Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Save on Child Supplies!

From infancy through college kids sure need a lot of supplies; diapers, cribs, strollers, car seats, clothes, shoes, books and tuition, the list goes on and on.  Let's be honest...these necesities can be expensive!  Most kids out grow these items before they wear them out.  How do you keep up with their constantly changing needs without breaking the bank?  Here are some great places to "shop" smart:

Family and Friends

Family and friends should be your very first stop.  Most parents are happy to lend or even give away that bouncy seat, stroller or playpen they are not currently using.  The same goes for clothes their kids have outgrown.  Jeans and sturdy play clothes can usually be handed down several times before the start to show wear.  You save money, they get rid of clutter, and its a win-win situation!  (have owners label or initial clothing if they want items returned to them.)  Keeping it "in the family" provides an added pleasure when cousins observe, "I used to wear that jacket when I was little."

Resale/Thrift Shops

These types of shops are a great resource.  You can find great treasures in these places it is just a matter of looking!  You can find good, "almost new" looking kids clothing and even shoes for a fraction of what you'd pay in a store.  The Salvation Army and Goodwill Stores often have weekly of holiday sales and "back to school" promotions where they will charge $5 for as many items as you can fit in a paper grocery bag.  It pays to stop by these establishments frequently as you'll often find unexpected bargains or items your kids can "grow into."  You can also find bargains on children's furniture and toys.  Other second hand stores that are worth checking out are Kid to Kid and Deseret Industries.

Garage Sales

This time of year in booming with garage sales!  Keep your eyes out for those around your neighborhood.  Sometimes the will be advertised in local papers, shopping guides and social media.  If the sale is in your area, you may even know some of the neighborhood kids who have just out grown the sizes your kids need.  Arrive early for the best selection!


Mom to Mom Sales

Have you tried this?!  This is one of my favorites.  We are all in this together and as mothers we like to help each other out.  These types of sales have become very popular as they focus mainly on clothing and supplies.  Baby furniture and car seats are also a hot item at these sales (before purchasing a used car seat ALWAYS check the expiration date and ask if it has ever been involved in a car accident).  Check Consumer's Report to make sure items meet current safety standards.  These types of sales are often sponsored by elementary schools, churches, daycare centers and neighborhood associations.  Another way to find mom to mom sales in through social media.  There are many facebook groups that are put together by moms in your area where you can buy and sale items there.  I recently bought my sons crib this way and got a great deal!  Another online way to find things for less in through KSL classifieds.  You can search any item you are in need of and find someone in your area who is selling it.  You can also sell your items through KSL and make some extra cash to purchase what you need.  I highly recommend this way!

Sports Swaps

Sports swaps can save you a ton of money on expensive sports items.  As with clothing, kids often out grow sports equipment within a year.  A complete set of hockey or football gear can often be swapped for a different size with another bargain hunter, without any money chaning hands. most attendees arrange their own deals based on the condition of the dquipment.  An advertised event promotes a large turnout of interested buyers and sellers.  Keep your eyes open for these types of events and bring your little sports fan along to try on ice skates or skis.

Church & Community Pantries & Women's Shelters

These places often have a selection of baby items and children's clothing of rfamilies in need, at little to no cost.  These organizations will gladly accept donations if you have outgrown clothing you'd like to pass on.




I hope this was helpful!  What other resources have you discovered for saving on your child's many needed supplies and clothing?  We would love to hear your ideas!

















Thursday, August 3, 2017

Farm to Pre-School

Hello Children's Classic family!  

One of the things all kids have in common is curiosity.  Have you ever met a child that isn't curious about his or her environment with a need to explore and learn?  I sure haven't!  Even our babies are curious about that drawer mom always gets into or that butterfly that keeps flying around.  They look at new things with so much wonder and most will stop at nothing to figure out how things work and what things do.  

I can't think of a better way to keep that curiosity alive in our children than to plant a garden and have them be the gardener!  We all eat food, why not find out where that food comes from?  Why not be the ones to grow that food and watch it transform into something beautiful and yummy that our kids can fully experience? 

