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Archive for 2012

How to Explain Tragedy to Children

 Family - Teacher with Parent & Child

The latest news coming out of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is both shocking and heartbreaking.  It proves that no matter how hard we try to shield our children from danger and pain, they will still surprise us from time to time.  Our prayers and thoughts go out to all the families and loved ones who have been affected by this tragedy.  However, they are not the only ones who have to deal with it.  Our children may not be victims but they still are aware of sadness and grief.  The hard choice as parents is whether to discuss the tragedy or try to shield  our children as much as possible.  Some may sit their child down and try to explain what happen and possibly why and some may turn all news off and keep quiet around their child.  Here are some resources that will give you ideas or suggestions of the best path to take with your child in situations like this one.

  • Help Parents, Children and Others Cope in the Aftermath of School Shootings: AAP
  • Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting: APA
  • Tips about Supporting Children’s Grief for Adults: Boston Medical Center
  • Calming Kid Jitters About Scary News: Dr. Michele Borba


Well wishes to you and your family and let’s come together (leaders, parents, teachers, and public service friends) to try to make this world a safer place for our children and grandchildren.

Written By: Kim Hensinger


December News

Toys for Tots final pick up: December 10th

Pajama Day: December 17th

Happy Holidays!

Come join the fun and watch our Holiday Shows on December 19th.  Classroom show times are as follows:

Inf./1st Steps/ Tods: 9:30-10:00

Get Set/Pres 1: 10:00-10:30

Pres 2/ Pre-K: 10:30-11:00

The shows will be followed by a little party with your child to celebrate all their hard work!

The school will be closed from December 24th  unitl Jan.2nd.

We wish you and your family a safe and happy Holiday!




Why is it Important to Give Thanks?

Why is it Important to Give Thanks?

Fall Family - B

            The time has come to fill our bellies with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.  It is Thanksgiving!  That, however, is what comes to mind when people mention the fourth Thursday of November.  It is only one of the many American holidays whose original purpose has slowly been forgotten.  Who remembers a time that the Fourth of July wasn’t about fireworks, Christmas wasn’t about presents and Santa Claus and Halloween didn’t involve un-costumed children and mischief fun.  Why is it important to still discuss the importance of giving thanks?  Why should we bestow on our children the original purpose of holidays?

            There are always great reasons and historical facts to why we celebrate certain holidays.  It is important for children to know history and where things originally came from, especially when they have a moral background, like simply being thankful for what you have and for your loved ones.  It is important for children to understand that you don’t just say thank you to one another because Aunt Mary said to.  That saying ‘thank you’ is a gracious way to repay kindness with kindness.  More importantly, it makes others feel appreciated and shows that you are respectful.  It is the little things that count and it is the little things that the American society as a whole, have seemed to have forgotten.  The little acts of kindness, thankfulness and gratitude become more natural the more you practice.  It is also proven that ‘to give thanks’ makes you feel happier, healthier and all together a more positive person.  We need to be thankful for the things we have and for the people we have in our lives.  One of the best ways to teach our children  how to build strong relationships with people is to be respectful and always show gratitude.  A simple thank you and hug goes a long way.

            So just remember, before you take a bite out of your yummy Thanksgiving dinner, sit back, take a moment and give thanks!

 Source by: Matthew Baldwin

Written by: Kim Hensinger

November News

Fall - Family AOur spotlight teacher for November is Ms. Kaylee!  She has been a great addition to the Goddard family and has been with us for a year.  Please stop in the hall by the lobby door to learn more about Ms. Kaylee.

We have added our Toy For Tots bin in the lobby and welcome any gifts that you and your family can provide for the less fortunate.  They will pick up the toys on December 10, 2012.

The time of year has come to give thanks and fill our bellies with delicious foods. We have our Thanksgiving Feast on November 14th at 11:45.  We will read Thanksgiving books, learn fun songs, make a placemat, discuss what we’re thankful for and even dress like Indians and Pilgrims!

We are looking forward to all the fun activities planned throughout the month!  Happy November!

