June has been proclaimed as the Great Outdoors Month. This is a perfect time to share the glory of nature with your child!
There are plenty of reasons why you should pack your stuff and enjoy the Great Outdoors with your kids. Here are just a few of them:
Manage Your Kid’s Excessive Use of Technology
There are so many distractions these days competing for your child’s attention. Gadgets, video games, the Internet, you name it, they’re all out there. And you know, once your child gets their hands on any of it, they give it their undivided attention.
There’s nothing wrong with exposing your kids to technology. But too much of anything can negatively impact your kid, physically, socially and emotionally.
What is alarming though, is how children spend so much less time outside the home and seldom interact with kids their age. (Sometimes, they don’t even talk to their own parents!) Technology is creating a reclusive generation who’d rather spend time in front of a mobile phone or a computer monitor. Even recess has been reduced or eliminated at many schools, further reducing the time spent outside.
Want to prevent this gloom and doom horizon? You can, if you manage how your kids use technology. Giving them interesting alternatives such as exploring the Great Outdoors tops the list.
If you have limited time because of work, look into having your child attend a child care program. There are child care centers that offer outdoor activities in their curriculum.
Explore the Grandness of Mother Nature
The US is well known for its majestic outdoors. Go explore some of it! Kids can learn a lot from actual, experiential discovery. Going camping, fishing, or just playing catch in a neighborhood park? Being outside gives you and your child the opportunity to be one with nature.
Imagine your child responding to a live butterfly flying above her head, instead of watching some video about insects on the web. It’s amazing to see your child discover new things about nature. Better yet, you’re there to teach your kid about nature itself!
Bonding with Family & Friends
This June is the best month to bond with your child together with friends and other family members. During the National Great Outdoors celebration, there are plenty of fun activities you and your child can enjoy, such as:
- Family Fun
Ask the director of the child care center your kid is attending if they offer any of these outdoor activities and how you and your kid can make the most of it. Child care centers often align their activities with the Great Outdoors Month celebration, by including field trips to parks and other outdoor activities. And most centers need and appreciate volunteers to join them on these field trips, so ask how you can help!
Spending quality time with your kid this month while being out in nature is a wonderful and enriching experience. Your child is guaranteed to enjoy endless opportunities for adventure, recreation, and renewal of family ties.
There’s no denying taking long walks outside can result in long lasting and far reaching health benefits. Nature offers an opportunity to explore and get active while strengthening our bonds with family.
The health benefits are not just limited to physical health. Sure, climbing a steep hill or backpacking with your kid builds endurance and improves overall physical well-being. But there’s more to physical health when you enjoy the great outdoors, including:
Mental Health Balance
Spending time with your kids outdoors is also beneficial to your own mental health. It’s a wonderful stress reliever especially if you work in an office all day. Hiking, biking, and climbing can help relieve you of the stress that you deal with on a regular basis.
Social Bond Strengthening
People who love the great outdoors or any kind of outdoor activity usually do well at group work. Outdoorsy folks improve their social skills over time and they do so while learning how to effectively work with others.
Imagine what it will be like for your kid.
Encouraging your kid to enjoy nature also gives them important skills, such as team building and problem-solving skills. These will be extremely valuable when she grows up.
Believe it or not, people who spend more time outdoors are more productive in their job and personal life. Kids who spend more time with friends playing in the park tend to show more IQ and EQ than those who spend more time tinkering with their gadgets.
They are more motivated to get involved in activities and they bring this “grit” to solve life’s riddles and challenges.
Healthy View of the Environment
By exploring the world, kids develop a deep appreciation of nature. Teaching your child about nature opens their eyes to how important and interconnected the environment is.
Talk to your child about simple, but pressing, environmental issues of the day and teach her how she can make a big difference in her own small way. Besides, big changes take place with small steps.
Contribute to the Local Economy by Boosting Local, Small Businesses
Last, but certainly not least, exploring the great outdoors with your kids can bring great value to local and small businesses in your area. Every time you go out to enjoy nature, you contribute to your local economy’s coffers.
The Great Outdoors Month of June is a time for everyone to share what nature has to offer. It helps heighten your child’s understanding of nature and their place in it. Plus it’s just a great place to relax in!
As parents, there are several important decisions that you have to make regarding your child’s welfare and future. One of those is their education. To make sure that your children start on the right developmental foot, consider sending them to a good quality preschool program. Preschool can benefit kids in more ways than one. It provides a strong foundation for a child’s academic and social development. To further understand the role of preschool in your kids’ educational success, read on below.
Importance of preschool
Preschool is more than just playing and having fun. It provides children with a lot of learning experiences that help set them up for future academic, social and emotional success. For most kids, preschool is their very first experience in structured learning with a teacher and other children. They are exposed to the fundamentals of academic learning like letters, numbers and shapes. Kids are also given opportunities to socialize, get along with each other and work with other kids of their age.
Preschool is also excellent preparation for kindergarten. A quality preschool program ensures that children enter kindergarten with better language, vocabulary, math and pre-reading skills. If you’re anxious that preschool is pushing your little one to grow up too fast, don’t worry because play time is also a part of a preschool curriculum. Playtime is actually one of the fun things about preschool. Preschool doesn’t require you to choose between readiness for kindergarten and protecting your child’s playtime. A good quality preschool program offers both.
Another benefit of sending your little one to a preschool class is that they also get to develop emotionally and socially. Preschool children are given opportunities to build warm relationships with children and teachers. Their socialization skills are also strengthened. In the safe and healthy environment of a preschool, kids learn to become more independent. This is the time when they begin to trust relationships with other adults apart from their parents and family.
The good thing about preschool is that kids can learn about their ABCs and fundamentals of mathematics even if the classes are not too formal. Children learn these things through activities that can keep them engaged and interested. Children don’t just sit down and have the teachers give instruction, instead, preschool children enjoy story time, playing with toys, talking to their teachers and interacting with their classmates.
Choosing the right preschool
To make sure that your child gets the most from their preschool experience, it is important that you select the right preschool for them. Look for the preschool that will address your child’s specific needs. Also find the one that will fit your family’s situation. Do you need a part time schedule or a full day schedule? Seek feedback from your friends and family. Do some research and check the internet as well. Explore your options to make sure that you’re selecting the perfect school.
Making the right decision
There are several important things that you must consider if you want to ensure you’re making the right decision. Start with learning about the preschool curriculum. Does the preschool program recognize the specific needs of the children? How are they addressing these needs? Also find out about the teachers’ qualifications and credentials. Teachers who have gone through necessary training are more capable of establishing positive relationships with children. They provide more effective instruction while making sure that kids are having fun.
Create a checklist for preschool visits
Before making the final decision, it’s a good idea to visit the preschools that you are considering. During your visit, start checking the basics including the safety and security of the setting. Is your child going to be safe and comfortable in the environment? Are there plenty of age-appropriate materials and toys? Also, take the time to talk to the school director and ask about their daily schedules and routine. Find out how the teachers update parents about the children’s progress and how parents are involved in the school.
Choosing a high-quality preschool program that suits your child can help build the skills and knowledge that they need to succeed in kindergarten. And if you’re looking for a preschool in Euless that allows your kids to have fun while learning, gain confidence, and connect with others, please consider Kids Kampus.
Summer months are one of the most exciting times for most school kids. If you are looking for activities that will keep your little ones busy this summer, consider sending them to a summer camp. Summer camps are an excellent childcare option that will not only help your child make the most of their vacation, they also provide plenty of opportunities for the short term and long term development of the campers. Although there are plenty of options, it is important to choose a summer camp program that is a right fit for your child. To help you get started, here are some helpful tips that will guide you on what to look for in a good summer camp program.
The summer camp’s emphasis
The experience you want your child to gain from the summer program is crucial. It is important to look into the general focus of the program. Find out what your child wishes to learn or the skills that they need to develop. Are they more into sports, music or arts? Their interests should be an important consideration when looking for the right program.
