Simple Summertime Activities...
By: Danielle Westvang
If you have kids, chances are you are starting to hear the rumblings that
they want to get back to school with their friends. They whine "I'm bored" as
if you are expected to miraculously pull something out of hat for them to do.
Nothing passes the time better than having activities prepared that you can
turn to at a moments notice. There are many things that take little prep
time, and materials can be pulled out ahead of time.
If you have more than one child in your family, or if you are a childcare
provider that cares for more than one age group these activities will be
especially helpful for you. Just because you have toddlers and some school
age children being cared for at the same time doesn't mean that they cannot
I worked in various childcare settings from 1990 to July of last year. I
cared for kids from birth through high school in various youth programs.
Some of the best experiences were those with the older kids paired up with
the younger. The older kids were excellent "big brothers and sisters" and
the little kids looked up to them and had a great time.
The following activities are just a few that can be done in a moments notice
with little prep and or expense. Please use parental supervision on all activities. Some activities may not be suitable for younger children. Please visit our Game, Craft, Activity, and Project Disclaimer first.
I think all kids love face paintings. An inexpensive way I have used for
many Summer programs is to use watercolors. Yep, that's right...water
colors. Start with a new box of watercolors, the packages you can pick up
from the dollar store are excellent. Put a drop of water in the center of
each color to soften the paint. When the water soaks into the paint it
forms a moist paste. Add just a little more water and it will be the right
consistency to face paint.
You don't have to be an artist to paint faces. What I have done in the past
is draw some simple pictures on a piece of paper. This way the kids can
choose from those pictures what they would like painted on their face. This
saves you from having requests of elaborate pictures.
One benefit in particular for using water colors to paint faces, it washes
Who doesn't love bubbles? Bubbles are one of my favorite activities with
the younger kids. This is an activity that will keep their attention for
quite a while. The recipe for making bubbles is quite simple: (There are
many variations to make bubbles, this is just one that has worked well)
2 cups dish soap
6 cups water
3/4 cup corn syrup
Stir together and Wa La! Bubbles. You can use pipe cleaners to make
inexpensive wands. Take a regular sized pipe cleaner. Make a loop at the
top and secure the end of the loop around the remaining tail.
Another idea is to use wire coat hangers. Bend the hanger part into a
circle. Cover the remaining portion in electricians tape for safety.
This is always a favorite among all age groups. Simple and will fit into
any schedule. Make sure that the kids have shoes that are appropriate for
walking and that they are suitably dressed. This includes sunscreen!
A nature walk can be an enjoyable experience. You can talk about what you
see, there are games you can play learning the street signs, and names of
trees. This is also a good time to talk about safety while walking.
Reminding the children to cross the street only after looking both ways.
Encourage the children to explore, and ask questions.
If you give each child a ziplock bag before your adventure begins, they can
collect little pieces of nature to bring back with them. These things will
then be used for art projects.
This is a fun project. This can be done as a closing activity after you
have returned from your nature walk. To make the picture frame portion you
can either have the children tie twigs together to form the frame. (popsicle
sticks can be used as a substitute)
You'll need each child to find 8 twigs roughly the same size. You will be
tying the first 4 together first. Creating the square. You will then add
the remaining 4 tying them to the original 4.
After you the frame portion is constructed, the children can glue the items
they found on the nature walk onto their frame.
To complete the project cut a piece of thin cardboard the size of the frame
and glue 3 sites to it. The remaining 4th side will be where the picture
will slide into the frame.
What a colorful way to encourage self expression. Sidewalk chalk is an
inexpensive way to promote creativity. Children love to draw murals and even
trace themselves on the sidewalk.
The sidewalk becomes an amazing canvas to create all sorts of interesting
pictures. It also washes off easily when the activity is concluded.
Teaching Preschool in a Home Daycare
By: Kaye Miller
You have made the momentous decision to teach preschool in your home daycare. The parents expect it and you want to be more than just a babysitting service. Great decision! The appointed time arrives and you gather the kids around the table while issuing paper and pencils. Suddenly one baby starts crying and then another. The two year olds are crawling on and under the table. The three and four year olds just want to go play. You just want to scream. This is a scene all caregivers of mixed ages have experienced. It is not a pretty sight, but it is also not an unusual one. As you know, the most important tool a caregiver has is planning. With good planning, you can successfully help prepare your preschoolers for a future in kindergarten.
Timing is everything. Try to plan the time for table work when the babies are normally sleeping. The toddlers usually want to be doing whatever the big kids are involved in. Give them the same worksheets and let them be creative. It is not necessary that they actually do what the worksheet is designed for. At this stage they can just begin learning the use of paper and pencil. Have a play area ready for them, so as they become bored (and they will) they can move on to another area. Try to keep table time down to approximately thirty minutes for preschoolers. At this age, children are easily distracted and need to have a variety of learning strategies. Incorporate games and activities into the learning process. If they are working on color or shape recognition, when finished with the table work, go around the house or the yard and have them find things of certain colors or shapes.
There are many curriculums available for teaching in a daycare setting. If your daycare is licensed and you have joined any childcare organizations, your name will be added to mailing lists and you will soon be receiving advertisements for many different curriculums. The curriculum materials available for purchase range from the all inclusive packages where they send you everything including the craft materials to just the basic workbook. Prices range accordingly. There are great books available also to help you with curriculum planning. Teacher resource stores are a good source for materials. Christian bookstores often carry home schooling materials that are very effective for teaching in home daycares. They are usually set up to teach different ages in a home setting and can be very helpful.
Your computer is another great teaching resource. There are many wonderful learning software packages available. The JumpStart system is one of our favorites. The kids also enjoy working with anything that involves their favorite television characters. The internet has sites available that are fun and educational. Several sites, such as PBS.org have pages specifically designed for the teacher that can be used for lesson planning.
Here are some sources to get you started on your search for preschool materials:
Child-Proofing You Home-- More than Just "Common Sense"
By: Lori R. Cohen
The nursery is done. You picked a light pastel pink for the wall, with the cute Disney Babies border paper exactly nine inches from the top. The rug is darker pink, almost a rose. The cover plate for the light switch has a clown holding balloons; pastel colors, of course. The Venetian blind matches the rug. But the crib is the crowing glory. It was yours when you were a baby, beautifully refinished, and the linen set is just exquisite_ matching sheet, comforter, pillow and bumper pads, all 100% cotton, off-white with pink and red roses. You wish you had sheets that nice on your own bed. Everything is all ready for the little princess to inhabit.
It’s all quite beautiful and potentially quite dangerous.
Let’s start with that crib. Cribs manufactured prior to 1986 do not meet current Canadian safety standards, though they may in the U.S. Indignant lines from relatives such as, “All my kids used it, and they never got hurt!” do not change the fact that old cribs are a hazard. The slats are often too far apart; crib slats must be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart in the United States (6 cm in Canada) in order to ensure that a baby’s body parts cannot pass through, potentially trapping the baby by the head. Older cribs often have knobs or pointed corner posts, perfect for catching babies’ clothes. And that beautiful crib set. Children small enough (and young enough) to sleep in cribs should not sleep with pillows, at least until they are able to push themselves up. Blankets, by covering the face or bunching up around a baby’s head, can be a hazard too. That’s why they make fleecy sleepers with feet to cover baby head to toe. 100% cotton is very flammable; babies are safer in synthetics. Check labels carefully; buy only pajamas that are intended as sleep wear, and resist substituting. (Fire-resistant clothing has to do with design as well as materials.) And once babies learn to sit and pull up, they often use bumper pads to climb out of the crib and fall on the floor. Prior to that they can be a suffocation hazard. The baby might stand a better chance of being injured by the bumper pads than by the rails they are meant to cover.
