One of my favorite things to do with my children are art projects! I have been searching for a paint that would be safe for my 11 month old to use (since everything goes in her mouth)! I have finally found a recipe that I love to create homemade, baby-safe finger paints!
This recipe also only requires 3 ingredients! What?! I know! It’s super easy to make! You can use this recipe with children of all ages as well!
1 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cups Water
Large Mixing Bowl
Small Containers to mix paint
Now it’s time to make some homemade, baby-safe finger paints!
In your large bowl, pour in flour and water.
Using your whisk, mix flour and water together until you get the consistency you would like. (I mixed until my solution was smooth with no lumps)
Now it is time to separate your mixture into different containers (this will depend on how many different colors you are making).
Now it’s time to add your food coloring!
Time to test it out and have your little one start to paint!
My daughter absolutely loved this painting project and I hope your little one does as well! The one thing I loved about this project is that I didn’t have to worry about my daughter putting into her mouth! I would love to know how your child enjoyed this paint! Please share on social media so that your friends can try this as well!
Have you ever wondered what your parenting style is? Well I have! I have always been interested in how different people parent and the effects those types of parenting styles have on their kids in the future.
One of my favorite classes in college was child psych (which is probably not surprising since I have a parenting blog)! I enjoyed learning about child development and you guessed it parenting styles! Nowadays there are so many different types of parenting styles, but I will just focus on 5 of them: Authoritative Parenting, Authoritarian Parenting, Permissive Parenting, Neglectful Parenting, and Attachment Parenting.
Authoritative Parenting Style
This parenting style was developed by Diana Baumrind in the 1960’s. She described this parenting style as the ideal and most effective way to parent. Parents who possess this style show high levels of love and warmth towards their children as well as setting reasonable boundaries and rules. These parents also set high expectations for their children; however, they provide their children with the resources, love, and support to attain them. Authoritative parents also encourage independence and for their children to express their opinions openly. These parents also tend to provide fair discipline when necessary and will discuss the punishment with their children so they are aware of why they are being punished.
Children who grow up with authoritative parents tend to have high self-esteem, strong self-regulatory skills, and exhibit emotional control. These children are generally happy and successful.
Authoritarian Parenting Style
This is another parenting style developed by Diana Baumrind. This parenting style is categorized by high demands and low responsiveness. This means that the parents have extremely high expectations for their children but they provide little love, support, and resources to attain them. These parents tend to be very strict with their children as well and provide harsh, unrealistic punishments. Parents who possess this parenting style typically yell at their children and do not give them options or choices.
Children who grow up with authoritarian parents tend to associate obedience and success with love and warmth. These children can also display aggressive behavior while others may be fearful and shy. Children also tend to have low self-esteem, may have difficulty in social situations, and can suffer from depression and anxiety in adolescence and adulthood. These children typically conform easily.
Permissive Parenting Style
Permissive Parenting Style is categorized as high in responsiveness/warmth and low in demandingness. Permissive parents want to be their child’s friend instead of a parent. These parents let their children make the decisions and are rarely disciplined. If they do discipline their children, they are extremely inconsistent. This parenting style is also known as indulgent parenting.
Children who have permissive parents tend to struggle with self-regulation and self-control. They also lack self-discipline, can be insecure, and demanding.
Neglectful Parenting Style
You can probably guess what parents who possess this parenting style are like! These parents provide low warmth/love and low demandingness. These parents let their children do what they want without consequences. They don’t monitor their children’s activities or behavior as well as being uninvolved in their children’s schooling. The children basically fend for themselves. These parents provide inconsistent discipline where they will not punish at all or the punishment can be extreme.
Children who grow up with a neglectful parent tend to suffer from low self-esteem, depression, poor cognitive, social, and emotional development, lower IQ scores, and can possess deviant behavior.
Attachment Parenting Style
This is a new style of parenting that is becoming extremely popular among parents. This style was developed by pediatrician William Sears, M.D.. Parents who possess this parenting style focus on the nurturing aspect of parenting from day 1. The goal through attachment parenting is to raise independent and secure children. Parents pursue this parenting style through skin-to-skin contact as much as possible during infancy, breastfeeding to strengthen the bond between mother and baby (parents feel that by breastfeeding the baby learns that you are listening to them and respond to their needs), responds to child with sensitivity instead of punishment, engaged night time parenting (co-sleeping and bed sharing is very common), provides positive discipline, and strive for balance in family and personal life. Since this parenting style is relatively new, there is not enough research done to know the effects of children raised with this parenting style. If you want to know other ways to bond with your baby that can go along with this parenting style, check out my post 7 Ways to Bond with Your Baby.
So those are the 5 main parenting styles. I personally believe that you can possess different qualities from other parenting styles and don’t need to completely fit into one. I would like to think that I possess the authoritative parenting style with a hint of attachment parenting. What is your parenting style? Do you fit into a specific style or are you a combination of 2? Also, don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter so you can stay up-to-date on all the ups and downs of parenting in addition to finding out when my ebook “How to Potty Train Your Child in 7 Days” is available! Please share this article on social media (sharing is caring 😉 ) to find out which parenting styles your friends possess!
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Helping older siblings accept a new baby can be challenging. Some children may feel that with a new baby coming that you will not have time for them anymore. That was the case with my oldest son when I was pregnant with my 3rd child.
There are many ways that you can help older siblings accept a new baby before and after birth. All these ways I have done with my older 2 and they definitely work!
Before Baby Comes
There are many ways that you can help older siblings accept a new baby before the baby comes. You need to start preparing them now so that when the baby gets here it will be an easier transition for them. This also depends on the age of your other kids. If your child is 2 years old or younger, some of these items may not be appropriate for them for they will not be able to understand. You still need to prepare them for the new baby though or they will have a tough time when they get here. Here is a list of things you can do to prepare older siblings for a new baby:
Talk with them in advance to prepare them for the new baby.
Your kids will love being involved with helping to get the baby stuff out and set up! Also, have them help sort through the baby clothes.
Have older siblings pick out a special gift for the new baby.
