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.
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.
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.
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.
As parents, we look forward to our children’s milestones, whether it’s the first steps, the first tooth, the first best friend, or the first day of school. One of the biggest social milestones is the sleepover, but it’s important that the child be ready for this big event. How can you know if your child is ready?
First, understand that there’s no “right age” for a sleepover. It’s completely subjective, and you have to base your decision on your particular situation and your unique child. If you trust the adults involved, your child is excited to go, and your gut tells you it’s a good idea, then go for it! Here are some thoughts on how to make sure everyone is prepared, and everything goes smoothly.
- Talk to your child. The best way to know whether the sleepover is the right choice for your child is to talk to him or her. Gauge the child’s level of interest, and consider past experience to determine whether this is a good choice.
- Talk to the other parents. Ask questions about the plan, until you’re satisfied that it’s going to be a safe and healthy environment. Make sure that the other parents have all the information they will need, too, like your contact information and your child’s habits, preferences, and allergies.
- Have a plan in place. Know that it might not work out, and you might have to go pick up a pajama-clad child late at night. That’s ok, you want your child to know his or her own limits and do what feels safe.
- Give your child some control. Discuss how the child is feeling ahead of time, and pack comfort items to make the night easier. Let your child know that it’s ok to call you, or even come home if something feels uncomfortable.
- Consider hosting, if you’re nervous. Sometimes, the best way to know whether your child is ready for a new level of social interaction is to observe it for yourself. When the first sleepover happens at your house, it gives you more control over the situation, and you’ll be better able to decide if your child has the level of maturity necessary to brave a sleepover somewhere else next time.
If you’re looking for a fun party idea, but your child is not quite ready to take the leap to a sleepover, consider a fun 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.
It’s a well-known fact that friends are important, and making friends is a crucial skill for children to develop. Sometimes, though, it’s not very easy to do. It can be hard to watch your kid struggle with making new friends, and knowing you can’t make friends for them can make parents feel helpless. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make it a little bit easier.
- Be proactive about setting up playdates. Whether or not your child makes friends easily, it’s smart to talk to other parents and create social occasions to foster interaction. When you invite kids to your home for playdates, you are fostering positive relationships not just between the children, but also between the parents. Building a community of support, where the kids and adults are friendly and supportive of each other, can be extremely valuable in many different areas of your child’s life.
- Look for extracurricular activities. Find something your child truly enjoys, and then find a way for him or her to spend time with others who have similar interests. If your child has trouble making friends, it’s probably best to steer clear of activities that are overly competitive, in favor of those that are more cooperative in nature.
- Rehearse social situations. Before a playdate, discuss what it means to be a good host. Help your child plan activities for the playdate, and rehearse conversations or situations that might arise. Similarly, talk to your child about things that happen at school, and practice how best to respond to uncomfortable situations.
- Get to know your child’s friends. When you take the time to know your child’s friends, you learn about how your child interacts with others, what his or her social group is interested in, what kinds of influences are impacting your child, and how all the kids get along with each other. Friends are some of the most important people in your child’s life, and it’s worthwhile to get to know them.
- Help your child to consider others. Empathy is an extremely valuable trait, important for a person’s whole life. Foster care and concern for others in your child’s life, and teach him or her how to be a good listener, sensitive to the needs of others.
- Stay aware of your child’s social life. There’s a difference between getting too involved in your child’s interactions and paying attention to what’s going on. Multiple studies indicate that children do better when parents monitor their social activities, supervising where children play and helping to steer them toward friends who bring out the best in them. When you’re aware of what’s going on, you can help your child to avoid problems like bullying, as well.
- Learn to listen. Spend time with your child, doing something you both enjoy, instead of asking direct questions. If you are willing to put in the time and pay attention, your child will open up about how things are going socially, and you’ll be able to figure out how to help.
- Don’t pressure your child to be popular. Friends are important for children, but popularity is not. Sometimes, parents interpret a child’s behavior as shy when it’s really just introversion, and the child would rather spend time alone than with others. It’s ok to be an introvert, and as long as your child has one or two good friends, there’s probably no cause for concern.
Ready to entertain your child’s new friends? Why not have a BounceU party? 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.
Field trips are an exciting part of a kid’s school career- a chance to get out of the ordinary routine and see something entirely new. For parents who usually rely on the ability to purchase school lunches, though, field trip sack lunches can be a bit of a puzzle. Don’t worry, we’ve got the skinny on how to pack the best field trip lunches around.
- It starts with the sandwich. Make no mistake, though, sandwiches don’t have to be boring! Think outside the slices of bread, and pack a pita full of goodness, or roll up a tortilla to make pinwheels. Sandwich fillings can be anything from turkey and ham, to avocado, to vegetables, to cream cheese and strawberries. Your options are only limited by your imagination and your child’s dietary preferences.
- Finger foods are everything. Veggie sticks and fruit that’s easy to manage, like grapes, blueberries, or larger fruit cut into slices or chunks, make lunch a quick and easy endeavor. Air popped popcorn and other healthy, salty snacks like whole wheat pita chips or multi-grain tortilla chips are always a welcome addition. Skip the salads and other foods that require utensils, and anything they have to fuss over to prepare. Lunchables might seem easy until your child is still struggling to open the pizza sauce packet when it’s time to move along and see something exciting.