Let’s look at the rest of the room. The cord on the Venetian blind is a strangulation hazard. Buy a special cord looper or cleat (or even two simple cup hooks) that winds the cord around and prevents it from dangling in baby’s reach. Health Canada’s web site has illustrations on how to tie up dangling cords. Better yet, eliminate cords in baby’s room altogether. Behind the door there is a standard doorstopper with a rubber cap on the end. They make a great sound and kids love to play with them. Babies can even pull the rubber cap off, and turn an ordinary doorstop into a choking hazard.
Of course you’ve taken care of the electric outlets. Everyone knows how dangerous they are. You used those plug inserts that fit into the holes. Too bad some babies can pull them out, and again they have a choking hazard in their hands. Buy special plates for the outlets, with little doors that slide over the outlet when not in use. My cleaning lady had trouble getting it open; your child should be safe with those. And that cute clown light-switch plate sends the message that electricity can be fun to play with.
Let’s leave the bedroom now, and take that crib set with you. Maybe the store will still let you return it. You have to go back anyway to buy a new crib.
What about the rest of the house? Keep in mind, this list is by no means comprehensive; it just covers the most common aspects of baby-proofing.
Your toxic chemicals, bleach, turpentine, toilet-bowl cleaner, ammonia, floor polish, etc. are all behind a locked cupboard door, of course. Nothing is left under the sink in the kitchen or bathroom, or even on a low shelf in a cupboard baby can get into. Medicine and that includes multi-vitamins, which contain enough iron to seriously harm or kill a child are in the medicine chest, which is also locked. Get used to using all medication in the bathroom, and returning it to the cabinet immediately, before baby learns how to open the drawer beside your bed and tries to drink your eye drops.
Your kitchen knives and other dangerous items are safely stowed in upper drawers, though all drawers have childproof latches that you can open (maybe with a little struggle), but your child can’t. This is important even for the drawers with nothing more dangerous in them than dishtowels; children often catch their fingers in drawers. You might want to put safety latches on all drawers within baby’s reach. Leave one cupboard in the kitchen at baby’s level full of solid plastic containers and tops, and perhaps some toys; if she has one cupboard that is _hers_ to play in, she will be more inclined to leave your stuff alone. Beware allowing baby to play with pots, pans and wooden spoons. Children do not understand the difference between the pot they play with on the floor, and the one full of boiling water on the stove. The long thin handle of a wooden spoon can also slip down a small child’s throat and cause choking.
Buy a latch for the oven door and a guard for the stovetop, so a toddler can’t reach up and pull the pot of boiling water off the stove. Turn all pot handles inwards when using the stove. Make sure the baby can’t pull out the bottom drawer, then climb up and pull on the oven door handle; this can make the stove fall on top of baby. There are ways to anchor appliances to the wall so babies can’t pull them over. Never leave children unattended near washers or dryers. They have drowned in the former and suffocated in the latter. If you throw out broken appliances, makes sure you remove the door so children can’t get shut inside accidentally.
Let’s have a snack while we’re in the kitchen. Did you know that peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs, hard candies and grapes are some of the most common causes of choking in children under five? Ability to chew is not relevant; anyone, at any age, can unintentionally swallow food without chewing first, and these foods are the perfect size to block a small esophagus. Grapes and hot dogs can be given safely if they are cut in quarters first; the rest should not be given to small children at all. Children under four should not be fed raw carrots, even those _baby carrots_ that appear made for small hands; children can break off, but not chew, choking-size chunks.
The bathroom is an obvious danger zone. Place a non-skid surface in the tub, so children are less likely to fall. Never leave children unattended in the bath; an unconscious child can drown in as little as one inch of water by falling face down. Loose bath mats invite tripping and slipping; once you’ve dried off, hang the mat over the tub. If your child is old enough to brush his teeth, make sure the stool he uses at the sink has non-skid feet, and always supervise its use. If your baby is the curious type, always keep the bathroom door closed, or invest in a child-lock for the toilet seat. Children have drowned in toilets when they lifted the lid to look inside, only to drop it on their own heads. They’ve drowned by falling head first in buckets of water, too, so keep a close eye when washing the floor or the car.
Does your baby like to climb? How about not finding out? Keep the pantry and linen closet doors closed, with those tempting shelves out of sight. Children like trying to climb shelves. If your son or daughter is a junior Sir Edmund Hillary, you may have to anchor your bookcases to the wall. A heavy child can pull one over with his weight. Some babies like to climb onto chairs, and from there, onto the table or counter. If necessary, chain the chairs to the table, or lay them on the floor. Or put them away, and use easily stored folding chairs until climbing loses its appeal. Don’t encourage your child in habits that are not safe without supervision, such as helping mommy cook by standing on a chair near the counter. Otherwise, they may think it’s an OK activity even when you aren’t around to supervise.
There are rooms you may not want a baby or toddler to play in. Get a good, strong baby gate to keep baby out of the room with the expensive crystal vase and antique lamps. Don’t buy an old accordion gate with large diamond openings; any gate with a space large enough to fit a baby’s head is a potential hazard. They can get their heads stuck in the large openings, a potential strangulation hazard; that’s why these gates are no longer made and can only be found at garage sales and second-hand stores. (Accordion-style gates, too, have killed Pets.) You can use gates to keep babies out of rooms, in a safe area, or off stairs. Don’t forget you need gates for both the top and bottom of your staircase. We think of babies falling down the open staircase; they learn how to climb up too, and if the top gate is closed, they can fall right back down. Don’t let them get up there in the first place.
Babies are expensive. They need diapers, food, clothing, health and dental care. Later on come education, birthday parties, soccer uniforms, and piano and skating lessons. Spend a little extra, and get an expert to childproof your home. It isn’t just common sense. It’s things you’d never think of in a million years. Install the recommended gadgets, because you just never know. Though we’d like to believe the opposite, it is humanly impossible to watch them 24 hours a day. My daughter, who never climbed, who never touched anything, who never caused a moment’s worry, one day turned, with fork in hand, and tried to stick the fork into a socket. I was five feet away, saw it happening, and could never have reached her in time. The sliding door on the outlet saved my daughter from a serious injury, perhaps even death. It was the best $2.95 I ever spent.
For further information on keeping your child safe, or to find a baby-proofer in your area, go to The International Association for Child Safety at www.iafcs.com. For up-to-date information on product recalls as well as government standards, check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov, or Health Canada at www.hc-sc.gc.ca. The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Nancy Reynolds, owner of Bébésecure, Montreal, in preparing this article.
