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Baby Safety Tips

A few helpful tips for first-time moms and dads:

  • Always place your baby on her back to sleep unless your pediatrician advises otherwise for medical reasons;Baby
  • Remember not to put bumpers and blankets in an infant’s crib;
  • Be sure to childproof your home before your baby begins to crawl. Get down to a baby’s level and crawl around looking at your home from a baby’s point of view. Ensure that electrical cords and outlets are child-proof and that TVs and other electrical devices are safe;
  • Make sure that an adult feeds your baby until she can safely hold her own bottle. Propping bottles can be dangerous;
  • Be sure all toys are age appropriate. A great rule of thumb is that toys that fit in an empty toilet paper tube are too small for a baby;
  • Remember that babies are naturally curious. Save the word “No!” for when it really matters, like when safety is concerned.

Six Ways to Help Children Cope With Stress

Childhood can be a stressful time. Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers six tips on how to help children cope with stress.

  1. The most effective help comes from adults working to get a better grip on their own stress management. Better-rested and fed adults who try to get regular exercise, communicate and relax regularly with their children are the best models and teachers of stress Stressed Kidmanagement.
  2. Support one or two (not three or four) activities your child does that makes her feel good about herself. Positive self-regard can be great insulation against negative stress effects.
  3. Lose the junk comfort foods and have only healthy ones available.
  4. Monitor screen usage, and limit high-tension, high-speed games and puzzles. Such cheap thrills may result in expensive stress on the immature central nervous system.
  5. We all prefer being useful to stressing out, so use a calm tone when asking a stressed child to engage in, or help you with, a manageable chore.
  6. Help your child clean up one of his spaces in the home. This can show him that he too can control some of the mess that is stressing him out.

Pocket Full of Kisses Craft

Need a last minute Mother’s Day gift from your little one? Here’s a craft you can do together and present to mom to thank her for all that she does!

What you need:

  • Pocket Full of Kisses1Crayons, washable markers and/or water-based paint
  • Two white paper plates
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn, ribbon or a long shoelace
  • Safety scissors
  • Bag of HERSHEY’S KISSES®
  • Peel-and-stick magnets (optional)

What you do:

  1. Cut one paper plate in half and leave the other one whole.
  2. Use the hole punch to punch holes, about one inch apart, along the straight edge of the cut plate.
  3. Put the plates together so that the outside edges match up (this will form the pocket). While they are together, continue to punch holes, about one inch apart, around the edges of both plates.
  4. Use the yarn, ribbon or long shoelace to sew the two plates together. (You won’t actually sew the straight edge of the cut plate to the full plate, but you can lace the yarn through these holes for decoration and added support.)
  5. Tie the ends of the yarn, ribbon or shoelace together when sewing is complete.
  6. Make a hole at the top and tie a piece of yarn or ribbon through for hanging on the wall or attach a few peel-and-stick magnets to the back for hanging on the refrigerator.
  7. Decorate with crayons, washable markers and/or water-based paint.
  8. When complete, fill the pocket with HERSHEY’S KISSES® and display or give as a gift!

*An adult should oversee all activities. Activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

The Importance of Mother’s Day

Each year, the second Sunday in May is a wonderful opportunity to show our moms just how appreciated they are. Wetwenty20_77a5e341-a0a2-4482-9455-0764b830b44b should remember to value everything our mothers do for us year-round, but Mother’s Day is a great way to give them some special treatment. While it is important to spend time with mom; however, don’t forget to make a phone call or send a card or small gift to grandma and your aunt as well.

A spa day is a great gift for grandma or an aunt, especially if distance makes it difficult to spend Mother’s Day with them. As for mom, you could prepare breakfast in bed or take her out to eat. You could also ask her if there’s anything special she’d like to do, such as go for a hike, see a movie or get a mani/pedi. And of course, be sure to tell mom how much you love and appreciate her and everything she has done for you.

What are some activities your family does on Mother’s Day?

