Have kids? Want to get in shape? Ready to be out enjoying the summer? Join us for our J is for Jeep Twitter Fitness Party!
What? Win a J is for Jeep jogging stroller, connect with other parents, and hear from fitness experts how to stay fit and healthy with your family!
When? Tuesday, August 7 from 11 am until noon CST.
Where? On Twitter! No need to RSVP, just come to the party by following @Kolcraft on Twitter and using hastag #JisJeep.
What you can win:
A few of the MANY features we love about the J is for Jeep Jogging stroller!
- iBaby sound system for music on the move
- Air filled tires
- Forward locking swivel wheel
- Shock absorbing suspension
- Reclining seat
Hope you can join us for the party!
Kids can meltdown and have tantrums for a variety of reasons – hungry, wet, tired or just not getting what they want. When you have a screaming, crying child you can’t reason with him and it’s easy to feel embarrassed when you are in public and people are giving you “the look”. You know – that judgmental look of “If that were my kid…”, “That kid is so out of control…” or “What is wrong with that parent?”
There are many schools of thought on discipline and child rearing. We are fans of gentle parenting – not yelling at or spanking children. One simple thing you can do when your child is having a meltdown is count to 10 with them. At the end, breathe deeply & ask your child to do the same with you. It’s simple, but it helps focus your child on something other than the meltdown at hand. It is rhythmic which calms your child. If your child can’t quite count yet, count for him or her and breathe deeply. You will see your child mimic your behavior. If your child is having a hard time hearing you above her screams, gently blow in her face. This triggers a natural reaction for your child to stop screaming and breathe.
What tips do you have to calm your child during a temper tantrum or meltdown?
Sometimes as parents we can get to the end of our rope and be tempted to follow “might is right” parenting which ends in spanking and yelling at our children. Studies have shown that spanking, even “mild” spanking, can cause long-term mental health issues for children.
Some advocate time-outs as an alternative to spanking in order to set boundaries, but there is another school of parenting called gentle parenting. Gentle parenting takes time, patience, communication, self-knowledge, a willingness to go on the parenting journey, did we mention patience? The result is a loving, respectful relationship where even your discipline teaches your child about love, respect, trust and understanding.
3 Tips To Move Towards Gentle Parenting
- Step back – When you are aggravated by your child’s behavior. Take 5 seconds to stop, step back and take inventory of why your child’s behavior is irritating you. This isn’t easy especially if your child is throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store! The rewards of mentally stepping back, however, are tremendous.
- Listen – What is your child really saying? Is she overtired? Does he feel misunderstood? Is she afraid? What is behind the anger or tears?
- Be positive – Turn a negative situation into a positive. Try to redirect towards something positive, refrain your “no” into a yes or see where you can proactively set limits before the crisis boils over.
Gentle parenting isn’t a “free for all” where children do as they please. It is about choosing to give children a safe, loving, respectful and trustful upbringing. It may not be the easiest way to parent, but it is a way of parenting that focuses on a more peaceful interaction between child and parent reaping long-term results of trust and love for parent and child.
Have you heard of gentle parenting? What do you think about it?
Reading to children has so many benefits and you can extend those benefits by reinforcing the story that you have read. A couple of months ago we blogged about bringing your child’s books to life by reading them and doing activities with I Am A Bunny book. Today our craft focuses on the lively series of Skippyjon Jones. We love the Color Crazy book because it teaches children their colors as well as using their imagination. After all, why can’t four Chihuahuas be red?
What you need:
- Skippyjon Jones Color Crazy book
What to do:
- Read Color Crazy book together
- Reenact the book by drawing the scenes on a piece of paper: a blue sun, a purple puddle, etc.
- If your child is just learning her colors, reinforce this by asking her what color Skippyjon Jones colored the sun, etc.
- If your child is older, fold pieces of paper in half & put them inside each other to make a booklet. Have them make their own color crazy book. Ask them what color they would like to make the sun, a puddle, a bunny, etc.
What fun ways do you bring your child’s books to life?
Summertime is a fun time for new adventures and bonding more with your children, but the heat and “I’m bored” can cause any parents nerves to be a bit on edge. We have 3 easy parenting tips to help keep your summer fun and not frustrating.
- Focus on Fun – Summer is a time for memories and doing things a bit off schedule. While you will want to stay on routine (children work best with routine), you can be flexible for fun. Take some time at the beginning of the week to plan at least one fun activity every day. It can be as simple as running through the sprinkler for 30 minutes, making a simple craft or taking a nature walk.
- Set Rules – Just because it’s fun time doesn’t mean the regular rules don’t apply. Be consistent with your parenting rules of sharing, kindness, cleaning up, etc. Kids need consistency, not chaos.
- Be aware – Are you planning too many activities that your kids are constantly exhausted or too little so they are bored? Taking a few minutes to be aware of how your kids are responding to your summer activities can help you adjust accordingly.
