Tag Archives: kids

10 Cookbooks for Kids

Cooking with your children isn’t only about teaching them a valuable skill—it’s also about spending time with them and making them feel included as equal contributors in the family. When your child is old enough to go it alone, cooking can help build confidence, self-esteem, and problem-solving skills. And following recipes can also improve reading comprehension. Here are 10 great cookbooks just for kids, filled with simple, easy-to-follow recipes that your little one (and you!) will love.

Little Kitchen: 40 Delicious and Simple Things That Children Can Really Make

At the Farmers’ Market with Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands

Twist It Up: More Than 60 Delicious Recipes from an Inspiring Young Chef

Betty Crocker Kids Cook!

Children’s Quick and Easy Cookbook

Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes

The Kid’s Cookbook: A Great Book for Kids Who Love to Cook!

We Can Cook: Introduce Your Child to the Joy of Cooking with 75 Simple Recipes and Activities


5 Ways to Involve Kids in the Kitchen

There are several benefits to getting your kids in the kitchen and cooking. Aside from teaching them basic cooking skills, being included in the cooking process and seeing the ingredients makes children, especially picky eaters, more likely to want to try new foods. It also takes the mystery out of exactly what you put into those meatballs.

Even toddlers can help out with easy tasks, and it builds self-confidence for them to be able to contribute to a family activity. It goes without saying that all tasks should be simple and safe {nobody needs a two year old running around with a butcher knife}. Just prepare for a mess and allot some extra time for clean-up!

Use cooking as a teaching tool   Have your child measure out ingredients, count how many different vegetables there are in a dish, identify the color of each ingredient, practice spelling and reading using the recipe, and hone fine motor skills by doing some of the tasks listed below.

Give your little helper a job to do   Wash veggies, crack eggs, stir batter, mash potatoes, measure sugar, hand you ingredients, crumble crackers, tear lettuce, sprinkle seasonings, knead dough, snap beans—you get the picture.

Have a Make-Your-Own night   You can set all the ingredients out for everyone to make their own mini pizzas, taco salads, mac and cheese with mix-ins … it can be anything your child can easily build and put together.

Involve your child in the clean-up   It’s important for children to learn the whole process from cooking to cleaning to eating. Plus, it teaches them that cooking is just like playing with toys—you pick up when you’re done—which is a good habit to enforce early on.

Make it fun!   Get your little helper a child-sized apron, pick up a few colorful cooking utensils, make sure he has a safe way to reach the counter so he can work right next to mommy and daddy, play some fun music, and let go a little bit. It probably won’t be your most impressive culinary achievement, but the time you spend with your child will be totally worth it!


The Look for Less: Jenny Lind Bed

Before long, Olivia is going to be making the move to a big girl bed. I’ve been looking at our options, and I am absolutely in love with the Jenny Lind bed from The Land of Nod. It reminds me of my bed growing up, and it would look adorable with a colorful little quilt. The only problem? They’re freaking expensive! Call me crazy, but I’d prefer not to drop $550 on a kid’s bed.

So I set out to see if I could find a cheaper knock-off version, and you’ll never guess what store delivered … Walmart! And for $300 less than the nearly identical Land of Nod version! Granted, the Land of Nod beds come in fun colors, but it’s nothing an afternoon and a can of spray paint can’t achieve.

What do you think, pretty good right?!

Now to find a cute quilt!


Sweet Valentine’s Day Books for Kids

If your house looks like ours, you could probably give Barnes and Noble a run for their money. But if there’s ever anything I will encourage my daughter to want more of, it’s books! At some point (probably around the 10th or 12th time you’ve read The Napping House), you start getting new books for yourself as much as for your kids. Hey, sanity is worth something in this crazy world. Here are a few cute (and, bonus, non-sugary!) books to give your little one this Valentine’s Day.

Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton

Elmo Loves You

Love, Splat by Rob Scotton

Henry in Love by Peter McCarty

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda Ferber, Illustrated by Tedd Arnold

Cranberry Valentine by Wende and Harry Devlin

The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond

 


Last Minute Ideas for a Kid-Friendly NYE

They say that New Year’s Eve is the most difficult night of the year to find a babysitter, and they ain’t lyin’. Not sure about you, but we’ll be ringing in 2013 from the comfort of our own home. Luckily, we have wonderful friends who will be coming over to party it up with us.

Olivia definitely won’t make it until midnight, but she’ll probably stay up a little later than normal, so I’ve been looking for some fun kid-friendly ideas for NYE. Here are some of my favorites:

Via Parenting.com

Mix up some tasty mocktails. Alcoholic or not, these look amazing!

Make a time capsule. Click here for instructions. I think Olivia might be a little young for this this year, but I’m totally keeping this in mind for the future!

Serve kid favorites in miniature—think pigs in a blanket, little taco cups, bite-sized pizzas, sliders, meatballs, mac and cheese poppers—who doesn’t love this stuff?!

Via Family.com

Pick up some party hats, poppers, balloons, noisemakers, etc. to get everyone in on the fun and excitement. You can even use a hole punch to make confetti out of leftover Christmas wrapping paper.

Break out the Xbox or the Karaoke machine to get the party going. Group video games like Just Dance get all ages involved—there’s even a Nickelodeon Dance game that features Dora and the Backyardigans!

Ring in the New Year with milk and cookies (or at least let the kids do it!).

Celebrate “New Year’s in Rio” if you’re on the East Coast and don’t want your kids staying up until midnight. Since Rio is three hours behind U.S. Eastern Time, you can count down with your kiddos at 9 p.m.

No matter how you plan on welcoming 2013, stay safe and happy, and I’ll see you next year!


Thanksgiving Treats

This is an oldie, but a goodie—everyone have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

I’m kind of into the holidays. And when I say “kind of,” I really mean ridiculously, enthusiastically into them. But I just can’t help myself. I have such great memories of my family’s holiday traditions, and I can’t wait to pass some of them on to and start our own with my little one. And since I love food, I figured what better way to kick off the first of what will surely be many holiday-themed posts, than with some fun Thanksgiving treats! Try making some of these with or for your little ones to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Turkey Sandwich via http://meetthedubiens.blogspot.com

Fun Pilgrim hats via www.ourbestbites.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Topping via http://annies-eats.net

Rice Krispie Treat Turkey Pops via www.ricekrispies.com

Pilgrim Cookies via www.womansday.com


Nursery Trend: Hedgehog Wild

Last year was the year of the owl. This year, make way for the. . . hedgehog? Strange but true: these little guys are popping up everywhere! Here are a few of the cutest ways I found to work hedgehogs into your little one’s nursery:

Wall Decals, Etsy shop: Graphic Spaces, $15

Hedgehog Print, Etsy shop: Barking Bird Art, $18

Bookend, Etsy shop: Graphic Spaces, $48

Fleece Blanket, Bed-e-Byes, £19.99

Clock, Land of Nod, $68

Mamas and Papas Rocker, $129.99

Nightlight, Etsy shop: You Know, $22


How Does Your Garden Grow? With Little Baby Watering Cans!

Olivia has taken to following me around the deck and “helping” me water all of our potted herbs. So when I saw this little hippo watering can at Target (in the Dollar Spot no less!), I couldn’t pass it up. She carried it all around the store, shouting “Hiippp-O!” They also have a yellow ducky one. She’s just so adorable walking from plant to plant, it doesn’t even matter that most of the water ends up on the deck rather than in the pot!


Seven Great Bookcases for Your Little Bookworm

Olivia loves books; so naturally, her collection is growing exponentially thanks to yours truly (I read for a living, so I’m positively giddy that she likes books). It’s a good thing we are inheriting my sister’s old dollhouse bookshelf (as soon as we find a place to put it!), because we are rapidly running out of room. If your child’s library is also multiplying like rabbits, check out these great bookcases that are perfect for your little bookworm:

KidKraft Swivel Bookshelf/Mirror, $109.99

aly and company bookcase, $260

Oeuf Mini Library, $660

Firefighter Revolving Bookcase, $159.99

Target Tot Tutors Book Rack, $31.99

IKEA, Hensvik Cabinet and Shelf, $109

Land of Nod Library Cart, $199


The Land of Nod Art Jar- Brilliant!

I love free stuff, and I love having wonderful coworkers who bring me well-loved toys from their kids to pass along to my daughter. So when my coworker, Christine, stopped by my desk yesterday to ask if I wanted anything from her box of goodies that her boys had outgrown, I pounced on this adorable art jar, which had never even been opened!

The I’m Not Bored Anymore Art Jar, Junior from The Land of Nod is just brilliant—all the arts and crafts supplies you need, along with instructions, to make several fun little projects. The Junior version is for ages 3+ (and it’s on sale right now for $14, bonus!), but there’s a regular version too for ages 6+. I absolutely love this concept, and I’m thinking it might be a fun idea to recreate for birthday gifts—you could create a personalized jar label for the birthday girl/boy, personalized instructions, and themed craft projects and supplies. The possibilities are endless!