A couple of months ago, in the midst of the government shutdown, the U.S. Treasury started printing new $100 bills. The new bills are more expensive to produce than the ones we’re familiar with. Each bill costs nearly five cents extra to create. In honor of the new $100 bills, we’ve put together a few ideas for teaching preschoolers about money:
We created a coloring page so you and your kids can decorate your own $100 bills, cut them out, and make play money. Plus we also added in a few other ideas for introducing the concept of currency to your little ones.
Give them an allowance
Parents interested in teaching their children the value of money can give them a small allowance. Even a simple $5 per week will work great. The idea isn’t to give money though. The allowance should teach the value of money, so it works best if little ones need to do some chores around the house to earn it. Maybe they make their bed every day or wash dishes. The idea is to teach them to work for and appreciate their little income and to save for special toys, books or other items that cost more than their allotted income.
Count and sort coins
Counting and sorting change will help teach kids the values of different coins. First, teach the preschoolers the names of each coin. Then, after those have been memorized, introduce their values. Use visuals to your advantage. Put five pennies together, next to a nickel. Then, explain that the five pennies equal one nickel. Do this for each coin and experiment by putting together different combinations.
After the preschooler has mastered the monetary value of each coin, make a game out of it. Place coins on a table and have the preschooler sort them from most valuable to least. Then, place different coin combinations on the table and have the child or children do the same activity with groups of change.
-“Money Games and Activities” Nick Jr.: http://www.nickjr.com/home-life/kids-money/money-games-activities/money-games-activities_ap.html
-“A preschooler’s allowance” Simple Mom: http://simplemom.net/a-preschoolers-allowance/
-“These New $100 Bills Are Going to be Huge Overseas” BloombergBusinessWeek: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-08/these-new-100-bills-are-going-to-be-huge-overseas
From hot ovens to broken glass ornaments, there are plenty of safety hazards around the holidays. MomTrusted came up with some simple tips to help keep children safe this season.
Invest in an artificial tree.
Avoid the real deal this year and invest in a fake tree. Real ones pose as a serious fire hazard, but buying a fire resistant artificial one will help keep the flames away. Miss the process of picking one out and cutting it down? Take the kids on a winter hike instead. You can still go stomp around in the snow and smell fresh pine, but you won’t get stuck with the process of lugging a tree home. Collect pinecones, on your hike, to decorate with instead of a gigantic tree.
Little ones love to play in the snow. Encourage them to make snow angels and build snowmen, but make sure they’re bundled from head to toe first. Frostbite is not something you want to mess. Also invest in gloves with sleeves attached. Not only will these keep snow from creeping up your children’s sleeves, but they’ll be much more difficult for the little ones to pull off when they’re playing outdoors.
Avoid tunneling through the snow.
Snow tunnels and igloos may seem fun, but if the snow caves in, little tunnelers could end up trapped or worse. Tightly packed snow can result in suffocation.
Keep ornaments high.
Shiny ornaments can catch the eyes of little ones quickly and before you know it, you can have tiny hands grabbing for them. Keep them far out of reach to avoid tipped trees and broken class. You may even want to place even non-breakable ones high too. Little piece can be choking hazards and pointy hooks should be kept completely out of reach.
Buy new garland.
Did you know that old garland often contains lead, a main reason for many of today’s toy recalls?
Use lights, not candles.
-“Holiday decoration safety smarts.” Baby Zone.
-Photo courtesy of Tom Clare/freedigitalphotos.net
Each year, emergency rooms in the U.S. treat more than 200,000 children for playground-related injuries. While some involve bumps and bruises, many are much more serious, resulting in severe fractures, amputations and even death. Although girls are slightly more prone to injuries on playgrounds, the gender at risk is nearly ½ and ½. Playgrounds at low-income locations are more likely to have maintenance-related injuries, but all children who play on both public and private grounds are at risk. MomTrusted has put together a few playground safety tips to help keep your child out of these statistics.
Be present and aware. The best way to practice playground safety is to simply keep an eye on your child. It’s OK to bring a book or magazine, but don’t get so engrossed that you lose watch. If you see your child climbing, hanging or crawling where they shouldn’t, be sure to show them the proper way to use the equipment.
Let your child go down slides on his or her own. Many parents try to protect their toddlers by having them sit on their lab as they go down a slide, but this is a mistake. Hospitals see an alarming number of slide-related injuries due to children sliding down on a parent’s lap. The added height, weight and speed leave room for shoelaces and feet to get caught and dislocated or pulled in unnatural ways. The best solution? Just let your little one slide alone.
Supervised swinging only. Most injuries on back-yard playground sets occur on swings. If you have a toddler, make sure they use a swing with a back for extra support and protection. Watch out for swings’ metal chains, which can pinch little fingers and misuse of them, like standing or jumping off.
Check out the condition of the equipment. Another way to practice playground safety is to keep an eye the equipment as well. Wet, rained-on slides, swings and monkey bars can get super slippery. Sometimes the grounds heat up too much under the summer sun, making them dangerously hot. Keep on the lookout for any broken equipment. Always investigate the condition of a playground before your child plays.
