A Passion for Education

A commitment to providing the best quality care and education for every child. Today's Life Schools & Childcare has developed curriculum that is based upon solid child development principles.

Follow our blog to learn more about how we approach this commitment and to keep current with your child's experience at Today's Life Schools & Education.

Today's Life Schools & Childcare is committed to providing the best value in education and premium care for every child. Headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN, Today’s Life offers superior infant, toddler, preschooler, pre-kindergarten, Spanish language, summer and enrichment programs. We are passionate about early childhood education, and we actively nurture children into confident and joyful learners.

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Now Enrolling Toddlers & Preschool Age Children! Great Care & Premium Education Starts Here. Best Eden Prairie Rates!
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Four Developmental Benefits of Dramatic Play

Image result for free stock photos dramatic play

 

Four Developmental Benefits of Dramatic Play

According to experts, dramatic play is any type of play where “children assign and accept roles and act them out”. This means that whether your child likes to pretend to be a doctor or wants to be a mechanic working the big wheel, they’re engaging in dramatic play.

But dramatic play is about more than just play. In fact, there are four developmental benefits of pretend play, including:

  1. Intellectual – Dramatic play is known to help children solve problems, negotiate, organize and plan.
  2. Physical – Most play also increases motor development, strength and coordination (depending on the activity).
  3. Social – Social development means being able to share, take turns, cooperate, negotiate and handle disappointment when it happens.
  4. Emotional – Emotional developments might include feelings of protection, a sense of self and individually as well.

At Today’s Life Schools & Child Care, we focus on dramatic play, making our classrooms and facility a great location for your little one! 

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About St Patrick's Day

 

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated each year on March 17th. In Ireland, St Patrick's Day is both a holy day and a national holiday. Saint Patrick is a patron saint of Ireland as he was the one who brought Christianity to the Irish.

According to the legend, St Patrick used a shamrock to explain about God. The shamrock, which looks like a clover, has three leaves on each stem. Saint Patrick told the people that the shamrock was like the idea of the trinity, that in the one God there are three divine beings: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock was sacred to the druids, so St Patrick's use of it in explaining the trinity was very wise.

Although it began in Ireland, St Patrick's Day is celebrated in countries around the world. People with Irish heritage remind themselves of the beautiful green countryside of Ireland by wearing green and taking part in the festivities.

St Patrick's Day is usually celebrated with a parade. The one in Dublin, Ireland is known to some as the Irish Mardi Gras. But the one in New York city is actually one of the biggest. It last for hours. Two Irish wolfhounds, the mascots of the New York National Guard Infantry regiment, always lead the parade. More than one hundred bands and a hundred thousand marchers follow the wolfhounds in the parade.

 

Saint Patrick and the Snakes:

Another tale about Patrick is that he drove the snakes from Ireland. Different versions of the story, tell of him standing upon a hill, using a wooden staff to drive the serpents into the sea, banishing them forever from Ireland.

One version says that an old serpent resisted banishment, but that Patrick outwitted it. Patrick made a box and invited the snake to enter. The snake insisted it was too small and the two argued. Finally to prove his point, the snake entered the box to show how tight the fit was. Patrick slammed the lid closed and threw the box into the sea.

Although it's true that Ireland has no snakes, this likely had more to do with the fact that Ireland is an island and being separated from the rest of the continent the snakes couldn't get there. The stories of Saint Patrick and the snakes are likely a metaphor for his bringing Christianity to Ireland and driving out the pagan religions (Serpents were a common symbol in many of these religions).

Sharing these fun stories with your children most always leaves them wonder.

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5 Ages Of Brain Development

Throughout our life, starting at conception week 4, our brain continues to undergo growth and changes. Here are the 5 steps our brain develops into:

STAGE 1

By the time we take our first breath, the brain is already more than 8 months old. It starts to develop within four weeks of conception, when one of three layers of cells in the embryo rolls up to form the neural tube. A week later, the top of this tube bends over, creating the basic structure of fore, mid and hindbrain.

From this point, brain growth and differentiation is controlled mainly by the genes. Even so, the key to getting the best out of your brain at this stage is to have the best prenatal environment possible. In the early weeks of development, that means having a mother who is stress-free, eats well and stays away from cigarettes, alcohol and other toxins. Towards the end of the brain-building process, when the fetus becomes able to hear and remember, sounds and sensations also begin to shape the train.

In the first two trimesters of pregnancy, though, development is all about putting the basic building blocks in place: growing neurons and connections and making sure each section of the brain grows properly and in the right area. This takes energy, and a variety of nutrients in the right quantity at the right time.

 

STAGE 2

In childhood, the brain is the most energetic and flexible that it will ever be. As we explore the world around us it continues to grow, making and breaking connections at breakneck speed. Perhaps surprisingly, learning, memory and language begin before we are even born.

During the prenatal period, up to a quarter of a million new cells form every minute, making 1.8 million new connections per seconds, though about half of the cells will later wither and die, leaving only those reinforced by use. From birth, a child undergoes more than a decade of rapid growth and development, in which every experience contributes to the person they will become. So what can a parent do to help maximize the potential of their child's brain? A nurturing environment and daily individualized communication. Negative and/or harsh treatment may come with emotional consequences in the future.

 

STAGE 3

Teenagers are selfish, reckless, irrational and irritable, but given the cacophony of construction going on inside the adolescent brain, is it any wonder? In the teenage years, our brain may be fully grown, but the wiring is certainly a work in progress.

Psychologists used to explain the particularly unpleasant characteristics of adolescence as products of raging sex hormones, since children reach near adult cerebral volumes well before puberty. More recently, though, imaging studies have revealed a gamut of structural changes in the teens and early 20s that go a long way towards explaining these tumultuous teenage years.

Jay Giedd at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and his colleagues have followed the progress of nearly 400 children, scanning many of them every two years as they grew up. They found that adolescence brings waves of grey-matter pruning, with teens losing about 1 percent of their grey matter every year until their early 20s.

This cerebral pruning trims unused neural connections that were overproduced in the childhood growth spurt, starting with the more basic sensory and motor areas. These mature first, followed by regions involved in language and spatial orientation and lastly those involved in higher processing and executive functions.

 

STAGE 4

So you're in your early 20s and your brain has finally reached adulthood. Enjoy it while it lasts. The peak of your brain's powers comes at around age 22 and lasts for just half a decade. From there it's downhill all the way.

This long, slow decline begins at about 27 and runs throughout adulthood, although different abilities decline at different rates. Curiously, the ones that start to go first - those involved with executive control, such as planning and task coordination - are the ones that took the longest to appear during your teens. These abilities are associated with the prefrontal and temporal cortices, which are still maturing well into your early 20s.

Episodic memory, which is involved in recalling events, also declines rapidly, while the brain's processing speed slows down and working memory is able to store less information.

So just how fast is the decline? According to research, from our mid-20s we lose up to 1 point per decade on a test called the mini mental state examination. This is a 30-point test of arithmetic, language and basic motor skills that is typically used to assess how fast people with dementia are declining. A 3 to 4 point drop is considered clinically significant. In other words, the decline people typically experience between 25 and 65 has real-world consequences.

 

STAGE 5

By the time you retire, there's no doubt about it, your brain isn't what it used to be. By 65 most people will start to notice the signs: you forget people's names and the teapot occasionally turns up in the fridge.

There is a good reason why our memories start to let us down. At this stage of our life we are steadily losing brain cells in critical areas such as the hippocampus - the area where memories are processed. This is not too much of a problem at first, even in old age the brain is flexible enough to compensate. At some point though, the losses start to make themselves felt.

Clearly not everyone ages the same way, so what's the difference between jolly, intelligent oldie and a forgetful, grumpy granny? And can we improve our chances of becoming the former?

Exercise can certainly help. Numerous studies have shown that gentle exercise three times a week can improve concentration and abstract reasoning in older people, perhaps by stimulating the growth of new brain cells. Exercise also helps steady our blood glucose. As we age, our glucose regulation worsens, which causes spikes in blood sugar. This can affect the dentate gyrus, an area within the hippocampus that helps form memories. Since physical activity helps regulate glucose, getting out and about could reduce these peaks and, potentially, improve your memory.

 

Stay healthy!

