Childhood lessons Taught in the Garden

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The garden, a wonderful place to learn and grow! (Pun Intended)
Growing a vegetable garden with your child can teach them many life lessons. Planning, planting, growing and harvesting shows them the many steps our food takes to get from farm to table.

We often don’t think of the many life lessons our activities teach us. Learning to garden at a young age exposes us to many great life lessons, morals and values rooted in us that take with us into adulthood.

Prepares Us For Adulthood 

Adulthood is can be an emotional rollercoaster. Like a garden, everyday something is new, there are so many challenges ahead and garden can teach us those many life lessons we need to live and grow into a successful life. 

Getting Intouch With Nature

ladybug-54311_1920The garden is full of exciting creatures! When your child is working on their own garden, they are bound to run into a creepy crawly or two. Introduce them to the many different elements gardening has to bring.
These encounters can be so inspiring to a young child when they are done in the garden encourage them to write and draw about their experience.
Gardens are a great example of the most basic forms of life it shows the fundamentals of the food chain and how the environment works.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better 

Having a garden you can manage with little stress is much more important than having a large garden you cannot manage. 

Everything in moderation, creating and planning a garden that is manageable will allow for a plentiful, stress-free life. 

Replanting tomatoes

Growth Doesn’t Happen All At Once
A plant goes through many stages before it flowers. Each of these stages has a purpose and are important for the plant to grow, some stages take longer than others. Just like a plant, we have to go through stages before we bloom. You cannot just go straight from a seed to a perfect watermelon in a day good things come to those who wait.

In life when you get frustrated about the long road to the finish line (like graduating college) think back to the garden and the many steps it takes to get to somewhere worthwhile.

Accept Help When You Need It 

Sometimes we can be stubborn and feel like we can do everything on our own. It is important to know when to put our pride aside and accept help, for the greater good. Don’t wear yourself thin trying to do everything, work as a team and accomplish more. 

Persistence Is Key

In a garden, sometimes no matter what you try a flower may refuse to grow. Don’t let failures stop you from trying. Access what you did, study, ask for help and come back with a better game plan.   quote-if-at-first-you-don-t-succeed-try-try-try-again-william-edward-hickson-54-34-92

Be Flexible Life Changes 

Life changes, and sometimes it changes fast, for good or bad. Being able to adjust and adapt to new conditions only makes you stronger. 

Beauty Comes In All Shapes And Forms 

No two flowers are the same, yet each one is pretty in its own way. A garden full of identical flower would be boring, wouldn’t it? There is beauty in being unique.

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Clear Out The Negative To Make Room For Positivity 

Weeds can grow all over they can take over a whole garden and ruin your precious plants. Just like in life you need to cut out the negativity and not give it any room to grow. 

 Take Time To Smell The Roses 

Life happens fast, always take a moment to enjoy the present. When we’re constantly planning for the future and living in the past, we often miss beautiful moments right in front of us. 


Things Grow Then You Take Care of Them
Last, but not least! One of the biggest lessons a garden can teach a child is that through hard work and planning come great rewards.  All things in life last when you put effort, hard work and love into it, relationships, items, yourself everything in life follows this rule.

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Feeling inspired to grow your own vegetable garden with the children?  Roll up your sleeves, get dirty and have fun in the garden! These are the top 10 easiest vegetables to grow from seeds. Get in touch with your roots! 

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  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Squash
  • Spinach

 

 

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How can I support a child dealing with bullying?

Why do people Bully?

There are a million reasons why people choose to bully. Usually, the bully is trying to fill a void where they need to feel superior in some sort of way. They often pick a victim they think is emotionally or physically weaker than them, or is different from the social norm and an easy target. Often children that bully are reflecting the way have been treated at home or school. 

We all have a role to play!

O6EWSI0.jpgBullying prevention starts at home, but teachers, principles, and organizations have a role to play too. If you notice your child acting out towards others or teachers are calling you about your child’s behavior, there are steps you can take to prevent your child from being a bully.

Make sure your child understands that what they do and say can impact others in a negatively and that their recent behavior is a problem.

Angry couple arguing behind a sad girl at home

Let your child know that bullying is very serious and will not be tolerated. When talking to your child about bullying use a calm tone and be an example of respectful behavior. 

