Monday, November 27, 2017

13 Christmas Activities to Enjoy this Holiday Season!

Welcome back!  

Are you looking to start some new family traditions this holiday season?  We have complied a list of fun Christmas activities for the whole family to enjoy!  We hope this will help you to get into the holiday spirit this season!

Ogden Christmas Village

Christmas village in downtown Ogden is always a family favorite.  The lights and Christmas scenes fill the windows of small houses at the Ogden Municipal Gardens.  This is a must see for the whole family!

Terrace Plaza Playhouse

The Terrace Plaza Playhouse is putting on their annual Scrooge: A Christmas Carol.  This is a must see play to get you reminiscing on a favorite Christmas story.  The play will be going on all season!

Midway Ice Castles

If you haven't taken your kids to see the magnificent ice castles in Midway, this year is the time to do it!  This is truly unreal and magical for parents and children to enjoy.  There are ice slides and colorful lights that come on in the evening.  It is cold and make sure to wear your snow boots.  You can get your tickets in advance or at the gate when you arrive.  This is something my family loves to do every year.  

Heber Valley Railroad

Real life Polar Express?! Utah has so many fun activities at Christmastime and this should be at the very top of your list!  

Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point

Walk through the Gardens at Thanksgiving Point and enjoy the Light of the World display.  I have heard amazing things about this event but have yet to experience it myself!

The Forgotten Carols

My family has been going to this every year without fail since I was a child.  Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without starting the season off going to this musical.  This will get you into the Christmas spirit like nothing else and will remind you what the season is all about.  There are wonderful songs and a powerful story of the Christmas story.  

Christmas in Color

Watch over a million twinkling lights put to music at the must see event!  It might be a little bit of a drive but it is worth it!  You can see it in South Jordan and Provo.

Layton City Lights in the Park and Hayrides

There is a free lights display at the Layton Commons Park and you can even take a hayride near by! Click in the link for more information about the hayrides!

The Nutcracker!

This is a classic ballet put on by Ballet West at the Capitol Theater in Salt Lake City.  

Festival of Trees

This is a charity event put on every year to raise money for Primary Children's Medical Center.  There are many adorned trees and it is a wonderful experience for the whole family to enjoy the spirit of giving and the beauty of Christmas.

Hogle Zoo: Zoo Lights

The zoo is open even in the winter time and you can enjoy the array of lights throughout the zoo after dark throughout the holiday season!

The Lights at Temple Square

Find the true meaning of Christmas at temple square as you walk around and enjoy nativity scenes, millions of lights and choirs singing hymns of the season!

This is the Place Heritage Park

Two major Christmas events going on this year at This is the Place: Christkindlmrkt and Candlelight Christmas.  Christkindlmrkt is a German inspired market with lots of little fun shops and great food.  Candlelight Christmas is an old fashioned poineer Christmas held in the evenings.

There are so many fun family Holiday activities to enjoy in our beautiful area and we hope you will find time to experience some of them this year with your loved ones!  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What Produces Joy?

Hi!  Thank you for stopping by!  Recently I was reading a book by a woman who has dedicated her life to studying human behavior and why people do what they do.  In the book, she explains how during one of her studies she was interviewing people and realized only a very small percentage of those she interviewed experience joy, real joy, on a day to day basis.  As she dug deeper to see what this small percentage of people were doing that enabled them to experience such great joy in their lives she found one common thread.  Every single one of these people that experience true joy all had at least one thing in common.  Can you guess what it might be?

They practiced GRATITUDE.

It seems like such a simple answer.  This researcher couldn't believe that was what was producing joy.  Something so simple as giving thanks.

These people didn't necessarily have easy lives.  They all worried about their children, jobs, finances and relationships as each of us do.  They weren't exempt from hard times but because they had a habit of giving thanks every single day, they were able to focus on the positive in their lives.

We all want our children to be happy.  As parents, we seek to teach them and provide for them so they will feel happiness. Are we teaching our children the habit of giving thanks?  Are we teaching them to truly feel joy in their life?  Expressing gratitude is an important quality to cultivate in your child.  Studies show that grateful kids tend to do better in school, are less materialistic, less depressed, and less envious of others.  Their relationships are much stronger and more supportive.

These are some things to ponder as we go into the season of Thanksgiving!  One way of helping our children to practice gratitude is by providing opportunities for them to express what they are grateful for.  Apart from expressing gratitude verbally we can teach our children to write thank you notes!

Writing thank you notes can be daunting for a child but here are some tips and ideas that can make the process easier and more fun!

