If your teen likes riding their bike, you’ve probably had the pleasure of hearing them complain about the awful feeling of having a rain and grime sprayed up onto the back of their pants, shirt, and backpack. Continue reading
With the holiday season coming up chances are you’ll be spending more time with relatives and enjoying family gatherings in multi-generational settings. Generational gaps can lead to lack of communication between children and their older relatives, especially in an age of constant texting and facebooking.
Here are just a few simple ideas to help children and older relatives spend some quality time together. Of course, there’s no need to wait until the holidays to engage in some of these activities. Visiting with older relatives is important all year around.
1. Work Together to Create a Story of the Family, either on actual paper or online. Scan in old photos and ask grandparents to tell you about the day they were taken. Ask relatives for information about their own parents, their childhoods, and their jobs. Talk to them about some of their favorite things to cook, garden, or read. Then compile all the information onto a blog, into a scrapbook, or another other form of media. It will be a keepsake for generations to come.
2. Record an Interview with Grandparents That Can Be Shared With Other Family and Friends. Sit down and record a short interview with grandparents about their lives. You can ask questions such as “Where were you born?” “What’s your earliest memory?” “How did you meet your husband/wife?” “What kind of games did you like to play as a child?” The possibilities are endless and your guaranteed to learn a great deal.
3. Scan in Old Photos Together. Spend time together sharing stories and digitizing photo collections by making sure to include the kids in the event. They might find it boring at first, but chances are they’ll get pulled in by the storytelling and want to know more.
4. Create a Family Recipe Book. There are numerous options on both Macs and PCs for creating recipe books. Ask your child to help type up the information and put together the design while you and grandparents decide what to include. You can even consider making copies for everyone as Christmas presents. The great thing about it is the recipe book can grow as time goes on.
5. Go for a Drive. Do you have a teenager who is learning to drive? If you’re not too terrified to ride with them, have them get behind the wheel for a family drive and ask grandparents to talk about the changes they’ve seen in the town over the years. It will be a great conversation starter and fun practice for your teen.
What are some of your ideas? We’d love to hear them!
Last week’s Midweek Snack recipe featured a rich and tasty pumpkin-infused rice crispy treat, which called for canned pumpkin. Cooking with canned pumpkin is wonderful, but so many tasty season recipes taste even better with fresh pumpkin. It makes simple pumpkin pies taste richer and creamier; it adds a soft, richness to baked good.
It may seem intimidating to bake with fresh pumpkin, but it’s incredibly easy and once you get the hang of it you’ll likely never use canned pumpkin again!
So here are the basic steps:
1. Find a pie pumpkin in the farmers market or grocery store. These are the smaller ones that usually find in the produce.
2. Cut in half with knife, pry open pumpkin, and scoop out the seeds (you can save these for roasting!)
3. Poor a tiny bit of water into a casserole dish and face the two halves face down in the water.
4. Bake at 375 for about 1 1/2 hours.
5. You’re done! Scoop the pumpkin meat out of the skin and it’s ready to use!
Check back with us for this Wednesday’s Midweek Snack when we’ll feature another great season pumpkin recipe!
Kids are tornados—wonderful, amazing, brilliant tornados. As a caregiver, sometimes you crave order in your child’s room, a calm after the storm. Chances are so do your children, even if they aren’t able to articulate this. Continue reading
This is the question I’ve been asking myself as I stare at the “pictures of letters” my three year old son drew in Sharpie marker on our vintage kitchen table this morning. I love his artwork, and I am truly impressed with attempts to perfect the letter “A.” His lines are fluid and delicate. His artist father would be so proud. But his creation doesn’t really work as a kitchen table accent. Continue reading
My family recently braved our first flight with our twin toddlers. Thanks to some careful pre-planning and tips from other well-traveled families, we managed to avoid any serious meltdowns despite a four hour delayed flight and an unexpected overnight stay in Denver. Here are a few things that worked for us and other tips we learned along the way.
