So, your child has head lice.

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So, your child has head lice. Now what? First things, first, don’t panic!

Fortunately, even though lice can spread, they carry no diseases which means that you and your child are not in danger, health-wise. It’s also important to remember that just because your child gets lice, it does not mean that your child is unclean.

It’s just their luck that they got it from another child who had it. If your child is in daycare, like mine, they’re more likely to get it.

There are home treatments you can use to get ride of the lice and there are  treatments you can purchase from the store. A few things you will definitely need regardless of treatment options are gloves, shower caps, and a lice comb.

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Nearly all treatment options focus on a smothering method.

Suffocating Agents:

There are suffocating agents that specialize in suffocating the lice. Such agents include vaseline, mayo and olive oil. Although they are effective in getting rid of live lice, it’s important to understand that they do not get rid of nits. Nits are the lice’s eggs. It’s also very messy and hard to get out of hair.

Chemical Agents:

I’m a freak about cleanliness, so I bought over-the-counter shampoo. My husband and I were going to treat our hair as well. I grabbed RID and Meijer brand shampoos to treat our hair. I also bought child-friendly shampoo for my son. On top of using the suffocating agent and chemical agent on my son, I bought Lice Shield to help repel head lice. This shampoo is made with natural essential oils and smells really good. It took a few weeks for our daycare center to get rid of the lice, which is normal once it spreads, so we used this shampoo for a few weeks following the initial outbreak.

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Make sure that you follow the instructions when treating your child. I found that by putting a show cap on my child’s head and letting him play in the bath, it distracted him long enough to let the agent stay for the time it needed to effectively treat the lice.

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He hated the cap at first, but his toys soon distracted him.

Removing the Nits

This was the most challenging part for me, as I had a hard time identifying the difference between dry skin and Nits. Nits do not fall off the head following treatment, so they must be removed. Nits can be described as tear drop in shape and are typically found on the nap of the neck, around the ears or crown of the head. Here are instructions on removing Nits.

  1. Go through your child’s hair in sections, slowly, sitting next to strong overhead lighting.
  2. Use finger nails, or head lice removal comb to divide sections
  3. Lift a 1 inch wide tuft of hair and inspect it thoroughly for Nits
  4. Comb through tuft with lice comb to remove Nits
  5. Also remove any dead lice which are black

Environmental Clean-up

To control further spreading of lice, it’s important to clean up the environment directly exposed to the lice.

  1. Wash all bedding (including stuffed animals), recently worn clothing (including hats, coats, gloves, scarves), backpacks, towels and anything else possible exposed to the lice, in hot water (above 130 degrees F)
  2. Dry on high heat
  3. Vacuum and clean the mattress
  4. Bedding or stuffed animals that cannot be washed should be place in a plastic bag for two weeks in order to suffocate the lice
  5. Vacuum entire house and couches if possible
  6. Spray lice spray onto couches, your child’s car-seat(s) and other larger items unable to be washed in a washer
  7. Clean combs and brushes by soaking them in medicated shampoo for 10 minutes or by soaking them in water that is at least 130 degrees for 10 minutes

Cleaning should start immediately once head lice is discovered and subsequently whenever live lice is found on the head during daily inspections.

Follow-up and Prevention 

We continued using Lice Shield for a few weeks following the initial outbreak. We also put tea tree oil in his hair daily. Rumor has it, lice hate hair that has product or oils in it. So, style up that hair!

Make sure to check our child’s head for lice on a regular basis for several weeks following the initial outbreak. Check it periodically throughout the year as well.

And remember, don’t panic and good luck!

 

 

Valentine’s Crafts

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and there’s still time to make some crafts for the special Valentine’s in your life. All you need is a toddler, some art supplies and a bath ready for a messy kid following craft time.

Here are three easy toddler projects that are sure to make special Valentine’s gifts.

Cardboard Roll Heart

This is an easy project and only requires paint, rubber bands, paper and cardboard rolls. It’s the perfect project for kids of all ages.

Supplies:

  1. cardboard rolls (toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls)
  2. rubber bands
  3. acrylic craft paint
  4. paper or canvas

We chose paper for our project, but you can use a canvas instead if you’re planning on it being more of a permanent displayed piece.

Directions:

  1. Prepare cardboard rolls. Shape them into hearts by creasing the tops creating two bumps that form a heart. Squeeze the bottom to form the pointy area of the heart.
  2. Once you’re happy with how your hearts turned out, place a rubber band around the end of the tube to stabilize the shape.
  3. Pour desired colored paint onto a paper plate .
  4. Press hearts into paint and gently press cardboard heart onto paper.
  5. Use as many colors as you want! We used 5 colors because I had 5 cardboard rolls lying around

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Heart Shaped Ninja Turtles

Do you have a little one that is absolutely bonkers over Ninja Turtles? Here is an adorable project after their own heart. Using green heart shapes and minimal art supplies, you’d have the whole TMNT gang in a matter of minutes.

