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Archive for November, 2014

Five Tips for Teaching Good Citizenship

We all want what is best for our children. We want them to be healthy, well-educated and happy, and we want to encourage them to be upstanding, productive members of society. Here are five tips for teaching good citizenship to your children.Sisters

  1. Set a good example. If you’re heading to the polls on Election Day, take your child along to show him how the process works and how important voting is. If you’re at a park with your child and you spot some trash on the ground, pick it up and put in a garbage can. Set an example by performing random acts of kindness.
  2. Read books with a positive message. Books such as “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss and “The Legend of the Bluebonnet” by Tomie dePaola encourage compassion and generosity toward others. Reading age-appropriate biographies about inspiring figures from history can also provide role models for children.
  3. Help your children sort through their old toys and choose items to donate. Take younger children to a clothing drive or food bank to help sort items. For older children, try to find something that speaks to their interests. For example, if your child likes animals, take him to volunteer at an animal shelter or SPCA.
  4. Discuss current events. Age-appropriate discussions about current events can help to get children interested in and passionate about what is going on in the world.
  5. Use a chore chart. Ask your child to perform simple chores around the house. List the tasks on a chart and draw a star or place a star sticker on the chart next to each completed chore. When a certain number of stars is accumulated (say, ten), reward him with a treat.

Break Up the Bad Weather Blues

Are you stuck inside because of the freezing temperatures or the rain? Take a step back from the TV, tablet or video game, and shake up your normal routine. When the weather prevents your children from playing outside, provide them with challenging activities and active games!

Girls Playing GameHave a Board Game Competition.

Hold a board game competition in your living or family room. Spend the day playing different games. You can even compete for prizes.

Create an Indoor Obstacle Course.

Create a course with 10 to 15 stations of quick physical or educational activities. One station might require your child to jump on one foot 15 times; at another, your child should sing the alphabet song twice. Use a stop watch or oven clock to time each other and see who can complete the obstacle course the in fastest time or who can improve on their previous best times.

Create Your Very Own Time Capsule.

Spend the day with your child creating and filling a time capsule with items, notes, pictures and other things that are important to you and your child. Then, store it away. On a rainy or snowy day in the future, open it up and share your memories!

Don’t let the weather put a damper on your fun and learning. Make the best out of being stuck indoors with a little creativity and items you already have in your home!

Ten Tips for First-Time Parents

20120920_goddard_CA_0016Being a new parent is an exciting, life-changing experience, but it can also be scary. After all, nobody is born knowing how to be Supermom or Superdad. Here are ten helpful tips for first-time parents:

  1. Don’t panic. Babies cry, spit up and vomit, which is usually normal. Even if you’re worried, panicking will not help because babies can pick up on anxiety, and it can upset them.
  2. Be gentle but realistic. Supporting your newborn’s head when you hold him and washing him gently when you give him a bath are important practices. However, if your baby’s head isn’t fully supported for a second or if he gets some water in his eyes, he should be okay.
  3. Get close. Hold your baby close to your skin. Skin-to-skin contact is calming and soothing both parent and baby – really!
  4. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Your baby’s sleep patterns might be erratic for the first few weeks, so sleep when you can. If you have a partner, take turns getting up to tend to him.
  5. Avoid scheduled activities. At least at first. As your baby adjusts to a regular routine, your schedule will become more regular, too.
  6. Accept help when it’s offered. You can’t do everything yourself, and that’s okay. If a friend or family member offers to help you, ask him or her to do whatever will help you the most.
  7. Go outside. If you become a little stir-crazy, take your baby for a walk. If you can, let somebody you trust watch your infant while you get some fresh air.
  8. Take care of yourself. Eat properly, drink lots of water and sleep as much as you can. Taking care of yourself will help you maintain the energy you need to take care of your baby.
  9. Skip less important chores. Leave clean clothes in the laundry basket, don’t worry about the dust bunnies under the furniture and/or have cereal and toast for dinner occasionally. It’s okay to relax your standards a bit while you adjust to your baby’s arrival.
  10. Set limits with visitors. This means insisting that your visitors wash their hands before holding your baby or asking loved ones who are ill not to visit until they’re better. Also, let your friends and relatives know which days will work best and how much or how little time you have for a visit.

The Goddard School® Announces Top 10 Best Educational Toys for the Holidays…As Chosen by Preschoolers

Public Takes to Social Media to Determine The Goddard School Preschooler-Approved #1 Toy For 2014

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the national franchisor of The Goddard School preschool system, one of the largest early childhood education organizations in the nation, put the best educational toys to the test with their toughest critics—kids! Just in time for the holiday season, The Goddard School children chose their Top 10 favorite toys, which will now be put to a public online vote to determine the favorite Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy for 2014.

Now in its seventh year, The Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test complements The Goddard School’s playful learning philosophy, by arranging for children from 50 schools in 45 markets across the country to test educational toys that inspire their creativity and imagination while helping them develop important educational skills.

To qualify, toy manufacturers from across the U.S. submitted products for review by The Goddard School Toy Testing Committee, which is made up of early childhood education experts. The committee judged the toys based on criteria including encouraging interactive, child-initiated play, inspiring creativity and collaboration, and supporting skill development and playful learning.

Then, 25 toys were chosen as “official finalists,” and were sent to participating Goddard School preschools throughout the nation for children to test. The children, who range in age from infants to six years old, spent a week playing with the toys in order to vote for their favorites.

The Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toy Test finalists include (in suggested age range order):

“Our seventh annual Preschooler-Approved Toy Test aligns with our goal of providing children with a fun way to build new skills while learning through play,” says GSI’s Vice President of Education, Dr. Craig Bach. “Through testing the top educational toys on the market, The Goddard School preschoolers will increase their self-confidence as well as their abilities to collaborate and problem solve.”

Now the public has the chance to vote for the top toy at www.goddardschool.com/toytest from November 3, 2014 to December 2, 2014. Once the favorite Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy for 2014 is determined, GSI will purchase and donate 100 of the winning toys to Toys for Tots.

Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve that distributes holiday gifts to less fortunate children in the community.

Past Preschooler-Approved Toy Test winners include brands such as K’Nex, Fat Brain Toys, Tiny Love, HABA and Learning Resources.

For more information on The Goddard School and the Preschooler-Approved Toy Test, please visit www.goddardschool.com/toytest.