Find Me On

Delightful kids' crafts delivered right to your door.  <Shop Kiwi Crate!>
Pledge Your Social Media Influence for Good at Bloganthropy S
Pa Murals

Snacking on the go with Platex Twist ‘n Click: Giveaway!


Every mom of little kids I know has a snack in her bag for her little ones.  I know I usually carry several!  When my son was little it was always cheerios or goldfish, as I frequently found them in the bottom of my diaper bag or on the floor of the car/in the car seat! I’ve had my share of snack cups and have some I like, some that just didn’t work, despite best intentions.  Recently I had the chance to try out the Platex Twist ‘n Click Snacker and the Platex Twist ‘n Click bowl set to see if they could stand up to my kiddo.

The Platex Twist ‘n Click Snacker is a 9 ounce clear colored plastic cup with a contrasting colored solid plastic lid that clicks shut on the top.  Remove the lid by sliding it off and flipping it and snapping it to the bottom of the cup and find a soft plastic star shaped opening that lets little hands reach in while keeping snacks inside and spill resistant.  This snack cup is fairly sturdy: I threw it across the room twice (empty) to see how it held up.  The lid stayed attached to the handle and the top of the snack cup did not open.  My son tested it out and said that the soft opening was easy to use and did not hurt his hand.  I love that the plastic cup is dishwasher safe and BPA free.  It is recommended for ages 12 months plus.

Platex Twist 'n Click Snacker

The Platex Twist ‘n Click Bowl also holds 9 ounces and is made of the same BPA free plastic.  The colored clear bowl has a solid colored lid that is leak proof and easily locked on.  After lining up the small arrows on the rim of the lid and bowl, twist the lid shut and hear the click to know that the contents of the bowl are secure and the seal is tight.  This container is dishwasher and microwave safe, and it stacks easily for storage.  What I like about this bowl and lid is that it is the perfect size for storing leftovers.  I can toss this in my bag for when we go out to eat in restaurants and bring the leftovers of my son’s meal home with us without wasting one of those Styrofoam take-out containers.  This Twist ‘n Click bowl fits into our attempts at being more environmentally green by being less wasteful.  To test this bowl to be sure it was leak proof, I partially filled one bowl with some water, sealed the lid and tossed it around the kitchen.  It did not leak!  It did take me a bit of time to figure out how to properly seal the lid, as there were no instructions on the package about lining up the arrows.  I also have some difficulty with my hands’ strength, as I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, one fixed with surgery.  After some practice, I was able to manipulate the lids on the bowls and get them to properly seal.  I suggest trying out the lids before filling the bowls, just to be sure and prevent possible leaks if the lid isn’t sealed correctly.

Platex Twist 'n Click Bowls

Both the Twist ‘n Click bowl and snacker come in different colors.  I sort of have a pet peeve with storage containers being sexed by color (pink for girls, blue for boys) but that certainly does not affect the effectiveness of the product!  I guess the good thing about having colored storage containers makes it easy to tell in the refrigerator which containers are for the kids versus the adults.  A cool feature of both the bowls and the snacker cup is that there is a space on the bottom of each to write a child’s name in marker.  This is a great feature when you have several kids and the same colored container or for sending to day care or school.

I’ve used Platex sippy cups for several years and know that the company makes a good product.  Adding these storage solutions to their line of products is helpful to parents!  Both of these products are available from Babies R Us.

Giveaway!

Want a chance to try out both of these storage and snacking solutions for yourself and your child?  Enter our giveaway here to win both the Twist ‘n Click Snacker and Bowl products from Platex.  Leave a comment on this blog post and  share your kids’ favorite snack if you’d like.  For a second entry, tweet about this giveaway and comment leaving your twitter handle.  An example tweet could be I entered to #win a set of Platex Twist ‘n Click bowls and snack cup from @MamasLtlHelper! http://ht.ly/77AzG #giveaway #kids

Important! One winner will be selected from all of the comments using Random.org.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond to an email from Mama’s Little Helper or the prize will be forfeited.  This giveaway ends on Tuesday November 8. 2011 at 10:00 pm EST.  Good luck and happy snacking!

 

Disclosure:  I received one set of bowls and a snack cup for the purpose of this review and giveaway.  The opinions expressed are mine.  No financial compensation was received.  Platex is providing and distributing the prize.

Question of the week: Kids and Chores


Mama’s question of the week is all about kids doing chores!

For this question of the  week, Mama is wondering about kids and chores, specifically, at what age is appropriate for assigning kids chores and what types of chores?  When did you start asking your kids to help out around the house?  Was it a formal agreement with a chore chart, or was it more casual?  Did you give rewards, such as an allowance, for completion of chores?

