Lake Area Discovery Center Blog

  Going to school is a time of excitement, anticipation and newfound independence.  While some children will handle this transition with ease and say “You can go now,” other children will feel  anxious, cry and not want you to go.  Given these varying responses, what’s a parent to do? You should know that it’s completely…

by Jim Jackson (see more) “I want it! Can I have it? I want it NOW!” Regardless of how articulate your teen or toddler may be, most parents are familiar with variations of this demand. When we hear this from our kids we’re inclined to quickly pronounce, “No!” and the fight or flight game is on.…

Summer is a great opportunity for children to have fun and enjoy themselves. However, that fun doesn’t just have to be limited to swimming at the pool, playing outside with friends, riding bikes, and other typical summer activities. Kids can still have fun and keep learning throughout the summer. Check out these summer STEM activities…

by Jim and Lynne Jackson “Are we there yet?” “I have to go to the bathroom!” “I want a Happy Meal NOW!” “No, I want Taco Bell!!” Ahh, the bliss of car-trip vacations. Whether our children are toddlers or teens, the stress of riding in the car together for extended periods can taint the whole vacation.…

Memorial Day can mean many things to a child…a day off from school, an extra day at the cabin, or just an extra vacation day. As adults, we know that Memorial Day means more than just a 3 day weekend. As you think about ways to honor our veterans who sacrificed for our freedom, consider…

“Can we get a dog?” If you are like many parents, you have probably heard this line before…possibly with a cat, a fish, or even a snake.  Your first instinct as a parent may be “who’s going to take care of the pet?” Although pets can be a huge responsibility for young children, having the…

If you are a parent of more than one child, you have probably heard the constant “She took my toy” or “He said mean things to me” or “She won’t stop looking at me.” Sibling conflict is bound to happen, sometimes more often than we want. As a parent, it can sometimes be hard to…

After experiencing toddlerhood and the words that start to form during that time, many parents find it exciting when their children become able to have a conversation. And many parents can agree: some of those conversations can be both interesting and silly at the same time. Even as your child begins to understand words and…

As natural explorers, young children are curious about many things. There are all kinds of science experiments and magic tricks that you can do right from your home with your child. However, there is also a whole world of exploring and curiosity right outside your window.   The next time you take your little explorer…

Have you ever felt like you are being too rough on your kids? Maybe sometimes they cry or say something hurtful to you that just breaks your heart. Have you ever been in those moments where you question if you made the right disciplining decision?   Or maybe you’ve been on the other side. Maybe…

Have you ever gone on a walk with your preschooler and noticed all the colorful flowers in the spring? Maybe your child has even asked questions about flowers or plants he or she has noticed.   Although it’s fun to look at freshly bloomed flowers, you can also create your own miniature garden at home…

(story from Inspirational Christian Stories and Poems) by Jeff Walling The day is over, you are driving home. You tune in your radio. You hear a little blurb about a little village in India where some villagers have died suddenly, strangely, of a flu that has never been seen before. It’s not influenza, but three…

Chocolate Eggs! Chocolate Bunnies! Marshmallow Peeps! Jelly Beans!   If your kids get excited about the candy that comes out at Easter time, you might be cringing at the thought of trying to get them to eat something besides sweets. Why not make eating candy a learning opportunity for your children (and it may also…

According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is a recommended amount of sleep that each age group should get. Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours Preschool (3-5 years): 10-13 hours School-Age (6-13 years): 9-11 hours (https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need)   Based on those numbers, some of us may regret…

Get your kids excited about spring colors with this art activity that you can make together. You’ll Need: Dried beans/lentils or sand A plastic bottle Small items of the same color (toys, office supplies, craft/art supplies, natural things from outside, ribbon, etc.) A funnel (optional)   To get started, fill the plastic bottle ½ to…

Setting limits for your children…often easier said than done. Many times telling your child he or she cannot have something or do something that he or she wants results in tantrums or misbehavior. Depending on how dramatic and long-lasting the tantrum or misbehavior is, some parents might even decide to give in just to make…

Looking for a fun project to do with your child? Grab a disposable camera (if you can still find one anywhere), a basic digital camera, or an old phone with a camera. Whatever you choose, it should be something you don’t need so your child can hold onto it for a while.   Next, choose…

“Through play, children learn to take the perspective of another; they learn self-control and the ability to take turns, negotiate, compromise, and work out conflicts. In fact, studies show that children who play make-believe or games with rules are more empathetic, less physically aggressive, and more cooperative with other children and adults.” (http://www.niu.edu/ccc/curriculum/play_learning.shtml)   Not…

Have you ever personally experienced or witnessed a persistent toddler? I have a nephew who LOVES light switches. He will stand by one and turn it on and off for what seems like hours at a time. If he can’t reach the light switch, he will search the house for a chair that he can…

“Just keep trying and you will get it.” Have you ever found yourself uttering these words to your child? “Keep trying,” “Try again,” or “You almost got it” are common words used by teachers and parents of young children. Children learn so much in the first five years of life…all to prepare them for even…

  A few years ago, I was teaching a Sunday School lesson for 4-8 year olds. The story was from Matthew 14:22-33, which is the story about how Peter walked on water.  In the story, the disciples are in a boat on the lake during a storm. They look out and see someone walking towards…

  Looking for a way to beat those winter blues and chase away cabin fever? How about celebrating the holidays? Other than some of the Federal Holidays, there are some unique and interesting holidays that can be just as fun to celebrate!   January 30th: Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day –This is NOT just for the…

