Here’s some news from the Oklahoma City Zoo:
The Zoo’s Education department is offering a mother’s day out program beginning in February. The program will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nature Explorers Mother’s Day Out Program will run from Feb. 15 to May 26 and is for children ages 3 and 4. (Child must be 3 or 4 on or before September 1, 2010.)
The program will promote interaction skills, self direction, language skills, intellectual growth and environmental awareness.
For more information, including a program handbook, tuition costs and registration forms, go to http://zoofieldtrips.publishpath.com/explorers.
With the holidays quickly approaching, and the biggest shopping day of the year this Friday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission releases its “top tips for a safer holiday toy shopping and playing experience.”
1. Always choose age-appropriate toys for children. Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
2. Include safety gear whenever shopping for sports-related gifts or ride-on toys including bicycles, skates and scooters. Helmets and other safety gear should be worn properly and be sized to fit.
3. Be aware of your child’s surroundings during play. Young children should avoid playing with ride-on toys near streets and traffic, pools or ponds. They should avoid playing in indoor areas near hazards such as kitchens, bathrooms or rooms with corded window blinds.
4. Once gifts are opened, immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging from toys.
5. Battery-charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose a thermal burn hazard to young children.
6. For children younger than 3, avoid toys with small parts and small balls. For Children younger than 6, avoid toys with small magnets. Keep all young children away from broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children 8 and younger. Balloons are a choking hazard.
Discovery Cove Nature Center at Lake Thunderbird State Park has many activities for children planned this month. I took my 4-year-old son to the nature center for a class on Memorial Day and he loved it. There’s plenty to see and do there, and even some trails if you want to take a stroll. The lake is right past the nature center so go have a cookout at the campground while you’re there.
All activites are FREE unless otherwise noted.
10 a.m. – Tree Walk. Learn what kinds of trees grow around the Nature Center. Ages 4 and older.
11 a.m. – Trees Through the Year. Learn about seasonal changes in the lives of trees. Ages 4 and older.
1 p.m. – Paint a Rock. Kids make their very own pet rock. This activity is 50 cents. Ages 4 and older.
10 a.m. – What’s a Solstice, Anyway? Learn about the solstice and how some celebrate it. Ages 5 and older. This program is also on June 21 at 1:00 p.m.
11 a.m. – Aliens Among Us. Check out small animals and plants under a microscope. Ages 6 and older.
7:30 p.m. – Summer Solstice Celebration at the Park. Hear about solstice observances around the world, past and present. Watch the sun to set over the lake on the (almost) longest day of the year.
2 p.m. – Oklahoma Insects. Learn about insects and see many of the kinds found in Oklahoma. Ages 4 and older.
3:30 p.m. – How Many Legs? Get to Know Arthropods. Learn about the other “bugs” besides insects. Ages 4 and older.
Discovery Cove Nature Center is located off State Highway 9, almost a mile down Clear Bay Ave. For more information, call 321-4633 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about happenings at Lake Thunderbird, go to http://friendsoflakethunderbird.org/.
For all workshops, pre-register by calling 425-4412.
Unless otherwise noted, all sessions are for parents and caregivers of young children.
Here’s what’s in store for this summer:
Terrific Two’s: Learn about your 2-year-old. Focus is on their developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 1, Choctaw Library
June 16, Midwest City Library
June 22, Southern Oaks Library
June 19, The Village Library
Sibling Struggles: Learn methods to prepare children for the arrival of a new sibling and how to deal with sibling squabbles. Find out about sibling rivalry and what normal behavior is. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 2, Midwest City
June 30, The Village
Just for Fun: Games People Play(for children ages 8-12): Includes active games, quiet games and brain teasers. Kids will play games from the past and games from other cultures. Both are 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
June 14, Southern Oaks
June 21, The Village
Toileting Triumph: Toileting doesn’t have to be a major challenge. Focus is on signs of readiness, why it can be frustrating and much more. All are from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 16, Edmond Library
June 29, Warr Acres Library
July 20, Ralph Ellison Library
Making Your Morning Manageable: Time to eliminate chaos and come up with a routine. Focus is what parents can do to make this part of the day more calm and enjoyable.
