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Five Ways to Incorporate Exercise into Your Family’s Life – Without Them Knowing!

  1. “Family game night” sounds more appealing than “family exercise night,” and we think your family will agree! On your next family game night, choose an active game that gets each player up and moving. Whether it’s the old classic “Twister”, or a Wii sports game, or just an exciting match of charades, your family will get their daily aerobic activity all while having fun!
  2. Find new activities that keep you on the move: Your kids will not only enjoy watching you in motion but will most likely not even realize they are getting a work out at the same time. An afternoon game of mini golf, an evening chasing fireflies, or an hour at the indoor trampoline park will add the “fun” factor to exercise and get your family excited to do this more often.
  3. Visit new places: A visit to a new art gallery, science museum or park is not only great for exercising your brain, but also your body! Your children may not normally be excited about going on a walk, but they will hardly notice the number of steps they are taking as they walk from room to room checking out fun exhibits and demonstrations.
  4. Get Out Into the Fresh Air: : Now that it’s summer, your kids are probably spending most of their spare time outdoors anyways. Outdoor sports are one of the best ways to get exercise, and your own backyard can serve as a makeshift soccer or baseball field.
  5. Strategic chore charts: If your children are already used to helping around the house, try planning their chores around activities that are more physically involved, like vacuuming, washing the car or helping in the garden. Household chores may not be a lap around the track, but they are guaranteed to get you moving!

How Does Smiling Affect Your Health?

If you type “smiling makes you…” into your search engine the results immediately give insight into why a simple smile is so contagious. The search results for the benefits of smiling includes “smiling makes you live longer”, “smiling makes you look younger,” and even, “smiling makes you more attractive!” But there is one health benefit at the root of a smile, making people live longer and look younger and that is happiness.

Happiness is a common goal that almost every human strives for every day. We seek it through our careers, finances, family life and hobbies, but there are many conflicting arguments about what true happiness really is and how we can best achieve it.
Not only does smiling release serotonin, the neurotransmitter connected to happiness, to create positive feedback and emotions, but studies show that positive emotions can lower a stress-induced heart rate increase (whether it’s authentic or not!) This means that by reducing your stress-symptoms with a smile, you’re also reducing the negative health effects that go along with stress, like high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue and a decreased immune system response.
So, the next time you’re in a stressful situation, put on a big smile! It doesn’t matter if you need to look at a funny video or photo, or force a smile that engages the muscles around your eyes and mouth – both will be effective in inducing feelings of happiness and help your health in the long run.
You can also use this knowledge to help others who may be feeling stressed or unhappy. Even seeing someone else smile can uplift our mood, but smiles are contagious, and someone else is likely to mirror your happiness with a smile in return!

Summer Camp 2018 – Maker Fun Factory!


Summer Camp 2018 

June 18th-August 31, 2018

What is all of the hype about Maker Fun Factory?!?!

Maker Fun Factory is a fun-filled action-packed Summer Camp for your child!

During this time, we will be giving you and your children a wonderful experience  in our Summer Camp Program.

Maker Fun Factory focuses on how we are all “Created by God & Built for a Purpose.” How will we be teaching your child this concept you may wonder??

Maker Fun Factory invites your child to become creative inventors through sensory & STEM activities while discovering that they are lovingly crafted by God!

Just a few of our hands-on interactive activities include:

  • Cooking Projects,
  • Science Experiments,
  • Team Building Games,
  • and Bible Songs!

Come join us for this spectacular fun-filled Summer!

Contact your nearest Apple Tree Learning Center for details.

New Twists On The Old Classic Games

There are certain board games or video games that we’ve all grown up loving and want to revisit or share with future generations. Unfortunately, they may be hard to track down, very expensive or no longer compatible with today’s technology. Thankfully, there are some great newer versions of the games we love with added elements that will surprise you! Next time you have family game night or downtime, try these new twists on old classics:

 

Nintendo Switch: If you have fond memories of grabbing your GameCube and all of the chunky game cartridges that were paired with it, you’ll love this updated gaming system. Play newer games or the old classics on this portable handheld system and you’ll never have to worry about lost games and tangled cords.

 

Updated board games: Many board games like Monopoly, The Game of Life, and Scrabble still contain the same rules and setup, but with new electronic updates. For instance, Scrabble now comes with an electronic system for counting points on letters, making gameplay faster and easier for players to keep track of their scores. Monopoly has an updated version with an electronic banking system, making money-handling easy for both players and the parents keeping track of game pieces!

 

Phone versions of games: You probably know about Candy Crush and Flappy Bird, but did you know you can play your favorite arcade games on your phone? Arcades may be hard to come by, and you may feel a little out of place in one now. Thankfully, you can play games like Pinball, PAC-MAN, Frogger and more, without ever having to set foot on a sticky arcade floor. Many of these games are free and allow you to compete with other high scores, making for some friendly, fun competition!

How To Reduce Screen Time For Your Children

In a society where technology prevails, it can be tougher than ever to convince your child to voluntarily look away from the screen. This doesn’t just mean the television – most households now have multiple smartphones, ipads and laptops.

In a recent report by Common Sense Media, it was found that 42% of children 8 and younger have their own tablet devices, and spend an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes a day looking at screens. Tablets and phones can be great educational tools, but if used too often they can also disrupt sleep schedules and even impact expressive speech and the ability to recognize emotions. Here are the top ways to reduce screen time:

  1. Set An Example: Though it may be tough moving away from screens yourself, it is one of the most impactful ways to reduce screen time for your child. Younger children learn by observing, and making an effort to put down your phone, computer or tablet will set a good example.
  2. Create Rules and Follow Them: By setting rules for your child, they will begin to understand when it’s time for screens and when they have to step away. A good place to start can include: no television during dinner, no digital device with a screen before bed, and setting designated times that the kids can enjoy a device with a screen. Abiding by these rules may be harder on you than the child. Think about when you’re busy and you need to keep your child occupied — what do you do? Most of us send hand them a tablet, stream their favorite show and head off to do our chores. However, if you’ve set a rule for no screen time, it is important to stick to it.
  3. Provide Alternate Activities: If your child is bored, they’re going to want to reach for a device for entertainment. Engage with them by going outside, playing games or reading books – you’ll create fond memories and a desire for other forms of fun!

The Early Bird Gets The Discount!

Dear Parents,

Next week will begin our Early Bird Registration. We hope that you take advantage of the discount we are offering on registration fees for our in-house families only.

Remember, in order to complete the Early Bird Registration process you must fill out and sign the Re-Registration form and pay your registration fee. If you do not complete both items by the deadline then you will not be registered for Fall 2018.

If you have any questions please speak with your director or contact the corporate office.

Sincerely,
Heidi Riden
CEO

AAA-CHOO! Keeping a Healthy Home

Even a seemingly clean house is still susceptible to viruses and bacteria that can affect the health of you and your loved ones. Fortunately, there are ways to combat these hidden dangers. Below are a few examples of the germiest places in your home and easy solutions for keeping them clean and sanitary.

The Kitchen

Towels, dish cloths, sponges and countertops where food is prepped – all these areas are hot spots for germs. To combat them, put sponges in the dishwasher with the drying setting on, or zap wet sponges in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to kill bacteria. Use a fresh dish cloth every day, and sanitize in the washing machine with hot water in between uses. Wash out the sink with soap and hot water after preparing meals and washing dishes, and sanitize the sink, drain and counters with a bleach solution at least twice a week.

The Laundry Room

Did you know that there is a tenth of a gram of feces in every pair of soiled underwear? Because of this, underclothing should be washed separately in 150℉+ hot water. Move them to the dryer as soon as the wash cycle is done so germs don’t get a chance to multiply, and run it until everything is completely dry, which usually takes about 45 minutes. When you’re done, always wash your hands with soap and water and use a bleach solution on the washing machine’s tub.

The Bathroom

Your toilet bowl is not the only source of germs and bacteria in your bathroom. The flush handle on your toilet is often forgotten, and is one of the easiest ways to transfer sickness from person to person. The best way to cut down on bathroom germs is with weekly disinfecting of the floors, tub/shower floor and sides, and the toilet (including the flush handle).

Delayed Opening – Thursday 1/18/18

This is an important message regarding operations for Apple Tree Learning Centers for Thursday January 18th.

All Apple Tree Centers will operate on a 3 hour delay. We will open at 9am due to the freezing temperature and road conditions. Due to the delayed opening time we will only be serving lunch at 12pm and afternoon snack at 3pm tomorrow.

Academy classes K through 5th grade will be on a delay with a start time of 9:30am.

Child care is available for all public school students for an additional fee.

Sidewalks and parking lots have been salted; however, they are still icy and slippery from the below freezing temperatures. Please be careful and hold your child’s hand when walking in these areas to prevent falling.

We appreciate all your support and please be safe.

Sincerely,
Heidi Riden
CEO

Winter Is The Perfect Time To Go Outside With Family

With the start of the year, many people are setting goals and resolutions, and getting outside with those you love should make its way onto everyone’s lists. Spending time outdoors and spending time with loved ones have both been proven to benefit health and happiness, making it an activity that benefits all! However, it can be tough to find a way to get outdoors in a way that interests everyone, so here are a few ideas of how to get outside together this year:

 

Post-meal walks: Taking a walk after a meal is one of the easiest ways to get outside! The family is already gathered together during the meal, and this is an activity that requires no travel. Walking after a meal is also known to improve digestion, and it ensures that everyone has some fresh air and exercise for the day.

 

Geocaching: If you have trouble getting kids out of the house because of lack of interest, geocaching is an excellent activity to put the fun into walking outside. Using coordinates through their website, you can hunt down these boxes left by other people, or even make your own! Geocaches can be found almost everywhere and can include objects you already have around, making this mini treasure hunt a low-cost, simple option that takes you to new places.

 

Choose an adventure: Another great way to get outside together is by picking a new activity for everyone to try. Find your local adventure outfitters centers for fun options like mountain biking, kayaking and rock climbing, or even just check out your nearest batting cages or go-kart track! You’ll be sure to leave with fond memories and your children will look forward to the next family outing.

A New Year. A Not So New You…and that’s the beauty of Life!

Another calendar has flipped to the final page, welcoming a new year and a trip to the stationary store to get a 2018 calendar.

For most of us the a new year can bring on some anxious thoughts as we prepare to “do it right” this time. We make resolutions (that sound awfully familiar), clean out our closets (even after we purged for end of year giving), start a diet (back to those pesky resolutions), and the list can begin to get out of control!  There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, however, it might be time to give yourself a break. take a minute to think about your life, and move forward into the new year with the same old awesome you!

Take some time to write down – or enter into a computer – a “bucket list” of things that you “want” to do in 2018.  Once this list is compiled, create another list of tasks that you “must” do in 2018.  Lastly, create another list of commitments that you are routinely doing that could be moved to a list titled: “Not Needed In My Life for 2018”.

Once you have these things written down – your “life as it is today” will become more clear and your ability to soar in 2018 will be natural and successful.

 

 

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