EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Archive for May 2012

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed annually on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Wikipedia

Celebrate America – Celebrate Americans.  Remembering fallen heroes is important and many young children and families know true heroes who are serving now and who have served in American armed forces. Families have suffered the loss of loved ones in the military and remember their heroes always.  We are grateful every day for their strength and courage.

Memorial Day is a hard concept for little children.  They learn about America slowly and start to learn about soldiers first personally then through general information and shared ideas. This knowledge and respect starts with understanding the country that they live in.

How do we start celebrating Memorial Day with young children?

Fly the American flag.  Talk about the flag, touch it and notice the colors, count the stars and stripes.  Make American flags with children; paint or color red stripes on a white field, paint or color a blue corner field, put star stickers on and staple or tape this on a stick or pole.

Memorial Day is the unofficial and accepted start of summer. Have a picnic and provide a hand-made flag for each person that comes. 

Wear Red, White & Blue!  There are many options for red, white & blue clothing.  Be a visible reminder of our country’s colors.  Children start very early to connect visual images to ideas both concrete and abstract.  At your Memorial Day picnic provide an American badge for each person; cut circles of white, paint or color red stripes and blue stars.  Attach a safety-pin.  Let children string beads of red, white and blue for an American necklace.  Decorate caps with fabric paint.

Decorate with red, white & blue.  Balloons, streamers and tablecloths make a statement.  Inexpensive paper products go a long way to help children connect the colors of the flag to a celebration of family.  As they grow up, children will associate this time with America.

Serve red, white & blue.  Jello molds offer a refreshing chance to let children help and talk about the colors.  A fruit salad of strawberries, raspberries, blue berries and concord grapes topped off with whipped cream is delightful.  Serve a flag cake; cake topped with cool whip, strawberry stripes and a field of blueberries creates a delicious summer dessert.

Teach children the Pledge of Allegiance.  Sing and listen to patriotic songs.  Be a role model and create opportunities for children to be involved in the responsibilities of citizenship.

“Children are one-third of America’s population and all of its future”  Ronald Reagan

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

I came across this poem and wanted to share it with you.  In the crazy days that often make up our weeks, months, seasons and years, too often we literally don’t slow down to notice that everything is changing.  Each day is different than the last.  Too often it is only looking back that we realized that we should have been looking in each moment.

To My Grown-Up Son

My hands were busy through the day
I didn’t have much time to play
the little games you asked me to,
I didn’t have much time for just me & you.

I’d wash your clothes, I’d shop and cook,
but when you’d bring your picture book
and ask me please to share your fun,
I’d say, “A little later, son.”

I’d tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
then tiptoe softly to the door…
I wish I had stayed just a minute more.

For life is short and the years rush past…
A little boy grows up too fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play,
no good-night kiss, no prayers to hear,
That all belongs to a different year.

My hands once too busy now are still.
The days are longer and harder to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.

Author Unknown
attributed to Eleanor Newbern

Kiss your kids.

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

This is a great day!
If you are celebrating Mother’s Day because you have a child or children – sometimes don’t you just look at them and think I can’t believe they are mine? 

In the middle of mayhem that is often part of healthy family living, if you can catch your breath and open your eyes, you will hear laughter mixed with shouting and see hands being held along with stingy, closed fists – it can stop you in your tracks as you wonder how did I get so lucky?                                                            

Now going out to dinner is often McDonald’s Play Place, fancy jewelry is a shiny “Sponge Bob” sticker on your blouse and your newest perfume smells surprisingly like baby spit up on your sweater-and you think who wouldn’t want to be me?                                                                                                                            

Days are hectic, nights are sleepless, money is stretched and each day is a new adventure & challenge and you wouldn’t change a thing.

If you are celebrating today with your mom, grandma or any other lady that holds a dear, permanent and honored place in your heart it is the perfect time to consider How can my life be like hers?

 As days go by you find yourself wondering out loud When did my mom get here? Suddenly you are making decisions she would make and actually hearing her words come out of your mouth!

You look in the mirror and see your mom’s smile.  You increasingly notice more & more people telling you how much you remind them of your mother and it is then that you think This is the highest compliment I can have.

 You study her handwriting, you share coffee and conversation, you ask for her opinion and guidance, you can’t wait to tell your mom about the new restaurant you were just at and it’s her hand that you still hold and words that you cherish.

Take time today and take time tomorrow and take time for all of your life to honor your mother.  She is the reason for your dreams.  She is the one that always knew that you would be who you are today.  She is the voice of celebration and the station of calm in your life.  Your mother is the heart that beats for you.

I have had the very real blessing of being the daughter and daughter in law of the most loving, respectful and intelligent women on earth.  They have taught me to fill my life with wonder and possibilities, to never question my value and influence and to always hold my family close to my heart and forever in my prayers.  I hope you are so lucky.


Happy Mother’s Day

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

I know that Sunday May 13, 2012 is officially Mother’s Day.  I know this because it is stamped on everyone’s calendar.  Well, I don’t think that is enough for moms.   I am going to offer Hallmark and all calendar companies a variety of stamps that they can put on the other 364 days of the calendar.  This is what the stamps will say: Moms Rule, Kiss Mom Today, Mom is the Best & Thank you MomThey can spread the word of great moms throughout the year!

Help your children get ready for Mother’s Day next week.

  • Make special cards with fancy paper (old wallpaper, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper) and pretty writing.  There is nothing more personal and beloved than a homemade card from a child.  Grandmas, aunts, and special friends all have been known to keep a special box with children’s little “love letters”.  Include a special photo.  No matter how old the child is, be sure that it is their handiwork on the card.
  • If you are planning a meal as part of the celebration, place mats are a huge hit!  Let children draw a picture (crayons are best) of special moms, grandmas and any other celebrant on plain paper (poster board paper cut into place mat size works well).  Be sure to write some special words and decorations on the mat.  Everyone will have a special place of honor. And, of course, children are part of the cooking team!
  • Flowers are a classic mother’s day gift.  Children can plant seeds or small seedlings in selected pots – make this personal.  Do you have a tea drinker?  Plant in a pretty cup.  How about an artist? Use a small paint can.  A gardener loves pretty watering cans and a little canister is a clever pot for a baker.  Put small stones at the bottom of a pot that does not have holes.  Frame a picture of your child busy with this project for a lovely keepsake with this gift.
  • What mom doesn’t love jewelry?  Store bought necklaces and bracelets don’t even come close to the beauty of homemade bangles. Be creative!  Jewelry can be made in Aunt Laura’s favorite color, in pattern designs, to match grandmas’ eyes or in grab & go colors just because they are beautiful.  String beads on yarn, ribbon or colored rope.  Presentation is important!  Wrap this special gift in bright tissue paper and put into a pretty bag.  Don’t forget a card! **Be careful of bead size when young children are working on this project and no matter how old they are, adult supervision is best.
  • No need to leave the house for a spa day!  Make a plan for a restful, indulgent day for special ladies on Mother’s Day.  Breakfast prep, serve & clean, paint mom’s nails, some special bubble bath and “silly servants” can read to mom, tell stories and jokes all day and insist on quiet, personal time for the ladies children love. Post a Delightful Day Schedule on the fridge. Mom & grandmas are “off duty!”
  • Show this column to dad.

“In preparation for Mother’s Day I have been thinking about my mom – what would she like? What would she need?  After much thought…all mothers, including Mother Earth, need a rest!” Environmentalist Simran Shethi

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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