Dear Parents, It’s Not Our Fault!

My kids tell me all the time when I embarrass them. I’ve got news for them – while I love them with everything I’ve got, they’ve also found ways to embarrass me, too!With reflection, it’s not my fault, and I don’t blame my kids either. The times we live in now are much different than when the parents of today were kids themselves. Digital technology has taken over nearly every facet of our lives, for us and our kids. Lost in the shuffle is the development of social skills and manners. Yet, these capabilities are still just as important as ever (ask any college recruiter, employer or someone new to your neighborhood)!Maybe that’s what drove me to write The SMART Playbook. It took years of researching and drafting, but I did it. I’m not an expert, I’m just a Mom – that is a Mom with … [Read more...]

The SMART Back to Basics Summer Project. Bring it ON!

I’ve spoken to hundreds of moms and everyone seems to have the same complaint. How do we get our kids off electronics and back to basics? How do we teach them to connect with people on a deeper level? How do we teach them to search for a solution using their minds and not just with a push of a button?Sometimes I just want to shout, “Stop looking down and take the time to look up, connect and enjoy the moment.” I am determined to teach them the amazing benefits of life unplugged!And voila, that inspired me to set up my summer of getting back to basics plan begins! It’s time to look up, connect and experience real feelings, real emotions, real people, real nature – everything REAL and NOTHING electronic.I’m calling it 'My SMART Back to Basics Summer Project'. The goal is to … [Read more...]

5 Reasons to Color and Create with Your Kids!

Ah, the power of the great box of crayons and the ordinary act of coloring! Is there anything better than watching your children doodle and create. Coloring is not just a way to occupy the kiddos but also a great way to teach valuable lessons and so much more. Here’s what I have come up with as my top benefits to coloring:Unleash CreativityWhether it is a blank piece of paper or a coloring page, it’s a chance to get the creative juices flowing! An opportunity to see what you can make with your kids or to challenge them to create on their own. There're no rules. No limits. Only a piece of paper as a starting point and then you choose your direction. Your kids will eventually even learn that they can map out a plan as they decide colors and the order.Teach Valuable … [Read more...]

3 Amazing Benefits of Cooking with Kids!

Yes, it’s true! Sometimes cooking with our kids can require time, patience, and some extra clean up effort. But experts agree that the extra effort is well worth it. The benefits are countless.Recently I was reminded how fun cooking can be when my kids and I attended a photo shoot for Cuisinart. The shoot was focused on the amazing Griddler! After the shoot, we were fortunate enough to keep the Panini maker and had so much fun coming up with creative delicious panini recipes. One more memorable than the other – the kids even got a little competitive.  As we sat around the table that night, we came up with a list of amazing benefits derived from a day in the kitchen as a family.Family Bonding OpportunityAll children love attention and cooking together requires a little … [Read more...]

Easter Craft: Easy Easter Decorations

Easter crafts that your children can make CAN become an actual decoration in your house, not just a keepsake.  Using an old gift bag and tissue paper, we created two really cute wall hangings.SUPPLIES NEEDED:Gift bag (old or new) Tissue paper (old or new - it is going to get crumpled) Glue Construction paper Old cardboard or foam board Tape ScissorsPREPARING YOUR CRAFT SUPPLIES: The crucial key to a successful craft with your children is to have the supplies all ready.  Your children will lose interest quickly if they have to sit still and watch Mommy do a bunch of gathering and sorting.Trace a circle from a plate for the chick decoration. I suggest using yellow paper to keep the chick all one color.Draw a decorated egg on construction paper.  … [Read more...]

10 Fun Easter Crafts for Kids

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity Easter's on its way. Easter is indeed on its way. The holiday that features all things bunnies and chicks will be here soon. If you're looking for a craft to do with the kids this week, you've come to the right place. Today I've found 10 Fun Easter Crafts for Kids to keep you and your little ones busy!/1/ Sock Bunnies - There's something about these cute long eared bunnies that jumped out at me. {Pun intended. hehe!}/2/ Chick and Lamb Paper Plate Craft - My favorite crafts when I was a kid were the ones made with paper plates. I'm glad I found this one for all of you./3/ Craft Stick Sheep - You can build a whole flock of sheep with this simple, but cute tutorial. [sc:adsense … [Read more...]