  • Gather markers, pens, blank cards, envelopes, postage, return address stamps and stickers.  Having fun tools like colorful markers and stickers will make it more enjoyable for your child!

  • Settle in with supplies and snacks and write several at a time after special occasions such as Christmas or birthdays.  Getting in the habit of writing a thank you note to someone simply because they are a good friend is another good reason to write a thank you note.

  • Show them how to use your address book or contact list on your phone, and help them to address envelopes correctly.

  • Teach kids to express their gratitude sincerely.  For instance, if they are not crazy about the sweater Aunt Lucy sent them, they could honestly say, the sweater must have taken you a long time to knit.  It feels so soft, and you remembered my favorite color is red! Thank you very much.

  • For kids that are too young to write, there are "fill in the blanks" thank you cards available online.  You could also make your own fill in the blanks version and use your home printer to make copies.

  • For children who have trouble constructing sentences, or are too young to write, have them dictate what they want to say while you write it down.

  • Take a photo of your child wearing or using the gift.  The photo can be used as a front of  the card.  A picture truly is worth a thousand words, and any gift giver would be delighted to receive this personalized card!

  • "thank yous" don't have to be reserved for tangible gifts.  Thanking grandma for a fun day in te kitchen making cookies fosters appreciation for special times spent together with family and friends.

  • Random thank you notes make the best surprises!  Your child can send a summertime note with a picture of him riding the bike he got for Christmas from grandma and grandpa.  They will be delighted to see him enjoying his gift!

We hope you will take time this season to teach your child the art of giving thanks which will bring joy into their lives and into the lives of others!


Your Children's Classic family

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Too Much Screen Time??

"Screen Time" is a term given to any activity done in front of a screen, such as watching TV, working on a computer, using a tablet or playing video games.  Screen time is essentially a sedentary activity, meaning you are usually sitting down and physically inactive while engaged in screen time.

Most American children spend about 3 hours a day watching TV.  Add to that all other types of screen time and it can total 5 to 7 hours a day! Excessive screen time can make it hard for your child to sleep at night.  It can also raise the risk of attention problems, anxiety, depression and poor academic performance.  The more time your child spends watching a screen, the less time he spends being physically active and this can lead to obesity.  TV commercials and other screen ads can lead to unhealthy food choices, as the ads aimed at kids often promote food that is high in sugar, salt or fats.  Children tend to eat more when watching TV, especially when the see ads for food.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests children under age 2 should have no screen time at all.  Parents should instead encourage more interactive activities, such as playing and talking.  Children over age 2 should be limited to 1 to 2 hours a day.  Videos aimed at very young children do not improve their development despite what advertisements say.

Tips to Cut Down on Screen Time

Don't allow TV, computers, or gaming systems in your child's bedroom.

Put computers and TV where you can keep an eye on what kids are viewing.

No TV during meals, homework, or when getting ready for school in the morning.

Don't use the TV as a babysitter. 

Don't leave the TV on for background noise.  Try the radio or none at all.

Don't let children eat while watching TV or using the computer.

Decide what programs to watch ahead of time, turn the TV off when those programs are over.

Watch programs with your kids and talk about what you see, such as family values or bullies.

Suggest other family activities, such as board games, puzzles or going for a walk.

Keep a record of screen time and try to spend as much time being active.

If it is too hard not having the TV on, try using a sleep function that turns it off automatically.

Challenge your family to go one week without watching TV or other screen time activities.

Allow your child to be bored!  This is when they learn to be creative and develop the ability to engage in meaningful play. 

As a parent, limit the time you spend watching TV or on your phone.  Children will model their parents' behavior.  Perhaps this is the most important tip to help your children have healthy technology habits.  They will follow your lead!

Find activities to do with your free time that will get your family moving and burning energy.  This could be as simple as taking a walk, or hike down a nature trail.  Going in your backyard and doing cartwheels, or planting flowers.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to children!

Limiting screen time is a challenge for all of us! The most important thing is that we are mindful of what our children are doing and helping them to develop in the best possible way.  No one is perfect at it but we can all help and encourage each other to keep trying.  We hope this helps!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Temper Tantrums

Most parents wish they could disappear or become invisible when their child has a tantrum in public.  Onlookers can be very judgmental, thinking that the child is spoiled and unruly or the parents are doing a poor job.  Actually, neither of those notions are the case.  Tantrums are common in children from ages 1 to 4 years old.  They don't happen because the child deliberately wants to cause a scene, or because the parents have been lax in disciplining the child.  The usual case is due to the child's frustration in not being able to express what they want.

