Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Annual December Toy Drive

This year at The Academy of Seaboard Lane, we are taking a different approach to our annual toy drive. We will be collecting NEW toys/clothes/personal items for Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt from December 1st-December 19th.

About Children's Hospital:

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is one of the nation's leading children's hospitals. They treat and help prevent all health issues ranging from colds and broken bones to heart disease and cancer. Their exceptional medical teams and the generous support enable them to provide every child who comes in with the hope of improved health. Children's Hospital is a nonprofit facility. The doctors care for children regardless of their families’ ability to pay.

Children's Hospital at VUMC is named among the nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals for the eleventh consecutive year in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings.


TOYS & BOOKS--all toys & books must be brand new
  • Mobiles/Crib Side Musical Soothers 
  •  Light, sound, and popup toys 
  •  Books (infant to teen, English & Spanish)
  • Lego Kits (small)
  • Plastic Action Figures (Superheroes, Disney, My Little Pony, etc.)
  • Blowing bubbles (small/wedding size)
  • Musical Instruments: drum sticks, egg shakers, etc.
  • Stuffed animals (new) 
  • Medical Play Kit (Fisher Price)
  • Rock-A-Stack Toys (Fisher Price) 
  • Shape Sorters
  • Board & sound books
  • Small car and truck toys
  • Blocks
  • Dinosaurs 
  • Little People
  • Play tool sets
  • Plastic baby dolls (without hair)
  • Thomas the Train items
  • Etch-A-Sketch Magna Doodle
  • Puzzles
  • All-in-one craft kits (small & medium sizes)
  • Play-doh (small cans)
  • Construction paper packs
  • Glue (Elmer’s liquid & glitter glue) 
  • Stickers 
  • Coloring and Activity Books
  • Color Wonder markers (Crayola
  • Washable markers (Crayola
  • White Canvases (sizes up to 18x24”)
  • Friendship or bracelet kits
  • White Model Magic (Crayola)
  • Fabric Markers & Paint pens
  • Chill & Spill Journal
  •  Current/Popular Brand Name Board Games
  •  High Needs tend to be Uno & playing cards
  •  electronic hand held games such as Yahtzee or Tetris
  • Travel sized toiletry items
  • Gift cards ($10 $20 increments): gas, grocery, phone, food, movie theaters, Target, Walmart
  • Laundry Detergent Pods  
  • Toddler Spoons and forks 
  • Bath & Beauty sets
  • Plastic bags (snack, sandwich, gallon sizes)
  • all devices, games, & gaming systems must be new Xbox One games (rated T and under) + controllers
  •   PS4 games (rated T and under) + controllers
  • Nintendo DS systems and games
  • DVD movies 
  •  popular and new release titles, rated G or PG (no Blu-ray) 
  •  Noise-cancelling headphones or ear buds
  •  Portable DVD players
  •  Camera SD cards (4 GB)
  • must be new, all sizes, unisex
  • Local sport themed team items: hats, jerseys
  • shirts
  • Athletic shorts
  • Sweatpants
  • Underwear
  • Swaddling Blanket (Halo)
  •  Infant sound soothers
  •  Rattles & teething rings
  • Vibrating teether
  • Jigglers and Chewy Tubes
  • Weighted Lap Animal
     Weighted blanket

    With your help, we'll be able to supply tons of families and children with holiday gifts! 'Tis the Season!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

6 Essential Hacks For Traveling With Small Kids

Having kids can sometimes slow you down. The key to being intrepid with small children is being willing to go with the flow—but smart travel strategies help, too. Here are 6 quick tips for safe and easy traveling with children.

Before You Go...

1. Plan your packing, so you don't forget the essentials: 

Start a packing list a week before you leave.

2.  Sort out your in-flight entertainment in advance:

Books, nesting toys, small puzzles, Legos, and other small toys keep little ones occupied. Load an iPad up with movies and “educational” games the night before the trip. Over-the-ear headphones are a good idea, too, since earbuds don’t sit well in little ears.

3. If you stay in a hotel, shoot for a suite:

When reserving, make sure that the “suite” is actually more than one room and not just a larger-than-normal guest room.

