6 Teachable Moments From The Olympics & And Fun Crafts Too!



The Olympics are here!!! Are you excited? Are the kids excited? 10,500 athletes from 205 countries are in Rio da Janeiro, Brazil, and they are competing in ‎306 events with 3.6 billion people tuning in to watch the Olympic games.

With that many people watching, the odds are you and your family are watching too.  If your kids are old enough to understand what the games are about ,why not turn the Olympics into a teachable moment with these 6 simple ideas.  You can ask these open ended questions I found from commonsensemedia.org. You'll be grabbing plenty of opportunities to engage your kids in deeper conversations while having fun rooting for your team!

1. Talk about inspiration. If nothing else, the Olympics are a time to be awed by the abilities of the human body. Point out the kind of practice, dedication and sacrifice that go into becoming an Olympic athlete. If there are certain competitors your kids like, find out more about their lives and how they pursued their athletic goals.
Ask: What are you willing to work hard for?

2. Explore backstories. Reporters covering the Olympics dig up inspiring stories about athletes overcoming obstacles to reach their goals. These emotional tales can make watching an event all the more compelling and give you a chance to talk to your kids about perseverance. Of course, some stories can include grim experiences -- death, illness, injury -- that might be too much for very young or very sensitive viewers. Chime in when reassurance or more explanation is necessary.
Ask: What would your backstory be?

3. Discuss teamwork. Watching team sports can be a great chance to point out how everyone's contribution is key to a team's success. Help kids make the connection between teamwork in sports and other collaborative efforts, like group school projects. Point out how athletes show their support for each other and also how they handle winning and losing.
Ask: What makes a good teammate?

4. Comment on competition. Winning feels great, and most kids have experienced that thrill themselves, so they can identify with the athletes wearing their medals proudly. But point out the other athletes, too. This can help kids develop empathy and reinforce the idea that winning isn't everything.
Ask: What's the difference between good and poor sportsmanship?

5. Go global. The Olympic Games offer the perfect opportunity to learn more about other countries. Olympics coverage can be educational, giving kids a chance to identify country flags and watch different cultural traditions play out. Use the Olympics as a jumping-off point to learn more about particular countries or cultures. Talk about the origins and goals of the Olympics.
Ask: What did you learn about another country or culture that you didn't know before?

6. Point out advertising. The Olympics are a huge advertising opportunity for marketers. Try to DVR events when possible so you can skip through the commercials. With older kids, talk about the relationship between athletes and corporations and why they depend on each other. Point out any ironies -- like an ad showing an athlete eating fast food -- and you'll pump up kids' media literacy skills.
Ask: How many advertisements can you spot during an event, and what are they selling?

I would love to know if you asked these questions to your kids and how they answered.  I hope you'll share with us the fun you had together asking these questions.



Crafts and fun!
Just to add some more fun, check out these really easy crafts you and your kids can do starting tonight!


Popcorn torches! Make these as the kids watch the torch being lit
during the Opening Ceremonies tonight!



Make these Olympic Ring bagels with fruit for breakfast
tomorrow while watching the first events compete!




 Have the kids make fun medals and wear
 them during the awards ceremonies.



Finish off a busy day of sports and competition
watching with these yummy Olympic cupcakes!



Ancient Greek Baby Names Just In Time For The Olympics

The Summer Olympics are here and everyone is getting into the Olympic spirit, maybe even those babies about to be born!  If you're expecting a baby in the next two weeks and want to remember that the 2016 Rio Olympics were happening when your little one came into the world, one of these names might just inspire you! 

These ancient Greek names might make a mini come back in the next couple of weeks as moms deliver in between swimming and gymnastics competitions.

Boys
Ajax
Apollo
Ares
Dimitris
Drakon
Jason
Loukas
Orion
Theodotos

Girls
Athena
Adonia
Barbara
Delia
Elissa
Helen
Hera
Iris
Olympia
Penelope
Phoebe

A little information about ancient greek names - Previously in ancient Greece, a person had no last name and was identified with only his first name. But after some decades, use of the geographical place in the name became compulsory. For example, Markos in the Aegean Islands. This rule was specially made for maintaining official records. It has been an age-old tradition among Greeks to name a newborn after his/her grandparents. Many of the ancient Greek names have originated from Greek gods and goddesses and Roman gods. Some names have originated from the Old and New Testament and Christian traditions. Greek names also include names of famous philosophers and heroes.
(information taken from the website buzzle.com)

New Sleep Guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has endorsed the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's (AASM) new guidelines for recommended sleep for children from infants to teens. These guidlelines outline the amount of sleep children need to be at their best health. These guidelines were created from a panel of 13 sleep experts wo reviewed 864 scientific articles relating to sleep duration and the health of those children.

