Monthly Archives: February 2011
It’s that special day of the year when we celebrate love – love for our significant others, our children and our friends. Today Kolcraft wants to celebrate all parents who every day teach us what love is all about. You have taught us about:
- Cherishing the moments that make up our day whether that is a spontaneous hug from a child, a helping hand from a friend or a quiet moment with the one we love.
- Not sweating the small stuff because there will always be things that “go wrong”. It is a matter of seeing past that and looking at the bigger picture.
- Having a sense of humor at ourselves, our kids and just life in general because laughter keeps us young & healthy!
- Accepting ourselves with all our positive, beautiful aspects as well as the things that are still “in progress”.
- Celebrating parenting because life is too short not to celebrate!
A special Valentine thank you to all our wonderful Kolcraft fans who teach us parenting lessons of love every day. We hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with hugs, kisses and love that makes your heart smile.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
It will be lots of fun. We will talking about loving ways to connect with your children through crafts, games, care notes, etc. You will also have the chance to tell us why your child is so lovable and you will win prizes! I will be hosting the party will be giving away my Wonderbug Activity Center and more!
Please join us on for our Love Bug Twitter Party on Tuesday, February 15th from 11am – 12pm CST. All you have to do is follow Kolcraft on Twitter and use the hashtag #LoveBug to follow along. You can also leave a comment in the section below that you are attending the party and that will automatically give you an extra entry for prizes.
See you there!
Sending you a hug,
We are always seeking to improve our products and we love to have parents’ feedback on different ideas. We have a a VERY short survey for you on bassinets. It’s only a few questions – promise. Please give us your honest opinion. You can take the survey here.
Thanks for your opinion and for helping us always improve our products!
During this month of love, there is a lot more awareness around heart health, but one cause is close to our hearts because nearly 1 of every 125 babies is born with a congenital heart defect. This week we celebrate Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week.
We love what one dad is doing to support medical research for CHD. This dad started a website lifeofdad.com when his daughter was diagnosed with CHD. At just 3 days old, his daughter needed open-heart surgery to save her life. His daughter is now celebrating her first birthday this month!
On his website he features Tiny Heart Superheroes where he talks about a brave little CHD-fighting child. Donations go directly to the Saving Tiny Hearts Society whose mission is to raise money for the very underfunded lifesaving research of CHDs.
It’s that time of year when we celebrate love. Head on over to lifeofdad.com with a box of tissues and see what you can do to help these tiny heroes who give more love to the world than ever imagined.
Valentine’s day is around the corner, but it’s not in everyone’s budget to get that new diamond necklace or go on that great weekend getaway. Not to fear! Valentine’s day can still be a special day for you even on a budget! We have a few ideas to make celebrating your love fun and romantic without breaking the bank!
Valentine’s Ideas for Your Kids:
- Play Dates - Give them a special love note that you decorated with a coupon for a play date together. Does your child like to read? Give a coupon to have a special story hour with him. Does your child love to play dress up? Give a coupon for a special dress up play date.
- No Chore Day - Give your child a chore-free day. While it’s important that your child has chores & helps around the house, you can give them a Valentine’s Day pass on chores.
- Special Dinner - Let your child pick the menu for the night. If they want macaroni & cheese with ice-cream for dessert – that’s their special Valentine’s Day meal.
Valentine’s Day Ideas for Your Honey:
- Indoor picnic – Pack a picnic for you and your honey. After the kids are in bed, spread a blanket on the floor and enjoy a summer picnic indoors. You will be surprised at how fun a simple picnic can be!
- Be Silly Together – Rent a romantic movie and pick a “kiss trigger” – i.e. every time you laugh you have to give your partner a kiss.
- Music Memories - Make a play-list of meaningful songs; your first dance, a song from a movie you saw when you first started to date, a song that was popular the year your child was born, etc. Have your own romantic dance night remembering special times you have shared.
Pass on the chocolate, here are some great low-call, low-cost Valentine Day gift ideas for your honey to give to you!
Gift Ideas for you:
- Chic, Affordable Jewelry – Made by a woman for women. We fell in love with this super cute & chic Jewelry from Toute Jolie. It’s boutique jewelry at affordable prices. We saw similar jewelry in boutiques ranging from $50 – $70 an item. Not exactly mom-budget friendly. These pieces look expensive, but are affordable. They will have your honey saying “Oh La La” when you wear them!
- Spa Time – A trip to the spa may be out of your budget, but a good back and foot rub with essential oils from your honey not only fits the budget, but encourages quality time together.
