CreativeChild RSS Feed http://creativechild.com/ Jello Cups <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These jello cups are so cheap and fun to make! It takes a little bit of time but ends up being worth it! They taste great and have an endless amount of creativity you can add to them. Each type of jello cup can be for any occasion! </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Ingredients:</span> </strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">6 Packs of 3 oz Jello (Grape, blue raspberry, lime/green apple, lemon/pineapple, orange/peach, cherry/raspberry) </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">6 Cups of boiling water</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whipcream, sprinkles, gold flakes (optional) </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Clear plastic cups (Dollar Store)</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18pt;"><strong>Directions:</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">(5-10 Minutes to make, 20-40 to let harden in fridge)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">(Total Time 2-4 Hours)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">1. Boil 1 &frac12; cups of water. Pour grape mixture into water and stir until it dissolves. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tip: Do this in a bowl easily pourable. </span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">2. To speed up the process, add &frac12; cup of ice and stir until dissolved (optional). Next, pour the mixture into each cup evenly; about 3-4 tablespoons dependending on the size of your cup. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tip: Eyeball it and see how many layers would fit in each cup. If you have extra, make your own rainbow dish and layer it in a container.</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">3. Place them in the fridge for 20-45 min or until hardened. For a faster process place them in your freezer until hardened. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">4. Repeat these first 3 steps to each layer of jello. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">5. Decorate according to the occasion. For instance on St.Patty&rsquo;s Day I will add whip cream and gold flakes! Have fun!</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photography by Katy Stewart</span></em></span></p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1298 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Chalk Popsicles <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It&rsquo;s getting sunnier and sunnier everyday, go outside and have some fun with these easy chalk popsicles, that can be made with just $9.00! They last a while and give your kids a fun activity to do outside. Have fun! </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18pt;"><strong>Materials: </strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Silicone Popsicle Mold - (Walmart $5)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 Cups of Water</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">4 Cups of Plaster of Paris - (Walmart $4)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Food Coloring (Dollar Store)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Giant Popsicle Sticks (Dollar Store)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mixing Bowl and Spoon</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18pt;"><strong>Directions:</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">(10 Minutes to make, 40 Min to dry)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">(Total Time 50 min)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 12pt;">STEP 1</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mix the plaster and water together until the liquid resembles frosting or apple sauce. &nbsp;</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tip: Make sure to smooth out most of the chunks</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 12pt;">STEP 2</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pour mixture evenly into the popsicle mold. Add drops of food coloring into each popsicle until you achieve your favorite colors! Mix the dye in with the liquid. Another way to make rainbow popsicles is to make the mixture in different colors first and then add layers into the molds without mixing.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tip: Work semi quickly, the texture starts to thicken fast!</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 12pt;">STEP 3</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cut your giant popsicle sticks in two and place rough end into the molds. Make sure to place the sticks all the way at the bottom for the most support. Then let them dry! </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tip: Takes 35-45 minutes.