Sunday, October 31, 2010

New at A Kid Place - Kidkraft Medium Diva Vanity Table and Stool in Pink


The well-known Medium Diva Vanity Table and Stool set by Kidkraft now comes in Pink!

Crafted from wood, the medium sized vanity table has two shelves for displaying small treasures and a large center drawer for the diva to store her accessories. Always keeping safety in mind, the round mirror is made of shatter-proof plexi-glass.

With it's Queen-Anne style legs, the KidKraft Pink Medium Diva Table and Stool Set, will make a stylish and pretty focal point for every little girl's room.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New at A Kid Place - Kidkraft Fun Explorers Castle Play Set

The Fun Explorers Castle Play Set by Kidkraft lets kids pretend they are truly living in medieval times.

Made of wood, the Kidkraft Fun Explorers Castle Play Set includes:
  • Eight molded knights
  • One molded king
  • One molded queen
  • Drawbridge
  • Two torches and one canon
  • Four plastic molded roofs
Dimensions: 29" x 26" x 15"

Recommended for ages 3+

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is It Strep Throat?

Is your child complaining of a sore throat? Don’t be too quick to assume it’s a virus. A new study shows that a child’s sore throat is due to a Strep infection more commonly than previously thought. Even some healthy children without symptoms can be carriers of Strep bacteria.

Is It Strep Throat?

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that the number of children who are carriers of Strep is surprisingly high. In fact, one out of eight children, without any sore throat symptoms, harbors the Group A Strep bacteria that causes Strep throat.

What about kids who have a sore throat? How likely is it to be Strep? According to meta-analysis of twenty-nine different studies, the chance of a child’s sore throat being Strep is about one out of three. The risk is slightly lower in children under the age of five - with about a one in four chance of having Strep.

What are Typical Strep Throat Symptoms in Kids?

A child with Strep throat may experience a fever, difficulty swallowing, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, headache, a rash, severe throat pain, and fatigue. Their temperature can range from low-grade to quite high, depending on the age of the child. A child doesn’t have to have all of these symptoms to have Strep throat – and the symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from those of a viral sore throat.

Is It Strep Throat: Why It’s Important to Know

Untreated Strep throat can lead to such serious complications as rheumatic fever, meningitis, kidney problems, toxic shock syndrome, and pneumonia. These complications can be prevented with prompt antibiotic treatment, which is the main reason why it’s important to treat sore throats that are due to Strep.

Is It Strep Throat: How to Know

The only way to know for sure whether a child has Strep throat is to get a throat culture or have a doctor run a rapid Strep test in the office. The rapid Strep test is quicker, but it can miss up to thirty percent of Strep throats.

Strep Throat Symptoms in Kids: The Bottom Line?

This study reaffirms the importance of taking Strep throat symptoms in kids seriously. The chance of a child with a sore throat having Strep is relatively high, and even though complications are rare, the potential still exists. Don’t take a chance with your child’s health. If your child complains of a sore throat, get him checked by a doctor.

References:

Medscape.com. "More Than a Third of Kids With Sore Throat Likely Have Strep: Study"

Monday, October 11, 2010

New at A Kid Place - Rockabye Homer Baseball Rocker


Our Homer Baseball Rocker by Rockabye will be a sure hit with your little All Star. This adorable rocker now comes with an educational component. Located on the back of the hat, baby will find 4 buttons that activate original songs that teach ABC’s, 1-10, colors, shapes and more.

A wonderful, heirloom quality Rockabye rocker, the musical homer baseball rocker has a natural wooden base, easy grip wooden handles and a soft, sturdy seat. Watch baby giggle as he rocks to original songs that teach.

The Rockabye Homer Baseball Rocker is sure to please baby as well as mom and dad!

Gearing Up For the Holidays at A Kid Place

We're gearing up for the holidays at A Kid Place and will be adding some really great products to our already awesome selection of children's products.

Some of our new offerings in the coming weeks will be:

  • Innovative products by Anatex Wooden Toys
  • Beautifully crafted wood furniture and toys by Guidecraft
  • Heirloom-quality wooden toys and room furnishings by Kidkraft
  • Finely crafted furniture that allows children to discover the unexpected by Levels of Discovery
  • Classic, as well as modern wagons, ride-on toys and tricycles by Radio Flyer
  • Adorable baby/toddler rockers by Rockabye
  • Top-of-the-line children's pianos for your budding Mozart by Schoenhut
We will keep everyone updated here on our blog and on our Facebook and Twitter pages as we add these items. To find us on facebook and twitter, simply scroll down the left navigation menu here on this page and click on the facebook and twitter logos.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New at A Kid Place - Anatex Farm Life Wall Panel

Our latest offering for the holidays is the Anatex Farm Life Wall by Anatex. Wall Panels are great for high traffic areas such as schools, doctors’ offices, car dealerships and all waiting rooms as there are no loose pieces to get lost and it keeps everything nice and tidy. But also, no matter where you put an Anatex toy, kids are automatically gravitated to it (parents too!). And at the same time, children learn.

With the Anatex Farm Life Wall Panel children are endlessly entertained as they move the farm animals to travel around the beautiful farm. The farm landscape includes, grazing animals, tractor, rows of corn, pumpkin patch, haystack and greenery. While guiding the farm animals along the paths, children’s eye-hand coordination, visual tracking, and sensorimotor skills are challenged.

For further info, simply click on the picture.





Friday, October 8, 2010

Kidkraft Fun Explorers Rocket Ship Wins Kidkraft Another Award


Kidkraft wins again! NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) has awarded Kidkraft's Fun Explorers Rocket Ship an Honors winner in the 2010 NAPPA Children's Products competition.

