4 Ways to Teach Kids How to Recycle

The other day I was able to convince my three-year-old to sit down and watch Blue Planet II with me on Netflix. He has a deep love for the ocean (like his mama), but he LOVES to watch Boss Baby, Hercules, and Coco on a loop. It was a grand achievement to get him to watch something outside of his core selection. As we progressed through the episodes, we came to an image of a sea turtle caught inside a pile of trash in the middle of the ocean. As David Attenborough dictated the life and hardships of this turtle, I saw an intense look of worry spread across my child’s face. He could not quite understand why this sea turtle was having to struggle. I had to explain to him that some people do not care for the sea turtles like we do and that others pollute the ocean, impacting all creatures living underneath the surface.

To say he was disappointed in the litterbugs of the world was an understatement. We continued to watch Blue Planet II when suddenly I was smacked across the face with one thought – I have yet to teach my son about recycling.

At this point in the story, I welcome your judgement, because I am ashamed of my actions. I started a Be Green club in high school for heaven’s sake; my son should know how to recycle.

It is never too early to teach our children how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We have taken a few actions within our household to implement environmentally conscious behaviors that even our one-year-old engages in. Here are the four ways you can introduce recycling to kids.

  1. Recycling container – We have introduced a recycling bin within the house to collect all recyclable objects. We would typically pile them up and take them out to the main bin on the side of the house, but by simply purchasing a storage container, the boys are excited to recycle. They almost fight to see who can put the recyclable in the bin first. WWE championship of recycling.
  2. Get creative – What’s the saying? “Someone else’s trash is another man’s treasure.” With an egg carton, toilet paper roll, and tabs from a can of soda you now have a lively robot, shark, or man-eating dinosaur. Making a creative moment out of recyclables makes learning just a little more fun.
  3. YouTube videos – There is nothing like some screen time to make my kids stop in their tracks. While there are some awesome TV episodes that focus on recycling, there are so many options on YouTube as well. The SciShow Kids channel on YouTube not only has fun and educational videos on a variety of topics, there is a great episode all about “How Recycling Works!” Jessi and her robot Squeaks are great at paving the way for my kids to make smarter decisions when it comes to waste and recycling.
  4. Matching games – My three-year-old is currently obsessed with matching games. Matching like recyclable items, such as aluminum cans, cardboard, plastic bottles, etc. teaches him what can and cannot be recycled. Finding the big green recycling symbol is the “special” match, so he’s always on the hunt!

Since we started this adventure to keep Mother Earth happy and healthy, my kids (at least my preschooler) is a little more conscious about his actions. Before he throws anything away, he asks, “can we recycle this mommy?” It doesn’t matter if you believe in global warming or not, we have a responsibility to take care of this planet. It is vitally important we teach our kids the importance of caring for the earth, so that it is a safe and wonderful place to live in for years and years to come.

How do you reduce, reuse, and recycle in your house? Let me know in the comments below.

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Toddler Time – Children’s Encyclopedia – The Book that Explains Everything

“Mommy what is that?” “Mommy what is it?” “Mommy! WHAT IS IT?”  We have finally hit the stage of development where my child has questions about anything and everything. His level of curiosity has taken off like a rocket headed straight for the moon (to quote my son “what is a rocket mommy?”).

I probably spend 90% of the time with my son answering questions about animals, food, colors, and so much more. I can appreciate his interest in learning. This new phase in his life is exactly where he should be. My toddler is finally clicking into the world outside of his own bubble, but goodness gracious it’s a lot for this mama to take on.

Fellow parents, I have found a tool that answers all of my son’s questions and can do the same for your child. DK Publishing’s Children’s Encyclopedia – The Book that Explains Everything, is a resource like no other. This hardback, 300+ page encyclopedia has information reaching from Africa all the way to zoo! With beautifully illustrated images and photos, this book makes explaining the concept of sinking and floating, for example, easy to do.

The other weekend we took a special trip to the Renaissance Festival. We make a point to do special things with each of our children, and that day was all about our two and half year old. We had been talking up the event with our son describing the delicious food, arts and craft, and the royal joust. When he asked what a joust was, I was able to look towards the Children’s Encyclopedia to help explain in a way that my son would understand. We flipped to the page all about knights where we found a definition for jousting. Seriously, this book has everything.

A wonderful feature of this book that I would like to highlight is the “see also” box where you are referred to additional pages throughout the book with similar content. For example, if you’re on the page about spiders it will tell you to also see animal groups, animal homes, food chains, insects, invertebrates, and sight. These helpful tips allow for additional thoughtful conversation and exploration.

Now that we have the Children’s Encyclopedia my son has more confidence. He loves to flip to the pages of his two favorite things: dinosaurs and sharks. He will sit there and talk to us about our prehistoric and under the sea friends. He even loves to bring his little figurines and read to them, sharing facts about dinosaur fossils and the great white shark.

The Children’s Encyclopedia by DK Publishing is one book we will be keeping around. This book is one that will grow with my child. Head on over to >> https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/558275/dk-childrens-encyclopedia-by-dk/ << and get your copy today! This is one you will want in your child’s bookshelf. Trust me!

Check out DK Publishing here:

Website – DK Publishing
Facebook – DK Books
Twitter – @dkpublishing
Instagram – @dkbooks

May 2017 Favorites: Baby and Toddler Edition

May has been a month of growth for my family. Our newborn is plumping up and growing like a weed. Every day his personality changes! I can’t get enough of his red hair, gummy smile, and sapphire blue eyes. He is a truly a joy to be around. My toddler is stepping into his role as big brother, and lets just say, it looks good on him. This sweet boy is filled with a plethora of toddler emotions, so we’ve had to combat tantrums, but together we are learning how to work through the frustrations. The stereotype of redheads being hotheaded, can be applied to my newborn and two-year-old, but I love their passion and determination!

During these beautiful moments of change, we all have our must-have, go-to, lifesaving items for keeping our kiddos happy and content. I should also add, we look to these items for a glimpse of sanity and peace as parents. As our kids develop, their demands change and so do the products we call to in times of need.

Here are our May 2017 Favorites:

Munchkin Baby Formula Dispenser: After what I consider a valiant effort, we had to move from breastfeeding to formula. I made countless calls to lactation consultants, I altered my diet, I incorporated gas drops, etc., but my breast milk was not settling well with my newborn. Since my milk dispensary is out of business, I have to make sure I have enough formula with me at any given moment to feed my adorably glutinous baby boy. The Munchkin Baby Formula Dispenser is perfect my feed on demand little one. I fill it up with the appropriate amount of formula and throw it in my bag without hesitation.

Munchkin Baby Formula Dispenser

Photo courtesy of www.munchkin.com

Fisher-Price Bouncer: My boys, both as newborns, loved to be rocked and bounced. The Fisher-Price Bouncer has been a favorite for both of my boys and has been a huge help for me as I work from home with a newborn. The base of the bouncer vibrates and aids in putting my little one to sleep as he smiles at the detachable toy bar. If we have another baby (I’m looking at you husband), I will make sure we have our Fisher-Price Bouncer ready to go!

Fisher Price Bouncer

Photo courtesy of fisher-price.mattel.com

Originator’s Endless Reader App: My two-year-old loves his IPad. I know what you’re thinking, “you let your two-year-old have an IPad?” Yes, yes I do. He does far more than watch his favorite episode of Bubble Guppies or Peppa Pig. We have packed his IPad full of educational Apps perfect for the developing toddler. The one App that stands out the most is Originator’s Endless Reader App. He is presented with sight words, one for each letter of the alphabet, that are helpful in forming his vocabulary. Each letter is sounded out, the word is stated and then repeated, used in a sentence building activity, and finally applied in a relatable scenario with illustration. We have purchased the levels following Level One, and have seen an abundance of growth.

Originator Logo

Photo courtesy of www.originatorkids.com

Beautycounter Soothing Baby Oil: I’ve written about this product in multiple blogs, and I’m about to do it again. We LOVE Beautycounter’s Soothing Baby Oil! It has really made a difference in our post-bath and pre-bedtime routine. I use this product on both my newborn and toddler. When our baby had a mild case of cradle cap, it helped clear it right up. I rub it on my toddler’s shoulders and chest before reading his nightly stories. I’ve even used this product to help take off tough makeup at the end of the day. This is truly a family-focused product. I should also highlight that it’s nontoxic and gives me full confidence when using it on my little ones.

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Photo courtesy of www.beautycounter.com

Disney 5-Minute Snuggle Stories: As a child who grew up on the Lion King, Aladdin, and Little Mermaids of Disney, I am thrilled my son loves Disney just as much as I do! I can’t wait for the day we take our boys to the “most magical place on earth.” We enjoy at least one of these delightful stories each night before bed along with one or two more of his favorites. No matter how many times I read Scaredy Cat Sleepover, a story about Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck, this collection of tales never gets old.

5 Minute Snuggle Stories

Photo courtesy of books.disney.com

These products work for our on-the-go and perfectly chaotic family. We don’t use or settle for just any products. Our May 2017 favorites help to relax a restless baby, make bedtime cuddles even more precious, and assist in our children’s overall development.

Let me know if you try out these products. What do you think? Do they work for your little ones? Post in the comments below!

A Toddler’s Review: Touch and Feel Books (DK Publishing) + Giveaway

If you’ve had the opportunity to sit down and read my son’s last toddler book review, you have an understanding of how serious he takes his reading and book selection. Take a moment and visualize a two-year-old sitting behind a giant oak desk, dressed in an Armani suit with horned rimmed glasses, pensively looking over his latest review assignment. In essence, that description sums up my son. Every time I look at him pacing back and forth in front of his bookshelf, carefully selecting his book, and thumbing through each page, I see the face of the next James Wood (New Yorker).

Recently my son was presented with a selection of DK Publishing Touch and Feel books focused around animals. When he caught a glimpse of the baby bunnies on the front of Baby Touch and Feel: Animals, his eyes lit up. Along with the constant desire to learn shapes, numbers, and colors, my son loves to point out and mimic animals. Aside from a good book, when there is a baby animal involved, my son is instantaneously hooked.

The following four books from DK Publishing are the perfect additions to your baby and/or toddler’s personal library as well as the last minute touch you need for your child’s Easter basket this year.

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The Easter Bunny will thank you for bringing these selections to his attention. He’s already hopping around all over the place, he doesn’t need to struggle with basket filler ideas as well.

Pop-Up Peekaboo! Farm

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We recently took a trip to the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, North Carolina, and my son was surrounded my countless farm animals. When we had to leave and head back home, he was devastated to say goodbye to the cows, goats, and pigs. I’m fairly certainly he still longingly calls out for them in his sleep.

When I presented him the Pop-Up Peekaboo! Farm, the sadness that once filled his deep chestnut brown eyes disappeared. When we sat down together and slowly turned the pages and lifted the flaps for the pop-up surprise, he giggled with joy from the anticipation of the reveal. When he learned the chicks were hidden behind the pile of eggs, you would have thought I presented him with a popsicle in every flavor, a meet-and-greet with Peppa Pig, and his long-lost pacifier – pure excitement!

Baby Touch and Feel: I Love You

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When I became a mother the first thing I told my husband is that our son will know how much we love him. We’ve successfully told our son “I love you” countless times every single day, and now he’s returning the sentiment. Not only is he saying “I love Ma” and “I love Da” he is now encouraged to express love towards baby brother who will be making his appearance any day now.

As parents, it’s important that we teach our children about how to properly show love and respect to those in their lives. Baby Touch and Feel: I Love You, is the perfect aid in promoting the feelings and understanding of the phrase “I love you.”

Baby Touch and Feel: Animals + Giveaway

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My son eagerly grabs for his copy of Baby Touch and Feel: Animals every night. We’ve read this book so many times, he could probably recite all of the animals in order from memory. He screams the name of each animal directly into my ear (I may have lost partial hearing) and feels each animals with a giant smile on his face.

We let him take two books to bed. When he clutches Baby Touch and Feel: Animals and snuggles up with his stuffed alligator, Anton, he goes to bed a little happier than the night before. I will sit and watch him through the baby monitor and hear him say “Kitten!” (giggle), “Puppy!” (giggle), “Tiger!” (giggle), etc.

My son loves Baby Touch and Feel: Animals so much, he wants to share the love and giveaway a copy.

ENTER TO WIN YOUR COPY OF
BABY TOUCH AND FEEL: ANIMALS

Really Feely Farm

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As I stated earlier, my son has a deep love for animals, in particular farm animals. The Really Feely Farm fills his constant need to be close to his farm brethren. Not only do the pictures of the animals have a tactile component, every illustration has something to feel. He truly enjoys pointing out the pig’s snout, the duckling’s beak, and the cow’s shiny nose.

With only five animals, this book leads to countless minutes of fun and education with the little one. We often read through this selection three or four times. When my son says “Book! Mine!” you know you have a hit on your hands folks.

DK Publishing’s Touch and Feel Books are not only exhilarating to a two-year-old critic (and mom!), but they are also extremely educational.

When I asked my son if he would recommend these books to all the toddler’s out there, he said “Yes! BOOK! Duck, Doggie, Monkey. MINE!”  Well, that says it all folks. You won’t regret the decision of adding these books to your child’s library.

** MAKE SURE YOU ENTER THE DK PUBLISHING
TOUCH AND FEEL – ANIMALS BOOK GIVEAWAY **