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April 6, 2021

Brain Gains: 7 Foods to Boost Kids’ Academic Performance

With the increased focus on overall wellbeing and health amidst the pandemic, more and more parents are realizing how important of a role nutrition plays in kids’ physical, mental, and cognitive health. Patrick Quinn, a parenting expert at Brainly– the world’s largest online learning and homework help community– has some recommendations and tips for foods that promote brain health that parents can make for their kids to enhance their cognitive abilities and keep them focused while learning.

Fact is, all the books, tablets, and notepads kids use for studying are useless if their brains are not in top functioning form. There are certain nutrients that are crucial for their brain development, and better brain development means better brain function, memory, and concentration—all of which contribute to better academic performance. 

To keep your kids’ performance at optimum levels, we've rounded up seven of the best brain foods to help boost their mental power, and also talked to Brainly’s parenting expert, Patrick Quinn, for pro parenting tips on how to incorporate them into your kids’ daily diet. 

1. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients that are essential for brain health including essential fatty acids, protein, zinc, and B-vitamins. They’re also natural mood boosters that are portable and versatile, making them an excellent choice for study snacks.

Parent tip: Kids aren’t always going to love these. But mixing them in a trail mix with a few chocolate pieces or yogurt chips is a great way to get them munching on the healthy nuts and seeds. Just be careful not to send this in as a school snack in districts where nut allergies can affect other kids. 

2. Greek Yogurt
Full-fat Greek yogurt packs a lot more protein than other yogurts (and much less sugar), and can help keep brain cells in good form for sending and receiving information. It’s also full of protein and B-vitamins—essential for the growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. Greek yogurt is also a great source of Calcium and Vitamin D. Parent tip: Mix in a teaspoon of honey and some cinnamon to turn this healthy option into a delicious one as well. The problem for me at that point is avoiding eating it myself before the kids get it.

3. Berries
Berries are rich in a variety of compounds that may help promote academic performance and protect brain health. Berries (including blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) are especially high in flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins, believed to improve mental performance by increasing blood flow to the brain. They also protect against inflammation and improve certain signaling pathways that promote nerve cell production and cellular processes involved in learning and memory. Parent tip: Berries make an easy study snack, but they can cause sticky fingers that can lead to messy keyboards and homework papers. Try putting several different types of berries on kid-friendly skewers for a fun, healthy, and mess-free desk snack. 

4. Fish
Fish is an excellent source of Vitamin D and the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA— both essential for brain growth and function. Consuming more Omega-3s means kids will have sharper minds and better mental skills. Parent tip: Fish can be a tricky one with kids. If you get them accustomed to eating it when they’re young, they’ll be more likely to be open to new fish dishes when they’re pre-teen and teenagers. You can make fish tasty for kids by serving it simply grilled, like fish sticks, or including it in tacos or in tuna sandwiches. Another option is using canned salmon to make delicious salmon salad sandwiches that can be mixed with reduced-fat mayo or non-fat Greek yogurt, raisins, chopped celery, and carrots.

5. Eggs
The versatile egg is a great source of protein, and egg yolks are packed with choline, which helps memory development. Eggs can be served in a variety of ways and can be enjoyed at breakfast, as a mid-afternoon snack, or even at dinner. Parent tip: Eggs are great for making grab-and-go breakfasts kids can eat on the road. Scramble eggs into a whole grain tortilla to make a grab-and-go breakfast burrito, or make your own version of an Egg McMuffin at home by putting a fried egg on top of a toasted English muffin and topping it with a slice of low-fat cheese. Bonus tip: Eggs aren’t only a great healthy option that will keep them full thanks to the protein, but it’s also a really great gateway to cooking for the budding chef. Teach them how to make scrambled eggs, a fried egg, or a veggie omelet, and you’re fostering a whole new side of creativity. Plus… you might get the occasional breakfast out of that deal!”

6. Oatmeal
Oats are extremely nutritious and they can provide the energy and fuel for the brain that kids need first thing in the morning. Oatmeal is also a fiber-rich food that keeps heart and brain arteries clear. In one study, kids who ate sweetened oatmeal did better on memory-related school tasks than those who ate sugary cereal. Parent tip: Delicious AND helps with memory at school? Oatmeal should really be considered a bit of a superfood for our kids. It’s another food option that can be endlessly tweaked to suit the tastes of your individual kiddos. You can dress oatmeal up with applesauce, dried fruit, almonds, and banana to make it tastier and more appealing to kids. Due to its natural compounds, adding cinnamon also gives oatmeal an extra ingredient that will help to protect brain cells. 