The deluxe Kidkraft Rocket Ship Set lets kids explore outer space without even leaving the house. Young astronauts will love imagining themselves flying through space, meeting aliens and using the ship’s special computers to do important research with the Kidkraft Rocket Ship Set.


Features include:

• Over 25 colorful pieces, including astronauts, robots and even aliens!
• Two glow-in-the-dark moon craters
• Two space vehicles for exploring uncharted planets
• Removable ramp lets the astronauts drive their vehicles onboard
• Working elevator
• Smart, sturdy construction
• Packaged with detailed, step-by-step assembly instructions
• Made of wood

Dimensions
:

23.74" x 15.67" x 29.21", 25 Lbs.

Click on picture to be taken to main site where you can view a video of this awesome rocket ship.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Introducing the Majestic Mansion Dollhouse by Kidkraft

Just in time for the holidays.... the Majestic Mansion Dollhouse by Kidkraft -


Over four feet wide and four-and-a-half feet tall, this gorgeous dollhouse will give young girls tons of space for taking care of their favorite dolls.

Features include:
  • 33 furniture pieces and accessories, including a grandfather clock, a cute little kitten and more
  • 8 rooms of open space to decorate
  • Elevator glides back and forth between the second floor and third floor
  • Garage with doors that swing open and close
  • Wide windows on both sides for viewing dolls from a different point of view
  • Large enough that multiple children can play at once
  • Made of wood
  • Sturdy construction
  • Molded plastic staircase
  • Accommodates all fashion dolls up to 12” tall, including Barbie and Bratz
Dimensions:

51" x 14" x 52.75” H, 54 lbs.


Just imagine the look on the face of that special little girl in your life when she opens this Christmas morning! Be sure to order in time as this is sure to be a hot item this holiday season.

Kidkraft’s Pink Vintage Kitchen Wins the Creative Child 2010 Product of the Year Award

Kidkraft's marvelous Pink Vintage Kitchen has been honored with the Creative Child Creative Toy Awards 2010 Seal of Excellence. Creative Child Magazine's Awards Program is a unique program, being that all products submitted are reviewed by moms, music educators and early education professionals, and not just by any one person. This way you know it is an unbiased review.


The Kidkraft pink vintage kitchen is made of wood and features:
  • Sturdy construction

  • Doors which open and close

  • Oven knobs that click and turn

  • Cordless phone

  • Removable sink for easy cleanup.

Dimensions: 33" x 11.7" x 35.7", 50 lbs.

This tends to sell out in October for the holidays, so it is highly recommended to order this as early as possible to ensure you will have it in plenty of time for holiday gift giving.

Fun Halloween Crafts for Kids

With the back-to-school rush over and daily routines back to normal, kids of all ages start to look forward to the next big holiday - Halloween. Spooky decorations are appearing on front lawns, and even the smallest children begin to get excited about trick-or-treating. To keep your little ghosts and goblins busy as this favorite holiday approaches, why not try some of these fun craft ideas?

Pumpkin Seed Necklaces

This is a great activity that can be adapted to different ages - for younger kids, paint the seeds ahead of time, and for older kids, let them color their own. Paint roasted pumpkin seeds in "Halloween" colors (black, orange, green, purple) and using a sturdy needle (supervise young kids for this step) string them on heavy black thread cut long enough to make a necklace.

Handprint Ghosts

Using non-toxic white paint, cover the surface of your hand; with fingers held together, press your hand down to make a handprint on black paper. Cut around the handprint, leaving a bit of black around the edges. Paint black "holes" for the eyes and mouth. These can be strung up to make cute Halloween decorations.

Paper Plate Spiders

These silly, spooky spiders make a great activity for younger kids. Paint the surface of a paper plate black and allow it to dry. Pleat a sheet of black construction paper, then cut lengthwise into eight strips. Glue one end of each strip onto the plate to make the spider's legs. Glue on a pair of googly eyes, or use cut circles of white paper with a black dot in the center.

Cereal Box Haunted House

This spooky house project is ideal for older children. Open the top flaps of an empty cereal box and tape the edges together to form a peaked roof shape. Cut out holes for windows and doors, and then paint the outside of the box black. Glue or tape yellow or white tissue paper in the "windows" from the inside of the box. Using construction paper, glue, white chalk and other decorative craft items, decorate the outside of the haunted house, making it as creepy as possible. Place a small flashlight inside the box and turn it on to light up the windows.

There is no end to the fun you can have creating fun Halloween crafts with your kids. With a good supply of craft materials and a little imagination, you can come up with all kinds of fun, scary decorations.

Bonnie Lim owns and operates the company "A Kid Place" which specializes in children's high-quality toys and furniture. Feel free to visit at http://www.akidplace.com to view all this great company has to offer and learn more about the Arts & Crafts they carry.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bonnie_Lim

Fun and Free Fall Activities for Kids

As the days turn cooler, leaves are changing color and pumpkins and chrysanthemums appear. Fall is an exciting time for kids, and there is no better way to celebrate the change of seasons than with fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. These activities are great for kids of all ages, and best of all, they don't cost anything.

Pumpkin Scarecrow

You can make a scarecrow to decorate your front porch with items you have around the house. Get together some unwanted clothing - an old pair of jeans, a flannel shirt, and last year's winter boots work great. Tie off the bottoms of the pant legs and sleeves with rubber bands; rake up a big pile of leaves, and stuff them inside the clothes. Position the pants as though they are sitting, then place the stuffed shirt on top. Tuck the pant legs into the boots, and set a large pumpkin on top of the shirt collar for a head - paint a face on with dark colored paints if you like. An old hat placed on the pumpkin will top off your scarecrow.

