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Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

THE GODDARD SCHOOL HOSTS ANNUAL “ROOT FOR EARTH” CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS NATIONWIDE

Preschoolers Unite To Help Encourage A Happier, Healthier Earth

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – April 20, 2015The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, announces their 5th annual Root for Earth campaign. Taking place in more than 400 Goddard School preschools across the nation, Root for Earth aims to teach children and families about the importance of eco-conscious stewardship as well as raise environmental awareness in their communities.

The Goddard School children will participate in hands-on learning activities including building Children%20Running_jpgcommunity gardens, recycled fashion runways and more. Each year, the schools participate in an Upcycling Challenge which fosters creativity and imagination by engaging children to create new projects out of unwanted materials. Photos of the “green” creations will be shared on The Goddard School National Facebook Page where the public can vote for their favorite project until Friday, April 24. Winners will be announced on Monday, April 27. As a symbol of unity and environmental awareness, the week-long campaign from Monday, April 20 through Friday, April 24 will include the “Lights Out!” initiative. Each school across the nation will shut off all non-essential lighting for an hour beginning at 10 a.m. local time on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22.

“Early environmental education helps shape children’s values, perspectives and understanding of the planet and how to interact with it. At The Goddard School, we teach children about how to play a critical role in protecting and preserving what the Earth has given us.” said Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc. “Root for Earth acts as catalyst for our children to put forth an active effort and blossom into eco-conscious stewards.”

“The benefits of gardening are endless for young children. The opportunity to develop 21st century skills, like critical thinking and creativity, are presented when kids work toward a goal, such as weeding and watering before the harvest, or writing stories about their garden,” says Dave Snyder, manager of facilities and playgrounds at Goddard Systems, Inc., franchisor of The Goddard School. “Children learn cognitive skills including mathematics and science by documenting and measuring the growth of plants, and they can exercise their fine and gross motor skills through use of simple gardening tools. Though gardens are minimal in cost to create, they offer a wealth of developmental opportunities.”

At The Goddard School, environmental responsibility does not begin and end with the Root for Earth campaign. The Goddard School curriculum includes year-round eco-friendly and nature focused activities that aid children in exploring and fostering their curiosity for the world around them.

For more information on The Goddard School and the Root for Earth campaign, visit www.goddardschool.com.

In the Spotlight: The Goddard School located in Voorhees, NJ

Voorhees, NJOn April 25, we counted the votes and declared The Goddard School located in Voorhees, NJ the winner of the 2014 Upcycling Challenge!

The competition, part of The Goddard School’s national Root for Earth campaign, encouraged children, faculty and families in Goddard Schools across the country to use their imaginations to create a scene or object using recyclable materials.

The Goddard School located in Voorhees’s project depicted a scene from Dr. Seuss’s book The Lorax, including “Truffula” trees made from cereal boxes and tissue paper and “Humming-Fish” made from plastic bottles.

After reading several of Dr. Seuss’s works during the School’s Dr. Seuss Week in March, the children decided that The Lorax, a fable about the importance of preserving the environment, would make the perfect theme.

Once they had their idea, School owner Tracy Sortino emailed the parents to ask them to donate their recyclables. Over the course of three weeks, the parents donated so many recyclables that the School had to recycle the leftovers.

Children worked on the project in the School’s pre-k classroom and displayed the finished product there. The children worked so enthusiastically that it only took them a week to finish it.

Photos of the completed project were posted to Facebook.

Then the voting began.

“Kids would say, ‘Mom, go on Facebook and vote,’” Sortino said, laughing. “Everybody was so into it, and that’s exciting.”

The parents were eager to see the School win the competition, and their support helped the School earn a grand total of 675 votes. The School also racked up around 250 shares on Facebook.

Sortino added that the parents’ enthusiasm helped to further foster a sense of unity. “They [parents] got to see a different side of us,” she said. “I think that really helped to build camaraderie.”