Talk to your child and see how their feeling. Try to find out why they may have been bullying in the first place. Were they trying to fit in at school? Are they picking up on emotions from home? Are they experiencing divorce? Do their siblings pick on them? 

 

There are 7 skills bullies need in order to change

 1. Responsibility-Being able to take responsibility for their actions.

2. Empathy-Understand how the other person may feel in that situation

3. Anger Management-Reduce episode of lashing out in a negative way

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4. Impulse Control -Stop and think about what they are about to do or say

5. Self-esteem – Finding happiness within themselves

6. Inclusive -Being able to realize popularity isn’t everything

7. Respect –Realize everyone deserves to be respected

This article from very well family goes more in-depth about these skills and how to achieve them.


 

How can I support a child dealing with bullying?

Both the bully and victim need support after an episode of bullying.

Victim

Have an open conversation about what happened. Ask them how you can help to make them feel safe.Sad pupil sitting alone on ground at corridor Remind them that it is not their fault and that people often bully because they are unhappy with themselves.

Get them involved in activities to boost their self-esteem. Sports, music or crafting activities will help them find a place they feel comfortable making friends and improving self-worth. Let them know they have people they can talk to, and they are not going through this alone.

Never! Tell the child to ignore the bullying. Blame the child for being bullied. Encourage fighting back. Always tell your child to seek a teacher or friend while being physically bullied. Fighting back could hurt the child and result in punishment for them. Contact the other parents involved, this is the teacher’s job and could create future problems.

Bully

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Talk it out! Where this is aggression coming from? Get them involved in activities to boost their self-esteem and socialize. People that are happy do not hurt others. Involve them in repairing the situation, have them write an apology. They will think more about their actions if they have to write it down.

If they broke or stole something, have them physically help fix what they broke or return what they took

Never! Blame the child or call them names. The child is clearly struggling with their own inner issues and that will only bring more negativity to the situation

 

 

 

4 Ways to Make Eating Fun for Children

Children can often be picky eaters and when it comes to dinner time things can sometimes get messy. You want the best for your child obviously, and ensuring they get all their vitamins and nutrients, but sometimes those good vitamins come from fruits and veggies your children just don’t like.

How can we make food fun and exciting for children?

Colour! Colour! Colour! 

Children love colours! Naturally colourful foods are naturally more appealing for children and often provide more vitamin and nutrients than boring dull coloured foods.

EataRainbowHave you heard of Eating a Rainbow?  Fruits and veggies come in a variety of colours, each colour has its own unique vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and natural plant chemicals that give them their distinct colours.

You can judge the number of nutrients on your plate just by looking at the colours. Making food that is very colourfull not only makes it more appealing for children but also more nutritional. Create a rainbow of colour on your plate!


Make it Interesting! 

What is your child currently interested in?  Math, Art, Geography, or maybe a movie like frozen? Try creating meals according to themes.
In my household, we like to explore cultures and will have greek night, Mexican night and so on.

This not will not only make your child interested in the food their eating but can act like a little lesson learning about foods and cultures. Introduce them to food items you might not normally find in your homes such as naan bread or maple syrup (depending on where you live of course).

116.jpgFun Servings

The presentation is key! If your child doesn’t think it looks appealing it will be a struggle to get them to even try it. This is where you can get creative!
Ideas: 
Fun Shaped Food
Fruit Kebabs
Happy Burgers or Pancakes!

Make a happy face out of your ingredients

Dip it! Children love to dip their food. Use healthy dip options for vegetables like yogurt.

Get them involved! 

There are so many benefits by getting your child involved in the kitchen, not only does this provide precious family bonding time but it also allows children to learn new skills.

From farm to table get your children involved meal preparations and they will have a lifetime love and appreciation for their food.

Start at the store, take them to the grocery store or market and show them where we gather our foods from. Give them the option to pick you a couple fruits, veggies or full meal they would like for dinner. We all feel more connected to something we have contributed to. Help them make good choices at the store explain to them the difference between good nutritious food and junk food.

