Author Archive

Your Tablet: More than a T.V. Screen

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Since most households now have access to a smart phone or a tablet, it’s time to start looking at free and inexpensive resources which are available to us. It’s very easy to give a child a tablet or phone and let them watch, but it’s so much more beneficial to let them play and discover.

Anytime I walk into a classroom with my iPad, I know the children will ALL want a turn for whatever activity I have planned. These young learners are already, “technologically literate.” They know more about my iPad then I do. It is truly amazing to watch these children dive into technology as if it were a second language.

Below you’ll find links to a website which gives recommendations for “the best music apps for children,” and “the best Spanish apps for children.” Most of them are either free or reasonably priced. They contain the Mr. Hunter Seal of Approval!

Music apps:

Spanish apps:

With the latest update from Apple computers, iOs 8, all iPhones and iPads have been uploaded with a great program called “Garage Band”. It allows us to record songs, play instruments, layer tracks, and add prerecorded music to existing singing. This new app allows children to become pop stars and really explore the technological side to music recording. It’s fun for all ages! Below you will find a link which gives some simple instructions on how to introduce garage band to your children.

As an educator, I myself, use a lot of these resources while teaching the children at LifeSpan School and Daycare. I find that children become “electronically literate,” much faster than most adults. It’s up to us to encourage them!

Below you will find a great article from “The Alliance For Childhood” about the importance of Technological Literacy in Children.

As always, if you have any questions and you see me walking about, feel free to stop and ask!

Easy to Grow Fruits and Vegetables

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

By Jocelyn Psitos

Now is a great time to start thinking about gardening with your child. It’s fun. It’s therapeutic. It’s a great learning experience. And, it will be one of those family memories that you and your child will always hold dear.

Raising your own fruit and vegetables is a rewarding and economical choice. If you’re a    beginning gardening, start with low-maintenance varieties that grow well in your local climate.

Undemanding, easy-to-grow vegetables include peas, snap beans, onions, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and a variety of leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach. Fruits include strawberries, raspberries, grapes, currants and gooseberries.

While sunlight requirements vary among gardener crops, most fruits and vegetables require full sun for most of the day. Plant your garden away from large trees that might shade the plants, and take advantage of the southwest sun as much as possible.

Refer to your seed packets when planning your planting schedule. Some plants, such as peas, are cool weather crops, while others, such as tomatoes, require warmer soil

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Grab your hat and read with the Cat in the Hat on Monday, March 3, 2014

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Title: Grab your hat and read with the Cat in the Hat on Monday, March 3, 2014,
On March 3rd, in honor of Dr. Seuss’s 110th Birthday, we celebrate the 17th annual Read Across America Day. The Seussical celebration kicks off a week of reading across the nation. LifeSpan School and Day Care is no different. This entire week, we celebrate not only Dr. Seuss, but enhancing literacy in young minds. Although this week is very special and near and dear to our hearts, we cannot forget to encourage literacy EVERY DAY!
Literacy and reading is an important stepping stone in the development of a young mind. Here at LifeSpan, we encourage literacy in many different and creative ways. Whether it be a simple read aloud, or a Dr. Seuss Sing a-long; we use these tools to broaden the horizon in the young minds we care for.. (more…)

Grandparents raising their grandchildren

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Here at LifeSpan we have noticed an increase in the numbers of extended family members, namely grandparents, who are raising their grandchildren.  Many grandparents are stepping in to raise their grandchildren because their parents are not able to do so. In fact, the U.S. Census of 2000 found that over 2.4 million grandparents have responsibility for their grandchildren, in Pennsylvania, about 79,000 grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Some 60 percent of grandparents served as caregivers to their grandchildren over a ten-year period, and of that group, a whopping 70 percent offered care for two years or more, according to a new study from the University of Chicago based on a National Institute on Aging survey of more than 13,000 people age 50 and older. Many are serving as part- time babysitters or caregivers to help reduce the financial cost of child care while others have taken on more primary caregiver roles.  We hope to assist you in managing it as best you can. It can present some unique challenges and we have gathered some resources here to guide you through this time. (more…)

Why Is It Important to Read to Your Child?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013


Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are, The Cat in the Hat, and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus are very popular books that children seem to love! They are lots of fun to read and have bright, creative pictures. Reading even 15 minutes each day to your child will benefit him or her in so many ways. Reading helps a child to begin to speak by hearing words being read to them. This will also help a child to expand his or her vocabulary as they are getting older and to read and speak fluently. Showing a child that books are fun and that it is important to read may help a child to value reading and also feel the importance of reading. Reading helps with a child’s imagination. Sometimes the story may run through someone’s mind like a movie. This may also happen to a child. Additionally, a child at a young age who observes someone reading to them will see and experience how to properly hold a book and turn the pages in a book. These are only a few examples of how reading at least 15 minutes a day to your child will help benefit them!

