Baby · Life At Home

9 Ways to Teach Your Kid to Love the Earth

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Happy Earth Day!

It took me many years to realize how precious our beautiful planet is, and how much we need to take care of it. I was never a very outdoorsy kid, and complained when I had to be outside. Flash forward to present day, and I am addicted to the fresh air, beautiful trees, and the sky never ceases to amaze me.

Luckily for my husband and I, our daughter also loves the outdoors. Whether it’s rainy, snowy, sunny or blowy she always wants to walk out that front door into the world. We love that she wants to be outside, and try to take her out and do activities every chance we get.

In honor of Earth Day today, here are some things you can do with your child to teach them how to love the earth even more than they already do.

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Go outside once a day.

Even if it’s cold and dreary, it’s good for children to experience the outdoors. Allowing them to be outside in different (safe) conditions allows them the opportunity to see what different forms of weather are like, how to dress appropriately for them, and what mother nature is capable of.

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Explore.

Kids love to explore. Especially at such a young age, it’s so beneficial for children to walk around during the different seasons and see what all these changes are like. Picking up pinecones, or flowers, stepping in soggy grass and hearing the water squish, dragging a stick on the ground, or watching ants in a hole are all experiences that allow children to learn about the world around them.

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Grow something together.

Choose something that you can grow together. You could try an indoor plant, outdoor plant, herb garden, vegetable garden, or even a shrub. Watch it grow and thrive together to teach you child about the proper ways of maintaining and caring for plants.

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Recycle.

Talk with your children about the importance of recycling. Find different projects that you can do with your child by reusing old things in your house, and finding a new purpose for it.

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Experience different places.

If you live by or travel to a lake, woods, beach, canyon, valley, geyser, or any other amazing part of our planet, show your kids what it’s like. The more places our children see the more informed they are about how the earth works.

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Go camping.

Nothing says family bonding experience like camping. Set up your tent, go for a hike, play in the creek, and roast marshmallows over a campfire. Listen to the different animal noises, and enjoy the new atmosphere around you.

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Visit a nature center.

Nature centers are a great place to allow kids the opportunity to see how different plants and animals survive and thrive. This may not be something that they can normally see in their day to day experiences with the world, and can be a great learning opportunity on caring for animals and plants.

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Donate to a charity for your child’s favorite animal.

There are so many charities that you can donate to help animals in need. Whether it’s your local Humane Society, or any other organization, this will show your child that they can give back to the Earth and the animals that live there. Maybe they can even help their favorite animal!

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Educate yourself about our beautiful planet.

Learn different names of plants local to your home or area. Determine what animals are native to where you live, and how you can help ensure they are treated right. When children see their parents involved, it will only make them want to be involved more too.

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Love your Earth and all the beautiful parts of it!

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Baby · Life At Home

Happy Little Camper

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Caring for another human being is extremely overwhelming, especially when you are a first time mother. Am I feeding my baby enough healthy foods? Are these products appropriate for bathing? Are there chemicals in things I use that are bad for my child?

I love when products come right out and share what they are all about. Happy Little Camper is a company that can be trusted to say no. No chemicals, no dyes, and no fragrances. Their wipes and diapers are Mother Nature approved and help to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and skin irritations. They are premium quality at a premium price. Check out their products here.

We tried out their wipes and loved them. They were soft and easy to pull out. My daughter who hates to blow her nose even let me use them to wipe her face when she was sick with her cold. We will definitely be getting more of these in the future!

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Thank you Happy Little Camper for partnering with me on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Baby · Life At Home

Tips For Reading With Your Baby

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One of the most important things you can do with your child is read. Read anything and everything. Read them books, read cereal boxes, read signs, read menus, read, read, read.

Why read if they don’t even understand? Why try if they won’t stay seated? Sometimes it almost seems pointless with a toddler or a baby.

I promise you it is far from pointless.

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Why you should be reading with your child:

It introduces them to a world of new ideas.

From shapes and colors, to letters and numbers books provide children with a wealth of knowledge in print form.

It helps to teach your child about communication.

When they see a word and hear you say it, it shows them what reading is all about.

Reading builds many skills for your child.

It helps build listening skills as you read aloud to them, and vocabulary skills as they begin understanding these new words. Reading books over again may build memory skills with common words or phrases.

It gives children information about the world around them.

From different places, to unique machines, and exotic animals reading can provide information to your child that they may not learn about otherwise.

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Tips for reading with your child:

For young children find books with bright colors, and little words.

Allow them to really take in simple pages at a time.

Find fun books with different textures or feelings.

Maybe there is something soft on one page, and something bumpy on another. Keep your child engaged and connected to the book with the sense of touch.

Find interactive books for young children that need more engagement.

Pop-up books are great for reading with young children, or find books that have pages that open up to something hiding. They are interactive and will hopefully keep the child engaged for a little longer.

Read aloud to your child with expression.

If there is a small character use a high voice. If there is a large character using a low voice. If there is a rhyme, say it in a song. Keep it light and fun.

Point to the words as you read.

When you point to the words as you read you show baby that when you read you are speaking the words that are written on the pages. They will eventually learn to do this too.

