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Sunday, August 29, 2010

A nutrition and health blog from a padriatric nutrition mom -Beyong Parent'

During writing review for 'preschooler mom' I came across another nice blog 'Beyond Parent' which is from a registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor. Debra has got a Master's Degree in Public Health. Her nutrition specialties include perinatal nutrition, pediatric nutrition, breastfeeding, and food allergies.

'Beyond Parents' is a parent blog dealing in nutrition and health of children.

'The goal of Beyond Prenatals is to encourage and empower women to learn more about nutrition during preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood...and to go "beyond" prenatal vitamins in striving to create healthy families.'

As the blogger is herself a padiatric nutrition specialists it is obvious that you may get useful tips and suggestions regarding child and kid's food, health etc.
It seems that she is also a working and busy mom, so there are not frequent articles at the blog but the advice and useful information you can get from the blog is worth to check.

You can also follow her at 'twitter' or get subscription of the blog to get updated post news.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A blog for mothers of preschoolers with tips and resources

I love to share the resources I find during my browsing the net. It is a pleasure for me to discover good stuff, good blogs with useful tips, and resources. Being an educator at a primary school and dealing with reception stage children (4 years to 5 year old), I am in need of more ideas and tips to adopt for my own classroom. I prefer to bookmark blogs which are created with personal touch and experience. 'Preschool mama' is one of those blogs which I have subscribed to get updates of next articles.

'Preschool mama'  is a wonderful blog sharing resources for mothers of preschoolers. The blog is created by a former Montessori preschool teacher and mother of a kid.

What you can find at the blog?
  • Blog has a lot of stuff to help you give your child an edge, enhance his learning and reading skills, and boost self esteem.
  • You can find resources, easy tips and how tos for fun activities and crafts projects. 
  • Get advice on dealing with common preschooler health and nutrition issues.
  • Simple and easy ideas for arts and crafts that combine creativity with a great bonding experience for you and your child.
  • Resources to help with potty training and bed wetting issues, ways to enhance socials skills and encourage independent thinking, and a lot more.
The blogger says:
'You’ll find all the stuff that’s worked for me, the well meaning tips that didn’t, and the tricks I wish I’d known when I was raising my son.
You’ll also find advice, inspiration and motivation for you, the PreSchool Mama, without who this blog wouldn’t exist.'

Start seaching the sites from 'Best of preschool mama' page where you can find posts covering all the topics essentail for the skill or persoanlity development of your child.

Note: Unfortunately blog is not being updated since two years, but still there is good stuff at the blog.

Friday, August 27, 2010

How we can successfully recycle at school?

How can we recycle and save our money, resources and environment?
Teachers can teach their children to reduce resource consumption, reuse where it is possible and utimate result is that there is less wastage and rubbish. We can learn to recycle objects near and around our classroom, and school.

Recycling is only one of the things we can do about waste. It is about the 3Rs -
  1. reduce resource consumption
  2. maximise resource reuse
  3. increase the percentage of waste they recycle
How we can successfully recycle at school:

