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Well, it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows around here.  It’s unfortunately going to be a rainy weekend, but if you’re looking for some indoor fun with the kids, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is where it’s at.

 

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The sisters who plumb together stay together…

 

We headed over there this week for a fun-filled morning of constructing, deconstructing, pretending and learning.  We hadn’t been there since last summer, and all the new improvements and exhibits were a welcomed surprise (except for the new pay to park, that was a bummer.) It’s a great place to bring kids of varying ages from newborn to about age seven.  We brought kids who ranged in age from one to five and all were engaged for the duration of our visit, which was a little over two hours.  There is an infant area for the under one set who like to explore without the fear of being stepped on by a toddler, a toddler area with play structures, trains, and a reading corner.  The pretend play area  is always a favorite with my kids who jump from construction site to fire station to bakery with a quick trip to the ATM before shopping in the grocery store.  Upstairs is geared toward the older child with science and problem solving exhibits.

 

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The museum is clean and accommodating for families.  There are bathrooms on each level, benches for parents to take a break while their kids play, and a snack area with tables inside and out.  Because it’s an hour drive for us, I always pack a lunch.  Yesterday we opted to sit on the deck overlooking the river with views of the Walkway Over the Hudson as we watched the trains roll by-neverending entertainment for our crew.

 

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Many local libraries have membership cards to the museum which is good for two adults and as many kids as you can fit in your car, and we are fortunate that ours is one of them.  Entrance to the museum is $8 per person over one and parking is $5 a car.  Because we had the membership card, my friend and I saved $53 for 2 adults and 4 kids.  Definitely worth checking with your local library.  On Saturday August 16th, admittance is free from 5-8.

 

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So, if you’re in need of some rainy day entertainment head on over to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, it’s a great place to learn, explore, and get on the floor and play with your kids.

 

 

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This is a craft recommended for parent and child ages 4 and up.

Sure it’s easy to make a sock puppet, but have you ever made one with a perfect hand insert?

I came up with this neat little trick when I was a young teen and have used it ever since when making a sock puppet.

Things you will need…

Socks – Buttons or Googly Eyes – Yarn – Hot Glue – Scissors – Cardboard – Any other face or hair makings of your choice

The first thing you will want to do is cut a piece of cardboard ( I used the wings off a box) into 6 by 3 inch rectangles. Bend in half creating a mouth shape.

Cut small strips of cardboard. Have your child hold the pre-cut rectangle in their hand as they would hold their puppet and bend strip over their finger as shown to make the needed size… do the same for thumb. Mark on either side of the finger so you can remember where the bend goes.

Inside out your sock – This is very important – You want it inside out. This is a parent step so feel free to have your child watch 🙂

Hot Glue Finger slots onto the top and bottom of your mouth piece close the the fold where your child’s fingers will sit. I recommend not only hot gluing it on, but also reinforcing around each side so it seals a nice strong bond as seen below.

Now, squeeze hot glue onto the inside of one side of the mouth and place sock inside making sure it’s smooth. Pull extra sockage out the sides. Repeat on top. What you should have is a mouth piece hot glued on the outside of your sock.

Inside out and pull at corners of mouth a little to form a smile 🙂

Decorate puppet as wanted and have fun doing it! be creative and silly!

To create a wig for your puppet wrap yarn around your fingers until nice and thick. Tie a small strand around the center and pull tight with a knot. Cut yarn off underside of your hand and then trim as wanted. Leave long, or cut short… your child is the beautician.

I’m always on the look out for helpful articles or advice that I feel our Hudson Valley parents need to know. Even the girls (and gentleman) in our office know this and often tell me about the latest news they’ve heard. Today I found an article on a topic that I feel hits home in our current economy. “4 Ways To Teach Your Kids Financial Responsibility” presents four simple  ideas that the writer suggests for parents to try when educating their kids on financial topics. While these ideas are good starter points, teaching financial responsibility is a life long journey. How do you approach your kids when you want to teach them a lesson on fiscal responsibility?

