Sending the Kids to Kindergarten: Getting Through the First Day

3 Tips For Getting Your Child Used To Gym Daycare

In order to get your child used to going to gym daycare, there are a few different things that you can do. This article will discuss 3 tips for getting them used to it.

Choose A Time When They Are The Most Comfortable 

One great way to help get your child used to gym daycare is to choose a time when they are going to be the most comfortable. This may be in the mornings when they are fresh and ready for the day, or after a nap when they have had time to take a midday rest and are ready to burn off some energy. You also may want to take into consideration the times that the day care is busy vs. the times when it isn’t going to be very busy. For example, if your child does best with a small group of children, you will want to try and go at a time when the gym daycare isn’t going to be very full. However, if your child loves being around a large group of kids to interact and play with, then bring them when the daycare is busiest. 

Explain To Them The Fun Activities That They Can Participate In 

Another great way to get your child not only used to gym daycare, but also really excited about going each day, is to tell them all of the fun activities that take place at gym daycare. You can explain to them that they are going to be given the opportunity to participate in games with the other children, such as relay races, group workouts for kids, and more. The gym daycare will also have other fun activities such as coloring, crafts, story time, and more. These activities are all things that your child will look forward to, and they are great for making the time go by quickly for them while you are working out. 

Go At The Same Time As Some Of Their Friends

If you have a friend that you usually get together with so that your children can have playdates, you can see if this friend wants to exercise the same time as you. This will allow your children to go to gym daycare together so that they aren’t going to be alone. This will help them to feel more like it is just another playdate, rather than having them focus on the fact that they are in daycare and you aren’t with them. 

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3 Fun Summer Activities That Will Teach Your Tween Some Responsibility

If your tween is like most, they’re ready for more independence, but they could use some help in the responsibility department. Here are three fun summer activities your tween can do to learn some responsibility and increase their chance of proving themselves worthy of a more independent lifestyle:

Going to Day Camp

Summer day camp offers an exciting way to learn about responsibility, gain self-esteem, and practice getting along with people from all walks of life. Day camp isn’t about sitting around telling stories or swimming in a lake all day without any structure. At day camp you can expect your tween to take part in team building exercises, leadership projects, and various activities that are designed to teach them more about taking responsibility for their actions in life. Some activities that are likely to be available to your tween during summer camp include the following:

  • Movie Making

  • Tech Labs

  • Horseback Riding

  • Garden-to-Table Cooking

  • Creative Writing

  • Obstacle Courses

  • Team Water Sports

While your tween is having fun meeting new friends and partaking in a variety of exciting activities, they’ll learn important like skills and lessons that they can use throughout their adulthood.

Caring for Animals

Volunteering at a humane society or another animal rescue center is a fun way to learn some responsibility and how to take care of others. Get your tween involved with a facility of their choice and let them volunteer a couple of days a week walking dogs, feeding animals, grooming horses, and cleaning out stalls. Taking care of animals in need will help your tween better understand compassion and learn patience, which are both things that can come in handy in their everyday life.

Before your tween starts their volunteer stint, they should have a clear understanding of how their chosen facility works to ensure that they’ll be comfortable with all their procedures. Schedule a consultation appointment with the facility before scheduling any volunteer hours so you can check the place out with your tween.

Creating a Kids’ Group

Encourage your tween to start a kids’ group in your neighborhood so they can make some money while learning some responsibility. Help them come up with a small business plan that encompasses hosting a kids’ play group in your backyard a few days a week that will function similar to daycare or camp. Fill a few plastic tubs with board games, coloring books, paint sets, puzzles, and other activities that encourage learning and fun. Then keep the tubs on the porch so they can easily be brought out on gathering days.

Let your tween set the rates since they’ll be doing most of the work during each group date – recommend at least ten dollars per child per session as a starting point. Parents in the neighborhood are sure to appreciate the opportunity to send their kids to “camp” once or twice week, so they can get some alone time or to run errands they haven’t had time to do.

Any one of these summer activity ideas will give your tween the opportunity to experience a multitude of activities and responsibilities throughout the summer.    

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You Only Have One Body, So Take Care Of It

One of the most important tasks that a person can accomplish in a day is exercise. However, there are many people in the world that do not exercise on a regular basis. Bodies are something that need to be taken care of, or they really can stop functioning properly. It is true that most new years resolutions include losing the extra pounds, but taking care of a body is much more than just losing those extra pounds. This article will outline how to maximize results and address benefits of exercising regularly. 

How to Exercise

Obviously any exercise is better than no exercise at all. However, it is possible to maximize benefits from exercising. One of the keys to optimizing your exercise is by adding a variety of activities to your routine. This will ensure that the body does not get stuck on a plateau. Our bodies are incredible machines and can get used to the same old routine. So, keep it fresh and exciting by adding new exercising and changing things up. A good variety of weight training and different forms of cardio will maximize results.

