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Archive for March, 2012

Spring Scavenger Hunt with your Toddler and Preschooler

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If you’ve spent a lot of time indoors this winter, now is the time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors again! How about welcoming spring by going on a scavenger hunt around your yard and neighborhood and seeing how many signs of spring your family can find? Look—or listen—for some of these things:

  • A caterpillar
  • A robin
  • Baby bunnies
  • Bike riders
  • Birds’ nests
  • Birds chirping
  • Car windows rolled down
  • Children playing outside
  • Crocuses blooming
  • Frogs or toads
  • House windows open
  • Leaves budding on trees
  • People taking a walk
  • Plants emerging
  • Someone washing their car

Leaving Lovey: Your Child’s Attachment to a Stuffed Animal, Blanket

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Your child may be—or perhaps, should be—getting close to braving the world without that tattered lovey. It’s a big milestone—this lovey has provided comfort for your child for some time now, and has even helped him develop self-soothing skills. The lovey has been there in good times and in bad, and it may even seem like a part of the family! Sometimes, it can even difficult for Mom and Dad to say farewell to the lovey.

Here are some tips and ideas for leaving the lovey behind:

  • Don’t put too much pressure on your child to pass up the lovey. This may cause anxiety and can actually make it more difficult for her to let go. Instead, encourage every positive step in the process.
  • Encourage your child to take the first step by leaving the lovey in her cubby or backpack during the day or while out running errands.
  • Don’t be surprised if your child cuddles up with her lovey again for comfort during a stressful time, such as a new sibling’s arrival. When the stressor has passed, your child will be more willing to start letting the lovey go.
  • Purchase a “create-your-own” stuffed animal or doll kit, or visit a store where children can build their own stuffed animal. Make it a fun and exciting process. Encourage your child to put the lovey inside just before the stuffed animal is sewn shut. This little stuffed animal can keep lovey safe and sound during the day, all from the comfort of your child’s pillow.
  • Respect your toddler’s attachment to the lovey. Talk to your child it in a relaxed way. Let her know that you understand why she loves and will miss the lovey. Don’t punish or embarrass your child into giving up the lovey—she’ll be ready one day.
  • Consider the “Lovey-Fairy” when all else fails. Cuddle up with your child during a comfy, quiet, low-key time and tell your child a story of the Lovey-Fairy who collects loveys from children who are ready to be “big girls” and “big boys.” Let your child know that when she is ready, she can pack up her lovey to trade to the Fairy for a very special reward. Keep it fun, positive and low pressure—and most importantly, let her decide when she is ready. You may be surprised how quickly your child is ready to make the trade!

LIGHTS OFF: Children at Goddard Schools Turn Off Lights for Earth Hour 2012

Over 45,000 children are “Stepping Up for the Environment”

More than 360 Goddard Schools are joining together in a week of learning activities about saving energy and the environment. The week will culminate with a big “Flip the Switch” event on March 30th at 10 a.m. in their local time zone, a day before the global Earth Hour event, when Goddard Schools will turn off any non-essential lighting for one hour. The worldwide Earth Hour event will take place on Saturday, March 31st, at 8:30 p.m. in each local time zone. Hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for one hour in a global call to action on climate change.

Additionally, The Goddard School’s national Facebook Page will feature a “Goddard Virtual Garden” where fans will be invited to answer questions and provide their own eco-friendly tips. In return, The Goddard School will virtually plant various fruits and veggies in the virtual garden. At schools around the nation, Goddard School children and their teachers will participate in a variety of fun activities, games and lessons designed to increase their awareness of how energy use and daily activities can affect the future of the planet and how they can conserve energy in their daily lives.

“The Earth Hour event is a very real and visible demonstration of the power of grassroots commitment,” says Sue Adair, director of education at Goddard Systems, Inc. “Working with the children in the week before the event will help them understand the significance of Earth Hour to feel that they are a part of a worldwide effort. It will also help share the message about this important initiative with their families and their communities.”

