Author Archives: Angele

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

8 Kindergarten Readiness Skills that are More Important than Letter Recognition and Counting

Preschool children doing activities.

Often times when people discuss whether a child is “ready” for Kindergarten the discussion is centered on academic skills such as letter recognition or counting.  However there non-academic skills that are necessary for your child to have a successful start in school.  One might argue they are more important than the academic skills often cited.

The ability to focus for 15 minutes — Many teachers have what is called circle time in the beginning of the school day.  This may consist of singing songs, taking turns speaking, hearing a story or another activity.  It requires that the child sit, focus and wait their turn to speak.  Disruptions can throw the whole class off into a different direction.  Take your child to a storytime activity at your local library or book store and observe his behavior to see if he is able to focus in a group setting.

The ability to let others shine — Classrooms can be crowded and teachers and the teacher’s aide cannot focus on every child every moment of the day.  Children need to understand that they will not always be the center of attention.  They will not get called on everytime the teacher asks someone to share, or every time they raise their hand, they will not always get picked to be the monitor.  This may have an emotional impact on children who may be used to more attention.  Discuss letting others shine with your child and let them know that other opportunities will arise and to keep participating in class.

Sharing and collaborative play — Students in Kindergarten will often have to share supplies like glue, scissors, crayons, space on an art project, ert.  They will also need to take turns with P.E. equipment like bikes and jump ropes.  You can teach this skill to your child while they are playing with a friend or sibling, or during a trip to the park. Teach them the importance of community property at the park, and encourage them to share toys with friends at home.

Controlling impulses — Children need to know how to keep their hands to themselves and respect others’ personal space.  They also need to control impulses like speaking out of turn and resisting making funny noises or sounds when it is inappropriate.

Independence with self-care tasks — Things like zipping up a jacket, tying shoes, buttoning up a shirt, putting away a backpack, and cleaning up after themselves are very important.  Teachers and their aides are not always available to help with these tasks and it can be frustrating for a child who is not able to complete them on their own.  Work with your child with these types of activities and resist the urge to help them when they are struggling.  Be patient and wait for them to figure things out on their own.

Recognition of authority figures — Children need to be able to follow the directions of adults who are not their parents, such as their teacher, teacher’s aide, cafeteria workers, etc.

No separation anxiety — Separation may not be much of an issue if your child has been in daycare and or pre-school prior to attending kindergarten, but it might be if this is your child’s first experience in a public or private school setting. A great way to facilitate a smooth separation is to use the “quick goodbye” technique. Children do better when a mom or dad drops them off quickly. Give a quick hug and say, “I’ll see you soon. Have a great day.” and leave. It is harder for children when parents linger in the classroom. Your child needs to know that you trust the teacher, and that he/she is safe and okay without you.

Bathroom etiquette — Of course children need to be potty trained, but they also need to be able to attend the restroom alone.  They should be able to use the seat covers, wipe themselves, flush, lock the door, and implement good hand washing skills as well.

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

32 Black Celebrities Who Have Authored Children’s Books and Apps

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As I search through hundreds and hundreds of books at the library, trying to find books that will engage my children, I am always happy to find those that are authored by some of my favorite celebrities.  In addition to making great music, films or being great athletes or politicians, it is nice to see that they have left a mark in the world of children’s literature as well.

 

 

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1. Alicia Keys

The Journals of Mama Mae and Lee Lee is an app that follows a little girl LeeLee and her Grandmother who is voiced by Della Reese.  Users can explore original stories and music by Alicia Keys, write in their own journal and play a virtual piano that displays the notes as you play.  Mookey, which continues the Mama Mae series is also available on the iOS platform.  Both apps are available to preview for free and contain in-app purchases for the full versions.  These apps are also the precursor to the printed book Alicia Keys authored titled Blue Moon.

 

2. LeVar Burton

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Many of us grew up watching Reading Rainbow on television.  Now our children can experience Reading Rainbow on their tablets or online.  After Reading Rainbow the television show was taken off the air, Levar Burton and his business partner purchased the rights to the program and created the app.  The app is available to preview for free, and is unlocked with a subscription.

LeVar Burton has also recently authored a book called, The Rhino Who Swallowed the Storm.  This is a unique story that helps children deal with traumatic events in their lives.

 

 

3. Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi

The Sugar Plum Ballerinas is a popular chapter book series aimed at children in grades 2-4.  The series contains six chapter books with illustrations sprinkled throughout the text.