Qualifications of the staff or camp facilitators
As parents, we need to know the people who are running the summer camp program that our kids will attend. These are the people whom your child will be spending time with. Take time to find out if they are qualified and if they have the necessary training and qualifications to facilitate the activities. Do they have adequate experience working with kids? Do they maintain good relationships with the campers?
Safety of the activities and environment
Your child’s safety is something that can never be compromised. When looking for a summer program, make sure that there is a person trained in first aid in cases of injuries and accidents. If swimming is part of the activities, make sure that there are lifeguards watching the children at all times. It is also equally important to find out if background checks have been done on all employees.
A good summer camp program provides campers the opportunity to make friends and establish lasting relationships with other kids. This is one of the things to look for in a summer program. What is the age group of the children enrolling in the program? Is it composed of boys and girls? Is the program going to be the perfect venue for your child to integrate and get along with other children?
Daily activities and schedules
Find out how a typical day looks like in the camp. Does the camp keep an organized and well-planned schedule that will keep your child engaged and interested? Check if your child can participate in all the activities. Ensuring their participation in each and every activity will help ensure they make the most of the summer program.
Opportunities for success
Summer camps are supposed to help children boost their self-esteem and confidence. When looking for a summer program, look for the one that will provide your child more opportunities to succeed. Camps are a place where children shouldn’t feel the pressure that they may feel at school. The activities should be non-competitive as much as possible while making sure that a goal is set for them to achieve at the end of the day.
Opportunities to develop a sense of independence
A summer camp is a perfect place for a child to practice making decisions for themselves without their parents guiding them. In the safe environment of a camp, your child should be given the chance to grow more independent. They should have opportunities to make even simple choices. This little freedom they are given is the first step to learning how to think and decide on their own. This is essential learning that will shape the kind of person they grow to become in the future.
Summer camps are an excellent childcare option for your child to experience new things and develop a variety of skills. Make summer count and follow these guidelines for choosing a good summer camp program for your child.
Ask just about anyone and they can usually — and vividly — remember when they first learned to ride a bike!
It’s just something you never forget…
No matter how long it’s been since you hopped on a bike, National Bike Month provides the perfect reason to get back out there and ride again!
Here’s how to celebrate that amazing invention, the bicycle, with your kids… and start a new, healthy habit as a family!
Begin by setting out the rules for safe biking. Even if your kids aren’t old enough to really remember everything you’re telling them, repeat the rules for safe biking to them every time you go out.
When they see you following the same rules you’re telling them to follow, it will encourage them to do the same.
Teach them the following tips for safe biking:
- Keep your tires well inflated – match the pressure that’s listed on the tire itself.
- Inspect your brakes before setting out to make sure they’re aligned and working properly
- Keep bolts, bearings, and chains greased
- Wear a helmet at all times, making sure it fits you well and isn’t too loose
- If you plan to ride at night, wear bright, reflective colors and use a light
- For trail riding, stay on the right side, pass to the left and use your voice or a horn to alert people and other riders that you’re planning to pass
- Use hand signals and obey traffic signals, always stopping at stop lights and stop signs
- Make eye contact with drivers to be sure they see you
- Ride with the traffic, not against it
Note: Before venturing out, add more reflectors to your bikes – and any clothes you’re wearing. And consider adding flashing reflectors to improve visibility
Set your course
To make National Bike Month a fun time for you and your kids, have a plan. Your activities will be determined, in large part, by the biking skills your kids have.
If, for example, you have young kids with little to no experience riding a bike, you’ll obviously be focused on teaching them how to ride a bike. Give them ample time to practice their new skill.
Older or more confident riders who may be up for a challenge might enjoy:
- setting up jumps in the backyard
- going “off-road” on nearby bike trails
- holding a “bike rodeo” with the neighborhood kids where they can take part in:
- obstacle courses
- a “balance beam” made from lines drawn on the ground that riders need to stay within
- “paper boy” – riders toss rolled up newspapers into targets such as large trash cans, baskets, tubs, etc.
- slow races – points deducted for each time their foot hits the ground before the finish line (builds up their balance and coordination)
Riding a bike is a childhood rite of passage that you don’t want your kids to miss… so get on out there and ride with them!