Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earth Day: Fun Stuff to Do with Your Kids

The state of the environment is a major issue these days. When it comes to motivating others to take up more environmentally friendly activities and practices, one of the main points of argument happen to be that the world needs to be healthy and habitable for future generations. But in order to guarantee that these efforts are successful and continue to be so, it is imperative that the kids who make up the future generation know just how important this issue is and how best to help care for the world that they live in.

Earth Day April 22, 2015
Earth day is the 22nd of April, and what better time to teach kids about what's good and green in the world? The snow has melted and making way for budding flowers, plants, green grass and trees are finally growing their season's leaves. There are plenty of fun ways to get kids interested and involved in this day that will stress its importance in the present as well as the future. 

1. Read about Earth Day. Getting kids interested in the topic may first require some familiarity with this particular day, for starters. Books with pictures and easy digestible facts can help pique kids' interest while educating them at the same time.

2. Get outside! It's important for kids to have a relationship with nature if you want them to care more about Earth Day. This way the weight of the issues mean even more to them. Take them to the local park, go on a mild hike or even take them to national landmarks if you happen to live near them.  If you don't you can always play around with Google Earth, plus you can explore natural wonders all around the world that can benefit from their protection!

3. Volunteer! Your child's school or even the local park that you may have visited might have ongoing cleanup programs or they might be running something special for Earth Day itself. Find out what's going on in your community and make a fun family outing of it!

4. Plant something! Whether you plant some flowers, some vegetables to feed the family or plant a tree as part of an Earth Day program or event, this can be a positive experience all around. Knowing that they are responsible for a living plant that will continue to grow can help kids feel more a part of Earth Day as well as an integral inhabitant of this planet as well.

5. Instill good habits all year round. Encourage your kids and your family to recycle, not to litter and to partake in other planet and environmentally friendly activities and practices. These are the things that are truly important and are helpful to practice all year round, not just on Earth Day. While such practices and ideas are important every other day of the year as well, you can still use Earth Day as an opportunity to teach kids these important lessons and to make positive memories that will stay with them forever, encouraging them, too, to teach future generations the same things as well.

Year Round Tip: We have great outdoor personalized books that can instill the love of the environment to kids.  Our Fishing Adventure personalized book and My Camping Adventure that helps kids understand the beauty in the mountains and all around them.  
Camping Adventure Personalized Book

Now is the time to purchase these two personalized books as we have an April sale of 15% site-wide. Use AprilShowers-KD at checkout - expires April 31st.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Please No Fast Food Mom!

Healthy Eating
While childhood obesity is a serious issue in the United States, healthy eating habits for children affect more than just their weight. Making sure that your child is physically healthy, including their weight and body mass, has a huge impact on their mental health and development as well. Eating healthy and having healthy eating habits can give kids the energy that they need, sharpen their minds, and it can even temper their moods. There are plenty of benefits to eating healthy, and there are several ways in which you can instill good eating habits.

Kids may have a notorious sweet-tooth and a love for junk food, and while such treats may be alright to give them once in a while, it is not good for their overall health to give it to them all the time. These may seem like easy food options for busy parents. Sweets, junk food or fast food may be easy and convenient and kids are not likely to complain about eating them. It may seem like an easy go-to when you’re on the run between taking kids to school, going to work and running errands, but these food options are not good for your child’s development.

Perhaps the most important part of a healthy diet for kids is breakfast. Eating breakfast gives kids the physical and mental energy that they need to start their day, which is especially important on school days when their focus is especially important. Going without breakfast can have a severe impact on their academic performance. Kids who are not given breakfast are not capable of performing as well in school because of a lack of focus, mental energy and overall lack of nutrition. There is a reason why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day – and this is especially true for children whose bodies and minds are growing and developing rapidly every day.
Eat Fruits!

There are plenty of ways to instill a healthy diet, with your children and with your whole family. If you find that you are pressed for time, then preparing meals ahead of time can be a viable solution. Many kids are not given breakfast because mornings can be hectic, but this is no excuse. Parents with busy schedules need to provide for their children and not being able to do so is detrimental to their health. If you are a parent whose mornings are particularly busy, then consider preparing breakfast and packing lunches in the evening. You can do this while making dinner or when dinner is over. While you are still in the kitchen, you can prepare meals for the next day and tackle all of the related clean-up at once. When prepping such meals, it is important to be mindful of the nutritional values as well. Try making well-balanced dishes consisting of whole grains, fruits and vegetables that will gives kids the nutrition they need to develop their minds, stay physically healthy and feel good.

Family Meals
Routines can also help improve the family’s eating habits. Planning regular family meals, such as dinner, can work wonders. Have your kids participate in the prepping and cooking of the meal as well. If kids are involved in the cooking process, they are more likely to want to try new, healthy foods that they may otherwise reject or be weary of such as vegetables or other healthy items. It is also important to be mindful of portion sizes.

Snacking is another thing that parents should be concerned about. Kids may ask for candies, chips and other things of that nature, and while these snack options may seem easy, they are not very healthy. There are chips and crackers that contain whole grains, which can make a better substitute to greasy potato chips. Small veggies like baby carrots or cut-up fruits like banana or apple slices are also great snack options as well. These are not empty-calorie snacks – instead they are full of essential nutrients and will help boost your child’s brainpower and their overall wellbeing.

Another great way to instill good eating habits is to make it fun! Cutting snacks into fun shapes or even playing around with food coloring can help entice even the most picky or reluctant eaters. Making a game out of eating and making it healthy can be easier than you think.

It is important that children eat well if you want them to stay healthy both physically and mentally. We hope these tips will help you work a healthy diet into a busy schedule and in the long run it will do wonders for everyone in your family, especially your children.