7. Apples and Plums
Kids usually have a craving for sweets. Apples and plums are lunchbox-friendly items that contain quercetin, an antioxidant that helps fight the decline in mental skills. Keep them organic to get the best benefits. Parent tip: These are some of the few snacks that are on the ‘help yourself’ list in my house. It’s great because kids can grab one when they get home from school while doing homework, or anytime they want a quick bite. For a heartier snack, you can also cut apples into chunky slices and spread them with almond or peanut butter, or you can freeze pitted plums and add them to a favorite nutrient-rich fruit smoothie.

March 24, 2021

Activities to Help Kids Empower Women

Activities to Help Kids Empower Women

March marks Women’s History Month, a celebration of the incredible achievements of women throughout American history. Women play such vital roles in the advancement of science, the arts, social change, and more, and yet there is still much work to do towards equality for all. It’s important to teach kids about this significant recognition of female accomplishment and encourage them to use their voices to empower the wonderful women around them. 


To close out Women’s History Month, read on for some fun and empowering tips and activities to help kids uplift women of all ages and backgrounds. 


Identify Leadership Qualities

One excellent family activity is to help kids identify leadership qualities in different women. This worksheet will encourage you to think about people you know who are inspiring, empathetic, creative, and more. First, go through this list and write down the names of friends and family members who fit each role. Then, go back and discuss who you chose for each quality and why. Last, you can call or send each person a message to let them know you admire their unique strengths. 


Give Sincere Compliments

Another way that kids can empower women is to learn to give better, more genuine compliments. To sincerely compliment to the women around them, kids can practice applauding a person’s character, accomplishments, skills, and attitudes instead of focusing on their appearance. 

Respectfully Disagree
The women in our lives should be allies, not adversaries. Teach children to respect each other, even when they disagree on certain points. To do so, use this chart to think about how you can rephrase certain hurtful words or nonconstructive statements when talking through a disagreement. 

Actively Listen
Our last activity is to encourage women to use their voices by actively listening. Introduce this idea to kids by practicing listening with kindness and respect. Just like respectfully disagreeing, active listening is an important skill that will help children form strong connections and be there for others. By giving other people, regardless of perceived differences, your full attention, asking questions, and putting yourself in their shoes, you show them that their voice and opinions matter.


There are lots of other great ways to encourage female camaraderie in children, such as through extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, and mentor groups. With these seemingly simple activities, you can help kids learn and appreciate more about themselves and the powerful women in their lives.

https://www.redbubble.com/life/how-to-empower-women/

January 14, 2021

The KindHumans Story

With everything that has happened in 2020, we wanted to introduce you to our friends at Kindhumans! Their “Gift Kindness” campaign focuses on planet-friendly gift options For Her, For Him, Furry Friends, Treat Yourself and gift cards.

This year, choose gifts that are good for people and the planet—and help create a kinder world! Support this BIPOC, women owned, eco-friendly family business and their new Marketplace for Good. 3% of each purchase supports awesome causes like Stoked.orgSeaTrees and 501cTHREE. All of our 3rd party products meet our ethical and sustainable high standards. Want to Pass on Kindness with us this holiday season?

The KindHumans Story

KindHumans founded by wife and husband team, is a movement for good and spotlights kind humans, causes and non-profits in need of support. Justin and Suzi Wilkenfeld who were motivated to make a difference and ensure their children were raised to be kind, launched a marketplace for good to elevating community, commerce and world-changing causes. Together, the “Three Cs” form the mission of the KindHumans brand.

“I don’t care if our kids are the smartest or most athletic, I just want them to be kind humans,” said Suzi Wilkenfeld, co-founder of KindHumans. “They are the basis for KindHumans and our mission to connect good people with responsible brands.”

Our amazing community is taking the next step forward with our KindHumans holiday campaign with a gift of kindness to our membership program. We’d love you and your audience to be a part of our marketplace for good. Perks include 2% cash back, a welcome package and doubling down on KindHumans’ givebacks on acts of kindness to benefit kids, the planet or humanitarian aid. 

For 2020, our “Gift Kindness” includes amazing presents For Her, For Him, Furry Friends, Stocking Stuffers, Treat YourSelf and gift cards.

