Proudly nurturing and enriching the lives of Western New York children for over 23 years.

Kate Dust, EduKidsWhy does talking lead to reading? What is the best way to potty train my child? What fun things can I do outside with my children in the winter?

Find the answers to these questions and many others at Kate’s Corner!

Kate Dust, Director of Education, writes a weekly blog for our families on many of the child-focused topics you want to know about! Spend some time in Kate’s Corner today and sign up to get her weekly article!

 


  • Earth Day

    “The very first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. This day was created by American Senator, Gaylord Nelson, to make people aware of the importance of keeping our planet healthy and clean. On that day, people made promises to help the environment and make positive changes in their community. Since then, more than 500 million people in over 180 countries have participated in Earth Day activities!” www.nature.org/earthday

    Let’s teach all of our children about the beauty and wonder of their world. Let’s teach our children how to take care of the world they love.

    Take children on nature walks.  Start in the buggy and continue through all ages. In backyards, neighborhoods, parks and destinations; talk about the beautiful colors, sights and sounds of the world.  Listen for tiny crickets and squawking crows, there are a million shades of green in springtime – collect blades of grass, shiny new leaves and scratchy evergreen needles, click stones, sticks and gravel; they sound different!

    Visit the Botanical Gardens, your neighborhood park, the beach, the Zoo, the Aquarium, Explore and More, the Science Museum… where the world is celebrated and we are taught how to care for it!

    Investigate natural environments that show how the earth matches and provides for different needs; seals in Antarctica, lions in the jungle, whales in the ocean, puppies in homes, bluebirds in the sky, tadpoles in the pond….  Children love to investigate and learn about wonderful animals in the world.

    Dig in the mud.  Talk about, and then pick out seeds for a garden.  Stake out space to plant vegetables and flowers. Create a garden team with plans, “jobs” and fun ways to watch plants grow; magnifying glasses, once a week picture charting progress, predictions, older children can journal, find recipes to get ready for the veggies!

    Recycle.  Be a model and support children’s participation.  Start by asking children to put objects in the garbage can or the recycling basket, and then begin to ask them to determine where something should go.  Even the youngest child needs to know why. Beginning conversations that start as paper and plastic go here quickly develop into consequences of no recycling efforts and the meaning of conservation.

    Get involved as a family.  Clean the yard, bushes and garden spaces that are cluttered and overgrown.  Check for signs of new growth; buds on the trees and beginning blossoms.  Watch for tiny bunnies, nesting robins and little fawns – the world welcomes and cares for new life!  Put a birdfeeder at the window and offer bread crusts to ducks in a pond.

    Some great books about Earth Day; It’s Earth Day by Mercer Mayer, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, The Earth Book by Todd Parr, and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, gardening magazines and animal books are great to look at and talk about pictures, make collages, use for cards & games and make family books with.

    Be a model of thoughtful considerations to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Talk the talk and walk the walk of responsibility to the world.  Engage children in active participation.  Your children will do what you do.  These are life lessons.

    We can’t ask our children to save the earth, until we teach them to love the earth.” Community Playthings

  • What We Do is Based on What We Know

    I Know                                 ........…..                           So

    I know it is raining...........................................................I will bring an umbrella.

    I know traffic is tied up on the thruway..........................I will take an alternate route to work.

    Infants are totally dependent on adults..........................I will be patient and calm responding to them.

    Babies cry as their primary communication....................I will learn my baby’s patterns to help & care for them.

    Infants need safe sleep habits.........................................I will visit www.healthychildren.org

    Babies put everything in their mouth..............................I will remove all dangerous items from play areas.

    Babies need time to grow and learn................................I will be an active play partner all of the time!

    Children’s language “explodes” as toddlers.....................I will talk, talk, talk, talk, talk to my little one.

    Toddlers are learning how to use their bodies.................I will balance letting “them go” with keeping them close.

    A toddler’s favorite word is “no”......................................I won’t take it personally!

    A toddler looks for ways to be independent....................I will start to give them safe, appropriate choices, like clothing.

    Toddlers are picky eaters.................................................I won’t panic – I will provide healthy choices in food and drinks.

    Toddlers love themselves and their “things”....................I will support beginning friendships – but not make them share.

    3 & 4 year olds are strong.................................................I will encourage my child to play “big” on playgrounds & outside.

