• How Childhood Exercise Can Lead to a Healthier Life as an Adult

    Making sure children get enough exercise can be a bit of a challenge. As recess time is cut from school days, and screens dominate the cultural landscape, getting children moving is something that concerns most parents, and with good reason. Childhood exercise is not just important for children’s health, it also leads to a healthier life once those children are adults.

    Exercise is an important factor in child development. When kids stay active, it strengthens their bones and muscles and helps them maintain a healthy weight. Beyond that, it can boost important skills like problem solving and concentration, leading to better academic performance.

    The benefits of exercise extend far beyond childhood, though. As you might expect, children who get in the habit of exercising when they’re young are more likely to be physically active when they’re adults, because they have happy memories of exercise. What you might not know is that physical activity during childhood actually programs the body to be healthier in adulthood. Regular exercise helps kids grow into healthy adults, reducing their risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and obesity. When kids are physically active it actually reprograms their genes, so that even if they become sedentary in later life, they’ll still benefit from their earlier exercise habits.

    What’s more, childhood exercise benefits the adult brain. Researchers in Denmark and Sweden have found a link between childhood exercise and success later in life. Active kids who have good cardiovascular fitness tend to have higher cognition in middle age. That’s because regular exercise, especially exercise that happens before puberty hits, has a major impact on the developing brain. In fact, children who exercise grow into adults with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Encouraging your children to exercise doesn’t just benefit them in the short run, but helps them to live happier, healthier, more successful lives.

    If you’re looking a place that makes exercise fun for children, it’s time to take a closer look at BounceU. At BounceU, we’ve created not just the best private party place in the universe, but also a place where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Why an ‘Experience’ Is A Better Birthday Gift than A Toy

    Choosing a gift for a child can be fun while at the same time daunting. It’s exciting and rewarding to give children gifts that make their eyes light up, but on the other hand, if you’ve ever helped a child clean his or her bedroom, you know that most kids have so many toys and possessions that it’s hard to even remember who gave them which things. This year, why not give the kids in your life experiences instead of toys?

    • Giving an experience gives you the opportunity to bond with the child. You can give a child an outing with you, and that will allow you to create memories together. Life is busy, and sometimes we get so caught up in our own hectic schedules that it’s easy to forget that one of the most valuable things we can give another person is our time.
    • Sometimes experience gifts are treats for the parents, too. Maybe you can’t be with the child yourself to experience the gift you’ve given. It’s ok to give passes to the zoo, movie tickets, or a gift card to a favorite restaurant, knowing full well the child will be going with his or her parents instead. In fact, that kind of gift is a nice gesture, especially if it’s something you know the family wouldn’t normally splurge on but would enjoy.
    • Experiences that have meaning to you are worth sharing. What are your favorite childhood memories? Some of the places and things you experienced as a child are easy to share with the children you love. Give the gift of a trip to your all-time favorite park or ice cream shop, or out to a ballgame to watch your favorite team, and those experiences you treasure become memories you share with that child.
    • Experience gifts provide lasting memories. With a few notable exceptions, the novelty of toys wears off pretty quickly. Experiences, however, leave a lasting imprint on a child. In fact, quality time spent with a special adult can create memories that last a lifetime.
    • Some experiences are educational. Opportunities to explore the world around them are important in child development. While some outings may be just for fun, others can broaden a child’s horizons, introduce them to new concepts, and teach them interesting facts. When you’re choosing an experience gift, think about museums, nature centers, libraries, and other places that can be educational for children.
    • An experience gift doesn’t have to be an outing. A butterfly kit, a personalized book, or a photo album celebrating memories you’ve already made are examples of gifts that don’t equate to clutter on the playroom floor, but can be meaningful to the child.
    • You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a meaningful experience. Every experience doesn’t have to be tickets to a show or a day at a theme park. You could visit a library together, spend the day at the beach, have a contest to see who can swing highest at the local park, or take a hike together. Use your imagination, and you can find plenty of things to do with

    When you’re considering experience gifts for the kids in your life, take a look at BounceU. At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’re throwing a party for your child or want to gift a child you know with some time at an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Throw A Birthday Party Your Kids Will Love (On A Budget)

    When it’s time to throw a birthday party for your child, you want it to be fun and memorable. As years go by, though, it can get harder to find new ways to throw a party your kids will love without breaking the bank. Maybe they want to invite the whole class, or maybe you’ve gone over the top in previous years, and now you feel like anything short of a petting zoo and a hot air balloon will fail to impress. It might be time to take it down a notch. You can still throw a birthday party your kids will love without breaking the bank.

    • Limit the guest list. It’s fun to invite the entire class once in a while, but it’s far more cost effective to set some limits. Additionally, when there are just a few kids at the party, it’s easier for your child to play host while still having fun. A good rule of thumb is to invite as many kids as your child has years of age. Explaining the rule makes it easy to set the limits: when the child turns five, he can invite five friends. Next year, he can choose six!
    • Choose your time wisely. Set the time for the birthday party between meals, and you can save money by only serving snacks. 10 a.m. to noon might be great for little kids, and 2-5 p.m. is a popular choice.
    • Go old school. Have the party at a park or in your own back yard, with balloons, traditional party games, and homemade cake. A party doesn’t have to be an elaborate theme event to be fun for kids. Make a playlist and have a dance party, play musical chairs, or go outside and play tag and red rover. The games and activities from your childhood might be a novelty to the kids at the party, which makes it even more fun.
    • Focus on one aspect. Does your child love outdoor games? Plan several for the party, and make that the focal point. Are you raising a foodie? Let the food take center stage, or maybe incorporate food into the party activities, perhaps letting kids make their own pizzas or compete to see who can create the best cupcakes. Rather than going overboard on every aspect of the party, identify what’s important to your child and focus on that.
    • Make the most of your resources. Make your own cake, or enlist the help of a friend who loves to bake. Decorate with things you already have, reusing decorations from another party and recruiting toys to help bolster a theme. Send online invitations instead of paper, and entertain the kids yourself instead of hiring someone to do it.
    • Consider a destination party. On the surface, hitting a party venue might seem like an expensive, though memorable, choice. If you think about it, though, choosing the right venue will mean the kids are too engaged in activities to care about food, which means you can get away with a simple cake and some juice boxes rather than setting out an elaborate spread. What’s more, you won’t have to purchase decorations, you won’t have to clean up after the party, and your kids will always remember the fun time they had with their friends.

    If you’re looking for the most fun place to hold your child’s birthday party, it’s time to take a closer look at BounceU. At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Fun Ideas for Goody Bag Snacks

    Ah, the goody bag! A children’s birthday party item that seems inescapable, the goody bag is problematic for a few reasons. First, while we appreciate the thought behind providing each child with a favor at the end of the party, few parents are enthusiastic about a little bag full of plastic trinkets which will soon become clutter. Further, when the children have already ingested enough sugar at the party to keep them bouncing off the walls for hours, there are few things less appealing than a bag full of candy. What are the party-hosting parents to do? If you really want to send kids home with something fun and memorable, we have some great ideas for goody bag snacks.

    • Consider one show-stopping treat. Rather than filling a bag with odds and ends, choose a container that fits your party’s theme (popcorn box for a movie party, sand pail for a beach-themed party, and so on) and put in something memorable. It could be a cookie or cake pop made to match the party’s theme, an elaborately decorated cupcake, or it might be a special treat the kids made for themselves at the party like these cute marshmallow pops. You can include a corresponding prize or two in the bag, as long as you go minimal enough to let your special item shine.
    • Sometimes the wrapping is what makes the treat special. Consider the gift bags from this Minecraft-themed party. Lunch sacks decorated with Minecraft designs were filled with Minecraft treats that were actually simple, every day children’s snacks. A juice box was decorated to look like an Enderman, Twizzlers became a stick of TNT, and the mom included a few small items like a pack of crayons and some Minecraft coloring sheets to round out the goody bag. Think creatively about your theme, and you’re sure to find some great ideas of your own.
    • Simple snacks can make goody bags fun. Items that are found in most children’s diets can also make their way into goody bags, especially when you find a way to dress them up or make them work with a theme. Having a Seuss party? Put some colorful goldfish crackers into a baggie and label it “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.” Popcorn and pretzels are versatile snacks that can go with any theme if you label them creatively, and mandarin oranges are always a hit.

