Showing posts with label A to Z. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A to Z. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 4

A to Z: 12 Hacks for Traveling with Kids

Summer is on the horizon, which means family vacations are being strategically planned and plotted!  While making memories as a family is important, traveling can be taxing. Take some of the stress out of your summer travel plans with these simple parenting hacks!

  • Make sure your vehicle has a first aid kit with all the basics.
  • Keep kids entertained with a travel binder stocked with pencil cases, paper, coloring sheets, worksheets, crossword puzzles, etc. The binder not only keeps everything contained, but acts as a portable writing desk.
  • Play the license plate game or road trip bingo with these free printables!
  • Bring audiobooks that the whole family can enjoy while riding in the car.
  • Tether sippy cups to car seats, making sure the length of string is long enough for use, but short enough to not be hazardous.
  • Purchase suction cup shower caddies and attach to the car window for a place to store small toys, crayons, etc.
  • Leave the expensive stroller at home. Cheap strollers are usually much smaller, lightweight, and won't be missed if they’re stolen at the amusement park.
  • Pack small trinkets and snacks into a paper bag for each child. As a reward for their patience and cooperation, hand these out during a halfway point or once you reach your destination.
  • Freeze juice boxes to keep them cold and refreshing during travel. As a bonus, they’ll keep other snack items cool and refrigerated.
  • If you’re worried about spills and stains, cover your car’s seat upholstery with an old bed sheet. If dirty shoes are a potential problem, bring plastic grocery bags or a pack of shower caps to keep shoe pairs together and contained.
  • Keep out crumbs and gunk by putting muffin liners in cup holders.
  • If you’re headed to a friend or family member’s house, travel light by packing clothing in vacuum-sealed bags. Just borrow the vacuum before heading home!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, April 25

A to Z: 7 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Brain Active During Summer

When you’re a school-age child, there is possibly nothing better than the freedom of summer vacation. While this annual break from the daily grind is fun and exciting, the loss of structure and stability of the school routine can be a concern for some parents. Studies have shown that most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in math and reading during the summer break. A great solution for keeping your child sharp during the summer months is enrolling him or her in a quality summer program (none better than Fairmont Summer Programs, of course!).
Summer schools, educational camps, and enrichment workshops are great ways to keep kids active, structured, and learning while school is out. In addition to enrolling in a great summer program, here are several more strategies to keep your child safe from the summer brain drain!

  • Find free classes or workshops in your community that interest your child. Visit your local library for summer reading challenges, children’s events, and youth classes.
  • Start a family book club. Choose several age and level appropriate books for your family to read over the summer. Schedule time to gather, discuss the books, and ask questions of the characters and plot. Click here for reading recommendations!
  • Plan educational outings to museums, historical sites, and cultural events. Encourage your child to study up on the history of the places you’ll visit, and have conversations about the significance of the people, places, and events that occurred.
  • Bring your child into the kitchen when it’s time to make meals. Showing him or her the ways of the kitchen not only teaches basic cooking concepts, but also reinforces math concepts like addition, subtraction, and fractions.
  • Research some online educational games or apps for your child to play during downtime. If you’re traveling this summer or you know your child will have a lot time when he or she will need to be still (at mom’s work or dad’s desk), games that promote mathematics skills and reading comprehension are beneficial.
  • Make time to do lots of experiments this summer. Activities and experiments that promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) concepts will engage curiosity, creativity, and draw on math and science topics learned in school. Click here for a curated list of STEM activities!
  • Do lots of arts and crafts. Encouraging creativity in your child opens the door for exploration and builds upon the concepts covered during the school year. Click here for arts and crafts inspiration!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, February 24

A to Z: Academy Award Nominated Movies for Your Family

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony is coming up and what better way to celebrate than with a classic, award-winning or nominated film! The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California. Founded as a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of the film industry, the Academy was initially organized in 1927 by Louis B. Mayer, film producer and co-founder of MGM Studios. The Academy’s first president and ceremony host was renowned Broadway actor and silent action film star, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Share a piece of cinematic history with your children this weekend!
 Around the World in 80 Days - Won Best Picture (1956)

The Sound of Music - Won Best Picture (1965)

Little Women - Nominated for Best Picture (1933)

State Fair - Nominated for Best Picture (1933)

The Adventures of Robin Hood - Nominated for Best Picture (1938)

The Wizard of Oz - Nominated for Best Picture (1939)

The Quiet Man - Nominated for Best Picture (1952)

Roman Holiday - Nominated for Best Picture (1953)

To Kill a Mockingbird - Nominated for Best Picture (1962)

Mary Poppins - Nominated for Best Picture (1964)

Doctor Dolittle - Nominated for Best Picture (1967)

Fiddler on the Roof - Nominated for Best Picture (1971)

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial - Nominated for Best Picture (1982)

Up - Nominated for Best Picture (2009)

Look for these films on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, at RedBox locations, or your local library! Use Can I Stream It or Go Watch It to view streaming options and availability!