 

4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

 

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once said, “If I hadn’t become a professional basketball player, I would have become a history teacher.”  It is no surprise then that he is the author of a children’s books that infuses lessons about Black history.  I found What Color is My World? when I was researching information on African American inventors.  This book starts off with two siblings that are moving into a new home.  They encounter an elder who is helping fix up their new home and learn about many African American inventors.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also has two other children’s books that he has authored: Sasquatch in the Paint  and Stealing the Game.  Both are basketball themed junior novels.

 

5. President Barak Obama

 

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Told with elegant prose and illustrations of role models, President Obama pens a letter to his daughter teaching them lessons from great historical figures in Of Thee I Sing.  The letter references figures such as Billie Holiday, Cesar Chavez, Hellen Keller and more.

 

6. Spike Lee and 7. Tonya Lewis Lee

Some of us may be old enough to remember the classic scene from She’s Gotta Have It, where Mars Blackmon beggs Nola to not break up with him.

Year later, after becoming parents, Spike and Tonya Lee Lewis use this same phrase to author a classic children’s book.  If you have not read Please, Baby, Please to your toddler, you are missing out.  This is one of those books your child will want to hear and read 1, 000 times.  It has beautiful illustrations by Kadir Nelson and lots of repetition, making it one of those books that are easy to memorize.  It is followed by an equally engaging book titled Please, Puppy, Please where siblings plead with their pet to behave.  The couple also authored another children’s book called Giant Steps to Change the World.  This title is aimed at a slightly older children’s audience and encourages children to follow their dreams.

8. Queen Latifah

QueenLatifah

I cannot describe how elated I was to find Queen of the Scene on the bookshelves of the library.  The book came with a CD which is narrated by Queen Latifah.  It celebrates Black girls in sports, Hip Hop and poetry all at once.  It is illustrated by Frank Morrison and is classic literature for young children.

 

9. Kim Wayans

Kim Wayans

Another chapter book series with a Black girl protagonist is the Amy Hodgepodge series by Kim Wayans and her husband Kevin Knotts.  This series follows a formerly homeschooled girl with a multi cultural background as she transitions into public school, meets new friends and embarks on new adventures.

 

10. Tia and 11. Tamera

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Another chapter book that looks like it is headed in the direction of becoming a series is Twintuition. The first book Twintuition: Double Vision is about tween twins Cassie and Caitlyn who are psychic.  The next book, available for pre-order now and due to be released in May of 2016 is called Twintuition: Double Trouble.

12. Ziggy Marley

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I love You Too, is an example of how art can take multiple forms.  Written originally as a song, then printed into a physical book, I love You Too is now an interactive app.  Inside the app, children can choose to hear a narration by Ziggy Marley, or parents can individualize the story by adding their own vocal narration.

Ziggy Marley isn’t the only artist to take his song lyrics and convert it into a children’s book.  Bob Marley, Mariah Carey,   Pharrell and Will Smith are other artist whose song lyrics are now considered children’s literature.  It is always fun to listen to the song while turning the pages of the book.  This technique can also aid in having your child learn sight words.

13. Bob Marley –One Love

 

 

14.Mariah Carey-All I Want for Christmas

15. Pharrell- Happy

 

16. Will Smith-Just The Two of Us

 

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I look forward to checking out the following books from the library in 2016.

17.  Jada Pinkett Smith

With photographs of young girls, Jada Pinkett Smith delivers an affirmation of hope and courage to a young generation with Girls Hold Up This World.

 

18. Dionne Warwick- Say A Little Prayer and Little Man

19. Misty Copeland-Firebird

21. Taye Diggs-Chocolate Me and Mixed Me

 

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22. Garecelle Beauvais-I Am Mixed

 

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23. Tisha Campbell Martin-My Brother Doesn’t Want to Play: Autism From a Siblings Perspective

 

24. Holly Robinson Pete-My Brother Charlie

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25. Nick Cannon-Neon Alien Ate My Homework and Roc and Roe’s Twelve Days of Christmas

 

cannon26. Shaquille O’Neal- Little Shaq and Little Shaq Takes a Chance

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27. LL Cool J-And The Winner Is

28. George Foreman-Let George Do It

29. Terrell Owens- Little T Learns to Share

30. Tiki Barber and 31. Ronde Barber- Babar Game Time Books

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32. Common-I Like You but I Love Me and The Mirror and Me

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Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

5 Non-Dairy Alternatives to Cow’s Milk for Young Children

I remember when my baby turned one year old and had her checkup the doctor asked me if I had started giving her cow milk. It seemed like almost every visit thereafter, that was always the first question.

