\"Quantcast\"/

Spend quality time as a family with Imagine Neighborhood

 

How is your family dealing with the recent events of the Corona Virus (Covid-19)?

I’m not sure how things are in your “neck of the woods,” but here where I live in New York, everything is shut down and families are told to self quarantine. There is no school, no day cares, no movies, no mall, no playgrounds… nothing.

My kids are young adults. They both have to work, as well as my husband. Since I work in an after-school program, I am out of work for at the very least two weeks (possibly longer).

I belong to a local Facebook group, and I am seeing the same issue being posted over and over again – what to do with the children to keep them entertained?

I have a few suggestions that might help if you find yourself in the same situation.

  • Go outside in your backyard and play games.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Play games.
  • Have a family movie night (or afternoon).
  • Do arts and crafts.
  • Spring cleaning.
  • Have a dance party.
  • Enjoy a picnic in your living room.
  • Bake a cake or cookies.

Another great idea would be to check out a new (free) podcast that was just released, Imagine Neighborhood.

The Imagine Neighborhood is a podcast designed to help children and their grown-ups grow their social-emotional skills.

Social-emotional learning (or SEL) is sometimes called emotional intelligence or people skills. SEL helps people build their empathy and relationship skills and manage big emotions.

Having strong social-emotional skills help kids and their grown-ups communicate better, manage their conflicts, and solve problems together.

Working with children for many years, I know the importance of Social-emotional learning. When my children were little, I made it a point of teaching them about empathy for others and expressing their emotions in healthy ways.

Imagine Neighborhood is a podcast available on various platforms – iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher, and anywhere podcasts are found. You can also listen on their website, ImagineNeighborhood.org.

Imagine Neighborhood uses entertaining stories, fun music and easy activities to help children and adults develop various skills. Grown-ups are also given extra tools, like activities and conversation starters, to relate to the topic in each episode.

There are three episodes currently available, with new episodes to be added.

Count Vacula Feels Afraid

Host Scotty has a tiny robot vampire who sucks up all the crumbs that Scotty drops on the floor during the day, and returns to his charger at night. 

Vacula expresses to Scotty that he’s afraid of the babysitter. Using music, Scotty lets Vacula know that it’s OK to be afraid, and lets him know that he doesn’t need to worry when he leaves the house, because he’ll come back. 

The Clouds are Made of Cake

Scotty starts off the episode talking about how wonderful it is to just sit outside, close your eyes, and listen to the sounds around you. Using background sounds of birds chirping, the beginning of the episode makes you feel calm and peaceful. 

Scotty and his friend, Doctor Apocalypso, talk about what it feels like to be very excited, and why it’s important to learn how to calm yourself down too. 

Macho Supreme Has an Accident (release date March 23, 2020)

Macho Supreme is stuck in Scotty’s doorway. He tries to make it seem like he did it intentionally, because he doesn’t want to admit to Scotty that he did it by accident. He also won’t ask for help, because he doesn’t think it’s “macho” to ask for help. 

Crossing Lava Lake (release date March 30, 2020)

In this episode, Scotty has to cross a very dangerous street called Lava Avenue. Lucky for him, he bumps into Princess Donnasaurus. Together they brave the street of rolling boulders and hot lava. 

This episode talks about dangerous situations, and using “SPEW” (stop, pay attention, use your ears, and wait), as well as using your “danger voice” to get other people’s attention. 

Imagine Neighborhood utilizes music in each episode. Some songs are familiar, for example, “Macho Man” by the Village People, and a song called “Powerhouse” which sounds like something I’ve heard on The Jetsons, or some other cartoon.

Children can listen to the podcasts on their own, but as a parent, I would recommend listening with your child. These podcasts are a great way to segue into a conversation about the episode’s topic. After all, these are all emotions children and parents feel. As a parent, you can discuss how you deal with the emotion, as an adult as well as when you were a child. It’s also a great way to find out how your child is feeling.

In addition to the activity suggestions offered by the show’s host, I think these episodes could also be turned into a craft and/or fun activity. Some activities are suggested (like pretending the floor is made of lava – something I used to do when I was a kid). Others you can use your imagination and create something. For example, why not make a cake the looks like a cloud in honor of the episode “The Clouds are Made of Cake?” Or build your own Vaula Robot using recyclables and other materials found around your home. The possibilities are endless.

Check out Google and Pinterest for activities and crafts to help support each episode.

Now is a great time to spend quality time with your child/children. It’s also important to know how your child is feeling during these trying times. I’m sure plenty of children are scared about the virus, and unsure as to why things are shut down and families are quarantined.