Grieg and the Mountain King
By: Christine L. Pollock
“I don’t like classical music,” said the pre-teen who was sitting next to me in the car. He reached over to move the radio dial away from the classical station.
“Oh, really?” I responded. “Why don’t you like it?”
“You think so, huh?” I reached over and casually grabbed tape and threw it into the tape deck. “Tell me what you think of this.”
Being the great kid that he was, he crossed his arms and sat back with a scowl as the sound of a single instrument started creeping through the speakers with a catchy little tune. Soon it was joined by another instrument, then another. The tune got faster and louder. The arms came uncrossed. The child leaned forward and soon his feet were tapping. By the end of the piece (which I admittedly blasted as loud as we could take it so we could feel the beats) this young man was full body dancing as much as he could while restrained by a seat belt.
“Wow! What was that?”
“That, my dear, was classical music”.
The actual piece that I used in this instance (and I have also used it on other children who declare a dislike for classical music) was written by Edvard Grieg and is entitled “In the Hall of the Mountain King”.
As I was writing about John Constable last week, I decided that it might be fun to focus on different countries over the next few weeks and see what particular artists and composers have contributed to their countries. Edvard Grieg has been said to be the greatest composer from Norway.
He was born June 15, 1843 in Bergen, Norway. At the age of 6, Grieg started taking lessons in music from his mother, who was a professional pianist. When he was 10, he went to the Leipzig Conservatoire to study music and composition, but he did not really like it. His music was influenced by the compositions of Robert Schumann and Frederic Chopin. However, he was mostly inspired by Rikard Nordraak who composed the choral setting of the Norwegian national anthem.
Studying the culture around him, Grieg would take a folk piece and use elements from it. He would then add in his own feelings and pictures of Norway and write them down musically. So great was his love of Norway’s beauty, Grieg was often seen hiking over rocks next to a fjord to reach his one room cabin which stood on the edge of the fjord ( a fjord is a narrow inlet with steep, natural walls surrounding it). In this cabin he had a writing desk and a piano. It was here that Grieg could look out at the surrounding beauty and compose.
Not only did Grieg compose music that held the heart of Norway, but he composed music that could be played at many different levels. Outside the great concert halls, many of the pieces he wrote could be played by musicians that were beginners. Therefore, his music became widely popular. He also took poetry and plays and put them to music.
A playwright named Ibsen wrote a play called “Peer Gynt Suite” and asked Grieg to provide music for it. The music did not come easily to Edvard, but he finally completed it and the music was first performed in 1876. The audience loved it and Grieg was an overnight success in Norway.
His music, which was once so popular, has still not died out. His “Morning Song” and “Anitra’s Dance” are songs you will probably recognize along with “In the Hall of the Mountain King”.
When Grieg was 17, he had pleurisy, which left him with persistent respiratory problems. Towards the end of his life, he had a hard time composing and was extremely tired. He wanted to sleep, but found it difficult. Because of his breathing problems, Grieg felt like he was choking whenever he fell asleep and would immediately awaken. Eventually he was hospitalized and was given shots to help him sleep.
On the night that he died (September 4, 1907), Clara Sofie Jensen (a nurse) was in the room watching him. She realized that he was dying and was about to inform his relatives when he suddenly sat up in bed and gave a deep bow as if in front of an audience. He then lay back down and did not ever move again.
The rest of the world mourned his death along with Norway. Thousands of people took part in his death procession and condolences were sent by emperors and kings along with others. He was buried in a cliff that hung over his much loved fjord.
As I searched on the Internet for a good recording of “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, I found many different styles of the song. There are a lot of digital recordings which are nice, but I was really searching for the full orchestra sound. I think the children can hear the build up of the music better in the orchestral recordings. One of my favorite recordings was at http://www.mnc.net/norway/EHG.htm (click on the song near the bottom of the web page). A decent digital recording can be found at http://www.norskland.com/music/grieg.htm.
As you listen to the music, try to have the children list the different types of instruments they hear. Some other ideas for the week are:
Have the children squat on the floor. Every time they hear the music get louder have them stand a little higher and when the rhythm starts getting strong, have them clap and dance along.
Out of construction paper, have the children make a 3-D model of what they picture a mountain king’s hall would be.
Read some stories about trolls and make some trolls out of play dough.
Make some drums out of old boxes or pots and bang on them as you listen to the song. After you do this, make up your own songs and rhythms. Play soft and play loud. Play slowly then get faster. Have fun experimenting with the drums.
Place some paper or tape at regular intervals on the floor. As you play “In the Hall of the Mountain King” have the children point out the main melody. Ask each child to stand on a paper then whenever they hear the main melody start again have them hop to another paper. The hopping will get faster and faster.
Next week I hope to continue studying Norway. Meanwhile, in this heat of summer, it really is nice to focus on the cool beauty of this land and keep in mind the magnificence of the fjords.
Summer Boredom Busters
By: Sharon Wren
Few phrases push a mother’s button more than “Mo-om, I’m bored”, especially when the complaining child has a room full of toys. It’s a phrase that parents start hearing at about this point in the summer. You could plop them in front of the TV or rent a new video game, but here are some better alternatives.
Start with a trip to the local bookstore and pick up copies of 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child and 365 Outdoor Activities You Can Do With Your Child, both by Steve and Ruth Bennett. The activities in the TV Free book are a mix of arts and crafts, games and scientific experiments. Even better, there’s a good selection of activities designed to wear the kids out! The Outdoor book is similar except the activities take place outside and often use materials found in nature – perfect when you want the kids out of the house. Consider these books an investment because they have winter activities and the kids are bound to get bored at least once during the holidays.
For younger children, try Baby Days by Barbara Rowley. The book offers games and activities for children under three. These activities could save the day when an older child shouts “Mom, the baby won’t leave me alone!” The book has lists of materials needed for games and arts and crafts and organizes its activities by time of day – there are things to do in the morning, at mealtime, and at bedtime. There’s even a section on what parents can do to while Baby is napping. Usually that time is already spoken for (to do laundry, mop or just put your feet up with a book), but some of the crafts ideas can be fun.
Check with your local library to see if they offer any sort of summer programs. Most libraries have reading programs that offer activities for toddlers to adults. A summer reading program could be the family project for the summer. Check with local museums, galleries, zoos and botanical centers too. Many offer low or no cost activities.
Have you thought of trying that classic activity from childhood, a lemonade stand? It’s perfect – the setup takes a while and running the stand takes even longer. Why, they could probably get a couple days worth of activity out of running one. Sure, you could use lemonade mix but if you have them squeeze lemons, you’ll wear them out and give them something to do. Maybe they could even make baked goods to go with the lemonade – true, the kitchen will probably be a mess but it might be worth it to get the kids out of your hair for a day. With a little bit of luck, they might even make enough to pay their way at the movies, which is yet another afternoon activity.
If it’s too hot or rainy to venture outside, there’s always the Internet! Kids who enjoy coloring or crafts will love Crayola’s website (http://www.crayola.com). Not only are there blank pictures to color, but kids can also create comics, mobiles, games and puppets, among other things. This page alone can keep a child busy for an afternoon.
