Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Fools' Day Pranks

It's that time of the year again and we are just in time for April Fool's Day! Check out these silly, kid-friendly ways to have fun with your family this April 1st.  Thanks to Kate Goodin at for these fun  ideas!

  • Got (Blue) Milk?

Put a few drops of food coloring in a pitcher of milk (choose your kid's fave shade). Make sure she's watching when you nonchalantly fix her morning bowl of cereal!

  • Bedtime Switcheroo
Moms, wait until your kids are asleep, and then switch them in their beds. Or, quietly swap around their dresser drawers. Make sure you're there when they wake up in the morning to take in their surprised expressions.

  • Really, Really Cold Cereal

Put water in a cereal bowl, and freeze overnight. The next morning, offer to fix Dad or your kids a bowl of cereal. Pour the cereal on top of the ice, completely covering it, and watch them try to dig in.

  • Mouse Malfunction

This one's good for the kid who checks his e-mail first thing every morning: Put part of a post-it note over the tracking ball on a computer mouse -- it won't work! (Make sure to write "April Fools!" on the note).

  • If the Shoe Fits

Bunch up TP and stuff it in the toe of the victim's shoes. They'll wonder why their shoes suddenly don't fit.

  • Drink Up Mix-Up

Add a squirt of lemon juice to a glass of water when your kid's not looking, then wait for his sour face. Or, color water to mimic fruit punch or juice, and switch out the real drink for the dyed H2O.

  • Picture This

Take a screenshot of the desktop of Dad's computer, and leave the image open. Sit back and let him freak out for a few minutes, believing the computer is frozen.

  • Hands On

Tell the kids you are banning all utensils -- hide them the night before, too. Then watch as everyone has fun eating with their hands. Little kids especially will love a break from being told they must use their fork.

  • Chain Reaction

Sneak into Daddy's underwear drawer and safety pin all of his undies together side by side. When he pulls out one pair, they all come out!

  • Backwards Day

Your kids know: tags go in back -- but not today! For April Fools', let them have a backwards day, with tops, pants and dresses all worn reverse-style.

  • DIY Daylight Saving Time

Set all the clocks in the house an hour or two early -- then ease the blow of an early wake-up by taking the kiddos out for breakfast.

We hope that this has given you a few silly ideas!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easter Cakes: Rice Krispie Cake Recipe for Toddlers

As much as children love munching their way through their Easter eggs, they also like to work with their grown-ups to make something special.  Here's how to make Rice Krispie Cakes to share with friends and family (you can also use left over Easter eggs to make this)

You will need:
A grown-up helper with oven gloves;
Left over chocolate egg;
Rice Krispies (similar cereal or muesli);
You may like to add some raisins, dried fruit or marshmallows;
Paper cake cases or muffin cases.

Instructions for the grown-ups:

  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water;
  • Once chocolate has melted, carefully remove the bowl with an oven glove;
  • Stir in some rice krispies (or alternative) until they are all covered;
  • Spoon them into the cake cases;
  • Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, once cooled.

Please remember to be cautious with all hot instruments and do not leave pans unattended when cooking.

Don't forget to take extra care brushing teeth during this chocolatey season!

Don't forget to check out our Facebook page at to see downloads and to stay up to date with special offers and coupons. If you need an activity to keep your little one busy over Easter, start a My Vacation Journal - a wonderful keepsake and it encourages children to write, color, draw, stick, collect and eventually show what they have been doing during their vacation available from our website at

Easter joke for you:
Why does the Easter Bunny have a shiny nose?
Because the powder puff is on the other end! Ha ha!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Get Crafty With Your Toddlers For National Craft Month

Did you know that March is National Craft Month? This means that it is the perfect time for you to plug in that glue gun, dust off your knitting needles and join in some great fun.  As Easter is just around the corner we thought that we would share some crafts which are suitable easy to do with your little ones....
Here are some ideas that we have found:

Peeking Bunny 

Thanks to Busy Bee for this adorable Peeking Bunny craft. It is perfect for preschoolers. Green hand prints make the grass for the paper plate bunny to peek through!

Here's what you'll need...

•Paper plate
•Green and pink construction paper
•Black marker
Here's how you make it...
  1. Trace 3 green hand prints and cut out. Place your paper plate 'eating side' down and glue the hand prints to the bottom of your paper plate.
  2. Cut two bunny ears from your pink paper and glue onto the top, back of the plate. Draw on some 'peeking' eyes, and you're done!!
  3. If you want to hang your Peeking Bunny, punch two holes on either side of the plate and string through a piece of yarn.
 Paper Plate Easter Bunny Craft
Thanks to All Kids Network for this great idea. Make your own fluffy Easter Bunny from items around the house! This is a great craft for younger children because the cotton balls are something different to use in a craft and they add a great texture!
Here's what you'll need...
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper plate
  • White poster board or heavy construction paper
  • Pink construction paper or pink crayon/marker
  • Black and pink pipe cleaners
  • Pink pompom
  • 2 googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • white glue
Here's how you make it....
  • Cut out two ears from the white poster board that are each about 5" tall and 2" wide.
  • Cut out two smaller ears from the pink construction paper.
  • Glue the smaller ears inside the larger ears, or color the inside of the larger ears pink.
  • With the paper plate right side up, glue the ears to the top of the plate so the pink part is facing the table.
  • Turn the paper plate over.
  • Cover the plate with glue (tip: using your finger or a paint brush works well to smooth the glue out).
  • Use the cotton balls to cover the plate.
  • Glue the googly eyes, pompom (nose) and pipe cleaners on to construct the face of the Easter Bunny.
  • Bend the pink pipe cleaner into the shape of the bunny's mouth and glue under nose.
  • *Optional: cut a bowtie out of construction paper and glue on the bottom of the face

Easter Garlands

Thanks to The Sweetest Occasion for this idea. It  is very cute - but lets hope your other half doesn't work for Lowes or Home Depot when they see this hanging up !
Here's what you'll need...
•Paint samples cards
•White string

Here's how you make it...
  1. Cut out individually or in small groups,  egg shapes from the sample cards.
  2. Using a small hole punch, make 2 holes at the top of each 'egg' about 1/2 inch  apart.
  3. Thread the string through the holes to make a colorful garland.
  4. Hang and enjoy!
We hope that you enjoy these ideas. Click here for more Easter craft ideas. Don't forget to check our facebook page also at for free downloads.  If you are traveling over Easter, your child will love to complete a My Vacation Journal available from our website at

Monday, March 19, 2012

Once upon a time .... with the Kiddlies

We love to encourage our children to read and make up stories, here is one we just had to share with you by Victoria's (Founder) son Joseph. Please remember that the story has been posted in its original manner and that there may be UK spellings and some small typos!

The Kiddlies
Joseph aged 9

Sam and Jake wondered around the park kicking twigs and stones along with them.

Jake was nine years old, a big football fan (Arsenal supporter) he had two half siblings Tom and Alice. He normally watched football and ate chips as a treat. Jakes father doesn’t have a role in Jakes life, but Jake gets on fine with his step-dad.

Sam was eight years old and had three siblings Jack, Emily and Lilly. He likes playing all sports. He is usually out with Jake playing football, though Sam does have a habit of gobbling energy bars all up before the next match.

‘You up for another match?’ laughed Jake bouncing the ball up and down madly!

‘NO WAY! I’ve already lost three matches!’ smiled Sam. Lilly and Daisy ran past Jake with lots of picked daisies.

Lilly was two years old and liked catching and keeping bunny rabbits, although Mum and Dad rarely let her keep them. She loved feeding her pet bunnies Jammy and carrots, carrots. Lilly is a daydreamer and she lives in a world of her own (Other wise known as land of bunnies, everything in her world is pink and fluffy)

Daisy was three years old and had two twins James and Mikey. She loves picking wild daisies with Lilly, whilst they were picking flowers she always liked to nibble shortcake biscuit. Daisy and Lilly were picking flowers and continuously add them onto their Daisy chain.

‘I wonder where Oliver has gone?’ thought Sam.

‘Don’t you remember he was taking Doggly for a walk wasn’t he,’ replied Jake, bouncing the ball.

‘I heard he went into apple tree forest!’ squeaked Lilly pointing at the forest.

‘Yes!’ screamed Sam, jumping up and down madly. ‘Time for an adventure!’ he yelled, waving his arms. ‘We could rescue him from hell!’ he screamed joyfully, the girls giggled.

‘Calm down, calm down!’ laughed Jake, ‘he should be back soon,’ said Jake. Just then a boy came running out of the trees.

‘Hey look it’s Oliver!’ said Daisy. Oliver ran over to Sam and Jake.

‘It’s Doggly he ran off into the woods!’ Oliver cried.

‘Adventure! Adventure!’ Sam screamed ‘okay, okay you girls stay right where you are,’ said Sam, running off into the woods the boys followed him.

Oliver was five years old and had no brothers or sisters. He LOVES his pet dog Doggly. When they go on walks together Oliver always brings some banana sandwiches. Ollie is a single child a bit of a loner. Oliver is always in his own world, he benefits from structure and routine. Oliver is always tidying up!

Jake and Oliver caught up with Sam who was running about the woods. Oliver spotted the dog perched by a tree digging a whole in the ground.

Doggly heard Sam’s footsteps, looked up and ran off again!

‘Oh no! Come back Doggly!’ shouted Oliver. Suddenly another boy appeared from the trees this was Jack.

Jack was six years old and he had three siblings. Sam, Emily and Lilly. Jack always liked playing with his toy rocket and usually carried around a packet of Haribo alien mix. Jack takes an intrest in everything, although he has poor movement and co-ordination but it never holds him back.

Jack ran and threw his ball at Doggly. Doggly stopped and played with the ball.

‘Yes!’ screamed Oliver running over to the dog and stroking him. ‘Yes! Thank you!’ cried Oliver, ‘you got Doggly back,’ he said.

Doggly was a kiddly brown dog (Dog colour) and loved his pet Oliver, he loved when he and his pet stopped and had a picnic and was loaded with banana sandwiches.

‘Thank you, thank you Jack!’ Cried Oliver when they all got out of the woods. So all the children went back home hoping for another adventure tomorrow! 

Maybe your children will be inspired to do similar? We would love to hear from you, just a paragraph or two would be great. Download the profiles the Kiddlies from our website or by clicking here and then choose which characters to write about. Email your stories to

Well done and thanks to Joseph for such a wonderful story which he is happy to share with YOU!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Coupon Codes for Children's Reward Charts

We love to be able to offer discount codes for our products and we currently have the following code which will allow you 15% off our products at checkout.

This code can be used at, our USA website or our Etsy store!

Visit our website at and stay up to date with coupons and special offers along with free downloads by joining our facebook page at

Potty Training Tips

We have provided our Top 10 Tips to help make your potty training a success for both you and your child when the time is right for both of you. 

1   Is your child ready?
Signs of readiness consist of your child staying dry for at least a couple of hours, they show an interest in bathroom activities, they take themselves to a quiet place or tell you when they are doing something.

2   Plan for it
Potty training is a process that will require a lot of effort, not only from yourself but from friends, family members and care givers involved with your child. Make a date from which you will all start - it is from this date you say good bye to diapers during the day.

3   Teamwork
Consistency and routine from all involved will help your child reach their goal. You may like to forewarn visitors of your efforts so they can be positive and encourage as you do. Forwarding these notes to those people who look after your child in your absence will help them to achieve the same goal.

4   Actively involve your child with their potty
You may like to take your child on a shopping trip to choose their potty - which color would they like? is there a character one they particularly like? Tell them it will be their own special potty, they may even like to choose a name for it. Decorating the potty with stickers will help them take ownership of it. You may like to demonstrate their special toy using the potty.

5   Prepare your child
Encourage your child to sit on their potty before they properly start using it, practice putting on training pants and washing their hands to complete the task. Praise them for their efforts so they know when they are doing things right.

6   Interactive supplies
Look for games, videos, books and activities that will help your child understand the importance of using their potty.

7   Don’t rush your child when they use the potty
Let them look at a book, or listen to short story for a few quiet moments when sitting on the potty. Blowing bubbles is another great way to encourage them to sit still. Tell them it is a good try and well done for sitting nicely even if they don’t achieve anything.

