Posts Tagged ‘summer’

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.

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.

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.

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.

HANDWRITING OVER THE SUMMER: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Brought to you by: North Shore Pediatric Therapy

Our kids work so hard all year long, but did you know that after only 5 weeks children start to lose some of that knowledge?  Spending a little time each week going over the basics can help your child retain most of what they’ve learned over the past school year!

Children worked so hard on writing at school, and they should continue writing over the summer to prevent losing all of the progress they made. Practice makes perfect! Repetition will decrease anxiety and keep them at or above the expectations for the following year. Here are some fun writing exercises you can try over the summer:

HANDWRITING EXERCISES:

Write a story with your child. Each day, set aside time for her to write a few sentences or paragraphs (depending on her age) for a special story. By the end of the summer, you will both have written a special story together. This approach will keep your child interested, as she will enjoy reading her contributions each day.

Have him practice the formation of specific letters by writing large capital letters with sidewalk chalk on the driveway. Next, have him use a hose with a nozzle to spray a stream of water and erase the chalk lines. This will help increase fine motor control and strength.

While you are in the car, or sitting on the beach, use “air writing” to send each other messages. You can also have her write messages to you in the sand on the beach, in the water at the pool, or in the shaving cream while dad is shaving.

Just have fun with it. You can also set aside some serious writing time where you purchase handwriting books at the local bookstore or toy store, or print worksheets from the Internet for practice. Repetition, repetition, repetition!

Have a fantastic summer!!

May is Bicycle Safety Month

May is National Bike Safety Month and as summer approaches, millions of children and adults will climb onto their bikes to enjoy a favorite warm weather pastime. To help curb bike injuries and fatalities, TLC for Kids is sharing this information from AAA, NHTSA, and Safe Kids USA.

Consider this: each year about 100 children are killed while riding and more than 250,000 kids are injured. We know that our strongest line of defense is safe, knowledgeable riding and consistent use of helmets, which can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent.

When it comes to bicycling, safety is always the top priority. Because parents and caregivers are role models for children, it is especially critical they teach by example. That means wearing proper helmets and observing all the rules of the road,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

AAA and NHTSA recommend these four easy steps to help keep bicyclists of all ages safe:

  • Wear a Properly-Fitted Bicycle Helmet.

~Wear your helmet properly, level on your head and low on your forehead, no more than two finger widths above your eyebrow.

~Develop a family rule for helmet use and enforce it for every ride.

~Allow your child pick out his or her own helmet—they’re more likely to wear it.

  • Always Follow the Rules of the Road.

~Bicycles are considered vehicles and must abide by the same traffic laws as motorists.

~Obey all traffic signs and signal your intentions when turning or passing.

~Always ride in the same direction as traffic, keeping to the right.

  • Make Yourself Visible.

~Wear bright colors during daylight hours.

~Wear reflective materials on clothing and/or equipment in low-light conditions.

~Use white front lights, red rear reflectors and reflective material on clothing and/or equipment when riding at night. Parents should discourage children from riding at night.

  • Drive Respectfully and Share the Road

~Focus exclusively on the road while driving. Distracted drivers can be deadly for bicyclists.

~Be patient and pass bicyclists only when safe to do so, leaving a 3 to 5 foot clearance between your vehicle and the bicyclist.

For information on bicycle safety, please visit SharetheRoad.AAA.com and NHTSA.gov/Bicycles

You’ll find more bicycle safety tips at http://www.safekids.org/blog/remembering-my-childhood-1.html.  And you can watch a video on fitting a helmet correctly.

Big Savings on TLC Summer Nanny Placements!

St. Louis’ Premier Nanny and Childcare Agency for over 25 years!

Big savings if you act now! $100 off your placement fee if you complete the family profile to hire a Summer Nanny by March 7, 2011

It’s not too soon to plan summer care for your children.  TLC has a great option for you, hire a TLC summer nanny!  As you know, many of the caregivers on our temporary staff are college students, and with no classes for three glorious months, many of them would love to use their free time to make sure your children have a safe and fun-filled summer!

Your nanny will create individualized weekly plans for your children that include:

~Transportation to activities, camps, and lessons

~Outings to the Zoo, Science Center, Six Flags, etc…

~Supervised swimming and other fun summer activities

~Learning activities, arts & crafts, and games

~Even tutoring!

To start the hiring process, simply log on to TLC’s website at tlcforkids.com and fill out the parent application.  You can even indicate what personality type you’d like (athletic, studious, etc.)! I will personally assist you in finding the nanny that best fits your needs.

As we get closer to the end of the school year, more and more families will be searching for a summer nanny; getting your application in now will put you ahead of the pack. Some of our nannies are available to start interviewing right away.  It’s never to early to start thinking about who will care for your children when you can’t be there.  Give me a call if you have any questions.

Enter code: MRSN11 in “How were you referred to TLC” to receive discount.


Nannies stay cool in St. Louis!

 
It seems we are definitely in full swing of summer in St. Louis and boy, it’s hot! Now especially, it’s important to remember to put on sunscreen, pack the bug spray and watch the weather when you are taking your charges anywhere outdoors in St. Louis.
I recently had a TLC family ask, “what kind of indoor activities are there for my children, if I don’t want them only at the pool or outside this summer?” 
To this I simply reply that St. Louis has a myriad of activities (INDOOR) that are fun, inexpensive or even free and a great way to beat the heat!
Some of these include the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center, both interactive and educational. For a small fee, take children to the Magic House (Kirkwood) or to the top of the St. Louis Arch (Downtown)! Become a tourist in your own city and grab an ice cream cone from Ted Drewes on the way home! 
Just a few tips — nannies, feel free to leave a comment and share some more cool ideas

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