Another good resource came from Yahooligans “The Big Picture”. (http://dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/Yahooligans/summer_fun ) There are links to web pages with games to play with your dog, virtual tours of exotic locations and more activities than you can imagine. There’s bound to be something for any and all kids here. If nothing else, you know you can’t go wrong with Sesame (Street) Workshop and their website (http://www.sesameworkshop.org) can’t be beat. There are links to Sticker World and Noggin, and the Sesame Street page features games, stories and music. The parents section has activities about going to the doctor and being safe.
While it would be nice to believe that kids can always entertain themselves, it’s not realistic. Entertainment director is just another hat moms wear, along with chef, bank teller, maid and chauffeur. Hopefully these suggestions will make the rest of the summer go a little more smoothly. If not, take heart – the first day of school is just around the corner.
The Stay At Home Blues
By: Jenifer B. McCrea
I cannot tell a lie – I have the stay at home blues. I am so tired of staying home, but I can’t get the energy up to do anything either. As I mentioned last week I am pregnant, so that has much to do with my current blueness. I envy women who say they had a wonderful pregnancy, no morning sickness, no pain, no headaches. I don’t have wonderful pregnancies, and I am wondering whatever made me want to be pregnant for a second time. I feel like a chemotherapy patient; I am sick all the time, I am completely exhausted and my hair is falling out. But my outcome is more easily foretold, I get a baby at the end of this.
Right now even the thought of a new baby isn’t cheering me up. I just want to stay in bed, read novels and not have to do anything. But my toddler needs attention, not to mention food and drink. Floors require washing as does laundry, and I have projects that need to be accomplished because I have deadlines. But I am so tired! What is an exhausted Mom to do?
A quick online search wasn’t terrific help. The first seven websites were for nutritional supplements and herbal remedies. I think a lot of herbal remedies, I couldn’t have gotten through many mornings of this pregnancy without some Chamomile tea, but many herbal supplements are not safe for use in pregnancy. Natural does not imply safe when it comes to the use of herbals during pregnancy. ALWAYS consult your doctor or nurse midwife before taking any herbal remedy, as you would any medication.
The next websites weren’t of great help either. First and foremost – REST. Whatever. I would love nothing more than to lay my head down just when I feel tired. It’s just not possible, and impractical. I have responsibilities, just as any parent does, and he will not be ignored. I am fortunate that I can often set him up with his crayons and his little table, lay down nearby and close my eyes. However, no matter how much I sleep it never seems to be enough.
One of the other suggestions was to eat healthy. Have I mentioned morning sickness? I eat what I can, when I can. Enough said.
I thought I would check my What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I really want to know what world the authors were living in when they wrote this book. The only exhaustion they have listed in the index is for post-partum. Morning sickness is given a scant one page treatment, recommending a high protein, complex carbohydrate diet. If I could eat a high protein, complex carbohydrate diet I wouldn’t HAVE morning sickness! The only mention they make of fatigue is that it may make morning sickness worse. As if I didn’t know that already. So much for the experts.
Pregnancy aside, I just don’t feel like doing anything. Like every other Mom in the world I do what I have to do. I take care of my son, I clean my house, I cook (limited) meals. I try to walk some for exercise, but the weather has been so hot, it hasn’t been happening. I’ll get past the blues, in time. Until then, don’t call past 8:00 pm, it’s past my bedtime.
THE VEGETARIAN CHILD:
A Providers Predicament
By: Emily R. Bridges
5 million vegetarians! The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter estimated that this is how many people lived the vegetarian lifestyle in April 2000. The increase in meat-borne disease and active health-seeking behaviors has initiated a corresponding rise in the number of families choosing to live a vegetarian lifestyle. Albeit a growing population, children are most impacted by having different eating habits than that of their peers, especially during critical time in early childhood when self-concept is developing.
As early childhood educators, we are just beginning to understand the significance of a child’s feeling of inclusion, especially during mealtimes – a time of day set aside for socialization and attention to one another. As providers, we can make a choice to teach children acceptance of vegetarianism through child-centered reasoning.
Because there are variances of the vegetarian diet, the ease at which a provider embraces the practice depends largely on the type of diet. The three main types of plant-based diets are:
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians: eat eggs and dairy products but no meat.
- Lactovegetarians : eat dairy but not eggs or meat.
- Vegans: eat no animal products, even excluding foods that are associated with animals, like honey and gelatin. *
What the child (and usually the parents) want least is for the child to feel “different”. You can help to prevent this by serving the same or similar meals. For instance, you can serve vegetarian meals 2 days per week.
Ah! Ah! Don’t shake your head yet; you probably already do most weeks! Meals such as macaroni and cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, or beans satisfy most vegetarian meal requirements. Serving similar meals the remainder of the week, for example, if the children have tacos, the vegetarian child would have a taco as well, providing extra cheese in place of the meat. Pizza can be altered as well, simply add meat toppings to the other pizzas (see recipe below). Beans and franks are simple to amend– spoon out the child’s serving of baked beans prior to adding the franks. In this way, the meals look similar causing little or no distraction from the meal and the important social interactions among the children.
Still, there are questions about the provider adhering to the standards set forth by the Department of Agriculture and the responsibility of the provider to ensure well-balanced, nutritional meals for the children. Most always the vegetarian diet can be accommodated well within acceptance of the guidelines. *
The words “Vegetarian diet” strike fear into the hearts of many providers because of our contract-enforced obligation to serve well-balanced meals each day. Personal feelings or upbringings may predispose the provider to believe that a meat-restricted diet is unhealthy – or even harmful. However, the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine states that vegetarian diets "provide excellent nutrition for all stages of childhood, from birth through adolescence."
Ironically, in the non-vegetarian providers commitment to analyze meals and determine if the meal is well balanced, the substance that they generally focus on is protein, surprisingly, while it is a concern, it is not the most common culprit.
Some of the nutrients that may be in deficit in the meat-less diet are:
Iron: The substance that has found to be lacking in some children of vegetarian diets is iron, a red blood cell forming nutrient. Insufficient iron can cause anemia, a potentially serious health concern. Because Vitamin C is beneficial in the body’s process of absorbing iron, a food with a high amount of Vitamin C (such as an orange) is an excellent addition to the child’s iron-rich meal of beans, tofu, or deep green vegetables.
Vitamin B12: Lack of B12 may also cause anemia. Sufficient B12 may be gained through fortified milk substitutes, cereals, nut milks, or meat substitutes.
Calcium: Calcium intake may be inadequate if milk, cheese, and yogurt are restricted. However, with the emergence of calcium-fortified juices, it is generally easy to replace.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is necessary to properly process calcium. Vitamin D is of the easiest to obtain. Simple, clothed sun exposure for approximately 2 hours per week should be sufficient to absorb the required Vitamin D.
Zinc: Is a mineral that can be obtained through whole grain breads, nuts, and edible mushrooms.
Calories: Any provider can confirm that children are busy little people! Relatedly, they require additional calories to make allowances for the incredible amounts of energy they expend. It has been suggested that lack of calories is responsible for the growth delays in some vegetarian children. The weaning period, the time when the child transitions from breast milk to a diet of less caloric value, appears to be the time of greatest risk. Additionally, meals with high fiber content may cause the young child to feel full before he/she has consumed adequate calories. Dried fruit, avocados, nut butters, soy milks, and fortified cereals are good sources of calories.