I never really understood why this particular drink was so important to doctors. I mean, humans after all produce milk for our own species, why is drinking milk from another species viewed with such a high regard, that some believe it to be mandatory? So I asked one pediatrician, and he answered, “It’s such an easy and convenient way to get fat, protein and calcium, why would you not want to give it to your child?” Ah, gotcha! So that was it: ease and convenience.

There are actually many reasons one would want to shield their young toddler from dairy. Reasons may range from eczema, to religious, to personal choice. And the truth is, although cow milk is promoted by many pediatricians, it is not necessary. What is most important is that we give our children a balanced diet so that they receive all the nutrition they need for a growing body. If you are looking for a beverage that is high in fat, try Coconut Milk. If you are looking for a rival to cow milk with regard to protein, Soy milk will be your best option. Many foods are fortified with calcium such as orange juice and cereals. Also green vegetables and white beans are naturally high in calcium. Therefore you can give you baby a healthy, nutritious diet without using dairy product at all. Below are some popular beverages that are alternatives to traditional cow milk. Some of the beverages are fortified with other vitamins that you will not get with milk such as vitamin E in Almond milk and Hemp is high in Omega 3’s. Check out the nutrition facts of a variety of non-dairy beverages below.

Unsweetened Coconut Milk
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Unsweetened Soy Milk
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soy-original-unsweetened_nfx

Unsweetened Almond Milk
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Hemp Milk

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Hemp.com

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Oat Milk
Make-Oat-Milk

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Mommies, what alternatives to dairy do you give your children?

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

7 Creative Ways to Teach Your Child to Tie Their Shoes

Learning to tie your shoes can be a fun or frustrating experience.  Keep in mind that tying shoes requires a strong set of fine motor skills.  Before you attempt to teach your child, make sure they have had plenty activities to develop their fine motor abilities.  Here are some ways to keep it fun.

1. Start by using a jump rope.  Tying a knot can be difficult for the first time if you have not had experience.  Tying a small knot can make the challenge that much more difficult,  Using a big rope to begin learning the process of tying a knot can help tremendously.

2. Make a cardboard box for your little one to practice with.

3. Use pipe cleaners instead of laces to start out.  Pipe cleaners are more stable than loose string and may help children who are struggling with fine motor control.

4.Color half of the lace with a marker or purchase bi-colored shoe laces.

5. Sing a song while tying shoes.  Adding music can help a child remember all the steps involved.  Check out this tap and sing melody by Elmo and Savion Glover.

Also this aunt shows her niece how to tie her shoes using the bunny ear method and a song to the tine of Ferris Jaques

6. Use different types of ribbon to start out with. Allow your child to experiment tying with various sizes and textures of ribbon or string.

7. Try different methods

      1. Push and Tie
      2. Loop, Swoop, Pull
      3. For right and left handed children
      4. Super fast

8. Finally be patient and practice a lot.

Mommies, how did you teach your child to tie shoes?  Please share.

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and a lover of art, education and laughter.  She is the creator and author ofABC remix.

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

8 Black Kids Who Completed High School and Entered College At An Early Age

Traditionally children enter kindergarten when they are five years old and graduate from high school when they are 18 years old.  However these incredible teens are moving along their educational pathway at their own pace.  Check out seven Black students who either skipped high school altogether or graduated from high school earlier than the traditional student.

1. Grace Bush is a young lady that comes from a family of high achievers.  She was homeschooled, along with her older siblings, and was astonishingly able to graduate from college before graduating high school.  (The college ceremony was scheduled before the high school ceremony, but technically she received both her diploma and Bachelor’s degree in the same month.) Her mother attributes some of her aptitude to having supporting examples in her older siblings.  Grace began taking college courses at Broward College at the age of 13 and was simultaneously enrolled in high school. After graduation Grace plans to continue her education in pursuit of a Masters degree while preparing for the LSAT.  I am confident we will see her in the history books accomplishing great things.  Go head girl!

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2. Who needs high school when you can go straight to college?  By age 11, Thessalonika Arzu-Embry had enrolled in community college, after having been homeschooled through early grades, and was able to complete her bachelor’s studies at Chicago University by age 14 when most students across the USA are just entering their freshman year in high school. Thessalonika says:

“My college experience is a traditional college experience for me — it is just that I have completed it faster, ” Thessalonika said. “I am very excited about joining others in having the opportunity to contribute to society in a significant way.”

