Toddler Blog

Category - Parent

The NEW Chrysler Pacifica – Innovation for Families

Last week, we had the opportunity to preview the all NEW 2017 Chrysler Pacifica!
Chrysler is once again reinventing the Minivan segment with an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility and technology. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid offer nearly 40 amazing minivan firsts!

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What We Loved About It!

(1) There’s a Hybrid version! It delivers class-leading gasoline and hybrid powertrains to the minivan segment, with the Pacifica Hybrid offering up to 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in city driving

(2) The focus on technology that allows families to navigate, entertain and enjoy their driving experience better than ever before! The Pacifica is the most technologically equipped of its kind with available all-new Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment, 8.4-inch touchscreen display and premium audio systems. With the all-new, class-exclusive Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment system, passengers can watch movies, play built-in games, connect personal devices to surf the Internet and stream content throughout the vehicle via two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens.

(3) Comfort and convenience. The features we loved included Stow ‘n Vac integrated vacuum, tri-pane panoramic sunroof, handsfree sliding doors and liftgate and redesigned Stow ‘n Go seating with Stow ‘n Go Assist and Easy Tilt access to the third row.

(4) Safety. The Pacifica offers more than 100 standard and available safety and security features, including 360-degree Surround View camera, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold and Forward Collision Warning-Plus. Key fact** – The Chrysler Pacifica also boasts up to five seating positions that will accommodate LATCH child safety-seat installation – a capacity unsurpassed in the segment.

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Follow Chrysler brand and FCA on Social:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/chrysler or www.facebook.com/ChryslerGroup
Flickr: www.flickr.com/chryslerautos or www.flickr.com/chryslergroup/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/chryslerautos or www.pinterest.com/FCAcorporate
Instagram: www.instagram.com/chryslerautos or www.instagram.com/FiatChrysler_NA
Streetfire: www.streetfire.net/uploaded/chryslervideo.htm
Twitter: www.twitter.com/chryslerautos or www.twitter.com/FiatChrysler_NA
YouTube: www.youtube.com/chrysler or www.youtube.com/pentastarvideo

Toddler Blog Welcomes IntuitParenting!

Toddler Blog Partners with IntuitParenting!

Toddler Blog is excited to announce a new partnership with IntuitParenting. Marissa Gold, the Founder and Chief Parenting Expert of IntuitParenting will be officially joining the Toddler Blog Team as its Resident Parenting Expert. Marissa will bring her extensive experience and passion for working with and educating parents to help shape our parenting content on Toddler Blog. Look for regular posts, open Q&As and more personalized parenting expertise coming soon.

About Marissa Gold: Marissa Gold is an expert in Brain-Based Parenting. Her unique perspective is geared to meet your parenting needs by reflecting upon age-appropriate and developmentally-relevant information which focuses on reinforcing positive and respectful parenting. By understanding the developmental needs of your child, and how to apply scientifically-reinforced information to parenting decisions, Marissa has become a respected teacher, private consultant and speaker. As the Founder of IntuitParenting, Marissa is dedicated to serving parents through private consultations; parenting groups (both Mommy and Me and Parent Education seminars without children) and school and community presentations and workshops.
Marissa received her BA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her Early Childhood work at UCLA. She is the mother of two girls, ages 9 and 6. She is “in the trenches” with you and understands your daily struggles and triumphs

Is it time to DITCH THE DIAPERS???

Question: Can you please help me with potty training? Sometimes I think my son is ready and at other times, definitely not. He shows signs that he knows and understands “the feeling to go” but won’t stop playing or often does the potty dance and then pees in his pants. Should I force the issue and put him in underpants or wait? What is the best way to potty train?