If you are interested in learning more about the Imagine Neighborhood, visit their website at ImagineNeighborhood.org. They can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

What do you think about the Imagine Neighborhood? Do you think you will check it out with your child?

What other topics would you like to see Imagine Neighborhood talk about in their fun, interactive podcasts? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always value the comments of my site readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Imagine Neighborhood to bring you this information/review. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way. 

Who knew staying healthy could be fun

 

The cold season is in full swing. Have you been successfully able to remain “cold free” thus far? What about flu free? Knock on wood, no one in my family has been sick, with the exception of a few sniffles.

As a parent, I always drove it into my kid’s heads to wash their hands regularly, sneeze and cough into the bend of their elbow (or a tissue if handy), and try to stay away from people who are sick.

I work with children, and I try to get them to do that same thing. Sadly, kids still cough without covering their mouths, and use their sleeves when they have a running nose. Gross!

I LOVE working with children, but their questionable hygiene grosses me out. This is why I always clean and disinfect things, and I use my own crayons and markers when doing crafts or coloring.

Children, most especially young ones, don’t rely on using tissues as much as they should. I think it’s because tissues are not fun and not something that they think of. But what if tissues COULD be seen as something “fun?” It’s possible, thanks go CUBE Tissues from Smart Care.

CUBE Tissues completely revitalizes the category by taking the classic tissue box and turning it into fun figures featuring some of today’s hottest licensed characters including Minions, Thomas and Friends, PAW Patrol™, Trolls, Shopkins and Jurassic World. Additional licensed characters will be added to their product line in the coming months. 

CUBE Tissues are not an ordinary looking tissue box with licensed characters on them – they are 3-D tissues boxes!

I was sent some CUBE Tissue boxes to review. I was sent one from each of the mentioned product lines – Minions, Thomas and Friends, PAW Patrol, Trolls, Shopkins and Jurassic World.

Minions are favorite characters of my family, so that was the first box that I opened and placed in the bathroom. Check out how totally cute he is!

Please disregard the two air fresheners. We are not a “stinky” family. I was trying to use them up since they are holiday scented.

The Minion CUBE Tissue box has “boxy” feet and “boxy” arms. They really make the box come to life. How cute!

I also have the Jurassic Park dinosaur CUBE Tissue box on my desk.

With this box you have a tail, arms, feet and a long nose and mouth.

What little boy or girl (or us not-so-little-kids) wouldn’t enjoy seeing one of amusing tissues boxes? I personally think that these boxes would encourage children to use tissues more frequently, and not their hands or clothing. Don’t you agree?

Here are the other boxes I was sent. I haven’t opened them up from their outer boxes (yet). I am waiting until the Minion and dinosaur are empty before using them.

There are 85 2-ply tissues per box.

The tissues are nice and soft. I have used them several times. They are strong tissues too.

If you are interested in learning more about these adorable, 3-D tissues boxes, visit CubeTissues.com or SmartCareUS.com.

You can purchase the tissues on their sites, or on Amazon.com.

What do you think of these tissues boxes? Do you think your child would be more likely to use tissues in your home (school, daycare…) if they were in one of these boxes? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Get your kids eating healthy in 2020 with Yumble

 

Do you have a picky eater in your home? Oh! How I remember those days. Our daughter was a picky eater (she still is). She gets that from my husband. He’s a picky eater too. Thankfully my son has never been a picky eater, and I’ll pretty much eat whatever you put in front of me (except olives and celery – yuck!).

As a mom, I have always strive to feed my kids wholesome, healthy, kid-friendly meals. I’m grateful that my kids would eat spinach, broccoli, chick peas and other not-normally-kid-favorite foods.

I was fortunate to be a stay at home mom. I honestly don’t know how busy, working parents are able to prepare meals for their families. I especially don’t know how they make their meals “kid friendly.”

Let me introduce you to Yumble. Yumble is a weekly food subscription service that offers wholesome, healthy, kid friendly foods that already cooked. All you need to do is pop them in the microwave for a minute or two. Talk about a convenience.

Yumble is not a new service. Yumble has been around for a while. It’s been around since 2017. It’s grown by leaps and bounds. They were even featured on Shark Tank. 

Yumble meals cost approximately between $6.99 – $7.99 each, which includes shipping. Yumble meals are complete meals, meaning you don’t have to add anything more to  them, unless you want to.

PHOTO SOURCE: Yumble Kids Facebook page

Yumble has meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They even have a snack popper option (they are really good too).

