INGREDIENTS: 3/4 cup Peanut Butter 1/2 cup Honey 3 cup CHeerios
DIRECTIONS: Line 8×8″ pan with aluminum foil. Set aside. Cook peanut butter and honey over medium heat stirring constantly until completely melted and blended. Remove from heat and stir in cereal. Mix until evenly coated. PLace mixture in prepared pan and press in place. Refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting into bars. Store any remaining in refrigerator.
Date nights are vital, offering a chance to strengthen your bond, reconnect and recharge outside of family responsibilities. It’s an essential investment in both your relationship and overall family well-being.
Raking leaves is a terrific way to get in some heavy muscle work while having fun.
Play Hide and Seek
Use that pile of leaves you just made to hide objects. Take everyday household items and stash them in the pile. Your child will have a ball trying to find them in the mix. If your kids are older, make the game a little harder by having them find the objects with their eyes closed.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Let your little ones explore the world outside. They’ll have fun searching for small items to pick up while working on their grip strength.
Fall Sensory Bin
Create a Fall Sensory Bin filled with leaves, acorns and apples are the perfect way to explore and learn about textures, sounds, smells and sights all while practicing their fine motor skills!
Jump into Leaves
Nature provides us with our own “ball pit” so let’s take advantage! Jump into a pile of leaves! Throw them up in the air and let the sensation of the leaves envelope your child
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + freezing. YIELD: 8 pops
3/4 cup strawberry yogurt
2 cups Fruity Pebbles cereal
4 medium bananas, peeled and cut crosswise in half
8 wooden pop sticks
1. Place yogurt and cereal in separate shallow bowls. Insert pop sticks through cut side of bananas. Dip bananas in yogurt, then roll in cereal to coat. Transfer to waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
2. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer to airtight freezer containers; seal containers and return pops to freezer.
Guac Crocs and Veggies
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min. YIELD: 2 cups dip
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 large ripe avocados
Optional decorations: Red and yellow pepper pieces, radishes, ripe olives and sliced miniature cucumbers
Assorted fresh vegetables
1. For dip, place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Cut avocados lengthwise in half around the seed; remove seeds. Reserving skins, carefully scoop out avocado and add to bean mixture; process until blended.
2. For crocodile heads, fill avocado skins with dip. If desired, add pepper pieces for teeth, radish and olive slices for eyes, olives for noses, and cucumbers and peppers for bodies. Serve with assorted vegetables.
Baked Banana Boats
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min. YIELD: 4 servings.
Kids can make their own baked banana boats with custom toppings using different berries and honey or peanut butter instead of chocolate chips. These baked bananas are also good topped with crushed graham crackers or granola—whatever your family likes. —Rebekah Viers, Taylors, South Carolina
4 medium bananas, unpeeled
1/2 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup granola without raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
4 teaspoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1. Cut each banana lengthwise about 1/2 in. deep, leaving 1/2 in. uncut at both ends. Place each banana on a 12-in. square of foil; crimp and shape foil around bananas so they sit flat. Gently pull each banana peel open, forming a pocket. Fill pockets with pineapple, granola, pecans and chocolate chips.
2. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until chips are softened.
What do screens emit? Blue light. What does melatonin hate? Blue light. No melatonin, no sleep. It’s best to avoid screens for 1-2 hours before bed. Screen use during that time can cause delays of an hour or more in falling asleep. Long-term this can cause many mental and physical health issues. Researchers have also found that the longer a young person spent looking at an electronic screen before going to bed, the worse quality sleep they were likely to have during the night. If removing screens feels like an impossibility, you can buy orange-ish filters for them which helps to reduce the effect. We know it’s tricky, but finding alternatives to screen time and keeping screens out of your child’s bedroom will be seriously worth it in the long-run.
2. Bathe Them To Sleep
Taking a warm bath can help your kids fall asleep. That’s warm not hot. This is important. Our bodies have natural temperature rhythms. One of our body’s signals for ‘sleepy time’ is a drop in body temperature. It happens naturally and sparks an increase in melatonin.
Taking a warm bath one to two hours before sleep will artificially raise our body temperature, which will then drop slowly when we get out of the tub into a cooler environment. Noticed those post-bathtime yawns? That’s your body temperature drop signaling to your brain that it’s time to send us to sleep. But, if the bath is too hot, we stay hot and bothered for longer and the technique isn’t as effective.
3. Story Time
If you don’t already have books into your nightly routine, try adding it in right away! Whether it’s independent reading or reading aloud as a family, reading at night is a habit you want to start early. This is something they can continue throughout their lives.
4. Therapeutic Weighted Blankets
Therapeutic weighted blankets, wraps and lap pads benefit children with special needs, autism, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, hyperactivity and more. These products provide gentle pressure that hug the body to produce a calming and relaxing effect.
The proprioceptive input on the body gives the child the input they crave to relieve stress, focus attention at school and obtain the sleep they desperately need. Try these simple sensory motor solutions to make an enormous difference in their daily life.
5. Reduce the Focus on Sleep:
Kids can have trouble shutting their brains off for the night. So, instead of increasing that anxiety by insisting that it’s time to go to bed (“now!”), consider focusing more on relaxation and keeping your child calm.
Try teaching your child deep breathing techniques and create a routine to calm their body.
Calming Visual Input
Soft light – Think a night light.
Roll on Essential Oils – Lavender and Vanilla are relaxing scents for a lot of people, but this is a blend of oils specially designed to promote sleep. The roll-on version is super easy to use with kids. Simply swipe a little on their wrists, back of their neck, or even on their chest.
Favorite stuffed toy – Some kids love to run soft textures through their fingers or squeeze while trying to fall asleep