GPG News Flash!

November 21, 2018 – GPG is on Amazon! This game makes a perfect Christmas gift for kids, parents, daycare providers, healthcare providers, and teachers!   

Advertisements
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The Game Plan Game is available on Amazon    AMAZON LOGO 

Check us out!

Read our reviews!

 

AMAZON PHOTOEducational safety board game that enhances critical thinking

Ages 4 & up – Fun and Easy Interactive Play

Encourages conversations with adults on critical issues & teaches safety information                                                                                

                                                     

 

This game makes a perfect Christmas gift for kids, parents, daycare providers, healthcare providers, and teachers!      

 

Order yours today!

 

Because everyone needs a game plan!

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

November Blog: Thanks-Giving: Helping Your Child Feel and Express Thankfulness

November 10, 2018 – Tips and ideas for teaching your child to feel and express gratitude all year round!

thankfulness photo

As parents, we want our children to not only be able to feel thankful for what they have but to be able to express it also. We’ve seen and heard ungrateful children (often in the malls right after Christmas!) and we know ungrateful children often grow up to be ungrateful adults. These are people you make excuses to not be around for very long. Many adults who complain, who are constantly wanting something (or someone) more or better, who are self-absorbed and greedy were probably ungrateful children, children who never learned how to feel and express gratefulness for what they had. We do not want that for our children.

And the good news is as parents we are our child’s greatest influence. We set the example for how to act, how to speak, how to treat others, and how to believe. If we model thankfulness for what we have, regardless of the amount and regardless of how it compares to another’s blessing, our children are more likely to have that thankfulness as well.

Here are a few ways to encourage your child to recognize the blessings they have, to appreciate them instead of taking them for granted, and to be able to express that thankfulness.

Check YOUR Attitude

For at the least the first ten or so years of their lives we are our children’s role models. We should take this responsibility seriously. We will, ultimately, have a hand in what type of adult our child will grow into. What are we modeling to our children right now? Do they see us unsatisfied or hear us complaining? Are they watching us express dissatisfaction with our home as we envy those with larger, prettier, more expensive homes? Do they hear us express what we wish we had more than they hear us express gratefulness for what we do have? If we have this “more, more” attitude then we’re probably wasting our time trying to teach thankfulness to our children. They will see right through us. If your own attitude is not one of appreciation and gratefulness then you have an assignment to complete before you take on trying to teach your child to feel appreciation and gratefulness: work on yourself first!

Encourage Giving

Children are selfish by nature. They aren’t born wanting to help others or to share what they have and far too many children grow up to be, yep, adults who are selfish and who do not want to help others. Not a pretty sight. We don’t want that for our kids. We want them to be better. It’s our job to instill this kind of generosity and thoughtfulness in our children. There are some easy, fun ways of doing this:

  • Before buying new toys, have your child pick out some of their older toys to take to a shelter or donation center.
  • Same with clothing. Let them see you choosing some of your own clothes to donate and ask them to participate.

This not only teaches your child that there are children out there who have much less than they have but also gives your child the chance to feel and express gratitude for what they have.

Help Your Child Have a Bigger Perspective

Children are notoriously self-absorbed. Their own little world is, to them, the only world there is. Help them view their lives in a more global way. This helps them see how much more they may have in terms of homes, clothes, family, etc. than other children in poorer parts of the world. There are age-appropriate shows and DVDs on TV or that can be rented from your library that can show your child how children live in other parts of the world. There are also publications, such as National Geographic Kids, that show your child a much larger view of the world as well.

Practice Thanksgiving Every Day

Talking about being thankful only one day a year is, well, kind of useless. Being thankful should be a daily endeavor. Make sure your family expresses appreciation and thanks to each other and others year round. Teach your child to always say “Thank you” and that being thankful is as important, if not more so, than just saying it.

Put It in Writing

This can be a weekly family activity where each family member writes down one or two or ten things they’re thankful for and why. This can be a list your child keeps that you talk about regularly. This can be writing and sending thank-yous after Christmas or birthdays or just whenever. What all these activities have in common is:

  • Writing – we’ve all learned that writing something down helps us to process better, remember easier and for longer, and expressing gratitude helps with feeling it.
  • Sharing – sharing our gratitude deepens the feeling and further shapes the attitude, not to mention how it makes others feel to hear a “thank you!”

Cook Something Up

Letting your child help you cook dinner (or lunch or breakfast) teaches them the process of preparing and cooking the food and does it in a fun, memorable way. Even better, talk about where the food came from, how it was bought, what it does in the body. Afterward, have your child help you pack up leftover food to take to a shelter or soup kitchen. This will teach them not only the importance of being thankful for the food but also the importance of sharing what we have with less fortunate people.

