The Mother Lode Preschool, located in the Margaret Dalton Children's Center, will be hosting its first-ever Rummage Sale at the school! This event is a fundraiser that will help to re-open their doors in August, after COVID-19 closure. The preschool is also now accepting enrollment applications for the new school year. Click on link above for more information.
Dad & Me ~ Summer Beach Theme! -- Activity Kits Curbside Pick Up
Saturday, July 25
10:00 am - 11:00 am
975 Broadway, Jackson
Come by to grab a kit that will include supplies for putting together cute activities based around a fun Summer beach theme! Dads/grandpas, etc. do not need to be present to pick up a kit.
Supplies are limited, and are available to Amador County children on a first-come, first-served basis. One kit per child, aged 0-5. Click link above for flyer.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to conduct the Summer Bridge Program this year. In response to parent preferences, we have put together curbside to-go activity kits specific to kindergarten readiness, for parents to pick up and use at home. These curbside pick-up evenings will be held in front of each elementary school. Kits will be available for Amador County children who will be starting kindergarten in the Fall, and who will turn 5 before September 1. Click link above for flyer. Please see the pick-up schedule, below.
All pick-up times will be 6:00 - 8:00 pm...
Ione Elementary - Tuesday, July 7
Jackson Elementary - Wednesday, July 8 Sutter Creek Primary - Thursday, July 9 Plymouth Elementary - Monday, July 13 Pine Grove Elementary - Tuesday, July 14 Pioneer Elementary - Wednesday, July 15
Since our Toddler Playgroups follow the ACUSD schedule, playgroups are currently on hold until further notice. However, our fantastic playgroup coordinators have put together some amazing activity to-go kits for local kids aged 0-5, for you to PICK UP, AND TAKE HOME.
Throughout this Summer, kits will be available for pick up twice a month. Catch us next DURING THE WEEK OF JULY 6 and THE WEEK OF JULY 20! Please pick up your kit on the regularly scheduled days, times, and locations listed in the link above.
Supplies are limited, and are available to Amador County children on a first-come, first-served basis. One kit per child, aged 0-5.
July is National Picnic Month
On a sunny afternoon, a picnic is a perfect escape from your daily routine. But did you know there are a number of benefits to going on a picnic?
Here are 5 reasons why you should picnic with your kids:
1. Family bonding
Going on a picnic allows you to focus on your kids without distractions. Picnics are the perfect opportunity to make your kids feel loved and heard. Plus, you never know what you might learn from your kids. A little family competition playing picnic games will also help your family bond.
2. Improved mental health
The fresh air does wonders for your child's mental health. Spending time outside is shown to reduce levels of anxiety and lower levels of activity in the parts of our brains related to mental illness. Time in the sunshine is also related to improved mood and reduced stress levels for the whole family.
3. Physical health
Time outside benefits our physical health. Breathing in fresh air is beneficial for children with respiratory problems like asthma. A picnic on a sunny day also aids in vitamin D and calcium absorption, which helps to build strong bones and teeth and helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis and rickets. Just don't forget the sunblock when spending time in the sun!
4. Better behavior
It turns out eating with your kids, such as a picnic lunch, leads to better behavior. Children that eat family meals are less likely to partake in risky behaviors like smoking and drinking. This benefit also translates to academic performance-children that eat with their families tend to have higher grades than those who don't.If your child has been testing your limits, try including more family picnics this summer.
5. Self-reflection time
Parents and children alike can benefit from meditation and self-reflection. Picnics are relatively peaceful environments that encourage these introspective behaviors. It's important to give children time to be alone and learn about themselves through self-reflection, which can easily be done on a picnic.
Picnics are fun, but now you know that picnics are also great for your family. Head out this National Picnic Month and soak up all the benefits that picnics have to offer.
The Benefits of Playing Outdoors in a Natural Environment
Summer time is the ideal time of year for lots of outdoor play. Outdoor play fosters children's intellectual, emotional, social and physical development. And by being outside and surrounded by nature, children experience an ever-changing and free-flowing environment that stimulates all the senses.
The natural world is a giant, open-ended learning laboratory. Children are innate scientists and love to experience the sights, scents, sounds, and textures of the outdoors. Nature provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, problem-solving, and STEM education.
Interacting with natural environments allows children to learn by doing and experiment with ideas. In nature, children think, question, and make hypotheses - thereby developing inquisitive minds. Whether they're judging the distance between two rocks before jumping or considering where insects go in the winter, children are constantly thinking when they're in nature. These experiences offer real, authentic learning like nothing else can. As children take risks, try and fail, and try again, they gain resilience and confidence.
Here are some brain building nature activities for children:
Build with and dig in dirt
Watch worms wriggle through the soil
Gaze at clouds
Jump in puddles
Listen to birds sing
Smell fresh-cut grass
Construct things with twigs and mud
Being outside feels good. Children are free to explore, move about, and make noise - all delightful forms of self-expression that are often restricted indoors. In nature, children can run, jump, hop, skip, climb, roll, and shout, which relaxes, and reduces tension, anxiety, and restlessness.