Three Cute Craft Ideas for Mother’s Day

Attention all dads! Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and the most special gifts are those made by the hands of your tiny tots. Here are three craft ideas to help your child create a special keepsake for mom.

1.   Design a FlowerProcessed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

Gather a photo of your little one and cut it into a circle. Next, encourage your child to choose a color (or two) of construction paper and cut out about ten ovals for petals. Cutting should be done by an adult. Help your child glue or tape the petals around his picture so his face is the center of the flower. Use a straw or pipe cleaner for the stem and cut out two more ovals of construction paper for leaves. For a more advanced activity, help your child write a poem for Mom and attach it to the flower.

2.   Handprint Tote Bag

You will need a blank canvas tote bag and some acrylic paint (encourage your child to choose the paint colors). Put a piece of cardboard (the size of the bag) inside the tote to ensure the paint does not seep through to the other side. Pour the paint on a paper plate. Assist your child in placing her hand in the paint and then making a handprint on the tote. Rotate the handprints in a circle to make a flower or sun, etc. Mom will love the creativity!

3.   DIY Colored Flowers

For this activity, you will need food coloring and a bouquet of white flowers. Encourage your child to choose two or more colors of food coloring. Gather two jars and pour water, about halfway, into each jar. Add 15 drops of food coloring in each jar (one color in each). Cut an inch or two off the bottom of the stems (this should be done by an adult) to help the flowers absorb the coloring easily. Place the flowers into the jars, and after a full day the flowers will have changed colors!

*An adult should oversee all activities. Activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

The Goddard School® Announces its Leading Educators For The 10th Annual Teacher Of The Year Awards

Premier Preschool Recognizes Six Educators For National Teacher Appreciation Week 

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA (May 2, 2016) – Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School®, the nation’s premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children six weeks to six years old, names honorees for their tenth annual Teacher of the Year award. In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, happening May 2 to 6, GSI acknowledges more than 10,000 teachers nationwide and presents six extraordinary teachers with a plaque that commemorates their passion, dedication and enthusiasm for early childhood education.

“The teachers that have been selected as this year’s honorees for Teacher of the Year have spearheaded long-term projects that have positively impacted the children in their classroom, their families, the Schools and the broader community,” says Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at GSI. “The Teacher of the Year recipients engage students in learning opportunities that are both unique and effective. We are delighted to honor these six outstanding educators, who continue to lovingly guide and prepare children for success in school and in life.”

Projects from the selected Goddard School educators include Family Game Night which is designed to continue fostering Kindergarten skills outside the classroom; Kindness Mission, which guides students to understand how small acts of kindness make a big impact; Intergenerational Project, which educates children about different generations while  befriending residents at the Avalon Assisted Living Facility; and Happy Gonzo which first involved taking care of a class pet frog, Gonzo, and later introduced engaging learning opportunities for the preschoolers.

GSI honors the following teachers:

Anna Pecoraro – Elgin, IL

Anna Pecoraro, kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Elgin, IL, introduced her students and Elgin image1families to Family Game Night. In an effort to continue to teach kindergarten skills such as reading, number recognition and critical thinking outside the classroom, children had the chance every Friday to check out a new game from the game library to take home and play with their families. When the children returned to school on Monday, they were to write a journal entry about their Family Game Night experience. All journal entries were collected and included in a class book, which helped the students choose which game they would check out next. In May, the board games will be given to children and families that reside in Home of the Sparrow, a local shelter for women and children. The hope is that Home of the Sparrow can also learn through The Goddard School’s learning through play philosophy!

