The best start you can give your kids is practically FREE

From Parenting.com, an article about the top five things that you can do to raise a happy, emotionally healthy kid.
An exerpt: “…experts say, all babies, toddlers, and preschoolers will thrive as long as they are:

* Provided a predictable life with a reasonably ordered environment
* Held and touched often
* Talked to (or sung to) often
* Read to frequently
* Exposed to interesting experiences
* Given many opportunities to learn through play.”

All things that we at SIP advocate and encourage. The best part? None of these things will take your life’s savings. “Interesting Experiences” do not have to include flying to another country. It can mean taking an exploration walk around your neighborhood to look for insects, birds or colors. It can mean taking a backroad to Grandma’s house instead of the freeway in order to stop at a local cheese factory. Try it today!

Sunscreen

Parenthacks has a fun suggestion of how to use a make up brush to easily get sunscreen on your child’s face without too many tears. Summer is here in the northern hemisphere and sunscreen should become part of your daily routine. As us fair-skinned know, sunscreen can be necessary all year long, but on long days when kids are outside a lot, it is even more important. If you make putting the sunscreen on part of your routine throughout your day, then, just like brushing teeth or washing hands, it will become a natural thing for your child to do.

Here’s another reminder: Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to those ears and the back of the neck. Tops of feet are another easily forgotten, easily burned location, especially during sandal/barefoot season. Reapply when you are out in the sun for long periods of time and after swimming. If your child has fair skin and fair hair, consider sunscreen on the head too (or a cute hat!).

Toddlerobics

We’ve recently discovered the Toddlerobics books and they have fast become favorites. One of our recent posts talked about ‘do-it-yourself’ toddler classes. If a gymnastics/activity class is not in the budget for you, check out these books for some toddlerobics at home. The Boy loves to do the activities in the book as I read them. Zita Newcome’s rhymes and illustrations appeal to children and adults alike. You can use these books to do a 20-30 minute gymnastics class at home!

Does Your Child’s Diaper Need a Hazmat Team?

Body Burden Testing is the new hot test for all of us humans. You can test your child for all the lovely chemicals and their levels that they have in their bodies.

The technology to test for these flame retardants — known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) — and other industrial chemicals is less than 10 years old. Environmentalists call it “body burden” testing, an allusion to the chemical “burden,” or legacy of toxins, running through our bloodstream. Scientists refer to this testing as “biomonitoring.”

The youngest child to have it done, 18 months old, had two to three times the level of flame retardants in his body that’s been known to cause thyroid dysfunction in lab rats.

What are we doing to our bodies and our children’s bodies?