Three Terrific Toys That Help with Vocabulary

Three Terrific Toys That Help with Vocabulary

Expanding our kids’ vocabulary is essential. Learning day by day helps them broaden their vocabulary word by word. These three exceptional teaching tools are interactive games that kids will love playing with. It will feel like playtime, but you’ll be impressed at how well they help kids learn. Read With Me Scout This adorable plush puppy will become your child’s favorite new companion. Scout reads to your child as they read along in one of Leap Frog’s five interactive books. As children develop listening comprehension skills and new vocabulary, they have a ton of fun while learning. Kids can also enjoy music and lullabies through the toy. Read With Me Scout engages with your child, asking questions to make sure they are paying attention and absorbing the information. Cute and creative, this toy is as sweet as it is smart! $34.99   Sparkup Magical Book Reader Kids will be mesmerized by Sparkup Magical Book Reader. You can prerecord yourself reading any picture book and the reader will play it once it’s clipped to the nifty device. If you prefer, you can download recorded stories and the reader will even play sound effects. As you child flips through the colorful pages of their favorite book, Sparkup reads along at their pace. This gadget helps kids become more confident with their reading skills with the aid of a high-tech partner in learning. $69.99   Spinning Lights Learning Hippo An interactive purple hippo will become your child’s teaching tool while they have fun spinning and watching the moving lights. Spinning Lights Learning Hippo encourages language development and introduces numbers too. Paired with...
Explore Through Reading

Explore Through Reading

We all know that reading to and with our kids helps them broaden their vocabulary and enhances their education. No matter your child’s age, reading is important, so they can become well-educated and perform as well as possible in school. The sooner we begin reading with our children, the more they will learn and the more they will embrace the joy of reading for a lifetime. But reading is more than education alone. The pages of books are like magical explorations to different times and places. Through reading, children can experience new ideas, take journeys, and embark upon special adventures. They will discover new people and uncover new passions as they flip the pages. Most of us won’t ever have the opportunity travel to far-away lands and meet people from cultures we’ve never heard of. We may never come close to kings and queens, wild animals, mountain peaks, or hidden treasures. But when we open a captivating book, we can imagine we are right there. And since children are so naturally imaginative, they can leap into the scenes page by page. When you choose a book for your child, consider what gets them excited. Perhaps your child loves looking above at the nighttime moon and stars. Pick up a book about space travel, the planets, or astronauts. Maybe they are into music. Find a biography of a beloved musician or about the history of rock and roll or Motown. When reading becomes entertainment, kids don’t even feel like they are learning. But as they absorb the words and become involved in a storyline that intrigues them, they will continue...
Can Food Additives Affect Your Child’s Behavior?

Can Food Additives Affect Your Child’s Behavior?

We all want to feed our children with the best nutrition possible. But with so many artificial foods and ingredients on supermarket shelves, it can be difficult to be sure if what we’re feeding them is healthful. Even if we read the labels and attempt to select nourishing choices, we may inadvertently skip over food additives we’re not aware of. And many reports and studies have suggested that these additives may affect children’s behavior negatively. As per WebMD, “Artificial food colorings, preservatives, and other additives may play a role in increasing hyperactive behavior among young children. British researchers found removing food additives from the diet of a group of 3-year-olds caused a reduction in the children’s hyperactive behavior reported by their parents. And when the food colorings and preservatives were added back into the children’s diets, the parents reported an increase in hyperactivity.” What to do? According to Whole New Mom, “Generally speaking, the more natural a food is, the less likely it is to cause a severe behavioral reaction. Keep in mind that there are plenty of individual differences in how children react to specific foods and additives.” Shopping for organic, all-natural foods is your best bet if you are not label-savvy. Activate recommends, “A balanced diet that includes protein, a variety of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and plenty of fiber.” You can also consult with your child’s pediatrician or a nutritionist for tips and advice. Perhaps the U.S. will make changes as some other countries have. According to the Child Development Institute, “Many countries have banned artificial coloring due to the detrimental effects these chemicals have on children....
Three Ways Kids Can Give Back this Thanksgiving

