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  • kids bounce house Summer Fairs, Festivals, Food & Fun on Staten Island

    With so many fairs, festivals, parades, parties and strolls on Staten Island this summer, your kids will gladly put down their tablets and phones and join in the excitement! Here’s where to find the fun in Staten Island! Staten Island Fairs and Festivals, Food and Fun Movies Under the Stars  Watch a free family-friendly flick under the stars. Check the dates on the Staten Island Parent calendar.  2023 Staten Island Mall Carnival June 1-2, 5-11pm; June 3-4, 12-11pm; June 5-9, 5-11pm; June 10-11, 12-11pm Staten Island Mall • 2655 Richmond Ave. This annual family event features a variety of fun activities, including rides, games, carnival food and more. Figment Festival June 3, 10am-10pm; June 4, 10am-6pm Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden • 1000 Richmond Terr. Figment is a free participatory arts event that celebrates creativity by challenging artists and participants to find new ways to create, share, and dream. Green Neighbor Family Day June 3, 12-3pm Olmsted-Beil House Park • 4515 Hylan Blvd. Join Friends of Olmsted-Beil House for a free afternoon of nature-inspired arts and crafts activities, storytelling, games and more.   SunriseWALKS – Staten Island  June 4, 9am-5pm Staten Island University Hospital Community Park • 75 Richmond Terr. Give summer back to kids with cancer in our community by joining Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island at a walk and family carnival. 8th Annual New Drop Car & Jeep Show June 4, 9am-2pm New Drop High School • 465 New Dorp Ln. Check out so many makes and models of cars, and enjoy live music, a vendor market and more. Proceeds support the New Dorp High School Football Team.  Food Truck Festival at the Mount June 9, 6-10pm; June 10, 12-10pm; June 11, 12-8pm Catholic Charities Staten Island • 6541 Hylan Blvd. This huge family event features live music on stage, beer and sangria garden, rides for kids, and an amazing lineup of food trucks on the island.  World Oceans Day at the Zoo June 11, 11am-2pm Staten Island Zoo • 614 Broadway Learn all about the ocean and its amazing aquatic residents at this fun event. Cottage Row Curiosities  June 17, July 15, Aug. 19, Sept. 16, Oct. 21, 11am-4pm Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden • 1000 Richmond Terr. Speaking of Staten Island fairs and festivals, don’t overlook Cottage Row Curiosities! Go shopping at this community artisan market featuring over 50 Staten Island vendors. Enjoy music, entertainment, food and more. Juneteenth Freedom Festival June 17, 11am-6pm Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden • 1000 Richmond Terr. Enjoy this celebration that features live musical performances, historical readings and other fun activities. Learn about the history, and experience the culture and contributions of the African American community while enjoying the surroundings of Snug Harbor. Juneteenth Celebration  June 18, 11am-5pm Historic Richmond Town • 441 Clarke Ave. Celebrate Juneteenth at this event that will feature special programs including demonstrations of hearth cooking, discussions of social history and historical reenactment. 14th Annual Polish Festival June 18, 12-8pm Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden • 1000 Richmond Terr. Get acquainted with Polish culture, music, traditions and more at this fun festival. Enjoy live performances by singers and dance groups representing traditional music and dance. Traditional cuisine is served throughout the day including kielbasa, pierogi, golabki (stuffed cabbage), baked goods, and Polish beer. Kids activities include face painting, bounce houses and more. Independence Day Weekend July 1-2, 10am-4pm Historic Richmond Town • 441 Clarke Ave. Celebrate the founding of the American republic at Historic Richmond Town with crafts, activities, homemade treats, and more. Travis 4th of July Parade July 4,12pm Independence Park • Victory Blvd. and Glen Street Ceremony starts at noon at Independence Park in Travis (Corner of Victory Blvd. and Glen Street).  During the ceremony, dignitaries and honored guests, including the Grand Marshal, will be recognized. Step off is at 12:30pm at Showplace Entertainment Center.  