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Protecting Your Kids Without Over Protecting Them

Encouraging kids to play outside is important year round. Free play has been shown to help with how children approach problems whether in school or on the playground. In order to keep your kids safe – without hovering over them, I recommend establishing some summer ground rules. These are good to follow:

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Categories: parenting,


The ABC's of Baby's Zzzzs!

Did you know that sleep is the primary activity of the brain during early development? As a matter of fact, sleep is a critical part of a baby’s healthy growth and development; especially a baby’s mental and physical health.  So what are the healthy sleep patterns for infants? How long should your baby be sleeping?

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Tomorrow is national pancake day! Normally, I don't go all out for silly holidays, but we're talking about pancakes here. There is nothing silly about cake that is socially acceptable to eat for breakfast! I first found the recipe on the Kids Activity Blog, but have seen variations that include all sorts of different ingredients, so pretty much anything goes!

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Categories: lifestyle,


Group Physical vs. Private Physical: What's Best for Your Child?

A physical is usually required for kids entering certain grades – or planning to participate in school sports. Physicals offered in a group setting may offer convenience and low-cost; however, a physical one-on-one with your child’s doctor will cover much more.

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Categories: development, health-notes,


With Dr. Seuss's birthday coming up this weekend, I was super excited to come up with a project to honor his creative brilliance. The kids both love his books, Gray is a huge supporter of Go Dogs Go and Aurora loves The Lorax (probably because the movie is on Netflix)! We've painted ourselves with colored pudding before, and that was fun, but the colors weren't very strong, so I wanted to find a recipe that produced vibrant colors and was non-toxic.

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Categories: lifestyle,


6 Ideas to Beat the Bedtime Battles

"Just 15 minutes longer." "I'm not tired!" "I don't want to get up!"

Sound familiar? Kids and parents frequently clash about when children need to sleep – and for how long. The National Sleep Foundation reports that 69 percent of children have sleep problems. Kids resist sleeping for many reasons: overstimulation, caffeine, nightmares, and even snoring.

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Fight Cabin Fever: Take a Hike at Fontenelle Forest

The end of winter is in sight! We've fought cabin fever at Fontenelle with Family Sundays, Snow Shoeing, Clubs and Mud Pies, but one of our favorite cabin fever relievers is the wonderfully simple, going for a walk.

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Categories: lifestyle,


Join us for Hands-on-Habitat

This year, the first days of spring at Fontenelle Forest will bring more than nice weather – they also mark the kick-off of a brand new program called Hands-on-Habitat, designed especially for children ages 0-5 years old and their parents. 

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Categories: lifestyle,


Earlier this week, my preschooler and I made these awesome alphabet magnets out of perler beads. They're so cute and functional, I've been dreaming up lots of ways for us to use them in our play! This morning we decided to submerge them in a bin of water and gravel and go fishing!

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Categories: lifestyle,


Start with Breakfast and Protect Your Kids from Obesity + Recipe

Whether you sit down at the kitchen table and eat a bowl of cereal with fruit or grab something quick as you run out the door, starting your morning off with breakfast is an important part of being healthy.

Even if you've never put the two together, your presence (or absence) in the morning may play a role in your own child's breakfast habits. A recent study from Oklahoma State University took a closer look at the relationship between "parental presence" and the breakfast habits of adolescents and young adults.

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Categories: nutrition, development,


Cooped Up!

These winter months can make a mom feel crazy.  Oh sure, the kids look so angelic when you've got them all bundled up in their big puffy coats and hats and gloves and boots and, and, and... But really, another day of cold?  Another day of wondering if they might be able to stand being outside for longer than 3 seconds? Oh my gosh! Another month or so of this weather. Someone, anyone, take me away. 

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Categories: parent-stories,


We've been dreaming about summer, running through the sprinkler, road trips to the beach, and lots of lazy days at the pool. Can you tell we love water? Since it's too cold for those activities yet, I've been trying to come up with lots of water play ideas for the kids and our daily tot trays have been quite the source of inspiration! Most days I set up some sort of learning activity for each kid on their own tray that they can play with by themselves. This allows me to get a few chores done in the morning without the kids underfoot, and they're happily engaged at the same time! 

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Categories: lifestyle,


I'm always amazed by the myriad of preschool skills that are involved in creating any one project. What started off as a simple suggestion from my (almost) four year old to play with the perler beads turned in to an epic craft! Fine motor skills were used, the color spectrum and alphabet were practiced, life skills were learned. All in all, it was quite the crafting journey for my preschoolers this morning!

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Categories: lifestyle,


Fight Cabin Fever: Mmm! Mud Pies! Served up by Fontenelle Forest

How's that Cabin Fever? Still need some opportunities to fight it? Fontenelle Forest has a great activity for preschoolers and their parents or guardians to try their hand at creating some scrumptious fun.

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Categories: lifestyle,


We've been having fun with lots of different artistic science experiments lately, and this beautiful marbled milk experiment is no exception! I first remember doing this for an elementary school science fair, so long before the days of Pinterest this fun activity has been amazing kids! With only three ingredients involved, this is a great winter boredom buster with a few learning objectives thrown in to boot!

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Categories: lifestyle,