Tag: Toddler Tips

Life Just Got A Whole Lot More EZPZ Caring

Last year I was introduced to the products by EZPZ and then had the opportunity to introduce them to all of you. In case you have forgotten (which is hard as they are super amazing!), their mats are an all-in-one placement + plate/bowl that captures kids’ messes. It suctions directly to the table, making it nearly impossible for tiny hands to tip over. It is especially designed for infants and toddlers (9 months+); however, I have to admit that I have used it too. 😉

This product has been one of my ultimate favorites and just to clarify they are the original!

So how could something that I love so much get any better? Partner up with the Care Bears™ of course!

If you grew up in the 80s like myself you definitely remember the lovable Care Bears™ who showed us how to have fun, be caring and kind. The Care Bears™ had his or her own trait and that was reflected on their tummy such as the sun for Sunshine Bear. I watched it often and had a few of the Care Bears™ in my collection of toys growing up. So imagine how excited I was to hear about a Care Bears™ Collection coming to EZPZ!!!

We received the Care Bears™ Mat In Share Bear™ (Purple) and the Care Bears™ Bowl In Funshine Bear™ (Marigold). There are a couple more colors available and each one has a meaning.

Share Bear is a nurturing and generous bear who considers everyone her friend. Carefree and loving, Share is happiest when she’s giving or baking!

Nothing makes Funshine Bear happier than hanging with friends or going on adventures. He makes the most of his days with fearlessness and sunny optimism. Funshine’s belly badge reflects this spirit – a smiling, blazing yellow sun!

Their meaning was absolutely beautiful and very fitting to the EZPZ brand. I would say this is a caring perfect partnership.

Now it was time to test out the new special editions.

Nikki was as excited as I was when she saw the Care Bears™ Collection and asked if she can use it for dinner. Of course our answer was YES! So that night we prepared dinner and at the table her Care Bears™ Mat In Share Bear™ was ready with her meal neatly in the spaces on the mat which look like a Care Bear. This design makes eating that much more fun!

Nikki and I give the Care Bears™ Collection 5+++ “care bear count down” out of 5. The benefits are all the same as the Happy Mat; easy to use, clean and store. It is 100% silicone; dishwasher safe; BPA free; PVC free; Phthalate free; hypo-allergenic; and does not harbor bacteria. We highly recommend this product to any family and this would make an excellent gift for any child and parent who would love a mess free dinner!

To purchase one, please click here. If you are located in Canada, please visit Hip Mommies who is one of the amazing distributors to purchase one.

Make sure to follow ezpz on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for helpful feeding tips from Ms. Dawn Winkelman, Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for EZPZ. There is also great other fun shares and great giveaways!

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

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Aqua-Tots Morning Weekday Classes Make It Extraordinary

Recently I shared an article about our experience with swim lessons and Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. After a great interest from many of my loyal readers, we have decided to bring more information on this great swimming school and more information on swimming in general.

Today’s piece is an introduction to their weekday morning classes which run Mondays through Thursdays every week from 9am to 12:30 pm (with the exception of Fridays). These weekday morning swim lessons are great for maternity leave moms and dads, and other caregivers who take care of babies through the mornings as well as busy preschoolers.

Here are some highlights of the morning swim lessons available at Aqua-Tots which make mornings extraordinary.

Level 1 and Level 2

  • Stage appropriate swim lessons starting at 4 months of age.
  • Baby swim lessons are divided into 2 parent and tot classes: Level 1 Tadpoles (4 months to 12 months) and Level 2 Minnows (13 months to 30 months).
  • Level 1 focuses on water adjustment and level 2 on creating boundaries in and around water for tots – both classes have an emphasis on water safety skills and build comfort in the water for babies but also help in instilling confidence in the caregivers and their ability to practice proper holds and other techniques that build a sense of security.
  • These classes are a great opportunity to bond with your baby.
  • It’s also a wonderful chance to meet and chat with other caregivers: there is complimentary coffee and a play area which can turn a swim lesson into a full morning experience.
  • We also have change tables and encourage moms to come with strollers and car seats and “park” their items where ever is most convenient for them inside the facility.
  • We understand that nap times and schedules change frequently in those early years, that’s why switching to a different morning class time is easy, and hassle free.

Level 3

  • In addition to the Level 1 and Level 2 classes that mainly take place throughout the weekday mornings, we also offer Level 3 – Leapfrogs classes on weekday mornings (2.5 and up) – This beginner class provides the foundation that helps children achieve comfort with basic swim skills.
  • It’s ideal for moms, dads and caregivers taking care of preschoolers looking for a weekday morning activities that promotes mental and physical stimulation.
  • This Level is the first time where young children go in the water independently with no caregiver, and have a chance to establish a trusting bond with a water safety instructor while a caregiver watches from the viewing gallery. This way you avoid the heat of the pool area but still get to watch your child’s progress during swim lessons.
  • For families with multiples, our flexibility weekday morning schedule allows for second -time parents to go in the water with their babies into a Level 1 or Level 2 class while their eldest preschooler goes in the water for a Level 3 class simultaneously. It’s a great way for the whole family to stay active and learn new skills.
  • We also have everything a parent or guardian of a young child would need for a morning swim lesson – swim diapers, cloth diapers, swim suits, goggles, and swim caps and a variety of snacks on sale for after swim class.

“We believe it’s more than just a swim lesson, it’s a morning experience.”

If you are interested in these swim lessons, give Aqua-Tots Swim Schools a call at 905-848-2782. Also make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what’s new.

Stay tuned for the next piece which is on turning tears into cheers!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga

4 Halloween DIY Party Games

Written By: Karen Silva
Twitter

Okay my mombies gather your little monsters and let’s make your Halloween party a big hit. I will share with you some fun Halloween games you can have at your party, that’s also super easy to do.

Remember to use your best judgment on which tasks your child can help you with.

Strike Those Ghosts!

What you will need: A ball, six clear or White plastic cups and a black marker

  • First create your ghost faces on your cups, remembering to have the opening of the cup face down on the table.
  • Once you have completed that you can place them in a corner, stacking them to create a triangle shape.
  • Decide where you want the starting line to be.
  • Then each person can take a turn to roll or throw the ball to get strike out the ghosts.

Feeding the Monsters

What you will need: Large box, scissors, paint and balls

  • With a large box you will create three monster heads, so there are three different eating levels.
  • With scissors cut the mouth holes and make sure it is large enough for a ball to be thrown in.
  • Then together paint your monsters and add some details. Then once dried, decide where you want your starting line to be and have people take turns throwing a ball into any of the monster’s mouths.

*Fun Tip: You can use glow in the dark paint and put a black light on during the game. You can also add some creative features such as teeth to make the monsters look more realistic.*

What do you feel?

What you will need: Empty tissue boxes, Black paint, foods that would resemble body parts and a blind fold

  • First paint your boxes with the black paint and set aside to dry.
  • Once that’s done fill your empty tissue boxes with your food ideas. You can label each box with the “item” that you want it to be, for example “eye balls”.
  • Once your guests are ready to play have them put on a blind fold and stick one hand in the boxes to feel the objects. Some examples you can use is:
    • Noodles with tomato sauce as mushed brains
    • Grapes as eye balls
    • Jell-O as guts

*If you wish not to use food you can add Halloween items and have them guess what they are, for example, you can put fake spiders in a box.*

Witch Ring Toss

What you will need: Black construction paper, tape, paint, card board and rings

  • First cut your Black construction paper into a Triangle shape.
  • Then fold the corners together, closing the Triangle shape and creating a cone shape.
  • Then with another Black construction paper cut out a circle to complete the witch hat look.
  • Together decorate the witch hats with paint.
  • Once you have taped the two pieces together and set aside to dry. Once completed tape or glue each of them onto the cardboard leaving some space between each of them.
  • Then create your starter line where your guests can each take turns in throwing the rings trying to get it around each witch hat.

Whether you decided to do one of these or all of them, your guests will have a great time at your Halloween party. Remember that sometimes not keeping score can create a more fun, laid back atmosphere and will help you avoid the “competition” conflicts that may arise.

