Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Friday, November 21, 2014

��Remembering Our Pets During Thanksgiving��

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful and meaningful holiday. Families and friends excitedly gather to show their gratitude for all they are so fortunate to have. Ovens are working overtime and delicious holiday aromas fill the air. 

During this happy time of family, food and giving, people tend to become overly generous with their pets. This means that dogs and cats will get a lot of table food scraps. Sometimes, however, too many treats can lead to injury, illness, or worse, for our pets.

Here are just a few tips to help with the holiday season, and always...

1. Fatty Foods:  Too many fatty, rich, or unfamiliar foods can give your pet pancreatitis or gastroenteritis; two medical conditions that can be very painful and even life-threatening.
2. Diet and Exercise:  Maintain your pet's regular meal and exercise schedule and avoid too many holiday leftovers. A disruption in his dietary routine can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and/or vomiting.
3. Bones:  Make no bones about it. Certain bones can lacerate or obstruct your pets' insides. Save the bones for the broth - not your dog.
4. Onions:  Onions and onion powder, widely found in stuffing and used as a general seasoning, will destroy your dog or cat's red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.
5. Grapes and Raisins:  Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage to both dogs and cats.
6. Chocolate:  Chocolate can actually be fatal to your dog or cat; so all those sweets must be kept well out of reach.
7. Food Wrappings:  Aluminum foil, wax paper and other food wrappings can cause intestinal obstruction. Make sure to place these items securely in the garbage.
8. Fresh Water:  Make sure your pet always has fresh water. When there are more people in the house, there's more chance to bump into the water bowl leaving your pet dry.
9. Quiet Time:  Make sure your pet has a quiet retreat should the holiday festivities be too much for him. Watch his behavior to make sure he is not stressed.
10. Garbage:  Keep an eye on the garbage and keep it securely fastened! If your dog gets into it, he may think he's hit the jackpot, but all he'll be winning is health problems from something as simple as gastric disturbance, vomiting and diarrhea to the worst-case scenario - death. 

A few more tips to remember...

Turkey (or any meat)...All meat should be well cooked and always boneless.
Sage...Cats are especially sensitive to this herb, it can cause stomach upset and central nervous system depression.
Bread dough...Raw dough could actually rise in your pets sensitive tummy causing discomfort or an even more serious emergency.
Cake batter...Raw eggs can cause salmonella infection in your pet, just as it can for anyone in your family. Stick to dog biscuits and kitty treats instead of this sugary concoction.
Too much of anything...Little tastes of human food could cause stomach pains, diarrhea and even pancreatitis in your pet. The same goes for you, you should both practice moderation!
Wrappings...Dispose of aluminum foil, plastic wrap and wax paper. While licking up food left on these wrappings pets can ingest some of the wrapper, leading to intestinal obstructions. Also, look out for tooth picks, skewers and used silverware.
Hot food...When carrying hot food from the stove or to the table, be sure you pet/pets arent taking that moment to weave through your legs. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  To me, Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends, great food, fellowship, and reflecting on the many blessings in my life.  Ask a preschool aged child to tell you why they celebrate Thanksgiving, and you most likely won't hear much about giving thanks.  

An easy way to solve that issue is to actually explain what being thankful means, which isn't an easy concept for little ones to understand.  Children may not know what it means to be greatful, but they do understand that some people and things make them feel extra happy.  You can talk to your little ones about what those things are, and try to help them make the connection between those happy feelings and being thankful.  

Including a discussion on friendship and helping others durring thanksgiving preparations will also help children to make connections to the true meaning of Thanksgiving, and help to shift thier focus from the turkey.  Involve your children in preparations for your meal, and allow them to help serve your guests, or let your child choose and donate food items to a local food bank to give them the experience of serving others.  

Thanksgiving Fun

This week the Dolphins are talking about Thanksgiving. Each day this week we will be reading a story about Thanksgiving and making foods we all enjoy to eat on Thanksgiving day. Today the children enjoyed making cranberry sauce and they are excited to share all the foods we make with their families on friday.  This is a special time of the year for us all. Focusing on what we are thankful for and sharing time with our loved ones is what makes it so special. 

