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8 Ways to Entertain your Little Ones on Cold Days

We hope everybody had a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Winter is almost here and the temperatures are dropping quickly here in South Jersey, we had the coldest Thanksgiving in a century! While they forecast the temperatures to climb back up, we thought we would put together a list of ways to entertain your toddlers on cold, bitter days. The cold days of winter will be here soon, and kids quickly develop cabin fever. These activities can keep them busy, help them develop skills, and keep you sane at the same time!

  1. Toy Car Tunnels and Race Track – This one is always a kid favorite! Use masking/painting tape and create streets and a racetrack for your kids to use their toy cars with. Get creative and use cardboard to build tunnels, bridges, and ramps.
  2. Dance Party – When your kids get antsy and are struggling to sit still for any period, turn your lemons into lemonade! Use your tv, computer, smart speaker, or phone, crank up the music and let the kids go to town! You’ll find that the kids love an impromptu dance party, and if you get in on the action, you might even get your daily workout done as well!
  3. Build a Fort – Grab blankets, chair, and other furniture to build an awesome fort that can transform into a house, boat, or airplane with just a little imagination. When your kids have grown tired of their fort, you can throw some soft, comfortable blankets in the fort with books or an iPad and let the kids unwind a little.
  4. Puppet Show – Kids have such an amazing imagination and puppets help bring out all of their creativity. Using dolls, action figures, or even socks, you can craft a wonderful puppet show that will keep your kids interested and focused on their imagination. Have your kids come up with their own puppet show afterward!
  5. Sink/Tub Time – Let the kiddos know it is bath time for their toys. You can host a Barbie day spa or a car was for the cars and trucks piled up in your playroom. Kids love playing with water, and you get to clean those toys — it’s a win/win! If you really want to get creative, fill the sink with dried beans or rice and let them play with scoops, cups, and bowls!
  6. Photo Albums – Family bonding over a photo album is always a great activity. You can look at your current photo albums and talk about your memories of those photos, sharing stories and laughing together. Afterward, suggest adding more photos to your current albums with your kids, or even starting a new one that the kids can have a hand in crafting! This is a great opportunity to talk about your family tree – a concept we take for granted, but little ones don’t yet understand.
  7. Matching Game – Socks, ribbon, paper, toys, buttons, coins, etc, kids LOVE to match items together. Create a pile of items and have your kids match them up, this activity will keep kids occupied while strengthening fine motor skills!
  8. Art/Painting – A go-to for every parent is art/paint time. Toddler absolutely love getting paint on items and making colors, mixing, and making a mess! Find shells, rocks, paper, some paint and watch your kids’ eyes light up. Want to allow the kids to paint but relieve your stress level a little? Try this edible paint recipe that will keep you from stressing out over the mess!

Do you have a list of activities that you use you occupy your littles one on really cold days? Let us know in the comments below!

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Local Halloween Events for the Kiddos

Halloween is only a few weeks away, and while everybody goes trick-or-treating on the 31st, there are plenty of other Halloween-themed events in the area for you to take part in throughout the next two weeks aside from our own Halloween parades! From parades, to hayrides, to trunk or treats, we have compiled a small list of events within our local area:

  • Trunk or Treat at the George H. Wimberg Funeral Home, 1707 New Road, Linwood – Saturday, October 27, 1-3pm. Partnering with local Police and Fire Departments, this tunk or treat is completely free of charge and includes face painting, candy, safety demonstrations and much more! The only request is to please bring a gently used book as a donation!
  • EHT Trunk or Treat – EHTHS Parking Lot, October 13th, 3-5pm. The 3rd Annual EHT Trunk or Treat is a safe, fun, family event featuring music, games, and contests. Admission is $5 per child or $10 per family if 3 or more children.
  • Northfield Family Friendly Halloween Hayride, Birch Grove Park, every Friday and Saturday through the end of the month. Every year Birch Grove Park holds their family-friendly hayride: a nighttime ride through the park decorated with fun ghosts, dinosaurs, and other family-friendly items. Addmission is $5 per person.
  • Historic Smithville’s Costume Pet Parade, 615 E Moss Mill Road, Smithville, Saturday, October 20 at 1pm. Hosted by Paw Dazzle, this annual parade boasts over 100 dogs dressed up in their little costumes!
  • Ocean City Exchange Club’s 71st Annual Halloween Parade, Asbury Avenue between 6th and 11th streets, October 25 and 7;15pm. Floats, cheerleading and drill teams, antique cars, costumes, and much more.
  • Boo Bash Halloween Party, Boscov’s, 6725 Black Horse Pike, October 27, 1-4pm. Come dressed in your Halloween costume and parade through Boscov’s to trick-or-treat throughout the store. Also featuring crafts, games, contests, and prizes! Open to children 12 and under.

