Posts tagged ‘Back to School’
Every parent has a favorite horror story about The Morning Rush. There’s the tale of the backwards shirt, only discovered when you arrive at school. Or the Day the Thermos Exploded in the Backpack. Or there’s just an ongoing tale of many, many days of profound rush and general frenzy.
What can you do besides stand like an addled deer in your child’s zooming headlights? Many experts say that that answer lies in routine, routine, routine! Here’s an activity that can help get all of you calmly out the door in the morning. It helps with reading development, too. Plus, it’s fun!
What You Need:
- At least 7 pages of card stock paper
- Digital camera
- Three hole punch
- Clip on rings
What You Do:
- Start by folding a sheet of typing paper in half lengthwise. Sit down with your child, discuss what really happens every morning, and in the left hand column, make a list of six common features. Be prepared to laugh—kids can be amazingly observant. In our house, for example, a standard event was, “Mom forgets her cell phone and we have to double back to get it.” At the top of the page, you can mark this list, “Nonfiction,” and explain to your child that that means it’s a statement of true facts.
- Now, on the right hand side, ask your child what might change in each case to make things run smoother. (If you already have a smooth morning routine, go ahead and jump straight to this phase—you can just record what you already do.) Write the ideas on small post-its—you can then move them around when you’re done to make a logical sequence.
- Now you’re ready for some reading and writing. Have your child write each of the six things you just discussed onto a horizontal card stock page, creating six pages in order that convey a sensible, sane, orderly morning routine. At the very least, you’ll want to include items like putting on clothes (right side out), eating breakfast, and brushing teeth, and make sure you include a page for a Chipper goodbye before the school day starts!
- Now have your little one use the markers to illustrate every page, with himself or herself in a starring role, of course.
- Place three holes in the left margin and clip the book with clip on rings. This way, you can add or subtract pages later.
- At night before bed, have your child read the book to you. Talk it through and envision how the morning will go. Do it again and again … and prepare to be amazed by the improvements in your morning routine!
Of course, on another day, feel free to take out that other list. There may be quite another tale to write about (perhaps one to laugh about once better routines are in place). Now, Let’s Go Chipper back-to-school!
As most of us know, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. It’s a day dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday tributes the working class contributions to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday in 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. Military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with Reyes, leader of the labor movement. Fearing further conflict, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. Learn more about Labor Day’s origins here.
This holiday is usually celebrated with summer activities – swimming, camping, picnics, etc., and is the unofficial end of summer in the Northern part of the U.S. Most schools usually start sometime during the week after Labor Day. Elementary teachers use this holiday to introduce the concept of Community Helpers to small children. In an ideal society – everyone plays a role, or works a job that supports the community.
Chipper teaches kids all about helping out each other, family, and their communities in his latest book, Helping Hands. By positively reinforcing the good that comes when we all work together, children will be ready to lend their hands and hearts around the home, school, and community. Try out our Helping Hands craft! Print out the helping hand coloring page and have your child color it and write a few things they have done to help out around the house or for the environment. Then hang up on fridge with a magnet (check out our cool home-made mini-magnet craft!) so your kids can be proud of their accomplishments and encouraged to do more!
Have a Chipper Labor Day weekend and help your community in anyway you can! Find a place to volunteer your time and give back to your community here.
The following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) – Edited by Chipper!
Making the First Day Easier
First of all, stay chipper and positive–don’t stress out! School is fun and a place to learn.
- Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
- Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun! She’ll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.
- Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride with on the bus.
- If you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.
- Choose a back pack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
- Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
- If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.
Traveling To and From School
Review the basic rules with your youngster:
- If your child’s has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus. If your child’s school bus does not have lap/shoulder belts, encourage the school to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.
- Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
- Do not move around on the bus.
- Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street.
- Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
- Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.
- All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car or booster seat.
- Your child should ride in a car seat with a harness as long as possible and then ride in a belt-positioning booster seat. Your child is ready for a booster seat when she has reached the top weight or height allowed for her seat, her shoulders are above the top harness slots, or her ears have reached the top of the seat.
- Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s seat belt fits properly (usually when the child reaches about 4′ 9″ in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age). This means that the child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with her legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down and the shoulder belt lies across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or throat; the lap belt is low and snug across the thighs, and not the stomach.