It’s the middle of winter. Cabin fever has set in for both you and your kids. Temperatures have been subzero for several days and you’re running out of ideas to keep the kids busy. You’ve probably heard of having “rainy day” activities for times that you are stuck inside and need stuff for the kids…

  It’s that time again…the perfect time to start something new. Each new year encourages people to try new things, whether it be diets, exercise programs or other lifestyle changes. It’s not too late to make new year’s resolutions! When considering your resolutions for 2017, why not include your family?   Get the kids and…

At Lake Area Discovery Center (LADC), we LOVE STEM projects that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math concepts. (A fun new acronym “STEAM” also incorporates ART in to the equation…. an addition that makes this art-degree-mama’s-heart happy! If you are looking for ways, ideas and gifts to give a “STEM”-boost to your children’s gifts.…

There has been a “number of gifts/child suggestion” idea/post swimming around this winter. Have you seen it? The basic idea is: One Gift they Want One Gift they Need One Gift to Wear One Gift to Read (I would add to this…. One Gift from Santa Small Gifts in Stocking!) This can be a fun…

It is very normal for children’s behavior to become challenging and escalated during the Holiday season.  Family schedules are often disrupted, with travel, outings, special events and late nights.  Babysitters and/or nights with Grandma and Grandpa also add a change to the normal family routine.  Parents can become busy and stressed with their “to do”…

I love the word “GRATEFUL”. I like it even more than “Thankful”, I think because it conjures up the word “GRACE” for me which is really at the root of all things worthy of Praise and Thankfulness, don’t you think? We give thanks for many things in our lives, especially at this time of year…

Prayer is way of life and we can truly pray through everything we do. We teach our children to live a life of appreciation by saying please and thank you, but what better way to deepen that appreciation then through prayer-based activities at home.This is one of the simplest and most impactful ways to ensure…

As my children grow older, it is the small family traditions that hold our family-times together, even as our individual schedules grow busier and we spend less and less time together on a weekly basis. Weekly traditions, like bedtime sharing/prayers, Friday or Saturday Pizza/Game night give us precious time to re-connect and have conversations. Seasonal…

I hear myself say “praise” phrases all the time… “That’s so great!”…. “You’re so smart!”…. “That’s a great picture!”… even knowing that these phrases are not the best way to encourage and teach a child. They come tumbling out without thought! And that’s the point. Children are SMART. They know the difference between phrases that…

Are you a “reader”? I have always been a “book girl”… reading several books at once, devouring stories and images from fantasy and fairy-tales to historical fiction and biographies. It has been a great joy for me to see my love of reading passed along to my children… I love “spying” them cuddled up in…

Do you dread bedtime with your toddler/preschooler? This can seriously be the HARDEST time of the day… and why? It’s just BED and SLEEP, right?! Who doesn’t want to crawl into a comfy bed and sleep? I wouldn’t say no right now, and it’s only 11:00am in the morning. But if you have single-digit-ages in…

This is one of my FAVORITE family projects! As soon as children are able to talk, visit and answer questions, spend some time together talking about your family… what makes your family great, unique, fun, challenging? (“We love to laugh!”; “Making music”; “We move a lot”)  What are your goals? (“Family Vacation”; “Eat meals together”;…

Halloween and Harvest time is just around the corner! Your home may be full of costume and party plans, visits to apple orchards and pumpkin patches and anticipation of a night of “Trick or Treating”. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has a great resource with reminders and tips to keep children, pets…

As parents, our children’s safety is number one on our priority list.  Sometimes, we need help in setting safe routines and guidelines for our families.  A fabulous resource for parents and educators to receive fire prevention ideas is the National Fire Prevention Association. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) is dedicated to reducing fire burden in the…

Time-outs are an age-old, parenting-tradition. And it’s true…. sometimes we (adults included!) need to take a break from a heated situation; time to “cool down” and “think about it”. These cool-down times are different than the “time-outs” have been used as a form of discipline or punishment. You may be asking, “What’s wrong with a…

If you are like me, scissors are hard to find around your house. I kept all scissors hidden at my house, up and out of the way when my children were little. Yes, it’s true, scissors can lead to dangerous (sharp!), destructive (not the tablecloth!) and embarrassing (haircut!) outcomes when young children are unsupervised but…

Praying with your child is a great way to teach children the value of prayer and help build children’s confidence in praying. Some ways you can help support your child in praying are: 1. An LADC favorite, create a family prayer cube! A prayer cube is a large dice and on each face of the…

Spring has Sprung! Create your own Spring Greeting Card with your child!   Step 1: Gather Your Supplies Step 2: Squeeze small amount of brown paint onto plate and carefully help paint your child’s foot with the sponge/brush. Help your child press their foot onto the card/canvas.       Step 3: Help your child…

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! Here is an easy to make, home made learning game that supports one-to-one correspondence, number recognition, and even fine motor skills. Step 1: Gather your supplies!     Step 2: Lay out your cards and attach to file folder     Step 3: Trace and cut out heart playing pieces…

Create an Edible Valentine Craft with Your Child!   Step 1: Gather your supplies!         Step 2: Help your child string their pipe-cleaner- great for supporting fine motor development!         Step 3: Help your child twist the ends of the pipe-cleaner together and shape into a heart! Enjoy eating…