- Skip the banana. Bananas are the bane of field trip lunches because, by the time the kids get to where they’re going, the fruit is probably brown and mushy. Since you want kids to eat their lunches instead of throwing them away, it’s probably best to forego bananas altogether. Similarly, squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over those apple slices or avocado chunks, to keep them looking fresh and appetizing until lunch time. Oranges and other citrus fruit may seem like a good, portable option, but peeling them can be tedious on a field trip.
- Don’t forget the treat! Slip in a little indulgence like a cookie or brownie, and add an extra, so your child can share the wealth with a friend.
- Make sure the drink is both portable and healthy. Juice boxes made with 100% juice and reusable water bottles are the best options on field trips. Even if your child is normally a milk drinker, you’ll want to skip the milk when the lunch is likely to be on a bus or outside for much of the day.
- Packaging is key. Before you stick it all in a brown paper sack, put everything in plastic zipper bags, and put those bags into a bigger zipper bag, so that no matter what happens, the food remains secure and edible. Label the lunch clearly with the child’s name as well as any important information like allergens.
What’s more fun for kids than a field trip? Time spent 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.
With dietary restrictions seemingly on the rise, it’s likely that your child or one of their friends has food allergies. Differences in diet can be a segregating factor for children, especially when all the other kids are enjoying their food.
As the host of your child’s upcoming birthday party, it’s important to make adjustments to the menu so everyone can feel involved. Here are some examples of common dietary restrictions and solutions for you and your party guests.
Learn What Food Allergies Apply
The first step is to determine what restrictions you need to work around. If your child is the one with allergies, this is easy. However, if any friends have special diets, you need to know about them.
The best way to find out is to ask parents to inform you when they RSVP to the invitations you send out. Kids aren’t always sure of what they’re allergic to, or they’re too shy to speak up, so being aware of allergies beforehand helps ensure you have something safe for sensitive children to eat.
Celiac Disease/Gluten Sensitivity
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, about one in 100 people worldwide have this condition, which causes the body to attack the small intestine as an immune response to eating wheat, rye and barley. Many others have gluten sensitivity, which makes their stomach ache after eating wheat products. Fortunately, gluten-free bread, cookies and cake are easy to come by.
Lactose Intolerance/Dairy Sensitivity
People with lactose intolerance – which surprisingly affects over 65 percent of the worldwide population – can’t eat dairy without experiencing bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. Milk and cheese are obvious sources of dairy, but many types of candy, cake and frosting also contain milk-based products. If you serve ice cream and birthday cake with buttercream frosting, be sure to have a dairy-free alternative for those with lactose sensitivity.
Intolerance to eggs is a common childhood allergy. Since this is a typical ingredient in party foods ranging from cake to doughnuts to pastries, it’s important to know if any of your guests are allergic to eggs. Work around this by making a small serving of egg-free cake for any sensitive children.
Maybe you don’t plan on serving bags of peanuts, but this snack item is often processed in the same factory as cookies and candy. When shopping for goodies to hand out at a party with someone who has severe peanut allergies, make sure to read labels carefully. They should specify if the snack could have traces of peanut in it.
Our goal here at BounceU is to make sure everyone has a safe, fun time at your child’s birthday party. You’re welcome to bring your own food, but if you prefer us to handle the menu, we can make adjustments to accommodate you and your guests. With our help, your event is sure to be unique and stress-free! To learn more about our party packages, or to book your event, please contact BounceU today.
When your children play in the dog’s water dish or refuse to put their toys away, it’s easy to think they’re being obstinate when in reality they’re simply acting their age. You may develop unrealistic expectations because your children’s behavior is inconsistent from day to day, or even minute to minute. Sleep deprivation, hunger and a host of other factors affect a child’s mood and behavior.
Consider some common behavior expectations, the realities many parents face and tips to help your children behave.
The expectation: Your two-year-old should stay out of the dog’s water dish.
The reality: Every time you turn your back, water splashes everywhere.
What to do: Your child sees a water dish as an invitation to play, so find a substitute for it. Consistently steer the child away from the dog’s bowl and toward a bin filled with an inch or two of water and plastic cups to play with. Set a towel under this play area to minimize the mess.
Putting Toys Away
The expectation: Your three-year-old should put toys away the first time you ask.
The reality: After asking 100 times, your child finally puts two blocks away and then starts playing again.
What to do: To help your child resist the urge to play, assist with cleaning up and praise your child with each successful contribution to the process. This develops good habits, even if they take time to appear.
The expectation: Your two-year-old should play for two minutes while you use the restroom.
The reality: No sooner do you sit down than your upset toddler starts crying and pounding on the door.
What to do: You can always let your child come with you, but if you’re adamant about privacy, try playing cars or doing a puzzle with your toddler for a few minutes. Then, say you need to use the restroom and will be back in two minutes. Hopefully, the activity you started together will occupy your child’s attention until you return.
Behaving in Public
The expectation: Your three-year-old should sit quietly at the restaurant and color the kids’ menu until the food arrives.
The reality: Your child throws sugar packets, crawls around under the table, and screams when you attempt to make him or her hold still.
What to do: Choose kid-friendly restaurants until your child is at least four years old. In the meantime, make eating out feel like home. Dine at your usual time, skip the dress clothes, and consider bringing your child’s familiar cutlery from home. Provide snacks, toys and a walk around the restaurant until the food arrives.
At BounceU, we love entertaining children and their quirky behaviors! From toddlers to elementary school kids to pre-teens, BounceU is a great place to bring your children for a fun day of running around bounce houses. We specialize in making birthday parties, field trips and other events unique and stress-free for the whole family. To learn more, or to book an event, please contact us today.