Individual parental discretion will determine which films are suitable for a family’s child.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images by Common Sense Media & Rotten Tomatoes

Monday, January 4

A to Z: 10 Twitter Accounts for Young Adults

Today’s world has put immense value on connectivity and instant knowledge. Studies show that most Americans turn to social media for their source of news and information. If your student has begun to engage in social media, suggest some educational, yet fun, Twitter accounts for your junior high student to follow:

Dedicated to putting interesting articles about science in followers’ newsfeeds, New Scientist tweets articles about things like “What happens if a black hole turns white?” or “Four new elements have been added to the periodic table - What next?”

From humble beginnings as a family project, Kid President focuses on kids and their ideas for creating a better world. With humorous and touching videos, tweets, and blog posts, Kid President is an upstanding addition to any kid’s - or adult’s - Twitter feed because of its positive and encouraging messages.  

By putting famous pieces of art on Twitter, followers are able to discover exhibits and learn about art collections from museums across the globe. With an #ArtworkOfTheDay post, your student’s feed will be infused with important pieces of cultural history.  

NASA keeps an updated and well-curated Twitter account, complete with videos and articles about space technology, what’s happening aboard the International Space Station, conversations with astronauts, images from space, and so much more! NASA’s Twitter account also exposes followers to a wealth of NASA-related personnel and education resources, such as @space_station, @CassiniSaturn, @NASA_Technology, @astro_tim, and many more.
Supported by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes, Numberphile is constantly creating and posting fun, short videos on the subjects of math and science. With content geared towards young adults who express a love of numbers, professors of physics and mathematics from Harvard to the University of London gather online to explain topics and divulge tips to knowledge-hungry students.
Focused on educating young adults about the importance of the Earth, MinuteEarth’s Twitter account includes videos and articles about recycling, geography, weather, biology, and more.
An extension of MinuteEarth, with the Twitter handle @minutephysics, Henry Reich runs both accounts and creates accompanying videos to explain scientific concepts like kinetic energy, gravity, molecules, space travel, and more. Reich holds a Master’s Degree in theoretical physics.

For a dose of kid-friendly current events, TIME for Kids is a great resource for students to learn and engage with the world and culture around them. With topics ranging from the endangered species list to world politics, TIME for Kids provides a great additions to students’ feeds with captivating photos, videos, and articles.

An extension of Penguin Books USA, book lovers will get a kick out of scrolling through posts about the newest young adult fiction books. With lists, polls, synopses, quotes, and more, students who enjoy reading can engage with literary-centric content and discover more authors and books.
A well-curated account for any gearhead, young or old, Popular Mechanics is chock-full of fascinating videos and pictures of cool advancements in technology, science, aerospace, and transportation. Almost anything with gears and a motor has, or will be, featured on their account.

Be sure to follow @fairmontschools and @fairmontprep for news, updates, and fun content!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by Dan Bubany Golf

Wednesday, December 2

A to Z: The War on Germs

The first week of December marks National Handwashing Awareness Week. From the start of school in the fall to the chilling weather of winter, the holiday season is prime time for germs! They’re on every surface we touch and are quick to strike with an array of cold and flu viruses. Luckily, the transportation of germs is significantly slowed by frequent handwashing and the sanitizing of surfaces. Teaching your children - as early as possible - about the importance of handwashing and helping them to understand the purpose behind cleanliness will go a long way towards keeping your family illness free!

