CreativeChild RSS Feed Taking the Stress Out of Back to School Mornings <p>School mornings can be stressful for both parents and kids. The morning can be very hectic with limited time to eat breakfast, get dressed, gather belongings, and get to school on time. Here are some ideas for families to lower the stress and create a smoother school morning.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Lunch solution</strong></span></p> <p>Packing a healthy school lunch (or multiple lunches) can take up a lot of time in the morning. Get a head start on lunch preparations by starting the evening before. &ldquo;If my kitchen is clean, I feel like I am ahead of the game. Every night before going to bed I prep lunches for the next day, put away clean dishes, and reload the dishwasher.&rdquo; says Kim Burnette, mother of two. By getting a head start the night before, you eliminate a big step, leaving you time for other things in the morning.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Backpack solution</strong></span></p> <p>After the kids have completed their homework, have them pack their backpacks up. Parents can sign permission slips, go through school papers, and gather any supplies needed for school the next day and pack them up. Does your child have their gym uniform and band instrument? When everything is ready the night before, there is less to do on school mornings.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Wardrobe solution</strong></span></p> <p>Check the weather the evening before school so that kids can lay out their clothing and outerwear for the next day. With the coats, hats, gloves, and boots laid out there is less scramble to find everything the next morning. Also try laying out the entire week&rsquo;s clothing on Sunday. &ldquo;We have a small plastic set of drawers with 5 drawers that can be purchased in the storage section at Target. We put an outfit for both of the kids in each on Sunday.&rdquo; says Alicia Dafferner, mother of two from Omaha, NE.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Prep yourself</strong></span></p> <p>Many parents find that if they can wake up before the kids, they feel more refreshed and prepared for a productive morning. This gives them the time to take few minutes to wake up, enjoy a cup of coffee, or grab a quick shower. Mother of three, Jessi Cole, says &ldquo;I find that it helps if I get up early and get myself ready before my kids get up. That way, I only have to worry about them.&rdquo;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Breakfast solution</strong></span></p> <p>Help make breakfast healthier and quicker by planning ahead. Sherry Hoffman, mom of two boys, says &ldquo;I make several breakfast options that are freezer and toaster oven friendly on the weekends that we can choose throughout the week.&rdquo; Ideas for freezer-friendly breakfast items include breakfast burritos, waffles, french toast, or muffins. There are also easy to make options like whole grain cereal, yogurt with fruit and granola, or a breakfast smoothie. Many of these items can be prepared the night before to help morning go smoother.</p> <p><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></p> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Reduce First Day Jitters <p>As kids pack up their new backpacks, sharpen their pencils, and try on their new fall clothes, most start to get excited about the first day of school. While the beginning of the school year is an exciting time and represents a new start, some kids may feel anxious about the unknown. A new teacher, new classmates, or a new school can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Using some simple strategies, parents can help prepare their children for the first day and ease their concerns.</p> <p><strong>Start with the basics</strong></p> <p>When children are well rested and have full tummies, they are better prepared for a busy day. Start adjusting bedtime and wake up times a week or more in advance so the child has time to adjust to the new school routine. A healthy and filling breakfast starts children off on the right foot. When these needs are met, parents and kids can work together to tackle school anxiety.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><strong>Talk it through</strong></p> <p>Allow your child to talk about his feelings. Help him list the specific things that he is worrying about. Instead of brushing aside worry, let him know it is natural to be nervous and you will help him adjust to a new school. Try reading some age appropriate children&rsquo;s books about the first day of school jitters.</p> <p><strong>Discuss the plan</strong></p> <p>Walk your child through what she can expect on the first day. Discuss her transportation and daily schedule at school. If the child has specific worries, try to address when that will happen during day. For some, role playing can help them feel more comfortable. Begin the day as you would a typical school morning. Prepare breakfast, get dressed, and pack bags as if you are going to school. Act out the child&rsquo;s day and &ldquo;play school&rdquo;. Take turns being the teacher. Making it a game can make the child more comfortable when the real day approaches.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><strong>Focus on the positive</strong></p> <p>Often parents are just as anxious about their child going off to school as the student. Focus on the positive when you talk to your child about school. Make it exciting by having your child pick out a new backpack, school supplies, and an outfit for the first day. Encourage older siblings to help by talking about the fun things they will experience at school. Ask your child what they are excited about. Watch your own anxiety on the first day and try to behave in a calm and positive way.</p> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Back to School Vibes <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The clock is ticking, summer vacation is quickly coming to an end, and the back-to-school supplies are already surfacing everywhere you turn. Long, lazy days in the sun, quick sprints through the sprinkler, and that endless wait for the ice cream truck will have to be put on hold yet again for another 10 months, as will the daily swimwear and flip flops attire.