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3 Kid-Approved Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

14 Jul

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Temperatures are high, and finding ways to beat the heat can be quite challenging. So, we put together a list of ways to cool off with your little one this summer.

Homemade Cool Sweet Treats

Enjoy sweet treats like sno cones and homemade ice cream to cool off with your child this summer.

Sno Cones 

The PAW Patrol™ Sno Cone Maker is perfect for making healthy, icy snacks with your youngster. With the help of Chase, Everest, and Marshall, you and your little one can make sno cones out of frozen fruit, juice, and yogurt. Your child will love enjoying shaved ice with you and the PAW Patrol pals.

Homemade Ice Cream

 Another chilly treat to consider making this summer is homemade ice cream. Check out the easy ice cream recipe below!

 Ingredients:

14.5 ounces of Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 Pint of Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Teaspoons of Vanilla

*Note: Extra ingredients (i.e., fudge, candy berries) are optional.

What to Do:

  1. Place all three main ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk ingredients with an electric whisk for five minutes. (Be careful! Don’t over-whisk the mixture!)
  3. You can add optional ingredients when you see thick, whipped peaks in the mixture.
  4. Place the mixture into a baking pan and freeze for 8 hours.
  5. Enjoy!

Source: http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/07/easy-homemade-ice-cream-recipe/

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Outside Water Fun

A classic way to cool off in the summer is with water play! Encourage your little one to beat the heat by splashing in the Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table™. This water table sounds like a real rainfall! Your child can experiment with dumping water in the top tier to create a showering effect. The Waterwheel Play Table is also perfect for staying cool, and it encourages cause and effect learning! Lastly, the PAW Patrol Bath Squirters™ Set is perfect for not only the bathtub, but also beach and pool water fun. Your little one will love playing with his or her favorite PAW Patrol pals to cool off. Encourage your child to beat the heat with water play this summer!

Relax in the AC with Books and Movies

Another great way to cool down is to relax inside and read books. You can then watch the corresponding movies with your child and compare the two! We suggest reading the following five books and watching the corresponding movies.

 1. Cat in the Hat

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Everyone loves this classic Dr. Seuss book! Read it to your youngster and watch the movie together afterwards.

2. Charlotte’s Web

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Read Charlotte’s Web, a famous story about Wilbur the pig, with your little one and enjoy the movie too!

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid

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Enjoy this lighthearted series with your child and compare the movies to the books!

4. Madeline

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Go on adventures with Madeline and her friends by reading this book and watching the movie!

5. Where the Wild Things Are

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This classic story is sure to keep your little one engaged! Read the book and watch the movie to see how they are similar and different.

What do you plan to do to beat the heat with your child this summer? Share your ideas by commenting below!

Backseat Road Trip Fun

7 Jul

shutterstock_497794306.jpgOccupying children on a long road trip can often be challenging. From your youngsters asking the constant “Are we there yet?” question to them kicking the backs of the front seats, road trips can be incredibly frustrating. So, we have put together a list of ideas to keep your children occupied in the backseat.

Drawing

Art is always a great way to keep children occupied, but it is often difficult to do in the car. We suggest keeping the backseat art projects simple and sticking with drawing. The LEGO® Journal is perfect for car rides. Snap on a LEGO® Marker and your child is ready to go. If you prefer for your youngster not to use markers in the car, let him or her pass the time by drawing on an Etch-a-Sketch®. Your child will love drawing pictures for you on the long ride.

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Building

Building is also a fantastic tool for keeping children occupied in the car. Your child will love building with the Romper Room™ Popoids™ Building Set. The building pieces in this set connect to each other, so they are easy to work with in the car. If you have a little one that is not quite old enough for building, encourage him or her to crinkle Baby Paper with his or her hands. Your baby can bend and make noise with Baby Paper just as older children can with the building set. Encourage your child to explore with his or her hands to pass the time in the car.