What’s your advice for traveling with young children? Post in the comments section below!
* Watch videos of airport terminals and security lines on Youtube a few days in advance of the trip. This helps young children mentally prepare for the lines, depositing their belongings in the trays, the scanner, etc.
* Bring lots of healthy and tasty snacks and a durable water bottle for easy refilling. Making sure they stay fed and hydrated helps everyone’s mood. And packing ahead saves money. Water bottles can be taken through the security lines empty and then filled up once you’re near the gate.
* Have a special present for them to open once they are seated on the plane. Make sure they understand they must be seated with their seatbelt buckled before they can open it. This gives them something to look forward to and helps them remember the importance of sitting still before takeoff.
* Bring books along for the flight, preferably something they haven’t read/looked at millions of times already. Stickers work great too.
What works great for your kids?
iTunes has done us a favor and collected some of the best iPhone, iPod, and iPad apps for parents. Of course, these apps are always available on iTunes, but I’d act quick to make sure you take advantage of any deals that may be going on. (Sometimes app developers will discount their app while it is being featured by iTunes, but no guarantees. Sometimes they’ll actually increase the price once they’ve received the notoriety.)
The apps are arranged into 6 categories:
New Parents: Most of these apps are filed under Medical, Health & Fitness, and Education, which makes sense if you recall your first months as a parent. For you new parents out there, maybe the free Diaper.com app can help you order up some cloth diapers for your little one.
Busy Parents: Like the iTunes write-up says, “‘busy’ doesn’t begin to describe your day.” So these apps don’t assume to solve all your time-crunching issues. But apps like Red Rover can help you plan your day if you’ve need to “discover kid-friendly places, find great activities and connect with parent friends on the go.” Sounds helpful to me.
Playtime: Yes, dads, this is playtime for the kids and you. But these aren’t just games. For instance, check out our personal favorite in this category, Project Noah. If you have ever read Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, you understand how important it is to establish a strong connection between our children and nature. Project Noah is a great way to help kids learn about biodiversity in your area and so much more.
Mealtime: A great find in this category is an app called Fooducate, which helps you “grade” the food you buy, or are considering buying, tells you why it is good or bad, and gives you options. For instance, scan the UPC of that chocolate Power Bar you’re thinking of buying, and it will give you a grade based on the ingredients – taking into consideration processed ingredients, whole ingredients, preservatives, possible carcinogens, vitamin content, etc. Not happy with the grade? Get recommendations for options according to the food type (in this case, a food made to provide energy) and find out why it is a better option. (You may be surprised how often one simple fruit or vegetable provides everything you’re looking for and more.) Use it and you will feel 10x more food-smart and know that you’re providing your family with the best options.
Bedtime: On the road with the family and don’t have your copy of Pat the Bunny? Never fear, it’s on your iPad. You’re the hero!
Personal Assistants: Some of these could also be filed in the Woah, Life Just Got More Complex category. That is why services like Mint.com made their free app. If you use the online personal financial planning/management service provided by Mint.com, you’ll want to download this app to greatly extend their already amazaing services.
What apps do you use that help your life as a parent just a little easier? Tell us below!
When you hear the phrase cloth diapers perhaps you imagine clumsy diaper pins, a poop-filled washing machine, and a general sense of inconvenience. Just like the car seats, strollers, and cribs of yesteryear, cloth diapers have come a long way in the last few decades. Continue reading
Whether your child is going back to school or just starting out, the first day of the school year is one every child anticipates. Some may be scared and anxious and some may be excited, pacing the house ready to leave the morning of. Either way, doing something special on their first day of school will help to get the school year off right. Here are a few first day ideas inspired by Pinterest. For more ideas, visit our Pinterest page: www.pinterest.com. Continue reading
Have you heard about the upcoming sales tax holiday? Next weekend, August 4-5, you can shop for back to school clothes and supplies and other needed items without paying state and local tax!