Halloween Fashion Show

This is a great way to get kids to use their imaginations and come up with unique Halloween costumes; it can also be used as a Halloween party game. Go through your closets and find a pile of clothes you can use for your game. Old dresses and suit jackets are perfect for this activity. Accessories like belts, ties, bandannas and hats are also needed; non-allergenic makeup can add even more fun. Have each person take turns creating a costume, and let everyone try to guess who or what they are.

Leaf "Engravings"

Take a walk and ask everyone to pick up the prettiest leaves they can find. Back indoors, choose a work surface and provide crayons and sheets of white paper. Have each child place their favorite leave under the paper, then rub over the paper with crayons to bring out the leaf design. Cut out the leaf shapes once they are completed, and you have a beautiful memento of autumn.

Remember, the best things in life are free. As they get older, your kids will not remember how much you spent on a gift or a trip to the movies, but they will always remember the time they spend with you. Doing things together, like these entertaining fall activities, will give them happy memories to last a lifetime.

Bonnie Lim owns and operates the company "A Kid Place" which specializes in Children's Furniture and Educational Toys. Feel free to visit at www.akidplace.com to view all this great company has to offer.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bonnie_Lim

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Guidecraft Victorian Dollhouse Wins Award


Guidecraft's Victorian Dollhouse has won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.

This architectural beauty features three floors, six spacious rooms, oversize attic, inviting balconies, two pairs of swinging french doors and two spiral staircases. Constructed of 1/4" birch plywood, the Guidecraft Victorian Dollhouse is built to take the demands of schools and day-care centers.

Scale is 1" to 1". Wood Panels can be stained or painted.

Buying now for the holidays is recommended as this tends to sell out early.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keekaroo Karoo Umbrella Stroller - The Perfect Lightweight Stroller for Your Growing Child

There's no doubt about it - as much fun as it is to prepare for the birth of a new baby, it is also expensive! There are so many things your little one will need - from bottles to nursery furniture, tiny clothing and car seats. One of the most important purchases you will make, however, is your baby stroller. Whether you are out shopping or just taking your child for a long walk, you will rely on your stroller nearly every day. Fortunately, you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive, bulky stroller - the Keekaroo Karoo umbrella stroller will meet all of your needs, from the time your baby is born.

How it works

The Karoo umbrella stroller is designed to accommodate newborns all the way up to 55 pounds. Keekaroo strollers are compact, light (weighing only about 16 pounds), and come with a one-hand fold feature for easy opening or collapsing. This umbrella stroller is perfect for stowing in the trunk for long trips to grandma's or a run to the supermarket.

The Karoo stroller comes with a 3 position adjustable backrest for perfect support, from the smallest infant to more active toddlers. Unlike many umbrella strollers, the Keekaroo Karoo stroller comes with a one touch braking system for added safety.

Accessories

The Keekaroo umbrella stroller comes with the following:

  • Lightweight, aluminum frame
  • Five-point adjustable harness system, padded for baby's comfort and safety
  • Signature Karoo stroller pillow
  • Large storage basket for diaper bags, toys, or mom's shopping bags
  • Large, adjustable hood with clear plastic window
  • One-touch rear brake
  • Swivel front wheels
  • All-wheel spring suspension.

Maintenance

The Keekaroo stroller features removable, hand-washable upholstery for easy cleanup.

Safety Certification

The Karoo stroller has been JPMA certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a national trade organization which inspects infants' and children's products for safety.

Where to get the Keekaroo Karoo stroller

You can find the Keekaroo Karoo Umbrella Stroller, along with lots of other great Keekaroo products, at affordable prices at http://www.akidplace.com. Look for great deals on everything you need for your new baby or toddler - free shipping available on many items.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bonnie_Lim

New at A Kid Place - Kidkraft Zig Zag Ball Run


Kidkraft Zig Zag Ball Run 63251

Our Zig Zag Ball Run by Kidkraft is a fun, lightweight toy that would make a great gift for any occasion. Young kids will love watching the ball take its fun ride from the very top all the way to the bottom.

The Kidkraft Zig Zag Ball Run features include:
  • Bright colors on the front and back, zebra stripes on the bottom
  • 4 levels for the ball to roll down
  • No assembly required
Dimensions: 15.75" x 5" x 17.51"

The Kidkraft
Zig Zag Ball Run is Recommended for ages 18 months and up.

All paints and finishes used on Kidkraft wooden toys and furniture are lead-free and non-toxic.

New at A Kid Place - Kidkraft Push Along Play Cart




Our Push Along Play Cart by Kidkraft puts a tracking maze, a play xylophone, and a shape sorter all together into one adorable toy. On top of all of that, kids get to push it around from room to room as they play!

The Kidkraft Push Along Play Cart features include:


  • Fun, vivid colors

  • Tracking maze with four different pieces to move

  • Shape sorter

  • Play xylophone

  • Movable blocks

  • Rolls on four black and green wheels

  • Smart, sturdy construction
Dimensions: 13.74" x 12.52" x 20"

No assembly required.


The Kidkraft Push Along Play Cart is Recommended for ages 1+

All paints and finishes used on Kidkraft wooden furniture & toys are lead-free and non-toxic.

New at A Kid Place - Kidkraft Bead Maze Cube



So many choices! Our Bead Maze Cube by Kidkraft gives the young boys and girls in your life 5 sides of fun to choose from. Each side of this great learning toy gives young kids a different activity that will help with the development of color recognition, shape recognition, and eye-hand coordination.

The Kidkraft Bead Maze Cube features include:


  • Adorable farm theme, complete with tractors, trees and a big farmhouse

  • Bead maze with pieces of solid wood

  • Shape sorter

  • Rotating gears

  • Movable tiles with numbers on one side and colorful shapes on the other
Dimensions: 10.63" x 10.51" x 19.6"

No assembly required.