  • Rather than asking pupils to start a new page for each piece of work, get them to rule off below previous work and continue on the same page.
  • Develop strategies that encourage your children not to throw written work away as soon as they make a mistake.
  • Cut the amount of paper used by your school through greater use of I.C.T., both in lessons and for administration.
  • Cut down on photocopying. Ask yourself whether it is the best way of presenting the information to your class. Would using Powerpoint or an OHP be better? If you do need to photocopy, do it double-sided whenever practical.
  • Is it necessary to print everything that's done in the I.C.T. room out onto paper? And if so, could it be printed double sided?
  • When sending home letters, combine information into one letter rather than sending three separate letters. Ensure that families only get sent one copy and consider whether it is feasible to send information by other means e.g. e-mail.
  • About one fifth by weight of most schools' waste consists of food. If your school has a lot of food waste, could this be because pupils are being given portions that are too big or that they are being given things that they don't want to eat?
  • Talk to the people who do the catering for your school about buying food with less packaging on.
  • Aim towards 'waste-free lunches' for those who bring a packed lunch. Encourage children not to bring more food than they can eat and to use reusable bottles and flasks for drinks instead of individual cartons or cans. They could also be asked to use reusable airtight containers for snacks and packed lunches instead of disposable wrappers.
  • Give careful thought to what is sold in your school tuck shop, both in terms of healthy eating and the amount of waste produced. Reduce the number of crisp packets in your school bin by having crisp-free days and generally limiting the number of packets eaten per child, promoting fruit as a healthier alternative.
  • For parties at Christmas and the end of term, use washable plates and cups instead of disposable ones made from paper and plastic.
  • Save money by sharing infrequently used resources with other nearby schools.
  • Always use both sides of a piece of paper, before you recycle it or throw it away. Make sure that every classroom has a 'scrap' paper tray and put paper that has only been used on one side into this, rather than putting it straight in the bin or sending it off for recycling. The paper can then be used for 'rough work' or at wet playtimes. Another good place for one of these scrap trays is by the photocopier!
  • Reuse items of waste in art work, and use plastic pots for growing seeds, etc. Reuse old paper which cannot be written on any more to make papier mache models or your own recycled paper.
  • Provide children with reusable 'sports bottles' that can be cleaned out and refilled every day.
  • Ask your office staff to reuse envelopes by sticking a label over the old address. This will save money as well as reduce the number of envelopes thrown away.
  • Collect in photocopied worksheets and store them so that they can be used again in subsequent years. This will save you work too!
  • Hold a bring and buy sale to raise money for your school to which people can bring old clothes, toys or books for someone else to buy and reuse.
  • Request that teachers reuse paper when changing classroom displays
  • Make use of rechargeable batteries and refillable print cartridges.
  • More than 80 scrapstores exist throughout the UK to take in scrap materials to be used in work with children. Join your local scrapstore and persuade your 'after school club' to do the same.
  • Don't just throw old school furniture in a skip. Find out if anyone else can make use of it first. Many projects exist to pass unwanted furniture to voluntary groups and people in need and there are also similar schemes for computers.
  • Give old tools from the school workshops to Tools for Self Reliance who can refurbish these before sending them on to developing countries.
  • Not surprisingly, the main material thrown away by schools is paper, which makes up at least quarter of their waste. Contact the recycling officer at your local council and ask them to provide your school with a paper recycling bin or equivalent. Then, set up a system of paper collection from each classroom which can be taken to the main recycling bin at the end of each day or week. Also ask them if they are running a Yellow Woods Challenge so that you can recycle Yellow Pages directories.
  • Set up a composting scheme or a worm composter for food & green waste, including all the staff's tea bags and fruit scraps. Again your local council's recycling officer may be able to help here. In some cases, compost bins can be provided to schools free of charge.
  • If your school has a drinks vending machine, put a bin next to it to collect up old cans for recycling. You can even join schemes which will enable you to make money from these for your school. For more information on these, see 'What your school can do about waste' on the Waste on the Web page of this site.
  • Cardboard milk cartons can also be recycled. Wash them out after use and store them for collection.
  • Encourage your school to buy and use recycled paper and other recycled products. Doing so may mean that in the short term you pay higher prices for some goods but in the long term it will increase demand and lower prices. A number of websites containing information about recycled products are listed on the Waste on the Web page of this site.
  • So remember to reduce, reuse and recycle your waste. It is much better to reduce waste in the first place as then there is less to deal with. Reusing things is the second best option as it saves you buying new things. After you have reduced and reused as much as you can, recycle.
The last thing that should cross your mind is to throw it in the bin!

Useful links:

* 'Online resources for recycling'

* 'Recycle Zone' a site for schools, children and teachers to help them learn about recycling. It is part of Waste Watch website, located at :

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Which is best age to buy your child a cell phone?

My son is now 11 plus and sometimes he asks me to buy a cell phone. But I think that parents should be careful about providing this facility to their children. I will buy him a phone for safety reasons,  just to reach him anytime.
Recently I read a very useful article at 'NY times' about 'When to Buy Your Child a Cellphone' which is full of advice from experts. I am writing only experts of this post, but if you want to read full post, check the source link at the bottom of the post.

There is no age that suits all children, developmental psychologists and child safety experts say. It depends on the child’s maturity level and need for the phone, and the ability to be responsible for the device — for example, keeping it charged, keeping it on and not losing it. Instead of giving in to the claim that “everyone else has one,” parents should ask why the child needs one, how it will be used and how well the child handles distraction and responsibility.

“You need to figure out, are your kids capable of following your rules?” about using the phone, said Parry Aftab, executive director of the child advocacy group Wired Safety.
Ruth Peters, a child psychologist in Clearwater, Fla., said most children were not ready for their own phones until age 11 to 14, when they were in middle school. Often, that is when they begin traveling alone to and from school, or to after-school activities, and may need to call a parent to change activities at the last minute or coordinate rides.

“Most parents want to give a cellphone to keep them safe, but that ignores the great majority of uses that kids are using cellphones for,” said James P. Steyer, the chief executive of the nonprofit group Common Sense Media, which rates children’s media. He said that with those added features can come addictive behavior, cyberbullying, “sexting” (sending nude photos by text message), cheating in class and, for older teenagers, distracted driving.
Dr. Peters suggested that parents avoid buying children younger than 13 a phone with a camera and Internet access. “If they don’t have access to it, it’s just cleaner,” she said.

For children, it is all about social life and wanting to impress peers. The Pew study found that half of 12- to 17-year-olds sent 50 text messages a day and texted their friends more than they talked to them on the phone or even face to face.

Patricia Greenfield, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who specializes in children’s use of digital media, cautioned that at younger ages, parents might miss out on what was going on with their children because of a cellphone.
“Kids want the phone so that they can have private communication with their peers,” she said. “You should wait as long as possible, to maintain parent-child communication.”

Source: When to Buy Your Child a Cellphone
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