</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photography by Katy Stewart</span></em></span></p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1299 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Liquid Rainbow Experiment <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This experiment is cheap and fast! Each layer takes a max of 2 minutes to do. It&rsquo;s filled with educational fun. Have a blast my little Einsteins! </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18pt;"><strong>Ingredients: </strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&frac12; Cup Rubbing Alcohol (Dollar Store) </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&frac12; Cup Blue Dawn Dish Soap (Dollar Store) </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&frac12; Cup Large Mason Jar or Vase (Dollar Store) </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&frac12; Cup Corn Syrup (Walmart)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Food Coloring (Walmart)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&frac12; Cup Olive Oil/Vegetable Oil/ Canola Oil (Dollar Store) </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&frac12; Cup of Water</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18pt;"><strong>Directions:</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">(2 Minutes to make each layer)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">(Total Time 10 min)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; color: #800080;">Purple Layer</span> -</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Mix &frac12; Cup corn syrup with 1 drop of blue dye and 2 drops of red dye.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; color: #333399;">Blue Layer</span> - </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pour &frac12; Cup blue dish soap slowly down the side of your jar into the purple layer. </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tip: They should separate as long as you pour slowly down the side of the jar. Same goes for each layer. </span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; color: #008000;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Green Layer </span>- </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mix together 2-3 drops of green dye with &frac12; Cup of water and pour slowly (on the side of the jar) on top of the blue layer. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #ffcc00;">Yellow Layer</span> </span>- </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pour the &frac12; Cup of olive oil down the side of the jar for the yellow layer. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 12pt; color: #d62222;">Red Layer - </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mix &frac12; Cup of rubbing alcohol with 1-3 drops of red dye. Pour this slowly on the side of the jar. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Then you&rsquo;re done! You should get a rainbow layered vase of different density liquids! </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18pt;"><strong>What&rsquo;s the science behind it?</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With each layer you are using a different liquid. Each liquid has a different density (weighing a different amount). So when layered the right way they will stay separated for days! But if this order isn't added the same way the experiment won't work. The heavier density liquids are the ones at the bottom and so on and so forth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photography by Katy Stewart</span></em></span></p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1300 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Parenting for a Peaceful World <p>There is a reason why I chose Positive Parenting 8 years ago, and a reason why I keep choosing it today. It goes beyond the better behavior, beyond the better relationships, beyond the happier kids, and beyond the connected hearts. This is so much bigger than whether or not time-out is a useful parenting tool. It transcends far beyond &ldquo;parenting tips, tricks, and techniques.&rdquo; When I focus in on the home, I see so many benefits, both for my children and myself. When I widen the lens and look at the bigger picture, I see that what is going on in my home is training ground for healing the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;##ad##</p> <p>And, oh, the world needs healing. We are all hurting in some way. There is so much disrespect, so much anger, and so much hatred. It feels too heavy, like it&rsquo;s getting harder to breathe the air outside. We are always at war, whether with terror or with our neighbors or with ourselves. To some degree, I think we are all battle-worn, and God bless those on the front lines.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation in the&nbsp;</strong><strong>way we raise our children.&rdquo; &ndash; Marianne Williamson</strong></p> <p>##adbig##&nbsp;</p> <p>Some people say it&rsquo;s the kids&rsquo; fault. They&rsquo;re spoiled, coddled little snowflakes with no respect for anyone. I disagree. Sure, some kids are like that, but it&rsquo;s the adults who have insulted me on the internet and called me names. It&rsquo;s our President who makes fun of people. It&rsquo;s our celebrities who are ranting with foul language and middle fingers in the air. It was always the grown-ups who cursed me out when I was a bank teller, and grown-ups who are yelling at the cashier. The kids are just standing by watching and listening. So, if the kids are growing up to be disrespectful, maybe it&rsquo;s because that&rsquo;s what we have modeled for them.</p> <p>So, here&rsquo;s the biggest thing about positive parenting &ndash; it&rsquo;s modeling positive behavior first and foremost. It&rsquo;s showing respect to our children so that they learn what it looks like to show respect to others. It&rsquo;s being empathetic to their hardships so that they learn to be empathetic to others. It&rsquo;s keeping our own anger in check so they see what it&rsquo;s like to be self-controlled. It&rsquo;s listening to their thoughts and opinions so that they learn not only that their voice matters, but that others&rsquo; do as well. It&rsquo;s about damaging them the least we possibly can so that they don&rsquo;t go out and damage others.