The Kidkraft Bead Maze Cube is Recommended for ages 1+

All paints and finishes used on Kidkraft wooden furniture & toys are lead-free and non-toxic.

Monday, October 4, 2010

5 Ways To Help Your Toddler Overcome A Fear Of Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, malls and homes are filled with terrifying masks, scary costumes and pictures of ghouls and ghosts. As an adult, you may find this amusing and even exciting. But for small children, Halloween can be a particularly frightening experience.

For young babies, Halloween usually goes unnoticed. Babies may even be amused by the strange faces and costumes that they see.

But toddlers realize that the strange faces and costumes at Halloween are different and scary. Even a giant mouse or bunny can terrify toddlers because they know that giant talking bunnies and mice are not normal.

Most toddlers cannot be forced to overcome their fear, because fear is a strong, inner instinct. But there are several things that you can do to minimize your child’s fears. Here are 5 useful suggestions.

1. Remember That Your Toddler Is Unique.

What your child finds scary, another child may find amusing. You may not always be able to predict just what will terrify your child, so keep an open mind and remain flexible.

2. Take Your Child Into The Pumpkin Patch.

A glowing jack-o-lantern can be pretty scary. Helping your child to realize that this creepy character is no more than a carved up pumpkin will help to alleviate that fear. Let your child help you to find the perfect size pumpkin for Halloween. Let him help you to decorate it as well. Your child can draw the pattern onto the pumpkin and you can carve out the design with a knife. Toddlers also love to play with the seeds and the gooey insides of the pumpkin. Your child may also enjoy gluing tissue paper onto the outside of the pumpkin or coloring it with a magic marker.

3. Do Without Elaborate Costumes…..For Now.

Even though you may think that your toddler looks adorable in the bunny costume you spent hours sewing, your toddler may not want to wear it. If your child refuses to wear it, then it’s better to drop the issue rather than to make a fuss of it. Remember, there’s always next year.

Toddlers are less likely to resist if the costume doesn’t cover their faces. They may even enjoy experimenting with face paint or paper-plate masks that they can hold up to their faces.

4. Put off trick-or-treating or do so in a less threatening environment.

Trick-or-treating can be bewildering and scary for toddlers. Going to unfamiliar houses at night, passing all sorts of scary creatures in the dark, and getting more candy than they are allowed to eat at once, can be a bit too much to handle.

If you feel that this may be the case with your toddler, then you may want to introduce your child to trick-or-treating by going to a few familiar neighbors while it’s still daytime.

Another suggestion that also works well is to trick-or-treat in somebody’s home. Toddlers can knock on different closed doors in the hallway, and then each door could be opened by an older child or adult who gives them a treat or some candy.

5. Be Supportive Of Your Child.

Even if you manage to avoid trick-or-treating,your child will probably still see scary people around town or coming to your door. If your child does see scary creatures, you can always ask the ‘creatures’ to take off their scary masks while they are near your child.

Keep in mind that your child’s needs will change with time. Lots of preschoolers are still afraid of ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night. Simple costumes, trick-or-treating at familiar homes and sticking to daytime activities can go a long way toward making young children more comfortable with Halloween. And before you know it, your child will be enjoying Halloween as much as you do.

Keekaroo Height Right Wooden High Chair – The Right Chair for Your Growing Baby or Toddler

When you are planning for a new baby, there are so many things you will need – nursery furniture, car seats, strollers, clothes, bottles, and infant seats are just some of the purchases you will have to make. When it comes time to think about a feeding chair for your little one, the decision is simple; the Keekaroo Height Right high chair provides comfort and support for children as young as six months, all the way to their teenage years.

How it works

The Keekaroo Height Right adjustable high chair is created to comfortably seat children of all ages, from the time they can sit up on their own (generally around six months) to their teenage years – all the way up to 150 pounds.

This sturdy, stylish wooden high chair is fully adjustable; the seat and footrest can be moved up or down to accommodate children of all sizes or to conform to any table height.

The backrest is slightly curved to fit the natural shape of your child’s body, promoting correct posture and providing support. Studies have shown that proper trunk and pelvic support improves focus and the ability to complete a task; the Keekaroo adjustable kids’ chair is perfect for homework or projects, as well as meal times.

Optional accessories

The Height Right wooden high chair comes with an adjustable footrest and seat, as well as a three-point security strap. Optional accessories include a tray for feeding time or play; an infant grab rail for additional trunk support; and comfort cushions that conform to your little one’s body.

Maintenance

The Keekaroo adjustable high chair is made of attractive, polished hardwood that fits any d├ęcor. The chair is designed for years of use by a growing child, and cleaning is easy – just wipe up messes with a soft cloth and warm water.

Where to get the Keekaroo adjustable wooden high chair

The Height Right wooden high chair is available for sale at www.akidplace.com. You will also find the optional accessories, including the detachable tray, baby grab rail, and seat cushions. This item may qualify for free shipping; visit the website today and check out the selection of Keekaroo kids’ products.

(ArticlesBase SC #3314639)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Keekaroo Height Right Wooden High Chair – The Right Chair for Your Growing Baby or Toddler

Should Parents Lower Fever in Children?


High fever in children is a fairly common sign and usually indicates that a child has a virus or bacterial infection. An elevated body temperature can make some children feel pretty bad, so it’s not surprising that some parents use Advil or Tylenol to bring a high fever down. There’s a considerable amount of controversy in the medical community about how to treat high fever in children. Some medical experts believe that a febrile child shouldn’t be treated with analgesics because it could prolong his or her illness. Should you give your child Tylenol or Advil if they have a fever?

