Summer

Making Learning Fun This Summer

During the summer months, many kids go to baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming and dance camp. We instill values of practice makes perfect, but what about their academics? Luckily, there are lots of tips and tricks to make learning as fun as attending a summer camp with their friends.

 Strengthening math skills:

• Let your children help in the kitchen. Allowing your children to join you in the cooking process teaches them how to read the recipe and measure the ingredients. Recipes also expose your children to fractions, which kids typically have problems understanding.

• Play board games and have your child be the scorekeeper. Games like Yahtzee and Monopoly are good games to help strengthen your child’s math skills because each includes lots of adding, and Monopoly gives your child the chance to learn more about money.

• Grab a stopwatch or a stopwatch app. Children love to play with stopwatches, and giving them one opens up lots of learning opportunities. One way they can use the stopwatch is by timing how long it takes their bike to ride down the street or around the block. Then they can keep track of how fast they go and chart the difference in their time the more they practice. This strengthens number recognition, telling time, and subtraction skills.

 Strengthening reading skills:

• Visit your local library. St. Louis City and County Libraries offer  reading incentive programs for kids of all ages. If getting your child to read has previously been a struggle, this is a good way to get them excited about reading because their friends will be reaping the benefits of the program (like free Cardinal tickets).

• Write letters. Do you have a grandparent, cousin, or friend that lives out of town? Have your children write letters to them. This activity will not only teach your kids how to maintain relationships, but also strengthen their reading and written communication skills.

TLC for Kids also offers tutoring. All of TLC’s tutors have degrees in education. To book a TLC tutor today, call (314) 725-5660.

 

 

Summer Safety Tips for Children with Special Needs

TLC for KidsSummertime safety is a big concern for most parents, simply because many children get long breaks from school and are either home all day or with a caregiver. During the school year, it’s comforting to know your child is safe in a classroom with a competent teacher, but during summer months, it can be difficult not to worry. When your child has special needs, that worry is magnified tenfold.

It takes a little planning, but it is possible to have a relatively stress-free summer along with your child. With some preparation, communication, and careful planning, you can figure out a way for your child to be safe and have fun at the same time. Here are some of the best tips.

Summer Nanny

If your child will be with a nanny during the day, it’s important to maintain communication with them at all times and let them know what to expect at the beginning of each day. If they’ll be taking your child outside the home–to a park or playground, for instance–you might consider making a visit there first to check out the equipment and to see what sort of surfaces there are. Playgrounds with mulch are much preferable to those with gravel or concrete.

Keep a contact list for the nanny with detailed instructions on what they need to tell a first responder about your child’s medical needs should an accident occur. This includes any allergies, your child’s official diagnosis, and any medications they are taking.

Make sure to communicate to the nanny that being well-rested is important when they are spending time with your child. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are invaluable, whereas too little sleep could negatively affect their ability to function rationally and quickly.

Outdoor safety

Teaching your child how to be safe outside is imperative for summer months, and this includes water and pedestrian safety. Educating them about crosswalks, how to look both ways for vehicles, holding hands before crossing, and staying away from parked cars will go a long way in giving you peace of mind when they aren’t with you.

For water safety, consider enrolling your child in a swim class. Many children on the autism spectrum love the feel of water, so it’s especially important to teach your child how to stay safe when swimming. Always drain kids’ pools after use and consider installing motion sensors near in-ground or large above-ground pools if you have a child who wanders.

Always have your child use a helmet and knee/elbow pads when they are using any equipment that moves, such as a bike, scooter, or roller skates. Make sure the helmet and pads fit well and are in good shape.

Watch the heat index

Many children with special needs have a decreased tolerance for heat, so it’s important to follow the weather reports and prepare. Dehydration can occur quickly and with little warning, but some signs to look for are headache, nausea, cramps, dry mouth, irritability, fatigue, and few trips to the bathroom. Urine will be dark in color. If your child has any of these symptoms, get them into a cool, shady spot immediately and give them water to drink. A cool washcloth on the back of the neck can help if one is available.

Summer can bring lots of things to think about, but with a little bit of planning and good communication, you can make it a fun time for everyone involved.

TLC for Kids has caregivers who have experience working with children who have special needs.    To learn more about TLC for Kids visit the website at tlcforkids.com

Thank you to our guest writer Sean Morris!

 

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.

Family Travel: Traveling With Kids

Family travel is something most families do throughout their years together. Traveling on vacations is often an annual tradition families have. From the time your child is born, it is likely you will take him or her on trips to see family members, theme parks, and even just one day drives. While safety is often the first thing parents consider when traveling with their kids, keeping them happy and busy along the way also adds to the success of the trip.

