Latest Posts

Community Helpers and Preparing Kids for Emergencies

By Child Inspired / April 14, 2024

Bright lights, noisy sirens, and fancy equipment often means there is a community helper on the way! Community helpers are people who work to help our community (i.e., doctors, nurses, teachers, firefighters, police officers, mail carriers, dentists, bus drivers, bakers, farmers, plumbers, etc.). “Community helpers are part of children’s everyday lives,” (Julie A. Daymut, Handy Handouts) and kids are often either mesmerized or scared when they encounter a community helper. Teaching children about community helpers not only inspires interest in ones own community and possible careers, it also opens conversation for what to do in an emergency and promotes safety. As parents and educators, it’s our responsibility to teach children how to keep themselves safe and to be alert and responsive in a true emergency. Child Inspired has complied a list of tips and strategies for teaching kids about community helpers and what to do in an emergency.


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Tips for Taking Kids to Get a Haircut

By Child Inspired / March 17, 2024

Scissors, clippers, and sitting still…oh my! Getting a haircut can be a challenging experience for children, especially when it is a new or unfamiliar place, space, or feels like sensory overload. Getting a haircut can be upsetting for many children and stressful for families. The most common worries or fears children have about getting a haircut are: “the feeling of the cape around their neck, getting their hair wet, the sounds of buzzers and hairdryers, and the feeling of a comb running through their hair.” (The Summit Center) Luckily, Child Inspired has tips to help support your child when getting a haircut. 

But first… keep in mind that the earlier you expose your child to a routine or activity, the more accustomed they will become to it. Take your child for a haircut beginning at a young age. Getting into a habit of getting a haircut at the same salon or barber shop with the same hairdresser or barber will help familiarize your child with the location and staff, which in turn creates a more comfortable environment and experience. If your child is older and/or needs more than just repeated exposure, focus on the three preparation tips below to help make getting a haircut feel a little less overwhelming for your child.

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Tips for Grocery Shopping with Children

By Child Inspired / February 24, 2024

There are many reasons why taking your child to the grocery store can be beneficial.
• Teaches reading, math, and other academic skills (letter and number identification, attributes, budgeting, decoding)
• Helps develop vocabulary
• Creates opportunity to practice social skills
• Exposes children to new foods
• Models healthy habits and opens conversation about nutrition

The life skills that grocery shopping can teach children are immense, but the reality is grocery shopping with kiddos can feel overwhelming. The first, second, third…even tenth time you take your child to the grocery store might be rough! This is normal! Consistent expectations and repeated exposure will help make grocery shopping with your kiddo less stressful. There are several strategies that can support successful, positive grocery shopping outings with children. (more…)

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Teaching Children the Importance of Self-love

By Child Inspired / February 6, 2024

February 14th is a holiday celebrated by many… Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate LOVE. Around this time of year, children may start noticing red and pink hearts, candy, treats, and decorations around the community. Your child’s class might be having a Valentine’s themed party. Family and friends might send cards and notes called “Valentines” or chocolates, flowers, and gifts. Valentine’s Day is a great day to teach children about love. This holiday can not only teach children how to express love to others, but how to love themselves. This is called self-love. “It is as important for children to build the ability to show love to those who are dear to their hearts, as to know how to love themselves.” (Kvaroy Arctic) How can we teach children about daily self-love? Child Inspired’s Ready to Go Visual: Self-Check-In can help! 


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Healthy Habits

By lexi / January 7, 2024

“Vegetables, as part of an overall well-rounded diet, support many of our bodies’ systems and functions. Both fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber to help our digestive system” (Mikie Rangel,  Registered Dietitian at Children’s Health). However, it’s no secret that getting children to eat fruit and vegetables can be a struggle at times! Children may refuse to try a fruit or vegetable because of its “yucky,” “gross,” or “weird” texture, smell, or color. Children may push their fruits or vegetables to the side of their plate. This often leads to frustration for parents or caregivers and meltdowns for children. This New Year, create healthy eating habits with child and kick the fruit and veggie battle to the curb with three simple recommendations!


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Developmental Toy List to Guide Holiday Shopping

By lexi / December 6, 2023


In addition to being safe, toys for young children need to match their stages of development and emerging abilities. Many toys can be created for free at home. Cardboard boxes, plastic bowls, large kitchen utensils, and other “simple treasures” can be used in more than one way and encourage creative exploration by children of different ages. However, when you need some guidance or when family members are asking for ideas to fill your child’s toybox at the holidays, choosing high-quality toys is a great opportunity to promote their healthy growth and development!

Toys for Young Infants—Birth through 6 months

Babies love faces and following them with their eyes. Typically, they prefer familiar faces and bright colors. Babies begin to reach and grasp, and are fascinated with what their hands and feet can do. They lift their heads and begin to roll their bodies towards sounds and sights that interest them. They often explore new experiences by putting objects in their mouths.

  • Shatterproof mirrors
  • Rattles that are easy to grasp to shake and transfer between their hands
  • Large rings that can be held by both hands
  • Textured board books
  • Ribbon boxes
  • Activity mat that encourages tummy time

Toys for Older Infants—7 to 12 months

Look out…baby is on the move! Typically infants go from rolling over and sitting, to scooting, bouncing, crawling, pulling themselves up, and standing. They understand their own names and other common words, can begin to identify basic body parts, find hidden objects, and dump and fill things in and out of containers.

