Clever Kids Corner, Outdoor Activities

Side Walk Chalk Inspiration Ideas

Sidewalk chalk is an inexpensive activity that provides hours of fun and encourages creativity!

Look below for some of my favorite sidewalk chalk ideas.


Mystical Reading

Fish Out of Water

Future Fire Lady

Up, Up and Away!

Swinging the Day Away

Floating in Thin Air

Me and My Pet Dragon

Over the Rainbow

Photo Credits: NJ Family, Popsugar, S & S Blog

Parenting, Self-Care

Essential Oils for Moms- How to Use And What You Should Know

Essential oils are here to stay. Whether you utilize these oils as a home fragrance, headache remedy, sinus pressure, joint relief or therapeutic treatment, we are going to explore some of the major essential oils every mom should have on hand.

Aromatherapy is the art of using natural essential oils to improve the balance of body and mind.

There are many benefits to using aromatherapy in day to day life. Read below to learn more!


The most popular essential oil. Lavender oil promotes relaxation and believed to treat anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, depression, insomnia, eczema, nausea, and menstrual cramps. Lavender is safe for mom and baby!

One study found that when moms bathed their infants in lavender scented water, multiple benefits for both mom and baby were experienced. These benefits include calmness and encouraged the baby to go to sleep, peacefully. Lavender can also be used for diaper rashes. Read more here.


NIH defines peppermint as oil taken from the peppermint leaf. Based on studies, peppermint is known to treat many physical ailments. Peppermint is promoted for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), other digestive problems, the common cold, sinus infections, headaches, and other conditions. Peppermint oil is promoted for topical use (applied to the skin) for problems like headache, muscle aches, joint pain, and itching. In aromatherapy, peppermint oil is promoted for treating coughs and colds, reducing pain, improving mental function, and reducing stress.

Peppermint can be used while breastfeeding for mom when used as a topical cream. It is suggested not to use peppermint before breastfeeding, as this can have an effect on a young baby. Read more on The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.


This oil is derived from the chamomile flower, similar to a daisy flower by first glance. Chamomile is known to treat all things related to digestive health including heart burn, upset stomach, and vomiting. Some have utilized Chamomile to soothe their colicky baby. As always, consult a medical professional before giving this remedy to yourself or baby.

Chamomile is also known to manage anxiety, serve as a mouth rinse, heal physical wounds, relieve back pain, and serves as a sleep remedy. Read more about this amazing essential oil here.


Eucalyptus is known for aiding as a cough suppressant and can be found in Vick’s Vapor Rub. Eucalyptus also is used as a means of controlling blood sugar, bug repellent, soothing cold sores, and joint pain relief.

Almighty Eucalyptus can also be used to get rid of small rodents, like rats. It is not advised to take this oil by mouth, as it is very toxic and can cause a severe reaction. Read more here.


Another type of orange tree, however, it’s called a bergamot plant (Citris Bergamia). The uses are going to amaze you because unlike most of the oils on the list, this one focuses on hair and beauty treatments.

Bergamot is used in beauty creams and is often mixed with coconut oil as a skin softener. This oil can be added into shampoo, body wash, facial scrubs, homemade candles, and air fresheners. Bergamot is used to treat acne and scars by leaving on overnight. Bergamot is also used for hair as a moisturizer and scalp treatment. For an irritated scalp, it is suggested to leave this oil in your hair overnight and tie it down for full absorption. Read more on this oil here.

Parenting, Personality Traits

The Advocate (INFJ)- Myers Briggs for Parents

Knowing your personality primary traits as a parent further impacts how you decide to parent. Read below for more on Myers Briggs The Advocate (INFJ) personality trait for parenting.

The Advocate is someone with the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging personality traits. They tend to approach life with deep thoughtfulness and imagination. Their inner vision, personal values, and a quiet, principled version of humanism guide them in all things.

Advocates are the rarest of all personality traits.

Leaving their marks on the world, advocates are known for taking dreams and putting them into action. Advocates understand that their moves impact their own lifetime goals and dreams. As a result, meticulous steps are taken to reach these same goals.

