Tag Archives: outdoors

Simple summer fun!

Now that burnout is an official medical diagnosis, I think it’s a good time to bring some simplicity back into our lives this summer.

There is always the temptation of the zillion great summer camp options available. I’ll admit I signed up for a week long one, one for each of my kids with the school they will be attending in the fall. The intention was to practice getting used to that school so drop off in the fall would be a breeze for both kid and me… mostly me.

This simple summer phenomena is not genius. It was how I was raised and probably how most of you and your parents were raised. With how complicated life seems to be today, here is what we will be doing to bring simplicity back. Beware, your kids may be bored at times, but I think that’s good! That’s when creativity is born!

  1. Set up a safety town outside in the driveway. Grandma sent kid size street signs that are easy to set up and take down.
  2. Host a lemonade stand and have your child make flyers to drop off at the neighbor’s house (this is the entrepreneur in me).
  3. Swim, swim, swim! At home or a local pool (invite friends over, play pool games, etc.).
  4. Play in the back yard. Sit toys or objects out and let the kids use their imagination to build and play.
  5. Set up different areas in the house with different activities (e.g., front yard is sidewalk chalk, media room is trains, office is reading).
  6. Go on a walk.
  7. Go to a splash pad.
  8. Pick vegetables at your garden or a local garden.
  9. Water plants and teach your child about taking care of the environment.
  10. Help clean up and make it a game.
  11. Help mom cook! Teach your child about measuring cups, measuring spoons and practice the names of the ingredients.
  12. Visit Grandma and Grandpa for bonding time.
  13. Take a nap or have downtime/rest.

Written by our Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell

Family Fun Grows in the Garden

Gardening is an activity that families can enjoy doing together. It serves as a good way to bond, exercise, and learn about different kinds of plants. Not only that, it’s increasingly important to get kids to experience as much of the outdoors as they can, and one fantastic way to do that is to get them interested in gardening. Introducing them to growing their own flowers, herbs, and vegetables can help instill curiosity, empathy, and a nurturing instinct that is essential for a person to have.

However, it is difficult to find the time or the space to garden in an urban environment. The common lack of a garden, for starters, poses a basic problem that can seem hard to get around for this particular outdoor activity. However, there are plenty of ways to still get children interested in growing plants!

A great place to start is a potted plant inside the apartment. This can be an herb or a small flowering plant, or even sprouts! A child’s wonder at seeing their plant grow isn’t affected by the size of the plant or the scale of their gardens, but by the mere fact that they made this plant grow and change. Herbs and sprouts make wonderful potted plants, because they tend to be fast-growing and easy to take care of.

The natural progression from this may seem to be hoarding a ton of potted plants, but it doesn’t have to be. Try finding a community garden in the area! These are becoming popular in urban spaces, and can be a great way to expand your “garden”. It could even be the beginning of your child’s very own vegetable patch!

Personal Creations has put together a detailed guide that features what you can (and should) plant, and what to avoid when gardening with children. It even includes a list of kids’ gardening tools, and how to go about maintaining your garden. So grab those gloves, get a watering can, and get started!
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Special thanks to Katie Santos and Personal Creations for writing and partnering with us for this post!

Training Thursday Vol. 6 – Prepping for Outside

Welcome to volume six of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.
This week we are featuring a training video on how to prep children for the outdoors.
As it gets warmer outside, you’ll need to prepare for outside with the kids!
1. Pack your diaper bag/tote with essentials.
Water bottle or sippy cup, food/snacks, blanket to sit on, bib, sunscreen, wipes/sanitizer, hat for the child(ren), diapers, extra pair of clothes in case of blow-outs/spills.
2. Keep the kids in the shade as much as you can.
This is the best way to avoid sunburn, rashes, or the constant reapplication of sunscreen.
3. Keep yourself hydrated. 
It is important to take care of yourself, as you want to be healthy caring for kids.
4. Keep children away from pools, lakes, or any body of water.
If you are going swimming, make sure the child has the proper swim gear on and sunscreen. Never leave a child near water alone, even if the water is a few inches deep.
5. Be careful with ticks if you go hiking, walk through the woods, or go to the park.
Lyme disease is becoming more prevalent on the east coast. Ticks, which case Lyme disease are very small, and hard to see. Read more here.
Want more tips? Read here for summer safety tips from Parents Magazine.
These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social workers.
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Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.