    3 & 4 year olds are interested in many, many things.........I will read with them, take them on visits, explore their world.

    Solid friendships begin in preschool...................................I will model and encourage respect & cooperation for all.

    Learning takes many forms in preschool.............................I will expand all aspects of my child’s development & education.

    Growing bodies demand attention.......................................I will be sure they routinely see their doctor & dentist.

    All children are learning about safety...................................I will teach them, constantly, about safe choices and actions.

    Reading is children’s primary learning vehicle......................I will read to my child from infancy through life.

    Play is critical to healthy development..................................I will be an active play partner all of their life.

    My children will be who I am.................................................Every day will be the best day for my child.

     

    “It is time for parents to teach young children that there is beauty and strength in their world.”  Maya Angelou

  • Figuring it Out

    “Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." - Roger Lewin, Ph.D.

    Problem solving is a high level skill that requires

    • identifying or anticipating a problem; problems can be personal or general,
    • quickly or thoughtfully “reviewing” our experience, if any, with the problem,
    • evaluating scenarios that will solve the problem – this is often seen as trial and error / cause and effect
    • choosing a strategy to solve the problem solving,
    • acknowledging the solution and “moving on”.                                                                                                        

    Adults depend on problem solving skills every day.   We model these skills for our children every day.  And young children are terrific problem solvers.  Consider:

    Your baby sucks his thumb when he is tired.  He lies down and jabs at his face with his hand to find his mouth.  He turns his head and uses both the motions of his hand and head to successfully suck his thumb.  It might take him more than 2 minutes, but he has gone through all of the steps above.

    You are driving your children to childcare or school in the morning, taking the exact route you take every day.  Even toddlers know the way; they know the houses and landmarks (McDonalds, a playground...).   You see road work ahead and turn down a side street to take an alternate route.  As children get older they question this and you answer that you saw the street being fixed so you went another way. In 2 minutes you have gone through the steps above.

    Your preschooler has decided to wear tights, pants and a sweater for the day.  She struggles putting pants on over her tights, so she takes her tights off and finds socks to wear.  Her pants are easy to put on over socks and she continues with her sweater and shoes.  All dressed – she solved a problem.

    Watch your children solve problems; toddlers working puzzles or dressing, preschoolers tying shoes or learning a sport, school agers doing homework or rearranging their bedroom – each of them will move through problem solving steps.  The more practice they get; the better they get.

    What do children need to become good problem solvers?

    Time.  In our very rushed lives it is often easier and quicker to give children things that are easy, to dress them ourselves, to provide Velcro instead of laces, to “help” with homework on a sports night.  We often rush children, or not give them time at all, to go through the steps above.  Give them time.

    Challenge.  A baby is motivated to move to a toy he wants that is just outside his reach.  A toddler will spend a great deal of time building a structure with different blocks.  A preschooler spends a lot of energy learning to ride a bike, school agers practice shooting hoops in the driveway.  They are developing the process to problem solve.  Appropriate and fun family games are great for all ages.

    Support.  Often children don’t see or interpret problems the way adults do.  But when they are frustrated, angry or discouraged about something, walk and talk children through the steps of problem solving.  To begin offer hand over hand support with verbal conversation about what you are doing and why that will help solve a problem, as they get older help them consider options and goals.  They will quickly become independent problem solvers.

    Celebrate effort as well as success.  Problem solving skills are being fine-tuned by all of us, all of the time.  Stay close and guide children, they are so good at so many things – and getting better all of the time!

    “Don’t stop at preschool! Work with your children through the teenage years on how to solve problems and make healthy decisions”. Amy Morin

  • Specifically Speaking

    Listening to adults talk to children, I am always so happy when I hear positive words that create smiles and giggles from children. But are they positive about what they have done that makes you happy, or are they happy simply because you are?

    Listening to adults talk to children, I am always worried when I hear harsh and negative words that create cries and, actually, confusion. Do they understand why you are upset, or are they upset because you are?

    What is really going on in both cases is that children are reading messages from adults (facial expressions & eye contact, voice volume and tone, body movement, distance & gestures) not always understanding the words.Effective Communication www.helpguide.org . Children listen to, and understand the words last; this is true particularly for young children. Even as adults we primarily read communication messages by watching and interpreting the voice and body of the messenger. Certainly we learn the meaning of words and language, but messages start with the delivery.



