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The little book with BIG resources!

Preschool Indoor Playground Tomorrow – Thur Nov 4th!

Thursday, November 04, 2010
Time: 9:30 am – 11:30 pm
Organization: Merriam Park & Recreation
Event Name: Preschool Indoor Playground
Location: Irene B. French Community Center
Event Price: $2.50 per child/per day
Details: Toddlers can ride, slide and climb on our indoor per-school playground every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9:30am-11:30am. Inflatable bouncers, Little Tykes riding toys and MORE will entertain your little ball of energy. Parents must supervise their own children during this special play group.
Contact: Dave Smothers
Phone: 913-322-5550
Email: daves@merriam.org

Do You Have a Young Athlete in the Family?

Give them the leg up on the competition with the proper fuel.

Young athletes need a balance of key nutrients:

Carbohydrates are main energy source for muscles.  About 50 – 60% of the athlete’s calories should come from this group.  Complex carbs provide a longer lasting type of energy (rice, potatoes, bread, pasta).  Simple carbs are digested and absorbed quickly and are sources immediate fuel (fruit, juice, cookies, candy).  However, the energy in simple carbs doesn’t last long and many do not provide much nutritional value.

Protein is essential for maintaining and building muscle mass.  About 15 – 20% of the athlete’s calories should come from protein.  Protein is mainly found in meats, poultry, dairy products, beans and nuts.

Fat is needed for certain vitamins and provides long lasting fuel.  Fat should be 20 – 30% of the calories.  Contrary to what many may think, fat is not the dietary evil.  Athletes who eat a very low fat diet often do not get enough calories to support growth and they always feel hungry.  Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the best choices.  Avoid fatty meats butter, creamy sauces, fried foods, whole milk, etc.

Water is needed to prevent dehydration.  On average, drink 16 oz of water before an event.  Drink 5 – 10 oz every 15 – 20 minutes during exercise.  If you exercise for more than an hour, use a sports beverage.

Calories needed for each child is based on the sport.  For example, a distance runner will require more calories than a volleyball player.  It is imperative that the child receive enough calories to sustain growth.

If you want to know more, read the book Fuel for Young Athletes by Ann Litt, M.S., R.D.

Written by Tiffany Glenn, M.S., R.D., L.D.

Registered Dietitian


Tiffany lives in Lorena, TX with her husband Tim, son age 15 and daughters’ ages 9 and 13.

Good health is important from the inside, out.  Learn more about how Tiffany nourishes her body from the outside by checking out her website at http://tglenn.myrandf.biz

Everything You Need for Drop In Hourly Child Care!

KidsPark: A Unique Hourly Childcare Center

We’re there when you need us.


KidsPark, a unique hourly childcare center, offers childcare without a reservation days, evenings and weekends. KidsPark has been a family favorite for over 20 years and has been in Olathe for over 7 years.  Elizabeth Sileo, an Overland Park resident and mother of two, recognized the need for a safe, convenient, fun alternative childcare option that provides childcare when parents need it.  “I know firsthand what it’s like to need good childcare when neighborhood babysitters or family members are not available,” says Sileo. “It may be a doctor’s appointment, a call from a sick relative, the need to pick up an older child at school, or just a few hours to run errands or enjoy a dinner and a movie.

Licensed by the State of Kansas, KidsPark is open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Saturday 10:00 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Parents can drop their kids off without a reservation.  KidsPark staff and teachers meet or exceed Kansas licensing requirements. Teachers lead kids in hourly group games, activities and art projects. “Kids have a choice of a vast array of age appropriate activities, even an indoor climbing structure,” says Sileo.

KidsPark also offers a traditional preschool school readiness program with a modern approach.  In addition to Spanish, Gymboree and Computer Explorers classes, it incorporates The Arts (music, art and drama) and a daily Let’s Move Fitness session.  Throughout the year, parents are invited to attend performances and shows.  Parents create a schedule of mornings, afternoons or full day sessions that meet their family’s schedule and budget.

KidsPark extends the Arts beyond their walls by adding a little sparkle to the classroom. The KidsPark Sparkler Program awards micro- grants for art, music, dance, and culinary art events to non-profit licensed preschools through public grade 3 classrooms. Programs need to be within 15 miles of a KidsPark center.

About KidsPark

KidsPark is a licensed hourly childcare center staffed by professional caregivers for preschool and school age children, ages 30 months – 12 years.  KidsPark offers a unique solution in a safe and fun space that is available without making a reservation.  Parents can drop their children by days, evenings or weekends (open till midnight Friday and Saturday nights).  KidsPark also offers backup care when school is closed.

KidsPark rates start at $7.75 an hour. No monthly fees or reservations are required – families just register once. For more information, please visit:


The Latest & Greatest Scoop on Prenatal Imaging!

Ten fingers and ten toes – that’s the first thing every parent checks on their newborn. The birth of your baby is immense, but it is also a relief to count those fingers and toes earlier, before the birth. At Prenatal Imaging Center, you can.

Jeanette Burlbaw, owner and sonographer of Prenatal Imaging, provides more than just a regular 2D sonogram. She is able to show expectant parents a clear and robust image of the unborn child using 3d/4d imaging. Most people need a little help determining body parts in the typical sonogram (2d), but the 3d/4d technology give a much clearer image that shows facial expressions and movements of the baby in the womb.

Burlbaw has over 30 years experience as a sonographer and her cheerful demeanor is as much of an asset as her years of experience. For the last eight years, she has specialize in working with the GE Voluson 730 Expert to produce clear images. With proper fluid and movement from the baby, she can produce accurate 3d images with depth and 4d images with movement. With appointments last 60 to 90minutes she takes her time with each patient, providing a relaxed environment for their first glimpse of their soon-to-be-born child.

What seems routine to Jeanette is a miracle to any parent. “It’s sonography, just like always. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. What has changed is that now we can produce a picture that is easy for the patient to see and understand. No I don’t have to explain, ‘Here’s where the eyes are..'” she laughs.

While many people think of 3d4d technology as a way to see their baby more clearly, Jeanette stresses its important as a diagnostic tool. “You can use this technology from the point that a heartbeat can be detected, but eh most effective time to do so is after 26 weeks.” Burlbaw has performed sonography on babies as far along as 41 weeks, often using it as a diagnostic tool to detect possible problems in delivery or physical complications.

“All you need for 3d/4d sonography is a moving baby with fluid around it. That’s all there is to it!” Burlbaw said. “Everyone thinks there’s something magical about it, but there really isn’t.”

Since 3d/4d sonography differs so little from traditional 2d sonography, Burlbaw says there is no more risk than the 2d we have to measure the baby, despite the warning there may be complications in the future. Burlbaw feels the warning places undue fear in potential patients and, in her opinion, it is unfounded. She believes the important part is to make sure you sonogram is performed by an educated credential sonographer. Burlbaw stresses the importance of using an ethical medical professional whose goal is to inform you of the health of your baby, not just a pretty picture by someone taught to simply make pictures.

While 3d/4d imaging is not covered by insurance, Burlbaw has set her services at competitive price points. She offers different exams, all of which include images on DVD and CD, with prints of the images. 2d imaging is also available.

Burlbaw says an increasing number of couples are not interested in knowing the sex of their baby. “Of the couples that do want to know, they often keep the name of the baby a secret, Even if they know the sex, they want that ‘aha!’ moment when it’s born.”

It’s reassuring. All sonography should be reassuring.” Burlbaw says. She also thinks it’s particularly helpful for men, who may still be bewildered by the entire birth process. “My favorites are grandfathers. It was about the 1980s when men were allowed into the delivery room. A lot f them don’t know they move that much in the womb. One of my favorite grandfathers kept saying, ‘Oh my Gawd!” Burlbaw laughs.

In addition to her services at Prenatal Imaging, she donates her time to the Alexander House, a perinatal hospice service here in Kansas City. While many doctors may not have the time to devote to expectant parents in this situation, Burlbaw gives them all the time she can, allowing them to see their baby before its introduction into this harsh world.

The miracle of life is truly heightened when you can get a sneak preview, and that’s exactly what Jeanette is doing – and doing it well.

Submitted by Jeanette Burlbaw, owner PICS


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

The Inside Scoop on ACT Testing!

When do students typically take the ACT test?

Juniors typically take the tests in the Spring (April, May, June) of their Junior year and may try a 2nd or 3rd time in the fall of their Senior year (Sept and Oct). Those are the most popular test dates. Students normally start applying for colleges in the fall of their Senior year.

What is the highest math level tested on the ACT?

The ACT tests up trigonometry.

If my child takes the test too early, will they score lower on the math portion because they have not learned the concepts yet?

The concern by parents of testing too early before math concepts are learned is valid. For those students, the test can be taken in June after their Junior year and then again in the fall. But then they only get 2 chances, where many people like to leave themselves 3 opportunities to take the test.

Is there a penalty for wrong answers on the ACT?


Are all ACT test scores sent to schools?

No. There is a “Score Choice” option. Students can choose which schools will receive their scores and which scores the schools will see.

When is the best time to register for the ACT test?

The best time to register is at least four weeks before the test at www.ACT.org.

Does tutoring help increase test scores?

With College Nannies and Tutors one-on-on ACT Test Prep Services, which focus on both content and test-taking skills, we have seen an average of a 3-5 point increase on ACT scores for our students. Ninety-five percent of the students who have worked with a College Tutor have improved their score.

College Nannies & Tutors – Kansas City

Nanny & Tutor Placement Experts & Hourly Childcare



Keeping Learning Alive this Summer!

Happy Summer KC Families!

You can take advantage of learning opportunities each and every day this summer. Summer learning doesn’t have to involve textbooks. In fact, it is well researched that hands-on or experiential learning helps move concepts from the abstract to the concrete.

Summer is the perfect time to solidify learning by helping children make connections between what they have learned in the classroom and real-world examples. Students might have learned the basic physics principles behind how airplanes fly, but why not put together a wooden airplane to demonstrate the concept?

Trip to the park? Bring a field guide, and have fun identifying different tree types. Collect fallen leaves and bark and talk about similarities and differences. Trip to the beach? During snack time, talk about how waves are formed. Looking for something to do on a rainy day? Museums commonly have free days or times each week. Visit local museums several times in the summer to build upon the previous visit and deepen learning.

These examples illustrate the point that summer learning at home does not have to involve a lesson plan. It does involve, planning, however, but the good news is that there are a multitude of educational websites designed to give you ideas, activities, and information. Parents and caregivers can spend 30 minutes at the beginning of the week printing off something fun and unique for the week ahead.

Here are a few of College Nannies & Tutors’ favorite summer learning practices:

Read 20 minutes per day. Why discontinue something that students are required to do each day during the school year? Help children appreciate reading as a lifelong activity. This also a great way to incorporate some much-needed down time into an active summer day.
Get outside and explore. Air, water, grass, or city park, teach children to ask questions about their environment and seek answers.
Learn by doing. Baking, gardening, arts and crafts, constructing – children are wired for hands-on learning. This is the easiest mode of learning and the most fun for everyone!
Teach by example. Don’t expect students to sit still for a carefully crafted lesson in the summer while you watch hands-off. Engage in activities and learning opportunities with them, showing your interest and leading them in exploration.
Make connections to the classroom. Visit local historical sites to help your child visualize the history lessons learned in the classroom. Ask your children for their math expertise: counting change, measuring for your small home improvement project, or estimating how long a car trip will take.
Parents, caregivers, and tutors have a responsibility year-round, but especially in summer, to take an active role in educating children. A summer of learning will translate into a lifetime desire to learn! What a great gift to give our children! Are you ready to take the Summer Learning Challenge?

College Nannies & Tutors – Kansas City

Nanny & Tutor Placement Experts & Hourly Childcare



Early Exposure to Music Increase’s Children’s Brain Development

Research shows that music helps build children’s self-confidence, enhances complex reasoning and focuses listening skills. Early music instruction produces cognitive benefits in the area of spatial-temporal reasoning.

Studies have shown that young children who have developed rhythm skills perform better academically in their early school years. Children who take music lessons have better verbal memory skills than others and may find it easier to learn in school.

Children seem to be naturally drawn to music right from the start. Fostering this inborn love of music can begin as early as infancy. Parental involvement is an important factor in early music training and can greatly improve the experience.

Early childhood music programs such as Kindermusik focus on fostering a love of music, rhythm, and self-expression. Early musical experiences can help children develop their singing voice, build steady beat competency, develop listening skills, and give expression to their feelings. These valuable skills will benefit children when they begin formal music lessons.

So when should children begin piano lessons?

Around the ages of 7 or 8 years children typically begin piano lessons. By this age children are more ready to sit still and concentrate and their hands are big enough to reach the keys. By age 8 children usually have developed the ability to do abstract reasoning which is needed for staff note reading.

Children will learn much more than just music in playing the piano. They will achieve valuable skills such as self-discipline, mental concentration, a sense of timing, the ability to hold up under stress, memory skills and many others that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Give your child the gift that lasts a lifetime…..Music!

Article submitted by:

Denise Revo

Denise Revo Music Studio offering Kindermusik and Piano

Lees Summit, MO