Stress and Depression

The world that we live in today can break a person, or force them to their knees. The stresses that pile up can take a toll on a person. Anxiety and depression are becoming very common, and one of the best ways to battle stress, anxiety, and depression is through regular exercise. When we exercise our bodies release a feel-

good hormone called serotonin. This is the hormone that is primarily responsible for your happy mood. Exercise causes an increase in the release of this hormone. So, by exercising we give our bodies and mind a healthy dose of a natural feel good drug. 

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Health

Some of the most common diseases in the United States and Canada involve the heart and lungs. Obesity has become very common, and can be traced to a lack of exercise and poor diet. When a person is exercising they are going to be burning calories and fat. This is terrific news as excess fat can be a major factor in heart disease. Besides burning calories, exercise helps stabilize blood sugar and allows your body to function properly. Being a healthy weight and exercising regularly allows the body to run at its very best and helps maintain healthy glucose, insulin and leptin levels through optimization of insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity. 

If you want to start getting more active, consider getting a gym membership at places like the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.

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3 Tips For Helping Your Child Adjust To Daycare

A good daycare center can provide excellent care for a child while also helping him or her learn new concepts and build socialization skills. Many infants begin going to daycare at a young age when their mothers and fathers must return to work. In these cases, the transition is often more difficult for the parents than the child. But when a toddler or older child begins going to daycare after being used to staying home and being cared for by his or her parents or another family member, it can be a very big adjustment. If your toddler or older child is beginning daycare for the first time, use the following tips to help him or her adjust and feel more comfortable:

Try Some Partial Days

One of the best ways to ease your child into daycare is by allowing him or her to get to know his or her new caregiver before spending full days at daycare. Whether you choose a daycare center or an in-home daycare service, most child caregivers will let a child visit for a couple of hours before full-time enrollment to allow the child to slowly become comfortable with the new people and new surroundings. During the first visit you may want to stay with you child for comfort, but it is a good idea to let your child spend some time alone at daycare to get used to the new environment.

Reassure Your Child

Your child may experience some fear or anxiety when being dropped off at daycare. As a parent, give your child a hug and reassure him or her that you will be back to pick him or her up. If your child is old enough to understand, mention that you will be back after lunch time, nap time, or after another specific activity. Be calm when saying goodbye to your child, and try to avoid delaying your departure if your child gets upset or cries. Your child’s caregiver will help comfort him or her, and after you leave it will be easier for your child to get distracted by an activity or the other children.

Consider Comfort Items

In the first days or weeks of daycare, it is not uncommon for toddlers and older children to get upset and feel unhappy about their new situation. If your child has a comfort item, such as a favorite stuffed animal or a blanket, consider sending it in a bag when your child goes to daycare. Ask your child’s caregiver to present the comfort item to your child if he or she is having a rough day.

For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at Cottonwood Montessori.  

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No Child Overboard: Keep Your Kids Calm While Shopping

So you need to go shopping, but the idea of bringing your kids to a store is anything but appealing. You’re in the same boat as many other parents. After all, you’d really need to get all little hands on deck in order to have a positive shopping experience, and experience has probably taught you to expect rough waters instead of smooth sailing when kids are stuck in a store. Luckily, there are ways you can keep your child calm on shopping voyages.

Acknowledge Feelings

Take the helm and confidently deal with children when they start to misbehave. Instead of getting mad at children who complain at the store, show sympathy. Put their frustration into words and repeat back to them what they say in different ways. For example, if a child hates crowds, talk about how crowds make you feel. Ask if the kid may be feelings the same way and acknowledge that you understand how bad that feeling is. Then offer a solution, such as a 15-minute time limit to finish shopping and then resolve the feeling by going somewhere without crowds.

Amp Up the Fun Factor

Perhaps the most effective way to make children happy about shopping is to make it fun for them. Buy personalized children CDs and a portable CD player. A child can put on headphones and enjoy the awesome personalized music while going around the store. Not only will they feel special with the personalized music selection, but they will want to repeat the fun activity again soon. 

Ask for Help

Don’t keel over if your kids rock the boat when you walk in the store. Few things will keep kids in line during a shopping trip as quickly as asking them for help. Children love having little jobs and feeling like they are being a big help to Mom or Dad. For example, if you are shopping for a friend’s baby shower, you might try asking your kids to help you pick out baby girl boutique clothes. Even if you don’t plan on buying any of the little outfits they pick out, be sure to shower them with praise, and they will feel great about themselves and the shopping trip.

