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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Appletree Kids, Inc. & Kids Too Halloween Parties

Halloween time, already? Yep! 

Dressing up a scary clown, or princess, or zombie is completely acceptable for this ONE day. 

A chance to be as scary or as cute as possible. It's YOUR choice. What'll it be? 

Oh, and what about the kiddo? 

She/He is cute every day of the year. Is it even possible to be cuter?
We will all be excited to see you Friday, October 31st -- Halloween!

Both Appletree Kids, Inc. and Kids Too will have their own Halloween parties
Friday morning at 9:30AM.
We strongly encourage kids to dress and welcome you to stay for the fun!
(Please bring 1 bag of individually wrapped candy)

Monday, October 27, 2014


 Appletree Kids, Inc. would like to take this opportunity to love on the surrounding community and build stronger relationships. We invite your family to help us in doing so. We hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Join Appletree Kids, Inc. Halloween Night!


Appletree Kids, Inc. would love to take this
opportunity to love on the surrounding community!


WHEN: 6:30-8PM
Candy donations are greatly appreciated. If you'd like to donate some, see your center director.
Thank you!
Thank you for all your help in making fun like this possible. Events like these are driven to create a stronger relationship and unity in the community. 
I can't say "Thank you" enough,
Jennifer Conner

Halloween Tips for Treats

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

        Maybe you’re new to having a kid old enough for actual trick-or-treating… Maybe you’re new to the city/town you live in… Maybe you’ve just never participated in trick-or-treating due to work schedule (or simply not wanting to).
Whatever the case may be, I have some safety tips that may help the night of fun go a little smoother.
As smooth as kids dressed up in their favorite costume… at night… after a day of candy at school and more candy as the number of houses visited goes up!! WOOH! (Breathe!)
Doesn’t sound too bad… right? Let’s get started here.
Now, we don’t want you to over-plan or over-schedule and change trick-or-treating from fun to a task that nobody enjoys. Keep some (controlled) suspense for the kids at least.


1) PLAN AHEAD – Pick a neighborhood. Some like their own, some like to meet friends in a different one. Meet up with other parents from class (this will provide some extra sanity for you and an extra set of eyes).  You want to check times for trick-or-treating in your area. You want to drive the neighborhood before you go, just to see what you’re in for. LOOK FOR SIDEWALKS! We like sidewalks.

2) PICK THE RIGHT COSTUMES – and remember what you’re kid(s) are wearing. No, really. Sometimes parents forget and are looking for a princess when she actually dressed as a zombie this year. Maybe covered in black head to toe isn't the best idea. Consider colors, eh?

3) TRICK-OR-TREATING ALTERNATIVE – Maybe trick-or-treating isn't for your family. There are alternatives. Check with your church, a local church, or local event center for these alternatives. I’ve been to little play houses where the kids play little quick games for candy and also trunk-or-treats where the kids navigate car to car to collect their candy and dinner is also provided. Find something good for you! If all the planning in neighborhoods is too much and you need a more organized event: look into it! However, still take precautions at these events. (:

4) IS THIS HOUSE GOOD? – While out trick-or-treating some houses just look sketchy. Maybe in the daylight they look better (I’ll have to drive by one day when I have a free minute) but something just doesn’t seem right. Skip that house. Only a couple pieces of candy lost, right? Choose well-lit houses. It’s a general rule that if the porch light is off, they’re not offering up Halloween candy. Ensure your kids knows to never go inside someone’s house for candy!

5) WE NEED LIGHT – Now, this last one may sound like the most common sense tip or it may sound like a genius plan you would have never expected to hear. I’ll give it a try though. You can let me know after. Here goes: Arm each kid with a flashlight. Keep one for yourself, also. An extra pair of batteries just in case is smart. If you want to be creative, maybe you could slap a strip of reflective tape somewhere on your kiddo.

Well I guess I have a couple more:
BONUS TIPS: Make sure your house is safe while you’re gone! Also, check candy before letting the kiddos help themselves to a piece… or a handful… of candy.
If you can think of any other Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips let us know!

