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Archive for January, 2018

Birthday Party Theme Ideas

Your little one is year older and super excited about the upcoming birthday party. It must be the most awesome party in the whole class. Here are a few themes that can make any birthday party tons of fun and entertaining.

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  • Zoo or safari theme
    • Adults can paint animal faces on younger children. Be sure to use the appropriate type of face paint.
    • Encourage all the children to come dressed as their favorite animal.
    • Have themed cake or cupcakes with zoo animal faces.
    • Set up some of your child’s stuffed animals around the house and walk through a safari path that you have made, pointing out the animals as you go.

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  • Luau theme
    • Hand out grass skirts to guests as they arrive.
    • Set up a tiki bar with various flavors of fruit punch.
    • Demonstrate a simple luau dance and encourage all the guests to learn how to do it.
    • Give all the children a goodie bag with items that they can use at the beach for their next family vacation.

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  • Circus theme
    • If you have a family pet, get creative and present a lion taming show with your pet.
    • Find a long piece of wood with no rough edges or use a few old shoe boxes taped together to make a small balance beam. Assist your aspiring acrobats across.
    • Set up games like pin the tail on the donkey, ring toss or a water balloon toss if it’s warm outside.
    • For those daring parents, set up a pie-throwing Children will always remember the birthday party where they were able to throw some pie.

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Additional creative themes include a fantasy land, a scientist’s laboratory, an undersea adventure, a spaceflight, a pirate’s treasure hunt or a prehistoric-period adventure with dinosaurs and fossils.

New Year’s Resolutions

The start of every new year brings the excitement of the unknown and offers the opportunity for reflection on the year that has passed. The idea of a clean slate, even a new beginning, gives us the opportunity to create goals that we want to accomplish over the course of the next year.

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In 2018, you can make creating New Year’s resolutions a family event. Give your children a pen and paper for them to write out three goals that they want to accomplish. You can ask questions to help get them started:

  • What hobby, sport or instrument do you like?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • How many books did you read this year?

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While they develop their goals, work on a few of your own. Make this time together a chance for your children to experience your “grown-up” life. When all of you are all finished writing out your New Year’s resolutions, take turns reading them out loud to each other. Reasonable, well-thought-out goals can empower your children to achieve something that they had not considered before.

Tack up your lists on a pin board or put them on the fridge. Review them occasionally throughout the year to see how everyone is doing. At the year’s end, have a celebration, whether you hit your goals or not, and start planning for next year!

Helping Children Cope with Divorce

It can be difficult for children to deal with their parents’ divorce. Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers four things to keep in mind when helping children cope with divorce.

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  1. Although the stigma of divorce stings less these days, partly because it is so common, children almost never think it is as good an idea as the parents who seek it. Don’t insult them by trying to talk them into agreeing with your point of view about its benefits or its hazards. Children, especially the young ones, love having their families together and often feel anxious, angry and saddened when they begin to come apart.
  2. Most parents work at separating and divorcing without traumatizing their children. Children often recover from this loss without serious emotional scarring and with their ability to trust in relationships intact, especially when parents acknowledge how their children are feeling about this event and when children trust the adults to hear them out and love them through it.
  3. One of the most difficult aspects of divorce to young children, besides a change in family income and lifestyle that may accompany a divorce, is the threat to (or in some cases the end of) their parents’ friendship with each other. This particular loss may leave children feeling more alone and worried that they might be next.
  4. Boys and girls typically respond differently to divorce. Boys show their distress more obviously with behavioral, school or social troubles. Girls may seem okay at first with few outward signs of distress but may suffer the effects later when they enter their first close relationship and feel overwhelmed by self-doubt, suspiciousness and fear of abandonment.

GODDARD SYSTEMS MAKES ANNUAL DONATION OF TOYS TO TOYS FOR TOTS

Franchisor of National Play-Based Preschool Donates 230 Toys Following the 2017 Toy Test.

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the national franchisor of The Goddard School preschool system, is pleased to announce that it surpassed last year’s donation to Toys for Tots by 50 toys.

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Two hundred and thirty toys, including 100 of this year’s winning Toy Test toy, Melissa & Doug Star Diner Restaurant Play Set, were donated to Toys for Tots this year to help Toys for Tots fulfill its mission of providing gifts to less-fortunate children during the holiday season.

GSI employees donated 130 toys, which is up from the 80 toys donated in 2016.

Following the November announcement of the winning Toy Test toy, GSI purchased 100 Melissa & Doug Star Diner Restaurant Play Sets to donate to Toys for Tots. Every year, GSI purchases 100 of the winning Toy Test toy and donates the toys to the program, which is run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

Since 2008, Goddard Schools have hosted an annual Toy Test to determine the best educational toys of the year with help from the most discerning toy critics: preschoolers. The Goddard School Toy Test Committee evaluates dozens of toys submitted by the world’s most popular toy manufacturers every year. Committee members select educational toys that best support child-initiated play and collaboration, among other criteria, to pass to the next round of judging. Preschoolers from 50 Goddard School locations nationwide then play with the toys, and their teachers help them select the top 10 toys. The public then votes on the best toy from the 10 finalists to select a winner. 

“Fun, interactive programs like our annual Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test are successful because they allow children to think critically while developing their social, creativity and collaboration skills,” said Dr. Craig Bach, GSI’s Vice President of Education. “This experience provides children with the opportunity to engage with the top educational products on the market that are aligned with The Goddard School’s philosophy of learning through play.”

Past preschooler-approved Toy Test winners include Laser Pegs, K’NEX, Learning Resources and the 2016 Toy Test winner, the John Deere’s Gearation Board.

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