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November 5, 2018

Make family time school — and career — readiness time!

Family time
What’s the secret to getting your child ready for kindergarten, jobs and life? YOU and a little bit of family time.

Hands-on family time builds your child’s skills. And building those skills gets them ready for success from elementary school to a meaningful career. Check out the tips below and sign up to get more free ideas every week — sent straight to your smartphone — with our Bloom Bright text service.

This article is one of many in the special 2018 early childhood edition of Learn More Magazine. Want to read more? Click here or reach out to your local child care resource and referral agency for paper copies!

Bloom Bright Science Tip

Time outside helps your child grow their early science skills. Encourage them to use their sense to investigate the world. Talk about signs, sounds and smells. “Do you hear that bird singing? How do those flowers smell?” These little moments spark big growth — and they might be helping you raise a future botanist, landscape designer or poet!

Bloom Bright Arts & Culture Tip

Singing helps little ones express themselves! Ask your child’s caregiver or teacher what songs they’re singing together. Then, sing together at home. It’s a creative and fun family activity. Your family jams may pave the way for your child to compose a career as a composer, sound engineer or stage designer.

Bloom Bright Math Tip

Count light poles as you travel. Or compare fruit sizes at the grocery store. This daily math fun inspires you mini-mathematician. As you talk about numbers, patterns, sizes and shapes, you lay the foundation for a lifetime of math skills. You may spark an interest that leads to being a farmer or accountant.

Bloom Bright Feelings Tip

A great way to help your child manage feelings in tough times is to bring YOUR calm to THEIR chaos. “I can see you are mad. I am going to take some deep breaths so I feel calm. When you are ready, I can help you take deep breaths too.” building their skills to manage tough emotions helps them grow into great work team members. You might even open a path that leads to a career in psychology, wellness or yoga.

Bloom Bright STEM Tip

Empty boxes offer a fun, open-ended chance to explore creativity. Turn that box into a family project! Use markers, paper, paint and more to make anything. With your child, you can make a castle, truck or ramp. As you imagine together, you also build the kinds of skills kids need for STEM (science, math, engineering and math) careers. Building with boxes today may result in a job in architecture or city planning in 20 years.

Kirsten Eamon-Shine directs Early Learning Indiana’s communications efforts, including the Brighter Futures Indiana website. She loves telling stories that help adults nurture the curiosity and potential of children. She spent over a decade in the youth development field at IUPUI, the Marion County Commission on Youth and Peace Learning Center, and has diverse experience as a digital communications manager and strategist with community-focused organizations and businesses. Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Indiana University. She spends her free time reading children’s and grown-ups’ books, enjoying Indianapolis’ cultural and food scenes, and listening to music with her husband and son Emerson, who is somehow old enough to be in kindergarten.

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