    Now that you’ve got the goody bags settled, it’s time to pick a location for your party! If you’re looking for the most fun place to hold your child’s birthday party, it’s time to take a closer look at BounceU. At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Birthday Party Themes for Children

    Are you trying to plan the perfect party for your child? Central to a great party is a great theme, so have you got any ideas? Sit down with the birthday kid for a brainstorming session, and you’re sure to come up with some great birthday party themes. We’ll get you started with some thoughts about choosing the perfect theme.

    • Think about characters your kid loves. Do you have a fairy princess lover or a child who is really into superheroes? Planning a party around popular characters is easy and just requires a trip to the local party shop. It might not be the way you want to go if you’re trying to do something unique, but you can make it your own if you think of unique ways to execute it.
    • Don’t overlook literature. Is your child a big reader? Look to the library for inspiration! What’s more fun than a Dr. Seuss bash or an Alice in Wonderland mad tea party? Your child’s favorite books can inform your decisions on décor, food, and activities, whether you’re choosing the bright colors and shapes favored by Eric Carle, arranging some monkey business a la Curious George, organizing things in two straight lines for a Madeleine party, or planning a quaint yet dramatic Anne of Green Gables tea party.
    • Let the activity inform the theme. It’s fun to build a party theme around something the kids will enjoy doing, like having a cupcake making competition, creating artwork or jewelry, or doing experiments that would make a mad scientist proud.
    • Recognize your limitations. You might want to do a luau, but if you’re looking in December those party supplies might be hard to find. If you’re trying to plan a Victorian-era tea party, the costuming may be too elaborate to manage. While you’re talking themes, make sure both you and your child are looking at the possibilities realistically.
    • Choose a theme that gets kids moving. You can choose a sports theme, or set up a series of challenges in which kids can compete during the party. A capture the flag party can make for a fun day, or you can plan a picnic and play time at a local park. A roller skating party can also be fun, and so can a pool party in the summer.

    If you’re looking for a place to have a party that’s active and fun, consider having your party at BounceU! At BounceU, we love kids. That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Delicious Finger Foods For Toddlers AND Adults

    When you’re throwing a party that involves toddlers, you know it’s important to have food they can grab and go. Toddlers are always on the move, and getting them to sit still for more than a minute is challenging, especially when a party is going on around them. This is no big deal, though, because there’s nothing little kids love more than little snacks they can eat straight out of their hands. The biggest hurdle? Toddlers come to parties accompanied by parents, who might also want to nosh while they’re at your soiree. You could buy a couple of pizzas and call it a day, but if you want a menu that’s a little more interesting, we have some suggestions.

    • Quesadillas are a flexible snack. Plain cheese quesadillas are always a hit, but you can make them however you want, adding beans, chicken, ham, or bacon, or vegetables like mushrooms or spinach. Quesadillas are easy, too, and can be whipped up in a skillet just by cooking the fillings between two tortillas. Cut the finished product into wedges, and you’ve got a finger food that kids and adults will enjoy.
    • Sliders are a perennial favorite. These kid-sized sammies are easy to eat, and you can fill those little buns with whatever you’d like. Check out this list of kid-friendly sliders for inspiration.
    • Muffins can be made into more than sweet treats. When you think of muffins, you probably think of ingredients like blueberries, poppy seeds, or chocolate chips. Muffins can be savory, too, though, and snacks like these meatloaf muffins, corn dog muffins, and mac and cheese muffins are a big hit with the smaller set.
    • Pinwheels are perfect for parties. There are two basic ways to go with pinwheels: you can put your fillings into a tortilla, roll it up and slice it, or spread the ingredients onto crescent roll dough, roll it up, slice and bake. You really can’t go wrong, though, they’re fun to look at and fun to eat.
    • Veggie fritters make vegetables You can vary the vegetables you use, and these crispy treats will bring even the pickiest eater to the table.
    • Raw can be remarkable. Sometimes, the simplest option is the best, and that’s a good thing to remember about party food for kids. Raw vegetables like carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes can be dipped in ranch dressing for extra flavor, and kids love to grab sliced fruit when they want something to munch and crunch. Want to do something a little bit extra? Whip together a jar of marshmallow fluff and a block of cream cheese and you’ve got a fruit dip that will get rave reviews from guests of all ages.