And, whatever you decide to do, make sure you add Appletree Kids to your route. Halloween Night 6:30-8 we will be handing out candy. Stop by and see us! We'd love to see you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What day is today?

October has been a great month so far!  
The weather even gave us a little taste of what it has in store for us this Fall!
At Appletree Kids and Kids Too we have celebrated Balloons Around the World Day and gave away TWO cookie cakes! As you can see here: Balloons Around the World Day
The rest of October is looking fun, also. We have a celebration up our sleeve for National Cupcake Decorating Day. If you have been with us at Appletree Kids, Inc. you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, you won't be disappointed! (:

Here is a calendar of October with "National Days of..." so you can schedule some of your own home celebrations.

P.S. - One more thing to scare you... DO YOU SEE HOW CLOSE HALLOWEEN IS?
Do you have your costume ready? You kid's costume in mind at least? I know it probably changes by the day! A place to trick-or-treat? We'll have some help for you on these subjects in some of our upcoming blogs. Stay tuned!

11 Ways to Help Child With.... Math!

We've all been acquainted with this new school curriculum. Some are all for it; others, not so much. We can all agree that children aren't just common. They're unique and learn differently and some need more help in certain areas than others. Math seems to be the one most need help with. The way of teaching in school has changed, but remember: you have a great influence in your child's learning around the house and in everyday-life. He/She may not even consider it typical "learning" but there are things that undoubtedly enhance thinking and retention. This allows the child to go to school daily and feel like he/she is in for a great day!

Of course, you can come up with math problems for them to do as your own math worksheet. There are everyday, practical things you can do to help also.

11 Ways a Parent Can Help with Math: 
1) Look for shapes and patterns in real life
2) Have your child measure ingredients for a recipe you are making
3) Ask your child to explain the math skills he or she is working on in school
4) Ask him/her to explain how he/she got the answer to problems
5) Help find age appropriate problem-solving games online (Apps on phones also)
6) Play card or board games that involve counting or patterns
7) Ask your child to count change at the grocery store or estimate total cost while you're shopping
8) Compare!: What's the tallest? Smallest? Fastest? Highest? Most expensive? Etc...
9) Have a ruler, scale, calculator, measuring tape available to use in house
10) Encourage child to graph/track stats for favorite sports team
11) Use dice or playing cards to make a game out of practicing math skills

These things will help your child succeed in school and encourage a learning environment at home!
Have fun with them also! (:
3 great free math apps: Teachly: Addimal Adventure, ToDo Math, Splash Math Kindergarten

If you have any extra tips, let us know.
Find us on Facebook or tweet us! (:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hydration Reminder - Applies to parents and kids!

Yes, it is heading towards getting cold outside again; however, that doesn't mean you can forget everything you know about hydration! 
Let's get into some Good Hydration Tips:

Practicing good hydration tips is vital whether you are in the backyard relaxing or at the park jogging. Paying attention to hydration lets you enjoy life without feeling fatigued and while you receive some water from foods such as fruits and vegetables, the reality is eighty percent of your hydration is from water as well as other liquids.
It is a bad idea to let your thirst guide you as to how much to drink. If you get thirsty then you are in fact already slightly dehydrated! The best thing to do is to outpace your thirst, so it is a good idea to keep a water bottle on hand at all times.

Eight glasses of water (about eight ounces each) should be the bare minimum you consume in a day, not the end point. Nine glasses for women and twelve for men is the best suggestion.

It is important to keep in mind that some drinks will hydrate more than others. Water is the best option for hydration. Caffeinated beverages are actually better than commonly thought but alcohol can actually dehydrate you so is best avoided, particularly in large quantities.
Steering clear of alcohol and always having a bottle of water on-hand are best practices.
Also, teach your kids that water is essential! 

Water helps digestion regulation. It helps keep skin looking good. It helps energize muscles.
It helps keep immune system stronger to fight sickness. Oh, the many roles of water. 

Below are the links for water wonder-ers.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Nutrition (with some misconceptions)


Avoiding Shopping Mistakes
Even with the best of intentions about healthy food and nutrition, we can still make mistakes when we actually go out to shop. There are a number of common mistakes and misconceptions that even people who thought they were well-informed can make.