This is a great way to get your older kids involved! I had my kids pick out special toys for the baby in addition to a bear security blanket (each of my kids had one when they were infants) that they would give to the baby in the hospital.
Get older siblings a special big brother/sister gift from the baby.
I did this with my older kids so they felt special after the baby was born. The baby will be getting a lot of attention from mom and dad plus other relatives that getting a big brother/sister gift makes them feel important too. I bought my son an ITunes gift card and my daughter a special doll that she wanted.
Assure older siblings that you will still have time for them.
This is a big fear with most kids when adding a baby to the family. As I mentioned earlier, this was my son’s fear when I was pregnant with my 3rd. I would constantly assure him that his life would not change that much with a new baby in the house. I told him that even though I was going to give birth right before his football season was to start that I wouldn’t miss a game and the baby was going to fit into his schedule (which is exactly what happened!).
After the Baby Comes
Now the baby is here! You have prepared your other children as much as you could for the arrival of their new baby sibling. Here are some suggestions to help older siblings accept a new baby after the baby is born:
When your older kids get to the hospital to see you and to meet their new baby sibling, have the baby in the basinet. Greet your older kids first then take them over to meet their new brother/sister. This way your kids feel important too and that it’s not all about the baby. My kids were so excited to meet their baby sister when they got to the hospital! It made my heart melt to see how excited they were!
Have them give the new baby their special gifts.
Have older siblings gifts ready to give them from the baby.
Let your older children hold the baby. If they are young, have a boppy to assist them.
Get them involved!
This is the most important thing you can do with your older kids! I did this with my kids! You can have them get diapers and wipes if you need them, have them help with bath time, and with feedings (if she was taking a bottle). They can also help get toys for the baby or help to rock them. There are so many ways for you to get your older kids involved!
Keep in mind the ages of your older children. You can modify these suggestions to fit the needs of your child. If your child seems to act out after the baby is born (which is common for younger children) then try to plan some one-on-one time with just the two of you. Your children need to feel as important as their new baby sibling. What ways have you helped your older children accept a new baby? Also, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and follow me on social media!
Welcome to motherhood (or welcome to motherhood of more then 1 child)!!! You rocked your pregnancy and delivery and now it’s time to rock this new adventure with your baby! Surviving your baby’s first year is not easy for some and can be extremely overwhelming and tiring. I am here to offer you support and ways to help you survive your baby’s first year!
When I had my first baby (Who is now 10! Not sure how that happened) I was extremely overwhelmed at first. I had my family around me but I still found the adjustment into motherhood more difficult than I expected. So I have been where you are and I can tell you IT WILL GET BETTER! I promise that! I now have 3 children (one of who is 10 months) and I am still standing! Haha!
In this post, I am going to break down this first year into 3 parts. The first part is obviously the most difficult because you are still in the adjusting phase. Also, read my post about What to Expect During Your Baby’s First Year to get more helpful tips onto what your little one will be doing within this first year!
The First 2 Months
As I mentioned earlier, the first 2 months are the hardest. You are not only adjusting to motherhood but you are also recovering from delivery. The #1 thing you can do now is take care of yourself! If you don’t do this, you will be in no condition to take care of your baby. Take this time to rest. Remember, you are still recovering from childbirth!
Ask for help if you need it and accept help when offered! This is one thing I wish I did with my older 2! If someone offers to help you or you feel extremely overwhelmed, ask for help! Don’t be ashamed that you can’t do it all yourself. Amazing moms have help! You are no less of a mom if you accept and ask for help! It takes a strong person to ask for help! Remember that!
Get to know your baby during these first 2 months! Learn his/her cries. This will save your sanity in the future! Spend quality time with your baby! The best way to do this in the beginning is by having skin-to-skin. This stage goes by so fast and your little love will be moving around before you know it so take all the snuggles you can now!
If you are nursing, take this time to build up your milk supply by either pumping or exclusively pumping. Don’t stress if you are not producing enough milk now (I went through this with my last 2). If you do have to supplement with formula, that is perfectly okay! You are not less of a mother because you couldn’t exclusively breastfeed your baby. A lot of moms feel this way.
Watch out for signs of the baby blues or postpartum depression. Some of these symptoms could include hopelessness, feeling sad all the time, not wanting to get out of bed, uncontrollable crying, and finding it hard to take care of yourself or your baby (to name a few) please call your OB or your PCP. Many new mothers go through this and need professional help. It is normal to have a slight case of the baby blues after delivery because your hormones are trying to go back to normal so everything is out of whack.
You have survived your first 2 months of motherhood! Woohoo! These next few months should be much easier then the first 2. You should hopefully be somewhat adjusted into your new role with your beautiful baby!
Still accept and ask for help if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed! Don’t feel like you need to do everything yourself. Even though you are feeling better physically, you should still ask others to help with little things, like cooking and cleaning.
The best thing you can do during months 2-6 is getting your baby on a routine. Up until now (and maybe until your little one is about 4-5 months old) they will be on an on demand feeding schedule meaning they eat whenever they are hungry typically every 2-3 hours. Once your little one starts eating baby food, it will get easier to get them on a schedule, which in turn will save your sanity! A typical infant schedule will look similar to this: Breakfast, snack (bottle/breast), lunch, snack (bottle/breast), and dinner. Now depending on your baby, the times maybe different, which is why I didn’t include that. By having your baby on a schedule you will be able to plan out your days accordingly. So you will know when is the best time to run errands or do some housework.
You still need to take time for yourself! The best thing a mom can do is take care of herself! You aren’t any good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself first! I have to keep reminding myself of this one. I tend to put my kids way before myself.
By this time, you should be well adjusted to motherhood. Your baby should be on a schedule and sleeping through the night (for the most part). However, your baby is mobile now! So you have to learn how to get things done with a mobile baby!
During this time if you haven’t done this before, baby proof everything!!! You don’t want to take any chances of your little one getting into things they shouldn’t. This becomes more difficult if you have older kids since you have to worry about keeping their toys (especially ones with small parts) out of baby’s reach.
Relax when you can! This maybe easier said then done. If you can take a few minutes to relax when your baby is sleeping do it! Also, don’t stress over the little things. This is another piece of advice I have to constantly remind myself of!
Just remember that you are doing an AMAZING job! Being a mother is the most important job in the world! You WILL survive this first year and hopefully love every minute of it! Please comment or email me if you need any support, advice, or just need to vent. I have been there more than once! Please don’t forget to check out What to Expect During Your Baby’s First Year to find out what your little one will be up to! Also, sign up to my blog for the latest updates and promotions (you also get access to my Exclusive Resource Library full of printables, checklists, and my favorite things)!
Potty training your child can be an extremely exciting time and extremely frustrating at the same time! It’s an exciting milestone for your little one to finally be almost out of diapers! Think of all the money you will save! However, it can also be frustrating. These tips to help you potty train your child will definitely help make this time less frustrating and help you potty train your child in less time.
I have potty trained dozens of kids (including my own) so I have tried and seen everything! So guess what, you are in luck! You will hopefully learn from my mistakes and learn the best and fastest way to potty train your little one! I am also in the process of writing an ebook titled “Potty Train Your Child in 7 Days” so stayed tuned for that! The ebook will go into more detail about how to successfully potty train your child in 1 week! This post will concentrate on the basics as a guide to start the potty training process!
Is Your Child Ready to Start Potty Training?
This is the first question to ask your self before you begin the potty training process. If you start before your child is ready, it will take that much longer and your child will be resistant to use the potty. Your child will most likely start to show signs of being ready somewhere between 2 and 2 1/2 years old although some child may be ready before or after this time frame. I’ve known kids to start potty training at 18 months but that is not the norm. Some children do not show any signs till they are closer to 3 so just keep that in mind. Some signs that your child is ready are:
Stays dry for an extended period of time.
Shows interest in the potty.
Doesn’t like having a wet/dirty diaper.
Wants privacy when going in his/her diaper.
Asks to sit on the potty.
Doesn’t want to wear diapers anymore.
Throw Away Those Pull-ups!
I do not like pull-ups for potty training! They are just glorified diapers! The only difference is that they are less absorbent and you are able to pull them up and down. Your child will likely treat them like a diaper, so save your money!
Invest in a Little Potty and a Potty Seat
When your little one is showing signs of being ready to use the potty, invest in a little potty and a potty seat. Some kids are resistant to sit on the big potty of the fear of falling in. Having these 2 options for your potty beginner will give them control over where and how they will start to use the potty.
Underwear is the WAY TO GO!
This is my best piece of advice! Take your little one to the store and let them pick out their own big kid undies! Keeping them involved in this process and having them feel like they have control over this will definitely help potty train them faster! When your little one shows any of the signs above, put them in undies during the day. This will help potty train them much faster! Your little one will not like feeling wet if they have an accident in their underwear. I also suggest that you just keep them in underwear with out pants on at first. Your little one may have a hard time getting everything off when it’s time to go!
I suggest reminding your child every 30-45 minutes to use the potty. If they don’t want to use the potty, DO NOT force them! This will just prolong the potty training process.
Create a Potty Chart
I did this with my children as well as with the preschoolers I potty trained! I created one for you that you can use too (I created one for a Spiderman Potty Chart for a boy and an Elsa Potty Chart for a girl)! Hang your potty chart in a place where your child will see it! Have your child pick out special stickers that they will use to put on their potty chart every time they go potty! Another suggestion is to have some sort of incentive for your child for when they go a day “Accident Free” such as ice cream, a small toy, or candy (something they don’t usually get or a special treat). When my children were completely potty trained during the day (nights will come but that takes much more time) I bought them each a big kid bike.
Consistency is KEY to Successful Potty Training!
In order for potty training to be successful, you must stay consistent. Once you start potty training, there is no turning back! If you child is in preschool or you have others caring for them during the week, make sure they know your plan on how you are potty training them so everyone is on the same page. I have seen children regress because there is no consistency either at home with other caregivers or at school.
Accidents Happen and That’s OK
Accidents will happen frequently in the beginning and that is perfectly alright! Accidents are a part of learning. Make sure not to get upset if your child has an accident. I know it can be frustrating in the beginning if they are having more accidents then successful potty trips, but if you get upset they may keep having them. You don’t want them to feel ashamed with having accidents. When they have an accident, bring them into the bathroom and explain that this is where they go potty. You can even try having them sit on the potty after an accident.
You Got This Momma!
Potty training can be very frustrating and extremely time consuming in the beginning, but I know you got this! You will get through this and rock potty training with your little one! If you need any support while potty training your little one please don’t hesitate to contact me! I am here for support and any assistance you may need. Also, keep an eye out for my ebook “Potty Train Your Child in 7 Days”!
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details.
When you have a baby or toddler, going to the beach is not an easy feat. You never know what to bring or if you are bringing enough! Just thinking of all the stuff you need to pack for a day at the beach gives you anxiety because it’s like packing for an over night trip!
I have been there times 3! With my first, I didn’t venture out too much because of all the stuff I would have to bring just for a few hours! Well I am a pro at this now! I have compiled a list of beach essentials you must bring if you have a baby!!!
1. Beach Bag
This is a must (even if you don’t have a baby)! I absolutely love the Harper Diaper Tote from Pottery Barn Kids! It’s actually a diaper bag but you can totally use this as your beach bag (since it’s canvas and you can wash it easily). You need a bag big enough to haul all the items you have to bring with you for the day and have a bag that is machine washable (since you will probably be bringing half the beach home with you)!
2. Swimmy Diapers
If you plan on putting your baby in the water, you NEED swimmy diapers! I love the Pampers Splashers. These diapers are a must because they won’t swell when saturated with water!
Sunscreen is a must, especially for sensitive baby skin! I highly recommend Babyganics SPF 50+ mineral based spray sunscreen. I love that this sunscreen is made of natural ingredients, is amazing for sensitive skin, and most importantly IT WORKS! I even use this sunscreen on my extremely sensitive red headed daughter and it keeps her skin protected from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Just remember to re-apply sunscreen every hour to 2 hours (more if you are swimming) to prevent burning.