Supplies:

  1. Colored construction paper: green, orange, red, purple and blue
  2. 4 sets of Googly eyes
  3. Scissors
  4. Glue
  5. Sharpie

Directions:

  1. Cut four heart shapes out of green construction paper
  2. Cut the mask for the TMNT faces to stretch across the heart
  3. Glue onto heart near the top
  4. Cut two additional small rectangles to glue to the end to finalize the mask
  5. Glue onto the back of the heart ensuring each stick out on the right side
  6. Glue the googly eyes onto the mask
  7. Draw a small smile on each with your black sharpie

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Let us introduce you to Michelangelo in the orange mask, Leonardo in the blue mask, Raphael in the red mask and Donatello in the purple mask.

Keep the TMNT gang together or hand them out to a special Valentine or four.

 

Painted Valentine’s Heart

This next craft is probably the easiest craft to make with very minimal craft supplies.

Supplies:

  1. Canvas
  2. Acrylic paint
  3. Large heart cutout
  4. Tape

Directions:

  1. Place the large heart cutout on the canvas
  2. Secure it to canvas by placing tape underneath it
  3. Once secured, paint on and around the heart with desired paint colors
  4. Let paint dry completely before removing the cutout heart

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Hope you enjoy these crafts as much as we did! 10 days until Valentine’s Day! Better get started on these crafts!

 

Button and Confetti Snail Kids Craft

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For this kids craft, I used a unused blank CD for the snail’s back. Realistically, I probably could have found an old CD to use instead. Instead of using just buttons, we also added some confetti to add some extra color and dimension.

Materials Needed:

  • confetti
  • buttons
  • green construction paper
  • glue
  • pipe cleaner
  • black market/pen
  • googly eyes

Directions:

  1. Cut out the shape of the snail’s body from the green construction paper making sure it’s large enough to glue the CD to it.14101629_10100455962107189_514978486_n14101914_10100455962092219_437588669_n
  2. After covering the CD in glue, start adding the buttons and confetti. My toddler decided to just throw on the confetti.14112024_10100455962097209_1721846729_n14137846_10100455962077249_1442033837_n14138550_10100455962132139_1114331125_n14159232_10100455962137129_1224113842_n
  3. Once the snail is decorated, add two googly eyes and a smile with the black marker or pen.
  4. Don’t forget to add the pipe cleaner for the snail’s antennas!14169682_10100455962087229_1346950791_n.jpg

This craft is easy to make and the kids really enjoy it. If you use confetti, prepare for extra clean up as they stick to your little’s ones hands, and if your kid is anything like mine, they might also enjoy throwing the confetti onto the snail’s back causing it to fly everywhere.

This is a perfect rainy day project!

DIY Fire Breathing Dragons Craft

You all know how much I LOVE Pinterest, so when I stumbled across a craft that looked like it’d be fun to make, I naturally accepted the challenge to mirror it. Sometimes I nail it, and other times I fail, miserably.

My son loves dragons, so I thought this would be the PERFECT project for us to do together.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • toilet paper roll
  • green or red construction paper
  • 2 medium pom poms
  • 2 small pom poms
  • 2 medium eyes
  • red, orange and yellow tissue paper
  • glue stick, glue gun or glue dots

*Glue dots worked best for this activity

I am pretty good about collecting toilet paper and paper-towel rolls because I see them being transformed into a crafts right away.  It’s wise to get into the habit of collecting them, that way you’re not scrambling trying to find one when you find a craft you want to make.

Here’s how you make it:

  • cut the construction paper to the size of the toilet paper roll and glue it around the roll
  • glue the googly eyes onto the larger pom poms
  • glue the larger pom poms with the googly eyes onto the toilet paper roll on one end
  • glue the small pom poms onto the other end
  • cut 10-12 long strips of the red, orange and yellow tissue paper
  • use the glue to glue them on the inside of the toilet paper roll the whole way around
  • let dry for 20 minutes

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Now enjoy them!

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Seeing my boys having a blast with them was worth the time it took to make them. They might not be perfect, but we enjoyed making them and playing with them.

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DIY Rainbow Sensory Box

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Most parents steer clear of sensory boxes for the obvious reason of their children creating catastrophic messes once they’re made, but this one was well worth the potential mess.

Today, I want to share with you how to put together a rainbow sensory box for your child. This activity engages nearly every sense–obviously tasting isn’t one which we recommend. All sensory boxes typically revolve around touch and sound, but this particular sensory box also has vibrant colors and a unique small to activate those other sense.

Be prepared for some freedom as this sensory box will sure to entertain your children for an hour or two!

