Friday, January 31, 2014

A Few Fun Free Things For Kids To Do In Atlanta


Legoland Atlanta

LEGO® 4D Cinema

I took my son here when he was two, and it was very age appropriate. Looking at the website, it has more attractions than it did then. It is targeted to the younger audience (ages 1-4). Anything older, depending on the child, they may not be as entertained. Legoland Atlanta is inside of a mall, so it is not a huge discovery center, but for the price, and location I think it is worth the drive.

Glow Galaxy

Image

Due to a lack of open play days, and difficulty contacting management I have not had the privilege of going to this place. I do have friends who have gone, and read the reviews. It seems like a great place to take the kids, so I am unsure why they are not open more for open play dates.

Stone Mountain

 I have been here twice. Once when I was in high school, and again when my son was 3. Honestly I am not a big fan of Stone Mountain Park. It is ok, but not something I would get excited about going to more than once. 
Fernbank Science Center

Healthy Eating

 The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or obese.Many kids are spending less time exercising and more time in front of the TV, computer, or video-game console. And today's busy families have fewer free moments to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals. From fast food to electronics, quick and easy is the reality for many people. Source: About Childhood Obesity & Childhood Health

Is your child eating the right foods? Grocery prices are increasing, and the healthier foods tend to cost the most. This I believe is to blame for not only childhood obesity, but for unhealthy eating habits. What we feed our children now, sets the tone for their future eating habits, and health now and in the future.
Here are some pictures, and links of easy healthy snacks for your growing little one.






Children over four need to eata variety of nutritious foods, in the right proportions. They should choose foods from each of the five food groups every day. The amount of food children need depends on their body size and how active they are. Drink plenty of water. The cheapest, healthiest and most thirst-quenching drink is plain water. Kids need to drink more fluid on hot or humid days, if they sweat or are physically active. Avoid sugary soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks and flavoured milk. Fruit: 1 serve = 1 medium piece such as an apple; or 2 small pieces such as 2 plums;or 1 cup chopped fruit.
Vegetables: 1 serve = 1 medium piece such as a potato; or ½ cup cooked vegetables; or 1 cup salad vegetables.
Cereal and grains: 1 serve = 2 slices bread; or 1 cup cooked rice/pasta/noodles; or1 cup porridge; or 1 cups breakfast cereal or ½ cup muesli.
Dairy: 1 serve = 250 ml milk (or calcium-fortified soy milk); or 2 slices cheese; or 200 gm yoghurt; or 250 ml custard. 
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes: 1 serve = 65-100 gm cooked meat/chicken (½ cup lean mince/2 small chops/2 slices roast meat); or 2 small eggs; or 80-120 gm cooked fish fillet; or ½ cup cooked lentils/chickpeas/canned beans; or cup peanuts/almonds; or ¼ cup sunflower/sesame seeds.
‘Sometimes’ foods: 1 serve = 1 doughnut; or 4 sweet biscuits; or 1 slice of cake; or ½ small chocolate bar; or 2 tablespoons mayonnaise; or 1 tablespoon butter/margarine/oil. Source:Food Portions

Free Sample Websites Discounts and Coupons

I absolutely LOVE free samples. I am one of those people who will sign up for a free sample, that I don’t need, and can’t use just because it is free.(Don’t worry I do not waste those I don’t need, I give them to those who can use them J). So if you love getting free samples (and even coupons) here are some sites that I personally love to get them from. 

P&G is a really good one, I have had some trouble with getting my coupon booklets from them, but I do get my samples.

Freeflys which is my absolute favorite!!! It is updated daily with freesamples.

Walmart yes wal mart does offer free samples, and coupons, the free samples are better than the coupons in my opinion.

Coupons this is a great site for coupons if you don't have access to a newspaper that has coupons.

Retail Me Not this is my favorite app on my mobile device, almost all clothing retailers accept the coupons, and discounts offereded on this app. It is free to download. 

Some other free sample sites that I haven't personally, but they are out there for you to try,

Sign Up and Earn



In this day and age almost everyone has access to the internet and use it on a regular if not a daily basis? From browsing the web, online shopping, social media, etc. What if I told you there were ways to make money and be rewarded by doing some of those thing you love? Sounds to good to be true , right? Well it isn’t!! There are actual websites out there that reward you for doing the things you love, like surfing the web, to watching videos, playing games. With these sites you can make some extra cash, and earn rewards. These ARE NOT a form of supplemental income, but they can add some income, and other things into your household with the click of a mouse.

My favorite site of this nature is www.swagbucks.com
Swag Bucks works off a point system. You earn points (which is very easy to do), you trade the points in for various items, such as magazine subscriptions, gift cards to leading retailers like lowes,walmartgap, restaurants such as papa johns,www.redlobster.com, gas station gift cards, electronics,baby items, the list is endless. The great thing about swagbucks is that it is free to join and user friendly.

Another site similiar to swag bucks is www.inboxdollars.com. I am slightly familiar with Inbox Dollars. I tried it out for a few months, but I personally did not care to much for it. It is a little less user friendly , and the graphics are very plain. The great part about inbox dollars is that you actually earn dollars. With Swagbucks you earn points, and can cash them in for paypal money which can be routed to your bank account. With inbox dollars you actually earn money, once you reach 30.00 they will mail you a check in the mail. Inboc dollars is also free to join. 

Recently Bing - http://www.bing.com/explore/rewardshas joined in this type of reward site. I don't know much about it just yet but I am eager to find out. Considering that bing is a household name, and has worked hard to become that I do trust that it is trusted and won't let me down. If you are interested in trying bing out let me know you experineces with with.



Conquering the Potty

One of the biggest challenges as a parent of a toddler is the big “PT” POTTY TRAINING!!! But have no fear Potty Training 101 is here. I have trained numerous toddlers aging from 1 to 3 in an average of 4 months or less with this technique. I will provide in detail your road to a conquering potty training.
First there are a few things that you will need in order to successfully accomplish this with your toddler.
1. PATIENCE! Lots of patience. My son was 1 when I began potty training him, 1 year and 1 day old to be exact so this took extreme patience. But I was able to have it done, successfully before he was 1 ½.When I began this technique I was a teacher, at a preschool/daycare. A lot of the toddlers there were between the ages of 2 and 3 and no one had even began to work on potty training with them. So patience was imperative along with consistency. Which leads to the number 2 thing that you will need.
2. CONSISTENCY! Consistency is the key, in accomplishing anything with a toddler, so potty training is no different in potty training. Actually it is pretty hard to successfully train your child in a short time frame without it.
3.Pull ups, 1 pack of plastic underwear cover , toddler underwear, a training pot for home, training seat for on the go (it is compact and good for potty training on the go), and some sort of treat (something your child really loves, but doesn’t get a lot of.) I used fruit snacks, and a potty seat on the go.
Week 1-3 Introducing the Potty
When your toddler awakes in the morning ,  from nap time , and before bed at night take he/she to the bathroom and sit them on their potty.   It will take some time for them to get the hang of why they are sitting there. You don’t want them to sit for to long, I suggest you try reading a short storybook to them while they sit.
 If you have a son let him go to the bathroom with dad and watch what he does, if a girl let her go with mom. I have a son, and due to his fathers work schedule I decided to let my son watch me so he would understand why he was sitting there. At the time my son was only 1, so watching me was easier than just explaining it. As he set on the potty I would sing a chant to him, that he just loved “PeePee in the Potty PeePee in the Potty.
Of course while at the preschool I could not use the bathroom in front of them of course. Luckily these toddlers where all two or three, so explaining it to them, and seeing the other kids who did use the potty get rewarded was incentive enough to encourage them. I said all that to say you will have to experiment with your child, to figure out what influences them to go. Some are easier than others each child is different. From my personal experience I have realized that any time after a child wakes up, they usually have to go to the bathroom, so if you put them on the potty as soon as they awake they will go and get the hang of why the potty is there.  In the beginning praise and reward your child each time they use the potty. I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me it is very rare (depending on age, and other things) that they will go each time you take them during these 2 weeks. This is only the beginning moms so don’t get frustrated.  I suggest during the first 2 weeks you keep the diapers on.

Week 4-6
By week 4 my son was use to the “PeePee in the Potty” chant so I would say “PeePee in the” and he would say “Potty” .I like to think of it as self motivation, him being involved in the chant. Again he was only 1 at this time ,so this chant may not be as fun to an older toddler. Also keep the treats coming.

This week will vary depending on the type of parent you are. By this I mean are you a working parent or stay at home parent. For week 4-6 we will be building off of week 1-3. For my stay at home moms these weeks will be easier for you guys, but don’t worry my working mothers there is an alternative plan for you guys this week just hold tight.
Stay at home moms, this week we will start taking our toddlers to the potty once EVERY HOUR.  YES, EVERY HOUR MOMS!!!! I know it seems like a lot, and  I know your days can be busy, filled with other things . As long as you can stick as close to the hour as possible along with doing what was discussed in week 1-3 you will see progress. DURING THIS TIME IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT SET UNREALISTIC STANDARDS FOR YOUR CHILD!!! Again each child is different and each child works at their own pace, we are still in the beginning. Your toddler is still getting a feel for potty training and so are you. If your toddler is progressing rapidly with the training, feel free to move ahead).
The importance of taking your child every hour is to get them use to going. Most toddlers are not use to telling you they have to go, so they won’t. Especially when it comes to “pooping in the potty”. So taking them every hour will assist them in getting use to going regularly, this also falls under consistency. If you are consistent, and take them on regular they will become use to going to the potty and start to go on their own. They may not start to go on there on tomorrow or next week, but this will get the ball rolling J.
For my working mothers I do suggest that you practice the 1 hour potty breaks whenever possible for you. If your child is in daycare, have a talk with your child’s teacher they will be glad to help you with doing this. It is a lot easier to send a child to the restroom, versus changing a diaper.  Once you start working with your child at home, and the daycare works with them (along with seeing other kids go which is a huge advantage) you will start to see progress. If your child does not attend day care, but has a sitter have a conversation with them about it. I will say it is NOT as easy to get others to help you with this especially grandparents. Unfortunately I have no solution for this during these weeks. L