    Some good tips to help children learn the message as well as respond positively to the messenger:

    Most importantly: eliminate mixed messages

    *Holding your body stiff and giving your child no eye contact or smile is negative. “Thank you for helping me set the table.” is positive. They don’t match and children will not be motivated to help you again.

    *A lilt in your voice, even stifled laughter and high eye contact is positive. “Don’t throw those napkins anymore.” is negative. They don’t match and children will think throwing napkins is really ok. Young children will think it’s a game.

    For positive and negative messages, be specific. Use children’s names and refer to the action or behavior that you are addressing

    *In a calm, even voice tone, give short, appropriate direction “Michael pick up your clothes from the front hall and put them away.” Young children may need you to help, older children, who know expectations, are capable to follow through. Expect the best and acknowledge the completed task.

    *With many smiles, open arms and calm, even voice tone give short, encouraging statements; “Michael, I see that you have put all of your school things away!” Acknowledge and appreciate the task.

    Eliminate Good and Bad as adjectives for your child

    Remove the word bad as a descriptor for anything that has to do with children. Substitute exactly what it is that is helpful, pleasant, disagreeable, selfish… use adjectives that describe your child’s behavior without linking words to your child. This will give them direct response to what they have done, not define who they are.

    “Carly, you really helped your new friend figure out that tricky puzzle. Good job!”

    “Carly, keeping all the puzzle pieces in the box is selfish. Let’s ask her to work on this puzzle with us.”

    Children are learning to figure it all out. A smile, a wink, a big hug and kiss, a high five, holding hands, laughing together and snuggling with a book never send mixed messages. The message is always I love you.

  • Be Nice - At Home, In Daycare & Everywhere Else

    Whether at home, at a daycare center or out in public, we often tell our children to “be nice.” Be nice to your sister, be nice to your brother. Play nice with your friends. If you are nice to other kids, they will be nice to you… This usually starts at a very young age, toddlers hear it a lot! And while toddlers really do want to be nice and work hard at it, there is often a mismatch of behavior expectations to their development.

    An example is when parents ask their 2 year old to be nice to a friend by sharing her favorite toy. This is hard for her to do. Developmentally, toddlers are egocentric (Piaget). This means that for a while they see the world and everything in it as theirs, especially their favorite toy. As children get older and their world widens, they are ready to see many ways to be nice. And they are aware of many ways other people are nice to them.

    While these words “Be Nice” are important and true; being nice to others is important and something we want our children to be good at, we have to be sure that they actually know what “be nice” is all about.

    Nice expectations usually involve

    Smiling & laughing easily

    Thoughtful words: Want to play? This is fun!

    Polite words: please and thank you

    Waiting for a turn

    Asking before taking

    Remembering something/ someone special

    Kind acts; sharing, doing something special…

    Helping others

    Calm and safe play with others

    Being agreeable when you have the choice

    Respectful actions to self and others

    Identify behaviors for young children, they should know the labels associated with their actions; “Thank you for reading to the baby, Colin. That was so nice of you.” Recognize nice behaviors of other people when children are around; “Thank you, Aunt Karen, for helping set up the birthday party with me!” Ask children what they think; “Kelly, wasn’t that nice when Bella shared her candy with you?”

    Most importantly, be nice to your children. Your children learn how to be nice by modeling behaviors that are nice. You are their first and most important teacher.

    Three things in human life are important.

    The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind,

    and the third is to be kind.

    Attributed to Henry James

  • Sunny & 75

    Although this would be a great forecast after this very cold and snowy winter, it just isn’t going to be Buffalo weather this week.  But! The days are longer and there is no snow in the forecast. Believe it or not, accuweather is predicting some decent days.  So here is the forecast and some family fun ideas for the week ahead:

    Monday Sunny & 24º – St. Patrick’s Day! Decorate shamrock cookies with vanilla icing and green sprinkles.  Catch a leprechaun in a trap made of scarves; drape scarves over a chair, hook a small paper bag filled with gold chocolate coins to the scarves with a clothespin.  The scarves will fall from the chair when the leprechaun steps on them to get the gold. He will be caught in the bag! (But, magically, the leprechaun and the gold disappear in the tangle of the trap.)

    Tuesday Sunny & 36º - open some windows in the house!  It really feels great and it really is healthy to change the air after being cooped up so long.  Along with fresh air, freshen up bedrooms and bathrooms with children.  Pick out some fresh scents and fun soap.