One common mistake is people paying more for brown eggs rather than white in the belief that the brown eggs are better for you. The reality is there is no truth to this whatsoever. The color of the egg is irrelevant to its nutritional content or its taste. The only thing that makes a shell a certain color is the breed of the chicken.

Another mistake is purchasing low-fat peanut butter to save on fat and calories. The irony here is that the fat in peanut butter is actually good for you so there is no point in avoiding it. Low-fat peanut butter also actually has higher sugar content in order to make up for less fat, with little if any difference in calories. When buying peanut butter, choose the one with the least ingredients, preferably with nothing more than peanuts and a small amount of added salt or sugar. 

Some confusion also comes along with the multi-grain vs. whole grain conversation. Which is healthier? According to
"Whole-grain foods are a healthy choice because they contain nutrients, fiber and other healthy plant compounds found naturally in the grain. Look for products that list the first ingredient as "whole wheat," "whole oats" or a similar whole grain. While "whole grains" may signify one of many types of healthy grains, "whole wheat" labels the specific grain used. Either term may identify a food that's a good source of fiber, several B vitamins and minerals."

Hopefully that helps!

Is there anything else you'd like to share? Anything you think we should discuss in our blogs?
Let us know on our facebook or twitter! 

Help Toddler, Help Themselves

Help your toddler gain some independence going to sleep at night.
Read about it here:

Sound like a good idea? Let us know what you think and what works for you!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fun Fall Family Activities

Now that it is officially Fall, your family can start doing fun Fall activities together!
Family activities teach kids fine motor skills, stimulate thinking, and create a closer bond within the family. 

Let's get to creating, shall we?!

There a dozens of websites with great Fall/Halloween activities but here are a few of our favorite!:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Keep The Home Fires Burning

As parents with a small child or children it can be difficult to find time to spend together the way that you could before the kids arrived. This often translates, in practical terms, in a definite plunge in your ability to find those romantic interludes that were just a part of life before kids.
However, staying strong as a couple by finding time keep that romance alive is not just important for your relationship, it is also important for your comfort and security as a couple. Couples that routinely find time to spend with each other and enjoying being together are happier, more secure in their relationships and more likely to feel important and valued in the eyes of their spouse.
To keep romance alive with young children in the home try the following:
  • Ask a family member you trust to take the kids for the weekend or a night and either plan a getaway or have a romantic stay-cation in your own home.
  • Do something special that you know your partner enjoys as a planned but surprise activity. Maybe this is going bowling or visiting a local park, but add a touch of romance by focusing on them and not on the kids or the bills.
  • Make it a point to enjoy each other’s company by holding hands when you walk, sit together to watch a movie and giving more than just a peck on the cheek as a greeting.
  • Add romance by sending a loving text message, putting a romantic note in a pocket, purse or briefcase or calling at a break to just say you were thinking of them.
  • Have fun. Laughing and sharing wonderful experiences, even funny little things at the grocery store, build up a relationship.

The more little things that you do to show you partner you are in love and you want to be with them the greater the response will be and the more romance you will enjoy throughout your life together. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Plan A Family Game Night On A Budget

Spending a fun night at home with the kids playing different games and having a family favorite meal is a wonderful way to stretch your entertainment dollar. Often cash strapped Moms and Dads can’t afford a night at the movies for the family or simply wish they could attend a major sporting event with the kids.
The reality is that yes, children would like to do those things, but spending time as a family is just as much fun. Once your kids are old enough encouraging them to get involved in helping you with planning a family game night is a great way to be very inclusive and ensure that you are doing things that everyone will enjoy.
Some low cost ideas for a family game night include:
  • Make snacks or meals at home that are favorites for the family. Kids will love a “make it yourself pizza night” or making their own treats and healthy snacks.
  • Use a spinner or numbered dice to allow each child to roll to choose a game. Each game is numbered to correspond with a number on the dice, which avoids issues about who gets to choose.
  • Consider a game swap night with the neighbors. You can swamp board games or other games that you have in your house with theirs, giving everyone a new set of games to play without the need to buy anything.
  • Go unplugged and limit games to those that don’t include technology. This avoids the additional costs of renting games and encourages interaction and conversation between the entire family.
  • Try playing old school games like jacks, marbles, charades, or even go outside and have a family game of soccer, basketball or football in the back yard. You can always make up your own game using different toys and items that you have around the house.

