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.”
Its time again for the DuQuoin State Fair- a true southern Illinois tradition. Once you are a parent, going to the Fair takes on a whole new meaning (and costs!) Here are quick tips to make it a day to remember.
Plan your trip in advance. It will only take a short time and will be well worth it. Check out the "lay of the land" Know where the restrooms are.
Check out the map and keep your eye out for the Refreshment stations, places where families can sit and relax
Bring the essential you will need and keep them accessible. Backpacks are always a good idea. If you have a young one, don't skip the stroller. You will be glad you have it by the time you reach the gates. Another staple is "wet wipes", even if your kids aren't diaper age. They are great on stick fair food, you can use them to wipe spills on clothing and are especially handy to wipe of chairs and benches when you are ready for a break.
Decide on your budget before you go. Know the costs before you go. The cheapest parking is $7.00 and that is for gates 3 and 4. If you go to Gate 1, parking will cost you $12. This year, for the first time, there is an admissions cost of $2.00 per adult ( 13 and over). Ride tickets are $1,00 and most rides require more than one ticket to get on. If your kids are older, you can talk with them and give them each their own budget. One might be more interested in fair food, while the other loves the rides. Be aware of any specials and although a $22 armband for rides sounds pretty expensive before you go, you might find it the best deal if you family really loves the rides. There is a kiddieland for younger children which is great. But remember, the fair is supposed to be an agricultural event and although the rides are enticing, there is lots more to enjoy and alot of it is FREE! The Fair offers a wonderful opportunity for kids to see animals "up front and close" and this year's FREE entertainment includes Alley Cats, Butterfly Encounter, Cirque Extreme, the Emerson Petting Zoo, Gavin the Hypnotist, Magic Mike and more.. Click here to see a schedule . The 1/2 mil track hosts a rodeo, tractor pulls, demo derby and motocross. And don't forget the petting zoo.
Bring cash- not alot of vendors accept debit cards,
Bring some of your own water and emergency snacks, Fair food is great, but also expensive. Bring some of your own to help keep costs down and tummies full! Prepackaged items are best because of the heat. Granola bars and fruit snacks are always great choices. It looks like it is going to be hot, so make sure if you take something that needs to remain cool, you have it in a cooler.
Get there early. Getting there early means parking spots closer to the entrance, making it easier if you have to go back to the car for something you forgot.You will avoid longer lines at rides and events and beat the evening rush of teens and adults coming to the fair for a night out. If possible, go on a week day and avoid the big crowds altogether.
Divide and conquer. While it is important for families to have together time, if your children are of mixed ages, consider splitting off at some point so one adult can go with the older children and another with the younger. If you are a single parent, consider "teaming up" with another family or ask a friend to go. This will reduce wait times when kids tend to get impatient and crabby.
Safety. Safety, Safety. Even the best family trip can get spoiled when someone gets hurt or lost. Bring your cell phone and for your youngest children, write the number on a small piece of paper and put it in their pocket. Point out people who work at the fair and encourage them to go to one of them or a vendor if they get lost. Avoid letting children wear clothing with their name. If you are letting your older kids go off on their own, set up a time/ place to meet and check in on a regular basis.
Pace yourself. You don't have to do everything. It is okay to save some things for next year.
Know when to call it quits. A big mistake parents can make is staying too long at
the fair. It is important to remember that kids, especially younger one, don't have the same stamina as adults. The ones you see running to the gates are often in their parents arms, being carried back to the car. Before exhaustion sets in and crying, tantrums or meltdowns occur, consider calling it quits for the day. It will help end the day ( and whole fair experience) on a good note and create memories your whole family will cherish.
The Preschool Countdown: What to Do and When
The last few weeks before starting preschool seem to fly by! As you begin the countdown to the first day, here are some things to keep in mind:
During the 2 Weeks Before Preschool Starts:
These strategies can ease the jitters of separating on your child’s first day at preschool.
Plan to stay a little while
.Staying for 15-30 minutes on that first morning can help ease the transition. Together, the two of you can explore the classroom, meet some other children, play with a few toys. When you see that your child is comfortable, it is time to leave. If he is having a harder time getting engaged, you may want to ask your child’s teacher to stay with your child as you say good-bye so that when you leave, he can turn to another caring adult for support.
Keep your tone positive and upbeat.
Children pick up on the reactions of the trusted adults in their lives. So try not to look worried or sad, and don’t linger too long. Say a quick, upbeat good-bye and reassure your child that all will be well.
Think about creating a special good-bye routine.For example, you can give your child a kiss on the palm to “hold” all day long. Or, the two of you can sing a special song together before you leave. Good-bye routines are comforting to children and help them understand and prepare for what will happen next.
Resist the Rescue
.Try not to run back in the classroom if you hear your child crying, as upsetting as this can be. This is a big change and your child may, quite understandably, feel sad and a little scared. But if you run back in, it sends the message that he is only okay if you are there and it is likely to prolong your child’s distress and make it harder for him to adapt. Rest assured, teachers have many years of experience with helping families make the shift to preschool. Instead, you can wait outside the classroom for a few minutes to ensure that all is well, or call the school later in the morning to check in.
Courtesy: Zero to Three www,zerotothree.org
If your child is starting preschool this fall, you may be approaching this major milestone with conflicting emotions. You’re probably excited about all the fun (you hope) your child will have and the new friends he’ll make. At the same time, you may feel a little sad that your baby is venturing out into the big world without you. These emotions are normal. Your child is also bound to have a host of feelings about this transition, feeling proud to be a big kid but at the same time worried about being separated from you and starting something unfamiliar.
Having Fun with Preschool Prep
There’s a lot you can do in the weeks before to get ready for the big day. But try to keep your efforts low-key. If you make too big a deal out of this milestone, your child may end up being more worried than excited. Here are some ideas to keep the focus on fun.
Your child may also have some questions or concerns about starting preschool, either before or after she starts in the fall. Help her get ready with these two key strategies: