience foods available, so many families have lost sight of the connection between food and health. While many of these foods seem to fit in our busy schedule they may be setting us up for chronic diseases later on. Diet-related diseases like coronary artery disease often start in early childhood,” says Dr. Nimali Fernando, a Fredericksburg, Virginia-based pediatrician who founded The Doctor Yum Project. “It’s important for families to make their health a priority through healthy eating and being physically active. Parents hold the key to making this happen, by being role models providing a culture of wellness in the home.”
One major problem that is plaguing kids today is the amount of added sugar that they are consuming. The CDC reports that Americans are consuming too much sugar, which can lead to health problems such as weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. They estimate 2-19 year-olds are consuming an average of 16% of their daily calories from “added sugars” (sugars and syrups that have been added to foods and beverages when they are prepared).
In addition to cutting back on the added sugar, there are numerous other ways that parents can help create healthy family habits, including:
Dr. Fernando and Heidi DiEugenio are two of the original founders of The Doctor Yum Project, an organization with the mission of transforming the lives of families and communities by providing an understanding of the connection between food and overall health, as well as empowering them with the tools to live a healthy life. The project offers free online tools to help families make healthier meals, healthy cooking classes, child nutrition classes, cooking camps for kids, hands-on cooking instruction for families, first foods classes, and a teaching garden, They also offer a preschool nutrition curriculum, with 40 classrooms and almost 600 participating preschoolers. They are the go-to resource for families looking for answers on how make healthy, achievable dietary changes for a lifetime of good health.
Dr. Fernando, otherwise known as Dr. Yum, is a board-certified pediatrician. She is also the co-author of the book “Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Parent’s Handbook” (The Experiment, October 2015). To learn more, visit the site at: www.doctoryum.org.
About The Doctor Yum Project
The Doctor Yum Project is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to transforming the lives of families and communities by providing an understanding of the connection between food and overall health, as well as empowering them with the tools to live a healthy life. They offer a variety of community programs to help with those efforts. They are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and feature a free interactive website with family taste-tested healthy recipes and innovative tools to make cooking at home easier, an instructional kitchen and teaching garden for holding classes. To learn more, visit the site at: www.doctoryum.org.
Your toddler is on a tasting adventure from the moment solid foods are introduced. To avoid them becoming too picky and negatively affecting their nutrition, embrace that spirit of adventure. Making meals look and taste appealing increases the chance of good nutrition from childhood on into adulthood. And whether you are a cooking novice or pro, all you need to create a delicious and nutritious meal for your toddler is the desire to do so.
Here are a few helpful hints from Sari Greaves, author of Cooking Well Healthy Kids: Easy Meals for Happy Toddlers, to get you started:
Offer new foods at the start of a meal. A hungry toddler is a toddler who is less picky.
Train your toddler to try foods that the rest of the family enjoys. Preparing a dish for the whole family, with the only variation being size and texture (smaller portions and softer textures for your toddler) gets them used to eating what you eat. Make sure to serve it alongside a familiar food that your child regularly consumes.
Patience is key with working with toddlers. Allow hot food to cool down and cold food to warm up a little before serving, as toddlers dislike extreme temperatures. In general, pushing them too much in any direction won't help.
Avoid spices and strong tastes. Young children tend be more sensitive to flavors than you are, and may reject heavily seasoned foods. Heavily spiced, salted, buttered, or sweetened dishes may prevent your toddler from experiencing the natural taste of foods.
Cooking Well Healthy Kids: Easy Meals for Happy Toddlers is a kitchen-tested and kid-approved recipe collection for parents. When you need quick, tasty, and healthy meals to suit even the pickiest palate, Easy Meals for Happy Toddlers is the perfect cookbook to help balance nutritional needs in a junk-food world.
Recipe #1: Cocoa Wake Up Smoothie
2 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 medium ripe banana
8 ounces low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
Dash of cinnamon
4-6 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in blender, cover, and whip until smooth.