The biggest benefit to being on a budget is that you can really get creative. Encourage your kids to come up with ideas for family game nights; you may be surprised at what they enjoy. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teaching Kids To Be Organized

Although some children appear to be born with a natural inclination for routine and order, others are free spirits and need some assistance in order to discover ways to make their life run more smoothly. Teaching children organizational skills can make family life run a lot more efficiently and cut down friction when children have to keep their rooms clean and do homework and there are some good tips that can help with this learning process.
One smart idea is to track all of the family activities on a calendar that is accessible to everyone. Every night get together and discuss the activities that are scheduled for the following day and encourage kids to check the calendar before adding any other activity.

Daily checklists are also a good idea to help keep track of homework, instrument practice or household chores. This also teaches children how to prioritize. Teach children to prepare their clothes for the following day the night before and have everything laid out for the morning, including making lunches and packing their backpack.

Another way to teach children organization is to encourage them to have some kind of collection that can be classified, sorted and organized. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How To Encourage Your Kids to Apply Themselves

Parents often grow frustrating trying to convince their youngsters that applying themselves to chores, schoolwork, and other necessary tasks is important. You don’t have to resort to threats or bribery, though. Try some of these tips:

• Focus on progress, not perfection. Kids will shy away from chores if they feel they can never do a good enough job. Set reasonable standards, but don’t obsess about their getting everything perfect. Reward progress, not just results.

• Give them a choice. If kids feel they have a choice about what to do, or how to do it, they’ll try harder. Provide them with options, and be honest about what how they can do a good job.

• Give them lots of praise. Make them feel good about what they’re doing. They’ll want to do more if they feel good about their work. Point out their strengths, and make sure you’re sincere, honest, and specific in your praise.

• Talk about your own work. When you share your own achievements in your job or hobbies, kids may be motivated to work harder so they have their own successes to share with you.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Taking Care of your Dog during the Summer

As we enter the hot summer months, taking good care of your dog is important. Keep your canine companions healthy by remembering these basic tips:


• When pets are outside, be sure they have plenty of fresh water and access to shady areas.

• Don’t leave your dog inside a car on hot days.

• Exercise your dog only during the coolest times of the day.

• Watch for sunburn. Dogs are susceptible to sunburn just like people, especially those with short hair, pink skin, and white hair. Limit their exposure when the sun is the strongest and apply sunblock to ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside.

Lyme disease:

• Get a yearly Lyme disease vaccination from your vet.

• If you have a furry dog, comb him with a fine-toothed, light-colored comb. Inspect the comb for ticks, which are often tiny and easy to miss.

• Inspect all areas, including the ears and face.

• If you find a tick is attached to the skin, pull it out with tweezers.

• Wash the area with soap and water. Monitor it for signs of infection. If your dog gets Lyme disease, a rash shaped like a bull’s eye will appear at the site three to 32 days after he’s been bitten.

• Watch for symptoms like sudden, severe pain, lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, and depression.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Allergic to your pet? Breathe easy with these tips!

Pets offer us love and companionship. Unfortunately, they also offer allergies to about 10 percent of the population. If getting rid of your cat, dog, or guinea pig isn’t an option, try these tactics for keeping allergic reactions under control:

• First, get tested. If you’re experiencing allergy symptoms—sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, etc.—visit the doctor first to confirm their origin. Often, the doctor will advise getting rid of your pet, but he or she can also offer suggestions on controlling your reaction.

• Create a pet-free zone. Keep one bedroom completely free of your dog or cat so you (or whoever suffers the allergy) can get regular sleep. Install high-efficiency filters in your air ducts to limit the spread of allergens throughout your home.

• Bathe pets frequently. Have your spouse, a friend, or your children wash and brush your pets at least once a week—outside your home, if possible.