Safe Travel Tips

Safety is the most important factor with children traveling. Family travel should always been done with caution paid to safety above anything else. Here are some tips to keep everyone safe.

• Insure everyone is using proper safety belts and car seats throughout the trip. It’s tempting to loosen the belt for long trips, but high speed accidents on highways are common during the summer months.

• Be sure that the driver gets enough sleep and that parents are able to stay alert not only in the car but also on airplanes and buses.

• Keep items out of the car that could be choking hazards for small children. Travel games often have small pieces and are meant for older children. The jarring of a car can easily cause these to slip down the child’s throat.

• Be sure everyone knows where to meet if for any reason the group is splitting up. Cell phones are a good communication device and the responsible person’s within each group should have one.

• Talk to your children ahead of time about the risks of strangers and who to talk to if they do get lost. For family travel to be fun, everyone has to remain safe.

Family Travel Things To Do

When it comes to being on the road or in a plane for an extensive amount of time, busy kids are happy ones. Parents can do a number of things to keep kids active and busy so they don’t become overwhelmed with the long trip.

• Pack snacks. Kids are hungry every few hours and snacks are the best way to keep them quiet. Prepackaged items are sold in individual sizes, but you can also choose crackers, grapes and other small foods and place into small bags. Juice boxes and bags travel well.

• Pack an activity bag. For younger children, these goody bags can be a surprise for once you are on the road. Load them up with small toys, coloring supplies, stickers, and other activities you know they will enjoy. Don’t let them go into the bag until they are on the road.

• Pack things to do in backpacks. For older children, keeping them busy will help to cut down on your stress. Handheld games, video games, a deck of cars and travel size games can work very well. Include a few comic books, a magazine or even a book they want to read.

Many of today’s ultra fun activities for the car are in the form of technology. Portable game players, tablets, and movies are sure ways to keep everyone busy. Download the latest songs, movies and books. Challenge each child to a photo scavenger hunt using a camera or phone camera.

Family travel is often best when everyone on the trip is looking forward to something that interests them. When there are two completely different opinions, cater to both. For example, if you are traveling to an area where there is a lot of camping and wilderness hiking, and one child does not care for this, find out if there’s a local show or museum nearby they may like to stop in during the trip.

Traveling with kids is enjoyable when you plan ahead. Take the time to talk to your kids about the trip alerting them to the length of the drive. While traveling at night is not always an option, this is also a good way to cut down on the boredom factor. Many kids are happy enough with a few things to do and the conversation of the parents to keep them busy. Make this a trip that everyone enjoys by sharing stories, ideas and thoughts in an open forum. Everyone will feel welcome and happy before, during and after the trip.

TLC Can Help With All Your Summer Needs

Ever heard the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child?” With the kids out of school and home all day, it is normal to need extra help. Luckily, you don’t have to stress; TLC for Kids has childcare providers for every occasion.

1. Summer Nannies: Do you need some extra help this summer?  TLC has summer nannies that can work almost any schedule. Our nannies are energetic, fun and have experience working with kids of all ages.

2. Tutor:  During the summer, it is easy for kids to lose some of the information they learned during the school year. Schedules get filled with t-ball practice, play dates, and swimming lessons. But it is important to review math facts, spelling words, and read during the summer months, so your child returns to school prepared to learn. At TLC for Kids, you can find a sitter with a degree in education to assist you in meeting your child’s educational needs.

3. Chauffeur:  Camps, swimming/piano/pitching lessons, practices and recitals happen all throughout the summer. However, it can be hard to make it on time to all of these events—especially if you work full time or have more than one child participating (or maybe you are sick). To take stress off yourself, and remain punctual, TLC offers sitters with reliable and insured forms of transportation to take your child to and from events.

3.  Household Helper:  Not only does TLC provide families with CPR certified, background checked sitters, their nannies are also able to help with household duties. When the kids are home from school all day, the house gets messier quicker than normal. You can hire a TLC sitter to help you with laundry, light household cleaning, dishes, grocery shopping, and organizing.

4.  Pet and House Sitter:   Lots of families go on vacations during the summer. But not every vacation is inviting for your furry friends. Instead of taking your family pet to a pet daycare, have a sitter come to your home. Your pet will receive the same attention as if you were home with them. Summer is also the time of year when robberies and break-ins rise, so having a TLC sitter stay at your house will keep your home safe and allow you to enjoy your vacation without worrying.

5.  Party Helper:  Summer is the best time of year for barbeques, birthday parties, and more. But taking care of the cooking, cleaning, and watching after the kids can be a little hectic. Fortunately, TLC offers party helpers to meet your event hosting needs. TLC has party helpers that have doubled as servers, bartenders, cooks, and sitters that have brought activities for the kids at the party while the parents enjoyed themselves. If you are hosting a large gathering, don’t worry; you can hire as many TLC sitters as you need.

 

Call TLC’s office or visit the website to book your sitter today.

Summer Reading Challenges

Summer is almost here, and with that, the kids will be out of school. The kids are thinking about pool days, riding their bikes, sleeping in and sleepovers with friends! While you may have planned your summer vacation, day camps, sleep-away camps and play-dates, don’t forget to make time for reading!

Many schools require reading over the summer, and there are plenty of opportunities to make reading fun!

Check with your local library for their summer reading list by age. Many libraries will hold contests for the most books read and award prizes!

Check with your local bookstores. Many will host guest authors and reading challenges.

Barnes & Nobel has their popular reading program where kids can earn free books! Fostering a love of reading and its rewards, the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is popular with students in the first through sixth grades and educators throughout America. Participation is fun and an easy way for kids to earn free books. They simply read any eight books – library books, books borrowed from friends or books bought at Barnes & Noble – write about their favorite part, and bring a completed tear page to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Children then choose their free book from a list of paperback titles.

Scholastic is challenging young readers to join them and has put together an extensive list of recommendations.

Summer Reading Lists by Grade

Top 10 Summer Reading Lists

On the go? Whether, plane, or auto, Tales2Go is an innovative subscription service for anyone who want instant access to over a thousand great kids’ audio stories to stream to their smart phones, and listen to anywhere, at any time. They feature the best in kids’ audio stories from leading audio publishers and award-winning storytellers.

Or check out Epic!
Boasting over 35,000 books, learning videos, quizzes and more – take the reading with you wherever you go for one low monthly price. 


Happy Reading!

 

TLC for Kids is currently placing summer nannies in St. Louis and South Florida. If you need reliable, energetic, and professional child care this summer visit our website at tlcforkids.com Or, email us at tlc@tlcforkids.com.

Tips for traveling with a nanny this summer

Our friends at Regarding Nannies have some great advice when traveling as a nanny.  

To some, it seems like the ultimate gig. You get to travel to tropical islands and exotic foreign destinations with all of your expenses included — plus your regular salary. But while outsiders may hear “all-inclusive trip to the Jamaica,” a nanny hears “a long flight, a new location, no toys and strange food.”

Though you may actually serve sandwiches on a blanket multiple times on the trip, being a travel nanny is no picnic; it’s work. And unlike your usual set up, where the parents go to work and you’re at home in familiar territory with the kids, it’s all new, to you and your nanny family. So before you pack your bags, it’s important to prepare, communicate and set expectations that will ensure that everyone has a successful trip.

Continue reading 5 Things You Need to Know When Traveling as a Nanny

Jump on over to our Facebook page and share with us what helps you when traveling as a nanny.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Being Prepared for Disasters

If the event of a disaster, does your family know what to do? Do you have a plan for if you get separated? Where will you go? Do your children know who to call if something happens to the adults? These are all scary things to think about happening but important things to prepare for. As is often said, it’s much better to be prepared  and never have to do it than to have a disaster occur and not be ready.

Have an Emergency and First Aid Kit

Every family should have at least one emergency first aid kit. If you have a large family, a large house or multiple family members, it may also benefit you to have more than one first aid kit.
You may also want to take the time to learn basic first aid and CPR. Classes are held in most local areas and you never know when the situation will arise where you need to know this.

Your first aid kit should include:

• Medical-grade vinyl gloves
• Poison ivy relief cream
• Burn relief cream
• Sunscreen, SPF of 30 or greater
• Antibiotic ointment, Polysporin® or similar
• Sting relief lotion or ointment, calamine or similar
• Box of sterile gauze pads, either 3″ x 3″ or 4″ x 4″
• Abdominal (ABD) or combine sterile pad, 5″ x 9″
• Rolled gauze of 2 sizes, 2″ x 4 yards and 4″ x 4 yards
• Bandages of assorted types: finger, knuckle, plastic, Telfa®, and general adhesive
• Sterile oval eye pad
• Small sharp scissors
• Tweezers with pointed tip
• Thermometers, oral and rectal (for babies)
• Elastic bandage, 3″ x 6″
• Instant ice pack
• Roll of adhesive tape, 1″ wide, may use plastic type if preferred
• Triangular bandages, 2
• Package of safety pins, assorted sizes
• Absorbent cotton balls, 1 box
• Diarrhea remedy, Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate or similar
• Popsicle (craft) sticks or finger splints
• Antibacterial soap, liquid or bar
• Medicine dropper
• Water purification tablets
• Small bottle of bleach
• Sharp knife or multipurpose knife/tool
• Bottles of aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen
• Splint materials: thin boards 2-3′ long
• Cough syrup and throat lozenges
• Large plastic trash bag and several smaller, zip-closure bags
Your emergency kit should include:
• Flashlights
• Extra batteries
• Radio
• Emergency phone numbers
• Back up cellular phone if possible
• Blankets, sheets
• Fire extinguisher
• Supply of prescription medicines

Have Insurance whenever Possible

Do you have the proper insurance? While it’s difficult for some people to pay for expensive insurance to possibly never have to use it, you should also remember the expenses that could be involved if you are not properly insured.

