Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

July 25th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Labeling Your School Supplies

With 32 days left of summer vacation, my family needs to start thinking about school and getting school supplies. Buying the supplies are the fun part, but the labeling of them can take forever! You can go the simple way of labeling with initials or first name using a pen or marker, but I wanted to share some fun ways to label your supplies without all the hassle.

Print some labels like in the picture above. I love these little labels to print names and attach to items. They can also be found in neon colors. I have found that you sometimes need to cover with tape when labeling crayons and markers and others things that are curved.’

Check out these Property of stickers. These would be great for books, folders, and other large items.

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Your child can really add personality to their labels when you print these personalized labels.

 

Mabel’s Labels offers labels for school supplies, lunch boxes, and even clothing and shoes. These offer a great alternative to the printed labels because they are made with labeling items as a sole purpose.

If you have the ability to cut vinyl lettering you can label things like this. This would take a bit of work but makes a big statement. Check out how they labeled pencils with vinyl.

Once you decide what option you are going to use stick a good movie on the tv and go to town! It’s a tedious task, but once you see all those labeled items you will feel like you really accomplished something!

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June 30th, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Teaching Kids About Recycling

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We all think about the future and what will be left for our children or grandchildren to deal with. According to the EPA, Americans produce about 4.3 pounds of waste per person, per day. For a family of four, that is over 6,000 pounds of waste each year! About one third of this can be recycled or composted. Are you throwing paper, glass, plastic and metal into the trash? Think about and teach your kids to recycle these items!

An easy way to teach kids to recycle is to create an area in your home with different colored bins. Place tags or identifying pictures on the containers so your children can recognize them and what materials should go in each one. Encourage them to recycle cans and make a plan for how to use the money you’ll get when turning these items in! Consider creating a recycling savings jar to save up for a special family treat.

Take a field trip to your local recycling center. Show your child how the different materials are collected and recycled. Take about how not recycling items can impact the environment, and what items need to be recycled separately, like computers, batteries, lightbulbs, and old medicines.

The more your children understand about recycling, the more likely they are to make it a habit.  Check out some of the online recycling games below:

Ollie’s World

Meet the Greens

My Garbology

 

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June 23rd, 2014 at 8:44 am

4 Ways To Use The World Cup To Teach Your Kids About Culture

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One of the most amazing things that has happened since the World Cup 2014 started — besides the excitement, yelling and cheering — is that my kids have started to recognize several of the flags and the names of the 32 countries playing the most important soccer tournament in the world. I love that apart from passing on what I consider part of my Latino culture to my kids, I can use the World Cup as an opportunity to teach them about culture, history and geography.

Luckily, there are a ton of activities, crafts and worksheets online to help me do that. Check out some of the ones we love:

Duck Tape World Cup Flags: My 7-year-old adores using Duck Tape to come up with all kinds of crazy creations. She’s made wallets and flowers and when I told her we’d be making some World Cup flags using Duck Tape she jumped right in.

World Cup 2014 Flag Cookies: What kid wouldn’t want to work on decorating a bunch of cookies using jelly beans, gummies, chocolate chips and any other small candy they could get their hands on? The best part is that they get to learn without even realizing it because they’re having so much fun!

World Cup 2014 Geographical Location Map: Don’t just teach your kids about the flags of each country playing in the World Cup, teach them about the geographical location of the 32 countries involved using this nifty map.

World Cup 2014 Languages Worksheet: Similarly, you can teach your kids about the languages spoken in the countries with teams at the World Cup by using this worksheet. In my house, I first asked my kids take a guess about the languages spoken in each country and I was happy they got most of the Spanish-speaking countries right. We then researched together to get the answer for the rest of the countries.

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June 13th, 2014 at 6:57 am

10 Reasons to Visit a Farmer’s Market

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Farmer’s markets are not only a source of healthy and often organic produce, they’re also a source of learning for kids! Supporting local businesses helps your community as well. Here are 10 reasons you should visit a farmer’s market with your kids.

Talk With Real Farmers – One thing I have found is that the vendors at the farmer’s market love to talk about how they grew their food. Have the kids talk to them and ask questions.

Teach Kids About Farms- In the city, a lot of children don’t know about farms or have never been to one. Take this time to talk about people who farm, what they do, and how the food gets to their plates.

Spend Family Time Together – Set an hour or so aside to walk through the market and talk about the items. Sometimes there is even music and other activities for your children to participate in.

Learn About Your Community- Connect with others and learn all the different things that go on in your town. At our market, one of our favorite restaurants does cooking demonstrations. Our kids have learned that much of the food they eat comes from the market.  Our farmer’s market also takes place on our downtown main street. This gives us an opportunity to explore the stores and restaurants that are in the area as well.

Develop Healthy Eating Habits- Open up a possibility of options for new foods that your kids will eat.

Learn About Nutrition- Talk about the importance of eating a rainbow of colors.

Introduce New Foods- Discuss any new foods you may see. Some even YOU may not know about.

