Hardy preparing kids for tests

With back to school comes plenty of homework to be done and tests to be taken. It’s important that kids realize their performance results on tests have a big impact on their future.

Preparing kids for tests and how to properly study for them is very valuable. Today specifically, Hardy Heart is talking about spelling tests. He emphasizes making sure to go over and over the spelling words before the test to ensure kids are confident going into the test. Confidence and practice is key in preparing kids for tests.

Download the coloring and activity sheets focused on preparing kids for tests:

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benefits of family mealtimeThis time of year especially, families are on-the-go and constantly busy. Quality time spent together as a family can be challenging to find. Between homework, afterschool activities, prepping lunches, making dinner and bedtime, time is hard to come by. This is why it is so important to make time for that all-important family meal as often as possible. The time spent together becomes invaluable!

Here are 5 benefits of family mealtime:

  • Communication 

This is a time where the kids will be minimally distracted and willing to chat. Ask them about their school day; What did they eat for lunch? Who did they play with? What activities did they partake in? This may be the only time you can get a daily recap. Here are 10 mealtime conversation starters to help you initiate that important dialogue.

  • Planning

Talk about some exciting things your kids would like to do and discuss what fun things everyone has coming up on the calendar, such as sporting events or birthday parties. Give them things to look forward to.

  • Food bonding

If you have little ones, start a contest to see who can eat the most veggies on their plate. Talk about the importance of eating these healthy foods. This creates a little bit of fun, friendly competition within the family and promotes healthy eating. Win-win!

  • Share responsibilities

This is a good time to encourage helping out around the house. If you incorporate chores into the kids routines, helping to set the table and clean up the dishes and kitchen are great ones to add to the list.

  • Family values

Mealtime, whether it be breakfast or dinner, offers a unique opportunity to connect in a relaxed environment while emphasizing that family time is important and valued. The table becomes a routine place where kids can expect togetherness and fun.

So, during this busy time of year, make sure to fit in some of that precious family time when you can!

What mealtime traditions does your household follow?

With all this back to school talk, we thought it would be a great time to bring back this post where we shared some proper hygiene techniques for your OrganWise Gal or Guy dolls. You’ve probably never thought that your sweet little OrganWise Guy or Gal may need a little bit of a cleaning. In the past, we’ve had people ask us how to clean the doll and the organ beanies housed inside, but have definitely never had anyone send us their OrganWise doll bath pictures!

OrganWise Doll Spa DayLast year, we were both thrilled and tickled to get this email from Roger Steinbrock from the City of Lawrence in Kansas. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with him and appreciate his efforts to get kids healthy in the parks in Lawrence. We asked him to share with us exactly what they did to clean their Mr. Organ (as they call him). Here is what he said:

“We just got a bowl with a little bit of soap (we’ve used Woolite in the past). Today we used a little bit of dish soap and washed him and wrung him out as best we could, letting him air dry the rest of  the way. The water actually gets pretty dingy – more than you’d ever believe. This was the first time we included Mr. Organ in the wash and I’m glad we did!”

Sounds like Mr. Organ has been quite busy playing in the parks this summer! Thank you Roger for sharing your tips to make sure your OrganWise Guy and Gal (and their insides) stay clean and healthy.

 

Pepto Peer PressureOne thing is for certain about kids, and really adults, too, and that is they we all want to feel like we belong. This starts from a young age, where kids deal with making decisions that may not always be smartest ones, but are the most “popular” according to their peers. As kids get older peer pressure is something that they are bound to face. They will be faced with issues big and small, and it is so important to teach them from a young age how to make smart decisions without being influenced by their peers. See how Pepto, the stomach experiences some peer pressure from a friend and what he does to resolve it.

Download the coloring sheet today to begin a conversation about peer pressure with kids:

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Good Luck!

Peaches, a type of stone fruit, are an August Foods of the Month. This time of year, your supermarkets will be full of stone fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines and others. Stock up on these fruits and make some tasty recipes like our peach-blueberry muffins. If you have purchased a lot of stone fruits and they are about to go bad, you can turn them into fruit leather! This process is much healthier than store-bought fruit snacks because you only use one ingredient – the fruit! Natural fruit leathers, like our peach fruit leather recipe are also a fun family activity that you can make with your children.

Peach Fruit Leather

Ingredients

3 very ripe peaches, sliced (3 peaches will make about 4 servings. You can use as many stone fruits as you want!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Use a food processor or blender to puree the sliced stone fruits.
  3. Transfer fruit puree to a parchment paper lined baking sheet (we sprayed our parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray).
  4. Spread fruit puree evenly in one thin layer over parchment paper. Make sure that the edges of the puree are not too thin or else they will burn.
  5. Cook for about 7 hours, until the fruit is completely dried out.
  6. The fruit leather will come off the parchment paper in one piece, Cut into strips and serve rolled up for a fun snack.

peach fruit leather

Free healthy resources for kids

With back to school here, The OrganWise Guys are eager to get back to spreading the word of good health. Over the summer we were busy revamping our website and are excited to share with you the new look and tools available. So whether you already use the evidence-based programming or you are new to it, take a minute to visit the new site, including our new shop and check out the free resources you can use in your classroom setting.

