Thanksgiving: Time to Teach Your Kids About Gratitude

Thanksgiving in First School’s

Most people view Thanksgiving as a holiday when family comes together to share a delicious meal. However, there is more to this holiday. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to teach your kids about how blessed they are.

  • Volunteer
    Thanksgiving is a wonderful occasion to give back something to the community. Buy some toys and get your children to help you gift wrap them before you take these gifts to the children’s hospital to distribute to kids who are sick.

  • Invite an Elderly Neighbor for Thanksgiving Dinner
    This Thanksgiving invite an elderly neighbor to join you for Thanksgiving dinner and share moments of joy and happiness with your family.

  • Do a Good Deed
    Ask your children to do a good deed the entire Thanksgiving week. It could be helping an elderly person cross the street or mowing an elderly or invalid neighbor’s lawn for free. Tell them the deed is not about expecting something in return.

  • Give Your Home a Thankful Ambience
    Get your kids to help you decorate the house with craft that oozes of happiness and gratitude. Display cards on the mantle that you have received. Make the whole atmosphere in the house festive, so that kids realize they do have something to be thankful about.

  • Pen Down a Few Words to a Friend
    Buy blank cards and get your children to write a few kind words to a friend. Ask them to write from the heart about what they like in the friend and why they are thankful that person is their friend.

  • Put Up a Thanksgiving Tree
    Start a tradition in your family to put up and decorate a Thanksgiving tree. Hang thank you notes and cards on the tree and also encourage visitors to write thank you notes that can be placed on the tree. Use other decorative items to make the tree festive and colorful.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and Child Day Care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

Making the Most of Conference Time with Your Kids’ Teacher

conference time

Children learn in different environments and it’s essential that parents and the general child care teacher are on the same page about a child’s strengths and weaknesses. This is best done by having a sit-down conference with the teacher. A conference gives everyone involved more time to focus on one child without distraction and work together on a program that best suits your child. There are some things you can do to help make this important meeting a success.

Discuss home situations – This isn’t the time to keep “family business” quiet. Things like a divorce, a parent or sibling’s illness or financial events like job loss can all impact a child’s learning and behavior. Be willing to let the child care worker know of these things.

Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask if your child is ahead, behind or on schedule. If you don’t know something, ask. Teachers can often fill in the blanks that you are unsure of and let you know when you are doing things correctly.

Listen with an open mind – Don’t close down if the teacher starts mentioning issues. Listen and try to help figure out what is going on and how it can be addressed. Sometimes behavior issues will occur at school but not at home. Maybe your child excels in all but one area.

Ask how you can help – Discuss activities you can do at home that can help increase your child’s learning experience. Learning doesn’t stop at the classroom door.

Advocate – You are your child’s greatest asset. Do not hesitate to make sure any special needs are addressed and that your child is being given the chance to thrive in the learning environment.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

Day Care Centers: A Preferred Option for Working Moms

Many modern families have two parents with full-time jobs, which leaves them with some tough decisions to make concerning child care. While some families are fortunate to have nearby family to watch the kids, many people have to choose between day care centers, in-home providers and nannies. If you’re in the midst of making this decision, consider the following advantages of daycare services.

More affordable and reliable
Typically it is less expensive to sign up for daycare services than to hire a nanny or pay for in-home childcare. While some people feel that the home environment is worth the extra money, you can’t ignore the cost factor. Many working parents appreciate that daycare centers offer more reliable hours. You never have to worry about the daycare center closing because a particular teacher is sick or having a family emergency.

Adhere to state regulations
In-home childcare centers must follow the same state guidelines as public and private daycare centers, while nannies do not. Working with a childcare provider that must follow state regulations gives many parents a peace of mind. In addition to licensing, centers are subject to health and fire inspections. Some centers even take the extra step to become quality approved, ensuring that their children receive kindergarten preparation skills. It is easier for parents to evaluate varying options for childcare when there are clear standards.

Clear cut expectations
With a daycare center, there are clear rules for parents, such as when you can drop off and pick up children and what sort of snacks they will and won’t eat during the day. If you’ve had trouble hiring a nanny or babysitter who can’t accommodate your work schedule or who doesn’t follow your established home guidelines, a daycare may be the answer.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

5 Delicious Halloween Candies That Are All Time Favorites

Halloween Candies

Halloween is all about costumes and sweet treats. Trick-or-treating is super-fun because of all the candies you get to eat. While there are those that you keep aside, there are Halloween candies that are all-time favorites and will continue to be so. No one can get enough of these yummy candies!

Here are 5 of the most delicious Halloween candies that are always loved no matter how many years go by:

  1. Kit Kat: Who does not love this yummy candy with crispy wafer and smooth milk chocolate? Any kid that gets this in their Halloween bag will be smiling for a long time!

  2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: This candy is one that nut-lovers adore! It is gooey and oh-so-delicious; how can it not be a Halloween favorite?