4. Beach Tent
I absolutely love this easy pop-up beach tent by iCorer! I bought this tent for two reasons. The first reason was to provide shade and a space for my daughter to play while we were at my son’s baseball games. The second reason was to bring to the beach! I am so glad I bought this tent! It is absolutely amazing and a lifesaver when you have a baby! It’s incredibly convenient, easy to carry, and easy to set up and take down! What more can you ask for?! I also love that this tent provides a little privacy as well for those quick diaper and clothes changes. Have I mentioned how much I absolutely love this tent?!
5. Oversized Sun Hat
Babies have such sensitive skin to begin with, so pair that with little to no hair and you will need something extra to protect their little heads from those harmful and strong UV rays. I bought a sun hat for my middle child from Baby Gap which I love! This hat is almost 7 years old and it is still like brand new! Potter Barn also has the cutest sun hats for babies! Hopefully your little one will keep their hat on! 😉
6. Blow up Baby Pool
This is something that I haven’t done myself but it’s a genius idea! Bring a small, blow-up baby pool with you to the beach that you can fill with some water for your baby to play in and stay cool!
7. Baby Powder
Now I a not a fan of baby powder usually, but for the beach it is a must! The Honest Company has a baby powder that is talc-free! This is definitely the baby powder you would want to use on your little one! When you are ready to leave, sprinkle some baby powder on your baby legs (or where ever they might have sand) and wipe off! The baby powder takes the sand right off your baby!
8. Extra Everything!
As you are very aware, when you have a baby you have to go everywhere extra prepared! The beach is no different! Bring extra of everything (clothes, bathing suit, diapers, swimmy diapers, wipes, etc.). You can never be too prepared!
Definitely bring toys with you to the beach for your little one! Depending on their age, bring some of their favorite toys they can play with in the tent, along with some water and sand toys. Anything to keep them busy!
10. Lots of Water
I definitely suggest bringing lots of water for both you and your baby! Bring a sippy cup for your baby with water as well as extra bottles of water. You don’t want your little one or yourself to get dehydrated in the sun.
11. A Small Cooler
Definitely bring a small cooler with you to store any snacks and drinks you are bringing with you. You can even store bottles in it if your baby is formula fed.
12. Beach Towels
Beach towels are obviously a must! I love hooded beach towels for babies and young kids! Bring extra towels with you too since sand gets absolutely everywhere!
I really hoped you enjoyed this post and I hope that this will help you venture out to the beach with your little one extremely prepared! Please share this article with your friends and I would love to hear from you! Are their other essentials that you bring to the beach for your baby?
Getting your child evaluated is not an easy decision to make. You may be unsure if your child even meets the criteria for needing help through the Early Intervention program. Early Intervention goes from 0 to age 3. I can tell you this, I have been there! I was just as unsure as you are. I wasn’t sure if I should get my daughter (who was a little over 2 years old at the time) evaluated.
In this post, I will guide you through the decision making process of whether or not you should get your child evaluated or speak to your pediatrician. I will explain the different areas of development that are evaluated. Please contact me with any additional questions you may have or just for support!
What is a Developmental Delay?
A developmental delay refers to a child being delayed or behind in some area of development. Just because your child may be delayed in an area (which I will get to in a bit) does not mean that they need to be evaluated. Every child develops at their own rate. Just remember that every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times.
Areas of Development
When a child is evaluated through early intervention, they evaluate 5 areas of development.
This refers to a child’s thinking, learning, and problem solving skills. Is your child delayed in this area? Some skills a child should master by the age of 3 are object permanence (this occurs between 7-9 months and refers to the understanding that an object/person continues to exist when they are out of sight), understand cause/effect relationship and exhibits behaviors and experiments that test this relationship, begins to develop language skills, engages in imaginative and symbolic play, and begins to understand right and wrong.
This area of development refers to a child’s speech, ability to understand you and others, and hearing. Some communication milestones to look for are babbling around 6 months, imitating sounds between 9-12 months, first words 11-13 months, 2-word combinations around 18 months, and being able to form sentences between 2 and 3 years of age. Also, strangers should be able to understand your child by the time they are 2 1/2 years old. This is the area my daughter was delayed in. I learned various tips and tricks to help her develop her language skills better, such as pointing to my mouth when I would say words so she could try and mimic the shapes my mouth was making.
Social and Emotional Development
Social and emotional development refers to how a child acts in social situations and how they express/understand their emotions and the emotions of others. By the age of 3, your child should be able to form and sustain positive relationships with peers, be able to express and begin to understand their own emotions, have empathy for others, explore and engage in their environment, express their ideas and their feelings, ability to manage their emotions, and the ability to develop friendships.
Physical development refers to a child’s fine and gross motor skills. Some gross motor skills to look for in infancy would be putting weight on feet and legs, pushing up with arms, rolling over, crawling (although some babies never crawl), and walking. For more physical development milestones in infancy, check out my post on What to Expect During Your Baby’s First Year.
By the age of 3, your child should be able to mold clay/play-doh, hold a crayon/marker/pencil the correct way, be able to put a simple puzzle together, draw simple shapes and objects, and will start to favor a dominant hand.
This is the last area to observe with your child. By the age of 3, your child should be able to attempt to dress themselves and be able to feed themselves.
If you think your child may be delayed in one or more of these areas of development, talk to your pediatrician first. Your pediatrician will advise you on whether they believe you should indeed get your child evaluated. I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I hope that you found the information that you needed through this post! Please share with your friends 🙂
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One of my favorite types of activities to do with infants are sensory themed activities! Infants learn through touch; exploring their world around them. I absolutely love watching infants explore their world! Everything is new to them and they explore something new and exciting everyday!
I not only have my own children (one of which is 10 months) but I have also worked with infants in a child care setting. I love coming up with new activities for infants to explore and learn about the world around them! Here is a list of simple activities that you can do with your infant that promote sensory learning!