Easing Child Anxiety: You are Not Alone Many parents struggle with finding ways to help ease child anxiety; children may be afraid of anything: riding on the bus, using public restrooms, dogs, and even sleeping in their own bed. As a parent or caregiver, think of a time when you were faced with a child…

Learning is connected to Moving! Moving and Learning With an increased rate of attention deficit diagnoses across the United States, teachers are turning to research on why this may be happening.  While there is more support offered to families and children with attention deficit and greater research and support on diagnosing, another area to explore…

Grammy Award Winning Okee Dokee Brothers Live in Concert! Proudly hosted by The Lake Area Discovery Center with Annunciation Catholic School Join us for this family-fun concert Friday, February 13 at 6:30 Annunciation Catholic Church 509 West 54th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55419 Tickets on Sale now! Limit 6 Tickets per Family Reserve your tickets here…

Public registration kick-off was Monday, January 5th, 2015 for the Lake Area Discovery Center’s nine locations! Looking for preschool and childcare? The Lake Area Discover Center hires four-year degree, MN licensed Early Childhood teachers who care for and support each child’s development. Offering a Christian-based center provides children the opportunity to be immersed in the…

At the Lake Area Discovery Center, remaining aware of the latest research in child development and education is one of our passions. Recently, the University of Minnesota wrote an article on research that had been conducted on the benefits of full day preschool for children entering Kindergarten.  Based on the research conducted in the school…

2014 Special Friends Day/Grandparent’s Day is just around the corner! When? Teachers and children are excitedly getting ready for all the special visitors who will come to all the LADC sites next Monday, November 24 and Tuesday, November 25! What and Who? This is a LADC tradition where preschoolers invite family and friends to come…

LADC Teacher’s Top 5 Winter Snow Gear Tips When recently asked by a family who moved to Minnesota from North Carolina, “How do I get my child ready for winter and snow,” many of our LADC teachers offered their top 5 winter tips for preparing children for winter, here are their suggestions: 1.  Water proof…

As you consider your charitable end-of-year giving, please consider participating in Give to the Max Day Nov. 14.  GiveMN is easy to use, and your gift to LADC will make a significant difference to ongoing ministry and education. Mark your Calendars for Give to the Max Day 2014! What is GiveMN? GiveMN.org is the smart…

Celebrate the season with your child by creating your own home-made learning games. These games can usually be made with construction paper, file folders, glue sticks and a printer…along with some good old fashion creativity! NOTE: When using your internet browser for clip art or pictures, be careful to use open source images that do…

Potty training is always a huge step for families. Each child is unique and will be ready at a different time. You will find that one child will learn to use the toilet at age 2 and another at age 3.  Fear not, this is normal!  Do not rush your child into potty-training–a calm easy-going…

Is my child’s schedule balanced or too busy? Read more at: CNN: Over-scheduled Kids Keep this in mind – As parents, we want our children to experience new learning situations and experiences, yet we also want them to maintain a healthy life-style. With regard to your child’s schedule and your family, consider the following  questions…

Is your house a bit crazy in the morning?  Does it seem hard to get kids out the door and off to school on time?  Do you find yourself asking your children to do the same things over and over again?  If this sounds like your home, know that you are not alone.  I have…

Children are born with all sorts of personalities and temperaments.  Some are cautious and like to observe before jumping in, while others are outgoing and jump right in!  Whatever your child’s temperament, it is important to teach them about how to stay safe. Below, you will get a few ideas of how to teach your…

Each  child  is a gift from God.  We are given an opportunity to help shape the life of another human being.  We show by example how spirituality and daily life emerge.  Everything we do or say, every habit we have, our tone of voice, and our expressions all teach children and help form their earliest…

  Pre-kindergartners benefit from many different experiences that will strengthen the hands and fingers. Working on dexterity and strength first, before learning to hold and write with a pencil can eliminate inappropriate pencil grasp, hand fatigue and child’s frustration. Here are more ideas for hand strengthening activities! * Molding and rolling play dough in to…

Helping children maintain a healthy lifestyle includes staying active. Incorporating movement into learning is a fun and connective way to learn and stay active together! Included in this post are some teacher favorite’s for keeping children active and learning at school! Relay-  Play relay games with your children by: having them spell out words by…

As a Mom of four active children, I know the end of my day can get stressful, especially around dinner time.  The whole family is tired and hungry…and wants dinner NOW!  And while it would be so much easier to drive through for a dinner of Happy Meals, I know in my heart that it’s…

I have had many parents ask me for some ideas of what to do with the many works of art their children create.  I find myself as a parent also thinking about creative ways to preserve and display my own child’s many works of art that are given to me, and of course each piece…

  What is Birth Order? What affect does it have on a person’s personality?  How does it influence parenting? Birth Order is a person’s rank by age among siblings.  Birth order can play a role in impacting personality, but it is only one factor out of many that contribute to the total personality that your…

  May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month, the perfect time for reminders about sun screen, since warmer weather means more time outside in the sun. Here are a few ways you can protect your skin when spending time outside: Generously apply a water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher whenever outside, even on…

Matthew 22:37-39 Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind.  Love your neighbor as yourself. What role does God play in your family?  Does He have the high priority He should have?  Does your family discuss His presence on a daily basis?  Can you easily share with family…

  In Family settings, clutter accumulates for many reasons. At times it runs in cycles. What do I do with all the TOYS? Piles will be shifted, boxes will be filled, and stuff will be stashed until the cycle breaks. Then the clutter flows back in again. The confusion can be doubled because of the…