    You’ve got your menu nailed down, but if you want a place where your party can really take off, consider BounceU! At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Exercise Tips For Kids Of All Ages

    For most parents, helping kids to get enough exercise is a big concern. With recess times being cut in school, and screen time becoming more and more prevalent, it can be challenging to make sure your children remain physically active. Fortunately, no matter the age, you can find ways to make exercise a fun family affair.

    • Little ones love to play. If you have a toddler or preschooler, it’s easy to create opportunities to exercise. Play Ring Around the Rosie or musical chairs, or go out in the yard and toss a beach ball back and forth. Make an obstacle course in your house or yard, or take a walk around your neighborhood together. Go to the playground, or take a class with other kids. Take these ideas and run with them, finding new and creative ways to get your little one moving. Bonus: kids who play hard, nap hard!
    • Elementary-aged kids will usually be happy just to be doing something with you. Mom and dad loom large for young kids, so it’s easy to get them on board with exercising together. Play hopscotch or challenge each other to see who can do the most jumping jacks. Teach your kid how to do somersaults, cartwheels, and handstands, or turn on some music and have a dance party. Take a bike ride or a walk, or toss around a ball or Frisbee. This age is also a great time to start thinking about organized activities, whether dance, gymnastics, horseback riding, martial arts, or team sports. Find an active pursuit that resonates with your child, and you may be gifting them with a hobby that will help them stay healthy for many years.
    • Big kids can be more challenging. Life gets hectic as kids become tweens, and older kids have tons to do between school and extracurricular activities. It’s important for them to get exercise every day, and you can encourage this by planning fun family activities. Take a yoga class together, or learn a new dance. Work together in the yard, or take the dog for a walk. Plan weekend outings that incorporate activity, like skating or hiking, and bring along their friends, to make your adventures even more appealing.

    If you’re looking for a great option for active fun, it’s time to check out BounceU! You may already know that we’re a premier party destination for kids, but did you know that you can bring the kids to play without an occasion by visiting us during an “Open Bounce”? Kids as young as 18 months love to play at BounceU, and it’s a wonderful way to get their bodies moving. For more information, feel free to call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to check out our Open Bounce calendar and see what makes BounceU so special.

  • How To Use Your Child’s Birthday Party As A Teaching Tool For Good Manners

    Teaching children good manners is important because it will help them get along with people throughout their lives. As parents, it’s smart to use every opportunity available to help our children develop the kind of manners that will help them be likable and successful. One great example of a fun teaching tool, whether it’s your child’s party or the party of a friend or family member.

    If the birthday party is for your child, make sure to discuss what makes a good host.

    • Take care with the invitations. Plan the guest list with your child, talking about being mindful of other people’s feelings. Teach your child not to talk about the party in front of someone not invited, and if you’re not inviting the whole class, don’t hand out invitations at school. You can avoid the issue of having your child hand out invitations by inviting people online, but involve your child in the process. You should make sure you’re using good manners too: send the email invitations using BCC, so that the entire list isn’t privy to everyone’s email address.
    • Put your child in charge of greeting the guests. It can be tempting for kids to welcome the first guest or two and then get distracted by party activities. Make it clear that your child is to greet every guest, thanking each friend for coming to the party and introducing kids to people they may not know. You can facilitate the process by setting up a “welcome” activity near the door so that your child can pay attention to all of the guests at once. This activity could be a craft project or something simple, like creating their own name tags.
    • Throughout the party, it’s important to make sure everyone’s included. Explain to your child ahead of time that he or she should be attentive, including everyone in activities and making sure each guest is offered refreshments. You, of course, can monitor this, stepping in if you think there’s a potential issue.
    • A gracious host is a grateful host. If you choose to open gifts at the party, your child should thank each person for the gift that was given. Discuss ahead of time the importance of being appreciative, and not voicing any disappointment with a gift. If you don’t open gifts at the party, require your child to send thank you notes in a timely fashion.

    Even if your child is just attending the party, you can help make sure he or she follows the proper rules of etiquette.

    • Help your child reply to the invitation as soon as it’s received.
    • Get your child to and from the party on time.
    • Explain that it’s important to join in with others in party activities.
    • Teach your child to be respectful of the host’s house, belongings, and rules.
    • Make sure your child knows to follow the directions given by adults at the party, and alert them to any problems that may occur.
    • Practice greeting the hosts upon arrival, and thanking them for the invitation while saying goodbye.

