Posts

Kas Winters
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Use holidays to teach children lessons

Learning should be fun. Children learn best when they think they are playing. Holidays and celebrations are usually good times, which makes them wonderful opportunities for teaching. March has several regular holidays and every month has special days you can find in an online search. Here are some examples of ways to learn while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Celebrate Autumn

There are many simple ways to enjoy the season of autumn. Many of them are free or very inexpensive. Have fun together and delight in harvest time. Celebrate the beauty of the autumn season with autumn leaf projects. They are simple enough for children to enjoy and often produce crafts that provide kids with a real sense of accomplishment. You can press leaves and then use the dried leaves for decorating. Paint on the vein side of leaves and press that painted side on fabric to make placemats or on paper to make cards, stationery or party invitations. Make leaf rubbings by placing leaves, vein side up, under a piece of white paper and rubbing the paper which is over the leaf, with the side of a crayon. The pattern of the leaf will show up on the paper. For little kids, this is almost like the magic of making something appear that wasn’t there before. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Use Imaginative Play

Provide materials and tools to encourage creativity. There is a huge difference between electronic gadgets that do all the thinking, kits and projects that give instructions to make an item that looks just like the one on the cover, and truly imaginative play. Often, activities which stimulate brain activity require no materials or tools at all. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Easy Ways to Teach Children

Reading is often thought of as something that is connected to school classes, but it can be taught and encouraged at home. When our children were young, we read EVERYTHING! That included street signs, cereal boxes, milk cartons, signs on buildings, words on packages in the grocery store, words on notes on the fridge, and more. Reading happened daily. If children can read and comprehend what they read, there is nothing they can't learn. Being a good reader is the first step to understanding every other class a child attends. Our daughter placed index cards all over the house to label everyday items and her children learned to read words like "clock," "window," and others long before they started school. Of course, reading books aloud with children and letting them become comfortable with words is a perfect way to build vocabulary, spend time together, make memories, and learn how to read. With older children, share books. Read what they are reading and discuss ideas. Have books and magazines available at home. Give magazine subscriptions to students. Let them see you read. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Create Your Own Family Traditions

Most of the time “Family Traditions” just happen. They aren’t usually planned. Often we just repeat activities from our own families of origin, and that can be a very positive thing. We can also give deliberate thought to establishing some especially for our children and grandchildren. I was reminded of this recently when my daughter phoned to ask about words to a song we always sang in the car when she was a child. Her children were singing it and had a question about the lyrics. That call affirmed that those little things we did with our children made a difference. “In our family we always _____.” Fill in the blank. Hopefully, you will have traditions that make memories and help children feel like they belong. Many times we relate these to holiday celebrations. Your list might Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Make a Memory with a Child

Summer is traditionally vacation time and many families plan expensive travel to theme parks, resort areas and tourist locations. While these can certainly be enjoyable excursions, there are simple ways to make precious memories for everyone with a “stay-cation” that happens at home and needn’t cost anything at all. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Explore outdoors with your Children

What a delightful time of year to explore outdoors with children! Plant something. Put seeds in the ground or in pots. Add cheerful color to your surroundings with floral bedding plants. Let your child or children dig in dirt or sand. Play with toy cars and empty cardboard boxes, sticks and things. Build cities in the dirt. Our children made many dirt towns and even turned themselves into mud monsters more than once over the years. They loved every minute of it. Fortunately, kids are washable. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Kas Winters Don t buy that Toy

Have you ever spent money on a toy only to find that the child who received it had more fun with the box? Does your child ever sit, surrounded by toys and complain that he or she is bored and that there is nothing to do? My thirty-five year-old son recently said that my slogan should be, “You’ll never need to buy another toy again.” That’s a great idea. Of course, he grew up in an atmosphere where there was on-going creative play to stimulate imagination and provide experiences for hands-on learning. Our children did have some toys; but mostly, we spent time doing activities that were, quite honestly, more fun than many toys. These had the added value of building self-reliance and other traits that serve them well as adults. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Is there a book in your head

Have you ever thought you should write a book? Would your child or children like to see their words in print? It’s an incredible experience to hold your ideas in book form, and it raises self-esteem at least a couple of notches. The really good news is that it is possible. You usually see my writing in this column, discussing ideas for children’s and family activities, but I have also written a total of 16 books, many on that family topic. My most recent effort, Get that Book out of your Head and into Print, includes innovative methods that can help you or your children accomplish a publishing dream. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Kas Winters

It’s a new year and a great time to put systems in place to make your life and that of your children easier. Sometimes, all it takes is a couple of file folders in a set location such as a box, basket, tote, tub, or holder on top of the microwave, near the front door, or in the corner of a kitchen counter. Label a few folders as needed. Choose a place where papers can be moved directly from backpacks to the proper location. This is especially helpful for school papers that need to be returned to teachers, details about assignments and projects, events and other school or extra-curricular activity dates and contact information. Work to establish a habit of putting papers there as soon as students get home from school and also try to remember to check the “Return to Teacher” folder before kids leave for class each morning. Make sure everyone knows that the folders should not develop legs and move to other locations in the house. Click here for the full article.