Answer: This is a great question that every parent faces with a young child. So, let’s get to it. Here’s what is tough about potty training – you can’t ever force a child “to go” it if they’re not physically or emotionally ready.  Yes, there are tricks and suggestions I can give you but if your child really isn’t “wanting” to do the “pee or poo in the potty”, it’s hard to force the issue.  Smart children know that they can control this and they CAN use it to their advantage.  As a side note, It’s VERY common with children when there has been a recent addition to the family or another big “life change”, for potty issues to become more difficult, so please keep that in mind as well.

Here are some tips to make potty training easier:

  1. Place a potty in every bathroom that your child will be using. Encourage its’ use as both a toy and a real potty.
  2. Allow child to play with dolls and stuffed animals on or near the potty. They can read to them on it, help them go to the bathroom on it and wipe them.
  3. Read potty books to your child and let them read those same books to their dolls and stuffed animals.
  4. Talk to them about the people that they love who already use the potty -mommy, daddy, big brothers/sisters, cousins, friends, etc.
  5. Let them watch you go to the bathroom.  You may have to get over being shy for just a moment but remember, you’re modeling for your child.
  6. Remind them that they will get to pick out and wear new underpants when they’ve mastered this new skill.

After doing this for approximately 2-4 weeks and when you sense that your child really understands, it’s time to start the actual potty training.

Pick a date – one or two weeks out on the calendar – and circle it to visually show your child that this is the date when they will start wearing underpants and “go in the potty”. It’s best to tie that date to something that your child understands. Developmentally, children understand schedules and timing based upon events in their life. This is called “event time”. So, tie the date when you’ll begin potty training to an event that your child knows is headed their way, such as the last day of school, first day of summer vacation, a birthday, or other special occasion.

As the day draws near, continue to talk about this exciting new change together. Speak about it positively but allow your child the space to be conflicted. It’s okay to ask them if they have questions, are feeling scared or anxious. Any and all feelings should be validated and discussed without judgement. Take your child to pick out new underpants and stickers. Together, you can create a chart that shows 21 days (or 3-4 weeks) from the day you are going to start the training. Tell your child that they will get a “potty party” once they are in underpants for 3-5 days without accidents.

When potty training day arrives, put up the chart, put them in underpants and GO! Once your child is in underpants, they’re in underpants. Don’t go back and forth and don’t allow your child to “make the rules”. Ask them frequently if they need to use the potty and keep reminding them that they’re in underpants. Remind them that this means they have to stop whatever they’re doing to actually GO TO THE BATHROOM. If they have to stop their activity to go, and they remember to do this (with your help or on their own), make sure you praise their specific efforts (i.e.. “listening to their body”). Encourage this consistently and remind them that whatever they’re playing with or doing will be there, waiting for them, when they return. Your child can put stickers on the days of their chart where they go the entire day without accident.

When your child is able to go 3 days with no accidents, it’s time for a “potty party”. Do the potty dance, sing the potty song – you get to make these up. And go for a special family walk to celebrate your child’s major milestone. You’re proud, right? Tell your child!

Parenting: Get Into It!

marissa@intuitparenting.com

 

About Marissa Gold: Marissa Gold is an expert in Brain-Based Parenting. Her unique perspective is geared to meet your parenting needs by reflecting upon age-appropriate and developmentally-relevant information which focuses on reinforcing positive and respectful parenting. By understanding the developmental needs of your child, and how to apply scientifically-reinforced information to parenting decisions, Marissa has become a respected teacher, private consultant and speaker. As the Founder of IntuitParenting, Marissa is dedicated to serving parents through private consultations; parenting groups (both Mommy and Me and Parent Education seminars without children) and school and community presentations and workshops.

Marissa received her BA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her Early Childhood work at UCLA. She is the mother of two girls, ages 9 and 6. She is “in the trenches” with you and understands your daily struggles and triumphs

 

A More Challenging Choo Choo!

When we can’t pull our toddlers away from their favorite toy, we can try changing up how they use it! One toy can always be used in a multitude of ways to make it more developmentally stimulating.

Today we’re exploring an old favorite, the Toy Train Track, to make A More Challenging Choo Choo!

