Archive of ‘Kid Stuff’ category

printable bible quizzes for kids and toddlers quiet book pattern – keeping your kids busy during church

shapesKeeping my toddler quiet during church is almost impossible, so that’s why I started to do research for printable bible quizzes for kids, and quiet book patters for toddlers.

Husby isn’t much for getting up early on Sunday morning, so I usually can’t get to church unless my parents come with me. Which is a shame, because I love going – especially because we’ve kind of formed a community with fellow churchgoers. Otherwise, you’d see me hanging baby girl off one arm, while the other is trying to coax the toddler into staying still for longer than ONE second, looking very fraazzled, and having no idea what the heck is going on mass-wise.

Toddler boy’s pretty set with his rounds – it’s, sit for less than 30 seconds, gets up, bolts for the holy water, splashes it on his face, bolts for the adjacent chapel, opens the door, looks in, closes the door, darts to the exit, and tries to get out and explore. Usually Nonno is on toddler duty, for the first half of the mass, and Nonna takes the second half, while I sway my body back and forth while I hold baby girl, trying to keep her happy. It’s an adventure.

And all of this while the other toddler boy that usually attends mass stays as still as an angel on his daddy’s lap, playing with his two cars. Some times it leaves me wondering if it’s a child’s personality that’s the main factor, or I just need to try a different tactic in addition to the grandparent swat team. Hence, me taking my friend’s suggestion into looking up free printable bible quizzes and quiet book patterns.

I found some good printable bible quizzes here. Granted, my toddler is still a bit too young for them, but it does keep him focused and still for longer periods of time if I have something to read to him and to teach him. He loves to learn, and what better way for him to learn about what’s actually happening in mass, than talking to him about bible quizzes. And let’s be honest, even though my father has a doctorate’s in theology and philosophy, it’s not like I listened much myself as I grew. So it’s nice for me to learn these things with my child, while still being able to pay attention in mass.

The toddler’s quiet book patterns are a bit better for my toddler for him to be independently well-behaved, though.  This site is great with directions on how to make your own toddler quiet pattern books.

But what is a quiet book, exactly? A quiet book is a set of pages made of fabric that are meant to keep a baby or a toddler busy during quiet adult moments – such as church. The pages usually have interactive objects sewn onto the pages for your toddler or baby to study and stay concentrated on when you want them to sit still. The key is to pick things to go into the pages that you know will grasp your child’s attention, such as pictures of their favorite characters, or little cloth dogs. Also, only let them play with the book when you want them to sit still, otherwise if they have it all of the time, they will get bored with it.  This site has great quiet book pattern ideas to get you started.

I’m actually really excited about the quiet book pattern; I’m really going to try to make some time before Sunday to see if I can get to making one. It looks pretty easy to make even with my non-crafty hands. If not, I’ll just print out some printable bible quizzes.

Check out These Free Toddler Lesson Plans

babybagIt’s cold days like this that make free toddler lesson plans really come in handy. My toddler begs and begs and begs to go outside and play in the snow, especially after the winter episodes of all the toddler cartoons with snowball fights, and sled rides to Santa’s workshop. So I’ve had to do some research to find things to distract him any time he starts to yell, “Oushide, snow!” Don’t get me wrong, I’d totally head out into the snow with him if it was just me and him, but baby girl is still a bit too tiny for that.

That’s why it’s great to find those websites that provide free toddler lesson plans. It especially helps me to have these when I bring toddler boy to work with me. I set him on a task, and then walk away to get some work done. That’s until he starts calling my name again, and then I set him on the next task. Sometimes, though, I need to accompany these activities with a good snack, and a Blue’s Clues episode on TV.

You want to check out They’ve got TONS of winter activities to choose from that start from toddler-appropriate to kindergartner levels, I also recommend to check the Brooksfield School if you are still looking for a school for your kids. The is also a great resource. From those two sites alone, you can get activity calendars, winter party ideas, calendar crafts, math songs, color snacks, learning with snow, ecc.

Also, provides a bunch of free worksheets for you to have your child work on. These are all Adobe Acrobat files, so you want to download the latest version of Adobe to be able to view them.