Recipe #2: Better Cheddar Grilled Cheese
2 slices whole grain bread
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fruit preserves, any flavor
1 slice of organic cheddar cheese
1/4 pear, thinly sliced
Brush one side of each slice of bread lightly with olive oil. Turn the bread over and spread one slice with fruit preserves; top with cheese and pear, then add remaining bread slice, oiled side up. Lightly coat a griddle or large skillet with cooking spray or a healthy oil. Preheat over medium heat. Add sandwich and cook for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted, turning once to brown both sides.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sari Greaves, RDN, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and an expert in family wellness, weight management and women’s health. She is Nutrition Director at Step Ahead Wellness Center in Far Hills, New Jersey and is a frequent guest on The Dr. Oz Show and Dr. Radio on Sirius Satellite. Her books include Obesity Prevention for Children and Cardiac Recovery Cookbook.
With Christmas less than two weeks away, it's time to make those last minute purchases for the kiddos on your list. With everything from cool new toys that stimulate imaginations to science kits that inspire STEM education to even companies that "give back," we have all the hottest trends covered from some of the most innovative companies of today. Take a peek below at our holiday gift guide for this year!
Geckobot by Thames and Kosmos
This astonishing wall-climbing robot has a motorized air suction system that enables it to walk vertically up and down perfectly smooth surfaces, such as glass, plastic, whiteboards and glossy laminates. The battery powered motor drives an innovative gear system that produces a rotating motion, making the legs move in motions that mimic a real gecko. A 24-page, full-color manual guides you through model building with step-by- step illustrated instructions and provides scientific information and explanations. Ages 8 and up. MSRP $49.95. Buy it at Toys 'R' Us, Amazon
Brackitz Driver Set
Designed to ignite creativity, Brackitz is an award-winning innovative new construction line that encourages open-ended, imaginative play like no other construction set on the market today. With just a few tools at their disposal, including wooden planks and one-of-a-kind plastic connectors, children are given the opportunity to use their imagination to construct entirely new worlds by playing on their own or with friends. So build out, build tall or build wide – there is no limit! And since the line is made completely in the USA, parents can be rest-assured that they are providing their child with a durable construction set that also promotes STEM, no matter what skill level. The new Driver Kit includes 43 pieces, which includes 4 wheels. It also includes directions for 10 driving machines.
Space Wow 22Pc Set
Build spaceships and rockets with Magformers Space WOW 22Pc Set. Beginner builders can blast into space with the new astronaut character! Add antenna and wheels to create a space buggy or search for extra-terrestrial life by building a space station. Great for young minds to learn about constructing cube nets, patterns, shapes and colors! MSRP $59.99
Educational & Tech
Turbo Runner by Odyssey Toys
Capable of going just about anywhere, the Turbo Runner climbs walls and ceilings with ease. The Turbo Runner is a master of all tricks. Transitioning from flight to running mode, it darts across walls then dashes across ceilings – it even runs down staircases. Mimicking a design that was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Navy for a real-life UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), the Turbo Runner fears no trick thanks to its patented cage, which minimizes any force of impact. Master the trimming controls, and soon you’ll be performing amazing stunts never before possible with a flying RC vehicle. Ages 8 and up. MSRP $49.95. Buy it at Brookstone, Costco, Toys 'R' Us, RadioShack.
CogniToys™ are the award-winning next generation of Internet-connected smart toys that learn and grow alongside your child, bringing a new gateway of smart, fun and interactive learning to children in the digital age without the need for a screen! The Dino is Cloud-based and Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing children to engage in intelligent conversation unlike any other toys on the market today. CogniToys™ can explore a wide variety of topics during playtime and can participate in activities like storytelling, questions and answers, games and more. The Dino is available at Toys R Us. MSRP $99.99
School Zone Get Ready for Preschool Learning Set
School Zone Publishing is proud to introduce boxed bundles of fun - set up a pretend classroom at home! These packages come complete with School Zone’s award-winning workbooks and flash card sets, as well as coloring pads, stickers, crayons, lotto boards and more for endless hours of educational entertainment. The Learning Box Sets are available exclusively at Toys ‘R’ Us. MSRP $19.99
Fire Station Playset
Spark imaginative play with the Green Toys™ Fire Station! This playset has everything your little firefighter needs to save the day, including a fire station, fire engine, firefighter cat characters, rotating water cannon, command center, and stackable bunk beds. Open and close the doors to both the front and back of the station, help the cats slide down the fire pole, and race to the rescue in the fire engine, all while helping to develop fine motor cooperative play skills. All pieces fit inside the fire station, so clean-up and storage is a breeze, and the built-in handle makes it easy to take all the fun on-the-go. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Dishwasher safe. Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials printed with soy inks. MSRP $49.99.
