Friday, December 28, 2012
Staff with the Alexandria Library have compiled a list of resources designed to help children, parents and caregivers cope with tragedy and difficult to explain circumstances.
The Alexandria Library has compiled a list of resources online and in local libraries to help adults discuss and children better cope with violence and tragedy such as recently in Newtown, Conn. Alexandria Library staff have provided the following books and descriptions. When I’m Afraid by Jane Aaron Designed as a conversation starter, this book focuses on how adults can offer reassurance when children are fearful. Includes a parents’ guide. Sometimes Bad Things Happen by Ellen Jackson Explores causes of sadness, including seeing a frightening story on the news, and introduces strategies for dealing with sadness. This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort, selected by Georgia Heard Life-affirming poetry and illustrations compiled in the wake of 9…
Thursday, November 22, 2012
The Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission is seeking input on developing policies for the city's children and youth. Three forums have been scheduled.
Alexandria has kicked off its Youth Master Plan process in an effort to advocate for the city’s children, youth and their families. The planning process will advise City Council, School Board and other officials on policies affecting the area’s younger residents. The master plan is slated to be completed in 2013 and spearheaded by the Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission. To help guide that plan, three forums have been scheduled to get input from the community on the issues surrounding youth. To participate in the planning process, contact Ron Frazier at 703-746-5967 or attend any of the following forums:
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
If you are looking for a fun birthday party theme, here is a cheat sheet for transporting your guests to the Land of Oz.
This weekend my daughter attended a birthday party that was a first in her vast experience with the five and under birthday party circuit. While I haven't allowed her to see The Wizard of Oz in its entirety (I have vivid recollections of being scared silly of the wicked witch and winged monkeys), she has a general sense of the plot and the characters. Naturally, she was thrilled when she learned that the party guests were invited to wear costumes. This was one of those parties that truly pulled out all the stops and the kids seemed to have a blast. If you are looking for inspiration, here are some highlights: Invitations: Paperless Post has a Halloween party invitation that can be easily customized for a birthday party. The witchy shoes …
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Teaching kids gratitude is tough—especially when Christmas presents are involved.
Is it possible to convince a 3-year-old that Christmas isn't just about Santa bringing presents? Teaching gratitude to toddlers and preschoolers is tough. By nature, the little buggers are ego-centric. However, it is also incredilbly important. According to Barbara Lewis, author of "What Do You Stand For? For Kids," when kids learn to be gracious, they develop empathy and other major life skills. Ongoing research at the University of California at Davis shows that grateful people are less stressed and more optomistic, report less physical pain and greater focus. Still, Santa reamins on the forefront of my daughter's mind. My realization: The key to making an impression on my toddler is to say less and do more. Here are some ideas I have …
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Halloween isn't just a day.
For me, Halloween isn’t just a night of candy and costumes. It is a celebration of imagination, innocent mischief and a chance to revel in the magic of childhood. There are tall tales and cups of hot apple cider, hayrides, pumpkin patches and lots of spoooooky creativity. I can’t think of a better kickoff for the holiday season. As a family with two young kids and another on the way, we are still working out our family traditions. Our Halloween prep was relatively home-based this year. The girls and I baked, decorated the house, created a craft wall and learned some fun songs. In the living room, we have a witch’s caldron full of old costume pieces for dress-up. For families with toddlers and young school-aged kids, Cox Farms in …
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Having kids makes you tweak your hobbies, but involving your kids can make hobbies all the more fun.
A savvy parent once told me "you can't stop doing the things you love, just because you have kids. You just bring them along and make it work." I love camping. It's something I not only enjoy, but need to do. It clears my head, chills me out and makes me a more balanced individual. So as our family has grown, my husband and I have made a point to take our girls a couple times each year. Last weekend, we went out to one of our favorite local spots—about a mile and a half south of Camp Hoover, along the Rapidan River. Overall, the trip was a lot of fun. However, we realized that our camp style needs to evolve a bit. On Saturday night, as the four of us spooned with my husband's backside almost sticking out the door, we realized our two-…
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Keeping the right clothes stocked can take creativity.
We are officially breaking out the fall clothes this weekend. The tubs have started their biannual migration from the attic to the hallway. Soon, our cold weather gear will fill the hangars and drawers, and the shorts and tanks will find their way back to the attic. More importantly, now is when I shift our girls' wardrobes up to the next size and season. I have my oldest daughter's smaller clothes packed up in trash bags by season, and then stored in plastic tubs by size range. It sounds organized, but between you and me, wardrobe change is always somewhat of a fiasco. We live in Warwick Village. Just like the rest of Del Ray, it is a community that is simultaneously cursed and blessed by a lack of storage space. Obviously, families …
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Pencil in a trip to the library, a great place for kids.
I love our little Duncan Branch of the Alexandria Public Library. I think it's one of the great unsung heroes of our town. With book fairs and the summertime Kids Quest program, there's always something cooking. September kicks off the library's back-to-normal story time schedule, which is a fun way for local parents and kids to meet up. On Mondays, there is a storytime geared for babies only (0-11 months) at 11 a.m. Ages 1 to 4 can come on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. for stories and songs, which is perfect for siblings. On Thursdays, children ages 12 to 24 months have Mother Goose Time at 10 a.m., and ages 3 to 5 can come on their own for storytime at 11 a.m. They also have occasional foreign language story times, and bedtime stories …
Saturday, August 20, 2011
We could learn a thing or two from our kids' imaginations.
My daughter and I were recently coloring. She dictated colors as I scribbled. Despite my suggestions, the people ended up blue—and the cat, green. Being a well-trained adult, I often find some part of myself yearning to correct her. Sunshines should be yellow. Grass should be green. Then, thankfully, my inner toddler kicked in with a timely gut check. In my daughter's world, there are purple sunshines and blue trees. And who's to say she's wrong? Definitely not me. My husband recently added an impromptu story to our nightly two-book ritual. In the stories, our girls drive submarines and fly planes. They invent time machines and visit with aliens. While I'm getting pretty good at coming up with something interesting, I was surprised …