Thursday, August 16, 2018

Responsibility and Age-Appropriate Chores


 It is hard to believe that another summer has nearly passed and the kids are gearing up for a fresh year of school.  Although I enjoy the long days and late wake-up calls of summer, it's nice to get everyone back into a routine.  
The beginning of the school year usually means that I take a long, hard look at the chore list at our house.  I think about each of my children's growth over the past year and add some new responsibilities to their plate.  What once may have been taking dirty dishes from the table after dinner and placing them in the sink, can now evolve to rinsing them and loading them in the dishwasher.  Once they remembered to put their lunches into their backpacks in the morning, but now can pack their own lunches the night before.  
I do admit that it is hard to actually allow my children these responsibilities. I often want to run in and "do it better." But over the years I've learned to take a step back, allow them to make mistakes, give a bit of guidance on how to improve (while still praising the attempt), and watching as they improve independently.  Yes, there are days when their chores aren't done perfectly, that's for sure!  But, we all have our days, right?!

If you are looking for age-appropriate ways to increase responsibility and encourage self-sufficiency in your child, here are a few tips to follow:
  • Make sure that tasks are age-appropriate.  A preschooler can't pick up the whole house, but can definitely pick up his/her toys in the bedroom and can make their bed in the morning (not perfectly, but remember, this will improve!). 
  • Teach your child to dress themselves.  They may need help with tricky parts like buttons and shoelaces, but know that these skills do come with time.  
  • Don't give in to whining.  As long as you know that the task is age-appropriate, don't jump in to help.  Try saying, "As soon as you put your toys in the bin, we will go to the library. Let me know when you're done."
  • Teach your child to ask for help.  Mastering new skills does take time, and there is a difference between whining (saying I can't do it) and asking for an adult to help.  Guide them through the new skills and watch as they quickly learn to do work independently.  
  • Thank them for their work and give big hugs!


For more, read 10 Great Ways to Teach Children Responsibility, courtesy of The Parent-Institute.com

Now Enrolling for GSRP Preschool!!!



We still have a few spots available for your child in our Great Start Readiness Preschool Program (GSRP).  If your child is four, and you have not decided on a preschool yet, contact us right away!  GSRP programs are free to families who qualify and are located throughout Jackson County.  Please visit our Preschool Partnership page to view the income eligibility chart and the 2018-2019 Jackson Quality Preschool Interest Form.  Fill out the form to apply or call (517) 768-5130 to apply over the phone.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Summer Pop-Up for Reading Events


The five Pop-Up for Reading events that took place this past June and July were a big hit!  Each location offered a different theme for families- with new storytime books, crafts, STEM activities, and more.  In addition to the fun activities, families were able to take home a copy of the read-aloud and each child was able to go home with an additional book for free.

Families were provided with feedback forms to fill out which included information on favorite activities and an area to add suggestions for improving events next year.  Favorites this year included the bubble art activity (Bennett Elementary), creating the balloon car (Townsend Elementary), building bridges at Francis Street Primary, making goo at East Jackson Memorial, and the Rainbow Fish craft at Springport Elementary. 

The majority of families stated that they heard about the events through social media - good to know!  Also, families attended the different Pop-Up for Reading events throughout the county, not just the closest location or where the children attend school.  This is fantastic information as we were not only trying to reach as many families as possible, but encouraging families to attend all events!

Unanimously, families responded that this event was fun, interactive, and that they would definitely attend again if offered next year.   Comments such as, "You're awesome!" and "Love it! Keep it coming!" are just a few of the positive messages that we will take with us as we begin thinking about next year's activities. 


 Thank you to all who attended! 



Monday, August 6, 2018

August Playgroup Fun!

For August, we are making dragonflies at playgroup, using recycled lids from gogo squeeze applesauce pouches.  

Thank you to all of the families that saved lids for me to create these adorable crafts!  

The beading is great for enhancing fine motor skills and they look super cute hanging up on plants, in windows, 
or wherever you needs some whimsy.

Join us at a Playgroup this month 
to create your own beaded dragonfly!

Visit us on our Facebook page: 
for dates, times, and locations.

First, hot glue two caps together

Next, hot glue a pipe cleaner inside of one of the cap openings
Then, glue a large button to the front of the other cap
I had enough caps to prep over 100 dragonflies for families to bead!!
Lace a half of a pipe cleaner through the Botton holes and string them back up
through the back of the button to make the eyes and antennas.  
Our dragonflies are adorable!!!

I originally found this craft posted at: http://viewsfromastepstool.com/dragonfly-kids-craft/ 



Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July Pop-Up for Reading events!

The kiddos had so much fun at the June Pop-Up for Reading events!!  We started with a read aloud story the littles enjoyed and the parents learned techniques to make the reading you share with your child more insightful and how to support the essential reading skills as the kids grow.

Next we moved on to activities and crafts that were based on the book we read.  Adults were asked to work with their kiddos to complete each craft.  As they worked together you could see the joy on everyone's face and how much they enjoyed just being close. The crafts also support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills and were downright fun too!  Who doesn't love making a balloon car and wonderful bubble art?

Each child then picked out a book and each family was sent home with their very own copy of the book we read out loud.

Learning and supporting your child's literacy skills can be a lot of fun and what a terrific way stop the summer slid and enjoy reading!  Please bring friends and join us for the July Pop-Up for Reading events!


July 17th at the new Francis Street Primary from 10:00 am - 11:30 am.

July 24th at East Jackson Memorial from 10:00 am - 11:30 am.

July 31st at Springport Elementary from 9:30 am - 11:00 am.

See you there!!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Phone Apps for New Parents

Would you enjoy connecting with other parents?  Would you like important developmental information at your fingertips?  How about tips on nighttime feedings, healthy growth, when to call the doctor, etc.?  Did you know there are several apps that you can download that will give you all of this, and more?




Here are four to get you started, all of which are available for FREE on iTunes and Google Play.

Peanut - This app allows you to connect with other parents in your area, and also has a community discussion feature called "Peanut Pages" where you can ask questions and gather feedback from other parents who have been in similar situations. 

Today's Parent My Family - Simply plug in your child's age to get personalized content.  This app helps you track naps, assist with breastfeeding and bottle feeding, and even has a storybook feature to help you capture amazing moments you won't want to forget.  Another exciting feature are the how-to recipe and craft videos.

Glow Baby - All aspects of your baby's first year is covered in this app.  Developmental milestones, sleep schedules, when to feed your baby what, and more are all included.  Parenting tips are also delivered daily.

WebMD Baby - Should I call the doctor?  Why was my baby crying all night - could it be an earache, a tooth coming in, or something else?  Sound familiar?  This app provides doctor approved medical information from birth to two years.  It includes emergency symptoms and weekly content specific to your child's age and development. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

FREE Summer S.T.E.A.M. Programs


The Girls Scouts Heart of Michigan is hosting FREE summer S.T.E.A.M. (Science-Technology-Engineering-Art-Math) programs this summer.  These programs are open to all girls in Jackson County entering kindergarten through 6th grade in the fall of 2018.  Girls DO NOT need to be a Girl Scout to attend!


Join us at the following locations, (No programs July 2nd-July 6th):

Jackson District Library Carnegie Branch Auditorium — Mondays, 1:30-2:15pm
Ridgewood Vista Apartments — Wednesdays, Noon-1;00pm
Warner Elementary School — Thursdays, 11:00am-Noon
Ashton Ridge Apartments Clubhouse — Thursdays, 1:00-2:00pm



Please RSVP to Laurie Skrzynski at (517) 784-8543 or LSkrzynski@gshom.org