Author Archives: Sara Cremeno

Picture Books for Children with Sensory Needs, Anxieties and Special Needs

Melvin's Adventures LogoAs a registered dental hygienist for Concord Pediatric Dentistry, I am constantly researching and looking for helpful things for my patients and their parents. We treat a variety of different children all with different needs and circumstances. One thing I was having a difficult time finding was picture books to help children with sensory processing disorder, anxiety and autism prepare for a dental checkup.

There are plenty of books available about going to the dentist, but none I found to be realistic and helpful for a child with anxieties or special needs.

I am a local children’s books author and I developed a series for children with sensory needs, anxieties, and special circumstances. The books can be a great read for any child, but have a special amount of TLC throughout the story.

Concord Pediatric Dentistry has partnered with me to help present the newest book in the 9780996727068_E_BookMelvin’s Adventures – Sensory Series, “Melvin Goes to the Dentist.” I am so thankful and proud to have gained so much knowledge with this company and to also have my project and passion supported by such a great pediatric dental practice. This title is available the Monday after Thanksgiving, November 30, 2015 online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, or locally at Concord Pediatric Dentistry.

What Makes Melvin Books Different:

Our stories are written in a realistic yet kid-friendly way. This means that after repetitious reading, children can understand what they can expect at the dentist and reduce some of the anxiety they may have.

FullSizeRender-10Parent guides are filtered into each story to help provide the parents with special tips to alleviate some of their stress and uncertainty.  At the end of each book there is a special parent survival guide and parent survival kit to help caregivers remember what to pack for a new experience and what to remember.

 

 

New titles are added every other month, with releases scheduled to the end of 2016. We are hopeful that we can portray many of the issues children with sensory issues struggle with to make the experience easier for them in the future.

Our current titles include

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Future titles will include:

  • Melvin Has a Cavity
  • Melvin Learns to Eat Right (All about healthy snacks for your teeth and body)
  • Melvin’s Healthy Eats – A kid’s cookbook
  • Melvin Goes on Vacation
  • and so many more

We understand that parent’s have certain events that are more difficult than others. If you have a title you want portrayed in a book, please email me at contact@melvinbooks.com

If you want to hear more about the Melvin’s Adventures – A Sensory Series, including local book signings, events and appearances and new titles, sign up for the mailing list at www.melvinbooks.com

Sara Cremeno,

RDH at CPD and Author of Melvin’s Adventures

 

Turkey Day Fun for your Little One!

I cannot believe how quickly 2015 is flying! Thanksgiving is just a few days away and the holiday preparations are underway. There are so many fun ways to keep your child involved in the holiday spirit. Here are some of my favorites!

Let them help in the kitchen:

Thanksgiving is never the same without homemade whipped cream. My mom always makes it to top the pumpkin pie and it’s extremely easy to make. This is a great recipe to have the kids help you with. If you’ve never made whipped cream before follow these instructions:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Hand Mixer

Add one cup of whipping cream into a large bowl,  combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Whip the mixture until it becomes the consistency of whipped cream and the cream peaks.

This is a fun way for kids to stay active, involved and helpful around the holidays.

When dinner is underway and adults are deep in conversation, the kids table can become a little boring. Try some of these activities to make it more interesting and keep them occupied while you get to enjoy adult conversation.

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  • Styrofoam ball
  • Brown paint
  • Crayons
  • Construction paper – brown, red and yellow

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Coloring Activities

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Print out a few Thanksgiving themed coloring pages for the kids table. The kids can use the turkey crayon holder and color while you can relax for a moment. If you don’t have time to make coloring books, try using craft paper as a table cloth and the kids can have fun playing tic-tac-toe or coloring right on the table!

 

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Custom Table Name Tags:

Let the kids help make a special place card for your holiday guests!

What you’ll need:

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  • Pipe cleaner – yellow, orange, brown, red
  • Felt – orange, red
  • Googly eyes
  • Toothpicks
  • Sticky labels

 

 

 

 

We hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving with their family and loved ones this year. Share any creations you make this holiday season with us on Facebook! We’d love to see your creativity!

Happy Holidays!

Sara Cremeno,

Registered Dental Hygienist and Writer for Concord Pediatric Dentistry

Tomie dePaola presents The Magical World of Strega Nona: A Treasury

Local Happenings in the Concord Area

If you’re anything like me you might have been brought up reading or listening to Tomie dePaola’s stories of Strega Nona. I have distinctly fond memories of Strega Nona’s spaghetti bounding out of her door and down the road to town.