8   Be patient, positive and consistent
Be patient, potty training does not happen over night. Positive interaction will help your child achieve their new skill, and feel good about their progress. Accidents will happen but continue to keep up the routine, when you choose not to use diapers - stick with it! Going back and forth between diapers and training pants gives your child a confused message.

9   On the go
Long journeys will take slightly more preparation than usual. You will need to make more regular stops so make sure you leave enough travelling time. Pack all familiar supplies including books and toys when using the potty on route.

10   Use a reward chart
A reward chart provides a visual tool from which children can monitor progress. Hung in a central place, children have the added advantage of showing friends and family how well they are doing. A reward chart acts as a reminder to both adult and child what they want to accomplish. Our My Big Star Chart not only allows parents and care givers focus on potty training but suggests a range of other activities for this toddler development stage. Most importantly, parents and care givers can tailor our reward charts to the individual need of their child.   Watch demonstration video of My Big Star Chart.  Watch demo video of My Big Star Chart.

Available from

We wish you every success!

Visit our website at and stay up to date with coupons and special offers along with free downloads by joining our facebook page at To contact us send an email to

Thursday, March 15, 2012

101 Things To Do With Your Toddler

Are you often looking for things to do with your toddlers? I know that I have in the past and in my searching around the world wide web I found this list on the another blog site Counting on Me -. I thought that I would share these ideas with you.   Check out this endless list and set your goal to do everything on this list at least once with your kids!

  1. Color
  2. Blow Bubbles
  3. Play Hide-and-Seek
  4. Peek-a-Boo
  5. Play Chase
  6. Do Finger-plays
  7. Sing a song
  8. Collect rocks in a basket
  9. Make an obstacle course out of cushions and/or furniture
  10. Make a fort out of cushions and sheets
  11. Go for a Walk
  12. Make a Car out of a Box
  13. Read a book
  14. Go to the park
  15. Finger-paint
  16. Play with Play-Dough
  17. Toss Bean bags into a Bucket
  18. Play the shell and pea game
  19. Dance to music
  20. Download games for toddlers from the Internet
  21. Practice putting things in and taking things out of boxes and bags
  22. Make a temporary slide out of a table leaf and your couch
  23. Roll a ball back and forth on the floor
  24. Scoop dirt or sand into a child's bucket (or use a serving spoon and bowl)
  25. Practice climbing by stacking boxes on top of each other (only with adult supervision)
  26. Put on a puppet show
  27. Go fishing with a yard stick and yarn
  28. Make a Horseshoe game
  29. Make a Shape Puzzle
  30. Play paper basketball
  31. Run through a Sprinkler
  32. Play with a bucket of water and a sponge (PLEASE WATCH CHILD AT ALL TIMES!)
  33. Make a Drum out of an oatmeal box
  34. Play with a kazoo
  35. Wash windows together
  36. Bang on Pots and Pans with a spoon
  37. Brush each other's teeth
  38. Play dress-up with stuffed animals and your child's clothes
  39. Stack canned or boxed food on top of each other
  40. Let child stack mixing bowls inside each other
  41. Make a playhouse out of a large box
  42. Let child play with a sticker sheet (make sure your child doesn't eat them!)
  43. Put stickers on fingers for finger puppets
  44. Play a musical instrument together- i.e.recorder, piano, etc.
  45. Go on a Smelling Hunt
  46. Frost Cookies
  47. Plant a flower or vegetable plant together
  48. Roll a tennis ball into an empty trash can or bucket
  49. Draw on a mirror with dry-erase markers
  50. Play hide and seek together- trying to find a stuffed animal or other object
  51. Have a splash party together in the bathtub
  52. Put a leash on a stuffed animal and walk around the house
  53. Record each other on a tape recorder (great for scrapbooks or journals!)
  54. Make and try on paper hats
  55. Give a piggy-back ride
  56. Play "Horsey"
  57. Talk into an electric fan (it distorts your voice)
  58. Play tug-of-war with a blanket
  59. Collect flowers (felt, artificial, real...)
  60. Make a camera and go on a Safari
  61. Play games with frozen juice lids
  62. Disconnect your phone and pretend to make phone calls to relatives
  63. Leave your phone connected and really make phone calls to relatives- let your child talk too
  64. String large beads onto or along a shoelace
  65. Squirt each other with squirt bottles
  66. Glue shapes onto paper
  67. Make sock puppets
  68. Make paper puppets
  69. Fill an old purse with toys
  70. Use a paper towel tube as a megaphone
  71. Make binoculars and go "Bird Watching" or "Stuffed Animal Watching"
  72. Put snacks in different fun containers (paper sacks, empty canisters, etc.)
  73. Act out a story from a book
  74. Walk on a balance beam- use a 2x4 placed on the ground
  75. Draw with chalk on the sidewalk
  76. Sketch an outline of your child on the sidewalk or paper with chalk
  77. Paint child's palms with tempura paint and blot on paper. Makes a great card for loved ones!
  78. Put lipstick on child and kiss a mirror
  79. Make a puddle on cement and splash barefoot in it
  80. Let child decorate and eat an open peanut butter sandwich
  81. Make a toilet paper barricade for child to go under, over, or through
  82. Do the Hokey Pokey
  83. Make a super-hero costume out of household items
  84. Do Knee-Bouncing Rhymes
  85. Play "Red Light, Green Light" saying "Go" and "Stop"
  86. Make a shoe-box train for stuffed animals
  87. Make a pillow pile to jump on (keep it clear from any hard surfaces, including walls!)
  88. Make an easy puzzle with felt and Velcro
  89. Make bracelets or collars for stuffed animals out of pipe cleaners and jingle bells
  90. Learn numbers from a deck of cards
  91. Play the matching game with a deck of cards
  92. Make a domino chain
  93. Have a picnic in the park, backyard, or living room!
  94. Play dress up in Mommy or Daddy's clothes
  95. Make a tin cup telephone and talk to each other in it
  96. Make a nature collage
  97. Mirror each other
  98. Make a "Mummy Mommy" with toilet paper
  99. Make a tape recording of short music selections and instructions to move in different ways
  100. Make and walk along a toilet paper trail
  101. TAKE A NAP!
 Hope you find a few that catch your interest!

Something else you can do if you are heading on vacation soon is complete a My Vacation Journal  - a wonderful keepsake for you and your child as they grow older. This journal encourages your child to write, color, draw, stick, collect and eventually show what they have been doing during their vacation.  Check out our facebook page at to stay up to date with coupons and free downloads.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Toddler Sleep Problems

An article very close to our heart at the moment with the release of our new Good Night, Sleep Tight Reward chart .  "Toddler Sleep Problems" by Dr Denise Duval, PhD, LCSW discusses how common it is  to see sleep problems in toddlers. Dr Duval is a children's issues expert who helps children make meaning of their experiences in order to work through what troubles them. Dr. Duval also helps parents better understand their children.

It is not uncommon to see sleep problems in toddlers. For some toddlers, getting them to bed is the issue. For others, it is keeping them in bed. Some toddlers fall asleep and stay long as they are in their parents' bed. All of these scenarios can be challenging for parents and children.

First and foremost, it is important to try and understand what is behind the toddler sleep issues. When children's sleep is frequently dysregulated, this suggests there is something going on with them physically or emotionally. They may not be able to verbalize how they feel but their behavior is speaking for them.

There are myriad reasons why toddlers experience sleeping problems, including:

  • Physical health problems, illness (e.g., earache, toothache, allergies, swollen glands, problems with elimination)
  • Recent transitions (e.g., starting daycare/school, moving, room change)
  • Change in the family dynamics (e.g., birth of a sibling, relative moving into the home, sibling with a disability, physical or behavioral problem)
  • Family stressors (e.g., parental chronic illness, taking care of an sick relative, employment issues, financial concerns)
  • Parental relationship problems (e.g., divorce, separation, marital discord)
  • Parental mood and behaviors (e.g., anger, frustration, sadness, fear, worry, anxiety; withdrawal, aggression, substance use, excessive absence from the home)
  • Death (e.g., death of a loved one or pet)
  • Loss (e.g., friend moving away, loss of favorite blanket, toy or pacifier)
It makes sense that if children are experiencing a physical problem, they might be uncomfortable and have trouble sleeping. However, children's emotional states also have a significant impact on their regulatory capacity and can, thus, cause disruptions in sleep.

