The Leaves have Fallen in JumpStart!

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Worksheet of the Week

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Fall Inspirations for Your Home

Photo by Martin Cathrae, ©2009 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Photo by Martin Cathrae, ©2009 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Something about home decorations help make the holidays feel complete– that is, in addition to quality time spent with the family! We gave you recommendations for getting your home in the Halloween spirit and we’re back with some more ideas for Thanksgiving decorations! As you’re taking down jack-o-lanterns, ghoulish ghosts and the rest of your Halloween decorations, switch them out with some of these fall favorites.

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Hoist the Flag – It’s Pirate Month in JumpStart!

Hey there, Mateys! Have you noticed that a few of our pirate pals have anchored down on the JumpStart shores? Tell all of your swashbuckling and seafaring friends the BIG news – it’s PIRATE MONTH in JumpStart!

Hotspot_CentralParkFunZone_09.11So what does this all mean for you and your BFFs? It means that Captain Frankie’s sailed through to drop off a few seasonal updates to the game. Arrrr’ you ready to start your pirate training? In central Park the Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar Ride will give you those necessary sea legs!

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Your next test is in MainStreet! Can you find the hidden Treasure? Follow the floating skulls to explore secret caverns at this pirate only FunZone! Best of all – the fun doesn’t stop there! As is the case with all changes in season – a new scavenger hunt, and updates to Petz, Ridez, ad Threadz have arrived to the game!

Thanksgiving Themed Crafts for Fall

How do you teach your children to give thanks? Celebrated annually throughout the United States on the last Thursday of November, the Thanksgiving holiday provides families across the nation with copious amounts of time to spend together and the opportunity to celebrate the things that they hold most dear. While it is important to teach children the historical significance of this day, parents and educators might also benefit from planning for festive fall crafts like the ones featured here to continue in the long tradition of making learning interactive and engaging.

PHOTO BY: timlewisnm

PHOTO BY: timlewisnm

Thanksgiving Wreath – create a leaf template and allow your kids to cut out various pieces using fall colored construction paper in shades of deep orange, brown, red, and yellow. Upon each leaf, have them write something that they are most thankful for having in their lives. Once they have finished creating the leaves, affix each paper leaf to a wire base which will form your wreath. This can be a helpful reminder to your kids, about the things that they should not take for granted. As a similar alternative craft, consider attaching your thanksgiving leaves to a handcrafted tree.

Pinecone Turkey – A true symbol of the thanksgiving season, the iconic American turkey can help teach your kids about the spirit of understanding and camaraderie that marks this day in history. After all, the tale of the first thanksgiving often includes the sharing of a turkey meal. While kids might not be ready to help prepare your family’s Thanksgiving Day entree, they can create a version of their own using another fall symbol, the pinecone. Have them tilt the pinecone on its side and attach colorful feathers to the larger end. On the more tapered side, create a fun and festive face for your little gobbler.

Thanksgiving Hats – When teaching your kids about the history between the pilgrims and Native American who shared the first Thanksgiving meal, consider creating hat templates for your little learners to create their own unique take on a pilgrim’s hat or Native American headdress. Pull from a large array of crafting supplies or keep it simple with basics like colored construction paper, glue, and other common household arts supplies. Kids can even use the creative costume pieces to reenact scenes from the first Thanksgiving with friends, family, or classmates.

Halloween Safety Tips

A child’s priorities on Halloween can differ greatly from that of their parents. For kids, Halloween night is an exciting time where kids are able to trick or treat through their neighborhoods or enjoy fun-filled holiday parties with their family and friends. However, this fall holiday is not all just fun and games. Keep these tips in mind, before your family takes to the streets this Halloween, to help assure that your night of trick or treating and celebration does not end with any unexpected or unwanted surprises.

PHOTO BY: Steven Depolo

 

Parents can always benefit from a little preparation ahead of time to help them stay in control of any situation during this, at times, chaotic time of year.

  1. Pack a bag – With all the foot traffic on the street, sometimes small spills are unstoppable. Be sure to carry a small first aid kit to manage small bumps and bruises. Additionally, you might benefit from having a snack and drink on hand in case your kids need something to boost their energy while trick or treating.
  2.  Fit their costumes – Avoid falls by making sure that your kids costumes are at a proper length and won’t be causing them to trip as they quickly move from door to door
  3. Check their candy – While candy tampering is rare occurrence, don’t forget to practice common sense when accepting food and sweet treats from people who are seemingly strangers to you and your kids. Your safest best is to only consumer candy that has been commercially wrapped and does not show signs of suspicious openings.
  4. Bring a flashlight – Depending on your locale street lighting may vary, so to both light your way and make motorists aware of your location, you might want to equip your family with a flash light as they traveling through the streets. Additions like reflective tape to clothing can also help keep track of kids in the darkness of night.
  5. Be cautious – Make your kids aware of all the possible dangers so that they can be proactive in preventing any Halloween horror stories. From looking both ways as they cross the street to keeping their distance while walking bast open flames in traditional jack-o-lanterns or seasonal lanterns, preparing your kids ahead of time can never hurt!

Seasonal Family Traditions – Halloween

Fall is officially in session and there is nothing better than a Holiday season to begin fun and festive family traditions with the ones that you care about most. Holiday activities like the ones listed below give parents the ability to teach their kids about the history behind certain times of year through memorable and fun activities that embody the spirit of the season.

Pumpkin Contest 2011a

Photo By: Amelia Extra

How does your family prepare for the Halloween season each year? If you are looking for ways to revamp this annual occurrence by starting a few family traditions of your own, look to our list of popular Halloween traditions that you might want to start in your home:

Pumpkin Carving Contest: A fun activity that results in having a number of beautiful décor items for your home. Nothing quite represents this fall holiday quite like gathering with friends and loved ones to carve a classic Jack – O-Lantern. Some cities and communities take it a step further by hosting festive carving contest that result in intricate and detailed designs that are sure to impress!

Cookie Decorating Party: Kids and adults alike would get a kick out of this family friendly activity. All you need to get started are a few plain sugar cookies, icing, sprinkles, and any preferred decorating tools. From bits of candy to chocolate frosting, cater to your family’s tastes but also provide a few Halloween themed items like pumpkin shaped cookies or spooky sprinkles.

Halloween Movie Night: Family movie nights can get a whole new feel when it comes to the Halloween season. During this spooky time of year, parents can share some of their favorite family friendly Halloween films with their kids. Additionally, movie snacks and other sweet treats can be themed around the holiday or scenes from the film that you’ll be screening.

Candied Apple Decorating: For many, fall is often seen as apple season, so when looking for new uses for this fall food, don’t forget about the classic candied apple! Simply gather a few of your kids favorite sweet treats and snacks and have them start decorating a Halloween themed treat. Make sure a parent or adult is there to supervise when it comes to heating up and dipping the apples in caramel or melted candy.