Irish Fairy Door
The Irish Fairy Door Company encourages children to expand their imaginations by exploring the magical world of fairies with their award-winning handmade Irish fairy doors. These doors help fairies easily relocate into human homes, classrooms, gardens and woods and provide a beautiful and unique way for children and parents to interact and play through the power of imagination and belief. Once in place, the creative team at FairyHQ ensures direct access to Fairy Valley, so the magic continues long after the fairy has moved in. Fairy Valley boasts ongoing magical messages, play ideas and stories delivered to children and parents who register their fairy’s name on the website, via email or at the brands immersive app. $19.99
Spin the Spinner and Get Stacking!
Can you stack 12 blocks before the Stack Smasher gets to the tower and topples it? Spin a color and stack a block. Spin a Challenge and add a tricky task like stacking while singing “Happy Birthday!” Spin the Stack Smasher, and you’re one space closer to the big topple! Ages 3-5, 2-6 Players MSRP $19.99 Available at TARGET.
Hoot Owl Hoot!
Hurry Owls, It’s Time to Go Home
Players help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up. Play a color card and fly to that space. Draw a sun card, and you’re one step closer to the daylight. Play together to help all the owls get home before the sun rises and -- everyone wins! Ages 4+, 2-4 Players, No Reading Required, $15.99, Available at TARGET.
Friends and Neighbors: The Helping Game
A Social-Emotional Game That Develops Empathy and Compassion
Friends and Neighbors is a matching game that focuses on emotions. Can players help a little girl who’s sad because she’s standing out in the rain or a boy who’s afraid of the dark? Reach into the Helping Bag and pull out a token – can it help someone on the game board? If so, it’s a match! Ages 3+, 1-4 Players, No Reading Required, $15.99 Available at Amazon.
Kung Fu Panda Flash Light-Up Toothbrush
The sculpted Flash Light-Up Toothbrush features Po as the base of the brush. Press Po’s bellybutton and the timer light flashes for 2 minutes, which is the brushing time recommended by dentists. The brush has a suction cup bottom. MSRP $3.99
Brush Buddies Shopkins Brite Beatz
Shopkins Brite Beatz Shopkins Brite Beatz plays the Shopkins theme song along to synchronized lights. Brite Beatz helps improve oral care making brushing fun for kids. Shopkins theme song will play for the dentist recommended two minutes. Shopkins Brite Beatz has fun characters on the handle and a comfortable grip for kids. MSRP: $9.99
Most mosquito repellent sprays are full of harmful chemicals that contribute to air pollution. With PARA’KITO refillable wristbands and clips, parents and kids can stay safe this spring and summer while protecting the environment! PARA’KITO is a blend of all-essential oils that are 100% safe for the skin and the Earth. The roll-on gel also eliminates the need for a spray with the higher concentrated protection. MSRP $19.50
The Snuza Hero is a portable and easy-to-use movement monitor, which clips onto baby's diaper to ensure that normal movement is maintained. Hero detects even the slightest abdominal movement and will alert you if your baby's movements are very weak or fall to less than 8 movements per minute. If no abdominal movement is detected for a period of 15 seconds, Hero will gently vibrate. Often this vibration is enough to rouse the baby, and Hero will revert to monitoring mode. After three vibration/rouse incidents, the Rouse Warning will alert you when you’re baby's abdominal movements have stopped for 15 seconds on three occasions. If no further movement is detected for another 5 seconds, an alarm will sound to alert you. MSRP $119.99
Syki Bath Support
With the Syki Baby Bath Support, bath time is filled with bubbles of sweetness! With its European design, which puts on emphasis on comfort, the Syki baby bath support shape is adapted for newborn baby up to 6 months old. The unique ergonomic design maintains softly baby’s body and head while allowing free movements of both arms and legs, creating the perfect soothing environment for baby to really enjoy bath time. Featuring a soft and supple hygienic material, which is gentle on baby’s fragile skin and easy to clean with a wet sponge, the bath support also easily drains water through its small holes and dries quickly. For ages 0-6 months. Made in France. MSRP $24.99
Mobo Mity - 3 Wheeled Cruiser
A Toddler’s Ergonomic Three Wheeled Cruiser the Mobo Mity is a mighty little three-wheeled cruiser designed for children 2-5 years old. From its innovative rear-wheel steering system to its ergonomic design, the Mobo Mity encompasses an abundance of splendid features. With quality you can trust, this stylish cruiser features a comfortable seat, chainless chassis, never-flat tires and a sturdy, adjustable frame that grows with your child. This unique cruiser plays an integral role in the development of your toddler's motor skills, muscle strength, and hand-eye coordination. While promoting healthy exercise, the Mobo Mity delivers a fun riding experience coupled with increased physical activity. Let your child take a Mobo Mity out for a cruiser and start an adventure today. Recommend for ages 2-5. MSRP: $99.99.