High Fever in Children: Should You Use Analgesics?

There are several reasons why experts believe that a child with a fever shouldn’t take analgesics. For one, temperatures rise for a reason – to help recruit cells that fight infection. Studies show that animals that mount a fever response to an infection are more likely to survive than those where the fever is brought down unnaturally using analgesic medications.

Some studies also show that giving medications to lower fever can make an infection worse, while other studies show no ill effects. Unfortunately, there’s no real consensus on this issue and not enough studies have been done to say one way or the other whether giving fever lowering medications worsens or prolongs the course of an infectious illness.

The Febrile Child: Another Argument Against Using Analgesics

Lowering a fever with analgesics can mask the symptoms of an infection and make it more difficult to tell whether a child is improving or getting worse. High fever in a child should never be treated with analgesics until a diagnosis has been made, and it’s understood why the fever is occurring.

High fever in children is a sign that something is wrong – and it may not be a simple respiratory infection. It could be a more serious illness such as meningitis, pneumonia, or a kidney infection. Bringing the fever down by giving medications to lower fever can mask the symptoms, making it more difficult to make a diagnosis – and to know when an infection isn’t responding to treatment.

High fever in children under the age of two is more likely to be serious than fever in an older child, but all children need evaluation for a temperature over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Alternative to Analgesics for High Fever in Children

Of course, some children with fever feel pretty miserable. An alternative to giving medications to lower fever is to give a child with a fever a lukewarm sponge bath – but avoid using cold water or alcohol. If you do use analgesics, only use acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Never give a child aspirin for a fever since it increases the risk of Reye’s syndrome.

High Fever in Children: The Bottom Line?

It’s still not clear whether giving children fever lowering medications slows down the healing process. If a child still feels poorly after a sponge bath and you know why he or she has a fever, it’s okay to give ibuprofen or acetaminophen – but check with your child’s pediatrician first.

References:

The Journal of Family Practice. Volum 59, No. 6. June 2010. page 353.

Childhood Television Viewing Could Make Your Child Dumb

Want a smarter child? A new study shows that keeping children away from television while they’re still toddlers could make them smarter, thinner, and healthier later in childhood – and in life.

A Smarter Kid? Turn Off the Television

In a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, researchers looked at the television viewing habits of 1,314 kids at 29 months and at 53 months of age. They also looked at their BMI (body mass index) and their school performance. What did they find?

As might be expected, kids who watched more television at two years of age were less healthy overall and had more problems academically. For each additional hour of childhood television watching a child engaged in at age two, the more likely he or she was to have academic problems, eat greater quantities of junk food, get less exercise, and have a higher BMI. This is clearly not what most parents want for their kids.

To Get a Smarter Kid – Exercise Their Mind

The researchers in this study emphasized that limiting childhood television viewing early in life is important – during the critical time when a child’s brain is developing rapidly and habits and preferences are being formed. This is a time when children should be engaged in creative pursuits that challenge their minds to think in new ways such as brain games, playing an instrument, and doing puzzles – rather than watching television.

Physical Activity Counts Too

Outdoor play is important not only for increasing coordination and reducing the risk of obesity, but for establishing a lifelong habit of good health. One study showed that how children play determines how healthy they are as adults. The more children engage in creative activities and active play, they more likely they are to be healthy adults of normal weight.

Limit Television to Less Than Two Hours a Day

Childhood television viewing is on the rise – and kids are spending less time outdoors playing. This not only increases the risk of health problems such as obesity, but academic problems as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting a child’s television viewing to less than two hours a day – something that many parents aren’t doing.

The Bottom Line

Give your child a nudge and encourage them to take a break from the television – the sooner the better. It could pay off later when your child is healthier and gets better grades.

References:

Medical News Today website. “Study Finds Early Exposure To TV Has Negative And Long-Term Impact”.
Medical News Today website. “Creative And Active Play In Childhood Is Linked To Good Adult Health

Guidecraft 4 in 1 Dramatic Play Theater awarded 2010 Product of the Year

Guidecraft’s awesome 4 in 1 Dramatic Play Theater has been awarded with the 2010 Kids Product of the Year award by Creative Child Magazine.

4 different play arenas for children in one beautiful package for years of fun pretend play

Guidecraft 4 in 1 Dramatic Play Theater

The Guidecraft 4 in 1 dramatic play theater has a honey-oak stained wood theater frame which holds interchangeable panels that quickly and easily create a different dramatic play world.

Theater comes with two separate panels with different themes on either side to set the stage. Simply slide one of the panels into the grooves in the back of the theater and lock into place, and voila, kids have a brand new setting to inspire great, educational pretend play.

Themes include: Post Office, Puppet Theater, Doctor’s Office and Diner.

Guidecraft 4 in 1 Dramatic Play Theater - Post Office PanelGuidecraft 4 in 1 Dramatic Play Theater

Guidecraft 4 in 1 Dramatic Play Theater - Doctor's Office Guidecraft 4 in 1 Dramatic Play Theater - Diner

Kids will delight in the colorful details of each theme and explore their creative side with hours of constructive dramatic play.

Now available Here at A Kid Place. We strongly recommend ordering this one before the holiday rush starts.

Guidecraft’s Kitchen Helper Wins the Creative Toy Awards 2010 Seal of Excellence

Guidecraft has won yet another award! Creative Child has honored the Guidecraft Kitchen Helper with their Creative Toy Awards 2010 Seal of Excellence.


With Guidecraft’s kitchen helper, children can safely and securely reach countertop height so that they are able to take part in many learning and sharing activities which are normally not accessible to them.

