CreativeChild RSS Feed http://creativechild.com/ 6 Reasons to Make Family Dinner a Priority <p>Families have changed a lot in the last fifty years. More women have entered the workforce giving families the benefit of two incomes, single parent families are also more common, and kids are involved in more after school activities than previous generations. All of this leads to both positive and negative changes in family dynamics and ultimately leaves us with busier lives and fuller schedules. While there are benefits to our current lifestyle, we cannot deny the fact that designated family dinner time has suffered. Before you brush family dinner aside as a thing of the past, consider the benefits of making it a priority.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><strong>Picky eaters</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When families eat dinner at home they are more likely to be exposed to healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. The foods we eat are usually made from fresh ingredients, as well. Families who eat on the go often turn to fast food or quick meals because of convenience. These options are typically higher in fat, calories, and are loaded with sodium. Picky eaters who are exposed to more fruit and vegetables at home are more likely to try new foods over time.</p> <p><strong>Portion Control</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Families who eat at home control the portion size served. This helps teach kids healthy eating habits. &ldquo;Over the past few years portions have grown significantly in restaurants as has the frequency of Americans eating out. Bigger portions can mean that you&rsquo;re getting more food than your body can stomach to maintain a healthy weight.&rdquo; (www.heart.org) Eating proper portions along with a variety of healthy foods will teach kids how to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they become adults.</p> <p><strong>Opens communication</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Dinner time is a great opportunity to catch up with what is going on in with each family member. Try going around the table and have each family member state their &ldquo;high and low&rdquo; of the day. This gives every member of the family a time to share the best and worst of their day and opens further discussion. Giving the family a designated time to talk helps connect family members to each other and opens the lines of communication between them.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><strong>Saves money</strong></p> <p>In 2009, the average American spent $2,619 per person on eating out in one year. (<span style="color: #3366ff;"><strong><a style="color: #3366ff;" href="http://www.yahoo.com">www.yahoo.com</a></strong></span>) For a family of four that total comes to $10,476 and that number continues to rise each year as we enjoy the convenience of dining out. It is obvious from these numbers that families can save a lot of money by eating at home.</p> <p><strong>Long term positive benefits for kids</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; According to <strong><span style="color: #3366ff;"><a style="color: #3366ff;" href="http://www.thefamilydinnerproject.org">www.thefamilydinnerproject.org</a> </span></strong>kids who share dinners with their family several times a week are more likely to have higher self esteem, have a lower risk of depression and are less likely to develop eating disorders. Kids are also more likely to have better grades and graduate high school.</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1592 Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 8 Simple Explanations to Help Motivate Better Behavior <p>In a given day, kids are told more times not to do something than they can count. But how many times do we take the time to explain why. If we want our kids to be self-motivated to eat healthier, take turns or use kinder language, we need to invest the time and explain why. Just because something makes sense in the mind of a grownup, doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s self-explanatory or obvious to a child. Here are 8 explanations to seemingly common sense requests.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <ol> <li><strong>Don&rsquo;t whine.</strong> As parents, we know that the sound of a whining child drives us mad. But why exactly is whining bad? My daughter once retorted, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not hurting anyone.&rdquo; While doing research for this article, I found a plethora of articles that address how to stop a whining child but very few on the exact negative effects of whining. But according to a study published in the&nbsp;Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology, whining was named the most annoying sound ever. More participants made mistakes while doing subtraction problems listening to whining than any other sound, even the sound of a high-pitched table saw. One good reason you can give your child for why he shouldn&rsquo;t whine is that it distracts mommy and daddy like no other sound can. This can lead to big mistakes, especially when driving, cooking or doing any other task that requires concentration.