Here are the hours of sleep recommended -
-Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

-Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

-Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

-Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

-Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health

Babies younger than 4 months are not included because there is such a wide range of sleep patterns in newborns, and there is not enough research to offer guidelines for them.

Children with little sleep have been linked to poor memory recall, weight gain, feeling drowsy, injuries, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, depression and many other health problems. 

The National Sleep Foundation has found that over 85% of teens do not get adequate sleep and research also shows that sleep-deprived teens are especially at risk for self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

Dr. Lee Brooks, an attending pulmonologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said, "We should get away from the idea that sleep is for slackers. It's something important to make you function during the day. It's been around for a billion years. It's biologically really important and we need to respect that."

They found when children and teens do get enough sleep they see better behavior, better attention span, learning, memory, emotional regulation, and overall quality of life. 

How to get better sleep -
The AAP suggests that all screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime. They also suggest that TV, computers and other screens not be allowed at all in children's bedrooms.

For infants and young children, establishing a bedtime routine is important to help children get the proper amount of sleep each night. Start with brushing teeth, reading a book together (even infants as young as 6 months can enjoy "reading" a book with parents), and then get into bed around the same time each evening.

Splash Into Summer Giveaway!

bloggersummergiveaway


The first day of Summer is almost here! BBQ's, cold lemonade, watermelon and pool parties! We're ready to celebrate Summer with you! We're giving away two pools and one slip and slide to help you stay cool all Summer long! Read on to find out how to enter!
  • 2 winners will win a Summer Escapes 15' x 36" Quick Set Round Above Ground Swimming Pool with Filter Pump System (Retail Value: $120.00 each)
  • 1 winner will win a Slip & Slide (Retail Value: $25.00)
This Giveaway will run from 6/1 – 6/14 11:59 PM EST. Make sure to complete as many of the entries below as possible for the BEST chance at winning! We also have a bonus entry you can do every single day! (Bonus Entry: Tweeting a message about the Giveaway!) No entries are mandatory.
Enter below and Good Luck! (This giveaway is NOT being sponsored by Summer Escapes)
*Giveaway Disclosure: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older as of date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and all other U.S. territories and wherever prohibited by law. Subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Decisions of the Sponsor are final on all matters pertaining to Sweepstakes. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and decisions of the Sponsor. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or in association with, Facebook, Twitter, Summer Escapes, or any other social media network. Chances of winning vary based on the final number of entrants. Giveaway ends June 14th, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email on June 15th, 2016. Each winner has 48 hours to respond or they may forfeit prize. My Momma Taught Me will be responsible for prize fulfillment. If you have any questions, please contact mymommataughtme@gmail.com.

Baby's Beach Day!

Summer will be here before we know it and it's time to start planning all the gear you'll need for that little swanky baby of yours.  Here is a list of the items you might want to have and I found these fun and baby safe items on Amazon for you to check out. 

The UPF 30+ cabana pops up and folds down easily, protecting baby's skin from 98% of UV rays. It keeps little ones cool, with airflow panels and a ventilated roof. It also has roll-down privacy shades, carry case and zippered mesh front.




Water Socks - $10.95
Not quite a shoe; not quite a sock, but it will protect against hot sand, burning sun, and slick, yucky ocean and lake bottoms. They have non-skid soles and toe caps to offer traction for walkers and crawlers. The UPF 50+ fabric shields the top of the feet from sun burns.
                   


Babiators - $35.31
Babiators sunglasses give kids the sun protection they need with 100% UVA and UVB protection lenses. Their aviator frames are made of 100% rubber, so they’re flexible, you can twist or flatten or bend them, and they’ll still return to their original shape! Their lenses are also impact and shatter-resistant.



Puddle Jumpers - $16.11
This life jacket is made from woven polyester and is designed for children between 30-50 pounds. It is Coast Guard approved and perfect for young child learning to swim




These very comfortable straps will never pull on your child's hair like the rubber straps can. They can be easily attached to most swim goggles or  they sell it with goggles too. They are easy to put on and off and stay put when swimming.




This blanket is easy to fold and compact.  You can unfold the cooler bag, which holds food and drink, and convert it to a compact messenger/cooler bag.  You can carry the blanket or convert it to a backpack.  It is machine washable, durable and has a water-resistant canvas backing.



These sunsuits have UPF50+ sun protection which blocks 98% of all harmful UVA and UVB rays.  .  They are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable.   They also have flat lock stitching to prevent rubbing against skin, which kids really love.  It also has an easy open front zipper with protection flap.



This PABA free sunblock is non-chemical and fragrance-free sunblock stick. It employs a highly micronized, non-whitening titanium dioxide that scatters and reflects dangerous UV rays, offering UVA-UVB broad-spectrum protection. It glides on smoothly for easy application.