– Play with color! Connect all of the red trains, then all the green, etc.

– Make a pattern! What if you linked a green then a red then a green — What color would come next? Older toddlers will benefit a lot from starting to build and recognize patterns!

– Never stop counting! Can we connect just two trains? How about three? Four? Have your little count as you go.

– Practice listening skills! Call out Red, Green, or Yellow Light and have your little adjust their trains’ speed accordingly.

– Play with speed! Can your tot practice restraint and drive her train in slow motion? Then try filling up the gas tank and taking a super speedy loop around the track!

– Change direction! Practice going backwards when someone calls out Reverse!

– Go off railing! Why not make your own track together on a large piece of butcher paper? Winding roads and a great view make for one exciting trip!

– Time for a wash! Take your favorite toy outside with a bucket of water and washcloth. Watch your little’s face light up with delight as you get your trains all spick and span!

 

 

Getting Toddlers To Try New Foods!

Getting toddlers to try new foods is a superhero task! But we are here to help you get your tot tasting a variety of nibbles in no time flat. Read on for our best, tasty tips!

Try and try again. Toddlers take quite a few times to get used to a new texture or taste. Try every day for two weeks straight and eventually, an odd food will start to become familiar and less intimidating to them.

Display it in a new way! Chunks of apple may not be a hit, but some littles will love apple slices, or a peeled apple whole, or even applesauce. And never underestimate the power of a funny shaped cookie cutter to make foods seem more enticing!

Talk it up. Before trying a raw carrot stick, build up the anticipation. i.e.: What color is that cute carrot? Is it hard or soft? I think that baby carrot is going to make a crunch sound when you bite into it! Do you?

Offer more than one newbie at a time. Play with offering two new foods on a dish in the same meal. As long as you also offer a side you know he loves, having two new options is great because you don’t know which newbie he will be drawn to.

Enlist a sous chef. Getting kiddos involved in picking and prepping food will definitely lead them to wanting to try the new dish they’ve helped create!

Sauce it up. Broccoli may become appealing when dipped in a favorite hummus or mixed in to the old standby, mac and cheese. A favorite sauce can make all the difference when first introducing something new.

Pair similar foods together. If your little nugget loves cauliflower, mix in a bit of broccoli with it. Pair nectarines with fuzzy peaches. Similar textures and flavors make new foods less scary.

Be an example. Kids want what we eat! So offer your tot a taste off your plate and the odds are stacked in your favor that she’ll want to try it too!

Take turns feeding one another. It may sound silly, but practice being the feeder and the one being fed. Kids usually get such a kick out of this that they’re willing to try a food out of their comfort zone to keep the game going!

Remember what you can control and what you can’t. You can choose what foods are offered to your little. But you can’t really control how much he eats. Pick your battles knowing that this too is temporary.

Be patient! Toddlers asserting their opinion and will is a crucial part of development. And though it may make meal time a bit tricky right now, that same independence and strong opinion will be to their advantage later in life!

 

Raising A Book Lover!

Us grown ups know the value of books and want our our littles to become avid readers! But how do we start our kids off in the right direction when they are still too small to sit still? Here are some quick tips to Raising A Book Lover! 

– Set aside a special reading time each day in a special place in the room. Even if you only get through 5 pages, you’ll be setting up a routine that will quickly become a family tradition.

–  Let your toddler choose which book to read. Even if it’s “Goodnight Moon” for the hundredth time! Repetition is great for little minds, though admittedly a pain for adult ears.

– Ask questions as you go. It keeps them engaged and gets them moving! Can Caleb spot the cow? Can he moo like a cow too?

– Try books on tape in the car. See if your child can practice their listening skills and follow along!

– Visit the library! A giant room full of books is even more exciting than a small shelf of them. Fuel her curiosity with a trip to your local branch for story time.

