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Amanda Rock

Parenting Preschoolers

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Planning the Perfect Easter for Your Preschooler

Thursday April 17, 2014

Can it really be Easter already? I feel like just yesterday I was putting away the Christmas decorations! I love Easter but it is definitely one of those holidays that sneaks up on me. There is a lot to do to prepare for it, something I seem to forget every year.

Easter is especially fun if you have a young child in your life. One of my favorite things to do is to plan out what exactly I'm going to put in the Easter baskets. Sometimes I work around a theme, like reading or arts and crafts, other times I just add in a little bit of everything. I also enjoy planning out an Easter egg hunt. We tend to keep it small in our house, but I do get a kick out of varying it every year. Last year we turned it into a scavenger hunt, this year I think we'll go with something a little bit trickier -- like putting letters on each egg and asking the kids to find their names and other words.

When my now 13-year-old son was a preschooler, one of the highlights of his Easter season was meeting with the Easter Bunny. My daughter, not so much. She would cry and scream and generally protest being handed over to this large white furry creature with big eyes and a dopey-looking smile (OK, maybe she was right to be freaked out). But a photo with the Easter Bunny is cute -- and something I really wanted! Good thing there are ways you can help your little one relax and enjoy the experience!

Take our poll: Is your child scared of the Easter bunny?

Images: Amanda Rock

Save the Chocolate Bunny!

Wednesday April 16, 2014

What do you put in your child's Easter basket? Ever consider giving your little one toys instead of candy? While I try to do a mix of both, I do spend the days (weeks!) after Easter lamenting all the candy that the Easter Bunny left in my kiddies' baskets. This year there is even more incentive thanks to Mattel and Toys R Us, who have partnered up in a new, "important" Easter campaign.

Save the Chocolate Bunny is an all-in-good fun initiative that works to preserve the delicious chocolate treat that appears in baskets worldwide. And with free coupons good for up to $25 in savings on a variety of Mattel brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Monster High, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends, it's a great deal for moms and dads too. To launch the campaign, celebrities including Hayden Panettiere, David Schwimmer, Scott Foley, and Melissa Joan Hart filmed a Easter anthem, "The New Easter Way" sporting their bunny ears to "help."

What do you put in your preschooler's Easter Basket?

 

Getting Ready for Easter!

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Coloring Easter eggs is a fun family activity.Are you ready for Easter? I thought I was, and then I remembered I needed to come up with a semi-light, very easy idea for breakfast Easter morning. We are going out for brunch, but not until 12:30, so we'll need something to go along with our hard-boiled eggs (of course!) and fresh fruit that are our Easter morning staples. I decided on Sausage Bread, something I can make the night before and heat up in the morning, plus I know all my kids will love it.

With that decision out of the way, now I can focus on the fun stuff, like decorating eggs, planning an Easter egg hunt for my kids and filling their Easter baskets (or at least giving the Easter Bunny some ideas). We are thinking about incorporating some eco-friendly ideas into our Easter celebration this year too, like using homemade dyes for our eggs.

The most important part of the weekend for me will be to enjoy it. I think this will be the first Easter that my preschooler actually understands what is going on (we've been reading lots of books to prepare him) and I'm really looking forward to seeing his reaction and sharing in his joy.

Are you looking forward to Easter? Is all of your preparing done?

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Image: Amanda Rock

Teaching Preschoolers How to Tie Shoes

Sunday April 6, 2014

Does your preschooler know how to tie shoes? Mr. S. doesn't know how to yet, although I am thinking about teaching him. We recently bought him new sneakers that have laces and he's shown an interest in trying to tie them.

Tying shoes can be a tricky task to master, but there are ways to help little ones learn (you probably want to start around age five). The key is to be patient.

Teach Your Child to Tie Shoes

Does your preschooler know how to tie her shoes? What method did you use?

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Friday Find: Squatchi

Friday April 4, 2014

squatchi Three random facts about me and Mr. S.:

  1. I like to do most of my shopping online.
  2. Mr. S. LOVES shopping for shoes.
  3. I hate buying shoes online (at least until now!)

Buying shoes online is always a chore for me, mostly because I'm not sure I have the right shoe size. And if I guess wrong, guess who gets to go to the post office to mail back my selection? For the most part, online shoe shopping has been nothing but trouble.

