Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Hip Hop, Baby! featured in Uptown Magazine

Founder and creator of It’s Hip Hop, Baby!, senior producer at Harpo Productions, and Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Children’s Programming

What began as a mother’s method to calm her child is now an instrument for teaching children listening skills and direction comprehension. “If you can help a child with a [developmental] delay learn to follow instructions, you should be able to do that with almost all children,” says Carter, who has a son and a daughter. “It’s Hip Hop, Baby! started out of necessity because my son responded to music.”

Carter’s son, born with a very rare chromosome disorder that causes severe speech, mental, and physical delays, is on a special-needs journey through life. Carter, however, found a way to make it educational and entertaining for him. In 2006, the Chicagoan launched her first child-friendly hip-hop video, filled with fancy footwork and learning fundamentals, called It’s Hip Hop, Baby! Today, her company is an iParenting Media Award winner and produces a multicultural series with a dance video, fitness routines, and basic essentials for learning ABCs, numbers, animals, and body parts for children 1 to 6 years old.

My joke is, “I just started singing, literally, to keep myself from crying.” I was in the kitchen with my son, and he was screaming. He screamed from 8 a.m. until he went to bed, but when I started beat boxing and making beats on the table, he paid attention and stopped.”

He runs and jumps like a typical kid but reminds you of someone with autism.You can’t have a conversation with him because he doesn’t have full language [skills], but he can show you what he wants, and he says a few words. He’s 7 years old now and still watches the DVD because it helps his language. Because of this whole experience, my communication with him is musical. If he spills milk, for example, I make up a song and he repeats it. Music is one of the most effective, proven methods for helping children learn.

The line was created for all children but works well for those with special needs too. I receive letters from moms of children with special needs saying that their child likes to sing, dance, and verbalize [with the DVD]. Plus, the dance [video] works for kids and parents. We filmed three full-length hip-hop routines: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. You’re a little tired afterward, but it gets kids involved and active.

To order, visit

Monday, November 29, 2010


Here are some easy tips and goals to ensure a successful birthday party day for your Hip Hop Baby kids:

1. Planning is good.
Put it down on paper, enlist help, and have backup activities if you believe that you might run out of entertainment halfway through the party.
2. Theme the party.
Themes have fallen by the wayside, but if you enlist the help of a theme, you do not have to rack your brain to come up with decorations and games. Instead, many themes naturally lend themselves to games and activities already.
3. Do not give the invitations to your child to hand out at school, unless you are inviting the whole class.
If your child gives invitations only to a select few, there will be hurt feelings. If you are keeping the numbers small, mail the invites or call the parents of the other children directly.
4. Limit the number of kids that will attend the party.
Although a free for all ensures a good turnout, the idea of inviting one child for each year of your child’s age is a good way of limiting the expense and chaos you might experience.
5. Be honest with yourself about your comfort level.
If you don’t like the sound of this idea, consider enlisting an outdoor venue or visit one of the fast food locales that offer party packages with food, entertainment, and – best of all – cleanup!
6. Keep the party short and sweet.
Do not make it an all day affair but specify a starting an ending time. The younger the child, the shorter the duration of the party. This is a good rule of thumb to keep kids from acting out.
7. Goodie bags are a must and there be sufficient bags for each child present, including the siblings.
It should be a fun little item that says “thank you” to the kids for coming and helping your child celebrate.

Reference: Parent News, Birthday Party Ideas

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Want to hear some potty tales told by parents around the US? See how they were able to conquer potty training and become masters in creative ways to install good potty habits in their Hip Hop Baby:

A little bribery goes a long way
M&M's and stickers! Promise that each time your kid goes potty, he or she gets two or three, but if she wipes herself (a huge challenge for most) then she gets four or five!

Miniature man
Buy "manly-man" underwear, just like Dad's, and then have him spend the weekend in the big boy underwear and check-in every hour or so to see if he needs to use the restroom. This makes him feel grown-up and just like dad!

Trouble with the aim
Teaching boys to learn the standing-up style can be difficult. Put five Cheerios in the potty and have him aim at them when he uses the toilet. This makes going to the bathroom less intimidating.

Loving Mom
Kids need a lot of undivided attention, positive reinforcement, love, affection, and pride when learning unfamiliar things. Making a big deal about small steps in progress is key.

Timing is everything
Putting him or her on the toilet every 20 minutes is a good way to start. If your child attends daycare, seeing other kids learning the same thing makes them want to learn too. You can also purchase a “Potty Watch”, which many children love. The parent programs the watch to play songs and light up at 30, 60, or 90-minutess. Makes the big boy or girl feel in control.

Comfort in location
Purchasing a mini potty seat with characters on it can look less intimidating to children. Some parents even choose to keep the potty in the living room, since they spend the most time there. Then, you can gradually move it closer and closer to the bathroom.

Reference: Parents,


Everyone loves Chinese food in all of its greasy, fatty glory. But can you really have a healthy option for this craving? Check out the 5 star recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken with Brown Rice from the Food Network that has a 5 minute cook time, serves 4, and is a beginner meal option for all Hip Hop Baby moms! Make tonight a family dinner night!

2 cups instant brown rice
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons finely grated or minced ginger
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 cups bite-size pieces of vegetables, such as snow peas, broccoli and bell peppers
1 5-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained

Prepare rice according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and apricot preserves in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink on the outside and just starting to brown in spots, about 2 minutes more.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add vegetables, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts and the chicken. Whisk the reserved sauce and add to the pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Serve with the rice.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Many Hip Hop Baby kids, especially those with older siblings, have longed for this rite of passage. But, others may be fearful of the change from the often small, loving, and comfortable preschool situation. How to make this an easier, more fun transition for your little one? Well, attention to a few issues and some major empathy on your part will do the trick. Usually your child’s concerns relate to simply getting through the day in one piece (schedules, how the day will proceed). As a mom or dad, answering a few simple questions will be very comforting to your kids. Here are 7 that you can start with:

1. Where’s the bathroom and when can I use it?
2. What if I don’t make it to the bathroom and have an accident?
3. What if I get hungry? Will they feed me?
4. Do I have to take a nap?
5. Will I have homework like my older brother has?
6. What happens first? Then what do we do?
7. What if you don’t pick me up on time?

MSN Today,