Tips To Start A Garden With Your Kids

 

Installing a love of gardening in your child will give him a wonderful hobby for the rest of his life. Gardening is an amazing way to spend time outside enjoying a green hobby and cultivating produce that can be relished! It’s easy for a child to think of gardening as an “adult” activity, though, so it can take encouragement. Here are a few tips to help you and your child to start a garden.

Let Your Kid Pick the Seeds

Take your child to a local plant nursery, so he can see the different vegetables and flowers growing. Encouraging him to look around on his own and find his favorite plants. The interest in gardening will naturally develop. You may also want to take him to a farmer’s market. Seeing vegetables for sale and meeting the people who grew them is a great way to gain a strong perspective of what this home garden could be.

Choose a Variety

Encourage your child to choose a variety of plants – flowers, vegetables, herbs, and perhaps even a tree. You should also add your own gardening knowledge about germination times or seek the help of a gardening enthusiast. You do not want your child to lose interest midway through the garden’s growing period; the best way to fight this is with plants that will grow, bloom, and produce at different times.

Buy Child-Sized Gardening Tools

Your child is cultivating his own garden, so allow him to have his own tools to do so. Help him to pick out is own gloves and tools. While this can be seen as a monetary indulgence, it is also safe. While gardening tools are not the most formidable equipment, hoes and picks are sharp and can be dangerous. Using too-large gloves or handling too-heavy tools could lead to a slip-up in the garden.

Encourage a Gardening Journal

A gardening journal is another way to encourage continued enthusiasm throughout the garden’s growing period. This is also a common way for gardeners to keep up with what is happening in the soil. Your child can write down everything he observes, whether it is the rainfall or the birds that are visiting or the amount of inches the new green shoots have grown.

Use the Garden’s Produce

Of course, you should take advantage of all the bounty a home garden produces! Help your child cut flowers and arrange them in vases for the house. Encourage him to choose recipes he would enjoy that involve the produce. Hint: pizzas involve basic garden ingredients like tomatoes and basil!

Terry Carter writes about gardening for Grandview Landscape and Masonry

The BellyFULL Kit From The Hopeful Company

I was glad to have the opportunity to review the BellyFULL kit as my kids love snacks that not only taste great and I love to give them snacks that are healthy for them as well. My kit arrived with the following items:

The HopeFULL Company was created by two sisters who had a friend diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia  and eating was no longer enjoyable. They came up with the meal pops that were easy to eat and provided a great source of nutrition. Initially HopeFULL’s product were generally for those suffering from cancer, their new line BellyFULL was created to introduce fruits and veggies to young children.

The BellyFULL Kit makes it easy to introduce whole foods to young children in an adventurous, playful way. BellyFULLs make eating whole foods fun for kids, and preparing them together can create memories which will last a lifetime.

In the kit you will find the try, wooden spoons, hat (which my daughter loves wearing) and convenient recipe cards. All of the recipes are simple to make but the one thing that made me a little confused was that many of the recipes called for infant rice cereal. It has been a while since I have to purchased it. However, after reading more into the information on the HopeFULL website the infant rice cereal makes it easier to be digested, easy to blend and a great source of iron.

The recipe I made was the:

Honey Bear

  • 1 1/4 Vanilla Rice Milk (my store was out so I used Original, which is fine my daughter loves it just as much as the vanilla)
  • 3/4 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Infant Rice Cereal
  • 10 Small Bear Shaped Cookies (optional)

 


Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Pour into BellyFULL tray, add wooden spoon-sticks and freeze for 3 hours. 

 

You can order your BellyFULL kit like the one pictured about here for $39.99. Be sure to connect with HopeFULL on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Clean Water Fun | Garden Hose Filter {Review}

Being in Florida it gets HOT! As a matter it is supposed to be in the 90’s all week. During these hot days the best thing I can for my little ones is let them play in the pool. We do not have a huge pool they love the inflatable pool I bought them since we have the yard fenced in. Where we moved from a huge concern we had, was the amount of chlorine in the water.

