Meningitis Symptoms in Babies and Young Children

Even with new technology and immunizations, meningitis is on the rise. Just in the UK alone there is an estimated 1,870 cases if meningitis B each year. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) between the years of 2003-2007, 4,100 cases of bacterial meningitis occurred, and of those cases 500 individuals died. Meningitis affects not only adults and children, but babies as well. Yes, this deathly infection is affecting babies across the world, and with similar symptoms as the flu, it can often be mistaken for another illness and unfortunately go untreated.

 

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, which are the three membranes that line the skull and vertebral canal that surround the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be either a viral or bacterial infection. While both can be very serious, bacterial meningitis is categorized as the deathly and can be very hard to treat. The most common strain of bacteria that causes meningitis in infants and young children in the U.S. is called Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus. This strain is what normally causes ear infections and pneumonia. A few other strains that can such as Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus inflenzae, and Listeria monocytogenes have been known to be linked to meningitis as well.

When children are diagnosed with meningitis they often have the following symptoms: high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, vomiting, confusion, sleepiness, rash, and sensitivity to light. While these signs are easy to mistake for the flu, it can be easier to diagnose when your child can verbally discuss their symptoms with you. With a baby, you may have a harder time figuring out what is wrong, especially since meningitis symptoms for a baby can be a little different. Meningitis indicators for an infant include fever, crying, sleepiness, loss of appetite, stiffness in the neck, and maybe no signs at all. Some symptoms to look out for are cold hands and feet, vomiting, the dislike of being handled, unresponsive and drowsy, pale and blotchy skin, bulging of the soft spot, and convulsions.

Meningitis symptoms can occur in any order and might seem like they came out of nowhere. It’s important to know how to protect your baby from this infection and where to go if you need help. Today it’s important to get your child vaccinated to protect them from dangerous diseases and infections like meningitis. For babies and teens there is the meningococcal vaccine. This vaccine is given in a series of shots and can be offered at any time during a child’s life, but it is recommended to be given as soon as possible, especially to those high at risk for meningitis. Teens should be vaccinated between the ages of 13-18.

 

There are very serious risk factors for those who are diagnosed with meningitis and go untreated. While viral meningitis can be treated, bacterial meningitis is serious and can lead to death. It’s important to discuss meningitis symptoms with your doctor so you are aware if your baby begins to show similar signs.

 

 

Benefits of Baby Yoga

Stretching and movement is extremely important for both men and women. Just like adults, babies need movement as well to build strength and development. One way to do this is through yoga and building strength within their bodies to promote muscle development along with other beneficial simulations.

The practice of yoga is practiced all around the world and has been known to be extremely beneficial because it builds a healthy body and wellbeing. While this has helped many adults, studios have been popping up that cater towards baby yoga. Today we are sharing five reasons why baby yoga is beneficial:

 

  1. Promotes Digestion: When a baby practices yoga with their mothers they are able to do specific movements that aid towards their digestion. Yoga promotes regular bowl movements and lessens the chance of your baby becoming constipated. Regular knee movements and stretches will release tension in your baby’s stomach which will give them relief from gas and any other troubles.
  2. Stimulates Muscle and Nerve Development: Through yoga babies can become more aware of their bodies, specifically their arms and legs because they will be strengthening their muscles. Yoga also promotes upper body and neck strength. This can be done when you lay your baby on their tummies and they are more prone to trying to lift their head to see what is going on. These movements will further flexibility and balance as well. In addition, yoga stimulates a baby’s senses once they become more aware of their bodies and their movements.
  3. Reduces Stress: Because yoga is a calming exercise it reduces the stress hormone cortisol. This is true for babies as well. When stress and anxiety are reduced in your baby they often times will have a more restful behavior, which can lead to better and longer sleep.
  4. Creates a Stronger Bond between Parents and their Babies: Parents can become more in tune with their baby’s needs when they practice yoga or daily movements with their child. Yoga promotes confidence in parents and gives them more self-assurance when handling their baby. Yoga also encourages play and interaction between baby and parent. When a parent is more confident they are able to recognize their child’s needs and wants.
  5. Promotes Socialization for both Mothers and Babies: Baby yoga isn’t just relaxing it can also be fun and promote socialization for moms and babies. When moms participate in classes they can meet other moms, and babies can become accustomed to seeing other children and people.

