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Archive for June, 2017

APPLE SNACKS!

Apples are child-friendly, healthy snacks (they are fat, sodium and cholesterol free!). They are a great addition to school lunches and can also be used in a variety of recipes! Spruce up snack time with these easy and delicious apple snack ideas. Click here to watch the video!

LIL’ DIPPERS

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Nut or seed butter
  • Crushed peanuts or sliced almonds

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Cut the apple into wedges. Dip each piece in the nut or seed butter.

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Then dip the apple wedge in the crushed peanuts or sliced almonds.

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Enjoy!

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CRUNCHY HAZELNUT WEDGES

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Low-fat granola

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Cut the apple into wedges. Smear each piece with hazelnut spread.

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Then sprinkle apple wedge with granola. Substitute peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter) for hazelnut spread if you’d like. Also, feel free to add raisins!

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Enjoy!

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FIVE WAYS TO DISCOURAGE CHILDREN FROM LYING

Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers five ways to discourage children from lying.

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  1. Keep your cool when your child lies. Try to say ‘Oh,’ or ‘Okay,’ to give yourself some time to think about what to say next. Something like ‘I wonder what happened to the flowers’ works better than ‘Whoever did this had better tell the truth (‘or else!’ is implied).’ This strategy makes it easier for children to be truthful and improves your chances of hearing the truth later as they will feel less intimidated.
  2. Calmly, try to help your child understand why he lied and what he can do next time to avoid lying.
  3. Explain to your child that it’s okay to make a mistake and that she doesn’t have to lie about it. Also remember to praise your child for admitting that she made a mistake. Lying lessens when it’s safe to tell the truth.
  4. When you are on the fence about whether or not to believe your preschooler, err on the side of believing that your child is telling the truth. Or his version of it. After all, imagination is a powerful and creative force that might cause a child to tell a lie that he thinks is true. For example, a child might claim that there is a monster in the closet when that obviously isn’t true.
  5. Be aware that you are under constant scrutiny and that the ‘innocent’ white lie that you can’t make a donation to a charitable organization because you don’t have any cash, for instance, will be noticed by your child. Set a good example and remember that the truth starts at home.

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD GET TO SLEEP

Getting enough sleep is important, especially for a child. Getting a good night’s sleep can lead to better focus, more energy and better overall mental wellness. However, it can sometimes be challenging for your child to get to sleep and stay asleep. Here are some tips on easing your child into bedtime.

1. Establish a bedtime routine. Allow your child time to wind down about 30 minutes before bedtime. Ask her to brush her teeth, put on her pajamas and get into bed. You can also spend a few minutes reading to her.
2. Limit screen time. Ask your child to turn off all electronic devices about an hour before he gets ready for bed. The light devices emit may suppress the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, making it harder to get to sleep.
3. Avoid sugar and caffeine. Limit sugary foods and drinks a few hours before bed and avoid caffeine (like soda or chocolate) at least eight hours before bed.
4. Create a sleep-friendly environment. Make sure your child’s bedroom is quiet, dark and comfortable. You can buy blackout curtains to keep out any light. If your child doesn’t like absolute silence, consider using a white noise machine.
5. Set rules. Pick a bedtime and be firm about it. If you read bedtime stories, set a limit on how many books or how much of a book you will read. If your child has a tendency to call for you, come up with an acceptable list of reasons for your child to call you and stick to that list. Setting clear limits can help maintain healthy sleep habits.

Kindergarten Readiness

Transitioning to kindergarten can be an exciting, anxiety-filled time for children and their parents.  Our Kindergarten Readiness program in June and July is an excellent program for your Pre-K age child to be prepared for public or private kindergarten . If you have older children, you may have an idea of what to expect or know the kindergarten teacher already.  Still, the transition is different for each child, and while one may have adjusted well to kindergarten, your next child may not adjust as easily, or vice versa.  By focusing on the present and adding skill-building activities to your summer, your child will be more confident about becoming a kindergartner.

Summer Fun

Summer is a time for having fun, playing with friends and bonding as a family.  Incorporate enjoyable activities that stretch your children’s imaginations and exercise their brains.

Reading

On hot, humid or rainy days, head to the library and read some books together. Have your future kindergartener read to you as much as possible.  The librarians typically have lists of age-appropriate books.

Getting Fresh Air and Exercise

  • Have your children help you create obstacle courses in the backyard that they can run, skip or jump through safely. If it is a hot day, you can set up the sprinkler for added enjoyment!
  • If your children ride a bicycle with training wheels, ask them if they are ready to practice riding without the training wheels. By letting them decide when they are ready, they learn to make decisions, face challenges and fears and take on responsibility.
  • Hit the pool. See whether your local municipality or YMCA pool offers swimming lessons over the summer.  Summer is a great time to work on swimming safety, keep physically active and have fun with your children. Besides, who doesn’t love cooling off in a pool on a hot summer day?
  • Take your children camping or hiking. Children love exploring nature and running free. Having a backyard campout or setting up a tent at a campground in your region are fun, educational ways for families to bond. You may be able to find a spot that offers easy hiking or walking trails or one with a lake where you can rent a canoe or kayak.

Bowling

Bowling is an opportunity to develop hand-eye coordination, balance and math skills while having fun.  Many bowling alleys offer bumpers and child-friendly bowling balls for children.  Over the summer, many locations offer free games for children every day!

Keeping Up with Friends

If your child was in preschool or a play group, keep in touch with their friends’ parents and plan out weekly or bi-weekly play dates or outings.  Kindergarten can be overwhelming for children because they are meeting so many new children.  Keeping up with your children’s preschool friends over the summer will help them continue developing the social skills they will need to make new friends.

Skills for Your Future Kindergartener

Children should be proficient in several skills when they enter kindergarten. You can help your child practice these skills throughout the summer. Your child should be able to do the following:

  • Grip a pencil, marker or crayon correctly;
  • Use child-safe scissors, glue and paint;
  • Identify sight words;
  • Play independently for a few minutes;
  • Use complete sentences when speaking;
  • Recite his or her full name, address and phone number;
  • Write his or her first name in uppercase and lowercase letters;
  • Sort objects by shape, size and quantity;
  • Get dressed independently.

These skills do not need to be mastered by the first day, but they are general skills that your child can practice throughout the summer.

Keep It Simple. Cherish Summer.

Summer is a time for children to have fun and play.  You can keep their anxiety over starting kindergarten at bay by focusing on friends, family and fun while sprinkling in some skill-building activities.  The first day of kindergarten will be here before you know it. You and your child will be ready to take on the challenge!