Make Back to School Time Less Stressful

Tips That Make Back to School Time Less Stressful

Back to School

Back to school time is just around the corner. So it’s not surprising that families are beginning to make preparations. This may include everything from shopping for new clothes to buying school supplies or a new laptop.

But even when you have all the things you need, this time of year can be stressful. After all, kids have gotten into the habit of sleeping later and may prefer playing video games or spending time outdoors to reading, writing and arithmetic.

Nights and Mornings

Obviously, kids will need to readjust their schedules. Rather than waiting until school starts, it is best to begin the change sooner. For instance, if your kids have been staying up until 10:30 pm through the summer and you want them to have a 9 pm bedtime when school starts, you should begin by enforcing a 10 pm bedtime. After a week or so you can move that time up to 9:30 pm. And again, wait about a week or two and move the time to 9 pm.   

Staggering the change in this gradual approach assures that your kids have time to adjust to the new bedtimes.

Similarly, you can use this approach in morning routines. By making adjustments in 30 minute increments, there is little concern that your kids will be upset about the change.

Back to School

Get Into the Routine Again

Just as kids will need to have a regular bedtime and a time to get up, they will also need to get back into the habit of having homework completed, clothes ready for school, quick and easy personal hygiene routines, access to a fast and nutritious breakfast, and the list goes on. It just makes sense to work at getting back into these routines before school actually starts.

As a parent, you can help by enforcing some rules now. For instance, you could require your kids to read or spend some time writing or working on math for a few minutes each day. This will not only get them in the habit of working on school-related activities, it will also help freshen their skills, which of course, will be helpful now and later.

You can also get your kids in the habit of a regular time for their baths or showers and other personal hygiene activities. In addition, kids can lay out their clothes the night before – even if it is play clothes.

Back to School

Great Breakfast Ideas

Cereal and fruit is a good breakfast idea – it’s quick and easy and it’s nutritious. Other options include oatmeal, waffles with peanut butter instead of syrup, or a ham and egg sandwich.

No matter what, it is important that your kids start their day off with a healthy breakfast.

Taking the time to help prepare your kids early for the changes they face will help make the transition from summer into school time less stressful for everyone.

This Package From Santa blog provides tips and advice about everything from writing letters to Santa to topics about kids’ health and home décor. 

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Water Safety Tips

Water Safety Tips: Staying Safe Around Water

Water Safety Tips

Summer is heating up and with that more and more people are heading for the lake, swimming pools, and other sources of water. Whether you are swimming or just spending time around water, there are some essential safety tips you should keep in mind.

Ideally, you and your family members will know how to swim. The Red Cross offers swimming lessons for different age-groups. You can find out more by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

In addition to knowing how to swim, these water safety tips will help ensure your water-related activities create memories you will cherish.

Swimming Safety

1)      Only swim in designated areas.

2)      Never swim alone.

3)      Never leave a child unattended when in or near water.

4)      Invest in and use life jackets as appropriate.

5)      Set and enforce rules for safety.

6)      Do not consume alcohol when you will be in water.

Backyard Pool and Hot Tub Safety

In addition to swimming safety tips, it is important to prevent unauthorized/unsupervised access to your pool or hot tub.

1)     Enclose the pool or tub with a barrier that includes self-closing/self-latching gates.

2)     Use pool alarms and safety covers.

3)     Remove any access ladders and other objects that provide pool access, when the pool is not in use.

4)     Maintain constant supervision of young children.

Water Safety Tips

Emergency Safety Tips

1)      Keep appropriate equipment on hand – in addition to life jackets, a first aid kit and a cell phone, this includes items that can be used to ‘reach out’ to someone and those that can be thrown.

2)      Seconds count – if someone goes missing always check the water area immediately.

3)      Call 9-1-1 when necessary.

Spending time in and near the water is a great way to cool off and relax. It offers something for everyone. And with these water safety tips your time waterful time will be wonderful time!

This Package From Santa blog offers tips on everything from ways to stay safe and healthy to information about saving money, decorating ideas, and much more. Keep reading to stay informed!

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Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

Encourage Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

How many times have you wished your kids would spend time doing something worthwhile? For instance, you might think they waste too much time playing video games or watching TV. While arguments can be made that both of these activities can provide value and benefits, there are also arguments that say this sort of activity should be limited. In fact, most parents prefer to see their kids engaged in activities that are more productive or constructive.

Why not encourage quality pastimes for your kids? There are countless pastimes and hobbies that you can introduce your kids to. Many of which can lead to a lifelong hobby or perhaps even to a career. Read over the ideas below to see if you agree.

A Love for Photos

Taking pictures is fun for everyone – including kids. And if you let them begin early they are sure to learn from experience some of the ways to get great images. You can provide tips and helpful suggestions about ideal things to photograph and about lighting and other basic related issues. Who knows, your child may make a career out of photography!

Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

Having Fun in the Kitchen

Cooking and baking can be fun for kids. Not only is this a good way to teach kids about everything from measuring ingredients and making sense of food labels, it can also be a fabulous way to teach them about healthy eating. If your child takes an interest in cooking he/she may go on to become a great chef or baker, and those that are interested in healthy eating may decide to make a career as a nutritionist.

