ZIPPITY ZOO FEST – BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

Calling all Party Animals!! 🦒🦓🐏 🐅🐆 Join BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo as they celebrate their 52nd birthday at Zippity Zoo Fest on April 2nd and 3rd!

The whole family will enjoy this Annual spring festival complete with live entertainment, edzoocation station, children’s village, animal enrichments, special character visits, free birthday cake, and much more!

ZIPPITY ZOO FEST

ZIPPITY ZOO FEST 2022

Entertainment
Enjoy the talents of community groups from across the area. We may even have some characters stop by throughout the weekend for socially-distanced photo opportunities!

ZIPPITY ZOO FEST

EdZooCation Station
Stop by the EdZooCation Station for fun and learning! Learn about animal facts, animal conservation and pollination. You might also get to meet some of our education department’s animal ambassadors!

ZIPPITY ZOO FEST

Keeper Chats & Animal Enrichments
Hear from our Zoo Keepers, ask questions and learn how we care for our animals daily. At select chats, watch our animals enjoy a special Zoo birthday treat, while you enjoy a piece of free Zoo birthday cake!

Tickets
Make plans to join the Zoo for a festive, fun-filled family day at the Zoo!  Purchase tickets here!

Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The company that sponsored it compensated BRFF via a cash payment, gift, or giveaway. Opinions expressed herein are that of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the sponsor.

A well-planned morning routine – Baton Rouge Family Fun

A smooth-sailing morning and you’re all ready to tackle whatever the day brings. A mad rush out the door clutching a breakfast bar, papers flying and shoes untied, and you’ll all need a nap by noon. A well-planned morning routine helps children handle problems, perform in school, and get along with others far better than if they start the day rushed and unorganized.

Parents can plan out a morning routine, writing down a detailed schedule of what needs to be done in the morning and how it can be done with a minimum of stress.

Morning Routine

A well-planned morning routine…

If your family’s morning routine is rushed, chaotic, and full of frustration, you should first be evaluating exactly what is happening in the mornings. What are the key things that get your attention and get you angry? A child who won’t get out of bed until the third call? A child who takes 10 minutes to put on his socks? Identify these situations and start responding to them in ways that will get your children to change their behaviors.

Here are some tips for streamlining your morning routine into a smooth ride for the entire family.

Get enough sleep.

No matter how well organized your morning routine is, you need to be well-rested to handle it. The first key to a great morning is to have had enough sleep. If you don’t already have a good bedtime routine for your kids, get one. Get up before your children. In order to lead the children in an efficient morning, parents need to be awake and ready to start the day ahead of time.

Set things out the night before.

Have your kids pick out what they’re going to wear and set out their clothes. Get completed homework back in the backpacks before they go to bed. Set out gym backs, forms, musical instruments, and anything they need to take to school.

Do as much as you can the night before.

Encourage your kids to shower the night before instead of in the morning, especially the slow-pokes. Pack lunches the night before and keep them in the frig, ready to grab and go.
Schedule an extra 10 minutes of wake-up time. If you’ve scheduled your kids’ morning down to the minute, build in at least a few extra minutes of cushion time, for them to get out of bed and get moving.

Give them a reward for “smooth mornings.”

Tell your kids if they can get through a morning without yelling, threats, and excessive rushing, they’ll get a sticker on a chart, a candy in their lunch, or another reward.

Don’t lump your kids together.

Kids are different and need different types of encouragement in the mornings to get things done. Let each of your children have input on their own personal morning routine. If one child needs more time, get him up earlier. If another child needs more time to eat breakfast, allow that for him. Allow each of your children to have a schedule that works for him, instead of running a boot camp group operation.

Keep things close to the door.

Organize your mudroom or entryway so that coats, hats, gloves, shoes, and anything else your child needs for the day are all near the doorway. Invest in a closet organizer that you can label with days of the week and hang in a closet near the door. Use it to stash signed permission slips, money the kids may need, sneakers on gym day, an instrument on music day, and whatever else your kids need.

Use written reminders.

Keep a whiteboard or a chalkboard near the back door and have your children write down reminders to themselves. Put it in a spot where it can be seen as you’re leaving the house.

Be flexible.

While there’s no arguing the significance of a healthy breakfast, sometimes your child just won’t be in the mood. Don’t fight it. While routines are important, when things come up, or the routine is not working, be flexible! There will be times when the routine can cause more stress and anxiety.

A well-planned morning routine need not be elaborate, just functional!

You may also like: Baton Rouge Corn Maze & Night Maze at Burden 2021

Healthy Mamas research study – Pennington Biomedical

Less than 15 weeks pregnant? Want to learn about healthy habits for you and your growing baby? Join the Healthy Mamas research study! Your child’s long-term health begins in the womb, and what you eat during your pregnancy influences the health of your baby.

Research has shown that excess weight gain during pregnancy can have long-term consequences for both mother and baby. In recent years, almost half of all pregnant women in the United States gained more than the recommended amount of weight over the course of their pregnancies. An estimated 1.1 million women in the U.S. each year enter pregnancy with obesity, and women with obesity before pregnancy have the highest likelihood of gaining excess weight during pregnancy.

Healthy Mamas Pennington Biomedical

The good news is that for women with excess body fat, staying close to the same weight throughout pregnancy and losing some body fat throughout pregnancy may help prevent health problems during pregnancy and delivery and improve long-term health for both mother and baby! Prior research from Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that women with obesity who maintained weight or lost a modest amount of weight during pregnancy did not lose precious water, placenta, or baby weight – they just lost unhealthy body fat!

Healthy Mamas Research Study

Researchers at Pennington Biomedical have developed the Healthy Mamas study to further research weight maintenance and determine the health effects of a lifestyle program that supports weight maintenance during pregnancy in women with obesity. Participation in the study lasts about 8 months, and study participants will complete 4 clinic visits and 3 or 4 short ultrasound visits in the Pennington Biomedical outpatient clinic throughout pregnancy until 2 weeks postpartum.

Every mom who participates in the Healthy Mamas study will receive at no cost:

  • Education on healthy behaviors during pregnancy
  • Follow-up during pregnancy to assess changes in weight, eating, activity, and health
  • Follow-up at 2 weeks postpartum to assess mother and baby’s health
  • Compensation of up to $400 for time and participation.

To qualify for this study, participants should:

  • Be a woman less than 15 weeks pregnant
  • Be 18-45 years old ·
  • Have a Body Mass Index between 35.0 and 55.0 [calculate your BMI here]
  • Be expecting one baby in the current pregnancy
  • Be willing to eat study foods
  • Be willing to enroll their infant for study procedures after birth

If you are interested in volunteering for the Healthy Mamas study, visit the website to screen online or to learn more! https://bit.ly/HealthyMamasStudy

You can also learn more by calling 225-326-0546 or emailing moms@pbrc.edu.

Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The company that sponsored it compensated Baton Rouge Family Fun via payment, gift, or giveaway. Opinions expressed herein are that of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the sponsor.

Back to School: Ensuring an A+ start to the school year

Back to school…three words that represent great joy to parents who are ready to get back to routine and bring great anguish and “pain” to kids who aren’t quite ready to give up their summer freedom. In order to ensure a smooth transition from the fun and less structured summer into a new school year, I think it is important as parents to take the time to talk to our children about their worries and concerns going into the fall semester.

Back to School

Back to School: Ensuring an A+ start to the school year

Back to School – Ask Questions

The question could be as simple as, “Is there anything you are worried about for this school year?” I know in my office when I ask this question, I have had many a parent be surprised by the answer their child might give. When we know what our children are worried or afraid of, it makes us, as parents, better equipped to give them the guidance they need to maneuver through the unchartered waters of a new school experience happily and successfully.

Back to School – Set Expectations

I encourage parents to teach children to view school as their job—what better time to start teaching children about work ethic than from the very beginning of school. As parents, we should set expectations for our children in regards to their “job” performance, and if these expectations are not met, then they should be held accountable.

