Toddler Education and Activity

October 2, 2008

One of the best ways to give your toddler an education is to combine it with an activity. Toddlers love to learn by doing. Here are some great suggestions to keep your toddler active and educate him at the same time.

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Toddlers, ever going, never tiring and ultimately chaotic… so just how do you find enough activities to keep them entertained and give them an education at the same time?

Toddlers aren’t old enough to entertain themselves or get involved in pretend play (without a little help), which means it’s up to you to keep them entertained and happy. The best activities for toddlers are fun-filled while still fully helping them developmentally.

So what are some fun but also educational activities for your toddler? The good news is that toddlers are fairly easy to entertain so there’s no need to go out and spend a fortune or turn your house into an amusement park.

Here are a few fun ideas:

Go for a nature walk – Educational yet lots of fun. Your toddler will love exploring and collecting different treasures to bring home. Point out big leaves to him or different colored plants or flowers. Collect opposites such as a small leaf and a big leaf or a small stick and a big stick.

Take your time and have fun. Don’t worry if you don’t live near a nature reserve or park. A simple walk around your neighborhood will be sufficient. Your toddler won’t mind and there will still be lots for him to see.

Bake Cookies – The bad news first, things will get messy. The good news, cooking is both fun and educational and even children as young as 2 can get involved. Depending on your toddler’s age let her help and don’t worry too much about how the final product will look or even taste, concentrate on the actual putting it together part. As you’re mixing the ingredients tell your toddler what you’re doing. Name out each ingredient and measurement out loud and once you finish enjoy your delicious homemade treats.

Have Fun With Water – Fill a small tub with water and give your toddler several containers of different sizes. Let her pour water from one container to the other and you can even add some bubbles for extra fun. This is a fun activity that also helps build hand eye coordination. You can also place different objects in a tub and show your child how some of them float and others sink.

Start a Photo Album – Make a photo album and fill it with pictures of your toddler, your family and extended family as well. This is especially good if your toddler has relatives that live far away. Talk about who each person is and where they come from or where they live.

Paper Tearing or Cutting – Find a couple of old magazines or catalogues and let your toddler tear pages out, try to get her to tear small shapes or just let her have fun. If your toddler is a little older you can teach her how to use toddler scissors to cut out shapes.

Toddlers are constantly learning. This is the perfect age for you to have fun with your child while helping them learn. And don’t think you have to do something too elaborate. Toddlers are easily pleased and will find wonder and amazement in even the smallest of things. Enjoy these years.

Things To Pack In School Lunches

October 2, 2008

Are you packing your child’s lunch? Do you ever wonder what things to pack in school lunches? Maybe your child is just getting tired of the same PB&J sandwich. Here are some fun new ideas.

Out of healthy packed lunch ideas? Packing a nutritious packed lunch your kids will actually eat five days of the week is no easy feat. It’s no wonder many of us get stuck in a rut and end up packing the same lunch time and time again.

When packing your kids lunch, the main thing to keep in mind is that the lunch is nutritious and balanced. Try to include a mixture of whole grains, protein, calcium, fruit and veggies in each packed lunch and don’t worry it’s really not too difficult.

To help get you started, here’s a 5-day sample lunch menu which is balanced to include a little of everything mentioned above.

Day One:
Whole-wheat bread sandwich filled with ham and cheese and cut into triangles
Fruit yogurt
Cut melon cubes and cucumber rounds
Small packet of raisins
Milk or fruit juice

Day Two:
Pita filled with turkey and cream cheese
Carrot sticks
Pineapple chunks
Mini muffin
Milk or fruit juice

Day Three:
Homemade Pizza Quesadilla
Apple sauce
Cherry tomatoes and cubes of ham
Yogurt covered raisins
Milk or fruit juice

Day Four:
Bagel spread with peanut butter and full fruit jam
Fresh peach
Carrot sticks and cubes of cheese
Yogurt drink
Milk or fruit juice

Day Five:
Roll filled with tuna and sweet corn
Cucumber slices and cubes of cheese
Bunch of seedless grapes
Mini Fruit Muffin
Milk or fruit

We recommend:
Dine Without Whine
The family friendly menu mailer – Dinner recipes that you and your kids will love send to your inbox everyday. Christine will even create a grocery list for you. Fixing dinner every night couldn’t be easier. Give it a try!

Students And Eating Breakfast

October 1, 2008

What do you know about the connection between school performance and students and eating breakfast? Try some of these nutritious breakfast ideas for an energy-rich start of the day.

Running late for school yet again? Just give the kids a Pop Tart on the way out the door and they’ll be fine. If you’re all out of the sugary toaster treat, just swing through Krispy Kreme on the way and your offspring will be good to go. Right? Wrong! Wrong! And Wrong. You might as well give your children a cup of coffee if that’s what you consider a good breakfast.

Well sure it’s quick, convenient and tasty! In addition to lacking any nutritional value, the sugar buzz will quickly wear off and then your little one will fall asleep right before morning recess. So what about a bowl of cereal and a bagel? Nope, that’s not much better; although some cold cereals are clearly better than others. You want to feed your children a nutritionally sound breakfast, complete with a source of protein.

Quick and convenient does not have to equate to a boatload of carbs and sugar. How many times have you heard, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? It’s true; it sets the tone for the whole day. Children need to be able to focus, and they need to be awake.

Eggs are a great source of protein. If you don’t have time to cook in the morning, then make some hard boiled eggs the night before. Those are quick and easy. You can also make fruit smoothies with yogurt and your children’s favorite fruit. Add a little cinnamon and vanilla, and then pour it all in the blender.

How many years has Carnation Instant Breakfast been around? It’s been around longer than most readers will remember. But there is good reason for their longevity. It’s chock full of antioxidants (as much as a cup of green tea) and it has twice the protein of an egg and twice as much calcium as a 6 oz. container of fruited yogurt. It tastes like chocolate milk, but it’s oh so much better.

Maybe your child just isn’t a breakfast person. Who says you have to eat typical breakfast food in the morning? Have you read “101 Delicious Chicken Recipes?” If your student likes chicken, serve up a 3 oz. chicken breast for breakfast. There’s no rule against it. And it’s a nutritionally sound breakfast, complete with a source of protein.

Don’t forget to put a small baggie full of almonds in your child’s backpack. Nuts are also a great convenient, energy boosting addition to breakfast. Just say ‘No” to sugary toaster treats!

We recommend:
Dine Without Whine
The family friendly menu mailer – Dinner recipes that you and your kids will love send to your inbox everyday. Christine will even create a grocery list for you. Fixing dinner every night couldn’t be easier. Give it a try!

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