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Ready to have some summertime fun with your kids that won’t break your bank account? Join the National Wildlife Federation for their Great American Backyard Campout this Saturday! Just think – you and thousands of other families will all be celebrating an event that helps kids appreciate the outdoors and healthy living. You can campout as a family, you can organize a campout with friends, neighbors – the sky is the limit!
Register at backyardcampout.org. Once you sign up you get resources such as camping tips, campfire songs, packing lists, activities, etc.
We love how camping promotes children having the opportunity to be “unplugged” and connect with nature. To celebrate the Great American Backyard Campout, we are giving away a Jeep Wrangler All Weather Umbrella Stroller. All you have to do to enter is post your Great American Backyard Campout photo in our Magical Moments online photo album. We will pick a winner on Monday, June 28th. We think our Jeep strollers are perfect for the outdoorsy family who is on the go and fit hand in hand with the Campout!
Will you be camping under the stars on June 26th?
- It takes 20-30 minutes for sunscreen to kick into full gear. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before your child goes outside instead of when they are heading out the door.
- It’s easy to forget to put on sunscreen especially when kids are excited to jump in the pool or run in the yard. Make sunscreen application part of your child’s daily routine when they are getting dressed so you don’t forget.
- Be generous in applying sunscreen and don’t forget ears and the back of the neck!
- Create a game of applying sunscreen. Make up a silly song about sunscreen and have your child wiggle his toes when you are applying on his feet, shake his arm before you put it on his arm, etc. It will be like your very own sunscreen hokey pokey!
- Don’t be afraid to try different sunscreens. Some kids prefer the spray sunscreen, others like the lotion or gel. See what works best for your little one.
- Choose a sunscreen that provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
- Have shade time where your child takes a 10 – 30 minute break under a tree or umbrella so she isn’t in the sun continuously.
- Re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours if your child is in the water or sweating.
- Check with your doctor first before applying sunscreen to your baby or child with sensitive skin.
- Kids learn by imitation. Be sure to always put sunscreen on yourself and your child will pick up on your healthy habits!
What sun safety tips do you have?
We stumbled upon a blog called smonk you: a story about being a dad. With a title like that, how could we not read more? We laughed at posts about flying bologna and ooo’ed and ahh’ed over pictures of little Miloh. We couldn’t keep this blog to ourselves. We are proud to bring to you the author of Smonk You!
You said in your blog that you weren’t sure of the whole “kid thing.” What was your greatest fear/hesitation about becoming a dad?
I should start by saying I knew I wanted a kid, I was just a bit scared of all babies in general because I haven’t spent a good amount of time around any. I guess my biggest fear comes from that…I couldn’t relate to kids and had no idea how to entertain or care for a baby. Plus I think babies are super smart because they are taking all sorts of information…that’s a bit freaky.
Is parenthood anything what you imagined it would be?
Not at all, I though it would be really chaotic, like an episode of M.A.S.H. Miloh is really mellow and easy. Plus I’ve realized that I’m innately able to do the things I thought I couldn’t. I’m having a blast right now.
Is there a stage of child development that you are looking forward to & one that you aren’t that excited about?
It will be awesome when he’s walking and talking…I’m looking forward to those, I can’t wait to start seeing his personality. I’m really looking forward to being able to teach him to ride a bike, because I have my old BMX bike ready for him…and if he likes snowboarding it will be great to ride with him…until he thinks I’m not cool enough/too embarrassing to hang with him.
If you could receive ‘expert advice” on one aspect of parenting, what would it be?
That’s really tough…I often ask for advice but rarely follow it, so I probably shouldn’t ask.
Random fun with Kenny
What is your must have baby care product? I dig my diaper bag…it’s a fleurville DJ diaper bag, it’s a good man bag. I also think a good camera is super important…a DSLR.
Favorite pastime pre-baby? Biking and snowboarding.
Favorite pastime post-baby? Just hanging out with Miloh and my wife. I’m biking less than I did last year, but also doing more photography than I did last year…not just of Miloh but a new project I’ve been working on.
What’s the one baby duty you would swap out in a New York minute? It sounds cliché but diapers…when he’s got a poo it smells like he’s been eating hay…and I hear it only gets worse.
If someone was going to put your life to music, what genre would they use and what would the title of the song be? The genre would either be punk (I’m thinking the Clash) or maybe something like Flight of the Conchords (because of my weird outlook on things.) I can’t really think of a title, I mean I could probably come up with something but it wouldn’t be right…but I’ve been listening to Bishop Allen lately and they have a song called Charm School…that probably fits me well.
Thanks Kenny. We really had fun getting a glimpse into your world.
If you have any questions/comments for Kenny, please leave them in our comment section.
There is a lot going on at Kolcraft this weekend and we hope we get to meet some of our fans virtually or in real life.
This Saturday is the annual Stroller Strides for Wishes 5K at Brookfield Zoo. Kolcraft will be there raffling off a Jeep Tandem stroller and answering all your stroller questions. Check in on Foursquare for the Kolcraft Stroller Strides Booth & get a free prize.
Speaking of prizes, there is a $100.00 gift certificate up for grabs at our Father’s Day Facebook Contest. The contest ends Sunday at midnight CST. It’s easy to enter. All you have to do is post of picture of the dad you are nominating and in 100 words or less tell us why he’s the world’s greatest dad.
Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there!
What are your fun plans this weekend to celebrate Father’s Day.
Kolcraft knows that our fans are passionate about parenting, health and safety of their kids, having the best baby gear for their children and making a difference in the lives of other families. Over the past 8 months you have partnered with Kolcraft to help countless families in distressed situations. We wanted to take a “time out” on our blog to remind you of the amazing things you have done in these past few months.
You have made a difference by:
- Participating in our first virtual baby shower with My Mommy Manual to raise money for Parents As Teachers.
- Participating in our silent auction for Haiti. You helped raise money for homeless, sick and orphaned children.
- Following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook to send Contours highchairs and Sealy mattress pads to children who lost everything in the Tennessee floods.
- Participating in the Sesame Street silent auction to benefit KIDS.
You may never know the names of the children and parents you have helped in distressed situations, but you have made a difference! Kolcraft is grateful for you and applauds you for reaching out to others.
Summer brings extra time to be outdoors, to play, to picnic and to read! Good reading habits are developed during your child’s early stages of development. By encouraging your child to read, by setting time aside to read to your child or have your child read to you and by taking them to bookstores or the library, you are instilling in them the tools for good reading skills that will carry them through school and their adult years.
One way to make a trip to your local library or bookstore special, is to have your child design his or her own canvas bag for books. We love the inexpensive bags at Oriental Trading.
What you need:
- Canvas bag
- Non toxic fabric markers or paint
- Disposable table cloth to cover the surface where your child is designing his or her bag
- Encouragement and imagination
Ask your child how he or she would like to decorate their special book bag. Perhaps they would like to draw a character from a favorite book or make their own version of modern art and splash different colors on the bag. You can also change things up by decorating with felt or foam cutouts or embellishments that you can buy at any craft store. You can also make your bag decorating into a party by inviting over a few of your child’s friends to decorate bags with you.
Plan a trip to your library or local bookstore so your child can carry their books in their newly decorated bag. By using this bag just for “book trips” you are teaching your child that book time is special.
A few other benefits of having a special book bag:
- Storing library books in bag between trips will help them not get lost.
- Walking to your library or bookstore will add a touch of fitness to your day. You and your child will have the double benefit of exercise and reading time!
- Using a canvas bag instead of plastic will teach your child about being green.
What ways do you make reading time special for your child?
Potty training your child can be exciting and exhausting all at the same time. With a little patience and encouragement, your child will be potty trained in no time. A few tips:
- Pick a potty day. Pick a day to start potty training and circle it on the calendar with a bright marker. Make sure your child knows that their special potty training day is coming up. If they are excited to start potty training, have them pick their potty training start day.
- Think like a coach. Remember that you are teaching your child a new skill so be firm, but also encouraging.
- Know when it’s time to stop. If your child doesn’t urinate or produce a bowel movement in 3-6 minutes, it’s better to stop and try later.
We think our Elmo potty is the perfect training potty. This 3 in 1 potty features Elmo who speaks encouraging phrases in English, Spanish or French!
Other features that we love:
- Potty training chair has a removable seat that fits most adult toilets
- Potty easily converts to a step stool
- Includes a fun sticker book & 20 reward stickers
Don’t just take our word for it, Viewpoints also loved our Elmo potty!
What potty training tips do you have?
Today’s Dad Monday has an international flair as we get a glimpse into the life of a dad from Turkey. Tolga is a new dad who is learning the ups and downs of parenting all with a touch of fun while blending cultures and lots of love.
Tolga, you and your wife come from two very different backgrounds. You grew up in Turkey and she grew up in the Mid-West. How do you blend your cultures and raise your baby with an understanding and an appreciation for both cultures?
To be frank, this is an answer that I am looking forward to finding out myself. So far it hasn’t been that difficult. The only potential problem could be the difference among our religious views. Even though I am Muslim, I don’t practice. And I can’t really say that I am a fan of religion either. My wife is Catholic and she practices her religion which I fully respect. But in the long run, I don’t know how it will affect our son’s religion. We will wait and see.