 

 

 

 

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Cold Weather Rules & Tips

 

Whether winter brings severe storms, light dust or just cold temperatures, the American Academy of Pediatrics has some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm. We follow most of them here at Today’s Life, most of them I say because children will never be going outside in temperatures under 15/20 degrees here at the center and at those temperatures; children would not spend more than 10/15 minutes outside. But read below and see what you can get out of it:

 

What to Wear

  • Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat. Choose boots that are large enough to comfortably accommodate two pairs of socks.
  • Remove drawstrings from clothing which may get caught on tree branches or play equipment. Replace with Velcro.
  • The rules of thumb for older babies and young children are to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
  • When riding in the car, babies and children should wear thin, snug layers rather than thick, bulky coats or snowsuits.
  • Blankets, quilts, pillows, bumpers, sheepskins and other loose bedding should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment, which we follow here at Today’s Life, because they are associated with suffocation deaths and may contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It is better to use sleep clothing like one-piece sleepers or wearable blankets is preferred.
  • If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be thin and tucked under the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby’s chest, so the infant’s face is less likely to become covered by bedding materials.

Hypothermia

  • Hypothermia develops when a child’s temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. It often happens when a youngster is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without proper clothing or when clothes get wet. It can occur more quickly in children than adults.
  • As hypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy. Speech may become slurred and body temperature will decline in more severe cases.
  • If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him/her in blankets or warm clothes.

Frostbite

  • Frostbite happens when the skin outer tissues become frozen. This condition tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears and nose. Skin first becomes red and tingly, then gray and painful and finally white, cold and hard without pain. Blistering occurs after the skin thaws.
  • Playing in temperatures or wind chills below -15 degrees Fahrenheit should be avoided because exposed skin begins to freeze within minutes.
  • Prevent frostbite by dressing in layers, covering all body parts when outside in cold weather. Bring children indoors if clothing gets wet.
  • If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of her body in warm (not hot) water. 104 degrees Fahrenheit (about the temperatures of most hot tubs) is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears and lips.
  • Administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen (consult your doctor or pharmacist on dosage) when you begin rewarming because as the skin thaws pain occurs.
  • Do not rub the frozen areas.
  • After a few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing or blankets. Give him/her something warm to drink and seek medical attention immediately particularly if blistering occurs

Winter Health

  • If your child suffers from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in the child’s room at night. Saline nose drops or petrolatum jelly may help keep nasal tissues moist. If bleeding is severe or recurrent, consult your pediatrician.
  • Many pediatricians feel that bathing two or three times a week is enough for an infant’s first year. More frequent baths may dry out the skin, especially during the winter.
  • Cold weather does not cause colds or flu. But the viruses that cause colds and flu tend to be more common in the winter, when children are in school and are in closer contact with each other. Frequent hand washing and teaching your child to sneeze or cough into the bend of her elbow may help reduce the spread of colds and flu.
  • Children 6 months of age and up should get the influenza vaccine to reduce their risk of catching the flu. Around 80% of all influenza illness generally occurs in January, February, and March.

Winter Sports and Activities

  • Set reasonable limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite and make sure kids have a place to go warm up when they get cold. When weather is severe, have children come inside periodically to warm up.
  • Alcohol or drug use should not be permitted in any situation. They can be even more dangerous in winter activities like snowmobiling or skiing.

A few tips that we hope will help and answered some of your questions.

Today’s Life

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Ten Fun New Year's Facts & Traditions

 

New Year's is approaching, a time when millions of people will celebrate with food, new resolutions or a even kiss as the clock strikes 12. But how much do you know about the holiday? Here are 10 fun facts about New Year’s.

  • The first New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years. Julius Caesar, the emperor of Rome, was the first to declare Jan. 1 a national holiday. He named the month after Janus, the Roman god of doors and gates. Janus had two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. Caesar felt that a month named after this god would be fitting.

  • Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The top resolutions are: to lose weight, get organized, to spend less and save more, to stay fit and healthy, and to quit smoking. While nearly half of all Americans make resolutions, 25 percent of them give up on their resolutions by the second week of January.

  • Be sure to eat leafy greens on New Year’s. Tradition says that the more leafy greens a person eats, the more prosperity he or she will experience (what an incentive for staying healthy!). Tradition also says that legumes bring prosperity because beans and peas look like coins. No wonder why so many people eat black eyed peas on Jan. 1.

  • Many people ring in New Year’s by popping open a bottle of champagne. Americans drink close to 360 million glasses of sparkling wine during this time. The bubbly stuff dates back to the 17th century, when the cork was invented.

  • About 1 million people gather in New York City’s Times Square to watch the ball drop. The Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop came about because of a ban on fireworks. The first ball in 1907 was 700 pounds and was lit with 100 25-watt lights. The current ball puts the old one to shame (thanks to technology). Today, it is covered in 2,688 crystals, is lit by 32,000 LED lights, weighs 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter.

  • Remember the last scene in When Harry Met Sally, when Harry references a song after he and Sally kiss? It wasAuld Lang Syne, a song traditionally sung at the end of New Year’s parties. Poet Robert Burns wrote it in 1788. Though most people do not know the words to Auld Lang Syne, the overall message is that people have to remember their loved ones, dead or alive, and keep them close in their hearts.

  • If Santa is the most common symbol associated with Christmas, then Baby New Year is the symbol most commonly associated with….you guessed it, New Year's! Baby New Year is often seen in a diaper, black top hat, and a sash showing the numbers of the new year. Myth states that he matures into an old man during the year.

  • Make sure to be surrounded by family or loved ones on New Year’s Eve. The first person you come across in the new year could set the tone for the next 12 months. This applies to couples, as well. If a couple celebrating New Year's together does not kiss, the future of the relationship might be splitsville, so be sure to lay one on your significant other.

  • At the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, 10,000 participants step through City Hall and perform in unique costumes. The parade dates back to mid-17th-century, incorporating elements from Irish, German, English, Swedish and other European heritages. The parade itself is divided into five divisions: a comic division, wench brigades, fancy division, string bands, and fancy bridges. If you are in the area for New Year’s, be sure to check out this event.

  • According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day more than any other holiday. Don’t think your old car is safe, either. In 2011, the 1994 Honda Accord was the most stolen car. To discourage car theft, make sure your car is in a populated area and always take your keys.
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"Making A Ginger Bread House With Children" Ideas

 

 

Gingerbread House Tips for Kids - TODAY.com

 

Of all the favorite kitchen-crafty holiday projects, decorating a gingerbread house is second only to baking (and eating!) Christmas cookies. But skip the same old red and green gumdrops this year and check out these adorable (and original) gingerbread house tips. Holiday cheer? We think so!

Today

Minimalist Decorating

Tania McCartney

Forget covering your gingerbread house in mounds of candy. Instead, add elegant details with white icing, like in this creation from blogger Tania McCartney. Indulge your kiddo’s sweet tooth with chocolate nonpareils as adorable roof tiles and dust them with a blanket of sugar snow.
Get the how-to: Tania McCartney

Today

Think Pink

Sweetopia

Our favorite new gingerbread house tip: Use candy in shades of the same color, like this pinkalicious palace from Marian at Sweetopia. She also offers a how-to video and a free printable gingerbread house template to make your project go more smoothly.
Get the how-to:Sweetopia

Today

Cocoa Cottages

Not Martha

Instead of making one big gingerbread house as a family, why not let each kid make his own mini house to perch on a mug of hot cocoa, like these cuties from Not Martha? Keep the decorating simple—and just on the roof —with crushed candy canes, sprinkles and sanding sugar.
Get the how-to: Not Martha

Today

Graham Cracker Classic

One Charming Party

Attempting a decorating party? One Charming Party suggests pre-making the houses with graham crackers instead of gingerbread to save time, and using melted brown sugar as a super-strong edible glue. This way kids can get decorating right away.
Get the how-to: One Charming Party

Today

Advent Calendar

Gingerbread Snowflakes

Counting down to Christmas is extra sweet when you get to pluck a tiny sugar cookie marked with each date off the roof of a cute gingerbread house advent calendar, like this one from Pam at Gingerbread Snowflakes. Feling extra crafty? Bake sugar cookies in the shapes of hearts and people and use to decorate the rest of the house.
Get the how-to: Gingerbread Snowflakes