Take them on a field trip! Taking them to the farm to see where their food comes from, meet the farmers who grow it will not only help them develop an appreciation for the hard work that goes into producing food but also gets them excited about food!

 

W5Go Healthy Kids Seasons! 

This app features three episodes; Food Groups, 5 Senses, and Personal Hygiene.

This app is the perfect combination of education and entertainment, it includes child safe Augmented and Virtual reality simulations bringing a fun new element to learning!

Explore how we take care of our bodies to keep us happy and healthy!

Healthy Kids is a collection of apps exploring how our bodies work and the many ways we need to take care of our bodies. Designed for children in preschool and kindergarten, these fun learning games get children excited to learn how they take care of their bodies.

Download on Google Play!

 

 

 

 

Unique Family Christmas Traditions

Christmas Pickles

 

pickleOn Christmas Eve, once the children have gone to bed, many parents around the globe sneak downstairs to help Santa deliver the gifts, as well as hide a Christmas pickle in the tree!

In the morning before anyone can open gifts, someone must find the pickle! By doing this, children can explore and appreciate all the ornaments on the tree. The colour of the pickle makes it quite hard to locate and can sometimes take a while to find.

This wonderful tradition teaches children teamwork, patience and to enjoy the moment. In a lot of households, children rush to the tree and start tearing open presents. By placing the pickle in the tree for a scavenger hunt, children are forced to stop and appreciate the moment, be patient and work together to find it.

This tradition, originally from Germany, has been adopted and modified by many different cultures. The person that finds the pickle is usually rewarded by receiving a special gift from under the tree, or they are allowed to open their present first.

Hide Your Broom! 

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This is quite the tradition to spark your imagination! It’s not common in North America to associate brooms and Christmas, but this Norwegian dates back centuries to when people were much more superstitious than they are today. They believed the evil spirits such as witches and ghost would come out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. This is still a very popular tradition in Norway. Most people hide their brooms in their houses to avoid them being stolen.

Operation Christmas Child Boxes! 

Tis’ the season of family, cheer and giving. Operation Christmas Child is a tradition started in Canada by the Samaritan’s Purse organization. They work with the community to create boxes full of goodies and personal products that children in difficult circumstances could use.

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Christmas is different for everyone around the world not everyone is able to have a holiday full of gifts, family, feasts and festivities. These boxes bring so much joy to children in need and are quite fun to put together and wrap.

Get into the Christmas spirit with your family and friends and come together to create a couple of boxes. You can order packing party kits from their website, which include shoeboxes and other supplies.

OCC-pictureWhen creating your Christmas box choose a gender and an age range you would like to make the present for. Find a shoebox and fill it with presents, wrap it (make sure the lid can still be removed), place an age range and gender sticker on it and drop it off at the closest donation location.

Helpful Items: 

Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as toy cars, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.

School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, colouring and picture books, etc.

Non-liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.

Accessories: T-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.

Crafts: Make your own items such as hair bows, finger puppets, and friendship bracelets.

A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself, your family, or group. If you include your name and an address, the child may be able to write back.

For more information visit Operation Christmas Child.


Fill your Best Shoes with Hay and Vegetables

St.Nicholas day is the first major event in the advent calendar across many European countries. Celebrated on December 6th by Western European countries and Romania, December 5th in the Netherlands and on the 19th in Eastern European countries.

The evening before the feast of Saint Nicholas, children gather their favourite shoes and place them by the door or on a windowsill for St. Nicholas. Often filling their shoes with hay and vegetables for St. Nicholas’ horses. Traditionally, children would wake up to shoes filled with coins, fruit, sweets or smalls gifts (Shoe Sized).

13 Trolls of Christmas 

This is very similar to the last one but with a very unique twist. In Icelandic folklore, there are 13 Yule Lads (Mischievous Trolls) of Christmas, each of which visits children for the 13 days before Christmas.

Each night of Yuletide, children place their favourite/best shoes by the window. Each night a different Yule Lad visits, leaving presents for good boys and girls and rotten vegetables for the naughty children. 

They all have different personalities and backstories, along with some interesting names.

