Getting Your Kids Involved

Getting Your Kids Involved in the Community

Involved in the community

We all want to raise children who have a sense of community and want to help those around them. In this article we will explore ways for your whole family to get involved in the community in which you live. You may just find with a little encouragement on your part your children may be blossoming philanthropists.

Reaching out to neighbors

A simple way to start is in your own neighborhood. Do you have any elderly neighbors who might be grateful of a helping hand? Chores that may be simple for your kids to do may be of enormous help to an elderly neighbor. Things such as taking trash cans to the road for pick up and returning the cans when emptied, unloading groceries from the car or raking fall leaves are examples of things your kids could do to make the lives of their neighbors easier.  Not only will your kids be helping someone but they may also create friendships with neighbors who can share some priceless wisdom with them.

Cleaning Local Parks

The parks in your community are a valuable resource to be shared by everyone in the community. The sad fact is not everyone who uses the parks treat them with the respect they deserve. Over time our parks can accumulate a lot of trash and litter. Someone has to clean all that up or the Park might start to resemble a landfill. On a nice day gather your family and head to your local park armed with trash bags and gloves do a trash pickup. Choose an area of the park and work as a team to clean it of trash and debris. This will help to give your children a sense of pride for the changes they have made to a place they love to visit. It might even make them think twice before tossing a candy wrapper or soda can on the ground.

Involved in the community

Holiday Cards

Another ideal way to help bring cheer to others in the community is to make holiday greeting cards to pass out at a nursing home. Many residents of nursing homes get very few visitors. Call ahead and make arrangements with the staff for a time and date of your visit and the number of cards you should make. These cards don’t have to elaborate, just get out your craft box and get creative. Your kids will have fun making the cards and the senior citizens who receive them will be grateful for the unexpected gift.

There are many ways you and your family can make a difference in the community in which you live. As parents we need to do all we can to make the world a better place for our children.

The Package From Santa blog is designed to provide helpful tips and ideas for parents. We include information on a variety of topics, including everything from holiday decorations to kids’ health.

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Stranger Danger

Teaching Your Children about Stranger Danger

Stranger Danger

It is a sad fact in our society that you must teach your children about strangers and the potential danger they can cause. Every child should know the basics that will help prevent him or her from falling victim to the dangerous strangers lurking in our world.

There is basic information your child should know and should be taught with whom to share it with. A school age child should be able to give their first and last name, home address and the name of their parents. This is important information if they become lost or need help. While this information can be useful it can always be used by strangers to cause a false sense of security in your child. Tell your child to only give out this information to members of the school staff, police officers and trusted adults.

Crowded public places like parks and amusement parks are often hunting grounds for dangerous strangers. Teach your children to stay within certain areas unless accompanied by you. Tell your kids that this rule applies even if an adult tells them it is alright or asks for their help with something.  A common tactic used by dangerous strangers is to ask a child to help find a missing pet or child in an attempt to get them away from the safety of the group. Before going to crowded places you should instruct your child to immediately come to you if any unknown adult asks them to go anywhere with them.

Stranger Danger

The threat of strangers doesn’t end once your child becomes older. If you have older children who catch the bus or walk to school alone they are also prey for strangers. Tell them to never accept rides from anyone that has not been already approved by you. Let them know this includes acquaintances, such as a neighbor down the street. Yes it could be that they are just trying to do a good deed or they may have a darker agenda. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

In this day and age you can’t do too much to protect your children. The news reports are filled with awful stories that detail the many possible dangers strangers can pose to our kids. By educating your children on these dangers you may in fact prevent them from one day falling victim.

Keep reading this Package From Santa blog for lots of great tips and ideas. We cover everything from kids’ health to issues related to home décor and lifestyle matters.

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Fun After School Snacks

Fun After School Snacks to Make with Your Kids

Your kids have just gotten home from school and theywant something good to eat. Don't let them fill up on chips or another unhealthy treat. Instead make a snack that will be fun for you to make together and you can feel good about them eating. In this article I will share two simple and nutritious after school snack ideas

After School Snack

Beautiful and delicious!

Rainbow Fruit Sticks

The first snack idea is rainbow fruit sticks. They are not only colorful and fun to make, they are also packed with vitamins. For this recipe you will need skewed sticks and a variety of different fruits that your family enjoys.

Before the kids are home go ahead and cut the fruit into bite size portions. Be sure to wash all fruit before you serve it. When your kids get home have them wash their hands. Give each child a skewer stick. Using a skewed stick of your own, show the kids how to safely put the fruit on the stick. Now allow the kids to slide the fruit onto their own stick. Remind them to leave enough room at the bottom for them to hold on to. Have them continue adding fruit until they reach the end of the stick. One fun idea is to make a color pattern with the fruit. For true rainbow sticks use the following fruit in the listed order: cherry, orange slices, banana chips, green grapes, blueberries, and purple grapes.