Today

 

Hanukkah House

Little Bits and Blogs

Sari of Little Bits and Blogs used blue, white and silver candy and icing to make a Hanukkah-themed gingerbread house. We love the little frosting yarmulke on the gingerbread man!
See more: Little Bits and Blogs

Today

Chocolate Lover’s Haven

King Arthur Flour

Cover a gingerbread house in chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Dark squares make perfect bricks while the roof is well-shingled in chocolate drops in this luscious creation from King Arthur Flour. Just keep it cool so all that chocolate doesn't melt.
See more: King Arthur Flour

Today

Fairy Tale Cottage

Sugar Craft

Shredded wheat makes a perfect thatched roof on this quaint cottage from Sugarcraft. Sugar wafer shutters, gingersnap stepping stones and ice cream cone trees complete the fairy-tale scene.
Get the how-to: Sugar Craft

Today

Pioneer Log Cabin

No Me Made

Pretzel sticks give this log cabin from Kim at Cakes and Cookies an appropriately rustic vibe. A chocolate-rock (or jelly bean) chimney completes the look.
See more: No Me Made

Today

Lighten Up

Gingerbread House Haven

Ever wondered how to get the perfect warm and cozy glow in your gingerbread house? Gingerbread House Heaven reveals the secret: windows made from melted butterscotch candies! Just crush the candies, place in the window holes of your cooled gingerbread wall, and bake. (Get the complete how-to here.) LED or Christmas lights inside your house complete the illuminated effect; just figure out where you'll place them before it’s constructed. Yes, this one takes a little more effort, but it's worth it!
Get the how-to: Gingerbread House Haven

 

For More Info Visit: https://www.today.com/parents/gingerbread-house-tips-kids-I551492

 

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7 Fun Fall Activities For Your Toddler or Preschooler

 

 

 

7 Fun Fall Activities For Kids | Play

 

The temperature is dropping, the leaves are changing color, it must be fall!

Welcome autumn with one of these 7 simple crafts or activities and have fun.

1. Hand print Fall Tree Craft

With two different ways to craft, older and younger kids can make their own versions of a colorful fall tree. More >

Two fall hand print crafts.


2. Paper Bag Fall Wreath

A fun fall craft to do together. Make a simple wreath and hang it on your front door to welcome fall. More >

A wreath made from paper bags and plastic flowers.

3. Popcorn Kernel Fall Sensory Bin

A simple sensory bin that teaches basic math concepts with measuring cups and leaves. More >

4. Autumn Apple Stamps

Autumn is apple season. Decorate paper, t-shirts, tea towels or aprons with these easy apple stamps. More >

Half an apple covered in red paint, ready to use as a stamp.

5. Pine Cone Hedgehogs

Find pine cones on a nature walk and transform them into adorable little hedgehogs. More >

6. Easy Acorn Mobile

Collect acorns and create a sweet acorn mobile to enjoy all season long. More >

A mobile made with acorns and a branch.

7. Leaf Window Hanging

Use leaves, flowers and grasses to make an easy fall decoration. More >

A window hanging made from leaves and contact paper.

For more info, visit: https://www.cbc.ca/parents/play/view/7-fun-fall-activities-for-kids

 

 

 

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10 Outdoor Labor Day Activities for Kids

10 Outdoor Labor Day Activities for Kids | Kiwi Crate

Labor Day is the last weekend before September kicks into gear…celebrate with these great summer activities! These active crafts and games are best done outside, which makes them perfect for keeping kids busy while you man the grill. Have a great Labor Day!

Lemonade Stand
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Nothing says summer like a lemonade stand. Grab a big cardboard box and get started!

Painting on the Fence for Toddlers
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Head outside to do some painting with your toddler. It’s fun for them and cleanup is easy: just hose off the fence–and the toddler, too!

Mud Pie Kitchen
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Sometimes, the very best art material is found in your backyard. Collect thrift store finds or old kitchen utensils and make a bakery full of mud pies!

Backyard Car Paint and Wash
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Painting things that don’t normally get painted is so much fun for children. Throw a car wash on top of that and you have some pretty excited kids…and a whole lot of laughs!

Paint with your Feet!
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Sure, kids know all about finger painting. But have they ever painted…with their feet? (This is definitely an outdoor activity!)

Water Balloon Yo-yo
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This activity is sure to bring lots of giggles–and a whole lot of splashing.

Stick Quoits
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Quoits is one of the oldest games. That doesn’t make it any less fun! This version uses ingredients you can find outside. Make and play it at the lake, in the woods…and certainly in your own backyard.

Mini Piñatas
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Kids love to make and break these adorable mini piñatas!

One-of-a-Kind Bubble Bottle
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Kids will have a blast blowing bubbles with this one-of-a-kind bottle.

Shaving Cream Bakery
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Shaving cream play is a great sensory activity for young children. This activity adds a layer of imaginative play that makes it fun for everyone!

 

For more information, visit: https://www.kiwicrate.com/blog/10524/10-outdoor-labor-day-activities-for-kids/

 

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Now Hiring!

Today’s Life Learning Center in Eden Prairie has a few job positions available. Current openings include; an infant teacher assistant, a qualified infant teacher and a qualified pre-K teacher. We are looking for upbeat, positive, friendly, dedicated, and responsible staff who love working with children. We offer competitive wages and benefits. If you or anyone you know are seeking a job in childcare please apply online at this site or call us at 952-358-2020.

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Father's Day Craft Ideas

 

Anyone can buy a tie and call it a Father's Day gift, but this year, why not use the occasion as an opportunity for your kids to stretch their creative muscles, create a one-of-a-kind gift and build self-esteem in the process?

Here are 29 great craft ideas to get you started. They are for a mix of all age groups and are great ways to say "I love you, Dad!"

These are perfect activities for kids to do with their nanny or babysitter too, in the days leading up to Father's Day. So print out multiple copies of the directions and have plenty of craft supplies on hand.

Want to make Dad a card for Father's Day too? Try these 20 Father's Day Cards Kids Can Make.
 

  1. Dad, You're Out of This World Spaceship Craft
    Toddlers will enjoy making this special gift using colorful paper plates, sequins and glue. Make sure you have safety scissors on hand for cutting and consider picking up multiple tubes of colored glue for extra creative, rainbow fun.
     

  2. Father's Day WreathFather's Day wreath 
    You'll need to cut up an old, tailored shirt for this project, plus construct a colorful fabric bowtie. Pop this distinctive wreath on the door as a welcome home for Father's Day, dad's birthday or any special, coming-home occasion.
     

  3. Bicycle Brake Disc Clock
    The perfect clock to grace Dad's garage, office or man cave, you won't believe how easy the step-by-step instructions for this craft are. Kids of any age can become clock-makers, but small children will need help with measuring and gluing.
     

  4. Tie Key Chain
    An elegant, easy craft that requires nothing more than an old tie, scissors, glue and a key ring.
     

  5. Dinosaur PlanterFather's Day dinosaur planter
    Turn an old dinosaur toy into a home for a plant, with this easy idea. Perfect addition to any dad's desk.

     

  6. Awesome Homemade Bookmarks with Tassels
    Adorable bookmarks featuring photos of family members are almost too special to hide within the pages of a book, but Dad will love the surprise of seeing his kid's faces, every time he opens his favorite read.
     

  7. Nuts About Daddy Cashew Treat
    This is a super-easy gift idea that needs nothing more than twine, a printer and a jar of cashews. Substitute Dad's favorite snacking nut or combine flavors like almonds, peanuts, dried cranberries or raisins in a striped design.
     

  8. Remote Control CookiesFather's Day remote control cookies 
    Simple to make and delicious to eat, these TV remote control cookies look like the real thing. Dad won't know if he should use them to change the channel or dunk them in milk.
     

  9. Mustache Mug
    Adorable and easy to make, this is a functional and funny gift for any dad, mustachioed or not. Make sure you use an oven-safe mug.
     

  10. Golf Cover Sock Puppet Buddies
    Sporting a golf-or-go-home sentiment, plus some adorable googly eyes, this is the perfect gift for any dad, uncle or granddad that can't get enough of the links.
     