Three Ways Kids Can Give Back this Thanksgiving

Time surely flies, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It is important to teach our children from an early age that this festive holiday is about more than roast turkey and pumpkin pie. It is an opportunity to be thankful for what we have and who we share our lives with. This season, along with enjoying a bountiful meal surrounded by lots of food and merriment with loved ones, let’s make sure we embrace the notion of giving back and giving thanks. Kids must learn to appreciate what they have, no matter how much or little, big or small. Showing gratitude and doing what we can to make the lives of others better is a powerful lesson and something that every child will grow to appreciate and carry on into adulthood. We love our kids and want them to grow into thoughtful and kind individuals. Let’s take time this Thanksgiving to reflect on what we hold dear and show those around us that we value their lives too. Here are three ways kids can give back this Thanksgiving. Volunteer There is always a need for a helpful volunteer, not only during Thanksgiving, but year-round. Depending on your child’s age and maturity level, how you choose to volunteer may differ, but the sentiment is the same – helping and giving time and service to those in need. Perhaps you can help at a soup kitchen or shelter. Homes for the elderly may need some fresh faces for help with the residents. Pet shelters can be crowded, and they may seek extra help with feeding and grooming. Ask around your...
How Good Nutrition Leads to a Better Day of Learning

How Good Nutrition Leads to a Better Day of Learning

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but good nutrition all day long is the key to a healthy body and mind. When children are well-nourished, they have the fuel to be at their best and perform at their peak.   Healthy food provides the needed nutrients to keep a child’s mind sharp, alert, and ready to learn. That’s why we must instill healthy eating habits into our kids. And the earlier we start, the better they’ll fare. Learning to love wholesome foods and choosing good food over junk is important for a lifetime of health and prosperity.   When kids are well-fed and have a steady stream of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals delivered into their system all day long, they won’t get those nagging hunger pangs or headaches, and will be able to concentrate to focus on their schoolwork rather than being sidetracked by thoughts of when their next snack or meal will be. It is important that they eat regularly all day long rather than having just one big meal which could make them tired or too full at once. Most schools have lunch and snack time which is great for keeping that constant fuel stream flowing steadily.   Before the school day begins, a well-balanced breakfast is key, full of fresh fruit, whole-grain oats, some protein, and some fat. Skip the juice and go for a real piece of fruit instead. It is more filling and provides healthy fiber. Too much sugar may feel energizing at first, but that crash will come by the time your kid gets to school....
Two Ways for Shy Kids to Make Friends

Two Ways for Shy Kids to Make Friends

Lots of kids are timid and shy, and their personality may affect their ability to make friends. When a child is very quiet and doesn’t step out from their safety net, other kids may not get the chance to notice how great they really are. These shy children may never be the life of the party, but every child has their own special qualities and the ability to engage with their peers to develop a circle of friends. Some kids only wish for a handful of companions while others hope to be part of a larger group, but either way, when a kid is super-shy, they may have trouble getting noticed or fitting in. As parents, we can help our less-outgoing kids find ways to make friends. Here are two ways to encourage your child to overcome their shyness and develop meaningful relationships. It may take time and practice, but they can do it and will enjoy the results… a new best buddy!   After-School Sports Team A sports team is a great way for shy kids to come out of their shells. As part of a team, all the kids must band together towards a common goal. Whether the kids are shy or outgoing, they are all part of group and must communicate, play as one, and celebrate victories together. If your kid shows an interest in sports, get them on a team right away. They will bond with teammates and find friends they may have never had the chance to interact with. Sports also brings out confidence which can be another factor in getting your child to...
Encourage Your Kids to Step Out of Their Comfort Zone

Encourage Your Kids to Step Out of Their Comfort Zone

It’s always beneficial for people of all ages to have a variety of interests and to try new things. When it comes to children, much of what they do are “firsts,” but after a while, many kids fall into routines and feel fine with doing the usual day after day. While doing what they enjoy is perfectly OK, it’s a good idea to encourage your child to broaden their horizons and explore new activities to learn and grow into well-rounded individuals. As parents, we can show our kids the ropes when it comes to opening their minds and hearts to new adventures and experiences. Some kids will be open for the excitement while others may need some convincing, but no matter their interest level, you can be sure that they will benefit from your motivation and push for them to explore and become enlightened. Here are a couple of suggestions to help you get your child out of their comfort zone and ready to enjoy so much more of what life has to offer. After-School Fun There are many teams, clubs, classes, and lessons available to kids once the school day is over. After-school activities are where kids can expand on their talents, meet new friends, learn new skills, and develop useful social skills. Your child has the potential to reach new heights and realize what makes them excited when they have the chance to broaden their after-school experiences. For instance, your child may take piano lessons, but along with those, you may want to sign them up for after-school sports too. They will have a chance to interact...
Grocery Shop with the Kids and Teach Lifelong Lessons Down the Aisles

