Have a Healthy Valentines Day!

Does it ever seem like we roll right from one unhealthy food holiday into another?  Halloween, Christmas, Super Bowl.  And now with Valentine’s Day upon us, are you dreading your children bringing home another bag full of candy?  Or cupcakes and cookies?  Instead of the sugar overload, how about celebrating Valentine’s Day with your family with healthy foods and fun activities.  Here are a few ideas we came up with!

Valentine’s Day Family Dinner Date – Children love to play grown-up.  Let the kids help plan a “romantic” Valentine’s Day dinner for the whole family.  The children can help plan the menu, decorate your kitchen or dining room with Valentine’s Day décor and even help prepare the delicious meal.  Red foods will add to the Valentine’s flavor.  Spaghetti with red sauce is something nice and simple kids can help with.  Pair it with a salad.  If you get extra adventurous, you can cut tomatoes or cucumbers into heart shapes.  Want to add some extra flair?  Include candles in the décor and buy a bottle of sparkling grape juice or cider.

spaghetti dinner

Craft Homemade Valentines Cards or Dinner Décor – Let the kids make their own Valentine’s Day cards or even their own decorations for the Family Dinner.  Provide a stack of paper in Valentine’s colors with some glitter and stickers and let the kids get creative.

Valentine’s Day Munchies – Instead of all the candy and junk food, make some Valentine’s Day trail mix for kids and parents alike to snack on.  You can even use it for an appetizer during your dinner.  You can add anything that your kids like to eat, but for a few suggestions use dried fruit or raisins, healthy cereals and nuts.  For a little bit of color (or maybe just a tiny bit of holiday sugar) add a few handfuls of Valentine’s Day M&Ms.  Just make sure the kids don’t pick those out and eat them all first!

Read and Act Out Valentine’s Day Books – There are tons of great children’s books out there with Valentine’s Day themes.  Spend the afternoon reading together.  Or take your favorite Valentine’s Day story and have the children make it into a play.  It would make great dinner entertainment!

Valentine Books

Dessert – What’s better for dessert than sweet and delicious fruit.  You can make the fruit extra fun by cutting some of it into heart shapes and adding skewers.  The fruit skewers can be eaten plain or with a dip made out of yogurt.  Add a few drops of red food coloring if using plain yogurt.

You’ll make some super sweet Valentine’s Day memories that your kids will be talking about all year!

Groundhog Day

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Do you ever feel like you’re living in Groundhog Day?  You know the movie from the early 90s starring Bill Murray where he continually relives the same day, February 2, Groundhog Day?  Your version probably consists of mornings battling your sensitive child to put socks on.  Then you have to adjust the socks, and adjust them again, and then again and again.  Finally, all the lumps and bumps are smoothed away and the seams are in just the right spot.  Once you have the socks just right, you now have the challenge of getting his shoes on without disturbing your hard work adjusting the socks.  If they move, you’re back to square one.  And that’s only Monday.  And Tuesday.  And Wednesday.  You get the idea.  Your own version of Groundhog Day.

In the movie, Bill Murray’s character eventually breaks the cycle and wakes up on February 3, the next day, a new and different day.  It’s time that your family breaks the cycle, too, so you can move on to a new day – one without the morning sock battle.

SmartKnitKIDS socks are a great way to cure the lumps, bumps and seams for good.  Our kids’ socks feature truly seamless construction, knitted like a cocoon from the toe up.  So, there’s no need for seams, or lines or bumps or any of those annoying things.  Our socks feature Halo Top™ which is comfortable and non-binding and helps keep the socks in place without making indentations.  The yarns used in SmartKnitKIDS socks are made with high tech fibers to wick moisture away from the skin and preventing stinky feet.

These socks may make the difference between living in Groundhog Day or waking up tomorrow knowing that it’s a new day!

Indoor Activities for Kids

Snow blankets the ground in many places around the country and the thermometer has dipped to levels below the freezing mark.  With nearly two months left of winter, our list of indoor activities needs a boost of new ideas.  If your kiddos are getting antsy with all the usual indoor play, try some of these fun, new activities to help beat back the winter doldrums.

