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!
LeapFrog LeapReader Interactive Human Body Discovery Set (works with Tag)
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).
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.
Here is a quick checklist of essentials to bring on your next road trip with small kids.
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.
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.
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!!
Why spending quality time with everyone in the family,One on One, is so important.
Quality time with each child is crucial for a healthy family dynamic. And also encourages high self esteem. Everyone likes to shine in their own lane and many of us feel comfortable doing different things. It’s fun to know that someone takes an interest and joy out of what we like to do as well. Every child is an individual and has their own hobbies and interests, so we should also try to schedule alone time with each child. Bonding with each child separately can really help the bonding process and overall understanding of each other. I notice that Ace really enjoys creating stories, and building things with his dad. Colin even tries to take at least one day out where he and Ace can go somewhere to eat. Even if it is a fast food meal, or playing sports in the park, it is time set aside just for the two of them to bond.
Ace and I get a kick out of going to the movies together, just the two of us (We love the Avengers). No one gets in the way of a dance party Jam session with Kingston and I and we also like to read together. It is truly fun and liberating relating to them separately on this level. It brings out the kid in me and is so a cool way for me to understand my two amazing boys for who they truly are.
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.
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.
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!!!
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!
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.
How to Make Sure Your Gifted Child is Challenged At School!
The debate of early childhood education is a hot button topic nowadays. The issue of home schooling vs. Traditional school or Public vs. Private school can be a daunting and deeply personal decision for every family. No matter how each family decides to best educate their child I firmly believe that the key to any of those solutions is working with your child at home thoroughly and aggressively. If deciding to trust your child’s development and education to others as we are you have to make sure that you are also doing the most you can to enhance their efforts and hold the instructors accountable as well by including them in your child’s true capabilities. Only you the parent can truly asses where your toddler or young child’s level of learning is because you work and observe them every day on a much more personal level. If your child is advanced or gifted there can be a whole different set of issues that need to be addressed in their development or lesson plans.
There are many challenges that face gifted children at school. Some of them being that the sheer volume of students make it harder for the teacher to really know that your child is advanced. So they may not be as eager to enhance a child’s capabilities, while you at home know the more challenging level of difficulty your youngster may be tackling. Another challenge is that sometimes kids, though bright don’t have the where with all to showcase their skills like we do as adults. For some, they may try to read or (dumb down if you will) to seem apart of the crowd. Or get nervous when the reading teacher comes into the class and takes the child individually to read certain words to test for ability.
An example of this happened with our 5 year old Ace. There are a set of reading words that they are expected to know in class by the end of the kindergarten school year. By week two of the year he was tested along with the other children to see how many of the 60 words he knew. Well he not only knew all of the required words for kindergarten but most of the required words for 1st grade as well when tested in the comforts of home. But at school there were about 8 words that he told the instructor that he did not know for kindergarten and around 10 for 1st grade comprehension (words that he can recite in his sleep).
We know that there are so many things that kindergarten and all teachers must focus on everyday so we made it a point to schedule time out to speak with the teacher individually to discuss Ace and his education. Now because of this there will be special teacher that will come and work with Ace going over 1st grade material that cater to his intellect while keeping him in kindergarten working on socialization with his peers. Our interaction with his teacher was so wonderful because she was able to get a little better understanding of Ace as a person and we were able to hear firsthand of some things that we could do at home that would enhance her lesson plans. It was a true team effort and proves that it most definitely takes a village!