As teachers, care providers and parents, you know better than anyone that kids learn best through hands-on or play based learning. Our friends at Kodo Kids know that hands-on play is not only extremely educational, but also the most fun way to learn. That’s why they produce products that promote investigation and exploration.
As childhood expert Bev Bos would say, “If it’s not in the hand, it’s not in the head.” At Mom Trusted, we agree with Kodo Kids’ learning philosophy. Open-ended play is an important learning style for children of all ages. It helps create a deep understanding of the material introduced to them. This hands-on, play approach is especially important during early education, when children are just starting to discover and create their learning style, along with the world around them.
Products from Kodo Kids range anywhere from Digger Kits, designed to encourage outdoor play and learning by digging, burying and sifting through sand and soil, to Kodo Clay, an all-natural product meant for art and expression. There’s a magnetic filling kit that teaches kids about magnetism and iron particles. Kodo Kids even has Pump Works, a kit of water tubes that lets children test out their engineering and water pumping skills.
How do we know Kodo Kids’ products are great? They sent us some and we loved them! With a wide variety of tools, toys and gadgets, any teacher, child care provider, or parent is sure to find something right up their alley that suits their individual teaching or parenting style. Visit Kodo Kids’ products for yourself today to see just how great hands-on learning can be!
With the steep costs of preschool, many parents are searching for lower costing options or even eliminating pre-k altogether. Those in Los Angeles County may have a more affordable option at their fingertips. The Un Mundo de Amigos Preschool offers free and affordable preschool to kids in the LA county.
Un Mundo de Amigos offers free half-day preschool without any financial restrictions. The only requirements are that the families live in LA County and children fall within the birthday perimeters. Un Mundo de Amigos does, however, still offer affordable childcare to families of kids who are younger than four or those who’d like their kids to participate in the full-day program. Families who fall into those categories are welcome to opt for the program’s private pay option, which costs $5 per hour, still much lower than most other pre-k programs.
Laurie Peterson, who had previously worked in the business of PG golf tournaments, founded Un Mundo de Amigos after seeing the joy her own son got from starting school. “I realized that not every child had had the same beginnings as he has had,” said Peterson. “And yet every parent loves their child as much as I love him.”
Most of it is funded through the Los Angeles Universal Preschool, a non-profit dedicated to increasing preschool affordability and access in the LA area. In 1999, as a result of a 50-cent tax law on cigarettes and other tobacco products in California, more funding was put toward early childhood development. Eighty percent of the new revenue was distributed among counties in California and backs organizations such as LAUP, working to improve the lives and education of children from the age of birth to five years old.
The program has been going strong and just graduated its fifth preschool class. Un Mundo de Amigos enrolls about 130 students each year and this year is no different. With the school year officially beginning in September, Un Mundo de Amigos has a handful of spots available in its free program and only one private place still open.
For more information about Un Mundo de Amigos Preschool, click here.
Guest Post by: Angelo DiGangi of Home Depot
Have you ever heard a new mother joke that she would rather her baby not begin walking, because then she’ll have to chase him around? It’s true that carrying our children ensures that we know exactly where they are at all times, but even when a child begins to explore the world, there are ways to make that world safer.
Whether you are at home with small children of your own or you are looking for the best ways to childproof your childcare center or local business, there are ways you can organize and safeguard kitchen cabinets, drawers and other places where you might not want tiny hands.
Locks of Love
One of the most important ways to childproof your home is to keep kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers that contain harmful or dangerous items off limits.
First, get organized.
Don’t put things like poisonous cleaning products in the lower kitchen cabinets, if possible. Try storing plastic food containers, plastic dishes, dishtowels and other harmless items for areas within the reach of small hands.
Check out what’s available.
When it comes to latches and locks to keep your kitchen items safe, there are plenty of options. Hardware stores, specialty shops and super stores are all fine places to peruse options for safety latches. There are two main types of latches for cabinets and drawers.
Elsewhere in the Kitchen
If you have harmful products stashed under a sink, those may be the first items you think about inside a kitchen – and with good reason! But there are other ways to keep your toddler safe in the most popular room of the house.
Use the back section of the stovetop.