 

Thanksgiving Movies for Kids

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remember why we have so much to be thankful for. This year get the family together and watch a few classics to remind us what this holiday is really about. Below we have the top Thanksgiving movies for the whole family to enjoy!

 

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114148/

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114148/

Pocahontas: This 90’s film is definitely on the list of Disney classics. We all know the story of Pocahontas and John Smith as a loving and good-hearted movie. As a great Thanksgiving movie, share this one with the kids and learn what compassion is really about!

The Blind Side: Life changes for the best for a young African American boy and a wealthy family living in Tennessee. This extraordinary movie tells the story of family, acceptance, and the importance of following your dreams. It’s definitely on the list of Thanksgiving movies for kids and the whole family.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Charlie Brown is in many of our childhood memories. This Thanksgiving watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and share the laughter, humorous bickering, and a delicious Thanksgiving meal with Charlie Brown and the kids!

Mouse on the Mayflower: This film follows the smallest pilgrim on the Mayflower, a mouse! When the Mayflower falls into trouble due to a storm, Willum, the mouse must help save the day and the future of Thanksgiving!

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Steve Martin and John Candy are a hit in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!” As Martin’s character tries to get home in time for Thanksgiving dinner he runs into Del Griffith, John Candy’s character, who is an obnoxious and funny man who offers Martin a ride. Their journey home is nothing far from entertaining.

 

 

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101635/

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101635/

A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving: In a collection of memorable adventures, Winnie the Pooh and his friends try to find the right ingredients to help Rabbit make the best Thanksgiving dinner!

Dutch: Dutch is a classic 90’s film where Ed O’Neil plays Dutch, a guy who is trying to get to know his girlfriend’s son. He decides to pick to boy up from school in Atlanta and drive the two of them to Chicago for Thanksgiving dinner. Of course the boy is handful and their cross-country journey takes them through plenty of humorous and unplanned adventures. It’s a cute and heartwarming film that will teach your child about appreciation and caring.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration: Alvin and his gang sure know how to have a good time and ruffle a few feathers. In “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration,” Alvin invites the family over for Thanksgiving dinner to show off in a play he is trying out for. As things take a turn for the unexpected, Alvin gets himself in something we all know he will: trouble!

Curly Sue: An orphan and a drifter make the perfect pair to scam money out of random strangers. Both Bill Dancer (James Belushi) and Curly Sue (Alisan Porter) take on their biggest conquest yet, which is to scam a wealthy lawyer (Kelly Lynch). While Bill and Curley Sue think they are about to win the jackpot they come to realize money isn’t everything.

Miracle on 34th Street: While this might be a Christmas favorite, “Miracle of 34th Street” opens up with the Thanksgiving Day Parade where Kris Kringle takes over the position of the tipsy Santa Claus. A perfect kids movie, learn what the holidays should really be about: family.

 

 

Thanksgiving Snacks for Kids

We know Thanksgiving is all about being thankful and appreciative of your family and what you have. However, during big holidays we know people can become a little impatient after the long and anticipated Thanksgiving meal, especially the kids. You may begin to notice your thankfulness has turned a little indifferent after the 10th time you are asked, “When will dinner be ready? We’re hungry!” In order to keep your cool and not kick the kids out of the kitchen, we have some Thanksgiving snacks they will keep their bellies full and out of your hair!

 

Today in our blog we are sharing a few Thanksgiving snacks for kids that are healthy and a few that are more on the sweet side. Depending on your arrangement you can set them all out at once or keep the sweet treats for after dinner. Whatever you plan to do you can relax by knowing your children have snacks to keep them happy before dinner!

Healthy Thanksgiving Snacks:

Fruit Turkey: You can make this into a bunch of different and creative ways. If you want to do something simple all you need to do is chop up some fruit and lay them on a plate in the shape of a turkey. There are other ways you can do this, and that is by using a single piece of fruit, such as an apple or pear, and turning that fruit into a turkey. For example, if you want to use an apple you can grab a few tooth picks and cranberries to make the feathers and legs, and a banana slice to make the head.

Trail Mix: Trail mix is pretty easy to make and it’s great to set out for people to snack on during any holiday or small get together. Your basic ingredients are pretzels, nuts of your choice, Chex mix, M&Ms, and Bugles. If you want to make it a little more festive you can add candy corn, caramel popcorn, and yogurt covered pretzels!

Cheese and Cracker Turkey: This is a simple appetizer that only takes a few minutes to make. All you need are cheeses and crackers of your choice, and then lay them out in the shape of a turkey. It’s a great grab-and-go dish, and the kids will love everything that’s shaped like a turkey!

Popcorn Turkey: Popcorn turkey is perfect for an easy snack for the kids! With little creativity, it’s effortless to make and will keep the kids happy with something yummy before dinner. All you need are two bags of popcorn and some construction paper. With the construction paper you will need to make two turkey legs, and after fill them with popcorn. Tape the legs onto the big bag of popcorn and you will have a turkey!

Pumpkin Pie Almonds: If your child doesn’t have a nut allergy this is a yummy dish you can set aside for those who are hungry. All you need are almonds, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Lightly dust the almonds with the seasoning and you can either serve warm or cold!

Pull-Apart Pepperoni Turkey Bread: Similar to monkey bread, you can make your own easy appetizer with biscuit dough, pepperoni, and cheese, and then lay the dough into a turkey form! If you’ve ever made your own pull-apart pizza bread before than you already know the basic components! The kids will get a kick out of this snack, and it tastes great!

Sweet Treats:

Oreo and Peanut Butter Cup Turkeys: Chocolate and Oreos always go hand in hand! This sweet treat is great for the kids and it’s delicious! For this snack you’ll need peanut butter cups, Oreos, candy corn, whoppers, and some frosting. It’s super cute and the kids will love it!

Pumpkin Pie Bites: While this treat might take some creativity and cooking skills, it’s definitely a mouthwatering snack you’ll love to have. To make pumpkin pie bites you’ll need a pumpkin cookie cutter, ready to roll refrigerated pie crust, a mini muffin pan, and pumpkin pie filling. When they are finished you have the option of leaving them how they are or drizzle with chocolate sauce!

Turkey Krispies: Turkey Krispies are just like rice Krispies but with extra yumminess! Roll your rice krispies into small balls and once hard stick one Oreo on the bottom and one Oreo on the back. Then you can use candy corn to make the feathers and the face.

Chocolate Coved Strawberry Turkey: We love chocolate covered strawberries, and we know the kids do too! Before everyone comes over coat your strawberries in milk chocolate and use candy corn to make the feathers and face. If you’re feeling creative you may use other items to be more precise. When you’re finished stick them in the freezer to cool for desert!

Pilgrim Hats: Pilgrim hats are really cute and work great as a little snack after dinner. All you need are chocolate wafer cookies, chocolate peanut butter cups, and frosting.

Caramel Corn Popcorn: This snack is so effortless you’ll love it! Pop a bag of popcorn and drizzle it with caramel and then let cool for an hour. When the kids are ready you can set out this sweet treat for then to enjoy before or after dinner!

 

 

How to Make the Kid’s Table Fun this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Kids Table

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and with all the running around and dinner planning it might be easy to forget about what you have planned for the kid’s table. While you’re organizing your decorations for the main table this year, try to do something a little fun for the kids this year. Planning a few games and setting up snacks will be just the thing to keep them busy and having a great time! Learn how to make the kid’s table fun this Thanksgiving with these simple ideas:

 

Change the Table Cloth to Construction Paper:

The kids will love this! Simply substitute the table cloth for a big sheet or construction paper and give each child their own cup full of crayons for them to draw with. If your kids are younger you can copy pictures onto the paper to make it easier for them. When it’s time for dinner you can substitute their coloring creation for a clean sheet of paper. This way they won’t make a mess on their drawings and you can cut them out at the end of the night and give them their pictures to take home!

