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The little book with BIG resources!

Mom Can We Get a Betta?

Yesterday I was talking with a friend and she mentioned her two young children were asking if they could have a dog or cat. She is wise enough not to give in to the pressure, knowing the financial aspects and responsibility adding a dog or cat to the family brings. Most kids do enjoy having pets but don’t know the responsibilities associated with pet ownership.

As a compromise, there are some pets that don’t have large associated expenses and work well for teaching children how to be responsible pet owners. One example is a betta fish. The male betta is quite colorful and fun to watch. Since they are actually a Siamese Fighting Fish, care should be taken if you are thinking of purchasing more than one fish to ensure they will be compatible. Bettas don’t require a lot of special equipment or a large amount of care, but they do require regular feeding and cleaning.

Some birds, like parakeets or budgies, are a little more interactive and can also be good first pets for children. Regular feeding and cage cleaning will be required here.

Guinea pigs are another good choice as a first pet for kids. They tend to have easygoing personalities unless they are not handled correctly. If you do opt for a guinea pig, be sure to educate your child on the correct way to hold him. Regular feeding (care should be taken to ensure guinea pigs are fed the appropriate foods) and cage cleaning will be required to keep a guinea pig happy and healthy.

Get a Beta! 🙂

These are just some of the options available to teach your child the responsibilities of pet ownership. Do your research prior to deciding on your child’s first pet to ensure you have the appropriate food and housing. Make a list of the tasks that will be necessary for the new pet and track your child’s follow through before taking

steps to bring other pets into your home.

Submitted by Karen Harrison, Joy of Living, Pet Sitting


Clean Out Those Closets and Make Money!

Looking for a way to get rid of your kids’ outgrown clothes, shoes, toys, movies, games, electronics, bedding and more? Maybe you still have that high chair, stroller, crib or play equipment you don’t use any more. Here is a way to make money on those items without having to list them online or have a garage sale. Be a consignor with an area children’s consignment sale!

A consignment sale it easy for you to clean out your closets and get ready for new items! These seasonal sales are held twice a year—usually Spring and Fall. Find a sale near you and sign up to sell your items. You get to select the price and attach a price tag to each item. Drop off your items at the sale, relax at home and wait for your check to arrive in the mail. It is that easy!

However, don’t forget to shop the sales too! There are thousands of bargains at these sales. You can make money by selling your items and save money by shopping the deals.

There are several kids consignment sales in the KC-area including the Here We Grow Again Kids Consignment Sales— www.herewegrowagain.com. Be a part of one of these upcoming sales!

Sept. 22-25 Here We Grow Again (Olathe, KS)

588 S. Santa Fe, Olathe (just west of I-35 in former Dillons grocery store)


Sept. 29-Oct. 2 Here We Grow Again (Shawnee, KS)

7353 Quivira, Shawnee (73rd & Quivira, next to DSW)


Oct. 6-9 Here We Grow Again (Topeka, KS)

210 SE 29th Street
(Next to Harbor Freight in former Safeway Bldg., just East of Kansas on 29th)


Oct. 14-16 Here We Grow Again (Northland—Kansas City, MO)

KCI-Expo Center, 11730 N. Ambassador Dr., Kansas City


Oct. 22-25 Here We Grow Again (Blue Springs, MO)

The Cotillion, 1717 Burdett Crossing, Blue Springs
(On 7 Hwy 1/2 mile North of I-70)


Oct. 28-30 Here We Grow Again (Grandview, MO)

Crystal Ballroom – Rodeway Inn, 15201 U.S. 71, Grandview
(Take 71 Hwy to 155th St- located North on Outer Rd)


Raising Eager Readers!

(Family Features) Parents are looking for ways to get their kids back into the learning mode. Making education a part of the norm is essential for an easy transition back to school. Not only is it important for success, but childhood development as well. Exposure to books in the early childhood stages plays a key role in a child’s reading development, and while most parents and caregivers know that children benefit from reading time, many struggle to fit it into their children’s hectic schedules.
A survey conducted on behalf of VTech, a leading electronic learning products provider, found that more than 40 percent of moms with children ages 3 to 7 years old said that not having enough time to spend reading with their children is the biggest challenge they face in trying to make reading a daily activity. And nearly half wished there were ways to include reading in their child’s on-the-go schedule.
Fortunately, there are plenty of fun and practical ways to make reading a part of everyday family life.

