Getting Ready for Portrait Day Fun

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Parents can really help their children shine on Picture Day. It’s important to pick out an outfit that is cute with solid colors that your child likes. Avoid t-shirts with slogans, brand names and large designs. Make sure the color complements your child’s skin tone, too. Keep hair simple and pulled away from their face to let the face show through. It’s a good idea to avoid getting a hair cut the day before pictures. Aim for haircuts a week before if possible.

Remember to get your children to bed early the night before pictures so they will be fresh. Try to avoid stress and don’t coach them on how to smile. The Teddy Bear Portraits photographer will be able to get a better portrait if parents aren’t around at the time of pictures. If you have any special instructions for the photographer the day of pictures, include a note that you give to the photographer on clothing accessories, a hat or any suggestions on something you want the child to wear.

The best portraits are the ones where your child’s natural smile shines through. At Teddy Bear Portraits, our photographers are experts at capturing each child’s unique personality. They connect with each kid in a special way using toys and making it a fun. That’s why they are known as smile masters.

Family Activities for Winter Break

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If you’re looking for fun things for your children to do over winter break, we’ve got you covered! Try these fun ideas to keep you and your children entertained when it’s cold outside.

Do-It-Yourself Snow Slime

It’s time to bring the snow indoors! This is super quick to make and is sure to keep your child occupied for hours – without the frozen hands! They can even include their favorite animal figurines for added fun.

Winter Scavenger Hunt

If you’re feeling adventurous, get your kids outside for a fun – and cold – learning experience! Give them a scavenger hunt list of things they may find outside during the winter time. This will give them a sense of adventure as well as teach them new things about nature.

Learn how Arctic Animals Stay Warm

It’s time to get scientific! With this simple experiment, you can show your child how arctic animals stay warm in temperatures that are well below freezing. You and your child will find this fascinating!

Frozen Bubbles

Sticking with the scientific theme, we found a great blog post to show you how to create frozen bubbles! This is something that will keep the whole family entertained.

Puffy Snow Paint

Painting is always fun for kids, because it allows them to be creative, while getting a little messy! This Do-it-Yourself puffy snow paint is perfect for those wintertime art projects.

Be sure to share your winter activities with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Cooking with Preschoolers

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Ready, set, cook! We’ve got you covered when it comes to cooking with the help of your preschooler.

Young kids learn with their senses and the kitchen is a fantastic place to do that – from listening to the mixer, to smelling the ingredients, and eventually tasting the final product.

They will build basic skills with something as simple as counting eggs or measuring ingredients. Read the recipe aloud to help expand their vocabulary and improve their listening skills.

Encourage an adventurous palate with sensational recipes. If you have a picky eater on your hands, this will inspire them to sample dishes they might normally not try.

What can children do to help in the kitchen?

  • Measure ingredients
  • Stir batter
  • Add Ingredients
  • Tear apart lettuce
  • Set the timer
  • Set the table
  • Wipe down your workspace
  • Help with the dishes
  • Put away ingredients

Cooking with your preschooler provides a great opportunity to spend time together as a family, so go ahead and invite them to help you next time you’re in the kitchen.


Portrait Day Tips for Back to School Portraits

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With Labor Day behind us, it’s safe to say the Fall season has officially started. Now that you’ve settled into your back to school routine. It’s time to start thinking about Fall portraits! We’ve enlisted the help of our expert professional photographers to give you the best tips for a successful portrait day.

What should my child wear?

  • Solid colors work best, patterns and clothing with large logos can clash with the background
  • Choose colors that compliment your child’s features
  • When siblings are being photographed, dress them in complimentary colors, they don’t have to match, but simply complement each other. Complementary colors are any two colors which are directly opposite each other, such as red and green and red-purple and yellow-green on a color wheel.
  • You can dress your child fancy or casual, it just depends on the type of portrait you are wanting
  • If their portrait attire is dressier than their normal attire, you may want to pack an extra set of clothing to change into after portraits have been taken.
  • Small jewelry and accessories are great, but avoid anything distracting

How should I style my child’s hair?

  • Keep it neat and simple. Don’t try to change your child’s natural hair
  • You can use product to keep styles intact, but don’t overdo it

Important Tip: Get haircuts at least 10 days in advance to look natural and just-in-case there is a mishap!

Should I encourage my child to smile?

  • Teddy Bear Portraits photographers are trained to get a natural smile from your child
  • Telling children to “Smile!” or “Say Cheese!” can result in a forced, un-natural smile

Should my child wear his/her glasses?

