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Archive for October, 2019

Six Ridiculously Cute Halloween Costumes on Amazon that Won’t Break the Bank


Six Ridiculously Cute Halloween Costumes on Amazon that Won’t Break the Bank

Are you looking for a Halloween costume for your child but don’t want to break the bank, or have time to run to the store? We’ve rounded up our top six costumes on Amazon for 2019 for your little one. Trust us, with a few clicks your cart (and heart) will be full after browsing these unique costume options.


1. Future Golfer: We’ve got a future golfer on our hands. Watch out, Tiger! And yes, the adorable matching hat and golf bag with clubs are included.


2. Mouse. Stay cute and cozy during a chilly Halloween night of trick-or-treating in this adorable mouse ensemble.


3. Unicorn Princess. Try to refrain your little one from wanting to wear this outfit even after Halloween has passed. Why wouldn’t you want to be a magical unicorn princess every day?


4. Yoda: Any excuse to go out of the house in a fuzzy robe and large green ears is a win in our book!

5. A League of Their Own. There’s no crying on Halloween in this timeless costume. The best part is, your whole family can dress up, too. Explore matching costume pieces for men and women.


6. Pilot: Take your child’s imagination to new heights with this pilot costume and watch their creativity soar!

Apple-Printing Activity


  • Apples 
  • Paint (washable poster paint for paper prints or fabric paint for clothes) 
  • Paper plates 
  • Printable surfaces (such as butcher paper, t-shirts or canvas bags) 
  • Newspapers 
  • Art smocks or old t-shirts 
  • A knife (for adults only) 


  1. Cover your work surface with newspaper and make sure everyone is wearing old clothes or a smock.
  2. Pour paint on the paper plates. Use one color per plate.
  3. Ask your child to guess what shape half an apple will look like. 
  4. Cut the apple in half from top to bottom to create an apple silhouette, or create a circle with a star by cutting the apple horizontally. You and your child can also brainstorm ways to create different shapes with the apple. 
  5. Encourage your child to dip the flat side of the apple in the paint, thoroughly covering the flat side, and then place the apple with the paint side down on the printing surface. 
  6. Enjoy creating fun designs and pictures with your homemade stamps. 


Banana Ghosts and Clementine Pumpkins

These spooky, healthy snacks are great for serving at your child’s Halloween party, and they make tasty afterschool treats. 

Banana Ghosts 


  • Bananas 
  • Chocolate chips 
  • Chocolate-covered raisins 


  1. Peel a banana and cut it in half.  
  2. Place it on a plate with the pointed end facing up, and add two chocolate chips to each half for eyes. 
  3. Add a chocolate-covered raisin to each half for a mouth. 
  4. Repeat steps one through three to create a group of tasty ghosts. 

Clementine Pumpkins 


  • Clementines 
  • Celery 


  1. Peel a clementine.
  2. Cut a small celery stick into one-inch pieces.
  3. Press celery stick into the top of the clementine to create the pumpkin stem. 
  4. Repeat steps one through three to create an entire pumpkin patch. 

12 Children’s Books That Celebrate Diversity and Differences


We live in a diverse world, which makes fitting in and finding a place in your community a little easier. That doesn’t mean that children (and adults) don’t still struggle with it, though. Help your children channel empathy for others or navigate uncomfortable situations by reading one of these great books.

  1. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
    This story follows a group of children through their day at a school where everyone is different and everyone is welcome.


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  1. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López
    “There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you” starts this book about accepting your differences and being brave because you embrace yourself.


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  1. Lovely by Jess Hong
    In this book, everyone is lovely, no matter what size, shape or color they are!


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  1. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
    New to America, Unhei wants to choose an American name to fit in. Her classmates are eager to help and fill a jar with suggestions. Unhei tries out names like Suzy and Amanda, but none seem to fit. When a classmate visits Unhei at home and learns the special meaning of her name, the name jar disappears and Unhei decides her name is perfect.


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  1. Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
    After seeing three women dressed up as beautiful mermaids, Julián is mesmerized and decides that he, too, is a mermaid.


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  1. Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship by Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson
    This story follows a day in the life of Errol and his teddy bear, Thomas. One day, Thomas tells Errol that he wishes his name were Tilly, not Thomas, because Thomas is a girl teddy bear.


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  1. Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer and Holly Clifton-Brown
    Stella’s school is having a Mother’s Day celebration, but Stella doesn’t have a mom. She has two amazing dads!


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  1. Meet Clarabelle Blue by Adiba Nelson, Elvira Morando and Ilene Serna
    Clarabelle Blue may use a wheelchair, but she’s not defined by it. Clarabelle is just like other children.


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  1. Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
    This beautifully illustrated and lyrical book is about immigrating to America. A mother leaves Mexico with only her infant son. Through a public library, she learns how to speak English and how to make a home in a strange place.


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  1. Still a Family: A Story about Homelessness by Brenda Reeves Sturgis and Jo-Shin Lee
    A little girl and her family lose their home. The girl and her mother move into a homeless shelter, but her dad is separated from them because he must live in a men’s shelter. Throughout this book, the little girl reminds herself that no matter what, they are still a family.


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  1. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson
    This story follows CJ and his grandma on their bus ride home from church. CJ has many questions, like why his family doesn’t have a car. Through it all, CJ’s grandma helps him see the beauty in their routine and their world.


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  1. Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan and Mehrdokht Amini
    This beautiful book celebrates and teaches young readers about important elements of Islamic culture through the eyes of a young Muslim girl.


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Hand Print Turkey Craft


Celebrate Thanksgiving with this fun, family-friendly craft. Gobble, gobble!


* White construction paper

* Non-toxic paint in brown, green, red, yellow and orange (or any other colors you have on hand)

* One paintbrush for each paint color

* Paper plates

* Googly eyes

* Glue

* Crayons or markers

* Aprons or paint shirts (optional)


1. Pour a little paint onto the paper plates. Use one plate per color.

2. Set out the white piece of paper in front of your child, and have your child put on an apron or paint shirt.

3. Using a paintbrush, paint brown paint onto the palm of your child’s hand.

4. Then, paint your child’s fingers. Make sure to use one paintbrush and paint color per finger.

5. Press your child’s hand onto the paper. Try not to move it around too much, and then lift your child’s hand.

6. When the paint is dry, put a dab of glue onto the thumbprint, which will be the turkey’s head, and press on a googly eye.

7. Finally, let your child use the crayons or markers to draw a beak, legs and a snood, which is the red part of a turkey’s neck. Enjoy your adorable masterpiece!

What Thanksgiving crafts do you make with your children?

Save, Share, Spend Piggy Banks


Teach your children how to be savvy with their money.

It’s never too early to teach your children about financial responsibility and the benefits of saving, sharing and spending money. Whether it’s a special treat they receive from the tooth fairy, money they are awarded for completing their chores or simply loose change that they find around the house, it’s time to get smart with what happens after they get the money. All children resort to happily stuffing their money away, but it’s important that they know what to do with it before stashing it in the bellies of their piggies.

It’s always a good idea for a child to have a piggy bank, but it’s time to revamp this old-school classic. Instead of putting all the money into one container, break it up into three parts, teaching your children how to spend, save and share their funds. Constructing a save, share, spend piggy bank is something that you can do with your little ones right at home. This project will help your children realize the importance of money and how it can be used in many ways.

You can use the Save jar as a rainy-day fund or for helping your children save money for something they really want to buy. The Spend jar is for spending money wisely on things that they are ready to purchase, and the Share jar is for giving back to the community or donating money to the cause of their choice. The goal of the different jars is to teach your children the hard work of saving money and the importance of using their funds wisely and effectively.

Materials that you’ll need

  • Three pint-sized Mason jars;
  • Three labels of your choice;
  • Chalk or any color paint marker.


  1. Remove the lids from the Mason jars and screw the metal bands back on.
  2. Secure one label to the middle of each of the jars.
  3. Write “Save” “Share” “Spend” separately on each label with chalk or the paint marker.
  4. Customize the piggy banks! Include your children’s names and let them decorate the jars.
  5. Display the piggy bank jars where you and your children can easily see and access them.


Spooky Science Fun


By Lee Scott

Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

Fall has certainly arrived, and pumpkins are everywhere. Families are planning costumes for Halloween parties and decorating their homes. We thought it would be fun to provide a couple of spooky science experiments that are easy to do at home in keeping with the “spirit” of the occasion. Children love to get messy, and these hands-on activities will tap into their curiosity while they are learning.

Spooky Volcano – You will need a soda can or bottle, modeling clay, paper, vinegar, dark food coloring, dish soap and baking soda.

  1. Cover the bottle with the paper and the clay. Leave a hole at the top. Let it dry.
  2. Add one cup of vinegar, a few drops of the food coloring and a tablespoon of dish soap to the bottle.
  3. Put a tablespoon of baking soda in a bit of paper towel and push it into the can. The spooky volcano will erupt once the paper breaks down. Spooky!

Magic Images – You’ll need white paper, watercolor paints, paintbrushes and a white crayon.