Furthermore, nature enhances a sense of peace and often brings out nurturing qualities in children. Many energetic children slow down to dig a hole in sand, watch a ladybug crawl, or spend focused time playing with a stick in a mud puddle. Several studies have found that exposure to nature can reduce symptoms of ADHD and anxiety.
When children play outdoors there may be opportunities to interact with new and different playmates. In nature, children can play alone or connect with one another, learn to share, and problem solve. In the natural world, children often collaborate to make up games and rules because there are no prescribed sets of instructions. When exploring outside, school-age children may not be in close proximity to adults, which gives them time to make up their own rules and solve their own problems without inhibition.
Often, when involved in the natural world, even boisterous, active children may slow down and learn to focus on being gentle. They also may develop empathy and reach out to console a friend who seems hurt or sad.
The fresh air of the natural world is invigorating and offers endless opportunities for physical activity, which, in turn, builds strong bodies. Exposure to sunlight means children absorb vitamin D which has many positive benefits, including contributing to a strong immune system.
Outdoor play also allows a child to be more physically active than indoor play, potentially burning more calories and contributing positively to a child's overall fitness.
And what's good for kids is also good for parents. Don't be afraid to join in. Nothing beats trying to cross a stream by stepping from rock to rock (even if a sneaker gets wet or a knee gets bruised), or climbing a tree higher than you knew your child could climb. Providing a reasonable balance of risk and safety is the job of parents, and providing some level of challenge allows children to learn new skills.
In addition to the individual benefits gained by being connected to nature, there is a collective benefit shared by all of us. Children all over the world play outside, creating a unity of shared experiences. Our children are future stewards of the earth. In order to raise adults who are passionate about protecting the environment and preserving our planet, they must first develop a deep love for it. The only way to enable children to grow comfortable in nature is to open the door and let them out to explore the wonder and awe of the natural world.
Sign up your child for the Imagination Library today and start receiving one free book every month (link is listed below)! This is a FREE program, paid for by First 5 Amador and donations from local individuals and service organizations. 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.
Meet Angela Kessenich ~ participant of 'Amador Quality for Kids'...
Hi! My name is Angela. I'm 30 years old, a mother of three beautiful children,
an Outreach Specialist at the best non-profit in Amador County, Nexus Youth and Family Services, while living in the small town I grew up in. Shortly after graduation my mom became ill and I spent the majority of my time taking care of her and helping her. My mom was my best friend, I did not spend my time in high school out at parties, I spent my time at home, with my mom. I believe this played a huge part on the woman I am today! My mom passed away about five years ago. This was a huge turning point in my life; I found myself pregnant with my first child, in a new relationship, jobless, and not knowing what the next step was, especially a step without her. When my daughter was ready for preschool, I found Ione Head Start, and there, I found a teacher who not only helped and motivated my daughter but me as well. I believe we meet people for a reason, and things happen for a reason, thus this was just the start of my career! I went back to school and started volunteering at Ione Head Start. Not too long after that, I received a job at Ione Head Start as the Center Assistant. Both of my children attended the preschool, and while working as the Center Assistant, a CNA, and continuing my education at Coastline Community College I was offered a job at Nexus Youth and Family Services to be the Kindergarten Readiness Teacher as well as the Playgroup Coordinator (both programs funded by First 5 Amador)! Again, this is why I say I believe things happen for a reason. I was now being given another opportunity to work in the community that I loved and grew up in, as it is a passion of mine to help others. Life is all about lessons, while learning,
... 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. Child Care providers are encouraged to implement the use of these ASQ's into your programs.
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 or to request an ASQ, please call First 5 Amador at 257-1092.
We can connect child care providers with a home visitor who can visit you virtually at your child care facility, train you in the use of the ASQ's, and help guide you in how to use them in your programs!
Healthy Snacks for Kids - July
Picnic Ham & Cheese Roll-ups
1 sheet puff pastry
1/3 cup tomato or pizza sauce
6 slices cooked deli ham
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out the puff pastry sheet and spread it with the pizza sauce. Add the ham on top and then sprinkle on the grated cheese.
Roll the pastry back up as tightly and as compact as you can. Cut the roll into 8 slices approximately 1 inch thick each and lay each one on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush the outside of the roll ups with the beaten egg and sprinkle some dried herbs on top.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Serve immediately or allow to cool and store for 24 hours in an airtight container.
The Amador Network of Carecommunity 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.
Click HERE to check out the California Parent Guide, from First 5 California! This Guide includes what you need to know to help your child grow up healthy
Calling all children 0 to 5 years of age.
Join Amador's favorite reading club!
Get free books for your children!
Over 800 Amador kids are receiving books each month!
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).