The competition helped the children learn about preserving the environment as well as the importance of teamwork, Sortino explained. The children also learned about energy conversation during The Goddard School’s national Lights Out! hour, another Root for Earth initiative. Goddard Schools across the nation turned off all non-essential lighting for one hour from 10 to 11 AM on Earth Day.

When The Goddard School located in Voorhees was notified on May 2 about its win, the children, teachers and parents were all excited and overjoyed by the news. Most importantly, the School continues to recycle and even recycled the project after it was taken down.

The Lorax would be proud.

Camping-Inspired Birthday Party Ideas

Whether you grew up taking family camping trips or have never been camping in your life, a backyard campout for a birthday party can be fun and exciting for children and parents.  Once the children are old enough for sleepovers, a camping-inspired birthday party can create some great memories for you, your child and your child’s friends.

  • Prepare s’mores and wrap them in foil. You can bake The Goddard Schoolthem in the oven for a yummy snack or bake a s’mores-inspired cake;
  • Use clean, old tree stumps as refreshments stands;
  • Use bandanas as napkins or placemats;
  • Create a homemade, nut-free trail mix with various dried fruits, yogurt-covered raisins and sunflower seeds. Send small bags home as party favors;
  • Create a scavenger hunt. Have the children look for acorns, pine cones, leaves, etc.
  • Make pine cone bird feeders and let the children each take theirs home to tie in a tree;
  • Get a few bins of Lincoln Logs and have children craft their own log cabin creations;
  • Create a faux campfire with thick twigs collected from your yard or a bundle of firewood, and add crumpled-up yellow and red tissue paper on top;
  • Use twine and an old cardboard box to make a Welcome Campers or Camp Birthday [Child’s Name] sign;
  • In lieu of gifts, ask party guests to donate to your favorite national park;
  • Set up a large white sheet or projection screen in the yard and use a projector to show a movie under the stars;
  • Set up a few hammocks around your yard for the kids;
  • Stock a wooden crate with decks of cards, puzzles and other fun, camp-friendly games and activities.
  • Set up a fun morning buffet with your child’s favorite breakfast foods.

Happy camping!

The Goddard School Launches Annual “Root for Earth” Campaign Nationwide to Foster Environmental Stewardship in Young Children

Preschoolers Unite to Show Support for Mother Earth

The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, announces Root for Earth, an annual campaign that serves to plant seeds of change in The Goddard School children, their families and their communities to create a healthier, happier earth for genera­tions to come. Now in its 4th year, this green celebration focuses on creating awareness of energy and environmental conservation, and will be taking place across more than 400 Goddard School locations nationwide April 21 through April 25.

Seeking to bring awareness to environmental stewardship, The Goddard Schoolthe Root for Earth campaign is centers on a Lights Out! Initiative, taking place on Earth Day (April 22). Each School across the nation will turn off all non-essential lighting for one hour beginning at 10 a.m. local time. Throughout the week, the children will participate in engaging activities to learn about environmental stewardship including the Upcycling Challenge. During this challenge, children and teachers will put their imaginations to the test by utilizing reused and recycled materials to create something entirely new. Photos of the new creations will be shared on The Goddard School National Facebook Page from April 21 until April 25, and the winners will be announced on May 2.

“We believe that building a respectful relationship with nature at a young age creates a foundation for children to grow into environmentally responsible adults,” said Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc. “We are proud to continue the Root for Earth tradition at The Goddard School as it allows us to teach children the values of environmental conservation through activities that support collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication.”

“Gardens are of immeasurable significance to the development of young children, with almost endless opportunity for learning and very little cost to create,” says Dave Snyder, manager of facilities and playgrounds at Goddard Systems, Inc., franchisor of The Goddard School.

“Children can learn socialization, cooperation, mathematics by measuring growth, science by documenting the growth, creativity and writing skills by creating a story book about the garden,” continues Snyder. They develop fine and gross motor skills through use of simple tools and develop responsibility through garden maintenance, including weeding, watering and harvesting activities.”

At The Goddard School, environmental responsibility does not begin and end with the Root for Earth campaign. The Goddard School curriculum includes nature and wildlife related activities through exploration of the outdoors and challenging, hands-on activities.