 

Make Name Cards:

Have the kids make decorative name cards for their seats! This is a great way to make them feel as if their kid’s table is important. After all it is! Set up a small craft station at their table before dinner. Have the name cards already cut out for the smaller children and give them each a cup full of crayons.

 

Crafts at the Table:

Make the kid’s table double as a craft station before dinner. There are a bunch of Thanksgiving crafts you can find on Pinterest or anywhere online. Just a few ideas are Pilgrim hats, Indian head bands, turkeys out of toilet paper rolls or pinecones, and even a paper chain that has what your children are thankful for written on the paper.

 

Coloring Books:

If you’re looking for less of a mess to clean up at the end of the night, set out coloring books at the kid’s table. It’s still a great way to get them engaged and enjoy themselves while you prepare dinner!

 

Snacks:

It’s always a good thing to have snacks sitting around for everyone to nibble on before dinner, especially for the kids! Make a small snack station at their table of simple treats. You can even make a center piece out of it!

 

Popcorn Turkey Center Piece:

This goes along with the snack idea. Popcorn turkeys are a big hit right now for Thanksgiving. Pop two bags of popcorn and make chicken legs out of construction paper. Fill the legs with popcorn and tape them to the other bag. Viola! A turkey and snacks for the kids!

 

Treat Bags:

At the end of the night when you’re family is dividing up the leftovers; make sure to have something the kids can take home as well. Stuff a few bags with anything you’d like. This can be candy, Thanksgiving pencils, crayons, and so on. The kids will love it and it will be a Thanksgiving to remember!

 

 

First Foods for Baby: Vegetables

first foods for babiesWe shared last week: First Foods for Baby: Fruits, and today we are continuing our post with the first veggies for baby. Vegetables are very important to our daily nutrition, and even more important to a baby who is first beginning to take real foods.

Learn which veggies are best, their nutrients, and how to prepare them:

Carrots: Carrots are one of the many vegetables high in beta-carotene, which is a wonderful antioxidant for your baby. Carrots are also rich in Vitamins A and C, calcium, folate, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and have small amounts of iron, copper, and zinc. Before you buy your carrots, make sure you are buying the proper ones. Baby carrots are an industrial made product, and more than often they contain less of the valuable nutrients your baby needs compared to regular, large carrots. If you find baby carrots that say “baby cut” than they are fine. You can serve the carrots either steamed or boiled and then mash them.

Sweet Potatoes and Regular Potatoes: The consistency of a potato is very soft and easy to mash. While both are going to be fairly easy to feed to your baby, you might find the sweet potato too be easier due to its sweetness, which is similar to breastmilk. Both sweet and regular white potatoes have are good sources of Vitamin C and potassium. They are also rich in fiber and great for your baby’s digestive system. When you baby becomes used to solids you can finely chop the potatoes and serve them whole. They are great finger foods as well!

Butternut Squash: Butternut squash and acorn squash are the perfect first foods for your baby! Butternut squash contains lots of vitamin and nutrients your baby needs in their first foods. With a smooth consistency, it is also easy to mash and puree which will make preparation simple. Butternut squash is high in Vitamin A, folate, calcium, and potassium. The sweet flavor might also be easy to feed your baby because they are already used to the sweet taste of your breastmilk. Be careful if you’re making it homemade because you will need to properly wash the vegetable to rid all pesticides and germs. Butternut squash can be served mashed or pureed, and once your child is ready for solids you can serve them baked and finely chopped.

Eggplant: Compared to the rest of the vegetables on this list, eggplants will have the smallest amount of nutrients. However, they are packed with Vitamins A and K, folate, and calcium. Eggplants also contain fiber, which is important for your baby’s digestion. You can serve eggplant pureed with the skin or peeled. Some experts say if you baby is having trouble with their digestion then peel off the skin before pureeing. Make sure to always wash your veggies before you serve them to your baby.

Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a wonderful first food for your baby. This veggie is jam packed with Vitamins A and C, and contains a healthy amount of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, folate, and lutein. Although this vegetable might make your baby a tad bit gassy, cauliflower holds lots of phytochemicals which are said to fight against cancer! The best way to prepare cauliflower for your baby is to steam it and then mash it. Steaming your vegetables will keep all the nutrients inside. When your baby is ready for the next step you can either bake or roast the cauliflower for small finger foods.

Zucchini: Zucchinis are great during the colder months because they are at their peak and loaded with vitamins and minerals. This vegetable is also really great because it can easily be steamed and mashed and ready to serve in less than 20 minutes. Zucchini is rich in Vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, potassium, and folate. It works wonderfully with your baby’s digestive system and will help with constipation. Zucchini can be served in a number of ways. It can be steamed or boiled and then either pureed or mashed. It can also be frozen into tiny ice cubes to give to your baby while they are teething.

 

 

Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities

Get ready for turkey and stuffing! It’s that time of year again, and we are getting our kitchens ready for Thanksgiving dinner. While you might have your hands full with preparing a meal for the whole family you might want to think about activities to keep the kids busy and their fingers out of the mashed potatoes!

Check out these great Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities for both the kids and the whole family:

Pumpkin Carving: Halloween might be over, but that doesn’t mean we have to let all those pumpkins go to waste! While kids have so much fun carving pumpkins before trick-or-treating, why not do it again for Thanksgiving? This is such a great craft to keep the kids busy while you’re preparing dinner! Set up a station either in the house, in the garage, or outside. Make sure to lay down plenty of newspaper and have enough utensils for everyone. Once the carving is finished you can invite the whole family outside and light up their creations!

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt: This is a great activity for the kids to do outside on Thanksgiving! Tiny pumpkins will work perfectly for this, or you can have the kids do some arts and crafts and make their own items for the scavenger hunt. The parents can set them up all around the yard and then the kids can find them!

Indian Corn Crafts: Indian Corn is definitely a fall accessory. The cob is covered with beautiful colors that instantly remind us of autumn. This Thanksgiving get the kids together and try crafts with the corn! Lay out some paint and paper and have the kids’ role the corn into the paint and make creative stamp and roll art! If this idea is too messy try using just the paint and the eraser end of a pencil to make the effect of the corn on the paper.

 Turkey Trot: Turkey Trots are becoming more popular. Look them up in your area and take the family along!

 Capture the Flag: This can be a game that includes everyone! Pick teams and set up your flags. The winners get an extra slice of pumpkin pie at dinner!

 Pumpkin Prints: This is another awesome craft you can use your pumpkins for. Cut up pieces of pumpkins and use the chunks to make stamps. You will need to help the younger ones because using a knife can be dangerous, but once they have their stamps they can make a colorful creation!

 Football: Who said football is just for boys? This Thanksgiving, rally up the family for some good old fashion touch football before dinner!

 Board Games: Board games are a great way to bring the whole family together to do something fun. Set up the living room with a bunch of board games for the kids to play. When you’re finished with the meal you can join them!

 Leaf Crafts: While there are a few leaves still in the trees find a few of your favorites to make crafts with. The kids can do leaf rubbings, make reefs, or even a center piece for Thanksgiving Dinner.

 Thank You Cards: It’s always important to remember what Thanksgiving is all about. It’s about giving thanks and remembering to cherish one another. This is something the whole family can do together. Write thank you cards to each other explaining what you are thankful for.

First Foods for Baby: Fruits

When your baby reaches her 4 month marker she is said to be ready for baby food. If you’re still unsure you can test her on a few things. Can she keep her head up all by herself? Can she sit up without assistance? As a parent you will have many questions you want answered before introducing new foods to your baby. One of them might be whether or not to start with vegetables first or fruits. Some experts recommend starting with fruits because they are similar to breastmilk in sweetness and your baby will have an easier time accepting the change. On the other hand, others say to start with vegetables because as humans we inherent a taste for sweets and feeding your baby vegetables first will widen their palate and possibly be less difficult introducing after sweet fruits. There is never a right or wrong answer between the two, and if given appropriately your baby will have no problem eating and digesting either or.

