The Importance of Nap Time | Parenting Tips

holidays 2015 loftandlearn 104The Importance of Nap Time

Napping is an important part of your toddler’s day as well as yours. Your child needs to recharge and reboot or everyone will suffer the consequences. And you count on nap time to get the things done you need to do. But why are naps so critical to youngsters, and when do they outgrow the need? How can you make sure naps don’t interfere with your tot getting a good night’s sleep.

These are questions that plague many parents with young ones with lot’s of energy and stubborn minds. While as adults we know enough to lay down when we are tired (when possible) but for toddlers and young growing minds they often insist they are not tired or sleepy leading to a state of crankiness and lack of good nightly sleep. It is crucial for them to get into a daily routine that allows them time to shut things out, close their eyes and regroup.

Often times a well rested child is a more pleasant child that is more susceptible to learning, cooperating at the dinner table, and sleeping through the night. So create a nice, calming nap environment and relish in the quite time!

Happy Napping

 

More Fun With Leap TV | Educational Gaming System

Leap TV Educational Gaming System

5.11 PICS leaptv 1

5.11 PICS leaptv2

5.11 PICS leaptv4

Can’t say enough about the leap tv system we have. Ace and Kingston play effortlessly while learning with cool educational games they can relate to.

Learning About The Human Body | Leap Frog Tag Reading Systems

LeapFrog LeapReader Interactive Human Body Discovery Set (works with Tag)

4.19.16 Body Book Close

Explore the Human Body
Discover how the human body works and learn to identify its many parts and functions through play and exploration. When kids touch the human body board, their Tag Reader “talks” them through body parts and traits. As young learners begin to understand their bodies, they can be empowered to make healthy choices. Fun songs further inspire kids to take a proactive approach to their health. Dental hygiene becomes fun when they do their two minutes of tooth brushing along with the interactive song, “Brush Your Teeth.” The “Washing Hands” song encourages kids to keep their hands clean, and the “Move Your Body” song emboldens them to get up and move.

Interaction Inspires Learning
Engage in play and learning fun while exploring facts about the human body, body systems (including the skeletal, digestive, nervous and muscular systems) health, nutrition and more. Silly sound effects, jokes, songs, and games help keep kids engaged and learning. With a tap of the Tag Reader, kids can hear the chart and stickers “talk” and explain fun facts about their bodies. Did you know that the three smallest bones in your body are all inside your ear? Did you know that tasty fruits have vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy? The Tag Reader illuminates these details with rich audio content and interesting sound effects: Facts about the heart are accompanied by the sound of a heart beating. Tag’s Interactive Human Body Discovery Pack also includes a Growing Body chart and sticker sheets to personalize each child’s learning. The Tag Reader interacts with the growth chart to track and announce children’s growth, and the interactive sticker sheets encourage kids to mark growth milestones (such as birthdays, losing a tooth and the first day of school).

4.19.16 The Human Body Book Board Feautre

4.19.16 Human Body Book--Leap Frog--Feature

4.19.16 TheBodybook

4.19.16 Body Book

Introducing Your Toddler To Sports | It’s Time For Golf!!!

4.19.16 Kingston Golf

Kingston was determined not to let his big brother Ace enjoy all of the spring sports fun with baseball . So he is learning to play Golf…

There are many parents on the fence in regard to deciding whether or not their toddler is ready for a sports program. Ultimately, only you can make that choice, but keep in mind that leading your child to healthy and useful activities at a young age may spark enough interest and curiosity to keep them going in the activity for a long time.

When you look at your 2 year old, it is obvious that they probably do not have the large motor skills to consistently make a basket, hit a ball, score a goal, or become an All-Star MVP. But what they do have is the desire to have fun. Some toddlers may not be as social as others and will feel intimidated by playing a team sport at this age. Others may love to play with kids their age and feel totally at home running on a field with a bunch of other toddlers. For this reason, it is important to choose wisely in regards to their sensibilities. There is no need to push a toddler into sports if they are not interested.

For those kids that do want to be involved in sports, keep a very open mind. The object of any sports function for this age group is to help them develop key social skills like sharing, taking turns, and sportsmanship. They are also learning to follow directions, although you will find that most may, at any moment, run the wrong way or score a goal for the opposite team. No matter how they perform, as long as they are enjoying themselves and feeling like a small part of a larger whole, the sports endeavor is successful.