This kids' swim vest, which fits ages 2-4, slips easily over swimsuits, and the buckled anchor strap keeps it in place. Allows kids to paddle freely, yet still feel secure. Provides a full 360 degrees of floatation, building water confidence as kids learn to swim. Swim tube inflates by mouth in 2 minutes and the safety strap adjusts for comfort.




Pop-up pool: $53.48
This sturdy vinyl pop-up play place can be used as a pool, ball pit, sandbox, and more. Its protective sunshade will pop up to protect kids from the sun's rays, so it's perfect for play all day. Take it with you and play anyplace-just pop it in the car in its convenient carrying case.



Red Nose Day



If you have been watching NBC or shopping in Walgreen's, you most likely have heard about Red Nose Day. You may even remember it from last year.  According to their website-  It is a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh. Helping children by raising money and having fun? Sounds like a good idea to me!

50% of the grant money will be used to help children and young people in the United States. The other 50% of the grant money will be spent in some of the poorest communities in the world in Asia, Africa & Latin America.   The money will be used to help keep kids safe, educated and keep them healthy.

http://rednoseday.org/

There are many ways you can help raise money in your community. If you are interested please click HERE to see their fundraising ideas.  Don't forget to buy your red nose at Walgreen's too!

Last year we all watched Nick Cannon complete a 24 hour dance-a-thon to help raise money for Red Nose Day. 

Also, Matt Lauer completed his Tour de Red Nose by cycling 226 grueling miles across four states in five days. All to help raise money to help children.



Don't miss the show! Tonight will be a three-hour celebrity filled entertainment show all to raise money for kids in poverty. There will be music by Elton John and Blake Shelton, comedy from Tracy Morgan and appearances by more than 60 other celebrities! It will feature superstar actors, comedians and musicians, original sketch comedy, hilarious parodies and amazing musical performances.  Sounds like a fun show for the whole family and call in to donate too!


If you want to donate to help these children please go to: www.rednoseday.org
 

Earth Day Inspired Baby Names

Today is Earth Day and if you had a baby today or having one soon, you may want to consider these earthly names for your little one.

Girls

1. Sage
2. Clover
3. Olive
4. Flora (the Roman goddess of flowers)
5. Coral
6. Luna
7. Ivy
8. Willow
9. Peony
10. Avani (of Sankskrit origin, meaning "earth")

Boys
1. Storm
2. Pax (Latin for "peace")
3. Hunter
4. Garth (of English origin, means "garden")
5. Condor
6. Stone
7. Cyrus (of Persian origin, means "sun")
8. Ash
9. Basil
10. Forest


This list is from Cafemom.com

Earth Day Themed Books For Kids

Happy Earth Day everyone! 
Every year on April 22nd over 100 different countries celebrate the planet we all live on. Today, we all stop and appreciate nature and learn to protect our environment more.   If you want to learn more ways to help our planet please visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency at epa.gov.  Today it has a special Earth Day welcome page where you can share some tips with your family. 

I wanted to share some Earth Day themed books for kids. 

(Circle the Year With Holidays)
        written by Janet McDonnell and illustrated by Diana Magnuson.




 written by Norman Bridwell




        written by Nancy Luenn and illustrated by Neil Waldman




         written by William H. Hooks and illustrated by Kate Duke




  written by David Morichon





 written by P.K. Hallinan

Earth Day Activities

This Friday, April 22 is Earth Day. Here are some fun activities you can do with your kids to teach them all about going green. Since you probably don't have time to do all these on just one day, you can start tomorrow and make this Earth week!

*Plant some flowers - Pick out some fun colors, some non-toxic gardening soil and get your hands dirty!

*Homemade flowerpot - Use a tin can from a canned food item, paint it for decoration, add soil and flowers!  Good craft for a pen holder too! 

*Check out books from a Library - what a fun way to show how easy going green can be! Be sure to use a recyclable bag to carry them home in!

*Laundry Bottle Pet Food Scoop - Have a grown up cut off the top of a used, but cleaned out laundry detergent bottle.  Add some felt stickers or paint to decorate and start scooping food for Fido!  What a fun way to teach that new pet feeding chore too!  (wink wink!)

*Turn it off! - take your toddler from room to room saying "lights off" while letting them turn it off if they are able. You might even add how it's good for the planet and your pocket book. You can do the same with the appliances and water faucets for the older kids too.


*Earth Day printables - Click HERE for easy coloring pages, word scrambles and puzzles.

Autism Spectrum Awareness Month

The Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The US recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. The last 20 years have witnessed a huge increase in autism numbers.  Please check out the Autism Society's website for more information or visit AutismSpeaks.org to learn more about the disorder.

Did you know that the Empire State Building, Sydney Opera House, the Pyramids in Egypt plus more are all lighting it up in blue in celebration of United Nations World Autism Awareness Day today! To show your blue please click Light It Up Blue.