Companies that Give Back
Bears For Humanity Premium Sherpa Bear
Bears for Humanity™ is a leading social commerce company committed to helping its community and the earth. From farm to fulfillment, the products are made using only certified organic materials and Fair Trade practices, while employing at-risk women from welfare-work programs right in the U.S. The “BUY One, give ONE” program provides a bear to a child in need for every bear purchased. Sourced from the world’s finest Himalayan organic cotton, the original 16” Sherpa Bear is as soft and huggable as ever. Choose from natural white, beige, dark brown, soft pink and blue. MSRP $49.99
This holiday season, how are you planning to celebrate the small businesses that are there for you year-round? To help shoppers show their love for the independent businesses that mean the most to them on Small Business Saturday—to take place this year on November 26th— American Express today announced a suite of events and offerings including:
Free Rides to Shop Small in NYC with UberPOOL: To help friends and family meet up and Shop Small, Uber is offering free UberPOOL rides (up to $20) for American Express Card Members in NYC. Additionally, starting Nov. 26 through the end of the year, new riders in NYC can take their first UberPOOL ride for free. To get inspired on where to ride together to Shop Small, check out the Shop Small map!
Dance + Sweat Sesh with Daybreaker: Daybreaker, the early morning dance party movement, is teaming up with Small Business Saturday to create an unforgettable experience to wake up and energize attendees as the day begins in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago. Attendees who RSVP will kick off Small Business Saturday with an invigorating workout and dance party with music, DJs, performers and yoga/fitness, as well as food and beverages from local businesses.
Dine Small with The Infatuation: The Infatuation, an influential local restaurant discovery platform, will host #DineSmall events with exclusive Small Business Saturday menu items at independent restaurants in New York City, Los Angeles, D.C. and San Diego. Restaurant-goers are encouraged to share their foodie experiences on social media using #DineSmall.
Shop Small, Earn Big: New this year, American Express is giving Card Members the opportunity to earn 2X rewards when they enroll an eligible American Express Card at http://www.amex.co/shopsmalloffer and shop at qualifying small merchant locations and websites now through December 31.
Freshly baked pies, holiday cookies, hot chocolate, and candy canes are common holiday treats. But just as adults pack on the pounds around the holidays, so can the kids. Denying a child from partaking in sugary confections may seem like an easy fix during the holidays, but that’s easier said than done. With so many festive parties that include desserts, candies, and fat-laden foods, it is better to teach your child moderation and how to make healthy choices. Dr. Dyan Hes, Medical Director of Gramercy Pediatrics, offers advice to parents to allow children a little indulgence, but while maintaining a healthy diet during the holiday season.
“I believe in moderation, not stringent restriction which can create an unhealthy relationship with food,” says Dr. Dyan Hes, Medical Director at Gramercy Pediatrics. “I specialize in childhood obesity and while I don’t condone binging on desserts and candy, I also don’t recommend denying your child treats during the holidays. Instead, limit how much your child consumes.”
