EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Archive for November 2010

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director
  1. There is a parking spot next to the door of the store I am going to.
  2. I find an extra $20.00 in the pocket of my jeans.
  3. My grandchildren forget I said yes to the many “Nana will you get me this?” toys they have seen advertised on TV.
  4. Traffic parts (much like the biblical Red Sea) as I travel to the mall at the last-minute.
  5. When asked if I can bring anything to a holiday party, the hostess answers “Yes, please bring your beautiful family and good cheer.”
  6. I stop feeling guilty about not sending Christmas cards each year.
  7. Butterscotch replaces peppermint as the traditional holiday flavor. (I hate candy canes.)
  8. Models in the catalogs weigh more than 90 lbs. so I can see what clothes will really look like.
  9. Christmas radio stations will only play the Christmas songs I like. And they won’t play any Christmas songs until it is actually December.
  10. Santa reads and agrees to give me what is on this “Early Holiday Wish List!”

We know that December tends to bring stress as well as excitement, aggravation as well as joy and tension as well as cheer.  It just does – so have some fun and start the month off by making your own “Early Holiday Wish List!”.  You’ll feel better.  I know that I do!

“The bad news is time flies.  The good news is, you’re the pilot.”  M. Altshuler

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

When my children were little we would sing this thanksgiving song:  There are many things I am thankful for.  I can find them near and far.  There are many things I am thankful for.  Let me tell you what they are.  Each one of the kids would get their turn to sing about what they were thankful for.  The song ended with…and I’m thankful to be me.

This little song at Thanksgiving turned into the song they taught their baby dolls and to their “students” when they played school.  It was the song that we sang each night before bed and the song they would sing on a car ride. It is now the song that they sing and teach to their own children. They are listening to the wonderful way that their little ones are starting to be thankful.

If you have family and friends at your house around Thanksgiving Day, here are some ideas that you and your children can do together to show the many things they are thankful for:

  • Thanksgiving placemats.  Select paper, cloth or vinyl and let children decorate with drawings, photos, written names and special memories.  These are wonderful additions to a table at meals or as a tabletop decoration around the house.
  • Thanksgiving cards / books.  Children can identify a special friend or part of the family and create a card or little book for them.  Special drawings, photos, stories or particular “likes” for each person can be included in their very special book.
  • “I am thankful for YOU!” Badges.  Cut bright-colored circles, write or stamp I am thankful for YOU! on each one. (If you can, glue a photo of that person on the front of their badge).  Children can sign their name or make a picture on the back. Punch a hole and string with ribbon.  Children can present one to each person at your Thanksgiving table!

Thanksgiving offers us a traditional day set aside to consider all that we are thankful for.  In reality, it is hard not to spend every day being thankful.  When you look at your child – can you even remember what you did without her?  Each morning when you wake up to a barking dog, smell coffee in the kitchen and hear the sounds of a busy household – stop moving and soak it in. When your child is hugging you – squeeze even tighter. When someone you love kisses you – rub it in.  When you hold hands – never let go.

There are many things I am thankful for and I can find them near and far.
Count your blessings on Thanksgiving Day and every day.
Happy Thanksgiving!

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

There are so many ways to have fun in the fall — whether it is your backyard or a visit to one of the gorgeous parks in our communities — the colors, smells and “feel” of fall is ready to be enjoyed by all.

Collect leaves!  Fill a lunch bag or another container with beautiful, crispy fall leaves.  Young children love to collect & carry leaves in their own bag. Older children enjoy collecting leaves and sorting by color, shape or size.  Help them identify an oak, an elm or a maple leaf.

Speaking of leaves – nothing beats a pile of crackly, crispy, crumbly leaves!  With rakes and mittens, get all of those yard leaves into a great big pile.  But before you bag them up, run & jump in them!  Throw them around and make it “snow” leaves – gear up for winter.

Squirrel food!  Acorn, chestnuts, hickory nuts and seeds make wonderful food for squirrels.  Collect nature’s nourishments and sort into piles.  Roasting hickory nuts and chestnuts, tasting acorn butter, and sorting dried fall seeds is great fun!

 Fall melt-aways. Adult partners needed.  Find all of those small bits of crayons that you have been meaning to throw out and create beautiful leaves!  Use an old cheese shredder or paring knife to whittle crayons.  Place crayon sprinkles on a sheet of wax paper, wax side up.  Place another sheet of wax paper, wax side down on top.  Cover with a thin towel and “iron”.  The crayons will melt in the wax.  Cut out some leaf shapes and string to hang in front of the window.

