Benefits of Raising a Multilingual Child

Learn why exposing children to multiple languages as early as possible is an asset to so many parts of a child’s development. Click HERE to listen to this week’s early childhood radio.

TXT 2011: Teens eXperiencing Technical Education

Hey ECYD students!

Would YOU like to earn extra credit by helping Linda Foster or Jill Behnke with this event?  You can earn extra credit for use in summer 2011 ECYD classes or for fall 2011 ECYD classes.

What is TXT2011?

Small workshops for girls who will be in grades 5-8 in the fall. Explore careers in business, design, transportation, industry, technology, health and science.

For more information: www.dctc.edu/go/txt Please help spread the word on this great event! If you are interested in volunteering – contact Linda Foster Linda.Foster@dctc.edu or 651.423.8439 or Jill Behnke jill.behnke@dctc.edu or 651.423.8398.

New Food Plate Icon

On June 2nd, the USDA launched a new food plate icon. The recent food guide pyamid was made of rainbow stripes. The six vertical stripes represented the five food groups plus fats and oils. The new plate features four sections (vegetables, fruits, grains, and protein) plus a side order of dairy in blue.

First Lady Michelle Obama wanted something simple for parents and kids to follow. Is this too simple? It’s to help with portion control. Do YOU think it’s efficient? What happened to the exercise piece that was finally added a few years ago? So far, I’m not thrilled with this design. Perhaps it’ll grow on me in the future, but for now, I actually prefer the recent food guide pyamid which incorporated the foods and exercise together.

Click HERE for some recipes from http://www.choosemyplate.gov.

Expect to hear more about MyPlate. The USDA promises new online tools to help people learn how to apply it to their lives. What do YOU think of the new design? Comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Guest Speaker June 2011

The weather is finally cooperating and it’s beginning to feel more like summer. Part of summer for families with young children usually includes going on walks, visiting parks, and attending community events. This month’s guest speaker is a musician, but slightly different than you may expect.  

Will Hale offers fun entertainment for kids and families for live concerts, music performances, festivals, community events, pre schools, daycares, elementary schools, scouts, parks and recreation, concert series, churches, private parties and pretty much everywhere there are kids!  

Kids are the rock stars when they clap, dance and sing with Will Hale, the king of rocking air guitar. The kid tested, parent approved and teacher recommended concerts of Will Hale and the Tadpole Parade create a fun atmosphere filled with plenty of audience participation, excitement and energy.

Click HERE to listen to Will Hale’s blog message. (It may take a minute to load, depending on your connection speed) In June, he’s performing in many local parks throughout the metro for the summer concert series. Check HERE for locations/dates/times.

Contact Will-
Will Hale
Tadpole Parade
Rock Concerts for Kids
556 County Rd. C W
Roseville, MN, 55113
 651-307-3849 Cell
 will@willhale.com  email
www.willhale.com  web site
“The moment we are grateful, we are rich.”

Summer HEAT

It’s important to stay safe in the heat and boy, did we have HEAT yesterday! It reached a whopping 102 degrees. The last time the Twin Cities saw the temperature that hot was July 31, 1988. It’s important to note that heat can present a serious hazard: in 1995 over 700 people died in Chicago in a heat wave.

To keep yourself safe:

  • Dress in lightweight, light colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water (one cup every 15 minutes) and other non-alcoholic fluids. Limit caffeine intake. Gatorade or other electrolyte replacing drinks are fine in moderation, but water should be consumed as well.
  • Take more frequent breaks.
  • If working outside, take rest breaks in the shade.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Watch others for signs of heat stress or heat stroke.

OSHA has a resource page dedicated to reducing heat illnesses.

Baby Steps 3K

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota hosted an event called Baby Steps 3K and Family Reunion. They raised money for the Minneapolis and St. Paul Children’s Hospital NICUs! Walkers helped to raise over $16,000 for the NICUs and over 1,000 people participated in the 3K walk.