For more information on The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com.

Moral Behavior and Empathy

Family - Father DaughterAs with other aspects of behavior, moral behavior must be taught.  One element of such behavior is the ability to empathize with others, to put oneself in someone else’s shoes.  Obviously, empathy can help inhibit anti-social behavior.

There is some evidence that empathy is part of a child’s in-born temperament, and that some children are naturally more empathic than others.  However, research also shows that empathic parents tend to have empathic children.  So this important attribute is clearly shaped by example and teaching as well as by genes.

The ability to show children what it is to care about another’s well-being – physical and emotional – is central to teaching morality.  It is also central to their self-control and their long-term ability to form lasting relationships.

Many childhood games are valuable for teaching connectedness, turn-taking and awareness of others.  Peekaboo is a great example.

Spring Scavenger Hunt with your Toddler and Preschooler

Infants & Teacher with Bubbles A

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

Playing it Cool During the Summer Heat

Infants & Teacher with Bubbles CWhen the summer sun blazes bright, children often spend more time outdoors—running, jumping, climbing, biking and being active. It is important to remember that physical activity in excessive heat can cause a variety of health issues including sunburn, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash. Below are a few tips that can help prevent your child from experiencing any of these heat-related illnesses. (Please note: If you feel that your child is experiencing symptoms of a heat-related illness, dial 911 and seek medical attention immediately.)

  • If you are aware that the day is going to be excessively hot, try to limit outdoor play time to the morning and evening hours (before 10 am and after 4 pm).
  • Sunglasses and hats with brims help protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Always apply a sunscreen with SPF 15 or above that protects against UVA and UVB rays before your child heads outdoors. Apply liberally and reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing should be worn in a single layer to help absorb and facilitate sweat evaporation. If your child should sweat through their clothing, have them change into a dry outfit before continuing their activity.
  • Fluids, fluids, fluids! Children should be well hydrated before they go out to play and have access to drinking water while participating in outdoor activities.
  • During prolonged outdoor activity, like a sports game or practice, children should be given frequent breaks (in 20-minute increments) to recover (in the shade) and rehydrate.

Goddard Systems, Inc. Joins Global Conservation Movement, Kicks Off Nation-Wide Environmental Awareness Program

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), parent company to 370-plus-unit preschool franchise The Goddard School, is proud to announce it will join with over 90 million Americans across the nation to celebrate World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour 2011. To mark this global call to action on climate change, on Saturday, March 26 at 8:30 p.m. hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for one hour.

Goddard Schools across the nation will help spread the message that by working together, the nation’s youth can make a positive impact on the environment and propel the country toward a sustainable future. Goddard Schools in 37 states will launch an entire week of activities and lesson plans beginning March 21 leading up to a big celebration for the Stepping Up for the Environment event on March 25 at 10 a.m., a day before the global event.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our teachers and children to get creative in ‘stepping up’ awareness about saving energy and the environment,” says Joseph Schumacher, CEO of GSI. “Joining Earth Hour enables our students to learn important lessons about the environment and get the message out to their families and in their communities.”

Individual Goddard Schools will integrate environmental education into art projects, science lessons and even snack time. Classes will nominate an official “Lightning Bug,” who will be responsible for always turning off the classroom lights when the children exit the room. Students will also create invitations asking parents and neighboring buildings to join them in Earth Hour.

On March 25th, Goddard Schools will celebrate Earth Hour with Stepping Up for the Environment. The event will consist of GSI’s 45,000 students participating in a day of environmentally friendly activities. At 10 a.m., schools will turn off any non-essential lighting for one hour.

“Although our schools won’t be in session during the global Earth Hour celebration, we still wanted our students to be involved in the annual event,” said Schumacher. “By holding Stepping Up for the Environment on the Friday before Earth Hour, we’re hoping many of our students will become advocates for the cause and encourage their families to participate on Saturday.”

For more information on The Goddard School and Stepping Up for the Environment, visit www.goddardschool.com/Default.gspx.