When I was contacted to take a look at the Clean Water Fun: Garden Hose Filter I was excited to see a product that would make the water my little ones play in outside the home safe as the filtered water they drink in the home.

About Clean Water Fun:

The Clean Water Fun garden hose filter has been specially designed to fit any standard garden hose thread.  It has been third-party tested to remove Chlorine, VOCs, and Pesticides/Herbicides commonly found in home water supplies.  The Clean Water Fun garden hose filter can be used for any of your outdoor water needs where cleaner water is desired such as children’s outdoor water play, pet care, and organic gardening. 

We do not have a sprinkler for the kids to run through so I was ready to put the filter to the test and use it in our small kiddie pool we set up for the kids in the backyard. Being sure to read the instructions very carefully, I ran water through the filter for a full minute before placing it inside of the pool to fill it up. I remember when I was growing up we were told to not drink the water that came out of the garden hose.

So many chemicals are used to treat the water used inside and outside the home and even if I tell my little ones not to drink the water out of the hose it could happen regardless so I am glad that there is a product made with kids in mind.

When using the hose be sure to follow the directions on the tube:

Attach the garden hose filter to any standard garden hose.  The filter can be attached at the beginning or end of the hose following the Flow Direction indicated on the label.  Flush the filter for 1 minute until the water runs clear.  Use the garden hose filter for any of your outdoor water needs.  For best filtration, use a medium flow or less.  When you are done using the filter, remove from hose and replace end caps for storage.

The reason they want you to flush the filter for a minute is because when you first use the filter the water will mix with carbon fines and come out black. It is not harmful but it is good for your flower bed.

It is an Activated Coconut shell GAC carbon.  Carbon is an extremely porous material that attracts and holds a wide range of harmful contaminants.  Activated carbon is carbon which has a slight electro-positive charge added to it, making it even more attractive to chemicals and impurities.  As the water passes over the positively charged carbon surface, the negative ions of the contaminants are drawn to the surface of the carbon granules.

Once the filter was flushed it was time to play and my kids could not be happier. We had almost week of rain and the kids were getting antsy being cooped up in the house all day. So a day of being out in the sun would do them some good.

Be sure to check out Clean Water Fun to learn more about the garden hose filter. You can buy your filter on their website for $39.95 and be sure to use code OMT12 for $10 off your purchase.

Enter To Win Clean Water Fun Filter ($39.95 Value)

Allergy-Friendly Food for Families: 120 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, and Soy-Free Recipes

I have a daughter who is sensitive to dairy, she got this from my husband who is lactose intolerant who got it from his mom. So when I am cooking I try to look for meals that dairy-free. When I was asked to review “Allergy-Friendly Food for Families: 120 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, and Soy-Free Recipes Everyone Will Enjoy” by the Editors of Kiwi Magazine.

When parents are desperate for ideas for what to make for dinner (or lunch, or snack time), they want recipes from someone they trust, for food that tastes good, that doesn’t require a lot of fancy ingredients, and that the whole family can eat. Allergy-Friendly Food for Families is the ultimate resource. From the three crucial mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, dinner) to the “fun” foods families can’t live without (desserts, snacks, parties), parents are completely covered. Perhaps most importantly, all of these recipes are simple for parents to make.

I was excited to see what types of recipes they had available. My favorite recipe that I am going to try out for breakfast this weekend is for

Gluten-Free Banana Bread Waffles

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Gluten-Free Banana Bread Waffles

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flour

3/4 cup tapioca flour

2 tablespoons raw cane sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 very ripe medium bananas, mashed

