Developmental Games to Play with Baby

Engaging your baby in stimulating experiences encourages brain development and paves the way for successful learning in the future.

Did you know?

* A baby’s brain is 250% more active than that of an adult.
* The networking of the brains’ synapses is nearly complete after the first three years.
* You are your baby’s best toy!

Drawing on extensive brain research, child development expert and best-selling author Jackie Silberg presents . Filled with developmental games, Baby Smarts helps you build your baby’s brain power, one activity at a time!

Recently awarded two prestigious parenting awards, the iParenting Award and the National Parenting Publications Gold Award, Baby Smarts helps you unlock the power of your baby’s brain with simple activities that do not require expensive toys or props.

Try these fun activities with your baby:

Floating Feathers (3-6 month olds)

* Lie down on your back with your baby next to you.
* Throw a brightly colored feather in the air and watch it float gently to the ground.
* This is a very relaxing game, and it challenges babies to follow (track) objects with their eyes. (Note: You can find feathers at art supply stores.)

Under the Blanket (9-12 month olds)

* This game develops your baby’s observation skills, demonstrates the concept of “under,” and enhances your baby’s ability to follow directions.
* Let your baby watch as you hide a small toy under a pillow.
* After you hide the toy, ask her to find it.
* If she does not understand, ask her again and show her that the toy is under the pillow.
* Tell her that you are now going to hide the toy under the blanket.
* Keep hiding the toy in different places that are “under” something.

Author Jackie Silberg, who has an M.S. in child development, is an early childhood advocate and popular keynote speaker. She is the author of 15 books with including Games to Play with Babies and 125 Brain Games for Babies. She lives in Leawood, Kansas.

Free Chocolate!

In case you haven’t heard Mars is sponsoring the Real Chocolate Relief Act. Each Friday from May 15-September 25, 2009 Mars is giving away 250,000 coupons for free chocolate! Limit: one (1) Coupon per email address per Friday and four (4) Coupons per household during the Offer Period. I know I am a chocoholic and anytime I can get good chocolate for FREE I am there. If you want to see of you are one of the 250,000 lucky people this Friday, or any Friday during the promotion, just click here.

Love Your Veggies!

I’ll be the first to admit, I am not a veggie lover. I eat a very limited group of vegetables. I have tried to expand that number and introduce my kids to a wider variety of vegetables than I eat. My oldest son likes a fair amount of veggies and will often choose a salad over other snacks. My youngest son, unfortunately, eats like his mother.

Celebrity chef Art Smith has teamed up with the makers of Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing on the “Love Your Veggies” campaign. The Love Your Veggies website is full of great information for parents as well as some fun games for kids. In the activities area of the site there are a bunch of downloads parents and kids can use together to track their veggies intake, learn about veggies around the world and in your own backyard. The site also features the recipes that are featured in this video.

Check out Love Your Veggies and help your family eat healthier!

Soothing New Diaper Rash Ointment

Diaper rash is hard on babies, and treating it has been hard on moms and dads with ointments that are messy, greasy, and stain clothing. Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc., one of the world’s most popular brands among breastfeeding mothers, has introduced Lansinoh® Diaper Rash Ointment. This exclusive new formulation, which includes Lansinoh’s world-renowned HPA® Lanolin, treats diaper rash gently and effectively, yet goes on white, rubs in clear, and washes right off parents’ hands. To celebrate launch of its new product, Lansinoh is offering a coupon for $2.00 off at using the code LANSINOH2.

Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment contains a blend of three special ingredients that work together to soothe, treat, and prevent diaper rash. These include Lansinoh HPA Lanolin, an ultra pure, medical-grade lanolin that forms a protective barrier to help seal out irritating wetness and promote natural healing on baby’s bottom. This is the same single ingredient in Lansinoh HPA Lanolin nipple treatment, the most popular cream used by nursing mothers to soothe, heal, and protect sore, cracked nipples. It’s the only topical nipple treatment endorsed in the United States by La Leche League International, an organization of mothers dedicated to providing breastfeeding information and support to pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The second active ingredient in Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment is microfine zinc oxide, which greatly differs from the zinc oxide found in traditional diaper rash ointments that can be thick and pasty. Lansinoh microfine zinc oxide goes on baby’s bottom white to see where it’s applied, but rubs in clear and doesn’t leave a mess on hands or damage clothing. It also makes the ointment light when applied to the skin, and provides strong, lasting protection. Lastly, Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment contains dimethicone, an emollient that allows for superior spreadability, while softening and soothing baby’s delicate skin. Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment is also fragrance free and hypoallergenic.

