Sweet Summertime is almost here! It is our first official “Summer Vacation” with our kiddos this year. As much as we dreaded them starting preschool this year, we have gotten use to the nice little 3 hour break 2 times a week. Now it is time to put on the creative thinking caps and keep them busy!!! Here are some simple and Savvy ideas that we found entertaining and fun for kids of all ages!
We love Martha Stewart for so many reasons! Here are a few ideas we found from her 60 Days of Summer Activites . 1. Get the kids in the kitchen and whip up some cool treats. These Ice pops made from your kids favorite pureed fruits are the perfect Summer treat. Use yogurt containers or milk cartons for the molds for fun shapes! 2. The outdoors and Summer go hand in hand! Keep your kids busy by creating an Obstacle Course made from hula hoops, buckets, cardboard boxes, balloons, whatever you can find that is kid friendly! 3. Taking a trip or two to the beach? Bring home extra shells and get crafty! Create a Shell Wind Chime using string and sticks. 4. Water balloons are always a fun way to cool off, but try thisSponge Ball idea made from cut up sponges and string that will last longer than balloons too! 5. Decorate your front porch or your 4th of July celebration with these simple Holiday Lanterns made from construction paper. 6. Invite the neighborhood kids over and set up a “Sprinkler Party” for instant fun!
Have a camp out in your own backyard! Gather up your tent, sleeping bags, board games, flash lights, and snacks and have a “stay-cation” a few feet from home! Keep the kids busy with a scavenger hunt, sleeping bag races and of course S’mores! Don’t have a fire pit handy? Have your kids help bake up these yummyS’more cupcakes ahead of time. Find more camp out activities here.
We all will hear it one time or another this Summer……”Mom, I’m bored!” I was shocked the other day when I heard that from my 4 year old. Shocked first of all that it has started so young but also shocked that a whole entire playroom sits there and she was still “bored”. We came across this great idea from Somewhat Simple when you happen to hear those nails on a chalkboard words! The “Mom I’m Bored” jar is what very well could be the perfect solution to that problem!
If you are still stumped, the creative Laura Winslow of Laura Winslow Photography has created this FREE and adorable 8×10 printable LOADED with101 Bits of Summer Fun! We are going to make this our Summer Checklist!
Do you have any Summer bordem buster tips or ideas? We would love to hear them!
Have a Safe and Happy Summer!
Reading allows your child to understand more about the world around him. Having television and computers at hand, however, diminishes the allure of reading a good book. Here are some ways to encourage your child to read despite having tech gadgets within reach.
Read To Your Child
It is never too early to start reading to your child. This allows the child to learn that reading is a pleasant experience and that printed words have meanings. For beginning readers, using your pointer finger as you read through the text can develop sound recognition and word families (i.e. cake-bake). Changing your voice as you narrate the characters’ dialogues makes reading more animated and, thus, more appealing.
Even if your child may already be a proficient reader, being read to would still be entertaining provided you use a book or reading material that is appropriate for his level. Reading to him would help increase his vocabulary, pronunciation, and comprehension.
Be A Model
You can best encourage your child to read if you read yourself. Let your child see how much you love reading by always taking time to read. You may encourage the whole family to allot at least half an hour every weekend solely for reading.
Collect Reading Materials And Keep Them Within Reach
You may want to start investing in good books and other reading materials. Choose books or magazines that your child may be interested in (for example, if he likes cars and trains, then get a set of books on cars and trains), as well as those that you may have loved to read when you were a child. Although your child may be showing a particular interest, you may also introduce other literary genres or topics in order to broaden his interests and knowledge. Still, let your child take the lead and choose books or magazines to buy.
Keep these reading materials within your child’s reach so that your child may discover their different uses— whether to inform, entertain, or simply create a pleasant experience.
Create Opportunities To Read
There are endless ways to encourage your child to read wherever you and your child could be. If you’re in the car, you can play “I spy the letter ____, or I spy the word ____.” If you’re in the grocery or mall, looking for brands of your everyday commodities could be a good way to start to read. Posting notes or rules at home not only encourages reading but also lets the child imbibe the importance of reading.
Set A Limit For TV And Computer Use
Compared to simply watching and clicking on the computer, reading a book involves more brain processing. This is why most children, and even adults, prefer using the television or computer than reading a book—these activities involve less brain work. Thus, if you are determined to instill the importance of reading in your child, you may have to limit the hours of watching TV and using the computer.
Learning how to read may pave the way to your child’s future academic success. Moreover, nurturing your child’s love for reading may inspire him to realize his future career or work passions.
About The Author:
Barbara Harpe has run Gainesville FL Preschools for over 32 years. Her expertise is in teaching children from preschool to elementary. She advocates parental involvement since she and her husband have always been partners in raising their children.