Have you heard of any other Halloween-themed events for the little ones? Please share them in the comments below!

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8 Great Halloween Books for Toddlers

It is that time of year again: the leaves are going to be changing colors, the air gets a bit crisper and cooler, and the kids are getting used to a school schedule again. Before we know it September will turn into October, and Halloween will be here with all of the amazing costumes, decorations, and treats! This time of the year provides for some great books for toddlers that are fun, very creative, and great for improving your children’s apprehension skills. Everybody loves Halloween, so we might as well incorporate some good reading into the fun!

Here is a list of 8 great Halloween books for toddlers that you might want to check out, as well as links to learn more about them!

  1. The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin – A gently spooky twist on The Itsy Bitsy Spider, this books turns a favorite nursery rhyme into Halloween-themed fun!
  2. Seven Orange Pumpkins – A perfect read-aloud book for helping toddlers learn about colors and counting. It’s bright, bold, and fun story captures the imagination of even the little trick-or-treaters.
  3. I Love You, Little Pumpkin – An interactive cloth-covered book that encourages interaction on each spread and blends a heartfelt message with a touch of Halloween. The ending contains a mirror which reveals who is loved most of all, causing babies to giggle and toddlers to laugh with excitement.
  4. Splat the Cat: What Was That? – A favorite with all kids is Splat the Cat. Watch as your little ones listen intently as Splat decides if he wants to trick-or-treat at the scariest house on the block with his friend Spike. His pet mouse, Seymour, makes the decision for him as he runs into the house, causing Splat to rescue him.
  5. One, Two…Boo! – Another interactive flip book, the littlest of trick-or-treaters can life the flaps as they count their way through a spooky old house, and perhaps they will run into a surprise or two!
  6. The Spooky Wheel on the Bus – This is a humorous Halloween-themed version of the classic nursery rhyme, The Wheels on the Bus, with a few ghoulish tricks and treats up its sleeves!
  7. Peppa’s Pumpkin Party – Peppa Pig and her family are having a Pumpkin Party and everyone is invited to come dressed up in the spookiest costumes, even Madame Gazelle!
  8. Corduroy’s Best Halloween Ever! – This adorable book is about Corduroy and his plans to have a Halloween party with his friends. They will carve jack-o’-lanterns, bob for apples, and go trick-or-treating, but what will Corduroy choose as a costume?

This list is just a few of the amazing Halloween books out there for toddlers. Take a look at your local library, book store, or online distributor for more titles that your little ones might love! Do you have any Halloween books that your kids look forward to every year? Or have you read some of the books on this list? Let us know in the comments!

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Healthy Snacks For Summer

Healthy Snacks For Summer

With the heat of summer beating down, your little ones are probably asking for ice cream and popsicles non stop. If you’re looking for a slightly healthier alternative to Dairy Queen, we have a few recipes for you! We have a list of 5 different recipes with healthy twists that will still satisfy a sweet tooth and keep everyone cool for the rest of the summer!

Frozen Yogurt Bark

Even if your kids aren’t fans of yogurt, they will love this snack! This is a great snack if everyone in your house likes something different! Spread out your yogurt mixture into a baking sheet or tray. Then, either top the whole thing or different sections with everyone’s favorite toppings! Some of our favorites are fresh fruit, chopped nuts, and a chocolate drizzle. Yum!

Banana Ice Cream – Dairy Free

Not only is this recipe dairy free but it is also painfully simple. All you need is one ingredient, bananas! Freeze some cut up bananas for at least 4 hours then toss them into food processor. This puree will be very similar to ice cream. Go crazy with toppings and let everyone top their banana ice cream with their favorites!