Sudsy Toy Car Wash
Pull out some of your kids’ toy cars and put together a car wash!  First, add baking soda to the bottom of a baking pan.  Let the kids drive the cars through the baking soda – snow driving.  Once they’ve had all the fun they can get out of that, pour some vinegar over the baking soda and watch it fizz and suds up.  The kids should get a kick out of running their cars through the “car wash” for quite a while. Source: whatwedoallday.com

Indoor Snow Play
After a new snow fall, fill up a couple of buckets of clean snow and bring it inside.  Kids can use sand or water toys with the snow.  Or, get out some baking supplies and let them “snow bake”.  The best part is they can play in the snow without the bulky snow gear or getting too cold.

Indoor Sailboats
Fill a baking dish or other container with water.  Make sailboats out of foam craft pieces for the base, a toothpick or skewer for the mast, and a piece of paper for the sail.  Launch your boats in the water and use a drinking straw to create wind.  Children can race their boats across the baking dish. Source: whatwedoallday.com

Family Photo Bingo
This idea sounds like a lot of fun.  Create bingo cards using photos of family members (you might have to use extended family members to get enough variety.  Run a few bingo games for you kids.  G-Grandma Mary; O-Aunt Sue Source: parents.com

Puppet Theatre
Create a puppet theatre out of a cardboard box.  Puppets can be made out of anything – leftover scraps of fabric, popsicle sticks, even socks.  Let your children get creative making story lines and acting them out with their puppets.  Have them practice on their own and then perform their puppet plays for an audience of mom and dad. Source: pinterest.com

Indoor Bowling
Use some empty water bottles and a rubber ball to set an indoor bowling alley for the kids.  You can even make up score cards to help them record all the spares and strikes. Source: pinterest.com

Doll Beach Party
Round up some dolls (Barbie dolls or other like-sized dolls) that won’t mind getting a little wet and create a Beach Party in the bathtub.  Wash clothes can become great beach towels.  A lightweight soap dish might make a good pool float.  Just make sure the doll has proper beach attire – swimsuit and sunglasses, of course!  Source: parents.com

Family Book Club
Choose a longer chapter book and read a little bit from it every day.  After each day’s session, have the kids discuss their thoughts about the story and characters, as if they were part of a real book club.  Have some kid-friendly book club snacks to go along with the story.  Great book suggestions for Family Book Club: Little House on the Prairie; 101 Dalmations; Charlotte’s Web; Shiloh; The Boxcar Children.

Check out these other ideas for keeping kids entertained inside during the long winter months.

Fighting the Sugar Battle

bugsley_boxingThis week (January 18-24) is Sugar Awareness Week.  As a parent, I always feel like I’m fighting a losing battle with sugar.  I’ve heard all the advice about limiting sugar.  I’ve witnessed how sugar affects children from the crazy high to the inevitable crash.

Sugar can do so much damage to the human body – adult and child alike.  The following are truly just a few things:

  1. Impairs Memory and Learning Skills – Studies have shown that a diet high in sugar can slow down the brain hindering memory and learning skills. Sugary breakfast cereal may not be the best start for a child spending his day learning multiplication and division.  Or maybe this is the reason why I feel like a broken record in reminding my child to turn in his homework or remember his jacket, etc.
  2. Increases Tooth Decay and Cavities – Sugar is the most damaging substance for teeth that we are eating. When sugar sits on your teeth, it creates decay more efficiently than any other food.  This is because it provides easily digestible energy for all the bad bacteria living in the mouth.  And since we know that children sometimes are not the best brushers, it’s important to limit how much sugar is introduced to their teeth.
  3. Contributes to Malnutrition – Despite the fact that a high sugar diet contributes to obesity, children can still be malnourished. Sugar provides no nutritional value whatsoever, but just pure energy.  When children fill up on these “empty” calories, they are not likely to get all the important vitamins and minerals they need leading to nutrient deficiencies.
  4. Lowers Immunities – The body is made up of trillions of good bacteria, which help digest food, produce vitamins and protect the body from germs and diseases. But, consuming too much sugar can alter the balance between good and bad bacteria weakening the immune system.  For children, this can lead to chronic runny noses, excessive mucus, cough, sinus infections, croup and acid reflux.
  5. Causes Obesity – Sugar itself doesn’t cause children to become overweight, but they become overweight when they consume more calories than they burn. Sugary drinks and other high sugar treats usually supply more calories than children need to satisfy hunger.
  6. Effects Behavior – Many studies have shown that sugar does NOT cause hyperactivity overall. However, sugar meltdowns are real.  The post-birthday-cake meltdown is caused by the rapid increase in blood sugar, followed by the inevitable drop.

