7 Tips for Traveling Well With Kids

7 Tips for Traveling with kids

Can it be? Summer is winding down! Mid-August means shopping for school clothes and supplies.

But there are still plenty of families who will be taking trips…whether by car, plane, train or bus.

I’m guest posting on Sarah Forrest’s ‘Easy Read System’ blog with some great travel tips for parents.

I hope you’ll stop, read and share:

http://www.easyreadsystem.com/news/7-tips-for-traveling-well-with-kids/

At the end of September (if all goes smoothly), my husband and I will be grabbing a flight to New Hampshire to start a new adventure…sharing a house with our daughter and grandson! For the past few weeks, I’ve been going through cabinets, closets and drawers, trying to weed out what we don’t need to take with us. When the moving company estimator came, he couldn’t believe how many books we had! No surprise there, I guess.

 

Sunday Post: Silence…Should Children Be Seen and Not Heard?

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is SILENCE.

 

I’ve only “heard” true silence twice in my life…twenty-five years ago while parasailing and last year while skydiving.  Silence…the absence of sound or communication…is sometimes helpful when one needs to collect one’s thoughts or ponder an important decision.

But should we apply this to our parenting approach…following the old proverb that says…children should be seen and not heard?

I don’t recommend it.

Why not?

 

Children need opportunities to tell us what they think and feel.

 

Children need time to interact with their peers.

 

Children need to form strong friendships in those early years in order to develop healthy relationships later in life.

These activities don’t call for silence…they call for open and honest communication.

What activities do you have planned for your kids this summer?  Summer is a perfect time to read picture books to young children!  Children who are read to at an early age are more successful in school.  I’ll be posting an A-Z list of some of the best in my next post.

For great story suggestions and quick and easy activities for kids, you might want a copy of Show Me How!

 

Are you wondering if the book really works?  Check out these recent reviews: http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/show-me-how/

http://creatingcuriouskids.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/summer-fun-shortcut-show-me-how/

 

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post:

http://p0nky.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/sunday-post-silence/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/what-does-a-mixed-garden-of-prompts-grow/

http://northernnarratives.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/sunday-post-silence-2/

http://jullianeford.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/sunday-post-silence/

http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/sunday-post-silence/

http://tostir.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/sunday-post-silence/

http://jmeyersforeman.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/3307/

Sibling Rivalry and Prayers for Those Impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire

Two Sisters

Two Sisters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Mommeeeeee….Rachel pushed me!”   “Mommeeeee…Brandon took that toy and I had it first!” 

If you grew up with brothers and/or sisters, the above scenarios probably sound familiar.

If you have more than one child now, you have probably heard similar complaints in your own home.

Sibling rivalry seems to be inevitable, but is it ALL bad?

And what, if anything, can parents do to ease the tension and reduce the conflicts between their kids?

Last year, the University of Cambridge did a study that showed that siblings can have a positive effect on a child’s early development of social understanding (the awareness of others thoughts and feelings) even when there is some discord such as arguing or teasing.  The communication between siblings helps them learn to express their feelings and emotions.  It is important for parents with only children to make sure they are providing their child with many opportunities for conversation about thoughts and feelings.

Sustained or continuous sibling rivalry, however, can result in behavioral problems and relationship building issues later in life.

With summer here and kids at home, here are some simple steps parents can take to create a more peaceful and positive atmosphere:

  • Plan family activities that are fun for everyone.
  • Make sure each child has his or her own space.
  • Encourage cooperation, not competition…when picking up toys; have the children race the clock, not each other.
  • Teach conflict resolution.
  • Don’t play favorites or compare siblings.
  • Make sure your kids are not hungry or tired or bored.
  • Plan family time such as eating meals together.
  • Teach positive ways to get attention from each other and from parents.
  • Set aside along time with each child.
  • Don’t take sides.
  • Teach kids to compromise and respect one another.
  • Encourage children to express their feeling and find words for them.
  • Be a good role model.

Picture books are a wonderful tool to use as well.  If you are looking for a great picture book that addresses this problem, there are several to choose from:

Queen of the World by Thomas Yezerski

I Love You Purplest by Barbara Joosees

Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick by Kevin Henkes

And one of my favorites:

The Day No One Played Together by Donalisa Helsley.

The Day No One Played Together: A Lesson About Compromise, is a beautifully illustrated (by the talented Sarah Harkey) story of two sisters who want to play together.  However, each wants the other to play HER game.  When the sisters come to a stalemate, their mom steps in with a suggestion: COMPROMISE.  The girls begin to brainstorm many ideas of how they can incorporate what each wants to do so that they can play together.  They happily solve their problem and the book ends with the sisters spending the rest of the day playing with each other.  Parents…read this story with your children…help them apply the concept of compromise next time there is an argument…and enjoy the peace and harmony.