Until next time… Happy Haunting!

 

Mimos Pillows Changing The Baby World

Many parents have not heard of Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) which is a surprise but one that I would like to bring to light.

According to The Baby Centre, Plagiocephaly is a condition that causes a baby’s head to have a flat spot (flat head syndrome) or be misshapen. The most common form is positional plagiocephaly. It occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to pressure on that area. Babies are vulnerable as their skulls are soft and pliable when they’re born.

Positional plagiocephaly typically develops after birth when babies spend time in a position that puts pressure on one part of the skull. As babies spend so much time lying on their back, for example, they may develop a flat spot where their head presses against the mattress.

What many parents also don’t know is that there is a way to prevent Plagiocephaly which comes in a form of a pillow. I am delighted to introduce you to Mimos Pillows Canada.

About the Mimos Pillow

In 2007 Electronic Engineer David Verde and his wife, Molecular Biologist Yin Chen Law of Spain, noticed their three month old baby had an abnormal head shape. When their son was 5 months old their baby’s flat head worsened. They eventually went through the agonizing and very expensive process of getting their son an orthopedic helmet. The initial casting of the helmet was very upsetting for their son and after two months of treatment their son had dermatitis, redness and broken skin. There had to be a better way. It was at that moment that the idea for the Mimos Pillow was born!

Now a Class 1 Medical Device in Canada, their mission at Mimos Pillow Canada is to lower the astounding 47% of babies that develop cranial deformities (flat-head syndrome). The Mimos Pillow is the only medical baby pillow recommended by health professionals around the world and thoroughly tested for safety by international laboratories (breathability, anti-suffocation and the risk of CO2 rebreathing).

What Does Mimos Pillows Do?

The Mimos Pillow both prevents and corrects positional skull deformities. It is recommended for all babies from the newborn stage onwards to help avoid flat spots altogether by pediatricians and neurosurgeons and is available in 25 countries around the world.

Here is a great video on how Mimos Pillows work.

#MelandNikkiReview on Mimos Pillows

We had an opportunity to review this product in person and we are thrilled that we did! The pillow is perfect for a baby’s developing head and the material is breathable, comfortable and soft. It is easy to care for as it can be cleaned and it dries quickly. It is a compact size which can make it easy to transport with. The Mimos Pillow allows the head to grow normally and round out to its natural shape. The best part of this pillow is that it prevents and also corrects flat head. In my books that is amazing just in itself. We give Mimos Pillow 5+++ ZZZZZ’s out of 5 and they have just been added to our recommended list.

This would make a great gift to an expecting parent or if you are expecting we do recommend this product. For Momma Braga readers, there is a special promotion available to you. Enter code MommaBraga under ‘discount’ for $10 OFF on your purchase (click here). You definitely don’t want to miss out on this chance to buy a Mimos Pillow for your little one.

This isn’t the last that you hear about Mimos Pillow Canada as we got an exclusive interview with the people behind the Canadian business of it. You won’t want to miss this article coming soon!

In the meantime, check out Mimos Pillow Canada on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga


5 Halloween Munchies Recipes

Written By: Karen Silva
Twitter

We all know that every good Halloween party or get together, needs some munchies to keep your little monsters full and satisfied. I will share with you some “not so scary” Halloween munchies, that are easy to make and yummy to your tummy.

Remember to use your best judgment as to which tasks you can have your child help you with.

Ghost Popsicle’s

What you will need: Bananas, White chocolate wafers, Chocolate chips and Popsicle sticks

  • First unpeel your bananas and cut them in half.
  • Melt your wafers until your white chocolate is liquid (I did mine in the microwave for 40 seconds).
  • Then dip half of your Popsicle stick into the chocolate and stick it into the end of the banana.
  • Once completed, gently dip the whole banana into the melted chocolate and add three chocolate chips (two for eyes and one for a surprised spooky mouth).
  • Then set all the done ones onto a tray over wax paper and put it in the freezer for about an hour.

