Last night, Kate and Michelle visited our Little League Baseball team for a game filled with sun, cheering, sunflower seeds and of course, plenty of mosquito bites — but it was all well worth it!

The team started the season off with a hit — recording two wins and one loss to date.

20130611_18124220130611_180244However, it’s not as much about winning, rather about supporting the team, making friends, and exercising, all while having fun.

Exercise for children is very important that’s why we take pride in being a sponsor. Nowadays, children are spending more time in front of a screen than they are being social and active. This decline in movement is detrimental to the health and motivation in children and that’s why physical activities are so important for kids.

Did you know Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity everyday? So how do you keep your kids moving? Check out some of our tips!Tips to get your kids moving!

  1. First and foremost, set a positive example by being an active role model
  2. Make physically activity fun — team sports, running, skating, biking, swimming or playground activities
  3. Limit sedentary time so kids have to find something to do
  4. Make physical activity part of your family’s daily routine by taking family walks or playing active games together

Fun ACTIVE-ities for kids!

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Summer brings more kids outside to play, often times independently, which means there’s no better time to talk to your children about stranger danger.

This for many children this can be confusing. Some very good advice that I heard for talking to kids about stranger danger was to teach them “you can talk but never walk.” They see us talking all the time to people we don’t necessarily know, so never talk to “strangers” always seemed like a confusing message. But saying “never walk” seems so much more real.
The International Crime Prevention Council offers this information.

What to Teach Kids About Strangers

Information about the differences between strangers kids should look out for and strangers kids can trust

Kids see strangers every day in stores, in the park, and in their neighborhoods. Most of these strangers are nice, normal people, but a few may not be. Parents can protect their children from dangerous strangers by teaching them about strangers and suspicious behavior, and by taking a few precautions of their own.

Image result for stranger dangerWho is a stranger?

A stranger is anyone that your family doesn’t know well. It’s common for children to think that “bad strangers” look scary, like the villains in cartoons. This is not only not true, but it’s dangerous for children to think this way. Pretty strangers can be just as dangerous as the not-so-pretty ones. When you talk to your children about strangers, explain that no one can tell if strangers are nice or not nice just by looking at them and that they should be careful around all strangers.

But don’t make it seem like all strangers are bad. If children need help–whether they’re lost, being threatened by a bully, or being followed by a stranger–the safest thing for them to do in many cases is to ask a stranger for help. You can make this easier for them by showing them which strangers are okay to trust.

Who are safe strangers?

Safe strangers are people children can ask for help when they need it. Police officers and firefighters are two examples of very recognizable safe strangers. Teachers, principals, and librarians are adults children can trust too, and they are easy to recognize when they’re at work. But make sure that you emphasize that whenever possible, children should go to a public place to ask for help.

You can help your children recognize safe strangers by pointing them out when you’re out in your town. Also show your children places they can go if they need help, such as local stores and restaurants and the homes of family friends in your neighborhood.

Recognizing and Handling Dangerous Situations

Perhaps the most important way parents can protect their children is to teach them to be wary of potentially dangerous situations – this will help them when dealing with strangers as well as with known adults who may not have good intentions. Help children recognize the warning signs of suspicious behavior, such as when an adult asks them to disobey their parents or do something without permission, asks them to keep a secret, asks children for help, or makes them feel uncomfortable in any way. Also tell your children that an adult should never ask a child for help, and if one does ask for their help, teach them to find a trusted adult right away to tell what happened.

You should also talk to your children about how they should handle dangerous situations. One ways is to teach them “No, Go, Yell, Tell.” If in a dangerous situations, kids should say no, run away, yell as loud as they can, and tell a trusted adult what happened right away. Make sure that your children know that it is okay to say no to an adult in a dangerous situation and to yell to keep themselves safe, even if they are indoors. It’s good to practice this in different situations so that your children will feel confident in knowing know what to do. Here are a few possible scenarios:

  • A nice-looking stranger approaches your child in the park and asks for help finding the stranger’s lost dog.
  • A woman who lives in your neighborhood but that the child has never spoken to invites your child into her house for a snack.
  • A stranger asks if your child wants a ride home from school.
  • Your child thinks he or she is being followed.
  • An adult your child knows says or does something that makes him or her feel bad or uncomfortable.
  • While your child is walking home from a friend’s house, a car pulls over and a stranger asks for directions.

What Else Parents Can Do

In addition to teaching children how to recognize and handle dangerous situations and strangers, there are a few more things parents can do to help their children stay safe and avoid dangerous situations.

  • Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.
  • Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there’s trouble.
  • Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away as fast as possible and tell another adult what happened. Reassure children that you will help them when they need it.
  • Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it’s okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.
  • Encourage your children to play with others. There’s safety in numbers!

What’s your take on strangers and safety? Do you let your kids talk to strangers?

Thirteen

Triskaidekaphobia  is the fear of the number 13. Are you afraid of the number 13?

So if you’re still not convinced this date lives up to the hype, think about this for a while: In a study done by the British Medical Journal of 1993 it was found that while more people opt to stay home rather than drive on this dreadful day, there are still more automobile and transportion accidents on Friday the 13th.

 

How many elevators allow you to exit on the non-existing 13th floor?  Most ships do not have 13th deck.

Apollo 13 is the only unsuccessful moon mission. An oxygen tank exploded and the survival of the astronauts on board was touch and go for several days. Luckily, they did all come home safely in the end, but no moon landing.

Do you know the old superstition that says if you have 13 letters in your name, you’re bound to have the devil’s luck? Don’t believe it? Can you spell Charles Manson, Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo?

There were 13 people at the Last Supper. It is said that Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th man to take his place at the table.

According to Catholic belief, one of the most significant events in their religion is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ which took place on Friday the 13th.

Well, we could go on with all of this bad luck talk. Now, on the lucky side, think of the bakers dozen! If you visit Totally Kids fun furniture on Friday the 13th, make it your lucky day.  Tell them that the Black Kat said that you can take 13% OFF anything & everything in the showroom and online.

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It’s Earth Day today, so why not go eat some ooey gooey Earthworms to celebrate? Family Bites has the dirt on this dish that you know will be a hit with your family.

Dirt Dessert

  • Small terracotta flower pots, washed well with soap and hot water or run through your dishwasher
  • Ice cream, any flavor will do
  • Oreo cookies crumbs
  • Gummy worms

After washing and drying your flower pot well, fill to the top with the ice cream of your choice.  Cover the ice cream with Oreo cookies crumbs and stuff with ooey gooey gummy worms.

We hope that you will enjoy constructing our traditional Earth Day treat with your kiddos and add it as a recipe for fun at your house.

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How will you be celebrating National Tea Day today?

Did you have pretend play tea parties as a child? I have fond memories of playing tea party with my sisters, our stuffed animals and dolls. We would put on fancy hats and white gloves as we sat at our child size table and chairs with our backs properly straight. Then, taking turns, we would carefully pour our pretend cups of tea. Some just had to have a dash of warmed milk. (little Becky’s tea cup)  Best of all, was always  passing the real biscuits.

Tea parties are excellent learning opportunities offering a way to practice introductions, social talk, and general etiquette.

Other benefits of a tea party is that pretend play is strongly linked to language, narrative language and abstract thinking. Examples of pretend play are: playing dress up, playing store, playing house, pushing trucks and cars .

You can encourage children’s love of pretending by supplying story ideas and raw materials. Their rich imaginations are one of children’s greatest learning tools. The more you incorporate pretend play, the more they’ll learn.

Now wouldn’t this be an ideal day for setting up a pretend tea party?

Wicker Basket Tea Set

One of our favorites is this wicker basket with the essentials for a tea party at home or on the go.

Autism Book Drive

April is Autism Awareness Month.

Autism Spectrum Disorders is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. The Center for Disease Control estimates that an average of one in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum. Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism. This is about 3.5 million Americans. It is estimated that one percent of the world’s population lives with this disorder. The characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorder may be apparent in infancy at about 18 to 24 months, but they usually become clearer during early childhood around 24 months to 6 years.

There is no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function.

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has partnered with the The Minnesota Autism Center (MAC) and is collecting new and gently used books including but limited to fiction, non-fiction. encyclopedias, and dictionaries for the new MAC School High School library. Please bring in any books that you can spare and spread the word to your friends and neighbors.

MAC currently services children and adolescents ages 2 to 21 throughout the state of Minnesota through a variety of programs. These programs, whether in-home, center based or school based, are individually tailored and adapted to provide the absolute best program possible for each child and adolescent attending MAC. In this way, MAC upholds its mission to promote the general education and welfare of children and youth challenged by Autism Spectrum Disorder and support the development of healthy families. When you are with MAC you will agree that nothing is impossible.

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Totally Kids fun furniture & toys offers toys especially selected for Autism. Take a look here.

We all know where Santa lives; at the NorthPole of course.

But do you know where the Easter Bunny lives?

Wikipedia states that the Easter Bunny or Easter Rabbit (aka Spring Bunny) “is a character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs who sometimes is depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Father Christmas, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holiday

There is no mention of where the Easter Bunny lives, however, some believe that the Easter Bunny lives in a very deep hole in the ground somewhere on Easter Island? Or possibly  in April Valley, Spring Valley or Egg Land. (like Eggland’s Best?)

If any of you know or have a good hunch, please let us know where the Easter Bunny lives.

TRACK THE EASTER BUNNY

NORAD tracks Santa but can not track the Easter Bunny because the Easter Bunny does not fly. He just hops around the world, right? Once again, like last year,  there is the iPhone 3D Easter Bunny Tracker app. This year you can track the Easter Bunny with The Bunny Tracker. You could also try the First Annual 2012 Easter Bunny Tracking   from the MidMoWeatherCam.
What do you think about adding some bunny food for this year’s Easter dinner?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Carrots with Shallots & Thyme

Ingredients needed for 4 servings:

  • 2 pounds small- to medium-size carrots
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425° F. Place rack in center of oven.

Peel carrots if desired and trim green top, leaving about 1/2–inch. Cut larger carrots in half lengthwise and place in a rimmed baking sheet. Add shallots and thyme; drizzle with oil and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Remember before you start cooking – leave an extra bunch out for the Easter Bunny……

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys wishes all of our friends a very happy Easter.

glow-eggsWe have some very fun nighttime plans for a party next weekend.This glowing idea is from Kaylee at Raising Little Disciples. Kaylee took glow stick bracelets and tucked them inside plastic eggs. What a great after dark Easter Egg Hunt Party for our little neighbor kids we have planned. If the weather holds out, there will not be any of the usual Minnesota March white stuff to contend with either.  Head on over to Kaylee’s blog for pictures of the creative glow egg building process.

Thanks Kaylee, a lot of us will be entertaining our little ones with your great glow in the dark eggs.

Keep egging us on!  Win a $25.00 Totally Kids fun furniture & toys Gift Card! Pin your favorite Easter Egg Decorating ideas to our board on Pinterest.

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