Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

Inspirational ‘Love Notes’ For Teens

November 12, 2007

Editors note: I recently moved my blog to a new server. You can find this same post (and all my others) at the new location: BalancingMotherhood.com, where I post daily.

The art of letter writing is dead; you practically have to go on “Survivor” or “Big Brother” to get letters from home. Recently I learned of a teen retreat where the kids would be given letters written by family members, telling him/her how much he/she is loved. They were deemed, “love notes” for the teens.

Read the full post here.

Give a Christmas Gift to a Child In Need

October 16, 2007

Editors note: I recently moved my blog to a new server. You can find this same post (and all my others) at the new location: BalancingMotherhood.com, where I post daily. Operation Christmas Child

I believe all children deserve a present at Christmastime so this year I’m going to participate in Operation Christmas Child. Children from around the world are given a shoe box with gifts you’ve purchased for either a boy or a girl.

Former President Bill Clinton mentions Operation Christmas Child in his new book, Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World. He says that he likes the program because people of all ages and income levels can participate.

A few years after the first shoe boxes were delivered, Clinton went to Bosnia and saw first hand “the happiness and gratitude sparked by these small boxes.”

Clinton also says:

“Countless gift-givers of modest means have made a real difference in the lives of children who otherwise might have been forgotten. Though Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian group, it offers a proven model of caring for children that members of any synagogue, mosque, or temple might want to emulate.”

This is how Samaritan’s Purse summarizes the project (from the Web site):

“Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love. This program of Samaritan’s Purse provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple, hands—on missions project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ.”

It’s a great way to involve your entire family. Each member can do his/her own shoebox. Each kid can do one for a child like himself and fill it with toys he’d love to receive.

Find a drop off location near you.

operationchristmaschild_400.jpg

Photo courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse.

Ideas To Spark Reading in Children

September 28, 2007

Editors note: I recently moved my blog to a new server. You can find this same post (and all my others) at the new location: BalancingMotherhood.com, where I post daily.

Scholastic has a great interactive house graphic which shows all the areas of your home where you can incorporate reading for your kids. Some of its ideas and information include:

  • In the bathroom: reading in the bathtub and using foam letters that stick to the wall in the bathtub
  • In the bedroom: drawing and writing are associated with learning to read
  • In the kitchen: using a cookbook to find recipes that start with the letter “c”
  • In the family room: reading magazine and newspaper articles out loud together

These seem like simple concepts that we all know, but it’s a great reminder that reading comes in many forms and that we need to encourage it from the start. View all their tips in the graphic here.

Read my earlier post about American Reading Habits.

Cribs and Kid’s Jewelry Recalls

September 27, 2007

I wasn’t going to keep writing about all the recalls, thinking that Moms get that information in our everyday news sources, but then I decided to offer some links in case there is a Mom reading this who hasn’t heard this news yet. In the past week, there have been two crib recalls — one for a regular crib, one for a play yard (aka pack ‘n’ play). And, there is a recall on children’s jewelry that contains lead.

Here’s a list of the recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Don’t forget, as I posted earlier, you can sign up to get email notices of all recalls, here.

American Reading Habits

September 18, 2007

I found an article on CNN.com about reading — “Where you fall in poll of U.S. reading habits.”

One highlight from the story is:

“One in four Americans read no books last year.”

No books.

Zero.

Zilch.

Nada.

Makes me wonder how books stores stay in business? Do people buy books, but not read them?

The article does point out that women are some of the most avid readers.

“Of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid.”

When I talk to people about books, it seems that many don’t really read that much. Who has time? People are too busy — kids, work, house work, school, meals, home work, sports … there is little time for leisure.

Reading also competes with activities such as TV and movies. Personally, I love all three: TV, movies and books. Maybe it’s storytelling that I love.

I’m always reading a book, always. I don’t consider myself a fast reader and complete only an average of 12-15 books a year, but I read more than most people I know (although I know several who read several books per month!). And, each year there are books that I start, but don’t finish … which far outweighs the number of books I complete. I need to be engaged with the book to complete it. When I was younger, I would read the book in its entirety, no matter what. Now that I’m older, I’ve given myself permission to stop reading a book if I’m just not into it.

What’s most important about this reading poll, is what’s not mentioned – the importance of getting kids to read. We need to read to our children every day to instill a good reading habit. Here’s a brochure with tips on getting kids to read, from the American Library AssociationHow to Raise a Reader

Here are a few of my favorite tips from the brochure:

Raising a Reader:

  • Begin when your child is born and spend time reading every day.
  • Visit the library.
  • Choose books with colorful pictures and simple words—or no words at all.
  • Read with expression— or just tell the story in your own words.
  • Hold the book so your child can see the pictures clearly.
  • Let your baby play with the book.
  • Encourage your toddler to point out objects, repeat words, and talk about the story.
  • Reread your child’s favorite books over and over again.
  • Ask the child open-ended questions about the story: “What do you think will happen next?”
  • Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters.
  • Be an example to your children; let them see you read books too.