The meals are made with kids in mind. Yumble takes the foods that kids love, and offers them in a healthy, more wholesome way.

Each meal is pre-portioned for kids. There is no weighing or measuring. Simply pop the meal in the microwave to warm it up, serve and watch your child gobble it up.

Yumble gave me the opportunity to try out their service for a month. While it’s true that my kids are older than the target demographic, I personally cannot eat large meals. I had surgery and I can only eat small meals. Yumble’s meals actually worked out well for me. I felt full and satisfied after each meal. My kids even tried out some of the meals too and loved them.

Here are just a few examples of the meals you’ll find on the Yumble website.

Classic Cheese Ravioli
With organic tomatoes in a veggie packed marinara sauce

Snack Poppers
Protein-rich grain plus flax seed for fiber and Omega-3

Chicken Mozzarella
Organic chicken in a veggie packed organic tomato sauce

Savory Meatballs & Veggies
Made from NAE Beef and our veggie packed cheese sauce

Handmade Pizza Pocket
With freshly picked green chickpeas and organic corn

Turkey Sausage & Eggs
All-natural and gluten-free with over 20g of protein

 

The menu changes often, so you always get a nice variety of meals to choose from. You can pick and choose the meals that your child likes the most.

By the way… the Turkey Sausage & Eggs pictured above was one of my most favorite Yumble meals. Mmmm!!!

I know that often foods look a lot prettier on websites, and that the real food doesn’t look anything like it. That is not the case at all. Yumble foods look just as delicious in real life as they do on the website. Here are some examples.

Chicken Mozzarella (the nuggets in my photo are grouped together, not separately link in the website photo).

Handmade Pizza Pocket

Savory Meatballs & Veggies

Snack Poppers (I cut one open so you can see the inside of it).

Turkey Sausage & Eggs (in the Yumble packae) before it’s cooked. There is cheese inside the eggs.

Yumble also sends along some goodies (depending on your subscription) such as the blue bowl and blue eating utensils seen in the photos above. They also send along cards to help inspire dinner conversations, a bento box and a special “mat” that keeps the food dish from sliding around on the table (or high chair).

The food is made fresh, and it tastes fresh when you eat it. They do not taste like frozen foods. They taste like you just made it yourself. That is one of the reasons why I love Yumble. The foods are not just tasty, they taste fresh and homemade too.

Because the food is made fresh, it doesn’t last long in the fridge. They are prepared for your little one to eat the week they are shipped to you. If they cannot be eaten during that week, you might want to consider freezing them.

If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthy, why not include your child as well? With Yumble, you know your child is not only eating food they love, but foods a meet a parent’s approval.

If you are interested in learning more about Yumble, or if you would like to give it a try for yourself, visit Yumble.com.

You can set up a subscription for one child (6 meals), two children (12 meals) or 2-3 kids (24 meals), per week. You can also cancel at any time if you are not satisfied with the food or service. Be sure to check out Yumble on social media too (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

What do you think about Yumble? Do you think you might want to try it out with your child?

Kimberly

*I received free food in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Yippee – A new streaming service for families (giveaway ends on 1/12/20)

 

The other day, my husband and I were talking about today’s technology, and how things are so much different now than they were when we were kids.

Back in day, there were only a few channels on television. The channels turned off at the end of the day too. If you wanted to watch TV late at night, you were out of luck. That was back when you have to manually change channels on the television set (there was no such thing as a remote).

When we were teenagers, we first got HBO. HBO came out in the early 70’s. My family didn’t get it until the late 70’s.

The idea of being able to watch movies on your home television was AWESOME.

Fast forward to today. Now you can watch movies and television on your telephone, that you can take with you anywhere. Movies also come out within a couple of months of leaving the movie theater, and not years late like they used to.

Streaming services are pretty amazing. I LOVE that you get a plethora of content available to you 24/7. Netflix and Hulu are certainly the most well known and popular. Disney+ is now a streaming force to reckon with too. They also have other streaming services, like Shudder, for horror movies.

There is a new streaming service available specifically geared towards families of young children. It’s called Yippee. Just the name alone makes me smile.

Yippee was kind enough to send me a code so I could try out the service for free in order to do this review (there was no compensation).

Yippee is an innovative online streaming service providing fun, family-friendly, and values-driven TV shows and movies.

One of the most popular franchises on Yippee is Veggie Tales. If you are unfamiliar with Veggie Tales, they are a group of adorable talking vegetables (animated) that go on adventures and experience a bunch of different situations. Each episode/movie teachers valuable life lessons such as honesty, love, friendship, compassion and so forth.