Make new friends
And keep the old
One is silver
And the other’s gold
Ah, friends. They’re worth their weight in gold, and just like gold, you can’t have too many of them. At some point in life, you (and your child) are going to find yourselves in a situation where you’re feeling lonely and in need of a good friend. Maybe you’ve just moved to a new town. Maybe your child is starting at a new school. Maybe his best friend (or yours) away. Even if you’re already blessed with a circle of good friends, there’s always room for one more. But make no mistake, it’s not always an easy task, especially if you’re quiet or shy. It’s never too early to start teaching your child how to make (and keep) new friends, so here are a few tips to make it a bit easier:
Join a playgroup
Find a local parents’ club or organization that has regular playdates already organized. Playgroups are usually grouped by age, which makes it easier for your child to bond with others. And since you’ll be going through the same parenting joys and sorrows as the other parents in the playgroup, you’ll have plenty to talk about.
Join a class
There’s nothing like shared interests to jump start a conversation. Sign your child up for a class he loves, like ballet or soccer or gymnastics so that he can meet people who like the same things he does.
Head out to the playground….
If your child needs a friend, go to where the children are. Many parents or caregivers take their children to their neighborhood park on a regular basis, so if stick to a particular date and time for your playground runs, you’ll likely see the same faces again and again.
…. and take an extra toy with you.
If you have a shy child who finds it difficult to approach a group of children, just take along an extra dump truck, shovel or ball to the playground Give your child some advance notice that these toys are meant to be shared, and dump the whole lot into the sandbox. Children will flock to your child like bees to honey — and so will their caregivers. Your child is bound to find a new friend, and so will you.
Make the first move
If you’re the new family in town, jump start your social life by making the first move. Join the PTA, become a room parent or volunteer at your church’s Sunday School so you can get to know the other families in the neighborhood. Then invite a fellow parent over for coffee, and invite a classmate over for the afternoon.
Even if you’re not the ones moving to a new place, remind yourself and your child that there’s no need to limit yourself to your old circle of friends! It’s tough enough being the new family on the block, so put on your welcoming hat and make the first move. Welcome a new family into your neighborhood or school by knocking on their front door with a pan of brownies, inviting them to your block party, or arranging a playdate with your child.
Keep your old friends
Stay in touch with old friends by exchanging emails, letters and Christmas cards. Have your child write out a birthday card to the friends in his old school or town — or better yet, put them on the phone so they can hear each other’s voices. Keep the memories alive by putting up photos of your child and his friends or making scrapbooks of fun moments they’ve shared together. And if you’re still in the same town but have moved to another school, keeping the friendship alive is easier than ever. Sign up for the same ballet classes or soccer teams so they get to see each other in an organized group setting. And remember to keep those playdates and parties going!
A Child’s Academy, is a Gainesville FL Preschool and Daycare. We have provided Gainesville FL Preschool Children with the Love of Learning for 32+ years. Book a tour of A Child’s Academy to meet our great teachers and to experience our preschool at www.achildsacademy.com/tour.
The January 2010 issue of Scientific American Mind resurrected an old argument about the use of corporal or physical punishment and its impact on children. This age old question is whether and in what circumstances is physical punishment warranted by parents or, for that matter, in programs and schools serving children.
While there is little support for using extreme severe physical punishment of children, some still argue that corporal punishment can be appropriate if it is mild or used in moderation.
An extremely comprehensive 2008 report by Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff entitled Report on Physical Punishment in the United States: What Research Tells Us About its Effects on Children indicates that only 29 percent of American parents are opposed to the use of physical punishment, a surprising statistic in light of overwhelming evidence that physical punishment does little to improve children’s behavior in the long run and can actually cause harm.
In fact, a 2002 report led by Dr. Gershoff that was published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin journal, examined over 6 decades of research data on the effects of corporal punishment on children and found that the sole benefit of increased immediate compliance on the child was more than offset by 10 negative outcomes on children including increased child antisocial behavior and physical abuse of the child by the parent.
An equally concerning 2006 study by Ohene, Ireland, McNeely, and Borowsky, reported in the journal Pediatrics compared the attitudes and intentions of children between 10 and 15 years old to use violence to resolve conflicts and their parents’ expectations and use of corporal punishment. These researchers found that children whose parents use physical discipline are more likely to use violence to resolve conflicts. On the positive side, children of parents who disapproved of the use of violence showed more positive, pro-social attitudes and were less prone to violence.
Given that physical punishment is substantially ineffective and even detrimental to children, still leaves open the question of how best to provide effective discipline to children. A great resource at the end of Dr. Gershoff’s 2008 report provides numerous books, articles, websites, and other resources to provide support for parents on how to approach child guidance from a positive perspective. These resources are well worth checking out.
