Archive for July 2019

Summer of FUN in the Kitchen

HOT!  That’s what it is outside for many across the country.  You try and get out early in the morning with the kids, and spend your day at the pool.  For many though, you’re stuck inside trying to entertain the kids.

Here are some great ideas to keep the kids busy in the kitchen …

If you’re on Pinterest, search Goop.  Tons of recipes come up. I’m sure you’ll find one to please your crowd.

How about some Peanut Butter Play Dough?

You will need …

Nonstick cooking spray
Bowl
¼ cup honey
¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder
6 tablespoons peanut butter
½ cup crushed crisp rice cereal

Spray the bowl with nonstick cooking spray.  Add the honey and dry milk powder to the bowl and mix well.  Add the peanut butter and mix until smooth.  Stir in the cereal. Use as edible modeling clay.

Note: To serve as a snack, shape the peanut butter mixture into ½ inch balls and roll in the cereal.  Dip into melted chocolate if desired.  Store in the refrigerator.

For some fun in the sun consider letting the kids paint with pudding, shaving cream, or colored ice cubes .

What have you tried indoors or out with the kids to keep them entertained in the kitchen when it’s hot?

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

This article originally appeared on Regarding Nannies. Reprinted with permission.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine When Parenting

Of all the different strategies and techniques for handling situations that come up as a parent, laughter is among the best. Not only does humor and laughter help to   alleviate tension and stress, it has also been shown to benefit us physically. Here are a few benefits of parenting with a positive spin, as well as ways to incorporate laughter into your parenting routine.

Physical Benefits

Laughter helps to relieve physical stress and tension, which leaves your body feeling more relaxed after. A good laugh also gets your heart pumping and gives your heart and lungs a workout. Laughing for fifteen minutes burns almost the same amount of calories as a fifteen minute walk. This means that laughing can really help when it comes to keeping fit and keeping up with the kids.

When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins, which make us feel good and give us a sense of well-being. Laughing also reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, which eases tension and anxiety. Reducing your stress hormone levels may also boost the performance of your immune system. This means that laughter may also help keep you and your kids healthy.

Other Benefits

When people laugh together, it strengthens their relationship. If you share laughter and humor with your kids, it helps you to bond more as a family. Laughing together encourages people to work together as a team and helps to settle conflict. Your kids will feel more connected to you if you share laughter and will be all the more motivated to do what you want them to.

Humor also helps to relieve distress during times when you are feeling overwhelmed. By making laughter a part of every day, both you and your family can maintain a more positive outlook and healthy attitude, all the way around.

Bring Laughter into Your Life

It’s easy to make laughter a part of your parenting routine, because kids love to laugh and have a good time. If your kids have a hard time getting excited about cleaning up after themselves, come up with an encouraging activity or game to play while you clean. This way, they will actually want to participate and help out, rather than doing it to avoid getting into trouble.

When something bad happens and it’s time to get tough, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation rather than the negative. Your kids may be more inclined to stay in bed at night if you talk to them about some of the fun things that might happen in the morning, rather than how much trouble they’ll be in if they don’t fall asleep.

Not only does laughter help to keep you and your family healthy and stress free, it also encourages your kids to behave better and enjoy life more. The times your family spend laughing together are the times your kids will fondly remember as they get older and form families of their own. If you encourage them to stay positive, they’ll pass that outlook down to their own kids in the future.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Family Travel: Traveling With Kids

Family travel is something most families do throughout their years together. Traveling on vacations is often an annual tradition families have. From the time your child is born, it is likely you will take him or her on trips to see family members, theme parks, and even just one day drives. While safety is often the first thing parents consider when traveling with their kids, keeping them happy and busy along the way also adds to the success of the trip.

Safe Travel Tips

Safety is the most important factor with children traveling. Family travel should always been done with caution paid to safety above anything else. Here are some tips to keep everyone safe.

• Insure everyone is using proper safety belts and car seats throughout the trip. It’s tempting to loosen the belt for long trips, but high speed accidents on highways are common during the summer months.

• Be sure that the driver gets enough sleep and that parents are able to stay alert not only in the car but also on airplanes and buses.

• Keep items out of the car that could be choking hazards for small children. Travel games often have small pieces and are meant for older children. The jarring of a car can easily cause these to slip down the child’s throat.

• Be sure everyone knows where to meet if for any reason the group is splitting up. Cell phones are a good communication device and the responsible person’s within each group should have one.

• Talk to your children ahead of time about the risks of strangers and who to talk to if they do get lost. For family travel to be fun, everyone has to remain safe.

