5 Tips for Improving Family Mealtime

5 Tips for Improving Family Mealtime
Children in today's hurried, high-tech world need structured, routine times when they can connect with their parents and siblings. One of the best ways to do that is family mealtimes. Many of us are so busy that we may feel if we are not multi-tasking all the time, we are not productive enough. We often multitask feeding our children by putting a meal down in front of them and then turning around to do dishes, move over a load of laundry, or take...
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How to Support Your Child’s Education from Home

How to Support Your Child’s Education from Home
Whether you're considering homeschooling this coming year or plan to have the kids back in private or public school, there are a few important aspects to consider regarding their education. Often, I hear parents worry about their child's attention span. Some child development experts suggest that the average child should be able to concentrate on one task for 2-5 minutes multiplied by their age. So, an average 6-year old should be able to focus o...
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Fighting Boredom: 20 Boredom-Busters to Jumpstart Your Child's Imagination

Fighting Boredom: 20 Boredom-Busters to Jumpstart Your Child's Imagination
The famous words of my childhood summer days were, "I'm bored." Often my mom would reply, "Read a book." Quickly I would snark, "No, I don't want to." The times in children's lives that are most unstructured, such as during a break from school, are the times we hear the word "bored" the most. About a month ago, I wrote a blogpost on " Alternatives to TV Time ." There I outlined the importance of self-directed independent play in child development...
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Guest Post: Tech for Kids and Healthy Downtime

Guest Post: Tech for Kids and Healthy Downtime
It is safe to say that right now we are all using technology a lot more than we used to. This is not just because we are bored and don't have a lot of options. Using tech is how we are all functioning, socially and economically. We connect with others for schooling, work, socialization, and basically every activity we can think of all through the internet, and technology, and that's not a bad thing. There are so many more options and resources no...
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Guest Post: How to Make a Free, DIY Terrarium

Guest Post: How to Make a Free, DIY Terrarium
There are numerous benefits to having plants or "green space" in your home. For example, green space has been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, blood pressure , and can even purify the air in your home. Building a terrarium is a perfect way to bring green space into your home and enjoy the benefits that come with it. It's also an activity that can be enjoyed and accomplished at any age. When I created my own, my 2-year-old joined me and helped c...
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It's Okay to be Bored

It's Okay to be Bored
During this time of the "Stay home, Stay safe" directive, You or your child (or both!) might find yourself feeling bored. Just know it's okay to be bored! In fact, we need people to get bored. It's while we're bored that our minds are free to create. Creativity is the heart that moves us forward into newer brighter ideas for the future. Boredom also provides the building blocks to build relationships and confidence. So what is actually happening ...
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Guest Post: PBS KIDS Utah and COVID-19; Quality Content for Your Family

Guest Post: PBS KIDS Utah and COVID-19; Quality Content for Your Family
I'm Elise Brimhall, the Education Program Manager for PBS Utah. With COVID-19 impacting everyday life, especially schools, we know that you are now entertaining and educating children in the home 24/7. It's a big task, and we know it can feel overwhelming. To ease some of the pressure, we at PBS Utah have put together trusted resources for you and your kids. First, checkout our blog series for Utah parents to get educational hands-on activities, ...
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Book Conversations: How to Get the Most Out of Your Time Reading Together

Book Conversations: How to Get the Most Out of Your Time Reading Together
Before working at Help Me Grow Utah, I spent ten years as a children's librarian and fell in love with early literacy. No, I was not teaching toddlers and preschoolers to read, but I was instead teaching parents to put into practice the underlying skills kids need to be good readers when they are ready. Those practices boil down to things parents do with their kids all the time, like talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing! The best thing...
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What is Day of the Dead?

What is Day of the Dead?
D ay of the Dead, otherwise known as Día de los Muertos, is a celebration of life as people remember their ancestors. During this holiday, it is believed that past relatives return as spirits to the land of the living to spend time with their loved ones. Although this holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated throughout Latin America during a two-day festival (Nov. 1 and 2). The centerpiece of this celebration is the altar which people displ...
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Guest Post: Family Volunteering Tips

Guest Post: Family Volunteering Tips
  As I was growing up, my parents were always looking for ways to help support our neighbors and community. Whether it was cleaning up yards for people in our neighborhood or helping pick fruit at the local orchards, my parents signed us up to help. While I complained about this a great deal at the time, looking back on it helps me understand more about my parents and our family values. It also helps me understand how important it is for eac...
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Guest Post: What Is TikTok?

Guest Post: What Is TikTok?
In 2018 the most downloaded iPhone app in the world, was a Chinese export: TikTok. Formerly the apps musical.ly, Byte Dance acquired the older lip-synching video app and TikTok (known as Douyin in China) was born. Social media giants have tried hard to capture the attention of younger children and preteens. Facebook created Messenger Kids, YouTube has YouTube Kids and Snapchat has SnapKidz. Despite those efforts, none of them have come close to r...
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Special Time: Beyond Just One-On-One Time

Special Time: Beyond Just One-On-One Time
When talking to families about special time, parents often respond, "I already spend all day with my children" or "We have lots of one-on-one time together." I love hearing when parents are able to be home and enjoy spending time with their children! I also wanted to highlight some of ways that "special time" differs from other one on one time and the benefits it can offer to ALL families – whether you are home with your children all day or not. ...
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How To Keep Your Child From Falling Behind During Summer Break

How To Keep Your Child From Falling Behind During Summer Break
Summer break is one of the most exciting times to be a kid; a time to forget about the most demanding part of life-- school. But does a summer break without learning really help children in the long run? A report pointed out that, on average, children forget the last month of learning from the previous school year, with some areas reporting a greater loss of 25-30% of the learning of that same year! The greatest loss of learning was measured to b...
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Guest Post: 4 Fun Activities for Parent-Child Bonding

Guest Post: 4 Fun Activities for Parent-Child Bonding
I can remember the fun times that my brother and I often had with my dad growing up. We used to cook while watching movies together, and talk about what we would cook later. Oftentimes, I can remember my dad and brother playing basketball in the backyard while I played with the dog. I'd often practice throwing razor sharp knives while my brother played with nunchucks… Wait a minute, knives and nunchucks? Now that I've got your attention, let's fo...
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The Speed of Slow

The Speed of Slow
Does this sound familiar? Get your brand new baby ready for college! Prepare your child's resume to look spectacular. Get them involved in extracurricular activities early! Get them into classes to learn how to play sports and dance, so they can be the best when it counts. These are all opportunities that will set them apart and get them into the best universities. If your child is not involved in at least three extracurricular activities or unab...
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How to Register to Vote and Why You Should

How to Register to Vote and Why You Should
Voting is an important part of civic engagement and is a privilege we should all use and teach our children to use. Talking with our children about the voting process, why we vote, and why it matters prepares them to be informed citizens when they grow older and enables them to help shape the world around them. You can even bring them with you to the polls or let them watch you fill out your ballot for a first-hand look at how our democracy works...
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Children's Card Games on the Go

Children's Card Games on the Go
I love to play games, especially card games. There's just something about being surrounded by others and enjoying the conversation as you strategize your next move. I'm the first to admit that not all games are child-friendly. But with a little creativity, you can involve children in many games, even if they aren't able to comprehend the strategy involved. Games are fantastic for those times you find yourself waiting. For example, have you ever f...
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A Super Easy Activity: Tangrams

A Super Easy Activity: Tangrams
Looking for something fun to do with your children and only have a piece of paper? This is a fun way to entertain children (and yourself) while exercising your brain muscles: Tangrams. Tangrams is an ancient Chinese puzzle that has seven pieces (tans) of geometric shapes. Each set has one square, one parallelogram, and a variety of triangle sizes (two large, one medium, and two small). A simple way to play with tangrams is to print out ...
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