2016 Summer Kansas Child


Summer fun and safety

A publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Summer 2016 Volume 15, Issue 3









Kansas Child

is a publication of

Child Care Aware ®

of Kansas

Executive Director

Leadell Ediger


BWearing Consulting

Angie Saenger, Deputy Director

Publication Design

Julie Hess Design

On the Cover

Archer Anderson (age 2)

son of Russell and Lorene

Anderson of Paola, Kansas,

plays outside enjoying the

beautiful summer weather.

Photo by: Kathrine Henry,

Dream Photography, Spring

Hill, Kansas

Child Care Aware ® of Kansas,

1508 East Iron, Salina, Kansas 67401,

publishes Kansas Child quarterly,

and is made possible through the

financial support of the members

of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas and

sponsorships from our corporate,

private, and foundation partners.

Kansas Child is intended to provide

a forum for the discussion of child

care and early education issues and

ideas. We hope to provoke thoughtful

discussions within the field and to

help those outside the field gain a

better understanding of priorities

and concerns. The views expressed

by the authors are not necessarily

those of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

or their sponsors.

Copyright © 2016 by Child Care

Aware ® of Kansas, unless

otherwise noted. No permission

is required to excerpt or make

copies of articles provided that

they are distributed at no cost.

For other uses, send written

permission requests to:

Child Care Aware ® of Kansas,

1508 East Iron, Salina, KS 67401



Child Care Aware ®

of Kansas

Summertime, when the livin’ is easy.

Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high…

— Ella Fitzgerald, 1958

I grew up in a small Kansas farming community. As a child, from Memorial Day to

Labor Day I spent almost every moment of the day outdoors. Occasionally, we enjoyed

a family trip (usually to grandma’s house), but it was unusual to take a real vacation.

Mostly my summer included swimming, bicycling, hiking, enjoying friends, and

swinging from the giant cottonwood tree by our pond. Though I rarely swam in it, the

pond was good for fishing and skipping rocks. In the evenings I chased fireflies and

watched the distant lightening that often appeared at the end of a hot day.

Occasionally, my grandfather would take me for a Sunday drive to “inspect the

progress of the wheat crop.” As we drove, all four windows of the car were wide open

to catch a breeze. I attended summer camps that were filled with doing crafts, singing,

swimming, laughter and just plain fun. I made weekly visits to a small library where I

checked out every Nancy Drew mystery they had. Looking back, it seems like there was

never a lack of something to do. I am certain, however that there were plenty of times I

would say to my mother – “I’m bored,” to which she was quick to suggest a chore to keep

me busy. Hanging wet laundry on the clothes line was one cure for my boredom.

There was little “screen time” in my childhood summers. We had a total of three

stations on the television, a black desk telephone with a rotary dial, and air conditioning

courtesy of open windows.

When our children were pre-teenage, my husband and I gave them a challenge: if they

could not watch TV for one full year, they would be rewarded with cash. The only one

of them to complete the challenge was our oldest son. Interestingly, of the three kids, he

had his nose glued to the TV the most. He was about 13 or 14. He started on January 1st

and made it through most of January until the Super Bowl, which he decided he had to

watch. So he started over. Now a parent himself, he has offered the same challenge to his

three oldest children, our grandchildren (ages 8 to 14). Computers, 24-hour access to a

multitude of television stations, movies on demand, books on tape or downloaded on an

electronic device you can hold in your hand; it’s all very different! Two of the three have

taken on the challenge. As you can imagine, they are trying lots of new ideas to fill their

time without technology. Summertime should offer them a variety of alternatives.

Whatever you have planned for the summer, I hope you take time to watch for

lightning bugs.

Kansas Child is distributed at

no cost to Child Care Aware ®

of Kansas donors. Single

copies are available

to anyone at a cost of

$5 each, prepaid.

p. 4

p. 17

p. 10


Engaged Minds.............................. 4

Safety Tips..................................... 6

Bike Safety.................................... 6

Breastfeeding Friendly

Child Care Designation................ 7

Conflict is an Opportunity

to Teach.......................................... 8

Ensuring Children

Enter School Ready

to Learn ......................................... 9

Hot Car Safety.............................10

Take the Time to

Smell the Flowers........................10

Supporting Foster


Value of Youth Sports in


Supporting Leadership and


Planning Your Summer Trip?

Don’t let safety

take a vacation............................14

Engaging Families.......................15

Books for Summer fun...............16

Learning Doesn’t Stop................17

p. 19

Healthy Snack Options...............18

There is No Place Like Home.....19

Heads Up......................................20

Mapping a Great Summer..........21

What’s in Your Cup?...................22

Pool Safety..................................23



Summertime activities help

your child be prepared for school

By William Hall, Superintendent, USD 305, Salina Public Schools

Summer is often the time set aside for families to take a

breath and relax, to regenerate from the busy on-the-go lives

that typically happen during the school year. I recently had

the opportunity to address more than 700 third-graders at the

annual Kansas Kids Fitness Day activities for area students.

As I shared with these students, summer is a time for fun and

for staying active, and yet it is equally important that they keep

their minds as sharp as their bodies. So, “turn off that television,

and pick up a book to read over the summer.” As a matter of fact,

I challenged all of the third-graders to read at least 10 books over

the summer, and to email me as they complete each one to let me

know what they read and what they liked or disliked about the


The point is, there are many activities parents and child care

providers can do to ensure that when August rolls around and

the school bells ring, our children are ready and engaged for the

start of school.

There are 90 days during the summer, and most children do

not have a structured learning environment. As such, many

children may suffer from “summer learning loss.” Research

indicates that students consistently score lower on assessments

given to them at the beginning of the school year than they did

on those same tests three months earlier. Because of a lack of

access to quality summer learning activities, this gap in learning

is further compounded when children from low- and highincome

families are compared.

Here are a few facts to consider.


Most students lose about two months of grade level

equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the

summer. Low-income students also lose more than two

months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their

middle-class peers make slight gains. (Cooper, 1996)


Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time

to ensure that their children have productive things to do.

(Duffet et al, 2004)


Children lose more than academic knowledge over the

summer. Most children, particularly those at high risk of

obesity, gain weight more rapidly during the summer break.

(Von Hippel et al, 2007)

Quality learning

activities do not need to be

costly and can be provided to all

children. The first, and most important

issue for parents to consider, regardless of

the child’s age, is to continue to make learning a

priority, whether on a family vacation, enjoying

that backyard barbecue, or just passing time.

Children need to know that engaging their

minds through discovery-based learning

activities, or reading that favorite book, is going

to be a regular part of their summer schedule.

So, shut off the television and let’s get started.

Before laying out some summer learning

activities for children, let’s consider their

physical needs. Children of all ages should

be engaged in some form of physical

play each day. This can be in the form

of outside activities, such as visits

to the local park or short walks to

the library or local museum. Even

playing catch on a regular basis can

go a long way to assist with a child’s

fine motor development.

It is also important that children

maintain solid nutritional

guidelines and eat healthy, balanced

meals on a regular basis. Many

communities offer free summer meal

programs where students can eat hot,

nutritional lunches. I encourage you to look into

whether your community offers this option and to have

your child participate.

4 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas



USD 305

Salina Public Schools

William Hall was born and raised in Dodge City, Kan.,

and graduated from St. Mary of the Plains College

in 1982 with a B.S. in history. He earned his M.S in

Educational Administration in 1989 from Fort Hays

State University, and received his district school

administration endorsement as well as his ESOL

endorsement from Kansas State University. He’s

held school administrative positions at Sacred

Heart High School, Salina, and at Atwood and

Ulysses high schools. He served as superintendent

of the Ulysses school district for 11 years.