- Coupons – Ask your honey to give you coupons where he will prepare you and the kids a yummy meal, do a chore for you, take care of the kids so you can have an extra hour of sleep, etc.
With a little creativity, you can have the most loving, romantic Valentine’s Day and not blow the budget!
Do you have a picky eater who never seems to eat their vegetables but is always ready for a double portion of sweets? Lisa Ann Savage, single mother of two children, decided to find a solution to this and created Dippy Cups. We were so excited to be able to catch up with her and share her story.
How did you decide to make and sell DippyCups? Like most children, my two like to dip their food in dippy sauces such as ranch,ketchup and syrup. They eat more veggies when they dip. My son was a big dipper and would pour ketchup and ranch on his plate; most of it was wasted and made a big mess for me to clean up. My daughter was the opposite- the princess who didn’t want any sauce touching her food unless she dipped it herself. I needed a way to corral the condiments so to speak. I tried cutting paper Dixie cups in half but this was expensive and wasteful and they were really too small and got soggy. Disposable plastic cups were too deep and didn’t fare well in repeated dishwasher cycles. Glass or ceramic ramekins are too big and take up too much room on a child size plate, not to mention they’re breakable. One day, while hunting for yet another little cup, the idea for DippyCups popped into my head- “I could build a better DippyCup- one that was just the right size for a kids plate, the right portion size, unbreakable, made of a material, silicone, that would last, especially if thrown in the dishwasher on a daily basis, and in fun bright colors. You could say that was my “Aha moment.” I had some prototype DippyCups made and gave them to friends and family members and they all loved them! I was really on to something.
In hindsight, did you have realistic expectations as to the amount of time and work needed to create, manufacture and promote DippyCups? Did you have any unexpected challenges? I think my expectations were realistic because I had my priorities straight. I am a single Mom, and my children always come first. My day job is important to me so I make sure I cover all those bases. In addition, my children’s father, my ex, is very ill so I take him to chemo, arrange doctor’s appointments, deal with his insurance etc… I’m just like a lot of single moms-somehow we find a way to fit it in if it needs to be done. I also believe that we can only do what we can do and sometimes we have to make tough choices. DippyCups sat on the back burner for almost two years before I found the time and energy and belief in myself to “Go for It .” As for the process, creating DippyCups was easy because I had a clear idea of what was needed to make the perfect little cup and I was excited about the idea so it drives you in the beginning. My first prototype was made at midnight out of Play-doh. The manufacturing part was relatively easy for me because I had contacts in the silicone molding industry and sought out their advice. Promotion of the product is definitely the most challenging part and the one that stalled me for the longest time. How do I get my product out there? Will they like it? I decidedjust to take a flying leap and exhibit at the “All Baby and Child Show” held in Las Vegas this past September. Many buyers attend and I thought it would be the perfect place to get feedback on my product. Well the feedback was wonderful; I had over 100 people and companies interested in DippyCups! It was such a great validation of my idea. I truly felt blessed. But now the hard work really begins; being able to ramp up manufacturing and get packaging in place to fill orders!
You have a lot of energy, How do you balance work and Motherhood? It is challenging to balance work and Motherhood for all of us. Many days I wish I could win the lottery and just putt around the house, doing projects, maybe exercising, catching up on the scrap-booking that I haven’t done since my son was six months old. I personally balance work and Motherhood by knowing my limitations and not being too hard on myself if I can’t get something done. I tend to focus on people instead of things; “someone” that needs attention is more important than “something” that needs attention. At home, playing with my kids at the park comes before folding laundry. At work, getting answers or products for customers comes before internal expense reports and call reports in my day job. Sometimes this causes problems, like a laundry mountain or an accountant on my case. But most of the time, if I’ve made the people I care about happy, then that is a good day’s work for me.
What do your kids think of you being an entrepreneur? My kids think it’s pretty neat and I like the message it’s showing them – If you have a dream, you should follow it through no matter where it leads you’ll learn something. They love using their DippyCups everyday and they feel it’s kind of their project too because I have enlisted their help along the way. They have helped me choose the DippyCups colors, do product testing, packaging, approved my logo; give ideas for the web site, etc… We’ve had a lot of fun.
Do you have a parenting motto that you would like to share? Children are only little for such a short while- the only thing they really need is your unconditional love- so, walk and talk and laugh and play and kiss and hug a lot! (Which is the theme of the children’s book I am writing!)
Is there one bit of advice that has served you best that you can share? I bought a wonderful little plaque in a small neighborhood shop that sums it up for me: Sometimes, you just have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down!
You Can order your Dippy Cups online with the added bonus of free shipping! (We think it’s a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your kids. You can fill them them with little hearts, your child’s favorite treat, etc.) We loved Lisa as soon as we met her & love her Dippy Cups. They are Kolcraft Kid approved!
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and what better way to spend some loving time with your child than by doing a Valentine’s craft? This easy children’s craft makes a beautiful sun catcher and a reminder of how much love is in your house.
What you need:
1. Construction Paper
2. Tissue paper squares
3. Non-Toxic Glue Stick
4. Scissors ( adult use only)
1. Fold paper in half
2. Cut out a half heart
3. Cut out the inside of that heart
4. Open up the heart
5. Glue the tissue paper squares on the inside of the heart
You want your baby to have a safe sleeping space and one important part of that is to have a crib mattress that correctly fits your crib. But how do you know if your crib mattress fits correctly?
Cribs sold in the USA have standardized size requirements. Crib mattresses are designed to fit snugly inside a crib. The best thing to do is to measure your crib to make sure it is in compliance. If it is, you should have no issue fitting a crib mattress snugly inside.
How do I measure my crib?
Measure the INTERIOR of your crib to the below specifications. If your crib measures any smaller or larger, you need to contact the crib manufacturer as your crib is not made to legal specifications.
Crib dimensions are dictated by ASTM and Federal Law. The dimensions in the crib standard require cribs to have interior dimensions of 28 +/- 5/8 inches wide and 52 3/8 +/- 5/8 inches long.
The inside of your crib should measure somewhere between 27 3/8 to 28 5/8 inches wide and between 51 ¾ and 53 inches long. Mattresses are designed to be slightly smaller to allow them to fit within these tolerances.
What you will need:
- One 1 1/2″ Pom-pom – Whatever color you want your groundhog to be
- Two 10mm pink Pom-poms
- One 10mm Pom-pom – Whatever color you want your groundhog to be
- One 5mm Black Pom-pom
- Wiggle Eyes
- Scrap of White Felt
- 2 Chenille Stems – Whatever color you want your groundhog to be
- Craft Glue- only non-toxic glue should be used by children
- Scissors – used by adult only
How to make the Groundhog:
- Cut two 1 1/2″ pieces from one of the chenille stems. Gently bend them both into a circle shape to form the groundhog’s ears.
- Make the ears for your groundhog by gluing a 5mm pink pom-pom into the center of each chenille stem circle.
- Glue the two ears in place on the 1- 1/2″ pom-pom (groundhog’s head).
- Glue the wiggle eyes onto the pom-pom head just below the ears. To make the snout, glue the 10mm pom-pom onto the face, centered just below the eyes.
- Glue the 5mm black pom-pom onto the 10mm pom-pom snout to be the groundhog’s nose. Cut a small rectangle out of white felt and glue it in place to be the teeth of your groundhog.
- To make your groundhog’s arms, start out by cutting a piece of chenille stem about 6″ long. Fold each end in to meet in the center like shown in the top picture here. Then, bend it into a “V“ shape.
- Use a chenille stem so it sits neatly in your pocket. Start out by folding the uncut chenille stem in half. Hold the 2 ends together and put a generous dab of glue on them. Push the glued ends into the bottom of the groundhog’s head where the neck would be.
- To finish your groundhog, you need to attach the arms to the body. Place a few drops of glue onto one side of the “V”, near the point. Glue the “V” to the bottom of the groundhog’s head. The top sections of the “V” shape should be under the face to form the arms. Once the glue is completely dry, bend the arms so they are pointing down.
Put groundhog in your pocket & see if he sees his shadow!
Did you know that February is the National Children’s Dental Health Month? During February the ADA wants to make sure you and your children know how important it is to develop good dental hygiene early on.
It’s important for your child to:
1. Brush in the morning and at night- make sure your child knows the correct way to brush his teeth!
2. Floss every night – younger children will need help with this.
3. Visit the dentist regularly – check with your child’s dentist to see if she wants your child in once or twice a year for a cleaning.
4. Eat healthy – try to limit sugary snacks and sodas that promote tooth decay.
We loved the free resources on the ADA site. They had all sorts of fun activities for kids to learn about healthy teeth – even a healthy smile certificate! Check it out and give your child a jump start to a healthy smile!