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  • 20 Unique Amazon Finds to Get Kids Through Quarantine

    School closures and stay home orders have us running out of ideas to keep kids entertained while stuck at home. Some days it is downright difficult to keep everyone occupied without resorting to screen time (and yes we’re doing our fair share of that!).

    We know we’re all in the same boat, so we did a little digging. After some deep amazon browsing, we found 20 unique products and activities for kids of all ages that we want to share with our readers, in the hopes that we can lighten the load. We’re fairly confident that these fun finds will occupy kids in an enriching way, and can provide parents the time to accomplish tasks. Win-Win!

    Check out these 20 unique Amazon finds to get kids through Quarantine with quick links provided below!

     

    Terrarium Kit

    Have kids grow their own habitat and experience the wonder of nature with this Grow N’ Glow Terrarium kit! Comes with everything you need for two full plant life cycles including the plastic mason-style jar, decorative lid, potting mix, organic chia and wheat grass seeds, garden figurines, decorative sand, river stones and a plant mister to keep your terrarium watered. Additionally, add dimension to your terrarium with translucent glow-in-the-dark stickers that light up your terrarium at night! The perfect STEAM activity that mixes science and art. Recommended for ages 6+

     

    Butterfly Kit

    Witness one of nature’s most spectacular transformations up close with this amazing butterfly garden! This STEM treat comes with everything you need and a full set of instructions to watch caterpillars change to butterflies via metamorphosis. Incredible!

    How to Draw Book

    I need this instructional guide for when my kids ask me to draw them their favorite animals! Simple step-by-step line illustrations make it easy for children (and their parents ha!) to draw with confidence. Each title contains 101 different images in all manner of shapes, sizes and poses.

     

    Floor is Lava Interactive Game

    Who doesn’t remember playing the floor is lava as a kid? Now it’s a board game! Players must imagine the floor is molten hot lava while spinning the color wheel to jump to the right foam pieces to reach safety. The Floor is Lava! is a family game that promotes physical activity, an active imagination, and engaging excitement for kids and adults.

     

    Garden Kit

    Pizza lovers rejoice: Kids can now paint and plant their own pizza herb garden! Paint the planter and plant markers, and sow the basil, oregano and Arugula herbs with vibrant colors and tasty flavors. Follow along with the included step-by-step instruction. The kit includes a tin planter, plastic liner, soil, 3 seed packets, 6-color paint strip, 2 paint brushes, paint palette, 3 wooden plant markers, shovel, watering bottle, and beautiful instruction booklet.

    Sand Art Bottle Kit

    In our world, Melissa & Doug can do no wrong. As one of our favorite toy brands, we love this sand art bottle kit made to entertain kids for hours at a time!

     

    Yoga Mat

    Why not start them early? These yoga mats for kids are ideal for children and are designed to be fun and provide a healthy outlet that teaches a healthy body image, concentration, balance and calm even in the face of too much silliness. The mats are slightly sticky with a light tack, providing a safe and secure grip. A downloadable yoga class specifically designed for kids is included with your mat purchase to help get your little one started!

    Jigsaw Puzzles

    These 12 themed wooden jigsaw puzzles feature 24 durable wooden pieces that fit together smoothly to display under the sea, farm, safari, and insects. We love that the the large size of the pieces eliminate a choking hazard!

     

    Sidewalk Chalk

    Let your kids flex their creativity with drawings and inspiring messages using sidewalk chalk!

     

    Paint by Stickers Book

    Calling all paint enthusiasts! Paint by Sticker includes everything you need to create twelve vibrant, full-color “paintings.” The images—including sunflowers, a fox, a hummingbird in mid-flight, two boats on the water are brilliantly made into a 3D effect. As in paint-by-number, each template is divided into dozens of spaces, each with a number that corresponds to a particular colored sticker. Find the sticker, peel it, and place it in the right space. Add the next, and witness it come to life!

    Scratch Art

    This is a Trace-Along title! This fun and easy art activity book allows budding artists to use the wooden drawing tool enclosed to trace the white outlines on black-coated scratch art pages.  They can also use the sketch pages in the back to draw their own pictures of favorite animal friends. Hard covered binding makes this grab-and-go activity extra resilient. 20 scratch-off, 20 illustrated, and 20 sketch pages. Recommended for ages 5 and up!