Mr. Hall and wife, Angela, have two adult children,

Ryan and Tiffany, and two grandchildren, Ian and

Isabelle. Mr. Hall started as the superintendent of

Salina Public Schools on July 1, 2011.

playing and learning a day with your child can make a world

of difference.


is also


that children

get the necessary

hours of sleep, making the

transition to school much easier

after the extended summer break. I

have had numerous conversations with

parents who shared with me the difficulty

of transitioning their children back to

school due to not following a regular

bedtime schedule during the summer.

Keep in mind, the more children are

kept to a routine, the easier it will

be to transition back to school

in August.

Besides physical

activity, good nutrition

and rest, it is essential

that children be

allowed to “exercise”

their minds during

the summer

months. There

are a number

of activities that

parents can do

with children that

don’t require a lot of time

or expense, but will help

your child maintain his/

her academic skills.

Just 15-20 minutes of

Social/Emotional Development

Social/emotional development is the ability for children of

all ages to express their ideas and feelings, express empathy

toward others, feel self-confident, and more easily manage their

feelings of frustration and disappointment. Essentially, it is

your child’s ability to express emotions in an appropriate and

healthy manner. Positive social/emotional skills allow children

to be successful when interacting in school with their peers

and teachers. Some good examples that will assist your child in

developing social/emotional skills over the summer include:


Have your child play board games and practice taking turns.


Set up several play dates with children of various ages.


Tell your child you expect him/her to clean up after play.


When your child is playing with other children, remind

him/her of the importance of playing nicely and sharing

items such as toys.

Social/emotional skills do not need to be planned lessons

taught by parents. More than likely they are gentle reminders of

appropriate behavior as your child enjoys summertime activities

with other children and adults.

Language Development

The one area where the greatest amount of summer learning

loss is experienced is language development, especially with

reading skills. Dr. Trish Bandré, reading specialist for Salina

USD 305, Salina, Kan., shares this concern: “Students’ hard work

to grow as readers, and teachers’ hard work to get students to a

higher level of success is diminished by a lack of summer reading.

Unfortunately, access to books, especially those at the reading

level of the child, is an issue for many low-income children.”

If students get most of their reading material from school and

Continued on page 6

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 5

Safety Tips

There are several easy and effective ways

parents can help children reduce the risk

of injury.

Think safety


Check the weather report and dress

kids according to temperature and

planned activities.


Wear sun protection. Hats and sunglasses

can protect the face and eyes from sun

damage. Sunscreen should be used even

on cloudy days to prevent sunburn.


Stay hydrated. Bring along water or

sports drinks for the family.


Never leave a child alone in a

vehicle. Even if they finally fall asleep in

their car seat, or you think you’ll be gone

only a moment to run a quick errand,

don’t be tempted to leave a child inside

your vehicle. The inside of a vehicle can

turn deadly hot in a matter of minutes.


Bring your cell phone. In case of

emergencies, have phone numbers

programmed in for the poison control

center and other emergency contacts.

Drive extra safely


Slow down and be especially alert in

residential areas. Children get excited

and might move in unpredictable ways.


Take extra time to look for kids at

intersections, on medians and on curbs.


Carefully enter and exit driveways

and alleys.


Eliminate any distractions inside your

car so you can concentrate on the road

and your surroundings.


Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian

traffic and turn your headlights on

earlier in the day to spot children from

greater distances.

Walk safely


Cross at street corners, using traffic

signals and crosswalks.


Look left, right, and left again when

crossing, and keep looking as you cross.


Put electronic devices down. Keep your

eyes up and walk, don’t run, across

the street.


Teach children to make eye contact with

drivers before crossing in front of them.


Always walk on sidewalks or paths.

If there are no sidewalks, walk facing

traffic and as far to the left as possible.

Children should walk on direct routes

with the fewest street crossings.


Watch for cars that are turning or backing

up. Teach children to never dart out into

the street or cross between parked cars.

For more information visit safekids.org.

Source: © 2013 Safe Kids Worldwide ®


It’s a beautiful day — the sun is shining,

the birds are chirping. What could be more

perfect than a bike ride? But wait! Before

you pull your bike out of the garage, let’s

find out how to stay safe on two wheels.

Why Is Bicycle Safety Important?

Bike riding is a lot of fun, but accidents

can happen. Every year, about 300,000 kids

go to the emergency department because

of bike injuries, and at least 10,000 kids

have injuries that require a few days in

the hospital. Some of these injuries are

so serious that children die, usually from

head injuries.

A head injury can mean brain injury.

That’s why it’s so important to wear your

bike helmet. Wearing one doesn’t mean

you can be reckless, but a helmet will

provide some protection for your face,

head, and brain in case you fall.

A Helmet How-To

Bike helmets are so important that

the U.S. government has created safety

standards for them. Your helmet should

have a sticker that says it meets standards

set by the Consumer Product Safety

Commission. Wear a bike helmet EVERY

TIME YOU RIDE, even if it’s a short ride.

Continued from page 5

the school is not open during the summer,

where will students get that material? In

Salina we are fortunate that the Salina Area

United Way has started a reading initiative

as part of the summer free lunch program

mentioned above. One day a week, students

who attend the program are read to by

community volunteers and also receive a

free book to take home. It is essential that

we get books in the hands of students,

especially during the summer months.

According to language experts, the

average child knows about 8,000 words

when he/she enters kindergarten. When

exiting high school, the average high school

graduate should have a working knowledge

of 87,000 words. This difference of 79,000

words represents about 6,000 words that

need to be learned each year as a child

progresses through school. The summer

break is an excellent opportunity to build

Your bike helmet should fit properly.

Never wear a hat under your bike helmet.

If you’re unsure if your helmet fits you

well, ask someone at a bike store.

Once you have the right helmet, you

need to wear it correctly. It should be

worn level and cover your forehead. Don’t

tip it back so your forehead is exposed.

The straps should always be fastened. If

the straps are flying, your helmet likely

will fall off your head when you need it

most. Make sure the straps are adjusted so

they’re snug enough that you can’t pull or

twist the helmet around on your head.

Don’t throw your helmet around. That

could damage it and it won’t protect you as

well when you really need it. If you do fall

down and put your helmet to the test, be

sure to get a new one. They don’t work as

well after a major crash.

Many bike helmets are lightweight and

come in cool colors. If you don’t love

yours, personalize it with some of your

favorite stickers. Reflective stickers are a

great choice because they look cool and

make you more visible to motorists.

For more tips and information check

out http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/bikesafety.html!


Source: www.kidshealth.org

vocabulary. Developing oral and written

communication skills over the summer is

essential to continued success of students

as they start the new school year.

Summer activities that will help your

child’s language development include:


Provide real-life experiences, such as

having your child order his/her own

meal in a restaurant.


Sidewalk chalk — yes, sidewalk chalk.

What better way to allow children

to express themselves, both with the

written word and creatively? Chalk

drawing not only allows children to

explore their artistic side, it also can

help with word associations. Besides,

it’s an easy cleanup with the nearest

garden hose.


Blowing bubbles provides a great

learning opportunity for younger

children. Besides counting skills,

children can begin to understand the

6 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas


On average, children are more

than twice as likely to be hit by a

car and killed on Halloween than

on any other day of the year.

concept of small, medium and large by

asking them to distinguish the size of

the bubbles they are creating.


