Summer is quickly approaching. It is that time of the year our children love, and parents dread. What are you going to do with them all summer long? It's not too early to be making you summer care arrangements. So what are some of your options?
Here are some tips from Child Care Resource and Referral at John A Logan.
1)Licensed Child Care Centers and Licensed Homes
Many licensed center and licensed home provide care for school age children. Some even expand their offerings during the summer month. CCR&R has a list of programs in the region and has a referral specialist on staff that can answer any questions you may have.
2) Family, Friends or neighbors
Do you know someone who will be home during the summer months and that you feel comfortable having your children in their care? They may be willing to help you out for the summer and earn a little extra spending money for their own family. It never hurts to ask. When you make these type of arrangements, keep in mind that a family can care for up to three children including their own ( or one other family) without having a license.
3) Cooperative /shared care care
Think about sharing care options with another family. Maybe you can provide some care for their children and they can help your when needed. It can help keep your child care expenses in check and develop a supportive friendship with other parents. If you have a friend with same-aged kids, consider using some of your vacation time to provide a parent-run “camp.” You take your friend’s kids for a week or two. She or he takes yours for a week or two. The adults can relax knowing the kids are in good care. Both families save quite a bit of cash. You can enjoy time at the park or at the beach and playing backyard games and doing crafts with your favorite kids. Make sure that you and the other parent have similar expectations about how the days will go, beginning and end times, what you expect each other to provide in the way of meals and snacks, and how you will set limits.
4) Hire a babysitter to come to your home
. School is out for older teens and college students too. Work is hard to find. Contact the high school guidance department. Ask them to contact students they can recommend about your available job. If there is a college nearby, contact the Early Childhood, Education, and recreation Services departments. Interview carefully. Set clear expectations. Provide clear information about options for summer fun. Sit the kids down with the sitter to establish clear ground rules. Make sure to stock the fridge. Pay decently and you’ll buy quality. Always be considerate and on time and you’ll win loyalty.
5) Summer Camp. The Scouts, Park Districts, SIUC and other groups in the regions offer day camp opportunities of anywhere from a week to all summer. For children too young or who don’t want to be away from family and friends, day camp provides the camp experience without the separation. They cost much less than overnight camp. Many have “campership” programs for those who are low income and qualify.
Many communities have a local recreation department that offers sports camps, arts and crafts camps, or a day camp kind of model. Most are affordable. Many offer a sliding scale fee structure. Many have a scholarship program.
Overnight camps. For some families, overnight came is the best option. These camps run from one week to all summer. Some are run by organizations like the Girl and Boy Scouts. Some are private. Some focus on one major activity (such as computers, theater, or wilderness) while others offer a smorgasbord of activities every day. Like day camps, many offer camperships to help low-income families. Talk to other parents to get ideas. Take care to make sure your child is ready to spend time away from home.
6)Summer school. Many school systems offer summer programs that include some academics and a lot of fun. Especially consider this if your child is struggling with school or is at risk to lose skills over the summer. Summer school can give your child the extra academic support her or she needs. Done well, summer school also includes crafts, sports, and the arts so it isn’t all work and no play.
7)Volunteer work. Kids who are between 12 and 16 are the hardest to occupy in the summer. Many consider themselves too old for many of the other options and yet they are too young for paid employment. Give them a head start on paid work in the future. Help them build a resume and a work ethic by doing some volunteer work. Many camps have a “counselor in training” program for middle teens. Nonprofits are often delighted to have another set of hands to do work. Just make sure there is enough supervision and enough to do every day to keep your child engaged.
Knowing your options and advance planning can help make it a great summer for you and the kids.
Question?Call CCR&R at 1-800-548-5563.
As you think about signing kids up for organized sports, consider how emotionally and physically ready they are to participate. If they're too young or not ready, it will be frustrating for everyone, and can turn kids off from sports for good.
Although there are sports programs designed for preschoolers, it's not until about age 6 or 7 that most kids develop the physical skills and attention span that most sports need. Preschoolers can throw and run, but it usually takes some time before they can coordinate the two skills. And it may not be until kindergarten or first grade before kids understand the rules of the game.
That doesn't mean kids can't play sports when they're younger. Sports can be fun for toddlers and kindergartners, but these should be less about competition and more about learning skills and having fun while being active. So even if young kids inadvertently score a goal for the other team or spend the entire game chasing butterflies, as long as they're enjoying it, that's OK.
If you do decide to sign your 5-year-old up for a team, be sure to choose a league that emphasizes fun and basic skills.
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.