While schools do their best to remain clean and sanitized, it’s no surprise that a place frequented by little people are breeding grounds for bacteria. Ensuring that your child practices proper and frequent handwashing will help protect your entire family. CNN reports the top eight germiest places in schools:

Bathroom Doors
Cafeteria Trays
Unrefrigerated Lunches
Art Supplies
Sports Equipment
Playground Equipment
Drinking Fountains
Aside from instilling proper hygiene practices in your child, help him or her combat germs by keeping simple items close at hand. Purchase small bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to keep in your purse, car, your child’s backpack and sports bag, and anywhere else you or your child might not have immediate access to soap and water. Keep disinfecting wipes in your car and wipe down surfaces - especially inside door handles and the steering wheel - at least once a week to provide your family with a germ-reduced environment.
Keep your kids healthy by regularly sanitizing the surfaces in your home. Today Health reports that kitchen sinks are dirtier than most bathrooms. Clean sink basins and faucets by rinsing with a bleach-water solution at least once a week. If you use sponges to clean your dishes, make sure that you frequently sanitize your sponge by rinsing with bleach and running it through your dishwasher’s drying cycle. CBS News recently curated a list of the ten germiest items in your home:

Dish Sponges & Rags
Kitchen Sinks
Toothbrush Holders
Pet Bowls
Coffee Makers
Faucet Handles
Pet Toys
Kitchen Counters
Stove Knobs
Cutting Boards   

Ward off germs and keep illness away from your holiday gatherings by perpetually sanitizing these areas of your home. Get your children in the habit of washing their hands frequently and encourage them to use hand sanitizer after playing outside, riding in shopping carts, handling public door handles, etc.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by ABC News

Wednesday, November 18

A to Z: Best Sports Movies for Family Night

Fall and winter are exciting times for sports fans! Here’s a list of beloved sports movies to share with your family! Stories of inspiration, achievement, and humor remind viewers of the importance of dedication and teamwork.

 Rudy (PG)
An inspirational story about a young man with a big dream, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger knows that he’s meant for more than just working at the local steel mill with his father and brother. Rudy’s heart and determination lead him to the University of Notre Dame where he strives to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming one of the Fighting Irish. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 11 and older.

Remember the Titans (PG)
Chronicling the true story of TC Williams High School and racial integration, Remember the Titans reveals the struggles of the newly interracial football team of 1971 as teammates learn to look past skin color and achieve a common goal together. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 10 and older.

The Sandlot (PG)
Scotty Smalls, under no volition of his own, makes the local sandlot team and spends the summer developing his baseball skills with the help of his new teammates Benny, Yeah-Yeah, Ham, and Squints. Trouble ensues when Scotty takes his stepfather’s baseball for luck, and accidentally hits it over the fence and into a junkyard. The team creates an elaborate scheme to rescue the ball and bring good luck to the sandlot. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 8 and older.

Miracle (PG)
Outlining the compelling story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, Miracle recreates the practice and strategy used, as well as the struggles overcome by the team of amateur hockey players, to beat the Russians during the 1980 Winter Olympics. In the match that would be known as the “Miracle on Ice,” the Americans strive to upset the heavily favored Russian team. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 8 and older.   

The Rookie (G)
The true story of a Texas high school teacher and coach who, with a pitching arm still full of promise, tells his baseball team that if they win the division title, he will try out for the major leagues. After the teams rallies and fulfills their end of the bargain, Jim Morris takes a chance and becomes the oldest rookie in Major League Baseball. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 7 and older.

The Mighty Ducks (PG)
A fast-lane lawyer is arrested for drunk driving and performs his community service sentence by coaching a group of rag-tag hockey players. The underdog team and their haughty coach learn to rise above individual struggles and work as a team. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 11 and older.

Hoosiers (PG)
Set in 1950’s Indiana, this small town high school basketball team has no chance of a winning season. However, when a new coach arrives in town, everyone must adjust, especially his new players. Coming together with the goal of winning a state championship, Hoosiers tells a story of discipline and second chances. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 9 and older.

When the Game Stands Tall (PG)
A true story about the high school football team with the longest winning streak in football history, When the Game Stands Tall focuses on the season that broke the 151-game winning streak of De La Salle High School in Concord, California. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 12 and older.

A League of Their Own (PG)
A tribute to the All-American Girls Baseball League of the 1940’s, A League of Their Own follows two siblings scouted and chosen to play women’s baseball while Major League Baseball’s players fight World War II oversees. An engaging drama that follows the lives and ambitions of American women of the 1940’s, this movie is especially great for young female athletes. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 11 and older.

Look for these films on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, at RedBox locations, or your local library! Use Can I Stream It or Go Watch It to view streaming options and availability!

Individual parental discretion will determine which films are suitable for a family’s child.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images by,,