June 25, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
Lullaby & Goodnight: Find a routine that includes reading to your child, to ease bedtime and naptime challenges. Sleep challenges will also be discussed. Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 30, Edmond
August 17, Ralph Ellison
Look Out, I’m Three!: Learn more about your 3-year-old. Focus is on developmental milestones. All are from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 7, Southern Oaks
July 8, Midwest City
July 13, The Village
July 20, Choctaw
Toddlers at the Table: Turn common concerns about toddler’s eating habits into opportunities to teach healthy habits. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 12, Midwest City
July 21, The Village
Those Playful Preschoolers:Focus is behavioral characteristics and developmental milestones of 3- and 4-year-olds. Activity ideas will be shared to keep little ones busy. Learn it’s OK for your preschooler to be “out of bounds.” Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
July 27, Warr Acres
Aug. 25, Edmond
Baby Basics: Main focus is typical concerns of parents. Colic/crying, separation anxiety, sleeping through the night and other issues will be discussed.
July 28, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Reading Readiness: Workshop will explore the necessary reading readiness building blocks and parents’ roles in helping children become readers. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 9, The Village
Fun to be Four: Learn about your fascinating 4-year-old. Workshop focuses on developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 3, Southern Oaks
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 10, The Village
Aug. 12, Choctaw
School Readiness: Facilitators will talk about support, encouragement and opportunity all children need for school success.
Aug. 10, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Warr Acres
Tripping Through Toddlerhood: Topics include, tantrums, biting, sharing and other common toddler challenges. Parents will learn how to minimize frustrations.
Aug. 11, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Teaching Children to be More Cooperative: Focus is on when to discipline or ignore unwanted behaviors. Learn guidance techniques used by experts.
Aug. 27, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
To see the Oklahoma City-County Health Departments newsletters, including schedules for upcoming play groups, workshops, and health and child guidance screenings, click here .
Back in October, I wrote a post about the importance of water safety for infants and toddlers. (Click here to read that post.) In wake of another drowning, I want to reiterate the importance of taking the best safety measures we can to prevent another tragedy.
Drowning is a leading cause of unintentional death for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has for years discourage swim lessons for children age 4 and younger. But this morning, they have changed their stance. According to their news release:
“New evidence shows that children ages 1 to 4 may be less likely to drown if they have had formal swimming instruction. … The new guidance recommends that parents should decide whether to enroll an individual child in swim lessons based on the child’s frequency of exposure to water, emotional development, physical abilities, and certain health concerns related to pool water infections and pool chemicals.”
You can read the entire news release by clicking here.
You can also watch a segment from the “Today” show that features different ways kids learn to swim and about the Infant Swimming Resource program that is available here in Oklahoma. To watch the “Today” show May 24 clip, click here.
As the Memorial Day long weekend approaches, now is the time to get your child familiar with the water and the ways to survive if he or she were to fall in.
And remember, nothing can replace a watchful and attentive parent or guardian. Don’t take your eyes off your children for a moment if there’s water nearby. Be sure your pool has the proper fencing/barriers to prevent your child from getting to the water unattended.
For everything water safety, go the AAP website: http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/watersafety.cfm.
Have a fun, but SAFE summer.
If you’re like me, you may be trying to find somewhere to put your preschooler this summer if their day care is closed for a week or you have a sitter going on summer vacation. Believe it or not, there are actually some pretty interesting camp options for the 3- to 4-year-old set.
Here are some of the camps being offered this summer (costs vary-click on websites or call for more information):
Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 1 – Aug. 13
Preschoolers travel through time and learn performing arts basics. Camps conclude with a performance. Other camps available for up to age 12.
Casady School Summer by the Lake, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 7 – Aug. 13
Over 100 programs are available from pre-K to high school.
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
Dates: June 7-Aug. 13
All types of artistic camp classes for age 2 through 8th grade.
Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 7-Aug. 6
43 themed camps offered for ages 4 to 15.
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman
Dates: June 7 – Aug. 6
Summer Explorers program is for ages 4 to 14.
Ginger’s Kindermusik, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 21-25 or July 19-23
Themed camps for children from birth to age 7 and piano keyboard camps for ages 7-8.
Mad Science of Central Oklahoma, various locations
Dates: June 21 – Aug. 6
Camps for kids age 4 to 12 include Secret Agent Lab, Science AdventureQuest and Little Agents Academy.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dates: June 1 – Aug. 6
Themed camps for ages 4 to 16 focus on permanent exhibits and special exhibits.
Heritage Hall Day Camp, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 1-July 23
Camps for ages 3 and older include enrichment, creativity, technology and sports options.
Victory School of the Arts, Warr Acres
Dates: June 21 – Aug. 7
Classes offered for age 3 and older in all types of dance, tumbling and guitar.
Unpluggits Playstudio, Edmond
Dates: June and July
Camp sessions have a superhero or dinosaur theme.
If you know of any other fun summer camps available for preschoolers, comment here or email me.
On Monday, my son gave me quite the scare. I was talking to another parent at his day care while he and his friend played in the cubby area of the classroom. He was tugging on his friend’s shirt and when his friend broke free, my son fell backward and hit his back on the cubby.