On the last page of the book, Ms. Helsley provides a simple definition of some of the words in the story that young children might be hearing for the first time.  I love this feature of the book…we should always encourage children to understand what they are reading or hearing…this helps build their vocabulary…one of the most important components of literacy. 

You can find out more about this great children’s author by visiting her website: www.wildaboutreading.net  She has a new book out, I Love You Better Than Chocolate Chip Cookies.

To contact her: wildaboutreading@ymail.com

The book is available for purchase on Amazon, B&N.com, Goodreads and the author’s website.  

Take advantage of the more laid back pace of summer and provide your children with fun-filled moments they will remember forever.  Spend time reading with them and doing other activities.  If you are looking for great book suggestions and quick and easy activities, please check out my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.

Life has been turned upside down, here in Colorado Springs.  The past week has brought devastation and terror to many residents as the Waldo Canyon Fire raged…fueled by record heat and an exceptionally dry winter and spring.  Over 300 homes were destroyed on Tuesday night…consumed by the hungry flames before our eyes as we watched television coverage in shock and horror.  The fires are still burning…and the impact will be felt for years to come.  Please join me in praying for the brave firefighters and others who are still battling the fire…and for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.

Sunday Post: Village…It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is VILLAGE.

 

According to the dictionary, a village is a clustered human settlement or community.  The small photo above shows some of the buildings on Star Island, part of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of Maine.  During the summer, weekly Christian conferences are held, and the island is filled with people seeking a respite from the hectic pace of city life.  During their time there, children become part of the wider community.  The saying, it takes a village to raise a child, originally an African proverb…Ora na azu nwa…and later the title of a book by Hillary Rodham Clinton, becomes a reality.

Although it certainly does help to have the assistance of others, the primary responsibility for raising a child falls to the parents.  Food, shelter, love, early education, rules, discipline, values…these are the basics that every parent is expected to provide. 

One of the most important things a parent needs to insure is that the child is living in a safe environment.  Summer is here and the temperature rises.  But before you open those windows, please check these window safety tips.   Did you know that over 4000 children are injured and wind up in the emergency room every year and about a dozen die from window falls?

According to Pediatrics.about.com, to keep your children safe, in addition to close supervision, you should also:

  • not allow your children to play around windows, even if they are closed, since they can be hurt if they fall through the glass of a closed window
  • not rely on screens to keep your kids from falling
  • consider installing landscaping under windows that might cushion a fall
  • install windows that can open from the top, instead of the bottom, if possible
  • keep furniture away from windows, so that your children aren’t tempted to climb on them
  • teach your children about window
  • planning safety

Keeping young kids happy, engaged and busy during the summer months can be a challenge.  Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is a one-stop guide and activity book.  Using it this summer will help prepare the younger ones for preschool and kindergarten…six and seven year olds will love the craft projects and cooking activities and may be able to read some of the stories themselves…this will help to prevent the academic slide that often occurs during the summer months.  Grab a copy at only $19.95 (over 50% off the cover price) for yourself, a family member, neighbor or church summer school.  Lined sections on every other page provide a place for notes or comments…the book can become a journal of your child’s progress and activities throughout the summer. 

 

Are you wondering if the book really works?  Check out these recent reviews: http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/show-me-how/

http://creatingcuriouskids.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/summer-fun-shortcut-show-me-how/

http://yourfamilybookclub.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/book-review-show-me-how-build-tour-childs-self-esteem-through-reading-crafting-and-cooking-by-vivian-kirkfield/

By the way, this is my 299th post!  I started blogging almost two years ago.  As a novice, I knew nothing about anything blogging.  When I look at the posts I did in the fall of 2010, I realize how much I’ve learned.  My next post will be #300…I’ll have to think of doing something special to celebrate…any ideas?

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post:

http://scrapydo.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/sunday-post-village/

Summer Fun Shortcut: SHOW ME HOW!

Summer Fun Shortcut: SHOW ME HOW!.

Author, educator and mom Kirsten Larson, over at Creating Curious Kids, just posted a review of Show Me How!  What’s really great is that several of the activities recommended in the book were kid-tested by her two sons…way to go, Finley and Cooper!

My sincere thanks to Kirsten…what an amazing review!  Please stop over and read it…you’ll love her blog!

