Summer is looking a lot different than what we’re used to. No camps, no outings, no day trips, no vacations. For many, 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 .

Check out our Pinterest boards for Water Play, Beat the Heat, Summer Fun and many more!

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

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Portions of this article originally appeared on Regarding Nannies. Reprinted with permission.

Through play, children develop into adults. That’s just the way it works. Children develop all of the important skills of life through play. Education gives them information, play is the way they apply that information to life. 

Play is not just physical, and the purpose of play is not just pleasure, although play can be both physical and pleasurable. An active play life for a child includes the testing of and enhancement of his physical abilities (learning to climb, run, jump, etc.).

Play also includes learning about human interactions and relationships. The child learns such important life skills as communication, negotiation, and compromise when he is playing a game with other children.

Most friendships begin with play for children and even for adults. Think about how your own friendships develop — mutual interest and mutual pleasure (play) is key to the friendship growing and developing. The same is true for children.

And play stokes the imagination and fosters creativity — coloring in a color book or cutting out shapes, drawing pictures, all of these things bring the child’s natural creative ability into focus for him.

Play can be serious business for children, although they would never classify it as “serious.” My six-year-old son told me that he didn’t want to go visit the child of a friend of mine because, “he doesn’t know how to play fair.” Children have their own set of standards that are mostly a mystery to adults, but there IS a system in place that matures through play into a set of adult standards.

An adult can watch children at play and simply miss all of the important “stuff” that is taking place between the children. The kids are determining a “pecking order,” establishing boundaries, and developing their physical abilities as well as their creativity and their imaginations. And you thought they were just playing! Play IS the work of childhood.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Summer is a wonderful time for kids! There’s nothing like a little fun and relaxation during the warm summer months, but for working parents, it could be the opposite. Your schedule likely doesn’t slow down once summer rolls around and it may even be causing you some anxiety thinking about trying to scramble to find reliable childcare while you’re at work. Day camps, relying on friends and family to serve as babysitters, and taking vacation time will only go so far. TLC for Kids has the solution: hire a summer nanny. Your kids will love having a nanny to hang out with and take them places.  You will love not having to figure out childcare on a week by week basis. A stress free summer for everyone! 

Thank you to Homework Solutions for sharing this article.  Click here to read about some other benefits  of hiring a summer nanny.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

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 wellbeing. 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.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

School years are busy.  Mornings are spent rushing to catch the bus or drive carpool.  Days are spent running errands, taking kids to practices, helping with homework,  and putting the kids to bed so we can do it all again tomorrow. 

I can not wait for summer!  This summer the kids and I are going to relax and unwind with the help of a summer nanny. Having a summer nanny is a great idea for families with school age kids. Summer nannies provide fun, reliable, and consistent in home childcare.  No more rushing around in the morning! Having a nanny come to the house will take away the stress of the morning routine, and maybe, let us all sleep a little later 🙂

The interview is an extremely important step in the hiring process. The interview can be held, at your home, at a coffee shop, the library or park.

When interviewing a nanny, rely on your intuition and observations when evaluating the nanny’s responses, mannerisms and appearance. A parent’s impression of a nanny candidate can be a telling sign if the nanny is a good fit for the family.

During the interview, parents should first inquire about the nanny’s background, experience, training, driving record and other skills related to working with children. Then, by asking open ended questions about the nanny’s interests, after work activities, and child care philosophies, parents can better evaluate how compatible the nanny is with their family.

When describing employment expectations, parents should be specific about job duties, hours, salary, time off and other practicalities of the position. Seeing and hearing the candidate’s reaction can provide valuable clues to how the nanny will feel about the position.

Parents should also observe the nanny with their children before offering the nanny the position. Take note of how the nanny interacts with the children and how the children respond to the nanny.

When deciding which nanny to hire, carefully weigh all the information gathered about each candidate. Check each nanny’s references (even if they come from an agency) and interview the top candidates a second time before offering the position. Parents should listen to their intuition and remember that the nanny will be a part of their family’s life. They should ask themselves, “Does this candidate seem as though she will fit in well with our family and work well with our children?”

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

Setting boundaries for your children is one of the best ways to raise well rounded children. Finding the invisible line in keeping your children happy and at the same time teaching them where the rules are can be very hard to find. Yet, your success is likely to depend on just one thing: your ability to follow through. In many families, the problem lies in parents not following through with the rules, punishments or even rewards. Once this is put in place, though, significant changes are seen.