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The calendar may indicate it&rsquo;s time to get in the mood for the first day of school, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean your child will agree.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">&nbsp;##adbig##</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">I&rsquo;m pretty sure there isn&rsquo;t a single school-aged child is applauding the end of their break from the school year grind, and hey, who can blame them? There <em>are</em> a few ways to get them in that back-to-school mood to make day one slightly less painful, though, if you can believe it.</span><span class="s1">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">1. Switch up routines a week in advance</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">I get it, bedtimes get pushed back in the summer thanks to the fact that the sun is out later and no one is going to have to worry about missing the bus in the morning. But to suddenly expect your child to go to bed early again, one night before the first day of school, is pretty much asking for a &ldquo;<strong><em>but I don&rsquo;t wannaaaa</em></strong>&rdquo; meltdown. Switch up your bedtime routine a week in advance. Have your child resume their school year bedtime sooner rather than later, to avoid the drama. </span><span class="s1">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This routine change also applies to the morning.&nbsp; It means waking them up at the time you&rsquo;ll need your kiddos to spring out of bed on school days. Waiting until the last minute will make for a very cranky student, so prepare their little body clocks by easing them in to their new routine.</span></p> <p class="p1"><em><strong><span class="s1">&nbsp;Continued on the next page...</span></strong></em></p> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 The Benefits of Hobbies for Children and Where to Begin <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Does your child have a hobby? If not, it may be worthwhile to help him find one. Having a hobby provides loads of benefits for kids, including:</span></p> <ul> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Stress reduction</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Higher self-esteem</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Competence</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Providing bonding time with family or friends</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Learning self-discipline</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Learning patience</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Keepin Back to School Vibes g them entertained</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Learning goal-setting and decision making</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Physical activity</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Strengthens fine motor skills and bilateral coordination</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Acting as protective measure against destructive or unhealthy activities</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Developing critical thinking skills</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Encouraging creativity</span></li> </ul> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">##adbig##</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Some children seem to effortlessly pick up a hobby. They know what they like and what they&rsquo;re interested in from a young age. Other children, however, may struggle with finding a hobby they really enjoy. If your child doesn&rsquo;t know what hobby interests them, try the following:</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">1. Make a list of your child&rsquo;s interests.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">2. Ask her about her likes and dislikes.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">3. Test the waters. Find summer camps in sports they think they may be interested in rather than committing to a full season at first or look up classes in your area that relate to your child&rsquo;s interests.</span></p> <p><span class="s1">Continued on the next page...</span></p> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 The Back-to-School List You Can’t Buy in Stores <p>Another summer is coming to an end. Back-to-school items are bursting out of shelves everywhere. Backpacks, notebooks, pencils, calculators, you can find all the material necessities to get your child ready for the new school year, but there are some things your child needs before the first day of school that money can&rsquo;t buy. Below is a list of skills that will help make your child&rsquo;s school year successful.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><strong>Assertiveness</strong></p> <p>We want our children to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. We want them to confidently communicate their ideas and feelings. These are skills that can be taught which will help our children to be more successful in their personal and, one day, professional lives. Assertiveness helps kids build confidence, healthy relationships, and self-esteem. Assertiveness isn&rsquo;t bossiness or aggression. It isn&rsquo;t being demanding without considering the feelings of others. Assertiveness is the ability to create boundaries and advocate for oneself. To teach your child to be assertive:</p> <ol> <li>Model assertiveness. When you create a boundary and hold it with empathy, you are modeling assertiveness. When you state what you need from your child in a respectful way, you&rsquo;re modeling assertiveness. When you speak up at the restaurant that your order is wrong but you do so showing respect and kindness, you model assertiveness.</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="2"> <li>Give your child choices. Allowing her to choose her own hairstyle or clothing teaches her that her voice matters. Of course, children can&rsquo;t always make their own decisions or they&rsquo;d have chips and fruit snacks for dinner, but giving them control where you can will help them build this skill.</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="3"> <li>Teach your child to speak up. Role-playing is a great way to teach assertiveness skills because you can practice what words to say and the tone in which to say them. Practice this several times a week until your child feels comfortable with it.