Playing Games

Playing games is a classic way to pass the time on road trips. We suggest playing traditional car games, such as iSpy and 20 Questions, as a family. These games will keep everyone occupied for a while. Mad Libs® The Game is also perfect for long car rides. The game is fun for both kids and adults, so the whole family can enjoy making funny sentences and laughing together. Entertain your children by playing new and classic games while you travel.

Eliminate the headache of traveling and show your children how traveling can be fun with these road trip activity ideas. We hope you enjoy your road trips this summer!

What do the children in your backseat enjoy doing to pass the time on road trips? Share your ideas by commenting below!

All Aboard! Train Fun for All Ages

30 Jun

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All aboard the choo-choo train! Does your child love to play with trains? Although they may seem like basic toys to keep your child occupied, trains can actually boost your child’s development. The following are ways playing with trains can benefit your child’s developmental learning.

Teaches Traffic Safety

Playing with trains can increase your child’s traffic safety awareness. Your child will learn that cars cannot cross train tracks when the level crossing is down to indicate that a train is coming. The LEGO® DUPLO® Town Push Train Set has a level crossing as well as a car to demonstrate this traffic safety concept. Additionally, playing with trains on the Thomas & Friends™ Zipbin® Toybox Playmat™ will help your child visualize and understand traffic safety rules between trains, automobiles, and people. This play mat displays train tracks, roads, businesses, a hospital and more. Your child will love exploring traffic safety in a fun way.

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Strengthens Fine Motor Skills

Encouraging your child to play with trains will also strengthen his or her fine motor skills. Fine motor skills refer to the control of the movements children make using the small muscles in their hands and fingers. These skills are important to many of life’s everyday activities, such as eating with silverware and tying shoelaces. Building a toy train set involves working with small objects to create the set, which develops fine motor skills piece by piece.

Develops Engineering and Problem-Solving Skills

Playing with trains also helps develop engineering and problem-solving skills. Building train sets requires innovative thinking and determination. Your child will learn to use his or her engineering skills to design and build train sets. Additionally, when a problem arises with the train or track development process, your child will use problem-solving skills to fix the issue. The Smartmax® My First Animal Train Set requires engineering and problem-solving skills because not only do children build the train set, they are also faced with the challenge of magnetism. Your child will love using engineering skills to build and problem-solving skills to understand how magnets attract and repel.

The skills learned from pretend play with trains are transferable across many age groups. Accelerate the developmental growth of your child by encouraging him or her to play with trains. Your youngster will appreciate learning from these classic toys!

Having Fun with (Play) Food!

9 Jun

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The change of season brings yummy summer foods that everyone loves! From food trucks to summer cookouts, your little one will love eating delicious food with you. Exploring different foods can be a learning exploration for your child. Allow your little one to experience making his or her own summer (play) foods.

Food Trucks

Food trucks are a fun part of summer that many people look forward to! Your little one can participate in food truck fun with the Mega Bloks® First Builders™ Food Truck Kitchen Set. This food truck set comes equipped with the tools to make burgers, which is a classic food truck item. However, nowadays many different types of foods are served out of food trucks. Consider allowing your child to think out of the box with a sushi or pasta food truck. Vamp up your child’s food truck set with the Roll, Wrap & Slice Sushi Counter. Serving sushi out of their truck is sure to bring in the crowds. The Prepare & Serve Pasta Set could also be a great addition to your child’s personal food truck. Pasta is always a hit! From burgers to sushi to pasta, your child will love the food truck experience.

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Summer Grilling

Cookouts are so much fun in the summer sun! While experiencing an enjoyable evening with family and friends, your little one is sure to want to join in on the cooking. New Sprouts® Grill It! allows your child to have fun grilling alongside you. Equipped with steak, chicken breast, and burgers, this grill set will help your child learn to be a master griller this summer. After supper, dessert is always served at cookouts, and your little one will definitely want to help with the cake baking. Your child can make his or her own (play) cake in the oven of the Chef’s Play Kitchen & Bonus Accessory Set. Your little one will enjoy getting to be just like you with their personal play kitchen. Playing a part in the summer grilling fun will make your child feel like he or she is an excellent helper.