Recycling Crafts for Preschoolers

Just about everything we use on a daily basis can be given new life with a little ingenuity.  Basic crafting tools and accessories can be used to create just about anything out of something!  Below are some great recycling craft ideas for you and your children to try at home.

1.       Cardboard Tube Napkin Rings: Dress up your dining table with beautiful homemade napkin rings! Cut a few cardboard tubes (from paper towels or toilet paper) into 1 ½-inch wide sections. Younger children can decorate the rings with paint or crayons, while older children can glue on beans or beads to make fun designs.

2.       Bottle Cap Magnets: Use paint, felt, markers and more to decorate bottle caps.  Glue a small magnet to the back and put them on the fridge. If you have a lot of bottle caps, you can make several in the same color and arrange them in different patterns and shapes on your refrigerator.  The possibilities are endless!

3.       Milk Jug Flower Pot: Cut an empty milk jug in half and place heavy tape or felt around the edge of the opening. Poke a few small drainage holes in the bottom. Paint or decorate the outside of the jug any way you like. Add some small rocks to the bottom, fill with soil and plant your favorite flowers or herbs!

*An adult should oversee all activities.  Activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

Outdoor Activities & Park Play with Your Children

A day at the park may seem like ‘just another day,’ but learning and bonding experiences flourish at the park!

Pack for Safety

Include drinking water, sunscreen, hat, water to wash as well as wipes for hands, sneakers or other closed-toed shoes, a change of clothes or a towel for the seat, small first aid kit for those little scrapes and a small trash bag to keep the earth litter free.

Expect to Get Dirty

Going outside is about the freedom to explore and the only way to explore is to touch it, and yes, it is dirty–it’s outside! Dirty does not mean ‘germy.’ Roll in the grass, stomp in the mud, touch the frog and splash in the puddles.

Infants & Teacher with Bubbles CInfant to Six Months

  • Pack for safety: A blanket to crawl on and a sturdy pair of pants for crawling on rough surfaces. Be prepared to change diapers on the go.
  • Be prepared to climb and crawl yourself. This is the best way for you to ensure your child’s safety. Watch for items going into your child’s mouth.
  • Hydration: The outside air and activity increases the amount of fluids you both need to consume. And while you’re packing the water, pack a snack.
  • Point, name and describe: As your child explores, point out the details; name objects and talk about your experience.

First Steps (12 to 18 months)

  • Pack for safety: Bring a blanket and a sturdy pair of pants for crawling on rough surfaces. This is not the place for skirts or dresses.
  • Plan for breaks and pack snacks, water and a few books.
  • Dig and touch: Collect items to further explore when you get home.
  • Walk the trail with your little one on a riding toy. Don’t forget the helmet.
  • Park Play Etiquette: If your little one finds a playmate, ask the other parent if both of you may join in the play. Your child will learn to ask for your approval before playing with strangers and the parent of the other child will appreciate this overture.

Toddler and Get Set (18 to 36 months)

  • Plot the potty path!
  • Bring balls to throw and kick or bean bags and a bucket.
  • Move beyond the park and walk a trail or explore a nursery. Go to the stream, lake or pond and skip rocks. Turn the rocks over to find creepy, crawly things.
  • No breaks required–but pause for a moment to re-hydrate.
  • Look through binoculars–even two toilet paper tubes offer a new view of the world.
  • Tent it! A pop-up tent is an instant playhouse.
  • Take an umbrella and put on your galoshes–take a walk in the light rain.

Preschool to Pre-K (36 months +)

  • Lie down and look up: Children like to see the world from a different perspective.
  • Picnic: Let your child be a part of packing the necessities and preparing the sandwiches.
  • Play “I Spy” or “I Hear.”
  • Read or draw under the trees.
  • Bring a magnifying cup for bugs and objects to view. Research your bugs and objects when you return home to learn more about each.

Go outside all year long–visit http://www.scdconline.org/PDF_files/weatherwatch.pdf to know what is considered safe outdoor weather for children.