    A party is a wonderful place to teach manners while having fun. If you’re looking for the most fun place to hold your child’s birthday party, it’s time to take a closer look at BounceU. At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Tips For A Safe (And Fun!) Field Trip

    Is there anything more exciting for a kid than a field trip? Often, they look forward to that special day for weeks or even months! For parents, though, field trips can be a source of trepidation. There’s risk involved in children being off campus, out in the wide world. What can you do to help ensure that your kiddos have a safe and fun field trip?

    First, make sure to communicate. Talk to your child’s teacher, making sure you know the exact plan and the people in charge have your contact information. Make a plan to dress your children in brightly colored clothes, so they’ll be easy to spot if they get separated from the group. Plan for any dietary restrictions, packing a lunch if need be. Then, talk to your children about the rules that can keep them safe during the field trip.

    Here are some rules that apply to most field trips, to go over with your kids:

    • Remember bus safety. The day can easily be ruined before it even starts by kids misbehaving on the bus. Stay in your seat, keeping your voice at an inside level, and keep your hands to yourself.
    • Stay with the group. Listen carefully to your teacher, and stay with the group or with your buddy no matter what. Even if you have to go to the restroom, ask permission and stay with your assigned partner. One child getting separated from the group can ruin the whole trip, and you don’t want to be that child!
    • Listen to the people in charge. Your teacher and the chaperones have a big job, taking care of a lot of kids at once. Respect all of the adults on your field trip, and do as they say.
    • Be respectful of your surroundings. You might be out in nature, or you might be somewhere with breakable objects. Make sure you pay attention to the rules, no matter where you are, and keep your hands to yourself to keep from damaging things.
    • Be respectful of other people. The best way to have a fun field trip is to treat everyone on the trip with respect and kindness. Don’t shove or tease your friends, don’t talk while guides or other adults are talking, and if you’re supposed to meet the group at a certain time, be on time.

    As a parent, do you feel like you want to do more than just dress your kids colorfully and teach them the rules? Consider being a chaperone! If that doesn’t work with your schedule, make sure you know all the rules and plans yourself, and get your child to school in plenty of time to get onto the field trip bus. You might also give yourself some extra peace of mind by putting your contact information on a label inside your kids’ clothes, on their backpacks, and anywhere else you can think to put it. Make sure the teacher has any special information that’s important to you, like allergies to remember or medication that must be taken. Knowing everyone involved has all the information they need can help you feel secure in sending your kids off for a fun day on the field trip.

    What’s more fun than a field trip? A party at BounceU! At BounceU, we love kids, and that’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • How To Soothe Your Child After A Fall, Trip, Cut, Or Boo-Boo

    When a child gets hurt, it can be scary for the child and the parent. You never want anything bad to happen to your little one, but unfortunately, bumps and bruises will happen no matter how careful you are with your child. How do you walk the line between providing comfort and teaching bravery?

    Of course, if the injury is minor enough, there’s nothing to it. A hug, some comforting words, a timely joke, and a colorful Band-Aid will distract from the pain and have them back to playing in no time. If the injury requires more attention than that, however, there are some things you can do to help keep your child calm.

    • Don’t dismiss the injury. Even if it’s minor, validate your child’s feelings by saying, “I know this hurts.” You can then go on to let the child know that you’ll help and that everything will be ok.
    • Model bravery. It’s important for kids to learn that being brave doesn’t mean you’re never afraid. It means that even when you’re scared, you do what needs to be done.
    • Appear to be in control. Don’t lie and say you’re not worried if you are, but remain calm and reassure your child that you know what to do.
    • Explain what’s going on. Whether you’re putting an ice pack on a bump, or a trip to the emergency room is in order, kids will be better able to stay calm if you talk them through the process. Let them know what to expect before things happen so that they can feel some control over the situation.
    • Involve the child in the process. Talk to the child, instead of just talking to others around you. Ask questions, and let your child ask you questions if he or she needs to, to understand what’s happening. Give your child something to do, to help distract from the pain, whether it’s holding the ointment or choosing the Band-Aid.

    Once the crisis has passed, you know what really makes kids feel better? Playing at BounceU! At BounceU, we love kid, and that’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.