Advocates are passionate and purposeful.

Speaking up for what’s right with conviction, advocates are known for vocalizing their truths and those of others. While this is a major trait of an advocate, there is a tendency to choose peace rather than confrontation in some situations. People with this personality type may feel called to use their strengths, including creativity, imagination, and sensitivity, to uplift others and spread compassion. Advocates live on purpose. In the event there is an injustice taking place, an advocate will voice their position as a means of living on purpose.

Advocates hold core values.

As a means of connecting with others, advocates seek time alone to reconnect and recharge. Advocates have a strong sense of self and seek to maintain this as they navigate through life and when interacting with others. Advocates seek the fix the problem but sometimes may neglect themselves in the process.

Parenting 101 for The Advocate

Advocate parents devote a large part of parenthood as a means of reflecting on how to continue to grow with their little one. Advocates seek to build independent children that can form their own ideals and beliefs. Advocates hold their children at a high expectation. Advocate parents with this personality trait tend to believe their children will live in a similar place of integrity as themselves.

Children are taught to fight for a cause at a young age.

As a result of high expectations, parents may view their children as rebellious rather then developing their own belief system.


  • Creative
  • Insightful
  • Principled
  • Passionate
  • Altruistic


  • Sensitive
  • Reluctant to open up to others
  • Perfectionist
  • Burnout often
  • Always seeks extraordinary
Newborns, Parenting

What You Need to Know About Newborns

Newborns don’t have knee caps.

Babies are born with pieces of cartilage that will eventually become the bony kneecap, or patella, that adults have. Why? Babies with bony kneecaps at birth could make the birthing process more difficult or result in birth injuries. Click here to read more.

They don’t cry tears, immediately.

Newborns start making tears when they are about two weeks old, but often it is just enough to keep their eyes moist and not enough to make real tears that you can see when they cry. Infants often don’t develop real tears that you can see until they are about two months old. Read more here.

Birthmarks are normal.

80% of infants are born with birthmarks. Parents should stay aware of any birthmarks and potential changes to them and see your pediatrician. Read more about different birthmarks from John Hopkins University.

They are born without a body clock.

Tired? You should be! Your newborn has no sense of time and the sleep schedule will showcase this. This is because newborns aren’t governed by a circadian rhythm, the physiological impulse that lets your body know to sleep at night and wake during the day. It takes around 12 weeks for a baby to properly recognize the difference between night and day, and even longer (three-five months) before they sleep at night.

They cry with your accent.

Yep, that’s true! A study conducted shows that babies cry in the native language of their parents. By recording cries of 60 babies born to French or German parents, researchers discovered that babies cry with the same “prosody” or melody used in their native language by the second day of life. Read more here.

Your baby will breastfeed on demand.

During the first six weeks, it’s essential to let your baby nurse whenever he or she wants. It is advised not to establish a feeding schedule too early as it can backfire by interfering with your milk supply. Don’t worry about having enough milk, the more your baby eats, the more you’ll produce. Read more here.

Baby poop changes over time

Depending on the diet of your newborn, you can expect changes in their diaper. Don’t despair, these changes are normal and can include changes in frequency, texture, and color. Click the link for a Baby Poo Gallery here. This will help you determine if your baby’s poop needs medical attention.

Parenting, Personality Traits

The Entertainer (ESFP)- Myers Briggs Personality Traits for Parents

Are you the life of the party craving the spotlight? Do you love to shine and entertain those you come in contact with? If so, keep reading.

The Entertainer (ESFP) displays extraverted, observant, feeling and prospecting personality traits. The entertainer is all about vibrant experiences, loves life and taking pleasure in discovering new and different things. The entertainer is a social butterfly and often encourages others to participate.

Entertainers love the spotlight and tend to take center stage. Entertainers love putting on a show for their friends and take pride in simply having a good time with loved ones.