Thessalonika’s mother was also a graduate student of the university, and the family plans to open a clinical practice.

3. Mathematics is commonly thought of as a difficult subject to master, and requires developmental stages to happen before children can comprehend certain concepts, but that hasn’t stopped Steven Stafford from becoming a Morehouse College student before becoming a teenager.  Steven is a triple major, in computer science, mathematics, and pre-med.  He was kept on track to take advantage of his exceptional abilities by his homeschooling parents.  Steven does not like the term “prodigy” and has this to say about being exceptional:


“At the end of the day, I go home and play video games like a 13-year-old would like to play. I don’t think I’m any more special than the next kid. I just learned fast because I had the resources to. My mother is the reason I was able to do that. I’m just using my potential. The only way to know it is to use it. I just love moving forward. I really do. When I slow down, I don’t like it. I know I can do better than this, so why slow down?”

4. Martinique Stafford is Steven Staffords sister, who was also homeschooled.  While most 17 year olds are completing their junior year in high school Martinique was completing her freshman year at Georgia Southern University.  At 19 years old she was a Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society inductee.  Exceptional academic achievement runs in the family.  Major kudos to the Stafford family.

5.  Saheela Ibraheem is a young marvel, at age 15 she had her pick of several top-tier colleges to attend, including MIT, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, University of Chicago and others.  The exemplary teen settled on attending Harvard at the advice of her younger brother who also wishes to attend the school one day.  Not surprisingly, Saheela had great SAT scores to complement her vigor for academics.  She modestly explains that “anyone who’s motivated can work wonders.”

The Imafidons are commonly referred to as Britain’s smartest family

6.Anne-Marie Imafidon who speaks six languages and at age 10 passed two GCSE’s (General Certificate of Secondary Education).  She went on to attend John Hopkins University in Baltimore and got her masters degree from Oxford University, all before she turned 20 years old.

7. Christina Imafidon who is one of Anne-Marie’s sisters was the youngest student in history to attend a British university

8. Samantha Imafidon at the age of 6 had passed two high school-level mathematics and statistics exams. She also became the youngest girl in the UK to attend secondary school when she was 9 years old.

Moms, how do you feel about skipping grades?  Are these young people exceptional or just normal kids who had resources,  like Steven Stafford says?

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and a lover of art, education and laughter.  She is the creator and author of ABC remix.

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

30 Classic Songs by Black Artists that Celebrate Mothers

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Being a mom can be challenging! If you ever need a pick me up, listen to one of these songs celebrating mothers.

Ashanti, Mother

CeCe Winans, Mama’s Kitchen

Fantasia, Baby Mama

Nas, Dance

Lenny Kravitz “Thinking Of You”

Shirley Caesar, Everyday Is Like Mother’s Day

2Pac, Dear Mama

Boyz 2 Men, A Song For Mama

Kanye West, Hey Mama

Anthony Hamilton, Mama Knew Love

Will Smith, Momma Knows

Janelle Monáe, Ghetto Woman

The Chicago Mass Choir, Mothers Are Special

Mos Def, Umi Says

Junior, Mama Used To Say

The Spinners, Sadie

Alicia Keys, Superwoman

The Shirelles, Mama Said

Snoop Dogg I Love My Momma

Musiq Soulchild – Motherfather

The Dream – Mama

THE INTRUDERS – I’LL ALWAYS LOVE MY MAMA

The Temptations Oh, Mother of Mine

Chris Brown Mama

Skillz – You Only Get One

Ghostface Killah ft Mary J Blige – All That I Got Is You

Thank God for Momma-Five Blind Boys

“Mama”-Candi Staton

“Treat Your Mother Right” by Mr. T

Talib Kweli – Momma Can You Hear Me

Mommies, what songs that celebrate mothers do you enjoy listening to?

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

5 TV Shows That Teach Literacy Skills

There is constant debate about screen time for children.  Some say no screen time, some say a little is okay.  If you are allowing your children to watch television, why not let it be educational?  Here are five television shows your children can watch while learning to read.

1. Super Why

Super Why! Has four main characters and all of them have a literacy “power” that helps them solve a problem in each episode.  Princess Presto has spelling power, Wonder Red has word power (rhyming), Pig has letter power and Whyatt has the power to read.  Whyatt usually does sentence completion activities and changes the outcome of popular folk tales and stories.  This show is excellent for beginning readers as it covers letter recognition, phonics and spelling in a fun and entertaining way.

2. Word World

This 3-D animated series turns each character and object into a word.  You can see the spelling of each character and object in their design.  This show also covers both spelling and phonics.  When characters in the show want to have something, for example a pie, they search for the letters to “build a word” and once they have all the letters, they put them together and the object appears.  Most of the words that are built are spelled out. However the show also emphasizes on phonics.  One episode for example, focused on the “sh” sound, and centered around a shark who had a hard time making friends.

3. The Electric Company

I mentioned the classic version of  this show in my post about classic TV shows that are streaming on Hulu and Amazon.  However there is also a new modern version that is currently airing on television.  The current version of The Electric Company has the same focus and goals.  The entertainment is geared toward a crowd older than Sesame Street that needs a boost in phonics. One of my favorite clips is the song about silent “e.”

4. Word Girl

Word Girl, as implied by it’s title focuses on words and vocabulary.  Word Girl, who is an alien with super word powers was born on the fictional planet Lexicon.  Each segment begins with instructions for the viewers to listen for key words that will be used through the episode.  Words such as “diversion, ” “cumbersome, ” and “idolize” are introduced, defined and applied throughout the episode.   Although this show is geared towards children ages 6-9 older and younger children can appreciate it as well.

5. Sesame Street

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No children’s show list would be complete without this classic.  Parents who watched the show as children probably remember that each episode was “brought to you by the letter ___ and the number ___”  now in addition to letters and numbers, they also have a segment called the “Word on the Street” that helps children define more complicated vocabulary words.   Always current, fun and entertaining, Sesame Street continues to be the standard in educational television.

All of the above shows air on your PBS stations,   check your local listings for dates and times. Mommies do your children watch any of these shows?  Are there other educational shows that you watch that are not listed here? Do you require that a portion of their media be educational?  Please share.

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and a lover of art, education and laughter.  She is the creator and author of ABC remix.

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

10 Tips for Potty Training On The Go and In Public Restrooms

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Potty training at home can be a stressful task.  Going out and using public restrooms can add another hurdle to an already strenuous task.  If you are like me, you try to avoid public restrooms altogether, they can be smelly, dirty and just plain ole nasty.  However when you have little ones it is very likely that the need to go potty will arise in a public place. When this happens you need to be ready to take them to a public restroom to avoid having an accident.  Here are some tips that will help you along that journey.

1.  Always, always, always use the bathroom right before you leave the house.  I cannot stress this enough.  Make it a rule, a routine, a habit that is hard to break.  Do not let this be an option for your children but a requirement or part of the routine.  Even if your child says they do not have to go, have them sit on the toilet for a few seconds anyway.  Having them use the restroom before you leave home gives you a longer stretch between the next time they have to go.

2. Plan ahead, know the types of restrooms that are available  in the various locations where you take your kids.  Check the restrooms of places where you may have never thought of using the restroom, like the grocery store, banks, post office, everywhere.  You never know when the time may arise when your little one has to go to the potty and you do not want to be stuck anywhere confused looking around for the restroom or conflicted about using dirty restroom.

3. Try to avoid drinks in the car, especially if you have a long drive ahead of you.  Do not dehydrate you children, but space their drinks out so that when they have a any liquids there is a restroom readily available.  Also in case of car seat accidents, it is a good idea to place some chux on their seat.

4. In the event that an accident does happen always have an extra pair of clothes available and a plastic or Ziploc bag to place wet clothes in.

5. Carry a travel size disinfectant spray, travel disinfectant wipes (not baby wipes) and hand sanitizer in your purse or diaper bag.  Unfortunately you may come upon a toilet that needs a little clean up before your child uses it.  Make sure you are prepared.

6. Have a travel potty seat that folds up.  A travel potty seat helps out in three ways.  It gives the child a familiar experience that they will have with each public restroom visit, which makes potty training on the go a lot easier.  It also helps them not fall into the toilet, because the seat fits their small size. Lastly it acts as another barrier between their bottoms and the public toilet seat.  You can find plain fold up seats or ones with charters on them as well.  They fold up very nicely and can fit in a purse or diaper bag.

7. Don’t forget the baby wipes and/or flushable toddler wipes.  Sometimes bathroom stalls run out of toilet paper, always keeps extra wipes on hand.

