Surviving the first day of Kindergarten

1st day of kinder

I have two little girls, Fia is 7 and Isa is 5 years old. This week was Isa’s first day of Kindergarten. I was worried about her happiness and how well she was going to adapt to a new school, a new teacher and new friends.

The week prior to the beginning of school, we had the chance to meet the teachers and see the classrooms. Isa freaked out! she begun crying and not wanting to be anywhere near her teacher. It broke my heart to see my daughter so stressed out about school. Not fun! Not fun at all!!!

I spoke to several friends who either have experience as a teacher or children psychology. One of them gave me the best idea ever! She told me to “pave” the going to school by “acting out” the day. brilliant! For those of you who do not know what “paving” is, “paving” is a way to prepare a person by talking about what is going to happen when… we go to the store, go on vacation, meeting a new person, explaining a job, etc…

So, off we went to pave the way for Isa. On Sunday, we decided to have Family Home evening, which is like a family night but with a spiritual focus, and taught about the importance of learning both spiritual and secular things, and moved on from there.

This is how we survived the first day of Kindergarten:

  1. We talked about how God wants us to learn about him at church and “seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118)
  2. Asked the girls to put on their uniforms
  3. We had a “pretend” breakfast and made their “pretend” school lunches
  4. We “pretended” to be in my car and went for a “pretend” ride to school. I had them kiss me goodbye. My husband was waiting for them at the gate of the “pretend school”.
  5. Then pretended to have a full day at school with classes included.
  6. At the end of the “pretend” day at school, my husband “drove” his “pretend” car to pick them up from school and I welcomed them home with open arms.
  7. My husband gave them a Father’s Blessing for the upcoming year.
  8. Finally, we drove to the actual school and dropped the girls and husband off at the gate, drove around the block and picked them up.
  9. Had watermelon at home as refreshment.

I am very happy to inform you that this little “paving for school” worked like a dream! Fia and Isa were so happy to go to school. Isa was still nervous but not nearly as stressed out as before. To this day, day 4 of school, Isa is very happy and wanting to go back to school with her teacher and her new friends. I feel very blessed!

Advertisements

ART & Dine in Las Vegas

I know what you were thinking this morning, you thought, “Belle, how can I make the month of June more fun for me? I wish you knew how.” Well, I do! Come join me for an ART & DINE at Rachel’s Kitchen Restaurant on June 5th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. You will get to create something unique you can take home and brag about… for years to come. We will be painting with acrylics on canvas. Ages 12 and up are welcome. No experience necessary, just your willingness to have fun!

Also, don’t miss ART CAMP for this summer. Kids 5 yrs. old and up can sign up.

8.5 x 11 poster

10 Things to do in Las Vegas with little kids

So, you have decided to come to Las Vegas with little kids. There are plenty of attractions for teen age kids and older. However, as a local, I can give you a few ideas on what to do and where to go with little kids while visiting Las Vegas. In no particular order:

1- Discovery Children Museum
360 Promenade Place
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 382-3445

We love this museum. It is very kid oriented and teaches children a plethora of really cool stuff like: how sound works with our ears, science, art, dress up areas. The first floor is our favorite! It has a huge room were kids can play with water, a pirate-dress up ship and an area for little toddlers. A must do to give the little ones a break from the strip.

2- Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
The Mirage Hotel and Casino
(702) 791-7188

The coolest thing about this place, aside from the amazing dolphin show, is the zoo. They have white tigers and white lions on display! They are gorgeous! It’s not San Diego Zoo by any means, but nevertheless, a very well kept and big enough zoo for a couple of hours of entertainment. Your kids will love it.

3- Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay
Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino
(702) 632-4555

This place is amazing!! They have a gi-normous main aquarium you can walk through it in a tunnel. You can see all the sharks, different fish and turtle swim all around you. it is a great experience. It’s the closest you could get to sharks without getting wet. they also have exhibits on many different kinds of fish, a hands-on manta ray area, jelly fish, octopus, etc… This is an aquariums that you’ll be talking about for years to come.

4- The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden
Bellagio Hotel and Casino
FREE – 24 hrs. a day/7 days a week

I love this garden. It is truly a magical place to visit! It is an exposition with live, natural flowers from around the world. It changes according to the seasons through very whimsical themes. The attention to detail is astounding. The passionate display of nature in all its awe-evoking glory – quite simply, sensational! You will be pleasantly surprised at its size and the wonderful aroma you can detect as you approach it.

5- Tournament of the Kings at the Excalibur
Excalibur Hotel and Casino
(702) 597-7600

Haza!!!! This is probably one of the most entertaining things to do in Las Vegas, even without kids. It’s a dinner show with Invading armies! Dancing maidens! Jousting! Fireworks! And eating with your fingers! Its true, you don’t get silverware, LOL. We usually dress up our kids in princess costumes to make it more fun for them. There are horses, live music, cheering, singing… a great night in town!