  • Bubbles
  • Shape sorters
  • Bead mazes
  • Toys to introduce pretend play—baby dolls, puppets, plastic or wood vehicles with large wheels
  • Toys for water play in the bathtub
  • Toys for “dump and fill”—plastic bowls/cups, nesting toys, balls with a bin or soft basket
  • Toys for early building play—Soft blocks and wooden cubes
  • Toys for large muscles—large balls, push and pull toys, and low, soft things to crawl over
  • Toys for music/sound exploration-small maracas or bongo drums

Toys for 1 year-olds

One-year-olds are on the go! They are beginning to walk and climb. They enjoy stories, say their first words, and can play alongside other children (often intrigued to observe). They like to explore, but need adults to keep them safe.


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Back to School…The Life of a Parent Advocate

By Child Inspired / August 30, 2022

It’s that time of the year again! Families are soaking in every last morsel of summer fun before kiddos put on their new school shoes, load up their backpacks, and head out the door for the first day of school. Ready or not, back to school is here… and while it’s been a great summer, parents and children alike are craving the structure a new school year brings.

As I sat down to write this month’s blog, I had multiple different topics and ideas to include on getting ready for back to school. I mean, let’s face it, the possibilities are endless when it comes to transitioning from summer break to a new school year. I created an outline with content that included making new friends, talking to your child about their school day, parent-teacher connections etc, etc, etc.  I was ready to get writing and then… I abruptly stopped. My mind and heart kept coming back to a topic near and dear to me – and so this month’s blog begins! Get ready because this topic is personal to me as I share ideas, insight, and a bit of my vulnerability as an open book. Here it is! The Life of a Parent Advocate. (more…)

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Celebrating Independence…and Interdependence

By Child Inspired / July 20, 2022

This month we have been celebrating INDEPENDENCE! Our nation has a special adoration for independence which is honored and celebrated each July with all things red, white and blue, backyard BBQs, special patriotic traditions, and firework extravaganzas.

Our culture also places great value on the process of becoming, remaining, or restoring independence. The profession of Occupational Therapy is rooted in the work of helping to improve an individual’s level of function and independence. Occupational Therapists work with those of all ages to enhance or restore function and independence through the use of meaningful activities. The word “Occupation” is not used to refer specifically to a job, but rather the daily activities that bring purpose, meaning, connection, and quality to our daily lives. There is a special sense of pride and accomplishment that is experienced when a new level of mastery and independence is achieved (ie, visualize the child that rides their bicycle independently for the first time, the adolescent that begins driving a vehicle independently, or an adult that works diligently to regain use of their left arm after a stroke so that they can wrap their grandchild in a bear hug).


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The Summer Shift

By Child Inspired / June 28, 2022

Hello Summer!
We’ve been waiting for you! After an unseasonably cold Spring, your warmth is a welcomed gift. The end of another school year allows us to take a deep breath, kick back, and enjoy some downtime from the hustle and bustle that school days can bring.

As I sat down to write this blog, I began to reminisce about some of my favorite summertime childhood memories. The smell of honeysuckle, picking wild blackberries on the side of the dirt road near my childhood home, and catching fireflies are just a few of those memories that come rushing back to me. I can still remember the exhilaration I felt the first time I jumped off the high dive at our community pool. The combination of being thrilled and terrified all mixed into one incredible childhood memory! Summer vacations took my family on adventures to new places, as well as familiar destinations to visit family and friends. My little trip down memory lane reminded me that having a few strategies to ease the transition from school to summertime can help kids create fun, safe, and lasting memories whether they are enjoying simple pleasures or exciting adventures. (more…)

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Showers to Flowers: Consistency and Perseverance will Yield Results

By Child Inspired / May 23, 2022

We are humans. We all struggle. Sometimes we struggle to find a balance before we even have children, let alone when we add another beautiful human being (or 2, 3, 4 or more) to our already challenging world. Sometimes we even KNOW what we “need to do”, in order to grow as human-beings and parents (because you still ARE your own person!). Maybe making a schedule, following routines, being consistent, daily to-do lists, miracle mornings (when you wake up before the kids to focus on you), instilling good habits, peaceful parenting, self- education, self- care, etc. But that is SO much easier said than done. Life throws us curveballs, all of the time. It is so easy to start these habits with high hopes to blossom and grow as a family; but it’s also very easy to feel defeated when challenges arise, your routine gets thrown off, or your plan isn’t successful. This same concept can be applied to any part of your life. How do we solve this? Is there a solution? How do we start to feel like we “have it together” or are headed in the right direction? Where do we begin to lose the self-doubt, build our confidence, and start to SEE RESULTS (physically, emotionally, and mentally)? “Keep it Simple”– my grandmother’s best advice that has been a philosophy of mine my entire life. Let’s make our plan, that will allow our trials to lead to triumphs, more relatable- more simple: let’s talk gardening! We will learn how to seek nourishment, learn to grow and blossom, but also build a sustainable environment that supports our growth.


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