Featuring sturdy wood construction with a rich maple toned finish, the Guidecraft Kitchen Helper easily adjusts to 4 platform heights so that its use grows with your child.

When not in use, the kitchen helper folds easily for storage.

Parents, caretakers and kids agree with this award. This innovative helper is really popular and tends to sell out frequently. If out of stock, pre-ordering is strongly recommended. Not all websites accept pre-orders, but it can be pre-ordered any time at A Kid Place.

How to Get Kids to Eat More Fruit

Do you want your kids to eat healthier? Most parents do, but it can be a challenge to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables in place of the many sweet treats that are constantly vying for their attention. Well, there may be an easier way. A new study shows that getting kids to eat healthy foods such as fruit could be as simple as making them more visually appealing.

Fruit for Kids: Do You Need Them to Eat More?

In a study published in the journal Appetite, researchers offered young kids two different plates of fruit. One plate was piled high with uncut fruit, while the other held fruit that had been sliced into shapes – to make them more appealing to the eye. Which plate was more popular? The kids ate more fruit from the plate with the shapes than they did the uncut fruit every time.

Kids Eating Fruit: The Power of Visual Appeal

What made these kids more likely to eat fruit that had been cut into shapes? Most adults won’t deny that when food is attractively presented, it increases their desire to eat it. Are kids any different? People pay large sums of money to eat dinner at restaurants that give very little food, but make it look pretty. Kids, too, like food that’s pleasing to the eye or is somehow novel in appearance.

Fruit for Kids: Make It Pretty and Fun

It takes a little more time, but if you want your kids to eat fruit, cut it into interesting shapes to make it more visually appealing. Instead of simply slicing melon, use a melon ball tool to carve it into balls. Use a special knife that gives fruits and veggies a rippled edge. You can also use cookie cutters to stamp soft melons such as cantaloupe and honeydew into interesting shapes. What about fruit kebobs? These can be made by placing bite size pieces of fruit on a wooden stick, but make sure your child is old enough not to harm themselves with the stick.

Other Ways to Get Kids to Eat Fruit

For a little variety, give kids a healthy low-fat dip to enhance their fruit and make it creamy and special. Make all-fruit popsicles by pureeing fruit in the blender and putting it into a popsicle mold – or whip up a quick fruit and yogurt smoothie. What child can resist these fruity temptations?

Fruit for Kids: The Bottom Line

Don’t get discouraged because your child won’t eat fruit and vegetables – find a new way to present them. If it’s novel and unique, don’t be surprised if your child asks for more.

References:

Food Navigator website. “Presentation and Innovation Are Key to Kids Healthy Food Habits: Study”.

Guidecraft’s All In One Kitchen a Winner

Guidecraft wins again! Creative Child Magazine has presented Guidecraft with the 2010 Preferred Choice Award for the newly released All In One Kitchen.

Guidecraft All In One Kitchen

Guidecraft’s All In One Play Kitchen is the perfect canvas for kids to practice pretend play skills. This sensational kitchen by Guidecraft combines all the amenities in one space for the ultimate dramatic play experience:

Range top, Microwave, Oven, Refrigerator, Sink, Dishwasher and Double Cupboard.

Features include turning knobs, clock, dry-erase board & more.

This fabulous kitchen will provide children with hours and hours of imaginative play and the colors are gender-neutral so it’s perfect for both boys and girls! Great for the classroom, daycare centers and children’s rooms or playrooms at home.

Guidecraft All In One Play Kitchen

The Guidecraft All In One Now Kitchen is now available here at A Kid Place. This is sure to be a huge seller for the holidays so be sure to order early enough to avoid disappointment, should it sell out.

Guidecraft All In One Play Kitchen

Guidecraft All In One Play KitchenGuidecraft All In One Play Kitchen


Guidecraft’s Animal Train Sort & Match Game Wins Guidecraft Another Award

Congratulations to Guidecraft on winning another 2010 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award! The newly released Animal Train Sort and Match set has just been honored with the prestigious award.

Guidecraft Animal Train Sort and Match

Guidecraft’s Animal Train Sort and Match teaches children color-matching, shape-matching and pattern-recognition in a fun, game-like setting.

This fun, educational toy includes 6 double-sided pattern cards, 43 animal and train pieces, wooden storage case, and a self-propping board with pegs and metal backing to help guide the parts into place.

Guidecraft also makes a flower match garden patch game and a construction truck sort and match game, in which both work on the same principle as the animal train sort and match.

Guidecraft’s Nordic Table & Stool set Wins Prestigious Award

Congratulations to Guidecraft on winning the 2010 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award! Guidecraft’s Nordic Table & Stool set was just honored with this prestigious award.

Guidecraft Nordic Table & Stool Set - Natural

With it’s simplistic design and beauty, with natural bent wood contours and smooth edges, the Guidecraft Nordic Table and Chairs set is the perfect place for kids to sit for a while and create, snack, read, and more.

The smooth, natural finish of Guidecraft’s Nordic Table and Stool set will blend in with any environment. This great set includes one table and four stools. A Kid Place also carries this wonderful set with red, yellow, blue and green stools.

Do Only Children Have Worse Social Skills?

Does being an only child increase the risk of bad teenage social skills? Not according to a new study out of the University of Ohio. When researchers surveyed over 13,000 adolescents and teenagers without siblings, they found no lack of social skills among only children – or a lack of friends.

Do Teens without Siblings Have More Problems Making Friends?

Growing up without siblings may give a child less opportunity to interact with other kids their own age, but it doesn’t seem to hurt their social skills, at least not during the teenage years. To look at this issue, researchers asked more than 13,000 kids in grades seven through twelve to pick five male and female friends out of a complete list of students. By counting the number of times a student was picked, they were able to gauge how popular he or she was.

