Posts Written On September 15, 2020

Toddler Bath Buddy Glow Toys from Starlux

Starlux Games specialize in glow-in-the-dark, active group games. One of their new toy we recently received is the,  Starlux Bath Buddy. It’s a fun, floating glow-in-the-dark toy that both toddlers and their parents will love!

It is a small plastic floating toy that glows and has a button for on and off function. It is simple and can be used in the bath or swimming pool! We added a ton of bubble and made a glow car wash during bath time and was very entertaining and safe.

Everyone should be excited about getting clean, and your baby or toddler should be no exception! Make bath time an exciting light up experience with this floating, light up bath toy. Turn on the light for normal use or turn down the lights to enhance the glow effect and convert a bubble bath into a glowing wonderland! Babies and toddlers will love moving this floating light, submerging it partway, filling it with water and pouring it out.

Use it nightly to make your evening routine easier. Kids can use it as a standalone toy, pretend it’s a boat and put other toys in it, use it to pour water out and more! Safe for small children – toy is one large piece only. No setup required. Simply take it out of the box, turn it on, and get playing. Batteries are included and replaceable.

You can get this toy on Amazon!

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Pet Costume Ideas with Shed Defender

I wish I knew about this product when Cami had her knee surgeries 2 years ago. I also wish I knew about Shed Defender body suits when I had a rental car with Jacob and his fur was everywhere.  These funny body suits for dogs are useful and better than a cone. Even though it looks like they are about to do an aerobics class, it is really one of the best items for pet owners that’s available on the market right now. It is very easy to put on, machine washable and incredibly fun.

One of Niko’s favorite shows on Youtube is Pinkfong and Hogi and I searched high and low for Pinkfong costumes for dress up and Halloween but with no luck. When I came across Shed Defender. I knew it was the obvious answer! So with some felt piece and props, I present to you, Pinkfong Cami and Hogi Niko!

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Do you have any plans for pet Halloween costumes this year?

Put your precious pup’s hair in its place with the Shed Defender Shedding Dog Bodysuit. This patent-pending onesie is made from a recycled, environmentally-friendly, polyester spandex material that’s durable enough to withstand canine wear-and-tear, while still being lightweight and breathable. Shed Defender is intended to be worn in the house, car and anywhere you don’t want dog hair, dirt, dander or allergens. In addition to trapping the shedding hair inside the suit for fast and easy clean up, it also helps protect sensitive skin from exposure and reduce anxiety by applying gentle full-body pressure to help him feel safe and calm. It can even be used to replace a bulky, uncomfortable e-collar by covering injuries, wounds and other sensitive areas to prevent your pooch from licking or chewing.

Key Benefits

  • Contains the shedding by trapping loose dog hair within the suit; keeps dog hair, dirt, dander and allergens out of your car and house.
  • Made of premium, eco-friendly polyester spandex RecoTex fabric that’s lightweight, durable and breathable to keep your pup safe, comfortable and cool.
  • Also helps reduce anxiety, protect against cold weather, shield sensitive skin from exposure, and even replace an e-collar by covering wounds and surgical sites.
  • Easy to put on and take off; can even be worn on walks and potty breaks–just partially open the zipper along his belly so he can do his business.
  • Machine washable and dryer friendly; available in four colors and a wide variety of sizes to fit almost every size pooch.
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September is Children’s Book Month – New Series Helps Toddlers Master Critical Language Skills

Now that fall is finally here and my Tiny Hikes and Adventures Playgroup is over 500 members, I am really excited to find more information and resources that I can share with the moms in the groups. We are all new or first time moms with kids under 5 and we are all helping each other navigate toddler time during corona virus lockdown!  Niko will be 2 this winter and he is talking more and more each day. Picking up words here and there and trying to string words together like red ball, purple car etc.

I was so excited to get a new book that encourages talking, curiosity and wonder! The fun flaps and sections of this book is what makes it so fun and interactive. The fact that Lola goes on this adventure makes this book a favorite for the years to come.  Keep reading to find out about the author of this book, Dr. Tinita O. Kearney from New York!

Dr. Tinita Kearney (Dr. T) is a speech pathologist who wants to empower kids and their parents by teaching foundational language skills in a way that is fun and interactive. With the first book in her new lift-the-flap Lola Koala Travel Adventures series, Dr. T and Lola Koala teach kids to answer WHO, WHAT, WHERE and YES/NO questions. Kids will be delighted and enchanted as they help Lola pack her suitcase and find clues to mystery destinations.

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Mastering critical language skills is important to target early because these particular skills are needed to functionally engage in conversation, demonstrate basic knowledge, and meet the Common Core standards of kindergarten and beyond.

5 ways to use your morning routine to increase your toddler’s language skills 

As a wife, mother of two children under 2 and a business owner, I am all too familiar with just how busy each day can get! There are a million things to check off of the daily ‘To-Do’ list and not a million hours in which to do it all. But, like any parent, my children are always at the very top of my priority list, and this means that I am purposeful about finding creative ways to fit them into my hectic schedule. And since I just happen to also be a speech-language pathologist, this often takes the form of games and activities that are designed to build language and communication skills (in super fun ways!).

Mornings at my house are typically fast-paced and very routine. It’s very easy to get caught-up in the automaticity of it all in the effort to make sure that everyone gets out the door on-time. But morning routines are also a great way to get in regularly scheduled language-building practice. If you’re anything like me (and I’m betting you are), then preparing your children to achieve their very best is your ultimate goal as a parent. Growing their language and communication skills is the greatest way to set them on the road to success and this list of five quick and easy ways to use your morning routine to build these skills will help you navigate the way!

 

  1. Sing Songs (or make them up!)

Songs are a great tool to help grow vocabulary and to teach basic concepts. Pair a song with a routine morning activity and feel free to get silly with it!

