School days are winding down, but education does not stop over the summer. These 3 tips can help you get the most out of the end of the current school year and prepare for the next.Read More
The holidays are over and it’s back to the regular schedule at school. Getting back into the swing of homework may be a bit of challenge after the long break. Here are a few tips from some of our moms here at Kolcraft.
- Do the hardest assignment first. Kind of like eating foods they don’t like, get the toughest assignment done first before they run out of steam.
- Create a conducive homework environment. Set up a special homework station away from media distractions. Make sure they have all the needed supplies (i.e. pens, sharpened pencils, calculator, etc.).
- Get organized. Organizational skills are learned. Help your child stay organized and on top of assignments with a calendar or planner so assignments are not left until the last minute.
- Be encouraging. Encourage your child during their homework session, especially if you see them getting frustrated. If they see small victories in their homework, they will be more willing to continue with the task.
- Be active. Be active in your child’s homework. If you see he is struggling, set up an appointment to talk with the teacher. If your child isn’t understanding the homework, chances are he is confused in the classroom.
What tips do you have to help your child with homework?
School is back in session, or will be soon, for many youngsters. To help ensure a smooth transition from the lazy summer days to the busy school year, we have a few helpful tips:
The American Academy of Pediatrics has even more great back to school tips on everything from backpack safety to good study habits.
Yesterday, we had a lot of fun with the National Wildlife Federation and Kolcraft fans at our Twitter Party for Hike & Seek. We learned all sorts of information about outdoor play and great activities to get us outside as families. We love NWF’s website because they have so many great activities. We wanted to share one of them with you that we have tried out and have had fun doing it! We love this activity because not only does it get your outside with your toddler to explore nature, but it’s educational too!
Sort, Stack, and Shape
Ages: Up to 3 years
What You Need:
- a backyard, park, or any safe outdoor place to explore
- twigs, grass, flowers, nuts, and other natural objects
What You Do:
Put aside the plastic toys aimed at teaching toddlers shapes and sorting skills. It’s a lot more exciting—and every bit as educational—to use items found outside. Nature offers all sorts of free teaching materials: sticks, stones, blades of grass, fallen leaves, and more.
Use natural objects to introduce textures (bumpy, smooth, prickly, soft, etc).
- Sort a handful of stones by size.
- Break twigs into different lengths and help your child sort them – shortest to longest.
- See how high you can stack a pile of small rocks.
- Find a comfy spot to sit down and make shapes on the ground: twig triangles, rock rectangles, seed squares, and so on.
The school year is already underway, but it’s never too late to go over a few important safety tips with your children.
- Phone Number - Make sure your child knows your phone number. If they can’t remember it, write it down, tuck it into their backpack and let them know where it is.
- Set Rules - Set safety rules for pick up. Let your child know that only “safe people” will pick them up and have no more than 3 “safe people.” Let you child know who those people are. If different people pick your child up on different days, remind them before they leave the car who is picking them up. Tell them that under no circumstances should they get in a car with a stranger. If a stranger approaches they should run to a teacher, other parent they know, or crossing guard.
- Walking – If your child walks to school, make sure you walk the route with them at least once. Tell them to stay away from vacant lots, abandoned buildings, etc. It’s best to have a buddy system where your child walks home with friends or siblings.
- School Bus Rules – Make sure your child knows proper safety when exiting a school bus; wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before entering or exiting, look both ways before crossing the street to catch the bus or after leaving it, never run in front of the bus or cross the street directly in front of the bus. It’s hard for the bus driver to see little people when they are that close to the bus.
- Labels- Do not put your child’s full name on backpacks, lunch boxes or anything that can be seen when carried. Use initials instead.
What back to school safety rules do you have?
It’s back to school time and your older children may already be getting back into the rhythm of the classroom. But what about younger children who are left behind? They can feel lonely, left out, sad and anxious because their siblings have “left them behind.” This time alone with your youngest can actually be a time where you get special one on one time with him. This can make him feel special instead of “left behind.”
One way to make your youngest feel engaged while the others are at school is to plan a special activity for her. If you have an hour or so put aside for your special time, she will look forward to that special time she has with you.
A few ideas:
- Set up your own classroom and play school teaching simple lessons about the weather. You can make a cloud, sun, snowflakes, raindrops, etc out of felt or foam from your local craft store or the Teacher Store. Once made, your new student can start each day picking out which object corresponds with the day’s weather. If it’s a rainbow weather day, you can make our fruit rainbow cake.
- Have a color “sponsor” your day. Let your child pick the color and you can dress in that color, eat food that is that color, find flowers that are that color and learn about an animal that is that color.
- Create your own coloring adventure by printing out free coloring pages. Color a page a day and at the end of the week make up a story that goes along with the pictures.
What ideas do you have to help your youngest child adjust to his siblings going back to school?
School is starting again and that means getting back on schedule, homework and packing lunches. When you have a laundry list of 100 things to do in 24 hours, it can be difficult to make healthy lunches your child will actually eat. Team Kolcraft pulled together some of our kids’ favorite lunches to share with you.
- Mini pizzas made on wheat pita bread. Just take a pita, add cheese and pepperoni, put in the toaster oven for a few minutes and ta-dah! You have mini-pizzas.
- Deviled egg sail boats- Cut yellow, red or green peppers into a thin triangle. Put the triangle on top of the deviled egg to make it look like a sail boat. (These can be tricky to transport.)
- Cucumber logs- Cut a cucumber in half, hollow out the cucumber leaving a sturdy shell. Fill cucumber shell with tuna salad.
- Sandwich kabobs- Give sandwiches a twist by turning it into a kabob. On a skewer place a cube of bread, cheese, cherry tomato, lunch meat, lettuce, baby jerkin pickle, olive and cube of bread. Change it up with you child’s favorite sandwich fillings for a kabob he is sure to eat!
What kid-friendly lunch tips do you have to share?
It’s seems like you were just bringing your baby home from the hospital and now she is graduating Preschool or Kindergarten! While she may not be moving out for college, Preschool and Kindergarten graduation is a milestone and a time to celebrate all that your little one has accomplished and all that is before her. Some simple ideas to celebrate:
- Ice Cream Social. Invite over a few of your child’s friends to celebrate by making sundaes. Create an ice-cream bar by buying a few flavors of ice-cream or sorbet, fruit (bananas and fresh strawberries are usually a hit), chopped nuts, whipped cream and other toppings. Let the kids create their own sundaes. They will have lots of giggles making their creations and fun eating their yummy concoctions.
- Park Play. Celebrate at your child’s favorite park by inviting some friends, preparing a few snacks and letting them play on the swings, slides, etc. It is a simple and free way to let them get together and just have fun. Buy a graduation button for your child at your local party store so he can feel like the “distinguished guest” at his party.
- Coloring Party. Head to your local Dollar Store and pick up some crayons and coloring books. Invite your child’s friends over to a coloring party. Cover the table they will color on with a disposable tablecloth so you don’t have to worry about your furniture being marked up and let the kids color away! End the party with graduation cupcakes.
We love Lil Sugar site for other graduation party themes and activities.
Is your child graduating from Preschool or Kindergarten? What ways are you celebrating?