But then I was asked to test out Squatchi (compare prices), a shoe sizer for kids you keep at home. So whether you want to order a pair of shoes from a catalog or a website, you'll be able to measure your child's feet to ensure you have the right size. Bright and colorful, Squatchi can also be used as a foot growth chart -- just use a permanent marker to record your child's foot size at a particular age. So cute.

Squatchi goes up to kids size 5 (just as they are ready to go into adult-sized shoes) so at about $15, it's a great value, lasting for years to come.

Disclosure: A review product was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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Image: Squatchi

Friday Find: Magnificent Baby Raincoats

Friday March 28, 2014

Magnificent Baby While the temperatures in my area have hovered just above freezing all week, the weather folks are promising that this weekend spring will officially be here. I think they are right. Why? Because although the temps will go up into the 50s, it is going to rain all day Saturday and Sunday. Sounds pretty early-Springish to me!

Mr. S. loves to play in the rain. So much so, I needed to get him a raincoat just for that purpose. We are big fans of the coats from Magnificent Baby (manufacturer's site). The one he has been using is bright blue, adorned with fun-shaped dogs. It's very roomy with a big hood, keeping him nice and dry. One of my favorite parts however, is how it is secured. No buttons, no snaps. Instead, all of the clothes from Magnificent Baby usemagnets! So smart! Why didn't I think of that?  I can send him to school in his cheerful blue raincoat, and not worry that he will have trouble getting it on or off.

The raincoats are available up to size 4T and come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Does your preschooler have special rain gear?

Disclosure: A review product was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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Image: Magnificent Baby

Trick Your Preschooler with these Family-Friendly April Fools' Pranks

Thursday March 27, 2014

Even though he has been through five cycles of most of the holidays, there are a lot of things Mr. S. just doesn't remember from the year before, or, has been too young to understand. With that in mind, on Tuesday, I'm going to take advantage of his sweet, trusting nature with some kid-friendly April Fools' pranks, guaranteed to make him (and me!) laugh.

While some of the jokes require a little advance planning, there is nothing that is too complicated, and all of them can be played on any member of your family (even you, so be careful!).

Have a great April Fools' Day! Will you play any pranks on your preschooler?

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(Not-So) Wordless Wednesday: Dancing Shoes

Wednesday March 26, 2014
wordless wednesday

When you are four years old, and your teacher tells you to make sure you wear your "dancing shoes" to celebrate the 100th day of school, you better believe you beg, plead, whine, and otherwise harangue your mother until she breaks down and buys you these beauties from the clearance rack at Kohl's.

Got a Wordless Wednesday photo you'd like to submit? We'd love to see it! Email a JPEG to preschoolers@aboutguide.com.

Related: How to Take Good Photos of Your Children

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Image: Amanda Rock

What Happens At Preschool?

Saturday March 22, 2014

Parent teacher conferences are a way for moms and dads to learn about what goes on in the classroom/

Earlier this month we had parent-teacher conferences with Mr. S.'s preschool teacher. Mr. S. goes to a different preschool than his older siblings did, so we were surprised when we heard that not only would there be a conference, but he would be getting a report card too! Unlike primary and elementary school conferences though, this wasn't a focus on grades, more like observations from the teacher about what Mr. S. knows and doesn't know how to do yet. It gave us another perspective to him and how he learns.

I also enjoyed the conference because it gave some real insight into what happens in preschool all day. I know Mr. S. loves to go to school, that he is learning and having lots of fun, but it's sometimes hard to get specific answers out of him as to what he does once we drop him off.

Does your child's preschool offer conferences? What did you learn about your child?

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Image: Getty

Friday Find: Little Green

Friday March 21, 2014

Little Green Kids Nourishing Body Lotion

Two of my three kids suffer from eczema, so I am always on the lookout for gentle skin products to treat their sensitive skin. We recently had the opportunity to test out the Little Green product line (compare prices) and I have to say, I'm thrilled.

All of the products -- soothing balm, conditioner, shampoo, body wash, body lotion and more, are free of parabens, sulfates and allergens for babies and children. They are also all made in the U.S. And in this cold windy weather we can't seem to shake, we were especially happy to come across the Little Green Soothing Balm -- it worked like a charm on our chapped lips and cheeks (it might be for kids, but this mommy uses it too!).

Prices for the line range from $6 to $14. Good for babies on up.

What types of personal care products do you use on your preschooler?

Disclosure: A review product was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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Image: Little Green

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