• How To Help Your Child Make Friends

    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.

  • Best Lunch to Pack For Your Student on a Field Trip

    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.

  • Kids Need Active Play Time – [INFOGRAPHIC]

    The Importance of Active Play for Children

  • Planning a Birthday Party for Kids with Food Allergies

    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.

    Egg Allergies

    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.

    Peanut Allergies

    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.

  • Parents: Reassess Your Behavior Expectations

    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.

     

    Resisting Temptation

    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.

     

    Granting Privacy

    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.

  • Helping Your Child Deal with Stress

    Physical activity can help children deal with their stress, which is one reason bounce houses are so fun. You can’t always make it to the bounce house though, so you must know how to help your kids. Watch this video on helping your child deal with stress.

    Instead of bandaging your child’s stress, find out where it’s coming from. Don’t make any assumptions, just let your child tell you what’s going on. The problem could stem from social life, family interactions, or a big test at school. Tell your child what you’ve noticed, and once you’ve identified the problem, come up with a solution together.

    Sometimes kids just need to relax, and a day of bounce houses at Bounce U may be the perfect solution. We host kids’ birthday parties near Farmingdale and host regular open bounces, which make it easy to let children get their energy out. See our website or call (516) 986-4518 to learn more.

  • Plant-Based Lunch Ideas for Kids

    Choosing healthy foods for you and your family doesn’t need to be complicated, but it can be tricky to know where to start. Whether you need birthday party ideas that double as nutritious snacks or want some inspiration for your kid’s school lunches this season, watch this video for some plant-based lunchbox ideas.

    To make delicious chocolate and banana sushi rolls, start by adding a generous amount of dairy-free chocolate spread to a whole grain tortilla. Then, sprinkle it with some hemp seeds and place a whole, ripe banana on top. Lastly, roll it up and cut it into pieces, just like you would when making sushi.

    BounceU is a kids’ party venue that offers birthday party packages, themed party décor, and open bounce sessions in our inflatable bouncy castles. For more information about our party place in Farmingdale, call (516) 986-4518.

  • Why Physical Activity Is Important for Kids

    As a parent, it is critical to encourage your kids to get active. This video provides five reasons why physical activity is so important for children during their developmental years. Exercise early in life can help to prevent diseases, and daily activity has also been shown to promote healthy cognitive development. An open bounce at Bounce U can provide your kids with the perfect environment to run, play, and exercise.

    When you are looking for creative ways to help your children increase their activity, be sure to make a trip to Bounce U . Our bounce houses in Farmingdale naturally encourage kids to stretch, play, and develop their physical abilities. To learn more about the next open bounce at our popular party place, call us at (516) 986-4518.

  • How Exercise Can Promote Your Child’s Physical Development

    Exercise is important at every age and stage of physical development. As a parent, it is critical to encourage your children to develop healthy habits that will benefit them as they get older, including a regular exercise routine. Bounce houses offer the perfect environment for children to play, tumble, and incorporate fun and imagination into their physical activity. Exercise can promote your child’s physical development in many ways, including:

    Promoting Heart Health

    Regular exercise can help your child develop a strong and healthy heart. Like any other muscle in the body, the heart needs regular exercise and conditioning in order to remain in great shape. Without regular exercise, the heart can decondition and become much less efficient at pumping blood. By promoting heart health from a young age, you can help to protect your child from heart disease later in life.

    Helping Control Weight

    Obesity is an epidemic in children across the United States. While proper diet and nutrition are the building blocks of maintaining a healthy weight, you can also promote weight control for your child by encouraging physical activity and an active lifestyle. As your child tumbles and plays at a bounce house, he or she will burn calories, raise his or her heart rate, and experience the weight control benefits of routine exercise.

    Building Healthy Bones

    Throughout the different stages of development, a child’s bones are continually growing and strengthening. Regular exercise is an important component for making sure that your child builds healthy bones. During playtime and sports practices, a child’s bones will build density and become much stronger.

    At BounceU, our bouncy castle in Farmingdale provides the perfect setting for your kids to have fun while they get their daily dose of exercise. Our bouncy castles offer endless opportunities for play, and we also host active birthday parties that are fun for kids of all ages. To learn more about our upcoming open bounce schedule, give us a call at (516) 986-4518.

  • Ideas for Making Play Dates Fun and Interactive

    Play dates are important parts of your child’s social development, and the more fun they are, the more your child will want to take part. The key to a good play date is planning activities that are fun and interactive, whether you have the play date at home or at a favorite location like BounceU. Make a play date at your house one of the most sought-after invitations in town with these tips.

    Limit Your Guest List

    Having too many children over to play at one time will make it harder for everyone to be included in activities and could lead to kids feeling left out. It’s harder for you to manage large groups as well. In many cases, it’s good to have just one child over for a play date in your house. If you plan to take the kids to an activity elsewhere, a small group of up to five can work. Start with small groups and only expand after you see how your child handles playing multiple friends at once.

    Plan Activities

    Although you don’t want to over-manage the play date, and you do want to leave plenty of time to kids to come up with their own, planning activities will ensure that things go smoothly. Focus on hands-on activities that get kids moving and thinking. Let kids build a time capsule, create a skit or dance routine, or decorate their own t-shirts. Getting kids out of the house for activities can work as well. BounceU’s Open Bounce sessions can be a great activity for kids looking for play date fun.

    Time Your Play Date Wisely

    For the convenience of parents, play dates should have a clear start and end time. Be sure to choose the times wisely. For younger children, it is especially important to consider nap and feeding times. Keep in mind that if your play date time coincides with a typical mealtime, you should provide that meal. Hungry kids get cranky quickly and may not play as well together.

    BounceU is guaranteed to make any play date better, with our gun inflatables and games. Call us at (516) 986-4518 to find out more about our party place near Farmingdale .