1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing the waffle iron

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond or rice milk

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Maple syrup

Extra sliced bananas (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions. Preheat your oven to 200°F, and set out a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the bananas, canola oil, vanilla, and milk. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the walnuts if using.
  4. Use a pastry brush or paper towel to thoroughly oil the top and bottom plates of your waffle iron. Ladle 1/2 cup of batter onto the iron, and cook according to the manufacturer’s directions. Place the waffle on the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you make the remaining waffles. Serve warm with maple syrup and extra sliced bananas, if desired.
  5. Stack leftover cooled waffles with a sheet of parchment paper in between each one, then place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.
http://organicmommytoday.com/allergy-friendly-food-families-120-gluten-free-dairy-free-nut-free-egg-free-soy-free-recipes

So many recipes to choose from and for me and my son without food allergies we can still enjoy it as well. Inside the book aside from recipes that also offer tips and suggestions on how you can build up your own allergy free pantry. They go through an extensive list of various natural ingredients and foods such as beans and pastas, fruits, nuts, fats, liquids  and more and the name of the organic brands that carries them.

They also offer an easy to follow metric conversion chart, formulas, oven temperatures and common ingredients and the approx. equivalents so you will know the exact amount to use in your recipes. You can save time trying to find the best allergy-free recipes by simply going to the back of the book and going though the handy recipe index that is organized by gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, etc.

Overall the book is informative, organized and easy to follow. Grab a copy of your today!

Available on Kindle for $9.59

or…

Available on Paperback for $15.50

Super Why DVD Review | Around the world adventure Available on DVD June 19th

My son walks around the house singing the theme song for the show Super Why He will hum it while brushing his teeth, during breakfast and until the show comes on. My husband and I love Super Why and all of the children’s educational programming on PBS Kids. Both of my little ones were excited to see the newly released Super Why Around The World Adventure come in the mail.

On the DVD they will be able to have some really great reading adventures with the entire Super Why crew:

Whyatt Beanstalk

Little Red Riding Hood

Pig

Princess Pea

Puppy/Woofster

Super Why!: Around the World DVD features 3 episodes that are based around the basic fundamentals of helping your child learn to read through interactive and fun storybook adventures. The three episodes combined have a run time of approx. 90 minutes.

Episodes include…
Around the World Adventure – With the help of their teacher, Whyatt and his friends have contacted a girl from another school over the computer, but they wonder where she lives. The super readers take a trip around the world with a wacky explorer name Wigglesbottom who is on the hunt for his friend Sophie. Will they be able to help Wigglesbottom find his friend, or will they be destined to travel the globe indefinitely?

Naila and the Magic Map – Pig and his friends are playing when they find what looks like an Egyptian treasure map, but they can’t make out the symbols! To search for some answers, the super readers soar into the book Naila and the Magic Map and explore the world of ancient Egypt. Will they be able to help Naila unravel the mysterious code that will unlock where the treasure lies?

Jasper’s Cowboy Wish – Howdy partner! Whyatt and his friends are playing cowboys, but Pig can’t join in because he doesn’t know what cowboys do. The super readers jump into the tale Jasper’s Cowboy Wish and make the acquaintance of a cowpoke who’s desperate to become a rompin’ stompin’ cowboy, if only he could get the hang of it! When Jasper must use his cowboy skills to save the day, will he be a hero…or will this be his last roundup?

In these stories kids learn about geography, letters, and vocabulary. Kids also investigate the alphabet, practice spelling, use words, and use the power to read to change the story!

What I love about the series and the show in general is that they make reading and learning letters fun. I always get a smile on my face when I listen to my son (4) spelling out the words to help change the stories and solve problems. As a mom I feel very fortunate to have programs like this available for my growing kids and something I do not mind letting them watch on a regular basis.

Pre-Order your copy of Super Why: Around The World on the PBS Kids website for only $12.99.

Scottish Recipes Inspired By The Movie BRAVE in Theaters June 22nd

In honor of the movie BRAVE set to come out in a few weeks have your family sit down to a Scottish meal inspired by the movie.

http://i2.wp.com/media-file.net/9/brave/images/b90_42pub.pub16.75.jpg?resize=952%2C409

Click here to get your set of BRAVE FPK Recipes

“Like” BRAVE on Facebook

About the Movie:

Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. From Disney and Pixar, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida(voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition and challenges destiny to change her fate.