Written by: Kim Hensinger

Food for the Fall

Food for the Fall

Fall - Infant

Are you ready for the rush of sugar and sweets that come with Halloween?  It may not be as scary as you thought.  Many parents think that high-sugar foods like soft drinks, candy, cake and ice cream cause their children to be “hyper.”  However, there is scientific proof that sugar may actually have a calming effect and that it actually might determine more on the environment and activity going on then the food itself.  Attending a party or dressing up in a costume are not every day events and are very exciting for a child of any age.  You should still limit or control the amount of high-sugar foods your child consumes; it’s just not as scary when they splurge on special occasions.

Breakfast Ideas Before School

We have all heard the statement that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, well it’s true! It is a known fact that children perform better at school when they start the day with a good breakfast.  We all know how crazy mornings can be so here
are some tips for good, quick and fun breakfasts:

  • A peanut butter and banana sandwich and glass of milk is a favorite of young
    ones.  It provides calcium, protein, and one serving of fruit.
  • Top cold or hot cereal with fresh or canned fruit.
  • Serve 100% fruit or vegetable juice.
  • A cereal bar and milk is yummy and quick.
  • Bagels with fruit spread or low-fat cream cheese are great on the go.
  • Make egg sandwiches the night before, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and microwave to warm slightly in the morning for a quick breakfast.

The fall is a fun season with a lot of changes. Between schedules for school, holidays and weather, there is always something different.  Hopefully, these tips will make the transitions easier!

Written by: Kim Hensinger

Summer Program For Children

The summer is quickly arriving!  Your child’s school is ending and you may have two and ½ months on your hands to find some fun places and activities for your child to experience.   If you want your child to learn about fun authors and books while exploring water, watching magic shows and scientists, learning about whales and the solar system or just simply enjoying a snow cone from the snow cone truck then our summer program is for you!  The Goddard School in Chalfont summer program starts June 18th and ends August 30th.   The theme this year is Leap into Literature.  Your child will learn about different authors and the books they wrote while taking part in water play and watching special visitors entertain them with their talents and knowledge of the world around us.  Some of the favorite authors mentioned will be Sandra Boynton, Jan Brett and Eric Carle.  We will explore their world of imagination and creativity through fun books, songs and art projects.   The special visitors will range from a Mad
Scientist, The Petting Zoo and a Whale Watcher to the Juggling Hoffmans, a Singing Cowboy and the Snow Cone Man!
These are just a few of the fun experiences that your child could look forward to and receive at The Goddard School in Chalfont.  Feel free to call for more information 215-997-2750 or stop in for a tour with one of our friendly staff members
today!   We hope you and your family have a safe and happy summer!

Infants & Teacher with Bubbles B

Written by: Kim Hensinger

Stepping Up For the Environment

Stepping Up For the

 Gardening - Kids & Teacher

There are a lot of ways you can teach your child to help our environment.  They can help recycle, plant trees at your home, understand the importance of not to litter or simply make sure lights and/or water are turned off when not being used.  In order to get the message across to our preschoolers, on March 30, 2012 the Goddard School in Chalfont will be hosting
a Stepping Up For the Environment event.  The school will turn off all the lights at 10:00 a.m. and have the children participate in fun, earth friendly activities such as reading books about our environment, learning an earth song, decorating a light switch,
creating an earth cookie, and making an earth friendly poster with their classmates.

Raising our children to be aware of the environment and how to take care of it will help them live a clean and environment conscious life from now to years to come.

Written by: Kim Hensinger

Encouraging Health and Fitness in Your Child

Yoga BalanceToday’s health facts about children are surprising.  It is said that about 15% of children and adolescents ages 6-19 years are seriously overweight and over 10% of preschool children between ages 2 and 5 are overweight.  These numbers have tripled since the early 1970’s.  The food knowledge and exercise routines you imprint in your child at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their adult years.  Here are some pointers that could help you encourage healthy eating habits into your youngster.

One of the most difficult struggles with a preschooler is getting them to eat healthy food and enough of it.  Most children go through a period where they refuse to try new foods and demand the same one or two favorites at each meal.  This seems to happen most between the ages 1-5.    They also like to reject foods they previously relished within a days’ time. Dietitians say that it may take a child up to 10 tries before he agrees to sample a new dish.  In order to help with this, offer the new food alongside his favorite and keep the mealtime atmosphere neutral and low-key.  Children also have small appetites and they may fare better with several small servings of food throughout the day than with only three hearty meals.  You can estimate the appropriate portion size by multiplying your child’s age by tablespoons and actually seeing how little they really need may release some stress from mealtime.