4.19.16 Kingston Thumbs up

4.19.16 Kingston Golf, rest

 

5 Essentials For Road Trips With Kids | Parenting Tips

Here is a quick checklist of essentials to bring on your next road trip with small kids.

LLS 5 Things You must have in car. Feature

After traveling cross country (AGAIN) with boys in tow we wanted to pass along a few tips so that you won’t be caught off guard and without something you need!

Of course if traveling with toddlers or infants you need to make sure that along with all of your diaper bag needs like wipes, change of clothes,\plastic garbage bags,  etc…But a very good road trip add on is a portable changing pad. They are inexpensive and very easy to pack and store. They come in handy when you stop late at night or if you go into a bathroom  that does not have a  changing table inside. The changing pad also does wonders for germ-o-phoebes who like to avoid any unnecessary dirt or germs.

portable changing pad

Games, Games, Games, It is essential to make sure the kiddos are entertained while driving to ensure your sanity as well as theirs.Printing off a road trip games list off the internet comes in handy. Make sure you pack a kids atlas and  cool books (but beware of carsickness when reading). We also like to cover everything so we make sure to include, fun scavenger road trip games for everyone. These become really fun for everyone and helps to keep the driver alert! Also it’s a must for us to pack a portable DVD player and a leap pad to give our sons multiple options.

Auntie Mern Reading Selections loftandlearnFeature

Loftus Land Search March 2016 loftandlearn 284

Of course you must pack snacks!!! We like to cut up slices of oranges, apples and grapes and pack individual bags of popped popcorn, pretzels and granola bars. But whatever you choose just remember that things can get really messy so don’t forget your napkins, wet cloths and hand sanitizer.

Blankets.We had to unexpectedly pull of the road in Wyoming due to a winter storm that closed I80!! Yes, this was a first for us to actually experience a major highway being closed due to bad weather. So we were forced to spend several hours at a truck stop with our car running and trust me it was a blessing that we had extra blankets with us. Blankets also come in handy for a quick pull over to stretch legs and play or a picnic.

Headphones.  Trust me, these are a must have! When Ace is watching the dvd player or Kingston is playing with the leap pad, having that noised blocked out for the two in the front seat is priceless!!

LLS road trip essentials ace

3 Tips To Help A Teething Toddler! | Parenting Tips

3 Tips to Help A Teething Toddler!

  • A raw carrot, cucumber or celery stick straight from the fridge. Stay with him when he is eating it, to make sure he doesn’t choke on any pieces he bites off.
  • A cold, wet flannel.
  • A chilled teething ring. Solid teething rings are recommended over gel or liquid-filled rings, which could leak. Never dip a teething ring in honey or anything sweet beforehand.

Your toddler may lose his appetite while he’s teething. Chilled foods such as yogurt may soothe his gums and be more appealing.

Drinking from a cup may be easier for him, and cool water can be soothing too.

Teething Toddler Tips loftandlearn

It’s Always A Great Time For Family Bonding! | Just A Thought

It’s Always A Great Time For Family Bonding!

family bond loftandlearn

Every day can hold an amazing family moment to remember. It’s true that you don’t have to plan a trip and spend thousands (although that’s nice) or travel to cool locations in order to enjoy each other. Yes let’s not forget that at the heart of a family getaway or family vacation is FAMILY.

Family-bonding loftandlearn

Do not waste another second not appreciating and enjoying your blessings to the fullest. Talk to each other, look each other in the eye and truly engage! Have a meaningful or fun conversation at breakfast, driving in the car, walking the dog, playing board games or before bath time. Take the time to enjoy what is right in front of you before time passes you by and you have to settle for phone calls and holiday visits. I often hear “enjoy your kids, because they grow up so fast” and you know what the cliché’s about parenting and motherhood are true. So I am having the best time living in the moment with not only my amazing young characters, but with their dad as well.

I really believe that it is important for parents to keep their love strong and fresh and  set good positive examples of what real meaningful love looks like. Don’t be afraid to share your joy, openly for the world to see. You can put the kids to bed and have a romantic dinner at home with lighting, music and wonderful ambiance for example to keeps things spicy and exciting. Use your imagination and be creative.

family bond 3 loftandlearn

Your home is truly your castle and your canvas so paint it the way you wish!! And yes having young children is demanding, daunting and chaotic but those things are easily diminished by the true joy, excitement, wonder and pure fun that awaits you on a daily basis. You can make every moment as magical as your heart desires. So Enjoy!!!