Entertainers are on the move

Entertainers are well groomed, as this personality trait is often compared to actors. In search of environments that support their personality traits, entertainers often move frequently to change their surroundings to best suite their personality needs.

Entertainers are sensitive to the emotions of others. Observant in nature, entertainers are the first to help someone solve a problem while providing emotional support and sound advice. Passionate, drama tends to follow entertainers.

The Entertainer Takes Chances

Taking chances, relying on luck rather than rational and analysis, is a common trend of the entertainer. Entertainers seek challenge and recognize value and quality.

Entertainers can be found where there is laughter, playfulness, and always trying something new and fun. Watch out, entertainers are known to talk for hours. Loved ones appreciate entertainers as they are reliable for sharing emotions, both good and bad. Entertainers are the explorers of life and seek to share these experiences with others.

Parenting 101 for The Entertainer

Playful, genuine, and relaxed are common traits of entertainer-styled parents. The entertainer seeks fun experiences for their children to engage. Entertainers often use exploration when asked a question from their child in order to find the answer. The entertainer is not one to have a routine and would rather take things day-by-day.

Entertainers are the constructers of make believe play.

Trying new things is a large portion of this personality trait. However, discipline is not the strongest suite for entertainer personality types. They seek to protect their children from harm through experiences and observation.

Entertainers provide consistent emotional support through showing warm and affectionate responses to their children. Entertainers are known for being nurturing and encouraging.


  • Bold
  • Original
  • People person
  • Observant
  • Practical
  • Aesthetics


  • Sensitive
  • Conflict adverse
  • Easily bored
  • Poor planners
  • Unfocused
Parenting, Personality Traits

The Architect (INTJ)- Myers Briggs Personality Traits For Parents

Knowing your personality traits as a parent further impacts how you decide to parent. Read below for more on Myers Briggs The Architect (INTJ) personality traits for parents.

Parents, do you like to ask a lot of questions? Are you often involved in overthinking and analytical conversations? If so, keep reading.

An Architect (INTJ) is a person with the Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging personality traits. Known as highly intellectual tacticians- they love perfecting the details of life, applying creativity and rationality to everything they do. The inner world of an architect is often a private and innovative.

Architects question everything.

According to MB, architects derive much of their self-esteem from their knowledge and mental acuity. People with this trait may have been labeled as the nerd, studious, or the bookworm.

Unafraid to break the rules, Architects prefer to make their own discoveries and enjoy the process!

Often known as pessimistic and choosing to be right over liked, the architect places a high value on truth and depth. Architects question their involvement with people and may come across as rude or offensive when they are seeking to be honest.

Other Traits Associated with the Architect

  • Imaginative
  • Decisive
  • Ambitious
  • Private
  • Curious
  • Focused

Parenting 101 for the Architect

Known to form an honest connection with their children, the Architect demonstrates self control and rationality. This trait also seeks to foster independence in their children. The architect seeks to use knowledge as a course correction and always delivers the hard truths.

While scoring an A+ in encouraging intelligence and analytical skills while parenting, the Architect does not always showcase emotions- as this is not their comfort zone. Very much in control of their emotions, the architect parent often does not initiate cuddling, love, affection, and praise-as it feels unnatural. Since children need emotional support, this area is something that the architect has to work to provide.


  • Rational
  • Informed
  • Independent
  • Determined
  • Curious
  • Versatile


  • Arrogant
  • Dismissive of emotions
  • Overly critical
  • Combative

The goal for Architects is to raise a competent adult who knows their own mind and solves their own problems through giving their children the tools to do so.

#Healthy, Parenting, Positive Home Environment

Creating a Stable, Structured, and Supportive Home Environment for Children

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Dean via Unsplash

“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” ― Dr. Seuss

Children thrive in consistency, predictability and follow through. Creating a stable, structured, and supportive home environment is the goal. Stable homes produce successful children.

Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and
environments are essential to prevent
early adversity, including child abuse and
neglect, and to assure that all children
reach their full potential

If you want to raise a child who is caring, organized, goal-oriented, and successful, you must provide a stable environment in which he can experience a childhood filled with both love and bonding experiences. Dr. Gail Gross, Human Behavior, Parenting, and Education Expert, Speaker, Author. Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed.

