Summer Fun: Free and Fabulous Activities!

Posted 06-1-2010 at 03:18 PM by MyFrugalFunLife

School is almost out and it’s the time when moms start to panic-what on earth do we do during the long summer months to keep our kids busy but not break the bank? I did some research and discovered many family-friendly activities that are absolutely free!

Playgrounds: Going to the local park is on everyone’s activity list but how many of us get in the rut of going to the same one every time? I did a little research and found out that there are 10 playgrounds within driving distance of my house! And that’s not including all of the school playgrounds that will be available during the summer months.
We’re going to visit each one this summer and they will provide hours of free entertainment! And if you bring a picnic lunch with you it adds another dimension of fun :)

Nature Centers: Many cities have nature centers. Recently I took my kids to our local one and we spent two hours walking on trails, looking at animals that are native to our area, and discovering new things about nature. There’s lots of learning opportunities at these centers and most of them are free of charge.

Farmers Markets: These are a great way to work on skills like colors, shapes, and identification of new items your child may not have been exposed to yet. Some even offer free music and kid friendly activities!

Splash Parks: While some of these neat play areas charge admission, many of them are free to the public! A great activity for hot summer days and are appropriate for little ones who don’t know how to swim yet :)

City Activities: Parades, festivals, fireworks, and movie nights are just some of the things cities offer. Usually they are free and are great summer fun resources.

Library programs: Besides the traditional summer reading program many libraries now offer free events for children. Our local branch has a zoo day, a bubble mania day, movie nights, craft days and many more activities that kids can do-all for free!

Bowling: Last year I found out about this great program that offers free bowling for kids! Your kids get 2 free games each day for the summer months and it’s a great activity for rainy days! Kids Bowl Free

Zoos: Most zoo’s charge admission but many of them offer special free days during the summer! Last year we went to one of these and not only was the admission free but they also had free ice cream and special exhibits running!

By spending a little time doing some research you can find lots of great family activities to keep your children busy this summer-and free makes them so much better!

How to get started: Start looking online.  Check out your city and county websites for park and nature center locations, as well as city planned activities.  Your library’s website will have a calendar of events posted-or stop in and ask the librarian what activities they’ll be offering this summer.     Do an online search for local farmers markets or look in the phone book-many cities have several of these markets running.

(picture of my kids ‘hunting’ for squirrels at our nature center)

Diaper Swapers

The Beauty of Breastfeeding

Posted 06-1-2010 at 02:45 PM by Faiths13

Breastfeeding has numerous advantages and is definitely the best choice for your beautiful newborn baby. Your breast milk will provide the perfect nutrients that are made just for your baby.

Breast milk has even been shown to help protect babies from illness. There have been several studies that have shown that breastfed infants have lower rates of ear infections, rashes, diarrhea, allergies, hospital admissions and other medical problems than infants that have been given formula.

As you may know, infant formula is made from cow’s milk, but you may not realize that formula does not contain the type of protein that is made in human milk, nor does it contain all of the nutrients that your baby needs. Formula lacks fatty acids for brain development, amino acids for central nervous system development, and the correct proportions of calcium and iron. Not to mention that many babies have trouble digesting the protein found in formula. And these are only a few of the many missing ingredients that aren’t found in formula, but are found in your breast milk.

One of the ways breastfeeding helps your child is that your antibodies are transferred from mother to baby. These antibodies help to protect your infant from diseases such as asthma & allergy, diabetes, childhood cancer, ear infections, urinary infections, sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory disease, and more. Almost 80% of the cells found in human milk protect against viruses, bacteria and fungi.

Breastfeeding also helps to promote a sense of security and a close bond with the mother. Unlike bottle feeding, a nursing mother is required to spend a great deal of time cuddling and holding her baby over the course of the day. Breastfeeding creates an attachment between mother and child that begins at birth.

Not to mention that breastfeeding can save you thousands of dollars on formula. When your baby is crying and needs to be fed, you will never have to worry about making a bottle, or even running to the store if your out. Breast milk is always ready and at your disposal. And every time you breast feed you are using up calories making it easier to lose weight postpartum.

When you make the decision to nurse your baby, there are a few things you should be aware of. Even though breastfeeding is indeed the most natural choice, it doesn’t always come naturally. You may experience some difficulties in the beginning, such as sore or cracked nipples, engorement, low milk supply or poor latch from your baby. Please don’t be discouraged. There are many wonderful resources out there, such as La Leche League, where you can find help with all these problems and more. And remember, with patience and practice, things will get better and you will have a deep connection with your breastfed baby.

After you give birth, it is best to place your newborn to your breast as soon as possible. Although you won’t be producing milk yet, you will be producing a wonderful substitute called colostrum. Colustrum otherwise know as “mother’s gold”, is high in protein, carbohydrates, and antibodies and is perfect for the first few days of your infants life. A newborn babe should be fed every 1 – 2 hours for the first few months, or you may even want to feed them “on demand” until they settle into more of a schedule on their own.

Whether you are a new parent, or an experienced parent, you will want to give your baby the very best. Breastmilk is one of the best ways you can give to your new child the very best. It is made just for your baby and will make give her a head start on a healthy and happy life.