Activities

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

Summer Reading Challenges

Summer is almost here, and with that, the kids will be out of school. The kids are thinking about pool days, riding their bikes, sleeping in and sleepovers with friends! While you may have planned your summer vacation, day camps, sleep-away camps and play-dates, don’t forget to make time for reading!

Many schools require reading over the summer, and there are plenty of opportunities to make reading fun!

Check with your local library for their summer reading list by age. Many libraries will hold contests for the most books read and award prizes!

Check with your local bookstores. Many will host guest authors and reading challenges.

Barnes & Nobel has their popular reading program where kids can earn free books! Fostering a love of reading and its rewards, the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is popular with students in the first through sixth grades and educators throughout America. Participation is fun and an easy way for kids to earn free books. They simply read any eight books – library books, books borrowed from friends or books bought at Barnes & Noble – write about their favorite part, and bring a completed tear page to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Children then choose their free book from a list of paperback titles.

Scholastic is challenging young readers to join them and has put together an extensive list of recommendations.

Summer Reading Lists by Grade

Top 10 Summer Reading Lists

On the go? Whether, plane, or auto, Tales2Go is an innovative subscription service for anyone who want instant access to over a thousand great kids’ audio stories to stream to their smart phones, and listen to anywhere, at any time. They feature the best in kids’ audio stories from leading audio publishers and award-winning storytellers.

Or check out Epic!
Boasting over 35,000 books, learning videos, quizzes and more – take the reading with you wherever you go for one low monthly price. 


Happy Reading!

 

TLC for Kids is currently placing summer nannies in St. Louis and South Florida. If you need reliable, energetic, and professional child care this summer visit our website at tlcforkids.com Or, email us at tlc@tlcforkids.com.

Tips on how to enjoy Art Basel when traveling with children.

So you want to bask in all of the Miami essence that comes with visiting for Art Basel. Special exhibits, pre-parties, after-parties, concerts, fabulous restaurants, and more. But there’s just one obstacle: Traveling with young children. Sure, we love to have them tag along and hate to leave them back home with the grandparents, but the multi-day party that is Art Basel creates an environment that is not entirely compatible with the young ones.

With a little bit of advanced planning, you can be sure to enjoy the best of both worlds so that the kids have a great time and you do too!

As so many Art Basel events occur in the evening, one strategy is to take advantage of Miami’s excellent kid-friendly attractions during the early part of the day. Attractions such as the Miami Children’s Museum,  Jungle Island,  Crandon Park Amusement Center, or an amphibious adventure with Duck Tours on South Beach will provide much needed entertainment for the kids that parents can share and enjoy with them!

Ok, so now the kiddos are entertained and worn out and its time for the parents (who have presumably conserved some energy) to go enjoy the Art Basel action. What now? Yes, we want to expose our children to wonderful art, but the massiveness of exhibitions such as Red Dot, Aqua, Context, Art Miami, and many others is capable of testing the endurance of the hardiest adults, let alone children.

That’s where TLC Family Care can help. Perhaps you’d like to take an early evening stroll through an exhibition hall with your children and have an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands to ensure the kids don’t touch the art (with the big “do not touch” sign on it), break anything, or run around and get lost in the massive halls while you attempt to take a serious and thoughtful look at the abundant and diverse art. One of TLC’s fully vetted and loving caregivers will be glad to join you and look after the kids to allow you to focus a bit more on the artistic treasures. Alternatively (or immediately after) TLC will send a sitter to your hotel room so that you can go out and enjoy the exhibitions, fine restaurants, and nightlife. You’ll be assured that your children are having a great time at your hotel playing, reading, and doing other activities before they get safely tucked in for a good night’s rest.

It’s really the best of both worlds; you can enjoy Miami’s beaches and attractions with your children by day, and also to get in some “adult-time” at night. Art Basel and Children DO go together well when you add a little bit of TLC caregiving to the equation.

It’s easy to book a TLC Miami hotel babysitter. Simply visit TLC Family Care and fill out our short application. A TLC representative will contact you immediately to assign and confirm an experienced and fully qualified sitter who will have fun with your children and set your mind at ease.

Last-minute requests are welcome, but we advise that you book in advance to be certain of getting the coverage you want. This is one of the busiest times of year for our on-call sitters. Use the link above or call TLC at 305.256.5905. We’d be happy to tell you more about our awesome sitters and get you set up with coverage to make your visit run smoothly.