Maker Park Radio’s 6 Year Anniversary Music and Arts Fest July 8, 6-10pm Maker Park at Front and Thompson Streets Enjoy music, food options, art and maker vendors, beverages and more at Maker Park Radio’s anniversary event. Richmond County Fair Sept. 2-4, 12-8pm Historic Richmond Town • 441 Clarke Ave. It’s that time of year again! Celebrate the best of Staten Island with fun food, music and so much more at the famous Richmond County Fair. Revolutionary War Living History Saturday June 10, 10am-5pm Historic Richmond Town • 441 Clarke Ave. Step back in time to experience the American Revolution as it happened in Richmond County. Historians will be on site demonstrating military drills, weapons and historic skills. Hear stories about soldiers and civilians as you learn about life during the American Revolution in New York. Open Village  Wednesdays through Sundays, 11am-5pm through Oct. 1 Historic Richmond Town • 441 Clarke Ave. Step back in time and experience the open village at Historic Richmond Town. The open air museum is alive with living history, demonstrated by costumed historical interpreters in structures throughout the campus. Summer Nights Vendor Market July 7, 3-8pm Empire Outlets • 55 Richmond Terr. Shop, eat and listen to music at this fun vendors market hosted by Created for You Artists Market. EO Backyard Games Daily, 10am-8pm through Oct. 31 Empire Outlets • 55 Richmond Terr. Head to this summer-time event series to play Jenga, Cornhole, Connect Four and lounge in Adirondack chairs. This article was updated on May 28, 2023. Wanna read more stuff like this? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

  • two children wearing baseball caps Sunrise Day Camp Staten Island

    WALK FOR A CAUSE! Join SunriseWALKS on Sunday, June 4, to raise money for Sunrise Day Camp! CLICK HERE for more information.  Nothing is more devastating for a parent than their child’s diagnosis of cancer. Aside from the heartache of watching a youngster endure treatment, parents are concerned about the effects of the illness on siblings. It turns the entire family’s world upside down in ways never before imagined. In an effort to provide a positive summer experience, the JCC of Staten island will rent space at Staten Island Academy, Todt Hill, and utilize the facilities at the school for the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp, a dedicated day camp for children with cancer and their siblings, provided completely free of charge. Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “Childhood should be a time for playdates, adventures outside in the sun, toothless grins, and scraped knees. But for too many children and their families, a pediatric cancer diagnosis changes everything. That’s why our Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is so important. This free camp for children with cancer and their siblings gives our campers the gift of a magical summer that every child deserves to experience. Days at Sunrise are filled with friends, games, songs, and fun—the perfect antidote to long, lonely days at home and in the hospital. There’s nothing better than the smiles we see at Sunrise Day Camp because we know how much our campers have been through at such a young age. We are grateful to all the generous donors and sponsors who make camp a reality for these children by supporting us every year.” About half of the children who attend Sunrise Day Camp have cancer. The other half are their siblings, whose lives are so often altered by the disease. No friends over to the house because of impaired immune systems, no ‘equal’ treatment because so much of a family’s resources (emotional, financial, time, etc) are dominated by the health/medical needs of the patient. The camp recognizes the need for fun in all the children’s lives. Providing memorable summers on Staten Island since 2016 for children ages 3½–16, the camp brings the simple pleasures of childhood back to children struggling with cancer, changing months of loneliness and isolation into summers filled with sunshine, laughter and happiness. And because Sunrise is a day camp, it does all this while allowing the children to continue their medical treatment and enjoy the comfort and safety of their own homes at night. “Each day at Sunrise Day Camp, we’re spreading sunshine to kids who have been through the unimaginable,” David Lutzker, incoming Director of Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, said. “But so often, we find that it’s really our campers—and the smiles and the laughter they share—who shine the most.” Staten Island Academy has a 12-acre campus, which provides enough space for Sunrise campers to take part in activities both indoors and out. “It has been an absolute pleasure to welcome Sunrise Day Camp to their new home at Staten Island Academy,” Eileen Corigliano, Staten Island Academy’s assistant head of school, said. “Nothing beats seeing the children’s smiling faces as they enjoy all that our beautiful campus has to offer. It is such a powerful experience to have Staten Island organizations join together and share their resources to support children, especially during this difficult time in their lives. Staten Island Academy students have the privilege of working with Sunrise and their children and it has been a rewarding experience. I am hopeful that this becomes a lifelong partnership for Sunrise and Staten Island Academy.” Additionally, the camp operates with enhanced safety