Keeping the Kids Safe on Halloween

Sure, Halloween is full of some sweet treats for your kids, but do you have a few tricks to keep you ahead of the game? Before heading out for that annual night of festive fun, make sure that you are ready for any of the spooky surprises that might come your way. After all, you will want to make sure that that Halloween is a night that your kids look back on with frightfully fond memories and nothing more. Stay ahead of the parenting game, by utilizing these top tips -

Photo by Luke Jones, ©2013 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

Parents can always benefit from a little preparation ahead of time to help them stay in control of any situation during this, at times, chaotic time of year.

  1. Pack a bag – With all the foot traffic on the street, sometimes small spills are unstoppable. Be sure to carry a small first aid kit to manage small bumps and bruises. Additionally, you might benefit from having a snack and drink on hand in case your kids need something to boost their energy while trick or treating.
  2.  Fit their costumes – Avoid falls by making sure that your kids costumes are at a proper length and won’t be causing them to trip as they quickly move from door to door
  3. Check their candy – While candy tampering is rare occurrence, don’t forget to practice common sense when accepting food and sweet treats from people who are seemingly strangers to you and your kids. Your safest best is to only consumer candy that has been commercially wrapped and does not show signs of suspicious openings.
  4. Bring a flashlight – Depending on your locale street lighting may vary, so to both light your way and make motorists aware of your location, you might want to equip your family with a flash light as they traveling through the streets. Additions like reflective tape to clothing can also help keep track of kids in the darkness of night.
  5. Be cautious – Make your kids aware of all the possible dangers so that they can be proactive in preventing any Halloween horror stories. From looking both ways as they cross the street to keeping their distance while walking bast open flames in traditional jack-o-lanterns or seasonal lanterns, preparing your kids ahead of time can never hurt!

Decorating for a Fall SPOOK-tacular!

The fall holiday season can be celebrated in a number of different fashions, but the easiest way to show your seasonal spirit is by adding a few fun decorations around your home. Whether you turn to frighteningly festive themes of go with a more silly seasonal style, there are always a few easy tips to help your home stand out from the rest! Want to learn how you can up your game , this season and begin decorating for a Fall SPOOK-tacular? Here are some of our favorite fall decorating ideas and tips for having you home ready for that annual night of tricks and treats!

Photo by Amy Aletheia Cahill, ©2013 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

How would you describe your fall decorating style? When holiday seasons approach, this is the ideal time to get the whole family involved in exploring their creative side. Ask the kids what seasonal motifs fit their preference and then go from there! If you need a few added elements, utilize these popular decoration options -

Spooky lighting: Take advantage of the dimmed lighting of the night sky, and set up dark colored lights against your home to add a more eerie feel. If you feel like this might be a little too frightening for you little ones, turn to more friendly looking options like simple lanterns of sting lighting systems with festive motifs.

Cotton cobwebs: Cobwebs are not something that you want to build up around your home over time, just for this one night of festivity. Instead, turn to a more manufactured option by using decorative cotton webs to give your home a spine tingling new look. For an added touch, consider adding toy spiders and other creepy crawlers!

Outdoor tree ornaments: Hanging things from high reaching trees in your yard can not only be a fun way to feature decorative elements, but it can also help create spooky looking shadows on your lawn, under the moonlight.

Jack-o-lanterns: A classic tool to spread seasonal cheer, nothing quite speaks to the spirit of the season than these ghoulish gourds! carve a few with your family and showcase your most haunting deigns right on your doorstep!

A Halloween Hunt for Tricks and Treats!

Cauldrons, and pumpkins and scares… oh my! Don’t be too frightened by our festive fall décor! This time of year is all about having a frightfully fun time. And on that note, Frankie and the JumpStart friends have added a seasonal spin to our scheduled scavenger hunt!

plugin-container 2014-10-08 09-03-26-64Join in the fun and earn yourself a ghoulishly great prize by collecting all of the Halloween themed items hidden throughout MainStreet, Central Park, DownTown, and Poseidon’s HangOut! Search high and low to make sure that no dark corner is left unturned.plugin-container 2014-10-08 09-08-27-47Are you brave enough to head out under the twilight lit skies? Start searching or check your Jumpee’s messages for more news on this seasonal special! Time is already ticking away, so be sure to collect these items before we welcome an ALL-NEW set of fall features to JumpStart!