Pamela Gijanto and Sabrina Piotrowski – Marlboro, NJ

Pamela Gijanto and Sabrina Piotrowski, pre-kindergarten teachers at The Goddard School located in MarlboroMarlboro IMG_20160427_122307042 (School Road East), NJ, created Kindness Mission. Through this project, Gijanto and Piotrowski guided and encouraged children to be kind to others. With the goal of showing  the children that small acts of kindness can have a big impact on others, the teachers helped the children develop identities as learners while promoting positive self-image. The teachers extended Kindness Mission beyond the school and into their community by organizing a gently used toy collection that benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth County, a nonprofit organization that provides aid to children in need. It is Gijanto and Piotrowski’s hope that the Kindness Mission will continue to connect their students to the community and make others feel good while feeling good about themselves.

Christina Mruskovic – Hillsborough, NJ

Christina Mruskovic, kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Hillsborough, NJ, organized inter-DSCN1327generational activities for children to participate in throughout the year, such as visiting the residents of the Avalon Assisted Living facility. Mruskovic spent the first few months of the school year laying the foundation for the project by incorporating lessons about different generations into all the learning domains. The kindergarten class read books about grandparents, learned songs and discussed manners and etiquette before visiting the Avalon Assisted Living facility. On their first trip to the facility, the kindergarten class worked with the residents to help them make love bug pins, share snacks and sing songs. The students’ next visit will be in May to do a Mother’s Day activity with the residents.

Roswell Presentation 2016

Paige Hardwick and Erika Posey – Roswell, GA

Paige Hardwick and Erika Posey, co-lead preschool teachers at The Goddard School located in Roswell, GA, embarked on an adventure in learning by focusing the majority of their activities on the children’s best friend, Gonzo, a tiny tree frog. Through efforts to keep Gonzo alive, learning opportunities were born. Students were soon producing songs, authoring a Gonzo “baby book” and learning about the Save the Frogs foundation, which later encouraged the establishment of a local chapter of the amphibian conservation organization at the School. Since Gonzo was born, the teachers worked together to maintain an engaging and exciting learning environment for students.

For more information on The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com.   

About The Goddard School®

Learning for fun. Learning for life.® For nearly 30 years, The Goddard School has used the most current, academically endorsed methods to ensure that children from six weeks to six years old have fun while learning the skills they need for long-term success in school and in life. Talented teachers collaborate with parents to nurture children into respectful, confident and joyful learners. The Goddard School’s AdvancED- and Middle States-accredited F.L.EX.® Learning Program (Fun Learning Experience) reaches more than 50,000 students in more than 430 Goddard Schools in 35 states. The Goddard School’s comprehensive play-based curriculum, developed with early childhood education experts, provides the best childhood preparation for social and academic success. To learn more about The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com.

Easy Ways to be an Eco-Friendly Family and Teach Children the Importance of Going Green

Bring your family together through environmentally friendly activities. Children (and many adults, too!) tend to think new is better. Springtime and Earth Day remind us to teach our children to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reduce. Save our planet by saving water. Children enjoy playing in water, especially in the bathtub. At the appropriate age, teach your children to switch to showers in order to conserve water. Explain that grown-ups take showers instead of baths. Children may be more likely to want to be like their adult role models and willingly switch to showers. Since it is easy to lose track of time, you can set timers for your children when they are in the shower to let them know when it is time to get out.

Saving energy is important, and it can be a great reason to optimize family time. Instead of watching TV and playing video games, have a weekly game night with cards, board games and more. This will reduce the amount of electricity your family uses, and it can be an incredibly fun way to build memories together.

Reuse. To show your children that used items can be just as good as new items, consider bringing your children to a consignment shop and letting them pick out something they like. Additionally, you can encourage your children to donate a few items that they no longer use, such as toys and clothing, to charities. This shows children the importance of reusing resources and how it can influence others in their community.

Recycle. It is important to get children involved in recycling, both for the children and for the environment. Consider establishing a competition between family members. First, educate your children about which items can be recycled and which items are trash. Next, provide separate bins for recycled products for each family member. At the end of the week, the family member with the most recycled items wins a prize. Children will feel proud of doing a good job with recycling, which will encourage them to continue. To make the competition more advanced, consider disqualifying one recycled item each time a family member fails to turn off an unnecessary light.