1. Make Sensory Bottles
This is a great and simple activity that you can do at home with your infant. All you need for this is empty water bottles! Their are so many options too! You can fill one with water and glitter, water, oil, and food coloring, macaroni, rice, or pom-poms. Just make them and leave them in your playroom for your infant to explore! Toddlers and preschoolers also love sensory bottles (and you can even have them help you make them and make it a science experiment!). *** Just make sure that you use either a glue gun or crazy glue when putting the top back on the bottle. That way you don’t have to worry about your little one getting the top off. 🙂 ***
2. Let Them Explore Yogurt
I love doing this with my infant! If I am feeding her snack, I will put a little yogurt on her highchair tray and let her explore it with her hands! The best part is that if she puts it in her mouth I don’t have to worry about it!
3. Finger Paint
I love using finger paints with little ones! It’s a great way to promote sensory learning and create something you can cherish for years to come! I found a great recipe for an edible finger paint that is great for infants that want to explore everything with their mouths. Stay tuned for that post!
4. Body Painting
This is a super fun activity to do with older infants! You can even use the edible finger paint with this activity as well! You can either use a poster board or a very long piece of paper (I have an art paper roll that is perfect for this activity). Put globs of paint in different areas of the paper and let your baby crawl and roll all over it! This might be a good activity to do outside. Make sure you have baby wipes or a sink handy when you’re done! Babies love this activity!
5. Exploring Water
Babies love water! Let your baby spend some extra time in the bath tub just exploring the water. Let her splash and play! In the winter, you can do this activity with snow! This past winter, I brought some snow inside (it was too cold for my little one to let her play outside), put the snow in a bowl, and let my daughter explore what the snow felt like. She wasn’t sure at first (probably because it was so cold) but she loved this activity!
6. Create a Sensory Board
This is something that I am in the process of making for my own daughter. You can use either a poster board or a tri-sided project board. With this activity, you want to use objects that symbolize various feelings when your baby will touch it. I suggest using foil (feels cool and smooth), salt/sand (feels rough), feathers (soft), cotton (soft), sand paper (rough), felt (soft), and bubble wrap (bumpy). After creating your sensory board, hang it up on the floor but where your baby can reach. This was your baby can explore these objects whenever they want! What other materials would you use when making your board?
Grass is a whole new sensation for babies! They love the feel of it in their hands and on their tiny feet. Sit your baby in the grass and let them explore how it feels.
9. Play Music/Sing
Babies love music! You can make music with your baby by shaking one of the sensory bottles you made or by banging on a toy! You can also make a game out of it with older infants. Place a rattle or shaker under a blanket and shake it. Now let your infant try to find where the music is coming from. Play some music for your baby. I love the Laurie Berkner Band! They have great kids music!
These are all great ways to promote sensory learning in infancy! Are there other activities that you do with your little one that promotes sensory learning?
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It’s Summer! The kids are excited that school is out; us parents, not so much. The constant “I’m bored” and “there’s nothing to do” gets old real fast! If your kids are anything like mine, they are already fighting constantly because they are bored (mind you, this is only their first week of summer vacation!). You want to find some fun activities to do with your kids during the summer, but you are having a hard time figuring out what to do with them.
It’s even harder when you are on a budget and you can’t afford to take your kids on a lavish vacation to pass the summer by. Trust me, I’m with you! Well, you are in luck!!! I have compiled a list that is kid approved of 50 super fun summer activities for kids that cost little to NO money!!! What is better than that?!
1. Go to the Park
This is a great and free activity to do with the kids this summer! See if you can get other parents to join you as well. This is one activity that I do frequently with my kids during the summer months! My son (who is extremely into sports) will play basketball or baseball while my 6 year old will play on the jungle gym and ride her scooter. The park is great for kids of all ages and the best part about it is IT’S FREE!
2. Go to the Lake
Going to the lake is a great summer activity for kids! I take my kids to our local lake around twice a week during the summer! They can build sand castles and swim! The lake is perfect for young kids since you don’t have to worry about waves knocking them down. Now, some lakes you do have to pay a small fee per person (although children under a certain age are free) or by the car load, but some lakes are free! I am so lucky that I live down the road from a beautiful lake in New Jersey and it is free!
3. Go to the Beach
Now this activity is one of my favorite things to do during the summer! Now most beaches you do have to pay a fee to get onto the beach (again, children under a certain age are free) or by the car load. Kids typically love the beach as they can build sand castles, jump in the waves, go boogie boarding, and search for sea shells.
4. Go to the Boardwalk
If you take a day trip to the beach, go to one that also has a boardwalk. This one also costs money, but go into this with a set amount in mind to spend. Tell your kids that they can either choose rides or games and they only get a certain amount of money each to spend. You can also just walk on the boardwalk with your kids and not spend any money.
5. Go on a Hike
This is a great activity for all ages! Find local trails around your area and visit one a week for the summer! Kids love being outside! This is a fun and free activity that the kids and you will definitely enjoy!
6. Go on a Bike Ride
When I was a kid, I loved going on bike rides around my neighborhood! Go on bike rides with the whole family this summer! This is a great, free activity and a excellent form of exercise! You can also go on a bike ride on one of the trails you found in #5.
7. Go to a Local Pool
If you don’t have a pool yourself, find a community pool that you could either join for the summer (depending on your budget) or visit for the day. The majority of community pools have daily passes that you can purchase. Again, children under a certain age are free.
8. Play in the Sprinkler
I loved playing in the sprinkler as a child! Set up a sprinkler in your backyard and let the kids play! My sister and I used to play in the sprinkler for hours!
9. Set up an Obstacle Course in your Backyard
This is a super fun activity! Set up an obstacle course in your backyard for your kids (and their friends) to go through! Set up the sprinkler, use hula hoops for them to jump through, use pool noodles as an obstacle, and use your playground for your obstacle course! Be creative! Your kids and their friends will love this activity!
10. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
My kids love going on scavenger hunts! I will print out a list of different objects they have to find, such as pine cones, leaves, different colored flowers, feathers, etc. that they have to collect. You can even make it a contest to see who can find the most items on the list!
