Sign Language Basics You Can Teach Your Child

For an adult, learning sign language can seem like a daunting task. For babies however, using nonverbal communication is essential to their survival. By eight months old, babies are using gestures like pointing or rubbing their eyes to communicate their needs. This means it’s a great time to introduce some basic sign language skills to your baby. Not only will they be able to communicate with you more effectively, if they encounter sign language in the world one day, they will be better equipped to handle it.

More
This is a great sign to teach your baby–especially around the time they start eating solid foods. You can give your baby a few bites of their favorite food, and when they begin to ask for more, introduce the sign for more. Once they correctly do the sign, reward them with a happy voice and more food. The sign for “more” is fairly easy. Pinch the tips of your fingers together on both hands, and then touch your hands together. Before you know it, your child will be signing “more!”

All Done
Have you ever spent a good portion of your day cleaning food off the floor? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Teaching your baby to sign “all done” can be great for getting them to tell you when they’ve finished, instead of just throwing the food on the floor or crying. Start with your hands up flat and your palms facing you. Then simply flip your palms outward and say “all done.” You can start by doing this once you notice your child doesn’t seem hungry anymore, and follow it up by taking the plate away.

Help
It’s no secret that babies need our help a lot. They communicate that need in a variety of different ways. In some situations, it’s important we understand that our baby needs us right away. That’s why teaching the “help” sign is great for early learners. For this sign, present one hand flat out with your palm up. Then make a fist with your other hand and place it on your upturned palm. This simple sign could save you a lot of stress.

The part of the brain that deals with language development is really solidified during the first few years of life. Introducing your baby to sign language, even just the basics, at this point in their lives can have many benefits. Aside from clearly communicating with you, it’ll set them up to continue learning the language as they get older.

How Moms Can Make Time for Themselves

Moms literally do it all. Between work, kids, household chores, and some semblance of social life, it can be challenging to find any time for themselves. We’re giving some great tips to help busy supermoms enjoy a little “me time.”

FINDING THE TIME

The first step towards enjoying “me time” is finding the time for it. It involves rearranging your schedule a bit so you can sneak in an extra 15 minutes here and there to unwind.

Instead of using your kid’s nap time to work or clean, spend it doing something you enjoy instead. You can get the kids involved with the household chores, so you don’t have to take up your valuable alone time doing that.

Getting up a little earlier than the kids or going to bed a little later also allows you to have a bit of alone time. You may be exhausted, but you’ll be surprised at how rejuvenated you feel after having your morning cup of coffee in peace or relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book at the end of the day.

WHAT TO DO WITH THAT TIME

Once you find the time, you have to decide how to spend it. While the obvious is merely sitting in silence and enjoying the quiet, the more “me time” you carve out, the more fun things you can do to relax. Try:

  • Reading a book
  • Listening to music
  • Binge-watching a show
  • Having an at-home spa session
  • Playing online games
  • Eating your favorite food
  • Talking to a friend
  • Taking a walk
  • Getting crafty with some scrapbooking, crocheting, etc
  • Having coffee with friends
  • Going shopping

CONTINUING “ME TIME”

Now that you’ve found it, you want to keep the trend going! Scheduling alone time gets more manageable as your kids get older, but there are always ways to find more kid-free time in the present. Surround yourself with supportive mom friends who are willing to trade off valuable “me time” moments. With a good community and these helpful tips, “me time” is within reach.

How to Keep Your Children Focused During Remote Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced radical changes in virtually all sectors, including education. The stay-at-home government directives have pushed schools to adopt the concept of remote learning for our children. The short attention span of children could, however, easily threaten the success of this initiative. Here are some tips on how, as a parent, you may come through for your children to help them stay focused during remote learning.

Provide the resources

The success of remote learning for children dramatically depends on the availability of the necessary resources, including laptops and internet connections. One of the essential parenting tips for distance learning requires you to provide your children with laptops or desktop computers connected to the internet. You may also have to show your children how to navigate basic computer programs essential for the remote learning sessions.

