Five Simple Steps for a Healthier School Year


 Your child is going to school.  As a parent, what can you do to make it the healthiest year ever?

Perhaps your child is a preschooler and will be attending a daycare or nursery school.  Maybe your child is already in elementary school.  Here are five simple steps that may keep your child from getting sick.

  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 like wild-fires!
  2. Dress appropriately: when it is cold, children should be dressed warmly, with hats or hoods on their heads…no ifs, ands or buts!
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.  With these tips, your children may stay healthy this school year and you won’t have to keep them home.

On September 24th, the Show-Me-How with Miss Vivian program will be at Family Christian Store, 7165 North Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO.  There will be one presentation from 12 to 12:45pm.  I’ll be reading Johnny Lion’s Bad Day to the parents and children and then we will all make Paper Plate Lions.  This program is appropriate for children from two to seven years old.  In addition, there will be a flyer for parents to take home about staying healthy this school year.  I hope we will have a good turn-out…please spread the word and tweet this and post to Facebook…maybe some of your followers are local to Colorado Springs.

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

  • 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.

For more information: 719-237-3111 or vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com

TAKE A KID FLY-FISHING – POSITIVE PARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN ACTION!

Father and son make a great fishing duo...watch out, Mr. Trout!

I have a passion for using picture books and positive parental participation to help build self-confidence and create a life-long parent-child bond.

So I’m always thrilled when I find a book that encourages parent and child to participate together.

Thanks to Kirk Werner, parents have not one, but a series of THREE amazing books that can be enjoyed by children from preschool to puberty and beyond!

Olive, the Little Woolly Bugger is the first book in this series by author and illustrator, Kirk Werner.  It details the experiences of Olive, a woolly bugger fly used in fly-fishing.  Olive attends Camp Tightloops to learn how to become a fishing fly and meets many other flies…some who are bullies and snobs and others who are friendly and helpful.  Children of all ages will connect and identify with the engaging characters.

According to Kirk, “On the surface, my fly fishing book series for kids may just appear to be children’s stories set against the backdrop of fly fishing. While true, there’s much more to them than that. The intent of my books is to introduce kids to fly fishing through a series of fun stories that are both educational and entertaining. For kids lucky enough to hail from an angling family, no encouragement is needed to get them outdoors with a fly rod in hand.  But kids who may not have the guidance of an adult angler in their lives are really the ones who stand to gain the most from my books.  In other words, my books are for all kids (and frankly, for adults as well). But the goal of my books is also bigger than just fly fishing – it’s about getting kids outdoors.

As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, according to a study by the Outdoor Foundation fishing is the #1 “Gateway Activity” to launching kids into many other outdoor pursuits such as camping, hiking, boating, etc.  All are excellent ways to get kids away from their video games, off the couch and into the great outdoors for some good, old-fashioned recreation. 

According to a report by C&NN, children are smarter, more cooperative, happier and healthier when they have varied opportunities for free unstructured play in the outdoors.  I interpret that to mean if you take a kid fly fishing where they can experience a natural setting, walk along the banks of a stream or lake and learn about bugs and fish and other wildlife that benefit from clean water, that child is going to be smarter.  I always thought fly anglers were an intelligent bunch and now I know why!

To sum it all up in a nutshell, outdoor recreation is good for kids in both mind and body, and the outdoors are important to all of us.  So, the bottom line is this:  Get kids outside.  Fishing is a great way to start them off on other outdoor adventures.  While they’re outside having fun they’ll be practicing healthy habits and getting exercise. Furthermore they’ll develop an appreciation for our natural resources, which will ensure that future generations become stewards of the earth.

It may be a lofty thinking on my part, but I believe every child should start down this journey with the Olive the woolly bugger series of fly fishing books. Now, if anyone has an idea as to how I can make sure that every child hears about Olive, I’m all ears.”

Getting ready for a day of fishing!

So, my husband and I took Kirk’s advice (not that we needed any encouragement…we already LOVE fishing and fly-fishing and we took our own children fishing as soon as they were old enough to hold a fishing rod) and last weekend, we took our six-year old twin grandchildren on their first fishing adventure.  Our son had already prepared the way by reading the first book in the Olive series with his children.  When we arrived at their house and my husband showed them the fly box he had filled for them, they eagerly pointed to the flies that they recognized.  “There’s Olive!”  “That’s Randall, the Royal Coachman!”

Choosing the right fly. How about Olive, the LIttle Woolly Bugger?

Our time with our grandchildren and son and daughter-in-law at Rocky Mountain National Park was, to say the least, fantastic!  The day was perfect…amazingly there were no thunderstorms to hamper our enjoyment.  The children took to fishing as if they had been doing it for years.  The first fly they wanted to try was…you guessed it…a woolly bugger!

