Monday, October 29, 2018

Homemade Play Dough

 

Have you ever tried to make play dough at home?  You should.  It is super easy and most, if not all, of the ingredients can be found right in your kitchen cupboard.  Your child will be so excited to make this and will be equally excited to play with it.  With the exception of mixing in the hot water, your child can really make this on their own.  Just make sure to lend a hand with reading and measuring the ingredients. Have fun!

Here is one of the easiest recipes I have found and made personally with my kids.  It works, it's easy, and it smells really good!  It will not taste good, though, so no need to worry about your child eating it.  But, with non-toxic ingredients, no harm will be done if they do take a nibble. 

                                                    2 1/2 cups Flour
                                                       1/2 cup Salt
                                             3 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
                                       1 package Kool-Aid (unsweetened)
                                                    1 cup Hot Water

                                         Mix flour, salt, oil, and Kool-Aid.
                                          Add the cup of water. Mix well.
                                             Knead until dough forms.


Store in a sealed ziplock bag in the refrigerator when not in use.  

For more play dough, goop, gak, slime, and other fun recipes to make with the kids, check out this link!





Friday, October 26, 2018

Halloween?



Are you a parent that struggles with the idea of celebrating Halloween?  Maybe it's the scary costumes, frightening house decorations in surrounding neighborhoods, or simply the task of watching your children ask for candy from strangers.  If you fall in line with this worrisome thinking, know that you are not alone.

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, parents should be on the lookout for the reactions of their children when determining what is too scary.  If your child seems worried, this can be a big sign that something is bothersome.  Parents are often surprised about their children's fears when tuning in this way.

Remember that managing fears is a way for young children to build important emotional skills. With support, children learn to manage their reactions to strong emotions.  Sometimes it is helpful for children to draw, instead of talk about their fears.  Books are always helpful for children, showing them that their feelings are normal, and giving them a character that they can relate to.  This character often overcomes their own fears, showing your child that they can do the same. 

Here are a few tips for celebrating Halloween with young children:
  • Tell your child what to expect and avoid protecting them too much.
  • Let kids use their own imaginations to come up with their own costumes. 
  • Remember - costumes do not need to be expensive.  Oftentimes, the best costumes come right out of the closet.  Also, search local thrift shops for quick bargains!
  • If your child sees something scary, remind them that it is not real.
  • Wear a costume yourself! Your child will love it!
For more, please read the Michigan State University article here. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Spend Time in the Kitchen with Kids!


Cooking and baking with children not only offers a fun opportunity for family bonding, but also assists in
developing many important skills. Helping your child to read ingredients, watching and supporting them as they measure, pour and stir- these activities all increase critical reasoning, literacy, and spatial skills. The accomplishment felt with completing recipes will  bolster confidence in your child. Also, by introducing different foods in recipes at a young age, you will find that your child has definite likes and dislikes; this is good!  It shows that your child is developing a healthy sense of self.  Use this time together to laugh, have fun, and enjoy each others company.  You never know- your child may grow up to be a famous chef!

My Plate, from USDA Food and Nutrition Service provides nutrition and healthy eating activities for educators and families, including Look and Cook activity cards.  These pictorial recipes offer kids a simple and visual way to prepare healthy snacks. Each recipe is available free to download and offered in English and Spanish.  Your child will feel like a "big kid" in the kitchen while spending time with you.  The best part will be the delicious snack you share together after all of your hard work. Yum!



Wednesday, October 3, 2018

GSRP Scavenger Hunt





Last Friday, five GSRP classroom teachers opened their doors for a countywide "scavenger hunt."  Participating teachers visited each of these six classrooms in an effort to gather ideas for creative, fun arranging of space and materials that lead to more effective teaching and learning.  On the list were Columbia, East Jackson, Michigan Center, Dibble, Vandercook Lake, and Little Rainbows.  Some favorite ideas mentioned were the liquid color floor tiles, family tree, and the colorfully decorated shopping cart - just to name a few

 After visiting each location, teachers then met at the Jackson Area Career Center where they received a goody bag for their participation.  Many teachers then stayed over for lunch and the afternoon Professional Development Assessment. Special thanks to all who participated - what a fun day of shared learning!