It’s okay if they chew.

It’s fine if the younger children chew on books because that it how they learn, but don’t encourage it. Hopefully they will soon learn that books are not edible!

Don’t be afraid to read the same books over again.

Young children love repetition and might love hearing the same book over and over again. It will help them learn phrases, and will help with their reading fluency.

Snuggle up.

Cuddling or holding your child while you read creates a warm environment for reading.

It’s okay to not finish a book.

It is completely fine if you don’t finish an entire book when you read with your child. In fact, you probably won’t! If they just want to flip through the pages, or they are finished halfway through the book, it is okay. They are still getting small doses of reading at a time and learning how reading works, and that is better than nothing at all.

Ask questions.

Ask your child questions while you read. Things like, “What is the girl holding? A ball! You know what a ball is!” Try to connect it to their life. Using pictures can be a huge help.

Read every day.

Try to get into the habit of reading every day. It will show children that reading is important, and that we use our reading skills every day.

Have fun!

Make reading fun any way you can! Sing, dance, clap your hands, make noises, whatever it takes to have a good time while you read with your child.

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Shop my outfit here:

Sweater: ROMWE

Leggings: Nordstrom

 

*This post contains affiliate links.

Baby

To My First Born

You will never know the special place you hold in my heart, my first born. It doesn’t matter how many children I have, there is one spot in my heart that is saved specifically for you. This does not mean that you will be my favorite, and it certainly does not mean that I will love you more. It means that you and I will have a bond that none of my other children and I will share. I know I will hold a strong attachment to them in someway as well. But you, my dear, you are my first born.

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You made me a mother.

You are the first person to give me the greatest title I’ve ever received, “mom”. I always wanted to be a mother, and you made that happen.

I will have more children, and I will also be their mother, but it was you who put me through the initiation.

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You’ve taught me so much.

I knew nothing about raising a baby before you came along. Literally nothing. I was so scared. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. “How will I know how much she needs to eat? Is she going to be warm enough in this? Is it okay if her poop is this color?” It was a new and challenging time for both of us.

You made it easy, and slowly we figured out things together.

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You introduced me to all the wonderful things about motherhood.

Watching you grow was the greatest thing I’ve ever witnessed. Every small thing you did I celebrated. It was so exciting to see a child discover the world around them daily, and you were able to give me that excitement for the very first time. I know I will be just as excited when my other children have their first accomplishments as well, but you introduced me to how truly remarkable a growing baby can be.

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You introduced me to the tough things about motherhood.

There were times when I was lost. Times I just didn’t know how to make you happy. There were days that we both just sat there and cried and neither of us knew what to do. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right. We made it, though. We’ve made it through everything together, and it’s made us stronger. Maybe you’ve even paved the way for the next child so things won’t be as hard for me the second time around.

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You’ve made me appreciate others.

Even though you were an easy baby, you were still a lot of work. You made me appreciate the family and friends that were constant supports whenever I needed them.

You showed me a new side of my parents as you gave them this new title, grandparents. You helped me to appreciate the way they raised me as I began to raise my own little human.

You made me look at my husband as not only the man I married, but this wonderful new father, whom I saw in a new light. We became a stronger team, having to make decisions and come up with new ideas together for you.

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You showed me how to love in a completely different way.

I never knew how much I could love something until you came around. It was like a different part of my heart that I didn’t even know existed opened up to love this tiny baby more than I have ever loved anything. I feel like I can love more, and I feel like I can love harder.

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Thank you, my first born. Thank you for entering my life and changing it completely for the better. I will never be able to explain the place you hold in my heart, and just how deeply I love you.

Baby

Parenting Advice That Can Only Make You Laugh. Or Cry. Or Both.

From the moment I informed people I was pregnant, I began getting all sorts of unsolicited advice. Some I took to heart. Some I tried to remember.

And some I tried so hard not to laugh at.

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You need to sanitize everything the baby could touch.

OH OKAY! No problem. Now that my baby is crawling and touching everything in sight I’ll just attach a bottle of sanitizer to her wrist and teach her how to use it.

You should really have your baby avoid screens.

Easy peasy! We live in a day in age where there are never screens anywhere. Maybe I could just have her wear a blindfold and raise her as a blind child.

Babies need to teethe so you should let her chew on whatever feels good.

True. I should let her keep chewing on her wooden crib that’s starting to split into little slivers of wood, or better yet the dog’s furry tail. He just loves being gnawed on by a small child.

She should be wearing bows so people know she’s a girl.

You’re so right! She absolutely loves wearing those on her head and never pulls them off or screams when I put them on her, so I will make sure she wears them 24/7 even when she sleeps.

Make sure she avoids all sugar until she is around (insert age here).

Uhhuh, we haven’t already broken that rule or anything.

You really shouldn’t drink alcohol around the baby.

Good call! My infant is pretty amazing as determining the difference between me drinking a glass of wine and drinking water.

You should listen to children’s music in the car instead of your music.

Right! I forgot that I don’t matter anymore, and my life has to completely revolve around her.

You should breast feed until she’s at least (insert age here). DO NOT use formula until after that.

Gotcha, and then when I stop producing enough milk I’ll just let her starve to death. It’s fine.

Don’t have her around your dog too much. You don’t want her to think all dogs are friendly.

Um. What?

You should put her in at least a little pink every day.

You are a woman aren’t you? Could you show me the little bit of pink that you are wearing today please?

Well with my child (insert any other wonderful piece of advice here) which is why you should do it with yours.

GOOD POINT! I forgot literally all children in the world are the same so they should be raised in the exact same way.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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Please everyone, share more of your infinite wisdom with me.

Britta

Baby

20 Personalized Gifts For A One Year Old That Can Be Used For (at least a few) Years To Come

Over the last year or so I’ve been invited to first birthday parties for a few of my friends children. My daughter is also about to turn one. She’s my first born, so in all honestly I don’t know what one year olds want, need or like.

I got a mermaid doll for my friend’s daughter. She threw it on the ground the moment she saw it.

I got my other friend’s son a wooden train set. He was much more interested in the wrapping paper.

I said to my husband, “Why am I spending all this money on stuff these children won’t remember or care about? What the heck are we going to get our daughter for her first birthday?”

Then it hit me. IT DOESN’T MATTER! She won’t remember. She will toss toys aside and want to play with the wrapping paper way more than the presents, so I can get her anything I want. Maybe I’ll wrap up an old toy or even be funny and let her unwrap a banana or something.

OR since she doesn’t necessarily care about what she’s getting right now, nor will she remember I can get her things she will need later in life. Things that she will later use, and that I won’t have to purchase at some point in the future.

1. Personalized Beach Towel

You can use a big beach towel to lay on when you’re a baby or a grandma. Talk about a gift that will last forever.

2. Personalized Backpack or Tote Bag

I know that one year old’s will not be able to use this right away, but their parents will. When baby goes to grandma’s house for the night they have their own personalized item to put their belongings in.

3. Personalized Snack Container

Babies eat a lot. Give that one year old their own snack container, and they’ll love you forever.

4. Personalized Pillow or Pillowcase

Get just a simple pillow or pillowcase with their name on it, or even just a monogram. A small pillow for the bed or as decor would be cute, and could be an easy thing to bring in the car on a road trip.

5. Personalized Umbrella

No, they will not be able to use this right away. But their parents can store it with the other umbrellas, and when that child is old enough to use it they will be so excited that their name is on it.

6. Personalized Jewelry Boxes

Little girls have bows and hair clips by the time they’re only a few months old. They will already be able to store things like this in it until they are old enough to wear jewelry without eating it.

7. Personalized Ice Cream Bowl

I scream, you scream, the baby screams… wait, that’s not how it goes. Everybody loves ice cream, so why not get baby his own bowl.

8. Personalized Pail or Bucket

Whether it’s a plastic, play bucket for the beach, or a cute pail to hold belongings in the bedroom that child will be able to use it for years.

9. Personalized Book

There are so many websites now that help you to create a personalized book. That is a book that kids will never want to get rid of.

10. Personalized Camping Chair

Get a fold up camping chair with the child’s name on the back. This could be brought to sporting events, camping or just sitting outside on a nice day. There are different sized chairs and different styles to choose from.

11. Personalized Baskets

Parents can always find SOMETHING to put in a basket in the child’s room. Whether it’s books, toys, hair supplies, etc. extra storage is always useful.

12. Personalized T-shirt

If you get a large enough size that a kid could fit into, but not too large that they trip in it they could use it for a while, even if it’s just to sleep in.

13. Personalized Games

Ever played the game memory? How fun would it be to have all of the baby’s family on different cards? Personalize games that baby will be able to play for years.

14. Personalized Piggy Bank

Chores, lemonade stands, hopefully baby will keep getting money one way or another. Buy her a cute piggy bank with her name personalized on it. There are tons of options to choose from.

15. Personalized Lunch Box

It won’t be for a few years, but eventually baby is going to need a lunch box. Get baby a cute, personalized lunch box that can either be stored away for when he goes to school, or used to transport snacks and food when going out.

16. Personalized Sippy Cup or Water Bottle

Most likely baby drinks from a sippy cup at this point. You could either get her a personalized sippy cup, or get a nice water bottle for when she is older.

 

Non-Personalized Items:

17. Money for College Fund

It never hurts to start the college fund early. Give money to the family to put toward college, or a saving account for baby.

18. Letters from Family

Tell the family instead of buying gifts for the baby to write her a letter. Have each family member or couple write a letter, and then give those letters to her on her 18th birthday. It might be more meaningful than having them bring a gift she will forget.

19. Buy Baby an Experience

Instead of finding a toy or an object, put money towards an event for the baby. Maybe that means you buy movie tickets (that won’t expire) for baby’s first movie trip, or their first experience at a bounce house.

20. Gift Cards

The parents will never turn down a gift card. It can always be put towards the clothes that baby will grow out of so quickly, or toys that they know baby will love and appreciate.

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If you have any other ideas for baby’s first gifts leave a comment to share!

Britta