What summer parenting tips do you have?
Parades, picnics and pool time are hallmarks of the 4th of July. You can enjoy your holiday and keep it safe with these few parenting tips.
- Keep firecrackers away from children. Be sure firecracker remnants like sparkler sticks, etc. are not in left on the ground where toddlers and babies can pick them up.
- Have a bucket with water and a hose handy if you are using firecrackers.
- Keep children away from grills. If the grill is cooling off, take turns watching so children do not play near the grill.
- Appoint a lifeguard when around water. When we gather with family & friends it is easy to start talking and not realize nobody is watching the kids in the pool or at the beach. Appoint someone to watch in 30 minute intervals. have a whistle that you pass to the designated lifeguard.
- Remember sun safety and wear sunscreen, hats and keep hydrated.
What 4th of July tips do you have?
While waiting for baby we often wonder, “Will she be curious like me? Will he be chilled out like his dad?” We wonder what our baby’s personality will be like as he or she grows into a toddler, child and adult.
Your baby is born with some traits and others he will pick up from his environment. A few things you can observe to see what your baby’s personality may be like.
- Schedule – Does your baby seem to operate on clockwork – eating, sleeping, etc. on a schedule – or does she tend to be more unpredictable? While all babies need structure and schedule, some need a more rigorous schedule so be sure to respect that. If she is unpredictable, she will fight a rigid schedule. Give her routine, but be flexible.
- Activity – Does your baby seem bored easily or does too much activity make him cranky? If your baby gets bored and tends to be on the move, be extra careful that there isn’t anything that can be a hazard to baby – flipping out of bouncy seats, putting things in mouth, etc. Your little guy is adventurous, be sure to keep his play area safe. If your he is more on calm, low activity level have toys for him to play with, but don’t overwhelm him with too much.
- Party Time – Does your baby seem to trust anyone and everyone who pinches her cheeks or does she seem to be cautious of everyone except mommy and daddy? If your baby is super social, join playgroups and take her on outings. If she seems shy watch her reaction and don’t force her into uncomfortable situations with “strangers”. Give her time to warm up to the people and environment around her before letting others hold her.
These are just three traits that will give you clues into your baby’s temperament. The important thing is not to label your baby, but to look at clues into personality so you can interact accordingly. Remember that your baby is growing and changing every day just like any person changes from day to day. Have fun discovering and embracing who your baby is as he and his world unfold every day.
School is out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean your child’s reading should stop. You can make summer reading fun with this summer reading tree. For every book your child reads, his or her reading tree receives a leaf. Make a game of it by trying to have the tree full of leaves by summer’s end!
What you need:
- White paper
- Non-toxic glue or tape
- Brown marker
- Scissors (adult use only)
- Different colors of construction paper for the leaves
What to do:
- Have your child draw the trunk of a tree on the white construction paper.
- Label the tree with your child’s name to personalize it.
- Cut out leaves for the tree so your child sees them which will encourage him or her to want to fill the tree up with leaves.
- For every book that your child reads write the name of the book and author on the leaf and glue or tape it to the tree.
- Hang the tree in a prominent place to encourage your child to read.
Be sure to keep the tree as a memento. It will be fun to pull out at a graduation to show the seeds of learning that were planted early on.
Summertime is the perfect time to get outside with your kids and go to the fair! Just google county fairs in your area and plan for a day of fun. A few tips for making your time at the fair safe and fun!
- Plan ahead – You will be outside so dress comfortably & sensibly! Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and a hat.
- Be smart – Be sure your child has your phone number, understands stranger danger and knows a designated spot to meet you in case you get separated.
- Riding rides – Respect height & weight requirements for rides. If a ride looks unstable or unsafe, skip it.
- Keep clean – There are lots of cute animals at state fairs. Be sure your child is gentle with the animals and if the animals lick your child wash their hands or apply hand sanitizer.
- Limit Candy – Cotton candy, rock candy and limitless candy choices can be a child’s delight, but be sure to limit candy intake so your time at the fair isn’t cut short by a tummy ache!
Summer means more time outside with your kids. Being outdoors has many benefits, but a few hidden summer dangers to be aware of while enjoying the nice weather.
- Sunburn can make a child severely ill. See our safe sun tips here.
- Heat stroke is a reality for babies and children on a hot day. Keep them hydrated and take breaks when they are playing outside.
- Hot cars cause many deaths during the summer. Be sure your children know cars are not toys and they should not play in them. Keep your car locked when it is in your driveway so that your children cannot crawl in and get locked inside. Never leave your child in a hot car even if you are running a quick errand.
- Metal playground equipment can burn children. On hot days, stay away from metal playground equipment.
- Open windows present fall risks. Be sure to have window guards on any windows accessible to children.
These 5 easy, safety tips can help you have a worry-free summer you and your kids will enjoy.