10 Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

Can you believe it’s nearly February already? Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – a holiday for more than just romantic couples, a day when we should how much we love those we’re close to. Work together with your kids to create something truly special for mom or dad. Here are 10 Valentine’s Day crafts you can create with your kids.

1. Candy Collage Cookie Pops

Valentine’s Day crafts that kids and adults can make together for classroom Valentine exchanges, festive party snacks and more. These edible gifts kids are simple, but they look professional! Click here for the craft.

Candy Collage Cookie Pops

2. DIY Tissue (Kleenex) Flowers

These may require a lot of tissues, but they’ll keep your kids busy for hours. You can make as many flowers as you like – a whole bouquet or just one. What mom doesn’t love flowers? Click here for the craft.

DIY Tissue (Kleenex) Flowers

3. Lollipop Flower Treats

Not only are these fun to make, but you get to enjoy a sweet treat! Click here for the craft.

Lollipop Flower Treats

4. Gumball Machine Valentines

This is a great craft for your child to give out at school. It’s a small bag of treats and a Valentine’s Day card all in one. Click here for the craft.

Gumball Machine Valentines

5. Cupid’s Arrow Valentines

These nontraditional Valentine’s Day cards are sure to stand out. Working with straws also helps kids develop their fine motor skills. Click here for the craft.

Cupid’s Arrow Valentines

6. Mod Podge Heart Decals

What’s nice about these is that you can hang them anywhere – from walls to windows. You can make as many as you like depending on the size of your home and stick them wherever you like. Click here for the craft.

Mod Podge Heart Decals

7. Pipe Cleaner Base with Button Flowers

This is a great Valentine’s Day gift for a family member, friend or teacher because it can be displayed nicely on a desk or counter top. You can make as many flowers as you like and use any colors. Click here for the craft.

Pipe Cleaner Base with Button Flowers

8.  Valentine’s Day Handprints

Handprint crafts are fun because they create a memory of when your kids were little. Use their hands, feet and a bit of paint to make something special. Click here for the craft.

Valentine’s Day Handprints

9. DIY Valentine’s Day Paper Hat

These are pretty simple to make and you probably have the materials you need right at home. It’s a great craft for younger kids who don’t have a lot of skills or older kids who like to work independently. Click here for the craft.

DIY Valentine’s Day Paper Hat

10. Hanging Hearts Mobile

This is a great craft to make if you’re having a party of Valentine’s Day celebration. Click here for the craft.

Hanging Hearts Mobile

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Developing Motor Skills: Baby Playtime Activities

developing motor skillsThere are many milestones and things to watch for and anticipate as a new parent. One of these areas involves motor skills. Motor skills are defined as an intentional muscle movement—these movements are typically placed into 2 categories, gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve larger movements of the arms, legs, feet, or entire body, such as crawling, walking, and jumping. Fine motor skills involve smaller movements of body parts such as fingers and hands. Believe it or not, there are many easy and fun activities parents and caregivers can do with babies to encourage the development of both gross and fine motor skills. Here are just a few:

Get out the Play-dough

Most kids love play-dough, and it turns out that this activity is more than just crafty fun. It encourages imagination, provides a sensory experience, and builds motor skills. The pinching, stretching, and kneading of play-dough is wonderful for building muscle strength and coordination in little fingers. Once you teach your little ones that play-dough is for playing and not for eating, they can unleash their creative spirit while developing essential motor skills.

Go Swimming

One of the major components of well-developed gross motor skills is a strong core. According to professionals who offer baby swimming lessons in Houston, swimming is an effective way to build core, leg, and arm muscles even in young children and babies. Swimming with your little one will get them used to the water—a huge benefit when they are old enough for swimming lessons on their own. This is a great mommy-and-me class to try with your baby to help them build important muscle groups and learn essential swimming skills.

Coloring

Holding a pencil or crayon the correct way may seem to be a skill not needed for years to come, but it is never too early to begin to develop strong muscles and good skills. By using short nubs of pencils and crayons it encourages little ones to hold them correctly, rather than in a fist. Using thicker markers in the beginning will help them get an idea of how to grasp, and showing them how to color on a page will help with coordination and strength. Then, try cutting down pencils and crayons to help increase these grasping muscles as they grow.

Play Hopscotch

Drawing a basic hopscotch grid with sidewalk chalk can provide hours of entertainment, exercise, and development of gross motor skills. Hopping and jumping are both skills that build strong leg muscles and coordination. Little ones may not be able to actually play hopscotch. Simply drawing a line on the ground and encouraging them to walk along it and jump over it is a great alternative. Not only will this help them burn off extra energy, but they will eventually develop the muscles needed to hop, skip, and jump.

Tummy Time

For very young babies, tummy time is like doing a set of sit ups. Laying a baby on their tummy for supervised play time is extremely important and beneficial to the development of strong core, neck, arm, and leg muscles. These muscles are all needed as the baby learns to sit, scoot, crawl, and walk. Your little one may scream and cry during tummy time, but it is necessary to proper growth. You may dread this exercise, but allowing the baby to get used to this position will help them develop the necessary muscles to support their own body.