Dr. Gross provides insight on how parents can focus on providing a stable and supportive home environments. As parents, centering on the child helps promote wellbeing and positive experiences in the child’s life. The CDC states that child abuse and neglect are top public health problems being faced in the United States. Child abuse ranges from physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. Providing a safe, stable, and supportive environment prevents these types of abuse from happening in the home. According to science, children who experience instability in the early years are under stress. When a child experiences stressors relating to poverty, abuse, divorce, or insecurity, he or she produces stress hormone cortisol. This changes the architecture of the child’s brain and affects their impulse control. These same stressors also have a profound effect on a child’s ability to navigate through school successfully and the ability to interact with peers positively. In fact, stress can be a central cause for both emotional and physical illness, impacting your child’s overall health, school attendance and school performance.

What Are Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships?

All definitions are provided by the CDC.

Safety: The extent to which an individual is free from fear and secure from physical or psychological harm within their social, physical, and work environments.

Stability: The degree of predictability and consistency in one’s relationships as well as the social, emotional, and physical environments.

Nurturing: The extent to which parents and children have access to individuals who are able to sensitively and consistently respond to and meet their needs.

The experiences of children are centered around the three elements listed. Moreso, children experience the world through their relationship with nurturing and caring adults. Parents that are looking to strengthen the relationship between themselves and their children are encouraged to focus on understanding, helping, and enjoying them. Parents are also encouraged to devote uninterrupted attention to their children, everyday. This allows for serve and return interactions and for the child share their new ideas, thoughts and feelings. When children experience their feelings being validated, they are more comfortable with sharing with the adults in their life. Children need to know that their parents will respect, accept, and not minimize their feelings. As a result, children are more prone to demonstrate healthy serve and return interactions with their parents.

Raising a Healthy and Happy Child is The Ultimate Goal

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” — Dr. Seuss

Yes, that’s right. I don’t know one parent that does not want their child to be happy and healthy. This is the ultimate goal for most parents. Many times, parents focus on providing a home and the other elements (nurture and support) are overlooked. Children who consistently receive stability, support and structure are more likely to grow into successful adults. Parents are encouraged to focus on follow through when considering the aspect of consistency. For parents seeking to establish consistency, predictability and follow through, see the definitions of each below:

Consistency means that you respond to your child’s behavior the same way every time no matter what is going on or how you’re feeling. Consistency is doing the same thing every time.

Predictability means your child knows what will happen and how you will respond. Predictability is expecting or knowing what is going to happen.

Following through means that you do what you say you will do in response to your child’s behaviors. This is often called the “say what you mean and mean what you say.”

Parents can create structure and predictability at any age with their children. However, it is advised to start in the early years. Parents can begin with routines for important activities of the day, like meals, bedtime, or in the morning. Structure allows children to feel safe and secure, simply because they know what to expect. Children are able to be within the established rules and routines.

Creating a Positive Home and Positive Atmosphere

Alright, I’m not saying be overly positive. That’s not genuine and your children will be able to tell the difference. However, creating a positive home does allow for genuine and supportive interactions. Parents set the tone. Here are a few tips for parents looking to create a positive home and positive home environment:

Provide Praise and Encouragement

Children need to know when they have done something good! Praise them! Reward their efforts. Balance is needed with providing praise, as children need to feel supported when they struggle. Maintaining positivity is one way to support children during this time.

Instill a Positive Mindset

Build the mindset of your children up through positive affirmations. Children quickly learn “I” statements by doing so. “I CAN”, “I WILL,” “I AM”

Model the Behavior You Would Like to See

Using soft words and demonstrating soft actions demonstrates positive behaviors for your child. Children should not witness harse language and tones as this makes it okay for them to use.

Encourage Confidence

When children see their parents acting in a confident manner, they are likely to pick up the behavior. Parents are also encouraged to support your child’s confidence.