Nutrition for Kids – What Makes a Balanced Meal?

balancedmeal2.jpg

Have you heard of “My Plate”? It’s the newest tool from the USDA to help families plan balanced, nutritious meals. We think it’s a great tool for playtime, too! Use the graphic (attached) to guide sorting, tracking, and meal-planning activities with your family. Here are a few different ways to play: Print out My Plate [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Play Food Is Good for You!

foodplay.jpg

Want a fun after-school activity? Get your kids involved in meal planning by using play food to act out healthy habits! Here are three of our favorite ways to play with food toys—with a lunchbox spin for back to school! Pack it up: Encourage your kids to have fun with nutrition by letting them pack [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Racing Flags!

raceflags1.jpg

This idea for creative play and crafty fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy crafting with your kids! -Valerie These racing flags were easy to make, and afterwards they inspired the kids to go outside for some active play to burn off some of their extra [...]

Stacy Shares: Swimming Games for Beginners

jelly_sinkers_beginnner_swimmers.jpg

These creative water-play games are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Stacy Teet. Family fun can be educational, too!  -Stacy                                 One of the items on my summer to do list, right up there [...]

Skill Building: Help your Preschooler Develop Healthy Friendships

skill-building-friendships.jpg

Encourage problem solving. Give children the opportunity to figure out resolutions to their conflict. Pose the question, “What can we do about this?” Reinforce Positive Behavior. When children are playing together, try to catch them engaging in appropriate behavior. Comment on how nice it was that they shared the buckets or that they took turns [...]

Skill Building: 5 Ways to Promote a Happy Team-Sports Activity

skill-building-team-sports.jpg

Make a Game Plan. Talk with your child about what to expect: The length of the season and frequency of practice, for instance. Explain that being part of a team is a commitment, and the team will rely on him/her to be there every time. As encouragement, make a chart or checklist where your child [...]

5 Tips for Keeping Your Child’s Skin Healthy This Summer

5-tips-child-healthy-skin-summer.jpg

Apply sunscreen often. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that all kids—regardless of skin tone—wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply about every 2 hours (more if your kids are sweating or swimming). Don’t forget about the tops of their feet, behind the neck and under bathing-suit straps. Cover up! What’s better [...]

What Lessons Will Bloom in Your Child’s Garden?

what-lessons-bloom-child-garden.jpg

Memory & Sequencing: The process of planting requires gardeners to follow set steps. Your child will use memory and narrative thinking to master the process: Prepare the soil, dig the hole, plant the seed. . . . Biology: Through direct experience your child will see a basic life cycle unfold: infancy, growth, full bloom, death. [...]

The Benefits of Being Outside by Melissa

melissa-close-up.jpg

by Melissa for grandparents.com Spontaneous time spent outdoors can have benefits beyond your wildest dreams! Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing outdoors. When I was young, no one in my neighborhood had nannies. Sending the kids outside to play was Mom’s free babysitter and the only way she could “get things done.” [...]