8. Teach your child proper hand washing techniques.  According to the CDC we should scrub our hands for 20 seconds before rinsing them off.  Count down while washing hands, or sing a song to help keep track of the 20 seconds, make it fun. ?

Here is a good song to learn and sing while washing your hands:

If the restroom has a blow dryer instead of paper towels,  sing and dance while drying hands to ease the tension, sometimes the loud blow dryers can scare children.

9. Have a trial size soap available as well as towel to dry hands on in case the restroom is out them.

10. Always have lotion available.  You will notice that with busy toddlers and potty training on the go, you will end up doing a lot of hand washing.  Most restrooms do not carry lotion.  I hate the feeling of dry ashy hands, so I try to never forget my moisturizer.  I need my lotion!

Mommies, what has been your experience with potty training on the go?  How do you handle taking your little ones to public restrooms?  Please share.

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and a lover of art, education and laughter.  She is the creator and author of ABC remix.

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

8 Classic, Kid-Friendly Black Shows That are Streaming on Hulu and Amazon

The beauty of the internet and current technology is that once a TV show goes off the air, it does not mean it is gone forever.  In addition to purchasing the DVD’s of entire seasons, individual episodes also stream through on demand services like Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and Hulu.  Amazon Prime members are able to stream videos for free and others are available for purchase.  What I love about Amazon Prime Instant video, is that there are no commercials.  Hulu has free video as well as videos available to paid members through Hulu Plus.  However there are still commercials, except for the children’s programming.

1. Little Bill,   Prime Instant Video

Little Bill was  based on Bill Cosby’s Little Bill book series, set in Philadelphia[and featured Bill Jr. learning a lesson or moral in each episode. It was developed through research and in consultation with a panel of educational consultants.  The show also aired on television from 2000-2007

2. Gullah Gullah Island,   Prime Instant Video

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Gullah Gullah Island  was a musical children’s television series that on the Nickelodeon  from 1994-1998.  I honestly had not heard of the show, but as I was skimming thought shows via Amazon, I discovered this little jewel.  The show was inspired by the Gullah culture  from  St. Helena Island, South Carolina, part of the Sea Islands.

3. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Prime Instant Video, Hulu

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was created, produced, and hosted by  Bill Cosby, who also voiced a number of characters, including Fat Albert himself. The show premiered in 1972 and ran until 1985. The show features an educational lesson in each episode, emphasized by Cosby’s live-action segments.

4. Jackson 5ive,   Prime Instant Video, Hulu

The Jackson 5ive was produced from 1971-1972.  Brought to you by Motown, the cartoon was a fictionalized portrayal of the careers of The Jackson 5. Although I did not grow up watching this cartoon, it is worth a re-watch just to hear those classic songs.

5. Reading Rainbow, Prime Instant Video

Reading Rainbow aired on PBS from 1983- 2006.  The show  encouraged children to read and fostered a love of reading in children across the nation. Each episode centered on a theme from a book, which was explored through a number of segments or stories. The show also featured children giving book recommendations which was my favorite part.  Although Levar Burton has recently been in the news for reviving Reading Rainbow on the web, classic throwback episodes can be viewed online.

6. The Electric Company (Classic 1970’s version), Prime Instant Video, Hulu

The Electric Company was a children’s television show was intended for elementary aged kids who had moved on from Sesame Street.  The original cast included stars like Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman and Lee Chamberlin.  The show aired on television from 1971-1977. The goal of the show was to address increasing reading failure among American schoolchildren by teaching second, third, and fourth graders basic phonetics and grammar concepts through the use of comedic skits, word play, songs, and cartoons  The style of the show drew inspiration from Motown, Broadway, Vaudeville, and “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.”  There is currently an updated, more modern version of the show that is currently broadcasted on PBS as well as Amazon Instant Video and Hulu.

7. The Cosby Show Hulu Plus


I think I jumped for joy when I saw that Hulu Plus offered all 8 seasons of this classic family show.  All 8 seasons!  I love and grew up watching the Cosby Show, so it is a classic I will pass down to my children.   All eight seasons are available through Hulu Plus

8. A Different World Hulu Plus

A Different World aired for six seasons on NBC from 1987 – 1993. The spin-off from The Cosby Show would typically address issues that were avoided by The Cosby Show writers such as race and class relations, the Equal Rights Amendment, or even HIV/AIDS.  Another classic to share with a teenage son or daughter.  It may even encourage them to go to college.  All six seasons are available through Hulu Plus

Mommies do you subscribe to any on demand streaming services?  What shows do you watch?  Do you watch any shows online with your kids?  Please share.

