CreativeChild RSS Feed The Benefits of Performing Arts <p>It&rsquo;s Tuesday night. I&rsquo;m sitting in the fifth row from the stage as my youngest son rehearses for a play his Acting I class is performing in a few weeks. Tomorrow I&rsquo;ll be here again because my oldest child is taking an Improv class. If we aren&rsquo;t at the theater for rehearsals and practice, you can often find us here watching various productions. We are a performing arts family.</p> <p>My two sons have always preferred the theater to the ballfield. They aspire to careers in acting, filmmaking, and directing, and while I will admit that not being into sports has, at times, caused them to be left out among their peers, I see the many benefits of theatre bearing fruit in their lives.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><strong>Listening Skills </strong>&ndash; Kids in performing arts have to develop good listening skills and be able to take direction. This is an invaluable benefit in a child&rsquo;s education as being a good listener makes a better student. My youngest son has greatly improved in this area since he&rsquo;s been on the stage. Having to listen to and master stage direction and position helped him to focus which I think is directly linked to his good grades in school.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Confidence </strong>&ndash; It takes bravery to perform live in front of an audience! On stage, kids learn to trust in their abilities and face their fears. An obvious benefit of the arts is that a child learns to present himself or herself in front of an audience, and this ability also boosts confidence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Self-Expression</strong> &ndash; There has been on other place in my son&rsquo;s life where he has been so free to be to overly loud and expressive self than on stage where his yelling is simply &ldquo;projecting&rdquo; and his antics only add to the performance. Through the arts, children learn about expressing emotion through facial movements, voice, and body language, and this translates into the off-stage skill of better emotional intelligence.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><strong>Memory </strong>- The arts really works this muscle as kids remember lines, moves, and lyrics. Memorization training strengthens the brain to retain information and helps with creativity. It&rsquo;s like a mini workout for the mind!</p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Create a Portable Sensory and Emotional Toolkit for Kids <p>When my firstborn son was 3, I began using <span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href=";h=ATMDNUTG4lLsH3QS0QPLwpWusyE-QA9uxzjhD6BqRoAa070I-t18BuZJj4nilIRrhIVmQBXHTCp2PnR5G5igSOQVG-7p-LDvrKo090DapJLgdecaMTdyza0EV_iIy-z1OtDfGDcE_3pFSNVd9Komf3Ofzqb0u0qIybFxb3dCQligJiRoZ2jOI8UoIoF-ae2KzvkcdMShRI_s1foD5SC92oLKF_MQMhSiwxNEMzJcLRGEfcr8mfsj8ybdKimSN2ULYxCl37eK7pGsFymDHBnRqsMF0V6IK3s7NKM03VYA0d8">time-in</a></strong></span> with him as my <span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href="">highly sensitive</a></strong></span> boy found <span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href="">time-outs</a></strong></span> very distressing. I created a peaceful space for him which included a comfortable pillow, stuffed animal, sensory rice bin, calming glitter jar, board books, and coloring pages. His calm-down area worked great at home but I needed those same tools when I was out with my children, so I created a portable toolkit. This toolkit helped my sensitive son when he was having sensory overload or when he began to get cranky in a store or restaurant. This is a great way to reinforce what you are already doing at home and provide consistency for your child as well helping you to respond gently and lovingly in public situations where it can sometimes be difficult to do so.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Emotional regulation is a skill that children must be taught. This is why we use time-in in Positive Parenting rather than separating the child from us in time-out. During a time-in, the child is brought in close to a caring adult fulfilling her need for proximity and connection, and <span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href="">understanding that her brain is still immature</a></strong></span>, we guide her toward emotional regulation. With a <span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href="">calm-down area</a></strong></span> at home, you have all the tools at your disposal to help your child reach a state of calm, but we are often left without those tools when we are away from home.</p> <p>Below is a list of items that are great for your sensory and emotional toolkit:</p> <ol> <li><span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href="">Squishy Ball</a></strong></span> &ndash; A stress relief ball is the perfect addition for both calming and sensory needs. I made my own by filling balloons with playdough. I drew emotive faces on them so he could choose what he was feeling in the moment.</li> <li><span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href="">Pencil Fidget Topper</a> </strong></span>or <span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href="">Fidget Spinner</a> </strong></span>&ndash; These tactile sensory toys are known for helping anxiety and stress levels, plus they&rsquo;re just fun!</li> <li><span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href=""> I Spy Jar</a> </strong></span>&ndash; You can purchase these pre-made, but I created my own to save a few dollars. I bought a small glass jar from my local dollar store and filled it with colored rice. I added in a few small items to &ldquo;spy.&rdquo; When my son was getting agitated or fidgety, I would give him this jar to shake and look for the small items, and it helped him get through the rest of the trip.</li> </ol> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" width="363" height="272" /></p> <ol start="4"> <li><span style="color: #000080;"><strong><a style="color: #000080;" href="">Glitter Ball</a></strong></span> &ndash; This is a small travel version of the glitter jar or bottle you use at home.</li> </ol> <p><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></p> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Healthy Eating with a Toddler. It's Possible! <p>Flashback to a few months ago, on a night when my toddler daughter went to bed pretty easily. Not much of a fight, very little negotiating, and only one kick to the stomach as I tried to put her in the crib on this lovely night.&nbsp;</p> <p>As I walked out of her sweet little room feeling like a total boss, ready to pour a glass of wine and get ready for a night with Netflix, the truth crept up on me and pretty much made me wince in pain.&nbsp;</p> <p>My daughter had eaten one bite of a fish stick, a tater tot, and an old goldfish she found somewhere under the couch for dinner just an hour or so before my big bedtime win.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>The truth of the matter? <em>Mealtime with my toddler had become hell</em>.</p> <p>I mean, unless I was happy with her dream diet of goldfish, mac and cheese, and gummies.&nbsp;</p> <p>Because here&rsquo;s the thing. I&rsquo;m a stickler for healthy eating. I am a proud over-spender of all Whole Foods products and have convinced myself that one day, hopefully in the near future, my daughter will learn to appreciate almond milk yogurt and quinoa with roasted butternut squash. And then I won&rsquo;t have to feel like I&rsquo;ve failed my daughter&rsquo;s tiny growing body on a daily basis.</p> <p><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></p> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 A Sensory Sensitive Halloween <p>Costumes, Halloween parties with sugary treats, trick-or-treating, and spooky decorations are fun and exciting for most kids, but for a child with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Halloween celebrations can be very overwhelming. A child with SPD has trouble processing input from any of the five senses in a normal way - what is background music to others may be loud and distracting to a kid with SPD, costumes may feel too itchy, make-up may feel sticky, and masks may have a strong scent or may be too restricting for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p>As a mom of a child with SPD, I have learned first hand how challenging Halloween can be. My daughter struggles daily to find clothes that are comfortable and are not too distracting. Typically, if we find a pair of pants she likes, I buy as many pairs as we can find. Loud noises or new situations can also be very stressful for her. She has the desire to be part of the fun on Halloween, but as the day approaches the pressure is too much, the costume is uncomfortable, and walking around in the dark knocking on strangers&rsquo; doors is scary. I end up frustrated and she ends up disappointed. This year we are taking a different approach to the holiday and I hope these tips help other families dealing with SPD enjoy Halloween too.</p> <p><strong>Prepare your child</strong></p> <p>Prior to Halloween, talk about how you will celebrate the day. Discuss what situations may be challenging and talk about what will help them feel more comfortable. If going door to door trick-or-treating is scary, do a practice run. Ask neighbors, friends, or family if your child can practice knocking on their door before the day of Halloween so they know what to expect. Try on the costume and make any adjustments needed so that they can feel as comfortable as possible.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><strong>Costumes</strong></p> <p>Costumes are usually a huge challenge for the child with SPD but luckily there are a lot of options. My daughter prefers to wear her favorite clothes and paint her face. This is what makes her feel comfortable. Other kids may like wearing their favorite pajamas or other soft clothing under a costume so they cannot feel the itchy fabric on their skin. If your child does not want to dress up at all, try letting them ride in a wagon and decorating the wagon like a car so that they can be part of the fun without having to actually dress up. Other simple ideas may be - using a prop, wearing a silly T-shirt, or incorporating tools, such as noise cancelling headphones, into your child&rsquo;s costume. Never make your child feel that they are odd because they don&rsquo;t like to dress up or go trick-or-treating.