A child throwing a tantrum can become quite animated, literally throwing themselves on the floor, flailing the arms and legs, pinching, scratching, hitting or biting.  They have lost the ability to express what they want and temporarily loose all control.  Here are 10 tips to tame your child's tantrums:

Ignore the tantrum

In the middle of a tantrum emotions have taken over, that's why trying to reason with him won't work.  Once the child calms down then you can talk.  If the tantrum is happening in public or someplace other than your own home, try to isolate the child in a quiet place.

Give them space

Sometimes a kid just needs a way to get his anger out, so let him.  Make sure there is nothing in the area he could get hurt on, and other than that don't get involved.  Once he gets his feelings out, he will be able to calm himself and regain self-control.

Create a diversion

Act quickly to help your child forget that meltdown she just had.  Whether it is pulling out toys from your purse, offering a snack, or quickly changing activities, any of these methods can help head off a tantrum or calm a child after the fact.

Discipline without spanking

Spanking doesn't teach a child what he did wrong or what behavior is acceptable.  Instead it teaches a child that his parents will hurt him if they don't like his behavior.  After the child has had time to calm down, explain why his behavior was unacceptable, and suggest other ways he can make his needs known.

Find out what is really frustrating your child

Kids under 2 years of age usually have a 50 word vocabulary.  It is often hard for them to express what they want.  They may be tired, hungry, feeling ill, or just trying to get a certain toy.  Teaching your child how to sign a few basic words such as food, milk, more , tired, Mom, Dad, all done, can help your child express her needs when she can't speak them.


It may seem like the last thing you'd want to do, but a good firm hug is really reassuring to a child and can help them settle down quickly.  Don't talk, it might turn into a battle of wills, just wrap your arms around your child in a good sturdy hug.

Do they need a snack or a nap?

Two of the biggest tantrum triggers are being tired or hungry.  When a child is physically in this state, any little thing can send them over the edge.  If you see this happening around the same time every day, it might be wise to schedule a snack of nap everyday to reduce tantrum triggers.

Behavior incentives

Sometimes kids will be more inclined to be on their best behavior if they know a reward in involved.  Recognizing their best behavior if they know a reward is involved.  Recognizing that some situations are difficult for kids, like being quiet in church, staying seated at a restaurant, or not shining at the grocery store, and offering a "bribe" ahead of time will often result in good behavior.  The time for negotiations however, is before the event, not in the middle of a full blown tantrum.  For example, "If you can stay in your seat and behave at the restaurant, Mommy will make popcorn and watch a video with you when we get home."

Speak calmly

This is difficult in the heat of the moment, but it is the best thing you can do during a child's tantrum.  If you loose your cool, the situation will only escalate into a power struggle that no one wins.  What your child wants at this point is 100% of your attention.  Talking calmly shows your child that you are not going to let her behavior get to you.  Surprisingly, if you speak in a calm manner it will help you stay calm, when what you'd really like to do is yell right back.

Change locations

Quickly getting your child away from the scene of the tantrum can often snap them out of it.  If your child starts melting down over something he wants at the store, take him to a quiet corner of the store or outside until he calms down.  If he does it again, remain calm, and follow the same strategy.

We hope this was helpful!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Helpful Potty Training Tips

When you gotta go....

...You gotta go!

Potty training can be scary business, but we have some tips and information that can make the transition from diaper to undies tolerable.

Did you know?...

  • Potty training success depends largely on the child's readiness.  Some children are ready to start as early as 18 months, while some aren't interested until after the age of 3.  If you feel your child is interested in ditching his diapers, go ahead and introduce him to the potty.  Let him lift the lid and maybe even flush it, it is best to let him know that it will make a louder noise.

  • If your child can walk, follow simple directions, and can get her pants on and off, she is probably ready for potty training.  Again follow her cues and encourage her to go at her own pace.

  • Parents should make sure they have time and patience to start potty training.  This is an emotional time for everyone involved, there will be accidents and it is up to you, the parent, to help calm your child and assure him that it is okay to have an accident and we will try again next time.  If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with accidents try setting a timer to remind both of you it is time to try!

  • Don't compare your child to another, children develop at their own rate, and it's not a contest! There is no need tow worry or look for medical intervention if your child is 3 years old and not potty trained, eventually he will start to show interest.  The best you can do is buy undies with his favorite character on them or in his favorite color and encourage wearing them.  Read him books about potty training and maybe even make a game of it.  If you are having fun your child is more likely to enjoy the process.

  • If you try training for a week or two, and the child shows no interest, wait a few months and try again.  It may be hard to believe, but when you child is physically and mentally ready, the process will be much easier for the both of you.  Just a few months time can make a big difference in their readiness skills.