Fruits are an important part of our daily nutrition. They contain a valuable source of vitamins, fiber, calcium, iron, and other beneficial minerals. Today we are sharing which fruits to start your baby with and their health benefits:

 

Bananas: Bananas are great for your baby’s first food! Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, and include Vitamins B and C. They also offer a great boost of energy because they contain slow-release sugars that are released throughout the day for sustained energy. Bananas are a top pick for maintain a healthy digestion and they can treat cases of diarrhea and constipation. In addition, this fruit also helps sustain proper heart and stomach health. For preparation, bananas are simple to prepare and can be served mashed or chopped. For the first few months we suggest mashed or pureed, and as your little one becomes more experienced with solids you can serve them minced or chopped.

Pears: Pears are one of the least allergenic fruits which make them a perfect first food option. They are also very gentle on your baby’s tummy and work great for babies suffering from Reflux. Pears contain no sodium, saturated fats, or cholesterol, and are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, and calcium. They are also packed with potassium and magnesium. Pears can be served pureed or mashed in the first few months. After that they can be served in chunks, and parents you don’t need to worry about peeling the skin off once your baby becomes accustomed to solids, but make sure to clean and wash your pears before eating.

Avocados: Yes, avocados are in fact a fruit! They are also one of the best superfoods and are loaded with proteins for muscle development and unsaturated fats for good brain and nervous system development. Avocados are a great source of fiber, potassium, folate, Vitamin E, and iron. They also contain beta-carotene which promotes healthy vision and lowers the risk of cancer. The avocado is smooth and creamy which makes it a perfect first food for your baby. When your baby is ready you can serve the avocado mashed and then cubed as they get older and begin to chew.

Blueberries: This fruit contains the highest antioxidant amount than all fruits! Blueberries are rich in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin K, and lutein, a carotenoid which is an essential for proper brain development and eye development. Blueberries are not a common allergen and they are not part of the family of berries that are known to poses allergy threats. Blueberries are one of the simplest fruits because their preparation is minimal. You can give your baby blueberries around the ages of 6-9 months, and as they become more experienced and reach the 1 year marker you can carefully serve them in halves or as wholes.

Apples: Apples are one of the best first baby foods. They are jam packed with fiber, which helps maintain a regular bowel and a healthy digestive system. Apples promote cardiovascular health, lung health, bone health, are low-fat, and they help maintain a healthy weight. Apples can be served in numerous ways. First they should be peeled and mashed into apple sauce and then once your baby reaches 8-10 months old you can try cubed apples.

 

Always remember it can take a few times for your baby to like a new food. Never give up if they don’t like it the first time! Before giving your baby new foods it’s important to speak to your pediatrician and ask their advice depending on your baby and their health.

 

Keep a look out for next week’s post featuring first vegetables for baby!

 

 

Benefits of Rhyming

Remember how much fun rhyming used to be in grade school? Remember how your teacher went around the room and gave each student a word, and they would have to find another word in that word’s word family? It was fun. You were engaged. You were learning. Rhyming has many beneficial attributes besides being fun for our children, and if we’re honest, for ourselves too because we still find a little glimmer of joy from finding a rhyme every now and then in the paper or while watching television. If you didn’t know, rhyme teaches our children valuable lessons for their reading, speech, and language development. They become aware of sounds and the specific rhythm a word makes and it’s similarity to other words, and furthermore children are able to breakdown words into smaller ones, which expands their vocabulary! Today we are sharing 5 ways rhyming is beneficial and why it’s important to spend time reading and rhyming with you child every day!