Strings and Things

Allowing kids to string materials is a wonderful way to build fine motor skills and build hand-eye coordination. Kids can string things such as macaroni, cheerios, and beads into necklaces and bracelets. If they aren’t quite coordinated enough for this, invest in a few books or games that require strings to be looped through holes repeatedly (you can even make your own.) This action will help with creativity and hand-eye coordination, but can be disguised as a fun game or jewelry making for your little one.

There is nearly a never ending number of ways to work on building gross and fine motor skills with babies. The keys are to be creative, stay active, and have fun! Your baby will develop the necessary skills as you help him or her along in the process, and you can always ask your pediatrician if you are concerned about their development or motor skills.

Dixie Somers, Freelance WriterGuest Blog by Dixie Somers, Freelance Writer/Blogger

Dixie is a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women’s interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters who are the inspiration for her writing.

Follow Dixie on Twitter

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

8 Playtime Ideas to Boost Baby’s Development

playtime that boosts developmentWe all want our children to be as smart as possible. Let’s face it, smarter people tend to (not always, but often) lead easier lives, perform a job that doesn’t tax the body, and even make more money. Who wouldn’t want that for their children? We can usher them in that direction by taking steps to improve their brain’s development earlier in life. Play time isn’t all fun and games – it’s full of learning! Here’s how you can help.

1. Encourage babbling.

When your baby speaks gibberish to you, he’s actually attempting to communicate. Don’t disregard him or speak baby talk back. Respond as if he said something meaningful and then pause for his part in the dialogue. You’ll encourage speech development this way.

2. Arrange messy play.

Set up a space and then let your baby experiment with messy play materials, like water, mud or sand. These textures give him a chance to interact with something unusual and unlike anything he’s experienced before.

3. Include other children.

Before a year old, kids aren’t really capable of playing with one another, but just playing nearby can improve their development. They’ll witness how the other baby behaves and how he/she is using toys. It’s a different perspective.

4. Start the day with activity.

Be as active as possible early in the day. Early activity sets a tone for the body. Your baby will be awake and inclined to take in as much as possible. A slow start can leave your baby sluggish and unwilling to play.

5. Avoid overstimulation.

During play time, you want to let your baby move from toy to toy at his own pace. Don’t bring too many toys into the play area. Too many options can be overwhelming and force little minds to shut down or become cranky.

6. Skip playtime when your baby needs something else.

Convincing your baby to enjoy play time while he’s hungry, wet, or crabby is futile. Even if you get him to push his truck or shake his rattle, his brain isn’t in the right mindset to gain much from it. Meet his needs first so he can focus on learning.

7. Create a passion for books.

Just because reading is a passive activity doesn’t mean books can’t be a part of play. Use books with large, colorful pictures of animals and people. Make silly voices and animal sounds to match the story. Be as entertaining as possible so your baby associates fun and silliness with reading, thus creating a lifelong enjoyment of it.

8. Play “mimic” games.

Games that require your baby to mimic your movements are excellent tools for development. Play games like patty-cake, peekaboo, this little piggy, etc. You can encourage movement by imitating the behavior once, then placing the toy in your baby’s hand and encouraging him to do the same. For example, show him how to shake a rattle by placing it in his grasp and shaking his wrist.

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

5 Ways to Encourage Sensory Play

sensory play ideasPeople learn best when their senses are involved. After all, our senses are a key component of memory (can you think of a memory without a vision, taste, feeling, sound, or smell?).

Sensory play is any activity that stimulates your child’s senses. When their senses are aroused, they use scientific methods to discover, learn, and grow their brains. While active lessons (like piano lessons or karate classes) have their own uses, a big part of early development comes from creative play and free exploring.

To help them better understand their world, we want to give them play opportunities that stimulate their sense of touch, sight, smell, hearing, and even taste. Here are a few ideas to encourage sensory play, but don’t stop here! You’ll find many examples all over the web.

Jell-O Finger Paints

These easy-to-make finger paints are non-toxic and safe to eat. Basically you’ll make watered-down Jell-O that can be spread all over and cleaned up easily. If you make several flavors, you’ll fill the room with lovely fruit smells, too. Offer your child brushes or encourage him to use his fingers. Don’t worry if he spreads it all over; that’s part of the fun.

Click here for a recipe.

Quicksand

Using cornstarch and water, you can create your own quicksand! Quicksand is simply sand that has been infused with so much water than it behaves like a liquid. You can make quicksand in a bucket or tray, or fill a small kiddie pool (but monitor your children while they play). Let them slosh, splash and construct with the odd substance.

Click here for a recipe.

Play Dough

Play Dough is fun, but you never seem to have enough to make anything big. Fortunately, it’s easy to make at home out of water, flour, and salt. Create a generous amount of several different colors and encourage your kids to build anything they like. Show them how to stick it together to make colorful objects.

Click here for a recipe.

Sensory Tub

A sensory tub is a simple ideas designed to give your child a plethora of options. In a plastic tub or bin, include a variety of objects. Some parents like to center the objects on a theme that the child likes so he or she will be inclined to explore. Your child will find the different textures and colors appealing, develop his/her fine motor skills, and play creatively.

Click here for a recipe.

Sensory Bath

Similar to the sensory tub, the sensory bath incorporates a variety of items, but in water. Fill your tub with a few inches of water and add a variety of objects that your child wouldn’t normally come in contact with, like filled water balloons or small rocks. Let her play with these items and interact with the water.

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.