  3. Snickers: Ah, Snickers! Chewy, crunchy and full of yummy chocolate! This candy is filling and yet, you can never seem to get enough. It has to be the nougat, peanuts, milk chocolate and caramel; it is every candy-lover’s dream-combo.

  4. Sour Patch Kids: First, a mouthful of sour and then the delicious sweetness-that is what you get with this awesome candy! They look colorful and taste amazing. The green and red ones are still the favorite flavors of kids everywhere!

  5. M&Ms: This is another classic that kids everywhere love getting when they go trick-or-treating. Among chocolates that are candy-coated, M&Ms take the crown and always will. This is a Halloween treat that always brings a big grin to every kid’s face!

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

10 Halloween Fun Activities to do with Your Preschooler

Halloween Fun Activities

Before your little ones go out trick-or-treating this Halloween, plan some fun activities to pass the time. Preschoolers are great to plan such activities, as you don’t have to do anything too complicated. All you need is some fun ideas that celebrate the spirit of this awesome holiday.

There are quite a few activities that you and your child can do to make Halloween a more wonderful experience. Listed below are 10 awesome Halloween activities that preschoolers will love:

  1. Make ghoulish finger puppets with felt, glue and paint.

  2. scary cardboard monsters

  3. Get old cardboard tubes from toilet rolls, etc. and scraps of felt, glue, scissors and googly eyes (from a store) and make scary cardboard monsters with them.

  4. Make a Halloween decoration with cardboard and stick felt cut-outs of bats, ghosts, Jack-o-Lanterns, etc. to it and hang it wherever you want.

  5. Make fun floating ghosts that glow with white paper tubes with the faces drawn, staple white ribbon to make a handle and tape a glow stick inside the tube. Hang them up and watch the ghosts glow in your home when the lights are out!

  6. Make ghosts with white coffee filters that have googly eyes glued on to them after you have scrunched them up to make cone shapes.

  7. T-shirt

  8. You can make pumpkin masks out of paper plates painted orange with cutouts for the eyes and nose.

  9. Get small pumpkins from your local market and get the kids to decorate them as they like and show them off outside.

  10. Get a coloring book that has a Halloween theme and let them go crazy painting the pictures in it!

  11. Get old plain white t-shirts and let the kids paint pumpkins, bats, etc. on them.

  12. Get black cardboard paper and create a skeleton with q-tips.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and Child Care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

Make Your Kids Smart About Strangers

We’ve all heard the phrase, “don’t talk to strangers” as kids. Our parents have ingrained this into us as kids to keep us safe. “Don’t talk to strangers” is as ubiquitous as “look both ways”, and “wash your hands”. The problem with “don’t talk to strangers” is that it can be impossible to follow.

Kids today come into contact with adults they don’t know on a regular basis, and expecting them to be completely unresponsive to all strangers is unrealistic. Instead of “don’t talk to strangers”; parents need to train their kids in the art of talking to strangers. Teach your kids the appropriate ways to respond to adults they don’t know in certain situations.

As a parent, you have probably taught your child what to do if they find themselves lost in a grocery store. This is an example of when your child should know how to speak to some strangers in order to find you safely. Rather than breaking down into tears and wandering through the big, crowded store, your child should speak to a store employee. All grocery store workers are trained to deal appropriately with lost children. Obviously other strangers in the store should be avoided, but in this case, not all strangers are dangerous.

What should your child do if approached by a stranger asking for help? Generally, adults who actually need help seek the help of adults, not children. Your kids should know this is a potentially dangerous situation. If this situation arises, train your child to walk away and tell the closest trusted adult what the stranger said.

These are only a couple examples of new ways to think about the way children deal with strangers. Sometimes children can benefit from talking to strangers, other times there can be obvious warning signs.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and Child Care Programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

How You Can Save More on Back-To-School Shopping

Back to school can be a stressful time, especially for parents. You have multiple kids that need school supplies and clothes, and you don’t know how you’re going to pay for everything. Taking the following tips to save on back to school shopping will help you stay within your budget with less stress.

  • Evaluate current inventory before shopping
    Take stock of your kids’ school supplies and clothing before you head to the stores. Are there items that they can use from last year? What clothes still fit and are in good shape? If your kid already has a backpack and sneakers that will keep him set through the next school year, there’s no need to buy new ones.

  • Watch the sales
    There are dozens of back to school sales during the months before the new school year on everything from pencils to graphing calculators to designer sneakers. Keep an eye out for sales at stores and plan your shopping trips accordingly to get the best deals possible. Also, it is important to have your kids involved with the process so that they can have control over their back to school purchases.

  • Organize a swap with other parents
    Pick a time and date to get together with family and friends in the area who have kids of similar ages. Most people organize swaps around clothing, but you can include other school supplies if there is a need for it. Encourage participants to bring clean, gently used clothing that can be worn for another school year. Generally the rule is to take as many items as you bring, but don’t feel as though you have to stick to this guideline.

Are you in need of instant cash to cover your back to school shopping? Faaast Cash gets you the money that you need when you need it.

About Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and Child Care Programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.