Wednesday, January 6

ARTS & CRAFTS: DIY Projects for Junior High Students

Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are all the rage and are accessible to people of all ages and skill levels. From home improvement projects to crafting and making everyday items yourself, the notion of DIY sparks subtle development in several skill areas. Encouraging tweens to engage in DIY and craft projects helps build creativity, self-reliance, problem-solving skills, and aptitude specific to that activity. Suggest some of these easy projects to your junior high student!

Headphone Cover - Class up earbuds with embroidery floss!

T-Shirt Pillow - Transform t-shirts into pillows with some quick sewing and polyester stuffing!

Pom-Pom Bookmark - Use up extra yarn and create a simple, fuzzy bookmark!

Waterless Snow Globe - Glue any small figurine to a canning jar lid and add some fake snow for a decorative, simple snow globe!

Paper Mache Bowl - Use up old newspaper and paint a festive design on your bowl!

Lava Lamp - An easy kitchen recipe will create the flow and glow needed for a lava lamp!

Visit A to Z: Developing Hobbies for more ideas and tips for getting your child interested in a hobby!
Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images by DIYReady, Carrina Johnson, DesignMom, SaltTree, Maria Mercedes, DIYCraftProjectsForTeens   

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 30

EVENTFUL: Best of 2015

While waving goodbye to the year 2015, take a moment to look back on some of this year’s most beloved posts and online content. Ranked in order of audience reach and engagement, here are Fairmont’s top posts from 2015!

Top Blog Posts
The last day of school--students look forward to it throughout the school year (even if they secretly love to learn). Students, teachers, and parents yearn for the slightly less structured days of summer and look forward to a well-deserved break from tests and homework…

STEM is a new buzz word in the education field. But what exactly is it? Simply defined, STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM Education Coalition states that incorporating a STEM-based curriculum is critical…

An important lesson while growing up is learning to demonstrate gratitude and thankfulness. In a culture of instant gratification, it is important to foster an attitude of gratitude in your child. Studies show that children who engage in grateful behavior…

The new school year begins tomorrow at Fairmont Private Schools, and hopefully your student is ready to return to the classroom! Here’s a simple checklist to ensure that you and your child are prepared for the first day of school…

Top Tweets


Top YouTube Videos

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, December 28

SNACKTIME: Kid-Friendly Morning Muffins

The holidays are a time for family, celebrations, and snacking on treats. How can we offset holiday sweets with good nutrition? Begin with healthy, easy-to-make, homemade muffins. Store-bought muffins are loaded with saturated fat, sugar, artificial colors, and flavors. Homemade muffins are easy to make and perfect for getting kids involved in the kitchen.

Begin the day strong with muffins made with whole ingredients such as whole wheat flour, flaxseed, or wheat bran for extra flavor and fiber. Increase the nutrition ratio by fortifying with protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

Update your favorite recipes by substituting or adding the following to your original recipe:

White flour: Substitute all or half of the white flour for whole wheat flour to increase fiber and trace minerals such as magnesium and zinc.

More fiber: Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed or nuts for extra fiber, flavor, and healthy fatty acid boost.

Fortifying batter: Add a heaping tablespoon of your favorite protein powder.

Make simple substitutions to traditional family recipes to deliver a nutritional boost without sacrificing flavor. Adding ingredients such as dried fruit (e.g. prunes or apricots) or freshly grated apple will provide a natural sweetness. Create more festive flavors by adding orange zest, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or nutmeg to the batter.

Bite-size muffins might be more appealing to little ones. Use a mini-muffin pan and colored cupcake papers to create a more celebratory look. Below is an example of a healthy recipe with a holiday edge using whole ingredients and seasonal spices!

Good Morning, Glory Muffins
2 cups grated carrot
1 large apple peeled and grated
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax meal
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place grated carrot and apple together in a bowl and toss. Set aside. Mix together flours, flax, sugar, coconut, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nuts and raisins. Tossing the nuts and raisins in with the dry ingredients stops them from sinking to the bottom. Whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Blend wet and dry ingredients and stir in the grated carrot and apple. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Makes a dozen medium sized muffins.

Contributed by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, MS, RD
Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services Company
Image and Recipe Contributed by Sweet Potato Chronicles

Friday, December 18

FRIDAY FOLDER: December 18

Weekly Highlights:

Anaheim Hills Campus

Historic Anaheim Campus

North Tustin Campus

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, December 16

FAIRMONT FIVE: Easy, Peasy Christmas Party Games

Spice up Christmas gatherings by organizing a few of these effortless party games that guests of all ages can participate in!

  1. Christmas Carol Charades - Divide guests into teams and act out the lyrics of your favorite carols.

  1. Christmas Movie Trivia - Create questions and group guests into teams to test their knowledge of popular holiday movies.

  1. Who Am I - Tape a card with a famous Christmas character onto each guest’s back. Have a question and answer session later in the evening, allowing people guess who they are.

  1. Elf on the Shelf Hunt - Hide the elf and reveal one clue about the elf’s location every hour until the elf is found.

  1. Christmas BINGO - Create a BINGO card for each guest using specific items or decorations already placed around the areas of your house where guests will frequent.

Reward party game winners with small gifts, such as gift cards, speciality candies, Christmas tree ornaments, scented candles, and small toys for the kids! For an added bonus, set out some Christmas-themed photo props and a selfie stick for guests to create great impromptu memories!   

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by

Monday, December 14

EVENTFUL: Classic Christmas Movies

‘Tis the season for holiday movies! Suitable for the whole family, pop the popcorn and heat some hot chocolate to enjoy one of these great Christmas films!

A Charlie Brown Christmas (NR)
Nominated to direct the Christmas pageant, then bossed out of his job by Lucy, Charlie Brown is sent to buy an aluminum Christmas tree, but is instead drawn to a small, scraggly tree. As Linus gives a speech about the true meaning of Christmas, the Peanuts gang rallies around the pitiful tree and transforms it with beautiful decorations. Common Sense Media recommends this movie for ages three and up.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (NR)
Based on Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book, actor Boris Karloff narrates the Grinch’s scheme as he plots to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. Common Sense Media recommends this movie for ages three and up.

White Christmas (NR)
This old fashioned Christmas classic brings together musical stars like Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney who decide to bring New York show business to a struggling Vermont innkeeper. Organizing a televised Christmas Eve special, Crosby and Clooney sing and dance in hopes of drumming up a wave of customers for an old Army friend. Common Sense Media recommends this movie for ages 8 and up.
Miracle on 34th Street (NR)
When Susan’s mother hires Kris Kringle to play Santa Claus at Macy’s department store, Susan’s disbelief in Santa is quickly transformed. Kris’ insistence of his real identity as Santa leads some to question his sanity, however, Susan and her mother come to his defense and work to convince others of the real Santa. Common Sense Media recommends this movie for ages six and up.

It’s a Wonderful Life (NR)
A Christmas classic, Jimmy Stewart stars in this film about the complexities of the adult world and the importance of living with a full heart. Taking several cues from Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, the film’s George Bailey is visited by an angel who shows him what life would be like if he were never born. Common Sense Media recommends this movie for ages nine and up.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (G)
Based on Charles Dicken’s classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the Muppets bring to life a cautionary tale of the results of selfishness. Michael Kane stars as Ebenezer Scrooge and is aided by beloved Muppets such as Kermit the Frog, Ms. Piggy, Gonzo, Rizzo, and Beaker. Common Sense Media recommends this movie for ages five and up.
The Polar Express (G)
Based on the popular children’s book of the same name, the Polar Express train transports children from around the world on a once in a lifetime adventure. A roller coaster ride to the North Pole, the children are taken to see Santa Claus and watch as the first gift of Christmas is received. Common Sense Media recommends this movie for ages six and up.
Elf (PG)
Buddy is a human raised among elves at the North Pole who soon realizes that he’s quite different from his elf family. At age thirty, Buddy decides to search for his real father who lives in New York. Traveling to a big city is certainly a shock for Buddy who has spent his years spreading Christmas cheer and building in Santa’s work shop. Common Sense Media recommends this movie for ages seven and up.
A Christmas Story (PG)
With adults muttering “You’ll shoot your eye out,” the incorrigible Ralphie spends his holiday attempting to convince his parents to give him the coveted Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas in 1930’s Indiana. Common Sense Media recommends this movie for ages eight and up.

Look for these films on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, at RedBox locations, or your local library! Use Yahoo Video Guide, 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,,