Grocery Shop with the Kids and Teach Lifelong Lessons Down the Aisles

We all need to shop for groceries and many times when we head to the supermarket, we have the kids along with us. Usually they are asking for “forbidden” snacks or wondering how much more time we’ll need to be there, but rather than make the trip as quick as possible and routine, use the shopping outing as a teaching moment. Sure, you are obviously there for the food and beverages, but so much more can happen as you peruse the aisles in search of the week’s dinner recipe ingredients and the kids’ lunchbox fillers. There is a lot you can teach kids of all ages from the moment you grab a grocery cart ‘till you pay for the bagged-up groceries. Good Nutrition As you fill your basket or cart, talk to your children as to why you are choosing the foods you’re buying and why they are good to eat. Talk about what your kids need to grow to become healthy and strong. Mention the vitamins, protein, and healthy energy these foods provide. If you don’t want the kids eating sweets or processed foods, explain why. Simply saying “no” to artificially-colored snacks won’t suffice. When children know more about what they are eating and why, they will be more inclined to enjoy their (healthy) food, they may become less picky, and they just might look forward to helping you shop and prepare meals in the future. Money Matters We don’t let our kids throw anything and everything into the grocery cart. One reason is for nutritional matters but the other is due to the cost. Grocery shopping is...
Two Important Ways Parents Can Learn Parenting Tips from One Another

Two Important Ways Parents Can Learn Parenting Tips from One Another

They say, “It takes a village…” and the sentiment is overwhelmingly true. Parenting is hard work and by leaning on others in the community, we can all be stronger, smarter, and more successful at the task at hand. No matter our age, experience, or satisfactory work thus far, a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, and sage advice are always useful and ought to be embraced. Parents can learn from others when it comes to raising happy and productive kids. Every parent has that “special something” that another may lack. We all have our strong suits, tricks and tips, and skills that make us great parents, and others in the same boat have their unique qualities as well. When we all put our hearts and minds together, we can raise the future generation with confidence and pride. Here are two winning ways parents can learn parenting tips from one another. Be open and be willing to share and the results will astound you. You’ll see it in yourself and the wonderful children you are raising! Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Your Mistakes As parents, we can’t be perfect 100% of the time. There will be moments of doubt, despair, and we won’t always make the best decisions. This is OK – we’re only human. The point is to learn from these mistakes and do things better the next time around. When you feel all alone in a parenting conundrum, be open to discussing your feelings with other parents. You will learn that you aren’t the only one who feels like they have “failed” as a parent. When...
Fun Ways to Sneak Vocabulary Lessons Into the Everyday

Fun Ways to Sneak Vocabulary Lessons Into the Everyday

We all want our kids to learn as much as possible, even while they are not in school. As parents, we can keep the education going even after the school day is over. One area where we can keep the momentum going is with vocabulary. Kids are like sponges when it comes to taking in knowledge, so use any possible moment as a teaching moment while keeping things light and fun. The kids won’t even think of it as learning, but you’ll know that you’re giving your child the tools to develop their ever-expanding vocabulary. Here are some fun ways to sneak in vocabulary lessons no matter where you are! Sing-a-Longs Whether you’re in the car or hanging out at home, put on some upbeat child-appropriate music and sing with your child. Some of the words in the lyrics will be new to your child, so point those out and give your child its meaning. Suggest using the word later that day when applicable. Your child will be proud to show off their knowledge and will be eager to play new songs with even more new words to add to their vocabulary. Doesn’t that sound like music to your ears?! Go to the Zoo  Take an adventurous trip to the zoo and as your child has a blast seeing all the interesting animals, they will learn new animal names, countries of origin, and descriptive words about the animals’ behaviors and habits. Your child will be excited to learn as much as possible about the unique creatures, yet won’t feel like they’re being given a tedious lesson. The time spent...