Boredom

Oodles Of Local Holiday Events

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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.

 

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A Toddler-Safe Play-Doh Recipe

Today is National Play-Doh Day. Did you know that Play-Doh was first invented as a wallpaper remover? Or that more than 2 billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold, weighing the equivalent of 2,000 Statues of Liberty? That’s a lot of Play-Doh! (For more fun Play-Doh facts, check out this article.)

I have such great memories of playing with that soft, gooey mess as a kid, so I thought this would be a great excuse to introduce it to my own 14-month-old little girl. I love finding fun “science experiments” for her to do on the porch that let her get messy and be creative. Because she still puts everything in her mouth, it was important to me to make something safe for her to eat (it has a LOT of salt, so I wouldn’t recommend letting your little ones chow down on it, but a few licks won’t hurt them).

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I followed this recipe with simple ingredients I keep in my pantry. The prep took about five minutes (one change – next time I would add a little more water), and I added some yellow food coloring to make it fun (and because I thought red might stain Wrenn’s clothes).

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A few tips:
1. We do all messy projects on the back porch. They key is to take freezer paper and painter’s tape and tape down a place for your little one to play. This makes clean-up so much easier and keeps dirt out of your Play-Doh.

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2. Dig up some utensils that make the playing more fun. For my 14-month-old, I pulled out some different shaped plastic toys along with some baby forks and a spatula so she could practice chopping, cutting, and making pictures with her Play-Doh.

3. Toddlers have short attention spans, but don’t worry – this Play-Doh can be saved in a zip-loc bag and reused again and again. However, instead of saving mine, I called my mom friend who lives one street over and offered to give it to her kids (ages 3 and 5 – they LOVE Play-Doh) as an unexpected treat. Because with motherhood, we might as well share the love, right?

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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.

Cooking with kids: Go ahead – play with your food

Whether your kids are wee ones or almost grown up, they all can benefit by spending time in the kitchen with you. Here are some ways to make cooking together special.

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play

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Our littlest ones might not be ready to do much cooking, but they LOVE to find new ways to play! Make them feel like they’re part of the cooking process by helping them turn food into play. Whether they indulge their inner fashionista with a fruit necklace (note – blueberries STAIN clothes and carpet!), play architect by building things with toothpicks, or simply enjoy something “gross” like worms made from jello, your kids will love the freedom to FINALLY play with their food.

Hint: Tape freezer paper to your kitchen table or counter for quicker clean-up.

 

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decorate

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As they get a little older, they may not yet be ready to cook, but they love to “help” in the process by decorating what YOU cook. Decorating cookies is such a childhood staple, whether it’s a holiday or hot summer day. Rummage through your pantry for candy to make faces, or use your food coloring and (new) paint brushes to let them paint directly onto their cookies.


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fun

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For your older kiddos, walk them through the process of cooking their own meal. It will give those picky eaters some buy-in for the meal, and it will make them so proud to serve their finished product to mom and dad. We have created a Pinterest board with kid-friendly recipes, and don’t forget – you can take something normal and make it special with something as simple as food coloring or a cookie cutter.

 

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It’s true for parties, and it’s true for kids, too: the little touches can make something go from mundane to memorable. Create a fun cooking space for them by taping down freezer paper, laying out all of the tools/ingredients (like you see on the TODAY Show cooking segments) and writing out the recipe so they can follow along themselves. Let them wear your apron (or buy them their own) and chef’s hat, and make a BIG DEAL out of the finished product. If your kids are older, let them set the table with your fanciest linens and dishes and proudly serve mom and dad their creations while you RAVE about their cooking. Bravo!

 

title5One of the greatest things my mother-in-law did was require her two boys to plan a menu one night a week, complete with making a shopping list and doing all of the cooking. She said that she and my father-in-law ate some rather creative meals that her young boys planned, but she also instilled a true love for cooking and creativity in the kitchen in her both of her sons. My husband is now an amazing chef, and he credits a lot of it back to practicing over and over as a kid… and loving it. So don’t be afraid to let your older kids take responsibility for meal planning and cooking, and regardless of how it turns out, continue to encourage them to learn and experiment and grow. After all, that’s what we want for our kids, right?

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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.

 

 

Keep The Shark From Circling

iStock_000020564784SmallWe’ve all experienced it: the bored child.

I’m not sure about yours, but mine literally walks around in circles whining. Sometimes the circles are around me, or the cat, or the dining room table. I’m laughing out loud thinking about the words I just wrote because, to the outside world, the scene really sounds like something straight out of Calvin and Hobbes. All the while, I’m remembering how torturous it can be when I’m just trying to make a healthy dinner to feed the precious growing girl who’s circling me.

Like a shark that’s about to devour its prey.

Here are a few things that work in my house to help keep the joy-filled shark from circling:

1. Relocate: Hide toys & make it a game to find them, rotate them by putting some away in the closet for a month then swapping them out every once and a while (mine loves to re-discover her old baby toys), or the favorite in my house… put inside toys outside.

2. Water: Sounds messy, and it can be, but it’s just water. I’ll take water over whining ANY day. I get two of the biggest Tupperware containers I have, put them on either side of my sink, put a towel on the floor, and a stool in front of the sink. Then add anything that’s not a toy but safe from the kitchen (spoons, measuring cups, plastic bowls) to the water. Instant and free water table!

3. The Big Helper: PJ loves to help me cook. Sometimes I have to pray for three extra doses of patience to make it happen, depending on the day, but it’s usually a fun memory! I let her use small cutting boards, smaller utensils, and pieces of what I’m cutting so she can mutilate till her heart’s content. This is a great way to spend some quality time together, cure boredom, introduce new foods, and practice motor skills.

Not everything works for everyone, but this is what works in our house (most of the time). What works in your home? Leave a comment… I’d love to hear!

 

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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.