This blog is a place where parents and teachers of children 3-7 years of age can find information about topics specific to children in this age group, share ideas and access free resources for home and the classroom.

Do Preschoolers Really Need Structured Exercise Every Day?

If you are the parent or grandparent of a preschooler you’ve got to be thinking no way does my preschooler need structured exercise!

But…the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asks us to consider the rise in overweight children between the ages of two and five years of age. In the late 1970s, about 5% of children between 2 and 5 years old were overweight. Just recently that figure reached nearly 14%,

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education(NASPE) suggests that preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) spend at least 60 minutes a day in total on structured physical exercise that help a preschooler develop motor skills. Children need daily practice to develop motor skills. Preschoolers need an additional 60 minutes on unstructured physical activities. They should not be engaging in more than 60 minutes at a time in sedentary activities unless they are asleep.

The guidelines for toddlers, 12 to 36 months old, are similar with the exception of structured physical activity adding up to 30 minutes a day rather than 60 minutes.

Parents and grandparents make the best teachers of physical exercise and activities. Try playing the following games to make sure your preschooler or toddle meets his or her daily requirements for physical activities:

  • Any kind of tag game
  • Catch with balls that are the proper size and weight for size and age
  • Water activities such as swimming, water exercises and games
  • Riding a tricycle or a scooter
  • Crawling activities
  • Doing jumping jacks
  • Music games and dancing to music
  • Playground jungle gym

NASPE offers a  word of caution… it is best to make these daily activities fun or, as our preschoolers get older structured physical activities may become a turnoff.

Another reason to make structured physical activities fun is they are competing with hand-held devices for many a preschooler’s attention.  The problem is hand-held devices and computers are sedentary activities.

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Rethinking the Bag Lunch

image of a bag lunchThe brown paper bag lunch was the only choice for school lunch when my son was in the elementary grades.

There was no school cafeteria, just a lunch room. He could purchase a container of milk. And, then sit with friends eating, sharing and trading what was in his brown paper bag.

Given the lack of refrigeration at his school, my daily challenge was to pack a lunch that wouldn’t spoil.  There were a few hours between the time he left for school and his lunch period.

Today’s elementary schools have cafeterias, where a child can purchase lunch or, if he or she qualifies, participate in a subsidized lunch program. However this is not the case in many daycare centers and preschools where a child must still carry his or her own lunch.

A recent study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, raised concerns about the safety of carrying and eating a bag lunch even when the lunch is in an insulated bag that contain ice packs or other coolant.

About half of daycare centers in the U.S. require kids to bring lunch from home. The investigators examined lunches of 235 daycare attendees at nine Texas centers. The individual contents of their bag lunches were assessed on three random days between 9:30 and 11 a.m.

Of the 705 lunches, 11.8% were stored in a refrigerator, but teachers often left them sitting out for a couple hours first. The rest were stored at room temperature without much air circulation.

While about 91% of the lunches were sent in insulated plastic bags, the mean temperature of food items reached nearly room temperature (63.7 °F). Just 22 of the 1361 perishable food items (1.6%) were in the “safe” range below 39.2°F.

Ice packs didn’t help much. Only five of the 61 perishable food items with multiple ice packs in the lunch bag stayed the right temperature (8.2%).

Investigators found nearly all lunches packed from home got too warm to prevent food-borne illness despite use of ice packs. Even with the use of multiple ice packs, more than 90% of perishables in the lunches reached unsafe temperatures.

The study points to the need for:

  • Preschool and daycare staff receiving more training in food safety
  • Parents finding better ways to pack lunches safely
  • Manufacturers developing ice packs and lunch bags that do a better job


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I am a Ghostwriter

Image of Ghostwriter, I am a ghostwriter

 

I am a Ghostwriter. If you have a story or a message that needs writing, I can write it for you. 

You know me as the creator of and content writer for Can Do Street, but I am a Ghostwriter as well. Can Do Street is one of the programs of my company, Campbell Development Group(CDG), www.campbelldevelopmentgroup.com. CDG is a digital and print media company.  For over 25 years, I’ve ghostwritten for individuals, and for profit and nonprofit corporations. When the digital world became a reality, my ghostwriting expanded from print media to include digital media products.

Campbell Development Group, LLC is a New York City Certified Woman Business Enterprise (52872-82010). It is also a New York State Certified Woman Business Enterprise (54222). As such, I am vetted by these agencies.  While my company is certified in New York, I can and do have clients throughout the U.S.

I ghostwrite for individuals, organizations, and corporations with a message they want to share in digital or print media. However, they don’t have the time or inclination to write it themselves. In addition to writing children’s content, such as books and short stories, I ghostwrite for adults on a variety of topic areas.  One area of specialization include families caring for children with special needs. As a cancer survivor, I also specialize in  ghostwriting for women and men wanting to share their cancer stories.

My ghostwriting services are confidential. I sign a confidentiality agreement assuring that I will not identify a client or reference his or her work. On my CDG website, there are samples of my freelance work, not my ghostwriting work. Samples of my freelance work are on the CDG home page. The digital portfolio references additional samples of my work.

My ghostwriting products and pricing can be seen on campbelldevelopmentgroup.com/writing-services-and-pricing.

If you need a ghostwriter, please call me for more information about my services.

Jean Campbell

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Keep Your Children Reading Over the Summer

readingWhat can you do to keep your children reading during summer vacation?

There are so many things to do during the summer other than reading. Yet, every child needs to keep up their reading skills. Family members can motivate children to read by using strategies that integrate reading into summer activities and events. Here are a few:

  • Before going to the beach, a park, visiting a historical site, a sporting event, or other activity make reading about the upcoming activity part of the planning, and then talk about the book and the activity over a snack, afterwards.
  • Check you library’s summer reading programs. Make attending these programs a summer activity, as well as stocking up on books to borrow.
  • Let your children see you reading regularly. Grab a magazine when you are in a waiting room. Bring a book to the beach.  Have a book on your night stand.
  • Talk to them about what you have learned and continue to learn from books.
  • Build reading time into your child’s  day, not as something to do when day is done and kids are too tired to do anything but zone out in front of the TV.
  • Much reading during the school year is required reading; make summer a time for fun reading on subjects of interest to your children

  • Give your children the opportunity to read a variety of materials, not just storybooks,  such as magazines, newsletters, and papers geared to their age and interests.
  • Road trips area great time for children to get in some reading
  • Encourage your children to join or start a  friends book club that can meet every two weeks to discuss a book they all read.

Reading during the summer will give your children a jump start when returning to school, not only with reading but with vocabulary and grammar!

 

 

 

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Memorial Day: explaining it to Children

 It isn’t easy to explain Memorial Day to children. But, if you are asked, here is a history you might want to share.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died serving our country.

Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966; however,  it’s difficult to prove the origins of the day. Probably it had many separate beginnings; with towns and gatherings of people honoring their war dead.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868. General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed the day. It was first observed on 30 May 1868. On that day, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I. At that time, the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War. It became the day to honor Americans who died fighting in any war. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May. It passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) ensuring a three day weekend for a Federal holiday. However, several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead. It is celebrated on January 19 in Texas; April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi. And, May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day.

What may be needed to return the spirit of Memorial Day is a return to a traditional day of observance. Many Americans feel that making the day into a three-day holiday weekend  made it easier for people to forget the solemnity of the day.

 American Flag flying on Memorial Day

Source: usmemorialday.org

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