Enjoy the art!

 

Babysitters for Art Basel

Art Basel is an exciting time of year in Miami.  However, visiting exhibits like Art Miami,  Aqua, and Red Dot can be stressful with young kids. It’s hard to enjoy all the beautiful art work when you are worried about your kids touching everything!  

Parents start to wonder what to do with their kids while they are at Art Basel or enjoying the Miami Nightlife.

TLC for Kids Miami has the answer! TLC For Kids has vetted, loving and experienced babysitters who can come to your hotel to entertain and safeguard your children so you can tour Art Basal.

It’s easy to reserve a TLC Miami hotel babysitter. Visit our website to complete the Hotel Reservation form.  A TLC representative will contact you immediately to assign and confirm an experienced sitter.  TLC sitters will make sure your child is having fun while you are away!

 

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency  for over 25 years. We also provide caregivers in Miami, South Florida and Atlanta.  TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more. Reach us at info@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

How to Raise an Extrovert Child When You Are an Introvert

Even with all the rewards and happiness that parenthood provides, it may often leave an introverted parent feeling drained and in desperate need of some time to be alone. This is especially true if you’re an introverted parent trying to raise an extroverted child, who has a need for social interaction that far exceeds your own. Here are some tips for raising an extroverted child when you’re an introverted parent.

Devote Time to Recharge

To provide the best care and environment for your extrovert, you need to devote time to unwind and recharge yourself. For many introverts, prolonged periods of social interaction can be daunting and often leads to feeling anxious or stressed out.

If you’re in a bad mood, there’s a good chance that your child will pick up on that. This can lead to your child feeling depressed. They may blame themselves as a result for something that couldn’t possibly be their fault. Schedule an hour out of the day for a break, to process and manage your stress. Explain to your child why it is important for people to recharge their batteries and turn it into a positive experience for them. This will also give your child the opportunity to process their feelings and experiences.

Provide Opportunities for Interaction

It’s important to provide many opportunities for social interaction for your extroverted child. However, that doesn’t mean you have to turn your home into a hangout spot for all their friends. Schedule social interactions for your child with a wide variety of people. Spend time with family members, schedule play dates with friends from school or take a trip to a public play place where your child can meet new friends.

By establishing interactions outside of the household, you can provide an appropriate level of social interaction for your extrovert while also keeping your personal space. It is recommended, however, that you allow your child to enjoy interactions with their friends in your household on occasion. Even if it’s just once or twice a week, your child will greatly benefit by having a social outlet on a more personal scale.

School Environment for Your Extrovert

Make sure your child is getting an education that properly caters to their extroverted needs. Meet with the school’s staff of teachers and assess what type of classes would be best for your extrovert. Seek out teachers that have a significant amount of practical “field work” in their lesson plans.

The best thing you can do for your child is to get them involved in extracurricular activities, preferably involving groups of people or clubs. This is something that they’ll already be interested in getting involved with. It is a wonderful way for them to socialize and build relationships with like-minded people, as well as learn valuable skills. Discuss what activities your child is interested in – whether it be sports, the chess team or the drama club, and get them involved in as many as you and they can comfortably manage.

As an introverted parent, an extroverted child can sometimes seem like quite a handful. But, even if you aren’t excited about expressing your feelings or meeting new people, it’s important that your kid gets the chance to do so. Every chance that you give them to interact with people will help them to develop their social skills and maybe even earn them a new friend.

 

TLC for Kids is currently placing summer nannies in St. Louis, Atlanta, and South Florida. If you need reliable, energetic, and professional child care visit our website at tlcforkids.com Or, email us at tlc@tlcforkids.com.

Easter Ideas That You Can Do With The Kids

Easter is right around the corner. We found these quick, easy and entertaining activities you can do with the kids, guaranteed fun for all.  

Easter Bunny Bread – now who wouldn’t want to sit down to a wonderful meal and enjoy bunny shaped bread, made by the kids!

Marshmallow Peeps Cupcakes – Are you a fan of Peeps? These cupcakes will be a crowd pleaser.

Check out our Pinterest Board full of Easter ideas!

And there’s still time to make that Easter Basket! Our favorite …. you can never go wrong with books and candy!

A Simple Line

Need an idea for  quick and simple motor skill play? Great here is a simple one- make a line!