4. Bring snacks:

 Have a supply of good travel foods (Cheerios, string cheese, bananas) with you at all times. If your child doesn't like the food on the plane or at a party, snacks are a great way to head off a tantrum from a hungry toddler.

While You're Away...

5. Factor in recoup time:

Be prepared to lose a day after a long flight or drive. It's best to stick close to your home-away-from-home to let kids adjust to a new place and possibly a new time zone. If you do go out, keep it short and sweet.

6. Don't overdo it: 

When you're away from home, it's tempting to cram in as much fun as you possibly can. But too many people, parties, and activities can overload your child. Instead, focus on one big outing each day and schedule in plenty of downtime. This way your kids—and you—will avoid burnout and will return home from your trip feeling relaxed and refreshed.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Thanks-giving Lunch!

Thank you to our families and staff for another successful Thanksgiving Lunch! The food was delicious and the laughs were definitely contagious! We love it when all of our families can come together!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

One Warm Coat Today-November 30th

About One Warm Coat:

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need. One Warm Coat supports individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country by providing the tools and resources needed to hold a successful coat drive. Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected, to children and adults in need, without charge, discrimination or obligation. Since One Warm Coat’s inception in 1992, it has worked with volunteers to host more than 27,000 coat drives and have given away more than 5 million coats.

The Need For Warm Coats:

Health experts report that even a 2-degree drop in body temperature results in reduced heart rate, loss of coordination, and confusion. Adults cannot work effectively and children find it difficult to learn. For most, a warm coat solves the problem. But, for the nearly 15% of Americans living in poverty, a warm winter coat is a budget “extra.”

How You Can Help:

Bring new or gently used coats, hats, scarves, and gloves of any size and drop the items off in our donation bin in the enrichment room anytime between now and the end of the month.

...and remember if love were a temperature, it would be 98.6°

Monday, November 13, 2017

Block Play!

From infancy, children enjoy blocks. Babies like touching, gripping and banging blocks together. Our toddlers attempt to build structures and begin imaginative play, and our preschoolers seem to enjoy blocks as they understand how blocks fit together and try to create elaborate buildings and structures. Though blocks aren't sophisticated toys, their lessons to children are many. In addition to developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination, block play can also help foster creativity, enhance problem-solving ability and build other cognitive, emotional and social skills.

Block Play Helps With:
Shapes, colors and sizes
Block play encourages children to match, count and sort.

Sharing and cooperation
Block play can help children learn social skills as they work together with other kids.

Toy blocks and creative, divergent problem-solving.
Because kids can put together blocks in a variety of ways, block play is divergent play. And divergent play with blocks may prepare kids to think creatively and better solve divergent problems.

Toy blocks and other construction toys can change the way kids think. Building projects stimulate creativity, and sharpen crucial skills.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Prescholar Enrichment Celebrates Native Americans!

When we think about the clothing of Native Americans, the most iconic item would probably be the headdress. The visually striking feathered war bonnets are symbolic and worn by high ranking Native Americans from the Great Plains region of America. 

The war bonnet is constructed from the tail feathers of the golden eagle, which is considered by Plains tribes to be the greatest, most powerful and spiritual of all birds. Each feather on the war bonnet is earned by the wearer by accomplishing good deeds and acts of bravery. The headdress is worn in high honor; the feathers of the golden eagle are said to hold important spiritual and magical properties during battles and ceremonial occasions.

But did you know...

Other Native American clothing was made from natural resources and materials and was dependent of the resources available in the region. Buffalo, bear, deer, elk, moose, wildcats, otters, rabbits, beavers, weasels, bird-feathers, fish-skin and snake-skin were commonly used.

Native American Tribes were highly respectful of nature and no part of any animal was wasted or not put to good use. Leather, fur, feathers, skins, teeth, bone and claws were all used in the manufacture of costumes, clothing, accessories and ornaments

Plants also were sometimes used to make items of clothing and accessories. They would weave the natural resource into colored textured items or use narrow strips of strong grass as thread or bindings.

This month in Prescholar Enrichment, a series of supplemental classes offered at the Academy, is dedicated to Native Americans, the first settlers, and the first Thanksgiving. Our classes enjoyed making traditional Native American headdresses today!