October is SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Awareness Month. There are a lot of great sites with info on SIDS, but we wanted to highlight a few here.
Five tips for lowering your child’s risk of SIDS:
- Always place baby on her back to sleep.
- Don’t put toys or loose bedding in baby’s sleep space.
- Give baby his own sleep space such as a bassinet.
- Keep baby warm with a thicker onesie than with blankets.
- Keep baby’s sleep area smoke free.
What tips have your found helpful with your own children?
Did you know that by the time the average child goes to kindergarten, she/he has watched 5,000 hours of TV? That’s a lot of TV – enough time to have earned a college degree! What’s a parent to do? One activity to get your toddler active is to host your own Olympics. You can even use this theme for a playgroup.
- Make a balance beam by taping a line on the floor with masking tape and letting your child do a “routine” on it.
- Put on your child’s favorite music and let her dance away to her own floor routine.
- Put on music and time how long your child can hula hoop.
- Create your own track event by having your child run, then throw a tennis ball for the shot put, a Frisbee for the discus and end by jumping up into your arms for the pole vault.
Tips for your Olympics:
- Have a medal ceremony at the end of the event. You can find medals at a teacher supply store or make your own with ribbon and foil cut into a medal.
- Dress up your child’s favorite stuffed animal as the mascot for the event.
- Have fun!
There is a lot of pink in stores and across city skylines reminding us that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With a reported 40,000 women dying from breast cancer every year, we all need these reminders to take steps to prevent breast-cancer, to raise awareness for it and to do what we can to end breast cancer.
One thing that researchers have found helps prevent breast cancer (and many other ailments for that matter!) is to stay active and get plenty of exercise. These last few weeks we have been talking about the importance of our children playing outdoors in order to stay healthy and the best way to keep them healthy is by setting an example. We know it’s not easy to set aside time for exercise and that’s why we love the National Wildlife Federation’s website since it has so many great ideas on how to get outdoors & get moving as a family.
In solidarity with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we want to help jump start your road to getting active with a Jeep Baby Carrier giveaway! This baby carrier is perfect for getting fit while keeping baby close to you.
It’s easy to win!
- Simply check out the National Wildlife Federation’s website and leave a comment on our blog about what activity you are excited to try with your family.
- For additional entries, ”like” Kolcraft or the National Wildlife Federation on Facebook and make sure to note that in the blog comment about your favorite activity.
Getting outdoors & being active is a simple Tip Tuesday to a healthier you!
Contest ends on Wednesday, October 6th at 12 pm CST
Yesterday, we had a lot of fun with the National Wildlife Federation and Kolcraft fans at our Twitter Party for Hike & Seek. We learned all sorts of information about outdoor play and great activities to get us outside as families. We love NWF’s website because they have so many great activities. We wanted to share one of them with you that we have tried out and have had fun doing it! We love this activity because not only does it get your outside with your toddler to explore nature, but it’s educational too!
Sort, Stack, and Shape
Ages: Up to 3 years
What You Need:
- a backyard, park, or any safe outdoor place to explore
- twigs, grass, flowers, nuts, and other natural objects
What You Do:
Put aside the plastic toys aimed at teaching toddlers shapes and sorting skills. It’s a lot more exciting—and every bit as educational—to use items found outside. Nature offers all sorts of free teaching materials: sticks, stones, blades of grass, fallen leaves, and more.
Use natural objects to introduce textures (bumpy, smooth, prickly, soft, etc).
- Sort a handful of stones by size.
- Break twigs into different lengths and help your child sort them – shortest to longest.
- See how high you can stack a pile of small rocks.
- Find a comfy spot to sit down and make shapes on the ground: twig triangles, rock rectangles, seed squares, and so on.
Being a mom (or a dad!) is demanding. By the end of the day you have nurtured, loved, taught and cared for your child 100 times over. With so many demands, it is hard to have “me” time, but without it it’s hard to keep perspective.
This is where the power of “no” comes in. If you say “yes” to every invitation, volunteer opportunity, etc. you will become run down. Cherish the priceless moments you spend with your baby and nurturing your own spirit, even if it means saying “no” to something else. It may be only 5 minutes of enjoying a cup of coffee or stopping to take in the sunshine – whatever recharges you. Push aside the mommy (or daddy) guilt and give yourself permission to have some “me” time.
What ways do you recharge your parenting battery?
Learning about nature and animals doesn’t only happen in the classroom. Your kids can learn while having fun with your family. Since it’s Fun Friday, we wanted to share with you our fun & educational experience at the Chicago Shedd Aquarium that we think your children will love – the pet a penguin experience. That’s right we got to pet a real penguin for only $25.00! Most behind the scenes experiences at zoos and aquariums tend to hover over $100.00 per person which can blow a family’s budget. For only $25.00 per person, we were able to meet our little penguin in a private room. The group was limited to 10 people so we really had one-on-one time with Mr. Penguin. We learned so many fun facts about the penguin as he walked around our little circle. We all had the opportunity to pet him and have a photo opp with him!
A couple of hints to get the most out of a behind the scenes tour:
- Your tour price is in addition to your admittance fee. Many places have reduced rates if you are a city resident. Be sure to ask!
- Check at your library to see if they have free passes to your city’s zoos, aquariums, etc. It takes some planning since there is usually a wait list, but you really save on admittance prices!
- Check the website for “free days” because at least once a month many places have free admittance days.
- Plan your tour at a time that will allow you to be at the main tanks or exhibits when it’s feeding time. Most places have the trainer hooked up to a mic while explaining what they are doing. The Shedd Aquarium hooks up the trainer in the main fish tank and you can ask him questions while he feeds the fish!