protocols in place to minimize the potential of COVID-19 transmission at camp. Still, a virtual camp option is available for those families who may prefer or need distance camping. Sunrise Day Camp is operated by the JCC of Staten Island and is a program of the Sunrise Association, which has locations locally and worldwide. Sunrise Day Camps are in locations including Atlanta, Baltimore, Long Island, Pearl River, Israel, and of course, Staten Island. This year, camp runs June 29-Aug. 10. Unlike similar sleep-away camps that are offered for only 1-2 weeks, Sunrise allows children in active treatment to continue with their home doctors, while attending camp each day. This unique concept allows children the comfort of sleeping in their own beds each night – a comfort not only for the campers, but for their parents as well. Parents have peace of mind when their children attend Sunrise. All activities at camp are designed with special features to best accommodate chronically ill children, with medical personnel always available to provide expert care if needed. The flexible and individualized camp schedule allows for children to attend the program when they are able to do so, whether for the entire summer or a day or two. The goal is to provide the campers with a typical, predictable summer in a world filled with uncertainties and situations which no child nor family should ever have to face. How Do Parents Enroll Their Child? Parents can enroll their child online or by calling 718-475-5119. Children must be referred/given clearance by their oncologist or hospital. The camp welcomes children primarily from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan and central or northern New Jersey. Children are picked up at their homes and home hospitals and returned there at the end of the camp day. They attend as they can…the whole summer, a few weeks, a day…whatever works for them and their physical health and treatment schedule. How Is Sunrise Day Camp Staten Island Different From The Other JCC Camp At Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds? Actually, it isn’t very different at all. It has the same kinds of activities like sports, arts and crafts, swimming, music, and much more. Of course it will have well-trained and caring staff. What does make it different is that there are high energy levels and lower energy levels of the activities based on how a child is feeling. There is more medical personnel. But to the child…NO difference and [more…]

  • public swimming pools on staten island 7 Free Public Pools on Staten Island Your Family Will Enjoy

    There are seven free outdoor public pools in Staten Island, and they open for the season on June 29. Olympic- and intermediate-sized pools remain open until Sunday, Sept. 10. Mini pools will close on Labor Day. Pool hours are from 11am-7pm daily, with a break for pool cleaning between 3-4pm. But before you pack your swim towels, apply sunscreen and head to the pool for an afternoon of family fun this summer, there are a few things you need to know. What To Know Before Swimming In A Public Pool On Staten Island NYC Parks has some requirements and suggestions for families who want to swim at one of the public pools on Staten Island: All visitors must wear swimsuits to enter the pool area. If you want to cover up to protect your skin from the sun, you’ll need to bring a plain white shirt or hat. Shirts with colors on them aren’t allowed on pool decks. Forget or run out of your sunscreen? No worries! All public pools provide free sunscreen. Bring a sturdy lock (they’re required to enter) to keep your valuables safe in lockers. Don’t bring food, glass bottles, electronic devices, or newspapers to the pool, and leave valuables (like jewelry and credit cards) at home. Leave the pool floats at home. Babies and toddlers can use swim diapers in the pools. While you may find a spot to park your stroller, it’s at your own risk, so you’ll have to keep an eye on it. RELATED: The Top 10 Parks for Families on Staten Island These Are The Free Pools in Staten Island For Families 1. Faber Pool Faber Pool and Park, Faber Street and Richmond Terrace 718-816-5259 Pools On-Site: Intermediate Pool Wheelchair Accessible Located by the Staten Island waterfront, this outdoor pool includes a park with playgrounds, basketball courts and a skate park. 2. General Douglas Pool General Douglas MacArthur Park, Jefferson Street and Seaver Avenue 718-987-9800 Pools On-Site: Mini Pool Named after General Douglas MacArthur, the park was developed as part of the General Charles W. Berry Houses public housing project. In addition to the mini pool, the park has baseball fields, basketball courts and handball courts. Want to cool off without going swimming? The park also has spray showers for kids to run through. 