A similar event is coming up on Sunday, June 12th in Coon Rapids, MN if you are interested. The 2nd annual Baby Angels Foundation 5K Run/Walk and 2K Family Walk to Remember will be held at Bunker Hills Park, Coon Rapids, MN. Festivities include: run/walk, drawings, silent auction and kids activities. Proceeds from this event benefit the MN SID Center at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. For more information, visit the Baby Angels Foundation webpage HERE.

To see other upcoming events, click HERE.

Managing Classrooms With Punishments and Rewards

According to a recent study, 98 percent of teachers are using punishments and rewards for classroom management, but are they really effective? Isn’t it just manipulation? Should we be taking recess away for misbehavior?

Are there better ways to motivate young students? LISTEN IN to this weeks BAM radio as the speakers explore the difference between classroom management and discipline and look at creative strategies aimed at promoting internal motivation in students.

Teacher Shortages

Did you know??? The US Dept. of Education has designated the following areas as teacher shortage areas in MN for 2011-12 school year…click HERE to find out.

Child Life Conference 2011 Update

My remaining time in Chicago for the Child Life Conference was amazing. On Friday, I began the day with a session called Communication Collaboration: Child Life Specialist and Speech-Language Pathologist. The presenters provided numerous videos of infants working with the CLS and S-LP. One practice that I especially liked was to put a ‘comfort plan’ by each crib, unique to that child. Pat me on my tummy when I’m upset, etc.. They also use ‘play plans’ – I’m working on… I enjoy…, etc..

Next I attended A Place of My Own: The Ins and Outs of a Sibling Area in the Hospital. It’s important to remember that although the siblings may be healthy, having a brother/sister that’s ill or is having multiple procedures effects them as well. Some common feelings felt by the siblings could be guilt, anger, saddness, fear, anxiety, social isolation, jealousy, resentment, and/or embarrassment. This may effect their behavior as well. They may regress (thumb sucking, bed wetting, baby talk), have atypical behavior (sleep disturbances, may become a “people pleaser”), cling, temper tantrums, and/or fighting. The presenters showed some videos from siblings and what they felt about the situation. It was eye opening too hear it directly from them. Some of their responses surprised me. The presenters also discussed procedures, scheduling, training, challenges, etc..

I also want to share this STORY/VIDEO from one of the sessions. It blew my mind! How amazing technology is and the good that can come from it. The vGo avatar robot (BatyBot) allows Lyndon Baty to ‘attend school’ while he stays at home all day due to risk of infection from having nearly no immune system.

One of the highlight sessions for me was Cultivating Self-Care Practice to Avoid Compassion Fatigue. The speaker “Boon” was absolutely enchanting. Her style of presenting and the hands-on materials provided was right up my alley. The session was a good reminder to take care of ourselves first. So often, caregivers give and give and give. They over-care or care too much. She provided information about compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, burnout and selfcare. She reminded us of an airline oxygen mask…you must put yours on first before you assist others. It’s our duty to practice self-care!

I also attended A Detailed Look at Infant’s Methods of Communication and Considerations for the Hospital Setting and Happiest Baby on the Block: Comfort Techniques for Infants. They both provided a wealth of information, including levels of sleep in infants, cues/behaviors, colic, and the 5 S’s.

The closing session literally brought tears to my eyes. Dr. Andrew Morgan  spoke about the Penguin Project. He combined his love of pediatrics and theater to create access to community theater for children with disabilities. A group of children came with him and performed numerous musical numbers. They sang…they danced…they were joyful…and it brought tears to our eyes. Visit the website HERE to learn more or watch the video below.


Amount of Sleep Linked to Kids’ Weight and Body Fat?

This study found that preschoolers who are asleep less are more likely to be overweight or obese by the time they’re 7 years old, even when diet and other lifestyle factors are taken into account. Click HERE to read the article.

Although the study doesn’t prove that sleeping less causes weight gain, it’s interesting information to keep in mind. Is YOUR CHILD getting the recommended amount of sleep? According to the National Sleep Foundation, children (ages 3-5) need between 11 and 13 hours of sleep.