Woodworking

Even small kids can help with projects like making a birdhouse, a jewelry box, or a simple dog house. If your child has an interest in this they can develop skills as they tackle increasingly difficult projects. Woodworking requires attention to detail, a certain amount of creativity, and careful measurements.  A love for woodworking could result in your child becoming a carpenter or cabinet maker.

Art for All

Everyone has a creative side. Whether your child is more interested in painting, pottery, or creating sculptures, a love for art should be encouraged. This type of pastime can help your child get in touch with his/her creative side. Being creative can be a helpful trait in various aspects of work and life.

Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

When it comes to quality pastimes for kids, these are just some of the many things you might want to consider. The important thing is to encourage something positive that your child is interested in. Whether this leads to a future career or a short-loved hobby, your child is bound to learn something helpful and you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that your child is engaged in a quality pastime.

Keep reading this Package From Santa blog for tips and ideas about everything from kid’s health to home décor, money management and more. 

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Skateboarding Safety

Skateboarding Safety: Have Fun the Safe Way 

Little boy in protective equipment sits on skateboard and little

Protection for head, knees, elbows, and closed toe shoes – he's ready to go!

Skateboarding looks cool, it's entertaining to watch, and it can be lots of fun. It’s not surprising that kids want to get involved in this activity. But skateboarding can be very dangerous. This is especially true if protective gear is not worn or if you skate in the wrong place.

Simple scrapes and bruises are to be expected, but sprains and even broken bones are not uncommon. That’s why it’s important to know and follow skateboarding safety tips.

Who Needs Safety?

The reality is, skateboarding can be dangerous, it doesn’t matter if you are young or old, and even those with experience may get hurt. Although most injuries are minor, some can send you to the emergency room.

Beginners and kids top the list of injured. But practice will not necessarily mean you will not fall again. Many experienced skateboarders like to try increasingly difficult tricks and maneuvers. Also, skateboarding on uneven or rough surfaces can increase the risk for falls. Even a small rock can cause a skateboarding accident.

Little boy sits on skateboard next to little girl, who drinks wa

These kids are geared for safety.

Safety Equipment

The first piece of skateboarding safety equipment is actually the skateboard itself. Some boards are made for specific types of terrain. Also, before skateboarding it is important to ensure that your skateboard is in good working order. Check for damaged wheels, cracks in the board, or any loose parts.

Skateboarding helmets are a must. Check to see the helmet has a sticker inside saying the helmet meets the ASTM F1492 skateboard helmet standard. In addition, be sure the helmet fits appropriately and that it fastens securely.

Closed-toe shoes are important – a pair of leather or suede sneakers with a thick rubber sole that grips can be ideal. Be sure the shoes fit properly.

Since falls often involve the knees and elbows it is important to protect those areas. Choose knee and elbow pads that have a hard plastic shield but that do not restrict movement.

Other safety gear can include padded jackets and shorts, hip pads, and skateboard gloves. You may even want to use a mouthguard to help protect from broken teeth.

Little girl in protective helmet lies on skateboard looking ahea

Notice anything missing?

Getting Started

The next step to skateboarding safely is choosing a place to skate. In the beginning stages of learning many people choose to practice on their own driveway or a nearby skate park. Always put safety first. Choose a place that will not put you in risk of getting hit by a car. Also, ensure the surface is smooth and dry, and free from rocks or other objects that could cause you to fall.

Skateboarding is a great activity – with proper precautions and safety equipment the risks can be minimized. Go on, give this sport a try!

The team at Package From Santa offers information about health and safety and a variety of other topics throughout the year. Keep visiting this blog to stay on top of helpful posts.

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Celebrate the Fourth of July

How Will You Celebrate the Fourth of July?

Fireworks display during fourth of July with American flag and bald eagle

The traditional way to celebrate the fourth of July doesn’t require a lot of work or money. In fact, most people don’t even leave their own back yards. The grill and a little bit of creativity is all you need to have a great day. Of course, you might want to consider adding a few back yard games and activities.

Water Adds Fun!

The weather is likely to warm and in some places, even hot. With that in mind you will want to add a way to cool off. It’s great if you have a pool, but even if you don’t you can add some fun with water. One idea is to have an arsenal of water guns handy. Give each person a gun and let the fun begin.

If you are opposed to the idea of guns – you could use water balloons. This is a great way to cool off and to release a little frustration!

Kids might appreciate a slip and slide or a sprinkler to run through. Even simple spray bottles can be added to your outdoor space as a good way to gain a little relief from the heat.

Children Smiling At Edge Of Swimming Pool

Games and More

Simple games that everyone can enjoy will be appreciated. For instance, corn hole toss is an excellent game for all ages. The game pieces can be moved closer together when younger children are playing.

Badminton is another good choice for outdoor fun. Just be sure that things don’t get too competitive – you are playing for fun!

What’s a Holiday without Food?

Although the food options for outdoor fun are endless, the traditional items include hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and great desserts.

Fourth of July Cake

Why not make a cake that demonstrates your patriotism? Add white frosting, make stripes with gorgeous strawberries and use blue berries to create the blue background for your stars. The cake will get everyone’s attention and of course, the fresh fruit will make it taste delicious.