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There are several things that parents can do to help fight the sugar battle:

  1. Read food labels – Sometimes sugar is hidden in foods you wouldn’t think contain sugar like oatmeal and yogurt. Look for words and phrases that signal a food has added sugar, such as: “fruit juice concentrate”; “corn sweetener”; “corn syrup”; “high-fructose corn syrup”; “honey” and “dextrose”.  Avoid foods that have a long list of ingredients.
  2. Know the names of sugar – Food can be really sneaky with the words used to name sugar. Watch out for high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, dextrose, lactose, sorbital, mannitol, malitol, xylitol, honey and sucrose.  All of these are sugar.
  3. Cut down on sugar beverages – Sodas, juices (even 100% juice), sports drinks and smoothies all contain high amounts of sugar. Have your child start with a glass of water before drinking something else, and try to avoid the high sugar drinks altogether.
  4. Be leery of healthy alternatives – Phrases like “sugar free”, “low calorie” and “all natural” can be misleading. These phrases don’t necessarily mean the food is healthier, but rather laden with additives.
  5. Make the change gradual – One way to make healthier changes easier on children is to do it gradually. Add in something healthy like blueberries into their weekly snacks.  Or try mixing their sugary cereal with a healthy cereal until they get used to the healthier option.
  6. Teach children about healthy foods – You’ll want to help your children develop healthy habits that they keep for life. Help your kids understand what good foods do to your body and what bad foods do.

** Disclaimer – Not to take the place of medical advice.  Always consult with your doctor about health concerns.

*** Sources: foxnews.com; parenting.com; healthyeating.sfgate.com; sheknows.com; huffingtonpost.com and centerforparentingeducation.org

Create-A-Bugsley for International Creativity Month

Who knew that January was International Creativity Month?!  At SmartKnit, we love creativity!!  Being creative was how SmartKnitKIDS socks were born.  So, in honor of International Creativity Month, we wanted to get in on the action!

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We know that our loyal customers love our Bugsley and even collect the different Bugsley cards found in SmartKnitKIDS packages.  Do your kids have ideas for a Bugsley design?  Let’s get creative and make some new Bugsley designs.  Have your kids draw or design Bugsley doing an activity they love.  How about football or hockey, ballet or gymnastics or maybe riding a bicycle.  The possibilities are endless.  And don’t forget about Bugsette!  Bugsette designs are encouraged also. You can use one of our templates to start with OR get really creative and draw Bugsley or Bugsette from scratch!

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Submit your designs between January 10 and 16 by posting them to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #createbugsley.  Or you can email it to us at info@smartknitkids.com.  On January 17, we will post an album with a selection of the entrants.  The entry with the most likes, shares and comments by January 19 will be our winner.  The winning design will be eligible for production with management’s approval.

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So, get to drawing, get creative!  We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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*** Disclaimer – By submitting, you agree to hereby give to Knit-Rite, Inc. the absolute and irrevocable right and permission with respect to the artwork provided:
a) The unrestricted right and permission to copyright and use, re-use, publish, and republish the artwork in whole or in part, individually, or in conjunction with other photograph in all media including illustration, art, promotion, advertising, trade, web or any other purpose whatsoever.
b) Entrant hereby relinquishes any right that they may have to examine or approve the completed product or products or the advertising copy or printed matter.
c) Entrant hereby relinquishes any right for compensation for use of artwork.
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Holiday Recipes for Kids

With a chill in the area and snow on the ground (in some places), staying inside sounds like the place to be.  And with the holiday season in full swing, it’s time to do a little holiday baking.  If your house is anything like mine, you might have a few little elves that want to help with the process.  Instead of stressing, try some of these fun and easy recipes that your children can help with and some they can even make themselves!

