Attention Parents of Upcoming Kindergartners!

0 recently posted the following helpful article on what to expect in terms of learning levels in kindergarten!  

What Your Kid Will Learn in Kindergartenl_101691441

It’s your child’s first official year of school, and you’ll be amazed by how much she flourishes in kindergarten. How can you help your child succeed from her very first school day? Help her build self-confidence when it comes to learning; by being her biggest cheerleader you’ll instill a love of learning that will last throughout her life and will help her meet specific goals each year. There will be focus throughout this year on mastering letters, sounds, and words. You’ll watch with delight as she takes her first steps toward reading and writing correctly, especially when those activities are linked, both at school and at home.

Help your kindergartner have fun with language in everyday life this year and watch as her vocabulary explodes. She will learn key fundamentals of math this year, too, and there will be countless ways (no pun intended) to encourage this. Educational standards vary across states, districts, and schools, and no two children learn at exactly the same rate, so don’t panic if your little one doesn’t start to read at the same time as the neighbor’s kid. Here are the important learning milestones children will typically achieve in kindergarten, with tips for helping your child stay on track at home.

Letters and Sounds

At School: By the end of kindergarten, kids will be able to recognize, name, and write all 26 letters of the alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase. They will know the correct sound or sounds that each letter makes and they will be able to read about 30 high-frequency words — also called “sight words” — such as andthe, and in.

At Home: Keep reading aloud to your child. “Reading to your children at home not only makes them enjoy reading, but it also helps them in school,” says Susan Quinn, a reading specialist and elementary school teacher at Saint Brendan School in the Bronx, New York. Reading together nurtures companionship and fun and builds concentration, focus, and vocabulary. Look for books about your child’s particular interests and get suggestions from the librarian, but make sure the books are not too hard. “It’s always better to start them on easier books, because then they feel successful, and that spurs them on, so they’ll read more,” Quinn says. Dr. Seuss books, with their rhymes and simple words, are perfect for this age, Quinn says. Kids learn through repetition, so read the same favorite books over and over, ask questions, and encourage your child to say simple words aloud. Throughout the day, have her say the words she sees on street signs, billboards, and computer screens, or have her search for high-frequency words in a magazine.


At School: In class, kids will be taught to write simple CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words, such as hatred, and dog. They will also write short, simple sentences such as “The cat ran home.”

At Home: Keep a special box or bin at home filled with writing materials (crayons, pencils, markers, paper, and notepads) so your child can practice writing simple sentences about special things he’s done or seen during the day. Ask about what he’s written, and have him read it aloud. Offer encouragement by displaying his writings on the refrigerator or on her bedroom wall.

Numbers and Counting

At School: Kids this age will learn to recognize, write, order, and count objects up to the number 30. They will be able to add and subtract small numbers (add with a sum of 10 or less and subtract from 10 or less); this focus on addition and subtraction will continue through second grade.

At Home: Get your kindergartner to look for the numbers one through 30 in magazines and newspapers. He can cut them out, glue them on paper, and put them in order. When you’re riding in the car or waiting in line, play a game of “What comes next?” Give your child a number and ask him to identify the following number. At bedtime, ask him to count how many stuffed animals he has, and ask, “How many books about dogs do you have? How fast can you count them?” Take two of these books away and ask, “How many are left?”

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What Would You Pass On?


All busy-ness, tasks & pace of life aside… what do you want to pass on to your kids?  If you could have them ‘know’ anything in their lifetime, what would you want it to be?  Knowing and embodying this yourself is an entirely different blog post!!  We’re talking ‘pie in the sky’, if you could, just like that, reach inside and imprint it on their souls… what would you always want them to know?  

Megan Clark, a BlogHer mom-blogger and the creative genius behind The Hodge Podge Diaries, shares 15 things closest to her heart that she works to pass on to her children.  15_things


15 Things I want to teach my children… 

1. You are loved: Despite your faults, despite your mistakes, despite what anyone else on the planet thinks of you; you will always have someone in this world that loves you more than they love even themselves.

2. The hardest lessons are learned the hard way: I can try and prepare you for what’s to come. I can warn you, advise you and guide you, but ultimately, LIFE is your greatest teacher. It will knock you down, hold you back and turn you inside out. It’s what you do next that matters.

3. You are responsible for yourself and your actions: Do not follow the crowd. Use your own god-given brain and weigh the outcome of every situation for yourself. Ultimately, “He told me to…” or “Everyone else was/is doing it,” doesn’t cut it. You will deal with the consequences of your own actions, your own decisions, so choose wisely.