</p> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 10 Must-Haves for an Epic Halloween Party <p>Planning an epic Halloween party can be both frightfully fun and nerve wrecking at the same time. The one holiday out of the year that allows - no encourages - grownups to act like kids, kids to act like superheroes, and everyone to be something they&rsquo;re not, demands dramatic flare, your best use of imagination and a call to pull out your best stops for your guests. Halloween parties are some of the best soirees all year. Here are 10 must-have foolproof ways to throw a freakishly good time.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p>1.<strong> Host a costume contest.</strong> When a party calls on your wildest imaginations, best fantasies and most creative instincts to create a costume, dressing up isn&rsquo;t half the fun, it&rsquo;s practically all the fun! So coming in at our number one Halloween party must-have is a costume contest, preferably one where the whole family can participate. There are many ways to stage the contest. You can turn the contest into a mini-fashion show or have your guests participate in a small parade where their best looks can be showcased. Some of my favorite categories have been best-dressed family, kookiest super hero, most original, most royal (for all of our pint-sized princesses), funniest, and best hand-crafted costumes. Don&rsquo;t forget, you&rsquo;ll need a panel of judges to at least create the apparition of fairness.</p> <p>2. <strong>Provide a photo booth</strong>. Your guests will be sure to want to capture their best looks with some good photos, especially when all that looms the following morning is the hazy fog and dizzying spell from an epic Halloween soiree. They&rsquo;ll appreciate looking back and remembering how spooky, funny or out-of-the-box they looked.</p> <p>3. <strong>Embellish with spooky d&eacute;cor.</strong> Creating the right ambiance is essential for hosting an epic Halloween party. Dry ice, spider webs and other d&eacute;cor unique to Halloween can add sophistication and dramatic flare.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>4. <strong>Make it glow.</strong> Since a dark backdrop is a main ingredient to the cauldron of Halloween d&eacute;cor, having candle-lit jack-o-lanterns, hanging lights and other illuminating objects are a must, both from a d&eacute;cor and safety standpoint.</p> <p>5. <strong>Play eerie music.</strong> Chilling laughs and an ominous melody will further enhance the Halloween mood. There are plenty of compilations of creepy countdowns right at your pointy fingertips.</p> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Tips for Helping Your Child’s Science Project Turn Into a Success Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Introducing A New Brand: Animal Packers <p>It started as a simple question from my adorable, precocious Olivia: &ldquo;Nana, can you make me a &lsquo;yion&rsquo; backpack?&rdquo; NOW, 2 years later, we are happy to introduce &ldquo;Animal Packers,&rdquo; a new line of children&rsquo;s backpacks designed specifically for the littlest bodies. (and, yes&hellip;.I made the &lsquo;yion!&rdquo;)</p> <p>So just HOW did Animal Packers go from a request to a COMPANY?</p> <p>We looked for answers to more questions:</p> <ul> <li>WHERE do you find a manufacturer for textile products?</li> <li>HOW do you find them?</li> <li>CAN they produce quality products consistently?</li> <li>ARE they ethical in their business practices?</li> </ul> <p>We were clear on our mission from the beginning: Quality and Ethics.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s been a fun, eye-opening education to find suppliers. We said no to a few, but finally found a supply chain that we&rsquo;re happy with. And, as we move forward, we continue to make improvements to ensure high-quality products that are made ethically.</p> <p>Our desire to be ethical in our business practices is extended to our retail partners. We seek solid working relationships with our wholesale partners and we&rsquo;ve put several things in place to promote this.</p> <ul> <li>We&rsquo;ve developed a MAP Policy (Minimum Advertised Price) that all Partners sign.</li> <li>We will never compete against you on price.</li> <li>We will help your advertising efforts by sending you official photos of the products if you need them</li> </ul> <p><strong>About our backpacks:</strong> Animal Packers backpacks are specifically designed to fit children ages 18 months &ndash; about 7 years (depending upon the size of the child.) Our backpacks are lightweight (about &frac34; lb. each) yet strong enough to hold all the necessities for a day of fun. They are made from fabrics that are BPA, PVC and Phthalate free, and they are machine washable&hellip;..we even include the &ldquo;care bag!&rdquo;</p> <p>We are launching the Brand with a &lsquo;Booski&rsquo; Bear, &lsquo;Nay-Nay&rsquo; Monkey, &lsquo;Chicklet&rsquo; (baby bird) and a Dog named &lsquo;Rocket!&rsquo; Look for &lsquo;Buckie&rsquo; Horse, &lsquo;Sammy&rsquo; Bull and &lsquo;Austin&rsquo; Bat in 2018!&shy;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> Thu, 05 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Get Dressed Up For Dinner With Costume Sleeved Bibs <p>Bumkins is dedicated to providing fun, functional, family-oriented products to our loyal customers. We&rsquo;re excited to share our products with the next generation of Bumkins babies!<br /><br />The award-winning SuperBib&reg; is outfitted with a snap-off cape resembling Link&rsquo;s shield. For little ones beginning the adventures of self-feeding, the Costume Sleeved Bib gives full-sleeve coverage with the added fun of looking like a Link costume. And for smaller diners, a silicone bib features a large pocket to catch spills and can be run through the dishwasher after meals.</p> <p>ABC Booth #849</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br />1.866.BUMKINS</p> Thu, 05 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Share The Experience With Your Little Ones <p>With Thule jogging strollers, you&rsquo;re free to enjoy and share your passion for walking or running with your child. Whether you prefer a high-performance model for more serious runners or a more maneuverable all-rounder to suit urban environments, you&rsquo;ll find the perfect lightweight stroller for you and your child to enjoy your activity together. Safely, comfortably, and stylishly.</p> <p>Thule lightweight jogging strollers are designed and built for speed. But there&rsquo;s nothing lightweight about the comfort and safety features. Your child gets a smooth, comfortable ride thanks to the rear suspension and the canopy that protects them from the weather. Most importantly, every Thule stroller meets the most stringent safety standards with features such as a 5-point safety harness to ensure your child&rsquo;s security.</p> <p>The Thule Urban Glide is a sleek and lightweight sports stroller perfect for urban mobility or jogging on your favorite path. A one-handed compact folding system and zippered storage bin allow you to fold-and-go with ease.</p> <p>Booth #2743</p> <p>800.238.2388<br /><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> Thu, 05 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Lifelong Benefits of Science Fairs for Kids <p>Is your child considering participating in a school science fair? Are you wondering if the benefits are worth the time commitment? Participating in a science fair is a great way for kids to explore their world and how things work. Science fairs first became popular in the 1950&rsquo;s when the invention of the television and atomic bomb piqued the interest of budding scientists all over America. (The University of Chicago Press Journals) Today, with the growing popularity of STEM education (focusing highly on the study of science, technology, engineering, and math) in our schools and the potential for a drastic increase in STEM related jobs in the future, science fairs are more popular than ever. Kids who participate in science fairs will learn skills that can be used for problem solving and critical thinking throughout their lifetime.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Investigation</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The first step in participating in a science fair is to come up with an idea. Kids will have the opportunity to choose a topic they are curious about, plan an experiment that will help answer their questions, and conduct an experiment. This fosters their creativity and problem solving skills. It will also encourage them to question how things work and make them aware scientific principles all around us.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Project management</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Once the child has planned their science experiment, they will need to manage their project. This is no small task. Kids will need to use time management, stay within a budget, acquire the materials needed, conduct the experiment, and meet deadlines. The ability to successfully manage a project is an invaluable skill that kids can use now and in the future as they continue their education and enter the workforce.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Analysis</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When the science experiment is complete, the child will need to compile the data, analyze it, and create a chart of graph of the findings. The answers to their questions will not be from a textbook, but will come from their own hard work and experience. Reflection is key as they have an opportunity to think about what they would do differently, what they have learned, and why. The ability to analyze and problem solve will be skills they use throughout their lifetime.</p> Thu, 05 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700