</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1297 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 The Wrong Question Parents Keep Asking <p>The questions we ask are important because obviously the answers that come to us are a result of what question we asked. So, asking the wrong questions gives us the wrong answers, and when we base our reactions, our relationships, our decisions, and our views on the wrong answers, we miss the mark. We end up on the wrong path and wonder why things aren&rsquo;t working out properly and why it has gotten so hard.</p> <p>This was the case for me eight years ago when my firstborn was three years old. I, like many other parents, asked one question over and over again. <strong>What do I do when</strong>&hellip;</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p>What do I do when my child hits?</p> <p>What do I do when my child doesn&rsquo;t listen?</p> <p>What do I do when he is defiant?</p> <p>What do I do when he won&rsquo;t sleep at night?</p> <p>What do I do when&hellip;what do I do when&hellip;</p> <p>It isn&rsquo;t hard to find answers to these questions. The internet is full of them. Books and magazines are full of answers. Professionals, friends, family, everyone seems to have an answer for the &ldquo;what do I do when&rdquo; question, (all conflicting answers, of course) and the answer you accept will determine how you treat your child and the course of action you will take.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>When I asked &ldquo;what do I do when my child is defiant?&rdquo; and the answer that came to me which I accepted was &ldquo;put him in time-out,&rdquo; our course was set. I continued to view him as defiant (because I had gotten an answer that reinforced my belief) and I consistently and continually placed him time-out just as I was told. Of course, it didn&rsquo;t work. Our relationship suffered and his behavior only worsened. The more I looked for defiance, the more I saw of it, and pretty soon our days were filled with power struggles and tears, and every day I felt completely defeated.</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1296 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Strengths of Sensitive Kids <p>David Jones is credited for saying, &ldquo;It is both a blessing and a curse to everything so very deeply.&rdquo; My son has the highly sensitive trait (<a href="http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-child-test/">find out here if yours does, too</a>), and while it has not been without challenges, I have noticed that high sensitivity also comes with these special strengths.</p> <p><strong>Creativity</strong></p> <p>Sensitive children often have vivid, wonderful imaginations which enable them to be very creative and artistic. My son won the &ldquo;best artist&rdquo; award in Kindergarten and more recently received an award for best animation in an arts class he took. He is always drawing and creating new characters and stories. He and his brother even have an entire movie series made up in their heads. Do you notice that your HSC (highly sensitive child) is artistic and creative, too?</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p>Nurture this strength by allowing time and space to be creative. HSCs need a lot of down time, and being overscheduled or constantly busy leads to higher stress levels. Give them the tools they need to create, such as an artist&rsquo;s set, paint and a canvas, or an animation studio &ndash; whatever your child is into. Avoid making too many judgements of their creations, and be particularly careful of criticism which might squash their creativity. HSCs want to please, and if they think they&rsquo;re not, they get discouraged easily and may give up. For example, rather than &ldquo;that is your best drawing yet!&rdquo; or &ldquo;you used blue for the sun?!&rdquo; simply remark about the time they spent working on it or something specific that you enjoy about it, then ask what they think. &ldquo;I think the colors you used are lovely. What is your favorite thing about it?&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Highly Conscientious</strong></p> <p>HSCs are very emotional people, and they are also in tune with the emotions of others. This makes them highly conscientious. They usually have better-than-average manners and try to never hurt anyone&rsquo;s feelings. They are considerate toward others and people are likely to remark on their good manners.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Nurture this strength by verbalizing your appreciation when they hold the door open for others, say please and thank you, allow another child to go down the slide first, etc. Verbal affirmations mean a lot to all children but are especially nourishing to the soul of an HSC.</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1295 Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Mommy Equality <p>We are a nation divided. Two sides of the fence. Too many opinions. Too many critics.</p> <p>Not enough acceptance &ndash; <em>and this has nothing to do with the White House</em>.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m talking about motherhood, and what I&rsquo;ve observed in the last two years since becoming a mama for the first time.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p>Immediately after giving birth, the mama &ldquo;experts&rdquo; came out of the woodwork.