3. Lyons Pool Pier 6 and Victory Boulevard 718-816-9571 Pools On-Site: Olympic Pool Wheelchair Accessible This aquatic facility is a swimmer’s delight, whether you’re a trained athlete, recreational swimmer or just want to relax in the water. 4. Maggie Howard Pool Rev. Dr. Maggie Howard Playground, Tompkins Avenue, between Hill and Broad Streets 718-448-5969 Pools On-Site: Mini Pool  This pool is named after Stapleton community activist and senior pastor of Stapleton UAME, the oldest African-American church on Staten Island. In addition to the pool, the park has playgrounds, baseball fields, basketball and handball courts, and spray showers on-site. 5. PS 46 Playground Pool Old Town Playground, Parkinson Avenue and Kramer Street 718-448-8694 Pools On-Site: Mini Pool The site of this mini pool includes the Old Town Playground. Visitors can use baseball fields, basketball and handball courts, and spray showers when they’re not splashing around in the pool. 6. Tottenville Pool Hylan Boulevard and Joline Avenue 718-356-8242 Pools On-Site: Intermediate Pool, Wading Pool Wheelchair Accessible There are two pools at this site. One is 60 feet wide, 75 feet long and 3 1/2 feet deep. The smaller “kiddie pool” is a 24-foot square that’s 1 1/2 feet deep.     View this post on Instagram   A post shared by NYC Parks (@nycparks) 7. West Brighton Pool CPL. Thompson Park, Henderson Avenue, between Broadway and Chappel Street 718-816-5019 Pools On-Site: Intermediate Pool, Wading Pool Wheelchair Accessible There are two pools at this site. Plus, the park has baseball, soccer, and football fields, a playground, and running tracks. Updated 6/26/23 Read Next | Learn about All the Best Pre-school or Daycare Centers on Staten Island   Wanna read more stuff like this? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

  • Afterschool activities Staten Island 10 Best Staten Island Afterschool Programs for Kids

    When the school bell rings and kids in Staten Island shift into afterschool mode, they have a lot of pent-up energy to work off. As a parent, you would probably rather your child not waste that energy at home playing mindless video games, but rather on enrichment programs and afterschool activities. Kids can greatly benefit from extracurricular programs mentally, physically, socially and even emotionally. Staten Island parents have some of the best afterschool programs to choose from. Kids in Staten Island can sign up for sports programs, tutoring classes, dance classes, music and art programs, theater programs, gymnastics, skating classes and more. Check out ten of our favorites below! The 10 Best Afterschool Activities and Programs for Kids in Staten Island Art Lab 1000 Richmond Terrace 718-447-8667 artlabsi.com Art Lab is a non-profit art school located on the beautiful grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center. They offer fine art, applied art, and photography classes during the winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons. Classes are available for children, teens, and adults, starting at age 3. In Art Lab’s afterschool art classes, children and teens learn from professional teaching artists while enjoying the tradition of creative art making in a studio environment. Afterschool art classes regularly meet once or twice a week for 10 or 8 weeks each semester, depending on the class. In a typical afterschool art class children make art in various media such as drawing, painting, collaging, and sculpting. Projects include cultural and artist inspired lessons. Wearing a smock or old clothing is recommended. Materials included with cost and classes are available all year round.   Center Stage Dance Company 10 Akron St. 718-982-9226 centerstagedancecoltd.org Center Stage Dance Company opened in 2013 with the goal of educating and embracing all children into the sacred dance space where young dancers can strengthen their technique and grow as artists. A strong focus is placed on high quality dance instruction as well as an emphasis on inclusivity. Regardless of the age or experience level of your dancer, they will feel strong, accepted, accomplished and talented! A variety of classes are offered in different genres of dance for different age groups, ages 2 to adult. Center Stage is the home of a nationally recognized, award-winning competitive team, along with a plethora of recreational classes. Providing a safe environment for dancers to experience both high-quality dance education and memories to last a lifetime is a priority. Children learn what the value of community in dance truly means, and spirit and good sportsmanship are promoted throughout all programs. Center Stage students have performed in various venues across the country. This summer, the dance company is expanding to two newly renovated, state-of-the-art dance studios, providing even more space and more classes for all dancers, old and new. Interested in trying a class? New dancers receive their first class free.   