Showing posts with label California. Show all posts
Showing posts with label California. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 21

A to Z: Developing Hobbies


People often need a constructive distraction from the pressures of daily life. Deadline-free in nature, hobbies are a great solution because they allow participants to engage in the activity at their own pace. Encouraging your child to pursue a hobby is a great way to build upon skills and reinforce concepts learned in the classroom and at home. For example, collection hobbies require patience and observance. Craft hobbies, such as modeling or sewing, require fine motor skills and an element of creativity. Even if your child has yet to master fine motor skills or has trouble with being patient, hobbies are a great opportunity for children to engage in an interest with no outside pressure, while subconsciously honing specific skills.

Introducing your child to a new pastime also creates the potential for bonding. Does your child show an interest in a hobby of yours, or simply a desire to be near you? If so, take the opportunity to include your child in your favorite pastime. Doing this not only allows you and your child to spend more time together, but also allows you to pass down specific knowledge.

Another great benefit of hobbies is that many are relatively cheap. Collection hobbies, such as stamp or coin collecting, simply require that the participant be watchful and learn to look for the items in the spare change jar or pile of discarded envelopes. Even if you are not experienced in a hobby that your child takes an interest in, resources such as YouTube, Pinterest, and books from your local library can quickly educate you and your child about a particular activity. Here are a few basic hobby ideas:

Birdwatching
Natural Collecting (rocks, leaves, etc.)
Meteorology
Astronomy
Gardening
Stamp Collecting
Coin Collecting
Model Building
Cooking
Photography or Filmmaking
Crafting (knitting, crochet, sewing, cross stitch, etc.)

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by All Womens Talk  

Monday, October 19

A to Z: 10 DIY, Non-Scary Halloween Costumes

Halloween is only two weeks away! Still need to find a costume for your child? Here are ten non-scary, clever costumes that you and your child can create together without breaking the bank!

Garden Gnome
  
Pippi Longstocking

Alice in Wonderland

The Lorax

 Dwight Schrute

Where the Wild Things Are

Crayola Crayons

Where's Waldo

Mary Poppins and Bert the Chimney Sweep

Ninja Turtle

 

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images by Free Halloween Images, Pinterest, Modern Kiddo, Mommy Shorts, Pottery Barn Kids, Costume Works, Zeppy, & The 36th Avenue

Wednesday, October 14

SNACKTIME: Fall into Healthy Habits

Children are getting excited about being healthy and doing what's right! It feels good when we make smart food choices. Use today as your starting point to a healthier life for you and your family, and start planning to eat healthy!
 
Eat for energy and health - Start with breakfast! Children who eat breakfast do better at school, satisfy hunger, and fuel the brain until lunch time.
 
Apples are easy, make a great snack, and are available all year long.
 
Take time to plan ahead. We make smarter food choices when we take the time to plan meals and snacks.
 
Have a healthy snack after school.
 
Exercise! Our bodies need to move. Jump! Run! Stretch!  
 
Aim for lots of color from a variety of plant-based foods: green beans, yellow squash, orange carrots, blue berries, red tomatoes.
 
Limit sugary and super salty foods.
 
Take time to stay hydrated! Hot, humid days and outdoor activities increase our fluid needs. Start with water.
 
Habits become easier with practice.

You can do it!
 
Contributed by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, MS, RD
                          Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services
Image by Urban Woman

Monday, October 12

A to Z: The Importance of Poetry


An alternative to prose, frequent exposure to poetry can benefit your child in a multitude of ways. A universal path to human emotions, poetry serves as a great empathy-teaching tool. Emotions and ideas expressed in a poem are transmitted to the reader, who gleans insight into the author's feelings and purpose. Being able to emotionally identify with others and acknowledge their ideas, is a pivotal skill for students to build as they grow into adulthood. The rhythm and sound of poetry can also be influential, especially for younger children. Toddlers who may not understand a poem’s words, can learn from the rhythm and begin to experiment with making their own sounds. As children develop and begin to read and write, exposure to poetry helps students become more versed in literature and composition, preparing them for higher education. 

Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
  Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
  He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by Southfield Library Reads

Monday, October 5

BOOK REPORT: Best Mystery Series

In honor of National Mystery Series Week, here’s a compilation of some of the most timeless children’s mystery series. Check out these titles at your local library!

Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene
A mild-mannered teenager, Nancy Drew stumbles into mystery upon mystery and solves crimes with wit, gumption, and help from her trusty friends, George and Bess. Follow Nancy as she recovers stolen objects, finds the truth behind spooky phenomena, and foils the crook’s plans! After first appearing in 1930, Nancy Drew has been reborn and revived throughout the years by way of computer games, movies, and updated books with modern story lines.

The Hardy Boys, Franklin W. Dixon
Frank and Joe Hardy are a pair of ordinary teenage brothers who frequently become tangled within the plots of countless mysteries. Male counterparts of Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys series was created by the same American writer and publisher, Edward Stratemeyer. Both series were penned under ghostwriters Frank Dixon and Carolyn Keene, but the stories were actually contributed by many different writers.
Encyclopedia Brown, Donald Sobol
Boy detective Leroy Brown has a brain full of trivia and operates his own detective agency. Solving the mysteries for the neighborhood children, Encyclopedia Brown picks up sleuthing tips from his police chief father and aides in the solving of many of his father’s police cases! Donald Sobol, author of this acclaimed mystery series, has collected many writing accolades, including a special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his contributions to the genre.
Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh
Eleven year old Harriet Welsch knows that she’ll be a famous writer someday. Dedicating all of her free time to jotting down her most inner thoughts and observations, Harriet strictly follows her daily spy route, spying on her classmates and neighbors. Harriet’s life is somewhat isolated, leaving her to channel her opinions of herself and others into a notebook. Tension ensues, however, when the notebook is discovered by her classmates and Harriet’s secret thoughts come spilling out. 
The Boxcar Children, Gertrude Chandler Warner
Four orphaned children make a home out of an abandoned boxcar and are eventually taken-in by their long-lost grandfather. As the children visit their grandfather during school holidays and travel to different locations, the Boxcar Children stumble upon mysteries wherever they travel. Including over 100 titles, this mystery series was originally written in the 1920’s by a 1st grade teacher.

Basil of Baker Street, Eve Titus
The mouse version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Basil of Baker Street follows a mouse-detective and his biographer, Dr. Dawson. The sleuthing pair reside in a mouse community built in the basement of 221B Baker Street. Reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, Basil and Dr. Dawson solves mysteries and are in constant pursuit of Basil’s nemesis, the criminal mouse-mastermind, Professor Ratigan.




For more ideas, check out these popular children’s mystery novels:
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
The Invention of Hugo Cabert, Brian Selznick
Horton Halfpott, Tom Angleberger
The Wizard of Dark Street, Shawn Thomas Odyssey
The Aviary, Kathleen O’Dell


Discover more literary gems through Fairmont’s Pinterest board Literary Genius!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images by Wikipedia, Goodreads, & Amazon

Wednesday, September 30

A to Z: Community Service


Young people these days are very busy. Between school, homework, soccer practice, and more, there doesn’t seem to be much time left over. However, teaching your child the importance of community service is incredibly beneficial for his or her transition into becoming a responsible adult. Instilling manners at home, along with encouraging good citizenship and a sense of community, will help to foster empathy and self-awareness in children of any age. Engaging in opportunities to serve may help your child become more culturally diverse, learn about socio-economic differences within your community, discover specific skills or interests, and most importantly, learn the value of helping those in need.

Most communities and local organizations are almost always in need of extra hands to volunteer. Public libraries, schools, churches, and civic organizations are great resources for identifying potential causes and opportunities that might be a good match for your child. Websites such as VolunteerMatch are great for finding local community service opportunities specifically for children. If you’re still in need of ideas, think about visiting your local food bank or senior living center, donating goods to the Salvation Army or local homeless shelter, or even simply having your child take a Saturday to help friends, relatives, or neighbors with household or outside chores. Explore some of these non-profit nationally-recognized volunteer organizations:

The seeds planted when serving one’s community will take root and help your child to grow into a well-rounded, giving individual. Making community service outings a family affair is a great option which will create stronger bonds between family members, create memories, and provide an outstanding example for your children to follow.

Click to read about the different ways Fairmont students are serving their communities!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Image by KCHA News