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When many women have their first child they enter this world of the unknown when so many things they see, do, hear, are firsts. Sometimes it can be a very scary time. This new baby won’t stop crying. What is wrong with it? This baby won’t eat. Why? This baby never sleeps. Will I ever feel normal again? Questions and uncertainty fill the heads of new moms. Where should a new mom go for help, advice, reassurance? Other moms. Finding groups, activities that you can join in and get to know other moms in the same boat as you is priceless. Not just for the activity and socialization, which yes is very important, but this is a platform where you can air your worries, concerns, a place where others will appreciate what you are going through and support you in a way that not many others can. Classes like Kinder Kicks offers moms the chance to come together, chat, air their concerns, help others through something they may have already been through, provide strength to those who are struggling, make lifelong friendships. Kinder Kicks provides a platform for parents to feel safe, a platform to ask questions and to build the bond between not just the people around them, but their child too. As well as all of that we also provide the opportunity to have a gentle workout with your baby or toddler, learn together, share together, explore and play together. Where laughter is heard and encouraged and even when we arrive having not had any sleep, the parents leave happy that they came, they shared and they connected with other families who are going through similar situations.
When my son was little we joined a group. We made friends, the group stayed together and our friendships grew. My son is much older now, and our friendships have grown with us. All because of this one group, this one lifeline that gave us a belonging, a place to talk freely and reach out for advice or help when we were unsure. We made lifelong friendships that I am sure will continue to grow with us. Priceless.
Don’t be on your own, reach out and find the group that will give you an activity to bond with your child, AND give you that sounding board to reassure you when you are unsure and questioning yourself if you are doing things properly. These meaningful friendships will be strong and follow you through the baby year, toddler, pre school, school, teenager years and beyond.
A great article in the Baby Center: Mothers Groups – How to find one that suits you. It highlights the importance of meeting other moms. Check it out and let us hear your stories. What groups helped you feel like you belong? We look forward to reading all about you. @babycenter
Another introduction to one of our amazing Kinder Kicks families for the month of May! This blog is a great way to get to know our families and to understand why they continue to enroll in our Kinder Kicks program.
1. Parents names:
Meaghan and Will
2. Child’s (children’s) first name and age(s):
Ender will be three in June
3. How many Kinder Kicks sessions have you been enrolled in?
We have been in Kinder Kicks classes for 18 months.
4. Describe your child’s (children’s) personality:
Ender has a very energetic personality and loves to learn!!!
5. What is your favorite part of Kinder Kicks class? Why?
I like incorporating martial arts movements with fun exercises…it keeps them entertained and having fun without thinking it is an exercise. Our class loved all lining up…running to their mother/Oma where we held papers/”boards” for them to break and running back to where they started!!!
6. What is your child’s favorite part of Kinder Kicks class?
Ender loves story time!!! As soon as we start singing for story time to begin Ender comes running!!! He is the first one on the blanket as close as he can be to Ms. Faye!!!
7. How do you feel your child (children) has benefited from participating in Kinder Kicks?
I feel Ender is learning courage/confidence/focus and shows it throughout his play. Ender is not one to run to the front of the class to show what he can do but is starting to take his turn when asked as long as Mama goes with him and helps 🙂 Ender is fully capable of doing all the exercises but is quiet “on stage”. Come to any class and you will see Ender running around being able to express himself on the “sidelines” though. 🙂
8. How has Kinder Kicks served as a source of enrichment for you and your child (children)? I LOVE the time we get to have together for class because I get to see him develop SO much!!! At first the exercises I thought were a bit much but now doing them regularly he is learning how to do them…who would have thought a two year old could do jumping jacks? I am SO proud of the confidence he has shown and I do not have to miss it!!!
9. Which Kinder Kicks character does your child like best (Leadership Lion, Jumping Joey, Black Belt Baboon, etc.)? I am not sure which character Ender likes best but he sure is my little “Jumping Joey” <3
10. Have any of the Life Lesson stories target a subject that you and/or your child identifies with? If so, which one? How? The Life Lesson stories are helpful during everyday play situations to help Ender make good choices. For example, remembering to keep promises to help others and to use martial arts only in class.
11. Any comments you’d like to add? We are SO thankful to be a part of Kinder Kicks!!! We LOVE all the life lessons being taught and the ability to help our little “Jumping Joeys” to grow into more advanced martial arts classes as they grow!!! We look forward to growing with Kinder Kicks <3
It’s your babies first birthday party. There is so much to do. Who to invite. Where to have the party. What if I upset someone because I dont include them………… I remember those questions oh so well but what I was forgetting was who the party was for. My baby was turning 1 year old – wow – where has the year gone. I can’t imagine life without him. What a great year of sleepless nights, giggles, poopy diapers, snuggles……..I love being a mom, infact its the best job I have ever been blessed with, even with all the highs and lows, its part of being a mom – right? This is your chance to celebrate the first birthday of your child. In that first year they reach so many ‘first’ developmental goals. I watch in awe at the learning that goes on with these little Einteins. It is amazing how they work things out and process what happens around them. So for their birthday it should be as special as they are, something that includes everyone and allows everyone to join in the fun. At Kinder Kicks all birthdays are inclusive of the parents. Imagine dad bouncing baby on his knee to 5 Little Monkeys or mom dancing around with baby to John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. Then there are the grandparents shaking their shakers in time to the music. Everyone is engaged and everyone who loves and cares for your baby is celebrating with your baby. Imagine a birthday where your baby is loved by all and laughs, smiles, giggles and screeches their delight for all to see. Love is all around them and they will feel that magic. There are so many resources out there to help you with your party plans from Pinterest to Party Planners. Choose what is right for your family. Low stress and lots of fun! Memories are made of these 🙂 What are your favorite birthday party ideas for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 year olds? We’d love to hear from you.
I have loved building traditions into our family routines throughout the year. One of our most favorite has been our family Easter Egg Hunt. It has slowly grown over the years to include family, neighbors and friends and is one of the funniest highlights of the year watching children and grown ups all scrambling around to fill their baskets with eggs. It is always over way too quickly with the older children being able to monopolise on the hidden eggs. Along the way I have picked up some great ideas on how best to give everyone the opportunity to have an equal amount of eggs and therefore the little ones not being left out.
One idea that stands out is to put age groups into egg colors. Up to 3 year olds pick up PINK eggs only. 4-6 year olds pick up only GREEN eggs. 7-9 year olds only get BLUE eggs etc etc. This way they are equal in age and you wold hope there would be an equal share of the loot. As they get older you can hide the eggs far more giving them more of a challenge.
I attended an Easter Party on Saturday and was in awe of the Easter Egg Hunt that was prepared with meticulous planning by Nancy, mom to Zachary. She chose a disney character for each child and printed a sheet of paper out with each childs name beside their chosen disney character. She then cut out 20 each of those characters and attached them to each individual plastic egg. These eggs were small, medium and very very large. She then gave each parent a picture list of all the characters and the childs name that was assigned to each disney character. In the park there we re 100’s of eggs all spread out. The children and parents were told they had to find ONLY the eggs with their chosen disney character stuck on each egg and that each child would have 20 eggs to find. So….. going back to my earlier comment about Easter Egg hunts being over so quickly, this was a MAGNIFICENT idea. Each child young and old had to look and look for their disney character egg. Parents looked, grandparents looked and it turned into a family activity that took 30 minutes plus. There was lots of teamwork and children and adults young and old had the best time. Also each child had the same amount of eggs so everyone was happy 🙂
Kinder Kicks is adapting this idea using the Kinder Kicks Remarkable Me characters. Each child in class will be assigned a Remarkable Character and will have to find that character on each egg before placing the egg in their basket. Lots of fun and independent learning 🙂 What are your Easter Egg Hunt ideas and traditions?
Describe your child’s (children’s) personality:
Grace (3yrs) loves to learn and is very competitive! Rebecca (11mths) is very outgoing and relaxed at the same time. Both girls can be super sensitive although this part of their personality doesn’t always show.
What is your favorite part of Kinder Kicks class? Why?
My favorite part of the Leadership Lion class is from 11:30am-12:15pm! Really! Grace thrives when she is out there on her own with me watching from the side (while I entertain Rebecca!). I love seeing her work as a team with other Lions and on her own when it is appropriate.
My favorite part of the Remarkable Me class is the workout that I get. It sounds a little selfish but it is an added bonus as I get to use my 20lb sweet pea as weights and squat, lunge and crunch my way through the class. It’s the only exercise I get other than walking around my neighborhood with the stroller and it’s way more fun than walking. It’s great to workout with other mummies and caregivers and such a laugh!
What is your child’s favorite part of Kinder Kicks class?
I think Grace really enjoys the routine of the class. She is quite the creature of habit. She recites the student promise in Publix in her really loud voice! Rebecca gives us good giggles with the welcome song and she enjoys all the toys she gets to play with especially the shakers.
How do you feel your child (children) has benefited from participating in Kinder Kicks?
Kinder Kicks has taught Grace how to work as a team with her peers. Something I’m not sure she is being taught at pre-school which is fine. She is only three! It’s great to see her work with a Kinder Kicks classmate as they balance a beach ball between them to get from one side of the room to the other and around the cones.
How has Kinder Kicks served as a source of enrichment for you and your child (children)?
I’ve seen Grace blossom from a Jumping Joey to a Leadership Lion. It took her maybe four weeks to settle into the older class but once she hit her stride, she was in her element. She displays confidence, independence and listens to instructions. All great skills for a three year old!
Which Kinder Kicks character does your child like best (Leadership Lion, Jumping Joey, Black Belt Baboon, etc.)?
I think Blocking Bear is Grace’s current favorite. She yells out the up, in, out, touch, down in many a public place and gets so enthusiastic about blocking.
Have any of the Life Lesson stories targeted a subject that you and/or your child identifies with? If so, which one? How?
The crossing the road story and rhyme were really great! We have used that a lot!
Any comments you’d like to add?
I have enjoyed getting to know the other mummies and caregivers in both of our classes. Something almost magical happens between the kids in a class and those that bring the kids to class. We get to giggle along with our kids and watch some great ah-ha moments. Some of the best laughs I have each week are during our Leadership Lion class (hopping around with beach balls between their knees still gives me the giggles, it was priceless!). The instructors are so enthusiastic and really care about the kids. The Kinder Kicks program is one of the best value classes in town. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should!
In class for the month of March Blocking Bear has been teaching us all about FOCUS. The ability to think about one thing really really hard. This morning I read a great blog by Kelley Ranaudo about changing your focus. She starts off by saying “Change your Focus. Change your mindset. Feeling good is what makes the day better and what keeps you going.” We teach our children to FOCUS on what they are doing and to use their PERSEVERANCE to never give up. Kelley hit it on the head. We do need to change our focus so that we can change the things that bother us on a daily basis. Very regularly I hear people talk about them having to lose weight, or eat more healthily but they are too busy to think about it and act on it. Well today is Monday and today I think we should all take a leaf out of Kelley Ranaudo’s book – Change your FOCUS, change your MINDSET – no excuses! As well as teaching our children, we also have to not forget about ourselves. A new day, a new you. What changes are you going to make and focus on today?
Some of the things I hear on my journeys are… My child is a picky eater. What do you feed your toddler? I need to make my meals more exciting. I’m so worried about my child, he never eats…. I so remember when I asked all of those very same questions and always looked to others to help with ideas and influences. I did eventually take my son to the doctor and tell him he just never eats! He checked his weight, he seemed a happy little boy and there was nothing to tell him there was something wrong, he turned and said, “When he is hungry he will eat! ” It did not make me feel any better at the time as I just kept worrying but…… he was right! I can’t feed him enough any more. He is always hungry. He is growing 🙂 And I am so very happy to feed him. However I want to make sure that what I feed him is good, nutritional and healthy. There are so many resources out there and in this day and age of obesity, it is good to look into what we give our children. Just because its healthy, it does not have to be boring. Parents.com have a great page on how to make your child’s food exciting AND healthy too! Fun strategies and mom-tested ideas for encouraging your kids to eat better, be healthier, and enjoy their food. What food does your child like? If you have a picky eater, how do you help them be less picky? @parents @familyfun @americanbaby
Great article in The Guardian about learning through play: benefits, challenges and best practices. Play can sometimes be mistaken for a waste of valuable learning time, when infact, play is just as important! Time for a child to explore and work things out for themselves. It is a time that children also learn how to interact with each other and make friends. Without play children would always be instructed on what to do, never time to put it in to action.
At Kinder Kicks we try to get a good balance between instructor lead activities and free exploration. Children and parents can explore and play together and put into practice some of the learning elements that class has offered. During storytime the children will learn all about one of our characters who will be teaching them a life lesson and martial arts principal including PERSEVERANCE, DISCIPLINE or RESPECT etc. They will also have the opportunity to put this life lessons into action including when Jumping Joey uses his ENERGY in a positive way to cross the road. Parents and children are lead by the instructor on how to keep safe and then are encouraged to use their new Green Cross Code counting game whenever they are outside and crossing roads. This allows for the parent to take the learning of class home, and for the child to process and put into action a very valuable life lesson. To extend the play further, parents could set up a make believe road in their front room using masking tape and allow their child and their friends to ‘play’ at ‘crossing the road safely’.
What are your child’s favorite ‘play’ time? @theguardian @parenting @playground
Making healthy choices not just for ourselves but for our children too are all important. Setting the expectation of what is good and what is not starts as soon as your baby is born. In this day and age with computers, ipads, iphones etc., information is available at your finger tips. Playground Magazine is running an article on Kids Nutrition: Simple Changes = Big Rewards. Check out these books by Merilee A. Kern – Children’s health advocate, health industry veteran, and two-time fitness champion Merilee Kern is the author of the award-winning, ground-breaking illustrated fictional children’s book, “Making Healthy Choices – A Story to Inspire Fit, Weight-Wise Kids.” She may be reached online at www.KidsMakingHealthyChoices.com. We at Kinder Kicks promote a healthy lifestyle as being a positive lifestyle. What are your top tips on keeping your family happy and healthy? What information sources do you use to get your information? We’d love to hear from you. @playground @kidsmakinghealthychoices @merileekern @letsmove @playgroundmagazine