I found a great chore chart online that gives suggested chores for different ages of kids.  For example, it said:

2-4 year olds

help dust

put napkins on table

help put away toys

put laundry in hamper

help feed pet

4-7 year olds – “Help” is the important word at this age. Many of the chores will be done as a helper and slowly kids can graduate to doing them independently!

set the table or help set the table

put away toys/things

help feed pets

water plants

help make bed

dust

put laundry in hamper

help put dishes in dishwasher

water the garden

help wipe up messes

help with yard work (rake with child’s rake or plant flowers, etc.)

help clear table

help put away groceries

At what age should a chore chart be used?

I have a dear friend who is the parent of a 15 year old son.  She told me that when he turned three years old, she started to assign him one new chore, every year on his birthday.  So when he turned three, his chore was to fold the washcloths in the laundry every week.  This graduated to trash duty, laundry duty, pet care, kitchen clean up, and on.  We often joke about what his next birthday chore will be!

Another mom I know has her two girls, ages four and two years, clear their dishes from the table after every meal.  All they have to do is walk their plates and utensils over to the kitchen counter near the sink.  Even the two year old does this well!

My son is three, almost four years old.  He helps with matching socks in the laundry, putting his dirty clothes in the hamper, picking up his toys, dusting and sweeping the kitchen floor.  He isn’t consistent at any of these, but he is excited to help, so for now it works out well.  I personally think he is too young for a chore chart, as we haven’t had a problem yet with him helping, most of the time.  Over the next six months or so I plan to add helping clear his dishes from the table and setting the table to his responsibilities, as he is finally tall enough to comfortably reach the table and counter without using a step stool.

I personally think it is important to assign chores to kids, as not only does it teach responsibility, but it helps them feel like they belong to the family and are competent to help out.  Starting young helps instill the importance of helping out at home.  As children age, they may naturally begin to refuse to do their chores, but if it is something they have always been expected to do, there may be less of a battle.  Suddenly assigning chores to a ten year old who never had to do them will certainly result in defiance or refusal!  My theory is that responsibilities need to develop and increase over time and be consistent.  At least that’s what I think now!

So what do you think about kids and chores?  Do your kids have chores?  Do you have any tips for getting them to complete their assigned chores?  Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section!

Mama Diane blogs about her adventures in parenting, cooking, and crafting at Knitting Zeal.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Mother’s Song
a Traditional Lullaby

by the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould


My heart is like a fountain true
That flows and flows with love to you.
As chirps the lark unto the tree
So chirps my pretty babe to me.

There’s not a rose where’er I seek,
As comely as my baby’s cheek.
There’s not a comb of honey-bee,
So full of sweets as babe to me.

There’s not a star that shines on high,
Is brighter than my baby’s eye.
There’s not a boat upon the sea,
Can dance as baby does to me.

No silk was ever spun so fine
As is the hair of baby mine.
My baby smells more sweet to me
Than smells in spring the elder tree.

A little fish swims in the well,
So in my heart does baby dwell.
A little flower blows on the tree,
My baby is the flower to me.

The Queen has sceptre, crown and ball,
You are my sceptre, crown and all.
For all her robes of royal silk,
More fair your skin, as white as milk.

Ten thousand parks where deer do run,
Ten thousand roses in the sun,
Ten thousand pearls beneath the sea,
My babe more precious is to me.

 

This is the Mother’s Song read by Jennifer Gardner on Disney Junior.  It’s a sweet little poem/lullaby. I found the author’s name, which is listed above, on an Amazon.com page, so I’m not positive it’s correct. Thought it might be nice to share with all the mother’s out there, and women who are “like a mother” to someone special.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mama’s Question of the Week: How would you like to spend Mother’s Day?


With Mother’s Day in just a couple of weeks (May 8, 2011 in case you were wondering,) there are many ways for your little ones to do something nice for their favorite mom.  With two weeks to plan, mom’s can start dropping some hints with how they would like to celebrate their special day.  How would you like to spend Mother’s Day this year?  Or, how was your favorite Mother’s Day spent?

Here are a few ideas to pass along to the kids and other helper adults as hints for celebrating Mother’s Day without spending money:

  1. Breakfast in bed is not overrated!  Kids can make a simple breakfast of some fruit and toast or muffin without much help.  Or a helpful adult can aid kids with preparing something more elaborate.
  2. A homemade card or drawing for mom is very much appreciated!  Older kids can help younger kids with their artwork and spelling.
  3. Make a collage for mom.  Cut out pictures and words she likes from magazines or print photos to use to create a memorable keepsake.
  4. Clean and tidy up the toys!  Even little kids can help with this.
  5. Invite mom to go on a walk or hike at a local park, or even around the neighborhood.  Exploring the world at a slower pace can be a nice change and gives you time for an uninterrupted conversation.
  6. Record mom’s favorite movie or show on the DVR and leave her alone in quiet to watch with her favorite snack!
  7. Wash the outside and clean up the inside of mom’s car, throwing out the trash and broken crayons/toy parts.  Leave a little happy love note on the front seat for mom.
  8. Make up a coupon booklet for mom.  Include coupons for a “Day of no arguments,”  ”Clean up the toys/bedrooms,” and “No whining day!”
  9. Plan a picnic or snack to enjoy outside with mom…in the backyard, at a local park, or local garden.
  10. Put on a little play or show for mom.  Act out a favorite storybook that can include all the kids in the family.  Clean up afterwards!

 

 

Featured Mama of the Week: Tina from Life Without Pink


This week’s featured mom of the week on Mama’s Little Helper is Tina, the author behind the blog Life Without Pink, “a mom trying to survive in a testosterone filled world.”  She is also the co-founder of Girls Lunch Out, a social networking group for women.  She is the mom to two boys, ages 5 and 2 1/2 years….hence the testosterone filled life!  Her boys keep her busy with their many adventures, including their love of playing outside, flying like super heroes and playing games.  Seeing her boys grow, learn, and try out new things, along with viewing the world from their eyes, are some of the things she loves about being a parent.  Like so many moms, Tina finds it challenging to balancing work and family.  She stated that she has accepted that she can’t do it all and focuses on taking one day at a time.  She said, “My boys are demanding little guys so at times it can become hard and frustrating. That’s when I take a deep breathe and try to refocus. Being a parent is the hardest job I have ever done, but one I would never trade for the world.”

Tina is currently a WAHM (work at home mom.)  Prior to parenthood, she worked as a Marketing Manager for an International Chemical Company.  She worked part time after her first son was born but decided shortly after the birth of her second son that she wanted to stay home with her boys.  To keep busy and meet other moms in her community she started a local events company.  There she arranged luncheons, toddler events and workshops for parents in her area.  From there, she discovered blogging.  What was originally a hobby has lead into a full-time job working from home.   Tina used social media as a way to find employment too.  She mentioned that she landed two of her jobs through Twitter.  She said, “It is a great way to connect with brands and develop a relationship with them. One of the companies I am currently working with now, followed my blog and made a few comments to me that they were laughing at some of my stories. We tweeted often and next thing I knew I started working with them!”  Tina also maintains Facebook pages for her blogs, where you can connect with her at Life Without Pink and Girls Lunch Out.  As mentioned she is on Twitter, where she uses the handles  @lifewithoutpink and @girlslunchout.

Working at home with two kids keeps Tina’s family busy.  She shared a family favorite crock-pot meal with Mama’s Little Helper readers that couldn’t be any easier!  To have fun with her family, Tina shared that they enjoy having picnics at the park, where her boys love to play.  “Its a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the nice weather in the spring/summer!”  The family also loves having movie night.  They share HUGE bowls of popcorn, move the furniture out of the way so they spread out a big blanket in the middle of the floor to sit on.  The boys get to choose the movie for the evening.  Tina hopes this is a family tradition that they will always remember.  Without her kids, Tina likes to relax by watching reality TV.  She stated, “I love watching reality TV, I am seriously a reality TV junkie! I also just started working out again {after a LONG break} and it makes me feel good about myself. I feel energized!”

Tina talked about the values that she wants to teach her boys, including growing up to be strong, confident and kind men.  To do this, she and her husband let the boys make their own choices from provided options.  This helps them develop self-confidence.  Tina finds herself working with her boys to develop patience, a hard task for two young boys!  This is an ongoing lesson for the boys, who like most boys, are patient some times, and other times, not so much.  Tina remarked that she “used to jump up and get what they wanted as soon as they asked but quickly realized this wasn’t teaching them to be patient. Now if I am busy I tell them to give me a minute and I will help them.”

When asked about what tip she would give new parents, Tina said, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! When I had my first son I thought I could do it all. I never took people up on their offer to help me but the second time around I wised up. Its ok to ask for help, its not easy especially being a new parent. People are offering to help because they love and care about you, so take advantage of it when you can.”  That is wise advice!

Thank you Tina for sharing yourself, your parenting methods and recipe with Mama’s Little Helper!

Tina from Life Without Pink and Girls Lunch Out

Know a mom you’d like to see featured here?  Please send an email with your suggestions to Diane@mamaslittlehelper.org.

