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Encourage Outside-The-Box Thinking in Your Preschooler

A fantastic way to get your little one to think outside the box is with cooking.

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For example, you can make numerous different croissant dishes with a simple roll of the dough. Unfold each section from the packaged roll and form it into an individual triangle. Once it is face open, ask your child what to add to the middle. There are a ton of possibilities; following are three examples:

  1. Add a piece of ham and a piece of cheese, and then roll the dough for a delicious ham and cheese sandwich.
  2. Add pepperoni and cheese, and serve with a tomato sauce dip to create a mini-croissant pizza.
  3. Add shredded chicken and bacon and serve with ranch.

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Another way to encourage your child to think outside the box is with riddles.

  1. A man went on a trip riding his horse. He left on Friday, stayed in town for three days and came back on Friday. How did he do it?  Answer: His horse’s name is Friday
  2. What has three hands, but cannot clap? Answer: a clock

Chocolate-Banana Yogurt Sundae

Spruce up snack time or dessert with this delicious chocolate-banana yogurt sundae!

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Ingredients

  • Non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Banana
  • Shredded coconut

Spoon a desired amount of yogurt into a dish. Slice up the banana, and place the slices in the yogurt. Then drizzle with chocolate sauce. Sprinkle shredded coconut over the sundae.

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

How To Fold a Paper Boat

Ahoy! Are you looking for a fun Valentine’s Day craft?! Look no further! Have your children practice their fine motor and math skills while they fold a spare sheet of paper into a floating masterpiece. Let your children decorate it with hearts or fill it with candy, then sail right into Valentine’s Day!

1. Fold a piece of paper in half crosswise.

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2. Fold paper in half lengthwise and open it back out.

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3. Fold the corners down the center crease.

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4. Fold the long bottom strip up and fold the corners over.

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5. Flip the paper over and repeat the previous step.

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6. Fold the opposite corners together and turn it sideways to make a diamond.

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7. Fold the bottom corner up halfway, turn it over and repeat.

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8. Open the triangle and fold the opposite corners together.

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9. Hold the paper at the tip and gently pull the sides apart.

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Ship ahoy!

 

 

Five Ways to Encourage Good Manners

Learning to be polite and respectful is just as important as learning any other life skill. Here are five ways to encourage good manners in children.

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  1. Be a good example. Children imitate what they see and hear, so if you are polite and respectful to others, there is a good chance that your child will be, too.
  2. Role play with your child. For example, ask her to pretend she’s at a restaurant. Then ask her what she would do if she needs somebody to pass the salt or what she would do if the server asks her what she wants to order.
  3. Enlist help from other family members. If you are comfortable with it, let other family members know that it is okay for them to encourage your child to use good manners. Or, say, if a grandparent burps, gently remind the grandparent that he or she should say “Excuse me.”
  4. Begin teaching manners early. Even if your child is a toddler, it is never too early to start teaching manners. After all, if a child is encouraged from day one to say please and thank you, it becomes a regular part of his everyday life.
  5. Correct mistakes politely. Your child is bound to make mistakes, and it is perfectly fine for you to correct her. Just be sure to do it calmly and politely.

Ready! Set! Snow!

Snowfall can be very exciting, especially for children who are full of anticipation for winter fun and games.

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The yard is covered in a white blanket just waiting for little footprints. Children love building snowmen, constructing snow forts and making snow angels.

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Some children believe that wearing their pajamas inside out or putting a spoon under their beds will increase snowfall and may increase the odds for a snow day.

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There are many quirky superstitions to try. What has your family tried? Did it work? How do you celebrate a snow day?

How to Make Chores Fun

When you’re a busy parent coming home from the workday and continuing your second job of being a parent, simple household chores can take up valuable time and can become aggravating.

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Lessen your stress by teaching responsibility to your little ones. Encouraging your children to contribute to small tasks around the house will not only help them develop gross motor skills and responsibility, but it will also provide extra time for you as a parent to bond with your children by playing a game or reading a book.

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  1. Call their help something other than chores. Emphasize that your child will be helping with daily tasks. Children may feel happier about completing their task if they are helping.
  2. Create a Mommy’s and Daddy’s Helper chart. Children will be anxious to check off their task of the day; it will entice them to complete it
  3. Add a sticker each time your child completes an assigned task. Offer your child a special prize for obtaining a certain number of stickers. Prizes can be one of the following:
    • Having an extra 30 minutes of screen time;
    • Choosing the family dinner for a night;
    • Picking the game for family game night.

The Goddard School is Now Accepting Applications for the 11th Annual Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship

The Nation’s Leading Preschool System Invites Alumni to Apply for $10,000 College Scholarship.

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Goddard  Systems, Inc. (GSI), the national franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, which is focused on learning through play, has begun accepting applications for the 11th annual Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded annually to one high school senior who graduated from The Goddard School prekindergarten or kindergarten program. This distinguished scholarship honors an alumnus whose work ethic and overall demeanor parallel that of Anthony A. Martino, founder of The Goddard School franchise system.