</li> <li><strong> Share. </strong>Sharing is caring. But why exactly is it important to care this way? You can explain to your child that caring is contagious and when we care for others, it empowers others to do the same, even causing a domino effect. Remind your child that there is a shortage of love in this world. Another important reason for sharing is that it teaches your own heart to love, by instructing your heart to love people more than things. In the beginning, your actions might follow your feelings but in the end, your feelings follow your actions. So it&rsquo;s important to share, even if you may not always feel like it.</li> <li><strong> Don&rsquo;t hit. </strong>Hitting is never a good response to anger. Not only can you really hurt someone by hitting them, but that person can really hurt you back. Hitting only escalates anger instead of deflating it and it can grow the anger much bigger than its original size. It&rsquo;s a lot like covering up a mistake with a larger scribble. You didn&rsquo;t get rid of the mistake. You only made it worse.</li> <li><strong> Take turns. </strong>Not only is it fair to take turns but the result of not taking turns is utter chaos. What if we never had lines for things, people would just push and shove until they got their way. Taking turns promotes order in any society, even the kind that exists in sandboxes.</li> <li><strong> Be patient. </strong>Good things come to those who wait. Patience is hard for anyone, but especially challenging for kids. The first thing kids need to understand about patience is that it is like a muscle. You can&rsquo;t build it overnight. Patience takes practice. If you don&rsquo;t practice patience as a 4 year-old, you won&rsquo;t learn patient as a 7 year-old or even as 70-year-old. So encourage your child to continue to build his tolerance for waiting and to develop this muscle.</li> </ol> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1593 Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 Felt Food For Pretend Play <p class="normal" style="line-height: normal;"><span lang="EN">Toddlers and preschoolers alike love pretend play. Making unique, handmade play felt food for kids is gratifying. Create realistic looking play food that will last for years and inspire hours of imaginative play using easy materials. Kitchen play motivates children to be creative and helps develop fine motor skills and social skills. Recipe cards help your child focus on creating favorite meals, and even pack a lunch box in felt form! </span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: normal;"><span lang="EN">##ad## <br /></span></p> <p class="normal"><span lang="EN">Materials:<br />Felt (in an assortment of colors)<br />Scissors<br />Glue</span></p> <p class="normal"><span lang="EN">Directions:<br />You do not need a sewing machine for this project. Felt is an extremely forgiving fabric and perfect for cutting and gluing. </span></p> <p class="normal"><span lang="EN">##adbig## <br /></span></p> <p class="normal"><span lang="EN">Free-hand sketch fruits, vegetables, meats, carbs, snacks and condiments of your choice on different colored felt paper, see suggestions under &ldquo;Lunch box ideas&rdquo;. For each, use 1 felt square 3&Prime; across, or if you would like contrast use 2 different colored squares, and cut out your shapes with scissors. </span></p> <p class="normal"><span lang="EN">Homemade felt food certainly requires no embellishment. But if you feel like taking it a step further, you might like to include fun packaging for your child play food! Place your felt meals in a lunch box or a paper bag based on the recipe cards. Super easy.</span></p> <p class="normal"><span lang="EN">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="normal"><span lang="EN">Lunch box ideas:</span></p> <p class="normal"><span lang="EN">Sandwich - <span style="color: #783f04;">Bread, </span><span style="color: #f6b26b;">Turkey, </span><span style="color: #cc0000;">Tomatoes, </span><span style="color: #38761d;">Lettuce, </span><span style="color: #f1c232;">Cheese, </span><span style="color: #783f04;">Bread<br /></span>Snack - <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Cookies<br /></span>Fruit - <span style="color: #cc0000;">Apple<br /></span>Drink - <span style="color: #3d85c6;">Milk</span></span></p> <p class="normal"><span lang="EN">Sandwich - <span style="color: #783f04;">Bread, </span><span style="color: #e06666;">Ham, </span><span style="color: #cc0000;">Tomatoes, </span><span style="color: #38761d;">Lettuce, </span><span style="color: #783f04;">Bread<br /></span>Snack - <span style="color: #cc0000;">Pretzels<br /></span>Fruit - <span style="color: #f1c232;">Banana<br /></span>Drink - <span style="color: #674ea7;">Grape Juice</span></span></p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1591 Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 What Happens When You Take Away the Screens <p>A few months ago my family unintentionally started an eye opening experiment that magnified just how addicted to screens we are. Although we had time limits on electronics for our kids, even the small amount of time spent on them had a negative affect on my son. His grades slipped, his attitude changed, and his overall work ethic suffered. After some warning and discussion between the three of us, my husband and I decided we would take his electronics away until his grades improved. Grudgingly, my son handed them over for a three-month period and the change in him was hard to dismiss.