During the Stepping Up for the Environment event, Goddard Schools will integrate learning about the environment into art projects, science lessons and even snack time! Some classes will nominate an official “Lightning Bug” who will be responsible for always turning off the classroom lights when the children exit the room. Children will also create invitations asking their parents and neighboring businesses to join them in Stepping Up for the Environment.

“We believe that Stepping Up for the Environment presents an exciting opportunity for both our teachers and children to take a creative approach to raising awareness about energy conservation and protecting the environment,” says Adair. “The lessons that our children learn today will hopefully inform their lives for years to come.”

To learn more about the Stepping Up for the Environment event or The Goddard School, parents are encouraged to visit www.goddardschool.com/green or call 1-800-GODDARD.

 

About Goddard Systems, Inc.

Recently named No. 1 Childcare Franchise in the United States by Entrepreneur magazine, for the eleventh consecutive year (January 2012) and one of the Top 200 Franchise Systems (in worldwide sales), by Franchise Times, for the fifth consecutive year (October 2011); Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) is expanding The Goddard School® network throughout the United States. Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, GSI currently licenses 380+ franchised schools with more than 45,000 students in 35 states. With a successful system in place and dedicated franchisees, GSI is the acknowledged leader in franchised childcare and a premier childcare provider in the United States. To learn more, visit http://www.goddardschool.com for more information.

About EARTH HOUR

Since its inception four years ago, Earth Hour has captured the world’s imagination becoming a global phenomenon. Last year, for Earth Hour 2011 over one billion people in 4,000 cities in 126 countries on seven continents turned out. In the U.S. alone, 90 million Americans officially voted for action with their light switch. These people and municipalities were joined by iconic landmarks including: the Las Vegas Strip, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings in New York City, the Space Needle in Seattle, Church of Latter-Day Saints Temple in Salt Lake City, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the National Cathedral in Washington DC.  International landmarks that turned off their lights included the Great Pyramids of Giza, Parthenon in Athens, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Big Ben and Houses of Parliament in London, Paris’ Elysee Palace and Eiffel Tower, Beijing’s Birds Nest and Water Cube, Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong, Sydney’s Opera House and Christ de Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Save Energy at Home

Help save the environment and—bonus!— reduce your household’s heating and cooling bills with these simple tips. Children can help with some of these, too, so be sure to include them in your quest for home energy efficiency.

  • Switch from standard incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents (you’ll use 75% less energy).
  • Always turn off lights and electronics when leaving a room. Some electronics, like cable boxes and DVD players, use energy even when they are turned off. Plug these items into power strips to completely shut off the flow of electricity.
  • Make sure the doors to your home, windows and appliances like the refrigerator and oven are always closed tightly when using heating and cooling systems to ensure the systems work as efficiently as possible.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature when you’re home, when you leave and when you go to sleep at night. Setting your thermostat below 68°F in the cooler months will help cut heating costs.
  • If you’re in the market for a new appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels. These labels will help guide you toward energy-efficient products as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Moms & Dads: What to Do to Prepare for the Flu

Flu season has officially arrived.  Although you have taken every precaution to keep you and your family healthy, there is always a chance someone will get sick—and that someone could be you!  Here are a few simple tips for getting your family through the flu with as little disruption to your daily life as possible.

  •  Take inventory of your medicine cabinet. Check with your family doctor or pharmacist about what medications are appropriate for each member of your family. (Keep all medicines out of reach of children.)
  • Stock up on herbal tea, orange juice (or other foods or beverages with vitamin C) and chicken noodle soup. (Research shows there is some scientific basis for the curative powers of chicken soup!)
  • Prepare a list of contact information of friends and family who can assist with rides to and from school and after-school/weekend activities.
  • Keep a few prepared and/or crockpot meals in the freezer for easy dinners.
  • Rest! It can be hard to relax when you have a family depending on you, but you need rest to feel better. Consider calling a relative or babysitter to come watch your little ones so you can catch some Zs.