- Have your child pick a particular animal that he has special interest in and do some research beforehand on the animal. It will build excitement over “meeting” that animal. If you prefer to wait until you are at the zoo, nature center or aquarium and then have your child pick an animal to be her special friend, you can research it when you return home.
- If you don’t have the opportunity to go to your local zoo or aquarium, you can go there via a Ranger Rick, Wild Animal Baby or Your Big Backyard magazine subscription. Discover all sorts of fun facts on animals and nature through the colorful pages of these magazines. Join our Twitter Party on September 30th from 11-12 CST and win a subscription!!! Use hash tag #hikeandseek. See you there!
Tell us what your favorite ways to have fun while your child learns.
By now you know how much we at Kolcraft believe in protecting and enjoying nature. We were very excited when we saw that President Obama declared September to be National Wilderness Month. When your child is outside playing it helps strengthen their mind, body and spirit.
Studies have shown:
- Children who spend much of their time indoors watching television and playing video games can become isolated and withdrawn
- Free play teaches kids to share, cooperate and resolve problems
- Nature offers opportunities to decompress, reduce stress and improve relationships, helping kids feel lighter and happier
Organizations like the National Wildlife Federation have been helping children and families live healthier lives through through the myriad of programs they offer. Kolcraft is behind the NWF’s mission and we think it’s so appropriate that during this National Wilderness Month we are partnering with them to celebrate Hike and Seek. In a nutshell, Hike and Seek is a FABULOUS opportunity to get outside with your family and enjoy Mother Nature via a scavenger hunt while learning about animals and nature! And if that isn’t exciting enough Hike and Seek provides the opportunity to win great Jeep products from strollers to pet carriers and more!
If you don’t live in Chicago, Seattle or Washington DC where Hike & Seek will take place, that’s ok. You can still win great prizes and learn about healthy living at our Twitter Party on September 30, 2010 from 11-12 CST. You can follow us on Twitter and the conversation by using #HikeandSeek! See you there!
You are all excited for your new baby to arrive. Nursery ready? Check. Layette in place? Check. Baby’s name chosen? Check. Birth plan in place? Ummm not so much.
There are so many things to think about when making a birth plan: environment, pain relief, monitoring, baby care… and the list goes on. Making a birth plan can be daunting and that is why we love the Pregnancy Birth Plan Generator - it does the thinking for you so all your t’s are crossed and your i’s are dotted. The Pregnancy Birth Plan Generator is a free online, easy-to-use tool for creating your birth plan.
Nothing, however, substitutes for the age-old wisdom of moms who have given birth. What advice do you have on creating a birth plan?
Treat yourself to some peace and relaxation during the national spa week which is September 13- 19 for the West Coast and October 11-17 for the East Coast. Lots of spas are offering discounted services from facials to massages and more!
We know how hard it is to find the time to get away for some peace. If that isn’t an option, you can create your own spa experience at home once the kids are in bed.
Light some candles, turn on some relaxing music, make sure your significant other knows not to disturb you and try this relax at home facial scrub from the Great Jones Spa in NYC!
What you need:
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. almond oil
- A few drops of lemon juice
- Combine all the ingredients
- Gently massage into face using a circular motion for one minute
- Rinse with warm water
If you plan on participating in spa week, you can find the deals on the spa week website.
You work hard as a parent, you deserve peace and relaxation!
We all want to be healthy and fit. What better way to do it then by having fun with your kids? To help get the ball rolling on fitness for your family, Kolcraft, Jeep and the National Wildlife Federation are inviting you to a very special Hike & Seek!
This family-friendly activity is a cross between a nature hike and a scavenger hunt, bringing children and adults together in the great outdoors for some fresh fall air and fun. This date with Mother Nature combines a one mile hike with “Stop and Study” interactive nature stations along the way, providing an entertaining learning experience. The stations, manned by NWF naturalists and wildlife experts, provide activities to stimulate all the senses using Mother Nature’s world as inspiration. Every participant is given a map and Mission Guidebook to direct their path and will receive a junior naturalist badge at the end of the hike. Once Hike and Seekers return to base camp they will be greeted by exhibits, prizes, more activities and maybe even some friendly wildlife! Rumor has it that NWF’s Ranger Rick will make a live appearance. (Editor’s note – I will definitely be getting my picture taken with my idol Ranger Rick!)
Participants will be given staggered start times beginning at 9am. On-site registration starts at 8am. Once you are on the trail you can go as fast or slow as you like. Don’t hurry, take time to enjoy and connect with the nature around you. Generally, the adventure takes approximately two hours to complete. All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Hike & Seek is part of NWF’s Be Out There campaign to get kids outdoors where they can connect with nature, run and play, and just be kids. While contemporary parents spent their free time as kids exploring and playing in nature, their children spend far more time indoors plugged into electronic media. The result is that American kids are prone to higher incidences of obesity, asthma, diabetes, and ADHD because they’re missing something essential to their health and development–unstructured time playing outdoors.
Hike & Seek will take place in the following cities:
- Chicago on October 2, 2010
- Seattle on October 16, 2010
- Washington DC on October 2, 2010
To kick off Hike & Seek, we will be hosting a Twitter Party on September 30, 2010 from 11-12 CST. During this time, everyone will have the opportunity to tweet with experts from NWF and win all sorts of Jeep products that will help you and your family get outdoors. Products will include baby strollers (even Jeep Joggers!), baby carriers, pet carriers, pet toys, subscriptions to Ranger Rick magazine and more! You can follow the event on Twitter using #HikeandSeek tag. More info coming next week!
Can’t wait to Hike & Seek with you!