Sources: -“Playground Injuries: Fact Sheet.” CDC -“A Surprising Risk for Toddlers on Playground Slides.” The New York Times -“Playground Safety.” Kids Health
Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere better known as CARE works hard to fight poverty across the globe. The organization focuses specifically on women who are working to care for families and children. CARE workers believe that, with the right information, tools and resources, women can help by joining their side to fight poverty in each of her own communities. Some of the organization’s main focuses include stopping the spread of disease, providing clean water to communities, especially those with many women and children, protecting their natural environments and helping to expand business and economical opportunities in each of these communities.
Throughout the previous year, CARE assisted women in 84 countries across the world. Some of those countries included Afghanistan, Sudan, Peru, Uganda, India, Haiti and Cambodia. Staff members and volunteers of CARE want to make a global effort to empower women and families spread throughout the world, struck by poverty.
The organization is funded by government agencies here in the U.S. The United Nations and the European Union also assist financially, along with hundreds of thousands of private donors from individuals to large corporations.
While CARE doesn’t normally take on volunteers, they’re grateful to any financial assistance that individuals, families or companies can afford.
Their headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia.
-Photo courtesy of Africa/freedigitalphotos.net
Children with Down syndrome develop at a slower rate than most children without Down syndrome. They face challenges, such as being slower to learn how to talk and care for themselves. This certainly doesn’t mean these things are impossible. They just take a bit longer and some extra dedication. Here are some fun, educational activities for children with Down syndrome that will help make learning fun and a little less frustrating for little ones.
Use visuals to learn sounds.
Often, visual learning works best for children with Down syndrome. Sometimes, sign language can help little ones communicate and learn verbal language. You can either learn actual sign language or invent your own. For example, maybe touching the mouth represents hunger.
Teaching a child with Down syndrome to take turns can amplify learning experiences. Communication relies heavily on taking turns, having a listener and a speaker, but sometimes this concept doesn’t come naturally. Demonstrating this turn taking and even verbally communicating “OK now it’s my turn” can help the learning process happen a bit faster.
Use repetition to your advantage.
Studies show that kids with Down syndrome usually need at least a 100-word vocabulary before they start transitioning from one-word statements to multi-word thoughts. Repetition can help accelerate learning to speak. Think of it as an add-on game. If the child says, “Car,” say, “Car. Fast car.”
-“Down Syndrome” Kids Health: http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/birth_defect/down_syndrome.html
-“12 Booster Activities for Kids with Down Syndrome” Parents.com: http://www.parents.com/health/down-syndrome/booster-activities-for-kids-with-down-syndrome/
-“Down Syndrome Learning Activities” Pinerest: http://www.pinterest.com/trudycallan/down-syndrome-learning-activities/
-“Top Five Instructional Strategies for Students with Down Syndrome” Special Ed Post: http://specialedpost.com/2013/01/31/top-five-instructional-strategies-for-students-with-down-syndrome/
-Photo courtesy of kdshutterman,/freedigitalphotos.net
The idea of hands-on learning has been around for ages. But now, multiple studies are showing what we suspected all along: learning outside of the classroom is the best kind of learning around. It improves test scores, memory retention and overall attitude. Even learning the stuff in the books in the country side proves better than lining students up in desks.
King’s College London, one of the leading research universities in the world, found that learning in a natural environment ups performance in nearly all subject areas, including math, reading, social studies and science. According to the study performed by King’s College London, exploring their surrounding gets kids excited about learning, amping up their information intake and overall test skills.
According to author Stuart Nundy’s book Raising Achievement Through the Environment, learning outdoors, in open country, was actually found to improve memory. These are just a couple examples, among a slew of research that points toward one answer: keeping kids in the classroom is not the way to learn.
According to multiple studies, scientists and authors, kids learn better outside of the classroom, taking advantage of hands-on activities. Plain and simple. George Monbiot breaks it all down for readers in his recent article, “Rewild the Child.”
-“Rewild the Child” George Monbiot: http://www.monbiot.com/2013/10/07/rewild-the-child/
-“Understanding the diverse benefits of learning in natural environments” King’s College London: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/KCL-LINE-benefits_tcm6-31078.pdf
-Photo courtesy of jonny2love
Mom Trusted reports on how the government shutdown affected kids and moms here:
The government shutdown affected kids and moms as it blew through the country, shutting down federally funded programs left and right on the first of October. Many federally funded Head Start programs, which offer free preschool to kids under five, ran out of funding at the end of September. Those that couldn’t afford to stay open through other channels of income were forced to send preschoolers home indefinitely. Head Start programs in Florida, Alabama, Connecticut and Mississippi were among those forced to close, hitting 3,200 preschoolers by the day after the shutdown.
The government shutdown affected kids and moms of all ages, not just those in preschool. Programs labeled “non-essential” were the ones forced to close with the shutdown. Among the many hit was the WIC, the Special Supplement Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. The WIC provides healthy food for low-income moms and moms-to-be with children under five years old.
Nearly nine million women and children participate in the program and receive an average monthly benefit of $45. By providing healthy food to children, the program hopes to cut medical costs in the future. For every $1 spent on WIC, the program will save over $4 in medical bills.
Many program workers and parents who depend on WIC argue that the program is the opposite of “non-essential.”
-“Shutdown threatens nutrition for mothers, children” CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/30/news/economy/shutdown-wic/index.html
-“WIC support for moms, babies threatened during shutdown” CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57605501/wic-support-for-moms-babies-threatened-during-shutdown/
-“Low-income moms and infants will see support disappear in a shutdown” Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/09/30/2701131/shutdown-wic/
-Photo courtesy of adamr/freedigitalphotos.net