Things To Do In The Car
13 December 09 12:17 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments
It's holiday time again which may mean long drives to see family or friends. During these longs drives your built-in or portable DVD player comes in handy to distract your children. Although a great invention and it's nice for your child to have some entertainment in the car, these days too many parents rely solely on these DVD players and not just during long car rides. Unfortunately it has become somewhat of a ritual now for many kids to jump in the car and stare at the screen. Even when riding in the car for 10 minutes. The car is a great place to take advantage of time with your child because it is a contained environment. Turn off the DVD player, put your phone on silent, and you have a place where there are minimal distractions. It's a great opportunity to interact with your child instead of them zoning out while watching a movie they probably know by heart. There are so many things you can do during this time. Encourage your child's imagination by playing fun games, sing songs with or without music in the background or just take the time to talk to your kids and enjoy their company while they are still young. Once you get rid off all the distracting technology and pay homage to the good old days when there was nothing to do but play punch buggy, the license plate game or sing goofy songs, you'll see how much fun it is to just enjoy being a kid again. Not only will it be fun, but It will help relax you and will strengthen your connection and relationship with your children too. You know what they say... the family that plays together...so happy driving!
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Giving Young Children Holiday Gifts
06 December 09 04:42 PM | RebeccaL | 1 comment(s)

It's that time of year again. The time when we wait on long lines, fight crowds and we search and search for the perfect gift. When it comes to buying gifts for toddlers it may be easier than you think. Whether you are buying for your own children, a friend's child or your nieces and nephews sometimes less can really be more. Sounds a little crazy I know, but I've seen it for myself! Children who are 2, 3 and even 4 are fairly easy to please. Sometimes something as simple as stickers and a coloring book can keep them happy for hours. Other choices include: Playdoh, Mr. Potato Head accessories, pinwheels, trucks, cars and fun bathtime toys like bathtub paints or a basketball hoop for the tub can be the perfect gift.

 Many times these simple gifts are the ones that the kids love and use over and over. Also, keep in mind how many gifts these children are probably getting. They get presents from their own parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and other friends and family so they will already be overwhelmed by the amount of gifts that you really don't need to stress over the one you get. This is not to say you shouldn't put any thought into what s/he may like, but there is no need to spend hours in agony over what to buy. Think about the child's interests and buy one or two simple and fun items that s/he can enjoy using and voilĂ  you are done! So whether you are shopping in the stores or online, keep simplicity in mind and you may be able to have some fun in picking out these things that may bring us back to our childhood days when life was so much easier. Happy Shopping!

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Sensory Integration
22 November 09 03:55 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments
The timer is buzzing, the phone is ringing & somewhere in the background little voices are screaming "Mommy... Mommy". Did someone say sensory overload? It is so easy for us to get overwhelmed with all that goes on. These days there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day, so we do everything at once. Just as adults get stressed and overloaded, so do children. But some children have what is known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID). Sensory integration is how our bodies integrate and respond to stimuli in our environment. Stimuli being things such as light, sound, things we touch; more or less how we process the information through our senses. SID comes in different forms. Some children are constantly smelling objects, others are extremely active and get over-stimulated in a noisy busy room, while others are impulsive and easily distracted. There are times when these behaviors can be mistaken for something else such as a child misbehaving or acting out, when all the child is doing is trying to satisfy a craving their body has for the sensory information they are seeking. Children with SID have difficulty controlling themselves without the proper sensory input (such as jumping, running, a massage to calm them down, etc)and it is important for us to be aware of children with these behaviors. Children who have been identified as having SID can improve with the help of an Occupational Therapist who can provide a "sensory diet" to help children receive the input they are seeking. There is a lot to sensory integration and it is by no means a subject easily summed up in a few paragraphs. There are different forms of SID and there are great books and websites to help us learn and understand more about it. Here are a few: "The out-of-sync child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz. http://www.out-of-sync-child.com/ Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation: www.spdfoundation.net Sensory Integration Education and Research Foundation: http://www.sierf.org/ Even if your child doesn't have SID, they still get overloaded and overwhelmed, just as we do and they look to us to help. So help them take a few deep breaths, bring them to a quiet room or stop to smell the roses. Sometimes it's just enough to help for the moment...
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Government Sites have Kid's Pages to Help Children Learn More
20 November 09 07:43 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments
There has been a lot of controversy these days surrounding health care reform, tea parties, the economy and more. Although they may not understand, children hear about these issues on the news, by hearing adults speak about them and possibly from other sources and they learn about the President, history and what is going on in our country through school. Since these children... your children... are America's future and are affected by these issues one way or another, it's helpful for them to learn a bit more about the White House, the jobs and roles of our government employees and government agencies like the FBI and CIA. Did you know that these agencies all have kid's pages so that children in grades K-12 can learn more about what each does. They provide information, fun games and educational activities that are pretty interesting for adults too. The CIA also provides information for parents and teachers which can help them talk to children about issues such as internet safety. The FBI has cool info about their working dogs, has interesting stories and has safety tips. On the Government site you can learn about diplomacy and being a diplomat, how laws are made, learn about money, national parks as well as many other things. Additional government departments such as the Treasury Department have links to other sites such as the U.S. Mint department as well as a White House page. Take some time to look at these sites with your kids and you might be surprised how much you learn. We are the land of the free and our children have the opportunity to learn about the government in a fun way, so why not take advantage?
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