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July is national Blueberry month (who knew right?). What better way to celebrate this vitamin-packed fruit than to make some healthy blueberry treats with your kids?
Fun Friday Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles
What you will need:
- 12 paper or foil baking cups, 2 1/2 inch size
- Zest and juices of one small lemon
- 2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (We like to use sugar in the raw or Stevia. If using one of these substitutes, use less than recipe calls for.)
- 1 pint blueberries
- 12 popsicle sticks
- Line twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin pan cups with the paper or foil baking cups.
Ready, Set, Make!
- In a bowl, blend the lemon zest, lemon juice, yogurt, and sugar until smooth.
- Stir in the blueberries.
- Divide the mixture within the paper-lined muffing pan cups.
- Freeze for 1 1/2 hours, or until almost firm: insert a popsicle stick in the middle of each popsicle.
- Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
- To serve, peel off the paper liners and let the popsicles stand at room temperature for about 4 to 6 minutes to soften slightly for easier eating.
If you want to store them in the freezer for a longer time, cover them with plastic wrap.
What healthy summer recipes for kids do you have to share?
Kolcraft is looking for people who have 0-3 month old babies—or are expecting a baby in the next 3 weeks—to do a 4 week in-home new product test on a bassinet with a new feature.
The product will be shipped to your home. You will be expected to use the product daily for a total of 4 weeks, and you will have to complete 2 short online surveys after week 2 and week 4 of the test.
You will be compensated $100 for your participation and you will get to keep the bassinet—minus the new feature which must be returned to Kolcraft. Kolcraft will arrange for pre-paid UPS pickup of the portion of the product that must be returned after the test is complete.
If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Whether you have a question on a particular product, a general baby gear question or you want to give feedback on a product- Kolcraft wants to hear from you!
To make it easier for you to let us know your opinions and ask your questions, we now have the possibility to do this on our Kolcraft website. If you have a question, simply go to the product category page on our website & ask your question. Our staff will do our best to answer your question in 24 hours! You can see an example of this here.
If you want to write a review on a product, simply go to the product page & write the review. You will notice we use the Kolcraft heart rating system instead of stars.
We truly value your opinions and are excited to hear from you so we can continue to create innovative, must have baby products for you.
Thank you for being a Kolcraft fan!
You are excited about your new bundle of joy and your growing baby bump is a daily reminder that you have to buy more maternity clothes, but you’d rather spend your money on baby gear. What’s a pregnant mom to do?
Known for their trendy clothes at inexpensive prices, Forever 21 has expanded their line to maternity wear. We liked the cute fashions that were all under $20.00! Our favorite was the Chiffon Flowered Maternity Tunic that would look great on any pregnant mom.
Who says you can’t be a trendy pregnant mom and save money too? With maternity wear taken care of, you can concentrate on more important things like buying the perfect crib mattress for baby.
What tips do you have to save money on maternity wear?
Michelle LaRowe, mom and nanny, wrote an article on playgroups. We thought it was so insightful that we had to share it with you.
How To Have a Successful Playgroup
With the start of the school year on the horizon, many parents of infants, toddlers and preschoolers wonder how they will keep their younger children occupied, engaged and entertained come September.
With parents often being priced out of preschools and enrichment classes for their young children, a playgroup provides a great way for younger children to practice their socialization skills, explore new environments and learn to interact in a group.
A well run playgroup:
- facilitates learning through play
- encourages budding friendships
- fosters emotional, physical and social development
Kids learn to:
- interact with others,
- practice their language skills, motor skills
- learn to function in new and challenging environments
So if starting a playgroup is something that interests you, here are some basic guidelines for starting and maintain a well run playgroup.
First define the parameters of your playgroup. You’ll need to determine what ages you’d like to welcome, how often you’d like to meet, where you’d be meeting and how long your playgroup will last. You may also want to include any basic rules or guidelines that you feel would help govern your playgroup. A list of house rules, expected behavior, safety guidelines for the location and approved snacks are great things to define up front.
Second you’ll want to set a date and time for an informational meeting. Create some flyers that advertise your playgroup and the date, time and location of your informational meeting. Posting flyers at your local library, pediatrician’s office and other places that kids visit is a great way to connect with other moms and kids of similar ages as yours. Include pull of strips with your contact information for people to take.
Third you’ll want to prepare to host your informational meeting. Offer light snacks and refreshments and make it a social gathering for parents of children of similar ages. Provide sign-up sheets that attendees can leave their contact information and the names and ages of their children. Although you may want to host the first playgroup meeting, you may also want to provide a calendar for parents to sign up to host a playgroup or commit to bringing snacks.
Follow up via email with those who attended and finalize the details of your first playgroup. Layout your playgroup schedule and encourage others to sign up to host or bring snack on available days.
Prepare your space in advance:
- Decide which areas of your location will be open to the group and childproof the space as needed.
- Put away any toys that your child may have trouble sharing and create a welcoming and friendly environment for your little guests.
- Many successful playgroups work off a theme and each meeting revolves around a preselected theme. On the farm, music and movement, colors and in the kitchen are all great themes for young kids. Be sure to leave out toys, games, books and activities that go along with your theme for kids to play with.
Create Different Stations:
- Have books in one area, blocks in another and a craft project in another provides an opportunity for kids to actively participate in playgroup together
- Great stations are made up of activities that have many parts that kids can play with together. For example, there are enough blocks for everyone to use so it can avoid kids fighting over one prized possession.
You may also want to consider having a monthly outing for playgroup where everyone attends the local park, library or museum together. This is a great way to secure group rates at local attractions.
After your playgroup meeting, follow up with those on your contact list and let them know how fun your playgroup was and when your next group will be. Invite them to join the fun!
With a little planning and preparation starting and maintaining a playgroup for your young child can be a cinch. Affordable and fun, playgroups provide a great way for kids and moms to connect.
Written by Michelle LaRowe
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?
For the first few months of baby’s life, you need a stroller that will accommodate your infant car seat. You may not want to go the route of a large, bulky travel system so Jeep has come up with an option to basically design your own travel system! The new Jeep® Universal Cruiser™ fits most infant car seats while providing plenty of storage without being a heavy, bulky travel system!
Some features we love:
- Easily accommodates your infant car seat without tools or adjustments
- 8″ wheels gets through all types of terrain
- Convenient one-hand fold allows you to hold your child & fold the carrier at the same time!
- Removable parent tray with dual cup holders
- Extra large basket with cargo bags for ample storage
What are your favorite features of the Jeep® Universal Cruiser™?
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?
You spend most of your day making baby talk with your baby and you cherish the time you have with her because you know soon enough she will be going to school, graduating…you get the picture. In the meantime, however, you are craving a little more communication with adults. You could try a meet up group, but maybe that’s not your thing.
Here are a few ideas where you might find other moms and dads like you who would like to meet other understanding parents and don’t mind if the conversation is interrupted with a diaper change or feeding time.
- Parenting Yoga Class - get fit and meet other parents!
- Park District Activities - experience new adventures (most of them for free) while you meet other parents!
- Movie theaters with Kid Friendly Movie Times – enjoy a movie in a cool theater and meet other parents!
- Gym Classes - help baby develop basic skills while bonding with other parents!
If you need a break from baby babble but don’t want time away from baby, meeting other parents can be the perfect solution.
What tips do you have for connecting with other parents?