– Foster an understanding of the words on the page. Let him show you the cover and turn the pages in the right direction. Then use your finger to follow along with the text as you speak it out loud.

– Create a reading chart. Every book you read together earns your little a star sticker, and  stickers are an easy way to keep keep young ones motivated. Watch as your chart fills up!

– Think beyond the book! Grocery lists, scavenger hunt clues, and handwritten letters are all wonderful ways to encourage a love of reading in your toddler!

Guest Blog from Marissa Gold of Intuit Parenting

My Husband has a third appendage…and it’s battery-powered.
Recently my younger daughter asked me why Daddy always had his phone with him. I paused, thought about all of the politically correct answers I could give her.

They went something like this:
“Daddy owns his own business and needs to be accessible.”
“Something important may happen and Daddy needs to find out immediately.”
“Daddy isn’t on the phone, it’s just nearby, in case…”
I even contemplated:
“Daddy is addicted to Trivia Crack”. Okay, maybe I didn’t…well…

Then I thought about it some more and realized that there wasn’t a single excuse I could provide to my young daughter that would make sense to her. Mainly because it doesn’t make sense in a child’s mind, why anything and especially a phone, would be more important than her.

Remember the song, “Cat’s in the Cradle”? Listen up moms and dads: we’ve become the epitome of the words sung by Harry Chapin. Our children are growing up too fast and before you know it, they’re gong to be asking for their own Nano, smart phone, e-reader and/or tablet. We wonder why these material items are so important and lusted after by them, don’t we? Well, why shouldn’t they be? From a young age, they see us literally connected to our e-devices at all times.

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before: Keep in mind what you say and do (at all times) in front of your children because they’re constantly watching you. Well, it couldn’t be truer if you have a 2-10 year old. They’re picking up your words, habits, sayings, morals and everything that you do. So, if you want to ensure you have a child who one day makes time for you, start by turning off that smart phone, put down your tablet, disconnect from the computer and pay attention to your child. Right now, what is most important is your presence. Quality time together. Believe it or not, that’s what they want. They want your presence more than any material item you could ever give them.

Slow down, disconnect, talk and just “be” – together. Model it and you’ll get it in spades, back.
Parenting: Get Into It! www.intuitparenting.com

Thanks to Marissa for joining us on Toddler Blog Today! She will be dropping in from time to time with brain based parenting expertise. Let us know what you think in the comments and whether you struggle with being present for your kids?

About Marissa Gold: Marissa Gold is an expert in Brain-Based Parenting. Her unique perspective is geared to meet your parenting needs by reflecting upon age-appropriate and developmentally-relevant information which focuses on reinforcing positive and respectful parenting. By understanding the developmental needs of your child, and how to apply scientifically-reinforced information to parenting decisions, Marissa has become a respected teacher, private consultant and speaker. As the Founder of IntuitParenting, Marissa is dedicated to serving parents through private consultations; parenting groups (both Mommy and Me and Parent Education seminars without children) and school and community presentations and workshops.

Marissa received her BA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her Early Childhood work at UCLA. She is the mother of two girls, ages 9 and 6. She is “in the trenches” with you and understands your daily struggles and triumphs

Encouraging Proper Pencil Grasp

Moms are often concerned when their toddler struggles with a crayon or marker. But proper pencil grasp (using those tripod fingers) is something that comes over time. The best thing we grown ups can do to encourage it, is to lead tots in activities that strengthen their fine motor skills and focus on the hands and fingers. Here are some tips to help you play along!

Bust out the play doh! Rolling, flattening, and creating with play doh uses all the exact muscles we need to strengthen. Add a pair of kiddo scissors and you’ll really be building your little’s skills!!

Work out the hands! Try things like catching and rolling a ball. Keep at it!

Now work a little more closely by helping your LO put coins into a piggy bank slot. Takes concentration and muscle control.

Next practice threading beads or cheerios onto a pipe cleaner for an added challenge!

Don’t forget the fingers! Sing “Where Is Thumbkin?” as a fun warm up. Then try wiggling and tapping each finger individually.

Have some fun tearing up pieces of newspaper and then collaging them onto construction paper as an art activity that doubles as a finger exercise.

Finally, explore clothespins. Have your kiddo practice opening and closing them, picking up cotton balls, etc. It’s a finger workout that will keep them entertained as they grow!

BEYOND FINGER PAINTING!

Painting is boundless fun, no matter your age. And painting using different materials as tools will work fine motor skills, lead to better pencil grasp, and excite little imaginations to no end!

 

Here are our favorite items to create with when going BEYOND FINGER PAINTING!

 

Raid the kitchen for inspiration!

Sponges provide lots of messy, painting fun. Cut old ones into smaller pieces to extend the playtime.

Cookie cutters make perfect shapes on a page.

Plastic forks can make awesome flower petals or fireworks.

Straws can turn globs of paint on paper into beautiful, modern splatters with one big breath out.

Break out the baster. Just add a bit of water to your paint and your little will love squeezing it up and out!

 

Explore the toy box! 

Toy trains and cars make awesome tracks across the page.

Plastic animals have paws and fins that love to leave a trail of colorful paint behind them.

Place old school marbles or small bouncy balls in a box with your paper, then roll them around in paint.

 

Keep it natural! 

Press flowers into pastel colored paint for a Springtime mini masterpiece.

Use leaves to create an Autumn inspired canvas.

Feathers glide creating soft, unique strokes across the page.

 

Don’t underestimate the bathroom!

Qtips make tiny, adorable prints. Try using one in each hand to get both sides of the brain working.

Cotton balls create fluffy clouds and soft tree tops. Use them attached to clothespins for double the fun.

Use old caps as different size circular stamps.

Don’t toss that toilet paper core roll. Dip it in different colors and let it roll across the page!

 

Don’t forget to use what you have right in front of you! 

Mom, your recycled wine corks make for great stamp making.

Bubble wrap give paintings texture that can look like fur on animals or leaves on trees!

Flyswatters in paint take outdoor painting to a new level of excitement.

You’ve tried your fingers, now try your toes! Toe painting is one your littles own’t soon forget!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside The Box Questions For A Babysitter

Hiring a babysitter can seem like a daunting task, so we’re here to help! Of course its important to connect with your potential sitter about logistics like availability, pay rate, and references. But what do you ask when you want to go a bit deeper? Check out our Outside The Box Questions For A Babysitter!

“What was your favorite childhood toy?” This question is a lot more exciting to answer than the generic, “What do you like to do with kids?” It takes the pressure off the sitter to come up with the “right,” educational answer and allows her to speak from the heart. The type of toy or play she reminisces about is also what she will most easily engage your child with today.

“Who was your favorite babysitter or teacher growing up and why?” This question tells you a lot about your sitter’s past and what traits she values in a caregiver. You may even ask if she’s had any negative experiences with sitters or teachers. Hearing both sides, get a full vision of the type of babysitter she aspires to be.

“Do you have young kids in your family?” This is a great way to find out more about her personal involvement with family care. Watching a proud auntie’s eyes light up as she talks about her toddler nephew is a great way to get to know her. And it may even lead into a conversation about which ages she finds the most exciting or challenging to care for.

“What are your favorite things to do on your days off?” This is a more open ended question than the usual, “What would you do with my kids on a long Saturday afternoon?” You will learn a lot about what activities she enjoys, who she prefers to spend her time with, and what types of places she feels the most at home in.

“What are some things a family can do to make a babysitter’s job easier?” Encourage her to be honest! Does she feel overwhelmed by food prep? Does she hate getting called at the last minute for work? Does she feel uncomfortable disciplining a child without the parents there? This is also a great time to ask about her past experiences with families. The good, the bad, and everything in between. Learn more about her up front and it will smoother sailing throughout your babysitting adventures!