Now, the expectations, as well as the consequences, will, of course, vary by age, but even the youngest child should understand that they should strive to be the best they can be at their job. Even my son, who is starting Pre-K 3, knows that mommy and daddy expect him to listen to his teacher, follow directions, and be a good friend to his classmates. If he doesn’t achieve these things, he doesn’t get to read books at night (his favorite pre-bedtime activity).

These expectations are established from the get-go so that there is no confusion about the “job description.”

Back to School – Establish a good rapport with your child’s teacher

I also encourage all parents, but especially the parents of elementary-aged children, to establish a good rapport with their child’s teacher. After all, the reality is that in many cases, their teacher will spend more time with them during the weekday than we will.

It is crucial to make sure there are channels of communication that exist between parents and teachers, and these should not be one-way avenues. Parents should feel comfortable bringing up concerns to teachers, just as teachers should be respected when they bring concerns back to parents.

A partnership between teacher and parent is vital to helping children achieve success in the classroom which often translates to increased self-confidence in kids.

Stay positive

So as everyone heads back to school, establish those expectations, let them know their “job description,” and then make sure your voice as a parent is a positive one with excitement, support, and encouragement for the upcoming school year.

As kids make the trek up the ladder to reach those expectations you have set, make sure they know you are their biggest cheerleader and will always be behind them to catch them when they stumble, to give extra little pushes along the way, and to celebrate all of their achievements all from a place of unconditional love.

“Ask the Experts” is a series on Baton Rouge Family Fun where local experts share their thoughts, opinions and answer questions relating to health, wellness, parenting, and living in Baton Rouge.Ask the experts Baton Rouge Moms

Disclaimer: The purpose of this site is to share family resources and Baton Rouge Family Fun’s experiences with food, fitness, and health as well as opinions from some of our local experts. This content is for informational purposes only and isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice.  When it comes to your health or the health of your child, please be sure to contact your physician.

Back to School Supply Drives, Events, & Programs

The first day of school is quickly approaching families in the Baton Rouge area. The start of the school year can be a stressful time for families. For one in five children living in poverty, parents often have to choose between buying school supplies or putting food on the table. Yet, whether they’re attending class online or in the classroom, school supplies remain critical to helping students feel prepared to succeed. Here’s a running list of back-to-school events to help parents prepare their children for the upcoming school year.

Back to School Baton Rouge Supply Drives, Events, & Programs

Back to School Baton Rouge Supply Drives, Events, & Programs

Back to School Bash and School Supply Giveaway

Back to School Baton Rouge

EBR Schools is hosting their annual city-wide Back to School Bash and School Supply Giveaway! Join EBR Schools at the Raising Cane’s River Center Saturday, August 7th, from 10 am – 4 pm for a fun-filled day. Get ready for school all in one place! Get information about all of the wonderful opportunities available for students and families in East Baton Rouge Parish, along with enjoying free fitness sessions, health screenings, haircuts, entertainment, and more!


WBRZ Stuff the Bus

Back to School Baton Rouge

WBRZ’s Stuff the Bus Campaign is a school supply drive that assists parents and teachers in East Baton Rouge Parish and West Baton Rouge Parish to receive the school supplies their children need in order to succeed.

Help them fill up East Baton Rouge Parish school buses and West Baton Rouge Parish school buses with school supplies for the children of our community! Drop off supplies on Wednesday, July 28th, at the Walmart on College Drive in East Baton Rouge and the Walmart in Port Allen in West Baton Rouge.


Salvation Army Stuff the Bus Baton Rouge School Supply Drive

The Salvation Army is joining forces with Walmart to “Stuff the Bus” for children in need. During this year’s Stuff the Bus Baton Rouge School Supply Drive event, shoppers visiting the Wal-Mart on Burbank and College Dr. on Saturday, the 24th, from 9 am to 4 pm can purchase and drop off requested items at Salvation Army collection bins at the front of each store. The goal is to provide new school supplies to children in need of a fresh start to the school year.

All donations made at Stuff the Bus campaign events will remain in the community to help The Salvation Army provide back-to-school support to children in need.


Annual Backpack Give-Away Back to School Community Fair

The Salvation Army is hosting its Annual Backpack Give-Away Back to School Community Fair on Saturday, July 31st, at 4025 W Brookstown Dr. from 10 am to 1 pm.

Lunch, Health and Educational Exhibits, Carnival Games, Prizes, and more! *For Backpack Give-Away, parents must bring ID. Child must be present. Pre-K through 8th Grade only. Limited to the first 400 children. Child must be present at the event to receive a backpack*

 Family and Youth Service Center

Very little feels as good to a kid as starting school all prepared. Very little feels as bad as walking in on the first day with nothing.
Help Family and Youth Service Center make kids feel great on their first day. Please help them fill the barrel at the Family and Youth Service Center, 1120 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802.
They’re open from 8-5 Monday through Friday. You can contact them by ph 225-239-7801 or roxson@fysc-ebr.org

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office

Back to school


Back to School Bash at Main Event

Back to School

Date and time

Sat, July 31, 2021

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT

Featuring:

● An exclusive activity from our brand-new STEAM-based program, Play Academy

● Birthday & School Group Booking Specials

● 1 Hour of FREE Arcade Play

● ½ Priced Bowling

● Contests and Prizes

● Face Painting and a Balloon Artist

● Local Vendors

Must RSVP via Eventbrite to save your spot – space is limited!

 

30 Things To Do with Kids in Baton Rouge

Summer fun is in full swing, time to relax and enjoy the lazy days of summer…  but tell that to kids who are bouncing off the walls or singing the boredom blues.

As parents, we want each summer to be more memorable than the last, and with that comes the need for a few new ideas, especially if your child is too young to go to a summer camp.

Here are 30 Things To Do in Baton Rouge and beyond that are sure to keep you busy all summer long!

Good to Know Before You Go: Please be sure to call before heading out; times change, parks close, so many variables can affect your outing.

Things To Do in Baton Rouge

30 Things To Do with Kids in Baton Rouge

  1. LSU Lakes – Bike, Picnic, Splash Pad – Between feeding the ducks, the great little bike path, the kids’ playground, and a little splash pad behind the art gallery, this is such a fun little day to have with the kiddos.
  2. Baton Rouge Splash Pad Parks & Pools Guide – Visit our Baton Rouge Water Fun Guide to find one of many Baton Rouge Splash Pads, water parks, and or pools!
  3. Tiki Tubing – Just a hop skip and jump away down the Amite. While you’re there, grab some grub at Day’s Smokehouse & Specialty Meats.
  4. Blueberry Picking – There is an abundance of places to do this around the area. The Sooner, the better before they are all picked over. We love to make Blueberry Scones with a Lemon Glaze.
  5. Pottery Painting – Brushfire Studios – This is a quaint little studio in downtown Denham Springs.
  6. Water Balloon Fight – This is a summer classic. Want to make it more fun? Add a little food coloring to the balloons and put the kids in white shirts. Just get ready to hose them down.
  7. Young Chefs Academy – This is one of my oldest’s favorite places. They have summer programs and fun little classes.
  8. Overtones Music Class – I am so excited about this. We are enrolling the oldest in a lesson, and the toddler will start a little class in August.
  9. Blackwater Conservation
  10. Tunica Falls 
  11. $1.50 Family Friendly Movies at Perkins Rowe  -Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse is back with 8 weeks of kid-approved movies! Enjoy safe and exciting big-screen entertainment for just $1.50 per ticket for each movie.
  12. Louisiana Peach Festival – Okay, so maybe this isn’t a day trip, but it’s totally worth the drive. Happening on June 5th in Ruston, Louisiana. Peach ice cream and some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
  13. Delcambre Shrimp Festival – While we are on the festival beat, this is totally a day trip. You haven’t gone Cajun till you go Acadiana. A bit later in the summer, this happens August 18th – 22nd. Bring your dancing shoes.
  14. Old State Capitol – While you’re downtown, hit up the Louisiana Art and Science Museum.
  15. Global Wildlife – This is one of the most underrated experiences of my childhood. Letting a giraffe eat out of your hand might be the highlight of your kid’s summer, and who am I kidding, your’s as well.
  16. Myrtles Plantation Tour – My oldest is very into mystery and more. On your way home, do yourself a favor and stop at Chloe’s in Zachary for a snowball.
  17. WWII Museum – I don’t really know that this needs much introduction; it’s a must-do with the older kiddos!
  18. Louisiana Children’s Museum – This is one of my fondest childhood memories.
  19. Audubon Zoo / Cool Zoo – I will spare you the song, but they do all “ax for you.” So don’t let those animals down. When you’re there, it’s totally worth the “pop” bracelet that gets you admission into the Cool Zoo and unlimited rides on the train and carousel.
  20. Audubon Aquarium of America’s & Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium – What kid doesn’t want to touch an urchin and eat crickets.
  21. Write and Illustrate a Children’s Book – Because, after all these big adventures, you will need some time at home.
  22. EBR Library – The East Baton Rouge Parish Library has many little classes and fun projects for all ages. Check out their event calendar and enjoy!
  23. Dinosaur Park Henderson – I have heard amazing things, and this summer, we intend to find out for ourselves.
  24. Livingston Parish Library – Just a little hop next door, and there are so many fun programs for littles to enjoy.
  25. Dig a Garden – There is no greater joy than watching my kiddos play in the dirt. If you need some help, Glad Gardens can build one for you!
  26. Make a Nana recipe from scratch – No box mixes here, just some love, wooden spoons, and old family recipes.
  27. Lemonade Stand – The earliest form of entrepreneurship at its south Louisiana finest.
  28. Barnhill Preserve in Ethel – (sloths…Nuff said) hands-on animal encounters and programs!
  29. Baton Rouge Zoo – One of our favorites to spend a day with the animals and play in the park – you can even feed the pelicans now too!
  30. Cajun Pride Swamp Tour – take a unique and educational journey back to the early days of Louisiana bayou and swamp explorations on this authentic Louisiana swamp eco-tour.
  31. Knock Knock Children’s Museum – this is a full day of fun and good eats at Acorn Cafe!