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p>Perhaps the most obvious change that happened when his screen time was taken away was the simple fact that he was found other things to fill his time. Suddenly my son, who hadn&rsquo;t touched his Legos in months, started rebuilding all the broken Lego sets, building his own creations, and he even (gasp) cleaned his room. I found him reading books that had been collecting dust on shelves, playing with his younger siblings, and he started journaling and sketching more than usual. These were things he enjoyed before but now he had more time and less distractions to enjoy them.</p> <p>After spending time doing his rediscovered hobbies like writing, reading, art, and creating he seemed to have a total turn around with his attitude and overall mood. He would spend time talking to us and his siblings and even invited us to play board games with him. While we played games we snacked on popcorn, laughed, and chatted without looking at our phones or checking in on social media.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>One day he decided to ride his bike through the neighborhood to explore streets he had never been down and he later came home and drew a map just for fun. He admitted to me that he was bored and missed playing video games but that he had found something fun to do anyway.</p> <p>Over time his attitude improved and his grades rose. He even seemed more rested and reported better sleep. It was time to make the decision to return his electronics. He had put in his time, improved in the areas he had been asked to, and earned their return. Shorter time limits were set and they were handed over. Since that day I have noticed a difference when he has gone over time, even accidentally, and he realizes the hold they can take on you. I also notice that when the warning is given to set them aside he does so more willingly because he has become less reliant on them for his entertainment.</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1588 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 Ice Cream Cookie Pops <p>These Ice Cream Cookie Pops are the perfect blend of cookie and cream, and are every cookie dunker's dream. This frozen treat is easy to make for celebrations, holiday&rsquo;s, BBQ&rsquo;s, or just because. Keep a stash in the freezer for the kids for desert...Seriously fun, adorable and delicious!</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p>Cookie Ingredients:</p> <ul> <li>Nonstick Cooking Spray</li> <li>1 1/2 Cups Unsalted Butter, Softened</li> <li>1 1/2 Cups Light Brown Sugar</li> <li>1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar</li> <li>3 Large Eggs</li> <li>1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract</li> <li>3 Cups All-Purpose Flour</li> <li>2 tsp. Baking Powder</li> <li>1 tsp. Kosher Salt</li> <li>3 Cups Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips</li> </ul> <p>Materials:</p> <ul> <li>2 Cookie Sheets</li> <li>Wax Paper</li> <li>Round Cookie Cutter</li> <li>Lollipop Sticks</li> <li>2 Quarts Store Bought Ice Cream, Softened</li> </ul> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Directions:</p> <ul> <li>Remove the ice cream from the freezer to soften.</li> <li>Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and spoon the softened ice cream onto the sheet. Use a rubber spatula to create an even surface, 3/4" thick layer of ice cream. Cover with wax paper and place in freezer.</li> <li>Preheat your oven to 350&ordm;F. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.</li> <li>Mix together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Keep mixing until incorporated.</li> <li>In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.</li> <li>Form your dough into balls and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.</li> <li>Remove prepared ice cream from freezer.</li> <li>Cut out a circle of ice cream with a round cookie cutter and remove from the wax paper.</li> <li>Place the ice cream circle on one cookie, and the insert lollipop stick. (push down slightly)</li> <li>Sandwich together with a 2nd cookie.</li> <li>Repeat with 4 more cookies and then place them all in the freezer.</li> <li>Continue to work until the ice cream becomes too soft. Put the ice cream back in freezer until it's hardened again. Repeat process until all cookies are used.</li> </ul> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1589 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 No Bake Earth Day Necklaces <p>This fun Earth Day kids&rsquo; activity combines crafting and art. A simple necklace is a great project to add to any Earth Day lesson for elementary school children. Have fun making these easy clay texture pendants, that can be worn for years to come!</p> <p>##ad## </p> <p>Cold Clay Ingredients:</p> <ul> <li>1 Cup Cornstarch</li> <li>2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil</li> <li>5 Tbsp. White Glue</li> </ul> <p>Necklace Materials:</p> <ul> <li>Circular Cookie Cutter</li> <li>Parchment Paper</li> <li>Embellishments (beads, sequins, etc.)</li> <li>Paint</li> <li>Modge Podge or Clean Nail Polish (optional)</li> </ul> <p>##adbig## </p> <p>Directions:</p> <ol> <li>Begin by making a batch of basic clay. Stir together cornstarch, vegetable oil, and glue in a medium sized bowl until a clay texture forms. Knead until the clay easily forms into a ball.</li> <li>Roll out the clay to &frac14;&rdquo; inch thickness to prevent breaking.</li> <li>Using the cookie cutter, cut out circles for your earth.