  11. Sculpey Clay Pens
    Sure to give Dad a smile at the office, these pens, which require low-temperature oven baking, are creative, distinctive and fun to make.
     

  12. Dad Rocks Salt Dough Paperweight Father's Day rocks salt dough paperweight
    A wonderful last-minute craft that kids will really enjoy making, this paperweight requires supplies you most likely have on hand, like salt, flour and water. Send the kids outside to find interesting pebbles to decorate the paperweight with or, try substituting colorful, glass marbles.
     

  13. Father's Day Candy Bouquet
    This easy-to-make candy bouquet is perfect for any dad who has a sweet tooth -- no vase required! Turn this craft into a math lesson by letting kids pick out and pay for the candies they use to make the bouquet.
     

  14. Monogram Mug
    Inexpensive, eco-friendly and dishwasher safe, these monogrammed mugs are functional, distinctive and personal. Put dad's initial on the mug or any other phrase you choose and fill it with his favorite treat, like caramels, peppermints or an assortment of tea bags.
     

  15. DIY Dad Shirt
    Easy as pie (or pancakes), this DIY project only requires iron-on letters and a loving sentiment to become dad's favorite shirt.
     

  16. Father's Day Trophy Father's Day trophy
    These trophies are too cute and are great for kids of every age to make. You can personalize it with whatever craft items you have laying around.

     

  17. " I Love You Because..." Picture Frame
    This adorable keepsake will tug at any dad's heartstrings. Just add heartfelt photos and mementos for a special gift.
     

  18. Custom Cuff Links
    Use Shrinky Dink paper and blank cuff links to create a customized look for Dad. Use family photos or choose pictures of his favorite hobby or profession to create a unique look.
     

  19. Picture Puzzle
    Try this fun take on a puzzle with this easy Popsicle stick craft. It's also a fun activity for kids to do with Dad on Father's Day.
     

  20. Graphic Tie ShirtFather's Day tie shirt
    This idea is great for younger, stylish dads. And it's easy for very young kids to make. All you need is a t-shirt, tape and pen.
     

  21. Monogrammed Painted Hammer
    This practical craft can be tailored to your child's age. Younger kids can finger paint the hammer or use markers to decorate it. Older kids can become creative with more complicated design work. Patience is required for drying time, supplying a great lesson for preschoolers.
     

  22. Candy Bar Letter
    Kids will enjoy making this hilarious gift just as much as Dad will enjoy receiving it. This is a fun gift for siblings to design and create together.
     

  23. Lego Cufflinks Lego Cufflinks
    Use Legos, Scrabble tiles or any other distinctive, daddy-cool collectible you can think of to create this one-of-a-kind, wearable-art.

     

  24. Father's Day Car Kit
    Give Dad a personalized kit of items he can really use on the road, from flashlights to band aids. Iron-on downloaded appliques are all that's required to create this one-of-a-kind, functional gift.
     

  25. Dad, You're a Cut Above the Rest Shaving Kit
    A free craft that relies on a downloaded printables, this shaving kit reminds Dad of your feelings for him every time he shaves.
     

  26. Superhero Comic Book Coasters
    Wondering what to do with those old comic books? Consider using them to make these great coasters for Father's Day. This unique craft project will require Mod Podge and a well-worth-it trip to the hardware store.
     

  27. Daddy: A Son's First Hero, A Daughter's First Love PlaqueFather's Day sign
    This sentimental, print-out plaque requires a 2x10 wooden board, wood stain, furniture tacks and a hammer. It's a great project for teens and tweens or, for younger kids with adult supervision.
     

  28. Easy Fleece iPad Cozy
    Cutting and sewing make this versatile craft project a perfect opportunity for kids to work on their fine motor skills. Pick up some fleece (or other cushy fabric) in Dad's favorite color to sew this iPad cover. It will not only create a distinctive look, but also safeguard his favorite toy from damage.
     

  29. Father's Day Tie
    If an actual tie it must be, go for a homemade beauty like the ones featured in this DIY craft, perfect for those experienced in stitchery or for fledgling sewers with adult supervision.

    Anyone can buy a tie and call it a Father's Day gift, but this year, why not use the occasion as an opportunity for your kids to stretch their creative muscles, create a one-of-a-kind gift and build self-esteem in the process?

    Here are 29 great craft ideas to get you started. They are for a mix of all age groups and are great ways to say "I love you, Dad!"

    These are perfect activities for kids to do with their nanny or babysitter too, in the days leading up to Father's Day. So print out multiple copies of the directions and have plenty of craft supplies on hand.

For more info, visit: httpss://www.care.com/a/29-fathers-day-gifts-kids-can-make-1305280622

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Memorial Day With Kids

 

Celebrate Memorial Day with kids with these activities, printables, and resources honoring those who have sacrificed their lives for America’s freedom.

 

Have a Fun, Great and Safe Memorial Weekend!

 

For more info, visit: http://fun.familyeducation.com/memorial-day/holidays/33548.html

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A Little History About Mother's Day!

 

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day most commonly falls on the second Sunday in May and traditionally involves presenting mothers with flowers, cards and other gifts.

Mother's Day: Historical Precursors

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service. Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.

Did You Know?

More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. These holiday chats with Mom often cause phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent.

Mother's Day: Early Incarnations

The roots of the modern American Mother’s Day date back to the 19th century. In the years before the Civil War (1861-65), Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. These clubs later became a unifying force in a region of the country still divided over the Civil War. In 1868 Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

Another precursor to Mother’s Day came from the abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe. In 1870 Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” a call to action that asked mothers to unite in promoting world peace. In 1873 Howe campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2. Other early Mother’s Day pioneers include Juliet Calhoun Blakely, a temperance activist who inspired a local Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan, in the 1870s. The duo of Mary Towles Sasseen and Frank Hering, meanwhile, both worked to organize a Mothers’ Day in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some have even called Hering “the father of Mothers’ Day.”

Mother's Day: Founding by Anna Jarvis

The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. After gaining financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia.

Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis—who remained unmarried and childless her whole life—resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.

While Jarvis had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She also launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day,” eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

Mother's Day: Celebrations and Traditions

While versions of Mother’s Day are celebrated throughout the world, traditions vary depending on the country. In Thailand, for example, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the current queen, Sirikit. Another alternate observance of Mother’s Day can be found in Ethiopia, where families gather each fall to sing songs and eat a large feast as part of Antrosht, a multi-day celebration honoring motherhood.

In the United States, Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated by presenting mothers and other women with gifts and flowers, and it has become one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending. Families might also celebrate by giving mothers a day off from activities like cooking or other household chores. At times Mother’s Day has also been a date for launching political or feminist causes. In 1968 Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., used Mother’s Day to host a march in support of underprivileged women and children. In the 1970s women’s groups also used the holiday as a time to highlight the need for equal rights and access to childcare.

For more info, visit: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day

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6 Ways Preschoolers Can Celebrate Earth Day

 

 

 

Our earth should be protected so its precious resources can be available to us for many years to come. It is never too early to start teaching children the importance of keeping our planet clean and learning how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. With a little guidance and supervision, kids can get creative helping and celebrating the earth. Just because preschoolers are small doesn't mean they can't help make a difference. After all, little steps can lead to big changes.

  • Decorate a Reusable Tote Bag

    Many people are now turning to reusable bags, found in nearly every grocery store, as an alternative to the traditional paper or plastic. Made of cotton, canvas, polyester, or recycled polypropylene, the totes are machine washable or easy to wipe down with mild soap and a damp cloth. You can also order them from Oriental Trading Company or buy them at local craft stores like Michael's in a variety of colors and styles. Choose a bag and then let your child pick supplies -- acrylic paint, fabric markers or paint pens, rhinestones, stickers, animal or earth-themed rubbers stamps and stencils, etc. -- to decorate it. Be sure to help with the harder parts of decorating, like writing her name or a fun quote about Earth, making sure paint don't stain skin or other surfaces, and handling any type of glue such as a glue gun. Your little one will be proud to use her tote to transport toys or carry lunches and snacks.