Sunday Post: Water…and Some Summer Water Safety Tips for Parents

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is WATER.

 

WATER: provides a wonderful intergenerational recreational opportunity.

 

WATER: gives parents a chance to help kids master skills and develop an appreciation for preserving nature and the environment.

 

WATER: Kids and water go together like peanut butter and jelly…it’s cooling, refreshing and so much fun!

With the official start of summer only several days away, kids will be home and enjoying many water-related activities.  Water is one of the most ominous hazards your child will encounter because young children can drown in only a few inches of water, even if they’ve had swimming instruction. 

 Here are few important water safety tips to keep in mind from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Be aware of small bodies of water your child might encounter, such as bathtubs, fishponds, ditches, fountains, rain barrels, even the bucket you use when you wash the car. Empty containers of water when you’re done using them.
  • Children who are swimming—even in a shallow toddler’s pool—always should be watched by an adult, preferably one who knows CPR. The adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision” whenever infants, toddlers, or young children are in or around water. Empty and put away inflatable pools after each play session.
  • Enforce safety rules: No running near the pool and no pushing others underwater.
  • Don’t allow your child to use inflatable toys or mattresses in place of a life jacket. These toys may deflate suddenly, or your child may slip off them into water that is too deep for him.
  • Be sure the deep and shallow ends of any pool your child swims in are clearly marked. Never allow your child to dive into the shallow end.
  • Backyard swimming pools, (including large, inflatable above-ground pools), should be completely surrounded with at least a 4-foot (1.2 meters) high fence that completely separates the pool from the house. The fence should have a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens away from the pool, with the latch at least 54 inches high. Check the gate frequently to be sure it is in good working order. Keep the gate closed and locked at all times. Be sure your child cannot manipulate the lock or climb the fence. No opening under the fence or between uprights should be more than 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Keep toys out of the pool area when not in use so that children are not tempted to try to get through the fence.
  • If your pool has a cover, remove it completely before swimming. Also, never allow your child to walk on the pool cover; water may have accumulated on it, making it as dangerous as the pool itself. Your child also could fall through and become trapped underneath. Do not use a pool cover in place of a four-sided fence because it is not likely to be used appropriately and consistently.
  • Keep a safety ring with a rope beside the pool at all times. If possible, have a phone in the pool area with emergency numbers clearly marked.
  • Spas and hot tubs are dangerous for young children, who can easily drown or become overheated in them. Don’t allow young children to use these facilities.
  • Your child should always wear a life jacket when he swims or rides in a boat. A life jacket fits properly if you can’t lift it off over your child’s head after he’s been fastened into it. For the child under age five, particularly the non swimmer, it also should have a flotation collar to keep the head upright and the face out of the water.
  • Adults should not drink alcohol when they are swimming. It presents a danger for them as well as for any children they might be supervising.
  • Be sure to eliminate distractions while children are in the water. Talking on the phone, working on the computer, and other tasks need to wait until children are out of the water. 

 

Children love to mimic the behavior of their parents…use this to your benefit and always follow good water safety rules yourself and your children will naturally copy you.

I hope parents (and others who know people with young kids) will check out my book for great summertime activities that the whole family will enjoy!  Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is a treasure-trove of classic picture book suggestions, quick and easy eco-friendly arts and crafts projects and simple healthful child-friendly recipes that will make planning for the summer a snap!  Check out this recent review from Tom at Your Family Book Club.  His library in Katona, Iowa is receiving a copy of Show Me How!  The book is available on my website or on Amazon.

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post:

http://p0nky.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/sunday-post-water-sunset-in-water/

http://jmeyersforeman.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/3183/

http://northernnarratives.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/sunday-post-water/

http://myphotoyear2012.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/9th-june-2012-sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://alicethroughthemacrolens.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://firstandfabulous.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://motherwifestudentworker.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/weekly-sunday-post-water/

http://catbirdphotography.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://abusymom.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://jayjaysfavorites.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/waterdragon-weekly-sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://justfletcher.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://50yearproject.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water/

http://blueberriejournal.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/water/

http://rondomtaliedraai.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://pollysspace.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-h2o/

http://africatoalgarve.blogspot.pt/2012/06/water.html

http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water/

http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://tostir.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water/

Help Kids Who Are Anxious About Moving and Keep Learning Alive During the Summer

 Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children. 