Red-Nosed Reindeer Cookies

Ingredients:
Pillsbury’s Simply Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
Flipz Mini Chocolate Pretzels
M&M Minis
Regular Size M&Ms
White Frosting

Directions:

  1. Slice pieces from cookie dough in half and shape each half into 1-1/2” triangles.
  2. Place 3” apart on cookie sheets and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  3. Remove from oven. While cookies are still warm, press a mini pretzel onto each side to resemble antlers.
  4. Let cool completely.
  5. Decorate cookies to resemble reindeer faces. Mini M&Ms become eyes, M&Ms are noses and white frosting is used to “glue” them on the cookies.

They make an adorable snack for watching that old classic, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

 

Melting Snowman Cookie Balls

Ingredients:
1 8 oz. Package of Cream cheese
24 Finely Crushed Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
3 4 oz. Packages of BAKER’S White Chocolate, broken and melted
48 Mini OREO Bite Size Cookies
2 Tbsp. Decorating Icing

Directions:

  1. Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.
  2. Shape into 48 1-inch balls and place in a single layer in a shallow pan.
  3. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  4. Dip balls in melted chocolate and place in a shallow waxed paper-lined pan, allowing excess chocolate to pool at bottom of each ball.
  5. Use remaining ingredients to decorate your snowmen faces.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Keep refrigerated.

Another fun treat for another holiday classic, Frosty the Snowman!

 

Ice Cream Cone Christmas Trees

 

Ingredients:
Ice Cream Cones
Green Frosting (White Frosting w/ Green Food Coloring will work.)
Candy for Decorations

Directions:

  1. Frost each ice cream cone with green frosting covering the whole outside.
  2. Add candy pieces to resemble decorations.
  3. Let frosting set before eating!

 

Christmas isn’t the only holiday in December.  So, if you’re celebrating this winter season lighting a menorah, try this recipe for a fun holiday treat!

Marshmallow Dreidels

Borrowed from marthastewart.com

Ingredients:
Marshmallows
Kitchen Scissors
Nonstick Cooking Spray
Nonpareils
Nonpareil Chocolate
Wooden Skewers

Directions:

  1. Spray kitchen scissors with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Have a parent trim sides of marshmallows to make them square-shaped.
  3. Dip marshmallows into a bowl of nonpareils to coat.
  4. Insert a wooden skewer and add a nonpareil chocolate for the tip.
  5. Have a parent trim the skewer.

 

Here’s a delicious treat for any children’s holiday party!

Peppermint Puppy Chow

Borrowed from Sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ingredients:
5 Cups of Rice Chex cereal
10 ounces of Melting White Chocolate OR Vanilla Flavored Almond Bark
1 Cup of Crushed Peppermint Candy Canes
1 Cup of Confectioners’ Sugar

Directions:

  1. Pour cereal into a large bowl.
  2. Melt the white chocolate/almond bark according to package directions and pour over cereal. Stir and fold until the cereal is completely covered.
  3. Fold in crushed candy canes.
  4. Pour confectioners’ sugar into a large zipped-lock bag.
  5. Pour the cereal/chocolate/candy mixture into the bag.
  6. Seal and shake until all the cereal is coated with confectioners’ sugar.

 

How about an extra special treat to leave for Santa and his elves on Christmas Eve?  One that Mom and Dad are sure to enjoy, too!  This one might not have as many steps that the kids can help with, but I bet they’ll love knowing that you’re making Elf Biscuits!