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The different experiences your child can have with food this summer can serve as teachable moments for you to use as a parent. Introduce your child to different foods by allowing him or her to taste and pretend to make them. Making the experience of trying new foods fun is sure to make your little one more excited about preparing and trying new foods in the future. Your child will love having fun with (play) food this summer!

What’s your child’s favorite (play) food dish to make? Share your thoughts by commenting below!

Make a Splash! Family Fun with Water

2 Jun

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Summertime is upon us, and high temperatures are coming in hot. Staying cool while still enjoying the sunshine is often a challenge. The following five ideas will help you beat the heat with your family this summer season.

 1. Play in the Sprinkler

The Grub Scouts’ Sprinkler by Melissa & Doug® is perfect for an afternoon of water fun! Running and jumping through the sprinkler is enjoyable for kids of many ages. Allow your children to invite friends over to join in on the sprinkler party. The more the merrier! Playing in the sprinkler is a simple, affordable way to stay cool while entertaining your family. The minimum set up still yields maximum fun! Your family will love spending time together splashing in the sprinkler.

2. Host Family Water Game Competitions

Tell your family to bring their game faces because it’s competition time! Playing water games with your family is sure to even get the teenagers moving. Consider hosting an Active Edge® Splash & Blast Aqua Hockey tournament! Aqua hockey is air hockey with a twist, and it will be a huge family hit! The Big Kahuna & Lil Kahuna Ball Set is fitting for any and all water games as well. The Kahuna balls are designed to bounce off of any body of water, which makes them perfect for water game competitions. No matter your game choice, allow the champion to pick the dinner menu for the night.

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 3. Float in the Pool

Splash or relax in the pool to cool off on hot summer days. Taking a dip in the pool is ideal for all members of the family. Your youngsters can splash while you relax. The Star Wars™ Millennium Falcon™ Inflatable Ride-On Float is fun for Star Wars lovers of many ages. Whether you want to catch some rays or your child wants to pretend they are in the latest Star Wars movie, this float is sure to please everyone. Enjoy chilling in the pool with your family this summer.

4. Splish Splash in a Colorful Outdoor Bath

Entertain your little one with extended bath time outside. Fill up a kiddie pool and watch your child splash away. Make the experience even more enjoyable by utilizing Color My Bath Color Changing Bath Tablets (300 tablets). Watching the colors mix will captivate your child, and you can check bath time off the to-do list! Enjoy quality time and make bath time fun for your little one this summer.

5. Have a Water Balloon Fight

A water balloon fight can be a family affair from the very beginning. Have everyone help with filling up the balloons to accomplish the task in a timely manner. Teamwork makes the dream work! After everyone works together to fill up the balloons, then the fun begins! Engaging in this exciting activity with your family is a guaranteed recipe for laughter and wetness. After a hot day, being hit with water balloons will actually feel refreshing! The best part about the water balloon fight will be the memories made with family.

 

How do you plan to beat the heat this summer? Share your ideas by commenting below!

 

School’s Out! Five Ways to Celebrate with Your Child

25 May

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School’s out! Time to celebrate! Summertime is here, and your child could not be more excited. Share the excitement with them by celebrating together. Below are five ways to commemorate the end of the school year with your little one.

Create a Summer Guide Filled with Summer Ideas, Plans, and Goals

Brainstorm with your child all the fun activities you hope to do while school is out this summer. Once the ideas get flowing, you’ll hardly be able to stop! Creating a list will make it easy to keep your little one entertained during the summer months. As you complete each item on the list, allow your child to check it off. Then, it’s on to the next!

Plan a Summer Kick Off Night Complete with a Campfire and Ice Cream Sundaes

Enjoy sweet treats by the fire to kick off summer! From s’mores to sundaes, your little one’s sweet tooth will be satisfied. Take your child with you to the grocery to gather all the supplies. Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate! Oh my! Don’t forget to scoop up all of your child’s favorite toppings for the ice cream sundaes, complete with whipped cream and cherries to top it off. Whipped cream and marshmallow mustaches by the fire will be a huge hit!

