Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunny Patch for Your Spring Garden & How to Plant One!

How to Make a Children's Garden Gardening with Mom or Dad is a long-term project that reaps great rewards. Nurturing plants and sharing the "fruits" of your labor are great confidence builders for little ones! To make sure this first foray into gardening is successful for your child, try the following steps: 1. Choose plants that mature quickly. As you know, children have short attention spans. You'll keep them the most interested when they see results quickly! Large seeds, such as beans, cucumbers, pumpkins and zucchini are easiest to plant and sprout quickly. Radishes are the quickest to grow, but the seeds are small. Cherry tomatoes are a good choice too because they produce loads of bite-size treats that children can pick and eat straight from their garden. 2. Give your child a separate plot that is all his own. A 3 foot by 3 foot plot should be fine for a preschool child. Having his own garden will give him ownership now, and pride later! 3. Decide on the layout of your plants. Try using a wagon-wheel design to make it easy to water and pick the plants later. Otherwise, remember to leave a walking path. 4. Prepare the soil by turning it over using shovels. Then use a gardening rake to pick out any large stones or roots that should be removed. 5. Plant the seeds. 6. Water the new seedlings according to the seed instructions. 7. Check the garden every day and celebrate every new growth. 8. Enjoy the bounty of your hard work! Don't forget fun projects along the way such as making stepping stones, a garden sign, and plant markers! Sunny Patch is an imaginative world filled with whimsical, adorable characters boys and girls will love. With their Sunny Patch friends to help guide them, children are inspired to learn about and appreciate all living things. Melissa & Doug's Sunny Patch brand has been thoughtfully designed to encourage kids and families to find new and enjoyable ways of exploring their world together, while bringing a spirit of playfulness to everyday activities. Young gardeners will be delighted with real tools they can use! Child-sized and made to last, these tools and accessories feature durable construction and bright, Sunny Patch colors.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Perfect Happy Birthday Gift!

Now its a party! This Birthday Party play food cake set is sure to put a broad smile on the face of any recipient. And, its not just a birthday cake...its a celebration cake. The Happy Birthday center piece can be included or removed when playing with it. All pieces are made of wood and have Velcro attachments. Melissa & Doug's Birthday Party play food cake is always a huge hit with the birthday child! It's a beautifully designed play food toy packed with play value. It's so much fun to "cut" the cake with the included serving spatula. The velcro attachments make a fun "cutting" sound as each piece is separated! Children will enjoy playing birthday party, bakery, or house with this fun set. All of the cake decorations also attach with velcro so the cake can be decorated lots of different ways! What's included? This FUN FUN FUN play food set includes all pieces shown including; a birthday cake with 6 generous slices; candles; strawberries; candy toppings (Are you getting hungry too?); a serving / cutting spatula; and serving dish. Cake makes slicing sounds when cut! More than 30 pieces of celebration fun in all! An amazing gift for any occasion! What are you waiting for? You always need a birthday gift. Buy the Birthday Party Play Food Cake here Another Great Offer: Buy 3 Get 1 FREE on all Melissa & Doug Play Food Sets!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Preemie Parent Power

If you have experienced a premature birth and have had a child in NICU please read on. I recently contacted Deb Discenza, co-author of "The Preemie Parent's Survival Guide to the NICU, How to Maintain Your Sanity & Create a New Normal." I could have used this book 2.5 years ago when my twins were born at 32 weeks gestation. I am forever grateful to the March of Dimes and the staff at my hospital for supporting my husband and me during the time my little babies were in NICU. It was by far the scariest time of my life. Deb and Nicole wrote this book to help other parents. If you don't have a medical background (and maybe even if you do) it's difficult to listen to and understand what the NICU doctors and nurses are telling you. You are overwhelmed with emotion and are just plain scared. "The Preemie Parent's Survival Guide to the NICU" will help you understand and navigate the NICU and make it easier for you to do what's best for your child. Here is a beautiful excerpt from "The Preemie Parent's Survival Guide to the NICU" by Nicole Conn and Deb Discenza that I found very touching:
  • As you leave the NICU with your baby, realize that you are a changed person.
  • You live life one day at a time because you understand that life can change in an instant.
  • You understand that life is truly fragile because you have watched your baby struggle day in and day out.
  • You are resilient because you know that to be your baby’s parent you have to bounce back from the trauma and focus on the moment and the joys within.
  • You are strong in mind because you have handled a stressful situation and knew what to ask and how to help your baby.
  • You are strong in body because you know that you have to take care of yourself to be the best parent you can be.
  • You know the true meaning of joy because you have held your baby in your arms after wondering if that would ever be possible.
  • You are an advocate for your baby and have talked with doctors and specialists with knowledge about your Preemie that no other parent can truly conceptualize.
  • You are an advocate for yourself, making sure that you are clear with others in terms of what you want that is best for you and your family.
  • You have the power to vocalize your requirements in terms of how your baby is handled in the real world.
  • You stare down adversaries who refuse to wash hands at visits and believe that to be okay.
  • You are capable of organizing more than you ever thought possible—daily routines, medical and therapeutic appointments, insurance matters—all while the rest of life continues at its feisty pace.
  • You no longer let the small things bother you. You know what is and what is not worth worrying over.
  • You understand that what you have been through has changed your life forever and that not everyone else will understand that.
  • You have a new passion and a new reverence for all that life has to offer.
  • You leap over all problems in an effortless bound—you truly are a supermom!
  • You believe in gratitude and no longer take ANYTHING for granted.
  • You believe in miracles. Your baby is one. And you helped make that happen.
To purchase this book or find out more Visit Preemie World!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ice Cream Parlor Play Food Set by Melissa & Doug Review

The weather is getting warmer now and I know it's got me thinking ICE CREAM!! What about you? Now your little one can have a great time playing ice cream parlor with this fun play food set from Melissa & Doug. The Ice Cream Play Food Set includes four colorful ice cream scoops; two cones and two scoopers in a playful freezer case! It's such fun to scoop out the ice cream like a professional, and place each scoop on the cone. Because the scoops of ice cream are magnetic they pile up high! Each scoop of ice cream looks exceptionally realistic (mmmm!). This play food set comes with a scoop each of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip! Each of the TWO cones are wooden with wonderful details which make them look very real! We especially love that it comes with TWO scoopers...which will keep the peace at ye olde ice cream shoppe!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wooden Toddler Toys: Top 10 Must Haves

Your baby has grown into a toddler and is exploring everything in site! Make sure his toys are still appropriate, engaging, and challenging for him. It's probably time to check the toy box and make sure you have the best learning toys for your toddler. What follows is a Top 10 list of toddler toy must haves: 1. Stacking & Nesting Blocks: Toddlers are learning to use their small motor skills to stack and balance objects as well as how to nest things inside each other. That's why a set of nesting blocks (or stacking blocks) is a perfect toddler toy. 2. Blocks - ABC & Building Blocks: Blocks are fascinating for toddlers because they can be stacked but make great noise when they're knocked over too! Building blocks stimulate a child's imagination into creative action! First, the idea in the mind and then the reproduction outside the child's mind. Blocks stimulate imagination while honing small motor skills. Blocks are the classic open ended play toy. 3. Push Toys: As you know, toddlers are very mobile! They also love to be able to control their environment. A push toy allows them to move their toy around with them. This is very exciting for your toddler and a skill he will explore for years to come! Additionally, toddlers (as the name implies) are learning to excel at walking and larger push toys help them balance while being mobile. 4. Pull Toys: Just like with push toys, pull toys are great fun for toddlers. Even when a toddler is young and only crawling he can already play with pull toys. You'll see his joy on his smiling face as he pulls his little wooden toy behind him! 5. Puzzles: Toddlers are learning so much every day, sometimes it's shocking what they can learn in just a week! There are many kinds of wooden puzzles appropriate for toddlers. Puzzles help develop hand-eye coordination, matching skills, fine motor skills, and problem solving skills! All of these puzzles are wonderful for toddlers: jumbo knob puzzles peg puzzles chunky puzzles sound puzzles 6. Vehicles/Cars: Ok, these are not wooden but they're RUBBABU! Pretend play may just be emerging in your toddler. One thing toddlers like to do is play "cars". They love pushing cars around, over, under, and through anything they can. Encourage pretend play while your toddler develops small and large motors skills with his cars. 7. Ball Tracks: Your toddler is learning cause and effect and is fascinated by it! He will love watching the balls travel in a mesmerizing pattern...and then do it again! 8. Shape Sorter: Shape sorters get those chubby little fingers working on small motor skills while getting their brains working on color and shape recognition, and matching skills! You'll see their sense of accomplishment when they've correctly sorted all the pieces and then want to do it again right away! 9. Pounding Toys: Yes, toddlers love noise - when they're the ones making it! Imagine what a hero you'll be when you actually give them something they're supposed to bang with a hammer! Once they get over the shock they'll have great fun improving their hand-eye coordination and motor skills. 10. Bead Mazes: The beads slip, slide, rotate, and move along the wire frame making interesting sounds. Toddlers love bead mazes because of the bright colors, texture of the beads and fun sounds. Don't tell them how great bead mazes are for their small motor skills and problem solving skills!

11 Kinds of Wooden Puzzles at

SHOP for WOODEN PUZZLES Here: Chunky Puzzles Classroom Puzzles Dress Up Puzzles Jigsaw Puzzles Jumbo Knob Puzzles Textured Puzzles Mix n Match Puzzles Peg Puzzles Travel Puzzles Sound Puzzles Layered & Sequential Puzzles ALL WOODEN PUZZLES
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