Tag Archives: parenting

Introducing the Tiny Travelers Game Series

Travel expert and mommy blogger, The L.A. Travel Mom, has released the first edition of the Tiny Travelers gaming app, based in New York City and available in the iTunes store.

December 2, 2014 – It’s the newest way to keep your babies and toddlers entertained around the world — send them on an adventure with the Tiny Travelers.

From professional traveler and mommy blogger The L.A. Travel Mom, this newly launched destination learning tool is designed to teach your baby or toddler some basic facts about where they are going as well as keep them occupied during one of the most stressful situations as a parent — travel.

“I have used apps as a travel tool on planes with my children for years and am always amazed at how they not only absorb and understand the technology but also learn about their subject matter, which is why I wanted to provide a tool that can not only help children developmentally master sensory motor skills but teach them some important lessons, as well.” — Janeen Christoff, L.A. Travel Mom

The first edition in this new children’s game series for young adventurers is focused on New York City and was released in the iTunes App Store on Cyber Monday, Dec. 1, 2014.

• The Tiny Travelers game series is designed to keep babies and toddlers busy while traveling to destinations around the world.

• In Tiny Travelers NYC, teach your toddlers some basic facts about New York City through interactive games and a storybook with basic image association

• Fun for the whole family, help your child virtually pack the right items for the trip in their suitcase — and watch out if you get it wrong!

• On a plane, on a bus, on a boat or on a train, Tiny Travelers are there to entertain your children on the go.

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About Tiny Travelers Games

Tiny Travelers Games were created by Janeen Christoff and Catherine Cavanagh, both moms to young daughters. Christoff and Cavanagh saw a need in the marketplace for a series of apps that could give small children a sense of place while traveling abroad. They have answered that need with the Tiny Travelers Games series, which will blossom from a single city in 2014 to a variety of locales around the world in the coming year.

Notes to editors: Images available upon request. Please contact Janeen Christoff at janeenchristoff@gmail.com

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Zooga: It’s Yoga for Kids

Kids' yoga  // (c) 2013 Janeen Christoff
Kids’ yoga // (c) 2013 Janeen Christoff

I love finding cute new things for my kids to do in Los Angeles – especially when it’s a fun, healthy activity such as yoga. When invited to experience Zooga, a yoga studio just for kids, I jumped at the chance. Zooga is a play on words. Since many of the names for yoga poses are derived from animals that are at the zoo – Zooga is something that children can relate to.

Zooga’s corner location on Overland in Culver City, Calif., is easy to spot with an orange sign and a cute elephant logo. My kids saw it from the car before I did and there was a chorus of “are we going there” coming from the backseat before I could even find parking. (Conveniently, there is parking in the back of the building.)

The one-room studio is a large space, perfect for a kids’ yoga class. The room is bathed in a comforting orange light and a handpainted mural of a small lion, a tree and a baby elephant lines one wall. Kids have toys to play with while they wait for their class to start and the studio and waiting area are divided by a half wall so that parents can keep an eye on young ones – or just watch as the magic unfolds – during class.

My older daughter does yoga classes in school, so I knew that she was excited to show off her down dog and tree pose. I didn’t know how my younger one would take to yoga, but five minutes in, I had no doubts. Both girls followed along with the teacher as they mimicked animals with sounds, expressions and poses.

“Teachers at the studio use imagination, adventure, play, props and music in every class,” said Antonia King, founder and owner.

The teacher followed along with a book to keep the younger ones entertained. They sang songs and did more poses. As a mom, I thought that they would possibly get bored after about a half hour but, after the full hour had passed, I think they could have gone on even longer.

As we walked out of the studio, they asked if they were coming back tomorrow…sadly, no, I told them. But I will definitely be bringing them back soon.

Zooga Yoga
www.zoogayoga.com

Zooga is dediated to yoga for babies, kids and teens, but also offers adult classes as well as a variety of specialty classes including Sing and Sign for babies, ballet classes and family classes. The studio also offers family drop off nights as well as birthday parties and holiday camps.

Summer Baking: My favorite chocolate cookie recipe

Favorite chocolate cookie recipe // (c) 2013 Janeen Christoff
Favorite chocolate cookie recipe // (c) 2013 Janeen Christoff

One of my goals this summer was to spend time in the kitchen with my kids. And, the one recipe that we have perfected over the last couple of months is Williams-Sonoma Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies. Not only are the cookies delicious, but the recipe is really flexible. If you add a little too much brown sugar, no biggie. Kids added too many chocolate chips – still tasty. Don’t like walnuts, just leave ’em out. We have had a lot of fun baking these cookies all summer long and they always seem to turn out just right.

We usually leave out the walnuts but the recipe is really flexible, so you can add in or take out whatever you don’t want. We’ve also done it without chocolate chips and it tastes great.

For the recipe, click here: Williams-Sonoma Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

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Three Ways to Get Back to Work After Vacation

It's hard to return home after vacation // (c) 2011 kozumel

I love traveling with my kids – what I don’t love is going back to work after vacation. Traveling with children is a rewarding experience for me. I love telling my daughters about all of the new places we are traveling to and seeing the awe and wonder on their faces when they see amazing new things, but heading home is also a taxing chore and returning to work after a family vacation is – let’s be honest – not really something anyone can get excited about. So, I plotted out some great ways to get back into the swing of things…however, I admit I don’t always practice what I preach.

Probably one of the most obvious ways to get back to work after a vacation is to come home early. This is definitely something that I rarely practice. I’m the type of parent who returns on Christmas Eve without preparing for Christmas Day in advance. However, I always wish that I could be the responsible parent and return at least a day – or even a few hours – before such momentous occasions like the first day of school. I will say, if you do return early and use your time wisely to grocery shop, do laundry, prepare school lunches; it really makes it easier for everyone in the family to get back into the swing of things – and I, as a mom, would feel way less guilty.

While my first tip is something I rarely do, tip number two is something that I always do – separate my packing. If I am a totally disorganized parent, I am truly an organized traveler, which may account for bad habit number one. When returning from a trip, I always organize my bags so that they can be easily unpacked. I put all of my computer cords into a bag that can be dropped directly into our “technology corner” at home (we don’t have room for an office); I separate out all of my dirty clothes so that they can easily be dropped into the washer (I am the annoying person who travels with a big bag); I put belts, shoes and accessories together so that they can easily be stowed in their proper drawers upon my return. By doing this, I eliminate time unpacking and reorganizing, and I also limit the amount of stuff that trickles out of my suitcase and is misplaced around the house – most likely in my children’s rooms.

The third thing that I recommend is to never to leave the house dirty. This is something that I do about 50 percent of the time – remember, I am a disorganized parent. I will say, though, that when my house is neat and tidy upon my return, the chance that I unpack, put all of my things away and return to my normal habits is way better than if I leave my house untidy. Plus, I have the added bonus of knowing that if we someone does rob us, they probably won’t be able to find anything either.