Dr. Hes offers some tips to help make the holidays a bit healthier for your children and even for parents:
1. Teach your Child Portion Control when Choosing from the Dessert Table – “Often there are multiple desserts on a holiday table. By allowing your child to choose their favorite, not only gives them a sense of freedom in their food choices, but also teaches portion control and limitations,” recommends Dr. Hes. If your child wants to taste several desserts, then give them a small taste of each one, that equals one serving. “If a child is completely denied a dessert, it will only make them want it more.”
2. Keep Sugary Drinks to a Minimum – The holidays are the perfect time to break out the sparkling cider and hot cocoa. But just as adults need to watch their consumption of highly caloric beverages, so should kids. A 12oz hot chocolate with whipped cream can have up to 400 calories and about 40 grams of sugar! Dr. Hes recommends keeping an eye on how many “holiday beverages” your child is consuming during meals and parties. “Make hot chocolate from low sugar instant mixes and use reduced fat (light) whipped cream or skip it entirely,” says Dr. Hes. “There is also a ton of sugar in fruit juice, and although sparkling cider is fun, limit your child to one glass to celebrate.”
3. Lead by Example – Children learn eating habits from their parents. Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to overindulge, but as another touch point to teach kids healthier eating habits. If you are piling up on desserts, your child will think it is acceptable. Make sure to load your plates with lots of veggies during dinner and limit the sweets to one after the meal.
4. Create Healthier Food Traditions – Much of the holidays are focused on food and many families have special dishes that have become traditions. Those “traditional dishes” are often highly caloric and filled with fat. Grandmother’s sausage stuffing, or Aunt Sara’s cheesy casserole might be a “must” for every holiday meal, but they can also expand the waist quickly. Instead, Dr. Hes recommends creating new healthier favorites that are reserved only for the holidays and get kids excited to see them on the table. We make chopped salad (Mediterranean style) that everyone loves and always have fruit salad as a dessert option.
5. Non-Food Activities – Food may play an important role in the holidays, but adding other fun into the festivities takes the focus off eating. Kids love games, making arts and crafts, decorating the house, acting out stories, and loads of other activities that can involve the whole family. Be creative and come up with something that is unique and special to your family’s holiday traditions.
6. Movement - Get your families moving. It’s great to play outside while the food is cooking, just be sure to bundle your kids up. The whole family can take a brisk walk after a big feast. The kids get a big kick out of carrying flashlights and going out for a walk in the dark! Have games set up at home that the kids can play like jump rope or hula hoop competitions that they can do indoors.
While children find delight in the treats of the season, dentists also caution parents about the damage those sweets can cause to teeth over time. Jonelle Grant-Anamelechi, DDS, MSPH, attending faculty member and pediatric dentist at Children’s National Health System, says that practicing good dental hygiene year round is important, and it’s especially important for parents to remain vigilant during times like Halloween. To help families, she is offering parents a list of healthy tips for Halloween (and really, year round!).
Steer Clear of Chewy Candies – Caramel, gummies, or chewy sweets like fruit snacks are among the most harmful Halloweentreats for oral health. These types of candies are particularly dangerous because they can smear and become lodged in between teeth and stick to teeth’s deeper grooves. When this happens, it’s harder for saliva and the tongue to naturally clear away the sugary residue, which can lead to cavities.
“Cavities begin to form when certain bacteria in our mouths have the opportunity to feed on sugar that’s left behind on our teeth,” explained Dr. Grant-Anamelechi. “This interaction creates acid and can lead to tooth decay.”
Beware of Hard Candies That Can Cause Breakage – Around Halloween, dentists also commonly see a spike in broken teeth caused by biting into hard candies, such as lollipops. These types of candies are almost as hard as children’s teeth, and when bitten into can cause or worsen existing tooth sensitives.
Treat Yourself to (Dark) Chocolate – Dark chocolate, a favorite for many parents to keep around the home, is rich in antioxidants and serves as a great substitute for other Halloween treats. Parents should also consider replacing sticky, chewy treats with items such as crackers and pretzels, or other small toys.