“Lansinoh has a 20-year heritage of creating premium products by mothers, for mothers,” says Jennifer Moyer, Vice President of Marketing at Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc. “We could have introduced a diaper rash ointment that was like the others on the market, but we chose to take the time to develop an ointment that would uphold the same standards of effectiveness, safety, and convenience that are embodied in all of our products, including our nipple treatment, breast pumps, nursing pads, wipes, and other products. Our diaper rash ointment is a true breakthrough for moms and dads, who have told us they want a gentle, effective product that would treat sore bottoms without all the mess. Blending our HPA Lanolin, microfine zinc oxide, and dimethicone has proven to be the answer for a new generation of diaper rash ointment for today’s parents.”

Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment is also available at retailers including Walgreens and Babies R Us, and online at,, and For more information about Lansinoh and its product line, visit or call 1-800-292-4794. To redeem the coupon for $2.00 off at, use the code LANSINOH2.


Founded in 1984 by a breastfeeding mother, Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc., Alexandria, Va., is a global leader of premium products by and for breastfeeding mothers. The company’s expanding product line is available in over 25,000 retail stores nationwide. The company is committed to developing new products that support mothers, babies, and personal health through internal product development and selective acquisitions.

Budget Friendly Addition to Backyard Playtime


Budget Friendly Addition to Backyard Playtime Offers Endless Possibilities

Everything’s always better with a little color… and who better to add a splash of color to kids’ lives than the modern day masters of the color spectrum, Crayola! This season, they’re here to stimulate kids’ imaginations and brighten up their sandboxes with their new colored Play Sand! Let the long, sunny outdoor days begin!

Crayola’s new soft and ultra-high quality Play Sand transforms an ordinary sandbox into a colorful bed of creativity, in fun and playful hues. And thanks to 20-pound “mom-friendly” bags featuring an easy-to-carry handle, getting the colored play sand to the sandbox is a snap. The sand is great for summer time art projects to add a blast of color but don’t worry the vibrant colors won’t leave any stains on the hands.

Early childhood development experts agree that sand play is one of the most important and beneficial activities for children to engage in to develop a wide variety of motor, spatial and social skills. “Sand play is open-ended and allows children the freedom to build and strengthen development of their small and large muscle motor skills, eye-hand coordination, mathematical, vocabulary and socialization skills,” said Cheri Sterman, director of child development, Crayola. “Now, the benefits of sand play are taken to a new dimension with the addition of color. It’s creative learning driven solely by imagination and no batteries nor game pod’s needed.”

So this summer, open the doors to your child’s imagination and make playtime more colorful with Crayola Play Sand. Available in pink, purple, blue and green for $6.47 at select WalMart stores nationwide.

Bare Foot Blunders

With Memorial Day right around the corner, the season for going bare foot is here. Unfortunately, going bare foot can be dangerous. Here are some tips for parents from Dr Oliver Zong.

Going bare foot is the easiest way to get a cut or scrape especially during the warm summer months. One hidden danger lurking at the pool, in the locker room, and on the gym floor is bacteria that gets into the blood stream through these tiny cuts in bare feet and causes warts.

“50% of children experience these painful plantar warts at some point in their life,” says board-certified New York City podiatrist Dr. Oliver Zong. Plantar warts are caused by exposure to Human Papilloma Virus or HPV, which thrives in moist warm environments like public pools, showers, and gyms. During the summer months when kids are out playing in the sunshine or walking around the pool, plantar warts are bound to pop up. They are painful, feel spongy, often have dark spots or blood clots in the middle and are extremely difficult to get rid of. Kids are more prone to catch warts then adults as their immune systems are not as prepared to deal with the HPV virus that causes them.

If you find these warts have already taken root on your children’s feet, Dr. Zong does not advise using over the counter medications. Over the counter medications contain chemicals that destroy skin cells and can actually damage the healthy tissue surrounding the wart causing spreading. Instead Dr. Zong recommends his innovative a quick, pain-free treatment with the CryoPen, a rapid nitrogen freezing of the wart with a Q-tip like applicator pen. “The non-invasive, patient-friendly CryoPen is also the most effective cryosurgical technique to remove plantar warts without causing any pain,” says Dr. Zong.

This summer as you pull out the kid’s bathing suits and sunblock, Dr. Oliver Zong also recommends you keep in mind a few simple do’s and don’ts to prevent warts from planting on your kid’s feet.