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Children’s literature is such an important and empowering thing. Kids are so fortunate to have such a strong suspension of disbelief imbedded within them giving any story the power to become magical. The gift of literature is a true blessing in today’s society and community.

 

For a fun event in Concord, visit Gibson’s Bookstore where the author/illustrator of the Strega Nona series, Tomie dePaola, will be signing books. The event begins at 5 P.M on Monday November 9, 2015 and is FREE of charge to attend.

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Bring your little one for an evening of fun children’s literature!

We’d love to see any pictures from this event shared with us on Facebook at Concord Pediatric Dentistry Facebook!

 

Sara Carbonneau, RDH and Writer for Concord Pediatric Dentistry

Think Spring! Starting your Garden with your Kids

Now that St. Patrick’s day is over and Easter is on its way, we can start thinking about Spring! Let’s just hope the snow melts and there isn’t too much more to come. Gardening is such a fun thing for kids to learn and play with and now is a great time to start some of your seeds indoors. While the snow is still melting kids can start planting their seeds inside and watching them slowly sprout and get ready for outdoor transplant. Here are some ideas to have fun with gardening with your kids!

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1.) Choose vegetables and flowers that your kids are excited to grow and eventually eat.

2.) Buy your seeds and get your vessels ready.

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3.) Seeds can be planted in a number of different pods from cardboard egg cartons to hollowed K-Cups

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4.) Pick up your soil and get planting!

There are a range of dates for when to start planting your seeds. Below is a chart to follow to see which to start now and which to hold off on.

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5.) Put your seeds near light and let your kids have fun watering them and watching them grow!

In the summer, when the vegetables are ready to be harvested it is such a fun thing for kids to eat something they made and so healthy for their teeth!

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Happy Almost Spring!

Sara Cremeno, RDH and writer at Concord Pediatric Dentistry

DIY Teeth Friendly Valentines!

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many of you are going to be running to your local Target to search the shelves for candy and treats. This year, why not try to encourage your kids to choose a Valentine’s Day treat that is gentle on teeth? As an added bonus it also avoids leaving out kids who have allergies and have to avoid certain treats.

I’ve added a few of my favorites in this blog, so chose the valentine that you want to make and send us your pics on our Concord Pediatric Dentistry Facebook page!

1.) The Lovebug valentine from Dandee

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2.) Bookmark valentines! These win my heart because I am a huge lover of books! You can find the directions on Thirty Handmade Days

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3.) Crazy Straws, because I think you’re exSTRAW awesome! It’s Always Autumn 

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4.) Relocated Living shared this great idea where kids can enjoy a picture to color!

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5.) An out of this world valentine from Free Time Frolics used bouncy balls for extra fun.

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6.) Running short on time? You can make a super cute cupid’s arrow with a fun pencil on Muffin Grayson

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7.) At Mer Mag you can print some fun pirate Valentines for your ocean lover!

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8.) At Dandee, there is a great printable for any child!

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9.) Kid’s love superheros! At It’s Always Autumn, you can give your valentines an awesome superhero bracelet.

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10.) And finally, at The Nerd’s Wife, you can make some super fun crayon hearts for kids to enjoy! This is also a great way to recycle all of the broken crayons you may have lying around.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sara Cremeno, RDH at Concord Pediatric Dentistry

DIY ‘Frozen’ Themed Snow Day Slime!

If you haven’t heard yet then I presume you have no access to internet, cable or a radio. In the event that you haven’t heard we are getting a major snowstorm. I’m sure all of your kids will have a snow day tomorrow, which means that if you also have a snow day you might be racking your brain for things to do with them.

This is a super fun project for kids that gets them away from the television, internet and phone for a while.

DIY Frozen themed slime!

You can find most of the ingredients in your cupboard or school supply area. Here’s what I used:

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Elmer’s clear glue (you could try white as well)

Blue food coloring

Water

Borax (you could also try powdered soap)

Glitter

2 mixing bowls, measuring cup and measuring spoons

Directions:

Add 1C of water to a mixing bowl then add 1tsp of Borax and mix. Set aside.

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In the other mixing bowl add 4oz of glue and 1/2C of water and mix. Then add in the glitter and 2-4 drops of food coloring. Mix.

