Tips to Get Kids “Up and at ‘Em” in the Morning

Tips to Get Kids “Up and at ‘Em” in the Morning

When it is time to wake up early for school or daycare, some kids would rather stay hidden under the covers. Sure, when Saturday comes they are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to pounce for play, but on weekdays, it is usually another story. Getting the kids up for school on time can be a challenge, and even when we get their tired little bodies out of bed, getting the morning routine underway takes lots of patience and pestering. We can get up, so what’s with the kids? Perhaps they need some incentive to feel energized and eager to start the school day off with a bang, making the morning something they look forward to. Here are some tips to get the kids “up and at ‘em” come morning. Once they come to realize that their day is going to be full of new beginnings and possibility, they’ll be ready for their feet to hit the floor before the sun comes up. Musical Mornings Turn up the volume and make morning time a mini-dance party. Play that upbeat music while the kids brush their teeth and hair and get dressed, as they enjoy a healthy breakfast, and while they pack their schoolbags and lunchboxes. With a “sunrise soundtrack” the kids will be pumped up and ready to rock their day with a smile and that extra swing in their step. Filling and Fueling Food A wholesome and good-for-you breakfast is vital for kids to have the stamina to make it ‘till lunch. The most important meal of the day should be well-balanced and tasty, so the kids want to...
All My Children Daycare Upper West Side Open House on February 18

All My Children Daycare Upper West Side Open House on February 18

OPEN HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT!!! All My Children Daycare invites parents of children ages 2-5 to come to their open house at their newly renovated, eco-friendly facility on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on February 18th, 10AM – 1PM. The address is 101 W. 85th St. New York, NY 10024. The open house will be fun and informational, with music and yoga, free play and art, and a meet-and-greet with AMC’s nurturing and highly professional staff. This prime Upper West Side location features a high-quality educational program with an emergent, developmentally-appropriate curriculum for children ages 2-5. Parents will have the opportunity to meet teachers, tour the state-of-the-art, eco-conscious classrooms, and see education at its very best. After 25 successful years in the daycare business, the demand for another AMC location was heard and met. Limited spots are still available for the coming year, so parents are urged to attend this open house. “This prime Upper West Side location features a high-quality educational program with an emergent, developmentally-appropriate curriculum for children ages 2-5,” said the UWS director. RSVP at allmychildrendaycare.com/openhouse or call 212-419-5416 The AMC staff looks forward to meeting members of the community and seeing them become part of the AMC family. From 10AM – 1PM, come visit AMC’s newest location. EDUCATION – THE WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE! At “All My Children” we are committed to preparing young children for school and life readiness. Our safe, nurturing, eco-friendly learning environment and ethical character define our dedication to instilling within each child the skills necessary to continuously develop their own knowledge and their desire to establish a better world. Using The Creative Curriculum, Common Core standards,...
The Importance of Inclusion

The Importance of Inclusion

When there is so much upheaval going on in the world today that is tearing people with differences apart, teaching our children to be inclusive is of the essence. Kids aren’t born knowing about differences and intolerance, they only learn such concepts and behavior from their environment. While it is good to understand that all people are unique and have different beliefs and ways of life, what bonds us is that we are all human beings. There will always be people in this world who do terrible or troubling things and are unkind to others, but for the most part, when understood, humans simply want to be included. This begins at an early age, so as parents, it is vital to instill values into the minds of our youth about treating others as we’d like to be treated. Fitting In When youngsters are in school or daycare, oftentimes there is a child or two who is left out. They are not asked to partake in play with the others, and usually there isn’t a good reason for this. Lots of kids are impressionable and follow the lead of the ones who are more outspoken. If one popular child decides to exclude a particular child, others may unfortunately follow suit, so they fit in too. Teach your child to lead by example and include this child with the rest of the bunch. This child may be too shy to speak up or not have the nerve to step in on their own confidently. It may not be easy, but your child will feel proud of themselves knowing that they can...
Start a Reading Playgroup

