Friday, December 6, 2019

First 5 Amador - Dec 2019

As a parent, you are your child's first 
and most important teacher!

Ready ... Set ... Grow!
December 2019

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Upcoming Events

December 6 - Friday

DAD and ME!
Join us this month at the Children's Holiday Festival
December 6 - Friday

January 28 - Tuesday
Call 257-1092 to RSVP and for child care.

January 30 - Thursday 
For child care providers, preschool teachers
and parents too. RSVP 257-1092 and for child care.

TK and Kindergarten Registration
2020-2021 School Year
Click HERE for the dates and times at each
Amador County elementary school.

Ongoing Events:
Grandparent Cafe
Call for more information, 223-1624, x204.

Toddler Playgroups
Playgroups follow the ACUSD calendar.

Reducing Stress 
Around the Holidays 

The holidays - as joyful as they should be - can often find us trying to do too much, saying "yes" when we feel like saying "no," and taking on more than we feel comfortable with. Children pick up on our levels of stress and then can start showing their own. But we may not always recognize what stress looks like in children. Being aware of these signs, and working to reduce our own stress and the commitments that cause it, will make the holidays more enjoyable for everyone.

Signs of Stress in Children:
  • increased irritability or anger
  • clinginess
  • more crying, whining, or complaining
  • sleep troubles (or sleeping too much)
  • physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches
  • more or less eating
  • isolation and/or refusal to participate in activities
  • regressive behavior such as bedwetting or thumb sucking
Ways to Reduce Stress:

Stick to Routines
We know things are crazy. You're going to this and that place to shop for gifts, attending parties, meeting Santa, planning meals and cooking, and possibly traveling to be with loved ones (or doing the hosting in your own home). But do your best to maintain some consistency. Children experience comfort through a routine, so as much as possible, stick to the same naptimes, mealtimes, and bedtimes that are usual for your child, 
Give a Heads Up
Once you've figured out the family's plan for the day, provide your child with a schedule. "Older children can read times on a simple list, but young children can benefit from a picture schedule indicating what order they'll be asked to do certain things," says Celeste Coffman, a Licensed Professional Counselor in Florence, Alabama. If you prefer not to create an actual schedule, it's still a good idea to let your child know in advance when specific things will happen. For instance, explain that the family will watch a favorite holiday movie after dinner. Or let her know the two of you will wrap Dad's gifts in the morning after he goes to work. "Simply being in the loop to prepare for what's coming is a huge stress reliever for children," Coffman says.
Schedule in Downtime
When coming up with your day's events, pencil in some downtime. "Even a 15- to 30-minute break can help kids recharge and decrease the likelihood of emotional or behavioral problems later on," says Zachary Adams, Ph.D., a pediatric clinical psychologist at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, in Indianapolis. So set aside time to read, play games, talk, or even laze around with electronics.
If you notice your child's anxiety building during other times of the day, let her take an impromptu break. Coffman says it's a good idea to explain to your child beforehand that if she becomes overwhelmed, she can find a quiet room, take deep breaths, ask you to talk outside, or listen to music in headphones to help her feel better.
Let Your Child Vent
Give your child permission to come to you if he needs to get something off his chest-even if it's only to complain about how Aunt Maddie keeps pinching his cheeks. Paper and pen (or crayon) also come in handy. "Give your child paper to draw or write about whatever is making him feel sad, mad, or upset," Dr. Reznick says. Allowing your child to express his feelings gives him a chance to release them, and labeling the emotion ("You feel sad because Uncle Johnny is away at the military") can help your child better understand what he's feeling.
Work up a Sweat
Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, the body's feel-good chemicals, which can reduce stress, Dr. Reznick says. So make sure your kids get lots of physical activity during the day, whether that's going for a walk, playing in the snow, or putting on music and dancing around the house.
Don't forget the exercise when you're traveling. If your child is expected to be in the car for more than two hours (or even less for younger kids), Coffman suggests incorporating a hearty dose of physical activity at intervals throughout the day. "For example, jump on a mini-trampoline before leaving, play a game of tag at a rest area, and lead the family in jumping jacks when you stop for gas," she says. Letting your child stretch her legs and burn off some energy can keep crankiness at bay.
Just Say "No"
A major way to tame some of the craziness associated with the holidays is to skip out on some activities, Dr. Reznick says. You don't have to attend every gathering, and you and your kids don't have to see every single member of your family. Another option is to not drag your child along all the time. You and your spouse can take turns running errands while the other watches the kids. Or you could ask a family member or hire a sitter (use one your children already know; introducing a new one during this hectic time can cause even more stress).
Keep Yourself in Check
"Children of all ages look to their parents for cues about how they should think, feel, and act," says Dr. Adams. So make sure you manage your own stress. "Parents need downtime during the holidays just like children, so carve out some time, even if only a few minutes, to do something calming or enjoyable for yourself," Dr. Adams says. Setting plans and making lists can help break down overwhelming holiday tasks into less stressful, more manageable ones, he adds. Also, practice healthy coping skills, such as writing in a journal, meditating, exercising, or talking to a supportive family member or friend. Another tension-reliever is to simply enjoy the holidays. Take in the lights, sing some carols, and smell the wonderful aromas, Dr. Heathman says. Soaking in the holiday cheer can make the season more enjoyable for you and your child.