“Brave” follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson).Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources – including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers – to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery.

Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, “Brave” is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor that audiences of all ages around the world have come to eagerly expect. The film takes aim at theaters on June 22, 2012, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

A grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor, “Brave” uncovers a new tale in the mysterious Highlands of Scotland where the headstrong Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) defies an age-old custom and inadvertently unleashes chaos, forcing her to discover the meaning of true bravery before it’s too late. Opens June 22, 2012, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

Join The Return Disney Junior’s “Yo Ho, Let’s Go Summer!” Event June 4th

DISNEY JUNIOR’S “YO HO, LET’S GO SUMMER!” MULTI-PLATFORM PROGRAMMING EVENT RETURNS FEATURING NEW EPISODES OF CABLE TV’S #1 AND #2 SERIES AMONG KIDS 2-5, “DOC MCSTUFFINS” AND

“JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES,” BEGINNING MONDAY, JUNE 4

New iOS Apps Available Today for “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”

DisneyJunior.com to Launch Summer Super-Site Featuring New Online Games to “Unlock” Each Week and Printable Summer Scrapbook

Disney Junior’s interactive multi-platform “Yo Ho, Let’s Go Summer!” programming event returns with new episodes of “Doc McStuffins” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” cable TV’s #1 and #2 series among Kids 2-5 respectively, as well as other favorite Disney Junior series including “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Jungle Junction” and “Octonauts” beginning MONDAY, JUNE 4-FRIDAY, AUGUST 24.  The “Yo Ho, Let’s Go Summer!” programming event will take place across all Disney Junior digital platforms including Disney Junior On Demand, Mobile and iTunes, as well as an immersive online super-site on DisneyJunior.com featuring new games to “unlock” each week and a printable summer scrapbook.  Additionally, new interactive iOS apps for “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” launch today.

                Disney Junior’s “Yo Ho, Let’s Go Summer!” programming event kicks off on Monday, June 4 with a week of new “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” episodes airing on both the Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) and the new 24-hour Disney Junior channel (5:30 p.m., ET/PT).  Also beginning June 4, kids and their parents can log on to DisneyJunior.com/Summer to print out pictures of their favorite Disney Junior characters to take along with them and include in photos of their summer adventures.  Parents can then upload the photos of their child with their character for the chance to be seen on Disney Junior.  The site will also feature a printable summer scrapbook, with new pages added each week through August 24.

 

Beginning Friday, June 15, new episodes of favorite Disney Junior series will air every Friday throughout the summer on both the Disney Junior programming block and the Disney Junior channel.  During each episode premiere, kids will see a featured Disney Junior character of the day and can go online to DisneyJunior.com/Summer to unlock a new game based on that character.

Among the premieres are an episode of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” where Marina (voiced by recurring guest star Ariel Winter of “Modern Family”) and the rest of the mermaids make Izzy an honorary mermaid, Friday, June 29; a special 45-minute episode of “Jungle Junction,” where Zooter and Ellyvan care for a stranded baby FlaGoGo bird, Friday, July 6; Donald Duck serves as a reluctant babysitter for a mystery egg on “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” Friday, July 13; Jim Belushi guest stars as the recurring character Glo-Bo, a six-handed toy monster in “Doc McStuffins,” Friday, July 20; Jane Kaczmarek guest stars in the recurring role of Red Jessica, a swashbuckling pirate gal who wins over Captain Hook in “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” Friday, August 10; and a heartwarming episode of “Doc McStuffins” where Doc’s toy friends come to her rescue when she becomes the patient, Friday, August 17.

In anticipation of this summer’s programming festivities, the network today launched two new iOS apps, the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally” appisode app on iPad and “Jake’s Never Land Pirate School” gaming app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

 

The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally appisode brings viewing, learning and interaction together into one cohesive, fun-filled iPad experience.   Fans 2-7 years old can touch, tap shake, swipe, drag and talk through an entire episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  The activities presented in the “appisode” include valuable counting, critical thinking and problem solving skills.  This is the first in a series of Disney Junior Appisodes to be released this year.