Protein: Children of a lacto-ovo vegetarian diets and Lactovegetarian diets usually have little trouble consuming enough protein from eggs (lacto-ovo), cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. Children of Vegan families are at greatest risk for protein deficiencies, necessitating plentiful use of vegetable proteins such as tofu and beans.
The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine website has a multitude of information including menus: http://www.pcrm.org/health/VSK/VSK11.html
In conclusion, the vegetarian diet can usually be easily incorporated into the daycare menu. As a provider that wholeheartedly embraces the dietary practices of alternate cultures or traditions, displaying them in a light of acceptance and only minor deviation from the standard meal, the children will understand and convey respect for family practices other than their own. In doing so, you will single-handedly provide the nutrients, self-esteem, and confidence needed for the vegetarian child to grow into a healthy, self-loving adult.
* Because the Vegan diet’s restrictions exclude milk products, cheese, yogurt, etc; this diet will frequently require the parents to supply food. Many times, you may be able to serve the same color food or similarly shaped food as the Vegan child’s meal, allowing the child to blend within the group.
A choice would be made with the parent as to whether the child would be placed on the Department of Agriculture’s Food Program. Contact your Department of Agriculture representative for more details. http://www.pcrm.org/health/VSK/VSK11.html
Kitchenlab Kindermath Tutorial #8
By: Noreen Wyper
Sort those boxes, sort those cans,
Sort those pots, sort those pans.
Sort by color, shape and size,
Sort them all. Just be wise.
Sort & Classify into sets: Tutorial # 8.
- sort by color, size and shape.
From the Kitchenlab, have the child sort the teaspoons from the tablespoons. Sort and stack the saucers and the dinner plates. Count them as you stack them.
Sort the spice containers, glass versus tin cans.
Mix a variety of pastas in a large bowl. Sort the same types of pastas into smaller bowls.
Arrange the cans from the cupboards into groups of small cans, medium cans and large cans. You could also add extra-large cans. Now, sort the cans according to product such as vegetables, fruits, soups and sauces.
Sort the boxes from the cupboards using sizes of small, medium and large. Sort whole fruits by color.
Find several coupons or grocery ads for three or four different products. Put the coupons or ads into a pile. Have the child sort them according to type of product.
Take a package of colored kitchen sponges. Cut them into various shapes and sizes. Have the child sort the sponges in three different ways such as color, size and shape.
What if you could only eat foods that rolled. What could you eat?
If you keep a coin jar, have your child sort the coins into pennies, nickels, dimes, etc.. Stack them in piles of tens.
Sort the child’s storybooks into small, medium and large books. Classify them into two piles of real and make-believe.
Have the child sort and tidy his dresser drawers into socks, underwear, PJs, T-shirts, shorts/slacks, etc..
Set out an 8 egg carton and a bowl of buttons. Sort the buttons into the carton cups by color.
Take a plastic bag and go on a nature walk. Collect items that are found on the ground. When you return from your walk, sort them by leaves, rocks, flowers, etc. Or, classify them into two groups such as living and non-living.
The parent/caregiver sorts two or more groups asking the child , “ Did I sort these by color, shape or size?”
Next Week: Spatial Relationships: understanding basic language.
Reading To Your Child Builds A Love For Learning
By: ReGena Nixon-Miller
When a parent reads to their child it begins a love for learning and a love for books. Children should be read to as early as infancy. Your voice and the sounds you make while reading will introduce a child to words and sounds in which will later help them learn to talk.
Books create experiences and stimulate a child’s imagination. Your child should be read to on a daily basis. If your child attends a child care center, it is important that you as a parent ask the caregiver if story time is implemented in their curriculum.
When you read to your child choose books that have appealing and bright pictures that will catch your child’s eye. Children like books with bright pictures, rhyming words, and repetitious words. The more you read to your child the more your child will want you to read.
Reading to your child offers:
A chance for parent and child to bond.
Builds a child’s vocabulary.
Builds a child’s listening skills.
Builds a child’s attention span.
A chance to increase your child's learning capabilities for a lifetime of learning.
Learning real-life situations for your child to understand.
Stories to spark your child's imagination.
While reading the same book can be quite boring and tiring to an adult, a child will really enjoy the story over and over again. It is important to read what a child likes and it is also important to introduce new stories as well. Try reading a favorite story one night and then a new one the next night. By reading the "favorite" story, you create a sense of safeness and expectedness that a child deserves. When you read a "new" story, you foster growth by sparking the imagination with "new" ideas, characters, images, and words.
If your child is not receptive of longer stories, then I suggest a book of short stories. There are all sorts of varieties of short stories that are several pages long for each story or can be as short as a small paragraph for each story. A child or an adult can read a favorite story and a very short story all in one night without adding large amounts of time to those with schedules or time limits.
It is still important to continue to read to your child and with your child even after your child learns to read by themselves. When you read aloud together you are teaching your child the joy of reading and the value of it. Reading is an important and treasured gift that cost nothing but is worth millions.
By: Bernie Knox
You never know what you will get when you nave a baby. My brother Gene and his wife Peggy were expecting the number of their children to triple when the twins were born. Jennifer was almost three then. They were living in one room, and had no car, but they had a strong marriage, and looked forward to the end of gestational diabetes and Peggy’s being able to walk normally again.
The twins were born by Caesarean Section, as Jennifer had been. Wendy was presented whole and healthy.
Then came Tommy. Gene saw him before he was whisked away to the Big City for emergency surgery and intensive care. He saw the bulge of soft tissue where Tommy’s spine should be. Spina Bifida. Very severe.
Gene says, "they will paint the blackest picture---" The worst-case scenario, and nothing else. He would never walk, never talk, never learn much of anything, the parents were told. Best to put him into a long-term care facility. Gene says he knew that the boy, no matter what his physical limitations, was well-equipped mentally.
"How did you know?" I asked.
"I looked in his eyes."
"And what did you see?"
At a loss for words to explain, he could only ask me if I had ever looked into Tommy’s eyes.
"Of course," I replied.
"What did you see?"
What did I see? How do I know anything about Tommy? Not by looking into his eyes, for the most part. At least, it seemed that way at the time. I would have to think it over.
I know how to assess a healthy child. Speech development, interests, muscle coordination, social behaviors. But Tommy, for those first few years, had no speech, no mobility at all to speak of, could not even sit up alone. His whole life was passive. Socially, there was smiling, and throwing things on the floor again and again, like a baby in a playpen. But there was that one time---
Tommy had an overzealous gag reflex, could not swallow. It took years to teach him to eat and drink. One day, when he was about four, he sat in my lap while I ate a donut and drank cool coffee. I made a big show of pleasure with every bite, even showing him the chewed food in my mouth.
I offered him a bite. He shook his head. But he took me up on the coffee. He sipped, shuddered, made a face, then waited while I had my turn. I offered him another sip. He nodded with a big smile, sipped, shuddered, made a face, waited again, etcetera. That was age-appropriate behavior, more or less, though I never thought about it at the time. It was just Tommy. His development could not be measured in the ordinary ways. Only now, looking back, can I form any kind of comparisons by age.
Fast forward. Now, he is thirteen. His father shaves his face every day. He can eat waffles, but not hamburger. Well, he can eat hamburger, but it takes him forever, so he has a waffle for dinner. To be sociable, I snag a piece. He likes that. Then, I remember those times when I showed him my chewed food. I do it now. He is grossed out!
Hands in the air, palms toward me, face turned away, he shakes his head. He punctuates the statement by rolling his eyes toward me and puckering up his face. Everyone knows the gesture. It is what anyone will do in a similar situation. Age-appropriate behavior.
Still, I keep thinking, what about the eyes? Before I leave this evening, I look into his eyes. I see eyes. I see that there are two of them, and they are in the right place. They are brown, as usual. What should I see?
I explain my behavior by telling Tommy about the ophthalmologist who shined his little light into my daughter’s dilated eyes, saying, "I’m looking to see if you got any brains." He laughs, silently, as always. I ask his mother if they have read the Wizard of Oz. (I am thinking of the Scarecrow coming from the Wizard’s ministrations with a head full of straight pins, pins poking out everywhere, because they "make you sharp.")
"Oh, yes," she says, and laughs, with sound.
I make the ASL sign for "I love you," and ask Tommy if I have it right. He nods, very official, and shows me the same sign.
It has been a week since then, and I have no reason to doubt that Tommy is plenty smart. I never did doubt it. Still, though, the eye thing puzzles me. Healthy babies watch everything, including you. They wear a sober look while they take in their surroundings everywhere they go, seeing everything for the first time. That is how you know that they are alert. But you do not look into their eyes to see that.
Suddenly, I think of something.
Another day, not long ago, I entered the room where Tommy’s mother was changing his diaper. I expected him to smile. He usually does when he sees me. But he is getting to be a young man. My presence brought a troubled look into his eyes. It took me awhile to understand that look, though I did leave, as I could see he wanted me to do.
Now, as I write this, I think I know what Gene saw in his baby son’s eyes. Recognition, though they saw each other infrequently in those days. That special "Daddy" look. The change in his expression when one person and another came and went.
My niece, Wendy, is thirteen years old now, too. When I look at the pictures on her walls, I see that she is developing a well-rounded personality. When she is fully grown, we will have something to talk about. I am pleased about that.
And my niece Jenny is helping her dad tear down and rebuild the engine in their second car. Thumbs up!
Between them, they have twice as many eyes as Tommy. They do not use them quite as effectively, though, because they have so many other ways to express themselves. As I think back over the years, I realize that, for a good long time, I never had any other communication with Tommy. His eyes were all he had. I just never thought about it before.
Herbal Remedies for Stress
By: Heather Haapoja
Many, many years ago, herbs were relied upon for treatment and cure of all types of ailments. Tried and true herbal remedies were passed along through the generations. But with the dawning of the “miracle of modern medicine,” herbal treatments took a backseat to the wonders of science. While modern medicine certainly did have some miraculous effects, the ability to patent and therefore make money on a cure further pushed less profitable herbal medicine into the realm of the “old wives tale”.
But in recent years, herbal medicine has made a dramatic comeback and is gradually being used in combination with traditional medicine, resulting in a kinder, gentler, more sensible approach to health care. Many doctors are finding that the use of herbs in some cases is actually more effective than the traditional treatments, giving them greater options for treating their patients.
The one drawback to this recent return to herbal remedies is that there are currently no controls to assure the quality of herbs on the market. Suddenly there is a flood of different brands and herbal blends on store shelves and the consumer has to proceed with caution. It is truly a situation of “buyer beware”.
For example, take Echinacea and Golden Seal. These are two very effective herbs for the treatment of various infections. You would think that buying a blended capsule of the two herbs would be the way to go, but first check the label. While Echinacea is a relatively inexpensive herb, Golden Seal is not. Therefore, many herbal blends will be heavy on the more inexpensive herb with only trace amounts of the more expensive one. You would be better off in this case to buy the two herbs individually.
This is only one small example of the ways an uninformed consumer can be misled. There are also some far more serious considerations if you are on a prescription medication or if you are pregnant or nursing, for example. Don’t assume that if it’s on the store shelves it can’t hurt you. While there are some herbs that are highly beneficial during pregnancy, there are others that could have devastating effects on an unborn child. Do your homework before you use any herbal remedy. Read books, check reliable internet sources, talk to your doctor and if he or she is not open to the idea of using herbal remedies, look for a homeopathic or holistic physician to advise you.
Having said all that, let’s get to the matter of stress. Remember, if you have a medical condition or are on any prescription medications, check with your doctor before using herbal remedies.
The following is a list of the most effective herbs for dealing with the effects of stress. I have included links to in-depth descriptions of each of the herbs, including therapeutic uses, dosage information and potential side effects.
Kava kava, a member of the pepper family, is considered to be an excellent anti-anxiety herb. Read “Kava: Powerful Anti-stress Herb” by Dr. Michael Tierra L.Ac., O.M.D., Founder of the American Herbalists Guild at http://www.planetherbs.com/articles/kava.html.
Passion Flower, the leaves, stems and flowers of this plant are used as a mild sedative. Read about Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) at http://www.mothernature.com/ency/herb/passion_flower.asp.
St. John’s Wort, has become widely known for its effectiveness in treating mild to moderate depression, a common effect of stress. Read “Herbal Relief for Depression: St. John’s Wort (Hypericum) at http://www.all-natural.com/hyp-1.html.
Valerian, valued for its use as a mild sedative and sleep aid. Read “Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) by Steven Foster at http://www.herbalgram.org/botanicalbooks/valerian.html.
Chamomile, a mild tasting and sweet smelling flower, useful as a mild sedative, relaxant, depression aid and stress reliever. Read all about the many uses for chamomile in “What Chamomile Can Do For You” by Diane Kennedy Snyder at http://www.chamomiletimes.com/articles/chamomile.htm.
All of the above references are wonderful sources of information on herbs in general. If you wish to expand your search for information on any of these herbs, I recommend that you further explore these sites as a starting point.
PRIME TIME PARENTING –Training Up
By: Deb & Dave Graham
All children are in training. Whether they have a specific program, a good coach or a bad one, children are driven from within to practice newfound skills. It’s part of their nature. Over the years, there has been great controversy on the best ways to do this. Some have even gone so far as to proclaim that the best way is to have no way at all, and to simply let the children ferret out their own ways.
But even ferrets train up their young. Passing along secrets in the world of Nature is a survival thing, and failure to master certain skills can be the deciding factor as to whether an animal lives out its life to the fullest or dies young. In the same way, many of History’s successful families have remained so for generations – not because they had a corner on producing more than their share of offspring with high IQ – but because they passed the secrets of success down to their children.
If children learn sixty percent by watching, thirty percent by doing and only ten percent by what is told to them, maybe we should be a little more concerned about what they see. And if you are thinking what you fail to teach your child at home will be covered in school… think, again. Everything after the fifth grade is nothing but review, except for a few subjects like algebra and biology, which are merely requirements for higher education. In the present public system it has become more important to learn how to operate a computer or drive a car than to teach the value and maintenance of human relationships. And until they start offering Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends and Influence People” as a requirement for graduation, the job of teaching “LIFE 101” is pretty much left up to the parent.
