Michelle Redd, President of Building Blocks Learning Academy (BBLA) offers quick tips to parents on how to ease children back into the school year after a long summer.   Building Blocks Learning Academy is one of the leading childcare facilities in Chicago, focusing on the development of the whole child through exploratory, discovery and interactive curriculum.


Getting a good start to a new school year can make a mark on children’s attitude, confidence, and performance both socially and academically. The transition can be stressful for both children and parents.

Michelle Redd who has been preparing children for first day of school for over a decade offers some tips:

Start new school traditions

Starting new school traditions is a great way to get children excited about starting school.  They will look forward to the annual tradition each year.

Goal Setting Charts

Sitting down with your child to set goals for the new year.  Discussing and planning out will assist with setting a path for success.

Healthy Meals

Everyone knows that starting the day off with a healthy breakfast is key to a great day.  Also planning out healthy lunches and snacks will provide the necessary nutrients for energy.


Setting morning routines

Routines and scheduling are great ways to keep organized and keeps everyone from being frazzled and having an off centered day.

Openly discuss concerns

Most youth have fears and concerns regarding starting a new school year, or new school so having your child openly discuss those fears with you is an effective way to release the worries and fear.


Back to school is a great time of the year and with small tips can get your kids off to a great start!bbla.backtoschool1




New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to play some fun games together. Here are 10 fun ideas of activities to play with your friends and family! Enjoy!

1. Guessing the resolutions

Make each of your guests write down resolutions, each on its own slip of paper. Pull one slip of paper out of a basket at a time and read it out loud. Everyone has to write down who they think made each resolution. At the end of the readings, the person who guessed the most correctly wins a prize. Read some of the wrong guesses out loud for fun!

2. New Year’s Eve Scramble
Write a bunch of different words on a piece of paper that have to do with New Year’s Eve and scramble the letters. The person who guesses the most words correctly wins a prize.


3. Word guessing

Write down 100 words on index cards such as stare, grin, blink, giggle, laugh, plate, shoelace, thread or any word you like.

Stack the cards and put them in the center of the room. Divide the players into 2 teams and seat them opposite each other. Set the timer or stopwatch for one minute. Have the first player from Team One draw a card from the pile and give clues to the word to his/her teammates before the timer ends the play.
So, if the word is “laugh”, the team member might say, “What you do if someone tells you a joke?” Players from
Team One try to guess the word; if they are successful before the time is up, they get a point. If the timer runs out and the word is not guessed, the other team gets a bonus point. Take turns until all the cards are exhausted, and then add up points to see who wins.

4. Fun photos

Take the picture of each of your guests with the digital camera. Have them make a funny face and be sure to tell them there is a prize for the best face. After all the pictures have been taken, download them to your computer or laptop and ask everyone to gather around the monitor. The winner will be judged on the greatest laughter.

5. Celebrity hunt

Everyone writes the name of a celebrity, famous person or character on a piece of paper and then they stick to the forehead of the player on their left (use tape or office Post-It notes). Make sure they don’t see the name. Now the game starts. Everyone else can see your forehead. The objective is to work out who you are. Going around the table, each payer takes a turn to ask the party questions about who they are – answers can be YES or NO only. If you get a YES you may continue asking, if you get a NO play moves on to the left. Last person to guess their name is the loser.

6. Have a huge indoor treasure hunt with clues

The kids will have a blast following the clues to get their treasure. If it is warm where you live, send them outside for parts of it.

7. Create your own time capsule

Put anything you want to remember along with your resolutions in a container and then hide it till next year.

8.  Necklaces made of yarn

The players try to win as many yarn necklaces as they can. He/she who has the most at the end wins a prize. Give each player a necklace. The idea is to get the other players to say “No”. Try to make your friends say, “No”. If your friend says it, then you get their necklace. This game is played during the entire party.

9. Word game

Whoever creates the most words out of the letters in Happy New Year, wins!

10. Scavenger hunt

Some ideas: a party hat, streamers, noise makers, plastic champagne glass, a clock, Happy New Year card, Happy New Year balloon, drink stirrers, coasters, chocolate coins, a calendar, or silver bells to ring in the New Year.

12. Match the country with how they say, “Happy New Year”.

SOURCE: www.howdoesshe.com