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Stekkjastaur – Sheep-Cote Clod
(Bugs sheep and has pegs legs)
Giljagaur – Gully Gawk (Hides in the gullies, waiting to scare cows and steal milk)
Stúfur – Stubby (Short and will steal pans to eat leftover crust)
Þvörusleikir – Spoon-Licker (Steals Spoons)
Pottaskefill – Pop- Scraper (Steals leftovers from pots)
Askasleikir = Bowl-Licker (Hides under beds waiting to steal bowls)
Hurðaskellir = Door Slammer (Likes to slam doors)
Skyrgámur – Skyr- Gobbler (Yule lad addicted to Skyr Yogurt)
Bjúgnakrækir – Sausage Swiper (Hides in the rafters and steals sausages)
Gluggagægir – Window-Peeper (Looks through windows for things to steal)
Gáttaþefur – Doorway-Sniffer (Has a very large nose)
Ketkrókur – Meat-Hook (Uses a hook to steal meat)
Kertasníkir – Candle-Stealer (Follows children to steal their candles)


Santas_LandingSantas Runway (Luminaries)

Organize with the neighbours for children to cut and decorate brown paper bags to create a runway for Santa to land his sleigh on your street.

Once the bags are beautifully decorated, Christmas Eve place them at the bottom of your driveway before going to bed.

Spider Webs in the Christmas Tree 

Ukrainian Christmas trees are traditionally decorated with a fake spider and web. The custom, which is said to bring good luck, stems from an old wives’ tale about a poor woman who could not afford to decorate her tree. She woke up on Christmas morning to find a spider had covered it in a glittering web.

Remember: There is no better present than being present!

Happy Holidays!

9 Ways Learning Music Benefits A Child

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

Learning music at a young age can help to sharpen senses, spark creativity, encourage learning, ignite a passion for music and so much more! Here are just some of the many, many benefits of learning music from a young age.

Sparks Creativity

This is pretty obvious, creating music sparks creativity and imagination. The possibilities when creating a song are endless, with so many different instruments and sounds, how could you not be inspired. Encouraging children to embrace their creativity and imagination will allow them to grow with an open mind.  As an adult, a pure sense of imagination is a quality most of us most of us lose as we grow up.

Two girl relax playing guitar and sing a song

Memory

Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory.

354918-PAPUIW-790Recent studies have shown that people who are musically trained have better working memory skills, helping them to remember things even while their minds are busy with other matters important aspects of mental arithmetic and reading comprehension. Learning music also requires significant levels of concentration, training children to focus their attention for sustained periods.

Confidence Booster 
Learning new skills, meeting new people and experiencing something new builds confidence. Picking up an instrument and being able to play is something to be proud of.

Sharpen Your Skills 

Listening Skills

Along with concentration and coordination skills, listening skills flourish when a child learns an instrument. When playing along with others, you need to really pay attention and listen to others playing as well.

Concentration Skills

Playing music requires a high amount of concentration, focusing on reading sheet music, rhythm, tempo, pitch, sound and so much more. Watching your timing, as well as listening to others, keeping up with their timing and tempo. It takes a lot of effort and skill to blend in with others as while as stand on your own.

371256-PB8R6J-934Social Skills

As a child, how many of us made bands with our friends? Learning an instrument opens many new conversations and communities for your child to join. Working together with groups on something creative can be empowering and so beneficial to a confidence and self-esteem.
Many people that join bands or orchestras become best friends, often becoming like family. Many lifelong relationships found their roots through musical activities.

Coordination Skills

All instruments take a lot of concentration and coordination to play. Depending on the instrument you choose a lot of hand-eye coordination may be necessary. Many instruments like piano and string instruments require you to use both hands promoting ambidexterity, where others such as percussions require coordination from hands, arms and feet.



Meditation & Relaxation

Music is a universal language, and everyone has their preferred genre, but one thing we can all agree upon is that music is a great source of relaxation. It has been scientifically proven to calm the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine and the psychological stress response.

Fun fact! These ten tracks are scientifically proven to be the most effective in reducing stress and anxiety.

