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School Lunch Tips For Your Child's Success

My least favorite thing to do is make school lunches.  I have seen parents stress over what to pack, how to keep the food hot/cold or worry that their child won't eat or not like what they sent.  Making school lunches can be stress free and should involve your child.  I've listed some tips on packing school lunches that will hopefully keep your mornings running smoothly and your child's tummy full.

1. Get your child involved.  What do they like?  What can they help prepare?  Set up a lunch station and get your child involved.
lunch station

2. Don't stress if they want the same thing everyday.  If their diet is well balanced there is no need to worry (side note, this is my personal opinion, I am not a dietian or a doctor).  Chidlren like stability and there is comfort if they know what to expect in their lunch boxes.

3.  Show them how to open and close their lunch containers and let them practice.  Lunch time independence is important.  You want to avoid your child havin…

Don't "Create" Summertime Memories!

Lets face it many of this have this notion that summertime must be filled with trips, BBQ's, daily organized events, camps etc in order to create wonderful memories for our children.  Take a minute and think back to your childhood at 3, 4 or 5 years old or even 6, 7 or 8.  What do you remember most?

My husband remembers, playing outside and eating corn on the cob at the picnic table in the back yard.  I remember running around the yard in the rain and wading in the creek at my Nana's house.  Simple, sponatneous, and unscripted memories.  Memories that make us smile and remember simpler times.  i think we turned out OK!
I hear parents stress about planning elaborate vacations or experiences for their families, finding the best summer camps or scouring pinterest for craft projects (ones that take hours to prepare and capture our children's interest for 5 minuts).  I give you permission to let your children to be bored!  From boredom comes creativity and sponatneous activity.…

Best Gifts Are Not Electronic

Tis the season!  I came across this article this morning Blocks and crayons, balls and tricycles beat video games for kids' gift and wanted to share.  When shopping for gifts this year, whether for your child, niece or nephew, or grandkids keep it "old school". 

Our children live in a world of over stimulation.  Everywhere you go there is a TV (try and find a family restaurant that does not have one!), any kind of music is at our fingertips, you can watch a movie or play a game at the touch of a button.  No set up, no wait time needed.  Even games I played as a kid can be found with a electronic element. Life was my favorite.  I liked spinning the wheel.  I do not like the new version with the "credit card machine".  I have an unwritten rule in the classroom and when my kids were under 3, if it required batteries or needs to be charged it I will not or did not buy it!  Children need experiences to be successful.

Advertising and social media are wonderful at ma…

Surviving Cabin Fever

We all know it's coming especially if you live in the Northeast like I do.  Winter!  Its just around the corner and with it comes long cold days and being stuck inside!  I am a huge believer in being outside whenever possible but some years the winter weather does not always cooperate.

As parents we are faced with the task of balancing our children's independent play, use of their imagination and exploration of the world vs. organizing their activities and constantly "playing" with them.  I personally aimed for an environment that allowed exploration, independence, imagination and quality 1:1, however I did have to think out of the box and organize some play options for them during our times stuck inside, or I would have gone a bit crazy!

I loved to go a bit "old school" and get all the blankets and chairs and pillows and make forts.  We had tea parties, played board games, decorated large boxes as cars and went to the"drive in" while watching a m…

Curbing The Morning Craziness

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As we know getting ourselves out of the house in the morning can be crazy enough, but add to that a child or two, a pet, making lunches, prepping dinner so you don't eat at 10 PM and maybe throwing in a load of laundry from the wet bed sheets the night before, brings it to an entirely new level!

Creating routines for your family, especially your children can help make your morning go smoother, at least 90% of the time. 

A few things to remember when creating a routine for the family:

Keep it simple.  Simplicity is our school motto this year.  Don't get too detailed.  Use picture cards if your child does not read.  Get your kids involved.  Let them have some say in the routine if applicable.  Use a chart if helpful.  If they want to get dressed before breakfast be flexible.Communication is KEY.  Make sure your child knows what is expected of them and try your best to stick to it.  Once established you can be a bit more flexible if needed. Sample morning routine for preschoolers:

Montessori Moms: Planting the Seeds of Growth: Managing Undesirable Behaviors

Montessori Moms: Planting the Seeds of Growth: Managing Undesirable Behaviors: We have all been there.  The moment where you realize you've pushed your child a bit too far trying to get that one last errand in, or w...

What Your Child Really Needs to Know For Kindergarten

As many of us have realized the demands of Kindergarten students have increased immensely in recent years.  I am a firm believer that children are underestimated in their abilities.They need to explore the world, try new things and learn to be independent

I have sent three children of my own to Kindergarten and have taught too many to count over the last 22 years. I have compiled a list of eight skills that all Kindergarten students should have before September and it has almost nothing to do with academics.

1.  Children should be able to sit and listen to a story with no interruption or talking. They should also be able to retell that story in sequential order.

2.  Children should be independent in the bathroom.  This one is so important! Teachers will not be able to assist each individual child with cleaning themselves, or buttoning pants etc.

3.  Children should know how to buckle themselves in a seat belt.  Most children are still in some kind of booster seat, if not a five point …