An Apple a Day May Help Keep the Dentist Away – Because avoiding all sweets isn’t likely, eating an apple after enjoying Halloween candy can also reduce the risk of developing cavities. Apples are considered “nature’s toothbrush,” and snacking on the fibrous fruit can help to quickly whisk away cavity-causing debris from teeth when a toothbrush is out of reach.
Make Brushing a Family Activity – Oftentimes children want to start brushing their teeth on their own around ages 4 or 5. However, it isn’t until ages 7 or 8 that they usually develop the right technique. On occasions like Halloween when a child might have consumed larger amounts of candy, parents should help with brushing. Use small, circular motions to reach the gums, as brushing in a straight line can just push debris from one tooth to the next. And, don’t forget the tongue, which harbors food and germs.
Go on an Adventure or Sing a Song – It can be challenging to keep children interested in brushing their teeth for the recommended two minutes. Try turning teeth brushing into an imaginative safari adventure – such as searching for an alligator or lion behind teeth. Singing a familiar song twice, such as Happy Birthday, also helps children stay focused on brushing for the recommended time.
Connect Dental Hygiene With Whole-Body Health – While parents commonly remind their children to wash their hands before eating or after playing outside, there is frequently a disconnect with including the mouth – and the germs it harbors – as a contributor to overall health.
“Just like covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough is important to stopping the spread of germs, so is keeping your teeth, tongue, and gums free of harmful bacteria,” said Dr. Grant-Anamelechi. “As moms, we need to remind our children that all parts of the body are connected and play a role in improving health.”
By Richela Fabian Morgan
Project #1: Notebook/Binder Decoration
Material: duct tape, notebook
Tools: parchment paper, pencil, scissors
Additional tool: bubble letter stencil (the one used in photo is a FREE printable)
1. Cover front of notebook with vertical strips of duct tape.
2. Fold the duct tape strips over the top, bottom, and right edges of the cover.
3. Trace letters onto the parchment paper.
4. Cover the traced letters with a strip of duct tape.
5. Flip over the parchment paper. You should be able to see the traced letters.
6. Using a pair of well-oiled scissors, cut out the letters.
7. Move around the cut letters on the notebook cover until you find an acceptable position.
8. One by one, remove the parchment paper on the back of each letter and adhere it onto the notebook cover.
Project #2: Pencil Case
Materials: white, blue, yellow, light blue, gold, orange, green, red, and fuchsia duct tape; 2 round neodyne magnets, key chain ring
Tools: self-healing cutting matt, corked back metal ruler, craft knife, parchment paper, 1/8" hole puncher
1. Place a parchment paper measuring 10" wide x 15" high on top of your worktable. Starting from the bottom, place 9 strips of white duct tape across the parchment paper. Be sure the strips overlap along the long edges by at least 1/8". Flip over and place the duct tape/parchment paper on your worktable in the landscape position. Peel off parchment paper. Starting at the bottom of the half-made fabric, place 6 strips of blue duct tape across it. Be sure the strips overlap along the long edges by at least 1/8". Trim down the fabric to 10" x 15". (See my instructional video on YouTube).
2. Place the fabric on your worktable in the portrait position, white side facing up.
3. Cut two strips of 6" white duct tape. Measure and mark 6" from the bottom left and right corners of the fabric. Starting at the two marks, vertically place each strip along the left and right edges. Be sure the strips are halfway on the fabric.
4. Fold back the vertical tape strips and pull up the bottom portion of the fabric. Push down along the outer edges to form the main pocket.
5. Trim the corners of the flap in a curved line.
6. Cut 12" strips of various colored tape. Trim the width of each trip to 1/4". Use these strips to decorate the front of the pencil case. Trim edges of strips that extend past the edges of the pencil case.
7. Flip bag over so the opening is face up. Place a magnet on the inside of the flap, centered and approximately 1/2" from the top edge. Cover with a piece of white duct tape.
8. Place a magnet inside the pocket, centered and approximately 1/2" from the bottom edge. Push it agains the top fabric of the pocket and cover from the inside with a piece of white duct tape.
