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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Tasks that Kids Can Do around the House

Toddlers

Can dust with an electromagnetic cloth or baby wipe; Spray and scrub the sink and bathtub with water and a sponge; pick up toys or other floor clutter and put them in baskets or bins – if the baskets are labeled with pictures, they can even put the right toys in the right container! At this point, anything you give them to do except putting the toys away will be more to give them something to do while you are cleaning, but they will try to do their best if you take the time to teach them, and it will seem natural to them when they graduate to more complex tasks.

Preschoolers

Sweep with kid-size broom; spray and squeegee windows using lemon- or vinegar-water (inside windows only, please!); use a handheld vacuum; wipe sinks using baby wipes; empty a small trash basket into a bigger bag; scrub corners of kitchen chairs or other small spaces using a clean toothbrush or nail brush and a cup of water; make beds (preferably with a comforter, it’s easier for them); fold towels; put clothes in drawers; hang clothes on hooks; put dirty clothes in hamper; help feed animals; wipe off baseboards, windowsills with small cloth or wearing old socks on their hands; help wipe up spills; dry unbreakable dishes; pick up litter in the yard.

Kindergartners

Sweep small areas with a dustpan and broom; clean bathroom sinks; hang up the towel after a bath; store bath toys; help in the kitchen (stirring, tearing lettuce, etc. – no knife yet!); set the napkins and silverware on the table; clear dishes from the table (depends on your child, you know if they risk breaking them or not); help load the dishwasher; straighten plastic dishes in a cabinet; help straighten pots and pans; sort family members’ clean laundry; dust furniture; strip linens from beds; straighten books on a bookshelf; put game and puzzle pieces in correct storage containers; use a lint remover to pick up pet hair on furniture; tidy up their room.

Younger Elementary School Kids

Make beds (any of them); take out garbage; sweep stairs and walks; clean the car and help wash it; vacuum their own room; sort and straighten toys; fold and put away laundry; empty the dishwasher; feed and care for pets; set and clean the table (but only with unbreakable dishes and cups at this point); sort clothes for washing.

Older Elementary School Kids

Clean bathroom mirrors; vacuum; clean toilets; clean countertops and the kitchen sink; mop small-area floors; use the washer and dryer; wash, dry and put away dishes; clean pet areas; clean cobwebs and dust in high places with a pole; sweep the garage; set and clean the table (by the end of elementary school, they usually are able to do it with regular dishes and glasses).

Teenagers

Can do everything you do, except for the most intensive jobs, or the ones using noxious products, such as deep-cleaning of the oven, or removing mold from the bathroom tiles.

 

Helpful Tips to Pick A Daycare Center

The first thing you need to do when going to a daycare center to determine if it’s one you want to send your child to is ask them if they have any openings. This should be the very first question you ask. If their answer is no and you need daycare in the near future then they most likely will not be able to meet your needs. If, however, you really want this center then find out when they expect to have an opening and make plans.

The next thing you have to find out is where the center is located and how the traffic is in early morning or rush hour evening hours. If traffic is really bad you know that you’re going to have to leave yourself extra time to get your child to the center and extra time for pickup, especially if the center closes at a certain hour.

The next thing you have to find out is what their hours of operation are. If the center has hours from 9 to 6 and you have to be at work at 8 AM then you are going to have a bit of a problem unless you can arrange to have someone else bring your child to the center. Most centers however do have hours long before normal work hours begin and long after normal work hours end. Just make sure you find out exactly what the hours are.

The next thing that’s important to know is if there are any special holidays or dates when the center is closed. Not all businesses celebrate all holidays. For example, many businesses may be open on Martin Luther King’s birthday. If yours is one of them and the center is closed for that day you are going to have to make plans for someone to either stay with your child or if possible bring your child to another center for a day or if worst comes to worst, bring your child to work. Make sure you know this well in advance.

Of course you are going to have to find out what the center charges and if there are any special supplies you will have to bring. Some centers provide diapers and food but many do not. So find this out in advance. Also, find out how payment needs to be made and when. Some centers require payment in advance and other allow you to pay at the end of each period, whether it be weekly or monthly.

It may not be a bad idea to find out the ages of the other children. If they are all older than your child you may not want to take your child to that center as there could be a greater danger of problems.

Find out if the center offers some kind of flex time in case you have a strange schedule. Some centers actually have a day shift and a night shift. Find this out if your needs require odd hours.

This may not seem important but find out what their turnover rate is. A high turnover rate may indicate a poorly run center.

Find out if there are backups to the main provider should he or she become ill. The last thing you want to find out is that you can’t bring your child one day because there is only one caregiver and they are out sick.

Finally, find out if the center is certified. While this doesn’t always mean the center is great, you’ll have a better chance of getting a good center if it is certified.

 

Study Music Benefits

1. Music training has been linked to spatial-temporal reasoning skills. (I.e. ability to read a map, put puzzles together, form mental images, transform/visualize things in space that unfold over time, and recognize relationships between objects. These skills are often helpful in science, math, and chess.)

2. Musical symbols, structure, and rhythmic training utilize fractions, ratios, and proportions, which are all important in mathematical study.

3. Increases problem finding/solving, logic and thinking skills like analysis, evaluation and the linkage/organization of ideas

4. Optimizes brain neuron development and circuitry

5. Assists motor development especially coordination of hands, eyes and body

6. Expands multiple intelligences and helps students’ transfer study, cognitive and communication skills from subject to subject in any syllabus

7. Group orchestra or ensemble activities help promote cooperation, social harmony and teach kids discipline while working together toward a common goal.

8. Music augments memory. For example, most people learn their ABC’s by singing them. Repeating a tune in a predictable rhythmic song structure makes memorization easier.

9. Singing is a great way to aid/improve reading ability and instruction. Karaoke is a perfect example. Children may learn a song by ear (auditory) but words on a TV or computer screen provide a simultaneous visual anchor.

10. In vocal music learning rhythm, phrasing, and pitch greatly enhances language, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary skills. This is especially noticeable when using songs in first and second language study.

11. Improves critical reading and writing

12. Raises test scores, decreases performance anxiety, and teaches kids how to handle/manage stress during standardized exams

13. Helps children channel unexpressed and/or negative emotions in a positive way

14. Boosts creative thinking

15. Reading music and performing memorized pieces help children to think ahead

16. Improvisation helps people to “think on their feet”

17. Solo performance is connected to self-esteem and self-efficacy. (concept of self capacity) Children learn to reach for their very best.

18. When kids prepare and consistently practice for recital or performance, they work to sing/play without errors. They generally apply similar determination and perseverance to many future endeavors academic or otherwise.

19. Improves understanding of homework and enables a higher levels of concentration

20. Children who study music usually have a better attitude, are more motivated and are less intimidated by learning new things