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Archive for April, 2016

Easy Ways to be an Eco-Friendly Family and Teach Children the Importance of Going Green

Bring your family together through environmentally friendly activities. Children (and many adults, too!) tend to think new is better. Springtime and Earth Day remind us to teach our children to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reduce. Save our planet by saving water. Children enjoy playing in water, especially in the bathtub. At the appropriate age, teach your children to switch to showers in order to conserve water. Explain that grown-ups take showers instead of baths. Children may be more likely to want to be like their adult role models and willingly switch to showers. Since it is easy to lose track of time, you can set timers for your children when they are in the shower to let them know when it is time to get out.

Saving energy is important, and it can be a great reason to optimize family time. Instead of watching TV and playing video games, have a weekly game night with cards, board games and more. This will reduce the amount of electricity your family uses, and it can be an incredibly fun way to build memories together.

Reuse. To show your children that used items can be just as good as new items, consider bringing your children to a consignment shop and letting them pick out something they like. Additionally, you can encourage your children to donate a few items that they no longer use, such as toys and clothing, to charities. This shows children the importance of reusing resources and how it can influence others in their community.

Recycle. It is important to get children involved in recycling, both for the children and for the environment. Consider establishing a competition between family members. First, educate your children about which items can be recycled and which items are trash. Next, provide separate bins for recycled products for each family member. At the end of the week, the family member with the most recycled items wins a prize. Children will feel proud of doing a good job with recycling, which will encourage them to continue. To make the competition more advanced, consider disqualifying one recycled item each time a family member fails to turn off an unnecessary light.

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Go green through community service. Cleaning up local streets and parks helps children learn how to take care of the environment and how to work with others. Saving the planet takes teamwork, which is another important concept for children to learn. Participating in community service allows children to have fun interacting with others, which is better than staying cooped up inside with their video games.

Encouraging your children to become more eco-friendly creates a healthier and happier household. Introducing these tips at a young age will inspire them to continue making positive differences in their environment in the future.

Five Ways to Encourage Environmental Responsibility

Conserving the environment is a priority, and helping to foster an eco-friendly mindset in children is more important than ever. Here are five ways to encourage environmental responsibility.

  1. Teach your children to garden. Gardening is an excellent way to teach your twenty20_89c7a32e-5c1e-4530-983f-92f78ca380a3child some basics of biology, such as how the sun helps plants grow, how plants produce oxygen through photosynthesis and how vegetation contributes to a healthy environment.
  2. Enjoy some fun outdoor activities. Creating a wildflower scrapbook or going on an outdoor scavenger hunt may help your child appreciate all the beauty, wonder and fun the environment has to offer.
  3. Go for a hike. Whether you walk through the woods or just around a local park, hiking lets children experience the environment while getting some exercise. The internet can be a terrific resource for finding hiking trails close to home.
  4. Start at home. Recycling and conserving electricity and water at home with your child can go a long way toward preserving the environment. You can even make a game of counting how many different items you can recycle every week.
  5. Make something new with something old. Cardboard tubes, empty milk jugs and many other items can be given new life with a little creativity. Let your imaginations run wild and create something fun!

How Dr. Jack Maypole Encourages Healthy Eating

It can be challenging to get children to eat vegetables. Pediatrician Dr. Jack Maypole, member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers five tips on how to encourage healthy eating.

  1. Offer one new food with two well-established foods. For Hand with Heart Breadexample, if you know your daughter likes pasta, serve that as usual and add a portion of a new vegetable to her plate.
  2. Establish a rule that children have to at least try one bite or taste of a new vegetable. Research shows that most children will take to a food after up to about a dozen tastings (for some super picky or rigid eaters, such as those on the autism spectrum for example, it may be many more times).
  3. Set children up for success by discouraging snacking or tanking up on beverages before mealtime.
  4. Keep mealtimes positive by involving children in food prep and getting enthusiastic in the craft and presentation of food. This may cultivate interest and curiosity in the food, which can lead to the development of a more adventurous palate.
  5. Never force feed or go to war about making your child eat. Everyone loses. If you are concerned that your child may have issues with food, such as allergies or sensitivities to texture, contact your child’s primary care provider.

For more information, check out this article in which Dr. Maypole provides additional nutrition advice.

Five Ways to Encourage Good Sportsmanship

Healthy competition can be a lot of fun. However being a good sport is the key to having the most fun. Here are five ways to encourage good sportsmanship.

  1. Root for both teams. The point of any game for children is to have fun, so if you see a child on the opposing G2 - Sportsteam hit a home run or make an amazing save, feel free to cheer for her. This may send a message to your child that enjoying the game is the point of it.
  2. Focus on the positives. If your child is disappointed that he did not win or was not on the winning team, remind him that he played well and he had fun with his friends.
  3. Respect the referee. Point out that the referee’s job is to ensure that everybody plays fairly and safely. Explain that generally the referee is a volunteer who is paid very little or nothing. Thank the referee for his service and encourage your child to do the same. If other parents or children berate the referee, explain that this behavior is not appropriate.
  4. Have a winning attitude. This means teaching your child to be positive whether she wins or loses. When she wins, she should win graciously with little fanfare. When she loses, she should shake the opponent’s hand and congratulate her for a game well played.
  5. Look to the future. Regardless of what happens, remind your child that there will always be a next time, another game, another season. Explain that he should just focus on having fun because that is what really counts.