Better Breakfast Month
With the start of school it's easy to rush out the door and forget to eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast. Remember that children need a balanced diet including milk, meat, vegetables, fruit and grain. Breakfast can include at least three of those groups. For nutrition information as well as seasonal eating tips, recipes and food related activities for children, visit www.eatright.org. Or get your whole school to eat healthy and get active! There are plenty of ways to get involved at www.fueluptoplay60.com.
Skyscraper DayTake out the blocks and see how tall you can build a skyscraper. Create your own large size blocks for building: click here for instructions.
Labor DayLabor Day always occurs on the first Monday in September and was first celebrated in the United States on September 5, 1882 as a trade union holiday. Now Labor Day for most people means the end of summer and the vacation season as well as the beginning of school for many students. The day is often celebrated with picnics, sporting events and reunions.
Library Card Sign-Up MonthMost libraries will give a child a card to borrow books as soon as the child can write his or her own name. What a thrill to check out books themselves! Be sure to keep track of the borrowed books and their due dates as this part of using the library is a grown-up responsibility.
National Sewing Month
Introduce your children to sewing. Children as young as 2½ would have fun stringing beads, cereal with holes in it or round pasta to make necklaces or bracelets. Take a piece of cardboard and punch holes for a 3- or 4-year-old to sew with yarn. If there is no large plastic needle in the house, try dipping the end of the yarn in glue to make it stiff. Find special sewing projects for school age children and teens on this website:
National Grandparents DayTake some time today to make a surprise for Grandparents Day, celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This is not a widely celebrated holiday, but most grandparents would still appreciate being remembered and would particularly enjoy a homemade gift or card. Work with your children to create a simple but special surprise. Use a photo of the child or the child and the grandparent to make it even more special.
National Farm Animal Awareness Week
Children are fascinated by animals. Is there a farm nearby where you can visit to see them up close, or a local county fair? Preschool age children will enjoy the coloring pages and other activities found
here. Farm animals often make the news too – check the newspaper in your area for stories about animals or watch a movie about farm animals making the news like "Charlotte's Web."
Classical Music Month
Children of any age will find classical music soothing. Try playing music at mealtimes, before nap, when children are playing quietly or drawing or even in the car. There is some classical music designed specifically for children like Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev.
Listen to the music and read the story of Peter and the Wolf with illustrations. It is a wonderful introduction to symphony orchestra instruments.
Good Manners Month
Children usually learn manners by example, but they may need some help.
Search this site
for ideas on improving manners in your family.
World Peace Day
This day commemorates August 6, 1945, when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. More than 50 years ago, a young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki, a victim of the bombing at Hiroshima, dreamed of creating 1000 paper cranes to release into the wind as a symbol of peace throughout the world. Unfortunately, she died before she was able to fulfill her dream. Each year at the Hiroshima Peace Park 1000 paper cranes are released into the wind in the hope that death and destruction caused by war will never be repeated. Fold your own cranes by following these simple directions. To get more factual information about the events at Hiroshima, click here.
Elephant Appreciation Day
Elephants are the largest land animals. There are Asian (or Indian) and African elephants the two look slightly different. Can you find the differences? Younger children may enjoy reading books with elephants in the story such as the classic “Babar” series by Jean de Brunhoff or “But No Elephants” by Jerry Smath. Older children (ages 6 and older) would be interested in facts about elephants and learning about conservation of the endangered Indian elephant. Find out how the circus is trying to help at www.elephantcenter.com.
Honey is one of nature's delicious foods, but never, never give honey to a child under one year of age. For older children,
visit this site
to find interesting bee facts, yummy recipes, and the story of how honey is made.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Visit
to learn more.
Wash the inside of halfgallon size cardboard milk or juice containers.
Carefully cut off the folding top portion of each container
Put one container completely inside the other with the two closed ends facing out.
These are strong enough to stand on!
Baby Safety Month
Stroller check. If your stroller is collapsible, be sure latches are secure before putting baby in. Always check that your child's arms are out of the way when reversing handle directions so they won't get pinched. Be sure to use that safety strap. Don't hang overloaded or heavy bags on the handle of the stroller; this may cause it to tip over.
Can you name the 12 most common choking foods for kids under five? Popcorn, hot dogs, chunks of meat, raisins, ice cubes, chunky peanut butter, peanuts (nuts of any kind), hard candy, grapes, raw carrots, potato chips and corn chips.
Stay with toddlers while they are eating; if they begin to choke you need to be nearby to assist.
Get a piggy bank: this is a great place to put coins so they don't end up on the floor, in the couch cushions and then baby's mouth.
Applesauce is very simple to make. Remove the core and quarter the apples. If you leave the peel on during cooking it will give the applesauce a pink color. When the apples are very soft, remove any peel that is left, mash the pulp or put it through a sieve. Add sugar if needed.
Try making Dried Apple Rings. They can be used as a nutritious snack. Peel, core and slice apples into 1/8 inch rings (Macintosh or Golden Delicious apples work best). Dip each ring into a mixture of lemon juice and water to help the apples keep their color. Pull a piece of string through the center of each ring and hang in a dry, warm place. They take 12 weeks to dry and become chewy.
Elephant Ear Cookies
Finish off the day with Elephant Ears, a sweet pastry available at many bakeries. If you like to bake you can try these at home. It would be safest for children to not participate in the deepfrying, but they would enjoy mixing the ingredients and kneading the dough.
3 egg yolks
1 egg white
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
About 3 cups sifted flour
Shortening or vegetable oil for deepfrying
Beat egg yolks and white and combine with water, milk and, cardamom. Gradually stir in enough flour to make soft dough, turn dough out on a lightly floured board, and knead until firm, smooth, and glossy. Cover and let stand for 2 hours. Divide into balls the size of small walnuts. Then with a rolling pin roll each ball out as thin as possible, 3 inches in diameter and cut into rounds. With the fingers gather one side of the round and press dough together into a tiny handle 1/3 inch in length and thickness. The remainder of the circle should flare out like an elephant's ear. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet and keep them covered with a towel to prevent them from drying. When all the dough is ready, heat oil, to a depth of about 1 inch in a shallow frying pan to 375 degrees. Fry the cookies a few at a time in the hot oil for about 30 seconds on one side, then turn and fry the other. They should not be allowed to brown much. Remove and drain on absorbent paper. While still warm, sprinkle generously with confectioners' sugar. Store in a tightly closed container in a dry place.
Click on a day to learn more!
I really feel like I have a family in America after being an
au pair. My host family is going to visit me and my family in
Sweden this winter and I cannot wait to see them!