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Teaching Kindness, Thankfulness, and Thoughtfulness

Teaching Kindness, Thankfulness, and Thoughtfulness

With the holiday season fast approaching your little ones are probably excited about all the good food and presents they will soon be getting. Now is the perfect time to teach your children the importance of kindness and giving back. Inspired by, The Home Grown Preschooler, we’ve gone through 10 great ways to teach your children about kindness and paying it forward with different ways they can get involved.

  1. A great opportunity for children to have a hand in spreading kindness is creating “Pass Them On” cookies. The idea is to create a couple batches of cookies and bag them up with a few cookies in each bag. Put a blank gift tag on each bag. When you or your little one sees someone they think could really use a smile, give them two bags of cookies. On one bag write their name and then leave the other tag blank. This way, whoever you chose can enjoy the cookies and then pass on the blank bag the way you have and hopefully the kindness will start to spread.
  2. Write out some thank you notes! Have your children write out and decorate, or just decorate depending on how old they are, some thank you notes to people they think really deserve a thank you. Mail out the notes or hand deliver them if you can! This is a great activity to pair with the Pass Them On cookies.
  3. This Thanksgiving set an extra plate at the table. Choose someone in your neighborhood or community that doesn’t have anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with and invite them over to your house for dinner! Even if they don’t accept, an invitation can go a long way!
  4. Be helpful! If you and your children see someone that needs help whether its an elderly neighbor struggling to rake their leaves or a stressed out mom that needs help getting her shopping done, offer to help! Your little ones will probably be able to come up with a few clever ways to help out people in need.
  5. This is a simple and easy way to show kindness to a stranger! When you’re in line at the grocery store, offer up your spot to the person behind you! If you’re not in a hurry then this is a great, easy way to pass on the kindness.
  6. Give out gift cards. Buy some gift cards to coffee shops and hand them out to stressed out parents in stores or let your children give them to their favorite grocery store clerk. Also, if you live in an area with a large homeless population, give out some grocery store gift cards to people that you frequently pass.
  7. A completely free but effective way to spread kindness and cheer is through a smile! Explain to your little ones the joy that they can spread through simply offering someone a smile!
  8. Another easy way to do a good deed is to offer to take someone’s cart back for them after they’ve finished using it. If you and your little one see someone finishing unloading their cart into their car, offer to put their cart away for them. This is especially nice for the elderly or moms that are swarmed with little ones. It’s also nice for the workers at the grocery store!
  9. Create a Thankful Tree. Whether it’s made in paint on a big window or with construction paper on your kitchen wall, have your little ones help you create a large tree. Then, either on Thanksgiving or throughout the holiday season, have everyone in the family write things they are thankful for on leaves and put them on the tree.
  10. Keep reaching out! Encourage your children to always reach out to those who need help! Let them use their hearts and creativity to find ways to spread kindness and cheer while also teaching them the safe and appropriate ways to do so.

Please tell us in the comments how you and your family teach and spread kindness to the people in your community. If you liked these ideas and want to share them with your family and friends, please click the share button on the side of the blog!

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Practicing Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

With Halloween only two days away it is important to review some safety tips for Halloween night with any of the trick or treaters leaving your house. These tips are helpful to remember when getting your little ones ready, as well as, before you set your older children off on their own. KidsHealth.org posted an extensive article with tips to remember about costumes, pumpkin carving, trick or treating, and candy eating. We’ve narrowed it down to the most important tips to remember this Halloween.

 

Try and choose a costume that is light in color for your young ones. If that is not       possible use reflective or glow in the dark tape on their fronts and backs to make sure cars will be able to see them as they drive by.

 

Make sure all masks and wigs do not restrict vision or ability to breathe.

 

Include a nametag on your child’s costume somewhere with your name and phone number.

 

If possible, have your children wear sneakers with their Halloween costumes to avoid any trips or falls. If that’s not possible make sure their shoes fit properly and do not have a high heel.