Picnic On 4Th Of July

Fireworks, the Finishing Touch

After the sun goes down it’s time to enjoy fireworks. The safest way to do that is to go to a nearby park or other place that is providing a fireworks display. And of course, you may be able to watch TV coverage of a fireworks show.

If you choose to have your own fireworks, be sure they are used according to instructions.

This Package From Santa blog offers tips and ideas about holidays and much more. Keep visiting to read more!

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Bee Stings

What You Need to Know About Bee Stings

Bee Stings

Bee stings are common during the summer months. But there are some things that should be considered if you or someone you love gets stung.

The sting of a bee can cause medical problems. Many bees live in colonies, so if one stings you it is possible that many others will also. While it is true that most stings only cause a minor irritation with few or no real medical problems, some stings can lead to serious medical issues or even to death.

The Stinger Can Hurt
Bee Stings

Bees like flowers!


In some cases, the stinger may be left in the skin. The stinger should be carefully removed as quickly as possible.

For most people, a redness and pain around the sting area is normal. Some swelling and itching may also be noticed. A simple treatment with ice can be helpful. Apply ice for a few minutes every hour. Be sure to place cloth between the skin and the ice.

Allergic Reactions

Some people are allergic to bee stings. In most cases, symptoms of an allergic reaction will occur within an hour of the sting, but it can take up to four hours to see signs of an allergic reaction. Severe allergic reactions can result in serious medical problems or even in death. This can happen even with a single sting.

Allergic reactions can include the development of hives, wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling of the mouth or throat, chest pain, weakness, anxiety, and nausea and vomiting. If any of these symptoms develop emergency medical care should be sought immediately.

Bee Stings

Dandelions can attract bees.

Children at Increased Risk

Most people agree that bee stings are somewhat painful, but for kids, the sting can present the risk of complications. Any sting can result in medical concerns and the problem may not be noticed for hours or even until the next day. It is possible for a bacterial skin infection to develop at the site of the sting and a sting in the mouth or throat can lead to swelling which can result in difficulty to breathe.

The bottom line is, always put safety first. Outdoor fun comes with some risks. Wear protective clothing and insect repellant when bees are near!

Keep reading this Package From Santa blog for more helpful tips and information!

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School’s Out!

School’s Out: How Will You Keep Them Busy?

School's Out

Now that school’s out parents across the nation are looking for ways to help their kids spend the summer months. The goal is for kids to enjoy their time away from school, but at the same time, it is important that the process of learning and exploring continues.

A Variety of Options

Of course, there are many options available. Most communities offer various programs that can help children pursue interests in an educational way. Many of the programs are designed to begin and end at approximately the same times as a typical school day. This can be ideal for working moms and dads.

Summer camp is another option. Some camp programs are only a week or two in length and others can be much longer. If you are interested in summer camp programs you should shop early and reserve space for your child. Some programs are faith-based and others may be focused on a particular sport or activity. No matter what your kids’ interest may be, there is sure to be an appropriate and related summer camp option out there.

School's Out

Many parents opt for team activities and training programs for things like karate, dance, or swimming. These options can be perfect for families. After all, each offers opportunities for parents to either watch or participate.

At Home Summer Fun in the Backyard

Even if you choose one of the above options, you will still need to find ways to occupy your kids when they are at home. The good news is, this isn’t complicated. You may want to consider learning about the plants and animals that live in and around your home. Doing research on this can be an excellent way to learn while having fun.

Since the weather is warm many activities can take place outdoors. For instance, you can create your own outdoor games to play. You can use chalk or tape to create ‘bull’s eye targets’ on a deck or other surface. You can also make a simple but giant-sized checkerboard design or tic tac toe board. Any number of objects can be used to play the games. You could use sponges or small bean bags for tossing in the target game, and painted rocks, jar lids, or bean bags can be used for the board games.

School's Out

Tip: Kids like to get wet and the weather is warm — Wet sponges add to the fun!

A simple plastic tarp can be used to create a fun game of toss that the entire family can enjoy. All you need is a tarp, some tape, markers, rope, and scissors. First, you need to decide what you will be tossing at/through the tarp. Some great choices include rubber balls, small bean bags, or sponges (which can be wet or dry – your choice!).  

After you know the size of the items you will be using you can then cut out shapes in the tarp that will accommodate the item(s). Tape can be used to cover the cut edges. That will add durability to your toss tarp.

Depending on the size of your tarp, you may have 3 – 7 openings cut. Some of the openings cut in the tarp may be smaller than others and some may be a more difficult shape to maneuver an object through. For example, a triangular shape may be more difficult than a round or square shape. With that in mind, you will use markers to label the value of each opening – mark easy targets with a lower value than the more difficult ones. High score wins! Use rope to tie the corners of the tarp between trees, posts, or other supports. Then you are ready to play.

School’s out – it’s time for some creative fun!

This Package From Santa blog is designed to provide ideas for everything from fun activities and kids’ health to home décor and furnishings that make life easier. Keep visiting for more ideas and tips!

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