Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Playgroup Craft: ST. PATRICK'S DAY Rainbow

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner! Hand-paint Rainbow is a great holiday craft for playgroup this time of year! 

-Child safe water-based paint (ex: tempera, poster paints and paint pans).

-Paper plates

-Art brushes

-Poster paper

-1 sheet of black and yellow cardstock paper (pot of gold)


-On individual paper plates place a good amount of paint and include an paintbrush.

-Next, apply paint to your child's hand. As you apply and stamp their hand onto the paper, help them create the arc shape.


      Your finished hand-painted rainbow will look something similar to these examples! 


If you are interested in joining a playgroup in your community, please e-mail us at baby1@unitedwayuc.org and we can get you connected to the group leader. Playgroups are in the following communities: Orem, Provo, Springville, and Eagle Mountain. If we do not have a playgroup in your community and you would be interested in starting a playgroup, please e-mail us at baby1@unitedwayuc.org and we can help you get started!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Resource Spotlight: Partners for Infants and Children

Partners for Infants and Children (PIC) aspire to build collaborative networks among multiple partners to empower parents.

Partners for Infants and Children focuses on two areas:
1. Improving access for parents to quality early childhood services.
2. Giving parents greater information in addressing the social and emotional development in infants and children.

One great way PIC empowers families in the community is through the Conscious Fathering classes held every other month! Conscious Fathering is a tried and true parenting program for expectant dads and new dads. The class covers one dad-to-be, and he can bring along his child's grandpa-to-be or uncle-to-be for free.

Class Topics
This class offers men insight into preparing for those precious first few months of a baby’s life. It covers how to meet baby's basic needs: to be fed, burped, comfortable, rested, and responded to when they cry.

It is also discussed how to begin to develop your own definition of what kind of father you want to be and how you want to interact with your child. Our children need fathers as much as they need mothers, and fathers’ involvement in the lives of their kids is an integral part of healthy development. How you care for your child from the very first day will build the foundation for your relationship. Are you ready to embrace fatherhood, immerse yourself in your child’s life, and strive to be a true partner in all aspects of your child’s development?

This 2.5 hour class is offered every other month at various locations including Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, American Fork Hospital and Kids on the Move.
Classes are held on either last Saturday or Tuesday of each month see schedule for specific dates, location and times of each month at http://www.picuc.org/conscious-fathering-registration

REGISTER online or call 801-691-5304

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fun and Fabulous Flashcards for your Young Learner!

Alma Loveland of nicolesclasses.com has designed a set of 48 flashcards just for you and your kids!! The set includes: animals, colors, numbers, and shapes! These flashcards are also intended to be used for the game of Memory (print two sets)! Two great ways to encourage and make learning exciting for your young learner!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Review: Animal Action by Karen Pandell

Reading to your child helps them become ready to start and stay in school. The fun doesn't have to stop when the reading is done! There are many skills that come can be initiated from reading a book. To build upon these skills, use activities to reinforce the learning.

School Age: 1st to 3rd grade

Developmental Skill: Gross Motor skills target the large muscle groups such as arms, legs, and torso. Develop these skills by jumping, throwing, running and kicking. 

Review: An innovative alphabet book invites small children to imitate twenty-six different animals as they box, leap, and stretch their way from A to Z, and each spread features an animal and children in imitating poses.

Activity: See if your child can do the action of each animal. Look in the back of the book for where the animals live and see which animals live in your area.


  • Show us some ways that animals move.
  • Why would it be hard for your body to keep moving this way for a long time?


  • What would happen if a lion moved like a snake?
  • Why is it important to the lion that he moves like a lion and not like a snake?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Provo 7-Eleven Offers a Tasty Incentives for Children

United Way has teamed up with 7-Eleven at 300 S. Freedom Blvd. in Provo to let children borrow books and when they're read and returned, kids are given a free balloon or free Slurpee! The read a book, earn a Slurpee program has only be going for a few week and is becoming very popular!

Customer Sherry Murray says,"We come here and get a couple of books and read them with the girls. It's good for them to take it back to a different grown up and re-tell the story. Then they earn a Slurpee or a balloon and they love it. They really look forward to it."