There are many different types of insurance such as:

• Medical/health
• Life and death
• Automobile
• Home or renter’s
• Mortgage
• And more

Insurance will help protect your family financially should a disaster of some type occur. But it’s not enough just to have insurance. You also need to be sure your coverage is thorough, your premiums are paid on time and your policy remains up to date and that beneficiaries and other important members of the family know about your insurance policies. You should also carry copies of the insurance policies in a safe place in case something happens to the originals, such as a house fire.

Being prepared for disasters is one of the most important things you can ever do for yourself and your family. Will you be prepared if something unexpected happens to you? Be sure and discuss with your nanny your family disaster plans. Make sure he/she has the necessary information should you become separated in the event of any emergency. Make sure Medical Authorizations are in place and your nanny has the insurance information and contact information of close family member or friend. Also, make sure you have some information on your nanny – how to contact her family members, in the case of any emergency.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

TLC Can Help this Summer

Schools will be out before we know it and summer will be here!  TLC offers many services to help with your summer needs.

  • Temporary Childcare: TLC temporary sitters can help with last minute needs, transportation and date nights this summer.
  • House and Pet Sitting:  If you are traveling this summer and need someone to watch the house and take care of the pets let us know.  We have pet sitters available.
  • Traveling nannies:  Do you need another adult for your vacation this summer?  We have sitters who can accompany you on your trip to help watch the kids and give you a needed nights out!
  • Tutors:  TLC tutors are certified teachers and can give extra help this summer to keep your kids on track for next year.

Visit our website to learn more about becoming a member of TLC today!

How to Interview Summer Nannies

School years are busy.  Mornings are spent rushing to catch the bus or drive carpool.  Days are spent running errands, taking kids to practices, helping with homework,  and putting the kids to bed so we can do it all again tomorrow. Atlanta Sitters

I can not wait for summer!  This summer the kids and I are going to relax and unwind with the help of a summer nanny.  Having a summer nanny is a great idea for families with school age kids.   Summer nannies provide fun, reliable, and consistent in home childcare.  No more rushing around in the morning!   Having a nanny come to the house will take away the stress of the morning routine, and maybe, let us all sleep a little later 🙂

The interview is an extremely important step in the hiring process.  The interview can be held, at your home, at a coffee shop, the library or park.

When interviewing a nanny, rely on your intuition and observations when evaluating the nanny’s responses, mannerisms and appearance. A parent’s impression of a nanny candidate can be a telling sign if the nanny is a good fit for the family.

During the interview, parents should first inquire about the nanny’s background, experience, training, driving record and other skills related to working with children. Then, by asking open ended questions about the nanny’s interests, after work activities, and child care philosophies, parents can better evaluate how compatible the nanny is with their family.

When describing employment expectations, parents should be specific about job duties, hours, salary, time off and other practicalities of the position. Seeing and hearing the candidate’s reaction can provide valuable clues to how the nanny will feel about the position.

Parents should also observe the nanny with their children before offering the nanny the position. Take note of how the nanny interacts with the children and how the children respond to the nanny.

When deciding which nanny to hire, carefully weigh all the information gathered about each candidate. Check each nanny’s references (even if they come from an agency) and interview the top candidates a second time before offering the position. Parents should listen to their intuition and remember that the nanny will be a part of their family’s life. They should ask themselves, “Does this candidate seem as though she will fit in well with our family and work well with our children?”

 

Do you Need a Summer Nanny?

Summer is a wonderful time for kids! There’s nothing like a little fun and relaxation during the warm summer months, but for working parents, it could be the opposite.  Your schedule likely doesn’t slow down once summer rolls around and it may even be causing you some anxiety thinking about trying to scramble to find reliable childcare while you’re at work. Day camps, relying on friends and family to serve as babysitters, and taking vacation time will only go so far. TLC for Kids has the solution: hire a summer nanny. Your kids will love having a nanny to hang out with and take them places.  You will love not having to figure out childcare on a week by week basis.   A stress free summer for everyone! 

Thank you to Homework Solutions for sharing this article.  Click here to read about some other benefits  of hiring a summer nanny.

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