4. Keep your word: Whether it’s something small or life-altering, as it pertains to your reputation, your word is everything.

5. Define yourself: Know who you are, embrace it and live by it. There is no one on this planet quite like you; celebrate that and be true to that. No one person is more significant, more valuable or more important than the other. Don’t allow someone to have you believe otherwise.

6. All things shall pass: Even the worst of disasters subside over time. The world keeps spinning and life keeps humming; know this and don’t sweat the small stuff.

7. Be proactive: If there is something in this world that needs changing, be the change. If there’s something about your life that you’re unhappy with, do something about it. No one has the power to alter the past, but we all have the opportunity to change the future.

8. Work hard: You get out of life what you put in. There is no greater feeling than reaping the fruits of your labor. Know this and keep it in the back of your mind when things become challenging and you are tempted to throw in the towel.

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Free Play & Normal Emotional Development


An interesting read from Psychology Today on children, free play & ‘normal’ emotional development.  After all, ‘knowledge is power’…

Free Play Is Essential for Normal Emotional Development
Why Mother Nature motivates our children to play in emotionally exciting ways.
Published on June 21, 2012 by Peter Gray in Freedom to Learn98988-96417

In play, children practice many skills that are crucial for healthy development.  They practice physical and manual skills, intellectual skills, and social skills. I have written about all of this in previous posts.  They also practice emotional skills. In play, children learn how to regulate their fear and anger and thereby how to maintain emotional control in threatening real-life situations.

“Dangerous” Play
Children love to play in emotionally exciting ways.  Little ones delight in being tossed into the air or swung around by adults or teenagers (but only if the children themselves determine the height of the tosses and the vigor of the swinging). They also love to be chased by a “monster.” Somewhat older children enjoy somersaulting, pirouetting, cartwheeling, and other forms of spinning around; sliding, swinging high, and teeter-tottering on playground equipment; climbing trees or up the sides of buildings; leaping from heights onto water or snowbanks; and zipping around on scooters, bikes, skateboards, skis, and other devices that permit speed. Children of all ages seem to have a sense of their limits in such play. They typically start at low heights or slow speeds and move gradually up. They take risks in moderation. The joy of play combined with a modicum of fear is the exquisite sensation we all identify as thrill.  But being thrown too high, or falling too far, or moving too fast is not thrill but terror.

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Bathing in the Kiddie Pool?


A comical read from Synnove Robinson, mom blogger from BlogHer; that we all can relate to, I’m sure! Happy Tuesday!

10 Reasons Why Outside Kiddy Pool Time Should Not Double As Bath Time

You know when you have a great idea and you are all like, “Why doesn’t EVERYONE do this? I am a GENIUS…” and then you do it… and you realize exactly why everyone doesn’t do this? Yeah… had one of those the other night. So… as an F.Y.I. (or for personal amusement) may I present my:

1. Bugs. As in Mosquito bites where the sun don’t shine. No bueno when one is dealing with a Disney Princess Pull-Up.

2. Grass Clippings. Dried grass clippings. Everywhere. The kids are fine while in the pool… but then the little albino demon-weasels get OUT of the pool to careen around the yard and eventually bust it. Have you ever tried to scrape grass clippings out of a 4-year-old’s armpits? No? Well… lucky you.

3. Neighbors. One of our neighbors is a Psychology Professor at a local college. He walked out on his deck that night, took one look at the sudsy, muddy mayhem, turned back around, and went inside. Freud THAT, prof… but please don’t call DCS.

4. Hose water is roughly the same temperature as glacial melt water. I could just fill the pool with ice cubes and get about the same reaction from my children as I dump cups of frigid “torture liquid” over their heads.

5. My childrens’ bums are so pale they actually glow.
They act as a sort of “beacon of shame” for any passers by who aren’t used to our family antics and might be jonesing for a reason to overreact. Again… please don’t call DCS.

6. Potty training. What does this have to do with bathing in a kiddy pool, you ask? Well… not IN the kiddy pool, per say, but when your daughter decides to bolt out of the pool so she can do her doody in the grass in front of God-n-everybody, then it has everything to do with bathing in the kiddy pool. Because when you are naked outside, apparently that means you are also free of even the most basic of social restraints… like dropping a dood in public… loudly… in the grass. In her defense, it looked incredibly satisfying.