DIY Craft Ideas for Fall

Do you have fond memories of welcoming the fall season to your childhood home? Share these sentiments with your kids by finding ways to warm your space with festive décor, family, and special seasonal activities! Moments spent together, creating fun and festive DIY crafts to decorate the home will turn into memories to be cherished for a lifetime. Share some of your top at-home crafts with us at the JumpStart blog or find some inspiration in our suggested craft ideas for fall!

Photo by Roxanne Ready, ©2011 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

Festive Fall Wreath – Is there any better way to welcome the season by marking the entrance to your home with a harvest themed wreath? Show some of your seasonal spirit with a handmade wreath. Materials can range from yarn to faux foliage, Halloween themed paper cutouts, decor pieces, and more – depending on your style. Start with a round base of some sorts, using cardboard, wire or even Styrofoam. From there you can affix your decorations to create a custom cool look for your home.

Mason Jar Lanterns – Looking to add a little spooky feel around the halls of your home? Create cute Halloween themed lanterns using glass jars that you might have saved up around your home. Create designs on the jars, using paint, stencils, or craft paper and then illuminate the jars from the inside. As a safety precaution avoid using candles or any natural flame as this could create a real hazard in your home. Instead, turn to electronic or battery powered options.

Jack-o-Lanterns – There’s probably no truer symbol of the season than a pumpkin. Make an event of carving up theses gorgeous gourds. Get the kids involved by creating cool cut out templates of their favorite designs or characters. Similar to the above mentioned Mason Jar lanterns, be sure to use battery powered lights to avoid burning the pumpkin or starting any larger scale hazards.

What are some other DIY projects that you enjoy taking up in the fall? Share some of your family’s favorite craft ideas in the comments below!

A Frightfully Fun Time for Fall!

It’s that time of year again! Frankie and his frightfully fun friends have brought back some of our most popular spooky surprises – FunZones and pumpkins and surprises… oh my! Are you ready for the festively fun times ahead, this season? Head into JumpStart to start exploring!
chrome 2013-09-24 12-31-29-86 Starting in Central Park, Jumpeez are invited to put their brains and bravery to the ultimate test as they explore the famed Mummy Maze! Each cavern holds its own unique surprises, so you never know what’s hiding behind each corner that you turn. If the terror is too great, find the nearest emergency exit and be on your way.
plugin-container 2014-10-02 09-27-24-00Then, journey to DownTown – enter if you dare! A Haunted House is waiting for you to ride past ghouls and a few sounds of the season. Take in these fun fall features and keep an eye out for updates to our seasonal scavenger hunt, store items and more. This is just the beginning of our plans for the Fall season!

Planning Family Activities for Fall

Fall is usually the time of year where the weather begins to cool, and for many families it often means spending more time together – indoors or participating in a few fun seasonal traditions as holidays approach. What do you and your kids look forward to most when planning for fall? As the leaves just begin to turn, remember that it is never too late to start a few family festivities of your own! From pumpkin patch visits to baking fall flavored recipes at home, here is how you might get started.

Photo by: Jeff Kubina, ©2007 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

While some of these activities for fall might be tried, true, popular among kids and adults don’t forget to ask you family about what interests them most. Have them do some research into options around your city to make sure that they will be able to look back on the fall season with all kinds of fond memories. If you don’t know where to start, offer up a few of these suggestions -
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Prioritizing Health and Fitness

Did you know that this Saturday is Family Health and Fitness Day? While prioritizing these two aspects of your life should be year-round goals, days like this are important in helping kids understand the importance of both health and fitness in their daily routine. So how exactly do you define the broad spectrum term of “Health” to a child? Here are some ways to help get your kids thinking about eating and living healthier lives!

Photo by: Diekatrin, ©2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

In its most basic form, health is defined as the condition of being well and free from ailments or disease. Most health experts and doctors would easily agree that living a healthy life starts with staying on top of factors that you have direct control of in your life – what you put in your body and eat. And when it comes to getting your kids to adapt to healthy eating habits, it’s never too early to get them started!

Start by explaining the Food Pyramid to them and the concept of a “balanced meal.” When choosing what to eat they should always start by limiting sweets and over indulgent treats as some studies have deemed these to have negative side affects and at times addictive qualities. Instead when creating family meals, opt for lean proteins like fish, poultry, or even beans and whole grains like brown rice or wheat based pastas. And most importantly help your kids develop a taste for vegetables and fruits!

Having reasonable portions of these food groups in addition to other fiber and dairy rich foods are just what your family needs to start prioritizing health and eating right. But eating right is just one factor in healthy living, another is fitness, which you can learn more about at the Math Blaster blog!


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