Saturday, October 12, 2013

How to Keep Kids Safe Online


I am really excited to announce that Mommy and Things has teamed up with the computer guys at to give parents of children of all ages some advice on how to keep your kids safe online!

You know all those scary stories about kids you hear on the news? The ones you don't even want to think about? And then your heart gets heavy and you just cringe thinking "what if"? Do a quick count: how many WiFi enabled devices do you have in your home? Smart phones, tablets, iPads, laptops and desktop computers are all included. Some devices you may not even know are capable to connect to the internet, like smart TV's, iPods and even some GPS devices! Your child has access to all of these devices, and since you cannot supervise what they are doing 100% of the time.. we need to learn how to keep our kids safe online!

The internet contains a lot of harmful sites and inappropriate viewing material for children. Children can be easily persuaded to give up their address, phone number or even pictures of themselves. Children 1-18 can have a lot of freedom on the internet and you might not even know. With sites like YouTube it easy to get away from the original video you were watching and onto a completely different video, something that may contain nudity, violence or cursing. Many apps for smart phones or tablets will contain adds, so while your child might be playing a friendly game an add for a dating website might pop up. And all those website that you child goes to play games; they can have chat rooms built in or ask for credit card information. Some sites acknowledge that kids will click on anything, a disguise ads to look kid-friendly, but when clicked downloads a virus onto your computer.

So how do you keep your children safe online? Should they be allowed to have a computer in their bedroom? What are the signs that your child has been viewing inappropriate content? When is a child old enough to have a social media account or talk to friends in a chat room?

The article on answers all of the above questions, as well as giving you a list of kid-friendly products that can help with minimize the chances that your child will run into pop up ads or be able to view inappropriate content!

When is a child old enough to have their own phone/computer/tablet?
When is a child old enough to have a social media account or talk to friends in a chat room?
What method do you reccomend to keep kids safe online? 

If you haven't heard of TechKnowBase before, they are a great website devoted to giving free information and tutorials on anything computer related. If you are having any kind of problem with you computer visit their question and answer page here, and see if they can help you out! Hopefully this is the first of many articles that Mommy and Things and TechKnowBase team up on! 

-Megan from Mommy and Things

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Halloween Snack Mix

This is so easy! I feel in love with snack mix over the summer! My little girl loves all the different ingredients! It is so much better than giving her plain cheerios or pretzels! I love doing festive things around our house, it makes the holidays all the more festive! We made a 4th of July Snack Mix and it was a HUGE hit! We love to make a big batch, seal it in an air tight container and use it to snack on until its gone! It also makes a festive and expensive gift! I love the idea of sealing it up in a mason jar type container and adding a festive Halloween ribbon to it! So this is less of a recipe, and more of a suggestion. Add in whatever you like and omit what you don't.. it is just that easy!

Just mix all the ingredients in a big bowl and store in an air tight container!

Suggested ingredients:
Cheese Crackers
Salted Peanuts
Reese's Pieces Candy
Caramel Popcorn
Honey Nut Cheerios
Cocoa Puffs
Candy Corn
Mellowcreme Pumpkins

Fall Scented Playdough

I love all the Fall scents! Our house has been covered in pumpkin spice air fresheners and candles! So what better than Fall scented playdough?? Making homemade playdough is at lot cheaper than buying it! Plus you can great scents like PUMPKIN SPICE, that you just can't find in any store! This is a great recipe and it is so easy to make! I love Learn Play Imagine, they always have great activities for kids of all ages and this is one of them! To make the playdough, you start off by making a base recipe and then add other ingredients for the color and scent!

Ingredients for the base playdough:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup boiling water

Ingredients for Fall scents and colors:
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Ground Cloves
Apple Flavor
Liquid Watercolors (or Food Coloring): Orange, Green, Red, Yellow and Brown

To make the playdough:

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and cream of tartar and stir.

Add the vegetable oil and stir again. 

Next, stir in the according color and spice for the playdough you are making. 

Finally, add in the hot water. Stir until the dough has cooled, then you can knead with your hands. 

Then, just store you playdough in an air tight container to make it stay soft! 

Color/ Flavor Combos:
Pumpkin Pie - Orange
Candy Apple - Green
Clove -  Red
Nutmeg - Yellow
Cinnamon - Brown

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