9 hours ago
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Hodels on Global: Check out our pictures: Life continues in Hong Kong and we are having a great time! Marty has taken some amazing pictures that we would like to share. The easiest ...
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Halloween is great fun for the children. We can't decide if it's the dressing up in costumes, the parade past the middle school, the piñata, or our other MCH tradition--carving the "Jolly Goblin"--that we love the best. For the most part it's the joy we feel as we come together at the end of October as a true community.
Here are "itty bitty love's" tips for making a confusing holiday like Halloween fun for a young toddler:
- Try on costumes with friends and family before Halloween. I set up a costume corner for Elise a couple weeks before Halloween. She tried on costumes with friends and family, and had lots of fun. She also went to a Halloween party the day before Halloween, and played with other children wearing costumes. On Halloween night, Elise didn't seem at all surprised or frightened to see people in costumes. Occasionally, she squealed in delight when she saw someone whose look really struck her fancy!
- Choose a costume that your child can relate to. Next year, Elise will choose her own costume, but at 15 months, it was up to me and Hubs. One of Elise's first animal sounds was a monkey, and she always gets really excited when she sees monkeys in books, so "monkey" seemed like a fairly logical costume choice.
- Include your child in the costume-making/ buying process. Elise participated in putting together her costume from start to finish. She went to the craft store to pick out the pattern and supplies, and she tried on the costume as my mom and I sewed. If you're buying a costume, invite your child to go shopping with you, and if possible, let them try on costumes in the store to check fit and style.
- Give your child time to get used to wearing the costume. As soon as Elise's costume was finished, it was available for her to wear throughout the day for a week or so before Halloween. By the time the big day rolled around, it was covered in food (!), but she was also really comfortable wearing it.
- Look at Halloween decorations in the daylight. Not all Halloween decorations are as cute as my owls! On Halloween morning, Elise and I walked our trick-or-treating route, and watched people putting up decorations. Many of our neighbors explained to Elise what they were doing, and invited her to come by to trick-or-treat that night. I was also able to see which houses would be too scary to walk by in the dark (i.e. the house with zombies crawling out of the yard).
- Take your time packing up the decor. This applies to all holidays! As an adult, I'm usually ready to put away the holiday the day after it's done, but I learned as a teacher, it's better for kiddos to do it gradually. There's so much build-up before a holiday; putting things away over the course of a week can prevent children from feeling totally letdown. Elise is still playing in her costume corner, and our jack-o-lantern is smiling at us from the nature table in our living room.
Here is a timely post from our friend Micaela at Mindful Momma:
Are you up to your ears in Halloween candy? Yeah, we are too. Like it or not, sweets season is officially upon us! By the time the Halloween candy is gone, we’ve got pumpkin pies and then it’s candy canes and countless other holiday sweet treats. So what’s a green & healthy parent to do? Here are a few ideas:
Swap it outHave you ever heard of the switch witch? Apparently she visits unsuspecting houses and swaps out healthier treats for crappy ones. Some brave parents even pay money for each piece of candy the child hands over or substitute a toy for the entire candy stash. Where does the candy actually go after that? Why the office candy bowl of course – where treats magically disappear without worry of calories, preservatives or artificial dyes! Full disclosure: I have never done this (although I have been known to toss whatever is still left after a few weeks).
Set limitsNo matter how old your kids are, it’s important to set some type of limit on candy consumption. Obviously, it’s going to be different depending on the age of the kids. When my kids were younger, I limited it to one or two pieces a day. Now that my kids are older (9 and 13), I don’t try to micro-manage the situation too much but I do ask them to limit it to 2 pieces after a meal. And call me the worst parent on the planet, but I let them have candy for breakfast on the day after Halloween. They must dream about candy all night long and they wake up completely obsessed! Oddly enough, I find that they get over the candy-mania after a couple of days and all-in-all they self-regulate pretty well.
Same goes for the rest of the holiday-season dessert overload. Moderation is the key!