Month: October 2014

If you enjoy dressing up in costumes for Halloween, you’re probably aware of the growing trend for groups of family members or friends is to wear complimentary costumes. People are choosing group costumes from their favorite movies, TV shows, and books. Most of the entertainment options geared toward children make great Halloween costumes, so look at these ideas for enlightenment when you decide on one for your family. Here are some of my favorites.

1. The cast of Despicable Me

Your kids have probably seen this movie and will love playing their part. (Credit)

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2. Batman and his villains

The cool part about this idea is that there are dozens of characters in the Batman universe to dress up as, so everyone in your family can be included (grandma, grandpa, etc.) no matter the size of your family. (Credit)

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3. The cast of Nintendo’s Mario

Every kid old enough to understand Halloween has probably played one of the Mario games. There’s a large selection of characters to choose from, so invite your friends as well. Also, that bomb costume is the cutest thing ever. (Credit)

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4. Aliens from Toy Story

This is another great costume because everyone can be included. It doesn’t matter if your family has four people or ten, everyone can play one of the aliens from the claw game. If you’re really crafty, mom or dad can play their godlike “claw.” (Credit)

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5. The cast of The Hunger Games

This costume is best if you have older children who have read the books or seen the movies (and understand them well enough – they’re made for preteens and teens). Plus the costumes aren’t immediately distinguishable, so you’ll have to stay together for other people to understand, but it’s still a great group costume. (Credit)

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6. The Lord of the Rings cast.

If you have toddlers with you, this is the perfect group costume. Dress them up as little hobbits with hairy feet and short tunics. Mom and dad can play the heroes (the rugged adventurers or elegant elves), and anyone else you bring along can play a devilish orc. (Credit)

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7. The Star Wars cast.

Star Wars is a staple franchise of anyone’s childhood. Whether you’re seven or forty-seven, you probably saw one of the films in the theater, played with the toys, or read some of the books. Everyone can relate, so it’s the perfect Halloween costume with plenty of characters to choose from. (Credit)

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Written By Lisa Paul Heydet of ZizzyBee Bags

At ZizzyBee, we believe children bring fun and whimsy to our lives…along with the need for organization of hundreds of teeny, tiny little toy parts. And like most moms, we believe it is important to keep organized while using products for our children that are safe, washable, well designed, and practical. With this in mind, full-time single mom and entrepreneur Lisa Paul Heydet, saw a need and created ZizzyBee Bags.™

ZizzyBee Bags eliminate the need for baskets and bins and makes toys portable and travel a snap. The attractive see-through, reusable storage bags look good hanging from a hook or stacked in a diaper bag or suitcase. Keep children’s rooms organized by storing toys and clothes in ZizzyBee Bags. With two different sizes to choose from, you can use ZizzyBee Bags to keep items organized in desks, closets and more. They are easily packable and transportable for vacations, gym and work, road trips, school, grandparent’s house, playdates, strollers and so much more.

Interested in writing a guest blog for ZizzyBee? Send your topic idea to pr@zizzybee.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. ZizzyBee makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

October is SIDS Awareness Month and parents are encouraged to learn more about the risk factors involved in SIDS and what steps they can take to prevent it. SIDS is defined as the death of an infant, less than 1 year of age that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly and cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted. Scientists have learned a great deal about SIDS over the last years and SIDS cases have decreased drastically, but there are still over 4,000 kids that die unexpectedly each year with no known cause.

The leading theory is that SIDS affects babies with an undetected condition (such as a respiratory or heart vulnerability) combined with an environmental stressor (such as an obstructed airway). Babies born prematurely, have a young mother (under 20 years old), or experience a life-threatening event early in life are at a higher risk for SIDS. There’s no way to prevent SIDS entirely, but you can work to make your baby’s chances of avoiding the syndrome as low as possible.

When parents better understand the risks involved with SIDS, this can help to reduce future infant deaths.  Here are five tips on how to help reduce the risk of SIDS along with how to make sure you are swaddling baby correctly and safely.

1. Always place baby on his back to sleep.

Many studies have found that there is a higher incidence of SIDS among babies who are placed to sleep on their stomachs. It is thought that sleeping on the stomach narrows the baby’s airway and causes difficulty breathing. There is also a possibility that an infant sleeping on his stomach is “rebreathing” his own exhaled carbon dioxide. Baby must be put to sleep on his back throughout the first year of life. Swaddling helps baby sleep on their backs and helps prevent sleep-deprived parents from placing baby on their stomach to sleep.

2. Keep baby’s crib clear of blankets and toys.

You never want to put blankets, comforters, bumpers, stuffed toys or pillows anywhere near the baby while he is sleeping. Baby’s head and face must remain free of any blankets or coverings. If using a blanket, make sure it gets tucked around the mattress but a tight fitted sheet is best. By keeping the crib clear it can prevent rebreathing and suffocation. Bumper pads should also be avoided as they can be a potential risk of suffocation or strangulation.

3. Practice safe swaddling.

Pediatrics study suggests that babies who are swaddled experience a more restful sleep than unswaddled babies and can awaken more easily in response to noise, potentially decreasing the risk of SIDS.