I’d like to say that we pulled up one trout after another…but even though the children didn’t catch any fish (although we did see several)…they did catch the enthusiasm and joy of being by a beautiful river, surrounded by the wonders of nature.  Their parents take them to RMNP quite often and encourage the appreciation, care and preservation our precious and endangered environment.  After enjoying a lovely picnic, we all got ready to leave and my husband asked our grandchildren when they would like to come fishing again.  One of them replied, “In about three weeks!”  And the other piped up, “No, in about three days!”

Our granddaughter listened with rapt attention to Grandpa's instructions.

According to the Outdoor Foundation, fishing is the top “gateway” activity, spurring involvement in other outdoor activities:

“The future of any sport lies in engaging its youngest members, so reaching individuals in their early years is critical,” said The Outdoor Foundation Executive Director Christine Fanning.

And, even though my book is about reading, crafting and cooking, I’m always encouraging parents to get outside with their children, whether it is to take a walk, go on a nature hike or spend time at a park or playground.

Mr. Werner says, “Fishing is good for kids. And Olive the Woolly Bugger exists for the sole purpose of getting kids interested in fishing. You truly cannot accurately judge a book by the cover, and exploring beneath the surface may yield some pleasant surprises.  Fishing dries on the surface is fun, but an astute angler knows that fish take the majority of their meals under water.  Exploring the depths is what makes the woolly bugger such an effective and popular pattern.  Take a closer look- I think you’ll get hooked on Olive the Woolly Bugger, and by doing so you’ll be helping kids in more ways than one.”

There is so much more I’d like to share with you about this wonderful author and his Olive series.  My next post will explore the organizations he supports with a portion of the proceeds of book sales and a little bit about the other two books he has written.

I’d also like to invite parents, grandparents and anyone who is caring for little ones to a Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian this Saturday, August 6th from 11am to 1:30pm at Family Christian Store, 7560 N. Academy Blvd in Colorado Springs.  If you are local to Colorado Springs, please stop by for one of the STARTING SCHOOL JITTERS BE GONE! presentations…at 11:30am-12 or 12:30pm to 1.  We’ll be talking about school anxiety, reading a wonderful picture book story and then doing a fun craft project.  There will be a free hand-out for parents on Five Steps to a Smoother School Year and parents can fill in an entry form to win a bunch of craft supplies for their child.  Please email me at vivan@positiveparentalparticipation.com or call the store at 719-598-1500 if you have any questions.

Small Investment = Big Rewards

I just finished reading a classic in self-help literature – One Minute for Myself – by Dr. Spencer Johnson

The book was published in 1985, but the simple underlying truths put forth are as relevant today as they were then.

According to Dr. Johnson, the one minute you spend taking care of yourself is a small investment with a big reward.

In the same way, the 15 minutes a day you spend participating positively with your child is also a small investment with very big rewards.

THE INVESTMENT

  • Read a picture book story with your child.
  • Do an arts and crafts project with your child.
  • Prepare a recipe together.

THE REWARDS

  • Build your child’s self-esteem.
  • Develop your child’s pre-literacy skills.
  • Improve your child’s school readiness.
  • Create a life-long parent-child bond.

 

Do you feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of parenthood?

Take a minute (or a few minutes) for yourself – refresh, rejuvenate, relax.

And then spend 15 minutes with your child – reading, crafting or cooking.

Visit my website to find out more about Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  Buying a copy of this award-winning book is a very small investment with a very big reward.  If you have a Kindle, you can make an even smaller investment…just $9.99 at Amazon’s Kindle Store.

Just 15 minutes is enough time to read a classic picture book story.

Just 15 minutes is enough time to make one of the easy craft projects.

Just 15 minutes is enough time to prepare one of the simple recipes together.

Looking for something to do with your young children on Saturday, August 6th?

If you are local to Colorado Springs, please stop by the Family Christian Store at 7560 N. Academy.  I’ll be there from 11am to 1:30pm and there will be two identical presentations for parents and children.  From 11:30 to 12 and from 12:30 to 1pm, I’ll be reading a picture book story that will help young children deal with school anxieties.  Then we will be doing a simple craft that each child will be able to take home.  There will also be a free hand-out for parents on Five Steps to a Smoother School Year.  Parents will also have the opportunity to fill out an entry form to win a craft kit for their preschoolers.

We all want our children to have the best school year ever…whether they are in daycare, nursery or preschool, kindergarten or first grade.  This will be a fun-filled experience for all!  Please spread the word!!