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!
The school year is already underway, but it’s never too late to go over a few important safety tips with your children.
- Phone Number - Make sure your child knows your phone number. If they can’t remember it, write it down, tuck it into their backpack and let them know where it is.
- Set Rules - Set safety rules for pick up. Let your child know that only “safe people” will pick them up and have no more than 3 “safe people.” Let you child know who those people are. If different people pick your child up on different days, remind them before they leave the car who is picking them up. Tell them that under no circumstances should they get in a car with a stranger. If a stranger approaches they should run to a teacher, other parent they know, or crossing guard.
- Walking – If your child walks to school, make sure you walk the route with them at least once. Tell them to stay away from vacant lots, abandoned buildings, etc. It’s best to have a buddy system where your child walks home with friends or siblings.
- School Bus Rules – Make sure your child knows proper safety when exiting a school bus; wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before entering or exiting, look both ways before crossing the street to catch the bus or after leaving it, never run in front of the bus or cross the street directly in front of the bus. It’s hard for the bus driver to see little people when they are that close to the bus.
- Labels- Do not put your child’s full name on backpacks, lunch boxes or anything that can be seen when carried. Use initials instead.
What back to school safety rules do you have?
Pregnancy brings with it joy, uncertainty and questions – lots of them. There are many places you can turn for answers; your doctor*, friends, family and other moms in mommy groups or online communities. One online community, Wiser Pregnancy, boasts a combination of research and current medical thinking on over 600 prenatal situations. The community is comprised of peers and expectant doctors.
You can custom tailor your search and share info anonymously. The database is continuously updated so you can find new information every time you visit.
What pregnancy sites have you found helpful?
*Always be sure to check with your doctor before making any major changes to your health routine during pregnancy.
The cooler weather has arrived and unfortunately it also brings with it the flu and other not-so-fun colds and illnesses. One easy tip that can help keep some germs away from your baby is to pack a placemat in your travel bag for when you eat out. If your child isn’t eating off a plate yet, a placemat provides a clean surface instead of your child eating off a restaurant table. While it can’t keep all germs away from your baby, it can at least give your baby a clean eating surface which can go a long way especially during flu and cold season.
What tips do you have for protecting your children from the flu and colds?
When my girlfriend was pregnant with baby #6 (yes, you read that right – single births too!) her husband had a work meeting in Chicago. They thought it would be the perfect time to visit Auntie Shell so they packed up all the children and headed North. (They live in Alabama.) We received a lot of stares and “OH MY! Are those all yours?” when we went out. Besides the stares, one thing that was never lacking during their stay was laughter. At one point we were laughing over one of the children’s antics, my friend looked at me and said, “Who needs cable when you can have a belly laugh a day from your child?”
Kids do and say the funniest things. You may have seen this video circulating on YouTube which has given us some belly laughs.
It’s one of those videos of a kid just being a kid, but you can’t help but smile.
What funny things do your kids do that make you laugh? Leave a comment and post a photo in our Magical Moments album of a time when your child made you “belly laugh.” A winner will be picked to receive our Kolcraft Under the Sea umbrella stroller which is great for those quick trips with your child!
*Contest ends this Wednesday at midnight CST
It’s back to school time and your older children may already be getting back into the rhythm of the classroom. But what about younger children who are left behind? They can feel lonely, left out, sad and anxious because their siblings have “left them behind.” This time alone with your youngest can actually be a time where you get special one on one time with him. This can make him feel special instead of “left behind.”
One way to make your youngest feel engaged while the others are at school is to plan a special activity for her. If you have an hour or so put aside for your special time, she will look forward to that special time she has with you.
A few ideas:
- Set up your own classroom and play school teaching simple lessons about the weather. You can make a cloud, sun, snowflakes, raindrops, etc out of felt or foam from your local craft store or the Teacher Store. Once made, your new student can start each day picking out which object corresponds with the day’s weather. If it’s a rainbow weather day, you can make our fruit rainbow cake.
- Have a color “sponsor” your day. Let your child pick the color and you can dress in that color, eat food that is that color, find flowers that are that color and learn about an animal that is that color.
- Create your own coloring adventure by printing out free coloring pages. Color a page a day and at the end of the week make up a story that goes along with the pictures.
What ideas do you have to help your youngest child adjust to his siblings going back to school?
School is starting again and that means getting back on schedule, homework and packing lunches. When you have a laundry list of 100 things to do in 24 hours, it can be difficult to make healthy lunches your child will actually eat. Team Kolcraft pulled together some of our kids’ favorite lunches to share with you.
- Mini pizzas made on wheat pita bread. Just take a pita, add cheese and pepperoni, put in the toaster oven for a few minutes and ta-dah! You have mini-pizzas.
- Deviled egg sail boats- Cut yellow, red or green peppers into a thin triangle. Put the triangle on top of the deviled egg to make it look like a sail boat. (These can be tricky to transport.)
- Cucumber logs- Cut a cucumber in half, hollow out the cucumber leaving a sturdy shell. Fill cucumber shell with tuna salad.
- Sandwich kabobs- Give sandwiches a twist by turning it into a kabob. On a skewer place a cube of bread, cheese, cherry tomato, lunch meat, lettuce, baby jerkin pickle, olive and cube of bread. Change it up with you child’s favorite sandwich fillings for a kabob he is sure to eat!
What kid-friendly lunch tips do you have to share?
Labor day is around the corner. With that comes cooler weather and the summer clothes gets put away. While sometimes it’s hard to think beyond tomorrow, you can reap in summer savings by thinking of summer 2011 today!
A lot of stores are having summer clearance sales so they can make room for their Fall and Winter apparel. Now is the time to stock up on t-shirts, shorts and other items your child needs. Be sure to buy the clothes a size larger than they are wearing now, since they will most likely be wearing a bigger size next summer.
What summer saving tips do you have?
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’s hard to believe that it is almost time for kids to go back to school. That can be hard on the pocketbook when you have to buy clothes, shoes, school supplies, etc. Thankfully many states are offering a sales tax holiday where certain items will not have sales tax. Some states are even applying the sales tax holiday to electronics! As a parent, you know how quickly taxes add up when you are buying a quantity of items. This sales tax holiday will hopefully bring you some relief at the register.
We liked this Sales Tax Holiday site for a quick reference on what days and items the individual states are offering the “no tax” holiday. What tips do you have to get the most from the sales tax holiday?