DEA Music & Art 1409 Richmond Ave. 1481 Hylan Blvd. 57 Page Ave. 718-370-7733 DEAMusicandart.com With a welcoming and vibrant community, learning at DEA Music & Art School is an experience like no other. Students  take home their skill set from music or arts lessons but also memorable experiences that will last forever! DEA offers many programs including specific instruments and musical theater classes for those who want it all rolled into one. DEA offers opportunities for students of all ages to get involved in creative endeavors  they are passionate about. DEA has a strong commitment to the local community and provides outreach programs to schools and organizations that may not have the resources to offer their own arts programming. DEA offers a wide range of programs in music, visual and performing arts all taught by professional musicians and creators. All students perform in the Annual Christmas Show at Radio City. Top Students perform at Carnegie Hall. Get started with a free trial class.   FasTracKids 1409 Richmond Ave., Willowbrook 1461 Hylan Blvd., Grasmere 347-983-2229 ftkny.com FasTracKids has been offering award winning enrichment programs on Staten Island for the past 20 years, ranging from preschool to homeschooling help, tutoring and test prep, utilizing the world class Eye Level Individualized learning and mastery program. Also offering chess and STEAM classes as well as TACHS and SHSAT help. FTK believes that every child has their own special gift or talent, and with the proper instruction and reinforcement, every child can achieve their true gifted potential. FTK provides fun, interactive learning programs while infusing a love of learning in children through preschool, elementary school and all the way up to middle school. The Staten Island center is the top franchise in the United States and its teachers and administration have been recognized worldwide as being leaders in supplemental education for children.   Music And Method 15 Athena Place 917-715-6865, [email protected] musicandmethod.com Music And Method started in 2002 with a vision to make music learning a fun, engaging and inclusive experience, whether you are a child by age or child at heart. The holistic learning system explores five areas of study: technique, music theory, sight-reading, repertoire and performance. In addition to music education, students learn to express creativity, while developing organization and confidence in life. Today, Music And Method offers the very best in music education, including piano, guitar, violin and voice, and most importantly, inspires people to connect with music. Not only do students achieve their music goals, Music And Method reaches out to the local community by sharing performances several times a year. Choose from private individualized lessons, as well as group sessions to promote peer learning and music collaboration.   JCC of Staten Island 1466 Manor Road 718.475.5200 SIJCC.org At the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island, kids enjoy their favorite activities after school. Aspiring athletes at all skill levels can stay active while developing a healthy mentality towards success in the JCC’s basketball, soccer, tennis, and aquatics programs. Kids can express themselves and explore their creative sides in music, art, and dance classes. In the JCC’s iTeens program, teens have fun in a [more…]

  • little girl fishing Where to Go Fishing On Staten Island

    Where to Go Fishing On Staten Island Have some reel fun this summer by going fishing on Staten Island! There are many locations on Staten Island, as well as a few spots in nearby New Jersey, where families can enjoy fishing adventures. From freshwater opportunities at local parks such as Clove Lakes, to catching saltwater species at Lemon Creek and by the boardwalk, there are plenty of fishing locations dotted throughout Staten Island. As an added bonus, many of these locations have other amenities to enjoy, including playgrounds, hiking trails and more to round out your family day in the great outdoors!   Rules and Regulations for Fishing on Staten Island  As you plan your day out fishing, it’s important to follow the rules, posted guidelines and city, state and federal regulations so you’re in the know before you go. This is true whether you fish in NY or NJ. It’s also important to note that in New York City, freshwater fishing is catch and release only. Saltwater fishing is subject to NYS DEC angling regulations. Check out the city’s fishing rules and visit the NYS DEC fishing page, where you’ll find tons of important information about fishing in Staten Island. The city also requests that those who fish remove all fishing line fragments, hooks and lures from parklands and waters, as discarded fishing line can hurt wildlife and people.  