When they compared kids without siblings to ones who had brothers or sisters, they found no significant difference in the number of times other kids choose them to be their friend. It also didn’t matter how many or how few siblings a kid had. The researchers took into account and controlled for other factors that may have affected the results such as the age of the parents, whether both parents lived at home, race, and socioeconomic status.

Kids without Siblings May Have Less Developed Social Skills Early in Life

If kids without siblings have fewer social skills, they seem to develop them by the time they reach middle school. In another study, researchers asked teachers to rate the social skills of students in their classrooms. They found, according to teacher reports, children of kindergarten age had worse social skills than their classmates with at least one brother or sister – but it’s more difficult to draw conclusions from this study since it’s based solely on subjective ratings by teachers.

Social Skills and Being an Only Child

Being an only child could make it more difficult for a child to develop social skills during the early years, but there’s little difference in only children and kids with siblings by the time they reach adolescence. Teen social skills don’t seem to be affected by whether or not a child has brothers and sisters. This should be reassuring news for parents who only want one child.

References:

Eurekalert.com. “Growing Up Without Sibs Doesn’t Hurt Social Skills”.

Are McDonald’s Smoothies Healthy?

In a world where fast food is synonymous with unhealthy, McDonald’s is trying to separate itself from the stereotypical fast food drive-through that fattens up its customers by serving them mega-burgers and greasy fries. A new move that separates McDonald’s from its competitors is the recent launch of McDonald’s smoothies made with real fruit. Sure, a McDonald’s fruit smoothie sounds virtuous. After all, it’s made with fruit – but is it really healthy?

McDonald’s Fruit Smoothies: What’s in Them?

McDonald’s smoothies come in two flavors – strawberry banana and wild berry. To McDonald’s credit, these smoothie drinks are made with real fruit puree and concentrated fruit juices. For example, the strawberry banana smoothie is crafted from a fruit blend of strawberry puree, banana puree, and concentrated apple juice. Additional ingredients that make up less than one percent of the total include xantham gum, citric acid, cellulose, pectin, ascorbic acid, and artificial and natural flavors.

To create a mouth-pleasing smoothie, the fruit blend is added to low fat yogurt and processed in a blender. Keep in mind that the blend is pre-made, so you won’t see the fruit being chopped up and added to the blender, as you would at some smoothie shops. If you want this experience, head to a Smoothie King or Jamba Juice instead.

McDonald’s Smoothies: The Nutritional Low-Down

If you order the smallest McDonald’s smoothie (12 ounces) in the strawberry banana flavor, the calorie content is pretty reasonable at 210 calories. The 16 ounce size has 260 calories. But before you bolt over to McDonald’s to pick up one of these fruity creations, bear in mind that a sixteen ounce smoothie has a whopping 54 grams of sugars – twice the amount in two Snicker’s bars.

On the plus side, you’ll get more vitamin C, fiber, and calcium from a McDonald’s smoothie than you would from a Snicker’s bar. In addition, the pureed fruit supplies some antioxidants. Still, if you’re watching your sugar intake, a McDonald’s smoothie is more of a splurge than a dietary staple.

Are McDonald’s Smoothies Healthy: The Bottom Line

It’s a positive that McDonald’s is taking steps to promote healthier eating and drinking – and a McDonald’s fruit smoothie has more overall nutrition than a soft drink. Still, their fruit smoothies are best used as a dessert alternative – not a drink to sip with a meal. With so many sugar grams, don’t make these drinks a habit.

References:

McDonald’s website.


Tips For Organizing a Back-to-School Routine

Here are some tips for organizing a back-to-school routine. Kids feel more equipped to succeed in school when they understand their homework. If they don't do their homework effectively, they risk getting further behind in their studies.

*Communication. Help your child get into the habit of bringing the student planner back and forth to school every day. If the school or teacher requires a parental signature, take two minutes to sign the planner for the day. Be sure to read teacher comments. If you know your child struggled with homework, you can also make your own comment.

*Space. Establish a routine, for example, that you or your spouse cooks dinner while the other parent helps the kids with homework. Be sure to turn off the stereo, TV, and video games during study time. Dedicate a children's desk or table in your home where your child can study quietly. Guidecraft and Alex Toys make some really neat wooden desks for young children.

*Checklist. Teach your child to use a list of assignments as a checklist. If your child tends to get stuck on one assignment, perhaps in the same subject every evening, you can assist by assigning time limits for working on each assignment. As your child goes through the list, he can check off completed assignments. If one assignment requires in-depth assistance, devote time to tackling that assignment after dinner.

*Rewards. Give small rewards to your child for meeting his or her study obligations, such as completing all homework assignments. For example, you can reserve time for playing video games, watching TV, and using the computer for when homework time is over.

*Sleep. Based on each child's age and school schedule, choose a regular time for lights out. This time should give each child enough sleep so she wakes up and goes to school feeling well-rested and alert in class. If she takes a long time to fall asleep, move the bedtime up by thirty minutes. If your child can tell time, you can also teach her to use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning.

*Intervention. If you are involved in the homework routine, you might be able to discover if your child begins to struggle in an academic subject. Don't assume your child knows how to ask for help from the teacher. If you discover a problem, schedule a conference with the teacher. Decide if it is appropriate to bring your child to the meeting. At the meeting, establish a regular way to communicate with the teacher, such as using a two-way journal, an email, or a phone call. Ignoring the signs that a child struggles in school permits the problem to get worse. Intervention is the key to finding ways to relieve a child's frustration with school and/or homework time.