 

Children under the age of 12 should be escorted by a guardian. All of your children that you’re sending out should know emergency numbers such as 911 and your phone number in case they get lost or separated.

 

For your older trick or treaters, make sure they know the routes that they are           allowed to take. Also, review basic safety tips with them as well such as:

                        Have your cellphone on you, if possible,

Stay in a group of at least 3 at all times

Only go to houses with porch lights on

Never run from house to house or hop fences

Always cross the street at corners and cross walks

 

Have your trick or treaters carry a flashlight in their candy bag so they have access to light if they end up in an area with low visibility.

 

Don’t forget about trick or treaters that will be visiting you! Make sure there is a clear path to your porch that is free of tripping hazards. If you want to welcome visitors make sure to have a bright porch light on.

 

We hope these tips were helpful, as you get ready for Halloween. If there are any important tips you tell your children before Halloween please leave them below. As always, click the share button on the side of the blog to share these helpful reminders with your friends and families!

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Spooky Halloween Crafts

Halloween Crafts

With Halloween right around the corner you’re probably seeing crafting and diy ideas all over the Internet. Most of these crafts are either for adults or children that have developed those fine motor skills already. So if you’re looking for some fun activities to do with your little ones in the count down to Halloween this is the perfect list for you! Happy Hooligans published a list of 21 Halloween crafts for toddlers and we’ve chosen 4 of our favorites for you!

 

Pumpkin Art: This craft is a great way for your little ones to practice their fine motor skills while creating adorable decorations! The main things you’ll need for this craft are paint, Styrofoam, paper, glue and cardboard. Have your little ones paint the shape of a pumpkin and then “carve” it with pieces of black and white paper!

 

Cotton Ball Ghosts – This craft is fun, although not entirely mess free. The main materials you will need are black construction paper, white chalk, glue, and black buttons. Your little ones will shred apart the cotton balls to create the shape of the ghosts. A great way to be creative and build those motor skills!

 

Halloween Wreath – This craft is a great way for your little ones to show their different creative sides. The most important thing you need is cardboard cut into the shape of a wreath. After that your little ones can choose to paint it whatever Halloweeny color they want and use and kind of colored tissue paper, bows, googly eyes, or fake spiders to make it whimsical!

 

Halloween Straw Necklace – This craft is one that your little ones can wear to school and will help develop fine motor skills. The most important things you’ll need for this craft are black yarn, a child’s sewing needle, and colored drinking straws in colors like purple, green, and orange. Cut the straws into pieces and then have your little ones thread the pieces of straw onto the necklace!

 

We hope you find some inspiration for fun and spooky crafts this Halloween. As always please leave your comments below with some of your favorite Halloween crafts for your little ones. Click the share button on the side of the blog to share this inspiration with your family and friends!

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Back to School Crafts

Back to School Crafts

As your little ones are getting used to being back in school, now is the perfect time for some fun, back to school inspired crafts! These crafts are a great way to practice skills that your little ones are beginning to learn in school. From science to spelling, HandsOnAsWeGrow created a list of 20 back to school themed crafts. Check out our top five favorites from the list!

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How Does Art Benefit Children?

Arts and crafts are a great way for children to have fun practicing their creativity and self-expression, however, there are also a lot of great developmental benefits that art can have on children. North Shore Pediatric Therapy published an article about the top 5 developmental benefits that arts and crafts provide for children. These benefits range from coordination to emotional development. Read below to find out more or click here to view the full article.

1.Bilateral Coordination – Art allows children to practice their bilateral coordination. Projects such as cutting, pasting, painting, and coloring require using both hands together. This is an important skill for your children to start developing at a young age. Tasks such as writing, tying shoes, and typing are all advanced skills that require bilateral coordination.

2. Fine Motor Coordination – Drawing shapes, cutting patterns, and practicing handwriting all enhance fine motor skills. Practicing precise artistic activities help children develop these skills that will be very useful for academics, eating, and dressing.

3. Self-Regulation – Art projects that require waiting for parts to dry such as crafts with paint or glue help children develop patience! Having to wait for a part to dry before continuing a project will help teach your child they can’t have everything the moment they want it.

4. Self-Esteem Booster – Arts and crafts are a great way to help boost your child’s self esteem and confidence. Start with crafts at your child’s skill level. Allow them to build confidence by mastering certain skills, and then allow their creativity to flourish.

5. Bonding Time – Arts and crafts are a great way to bond with your child! Coming up with ideas, shopping for materials, and actually sitting down together and working on a project allows you to spend quality, creative time with your child!

Next time you hesitate to break out the paints and glue, remember all of the positive impacts that arts and crafts can have on your child! If you want to share these developmental benefits with your friends and family click share on the side of the blog post!

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Summer Fun

During the midst of the summer keeping your little ones entertained and having fun all day long can sometimes be difficult. We have gathered a list of five, super fun and inexpensive activities to do whether you are spending a day at the lake, staying in a summer house, or simply having a calm day at home. Check out our list for some great activity ideas for all of the different places summer takes you!

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4th of July Crafts

 

The 4th of July is tomorrow so you may be looking for a fun way to celebrate the holiday. Since the weekend and the big celebrations are over, crafts are a great way to have some patriotic fun in the comfort of your home. Thanks to All Kids Network we have a collection of fun, 4th of July crafts so you can create some fun for your little ones without having to bring them to the beach. Check out their site to see a full list of crafts, as well as, instructions for each craft!

Patriotic Windsock Craft – A fun, patriotic decoration that isn’t too hard to make! All you need is a toilet paper roll, printer paper, and some yarn. The red, white, and blue hanging decoration is a fun way for your little ones to create decorations that you can use around the house for the 4th! For a simpler version, replace the colored yarn with paint and/or glitter!

Fingerprint Flag – A super easy project for your little ones to do. All you need is white paper and red and blue paint. Help your little ones create the stripes of the flag, as well as, the stars with their fingers! An adorable, hands-on craft your little ones are sure to love!

Patriotic Magnets – A fun way to celebrate the 4th is to decorate the fridge with magnets! Your little ones can make clay magnets with store bought clay or salt dough. Spell out USA, make a flag, or create some fireworks. Your little ones will love playing with the clay and then being able to see their creations on the fridge!

4th of July Wreaths – A fun project to put somewhere around the house. Get red, white, and blue paper for your wreath. For a fun family version, trace the hands of your children on the different colored paper, cut them out, and glue them on a paper plate to make your wreath. Or for a more festive look, have your little ones trace and cut out stars for your wreath. Also, add little touches of glitter and ribbon for more fun!

Sponge Painting – A great craft for your little ones! Take a few sponges and cut them into star and firework shapes. Set out small plates with different colors of paint on them like red, blue, white, gold, and silver. Either on canvas or paper, give your little ones the sponge shapes and let them create some patriotic masterpieces!

We hope you decide to try out some of these crafts tomorrow! Feel free to leave pictures of your crafts in the comments, or any other fun craft ideas that your family likes to do for the 4th of July. And be sure to share these ideas with your friends and family by clicking share on the side of the post. Happy 4th of July!

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Summer Reading

With summer break right around the corner your little ones are probably looking forward to putting away the schoolbooks and breaking out the water guns and slip and slides. While summer break is the time for fun in the sun, it is important to keep your kids on track for the next school year. Keeping your little ones reading throughout the summer is a great way to make sure their minds stay sharp and their language skills improve over the summer. Since reading may not be your child’s favorite hobby, we gathered a few tips to make reading more enjoyable for different types of readers!

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Bike Safety

It’s summertime, which means your kids are going to be pulling their bikes out of the garage if they haven’t already. Before sending your kids out to ride their bikes alone, you should make sure they know some basic safety tips. We compiled a list of 5 basic safety tips to impart onto your children before sending them out to ride. Visit Safekids.org to view the full article.

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