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and a lover of art, education and laughter.  She is the creator and author of ABC remix.

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix

How to Throw a Doc McStuffins Themed Birthday Party

When I decided to plan my daughters birthday party I knew we were going to have a Doc Mc Stuffins theme.  The show was relatively new so there were not that many products out there.  Now that more people have fallen in love with the show, more ideas can be found online.  I will share with you some ideas that we used as well as other ideas I found online.

1. Invitations

Check out the Disney family website for free printable invitations and once the party is over, head back to the website to print the thank you cards.

2. Decor

Party City has lots of options for a Doc Mc Stuffins Themed Party.  Check out their commercial here.

3. Gift Bags

I used clear wrapping, and added few Doc Mc Stuffins toys I found at Dollar Tree, like a maracas.  Currently they have these cute little Doc Mc Stuffins flashlight pens that would go great in a gift bag.  I also tried to keep the treats somewhat healthy, so I added little boxes of raisins, organic fruit leather, and cookies w/o high fructose corn syrup. We also included a little first aid kit from the travel section at Target, bubbles, and other small toys.

Screen shot 2014-06-12 at 10.17.55 PM

4. Cake

I did not make a cake.  I went to a grocery store bakery that printed photo cakes.  I took an image, edited it on Photoshop and had them print it on the cake.  Easy peasy.  However looking back at all these neat designs I have seen online, I kinda wish I had made my own cake.  Check out this tutorial on how to make a beautiful fondu Doc Mc Stuffins cake.  Also you can make little cake pops, or make cupcakes and add these cupcake toppers.

5. Doc Mc Stuffins Character

I am lucky to have a sister who is always down to go all out for her nieces.  She dressed up as Doc Mc Stuffins to serve as the children’s entertainment.  Although there are many pre-made Doc McStuffins costumes for kids found at places like Target or Toy R Us, and adult costume had to be made from scratch.

Screen shot 2014-06-12 at 10.17.47 PM

The easy things to find were the doctor jacket and stethoscope from a medical uniform store.  The headband and tutu were from Claire’s and a striped shirt from a local clothing store.  We could not find the polka dot pants, so we took regular stretch pants and used fabric markers to make the purple dots.  I know, I know, the real Doc Mc Stuffins pants are purple with pink polka dots. However using a light color marker on a darker fabric wasn’t working.  If you don’t have a creative talented sister like mine, you can look into hiring a Doc Mc Stuffins character like this young lady.

6. Games and Activities

Pin the Nose on Chilly — This is a variation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.  Print out a poster size of Chilly.  We used pom pom balls with tape on the end for Chilly’s nose, but you could also use orange paper cut out in circles.  To keep with the theme we used medical masks (from Dollar Tree)  to cover the children’s face.  Check out this precious children as they play Pin the Nose on Chilly


Alternatively you could get some Band-Aids and play Make Stuffy feel better, by printing a poster size stuffy.  Party City also sells a pre-made kit as well.

 

Cotton Ball Tongue Depressor Race — Get a bag of cotton balls and some tongue depressors.  Place the cotton ball on the tongue depressor and have children race to see who can make it to the finish line without dropping the cotton.  If you have younger children who may not want to race, you can have each child walk one by one to the finish line like these young children did.

Freeze Dance — Get the kids moving by playing some upbeat songs from the Doc Is In album.  Have someone pause the music and tell the kids to freeze.  Each time someone moves when they should be frozen, they are out.  The last child on the dance floor is the winner.

Doctor Role Play — We purchased small stuffed animals for each child from Dollar Tree.  My sister, aka Doc Mc Stuffins gave each toy a check up as each child brought her their broken toy.  Each child made up a scenario for what was wrong with their toy.  Doc gave a diagnosis and a band aid to each toy.  This was cute and fun. Alternately you could set up a clinic area and have kids give their toys the check up themselves.

In closing, I have seen many variations of Doc Mc Stuffins parties online, and if I were to rank them, this one right here would definitely be number one!  The level of detail in everything is awesome.

Mommies, have you ever thrown a Doc Mc Stuffins themed party?  Have you considered throwing one?  What ideas would you add to the list?

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and a lover of art, education and laughter.  She is the creator and author of ABC remix.

Angele

About Angele

Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix