Category Archives: smartknitkids

Tips for a Smooth Back to School “Transition” with an SPD Kid

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Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 Back to School 2015 is upon us.  Children all over the country are packing their pencils and crayons into backpacks, getting class assignments and waiting for the bus.  But, the start of a new school year may not bring excitement to all families.  Back to School can create extra challenges for the already challenging lives of children with sensory processing disorders.  As you ready your kids for the next big school year, try some of the tips below for helping to make a seamless transition for you and your kids.

Manage the Morning – Create a list of all the tasks that must get done in the morning.  Time each one ahead of time, so that you know how long it will take on average.  Try to eliminate any stimuli or distractions to keep your child on task.

Bedtime Prep 2 Weeks Before – Begin prepping for your child’s school bedtime routine about 2 weeks before school starts.  You can iron out all the kinks that may come up ahead of time, as well as help your child become accustomed to the new routine.

Pump Your Kids Up – Children feed off of your energy.  If you demonstrate a lot of negative or nervous energy about the beginning of school, your children will pick up on this.  Be excited about the start of school and let your kids know it.  They’ll absorb your positive energy and be excited themselves.

Establish Communication with the Teacher – This one is so important.  You need to establish good communication with your child’s teacher right up front.  Make sure you know the best way to contact the teacher and when is a good time to contact her/him.  Help the teacher by letting them know about your child’s challenges, as well as methods that you have for helping them through it.

Have a Safe Zone – Establish a safe zone for your child.  Whenever things – such as homework, the bedtime routine or the morning fluster – get to be too overwhelming for your child, make sure he has a place to escape for a few minutes.  The safe zone should be free of stimuli and contain things that help him cope.

Visit School Ahead of Time – Most schools have a Back To School Night.  These can tend to be packed with people and a little overwhelming, however.  Gauge your child and if an event like this might be too much for him, arrange another time to visit the school during a calmer environment.  But, it’s important to visit the school ahead of time so that your child starts to develop a sense of familiarity with his new surroundings.

Pack a Sensory Kit – Pack a kit to put in your child’s backpack of things that help your child.  Let the teacher know what is in the kit and how it will help your child.  Making sure the teachers and administrators know the types of triggers that create challenges, as well as what things help your child to overcome them will help everyone.

Make a Trial Run – Practice the routine for the entire day ahead of time.  This should include getting ready in the morning, how the child will get to school and get home, and what activities they are to do when arriving home (i.e. homework, chores, playtime, TV time, etc.).  Knowing the routine what is expected of him each day, will help your child to adapt.

Give the Child a Sense of Control – A new routine might be a little scary for your son or daughter, but letting them make small choices will help them to feel more in control.  Make sure the choices are not open-ended, but between no more than two or three things.  For example: braid or ponytail for your daughter’s hair, the dinosaur, ninja turtle or super hero shirt for your son, cereal or pancakes for breakfast, Kids Bop or the soundtrack to Frozen in the car.

Make a Seam-Free First Day Outfit – As moms, we have a tendency to want to dress our children up for the first day.  They look so much cuter for all the first day photos.  It may be tough, but try to ignore this urge.  Choose an outfit that is comfortable and doesn’t have any annoying lumps, bumps or tags.  Your child will have a more comfortable first day all around if they’re feeling comfortable, too.  Don’t forget your SmartKnitKIDS seamless socks, underwear, bralette and compresso t, and your kiddo will be on their way to a great first day!!

Happy First Day of School 2015 from your friends at SmartKnitKIDS!!  Here’s to a seamless school year!!

School Kids

 

 

The Moninda Movement, One Man’s Cross Country Journey to End Human Trafficking

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Kenyan runner, Moninda Marube has a very big mission; one that will take him 3,700 miles across the United States . . . on foot . . . running.  His journey began on July 1st in Auburn, Maine and will conclude in November in Santa Barbara, California where he will compete in the Santa Barbara International Marathon.  But, Moninda isn’t just running to run.  He has a mission and it’s as big as his journey.

Moninda grew up in Kenya.  A lack of steady money and political violence contributed to a difficult life as a youth.  But, his talent for running allowed him a way out, and his journey landed him in the United States.

In the U.S., Moninda began training, but ran into financial difficulties.  To help out, he began training with other Kenyan runners under a manager.  It was with this manager that Moninda fell victim to human trafficking.  The manager would keep winnings from the races the Kenyans ran, leaving little for living expenses.  Moninda lived in a house infested with bedbugs with no air conditioning and very little food.  Finally in 2012, Moninda met Dan Campbell, the technical director of the Santa Barbara International Marathon.  He ran the Marathon and broke the course record.  Campbell helped him get out of his situation and relocate to Auburn, Maine, where life is finally good.

Becoming involved with the Auburn, Maine Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and motivated to help others, he began The Moninda Movement to help bring awareness of human trafficking.  The 4-month  journey kicked off in Auburn, Maine and includes an approximately 30-mile run 6 days a week.  Along the way, Moninda is speaking at PAL centers around the country to spread his message.

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The Moninda Movement and its mission soon attracted the attention of sponsors – Therafirm and parent company, Knit-Rite, Inc. and Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies.

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Moninda’s mission was a perfect fit for Therafirm.  The U.S. manufacturer produces true gradient compression socks and hosiery including a line of athletic compression socks and leg and arm sleeves.  Gradient compression in athletic socks and sleeves feature compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to help increase energy for endurance, better performance and reduces muscle fatigue and recovery times.  But, equally important, Therafirm, as well as parent company Knit-Rite, Inc., holds improving lives as its mission, not only in the products it makes, but also in the many causes it supports locally and beyond.

Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies is a small, family-owned and operated business headquartered in Auburn, Maine. Providing the community with the best quality medical supplies and equipment available is how they strive to inspire and empower individuals to take life’s challenges as they come, and to live life on their terms.

The co-sponsorship includes a cargo van that Moninda’s crew will use on the journey, as well as Therafirm-branded compression socks and sleeves and Moninda’s athletic apparel.  Custom decals on the van and screen printing on Moninda’s apparel will advertise The Moninda Movement’s message throughout his journey.  In addition to the above support, Therafirm and Bedard will donate a significant portion of proceeds from the retail sales of CoreSport, CoreSpun and Therafirm’s new sports compression line, launching September 1, 2015, to the Moninda Movement.  Sales through Bedard’s Auburn, Maine store and website, bedarddirect.com, between July 27, 2015 and March 31, 2016 will benefit Marube Moninda’s foundation.

Visit www.monindamovement.com to follow Moninda on his journey and www.bedarddirect.com to purchase Therafirm athletic compression products and support The Moninda Movement.

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Once Upon A Bug

Once upon a time, all over the world, children lived with lumps and bumps, ouchies, burglers, nuggies or seams in their socks.  The seams would rub and bump and irritate all over those little active feet.

Children everywhere refused to wear socks!

No Socks Girl

 

When they had to wear socks, they were mad!

Angry Boy

 

And sad!

Sad Girl

And just all-around miserable!

Miserable Kids

Finally, in a place called Kansas, a little bug named Bugsley was born.  As Bugsley grew, he hated seams, too!  It gets pretty cold in Kansas, and when Bugsley had to wear socks, his little bug feet would feel every lump and bump caused by pesky seams in socks.  Bugsley couldn’t stand it!

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When he grew up, Bugsley made it his Mission to get rid of seams once and for all!  He found his way to SmartKnitKIDS in Kansas City and learned that parents everywhere were looking for a solution to the uncomfortable lumps and bumps in their kids’ socks.  Bugsley knew he could find help for these kids and he went right to work!

Bugsley set up a Top Secret Lab at SmartKnitKIDS to test different materials and methods for making socks.  He was going to develop the softest, most comfortable and COMPLETELY SEAMLESS sock on the planet!  Bugsley, with the help of SmartKnitKIDS, worked tirelessly inspecting yarns and developing a super-secret, super-unique method.

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Finally, after many long, long days, Bugsley finally had a sock that felt great on his feet!  No seams, no lumps and bumps and so snuggly soft that he thought he would never take them off!  Excited with Bugsley’s amazing work, SmartKnitKIDS began making his seamless sock . . . lots and lots of seamless socks!

Bugsley immediately began to get the word out to all the boys and girls around the world . . . and the orders started flooding in.

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Children everywhere were finally happy with their socks!

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Bugsley was a hero!  And children everywhere lived seamlessly ever after in their socks.

 

To be continued . . . .

Proudly Made in the USA

Once upon a time in America, manufacturing was king.  American manufacturing intensified in the early 20th century, become the driving force behind the US economy and effectively carved out the American middle class.  We rose to global economic super power status on the backs of American manufacturing workers that produced things like cars, refrigerators and televisions.  Manufacturing gave Americans an alternative opportunity to farming, and raised the average income and standard of living.

After decades of trade surplus, things began to change in the 1970s.  Floating exchange rates and new trade agreements increased the value of imported goods.  In 1960, only 8% of Americans’ purchases came from foreign goods.  Today, 60% of our purchases come from overseas.  This drastic change has created a trade deficit totaling $40.9 billion (US Dept. of Commerce and reported by ABC News).

The United States has fewer manufacturing jobs now than we did in 1941.  This is why investing in the American economy and the American manufacturing sector is so important to Knit-Rite, Inc, that makers of SmartKnit.  In 2013, Knit-Rite opened a newly renovated, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hamlet, North Carolina.  The North Carolina facility is in addition to our first manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Kansas.

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Knit-Rite products are manufactured right here in America.  “We are proud of our 90 years in the medical textile business and our continued commitment to producing American made textiles,” says our President and CEO, Mark Smith.  “Along with that, we are grateful for the opportunities we have to contribute to innovative solutions for our customers and good jobs for our people and the US economy.”

When you buy our products, you can be assured that your money is going to American workers and the American economy effectively improving things for us all.  This Independence Day we encourage you to buy American.

Happy Independence Day from your friends at Knit-Rite and SmartKnit and Happy 239th Birthday, America!

Father’s Day Coupon Book Download


Hi Kids!  Do you want a great way to show your dad how much you love him this Father’s Day?  Bugsley and the SmartKnitKIDS team made up some super cool Coupon Books that you can download, color and personalize, cut out and give to your dad!  And what dad wouldn’t love this great homemade gift from his kids?

It is very simple to put together.  Click on the link to download.  Print off the pages.  Let you child color and personalize them.  Cut out and staple together.

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Send us your photos of your dad cashing in those coupons.  We would love to share them with our SmartKnitKIDS family.

Happy Father’s Day from SmartKnitKIDS!

Tips for Traveling with Sensory Sensitive Children

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Are We There Yet?!

Summer is here and it inevitably brings a season of travel – family weddings out of town, vacations to the beach or amusement parks.  As parents, it is always a challenge to plan entertainments for children, but parents of sensory sensitive children have added challenges.  When traveling with your children, remember these tips to help vacations and other trips go smoothly.  Bon Voyage!

  • Plan Ahead and Rehearse Your Trip – Make a detailed itinerary and make sure your children understand each leg of the journey. Rehearse parts of the trip that may give your children moments of anxiety.  Take your child on short, practice runs on car trips, or visit the airport ahead of time.  Walk through the airport and point out things to your child and watch some planes take off and land.
  • Travel With Help – Another family member or support person will be invaluable to any parent traveling with children, but especially with sensory challenged kids. The old adage “two heads are better than one” definitely applies here.  When things get rough, having an extra person available who can help with baggage, check-ins or even truck-stop bathroom breaks will help things go more smoothly.
  • Give Yourself Extra Time – If you’re not in a hurry, the trip will be more enjoyable for all – kids included. Make sure you arrive early for flights.  Leave early for car trips also so that you can plan to stop several times to stretch your legs.
  • Check into Accommodations for Children – If using commercial transportation, call ahead to see what accommodations are in place for children. Take advantage of anything that may be helpful in keeping your children comfortable and entertained.
  • Travel During Sleep Times – Many children have an easier time traveling while they sleep. If possible, plan to leave at night or when your kids are used to taking naps.
  • Bring Extra Clothes – Easy access to an extra set of clothes for each child will make getting through any mishaps easier and stress free. Bring a couple extra pairs of SmartKnitKIDS socks since they can sometimes disappear quicker than larger articles of clothing.
  • Bring Toys – Pack several small sensory input toys that will keep your children’s attention for longer periods of time. Choose things that are easy to pack and pick up, but also things that your children already enjoy.  Good examples are Rubix Cubes, rubber band balls and Play-Doh.
  • Electronic Devices – Tablets, phones or other electronic devices provide touch, visual and audio input for children. Remember a set of headphones and a pair of sunglasses to help those sensitive to bright light.  Download age-appropriate games ahead of time, or make sure your data plan will be sufficient for your entire trip.  You can also bring along a data hotspot.
  • Pack Snacks – Plan to bring some healthy snacks. Chewable and high-protein snacks like licorice and beef jerky are great choices, but you should plan things that each child will prefer and enjoy.
  • Remain Calm – Don’t let yourself get discouraged with minor setbacks. Take each day in stride and enjoy your trip as best as you can.

Reward yourself for a mission accomplished and announce to your kids, “We are there!”  Maybe it will even be before they have asked, “Are we there yet?!”

Bugsley’s Summer Adventure

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Hi SmartKnitKIDS Friends!

School is almost out and summer is about to get started!  Bugsley has been working so hard here at SmartKnitKIDS that we have decided he’s ready for a vacation!  But, not just any vacation.  We want to send Bugsley around the country to enjoy summer with our SmartKnitKIDS friends.

We’re asking you to invite Bugsley along for any or all of your summer fun adventures.  There are lots of ways to do this.  You can print out one of our Vacation Bugsley downloads.  Color and cut him out and take him with you.  You can bring one of the plastic Bugsleys from your SmartKnitKIDS sock orders.  Or you can even use this picture of Bugsley.  Just pull him up on your smartphone!