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Have a Summer Celebration Dance Party

School is out! Time to break it down with your youngster in celebration! But what’s a dance party without lights and music? Dance the night away with the IllumiCraft™ Light-Up Cell Phone Speaker Dock STEM Kit. Your little one is sure to enjoy the silly and carefree quality time with you.

Enjoy an Afternoon of Fun in the Sun

Soak up the sunshine with your little one this summer! Two of the best parts about summer are the sun and the fun it brings. Just Add Sun Science & Art Kit combines fun and sun through activities that are powered by solar energy. It’s so fun; it won’t even feel like learning! You might even learn a thing or two as well. Experiment with your little one making art and snacks with the help of the sun. Have fun in the sun!

Host a Picnic at the Park With Friends

Food and friends, what could be better? A picnic at the park is the perfect way to celebrate summer with your child. Allow them to invite a few friends, and let them play the day away. After lunch, they can play on the playground, draw with Crayola® Washable Sidewalk Chalk, and even have a Robo Balance Board competition! Whoever can balance the longest gets a prize. Your little one will love celebrating summer break with you and friends at the park.

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 What activities do you plan to do with your child this summer? Share your plans by commenting below!

Memorial Day Fun with Your Little One

19 May

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Memorial Day is quickly approaching! What better way to spend the long weekend than quality time with your little one? Explore the outdoors during Memorial Day weekend and show respect to those who have lost their lives while serving our country with the following Memorial Day activities for children.

Outdoor Adventures

Pool

It’s the end of May, the sun is shining, and a day at the pool has never sounded better! Your child will love relaxing in the pool with you on Memorial Day, but what’s a pool day without toys and floats? Your little one can float the weekend away in the pool on the Star Wars™ Millennium Falcon Inflatable Ride-On Float or Jumbo Flip Flop Pool Float. Your family can also enjoy some fun in the sun with the Big Kahuna and Lil’ Kahuna Ball Set.

Games

Spend some quality time with your child on Memorial Day by playing games together. Do you have a favorite game to play with your little one? It can be as simple as game of tag or hide-and-go-seek. You could even make a dodgeball tournament a family affair with the Coop Scatter Dodgeball Game. Making time to play games with your child during Memorial Day weekend is a great way to get the quality time in you both desire.

Grilling Out

After so many activities, bellies will be rumbling! Though there isn’t much for little ones to do while you cook on a hot grill, New Sprouts® Grill It! will allow your child to participate by working alongside you and making pretend burgers for the crowd. As you know, every moment counts, so embrace your youngster’s desire to be just like you.

Showing Respect

The purpose of Memorial Day is to show respect to those who have lost their lives while fighting for our country. It’s important to teach your child the value of showing respect for those who have died while serving the U.S. Armed Forces. By participating in the following activity together, you and your child can show respect to those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.

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Wave the Flag

Materials:

  • Small American flag

What to Do:

  1. Recite the following rhymes, modeling each line’s appropriate action.
  2. Have your child practice the rhymes several times.

Wave the Flag

Wave the flag high, (wave a small flag or hands in the air)

Up to the sky, (point to the sky)

Red, white and blue, (show one finger for red, two for white, three for blue)

We salute you. (put right hand over the heart)

See Our Flag (Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)

See our flag wave

In the land of the brave,

Red, white and blue,

To our country we are true.

More to Do:

  • Art: Have your child make copies of the original American flag. Give each child a 4” x 6” piece of white paper with a square in the upper left-hand corner and 13 uncolored stripes. Starting at the top, have the children color every other stripe red and the square blue. Give them 13 silver adhesive stars to place on the blue square. Help the children tape a craft stick to the backs of the flags for a flagpole.
  • More Art: Have your child cut out pictures of red, white, and blue food from old magazines and use them to make collages.

Source: The Giant Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities

 How do you plan to celebrate Memorial Day? Share your plans by commenting below!