Lay Down The Rules

Setting boundaries for your child involves making a list of the rules of the home that everyone will follow. This will include everything from the things they are responsible for to being respectful to each other. Be specific when you work out the rules together, both parents working together to establish them. Once you both have come to an agreement on what the rules are, or the boundaries are, then you can work on fine-tuning them so that they are actionable.

For example, if the children are unwilling to share their toes, determine what the rules are for that infringement. In many cases, child behavior specialists believe that it is important to set boundaries that are able to be followed with punishments that fit the crime. Be fair with the rules. Everyone should receive the same type of punishment, warning and reward for the activities on the rules.

Here are some tips to be successful in establishing the boundaries for within your home:

• Determine what the rules are and write them down. Be sure that you sit down with your kids and allow them to express consider, interest or ask questions about the rules. Once everyone knows what the rules are, then you can begin to enforce them.

• The next step involves warnings. Giving one warning is an option for most parents, allowing their children to receive just one warning before inflicting punishment for the activity. Be sure that your child knows what the warning means. You may decide to go with no warnings or even more warnings, as you deem necessary for your children.

• When your child does not follow the rules, and has ignored any warnings you have given, the next step is to let your child know that they have broken the rules. Get down to eye level with the child, tell them what they have done wrong and send them to time out or the other type of punishment you have established.

In order for the process to work well for any family, the process must be the same throughout. For example, if you slack and give them more warnings then the system calls for, the result is that your children will continue to push the boundaries. When they do, you will continue to be frustrated with them.

Following through is not only something you should do with your children when it comes to punishments. In fact, not following through with the requirements of rewards will also cause a problem within your family unit. If you promise rewards of any type for good behavior, be sure to follow through. Children learn from their parents before anyone else which means that if you do not follow through they will not do so either.

In addition to this, setting boundaries for yourself is just as important. Your children will see you bickering or breaking the home’s rules and will do the same thing themselves. After all, if mommy or daddy can do it, why can’t they do it?

The benefits of setting boundaries and following through with them will resonate throughout the entire life. In most families, there is no reason for a parent that is a bully, but there is no doubt that your family also needs to follow fairly with the rules set forth.

For some children following any system is difficult. There may be emotional or developmental issues holding your child back. If you find that your child is continuing to pressure each other and setting boundaries is not helping, talk to your child’s doctor. They can give you guidance on if there may be a medical condition that could be interfering with their ability.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

I’m often asked what age a child should be when his parents begin to read to him. The answer is, “It’s never too soon to start!” The baby can “hear” in the womb. Oh, he doesn’t understand words, but he does understand emotions, and he does respond to the emotion behind a sound. 

Sudden loud sounds cause a fetus to flinch. Calming sounds calm, and there is nothing more calming to an unborn baby than the sound of his mother’s voice. So, yes, read to your child before he is born….what you read doesn’t matter…the daily newspaper is fine as long as you read it aloud and in a soft, comforting voice.

The first books that parents should read to their child after he is born are those that feature touching and textures. Children begin to learn language and associate different senses with different words at a very early age.

As the infant becomes a toddler, the books that are read to the child can be used to help reinforce positive behaviors. There are thousands of excellent books for toddlers on the market. It is better to use books that are made of washable materials that are not easily torn until a child is old enough to learn how to treat books with care.

Reading time is a special time for children. They love the sound of their parents’ voices, and they love the undivided attention that one-on-one reading provides. They also love the physical closeness — the touching and cuddling — that are part of a parent reading to a child.

The wisdom of the ages is contained in books. The earlier a child is introduced to books and the pleasure that books bring into his life, the better he will do in life. Nobody who loves to read is ever lonely if they have a book to read!

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Babies come into this world with a functioning (but still developing) physical body. They have all their parts, and those parts work — sort of. Babies grow and develop physically without a lot of “help” from the adults in their world other than the adults providing food and shelter. But babies also grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and morally, and growth in these areas requires a great deal more from the parents of the child. Food and shelter aren’t enough. 

Here we are talking about teaching “responsibility.” How many times have you heard, “It wasn’t MY fault,” “SHE did it,” and all of the variations for declaring oneself not responsible. It’s a natural human response not to want to be held accountable when bad things happen.