After School Snack

Getting creative with healthy snacks makes them more fun to eat!

Ants on a Log

You might remember the next snack idea from your childhood. It's the classic ants on a log. For generations parents have been making this treat with their kids. Here is a list of what you will need to make this recipe:

  •      Washed and cut celery sticks
  •      Either peanut butter or cream cheese depending on your family's preference
  •      Raisins

Once you have gathered your ingredients and kids the fun can start. Pass out a celery stick to each child. Using a spoon have them fill the celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese. Once the celery stick is completely filled you can have some real fun. Give each child several raisins to use as pretend ants. Allow your kids to place the raisin ants however they wish on the celery logs.

Making snacks with your children is a fabulous time to bond. You will enjoy spending quality time with your kids and they will love making something with you.

Depending on the age and abilities of your children they may require more assistance from you. The skewed sticks used in the rainbow fruit sticks are pointed at one end so use caution when working with small children. Lastly, always be sure that your kids have washed their hands before handling any food.

Keep reading this Package From Santa blog for great ideas and tips about everything from writing letters to Santa to recipes and home decor advice.

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A Successful School Year

Things To Do At Home For A Successful School Year

Successful School Year

It’s a new school year and you have bought the supplies and your kids are outfitted in new clothes. The backpack and lunch bags are ready to go. Everything that they could need to be successful at school has been checked off – but what about the things that you need to do at home to help them have a successful school year?

Homework

Homework is an important part of your child’s education. It gives them a chance to review and demonstrate their knowledge of what’s been learned in the classroom. As a parent you should take an active role in your child’s homework assignments. Try to set up a specific time and place when homework will be done. Choose a place in the house where your kids can work free of distractions like cell phones or the TV. While your kids are doing their homework make yourself available in case they may need some help or just want to share with you the subject they are working.   

Bedtime

A regular bedtime is very important for children. Lack of sleep can greatly affect your child’s ability to perform well in school. Establish night time routines for house. These don’t have to be exact times but a general guideline so that your child will know what to expect each night. When children have a normal bedtime it will make the nights at your home run more smoothly.

Preparations

Prepare for the school day the night before. Pick a spot to put everything your child will need for the school day. Lay out their outfit including their shoes. Put homework and any other papers that need to be returned to school in the backpack. This will help eliminate confusion and last minute rushing in the morning.

Breakfast

A healthy breakfast is important in helping your children have a good school day. Breakfast doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy. An example of a healthy breakfast could be whole wheat toast, two eggs and glass of milk or juice.  When a child goes to school hungry they can’t perform at their best.  Be sure that your child has time to eat before they need to catch the bus or get in the car to go to school.

This Package From Santa blog includes posts about everything from tips on keeping your kids healthy to information about holiday planning.

 

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Head Lice

Prevention and Elimination of Head Lice

Head Lice

Back to school means a lot of things to parents and kids. For kids, it can mean a chance to have some time away from home and to enjoy learning while spending time with friends. For parents, it is wonderful to know the kids are in a safe place and that teachers and others are taking the time to help children learn and develop skills.

But on the other side of things there can also be some negative issues to deal with. For instance, because the kids are exposed to more opportunities to get sick, they are more likely to come down with colds and other ailments. In fact, for many, head lice can be a concern.

What Is Head Lice?

Head lice live on human hairs. Lice can spread from one child to another and in some cases, they can be difficult to eliminate.

Lice live on the hair and feed on tiny increments of blood from the scalp. Not surprisingly, they can cause annoying and irritating itching. However, because lice do not spread disease they are not considered dangerous. Even so, the itching results in scratching that can potentially lead to an infection. Obviously, at the first signs of lice you should begin treatments.

What to Look for

The first sign of lice is usually noticed when a child begins scratching – but this may be quite a while after the initial contact with lice.

Lice are small but they can be seen with the naked eye. Lice eggs are called nits. Nits are laid on hair shafts near the scalp. Nits are a yellow to yellow-tan color and look similar to small dandruff flakes – but nits do not brush off.

The eggs hatch in about a week or a little longer and the shell is left behind. In about 2 weeks the baby lice become adults.

Head Lice

What to Do

If you think your child is infested with head lice you should consult with your doctor. He/she may want to provide antibiotics or other treatments. Otherwise, you can use head lice treatments that are available over-the-counter at most drugstores and discount department stores.

Let your child’s school know what is going on. In most cases the child will be allowed to return to school after a single treatment.

To prevent a re-infestation you should wash the bed linens and clothes that have been used/worn by the child. Stuffed animals should also be washed or at least placed in an air-tight bag for a few days. Rugs should be washed, shampooed or at least vacuumed and the vacuum cleaner bag should be discarded.