As usual, I have two or three items I need to mention first:

1.      The copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking that are being donated to libraries across the country were mailed out earlier this week.  Four went to Florida, three to California, two to Maine and Illinois and one each to New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  At least ten of the people who nominated their libraries were sent an additional review copy of Show Me How! .   Many thanks to all of you…I really appreciate your willingness to read through the book and review it!!!I’ll let you know when the reviews will be up on their blogs.

2.      The teacher-training program I did last Friday for the staff of our local Boys and Girls Club at their annual Youth Development Conference (Building Self-Esteem…One Picture Book at a Time), went really well.  One of the staffers shared his experience of falling away from reading at about age eight or nine and not returning to it for pleasure until his twenties.  He asked what advice I would give to teachers and parents who are trying to address this issue with kids, especially boys.  I suggested a couple of things:

  • Be seen reading by your kids
  • Encourage and help kids to find books that address their interests or passions
  • Try the “Passport Project”.  This is a great summer activity.  Make a “passport” from construction paper and talk about local “hotspots” you can all visit.  Each page of the passport book will be devoted to one of those places…zoo, museum, art gallery, national park, landmark or forest, factory (take a tour), etc.  After the visit, kids can write a short story and draw an illustration (or paste in a photo).  Parent or teacher can stamp each page (like a visa stamp) and when the book is completed, a special treat or prize is awarded (bowling, dinner at a fancy restaurant, new clothes).

If you have some good suggestions, please do share.  The summer is almost upon us and I know it is difficult to keep kids in a learning mode…but it is important to continue some of the educational activities and routines…otherwise they take two steps back during the summer.

And now to our Perfect Picture Book Friday selection!

Friendships are very important to kids.  Studies done recently indicate that kindergarten children (especially boys) benefit from close positive relationships with other children their own age.   Parents can help by arranging supervised playdates and by attending library story-times and other community programs where young children have the opportunity to socially interact.

Moving disrupts those important friendships and most children are not enthusiastic about moving to a new neighborhood and attending a new school.  However, moving is a necessary part of many children’s lives. 

Here is a book that might help.

 

 Alexander, Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move

Written by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz

Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (1998)

Ages: 4 – 8

Themes:

Books for boys, common childhood experiences (moving), expressing emotions (anger, fear, anxiety), moving, pets.

Opening:

“They can’t make me pack my baseball mitt or my I LOVE DINOSAURS sweatshirt or my cowboy boots.  They can’t make me pack my ice skates, my jeans with eight zippers, my compass, my radio or my stuffed pig.  My dad is packing.  My mom is packing.  My brothers, Nick and Andrew, are packing.  I’m not packing. I’m not going to move!

Synopsis:  

From Amazon:

Alexander is not going to leave his best friend Paul. Or Rachel, the best babysitter in the world. Or the Baldwins, who have a terrific dog named Swoozie. Or Mr. and Mrs. Oberdorfer, who always give great treats on Halloween. Who cares if his father has a new job a thousand miles away? Alexander is not — Do you hear him? He Means it! — going to move.

Why do I like this book

We are all creatures of habit…and most of us don’t like changes or the unknown.  Alexander is no different and he expresses what many children will relate to.  I love that Alexander feels confident enough to let his family know what is bothering him.  I love that Alexander’s vivid imagination finds so many inventive alternatives to his moving.  I love that Alexander’s father comes up with a wonderful solution…buy a puppy who will accompany Alexander and his family on the move so that Alexander will have a ready-made friend to start his life in a new place.

Related Activities:

Any child will enjoy making this neighborhood map, but it can be especially helpful for kids who have just moved.  Making this map will enable your child to feel more comfortable in this new and strange place…invite one or two of his or her new classmates to help (with special snacks after a job well-done) and you will be helping your child to develop new friendships.

NEIGHBORHOOD PLAY MAT MAP (Courtesy www.Crayola.com)

 

Children’s pretend play often reflects the real world. While they make a map of your neighborhood or their route to school, encourage language, math, and memory skills by asking thinking questions.

1. Use at least one piece of posterboard. If you use two or more, lay the pieces side-by-side, making sure the sides touch each other. Tape the pieces together with short strips of wide masking tape. Then cover the seam with a long strip of tape from top to bottom. You may want to tape the seam on both sides for a more durable map.

2. Cover a large work surface, such as the floor, with newspaper. Put the poster board onto the newspaper.

3. Now think about, plan ahead, and draw your neighborhood. Ask an adult for permission to take walks in the area to help remember details. Use Crayola® Crayons to add bright colors and cover large coloring areas. Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils work well to outline roads and buildings, label signs, and do detail work.

Find more map-making crafts here at eHow

And lots more map-making crafts here at artistshelpingkids.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.