5 family safety tips for theme parks

sesame place visit

Recently, we took my daughter to Sesame Place, a water and rides haven for kids who love Elmo, Big Bird and all the pals on Sesame Street. She was bursting with excitement, and it was such a joy to see her that happy.

It was our first time at a huge theme park with her, (besides the zoo), and after hearing so many stories of kids getting lost and unfortunate safety accidents, it got me thinking to how important it is to have rules in check before you get to the park, (since when there, the kids just want to run in/won’t really listen out of sheer excitement). With halloween fairs and haunted hay rides coming up, be sure you keep these 5 tips handy for the whole family to know:

1. Don’t think about leaving your kids alone. It’s best to stay with them in restrooms, restaurants and all through the ride lines, even if you don’t plan to get on the ride yourself. Once you see your child safely strapped in, then go to the exit area of the ride to wait for them. That way you can get your child, plus hear their excitement right when it is done:)

Even though you never want to think about it, it is important to be prepared in case you do become separated. Before you even enter the theme park, go over the map and decide on a meeting place. Make sure that everyone, even the other adults, knows the name of the emergency meeting location. If your child is young, point out uniformed theme park employees who can help children find the reunion area, but remind them not to talk to any other stranger if they do get lost. At Sesame Place, there were plenty of info stands and areas with uniformed employees around the park we could point out to Laila. Also, chai momma Neesha had a great tip on what to have with your child, especially if they are super young, when you go somewhere like an amusement park with large crowds, check it out.

2. If you go on a sunny day, be healthy! You can even start preparing earlier. A few days before your trip, increase the amount of water you and your kids normally drink in a day. This can actually help the body stay cool at the park, and makes you able to drink the amount of water you and they will need to stay hydrated through all the fun of the day at the park.

On the morning of your visit, apply sunscreen, thoroughly and bring it with you to reapply it as needed throughout the day. While no one wants to miss out on anything, be sure to take plenty of breaks to rest, drink water, snack and cool off in shade. [Read more...]

10 easy steps to create order in your playroom

organized playroom

Legos, crayons, dolls, play kitchen spoons. That’s what’s on the floor after my 2-year-old daughter’s whirlwind playtime.

My good friend Kathi Burns is a professional organizer, and when we spoke about ways to create order in the playroom, I knew I had to share her expertise with the mommas out there who also end up with Hello Kitty figures beneath their toes at least once a week. Here, she shares 10 ways to easily organize that kiddie chaos!

Keeping your child’s playroom organized is an ongoing and often daunting task. Everyday you put the toys away and everyday your kids pull them out again because they just want to play, play, play!

As a Professional Organizer, I feel that the biggest culprit of disorganization in kid’s playrooms is that there are simply too many toys!

With an overload of toy choices, your kids won’t stay focused on any single toy or game for long. Switching focus results in a mess of scattered random toys out of their bins at the end of playtime.

So, if your playroom is overflowing with toys, your biggest challenge will be to get rid of the toys that are not loved, used or needed. I realize that it is hard to know what to keep and what to toss because your child can play with one toy for a week and then forget about it for a month, only to come back around to it later.

Because of this, if your child (children) is old enough to participate, make sure that they are involved during this process.

By the way, it is never too soon to teach children organizational skills. Every child needs to learn basic organizing tactics and also begin to create the skill set of letting go of items that they no longer use, need or love. My youngest client is 5 years old and even though he can’t yet read, his 8-year-old sister helped him understand his file system by making labels that were pictures/images of what should be put into each folder.

 These 10 simple steps will help you create order in your playroom:

[Read more...]

15 free educational websites for kids of all ages

With my 4 year old starting Pre-K this year, I really wanted to find a way for him to use the computer but for educational purposes.  There are so many websites out there for kids to play educational games but I know as parents we often times don’t have time to sit and look through all of them.  I created a list of websites that I hope is helpful to others.  It’s not just for Pre-K kids, it’s for all ages.

Best Websites

 

 

1.         PBS Kids Org

This website is great for the younger ones from Pre-K to Kindergarten.  All their games relate to one of the PBS Kids shows and they have a variety of subjects such as letters, science, healthy habits, nature  and so much more.

 

2.        National Geographic for Kids

For those animal loving little ones, this website is great.  It’s full of short videos on various animals for your kids to learn fun facts, tons of quizzes to see what they are learning, recipes to try and even crafts.

 

3.        Funbrain

This is geared towards a bit older than Pre-K age but still a great site for videos and games on math and reading

 

4.     Starfall

This program taught my son to read before he turned 2!  It’s great and I know a lot of schools use this program also.  They focus on phonics in a way that kids really get it.  I started with the Starfall Learn to Read Collection for his to practice reading. [Read more...]