Summing Up…

We have a great responsibility to teach our kids the lessons they need in order to become good, generous, thankful, considerate people. The life skills they will need all through their life start with us, their parents. This blog focused on gratitude and generosity, helping others, but there are many other life skills we must teach our children:

  • Courtesy
  • Responsibility
  • Kindness
  • Fairness
  • Honesty
  • Personal Safety

The Game Plan Game is a fun, interactive way of teaching life skills. Research has shown material learned in an enjoyable, active way is retained more thoroughly and for longer periods of time. This game allows you to engage with your child, to play interactively and to teach and learn crucial life skills that they’ll need for the rest of their lives. We’re on Amazon – check us out and order yours today! Christmas is just around the corner!

Image Credit: http://www.imagenesmy.com

GPG News Flash!

Order The Game Plan Game on Amazon now!

The Game Plan Game download is available now on Amazon! Come check it out and order yours today (remember – Christmas is just around the corner!) 

The Game Plan Game on Amazon!

 

                                            AMAZON PHOTO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

October Blog: Halloween Safety Tips

October 12, 2018 – Kids just want to have fun – parents want to be sure they’re safe. Read our Halloween tips on Halloween safety!

west side seattle halloween photo.png

Most kids love Halloween. Most parents are concerned about their child’s safety during Halloween. There are plenty of things to be concerned about, such as traffic/non-traffic accidents involving pedestrians, your child’s safety as they’re trick-or-treating, costume safety, and the safety of the candy your child receives.

The more serious facts regarding Halloween safety are that in 2016, 7,330 pedestrians were killed during Halloween in both traffic and non-traffic cases (non-traffic accidents occur in parking lots, driveways, etc.). Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. In 2017, the month of October showed 3,700 child deaths, thus ranking it #2 in motor vehicle deaths by month. The only month with higher MVA/pedestrian deaths was July with 3,830 deaths.

So the dangers are certainly out there. What are some good ways we, as parents, can ensure our kids stay safe while having a good time?

Costume Safety

Following is a list of costume safety tips:

  • Make sure your child’s costume can be easily seen in the dark. You’ll want to use costumes that are bright and reflective.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses. Aside from causing pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders, using decorative lenses are dangerous AND illegal.
  • Make sure your child’s costume fits well – the right size shoes, a safe length so they don’t trip or get entangled.
  • When buying a costume, make sure every part of the costume is flame resistant.
  • Consider using makeup as a safe alternative to a mask. Masks can limit or even block your child’s eyesight. The makeup you use should be non-toxic.
  • When using a mask make sure your child can see easily through the eye holes – you can cut them to be larger holes if you need to.
  • Have your child carry a glow stick or flashlight to make sure they’re seen by other trick-or-treaters and by drivers.

Trick-or-Treat Safety

Staying safe is of utmost importance as your child is canvassing the neighborhood. Here are a few trick-or-trick safety tips:

  • Teach your child:
    • To never get in a stranger’s car
    • To never walk off with a stranger
    • To only travel in familiar and well-lit areas
    • To never be separated from their group
    • To not eat ANY candy before you can check it at home
    • To put away their phones and pay attention to their surroundings
    • To always walk, not run, across streets
    • To stay on well- lit, familiar streets and always use the sidewalk
  • Always have a parent or responsible adult accompany young children as they trick-or-treat
  • Make sure there are plenty of flashlights for everyone to carry
  • Have your child carry a cellphone

Candy/Food Safety

It’s a sad and frightening fact that there are people out there who want to hurt others, even children, by tampering with the candy or other food products they give out. The aftermath of Halloween is just as important, if not more so, than the costumes and trick-or-treating. This is largely because everyone’s guard is down at home. Safety takes a back seat to digging into the candy. Here are some candy/food safety tips to follow afterward:

  • Make sure your child knows to NEVER get into the candy before an adult has a chance to look it over.
  • To cut back on candy overload, try rationing the treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.
  • If your child has any food allergies, it is even more crucial that you examine the candy/food FIRST.
  • Have your child turn down any homemade things like cupcakes and cookies.

If You’re Driving on Trick-or-Treat Night

Whether you’re driving with your child to trick-or-treat or just driving through neighborhoods where kids are trick-or-treating, it’s very important for you to be extra vigilant. Here are some safety tips for motorists:

  • Watch, watch, watch!! Watch for children on sidewalks, curbs, medians, roadways, etc.
  • When entering or exiting driveways or alleys be very cautious and conscious of your surroundings.
  • Keep an eye out for children with dark clothing or costumes.
  • Eliminate any and all distractions from your vehicle so you can concentrate on your driving and your surroundings.
  • Keep an eye on your speed. Drive slowly, use your headlights and be prepared for heavy foot traffic.
  • Know designated times for trick-or-treating so you’ll know to be especially careful and watchful during that time.

And So…..

Kids love the magic, creativity and fun of Halloween. Follow these safety tips to ensure that as your kids are having fun they’re staying safe too!

Image Credit: Westside Seattle

 

September Blog: A Brand New School Year: Our Roles as Parents

How to get your child off to a great new school year!

As parents, we are our child’s most influential role model. Our children look to us for how to handle situations, what to anticipate and what to dread, what rules to follow. This parental role cannot be overemphasized, especially when it comes to education. A new study shows parental involvement in their child’s education affects their child’s performance more than the school.

An eye-opening research study, the Coleman Report, conducted in 1966, analyzed how a student’s home environment affects their school performance and resulted in a surprising (at the time) conclusion:  Family background strongly correlates with educational and economic success. The study was impressive, led by James S. Coleman, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist and encompassing over 3,000 schools, almost 600,000 students and thousands of teachers.

It’s clear that the way we, as parents, approach the new school year will greatly influence how our child approaches it well. Let’s look at some ways we can positively influence how our kids start their new school year.

How Does Your Child Learn?

We all learn differently. One person may learn through practice, another through watching, and another through reading or hearing new information. Discerning how your child learns is very important and will ensure greater success, and less frustration, in helping them learn, understand and retain new information.

What Does Your Child Enjoy?

What makes your child’s eyes light up? Does he like reading or being read to? Does she enjoy helping you with the garden or yard care? Does your child like music, cooking, crafts? Does your child enjoy being around groups of people or is your child more of a loner? Take notice of what revs your child up and integrate that into learning. A trip to the zoo, a walk through the park, a day trip to the museum or library, an afternoon of crafts – it’s so easy to use your child’s interests as a vehicle to bring new information and experiences to their day! And research has shown repeatedly that information learned in a fun way is retained much longer.

Parent-Teacher Relationships

Research has shown that when teachers have good relationships with their students’ parents and have positive perceptions of parental involvement in their child’s education, their own levels of positive interaction with the child increase. In fact, according to Keith Herman, a professor at the University of Missouri College of Education and co-director of the Missouri Prevention Center, research findings illustrate the importance of parent-teacher connections and also stress the importance of training teachers in creating positive relationships with their students’ parents.

Talking to Your Child

Helping your child in matters of school and education (actually, in ALL matters of life) doesn’t require expensive gadgets or toys or even specialized classes – all it really requires is simply talking to your child. Talking with your child, in a reciprocal manner that allows your child’s contribution and feedback, gives them practice in language usage and also helps them feel that their opinions and views matter. The content of the conversation, however, is important too. For example, if you talk with your child about numbers, counting, calculating, they’ll start out learning math with a stronger mathematical foundation than kids’ who do not participate in these conversations with their parents. Children whose parents engaged them in conversations about specific subjects have been shown to have an advantage in learning those subject areas.

Reading with Your Child

Reading aloud to your child will expose her to literary vocabulary and ideas and can spur interest in reading generally. Susan Becker, M.Ed., suggests taking turns – you read one or two chapters and then your child reads one or two chapters. Allow your child to choose the book, book series are a great way to get your child involved in reading. Keep it on your child’s level and only read books your child is interested in.

Help Your Child Relate What They’re Learning in School to the Real World

Talk with them about current events and how they are related to what they’re studying in school. Ask them about a topic they’re learning about, find a current event or issue that relates to that topic, and discuss what the issue is, how to improve or fix an issue, and how they themselves can help or participate (such as donating to hurricane victims).

Let Your Child See You Learning

Most research has shown a direct correlation between the educational level of the parent and their child’s academic performance. Research also supports the theory that highly educated parents influence their child’s success later in life. As parents we can model the learning process for our child, illustrating the importance of learning and applying what we’ve learned to our lives and world.

A new school year has begun. We as parents are in a wonderful and challenging role – that of an educational role model to our children. Get involved and get your child off to an awesome new school year!

 

Image Credit: Pinterest

GPG News Flash!

GPG Download is Now Available!

The Game Plan Game download is available now and the boxed games coming in August!! Come check it out!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

GPG News Flash!

GPG Unveiled!

The Game Plan Game unveiled at the largest gathering of school counselors in the country, the American School Counselors Association in Los Angeles July 14th- 16th.
We were a Silver sponsor and had a great response to the game!
Many counselors are interested in ordering when the games arrive in August!
Exciting days!!
LA game conference