Sunday Post: Autumn…Five Tips for a Healthier School Year

 

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

Take a hayride down scarlet and gold tree-lined country roads!

 Pick the best pumpkin!

Have the healthiest school year ever by following these five simple steps:

  1. Wash hands often: everyone should have their own towel…perhaps a different color for each member of the family.  This helps colds from spreading.
  1. Dress appropriately: when it is cold, children should be dressed warmly, with hats or hoods on their heads.
  2. Get enough sleep: young children need LOTS of sleep so set up bedtime routines and stick to them.  Our body renews and cells regenerate during sleep.  Did you know that children between the ages of 2 and 5 need 11-14 hours of sleep?  For more information about sleep and young children, you can go to: http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/sheet.html.
  3. Make every meal and snack count:  a good breakfast is a MUST and snacks can provide additional important nutrition, especially for picky eaters.  For more ideas on healthy meal planning for the whole family, you can visit: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/habits.html
  4. Keep a sick child home: I know it is difficult, especially when parents work…but your child will get better sooner and the teacher and the other children in the class will thank you.

 

 

Open just two more weeks: We want to give away 12 free copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cookingto schools or other childcare facilities.  Nominate your child’s school in the Show Me How School Initiative by leaving a comment and telling us why you’d like them to have this book.  If you don’t have young children, but know people who do, please tell them about the free book their child’s school can receive!   Tweet this and spread the word across any of your social media networks.  At the beginning of October we will use Random.org to choose 12 lucky schools.

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ 

Autumn Leaves: A Lesson in Diversity for All of Us

 

I went for a walk today.

The sun was shining down, creating beautiful patterns on the ground as it filtered through the branches of the trees.

The trail was littered with leaves, many of them already brittle and brown.

The Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian program has begun in our local District 11 kindergartens and Pre-K’s and the craft that ties in with the picture book, Yes We Can by Sam McBratney, requires leaves that are still flexible.  I’m not sure if the teachers who are reserving dates for the program in November and December will think to put aside a bunch of fresh leaves in a plastic bag.

When you plan activities with young children, it’s always good to be prepared.  I hate to disappoint little ones.  That’s why I caution parents to check to make sure they have all the necessary ingredients or materials before they begin one of the cooking activities or craft projects recommended in my book.

As I bent down to scoop up leaves, I marveled at their varying colors, shapes and sizes.  And I began to think about how even though they were different colors and shapes and sizes, they were all leaves. 

Perhaps we can learn a lesson from this that can apply to people as well…even though we are different colors, shapes and sizes…we are all people. 

I also noticed that some of the leaves had rough patches or holes where bugs or disease had left their mark…but they were still leaves.

We need to remember that when we meet others who are mentally, academically or physically challenged, they are still people…deserving of our respect, attention and friendship.  And it is important to help young children understand this as well.

The lesson of the leaves can foster a wonderful discussion with your children.  Please let me know what you think.

If you’d like to have 100’s of activities at your fingertips like the ones I do in my program, please visit my website where you can buy a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  What a great holiday gift this would make for any parent, teacher or grandparent of children ages 2-7!  Don’t forget daycare providers, nannies, babysitters, early childhood education students and even expectant moms.  They probably have enough little outfits that their babies will outgrow within a month or two.  This award-winning book also has plenty of lined spaces on every other page for recording important highlights as your child participates with you in the story reading, craft project and cooking activity.  Joan Fleischer, co-founder of the Creative Arts Therapy Center in New York City says, “I can’t think of a more valuable gift to give at baby showers or to anyone in a position to nurture and foster self-esteem in children.”  It’s definitely a bargain at 50% off the cover price and comes with a money-back guarantee!

Autumn is in the Air: Time to Turn on the Oven and Bake a Cake

 

I love the fall…cool crisp mornings and warm sunny afternoons.

Here in Colorado, the aspen leaves will be turning to gold, while back in New England where my daughter and her family live; the maples will be wearing flaming headdresses of scarlet, crimson and purple.

 

Many parents will be helping their children plan their Halloween costumes and decorate the house with pumpkins and sheaves of autumn wheat and Indian corn.  Years ago, our local library had an annual pumpkin-painting contest and all of my children looked forward to choosing the “perfect” pumpkin to decorate and enter…hoping to win the coveted first place prize ribbon.

 

As the weather cools down, many of us start getting out the muffin pans and cookie sheets in preparation for holiday baking.  I encourage parents to include their children in meal preparation…and holiday baking is an especially fun time to have your kids in the kitchen. If you are looking for simple child-friendly recipes, you’ll find dozens of them in my book, Show Me How!

Here’s a wonderful recipe for Carrot Cake that doesn’t appear in the book.  It’s special enough for festive occasions, but simple enough so that young children can help.

 

The best thing about this cake is that it is very nutritious (one pound of carrots in each cake) and easy on the digestive system.  I recommend it for anyone who suffers from IBS or GERD problems.

CARROT CAKE

You will need: 1½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, 1½ tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 egg beaten, ½ cup canola oil, 1 tsp vanilla, zest of 1 orange, 1 pound baby carrots grated, ¾ cup pineapple chunks with juice (about ½ cup), 2 bowls, 1 Bundt pan lightly greased, blender or food processor.

  1. Mix in large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  2. Mix in another bowl: brown sugar, beaten egg, canola oil, vanilla, orange zest.
  3. Use a blender or food processor to grate the carrots and add the pineapple chunks and juice and blend until fairly smooth.
  4. Add the carrot/pineapple mixture to the brown sugar/egg mixture and stir well till blended.
  5. Add this to the flour mixture and stir gently but thoroughly..
  6. Pour/spoon into lightly greased Bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.  After 30 minutes or so, turn upside down on a serving plate and allow the cake to continue cooling.
  8. For storage, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator up to one week.

                                                                     For parents who are local to the Colorado Springs area

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE

STAYING HEALTHY

THIS SCHOOL YEAR!

SHOW-ME-HOW STORY-TIME PROGRAM

Saturday, September 24, 2011

12 to 12:45pm

Family Christian Store: 7165 N. Academy

719-598-1500 to RSVP

Or email vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com

  • Bring your young children and listen to a story
  • Help your child make a simple craft project
  • Get a free flyer: Have a Healthier School Year

Vivian Kirkfield is a local author, former kindergarten and Head Start teacher and mom of three. Her parenting program and award-winning activity book for ages 2-7, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, has helped thousands of parents build self-esteem, develop pre-literacy skills and create a stronger parent-child connection.