Monday, March 28, 2011

How Young is TOO Young for Potty Training?

In a recent article on ABC Health News the topic was about the current trend to potty train babies very young. One mother from Virginia was shocked when her 3 year old daughter was punished for having too many accidents at school. She had to keep her child home from preschool for one month because of it. No wonder mothers are feeling the urge to potty train younger and younger!

There are a couple of programs out there that teach mothers how to potty train starting as young as 2 months old. One of these programs is called Elimination Communication, which has thousands of followers. Some people think 2 months is just too young, while others think the earlier the better.

What do you think? How young is too young?

To read the full story click HERE!

*Image taken from http://abryan.aupairnews.com/2011/03/02/childcare-tip-of-the-week-36/

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is an amazing children's book that is one of my personal favorites!

Children learn to read from everyday symbols such as stop signs and pictures. These are referred to as environmental print. Letters become symbols, especially letters in their names. There is not phonetic recognition in early childhood.  Young toddler's can recognize pictures of familiar items or people.   Let children examine  objects with all their senses.  For example after reading the book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” By Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault  use food as environment print.   See picture below to create your own coconut tree ( Original idea form Angie Choate, Mustang OK). 

Materials needed: 
Two chocolate wafers (for the tree base)
Three green grapes (for the coconuts)  
Four apple slices (for the palm leaves) 
Alphabets cereal

Then you just assemble the tree to look like the picture below! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Finally the first day of Spring has come and gone and the warm weather, I'm sure, is on its way...soon!  There are many fun things to do outside, when the weather permits, but one thing I think of when I think of springtime, is beautiful, planted flowers!  Planting flowers can be a great activity for you and your youngsters of all ages.  Mid-March is a perfect time to start planting (or at least thinking about) your perfect flower garden.  On ehow.com, it goes over some of the fundamentals of planting a flower bed.  Here are some of their suggestions:

Annual flowers generally suit planting in late winter or early spring, depending on their hardiness, your location and the flower species. For example, cold-hardy annuals will tolerate planting in the middle of March. 

If you have young perennial flower plants, the ideal time to get them into the ground is early spring, not fall....Perennial means they keep producing flowers for at least two years until the plant dies, so you don't need to dig up the spent flowers at the end of summer.

While planting flowers there are many lessons to be taught.  You can allow your child to pick out the flower, help them identify the color, how many petals it has, the color of the pollen (all of these can be found on the seed package); help them understand how to care for the flower--it needs sunlight and water; have them draw a picture of what their plant looks like everyday...I'm sure this will be a great lesson in patience, as we adults know that it takes a while!!!  

Happy Planting!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rainbow fish craft

 This rainbow fish craft is so fun! I  really like that it helps the book come to life for the kids. There are also so many different ways you can modify it, so use what you have!


  • template of the fish (or you can draw your own)
  • 1/2 inch or so bits of various colored tissue paper or construction paper (we used tissue paper in the photo above, but you can also use construction paper cute into squares)
  • small amount of tinfoil
  • thin strips of various colored tissue paper or construction paper
  • one big blue piece of tissue or construction paper OR a blue marker or crayon
  • glue
  • scissors


  • print rainbow fish template (or draw the outline of a fish on a piece of paper) Rainbow Fish Template
  • color the head in blue, or glue on a piece of tissue or construction paper.   It doesn't have to be perfect as we're going to cut out the fish at the end.
  • glue strips of various colored tissue or construction paper on the fins and tail (see photo).
  • glue 1/2 inch (ish) squares of tissue paper or construction paper onto the body.
  • glue a few strips and 1/2 inch squares of tinfoil over the fish  (or just glue on one square scale to show Rainbow Fish after he shared).
  • Cut out along the lines (if you used tissue paper you'll be able to see the lines through it... if you used construction paper, just estimate where the lines are).  This step will require adult assistance for younger children.
  • Cut out the mouth and eye and glue them onto the head.  (you can color them in with markers if you wish.)

Rainbow Fish template

Enjoy! Don't forgot about Help Me Grow's Second Annual Family Event!  It Saturday April 30th from 9:30 am to 11:30 am at UVU Center Stage, 800 W University Parkway, Orem. You can register at www.untiedwayuc.org Questions? Call 801-691-5322

Monday, March 14, 2011

Adorable Baby Shower Ideas

Everyone loves a great party! Do you know anyone that is having a baby soon? If so, you should throw them a baby shower! The following links have great baby shower ideas for everything from themes to invitations to games. It can be hard to come up with all of the ideas on your own, so why not borrow some from the links below?!

1. http://www.tipjunkie.com/oh-baby-cute-baby-shower-ideas/
2. http://www.babyshower101.com/baby_shower_themes.html
3. http://www.plan-the-perfect-baby-shower.com/

*picture taken from http://tipdeck.com/diaper-cakes-instructions

Friday, March 11, 2011

St. Patricks Day Craft


Materials needed:
  • 9 x 12" piece of construction paper
  • Fruity O-shaped cereal
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Yellow crayon or marker for sun
  • Rainbow, sun and cloud pattern click here
  1.  Print the pattern of the rainbow and use as a guideline to draw yours on a piece of construction paper.
  2.  Print the sun and cloud pattern. Cut them out and glue them onto your picture.
  3. Glue the cereal onto the paper to make the rainbow colors. Rainbow color placement: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homemade Creativity

Wow!  Was the weather great today in Utah county!  It is definitely starting to feel a little bit like spring these days...and that means the kids can finally go out doors!  It's time to bring out the outdoor crafts and get creative!!  On marthastewart.com, there is a recipe/instructions for homemade sidewalk chalk.  What child does not enjoy a piece of sidewalk chalk?


Tools and Materials
  • Cardboard tube (saved from center of paper towels, toilet paper, wrapping papers, tinfoil, etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Freezer paper
  • 32-ounce plastic containers (saved yogurt containers work great)
  • Tempera paint in a variety of colors
  • 1 cup water
  • Mixing spoon
  • 1 1/2 cups Plaster of Paris
  • Rubber spatula
  • Cooling rack
Tip: Silicone baking trays also make great chalk molds, and come in fun shapes such as stars and hearts.

Sidewalk Chalk How-To

1. If necessary, cut cardboard tube to about 5 1/2-inch lengths (the size of half a paper towel tube). Other sizes can be used as well. Use duct tape to tape off one side of each tube.
2. Insert a sheet of freezer paper, cut to size (with paper inside the tube).
3. In a plastic container, mix 2 to 4 tablespoons (depending on color desired) of paint into the cup of water. Continue mixing while slowly adding the Plaster of Paris to the water, until completely combined. The mixture should be about the texture of frosting.
4. Fill prepared tube with mixture, assisting with a rubber spatula. Tap tube on work surface to release air bubbles.
5. The plaster will set in about a half hour, and can be removed from tube after about one hour (check for hardness by gently squeezing tube). Once chalk is removed from tube, place on a cooling rack and let dry completely (at least 24 hours) before using.
From The Martha Stewart Show, April 2010
Most of the supplies needed for this project will be things around your home already.  This craft will be something that you can involve your children with and something that they will love the end effect.  Happy crafting! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Benefits of Infant Massage

If you are a new mom, or expecting a baby you have probably heard something about infant massage. There are great benefits that come from doing infant massage for both baby and parent. Below are listed some of the benefits mentioned in our March newsletter.


Benefits for child:
  • Increases oxygen and nutrient flow to cells
  • Improves muscle tone and reduces muscle stiffness
  • Improves sensory awareness
  • Relieves discomfort from teething, congestion, gas, colic, and emotional distress
  • Encourages bonding with a loving caregiver
  • Increases a baby's sense of well-being
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves skin condition
  • Helps waste elimination
  • Helps digestion
  • Facilitates body awareness
  • Helps baby feel loved and secure
  • Promotes brain growth
  • Stimulates growth-promoting hormones
  • Helps relieve tension built up from all the stimulation baby experiences

Benefits for Parents:
  • Feeling more confident and comfortable in their ability to care for their baby
  • Learning techniques to comfort, calm, and soothe their infant
  • Learning to understand and respond to baby's cues
  • Feeling closer to their infant
  • Relaxation
Check out this website, babybabyohbaby.com, to learn more about how to do infant massage. There is a video clip that explains how to do some of the strokes. 

*Picture taken from http://www.raising-twins.com/infant-massage.html

Friday, March 4, 2011

Silly Spiders

Silly Sally got me thinking about a silly craft you could do with your kids. I found this cute craft at this cute blog.

What you’ll need for each spider…
Paper Cup
Black marker or dimensional paint
Pipe cleaners
wiggly eyes
paper for fangs
pencil & yarn for hanging
If you plan on hanging your spider, use pencil to make hole in bottom of cup, thread yarn through the hole and knot on the inside of the cup to create hanging string.
Flip cup upside down and cut 4 1/4 to 1/2 inch slits on opposite sides of the cup.  Push pipe cleaners into slits to form legs.

Glue on eyes, draw mouth, and glue on fangs.
You can use different colored cups, purple is really cute.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to Help me Grow!!

On Tuesday we celebrated Help Me Grow's first birthday.  They are one year strong.  They have helped 234 families and 99 are active currently. They have processed over 300 parent screenings, have made 28 referrals to early intervention and over 400 referrals to numerous community resources.  Help me is a parent-info line that connects families to community services. Dial 2-1-1, ask for Help Me Grow, and let us help you find the resources that you need. Such as, Parenting classes, looking for vision/hearing screenings, and speech therapy. 

We are so lucky to have Help Me Grow in Utah County. If you have any child development questions at all do not hesitate to call 2-1-1. They have amazing resources and are here to help! For more info visit their blog at http://helpmegrowutah.blogspot.com/

Color Coordinating with Nature

The craft this week was found on familyfun.com at http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/a-trail-tote-672562/.  This tote carton will help your children match colors they see every day to those in nature.  Children love being outdoors, so why not make it interactive?

A Trail Tote

To help kids get the most out of communing with nature, Lizette Castano at the Children's Nature Institute suggests packing a canvas bag with a few of simple items.

  • Egg carton
  • Magnifying glass
  • Magnets
  • Water-filled spray bottle
  • Homemade soil slides
  1. Egg carton: Paint the bottom of each compartment a different color, then challenge kids to find natural souvenirs in a matching hue.
  2. Magnifying glass: Encourage your family to take a closer look at things and discover treasures hidden in plain view, such as the silvery veins on a leaf or tiny mites on a decaying log.
  3. Magnets: Run a strong magnet across the soil to see if iron bits are lurking about (they'll stick to the magnet). For an even greater wow factor, bring a paper plate, top it with soil, then run a magnet underneath it to make the iron bits dance.
  4. Water-filled spray bottle: See how a gentle spritz can change the look of things, such as spiderwebs and color-shifting rocks.
  5. Homemade soil slides: Cut a 1/2-inch square in a notecard and cover the hole with a piece of clear tape. Press the sticky side against soil, then use a magnifying glass to discover its individual components.