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Go green through community service. Cleaning up local streets and parks helps children learn how to take care of the environment and how to work with others. Saving the planet takes teamwork, which is another important concept for children to learn. Participating in community service allows children to have fun interacting with others, which is better than staying cooped up inside with their video games.

Encouraging your children to become more eco-friendly creates a healthier and happier household. Introducing these tips at a young age will inspire them to continue making positive differences in their environment in the future.

Five Ways to Encourage Environmental Responsibility

Conserving the environment is a priority, and helping to foster an eco-friendly mindset in children is more important than ever. Here are five ways to encourage environmental responsibility.

  1. Teach your children to garden. Gardening is an excellent way to teach your twenty20_89c7a32e-5c1e-4530-983f-92f78ca380a3child some basics of biology, such as how the sun helps plants grow, how plants produce oxygen through photosynthesis and how vegetation contributes to a healthy environment.
  2. Enjoy some fun outdoor activities. Creating a wildflower scrapbook or going on an outdoor scavenger hunt may help your child appreciate all the beauty, wonder and fun the environment has to offer.
  3. Go for a hike. Whether you walk through the woods or just around a local park, hiking lets children experience the environment while getting some exercise. The internet can be a terrific resource for finding hiking trails close to home.
  4. Start at home. Recycling and conserving electricity and water at home with your child can go a long way toward preserving the environment. You can even make a game of counting how many different items you can recycle every week.
  5. Make something new with something old. Cardboard tubes, empty milk jugs and many other items can be given new life with a little creativity. Let your imaginations run wild and create something fun!

How Dr. Jack Maypole Encourages Healthy Eating

It can be challenging to get children to eat vegetables. Pediatrician Dr. Jack Maypole, member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers five tips on how to encourage healthy eating.

  1. Offer one new food with two well-established foods. For Hand with Heart Breadexample, if you know your daughter likes pasta, serve that as usual and add a portion of a new vegetable to her plate.
  2. Establish a rule that children have to at least try one bite or taste of a new vegetable. Research shows that most children will take to a food after up to about a dozen tastings (for some super picky or rigid eaters, such as those on the autism spectrum for example, it may be many more times).
  3. Set children up for success by discouraging snacking or tanking up on beverages before mealtime.
  4. Keep mealtimes positive by involving children in food prep and getting enthusiastic in the craft and presentation of food. This may cultivate interest and curiosity in the food, which can lead to the development of a more adventurous palate.
  5. Never force feed or go to war about making your child eat. Everyone loses. If you are concerned that your child may have issues with food, such as allergies or sensitivities to texture, contact your child’s primary care provider.

For more information, check out this article in which Dr. Maypole provides additional nutrition advice.

Five Ways to Encourage Good Sportsmanship

Healthy competition can be a lot of fun. However being a good sport is the key to having the most fun. Here are five ways to encourage good sportsmanship.

  1. Root for both teams. The point of any game for children is to have fun, so if you see a child on the opposing G2 - Sportsteam hit a home run or make an amazing save, feel free to cheer for her. This may send a message to your child that enjoying the game is the point of it.
  2. Focus on the positives. If your child is disappointed that he did not win or was not on the winning team, remind him that he played well and he had fun with his friends.
  3. Respect the referee. Point out that the referee’s job is to ensure that everybody plays fairly and safely. Explain that generally the referee is a volunteer who is paid very little or nothing. Thank the referee for his service and encourage your child to do the same. If other parents or children berate the referee, explain that this behavior is not appropriate.
  4. Have a winning attitude. This means teaching your child to be positive whether she wins or loses. When she wins, she should win graciously with little fanfare. When she loses, she should shake the opponent’s hand and congratulate her for a game well played.
  5. Look to the future. Regardless of what happens, remind your child that there will always be a next time, another game, another season. Explain that he should just focus on having fun because that is what really counts.