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Archive for September, 2010


For many adults exercise is a chore, but to most kids it is second nature, and more importantly – fun! Almost everyday that I pick my daughter up from preschool, she wants us to run around the empty parking lot, climb up the concrete block wall, and run along the top of it – over and over, back and forth. She acts as my personal trainer pushing me harder than I would ever push myself. If it’s not the parking lot, then it’s to the park to play tag or run up and down the play structure. You may think that kids are just playing around, but I realized in actuality, kids are setting the groundwork to be more focused and smart in the future.

Recent studies show that physically fit children perform better on academic tests, as well as have faster reaction times (mentally) than sedentary children. Does exercise make kids smarter? A Columbia study suggests that when you exercise, a high volume of blood flows to the hippocampus (an area of the brain associated with memory), and may help to produce fresh neurons. A separate study showed that active children have a “significantly larger basal ganglia, a key part of the brain that aids in maintaining attention span and ‘executive control,’ or the ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply,” according to the New York Times.

In 2008, a primary school had to cut back on academic instructional classes in order to make more time for physical play. A study was done (Trudeau and Shephard) on the effects of exercise and a child’s academia; and though you might expect a child’s academic performance to suffer if they are not spending more time in the classroom, studies found that kids either maintain or improve their academic performance. So why are schools cutting sports and Physical Education classes?

Do these studies prove that exercise makes kids smarter – not necessarily? It is possible that smarter kids are more likely to seek out physical activity. Either way we know that exercise is good for the body and is probably beneficial for the brain.  We have nothing to lose by encouraging kids to exercise. FYI – You might want to follow in your child’s footsteps because the same is true for exercise in adults!

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Mommy, do you like my artwork?

All in a span of a week, I found myself wanting to pull my hair out because:

  • Paulo drew all over the walls and doors in the house.
  • Paulo broke my 15-year old bongo drum by hitting it so powerfully with a drumstick.
  • Paulo scratched up our leather seat when he discovered that he can “draw” with his fingernails.
  • Paulo broke a lamp because he thought running on the couch was so much fun until he dove into the end table.

Arrrgghhhhh! I tell people this story and they laugh. “Of course, he’s a boy!” My son is really testing my parenting skills, but I can’t be mad. How can I be mad and try to discipline him when I’ve got big ol’ puppy dog eyes looking up at me with such pride? All I can do is pick him up and give him a hug. Oh, boy! Wonder what’s in store for me next week.

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It was Family Movie Night and we were watching “Evan Almighty” on TV. The exciting part of the movie came on. The dam broke and the big flood came and swept the ark away. The room was silent as we sat engrossed in the thrilling scene, then we heard a little voice…

Uh-oh!

–Paulo, 17 months

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

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Kids often have difficulty staying “on task” when it comes to their homework or other not-so-fun activities. However, time management is a key lesson and relates to everything they do in life.

As in adult life, kids work best when they know what is expected of them. Get them into a routine (which takes 14-21 days to create) of starting their homework, practice, or chores immediately after school or at least a set time that makes sense. To help them make the most of their time be sure they have a clean, organized, well lit space to work in with no distractions from their objective.

Depending on your child’s age, amount of homework or responsibilities there are a variety of methods you can use to keep them on task. An egg timer works well for small assignments. If it is larger, break it down into more manageable chunks – this can also help them organize their thoughts. As they see themselves completing each part they will know the progress they are making and it may seem less daunting. 

One of our on staff moms finds the Time Tracker to be a fun and helpful tool. “You set the amount of time you think your student should take to complete a task and it counts down.  There are a variety of sounds/voices that you can set to go off when time is almost up, as well as when the time is completed.  There are also green/yellow/red lights to give a visual cue on the time left.  The idea is that hopefully kids will want to “race” and beat the clock. It’s kind of pricey, but it helps to relieve parents from having to keep nagging and puts the responsibility on the kids!”

When your child completes their tasks in a timely manner reward them with something age appropriate. It doesn’t have to be money – it could be a sticker, a treat, some special time with mom or dad, or playing a video game. It must be something your child values. Once these time management habits are established you can spend less time managing your child and more time enjoying them.

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We all have heard the news that actress Penelope Cruz is sporting a baby bump and is 4½-months pregnant. We are excited for her baby on the way and picked out a boy and girl outfit from the new rabbitmoon online boutique that launched today. We think these would be adorable on her soon to be baby!

Lotus – Long Sleeve Footed Coverall
This simple and soft long sleeve French pink lotus patterned coverall features puff sleeves with gathered wrist detail, delicate wrap styling dark pink crochet neckline, and contrast striped footies. Back and underneath diaper snaps for easy dressing.

Guitar – Long Sleeve Cargo Pocket Coverall
This modern long sleeve navy and blue striped coverall features contrast navy cargo side snap pockets and front panel with delicate embroidered guitar insignia. Distinguished with blue ribbed neckline made from soft cotton for absolute comfort. Front buttons and underneath diaper snaps for easy dressing.

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Today Le Top’s sister brand, rabbitmoon, launched its online boutique! You can now buy a wide range of rabbitmoon children’s clothing directly through the rabbitmoon Online Boutique. To browse, choose from the options at the top of each page: Girl, Boy, or Gifts. We encourage you to sign up for our Rabbit News to find out about things we’re over the moon about, including new items for sale on the rabbitmoon site.

Rabbitmoon’s unique and modern kids’ clothing integrates comfort and ease with a simple blend of innovation and style. It is a collection of easy-to-match separates! See images below of the new home page and a couple of the images from the site!

 

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Chef Jamie Oliver, wife Jools and their children welcomed baby boy Buddy Bear Maurice to their beautiful family on Wednesday evening.

“Buddy Oliver & Co leaving together … the family’s really happy to be home, settling in, thanks for all the loverly comments guys,” Oliver, 35, writes.

Jamie also has three girls – Daisy Boo Pamela, 7, Poppy Honey Rosie, 8½, and Petal Blossom Rainbow, 17 months.

Congratulations! We think the Plane Ride overall and shirt from Le Top baby would look adorable on your new boy!

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