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Archive for October, 2016

Trick or Treating Safety

Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).


  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.



  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended.



  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
  • If you can provide allergen free alternatives for trick or treaters consider placing a teal painted pumpkin on your porch to let other parents know children with allergies can come by your house!


  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
    • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
    • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.



  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.

©2016 American Academy of Pediatrics

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page

Fall Fun with Little Ones

Fall is here! It is that time of year where the weather cools off and pumpkin is everywhere! Before the weather turns cold, take advantage of the nice, humidity free days and evenings and have some fun outside with your kiddos! Below are some fun inside and outside fall activities!



Pick a preschool fall craft to do together and have fun being creative together.

Decorate the front door — the wackier the better!

Pumpkin slime. Goop is a blast to play with. This goop is pumpkiny-orange.

Pumpkin pie play dough — this stuff smells SO good!

For an indoor kids activity, go on a spider hunt and see if you can find any cobwebs hiding in your house.  After you dust them, create your own spider web using popsicle sticks, tape, and pipe cleaners.

Do your kids collect acorns? Mine love to squirrel them away. This is a great kids painting activity using acorns to make art.

Fall sensory bottle — fill it with all the best autumn colors!

Make fall slime to play with — kids love this ooey gooey stuff!

Build a catapult, take it outside and put a pebble or two inside.   Watch them fly and measure how far the items went.

Create an owl craft with scraps of old magazines —  kids in a cutting kick and would love this craft.

Make a owl from TP tubes using feathers, scraps of fabric and buttons. This craft for kids is adorable.

Make fall spice paints with ginger, pumpkin and more!

Watch your kids pretend and play in a “world” with leaves outdoors for your kids to explore through. Afterwards, the kids can help rake them up!

Go on a nature walk to a new destination. Bring a long a nature bag for the kids to help them document what they see.

Plant bulbs for the spring. My kids love to get muddy — gardening with kids is dirty and fun!

Donate food items to a food bank in your area. As the holidays approach, food banks are often strapped for supplies.

Make a pumpkin pie with your kids. Have extra filling? Add it to a smoothie with some yogurt.

Go bobbing for apples. Fill a tub with apples and see if you can get one with your teeth. Afterwards, make candy apples as a treat to enjoy with your kids.

Make s’mores on the patio with your kids. Try experimenting and adding extra ingredients to your s’mores like berries or bananas.

Make your own apple cider by adding cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and honey to juiced apples (if possible, get fresh pressed juice)!

Churn your own butter — this is a fun activity for a kiddo who loves to move!

Play games during a bike ride. Use Chalk to create start and end points on a race or to make an obstacle course of sorts for your kids to weave through.

Go camping in your own backyard with a DIY PVC pipe Tent.

Take a collection of leaves and make leaf skeletons — soak the leaves in washing soda until the chloroform disintegrates and you are left with the leaf structure.

Go on a hayride — we love to visit the local orchard, pick apples, and go on a hayride.

Practice fractions as you chop up apples and mix ingredients while baking an Apple Pie with kids.

Take crayons and some of your favorite leaves and layer the leaves between pages of paper. Rub on the pages with a crayon to see the leaf pattern emerge.

Set a pumpkin outdoors and journal about the pumpkin’s decomposition as it rots. Be sure to take pictures of the pumpkin in its various stages.

After you prune your trees, chop up the logs and the twigs, clean them off and bring them inside to make tree blocks.

Bake pumpkin seeds.

Make Jack-o-lanterns from items in the recycle bin, orange paint and black foam stickers.

Feed the birds with a kid-made bird feeder craft using toilet paper tubes or pine cones, peanut butter and seed.

Make Candy Corn Cookies — Layer three colors of sugar cookie dough and follow these instructions to make your own wedged treats.

Create your own costume for Halloween! Here are some simple costumes you can make with your kids.

Go trick-or-treating with your children. We love saying hi to all our neighbors!

Fun Halloween Kids Activity — Make Eerie sounds! All you need is a plastic cup, a paperclip, string (wool is best) and a piece of paper towel.