Do you ever feel like there is a clash of cultures & you have to choose one over the other in a certain situation?
We cherish each other’s cultures. I love Christmas and Thanksgiving and my wife loves our Bayrams (Eid). We take the positives of each culture and enjoy them with our son.
How did you choose your baby’s name & why do you feel it fits him?
Baran is a Turkish name and picking it wasn’t easy. We bought 4 Turkish baby name books and Baran was the only boy name that my wife liked. (Yes she went through 5000+ names and liked only one) We had to pick something that was easy to pronounce for Americans. My first choice was Arda but my wife hated it. I still don’t know why.
Every Turkish name has a meaning or multiple meanings. Baran has multiple meanings like rain, fruitfulness, noble, strength, resilience. In our case we like to use the meaning of “strength, resilience”. So far he lived up to his name.
Are there special Turkish “receiving” ceremonies that you did with your son?
Our biggest ceremony for a boy would be the circumcision ceremony. It is a ceremony that is usually done after you are circumcised. Usually this takes place when the boy is 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 years of age (only odd years of age). I had mine when I was 7 years old. As you can imagine, it was a traumatic experience. I made sure his was done right after birth. This way he won’t remember any of it. We will still have a mini ceremony when he grows up to be 7 years old.
Will Baran grow up bi-lingual?
Definitely. I only speak Turkish to him. I need someone in my household to talk Turkish to! It is kind of selfish, but I need another translator besides me between my parents and my wife’s family.
What has been your biggest surprise about fatherhood?
I never imagined the intense love I would feel for my child. It is unconditional love and sacrifice. I also feel a lot more protective towards my family.
What is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is not being able to spend enough time with my son. I feel like I need to be home with him every day and spend every minute with him. Being away from him is difficult. I miss him within 2 hours.
If you could receive ‘expert advice” on one aspect of parenting, what would it be?
I think I will need that advice when he becomes a teenager.
Random fun facts about Tolga
- Soccer, soccer and more soccer—although I’m warming up to golf too.
- If I like you, I pick on you. If I don’t like you, I won’t. My wife hates this habit of mine.
- I’d love to take acting lessons.
What was your favorite pastime pre-baby? Watching movies and playing soccer or computer games.
What is your favorite pastime post-baby? Playing with my son and making him laugh. He is almost 6 months old and he can’t do a whole lot yet, but he is a lot of fun.
What would be the perfect day for you? A day with good health and family with good health is a good day for me.
Will you teach Baran how to play soccer? Of course!!! That is why we had Baran in the first place.
If someone was going to put your life to music, what genre would they use and what would the title of the song be? This is a tough one. Turkish song lyrics are all about drama and pain. I think it is hilarious. Actually, “my song” would be a song that reaches out to all cultures.
What you will need:
- celery sticks
- peanut butter (we are fans of natural peanut butter)
- Wash the celery and have an adult cut it into pieces (about 5 inches long).
- Spread peanut butter across the u-shaped part of celery.
- Press raisins into peanut butter. We think 3 is a good amount.
You can also use cream cheese instead of peanut butter and nuts instead of raisins if you want variety.
What fun recipes do you like to make with your children?
In case you didn’t hear, our Chicago Blackhawks won the ultimate hockey prize last night. Here at Kolcraft we couldn’t be happier for our Blackhawks. Being so close to the Madhouse on Madison, we feel a special connection to the Blackhawks and have learned a lot from them.
- Hard Work – Winning a Stanley Cup isn’t about luck. It’s a long grueling battle that begins pre-season and continues until the last winning goal. It takes discipline, patience, laser focus and hard work.
- Team Spirit - No player wins the Stanley Cup in solitude. It’s a team effort of knowing each teammate’s strengths and weaknesses and working together to achieve one goal.
- Fun – Achieving a goal is hard work, but if you don’t have fun along the way it doesn’t make much sense. Having fun and a positive attitude fuels creativity and allows you to achieve your goals.
At Kolcraft we try to live these “Blackhawk lessons” as we bring moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers innovative, must have baby products. We couldn’t be more proud of our Chicago Blackhawks and to celebrate we are giving away a Jeep Renegade Walker which has the Blackhawk black and red colors.
To win, all you have to do is leave a comment on our blog of why you love our “Blackhawk color” walker. Add an extra note of who your favorite Blackhawk player is and we will count that as an extra entry.
Thank you Blackhawks for being a great example of what a winning team is all about!