Strawberry Ice Cream  – Dairy Free

Only slightly more complicated than the banana ice cream is strawberry ice cream! The best way to get an ice cream texture with strawberry flavor is to combine both frozen bananas and strawberries into your mixture. Again, this is a great healthy snack that everyone can add their favorite toppings to!

Peanut Butter & Banana Popsicle – Dairy Free

A third dairy free alternative to ice cream pops is peanut butter and banana popsicles! While the original recipes calls for a topping of chopped nuts, we think a drizzle of chocolate would be delicious! And satisfy the chocaholic in your family!

Frozen Yogurt Bites

The perfect grab-n-go snack for summer! All you need is yogurt in tubes, like Go Gurt, or your favorite flavors of yogurt and some piping bags! More colors and flavors make the yogurt bites more fun!

We hope you like these recipes and decide to give them a try this summer! Let us know in the comments which treats your family liked best! As always, click the share button on the side of the blog to share these recipes with your friends and family!

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Introducing Kids To Gardening

introducing kids to gardening

Gardening with children has many benefits including developing fine motor skills, learning valuable life skills, and building confidence. However, if you are a first time gardener, introducing you children to the world of gardening may seem like a daunting task. Fear not, we have some tips for you that will help make the process a little easier and more fun! Gardening with children doesn’t actually have to start in the garden. An important step to gardening is teaching your little ones about what they will be growing and how different fruits and vegetables form. Thanks to Mama’s Happy Hive we have a few activities that will get your little ones interested in what you will be growing in your garden!

Matching Game
A great way to introduce your little ones to gardening is to start with learning what will go into your garden! Make your own flashcards with pictures of whatever fruits, vegetables, and plants will go into your garden. Then, have your little ones match the real life fruit and veggies to the cards! If you have older children that are interested in gardening you can write out what different gardening tools are used for and have them match the use with the object!

Exploring the Seeds
A fun way for your little ones to learn more about how fruits and vegetables grow is to let them dig right in! Start with small and squishy fruits like tomatoes. Your little ones can easily get into the middle of a tomato and look at the seeds. This is a fun and interactive way for your little ones to learn more about how things grow.

Seed Matching
Another matching activity to help your little gardeners identify seeds! Take some seed packets and empty their contents into different cups. Show your children which seeds are associated with each fruit or vegetable. Then use the packets of the seeds and the pictures you have from the first activity and let your children match the seeds to the picture of what they will become and to their seed packet!

We hope you decide to give these activities a try with your aspiring gardeners! Even if you aren’t planning to garden with your little ones, they might still enjoy tearing into a tomato and finding the seeds! Let us know in the comments if your family enjoys gardening together! Remember to click the share button to share these tips with your friends and family!

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Picnic Party

Picnic Party

Today is National Picnic Day! So in honor of the holiday we’ve created a list inspired by the Funaatticof a few different ways you can make your picnic more exciting! Whether your family has never been on a picnic before or it is a regular summer tradition, we have some fun ideas for you!

 

  1. Have a picnic in your back yard!A great place for your first picnic is in your back yard! You won’t have to lug a ton of food to a park just to realize you forgot forks! Starting in the backyard is a great way to practice your picnicking skills!
  2. Have a picnic on the water! Whether it’s on a boat or a dock, picnicking out on the water will be a beautiful family outing. Have a picnic lunch and then go for a swim out on the water!
  3. Let you’re your little ones plan the food!Have your children help you plan the meal for the picnic. Your older ones can help you make some of the food and your little ones can help pack the basket. Getting everyone involved can make a family gathering so much more special!
  4. Create a food rainbow!Get some fresh fruits and veggies to create some delicious and nutritious food rainbows! Play a game with your little ones to see how many different colors they can find in their food!
  5. Start a campfire!You don’t need to go camping to have an excuse to start a fire! Bring all the ingredients for smore’s and even bake a potato or heat up some warm picnic food over the fire! It’s perfect for dinnertime picnics.
  6. Make some funny food faces!Making faces in your food is a way to make picnic food more fun for your little ones. Whether it’s with veggie slices or cut into bread, food smileys are a way to make your little ones smile.
  7. Make it a treasure hunt!Hide little toys and notes in the wrapping and containers of your picnic! It’ll be a fun surprise for everyone to find a special something throughout their meal.
  8. Enjoy the day!Make sure to enjoy the meal! Eat slowly and soak in the family time. Picnics are a great way to enjoy a meal together outside of your dinner table.

 

We hope you enjoy some of these ideas and decide to make picnics a summer tradition in your family! Tell us in the comments about how your family enjoys a picnic! As always, click the share button on the side of the blog to give your friends and family some picnic inspiration!

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Summer Yoga Poses

If any of your little ones are aspiring yogis, we have some perfect poses for them to practice this summer! These are great poses to get in touch with summer whether it’s on the beach, by the lake, or outside in the backyard. Help your little ones tap into their summer flow thanks to Kidsyogastories and their full guide to summer yoga and meditation!

 

Triangle Pose – Sailboat Pose

Start in Mountain Pose. Then step one foot to the side and face it slightly outward.  Extend your arms out, parallel to the ground.

Then bend at the waist, lifting one arm into the air and bringing the other down your shin.

Have your little one pretend to be a sailboat floating along the water.

Plank Pose – Surfboard Pose

From the Triangle pose, slide your hand that was on your shin on the ground in       front of you as you lower your other arm to place both hands on the ground in front of you.

Make sure your hands are placed as though you are about to do a push-up. Step or jump both feet back so that you are poised to do a push up. Rise up on your toes and make sure to keep your palms and back flat.

Have your little ones pretend to be a surfboard swaying on the surface of the ocean.

Boat Pose – Boat on the Water Pose

From the Plank pose, step your feet forward and sit on your bottom. Lift your legs to a 45 or 60-degree angel. Keep your arms parallel to the ground. Make sure your legs, arms, and back are all straight!

This pose may be a little harder to hold but don’t give up and make sure to breathe!

Once you’re little ones are steady in this position, rock back and forth like a boat on the water!

 

We hope your little yogis are excited for these summer yoga poses! If there are any yoga poses your little ones love let us know in the comments. Click share on the side of the blog to let your family and friends try these awesome poses.

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Homework Helpers

Homework Helpers

With the end of the school year about a month away and all of the excitement of summer coming, your little ones may be starting to struggle with focusing on homework. We know that it can be hard to get your children to sit down and practice math problems when the sun is out and the swing set is calling. So we’ve got a list of 5 ways to help make homework time a little easier!

Work Together– While you don’t want to help too much with your child’s homework, it can be nice to work alongside of them. During homework time, bring out your own laptop and respond to emails, pay bills, or plan your next meeting. Doing work with your children will be a great bonding activity and will allow you to be around to help with homework problems without feeling the need to micromanage.

Make it Fun– There are a lot of ways to make homework a fun activity! If your child has a list of math problems in front of them, let them use a marker or chalkboard to do their work on. If they have to remember things for a test, make it into a song! Allow your children to experiment with creative means to help them get their work done.

Let Them Teach– Whether it’s to their younger siblings or a crowd of stuffed animals, letting your child teach the materials they are learning to someone else will not only let them have fun but is also a great way to reiterate the information they are learning.

Track Progress– Use a large chalk, marker, or bulletin board to keep track of everyone’s assignments. Have a list of ongoing assignments as well as, reading, spelling, and fast facts logs to keep track of everyone’s progress. This will allow them to see, and be proud of, their own progress. If you want, have small rewards for when your child reaches a certain amount of time spent practicing or a certain number of books read!

Snack time– Healthy snacks help your brain to work harder so serving them during homework time can help grow little minds! Having some snacks on the table might also help encourage your little ones to stay seated at the table instead of wandering away before finishing their homework!

If you enjoyed these homework helpers, click share on the side of the blog to show them to your friends and family. If you have any exciting ways that help your children get homework done comment them down below!