Using our senses to explore cranberries made this activity so much fun. Hands on activities to explore new things is how children learn. 

Learning where cranberries grow. 

Looking at and touching the cranberry, the children come to their own conclusions of what it looks and feels like.

What does it smell like? The children had many responses. Ms. Kelly and I really enjoyed what the children had to say.

They all got to taste for themselves if they like cranberries or not.

Making the cranberry sauce 

 Sorting the cranberries 

The children were really excited to see the many colors of a cranberry.

Take a look at Wednesdays blog. Ms. Kelly will include the recipe for homemade cranberry sauce. 

There is lots of learning going on in the Dolphin class and I am so thankful for our classroom families that they entrust Ms. Kelly and I to teach thier children new things everyday. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Where has the time gone?

As a single mom of four, whose ages range from 13 to 21, I was reflecting on just how fast time flies. One day your pregnant and marveling at the miracle inside. You smile at the list of firsts. First smile, first time you see them, first steps first words, first hug and first kiss. You are overwhelmed with joy the day your baby arrives. Then all of a sudden, wow irs been three months and you wonder where did the time go?

As time goes by, I began to wonder if there would be anymore firsts. Yes, there were,. First dsy of Kindergarten, first award, first friends. The time seems to fly by. Soon they graduate to middle school, first crush, first time with multiple teachers, sports or clubs, and the time flies by.

Now I'm wondering what first I still have. Well, the first to graduate, first to go to college, first jobs, etc. So my reflection is this. There will alwsys be a first with your children. The best way to enjoy them all is by saving as many as you can. Videos, pictures, small momentos. Keep a journal, in the spare time(little as it may be) of the things your feeling, things they say. You will be happy you did because someday, you will look back and wonder where did the time go?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ways To Have Children Help At Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a national holiday that encourages us to take stock of our blessings, Thanksgiving can be fairly stressful…especially for parents. All the preparations and cooking and a more formal mealtime are not exactly child-friendly. But gratitude isn’t just for adults, and neither should Thanksgiving be an adult-only activity. That’s why  I like to get the children involved as much as possible.

Here are just a few of the ways I suggest doing it, from helping prepare the table, to giving a hand in the kitchen. 

volunteeringVolunteering as a family is rewarding in a multitude of ways. By learning to appreciate what we have instead of focusing on what we lack, we are reminded to be thankful and appreciative of our lives. This in turn inspires us to help others and create joy in someone else’s life.

From washing vegetables to setting the table, there are many ways your child can help with Thanksgiving dinner. 

This Thanksgiving, plan a meal that has traditional dishes and child-friendly ones that everyone around the table will enjoy. A few days in advance of the meal, ask children what special side dishes they would like to eat. For example, should the sweet potatoes be served as fries, in soufflĂ© form or both? Children may be more likely to eat a veggie or two at this year's dinner if they pick them out themselves.

While the adults are  in the kitchen, even children as young as 2 or 3 years old can help create homemade decorations to make the table more festive. Simply provide the necessary supplies; construction or butcher paper, markers, crayons, scissors, paint, and glue, even magazines to cut pictures out off.  Let children create one-of-a-kind place mats that can be laminated and saved for future meals.  Children can also create Thanksgiving-themed napkin rings, table toppers and place cards for each guest. Use decorating as an opportunity to remind children of the true meaning of Thanksgiving. 

Let children do the actual table setting, too. If the job is too big, just have them fold the napkins or set out the silverware...anything to get them involved!

What goes down (the hatch) must be cleaned up. I'm not saying the children should do all the cleaning in the kitchen, but I do think children need to be responsible for clearing their dishes and helping with the cleanup. (Motivation spin: the sooner the table is clean, the quicker the dessert comes out.)

Older children, especially, can take  a shift in the kitchen, especially when they are told it's respectfully giving older family members a break. 

Just a reminder...Partners In Learning will be closing at 12:00 Wednesday November 26 and closed Thanksgiving Day, November 27 and Friday, November 28. We hope you have a safe, fun, memorable Thanksgivng holiday with family and friends.