Thank you for participating in the Mommy Nearest #GivingTuesday Clothing & Toy Drive!
Upload your holiday photo to Instagram, Twitter, the Mommy Nearest or SPARKBOX Toys Facebook walls with the hashtag “#MommyNearest”, for a chance to win a grand prize one-year subscription to SPARKBOXToys ($249 value) or first place prize, one-month free ($35.95 value).
Tomorrow you will receive the high-resolution copies that you can print and share with all of your family and friends.
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Why your kids need a Spark Box!
The first four years of a baby’s life are such a whirlwind for the parents: Did she eat enough? When was the last time she pooped? Does my 2-year-old really need a Chinese class? Should I be thinking about kindergarten? Already? With all this going on, it’s easy to overlook the fact that your baby’s brain is developing faster than it will at any other time in her life—and that her lifelong capacity for learning will be mostly cemented before she walks in for the first day of Kindergarten.
Babies are constantly touching things and putting their hands and objects in their mouths, so they can pick up germs and illnesses easily. You can reduce your baby’s chance of catching illnesses by keeping your baby’s toys and equipment clean.
We are constantly being asked, how often should you clean baby gear and toys without hurting baby’s health and without driving yourself crazy? Here are some helpful tips:
- When you notice they’re soiled, e.g., after food is spilled on the high chair tray.
We all know what it’s like to spend money on a toy that’s only going to be played with a couple of times before ending up in a closet, never to be seen or heard from again. It’s frustrating and wasteful. So here are some tips to help you pick the best toys for your child and make the most of them:
- Kids love to take apart, put back together, pull out, put in, add on, and build up, so try to choose toys that can be used in a variety of ways. Some good options are wooden blocks, Legos or chunky plastic interlocking blocks.
There are a blessed few out there for whom math is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Unfortunately for most of us, math was a cross we had to bear during our school years. Fortunately for our kids, educational experts have come to understand that many of the difficulties children have with math are rooted in their learning style. Kinesthetic learners have the hardest time grasping mathematical concepts because they need to be able to physically interact with objects in order to learn effectively. The good news is that many schools are now trying to accommodate this group of learners, realizing that it’s not that they are not good at math but rather that they need different learning tools in order to understand certain concepts.
One of the ways this is being addressed is through the use of manipulatives. Manipulatives are physical things that the students can touch and use to represent numbers. For example, if you put two marbles in front of your child and ask him or her to take one away, being able to physically move the object out of the group will reinforce his/her learning style. Continue reading
Welcome to the second installment of our series where we explain the different skills your child unknowingly develops as he or she plays with abandon. As we discussed earlier, there are four major skills categories: physical, cognitive, social and linguistic. Today, it’s time to find out what cognitive development is all about.
- Imagination: imaginative play encourages self-expression and the development of multi-sensory skills. Many early childhood experts actually feel that allowing children to develop their imagination can be more important that concentrating on pre-academic training. While skills such as number, color and shape recognition may give a child some advantage come school time, in the long run it is often the ability to think creatively and adapt to different situations that determine a child’s ability to succeed in life. So, encourage your little one to play make-believe, Continue reading
Many toddlers remain attached to the bottle well past babyhood. Even though for many of them bottles represent a source of security as well as nourishment, it’s important that they be weaned from them around their first birthday and start getting comfortable with drinking from cups.
Since this can be challenging for both parent and child, doctors recommend you start introducing cups around the time your baby is 6 months old. Granted, most of the contents of the cup as well as the cup itself will wind up on the floor, but this helps ease the transition and by the time your baby is 12 months old she should have developed enough coordination and dexterity to hold the cup and drink from it. Sippy cups are also a good idea during this transition process. You can still continue to give your child formula or breast milk, but be sure to offer it (as well as anything else your child drinks) in a cup rather than a bottle.
A good way to start weaning is to gradually reduce the number of bottles your child drinks Continue reading