</li> <li>Use a straw, pencil, or toothpick to pierce the hole for the ribbon. Make sure that your hole is not too close to the edge or it will break.</li> <li>How you choose to paint and decorate is up to you. Use blues and greens and make them look as realistic or unrealistic as you like. Press beads into the clay before they dry if you wish.</li> <li>Let the clay pendants air-dry and harden on parchment paper, over night.</li> <li>You can use Modge Podge (or clear nail polish) as a sealer to make them stronger if you wish.</li> <li>Once dry, feed the ribbon through the hole in the top of each pendant. Be sure to check the length of the necklace before you tie it in place. You can secure the knot with a small dot of super glue.</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1590 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 Helio Award-Winning Light Projector <p>Helio is an award-winning light projector that emits educational and entertainment based imagery through a series of interchangeable discs. Children can learn a wide range of topics including sight words, states, animals, geography, and more &ndash; and they will have fun while doing it. Before bed is one of the best times for children to learn and retain information, and helio takes advantage of this with its soothing light projector system that makes learning fun and interactive. Named 2017 Product of the Year by Creative Child Magazine, helio uses discs that coincide with lesson plans for all grades and age groups.</p> <p>##ad## </p> <p>Bred from success, helio was created to offer an alternative method for learning. In April of 2014, John Fyke wanted to come up with a way to help his son with his Kindergarten vocabulary. He replaced the stars and moons on his son&rsquo;s existing light projector with his vocabulary words, illuminating them onto the ceiling before bed. Both he and his son&rsquo;s teacher were amazed by the success. Fyke had created something that helped his son, and would hopefully help other children as well. Helio was born.</p> <p>##adbig## </p> <p>This brilliant spin on a beloved children&rsquo;s toy offers five different base color options for boys and girls. Each unit comes with 5 unisex starter discs with over 200 additional discs to choose from and 40,000 discs with different learning curriculum currently in production.</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1585 Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 5 Ways Kids Can Help Save Our Planet by Becoming Tomorrow’s Leaders Today <p>Small hands can leave big imprints, especially when given the right role to helm. Instructing a child to recycle a bottle here or turn off a faucet there is a great way to instill environmental consciousness. But a more effective way to create environmentally conscious leaders of tomorrow, is by letting her take charge today. Since a good leader is usually self-motivated, you may need to educate your child on the effects that saving water, conserving energy or recycling can have on our planet. Once you have, assign her an entire role, with a legitimate-sounding title to boot, and let your little CEO (child environmental officer) lead your family into more socially conscious grounds. Here are five shoes your child can fill.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><strong>Light Monitor.</strong> As a light monitor, your child would be in charge of making sure all lights are turned off when not being used. A light monitor can also bring the family together into a single room so lights don&rsquo;t have to be turned on all throughout the house. In true leadership form, you can also encourage your child to delegate and come up with a reward system to galvanize other members of the family to conserve electricity.</p> <p><strong>Water reductionist</strong>. I love extended showers, admittedly, as do my kids. My kids love to play in the shower and I find water therapeutic. But taking shorter showers is a great example of how to conserve water. Remind your child that water is scarce and many people in the world have to walk miles before having access to clean water. Instead of being the dripping reminder, let your child be the voice of reason for a week or month and let your child come up with other creative ways for your family to conserve water. Perhaps your child can time everyone&rsquo;s showers. Or put a ban on running the dishwasher when the load isn&rsquo;t full.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><strong>Recyclist</strong>. Discuss with your child which waste items can be recycled, especially after a meal or activity. Then make her responsible for collecting appropriate items and placing them in the recycling bin. Or perhaps some items can be reused to make a fun craft. But don&rsquo;t stop there. Recycling can also come in the form of borrowing. Instead of buying books, for example, your child can go to the library, which will save money &ndash; and trees.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1586 Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 Pretend Play and Your Child’s Development <p>Each night, I&rsquo;d lie in bed with my two boys and we&rsquo;d pretend we were on a rocket ship. Our destination was always the same &ndash; a castle owned by a certain superhero floating somewhere in space. However, the trip to the castle was always different and often involved monsters, aliens, treasures, peril, and triumph! Each night, we looked forward to the next fantasy adventure.