Family Travel Things To Do

When it comes to being on the road or in a plane for an extensive amount of time, busy kids are happy ones. Parents can do a number of things to keep kids active and busy so they don’t become overwhelmed with the long trip.

• Pack snacks. Kids are hungry every few hours and snacks are the best way to keep them quiet. Prepackaged items are sold in individual sizes, but you can also choose crackers, grapes and other small foods and place into small bags. Juice boxes and bags travel well.

• Pack an activity bag. For younger children, these goody bags can be a surprise for once you are on the road. Load them up with small toys, coloring supplies, stickers, and other activities you know they will enjoy. Don’t let them go into the bag until they are on the road.

• Pack things to do in backpacks. For older children, keeping them busy will help to cut down on your stress. Handheld games, video games, a deck of cars and travel size games can work very well. Include a few comic books, a magazine or even a book they want to read.

Many of today’s ultra fun activities for the car are in the form of technology. Portable game players, tablets, and movies are sure ways to keep everyone busy. Download the latest songs, movies and books. Challenge each child to a photo scavenger hunt using a camera or phone camera.

Family travel is often best when everyone on the trip is looking forward to something that interests them. When there are two completely different opinions, cater to both. For example, if you are traveling to an area where there is a lot of camping and wilderness hiking, and one child does not care for this, find out if there’s a local show or museum nearby they may like to stop in during the trip.

Traveling with kids is enjoyable when you plan ahead. Take the time to talk to your kids about the trip alerting them to the length of the drive. While traveling at night is not always an option, this is also a good way to cut down on the boredom factor. Many kids are happy enough with a few things to do and the conversation of the parents to keep them busy. Make this a trip that everyone enjoys by sharing stories, ideas and thoughts in an open forum. Everyone will feel welcome and happy before, during and after the trip.

Choosing Safe Toys For Babies and Toddlers

The government monitors baby and toddler toys in that they insure that manufacturers place specific labels on toys for recommended ages of use. You should follow these guidelines at least, when choosing safe toys for your children. Yet, you may want to play even a closer amount of attention to the toys they have. Even with the best intentions, there is no way to know how a child may manipulate a toy and potentially hurt themselves or others with it.

Age Appropriate

The age restrictions placed on baby toys and toddler toys are there for a reason. These toys may have small pieces to them that small children may put into their mouths. They may also have working pieces where fingers can get snapped or pinched in the process. Small hands can get stuck in some devices, too. Never give a toy with a choking hazard to toddlers or babies, as their first reaction is to put things in their mouths. Of course, it also makes sense that the younger child will not use many of the older toys for children properly. Not only could this be a risk for their safety, but it will likely frustrate them, too.

Look Closely At All Toys

All types of toys could have the potential of being an injury for the child. For example, most people love to give their children a cute, cuddly stuffed animal to play with. While these dolls, action figures and stuffed items may be a great toy, some do contain potential choking hazards. Can an eye or accessory pop off these items and go in the child’s mouth? If it can happen, assume it will happen.

When choosing toys, you should look at the design of the toy. How can this hurt your child? A sharp edge on the toy can easily cut or scratch them. You may find a wheel that pops off the car. You may find that if the child chews on the toys too long they could rip it and choke on the plastics. For toys that are electronic, be sure they are safe toys for the child’s age. Battery compartments can come off, fingers can get stuck in keys and the toy can be tossed around which may break it.

What’s It Made From?

In today’s eco friendly environment, not only should you look for safe toys that fit within specific requirements for choking and safe play, but also from what the toy is made. A variety of products is on the market that is eco friendly and just as fun to play with. For example, you may wish to look for toys made from recycled products or made from organic cotton instead of man-made products.

It is also important to know what is contained in the toy. For some children, especially those who suffer from allergies or who have sensitive skin, fabric dyes and chemicals contained in the toys can be harmful to them.

What To Look For

When buying toys, keep these things in mind. Safe toys that fit within these requirements are out there and easy to find, too.

• Look for toys without strings, which can wrap around their neck and choke the child. Some toys may be comprised of strings wrapped around objects. Look for these and avoid buying them.

• The size of the toy is important of course for swallowing risks. Be sure that anything that could come off the toy is large enough not to fit into the child’s mouth.

• Avoid peeling surfaces or toys with any type of material in them that could potentially be dangerous if the toy is broken open.