</p> <p>&ldquo;Feed your kid this way,&rdquo; I&rsquo;d be warned. &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t do this, or else,&rdquo; I&rsquo;d hear.</p> <p>Suddenly, everyone was brilliant &ndash; <strong>and I knew nothing</strong>.</p> <p>This fueled my insecurity. It fueled my anxiety. It made me feel as if I had just stepped into an alternate universe where everything I wanted to do was wrong &ndash; simply because others found it unacceptable.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>It all started with my c-section. It was followed up by my decision to stop breastfeeding after a few unsuccessful weeks. It continued with my choice to use a stroller versus a baby carrier, because well, my baby liked it more. I didn&rsquo;t co-sleep, use cloth diapers, or shun formula</p> <p>This made me an easy target for the more natural moms on the block.</p> <p>But then, after a few weeks of navigating the whole motherhood thing, my daughter woke up crying one night and as I held her, rocked her, fed her the best I could, and wondered if I was getting right or not. Then, she looked up at me and smiled for the first time. Her face was calm and she couldn&rsquo;t have looked more peaceful and content in my arms, and the thought of it brings me to tears. And then I realized that no matter what the judgey moms had to say, no matter what the trends insisted &ndash; I was the BEST mom this baby could have ever hoped for her, simply because I was hers, and we were learning from each other.</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1294 Wed, 08 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 12 Ways to Support a New Mom <p>Adjusting to having a new baby in the house can be difficult for the whole family. Sleepless nights and a change in routine can leave mom feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Offering support to a family with a new baby can help them adjust to their new normal. Often when you ask, mom isn&rsquo;t able to think of the exact way she needs help. Here are some ideas:</p> <p><strong>Stop by the store</strong></p> <p>Going to the store with newborn and possibly older children for the first time can be a daunting task. Offer to pick up a few things the family needs. This is especially easy if you will be out running errands already. Many grocery stores now offer drive through pick up. Have the family order and pay for groceries online, then pick them up and deliver them. Helping to put them away would be an extra bonus.</p> <p><strong>Help around the house</strong></p> <p>Sweep the floor, fold laundry, vacuum, or do dishes.. Even a little bit of tidying up can make a big difference. A clean house during a time of transition can bring order to a time that feels chaotic. However, mom may prefer to clean herself. Offer to care for the baby and other children while she works on a household project.</p> <p><strong>Come when others don&rsquo;t</strong></p> <p>Not all new moms are &ldquo;new moms&rdquo;. Families that are adding their second, third, or fourth child need help just as much as first time moms, if not more. When there are older children there is no time for resting when the baby rests. Older children do not stop activities just because a new baby has arrived and mom and dad are tired. It can be very difficult to entertain a toddler while mom is nursing or changing diapers. Offer to take care of the older children for mom or offer to take care of baby so she can spend some alone time with her older children.</p> <p><strong>Provide a meal </strong></p> <p>Friends and family often send versatile casseroles like lasagna after the new baby is home. Try thinking outside the 13x9 pan. Why not bring the family the fixings for breakfast and lunch rather than just dinner?. Stock the freezer with easy, ready to make items like pizza, pasta dishes, soups and crock pot meals. Then the family can pull something out of the freezer when they are not up for cooking. Crunched for time or don&rsquo;t feel like making an extra meal? Bring the family their favorite take out or send a gift card.</p> <p><strong>Set up a train</strong></p> <p>When one meal just doesn&rsquo;t cover it, set up a meal train using websites like <u>www.signupgenius.com</u> or <u>www.takethemameal.com</u> . Discuss with the family the most convenient dates and times to deliver meals and solicit friends to fill all the open spots. Social media is a great place to recruit people you might not think to ask.</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1293 Mon, 06 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Guarding Motherhood <p>It&rsquo;s an interesting time to be a mother. We are facing challenges no mother before us has faced, navigating the rough waters of constant social media and information consumption and raising children in an insta-everything world. We have more access to information than any generation before us, and we live, in fact, in a steady stream of it. Responsibilities are ever-growing and down time is ever-shrinking, and much threatens to chip away at our self-worth, our joy, and the time we spend with those we hold dear. In light of this, we need to think about guarding our own motherhood so that time is not lost that we cannot get back, so that our confidence doesn&rsquo;t suffer regular blows, so that our self-worth isn&rsquo;t measured by the opinions of others, and so that we can find fulfillment and sustaining happiness in our lives. These are the 3 things I&rsquo;m guarding against.