    Wednesday Rainy & 38º - rainy is OK because 38º sounds better!  Cook some brownies and bowtie pasta with mixed vegetables and applesauce for an easy dinner.  Mix up a rainbow smoothie for kids; in a blender mix ice, rainbow sherbet and a little lemon-lime soda.  Pour into fancy cups and squirt some whipped cream for a rainbow treat.

    Thursday Sunny & 40º - the First Day of Spring!  Take a deep breath and feel the beautiful spring air.  Read great Springtime books with your family.  Some favorites are Splish, Splash, Spring by Jan Carr, I See Spring by Charles Jatkowski and Spring is Here by Taro Gomi.

    Friday Sunny & 35º - play outside!  It’s the end of a school week for some children, the end of a work week for some parents, the end of a busy week having fun doing all the things listed above and it is the beginning of the weekend.  Get out and play!  There are sidewalks again for chalk and bikes.  Grab the balls and scooters.  Teach your kids to jump rope and play hopscotch.  Just run down the street and be happy to play outside again.

    Saturday sunny & 49º and Sunday is predicted to be 55º.  Now we really can Think Spring and that means gardens, clean garages, sneakers & sweatshirts, open doors & windows and children who don’t need snowsuits and boots to play with their friends – that is best of all!

    No, this week isn’t going to be Sunny & 75, but I feel better.  I hope you do too!

     

  • Get Ready to Read America!

    While we are in the midst of cold and snow this winter – brighten up your children’s minds and their world with the wonders of Dr. Seuss!  This Sunday, March 2, 2014 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

    Read Across America is the National Education Association’s (NEA) national initiative celebrating the funny, fascinating and fast paced words of Theodore Geisel – our beloved Dr. Seuss.  Born on March 2, 1904 in Springville MA, Dr. Seuss is one of the world’s most prolific authors.  His words have made us laugh, cry and confused for all of our lives.  Wacky and wonderful, Dr. Seuss’ lyrics are thoughtful and creative, inspiring costumes and movies for children and families. Beginning readers and veteran readers alike gravitate to Dr. Seuss’s crazy characters, rhythms & rhymes and magical animals & kingdoms.

    Have you ever tasted green eggs?  Have you made them for your kids after reading Green Eggs and Ham? (A little food coloring is lots of fun).  Who has worn a tall hat with red and white stripes or a big button identifying them as Thing 1 or Thing 2? After reading The Cat in the Hat, your children will love a hat and button! (Simple construction paper and markers.)

     As adults, we can all recall our first and favorite Dr. Seuss book.  Mine was One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish; I asked for it over and over and still love to read it to children today!  Find your favorite Dr. Seuss book and make it special in your home.  These magical books can be found in libraries, stores, on line and as part of every family’s library.  Help your little one – no matter how old – find a favorite Seuss!

    Even our littlest elves want the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas read and played on their TV and computer all year long.  I have seen many Cindy Lou Who’s and Grinch’s each Halloween.  Dr. Seuss embraces all children!

    There is even a Seussville in our world!  Start with www.seussville.com and explore sites that offer Dr. Seuss activities, games, puzzles, recipes…something for everyone.  Always fun!

    Plan a party for the most fantastic birthday ever!  Be part of this national celebration.  Add books to your child’s collection, make the hats, and be wacky & wild as you celebrate the words of Seuss!

    READ ACROSS AMERICA  

    "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."  Dr. Seuss

  • Raising Thinkers!

    We are born hardwired to learn.  Here are some ideas to think about to “Raise Thinkers!”

    Use the word think.  Tell children that they are thinkers.

    • “Wow!  Kevin, you really were thinking about how to put that puzzle together – great job!”

    • “Eve, great idea to dry those towels.  Good thinking!”

    • “Josa, that is a thinking face.  I love it!”

     Children who think they can think – will.                                               

    Think out loud: 

    Around the house;

    • “I think I will put the water on now so it will be boiling when it is time to cook noodles.” 

    • “I think that laundry is done, I hear the dryer.”   

    • “I think that book has the answer.”                                                                                 

    When you are solving a problem;

    • “I wonder how I can get these boots to fit in the box.  I think folding them might work.” 

    • “I better think about the best way to drive to the store.  Let’s take the thruway!”

    Ask children open questions.  These are questions that offer many acceptable responses; creating multiple layers of thinking.  