For safe swaddling parents should always:

  • Use a swaddle where baby can have good hip range of motion; swaddling too tightly can cause hip dysplasia.
  • The preferred sleeping position for babies is the “hands over heart” position; use a swaddle that does not pin baby’s arms to the side. Babies (and especially babies with colic) can self-sooth and settle by using their hands and fingers in the natural “hands to heart” position just like babies do in the womb.
  • Use a swaddle that will not unravel- this prevents blankets from becoming lose and covering baby’s face. There are swaddles that do not even require wrapping!
  • Don’t over-swaddle baby or double swaddle- overheating baby is linked to SIDS. The new Woombie Air is the first breathable swaddle that regulates baby’s body temperature by allowing excess heat to escape. (Another tip, use a fan in baby’s room to maintain airflow. Plus, the white noise sound the fan creates will help baby sleep!)
  • When baby begins to roll, it’s no longer safe to swaddle. To transition baby to arms-free sleep, take one arm out of the swaddle at nap time and then when baby is used to it, try it at night time.  Take out the other arm and remove the swaddle completely gradually.

4. Keep baby at a comfortable temperature.

You don’t want baby to get too warm while sleeping so it’s best to keep them somewhere that’s room-temperature and don’t excessively clothe them. It has been suggested that babies who get too warm go into a deeper sleep making it more difficult for them to awaken. KidsHealth.org suggests keep the room at a temperature that feels comfortable for an adult in a short-sleeve shirt.

First Candle, a national nonprofit health organization uniting parents, caregivers and researchers nationwide with government, business and community service groups to advance infant health and survival, says, “When a healthy baby becomes overheated their brain recognizes the problem and attempts to correct it. When a baby predisposed to SIDS overheats, nothing happens to correct the situation.”

5. Place baby on a firm sleep surface.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, SIDS is sometimes called “crib death” and while cribs themselves don’t cause SIDS, the baby’s sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of deaths. It’s important to use a safety-approved, firm mattress covered with a fitted sheet and avoid placing baby on a pillow, waterbed, couch, chair or other soft surface. This can help prevent smothering or suffocation. You can check the safety of your baby’s mattress or crib by contacting the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.

While the exact cause of SIDS remains a mystery, we’re closing in on a solution. The number of SIDS deaths has declined by 50% since 1990, but more work is needed. You can help by donating to the American SIDS Institute and helping us share these tips.

Playroom

Most families will benefit from having a playroom. If you have the space, they’re worth setting up. I’ve met some families that prefer to let the kids share a room, and use the other spare room as a playroom. It’s a great arrangement if your family is on bored – until the kids become a certain age, that is. If you’re unsure about whether you’d like a playroom, here’s why you need one.

1. Kids learn to share.

When you have multiple kids, they will inevitably receive toys for gifts. But as we know, kids will play with whatever they feel like, regardless of who it belongs to or archaic ideas of what’s “normal.” By storing all the toys in one room, kids learn to share their belongings with their siblings.

2. Playrooms encourage cooperative play.

When children play side-by-side, they’ll naturally play together. Their games will merge into a single storyline and they will naturally include one another. It’s actually quite lovely to see two kids of different ages interact fluidly simply because they were near one another.

3. Playrooms make for a tidier home.

By having a room dedicated to play, you keep all those play-things out of the rest of your house. Sure, the room might look like a disaster every day, but at least the mess is confined to a small area. Besides, kids play better when their toys are accessible. Surprise guests? Just close the door…

4. Playrooms make playdates easy.

When friends of your little guy or gal come over for a visit, a playroom is a convenient spot to plant them for the duration. Adults can remain in the living room or kitchen and have an actual conversation without being interrupted by screams and “Watch this, mommy!”

5. Playrooms leave bedrooms for sleeping.

When you perform a certain activity in a room often, a pattern is created in your brain. Bedrooms should be for sleeping so your mind naturally falls into that rhythm after some time in the room. If your child sleeps and plays in the same room, those modes in their brain will blend together. Let them play in the playroom and sleep in the bedroom so they do both of those activities well.

6. Playrooms are easier to organize.

When you keep all the toys, games, and art supplies in the same room, you actually make them easier to contain and organize. Keep all the board games in a neat stack on a shelf. Wrangle all the arts and crafts equipment into clear plastic boxes, neatly labeled with what’s inside. Keep the play cups, plates and spoons with the kitchen set. This way your kids will know where to go for their toys, rather than hunting around the house.

7. Play should be taken seriously (by adults).

During open-ended unstructured playtime, children practice verbal and nonverbal communication skills by negotiating roles and expressing their thoughts and opinions. In addition, pretend play helps children think out loud about their own experiences, which helps children to gain self-control of their emotions. Play is vital to healthy social development and a dedicated playroom is a great way to give your children these important life skills.

Guest Blog by Karri Bowen-Poole, Founder of Smart Playrooms

Smart Playrooms is owned and operated by teachers with many years of classroom experience and expertise. They bring the most effective classroom organization techniques and learning strategies into your home.

Smart Playrooms works to encourage kids to get back to the basics of play, using their creative side for art projects and imaginary play. Stressing that less is more, they help moms focus on the toys that will add to the experience. Some moms ask them to help organize their home, but Karri and Chris really like the idea of using their educational backgrounds to create custom designed playrooms. Plus, this gives them a niche in the market. Former teachers setting up your playroom – what could be better!

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