 

Using the “Jake’s Never Land Pirate School” app, preschoolers can become completely immersed in Never Land, completing pirate-themed challenges presented in Sailing, Music, Flying, and Map and Spyglass classes.  Features include: hunting for doubloons on Doubloon Beach; a customizable pirate certificate signed by Jake; and the ability to import a child’s photo into Pixie Dust flying class.

 

Disney Channel’s Disney Junior block ended 1Q 2012 with its highest 1Q ratings ever across target demos Kids 2-5, Girls 2-5, Boys 2-5, Women 18-49 and Total Viewers (1.4 million), marking its 5th straight quarter of posting quarterly highs (1Q11 to 1Q12) in Kids 2-5 and Boys 2-5.  Year to date, “Doc McStuffins” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” are the Top 2 cable TV series in Kids 2-5 and Boys 2-5, and the Top 2 preschool cable TV series in Total Viewers and Women 18-49.  “Doc McStuffins” is also cable’s #1 series with girls 2-5 for the year. Moreover, the March 23 premiere of “Doc McStuffins” became the #1 preschool series launch in cable TV history in Adults 18-49. [Source: NTI, 12/26/11-5/20/12, L+7 ratings. “Doc McStuffins” series launch, 3/23/12,  Live + SD; Series ranks based on program level data, most current, includes ties based on rating.]

 

Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior’s series blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. Disney Junior launched in February 2011 with a daily programming block on Disney Channel. In its first year, Disney Junior posted the network’s biggest yearly audience in the daypart in Total Viewers, Kids 2-5, Boys 2-5 and Women 18-49, increasing by double-digit margins among preschooler demographics over year-ago levels.  On March 23, 2012 Disney Junior added a cable and satellite channel in the U.S. bringing the total number of channels to 29 worldwide.

Press release provided by Disney Junior.

BabySpa | Baby Care Products Review

As a mom I love to make sure my little ones have the best and a little pampering never hurts either. This is what BabySpa aims to help me and other parents do with their line of natural skin care products designed with your little ones in mind. They offer a variety of products to coincide with two stages: Stage 1 – Newborn to Crawler and Stage 2 – Walker to 4 years +. The products they offer vary from shampoos, conditioners to lotion and even Nourishing Massage Oil.

My very active little ones are  2 and 4 so I was provided with two Stage 2 products to review.

Nourishing Massage Oil

The massage oil includes the following ingredients:

Grape Seed Oil: hypo-allergenic, hydrates and softens
Avocado Oil: excellent emollient, rich in Vitamins A & E
Jojoba Oil: provides all-day hydration, rich in Vitamin C
Nyamplung Oil: virgin & certified organic, soothes and softens, optimizes sunscreen efficiency

There is no odor or fragrance added to the oil. Baby Spa offers some great tips and 10-step instructional guide  on how to give your little a relaxing massage.

Moisturizing Body Lotion

The lotion includes:

Organic Aloe: antibacterial effects, heals and conditions the skin
Calendula Oil: soothes and protects the skin
Grape Seed Oil: hypo-allergenic, moisturizes and nourishes
Nyamplung Oil: virgin & certified organic, soothes and softens, optimizes sunscreen efficiency
Kizis™: organic extract, supports the skin’s natural defense mechanisms

The lotion can be used for both stage 1 and stage 2 little ones. The scent is very pleasant citrus scent.

Overall: I feel that both products fit the needs for my little ones very well. I am happy to see that more companies are turning to more natural ingredients in the products they create for children and adults alike.

Buy It

BabySpa is currently offering free shipping on order over $50. You can buy online directly from their website BabySpaUSA.com or call in your order. Learn more about BabySpa by connecting with them on:

Facebook

Twitter

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was provided a product (s) mentioned above to facilitate my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.