Start a Reading Playgroup

A kids’ reading playgroup is the perfect after-school or weekend activity for book-loving kids who find excitement and adventure on the pages of great books. Help your child’s curious mind expand even further by creating a reading playgroup for their friends who love reading too. Invite Friends Encourage your child to invite their friends over for a reading playgroup/book club. Here everyone can share the joys of reading together. Parents can join in for help, coordination, and participation. Book Choices The reading selections should be age-appropriate and interesting for the kids, so they are inspired and excited to attend. Switch with each time they meet to let each child take their turn choosing which book the group will delve into. This way, the reading selections will be diverse. Participation Encourage each child to read a portion of the book out loud to give them the practice to become better and more confident readers. This is a no-judgement zone, so each kid can take their time and work out the words when they get stuck. They can help one another when needed, making the reading process a group effort. More Fun Make the playgroup more inviting with healthy snacks and refreshments. Parents can swap weeks to determine who provides the treats and which house the playgroup will be hosted at. Each time, suggest the children bring along someone new to become part of the group. Before long, you may need a bigger place to meet! With so much time devoted to TV and other electronic games and devices, picking up a good book is a breath of fresh air for kids....
Five U.S. Zoos You Must Visit

Five U.S. Zoos You Must Visit

Animal-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike, get ready to travel the country to see some of America’s most notable zoos. These five are standouts, from their exhibits to their inhabitants to their natural beauty. Take in the sights and sounds as you are introduced to species from all around the globe. A day at the zoo is action-packed, full of fun, and excitingly educational. San Diego Zoo For the ultimate zoo experience in California, visit the San Diego Zoo. 100-acres of beautiful zoo adventures await, as the more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals and 700,000 exotic plants call San Diego Zoo their home. USA Today notes that San Diego Zoo is, “one of only four U.S. zoos to exhibit giant pandas.” The zoo’s Safari Park is exhilarating, as are the dozens of select zoo experiences, tours, and other activities for kids and adults alike. “San Diego Zoo Global is the largest zoological membership association in the world, with more than 250,000 member households and 130,000 child memberships, representing more than a half million people.” This non-profit wildlife sanctuary is a must-see, located just north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park. 2920 Zoo Dr. San Diego, California Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is the second oldest zoo in America having first opened in 1875. The zoo spans 79-acres and is home to about 580 animal species and 3,000 plants. As per USA Today, “The zoo is known for its conservation efforts, education programs, and for its rare animals, including the Sumatran Rhino, the most endangered large mammal on Earth.” Special events are a...
Great Ways to Get Your Kids Talking

Great Ways to Get Your Kids Talking

Keep The Lines of Communication Open As parents, we want to keep the lines of communication open with our kids from an early start. We want to be sure they know that we are always here for them, no matter the situation. But sometimes, it can be hard to get our kids to open up. They may not feel like talking or they don’t offer up much information when they do. Depending on their age, they may feel embarrassed or afraid that we’ll be judgmental, or perhaps what they share will get them into trouble. But we must reassure our kids that we are here to lend an open ear and a helping hand whenever possible. Here are two ways to get kids talking when it seems as if they are reluctant to do so. It may take some time, but the more we make ourselves available, the more they will willingly open up and communicate with us. Trust and compassion are key, and with our guidance, they will share what is going on in their minds and lives… even through the often-tumultuous teen years and beyond. Start First Thing When the day begins, it is a great time to talk. After a restful night’s sleep, kids are refreshed and feeling brand new. Whatever may have happened the day before has been processed to some degree, and your child may be more apt to discuss. Chit chat over breakfast or on the drive to school. Once your child has had the time to talk with you, they can go about their day with a weight off their shoulders. Make...
3 Books That Teach Kids About Differences in Others

3 Books That Teach Kids About Differences in Others

Children must learn about diversity as soon as they are able to understand the concept. In today’s world, there are so many kinds of people from all walks of life, and we are all special and unique. With knowledge comes understanding and acceptance, something that needs to be taught to kids at an early age, so it becomes part of their being. We need to help our kids embrace the differences in others and find compassion and commonality when- and wherever possible. Children of all ages will have questions about people, cultures, lifestyles, religions, etc. that are unlike theirs. As parents, we can do all we can to help our kids grasp these concepts, but we may not have all the answers. That is where the power of books come into play as a teaching aid to educate ourselves and our children. The more they know, the more well-rounded they will become. Here are some books that teach kids about the differences (and similarities) in others. Share them with your child to open their hearts and minds. We All Sing with the Same Voice by J. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. Greene The name of this book started as the name of a song featured on Sesame Street, and We All Sing with the Same Voice is a powerful example that teaches kids that no matter where they come from or how they look, they are all the same on in the inside. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings I Am Jazz is a real-life story about Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen who is now a...
3 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained Indoors When It’s Too Cold Outside

3 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained Indoors When It’s Too Cold Outside

The weather outside is certainly frightful, but that does not mean that the kids aren’t antsy for something fun to do. While going outside to play may not be an option, finding fun indoors is something that can be done. Frigid temps and too much snow make outdoor play too dangerous, so here are some super-fun ideas for at-home entertainment. Once the weather gets milder, everyone can head back outside again and play in the fresh air.   A Day at “The Movies” No need to brave the storms to make it to the local movie theater when you can rent a kid-friendly film at home and make the experience as close to the real thing as possible. Dim the lights, pop some fresh popcorn, serve up refreshments, and snuggle up on the sofa. You can even craft “tickets” from construction paper and have one of the kids collect the stubs. Make it a double-feature for a full afternoon of on-screen, at-home entertainment.   Make-Your-Own Sundae Bar Even on the coldest of days kids still crave the taste of delicious ice cream. Make it healthier with low-fat frozen yogurt, and let the culinary adventure begin. Set out bowls of various toppings like fresh fruit, carob chips, raisins, chopped nuts, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, and cherries, and let each kid create their very own specialty sundae. Jazz things up by serving the fro-yo in a long boat-shaped dish with sliced bananas and whipped cream for a homemade banana split that will have everyone digging in!   Sock Puppet Theater Let the kids use their imaginations by decorating old tube socks and...
Warm and Tasty Weekend Breakfasts

Warm and Tasty Weekend Breakfasts

With the winter weather giving us a chill, what better way to start off the weekend than with a warm and hearty breakfast the kids will love? Make Saturday and Sunday mornings extra-special with delicious breakfast meals that fill everyone up and never let you down. These kid-friendly meals are easy to prepare and even easier to eat. The comfort of a warm meal on a cold winter’s day makes getting out from under the covers worth every bite. School day morning breakfasts are always a rush, but these weekend meals are perfect for sitting at the kitchen table for a while with family as you enjoy a nourishing meal together. Here are two warm and tasty weekend breakfast recipes that will have everyone asking for seconds. You will love preparing them for your family and seeing their faces light up with the very first bite! Egg in a Pancake Kids love eggs and pancakes, so why not combine the two breakfast favorites for an adorable-looking dish that tastes as good as it looks? Here’s how to whip up this simple breakfast dish: Makes 4 servings Ingredients: 8 pre-made frozen pancakes 8 medium eggs 1 cup maple syrup Non-stick cooking spray Thaw out the pancakes and set them out on a large cooking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Use a round 1 ½ inch diameter cookie cutter to pop out a round circle in the middle of each pancake and save the removed pieces. Inside each hole, crack an egg. Place in the oven pre-set at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the egg sets. Serve with the...
Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Many parents are not sure whether their child is ready to start kindergarten. According to Babycenter, “Your child must reach the age of 5 by the cutoff date, which is usually around September 1 in most school districts, though some states have later or earlier cutoffs or no deadline at all. Many schools still use these dates to determine who is ready for school, but research shows that your child’s chronological age isn’t the best way to decide whether he has what it takes to be a successful kindergartner.” Some kids are more advanced than others at that tender age, and other kids seem to be behind the curve in one or more areas. Deciding to enroll now or wait another year until your child seems better prepared can be a struggle. There are pros and cons to both, and ultimately the decision is with the parents. According to Care.com, “One of the best allies in making this decision is your child’s pre-k teacher. The teacher should have the best idea of whether the child can meet social and academic expectations. Parents are not always the best judge of readiness, because they can be plagued by anxieties.” Babycenter adds, “If your child is not in preschool or you just want another opinion, check with your child’s doctor. She will know about your child’s physical development and can offer helpful feedback as to whether your child is ready. You can also talk with family members and friends who know your child well.” When you’ve gathered this information along with what you assess of your child’s level of emotional and intellectual readiness, you...