Ideas on Creating Structure with Young Children

Being at home all the time with the kids can be challenging. Especially trying to establish routines with children. We asked Craig Roberts, our amazing Licensed Clinical Social Worker, to share a few ideas on creating structure with young children. 

Start with the attitude that “We do things together.” 

We play together, we work together, etc.  This way, you get more interaction and more chances to have joy together.

Ideas on Creating Structure with Young Children | Root for Kids
source: Shutterstock

Show respect in getting your child away from their previous activity

Give them a heads up if possible.  If they’re watching TV, give them until the end of the show, or until the next commercial.  If they’re playing a video game, give them a 5-minute warning, or until they finish the next puzzle, etc.  Kindly stick to your guns and end the activity when the time comes.  If your child is sad/mad about leaving an activity, warmly accept his/her feelings.

Put activities in a timeline that makes sense

Get the work done before the fun.  Some examples are: “We’re going to eat soon, but before we can do that, we need to cook the food and set the table.”  “In a while, it will be time to go to the park, but before that, we need to get the house cleaned so that when we get back, we won’t have to do all that work when we’re tired.”

Transform the work into fun 

For instance, if you have a race to see whether you can cook the food first or your child can set the table first, your child will probably have fun beating you in the race.  If you drive the laundry basket around the house saying, “No, don’t put any dirty laundry in me,” your child will probably laughingly stuff all the dirty laundry in.  Something is fun if you, the parent, make it fun.  It’s a drudge if you, the parent, make it a drudge.  Figure out how to make it fun.

Ideas on Creating Structure with Young Children | Root for Kids
source: Shutterstock

Talk about your feelings and values regarding the task at hand, while keeping positive 

Do the “before” and “after” picture with your words.  For instance, “We’re going to go on a walk tonight, but first we need to get the dishes done.  Oh, look at these dishes all messy and cluttery.  Are we going to let them clutter up our sink?  No, we are not! You dishes are going to get clean.  Johnny and I will see to that!”  Have fun as you wash the dishes with Johnny.  When you’re done, appreciate your work.  “Wow.  Our kitchen feels great now.  We’re a great dishwashing team. Now it’s time to go on our walk!” 

Be appreciative of whatever positive thing your child does

If you’re cleaning Suzie’s bedroom and she makes the bed and it’s all lumpy, say “Wow.  You got your bed made. You got the pillow in the right place, and got the blanket pulled up over the top of it.  Very nice work!”  Find the good in what she did, and she will feel proud to help and encouraged to help the next time.  Ignore the lumps, and over the years they will get smoothed out.

Give your child many appropriate moments of power and choice

You might say, “OK.  Now we’re cleaning your room.  You’re in charge in here.  Do you think we should start with the toys first or the dirty clothes first?”  Giving power to your child helps him/her feel like the owner of the chore and starts building his/her ability one day to do chores independently from you.  But don’t rush that.  Wait until your relationship is feeling very strong and happy. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities to happily work together.

Ideas on Creating Structure with Young Children | Root for Kids
source: Shutterstock

Root for Kids serves children from birth to age five in Washington County, Utah and the Arizona Strip. We are still enrolling for all of our programs! Fill out our referral form today.


Thank you, volunteers!

We could not do everything we do without the service provided by our wonderful volunteers. April 19-25, 2020 is National Volunteer Week and we are celebrating by highlighting different group of volunteers. Our volunteers come in all ages and types! The impact of volunteering with Root for Kids benefits hundreds of young children in Washington County and the Arizona strip.

Families

We love when families visit us and join in a project such as bundling diapers, painting blocks and coloring matching games. We have projects for all ages! It is very special to have one family support another family.

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Individuals

We have individual volunteers that have been with us for many years. Brad Hafen has been volunteering with us for over 20 years, Naomi has been with us for nine, and Susan joined us just last year. These dear friends of ours have given countless hours to support our mission.

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

We also have committees you can join to help with our community impact and plan our annual fundraising events, such as our Secret Garden Gala. You can read books & rock babies in our Caterpillar Clubhouse, bundle diaper packages for our enrolled families, create matching games and activity books for the children, and more.

School & Youth Groups

Our hallways are always buzzing with activity when we have a school or youth group on campus. They are active and willing to do just about anything! We’ve had boy scout and girl scout troops, WCSD Youth Leadership, and numerous church youth groups join us for an afternoon of service. We’ve enjoyed their work in our garden and yard area, our playground and fencing, and assembly projects such as building sensory bottles and fishing games.

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Local Businesses

We are so grateful to the many businesses that donate to us each year. Especially those who also donate their time volunteering with us. Some of the businesses we’ve had volunteer with us are American Family Insurance, Enterprise, and our dear friends at Guild Mortgage. As part of our Early Head Start grant we are committed to offer volunteer opportunities. We have an average of 15,000 volunteer hours to meet each year and businesses like these help us match this commitment year after year.

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Community Groups

Three hurrah’s for the best community! We are so grateful for the many community groups that join us throughout the year. They tackle tasks like our yard work, painting projects, and building and coloring educational toys. We’ve enjoyed partnering with AUCH, Rotary Club, SUHBA, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, AGC- and many more.

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

University Students & Athletes

Our partnerships with university students are some of our favorites. When they volunteer, they are always eager with wiling hearts to giving all they can to our mission. Last year we enjoyed having the DSU football team come by to help with our yard work and creating puzzles for our graduating children.

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Each semester we have DSU nursing & dental hygiene students, U of U physician assistant students and students in leadership from RVU join us at our various family events. Many of our families primarily speak Spanish, and we often need Spanish Interpreters. The DSU Spanish Club has been helpful at our dental days and other family events. We also have student interns each semester. Last year we had Abby join us as a health communication intern and Ashleigh as a community involvement intern.

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Health Heroes & Clinicians

We love our health partners! They each provide a service that greatly impacts the families in our programs. Last year at one of our parent nights our enrolled parents enjoyed learning from Danyelle Evans, a Registered Dental Hygienist in our community, about the importance of oral health for their families. We are so grateful for the DSU dental days each semester with the DSU dental hygiene program. Each semester, a local Dentist from our community volunteers his time to oversee the dental days. Alongside the DSU students the Dentist provides free dental checkups for our enrolled families. The U of U physician assistant program provide free well child exams & immunizations for our Early Head Start families.

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

We have an ongoing partnership with Stefani Watson from USDB to provide hearing testing, and Dr. Joshua Schliesser offers vision screenings for our program children. Our partnership with Stapley Pharmacy provides our staff with flu shots and necessary immunizations.

Thank you, volunteers! | Root for Kids

Lastly, we are so grateful for our Health Services Advisory Committee that is comprised of a dozen or so local health provides that meet twice a year on their own time to discuss the health of our families. Without the donation of these clinicians’ time, our families would continue to fall between the cracks in necessary health services which can lead to effects on the child’s development.

We are thankful for our volunteers’ dedication and desire to improve the lives of hundreds of children. Interested in volunteering with us? Call our Volunteer & Community Partnership Coordinator to get started! (435) 673-5353, ext. 123


More Home Activities for Kids

Play time and activities are a huge part of a toddler’s life. Not only they keep the little ones entertained, but they also support brain development (which is rapidly happening in the first years of life). With that in mind, our developmental specialists selected a few home activities! Each activity helps support an area of development and comes with a book suggestion.

If you are interested in any of our home visiting services (virtual, for now) fill out our referral form! Root for Kids serves pregnant women and children from birth to age 5 in Washington County, Utah and the Arizona Strip.

Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids


Home Activities for Kids

Are you struggling to keep the kids busy? It can be hard to avoid excessive screen time at home. But we are here to help! From experiments and crafts to physical activity, here are some ideas of home activities for kids.

Educational

Feed your child’s brain and curiosity with these simple at home activities and experiments.

Story Time

Reading helps children learn new vocabulary and express themselves using language. The more interactive you can make story time, the more involved and engaged your child will be. See how you can make the most of toddler story time.

Around the World 

Bring the world to your living room! You can start by making a passport with your child and having them point on a map where they want to go. Teach them a little bit about the country, what language is spoken, look at pictures and do an activity related to that country. It would also be fun to research simple recipes and try them out with your child.

Magnet Discovery Bottle

 

DIY Reading Toy

 

Fingerprint Counting Activity

 

Name Recognition Activity

 

Physical Activity

An active lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. And kids have a lot of energy to spend! Keep them entertained with these simple exercises and join in.

10 Simple Toddler Exercises

 

Yoga for Kids (3-5)

 

Family Fun Cardio Workout

 

Arts & Crafts

Crafts play a big part on fine motor development. In addition to that, creative activities stimulate both sides of the brain and help children develop both emotional and intellectual skills.

Under the Sea

 What can you find under the sea? Use a blue background for the ocean (blue table cloth from the dollar store will work great) and create a whimsical ocean scene with jelly fish, wiggly-eyed glitter fish, sea turtle, seahorse puppets, and even mermaids! Use the crafts for pretend play.

Play Dough “Painting”
Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids
source: Shutterstock

 

Musical Tambourine
Musical Tambourine | Root for Kids
source: Lakeshore Learning

 

Sensory Crafts

 

Paper Crafts

 

Wholesome home activities can support children’s development. If you have any concerns about your child, please fill out our online form.*

*Root for Kids serves children 0-5 in Washington County, Utah and the Arizona Strip.


What are Developmental Disabilities?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in six children in the U.S. have one or more developmental disabilities or developmental delays. March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and we have compiled a few facts and resources for parents.

What are developmental disabilities?

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas¹. They come in many shapes and sizes, and are not always visible. These conditions can include, but are not limited to, vision impairment, hearing loss, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, learning disability and ADHD.

There are many factors that can cause a developmental disability or delay, and most begin before the baby is born. It can be linked to genetics, complications during pregnancy (such as infections) and/or during birth, exposure to high levels of toxins, and parental health and behavior (such as drinking, smoking and drug use.)

What are developmental disabilities? | Root for Kids
source: Shutterstock

Why is Early Intervention important?

Neural circuits, which create the foundation for learning, behavior and health, are most flexible during the first three years of life. Because of that, early intervention is more effective when provided then. It can also reduce the incidence of future problems in their learning, behavior and health status.² As a result, children who receive services early on most likely won’t need special education when they start school.

Baby steps
source: Shutterstock

What can you do to help your child?

If your child was born with a developmental disability, seek local early intervention services right away. For Utah and Arizona, check out the Utah Department of Health and Arizona Department of Economic Security for services in your area. 

The best way to catch developmental delays is through screenings. Only 31% of children ages 9 months to 35 months received a developmental screening in the U.S. in 2016-2017.³ To make sure your child is reaching their developmental milestones, follow the CDC’s Milestone Checklist or download their app. Contact your local providers for screening information if you have any concerns.

Developmental Milestones | Root for Kids

Root for Kids serves Washington County, Utah and the Arizona strip. Contact us for free developmental screenings.

Every child deserves the best start in life. Help us serve more children and families by donating today.