  • If your toddler is facing other challenges, such as moving to a new home, a new sibling or caregiver, or a new school, there may be a few setbacks in potty training and it would be wise to put if off until things settle down.  This statement is so true! We see this a lot and it is completely normal.  If she is reverting to her old ways then let her.  She will want to get back to potty training as soon as she is comfortable with her schedule again.

  • Buy a child-size potty that your child will feel comfortable sitting on.  Let him play with it and get used to sitting on it while fully clothed.  When buying a potty seat for a boy, try to find one without a urine shield or with a removable one.  It is also easier to pee in the potty sitting down at first.  Once you are ready to transition him to standing while going pee, toss some Cheerios in the potty, and have him "sink the Cheerios".  If you are buying an adapter seat, for the regular toilet, make sure it is comfortable and fits securely, and buy a stool to go with it.  This will help your toddler get on and off the toilet, and will also help him brace his feet while have a bowl movement.  Once your toddler is comfortable sitting on the toilet or potty, you can start a routine by having her sit on the potty at certain times of the the day.  Try first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime for starters. 

  • You can use little rewards whenever your child "makes" something in the potty.  A sticker chart or points toward a small toy can be used as an incentive, try to avoid using candy and snacks as a reward.  Verbal praise works just as well and costs nothing.  Positive reinforcement will help him understand that getting something in the potty in quite an accomplishment.

We hope you find this information helpful! Happy potty training!!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Teaching Your Child About Cultural Diversity

The world is made up of all kinds of people.  Our children see and interact with people of many different races and ethnic groups every day.  Studies have shown that children begin to recognize gender and ethnic differences as early as 3 years of age.  It is our job to teach our children how to appreciate and value the qualities and differences that make each one of us unique.  Here are some helpful tips:

Create opportunities for your child to meet and play with children of different ethnicities, family structures, or socioeconomic backgrounds.

Help your child understand we are not all the same and we should appreciate each other's differences.  Talk about differences in a positive way to help children appreciate the unique qualities of all people.

Expose your child to artwork, foods, customs and books about different cultures.  Read your child books that teach tolerance and inclusion.  Here are some recommendations to get you started!

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Wonder by RJ Palacio 

I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka

A South African Night by Rachel Isadora

All the Way to America by Dan Yaccarino

Mama's Saris by Pooja Makhijani

The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania

The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss

"This is what kindness does, Ms Albert said.  Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world." -Jacqueline Woodson, Each Kindness

Tell your child that even though another child may look different, eat different foods, and have different customs, we have more similarities than we do differences.  We all have hopes and dreams and feelings.  We should always treat each other with respect.

If you hear your child say something prejudicial about a person or group of people, tell your child that those kinds of words are hurtful to others and are totally unacceptable.  Children are not born to be hurtful to others of different ethnicities, family structures, or backgrounds.  Let's lead by example and make the world a more tolerant place!

Children's Classic is dedicated to bringing cultures together to teach peace, inclusion and equality!  We celebrate holidays, read books, and talk about different cultures from all around the world.  If you or someone you know speaks a different language or practices different customs that what your children are used to, we would LOVE to have them come to our centers and introduce them to the children!


Your Children's Classic family

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Your Child's Development: 12 Months

Hello Friends!

Over here on the blog we will be sharing all sorts of helpful information for you as a parent!  We have shared food and recipe ideas, activities, projects we are working on at Children's Classic and we will continue to share a variety of different things to keep you informed as a parent and hopefully we can spark some ideas for you and your family!  One of the things we want to be able to do for you in offer parenting tips and development information.  Hopefully this will help you stay informed as you navigate raising your ever changing children!

Today we are sharing some helpful information about busy and adorable 12 month old children!  Maybe your child is around 12 months, you have had one or will have one or know someone who does.  Wherever you find yourself, I hope you can gain from this information. Most importantly we we hope you will offer some of your parenting expertise so we can all learn from YOU! These are simply ideas and guidelines but we know all children develop at their own pace, which is how it should be.

What do children typically do at 12 months?

When children are developing, they do so at different rates; some slower and some faster.  It is normal for children to be off a few months developmentally than their peers.  No need to worry if your child hasn't quite hit these milestones.  If you are concerned, call your doctor and see what they suggest!  Here are some of the milestones you can expect to see from your 12 month old.