</li> </ol> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Find more examples of assertiveness <a href="">here</a> and learn more tips for teaching your child this skill <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Problem-Solving</strong></p> <p>Children who can solve problems and think outside the box possess a valuable skill as this helps them cope with the problems they will face. This skill takes time to develop, and young children need a lot of help from their parents. Yet, as children get older, we should allow them to take more control over their problems. This builds creativity, persistence, and confidence.</p> Fri, 04 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 10 Tips for Parents Whose Children Are Attending to New Schools <p>Starting a new school can be scary, and what I&rsquo;m going to say next is not that it doesn&rsquo;t have to be. All significant change is intimidating for a child. Remember kids crave routine. Even if change doesn&rsquo;t happen directly in your child&rsquo;s life but happens to your child, those external changes can have profound effects on a child&rsquo;s life as well.</p> <p>When my oldest daughter&rsquo;s best friend switched schools, she moped around for weeks and refused to play with anyone else. Meanwhile, her best friend visited the nurse&rsquo;s office three times in two weeks and finally made the admission that she didn&rsquo;t want to be in class because she had no friends. They reluctantly went to school wearing each other&rsquo;s pictures in lock necklaces we made them. Her mom and I exchanged stories via text message through tears. We lived five miles apart. Melodramatic? Depends on the kid.</p> <p>My youngest daughter was sad too when her best friend moved to China. But only for a day. I barely flinched because she barely flinched.</p> <p>The effects of significant change vary from child to child and from move to move. The empowering part and constant in this equation is there&rsquo;s actually a lot parents can do to make the change in their child&rsquo;s life become a defining and empowering moment. Here are 10 ways to help our child have a successful transition to their new school or circumstance.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <ol> <li><strong>Deal with guilt. </strong>Maybe you had to uproot for work or because of financial circumstances. It&rsquo;s easy to feel guilty but your best is good enough. Besides, guilt makes you want to run from situations so holding onto it will only lessen your ability to confront challenges with your child.<br /><br /></li> <li><strong>Acknowledge your child&rsquo;s plight</strong>. Sometimes our best parental intentions to protect our kids end with belittling statements like, &ldquo;You&rsquo;ll be fine. Try not to think about it.&rdquo; Parents often think that if we don&rsquo;t give attention to our kids&rsquo; fears, they won&rsquo;t either. Not true. Repressing fears don&rsquo;t make them go away. Acknowledge that what your child is facing or will face is a legitimate challenge. Then reassure him he is not alone and that bravery is acting in spite of fear.<br /><br /></li> <li><strong>Be patient.</strong> You might find kids are withdrawn, more sensitive, not doing as well in school, being uncooperative,&rdquo; says Suzy Martyn, founder of&nbsp;<span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">Mother's Friend</a></strong></span>. This may prove very frustrating. But try to remember this will pass with time. Make the appropriate allowances for this transition period and have realistic expectations.</li> </ol> Fri, 04 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 DIY Ice Cream Pencil Case <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If your child loves unique and original school supplies, this DIY ice cream bar pencil case is perfect.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before they get back to the books, get crafty with one of these cute pencil holders.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Materials:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">14 Inch Zipper</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Felt Paper</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Folder</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hot Glue</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ruler</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pencil</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scissors</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">##adbig##</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Directions:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">1. Measure out a base for the pencil case on one side of the folder. 2 rectangles connected, measuring at 7.5 inches X 3.5 inches. Measure out 2.5 in X 1.5 in for the cone. Cut both out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="" alt="" width="288" height="288" /><img src="" alt="" width="294" height="286" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">2. Cut the same measurements in 2 colors of felt. One is for the outside and the other is for the inside, leave half an inch longer length around all sides. Measure and cut the cone out in a light brown shade of felt.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" width="400" height="389" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">3.&nbsp;Glue the outside color to the felt paper. When gluing the edges, fold the access and cut it. This will give you a crisper edge when gluing. Then glue your cone, covered in brown felt, on the edge of one side.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="" alt="" width="290" height="281" /><img src="" alt="" width="292" height="283" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">4.&nbsp;Glue one side of the zipper to one side of the pencil case, then unzip the zipper and glue it to the other side of the pencil case.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="" alt="" width="270" height="262" /><img src="" alt="" width="281" height="264" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">5.&nbsp;Glue the inside layer on top of the zipper and cone. Make sure the zipper works and shut the case.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" width="400" height="326" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">6.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Decorate! Cut out shapes for the chocolate or strawberry syrup, eyes, blush, sprinkles, and a smiley face out of felt and glue them on top, and then your done!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" width="369" height="301" /></span></p> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Pack to School with MadPax <p>The pack is BACK, the original <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank">MadPax</a></strong></span>. We rock what is new and now for kids of all ages. Request a fly by and see what is on board for the Pack to School season.</p> <p>The world is dynamic and your backpack should be no different. Your pack should scream fast and fresh, funky and where did you get that? MadPax is for you! From top to bottom, inside and out, all the way around. Grab it, ground it and rock it! But what are MadPax? (for those who ask that is&hellip;)</p> <p>MadPax represents the evolution of the backpack. We rock 3D backpacks and <strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank">power-packcessories</a></span></strong> that are two parts<br />funk, a pound of punk and a dash of double dare. So take a bite!</p> <p>MadPax are for kids of ALL ages, yes that means you. It&rsquo;s time&hellip;Express yourself with the perfect fusion of fashion and funk-tionality. Our unique packs have all the pouches, pockets and zippered capacity that make no concession to utility.</p> <p>We make a positively progressive pack and roll it into the accessory of your choice&hellip;Size, surfaces and colours that anyone would crave. So dig in! Welcome to the fun factory. We&rsquo;ve been waiting for you.</p> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Ideas for an Epic End of Summer Pool Party <p class="p1">Hosting an end-of-summer pool party is the perfect way to gather friends together to bid summertime farewell. Here are some great games, foods, and decorations to make your pool-party planning a breeze!</p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1"><strong>Games:</strong></span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">1. Noodle Jousting &ndash; You&rsquo;ll need inflatable rafts and pool noodles. The objective is simple, line up on opposite ends of the pool afloat your rafts with pool noodle in hand. Charge! See who can knock their opponent off their raft.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">2. Shark in the Water &ndash; This is a game of tag in the pool. The shark is &ldquo;it&rdquo; and runs around the pool trying to tag the other kids. The kids can jump in and out of the pool to avoid the shark but can&rsquo;t stay out of the pool longer than 5 seconds. The next kid tagged becomes the shark.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">##adbig##</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">3. Scavenger Hunt &ndash; Divide the kids up into teams and give them a list of items to scavenge for. Throw 2 pairs of several items in the pool &ndash; 2 coins, 2 bottles filled with pool water, 2 diving sticks, 2 toy boats, etc. See which team can find all of the items on their list first.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">4. Duck Push &ndash; Line your players up at the end of the pool and give them each a rubber duck. The objective is to push their duck to the other end of pool using only their noses! </span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">5. Pool Noodle Boat Race &ndash; There are lots of easy DIY tutorials for making pool noodle boats on the web. Look them up and make a few boats. For the race, line the kids up at the end of the pool and give each one a boat. They must blow their boat to the other end. No hands!</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">6. Popsicle &ndash; This is a game of freeze tag whereby when someone is tagged, they turn into a Popsicle, standing straight with arms above their head. Players swimming underwater cannot be tagged but can swim by and touch the popsicles, unfreezing them.</span></p> <p class="p2"><em><strong><span class="s1">Continued on the next page...</span></strong></em></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 7 Ways to Have Soaking Fun with Water (No Pool Required) <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Summer ignites a magnetic charge between kids and water. The almost scientific exchange might very well transform kids into amphibians if we let them have their way; most kids I know would gladly split their habitat between swimming pool and home. But what if a pool isn&rsquo;t easily accessible? There&rsquo;s plenty of splash to be had this summer with a little planning and creativity. Here are our top 7 insanely fun activities for the summer that don&rsquo;t require a swimming pool in sight. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">##adbig##</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>1. Water balloon baseball</strong>. The fun of a water balloon is in the pop. Water balloon baseball is the perfect summertime sport for the athlete looking to combine water and sport on dry land.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Link: <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""></a></strong></span></span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1"><strong>2. Water balloon pi&ntilde;ata.</strong> This would be a great hit at birthday parties and on your child&rsquo;s typical Tuesday. Plus you can have all the fun without the sugary aftermath of the traditional pi&ntilde;ata.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">Link: <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span class="s4"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""></a></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s1"><strong>3. Water gun target.</strong> There&rsquo;s something confusing about an existential target tied to a kid begging to be soaked. But the goal of this game is really simple: the more targets the better.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">Link: <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span class="s4"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""></a></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="p4"><em><strong><span class="s3"><span class="s4">Continued on the next page...</span></span></strong></em></p> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700