1) Marconi Union – Weightless
2) Airstream – Electra
3) DJ Shah – Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)
4) Enya – Watermark
5) Coldplay – Strawberry Swing
6) Barcelona – Please Don’t Go
7) All Saints – Pure Shores
8) Adele – Someone Like You
9) Mozart – Canzonetta Sull’aria
10) Cafe Del Mar – We Can Fly

Perseverance

Learning an instrument takes time and effort, no one picked up a guitar and instantly knew how to play it. It takes commitment and many days of practice to become moderately good at an instrument. In fact, many professional musicians will practice a difficult piece of music multiple times before they can play it correctly.

We at W5Go believe music is such a vital part of learning and life, we’ve created an interactive app for children 4-12 about the Who, What, Where, When and Whys of Music!

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Download available now! 

Google Play

App Store

Slide Me

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7 Tips to Ensure your Child has a Goodnights Sleep

Sleep is such an important factor in the development of a growing child. With so many things and distractions in the world, a good nights rest can be hard to come by. There are some simple tricks to promote a healthy relationship with sleep.

1. How much sleep does a child need?

OAIGQU0.jpgKnow how much sleep your growing child needs. Depending on age they will require various amounts of sleep. 

Here is a general guideline to how much sleep a child needs according to age.

  • 1 to 4 weeks old need approximately 16-17 hours of sleep a day. With periods of being awake for 1-3 hours at a time.
  • 1 to 4 months old require about the same amount of sleep as newborns. At this stage, the night and day sleep cycles start to become routine.
  • 4 months to 1-year-olds need a similar amount of sleep, although at this stage they are more likely to sleep throughout the night with the exception of changing and feeding.
  • 1 to 3-year-olds. Toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep. Usually can sleep throughout the night but need naps throughout the day.
  • 3 to 6-year-olds require 11-12 of sleep at night. They may at times need an extra nap, but usually by the time they reach first grade nap time is not needed.
  • 7 to 12-year-olds need about 10-12 hours of sleep per night, but often only get 9-10.

2. Create a bedtime routine

About an hour before you start their bedtime routine start to calm them down. Talking softer, dimming lights, turning off electronics or even turning on relaxing music are good ways to casually hint to your child that bedtime is soon. Bedtime routines can consist of many relaxing activities.

189532-OXJZFK-606Common Bedtime Routine:

  • Bathtime
  • Dressing for bed
  • Brush teeth and hair
  • Storytime
  • Goodnight hugs and kisses

The most important component to a good nights sleep is a routine. Teaching a child to wind down and prepare themselves for sleep will ensure they have a healthy relationship with sleep their whole life.

3. A Space For Sleep 

Design a space meant for sleeping. You’re room no matter what age should be designed to promote sleeping, after all, it is the main purpose of that room.

20952.jpgColour theory proves you can increase your chances of a good nights sleep by what colour the room is. Colours like blue, yellow, green, silver and orange have been proven to promote healthy sleeping patterns.

Make it as comfortable as possible, bedding and pillows, in order to sleep you need a place you feel completely safe and comfortable in. For children, a nightlight may be necessary to make them feel safe and calm for a good nights sleep.

If they have troubles sleeping due to noise or have trouble with really quite spaces a sound machine or fan could help induce sleep.

4. Say NO to Electronics 

Turn off and keep electronics like televisions and ipads out of their room, its tempting and can keep them up all night. The background lights and blueish tint from these devices are meant to promote wakefulness. Lights from these devices mimic daylight and can trick our brains into thinking it needs to stay awake.908.jpg

5. Daily Exercise

Regular exercise is so important for the development of a growing child. Getting the proper amount of exercise during the day can ensure an easy bedtime and a good sleep. Try to avoid playing 3 hours before bedtime, or they may still be too excited to fall asleep.

Mother and daughter makeing yoga

6. Avoid Meals and Caffeine Before Bedtime
Having dinner close to bedtime can cause stomach aches and wakefulness. Food and drinks that contain caffeine should be avoided within 3 hours of bedtime. Caffeine should be generally avoided as it is not good for children anyways. If your child is hungry before bedtime a healthy snack or warm glass of milk is best.

7. Watch for sleeping disorders

If you have tried all these tip and more but your child is still having issues falling asleep and staying asleep, or have frequent nightmares they may have a sleeping disorder. Talk to their pediatrician about possible sleep test and remedies.

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