Nurture a routine

Unlike adults, children may take some time before they adapt to the discipline of unsupervised learning via the internet. To help them stay organized and disciplined, you should help them set a routine, such as a calendar or digital organizer, to keep track of daily events. The routine should match that of the digital learning program for the kids’ schools. Such a routine helps the child to keep pace with the learning program and not fall behind.

Review progress

Like in classroom-based learning, remote learning should be monitored in terms of the student’s progress. As a parent, you should supplement the distance learning program assessment by regularly checking your child’s progress. Progress review may involve doing some spot checks and asking some basic concepts taught during the remote learning sessions.

Think big

To make remote learning work for your children, you may have to come on board and help them create bigger goals and gradually achieve them. It would help if you showed your child how to look at the bigger picture regarding how the pandemic is slowly shifting the education sector’s dynamics and creating challenges. After demonstrating this, you may show the child how they can come on board and help resolve the pandemic’s problems by thinking creatively.

Read more at JenniferPowers.me.

Education Charities To Support This Fall

Children living in poverty and under harsh regimes are often unable to enjoy a well-rounded education. In extreme cases, it’s up to concerned philanthropists to donate the time, finances, and resources to help these children grow. Education-based charities are looking for donations now more than ever. Are you going to step up and help kids in need? 

The Turing Trust

Named after Andrew Turing, the nephew of British mathematician and logician Alan Turing, the Turing Trust helps students in Malawi and Ghana by providing thousands of computers to schools. It has supported 39 schools in Malawi and 76 schools in Ghana. Thanks to this program, more than 41,000 African students have become I.T. literate. Those wishing to support this program can donate to the Turing Trust through their businesses.

Mobile Education Partnerships

An educational charity working in Myanmar (formerly Burma) that has been operative for 20 years, Mobile Education Partnerships provides teacher training in remote communities and marginalized areas. Since 2011, this charity has contributed to the preparation of nearly 2,000 teachers. It has also brought 350 teachers through Cambridge teaching exams and produced textbooks used by almost 18,000 children. People’s donations to MEP through their businesses can support this charity.

Lightyear Foundation

This foundation brings science education to children with disabilities in the U.K. To gain the interest of these students, one program, Sensory Science, is a creative and immersive experience that also provides practical knowledge that can improve their lives.

Read the full article at JenniferPowers.info.

End-of-Summer Activities for the Whole Family

As the summer months come to a close and children prepare their backpacks for a new school year, it can be quite the bummer for both parents and kids. However, just because summer is coming to a close doesn’t mean everyone has to be gloomy. The weather is still warm, so there’s still plenty of time to have some fun. Here are a few end-of-summer activities for the whole family.

Head Over to the Local Park

It may be too late for a long hiking trip, but there’s always time to take a walk at the park. Gather the whole family and head over to your favorite city park to enjoy some quality outdoor time. If you want to take that extra step to make it a lot more fun, you can even prepare a scavenger hunt for the kids.

Throw a Small-Scale Summer Bash

Who needs a ton of people to party? One of the best ways to celebrate the end of the summer months is to throw your very own end-of-the-season bash in your backyard. Set up the pool, play some games, and make some snow cones. This bash will be that cherry on top of the summer for your entire family.

Read the full article at JenniferPowers.me.

Five Recipes to Cook and Enjoy with Kids

Cooking with kids can be chaotic and messy. Still, it’s rewarding to pour effort into something the whole family can enjoy. Here are five fun meal ideas that both parents and kids will love to make and eat!

Kabobs

Provided that children are old enough not to poke themselves with the sticks, kabobs of any sort are fun to create and cook as necessary. There is no right or wrong way to assemble them, so kids can use their imaginations, and parents can encourage kids to try new foods by combining them on kabobs with beloved mainstays.

Meat kabobs can include a variety of meat and seafood ingredients or just one protein.

Fruit kabobs dipped in yogurt are a healthy, no-cook alternative.

English Muffin Pizzas

English muffin pizzas are super simple to create and a great way to give children more hands-on experience in the kitchen. Sauces, cheeses, meats, and vegetables are the condiments added to customize them. Pop them in the toaster oven for ten minutes, and enjoy some tasty homemade personal pizzas!