11. Visit a Local Splash Pad
This is something that is becoming extremely popular! Check your local area to see if their are any splash pads. Some splash pads cost a little money per person but their are some that are free!
12. Create a Lemonade Stand
This is a childhood favorite! Every child at one point wants to have a lemonade stand! Set up a table in front of your house, make some lemonade, and create a handmade sign and see how much lemonade you can sell!
13. Have a Summer Themed Relay Race
Have your kids invite some friends over and have summer themed relay races! You can do a water balloon toss, balance a water balloon on a spoon and run through obstacles instead of an egg, potato sack race, or a wheel barrow race. This is a great free activity to do with your kids and their friends!
14. Have a Water Balloon Fight
There is nothing more fun than having a water balloon fight! Have the whole family get involved and have it be parents vs. kids!
15. Make your own Bubbles
Instead of buying bubbles, create your own using dish soap and water! Your kids will have just as much fun making them as they will playing with them!
16. Water Painting
This is such a fun activity to do with your kids in the summer! All you need are paint brushes and a container of water! Then just let them create picture after picture on the sidewalk all while staying cool themselves!
17. Make a Birdfeeder
I do this activity with my kids every year! This is the birdfeeder we made a few years ago!
Sidewalk chalk is one of my daughters favorite activities in the summer! This is a great activity to let them explore their creative side, while getting them outdoors for a little bit!
19. Visit a Zoo
This is a great summer activity to do with the kids! Some zoo’s even have a certain day during the week where it is FREE ADMISSION! I know that by me, The Bronx Zoo has free admission on Wednesdays (although they still have certain exhibits that you have to pay for). If you don’t have a zoo that offers this, go to a smaller zoo where admission is cheaper. Also, children under a certain age are free!
20. Go to a Minor League Baseball Game
I love minor league games! The admission is much cheaper (usually $15-$20/ticket) than going to a major league game! Also, minor league games are geared for families! So if you have young kids and would like to take them to a baseball game, this is your best bet!
21. Go to the Park/Lake and Feed the Ducks
I loved doing this as a child! This is definitely a great and free activity to do during the summer with your kids!
22. Have an Outdoor Movie Night
I love this idea! A projector and screen would be ideal for this type of activity, but you could always improvise and take your laptop outside with you as well. Your kids will love just watching a movie outside that they will not care how big the screen is that they are watching it on!
23. Have a Campout
Set up a tent in your backyard and have a campout with your kids! I used to love doing this with my parents when I was younger! If you are unable to have an outdoor campout, you could always improvise and set up a tent in your living room and have one there!
My kids love our slip-n-slide! This is much cheaper then investing in a pool and they absolutely love it! This is a great summer activity for letting your kids get some much needed exercise as well as cooling off!
25. Play Water Balloon Baseball
Now this is an activity that I am going to do with my kids this summer as it looks super fun! My son is a sports fanatic so this is right up his alley! I would recommend using plastic baseball bats so that the balloons don’t break so easily.
26. Make Homemade Popsicles
My kids love making popsicles in the summer! We typically use 100% fruit juice in ours but you can use whatever you like! This popsicle maker is great, inexpensive, and BPA free!
27. Have a BBQ
There is nothing better then having a BBQ in the summer! Kids love them too! Have your kids invite some friends over for some added fun!
28. Go Bowling
My kids love bowling! Look into the bowling alleys in your area. Some have a summer program where kids receive 2 FREE GAMES a week if you sign the up either online or in person! I’m signing up my kids this week! This is a great activity to do, especially on a rainy day!
29. Have a Picnic
Pack a picnic basket and a blanket and head to the park! Picnics are a great way to spend some quality time with your kids as well this summer. This is a great summer activity to do with kids of all ages!
30. Visit a Planetarium
I used to love going to the planetarium as a child! Look to see if their are any in your area. Some schools/colleges also have them so check them out as well! There’s a planetarium in New Jersey that offers laser light shows to different music!
31. Water Color Painting
Water color painting is a great activity for all ages! You can do this activity inside/outside depending on the weather!
32. Have a Camp Fire and Make S’mores
What child does not like s’mores?! Even if they don’t like them, they will have fun making them!
33. Create Your Own Play-doh
This is a great activity to do with the kids this summer! I have not only made this with my own kids, but I have also made this with my preschoolers!
What you need:
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups salt
2 tbsp. oil
1 cup water
food coloring of your choice
Just mix the ingredients together and you will have your very own play-doh!
34. Plant Flower/Garden
Kids love getting dirty! This is a perfect way for them to get dirty while accomplishing something the whole family can enjoy! Find out what types of flowers and vegetables are good for planting this time of year. You can also create an indoor herb garden as well!
35. Have a Game Night
Schedule a family game night once a week! Play board games, charades, Wii (my kids love playing the Wii sports games like bowling), Pie Face (my kids absolutely love this game), or any other game your family enjoys! You and your kids will look forward to this night every week!
36. Night Glow Bowling
This looks like a ton of fun for the whole family! All you need are empty soda bottles and a large ball! Fill the soda bottles about 3/4 with water and insert a glow bracelet/stick. Then you take this outside at night time and you have glow bowling!
37. Paint/Decorate Flower Pots
This is another fun summer activity. Buy small flower pots, seeds, and potting soil. Then have your kids paint the pots with acrylic paint or simply decorate them with other items they find! Then they can plant the seeds and watch their plants grow!
38. Make Summer Themed Windsocks
This is an activity that I do every year with my kids! These are fun to display around the house.
Have your kids paint the construction paper first and let dry. Once dry, they can add stickers or anything else they want to their windsock. Holding the paper horizontally, fold so it makes a cylinder. Glue the edges of paper together. Cut your streamers so they are about 5-6 inches long. Glue streamers at the bottom of your wind sock. With a hole puncher, punch 2 holes on top of your windsock. Add a ribbon/string so you can display your windsock around the house!
39. Create a Fireworks Painting for the 4th of July
I love making themed art projects with my kids (can you tell I used to be a Preschool teacher?)! This project is super fun to do with your kids!
