Fluency Not Required: Foreign Language Exposure is Great for Kids!

Kids blocks with Arabic letters.
The benefits of being bilingual at an early age has been well studied. But what about more limited exposure?

We have all heard the advantages of being bilingual, especially at a young age.  A number of studies have shown that children who learn two languages from early childhood have an easier time learning other languages later, and are able to speak multiple languages without an accent.  Some studies even suggest knowing more than one language can help offset dementia.  That said, usually bilingual children either have at least one parent who is fluent in second language, or they speak a language at home that is different from the one used outside the home.  For most of us, that’s not in the cards.  But what about limited foreign language exposure?  Does that do anything?  In this post I’ll review the studies relating to this topic and provide a few suggestions for how to easily integrate a second language into your kids’ lives (and your own!). Continue reading “Fluency Not Required: Foreign Language Exposure is Great for Kids!”

“Is That Safe?” — Why Crossfit During Pregnancy Was Right for Me

Author doing overhead squat while pregnant
Doing Crossfit at approximately 25 weeks pregnant.

“Is that safe?”  Every time I mentioned Crossfit during pregnancy or posted a picture, a well-meaning friend would inquire as to whether such activity was acceptable.  It’s an understandable question.  For me, I believe it was.

While exercise during pregnancy was discouraged long ago, today doctors generally agree that it is beneficial to both mother and baby, and should be encouraged in uncomplicated pregnancies.  The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that “regular physical activity during pregnancy improves or maintains physical fitness, helps with weight management, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes in obese women, and enhances psychologic well-being.”

Okay.  But what about intense exercise like Crossfit? Continue reading ““Is That Safe?” — Why Crossfit During Pregnancy Was Right for Me”

Weighted Blankets For Kids, Better Sleep for All?

Girl sleeping with teddy bear
If you’re a parent, you’re probably not getting as much sleep as you should be!

If you’re reading this, that probably means you aren’t getting enough sleep.  In fact, according to this study, for women under 45, “researchers found the only factor associated with getting enough sleep was having children in the house, with each child increasing the odds of insufficient sleep by nearly 50 percent.” And while the study focuses on women, I’d venture to bet that in a lot of households today, including ours, sleep is short for both parents!  In this post, I’ll share our experience with weighted blankets so you can decide if they might be helpful for your family’s sleep.

Continue reading “Weighted Blankets For Kids, Better Sleep for All?”

How to Pick a Safe Sunscreen for Your Family

Some situations require sunscreen because it is too hot, or impractical, to wear hats and long sleeves.

Spring is here! As spring and summer arrive, we all start to spend more time outdoors. That’s wonderful, especially with all the benefits that outdoor time brings. However, if you’re spending any significant time in the sun, you’ll need some protection, and finding a good sunscreen is hard enough without having to worry about toxic chemicals. In this post I’ll break down the basics you need to know to pick a safe sunscreen you can feel good about! Continue reading “How to Pick a Safe Sunscreen for Your Family”

Amazing Outdoor Play: Six More Powerful Reasons To Play Outside

Boy Looking At Tree
Time spent outside, even on cloudy days, can protect against nearsightedness.

We all know that outdoor play is good for children.  It encourages them to be active, which aids motor development and can help prevent future obesity.  Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for everyone’s mood and help reduce stress.  Safe sun exposure (more on that in a later post) helps make vitamin D.  And the list goes on.  But sometimes, getting outside can be a challenge.  We all have days where we need additional motivation.  Below I’ll talk about six lesser known but equally important reasons to get your munchkins outside, even when you’re not feeling it. Continue reading “Amazing Outdoor Play: Six More Powerful Reasons To Play Outside”