• Clean house often. You may have to vacuum your carpets and fabrics daily, and dust furniture and blinds once a week. If possible, replace carpeting with tile, wood, or linoleum as much as possible to avoid trapping allergens under your feet.

• Wash hands. Whenever you pick up, cuddle, or otherwise handle your pet, wash your hands immediately, and ask family and visitors to do the same.

• Keep pets off furniture. Provide a comfortable pet bed for your animal to sleep and rest in, and train pets to stay off couches and chairs. Wash your pet’s bed often.

Family meals establish lifetime nutrition habits

Eating together establishes good habits later in life, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota. In the study of more than 1,500 people, surveyed once during high school and then again when they were 20 years old, participants were asked questions about how often they ate with their families, how much they liked sitting down to dinner with family and friends, if they had a tendency to eat and run, and how often they ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The results showed that those who ate meals with family as adolescents were more likely to eat fruit and dark green and orange vegetables and drink fewer soft drinks as young adults.

The frequency of family meals during adolescence also predicted eating meals more frequently as adults. Those who experienced more family meals were more likely to have higher intakes of key nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and the like.

The researchers say the results demonstrate that structured meal times with family are associated with improved diet quality for young adults. Families should be encouraged to share meals together as often as is practically possible.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

3 Questions to Boost Your Child's Confidence

3 Questions to Boost Your Child’s Confidence

Talking about the positive events or accom­plishments in your child’s life can have a profound effect on them. It boosts their self-esteem and gives them every reason to expect better things in the future.

Help kids build their self-image by asking these questions:

• What makes you feel proud of yourself? When you know what makes them feel great, you can build on it with more questions about where they want to go in their lives.

• What family memories do you think about? When you hear how they view the family, you can ask them where they see themselves in the mix.

• Were you ever surprised by someone? Knowing what surprises them can give you hints for future reference.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to succeed as a COACH every day

Coaching and managing are related roles, but separate ones. Managers make sure that a worker’s performance meets explicit goals; coaches strive to help people meet their potential and exceed expectations. To hone your coaching skills more keenly, follow this advice:

• Be a full-time coach. Don’t limit your coaching opportunities to regularly scheduled meetings, no matter how frequent. Look for ways to be a coach in staff meetings, workplace conversations, even voice and email messages.

• Exercise your empathy skills. Watch dramatic TV shows and movies to practice your skills at reading body language and picking up hidden emotions from nonverbal cues.

• Clarify goals. Train yourself to clearly define the behaviors you seek in other people, and what behaviors need to change. The better you can flesh these out, the better your ability to suggest improvements and offer useful feedback.

• Respond quickly. Closely monitor the people you are coaching so you’ll be able to provide timely and helpful feedback.

• Listen. The more someone talks about a new idea, the easier it is for him or her to become excited and committed to it. Let the person you’re coaching do most or all of the talking during your conversations.

• Practice what you preach. You can’t expect others to behave in a certain way if you don’t demonstrate the desired behavior yourself.

• Provide practice opportunities. When teaching a new skill, give your people plenty of opportunities to practice. This builds not only their proficiency but also their self-confidence.

• Talk positively to yourself. Some positive self-talk—affirming your own skills and talents—will keep your morale up and will, in turn, help you to lift the attitudes of others.

• Believe in people. When you anticipate great things from others, and let them know your expectations, your confidence will help them work hard to live up to your vision.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Family Meals establish lifetime nutrition habits

Eating together establishes good habits later in life, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota. In the study of more than 1,500 people, surveyed once during high school and then again when they were 20 years old, participants were asked questions about how often they ate with their families, how much they liked sitting down to dinner with family and friends, if they had a tendency to eat and run, and how often they ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The results showed that those who ate meals with family as adolescents were more likely to eat fruit and dark green and orange vegetables and drink fewer soft drinks as young adults. The frequency of family meals during adolescence also predicted eating meals more frequently as adults. Those who experienced more family meals were more likely to have higher intakes of key nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and the like.