Our original 'Kindness. Pass It On!' hat is popular for everyone on your list.

December 22, 2020

Five At-Home Activities to Help Kids Enjoy a Pandemic Holiday

The holiday break sounds like a magical time with fewer commitments, lazy days cozying up with hot cocoa, and quality, quiet time with family. But in reality, cabin fever sets in and kids complain there’s nothing to do. Even worse, they are glued to their screens all day long and never get off the couch. Most parents agree that kids are happier when they are active, but with so many indoor activity centers closed it can be challenging to find engaging activities that are fun, safe, and don’t require expensive equipment.

To help parents, youth sports and learning experts at Skyhawks Sports Academy and STEM Sports® recommend five fun activities to get children active during the holiday break. They’re easy to learn and use objects found in most households.  Bonus – there may or may not be a STEM-learning hidden in these activities, so it’s a win-win.

  • Farthest Football Throw: We all know a key skill for a quarterback is to throw the football accurately and for distance, but even the pros fall short or overthrow the ball. So, grab a football and a measuring tape and start a fun competition to see which family member can throw the ball the farthest. Have each person try it 3 times and record the results. This activity will also teach your children math skills as they calculate the distance between the farthest and the shortest throws. 
  • Glove Grip Test: Notice how many football players wear gloves during the game? It’s not because they’re cold, it’s because the gloves give them a better grip while catching and passing the ball. To test it out, gather different types of gloves you may find around the house – sports gloves, boxing gloves, leather gloves, mittens, dish cleaning gloves, or even disposable gloves. Try passing the football and catching it from different distances and with different gloves to notice the difference in grip and accuracy when throwing and catching.
  • Basketball Tower Challenge: Make your child an engineer for the day by making basketball towers. All you need are a few easy-to-find materials: newspaper, masking tape, and a basketball. The goal is to roll up several sections of newspaper tightly to create poles for a scaffolding that will be strong enough to hold the basketball without tipping over. This will teach children problem-solving skills and critical thinking. In addition, it emphasizes the use of soft skills such as teamwork and how to deal with and recover from failure.
  • Playing Card Fitness: This is a fun activity with simple exercises that is enjoyable for the whole family and can be played indoors in any size room. All you need are a deck of cards. To play, each participant picks a card, and depending on the suit and value on the card, everyone completes the exercise. Every suit represents a different exercise like hearts = pushups, diamonds = jumping jacks, clubs = sit-ups, and spades = squats; and the value on the card represents the rep count like number 2 – 9 = 2 to 9 reps, face card = 11 reps and ace = 12 reps. To make it more fun and a little competitive, see who can complete all the rounds first to decide a winner or add up all the reps to see who did the most.
  • Fireworks in a Jar: This is a great project for younger children. Take a clear glass and fill it with equal parts of oil and water. The oil floats to the top because it is less dense than water. Then add a drop of food coloring and watch as the drop sinks through the oil and bursts once it hits the water. This demonstrates that food coloring is denser than oil because it sinks. Experiment with different amounts of water, oil, and food coloring, and encourage questions – you can always Google the answers!

For children interested in taking STEM learning to the next level, Skyhawks and STEM Sports® offer in-person and virtual programs using sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills. For more information, visit https://www.skyhawks.com/.

About Skyhawks Sports Academy

Skyhawks Sports Academy is a youth sports camp organization based in Spokane, Washington. Skyhawks was founded in Spokane in 1979 as a soccer program for children to learn sports in a fun, safe, and non-competitive environment. Skyhawks currently offers programs in more than 11 different sports including Soccer, Basketball, Flag Football, Baseball, Multi-Sport, Tennis, Mini-Hawk, Lacrosse, Golf, Volleyball, Cheerleading, and Track & Field for children ages 4-14 across North America. The format of our programs includes traditional week-long summer day camps, year-round after-school programs, sports leagues, and clinics. For more information, visit https://www.skyhawks.com.

About STEM Sports®

STEM Sports® provides standards-aligned, turnkey K-8 supplemental curricula that use various sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills in classrooms, after-school programs, and camps. Our double-play combination of physical activity and cognitive thinking provides a comprehensive, inquiry-based educational experience and a solution for crucial STEM literacy for students. As a result, students develop critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem-solving, and leadership skills that can be applied throughout their education and future careers.

Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and National Standards for K-12 Physical Education, our curricula will cultivate and promote participants' STEM engagement and retention. STEM Sports® provides all of the necessary and relevant sports equipment along with the entire list of supplies called for in the teacher/administer manual and all of the items have a long-lasting shelf life. Learn with us at www.STEMSports.com.

December 15, 2020

A trip to pick out our Christmas Tree

2020 has been such a roller coaster of a year. As we look toward the positives of the holiday season, our family decided to put our Christmas tree up earlier than normal.

This year to make it special we decided on 2 trees! Why not! Two Fresh, big beautiful trees to brighten the holidays and our house. One for the living room and one for the 3 season porch.

My first thought was how we would ever get them home from the tree farm? The tree farm was 45 minutes away! Well, that was not a problem at all when we had a 2021 Chevy Suburban!

The Chevy Surburan is the longest-running nameplate in automotive history at 85 years. For the 2021 model Chevrolet has taken what people love most about the Suburban and made it even better – with more room for people and cargo, advanced technologies and unmatched driving experience.

The five of us had ample room in the 2021 Suburban. We were traveling in comfort! The third row in the Suburban has been enhanced on the 2021 model to offer a more comfortable chair height long with more leg room than the previous generation. Leg room is essential when traveling with tall teenagers. The All-New Suburban also offers the most advanced available suspension in its class with an independent rear suspension, available Magnetic Ride Control™ and a first-in-class Four-Corner Air Ride Adaptive Suspension.

During the drive my son took over the Technology options. The Rear-Seat Media System, Head-Up Display, Apple CarPlay, 4G LTE Wi-FI and the HD Camera Views!

Once at the farm we inspected many trees. Finally agreed on 2 trees that would be perfect for our home. My son got low to the ground and cut the trunk straight across. Perfect!

Now to transport the trees home! We put up a tarp and the netted trees on top of the Chevy Suburban. I learned that the stump always faces toward the front of the vehicle. This is the most aerodynamic way to transport the tree. We laid the trees directly over top the cross rails, looped twine over and around, and repeat to cinch with a “figure-8” motion. This protected the tree from moving around while we drove home.

We brought our trees home with out any problems in this SUV. Both trees fit on top with no issues at all. For comfort and cargo space the 2021 Chevy Suburban is the way to go!

December 14, 2020

Swagtron gifts ideas

SWAGTRON®, the affordable—swag—choice in innovative, quality electric rideables for riders of all ages, today is announcing its lowest prices of the year plus free shipping on hoverboards, electric scooters, e-bikes, and electric skateboards by giving shoppers the opportunity to receive up to $100 or more off select rideables. Deals change every 24-hours at Swagtron.com.

Don't wait for training wheels. Teach your tots proper riding technique now rather than later.
3 RIDE-ON TOYS IN 1
Your young ones will learn to SWAG in stages with a single ride-on toy. Go from balance trike to tricycle to balance bike.

Smooth. Sleek. Undeniable. Carving the streets is serious business. Suit up.
PERFECT FOR KIDS & TEENS
The height of stem can be adjusted to either 28″ or 40″, for riders 40″ to 72″ tall, to adapt to growing riders.

November 30, 2020

Goodtimer

"Goodtimer is the hottest new educational toy of 2020! Developed for kids ages 3-10, this five-time award-winning product is all about encouraging kids to do their best every day! Goodtimer is an interactive and friendly clock-like companion that glows with soothing green lights and encouraging sounds that motivate kids to earn Good Time©. What's Good Time?  Unlike "time outs" that punish bad behavior, Goodtimer helps kids earn Good Time when they're following your family's house rules. What's great about Goodtimer is it's customizable to meet your family's unique values. Good Time can be earned for anything that kids and parents agree to, such as simple age-appropriate tasks like making their bed, household chores, getting homework done, brushing their teeth, or just being good listeners. With Goodtimer, it's totally up to your family.  The best part is, kids LOVE feeling celebrated for their accomplishments when they earn Goodtimer tokens they can save and exchange for fun incentives

More than just a toy that kids will play with once and then get bored with, Goodtimer's smart software and adjustable difficulty settings will grow with your child, encouraging them to form healthy habits for years to come.  No wonder both parents and kids love Goodtimer! Discover why Goodtimer is getting noticed by Mothering Magazine, The Toy Insider, and more; and why Creative Child Magazine made Goodtimer their 2020 Product of the year!   