I believe that Veggie Tales shows/movies are a bit faith based too.

Yippee has A LOT of holiday themed programming that was available before Christmas (and some is still available now). They have a lot of Veggie Tales holiday episodes/movies such as Little Drummer Boy, The Best Christmas Gift, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving and The Toy that Saved Christmas, to name a few (there are actually more holiday titles from Veggie Tales).

Screen shot from my phone of the YippeeTV app

If your family enjoys Veggies Tales, Yippee is a must have streaming service.

Yippee is so much more than Veggie Tales. All of their quality content is geared toward families. You will not have to worry about questionable content on the service.

On Yippee you’ll find both animated content and “live action” content.

Some of the franchises I am familiar with, like Veggie Tales, Jay Jay the Jet Plane. Yippee also features these franchises;

  • The Choo Choo Bob Show
  • Topsy Turvy
  • Come on Over
  • Wild About Animals
  • Zoo Clues
  • Paws & Tales
  • Ryan Defrates: Secret Agent
  • Yancy and Friends
  • Mickey’s Farm

These are just a few of the franchises you’ll find on Yippee.

I’ve been checking out Yippee and watching some of the programming. So far my favorites show are Owlegories (too cute), The Yippee Show (interesting facts and fun challenges), Wild About Animals (I love animals), and Theo (nice stories).

Owlegories

Most of the shows/episodes range from about 10-15 minutes, which is ideal for young children with short attention spans. Some go upwards of 20+ minutes, but nothing I have come across or watched is too long.

Overall I think this is a great streaming service for families. My kids are young adults, so they won’t watch it, but my husband and I have both enjoyed many of the shows (we’re just big kids at heart).

You can watch Yippee on your computer, or you can download the free app.

The service costs $9.99/month or $79/year (works out to about $6.53 per month). Compared to other streaming services, Yippee is no more or less, however, you can rest assure that no matter what your child watches on Yippee, the content is quality, educational, wholesome and fun.

If you are interested in learning more, download the free Yippee app or visit Watch.Yippee.TV (notice it’s not .com).

You can watch Yippee on a variety of platforms.

I have a fun Yippee prize package to give to a lucky winner. The prize package includes;

  • 3-Months of Yippee ($30 value)
  • Yippee T-shirt
  • Yippee Mug
  • Yippee Confetti Blaster

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Limited to one winner per household. The giveaway ends on January 12, 2020 at 11: 59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen and random using a random number generator. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

To enter, please comment on this post why you would like to win this prize package.

For extra entries, please use the Rafflecopter widget (below).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received the same prize package in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Holiday gifts from Highlights

 

Are you familiar with Highlights? Highlights is a kid’s magazine that has been around for as long as I can remember.

Going to the pediatrician is never fun for a kid, however, I didn’t mind going because the waiting room had Highlights magazines in it. Often my doctor would let me take some of the older issues home with me. It was like getting a “gift” every time I went to see him. For that reason, I didn’t mind going.

My most favorite thing from the magazine is the search and fine puzzles. Those were always a lot of fun. Actually, all of the activities in the magazine were fun.

I loved Highlights magazine as a kid. As an adult, I can still appreciate this quality children’s magazine. I used to subscribe to it for my kids when they were little.

Highlights has not changed since when I was a child, which is a good thing. The brand has also gone on to create many wonderful Highlights books – both reading books as well as puzzle and game books.

I was sent to review a few Highlights books, all of which are great for the holiday season and beyond.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

 

Families will start a new holiday tradition with this special Hidden Pictures edition of the beloved holiday poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”—the debut title in the HighlightsTM Hidden Pictures® Storybooks series.

MSRP: $12.99

Age: 4 to 8 years

This is such an adorable book! The illustrations are darling!

The front and back cover of the book have glitter on it, to bring the “snow” to life. That was such a creative idea.

This is the classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas story, but with a twist. Each set of pages is a a “find the hidden picture” page. One side features part of the story, as well as illustrations of the items you need to find. On the other page is a scene from the story with the hidden pictures somewhere inside of it.

This book is geared towards children 4-8 years old, but I must say, there were a few times I was stumped as to where the hidden item was hiding. Some are not as easy to find as others.

This is a fun book for children to read on their own, or if they just want to try and find the hidden objects without reading the story.

60 Second Puzzles

The Fun to Go books are ideal for busy kids—they fit easily into backpacks for travel, waiting time, or any “I’m bored” moment.

MSRP: $6.99

Ages 6 to 9

This is a small book that comes with an sand timer. The sand runs out in 60 seconds. The idea of the book is to see if you can complete a puzzle in one minute, before the timer runs out.