Fall forest.  Children can tear / cut and paste brown paper “tree trunks” on large plain paper.  Using glue sticks or liquid school glue add colorful leaves children have collected outside to their tree trunks.  Be sure to add a bright sun, cotton clouds and a crumpled leaf ‘ground’ to your fall forest. 

Big Twigs.  Collecting sticks is fun for older children.  In a wagon or wheel barrow let children walk through the yard or neighborhood collecting fallen sticks.  Sequence their sticks with them from the smallest to the tallest – the thinnest to the heaviest – the one with the most bumps on the bark to the smoothest…. Make up more comparisons.  Be sure to have a pretzel stick for each winner!  Recycle the collected sticks as appropriate to your neighborhood.

There’s nothing better than stirring cinnamon sticks in hot chocolate, baking a warm apple pie and enjoying  pumpkin pancakes (add a scoop of pumpkin pie filling to pancake batter) with our families in the fall!

 October’s Party

~George Cooper
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came –
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

There are great comic strips that typically show a child – or adult – struggling with the way to get something done.  In the first few comic boxes it shows repeated attempts without success.  A middle box will show a light bulb over the head of the “struggler” but now there is a smile and wide open eyes:the “aha!” moment has happened!  The moment when it all makes sense and everything is clear!  The final comic strip box will be jubilation and success with what once was a challenge.

If you watch your children closely, you will be blinded by the flashing light bulbs.  Each day there are “aha!” moments to celebrate! Each day in a young child’s life celebrates a new success overcoming what once was a struggle.

What are these wonderful “aha” moments in childhood?

  1. For your baby –
    Rolling over for the first time –  grabbing a toy and making sound –  rocking on knees and hands –  standing holding on to the couch – walking to mommy without falling –  picking up Cheerios  –  moving with deliberation and balance – crawling upstairs then down – sitting forward in a car seat.
  2. For you –
    Figuring out what helps a light sleeper sleep through the night – determining where formula & diapers fit into your budget – learning how to successfully juggle new household responsibilities – the day you fit back into your favorite jeans – finally finding the way to collapse the stroller to fit into the car trunk.
  3. For your toddler –
    The power of language, especially NO! – picking toys up & carrying them without drops – putting  clothes and shoes on – knowing where the dog treats are and getting them “all by myself” – completing puzzles – finding the orange crayon – knowing the (correct!) words to songs – outsmarting older siblings – running
  4. For you –
    Perfecting a working routine that includes active play and calming down-time before bed – learning how to get kids to eat at the table – discovering the quickest and safest way to travel with children – timing morning showers and evening adult time perfectly – balancing laundry, toy, & recycling baskets – finding that 25th hour in a day
  5. For preschoolers and young school-agers –
    Reading – writing – making friends – building strength – gaining confidence: every other moment will be wrapped up in these.
  6. For you –
    Pride – accomplishment – respect for your children, family & yourself: every other moment will be here.

“There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”                  

Graham Greene

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

As parents, were you ever startled at your child’s action that was either wonderful or horrible?  Have you ever listened to your child spout words of compassion and understanding – or what you would consider totally inappropriate?  Have you stood in awe at your child’s accomplishments and fortitude – as well as ran to them to stop an argument or struggle? Have you thought to yourself: “I don’t know how that happened!?!?”

Consider this…  We know that children are like sponges; literally soaking up every single thing they see, hear, and are a part of.   As children develop and grow, the world explodes right before them.  What used to be a challenge is now a success.  What was off limits is now allowed.  Constant learning has opened new worlds.  One friend has turned into many. Family expectations become expanded and detailed.

We can find ourselves overjoyed at how our children move smoothly through life’s many changes as well as finding ourselves struggling with the why of children’s actions, tones and words that we didn’t expect.  Before our eyes that sweet little infant has turned into a defiant two-year old who quickly becomes a “know-it-all” preschooler who is working toward being a saucy school-ager. And we ask again “How did that happen?”

But wait!  If you soak a sponge in water, you get water out of when you squeeze it.  If you soak a sponge in milk, you will get milk out.  If you soak a sponge in juice, you will get juice.  If you soak a sponge…. Oh, you get it!

So if you have a bouncing baby, or a terrific two-year old, a practically perfect preschooler or a super school ager, make no mistake what you put in is what you will get out!  Children don’t make up tones of voice or snappy responses or pouty pusses or snobby attitudes or rude refusals.  They learn them.

Children treated with kindness will be caring.  Patience will lead to persistence.  Smiles and Laughter will teach humor and attachment.  Excitement will frame interests.  Praise will encourage initiative.  Understanding will allow achievement.  Respect will build friendship.  Encouragement is the marker of success.

Children truly “Learn What They Live” D.L. Nolte

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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