The end goal is to get kids to decide that reading a book is even sweeter than drinking a Slurpee.

For more information on KSL click here 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


This is a great chore chart from Fifth and Hazel for kids who are pre-K because it's visually motivating, exciting and easily to notice accomplished tasks! For this age group this type of chore chart is much easier for them to understand then filling out a chart. 

Print off free printable on cardstock. (link provided below)
Cut everything out.
Glue a chore task to the back of an ice cream scoop.
Glue on magnets.

Chore tasks include in free printable: Laundry, Sweep, Water plants, Trash, Brush hair, Dishes, Read, Potty, Brush teeth, Get dressed, Make bed, Silverware, Nap, Art, Toys, Bath

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Benefits of Reading to your Child

I don't have any children, but I am very lucky to see and spend lots of time with my 2.5 year old niece Gigi. Gigi is an avid lover of reading. When we're together that time is always spent reading books. This past weekend by brother dropped her off for a day. Bedtime routine that night was a lingering event. I told Gigi we'd read one book. "Read jungle story, Corca!" (Referring to me) So I read jungle story to her, then she continued to ask me to read her story after story. I'm sure I read at least 6 long stories. I just couldn't say no! I find joy in her excitement to learn from reading and I love and enjoy spending that one-on-one time with her. It's a win-win for us both!
Gigi's example of her love for reading has imprinted on me that it is important for children to begin developing joy from reading from day one. Gigi's high interest in reading sparked me to research the topic, The Benefits of Reading to your Child.
Gigi  (right) with cousin Amara and Grandpa
Reading to your child is an important time that can be mutually beneficial to gain a relationship, develop self-confidence and self-expression and learn literacy skills. Here is a list of benefits when you read to your child:
  1. Reading time is bonding time. This provides an opportunity to have personal interaction and communication that is playful and fun.
  2. Reading opens a door to a world of creative imagination. By using your imagination its useful to make sense of the world around you while stimilating creativity, confidence and wellbeing.
  3. Reading stimulates a child's development. Motor skils begins developing through turning pages and memory develops, especially if the story is requested to be read again.
  4. Reading prepares the brain for language development. Reading to your child in a fun, comfortable environment will promote their love and brain development which prepares them for future learning in school. 
I encourage you as the parent to make that effort to read to your children regularly. The results from your efforts will be rewarding! I have seen the rewards from reading with Gigi and they are priceless.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Book Review: I Like Me by Nancy Carlson

I have a best friend. That best friend is ME!

School age: Preschool to 2nd grade

Developmental Skill: Social and emotional developmental is foundational to all learning and can easily be described as regulating our emotions, understanding our emotions, showing emotional attachment and working well with others. 

Review: Nancy Carlson's cheerful pig is full of good feeling about herself. She knows hot to take care of herself and how to have fun-even when there's no one else around. And when she makes mistakes, she has the confidence to try again. I Like Me introduces a character children will love to meet-a special friend who will help them feel good about themselves too. 

Activity:  Write a letter to your child of telling them why you love them. Include talents you notice and behaviors you appreciate. Mail it to your child and see his/her face light up!

-Write a love message with lipstick on your child's bathroom mirror so it's the first thing or last thing they see for the day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Playgroup: Trip to the BYU Dinosaur Museum!

After months and months of this long, frigid, wet winter, we're all dying to play outside! Spring couldn't come sooner. During this season the BYU Dinosaur Museum is a great way to keep you and your kids sane.The museum is also a great opportunity to get together with your local mom friends to do playgroup!


About the Museum

This museum on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah is the home of one of the largest and most valuable Jurassic collections in the world.The BYU Museum of Paleontology was built in 1976 to prepare, display, and house the rock and dinosaur fossils collected by Dr. James A. Jensen and his crews. Over decades of field work, Dr. Jensen and crews gathered fossils from locations in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. For years, the vast collections of the unprepared field jackets were stored under the BYU football stadium. Now, with the new 5,000 square-foot addition, and years of laboratory preparation, nearly all of the fossils are kept at the museum in the collections room.

As part of the BYU educational system, the Museum of Paleontology provides labs and hands-on learning to students. The museum is also a popular attraction for school groups throughout Utah. Each month school groups visit the ESM to take tours and learn more about ancient plants and dinosaurs. Approximately 25,000 visitors a year come here to see dinosaur fossils prepared, to touch real fossils, and to learn about paleontology.

Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm
*Closed on University holidays*

Admission: FREE
Tours through the museum are by appointment only. Call to schedule a tour (801)-422-3680

1683 N. Canyon Rd. in Provo



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Resource Spotlight: Help Me Grow

Help Me Grow provides FREE services to families. Specifically, HMG connects families to resources and information for their child(s) development questions and concerns. Their target group is  children 0-8 years of age who live in Salt Lake and Utah Counties. All HMG services are offered in English and Spanish. Here is a specific list of the following services offered:

  • -Information on child development and parenting tips and topics
  • -Referrals to community resources. For example: early intervention agencies, tutoring programs, family support groups, parenting classes, literacy support agencies, and much more!
  • -Developmental screening questionnaires - Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) for children 0-5 years
  • -Developmental activities is a teaching tool for parents to use at home
  • -Care coordination is a follow up system to ensure families are receiving help from community resources Help Me Grow has connected them to.
To find out more information or to have your questions answered, contact HMG or enroll here. One of their resource specialists will be there to answer your questions!

Visit HMG blog for child development and parenting tips!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Educational Activities!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! I have put together a few fun and easy educational Valentine's activities to do this week! Click on the links below to go to each project and free printables!

1. Follow Your Heart Maze by Mr. Printables
2. Heart Garland by My Plum Pudding
3. Valentine Hearts-Letter Match Game by Makes and Takes
4. Heart Connect the Dots by Holiday Moms Break

Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Reading to your child helps them become ready to start and stay in school. The fun doesn't have to stop when the reading is done! There are many skills that can come that is initiated from reading a book. To build upon these skills, use activities to reinforce the learning.
School Age: 2 grade +

Developmental Skill: Sequencing is math emergent skill, putting like things together in a natural order, helping with foundational math and science skills.

Review: If a hungry little traveler shows up at your house, you might want to gibe him a cookie. If you give him a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk.The consequences of giving a cookie to this energetic mouse run the young host ragged, but young readers will come away smiling at the antics that tumble like dominoes through the pages of this delightful picture book.

Activity: Make cookies with your  child! As you bake, talk about the order of the recipe, discuss what would happen if the order was not followed. Let children help and see how following steps produces a delicious outcome!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentine's Craft and Card Ideas for Playgroup!

              Here are a few fun Valentines crafts ideas! Below are links to connect you to instructions and free tutorials.

1. Fairy Valentine Tree from Cindy Littlefield
2. Be Mine Hands on Flickr
3. Edible Arrow Valentines from The Coterie Blog
4. I Love You This Much Hands from Tiff Keetch
5. Homemade Gummi Hearts from Mama Miss

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Crafts - Free printables and Tutorials!

I've rounded up a few Valentine's Crafts for the entire family! #1, #4, #5 are a free printables! #2, #3 have an easy, free online tutorial! Click on the links below for each craft!

1. Valentine's Tic-Tac-Toe from Creations by Kara
2. Valentine Bots from The Coterie Blog
3. Love Birds Diorama from House of Humble
4. Valentine's Fortune from Design Mom
5. Be Mine Banner from The Busy Budgeting Mama

Monday, February 4, 2013

A How To On Potty Training

When it comes to potty training it's a black hole of questions and concerns. 
What age do I begin training? How do I know if my child's even ready to start? What  training toilets work best? How do I approach it? Help! 

I have talked with a couple mom's and have read blogs concerning these questions. There are hundreds of resources from organizations, books, online sources that suggests the one way to potty train. Is there one way? Again, no child learns or is motivated by the same thing or force, therefore, there is not only one way to potty train. Every mom receives advice on what to do and what not to do. The advice can be helpful, but you are one of only very few people that knows your child best. This is your power tool for teaching your child anything... Remember that!

