Monthly Archives: July 2010
I truly believe there is a sock heaven, because every time I put in a load of laundry socks go missing. How is it that when you put 8 socks in the wash, only 7 come out? I neatly pile my unmatched socks in the back of the sock drawer hoping that one day the sock’s mate will reappear. It never happens. I hate throwing out perfectly good socks and have recently found a good use for them – sock puppets!
Making sock puppets and putting on a sock puppet show is not only fun and easy, but helps your child develop his imagination. And the best part? They are easy and inexpensive to make.
What you will need:
- Googly eyes or buttons*
- Non-toxic markers or paint
- Felt or yarn
- Non-toxic fabric glue, glue gun or needle and thread (to be used by adult only)
- Attach the buttons or googly eyes so your sock puppet has eyes and a nose
- Use the markers or paint to draw a smile along the seam of the sock or paint other things on the puppet like a collar or tie
- Glue or sew hair on the puppet or make a little hat from felt
Once the puppet is assembled you can put on a puppet show! Reenact your child’s favorite bedtime story or favorite movie scene. Invite their friends over to put on a sock puppet play or put on a little production for Grandma and Grandpa. The sky isn’t even the limit as you watch your child’s imagination grow.
What fun ideas for matchless socks do you have?
*These items are not recommended for small children
We love our Contours® Classique™ 3 in 1 bassinet and we know our customers do too. We would love to know how you are using it, what you like about it, what you would like to see improved.
If you own a Contours® Classique™ 3 in 1 bassinet, please send us a photo of your bassinet along with your thoughts about it to email@example.com. We will use random.org to pick a winner for a $25.00 gas card!
Thanks for your help! We love customer feedback.
Most of our cities have museums, theaters and cultural centers housing treasures of art, history, science, nature – you name it. It’s so important to instill in our children a sense of wonder, awe and appreciation for these treasures. It can get pricey though to bring your entire family to a museum, but from July 16-18, Target is footing the bill so your family can enjoy these great attractions!
Check out Target’s Arts and Wonders website, click on your city and the special free or reduced price Target attractions will be listed.
Free is hard to beat so get out and enjoy a day of the arts with your entire family. And don’t forget to bring your Kolcraft stroller in case little feet get tired.
Thank you Target for making the Arts family accessible!
Will you be participating in Target’s Arts & Wonders event?
- Make sure baby’s sleeping space is free from clutter – blankets, toys, pillows, etc.
- Place baby on his back when putting him down to sleep. This position reduces the incidence of SIDS. Make sure your caregivers know to do this as well.
- When traveling, it is best to bring your own playard or bassinet for baby since you don’t know how old or in what condition hotel cribs will be.
We love the March of Dimes website for great resources and tips for creating a safe sleeping environment for baby.
We recently met Valerie at The Village of Moms when we learned about Blogmania. We loved her enthusiasm, resourcefulness and creativity so we had to tell all our readers about The Village of Moms! We are happy to feature Valerie on Mom Monday.
You have as a motto that it takes a village to raise a kid. What gave you the idea to start a virtual village for “raising a child”?
Actually, my husband. He always encouraged me to blog about something where I could put my gathered information and ideas for all to see. I’m always researching, so he thought I should consolidate all of my resources in one place to help other moms find it faster. It wasn’t until I had my 2nd baby that a similar idea finally clicked. (Must have been all that time I had while nursing!) I tweaked his idea to include all moms, not just me, as we’ve all been there struggling or overwhelmed at one time or another (yes, even those of us who pretend to have it totally together). Since we all could use some help and given the fact that two (or 3 or 4 or 200) heads are better than one, I started the blog.
I love the idea of having moms chime in to give their advice and hope to someday grow the blog to include several regularly contributing mommy bloggers sharing their tips. Wouldn’t you want to know as many possible ways to potty train a child, for instance? That way, you can informatively pick one method, or take all the ideas and consolidate it into a new method that works best for you as an individual. Even the best of us have “those days,” run into a hurdle, or just need a little encouragement. That’s what I hope VoM becomes for moms.
You have a lot of creative ideas on your blog. We especially love your day at the beach for when the weather outside is NOT beach weather. Where do you get your inspiration?
Thanks, but I can’t take any credit. Like my tag line says, it takes a village. Most of the ideas on the blog are things I have picked up along the way and implemented from other moms — friends, moms, grandparents, strangers, books, fellow mom bloggers, the web. It’s a collection of tips and ideas. A team effort! Isn’t that how parenting really works anyway?
Speaking of creative… tell us about Blogmania: how it started, how people join the fun, secrets to winning the great prizes.
Well, Blogmania is a two day international blog giveaway extravaganza (scheduled for September 15th and 16th) with close to 175 participating blogs hosting a cumulative prize value of over $20,000 so far. It started with a couple of blogs (Between the Pages; Books, Books Everywhere; and Crush) last April. It was so successful the first time with only 3 weeks notice that they decided to make it a biannual event. To join in on the massive prize packages, just click links that will be provided on the official blog on those two days. As far as secrets, well, if you know of one, please do share! It’s all randomly picked. But I will recommend checking the official blog every so often for updates, pre-mania contests, and vital information on the blogs and prize themes. That way, you can be prepared when the day comes.
Any other fun events or particularly helpful articles coming up on Village of Moms that readers should pay special attention to?
Well, this entire month is dedicated to “green” topics, called Healthy Living: Body and Home (written by me and a couple of other moms who are more of an expert than I will ever be!). I’m also thinking about possibly doing a mini-series on potty training, as it is the season (before school starts). We’ll see. By the end of August, I hope to be getting into a regular schedule with at least one “green” post, one parenting post, one giveaway, and one recipe per week.
Now for a quick glance into Valerie’s life.
What is one thing always in your fridge? In the fridge? Milk! In the freezer? Frozen blueberries! (Both of which are staples at our house.)
What is your one guilty pleasure? Seriously, this is a hard one to answer. I am waaaaaay down the totem pole and hardly ever do anything for myself, but if I had to say there was one thing (nonfood, of course)… reading (and sobbing over) sad stories on personal blogs. I could literally sit there and read them for hours (and I am NOT a reader). But alas, I have to pull myself together and stop at the title (or it could get out of hand pretty quickly).
If you had a free day to yourself, how would you spend it? You really wanna know? You would probably find it rather uninteresting. I would start by hitting the trails. Running in a semi-dark tree-lined trail is a dream come true. I would then move onto a spinning class, lift a few weights, relax in a steam room sipping on some kind of citrusy water, get my nails done, and then clean the house from top to bottom. Every nook and cranny. Yep, I’ve thought about a day like this a lot. A day for myself — is that really an option for a mother of a nursing infant and a busy toddler anyway?
If someone was going to write a book on your life, what would they title it? I’d find it very odd that someone could make a book out of my life. The Busy Mommy, The Mom Who Never Rests, Sleepless in the Midwest are all options.
Thank you Valerie!
If you have any questions or comments for Valerie, please leave them in our comments section!
July is national Blueberry month (who knew right?). What better way to celebrate this vitamin-packed fruit than to make some healthy blueberry treats with your kids?
Fun Friday Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles
What you will need:
- 12 paper or foil baking cups, 2 1/2 inch size
- Zest and juices of one small lemon
- 2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (We like to use sugar in the raw or Stevia. If using one of these substitutes, use less than recipe calls for.)
- 1 pint blueberries
- 12 popsicle sticks
- Line twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin pan cups with the paper or foil baking cups.
Ready, Set, Make!
- In a bowl, blend the lemon zest, lemon juice, yogurt, and sugar until smooth.
- Stir in the blueberries.
- Divide the mixture within the paper-lined muffing pan cups.
- Freeze for 1 1/2 hours, or until almost firm: insert a popsicle stick in the middle of each popsicle.
- Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
- To serve, peel off the paper liners and let the popsicles stand at room temperature for about 4 to 6 minutes to soften slightly for easier eating.
If you want to store them in the freezer for a longer time, cover them with plastic wrap.
What healthy summer recipes for kids do you have to share?
Kolcraft is looking for people who have 0-3 month old babies—or are expecting a baby in the next 3 weeks—to do a 4 week in-home new product test on a bassinet with a new feature.
The product will be shipped to your home. You will be expected to use the product daily for a total of 4 weeks, and you will have to complete 2 short online surveys after week 2 and week 4 of the test.
You will be compensated $100 for your participation and you will get to keep the bassinet—minus the new feature which must be returned to Kolcraft. Kolcraft will arrange for pre-paid UPS pickup of the portion of the product that must be returned after the test is complete.
If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Whether you have a question on a particular product, a general baby gear question or you want to give feedback on a product- Kolcraft wants to hear from you!
To make it easier for you to let us know your opinions and ask your questions, we now have the possibility to do this on our Kolcraft website. If you have a question, simply go to the product category page on our website & ask your question. Our staff will do our best to answer your question in 24 hours! You can see an example of this here.
If you want to write a review on a product, simply go to the product page & write the review. You will notice we use the Kolcraft heart rating system instead of stars.
We truly value your opinions and are excited to hear from you so we can continue to create innovative, must have baby products for you.
Thank you for being a Kolcraft fan!
You are excited about your new bundle of joy and your growing baby bump is a daily reminder that you have to buy more maternity clothes, but you’d rather spend your money on baby gear. What’s a pregnant mom to do?
Known for their trendy clothes at inexpensive prices, Forever 21 has expanded their line to maternity wear. We liked the cute fashions that were all under $20.00! Our favorite was the Chiffon Flowered Maternity Tunic that would look great on any pregnant mom.
Who says you can’t be a trendy pregnant mom and save money too? With maternity wear taken care of, you can concentrate on more important things like buying the perfect crib mattress for baby.
What tips do you have to save money on maternity wear?
Michelle LaRowe, mom and nanny, wrote an article on playgroups. We thought it was so insightful that we had to share it with you.
How To Have a Successful Playgroup
With the start of the school year on the horizon, many parents of infants, toddlers and preschoolers wonder how they will keep their younger children occupied, engaged and entertained come September.
With parents often being priced out of preschools and enrichment classes for their young children, a playgroup provides a great way for younger children to practice their socialization skills, explore new environments and learn to interact in a group.
A well run playgroup:
- facilitates learning through play
- encourages budding friendships
- fosters emotional, physical and social development
Kids learn to:
- interact with others,
- practice their language skills, motor skills
- learn to function in new and challenging environments
So if starting a playgroup is something that interests you, here are some basic guidelines for starting and maintain a well run playgroup.
First define the parameters of your playgroup. You’ll need to determine what ages you’d like to welcome, how often you’d like to meet, where you’d be meeting and how long your playgroup will last. You may also want to include any basic rules or guidelines that you feel would help govern your playgroup. A list of house rules, expected behavior, safety guidelines for the location and approved snacks are great things to define up front.
Second you’ll want to set a date and time for an informational meeting. Create some flyers that advertise your playgroup and the date, time and location of your informational meeting. Posting flyers at your local library, pediatrician’s office and other places that kids visit is a great way to connect with other moms and kids of similar ages as yours. Include pull of strips with your contact information for people to take.
Third you’ll want to prepare to host your informational meeting. Offer light snacks and refreshments and make it a social gathering for parents of children of similar ages. Provide sign-up sheets that attendees can leave their contact information and the names and ages of their children. Although you may want to host the first playgroup meeting, you may also want to provide a calendar for parents to sign up to host a playgroup or commit to bringing snacks.
Follow up via email with those who attended and finalize the details of your first playgroup. Layout your playgroup schedule and encourage others to sign up to host or bring snack on available days.
Prepare your space in advance:
- Decide which areas of your location will be open to the group and childproof the space as needed.
- Put away any toys that your child may have trouble sharing and create a welcoming and friendly environment for your little guests.
- Many successful playgroups work off a theme and each meeting revolves around a preselected theme. On the farm, music and movement, colors and in the kitchen are all great themes for young kids. Be sure to leave out toys, games, books and activities that go along with your theme for kids to play with.
Create Different Stations:
- Have books in one area, blocks in another and a craft project in another provides an opportunity for kids to actively participate in playgroup together
- Great stations are made up of activities that have many parts that kids can play with together. For example, there are enough blocks for everyone to use so it can avoid kids fighting over one prized possession.
You may also want to consider having a monthly outing for playgroup where everyone attends the local park, library or museum together. This is a great way to secure group rates at local attractions.
After your playgroup meeting, follow up with those on your contact list and let them know how fun your playgroup was and when your next group will be. Invite them to join the fun!
With a little planning and preparation starting and maintaining a playgroup for your young child can be a cinch. Affordable and fun, playgroups provide a great way for kids and moms to connect.
Written by Michelle LaRowe