In spite of recent trends, there are still only two ways to do this. Training Up or Training Down. There are numerous methods to prove either way, but the fact remains that the coin only has two sides and it’s going to land “heads” or “tails” no matter how you throw it. Good or Bad. Positive or Negative. Up or Down. Oddly enough, the most widely accepted method is to Train Down. Most parents feel that discipline means to keep their children in line or correct them when they do bad things. The trouble is, interaction is pretty limited on this level. It is sporadic, and almost always emotional. The boundaries most often stay on the physical plane, even though – in the long run – the soul turns out to be a much better captain of behavior.
On the other hand, Training Up has a much wider range of possibilities. A bevy of acceptable choices for challenging achievements is a more potent system of motivation than a list of rules telling us what we cannot do. A parent who motivates by encouragement instead of bossiness, becomes a counselor rather than a dictator. And while it is the destiny of all dictators to eventually be overthrown, the wisdom of good counselors gets passed down from generation to generation. Training Up promotes self-discipline as opposed to enforced boundaries. In the same way a fence is an open challenge to get around, under or through; a ladder is a temptation to climb. And if boredom is a major problem in today’s homes, training for something of value provides the interest and time enrichment that idleness denies.
The dictionary defines discipline as “instruction; training of the mind, or body, or the moral faculties; subjection to authority; self-control; (and FINALLY) to improve behavior by judicious penal methods.” And if Webster is following his typical method of listing things in the order of their importance… we should probably begin at the top instead of the bottom of this list. History proves that successful people are disciplined people, and children that experience the benefits of a disciplined life early on, will advance farther and faster than those who don’t. Training Up promotes determination and perseverance in an otherwise passive world. It provides an outlet for those frustrating periods of high energy and closed in spaces that so many families today are faced with. But don’t confuse Training Up with sports or hobbies alone.
Unless these things are linked with goal planning and personal development, they become nothing more than glorified pastimes. It is human nature to be constantly striving with the status quo and asking, why. So, in order for an interest to hold, there has to be a reason.
Point out the reasons along Life’s roadways. Engaging the mind will hold the attention much longer than merely engaging the body. To realize that everything in the world has a connection – and then to hunt for those connections – gives children the mental organization for clear thinking. Learning becomes a challenge that turns into confidence with each new discovery. To set goals and achieve them is the best form of personal development there is, and ALWAYS leads to higher self-esteem.
Johnny will get more out of his piano lessons if he is practicing for a concert than simply learning one song after another. And if he discovers that people actually enjoy his performance, he will develop more than a deeper commitment to his music… he will become “hooked” on bringing pleasure to others. Anytime a child rises to an occasion, or grasps hold of a value and makes it part of himself, he is being Trained Up. To make practice times a torture by threatening chores or punishments if not carried out to the letter, is Training Down.
The effort we put into things adds value to them. By nature, children spend the greatest amount of their effort – not on what has become routine – but right out on the very edge of their reach. That’s why it’s important for us as parents to keep up with them. We must make it a priority not to treat Sarah like a five-year-old if she is six or seven. Not only will it hinder her achievements, it will foster complacency and boredom with her daily routines. It will become more difficult to spark her natural enthusiasms. The time to let her help in the cooking is when she is eager to learn how, even though it’s more work for you while she’s learning. Don’t criticize her if more lettuce and tomatoes end up on the floor than in the salad bowl. If YOU have more patience now, you won’t be wondering why she isn’t the least bit interested at the age of ten… it’s because you’ve been doing everything FOR her and she has long since changed her interests while you were waiting for her to get a little bigger.
Here are some guidelines to help you recognize a “Training Up” opportunity:
IF THEY ASK, LET THEM TRY. It means their curiosity and enthusiasm are “prime” for this activity… even if they need some help to accomplish it.
CONVERT NEGATIVES TO POSITIVES. If Billy wants a paper route, don’t say, “No, you’re too young.” Exchange it for something like “I’m sure you’re responsible enough. But we’ll have to wait until you’re a little bit older before we can talk about it.” Or, instead of “If you don’t finish cleaning this room, I’m going to…” Try: “You’re doing a great job so far! Think you can finish before dinner?” And you can always exchange “Get in this house right now!” to “You can have five more minutes before you have to come in.”
ASK THEM WHY. Encourage them to express themselves so they will be comfortable communicating with others.
RAISE THE STANDARD. Training Up always encourages to try harder, reach higher, learn more, do more, and say more. It never discourages or puts anybody down.
BE CONSISTENT. If your child sets a goal, help them keep at it. If your teenager is on a diet, change family pizza night to taco salad or broiled dinner once in awhile. If they start a project, help them out if they start to lag toward the finish. “up the ante” and encourage them to keep on.
LET THE WHOLE FAMILY TAKE PART in encouraging each other’s talents. A preschooler’s alphabet is just as important as big brother’s Little League when families stick together.
TAKE THE OPPOSITE. Instead of condemning children for being selfish, encourage them to share. Instead of noticing something out of place, look for something that’s in.
The decision to train up or down rests solely with the parent. And many times parents are not aware that they have any choice in the matter, at all. That’s because most of us will stick to the same method our own parents used when we were children. It’s only when we run into trouble that we seem to start looking around for a better way of doing things. But any efforts you make to Train Up your children will come back to you in multiple rewards. Not only will you be turning more family time into PRIME TIME, you’ll be turning out children of purpose.
So, TRAIN them UP.
Question & Answer Weekly Column,
By: Ed Kemper
Greetings, readers. As the summer wears on and the heat mounts, the
importance of summer and heat safety issues are becoming increasingly
important. When the kids are out in the sun, use the proper suntan lotions.
And don’t be fooled by a hot and muggy day with no sun. On these days it’s
just as important to insure your kids drink a lot of fluids.
Don’t forget to send any questions and comments you may have to
QandA.CCMagazine@Eudoramail.com. Never fear, I will get to each and every
Q. Parents go out of there way to buy the plastic outlet covers so that
there is no chance that their child could accidentally be electrocuted. They
also put anything that can be considered poison out of their child’s reach
or in looked cabinets. Parents spend a lot of time and money child proofing
their homes, and yards, so that their precious little ones do not get
injured. Parents, also, spend a great deal of time trying to find the proper
car seats, booster seats, and seat belt adjusters for their child’s
protection. Parents make an effort to wear their own seatbelt to teach their
children about safety. Yet, when these same parents get behind the wheel of
their cars they drive like idiots. My question is, "Don't they realize that
they hold those precious lives in their hands, and by driving recklessly no
amount of safety measures will save that child’s life?" As a professional
Truck Driver, I have seen many accidents on the roads and highways of this
country. Many of those accidents children were seriously injured, and even
worse, lost their lives. As a mother of four, and grandmother of seven, my
heart goes out to the parents of those children. I know how I would feel if
it were one of my kids. I think parents should evaluate their driving skills
before getting back out on the road. Could you answer that question, I
can't. Thank you.
Pat, Truck Driver, Mom of 4, and Nana of seven.