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><strong>Information Overload</strong></p> <p>During the recent election cycle, my home seemed to be constantly filled with the voices of a particular news network. It was all I watched, and as I took in all of this information, my anxiety rose considerably. I have become more fearful and very often saddened by the news I have been consuming, yet I told myself I needed to be informed. In &ldquo;<span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli">News is Bad for You and Giving Up Reading it Will Make You Happier</a></strong></span>&rdquo; by Rolf Dobelli, he makes a compelling argument for giving up reading and watching the news altogether, and I found this particularly interesting: &ldquo;It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress.&rdquo; That certainly explains my anxiety.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But news isn&rsquo;t the only overload. As we scroll newsfeeds, we remain always informed about the goings on in the lives of friends and strangers alike, which makes comparison ever so easy. In addition, opinions are ever present and coming from all directions. Working in the field of parenting, I have read thousands of pieces on what we should and shouldn&rsquo;t do to raise our kids well, and sometimes I wonder what kind of parent I would have been without all the voices. Being overwhelmed with such conflicting information on raising children eats at our self-assurance and leaves us always questioning &ldquo;am I doing the right thing?&rdquo;</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>To guard against information overload, I now check the news channel briefly for headlines and then turn it off. I don&rsquo;t linger to listen to the details. I am selective about the articles I consume, both in number and substance. Not only does limiting the information I take in lessen my anxiety which automatically has a more positive effect on my family, but less time spent scrolling, watching, and reading means more time spent playing, laughing, and talking.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Being self-controlled with news and social media also sets an example for my tween son who recently told me, &ldquo;Mom, I&rsquo;m going to limit the amount of time I spend on my iPad.&rdquo; They are always watching us and taking cues from how we handle life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A study found that &ldquo;people who made frequent social comparisons were more likely to experience envy, guilt, regret, and defensiveness and to lie, blame others, and to have unmet cravings.&rdquo; They further assert, &ldquo;People who tend to make spontaneous social comparisons, therefore, tend to be unhappy, more vulnerable to the affective consequences of such comparisons, and more likely to get caught in a cycle of constantly comparing themselves to others, being in a self-focused state, and consequently being unhappy. More social comparisons, rather than serving a useful, coping function, merely serve to reinforce the cycle tying social comparisons to diminishing well-being.&rdquo; (White, Langer, Yariv, and Welch)</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1289 Thu, 02 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Top 3 Ways Mamas Can Treat Themselves for Valentine's Day <p class="p1"><span class="s1">I don&rsquo;t know about you, but as much as I love my husband, another bouquet of roses is just not going to cut it this Valentine&rsquo;s day. This mama is tired. This mama is overworked. And if there is anything this mama needs more of in this world &ndash; it&rsquo;s quiet time. </span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">Blissful, uninterrupted, quiet, alone time &ndash; with no guilt, for that matter.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Now that I have a toddler, and can no longer consider myself a true &ldquo;new mama,&rdquo; I have finally understood those blogs and memes about mommy needing her own time out. Lately, it feels like I tend to need these time-outs more than I don&rsquo;t &ndash; and with good reason! I used to feel guilty about taking a few hours to myself on any given day, but now, no more. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">##adbig##</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">If you&rsquo;re like me, you&rsquo;re constantly on the go. Constantly doing for everybody else. Working while worrying. Worrying while working. Going, going, face plant.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong><em>This mama is ready to treat herself.</em></strong></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">So, this Valentine&rsquo;s Day, you can save your overpriced chocolates and that standard bouquet of roses. I&rsquo;m going to make it really easy for all of you mamas who are one carpool away from crawling into a corner with a blankie and a bottle of wine. <strong>It&rsquo;s time for a little selfish bliss</strong>.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Because this Valentine&rsquo;s Day, the best gift I can receive is more time with myself, and something tells me you&rsquo;re in the exact same boat. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">So here are my top 3 ways Mamas can treat themselves for Valentine&rsquo;s Day (<em>and feel a lot more satisfied with than a box of heart-shaped chocolate</em>).</span></p> <p class="p1">&nbsp;</p> https://www.creativechild.com/article/1290 Thu, 02 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800