    • “How in the world will we use this new paint?” 

    • “Let’s think about Karen’s birthday party.  What do you think she would like?”   

    Engage children in conversations.

    Keep closed questions to a minimum.  These are one correct answer questions. 

    • “Is the sweater blue?” 

    • “What shape is that plate?” 

    • “Did you walk or get a ride?”

    While these questions allow children to be successful (important for young children), they are thought of as stifling or rhetoric for older children.

    Encourage details.  Ask for more!

    High eye contact, close comfortable positions, active listening; leaning in and smiles engage children and create a comfort zone for children to tell you one more thing.

    Phrases like; and then what… really...tell me some more…how did that happen…where did they go after that?  let children know that they have high ability to think about more than the obvious and easy.

    Go beyond the ordinary.  Open the world.  

    The more opportunities children have to be part of extended experiences in nature, exploration, play, hobbies, exercise, literature and art the more they will learn.  The more they actively learn about many disciplines, the more language, social context, physical abilities and skill sets they will have to call their own.  They will have more to think about.

    Think as a team.  Encouraging independent thinking… 

    Be part of the initial process of active thinking with young children.  Offer ways that each person in the family can think of an idea independently to create a multi-layered single event or product – for example, help plan a family party or pick out a present.  Create partner thinking teams; games, crafts, sports and play.  Recognize, praise and support the initial independent thinking of young children: toddlers who think they can do anything, pre-schoolers who are rewarded for new skills and school agers who always think they have a better idea.

    “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”  Margaret Mead

  • Wartime over Bedtime

    • Studies show that 60% of a child's growth hormone is secreted during sleep.

    • Getting too little sleep appears to have a role in obesity.  One study found the effect in babies as young as 6 months.

     • Australian children sleep almost a full hour per day more than American kids, who sleep less than children in nearly all other countries.

     • The National Sleep Foundation recommends 14 to 15 hours of sleep for babies, 12 to 14 for toddlers, 11 to 13 for preschoolers, and 10 to 11 for elementary school agers. Time magazine “Please, Please, Go to Sleep.” B. Rochman March 26, 2012      

    In my own experience along with many conversations with parents, colleagues, family and friends, there is no question that wartime over bedtime is part of every family!    

    Ask any sleep deprived adult who has argued, bribed, heard every excuse, slept on the floor, read Good Night Moon a thousand times or tried to sneak out of a child’s bedroom what they think.  Whew! What we do to get children to participate in the very thing that adults crave, will go to great lengths to get and have a very difficult time giving up: sleep!

    www.sleepfoundation.org  has multiple resources to support healthy sleep habits for all.  Heading into 2014 try some strategies from the National Sleep Foundation experts in the battle of bed 

    Here are just a few;

    http://tp053.k12.sd.us/Starting%20School_files/image010.jpgInfants: 

    * Always place babies on their backs to sleep, on a firm mattress and without heavy bunting or blankets.  Google Safe Sleep For All Babies Campaign to review the national campaign’s multiple resources, tips and information.

    * Drowsy babies learn to self – sooth when it’s time to sleep.  Put infants in cribs before they are sound asleep.

    Toddlers:

    * Toddlers strive for independence and often choose sleep as a control test; they need set limits and directives.

    * Toddlers decrease naptime requirements to one solid afternoon rest / sleep; keep this time consistent.

    Preschoolers: 

     * Provide a cool, quiet and dark environment without TV or other volume and visible distractions for preschoolers. 

     * Most preschooler children give up nap requirements by the time they are 5, they will “fight” you if you insist on continuing naps.

    School agers: 

    *  Because of increasing demands on time for children in elementary school ,i.e. homework, sports and friends, sleep is critical to maintain a healthy body and mind – basically all of their growing abilities.  Make sleep a priority. 

    * School agers have intense curiosity and drive.  Keep the TV and computer in a separate environment from their sleep space.  Monitor time spent in front of electronics.

    For all ages:  

    * Institute a calm bedtime routine and consistent schedule.

     * Create sleep environments that are personal, cool, quiet and designated as a rest/sleep space.    Eliminate shared sleep space, sleeping throughout the house (couches...) & “bed hopping” – children need their own, personal bed.

    * Be a model of healthy sleep habits.

     * Establish a calm and relaxing home where children are supported in active play and restful sleep.