Spooky and slimy sensory — with spaghetti?!? Dye some spaghetti bright orange and dark black, add a bit of veggie oil so they are extra slimy and have fun squishing and squeezing!

Have fun with food and the kids — Make a Snakey Jello. This activity uses jell-o (Jelly for UK folks) and toy snakes for some squishy fun.

Have turkey races! This is a fun Thanksgiving day activity.

Do some simple Kitchen Science experiments with the leftover Trick-or-Treating candy.

Bake a batch of pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies — this recipe is a loved favorite of more than one quirky family!

Spend the afternoon at a bookstore researching a project for the winter months.

Afternoon craft activity — Make matching scarves for you and your daughter to enjoy together.   Here is a collection of no-sew scarves you can make in an afternoon.

Stuff old clothes to create a scarecrow for your front yard — a children’s Thanksgiving craft.

Bake apple chips. Thinly slice apples, spray them with oil and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on them.   Bake them in the oven till they are crispy.

This is a great family craft for Thanksgiving, make a thankful tree detailing all the things you are thankful for this past year.


Information provided by kidsactivitiesblog.com

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page


Dental Hygiene and Preschoolers

Dental hygiene for preschoolers should be a priority, even though baby teeth don’t stick around for long. After all, children can develop cavities and tooth decay in their baby teeth if they’re eating sugary foods and not following proper oral care.

Good dental hygiene in preschoolers starts with you. Lead by example by brushing and flossing every day.

Tips for Brushing

Make brushing fun by starting with a toothpaste that has a flavor your kids will enjoy, such as watermelon or strawberry-flavored toothpaste. Involve your child in picking out a toothbrush to get them excited about toothbrushing. Toothbrushes should be soft-bristled to avoid damaging the gums. They can be used for about 3 months, and then they should be replaced. If your preschooler gets sick, pediatricians recommend replacing his toothbrush once he is healthy again.

After age two, your preschoolers can use a pea-size drop of fluoride toothpaste (rather than just water and a toothbrush). You can ask your child to open wide so that you can brush your children’s teeth for them, or you can teach your kids to brush from left to right for two minutes. Set a timer for brushing to help ensure that they brush every tooth, from the incisors to the molars. Make sure your kids spit out the toothpaste when they are finished. Fluoride toothpaste can only be swallowed in very small amounts.

Brushing should be done at least twice a day. If your child eats something sugary, he should brush when he is finished, or, at the very least, rinse his mouth with water.

Mouthwash should not be used until your child has learned to spit it in the sink and rinse his mouth properly, which typically happens around age six.

Start Flossing Early

Flossing is also an important part of dental hygiene for preschoolers; it is another way to prevent cavities, keeps gums healthy and removes plaque. Even before your child grows two teeth right next to each other, it’s time to start flossing.

While your children are preschoolers, pediatricians recommend flossing your children’s teeth for them. Pediatric dentists may recommend using a floss holder, as that may make the process easier. Whether you use floss or a floss stick, sit your child on your lap and face a mirror. Start in the back of his mouth, and gently move the floss back and forth between all of his teeth so there is fresh floss to use and you are not reusing the same area again.

When your child is ready to floss on his own, start by guiding him with the floss to make sure he is adequately flossing, touching the gumline with the floss and removing any stuck food or plaque.

Pediatric dentists can offer further guidelines for taking care of your children’s pearly whites so that when their adult teeth come in, they’ll continue to be healthy. Dental cleaning appointments should be made at least twice a year.


Things You Can Expect During Childhood with Your Child’s Teeth

  • Wiggly teeth
    When a child is about 6 years old, his/her teeth will begin to come loose. Let your child wiggle the tooth until it falls out on its own. This will minimize the pain and bleeding associate with a lost tooth.
  • Cavities
    Cavities can develop when sugar-containing foods are allowed to stay in the mouth for a long time. Bacteria that live on the teeth feast on these bits of food and can eat away at tooth enamel. Saliva washes away the acid between meals, but if your child is always eating, there may not be time for this acid to get washed away.

As always, children mirror our behavior so be sure to let them see you taking care of your teeth too!


This information was taken from colgate.com

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page