Reading Is Fun! | Parenting Tips

loftandlearn.com Reading Is Fun -Ace

That goes for you Parents too. Don’t forget that your child mimics what you do. So if you don’t already, you should add a healthy dose of quiet reading enjoyment for yourself. I know it’s tough to find the hours in the day. But if we can find the time to catch up on our favorite shows, call friends and family on the phone or other things, we can schedule time out to pick up a great book. This will do wonders for your child in terms of how they truly view the act of reading. They will see you love it as a great escape and not a chore!

loftandlearn.com jan ace reading

Happy Reading!

malaika@loftandlearn.com

Great Tip for Infant Bath Time Fun! | Parenting Tips

Great Tip For Infant Bath Time Fun!

So today must be Beautiful Sis Tip Tuesday! Here is the most amazing idea that I wish I could take credit for that my sister Marian came across…Auntie Mern passed this great idea on that she found on Facebook. It is a fantastic, creative, and very simple design that ensures your infant will not drown or be harmed in the tub but allows them more space to move around and have fun. Of course watching your little cutie at all times when bathing is imperative but this still gives them more freedom to enjoy themselves and play with bath toys. Most of the infant tubs out on the market are constrictive, small and don’t allow for your baby to play and move around. So kudos to the inventor for solving that problem in a safe manner! And Thanks to Auntie Mern for passing along this simple, fun yet effective safety tip!

Bath Time Safety
Bath Time Safety

 

Take Time to Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season! | Jesus

Just a quick note on this Christmas Eve,

Take Time to Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season! It is so easy to get swept away with all of the Christmas preparations, the  decorating, cooking, gift buying and giving as well as the quest for the perfect Christmas party. But please remember to take time to truly appreciate the joy of life and loved ones and spread THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS. Let us be kind to one another and Love each other with all of our Hearts.

Merry Christmas

malaika@loftandlearn

Potty Training Tips | Potty Training

Potty Training Tips For Younger Siblings

potty training-
Anything you can do I can do better…

So amazing how my sons can be so alike in many ways and yet light years apart in others. Take potty training for instance. I thought our Son Ace would never be able to get out of training pants. And yet our 22 month old Kingston acts like diapers should already be a thing of the past. Of course wanting to do everything like his older brother provides the greatest inspiration and motivation to move faster and accomplish things quicker So I say  use that to your advantage!
Take the diapers off and have one child sit on the potty while the older  is in another room or on the big potty and the first one who makes stinky in the toilet wins. Now structuring the potty time like this provides a couple of perks, first you can begin to set the timing of daily bowels making it a regular occurrence, which will definitely help you plan your day. The second thing it does is totally removes the terror of sitting on the porcelain thrown and actually makes it fun and comfortable.
I also recommend this book by Marianne Richmond, “Big Boys Go Potty”. She also has one for girls as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Boys-Potty-Marianne-Richmond/dp/1402266596

potty

Ace & Kingston
Ace & Kingston

 

5 Cool Ideas to help you Ring in the New Year with Small Children! | New Year’s Eve Plans

Cool Ideas to Help You Ring In the New Year with Small Children

So you are staying in with your little ones on New Year’s Eve but you still want to have a Blast? Here are 5 cool suggestions that will keep everyone in the family enthused and involved.

Have a Dance Off.
With all of the new crazy dances out there, as parents you all need to partner up and show the little ones how it was done back in your day. Get your game face on and throw down the gauntlet. Challenge!

20150703_201739(0)

20150703_201731

#getdownmom #showemhowitsdone

#familydanceoff #love


Get Dressed Up.
Who says you can only get dressed up and act silly on Halloween? Get dressed up in your fanciest duds and pretend you are at a regal costume party. Or just put on your wackiest looks, but make sure once you place those costumes on that you remain in character for the entire night! Make sure to take a picture to document how you rang in the New Year! What a great keepsake.

family playing dress up


 

Learn How to Say Happy New Year in different languages.
This is an all-day activity but a fun way to start the countdown to your midnight. Learn how to say Happy New Year in different Languages and then when that time zone has its moment shout it out with glee. Maybe even pulling up images of different cultures celebrating on the internet would be fun as well. Go for it and get involved with Celebrating New Year as a Global citizen.

around the world new year


 

Put on a family talent show
Everyone has a unique talent or gift, why not pick New Year’s Eve to showcase it! Get your Shine on!

talent show


Build a Family Fort

family fort
Make finger foods, play board games and ring in the New Year together breaking up your old routine.
Get Creative and Have Fun!

Malaika@loftandlearn.com