  • Absolutely! Glasses are a part of your child’s personality
  • Our photographers know how to avoid glass reflection

The best tip we can give is to keep it simple, your child is naturally beautiful and that will show in their portraits.


Tips for a Healthy School Year

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tips-for-a-healthy-school-yearKeeping your children healthy when they’re constantly surrounded by germs is difficult. Especially when children want to touch everything! These healthy tips will guarantee your child has an incredible school year.

Healthy Lunches

A diet that is high in fruits and vegetables as well as iron rich foods will help to strengthen your child’s immune system.

Check out some great healthy lunch ideas here.

Healthy Habits

Teaching your child healthy daily habits will assist them in preventing the spread of germs.

Get your children used to clean hands by washing their hands often or using hand sanitizer when necessary. Do they know the proper way to wash their hands? Washing with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds does the trick. Have them sing row, row, row your boat while washing their hands.

We know kids naturally love to share things, however, it’s not a good idea to share eating utensils or cups due to viruses and bacteria being transmitted easily.

Play! Children need to get plenty of exercise to help their mind and bodies remain healthy.

Ensure your children are getting enough sleep. Try to stick to a bedtime routine, whatever works for your family is great, keeping a routine will allow your child to know what to expect each night. Limit nighttime use of electronics, not only will your child rather stay up playing, but the lights from the screen can interfere with falling asleep and staying asleep.

Habits to Prevent Cold & Flu

Teach your children the proper way to cough and sneeze, cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue or the inside of their elbow – never with their hands! The goal is for them to avoid touching their eyes or mouth during the school day. These are the easiest points for the cold virus to enter your child’s body.
Choosing the right backpack for your child can make a world of difference for comfort and functionality. Carrying a heavy backpack can take a toll on your child’s back. If the school allows it, rolling backpacks are a great option. If not, try to find a backpack with padded shoulder straps to add extra comfort.

Make certain it’s the correct size for your child – you don’t want it too large or too small. Always make sure they are using both straps and they are tightened properly.

Children should only carry necessary items – your child’s backpack should not weigh more that 10% of their body weight.

Organizing and distributing items properly within your child’s backpack will help to lessen the strain on their backs. You want heavier items placed closest to the back, whereas lighter items such as pens, pencils, etc., you want them placed towards the outside of the bag. A healthy child is a happy child!

Back to School Tips for Preschoolers to have an Excellent School Year

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Set your alarm clock, it’s back to school time! Whether this is your child’s very first year attending school or returning for another, we want it to be fun and safe. These back to school tips will ensure a hassle-free school year for both parents and kids.

Night Before

We as parents, no matter how prepared we think we are, can struggle in the morning with getting our children out the door. The key to peaceful mornings begins with the previous night’s bedtime routine. Getting a solid night’s rest will lead to a pleasant morning. It is important to get your child accustomed to going to bed at a decent time again after late-night bug catching, fire work watching, and sleeping in!

It makes sense to start maybe a week prior to actual “go” time. While your children are picking out their bedtime stories, utilize this time to pick out the clothes they will be wearing in the morning. Setting the whole outfit out in a reachable place allows your child the opportunity to dress themselves in the morning. It also creates much needed independence and pride.

First Day

As the morning comes, one SECRET to success is to get ready before you even attempt to wake up your children. We’re talking walk-out-the door with your travel mug of coffee ready. This allows you to focus on your children in the morning and not feel rushed.

A few quick helpful hints to happy mornings:

  • Preparing backpacks, the night before
  • Always check your child’s backpack for project assignments and or show and tell dates
  • Do homework right after school
  • Set up a calendar that is strictly focused with school events and hang it in a place you will always remember to look
  • Create a pencil box that is specific for homework, fill it with supplies: glue sticks, sharpened pencils, erasers, coloring crayons, color pencils, safety scissors and markers. Keep it in one location so it is always easily accessible.
  • Find library books that are due the night before
  • If rain is in the forecast set out an umbrella with the backpack
  • If colder weather is in the air set out gloves and hats along with coats by the backpack
  • Move car seats around the evening before if needed
  • Teach your child to put shoes in the same spot each afternoon

Summer Activities for Kids of All Ages

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Summertime is here- which means it’s time to fill the freezer with Popsicle and the backyard pool with water! Looking for ways to keep your children entertained and cooled off both inside and out? Check out these fun indoor and outdoor activities guaranteed to be a hit.

Way too hot outside? Try these activities to ensure your kids remain cool while enjoying their summer.

Make your Own Marshmallow Shooters

This DIY marshmallow shooter is fun for kids of all ages. It’s super easy to make and will keep your kids entertained for hours.