Try: Sing a ‘brushing teeth’ song during this part of your morning routine (e.g., “This is the way we brush our teeth, so early in the morning.”).

Tips & Tricks: Add words/lines to the song to teach specific vocabulary (e.g., “This is the way we brush our tongue”) and basic concepts (e.g., “This is the way we brush up top/on bottom”).

 

  1. Tag Team Dressing

You’re probably already familiar with the growing independence of your toddler! Encourage this important development and also build language skills by getting your toddler involved in the dressing process.

Try: Play “I choose, you choose,” where your child gets to select one clothing item that they would like to wear for the day, and you select another until a complete outfit is created.

Tips & Tricks: Present your child with only 2 clothing item choices at a time to speed things up and keep your morning on track. Also, try giving your child 1 ‘silly’ option (e.g., a thick sweater as a choice in the middle of summer) and encourage your child to tell you why it’s a silly choice (e.g., Parent: “Is this sweater a good choice? No, it’s silly! It’s too hot outside! Tell daddy why this is silly.”).

 

  1. Mirror Time

Increase your little one’s vocabulary and expressive language skills by having them take a look in the mirror and describing what they see.

Try: After dressing, have your child stand in front of a mirror and describe 1 or 2 things that they are wearing. Introduce them to new vocabulary words when describing (e.g., colors, textures, patterns, shapes, materials, etc.) and encourage them to use these new words each day.

Tips & Tricks: Lay the foundation for more mature sentences and teach new vocabulary by restating and adding to what your child says (e.g., Child: “Ooh, pretty shirt!” Parent: “Yes, your polka dot shirt is pretty!”).

 

  1. Assign a Job

One way to use your toddler’s “I-can-do-it-by-myself!” spirit is to assign a job that they can in fact complete by themselves, while simultaneously helping you to keep your morning routine running smoothly! This is also a good way to grow your toddler’s following directions and comprehension skills.

Try: Keep your child’s shoes in an easy-to-access area and instruct them to put on a specific pair each morning a few minutes before you’re ready to head out the door (e.g., “Go put on your red sneakers.”).

Tips & Tricks: Grow your child’s skills even more by giving a two-part instruction (e.g., “Go get your red sneakers and bring them to me.”).

 

  1. Play-by-Play Commentator

The easiest way to build your tot’s language skills is to model good language yourself! You are their first (and best!) teacher, and how YOU communicate is how they will learn to communicate.

Try: Talk-out every action that you take involving your child throughout the morning (e.g., “It’s time to wash your face! Let’s get a washcloth and dip it in the water. Now we have to wring it out. Look at all that water coming out! Squeeze, squeeze, all done! Let’s wipe your face now. Ok, nice and clean!”).

Tips & Tricks: Talk-out your actions even when your child is half-asleep and you’re convinced that your play-by-play commentary is 100% useless — you’d be surprised how much actually gets through!

 

Learn more about how you can build your child’s language skills at www.lolakoala.com.

 

Dr. Tinita O. Kearney is a speech-language pathologist who hails from New York. She owns a speech therapy private practice and lives to empower families to be their child’s very best advocate and resource. Check out her newest children’s book series at lolakoala.com and subscribe to get weekly communication tips and tricks.

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Pie Time? It’s Never Too Early!

Fall brings us a feeling of the holiday season. I know the weather is still not like close to winter at all, especially here in California. But I look forward to holidays all the time, who doesn’t love holiday treats and meals? If let me pick which food I want the most, it is pie! It’s never too early to bake a pie, right? Let’s just do it. Maybe not a pumpkin pie yet, but a healthy vegan chocolate cream pie with Mary’s REAL Thin Sea Salt Crackers.

VEGAN CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 1 box REAL Thin Crackers, Sea Salt
  • ½ c. melted coconut oil (or butter if not vegan)
  • ¼ c. coconut sugar (or sugar of your choice)
  • Optional: ½ cup shredded coconut
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 12 ounces silken tofu (firm or extra firm)
  • 1 1/2 c. vegan chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream (or milk of your choice)
  • ½ c. coconut sugar (or sugar of your choice)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (or powder or paste or fresh)
  • Pinch of salt

Topping

  • 1 can chilled coconut cream (or coconut whipped topping)
  • Shaved dark chocolate (optional)

PREPARATION

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350 (370 for high elevation)
  • Crush the crackers in a plastic bag, tapping with a rolling pin or mallet until course meal.
  • Pour the crumbs into a bowl and add the sugar and optional coconut, stirring to combine
  • Pour the melted oil over the mix and stir to combine
  • Transfer to a 9” pie plate and press with hands to cover evenly. Use a glass or the bottom of a measuring cup to firmly press the crust in there as best as you can
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust begins to brown.

Filling & Topping

  • Melt the chocolate and allow to cool slightly
  • Puree the tofu, coconut cream, sugar, vanilla and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth
  • Pour into the cooled crust and allow the pie to chill for at least 2 hours
  • Whip the chilled coconut cream in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form
  • Spread on the top of the pie and sprinkle with chocolate shavings before serving.

SEA SALT

Maybe you think of Mary’s Gone Crackers as the round, seedy type. It’s OK. But they can be a little edgy, too.

Mary’s REAL Thin Sea Salt Crackers may be the tastiest rectangle in the gluten free universe. While the shape is different,the taste is oh so familiar to wheat lovers. Using only real, whole food ingredients, skillfully baked, Mary’s proves you don’t need wheat to make toasty tasting crackers!

Thanks to whole, organic ingredients, your kids will never suspect that these savory toasted crackers are also good for them. This toasty, crunchy cracker delivers happy snacking to your day. There are tons of healthy recipes that you can use Mary’s Gone Crackers with, you can check at here!

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