You can follow these table activities with some basic toddler-baby mommy and me yoga activities that incorporate holding your child while toning your muscles. For example, you can do slow squats while holding your toddler in your arms with them facing you, and their legs wrapped around your waist. You want to have them count your squats as you go up and down, and actually have them repeat the words “up” and “down” with you as you do them. With this free lesson tip, your toddler’ll get a bit of exercise, you’ll get a bit of exercise, and they’ll practice counting and learn their directions. After a bit of that, it’s back to sitting down and get to work on the lesson plans.

A friend of mine also suggested going to local craft stores, where she finds crafts for a dollar for her two toddler boys to work on together. What about you? Do you have any free toddler lesson plan tips to dish out to other moms?

Sharing my Wedding Ideas that Include Children

110_F_9262382_0G2NX8gqvpK16TUu4Gxx3jLquVpGBHR1_PXPThis past Saturday, my mom and Husby’s mom came up with some great wedding ideas that include children.

I’ve been calling Husby my husband until now because we’ve been in a common law marriage for a while. But this weekend, we blessed our family by having a church ceremony we needed to learn planning a wedding on a budget, and we had to keep the kids busy! Below are some great wedding ideas to keep children busy, whether you are trying to entertain your own children or someone else’s!

  • A kids’ play room – Ask your venue manager if they’d be willing to throw in an extra room at no cost. Ours was more than willing. They just gave us a large room for bags and coats, which also served as a kids’ play room. All the moms were able to take their kids in there to kill time before and after dinner. My mom and Husby’s mom brought crates of toys from their houses, and we planned on bringing big toddler stuff like bikes and cars from our house, but ended up not needing to bring them in. The kids were more than entertained with just crates of toys for the age of 10 for example, and the moms were happy. If you feel comfortable with this idea, you can hire a baby sitter to be in there with the kids while the moms enjoy themselves.
  • Snack attack – Ask your church if children are allowed to eat snacks in the pews. My toddler behaved perfectly well in the front pews for  a whole 45 minutes – all thanks to well-packed snacks.
  • Nap time – If you have a baby, try to hold off on letting them nap until the ceremony. That way, no fuss, no muss. I know they’ll miss it that way, but it’s not like they’d remember it anyway. My baby girl slept through it, and we just woke her at the end in order to include her during the conclusion of the ceremony.
  • Cry room – If you’re really worried about it, try to pick a church that provides a separate room for kids, and audio for the parents to still be with them and pay attention to the ceremony.
  • Seating arrangements at the reception – Do away with them. It’s hard enough to do small talk, let alone to have small talk while your kids are going wild. Just get rid of the seating chart all together, and just ask your venue to provide a few extra tables than necessary so people with kids can spread out with diaper bags, clothing changes, ecc. If there’s extra seats, there’s no issues with anyone not having enough room to sit with whom they want to sit. And it’ll save you a big headache.
  • High chairs and booster seats – I actually forgot this detail, which is why it was helpful to have friends who were willing to lend their laps to my hungry children while they ate. Bring them for your guests! It’ll make things just a bit more comfortable.
  • Dancing – Allow it. Might seem like a no brainer, but Husby and I contemplated not having a dancing portion at our wedding so people didn’t feel obligated to stick around since him and I were leaving early for a night to ourselves. But, Husby’s dad, our DJ, insisted on it, which really worked out because my friends and their kids had a ball dancing around!
  • Allergy-awareness – Talk to your caterer about what exactly is in the food like the traditional sugar almonds for weddings they will be serving. For example, my son and Husby and a few kids that were at the wedding had lactose and gluten allergies. My caterer was able to tell me what was prepared without any gluten or dairy in it, which actually gave those people a sufficient amount of choices for their dinner just by letting the caterers know ahead of time.
  • Kid-friendly ceremony – If you have kids by the time you get married, it does help to include them in the wedding ceremony. We had our kids walk down with our parents before Husby and I processed into the church, and they looked absolutely adorable while staying busy during that segment of the ceremony! Also, we had the priest bless them at the end of the ceremony, and we carried them with us as we processed out, as a metaphor of the seal we just completed on our little family.
  • Closing time – I know it’s your wedding, but if you’d like to accommodate families with kids, opt for an early starting time like 1:30 or 2, so that people can head home by 8 p.m. and not have to miss anything. Otherwise, people with kids will have to leave early and won’t get to enjoy things like dancing or dessert.

What about you? Do you have wedding ideas that include children? Feel free to add to the list by chiming in!

