Babies

Oodles Of Local Holiday Events

LCA Holiday1

There is plenty to do around this time of year! We don’t want to cram the holidays full of “doing” at the expense of enjoying this holiday season, but it’s fun to enjoy some festive things with the family along the way.

Our first Lionheart Children’s Academy is located in Arlington, TX, so here are some events going on in and around Arlington that are fun for the whole family:

Arlington

Check out the Spirit of Arlington website for a big ol’ list of events going on in Lionheart’s backyard!

Fort Worth – Sundance Square

Here is a great list of events going on in downtown Fort Worth at the beautiful Sundance Square.

Grand Prairie

Here’s a calendar of Grand Prairie’s events including lights, live events, and Santa!

Mansfield

Here is historic Mansfield’s calendar of holiday events.

Hurst

Hurst has Santa’s Mailbox, tree lighting, and much more! Check out their calendar here.

Euless

Euless has a parade of lights, breakfast with Santa, and a historic park Christmas celebration – find their calendar of events here.

Bedford

If you’re in Bedford, they’ve got a tree lighting at the Historic Old Bedford School and a community wide decorating contest! Get the details here.

Grapevine

Grapevine, TX claims to be the “Christmas Capital of Texas,” so it’s probably worth checking out!

Irving

If you’re in Irving, you won’t want to miss the Holiday Extravaganza! Get the details here.

 

We hope this Christmas season fosters togetherness in your family – how ever big or small it may be!

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LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children. Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

 

Exploring The Great Outdoors: Fall Edition

Down here in the south, it’s finally cool enough to get outside and enjoy the outdoors! Here are some basic, free, and educational fall activities we’ve come up with. Let us know which are your favorites and feel free to add to our list in the comments!

 

Objectives: sensory experiences – motor skills, talk with them – language development, laugh with them – emotional development/relationship building, let them explore the outdoors and their developing autonomy – building confidence

  • Crunch leaves in hands.
  • Walk through leaves barefoot.
  • Smell leaves.
  • Walk and talk about what you see, hear, and smell outside (wind, cool weather, trees, birds).
  • Go to a new outdoor place or park to explore (it could be the next street over in your neighborhood).
  • Talk about the wind, let them see it blow the leaves or your hair.
  • Take them on a wagon ride and narrate your walk, what you see, whose house you’re passing, or even which foot your walking with. Talk the whole way.
  • Let them explore a plant store by smelling, touching, and exploring (on a slow afternoon and within eye shot, of course).
  • Find favorite leaves and practice sharing them with each other – taking turns looking at and holding.
  • Make sensory/sound boxes with things you find outside – take an old kleenex/shoe box, fill it with rocks, tape it up and see how it sounds/feels different than a box with leaves or acorns in it.
  • Throw leaves. You could include some directives in this activity to develop listening skills, following directions, and directions such as up/down – “throw the leaves up in the air,” throw the leaves down to the ground,” throw the leaves while running,” etc.

 

preschool

Objectives: Autonomy, independence, problem-solving skills, gross and fine motor skills, communication, identification, classification.

  • Glue leaves. Let them use the glue and take the lead.
  • Cut leaves with scissors. These are my three year old’s favorite scissors (with adult supervision, of course). This is good for motor skills because the scissors actually cut but are not too sharp and have a blunt tip.
  • Color on leaves.
  • Trace leaves.
  • Talk about/identify colors outside. Talk about two colors that come together to make one color.
  • Talk about the wind and the weather changing: why the wind blows, why the weather changes, opposites.
  • Talk about the autumn season – leaves changing, holidays coming, going to grandma’s house.
  • Talk about things/people/actions/emotions you’re grateful for.
  • Play “I spy” outside.
  • Throw leaves.
  • Rake leaves/bag them up.
  • Let them collect things: acorns, leaves, rocks, pine straw, pine cones, pumpkins, different gourds.
  • Talk about the different shapes, sizes, weights, and colors of collected things: compare and contrast, challenge them to find two of the same and two different.
  • See if things sink or float.

 

school age

Objectives: critical thinking, experimenting, problem-solving, communication/language development, relationship building, community awareness.

  • Science experiments: How different objects fall at different speeds – talk about gravity & velocity, how far you can throw things – do heavier things travel a longer distance, newton’s laws (in language they can understand).
  • Have a scavenger hunt.
  • Walk and talk about what makes the seasons change.
  • Go on a bike ride.
  • If you live by the beach, bundle up and go for a cool walk on the beach to experience it at a different season.
  • If you live by the mountains, go on a cool hike.
  • Talk about the coming winter season and where snow comes from/how it’s made.
  • Plant flowers, herbs, and autumn plants, and teach them about plants/photosynthesis.
  • Talk about and explore in-season fruits and vegetables.
  • Lay on the ground and do some cloud watching using your imaginations.
  • Clean up the front yard.
  • Pick up trash in your neighborhood/a local park.
  • Clean the outside windows.

 

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LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children. Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

What should I feed my baby?

Just when you think you have the hang of this parenting thing, the pediatrician throws something new again.

“Now you can start introducing foods.”

Those are six of the most intimidating words a first-timer can hear. We were already certified in baby and adult CPR and Heimlich Maneuver (I highly recommend it – the Red Cross offers a great class that we took at our local hospital), but there were still so many other questions. Like, what are we going to feed her? These babies don’t come with handbooks, but thank goodness for websites like Baby Center!

Fellow Lionheart blogger Christy sent me this article that spells out what types of foods babies should eat at each stage, as well as portions/balance. I wasn’t just worried about WHAT to feed her, but wanted to make sure baby girl was getting all of her nutrients and developing healthy eating habits early! (Now that our baby is 13 months old, they have a great article on toddler nutrition as well.)

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Here are some lessons learned from this first-time mama:

1. Don’t go out and buy a ton of baby food at first. Better yet, don’t buy every single baby food container they have on the market in hopes that you’ll make your own baby food (guilty). Because here’s the thing – our baby only ate baby food for a few weeks, and we were left with TONS of leftovers. And, we only got around to making her special baby food ONCE.  Each baby and family is different, but my advice would be to buy a little at a time to avoid waste.

Same goes for utensils. We have friends who SWEAR by one type of baby spoon or another. We just used some hand-me-downs from a friend, and my daughter didn’t realize she had options. Save your money.

2. Invest in a lot of bibs. Eating is messy business, and you won’t want to do laundry every day. We liked the idea of those plastic bibs, but found that they were always hitting her high chair tray, so we went back to the regular, old-fashioned cloth bibs. At the very beginning, we also used a dish towel and chip clip for FULL coverage (you’ve got to be creative to be a parent).

3. Baby preferences can be finicky. One day, my baby LOVES strawberries. The next, she won’t touch ’em. Or she can’t get enough turkey, then a week later, she feeds all of it to the dog. They’re learning, so just because your child doesn’t like something the first time doesn’t mean she’ll never eat it.

4. Know which foods cause constipation. My daughter LOVES bananas, and I can hand her a quarter of a banana and she can feed herself for a few minutes. It’s bliss for both of us! But… nobody tells me that bananas can stop babies up, and after a week of daily bananas (okay, sometimes even twice daily – they were SO CONVENIENT), my poor baby was absolutely miserable. Here’s a great list of foods that can cause constipation, as well as foods that can help relieve it.

5. Have fun. Food is like a messy adventure. It’s so fun to watch your child experience new things for the first time. We tried to keep a laid-back attitude about it, and as she got better with foods, we try to give her a taste of whatever we’re eating, even if it has (gasp) sugar, or is mildly spicy. Our little girl has eaten Indian food, Chinese food, Cambodian food, African food…some of it she loves, some she spits right back out. And that’s totally fine with me.

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Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

13 Things new parents stress about that seem silly later

I’m so glad I’m not the only first-time mama who stresses over silly things! I remember my first night after we brought our daughter home from the hospital, and I cried to my husband, saying, “How will we EVER sleep AGAIN?” so dramatically after an hour of us constantly getting up to check the bassinet, five feet from our bed, to make sure she was still breathing.

(PS – I discovered the answer. EVERYTHING gets easier. And you get so tired, that you WILL sleep again. You know, between all the feedings.)

Now that I’ve got one year of parenting under my belt, I like to think that I’ve settled down a little (maybe?), but I decided to survey my fellow mom friends on Facebook to see what things THEY stressed about with their first child that, upon looking back at it, seem kind of silly.

13 THINGS

1. I stressed about the importance of a monthly photo during her first year, with the exact same backdrop and the perfect outfit. I managed to take that monthly photo on time maybe once or twice, but by the last few months, I would take her monthly photo the night before she turned a month older. And you know what – IT DIDN’T MATTER. I didn’t use those photos at her party, and I still have hundreds thousands of photos of her first year. –Me

2. With my firstborn, I made sure she took naps at the exact same time every day, and went to bed at the exact same time whether she was tired or not, because heaven forbid we get off a schedule – which led to a lot of rocking and walking and bouncing and screaming. Now with my boys, I’m much more relaxed on the schedule and put them down when they are ready to lay down. Everyone is much happier. –Jacquelyn, mom of 3

3. I thought for sure Kid #1 was an amazing eater due to me making 98 percent of his food, but I did the same thing for Kid #2, and she’s a horrible eater. I have to sneak veggies in her smoothies and food! Sorry to all of the moms I gave food advice to – I’m so embarassed now! –Jenny, mom of 2, with 1 more on the way.

4. Potty training. I was determined to have my first child potty trained by the age of 2, before her sisters arrived. Then with the twins, I didn’t even attempt potty training until they were 4 years old. They basically trained themselves. –Lindsay, mom of 5

5. I used to get so obsessed with what my daughter would wear to church, and how cute she looked, and that she was perfectly nice and neat. The bow all the way to the diaper cover HAD to match. Then the boys came along… I tried to continue that mindset, but inevitably they would get dirty on the way to the car headed to church! Now they are 10, 13, and 15, and I would just LOVE to have those days back! And I promise, how “perfect” they looked would not be an issue – they’re precious just the way they are! –Amanda, mom of 3

6. Nursing. I’m proud I nursed and will do it again with my second, but if I have to give a formula bottle on occasion, I will not cry from an insane amount with guilt. At least, I hope I won’t… – Sarah, mom of 1

7. C-Sections! I used to get jealous of all the mamas out there who were able to deliver the “natural” way. Even though I spent 20 hours in labor and pushed for two, I ended up needing a C-Section.  I felt like people judged me because I couldn’t have a baby the “real” way! The process was as smooth as butter the second time around – I picked the date, time, and was even rested, showered, and had on makeup. I’m way past caring what people think now! My third C-section is scheduled for August, and I’ll be pampered and ready this go-round too! –Christy, mom of 2, with a third on the way

8. I’m embarrassed to even say this. I was cleaning out and organizing pictures and videos today of my son when he was a baby. We had 50 videos of him practicing crawling, standing, walking, (insert milestone), with both of us in the background saying, “Come on! Come on! Come on!” I’m pretty sure I recorded him, you know, just in case today was the day. I was laughing so hard at myself – my son didn’t walk until after his first birthday. With my second child, I’m trying to get her to NOT do these things, and she’s doing them earlier. Go figure!  –Staci, mom of 2

9. I was always comparing my kids to others in regards to what words they knew. My girlfriend’s daughter knew every letter of the alphabet and could point to the letter if you said it. My daughter thought every letter was a “C” at one point. Looking back, they were all smart in their own way, and I shouldn’t have worried so much. Kids just pick up on certain skills sooner than others. -Stephanie, mom of 2, with #3 on the way.

10. Two words: Swim lessons. –Whitnae, mom of 1

11. Oh, I don’t even know what to say, except “poor Evie.” Expectations were so high for her, and she rose to Every. Single. One. Napping, speaking, potty training, reading, etc. And then the four boys came and drop-kicked all my standards and gentlemanly fantasies into the abyss of gross things. And then they did a victory dance. And then they farted. –Rebekah, mom to 5

12. My son was fast at everything… except learning his colors. I had myself completely convinced that he was color blind! I’m serious, I researched and grieved for months that he would never be able to see all the beautiful colors God made in the world. Then one day, he asked for a toy, and I said, “which one?” He said, “the red one.” Turns out, he’s not color blind, just stupendously stubborn to do things in his own time! –Marci, mom to 3

13. Professional baby photos. Child #1: every three months for two years. Child #2: every six months for two years. Child #3: once when he was four. –Jackie, mom to 3

Don’t you just love finding out that you’re not the only one? That all of us have at least a few “crazy mom” moments, whether you have one child or five? I guess I don’t feel quite as guilty for feeling a tiny pang of jealousy when I found out Prince George took his first steps before my daughter (she’s two weeks older than her future husband).

What about you? What silly thing did you fret over with your first? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

Books for Babies

booksforbabiesLCA

I love books. I studied English Literature in college and my husband and I are avid readers (and let’s face it, these days I mostly have time for audio books, which are perfect for multi-tasking moms). So when I found out I was having a baby, one of the things I looked forward to most was reading to her.

There are so many great children’s books to choose from, and for my one-year-old, we’re in the board book stage. We were blessed with MANY people who gifted us books at our baby showers, as well as a cousin (mom to five) who blessed us with a huge hand-me-down board book library. Studies show that you should read to your child (even babies!) every single day, and that repetition is important. With Wrenn, we try to read some during playtime, and then before she goes to bed. (For parents who are curious about our routine – I know I love hearing about other peoples’ routines to get ideas – we drink a sippy cup of milk, then we read a book, then we rock for a few minutes and say bedtime prayers, then I lay her down in her crib, still awake but very sleepy.)

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Some of my favorite board books come from the Baby Lit collection. These books feature great works like Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, Wuthering Heights, and more. It’s all the books you had got to read in high school, but recreated as counting books, alphabet primers, etc. The pictures are gorgeous and modern – I hope to someday collect them all!

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I Love You So… is one of the sweetest books and has beautiful illustrations. I probably read this one to Wrenn more than any other, so of course I now have it memorized. I’ll take any excuse to remind her how much I love her.

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 Llama Llama Wakey Wake is just… fun. I love books that rhyme and are fast-paced (Wrenn loves to turn the page and has a SHORT attention span), and this one fits our needs perfectly.

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And then, of course, there are Dr. Seuss books. They’re whacky and rhyme and funny enough to keep me entertained. I love all of them, and plan to continue to expand our collection as she gets older. Maybe it’s nostalgia – I grew up with these books – or maybe it’s just that they’re THAT GOOD. Whatever the case, I love reading these to her.

What about you, dear readers? What books do you LOVE to read to your kids? Leave us a comment with the name of the book and the age of your child. I love getting new ideas!

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Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.