Archives for November 2011

Don’t Throw that Out…Play with it Instead!

We know that children learn best through play. Research shows that play is critical for all children, even infants. Through play, children explore their world, test their skills and their bodies, and try out new ideas and different activities. Children need lots of time to play, and they benefit from having loving adults involved with them when they play.

Purdue University Extension specialists have created Play Kits, utilizing everyday household materials, to provide hands-on activities for parents or child care providers to use with children. Each Play Kit is posted in PDF form in both English and Spanish. There are a variety of ideas recommended for children age 0 to age 5. Some of the ideas include:

*home-made musical instruments

*home-made masks

*home-made books

*home-made puppets

*home-made shakers

Playing with your child is a wonderful way to show love and spend quality time with your little one. Additionally, the benefits of play to your child’s  growth and development is proven to be monumental. So instead of throwing out those old socks, egg cartons, and toilet paper rolls, use them to enhance your child’s play time. Don’t forget to be creative and have fun!


Gratitude for the Holidays

Around this time of year I am always reminded of how much I have to be thankful for. This is particularly important this year after so many catastrophic world events have touched the lives of others in both good and bad ways.

The holiday season is a wonderful time to teach our children about gratitude and thankfulness. What does it mean to be thankful? How do we express thankfulness? For more ideas on how to identify and express thankfulness check out the Parenting Tip of the Week brought to you by Parenting Press titled “Fall Seasonal Fun”.

Enjoy your holiday and don’t forget to tell your little one(s) how thankful you are that they are in your life.




Little Chefs

Thanksgiving is almost here!

Are you planning a delicious Thanksgiving feast for your family? Are your children at home for this cozy holiday? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then why not get your little ones involved in the cooking?

Cooking with children and family is a wonderful way to pass down family recipes and traditions and have quality bonding experiences. There are endless ways to get children involved in the planning and cooking process for the holidays.

*Have family members list their favorite Thanksgiving dish

*Have the kids help create a shopping list for each dish that will be prepared

*Older children can help prepare the dishes (with adult supervision) by: reading a recipe, chopping, peeling, measuring, and various stove top duties such as sauteing and stir frying.

*Younger children can help prepare dishes by: scooping, mixing, kneading dough, pouring, washing veggies, and spreading.

But what about baby? Cooking in the kitchen with baby can be very challenging. For tips on how to cook in the kitchen with baby in tow check out the Parenting Tip of the Week brought to you by Parenting Press titled “Working in the Kitchen with Baby Underfoot”

“Copyright Parenting Press,, reprinted by permission”

Enjoy the time with your children and family this holiday and have a great Thanksgiving meal!



Family Matters Fall 2011

Check out the latest quarterly issue of Family Matters, the parenting newsletter brought to you by LBCC Family Connections.

The Fall issue includes articles on:

*meeting with your child’s teacher

*getting your kids to eat veggies

*tips for keeping your work area neat

*living a well-balanced life full of a variety of skills


Help improve parenting resources online and register for a chance to win $100!

Are you a parent? Do you use the Internet?

If you haven’t completed the Parenting 2.0 survey and entered the drawing for your chance to win a $100 gift card, there’s still time!

The Parenting 2.0 research project, sponsored by the University of Minnesota, is looking for parents who use the Internet to participate in an online research study. The study involves filling out a 20-minute online survey about how and why you use the Internet.

The purpose of the Parenting 2.0 research project is to learn more about the ways that and the reasons why parents use technology. Results from this study will be used to help develop parent education resources.

If you decide take part in this study, you will be asked to complete an online survey available at: To be able to take part in this study, you must be over 18, and be a parent or primary caregiver.  Participants will have the online casino option of being entered into a casino cdrawing to win 1 of 10 $100 gift cards.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions about the study, please visit our website at or contact Dr. Jodi Dworkin at or Dr. Susan Walker at


Let’s Eat!!! Fun Mealtime Ideas to Inspire the Kids in all of Us

Are you tired of the same mealtime ideas? Are you looking for something new, healthy, and kid friendly to serve your family for dinner? Are you interested in quick and easy dinner ideas for hectic weekday evenings?

As we progress through the year we sometimes find ourselves looking for new, interesting, and nutritious items to serve our families. Well, look no further because OSU Extension Services has a wonderful list of kid-friendly mealtime ideas on their website. Some of the items include: Chicken Black Bean Salsa Burritos, Easy Skillet Chili, Oven French Toast, Sunshine Roll-Ups and my personal favorite during these rainy months, Skillet Corn Chowder. Each recipe is in English and Spanish and includes nutrition facts, tips, and fun modifications called “Bright Ideas”.

Check out the recipes and be prepared to salivate. If you try one, please let me know what you and your family think. And don’t forget to get the kids involved in grocery shopping,  meal planning, and meal preparation. Children truly enjoy the cooking experience and more importantly, they enjoy the time spent with you in the kitchen.

Bon Appetit!!