Cooking with Preschoolers

By | Activities for Preschoolers and Toddlers | No Comments

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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

By | Daycare and Preschool Photography, Photography Tips, Portrait Photography | No Comments

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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

By | Daycare and Preschool Photography | No Comments

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

By | Family Portraits, Photography Tips | No Comments

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.

Oversharing

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

By | Activities for Preschoolers and Toddlers, Photography Tips | No Comments

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.

Photo Gifts for Father’s Day

By | Activities for Preschoolers and Toddlers, Portrait Photography | No Comments

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Father’s Day is just around the corner and that means it’s time to hit the craft table! This holiday is the perfect opportunity to let your child be artistic while creating a meaningful gift that’s sure to be cherished for years to come.

We’ve found some great DIY Father’s Day gifts for you and your child to work on together. Use your favorite portraits of your child or your Teddy Bear Portraits school pictures for the perfect personalized gift. Be sure to allow your child to help choose the pictures used. Letting them assist with the creative details will add that personal touch.

  1. Photo Key Chains

    These key chains are a perfect gift for any Dad out there. The ideas are endless! Your children can be super creative with it, starting with choosing the picture, to decorating the backside with fun scrapbook paper, stickers, or sayings.

  2. Photo Messages to Dad

    This blog shows great examples of various ways for you to photograph your children holding up messages to their father. This is great for siblings, but will also work perfectly for an only child. If you can, have your child help write the message you choose, this will help include them in the process. After your photo shoot, just create a collage, and pick out a nice frame.

  3. Customized Picture Frame

    Creating a customized picture frame allows you to display your favorite picture of your child in a personal way. You and your child can work together to decorate the frame with something they think their Father will enjoy. Have fun with it, don’t be afraid to be creative.

These ideas are guaranteed to make any Father or Grandfather smile this Father’s Day! Don’t be afraid to let your child participate, their personal touches are what makes these gifts so wonderful.

 

 

Teddy Bear Portraits Sales Profile: Michelle Garrison

By | Daycare and Preschool Photography, Photography and Portrait Sales, Professional Photographers | No Comments

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When it comes to embodying the spirit of Teddy Bear Portraits, Michelle Garrison has led the way. She has invaluable insight into how Teddy Bear Portraits became the industry leader in preschool and daycare photography. Michelle happens to be named among the many that have been with Teddy Bear Portraits for over 30 years! Let’s tap into her expertise when it comes to being the epitome of our core values: enthusiasm, effectiveness, trailblazer, loyalty and competitiveness.

When asked about her experience, Michelle exclaims “I enjoy working for a company that cares about their customers and strives every day to give great customer service, produce quality portraits and stands behind their word given to each and every account.”

Michelle started in October of 1987 and navigated her way through various production positions. From there, she moved into receptionist and office manager positions, made her way to the operation team and then landed in the fast-paced, forward thinking sales department.

For over 17 years, along with her colleagues, Michelle has been instrumental in hiring, training and growing the sales team into the prosperous group it is today. Before moving into an executive sales role, Michelle spent time as a field sales trainer. “When selling our program, I enjoy the relationship building and being able to promote an innovative program that stands out from all others,” she explained.

We asked Michelle “What’s a great example of a really hard objection you had to overcome in the field or over the phone to win business?” She replied with valuable insight, “The hardest I feel is loyalty. While we definitely respect someone for their loyalty to another photography company, we do want them to use us.  We ask that they try us at a different time of year to experience firsthand our technologically advanced one-of-a-kind Same Day Program.”

She continues, “This allows the center directors and parents to experience Teddy Bear Portraits and everything we have to offer. Once they use us and realize they cannot receive the care, benefits and amazing service we offer anywhere else, they will continue to use us and be a lifelong customer.”

When asked what she thinks sets Teddy Bear Portraits apart the most from other school photography companies she states, “Staying innovative and our passion and commitment to servicing our accounts with the utmost care and quality and staying true to what we stand for.”

We’re always on the lookout for great talent to join our growing team. If so, then we’d love to hear from you. View our job openings.