Teaching that there are consequences for wrong behavior is part of teaching responsibility. Children must not live in a “consequence”-free world. When they do wrong, there need to be consequences.

For example, when a toddler throws a toy in anger, the parent might pick the toy up and hand it back to the child once. If the child throws the toy again in anger, the parent must remove the toy and deny the child the pleasure of playing with the toy. Responsibility! Bad actions do not produce good results.

Children must be actively taught to be responsible for their own actions (or inaction’s). He forgets his lunch today, and if you take his lunch to him, he is very apt to forget his lunch tomorrow. If he misses lunch, he’ll likely remember his lunch forever more. Responsibility!

Teaching a child to step forward and accept responsibility for his or her actions isn’t easy. There isn’t a parent alive (or an expert, for that matter) who would claim that teaching responsibility is easy — but it IS necessary!

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Ever heard the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child?” With the kids out of school and home all day, it is normal to need extra help. Luckily, you don’t have to stress; TLC for Kids has childcare providers for every occasion.

1. Summer Nannies: Do you need some extra help this summer?  TLC has summer nannies that can work almost any schedule. Our nannies are energetic, fun and have experience working with kids of all ages.

2. Tutor: During the summer, it is easy for kids to lose some of the information they learned during the school year. Schedules get filled with t-ball practice, play dates, and swimming lessons. But it is important to review math facts, spelling words, and read during the summer months, so your child returns to school prepared to learn. At TLC for Kids, you can find a sitter with a degree in education to assist you in meeting your child’s educational needs.

3. Chauffeur: Camps, swimming/piano/pitching lessons, practices and recitals happen all throughout the summer. However, it can be hard to make it on time to all of these events—especially if you work full time or have more than one child participating (or maybe you are sick). To take stress off yourself, and remain punctual, TLC offers sitters with reliable and insured forms of transportation to take your child to and from events.

4. Household Helper: Not only does TLC provide families with CPR certified, background checked sitters, their nannies are also able to help with household duties. When the kids are home from school all day, the house gets messier quicker than normal. You can hire a TLC sitter to help you with laundry, light household cleaning, dishes, grocery shopping, and organizing.

5. Pet and House Sitter: Lots of families go on vacations during the summer. But not every vacation is inviting for your furry friends. Instead of taking your family pet to a pet daycare, have a sitter come to your home. Your pet will receive the same attention as if you were home with them. Summer is also the time of year when robberies and break-ins rise, so having a TLC sitter stay at your house will keep your home safe and allow you to enjoy your vacation without worrying.

6. Party Helper: Summer is the best time of year for barbeques, birthday parties, and more. But taking care of the cooking, cleaning, and watching after the kids can be a little hectic. Fortunately, TLC offers party helpers to meet your event hosting needs. TLC has party helpers that have doubled as servers, bartenders, cooks, and sitters that have brought activities for the kids at the party while the parents enjoyed themselves. If you are hosting a large gathering, don’t worry; you can hire as many TLC sitters as you need. 

Call TLC’s office or visit the website to book your sitter today.  

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Young children take life literally. They view all situations as “good” or “bad.” Water is either “hot” or “cold.” Young children do not assign “degrees” to any situation, and in the young child’s world, everything is real. The three-year-old has absolutely no doubt that Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer really exists. These characters are just as “real” to the child as Mommy and Daddy. Santa can circle the globe and visit every child on the planet in a single night and the Easter Bunny can deliver baskets of colored eggs just like Daddy can make the car go and Mommy can make food magically appear. 

In my opinion, make-believe is not only healthy, it is essential. Make believe helps a child to make sense of the world around him. He assigns his perceptions of a person, place, or thing with the help of make-believe.

There are those who advocate removing all make-believe from childhood. These experts tell us that make believe causes children to delay their perception of their reality. Shame on them! Too much “reality” isn’t good for adults much less little kids.

Grown-ups attend movies and plays and get caught up in the action on the screen or on the stage. Just for a moment, they believe what they are seeing and hearing. Adults, of course, can separate fact from fiction and fantasy from reality. Kids will learn to make those distinctions as they grow older. Meanwhile, that fantasy is helping them learn how to deal with life in a safe and nonthreatening way.

As long as the make-believe is healthy and doesn’t desensitize the child (make killing seem good and evil seem desirable), I see no harm in make-believe.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones.  Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.