Also be on the lookout for an upcoming article on teaching your preschooler money lessons in an upcoming Parent issue.

With the wind howling outside our tiny office in Newburgh  today it’s hard not to feel excited that Halloween is right around the corner. This holiday is one of my favorites because you get to be a kid all over again. I remember when I was in the 3rd grade I wanted a unique costume, so I decided to make my own. I went to my school library, got out a book on crafts, and chose to make my very own ladybug costume. That baby was beautiful and the best part was I made it by myself.

This leads me to the point of this nostalgic blog, today I have a much harder time coming up with costume ideas. Working full-time doesn’t leave me a lot of time to make the perfect costume, but it can be done.  How do all you parent readers come up with your costume ideas? Is it off to Party City? Or do you bite the creative bullet and make your own costume? I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas!

Yesterday’s  Times Herald Record  introduced us to twelve-year-old Shawn Gill who is mature beyond his years. I’m always touched by locals who make a difference not only at home, but who also inspire others to do good. Shawn is the primary caregiver for his mom who has severe epilepsy. On top of his schoolwork and helping is mother, Shawn is also a Student Leader at C.J. Hooker Middle School in Goshen. Shawn was picked with another student to attend this year’s Junior National Young Leaders Conference a big honor since nominations are reviewed by members of Congress.

It’s nice to see a child so passionate about helping others and I’m sure he isn’t the only Hudson Valley kid out there making a difference.  We are curious to hear from our Parent readers. How do you encourage your child to help others?  Let us know what you do in the comments or tell us on Facebook. We also have a few articles on inspiring altruism in children if you need some ideas on how to start.

If not, then Hudson Valley babies are in the minority. According to CNN , 92% of US babies are online. “Thanks to the ubiquity of photo-sharing websites like Facebook, 82 percent of children in 10 Western countries have a digital footprint before the age of 2, according to a study by internet security firm AVG.” They’re not the ones necessarily uploading photos onto Facebook though. It’s parents, family members, friends of the family, etc. that are doing the uploading.

I am definitely guilty of doing that. When my niece and nephew were born I splattered pictures onto my Facebook page like there was no tomorrow. (They are were too cute not to be seen!)  But then I decided I wasn’t sure who exactly was looking at these pictures and deleted my photo albums. It does raise some security issues regarding Hudson Valley children and the internet, as discussed by our Child Behavior columnist Dr. Paul Schwartz. The times are a’changing and now apparently my two year old niece will soon surpass me in Facebook “friends”.

While babysitting my nephew the other day, we were both playing with some great baby toys when  suddenly he heard the Mickey Mouse Club House theme song start to play on the TV in the background. He started weaving and bobbing his head, basically turning into a dancing machine. He loves when you dance with him or sing towards him. He will always dance back. Other than being adorable, I just read today that babies loving to dance is now a proven scientific fact.

According to a new study from the University of York in England, “Babies love a beat and dancing comes naturally to infants. The research showed babies respond to the rhythm and tempo of music, and find it more engaging than speech.” You can read the rest of the article here.  Have you noticed this is true? Leave your dancing stories here!

Check out this new information just released today:

“Eating lots of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy may lower the chance of having a baby with certain allergies, hint study findings from Japan.

Greater intake of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruit, and veggies and fruits high in beta carotene (generally those colored red and orange) may lessen the risk of having a baby with eczema (itchy, dry, red patched skin), Dr. Yoshihiro Miyake at Fukuoka University and colleagues found.

Foods high in vitamin E, found in some green vegetables, similarly may lessen the risk of having a wheezy infant, they report in the journal Allergy.”

Read more of the article here. We all know how important eating healthy is for your growing baby, but this new study raises some good points. What was your eating like when you were pregnant? If you are newly pregnant would you pay more attention to the study? Share your opinion!

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