Often, when children are experiencing sleep problems, they report having bad dreams or being afraid of monsters and ghosts. Fantasy and imagination are not always clearly separated in toddlerhood and ghosts, monsters, and witches appear under the bed, in closets, and in dreams as symbolic representations of what worries children in reality. Transitions, loss, death or significant change can be confusing for toddlers; they may not understand these changes or have the words to describe their confusion. Further, children are very intuitive and pick up on the emotional environment surrounding them. Despite parents' best efforts, children are very attuned to their parents' moods and may feel worried, anxious, scared, sad, or angry when they sense something wrong with their parents. Some children even feel guilty, imagine that they are responsible for their parents' feelings and behaviors, and believe they must be "bad." Ghosts and monsters become the representatives of these confusing and frightening feelings. Needless to say, all of these feelings and attached symbolic fears can weigh heavily on children and contribute to toddler sleep problems.

What is important to help manage sleeping problems in toddlers is to understand the possible root causes. Once the potential reasons affecting toddler sleep are uncovered, they can be talked about and work through (i.e., children's feelings can be acknowledged, explored, and empathy and reassurance can be repeatedly provided). Parental issues can also be routinely examined and better managed so they are not projected onto the children.

Awareness of underlying problems is the first step to alleviating toddler sleep issues. Sometimes, simply bringing the underlying issues to awareness and processing related feelings in a supportive, calm environment is enough to help get children back on track with sleep. Sometimes, a little more structure and guidance is needed.

Click here to contact Dr Duval from Child Therapy Chicago. The Victoria Chart Company have recently launched their new Good Night, Sleep Tight Reward Chart which has been developed to help parents create a good bedtime routine for their children.  It has been launched in both UK and US last month and is receiving a positive response from families, sleep consultants and health professionals. Join us on facebook to stay up to date with coupons and offers

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Child Sleep Disorder Can Cause Educational Interference

An article from Reference Education Center details how important it is for everyone to get a good nights sleep....

Many children have sleep disorders that interrupt their lives, and those of their parents and siblings as well. A child sleep disorder can make life very difficult and interfere with the necessities of life. Parents who worry about the child sleep disorders in their family might rest assured that they are not alone. Many parents face similar problems. One of the main child sleep disorders that parents face is a child cannot sleep through the night. Most parents do not want their child to be awake in the middle of the night by themselves so this problem can affect their sleep as well.

The problems with some children are just part of their makeup because they do not sleep well through the night. Adults and children have sleep cycles that go between deep sleep and light sleep. The deep sleep cycle is when a person dreams. During the light sleep cycle, the child is more likely to wake up. Since each person goes through several of these cycles during the night, there are several times during the night when the child sleep disorder might occur. Infants do not usually sleep through the night for some time. These small babies have a light sleep cycle every fifty minutes. Parents of infants all know that this is the case, and they work to get their child on the proper sleep cycle.

A Child Sleep Disorder Can Interrupt the Necessary Amount of Sleep

Children need much more sleep than their parents although sometimes they want to stay up as long as their parents stay awake. A child in school needs between nine and twelve hours of sleep every night. They need at least nine hours to be ready to participate properly in school activities. There are many children who do not get this amount of sleep, and many of these do not do as well in school because of this. Children who are getting enough sleep will wake up easily. All parents who have trouble getting their children to wake up should know that their children need more sleep.

Children should also be able to fall asleep quickly. If they toss and turn for more than thirty minutes before they fall asleep, there is some kind of a problem. Children should be able to stay awake throughout the day if they are getting enough, proper sleep at night. There is information that a substantial number of children are not alert at school and that their drowsiness interferes with their education to some extent.

Today, The Victoria Chart Company™ is internationally recognized and is a specialist in creating products for positive development in children including the latest Good Night, Sleep Tight chart. The reward charts are used to build up a child's self-esteem, helping children become confident and, most importantly, proud of their progress.    Visit us at  or and stay up to date with parenting tips, free downloads  and coupons by joining us at or