Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sunscreen Good or Bad?

Because my daughter is biracial I joined a list of other white parents trying to learn how to best care for their dark skinned child (kids straight from African countries, Hispanic, birracial, Asian). I've learned a lot about hair care and skin care, more than I ever thought possible. Now that summer is approaching (no really, it is) the hot topics are skin protection and scalp protection. Most of the folks on this list use ONLY completely natural products. I'm not that rich. :) But some folks have been sharing articles about the use of sunscreen: which are good, which are bad, and which you should completely avoid. I'm including a website here with different research articles about sun exposure and sunscreen use. Take it all with a grain of salt. They also have a list of "chemical free" sunscreens if the articles scare you too much. Most of these I've only seen on-line or in natural food stores, but more and more of them are starting to show up in the usual stores like Wal-Mart and CVS...

http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/ 

Now a note from many many eye doctors. Your child should be wearing sunglasses! If it's bright enough that you need them then so does your child, yes infants too!

For infants you ca get glasses that have a wrap around band. If you start your children early enough then they don't know any different and it won't be a fight. But really, eye protection from the sun is just as important as skin protection. The absolute best sunglasses will say "polarized" but they are kind of spendy and if you aren't sure you can get your kid to keep them on I'd start with the cheaper ones but make sure they say UVA/UVB protection. (these are from One Step Ahead but I've seen the glasses with the wrap around strap at Target too)
 

Monday, May 9, 2011

So Many Fun Things To Do

Where do I start?! I've been poking around on fun blogs put together by moms that obviously have WAY more time than I do. Well, most of them are stay at home moms, so in a way they do have more time. But I've found so many fun things to do that I know I'll never get through them all. I go to one link a friend sends me and then I can't help but follow link after link after link on those pages (getting very lost in the process).  (WARNING: you might get sucked in, I hit link after link after link and had no idea where I'd started!) Here are a few of my favorites: 

http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com/   resources for messy families
http://www.theimaginationtree.com/p/discovery-boxes.html  zillions of ideas for creative preschool play
http://creativeconnectionsforkids.com/  Activities, games, and crafts to enhance the development of your child
http://www.minieco.co.uk/  creative stuff and homemade toys
http://www.filthwizardry.com/  sharing messy art and craft fun with preschoolers
http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/ activities that promote play, discovery, and learning
http://tinkerlab.com/ creative experiments for kids
http://lets-explore.net/blog/  simple ways to create, discover, and play

~Erica Triebenbach

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kids in the Kitchen

I know that the thought of your kids helping with dinner makes you groan and sigh. It definitely takes more prep work and more patience and an earlier start time, but it's so worth it to see their faces when they have helped make the meal (and they are more likely to eat it as well!). And yes, it's VERY messy but that's part of the fun and when it's all over they can help clean up as well. There are so many teachable moments here I can't even begin to count them (though I'll try).

Here are a couple of video clips of my daughter helping me make meatballs. This was a good meal for her to help with for a  number of reasons: she LOVES to get dirty so this was right up her alley, there weren't a lot of ingredients to measure and pour, just about anyone can squish the meat to mix it and make the balls to put in the pan. (the background whining noise is my vacuum running, sorry for that) Autumn is a creative little soul so please enjoy the musical accompaniment to our science activity. And for the record, our meatballs were more like meat-lumps but they sure did taste good!!

Cooking is a great sensory activity, math activity, science activity, and literacy activity. You count, identify numbers, pour, measure, mix, read recipes, talk about the order of the steps (first, second, next, etc), more and less, little and a lot....the vocabulary possibilities are endless: squishy, dry, wet, rough, smooth, silky, oily, liquid, solid, gross, colors.....

So sit down with your child and figure out which meal they are going to help with. If you always tell them "no" when they ask to help you, they will eventually stop asking to help.

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