9. Using the hole puncher, make a hole on the upper left corner of the pencil case near the top of the pocket.
10. Loop the key ring through the hole.
11. Close the flap and flip the bag over.
Project #3: Cell Phone Case
Materials: fuchsia and multi-colored chevron duct tape, bubble wrap, cell phone
Tools: self-healing cutting mat, ruler, scissors, ball point pen, pencil
1. Cut 2 rectangles from the bubble wrap that are 1/2 wider than your phone.
2. Trim down the height of the bubble wrap rectangles to 1" shorter than height of your cell phone.
3. Fold strips of fuchsia duct tape over the top edges of the bubble wrap rectangles. Trim down the left and right edges.
4. Place one rectangle on top of the other and line up the edges. Starting from the top edge, horizontally place 10" strips of fuchsia duct tape on the bubble wrap rectangles, overlapping the strips along the long edges by approximately 1/8". Flip over the bubble wrap rectangles. Fold the left and right edges of the strips over the rectangles, creating a pocket.
5. Horizontally place a strip of fuchsia tape halfway along the bottom edge of the pocket. Fold the strip under the pocket to close up the bottom.
6. Draw 8 flower petals on the parchment paper.
7. Cover drawn petals with chevron duct tape.
8. Flip the parchment paper so the drawn petals are visible. Using a pair of well-oiled scissors, cut out the petals.
9. Move around the cut petals on the cell phone case until you find an acceptable position.
10. One by one, remove the parchment paper on the back of each petal and adhere it onto the cell phone case.
Richela Fabian Morgan began her duct tape odyssey 8 years ago with a simple bi-fold wallet, before writing the best-selling crafting books Tape It & Make It, Tape It & Make More, and Tape It & Wear It. She is an indie crafter specializing in paper, adhesives, and found materials.
Her newest duct tape crafting book, Duct Tape Bags, is available nationwide. For more information, please visit, www.RichelaFabianMorgan.com and connect with her on facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and YouTube.
Convertible cars seats are essential to keeping young children safe, but for new parents, some may have little to no experience using or purchasing one. A convertible seat is a great option for parents bridging the gap between infanthood and a child old enough to sit in the car without the need for a car seat.
We've partnered with Diono for a convertible car seat giveaway! Diono is a leading manufacturer of child safety car seats and accessories and has a lineup of convertible car seats with paramount safety features along with sleek and strong designs that can put any new parent's mind at ease.
enter below via rafflecopter to win!
Diono's Radian R100 car seat is designed with your child's security and safety as top priorities. Premium covers and thoughtful safety features like a full steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced side walls and energy absorbing EPS foam put your mind at ease as your little one travels safely in style and comfort.
The Diono Radian family of car seats are the only convertible+booster seats with a full steel frame making them one of the safest car seats available today. Key features include:
- Premium plush interlock knit fabric
- Full steel frame and aluminum reinforced sides for unmatched safety
- Comfortably seats rear-facing children from 5-40 lbs, forward-facing children from 20-65 lbs in a 5-point harness, then converts to a booster for children up to 100 lbs.
- Unique SuperLATCH system that makes installation easy
- Fits 3 across in most mid-size vehicles, folds flat for travel and is FAA certified
- NCAP crash tested, the industry benchmark for verifying child seat performance in severe accident conditions
- Energy absorbing EPS foam and side impact protection provides added safety
- SafeStop® energy-absorbing harness
- Rear-facing tether capability
- Expandable sides and long seat bottom allow proper leg support
- Low-sitting profile makes it easy for your child to board
- Add up to two cup holders, sold separately
- Cover is machine washable
- Rubber bottom grips for no-slip installation
- 10 year life
To further help navigating the care seat waters, Diono provides installation videos on their website.
Don't forget to enter to win + good luck! Special thanks to Diono for providing the giveaway to our readers! :)
Just a few more days Momma's. School starts this Monday for most kids here in Hawaii, and I for one could not be more excited to be sending my big kids back to school. We homeschooled last year, so I've been with my kids (practically) all day, every day, for over a year. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kids, but I'm going to be jumping for joy come Monday morning.
Because it's been nearly two years since I sent my kids "Back To School", I'm feeling ill prepared, what if I've forgotten something? So here are ten thoughts I'm sure we'll all have before the kids go back to school this week.