Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

As summer is drawing to a close, many of you are getting your little ones ready for their first day of kindergarten.

Today, FAMILY Magazine’s Assistant Editor Amy Bevins talked with Peggy Fox during the WUSA Mom’s Like Me segment about preparing your child for kindergarten. Here are a few of Amy’s tips.

Research shows that children from language-rich homes have an edge when they start school. So talk with your child.

Together observe the world around you. Count stairs. Compare big and little oranges at the store. Use street signs to discuss colors and shapes. Using the names of things adds to your child’s vocabulary. But be sure to keep it a back and forth conversation.

Add to what your child says to make the language richer – “Yes, I see the bird too. See how it has a brown back and a red tummy. That’s a robin. They eat worms. Would you like to have dinner with them?”

Answer and ask questions to teach kids how to hold conversations and how to listen.

Work with your child to retell events in order.

Before the first day –

o Take a tour of the school if possible
o Help them memorize their teacher’s name
o Practice the walk to school or the bus stop, noticing signs, colors, letters, landmarks along the way.
o Share memories of your school years
o Sign up to volunteer

And start a family tradition. In my family, I always made chocolate chip cookies to welcome the kids’ home from school. Over warm-from-the-oven cookies, we shared first day of school stories and reminisces.

How will you get your child ready for kindergarten and welcome them home from school?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Looking for last minute summer fun?

August for many families means traveling, getting ready for school to start and trying to find great last minute ways to spend the summer. If your family’s plan is to stick around the area, there are numerous free evens and special deals going on that you should try out before the first school bell rings.

Today Liz McConville, Resource Editor for FAMILY Magazine was on WUSA9 News Now with Peggy Fox discussing family-friendly events for August.

If you have Girl or Boy Scouts, make sure to check out the activities that are going on right now at Mount Vernon. Scouts can earn patches and pins by exploring what the site has to offer. This program runs through August 8th. Love the movie “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets”? There’s a tour at Mount Vernon going on right now that takes you through where the movie was filmed and how those locations were used during George Washington’s time. For more information about these events, visit

Running through Labor Day, the Newseum is offering kids free admittance into the museum. The Newseum’s “Family Fun Deal – Kids FREE” promotion is designed to encourage families, particularly in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, to experience the Newseum. Up to 10 kids will be admitted free with each paid adult admission. This museum offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of new history with up-to-the-second technology and hands on exhibits. For additional information, the public may call 888/NEWSEUM (888/639-7386) or visit

If you’re looking for a night out without the kids but don’t want to shell out a lot of money on a babysitter, Adventure Theatre offers a fun alternative that both parents and kids will love. For only $25 per child, and $10 for each additional sibling, Adventure Theatre offers games, a movie and a Pizza dinner. This program runs every third Saturday a month from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. For more information, call 301-634-2270 or visit

Happy Parenting,