Raising responsible children is a goal for most parents. Teaching your kids to be responsible means that you are guiding them to be in control of their actions and making their own decisions. Being responsible also means your children will need to be held accountable and responsible for their actions and results. It is key…

  Give more thoughtful responses when approaching children with positive praise/encouragement… ‘You do a good job of…” Children should be encouraged when they do not expect it, when they are not asking for it “You have improved in…” growth and improvement is something we expect and watch for from all children. Where there is improvement,…

Easter is a Christian holiday of enormous importance!  The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and His triumphant resurrection is reason for great gladness and joyous celebration to those who know Him as Savior.  The story of Jesus dying on the cross and the empty tomb is difficult for children to understand, but it is the…

Years ago, people crossed their arms over their chest when they prayed.  In the Middle Ages during Lent, when meat and meat products, such as eggs and milk were not allowed, it became a custom for monks to make little breads to resemble arms crossed in prayer, to remind them of their obligation to seek…

Watching young children draw, color, and even write is exciting for teachers and parents to see.  As an early childhood teacher for the past 15 years I have seen many different stages and abilities of my young writers.  I have seen that for a good majority of young writers there is a very natural progression…

Children always want to be helpful at home and school.  There are very specific ways we can help our children be successful without hurting their self-esteem. Here are some great places to start at home: When you are wanting your child to put items away where they belong a helpful tool for them would be…

As parents we love to hear the very first “coo” of our new baby, to listen as our young toddler says “doggie” for the first time…. and then, in just a few short years, to be able to hold a conversation with our 4 or 5 year old about their favorite fire truck.  Not surprisingly,…

  Words are powerful.  Words can affirm and nourish the soul.  Words communicate God’s love to those we meet.  Children need to be nurtured and strengthened by the words we use.  Here are things to remember when choosing words to use with your child(ren) and in your house. Listen to what you are saying.  Is…

  What kid hasn’t been caught making a mess in the kitchen, just to “see what happens?”  Kids have a natural desire to understand how the world works, long before anyone tells them that it is science.  Here are some fun, at-home science experiments that will help to channel your child’s budding “inner scientist.” Lift…

Ipods, Smart phones, Computers, Television, hand held games… Electronics and media are everywhere.   Parents today live in a world where media is an ever-changing but increasingly important part of their children’s lives.   The challenge lies in determining how much media is too much.   As parents, it is your job to decide how…

  The Winter 2014 Olympics are wrapping up already! As a family, to help celebrate all the successes of the Olympics this year, host your own Winter Olympics and watch the Closing Ceremonies this Sunday, February 23, 2014! ! Here are some of our favorite fun outdoor ideas: 1. Hulu Hoop outside in all your…

Did you know that there is a special day in February for your pet called “Love Your Pet Day”? February 20th is that special day to show your pet how much he/she really means to you.  It is a day for showing your pets how much you love them and celebrate all the little quirks…

  Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Your child is the sweetest, and LADC loves  you! Who Is LADC?Lake Area Discovery Center (LADC) is a high-quality, NAEYC accredited Christian-based Pre-school/Childcare Program serving families at 12 metro locations, across Minneapolis, Wayzata, Waconia, Forest Lake, White Bear, Mahtomedi, Still Water and Eagan.Learn More

National Children’s Dental Health Month is meant to raise awareness about the importance of children’s dental health. Good oral health care begins long before a child’s first tooth appears.  By teaching your child healthy eating and brushing patterns early on, you will help ensure that they have a life time of healthy teeth and gums.…

  Parent Testimonials: “My son has made leaps and bounds socially! He used to be so shy, now he talks about his friends at LADC and wants to play with them all the time! We have just loved seeing the teachers play along side him and help him develop his social skills! We can’t thank…

Parents that are choosing an early childhood education program can be overwhelmed by trying to find the highest-quality program for their child.  Accreditation is the mark of quality that families are looking for. Not ALL preschools are quality accredited. There are only 169 programs currently accredited in MN (Out of thousands!) Accreditation may be a…

Give a Kid a Smile Day is coming up on February 4th.  The point of this day is to focus on dental hygiene. Dental hygiene is of course very important!  However, there are so many great ways to literally give a kid a smile!  In this post I would like to give a few reminders…

You and your preschooler can have fun inside with snow with this simple and fun science experiment! Measuring Snow: 1. Take a bucket outside and fill it with snow. 2. Have your preschooler help you measure how deep the snow is in the bucket with a ruler. Mark how deep it is on the ruler.…

As you may have noticed, we sing a lot of songs at LADC.  Whether it is a song about Jesus, a hello song at circle time, or giving directions in song, we have found that kids listen best when music is involved.   And studies have shown that kids gain many developmental advantages when immersed…

Here are a few tips in keeping a healthy diet for you and your children during these busy winter months. 1. Avoid fast food If there is not enough time to eat in between events, plan ahead of time.  Make a few meals that can be easily reheated in the microwave or for a couple minutes…

  One-on-One time is listed as one of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families”. These parent/child “dates” can be a special outing or as simple as a run to the store together. If you find yourself running out of “conversation” starters with your child, see some options below for questions that are thought provoking…

What are some fun things families can do inside to beat the cold? Here are LADC’s top three indoor adventures for winter in Minnesota! 1. Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, MN. “My family always has a  great time at the MN Zoo. We love to explore the indoor animals and enjoy watching a variety of their…

Simple Fun! Babies love to play! They also learn through play as they explore and experience the world around them. Read more about baby play at CNN.com. Here are some easy, home-made ideas for enriching your baby’s world today! Visit The Imagination Tree Blog to view ideas. Some of the ideas include a sensory fort,…

  Fun with scarves and other indoor play ideas… Cold weather can leave many parents and young children ready for a change of pace. Parents.com has come up with some fun and creative activities for you and your young children to do together when it is too cold to go outside. One of LADC’s favorite…

The New Year’s Holiday often makes us think of setting New Year’s Resolutions. But, what is appropriate for preschoolers and different family members regarding resolutions? PBS.ORG posted an article relating to setting resolutions for the different members of your family. Here is an excerpt from the article: “For preschool-aged children, the American Academy of Pediatrics…

Not Only Christmas Day Lord, this is my prayer Not only on Christmas Day But until I see You face to face May I live my life this way: Just like the baby Jesus I ever hope to be, Resting in Your loving arms Trusting in Your sovereignty. And like the growing Christ child In…

  Believing in the true spirit of Christmas, we commit ourselves to: * Remember those people who truly need our gifts * Express our love in more direct ways than gifts * Examine our holiday activities int he light of our deepest values * Rededicate ourselves to our spiritual growth Christmas Prayer- “May the spirit…

Every day, every week and every month offer multiple opportunities to reenforce your family’s bond. “Synergize” your family with affection, celebration and confidence! Day-to-Day Rituals: * Daily Devotions * Prayer time at meals and bed-times * After-school snack and “question of the day” time * “Singing” in the car to favorite songs * Story time…

Keeping with the theme of Joyful Holiday Giving, volunteering as a family is another way to give together! Some of LADC favorite ways to volunteer were: Donate Coats, Boots & Mittens to a Local Shelter Many shelters request coats, boots and mittens for their residents during the cold weather.  Families who are staying in shelters…

Teaching the gift of giving… With Christmas upon us, it is valuable to remember to teach our families the importance of giving to those in need. Help your child learn that those in need may be in another country or may be your neighbor… Here are some ideas…from Hannah Goodwyn, Family and Entertainment producer for…

Family Christmas Tradition Ideas: *Have every family member make an ornament each year. Write names and date on the back of the ornament. When your children have their first Christmas in their own home, make a gift of their ornaments. * Give new pajamas every year on Christmas Eve. * Bake a cake of Jesus…

  Think back to your childhood Christmas. Which traditions, activities or occasions were particularly pleasurable and memorable for you? As you plan for Christmas traditions and rituals for your own family, remember these five hallmarks that makes a tradition successful: * Simplicity * Inclusion * Meaningful Symbols * Allowing the Spirit to work * Allow…

  Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh when I feel like crying. Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is. Just for this morning, I am going to step over the…

It is getting to be the time of year when families and friends get together to give thanks.  Some travel miles and others simply walk next door to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families.  Whether you see your relatives on a regular basis or just a few times a year, Thanksgiving is a great time to…

Bake-Up Some Fun! Here is a simple, yet delicious recipe for Thanksgiving Pumpkin Muffins!   Weight Watchers Pumpkin Muffins Ingredients: 1 Box Spice Cake Mix 1 Can Pumpkin 1 Cup Water Directions: Blend cake mix, pumpkin and water together- no need to add anything else! Spoon mix into muffin cups, should yield approx. 24 muffins.…

In our busy lives it can often be difficult to set aside quality family time.  In fact, we may not even know what counts as family time.  Is it something that just happens or is it something that must be planned? In this blog post, we’ll explore these questions and look at what is most…

Brrrrrr! The cold is here to stay! Time to brush up on your child-winterizing skills again! Some helpful tips: Layers aren’t just for peanut butter sandwiches: Get the layers on! Here is a sample of how I dressed my five year old today: Step 1.  Undergarments, include warm socks!! Step 2. Long-sleeved t-shirt and jeans.…

Hunger and homelessness can be difficult topics to talk to your children about, especially when they are preschool aged.  What better time to discuss these sensitive topics as a family than in November, the month we focus on gratitude AND celebrate Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week?  Children are never to young to learn that they…

Activity for an individual child Age group: 18-40 months Duration of activity: 15 minutes Materials: 1 cardboard box 1 sturdy stick A few kernels of corn Feathers Candy corn Engage your child’s imagination with this activity. This may become a family tradition for years to come. Tell your child that you are going to trap…

Yes!  Chores are an important part of family life.  According to the Love and Logic Institute, chores provide the foundation upon which responsibility, self-esteem, and strong family relationships are built.  Kids who make meaningful contributions to their families are more likely to gain academic achievement, enjoy success in life, and develop a desire to give…

Remember your manners… 1. Kindness… Help your child understand and practice being kind to others. Saying kind words and including others in play are some ways to show kindness to others. Act out being kind with your child, practice at home together with stuffed animals and other family members. Modeling kind actions is important- children…

  Halloween is just around the corner.  It is a fun time of year when we get to use our imaginations and creativity to dress up in fun costumes.  It is also a time when we encourage our children to go door to door and take candy from people we hardly know (or maybe don’t…

  “Help, I don’t know where to send my child to preschool!” There are so many choices out there. What is the difference between a Nationally-Accredited School and one that isn’t? Finding the right Early Childhood Program for your child is important. A Nationally-Accredited Program means that the staff voluntarily went through a comprehensive self-study…

What is Make a Difference Day? visit: 2013 Make a Difference Day Make a Difference Day is a day devoted entirely to helping others.  It is a celebration of neighbors helping other neighbors. Make a Difference Day was first created by USAWEEKEND magazine.  It is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday…

Car Seat Safety: As we head into colder weather and continue into the school year, it is a good time to brush up on car seat safety for your family: According to Safe Kids Worldwide: Learn how to install your car seat for free. Safe Kids hosts car seat inspection events across the country where…

Help is on the way! For parents struggling with temper tantrums at home, we understand! It can be so challenging- but there is a light at the end of the “temper tunnel!” For young children, often toddlers, they lack the ability to voice their needs, wants, frustrations, etc. and sometimes temper tantrums are a way…

  Falling for Fall leaves! Have you had time to admire the fall leaves yet this year? If not, visit: the Minnesota DNR Fall Color update site to view when and where the leaves are the most beautiful! Fun ways to enjoy the leaves with your family: 1. Plan a day for a fall leaf…

  Power in self worth? How many times as a parent have you ever asked the question, am I good enough? Or, am I doing enough? How about this one, am I a worthy parent? Yikes! But hey, let’s be honest- those are very real questions, and very important questions to talk about! As parents,…

Here we are at the beginning of the cold and flu season again! As a mother of two school age children I know that one of the hardest things to watch is your child missing school and play opportunities because of an illness. The stress of finding a way to care for your sick child…

Falling for Fall leaves! Have you had time to admire the fall leaves yet this year? If not, visit: the Minnesota DNR Fall Color update site to view when and where the leaves are the most beautiful! Fun ways to enjoy the leaves with your family: 1. Plan a day for a fall leaf drive…

  Power in words? Talking about the Bible and God’s love can, and in my humble opinion, should be a fun and special time for children and families. I remember my most memorable Bible learning times were when I was at my Grandma’s house. We would make cookies, go on walks to look for butterflies…

  October is Fire Prevention and Safety Month! Here are some ideas for families to talk with their children about fire safety: 1. Talk with your child about matches; children NEVER play with matches! 2. Make a fire escape plan and practice together in your home. 3. Test your smoke detectors together, do your children…

Well, yep, it is that time of the year again! I like to call it, “Apple-ing!” Can you guess what that is? You got it! Time to pick and eat some apples! Now is the time of year to head out to your local grocer or apple orchard and spend some time with your children…

  A popular FAQ by parents is how do we support healthy bedtime routines? Bedtime, can a fun and relaxing time for many families, yet it can also be a source of stress for many.  In building healthy bedtime routines consider the following: 1. Amount of Sleep? Preschool aged children typically need 9-12 hours of…

On Your Mark… Get Set…Ride into the LADC BikeAThon! With only 9 days until our annual LADC BikeAThon, here are 3 ways you can help your child get ready for the fun event! 1. Polish and decorate those bikes! Help your child clean up their bike and give them a Fall make-over! Many children love…

De-Stress Your Morning Routine Here’s how to make the AM less hectic, and get everyone out of the door on time By Sasha Emmons “The rule of thumb is that everything that does not have to be done in the morning should be done the night before,” says Alexandra Mayzler, director of Thinking Caps, a…

  Going to school is a time of excitement, anticipation and newfound independence.  While some children will handle this transition with ease and say “You can go now,” other children will feel  anxious, cry and not want you to go.  Given these varying responses, what’s a parent to do? You should know that it’s completely…

  Advent is a wonderful opportunity to add prayer to your daily family time. Prayer is way of life and we can truly pray through everything we do.  We teach our children to live a life of appreciation by saying please and thank you, but what better way to deepen that appreciation then through prayer-based…

It is the time of year when families and friends get together to give thanks.  Some travel miles and others simply walk next door to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families.  Whether you see your relatives on a regular basis or just a few times a year, Thankgiving is a great time to get everyone together…

What if you could help Lake Area Discovery Center win $1,000 just by giving $10 dollars?  On Nov. 15, Give to the Max Day, you can. By partnering with GiveMN (an online giving website for Minnesota nonprofits) Lake Area Discovery center will have 25 chances to win $1,000 or more on Give to the Max Day! …

  Hunger and homelessness can be difficult topics to talk to your children about, especially when they are preschool aged.  What better time to discuss these sensitive topics as a family than in November, the month we focus on gratitude AND celebrate Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, Nov. 10-18th?  Children are never to young to…

As a Mom of four active children, I know the end of my day can get stressful, especially around dinner time.  The whole family is tired and hungry…and wants dinner NOW!  And while it would be so much easier to drive through for a dinner of Happy Meals, I know in my heart that it’s…

What is Make a Difference Day? Make a Difference Day is a day devoted entirely to helping others.  It is a celebration of neighbors helping other neighbors. Make a Difference Day was first created by USAWEEKEND magazine.  It is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October.  This year Make…

As parents, our children’s safety is number one on our priority list.  Sometimes, we need help in setting safe routines and guidelines for our families.  A fabulous resource for parents and educators to receive fire prevention ideas is the National Fire Prevention Association. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) is dedicated to reducing fire burden in the…

It is a well-known fact that each person learns in a unique way.  We also know that children need to be active to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  As teachers, we like to combine these by getting children to learn while being active.  Not only is it more fun, but it improves their physical and emotional…

“Ready, Set, Ride!” Our 7th Annual Family Festival kicks off this Saturday! As we are busy planning and organizing this fun, family event, we are often asked, “Why does LADC fundraise?  Doesn’t the tuition paid cover the school’s operating costs?” Good question! The answer to these questions provides an insight into the world of non-profit…

As school begins in the next few weeks, are you dreading the morning rush? Afraid your house will be a bit crazy in the morning?  Does it seem challenging to get kids out the door and off to school on time?  Do you find yourself asking your children to do the same things over and…

  Showing respect is a sophisticated communication skill. It is based on a guiding belief in the importance of expressing consideration for others. outlined below are tips for teaching respect. Parents need to be patient; learning respect takes time. * Show respect to your growing child through all of your daily ups and downs together,…

Effective discipline helps children learn self-control and cooperation. It is important that reward and punishment are not effective methods of discipline in the long-term. They teach children to expect an adult to be responsible for their behavior. It is helpful and important to remember that children always misbehave for reasons. Our job, as parents and…

As a Mom of four active children, I know the end of my day can get stressful, especially around dinner time.  The whole family is tired and hungry…and wants dinner NOW!  And while it would be so much easier to drive through for a dinner of Happy Meals, I know in my heart that it’s…

  Positive comments from significant adults provide important guideposts for children’s behavior. Positive comments will, in the long run, be much more helpful to children than negative ones. Children need to be in supportive, friendly environments. There are some new insights into how to make statements of praise more effective and consistent with the goals…

  There are different styles of parenting. Each parent comes to the table with their own approach or “style”, that when combined with their partner’s style and children’s personalities greatly effect the outcomes of guidance and discipline. As you read through these parenting styles, remember that we are all of these styles at some point…

A is for Accountability. Hold your child accountable for their behavior. B is for Boundaries. Set specific  limits, and make clear the repercussions if those limits are exceeded. C is for Consistency. Hold to the same principles and practices. D is for Discipline. Make the punishment fit the crime. Never discipline in anger. E is…

  Wake Up!! Decide to have a good day. “Today is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalms 118:24 Dress Up!! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. “The Lord does not…

  When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one. When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals. When you thought I wasn’t looking, I…

  Author Stephen R. Covey listed the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families”. He notes that even healthy families are “off track” 90% of the time! The difference is that healthy families have a goal, they know where they are going and they have a plan to get there. 1. BE PROACTIVE- Become an “agent…

  Use the questions listed below to create a Family Mission Statement with your family. Spend time together after dinner or during a family fun day to brain-storm the answers. Assign a family member to take notes. Turn the activity in to a fun scrap-booking or craft session by providing paper, stickers and markers to…

  As we begin a new year, some of you may have already decided on making resolutions. Many times resolutions are centered around eating healthier, exercising more, etc. Consider focusing on another kind of “healthy”. Explore what goes into fostering healthy relationships within your family. The following are “Signs of a Healthy Family”: * The…

  As you look forward to the Christmas celebrations coming at the end of this week, think back to your childhood. What traditions do you want to carry through to your family? it may be certain holiday foods, going to visit friends and relatives, wearing special holiday clothes, singing songs, traditional gifts given and received.…

As you look forward to this weekend’s Christmas Celebrations, think back to your own childhood. What traditions do you want to carry on into your family? It may be certain holiday foods, visiting friends and relatives, wearing new holiday clothes, songs you sang or traditional gifts given and received. These activities may revive a memory,…

Rituals are essential for our family life. family rituals give us a sense of permanence, the assurance that event he most ordinary activities are meaningful and significant. the family is able to develop its own sense of permanence and continuity by taking the time to fully attend to the simplest of family activities; by going…

  Hand skills are important to successful handwriting. Small movements of the hand are referred to as fine motor skills. If you feel your child is in need of extra activities to stregthen his/her hands or fine motor skills, here are a few suggestions: Fine Motor Activities: * Do finger-plays. Find them in a book…

Below is a Parent Testimonial from the First Lutheran Site: 1.    Briefly tell the story of how LADC has impacted your family/child.  What is the greatest benefit you’ve received as a parent in the LADC community?   “The Terrific Two’s Program has encouraged Ethan to develop self confidence.  He has met friends.  His first experience with…

Below is a Parent Testimonial from the Redeemer location: “Overall, I can’t say enough positive things about the LADC program.  I would highly recommend this preschool program to any parent in the community.  The quality of the teaching staff is unmatched.  They are passionate about teaching little ones and have a level of compassion and patience that…

In the Terrific Twos and Young Explorers program here at LADC, your child is growing and learning every day!  Our shorter circle time prepares them for the expectation of longer attention spans in the three year old program.  Our classrooms are set up to provide age appropriate experiences that will help your child learn about…

Our family loves LADC! It is a fantastic program! Our oldest daughter was a student at First Lutheran LADC for 4 years. She started in the Terrific Two’s for the social interaction. She then moved into the Discovery class for the more structured part of LADC’s program. By the time she was in the Kinderstart…

  *PROVIDE CHOICES! Letting your child make his own decisions can motivate him to follow directions! Making choices can help him gain a sense of self control and is good practice for decision making later in life. For example, say, “It is time to go to school. Would you like to put on your jacket…