And be sure to check out our Summer Fun in Baton Rouge Guide for more!

Summer Fun in Baton Rouge

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BASIS Baton Rouge Primary – Mid City – Information Session

As Baton Rouge parents, one of the most important decisions we will make for our children is choosing a school. Whether you are choosing a school for the first time for your child or your child is making the transition to a new school, you probably have many questions. What are your options? How much choice do you really have? What’s the best option for your child and your family? Where should you begin?

One option is BASIS. BASIS Baton Rouge is a tuition-free charter school and features a top-ranked liberal arts curriculum that inspires students to love learning, to develop a fascination for critical inquiry, to be independent and formulate their own goals, and to graduate prepared for top-tier colleges.

We invite you to join BASIS for their Administration & parents for information sessions and parent panel discussions to learn more about BASIS Baton Rouge Primary – Mid City. See below for more details!

“We teach, it’s fun, it’s hard, it’s all about the future.” BASIS Baton Rouge is redefining education.

BASIS Baton Rouge Primary – Mid City will open in August 2021, joining their sister school BASIS Baton Rouge – Materra to serve East Baton Rouge students. BASIS is dedicated to providing a world-class education to students in grades K-5. Learn more below and find more information on upcoming virtual tours, info sessions, and parent panels.

BASIS Baton Rouge Primary

BASIS.ed Virtual Open House

 

Join BASIS at their Parent Panel, where you’ll hear testimonials, stories, and first-hand experiences from parents at BASIS Baton Rouge – Materra Campus. You will also be able to ask experienced staff members questions. This event will be held in-person and via webinar.

 

Wed, Mar 31, 2021, 6:00 PM CDT

Learn how BASIS Baton Rouge Primary Mid City’s world-class primary program prepares students for success.

At this info session, you’ll have the opportunity to meet Head of School, Rosalind Thompson, preview academic life and social culture at BASIS Baton Rouge Primary Mid City, particularly as a primary student. We’ll address your questions and tell you more about the acclaimed BASIS Charter School Curriculum that builds foundations in language, literacy, civics, history, science, math, movement, engineering and technology, performance arts, visual arts, and music.