Black/dark blue construction paper
Pipe cleaners (put together to look like a star at the bottom)
Dip your pipe cleaners in the paint and use them like a stamp! Before the paint dries, sprinkle glitter on top to really make them look like fireworks!
40. Create Sun Catchers
Sun catchers are a great summer activity for kids! You can make them look like sea animals or different shapes if you like. Your options are endless!
Clear contact paper
Different colored tissue paper
Take one piece of contact paper and lay it on the table sticky side up. Cut up your tissue paper into tiny squares. Have your child place the tissue paper on the sticky side of the contact paper. Cut out the shape you would like out of construction paper (cut the middle out as well). Place this shape on top of the contact paper you just decorated. Once they are finished, place another piece of contact paper on top of the one with the tissue paper. Finally, cut off the excess contact paper. Now you have a beautiful sun catcher!
41. Catch Lightening Bugs
This is a childhood classic!
42. Have a Car Wash
This is a great activity to do on a hot day! Have the kids get buckets of soapy water and sponges and let them wash your car! Then get out the hose and let them play!
43. Decorate Sea Shells
If you were able to go to beach like listed in #3, then you probably have a bunch of sea shells that you don’t know what to do with. Well now you can have the kids paint them! I usually have my kids paint them and then I let them display them in certain places around the house.
44. Visit a Wildlife Center
See if there are any wildlife centers in your area and schedule a visit. These centers usually have various types of birds, deer, and other wildlife that you can observe.
45. Go to a Fair/Carnival
My children’s favorite thing to do during the summer is going to our county fair! My son loves looking at the tractors and playing games while my daughter loves looking at the animals. But they both love going on the rides! Fairs usually have an entrance fee (although children under a certain age are free). Also check to see if your fair does a dollar rides night! My county fair does this on the first night of the fair. This will definitely save you money if your kids love going on various rides!
46. Do Yoga with Your Kids Outside
My daughter loves doing various yoga posses with me! If you love doing yoga but are having a tough time doing with the kids home (trust me, I feel your pain) then let them join in!
47. Go to an Aquarium
This is a great activity! My kids love looking at the various fish, especially the sharks! Also, most aquariums have a touch tank where your child can actually touch different fish (such as stingrays and star fish).
48. Go to the Movies
This is a great activity to do, especially on a rainy day. If you have a Regal Cinemas around you, they do dollar movies once a week for about 8 weeks during the summer. These are movies that are already out of the theatre but if you have been wanting to see a certain movie but haven’t had the chance, then the dollar movie is great!
49. Tie-Dye T-Shirts
This is a fun activity for kids of all ages! All you need is plain white t-shirts and a tie-dye kit! Have your kids help tie up the shirts with rubber bands to create their own design!
50. Have a Sundae Making Station
Create a sundae making station for your kids as a special treat!
I hope you enjoyed this list of 50 fun summer activities for kids that cost little to no money! What is your family planning on doing this summer? Are there any other summer activities that you would add to this list? I would love to hear from you!
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details.
What are the essentials you absolutely need for a new baby? This is a question that is always asked by new parents-to-be. Being pregnant for the first time is overwhelming in its self let alone all the baby items on the market (trust me, I’ve been there). There is so much stuff on the market today for new babies that you may not know what you actually ‘need’. I am hoping this post will help you out tremendously!
I have 3 kids myself. I remember when I was pregnant with my first and I went to the store to do my registry. There were so many items to choose from! I didn’t know where to start!
Even going to my friends’ baby showers and seeing what they had on their registries made me think most people don’t know what they actually need! If you go to a store to register, they will most likely give you a guide as to what you should register for. I am going to make it easy for those of you who are in this situation and give you not only a list, but links to the items you need!
A crib is an absolute necessity for a new baby! This is a no brainer! This should be on the top of your registry list of items you NEED for your new bundle of joy! I love the look of sleigh cribs and a dark colored wood.
2. Crib Bedding
Crib bedding is another essential you will need for your new baby. You don’t necessarily need a bedding set (remember DO NOT use bumpers in the crib! I’m still not even sure why manufactures are still making them.). Here are a few that I recommend for girls, boys, and gender neutral.
3. Extra Crib Sheets (3-4)
Extra crib sheets is a must have! You will need extra sheets in case your baby’s diaper leaks or the occasional spit up. You will thank me later, trust me! 😉 Carters is by far my favorite brand when it comes to baby anything! I only have their crib sheets for my baby!
4. Crib Mattress
This is so important! Many soon-to-be parents might think that just because you purchase a crib, it comes with a crib mattress. 9 times out of 10, this is not the case. I definitely suggest buying a firm crib mattress that is excellent quality! Your little one will have this until they are ready for their big girl/boy bed.
This is a lifesaver!!! I not only use my pack-n-play for keeping my baby safe while I do some housework, I also use it for a bassinet (when my baby was a newborn), naptime (perfect if you have a 2-story house and want your baby to sleep downstairs with you), and for traveling (folds and sets up easily so you can take your baby’s crib anywhere you go!). I have only ever used pack-n-plays by Graco! They come in cute patterns for girls or boys! This pack-n-play also comes with a portable changing table! Makes changing in the middle of the night or on vacation that much easier!!!
6. Bouncy Seat
A bouncy seat is a must for a new baby! This bouncer by Fisher Price has relaxing vibration and music to soothe your little bundle of joy. This was a life saver for me with all 3 of my babies!
7. Infant Swing
This is another must have for new babies! I loved my infant swing! This infant swing by Graco can go either front to back or side to side!
If you plan on formula feeding or pumping, you will need bottles! I love Avent bottles! I recommend getting the Classic Plus Essentials Gift Pack. This set comes with everything you need (including a formula dispenser and 4 oz and 9 oz bottles). These are the only bottles I use with my little one 😉
This one can be up for debate as an actual essential. I am pro pacifier! I have used them with all my children and they have been life savers! Also, the use of pacifier is said to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrom). For newborns, my favorite pacifier is the soothie by Avent or gumdrop pacifiers by First Years.
10. Activity Gym
I love this activity gym! I bought this gym for my middle child (who is now 6) and have used it with my third daughter (who is now 9 months). This gym is great for tummy time!