There is a nice variety of puzzles in this book, from mazes to find the hidden objects. I find that the mazes were a bit easier to do in the time frame than the find the hidden objects puzzles.

Each set of puzzles gives you four tries to complete them. I like that you get more than one chance. You can also do different puzzles each time, then go back to the ones you want to try over again.

This book is small (think), but it’s ideal for tucking into a backpack or luggage when traveling. You can even tuck it in your purse or tote bag to take with you to keep your child occupied and entertained while at a restaurant or waiting at a doctor’s office.

Jumbo Pad of Word Puzzles

This 256-page pad of word puzzles joins our successful, best-selling collection of jumbo books. It’s jam-packed with word searches, crosswords, riddles, codes, and logic puzzles, with removable sheets that are easy to share.

MSRP: $12.99

Ages 6 to 9

There are over 125+ puzzles in this jumbo pad. There is a nice assortment/variety.

Even though this is geared towards children, I found some of the puzzles to be fun to do myself.

You can work directly in the pad, or tear out pages if you want to share them among children (in case you have more than one child/grandchild who wants to use the pad).

The nice thing is that the backside of each page features the solution to the puzzle, so you can easily check your answers.

All of these books are “budget friendly.” They are available on the Highlights website, as well as on Amazon and other retail locations.

These not only make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers, but they are also great gifts for year round gifting.

For more information about these and other Highlights products, visit Highlights.com. The brand can also be found on social media. Their links are found on the bottom of their website.

A Highlights magazine subscription also makes a great gift.

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

How Is Raising a Kid in the City Different Than the Suburbs?

 

As parents, we often wonder what’s right for our kids, and we may question whether or not we make the right decisions in everything from education to food.

If you’re a parent raising a kid in the city, you may also question if that’s the right choice. So many families opt to leave the city when they have kids, or even when they’re just thinking about it, but what about those families who don’t?

There are plenty of differences in raising a kid in the city versus the suburbs, and there are, of course, pros and cons.

So what are some of those differences?

The Logistics

If you have babies or younger kids, there are certain things you might not even think about yet that will become relevant when your kids get older. For example, will your kids learn how to drive if you stay in the city? Some kids may not learn how to drive at all, and if you grew up in the city, you might not even know how to.

Some city parents will still get their kids driving lessons, even if they don’t have a car.

It’s up to you, of course, but in the suburbs and areas outside of the city, learning how to drive is a rite of passage for teens. It can be a big difference between city kids and kids raised in suburban areas.

There are perks of not driving. One of the biggest is the exercise element. Many parents who live outside of the city may struggle to keep their kids active, and they may have a primarily sedentary life, but this is fairly unlikely to be the case if you don’t have a car and you live in a big city with your family.

Independence

Our goal as parents is to raise thriving kids who are independent and can do things on their own. Kids from the city tend to be more independent from an earlier age than kids raised in other places. For example, when you raise kids in the city, your kids may be more comfortable heading out on their own at an earlier age.

They may also be more vigilant about staying safe in a variety of different situations that suburban kids may not face.

Diversity

Of course, there can be some diversity outside the city, but for the most part, your kids are more likely to be around people from all walks of life if they live in a bigger city.

This can help your kids have a broader perspective and see the world in different ways. It can also help them be more empathetic to people who are different than they are and comfortable in a variety of situations.

There’s not just diversity in the people your kids will interact within a big city, but in all the things they encounter on a regular basis. This might mean food and culture, for example.

There may be more opportunities to socialize in general when you’re in a big city because people tend to get out and about more, and there are neighborhood parks, cafes and other gathering areas that people in the suburbs might not frequent as often.

When you live in a big city, you are going to have a smaller home in most cases than people in other areas, and you’re not going to have a big yard. While this can feel like a downside of city living it does push you to get out into the world more, rather than relying on the comfort of your private home and yard.

Convenience

When you can walk outside your door and find most things you could ever need or want, it’s simply convenient. That convenience can then give you more time to spend enjoying your kids and your family, rather than thinking about commuting from place-to-place.

When you live in the city you may own less, and that can offer money savings and more time to spend with your family in addition to convenience. You have a smaller home, which means less room for stuff. You also don’t have to maintain a large home and yard, so that time can be spent in other ways.

If you’re raising a kid in the city, there are times it may feel like it’s difficult, but often families find the benefits outweigh the challenges and can help your kids to become more culturally aware, self-sufficient and willing to get out and explore the world they live in.