 

Elf Biscuits

Borrowed from myrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1 5-1/3 oz. Package of Graham Crackers (1 Sleeve)
¾ Cup of Butter or Margarine
½ Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Chopped Pecans or Almonds

Directions:

  1. Arrange 11 whole graham crackers on an ungreased 15” x 10” jellyroll pan.
  2. Bring butter, sugar and nuts to boil in a medium saucepan. Boil 2 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture on crackers, spreading quickly to cover.
  4. Bake at 300° for 12 minutes.
  5. Remove crackers to wax paper to cool.
  6. Cut with a knife along perforations.

 

And finally one last one that the kids can make all themselves . . . and it will make the wait for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve that much more fun!

 

Magic Reindeer Food

Borrowed from myrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2 Cups of Regular Oats
2 Cups of Birdseed Mix
2 Tbsp. of Red Decorator Sugar Crystals
2 Tbsp. of Green Decorator Sugar Crystals

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients in a 2 quart zip-lock bag.
  2. Shake to combine.
  3. Wait until Christmas Eve and sprinkle a path through your yard to your house. The path will help guide Santa’s reindeer to your house, and they’ll get a tasty treat, too!

NOTE: Remember kids, don’t eat the reindeer food.  The reindeer will eat some of what you sprinkle, but the rest will be a tasty Christmas morning treat for your neighborhood birds!

100 Great Reasons to Go Seamless!

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At SmartKnit, we think the reasons to go seamless are truly endless!  But, to celebrate our contest for a $100 Smartknit.com gift card for one lucky winner, we thought we’d list 100 reasons to go seamless!  But, who better to tell you about why you should go seamless than our happy customers.

100 Super Reasons to go Seamless!

Seamless Socks

SockGroup

  1. “Great product. My son can’t do without them. Only socks he will wear. Great service with quick shipping.” – Nicole J.
  2. “Socks have been a daily morning trauma for our daughter. She loves these. We are replacing her entire sock drawer with SmartKnit. The savings in time and peace of mind are worth the cost.” – Andrew L.
  3. “These are the only socks my daughter will wear now. I am so thankful for your socks with truly no seems. My daughter used to wear flip flops in the winter just so she didn’t have to wear socks. Now that we found these we don’t have to go through tantrums and melt downs every morning. My daughter obviously has sensitivity issues so these socks have been a God send. Thanks.” – Liese Z.
  4. “My kids love these socks! They are easy to put on, and they love being able to walk around without having to worry about seams that might twist around and hurt their feet. I’m so glad I don’t have to argue with them about putting on socks. Great purchase!” – Jeri E.
  5. “These socks are the BEST! My 5 year old has been complaining about socks for as long as she could talk. These are game changers! No more frustration, no more tears, no more spending over 5 minutes each morning trying to get the toe seam just right. The first time she put on a pair, you could see the relief in her eyes! Thank you SmartKnit!” – Kelly W.
  6. “Our son has Sensory Processing issues, anxiety, and ADHD. Little basic tasks like putting on socks can ruin his mornings. He hates the seams and specifically the knots at the end of the seams. Thank goodness for these socks. Now he wants to put on his socks and is happy to get ready instead of battling every pair of other socks. Thank goodness we found these socks! I’m so thankful these are available for someone like our son. It makes our days better starting it off on the right foot!” – Tiffany W.
Boys Seamless Boxer Briefs

SmartKnitKids-Boys-Undies

  1. “Wonderful! Our 6 year old w/SPD loves them! Thank you!” – Laci W.
  2. “Amazing.. my son will wear undies now :)” – Tara B.
  3. “My son loves these boxers! He puts them on and never complains that they bother him. It would be nice if they came in more colors.” – Jennifer P.
Girls Seamless Boy Cut Undies

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  1. “My daughter was so excited when she put them on. She said they felt as comfy as her jammies. That made for a happy mom, too.” – Sarah D.
  2. “My daughter hated panties and did everything to avoid wearing them. When the teachers started checking every morning, I had to find a seamless option. A Google search for SmartKnit turned everything around for us. Now she wears panties without tears and doesn’t think about them for the rest of the day. Life changing!” – Sophia D.
  3. “These are the only underpants my daughter will wear. We’ve struggled with getting dressed in the morning because every type of underpants has seams that really bother my daughter. Thankfully we found these!” – Anna L.
Seamless Bralette