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Unique Spring Activities

Spring is here and summer is quickly approaching! Your days are probably starting to fill with bike rides, walks to the park, and trips to the beach. But if you’re looking for a little variety in your warm weather activities and want your little ones to learn some more about nature and the world around them, we have the perfect activities for you! Thanks to aokyouth.orgwe have some unique, and thought provoking spring and summer activities!

  1. Create a scavenger hunt! A fun way to help little ones learn about all of the amazing changes that happen from winter to spring to summer is to create a scavenger hunt. Come up with different things they should look out for in nature and then make your own scavenger hunt sheet!
  2. Do a floral science experiment! Fill a few mason jars with water. Put a few drops of different food coloring into each jar. Then get some white flowers and place them, petals first into the jars. Your children can watch as the petals absorb the colors, then afterwards, you have a fun flower arrangement to display!
  3. Recycle Playdoh lids! If you have lots of lids without containers lying around use hot glue or cut a hole into the lid to hang a string from it. Then, coat the lid in peanut butter and roll it in birdseed. It’s a great way to repurpose some plastic and bring more birds into your yard for your little ones to watch and learn about!
  4. Growing beans! A super cool experiment that will let your children see how things grow, is growing beans in a glass jar with moist cotton balls. The beginning stages of the beans’ growth can be seen without the obstruction of soil which really allows your children to see how a bean sprouts! You can click hereto see a full explanation of the experiment.
  5. Create a small garden! Take a corner of your yard or a windowsill if you have less space, and create a small garden! Plant low maintenance flowers, fruits, and vegetables if you are first time gardeners. Get your little ones involved in planting and watering so they can learn how plants grow!

If you liked these activity ideas check out the full article for more ideas just like these! As always leave us some comments and click share on the side of the blog to show your friends and family these fun ideas!

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Make Every Day Earth Day

One day a year we take the time to celebrate the Earth and teach our children the importance of treating our planet right so that we can preserve it and keep it healthy for many years to come. But why do we only do this one day a year? We live on this earth 365 days a year so why do we not do more to protect the Earth and teach our children how to take care of it. If you’re looking for some ways to celebrate Earth day with your children even after all of the Earth day celebrations we have a few ideas for you thanks to Natural Child Magazine!

  1. Plant a tree! Plant a tree in your backyard or see if you can plant one at your local park! Not only is planting a tree and watching it grow a great experience for a child, but trees provide a home to wild life and reduce greenhouse gas emissions!
  2. Craft with nature! There are a lot of fun ways to incorporate nature or recycling into your arts and craft time! Whether it’s making a bird feeder out of pinecones or using recycled plastic and paper into a collage, you can help the environment by making art with your little ones!
  3. Start a garden! Planting a garden with your children is not only beneficial to the environment but beneficial to their development as well. Whether it’s a full vegetable garden in your backyard or a few plants on your window sill, growing a garden will be great for you, your little ones, and the Earth!
  4. Go natural! There are a lot of recipes out there for all natural household cleaners! Not only will you help the environment by reducing the use of plastic containers and harsh chemicals, but you won’t have to worry about your children helping you clean! Let your little ones have fun spraying the windows and tables without worrying about their health or the impact on the environment!
  5. Take a hike! A great activity to do with older children is to go for a hike! If you have younger ones try going for a walk around a park or visiting a local nature preserve!
  6. Clean up! Whether it is at your local beach, park, or school, pick up litter! Next time you go to the park with your children bring a plastic bag and together you can pick up any trash you see along the way!
  7. Earth Day party! This is fun to do on Earth Day or even randomly throughout the year, have a barbecue or dinner that is all natural! Do your best to use all organic food and no paper or Styrofoam!
  8. Go camping! A great way to get in touch with nature is to camp! If you have children that are too young to camp overnight in the woods, camping in your backyard can still be just as fun!
  9. Unplug! Try to spend as much of the day as possible without using any electricity! Use candles when it gets late and try not to use any electronic devices. Spend time with your children unplugged by playing board games, reading books, or playing outside!
  10. Cherish the Earth everyday! Make an effort to do one good thing for the earth every single day!

Let us know if you plan on trying any of these ideas or if you and your family have any ways that you help keep our Earth clean throughout the year! Click the share button on the side of the blog to remind your friends and family about how they can help keep our home clean and happy!

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