Thursday, October 25, 2012

Backpack and Car Snacks for Families on the Go!

We spend a lot of the time in the car. Sometimes several hours a day, with commutes and school and errands...

And kids get hungry. And cranky. And we can all be tempted by the many drive-throughs and convenience foods waiting patiently on every corner in America.

The problem is that we also know that very few of those foods are healthy or nutritious and although an occasional kids' meal isn't going to doom anyone to a life of unhealthiness, having a few yummy and healthy alternatives can be helpful too!

So, to avoid snack emergencies, keeping some non-perishable snacks in the car in a lunchbox or in the glove compartment can be the difference between a  quick, nutritious snack before dinner and another chicken nugget!

Snacks that don't need to be refrigerated:

  • Trail Mix
  • 100 Calories packs-although these are usually not the healthiest option, it's a better alternative than fast food
  • Peanut Butter packs
  • Raisins
  • Granola Bars
  • Dried Fruit without sugar
  • Cereal in snack bags
  • Crackers and Pretzels
  • If you are brave- pudding cups that don't need refrigeration
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit Snacks
Also, taking your children to the bulk section of the grocery store can be fun if you let them pick out a few snacks in small amounts to try! It's a good way to introduce them to new foods and avoid the "toy of the week" at the same time...Happy traveling!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Costume Ideas for Toddlers

With Halloween around the corner, cute Halloween costumes are everywhere! From homemade to mail order, here are some of the most adorable costumes for toddlers that we could find!

gnome cape for toddlers
From PennyWitch on 
 Etsy. com has some amazing handmade items, from hats to capes and other accessories to head to toe unique costumes for your toddler. Since the shop owners have sometimes modeled the items for sale on their own children, they tend to be a little more practical!

One Step Ahead has a pretty big selection of costumes available for order...infants and toddlers.

The Spirit of Halloween has a gigantic selection of costumes for all shapes and sizes of infant and toddler. Their costumes tend to be more mainstream, but sometimes a little guy just wants a Spiderman costume!

If your toddler doesn't really have much interest in a full costume, there are a few accessories that can bring out the Halloween spirit in even the fussiest dresser!

  • Tutus and leotards
  • Feather Boas
  • Wands
  • Crowns and Jewelry
  • Crazy Socks!
  • White T-Shirts and fabric markers and they can make their own!

toddler scarecrow costume
The Spirit of Halloween Costume Shop

      Happy Halloween to all of our Families!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Playdough Recipes

Kids love playdough. It is a universal truth. And, just as universal truth worthy, is the fact that playdough gets left out, eaten, fed to the dogs, shoved in the couch cushions...and sooner rather than later, it's time to buy more!

But, it's even more fun to make your own- Here are some awesome tried and true playdough recipes that are  super easy to make!

Remember to store playdough in an airtight container to keep it fresh. You can also add a little vanilla to keep it smelling sweet!

Colored Playdough
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Food coloring
  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup flour
  1. Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
  2. Remove from heat and add flour.
  3. Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don't have it on hand.
  4. Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.
Kool-Aid Playdough
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 cups water
  • Saucepan
  • Food coloring, tempera powder, or Kool-Aid powder for color
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 tablespoons alum
  1. Combine salt and water in saucepan and boil until salt dissolves.
  2. Remove from heat and tint with food coloring, tempera powder, or Kool-Aid.
  3. Add oil, flour, and alum.
  4. Knead until smooth.
  5. This dough will last 2 months or longer.
Salt Playdough
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup flour plus additional flour
  • Saucepan
  1. Mix salt, water, and flour in saucepan and cook over medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat when mixture is thick and rubbery.
  3. As the mixture cools, knead in enough flour to make the dough workable.

Thanks to for the awesome recipes!