Making Reading Fun
You can help a child develop reading skills even when you’re running errands or doing activities together. By going places and doing things with children, you help build their background knowledge and vocabulary, giving them a basis for understanding what they read.
Telling stories and interacting with each other while on the go helps them develop their listening and thinking skills.
And now there are technologies that let you take interesting reading material wherever you go. The new V.Reader, the first interactive, animated e-book system for children, creates an engaging reading experience for early readers, ages 3 to 7, so they love to learn to read.
“We understand that parents are looking for ways to merge learning and fun and VTech is excited to offer the V.Reader, which does exactly that,” said Tom McClure, director of marketing, VTech Electronics North America, LLC. “Parents can trust this cutting-edge e-book to aid in their children’s development while proving how learning can be fun too.”
The touch-and-read e-book brings stories to life with narration, characters, animation, graphics, sounds and music. Kids interact as they listen and follow along with a story, or touch the screen and play games to learn each word and sentence. The V.Reader helps teach reading comprehension, vocabulary, phonics and word building.
Reading is a skill that requires nurturing. Creating a literacy-rich home is the best way to engage children with the joys of books and help them become readers for a lifetime. One convenient way to keep a constant stream of new books available to young readers is by downloading new e-book titles. Through the VTech website, new titles are available at your fingertips to add to your child’s V.Reader library.
To find out more about the V.Reader and to download titles, visit www.vtechkids.com

Create a Reading-Friendly Environment
Research1 shows that lack of access to books and educational materials is the single greatest barrier to literacy development in the US and beyond. Books, magazines, newspapers and other reading tools should be within easy reach of the whole family. Try designating a bookcase or shelf where children can keep a personal library.
According to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need, a steady stream of new, age-appropriate books has been shown to nearly triple interest in reading within months. By visiting www.firstbook.org, families, teachers and reading programs can help children from low-income communities build their own home libraries and start the journey to becoming lifelong readers.
“It’s important for beginner readers to continue practicing their newly acquired reading skills,” said Ron Fairchild, founding CEO of the National Summer Learning Association and a national authority on how to expand learning opportunities for youth. “Research shows that access to reading material that matches kids’ ability levels and interests, and assistance to ensure comprehension, are important to sustaining and advancing reading skills.”

Some other tips for helping young readers develop include:
– Read with your child every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
– Ask open-ended questions, such as “What do you think is going to happen next?” or “Why do you think he did that?”
– Read your child’s favorite book over and over.
– Find out what interests your child and get reading materials to feed that interest.
– Let children see you read and invite them to read with you.
The US Department of Education (DOE) also recommends that when reading a book aloud to young children, point to each word as you read. This helps the child make a visual connection – that the word said is the word seen.

1 Susan B. Neuman, Ph. D. University of Michigan, Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement

Literacy Milestones
Most children develop certain skills as they move through the early stages of learning language. According to the Department of Education, these are some milestones to be working toward:

From ages 3 to 4, most preschoolers:
– Enjoy listening to and talking about storybooks
– Understand that print carries a message
– Identify familiar signs and labels
– Participate in rhyming games
– Identify some letters and make some letter-sound matches

At age 5, most kindergartners:
– Retell simple stories
– Use descriptive language to explain or to ask questions
– Recognize letters and letter-sound matches
– Show familiarity with rhyming and beginning sounds
– Begin to match spoken words with written ones

At age 6, most first-graders:
– Use a variety of ways to help with reading a story such as rereading, predicting what will happen, asking questions, or using visual cues or pictures
– Read some things aloud with ease
– Identify new words by using letter-sound matches, parts of words and their understanding of the rest of a story or printed item
– Sound out and represent major sounds in a word when trying to spell
– Try to use some punctuation marks and capitalization

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: VTech

Courtesy of www.FamilyFeatures.com