Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring Toy Cleaning


Do you have too many toys? Here is a solution.
First, please read through this list and pick your top 6/7 questions that are most important to you.
  • Are children learning from the toys you currently have?
  • Are all of the pieces there? Is it broken?
  • Will it be missed if it is out of the child’s sight? Is the toy played with at least once a week?
  • Is the toy age appropriate? Does more than one child play with it?
  • Does the toy take up too much space?
  • Can you bribe your child with the toy?
  • Does it have a lifetime guaranteed?
  • Has it been recalled? (It should be thrown out for safety)
  • Is there a prescribed way to play with the toy (or does it use their imagination)? Can the child learn from it by
  • using more than 3 concepts? Do I have other toys that teach the same concept(s)?
  • Can you get replacement parts for the toy?
Then start with three piles:
1. keeping – answered “yes” to more than 4 questions

2. undecided – answered “yes” to 3-4 questions

3. give away – answered “yes” to 2 or less questions

Ask the 6/7 questions of each toy and place it into one of the three categories based on the number of “yes” responses to each question.

***If toy not missed (can be put away for more than a month), then donate it.

You will get the most from your toys if you rotate them. Make this simple. Rotate a third to a half out at the beginning of each month and put them back in at the beginning of the next month. Try to have a mix that do different things.

posted by:
Cara Retz

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Getting Ready for Kindergarten - April (Books)

April - Going Green!

Books to read this month:
Looks Like Spilled Milk by Charles G Shaw
Nature's Paintbrush: The Colors & Patters Around You by Susan Stockdale
I Can Save the Earth! by Alison Inches
ABC Nature Riddles by Susan Joyce

Websites to Visit:

Parent Tip:
Listen Carefully to your child's questions. Spend time together to find out the answers.

Quote of the Month:
"One thing you can't recycle is wasted time." Author Unknown

posted by:
Cara Retz

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I found Melaleuca about a year ago and LOVE their products!! They have everything to clean your home (laundry, kitchen, bath, etc) and take care of yourself (toiletries, vitamins & supplements) and it's all naturally based products!

If you are interested in naturally based products and want to make your home safer for you and your family or if you want to improve your health and wellness, then this might just be the right thing for you.

I'm having an in-person presentation this Friday (4/29) at 7pm at my home. I'd love to everyone to come and check it out. I know that not everyone will be able to come, so there are also live webinars that the company does. I can hook you up with one of those or we can get together and talk about it when it's convenient for you. Just give me a call or send me an email and we will set a date!
I am loving their products and want to share them with EVERYONE and I can't wait to share them with you! I'd love to answer any questions you may have so feel free to call or email me any time. Also, be sure to check out my website at for a little more information.

Have a wonderful day! :)

posted by:
Cara Retz

Getting Ready for Kindergarten - April (Playtime)

April - Going Green!

Play Time

Sandbox Fun - Here are some activities to use when playing in the sandbox. If you don't have a sandbox, fill a box lid, pie plate or small tub with pebbles, water, packing peanuts, salt or bird seed.

-Pour items from one cup to another.
-Guess how many handfuls, cupfuls or spoonfuls it will take to fill different size containers.
-If using sand, smooth and flatten out. Practice writing letters, numbers or shapes with a stick or fingers.

Touch and Talk Walk - Take a walk. Touch and talk about stones, leaves, puddles, and flowers. Take the time to look closely and explore all of the details of the different things you see on the walk.

Recycle, Reuse, Reduce - Use plastic water or soda bottles, twig, string and bird feed.
First: Punch holes on either side of the plastic bottle, near the bottom.
Second: Stick a twig all the way through with its ends sticking out for perches.
Third: Poke several more holes nearby each perch for the birds to pull the seed out.
Fourth: Fill the bottle with bird seed.
Fifth: Hang the bottle by taking a spring around the neck of the bottle making a loop.
Enjoy watching the birds that will visit your feeder!

posted by:
Cara Retz

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Getting Ready for Kindergarten (Science)

April - Going Green!


Physical Setting and the Living Environment
As a natural scientists, young children need opportunities to use their 5 senses to learn about the world around them. Giving children time to explore different materials and objects helps them gain scientific awareness. Children in the pre-school years are eager to learn more about their living environment. Animals and plants are some of the first things.

Learning Science is Fun and Easy!
Children learn by doing, by trying new ideas and challenging old ones. This doesn't just happen in school. You can help your child learn by providing him with safe, interesting learning experiences in a supportive atmosphere. Here are a few things, that while doing them, you are teaching science:
-See how long it takes for a flower bud to burst into full bloom.
-Watch the moon as it appears to change shape over the course of a month and record the changes.
-Look for stars in the night sky.
-Bake a cake.
-Figure out how the spin cycle of a washing machine gets the water out of the clothes.
-Take apart an old clock or mechanical toys - you don't need to put it back together!
-Sort your recyclable items: paper, plastic or glass.

Don't forget to share what you've done with your kids to get them ready for Kindergarten!

posted by:
Cara Retz

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

So, we just went to Kindergarten Round-Up for my youngest. Sad day for me, but excited for him. Got lots of info and fun things to do during summer to prepare for it. Some really fun things and I'm going to share some of them here, so stay tuned for 1 or 2 posts a week for fun things to do with your child to get them ready for Kindergarten. I'm going to post several hear because we are over half way through the month. I'd love to hear about what you do with your child this summer as you both get ready for it.

April - Going Green!

Things to look and listen for:
Color: green
Numbers: 1-20
Letters: P, p and L, l
Shape: triangle
Sight words: see, at, nine
Words to Talk About and Use: recycle, environment, Earth

Snack Time:
Plan snacks and serve them at the table. If you're away from home, find a park bench or a building's hallway bench. Treat snacking like other planned mealtimes.

A Fun Song:
I'm a Little Dandolin
(sung to "I'm a Little Teapot")

I'm a little dandoline tall and slim
(Stand on tiptoes)
Here are my petals
(Place hands on side of head and wiggle fingers)
Here is my stem
(Hold arms down at sides)
When the sun comes up
(Make sun with arms)
And the rain comes down
(Flutter hands to floor like rain. End in a crouching position.)
I grow, grow, grow up from the ground!
(Slowly stand up and raise hands over head.)

posted by:
Cara Retz