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Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Busy Moms

After a long day that may include some or all of the following: work, cleaning, bill pay, laundry, taking this one to soccer practice and that one to dance class—the last thing you want to do is spend an hour over a hot stove top cooking an elaborate meal that will disappear in minutes. The Instant Pot is the best invention since the double espresso Frappuccino, cutting down on cooking time without sacrificing flavor—giving you

Travel Safety Tips – Traveling with Your Pet

For pet owners traveling with their fur-babies, safety is a top priority. Pets are family members, providing comfort, support, and unconditional love. We pamper our pets with the best custom-made gifts and accessories—sweaters, tutus, crystal collars, and even personalized books! So when we travel, leaving them behind can be heart-wrenching. According to the APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of U.S. households own a pet, and an increasing number of pet owners are traveling with

Starting a Kids’ Book Club

A kids’ book club is great for children of all reading levels, whether they’re avid readers or need a little encouragement to keep them interested in books. If you can’t find a children’s book club at your local library or school, it’s easy enough to create your own. Often organizing a kids’ book club is as easy as adding some reading time to your existing playdates. We’ve got some suggestions to help you and your

child is dressed in an astronaut costume

The Science of a Wild Imagination

The science of imagination is more important than ever, given how a kid’s imagination now has to compete with the instant gratification of television, social media, and video games. While there’s nothing wrong with electronic entertainment in moderation, the psychological benefits of imagination are enormous. Role Playing and Learning Imaginative play involves role-playing, often in imitation of parents or teachers. Role-playing allows kids to explore their own experiences and practice “being grownup.” It’s a way

girl dressed up in lion costume

Playing Pretend with Toddlers

Playing pretend with kids is a great opportunity to bond with children, but imaginative play offers many other benefits. Kid playtime offers opportunities for children to develop social skills, develop empathy, and practice their problem-solving abilities. Types of Pretend Play First off, let’s put an old myth to rest. Playing pretend does not make your child unable to distinguish fantasy or reality. In the rare cases where children do have difficulty making this distinction, the

girl listening to music

The Sound of Music: Why it’s So Powerful

The power of music has universal appeal. All cultures have some form of music, from the most advanced to those still using stone-age technology. Humanity only developed reading and writing about three thousand years ago, but we were singing and making music millennia beforehand—some of the earliest man-made items ever found were musical instruments. Music Effects on Children The power of music effects children in many ways. As any parent knows, a soft lullaby soothes

Two boys, reading a book on a lawn in the afternoon

How to Make Sure Your Child is Reading at the Appropriate Level

Reading should challenge a child to learn without becoming too frustrating. The child should encounter new vocabulary and grammatical constructions without being overwhelmed by them. Knowing how to interpret child reading level scores helps you choose reading material that’s appropriate for your child’s abilities. Child Reading Level Scores Most child reading level scores are expressed as numerical values. For instance, a child with a 5.1 score reads at the beginning of the fifth grade, a

boy sleeping with stuffed animals

Why Kids Need Stuffed Animals

Every kid has a favorite stuffed animal that helps the child feel safe and comfortable. Kids and stuffed animals are a natural pairing, and if you watch them closely, you’ll often see kids mirroring your behavior with their cuddly friends: dressing them, scolding them, and caring for them. Now it seems there’s another reason match up kids and stuffed animals—cuddly toys can help children learn to read. Kids and Stuffed Animal Library Sleepovers We’re not

parents and children reading in bed

Bedtime Routine Guideline

Children need good quality sleep for health, growth, and mood—as anyone who’s ever dealt with a sleepy toddler can attest. A regular, consistent childhood bedtime routine helps children relax in the time before bed, and be less likely to resist bedtime—two factors that influence how well they sleep at night. This childhood bedtime routine guide will help you determine how much sleep your child needs, and how to create a bedtime routine you can both

warm winter baby outfit

Tips for Dressing Babies Warm for Winter

Unlike adults, babies do not shiver to stay warm when they’re cold, so properly dressing babies warm for winter is an important parental responsibility. Not enough warm baby clothes will result in a chilled baby. Too many clothes and baby can overheat. Here’s some advice for dressing babies warm for winter. Layering for Warmth Layering is essential for dressing babies in the winter, as you can remove or add layers as you go in and