However, just eating healthy is not going to fight against childhood obesity on its own.  Making sure your child gets enough
exercise is just as important.  You could sign them up for team sports, go for family walks, play outside games such as
tag, ride bikes etc.  Today’s world is surrounded by technology advances that make it easy for your child to forget about simply going outside to play.  Reassuring the importance of moving your body and exercising will set your child on the right road for a healthy and fit lifestyle.  By simply following good eating habits and promoting exercise each day your child will not become another childhood obesity statistic.


Information by: CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s) and Jamie Mclntosh

Adapted by: Kim Hensinger

Fun Activities to do with Kids When the Weather is Bad

There are always the fun winter activities to do outside when it’s snowing that keeps your kids occupied like;  go sledding, have a snowball fight,  go skiing, build snowmen, go tubing etc.  However, when that big storm comes that traps you inside for days with energized kids or when it’s simply too cold to go out, you might be pulling your hair out trying to break up fights,  constantly cleaning up messes or trying to find a peaceful moment to yourself.   Here are some activities that will help keep your kids occupied and the stress level down.

  1. Indoor hide and go seek.
  2. Indoor tag as long as nothing gets broken.
  3. Have a board game tournament.
  4. Make yummy hot chocolate.
  5. Compete in a game of charades.
  6. Have a coloring contest.
  7. Play the Wii- a lot of games are highly interactive to burn off that stored up energy.
  8. Computer time.
  9. Story time.
  10. Arts and crafts. Construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, water colors, stickers, pasta and play-doh can provide some great fun.
  11. Bake your favorite cookies or dessert as a family.
  12. Camp out in the living room.  Make sheet tents.
  13. Bring the snow inside in bowls to explore in the
  14. Puzzle time.
  15. Play tea party (for girls) or cowboys and Indians
    (for boys)

This is just a short list to help you get through those tough winter days of boredom while keeping your kids happy so you’re happy.

Written by: Crystal

Adapted by: Kim Hensinger

Winter Safety Tips for Children

As the weather turns chilly, new dangers for kids are appearing.  The dropping temperatures and wind chills create climatic hazards.  With careful planning and supervision, children can enjoy the fun and freedom of playing indoors or outdoors on chilly winter days without substantial risk.  Here are some winter safety tips for children to help keep them safe, warm and healthy through the coldest months of the year.

When playing outside remember these important tips:

  • Dress your child (ren) in multiple, tight fitting layers.  This will keep the heat in as much as possible.
  • Always make sure they are wearing hats and gloves when playing outdoors since the most heat escapes through your head and hands.
  • You always want to limit the time they are exposed outside. Bring children inside to warm up periodically.
  • When they come in, remove all wet clothes immediately and change into dry clothes.  If they want to go back outside,
    make sure to put new clothes on and not the previous wet clothes.
  • Do not permit children to play outdoors in extreme weather such as snowstorms, extreme cold or high winds.
  • You always want to dress them in brightly colored outer clothing so you are able to see them from a distance.
  • Teach children the dangers of digging snow tunnels or forts and that they may collapse and bury them.
  • Remind children never to touch or lick exposed metal in winter.
  • Make sure to review the reasons they don’t want to eat snow; it may contain pollutants, dirt, fecal matter or other contaminants.
  • Make sure to regularly de-ice or sand sidewalks, driveways, patios and other areas where children may play or walk.

Winter sports can be a great way for children to stay active and enjoy colder temperatures, but each sport presents its own unique hazards.  Here are some safety tips for children to help them enjoy sports safely and comfortably:

  • Always use proper safety equipment and gear, including sports goggles and helmets, while playing winter sports.
  • Enroll children in lessons from a qualified professional for advanced winter sports such as figure skating, skiing and snowboarding to ensure they learn safe techniques.
  • Only play winter sports in safe, approved locations rather than using seemingly frozen ponds, unknown hillsides or other potentially dangerous locations.

The cold temperatures and biting winds are the most obvious hazards when children play in the snow.  Children who are not
prepared for winter climates can suffer frostbite, hypothermia and severe chills that can lead to illness, poor judgment and even permanent injury.  If you follow these simple tips it will help you and your child enjoy the winter months while exploring one of nature’s beautiful gifts.

Source by: Melissa Mayntz

Written by: Kimberly Hensinger