Here are the free healthy resources for kids:

  • Educator tools – See how the school assemblies are done or catch Dr. Michelle Lombardo (OWG President and creator) perform a training on The OrganWise Guys Comprehensive School Program (OWG CSP). Here you can also find lesson plans and implementation guides to coincide with OrganWise Guys materials.
  • Curriculum Standards All of the OWG materials are correlated and updated in real-time to your state curriculum AND Common Core standards.
  • Kid’s Club – Here you will find video clips, as well as FREE activity and coloring sheet downloads!
  • Kid’s Blog – Check back each Monday and Thursday to see what ‘the Guys’ are up to! You can also download and copy free activity and coloring sheets that correspond to that blog!
  • Educator Blog Learn best practices for OrganWise Guys program implementation in the classroom and community.
  • Grown Up Blog – Gain helpful tips and ways to keep your family OrganWise at home.

We’d also like to share this back to school discount code for 20% off your order! Use coupon code SCHOOL2015 upon checkout. 

Which OrganWise Guys resources do you find most helpful?

Back to school brings back the morning craziness for most families. Getting the kids (and parents!) up, showered, dressed, teeth brushed, hair styled, is a lot to fit in before heading out the door. So what about that all-important first meal of the day? Whatever you do, don’t skip it. Eating a healthy breakfast is vital for productivity and energy throughout the day. Make it a priority and this can start with meal planning. Plan ahead, bake or cook ahead, and have some of these healthy breakfast recipes ready to go to ensure a successful day!

Click below to get some of our favorite healthy breakfast recipes:

yogurt berry cups

Berry Yogurt Cups

 

baked eggs

Avocado Baked Eggs

 

apple-breakfast

Apples, Nuts, and Cheese

 

egg-sandwich

English Muffin Egg Sandwich

 

peach blueberry muffins

Peach Blueberry Muffins 

 

mini egg omelets copy

Mini Egg Omelets

 

strawberry blueberry smoothie

Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie

 

stone-fruit-parfaitStone Fruit Parfait

 

Here’s to getting the school year started off right with healthy breakfasts! Enjoy!!

 

Teach kids to be self confident Sir RebrumSelf confidence is a quality that can go a long way in every aspect of life. So, it is very important to teach kids to be self confident at an early age. When doing so though, remember to mention that being overconfident is not always a good thing; there is definitely a happy medium.

Using sports as an example of confidence is a great way teach kids to be self confident. This would probably be one of the easiest ways to have the kids relate and understand the whole concept.

Sir Rebrum talks about how success in a sport could lead to a little bit of over confidence and also finds out how that could end up hurting him. Get the worksheets to see what happened!

Download the fun coloring sheet and word search activity sheet to help teach kids to be self confident:

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Click Activity Sheet

Keep Kids Active and HydratedBack to school time doesn’t have to mean that physical activity and outdoor play has to come to an end. While we may be busier with school, homework and extra-curricular activities, it’s still so important to make sure kids are staying active. It’s easy to get home and let the kids watch TV or grab an Iphone to watch, but physical activity is the best answer for good health, as well as help the kids sleep better at night!

The temperatures outside remain hot and so, in addition to getting outdoors to play, the other reminder is to make sure kids are taking water breaks to rehydrate. It’s easy for kids to get caught up playing and having fun with friends, however, a regular water break will ensure that kids are getting in enough water to stay hydrated. So for back to school time, make sure to keep kids active and hydrated!

 

Download the coloring sheet today to keep kids active and hydrated during the busy back to school time!

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Happy hydrating!

 

Everyone knows that you should eat a well-balanced breakfast to keep your OrganWise Guys healthy. What better way to start breakfast than with a full serving of vegetables? We love frittatas and other egg dishes for breakfast because you can add lots of healthy veggies. The combo of healthy fat from eggs and fiber from vegetables will keep you full all morning long. Try this healthy and mouthwatering summer squash frittata in August when summer squash is a Foods of the Month!

Summer Squash Frittata

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 small yellow squash, sliced thin

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 eggs

1 tbsp. skim milk

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tbsp. parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a small nonstick frying pan, cook olive oil over medium heat, until it begins to sizzle. Add onions, then turn the heat to low. Cover them and cook for 15-20 minutes, until they turn brown and are caramelized.
  3. Add the sliced yellow squash and cook for an additional 10 minutes on low, until the squash becomes soft.
  4. Crack the 4 eggs in a bowl and whisk together until the white and the yolk are combined. Add milk and stir together with the eggs.
  5. Pour the eggs into the skillet with the onions and squash and mix gently so the ingredients are combined.
  6. Let the eggs cook on the stovetop for about 10 minutes until they begin to set on the top. Sprinkle with dried thyme, parmesan, salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer the entire pan to the oven and cook for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees until the top of the frittata is golden brown.
  8. Serve and enjoy! (it goes great with these peach blueberry muffins for brunch!).

zucchini fritatta copy