That is what we have been working on here at Children's Classic!  Both of our schools have been working on a project called Farm to Preschool.  Have you heard of it? We are so excited about it over here!  We have our own living gardens that your children are planting, watering, growing, harvesting and then eating!  They are learning to make smoothies with the strawberries and soup with the vegetables.  We couldn't be more excited about how much they are learning as they watch and actively participate in the process of growing a garden at preschool!  Here are some photos of our Farm to Preschool in action!




Let's try this at home! It doesn't take much space, a 4x4 foot space is manageable for most kids.  You can even plant in flower boxes or pots, pretty much any container will do.  Some plants are easier than others to grow.  Here is a list of some of the easiest to get you started!

6 Easy Plants for Kids to Grow

Green Beans

Green beans are one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden because they don't require very much maintenance! All you need to do is plant the some seeds in an area that will receive plenty of sunlight and sow every couple weeks.  The only thing other than that is the watch them grow!



Peas

Your child can plant these indoors in a small pot and when they start to grow, transfer them to some good soil outdoors.  It is so rewarding for kids to grow veggies because they get to eat what they grow, and who doesn't love peas?


Strawberries

Strawberries are another really fun one for kids to grow.  It is best to plant them in the Spring time!


Radishes

Radishes are one of the most fun plants for kids to grow because the sprout quickly.  They will likely see sprouts pop up usually within a week of planting.  Your child will be able to harvest their lovely radishes within 20 to 30 days!


Pumpkins

You may need a little more space for this one but just like radishes, pumpkins are a kid favorite because they sprout quickly.  They take up more room of course but how fun would it be to grow your own pumpkin to carve for Halloween!


Carrots

Kids love carrots so why not teach them how to grow them! Carrots need cool soil without big rocks so they can grow.  They usually are ready to be harvested in about one month from when planted.  





Explain to your kids that plants can grow above or below ground and the best part of growing your own garden is you have so many options!  They will love choosing what they want to grow and hopefully take ownership of that choice as they garden.

Some more "above ground" choices for kids are:  tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons and eggplant.

Some other "below ground" options are: onions, potatoes and beets.

There are even delicate plant options such as lettuces and spinach which may take some trial and error but it is fun for kids to go out and "pick" some salad greens for dinner.




**Remind them to water, weed and check on their plants regularly.  This is a great activity for children to see how things grow and understand how "farmers" contribute to the food chain.  When you help children plant seeds, you help them sprout their interest in nature!



Happy planting!  Let us know what plants you and your children are growing in your garden!

Sincerely,

Shalyse 


Thursday, July 13, 2017

20 Healthy Summer Snacks for Kids


Hello there!  

I hope your children are staying cool at the pool or even running through sprinklers, I know we have been over here!  Is it just me or does it seem like kids want to eat more in the summer?  We are always on the go and I feel like I am scrounging to find something to give my son to eat before we are off the next activity.  Well, the snacks we give our children don't have to be full of sugar, fat and empty calories (like I find most packaged and quick snacks to be). We can offer them something so much better!  

Here is a list of some healthy, easy to make snacks for kids (and parents too!) These quick "go-to" ideas are bound to help busy moms and dads like you and me develop healthy snacking habits in our kids.  So, here you go!


20 Healthy Summer Snacks:  


1.  Jazzed Up Rice Cakes


Add some peanut butter and bananas to your rice cakes!  





2.  Quesadillas 


Make these with whole grain tortillas, cheese, chicken and beans. I recommend going heavy on the beans, light on the cheese.








3.  Real Fruit Popsicles 


Use a popsicle mold or even a plastic or paper cup.  Fill it with 100% juice from concentrate, water and chopped pieces of your child's favorite fruit.  Stick a popsicle stick in it and let freeze!







4.  Fresh Fruit and Cheese Kabobs


Pick your child's favorite fruits and make these super easy kabobs.  Make it even more fun by using cookie cutters to cut cheese into fun shapes.







5.  Cottage Cheese Bowl


Just 1/2 cup cottage cheese with dried apricot "scoops" or fresh apricots are even better!






6.  Whole Grain Cereal & Fresh Fruit


Keep it simple! Whole Grain Cheerios or Mini Wheats don't just have to be for breakfast.