This event will be held in person and virtually. For those that would like to attend in-person, masks and social distancing is required.

Wed, Apr 7, 2021, 6:00 PM CDT

Join us at a Q&A where you’ll have the opportunity to meet school leaders, ask questions, and learn more about the BASIS Charter School Curriculum.

This event will be held online via Microsoft Teams.

This event will be held in person at our sister school, BASIS Baton Rouge Materra, and virtually via Microsoft Teams. For those that would like to attend in-person, masks and social distancing is required.

Learn more: www.basised.com/baton-rouge-mid-city

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Best and Worst Halloween Candy Options for Children’s Teeth

All kids (and some parents) want to load up on all the Halloween candy they can get. Why even have the “Trick” in “Trick or Treat”?! Right?

As a pediatric dentist, I obviously don’t want your kids to eat too many sweets. Although I love seeing their smiling faces, I don’t want to find new cavities or an unglued crown that came out when they were eating a Laffy Taffy! Moderation is key here.  I would say don’t deprive your kids of candy. After all, that’s what Halloween is all about! But my advice is to go through all the candy together with your kids and choose 2-3 pieces they can have that day. Then stash the rest away out of sight.

Best and Worst Halloween Candy

Best and Worst Halloween Candy Options for Children’s Teeth

The best types of candy for your child’s teeth are dark chocolates or sugar-free hard candies. Dark chocolates have antioxidants and are crunchy and dissolve quickly in the mouth. This means your child’s teeth will be exposed to sugar for less time.

Types of candy to avoid are hard candies that remain in the mouth for longer periods of time (i.e. lollipops) because these expose your child’s teeth to sugar over longer periods of time and have an increased chance of causing tooth decay. Similar to hard candy, caramels and gummies will stay in the mouth longer and also tend to stick to our teeth’s biting surface, creating a perfect environment for cavities to form. Sour candies have increased acidity and can cause tooth enamel to break down more quickly.

Healthy Halloween Treats

Another great idea is to give kids fun, but healthy (SHH!) Halloween treats.  I love Pinterest for ideas and found a great site with Halloween snacks for kids. Check it out here: http://www.cleanandscentsible.com/2013/09/heathy-halloween-food-ideas.html

Halloween doesn’t have to be a dentist’s nightmare. As long as candy is eaten in moderation and you supplement that candy with some fun, healthier alternatives, your kids can enjoy Halloween and still have a healthy smile!

For more information on children’s oral health or if you have any questions, please visit www.ascensionsmiles.com or call us at (225) 402-4118.

Baton Rouge Distance Learning Program – YMCA of the Capital Area

As school resumes on a modified schedule, working parents are left wondering who will assist with their children’s schoolwork. The YMCA of the Capital Area is here to help! The Y will provide directed supervision, wi-fi, and space for children to complete their virtual learning via their Baton Rouge Distance Learning Program. Pre-registration is required.

 Baton Rouge Distance Learning Program

Baton Rouge Distance Learning Program – YMCA of the Capital Area

Program Includes:

  • Access to wi-fi and a space for children to complete their virtual learning 
  • Distance learning will be followed by structured activities, games, and more. 
  • Supervision while completing virtual learning 
  • Pre-registration is required

Each student should bring a device, headphones, and appropriate school supplies. Please make sure your student knows how to log in to their school’s website and learning platforms and how to operate their devices and software.

Days: 
Monday – Friday from 7 am until 6 pm

Grades:
Pre-K through 8th grade

Locations: 
A. C. Lewis YMCA 
Americana YMCA 
C. B. Pennington Jr. YMCA 

FAQs

Cost:
Registration Fee
  

Family Members              $0
Youth Members              $25
Program Members          $35

Weekly Fee: Distance Learning
Family Members              $75
Youth Members               $125   
Program Members           $150

Weekly Fee: Hybrid Learning (3 days a week, A. C. Lewis YMCA & C. B. Pennington Jr. YMCA only)
Family Members              $60 
Youth Members               $100   
Program Members           $120

To learn more and to register your child please visit YMCA OF THE CAPITAL AREA.