    Reuse Materials for Arts and Crafts

    Grab cardboard boxes, shoeboxes, or plastic storage boxes to organize junk mail, old magazines, fabric, ribbons, and extra buttons before they end up in the trash. According to Zerowasteamerica.org, there are more than 13,000 old and active landfills in the United States that contain waste material that cannot be recycled and has nowhere to go until it decomposes -- if it can decompose at all. Transform an empty plastic milk jug into a bird feeder by cutting a hole in the side of the jug and filling the jug with birdseed before hanging on a tree. Create a flowerpot by poking holes in the bottom and cutting the milk jug in half below the handle; decorate it with the miscellaneous materials you already stockpiled. Your child can make multiples of these items and set up a stand in the front yard to sell the recycled crafts (with adult supervision, of course). Together, choose an earth-friendly charity, such as American Forests, World Wildlife Fund, or Rainforest Rescue to donate the profits.

    Plant a Fruit or Vegetable Garden

    Whether in your backyard or at a local garden plot you rent, planting a garden can be fun for any preschooler, especially the ones who like to get dirty. With your child, choose seeds of favorite fruits and vegetables that will grow well in your area to care for through the year. Children will get good exercise; they'll also learn to nurture the environment and that plants can help clean our air and provide healthy nourishment. Jerusha Klemperer, Associate Director of National Programs at Slow Food USA, writes, "Children who learn in and around edible gardens and farms learn firsthand to make connections between food and the environment, food and personal health, and food and community well being." Gardening also teaches responsibility and the importance of caring for the planet.

    Go on an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt

    Make a list of items for your child to collect outdoors, like pinecones, leaves, flowers, rocks, and sticks. Add items like plastic bottles or paper cups. Go on a walk around your neighborhood or to a nearby park. When all the items on the list have been gathered, talk about what role they have and the impact they make on the surrounding environment. For example, sticks are gathered by birds to make nests to live in and flowers have nectar that bees carry back to their hives to make honey. Paper and plastic items, on the other hand, are litter that do not belong in nature and should always be recycled so they don't continue to pollute or harm the environment.

    Pick Up Trash in Your Neighborhood

    Kids are constantly picking up objects even when we don't want them to, so why not encourage them to clean up the earth? Grab a pair of gloves and some trash bags and go to your favorite local park, playground, or beach. Spend a few minutes with your preschooler cleaning and picking up trash. Let your child pick up paper and plastic products, making sure he doesn't pick up anything dangerous, like broken glass or prickly bottle caps, while you handle the serious stuff, like cigarettes and beer bottles. Take time to explain why it is important to keep the earth clean. Tell your child how trash can make animals sick if they mistake it for food or how trash can increase germs and bacteria that aren't good for hygiene and health. You may also want to explain how long certain pieces of trash take longer to decompose, which can take up space on earth. For example, a plastic bag can take at least 10 years to decompose, aluminum cans up to 200 years, and disposable diapers over 500 years!

    Sort and Separate Recyclables

    Many homes today have separate containers for recyclable materials, and some cities even provide recycling bins for bottles and cans, paper products, and yard waste. If you already have bins in place, involve your preschooler in sorting the recyclables. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, "Recycling just 1 ton of aluminum cans conserves more than 207 million Btu, the equivalent of 36 barrels of oil, or 1,665 gallons of gasoline." Take your little one to a local supermarket or a recycling center that has machines for depositing bottles and cans. Some of the self-service recycling machines can make loud noises when they crush the bottles and cans. If this scares your child, let her stick to sorting. Other machines simply require the recyclables to be placed on a small conveyor belt where they are separated to be recycled elsewhere. Make a game out of seeing how many bottles and cans you can recycle, and let your child turn the money you get back into a reward for her efforts. Let her choose something small to buy or bring the money home to save in a piggy bank.

    For more info visit: http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/activities/outdoor/earth-day-activities-preschoolers/#page=8

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Teething: What To Expect

Somewhere between 2 and 12 months (or later), your baby's teeth will make their grand, grumpy entrance. Here's how to read the symptoms of teething along with remedies to ease baby's discomfort.

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When your baby's first tooth shows up, you might be taken by surprise ("Ow! Was that just a bite?"), or you might just finally understand what all those surefire teething signs — drooling, night waking, crabbiness — were pointing to. Every baby experiences teething differently: Some have virtually no symptoms, while other babies experience teething pain for months. Fortunately, there are some signs to watch for as this developmental milestone approaches that can help make teething easier for your baby — and for you.

When Do Babies Start Teething?

Most babies grow their first tooth around 7 months old, although there's a wide variation in timing of teething. For example, some babies grow their first tooth as early as two or three months whereas others don't get one until after their first birthday. Teething symptoms, however, can precede the actual appearance of a tooth by as much as two or three months.

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In What Order Do Teeth Appear?

The most common first teeth are the two in the bottom center, followed by the two in the top center. Then, the pattern goes outward with lateral incisors, which are in the next spot over, followed by the first molars, or the molars closest to the opening of baby's mouth. Then come the canines on either side of the lateral incisors and last are the second molars in the very back. See the American Dental Association's tooth eruption chart.

9 Common Teething Symptoms

Your little one is not likely to understand why he feels so achy, why he keeps waking up in the night with soreness in his mouth or why his chin is so itchy. So here are top teething symptoms to keep an eye out for:

  1. Drooling. It's hard to believe so much fluid can come from the mouths of tiny babes, but teething stimulates drooling, and the waterworks are on for many babies starting from about 10 weeks to three or four months of age. If you find that your baby's shirts are constantly soggy, fasten on a bib to keep her more comfortable (and cleaner), and gently wipe her chin throughout the day to stave off chapping.
  2. Teething rash. If your teething baby is pouring out prodigious amounts of drool, the constant drip may cause chafing, chapping, redness and rashes around her mouth and chin (and even on her neck). Patting away the drool will help prevent the rash. You can also create a moisture barrier with Vaseline or Aquaphor, and moisturize with a gentle unscented skin cream as needed. Have some nipple cream (like Lansinoh) on hand? It's great for protecting tender baby skin, too.
  3. Coughing and/or gag reflex. All that drool can make babies gag and cough (you'd choke too with a mouthful of spit). It's no cause for concern if your baby has no other signs of cold, flu or allergies.
  4. Biting. Pressure from teeth poking through under the gums causes baby a lot of discomfort — and that discomfort can be relieved by counterpressure (aka, biting). Teething babies will gum whatever they can find, from teething rings and rattles to your soon-to-be sore nipples (if you're breastfeeding) and fingers.
  5. Crying. Some babies breeze through teething with nary a whimper, while others suffer from a good deal of pain due to the inflammation of tender gum tissue — which they feel compelled to share with you in the form of whining or crying. First teeth usually hurt the most (as do the molars, because they're just plain bigger), although most babies eventually get used to what teething feels like and aren't quite so bothered later on. Talk to your doctor about when to offer pain relievers like infant acetaminophen.
  6. Irritability. Your baby's mouth will ache as that little tooth presses on the gums and pokes up to the surface, and, not surprisingly, it'll probably make her feel out of sorts. Some babies may be irritable for just a few hours, but others can stay crabby for days or even weeks.
  7. Refusal to feed. Uncomfortable, cranky babies yearn to be soothed by something in their mouths — whether a bottle or the breast. But the suction of nursing may make a teething baby's sore gums feel worse. For that reason, teething babies are fussy about feedings (and get more frustrated as neither their discomfort nor their hungry tummies find relief). Babies eating solid foods may also refuse to eat during teething. Keep at it, and call your pediatrician if the strike lasts more than a few days.
  8. Night waking. The teething fairy doesn't only work days. As your baby's teeth begin to emerge, her discomfort may disrupt her nighttime slumber (even if she previously slept through the night). Before offering comfort, see if she can settle herself back to sleep; if she's still restless, soothe her with patting or lullabies but avoid a return to nighttime feedings (which will come back to haunt you when teething is done).
  9. Ear pulling; cheek rubbing. Teething babies may tug furiously at their ear or rub their cheek or chin. The reason? Gums, ears and cheeks share nerve pathways, and so an ache in the gums (especially from erupting molars) can travel elsewhere. (Babies with ear infections will also yank on their ears, so do check with your pediatrician if you suspect your baby may be bothered by more than just teething.)