Pipe Cleaner Animals

This is a simple and affordable craft for you and your children to do together. Follow the only instructions to learn how to make 10 different animals, or let your child be creative and come up with their own imaginary animals.

Mason Jar Aquariums

It’s time to bring the ocean indoors with these adorable mini aquariums. You can make these look realistic by adding plants, rocks, and of course, your child’s favorite sea creatures. Just top it off with some blue water and voilà!

Time for some fun in the sun? Try these outdoor activities to keep your kids cooled off and entertained.

Painting with Ice

This activity is perfect for kids to show their artistic side. All you need is food coloring, Popsicle sticks, and some paper.

DIY Sponge Balls

There are a ton of water activities for the summertime, but this one is perfect if you don’t have water toys on hand. Your children will love throwing these around at each other. Try getting a poster board and adding some washable paint to the sponge – they will be able to create a fun splatter design!

DIY Kid Car Wash

Are your child’s outdoor toys a little dirty? We have the perfect solution – a DIY car wash! This is very simple to make and offers another use for the sponge balls from the previous activity.

How to Protect your Children’s Pictures Online

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how-to-protect-your-childrens-pictures-onlineHaving small children means having a world full of firsts– everything from the first day of school to losing their first tooth, sharing your child’s experiences online has become the norm. Because social media is such a huge part of today’s culture, it is hard to imagine not sharing all of your adorable photography memories with friends and family. But it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest technology updates to ensure that your child’s memories stay safe.

Check Your Privacy Settings

Start by examining the privacy settings on your social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Each platform offers their own customizable privacy settings, so get to know your account and understand what your current settings mean. For instance, make sure that your privacy settings on Facebook are set to only share with your friends. This means that only those you request or accept, can see your child’s smiling face. You can even create customizable lists for your albums on Facebook so that you can pick among your “friends” who can view your album.


Too much of a good thing, can be a bad thing. This is true with uploading pictures to social media as well. Constantly uploading pictures, can accidentally reveal a little too much information about your children’s lives. As tempting as it may be now, avoid posting embarrassing pictures of your children on the internet because those images could hang around online for the next 20 years.

Turn Off Your Location Services

When posting your child’s portraits to social media from your phone, make sure that you disable your devices’ location services. When your location services are turned on, your device shares your location along with your photos, making your location public.

If publicizing your location is a concern for you, make sure that you also avoid uploading images of your child with a geo-tag or landmark. This will help you avoid sharing your child’s whereabouts.

Keep Others in Mind

Be conscious of others in your photos. Online privacy is important and keeping children’s images safe is a concern for most parents. So, before posting images of your child and their friends, make sure that you have consent from other parents.

As a parent, it can be easy to fall victim to oversharing. So keep these tips in mind when posting pictures of children online and stay in control of the images and information that you disclose on the internet.

How to Start Preschoolers with Photography

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image of little girl with camera

Does your phone camera gallery include 99 million selfies of your little one? Chances are the answer is yes, especially since there are many children advanced with basic technology. If you haven’t thought about introducing your preschoolers to photography yet, you may be missing out on lots of fun — it’s a portable activity that goes anywhere.

Photography builds motor, visual, and creative skills — all as it opens small eyes to the wonders of the world. Digital cameras also give kids just the instant feedback they love, for a quick boost in confidence as they learn and improve.

Get Started

Start by teaching kids how to hold the camera. Kneel to their level to look at the view screen with them. Show them how to click the shutter. If they have problems holding the camera still, rest it against a doorway, windowsill, or chair.

If kids need more help understanding the idea of framing a picture, use an empty picture frame, holding it up so they can see how to fit objects and views inside. For first shots, keep it simple. Flowers or favorite toys are good subjects. Review the shots with the child until they get the hang of it.

Photo Adventures

After they master the basics, young photographers are ready to go on assignment. Take them on photo hunts for favorite colors, clouds, birds, people wearing baseball caps — you name it — or they do! Take cameras on outings like a visit to the zoo or to a grandparent’s house. Older kids might ask grandparents about objects that are special to them, such as something given to them by their own grandparents that they’d like to have photographed. The act of photography itself can open a door to family stories, all while making new memories with the youngest generation.

Be sure to find ways to use children’s photos in crafts, framed and hung, as gifts, as cards, screen savers or in scrapbooks. Kids can use their photos to write stories, whether on paper or digital devices. Encourage them to create a memory book that journals the world through their eyes at various ages, which they can share with their own children in years to come.

Photography is a rewarding way for children to explore their world and share their vision with others.