CASY Family Newsletter

March 2023

50 St. Patrick’s Day Activities For Kids ~ Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Home

The Greening of the Canal and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade are some of our favorite things to do in Indy in the spring. But your family can celebrate Irish culture for the whole month of March with special foods, music, dancing, crafts, and lots, and lots of green.

Check out these 50 kid-friendly ways to bring out the Irish in you. After all, everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

Keep Stress in Check During Spring Break

To your children, Spring Break is a welcome chance to sleep in and spend the day having fun. To parents, Spring Break can be stressful, whether due to re-arranging schedules, setting up playdates for younger children or worrying about older teens off on trips. This Parenting Tip is about helping manage stress during spring break and finding fun new ways to bond with your children.

How to help kids understand and manage their emotions

Parents, teachers, and other caregivers have an important role in teaching children self-regulation

Babies cry, toddlers have tantrums. At some point, parents expect their kids to start managing their feelings without epic meltdowns.

Learning to regulate emotions, though, is a complex process. “Emotion regulation calls on so many skills, including attention, planning, cognitive development, and language development,” said Pamela Cole, PhD, a psychologist at Penn State University who studies emotion regulation in early childhood.

Children develop those skills at different times, psychologists say. Their ability to manage negative feelings depends on genetics, their natural temperament, the environment they grow up in, and outside factors like how tired or hungry they are. But parents, teachers, and other caregivers all play a critical role in helping children learn to manage their feelings. Read more here.

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The Importance of Skin-to-skin Contact

Babies learn about the world around them in many ways. One critical way that babies learn is by being held or touched by their parents, especially when making skin-to-skin contact. This Parenting Tip aims to help parents understand the importance of touch and contact for developing babies and how it supports healthy child development.

5 Ways to Practice Perseverance as a Family

What is perseverance? In the “Perseverance” episode of “PBS KIDS Talk About,” 10-year-old Karli defines perseverance as seeing something through to the end “because it’s like not giving up.” Kids need perseverance to overcome obstacles and accomplish big goals, but parents can help children practice perseverance in their everyday challenges, too. When her father relates the word “determination” to the concept of perseverance, 10-year-old Braxton says, “It means trying your best, never giving up.” When it comes to building skills in perseverance, kids may approach how to try their best and not give up differently based on their interests and experiences.

Try these five ways to practice perseverance as a family.

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5 Indoor Playdate Ideas

Playdates provide your little ones opportunities to build social skills and use their imaginations. A playdate can also be a great time for you to connect with other adults and get some social time for yourself.

Playdates at a park, for example, are always a great way to let kids connect and have fun. But outside is not always an option, and coming up with creative ways to keep your kids entertained indoors can be a challenge.

What are some good activities for an indoor playdate?

Here are five indoor playdate ideas that let you set up engaging scenarios of unstructured play. You can let your kids be kids. And, while staying within earshot, you can get a much-needed break to socialize with your parent friends.

Picky Eating: What’s Normal and What’s Not

Kids with a serious aversion to many foods may need help with food habits and overcoming avoidance

Lots of kids are picky eaters. Often, they grow out of it. But sometimes picky eating becomes a real problem. Kids can eat so little or so few different foods that it starts to affect their health or their daily lives. And it’s frustrating for parents. Read more here.

10 Tips for Parents of Picky Eaters

Picky eating is often the norm for toddlers. After the rapid growth of infancy, when babies usually triple in weight, a toddler’s growth rate – and appetite – tends to slow down.

Toddlers also are beginning to develop food preferences, a fickle process. A toddler’s favorite food one day may hit the floor the next, or a snubbed food might suddenly become the one he or she can’t get enough of. For weeks, they may eat 1 or 2 preferred foods – and nothing else.

Try not to get frustrated by this typical toddler behavior. Just make healthy food choices available and know that, with time, your child's appetite and eating behaviors will level out. In the meantime, here are some tips that can help you get through the picky eater stage.

Is Your Drinking Water Safe?

Water is the best beverage you can serve active, growing kids. ​However, it is essential for their health that their drinking water be reliably free from harmful contaminants. It's especially important considering that children drink much more water for their size than adults.

Here is information to help ensure the water your kids drink is safe.

Great Books for Exploring Careers

We love any chance we can get to explore careers with little learners. Here's a book list that features exciting work opportunities with bright and capable girl characters! But, don’t shy away from this list of books for your sons!

TECH TALK: Using Technology in Early Childhood Education

One thing the COVID-19 pandemic taught us is the value of technology when it comes to educating children. School-age children received laptops and experienced months of virtual education. Even the littlest learners were at home with their parents, occupied by tablets when their child care programs closed.

Technology can be a valuable tool if used to enhance education efforts. From virtual field trips to gamified learning, classroom technology is a great way to boost student excitement and enrich learning environments.

The U.S. Department of Education has four guidelines for using technology in early learning environments. These guidelines encourage key skills such as play, self-expression and problem-solving skills.

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Upcoming Events

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Supporting the whole family

Families, teachers and children are better together. That’s why the Child Care Resource and Referral Network is proud to serve as a navigator for families, expertly assisting them in finding high-quality child care and connecting them with additional opportunities to meet their needs.

Is your family struggling to make ends meet? Could you or someone you know use assistance with paying for utilities, accessing a food pantry, or connecting to job training or employment services? Call 800-886-3952, ext 2. to learn more!

For personalized support in finding a child care program that best meets your family's needs,

contact CASY, Child Care Resource and Referral, Family Engagement Specialists

at 800-886-3952 and choose option 2.

You can also complete the referral request form by clicking here.

Our Family Engagement Specialists will follow up with you by the next business day when you submit the online form.

Click below to find your county's CCDF Eligibility Office