Spring cleaning can be a daunting task especially with children, but with these easy tips you and your kids can have fun while you clean!
- Set the mood – Make spring cleaning fun by anticipating the day and talking about how fun it will be. Have a countdown to your spring cleaning day by putting up a number on your fridge as to how many days are left until spring cleaning. Have a special spring cleaning breakfast that day. Don’t forget to put on their favorite music!
- Keep it simple - Give your children simple tasks to prep for the heavier spring cleaning work. Let them move things – pull the cushions off the couch, bring laundry downstairs, bring rugs outside, pick up toys – whatever preps the area for the bigger job you have to do.
- Channel Harry Potter’s sorting hat – Buy an inexpensive witch hat that looks like the sorting hat in Harry Potter. Put it on your child & tell him he gets the job of being the official “sorter”. Have your child group items together in piles. Your child can learn categorizing while cleaning by grouping things that go together. Have him start a pile for things that go in the kitchen, things that belong in the basement, things for the closet, etc. This will save you a step to putting things away.
- Play detective – Have your child find expiration dates on items in your fridge and cabinets. It’s a great way to learn numbers while she cleans!
- Baseboard race – Give your child a rag to wipe baseboards. Have a race to see who can clean the most baseboards in the least amount of time. They can’t cut corners because you can only win if the baseboards are truly clean!
With a little preparation and patience, your spring cleaning can be a time of learning and fun for you and your kids!
What spring cleaning tips do you have?
Every 6 minutes a child younger than 5 is treated in an ER for stair-related injuries. Some of these falls are from a child falling down the stairs or because a caretaker fell down the stairs while holding a child. This alarming number sends everyone a wake up call. Many of these injuries are preventable by taking a few precautions.
- Be sure you have a mounted gate at the top of the stairs and at least a pressure-mounted gate at the bottom of the stairs.
- Make sure you have a securely mounted banister rail that is thin enough to grasp in case you need to grab onto it while holding your child.
- Don’t multitask when going down the stairs. Don’t try to carry more than one child or your child and groceries, etc.
- Flip flops and heels increase your chance of falling while going down stairs and carrying your child. Take off your shoes or wear other shoes when carrying your child down stairs.
- Keep your stairs clear of toys, bags, laundry and other obstacles.
These easy-to-follow tips only take a few minutes to do and can possibly save you and your child from life-threatening falls.
Having a baby is expensive, but the cost doesn’t end when you pay your labor and delivery bill. Kids have a way of depleting your bank account very quickly, but these 7 money saving tips can help keep you in the black.
- Samples – Don’t be afraid to ask for samples. Your pediatrician often receives samples or coupons from manufactures for everything from formula to diapers to lotion. Don’t be shy, your pediatrician will be happy to share.
- Clothes – Don’t buy a lot of baby clothes in advance. Baby won’t need much more than the white hospital shirts for awhile and you never know how fast baby will grow. Newborn clothes may last all of a week because your baby may hit a sudden growth spurt. And don’t bother with baby shoes. Baby isn’t walking so no need for shoes.
- Two in One Furniture – Look for baby furniture that does more than one thing such as a bassinet that is also a changing table.
- Rewards Programs -Babies R Us, Pampers, and more have reward programs where you receive special coupons and freebies. All you have to do is sign up via email. The savings are worth the 2 minute sign up.
- Classes – Ballet, art, and other classes can get expensive. Check out your library for free story-time and classes where you child can learn and have fun for free!
- Field Trips – Most museums, zoos and cultural centers have a monthly or weekly free day. Check websites to see when you can take your child to one of these places for free.
- Car Bag – Keep a child care bag in your car in case you forget your diaper bag or something from it. It’s more expensive to have to buy diapers, snacks, etc. on the fly.
At times our lives seem so over scheduled – play dates, soccer practice, ballet, homework, jobs, errands and the list is never ending. We thought on this fun Friday we should stop the scheduling for one day and enjoy the simple ways we can have fun with our kids.
- Box Discovery – Look around your house for large box. Have fun imagining what it could be. Can you cut holes in it and make your little one a race car? Can you turn it into a house complete with drawn-on curtains? Can you cut a hole in the side, put objects in it, then have your child put her hand through the hole and guess what objects are in the box?
- Drawing Time – Get paper and some crayons. Draw a line – curvy, squiggly, straight – and have your child draw a picture using that line in the picture. Have your child draw a line for you and enjoy becoming a Picasso with your child!
- Tissue Fun – Pull out a lot of tissue paper from your wrapping paper supply. Sit on the floor with your baby and let him pull and rip the paper. You both will giggle in delight as he discovers and laughs at the sound. We recommend using white tissue paper so when he puts it in his mouth, he isn’t sucking on dye. Make sure baby doesn’t choke since he will try to eat it as he explores with his mouth.
- Bean Drums – Put some beans into different size containers with lids. Use lentil beans, black beans, peas, etc. Start your own band with your kids using the filled containers as shakers, drums and more!
- Laugh Machine – Lay on the floor with your kids. Everyone puts their head on someone’s tummy so you are all connected via tummy. If you have a baby, place your baby on your tummy so she can join in the fun too. Go around the “circle” saying “ha”. Everyone says it one time, than twice, than three times until the room is filled with giggles. We guarantee even your baby will be giggling by the end.
What simple ways do you have fun with your kids?
We are very excited that The Lorax is coming to theaters, but nothing can capture imagination like reading Dr. Seuss’ original The Lorax book. We have often talked about the benefits of reading to your children and we love that Target Stores support this.
This Saturday all Target stores across the country are having a Dr Seuss Storytime reading of The Lorax. We applaud Target’s Read Across America program. Reading opens a child’s imagination and you can take that even further with these easy crafts & activities to go with a Lorax celebration. Get ready for a treeriffic (ok a little corny) fun with your kids.
Lorax Tree Art
What you need:
- Cotton balls
- Non-toxic paint
- Pipe Cleaners
- Non-toxic marker
- Non-toxic glue
- Construction Paper
What to do:
- Talk to your children about why trees are important, what they are used for & how important it is to take care of them.
- Have your child put his/her name at the beginning of this sentence on the construction paper, “(child’s name) listens to the trees.”
- Give your child several cotton balls & pipe cleaners cut into various lengths.
- Have them dip a cotton ball in the paint and then swirl it on the paper to form a tuff-top tree like in The Lorax.
- Glue pipe cleaners on paper to form the tree trunk.
Try these fun tree related activities from our friends at National Wildlife Federation to complete your Lorax celebration.
What is your favorite part of The Lorax?
We interrupt Mom Monday to share with you the exciting news that tomorrow, Tuesday, February 21, we will be hosting a Twitter Party to celebrate Baby Days at Walmart.
During the party we will be talking about the many different crib mattress options – coil crib mattresses, foam crib mattresses, etc – which is best for your baby. We will also be sharing some bedtime sleep rituals for baby, have our crib mattress expert available to answer questions, talk about what savings you will receive during Baby Days and win prizes!
The Sealy Baby Party Info:
- When? Tuesday, February 21 from 11am – 12pm CST
- Where? On Twitter. Be sure to follow @Kolcraft to win prizes
- How? Just show up & use hash tag #SealyBaby
See you there!
Fact or fiction? If you keep your baby up late at night, they will sleep longer in the morning.
If you guessed fiction, you are right! We recently met up with the Fussy Baby Network during an NPN event. They helped to debunk common myths about infant sleep and crying and provided us with some interesting information and helpful tips:
- Crying typically peaks between 4-6 weeks of age and is thought to be caused by neurological development. Though most babies still experience a crying curve, babies often cry less in cultures where they are often carried.
- If your infant cries excessively, you’re not alone. One out of every five babies cry excessively.
- Babies are pattern seekers and a consistent routine during bed time (even naps!) is important for a baby’s sleep. For example, if your child normally falls asleep to the gentle vibrations of the Sealy Tender Vibes, repeating this routine every night can aide in sleep.
- When sleeping on their back’s, a baby has a strong startling reflex and can wake easily. When nestled in their bassinet, swaddling can help keep your little one’s arms down and help baby to sleep more soundly.
- Instead of focusing on the amount of sleep your infant gets, focus on how long they are awake. If your baby normally needs to rest every 90 minutes, be sure to watch the clock.
- Learn your child’s sleep signals. Do their eyes get red when they are tired or do you notice a change in their activity level when sleepy? Pay attention to these sleep signals to know when your little one is ready for bed.
The most important thing to remember is that all babies are different and have unique needs and experiences. If you live in the Chicago area, the Fussy Baby Network is an excellent resource for parents and care givers who have a fussy baby or are experiencing difficulties with sleeping.
What sleep tips for baby do you have?
It’s that phase of growth that every parent dreads along with your baby cutting teeth – biting. With these 5 helpful tips you can teach your child to stop biting and start hugging!
- Take the Attention Away from the Biter - Comfort the victim of the bite especially if it is another child. This will turn the attention away from the “wrong-doer” who may be biting for negative attention. If you are the one who is bitten, rub the spot where your child has bitten you and say that it hurts.
- Be Firm & Direct – Children don’t understand long explanations. Firmly and directly say, “Biting hurts!” or “No Biting!” Be calm, firm and direct when saying this.
- Teach Alternatives – Tell your child that we don’t bite, we can express ourselves in other ways like saying, “That’s mine.” Or teach them nice touches. After your child bites say, “We don’t bite, we HUG.” And hug your child.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – Your child learns through repetition. Be sure to be consistent in your message of no biting and repeat it every time your child bites. Make sure other caregivers do the same.
- Pay Attention to Patterns – Try to see why your child is biting. Is she overtired? Is she hungry? Finding a pattern can help you deter that behavior in the future.
What tips do you have to stop children from biting?
In the day to day parenting tasks of changing diapers, school drop-offs, laundry, meal planning and answering “why” for the millionth time, we may forget to stop and embrace the miracle of our children. Our parenting tip of the day is simple – embrace the present moment with all its “messiness” and be sure to give hugs, kisses and tell your children you love them.
What tips do you have for celebrating the miracle of your child?
The holidays are over and it’s back to the regular schedule at school. Getting back into the swing of homework may be a bit of challenge after the long break. Here are a few tips from some of our moms here at Kolcraft.
- Do the hardest assignment first. Kind of like eating foods they don’t like, get the toughest assignment done first before they run out of steam.
- Create a conducive homework environment. Set up a special homework station away from media distractions. Make sure they have all the needed supplies (i.e. pens, sharpened pencils, calculator, etc.).
- Get organized. Organizational skills are learned. Help your child stay organized and on top of assignments with a calendar or planner so assignments are not left until the last minute.
- Be encouraging. Encourage your child during their homework session, especially if you see them getting frustrated. If they see small victories in their homework, they will be more willing to continue with the task.
- Be active. Be active in your child’s homework. If you see he is struggling, set up an appointment to talk with the teacher. If your child isn’t understanding the homework, chances are he is confused in the classroom.
What tips do you have to help your child with homework?