Veggie Treat

What you will need: A large tray, veggie dip, baby carrots, broccoli and cucumber

  • First lay out your baby carrots in to a circle shape and use the broccoli as your stem of your veggie pumpkin creation.
  • Remove the baby carrots from the areas in which you would like to have the eyes and nose and place a small container with veggie dip in those places.
  • Finally remove the baby carrots to create your mouth and add some sliced cucumbers in that area.

Monster sandwiches

What you will need: Toast bread, cold cuts, mayo, cheese, circle shape cookie cutter and green olives with opening

  • First with your cookie cutter, cut out circle shapes on your toast bread slices.
  • Once completed, assemble your sandwiches using your mayo first, then cold cuts.
  • Before you add your cheese, use a knife to design your cheese slices to look like sharp teeth.
  • Once you have added that and put another circle piece of toast bread you are ready to add your eyes. That’s right you guessed it! Use the olives as your monsters eyeballs.
  • To keep them in place you can add a tooth pick to each one, just make sure your guests can see the tooth picks so that they can pick them out before taking a bite.

Sweet and sticky pumpkins!

What you will need: Rice crispy Squares, Rolo chocolate and green cookie icing

  • Feel free to make your own Rice Crispy Squares from scratch. Or you can just buy a box of Rice Crispy Squares, add two drops of Orange food coloring on each, pop them in the microwave for 8 seconds and then shape them into a pumpkin.
  • Once you have that done stick one Rolo chocolate on the top as your pumpkin stem.
  • Now you can stop right there or you can use the green icing to create some more detail on the pumpkin like leaves.

Eye love cupcakes!

What you will need: Your favorite cupcake recipe, white buttercream icing, red icing, black icing and lifesaver candy

  • First make and bake your favorite cupcake recipe and then set them aside to cool down.
  • Now comes the fun part… decorating!
  • Spread your white buttercream icing on all of your cupcakes.
  • Then place one life saver in the middle of each cupcake.
  • Using your black icing fill in the hole in the middle of the life saver to complete the look of your eye.
  • Finally add your final detail using the red icing and drawing out some veins.

I hope I didn’t make you drool too much! All of these ideas are super easy to make and it doesn’t take too much time to make.

Until next time mombies!

 

Learning Swim Skills Through Aqua-Tots Swim School

Every year we hear about children falling into pools or waters and drowning and it’s always tragic to hear. This is why we felt it was important to have our daughter learn to swim. Of course we will combine the swim lessons with water safety and what to do in case of an emergency.

Therefore, my sister-in-law was on the case to help me find a swim school that would be a great fit for our family and provide the program that would teach the skills that my daughter needed to know. After a lengthy research she found the Aqua-Tots Swim Schools.

The school was originally founded in Arizona in 1991 and has grown considerably over the years to have a strong North American and international presence thanks to its carefully crafted swimming program for children. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools Mississauga is the first Aqua-Tots location in Canada and has had its doors open to the Toronto West and Mississauga communities since January 2017.

With a focus on safety, a heated pool, a facility designed for families, and on-going progress reports across eight swim levels, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools introduces babies and children of all ages to safe swimming and water practices. Open six days a week, with flexible morning and afternoon lesson times, the swim schools offers a range of classes.

Aqua-Tots Swim School had a great history and structure and we loved their mission statement: “With more than 80 swim schools worldwide, Aqua-Tots was founded on the principle of equipping children with life-long water safety skills. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools is committed to helping children of all ages develop these life-saving skills through an engaging curriculum that is especially designed to complement each child’s life stage.”

Photo Credit: Aqua-Tots Simming School Mississauga

This is exactly the type of school that we were looking for and therefore, Nikki was registered in the Beginner program which is Level 3, LeapFrogs.

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, teaches babies as young as 4 months old and children of all ages how to be safe in and around water and develop a love for swimming. Each of the eight levels has a focus that’s specific to the age and ability of the child. For example, the Level 1, Tadpoles class is for guardians and infants and focuses on water adjustment. Additionally, attention is on safety and breath control.

