Organizing and storing expert, Emma Gordon, of Clutter.com, has worked with celebrities from Neil Patrick Harris to Jamie Lynn Sigler, and now she's sharing her decluttering tips to help you get your kids' rooms in tip top shape.
Original Article By Emma Gordon
Is your family getting cabin fever from the Arctic Blast? Getting cozy with the family is one thing. But being cooped up inside because of the weather can cause even the happiest of homes to experience some angst. With a little thought and ingenuity, though, you can turn your time together into an opportunity to bond and create. Here is a list of 8 quick tips to warm everyone up to each other. Maybe it will spark some new ideas in your family!
1. Bond through baking
There are hundreds of kid-friendly recipes on the Internet. Your efforts will add some warmth and comfort to your home.
2. Declare a “Family Game Day”
Dust off those board games hiding in the toy chest. Now is the time for some stiff competition.
3. Host a moviethon
Invite outside guests to enjoy in the fun. Ask them to supply the popcorn or some other movie time treats to eat.
4. Keep the chill outside the house
When families are cooped up together, things can heat up. Your children look to you to model appropriate reactions. An upbeat attitude can be catchy.
5. A little bit of laughter goes a long way
A good way to keep things comfortable is to encourage lightheartedness. Challenge each family member to tell a funny joke or story.
6. Plan your summer vacation
A good way to keep your mind off the cold weather is to talk about what you will do when it is warm. Call a family meeting to start generating ideas for family fun over the summer.
7. Collaborate on crafts
Ask your kids to help you come up with fun creations. All it takes is some crayons, markers, paper, glue, tape and some odds and ends from around the house. When you ask them to take on the task together, you encourage feelings of self-esteem and competence.
8. Engage in a family competition
While video games are not the best way to engage in hours of play, sometimes an exception can go a long way. Invite your kids to compete in their favorite video game system or online game. Structure the competition into rounds of play and offer prizes for the victors. A team approach is often the most fun-kids versus parents is a good way to build camaraderie between siblings.
It may be cold outside, but when you capitalize on time together, you create a warm and loving environment that could quickly melt away the bad weather blues. Here’s to keeping warm and happy
By Dr. Jennifer Powell-Lunder for KnowMore.tv
The start of the new year is a great time to help your children focus on forming good habits. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides the following list of ideas for you to talk to your children about trying, depending on their age.
Twinkly lights, candles, holiday trees and plants, ornaments and other decorations are an important part of holiday celebrations. Besides being festive and fun, the decorations your family brings out every year can help children feel connected to family traditions. To help make sure your decorations are safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers some tips:
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
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The holidays can be a joyful time, offering a chance to reconnect with friends and family. But they can also be stressful. You may feel pressure to buy and give gifts. Maybe you are worried about money. The holidays can also be hectic. There never seems to be enough time to get things done.Think about the kinds of events that trigger stress for you during the holidays. Then you can focus on one or two things you can do that will help the most to reduce stress.
Here are some ideas:
Preparing for the holidays
Santa is making sure that children from all over southern Illinois get the opportunity to share their wishes. Check out his itinerary below.
This list became so long we needed to make it , its own event page. It has be moved to...
Sponsored by Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, and the Illinois Center for the Book, Family Reading Night is an annual statewide event held the third Thursday in November to encourage families to spend quality time reading together. The next official Family Reading Night is scheduled for November 16, 2017.
Libraries across the region are joining in on the celebration. throughout the week of November 13th-17th. Here are some of the Family Reading Nights scheduled throughout southern Illinois.
Ms. Jessica will be reading her favorite "Pete the Cat" stories. The Carterville Lions Club will be providing a "Pete the Cat" book to the first 30 children in attendance, working on a "Pete the Cat" craft, and having snacks! This event is for families with children in pre-k through 2nd grade. This event is sponsored by the Carterville Lions Club. *Free books will be provided to the first 30 children in attendance. * Attendance at children's programs & activities constitutes consent to be photographed for use in library publicity & publications.
* Children under the age of eight must be supervised by a parent or guardian.
We will feature stories, songs, snacks, and guest readers.
The best part is that every child in attendance will go home with a book to enjoy later with family. Families with children of all ages are welcome, and we do encourage parents to attend with children under the age of 7.
Come to the library for a free book and snacks. This is an annual event where we celebrate reading as a family. Enter your child into a drawing for a chance to win an Amazon Fire tablet.
A fun evening of reading and crafts for families with preschool children.
• Share reading time together. • Bring your family to the library to hear stories about Pinkalicious & have your photo taken with her. • Prizes, refreshments and more.
Join us for an evening of story times, carnival games, and fun. "If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't."
Sock Monkey will join families for reading and fun. Ages PreK- 3rd grade
Enjoy an evening with Ms. Frizzle while reading with the whole family. Free and open to the public.
Making family reading time is a vital way to help your child become an expert reader.
1. Nourishing the Meal Time
Have your kids read recipes aloud to you while you’re cooking dinner. From ingredient lists to cooking directions, this kind of family reading will help build vocabulary, fluency…and dessert!
2. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
While your family is eating together, discuss what your favorite characters would have for dinner – Harry Pottermight like pumpkin juice and chocolate frogs while Geronomo Silton could crave some cheese! Incorporating characters of favorite stories into your eating routine is a delicious way to promote deep thinking about character traits and motivation.
3. Story Charades
Choose a story your family knows well — like a well-read book or fairytale — and act out the beginning, middle, and end of the story. If you have more family than characters, a few could do the acting and the others can be the audience or be the narrator. This activity helps readers reexamine and understand story lines and details.
4. Who Am I?
Choose one of your child’s favorite book characters, then describe his or her personality traits, problems, and physical descriptions until she guesses the character’s identity. This game is a fun way to pass time when you’re stuck in traffic or at a bus stop.
5. Book Nooks
Create “book nooks” with your child. Book nooks are comfy places to sit and read. They should have good lighting and containers filled with sticky notes, colorful pens, pencils, and a small dictionary. Book nooks will motivate your children not only to read, but to select favorite parts with sticky notes, or look up words they don’t know.
6. Marking the Spot
Making book marks together is a great, simple family reading activity. Just cut bookmark-sized cardboard from cereal or shoe boxes, then get crafty! Use brightly-colored markers to write titles, authors, and favorite quotes. Younger readers can draw or cut and paste pictures from old magazines.
7. Reach Out and Read
Boost family reading by involving loved-ones who live far away. Using Skype or another video conferencing program, have your child share a book with relatives. Make sure the book is one that your reader has read a few times already; repetition is a fantastic way to enhance reading skills. Younger readers love to show-off their fluency, and oral reading builds confidence. Grandma will be pretty thrilled as well.
8. Kid Karaoke
Download songs and their lyrics for a family karaoke night. Seeing words and singing them at the same time is a fun way to develop vocabulary…and practice your Elvis impersonations!
9. Family Reading Web pages
Using simple and free online programs, create a family reading Web page. Include sections for each family member’s book reviews, favorite book lists, “authors I’d like to lunch with” lists, pictures of famous authors, links to local libraries, kid-safe fan pages, and reading games.
Parents often have a love-hate relationship with Halloween. Yes, the costumed kids are adorable and the parties fun, but what about the candy?
Rather than cringing when they see pillow cases stuffed with candy coming in the front door, Dr. Meghan Markovich, a pediatrician with St. Elizabeth Physicians recommends health-conscious parents use Halloween as an opportunity to help their children learn to eat sweets in moderation.
“Trick-or-treating can be a great opportunity to talk about nutrition and how making better choices can improve health,” Dr. Markovich says. “Discuss with children how we use foods as fuel for our bodies. Candy is a treat, but not a food we use to give us energy. Parents should also talk to children about dental hygiene after eating candy so they can keep their teeth healthy too.”
So, what can you do to keep junior ““ or his parents ““ from gorging on the milk chocolate bounty?
Here are some tips from Dr. Markovich and the Nemours Foundation:
Feed them first. Don’t let the kids trick-or-treat on an empty stomach. Feed them a healthy dinner first to curb the candy craving a bit.
Inspect the candy. Discard unwrapped or opened candies. If you have small children, weed out choking hazards such as hard candies and gum.
The big night. While you may opt to be more lenient than usual on Halloween night, or even the next day, chances are you’ll want to set some ground rules for the ensuing days or weeks when the candy is in the house. Talk with your kids about your expectations and set some ground rules.
Assess the stash. Know how much candy your child has collected so you can determine your strategy and gauge how quickly the pile is diminishing. If the pile is diminishing at a reasonable rate you can relax. If not, you may want to intervene.
Helping resist the temptation. Don’t let your child store candy in his or her bedroom where the temptation to dip in may be too great. Store it in the kitchen or ““ if everybody is dipping in too frequently ““ on a high shelf.
Horse trade. Part of the fun of Halloween is trading candy. Put a twist on that time-honored tradition. If your child’s haul
xceeds your comfort level, consider “trading” him a nickel, dime or quarter (you pick your price point) for every piece he’s willing to give up.
Provide choices. Halloween should be fun for everybody, including children who can’t have candy due to allergies, health or weight problems. For children who can’t have candy, try substituting acceptable treats or find a family-friendly alternative to trick-or-treating, such as a corn maze or haunted house.
Model behavior. If you want your kids to practice moderation you need to do so as well. Buying Halloween candy at the last minute and giving away or throwing out leftovers can help. Giving out non-food treats from the party supply store such as stickers, temporary tattoos, false teeth and little bottles of bubbles, or healthy snacks such as little boxes of raisins or bags of sugar-free gum can help you limit the amount of candy in the house.
“Setting a limit ahead of time should help kids know what to expect,” says Dr. Markovich. “For example, your child could have three to five pieces of candy on Halloween night and then one additional piece periodically for a time before all the candy is gone or discarded.”