Of course, read, read, read! This is

the one activity that will produce

the greatest results when it comes

to maintaining or growing language

development skills. Join the summer

reading program at your local library

and challenge your child to read many

books over the summer. Or read the

local newspaper with your child to

help grow their language development.

Most importantly, read with your child

to model good reading behavior.

The summer break is an excellent

opportunity to build vocabulary. As your

child reads this summer, have him/her:


Talk about what they have read


Write about what they have heard


Draw pictures of what they have read,

and, read aloud what they have written

Play and More Play

The bottom line is that summertime is

meant to be fun, so above all else, keep it

fun. There are many enjoyable, discoverybased

activities that will engage your child

while building on their knowledge of the

world around them. For instance, engaging

your child in growing a vegetable or flower

garden is a great activity for understanding

the life cycle of the plant and the importance

of protecting our environment. Children

are always excited about making things. The

website www.dadcando.com offers great

ideas for making inexpensive items that will

help your child with problem-solving, oral

communication, and language development.

Besides, what better way to spend quality

time with your child?

So, pull on a T-shirt and shorts and get

ready for a meaningful and memorable

summer with your child. n

Breastfeeding Friendly

Child Care Designation

Child care programs that provide

support and encouragement for

breastfeeding families make it easier

for mothers to continue breastfeeding

after returning to work. Thus, their

babies continue to receive optimal

nurturing and nutrition.

Child Care Aware ® of Kansas is

recognizing child care programs that

provide support to breastfeeding

families and employees with a

special Breastfeeding Friendly

Child Care Designation. To

receive the designation, child care

programs must meet five criteria

that demonstrate a culture of

breastfeeding support. These include:

Creates a culturally appropriate

breastfeeding-friendly environment.

Has written policies that reflect

a commitment to support

breastfeeding mothers.

Provides educational materials and

information to breastfeeding mothers

and family members.

Ensures that staff are trained in the

skills needed to support and promote


Has written policies that reflect

a commitment to support

breastfeeding employees.

Programs receiving the Breastfeeding

Friendly Child Care Designation will

receive a certificate and a window

cling to display. In addition, Child

Care Aware ® of Kansas will update

your provider profile information

to reflect your designation as

Breastfeeding Friendly. Profiles are

distributed to families looking for

child care.

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 7

Conflict is an

By Vicki Price, Parent Education at CAPS

(Child Advocacy and Parenting Services)

When a child comes to us and complains

about being pushed, we usually go right

to the bullier and reprimand him/

her. However, our first response really

should be to teach the target. We need

to teach this child to be assertive but

not aggressive.

Dr. Becky Bailey, the developer

of Conscious Discipline, advocates

asking the target, “Did you like

it?” The child will respond, “No.”

Then we say, “Go and tell him/her

— I don’t like it when you push,” or

“We don’t push at our daycare.” A

good tip is to practice this with

the target so that he/she can

successfully speak to the bullier.

What a great life skill you

will be teaching! The child

who can say these kinds of

statements will not stay a

target for long.


Bullying is not a rite of passage. The repercussions are of grave

concern and we can feel powerless against it, but we need not.

There are many things teachers, caregivers and parents can do to

empower children to not be bullied.

We must teach targets and witnesses that they can change their

behavior. They may not be able to change the bully, but they can

change how they react to the bullying behavior.

We must teach targets that they can:


Talk to a trusted friend or adult


Ignore the bully (consistently!) without showing ANY kind of distress


Use strong body language — keep up their “2 Cs” — chest and chin


Look people directly in the eye and speak in a firm, clear voice


Try to make a friend of the bully

Speak to the bullier with words like, “stop that”, “cool it” or “knock

it off.” For those very verbal kids who like to use big words and

sentences, coach them to say, “That’s out of line. I treat you with

respect and I expect the same from you.”

8 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas





































































































opportunity to teach


Empower the Witnesses

In bullying situations, however, the real

power lies with the witnesses. A bully can’t

be a bully without witness approval. Most

witnesses have no idea of the power they

have — they think the bully is running

the show, and they have little or no ability




Research tells us that the critical use

of witness power occurs within the first

10 seconds of the bullying. The bully

is watching for the reactions of those

nearby — to see if they will join in, laugh

in approval or look fearful and downtrodden.

The bullier is also keenly aware

of non-approval, and if that is shown, well,

the bully’s days are numbered. Witnesses

must learn this and use their power in

ways that are comfortable. Some can talk

to the bully, while others may only feel able

to speak privately to the target. Any choice

is a good choice, as long as it is a show of

non-support for the bullier.

Witnesses can:


Talk to a trusted friend or adult


Ask the target to play or go give them

a hug


Support the target privately by saying,

“I am sorry that happened.”


Respond publicly to the target. “This

isn’t right. We don’t treat people like

this at ABC Preschool.”


Speak calmly to the bullier by saying,

“That’s bullying. Stop it.”


Talk to the bully and ask them if he/

she is OK — is he/she sad or mad

about something? Give the bully a

hug. Only a very brave witness can

try to befriend and help a bullier.

Teaching Targets and Witnesses

How to Speak Up

Whatever lines we want the targets and

witnesses to speak, we must help them

to know HOW to speak them. They

must always use a strong, calm voice

— screaming back and calling the bully

names only makes them become what they

dislike — they become the new bully. So,

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean

much unless you do what’s right.”

we must coach children how to use their

strong inside voices, their information

voices, so that their words and vocal tone

show that they are in charge. Targets and

witnesses must show that the bully is not

strong enough to create any feelings within

them — such as sadness, anger or fear.

Children’s voices and body language must

show that they are not annoyed or upset

by the bullier — they are simply speaking

the truth and showing their power. They

are showing who is really in charge of the

situation, and it is NOT the bullier.

Promoting the Positive

— Theodore Roosevelt

Becky Bailey also teaches, “what you

focus on, you get more of.” So, focus

on the positives in your classroom

— celebrate the kindnesses shown

when a child helps someone or gives a

compliment. Make a kindness bulletin

board where children can do “put-ups.”

Talk about being bucket-fillers of each

others’ buckets. Read books like Words

are not for Hurting by Elizabeth Verdick or

One by Kathryn Otoshi. One beautifully

and simply demonstrates witness power.

Children have to watch us use empathy

with others, find solutions rather than

blame, and practice listening and

negotiation skills. Show the children how to

support a bully-free world. Be an example

of how to build others up instead of tearing

them down, and how to look at the world

with our hearts instead of just our eyes. n

Vicki Price, B.A., M.S., has been the Director of

Education at CAPS (Child Advocacy and Parenting

Services) in Salina, KS since 1992. She was an

elementary school teacher and a school board

member. At CAPS, she presents “Happy Bear”

(a sexual abuse prevention play) and Bullying

Prevention programs in area schools as well

as teaches parenting classes. She also writes

parenting articles for the Salina Journal. She and

her husband, Scott, have 3 children, 2 sons-in-law

and two grandchildren.

Ensuring Children Enter

School Ready to Learn

Child Care Aware ® of Kansas-

Region One has worked with several

communities to assist with discussions

on how to support child care providers

and meet the needs of working

families. Child Care Aware ® is able to

provide materials that support learning,

attend meetings to be a voice for young

children and the early education field,

and participate in phone calls to share

information and data.