If you’re boiling water or cooking, use the back burners. Keep the handles turned away from any side where your toddler might be able to reach.
Keep countertops clear.
Make sure appliances, knife sets and other kitchen gadgets are not at the edge of the counters, but pushed back and away from reach.
Elsewhere in the House
Latch your toilet seat.
More toddlers drown inside toilets than you could ever imagine. Keep your toilet seats closed and latched to prevent this.
Use an anti-scalding device for sinks and showers.
Don’t let your child turn on the hot water and burn himself. Install a device on the showerhead and faucet that prevents the water from becoming too hot. Most of these devices function by automatically reducing the water flow when it becomes a certain temperature.
You can also go a step further and install an anti-scalding device on your actual hot water heater. A professional plumber is usually the one to do this.
To avoid shock, cover all unused outlets with a safety cap.
Leave hairdryers and other bathroom appliances unplugged.
Even adults get burned sometimes – so remember to unplug any bathroom appliances and put them away after use.
Other Precautions for Safety
Use doorknob covers and baby gates.
If there are rooms in your house where you’d just rather not have children, try a simple doorknob cover or a baby gate to deter your toddler from entering.
Cover furniture edges with “bumpers.”
Children are prone to running around, falling and bumping their heads. You can prevent accidents involving the furniture by covering the corners with “bumpers” that soften the edges.
Avoid creating a “ladder” for windows.
Kids love to climb. That said, keep all furniture away from high windows, which can pose a falling hazard should your child climb onto the windowsill. Screens do not provide sufficient protection.
Keep cords out of reach.
Cords – whether from appliances or blinds – can strangle a child easily. Make sure your toddler cannot wrap him or herself in loose cords.
Keep bookcases and other structures sturdy.
Secure bookcases and any other furniture that could fall over onto a child by using brackets and anchors. Keep heavier items at the bottom to prevent a top-heavy structure.
Ensuring that your home is childproof is no easy task, but there are plenty of items to assist in your venture. And, other parents and visitors will feel at ease knowing that you’ve taken the time to create a safe environment for little people.
Angelo DiGangi is a Home Depot “on the floor” sales associate at a suburban Chicago store. His writing interests include providing kitchen design ideas for homeowners on the Home Depot website.
Kids get bumps and bruises faster than you can keep up with. Before you know it, one of your kid’s has slammed their finger in a door, jammed it on a basketball or gotten a nasty rope burn from tug-a-war. That’s why everyone should have at least one Cold Cast available in their freezer at all times.
Cold Cast is an ice pack that fits snugly on the injured finger. Children don’t like to sit still long enough to hold an ice pack in place, but the Cold Cast has its own sling so your kids can go on playing while they’re icing. The cast helps treat finger injuries immediately, speeding up the healing process and helping eliminate any complications down the road.
The Cold Cast is safe for kids of all ages. It’s soft and easy to strap into place. Plus, it’s latex-free so as to avoid any allergic reactions.
Injury care is essential to ensuring the fastest healing and avoiding any future problems. Cold Cast provides all five features of P.R.I.C.E., the five main principles of injury care. They include:
At Mom Trusted, we want to make sure that our care providers stay well prepared so we’re offering our users an exclusive discount:
Just enter the discount code before you checkout.
Code: Mom Trusted
Buy one before you need one so that you always have at least one Cold Cast on hand! If you have a few you can get creative when injuries arise.
With sun and summer finally here, what better way to cool off than spending some time in the water? But whether we’re talking about a kiddie pool in your backyard or taking the kiddos in your daycare program to a local lake or waterpark, safety should be (and likely already is) your number one concern. Here are a few tips to making splashing around safer:
Constant supervision is a must.
Even a shallow pool is enough for a tragic accident. Keep the kids safe by watching them at every moment, even if they’re not actually in the water.
Look for lifeguards.
If you’re after a lake, beach or public pool, head to one with a lifeguard. But remember, just because there’s a lifeguard on duty, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay just as close of attention to your children. Think of the lifeguard as an added water safety bonus.
Know who’s most at risk.
Toddlers and teens have the highest drowning rates. Both are exploring their boundaries, but teens may be showing off or messing around without considering the consequences. Toddlers, on the other hand, are also at high risk because they’re exploring new environments and mimicking adult behavior without understanding the dangers involved. Keep an extra careful eye on children from both of these age groups.