(This article is a modified version which first appeared on
Rhyme of the Month 

Mary Had a Little Lamb

It's easy to talk or sing with your baby! 
Each month we are featuring popular nursery rhymes, poems, or songs you can read or sing to your child. 

Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb
Whose fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
Everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school one day,
School one day, school one day,
He followed her to school one day
Which was against the rules.
It made the children laugh and play,
Laugh and play, laugh and play,
It made the children laugh and play,
To see a lamb at school.
Do you have any childhood favorites? Let us know! We'd love to share them here.
You can also visit our Facebook page  to share them, or share photos of you and your baby together.
Together we can build a community of bright and confident children!
Calling all children 0 to 5 years of age - get 
free books for your children!

Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book every
 month from the Imagination Library! This is a free program, paid for by First 5 Amador and donations from local individuals and service organizations locally. Books are available to all Amador County children aged 0-4 (from birth until their 5th birthday).
All you have to do is read to your child!   

For more information and to register online, click HERE.
   Also receive a laminated Imagination Library Membership Card for your child when you sign up!

Dad and Me Every Month!

Celebrate being a dad (or uncle, or grandpa...) every month at our Dad and Me outings, held at fun venues around the county!

Join us for this month's Dad & Me event... 
at the Children's Holiday Festival!

 Print the flyer HERE.

Open to ALL children aged 0-5 and their dad, grandpa, uncle, etc... and all FREE! 

Friday, December 6
975 Broadway, Jackson

For 2020, save the fourth Saturday of every month for more outings held at fun venues around the county. 

Story time, a snack and a free book are provided each month!

Calling all Child Care Providers 
& Preschool Teachers!
Are you a family child care provider or preschool center staff participating in Amador "Quality for Kids?" 

If you need to accrue professional development hours, you can earn a stipend through Quality for Kids. 

Check out these upcoming workshops below, as well as these fantastic, short, ONLINE workshops!




Find more workshops: 

HERE (from The Resource Connection)
 HERE (from the Child Care Education Institute).

How can you give kids the best start in life? 

... by taking your children to well-child and dental check ups and also, by doing an "ASQ."
The Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) is a way to make sure your child is "on track." The screening tools are designed to be completed by parents or primary caregivers, that encourage parent-caregiver involvement. 
Each questionnaire can be completed in 10-20 minutes, and is divided into five areas: Communication, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Problem Solving, and Personal-Social. 
The benefit for all children and families is so that parents/caregivers know which areas they can focus on at home with their children.
For more information, please call First 5 Amador at 257-1092. 

Get Involved! 
Would you like to improve the quality of care you offer to children in your family child care home, preschool setting, or other early learning environment?

Give us a call at First 5 and find out about the many resources (and incentives!) available to you, (209) 257-1092. 
Healthy Snacks for Kids ~ December

Mini-Bagel Ornaments 

A perfect holiday snack activity to do with little hands!

  • 10 mini bagels (or use round crackers)
  • 1 c. cream cheese
  • sliced veggies to decorate
  • cucumbers for the tops
  • toothpicks for the hooks
  • Slice the mini bagels and lightly toast.
  • Slather each half with cream cheese.
  • Decorate with thinly sliced veggies.
  • Place the cucumber on top and place a toothpick through to keep it together
Happy Snacking!

The Amador Network of Care community web site and community announcements page is a resource for individuals, families and agencies concerned with behavioral health. It provides information about behavioral health services, laws, and related news, as well as communication tools and other features. Regardless of where you begin your search for assistance with community resources or behavioral health issues, the Network of Care helps you find what you need - it helps ensure that there is "No Wrong Door" for those who need services. 

One day, California's success 
will be measured by the 
well-being of its youngest children.

Calling all children 0 to 5 years of age.
Join Amador's favorite reading club!
Get free books for your children!

Over 750  Amador kids are receiving books each month! 

Imagination Library Logo
Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book every
 month from the Imagination Library! This is a free program, paid for by First 5 Amador and donations from local individuals and service organizations locally. Books are available to all Amador County children aged 0-4 (from birth until their 5th birthday).
All you have to do is read to your child!   

For more information click HERE.

It's Our Job as Adults to Keep Kids Safe

Stay up to date on all the news and information about keeping our kids safe from abuse and neglect. Sign up for the Amador Child Abuse Prevention Council's monthly e-newsletter HERE!
First 5 Amador | (209) 257-1092 |
PO Box 815 / 975 Broadway | Jackson, CA 95642
First 5 Amador supports and designs programs for children 0-5 years old and their Families.
For more information call us at (209) 257-1092, visit our website,and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter
First 5 Amador, PO Box 815 / 975 Broadway, Jackson, CA 95642

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