     

    Balance Stepping Stones

    Here we have a physical activity challenge and an award winning toy to boot! Kids can show off their balancing skills while jumping from stone to stone. Create a new obstacle playground everyday! These foam stepping stones are both flexible and durable, lightweight and soft to the touch. Balance Stepping Stones were awarded the 2019 TOY OF THE YEAR AWARD for excellence by Creative Child Magazine!

     

    Kite Kit

    Another absolutely great idea and huge hit with kids, DIY Kite kits! Kids can custom decorate their own kite, then fly them high.  This is easy to assemble and comes with 3 kites to decorate, 8 multi color markers, and long ribbon colorful tails. 

     

    Bubble Wands

    Bubble Wands

    Bubbles are the universal pleasure tool for kids! Bubble up with this 4 pack and let the fun ensue!

     

    Button Art for Toddlers

    All the creativity without the mess, it’s button art for toddlers! This mosaic pegboard comes equipped with 50 Buttons and 18 pictures.

    Rock Painting Kit

    Spread kindness and positivity by painting and hiding rocks throughout your community for other kids to find. Just add imagination for endless creative fun! This complete craft kit comes with 10 rocks for designing, 8 waterproof paint colors, paint brush, rock transfer designs and tracking stickers. Waterproof art supplies make it possible to hide your painted rocks outdoors! 

     

    Craft Supply Kit

    This is your one stop shop for everything craft related! Stoke your child’s imagination and develop creative skills with all the arts & crafts that you could possibly create.

     

    Card Games

    UNO just got even more fun with this childhood favorite, UNO EMOJI style game!

    Score big with this party-sized edition of the best-selling dice game! It’s simple to play but each decision is crucial. The more numbers that are crossed off, the more points scored. With no downtime between turns, kids have a chance to gain from each and every roll! This deluxe game includes 8 dry erase markers and boards, plus bonus Qwixx Mixx game for alternate play. Heck yes!

     

    Puppet Craft Kit

    We love this felt hand puppet craft kit that makes 12 puppets! Some of the many benefits to puppet creation include dramatic play, imagination, role play, learning, and creativity. Kit comes equipped with everything a child would need to make their own fantastical puppets.

     

    Magic Science Kit

    We saved the best for last! Let your child explore their inner wizard with this spell-making kit! This unique educational pack will teach kids the science behind the color-changing magic.  Supplies include 4 test tubes with stand, 1 clear tube wand with 2 caps, 2 measuring scoops, Purple paper, star stickers and activity guide. Definitely recommended for children 6 years of age and older with adult supervision. Viola! 

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  • 5 Powerful Things to Tell Your Kids

    As we all navigate the new normal of the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to place priority on the emotional health of our youngest generation. The little ones (with big ears!) listening to conversations, watching the news alongside us, and in tune with their parents’ mood and anxiety.

    While quarantine life and social distancing are new norms for all of us, it’s important to check in on young children and assure them in positive ways. Kids need our attention and validation to feel safe and protected.

    We can help foster emotional health with comforting affirmations and an open dialogue about what’s unfolding around us. Here are 5 powerful things to tell your kids when the world seems scary and out of control.

    Powerful things to tell your kids

    I love you, you are safe.

    Safety and security are at the core of a child’s emotional health. Remind them of all the people looking out for them and protecting them. Let them know that you are taking every precaution to keep them safe. Help them recognize how strong and capable they are.

    This will pass.

    Turn this into a teachable moment. Life is full of unknowns and unpredictable changes, but tough times don’t last. Drive that point home. Teach them how to weather the storm, and to ride out ups and downs.

    When age appropriate (great breakdown of how to approach the conversation by age group here), provide facts and context to kids to eliminate rumors or exaggerations. Setting the story straight is helpful when kids hear stories from friends or let their imaginations run wild.

    Example:

    Child: “Johnny said this is the end of the world.”

    Response: “Yes, people are getting sick and unfortunately, some are dying. But this is not the end of the world, and it will pass as long as we do everything in our power to protect ourselves and others by staying home and practicing good hygiene.”

    When your kids ask questions, be honest. Denying that there is a public health emergency sends conflicting messages and creates distrust.

    I know this is hard. What do you need from me?

    Acknowledge that the situation is difficult. Your validation shows your children that you respect them and are paying attention to their fears.

    Asking what you can do to help provides the opportunity to learn what comforts them. Provide ways to cope with the anxiety that presents during times of crisis. Have an open dialogue about ways to support each other.

    Affirmations to soothe anxiety:

    1. I have the power to do hard things.
    2. This world has light, air, food, and comfort just for me because I’m loved and cherished.
    3. Happiness and gratitude come easily to me.
    4. I always see the bright side or lessons in my life.
    5. I will spread and attract good things everywhere I go.
    6. I am calm and handle all challenges with ease.
    7. I empathize with those in need and send loving thoughts their way.

    Let’s find joy in what we have.

    Teach your kids to practice gratitude. This will carry them through this time and other challenging obstacles that come up in life. Point out the simple things to be grateful for right now such as a warm home, food, toys, etc.

    Look for the helpers.

    Yes, the bright side. The antidote to any tragedy or disaster are the community helpers that rise to the occasion. Point out the humans helping humans in big and small ways.

    Help your child recognize and appreciate those that are creating solutions for the greater good. Have a conversation about the small ways they too, can make an impact (washing hands, staying home, donating to food banks, etc). Having a positive to focus on can mitigate the anxiety kids may be experiencing.

    For more parenting resources:

    Helping Children Cope with Changes as a Result of Covid-19

    How to  Talk to Kids and Teens about the Coronavirus

    Fostering Your Child’s Mental Health

    We hope your family benefits from these powerful things to tell your kids when the world seems scary. Check us out on Facebook and get involved!

     

     

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  • Happy Earth Children’s PRINTABLE Earth Day Activity

    As a self-proclaimed tree hugger it’s important to me that my kids understand the importance of Earth Day and why it’s vital to the future of our planet to set aside time to care for it. This activity is a simple and effective way to have that teachable moment on what keeps Earth healthy and thus, happy. On the opposite side, it highlights the actions that impact our environment in a negative way.

    Watch as they sort & learn the small ways we can reduce and reuse to protect our precious planet. We’ve included the FREE Happy Earth Children’s Earth Day Activity printable. It’s available for download at the bottom of this post. Happy Earth Day!

    Picture of Happy Earth Printable activity for Earth Day learning and creating.

    You will need:

    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Blue or green construction paper
    • The Rock It Mama Earth Day printable (Two-page download at the bottom of post)

    Directions

    Glue the sorting chart page on either the green or blue construction paper for aesthetic purposes. Next, cut the two earths first and have your child distinguish between the happy earth vs. the sad earth. Glue both earths on the top of each side of the T chart.

    As each graphic is cut out, have a conversation about the picture and what is taking place. Explain why each picture either makes the Earth happy or sad based on what is occurring. Lastly, have them glue the graphic on the correct side of the T chart.

    Cutting Happy Earth printable for Earth Day learning activity.

    Just look at that focus! (Insert heart eyes)

    He’s well on his way to becoming a passionate environmentalist. Need more fun ideas for appreciating nature and the world around us? Add these 7 Nature and Exploration Ideas for Kids to your list!



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  • 11 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Dr. Seuss Quotes

    Today we celebrate National Read Across America Day, as well as the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, commonly known by his pen name Dr. Seuss.

    Dr. Seuss was an American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, screenwriter and filmmaker. His work in children’s literature included more than 60 children’s books, published in over 20 languages, making him the most beloved and iconic children’s author in households today.

    picture of boy reading Dr. Seuss Oh The Places You'll Go

    Those who have read books such as “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”, “The Cat in the Hat”, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”, and “Green Eggs and Ham,” are well aware of Dr. Seuss’s repeated patterns and rhymes, fantastically unique illustrations and important life lessons sprinkled within his books.

    Today, we are sharing 11 quotes from Dr. Seuss and the teachings we can walk away with from them. Also, be sure to download our FREE Dr. Seuss Quotes Coloring Book below!

    “Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person,
    no matter how small!”

    “Today you are You. That is truer than true. There is no one alive that is You-er than You!” – Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

    You are unique and like no other. You have special talents and capabilities to give to the world! Always be yourself and don’t try to be someone else, they’re already taken.

    “The more you read, the more you know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” – Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

    Reading is a powerful tool. You can educate yourself in endless subjects, and spark imagination through storytelling. Fun doesn’t have to be physical!

