Monday, February 28, 2011

Make Your own Healthy Baby Food

For those of you that are interested in making your own baby food, this is the site to visit. They have some great, healthy recipes. Below is an example from the site. Click HERE for more recipes.


    1-1/2 cups (375 mL) full fat plain yogurt 1/2 cup (125 mL) raspberries or strawberries or blueberries, (fresh or thawed and drained) 1/2 banana, sliced 1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup


In blender, purée together yogurt, raspberries, banana and maple syrup until smooth. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days).

Makes 2 cups. 

picture taken from http://paintermommy.com/parenting/baby/is-my-baby-ready-to-eat-baby-food

Friday, February 25, 2011

Silly Sally

Silly Sally is a great book that kids love! The author Audrey Wood has a web site that has fun activities you can do that go along with all of her books.

The activity that goes along with Silly Sally is coloring pages that go along with the book. 

 Such a fun way to help the book come to life!
For more fun activities by Audrey Wood check out her website http://www.audreywood.com/index.html

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Felt Board for All Ages

There are many ways to teach and present to children.  One, low-cost, idea that I found is by using a felt board.  And not just any felt board, but one that is homemade.  Follow the link to Martha Stewart's website, as she teaches step-by-step on how to make your child's very own felt board.  Also, there are some great ideas of how to make the different objects and shapes to place on the felt board.


With this felt board, help your child to learn the alphabet, identify specific animals, play simple games, be familiar with different colors, learn foods, copy family members pictures onto pieces of felt to learn names, and so much more can be used with this felt board.  Place it in the family room or child's room, somewhere they have access to it.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baggy Brown Bird Craft

Resource Educators, Child Care Proversrent

This is a fun craft that would be great to do on a cold day when you have to stay inside! Very simple and a variety of age groups can do it.

Materials Needed:
Brown Bag
Wiggly Eyes
Craft Foam ( I used yellow construction paper)
Craft Glue (glue sticks work as well)

What To Do:
1.  Cut a beak out of the yellow craft foam.
2.  Have the kids glue the eyes, beak and feathers onto the paper bag.  Set the bird aside and allow the glue to dry.

 Make sure to have the opening of the bag at the bottom so the kids can use it as a puppet if they would like!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ideas for Indoor Birthday Parties

It continues to be a bit nippy outside for one of your child's birthday parties.  You don't want your child and their friends to catch a cold because you couldn't come up with any creative ideas to have an indoor birthday party!  So how can you throw a really fun party, without outdoor activities?  On marthastewart.com, there are plenty of ways to have the party everyone will keep talking about, right in your very own home!  There are several ideas, whether your child is having the big ONE YEAR OLD birthday or celebrating their tenth birthday.  One idea that really stuck out to me was the Movie Star theme.  Follow this link to create a movie premiere set in your living room.  http://www.marthastewart.com/article/movie-star-birthday-party?backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/themed-indoor-birthday-parties#slide_9  This party may be more appropriate for a little older crowd, those who maybe have a favorite movie or television show.
For those parents with younger children, you may want to try what Martha Stewart calls a "Tiny Birthday Party."  http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/themed-indoor-birthday-parties#slide_3 Everything is much smaller and simpler.  And for those of you who have little ones, they always want the more simpler object to play with.  Throwing this party suggests having a little cake, small grilled cheese sandwiches, and small party favors.  Though this is suggested for a younger child's party, it can be for any age and can really be made low-budget (which we all love)!

Check out the other party themes at http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/themed-indoor-birthday-parties, and make the most of the gloomy, cold weather with your children on their special day!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Where to get Free Baby Products

When finances are tight and there’s a new baby in the house, free can sound pretty good. Where can you find free baby products? There are many websites out there now that offer free coupons and samples of things like diapers and magazines. Some diaper companies send you free samples and coupons for diapers as your child ages. Check out the links below to begin receiving free stuff for you and your baby!

*most websites taken from http://www.ehow.com/how_4765187_baby-stuff-new-moms.html
*picture taken from http://www.dow.com/elastomers/markets/adhesives/nonwovens/index.htm

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentines Day Craft

Valentines Day Lollipop Flowers


1) There are two different style lollipop flowers you and your children can make for Valentines Day. You can see both in the photos below. We have the one that is a heart flower lollipop and the other is an actual flower lollipop. With different colored construction paper you can make a variety of different kinds and colors to give out. First you will need to draw the design you want to make with the lollipops. For the heart one we use traditional red. All you need to do is cut out a heart that is a little larger the size of the lollipop so you can see it from behind the candy. A great way to be sure your hear is symmetrical is to fold the construction paper in half and draw half the heart so when you cut it out both sides match perfectly. To make the flower petals you can have your children just draw a simple flower shape, or if you want to get fancier draw and cut our individual petals.

2) Once you have cut them out from the construction paper you are ready to apply them to the lollipops. Using your glue stick or tape if you do not have any affix your hearts and petals to the back of the lollipops. We used some hardcover books to place on top of the Valentines day lollipops to help them hold together while the glue stick dried.

I also think it is a cute idea to have them write or draw a little note on the front side of the flowers before attaching it to the lollipop!