Each Goodtimer includes the Goodtimer device, the Goodtimer children's book, a decorative sticker sheet, a charging cable, 32 reusable tokens, a plush token pouch, 24/7 customer support from certified parenting experts, and exclusive access to positive parenting resources. Available at www.gogoodtimer.com and Amazon.”

 Looking for a great holiday gift idea for young children? See why thousands of parents are calling @GoGoodTimer “The Must-Have Holiday Gift of 2020”.  Also, Goodtimer is running an BIG promotion beginning on Thanksgiving morning and continuing through Cyber Monday where you purchase Goodtimer for ONLY $48 with promo code GIVE40. 

Shop #GoGoodtimer: https://gogoodtimer.com/

November 19, 2020

Gardening and houseplants topped the charts of 2020 home and lifestyle trends.

From the hottest houseplants to “victory garden-ready” tools, the Garden Media Group 2020 Holiday Gift Guide has the trending plant gifts to bring beauty home this holiday season.

September 14, 2020

Back to School Supplies

Back-to-school is coming even if we are ready or not! Some families will be home schooling, some will have online school, some a mix of on-site and online, but everyone, no matter where or how school happens, will need pencils and supplies. Experts are predicting that some kids may need two sets of supplies, one at home and one at school, so value is more important than ever.

USA Gold and USA Titanium offers high-quality wood pencils sourced with American wood and finished in Tennessee.  With almost 60 years of pencil making, USA Titanium continues a family-run legacy in Lewisburg, Tennessee and a vital part of an American community.   

·      USA Titanium pencils are high quality, high value.  Compare them to your favorite pencil and see what a difference American quality can make!  With their satin smooth black finish for enhanced writing comfort,  USA Titanium pencils are available exclusively at Walmart in packs of 12, 24, and 36 pencils. Last year, these were the No. 1 selling pencil at Walmart for 2019 BTS time frame.

·      A favorite with moms, teachers and kids, Scribble Stuff Felt Tip Pens are bold and bright. Kids find it easier to take notes and study with colorful pens and add some pizzazz to drawing and art projects!  And teachers will find they make paper grading fun. These long lasting, vivid pens have a fine point tip for easy of writing and won’t bleed through the paper.  Available in 24 bright colors and an awesome price make it easy to add some fabulous fun to your child’s school day. Scribble Stuff also makes popular gel pens and scented gel pens. Available in assorted packs at Walmart, Target and Amazon.com

September 10, 2020

College dropoff - how to get all the stuff there!

This September was a bittersweet one for our family, we had college Freshman and a two hour trip with a lot of stuff! We not only have the emotional roller coaster of dropping your son/daughter off at college. But wait, there is also the logistics of how will this stuff all fit in our car!

We knew we could not fit the comforters, back pillows, clothes, end tables, tv's, ect. for 2 Freshman in our car! Instead of packing 2 cars we were lucky enough to have a 2020 Chevy Silverado! This truck is amazing and fit everything! The cargo storage in the 2020 Silverado bed has more cargo volume, a higher-strength steel bed floor and more tie downs with a power up/ down tailgate. We fit everything in the truck for not one but 2 freshman to live comfortably in their dorm rooms.

Tutions, computers and filling a dorm room to keep them comfortable is expensive. Another wonderful perk of the 2020 Chevy Silverado is the Fuel Efficiency. The Silverado is a full-size track with an EPA-estimated rating of 29 mpg highway and 23 mpg city. The engineers started with a clean-sheet design to develop the all-new engine for the first diesel offered in Chevy’s light-duty truck lineup since 1997. This Silverado 3.oL Turbo-Diesel is perfect for those who want the capability and driving range of a diesel in a lightweight truck.

The two hour drive with teenagers is much better when you have Carplay and Android Auto. Both of these applications enable phone users to display certain apps and functionality from their phone on the vehicle‘s infotainment display. Thus allowing them to control those apps and functions via the vehicle‘s infotainment system touchscreen or voice commands. The teenagers loved this feature and took it over immediately. Of course, the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot capability of pairing up to seven devices, as well as improved access to existing OnStar and security services were also a big hit!

The trip was so much easier with the 2020 Chevy Silverado, and took a lot of stress out of an emotional day! See you in November as I drove home in an empty but comfortable Silverado.

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