Combs, brushes, and hair accessories should be thoroughly cleaned with alcohol.

Preventing Head Lice

Although there may not be a way to guarantee against head lice, there are some steps you and your child can take to minimize the risks. Start with the obvious, teach your child not to have head-to-head contact with other kids.

Stress the importance of not sharing hair brushes, combs, hats, caps, or hair accessories with others. If possible, tell your child not to hang his/her coat/jacket or scarf next another child’s.

Another very important point to note is that head lice can happen to anyone – it does not matter how often they bathe or shampoo their hair or how rich or poor they are. And although having head lice is frustrating, it will not last long. In fact, if the problem persists for more than a week or if the scalp is red or irritated, it is best to seek professional help from your doctor.

This Package From Santa blog offers tips and advice about topics that range from kids’ health to family finances, holiday decorations, and recipes. Visit often to stay up-to-date on the information!

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About Charity

Teaching Your Kids About Charity

About Charity

Teaching your kids about charity may sound like a difficult topic, but in reality, it’s all about making ‘giving’ a part of family lifestyle. In fact, you are probably already ‘giving’ on a regular basis. Your kids will naturally learn about charity as you model a giving spirit.

However, there are some ways that children – even young children, can get involved in charity – and the more they ‘give’ the more likely is it that charity will become a way of life.

Keep reading for some ideas about ways to get your kids involved in the spirit of giving.

Donations of Clothing, Toys and other Items

Clothing needs to be sorted and organized at the change of every season. For one reason or another, there will always be some garments that no longer fit our bodies or our tastes. Every parent can attest to how fast children out-grow their clothes.

Toys are also problematic. As kids grow and learn their interests change. Other things like small kitchen appliances and home décor can lose their appeal over time.

However, this does not mean the clothing, toys, or other items are useless. There is sure to be someone that would appreciate having them.

So get the kids involved in the process. Let them help sort and organize and make some decisions about items they would like to donate

Helping Others

There is always a way to help others. Whether you pitch-in to help a neighbor with yard work, you do clean-up work at a church or school, or you participate in a community service-oriented project, this kind of helping is a wonderful form of charity.

About Charity

 

Create Times to Give

Holidays and birthdays can be perfect times to remember and give to others. During the holiday season you can create food baskets and donate them to a church, or local charity. You can visit a nursing home to donate some time in a positive way. When family members celebrate their birthdays you can make a charitable donation in their name.

Donate to Charities & Causes That Matter to You

If you are an animal lover you may want to donate time or items like pet food, toys, blankets or other pet items to a local shelter. There are plenty of organizations that can use support and help. Consider shelters for the homeless, food kitchens and other agencies that are meaningful. In fact, your family may want to decide together on a worthwhile charitable organization that all can contribute to on a monthly or annual basis. This can be accomplished by creating a fund that all contribute to. For instance, kids might add a small portion of their allowance each week. After a pre-determined amount of money is collected it can be contributed toward the cause.

Teaching children about charity is really all about demonstrating and involving them in giving. Keep reading this Package From Santa blog for more ideas about issues that matter to families.

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End of Summer Break

Make End of Summer Break Fun

End of Summer Break

Summer break will be ending soon so it’s not surprising that many families are struggling to make the most of the time left. The good news is, you don’t have to take a luxury vacation or spend a small fortune to have some great fun. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your own back yard.

Simple Pleasures That Everyone Enjoys

Put the focus on easy ways to have fun. Spending time together as a family is an excellent way to strengthen bonds. The more time you spend together the better you come to know each other. Put a focus on simple pleasures that can be enjoyed by each family member.

End of Summer Break

Summer and Water Go Together

The hot days of July and August are ideal for cooling off with water activities. Don’t have a pool? No worries! Just pull out the water hose and attach a sprinkler or spray nozzle. Then sit back and watch as the fun begins!

You Gotta Eat!

Who doesn’t love a great picnic? The truth is, eating outdoors just seems to make food more fun. Whether you opt to indulge in a barbeque cookout, a simple picnic in your backyard, or you just have dessert or a delicious treat in the open air, eating outdoors is more memorable the usual mealtime routines.

End of Summer Break

Fun After Dark

Just because the sun goes down does not have to mean your fun is over. There are lots of options for continuing the fun. You could throw down some blankets and spend time star-gazing. See how many of the constellations you can find and name.

Put up a tent and camp out in your backyard. That provides the fun of camping out along with the luxuries of home!

Build a fire and roast some marshmallows. This provides a fabulous opportunity to tell stories or even to have sing-a-longs.

The reality is, there are countless fun ways to end the summer break. Why not try a few of the ideas mentioned and some of your own? You’re sure to enjoy the time and you will be creating memories that your children will cherish!

Keep visiting this Package From Santa blog for more great tips and ideas about a variety of topics.

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