Looking for a fresh start to 2014? What could be better than working on your family fitness by spending some quality together? Here are some family friendly activities that involve exercise, but are guaranteed to be more fun than the gym:
Grab everyone in the family a bike and set off on a two-wheel adventure. If your kids haven’t mastered the balancing technique yet, throw on some training wheels. And if your little one is way too little to pedal on his or her own, invest in a bike with a child seat or a child trailer so even the smallest munchkins can join in on the fun. Plus, you don’t just have to bike on adventures. You can use your new wheels for running errands too.
Take a hike
Let your little ones lose in the great outdoors. Go on a backpacking trip together. If you just go for a night or two, you shouldn’t need too much gear, but should be able to explore beautiful sites while staying active. If you’re worried about your little one on the path, consider a baby carrier to strap to your chest or just taking a day hike.
It doesn’t matter if it’s soccer, football, baseball or any other sport. The point is that you’re all moving and having fun as a family. Get out in your back yard and throw a ball around. Invite neighborhood families too! The bigger the teams, the better.
Little ones love to boogie so throw a dance party in your own house. Crank up the music, get dressed up and get down.
-“7 Family Exercise Activities.” Life Script
-“Making Fitness a Family Affair.” Great Schools
-Photo courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos.net
They call them the terrible twos for a reason. Toddlers are at an age where they don’t quite understand the world around them, but they certainly want to explore it. Because they lack a sense of limitations and boundaries, toddlers are known for getting into trouble now and then. But toddler discipline shouldn’t result in crushing their spirit or curiosity. Mom Trusted is here to offer parents and childcare workers alike tips on toddler discipline in an effort to teach little ones, not punish them.
Distract a tantrum thrower.
Distraction is a great technique for avoiding a toddler tantrum. If you see a screaming fit coming on, quickly engage the child in another interesting activity. Sing a song, read a book or play with a toy, really anything will work. You can also use this behavior if you catch your kid about to do something naughty, such as about to play with the stove.
Consistency is key.
Toddlers are still learning and aren’t trying to be deceitful, but genuinely don’t know right from wrong yet. Correcting the same wrong behavior every single time helps teach them.
Use bribery rarely.
No, bribing your children doesn’t make you a bad parent or teacher, but it is a technique that should hardly ever be used. Think about it this way, the rarity of this disciplinary tactic will only add to its power.
Don’t take it personally.
Acting out doesn’t mean kids don’t like you or that they’re bad children. They’re just exploring their boundaries.
Reward good behavior.
When a child does something correctly, let them know. Clap and smile. Positive reinforcement works better than any type of discipline.
-“Secrets to Toddler Discipline” Parents.com: http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/discipline/tips/secrets-to-toddler-discipline/#page=1
-“No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame (9 Guidelines)” Janet Lansbury: http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/04/no-bad-kids-toddler-discipline-without-shame-9-guidelines/
-“8 Tools for Toddler Discipline” Ask Dr. Sears: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/discipline-behavior/8-tools-toddler-discipline
-Photo courtesy of arztsamui/freedigitalphotos.net
If your baby just started smiling, you want to see that beautiful, cheeky smile all the time. Sometimes babies smile at new faces, but sometimes they enjoy looking at familiar ones. It can be tough to predict exactly what will make a baby smile, but Mom Trusted has a few tricks up our sleeve. Try these five ways to make your baby smile:
Go for the colors
Babies’ brains are still developing as they take in everything around them in their new, exciting world. Colors are one thing that can excite and catch a baby’s eye. Introduce your baby to colorful toys and items they can hold onto when they start being able to successfully grab objects at around three or four months.
Play with feathers
There’s nothing like a good tickle to get a baby laughing. Try using pretty, colorful feathers, which work great for babies who may not enjoy aggressive tickling the traditional way.
Make funny faces
Your face is your baby’s favorite to look at so your face making goofy faces may be the key to uncontrollable giggles. Try adding peek-a-boo to your silly faces to make your baby smile even more.
Make your baby smile by making raspberries on his or her tiny belly. (These are also called zerbits or belly bubbles).
Sing to your baby
Try singing a lullaby, a silly song or even one on the radio to your little one. People of all ages love music and, because music is still a new phenomenon for your child, it might be just the trick you need to make your baby smile. Over time, you’ll start to experiment and find out which songs make him or her smile most and even establish favorite types of music.
-“9 Ways to Make Your Baby Laugh” parenting.com: http://www.parenting.com/gallery/9-ways-to-make-your-baby-laugh?pnid=108127
-“5 Ways to Make Your Baby Laugh” Yahoo! Voices: http://voices.yahoo.com/5-fun-ways-baby-laugh-4090891.html
-“7 Ways to Make a Baby Laugh” The Stir: http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/135281/7_ways_to_make_a
-Photo courtesy of koratmember/freedigitalphotos.net
When kids think eating right, they cringe at brussel sprouts and broccoli, but the Eat to Win game makes learning about a healthy lifestyle fun. Not only does the engaging game help parents and childcare centers teach about the major food groups, but it also stresses the importance of staying active. This gives children the right tools to lead a healthy life for years to come.
Teaching little ones the importance of eating right and exercising regularly is more important than ever before. Childhood obesity has doubled in the last 30 years, affecting over one third of children in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But Eat to Win makes teaching these life lessons fun!
Eat to Win was created by a concerned mom whose own child struggled with weight issues. The games were made to encourage nutrition and exercise for kids of all ages.
They’re also a ton of fun! Daycare director Chris Bicknell was shocked to find how the games captured her children’s attention. “I was able to keep 18 children all under the age of four’s attention while using the Eat to Win Flashcards,” said Bicknell. “Our center absolutely LOVES these products!”
At Mom Trusted, we want to get behind the health train so we’re offering our care and education providers a special deal:
Just enter the discount code before you checkout.
Potty training can be a frustrating and messy (trust us, we’ve been there too) process. But with a little bit of structure, guidelines and positive reinforcement, it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Here are some potty training tips from MomTrusted:
Follow the rule of 15.
When you have the time to keep a close eye on your toddler, ditch the diaper. Then let your little one go about their playtime and meals as usual, but plop them on the potty every 15 minutes. Gradually lengthen the time of the sessions until they’re all-day long.
Practice positive reinforcement.
Every time your child goes in the toilet, praise them. You can even keep a handful of a small treats (try M&Ms or stickers) in the house and give them a special reward every time they go in the right spot.
Let is all hang out.
Let your toddler run around the house naked or pants-less. This way, when they have to go, they don’t have the option of going in a diaper. That leaves the floor or the toilet. Odds are, they’ll choose the toilet.
Keep sitters and teachers in the loop.
Make sure that everyone who watches your child knows that they’re in the process of potty training. This way they can help remind them to go now and then and they’ll be extra prepared for potential accidents. If you’re rewarding at home, be sure to explain the process to your little one’s babysitter or teacher so that they can mimic what you’ve already begun. Consistency is key!
Provide a target.
For little boys, give them something to aim for. Throw some Cheerios or Fruit Loops in the toilet and make a game out of it.
Stay protected when training is not in session.
The easiest way to keep the process mess-free? Pop on the pull-ups when you’re not in the middle of a training spurt. And at nighttime, especially in the beginning.
-“How to Potty Train in a Week.” Parenting.com
-Photo courtesy of arztsamui/freedigitalphotos.net
Did you know that the amount of parents who read to their pre-kindergarteners daily has decreased by 5% in recent years? Yet college enrollment seems to be on the up-and-up or at least it was until 2010. MomTrusted digs into the statistics behind children and reading, from reading scores to college enrollment:
A new study found that kids who perform acts of kindness are happier and more accepting.
Researchers in Vancouver, Canada studied how performing kind acts influenced behavior, emotions and even popularity of 9 to 11 year-olds. The researchers had two groups: one was asked to visit three places each week, while the other was asked to perform three random acts of kindness each week.
The experiment lasted for four weeks and, in the end, when compared to previous test results, both groups of children were deemed happier. The ones who performed random acts of kindness, however, were also deemed more accepting of their fellow classmates.
Researchers believe that because the acts of kindness were intentional and planned, they created more positive, accepting attitudes among the children. Observers believe that this could be a solution to bullying in schools. By encouraging kind acts in children and creating more open-minded attitudes, the hope is that the acceptance will spread throughout school children.
-“Acts of Kindness Make Kids Popular.” Parenting.com
-Photo courtesy of Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net