Congratulations on your decision to facilitate a back-to-school routine for your kids! If you don't assume this important role, they will not receive the best educational experience. By setting up a routine and encouraging good study habits, your kids are prepared for success. If problems occur, you are prepared to take action.

Bonnie L. owns and operates the company "A Kid Place" which specializes in Children's Wooden Furniture and Educational Toys. Feel free to visit at http://www.akidplace.com to view all this great company has to offer.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bonnie_Lim

5 Simple Ways to Bring Your Family Together

Is your family disconnected? Are you finding it more and more difficult to spend quality time together as a family? You’re not alone. Job duties, after-school programs, friends and even technology play a key role in keeping families from interacting with one another on a daily basis. Whether you’re a parent trying to reconnect with your teenage kids or you’re a child determined to get your busy family to spend more quality time with each other, there are many simple ways to bring your family together.

1. Play board games. Playing board games with your family, like Monopoly, is a surefire way to bring your family together. Get together with your family and designate one night of the week for game night. Find a game all family members like and simply kick back, relax and enjoy the quality time spent with your family. Board games are inexpensive and give out hours and hours of pure entertainment and fun.

2. Watch movies. Nothing brings a family together quicker than a good movie. Instead of opting in on ordering movies online, take your entire crew to your local video store to select the movies together. Let everyone pick their own movie and then vote on which movie to watch first. To keep the atmosphere stress free and inviting, be sure to order in a tasty pizza the whole family will enjoy.

3. Partake in outdoor recreational activities. Whether you’re into hiking, running, cycling or walking, get your family active and involved in outdoor activities. Not only will you help bring your family closer together while partaking in outdoor recreational activities, but you’ll also help keep yourself and your family as fit and healthy as possible. If you’re looking for a free, inexpensive way to spend time with your family outdoors, visit your local park. Remember, the family that plays together stays together, so get outdoors with your family today and enjoy all that nature offers.

4. Cook together. Food is comforting and tasty and serves as a great tool when it comes to bringing your family together. Be sure to include your family in the entire process of cooking a meal by taking them out to purchase the foods together, beforehand. Taking time out of your precious day to cook a healthy, appetizing meal with your family members is something you’ll not regret. Cooking with your family is a simple, memorable way to bring your family together.

5. Eat one meal per day together. Due to the vast amount of distractions prevalent in our current society, the majority of families rarely sit down and eat a meal together. Instead of sitting in front of the television with your food, opt in on sitting at a table with your family. Turn off all distractions and politely ask your family members to sit down and eat a meal with you. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, taking the time to eat a meal with your family is a great way to bring your family together.

Rainy Day Activities for Kids: Creativity Day

When rainy weather forces the kids indoors, don’t let boredom rule the day. With a little forethought, you can have ready-made activities for those times when your kids and their friends are house-bound. Consider keeping a “rainy day box” at the ready, stocked with basics such as construction paper, poster board, old magazines, glue, tape and crayons. For more versatility, include ribbon, yarn, crepe paper streamers and child-safe scissors. When dark clouds gather and you hear the distant rumble of thunder, don’t worry. With your “rainy day box” and a little imagination, your kids may decide that playing indoors is the most fun of all.

Have a creativity day! Have each child make a book. Cut pages out of poster board. Cut pictures from old magazines and glue to the pages. Then, have children write captions for each picture to create a story. Help younger children as needed. Cover each page with clear contact paper and tape each page together to form a book. Or you could use a hole-punch to make three holes on one edge of each page and string yarn through the holes to bind the books. Let each child take a turn reading their story out loud while showing the pictures to the listeners.

Cut out pictures of cartoon characters or animals from old magazines or comics. Glue the cutouts to poster-board and then glue to a popsicle stick to make puppets. Have a puppet show. Let the kids make up a story or a play to act out with their puppets. Providing the voices for a variety of characters can be hilarious for kids!

Use paper bags to make masks. Place the bag over the child’s head first to locate the correct locations to cut out the eyes, nose and mouth. Let children decorate the masks with glitter, markers, sequins, cotton balls, feathers or any craft items you have on hand. Another way to make a mask is to use paper plates. Punch holes on either side to run string or yarn through and after the kids have decorated them, they can be tied on.

Make a memory box. Use an empty shoebox. Cover the box with contact paper or construction paper. Glue on decorations such as dried, pressed flowers, glitter, sequins, pictures or words cut from magazines or even photos. Cover all this with clear contact paper. The box can be used for anything they choose such as photos of friends, birthday cards, notes, letters or memorabilia such as ticket stubs from special events.

Form a marching band complete with flags and music! Make a drum using a coffee can. Use wooden spoons as drumsticks. For, cymbals, two pot covers clanged together work perfectly. Put beans or macaroni in an empty oatmeal cylinder, tape the lid closed and shake. For a stringed instrument, cut a hole in the cover of a shoebox, tape the cover on and stretch rubber bands over the box. Strum the rubber bands. For a flag, tape crepe paper streamers to a stick or dowel and wave in the air. Now, line up and parade through the house with flags flying and music playing!

If you have small dinosaur toys or jungle animal figures, use a shoebox to make a diorama of their habitat. Color the background first or cut paper to make a background of blue sky. Glue on cotton balls for clouds. Decorate the interior of the shoebox with trees and grasses made from construction paper, yarn, felt or other material.

Start a story by providing a simple beginning and let each child help to complete the story. For instance, you could say, “When I was walking through the park, I saw a black and white cat with her kitten.” The children then add to the story, taking it wherever their imaginations may go.

Rainy days inside don’t have to be boring. Children learn by using their creativity to entertain themselves and to make something they can use or display. So, when storm clouds threaten, bring out the “rain day box” and let the fun begin!