Holiday tips for single parents

The holidays can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you’re a single parent. You want to show your kids all the wonder and joy that December brings, but that doesn’t have to mean bringing them to every holiday event you’re invited to or baking a billion cookies together. Follow these tips to keep yourself and your kids sane this season.

Remember that sometimes less is more. Narrowing holiday fun down to a few meaningful events will give you more bonding time and less stress.

Set a half hour time limit on activities for young ones, since they can be overwhelmed easily.

You don’t have to go all out with the baking – save time by getting pre-made dough and have fun with the decorating (after all, that’s the most fun!).

Make sure to make time for yourself, too! It’s okay to find a sitter and enjoy a night out with kids your own age.

Read the full article here: Holiday Parenting For Single Moms

Cute reindeer cookies your kids can make!

These might be some of the cutest holiday snacks I’ve ever seen, and your kids can make them all by themselves!

All you need are oreos or other sandwich-style cookies, pretzels, some melted white chocolate, and M&Ms. Just assemble them into a reindeer face and repeat! The pretzels squish in between the cookies for the antlers, and the M&Ms are the eyes and nose. Easy and festive!

If you can’t find star-shaped pretzels like the ones shown, just break regular ones in half.

Read the full article here: Simple Reindeer Snack: Just 4 Ingredients

Bored kids? Make some Peppermint Playdough!

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season at hand, young kids can feel the stress too. Let them relax and play with some home-made Christmas playdough!

The recipe is super simple and will give bored kids something to do while you get the house ready for the festivities. Add a few holiday craft items and let them get creative! If you make a bunch, consider wrapping some up as a gift.

Read the full article here: A Festive Invitation to Play: Peppermint Christmas Playdough

Sugar cookies are not a balanced breakfast

Food of all kinds was plentiful in my childhood home, but especially around the holidays. Sweet, fatty treats like pie, coffee cake, and a huge assortment of cookies were never far from reach. It’s no wonder I was an obese child – indulgence was encouraged.

Kids lack will power. They look to their parents as role models and will usually do as you do, which is why it’s important for the whole family to make healthy choices. That sounds easier than it is, especially this time of year, but there are many things you can do to make sure over-indulgence doesn’t become an issue.

Planning meals and having healthy snacks full of protein and fiber handy will keep everyone feeling full longer, and less likely to opt for a quick, sugary hunger fix. Keep junk food out of sight and high on a shelf, and teach your kids that it’s a sometimes treat to be savored. Don’t use food as a reward, and don’t remove it as punishment. Finally, make sure everyone gets enough sleep and keeps stress levels down.

Don’t be afraid to let everyone indulge a little bit though – it is the holidays, after all.

Read the full article here: 6 Ways Kids Can Deal With Tempting Foods

The Tale Of The Teal Pumpkin

If you’re child suffers from allergies as so many do, then there’s good news for your little trick or treater. Houses adorned with teal pumpkins are giving out little toys instead of candy for kids with food allergies. Teal, being the color of food allergy awareness, isn’t just on the actual pumpkins- many people are putting window clings up with it to show their support as well. See more about the teal pumpkin here.

More Fall DIY

Last week we brought you a post about a DIY wreath that was easy, timely, and beautiful, this week we’re bringing you a ton more projects like it! All of these projects are simple and adaptable. Come Christmas, rather than bringing in the fall you can bring in winter to spruce up your decorating- and all of these can be done with the kids.

You and your kids can bring in leaves from outside to make a fall garland for your holidays and then paints the leaves for a beautiful and unique look! All you need are leaves, modge podge, some acrylic paint, and brushes. First you make sure the leaves are dry, then paint one side- to avoid too much mess. Once the paint is dry, modge podge both sides and you’ve got a beautiful look you can fit to any holiday that your kids helped make! Some string and a hole punch easily turns them into garland.

There are ten other projects in the link below. It’s important to keep in mind that these are things you can do with your kids, because they aren’t kids for long. These projects help create lasting memories and can become traditions- which are really what the holidays are about. See the other projects here.

Fund-raising Fun

This is the time of year when we have to prep for a million holidays, but it’s also that time of year when out kids’ schools start doing fund-raising. There’s all sorts of it, from book club to sports teams to general your school needs money drives. A little bit of knowledge on this subject can fight off some of the fund-raising blues and help your kids while you at it. See some pro tips here-

http://www.workingmother.com/content/manage-school-fundraising-fatigue

Hiking With The Whole Family!

100 Days to Christmas is a whole book about how to prepare for and get in the spirit of the holiday, and this week one recommendation is to hike with the family. Why? It brings the family together before it gets too cold to fit in one more bonding experience outdoors, and it’s a good time to get that list together of who wants want by dropping subtle hints. Check out 100 Days to Christmas here-

http://100daystochristmas.com/take-a-hike/

Dangerous Without Dairy

Children with dairy allergies, where milk is cut out completely, do suffer more bone problems a recent study reveals. There are some ways to supplement this, but in today’s world, where we’ve gotten so set into all or nothing diets, this study is a real worry for those who cut milk from kids diets who aren’t allergic. To find out more, and to find resources for supplemental nutrition, follow the link below-

http://community.kidswithfoodallergies.org/blog/does-milk-allergy-affect-bone-health

Getting Kids Green

Who isn’t worried about going green today? If you aren’t you should be and if you are then you’re probably looking for more opportunities because being green feels good. As lame as that sounds, it’s true, and it’s something we can start fostering in our children today.

Our kids can help with the green effort in a lot of ways: turning off unused lights, checking packaging for recycle symbols, turning off the water when not using it (like brushing teeth), using reusable bottles for water, or even just picking up their toys so they don’t break. If we instill these positive habits when they are young, they can become second nature as they get older, but it’s up to us as parents to support these habits.

We can do this by modeling green habits, in other words by doing what we expect them to do- and more. If you’re not turning off lights in rooms, they are going to pick up on that. You can get them involved too, you’ll be surprised at the ideas your kids can come up with to help out.

For more tips and more ways to nurture green habits follow the link below-

http://childhood101.com/2014/09/easy-green-habits-just-for-kids/