    “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead, and some come from behind. But I’ve brought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” – Dr. Seuss

    The road of life can be challenging. But with focus and perseverance, you will be ready to face those challenges head-on.

    “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” – Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

    Don’t be sad when the day is done. Tomorrow is a blank slate and the perfect opportunity to make it just as great!

    “You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go

    You know yourself more than anyone else; you are the only one who has been in your shoes. You have the power to determine your future and what paths you must take to create it.

    “You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may.” – Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham

    You may be hesitant to try something new, like a food or a scary activity, but you never know if you’ll like it if you don’t try it just once!

    “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of fun that is funny.” – Dr. Seuss, Cat in the Hat

    Not every day is going to be butterflies and rainbows. Some days and situations may seem dreary or hard. But if you change your perspective and attitude, you can still have a lot of fun!

    “Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small!” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who

     Don’t feel discouraged. Believe in yourself – you are capable and you matter!

    Picture of boy reading Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss 

    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

    The world needs caring and passionate people. If there is something you feel strongly about, do something about it!

    Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh the thinks you can think up if only you try.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Thinks You Can Think!

    There are no limits to the imagination. It has the power to motivate and turn desires into reality. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box or march to the beat of your own drum.

    So open your mouth, lad. For every voice counts!” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

    Each and everyone of us have feelings and opinions that matter. Your voice can make all the difference. If you have something to say – say it!

    Download our FREE Dr. Seuss Quotes Coloring Book Below!


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    If you enjoyed this post on Dr. Seuss, you will enjoy our 6 Ways to Celebrate National Reading Month with Preschoolers.

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  • Bedtime Affirmations – for Kids!

    If your household is anything like mine, bedtime is a serious struggle. As much as I try to wear my kids out during the day and keep their night time schedules high and tight, it feels like they avoid sleep like the plague. Whether it’s my oldest son sneaking out of his room, or my youngest having a hard time winding down, bedtime can be difficult.

    Some of the ways I attempt to curb the struggle include nightly gratitude practices and bedtime affirmations. These simple phrases help promote a full heart, clear mind, calm nerves and thus, peaceful slumber!

    The affirmations on the list rhyme and are easy to remember, but we’ve done our readers a solid and created a printable that kids can keep bedside. I framed one to have on my son’s night stand so we always have it handy after stories!

    ease bedtime struggles

    For clarity let’s define the practice of reciting affirmations as consciously choosing words that will either help eliminate something from your life or help create something new in your life. Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation.

    So if the goal is to ease bedtime struggles, we can do so by providing kids positive affirmations that expel negative thoughts, and soothe the anxiety that often accompanies bedtime.

    positive affirmations for kids

    Additionally, when practicing intentional gratitude, children build a foundation for positive behaviors that will enhance their lives down the road. Studies show there are many benefits to exercising gratitude.

    Introducing this practice early on in a child’s life may increase mental strength, boost empathy and augment overall well-being. It may also reduce aggression and alleviate negative emotions such as envy and resentment. Is there a better way to end the day?

    My son and I enjoy reciting affirmations aloud together, and we’ve quickly made this gratitude practice part of our nightly routine. Typically we choose two or three per night, but vocalizing all seven certainly can’t hurt.

    We hope our bedtime affirmations help foster good sleeping habits!

    Now it’s your turn, mama. Check out these Positive Affirmations for Moms to overhaul those thought patterns that could be holding you back!

     


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  • How to Discipline your Child with Logical Consequences

    With my child’s emotional health at the forefront of my parental priorities, positive parenting solutions have been a saving grace. Positive parenting allows for behavior correction while simultaneously building self-esteem and emotional intelligence. A key strategy of positive parenting is logical consequences.

    Logical consequences include a cause and effect relationship. They emphasize poor behavior without disparaging or belittling the child. And get this: they actually work! If you’ve hit a wall with discipline and are finding that punishments just aren’t working, give logical consequences a shot and watch as the relationship (and poor behaviors) improve.

    Photo of Logical consequences

    Logical Consequences

    First, let’s distinguish the difference between consequences and punishments. Punishments are designed to shame a child into compliance and are unrelated to the bad behavior or damage done. Logical consequences are related to the behavior, and should be reasonable for the offense committed.