I have friends and family who have young kids who have either completed potty training or began potty training recently. The biggest key both parties have told me in being successful in conquering it is Consistency, Dedication and Start Training Young.

Here are a few tips I've gathered from my minimal experience, other mom's and parenting websites:

1. On parents.com they suggest beginning potty training as early as 12-18 months. Another mom who had a successful experience started training her child at 18 months and he was fully trained by 20 months. A benefit I've researched about potty training is to train your child before the age of two. The reasons, first, your child can't say no! Also, the older they are the more independent, strong-willed, and vocal they become. I've seen this from personal experience. My 2.5 year old niece hasn't really started potty training and it is like pulling teeth to get her do anything!

2. Make it fun! Bribery is great motivator. Either candy, or stickers is great option. Put candy or your bribery item on the back of the toilet. It's important that you make it VISIBLE so the child knows in order to get a treat, they HAVE to go potty in the toilet. Another fun idea along with bribery is to have potty books for them while their training! My brother bought my niece "Potty Time With Elmo" book. She likes the book and it has been a great reinforcement tool the few times by brother has taken her potty. Another favorite that mom's have used is "Everyone Poops." The title may seem inappropriate, but it's a true fact of life, everyone does poop! 


 3. Get a small potty insert and a footstool! From what I've been told and gathered an insert is better then the small individual toilets that sit on the floor. Again, this depends on the child. Some children have the fear of falling in the big toilet, some love that they're a big kid and sit on moms and dads toilet.  A benefit of buying an insert over a personal training toilet is you don't have an issue when your away from home, and you don't have to transfer your child to the big toilet later.

4. Talk about it! It's important your child knows the gist of what you'll be doing with them concerning potty training. Take them to the store and let them pick out their new underwear! Give them the choice, and make it a big DEAL that they'll be wearing these cool, awesome undies now! A tip suggested is that training undies (they're a little thicker then normal undies) are a far better option then pull-ups. Personally I think pull-ups are diapers, the only difference is it's easier to put them on and off.

5. Have a potty schedule! Naturally, most children will pee or poop after eating. This is a helpful reminder for both you and your child that potty time is right after! Another tip for getting a routine schedule down is to take your child potty every 30-60 minutes. This can be challenging considering that in order to make this happen, you'll need to stay home for about a week to get your child adjusted to this new schedule and training. 

6. Consistency, consistency, consistency and dedication! From my experience as a nanny and as an aunt, I've learned that children THRIVE off of consistency. It is important because they know what to expect and when to expect it. 

7. Don't get mad. Potty training should be a positive learning experience. Accidents will happen. Approach accidents by being calm and saying, "Uh-oh, poop and pee goes in the toilet." After every accident or mid-stream take them immediately to the toilet. It's important to NOT give them a treat during these circumstances. ONLY if they go in the toilet in the first place.

8. Use sign language or sounds! This technique is great for infants. My sister began potty training her 4 month old by using the sound psspss. She used this sound after she knew that her baby went in her diaper. By doing so, this teaches the child that the sound is associated with going potty. Also, after each feeding she'd take her infant on the toilet and make the sound for her baby to go potty. My sister has had great success with this technique! 

Again, all these tips might not work for your child. I believe though the best approach to potty training that will work for everyone is being consistent with your techniques and routine.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Book Review: I Spy, School Days by Jean Marzollo

School Age: Kindergarten +

Developmental Skill: Cognitive and reasoning skills are important in all areas of development. This helps children to think independently, increases vocabulary and builds self-confidence as they solve problems.

Book Review:
As a child I loved the "I Spy" books. It is exhilarating to find the objects in each themed picture along with the riddles. Each picture is exciting and will keep you interested in searching!

Activity: Help your children find the hidden objects in the pictures. This is a great book to do with children of all ages because they can find new things each time. Attention to detail is also a crucial skill they can develop from this activity. Extend the spying game to everyday objects. Hide things for your children to find. This can become a fun game and tradition for your family.