Teach Kids About Money – Give each child some money to spend on things they want to try.

Teach Kids About When Certain Things Grow- Certain fruits and vegetables are available at certain times of year according to weather and growing conditions.

Cook Your Purchases – This is a great way to get your kids involved in the cooking of the items you found. It is known that kids are more likely to try new things if they had a hand in preparing them.

Have fun exploring your local farmer’s market!

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June 2nd, 2014 at 11:56 am

Summer Reading Choices

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We love to sit under a tree, on the patio, or lay on the grass and read a book in the summertime. The kids love logging their reading time  for summer reading programs too. Check out your local public library to see what kind of a reading programs they offer for both children and adults. You can learn all kinds of neat things just by reading and talking about what you read in books.

The Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program allows you to easily track your reading, and in the end you receive a free book! They also have a great collection of books lists for all ages. I like to check out the Amazon Summer Reading List for some fresh reading suggestions as well. More ideas can be found on Pinterest in this fantastic collection of kids books or this summer reading list for all ages.

When your child is young, reading to them promotes imagination and will help develop their own reading and listening skills. Carry eBooks on your tablet for easy summertime reading without having to bring along a pile of books. Also, find books that have to do with activities that you have going on. Going to the Zoo? Check out animal books. Traveling to another state or country? Check out some books that provide information about the place you are going.

What was a great book you recently read?

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April 24th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Children, Clothing, and Confidence

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Children, Clothing and Confidence

Children start undressing themselves as early as 12 months old, usually by pulling off their easy-to-reach socks. After 18 months old, they start to show interest in their clothing and might complain when they’re uncomfortable in something, or show favoritism to certain items of clothing. They learn to dress themselves in stages and form opinions about the comfort and style of their clothes.

In our digital brochure, Children, Clothing, and Confidence: Putting It All Together With Garanimals, we discuss how important clothing is to a child’s confidence, and offer tips on knowing when they are ready, how to encourage them, etc.  Garanimals was founded in 1972 based on the idea that there is a connection between a child’s clothing and self-esteem. Well-known psychologist, Dr. Joyce Brothers, stated, “Garanimals…helps the pre-schooler to handle his/her own wardrobe. That sense of ‘I Can’ fosters the child’s growing sense of independence.” Although we no longer utilize the matching tag system from our early days, our entire collection can be easily mixed and matched, allowing kids to dress themselves and feel confident in their abilities, independence, and personal style.

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April 14th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Celebrating Library Week

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Did you know that April 13 through 19 is National Library Week? Books are so important to a  child’s development. Besides teaching them how to read, they also foster bonding, creativity, and imagination. Libraries have a lot to offer their communities, and they are a great learning resource for families. Check out your local library this week and see what kind of events and classes they offer for your little ones. In honor of National Library Week, here are some of the most popular kids books of all time that you can check out at your local library or bookstore!

  • Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  • The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
  • Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
  • Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
  • Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – Judy and Ron Barrett
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Judith Viorst
  • Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney
  • Pat the Bunny – Dorothy Kunhardt
  • Love You Forever – Robert Munsch
  • The Lorax – Dr. Seuss
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  • Corduroy – Don Freeman
  • Stellaluna – Janell Cannon
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss
  • Strega Nona – Tomie dePaola
  • Curious George – H.A. Rey
  • Jumanji – Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Little Engine That Could – Loren Long and Watty Piper
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
  • If You Give A Mouse A Cookie – Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales – Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
  • The Runaway Bunny – Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  • The Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister and J. Alison James
  • The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats
  • Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans
  • The Napping House – Audrey Wood and Don Wood
  • The Cat and the Hat – Dr. Seuss
  • The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg
  • Hop on Pop - Dr. Seuss

There are so many other great books, both classics and new, that kids around the world enjoy every day. Which is YOUR favorite?

Photo Credit: American Library Association, www.ala.org

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March 28th, 2014 at 8:23 am

Multi-Use Foam Bath Letters

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When they were younger, my boys loved playing with foam bath letters during bath time. They helped them learn to spell and read simple words, as well as recognize letters. Now that they take showers, we don’t play in the bath tub much, but we still love to play with the letters. I want to share with you some ideas for using this great learning aid outside of the bath!

  • A great way to repurpose foam letters is to glue magnets on the back. Use them with a magnet board to make word play fun!

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  • You can also use them to practice words on the kitchen table, floor, or other flat surfaces.
  • Sensory bins are a great way for children to explore shapes and other items. Ever think of using the letters inside of a sensory bin?
  • Make baby photos cuter by using the foam letters to spell out their name or current age in months.
  • Decorate your child’s room by mounting words like FUN, PLAY, or even SLEEP in shadow boxes to make word art.
  • Let your kids use them in art projects by gluing them to their pictures.
  • Make letter flash cards by gluing the letters to one side, along with a picture of a recognizable item that starts with that letter.

Our foam letters are well used and loved at our house…how do you use yours?

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