- All children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles. If you must drive more children than can fit in the rear seat (when carpooling, for example), move the front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as possible and have the child ride in a booster seat if the seat belts do not fit properly without it.
- Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You should require seat belt use, limit the number of teen passengers, and do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations or texting to prevent driver distraction. Limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather. Familiarize yourself with your state’s graduated driver’s license law and consider the use of a parent-teen driver agreement to facilitate the early driving learning process. For a sample parent-teen driver agreement, click here.
- Always wear a helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
- Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
- Use appropriate hand signals.
- Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
- Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.
- Know the “rules of the road.”
Walking to School
- Make sure your child’s walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
- Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
- If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week or until you are sure they know the route and can do it safely.
- Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
- In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
Eating During the School Day
- Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home. With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.
- Try to get your child’s school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice in the vending machines.
- Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60%. Restrict your child’s soft drink consumption.
Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, or over the Internet.
When Your Child Is Bullied
- Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
- Look the bully in the eye.
- Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
- Walk away.
- Teach your child how to say in a firm voice.
- “I don’t like what you are doing.”
- “Please do NOT talk to me like that.”
- “Why would you say that?”
- Teach your child when and how to ask for help.
- Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
- Support activities that interest your child.
- Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
- Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child’s safety and well-being when you cannot be there.
When Your Child Is the Bully
- Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
- Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior.
- Be a positive role mode. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
- Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
- Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors, and parents of the children your child has bullied.
When Your Child Is a Bystander
- Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.
- Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
- Help your child support other children who may be bullied. Encourage your child to include these children in activities.
- Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop.
Before and After School Child Care
- During early and middle childhood, youngsters need supervision. A responsible adult should be available to get them ready and off to school in the morning and watch over them after school until you return home from work.
- Children approaching adolescence (11- and 12-year-olds) should not come home to an empty house in the afternoon unless they show unusual maturity for their age.
- If alternate adult supervision is not available, parents should make special efforts to supervise their children from a distance. Children should have a set time when they are expected to arrive at home and should check in with a neighbor or with a parent by telephone.
- If you choose a commercial after-school program, inquire about the training of the staff. There should be a high staff-to-child ratio, and the rooms and the playground should be safe.
Developing Good Homework and Study Habits
- Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Youngsters need a permanent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.
- Schedule ample time for homework.
- Establish a household rule that the TV set stays off during homework time.
- Supervise computer and Internet use.
- Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child’s homework for her.
- Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically when it will not be too disruptive.
- If your child is struggling with a particular subject, and you aren’t able to help her yourself, a tutor can be a good solution. Talk it over with your child’s teacher first.
HAVE A CHIPPER BACK TO SCHOOL!!!
It’s just about time when the kids are going back to school at last! According to the National Association of School Psychologists, getting a new school year off to a good start can influence children’s attitude, confidence, and performance both socially and academically. The transition from August to September can be difficult for both children and parents after a long summer of broken routines and various trips. Even children who are eager to return to class must adjust to the greater levels of activity, structure, and, for some, pressures associated with school life.
The degree of adjustment depends on the child, but parents and family can help their children manage the increased pace of life by starting early, being realistic, and staying Chipper! Re-establish your regular bedtime and eating schedules early so it won’t be as hard to set once school actually starts. Have your children do some scholastic activities to prepare them mentally to start stuffing their little brains! Restart their memorization skills with Chipper’s fun Matching Game App.
Your child will benefit most from one or two activities that are fun, reinforce social development, and teach new skills! Chipper’s coloring pages App are easy, no-mess activities for your kids to play while on-the-go, shopping for back-to-school. For those of you with preschoolers, Chipper’s Pillow Backpack is the perfect item for your little one’s to hold a few necessities while having something to rest their little heads on during nap time! Sing-a-long songs with all of Chipper’s friends are a fun way for them to shape up their reading skills and dance moves. Check out Chipper’s brand new Amazon Webstore to see all our great school items, including reusable totes, fun backpacks with matching lunch bags, and much more! Get Chipper with your kids this school year!
Connecting kids to outdoor educational activities and neighbors.
Chipper tips for back to school lunch planning. Chipper offers a few simple ideas to playfully teach your children healthy eating habits when at school this year.