Archive | September, 2014

Tips For Making It To School On Time And Having A Smoother Day

29 Sep

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My oldest started first grade this year and my youngest Pre-K. One of the biggest challenges to every school year, is making it out of the apartment on time, without tears. But we also have a busier schedule with a late evening soccer practice, a late religion class, an afternoon of dance class, and homework. Even though we are a month into school, returning from long weekends become challenging too.  We’ve recently implemented these strategies at home to help the day go smoothly:

  • Create a check list/ schedule for the day.  I created a morning checklist and an afternoon checklist.  Included is the schedule for the day so they know what is coming next.  If they complete everything on their checklist, they get to watch a tv show or have a treat before they head to bed.
  • Plan ahead.  What days will you have play dates?  Set a specified time for homework.  We have 15 minutes of reading that we do every night.  Lay out Clothes for the night before.  Talk about what they would like for lunch the next day so you are prepped and ready to go in the morning.  All of these activities and responsibilities can be included on the check list.  Having them there has helped so my daughter doesn’t have to ask what to do next.
  • Limit TV, Computer/IPad time, especially in the mornings.  It’s always more stressful in the AM to get out in time when the girls have a TV show on.  They never want to leave.  After we get shoes on, I have my girls look at a book or work on words/ letter sounds we created on the back of our door while they wait.  We use the Leap Frog Magnetic Fridge Phonics Set and Sylvan Spelling Flash Cards.  You can also make your own cards adding the words of the week for Friday Spelling Quizzes.

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  • The Bored Jar Trying to coordinate play dates is challenging with all the after-school commitments.  Often, my girls come home and entertain each other.  I’ve received lots of tugs on my arm followed with the famous words “I’m Bored”.   To create a The Bored Jar, use any jar, bowl, or vase.  Fill it with strips that contain various activities or chores.  I used the wonderful printable suggestions from imom. Activities include do a chore for mom  ( I created a separate list of chores for them to choose from), play a board game with someone, help make dinner, call a grandparent, and more.  We modified and added a few of our own: build a tent, dress-up and act out a scene, ask mom to set up uKloo, make a book, do a chore for Dad and try on clothes for the upcoming season to see what still fits and what needs to get donated.  The Bored Jar is a fun way to keep kids busy and not constantly asking what’s next, especially when the weather gets colder and you are stuck inside.
Printouts from imom.

Printout from imom.com

  • Stick To Your Bed Time.  I have a hard time with this because of the evening activities. We started eating dinner before her activities so when she comes home we can have a snack, take a bath and hit the bed.  When my girls are tired in the morning, it’s never easy to get out the door.

 

 

What do you find helpful to get your children out the door on time?

 

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own unless stated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Child Passenger Safety Week Tips From Britax

18 Sep
When my youngest was born, we decided it was best to have a car in the city.  I made several road trips with my girls to visit family in DC and we made weekend trip to visit friends and family in NJ.  I always had to double check their car seats to make sure they were tight because driving on the Turnpike with trucks flying by is a little intimidating.  Not only that, I know that anything can happen at any time and I wanted to make sure nothing happened to my two little girls.  As they grew older, it became a little tricky because they wanted  out of their convertible and into a booster.
This week is Child Passenger Safety Week. Did you know that  three out of four kids are not properly secured in a vehicle because their car seats are not correctly installed. Sarah Tilton, Britax Child Passenger Safety Advocacy Manager, provides tips below to ensure your child is safe on your next journey.
Image from Britax

Image from Britax

  • Select a car seat that fits your baby and your vehicle(s). Also, be sure that you can use it correctly each and every time.
  • Be sure your car seat fits your growing child. Seated shoulder height is often overlooked.
  • Belt-Positioning Boosters are for big kids. Don’t transition out of a 5-point harness prematurely.
  • When using LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), be aware that your vehicle’s lower anchors have weigh limits. You must switch to vehicle seat belt installation when the weight of the car seat and the child exceed 65 lbs.
  • A snug harness strap should not allow any slack. If you’re able to pinch the strap, the harness is too loose. You should not be able to pinch any excess webbing.
  • For children 12 years of age and under, remember — the backseat is always the safest place for them to ride. Be sure to check your child seat and vehicle user guides for available seating positions.
  • Britax recommends that the use of a child seat be discontinued if it has been in a moderate to severe crash. Also, never purchase a used car seat if you don’t know its history.
  • Did you know that your car seat has an expiration date? Double check the manufacturer’s tag to be sure your seat is still safe.
  • Vehicles can become very hot, especially in the warm summer months. Never leave your child in a vehicle unattended.
  • Be sure your child’s harness is tight enough, especially in the winter months when children are bundled up in thick layers and bulky outerwear.
  • After buying a car seat, be sure to register your product either by visiting the manufacturer’s website, mailing the registration card or by calling their Customer Service department. That way you can be contacted in the event of a recall.
  • Always refer to your child restraint user guide or call your car seat’s customer service about installation and proper use questions you might have.

Check out my post about the new ClickTight Technology from Britax, making installation easier and safer.  Wishing you and your family safe travels on your next journey!

 

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post.  Information was provided by Britax.

Fun Friday: Design Your Word Your Way With The Littlest Pet Shop Style Sets

12 Sep

The Littlest Pet Shop Style Sets my daughter has been so anxiously waiting for since the Season Premiere a few months ago are available.  We recently had the opportunity to review the Littlest Pet Shop Roof With a View Themed Pack, which I gave my daughter for her birthday.  The Littlest Pet Shop Roof With a View Themed Pack, available for $12.96 at Walmart.com, includes:

  • a backdrop, stickers and accessories to create a rooftop hangout
  • Minna Swimley and Russell Ferguson pets
  • Deco Bits and stickers for decoration
  • Deck chairs, grill and other fun accessories (the mini hot dogs and umbrella drinks are adorable),perfect for creating a party on the roof top

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My girls used boxes and the top of a shoe box to create their roof until they get more style sets. They also added their Hydrant Hangout and other Littlest Pet Shop Toys to create their a fun hang out for the pets.  It’s been a life saver at keeping the girls busy after school too.  One day they pretend it’s Minna’s Birthday Party, the next day they are sun tanning on the roof.  They are excited to collect more sets.

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Why I love the the Design Your Way, Littlest Pet Shop Sets:

  • It allows your little one to get creative.  They can create and build their own Littlest Pet Shop Downtown City any way they want.
  • Your little one(s) will engage in dialogue with their favorite Littlest Pet Shop characters and can let their imaginations run wild.
  • You don’t have to buy everything at once, you can start with one and give more for birthdays or the Holidays.  My daughter plans to use birthday money to buy her next set in addition to adding other Style Sets to her Christmas list.
  • Each pack includes a code you can scan to bring your pet to life in your virtual world. Just download the app from the App Store or Google Play to your smartphone, then use the app to scan the code and start designing your digital Littlest Pet Shop your way!

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Sets available:

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  Thank you to Hasbro for the sample to use for this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics came from Walmart.com