Bring Along Snacks

Sailors of yesteryear used to fear sirens of the sea in much the same way that you fear one of your kids having a tantrum while you’re in the middle of the store. Those sailors gave up peace offerings to the sea, and you can do the same by bringing along snacks for your kids. Bring along things that are easy to eat and won’t leave a mess behind in the store. Some options include chips, grapes, raisins, graham crackers, and carrot sticks.

Praise Stellar Behavior

Take the wind out of the sails of kids who misbehave for attention. Ignore small transgressions. Instead, heap praise on children who are well-behaved. For example, if one child has an attitude while the other child is eagerly helping you grab an item from the shelf, praise the one who helped you. All your children seek your attention and will do, so giving more attention for good behavior will help make your shopping trip much easier. Soon all your children will be showing off their best behavior.

Finally, you may soon find that the tide has turned! Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re planning a shopping trip with your kids, and you will likely be delighted to find that they are fun to have along whether you are shopping at a small boutique or a crowded mall. 

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3 Tips For Sending Your Toilet-Training Toddler To Preschool

While many preschools require that your child be fully trained to use the toilet before their first day of enrollment, others will accept children who are still using disposable or cloth diapers. If your child starts preschool in diapers, they will eventually have to train to use the toilet at preschool. While the bulk of the training can be completed at home, sometimes in a single weekend, there are several things that you need to do to set your child up for successful toilet usage at school. 

Send Plenty Of Backups

Whether you do a single weekend of training or have been training at home for several weeks before you send your child to preschool without diapers, you should expect for there to be some accidents while your child is at school. At preschool, your child is likely to have more distractions than they have at home, making it more difficult for them to identify their need to use the toilet in time to prevent an accident. They also may have less one-on-one interaction, so preschool teachers may not always pick up on subtle cues that your child needs to urinate. 

It is important to send your child to school with several changes of underwear and pants during their toilet-training period. A few extra shirts can be useful, in case your child’s wetness wicks up towards their shirt. You should also continue sending diapers to be used during naps and if your child is having a particularly difficult day with toilet-training. 

Make Sure Your Child’s Teachers Are On-board With Your Methods

Every parent utilizes the method of toilet training that they think will work best for their child. Your child’s teachers may or may not support your method for toilet training. For example, you may train your child by setting a timer and placing them on the toilet at regular intervals while your child’s school may insist that your child give verbal signs that they need to use the toilet.

You should discuss your preschool’s methods thoroughly. If you do not agree with them, you may want to train your child for an extended period at home in the evenings and on the weekends before sending them to school without diapers. 

Walk Your Child Through The Process At School 

Even if your child is comfortable at their preschool, they are probably most comfortable toilet training with you. The first day that you send your child to school without diapers, you should arrive early and walk them through the process of using the toilet at school. This will help make them more comfortable expressing their needs to their teachers. 

Toilet training is often a joint effort between parents and other care-givers. It is important that everyone involved knows what to expect and provides a consistent toilet routine for your child. 

For a preschool in your area, consider a school such as Small World Early Learning & Development Center.

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Preschool Lesson Plans For Character Education

In Montessori schools, preschool aged children are taught to be creative and independent. There is also a focus on things like understanding sharing, feelings, and building character. This type of education is unique because it allows students to focus on their individual thoughts while in a group setting. Here are some lesson plans designed around the concept of understanding character and feelings.

Fishing Game Group Activity

Print several different colored fish out and laminate the paper. On each fish, write a different word that describes someone’s character. These words can be things like kindness, honesty, politeness, and friendliness. Come up with more words of your own until you have a decent sized “school” of fish. Attach a small wooden dowel to the end of a pole with a magnet at the end. Then, let the students fish for one of your creations. Let them take turns explaining to the class about what each word means to them, and talk about how they can apply those words to people they know.

The Gift of Compliments Game

For this game, create a small gift using an empty box and wrap it, adorning it with a shiny bow. Tell your class about a present that you can give to others that does not involve buying something or material things. Then, explain how complimenting each other in a positive way is a gift we can all share. Have the students pass the gift around the room, paying a compliment to the person next to them. Be sure to talk about how these compliments make them feel.

Helping Hands Tasks

It is important for young children to understand how helping others can be good for everyone. Make a small chart with several hands along one side, and put each student’s name on one hand. If you prefer, have the students trace their own hands and cut them out. After you place the hands on the poster, tell them that each one of them will be giving a helping hand each week. Assign small tasks to each child like cleaning up arts and crafts, or having them help their parents make their lunch at home. As they complete a helping task, write the task next to their hands so they can keep track of just how easy it is to do something for others.

All of these simple games are fun and effective ways to mold children into becoming better students and more understanding people. 

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