11. Breast Milk Storage Bags
For my breastfeeding mommas, you will definitely need breast milk storage bags if you are planning on pumping and leaving your little one with a caregiver. Lansinoh makes the best breast milk storage bags! They are easy to use, heat up, and freeze.
12. Boppy and Boppy Cover
I love my boppy and it has so many uses! I used my boppy to place under my baby for extra support while breastfeeding, used it as a positioner for helping my baby sit up, and I placed it behind her when she could sit up on her own but would still fall over. I also used my boppy as a photo prop to take those monthly pictures!
Now this is an item that you won’t be able to use till your baby is about 4 months. I definitely consider this a baby essential! All my children loved this jumper when they were infants (my 9 month old still uses it)!
14. High Chair
This is a 4-in-1 high chair by Graco! This chair is absolutely amazing and grows with your child! I definitely suggest investing in this high chair!
15. Travel System
This is a must for a new baby! I love the Britax travel system! The travel system comes with an infant car seat, car seat base, and a stroller! Even when your baby outgrows the infant seat (you will typically transition your baby into a convertible seat around 20 lbs) you still use this stroller for years! I definitely suggest investing in this travel system!
16. Convertible Car Seat
I am a huge fan of Britax car seats! I highly recommend the Britax USA Marathon Click Tight Convertible Car Seat for when your little one out grows their infant seat. This car seat is recommended for rear facing infants from 5-40 lbs and front facing infants/toddlers up to 65 lbs! What I love about this car seat is that it is easy to install and I know my baby is safe! Just remember that your child needs to be rear facing until they are 2 years old 🙂
17. Baby Clothes
This is obviously a must but don’t go crazy (your baby will grow so fast!). I absolutely love Carters and Gymboree for baby clothes! They are have the cutest items and they always have sales! Here is a list of clothes you should get for your baby:
6-8 pjs or sleep and plays
4-6 pull on pants
6-8 pairs of socks
Don’t forget to get these items in each size! A lot of 1st time parents make the mistake with just purchasing newborn/0-3 month clothes and forgetting about the bigger sizes! Trust me, your baby will grow so fast that they may only stay in a newborn size (if they even fit into that size at all) for a few weeks and 0-3 months for maybe 2 months (this also depends on the size of your baby at birth).
18. Diapers and Wipes
Definitely stock up on diapers and wipes! I love love love Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Sensitive Wipes for a newborn! Most hospitals (in the US anyway) have Pampers swaddlers for you after your baby is born. Once your baby gets a little bigger, you will have to try different diapers to see which ones you like best and that work best for your baby. With my oldest, I loved Pampers Cruisers for him when he got into a size 3. For my middle one, Luvs worked amazing for her (and saved me a ton of money too)! Now for my youngest, I tend to like Pampers Baby Dry. Again, every baby is different so you will have to try different diapers to see which one is the right fit for you! If your baby has very sensitive skin, I suggest The Honest Company Diapers (they also come in the cutest designs).
19. Diaper Rash Cream
Diaper rash cream is a must for infants since their skin is so delicate! I definitely recommend getting a protective cream, such as Aquaphor Baby, and a cream with zinc oxide, such as Desitin Creamy.
20. Baby Bath Tub
This is another must have! I recommend getting a bath tub with a sling, which will make giving those first sponge baths easy! I love the Newborn to Toddler Tub by First Years! This tub will make bathing your little one easy for the first few years!
21. Baby Bath Essentials
With 3 kids, I have tried just about every baby bath wash, shampoo, and lotion on the market! Luckily, I have found a brand that I absolutely love!!! I highly recommend baby bath products by Babyganics! These products are made from all natural, organic ingredients and are definitely safe to use on your little one!
22. Infant Grooming Kit
This you will definitely need, especially to be able to care for those little, razor like baby nails! I recommend getting the Safety First Deluxe Healthcare and Grooming Kit! This kit comes with baby nail clippers, a thermometer, nail files, infant brush and comb, a medicine dispenser, and much more! Safety First makes the absolute best baby nail clippers!
23. Infant Medicine
Now you won’t need these things within the first weeks of having your baby, but you will need them. I suggest having Infant Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Baby saline solution spray on hand. You never know when you will need these so it’s best to keep them in your medicine cabinet! 🙂
24. Cool Mist Vaporizer
This is an item I am so glad that I bought for my first born! I was always told that this was a must for a baby but didn’t realize how much I would actually use it till I had a baby of my own! My first born is 10 and I still have my Vaporizer and still use it! I love the cool mist vaporizer by Vics!
This is another must have! Some may be wondering what the difference is between a vaporizer and a humidifier and why you need both. Well, a humidifier puts moisture into the air and a vaporizer helps create moisture that can break up mucus and congestion caused by a cold/allergies/flu. I definitely recommend having both. My oldest suffered from eczema when he was younger and having a humidifier in the winter months helped tremendously! I love the Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.
26. Baby Memory Book
I love the memory books I have for each of my kids! These books are great for keeping track of your baby’s milestones, doctor appointments, weight/height throughout the first year, favorite things, and other special moments. You will be so glad that you bought one of these to look back on! I still look at all my children’s memory books (my 3rd child is only 10 months so I keep hers out so I can write down every little thing). I absolutely love the Pearhead Chevron Baby Book! What I love about this memory book is that it comes with an ink pad so you can create your baby’s footprint right on the cover and include a newborn picture of your precious baby!
27. Breast Pump
This is a must if you are a working momma and continue to breast feed your little one when you go back to work. There are so many different types of breast pumps on the market, but I definitely suggest you invest in a Medela double, automatic breast pump. This will enable you to pump both breasts at the same time; saving you time and sanity! This pump also comes with a convenient to-go tote that is perfect for bringing it with you to and from work!
I hope that this list helps out all the new parents that may not be sure of the essentials that they absolutely need for their new baby. As I mentioned earlier, there are so any items on the market that it may be hard to differentiate the items you need! What are some items that you think are essentials? I would love to hear your feedback! Also, please download the checklist of all these essentials!