  • change your children’s shoes and socks daily avoid direct contact with your children’s warts
  • have your kids wear water shoes when at the pool
  • visit a podiatrist if you discover these warts
  • Don’t use over the counter medications that can possibly spread warts
  • Don’t let you kids walk barefoot in public areas
  • Don’t let your child share shoes or flip flops with other children

According to Dr. Zong, if parents follow a few simple prevention tips they can help manage the spread of plantar warts.

. Oliver Zongis a podiatrist in Manhattan’s influential Financial District. As one of the premier cosmetic foot surgeons in the country, he serves as the Director of Surgery at NYC Foot Care and is on the Board of Directors at Gramercy Park Surgery Center. Besides traditional and cosmetic foot surgery, Dr. Zong is also an accomplished cryosurgeon and co-founder of the Podiatric Cryosurgery Center of New York. He is an attending physician at New York Hospital Downtown, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Cabrini Medical Center, and Gramercy Park Surgery Center.  An accomplished foot surgeon, Dr. Zong is credited with coining the terms, “Foot Makeover”, “Foot Facelift”, “The Toe Tuck”, and “High Heel Feet”. For more information please visit

Random Photo Challenge Week of 5-9-09

July 2004 or

7th folder closest year

22nd picture.

This photo is July 2004 15th picture (because that is the last picture in the July 2004 folder).

This is Jordan at Disney MGM Studios. It was taken on July 30, 2004.

We were actually there working for the day.

We were in the audience for a television taping of Who Wants to be a Millionaire for ESPN. Chris Fowler was the MC and Coach Nick Saban was in the hotseat.

This is a fun photo meme. If you want to participate go to

Toy Safety Tips

Summer time is always a busy toy time. Kids are out of school and have a lot of time to play. I want to share with you Toy Safety Tips by Malcolm Denniss: Technical Director for SGS Consumer Testing Services.

1. The most important aspect of buying gifts for children (whether for holidays or birthdays) is to make sure the toy or game is age-appropriate for the child. Nearly every toy or game will list the appropriate age on the box. The guidelines were developed by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Toy Industry Association, and take into account the typical ability of children to handle certain toys. Buying toys for children that are younger than the indicated age, even though we think a child may grow into it or is capable may lead to inappropriate play patterns and hazards that a child is not yet prepared for.

2. Children are naturally excited to play with new toys at holiday times, often in a robust and possibly in an overly enthusiastic manner. It is important that parents periodically check their children’s toys for any damage or breakage, which could create sharp edges or a choking hazard. If a toy looks damaged, take it away! If necessary, contact the manufacturer to verify that it is still safe to play with.

3. While toy shopping during the holidays, check recall notices at the toy or department store to verify none of child’s existing toys have been recalled and are still in your child’s room or toy box.

4. If you are buying toys for nephews, nieces, or other children that you may not see on a regular basis, it is always a good idea to check with the parents and make sure you know what they think is appropriate for the child, particularly for very young children where maturity can vary significantly. Be particularly careful when buying for children under the age of three years. This age group often still puts toys in their mouths, so check the front of the toy package to see if the toys have small parts before buying.

5. Teach kids outdoor and indoor play safety. It’s important to teach them to not play ball games near roadways and to always look where they are running if the ball goes outside the play area. Never let them play near roads and areas where automobiles are driving. Do not let them play with flying toys indoors where they can not only knock over fragile decorations but can also hit bystanders.

Natural Parenting Information

I recently learned about a beautiful website dedicated to connecting mom, baby and the planet. The site is Mindful Mama, a free, cutting-edge content and social media site for natural parenting.  They connect parents, birth/early childhood professionals,
and healthy and sustainable businesses to create a better world for families worldwide.  They donate 2% of our profits to causes that support maternal and children’s health worldwide.
Yesterday, Mother’s Day, Mindful Mama for natural parenting, launched a video series and art/photo/essay contest that engages mothers across the country in a dialogue about childbirth and the transformation of new motherhood. In search of a deeper understanding of birth in the United States, Mindful Mama has spent the past two months interviewing these top experts and created a series of more than 50 short video clips. Mindful Mama invites mothers everywhere to watch these videos at and share their own personal wisdom and stories, answering the question, “How has becoming a parent transformed you?”
Contest Facts
Share: How has becoming a parent transformed you?
Deadline for contest submissions: August 10, 2009
How: Art, photo, essay, and discussion

Even if you don’t enter the contest, stop over at their website and see all that they have to offer.