On Wednesday we had a fun trip to one of our local craft supply stores, A.C. Moore. The children were able to take a tour of the facility and see the many different types of mediums available for creating all types of projects.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Nutrition for Kids
Getting kids to eat healthy, satisfying snacks and meals throughout the day can be difficult with all of the pre-made, sugar-laden and fat-filled snacks available and marketed at parents and kids. However healthy eating doesn’t have to be non-existent, it just needs a little foresight and planning from the parents, nannies, and babysitters. To make sure that your kids are getting the nutrients they need try implementing these switches to their diets:
1. Keep healthy snacks on hand
One of the reasons that kids gravitate towards foods like chips and cookies is that they’re usually readily available and no prep work is involved. Always have a bowl of grapes or baby carrots available in the fridge so that they can quickly grab some when they get hungry. Paired with healthy dips like peanut butter or hummus, they’ll have a satisfying snack packed with a nutrient punch while still fulfilling a sweet or salty craving.
2. Skip the sugary sodas
Instead of giving kids sodas, which are full of empty calories and devoid of any nutritional value, let them drink water or lower-calorie flavored teas. If your kids are craving a sweet beverage use the individual servings of sugar-free, flavored sweeteners to give them a juice-like drink sans the calories or sugar.
3. Pack their school lunches
Even though there have been recent strides in providing more healthy cafeteria lunch fare, the food there is still notoriously unhealthy. Pack a sack lunch for your kids to make sure that they’re getting the nutrition they need. You can make lunch more fun by making fun-shaped sandwiches with cookie cutters and trying delicious new twists on old standby favorites.
4. Don’t let them skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for kids. Serve them breakfasts with equal parts protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates to start their day off on the right foot. Instead of pouring a bowl of cereal try making eggs in a basket or a fruit smoothie. Getting them into a routine of regularly eating a healthy breakfast while they’re young is a great habit to make.
5. Switch up dessert
When it comes time for dessert skip the ice cream and make homemade desserts, like fruit popsicles made out of frozen fruits or Greek yogurt and fresh berries. Frozen fruits or fresh berries will satisfy a sweet craving, and the thick, creamy texture of Greek yogurt will still taste indulgent. For an extra creamy and delicious treat try mixing Greek yogurt with a spoonful of peanut butter. It’s exactly the type of dessert everyone needs – satisfying, decadent tasting, and yet still healthy!
Eating nutritious snacks and meals doesn’t have to be boring for your kids. Make meal time fun by constantly trying new fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins and include the kids when you’re preparing them. By showing them early on that being healthy is still delicious and fun they’ll learn habits that can stick with them for a lifetime.
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of nanny agency. You can reach her at saradawkins61ATgmail.com.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Early Literacy Activities You Can Do With Your Preschooler at Home
As a parent of a preschooler, you probably want to set your child up for academic success in the future. In kindergarten, your child will learn the basic building blocks of literacy. By the end of first grade, your child should have the fundamental building blocks of literacy down and be able to read a variety of age-appropriate books on her own. Reading isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to learn, though. Learning to read takes a lot of work on your part, your child’s part, and the part of her teachers. One of the best ways to give your child a head start when it comes to reading is to start exposing him to basic literacy concepts in preschool. Here are a few activities you can start engaging your child in now to help making learning to read in kindergarten and first grade easier:
1. Read simple, repetitive books together.
Pick out some books that feature the same, basic words on each page. These are the kind of books your child will read in kindergarten. They’re books that focus on words like “the,” “come,” “here,” “at,” “what,” “where,” etc. These basic, everyday words are called sight words, and your child will be expected to memorize them in kindergarten. Reading simple, repetitive books that feature these words with your child will expose your little one to words she’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future.
2. Create an alphabet book together using environmental print.
You can make an alphabet book out of construction paper together. Write each letter on each page, and they have your child practice writing each letter under your model letters. Don’t be surprised if your child has some difficultly writing all the letters. It’s completely normal for a preschooler to find writing challenging.
After your child is done writing all of the letters on all of the pages, go online and find some pictures of things that begin with each letter. Environmental print is basically pictures of things like cartoon characters, store logos, and even food and drink related images like Captain Crunch and Pizza Hut. Just pick out pictures you know your child is familiar with and print them out. Then you and your child can glue the pictures on the pages of your alphabet book, based on what letters those pictures start with. Children usually have more fun with environmental print than they do with pictures that are usually associated with the alphabet, like apples, bears, and caterpillars.
Once you’ve finished your alphabet book, you can punch some holes in the sides of it and bind it with string. After you’ve done this, you can flip through the book with your child and practice letters and sounds. Learning letters and sounds is essential to reading success in kindergarten. If your child learns letters and sounds in preschool, he’ll be ahead of the game.
3. Read fun, interesting books to your child.
Reading simple, repetitive books together will be useful, but your child won’t think it’s as fun as having longer, more interesting books read to him. So, be sure to read lots of fun books like those by Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, and Shel Silverstein. It may also be good to add some non-fiction books into the mix about dinosaurs and other science related topics, if your child is interested in those topics. The purpose of reading fun, interesting books to your child is to instill a lifelong love of reading in her, which is arguably the most important thing you can do to set your child up for academic success!
Author’s Bio: Lisa is a mother and guest post writer on the subjects of parenting, child development, and even things like throwing your child the perfect Mario birthday party.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Today I am going to post our St. Patrick's Day fun for both classes. The three-year-olds had a blast our green rice with gold coins, the shamrock table, and the Lucky Charm sorting.
Our craft a Fruit Loop rainbow with Sugar Pop gold was a major hit too. That room smelled so good! I do have to say the children were a bit "sugared" us when it was time to go.
We finished up the day with our shamrock hunt and found a treat left by a leprechaun too. I told them to wait until they got home to eat the candy.
Pre-K had many of the same activities going on at the tables: green rice with coins, Lucky Charm sorting, and shamrock making. They had one extra table though--green applesauce. I had placed the applesauce in a bowl with some cups next to it. They spooned some applesauce in their cup and "sprinkled" some green sugar--like the kind used to make cookies. The only problem with this was that the sugar came out in a pour mode rather than a sprinkle mode.
The craft for the class was a rainbow leprechaun hat. Our previous Pre-K teacher used to make it with the children and I always thought it looked so festive.
Pre-K also got to finish up the day with the shamrock hunt and the leprechaun treat.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Hi everyone. Yes, I am still here. March is a hectic month for me. I'm trying to get back on track, but it's happening slowly. Below is a guest post written by Lauren Bailey. She offers some tips to get your child to eat "adventurously."
4 Tips for Encouraging your Toddler to Eat Adventurously