KDNovelties.com is a children's book publishing company and provides tips and resources on reading and overall parenting advice for busy parents.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How Do I Raise a Reader?

Reading is essential to a child's education. Its importance in academics is unavoidable but in order for kids to be good at reading, it's important that they love doing it as well. One of the best ways to instill a lot of reading in your child is to make reading commonplace at home. Many parents tend to associate this activity with bedtime with reading or sharing a book just as kids are tucked into bed.  However, not every kid has the attention or the energy to remain engaged just before they go to sleep. Our recommendation that in addition to bedtime reading, it can be beneficial to introduce reading as an activity at other times of the day as well.

Whether your child is not particularly receptive to nighttime reading or whether they are, testing other times in the day may still be great for reading. In order to raise a reader, it is necessary to make reading rituals commonplace. Even if reading at night works for some kids, that does not mean that they can't learn to love reading at different times of the day as well.

Reading in the morning may be the best bet for some children, especially kids who wake up early and are generally more energetic upon waking up. This may be the best time for these kids to really engage in a story or even just look at the pictures in a book.

Kids who have not yet started school or kids who perhaps only go to class on a half-day schedule may be more inclined to read in the afternoon. Try to engage them during the mealtime as lunchtime entertainment.

You can even adjust the reading to a particular time of day in a more spontaneous way as well. If you notice that your child is particularly active or is actively looking for something to do, suggest reading. If they don't initially seem inclined, you can encourage them by reading along with them or affirming that even looking through the pictures will be a fun activity. Engaging with books on a physical level will help instill a personal relationship with the activity, even if kids are just looking or listening.

My Very Own Story
For more helpful tips on raising a reader and getting kids to love reading check back often here or subscribe to our blog where we offer loads of resources for parents.

To get kids engaged even more with reading why not personalize their stories! Visit us at www.KDNovelties.com.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tips on Getting Your Kids Outside

Now that spring is finally here, spending time outdoors is a reasonable thing to do. Long winters can have anyone, especially kids, feeling cooped up - but these days it may be a little more difficult to get kids to play outside. Aside from growing comfortable indoors over the long, cold winter, there are so more gadgets these days that draw kids to spending time indoors. From televisions to tablets, kids have a wealth of different things to do when indoors, and while some kids are simply eager to run around and play outside, for others it may be a little harder to pry them from their precious screens.

Staying indoors is fine, but getting some fresh air and exercise is good for your health, especially for a child's. Considering the growing problem of childhood obesity and other such concerns, it's important that parents make sure that their kids are active enough and enjoying the outdoors as well. Tablets, television shows and books can be good, especially if there is a creative or educational element to them, however being active is also important.  What better way to get kids to play than entice them with going outside?

If your child is reluctant to go outdoors, you can begin by simply moving their usual indoor activities outdoors. Bring books and tablets out into the yard or to the park. Kids are still getting fresh air but just by simply being outside they may eventually feel tempted to run around a bit or participate in games with other children if they happen to be around. You could also use their favorite sedentary activities to inform ideas for more active ones. For instance, if your child loves a show that is about animals that live in the woods, you can entice them with a hike through a national park or local forest trail that you can explore, or even have a pick nick at a woodsy park. If sports are a favorite then try asking them to play or to even teach you what they know. If kids are really into tablet games, you can try and role-play and recreate the game in real life! For instance, if your kids love Angry Birds, you can set up Lego structures with stuffed animals scattered throughout - then you can try and throw soft balls such as hackie sacks at the structures in order to knock them down! This can be a great backyard activity that can get kids moving and playing outside.

www.KDNovelties.com publishes personalized children's books, gifts, reading and parenting resources.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Knowing the Possible Signs of Dyslexia

Understanding Dyslexia

Reading, reading comprehension and writing are all integral skills that kids must have to be successful in the traditional American school system. These skills are taught and encouraged at a very young age. Some kids take to it easily while others are reluctant. While kids do not need a reason to be reluctant, some children face difficulties with reading because of actual learning disabilities like dyslexia.

Dyslexia can be difficult to identify, especially if a parent or teacher is unsure of what to look for. Unfortunately, dyslexia can very often and very easily go unnoticed or undiagnosed until the child’s reading impediment is significantly progressed or they are at an older age where help may be more difficult to administer. If parents, teachers, caregivers and others know the signs of dyslexia, the condition can be properly identified and treated as soon as possible so that kids can learn to read at their own pace and have their own needs addressed and met successfully.

1.  One of the first signs of a child that might have dyslexia is a late talker. Kids that take a longer time to begin speaking may have difficulty with language in general.

2.  Pronunciation problems may also indicate dyslexia.

3.  Trouble rhyming words may indicate that kids have difficulty understanding the composition of words and how they work, sound or read on paper. This may alert a problem with visualizing or hearing the words that they read, hence, having difficulty comprehending words and their sounds.

4.  Issues with learning other things like numbers, colors and the alphabet may also be an indicator.

5.  Small, specific issues may also be a sign of dyslexia, such as confusing the sounds of the letters “b” and “d” with one another.

What words look like
If kids have any issues with learning or understanding concepts, it is always best to seek help just in case. If dyslexia goes undiagnosed and unaddressed, kids may continue to have significant issues with reading, writing, handwriting, spelling, solving word problems and other common tasks that are required of them in school. All of these issues may be further signs that point to dyslexia or other reading comprehension or learning problems. The more adults, parents, teachers and caregivers know, the better they are at helping such kids learn to cope with their learning needs and overcome them.

www.KDNovelties.com specializes in building self-esteem in children by providing them books where they become the stars of their very own story.