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  1. “My daughter with sensory processing disorder loves the way it feels! That’s a win to me!” – Lori H.
  2. “I am extremely satisfied with my order! My daughter loves everything and is much more comfortable! Thank you!” – Michelle F.
  3. “Excellent product. My very “seam sensitive” daughter wears it and is comfortable.” – Kathryn E.
Seamless Compresso T

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  1. “It is very comfortable to wear for my five year old grandson compared to his heavier vest. It is a lot cooler to wear for summer.” – Geri L.
  2. “What a fabulous product for our little ADHD guy. Tagless and gives him a little pressure which helps with proprioceptive and tactile senses. Seriously thank you!” – Kathy H.
  3. “My daughter loves her “hug shirts”. Her attention span in school is much improved with them. I highly recommend them if your child is working through sensory issues.” – Erin S.

Whew!  That’s 18 great reasons to go seamless.  We’ve got stacks and stacks of these here on our desks, and even more in the mailbox.  But, we want you to add to our list.  Give us your best seamless stories.  What are the reasons you can think of to go seamless?

Don’t forget to enter our contest to win the $100 gift card to SmartKnit.com.  One week only – December 14-20!

ENTER

Visiting Santa with an Autistic or Sensory Sensitive Child

Santa's Hands

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The annual visit to Santa is one of the hallmarks of the holiday season.  But, this fun and happy tradition can be a scary and stressful activity for a child with autism or sensory disorder.

There’s a growing trend across the country to offer stress free time with Santa for special needs children.  Many of them, Like Caring Santa, are sponsored by autism awareness groups like Autism Speaks.  Perhaps you saw the story done last week and published in USA today about a young autistic child that had a very unique and memorable visit with Santa.  Pictures were posted all around social media sites of young Brayden Deely, along with Santa, sprawled out on the floor enjoying a few stress free moments together.  It was a memorable picture and one many parents hope for.

For more information about Caring Santa, please visit the link at Autism Speaks.

Events like Caring Santa are truly making strides in helping children with autism or other special needs to enjoy some of the traditional activities associated with the holiday season.  But, the locations where it is offered are still fairly sparse.  Some parents don’t have the option of a Caring Santa event close at hand, but would still like to give their children the opportunity to visit with Santa.  Follow these tips to have a more successful trip with your child:

  1. Prepare your child with a mental picture – You may have to do some advance work to observe how the Santa in your area operates. Where does the line form?  What are the options that your child has when talking to Santa (sit on his lap, sit beside him, or stand beside him)? What does the area look like?  Will there be photos?  Will Santa have helpers there, such as elves?  The more details you can tell your child about, the more likely they are to feel comfortable.
  2. Plan ahead – During your visit, or a call afterwards, ask if it is possible for Santa and his staff to offer special accommodations for special needs children. Find out if there are any special details that you should be aware of.
  3. Go during a week day – Week days are generally less busy than evenings or weekends. You might be able to avoid long lines, as well as over-stimulating crowds.
  4. Make a schedule for the day – Some children like to know exactly what events will transpire in a given day. You can print off a schedule and point out where the Santa visit is.  Let your child hold it and follow along.
  5. Dress your child comfortably – Resist the temptation to dress your child in the adorable, but uncomfortable, Christmas outfit. Visiting Santa may be a little overwhelming, and an uncomfortable outfit might just be too much.  Save the Christmas outfit for some cute photos another day.
  6. Give your child an incentive for being good – No matter how well you’ve planned, you may still have to wait. Plan ahead of time to have an incentive for being good, such as new toy or a special privilege.
  7. Be open to other options – Despite all your best plans, your child just may not be able to tolerate visiting a mall Santa. Look into schools or churches that offer time with Santa.  Or, even have a family member rent a Santa suit and visit the child at home.  This might turn into an even better tradition for your family.
  8. Read a story or watch a video about visiting Santa – This is another way to help your child to be prepared for his or her Santa visit. We found the video below, which very calmly describes what your child will experience during a Santa visit.

