Catch your sneeze please!
Ahh, the dreaded cold and flu season is upon us. Here are some tips to preventing your child (as best you can) from getting sick. On a side note, going outside and being cold or cold weather will not cause your child to become sick. People are indoors more and when one person is sick they can easily spread it to another since they are in closer contact. Not to mention that the dryer air makes it easier to spread germs. Colds and flus are caused by viruses in which your body can better fight them off if you are in tip top condition and by following some easy prevention steps.
1. Handwashing. It is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. Remind children to always wash their hands before eating, after using the toilet, and after blowing their noses or if they cough or sneeze in their hands instead of their sleeves. Consistency is key to building a good habit of washing their hands.
2. Covering up. Not in layers, but by reminding children to "catch" their coughs or sneezes in their sleeves. If they catch it in their hands and they forget to wash them right away then the germs can be easily spread.
3. Stay healthy. Help children have a strong and healthy immune system by making sure they eat nutritious foods and get plenty of exercise and sleep. Lots of vitamin C rich foods are great for prevention.
4. Keep your child at home if they are ill. Children are most infectious BEFORE the runny nose, cough, or other symptoms appear. If they feel well enough to go to school make sure they can clean their own noses, remember to wash their hands after, and catch their coughs and sneezes in their sleeves or tissues. Otherwise they will just spread their germs to others.
5. Consult a doctor. If our child has a rash, diarrhea, or infectious disease like strep throat, please, please keep your child at home and consult a doctor. This is for the safety of your own child as well as the other children and caregivers.
6. Model. Don't just tell your children how to cover their coughs or sneezes. Show them and do them yourself. What you do, children will do too.
Tip for adults: I personally swear by oil of oregano. It's not the best tasting thing in the world. Honestly, it can taste as bad as a shot of vodka. But if it means that I won't get sick, it's well worth it. I'd rather suffer the few seconds of downing it like a shot with a chaser of juice than be sick for a week, sometimes even two! It's just not worth it for me. Now that I'm pregnant, I cannot take oil of oregano as it is too strong so I am actually taking echinacea twice a week and vitamin C everyday under the advice of my naturopath. I refused to take the flu shot this season as there is just not enough evidence that it is safe for my baby. Umm, no thanks to the dog DNA and mercury! By the way, didn't they get the wrong strain this year? I remember this happening a few years back. In my opinion, I think it is not worth it and would rather take natural supplements which have been used for thousands of years.
For more information, see Sneezes and Diseases, a resource book for caregivers and parents.
To contact your Public Health Nurse or your local Community Health Office, visit: www.vch.ca
These wee wooden dolls bring back old fashioned play & imagination.
They are hand-painted and heirloom quality that are designed to last (and of course to be played with).
Pocket Folk is a one woman operation. Each doll is painted free-hand, takes 5-6 layers of paint and at least an hour to complete. This momtrepreneur loves the tiny precision each doll requires to bring them to life. She loves the challenge of painting those tiny details. She makes custom orders too! You can find them on tops of wedding cakes, in children's toy chests, not to mention in the classrooms of Westside Montessori. And hopefully our classrooms in the near future too!
"I started making them for Christmas presents just last year. I made them for all my daughter's friends and their families, and my friends and their families. I really liked making them and people kept asking me to make more so I just kept doing it because I liked it and that's when I opened up the Etsy shop." Tara also paints inspirational people from history mainly because there are no toys of them. They are mostly women, from female astronauts, to female doctors, Jane Goodall, Emily Carr, Frida Kahlo, to Albert Einstein, Dali, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earheart, etc.
I asked what I'm sure would be the most common question on how she juggled her business while being a mom. "Actually, it works out perfectly. I try not to be on the phone or computer around my daughter. We have a big long craft table at our house so I set up her station beside mine and we kind of talk and do our work. She's happy and I get my work done. It works out good."
"The most difficult thing about being a mom and running a business would be networking and marketing, I'm just not a business person. I do it because I like doing it and it's fun for me. It's a project and another source of income to help me pay for my school. I could probably sell more if I reached out to stores and did all sorts of networking and marketing which I find challenging. I'm just happy with the way it is, just taking orders as they come in. I know I could get busier if I tried harder."
When asked what type of advice she has for other mothers out there who are thinking of starting a business she replies, "Find something that's fun that you like to do that's not a drag whenever you get an order. For me, whenever I get an order I get super excited and it's really fun. I know I'll stop doing it if it's not fun for me anymore. I'm also painting silly characters too. Whatever anyone wants I'm up for it. As long as it's fun. I'm lucky that it makes quality time for the two us too."
Her plans for the future of Pocket Folk would be to get into a few stores so that she can sell more in volume. She would like to keep her custom listings for weddings and gifts for families. "I think it's fun for kids to play with families that looks like their own. I do a lot of families where they wouldn't be represented anywhere in the toy industry, so I can create that for them. I'd like to keep doing that and the wedding cake toppers. I'd like to get the inspirational characters into stores as well as the magnets and the decor."
Tara does not plan to hire artists to help her out as the workload increases. She would like to keep it exclusive. You can find her dolls at her Etsy shop, Pocket Folk.
Stay tuned for more Mom-trepreneur interviews. If you would like to see a mom-trepreneur featured in our series, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whatever you like to call it, it is a great sensory manipulative staple in our classroom! The children really enjoyed playing with "slime" during our fall semester, so of course we brought it to our demo classes to share with others. Here are a few photos of all the fun we had with goop! You can easily make this at home and store it in an air tight bag in the fridge. If you keep it clean, it can last you awhile!