Not only is Autism Awareness month  important to help educate everyone about Autism, but these wonderful blogs are too. Babble.com has created a list of the top 30 Autism Spectrum blogs and I thought I would share a few of them with you. Please click HERE to see all 30.

Adventures in Asperger's - This blog is about the busy life of Tom Hibben, an EMT, professional photographer, and father of three boys, the oldest of whom has Asperger’s.  Unlike many text-heavy blogs, Hibben’s blog is essentially a yearbook of gorgeous photographs and witty captions.

Adventures In Extreme Parenthood -
Four years ago, Sunday Stilwell was igetting divorced, had a fulltime job and two young sons both on the severe end of the autistic spectrum. She is now remarried, a SAHM, and her husband helps her care for the “Trouble Brothers.” What has remained constant is her sense of humor, her grace under pressure, her love for her kids, and the excellence of her blog.

Autism and Empathy - Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg’s site, which operates as a hub of science-heavy posts featuring well-informed guests — researchers, parents of ASD children, and autistics themselves — seeks to dispel prevailing myths about autism, such as the widely-held belief that autistics lack empathy.

Hope Saves The Day - Hopes Saves the Day is a weekly podcast on the Autism Network. Paul Cimins, who has a son with Autism, is a self-styled Autistic Spectrum Chef, and is a strong proponent of the theory that the effects of autism can be mitigated by a gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet. Not only does he share GFCF recipes, but he is a great interviewer. This is a great podcast for listeners interested in varied autism-related topics.

From Inside The Heart -
Miranda is the 16-year-old daughter of the author D.S. Walker and the inspiration for Walker’s novel Delightfully Different, whose protagonist, Mia, like Miranda, has Asperger’s. But Miranda and Mia are not one and the same. What became of the character in the book, the pat happy ending, Miranda explains, “is what my mother wishes had happened. I find it my duty to tell my story and to give my opinions so that hopefully I can prevent at least one other kid from going through the same things.” Miranda’s frank dispatches suggest that while art may mirror life, the latter is always more complex.

Best Baby Products of 2016

Baby Center asked its readers to vote for the best products for their Moms’ Pick Awards and 95,000 readers voted!  If you are like me, you want to know what products everyone loves, so here are some of the winners...


Best Baby Bathtub


Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Safety Duck Tub 
$23.93






Best Baby Bottle









Best Baby Carrier











Best Baby Monitor









Best Baby Toy











Best Breast Pump

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump 204.99







Best High Chair

Fisher-Price Spacesaver High Chair $49.99










Best Infant Car Seat











Best Play Yard








Best Swing or Bouncer









There are many other winners and you can check them all out HERE.  Happy shopping!







Spring Inspired Baby Names

Spring is a wonderful time of year, especially if you are about to have a baby. If you are looking for a baby name that captures the season, be sure to check out these spring inspired names from babycenter.com. 

Girl Names
April
Blossom
Chrysalis
Clover
Daisy
Dewi/Dewy
Easter
Flora
Honey
Lily
March
May
Nectaria
Pastelle
Petal
Robin
Spring
Sunny
Tulip
Windy

Boy Names
Branch
Bud
Chrisilis
Cloud
Dewey
Greene
Leaf/Leif
Nectarios
River
Springer

Unisex Names
Bird/Byrd/Birdy/Birdie
Breeze/Breezy
Brooke/Brook
Dew
Rainn

Any other names you would add to the list?  Happy Spring everyone!

Date Night Conversation {Just for Parents}

You have a great Valentine's date night planned with your significant other, but you want to talk about something other than the kids, money, work, stress.....  

If you are ready to change up your conversation, then check out this "Date Night Cheat Sheet" from Parents Magazine.  I saw this and put the questions right to work on my husband.  I actually learned something new!  Hopefully these questions or your version of them will give you a fun night out.  I'm not going to list all the questions, but be sure to check out the magazine if you want to see them all.  Enjoy asking!

Over drinks and appetizers
*Name 3 countries you'd like to visit.
*How would you spend 10 million dollars?
*If you could try out any occupations for a year, what would it be?

Over the entree
*How would you spend a perfect day alone?
*If you could rewind to any point in your past, what would you want to relive?
*If you could take lessons to become an expert at anything, what would it be?

Over dessert
*Hollywood called. They want to make a movie about your life. Who would play you?
*What's the one item you own that you know you should get rid of but never will?
*What's something positive about me that you don't say often enough?

Children Books About Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This Monday we celebrate and honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Here are a few books for your kids that may help them understand the important role he played in the civil rights movement.



                                         Age Range: 4 - 8 years   Grade Level: Preschool - 3





Age Range: 2 and up




Age Range: 5 and up




Age Range: 4-10




        I Have a Dream (Book & CD)      
                   Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12       
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