 

What Rhyming Teaches Children:

  1. Memorization and Listening Skills: When a child attempts rhyme they are learning how to memorize when they listen and repeat words, which are measures of speech and communication. Memorization is detrimental to learning basic life problems such as remember math equations or in personal situations like remembering someone’s name. Learning to rhyme also exhibits learning skills. Children are more engaged when they are having fun, and rhyme promotes auditory learning skills and children are than able to understand words and how to connect them to sentences and stories.
  2. Basic Learning Skills: Rhyme endorses many basic skills into your child’s learning. From rhyming they can learn things like math and counting. By learning simple songs and clapping along with the months of the year, they are than able to associate with numbers and days.
  3. Motor Skills: Usually during rhyming lessons there is a lot of movement, whether that be clapping or counting with fingers and hands. These movements’ help with the development of motor skills, simple coordination, and hand-eye coordination with can be later used in easy tasks such as holding a pencil or with harder tasks they can use as they move onto young adulthood with sports and other activities.
  4. Socialization: Socialization is very important to learn at a young age because you build confidence when you feel comfortable talking in front of peers. When a child is taught how to rhyme in a classroom setting they are typically in groups where they must verbalize. Rhyme teaches basic social skills which can later be turned into friendships and self-assurance.
  5. Good Personality Traits: Children learn good personality traits from rhyming. While they rhyme they usually will read stories such as Dr. Seuss books or from other poets like Shel Silverstein. These stories contain valuable and sweet messages in them which in return are listened too and repeated.

 

 Reading and rhyming allows children to use self-expression, engage socially and mentally, and it assists them with many basic skills such as how to follow directions and how to be patient. Rhyme can be extremely beneficial to a child’s speech development because they learn how to speak with confidence and learn language through words and sounds. Try to fit rhyming into your day whether it is part of your bedtime routine or during your drive to school.

 

 

How to Teach Your Kid to Read

It’s always fun watching your child learn something new. Their face lights up and they are excited, and in return so are you! Reading is one of those things, and from a young age most children are fascinated by books and the big pictures, all the colors, and when mommy or daddy read to them before bedtime. While it’s completely normal for most kids to start reading around the age of 6, it’s never too early to introduce books to get their excitement roaring. Today we are sharing ways to make reading fun for your toddler!

 

  1. Begin Young: During infancy, your baby begins to recognize sounds and words. By reading to them, or singing lullabies you are expanding their brain development and language neurons. Studies show reading to your child at a young age exposes them to language and helps develop speech. Reading can also start the special bond between parents and their children, and furthermore it’s calming, and when made a routine it helps kids fall asleep more soundly. In addition when you start reading to your child at a young age you are promoting listening skills and imagination. If you’re thinking about reading to your baby we suggest starting off with singing lullabies before bed!
  2. Make Reading a Routine: Adding reading into your daily routine when your child is still young can be very beneficial. First of all it promotes mental stimulation and reduces stress because you child will be prepared and know exactly what is going to happen during their day. One of the biggest reasons to add reading into your routine is the vast vocabulary and knowledge your child will gain from it. Reading also promotes memory and concentration.
  3. Play with the Alphabet: Learning the alphabet isn’t just important for beginning school, but it will help children recognize words from practicing the alphabet. This is a great thing to sing along to in the beginning during infancy and throughout toddlerhood.
  4. Use Rhyming Words: Rhyming words are fun. It inhibits imagination, creativity, and the brain. Rhyming is not only a fun way to teach reading it also improves spelling, pronunciation, sounds, and vocabulary.
  5. Read Books with Lots of Colors and Big Pictures: Books with lots of colors and pictures helps visualization. Children, and most adults, learn better when they can visualize what is going on in a story. They become more captivated and interested in the material!
  6. Read Books with that Allow Your Child to Touch: There are lots of benefits to sensory play! When you involve material that encourages all of your child’s senses they will have a better engagement in what you are trying to teach them.
  7. Ask Questions While You Read: This is a great thing to do as your child grows into toddlerhood. Asking questions while you read to them will help them think and connect themselves to what they are reading. When you ask question your child will become more aware of what is going on in their book and they will begin evaluating what they have read afterwards.