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Play is an essential method of learning for children, and now researchers are identifying the values of pretend play as a vital component to their healthy, normal development. As if they are born knowing the benefits already, children love make-believe. They are masters at imitating mom, dad, teachers, ponies, butterflies, and everything in between. One has to only watch a child involved in imaginative play to see real skills at work.</p> <p>&nbsp;##ad##&nbsp;</p> <p>One important benefit of pretend play is the exercising of imagination which enhances cognitive flexibility and creativity. The ability to use imagination is what drives art and innovation. It&rsquo;s an extremely important skill which will benefit the child for a lifetime. Einstein said, &ldquo;Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere!&rdquo; Furthermore, the &ldquo;theory of mind&rdquo; concept, the understanding that other people have beliefs, thoughts, and perspectives that differ from our own, is closely related to imaginative play. Theory of mind helps children to get along with others and be able to see things from their point of view; an important social skill. Other social skills that are enhanced through pretend play are cooperation, sharing, turn taking, and teamwork.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Language skills are also enhanced by make-believe play, both the usage by widening vocabulary and the understanding of language and its power to influence others. Pretend play may also help kids to make the connection between written and spoken language. When other children are involved in the play, children learn how to verbally express their ideas and the important communication skills of listening to others!</p> <p>##adbig## &nbsp;</p> <p>Pretend play offers kids the opportunity to learn problem-solving and conflict resolution skills &ndash; for example, when both children want to be the same character and they must work out a deal, or they must work together to determine how to defeat a foe and save the day. As they act out their scenarios and create their imaginary worlds, they must learn to think critically and carefully. They may need to make up rules, make decisions about roles, and overcome &ldquo;problems&rdquo; as in their made-up scenes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Research shows that dramatic play helps children emotionally as well. Not only does it reduce stress and allow them to have fun, but it plays a very important role in allowing them to express both positive and</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1587 Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 Safer Sleep Made Simple™ <p>The Love To Dream&trade; Swaddle UP&trade; Organic is a skin-friendly, eco-friendly &ldquo;Arms UP&rdquo; swaddle. It is made with 95% cotton/5% elastane fabric that is GOTS certified and processed without harmful chemicals, making it a most gentle choice for a baby&rsquo;s delicate skin.</p> <p><br /> The birth of Love To Dream&trade; goes back to Australia in 2008 when Hana Krawchuk, founder and inventor of the company, gave birth to her first baby. Like many new parents Hana and her husband faced significant challenges in getting their newborn son to sleep. In her unsuccessful search for a functional and effective baby swaddling solution, where her baby could sleep in an arms up position, and get access to his hands for self-soothing, Hana designed the Swaddle UP&trade;.</p> <p><br /> By 2009 the Swaddle UP&trade; hit the stores of Sydney. Two weeks later it had sold out. &nbsp;The Love To Dream&trade; story had begun.</p> <p><br /> Since then, millions of parents, in 44 countries across the world have found that Love To Dream&trade; products really work. In 2014 US Distributor Regal Lager launched the line to the US market, and the Swaddle UP&trade; line is fast becoming a leader in the product category.</p> <p><br /> Love To Dream&trade; has won many awards, too many to list, since its introduction to the US market in spring of 2014. &nbsp;Creative Child Magazine already in 2016 named the Organic the Product of the Year and Top Choice of The Year, winning the Swaddle category. The Organic was also recognized early on as a sustainable baby product in the Natural Child World&rsquo;s Eco Excellence Award &ndash; the media awards for the sustainable, socially responsible industry.</p> <p><br /> The environment has always been an important area for Love To Dream&trade;. Ethical sourcing and production is a priority for us and we are committed to take into consideration the environmental impact of our brand and products.</p> <p><br /> At Love To Dream&trade; we are committed to help families experience more sleep, better sleep and safer sleep. We are strong supporters of First Candle (www.firstcandle.org) and are proud to help spread the message about safe sleep, with the aim of reducing the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). &nbsp;<br /> <br /><a href="http://www.lovetodream.com" target="_blank">www.lovetodream.com</a><br /><a href="mailto:support@lovetodreamusa.zendesk.com" target="_blank">support@lovetodreamusa.zendesk.com</a><br /> 800 593 5522</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1584 Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700