Finalists are selected based on expressed goals and aspirations, academic record, participation in school, community service, work experience and a video submission. Through the awarding of $100,000 to date, the Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship allows The Goddard School Franchise the opportunity to help college-bound alumni in their pursuit of higher education.

“For more than 30 years, our mission has been to help children become school ready, career ready and life ready. We are thrilled to continue supporting our alumni in communities throughout the country with the Anthony A. Martino scholarship program,” said Joseph Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. “To date, we have awarded $100,000 through the scholarship, which has been as rewarding for us as it has been for the students who received the support for college.”

Applications must be submitted by March 12, 2018, to be considered for the scholarship. The finalists for the scholarship will be selected and notified on or before April 3, 2018, and announced on Goddard System, Inc.’s social media accounts by April 23, 2018. The winner of the Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship will be selected and notified by before May 1, 2018.

For more information on scholarship rules and criteria, please visit www.goddardschool.com /scholarship. For more information on The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com.

 

Four Ways to Encourage Children to Share

Learning to share is important, but it can be challenging to convey this to children. Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers four ways to encourage children to share.

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  1. As is so often the case, children grow to give what they have received. Valued and generously loved children find it much easier to be generous to others – in due time. Parents who behave generously (and talk about it) help their children develop the language of sharing early on. Phrases such as “Want to share my grapes?” or “I’d love it if I could share your orange, okay?” afford your child the chance to hear the vocabulary of sharing in the context of positive emotions like appreciation and generosity. This helps children begin to understand that generosity is a way of staying emotionally close to the people they want to stay close to.
  2. Avoid parent-enforced sharing whenever possible. The umpire is the least popular position in any sport or family. Acting as the referee supports the fantasy that, when a child wants something another child has, you can make things fair or right by forcing that other child to share. Instead, whenever you can, use the huge power of your affection to comfort the child, reassuring him you are staying right there and helping him wait for his turn.
  3. When you catch your child sharing, which they are more likely to do with younger, less intimidating peers, praise her for it, tell her how proud you are that she shared. This works far better than teaching or trying to make children share.
  4. Children in mixed age groups often find it easier to share than those who interact with their peers. Older children are usually less territorial and more likely to share, which can be a cue to younger children to share. These moments should be met with praise.

Snowflakes: A Great Analogy For Teaching Children That It’s Good To Be Unique

In today’s world, we worry more about fitting in than sticking true to ourselves. Peer acceptance is an especially strong concept among young children. When children are starting school, their priority and the thing they may fear the most is simply making friends. Instead of wearing their favorite shirts and risk having other children make fun of them, our children may be holding back and wear something less themselves to fit in with others. Instead of sharing their favorite movie, they may give in and share a friend’s favorite movie so no one laughs at their opinions.

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It’s important for our little ones to understand that they are talented and what they like or dislike does matter. Their other opinions matter too. Our children should feel comfortable expressing themselves; just as each snowflake is unique, so is each child different from the others. Completing a snowflake activity is a good way to explain this concept.

Gather a stack of white computer paper and cut each sheet to form a perfect square. Once in a square, fold the paper diagonally and then diagonally another three times. Next, cut the tip off, cut out shapes and slits in the paper and then unfold for the final product. Repeat and see how each snowflake is different from the others while each snowflake is itself beautiful.

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We see that no two snowflakes are the same. It’s similar with people; even twins are not exactly the same. Teach your children that it’s okay to be different and to be confident in being different. Your children are more likely to become leaders when they’re confident in themselves, their likes, their dislikes and their overall decisions.

What are some ways your children openly express themselves?

Birthday Party Theme Ideas

Your little one is year older and super excited about the upcoming birthday party. It must be the most awesome party in the whole class. Here are a few themes that can make any birthday party tons of fun and entertaining.

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  • Zoo or safari theme
    • Adults can paint animal faces on younger children. Be sure to use the appropriate type of face paint.
    • Encourage all the children to come dressed as their favorite animal.
    • Have themed cake or cupcakes with zoo animal faces.
    • Set up some of your child’s stuffed animals around the house and walk through a safari path that you have made, pointing out the animals as you go.

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  • Luau theme
    • Hand out grass skirts to guests as they arrive.
    • Set up a tiki bar with various flavors of fruit punch.
    • Demonstrate a simple luau dance and encourage all the guests to learn how to do it.
    • Give all the children a goodie bag with items that they can use at the beach for their next family vacation.

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  • Circus theme
    • If you have a family pet, get creative and present a lion taming show with your pet.
    • Find a long piece of wood with no rough edges or use a few old shoe boxes taped together to make a small balance beam. Assist your aspiring acrobats across.
    • Set up games like pin the tail on the donkey, ring toss or a water balloon toss if it’s warm outside.
    • For those daring parents, set up a pie-throwing Children will always remember the birthday party where they were able to throw some pie.

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Additional creative themes include a fantasy land, a scientist’s laboratory, an undersea adventure, a spaceflight, a pirate’s treasure hunt or a prehistoric-period adventure with dinosaurs and fossils.