7. Clean-up. You can’t just pull the plug like in the tub… you have to drain the whole freakin’ pool. Otherwise you will end up with what looks like crop circles in your carefully cultivated weed patch grass.

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25 Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy – Sans Television!


We are ‘mid-summer’!  Are you running out of ideas yet?!  See below for a great link to some television and electronics free ideas!

It may surprise your kids to learn there was life before television. Also, before DVR’s, before remote controls and before Dora the Explorer. At one time, parents kept their kids independently busy without the aid of television, freeing up valuable time to wash dishes, make phone calls, churn butter, scare away dinosaurs — whatever responsible grown-ups did back then. Experts have warned us that televisions make lousy babysitters, so here are 25 TV-free suggestions to keep your kids entertained.


Make a Ball Mazekids4_0
Good for ages: 2 and up

Ever wonder what to do with all those paper towel or toilet paper rolls? Don’t throw them away, make a maze for the kids! Recreate this craft from A Happy Wanderer and cut the cardboard cylinders in half and glue them cascading down the long side of a large cardboard box. Let dry for a few hours. Sit up against a wall for support and let the kids drop balls, cars (or really, anything that rolls!) down the path. It’ll keep them entertained for hours, and keep all those toys off the floor — at least temporarily.








Sumo” Wrestling

Good for ages: 5 and up

King size pillows + Dad’s old t-shirts = sumo wrestling fun. Seriously mama, when you can’t tell your hyper, rambunctious, filled-with-way-too-much-energy kids to take it outside, let them wrestle, sumo-style, with this fun idea featured on




Kiddy Car Washkids12
Good for ages: 4 to 6

Turn your kitchen sink into a toy car wash. Round up the plastic spray bottles and buckets you have lying around the house and fill them with water. Set up the bottles, sponges and dry rags and let the kids “wash” their mini toy cars and hose them down with your sink’s sprayer. Yes, you might want to stick close to the kitchen while they’re doing this, and yes, you’ll need to mop up some water when they’re done, but they’ll have a blast.




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Weekend Events Local to our Landing, NJ Childcare Center 7/19-7/21


Morris County 4-H Fair – July 18th-21st  download
The annual 4-H Fair will be held at Chubb Park, in Chester, New Jersey (across from Alstede’s). The Fair will open Thursday from 5:00pm-9:30pm, Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Details here.

Summer Weekend Photo Scavenger Hunt – July 20th
Hunt is held at the Frelinghuysen Aboretum, in Whippany from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m., on Saturday, July 20th.  Details here.

Boonton Main Street Farmer’s Market – July 20th
Jersey Fresh comes to Boonton! Approximately a dozen vendors will be on hand, offering a selection of fresh from the farm produce, nuts, pickles, baked goods, honey, frozen meats, seafood, and more. Every Saturday through November 16 in the Upper Plane Street parking lot, rain or shine.  Details here.

Unplugged – July 20th
Want to UNPLUG your family and enjoy some “old school” board games? Come to the Frelinghuysen Arboretum and try out Butterfly Bingo, Garden-opoly, Double Take Plants & Flowers Memory Game, Walk in the Woods, and many more! See the receptionist at the Haggerty Education Center to rent a game or two and she can suggest areas on our grounds that may be suitable for play.  Details here.

Imagine That! Weekend Craft – July 20th & 21st
Imagine That!!!, A New Jersey Children’s Museum, is one of the few local museums that specializes in pre-school age and young school children. Imagine That!!! provides  safe, educational fun for children at our large facility in Florham Park, NJ. There is a wide variety of exhibits and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Details here.  

Family Walk – July 20th
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, captures the spirit of life at the turn of the 20th century through weekly activities presented on the farm, in the 1920’s farmhouse and at The Willows, the mansion built by Joseph Revere, grandson of Paul Revere. The staff is dressed in appropriate period attire and interprets the lives and roles of farm laborers, domestic workers and Foster family members and  friends. They perform a daily regimen of farming and domestic chores, and raise livestock and crops by historical methods. Details here.

New Jersey Reptile Show – July 20th
An event that brings together reptile, amphibian, and exotics hobbyists with some of the country’s top breeders and reptile supply vendors. We offer a place for the Reptile Community to interact & share knowledge, as well as allowing everyone the opportunity to get a glimpse of some of nature’s truly exotic animals. Whether your passion is snakes, chameleons, bearded dragons, lizards, or frogs, our show has something for everyone.  Details here.