    The message is clear with logical consequences; the behavior is unwanted, not the child. The behavior is bad, not the child. The behavior needs correction, not the child. The goal of logical consequences is to stop misbehaviors and allow children to make more constructive choices in the future.

    When implementing logical consequences consider the 3 Rs.

    Reasonable: the consequence should come from sound judgement, and needs to be fair and sensible. Try not to go overboard. A good way to ensure that a consequence is coming from a good place, is to step back from anger. Implement the reasonable consequence once the situation has deescalated.

    Respectful: the consequence needs to be free from shame or disparagement, and should not be intended to manipulate or coerce. Logical consequences should provide an opportunity for a child to grow and learn from their mistake without stifling emotional development.

    Relatable: the consequence should have a definitive correlation to the behavior itself. The child needs to be able to connect the bad behavior to its consequence, in order to understand the wrongdoing.

    Examples of Logical Consequences:

    • If a child doesn’t brush his teeth, he isn’t allowed dessert.
    • If a child throws a toy at someone, the toy is taken away.
    • If a child receives a poor grade, they must spend extra time after school studying.
    • If a child is mean to little brother at bath time, they are no longer allowed to bathe together.

    For instance, in a fit of frustration, my son threw a straw from his capri sun at me. The logical consequence to that action, is no capri suns for lunch the next day. Reasonable, respectful and relatable. Those are the key elements of a logical consequence.

    Another component to logical consequences is setting expectations and following through. Be sure that the child knows what the standards are for good behavior, and call out when they exceed those limits. And remember, a logical consequence that is simply a “threat” with no follow up will be ineffective. Consistency and execution are crucial to implementing logical consequences that work.

    Restorative Practices

    Subsequent to logical consequence are restorative practices. If a bad behavior causes damage or harm, a good way to teach and rectify, is to use restorative practices. A key element of restorative practices or justice is empathy. When a child is obligated to remedy a wrong-doing, they begin to understand the extent of the damage caused by their poor choice and the effort it takes to fix it.

    Examples of Restorative Practices:

    • If a child colors on the walls, she cleans the wall.
    • If a child knocks down another’s tower, she rebuilds it for them.
    • If a child dumps their milk out, they clean up the mess.
    • If a child throws trash on the floor, they come back to take it to the proper receptacle.

    It makes perfect sense, right? You break it, you fix it. You dump it, you clean it.

    With restorative practices, the offender is responsible for making things right, which builds the kind of character we want to see in our children. In addition, restorative practices can develop personal responsibility and accountability. Two important things that imposing punishment alone, will not accomplish.

    Natural Consequences

    As the old saying goes, “If you don’t listen, you feel.”

    What we “feel” is the natural consequence of not making a good decision.

    Similar to logical consequences yet slightly different, natural consequences happen as the result of an action, but aren’t implemented or enforced by a caregiver.

    Examples of Natural Consequences:

    • Not wearing a coat and feeling cold.
    • Leaving toys outside and finding them ruined by the rain.
    • Forgetting homework at home and not receiving credit for it.

    As parents, we often feel the urge to remove obstacles our children face in order to spare them discomfort. The reality is, it can be beneficial to let kids experience things firsthand in order for it to have a lasting impact. If a child has their stuffed animal ruined or stolen after leaving it outside, the pain or discomfort they feel will propel them to consider a behavior change, such as leaving stuffed animals inside next time.

    Natural consequences can be hard to allow without parental interference. However, allowing a consequence to happen naturally can build resiliency and encourage healthy decision making skills.

    A few key components to natural consequences:

    There are definitely situations where allowing a natural consequence would not be appropriate. When a child’s safety or overall well-being is in jeopardy, another form of discipline should be implemented. For example, a child playing in the road or refusing to brush their teeth. The danger of playing in the street and the health implications of not brushing teeth override the learning experience of a natural consequence. The child should also be old enough to comprehend the reason for the consequence.

    Additionally, a parent should not participate in “I told you so” shaming of a child after experiencing a natural consequence. Always approach a child with empathy and validate their feelings to promote emotional health. Respect works both ways! The goal is not to shame a child into making better choices, but to provide them the opportunity to do so.

    We hope these strategies work for you and improve the relationship you have with your child! For more positive parenting advice, check out our Positive Language Alternatives to Tame a Child’s Tantrum.

    More guidelines for positive parenting here.

    Positive parenting

     

     

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