The type and severity of these symptoms vary wildly from baby to baby — for one baby, teething means lots of discomfort and big-time tears, while another child might breeze right through to a mouth full of teeth without a complaint.  Still, you can expect to see at least some, and maybe many, of these symptoms (some of which can precede the actual appearance of a tooth by as much as two or three months — so hang in there Mom!).

The 7 Best Teething Remedies

While you can't take on your baby's teething discomfort, you can help take it away with these mom-tested remedies:

  1. Chewing. Teething babies love to chew, and for good reason: The gumming action provides counterpressure, which relieves the aching pressure of new pearly whites pushing up and out into the mouth. Bumpy rubber teething rings, rattles and other teething toys work well (including — your baby has probably figured out — the plastic bumper on a crib rail). Chewing is even more effective when the object is cold and numbs the gums. Keep a supply of teething toys or wet washcloths in the fridge, rather than the freezer — very cold comfort can hurt sensitive gums just as much as an erupting tooth does.
  2. Counterpressure. Your clean finger, teething toys with nubbly edges or a soft, wet toothbrush (no toothpaste) rubbed firmly on baby's gums can provide the same soothing counterpressure. Your baby may balk at first because it seems to hurt initially, but it soon brings relief.
  3. Cold drinks. A bottle of icy cold water can offer chilly relief to achy gums for babies over six months (when water can be introduced), or, if baby doesn't take a bottle, give (ice-free) water in a cup.
  4. Cold food. Like icy food to rest gums on, chilled food to eat, such as yogurt, blended peaches, and applesauce (once they've already been introduced to your baby), can be more appetizing than warm or room-temperature foods, and can ease achy gums. Or give frozen fruits like bananas and plums in a baby feeder mesh bag (so large chunks of gummed-off food can't pose a choking risk), but only under adult supervision and with baby sitting or propped upright.
  5. Pain relief. If chewing, rubbing and sucking chilly foods don't do the trick, break out the baby acetaminophen — but only after checking with your pediatrician.
  6. Comfort. Extra snuggles, extra kisses and lots of patience are what a teething baby wants most.
  7. Avoid numbing agents. Using rubbing alcohol on your baby's gums is a no-go, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against topical numbing agents, which can put children under age 2 at risk for reduced oxygen levels in the blood. The FDA also recommends against any herbal or homeopathic natural teething meds, especially since some contain an ingredient that can cause heart problems and drowsiness.
  8. Avoid amber teething necklaces. They don't work, and they can pose a choking hazard.

What not to worry about: Teething can cause bleeding under the gums, which may look like a bluish lump in baby's mouth. It's nothing to be concerned about and can be relieved with cold counterpressure using a cool wet washcloth. 

While some parents swear that low-grade fever and diarrhea are teething symptoms, doctors are divided on whether that's true. But like inflammation anywhere else in the body, inflamed gums can sometimes produce a low-grade fever. So if your little one does develop a temperature of less than 101 degrees while he's cutting a tooth, it could be caused by inflammation of the gums and is not a cause for concern. If the fever continues for more than three days, or if it’s higher than 101 degrees or accompanied by any other symptoms of illness, call your pediatrician. The same goes for diarrhea, which some parents speculate can be caused by all the extra drool that gets swallowed when a baby is teething. It's nothing to worry about, but if it lasts for more than two bowel movements, give your child's doctor a call.

FOR MORE INFO: http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/teething/

 

 

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Kid's Valentine Craft Ideas

Valentine's Day is a great excuse for a crafty session with the kids - after all there is nothing better than getting a little something made by someone you love! In some parts of the world it is traditional that a child takes a little Valentine card or gift in for every other child in the class, and if this is the case in your neck of the woods we've got lots of suitable ideas below.

Beaded Ornament

Beaded Ornament

This beaded ornament is fun for kids to make for Valentine's Day or Christmas - it looks very pretty hung on a tree or in the window - or you could even make a miniature version as a pendant!

Butterfly Magnet

Butterfly Magnet

This butterfly magnet makes a cute craft for kids for Valentine's Day - perfect for cheering up the front of the fridge!

Coffee Filter Rose

Coffee Filter Rose

Children can try making this pretty coffee filter rose for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day - it's so pretty, who wouldn't be happy to receive it!

Cup And Ball Lovebug

Cup And Ball Lovebug

Kids can make this cup and ball lovebug craft for Valentine's Day or any time they want to make something for someone they love!

Felt Candy Bag

Felt Candy Bag

Here is a cute idea for a Valentine's Day craft to do with your kids.

Felt Heart Decorations

Felt Heart Decorations

Make these beautiful felt heart decorations with your children and have a beautiful Christmas tree decoration to hang every year!

Felt Heart Pillow

Felt Heart Pillow

Children can practise their sewing skills to make this pretty felt heart pillow - then decorate it with odds and ends to make it really special.

Felt Needle Case

Felt Needle Case

The needle case in the photo has been created for Valentine's Day, but you could obviously adapt this craft for other times of the year.

Glitter Glue Window Display

Glitter Glue Window Display

This craft can of course be adapted for all sorts of holidays and events, but we've done it here for Valentine's Day.

Handprint Heart

Handprint Heart

If your child prints a handprint heart, it will be yours forever! These make a super quick craft activity for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day and a lovely keepsake, too.

Heart Boxes

Heart Boxes

We used papier mache heart-shaped boxes from the craft store and decorated them for Valentine's Day - an easy valentines craft for kids!

Heart Flower

Heart Flower

This heart flower makes a quick and easy Valentine's Day craft activity for kids.

Heart Fridge Magnet

Heart Fridge Magnet

Here's a handmade kids craft which anyone would be proud to display on their fridge - perfect for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day.

Heart Man

Heart Man

This little heart man is a super quick craft for kids at Valentine's Day - fun as a magnet for the fridge, a badge, the front of a card, a key ring - or just to give as he is.

Heart Mask

Heart Mask

This Heart mask is perfect for kids to make and wear on Valentine's Day. Start by cutting a pointed heart shape out of card.

Heart Photo Frame

Heart Photo Frame

This heart photo frame is a pretty way to display a favourite photo for your Valentine!

Heart Plaque Key Ring

Heart Plaque Key Ring

Here's a sweet craft for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day which the kids will enjoy - and it looks very pretty!

Heart Plaque Necklace

Heart Plaque Necklace

This pretty necklace, with a heart plaque made from polymer clay, would be a fun craft activity for Valentines Day, Mother's Day - or anytime!

Heart Template Card

Heart Template Card or Picture

This simple idea is great fun for the kids, and of course can be adapated using all sorts of templates. How about a Christmas tree, a flower, a simple butterfly or a summer sun?

Homemade Heart Bead Necklace

Homemade Heart Bead Necklace

Here's a pretty Homemade Heart Bead Necklace using polymer clay that kids will enjoy making for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day - or themselves!

Ladybug Magnet

Ladybug Magnet

This cute ladybug magnet is perfect as a little gift on Valentine's Day, but can be used for Mother's Day or other occasions.

Love Bracelets

Love Bracelets

Quick and simple to make, these little Love Bracelets make great Valentine's Day gifts for friends, family and sweethearts!

Love Wreath

Love Wreath

Make this "love wreath" for Valentine's Day so that your child can spend some time thinking about all the people (and things) that they love.

Lovebird Craft

Lovebird Craft

This pretty lovebird craft is great for Valentine's Day. Try it as a class or group project and fill your classroom with gorgeous lovebirds!

Lovebug Card

Lovebug Card

Make this cute "lovebug card" out of many different sized heart shapes - fun for kids of all ages.

Lovebug Craft

Lovebug Craft

Children will enjoy making this cute little lovebug for Valentine's Day - it's perfect to give to friends and family!

Lovebug Lollipop

Lovebug Lollipop

This lovebug lollipop is a perfect little Valentine gift for children to give to classmates or friends on Valentine's Day.

Lovespoon Crafts

Lovespoon Crafts

The giving of lovespoons dates back to the 17th Century. Traditionally, they we given by young men to young ladies in the hope that they would lead to courtship or engagement.

Loveworm Bookmark

Loveworm Bookmark

Make this loveworm bookmark craft for kids for Valentine's Day - he's cute, quick and fun and makes a sweet gift!