 

Baby and Toddler Expo, Mama will be there!


Baby & Toddler Expo 2011

The 16th annual Baby &  Toddler Expo is set to take place on April 16 & 17, 2011 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.  This year’s event offers a multitude of exhibitors, including Mama’s Little Helper!  The Expo will give parents and kids the chance to learn about new products and services, try out samples, as well as provide some fun entertainment.  There will be an all day inflatable Play Park both days of the expo for the kids to play.   A magician will provide great entertainment as well.  While the kids are entertained, moms, dads, and grandparents can learn about a variety of products, services, and attraction ideas from the region.  Besides Mama’s Little Helper being there, some other local mom businesses will be there as well, including Baby Pop’s kids superhero capes and 3 Little Giggles‘ adorable girls’ hair accessories.   The Expo will even hold a Diaper Derby for the little ones!

 

The Safe Kids Coalition of Southeastern PA will  hold car seat safety checks at the Baby & Toddler Expo.  The La Leche League of Eastern PA will man a nursing and change station, with diapers provided by Wegmans!

Tickets to the expo are available for purchase a head of time online.  The family four pack for $10 allows entry for two adults and two children, a savings of $10!  Regular admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 3-12 years.  Children under age 2 are free.  There will be plenty of free parking available at the Expo Center.

The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center is located at 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA 19456.  Check their website for the most recently updated information.

 

Access ABILITY exhibit at the Please Touch Museum


Today while exploring the Please Touch Museum, my son and I had the chance to explore the newest visiting exhibit, Access Ability, exploring the ability in disability.  This exhibit will be at the museum until April 24, 2011 and is included with your admission to the museum.  My son at age three was a bit young to completely interact with and understand all of this exhibit, but I was able to relate some of the things we saw there to our life.  I have two dear friends who are disabled and rely on their wheelchairs to get around 99% of the time.  My son is familiar with power wheelchairs because of them, so he was curious about the one on display.  Kids can try out a wheelchair and maneuver through an obstacle course to get a feel for what it is like to use one.

There was a hand pedaled bike that kids (and adults) can try out.  When pedaled, the video display in front of the bike moves based on the speed that is pedaled so that it looks like you are traveling a bike path.  My son got a kick out of it, although he thought going “backwards” was really funny! The display explained that the bike was for people who are unable to use their legs to pedal, so that they too can ride a bike.  I wasn’t able to capture a photo of it, but it was a great hands on experience for even my three year old to understand.

Another display explored how inventions to adapt everyday things to make them more  useful for disabled people.  There were a series of mini doors with different knobs/handles on them.  The traditional round knob can be very difficult to impossible for someone who has trouble using their hands, or with a prosthetic.  Door handles that are levers are much easier to use.  There was an example of a lever door knob and a round door know with lever attached to it to show how to alter an already existing door knob.  This was easy for my son to understand, as little hands also have trouble opening door knobs, but the lever was easy.

There was a display of prosthetic legs and arms along with photos of people using those devices to improve their functioning.  I loved the photo of the little girl who had a prosthetic forearm and hand and was painting.  Other exhibits included sign language and braille displays.  This is a great opportunity for children to be exposed to disabilities, ways things are made more accessible, and to understand differences when meeting others who have disabilities.  My son is sometimes afraid of my friends’ wheelchairs, so I used this opportunity for him to explore the exhibit at his own pace to help diminish his fear.  Seeing an empty wheelchair was easier to explore than when someone is in it.  It is a great way to answer kids curious questions to help them understand that there are all different types of people who function in all different ways, but we are all still people.  I highly recommend checking out this exhibit when at the Please Touch Museum.  It is just one of many amazing exhibits that help kids learn about their world.

The Please Touch Museum is located in historic Memorial Hall at 4231 Avenue of the Republic (formerly North Concourse Drive,) Philadelphia, PA 19131.  It is is beautiful Fairmount Park, not too far from the Mann Music Center.  Parking is available on site for $8, free with membership.  Free street parking is also available along Avenue of the Republic.  Admission to the museum is $15 per person, over age 1.  Family memberships are available at different levels and seem to pay for themselves if you visit the museum about three times a year.  From Montgomery County, it takes about 45 minutes to get there, depending upon traffic.  Mondays are the least crowded days to visit, and most weekday afternoons seem to be quieter, if your kids can get by without a nap!  The Please Taste Cafe offers many choices for lunches, or bring a bagged lunch with you and sit at one of the many tables sprinkled throughout the main level.  Sitting by the carousel is one of my favorite spots for lunch!

Mama Diane

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protectedcopyright for video