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The important thing is that you take a photo of you and Bugsley doing whatever your summer has in store for you.  Send them to us via Facebook or Twitter so we can all see what Bugsley has been up to.  We’re hoping that by the end of the summer, Bugsley will have been on quite the adventure!

Here’s a little note from Bugsley about things he’s excited to do:

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Lost Sock Memorial Day

Lost Sock Memorial DayWhat to do when you lose one sock to a matched pair?  Such a common problem, right?!  Did you know there is a Lost Sock Memorial Day?  On Saturday, May 9th, the SmartKnitKIDS team will observe Lost Sock Memorial Day.  We thought a Eulogy to the Lost Sock would be appropriate.

 

Eulogy to the Lost Sock

One lone sock was lost today in the same horrifying way that socks are lost every day across this country and the world: the dryer.  

 

This sock started out being perfectly knit with its “sole” mate.  After an adventurous beginning that included being the center of attention through processing and packaging at the production plant, a wild ride across the country on a delivery truck and a brief stay on a local store peg, this pair settled into a quiet life warming the feet of their owner.  

 

They enjoyed being part of their owner’s everyday activities from school to sports and just plain fun outside.  Each week, the sock pair would participate in the laundry cycle – usually such a fun experience.  Imagine a roller coaster ride through a car wash.  

 

It was during one of these weekly laundry trips that the tragedy occurred.  Upon being tossed around in the hot air of the dryer, one sock then searched out its mate.  And that mate was missing.  Vents were checked.  The insides of other clothes were checked.  Nowhere to be found.  After all the weekly laundry loads were complete, the sock was declared MIA.

 

The sock is survived by its loving mate, as well as many friends at the resident sock drawer at the owner’s house.  Its mate requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to the Lost Sock Memorial Fund.

 

But, dry your tears SmartKnitKIDS fans!!  You can always order more socks from us!  We’ll keep makin’ ’em!

Guess and Win!

What’s blue and sweet and reminds you to donate to SmartKnitKIDS’ Autism Awareness Campaign fundraiser?

A jar full of blue fruity candies!!

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We want YOU to guess how many pieces of yummy fruit-flavored candies are in this jar. The first person to guess the closest without going over will receive an egiftcard to SmartKnit.com!*

ENTER YOUR GUESS

Next go to our campaign fundraiser page and DONATE! Your money will go to fund Autism Research. When you donate, you’ll receive a coupon code to use at SmartKnit.com – our gift to you for helping us reach our goal! It’s a win-win – super comfy seamless socks for you and an awesome donation to autism research for all of us!

DONATE HERE

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April – Autism Awareness Month – is almost over, but with your help, we can spread awareness all year long. Remember, wear blue, share with your friends and family and donate to Bugsley’s Autism Research Campaign.
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* eGiftcard is redeemable at SmartKnit.com. US/CA

April is Autism Awareness Month

AutismHi Kids (& Parents)!  Your friend Bugsley needs your support.  In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Bugsley and SmartKnitKIDS are sponsoring a fundraising campaign with the Autism Society and 1Power4Autism.  Our goal is to raise $1,000, which will go towards autism research.

Donate Now

Click on the link to donate to the Autism Society.  To show our appreciation, SmartKnitKIDS will send you a coupon code to use on your next order at SmartKnit.com.  Coupon codes will be emailed to donors within 48 hours of donation.

$5-9 donations – coupon code for $5 off a $25 order
$10-24 donations – coupon code for $10 off a $40 order
$25+ donations – coupon code for $25 off a $75 order

For other ways to raise awareness, you can wear your Autism Awareness charm and silicone bracelet, which come free in every order of SmartKnitKIDS products in the month of April (while supplies last).

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The SmartKnitKIDS team also put together this video to help raise awareness.  Please share!

The Autism Society recognizes the power that 1 person, 1 organization, 1 idea or 1 event can have on autism.  Today, with the prevalence of autism rising to 1 in every 88 American children, everyone can make a difference and support the 1 mission of the Autism Society.

SmartKnitKIDS believes in Autism research.  We know that good research is needed in making strides toward understanding autism and improving lives of those with autism.  SmartKnitKIDS works every day in manufacturing products that help children with autism cope.

Many children with autism also have sensory issues.  Little irritations like clothing seams can feel like big irritations to these kids.  SmartKnitKIDS socks are seamless, leaving nothing to irritate sensitive feet and toes.  The form-fitting design gives children’s feet a gentle “hug”, which provides closeness and gentle pressure that are soothing to children.  SmartKnitKIDS uses this same technology and design in a host of other products for kids with sensory issues, including Big Kids Socks, Kids Undies, Compresso T, and Bralette.

Make a donation to the Autism Society today and help Bugsley and SmartKnitKIDS reach our goal!  Together, we can improve the lives of all affected by autism.

Donate Now

What events and activities are you doing in your communities to raise awareness?  Share with us!