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Find more recipes at JenniferPowers.me.

Suggestions for Planning a Staycation

A staycation is a vacation that does not require travel—every activity can be done from the comfort of your own home! Staycations avoid the stress of transportation and hotels and can be done for relatively cheap. Also, in times of shelter-in-place orders, a staycation can be a solution to the yearning for an escape from monotony. If a vacation is out of the question for you and your family, consider a staycation instead!

Staycation Benefits

Staycations are great for reducing the stress that accompanies ordinary vacations. For one thing, there is no long-distance travel, a vacation necessity that can be difficult with babies and children in tow. The best part of a staycation? No crowds! Transforming your home into a luxury spa or five-star restaurant is a great exercise in creativity for the whole family, and can help your home feel like a completely different place. What better way to stave off cabin fever?

Planning Days of Family Fun

Before the staycation, preparations are necessary. Including all members of the family in this planning helps them to become involved in the whole process, and gets everyone excited for a “home-away-from-home, at-home” experience. The first thing, then, is selecting a schedule that will satisfy the desires of all family members.

Find more fun ideas at JenniferPowers.me!

Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe and Healthy

Healthy, happy, and safe kids are the ultimate goals for any parent. This involves the physical, mental, and social well-being of the child, the absence and prevention of disease, and the ability to recover from illness and other health problems when infected. There are many factors to consider when creating an environment that produces and maintains healthy children. Therefore it is crucial to consider every aspect of your child’s well-being. Parents must teach children how to maintain their health by setting positive examples and encouraging healthy behaviors.

Handwashing

Handwashing is the number one prevention for illness, and it should be done often and consistently after using the restroom, before eating, after being outside, and other situations that involve contact with other people, animals, and potentially contaminated surfaces.

Staying Home When Sick

If a child is sick with a fever, cough, upset stomach, or other contagious infection, it is important to stay home to prevent passing germs and for a quick recovery. After all, rest is one of the key factors of recovery from illness.

Healthy Diet

Eating a balanced diet that is healthy and nutritious is vitally important to maintaining overall health, preventing illness, and for proper growth and development. Ensure that meals prepared for your family include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins.

Read the full blog at JenniferPowers.me.

10 Activities for Children on a Snow Day

As soon as the weatherman predicts a lot of snow, it’s usually followed by shouts of joy from children while grownups scramble to come up with plans to keep their kiddos engaged and entertained. Instead of turning snow days into TV marathons, there are plenty of activities that don’t involve a screen.

With a little planning, you can keep your children busy with numerous snow day activities. Here are 10 fun ways to combat snow day boredom and make it a day to remember!

Create an Obstacle Course

For an indoor obstacle course, gather some supplies like balls, pillows, books, empty toilet paper rolls, and other household items and map out your course. Make it challenging by having kids complete it with books on their heads or spinning around in circles before weaving through obstacles.

For an outdoor obstacle course, grab some items like hula hoops, scraps of wood, sleds or pool noodles and allow your kids to have fun using their imagination.

Read the rest of the tips at JenniferPowers.me.

Preparing Your Child For a Broadway Show

The New York theater scene is one of the world’s most famous, and the chance to see a show on Broadway is a lifelong dream for many. Children will especially delight in the incredible stage design, magnificent performances, and breathtaking ambiance of a live play or musical. Some children may even see a Broadway show and discover a passion for theater, going on to pursue careers in music, dance, acting or production. However, before surprising a child with a trip to Broadway, it’s important to prepare them for the experience.

START WITH AN AFFORDABLE SHOW

Children may wind up not being as enthralled by a show as their parents would like. This can be disheartening, but the blow will lessen if you avoid exorbitant ticket costs. As an introductory experience, choose an affordable Broadway show that runs for no more than two hours, keeping an eye out for discounted or last-minute rush tickets.

Parents should choose a kid-friendly Broadway show that they can still enjoy; shows like Wicked and Frozen are filled with familiar stories and characters revitalized through the magic of Broadway.

Read the full blog at JenniferPowers.me.