R.I.P. Ron Santo

jdrf ron santo

We were so saddened to hear that Ron Santo passed away this morning. For those of you in Chicago, he was the perfect Cubs announcer. Most importantly to us, he was the perfect spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). He created a tremendous amount of awareness for this disease that has touched our household and we appreciate how active he was in the community here.

Speaking of JDRF, my daughter and I want to give a big thank you to everyone who purchased a kids gift from the ChocolateCakeClub.com in November!!!! November was National Diabetes Awareness Month and we announced at the beginning of the month that we would donate a portion of all November sales to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We sent our check out today! Thank you all for helping us make this donation.

Even if you didn’t purchase from us, we’d love it if you helped support finding a cure for Type 1 juvenile diabetes and make a donation at the JDRF site.

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Tags: Entertaining a Sick Child

She named it Tracy

My daughter got her first insulin pump today. She was so incredibly excited. It’s pink. She named it Tracy.

Why?

She explained, “It’s going to follow me around for the rest of my life. You know, like a little sister. We’ll go everywhere together, so it needs a name.”

Sniff.

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Tags: Entertaining a Sick Child

Day #6 30 Day Summer Fun Challenge: Rainy Day Arts & Crafts

frog craft

Welcome to Day #6 of our 30 Day Summer Fun Challenge, where we’re giving you 30 days of simple, creative & most importantly memorable ideas to make this the most fun summer EVER for your family.

We’ve got storms here in the Chicagoland area today so I thought I’d share a Rainy Day fun idea. You can’t go wrong with Arts & Crafts when you are stuck indoors during summer break. However, there are a lot of craft kits out there so you need to keep some things in mind.

1. Are you going to do the craft with them or do you need the kit to keep the kiddos busy while you do other things? If so, make sure it is age appropriate so they don’t need Mom to do it all for them. Also, make sure they won’t finish it in 5 minutes and ask “Now, what?”

2. Is everything included in the kit? If you have a ton of art supplies in your house already, you don’t need a kit that includes another glue stick or more magic markers. Maybe your best bet includes getting a craft book from the library or book store and using the supplies you already have. If you are at Grandma’s house or don’t have that many supplies, then make sure your kit has everything included. (You don’t want to start a craft only to find out that you need to go to the store to get Googly eyes. “Mom, how can we create under these conditions?”)

3. Do you want to reuse the kit or craft ‘n go? My daughter, the artist, goes through so many craft kits that I now look for ones that I can dispose of when we are done. We already have some great art kits that include all kinds of materials that we use constantly. So, I don’t want a new kit with 1,000 paint brushes. No more crayons in my house! I look for kits that we or she can put together with no extra pieces left over when we are done. Klutz makes some great craft ‘n go kits.

4. What do your kids like to do? There are so many cool themed art kits to appeal to all sorts of interests and artistic techniques. There is everything from painting to jewelry making to shrinky dinks to sewing and more.

We’ve tried a lot of the craft kits out there with our kids and some keep them engaged, and some don’t. However, the three kits we keep using again and again that have provided our kids with hours of crafting fun, include the Alex Toys Giant Art Supply Jar, the My Very Busy Box, and the My Art Case Art Supply Kit.

I would recommend the My Very Busy Box for younger kids (as young as 2 years old) because there are instructions on how to make certain craft ideas. The Giant Art Supply Jar is perfect for older kids who want to create their own ideas and just need the supplies to make it happen. Don’t forget to grab an Art Project Splat Mat or an old tablecloth to protect your kitchen table or put on the floor under the crafting area.

Send us a photo of your rainy day craft or tell us about your favorite arts & craft kit. Happy Crafting!

Click here to read all of our Summer Fun Challenge Ideas.

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Tags: Entertaining a Sick Child · Family Fun Ideas · Summer Family Activities

How to Have Fun with a Sick Child in the Hospital – Books

In the last installment of How to Have Fun with a Sick Child in the Hospital series, I’m going to share some of my favorite books and audio books that will keep you giggling and having fun. There are some nice books out there about kids being sick, but I think that reading a funny book out loud together will help heal so much better.

Here are some of our funny favorites that are fun to read out loud or have everyone giggling. When you are tired of reading and want to just rest in the room together, throw in an audio book. Grab them at your local library or I have provided the link to Amazon for purchase. (Note: I don’t receive any commission from Amazon. I just wanted to make it easier for you to find the books.)

Have fun reading! Come back and tell us what your favorite books are or which books make you laugh most. We could all use a good laugh.

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Tags: Entertaining a Sick Child · Family Fun Ideas · Reading with the Kids

How to Have Fun with a Child in the Hospital – Magnetic and Sticker Play Scenes

So, you’ve watched movies, did some arts & crafts, played games, and you’re looking for the next idea to keep a child in the hospital amused and smiling. Well, remember those old Colorform toys from when you were a kid? You know the board with the felt or plastic shapes that allowed you to dress up a doll or create? Well, they are still going strong and the designs on some of these activity toys are amazing. We carry quite a few of them at the Chocolate Cake Club because they make such great travel toys and all of the pieces are easy to put back and store in the container. Best yet, they are all under $15.00!

Magnetic Dress-Up Figures

    For boys:

    Monster Magnetic Figures
    Monster Magnetic Figures

    Robot Magnetic Figures
    Robot Magnetic Figures

    For girls: There are a whole range of designs based on her interests.

    World Traveler Magnetic Scene
    World Traveler Dress Up Doll

    Ballerina Magnetic Dress Up Girl
    Ballerina Dress Up Doll

    Sporty Girl Magnetic Dress Up Doll
    Sporty Girl

    Princess Magnetic Dress Up Doll
    Princess Dress Up Doll

    At the Stable

Play Scene Sticker Sets

    Map of the World Sticker Set
    Map of the World Sticker Set

    Garden Fairies Sticker Scene
    Garden Fairies Sticker Play Scene

    Fun and Dance Sticker Set
    Fun and Dance Sticker Set

Did you play with Colorforms when you were a kid? Do you remember what they were?

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Tags: Entertaining a Sick Child · Family Fun Ideas · Parenting Tips

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