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Check out this great new resource provided to Pennsylvania families.

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Guiding your child’s learning and growth from the start – the Early Learning GPS

  • ·         What do you do if your baby won’t stop crying?
  • ·         Is TV good for toddlers?
  • ·         I like my child’s preschool teacher, but is that enough to make sure he’s ready for kindergarten? Early Learning GPS

With young children, questions like these can come up every day. You want what’s best for your child, and you want to prepare them for kindergarten, but may not know what you need to know or even where to start.

Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children’s Early Learning GPS can help. GPS stands for Guiding Parents Smoothly – helping families set the right course for their children’s success in kindergarten and beyond. It’s great for anyone who has a young child in their life- grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors. You can get started at

So how does it work? You answer up to 10 questions about your baby, toddler or preschooler. After you answer a question, you receive helpful tips and links to reliable resources. You can also complete a short worksheet with ways you want to use these tips in your daily life. The questions address the most important things you should know and can do to help your young child learn and grow. (more…)

Ways to Be Organized for the New School Year?

Monday, August 26th, 2013

What are Some Ways to Be Organized for the New School Year?

School has either started or will be starting within the next week or two.  The beginning of a new school year is full of excitement and is the perfect chance to create a routine and be organized. It may be helpful to have different colored folders and dividers for each school subject, so that way information regarding a particular subject can all be found in one place. Keeping supplies organized is important as well. Organizing pencils, erasers, crayons, etc. will help with being prepared for assignments and completing class work and homework. Another way to stay organized is to arrange a specific area or desk at home. This organized area can help provide a positive atmosphere to complete homework. Setting up a schedule may be helpful. If you feel as though you are rushing in the morning, then organizing your school bag, getting lunch ready, and setting out your outfit the night before may be very helpful and make the morning less stressful!

Fun End of Summer Ideas

Monday, July 29th, 2013

It is the end of July, which means that there is about one more month until school starts.  There are many fun end of summer activities and games to do with your child.  It is a good time to have a backyard campout.  Set up tents outback and make s’mores!  Another idea is to go for a bike ride together and have a picnic at the park. Bake cookies and turn them into ice cream sandwiches, take a trip to the beach and collect seashells, and playing at the playground are all fun end of summer activities to do with your child before he or she goes back to school.

Ways to Incorporate Math throughout the Day

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

There are so many times throughout the day that math can be taught or reviewed.  Many of these math skills can be brought up while in the car. Talking about speed, which car is going faster or slower on the road. Discussing the digital time in the car as well as the track number playing on a CD helps with reviewing time and numbers. The different shapes of the street signs help with teaching and reviewing geometry. Another way to incorporate math could be in the kitchen. Time can be reviewed with how long something needs to cook for. Measurement is reviewed with measuring the ingredients and also discussing temperature.  Telephone numbers and addresses help children to practice their numbers and to learn their phone number and where they live. These are just a few examples of how math can be incorporated into your child’s day.

Selecting Kid Friendly Sunscreen

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

The summer weather is definitely here with full force!   We have certainly been spending longer hours outdoors here at LifeSpan!  Whether you are at the pool or the park, a child’s tender skin is often more susceptible to burn than an adult’s skin.  With so many products on the market, it can be confusing and intimidating to decide which product will work best on your child.  Last summer the FDA changed some of the required wording on sunscreen labels to make it easier for consumers to pick products that meet their needs.   A good rule of thumb would be to look for a sunscreen that says broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.  Sunscreens will no longer say “water-proof”, they must say “water-resistant”.  Also, sunscreen should now be applied every 2 hours as a general rule regardless of activity.  There are plenty of “kid-friendly” sunscreens on the market.  You can check out the list and ready more about sunscreens and children at