Below is a Parent Testimonial about LADC from a family at the Redeemer location: “We are continually impressed with how intuitive all the teachers are to the needs of each child.  If a child is struggling a bit the teachers are right there to offer comfort and help.  But quick to give a child space to…

SAFETY FIRST! Considering that January is National Bath Safety month, it is a  great time to re-evaluate your bathroom to make it a safe place for everyone in your family. Bath time is a favorite activity for many children and it is important to take some time to reflect on your family’s bath safety routines.…

It is very normal for children’s behavior to become challenging and escalated during the Holiday season.  Family schedules are often disrupted, with travel, outings, special events and late nights.  Babysitters and/or nights with Grandma and Grandpa also add a change to the normal family routine.  Parents can become busy and stressed with their “to do”…

I love the Christmas season – the lights, the trees, the snow, presents, the music.  But in all of this fun, I don’t want to lose sight of what we are celebrating.   And even more, now that I have two children, I want to make sure they grow up understanding the reason for the…

The Season of Christmas is finally here!   It is a time to gather with loved ones and celebrate our Savior’s birth! Sometimes, though, it is easy to get swept away in buying, overdoing and excess. These last few years, as I look around at the floor after the presents are opened, I am beginning…

One of the biggest concerns parents face around the holidays is how to determine if a toy is safe or not.  We came across a great list of ideas for how to make safer holiday toy choices and thought it was worth sharing.  It’s written by Paul Banas, Founder and Editor of www.greatdad.com. Here are…

Where are you from originally? I was born in Buffalo, New York and moved to Syracuse in 1974.  After getting married in 1976, I have lived in Virginia, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  We moved to Minnesota in 1981. (my husband Dave is from St. Joseph) Why did you become a teacher? I actually fell into…

Prayer is way of life and we can truly pray through everything we do.  We teach our children to live a life of appreciation by saying please and thank you, but what better way to deepen that appreciation then through prayer-based activities at home.  As parents, you are the first and most influential teacher of…

The child who is ready for Kindergarten is……. A child who listens To directions without interrupting. To stories and poems for five to ten minutes without restlessness. A child who sees Likeness and differences in pictures and designs. Letters and words which have similarities. A child who hears And has fun with words that rhyme.…

Where are you from originally? I was born in Glendale, CA (near the Burbank NBC studios) and lived there until I was 9.  Then my parents moved back to the family farm outside of Inwood, IA and I became a farm kid. Why did you become a teacher? Simply because of how much I enjoyed…

Note: ** This article was originally written by Loubina Buxamusa andAnn Mahoney of the Beal College Early Childhood Center.  The content was so good that we thought it best to share the article in its entirety.  Enjoy! Pre-kindergartners benefit from experiences that support the development of fine motor skills in the hands and fingers. Children should…

One of my favorite things as a teacher is to listen to children praying.  Their prayers strengthen my own faith and often touch my heart in unexpected ways.  Many parents have asked me, “How can I teach my child to pray?”   Teaching a young child to pray is easier than you think.  Children naturally feel…

We decided to come to Lake Area Discovery Center (LADC) after trying out several pre-schools in the community.  After hearing such wonderful things from friends and family, we enrolled our 2 year old son in the Terrific Two’s Class at the Redeemer Lutheran Location.  It was a bit of a drive, but after the first…

Halloween is just around the corner.  It is a fun time of year when we get to use our imaginations and creativity to dress up in fun costumes.  It is also a time when we encourage our children to go door to door and take candy from people we hardly know (or maybe don’t know…

  As parents, our children’s safety is number one on our priority list.  Sometimes, we need help in setting safe routines and guidelines for our families.  A fabulous resource for parents and educators to receive fire prevention ideas is the National Fire Prevention Association. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) is dedicated to reducing fire burden in…

What comes to mind when you think of the month of September?  For me, I think of the end of summer, back-to-school and cooler temperatures, to name a few.  One thing you may not immediately think of is that September is National Library Card Sign-up Month!   As you are getting back into the routine…

Where are you from originally? I was born in Agana, Guam….my father was in the Navy.  We moved frequently when I was a child because my dad also worked for an oil company.  I spent 6 years in Chicago before going to college at St. Mary’s in Winona, MN.  Once in Minnesota, I just couldn’t…

  Did you know that the average American watches 4 hours and 36 minutes of TV per day?  With that much time being devoted to television, how much can possibly be left over to spend on family activities?  Not much, that’s for sure! In this day in age, overwhelmed and overbooked are the norm.  No…

Time-outs have been used as a form of discipline or punishment for as long as I can remember.  In my experience and observations as a teacher, I have noticed that parents tend to use time-outs for three reasons. For the child– Parents love and adore their children and want to raise them the best way…

“Ready, Set, Ride!” Our 7th Annual Family Festival kicks off this Saturday! As we are busy planning and organizing this fun, family event, we are often asked, “Why does LADC fundraise?  Doesn’t the tuition paid cover the school’s operating costs?” Good question! The answer to these questions provides an insight into the world of non-profit…

We have had two children attend Lake Area Discovery Center’s Early Childhood Education Program.  While each of our children came in with a unique set of strengths and developmental opportunities, we were pleased to see that each was able to grow and thrive in this environment.  Our oldest child, for example, was quite social but…

  Greetings!  We are so thrilled to welcome you to our new LADC Blogsite!  Our intent in launching this blog is to provide an additional layer of resources and information that will assist you on your journey to be the best possible parent.  Each week we will be featuring fresh new content on a variety…