Perhaps the most important protection for children is to give your child supervision when playing with toys. Even safe toys can be picked up and thrown or dropped on a foot. It is important to watch your child interact with the toy. When you notice them doing something that could potentially be dangerous, take the toy away from them. Over time, teaching your child how to play with toys correctly can limit problems, but nothing will protect them better than your watchful eye.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Time Management Hints for Busy Parents to Keep in Tune

There are many ways that you can make sure you have enough time for your children. In fact, there are many times when you can take the time that you need for your children. Remember that children don’t always need to have time that is only for them. Often, a child will enjoy any time that he gets to spend with you – even if that time doesn’t seem that important to you. When you are spending time with your children, any of this time can be quality time, as long as you are able to do it correctly and make it worth it for you and for your children. No matter what you are doing with your children, it can be time that is completely worthwhile and that you will enjoy for years to come.

Part of the reason that many people are not able to spend enough time with their children because they have so much else to do. They might not feel like they have enough time to spend with their children because they have so much else to do. However, it is very important that you realize that all of the time you spend with your children can end up being quality time, in more ways than you think.

First of all, when you are with your children, any time at all can be quality time. You will be able to spend quality time together when you are working in your home, or even running errands. When you are doing the dishes or cooking dinner, you will be able to spend quality time with your children. But you want to make sure that you are able to spend each moment with your kids in a quality way. When it comes right down to it, you will be able to spend a lot of time together as your children get older. It is time for you to be able to spend as much time with your children as possible.

When it comes right down to it, the best way to take advantage of being with your children is to make each moment as wonderful and special as possible. There are many ways that you can do this, and no matter which way you choose, you will be able to spend the time that you need. For instance, when you and your children are working around the house, you can use each moment as a life lesson. When you are cooking, a good thing to do is to have your children help you cook. This will allow you give yourself a chance to get what you need to get done, but also be able to spend this time with your children. It can also help your children learn as much as possible in the time that they have.

In today’s busy lives, it is often hard to find time for you and your children to spend together. However, if you concentrate, you will be able to spend as much time together as you want. No matter what you are doing, you can do it with your children, and this will help both of you have the time together that you need. Spending quality time with your children is often much easier than you think. In fact, spending as much time together as possible can not only help you spend time with your kids, but help your kids grow up stronger and happier. The more time that your children can spend with you, the smarter and happier that you children will be able to be. So, spend each moment that you can with your children, and make each moment as special as popular.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Turn Off that TV and Get to Know Your Kids Again

There are many families that seem to be fixated on the television. While this fixation may not be active on the part of the parents, it may seem for them to be almost easier letting their children watch television than figuring out how to connect with them. Sometimes, parents may even try to connect with their children through watching a television show with the child. Still, the most effective ways in which a parent can reconnect with their child or children is by first making the point to turn the TV off.

One of the simplest ways to enjoy family time together is to try having dinner together. Some families prefer to have dinner together every night of the week, while others strive for just two or three nighttime meals together. Again, the important thing here will be to make sure that the television is not on during these meals. While eating, it is important not to sit in silence. It is very likely that almost all parents and their children will find this uncomfortable. Instead, try to talk about each other’s days. Parents can share with their children things such as when they plan to go grocery shopping, and they can also ask their children what lunch meats or snacks they would prefer to have for the upcoming week or so. Children can be encouraged to share what they enjoyed most about their days and what they learned throughout their day. Remember – keep the television off!

Board games are also a great way to connect with one’s children. Not only do board games help parents to see their children in action, it also showcases the child’s nature or personality. Are they strategic? Are they ruthless? Are they competitive? Are they just in it for the fun of the game? These are all great questions that will give parents insight into their children and their behaviors. A board game is inexpensive for the most part and families can come together once or twice a week for a bonding experience. This is also particularly interesting for families that choose to play games that require the family to team up and bond in that specific manner. However, it will be important to try to shy away from board games that utilize the television, since this may lead back to the familiar or easier television watching days. Pictionary, Charades, Guesstures, Chess and Trouble are all great games. There are many games at stores that families can consider as well.

If time allows on the weekends or on nice, mild weathered days, parks and playgrounds can be considered. Parks are often fun whether children are small enough to enjoy the swings and see-saws, or whether the family wants to spend time walking around, perhaps playing with the family dog. It also helps the family to get some exercise together, which is always nice! While the television is great for getting news and staying up to date on current events outside the home, it often does not allow for much bonding or quality time within the home. By simply turning off the television, parents can take a proactive step towards getting to know their children again and spending quality time with them. It will also be important for families to look at their own individual situations when considering activities. Active families may find more outdoor activities or sports to take part in while more secluded families prefer to stay in and play board games. If one idea is not working for your family, feel free to try another until you become more comfortable as a whole!

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

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