Marble Heart Card

The finished card is so pretty, I wish our photos did it justice!

Marbled Heart

Marbled Heart

Sam enjoyed watching the paint colours run together when we were doing this Valentines craft. It was a bonus when we discovered the heart looked pretty in the window as a suncatcher!

Marbled Heart Plate

Marbled Heart Plate

We've tried an unusual technique for this plate which made the design rather exciting! Of course you could adapt this for all sorts of events and use different shapes and pictures.

Origami Heart

Origami Heart

An origami heart is fun to make all year round, but of course it is perfect for Valentine's Day too!

Paper Heart Pillow

Paper Heart Pillow

Little kids will have fun making and painting this paper heart pillow. All you need is some newspaper and lots of paint!

Pipe Cleaner Hearts

Pipe Cleaner Hearts

These pipe cleaner hearts are a simple little craft for kids for Valentine's Day, but they are fun to make and very effective. A good craft for all ages.

Puffy Paint Heart

Puffy Paint Heart

Puffy paint is always a fun activity, especially when you mix it up yourself! And a heart is a simple shape for all children to manage.

Ribbon Heart Key Ring

Ribbon Heart Key Ring

This makes a cute gift for kids to make for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day - or just for themselves! It looks pretty hanging on a pencil case or satchel.

Rubber Stamped Photo Frame

Rubber Stamped Photo Frame

This quick and easy clay photo frame is incredibly effective, and children will enjoy experimenting with the patterns they can make.

Suncatcher Heart

Suncatcher Heart

This suncatcher heart looks very pretty displayed in a sunny window! This is a good craft for little children.

Suncatcher Heart 2

Suncatcher Heart 2

Here's a pretty suncatcher heart to display in your window for Valentine's Day. Children will enjoy tearing the tissue paper and creating their design.

Sweetheart Collage

Sweetheart Collage

This is such a simple Valentine craft idea, but effective! Little children especially love scrunching up tissue paper, and even the youngest can get involved.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Tissue Paper Flowers

With this tissue paper flowers craft idea, kids of all ages can produce a stunning bouquet of very pretty flowers quickly and easily!

Tissue Paper Rose

Tissue Paper Rose

Children will enjoy making this tissue paper rose, which makes a sweet little home-made gift for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day or a pretty craft for a summer theme.

Twirly Heart Mobile

Twirly Heart Mobile

This twirly heart mobile is made from card with some simple cutting techniques. It looks very pretty and effective when hung in a breezy spot!

Valentine Bag

Valentine Bag

Here's a really special recycling and sewing craft that results in a really special gift. We've themed ours for Valentine's Day but of course you could adapt this in many ways.

Valentine Card Box

Valentine Card Box

This Valentine Card Box is fun for kids to make - and it will be a very useful storage place for the many Valentine's Day cards they will receive!

Valentine Card Collection Box

Valentine Card Collection Box

This is an easy craft for kids of all ages using supplies that you will have lying around your house. Of course you can adapt it to suit what you have at hand.

Valentine Crown

Valentine Crown

Here is a quick and simple Valentine craft which can be adapted to suit the materials you have to hand and the ages of the children.

Valentine Fan Craft

Valentine Fan Craft

Our Valentine Fan is a fun idea for Valentine's Day - and it's quick and easy to make, too!

Valentine Holder

Valentine Holder

The Valentine Holder in the photo has been created for Valentine's Day, but you could obviously adapt this craft for other times of the year - perhaps for favourite birthday cards?

Valentine Mobile

Valentine Mobile

This pretty mobile is made by recycling a kitchen roll or loo rolls. It looks so pretty hanging in the window!

Valentine Shaker Bottles

Valentine Shaker Bottles

Children love to make these Valentine shaker bottles! They make a fun, inexpensive and easy group activity for a Valentine's Day party too!

Valentine Straw

Valentine Straw

Dress up your Valentine's Day with these fun Valentine drinking straws!

Valentine's Day Placemat

Valentine's Day Placemat

Your children can weave this Valentine's Day placemat in pretty colours to decorate the table on Valentine's Day.

Woven Heart Craft

Woven Heart Craft

This pretty woven heart craft is a little tricky to master but very effective - and once you've made one, you'll want to try more!

 

FOR MORE INFO VISIT: https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/valentines-day-crafts

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Now Hiring! Infant Teacher: Full-Time

 

We are currently hiring for an infant teacher ( For our newborns thru 8 months) to join our team as enrollment has reached full potential.

Roles and Responsibilities:

- Responsible in teaching in the daily planning and implementation of the Today's Life balanced curriculum while keeping the room structured
- Ensure that children are actively engaged in a safe, clean, controlled, stimulating and organized environment
- Actively develop and maintain positive relationships with families, children and co-workers
- Adherence to MN Licensing rules and regulations
- Knowledge of the social, emotional, intellectual and creative needs of the children
- Ability to provide the highest quality of Early Childhood Education while following Developmentally Appropriate Practice at all times

Requirements or Qualifications :

- Must meet the requirements for qualified Teacher as outlined by MN Licensing Department Rule 9503: qualified 24 quarter credits or AA/AS degree or Early Childhood Certification or CDA
- Have a passion for children and education
- Ability to be flexible in work assignments and hours if and when needed
- Stability in past employment
- Previous experience as a lead teacher helpful
- Clean, articulate and well maintained professional appearance
- Ability to lift up to 30 lbs

We offer benefits.

Fill out application online, call or email

Local candidates only:

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41 Thanksgiving Crafts Kids Can Make

 

When the Halloween parties are over and the weeks between then and Thanksgiving fly by, we all start to feel busy with the rush of the holidays. Amidst all of the planning and the cooking for your Thanksgiving dinner, you still need to find time to keep your little ones entertained and occupied. From crafts to keep the kids amused during Thanksgiving dinner to festive crafts that teach them about the giving season, we've got you covered.

Here are 41 Thanksgiving crafts that your kids can make this season, some that are perfect as decorations and others that become great toys and activities for the whole family. So pick and choose your favorite and celebrate Thanksgiving with the entire family.

  1. Mayflower Hand Print
    Great for kids of all ages, this memorable Mayflower hand print can be framed or kept in a memory box for you to remember for years to come.

  2. Thanksgiving Turkey Bowling
    If you're looking for a craft that will keep the kids busy even after it's made, try out these turkey bowling pins and let the little ones loose for a great Thanksgiving game.

  3. Paper Bag Turkey
    Perfect for the kid's table centerpiece, help your little ones make this fun paper bag turkey and fill it up with their favorite snack.

  4. Feather Headband
    This adorable feather headband is great for older kids to make for themselves and their little siblings to wear. You'll have a pow wow in your own home with this cute craft.

  5. Paper Plate Turkey
    If you kids didn't get the chance to make this popular Thanksgiving craft at school, don't let them miss out and follow this step-by-step tutorial.

  6. Feather Pens
    Inspired by nature and easy to make, feather pens are great to make in spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, so get creative with this beautiful craft.

  7. Paper Pumpkins
    Easy and inexpensive, paper pumpkins are great for all ages and look wonderful as fall decorations in your home.

  8. Pumpkin Paintings
    These easy-to-make pumpkin paintings are perfect for kids of all ages and require only a few supplies. They also make very little mess.

  9. Thanksgiving Tree
    Give thanks with your whole family and create a thanks and giving tree that you can display in your living room and add onto all season.

  10. Gratitude Mobile
    Thanksgiving is about showing your gratitude to the ones your care about, so in light of this thankful time of year, help your kids make a thoughtful Thanksgiving mobile.

  11. Fall Leaf Napkin Tags
    The perfect touch to a beautiful Thanksgiving spread, have your kids help make these fall leaf napkin tags out of modeling clay and paint.

  12. Indian Vest
    Halloween isn't the only time you can dress up in costume and this Indian vest is perfect for a Thanksgiving feast with little Pilgrims and Indians.

  13. Thanksgiving Teepee Cupcakes
    A tasty Thanksgiving treat that requires nothing more than a box of cake, ice cream cones and pretzels.

  14. Baby's First Thanksgiving Card
    To celebrate your baby's first Thanksgiving, stamp their little hand and create a cute turkey that's perfect as a card to send to family or as a keepsake in their baby book.