Keep the kids hydrated.
Sunshine combined with high-energy activities like swimming means children should be gulping lots of water. Grab a few plastic water bottles or fill up some aluminum ones on your way out the door.
Remember the sunscreen!
Water isn’t the only dangerous part of splashing around outdoors. Strong sunshine can burn little ones’ fair skin. Plus, water amplifies the UV rays, making the risk of sunburn even higher. Invest in some intense (50 SPF +), waterproof sunscreen.
-“Water Safety” Kids Health: http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/water_safety.html
-“Water Safety: Protecting Children” Safety Turtle: http://www.safetyturtle.com/water-safety/child-water-safety.html
-Photo courtesy of chrisroll/freedigitalphotos.net
Looking for a way to cool off this summer? Gather the family to make homemade ice cream! Making homemade ice cream can help stifle boredom and satisfy your little one’s sweet tooth. Follow this simple recipe:
-1 gallon ziplock bag
-1 pint ziplock bag
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1 cup half and half
-1/2 cup salt
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 gallon bag’s worth of ice cubes
1. Pour sugar, salt and vanilla extract into the pint-sized ziplock bag.
2. Put the salt and ice in the gallon-sized bag.
3. Place the sealed small bag inside the larger bag and seal shut.
4. Shake the bag for 5 minutes or until mixture hardens.
5. Take out the smaller bag, throw in frozen fruit, nuts, broken up candy bars or eat it plain.
-Photo courtesy of rakratchada torsap/freedigitalphotos.net
With warm weather finally here, it’s time to get outside! Kids do best with a little direction and encouragement for their imagination so Mom Trusted put together a list of fun summer activities for kids. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Decorate the town with chalk.
Chalk is a summer classic that never gets old. Grab a fresh box and let your little ones go crazy. It’ll probably only be a matter or minutes before your fresh sticks of chalk start to snap, but don’t panic. Invest in a giant Tupperware container that can hang out in the garage and be a home to old, used chalk chunks every summer. This will also allow for a collection of colors!
Play catch with water balloons and slippery hands.
Fill up a bucket with water balloons and head to the back yard. Then, grease up with something like vegetable oil, lotion or good, old-fashioned soap. See how long you can play catch with the balloons sliding around through slippery hands.
Float ice boats.
Make ice cube boats by freezing a tray of cubes with a drop of food coloring in each. Have your kids help you decorate little triangle pieces of paper as flags for each boat. Then, glue the flags to toothpicks and stick one per cube before freezing the colorful ice cubes. Fill up a cheap, plastic pool in your yard and let your kids splash around and float their boats.
Have a bubble party.
Fill a plastic kiddie pool with dish soap and water. Then, get creative with different bubble makers. Hunt through your garage. Use hula-hoops, bend wire into fun shapes and dig around in your kitchen to pull out a strainer with extra big holes.
Go on a water balloon hunt.
It works like an Easter egg hunt except you’re using very full water balloons. Because they tend to burst when they hit the ground or are squeezed too tightly, the goal is to see who can fill their basket with the most full balloons. Then, have a water balloon war with your new-found treasures.
Make your own sprinklers.
Raid your recycling for the biggest plastic bottles you can find. Then, drill holes in them and give them to your kids next time they’re playing in the outdoor pool or running through the hose and sprinkler. Voila! Mini sprinklers!
-Pinterest: Summer Activities with Kids: http://pinterest.com/melissa_taylor2/summer-activities-with-kids/
-“Water Balloon Games for Kids” Fantastic Fun and Learning: http://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/water-balloon-games-for-kids.html
-“Summer Activities for Kids: Ice Boats” Spanglish Baby: http://spanglishbaby.com/finds/summer-activity-for-kids-ice-boats-water-play/
-“Tutorial: The Human Bubble and More” U Create: http://www.ucreatewithkids.com/search/label/bubbles
-“30 Summer Activities for Kids” Lil Luna: http://lilluna.com/30-summer-activities-for-kids/
-Photo courtesy of chrisroll/freedigitalphotos.net