It is hard to believe that this week (April 11 – 17) is 2010’s Week of the Young Child, as it seems that it was only yesterday that we celebrated this last year. For those of you that are not familiar with this event, it is a weeklong opportunity to focus on the importance of early childhood education and acknowledge the important role that teachers play in the lives of their children.
Specifically, the goals of the Week of the Young Child are to:
- Promote early literacy and learning
- Recognize and thank teachers for the important work they do
- Influence public policy in your community, in your state, and nationally
With these important goals in mind, it is disheartening to see how issues related to the status of children, particularly young children, receive considerable lip service, but relatively limited support in terms of the financial commitments needed to ensure that children have the opportunity to enter school ready to learn and succeed. Even as the economy shows some signs of recovery, state legislators look to cuts in supporting early childhood education programs.
In states such as California, Georgia, and Arizona, the options are not about whether there will be cuts, but rather by how much. Fortunately, some states such as Pennsylvania have attempted to maintain their commitments to early childhood education, but there remain significant gaps between the number of children who need services and the funds available to meet their needs.
On the Federal level, the $10 billion hoped for in the Early Learning Challenge Funds, which were at the heart of President Obama’s support for early childhood education, may have been lost in the debate over health care despite a July 2009 statement by the Department of Education stating that, “President Barack Obama believes that we cannot afford to short-change the early learning needs of our youngest children. America’s economic competitiveness depends on providing a high-quality learning environment for every child – from birth through age 5 – to get the early start needed to succeed in school and in life.” I hope that this will not be the case.
Despite these setbacks, or perhaps because of them, it is more important now than ever to advocate for the importance of investing in our children’s future. Our children cannot vote, and the only voice they have is yours.
Supporting quality early childhood education and educational opportunities for all children are issues that can cut across party lines. If our future generations are to have even a chance at addressing the challenges they will inherit from us, from our national debt to a fragile environment, they will need the knowledge, skills and judgment that are built from a strong educational foundation.
Our generation’s legacy to them should not be the problems we have passed on, but the solutions we have created and the investments we have made in their future. The Week of the Young Child is an opportunity to enhance this resolve.
Media, school and adult conversations. What do these items have in common? All of these sources are opportunities for your child to hear and/or learn about the recent earthquake tragedy in Haiti.The stories your child hears may prompt worry and questions. Are you prepared to handle these concerns and questions? Here are some tips on how you can help your children cope with such emotions:
Maintain your routine: Routines are very important to children. Keeping a regular schedule, especially when the world seems unpredictable, gives your child a sense of reassurance. Comfort lets him know he is safe. Make sure your child gets appropriate sleep, exercise and nutrition.
Avoid too much media coverage: When a tragic event happens, we can count on the media picking up the story. Keep in mind, media images can be graphic. If your child is watching television, she may have mixed images about the things she is seeing. Depending on the age of your child, she may not have the understanding of time and space yet. As a result, she may assume that what she is seeing on the television is close to home. This may cause the fear that a disaster will hit in your neighborhood.
Answer questions: Children are most afraid when they do not understand what is happening around them. Make sure when you are answering your child’s questions, you are calm and respond at their developmental level. Your preschooler’s thinking is literal and self-centered. Keep your answers simple and on a “need to know” basis. Too much or too many details may only cause him to be more afraid or concerned. Your school- age child can be given a more detailed response. You may sit down with him to explain what happens during an earthquake.
Getting children involved in the effort: If you child feels like she wants to help those in need, let her. Find a local, or even national, organization or charity that is working to help those affected by the tragedy. This will show your child how people around the world are working together to help those in need. Ask your child what she would like to do. There are many things your child can do to be part of the relief efforts.
For more information visit Child Care Aware’s ® Preparing for Disaster: The Parent View.
- Child Care (8)
- Day Care (1)
- Daycare (1)
- Early Childhood (1)
- Fundraising (1)
- Gainesville Preschool (2)
- Gifts (1)
- Holiday (2)
- Information for Parents (6)
- Pre-School (1)
- Preschool (32)
- Special Needs (1)
- Summer (1)
- Summer Camp (1)
- Technology (1)
Drop In Care Program
Click here to register for more information
Have You Thought About Your After-School Program for the Up-Coming School Year?
• Study Hall
• Music & Art
• Video Arcade
• Water Park
• Outdoor Play on the Big Castle
• Fun and More!
Updates, Inspiration, Ideas & More
Private Tour Appointments
Why our Parents Love ACA:
Sunyoung Kim and Jaemo Jung, Gainesville, FL