  • Repeats sounds or actions to attract attention
  • exhibits apprehension or fear in some situations
  • Shy or wary around strangers
  • May display separation anxiety - cries when mom or dad leaves
  • Has favorite people and favorite things
  • Likes to play "peek-a-boo" or other interactive games
  • Hands you a book when he or she wants to be read to
  • will cooperate during dressing by putting out arm or leg to help
  • Uses simple gestures like shaking head "no" or waving "bye-bye"
  • Modulates sounds to imitate speech
  • Responds to simple spoken requests or directions such as "pick up the ball"
  • Says "mama", "dada" and "uh-oh!" or other speech associations to things and people 
  • Starts to use objects for their intended purpose such as brushing hair or drinking from a cup
  • Shakes, bangs or throws objects while exploring what the objects are
  • Looks right at a picture or thing when named
  • Easily finds hidden things, understands object permanence 
  • Lets go of objects without help
  • Pokes things with index finger


  • Gets into sitting position without help
  • Pulls up to stand, walks holding onto furniture
  • May attempt to take a few steps without holding on
  • May stand alone, sometimes without realizing it
  • May try to climb on furniture
  • Puts things in and out of a container
  • Holds an object in each hand and bangs them together

What are some helpful parenting tips as I raise my 12 month old?


Learn the signs! Try to notice signs your baby needs changing, for instance, if he recently ate a meal or drank a full bottle, if he's pulling or tugging at his diaper, he's fussing' or he just seems uncomfortable. Take time to talk and create a routine-  "How's my big boy? Lets check your diaper!" Describe what you are doing while you are doing it.  "Let's get this soggy diaper off and put on a nice dry one."  Following a similar routine at each changing helps your child know what to expect. Be patient! Babies can be little wiggle worms on a changing table, but don't worry, as their physical skills develop, you'll get a lot faster too.  Talk to you child throughout the entire changing process. Give choices! Keep a few plastic toys or rattles near the changing table and ask baby which one he'd like to play with; this may distract him from wiggling and make the whole process much easier.


Talk while you dress your child.  Use positive words.  "Ryan, do you want to wear your blue or yellow shirt today?" "Let's put on your blue socks to match your blue shirt!" Be patient and have fun. Remember a squirming baby isn't trying to make your life more difficult, they are just dingin out what their little bodies can do.  Clap hands when finished dressing, "Yay! Ryan is dressed and all ready to play!" Plan on extra time.  If you have to be somewhere with a baby at a specific time, such as a doctor's visit or family gathering, always leave extra time to get ready.  Always have more than one outfit ready.  Spit-up happens! It happens often when you least expect it. Always pack an extra outfit for baby when you go anywhere.  I am sure you know this by now but it is always a good reminder!


At one year old your baby may be eating most of her meals in the highchair.  Your baby may be completely weaned from breastfeeding or the bottle, or only taking a bottle occasionally at nap or bed time.  You may miss these special times with your baby, but it is all part of growing up.  There are other things to look forward to, and you will still want to make meal times a pleasant experience.  It will be fun to see how your baby reacts to different foods, and eventually learns how to use a spoon to feed herself.  Be prepared for messes, and always have a towel or washcloth handy.  Offer your baby a wide variety of healthy foods.  Talk to your baby throughout the meal, tell baby about the food, "Mmmm those are carrots, you can eat carrots like a big girl!" Consider this an "experimental" period, pay close attention to the kinds of foods your baby likes.  Don't force her to eat things she doesn't like.  Mealtimes should be pleasant, not a battle of wills.


Your child's rest schedule should be relatively the same each day.  As your baby gets older, he may require less sleep and want to be awake more.  Take a cue from your child and eliminate naps he doesn't seem to need.  Create a routine, check you baby's diaper, perhaps read him a story or sing a lullaby to help him transition to nap time.  Let other caregivers know what your child's schedule is.  Whether your baby is in daycare or being cared for by a family member occasionally, knowing the child's sleepy times and fussy times will help them understand your baby's needs and feel more confident in caring for them.  Take time for yourself.  New moms will benefit from napping while baby is napping.  Just taking time to put your feet up, grab a healthy snack, or read a magazine, can do wonders to help you re-charge.  Taking care of an active one year old all day is hard work!


Humans are social creatures and babies are wired to seek interaction with their caregivers.  Daily play time with your baby reinforces the adult-child bond, helps your baby discover new things, and promotes communication.  Talk about what you are doing. "Let's play with the blocks!"  "Roll the green ball to me!" Encourage your baby's interests.  Whatever she is interested in playing with, show her what to do and encourage her to explore further.  "Look you can stack the blocks, then you can knock them over!"  Have fun with your child.  Sing, read, and laugh together.  Really take time to enjoy one another's company!

We hope this was helpful.  Stay tuned for more parenting tips and tricks!