Non-Safety Related Recall of Some H1N1 Nasal Spray Vaccines, Pediatric Alliance Says

thermalI received an update about H1N1 virus that was sent to my by my local pediatrician, Pediatric Alliance.

The e-mail stated: “There has been a voluntary recall of specific lots of nasal spray H1N1 vaccine. The recall is due to manufacturer quality assurance measures indicating a decreased potency in some batches of the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that there are no safety concerns. The slight decrease in potency should not affect how the vaccine works, and children who received the doses in question do NOT need to be re-vaccinated.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave more information on their website by writing: “First, it is important to point out that the recall is not safety-related. As part of its quality assurance program, the manufacturer of the nasal spray monovalent 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine, MedImmune, performs routine, ongoing stability testing of the vaccine. Stability testing means measuring the strength (also called potency) of the vaccine over time to make sure it does not go below a pre-specified limit during the vaccine’s “shelf life.” On December 18 and 21, the manufacturer notified CDC and FDA that the potency in 13 batches (called “lots”) of nasal spray vaccine had decreased below the pre-specified limit or were at risk of falling below that limit within the upcoming week. The vaccine was within the specified range at the time the vaccine was distributed. The slight decrease in potency should not affect how the vaccine works. However, the manufacturer will send providers directions for returning any unused vaccine from these lots.”

Persons who received vaccine for the H1N1 virus from the recalled batches do NOT need to take any action or contact their health care provider.

Dairy Free and Gluten Free Diets Will be the Death of Me

With the combination of breastfeeding and dairy free and gluten free diets, I’ve lost a lot of weight. This is not by choice, but it’s by dedication. My husband was told by his doctors about a month ago that he might have Celiac Disease, and my toddler has been slowly having allergic symptoms that have gone from mild to seriously flared up in the past two weeks. They hit peak over the past few days, so we’ve scheduled appointments with his pediatrician, who is referring us to an allergist, and also are consulting with a homeopathic allergen specializing doctor.

So obviously, it’s safety first – kids first. But people, I am starving. I mean like give me a cheese burger right freaking now. On New Year’s Eve we went to a friend of ours’ home. She also has gluten allergies and is trying to instill this diet in her son because he has ADHD, and it’s been proven that gluten free diets seriously improve the symptoms of ADHD.

So she made delicious gluten free spaghetti with meatball tomato sauce, and sweet gluten free peanut butter cookies. We brought over gluten free beer, Red Bridge, and gluten free hummus that my husband made with a veggie tray. So we had a lot of food, and believe me I ate a lot, as I always do. And before that, we even had rice with tuna, beans and corn for dinner at home. So again, I’m talking an all out feast, practically. Well wouldn’t you know it that as we drive home from the party on New Years, I was STARVING. I felt like I hadn’t eaten all day, which clearly was not the case. Especially because I’d also had a beer, which regular beers usually leaves me feeling very bloated in itself.

My husband and the homeopathic allergist have explained to me that I only think I am starving. But rather, what is happening is that cheese and gluten release the same chemicals in your brain, as if I were doing cocaine or heroin. So you know how people will say, “I’m like addicted to cheese and bread?” Well you’re not like addicted, ya apparently really are. Who knew?!

But because I don’t actually have those allergies myself, I could actually eat bread and cheese and be fine. But, ladies, we all know how a toddler gets when he sees something and wants it. And since my son has mastered the kitchen gate that once served so well as a fort (It’s funny because once he passes the gates he compulsively has to shut it behind him. He doesn’t get that that gate is there solely for the purpose to keep him out. He makes me laugh) we’ve had to eliminate all dairy and gluten products from our kitchen.

So because, like I said, I totally respect and understand the important correlation between a child’s diet and their health/behavior, I’m gonna keep at it. I’ll just have to sneak in some of the hardy stuff when I’m not with my toddler to keep my body able to catch up with the calories I’m burning by breastfeeding. But I’m gonna be honest with you before I go home from work I’m gonna stop to get a couple hot dogs. With buns. Oh and nachos. Mmmm.

By the way, if any of those gluten free and dairy free foods sounded good to you (They’re very, very good), there’s some great recipes that we found in Paleo Cookbook and Gluten Free Low Glycemic Cookbook for Diabetics and Allergy Sufferers.

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