We just put a long line on the floor with masking tape. Can be on carpet or hardwood (but check in a spot first that the tape doesn’t ruin hardwood in your home)

Then we hop on the line, hop over the line, skip on the line, dance on the line – you get the point. This is a great way to work on language skills as well as you can talk about over, on top of, as well as action words like crawling, skipping, hopping, tip toeing…..

Read more on Nannypalooza.com on getting kids active! 

Thanksgiving Activities

 

 Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Can you believe Thanksgiving is this week??  It seems like just yesterday we started school.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays.  What’s not to love about a Holiday all about giving thanks to all the great things in our lives.  No stress about buying gifts or having the latest toys.  I love being able to spend time with my family and eat delicious foods.  YUM!

Thanksgiving crafts are so cute.  Do you remember tracing your hands to make turkeys?

If you are looking for something besides turkey hands, I found some cute crafts to share with your kids this Thanksgiving.

Looking for more Thanksgiving ideas?  Visit the TLC  Pinterest Board!

 Gobble Gobble!

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency  for over 25 years.   TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at info@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

 

Making Museum Trips Fun for Kids

St. Louis Nanny

Photo via Pixabay by Artsvector

Museums are the perfect place for people of any age to learn about history, culture, and the arts, but they are especially important for kids because they offer the chance to see those things up close and personal.  St. Louis Museums like the St. Louis History Museum and the Art Museum are great places for a nanny to take her charges.

It’s not always easy to get a young person engaged in a trip to a museum. These days, if it doesn’t have a screen on it, kids don’t seem too interested. There are things a nanny can do to amp up a kids interest, though, and if you do a bit of planning beforehand it’ll be a magical trip for everyone.  Here are some of the best tips on how to help a child have the best experience possible.

Keep realistic expectations

If you’re planning a trip to a large museum, chances are you won’t get to see everything in one visit, and attempting to make a child walk the length of a huge space and stay focused the entire time is probably just not doable. Instead, do some research before your trip; hop online and check out the museum’s website, because many offer detailed maps and even apps you can download that will make your visit much easier. Pick 10 or 15 things you know your child will enjoy seeing in person and make it your goal to see those first. That way, you won’t feel pressured to get everything in during your trip and your child will be able to narrow down their attention to just a few things.

Start with an interactive exhibit

Many museums have caught on to the fact that people have shorter attention spans these days and are offering interactive exhibits. Some are hands-on–which is great for kids–while others require a smartphone. Starting with one of these can ensure that your child stays interested, as can visiting a museum that focuses on animals or dinosaurs. Or, you might even try incorporating concepts that your child is learning about in school.

Make it a game

After you’ve done some research online about the museum you’ll be visiting and have an idea of the things on exhibit, consider making a scavenger hunt to bring along for your kids. Give it to them when you first get to the museum and ask them to find all the things you listed and write down one fact about each item.

If photography is allowed in the museum, have your child stand in front of a sculpture or exhibit and try to recreate the pose, then snap a picture. Challenge your child to really look at what they are recreating and find one interesting thing about it, then try to find an answer together. For instance, Renaissance artists often painted babies with funny expressions on their faces; look for information about the painting to see who the baby represents and what emotion it is expressing.

When touching isn’t an option

Some museums have delicate items on display that are not to be touched under any circumstances, and many of the exhibits are even under glass. For these, it’s important to keep kids engaged by asking them to look closely at the items to see what they might find. For instance, if they’re looking at a small replica of a famous house complete with furniture and small details, ask them to count how many chairs are inside, or bring along a magnifying glass so they can see it even closer.

Remember to ask the tour guides questions; not only do they love helping kids learn about the museum and all it offers, questions help everyone involved learn more about the exhibits and see things from a new perspective.  With winter approaching consider visiting a museum with the kids you care for.

Thank you to our guest writer Sean Morris!

 

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.

Happy New Year!

Tonight is New Year’s Eve! TLC for Kids babysitters will be busy tonight making New Year’s Eve fun for the little ones at home. Here are a few places to check that will help fill the TLC goody bag for tonight’s fun!

1. Take a few minutes to visit the TLC Caregivers page on Facebook. Nannies have been sharing fun craft ideas.

2. The TLC Pinterest Page has a New Year’s board with some cute activities.

3. Talk to the kids about resolutions and print out these  New Year’s Resolution sheets.

4.  Grab some paper plates and popcorn kernels and make  noise makers. (Make sure there is no risk of choking)

 

Happy New Year everyone.  Be safe tonight!