GOING TO THE POTTY EVERY HOUR MAY SEEM LIKE A BIT MUCH, BUT TRUST ME IT IS NOT!!! YOUR TODDLER IS STILL GETTING THE HANG OF POTTY TRAINING. A LOT OF TODDLERS WILL GET SO WRAPPED UP IN PLAYING, OR DOING OTHER THINGS THAT THEY WON’T WANT TO STOP AND GO TO THE POTTY. BY DOING THE 1 HOUR METHOD YOUR ARE HELPING TO GET THEIR LITTLE BUSY BRAINS USE TO THE IDEA OF GOING. A LOT OF KIDS DO THE “CORNER SQUAT”, WHERE THEY SECLUDE THEMSELVES AND GO, DOING THE 1 HOUR METHOD WILL HELP TO AVOID THIS.

At week 5 introduce the pull ups. Now I admit I AM NOT A FAN OF PULL UPS, but I do think they are useful during the transitional stage from diaper to big kid underwear. At week 5 introduce the pull up for going out in public. ANYWEHRE! Rather it is to the daycare, grocery store, grandmother’s house, etc. When out and about I suggest as soon as you reach your destination and before you leave go straight to the bathroom .This is where the portable potty seat comes in handy. Not only for sanitary reasons, but your little love will fall into the big toilets. I honestly did not do this phase long with the pull ups maybe 2 weeks they were way to expensive, I went to underwear quick. Which encouraged him and I to make sure we made frequent trips to the bathroom.
Week 7-11
A LOT OF TODDLERS MAKE FREQUENT TRIPS TO THE RESTROOM ESPECIALLY IN PUBLIC. YOU WILL NOTICE MAJORITY OF THE TIME THEY DON’T EVEN USE IT. THAT IS OK, LET THEM DO IT.
These weeks will be the challenge weeks. Continue to practice what was discussed in previous weeks. By now your child will probably be telling you, in some form when they have to use the bathroom. Some children will place there hand in the area where they need to excrete waste from. Others will tell you verbally. If your child has not begun to let you know when they have to go that is also ok. Again every child is different, although I do suggest that you do not proceed to these weeks until your child is ready. There is no rush, nor pressure.  In these weeks we will cut down on the treats. We still want to praise them, but the treats should be given spontaneously. Your child will not know when they will be rewarded, so this often times encourages them.
At week 7 began getting up throughout the night ,every couple of hours depending on your toddlers urine flow.  If you are unsure of what that is, a good rule of thumb is if your child goes to bed at 8 take them to the bathroom at 12, 4, and 8. I know the thought of interrupted sleep .. UGH!!! This will help your child get use to the idea of going throughout the night.
On week 9 we introduce pull ups at bed time, and underwear. I suggest putting the plastic underwear on over the pull ups at night in case you, or whoever is with your child is unable to get up. Do not get nervous about the underwear. As long as you take your toddler to the potty before you leave home, as soon as you reach your destination, and practice the hour method accident chances are little. BUT THEY WILL HAPPEN SO KEEP SPARE CLOTHES. DO NOT LET THEMFEAR OF ACCIDENTS SCARE YOU AWAY FROM POTTY TRAINING? Most toddlers dislike the way wet clothes feel on them, so this will encourage them to let you know when they have to go. This is also a good encouragement for care givers of your toddler who do not help you with the consistency of potty training. They usually do not want to clean the mess , so if you only send under wear it will influence them to be a bit more helpful in the potty training process.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE DO NOT USE THE PULL UPS AS AN EXCUSE TO NOT CONTINUE WHAT WAS DISCUSSED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS.  CONSISTENCY IS KEY.

Week 12-16
Has your little one started to impress you yet? I am sure they have!!! Week 12 and 13 continue to do everything that has been discussed in previous weeks. Pay extra close attention to your toddler. Is there room for improvement? Is your toddler ready for the final steps in big kid underwear?  If so then here we go. The treats are no longer necessary at this point. Your toddler should have become use to the idea of going to the potty. Praise is still good; all kids like to make their parents proud, and like to be recognized for doing so. Say BYE BYE to those pull ups (Keep a couple on standby just in case your toddler relapses this happens for different reasons. It is common any time a change occurs; they tend to revert in training). The plastic underwear come in handy at night time. It is still important to take your toddler to the potty/restroom regularly, but every hour should not be necessary. If your child has not gotten to a point where you or them is comfortable with this phase, then do not rush it. Take your time . There are no rules or law that says it should take a certain amount of time it could take more, and often times take less than I have illustrated. Some toddlers take longer than others, because they just are not ready. That does not mean you should not work with them. It just means you should express extreme patience with them.

Potty Training - Target Aim Decals - Fun Potty Training at LAST - set of 3 on Etsy, $2.00

GOOD LUCK MOMS!! COMMENTS QUESTION SUGGESTIONS ??