Flat Lollipops (Choose any flavor and color , the round flat ones work best with this craft)
Glue Stick
Construction Paper
-Red (For the heart behind the lollipop)
-Green (For the flower leaves)
-Assorted Colors (For the flowers petals)


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book review: "Love you Forever"

In 1995 an endearing book was published and many mothers began reading, repeating and crying over the story “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch and illustrated my Shelia McGraw.  This classic book is a book that can be read at bedtime, bath time, and times when a parent wonders if it worth it.  The repetition of the words : “I’ll Love You Forever,  I’ll Love You For Always,  As Long as I am Living, My Baby You Will Be” becomes part of our “I love you rituals” or every day routine.  This phrase can be said when there is no time to read the book, and a child can join with us as the book is read.  Before long the parent and child can read the book together.  I bought each of my children their own copy of this book and used it as a “journey of memories”.   At the bottom of each page there is ample room to add a picture of your child at the age mentioned in the story with a small story, anecdote of what was happening in their life.  Throughout the years their story became intertwined with the main character.  As my children left my home, this was one book I was able to give them.    I have many, many “favorite” children books and this is on my top ten list.  I would encourage you to find books that have the repetition of a phrase that could be used when a child is waking up, in the care and/or having a sad moment.     “I Love You Forever” and books that have the sing-song words and phrase are a great choices for your library.  Books like this can be used to encourage a child to move, quiet down, read, and of course smile.  Another story that has the same qualities is "Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes “ by Mem Fox and Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (published 2008).  The first time I read this book I knew it would be a story that would be shared with my children and grandchildren for many years.  The phrase “and this little baby as everyone know has ten little fingers and ten little toes”   has a sing song rhythm and catchy repetition.  Babies from many cultures are highlighted, each one special.  This appealing book emphasized the readers baby, who is "truly divine" and has fingers, toes, and three little kisses on the tip of its nose.”


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day Fun

We all want to help our children succeed and constantly want them to learn and grow in all different ways.  Learning does not have to be just about books and school, but can be incorporated in games and other fun ways!  Here is a game of memory and matching that is Valentine-themed.  Use this game on Valentine's day to not only familiarize your children with the different holidays, but helping with their memory as well!

Go to the following website to download the matching pieces in a bigger size.

Cut out the pieces, flip them over (maybe attache them to red cardstock so the white printer paper is not see-thru), and have fun trying to remember where each piece is!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fun Valentine's Day Recipes

A Valentine's Day themed breakfast or a great recipe for Valentine's Day cupcakes can make this heart filled holiday even sweeter. There are many great recipes and ideas at http://familyfun.go.com/valentines-day/valentines-day-recipes/. They have ideas for everything from beautifully decorated cookies to delicious heart shaped pizza. There are easier recipes and recipes that are more challenging to make. Here is an example of one of the recipes from the site.

Conversation Heart Fudge

 From FamilyFun Magazine
Conversation Heart Fudge

If your child's tongue-tied when it comes to expressing his feelings, let this microwave fudge do the talking. The recipe's simple enough for older kids to make themselves and yields 64 bite-size pieces--plenty for a classroom party.
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Dash of salt
  • Aluminum foil
  • 64 conversation hearts
  • 64 red foil bonbon cups or mini muffin cups
  • Clear or red cellophane wrap, cut into 64 5- by 6-inch rectangles
  • Sparkly pipe cleaners in red, pink, or silver
  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-size, microwave-safe bowl, combine the dark chocolate layer ingredients. Microwave the mixture on high at 30-second intervals until the chocolate is melted (about a minute), stirring at each interval. When the mixture's smooth, use a spatula to spread it evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. In another medium-size microwave-safe bowl, combine the white chocolate layer ingredients. Repeat the melting process as described in step 2, but stir at 20-second intervals, as white chocolate tends to scorch easily. Spread the white chocolate evenly over the dark chocolate layer.
  4. While the fudge is still warm, use a knife to gently score it into 1-inch squares, then put a candy heart on top of each square.
  5. Chill the fudge uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until firm. Lift the foil to remove the fudge from the pan and place the whole hunk of fudge on a cutting board. Use a large knife (a parent's job) to cut apart the squares, then peel off the foil from the bottom.
  6. Place each fudge square into a foil bonbon cup or mini muffin cup. Center the cup on a cellophane square and wrap it as shown on page 53, using 1-inch pieces of pipe cleaner to secure the ends. Makes 64 bite-size pieces. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for added firmness.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Get Ready for Valentines Day

In preparation for Valentine's Day, have your children make the decorations this year.  Encourage your children to create some of the following crafts and then hang them around the house, possibly frame some, and make visible for guests and visitors to your home.

  • Coloring book pages: have your child use their creativity as they color the pages they select.  As you praise them, this will promote self-efficacy in your children. 
  • Hand Valentine's: Trace your children hands out on multi-colored construction paper.  They will get so excited that you are including them and will want their hands in all different colors!

As you involved your children in these fun holidays, they too will be excited and feel important.  Every time some one new comes over, they will show their latest craft and creation.  Doing small activities like Valentine crafts, give children confidence they need and the desire to express themselves in the future.