The researchers say the results demonstrate that structured meal times with family are associated with improved diet quality for young adults. Families should be encouraged to share meals together as often as is practically possible.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reduce Stress throughout your day

Stress is frequently caused by time pressure—you don’t have enough minutes in the day to do everything you want and need to accomplish. The key to relieving stress in your household is being aware of what’s causing it, and then making some basic adjustments to your schedule. Here’s how to deal with the three most stress-filled times of day:

• Get to bed early enough for a good night’s sleep.

• Rise early, avoiding pressure to get out the door fast.

• Get dressed and ready for your day before waking others.

• Have children make their own lunches.

• Take the time to eat a nutritious breakfast.

• Arrive at work on time so you can get a good start to your day.


• Prepare nutritious meals, not fast food. Have your kids help choose and prepare the meal.

• Make time after work to listen to your children talk about their day.

• Share household chores with your spouse and children.

• Coordinate meals and homework time efficiently.

• Ensure that every family member is present at the dinner table, and that everyone gets heard.

• Share cleanup duties after dinner and around the house.

• Leave some time for interruptions and emergencies.

• Prepare tomorrow’s lunches.


• Stick with an agreed TV cutoff time.

• Develop a bedtime routine for your children that they can manage on their own.

• Handle some routine maintenance chores daily—paying the day’s bills, dusting, etc.

• Plan what to wear tomorrow. 

• Get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How Seniors can stay Healthy and Avoid Injury

Unintentional injuries to older adults results in a minimum of six million injuries and over thirty thousand deaths per year. Older adults need to learn about the various ways in which they can avoid the major causes of injuries, such as falls.

One good tip is to discuss the physical activities that are best for you with your health care provider. Taking regular exercise can help to improve strength, coordination, endurance and balance. Your vision should be checked regularly since your vision plays a big role in the prevention of injuries at home, in the community and on the road.

You need to be able to manage your medications and understand the ways in which they interact with one another, alcohol, certain foods, over the counter drugs and other medical conditions you may have.
One good method to prevent falls is to install grab bars and handrails where needed, particularly in bathrooms and around stairs. Make sure there is good lighting both outside and inside your home and that there is at least one nightlight between your bathroom and bedroom.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mental Health Advice For Parents

 If you are the parent of a teenage or older child, you might not worry about their everyday medical needs quite as much as you did when they were younger, but older children still depend on you particularly when it involves emotional health and wellbeing.
Romantic situations, life changes, exposure to alcohol and drugs and stress are just some of the challenges faced by young adults and teenagers, and parents can help to encourage positive choices and make these transitions easier. One good tip is to be particularly vigilant watching for signs that your child may need support when they enter a new stage in their life, and be ready to give it.

Check in with them on a regular basis and ensure that the lines of communication between you are always open. If your teenager has moved out or is away at college, keep in touch via regular telephone calls. Do not be afraid to broach difficult topics – your children need to feel they can discuss any subject with you.

Parents should also watch out for mental health red flags like personality shifts, noticeable weight changes, signs of self-harm, excessive sleeping, moodiness or secrecy. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Make Friends with your Co-Workers

Your boss may be in charge, but your co-workers are the people with real influence over your career. Good relations are imperative to success. Here are some tips:

• Help out. When you see a co-worker in need of assistance, don’t wait to be asked. Offer your help and do your best to support him or her. You’ll share in the success, and encourage others to help you.

• Share the credit. Remember that you’re part of a team. When you receive praise for a good job, mention those who contributed along with you. They’ll appreciate your willingness to spread the credit around.

• Communicate with honesty. Don’t hide information from your colleagues. That doesn’t mean sharing every detail of your work or your life, but keep co-workers updated on what’s going on and how it may affect their work—for better or worse.

• Be friendly. This sounds basic, but busy workers sometimes forget the essentials of a good relationship. Wish people a good morning, smile when you see them, say “please” and “thank you,” and be as cheerful as you can. No one enjoys working alongside a grouch.

• Bring cookies. Maybe you’re not a master baker, but you’ll always score points by bringing snacks to the office. Be a little creative: Instead of doughnuts or candy, find some healthy munchies like granola or fruit that people can enjoy without adding on unwanted weight.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Making Camping Safe and Fun

Kids and camping in the summer months are a natural match and a wonderful way for the entire family to spend time together unplugged and away from distractions. It is also a great way to connect you children to the world around them, to understanding the importance of the environment, and in developing a passion for the world in which we live.
Camping with kids does have a few special requirements when compared to camping with teens or young adults. However, with just a few extra considerations you can make sure that the entire trip is a positive experience for everyone.

  • Consider your location for the first few trips, especially with young children and toddlers. If you stay close to home, or close to amenities, you don’t have to worry about hiking back out if the trip is not going well. Consider major campgrounds that are easy to access and that have a lot of kid friendly things to do. You may also want to consider a campground with running water and full restrooms especially if you have the younger children. 
  • Before buying everything try camping with rental equipment first. This will help you decide what size tent or tents you need before investing a lot of money. Kids will enjoy being part of the “approval” process for equipment as well.
  • Bring lots of light. Children that are used to electricity and street lights are going to find it very dark in most campgrounds and camping areas. LED lanterns are a great option as they last for the whole season and don’t require the fuel and flame of the traditional camping lantern.
  • Pack favorite foods such as cereal, crackers, snacks and hot dogs, that can be eaten even if the weather gets bad and a campfire is out of the question. By having lots of easy, healthy snacks on hand active kids will also stay happy between meals.
  • Go paper and plastic to avoid doing dishes. Bring a large plastic garbage bag and set a great example by cleaning up the campground completely before you leave and hauling all your trash to the proper area for disposal.
You can also involve your kids in planning the trip and packing, this really adds to the learning component of the camping trip and helps you remember all the important things that need to come along. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day

                                                   HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

How To Prevent Eye Injuries in Small Children

The first week in July is National Prevention of Eye Injuries Awareness week and a great time to talk to the kids about eye health and playing safe. It is also not a coincidence that this awareness campaign is happening at the same time that there is an annual uptick in the number of reported eye injuries.
Parents can help teach their children, even very small kids, how to stay safe during activities or events that may be dangerous to the eyes. Some easy ways to help you children maintain good eye health include:
·         Buy a good pair of sunglasses that fit your child properly. Don’t use the plastic sunglasses available at the toy store or the department store; get top quality glasses that provide the UVB and UVA protection.
·         Choose sunglasses for children that have polycarbonate lenses that are impact-resistant. This prevents damage in the event that the glasses are hit by an object when the child is wearing them.
·         Buy sports goggles for your kids when playing any type of sport that includes hitting a ball at high speeds. This includes baseball, softball, tennis and even golf. These goggles can also be worn if the child is helping out in the yard or garden to prevent debris from getting into the eyes.

·         Always check the chemical and chlorine levels in pools or hot tubs before the children are allowed to swim. Hot tubs and pools that are not treated are ideal breeding areas for bacteria that can lead to increased chances of eye infections. 
Teach children to come to you if they do get any debris or material in their eyes and not to immediately rub the eye. Parents should carry a bottle of water or some eye wash solution with them to the beach or to the game to always have a handy eye wash available. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

National Joke Day

Question: What do you call an elephant that doesn't matter?
Answer: an irrelephant

National Joke Day

Question: What do you get from a pampered cow?
Answer: SPOILED milk

National Joke Day

Question: What do you call an alligator in a vest?
Answer: An Investigator 

National Joke Day

Question: What do you call a fake noodle?
Answer: An Impasta

Train kids to stop whining

Nothing seems more annoying than a whining child, even when it’s your own kid. Here are some methods for cutting down on the turmoil—and maybe ending the whining for good:

• Teach them appropriate behavior. When children whine, tell them to ask for what they want without tears or hysterics. Then teach them how to accept your answer without whining as well.

• Don’t give in. Children shouldn’t get what they want when they whine. If it’s something they legitimately need, have them wait five minutes before asking you for it again.

• Keep a united front. If you decide to ignore a whining child, then make sure your spouse/partner and relatives do the same.