  1. Your children can draw a scary face or pumpkins on the paper with the crayon.
  2. You can make a few more by drawing a witch or a ghost.
  3. Swap drawings, and have the other person paint over the paper with watercolors.
  4. The scary images will appear!

Ask questions while trying out these experiments.

  • What did we see?
  • What do you think will happen?
  • How can we experiment with the volcano or the paint?
  • What happened in our experiment?

Asking these questions while you experiment will support your children’s scientific-thinking skills.


Tips For Having a Safe, Happy and Healthy Halloween


By Jack Maypole, MD
Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

Soon those goblins, NFL stars, witches and princesses will be trotting up the front walks of the neighborhood to ring doorbells for the goodies within on Halloween. While I suspect that it is far more likely children will get the treat than try a trick, there are some things you can do this year (and every year) to make the holiday a safe and enjoyable one.

For most children, costumes are a chance for joyful creativity and play. Have fun with your expressions but keep some key ideas in mind as you craft your own or grab something at the pop-up store. Check labels, looking for nontoxic makeup (keep it out of those eyes – it stings!) and materials that are clearly noted to be nonflammable.

Materials for those getups should allow the child to see clearly when crossing streets or navigating dark stairs – and to be seen. Finding a way to add reflective material to a treat bag, flashlight or another aspect of the costume is just a good idea. To help them make their way through the gloom of a nearly moonless night (a teensy waxing crescent moon this year), add a glow stick or a flashlight with fresh batteries. Thus equipped, children are ready to go haunting.

For younger children, going out in the late afternoon may be the right move. It prevents the disruption (and derangement) of a missed bedtime. Alternatively, check your local calendar, as many communities are moving toward having child-friendly trick-or-treats in some streets or business districts. For children of preschool or young elementary school age, chaperoning is a must. Depending on your children’s ages and stages, it isn’t a bad idea to quiz them on your phone number (if they know it) or to give them an easy-to-find slip of paper with your phone number on it in case they get lost in the crowds after dark. Hey, it gets crazy out there.

When the bags are full or when the little ones’ feet get tired, it is time to go home and count their booty. I recommend having an adult help the children sort their loot while making a game of it. Count items and put different candies in different piles while a grownup looks for items that might be spoiled, have damaged packaging or potentially be a concern for a child with food allergies. After that, it is a matter of style as to what parents do next. I am agnostic on this part. My dental colleagues mostly object on all counts, and I respect them for that.

Some families subscribe to the “binge now and be done” philosophy, where children live large for the evening, eat their fill and are mostly done with the bounty. Other families might allow a limited indulgence, letting children eat a few choice items and then storing the goods somewhere safe (meaning secret) for their later enjoyment. Whatever your approach, most often children haul in more than they can ever reasonably eat. I recommend setting aside a ration for the child and donating the rest to a worthwhile cause like Operation Gratitude, which sends care packages to our troops.

Keep an eye on the children who eat with gusto, as no one needs a bellyache from overdoing it on All Hallows’ Eve. Happy haunting!


Is Your Child Bullying Others? Look for These Five Signs


By Lee Scott and Kyle Pruett, M.D.

Contributing Writers and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Members

Bullying is an unsettling topic for any parent, but it’s an important one as it can start early. Read this article to pinpoint five behaviors that could point to bullying and learn what you can do to teach your child awareness.

Observe your child in different settings if you have concerns, and look for these signs:

  • Increasingly makes fun of or tries to aggravate younger children or siblings;
  • Begins to blame others for his or her mistakes;
  • Is overly competitive and puts down others who struggle;
  • Consistently makes derogatory comments about others (adults and children), such as “So-and-so is fat” or “He can’t run as fast”;
  • Makes fun of others within a group of children and encourages friends to tease another child.

The best way is to address the behavior immediately when you see it. Talk to your children about how they think other children feel when your children act cruelly or say hurtful things. Help your children feel more secure by praising them when they do things for others, help you at home and accomplish something they have worked hard on. Discussing their behavior and providing immediate positive feedback for good behavior is essential. Also, watch what you say around the house. Young children reflect what they say and hear. Be careful not to put down others in front of your child, even that driver who just cut you off!

Another great way to begin the discussion on bullying and bullying prevention is through reading. Children often relate to the characters in the story, and it makes it easy to discuss difficult topics. Here are five great books for early learners to help them understand the hurt that bullying can cause:

  1. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton
  2. Tease Monster: A Book about Teasing vs. Bullying by Julia Cook and Anita DuFalla
  3. Billy Bully by Alvaro Galan, Ana Galan and Steve Simpson
  4. Me First by Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger
  5. Dragon and the Bully by Steve Herman