  15. Salt Dough Turkeys
    Perfect for a day indoors and easy to make in the kitchen, your kids will love to craft this adorable Thanksgiving turkey out of salt dough.

  16. Hand Print Turkey Keepsake
    For a thoughtful Thanksgiving keepsake from your little ones, help them make a hand print turkey this year that's great for little hands.

  17. Pilgrim Hat Cookies
    For a delicious treat for your dinner guests, try out these chocolaty Pilgrim hat cookies that everyone will love.

  18. Mayflower Gratitude Boat
    Sail the high seas and channel Christopher Columbus with a Mayflower replica that brings gifts and thanks to your Thanksgiving holiday.

  19. Autumn Fingerprint Tree
    Finger painting never fails to entertain the kids, so why not have them create an autumn tree that you can display every year.

  20. Paper Pilgrim Hat
    Sure to get the kids into the Thanksgiving spirit, these paper Pilgrims hats will look adorable on at your turkey dinner.

  21. Corn on the Cob Pencil Holder
    This pencil holder serves two purposes, one is to keep the kids creative with a fun craft and two is to keep the kids entertained during a long Thanksgiving dinner with colored pencils for their coloring books.

  22. Advent Turkey Calendar
    With some felt and a few googly eyes, you can make a festive Turkey Tom advent calendar this season. And use a skinny dowel in the fabric to keep your calendar lying flat against the wall.

  23. Gratitude Rolls
    Surprise your dinner guests with a little note of thanks inside their dinner roll. Grab some pre-made croissants or rolls to make things easier.

  24. Indian Corn Magnets
    Work on your kids' fine motor skills with this beaded Indian corn magnet craft that will look great on your fridge during the fall months.

  25. Pumpkin Turkey Centerpiece
    If you bought your pumpkins late this year, use them for a Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece and turn your squash into a turkey.

  26. Turkey Vase
    Great for young or older kids, this mod podge vase only requires an old soda bottle, tissue paper and glue and your little turkey will create a masterpiece to be proud of.

  27. Pom Pom Turkeys
    For an adorable Thanksgiving craft your kids will love to make and love to play with even more, try your hand at these easy-to-make pom pom turkeys.

  28. Be Thankful Garland
    Hang this beautiful Thanksgiving garland across your favorite window and display your kids' thankful craft in celebration of the holiday.

  29. Turkey Spoon
    Great for young kids, this simple craft takes an old wooden spoon and transforms it into a happy turkey that you can use as a puppet or even a centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner.

  30. Cereal Box Scarecrow
    All you need is a cereal box, a bundle of straw and paint and you've got a cheeky scarecrow perfect for an indoor Thanksgiving decoration.

  31. Indian Corn
    Show your kids how the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to grow corn with these handmade Indian corn cobs.

  32. Stuffed Glove Turkeys
    Give the kids a chance to stuff their own turkeys with this gloved turkey craft and watch them make a new fluffy friend to add to their toy collection.

  33. Play dough Turkey
    For your little ones that love their play dough, this easy-to-make feathered turkey is a great craft to make in celebration of Thanksgiving.

  34. Veggie Pizza Leaves
    The perfect healthy snack, a veggie pizza leaf filled with broccoli, peppers and carrots is the best way for the whole family to eat light this Thanksgiving season.

  35. Play Salad
    Help your kids find their inner chef and make a play salad out of craft foam and sponges. Pair this with the paper turkey and you'll have a Thanksgiving dinner that's great for the kid's table.

  36. Geometrical Turkey
    For an easy craft for your toddler, gather some construction paper, glue and a few googly eyes and help your little ones make a geometrical turkey.

  37. Thankful Heart Turkey
    Teach your kids to be thankful with a thankful heart turkey where they can write who or what they are grateful for this year.

  38. 10 Fat Turkeys Puppet
    Your little ones will enjoy helping you make this adorable turkey puppet, but they'll love to see the finished product of 10 fat turkeys in a row.

  39. Indian Corn Cupcakes
    Let the little ones help out with the Thanksgiving dinner preparations and have them make these cute corn cupcakes out of M&Ms and icing.

  40. Pine Cone Turkeys
    An adorable addition to your Thanksgiving decorations and easy to make with just a few supplies and pine cones from your back yard.

  41. Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
    Make your own pumpkin play dough with items you can find in your pantry and let your little one make little pumpkin pie shapes with cookie cutters.

 

 

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Healthy Eating Habits for Your Child

 

 

By teaching your children healthy eating habits, and modeling these behaviors in yourself, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Also, the eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.

Your child's health care provider can evaluate your child's weight and growth and let you know if your child needs to lose or gain weight or if any dietary changes need to be made.

Some of the most important aspects of healthy eating are portion control and cutting down on how much fat your child eats. Simple ways to reduce fat intake in your child's diet and promote a healthy weight include serving:

  • Low-fat or nonfat dairy products
  • Poultry without skin
  • Lean cuts of meats
  • Whole grain breads and cereals
  • Healthy snacks such as fruit and veggies

Also, reduce the amount of sugar sweetened drinks and salt in your child's diet.

If you are unsure about how to select and prepare a variety of foods for your family, consult a registered dietitian for nutrition counseling.

It is important that you do not place your overweight child(ren) on a restrictive diet. Children should never be placed on a restrictive diet to lose weight unless a doctor supervises one for medical reasons.

Other approaches parents can take to develop healthy eating habits in their children include:

  • Guide your family's choices rather than dictate foods. Make a wide variety of healthful foods available in the house. This practice will help your children learn how to make healthy food choices. Leave the unhealthy choices like chips, soda, and juice at the grocery store. Serve water with meals.
  • Encourage your children to eat slowly. A child can detect hunger and fullness better when they eat slowly. Before offering a second helping or serving, ask your child to wait at least 15 minutes to see if they are truly still hungry. This will give the brain time to register fullness. Also, that second helping should be much smaller than the first.
  • Eat meals together as a family as often as possible. Try to make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing, not a time for scolding or arguing. If mealtimes are unpleasant, children may try to eat faster to leave the table as soon as possible. They then may learn to associate eating with stress.
  • Involve your children in food shopping and preparing meals. These activities will give you hints about your children's food preferences, an opportunity to teach your children about nutrition, and provide your kids with a feeling of accomplishment. In addition, children may be more willing to eat or try foods that they help prepare.
  • Plan for snacks. Continuous snacking may lead to overeating, but snacks that are planned at specific times during the day can be part of a nutritious diet, without spoiling a child's appetite at meal times. You should make snacks as nutritious as possible, without depriving your children of occasional chips or cookies, especially at parties or other social events.
  • Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV. Try to eat only in designated areas of your home, such as the dining room or kitchen. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness, and may lead to overeating.
  • Encourage your children to drink more water. Over consumption of sweetened drinks and sodas has been linked to increased rates of obesity in children.
  • Try not to use food to punish or reward your children. Withholding food as a punishment may lead children to worry that they will not get enough food. For example, sending children to bed without any dinner may cause them to worry that they will go hungry. As a result, children may try to eat whenever they get a chance. Similarly, when foods, such as sweets, are used as a reward, children may assume that these foods are better or more valuable than other foods. For example, telling children that they will get dessert if they eat all of their vegetables sends the wrong message about vegetables.
  • Make sure your children's meals outside the home are balanced. Find out more about their school lunch program, or pack their lunch to include a variety of foods. Also, select healthier items when dining at restaurants.
  • Pay attention to portion size and ingredients. Read food labels and limit foods with trans fat. Also, make sure you serve the appropriate portion as indicated on the label.
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Understanding Your Child's Development

 

Children are amazing . . . growing and changing every day.

As parents, we experience many joys (and sometimes frustrations!) with our child's rapidly changing behaviors, skills, and feelings.

One way to better understand your child is to know more about child development. With advances in brain science, we are learning more about how a child develops and the importance of good early experiences.

The more you know, the more you can help your child. 

Helpful Websites

Minnesota Parents Know
Parenting information, resources, and activities to help your child grow, develop, and learn from birth to high school

Zero to Three
Information to support the health and development of infants and toddlers

Minnesota Business for Early Learning
Help your child prepare for kindergarten

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