A. Well Pat, I’m not sure there is an answer to that one. Many people, when
getting behind the wheel, become a totally different person. Others just
don’t think. I believe the greatest fault is the “not me” factor. People, by
their very natures, don’t realize that the grisly news stories they see on
the news could be them. This might be why the U.S. is the leader in motor
vehicle accidents world-wide. Combine this with the fact that it’s
ridiculously easy to get a license. Parents should keep in mind that when
they take their child for their license, that it is up to them to make sure
their child is ready. Don’t allow them a license until they are. The average
test for a 16 year old to get their license is easy. Also, parents, be
careful about allowing them in a vehicle with other kid drivers. As for
parents, it’s high time they got a dose of vehicle safety. I’ve seen plenty
of parents that were a disaster behind the wheel. Yet, each day they
gleefully strapped their child in, sat behind the wheel, and recklessly tore
off. I, personally, think this a shame. I’ve noticed many times that
reckless drivers are usually adamant when you try to speak to them. They
insist they are “safe drivers.” Wake up, moms and dads! Listen up to the
professional driver. These professionals see it every day.
Here’s a few links on safe driving. Take a look, and for your child’s sake,
practice what you read.
Q. I’m a father of 4 and I love to grill. The summer is just too hot to heat
up the indoors with the stove, so I grill as much as I can all summer long.
Food also tastes better coming off the coals than on the stove, and the kids
love it. Do you have any safe grilling tips?
A. Oh, never fear, we always have safety tips. First of all, you mentioned
coals. It’s important to never burn coals inside of an enclosed space. Coals
give off poisonous carbon monoxide fumes and can kill you in an enclosed
space. Everything else boils down to thinking. Use your head and always be
watchful. Never leave your grill unattended. However, be sure to check the
great links below for more grill safety.
http://www.fmic.com/Tips/gasgrillsafety.htm – US Consumer Product Safety
http://www.twp.russell.oh.us/Pages/fireflash.html – Here’s what a fire
company has to say about grill safety.
http://www.manofthehouse.com/safetygrill.htm – Some great tips.
Q. My children are at that age that they love swimming, and they’re getting
too old for the “kiddy pool.” Where can I find information on swimming
A. Many swimming areas have posted safety rules, make sure they understand
them. It’s important to remember that there are general rules, pool rules,
and beach rules. If you decide to take them to the beach, it’s a whole
different ball game than when you take them to a pool. Below you’ll find the
information your looking for.
Q. How safe is it to swim with my kids in the lake behind the house?
A. The operative words are “with my kids.” Make sure there is always an
adult present while they swim. It is preferable to have more than one adult.
Keep one adult out of the lake and watching, like a life guard. With
multiple adults, you can take turns. The other prime dangers lie in
bacteria, leeches, and other people. Make sure nobody acts like an idiot.
The following link is some great advice from a doctor. He speaks all about
bacteria and other swimming health issues.
Well readers, that’s all for this week. Keep the questions coming in at
QandA.CCMagazine@Eudoramail.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Until
next week, have a safe and happy week. And don’t forget to bring the fun.
Ten Stupid Things New Dog Owners Do To Mess Up Their Lives
By: Deb DiSandro
STUPID AFFECTION - You fall in love with a handsome face and your clever plan to let your kids only look at dogs, without ever actually buying one, goes right out the window. Instead of the female, housebroken, mature dog you insisted on, your eyes meet with the deep brown peepers on a soft ball of fluff called a puppy. The next thing you remember you're standing in the middle of Petco marveling at the self-service bath salon.
STUPID DECEPTION - You believe your house will be different and never smell of dog odor. And by the second day, you don't even notice that it does.
STUPID HELPLESSNESS - "Wait a minute, kids? Honey? You can't go off to work and school and leave me here with him! I don't know nuthin bout raisin puppies!" (Why does this sound eerily familiar to the moment my mother left me alone with my first new born?)
STUPID ASSUMPTION - That if you take a puppy outside and he does his duty and you throw him the necessary party, with a six piece band and a five-person cheerleading squad, he will not bounce back into the house, go directly to your family room carpet and do his duty again.
STUPID OBSESSION - You stalk your puppy, asking insane questions like, "What are you sniffing? What? What? Do you have to go? Should we go outside? Let's go outside, I know we were just out there five minutes ago, but let's go out again."
STUPID REALIZATION - You spend more time with your Vet than you ever have with your kid's pediatrician. ("You need a sample of his WHAT?!")
STUPID FANTASY - You imagine writing award-winning columns with the pup lying obediently at your feet.
STUPID REALITY - The pup is laying at your feet, while you are writing what is sure to be an award-winning column and suddenly you smell something similar to your husband after a Mexican dinner - only worse. The column is abandoned for a breath of fresh air.
STUPID PHONE CALL - "Hi Mom! We're staying with you for the weekend and you'll never guess who we're bringing with?"
STUPID ATTACHMENT - Did you see that? He kissed me! He kissed me! I think he likes me! I'm whipped.
All About Me
By: Victoria L. Pietz
It’s just a fun thing to do with the parents and children. It helps everyone get to know each other. As you start up your childcare or a new child enters your childcare group, have the parent fill out the first page and attach a picture of the child. This will allow the lines of communication to be opened. Knowing the child’s likes and dislikes will help you deal with the child effectively.
I recommend inserting the pages into a clear plastic protector that will fit into a three-ring binder. Once you have reviewed the book, pass it to the parents and let them review it. It is lots of fun to look at. It also helps the parents learn about their child’s new friends.
You should also update this every year with a new picture of the child.
Then you could make a book for each of the parents through out the year. I still call this ALL ABOUT ME. The questions are asked directly to the child. Write down whatever the child answers. Some of the answers are quite funny.
(This one is to pass to everyone)
(Don’t forget to include a picture on the backside.)
By: Victoria L. Pietz
My Dad’s Name__________________________________________________
My Mom’s Name_________________________________________________
My Brothers and Sisters
My Phone Number________________________________________________________
My Favorite Toy__________________________________________________________
My Favorite TV Show_____________________________________________________
My Favorite Movie________________________________________________________
My Favorite Song_________________________________________________________
My Favorite Book_________________________________________________________
When I Grow Up I Want To Be______________________________________________________________________
My Mom And Dan Know I’m Special Because__________________________________________________________________
ALL ABOUT ME
(Write down child’s answers to each question.)
My name is________________________________________________________
My favorite color is__________________________________________________
My favorite food is___________________________________________________
My favorite toy is____________________________________________________
My favorite game is__________________________________________________
My favorite book is___________________________________________________
My favorite song is___________________________________________________
In the beginning of the year I couldn’t ____________________________________
But now I can!!
My mom’s name is____________________________________________________
My mom’s eyes are colored____________My mom’s hair is colored____________
My mom is____________old.
My mom works at_____________________________________________________
I love it when my mom does_____________________________________________
My mom is special because______________________________________________
My dad’s name is_______________________________________________________
My dad’s eyes are colored______________My dad’s hair is colored______________
My dad is ______________old.
My dad works at________________________________________________________
I love it when my dad does________________________________________________
My dad is special because_________________________________________________