7.  Green Rolls-ups


Wrap some meat and cheese in some lettuce and snack away!








8.  Frogs on a Log or Ants on a Log


Frogs on a Log- celery, cream cheese & sliced green olives. 
Ants on a Log- celery, peanut butter & raisins.






9.  Homemade Trail Mix


Mix dry roasted peanuts or almonds, whole grain mini pretzels, banana chips & diced apricots or raisins for a nutritious trail mix...and then head to the trails, why not?







10.  Salsa and avocado slices.


This one is just that simple.








11.  Frozen Grapes


Stick some grapes in the freezer and you have a great alternative for slush.  It's kind of nature's version of dippin' dots just a little (or a lot) bigger.  Your kids (and you) will love it!








12.  Air Pop Popcorn 


Make an activity out of snack time and let your kids watch you air pop some good ol' fashioned popcorn!  Skip the butter and sugar and just add some spices from your spice rack to jazz it up a bit. Get creative!







13.  Veggies & Dip


Mix some plain yogurt with ranch dip mix and dip your veggies in it.  Don't forget about broccoli --dinosaur trees ;) and cauliflower.  Your veggies don't always have to be carrots and celery!






14.  Graham Cracker Pizza


Did I hear pizza??  Yep!  Graham cracker pizza that is.  Get out those graham crackers and spread some cream cheese and sprinkle some fruit fruit on top.  Bon Apetito!






15.  Summer Smoothies


This is my go to and my most favorite from the list! I love how creative you can get with smoothies and you can even sneak things in that are healthy for the kids that they normally won't eat, like spinach!  Start with a base of nonfat yogurt or milk, add any frozen or fresh fruit, honey, ice (spinach if you are feeling brave) and...viola!  






16.  Petite Pitas 


All there is to it is eggs and salsa put into a whole grain pita!






17.  Veggies and Hummus


Refer to #13 for my suggestion on veggie choice! Oh, and might I add that sliced peppers are delicious in hummus.  Hummus is at your local grocery store or you can make your own! It is truly a delicious and healthy snack. Your kids will be eating beans and therefore getting protein without even knowing it. That is a win in my book!








18.  Frozen Banana Popsicle 


Put a peeled banana on a popsicle stick, freeze and you got a healthy popsicle.  Add some dark chocolate and nuts or frozen fruit to jazz it up a bit!







19.  Ham & Cheese Roll-ups 


Ham, cheese, lettuce and whole wheat tortilla all wrapped up!






20.  Apple Cupcakes


Slice an apple in half, on the flat side spread some peanut/almond butter and sprinkle dried fruit or even dark chocolate chips on top.



 



**Bonus Summer Snack: NICE CREAM!


This one is too good I couldn't leave it off the list so we will call it a bonus!  Get some very ripe frozen bananas, put in a blender and you will have the BEST, healthiest and sweetest ice cream.  Yep, no sugar or dairy added.  I am going to go make some right now!




I hope you find this list helpful!  What healthy summer snacks do you feed your children? We would love to know!


Sincerely,

Shalyse


Monday, June 26, 2017

Out of the House and Into Nature!

Summer is in full swing and there is no better way to experience this beautiful season than to spend time outside with our families!  

If you are like me, you enjoy being outside and you would be thrilled if your kids loved it as much as you do.  For some kids, putting down that electronic device and getting into nature can seem equivalent to doing chores...and let's be honest, convincing them that it is a good idea can be a chore for us parents as well.  The good news is that's what I am here for! Today's post is full of ideas to get your children out of the house and into the dirt, sand, rocks, grass or whatever else they can safely explore in nature.  

Let's Go For a Nature Walk




Having a great time outside can be as easy as going on a simple nature walk!  I recently came across this fun blog that includes 100 Things to do Before, During or After a Nature Walk


The author, Jimmie, has created this list to help parents like you and me provide an experience for our children that will help expand their minds and encourage them to get outside!  The best part about her list is it includes a variety of fun and easy ideas. 

Her list includes things like:
  • Create and use a scavenger hunt list while on your walk
  • Build a fort
  • Make fairy homes like this
  • Look at things through a magnifying glass
  • Imagine and tell stories using mythical creatures that could inhabit your forest

Click here to read all of Jimmie's ideas for creating a fun and engaging nature walk experience for you and your children!


