The Playdate Kids Gazette

This blog is dedicated to all of the Playdate Kids Club Members. We will offer fun to read articles, tips for parents, ideas for arts and crafts projects and more!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The summer heat is perfect for a dip in the pool with your little one, just be sure to be safe. Water is more dangerous than most people think!

Here are some pool safety tips to remember:

Never leave your children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.

You must put up a fence to separate your house from the pool. Most young children who drown in pools wander out of the house and fall into the pool. Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all 4 sides of the pool. This fence will completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard. Use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than your children's reach.

A power safety cover that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) adds to the protection of your children but should not be used in place of the fence between your house and the pool. Even fencing around your pool and using a power safety cover will not prevent all drownings.

Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd's hook or life preserver) and a telephone by the pool.

Do not let your child use air-filled "swimming aids" because they are not a substitute for approved life vests and can be dangerous.

Anyone watching young children around a pool should learn CPR and be able to rescue a child if needed. Stay within an arm's length of your child.

Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren't tempted to reach for them.

After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they can't get back into it.

Remember, teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT mean your child is safe in water.

Have fun in the sun and don't forget to lather up on the sunblock!

A heartfelt thanks to the Amercian Academy of Pediatrics for those tips!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Nutrition is vital for a growing child. A young child grows slower compared to a baby. The average child aged between two and five will grow around 2 1/2 inches and gain about five pounds a year. Since they are growing slower, their appetites will likely see a decrease.

This age is the perfect time to teach your child healthy eating habits. The diet habits formed during these years are often made into habits in their future. The nutritional needs of young children are similar to the nutritional needs of adults. Of course the portions differ because of their size and age but try to offer your child all the foods from the basic food groups. These foods include: breads, cereals, rices, carrots, peas, tomatoes, melons, apples, milk, yogurt, cheese, poultry, fish, dry beans and eggs. Over time, your child will grow accustomed to choosing from that variety of healthy foods. Protein is vital for their growth. The milk, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese and beans provide protein. Dietary calcium is dairy products and certain greens. The calcium is necessary for strong bones and healthy teeth. Iron comes from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and fortified cereals. Iron that is in cereal absorbs better when eatten with vitamin C. Citrus fruit, citrus juice and dark green and yellow veggies are filed with vitamin C and A. Most breads and cereals contribute crucial vitamin and minerals.

Plenty of water is needed to control and assist all body functions. A child's body can become dehydrated more quickly than an adult's. Offer water to your child several times throughout the day.

Remeber that fat is a good nutrient in a child's diet. Do not deprive your child of healthy fats. Fat helps provide extra calories and needed nutrients for a growing child. Limit foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol for children. Do this by offering your child low-fat dietary choices like drinking low-fat milk instead of whole milk.

Also, sugar-based food items provide little to no nutrients and should be eaten rarely. They also promote tooth decay.

Try cooking healthy foods with your child, make it a fun activity. Here is a fun recipe for the summer...

Strawberry Jello Summer Pops


1 package of Jello
1 cup of hot water
2 cups of any fruit juice
Tooth picks
Muffin tin, ice cube tray or tiny-sized cups

What to do:

1. Boil water and mix with Jello until it is dissolved
2. Add juice and stir
3. Pour gelatin and juice mixture into cup or tray
4. Refrigerate for one hour and fifteen minutes
5. Insert toothpicks
6. Place in freezer until frozen completely


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Summer is here and you need to find creative ways to keep your kids entertained. Do something kids in your whole family can enjoy.

Ever played with finger puppets?

Kids of all ages enjoy making finger puppets... and young ones will delight in the finger puppet show as well. You can find designs for finger puppets online. Once you find a design you like, follow the directions, print out the pattern, color it, cut it out, and put it together.

Don't limit yourself the patterns online, let your kids make up their own finger puppets out of materials you find around the house. The fun part is the creativity!

Popsicle sticks, pencils, and spoons make a great start for finger puppets. Give the stick character with use of felt, yarn, cloth, paper, buttons, you get the idea!

When you are all done making the puppets, create a stage and help them put on a play with their new actors...

Here's how to make a puppet theater (remember, this needs to be done by a parent for the most part, kids can help with the safe stuff):


Cardboard box
Craft knife
Packing tape
3 tension curtain rods
Construction paper

1. With a craft knife, carefully trim the sides of the box to about 7 inches high.

2. Cut a trapezoidal notch in a longer side, to give the puppeteers room.

3. Using a straightedge, draw a rectangle on the box's bottom for the stage's opening. Try placing it 4 inches from the top and sides and 5 inches from the bottom edge.

4. Carefully cut the rectangle from the box bottom and with packing tape secure the loose edges of the flaps and reinforce weak seams.

5. Cut 4 holes for 2 of the tension rods. Cut one set top middle and the other set botton middle. Every hole needs to be centered in the sidewall and as close to the seam as possible.

6. Decorate the theater. You can do this by covering the whole box with construction paper to hide seams, then decorating it with crayons, sequince, markers, glitter, etc.

7. Thread an old curtain (or any used material) on the third curtain rod and hang it just below the stage.

Decide what play you want to put on and voila! You have a puppet show! Maybe you can help write a play with the kids offering ideas for a storyline.

Have fun!