Princesses, ghosts and other creatures will soon be going house to house for trick or treating. Whether your child is dressing up as a cuddly or a creepy critter, a few Halloween tips can keep this holiday from being a scary one.
- Makeup vs Masks – Make sure your child’s costume is safe. Masks tend to inhibit vision which can be especially dangerous for little ones who are already a bit unsteady on their feet. A great alternative is to use age-appropriate makeup instead of a mask.
- When the Sun Sets – If your child is trick or treating at night, be sure he has reflective tape on his costume, a flashlight and knows safety rules before he heads out.
- Costume Material - Your little girl couldn’t look more precious as a sparkling princess, but nothing will make her Halloween more scary than an itchy costume. Be sure to try it on beforehand and if the netting or material is itchy, see if leggings, tights or a shirt underneath will take away the scratchy feeling.
- Simplicity is Key – Cumbersome costumes on your little one can make it more difficult for him to enjoy Halloween. If he is tied down by an intricate costume you will be spending more time fixing it than allowing him to just have fun. A simple outfit will make him feel dressed up but still free to play and enjoy the holiday.
- Size Matters – Costumes that are too long- whether that be a long dress, cape, or accessory- can be a tripping hazard for little ones.
- Little Ms. or Mr. Manners – Halloween is a great time to reinforce manners by making sure your child always says “thank you” after he receives his Halloween treats. If your child grabs a handful of candy instead of one piece, remind her of the importance of sharing with the other children who are trick or treating.
What tips do you have for a safe and fun Halloween?
Ghosts, witches and jack-o-lanterns are popping up around the neighborhood. A great way to decorate your own house with the help of your kids is with these easy-to-make Halloween decorations.
What you need:
- Paper plate
- Crayons, markers, or watercolors
- Construction paper
- Tape or glue
- Paint or color the paper plate orange. Add eyes and mouth to your pumpkin.
- Cut out 4 strips of construction paper.
- Fold strips of construction paper in alternate directions so it gives the paper an accordion effect.
- Cut out a stem for the top of the pumpkin from construction paper.
- Glue or tape the accordion legs, arms and stem to the pumpkin.
- Tah-dah! Your do-it-yourself Halloween decoration is ready for display!
- You can make other Halloween decorations with these same supplies. To make a Frankenstein, ghost, witch, etc. just paint accordingly.
One of our co-workers brought his daughter to work. She had fun doing this craft with us and definitely has talent. When she becomes the next big artist, remember you read it first at Baby Matters Blog!
Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. -Doug Larson
This Sunday we celebrate Grandparents day. Grandparents are those wonderful people who help children learn and love in a very special way. If your child is lucky enough to have a grandparent, here are some ideas of how you can celebrate Grandparent’s Day!
- Have your child make a card for her grandparent and bring it over. If a card is too difficult for your little one to make, you can have her draw or color a picture.
- Bake a little treat with your child for his grandparents, bring it over to them and enjoy it together.
- Bring grandparents some flowers and a smile.
- Give grandparents a picture of their grandchild in a special frame. You can even make a frame out of foam (bought at your local craft store) that you & your child decorate.
- Call grandparents and sing them “Happy Grandparents Day” to the tune of Happy Birthday.
How will you be spending Grandparents Day?
Yesterday I met with a vendor who was telling me he would be out of the office today celebrating Rosh Hashanah. He explained that he appreciated how Rosh Hashanah is a new start, a time to start with a “clean slate.” He really got me thinking how much we need new starts and “clean slates” on a daily basis especially as parents.
No matter how organized we are, each day brings some challenge whether that is not getting errands done, dinner not turning out like we want it to, losing patience when we are being asked for the 100th time “why” by a toddler, struggling to get homework done and rush the kids to (name your sport) practice…the list goes on. Sometimes as parents we are extra hard on ourselves for what we don’t get done and overlook all that we do like the fact that the kids did get to school in clean clothes, like the fact that we were able to spend some cuddle time with our children, that we were able to squeeze in one more bedtime kiss…the list goes on.