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Combine the borax mixture to the other bowl and mix until it becomes slightly stiff then mix with your hands. The more mixing the better. Squeeze out the remaining water and let your kids play!

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Let us know if you have any fun snow day plans on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Concord-Pediatric-Dentistry/266814060005806

Enjoy your snow day!

Sara, RDH at Concord Pediatric Dentistry

DIY Snowman Mugs

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Now that the holidays are behind us and the decorations are put away, we can move forward with a long cold winter. Only kidding of course, but for the kids there is nothing quite as fun on a cold day as hot chocolate. To make things even more fun when it’s too cold outside to play, why not make your own customized hot chocolate mugs?

This DIY project is very easy and you can use as much, or as little, creativity as you want.

What you’ll need:

White mugs ( try Target or Walmart.)

Orange and black Sharpie’s for snowmen, or any color if the kids want to get creative

An oven set at 350 degrees

Hot chocolate for the end 🙂

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You can copy my snowmen or make a design of your own. When you are done, simply place the mug in the oven and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. These make great gifts for teachers, classmates or family!

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Holidays, Traditions and Family

 

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It doesn’t matter which holiday, if any, you celebrate this time of year. There is something about the snow, the chill in the air and a warm home to really make you appreciate all that you have and all that you can give to the world.

My mom’s birthday is right around Christmas and every year we spend a day, experimenting with cookie recipes, decorating our houses together and enjoying being with one another.

Sometimes our cookies are delicious while other times, well, not so much. This year was fifty fifty in the cookie success department.

Mom’s Recipe: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (very delicious and perfectly made, obviously this was her recipe and not mine.)

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Directions:

Cream ½ cup of shortening, 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. After this, beat in two eggs, two one ounce squares of melted unsweetened chocolate.

Combine 2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Sift together. Add the mixture alternating with 1/3 cup of milk.

Chill the dough for three hours. When ready make 1 inch round balls, roll in powdered sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degree for fifteen minutes.

These cookies look so festive on a holiday cookie platter!

Sara’s Recipe: Salted Caramel Cookies (very delicious, but made quite the mess! These may not make it on the cookie platter, but my husband will enjoy them.)

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Directions:

I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Tollhouse cookie package, but substituted caramel bits for the chocolate chips.

The caramel bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, despite greasing it, and were nearly impossible to remove. Next time I would try a drop cookie with a salted caramel center. The cookies we were able to save were so good, maybe it’s a good thing they didn’t all make it!

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Share with some of your favorite holiday cookie and treat recipes with us on Facebook!

Elf on the Shelf

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we are left with tons of snow, you can start pulling out seasonal decorations and starting up on family traditions.

Does your family have an elf that visits around the holiday season to help children stay on their best behavior? We have heard that Santa sends these scout elves to keep his eyes and ears on the children.

Your adopted scout elf will watch over the house and at the end of the day they’ll report back to Santa and tell him all that he/she has seen. When morning comes families have a fun time looking around the house to see where the elf has moved to.

Sometimes the scout elves cause a little mischief around the house. Here are a few of the things  that the elves have been caught doing!

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Although it is such a fun tradition to have as part of your family, the choice to adopt an elf is not for everyone. It’s nice to enhance gratitude, forgiveness, and generosity in not only the holiday season, but also year round. When it’s time for the elf to go, have a fun talk with your family about what it means to be kind all the time.

 

Please share with us what some of your families seasonal traditions are. If you have an elf and you capture them doing anything fun in your house, take a picture and post it on our Facebook page!

 

Bedtime Routine Chart

Sometimes after a long day of working, running errands and taking care of household needs, the bedtime routine can be exhausting. By adding a bedtime routine chart into your nighttime ritual, you can experience more success with tasks getting completed without an argument.

There are different ways to customize  a bedtime routine chart to suit your needs. Parents with multiple children will want to add different columns for each child to check off their chores as they complete them. At the end of each month, if all chores were completed, parents can choose to do a special activity or have a fun treat to keep things exciting.

To keep things interesting, try mixing up the chores every few weeks to keep the chart fresh and new.

Below is an example of a blog I found on www.kidsactivitiesblog.com

The post includes a printable chore chart if you don’t want to make your own. Just make sure to add brushing AND flossing as part of the routine as flossing is so often overlooked. If you start adding that in at a young age the habit will be more likely to be carried over to adulthood.

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/60178/bedtime-routine-printable

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