Meridian School News

decluttered and organized living space

New Year…Decluttered Year!

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January 2019 – Prestige Preschool Academy

Happy New Year! Let’s be honest, we all have that one junk drawer in our home that absolutely drives us crazy! Or that one closet that has become the catch-all for wrapping paper and clothes that need to be donated to charity. I can say I have both of those areas that catch my attention every day, but I seem overwhelmed by how to begin to declutter that I ignore the messy elephant in the room. So, with the New Year upon us it is finally time to have a Decluttered Year!

Let’s get rid of the clutter and have a less frazzled atmosphere to enjoy the calm. In my quest to have an organized and clutter-free home, I looked to the internet for tips and tricks. Seems as though there are a lot of others out there who are in the same boat as I am who are looking for help with this situation because there are a ton of articles and videos about ways to declutter. I picked out the top 5 tips that spoke to my messiness and bad habits, and thought I’d share with you here.

  • Drop-Off Spot

-Find a spot in each room that has the traffic pattern where items are dropped off when entering the room. By having a basket or tray readily available to catch those pesky little items, they will be less likely to be tossed in other places in that room. Spend 5 minutes at the end of your day to put those items in their proper place.

  • Clear Countertops

-Only allow items that are necessary to be displayed on the counter. All kitchen appliances don’t need to be on the counter. Put those in a cupboard or pantry and bring them out as needed.

-Place a paper tray on the counter at the area where you tend to pile papers. By doing so, you will have a tray full of papers that you can then take to your place of filing.

  • Donate to Charity

-Keep a basket labeled with DONATE in your laundry room. When you come across items that your kiddo has outgrown or no longer needs, place it in the basket. If the laundry room is close to your garage, then you’re more than halfway there to placing the basket in your car.

  • Clothes & Closet

-Dedicate a day to pull out everything from your clothes drawer and closet. This is the perfect opportunity to look through items you no longer use or want. Place those items in the charity basket located in your laundry room. Once you have looked through your items, now it’s time to put them back, but this time fold and place them in a way that you can visually see what it is.

-Pre-purchase bins or baskets to help with small or loose items that can contain possible re-clutter (that is a word, isn’t it?).

  • Children’s Room and Toys

-Oh boy, this is a big one! Start with decluttering their room and / or playroom first. Be sure to have that charity basket nearby because I can guarantee that it will get filled with toys that they’ve out-grown or they no longer play with. Dare I say, let’s rid our house of all those toys that come in kids’ meals?!?

-Once you’ve decluttered and used that handy-dandy charity basket, now put back items that are necessary. Have a clear purpose and perspective of what you want and need the room to look like. Keep every day items out on a shelf or in a basket, all other items should be in a closet or drawer.

-Teach your kiddo how to keep their area clean and decluttered. Use a chore chart if needed.

So, this doesn’t seem too hard to do. Right? Well, I am on my way to using these top 5 tips to help with my decluttering for the New Year. How about you?

6 Ways Cooking With Kids Can Boost Literacy Skills

By | Apple Valley School News, Arvada School News, Aurora School News, Carlsbad School News, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Cooking & Nutrition, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Maple Grove School News, Meridian School News, Minnetonka School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Roseville School News, Woodbridge Caton Hill School News

My children love to help in the kitchen. And while it’s not something I have the time (or patience!) for every day, I recognize the learning value of cooking together. From toddlers to teenagers, cooking offers a practical, hands-on way for kids to:

  • Practice an important life skill.
  • Develop mathematical understanding (measuring ingredients, setting oven temperature, etc.).
  • Further their scientific knowledge (observing change).
  • Apply their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

Encouraging literacy skill development as you cook together is easy when you allow it to flow naturally from what you’re doing. So, rustle up your favorite kid-friendly recipes (our Kids Cooking activity book has 30 great suggestions!) and give these simple ideas a try.

1. Make a shopping list together

Before you begin, name the items you’ll need with your child. Independent writers can jot down a list for you and you can entice pre-readers with a paper and a pen, just like the ones you are using. Sit beside your little one as you write your shopping list, saying aloud what you are writing as you add each item to the list. Your child will be sure to imitate you and will learn an important purpose of writing in the process. Younger kids also enjoy ticking off the items from the list once you’re at the store.

2. Read the recipe together

Recipes provide a wonderful introduction to instructional texts. Older children can read the ingredient list, gather the necessary ingredients, and read the recipe instructions aloud, step-by-step, as you go. Keep it simple for little ones. For example, “A recipe tells us what we need to make our cupcakes, and how to make them. It says we need flour, here’s the flour…” 

3. Taste ingredients

Sometimes when cooking together, I’ll ask my daughters if they’re brave enough for a blind taste test. To play, simply ask your child to cover her eyes and open her mouth. Then, offer a small taste of one of the ingredients you’re cooking with and invite her to guess which it is. It’s a great way to get your kids talking about different categories of foods (spices, fruit, dairy product, etc.), as well as textures (smooth, lumpy, crunchy, etc.) and flavors (sweet, spicy, sour, salty, etc.) and it provides a physical connection between the senses and the descriptive words used. 

4. Grow vocabulary

There are so many interesting words to learn when cooking! Names of ingredients — cinnamon or saffron — as well as processes, such as whisking and dicing, measurements and temperatures. Hearing and seeing these words used within a real-life application, equips your child to better understand and remember the words and their meanings.

5. Encourage younger children to notice environmental print

Environmental print is all around us. It’s the name given to print that appears on signs, labels and logos. Encouraging preschoolers and beginning readers to notice environmental print helps them to learn that reading involves not just letters and sounds but pictures and context too. Asking your three-year-old to find the cornflakes from among the cereal boxes in your pantry, or your six-year-old to find the all-purpose flour that sits next to the self-raising flour on the shelf, is inviting them to take notice of environmental print.

6. Read a story

While the jelly sets or your cake bakes, why not sit together and enjoy a story related to food or the dish you are cooking? 

MORE: Bake Giant Pretzel ‘Bones’ Inspired by Clifford the Big Red Dog

Inviting your child to spend time cooking with you is a delicious way to encourage literacy learning through all of the sounds, sights, and tastes in the kitchen. Hopefully, the end-product of your cooking time will be delicious too!

Please visit our website to learn more about our Culinary Artist Academy

Article by Christie Burnett found on Scholastic Parents