Tag Archives: parenting

4 Ways to Create a Kid-Friendly Garden

4 Ways to Create a Kid-Friendly Garden

 

When children come along, the garden becomes less of a relaxing area and more of a play place for the young ones. However, you don’t have to worry about your child getting hurt or work on labels saying “No, don’t touch that,” “Keep distance,” et cetera. Here are some clever ways to turn your garden into a children’s haven that grown-ups can enjoy too.

 

  1. Grow Sensory Plants 

Encourage the kids to spend their time in the garden by installing plants that stimulate their senses. For example, rattling seed head and rustling grass are great to listen to in quiet moments, while bright flowers like sunflowers, nasturtiums, and marigolds make for a lovely sight because of their multicolored blooms. Also, consider adding a variety of textures while decorating your garden, like downy sage leaves, to persuade the children to utilize the sense of feel/touch. In addition, parents can plant chocolate cosmos and other plants with fun smells, as well as stimulate taste buds by growing a pot of flavorful berries. 

 

  1. Make Your Garden a Pest-Free Zone

Slugs, ants and other insects can damage your garden and may make your children vulnerable to diseases. To ensure that your kids don’t come in contact with harmful pests, experts at Joshua’s Pest Control San Diego recommend professional pest control services. Specialists acknowledge that each business or home has varying pest challenges so they take extra care in inspecting the establishment to discover the best solution by developing customized solutions that suit every need. If you’re worried about pesticides, you can inquire if the vendor offers organic pest control. Organic treatments are based on the vendor visiting your garden on a regular basis to minimize your pest issues. These provide a natural alternative that features the use of natural ingredients, including rosemary oil and high-quality clove.

 

  1. Set Up a Mini Jungle

This can be done by planting weeping trees and grasses in one corner of the garden. Consider laying stepping stones to create a pathway through the mini jungle where children can let their imagination run free. Parents even have the option to seed giant sunflower and put a huge boulder for children’s climbing. The fun and inviting area will definitely get the little ones to utilize the garden, and be excited about spending time outdoors, away from their TVs and iPads. However, this can also create some good hideouts for unsafe critters, so it’s recommended that you keep the plant and grass to a minimum quantity and height. 

 

  1. Invest in a Trampoline 

This can be done by planting weeping trees and grasses in one corner of the garden. Consider laying stepping stones to create a pathway through the mini jungle where children can let their imagination run free. Parents even have the option to seed giant sunflowers and put a huge boulder for the kids to climb. The fun and inviting area will definitely get the little ones to utilize the garden, and be excited about spending time outdoors, away from their iPads. However, this can also create some good hideouts for unsafe critters, so it’s recommended that you keep the plant and grass to a minimum quantity and height.

 

By taking just a few measures before the summer comes to an end, you’ll be able to create a safe outdoor haven for your loved ones.

 

 

How to choose a game your toddler will enjoy

Toddlers love playing board games, but it is important to find one just right for their skill level, and short in duration so it can hold their attention. There are so many different games to choose from, knowing what’s right can sometimes be difficult. Here, we have some top tips to help parents find a board game their toddler is sure to love.

 

How to choose a game your toddler will enjoy

 

Easy Toddler Games

The first thing to think about is how difficult the game is to follow. If buying a first board game for your toddler, make sure the rules are simple. Also make sure the game doesn’t last more than 10 or 15 minutes, as toddlers tend to lose interest and stop concentrating after this length of time.

 

What is your Child Interested in?

Think about your child’s interests when choosing a game for them. If your child likes counting, choose a game which involves numbers. If they enjoy matching items, they will probably love a bingo lotto type game where they can match picture cards to their game board.

There are loads of games for toddlers which have play pieces such as toy food. These are great because children can use the items from the game as toys even if they are not yet interested in learning how to play the game properly.

 

Cooperative Games

These are the best type of games for toddlers, as all players work together to achieve a goal. It can help toddlers learn to work together with others – a valuable skill to learn from a young age. Games which have one winner or loser have their place, but very young children can become extremely upset if they lose the game, which can put them off wanting to play it again.

It’s best to play a game with your toddler, as they will love spending time with you and learning how to play. Toddlers can learn important social skills from playing board games, such as taking turns, so it’s a good idea to sit with them and show them what to do.

 

Popular Kids Cartoon Characters

Toddlers love cartoon characters from their favorite books and programs. Choosing a game which features a character they love is sure to help them be more interested in learning how to play it. There are many board games and picture cards featuring popular characters – there is sure to be something your toddler will love!

 

Active Games for Kids

Toddlers don’t often enjoy sitting still, so getting them to sit on the floor or around the table to play a game can be challenging. There are some games which encourage kids to move around, such as those where players have to do certain movements and actions or sing songs. These types of games are great choices for wiggly toddlers who hate sitting still!

 

Reading Skills

It’s a good idea to choose a board game for a toddler which doesn’t involve any reading. There are plenty of games which can be played by those who can’t yet read – as long as parents explain the rules toddlers are sure to learn fast.

 

About the Author

Emily Dick is a writer and blogger and is currently writing for her parenting blog WhooopsaDaisy.com. She enjoys writing about a range of topics, whether it’s toys and games for kids or the latest baby equipment. Emily has recently graduated with a degree in social science from The Open University, and she is currently raising her toddler daughter Daisy.

 

Extra Discounts for EBT Cardholders

Extra Discounts for EBT Cardholders (you've got to read this!)

 

EBT benefits can be a lifesaver.  For some it is a helping hand to get you by in a tough time, and for others it could be a matter of whether they eat dinner or not every night.  Regardless of the situation, it means money is tight.  Your family may be missing out on opportunities others have, but you shouldn’t have to.  As someone who has been through these circumstances, I want to share with you some of the great discounts and freebies I have found for EBT cardholders to help you save money! 

 

EBT Cardholder Discounts

  • Museums
  • Amazon Prime
  • Zoos
    • Some zoos even offer discounted admission – check the zoo’s website or give them a call
  • School Fees and Lunches
    • Discounted lunches and reduced or waived fees for school – most states have programs to ensure low income families can still afford to send their children to school.  This includes discounted or free lunches, reduced or waived fees for school, and even a summer lunch program.  Call your school or stop into the office to inquire.  You may also be able to find out more information from the USDA School Meals website.
  • Home Internet

Remember to show your card to verify eligibility for all of the above mentioned discounts!

 

Free bowling for kids (during summer months)

 

Other discounts to keep an eye out for (not EBT card required)

  • Program discounts through your employer
    • cell service, fitness center memberships, local discounts
  • Grocery store loyalty cards and programs
    • Walmart Savings Catcher – scan your receipt with the app and they will compare the grocery prices to other local stores and give you the difference back!
    • Meijer Mperks (for those of you in the Midwest!)
    • Price Matching
  • Check brand, store, and event websites for coupons and discounts
    • Before shopping online or visiting a store, check websites for coupons and discounts
    • Visit the brand or store website for exclusive coupons
    • Apps like Shopular and Retailmenot for store coupons
    • Restaurant and fast food apps often offer additional discounts
    • Redbox App for free/discounted movie rentals
  • Coupons.com website and app
    • Check for product or brand specific coupons
  • Current memberships
    • Investigate your current memberships.  They may get you discounts at other locations (i.e. partnering museums, library, etc)
  • Seasonal Discounts
    • Some events or memberships will offer discounts if you sign up during a certain time frame
    • Check for off season discounts
  • KidsBowlFree.com
    • Great opportunity for summer months
    • Sign up online for 2 free bowling games per day for each child (up to age 15) at qualifying locations
    • Shoe rental is not covered, however you can pick a pair of low-cost light soled shoes from a store like Walmart to wear only for bowling and not have to pay for shoes.  I spent $10 a pair for my boys and would have paid that in 3 visits alone.  Plus, after school starts and the free bowling ends, they can keep them as bowling shoes or they can have a spare pair of shoes for school! 
  • Birthday Offers
    • Sign up for savings at various places and receive free/discounted offers for your birthday

 

10 tips to help your new Kindergartener adjust to school

 

Tips to help your new kingergartener adjust

 

Heading to Kindergarten is scary business for kids, especially if public school is involved rather than homeschooling.. Even if your child attended preschool in the same building, there are many changes coming with kindergarten.  You may not be ready and he or she may not be ready, but ready or not, here it comes! 

 

Here are a few tips to help your new kindergartener adjust to school:

 

Attend open house. Seeing their new classroom and meeting the teacher before school begins is a perfect place to start.  If you miss open house, contact the school to see if you can get in for a quick tour.  Most playgrounds are open after hours, so make a point to stop in and play a time or two to help your child become excited knowing they get to come here every day. 

 

Walk your child back the first day, if allowed, but no more.  Not only does it distract other students but it can cause your child to expect this daily and have a harder time letting go.  A lot of schools will recommend a quick good bye.  The more you linger, the more the child will cling as well. 

 

Let your child have a hand in picking out their clothes.  Being proud of what they are wearing can give a sense of confidence that will help push them past other insecurities. 

 

Practice your morning routine in advance.  Feeling less rushed when school starts will give both you and your child a more positive outlook. 

 

Explain the schedule. Let your child know what to expect.  The less unknown there is, the more comfortable they will feel overall.

 

Meet the other parents and set up play dates.  Developing a relationship with classmates outside of school will help bring comfort and excitement when seeing those friends again at school.

 

Become involved.  Attend after-school events with your child and become comfortable with the school yourself.  You can communicate better with your child about things happening at school, know which friends they are talking about, or even picture the location as they chat about something that happened in gym. 

 

Communicate with the teacher.  If you know what’s happening in the classroom, you can continue those lessons from home. Some teachers will send out a weekly newsletter, but if not, you can even maintain an email relationship with the teacher to find out what’s going on each week.  Some teachers will have a weekly newsletter set up for this purpose, but you can always reach out further if you feel the need.

 

Schedule mommy/child dates.  Set aside a time each week to go out and have one on one time together.  Evenings at home may feel like enough, but your child is going through a major change in their life spending hours at school each day.  You need this time together more than ever!  Raising Lifelong Learners put together an awesome list of 100 Easy Kid Date Ideas that I recommend checking out! 

 

Relax.  Children can sense how their parents are feeling.  If mommy and daddy are relaxed, chances are your child will have less anticipation as well.  Show your child how confident you are in them and that you have nothing to worry about.  Practice patience and set a good example for your child.  

 

The first week or two will probably still be tough, but stick it out and everyone will get through it.  Before you know it, you will wonder what you even had to worry about! 

 

 

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