I was consoling him (he was crying pretty hard) when all of a sudden his eyes glazed over and his body went completely limp and lifeless in my arms. I tried shaking him to snap him out of it, but he was completely passed out. His teacher called 911 and he woke up about a minute later, disoriented and crying.
When the EMT/firefighters arrived, they checked him thoroughly. They put him at ease by talking to him about things he could relate to so he wouldn’t be so frightened. In the end, they think he just hyperventilated from crying so hard. His doctor wants to run more tests, but hopefully, that’s all it was.
After about 45 minutes, when all seemed back to normal, the firefighters invited my son and his friend to go outside and see their fire truck. You can only imagine the excitement on the boys’ faces.
They gave them stickers, blew up rubber gloves, showed them the super-humongous ax and let them sit inside so they could show them all the bells and whistles.
Then came the best part.
“We’re taking them with us.”
I thought the firemen were joking.
Then the doors to the truck closed, and off they all went for a ride through the parking lot, flashing lights and all. Their first ride ever in a real fire truck. I think that made my son’s life complete. I don’t remember ever getting to ride in a fire truck. But these two boys would surely be the envy of all their classmates the next day.
So to the Oklahoma City Fire Department: You guys have the biggest hearts. Thank you so much for taking the time to turn a scary situation into something my son will always remember. Thank you for putting this smile on my boy’s face.
Setting aside concerns for salmonella from raw eggs and pollution that might be captured in each falling snowflake, we made snow ice cream today.
It didn’t take long.
Beat 2 eggs, add 2 tsp. of vanilla, 1/2 cup of sugar and a little milk, and you have a sweet little concoction to add to the light and fluffy stuff that is resting several inches deep on your windshield. This was my sister-in-law Sandy’s recipe for snow ice cream. (She has to share this with me every time it snows, because I forget.)
After spooning up a bowlful, I placed the snow in individual cups and then poured just enough liquid fun to make the snow stick together in the consistency of ice cream. Yum!
The kids tried it, and one review was good. My 4-year-old scrunched his face and didn’t think it could take the place of a Braum’s yogurt “twist.” And my 15-year-old said it was nasty. But my husband and youngest daughter liked it.
This treat is one my husband and I remember having as children. Recipes might have differed, but it was something we looked forward to when it snowed. Whether true or not, you were always supposed to wait until the second snow. (This was our second snow. )
Bad weather days can quickly become good family fun when you make a little, simple effort.
– Linda Lynn
If so, you may want to check out the playgroups offered by the Oklahoma City County Health Department. They have several in the metro area.
Playgroups are FREE and for children from birth to 36 months old and their parents. Play clothes are suggested.
Parents will be able to play with their kids and meet other parents. Facilitators will also be there to talk about behavior of young children, language, age-appropriate play activities and positive parenting.
Here are some dates & locations:
Edmond: Peace Lutheran Church, 2600 E Danforth Rd.
Nov. 5, 19 and Dec. 3, 17.
Sessions are 9 to 10 a.m. and 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.
NW Oklahoma City: Mayfair Church of Christ, 2340 NW 50.
Oct. 28, Nov. 25 and Dec. 9.
Sessions are 2 to 3 p.m.
Midwest City: Doctor’s Tower, 3rd floor, 6912 E Reno.
Nov. 10, 24 and Dec. 8, 22.
Sessions are 10 to 11 a.m.
To participate, you must pre-register by calling 425-4412. And check out the health department’s schedule of upcoming parenting workshops by going to http://www.cchdoc.com/ and clicking on the Parent Express Newsletter on the right-hand side.
My son is 3, which means he’s suddenly eligible for all sorts of extracurricular activities (otherwise known as energy-burning-so-he-doesn’t-run-circles-around-the-house activities).
So there he is … signed up for everything I could get my hands on. Gymnastics: One night a week. Swim lessons: Two nights a week. Soccer: Practice one night, and games on the weekends. Yes, he’s only 3.
There may be a misconception here that I’m sort of a stage mom. A “boys-need-sports” stage mom. But really, I just want my toddler to be active from an early age and to experience various sports so that he’ll be open to more than just one activity. I don’t want him to get into couch-potato mode.
I just know that all the running around can leave me a bit running-ragged. My son seems to enjoy it but ends up pretty cranky by the time it’s time to go home or leave the activity. Carrying him kicking and screaming through the gymnastics facility’s parking lot makes me wonder if it’s really worth it.
Any thoughts? Do you have your young children in sports? How do you make sure you have enough down time in your child’s day? Comment here or email me at email@example.com