Ingredients:

  • 15 pounds of rice
  • white vinegar
  • food coloring
  • large plastic bags
  • 1 large container (make sure it’s deep and wide) and a lid to hold the rice

We chose to make red, yellow, blue, purple and green rice.

Directions:

  • Fill each bag with 2 1/2-3 cups of rice
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of food coloring into each bag for desired colors
  • Seal the bag, mix and shake until the food coloring is evenly distributed
  • Open the bags and let sit out overnight to air out overnight. This will reduce the smell from the strong smell of vinegar to subtle
  • Pour the rice into the large container

*Keep in mind the rice will get mixed together over time, so this sensory box won’t be ideal for those OCD people who prefer their colors to stay separate 🙂

Make sure to include lots of fun tools for scooping and pouring of the rice. When your kids are done playing with the sensory box, make sure to put the lid on to seal it.

Have fun!

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Easy Homemade Flubber Recipe

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If your kids are anything like my son, they love everything that can create a mess. My son loves dirt, sand, rocks, water and anything else that can cause him to get so messy that it requires a change of clothes. Ideally we should let him run around in his diaper. It certainly would help us cut back on the amount of laundry we do in a week. That said, I wanted to make something that was messy but that wouldn’t make a huge mess while being played with. I learned my lesson when I made my son homemade play-dough. I’m still finding little pieces smashed into his toys.

I did a bit of research and stumbled across a similar recipe for homemade flubber, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Not only was it super easy to make, but it turned out great! My son and husband both had a ball playing with it tonight.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 3/4 c. cold water
  • 1 cup of Elmer’s glue (2-4oz bottles)
  • green colored liquid food coloring
  • 1/2 c. hot water
  • 1 tsp. borax

 
Directions:

  • Mix cold water, glue and green food coloring together, stir and set aside
  • Mix hot water and borax in a separate bowl and mix until borax is completely dissolved
  • Slowly add both bowls together, mix well and pour excess water
  • POOF!

Like I said, this homemade flubber was a HUGE hit. My son loved it as did my husband. In fact, I’m not sure who loved it more? If you’re looking for something easy to make to keep your kids entertain without the mess, try this!

 

The Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

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If your child is anything like mine, being stuck in-doors on a Saturday when it’s 27 degrees out, is not their idea of fun. But, with the frigid cold and a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground, I think it’s best to keep an already sick little one indoors. That said, our Saturday will still be an adventure for this morning we decided to make homemade playdough. It was fun and super easy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbsp of oil (we recommend coconut oil, vegetable oil or even olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water

Directions:

  1. Pour 2 cups of flour into a bowl
  2. Mix in 1/2 cup of salt
  3. Mix in 2 tbsp of Tartar
  4. Add in 2 tbsp of desired oil- I used vegetable oil
  5. Pour in the boiling water, but be careful, this will make the dough very hot
  6. After the dough has cooled, separate the dough into equal parts and roll them into balls
  7. Poke a hole in the middle of one of the rolled balls and pour your desired color into the hole
  8. Knead the dough until the dye is thoroughly mixed.

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Now it’s time to let your child enjoy the playdough. Make sure to have some fun playdough gizmos and gadgets for your child to use when playing.

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Don’t be afraid of having your child help prepare the playdough. My son loves to help out whenever a craft is being made.

For storage, simply put the playdough into a Tupperware container to prevent it from hardening.

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DIY: Paw Patrol Birthday Party

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[Sign compliments of Etsy]

For my son’s second birthday, it was a no-brainer that the theme for his party would be Paw Patrol. He is literally obsessed with the popular Nickelodeon cartoon to the extent that we have to record the new episodes only to watch them later in the day.

It’s honestly a really great educational show, and he has learned a lot from watching it.

When I set out to plan his party, I wanted it to be as creative as possible. The food was themed after it and the decorations were matched. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!

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Easter Potato Stamping Craft for Kids

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It was a beautiful February day here in Michigan today. Nothing but sunny skies and temps reaching the mid-40s, so that got me motivated to start some Easter crafts today with my son! Thank you, Pinterest, for the inspiration.

Here what you will need:

  • a few small potatoes
  • a knife to cut out some designs into the potatoes
  • a few paint colors
  • craft paint paper
  • lots of paper towel!–important if you have a messy toddler like I do!

Directions:

  • grab the small potatoes and cut them in half (adults only, obviously)
  • cut some designs into the potatoes
  • select your desired colors and paint the potatoes
  • press the potatoes firmly onto the craft paper
  • pull the potatoes straight up to reveal your egg!
  • Ta-da!

This craft was super easy, and my son enjoyed painting the eggs and then smashing them onto the paper. Keep in mind he is nearly two, so his craftiness is a work in progress! Start ’em young, right?!

Check out some of our pictures!

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What are some of your favorite Easter crafts with your kids?!?