So today may be a good opportunity to take a parenting “time out” and realize all the good things we do as parents, to forgive ourselves for not living up to our “perfect parent” standards and to start over with a clean slate.
Labor day marks the unofficial end of summer so we wanted to give some family-friendly activities that you can enjoy over this holiday weekend.
Beach picnic – Fill your beach bag with beach toys, sunscreen and towels and head over to the beach for one last summer splash.
BBQ – Fire up the grill and enjoy family favorites like barbecued chicken, hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob and macaroni salad.
End of Summer Scenic Drive - Take advantage of the last days of green scenery before the leaves start to fall and check out some of your local towns or hot spots.
Ice-cream party - While ice-cream can definitely be an all year long treat. It has special significance for summer. “Toast” summer with some fun shakes or an ice-cream bar where your kids can create their own sundaes. Don’t forget to have some fruit as ice-cream toppings.
One of our favorite ice-cream creations
What you will need:
- vanilla ice cream
- whipped cream
- food coloring
- ice cubes
- seedless red cherries with stems
- Put two scoops of ice cream and about 2 cups of milk into blender. Bend for about 30 seconds.
- Add a couple ice cubes and a few drops of food coloring and blend for another 30 seconds. Add a little more coloring if you need to.
- Pour into tall clear glass.
- Add whipped cream to the top of the shake.
- Add some festive sprinkles and top off with a cherry
*We like to use frozen yogurt instead of ice-cream and fruit instead of food coloring. It does the trick and is healthier.
What fun things are you doing as a family this Labor Day Holiday?
Today is national s’mores day and what better thing to do on a summer night than make some s’mores? S’mores (meaning “some more”) have been synonymous with summer since their debut in the early 1900′s. Traditionally s’mores are made by melting a marshmallow and chocolate between two graham crackers. There have been varying recipes for s’mores including s’more clusters, s’more cookies, s’more pizzas and the list goes on.
This past weekend we discovered a new twist on s’mores when we met Lisa from General Mills at BlogHer. She introduced us to the Nature Valley Granola Thins. These scrumptious granola squares have a thin layer of chocolate or peanut butter. One bite and you will be hooked. And at only 80 calories, they are a healthy alternative to other snack choices. We loved the idea of using the chocolate Granola Thins for s’mores since you won’t have a giant bar of chocolate and box of graham crackers left over! We also are hooked on how the granola gives a little twist to the traditional s’more.
Easy recipe for Nature Valley Granola Thins S’mores
- Roast marshmallow over open flame until it turns golden brown.
- Select two dark chocolate Granola Things. Try the peanut butter flavor as a tasty alternative. You can even use one of each!
- Place the marshmallow inside the two thins, granola side out, and enjoy!
You can also prepare the s’more, wrap it in aluminum foil and place it on the grill.
What s’more recipes do you have to share?
It may seem like yesterday you were waking up every few hours for feeding or soothing your new baby, but a year has gone by and it’s time to celebrate your child’s first birthday! There are all sorts of ways you can celebrate your child’s first birthday from themed parties to special traditions including the popular “smash cake.” One first birthday party that caught our attention was thrown by a co-worker (you may remember Hyon from our interview back in May.) We loved that she had so many traditions from her Korean heritage at her daughter’s first birthday party.
One tradition is to lay out certain objects for the child to grab. This is supposed to represent their future path in life. You can see from the photo that Oliv grabbed a stethoscope. Looks like Mommy and Daddy better start saving for medical school!
You will also notice Oliv is in the traditional Korean dress Han-Bok. Besides adding to Oliv’s insane cuteness factor, Hyon has found a wonderful way to teach her children about their heritage through the symbols they have incorporated into family celebrations.
There are many ways you can bring your family traditions and heritage into your celebrations. You can even start new traditions that your children can pass on to their children!
What ways do you share your family heritage with your children? Have you incorporated any of these traditions into first birthday celebrations?
4th of July holiday means picnics, fireworks and time with family. We thought today’s fun Friday should focus on some easy and fun red, white and blue activities and crafts for little and big kids.
What you will need:
- Black or very dark construction paper
- White glue
- Old tablecloth or covering for work station surface
- Straw (optional)
- Spread glue on the paper in different shapes. If the glue is soft enough, you can put a small blob of glue on the paper, and then blow some air through a straw to spread it into interesting shapes.
- Sprinkle glitter onto the glue. Slide the excess glitter off your picture and back into the glitter container.
- Let dry
- Hang up your child’s decoration near your 4th of July celebration spot!
What you will need:
- Thick paper (construction paper or paper plates)
- Scissors (used with adult supervision)
- Draw 2 stars and cut them out
- Decorate stars
- Cut a slit through point of star to the start of that “arm” of the star
- Cut a slit in base of other star
- Connect the two stars at the slit so star stands on its own.
- Put down center of table for decoration
4th of July Relay Race
What you will need:
- 6 Red, white and blue balloons
- 2 teams of people
How to play:
- Divide into two teams
- Give each team 3 balloons
- Let teams know that the object is to pass the balloons player by player to the end of the line by using only their heads and legs.
- First team to complete this without the balloon touching the ground wins!
Guess the Candy
What you will need:
- Clear jar
- Red & white peppermint candies or red, white & blue M&M’s or any 4th of July colored candy
- Piece of paper and pen
- Blue and red ribbon
- Fill jar with candy and decorate it with blue and red ribbon.
- Have people guess how many candies are in the jar (which of course means you count as you place the candies in the jar).
- The person who comes closest to the number without going over, gets the jar of candy.
My mother-in-law does this at our family picnic. Everyone from age 2 to 92 loves this game. Our tradition is that whomever wins the jar has a “celebratory lap” by sharing the contents with everyone at the picnic.
What 4th of July activities do you have to share with us?
Who doesn’t love holiday BBQ, picnics and fireworks? Since the 4th of July weekend is coming up, we thought our Wednesday Wonder should have some fun kid recipes. (Check back on Friday when we will have 4th of July activities for kids!)
Healthy Fruit Kabobs your kids can make!
What you will need:
- 1 apple
- 1 banana
- 1/3 c. red seedless grapes
- 1/3 c. green seedless grapes
- 2/3 cup pineapple chunks*
- 2 wooden skewer sticks
- large plate
*substitute your child’s favorite fruit for any of the above
Prepare the fruit by washing the grapes, washing the apples and cutting them into small squares, peeling the bananas and cutting them into chunks, and cutting the pineapple into chunks, if it’s fresh. Put the fruit onto a large plate.
Let your child slide pieces of fruit onto the skewer and design their own kabob by putting as much or as little of whatever fruit they want! Do this until the stick is almost covered from end to end. Makes 4 fruit kabobs.
No-bake cookies your kids can make!
What you will need:
- 8 whole-wheat graham cracker squares, finely ground
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
- 4 teaspoons unsweetened coconut
How to make cookies: (so easy it’s ridiculous!)
Combine ground whole-wheat graham crackers, raisins, peanut butter and honey in a small bowl. Pat into 8 cookies and press lightly in coconut. Yields about 8-12 cookies depending on size.
Add some more healthy flair to your BBQ with a salad and dressing. Your child can help make the dressing. He or she will love shaking the ingredients in the jar and seeing the ingredients swirl around. Our favorite easy-to-make healthy salad and dressing comes from the kitchen of Jamie Oliver.
What kid friendly recipes do you have for a holiday BBQ?
There is a lot going on at Kolcraft this weekend and we hope we get to meet some of our fans virtually or in real life.
This Saturday is the annual Stroller Strides for Wishes 5K at Brookfield Zoo. Kolcraft will be there raffling off a Jeep Tandem stroller and answering all your stroller questions. Check in on Foursquare for the Kolcraft Stroller Strides Booth & get a free prize.
Speaking of prizes, there is a $100.00 gift certificate up for grabs at our Father’s Day Facebook Contest. The contest ends Sunday at midnight CST. It’s easy to enter. All you have to do is post of picture of the dad you are nominating and in 100 words or less tell us why he’s the world’s greatest dad.
Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there!
What are your fun plans this weekend to celebrate Father’s Day.