Recently, the complex topic of

child care supply and demand was

discussed at a community meeting

in Salina. From this facilitated,

collaborative conversation, an Early

Childhood Study Committee was

formed. The committee, established

by Bill Hall, superintendent of schools

for USD 305, Salina, consists of early

childhood partners, chamber of

commerce members, United Way staff

and school personnel.

The committee will continue to

facilitate valuable conversations in an

effort to ensure all children in Salina

enter school ready to learn. They have

developed three focus areas with

regard to child care:


That there is high-quality care

provided for children.


That there are enough child care

slots for working families.


That child care is affordable for all

working families.

We are excited about this creative,

collaborative discussion group and

will continue to support this work,

and similar work taking place in

communities throughout Region One.

After all, our mission is to ensure that

high-quality early education is available

to all Kansas families and children.

Contact us today if you need

information or resources by calling


www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 9

Take the time

Hot Car


By Amber Rollins

Director, KidsandCars.org

It’s summertime. On average, every year 38

children in the U.S. die from heat stroke while

in vehicles. In about 55 percent of these cases,

a child is unknowingly left in the vehicle,

usually by a loving, responsible parent or

caregiver. It’s happened to a teacher, police

officer, nurse, clergyman, child care provider,

soldier … even a rocket scientist. Lack of

sleep, fatigue, stress and changes in routine

are the most common factors. Many times,

the child was supposed to have been dropped

off at child care.

In about 30 percent of these tragedies, a child

got into a vehicle on his or her own and was

unable to get out. These senseless deaths are

both predictable and 100 percent preventable.

Safety tips for parents and caregivers include:


Make it a routine to ALWAYS check the back

seat every time you park.


Put your phone, handbag, briefcase, or your

left shoe in the back seat as a reminder

to open the back door before leaving your



Work with your child care provider to

implement a policy to call immediately if a

child doesn’t show up as scheduled.


Be especially careful during holidays and

changes in routine.


Always keep vehicles locked and keep

keys and remote openers out of reach of



If a child is missing, check both the inside

and the trunk of all vehicles immediately

and thoroughly.


NEVER leave a child alone in or around a

vehicle, not even for a minute.

“Our challenge isn’t so much to teach

children about the natural world,

but to find ways to nurture and

sustain the instinctive connections

they already carry.”

— Terry Krautwurst

And notice

the bugs!

10 Kansas Child







to smell the flowers

By Sherron French

Early Care and Education Specialist,

Child Care Aware® of Kansas

The summertime schedule often keeps

children shuffling from one activity to

another without much rest in between.

Escaping to nature to smell the flowers,

discover the bugs and squeeze the mud

brings a much needed slower pace that can

rejuvenate, energize and inspire children.

Whether it is in your backyard, a walk

around the neighborhood or a trip to the

local park or nature center — there are

many skills that can be learned through

nature play.

Taking a stroll around the backyard can

be a great way for children to discover roly

polys, caterpillars, beetles, flies, butterflies

and bumblebees. When adults encourage

children to explore, it leads to greater

interest in natural things. Children have a

natural curiosity about the world around

them. Be sure to allow plenty of time for

observation of bugs. Expand the child’s

knowledge through questions such as,

“how” or “why”; bring along a pad of

paper and writing utensils to record

observations; and encourage vocabulary

by using words such as antenna, thorax

and colony. Expand upon the experience

by asking, “I wonder what ...” or, “I

wonder if ...” questions, allowing the

children to answer with their own

hypotheses. Teach children to respect the

natural environment by not disturbing

the creatures and their homes and by

acknowledging that the outdoors is where

bugs live. If children are fearful of the

insects, acknowledge their fears and allow

them to explore at their own pace; this will

lessen the fear they are experiencing.

Trees and flowers attract the bees and

bugs; however, they are also very attractive

to children. Take time to notice the

difference in the flowers and trees around

you. Point out the various colors found in

the plants. Discuss the different leaves, buds

and flowers. Bring a collection bag along

on a walk to gather seeds, leaves, sticks,

stones and fallen flowers from trees and

plants. Be sure to respect the environment

by not plucking, pulling or damaging a

plant or tree. The items gathered can be

used for classifying objects through sorting;

such as gluing or taping materials on a

piece of paper for a nature collage. Or they

can be used as natural brushes to paint

with. Discover what imprints different

leaves and seeds make in play dough. Use

magnifying glasses to view the sticks and

stones or create a nature sculpture with your

collection of rocks, seeds, sticks and leaves.

Take the time to talk about the growing

process and life cycles, seasons and how to

help plants to grow. Slow down the walk

and carefully observe the different flowers

and trees; you just might find a hidden

creature waiting to be discovered!

Nature offers many experiences that

are very different from our indoor

environments. Take advantage of the

unique sensory opportunities that can be

found outdoors – push bare feet into warm

sand, splash in a pool or puddle of cool

water; squish toes in wet mud or create a

messy mud pie!

Children enjoy thrills such as running

up and down a hill. Memories are made

by climbing on a large rock and splashing

in a large puddle of water. Nature

experiences can also provide a calm period

for children. Go outside and watch clouds

form. Nothing is more relaxing than

listening to the birds singing. So, slow

down, gather up a blanket and simply lie

under a tree and read your favorite book!

Through your summer travels be sure

to take the time to seek out new nature

adventures where ever you may go! Plan

ahead to visit local parks or recreation

areas, zoos or wildlife parks, nature

centers, walking trails, botanical and

community gardens or plan a walk in the

area where you are. These destinations

offer adventure, learning and most of all an

opportunity to connect with nature! n

Supporting Foster


Thanks to a brief conversation

between a Specialist and a Foster

Grandparent volunteer, Region

Two has been able to enhance

the Foster Grandparent program

across our area. Before leaving

a classroom one day, a Specialist

asked the director about the kinds

of support Foster Grandparent

volunteers receive. The Director

shared the contact information

for the Butler County Foster


The Specialist made a phone

call to Rachel McKee, the Foster

Grandparent Coordinator. Rachel

shared that Butler County Foster

Grandparents offers monthly

meetings where community

members speak and provide

training for Foster Grandparents

in various counties.

Through this connection,

Foster Grandparent events

have been scheduled in Harvey,

Butler, and Sumner Counties.

In April, the program was

“Workplace Ethics across the

Generations.” Grandparents have

enthusiastically requested further

training on additional topics,

such as birth order. The events

have also stimulated interest in

the annual Growing with Children


We look forward to continuing

this relationship with Foster

Grandparents in all our counties!

Kansas Child 11

Value of youth

By Chris Nelson, CPRP, CYSA,

Youth Sports Recreation Supervisor,

and Angie Sutton, CPRP, CPP,

Community Relations Director,

Manhattan Parks and Recreation

Organized youth sports programs are

one of the greatest resources available for

instilling valuable life skills in youngsters.

Physical activity is vital to the holistic

development of young people, fostering

their physical, social and emotional

health. The benefits of sport reach beyond

physical well-being.

Our goal through parks and recreation

is to provide a fun, safe and rewarding

experience for youth ages 3 years through

high school. Kids learn the importance of

teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance,

rules, respect for authority and how

to win or lose with dignity. Physical

education and sports build healthy habits

that encourage life-long participation in

physical activity, and have a positive effect

on overall public health.

The 2015 Riley County Community

Health Improvement Plan includes

healthy lifestyles as one of the top






12 Kansas Child
































sports in Manhattan

three priorities out of 13 issues identified

by the community. Physical activity and

nutrition were indicated as critical to the

quality of life, with childhood obesity,

healthy habits, recreation opportunities

and recreation facilities as subtopics.

Manhattan Parks and Rec analytics

indicate that more than 70 percent of our

community’s youth are involved in some

aspect of our programs and activities.

More than 700 kids take swimming

lessons each year, and nearly 1,000 kids

play baseball, softball or T-ball during

the summer. New programs are being

developed to involve younger children

and their caregivers in family-friendly

fitness activities. These programs

frequently fill, so additional dates and

times are being added.

As a community, our biggest hurdle

is indoor court space during the cold

months. There are 19 courts, but the

primary demand for space by the school

district leaves a small window of time to

satisfy the 4,566 annual court hours used,

not including additional programming

being developed. The lack of indoor water

accessible to the general public results in

a deficit of year-round aquatics classes. A

major initiative is underway to address the

needs of citizens, as we’re projected to grow

by another 2,500 families in the coming

five to 10 years.

Nationally, the trend for free play —

kids using parks and recreation facilities

for active play — is on the rise. Increased

access to space for physical activity

leads to a 25 percent increase in people

exercising three or more days a week.

Policy initiatives, such as healthy vending

and concession efforts, smoke-free venues,

changes to the built environment (access

to trails, parks and recreation facilities)

are critical to help prevent chronic

diseases and related risks. The role that

parks and recreation facilities play in

health promotion and disease prevention

is an essential benefit, no matter the size

of the community.

Youth sports are a crucial component

in the development of our children, and

a significant contributor to the skills they

need to lead healthy lives and to have a

positive effect on public health. n

Supporting Leadership

and Professionalism


Since 2013, Region 3 has been

grateful to receive a recognition grant

from the Kansas Health Foundation.

These funds have allowed us to

focus specific efforts in the areas of

leadership and professionalism in

early childhood.

In multiple locations across our

service area, we have offered a

professional development course

entitled “Building Leadership in Early

Childhood at All Levels.” The course

is based on the Kansas Leadership

Center principle that leadership is

an activity rather than a position.

It helps participants explore five

strategies for growing their own

leadership capacity — regardless of

job title, setting or role.

After recently completing the class,

one family child care provider

shared: “I never really thought of

myself as being a leader. Now, I will

think more about how I am a role

model for parents and for other

providers. I also plan to check out

the advocacy resources. I never

considered that just talking positively

about my job to others was being an

advocate. I can do that!”

Another way Region 3 promotes

leadership development in the field

is by offering regular Director’s

Toolbox events. Designed for

child care center directors and

administrators, Toolbox topics

have included creating a vision and

mission statement, working with a

board, marketing, team building,

ethical conduct and more.


Kansas Child 13

Planning your

summer trip?

Don’t let safety take a vacation

By Cherie Sage

State Director, Safe Kids Kansas

Whether heading out for a weekend

of camping or trekking across the

U.S. on a destination vacation, many

of us will be traveling this summer.

And, traveling with children guarantees

an adventure.

While you are out making great

memories, here are a few tips to help

ensure your stories have happy endings.

Tips for car travel


A car or other vehicle will be likely be

involved in some leg of your trip. Make sure

everyone is appropriately buckled — babies

and toddlers in car seats, older children in

booster seats, and adults and older kids

wearing seat belts. If the car is moving,

everyone must be buckled.


If you are a breastfeeding Mom, pull over

for breaks. It is unsafe, and illegal, to hold

your child on your lap when the vehicle is

moving on the road, even for something as

healthy as breastfeeding.


Kids do better when they are able to take

regular breaks and run off that pent-up

energy. When planning your travel, take

into consideration frequent bathroom and

leg-stretching breaks. But, never leave a

child alone in the car, even for a minute. The

inside of a vehicle can become dangerously

hot in a matter of minutes.

Pack the car seats


If you are traveling by plane, take your

children’s car seats with you. Children’s

forward-facing harness seats that are FAA

approved typically can be used on a plane’s

window seat. All other car seats and booster

seats can be gate-checked.


When you reach your destination, whether

you take a taxi, ride with family or friends, or

get a rental vehicle, you’ll have your own car

seats that you are familiar with and that you

know fit your children.


While some rental companies have car seats

available for an additional fee, many of these

seats are missing instruction manuals and

might not be in good condition. Even with

your own car seats, be sure you read your car

seat instructions and vehicle owner’s manual

so you know how to correctly lock the car

seat into an unfamiliar vehicle. It’s not as

simple as just buckling the seat belt.


If you are uncertain or have trouble getting

your car seat installed, contact a certified

car seat technician. They will help ensure

your child is as safe as possible, and in a

correctly installed seat. To find a car seat

inspection station near you, visit www.


14 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas






Safety upon arrival


Think about your destination. What’s the

weather forecast? Will you be out in the

sun? What will you be doing? Will you

be around water? Will you be around a

campfire? Where will everyone sleep? Are

there any hazards you need to plan for?


If staying with family or friends, it is

important to have a conversation before

you arrive about safety, especially if it is

with someone who does not have young

children. Are potential poisons locked up

out of reach? Do they have a safe place

for your baby to sleep, or do you need to

bring a portable crib? If they have a pool, is

it surrounded by four-sided fencing with a

self-latching gate?


If you are going to be doing any activities

such as boating or biking, remember to

pack your safety gear. If you’ll be outside,

bring sun protection. If camping, dress your

family in layers and plan for the weather.

Keep an eye on kids around campfires, and

always actively supervise kids around water,

even if they are wearing a life jacket. Make

sure you tell a family member or friend

where you will be and when you expect to


Prepare to have fun


Last tip: When you make the journey fun,

everyone has a better time. Pack portable

snacks, drinks, surprises, audio books,

games and/or activities to keep everyone

comfortable and entertained. They do not

have to be expensive or elaborate. Looking

for an inexpensive souvenir? Have your kids

mail a postcard to themselves from your

various stops. When they get home they will

have great mementos right in the mailbox.

Happy travels

to you and

your family

and remember,

safety doesn’t

take a vacation!

Engaging Families

Making positive connections

with families through a variety of

activities and frequent opportunities

is important for every provider,

but developing a single-family

engagement plan that works for all

is impossible.

Becca, a Region Four family child

care provider, shared with us

some information about her family

engagement activities:

“Relationships between parents and

the provider are so important for the

child’s development. Working together

as a team ensures that children

get the best start to life. I regularly

schedule low-cost activities for my


“It is rare not to find every one of my

families in attendance at the weekend

family field trips I offer every other

month. Just a few weeks ago we

met up at Deanna Rose Children’s

Farmstead (Overland Park) to explore

and play together. After checking out

the new calves and feeding the baby

goats, we rode the mini-tractors and

watched a blacksmith hard at work.

We played on the playgrounds for a

long while before heading out to the

picnic tables to enjoy a healthy lunch

we had each packed.

“Family field trips provide a chance

to strengthen my relationships with

parents. They also allow parents to

build networks among themselves

in relaxed settings away from the

hustle and bustle of the work day.

At the end of the day all of these

strong relationships create a healthy

and happy environment for all of the

children in my program!”

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 15

Books for Summer fun

Hide and Seek Harry at the Beach

By Alice Eberhart-Wright

Child Development Specialist and Family Therapist

When the seasons change, it’s a good opportunity for new

activities, foods, experiences with nature, and of course, books.

Summer means more time with children who

would normally be in school, so I chose three

books that would appeal to a wide age range.

This board book by Kenny Harrison combines the fun of a beach

with a favorite game -- hide and seek. Even before a baby can use

words, she or he might learn to point to Harry, who is easily found on

each page. This simple book is appropriate for beginning readers.

Oceans are scarce in Kansas, but as a fun activity creative child

care providers and parents can create a beach with sand, a wading

pool, beach towels and shovels. If children have actually been to a

real beach, ask parents to provide pictures to share.


Moving up the age scale to preschoolers, consider Picnic, by

Emily Arnold McCully. This book is a Caldecott winner with

charming illustrations and a story with a theme that appeals to

adults and children like.

A large mouse family climbs in the truck to go to the country

for a picnic. There are lots of mice to keep track of, so no one saw

Little Bitty fall off the truck on the rough road (no seat belts in the

back of a pickup truck).

What is one of our greatest fears as adult caregivers? Losing a

child on a field trip! What is one of the biggest fears of children?

Being lost and forgotten!

In the excitement of all the things to do in the country, it takes

a while before Little Bitty is missed. The awful awareness occurs

when it is time to eat, and one little mouse is gone. Eating is quickly

forgotten until Little Bitty is found. Finally, the family is reunited

and the picnic is a joyous occasion. This book calls for a picnic, don’t

you think? It can be a real picnic or a pretend one. Use your imagination.

Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World

Written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin, Over on a Mountain:

Somewhere in the World is a good read for children who are ready for learning

about other places, exotic animals, and all kinds of new activities. This book calls

out to readers to sing new words to Over in the Meadow, explore maps, do art

activities, and look for hidden animals on a nature walk.

Be sure to look for the hidden

animals on every page,

and then learn about them

from facts at the back of the

book. Although the book is

suggested for 3- to 8-yearolds,

I learned new things

as an adult reader! I knew

nothing about wombats from

Australia, ibises from the

Alps or snow leopards from

the Himalayas.

Happy summer reading! n

16 Kansas Child

Summer shouldn’t just be a vacation. Instead, it should be a time to get ahead, to branch out and learn new

skills, to have new experiences such as acting in a play or doing some outdoor learning. And for anyone who’s

fallen behind, it’s a time to catch up on lessons they missed. And of course, you’ve gotta read, read, read!”

— First Lady Michelle Obama on the occasion of National Summer Learning Day 2015

Learning Doesn’t Stop

By Marcia Dvorak, Brandon Hutton and Rachel Willis, Kansas Enrichment Network

School is out, and youngsters

are ready for a change. Adults are

embracing the end of school and

schedules and worries about being

tardy, homework, and projects.

However, according to the National

Summer Learning Association, we

cannot forget the learning.

All youngsters fall victim to learning

loss if education isn’t a part of summer


An equivalent of two months loss in

math computation skills can occur.

The achievement gap widens between

low- and higher-income youth.

Weight gain can occur, especially in

those at high risk of obesity.

We need to engage youth in inquirybased

experiences that blend in

academics. Many summer programs

combine summer school and camp,

combining learning and fun. Some

community-based programs operate

7:30 a.m. till 6 p.m. Mornings offer

sessions with certified teachers for

reading and math practice, often based

on state test scores results. Providers

support the learning components in

the afternoons by scheduling field trips,

guests, or enrichment opportunities

such as visits to the zoo, museums, or

exercise activities such as swimming,

nature hikes or bike rides.

For some, summer is a perfect time

to incorporate social and emotional

learning through board games,

team-building activities, theater and

role-playing. Leaders use teachable

moments to instruct on anti-bullying,

conflict resolution, and team building.

Community or service-learning

opportunities offer youth a chance

to appreciate their community and

experience the joy of giving back.

STEM (science, technology,

engineering and math) skills are in

demand for many careers. Give kids

an opportunity to gage their interest

in STEM careers through programs

where they can design straw rockets,

experiment with trebuchets, wire a

cardboard house, construct balancing

toys, or create paper bridges.

Consider establishing a teaching

garden where children learn through

organic gardening projects with raised

garden beds.

For older children, summer is

a good time to take an ACT

review course or participate

in multicultural and

poetry events.

For kids interested in math, consider

math games. Or how about wandering

around a labyrinth with numerical

obstacles and trapdoor puzzles?

Learning during the summer in

Kansas can be exciting and knowledgebuilding

while combatting summer

learning loss. Check for programs

near you.

For parents who want to promote

academics at home, there are many

online options, including:

• Literacy: Scholastic and Reading

Superhero program

• Writing: readwritethink

• Adventure with academics:

Brain Chase

• Creativity: DIY

• Older students: Rocket21


Kansas Child 17

Healthy Snack Options

By Christi Smith, Early Childhood Wellness Director, Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

While adults can get through the day without many between-meal snacks, children

can’t. They have smaller stomachs and cannot get all the key nutrients they need with

just breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serving healthy snacks to children is important to

providing good nutrition and development of lifelong healthy eating habits. Avoid

sugary, empty calorie options. High-fiber snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables,

whole grains and low-fat dairy products make good snack options.

If you are you worried children won’t try something new, consider pairing it with

one of their favorite foods. Introduce jicama with the more familiar green beans.

Consider texture; some children like cooked broccoli while others prefer fresh

broccoli. Don’t forget about the presentation. Try cutting new foods into fun shapes

using cookie cutters. Keeping seeds and nuts in nice jars is inviting. Make healthy

foods look fun, and children will be excited to eat them.

Try these healthy snack ideas:

Fruit: Bananas, oranges, and clementine’s come prepackaged in their own peels, keeping

the fruit protected. Apples can be wrapped in a paper towel to keep clean. Dried fruit travels

well. When serving canned fruit, watch the sugar content.

Veggies: While carrots are a quick and easy snack, other fresh veggies such as green

beans, snap beans, edamame, jicama, celery, baby cucumber and tomatoes are also great

additions. Celery can be spread with cream cheese, peanut butter or almond butter. Add

sweetness with raisins.

Whole Grains: Pair whole wheat crackers with protein toppings such as string cheese,

mini-Babybel cheese or peanut butter. Whole grain English muffins, pitas or tortillas can

be served with hummus or bean dip. Popcorn can be flavored by adding parmesan cheese,

garlic powder or other non-salt spices.

Granola bars: Looking through the granola bar aisle can be overwhelming. Look for bars

made entirely of nuts and dried fruit, or with added whole grains. Be sure to check the labels

to avoid hidden fats and sugars.

Unique sandwiches: Use lettuce to wrap meat and cheeses. Or, spread mustard on a slice

of deli turkey and wrap it around a breadstick. Use a tortilla instead of bread. Use cookie

cutter shapes to make sandwich cut-outs.

Dips: Dip apple slices or strawberries in low-fat yogurt. Dip pretzels in mustard; pita chips

in hummus; graham crackers in applesauce; crunchy granola bars in yogurt and waffles in

cinnamon applesauce.

No-Bake Energy Bites


1 cup dry old-fashioned oats

2/3 cup of toasted coconut flakes

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla


Stir all ingredients together in a medium

bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and

let chill in the refrigerator for half an

hour. Once chilled, roll the balls to the

size you would like.

Store in an airtight container and keep

refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites


1 packed cup chopped dates

¼ cup honey

¼ cup pumpkin puree

1 Tbsp. flax seed

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground ginger

pinch of salt

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 cup toasted coconut flakes

1 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg


Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin

puree, flax seed, cinnamon, ginger,

nutmeg, and salt in a food processor,

and pulse until smooth and combined.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl, stir in

dry oats, coconut flakes and pepitas until

evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate

for at least 30 minutes.

Once mixture is cool, use a spoon

or cookie scoop to shape it into your

desired size of energy balls.

Alternatively, you can line a small baking

pan with parchment paper and press the

mixture evenly into the pan, let it cook,

and then cut into bars.

18 Kansas Child

There is no place like home

By Marie Treichel

Provider Services Manager,

Child Care Aware ® of Eastern Kansas

What does it mean to be a

Kansan? This is the question my

husband and I asked ourselves

when planning our family vacation

in 2010. Our children were 16, 14

and 11 and had lived in Lawrence

their entire lives, but we knew there

were many places in Kansas that

they had no idea existed.

Before long they would be adults

and might move to another state or

country. What would Kansas mean

to them, then? We decided that for

our children to know their home

state better, we should take them

to places outside our town and the

typical tourist sites to experience

the people and places less visited.

The first step in planning the

trip was to find these interesting

places and people, and then map

out how we would visit them within

a week. A friend suggested the

book, Kansas Curiosities: Quirky

Characters, Roadside Oddities&

Other Offbeat Stuff, by Pam Grout.

It turned out to be the perfect

resource for planning our trip.

With this book, some searching

on the Internet, and a road map

of Kansas, we plotted our trip. We

put stars next to the places that

sounded most interesting to us.

With more than 200 suggestions,

and many recommendations for

restaurants we must try, we had

plenty of options to choose from.

Although it was a little difficult

to get buy-in for a Kansas trip

from our two teens, having them

involved in the planning improved

their dispositions and made for

engaging conversations. Our

11-year-old said he was good with

us deciding on where we would

stop, so long as we packed enough

beef jerky for the ride.

We visited the Grassroots Art

Center, in Lucas, and saw a wide

variety of works created by selftaught

Kansas artists; walked

through a 40-foot castle in a

retired math teacher’s Junction

City backyard — complete with

a waterfall, plaza and lush castle

grounds; and stopped for square

pie in Troy.

In McLouth, (Jefferson County),

we took a family photo atop the

boulder that sits right in the middle

of a street (because it was too big

In 2015 the Kansas Tourism

Division kicked off the Kansas

Bucket List campaign. Check out

this link for more great information

about popular destinations: http://




to move, so the town just paved

around it); visited the David Rice

Atchison Museum (he was a U.S.

president for one day); and in the

town of Cuba (Republic County),

which has moved locations three

times, we saw the state’s largest

rocking chair.

We toured a wind farm, visited

Concordia and learned about one

of Kansas’ many German POW

camps; and in Blue Springs, we

walked the town square, which

actually is round. By the end of the

week, our children learned more

about Kansas history than there is

time to cover in school, met and

saw the works of the many talented

and creative minds who call

themselves Kansans, and realized

that at the end of the day, there is

no place like home. n

Kansas Child 19


Stop, Think, Connect

Adapted from Stop.Think.Connect. TM , OnGuardOnline.gov

You text, you play games, you share

photos and videos. You update your status,

you post comments, you probably spend

some time in a virtual world.

Being online — connected through

some sort of device — is how you live

your life. And as you spend more of

your time there, it can be easy to overshare,

embarrass yourself, mess up your

computer and possibly get messages from

creepy people. The truth is there are some

risks involved in socializing, playing and

communicating online.

Regardless of how fast your fingers fly on

a keyboard, phone or tablet, the best tool

you have to help avoid risks online is your

brain. When you’re ready to post or send a

message or a photo, download a file, game

or program, or shop for something — stop

for a second. Think about things like:

Do you know and trust whom you’re

dealing with — or what you’re sharing or


How will you feel if your information

ends up somewhere you didn’t intend?

Asking a few key questions can help

you protect yourself, your friends and your

computer. Here are a few more things to

stop and think about before you click.

Share with Care

Your online actions can have real-world

consequences. The pictures you post and

the words you write can affect the people in

your life. Think before you post and share.

What you post could have a bigger

audience than you think. Even if you

use privacy settings, it’s impossible to

completely control who sees your social

networking profile, pictures, videos or

texts. Before you click “send,” think about

how you will feel if your family, teachers,

coaches or neighbors find it.

Get someone’s okay before you share

photos or videos they’re in.

Online photo albums are great

for storing and sharing pictures.

It’s so easy to snap a shot and

upload it instantly. Stop and

think about your own privacy

— and other people’s — before

you share photos and videos. It

can be embarrassing, unfair and

even unsafe.

Interact with Tact

Politeness counts. Texting

is just another way for people

to have a conversation,

and texters are just

like people talking

face-to-face or on the

phone: they appreciate

“please” and “thank you” (or

pls and ty).

Tone it down. In online

conversations, using all CAPS, long

rows of exclamation points or large bolded

fonts is the same as shouting.

Use “Cc” and “Reply all” sparingly.

Before you send a message, stop and think

about whether everyone needs to see it.

Avatars are people, too. When you’re

playing a game or exploring an online

world where you can create a character

and interact with others, remember real

people are behind those characters on the

screen. Respect their feelings just like you

would in person. Remember that your

character or avatar is a virtual version of

you — what does it tell people about you

and your interests?

Don’t impersonate. It’s wrong and can

be hurtful to create sites, pages or posts

that seem to come from someone else, like

someone in your class or a teacher.

Speak up. If you see something

inappropriate on a social networking site

or in a game or chat

room, let the website know

and tell an adult you trust. Using

“Report Abuse” links can help keep sites

fun for everyone.

Don’t stand for bullying — online or off.

Treat others the way you want to be treated

— whether you’re interacting with them

online, on your phone or in person.

The Protection Connection

Use privacy settings to restrict who can

see and post on your profile. Many social

networking sites, chat rooms and blogs

have privacy settings. Find out how to turn

20 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Mapping out a Great Summer

these settings

on, and then do it.

Limit your online friends

to people you actually know.

Learn about location-based services.

Many phones have GPS technology, and

there are applications that let you find out

where your friends are and also let them

find you. Set your privacy settings so that

only people you know personally can

see your location. Think about keeping

location-based services off, and turning

Continued on page 6

By Cynthia Jarrell

Daycare Owner/Operator,

Independence, Kansas

Child care during the summer

months can be overwhelming. Planning

multi-age activities, kids coming and

going due to summer activities, and

those hot Kansas summer days when

you have to stay indoors — all can add

up to chaos! They don’t have to. With

a little effort, summer can be easy, fun

and even a learning event.

If you don’t have a daily schedule,

creating one will make a difference.

Your day, your sanity and your business

will improve.

Once you have your daily schedule,

think about how older children can

help you: Ideas include hand-washing,

setting the tables, playing P.E. teacher

during physical activities, and helping

younger kids with projects. Getting the

older kids to help is a great way to teach

responsibility, empathy, and to include

them in activities that may be too

young for them. It also shows them you

understand they are able to contribute.

Younger kids look up to them and will

mirror this with even younger children.

Pick a theme for the summer. Last

year we chose Nutrition, and this year

we chose STEM (Science, Technology,

Engineering and Mathematics). Your

summer theme must be broad enough

to break down into weekly themes.

Some of our weekly themes are Oceans,

Space and Sky, Science projects and

Weather. The best way to get the kids

excited is to brainstorm ideas with

them. Including them in the process

also helps you chose activities they

want to participate in, and that is half

the battle!

The next step is to plan daily

activities. Again, look for activities

older kids can help younger kids with,

and choose activities for older children

that can be broken down over a couple

of days or more. The older kids can do

these activities during nap or freeplay

to give the younger ones time to

interact with each other.

Next, plan larger activities that

families can get involved in. With

our STEM theme we are planning a

Where do you start? How do you

map out a great summer? What

ideas do you use to keep children

of a variety of ages active and

engaged? Follow these steps to

have an enjoyable summer:


Create a daily schedule.


Pick a theme for the

entire summer.


Plan weekly themes and

daily activities that tie into

the overall theme.


Plan family activities.


Have fun!

science fair. We always do art week,

and this year we are doing a full-blown

art exhibit.

We will have the older kids making

appetizers, and after five days of art

projects, each child will pick a project

to display. We also do a family potluck,

and this year we are planning it around

a science activity. Getting families

involved is not always easy, but letting

them know the plans at the beginning

of the summer and keeping them

updated will increase involvement.

Most of all, have fun and be

consistent! Figure this is a first

attempt and don’t try for perfection.

Do activities you enjoy, and if they

fail, recognize that this is a learning

experience of what not to do next year.

Your enthusiasm will spur

enthusiasm. Your excitement will mirror

excitement. With some planning, you’ll

be surprised how the kids will have fun

and be engaged. You will spend less time

dealing with negative behaviors and

more time enjoying your days, the kids

and your business! n

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 21

Continued from page 5

them on only when needed. Ask

yourself, “Does this app need to know

where I am?”

Trust your gut if you feel threatened

or uncomfortable because of someone

or something you find online. Tell

someone who can help you report your

concerns to the police and other people

who can help.

Do you download apps? If you

do, you might be giving the app’s

developers access to your personal

information — maybe even info that’s

not related to the purpose of the app.

For example, say you download an app

that lets you make a drawing out of a

photo, but the company that made the

app gets access to your entire contact

list. It might share the information

it collected with marketers or other


You can try to check what

information the app collects — if it tells

you — and check out your own privacy

settings. Also think about whether

getting that app is really worth sharing

the details of your life.

Protect Your Information

Some information should stay

private. Your Social Security number

and any financial information such as

credit card numbers or bank account

numbers should not be shared.

Keep your passwords private. The

longer your password, the harder it is to

crack. Don’t share your passwords with

anybody, including your best friends.

Don’t reply to text, email or pop-up

messages that ask you to reply with

personal information — even if the

message looks like it is from a friend,

family member or company you

know, or threatens that something bad

will happen if you don’t reply. These

messages may be fake and designed to

steal your information.

Stop.Think.Connect. TM is a national public

awareness campaign aimed at increasing the

understanding of cyber threats and empowering

the American public to be safer and more secure


OnGuardOnline.gov is the federal government’s

website to help you be safe, secure and

responsible online.

Adapted for use in the magazine. For the full

brochure checkout https://www.onguardonline.



What’s in Your

By Christi Smith, Early Childhood Wellness Director, Child Care Aware ® of Kansas

Remember learning in one of your

first biology classes that about twothirds

of the body is made up of water?

Seems impossible, doesn’t it?

And while the truth is that the percent

of water in the body varies, one thing is

certain: Water is vital to keep your body

running well and is the best thing for

you when you are thirsty.

Drink at least four glasses of water

a day. Avoid sugary drinks, which

basically are sugar water with no

vitamins, minerals or protein. Fruitinfused

water is a good alternative to

sugary and chemical-filled soft drinks.

They’re refreshing, attractive and the

How much water is needed?

touch of natural sweetness might help

curb sugar cravings.

Drink more water...


Keep a pitcher of water in

the fridge.


Add slices of fruit such as lemons,

limes or oranges to the water.


Fill a reusable bottle of water

to take on the go.


Serve water between meals.


Order water with your

restaurant meals.


Drink a glass of water when

you brush your teeth.

The amount of water needed will vary among young children. To prevent

dehydration, Increase water intake on hot summer days and during physical activity.

Age Range

1 – 3 years About 4 cups

4 – 8 years About 5 cups

Adequate Daily Water Intake

9 – 13 years About 8 cups for boys and about 7 cups for girls

14 years & older About 11 cups for boys and about 8 cups for girls

This table is adapted from the DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) reports for Water, Potassium, Sodium,

Chloride, and Sulfate. The report may be accessed at www.nap.edu.

110º 136º



40% 45% 50% 55% 60% 65% 70% 75% 80% 85% 90% 95% 100%

104º 119º 124º 131º 137º

100º 109º 114º 118º 124º 129º 136º

94º 97º 100º 102º 106º 110º 114º 119º 124º 129º 135º

90º 91º 93º 95º 97º 100º 103º 106º 109º 113º 117º 122º 127º 132º

84º 83º 84º 85º 86º 88º 89º 90º 92º 94º 96º 98º 100º 103º

80º 80º 80º 81º 81º 82º 82º 83º 84º 84º 85º 86º 86º 87º

n Comfortable Outdoor Play n Use Caution n Dangerous

22 Kansas Child A Publication of Child Care Aware ® of Kansas


Keep drinking water safe: make

available throughout the day

Children should have access to

drinking water throughout the day.

Provide opportunities for children

to serve themselves by making small

pitchers of water available so that

they can pour their own water. For

younger children, provide water

bottles. Label each with their name

and picture. Place a Velcro dot on the

water bottle to hold a small, laminated



Quenches thirst

picture. The picture can be removed

when cleaning and is a great visual for

children to identify their bottle.

Storing water bottles can be tricky

for larger programs. Over-the-door

shoe racks with pockets are a good

solution. Children can reach the

bottles, yet the mouths of the bottles

don’t touch, keeping them sanitary.

Source: 12345 Fit-tastic (include the logo).

For more information about 12345 Fit-Tastic

visit www.fittastic.org.


Carries nutrients through the body


Helps absorb foods


Improves skin


Keeps you regular


Prevents tooth decay

Pool Safety

By Rynekah Barbour

Child Care Surveyor, Johnson County

Department of Health and Environment

With summer finally here, Charlie’s House

would like to share some safety tips for

enjoying the fun-filled pool season.

Stay Close, Be Alert and Watch


Always watch your children and never

leave them unattended. Designate a “water

watcher” who won’t be preoccupied by

swimming, reading a book, talking on a cell

phone or other distractions.


Practice touch supervision with children

younger than 5 years. This means that the

adult is within an arm’s length of the child

at all times.


Keep children away from pool drains, pipes

and other openings.


If a child is missing, check the pool first.

Learn and Practice Water Safety Skills


Learn to swim. The American Academy

of Pediatrics supports swimming lessons

for most children age 4 and older, and for

children 1 to 4 years who are ready to learn

how to swim.


Know how to perform CPR on children

and adults.


For above-ground pools, always keep

children away from steps or ladders. When

the pool is not in use, lock or remove the

ladders to prevent access by children.

Have the Appropriate Equipment


Install a fence at least 4 feet in height

around the perimeter of the pool and spa.


Use self-closing and self-latching gates.

The latches should be higher than a child

can reach — 54 inches from the bottom

of the gate.


Ensure all pools and spas have compliant

drain covers.


Install a door alarm from the house to

the pool area.


Have life-saving equipment such as life

rings or reaching poles available for use.

www.ks.childcareaware.org Kansas Child 23




SALINA, KS 67401


PO Box 2294, Salina, KS 67402-2294


Call Toll Free 1-855-750-3343

Whether you are family

searching for child care

a community needing information

about young children

or a child care provider wanting

to become a change maker

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