6- Gondola Rides at The Venetian
The Venitian Hotel and Casino
(702) 414.4300

A more romantic and low-key place to visit but still fun! I have been to Venice, Italy, and I can honestly say that they did a fabulous job replicating the scene. Piazza San Marco, at a 10th of its real size, is extremely cute and a very pleasant walk to let your kid run a bit. The Gondola rides are great because each gondolier sings to you “opera style”! you don’t necessarily need to ride a gondola to enjoy the music, but it adds to the magic of the moment. When there, make sure to get some gelato as well.

7- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
3205 State Route 159
Las Vegas, NV 89161

(702) 515-5350
Location: About 20 miles from the Vegas Strip

Nature lovers, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area presents awe-inspiring views most wouldn’t expect to see near a major metropolitan city. In contrast to the bright lights and hype of the Strip, Red Rock offers desert beauty, towering red cliffs and abundant wildlife. Our favorite hike with our kids is Lost Creek/Children’s Discovery; however, here is a list of hikes for all hiking levels.

8- Hoover Dam
Boulder City, NV
(702) 494-2517 or (866) 730-9097
Location: The Dam is 35 miles south of Las Vegas on U.S. 93

This dam is huge, dam huge!!! LOL It is a wonder of engineering that should not be missed. They have tours where you can see the power plant, or if you feel like spending a little more money, you can venture into the Dam Tour for $30. Due to 9/11 attack, security is tight, so be prepared for a car check. $7 for parking.

9- Wet n’ Wild Water Park
7055 S. Fort Apache Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89148.
(702) 979-1600

Las Vegas can get HOT! very hot! and there is nothing more refreshing than cool, fun water. They have rides for all ages and “darers”. Its a little pricy if you ask me but very entertaining for the whole family. It’s true you’ll have a pool at your hotel, which you should take plenty of advantage of during the summer. However, this place is just fun! plain and simple.

10- Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix
1401 N. Rainbow Blvd
Las vegas, NV 89108
(702) 259-7000
Location: About 20 minutes from the Vegas Strip

My kids LOVE this place. We go here often for mommy/daddy daughter dates. You can drive carts with your kid next to you or they can drive their own little carts. They have a small roller-coaster and other “fair-like” attractions. the best deal is a wrist band and pizza. You can get a wrist band for your little kid and ride with him/her for free. Granted, this is not an available feature for ALL the rides but it is worth the money.

So there you have it, 10 things you can do with your little kids in Las Vegas. Have fun and enjoy the city that never sleeps.

 

Arts and craft classes

Arts and crafts topI decided to open up an arts and crafts class/school for children, so, in my way of just doing things, classes begin the first week of July. I will be teaching children from the ages 3-12 years old. I’ve had a few teenagers interested in my classes as well.

For the month of July, I will be teaching line and form. Since the ages of each one of my classes vary, this is how I will break it up:

We will be reading the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

With this book, we will learn about color, shape and form as well as about the artist behind this book, Eric Carle, during our first two weeks of class.

3-4 and 5-6 class — Will learn about hand painting and cutting with scissors. We will be making the following projects:

7-9 and 10-12 class — Will learn about the process Eric Carle uses in order to make these fabulous illustrations and will be making our own bugs. Here is the process of his genius. we will end up with something like this:
Abdulla's Flying Insect
The last two weeks of class we will learn about line and shape. To this end we will study Mr. Paul Klee. He is famous for his simplistic yet evocative art.
The work I am most interesting in sharing with the students is this one, Du gris de la nuit surgit soudain, 1918:
Based on this work, the children will learn about line, color and negative space.
We will also be working, on the last two weeks of July, with the book The Dot, by Peter H. Raynolds.https://abelledesignblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/47c70-thedot.jpg

Conneticut School Shotting: What to tell your kids

Painting by Nancy Noel, Angel of Peace

En Español

What a horrible tragedy has happened today. As a civil person, I can’t even imagine or comprehend what would make someone kill children. As a mother, may God be with the parents and family of those lovely children. My prayers are with you.

While trying to get fully informed about what happened today, I came across this very interesting article from ABC News On line. Here is what they say:

“Your child doesn’t need to have been at the scene of today’s Connecticut school shooting to be traumatized.  Hearing about it and seeing images from it can be quite traumatic.

LIVE UPDATES: Newtown, Conn., School Shooting

It’s important to remember that children of different ages and levels of development will react differently to the tragedy. Here are some tips to help tailor your conversation to your child’s needs.

Children younger than 7

Shield them from this. They don’t need to know about it.

Children 7-12

They need to know that they are safe, and they’ll look to you for cues.

If you’re sobbing uncontrollably, overly angry or unable to express your feelings, it might affect how they process the tragedy. But if you’re expressing appropriate emotion — like sadness, concern and empathy — they’re going to see that it’s OK to be worried about this.

You want them to talk about it.  You want to ask, “How do you feel about this?” And then it’s important to support their feelings.  If your child says, “I’m really scared,” the worst thing you can do is say, “There’s no need to be scared.” Instead, tell them, “We’re going to keep you safe, and they got the bad guy.”

Children Older Than 12

With teenagers, you really want to engage them. Ask them why they think this happened?  And do they think anything could have prevented this?  You can have a real conversation out of that. You might also be able to channel them to a community project, some act of charity so that they believe they are taking positive action.”