• Reward improvement. Keep track of your child’s ability to ask for what he or she wants without whining. Keep the chart in his or her room so both of you can focus on your child’s improvements.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Keeping Kids Cool Through Summer

Summer is the time of year for running around, playing outdoors, and staying active in the beautiful weather. However, all this running and physical activity in the heat of the day can put children, and adults, at risk for heat stroke and related types of complications.
Heat stroke is not just a slight problem; it can be extremely harmful and even fatal if not treated immediately once it reaches a severe stage. The good news is that parents can teach their children to recognize when they are getting too warm and take the right steps to cool off and enjoy the rest of the day.
The earliest signs of heat stroke, sometimes known as heat exhaustion, include symptoms such as:
  • Weakness, fatigue and muscle cramps
  • Feelings or nausea or even vomiting
  • Dizziness and headaches
If the child is not cooled off at this point the symptoms progress to full heat stroke and include elevated body temperature, hot dry skin, lack of sweat production, rapid pulse, difficulty in breathing and agitation and confusion.
To help you child avoid heat exhaustion or the more serious heat stroke teach them to:

  • Always ensure that children bring water with them and hydrate regularly throughout the activity. Children should be limited to water or sports drinks but not sodas, energy drinks or drinks containing caffeine.
  • Wear a hat to help keep direct sun of the head, also wear lighter colored, loose fitting clothing to allow perspiration to evaporate and cool the body.
  • Limit any intensive activity or competitive events in the hottest parts of the day or when humidity levels are high.
  • Encourage kids to find games that can be played in shady areas of the yard or playground area. 
  • Last, and most important, parents need to focus on never leaving a child in a car or leaving a vehicle unlocked so that children can get into the hot interior. The greatest cause of injury and death due to heat stroke is related to children being left in vehicles, often for as little as five minutes, resulting in a tragedy that could have easily been prevented.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to eat more vegetables and fruit

The current guidelines suggesting that people should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day are inadequate, according to some health experts. They believe that the number should be raised to a minimum of seven or even ten portions per day in the wake of new research that shows eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables cut the risk of death by as much as forty two percent.

The Mediterranean diet is a good example of what more people should be consuming, which includes a great deal of fruit, salad and olives, with meat included only as a rare treat.

People who eat a minimum of seven fruit and vegetable portions per day reduce their risk of death from almost any cause, according to researchers from University College London, with their study also showing that the strongest protective effort was created by fresh vegetables, followed by salad, with fruit in third place. By contrast, tinned fruit was found to be bad for your health. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Excercising and Eating Right is the way to go!

Balancing work and life makes it even more difficult to achieve fitness goals and stay on top of your health. Joint and muscle soreness, inactivity and improper nutrition are extra challenges as well, but there are ways to overcome them and make sure you keep living an active and healthy lifestyle.

One good tip is to take a multivitamin every day and to make sure that you limit the consumption of packaged or processed foods by creating meals that last. Cooking three chicken breasts rather than one is a good idea; one can be added to a salad, another used in a wrap or a sandwich, and the third with a side of steamed vegetables.

It is also important to snack smartly. Choose items such as Greek yogurt, almonds, vegetables, hardboiled eggs, cottage cheese and seeds. Avoid 100 calorie packs and granola bars and instead go for prewashed, cut fruit and vegetables and a prepared bags of seeds and mixed nuts.

You should also choose exercises that maintain fitness while avoiding strain on your back or joints.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dealing with nosy relatives

Nobody gets to choose their family, and family members tend to be a part of their lives even if sometimes we wish they were not. Some of our relatives can wear on our nerves, particularly those who insist on knowing absolutely everything that is happening in our lives. Fortunately there are a few good tips that can help you cope with nosy relatives without causing a major upset in your family.
One method of dealing with the problem is to be direct but peaceful. Talk it over with them and express as politely as possible that their behavior annoys you at times. They may well become agitated and rude but the key is to not allow yourself to respond angrily; simply state your views calmly and politely but firmly.

You can also try simply ignoring them or if all else fails, a healthy dose of sarcasm might be the way to go. If a relative asks questions you find far too personal and intrusive, ask similarly personal and intrusive questions of them and make yourself an expert at the witty retort. This can be a lot of fun but can cause problems so should only be resorted to if direct action or ignoring still fails to make them take the hint.