Flower Power Family Day – July 21st
Decorate your wagon or stroller and join a flower power parade led by GIANT, fanciful, puppets. Sing along to happy tunes at a concert provided by Ira and Julia Levin. Explore the many beautiful gardens of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum with science experiments and craft making.  Details here.

7th Annual Little Achievements Beach Party – 7/27!


Our 7th Annual Beach Party is almost here!  See the Who, What, When, Where, Why below for details.

Who:  All of our families & staff!
What:  7th Annual Beach Party
When:  Saturday, July 27th @ 2pm  (Rain date 7/28 @ 2pm)
Where:  Mt. Arlington Knolls Beach (click here for direct link to Google Maps)
Why:  Because we’re all about making sure our families, students & staff have ample opportunity to connect & have fun!

We are up to a head count of approximately 75 people!!  Sign up sheets are at the front desk.  If you haven’t already signed up to bring something, or if you’re so inclined to double dip; we still need the following:

* drinks other than water (soda, juice boxes, etc),
* a salad of sorts (potato, macaroni, pasta & cole slaw already covered – so we need a mayo-less dish!)

Thanks so much everyone!  Feel free to stop by Cindy’s office with any questions!  Can’t want to see you there… FINGERS CROSSED for nice weather!!

Protecting Our Children: ‘The Underpants Rule’



It can be hard sometimes to talk to our children about things that are, well, scary and hard to talk about.  But, as we all know, it is those things we need to talk to our children about the most!  Check out the ‘Underpants Rule’ from UK based for a great, easy to use guide to help kids understand and remember how to keep themselves safe from abuse!

 Talk PANTS and help keep your child safe from abuse

The Underwear Rule is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from abuse by teaching them that:

  • their body belongs to them
  • they have a right to say no
  • they should tell an adult if they’re upset or worried

We know talking to your child about their private parts and staying safe can seem difficult, but doesn’t have to be scary or mention sex.

Simple conversations can help children understand that their body is their own and help protect them from abuse.

Learn the Underwear Rule and you’ll have it covered

Using PANTS is an easy way for you to explain to your child the key elements of the Underwear Rule. We’ve also developed a child-friendly guide that you can use when explaining it.

You don’t have to go through each of the elements of the Underwear Rule all at once. It’s much better to keep the conversations small and often as the subject comes up.

Details of the Underwear Rule are listed below and we have also provided you with some useful download materials.

Privates are private

Be clear with your child that parts of their body covered by underwear are private. No one should ask your child to touch or look at parts of their body covered by underwear.

If anyone tries to touch their private parts, tell your child to say “no” and to tell an adult they trust about what has happened.

In some situations, people – family members at bathtime, or doctors and nurses – may need to touch your child’s private parts.

Explain that this is OK, but that those people should always explain why, and ask your child if it’s OK first.

Always remember your body belongs to you

Let your child know their body belongs to them, and no one else.

It can be helpful to talk about the difference between good touch and bad touch:

Good touch is helpful or comforting like a hug from someone you love.

Bad touch is being touched in a way that that makes you feel uncomfortable.

No one has the right to make them do anything with their body that makes them feel uncomfortable. And if anyone tries, tell your child they have the right to say no.

This can be a good time to remind your child that they can always talk to you about anything which worries or upsets them.

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July 4th Events & Activities Local to Our Landing Childcare Center


Okay, below is a list of local July 4th/Independence Day events and activities local to our center!
Have a great holiday & BE SAFE everyone!images

2013 NJ Fireworks Guide via – They even have a Morris County page.

More Morris County displays via

Fireworks, music, parades, & other events via

Lewis Morris Park all day event via

For those open to a travel…

July 4th Fireworks shows at the shore!

Where to see the Macy’s Fireworks and other great fireworks displays in New Jersey – via MommyPoppins!

Vote Horseshoe Lake Park & Help Make A Difference!


Have you ever been to Horseshoe Lake Park?  If you have, you know it’s pretty amazing & has something for everyone.  If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?!  IMG_5130-300x225

Coca-Cola is running a campaign to help your favorite park win a grant.  Grants range from $25,000, to $50,000, to $100,00! There are several ways to vote, including checking in on FourSquare.  (We too are are FourSquare, by the way!!)

For more information on the campaign, click here.

To vote for Horseshoe Lake Park, click here!

Happy voting & much appreciation for you efforts in bringing even more to our community via our local parks!