    At bedtime snuggle in soft blankets and tell stories, tell children the story of their family and how much you love them.  Don’t forget that cherished blankies and lovies help children feel secure and restful; please be respectful of these special parts of your child’s sleep.  Music and reading are great relaxers.  Bedtime stories are loved by children and families.                                   

    Some favorite bedtime books for little ones:

     On the Night You Were Born Nancy Tillman (if you don’t know this book, please read it)

    The Kissing Hand Audrey Penn

    Good Night Moon  Margaret Wise Brown

    Twinkle Twinkle Little Star illustrated by Sonja Rescek

    Good Night, I Love You   Caroline Church

    I’ll See You In The Morning  Mike Jolley

    Yawn   Nick Sharratt

    Nursery rhymes and fairy tales

    “People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one." Leo J. Burke

  • Ring in the New!

    Ring in the new what?

    Ring in a new outlook on health and healthy habits for your family;

    Have regular family meals. Knowing dinner is served at approximately the same time every night and that the entire family will be sitting down together is a security system for children.   They also eat better.  Make breakfast a priority since kids who eat breakfast tend to do better in school.

    Cook more meals at home. Eating home cooked meals is healthier for the whole family and sets a great example for kids about the importance of food. Restaurant meals tend to have more fat, sugar, and salt. Get kids involved in the prep, set up and clean-up of meals. Children enjoy helping adults shop for groceries, selecting what goes in their lunch box and preparing dinner.

    Make a variety of healthy snacks available instead of empty calorie snacks. Keep plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grain snacks and easy to access & handle (cheese sticks, low sugar cereal bars, yogurt pouches) lunch and after school treats in storage totes or cupboard space.  Replace soda with water.

    Set up an exercise routine for yourself and children.  Be a model of fitness.  Go outside with your children and play in the snow, take walks, shovel.  Bend and stretch with your little ones, put music on and dance, join a bowling league or invite friends to a sledding party.

    Make and keep all necessary and needed doctor and dental appointments.

    Ring in new family activities!

    Investigate your neighborhood and community.  Winter community events often include snow outings, library story and craft hours, animals in the snow investigations and winter sports opportunities.  Attend a neighborhood high school basketball or hockey game.  Look for community child friendly stage or concert productions.  Is there an art, cooking or swim class your child would be interested in?

    Go somewhere new – or take a wintery look at favorite family spots.  Visit the Botanical Gardens, the Albright Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Zoo’s Winter events, the Buffalo waterfront or Buffalo’s beautiful parks.  What’s it like to go on the playground slide with a snowsuit on?  Check out free ice skating rinks, try snow shoeing at Chestnut Ridge or bumper bowling.

    Cook.  Winter foods are really fun and inviting for children.  Look up easy child friendly recipes that not only taste delicious but smell delightful!  Try Taco Fluffins, Overnight Waffles and other cooking fun from www.breadworld.com.  Instead of mixing water and hot chocolate packages, make hot cocoa with all the fixings for a special winter treat.  Pop real kernels of corn.  Let children shop, prepare, mix, serve and clean – there is so much fun and learning in the kitchen!

    Initiate TechFree Tuesdays!  At least once a week (how about Tuesdays?) everyone turns off, powers down and unplugs everything that is technology driven.  This includes you and this includes the TV.  Break out the board games, puzzles, cards and crayons for the whole family.  I guarantee this will become the best night of the week!

    Read every day in 2014!  Take the family to the library and get everyone their own library card.  Make a habit of stopping at the library at least once a week.  Celebrate your child’s reading progress.  Read aloud to your children, keep books as a priority in the house and set a reading model each day by being a reader yourself.

    Start a new kitchen calendar.  Keep your calendar current, organized and in front of everyone so that you are all on the same page.  Know where everyone is each day, where they are going and where they are supposed to be.  This is especially important as children get older and their schedules (and yours) fill up with so many appointments, play and sports dates, commitments and events.  Review the kitchen calendar with your children every day.  This is a great learning tool.

    A child walked into a party with her mom. There was cake and balloons and noisemakers. The little girl was excited! When she asked what all of the fuss was for, her mother told her it was a New Year’s party to celebrate the beginning of a brand new year. “Oh”, the child said with a sigh of disappointment. “I already did this last year.” N. Prakash Kids Say the Funniest Things

    Happy New Year to You and Yours!  Kate

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