You can also find great tips on how to make the most of your fishing experience by joining the Staten Island NY Fishing group on Facebook. You’ll see some cool photos of impressive catches, too. And now…on to some fantastic fishing fun!  Where to Go Fishing on Staten Island  Clove Lakes Park  Forest Avenue, Victory Boulevard bet. Clove Road and Brookside Avenue, Royal Oak Road This popular park is made up of three ponds that are home to many fish species including bluegill sunfish, carp, brown bullhead and largemouth bass. Fishing is easy here, as there are helpful vegetation breaks around the lakes’ perimeters. After fishing–if the kids still have energy–stop by the park’s playground or sports fields for some extra fun at the park.  Lemon Creek Park  Hylan Boulevard from Sharrott Avenue to Seguine Avenue Looking for flounder and striped bass? If so, head to this South Shore park and catch these fish and others including bluefish, sea robin and dogfish. While you’re there, you might see some cool bird species, too, as the surrounding parkland serves as a resting point for numerous migratory birds. Species you can see here include swans, mallard ducks and black ducks. FUN BONUS: The hand-sculpted ceramic fish located at the foot of the fishing pier provide great photo opportunities! Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach  Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field, Father Capodanno Boulevard Head to this very popular and spacious beachfront area to enjoy some fantastic fishing. In addition to fishing, you can enjoy other beach-side activities here, such as sports fields, playgrounds and more. You can even rent a bike from Wheel Fun Rentals located in several locations by the beach and enjoy some family biking time together.   Willowbrook Park  Richmond Avenue, Victory Boulevard, Ashworth Avenue and Forest Hill Road Willowbrook Park offers lots of opportunities for family fun—including fishing! The park’s freshwater lake has bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth bass, carp and brown bullhead. Don’t forget to take a spin on the park’s Carousel for All Children before you leave!  Wolfe’s Pond Park  Cornelia Avenue and Hylan Boulevard You can easily plan a full day of fun at this South Shore park. Pack a picnic with your family’s favorite eats, and enjoy your meal at one of the many tables located by the water. Then, start fishing! You can fish either from the interior of the park’s nature preserve or along the beach on the south shore.  Great Kills Park – Gateway National Recreation Area Hylan Boulevard and Buffalo Street There are plenty of places to fish at this 523-acre national park located in Staten Island’s South Shore. There are plenty of other recreation amenities, too, including a beach center, a life-guarded beach, a multi-use path, hiking trails and a marina—everything you need for a fun outdoor day on Staten Island. Where to Go Fishing in New Jersey Ramapo Valley County Reserve Ramapo Valley Rd. Route 202, Mahwah This natural area is a huge park in Bergen County. Visitors can hike the hills and valleys, enjoy the Ramapo River and several ponds, and admire the vibrant ecosystem. Fishing is permitted.  Catch-and-release only.  A valid fishing license is required for anyone 14 or older. Visit the website for more information about permits and rules.  Stephens State Park  Hackettstown The park is home to the Musconetcong River, a great spot for freshwater fishing. Families can enjoy picnic tables and grills with scenic views along the river, and go hiking or mountain biking. Visit the website for more information about rules and regulations. Allamuchy Mountain State Park  Waterloo Rd., Stanhope In addition to fishing, this state park is packed with things to do all year long. Families can enjoy a variety of winter activities, including sledding, and boating, canoeing and kayaking once the weather warms up. Visit the website for more information about rules and regulations.   Wanna read more stuff like this? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

  • smiling girl at school bus Back to School Readiness Checklist

    The school year is coming. Here’s your back-to-school readiness checklist. Prepare Your child likely needs more than a new backpack and lunchbox for the first day. Purchase bento boxes, reusable water bottles, small ice packs, thermoses, pocket tissues, etc. Stock up on breakfast and lunch supplies. If possible, plan your menus in advance to cut down on time during the week. Review schoolwork from the previous year. If it seems like your child needs to brush up on any subjects, and after two months off school he or she surely might, put in some extra study time before the first day. Prepare homework space. Buy new home supplies and organize the area where your child will be spending time completing assignments after school. Medical Make sure all medical checkups are up-to-date, including pediatrician, dentist, and optometrist. Routines Practice the new bedtime routine and morning routine a week or so before school starts. Mary Miele, learning and education specialist, and CEO of Evolved Education Company, suggests creating pictures of tasks to do in the morning and night.  “Print them out and put them on the table. As your child completes them, turn the picture over,” she explained. “Older students can write tasks on note cards and do the same thing.” Christine Hernandez, certified doula, early childhood and parenting expert, and founder of Allo Saratoga, recommends adjusting your child’s sleep schedule long before the night before the first day of school. “We all know that summertime can bring a lot of fun and late nights catching fireflies, but as we gradually head back to the routine of fall, it’s really important to slowly–that’s the key–adjust your child’s sleep schedule back to the school-year time and routine,” she said. “By gradually adjusting their sleep schedule back to a regular routine before school starts, you help them ease into the new academic year with less stress and fatigue. This transition allows them to be well-rested, alert, and ready to engage in school activities from the very beginning. Simply adjust their bedtime by a few minutes every night, starting a few weeks before school begins, and it won’t be such a fight the night before school begins.” Set up a family calendar. This is a great way to prepare for what’s coming up and get everyone excited about the school year ahead.  “I recommend setting up a family calendar to organize everyone’s schedules, including school activities, extracurriculars, and important dates,” Hernandez explained. “Having a visual representation of the weekly routine helps everyone stay on track and manage time effectively. We all know those first few weeks back to school are chaotic, so set everyone up for success with a family calendar.” As the first day approaches, limit time spent on electronic devices and increase daily reading time.  Also, Miele said for students who have phones, text them a note with their morning, evening and weekly afterschool activity routines for easy reference. Be sure to include daily and weekly chores as doing chores is an excellent way to prepare children for adult life and build executive functioning.  Brainstorm some new ways to ask “how was your day” when kids get home from school. Asking more specific questions will help you understand how well your child is doing in a new class, new school, with new teachers, etc. Re-establish meal times that match school hours. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner times.  “Having regular meal times helps regulate energy levels and prepares the body for the school day,” Hernandez said. “It will help prepare everyone for the upcoming year, so start establishing these meal times a few weeks before school begins to gradually get back into the routine.” Safety Review safety procedures for walking to school or getting on and off the school bus. If your child is attending a new school, do a practice run to familiarize him or her with the new surroundings. First Day Prepare the night before. Set the breakfast table, pack lunches, lay out clothes, organize supplies and fill book bags. Make a list. Memorize new class numbers and teachers’ names. Double, triple, and quadruple check your supply list. Make sure you have everything your child will need for the first day. Summer homework check-in. Make sure all summer homework assignments have been completed. For younger children or those with first day jitters, read a book together the night before about starting school. Popular titles include: Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes; The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn; We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins; and Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney. Academics Stock up on books. Once the school year starts, provide access to books and make time for reading, Miele said.  “Even 20 minutes on weekend days will help,” she said. Talk about news articles with your children. Miele recommends Newsela as a great resource. Also, preview math courses and skills.  For older students, meet with your child and create an approach for studying, doing homework and scheduling that everyone agrees with.  “Be sure that when you create a system, you all follow it with fidelity. Keep in mind that many middle and high school students need time on the weekends to do homework and study,” Miele said. “Create a family plan for this before school begins with clearly outlined expectations that everyone can agree upon. Discuss and clarify phone and video game time limitations and discuss any concerns.” Pssst… Check out 7 Tips For Preparing Healthy School Lunches


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