Most importantly, make the visit fun for your child.  If it is too stressful or frustrating than it won’t be enjoyable for anyone.  You’ll want to create fun and lasting memories that your child will remember each year.

Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Tips

Sihouette of young family with luggage walking at airport, girl pointing at the window

With the Halloween costumes put away for the year and the children feasting on their Halloween candy haul, it’s time to begin thinking of the Thanksgiving holiday.  It’s right around the corner!  Thanksgiving weekend is known for being one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.  According to AAA, last year 46.3 million Americans packed their bags and journeyed at least 50 miles away from home to spend the holiday with family or friends.

Thanksgiving weekend travel is already stressful due to the sheer numbers of fellow travelers, but it can be even more stressful for families with young children – especially children with special needs.  So, if you’ll be among America’s travelers in a few weeks, follow these travel tips to help your family have a smooth and happy holiday trip!

  1. Plan Ahead – 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 for 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. When travel day arrives, the travel expectations will feel more familiar and comfortable.
  2. Arrive Early for Flights – Planning to arrive at the airport early will ensure that you’ll have time to make adjustments for any travel “roadblocks”. Be sure to bring enough activities to keep your children entertained for any waits or delays that may occur
  3. Create Realistic Expectations – Know what your children can handle and what they will not be able to handle. You may need to add extra stops into your itinerary or perhaps travel over multiple days.
  4. Charge Your Devices – Ensure that all your devices are charged and that you’ve brought extra chargers. You won’t want to be in a jam if the children have used up all the battery playing games just when you need your map app to get you to your next stop.
  5. Pack Plenty of Snacks – Pack plenty of healthy, low-sugar snacks that your children are familiar with and enjoy. You never know when a flight will be delayed or if the next restaurant is not for another 100 miles down the road.  Healthy snacks will help keep kids from getting cranky due to hunger.
  6. Pack Your Sense of Humor – Make the trip fun for you and your kids. Laugh with your kids and tell jokes.  Make up road trip games to play with your kids along the way.  It will make the trip more fun, enjoyable and memorable for you and them.
  7. Bring or Buy Special Needs Foods – If your child has special dietary restrictions, be sure to bring things you know they can eat. Special needs foods may be harder if you don’t know the area as well as home.
  8. Discuss the House Rules – Make sure your children know what will be expected of them at all locations – how to behave on a plane or in a hotel or even what special rules Grandma has at her house. Knowing what is expected up front will help them to follow along with your expectations.
  9. Do a Safety Check – Pack a first aid kit. Make sure each child has a proper car seat.  Bring all medications your children are on.
  10. Pack Insurance Cards – Just in case you need to visit a doctor while out of town, be sure to carry your insurance cards with you. It will make the process much easier and you’ll be able to save your concerns for your sick child.
  11. Visit a Local Playground – Help your kids create a memory of their adventure. Visiting a playground while on the road or in Grandma’s hometown will not only give them something fun to remember during your travels, but will also give your kids a chance to burn up some of the energy they’ve accumulated while playing 50 State License Plate Bingo in the backseat.
  12. Keep Your Cool! – There will always be things that happen, whether it be a speeding ticket from the highway patrol or a missed connection during a layover. Take a deep breath and go with the flow.  If you don’t stress things that happen outside of your control, you’ll better enjoy your trip and so will your kids.

Remember at the end of the road is Grandma’s special turkey and dressing or pumpkin pie that you’ve been craving for months – as well as hugs and smiles and family memories.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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We Have a #SCAREDSEAMLESS Winner!

A big SmartKnitKIDS Congratulations to the winner of our Halloween Costume Photo Contest!!  Isn’t this little one cute?!

Marina has won a $100 gift card to SmartKnit.com!  We’re so glad that Marina and all of our Photo Contest participants had a great and seamless Halloween!

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