Level 2, Minnows, on the other hand, is still a guardian and toddler program, in which toddlers learn about the importance of boundaries in and around water with an ongoing focus on safety. Each new level develops at a comfortable pace for the child. Advanced levels, such as seven and eight have little ones working on the butterfly stroke and building endurance after they have mastered the other main strokes.

Photo Credit: Aqua-Tots Swimming School Mississauga

Our first swim lesson was scheduled on a Sunday afternoon and we made it a family affair. I have to be honest as that is the only way I know how to be but I was very nervous for many reasons. One reason was on how Nikki was going to react going with the instructor to the swimming pool without me and the second reason was on her safety. I think it is natural for us parents to feel like that especially with something new.

The time came and it was time for Nikki to start her class. The instructor called her name and took her hand and her progress sheet (I like to call it her report card) and off they went. To my surprise Nikki didn’t even turn back to say good-bye and I can feel the tears welt up in my eyes. I sat down to watch the class in session and she was a real pro looking like she was in her element. I couldn’t help feel really emotional and proud at the same time. The first swim class was a wrap and Nikki fell in love with swimming!

We started our swim classes in July and are still continuing once a week. We have changed the format of her swim classes from group to semi-private classes and even the day of the week that we wanted to have it on. So we love the flexibility that they have been able to offer for families. Nikki has improved her confidence in the water and has really picked up on the skills quickly. But we know with time, she will be swimming to her hearts content soon.

For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give Aqua-Tots Swim School 5 LeapFrogs out of 5. Here is why we love them:

  • Great programs that are tailored to toddlers and children to help them gain the skills needed to swim.
  • Flexible schedules available for families which is so great for working families.
  • Clean and safe environment. They are extremely clean and have safety in mind. As a parent, it is important to learn about your swim schools safety procedure.
  • Caring instructors and staff members who make you feel like part of the family.
  • It’s fun! Your child learns and has fun at the same time.

If you are looking for a swim class for your child then we suggest looking at Aqua-Tots Swim School. Enrolment is on-going, season-neutral and takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Visit Aqua-Tot’s website to read about the different levels of swimming lessons https://www.aqua-tots.com/swim-lessons/swim-levels/. If you are in the Mississauga area you can call the Aqua-Tots Swim School at 905-848-2782 which is located at 1970 Dundas Street East, Unit 6. Also make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what’s new. For Aqua-Tots main office, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Special thank you to Natalia from Aqua-Tots Swimming School Mississauga for taking the time to contribute some background information to this article and to the staff at Aqua-Tots for making swimming so much fun for my daughter.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this not a paid or sponsored post. This article is an honest review of services that we have used and are currently using.

 

Baby Tripster Has Made Travelling With Baby Much Better

We have been very excited for this new and innovative product to hit the scene and we got to be the first to try it!


Baby Tripster is the world’s first leak-proof baby food travel kit made for any kind of travel. You can take your baby’s favorite soft food from home anywhere you go. It is made from BPA-free plastic, dishwasher safe, eco-friendly and reusable. The attached lid will never be lost or dropped on the ground as it’s attached to the container. It has a separate compartment to securely hold the spoon/fork which is convenient and ready to use.

We put the Baby Tripster through the Momma Braga test. Nikki’s favorite snack is chocolate pudding and it can get messy to transport when we are not home so we put it in the Baby Tripster. After a trip in my purse, we took it out and there was no leaks! It wasn’t messy and everything stayed where it needed to. Nikki opened the Baby Tripster and was excited with her spoon ready to use. She truly enjoyed her pudding without any mess.

For this #MelandNikkiReview we give the Baby Tripster 5 stars out of 5. It is convenient, compact, safe and easy to use. This product will be a great addition to any family’s travel plans whether it is on a getaway or to a park. The beauty of this product is that it doesn’t need to be only for babies as you can put some snacks for your children too. We are thrilled to have been given this opportunity to be the first to try a new product and we can’t wait until other parents try it for themselves as soon as they launch. Get ready world! 😉

Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to get updates on when they are launching. But make sure to subscribe in order to buy one when it’s ready!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga