Great Kids® Parent's Place Newsletter

Virtual resources for home visitors to share with the families they served during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Published from March 23, 2020 to December 31, 2020

Previous Issues of Our Parent’s Place Newsletter

During a time when much of our world was in shutdown and close contact was deemed unsafe, home visitors were still providing services to families. In an effort to help offer support to those home visitors and the families they serve, Great Kids offered a new resource, the Parent’s Place Newsletter.

Each limited edition, weekly installment focused on a different topic and offered a new printable resource available in English and Spanish. All of those printable documents are available here for your reference. Please contact Great Kids with any questions about the content included.

December 2020

Dec 31, 2020 – Self-talk is the dialog that we hear silently inside of our heads. Researchers are finding that what we say about ourselves and others, positive or negative, silently or out loud, can impact both our physical and mental health due to the mind-body connection.

Dec 24, 2020 – Traditions are often fun and can help to develop stronger bonds within families. Children who grow up with rituals and traditions are often more resilient and have a greater
sense of self and family identity.

Dec 17, 2020 – Like all humans, infants and toddlers experience stress. An infant’s stress may be related to feeling their parent’s stress, or to a need, like the need to be fed or interacted with. Children are not born knowing how to manage stress. They have to learn this from their parents.

Dec 10, 2020 – There is a lot of research that supports the use of praise in raising happy and successful children. Praise can be used to increase positive behavior. It can also be a part of boosting a child’s self–esteem.

Dec 3, 2020 – Screens, it seems, are now an inevitable part of the modern human experience. There are many wonderful things that these tools do for us. However, research shows that for young children whose brains are still developing, parents need to proceed with knowledge and caution. Initial research studies show that many hours of screen time for young children can negatively impact the way the brain develops.

November 2020

Nov 26, 2020 – Instilling gratefulness in our children may be one of the greatest gifts we can give them. The ability to be grateful has several health benefits, from increased happiness and positive mood to overall physical health. Gratitude is much more than saying thank you, it’s a skillful way of seeing the world.

Nov 19, 2020 – Pets can be a big responsibility. There’s feeding, vet bills, pet deposits, etc. It’s not a commitment to enter into lightly. However, if you can do so, research shows that adding a pet to your family can be a great opportunity to support your child’s development.

Nov 12, 2020 – No one escapes difficult times, and no one gets to be happy every moment of every day. As parents when we say that one of the things we want most for our children is for them to be happy, maybe what we are really saying is that we hope that our children will have much more contentment and joy and much less strife and sadness.

Nov 5, 2020 – The sibling relationship is life’s longest lasting relationship, wrote Michael Bank and Stephen Kahn in The Sibling Bond. Some researchers say that this relationship is on par with the parent relationships as being one of the most influential in our lives.

October 2020

Oct 29, 2020 – Messy play, although difficult for many of us to embrace, can support a child’s development in ways that other play may not. When materials like sand, clay, and paint are introduced, play is open–ended. Children begin to engage their imaginations more as they explore just what they can do.

Oct 22, 2020 – One thing that babies need most to support physical agility and strength is their very own personal baby coach. And guess who that is? It’s you. That’s right, even if you were never good at sports, or didn’t really enjoy them, you still have everything you need to be your child’s first coach.

Oct 15, 2020 – When a baby is born, their brain is only about 33% of what it will be when they are adults. In the first 90 days, baby’s brains can grow to be up to 55% the size of an adult brain. By three years, it is around 80–85%.

Oct 8, 2020 – As children engage in different forms of music such as singing a song, pounding on a drum, shaking a tambourine, or inventing a new dance, they are learning. Through music, children enhance their problem-solving skills, engage in creative thinking, and build skills in math, literacy, and social studies.

Oct 1, 2020 – The ability to understand feelings and accurately identify emotions begins in infancy. Helping your child to identify emotions and manage those emotions to attain goals is a skill set that will help your child excel in life.

September 2020

Sept 24, 2020 – Cooking with children has many benefits. Through cooking, children learn about math, reading, following directions, cultures, language, basic chemistry, and nutrition. Not to mention, a life skill, how to cook! Cooking is an activity that stimulates all five senses, infants and children learn through their senses.

Sept 17, 2020 – According to some research, young siblings fight an average of 3.5 times in an hour. This can be very frustrating to parents, but it may also be one of the most important opportunities parents have to support their children’s social and emotional development.

Sept 10, 2020 – When a child has the freedom to use materials in unique and unstructured ways, it promotes a child’s creativity. As a child is experimenting with art, they are learning fine motor, cognitive, math, language, and problem-solving skills. Art exploration also enhances self-confidence.

Sept 3, 2020 – There is nothing better on a hot summer day than to try and get cool. Allowing children to play with ice is an excellent way for them to find a little relief and provides many learning experiences. Through different activities using ice, your child can build their problem solving, critical thinking, language, and fine motor skills as well as learn about math and science.

August 2020

Aug 27, 2020 – Helping children explore their world and environment in different ways requires parents and caregivers to think about how to keep their child’s interest purposely. Scientific exploration is something that parents and children can do together with everyday objects from around the house.

Aug 20, 2020 – Developing our sense of smell begins in infancy. As infants are held close, they begin to distinguish the smell of their caregivers. Our sense of smell can alert us to freshly baked blueberry muffins, the scent of perfume, or the odor of smelly sneakers.

Aug 13, 2020 – Bath time often comes as part of a nightly routine. Parents and children may be tired from the long day, so playtime in the water may get rushed. The great news is that water play doesn’t need to be limited to bath time. These activities help your child learn to pour and dump, learn what floats and doesn’t, and builds skills for adult life, such as washing dishes and painting.

Aug 6, 2020 – When children touch objects, they discover that objects have different textures and that those textures feel different. As children get older, they associate language with those textures. Providing children different objects to touch ignites their curiosity and helps them discover new textures.

July 2020

July 30, 2020 – Children enjoy and need messy play to enhance their learning. Through this play, children are learning foundational skills for math and science.

July 23, 2020 – Sensory play includes play that involves sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch. Sensory play stimulates a child’s brain and helps the child think about the world. Allowing your child the opportunity to touch different textures provides the child new and different information about the world and builds problem solving, thinking, and math skills.

 July 16, 2020 – More confident children are eager to try new things, learn new skills, and face new challenges. Children are not born with a sense of self–confidence; they learn to be self–confident through their interactions and experiences with others.

July 9, 2020 – Many people think of math as a subject we begin to learn about in school, but math is a part of children’s everyday lives. Math is measuring, sorting, building, noticing patterns, making comparisons, counting, and knowing the names of shapes. 

July 2, 2020 – Children are naturally curious and love to investigate things; that’s how they learn. Children make these discoveries through observations, forming ideas, and trying them out in new or different situations.

June 2020

June 25, 2020 – Do you ever remember giving a child a present for which you were so excited, only to have them just play with the box? Cardboard boxes of all sizes provide endless hours of fun and opportunity.

June 15, 2020 – Establishing routines with our children provides a sense of safety and security. Sometimes however, it is great to take a break and do something different, like creating unique events for you and your child.

June 8, 2020 – There are times when we all need a quick moment to help ourselves self–regulate. Children learn self–regulation from us, so it is critical that we can figure out a way to manage our strong emotions even when it  may be difficult.

June 1, 2020 – Most young children love balls. There are so many different games that you and your child can play with balls, and best of all, balls can be made out of paper or old socks.

May 2020

May 25, 2020 – Young children have lots of energy. There are several simple activities that you can do within your home to help your child release some of that energy, have fun, and develop their gross motor and thinking skills.

May 18, 2020 – Do you want to maximize the items you have on hand to support your child’s physical, emotional, social and language skills? This week we are happy to share some ideas of household items you may already have lying around that can be used for a variety of functions.

May 11, 2020 – Rain, rain go away! If the weather isn’t looking good, why not bring outdoor activities indoors? We are exited to share Outside Activities You Can Do Indoors this week! These activities take little to no preparation or resources, but are a great way to have some fun together!

May 4, 2020 – Children learn so much through their everyday play – many life lessons, too. While it sometimes feels easiest for us as parents to rush in when our children are challenged, allowing them to solve things for themselves can build their problem-solving skills.

April 2020

April 27, 2020 – Managing one’s behavior, emotions and thoughts is often called self-regulation. It isn’t a skill that comes naturally, it must be taught and practiced. This resource describes ways you can show your child empathy and help them start to navigate the many emotions they experience.

April 20, 2020 – Reading teaches children about their world, grows their vocabulary, and develops their compassion and empathy for others. There are so many benefits to reading to and with your children – no matter their age. Reading together is fun and offers an opportunity for connection.

April 13, 2020 – Eating well is important for good health and well-being. Sometimes, it can be hard to think of ways to add more variety to our eating habits to help us be healthier. Starting simple with one idea such as drinking more water, can be a great way to begin focusing on healthy eating. As parents and caregivers we thank you for setting a good example for your children!

April 6, 2020 – As parents and caregivers it is important we take care of ourselves especially during these challenging times. When we make time for ourselves, it helps us better those we love. Try one of our self-care ideas and challenge yourself to find a way to do something each day for you! We are all in this together, stay strong!

March 2020

March 30, 2020 – Games are a great addition to the day! No screens required, just get ready for some fun! Having a good time is the name of the game! There’s no perfect way to play, you can even make up the rules as you go! Take a look and try a game or two at home today! 

March 23, 2020 – Due to COVID-19 we are spending more time than ever indoors. Our routines and daily life may look a bit different these days and we may find we are facing new challenges. More than ever, we need to support each other. Feeling like you need to change things up? Try something new? Check out this resource to see what you might be able to add to your daily routine. 

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Image of video still from testimonial video by Jennifer Gutierrez of Stanislaus County Office of Education.

"We came across Great Kids, Growing Great Kids and it didn’t take us very long at all to read and understand that Great Kids had a curriculum that aligns perfectly with everything that we need here for our early home-based programs."

Jennifer Gutierrez

Child Development Specialist, Stanislaus County Office of Education

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“It is a very essential part of my life and I am very grateful to have Growing Great Kids, Growing Great Families, and Next Generation as a part of my life. I look forward to continuing its use and to help use that to build and strengthen mine and other families."

Shekinah Thompson

Family Support Specialist , Healthy Families Georgia

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