Find a Trail

A friend recently recommended an amazing app that I will be using over and over again this summer.  It is the All Trails app.  Have you heard of it?  Have you used it?  Are you as excited as I am to discover new trails in our beautiful area?  I can't wait to use this app all summer!  Let me tell you a little about it and then hurry over and get it so you and your children can get out and discover a new trail!  

This app gives you a list of trails in your area no matter where you are!  You can see maps, read reviews, look at pictures, difficulty levels, trail lengths and rating.  You will know exactly where you are taking your children to explore.  You can even turn on your GPS and follow your trail so you and the kids don't get lost.  So cool!!  There is also a website so you can access information to trails on your computer as well!

Here are some trails I found in the Ogden area that you and your kids may love to explore!

Gibbs Trail

4.3 miles 




Gibbs Trail is an out and back trail near Ogden, Utah.  It is filled with beautiful wild flowers and is easy enough for all skill levels.  Dogs are allowed which can make this activity even more fun if you bring your dog along!  Check out more details about Gibbs Trail here.

Waterfall Canyon

2.5 miles




Who doesn't love a waterfall? Waterfall canyon has a little bit of a climb but if you go slow your kids should make it up just fine.  There are some flat trails at the base of this trail where they can explore before or after you hike to the top!  This is a fun trail for the whole family with a great views and a beautiful waterfall.  Click here to learn more about this beautiful trail.

Ogden Bay Waterfowl Management Area

4.2 miles





If you live out west or are looking for an easy and flat trail you could check out this fun place! It is primarily used for nature walking, canoeing and bird watching.  The only downside is there aren't trees that offer shade so bring a lot of water and I recommend going during the cooler time of the day. To see more photos, read reviews and find a map click here!

Bonneville Shoreline Trail

11 miles 
(make it as short or long as you want)




Before you count this trail out because of how long it is just hear me out!  This trail is amazing.  It is an easy trail and you have beautiful views the entire time.  It is kid friendly and you may even find wildflowers along the way.  Make this trail as short or as long as you would like. Here is a link to more information on this trail!


Some of the best trails are off the beaten path.  Your kids may love exploring in the field in your back yard or even at the park.  The most important thing is that they EXPLORE and get out in nature this summer!

What trails do you and your family love?  Which activity did you try with your kids and was it successful?  Comment below and share to receive a free Contigo water bottle!  Happy trails!!

Sincerely,

Shalyse


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Martin Luther Kind Day

Black History Month: A Time to Embrace Culture: Hey ya'll as most of you know, or should know our center will be closed and schools will  be out to observe Martin Luther King day! I don't know about you guys but I don't think my kiddos know exactly why we don't have school that day. Yes, they learn things in school but do they really know? Or is it just like any other day off for them? I don't know, but I've decided this year to make sure my kids know exactly who he is, why he's important and why we observe his day! If you'd like to join me here are some SUPER cute and fun ways to teach our little's no matter the age! Enjoy your 3 DAY WEEKEND!! Be safe and we'll see ya Tuesday!


                                        Love Always, Your CC Blogger


MLK Jr. Day Jan. 16th 2017 5 Activities; 5 Posters; 4 Coloring Pages (follow the link for a full preview). https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Activity-Worksheets-Coloring-Pages-Posters-with-Quotes-2946657:     Martin Luther King Jr Printables Pages include: Martin Luther King Jr Booklet MLK Object Lesson with Printable Worksheet MLK Tree Map Vocabulary Words Vocabulary Anchor Chart Word Search with Answer Key 2 Color Sheets Martin's Dream writing activity MLK quotes:     https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Printables-1038399

FREEBIE- Teaching about Martin Luther King Jr. to kinder, first, and second graders. This post is filled with free ideas, activities, and videos !:   teachertothecore.blogspot.com    
MLK Day Writing Prompt, Craft, and Preschool Lesson Plan: FREE Martin Luther King Jr Free: Your students will enjoy this FREE printable MLK 10 Fun Facts activity. This is a great activity for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, any social studies classroom and/or during Black History Month.  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Free-1641111: